Ruan Zhan’s words suddenly made Xiao Xia recall a joke. Although the timing wasn’t really appropriate, a story Wan Li had told her surfaced in her mind…
A luxurious ferry had sunk and everyone on board drowned. One of the deceased’s spirit stood in front of God and felt he was a victim of misfortune. God told him that there were evil people on board that deserved death. The person demanded an explanation, saying he couldn’t just kill everyone for the sake of punishing a few. God spoke with a bitter expression: everyone there had committed crimes deserving of death before. It took me many years of effort before managing to put all you evil people on the same boat!
It turns out that everyone had been guilty of something, or rather they had all been involved in something!
Now, Si Ma Nan had grouped all these people together. It wasn’t clear what method he used, whether some sort of mind control or some other sorcery, but he still managed to put everyone involved onto one boat.
Perhaps this was why those resentful spirits were willing to be used by him! He helped deliver the targets of their grudge while they helped him set up this performance to mess with and then kill Ruan Zhan.
“What should we do now?”
“Since they want to play hide and seek, we shall oblige them.”
“But people will die again when we return to the plaza. Even if they are guilty, dying in such a cruel manner…” Xiao Xia was extremely worried. “Besides, they will target you in the end. This won’t do, I won’t let them hurt you!”
Xiao Xia’s protective intent made Ruan Zhan smile. “I meant that we would play with them, not let them do whatever they pleased. We need to buy some time. First we’ll wait for Wan Li to investigate the cause of this matter. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can unravel the talismans Si Ma Nan placed on my spirit power. That’s the most important part. Therefore, we have to drag things out while keeping the remaining people alive. For now, we’ll just walk around randomly. Didn’t you say that they’ll make everyone involuntarily return to the plaza? Then we’ll go take a look. However, you can relax. Although the majority of my powers are sealed, it’s still not too hard for me to ruin their little show.”
Xiao Xia nodded, feeling her anxiety leave her completely. As long as he was by her side, she would feel warm and safe. Even if she was about to die, she wouldn’t be afraid!
Ruan Zhan dispelled the small barrier and restrained his breathing, which had gradually become unsteady due to excessive use of spirit power. He forced himself to speak casually, trying to put Xiao Xia at ease. However, their situation was still very dangerous. Playing hide and seek with these resentful spirits wasn’t a fun matter. However, they had to return to the plaza. That was the only way they could find the six remaining people!
“You can just follow me.” Xiao Xia held onto Ruan Zhan’s hand. She felt her heart ache. Such a proud person was forced to rely on her because he could no longer see. She wasn’t worried he wouldn’t be able to recover. No matter how he turned out, she would still be with him forever.
Now that he was here, everything had changed. Initially she had been scurrying around in fear, her heart filled with despair. Now that he was here, she wouldn’t care even if she was in hell.
The two walked slowly through the fog, hand in hand. They seemed more like a couple taking a walk instead of battling resentful spirits. With every few steps, Xiao Xia would look at the side of Ruan Zhan’s face. She kept reminiscing over the sudden passionate kiss, as well as the mood which had been interrupted by that female ghost. For a moment, she actually wished this road would go on forever, so the two could keep walking just like this.
Yet no matter how long the road, it was bound to come to an end. As Xiao Xia fantasized, almost forgetting this was a murderous city, light suddenly appeared before them. They had unexpectedly arrived at the plaza.
The others were all waiting there already, without exception. They had all become numb due to the torment. Even Liu Hong just stood terrified behind Zuo De, without crying or screaming. Despair had left them weak like lambs to the slaughter. No one even noticed Xiao Xia had brought back a man. There were seven of them now instead of six!
“How many water spouts?” Ruan Zhan asked quietly.
“Three.” Xiao Xia glanced at the lake.
Were three of them going to die? Who would be the lucky survivors?
“Don’t be scared. We’ll give them a taste of their own medicine!”
The two spoke quietly, but in the end were still noticed by Zuo De who was a little more clearheaded. He was a little surprised, and a bit of hope rose in his heart. A breath of fresh air had actually entered this hopeless situation. Ruan Zhan’s calm tinged with pride let him faintly feel a hope of survival.
He pulled Liu Hong and walked slowly over to Xiao Xia. Yet he had only gotten halfway when a huge force suddenly pushed him in to the center of the plaza. At the same time, Liu Hong, Reporter Ma and Zhao Jia Yuan were also pushed over. Of the six people, only Xiao Xia and Mao Fu were left untouched.
A new “performance” was about to start!
Xiao Xia looked anxiously at Ruan Zhan, but saw that he stood unmoving. He was facing the center of the plaza, and could clearly tell what was going on based on the four’s cries. Yet he still wasn’t planning on making a move.
His steadiness gave Xiao Xia confidence. Although she felt creeped out, she was no longer panicked.
After the four were pushed into middle, they were split into two groups. With two per side, they stood face to face. Along with the square slabs of marble, they seemed to be pieces on a chessboard, unable to move and could only wait to be moved.
“Fight, hurry and fight! The last one standing can live until the end! Kill! Kill!”After a moment of silence, Mao Fu suddenly started yelling. His face was filled with excitement and he hopped about like a monkey, repeating his last word.
So this was why four people were attacked despite there only being three fountains. The opponent wanted the four of them to battle it out, and the survivor could live one more round!
