They got him!
Xin Xin thought excitedly. Yet she didn’t dare to be careless. She led her companions to the lakeside and looked into the water!
Their helper had placed some ferocious resentful spirits in the lake. Although they were just remnants of some evil ghosts that could only form rows of teeth, they were extremely powerful. They were more bloodthirsty than the most terrifying beasts. Anything that fell into the water would be completely devoured of flesh, spirit and even energy! The lake was usually clear, not much different from an ordinary lake. However, before those things surfaced, the water would become reddish-brown like rusty iron. The surface would become completely still, as if even the water had died. Only when they started devouring their prey would the water started churning like it was boiling!
Even they were afraid to get close to this lake, let alone Ruan Zhan who was made of flesh and blood! He would be lucky if he died in midair from their strike. Otherwise, his death would be even more tragic!
Unfortunately, they had to use Yue Xiao Xia as bait, which kind of let that person down. However, if they eliminated Ruan Zhan, that person would definitely be very happy, and would overlook this slight mishap. He would definitely hand Mayor Yuan over to them!
The water was churning incessantly where Ruan Zhan had fallen in. The surface of the water undulated as if it was constantly being submerged. The water had already turned turbid and it wasn’t possible to see the situation from the lakeside. As the water gradually released a deathly aura, countless rows of teeth floated to the surface.
“He’s beneath the surface!” Xin Xin shouted, not caring if those teeth could understand her.
Her cry startled the spirits that had formed into teeth. With a swish, they all gathered towards the lakeside. The teeth clacked, appearing extremely impatient.
Xin Xin hurriedly stepped back, but still pointed towards the middle of the lake, trying to tell those evil spirits that Ruan Zhan was underneath.
She realized something was off. Ruan Zhan had gone under for too long. The lake wasn’t that deep. Theoretically, when someone fell into the water, he should probably be struggling to reach the surface, unless he had been killed by the attack in midair!
But was he really that weak? She didn’t dare believe that!
The teeth rammed against the shore futilely for a while before suddenly changing directions. They submerged themselves, each eager to be the first.
They seemed to have finally understood Xin Xin’s words: their prey was at the bottom of the lake!
Splashes spread across the surface, like when a fishing net gets pulled up with countless struggling fish. Then, the surface became even more violent. Where those teeth had entered, a large whirlpool faintly appeared. The whirlpool continuously turned. However, nothing was sucked inside. Instead, rows of teeth were thrown out!
Those teeth were thrown into the air far away. Some were even thrown onto the shore. With startled cries, the observers by the shore retreated in fright. However, those teeth didn’t pounce at them. They had turned into powder before hitting the ground and completely vanishing!
“Everyone, stay close. Be prepared!” Xin Xin ordered nervously.
She was now certain Ruan Zhan hadn’t died. He was currently battling those evil spirits in teeth form. He remained beneath the surface, probably realizing those evil spirits were powerful and trying to escape from elsewhere by swimming downwards. However, those evil spirits had still found him!
From the looks of things, some of the evil spirits had been completely annihilated by him. This made Xin Xin feel a trace of fear, feeling some sympathy as fellow sufferers. Yet on the other hand, she still felt Ruan Zhan would perish in their mouths. After all, they were numerous and felt no fear or desire to escape. They were fully focused on their devouring instinct.
However, she still had to make preparations in advance. If Ruan Zhan was truly capable enough to escape from those evil maws, she had to use all their strength to send him to hell once he reached the shore!
The surface still churned as the whirlpool continued to spin rapidly. Sets of teeth kept getting thrown out, “dying” in midair. It seemed the battle at the bottom had intensified. Right as the anxiously watching Xin Xin couldn’t wait for the result, deciding to help the evil spirits, the surface suddenly calmed. Then, a burst of fresh blood erupted from beneath the surface, dying the water red.
Ruan Zhan had died! He had finally died!
Xin Xin almost leapt up from excitement, about to shout out loud. Yet before she could do so, the situation on the surface made her swallow her cheers. A faint thread of water was slowly moving towards the tower. When it reached the base, a figure covered in blood struggled to climb ashore, collapsing to the floor and panting heavily!
