Matsui Shigenori leapt over agilely!
The resentment at being obstructed, the humiliation of repeatedly losing and the anxiety of failing to seize the upper hand all along, the unreconciled feeling of being unable to accomplish his goal combined with the added strength and ferocity of a zombie as he swore Ruan Zhan would die!
However, Ruan Zhan suddenly collected the tattered banner, turned and stepped out, and vanished from the basement. A large hole was blown in the wall behind where he stood with a bang. The outcome of that strike on flesh and bones could be imagined.
He had already used the space-warping spell while he was speaking to Matsui Shigenori. He was aware of a zombie’s strength and speed. He would suffer losses if they fought in the basement. It was also best to avoid the courtyard so the three enchanted nurses wouldn’t get in the way. Therefore, he chose the atrium on the first floor of the building.
The place was very large to begin with. After the events, all the furniture had been moved to one side. Therefore, the center was rather spacious. It was at least enough space for him to dodge around.
He waited until Matsui Shigenori hopped out.
He was still glaring at Ruan Zhan but he ripped open the body bag. He then wrapped the scraps around his waist, covering the vital area. For some reason, this made Ruan Zhan suddenly recall one of Sun Wukong’s lines: My dear, if you can’t beat me, getting naked isn’t going to help!
Before he could smile, Matsui Shigenori let out a sharp hiss and started muttering something. Ruan Zhan then heard violent pounding on the door and windows.
“It’s no use. I’ve added a restriction. They won’t be able to come in.” Ruan Zhan was still indifferent. “Since you’ve already obtained the chess pieces, why didn’t you put them in place properly? Did you not expect me to arrive so quickly, or were you unwilling to let those pieces know your secret?”
“I now know how you get here so fast.” Matsui Shigenori suddenly spoke. He spoke in Chinese, his accent long and dragged out. It was like using a dull knife to cut meat, making it rather uncomfortable to listen to. “I didn’t know you were also capable of warping space!”
“I didn’t know you were capable of spirit rebirth!” Ruan Zhan probed. He actually didn’t know the exact details.
“That is one of our Yinyang Path’s spells to begin with!”
“Don’t believe it? I come from a military family. Lying is beneath me!” Matsui Shigenori sneered arrogantly.
So that’s what it was!
Another riddle resolved itself in Ruan Zhan’s mind.
Yang Mu You had appeared in City A while it was occupied by Japanese troops long ago. Matsui Iwane was very likely a soldier. From this he could infer that they had met back then. Perhaps it was due to their passion for Daoist techniques, and they may have even exchanged some knowledge.
No wonder he had felt Yang Mu You’s techniques had a strange style to them when they exchanged blows. It turns out he had mixed in some Japanese Yinyang arts.
A cultivator’s ultimate goal is to overcome death. Yang Mu You clearly hadn’t been successful. Perhaps he knew a human’s lifespan was limited and it was impossible to comprehend the art of transcending death within that time. Therefore, he planned for it by learning the Matsui family’s secret “spirit rebirth technique.” He hoped this would allow him to replace his physical form and obtain eternal life. In exchange, the spell he gave was naturally the “space-warping technique.” When executed well, it allowed a person to immediately arrive at any location. This wasn’t something that was casually taught.
However, perhaps out of precaution or selfishness, the two hadn’t taught each other their genuine techniques. They each left something out. The space-warping technique given to the Matsui family wasn’t only unsightly to look at, the portal had to be straight ahead. Furthermore, it required a long time to prepare and also took time to arrive at the destination. Most importantly, it seemed the Japanese had required a lot of practice before being able to use it. In reality, as long as the chant was correct and the spirit power was sufficient, it shouldn’t be something difficult.
The spirit rebirth Yang Mu You obtained was the same. He had used a huge amount of effort for his resurrection. He had to start a cult and use the strange stones to absorb the essence blood of women. Matsui Shigenori on the other hand? Although he had yet to become human again, it had only taken two days for him to become a living zombie. It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to turn back into a human!
Luckily they had cheated each other. Otherwise, who knows what a mess the world would have become!
Seeing Ruan Zhan lost in thought, Matsui Shigenori took the opportunity to attack once more. Since there was a lot more room, it was easier for Ruan Zhan to evade. Yet although he had undergone physical training, it was still a little strenuous to face off against the ferocious and tough Matsui zombie.
Matsui Shigenori attacked continuously while Ruan Zhan calmly searched for a flaw while defending. Finally, when the two brushed past each other, he stabbed his sword into Matsui Shigenori’s body.
