A week passed without incident.
But ever since that day, as Xiao Xia went to and from work, ate and reapplied medicine, Ruan Zhan was almost always there. Because he had posed as Xiao Xia’s boyfriend before and was now being so considerate and gentle, Xiao Xia felt happy as others looked upon her enviously. However, since their relationship had been designated as that of friends, she didn’t dare extravagantly hope for any changes.
Perhaps he merely felt sympathy due to her suffering heroic injuries once again!
“Why are you here?” Xiao Xia finally couldn’t resist asking why he showed up unexpectedly.
“I suddenly had something urgent to do, and stopped by along the way to see you.” Ruan Zhan told an insincere and insubstantial lie, but Xiao Xia didn’t press further.
He had always been an enigmatic man that no one could see through. Even Wan Li, who had been his good friend for many years, wasn’t able to. Especially since she was just a tiny little troublesome sprite! Many things were better left unasked.
Since she couldn’t leave for now, it was also good to have him here. However, he even insisted on booking a double room at the hotel with separate beds. Although he looked proper and indifferent, it ended up making Xiao Xia have inappropriate thoughts at night, wanting to burrow into his arms.
“When are you leaving?”
“I’ll leave after checking out some of the sights.” Ruan Zhan said ambiguously. “This place is very lively. I didn’t realize this before.”
This week, apart from hovering around Xiao Xia, he had also been paying attention to the surroundings. He had also used various methods to investigate a few things. However, the information he obtained was a tangled mess and he temporarily couldn’t figure things out.
First, this ghoul had appeared too suddenly. The love motel had always been extremely peaceful. Nothing similar had happened on the entire Ronghua Road. Theoretically, ghouls and fiends shouldn’t appear randomly in places with no resentful energy. Not only did one appear this time, it was also very vicious. Where it came from and its motives were both mysteries.
Next, the ghoul’s killing methods were cruel, perverse and strange. It acted vulgarly towards women but, according to the police, never to the extent of rape. Since it wasn’t a physical need, it must be a psychological perversion. In reality, it was just because ying couldn’t be mixed with yang. However, since the police didn’t believe it was done by a ghoul, they wouldn’t come up with such theories.
Thirdly, why couldn’t he sense any ghostly aura when he secretly went to investigate the love motel? Where did it hide itself during the day? Ghouls were different from humans and couldn’t roam about randomly. It would scatter without a suitable vessel if it drifted too far.
Fourthly, did this have something to do with that Japanese person? If so, what was his goal? Although he was supposedly an exchange student and spoke fluent Chinese, he had an alibi for the two cases prior to the holidays. He hadn’t been in City A, and had only returned afterwards. He said he lived there because he liked that style of building. Was it really for such an innocent reason?
Fifth, what did all this have to do with Xiao Xia? He wasn’t foolish enough to believe everything was just a coincidence. The Everplenty Group had indeed requested a lawyer from the Vast Sky law firm due to their long-term relationship and Xiao Xia fit the role. Wan Li even investigated and confirmed that the group truly had some legal affairs that required a lawyer to handle. However, everything had proceeded too logically, and seemed a little too intentional upon further investigation.
Even if it was truly for work, why did they arrange for Xiao Xia to live in that place? First of all it wasn’t close to the office. Furthermore, there was plenty of gossip regarding the previous cases. Although the government banned the people from saying it was haunted since the supernatural was taboo, rumors still spread. Would the people who arranged her housing not know about it?
All this was way too strange and coincidental. He had no choice but to be careful.
He knew that ghosts with strong resentment didn’t give up on their target easily. According to Xiao Xia’s account, it seemed that ghost had been very interested in her, but failed to obtain her. Therefore, it would definitely try again to harm her. If someone else was involved in this, it would be even more dangerous. It was because of this that he never left her side, not giving the hidden enemy any opportunity to strike. He was waiting for them to grow impatient and make a move. That way they would make mistakes or perhaps choose another target. That would also be an opportunity for him.
The target he had his eyes on was that Japanese person. He felt that the problem perhaps didn’t stem from him, but he was definitely involved at this point. Especially that red painted wooden box. He knew Kenji Ganmura was on guard against him, but that guy still lived next to Xiao Xia and refused to move. Ruan Zhan thought he wanted to test him out and was confident in his victory, or that red painted box definitely had an unspeakable secret. One that was related to the murder cases.
He was like a hunter who seemed to be doing nothing, but had already laid his trap. He was just quietly waiting. He believed that something would soon happen!
The clock tower close to the hotel let out a deep and distant sound. It was already midnight.
Ruan Zhan awoke from his light sleep. It was like his instincts were telling him something was wrong.
He was a little excited because this was the first time his senses were so clear ever since he chose to start unsealing his powers. He lightly got up. He had placed talismans around Xiao Xia’s bed in advance, and now he drew another one in the air and placed it over her head. Only then did he feel at ease.
Opening the door, he walked out softly. He stopped outside the Japanese person’s door for a moment. Then, he seemed to have sensed ghostly aura in the air and hurriedly chased it down the stairs.
Inside the room, Kenji Ganmura smiled coldly behind the peephole.
“Just that little bit of power? Even the fake ghostly aura I created was able to draw you away. To think that China’s Ying Yang arts are supposed to be so profound. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.” As he spoke, he walked to his bed and unfolded a very large piece of paper on it.
The moonlight revealed that this piece of paper was covered in Japanese spells. Underneath was that red painted wooden box. The moment the paper was unfolded, waves of knocking immediately sounded from the box.