He lay prone with his left hand outstretched, carefully holding a small porcelain doll. His right arm hung limply by his side, clearly unable to move. Although she couldn’t see his face, based on his condition and that tall, sturdy figure, who else could it be but Ruan Zhan?
He was truly tough! Even those ferocious evil spirits couldn’t handle him. He was still able to escape alive in the end! However, he currently seemed completely exhausted, unable to even get up. He remained prone and unmoving, not even managing to enter the nearby protective tower!
Seeing this, Xin Xin’s heart chilled before it was replaced by a spurt of motivation!
She let out a strange cry, gathering her companions’ powers onto herself. She was going to give Ruan Zhan a final, fatal blow. He was unable to move. He couldn’t retaliate!
Sensing the power gathering upon her, she glared at Ruan Zhan. He seemed to have heard her gathering her powers and he struggled to stand. However, he wasn’t successful, and only managed to sit up. He put the small porcelain doll into his pocket as he looked at her, his face pale without a trace of blood!
“You must die!” She said loudly, sending every shred of gathered power towards him.
She believed that if he was hit once again, he would be dead for sure! Ruan Zhan sat in the same spot beneath the tower. He merely forced his good hand up and drew a symbol in the air.
A clump of black miasma shot straight at him, bringing with it raging winds and oppressive might. It was about to strike Ruan Zhan’s body when it suddenly moved upwards by several meters. It was like someone had tugged on the black miasma. Therefore, it didn’t harm Ruan Zhan at all, merely knocking him over before striking the tower behind him.
There was a huge crash! The black miasma broke a chunk off the tower’s third floor. Fragments fell like rain, forcing Ruan Zhan to scramble to his feet. As he stood up, the porcelain doll in his shirt fell to the floor and shattered. However, he actually didn’t have the energy to pay it any mind as he staggered into the tower, leaving a trail of eye-catching bloody handprints on the outer wall.
The moment he stepped in to the tower, the suppressive force from the tower suddenly underwent some changes!
The tower was something extremely threatening to the resentful spirits. They would feel a suction force if they approached it slightly. Even after their helper destroyed the Grand Fengshui Formation, they didn’t dare enter. The few who could had to use all their power to be able to come and go. At this moment, that pressure suddenly vanished. It wasn’t clear why, but they felt the tower’s suppressive might had completely disappeared.
Furthermore, the originally vivid tower with green roofs and red bricks had suddenly grown dull. The tower gave off an aged feeling, as if shrouded in a layer of dust. Upon closer inspection, it appeared the entire tower was surrounded by a layer of black miasma. It was the attack Xin Xin had shot out which contained the gathered might of the resentful spirits!
Furthermore, the plants around the plaza which had grown normally while the tower was functioning now suddenly all wilted!
Xin Xin and her companions froze for a while before realizing what had happened. Although their attack hadn’t killed Ruan Zhan, it had destroyed the tower’s abilities. Now, nothing could suppress them. What did they still have to fear!?
“After him, kill Ruan Zhan!” Before Xin Xin gave the order, Dong Zi had already shouted excitedly.
His voice had just fallen when those resentful spirits looked at Xin Xin with eagerness.
Ruan Zhan hadn’t even been able to care about Yue Xiao Xia’s doll shattering. Xin Xin felt he definitely had no energy left to resist, and thus nodded. When she expressed her agreement, the resentful spirits immediately charged into the tower like a swarm of wasps!
On the first floor, the astral energy from those clocks was still present so they weren’t willing to linger. Ruan Zhan couldn’t be seen on the second and third floor.
“This kid can really run!” The Third Uncle, who was missing both his legs, said as he pointed upwards. “He must be hiding in the room on the top floor!”
Even if the tower’s abilities had vanished, the resentful spirits were still unwilling to touch the center of the trigram formations. Therefore, they didn’t phase through each floor, instead opting to rush up the stairs, eager to be first.
It wasn’t until the eighth floor when they finally saw Ruan Zhan half-reclined in exhaustion next to the trigram formation.
“Kid, weren’t you quite impressive? Yet even your time has come!” Dong Zi hooted arrogantly.
Ruan Zhan didn’t speak, merely pulling out a black, shining piece of bamboo.
