The black fog swiftly spread across the sky. I gradually grew unable to even see Nana’s face. I could only grab hold of her tightly so we wouldn’t lose each other by accident.
Due to the fog, I could no longer see the boundary of the blood talismans clearly. I would reach the edge of the trees every time before realizing we were about to leave the circle of protection. Then, I would immediately turn back.
“Hold on, hold on a little longer!” I desperately encouraged Nana, yet what answered me was only her ragged breathing!
Actually I was also exhausted. Although I knew it was almost daybreak, I felt time was passing especially slowly. Dodging a blow one second but almost getting strangled the next!
A student suddenly burst out from the side. Due to the darkness and their strange expressions, I wasn’t even able to recognize the person before being grabbed around the wrist.
I hadn’t realized that the enchanted people were so strong. His hands were like metal clamps and I was unable to get free. My wrist was in pain and they seemed to be trying to make me release Nana. However, I refused to let go until I heard my own bones crack. My arm was broken!
Nana let go. I hadn’t given up but she seemed to have realized she was making me suffer. Therefore, she let go of me!
The sudden lack of resistance made me fall to the floor. When I turned to look, Nana had already vanished. Only her drawn out scream lingered. Before I could get up, that student pounced on me once again.
I was desperate and used the bloodwood sword to stab at his eyes, which gave him pause. I drew the sword back and kicked him away. I scrambled and rolled, escaping the entanglement and running towards where Nana had vanished!
I ran madly, yelling madly, ignoring my surroundings. I figured my footsteps and panting would attract those “killers” anyway. What did I need to be cautious for? Yet Nana had vanished and I could no longer hear her!
With a thump, I collided into something due to my careless rush forward. I didn’t feel any pain. It just felt like I had bumped into something round and plump. I bounced off and fell to the ground once more.
“Over here!” The human balloon said.
I gritted my teeth and crawled forwards, swiftly stabbing at his foot. I watched as he deflated and toppled to the floor again. However, he didn’t fall silent. He wriggled on the ground after becoming a layer of skin, inching towards me! I still can’t quite describe how creepy that was. The reason I couldn’t stand seeing Gu Yu Fang as a human jacket back then was probably due to this trauma from my college days.
I was afraid he would crawl over and grab my legs so I turned and ran. What next awaited me in the dark was that headless corpse! The moment he sensed my presence, he immediately waved his arms, trying to shove me to the left.
I figured that must be where the blood spell’s boundary was. Therefore, I braced myself and dodged towards the opposite direction. However, he was extremely strong and his arms made gusts of wind as he swung. Furthermore, his physique had been short to begin with. Now that he was headless, I could directly see his bloodied neck that was covered in bite marks. I almost threw up and ended up being struck on the ribs, stumbling out several steps!
I staggered to a halt. Looking up, I saw the black fog was already behind me.
I knew I had left the protective boundary and immediately tried to rush back. I knew that although it was dangerous inside the fog, it was only filled with enchanted students. There weren’t any harmful ghosts, with Zhao Jiang being an exception of course. However, it was still relatively safe there. Therefore, I planned to wait inside until dawn. Yet at this time, Nana’s cries suddenly reached my ears.
“Help! Help! Let go of me! Ah…” Her voice cracked as she screamed.
How could I still worry about myself when I heard that? I ran towards the sound. Before I had taken a few steps, I saw Nana sprawled on the ground, her hair a mess. She desperately clung onto some plants while kicking wildly. Something seemed to be pulling her from inside the bush, wanting to drag her away!
My left wrist was broken and couldn’t exert any strength. My right hand still held the bloodwood sword. Without any other choice, I could only put the bloodwood sword in my shirt pocket and pull at the bush with my right hand.
Nana’s foot that was stuck in the bush was kicking futilely at the ground. She was dragged backwards a bit at a time. One of her shoes had already fallen off. However, I realized there wasn’t anything pulling her. It was like a formless force was there in the darkness. I listened to her panicked cries as I pulled wildly at the bush, using my uninjured hand to try and save her. However, it wasn’t any use!
In my desperation, I grabbed her slender ankle and pulled, yet ended up seeing something abnormal: the set of teeth was hidden in the bush and had a firm bite on Nana’s trouser leg!
It was the “remains” of that girl, trying to drag Nana into the woods, preventing her from getting free!
Almost instinctively, I stepped up and kicked hard. I wasn’t able to kick it away but it started wailing. That sound was enough to make my legs turn weak!
A set of teeth started crying just like that. It was even that girl’s voice. I couldn’t bear to kick it again! I felt she was also quite pitiful to have died a tragic, senseless death here with only this small piece of her remaining. However, the teeth still held on despite crying, pulling Nana away.
I had no choice but to close my eyes and kick out again. I heard its tragic cry and the feeling of being bitten transferred to my own toes. I immediately took off my shoes in fear and kicked it along with the teeth into the woods. Then, I grabbed the freed Nana and started running!
It was getting close to dawn and the moon was no longer bright, as if it had been immersed in water. It had gotten darker and I wasn’t able to see my surroundings clearly. I figured this was what they meant by the night being darkest before the dawn. However, I’ve heard Ah Zhan say that Yang energy started rising around four in the morning. Things that stalked the night would become weakened!