“Suppress your aura!” He patted the box. “Without the spell’s suppression, you guys will get discovered by that low-level Chinese Daoist. Not only will you be unable to live with me in the future, you’ll also be unable to keep existing.”
The wooden box knocked a couple more times before stopping. It seemed to have understood.
“I said I would fulfill your wish. Since we’ve made a contract, you guys must also abide by it.” He carried the box in one hand as he spoke. “I’ll release you guys now.”
He lightly chanted some unintelligible spell and drew a strange circle with his finger at the same time. After he was done, he opened the box. Several clumps of black shadow immediately rushed out and formed into a person’s silhouette in the air.
“Go entertain that pretty lady properly. A pity. Truly a decent woman.” He sighed in a false show of benevolence and waved his hand. “Fate has decreed her death, so it cannot be helped!”
His voice just fell when the black shadow passed through the wall and entered Xiao Xia’s room.
Xiao Xia was breathing steadily and slept extremely soundly. She had no idea the room had suddenly been filled with so many evil spirits. The ghost slowly approached the bed and stretched out its crooked little hand towards Xiao Xia. It was about to reach her chest when it was suddenly slammed against the wall by a ray of flame-like light, making it screech.
The sound was very piercing but Xiao Xia still didn’t wake up. In the next room, Kenji Ganmura heard it and snuck in front of Xiao Xia’s door. The ghost inside seemed to be thinking along the same lines and opened the door for him.
Seeing the situation inside, he laughed coldly. “Didn’t expect that person to be so cautious. Don’t worry. These talismans can block ghosts, but not people. Let me tear off these useless pieces of scrap!”
He walked over and tore off all the talismans. The turned to ash with the point of his finger.
“Come enjoy the beauty!”
The ghost no longer had any reservations and pounced towards Xiao Xia. It immediately lowered itself upon her. Xiao Xia didn’t resist at all, and instead wrapped her arms around the evil spirit.
“Not good!” Kenji Ganmura hissed lightly. He rushed up and pulled but it was too late. That ghost had already sunk into Xiao Xia’s body and its cries were submerged. It struggled fiercely and Xiao Xia’s body twisted and turned. But that ghost wasn’t able to come out!
“What’s going on here?” Kenji Ganmura said in surprise.
“Xiao Xia” lay in bed, not saying a word. However, her appearance underwent some changes. Kenji Ganmura looked carefully and saw it was actually just two pillows covered in talismans. The talismans had sucked the evil spirit inside and completely sealed it off.
“Did you think I would leave the little sheep next to the wolf’s mouth?” A cold voice sounded from behind.
Kenji Ganmura spun around and saw Ruan Zhan suddenly appear by the bathroom door.
“She was the bait!”
Ruan Zhan coldly sneered in response.
After what happened with Yang Mu You last time, how could he still let her act as bait? He had spent a lot of effort in luring out this Japanese person. He had to seal off his aura in order to hide behind the door, and use a boundary to separate Xiao Xia from this place. However, this Japanese person had seemed so shrewd but ended up falling for it easily. He hadn’t even considered the fact Ruan Zhan would use talismans to protect “Xiao Xia” before he left. Ruan Zhan had several schemes planned but he didn’t think he would lure out both the evil spirit and Kenji Ganmura so easily.
Was he too overconfident or was he really a fool? Or was he just some minor henchman?!
“So the person who left earlier was just an illusion. I had thought you were tricked.” Kenji Ganmura swiftly realized this was a trap. “I have underestimated you. You are a worthy opponent.”
“Unfortunately, you aren’t!”
“I won’t lose to you. Although I was tricked, it was just a moment of negligence.” He pointed towards the bathroom. His expression was calm but his mind was rapidly trying to come up with something. “Is she hiding inside? You are a good shepherd.”
He was starting to hate himself a little. From the talismans on Yue Xiao Xia, it was obvious Ruan Zhan wasn’t easy to deal with. Why did he let himself get tricked so easily? His master had said he often slipped up due to his arrogance. Turns out this was truly the case!
“No need for nonsense. You won’t be able to break through this boundary protecting her.” Ruan Zhan raised his brows domineeringly. “Better think of another way to turn things around.” He reached towards the back of his waist as he spoke. Using the time he spoke with Kenji Ganmura, he took off the seal on the bloodwood sword.
The bloodwood sword had to be sealed. Otherwise, it would instinctively react when encountering evil spirits. When he lifted the restrictive spell, the bloodwood sword trembled in excitement.
Ruan Zhan held the sword in his hand. “Be patient. I’m going to treat you to a Japanese meal in a bit.”
Kenji Ganmura took a step back. “This is the legendary bloodwood sword?”
“Looks like you have some knowledge.”
“Spirits may fear this blade, but I do not. I am human. I am an awesome Ying Yang Master from Japan. How could I lose to you!?”
“You say this because you’re scared, right?” Ruan Zhan looked at him disdainfully. “You aren’t my match in a physical battle.”
“Haven’t you heard of Japanese kendo?”
“Kendo, the art of the sword, will strike down those with treacherous hearts.” A woman’s crisp voice rang out from the bathroom. It was Xiao Xia. The boundary could prevent all evil from entering, but she was able to hear what was going on outside.
“Ruan Zhan, beat this heartless dog from Japan to death!” She was furious for those innocent victims.
“Did you hear that?” Ruan Zhan smiled, his gaze filled with tenderness. “Since the lady has so requested, a gentleman cannot disappoint.”
Kenji Ganmura took another step back, his hand on the hilt of his heirloom dagger.