Ruan Zhan looked at Kenji Ganmura’s corpse and frowned.
This wasn’t the outcome he had wanted. This was trouble. There was a hidden “helper” who seemed intent on muddying the waters.
The boundary in the nearby hotel showed no signs of damage. Yet on the floor, apart from the dead Japanese person, were two white pillows. They were the ones he pretended were Xiao Xia when he captured the evil spirit. However, the spells upon them had been broken.
The two pillows had fallen from the ten-story building several hundreds of meters up in the windy winter night and accurately landed on Kenji Ganmura’s head. This wasn’t humanly possible.
He naturally understood what had happened. In the Japanese Yinyang arts, backlash meant a spell going out of control and swallowing the caster. This was something that could very easily happen when a spellcaster of lower spirit power tried to use a high-level spell. It led to injury in light cases and death in severe ones. But in today’s situation, someone had clearly undone the spell, commanding that evil spirit to enter Kenji Ganmura’s body through his head and devouring his soul. Since Kenji Ganmura had suffered losses in both their physical and arcane contests, his psyche and spirit had been in a state of shock and weakness. Since he had collected this evil spirit in a hasty and forced manner, it had been easy for him to get destroyed.
The term used here is “destroyed”, and not the more easily understood “dead”, because his soul was actually absorbed by the evil spirit. When the police finds his corpse, they would discover that apart from the scrapes from his falls, he had no external injuries. They could only explain it as a sudden and mysterious death. This was also good. Kenji Ganmura’s death wouldn’t bring any legal problems. The problem was the person behind the scenes and the escaped evil spirit.
It had swallowed Kenji Ganmura’s soul which meant absorbing his mental strength. It would become more powerful and harder to catch. Furthermore, it had run off to who knows where. Of course it wouldn’t stray too far, but this transformed ghost might continue doing evil within City A. It was a pity that things had happened too suddenly and Ruan Zhan’s spell had yet to be resolved. He hadn’t been in time to capture it again!
It could be said the person behind the scenes chose the perfect moment.
Kenji Ganmura had just been the bait. He had a guess as to who this person was, but he didn’t know what that person was planning. How should he proceed?
Ruan Zhan sighed and knew they had run into a difficult case once again. It was best to get out of here first before deciding what to do. He first picked up the two pillows, planning to take them back, before finding the discarded dagger. He threw it into the nearby river before returning to the hotel.
“How did it go?” Xiao Xia hurriedly asked the moment she came out of the boundary.
“Kenji Ganmura is dead.” Ruan Zhan replied calmly.
“De…dead?” Xiao Xia was shocked. “You really beat him…to death?”
“He has truly died!” Before Ruan Zhan’s voice fell, Xiao Xia suddenly turned to go. He could only grab her. “Where are you going?”
“To get rid of the evidence!” Xiao Xia’s expression was determined. She vowed to break the law as long as Ruan Zhan could remain safe.
Truly an impetuous lass!
Ruan Zhan sighed again and summarized what had transpired that night.
“Yinyang Master? I’ve seen that in anime. Seemed to be pretty handsome.” Hearing that Ruan Zhan wouldn’t be implicated in the Japanese person’s death, Xiao Xia immediately tossed the matter aside. She actually didn’t feel any sympathy. “But what are the Yinyang arts you speak of?”
“We can speak about it in bed.” Ruan Zhan said. He immediately realized that his words were a little ambiguous, but Xiao Xia seemed to be out of it and didn’t react. She just wasn’t willing to sleep in her own bed since that evil spirit had been trapped on it. Ruan Zhan could only switch beds with her.
“In Japan, Yinyang Masters are known as diviners or illusionists. It’s said they practice astrology, fortunetelling and geomancy. They predict calamities, draw talismans, chant spells and cast illusions. They are deeply familiar with unseen forces such as fate, spirits and ghouls. Furthermore, they have the ability to influence these things. The Yinyang Path is an organization formed by these Yinyang Masters. It’s a hidden sect that has been passed down through the ages. In Japanese legends, there were many ghouls and fiends in the dark ages. These people made their living exterminating them. Japanese Yinyang Masters don’t usually abide by social conventions. They mainly deal with ghouls but they also protect Japan’s royal dynasty. They have noble identities. Both military and aristocrats treat them very respectfully, even to the extent of deference.”
“I’ve heard they were founded from China, right? How can these Japanese people treat their teachers like this!?” Xiao Xia harrumphed.
“That’s right. Japan’s Yinyang Path indeed stems from China’s study of yin, yang and the five elements during the period of Warring States. They have some connections to China’s Daoist arts. During the warring period back then, there was a sect promoting Yinyang and the five elements known as the School of Yin-Yang. Its main representatives were Zou Yan and Zou Shuang of the Qi State. The term Yin-Yang refers to a force that was in harmony, which flowed throughout all things. They believed it was responsible for the creation of all things. This is how our ancestors believed the world was formed. The Dao gave birth to one, one birthed two, two birthed three, and three birthed thousands. These thousands contained both Yin and Yang that clashed and yet were in harmony. Around the sixth century, parts of Daoist incantations and Buddhist divination mixed in with the Yinyang Five Elements path and made its way to Japan. After taking root there, they took in some of the local culture and became its own independent Yinyang Path. In Japan’s medieval period, Yinyang Arts had always been popular. The people back then often sought Yinyang Artists to provide blessings and get rid of spirits. It’s said that until now, Yinyang scrolls can still be found in various ruins. The Japanese manga you mentioned earlier, those exorcists were using Yinyang Arts, right? This just shows how widespread Yinyang Artists were in Japan.”
