Everyone instinctively looked towards the window. Ruan Zhan even reached his hand behind his back.
A leather case hung there. Those unaware would think it was a phone or perhaps an ornament. In reality, it contained the bloodwood sword. Because his sealed power was gradually being released, the bloodwood sword could now grow or shrink at his command. It no longer needed to be sealed in wax.
“Heh, it’s fine.” The old man called to the three anxious people. “The wind blows heavily in the mountains during the winter. The window seal has long since fallen off. When the wind blows, it strikes against the glass as though someone was knocking on it.”
“It wasn’t blowing just now.” Ruan Zhan had his habitual frown.
“Its direction must have changed.” The old man said. “It’s different compared to the city, right!? The wind in the mountains isn’t fixed, and is constantly changing.”
“That’s right. Don’t make a fuss about nothing.” Wan Li changed the subject. “Elder, tell us why the town hasn’t been peaceful. We wanted to find an expert craftsman during our trip here and research traditional construction techniques. This guy…” He pointed at Ruan Zhan. “Is obsessed with houses. I’m wondering if he was a mouse in his past life. Therefore, you have to tell us. It would be bad if we accidentally end up offending someone in the village.”
“If that’s the case, I really should tell you guys about it. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be a sin if I let you guys encounter problems in an unfamiliar place!?” The old man grew stern. “I’m not afraid of the supernatural. I’m already old. If I die, I’ll just become like them. Not a big deal! If there weren’t any tourists, I was planning on going down the mountain for a look. Now that you’re here, without anyone to replace me, I have to wait for my grandson to cover for me before I can go. I have to see just what is harming people!” The old man started getting indignant.
“Just what has happened?” Wan Li hurriedly asked.
“What else but that male vixen!” The old man cursed.
“Vixen?? M-male?” Xiao Xia thought she had misheard.
She had only heard women being called vixens and thought it was a female term. Who would have thought vixens could be men?!
“Of course there are male vixens. How else would they multiply?” Wan Li answered Xiao Xia before leaning over to the old man. “Vixens normally entrap men, so does this male vixen seduce women?”
“If only it just seduced women!” The old man drained his cup and seemed indescribably resentful. “This male vixen sneaks into other people’s homes, and then regardless of eldest daughters or young wives, it…”
“It can’t be…rape, right?” Wan Li braced himself and asked.
“My grandson says…this…” The old man glanced at Xiao Xia, “Best not to speak of this in front of a lady.”
“Oh. Then I’ll step out.” Xiao Xia sensibly stood up.
Although she was very curious, she knew how important this information was. They needed to get the information from this Elder Yan, and she didn’t want to obstruct their plans.
“I’ll come with you.” Ruan Zhan also stood up. He gave Wan Li and imperceptible glance.
He didn’t feel at ease leaving Xiao Xia alone. They had to be careful at all times. Yang Mu You was waiting to take revenge and the Japanese person’s background was unclear. He couldn’t make any mistakes, especially where Xiao Xia was concerned.
He pulled her hand and took her out of the warm room. They stood in the hallway of the villa-styled hotel. Although the hallway was enclosed, the wind snuck in through the windows’ cracks, giving it an empty chill.
Ruan Zhan kept holding her hand. The soft and cold sensation made him put her hands in his leather jacket’s pocket for warmth. He didn’t seem to have noticed the intimacy of this gesture.
Xiao Xia naturally was more than glad to go along, even if he hadn’t noticed, even if he didn’t treat her as a woman. Even with just this moment, she felt very blissful. Therefore, she didn’t speak and watched Ruan Zhan stare outside the window.
Outside, the beautiful mountain peaks during the day had now become dark. It no longer gave off the feeling of being surrounded by mountains. Instead, they seemed like layers of black waves that overlapped under the murky, reddish sky. They waited for the right opportunity to pounce over, completely submerging the people in the mountain villa.
However, with Ruan Zhan beside her holding her hand, she wasn’t afraid of anything!
“Xiao Xia, how about I teach you a simple spell?” Ruan Zhan suddenly said, though he was still looking out the window.
“Sure. What kind of spell? Is it hard to learn? I’m afraid I won’t be able to get it.”
“It’s very easy.” Ruan Zhan released her hand, making her feel a sense of loss for an instant.
However, one hand was still in his pocket while he picked up her other hand. “Like this. You don’t know how to form seals with your hands, and you also need to cultivate your spirit power. Therefore, I’ll draw one for you.”
Ruan Zhan closed his eyes as he spoke. He used his right index finger to softly press between his own brows for a while. Then, he drew something on Xiao Xia’s left palm. Xiao Xia didn’t feel anything apart from his fingertip warmly tracing her palm.
“This spell is widespread in folklore. It’s also most effective in the mountains.” Ruan Zhan said gently. “You should know folklore says that there are mountain gods in the mountains. One among them is called Stone Guardian, who’s very famous. This spell borrows his divine power.”
“What do I have to do?” Xiao Xia perked up due to curiosity.
“It’s best for those unfamiliar with the land not to walk in the mountains at night. However, if there is no other choice, just pick up a few round stones the size of chicken eggs and put them in your left pocket. When something weird starts happening behind you, take one out with your left hand and throw it back there. Remember not to turn back. At the same time, chant a spell. The spell is very easy. It is: Borrow Mt. Tai’s might, stone general, strike!”
“It’s a folktale. Along with the invisible talisman I drew, it should have some effect. However, its might is only for obstruction. It cannot cause the enemy to withdraw. Your best option is to remain calm and find the right path to escape.”
