After hearing Xiao Xia was safe, Ruan Zhan turned off his phone completely.
The newly obtained information indicated things weren’t proceeding as he had expected. However, that was also fine. The unexpected occurred in even the best of plans. This is probably what was meant by the saying “plans can’t keep up with changes.”
He just needed to adopt the appropriate countermeasures!
Xiao Xia was a dummy and wouldn’t hold back with her words. From what she said, he could tell the zombified Matsui Shigenori was controlling five nurses. The handprint was on their chests and Xiao Xia had already dealt with two of them.
He didn’t think about how she had accomplished this. It would only make him extremely anxious. He only pondered how he should deal with the remaining women. He wouldn’t harm any innocents, whether they were human or ghost! Perhaps his opponents had noticed this and decided to put people under their spell. If he showed up, his hands would be tied.
The opponent was very cautious but Ruan Zhan didn’t have any time to think about this. Matsui Shigenori had already gone over and he had to catch up. No matter what he had to do, he couldn’t allow the little ghost to be taken as a shikigami. Otherwise, where would those victims go to find justice!?
He used a concealment spell to deceive the spirit beast keeping watch in the dark. Then, he drew a seal in the air and stepped out. The Japanese people had injured themselves to keep them trapped here, and also used a shikigami to keep an eye on them. They assumed he wouldn’t be able to do anything. They scarcely knew he had his own means of escape. This was probably something his opponents didn’t expect!
The space-warping technique allowed him to easily go anywhere. This was his escape method!
When he exchanged blows with Yang Mu You last time, it had stirred something familiar within him. After pondering over it bitterly after the fact, he finally recalled his father had actually taught him this before.
At that time his father seemed to have known he would be leaving soon. He had started pouring many new techniques into him all at once. After his father passed away, Ruan Zhan had hated his powers and buried all those memories. Only after Yang Mu You used that spell did it stir in his mind.
Putting it another way, it could also be said he finally mastered it after watching Yang Mu You.
When he fought with Kenji Ganmura, he could be said to have used it on a superficial level. The problem created by the Matsui father and son had finally forced him to master the fundamentals of this spell in a very short period of time. The reason he went through all this effort and let his opponent go first was to avoid getting anyone else involved.
The concealment spell he used would normally remain in place for a long period of time after it was cast. However, the thing watching him was a spirit beast that had become a shikigami. Its spiritual power was strong and could even perceive his breath. If he left for too long, the concealment spell would be seen through without him maintaining it personally. He was afraid the spirit beast would harm the innocent villagers at that time.
This wouldn’t be a problem if he left after his opponent made their move. He would do his best to force them to summon this shikigami back to battle him, which would force the spirit beast to return and the village would be safe. This shikigami was much more overbearing than the Yuki-onna. This must be the opponent’s strongest shikigami. There wouldn’t be any other.
Their side had few people and needed to protect many. He had to plan things meticulously!
After stepping out, the next time his foot touched the ground he was already in front of the love motel.
It had already been wrapped in a layer of fog. Ruan Zhan knew this was a formation that prevented the outside world from hearing anything going on inside.
Ruan Zhan turned himself invisible and then penetrated the boundary.
Three women in white stood in the flowerbed by the door. They wore nurse’s outfits and each of them held a platter covered in white cloth. They stood tall, their faces pale and their eyes unblinking. If their clothing hadn’t been moving in the wind, they could be mistaken for statues.
They didn’t have much spirit power since they were merely controlled puppets. He was invisible and was able to enter the love motel’s front doors without being obstructed. Then, he cut off the wire to Sis Wang’s surveillance camera and added a formation of his own behind him. This prevented those enchanted people from coming in to bother him during the battle ahead.
Matsui Shigenori had made preparations, but probably didn’t expect him to catch up so soon. Therefore, those pieces had yet to be put in place.
He had investigated this place many times and was very familiar with the layout. Therefore, he directly headed towards the basement without any sound.
However, as he was turning the corner in the hallway, he heard sinister chanting accompanied by a ringing that shook the heart.