Unexpectedly, Matsui Shigenori didn’t mind at all. He even used his hands to grab at the blade, startling Ruan Zhan into hurriedly pulling it back. He almost took a blow and had to dodge wretchedly. After he released some of his sealed abilities, the bloodwood sword had become as hard as metal. However, Ruan Zhan didn’t dare risk it against the zombie’s strength.
He didn’t care about its value as a precious treasure in the Daoist world. He cared about it as something his father had left for him.
“It’s useless!” Matsui Shigenori said smugly.
Ruan Zhan didn’t speak but knew he had miscalculated. Matsui Shigenori didn’t care about his physical body. He had the authentic spirit rebirth technique and could change vessels at any time. He didn’t know where Matsui Shigenori’s soul was hidden within the zombie’s body. The bloodwood sword was no different from any other sword when dealing with physical matter.
Seeing the zombie coming at him once again, Ruan Zhan swiftly changed his tactics. He slashed instead of stabbing, cutting off the zombie’s left arm while being buffeted by the wind of its strike.
“How about this?” He smiled coldly.
The response came as the severed arm consciously crawled over and grabbed at his leg!
He hurriedly avoided it.
“So, you can attack from every direction? Then I’ll cut off all your limbs. Let’s see how you can form the seals to summon your shikigami then!” He struck at the zombie’s other arm as he spoke.
This time the zombie was the one who dodged. He summoned his severed arm over while doing so, forming a seal clumsily. A gust of wind suddenly arose within the atrium!
It was the same whirlwind as the one Kenji Ganmura had summoned. They were clearly of the same sect. However, this one was much stronger and could even be formed indoors. The wind stung as it whipped across his face. Everything not nailed down was sucked into the whirlwind before being shot at Ruan Zhan!
Ruan Zhan used the same method as with Kenji Ganmura to defend. However, he realized that Matsui Shigenori’s abilities couldn’t be compared to Kenji Ganmura’s at all. Many of the objects that shot towards him suddenly had a life of their own, forming faces and limbs, shrieking as they tried to devour him through his barrier. Several even succeeded in breaking through, covering his face and body in bite marks.
He used one hand to maintain the barrier while slashing at the small monsters with the bloodwood sword. Then, he found a gap and shot out the fire brand he had just recently mastered.
With a bang, the whirlwind and his barrier broke apart at the same time.
Matsui Shigenori was truly outstanding. In this short period of time, he had actually reattached his arm with sorcery and swiftly formed another seal. He chanted a melody that sounded like a dirge.
Ruan Zhan knew he was summoning his shikigami and didn’t dare to be negligent. He put his all into making preparations.
The restriction he cast had just been to prevent the three nurses from interfering. However, it didn’t cover above or below so that the shikigami could still come. If he could kill off his shikigami, his physical form would die once again. This was true even if he was currently a zombie. That way he just had to cut apart his spirit form with the bloodwood sword and Matsui Shigenori would be thoroughly destroyed, never to do evil again. Alternatively, he could capture Matsui Shigenori’s soul into the tattered banner along with the Japanese ghost and let Xiao Xia decide what to do.
There was a chilling howl and an enormous black object appeared in front of Ruan Zhan. It was an exaggeratedly large black dog. Its teeth were bared in a threatening display and its eyes were blood red. It appeared ready to devour everything!
“Nice to meet you. Treat me well!” Ruan Zhan said mockingly. Then, he once again put on his ice cold appearance!
The ghost hound pounced over frantically under Matsui Shigenori’s command!
Xiao Xia leapt off the taxi and ran towards the love motel.
She had to hurry. She had to help Ruan Zhan!
That decorated metal gate was shut and she didn’t have the ability to phase through the wall. Therefore, she could only climb it. Her upbringing had been strict and she didn’t have much experience in this. She was extremely wretched as she climbed and landed very comically, making a lot of noise. However, she knew the surrounding fog would prevent the sound from carrying and didn’t mind too much. What she minded was the pain she felt all over from falling. Furthermore, as she raised her head she saw three white figures in a circle, bending over to look at her!
She cried out lightly, not expecting to be surrounded the moment she landed. She dove through the six pairs of legs by crawling, and ran towards the flowerbed.
There was a large tree over there and there was also a path to the backyard. It would be easier to maneuver!
She ran a couple of steps and turned back to look. The three nurses followed behind her like shadows. Although they didn’t seem fast, it didn’t seem possible to shake them off. Furthermore, they didn’t seem to get tired! She was unable to stop running or they would catch up.
While busy with running for her life, she didn’t forget to observe the situation inside the building. She could only see darkness and it was deathly silent. It seemed completely empty. However, Xiao Xia knew that wasn’t the case. Perhaps Ruan Zhan was fighting at this very moment. This meant she had to distract the three women and not let them interfere!