“Why are you teaching me this? Did you discover something?” Xiao Xia asked. She was a little confused by his actions.
Ruan Zhan smiled gently. “Nothing much. Just trying to find some peace of mind within the mountains. This spell will last three days.”
“So I can’t wash my hand during this time?” Xiao Xia looked at her hand and still felt his lingering touch.
“Nothing like that. You can do whatever you want. You can even….”
Before he could finish, the door creaked open.
Due to the unexpectedness, Xiao Xia was startled. She immediately grabbed onto Ruan Zhan’s arm. As it turned out, it was Wan Li who walked out.
“The male vixen is actually a eunuch who cannot copulate!” He blurted out.
“Elder Yan said so. This is something that’s only started happening in the last three or four days. The exact details aren’t well known. This is because the victims go insane from the fright for the serious cases. Even the lighter cases become speechless. However, the grannies in the village examined their bodies and realized they weren’t raped. However, there are wounds. Their bodies are covered in bruises all over.”
“No need to wonder, it’s definitely him!” Ruan Zhan asserted. “He laid low for a while to absorb Kenji Ganmura’s soul. He probably hasn’t digested it completely yet but couldn’t resist coming out to do harm.”
“But didn’t the men in those families notice anything?” Xiao Xia asked.
“That’s the weird part. He only molests young, beautiful girls. The others in the household fall into deep slumber and none of the women cry out. The next day, they seem to have lost their minds. They hide in corners and don’t dare to come out, or run around wildly in the village. Furthermore….they do it completely naked. Even if someone dresses them, they rip it off. You see? The people in the household get enchanted and the women end up in such a state. Therefore, the townsfolks’ explanation is that they are possessed by a vixen…a male vixen to be precise.”
“He cannot have absorbed Kenji Ganmura’s willpower via backlash so quickly. Therefore, he can only act against women with weaker yang energy. This makes sense. However, for him to do it without alerting anyone else in the household…” Ruan Zhan thought for a moment. “Someone is helping him!”
“Who is helping him? What a pervert!” Xiao Xia cursed.
The three fell silent. In truth, they all knew that with how targeted this matter was, it was definitely Yang Mu You causing mischief while on the run. The issue was that he couldn’t be acting personally due to his injuries. Someone else must be helping him, or he must be making use of someone. Kenji Ganmura was one such person. Who was it now? And what was going on with that little ghost?
Such perverted actions theoretically wouldn’t manifest on a child. Was it really the ghost of someone with a unique physique? What was this ghost’s problem? Why was he so perverted after becoming a ghost? He even messed around while he was cultivating? If he was really related to the builder, did he have other motives for his actions?
“We were right in coming here.” Ruan Zhan broke the silence.
“That’s right.” Wan Li laughed. “But this mountain grandpa can really drink. Two shots at fifty-seven percent alcohol.”
“He’s going down the mountain tomorrow?” Ruan Zhan changed the subject.
“Yep. Shall we go with him?”
“No. I need to think it over.” Ruan Zhan said. “Let’s go back.”
Xiao Xia wasn’t able to fall asleep.
For some reason, Sis Wang popped into her mind. She was also from this village, and could also have made a living relying on the beautiful mountain scenery here. If she hadn’t exceeded the birth quota, she wouldn’t have to hide and live a hard life in the city. She wouldn’t have to suffer such a horrifying matter.
But since the ghost had made its way over here, she probably wouldn’t escape torment even if she returned. What sort of grievance turned that “child” into an earthbound spirit? What did he want? If his powers rose by a level, was he going to murder people perversely like back at the love motel?
A crisp sound rang out from the glass. Xiao Xia was startled, but immediately recalled that the windows weren’t tightly sealed. She no longer paid it any mind, turning over and continuing to ponder. The sound rang out regularly along with the wildly blowing wind. Gradually, it had a hypnotic effect that lulled Xiao Xia to sleep.
But right as she was about to fall asleep, a sudden scream pierced the night. She sat bolt upright, frozen in bed for several seconds. She didn’t know what had happened and only saw the lights in the outer room turn on.
“Xiao Xia. Stay here and don’t…” Ruan Zhan suddenly burst inside, but froze in place.
He hadn’t expected Xiao Xia to have already gotten up. Due to the suddenness of the event, her covers were tossed to the side. She was only wearing a set of pajamas as she sat vacantly in bed. The light outside happened to shine upon her.
It was a red lace nightgown. The smooth silk clung to her delicate curves, making her figure appear exquisite. Below the nightgown were a pair of long, beautiful legs. Along with her helpless expression, it had a sort of fatal allure.
He stared blankly for a several seconds before realizing his loss of control. He hurriedly lowered his eyes and calmed his beating heart. “Don’t go anywhere.” He forced out the words before placing the unfurled tattered banner at the door and leaving.
“All done?” Wan Li asked urgently.
“All done.” Ruan Zhan looked things over before running out with Wan Li.
With the banner that could trap spirits present, she would be fine. However, her appearance a moment ago still made his heart beat irregularly. He had thought she was just a willful lass that made him worry. He never knew she could be so alluring!
He had seen more alluring women before, but because he already had some feelings for her, the attraction was especially strong. It actually disturbed his thoughts in an instant.
“It seems to have come from there.” Wan Li pointed ahead. “Shall we go together?”
“No, keep watch here just in case. I’ll go by myself.” Ruan Zhan shook his head, forcing his heart to calm down.
He was facing something unknown. He had to be careful!