He couldn’t understand the chant and merely felt the air filling with an otherworldly chill. Waves of yin wind spawned from somewhere in this enclosed space and swirled around in the darkness. It was like a swarm of mice scurrying around on the floor!
In the darkness, he cut off all his aura and slowly approached the basement door. Although there wasn’t any light, his extraordinary night vision ability allowed him to see a human shape covered in cloth bag. It stood tall with its back facing him, its arms trembling continuously. Only a head stuck out from the bag. The hair was tied in a thin ponytail. The figure looked like the dead person before him that day: Matsui Shigenori.
Was this his zombified form?
In the dim light, there was a flash of silver that shone in tandem with the ringing. It turned out “he” was shaking a bell. His other hand was also busy forming seals from the looks of it. Then, his head flicked outwards and a tiny object flew out, embedding into the wall with the hidden spirit suppressing talisman.
It was an enormous snow-white beast tooth!
Ruan Zhan was immediately enlightened. If he wasn’t mistaken, that tooth belonged to the spirit beast that was watching him. The soul probably needed some spiritual object to attach to, so they borrowed it! What Matsui Shigenori was doing now was a little different from the Chinese version. However, since Yinyang Masters were originally from China, there were still some similarities.
He was setting the little ghost free and having it transmit scenes of the past. This way he could understand its resentment and find its corpse. Then, he could sign a contract with the little ghost, this superior shikigami seed, and have it formally become the Matsui family’s shikigami!
Ruan Zhan held his breath as he stood invisibly in the corner. He waited for the riddle to be solved. He also wanted to see what the little ghost’s past was, and why the Matsui father and son were so obsessed. Why was it so small yet so perverted? How did it die? What grievances did it have? Why were its features always obscured?
With a pop, that wall suddenly started glowing. It was like a ghostly eye that was slowly opening. Gradually, an image formed like a movie screen…
It was sunset. A beautiful young girl arrived at a construction site to visit a young man dressed in western-style clothing. The two were intimate, clearly a couple. Because the house hadn’t been fully built yet, the two strolled and chatted in what seemed like a wilderness.
Yet at this time, two Japanese soldiers walked by. Seeing the beauty, their thoughts stirred. First they verbally harassed her. When the young man grew enraged, they knocked him unconscious with the stock of their gun. They pulled the girl behind the bricks and broken rocks of some freshly laid foundation.
Lewd laughter and the girl’s crying rang out in waves.
Several workers walked over. Hearing the cries for help, they hurried over to see what was going on. The Japanese soldiers had already stripped the girl and were about to violate her.
The interrupted soldiers bellowed loudly, revealing ferocious expressions. Although the words weren’t understood, they were clearly making threats. These honest workers were obviously used to being bullied by the Japanese. They were subdued on the spot, listening blankly without resisting.
One of the soldiers shamelessly groped the girl’s body in front of these workers. The girl cried loudly and struggled desperately. Her tragic cries aroused one of the men’s fury. He leapt over and seized the soldier by his neck.
Seemingly encouraged by this move, the rest of the people all started moving. Before the Japanese soldiers could pick up their weapons, the workers grabbed whatever rocks and bricks on hand and beat the soldiers to death on the spot.
Blood and flesh flew as the soldiers cried mournfully.
The resentments ran too deep between their two countries and the filthiness of the rape attempt before them made the workers show no mercy to the two invaders. They were even more excited, beating the two until they became unrecognizable, their heads tattered pancakes.
When everything fell silent apart from the girl’s sobbing and the workers’ panting, they started feeling fear when faced with the corpses.
They had killed two overbearing Japanese soldiers and their headquarters were on a nearby street in City A. How were they to deal with the consequences? Did they all have to accompany the two in death?
Everyone looked at each other and didn’t know what to do. Yet at this time, the young man awoke. Seeing that the girl had escaped from the soldiers’ evil clutches under the protection of the workers and had been given some of their clothes to wear, he finally relaxed.
The image started skipping around. It was a little chaotic, but it was still possible to see the events that followed.
The young man resentfully dismembered the corpses. He instructed the workers to work overnight, using the brewing glutinous rice slurry as cover to burn the corpses in the large furnace. Then, the dried remains that couldn’t be turned to ash were stacked in one pile and built into the basement wall of one of the houses.
