With a grunt, Wan Li “hopped” over! He looked ferociously towards Xiao Xia, his eyes glowing red. He was filled with abnormal rage and killing intent, an overbearing appearance of wanting to tear someone apart. Even the little girl ghost cried out in fear and moved far away.
“Wan Li, snap out of it!” Xiao Xia no longer cared about anything else. Only at the moment of life and death did she realize that Wan Li was as important to her as her limbs. She definitely couldn’t lose him. “Wake up!” She grabbed his collar and shook him fiercely. Her initial wrenching heartache was now mixed with a bit of anger.
He couldn’t have lied! He had said his willpower and self-control was just as strong as Ruan Zhan’s. They had once had a drinking contest during their college years. He had clearly been drunk but was able to talk and laugh smoothly, able to control his actions and emotions. Only after winning did he sleep for three days straight!
What was up with him now? Did he lose himself just because a raincoat ghost touched his head? No! He couldn’t do this!
“You turn back for me right now!” Xiao Xia saw him remain rigidly standing and urgently beat at his chest.
Wan Li moved a little and slowly raised his right hand. Right as Xiao Xia was excited about his reaction, he stretched his hand towards her slender neck. Then, he tightened his grip and raised her up with one hand!
Xiao Xia immediately had trouble breathing and wasn’t even able to raise her arms. She hung there like a piece of clothing in Wan Li’s hand!
Was she going to die? Die by Wan Li’s hand? The person who was closer to her than a brother? The one who had never lost his temper at her? Her best friend? The only one in the world who would never hurt her?
“Choke…her…dead!” The raincoat ghost who had been injured by the bloodwood sword for the sake of touching Wan Li’s head suddenly cried in his weird trembling voice!
“Give me, give me, give me!” The family of three crowded in. Along with the five hopping ghosts, the entire scene looked like that of a sacrificial ceremony. And the sacrifice was Xiao Xia!
Her limp legs kicked a few times but it was no use. Wan Li was still expressionless and not in control of himself!
It is said people shed tears prior to death. Therefore, Xiao Xia shed some tears before she lost consciousness. They flowed down onto Wan Li’s hand. Furthermore, as she felt she was about to die, the amulet on her chest suddenly gave off a long-lasting warm yellow light. Since Wan Li was holding her up, the light shone directly into his eyes!
Wan Li blinked at the glare. When he next opened his eyes, the red glow had faded, leaving behind a confused and surprised expression.
“What’s going on?” he muttered. The broken spell meant he was unable to keep his hand raised. Xiao Xia was directly dropped to the floor.
Xiao Xia felt her head hit the bamboo floor with thud but she didn’t feel any pain. The air rushing into her lungs made her cough violently and curl up in discomfort.
Wan Li was startled and swiftly crouched down, stretching out a doubtful hand. He wanted to help her up, but a thought suddenly flashed through his mind. He realized that he was the one who hurt her.
“I did this?” He muttered once again. But before he had time to think further, he felt a wave of dizziness and once again fell unconscious, falling beside Xiao Xia.
Without being instructed, those ghosts once against rushed forward. They seemed determine to kill the two people. The family of three were more agile and leapt to the floor to attack. The five zombies weren’t able to bend over and could only hop forward heavily, planning to crush the two on the floor!
Ruan Zhan! Xiao Xia called out in her mind, hoping he would make it back in time.
But Ruan Zhan didn’t come back. Instead, a strange whistle rang out, like a reed whistle. It was a single, sharp tone that caused the ghosts to freeze in place. Despite making reluctant sounds in their throats and grinding their teeth, they all stopped, not daring to move another step!
Xiao Xia stopped coughing and spent a lot of effort edging backwards while dragging Wan Li. She didn’t know what had temporarily saved them. The ghosts looked as if they had enormous grudges against them and would probably attack again soon. The bloodwood sword had fallen by the door when Wan Li had gotten up earlier. Therefore, she had nothing to rely on yet had to persevere a little longer. She had to wait until Ruan Zhan returned.
At this moment, time seemed to drag on. Every breath was ragged from nervousness. She had to keep an eye on the enemies while moving backwards.
Don’t move! Don’t move! Ruan Zhan hurry back! Ruan Zhan hurry back!
