A week actually passed without incident.
Ruan Zhan figured that maybe the evil spirit needed to slowly digest Kenji Ganmura’s willpower, and had thus hidden away in cultivation.
However, City A was so large. It could be hiding in any corner and as long as it didn’t appear, it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, Ruan Zhan felt it wouldn’t hide forever. Its resentment ran too deep so it would definitely come out to cause calamity until it accomplished its desires!
If it had existed for a long time, why had it never appeared before? If it was recently released, then it could be explained. It was also possible to guess who had released it. But where it came from and how it died with grievance was still most important. Only by discovering its motivations could it be thoroughly destroyed.
Based on its actions, this spirit wasn’t going to be purified. It could only be eradicated!
He felt this all had to be related to that house somehow. Otherwise, the evil spirit wouldn’t have appeared there initially. Therefore, he had been investigating that place the whole time. He had gone through all the old news articles, legends and stories but there had been no progress all week.
The place had a clean past. It was built when Ronghua Road was first constructed. At that time, foreigners and wealthy Chinese lived in the area. It hadn’t even been affected by the war. On the surface, even during the Cultural Revolution, there hadn’t been a single person who died of violence there.
When those houses were first built, the cement had been made from brewing glutinous rice for sturdiness. Therefore, the houses here were pretty good. Furthermore, there had always been people living here, and they couldn’t have invited an evil spirit to move in with them. Therefore, the evil spirit must have been born there!
However, who was it?
Since the love motel was sealed off by the police, Ruan Zhan took a risk and snuck in during the day to investigate. But in this beautiful Spanish building, apart from the eeriness due to the five murder victims, he didn’t discover anything. He had even infiltrated the police department and looked over the related evidence without any worthwhile discoveries.
Summon the departed souls? He had considered this. However, after walking around the basement and the attic, he decided not to do so. The five victims had all died violently and should be filled with strong resentment. However, he didn’t sense anything at all. Kenji Ganmura had probably used some spell while capturing the shikigami and suppressed the resentful spirits elsewhere.
Even if he spent the effort to find them, he still couldn’t do it. It was best not to have such thoughts. Otherwise, the person behind the scenes will definitely use sinister methods again to exterminate these five innocent souls.
It was best not to try using that taxing method, and allow the innocent victims a chance to preserve their souls! If he didn’t think of using them, he believed that person also wouldn’t make a move. Based on that person’s current state, just wiping out some souls would take a lot of effort. This way, the five deceased still had a chance at reincarnation.
The trail of clues had broken off at the house and he was a little at a loss. However, he forced himself to continue pondering. He had to minimize the casualties. Furthermore, he couldn’t just passively take a beating and needed to find a chance to retaliate.
“What are you thinking about so deeply?” Xiao Xia called out from behind him.
After Kenji Ganmura’s death, the two only had to answer a few related questions. The cause of death determined by the autopsy was his heart stopping for uncertain reasons. As for why he had run off to the abandoned construction site in the middle of the night and gotten himself bruised and battered, it was uncertain. Perhaps he was a pervert who liked to jump around in rubble at night!
The next day, the company had arranged a new place for her to live. It was a small apartment with one bedroom, one bathroom and a living room. Ruan Zhan didn’t mention leaving at all, so things progressed logically into them living together once again.
This was different from them “living together” in the past. This time it wasn’t her shamelessly refusing to leave his house because she was scared of ghosts. Instead, the man she slightly drooled over was the one who wouldn’t leave. She knew he was worried about her safety since this matter wasn’t resolved yet. However, she brainwashed herself into ignoring reason and happily enjoyed her time with Ruan Zhan while it lasted.
“You don’t have to come pick me up every day.” Xiao Xia wrapped her arm extremely naturally around his. She was being polite but still wished for him to continue picking her up and dropping her off in her heart.
He was so handsome, and acted so gentle and considerate. Walking around with the murderous stares of the female office workers on her gave Xiao Xia a sense of accomplishment. This sort of vanity and satisfaction wasn’t something that could be covered up!
“Are you unhappy about something?” Seeing him unsmiling, Xiao Xia asked. She actually knew what he was worried about. She was worried as well, but without any clues, worrying wouldn’t do any good either!
“It’s nothing.” Ruan Zhan smiled for a moment.
“Stop tempting people to commit a crime with that beautiful smile!” Xiao Xia grumbled.
“What did you say?” Ruan Zhan seemed not to have heard.
“Nothing. I just said Wan Li called earlier. He’s coming to visit us this weekend.”
“He’s coming to visit you. That fellow has never treated me so nicely!”
“Perhaps he’s coming with some news. At the least, he might have some good ideas. You know that’s one of his biggest strengths. His cool judgment doesn’t lose out to yours, especially since he’s observing from the outside this time.”
“That’s right. He might offer a different perspective.” Ruan Zhan nodded. He had investigated that house without any results. People sometimes got tunnel vision when dealing with a problem and weren’t able to think of other possibilities.