While they were busy, no one noticed that a person dressed in Daoist robes happened to pass by. They were focused on getting rid of the evidence. By the time they noticed the Daoist, he had already seen the entire process. The workers and the young couple were at a loss but the Daoist was calm and composed. He used a spell to teleport in front of the wall with the corpses in one step.
The people on the scene all knelt and begged for mercy. The Daoist spoke and then allowed the people to run off. Then, he killed off a black dog from somewhere and poured its blood into the cement, then added the layer onto the wall. The cement formed into the shape of a spirit suppressing talisman!
Ruan Zhan was enlightened!
So this was the answer to the riddle!
That ghost was actually made up of two souls. Their remains had been dismembered, burned and then happened to be lumped back together. Because of the burning, they always had a blackened, obscured appearance. The Japanese were shorter to begin with, and after such a burial the result naturally became even smaller with twisted limbs. Therefore, it wasn’t a little ghost or a dwarf. It was two fully-grown Japanese soldiers. Its shape just had additional components that made it hard for others to guess the source.
This was why the Matsui father and son desperately wanted it! Such a tyrannical ghost was already hard to come by, let alone two combined into a single evil spirit! They were already so cruel in their previous life, and their resentment must have festered after death. Their spirits were also trapped and their grudge grew while they were stuck in the darkness of the basement. Furthermore, they were also from Japan!
Their lewd and perverted natures hadn’t changed, but unfortunately yin could not mix with yang. This was why they frequently assaulted other women!
There was no need to guess. These workers were the ancestors of the families being harmed in Xiaowang Village. That young man was the architect who studied abroad back then. Therefore, the ghost wanted revenge and wanted to harm their daughters before killing these people’s descendants.
However, due to Ruan Zhan’s group chasing after it, it hadn’t been successful. The previous five victims in the love motel were just due to its habit of randomly harming Chinese people!
All this was already a major revelation, but the biggest one was actually that Daoist. He was actually Yang Mu You!
If he was already middle-aged back then, how old would he be if he was still alive? Who on earth was he? How was he related to Ruan Zhan?
He was a dead spirit who wanted to be resurrected above all else. However, Ruan Zhan hadn’t expected him to have existed so long ago. He had even less expected him to have actually done something good.
This explained how the Japanese ghost randomly got free. It wasn’t due to the house falling into disrepair, resulting in the talisman being damaged. It was secretly released by Yang Mu You for his revenge!
For his own selfishness, he actually set this up without regard for so many lives! If he still had a trace of kindness back then, what had happened for him to have become so heinous!?
As Ruan Zhan was pondering, the wall flashed once again. This time, a young couple were speaking, discussing their school’s exhibit the next day. It was about the slaughter of Chinese commoners by the Japanese troops.
Ruan Zhan understood something else: this explained why that Japanese ghost was so cruel. He was imitating! After so many years, he, or rather they, weren’t only unrepentant, they even wanted to take revenge. They imitated the violence of the Japanese troops to enact their revenge. They were completely inhumane!
The wall finally stopped glowing. A black little figure dissolved into many pieces and sank into the wall. Then, the wall trembled as though something was stirring inside, struggling to get out.
Around three minutes later, the wall split with a large crack. Several burnt pieces of corpses fell out and rolled around on the floor. They gathered together and formed into a crooked little figure.
Seeing this, Ruan Zhan directly pulled out the tattered banner from his pocket.
The large suction that formed caused the Japanese ghost’s soul to suddenly be sucked away right as it was about to stand. It screeched as it stuck to the metal banner, causing it to vibrate. The twisted limbs that had just gathered scattered once more.
The zombie who had his back towards Ruan Zhan naturally didn’t anticipate this outcome. It whirled around.
It was Matsui Shigenori as expected!
His face was ashen and he glared resentfully at Ruan Zhan!
“I was wondering who the fourth person would be. Turns out you turned things around and resurrected!” Ruan Zhan laughed faintly and drew the bloodwood sword, holding it tightly. “Come. Didn’t you want to measure yourself? Today I’ll have you lose thoroughly!”