She chanted anxiously in her mind, her exhaustion and the damage Wan Li had done to her caused her limbs to grow soft. What was more alarming was that her prayers seemed to have resulted in the opposite effect. Ruan Zhan didn’t appear but the monsters starting moving once again.
Slowly, the circle shrank. A gust of cold dampness surrounded her, as though she had already been buried in the ground!
Another peal of thunder resounded in the skies. The monsters seemed to have been stimulated and they suddenly drifted over.
Xiao Xia cried out in alarm and wrapped her arms around Wan Li, not daring to raise her head. She shut her eyes and waited for the attacks to come!
A flash of lightning caused the scene in the dining room to blur. It was like something falling into still water, causing countless ripples to spread. A person appeared from thin air. His steps were urgent yet his actions were so casual and confident, as though he had entered the center of the building from far away in a single step.
“Heavens, earth and nature, disperse the foul aura…” He chanted several lines of an incantation while drawing seals with his left hand. He pointed towards Xiao Xia. The ghost in the lead seemed to have struck an invisible wall and was bounced backwards!
“Ruan Zhan!” Xiao Xia cried out in pleasant surprise!
“Don’t worry! I’m here!” Ruan Zhan turned and gave her a smile. Xiao Xia immediately felt the room fill with warmth and light!
“Everything’s fine. He’s back!” She muttered to herself while supporting Wan Li, letting him lean against her. “You’re also going to be fine.”
She stayed calmly within the barrier Ruan Zhan had cast, watching him battle ghosts as a spectator for the first time.
She watched as he drew an arc with his left hand, extending the final stroke into a long tail like a fishing hook and pointing towards the family of three. They were immediately sucked into an invisible circle, knocking into each other.
Their shrill screams were piercing like the scraping of glass on glass. The three ghosts seemed to be suffering enormous torment, their pale faces twisting and turning red like half-burned coal. Their eyes seemed to burn with fire.
“Spare us!” They cried tragically. The alternated between transparent and murky. Their limbs and facial features fell off and then reassembled. They desperately rammed against the invisible restriction but were shot backwards without exception!
Ruan Zhan’s gaze was cold as a blade, without the slightest hint of pity!
He watched as the injured raincoat ghost slowly faded from view, as though trying to escape. At the same time, he instructed the five zombies to attack Ruan Zhan as though trying to buy himself time. Ruan Zhan sneered coldly. “It’s better if you stay behind!” He bit his tongue and spat out a mist of blood. At the same time, he fished out a talisman with his right hand that shot out along with the blood mist!
There was a tragic wail from the raincoat ghost. Half his body had already vanished but it was now nailed in place by an invisible spike. No matter how he tried to struggle, he couldn’t move any further.
Ruan Zhan glanced coldly at the raincoat ghost writhing on the floor like a clump of weeds. He turned gracefully, easily avoiding the encirclement of three zombies. He arrived beside the door with a few steps, bending over to pick up the bloodwood sword.
The bloodwood sword immediately seemed different in his hands. Although its red glow wasn’t as magnificent as usual, it still shone beautifully. Furthermore, it trembled slightly, as though it was excited to be held by its master!
Ruan Zhan held the sword and slowly raised it towards the hopping zombies. He didn’t speak, and merely stared silently at them.
The bloodwood sword was no longer wooden in his hands. It was harder and sharper than any metal. Although the zombies gave off a foul smell as they leapt forwards and the storm was raging outside, Ruan Zhan remained completely unfazed. His calm appearance gave the anxious Xiao Xia an incomparable amount of confidence.
The five zombies had no senses and were simple monsters who were controlled. Therefore, they couldn’t sense the ethnic ghosts and the raincoat ghosts tragic appearances and terror. They leapt towards the human aura. However, due to their simplemindedness, three of them collided with each other, leaving only two who attacked.
When they drew within a meter away, Ruan Zhan unhurriedly swung the sword. He didn’t stab, but merely sliced at one of their heads while drawing the same fishhook symbol with his left hand. The movements were simple but there was a swish of wind as he pointed towards the other zombie!
With a thump, one zombie’s head fell to the floor. Its body swayed and shot forwards a few more steps, falling onto the staircase as Ruan Zhan dodged out of the way. The other was struck in the chest by the formless talisman. It was sent flying several meters and became nailed to the wall like a painting. Its head also fell to the floor with a snap, though it remained covered in the white cloth bag.