Xiao Xia looked at Mao Fu in disgust. Although his eyes were no longer glowing green, his actions lacked any semblance of humanity. He was thoroughly insane. Under his shouts, the people in the plaza seemed to have been enchanted. They really started fighting!
Zuo De was still alright, seeming to maintain a small bit of consciousness. He struggled desperately to control his own limbs. Therefore, his actions were a little rigid and he mostly focused on defense. The other three attacked each other like crazy people.
“Hey, wake up! Stop! Stop!”Xiao Xia couldn’t help but cry out. The four were bleeding all over. Zuo De seemed to be losing control. Liu Hong had bitten onto his arm as if she wanted to cannibalize him. Reporter Ma was about to be strangled to death by Zhao Jia Yuan.
She turned to look at Ruan Zhan but he still hadn’t moved. She knew he must have his own plans so she didn’t rush him. However, she scene made it hard for her to stand by and watch. She anxiously looked around. Her gaze landed on the flowerbed and her thoughts stirred. She hurriedly ran over and dug up a few decorative stones. She swung her hand and threw them at the people in the middle of the plaza. “Borrow Mt. Tai’s might, stone general, strike!”
During the Japanese ghost case, Ruan Zhan had taught her a bit of magic. She had completely forgotten about it earlier. Yet when Ruan Zhan arrived, her mind cleared up. Only then did she recall that apart from her amulet, she also had this bit of ability. This move required her back to be facing the ghost and also needed Ruan Zhan’s drawn inscription on her palm. Yet she wasn’t able to care about these things at the moment.
The stone wasn’t big enough and her arm strength was limited. As it reached the four people, there was a crisp sound and it fell to the floor. Only now did she see there was a barrier around the four of them. Therefore, she wasn’t able to hit them at all so there wasn’t much of an effect. However, they had all temporarily stopped and looked blankly towards Xiao Xia. Their gazes were sluggish and strange, as if they had been possessed.
“They are no longer themselves!” She cried out incoherently.
Before her voice fell, Ruan Zhan suddenly moved. His left hand threw out two lightning palms while his right pulled Xiao Xia backwards!
There was a crack that suppressed even the explosions of the two lightning palms. A tall streetlamp next to the plaza had smashed towards Xiao Xia and Ruan Zhan, as if pushed by someone. A large crack had appeared in the marble floor!
Xiao Xia was stunned. She only realized what had happened after several seconds had passed. At the same time, the invisible barrier at the center of the plaza was broken by Ruan Zhan. Four wisps of extremely faint black smoke scurried out from the four people before they collapsed to the floor!
“Your show has fallen flat. What now?” Ruan Zhan asked mockingly.
The reason he hadn’t moved all this time was because he could sense something spying on them. However, he wasn’t able to determine the exact location due to his spirit powers being sealed. He understood the four had been possessed by resentful spirits, and also knew there must be a barrier between them. He had to break through it while keeping an eye on the thing that was planning to harm him and Xiao Xia.
It was impossible for their opponents to be ignorant of his arrival. However, they had been suppressed by his aura and didn’t dare act rashly. Therefore, he had to accomplish everything in one go. Since they were trying to buy time, he couldn’t reveal how weak he was too early. Otherwise, the spirits would all attack at once and they would immediately lose their lives.
He just needed a bit of time, just a little bit. Even if the spirits slowly discovered that he was currently all bark and no bite, he needed some room to catch his breath. That way, he could come up with a new plan!
Luckily Xiao Xia used that minor technique to attack the barrier. This made the resentful spirit secretly watching them unable to remain still and reveal its position. Only then was he able to deal with both problems in one go!
“Hurry and move over there!” Zuo De shouted while grabbing at the injuries of the other three.
He had been the last to lose consciousness and also the first to snap out of it. He immediately understood the newcomer had saved them, and repeatedly urged the rest to head towards Xiao Xia!
After the spirits possessing them had left, the other three had been in a daze. Hearing Zuo De’s yelling and having their injuries grabbed, they immediately snapped out of it. They scrambled towards Xiao Xia.
“Let’s go!” After nothing responded to his mocking, Ruan Zhan spoke to Xiao Xia.
Based on his current abilities, using a single lightning palm or barrier required a long recovery period. He couldn’t use them repeatedly. Luckily, his tough front seemed to have frightened those spirits. It would be best if they could find a less spacious area. Those sealing talismans were still on him. Hopefully they could hold off the spirits for a while and give him enough time to break through the seals.
“Where should we go?” Zuo De asked.
“We need a relatively enclosed area. Any suggestions?”
Ruan Zhan heard Zuo De’s voice and knew he was the one who had tried to resist the spirit’s control. He was rather impressed, which is why he asked him. It was already impressive for an ordinary person to accomplish all this under such circumstances.
“You’ve asked the right person.” Zuo De actually laughed lightly despite the situation “Although I’ve never been here before, I happened to have seen a model of the town’s layout. However, is it fine to talk openly like this?” He looked at their surroundings.
“It’s fine. So what if they know?”
“Alright.” Ruan Zhan’s attitude gave Zuo De confidence. “East from here is an apartment building. The first floor is a store that more or less meets your requirement.”
“Let’s go then!” Ruan Zhan nodded. “Form up in a row, two by two. Stick close together. You, bring up the rear. Remember, you must stand within a meter of each other. You will be responsible for the insane person.”