Inside the villa.
Hong Hao Hao rubbed her stiff neck and looked at the middle-aged man who was staring into the water basin excitedly. She couldn’t help but ask: “Is there a need to stare at her like that? The paper cranes have already reported a bunch. Her cheap blood has almost been used up.”
“You don’t understand.” The man didn’t even raise his head. “To find Ruan Zhan, Yue Xiao Xia is the best bait.”
“I don’t believe that. Hasn’t he been gone for two months already?”
“I don’t know what he’s up to, but he will be back. The spirit treasure of the Daoist world, the bloodwood sword, is here. Whether someone walking the path of the Dao could bear leaving it is one thing. Leaving the sword in her hands proves how important she is to him. Therefore, he won’t just toss her aside. Perhaps he’s hovering nearby and I just haven’t sensed his aura.” The man laughed but it sounded like an asthma attack. “When necessary, I will be more ruthless.”
“The ghostly knocking last night wasn’t ruthless enough?” Hong Hao Hao put on a provocative pose, trying to attract the man’s attention. However, she realized it was completely ineffective and was thus a little exasperated. “Those unaware might think you have a peeping fetish.”
“Isn’t peeping a good thing? To peep is to gather intelligence! Although I wasn’t able to discover the extent of Ruan Zhan’s powers during the Bloody Mary affair, I at least found out the legendary bloodwood sword was actually in his hands.”
“Why don’t you just capture Yue Xiao Xia? The precious sword is in her hands after all. Nothing you send will be of use unless you personally make a move.”
“Slow down, slow down, patience!” The man finally seemed to notice Hong Hao Hao’s existence and pulled her into his arms. “Capturing her would violate the laws of the world and provoke unnecessary problems. Furthermore, the news may not necessarily spread to the one surnamed Ruan. I will use some other method.”
“What about her?!” Hong Hao Hao pointed at Gu Yu Fang’s face in the water. “Although we can’t hear what she’s saying, it’s obvious she’s revealing things about the Flower Society!”
“No, she hasn’t told her everything. Otherwise, Yue Xiao Xia wouldn’t have such an expression. Curiosity, bashfulness, awkwardness, but not the slightest bit of alarm.”
“Then she must be talking about the physical pleasures?” Hong Hao Hao laughed delicately. “So there’s no need to worry about her?”
“No, eliminate her!”
“Isn’t it due to your carelessness?” The man said gently, but his tone contained a threat that made one shiver, making Hong Hao Hao immediately fall silent.
“I, I never expected her to overdose and then randomly wake up afterwards without being affected by the befuddlement spell! You know your befuddlement spell penetrates through everything, and those it hits will completely enter dreamland. However, it doesn’t work on people whose minds aren’t clear.”
“No need to explain, go do it.” The man recovered his usual attitude. “Gu Yu Fang has sworn the blood oath, hasn’t she?”
Xiao Xia was about to sleep when she was startled by an urgent pounding on her door. It was already late and she was afraid the neighbors would get disturbed. She hurried over and looked through the peephole. She saw that it was Gu Yu Fang.
“It’s so late, what’s going on?” She had just opened the door a crack when Gu Yu Fang squeezed inside. Her body was limp like it was half liquid. This made Xiao Xia feel weird. However, before she could think about it, she was interrupted by Gu Yu Fang.
“Someone’s trying to kill me!” Her face was abnormally pale from fear but her eyes were eerily bright.
“Who is it? Someone from the Flower Society? Have you called the cops?”
“It’s useless! Too late, it’s too late!”
“Then let’s hurry and call the cops!” Xiao Xia could see the matter might be very serious and ran to the living room and dialed 110, the police number. Gu Yu Fang slowly followed behind her, muttering “Too late! Too late!” the entire time.
The line went through and a very beautiful female voice said: “Looking for the cops? May I ask where you are?”