She ran all over the yard and gradually ran out of stamina. She realized she was surrounded once again.
“I thought enchanted people had no intelligence.” She grumbled.
Although the three women looked scary and weird, she had experience in “dealing” with their kind. Since Ruan Zhan was right there in the house, she grew more courageous.
She swallowed and slowly moved towards the nurse on the left, deciding to start with her.
“Come, be good and get your shot. It won’t hurt.” The targeted nurse saw Xiao Xia approaching and suddenly spoke, startling Xiao Xia. She realized that someone timid from birth like her was still afraid no matter how much she steeled herself.
With a clatter, the nurse suddenly threw her platter aside. She held a huge syringe in her left hand and raised it towards Xiao Xia.
Xiao Xia gritted her teeth and swung the baseball bat in her hand.
She had found it in the on-call office. It was probably used for exercise normally. She couldn’t bear to strike someone with it so she could only shut her eyes and take a wild swing. There were two thuds. Opening her eyes, she saw that the nurse had been knocked to the ground, and lay there glaring at her. She endured the numb feeling in her chest and seized the opportunity before the nurse reacted to rush over and pull at her clothing.
Luckily she was wearing a nurse’s outfit so it wasn’t hard to pull it open. As the talisman was soaked, the nurse lost consciousness and turned back to normal!
“Eat some medicine?”
Before Xiao Xia could catch her breath, a monotone voice sounded by her ear. She didn’t even look before getting up and continuing to run. She wasn’t able to take on two at once, and had to split them up!
Something smashed into her waist from behind. It struck hard, making her cry out in pain. The nurse who told her to eat medicine had thrown the jar of medicine at her. That nurse was very strong and there were many jars on her platter. Therefore, Xiao Xia had to cover her head and scurry around. When she finally dealt with this nurse, she discovered she had been too panicked. She clearly had three talismans when she started but she must have used more than one at some point. She was now completely out!
This meant that she couldn’t do anything to the final nurse. She could only run!
She gritted her teeth and kept running, but had only just recovered from her injury not too long ago. Having fought a fierce battle in the admin building earlier, she was already an arrow at the end of its flight. She didn’t know how much time had passed but she was running out of energy. The final nurse slowly forced her up the stairs of the building.
Her baseball bat had been dropped somewhere and the nurse pulled out a weapon of her own: a sharp surgical knife.
She couldn’t retreat any further. Her back had been pressed against the building’s front door at some point.
At this time, a hand suddenly stuck out and seized her wrist!
She instinctively tried to pull free but the familiar smell of dried grass made her immediately feel at ease.
Ruan Zhan pointed casually, his fingers landing on the brow of the pouncing nurse. She swayed for a moment, a startled expression appearing on her face as though she had regained unconsciousness. Then, she toppled forward. Since she still held the surgical knife, Xiao Xia hurriedly stepped back into Ruan Zhan, afraid of getting cut. Unexpectedly, Ruan Zhan seemed very weak, and when she leaned against him the two tumbled into the house. That nurse fell down in front of the door.
“What’s wrong?” Xiao Xia climbed up. She felt Ruan Zhan wasn’t his usual firm and steady self. Her hand felt a wet sticky patch. “You’re bleeding!”
“Surface wounds!” Ruan Zhan smiled comfortingly. “Getting bitten is inevitable when you’re beating dogs.”
“Then…it’s over?” She stepped forward and helped him up, letting him wrap his arm around her shoulder for support. She glanced around.
It was a mess inside. A person was lying in the hallway to the basement. His limbs were bare and he had a tattered cloth around his waist. It was obviously Matsui Shigenori. There was no one else apart from him.
Outside the window, the fog had already dissipated. The clear moon illuminated the ground.
“Was he very powerful?”
“Very powerful.” Ruan Zhan answered simply, keeping silent about the arduous and dangerous battle just now. He had known all along that one of them would have to die during their battle.
That ghost hound was truly powerful. He had almost been swallowed several times. It could change its size at will and had several methods of attacking. It had brought him to the edge of life and death repeatedly. If it hadn’t been a captured soul, making it cautious of the bloodwood sword, the outcome would have been uncertain. That being said, ever since he started getting involved in supernatural matters, there was life threatening danger involved every time.
When he finally found the ghost hound’s weakness and stabbed the bloodwood sword into its eye, he had witnessed the death of both shikigami and its master. He didn’t immediately deal with Matsui Shigenori’s soul, capturing him into the banner instead. He would decide what the suitable punishment was later.
“Looks like we’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do!” Xiao Xia said. “Let’s leave quickly. It’s less than three hours until dawn.”