“Since that’s the case, you should be more cheerful. Let’s have hot pot tonight, alright? I think there should be a pot at home. I saw it when going through the kitchen yesterday.” The apartment not only came with furniture, but also kitchenware.
Ruan Zhan carefully traced over the word in his heart. An unfamiliar emotion welled up, making him wish that this period would last forever. Peaceful, warm, with someone he could wait for and someone who waited for him. He had never had such a life. He had only experienced abandonment and rejection. Apart from Wan Li, no one else had ever approached him in his youth.
Although his father raised him, he had never doted on him. He always trained him to be independent, telling him he was different from ordinary people. Since the heavens gave birth to him, it had to be for a purpose.
However, he didn’t wish to be different. He just wanted to be ordinary. Therefore, he was extremely against all this. Although he worked hard to learn what his father taught him, wishing to repay his kindness of raising him, he still hated his own abilities. Therefore, the moment he learned the sealing spell, he had secretly sealed himself and rejected everything.
Had his father known all this? He wasn’t sure. He only knew his father had taught him everything he knew before dying mysteriously. He hadn’t been able to get over it to this day.
If it weren’t for this innocent yet somewhat sharp woman by his side, he might still be secluded in his cold world. It was peaceful yet deathly silent. Whether he was willing or not, she had forced him to come out. He was now coming to terms with his abilities, and must also slowly unleash it to protect her. He also couldn’t let that evil spirit harm others.
Only now did he understand that there was no use in hiding from heaven’s gifts.
Xiao Xia didn’t know Ruan Zhan’s thoughts and merely walked with him very happily. They walked to the nearby apartment like this every day. Then, they made dinner together. After dinner, they did the dishes and watched TV, just like a married couple. Although it had only been a week, it was enough to fill Xiao Xia’s heart with sweetness. Especially during bedtime when she thought of how he was there on the living room sofa. She always felt extremely safe and satisfied.
She always left the bedroom door open so she could see his figure while she lay in bed. It was winter and the two slept with thick blankets. There was no need to worry about being exposed.
Actually, the dirty part of her mind kind of hoped Ruan Zhan would expose himself. That way she could at least see whether his physique was impressive!
“That…” She wasn’t able to sleep, and knew Ruan Zhan was still awake despite lying unmoving on the sofa. He slept very silently, so silently it made one’s heartache, as though he vanished into the darkness.
“Can you tell me…how you ended up with your adopted father?” She wanted to understand him and mustered up the courage to ask. She only dared do so because they couldn’t see each other clearly in the darkness.
Ruan Zhan stirred and remained silent.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I’m just…” She didn’t continue speaking. She thought how Wan Li had been right. When a woman was interested in someone, she would want to know everything about them. Actually, she had just wanted to understand him more after hearing Wan Li’s vague description of his past, and comfort him a little. However, if he didn’t want to say it, she was ok with it too. She felt Ruan Zhan was a good man regardless. He gave her a sense of security so she didn’t insist on knowing his past.
The two of them lay silently.
Right as Xiao Xia thought Ruan Zhan wasn’t going to say anything, he suddenly sat up.
“When I was five…” He hesitated for a moment. “I was thrown out by my family.” He said succinctly.
Xiao Xia’s heart twisted and she didn’t know what to say. He had said it so simply, as though he was some kind of insignificant object. This made her heart ache a lot. His indifferent tone seemed to indicate that this was also how he viewed himself.
“Then, I was brought by a passing ghost far away to my father’s side.” Ruan Zhan continued speaking. “I don’t know how he knew my father or why he handed me to him.”
“Was the journey…very difficult?” Xiao Xia asked worriedly.
“Not too bad. I was still young back then so it just passed like that.” Ruan Zhan actually laughed lightly. “It seems to be sufficient to pick up girls though. At the least I can say I’ve been through a lot!”
Travelling through the night, without any food, and sleeping in the cold wilderness during the day. He had to guard against humans and ghosts, suffering torment from both light and darkness. Was there anything more difficult than such a long journey?
“That’s why you view ghosts kindly, and don’t wish to go against them easily?” Xiao Xia wasn’t frightened. She was just recalling his usual attitude.
“Perhaps.” He hadn’t thought about this before. Only after Xiao Xia mentioned it did he realize it might also be part of why he sealed himself.
“Then where did that ghost go after your father took you in?”
“I don’t know. He vanished. I never found him again.” Ruan Zhan was a little melancholy. He felt he was very talkative tonight all of a sudden.
“He’s a good…ghost. It’s a shame I didn’t get to meet him. Otherwise, I would thank him. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t be the same today. And I would have died many times over.”
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Why would I be? He saved you, and indirectly saved me, right?” Xiao Xia said. “I just regret not having known you back then. Otherwise, Wan Li wouldn’t have been your only friend.”
Ruan Zhan didn’t speak, but he really wanted to jump off the sofa and embrace her.