At this moment, the other three zombies had gotten close. Ruan Zhan bent low, avoiding their leaping strikes while reversing his sword and swinging it twice. There were no techniques. He merely cut their heads off swiftly, seeming to target that specific area. Two of them fell and no longer moved.
The final one had overcommitted to its attack and rammed against the door, taking it off its hinges into the rain outside. Ruan Zhan didn’t pursue, immediately displaying his firebrand instead. Xiao Xia watched as a strange and beautiful flame ignited outside under the rain, a small cluster of sparks in the center.
Only a few seconds had passed but Xiao Xia’s terror had been easily resolved by Ruan Zhan.
“Mercy Daoist Lord, mercy Daoist Lord!” The ethnic ghosts started begging after seeing the Daoist Lord easily deal with the five ferocious zombies and due to the pain they felt from the restriction.
Here, those with sorcery were called Daoist Lord or Daoist Ladies. Therefore, they pleaded desperately for mercy from the Daoist Lord before them.
Ruan Zhan turned towards them. “You aren’t the innkeepers. You merely took their appearances, right?”
The three weren’t able to form complete sentences. They merely babbled some broken words, unable to be more terrified.
“Unfortunately, evil deeds will never go unpunished. That is the rule of the heavens. Therefore, even if I agreed to spare you, those you previously harmed will not!”
“No, she slept in my bed, she deserves to die!” That little girl ghost suddenly screamed, desperately ramming at the restriction and baring her teeth at Xiao Xia. Xiao Xia shrank back in fear.
“You guys are afflicted by ghost Gu, right? It’s better to be free of it.”
Ruan Zhan sighed. He ignored the little girl ghost’s shrieking and formed a seal with one hand. He slowly flung it out.
A wave of tragic cries and a clump of bright flames left behind a pile of ashes. The night wind swept by and nothing was left behind.
“It’s your turn!”
Ruan Zhan turned to the raincoat ghost.
“Master…will…kill…you. Master…will…kill…you!” The raincoat ghost spoke with his shuddering voice, threatening while trying to escape.
He was the one controlling the group of ghosts. Therefore, he knew better than anyone else what fate awaited him!
“I am here precisely to look for your master!”
Ruan Zhan felt extreme hatred towards the mastermind who poisoned Wan Li. “However, he’s bastard scum who only knows to hide!”
He undid his blood restriction. The raincoat ghost was no longer nailed in place and hurriedly crawled away, trying to turn invisible. However, he wasn’t able to do it. At this moment, Ruan Zhan suddenly revealed a sympathetic expression. He hesitated for a moment before using the tip of his sword to point at the bamboo hat on the raincoat ghost’s head!
“Let me help release you!” He said with a soft sigh. “This would be a little better for you!” As he spoke, the bloodwood sword lifted the bamboo hat.
There was a gust of wind. Only the raincoat, the bamboo hat and a pair of shoes were left on the floor.
It turns out there was nothing underneath at all!
Ruan Zhan looked at the peculiar embroidered flower shoes and recalled the pair he had seen in the woods. He furrowed his brows, not knowing how they were related.
“Ruan Zhan!” Xiao Xia cried out.
He snapped out of his thoughts and hurriedly undid the protective barrier.
“Are you ok?” He looked her over, terrified that she had been injured. Then, he went to check on Wan Li whose condition made him burn with anxiety!
Xiao Xia shook her head. “What do we do with those?” She pointed at the remaining “corpses” of the zombies.
Ruan Zhan stood up and walked beside them. He ripped off the white cloth bag and what was beneath startled Xiao Xia.
There were no corpses, no human figures. They were tree trunks and branches!
Xiao Xia hesitated and mustered up her courage. She took the white bag off the beheaded zombie. It was actually also a plant. However, there were black talisman markings upon it!
The raincoat ghost wasn’t a herder of corpses. He had just been controlling plants. It was just a spell cast by the mastermind!
Ruan Zhan gathered the “plants” and burned them to ashes. Xiao Xia watched and noticed his fire only burned what he wanted to burn. The bamboo building and everything else was untouched.
“What do we do now?” Xiao Xia asked.
“What for daybreak!”
“What about him?” Xiao Xia looked at Wan Li who was seated against the wall.
“Leave him to me. I won’t let him die.”
Ruan Zhan’s response was short but determined.
The battle was over. The rain had also stopped.