“Wow, you’re really educated! I couldn’t tell in the past. I thought you only knew to mix drinks and smile prettily.”
Xiao Xia’s words made Ruan Zhan involuntarily smile. He thought how this was Yue Xiao Xia’s manner of speech: A backhanded compliment, yet also frank.
“I had long since noticed something off about Kenji Ganmura. Therefore, I did some research. It’s not that I’m educated.” Ruan Zhan said. “He was a Yin Yang Master, but he wasn’t that powerful. I’m guessing he intended on obtaining a shikigami. Unfortunately, he shouldn’t have been so unrestrained, wanting to fulfill his shikigami’s wish in China!”
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier if you knew?!” Xiao Xia was a little dissatisfied. “This is one of your drawbacks. You keep everything inside, and don’t discuss anything with others. Talkative men are great, like Wan Li.”
“I wasn’t sure yet back then.” Ruan Zhan lied. He actually just didn’t want to worry her. Furthermore, based on her righteous nature, she might have attacked Kenji Ganmura on the spot. “I only found out today. That evil spirit was the shikigami the Japanese person obtained. I just don’t know why it would suddenly appear.”
“What’s a shikigami? Is it those hideous things that appear after some chanting, like in the anime?”
“Shikigami is a Japanese puppetry art. It uses one’s spirit power to summon another organism. The difference between this and regular puppetry arts is that they control living creatures, which is very similar to western summoning arts. Yinyang Masters often cultivate shikigami from the ghouls they capture. Of course, the specifics of how they do it are unknown. However, it can be theorized that they use spells and psychic control to accomplish it. Furthermore, the shikigami’s existence is tied to its summoner. The stronger the summoner, the more power the shikigami can unleash. Shikigami recognize their master via a special ritual. Once it’s done, the shikigami can be used. During the capturing process, the shikigami has to acknowledge its master’s power. Once this acknowledgement is received, some special methods are used to confine the shikigami.”
“That red painted wooden box!” Xiao Xia suddenly recalled. She seemed to have vaguely seen it. At that time she merely thought it was exquisite. Hearing Ruan Zhan’s words, she thought it was very likely to be the object binding the evil spirit. She couldn’t help but feel extremely disgusted. “What a perverted person. To use such a beautiful object to store such a horrifying spirit!”
“You’ve got a good eye! Underneath those flowers were spell script that suppressed the shikigami’s aura. Actually, capturing that evil spirit was a stretch based on his powers. Therefore, the evil spirit swallowed his soul instead at the first opportunity.” There was a bit of pity within Ruan Zhan’s disdain. “This is the consequence of cultivating a shikigami.”
“But you just said you don’t know how the shikigami suddenly appeared. Are there really no clues?”
Ruan Zhan shook his head.
He had been suspicious from the start regarding Xiao Xia getting swept up in this. Since Xiao Xia had an ordinary background, this matter might have been because of him. It could be theorized that it was Yang Mu You causing trouble behind the scenes. He had such a good opportunity to wipe him out last time but he hadn’t taken it. Now, he had no idea where he ran off to.
After tonight, he was almost certain it was Yang Mu You manipulating everything. Based on his sinister nature, he would definitely take revenge on the one who tried to kill him and ruined his plans. Especially since he was so fond of battle. How could he let someone who could very well be his lifelong enemy off?
He had Wan Li investigate the Everplenty Group, and found they were completely innocent without any issues. However, there had to be a reason the company asked Xiao Xia to come around this time. After getting back, he might have to go visit this company, even though he knew Yang Mu You was cunning enough not to leave behind obvious evidence.
The key was where that evil spirit came from.
Since it had escaped, although it couldn’t move too far away from City A, it might still cause mischief. He had to think of something. It had absorbed Kenji Ganmura’s mental strength and will be very had to find. Only by finding where it came from can he thoroughly wipe it out.
It’s just that things aren’t going to be peaceful in the next few days!
Thinking of this, he couldn’t help but feel a desire to hunt down Yang Mu You. This scumbag actually released the evil spirit during his battle with Kenji Ganmura for his own selfish reasons, and even allowed it to become so powerful. This was going to harm countless people!
However, he was helpless! If his innate powers hadn’t been sealed for so long, or if it could be released faster, everything would be fine. As he thought this, he didn’t realize this was the first time he regarded his abilities in this way.
“Could it be Yang Mu You messing around behind the scenes?” Xiao Xia asked suspiciously.
She wasn’t a fool.
She knew someone who could release the ghost bound by Ruan Zhan definitely had some ability. Furthermore, this person was powerful enough to penetrate the boundary protecting her. Although some other bad guy might have appeared again, the only choice at hand was Yang Mu You.
“His name isn’t Yang Mu You. That was just the name of the body he had taken over. Same with Hong Hao Hao.”
“I know. But before he finds a new vessel, it’s more convenient to call him that!”
“That’s true.” Ruan Zhan replied.
There were many questions awaiting him.
Why was the Japanese person implicated? Where did the evil spirit come from? Where did Yang Mu You attach himself and what was his new identity? What was his true identity? How was he related to him?
So many…like a tangled mess!
The only thing that was certain: someone was going to encounter calamity again. Before Yang Mu You’s powers recovered, he wouldn’t confront Ruan Zhan directly! Otherwise, Xiao Xia would have been in danger earlier!