Therefore, the black fog had vanished and I could see Zhao Jiang’s frail form standing at the edge of the clearing. A row of shadows followed him, heading towards the direction of that pool!
He was taking the enchanted students back to the ghosts’ den!
When I realized this, I immediately cried out. My voice was extremely clear in the silent forest, but the group of people seemed not to have heard and ignored me!
“Nana, wait here in the circle for a moment. I have to pull them back. We can’t let them be taken!”
I turned and gave her a quick glance, wanting her to let go. However, she held onto me tightly!
“Don’t be scared, I’ll be right…” I turned my head once again, my words getting stuck in my throat.
“Let’s go with them too!” She slowly raised her head.
It wasn’t Nana. It was that woman! She wore the beautiful red clothes that had attracted the girls back at the pool and had a white face like that of a geisha. The skin on her face didn’t move but her eyes were smiling!
Why was she the one I brought back? Where was Nana?
I couldn’t help but cry out, shaking her hand off. Only then did I feel the cold dampness and realize it had been her the entire time. I felt disgusted and subconsciously looked at my hand. It was actually covered in corpse bugs that crawled, burrowed and busily spread across my body.
I was terrified, shamefully stumbling back a few steps and falling to the floor. I wiped my hands desperately against the ground, scraping those corpse bugs off. They crawled towards me once again after falling to the grass, making me scream and run!
That woman laughed coldly, coming after me unhurriedly. Step by step, she cut off my retreat!
A large tree was blocking the way. The pain of my broken wrist almost made me pass out and the hand that had been bitten by the corpse bugs was numb. I had no more strength left to run!
I glared at her in terror, extremely afraid I may never see the light of day again!
She whispered softly, as though singing the lullaby for me this time. Yet my sleep would be eternal! She flew towards me, colliding firmly with me. I could only close my eyes and wait for death, watching as she fell upon me as though about to possess my body!
There was a tragic cry, but it wasn’t me. It was her!
I opened my eyes and saw that face of hers falling off like a mask, revealing a broken skull underneath! There was a strange red gash in her throat. However, this red didn’t contain any vile aura. Instead, it was a beautiful faint red glow!
Slowly, that hole started smoking as though it was on fire. This made her cry out continuously. Then, her head suddenly tilted to the side, and eventually fell to the ground!
I was only twenty years old at the time and was definitely an ignorant kid. Therefore, I was stunned by this scene and had no idea what to do. I watched as her withered claws tore at her own neck, as though it really was on fire. In the end, she actually started rolling across the floor, revealing the old, rotten skeleton beneath the beautiful burial shroud!
I stared blankly, not noticing the sky was brightening. The best period of time for humans had come! As the first beautiful rays of the morning sun shone down from the mountain peak, that female ghost seemed to be able to see it and hurriedly grabbed her head. She ran as if in flight for several steps before suddenly vanishing!
I let out a breath. Only then did I notice the bulge on my chest. When I had retreated in a panic, the little bloodwood sword in my shirt pocket had ended up pointing outwards. The female ghost had impaled her own throat when she pounced over, which had saved my life! If she had used her claws or some other method to kill me, I wouldn’t have known how beautiful the sunrise could be.
I sat there as if lost in my own world. After a long while, I performed some basic treatment on my broken wrist before getting up. At this time, the clearing Ah Zhan had burned out was completely empty. The three corpses were gone as well, assuming the human skin and teeth could count as corpses.
Fifteen of us had come. Ah Zhan had drawn away that powerful weird infant to protect us, but I had only been able to protect myself! The rest of the students were gone, including my first crush Nana!
Looking at the marks on the ground that seemed as if a battle had been fought, I was both saddened and at a loss. I started crying uselessly. However, the scraping of footsteps sounded behind me at this time.
After the night of terrors, I was especially twitchy. I immediately leapt up, gripping the bloodwood sword and glaring towards the direction of the noise. I saw two people dressed in black standing by the trees, looking at me curiously!
One was old and the other young. Both were dressed in Daoist attire but they were both smiling mischievously. They didn’t have the air of cultivators at all, and seemed more like swindlers who sold “skills” to martial artists!
“Master old pops, are these the students he was talking about? Why is there only one?” The young man asked.
The old man didn’t speak and gestured towards me with his lips.
The young man looked at me for a moment before his eyes started to shine. He cried out loudly, seeming extremely excited and startling me. “Is that the bloodwood sword? I want to touch it!”
I already realized they were human, not ghosts. The bloodwood sword was no threat to humans. However, the youth who seemed around my age was clearly interested in the bloodwood sword. Therefore, I hurriedly put it back in my pocket, putting on an appearance of rather dying than handing it over!
“Tsk, stingy!” That young Daoist understood my body language and halted. “He’ll let me see it even if you won’t! You think it’s that precious?”
“Who is this “he” you’re talking about?”
“Ruan Zhan? I think that was his name. My memory isn’t too good!” He scratched his head. “Yesterday, he sent a telepathic message to my dad, the respected elder who also happens to be my master. He said there were ghostly fiends here who were older than a century and he needed our help!”
“And who are you guys?” I was still vigilant.
“My dad and his dad are old friends.” He explained, looking at me curiously. My tragic appearance seemed to make him very happy. I suddenly felt irritated. “We are the cute Bao father and son!”