“Someone’s being chased. My location is….” Xiao Xia suddenly covered her mouth. She heard a peal of eerie laughter that immediately evoked fear in her heart. Did she not dial the police number?
“Is that so? How pitiful. However, she must die. You as well! My apologies!”
“Who are you?” Xiao Xia asked loudly.
There was no response for a while before a woman’s quiet sobs sounded out.
Xiao Xia dropped the phone in shock. She had practically thrown it, as though it burned her hand. She turned around and found Gu Yu Fang pressed up against her, almost face to face, making her leap backwards.
“Too late, too late.” She still repeated these words.
“It’s not too late. We can save ourselves. Right, who’s after you?”
“Seal?” Xiao Xia looked at Gu Yu Fang in astonishment, wondering if she had gone insane from fear. Was she talking about that round, chubby, cute animal, or the badass American troop, Seal Team 6?
“It’s when the limbs are all cut off, leaving stumps. It’s how the rebels treated our troops during the revolution.” Gu Yu Fang explained animatedly, but something was off about her.
“This sort of person has no arms or legs, and can only crawl, crawl, like so!” As she spoke, she suddenly collapsed like a shattered statue. Xiao Xia’s vision blurred and Gu Yu Fang was nowhere to be seen.
“Save me! Save me!” Someone cried mournfully from behind.
Xiao Xia turned towards the sound. She saw Gu Yu Fang lying askew on the living room carpet, alternating between tears and laughter. Her limbs were gone, leaving behind withered stumps that writhed abnormally as she slowly crawled towards her.
“Save me!” She suddenly rose in the air and shot in front of Xiao Xia’s face.
Xiao Xia screamed and everything turned black.
She startled awake.
At that moment, she couldn’t tell if this was a dream or not. Only after a few seconds did she realize it had been a nightmare. However, she also felt something sinister and abnormal in her room. She hurriedly gripped the bloodwood sword by her bed.
The bloodwood sword hadn’t turned small again after the ghostly knocking because magic power was needed to seal it in wax. Therefore, Xiao Xia was forced to buy a high-quality fishing rod, put a bow on it and gift it to her director. Although it was a little inappropriate, she was able to use the fishing rod’s case to hide the bloodwood sword and carry it around.
The bloodwood sword was currently dim, not revealing much light. This proved that there wasn’t anything foul in the room. Even if there had been, it was definitely already gone.
Actually, after encountering the ghostly knocking, she had already planned on moving into Ruan Zhan’s place. He wasn’t there anyway and the formations were still in place. Furthermore Wan Li had the keys.
She suddenly understood that Ruan Zhan leaving Wan Li the keys wasn’t to have him take care of his bar. It was to leave the “ghost-warding fortress” for her to use. If she was unlucky enough to once again encounter evil spirits, she could hide there. That way he could rest assured no matter how far away he went.
The thought made Xiao Xia feel complicated emotions. Comfort, anger, sorrow, despair and concern she might never see him again. She had resolutely decided not to go to the safe haven he provided, and didn’t tell Wan Li anything either.
Perhaps it was a little silly but she had stubbornly thought: Since he could abandon everything and leave quietly, her wellbeing didn’t need his concern. She wouldn’t accept his gesture!
After all, there was nothing between them. They didn’t even count as friends!
Actually, she wasn’t willing to admit to that the reason she allowed herself to sink into such terror was because she wanted to know. Would Ruan Zhan appear if she encountered unstoppable, life-threatening danger? This was what she truly wanted deep down.
She wanted to know whether he cared about her. Therefore, she willfully chose to make this bet!
Don’t be afraid!
She encouraged herself and forced herself off the warm bed. She walked through her entire place in the dark. The bloodwood sword showed no reaction, proving there was nothing abnormal in the room. However, she felt a strong sense of alarm and unease. After far too many encounters, she trusted her own intuition.
Could something have happened to Gu Yu Fang?!
Thinking of this, she hurriedly dialed Wan Li’s number.