“Are you using that broken piece of bamboo as a weapon?” One of the resentful spirits asked mockingly. This caused the rest to start howling and wailing with laughter.
Ruan Zhan shook his head. The pitying expression once again appeared on his pale face. “I’ve already installed the one above.”
“What is this crazy kid saying?” Another resentful spirit said.
Ruan Zhan looked at Xin Xin. She was the last to come up, and was currently looking at him doubtfully. She suddenly had an extremely bad feeling.
“I gave you a chance, twice.” Ruan Zhan pointed upwards as he spoke.
Above his head, the trigram had been completed.
Xin Xin’s heart thudded as her feeling of foreboding crystallized. She understood and immediately felt boundless despair and shock. “Leave this place immediately!” Her voice cracked as she screamed, but it was too late.
While the resentful spirits were frozen, Ruan Zhan bent over and placed the black bamboo tile into place inside the trigram formation. At the same time, he softly muttered, “Wan Li, remove the seal on the tower!”
In an instant, the formless suction suddenly appeared. That familiar feeling startled the resentful spirits into scattering mindlessly, not knowing where to hide. Of course, there was completely no use in hiding. The absolute suppression was impossible to resist. Along with the swishing of the wind, the resentful spirits were sent back to their porcelain dolls on the wooden shelves!
“You tricked us!” Xin Xin shrieked mournfully, desperately holding onto the railing of the stairs, unwilling to be sucked into her porcelain doll again. Her legs had already turned into a wisp of red smoke from the suction!
There were another two resentful spirits still struggling like her. One was Dong Zi and the other was the one who had possessed Liu Hong’s body previously.
While all this was happening, Ruan Zhan remained half-reclined and silent. He merely looked on indifferently. At this moment, he slowly sat up and casually waved his hand. A tiny metal banner appeared from somewhere. Once it grew to a certain size, Xin Xin and the other two resentful spirits were unable to resist, and were sucked inside the banner which fell heavily to the floor!
Ruan Zhan watched as the banner vibrated for a while before settling down. He let out a long breath and lay back in relief.
That was close! He finally recaptured those resentful spirits!
He hadn’t finished repairing the Grand Fengshui Formation previously, leaving the two trigrams on the eighth floor in disrepair for the sake of luring them inside. If he had finished the repairs ahead of time, how would those resentful spirits obediently enter with the tower’s oppressive might?
Those resentful spirits held deep grudges and their powers had grown after being released. If they all scattered and hid, no one would be able to control them. There would also be no way to capture them one by one. It would leave behind countless scourges. He could only lure them back into the tower and suppress them once again.
Therefore, he kept trying to come up with a way to lure them inside. He also hoped Wan Li could find Master Long and cooperate with him to seal the broken tower. The resentful spirits would think the tower had changed and let their guard down, charging inside to kill him. Only then could he succeed.
He knew he could rely on Wan Li. If it weren’t for him and Master Long cooperating outside somewhere, he wouldn’t have tricked those spirits so smoothly. The indescribable tacit understanding between them was an awesome treasure!
However, all the fighting had been real. His wounds were just not as serious as they appeared. To make that shrewd Xin Xin believe it, he had no choice but to let her harm his right arm, and also had to jump into the lake. The moment he fell in, the second phase of his plan was complete!
Xin Xin stealing Xiao Xia’s doll while he had her by the pulse was something he had purposefully let happen. Otherwise, how could he be threatened into being at a “disadvantage”? Of course, Xiao Xia’s soul was no longer inside. He had long since put her into one of his buttons, keeping her close to his heart.
The lightning palm that had seemed poorly aimed was actually a signal for Wan Li outside, telling him to start the plan! The bloody handprints he left outside the tower was also sending a message. Even his disdainful demeanor in putting his hands in his pockets was for the sake of pulling out the talisman he had prepared in advance!
He knew Xin Xin would use the evil spirits inside the lake. The talisman was to give himself a protective barrier. Therefore, despite him allowing his arm to be injured to make the enemy overconfident, he was still able to use a talisman in the water to protect himself.
Xin Xin was very calculating, but she didn’t know that he knew how to deal with the evil spirits in the water. They had been brought from the Hungry Ghost Path by Si Ma Nan. He had once used them to try and harm Xiao Xia. Therefore, despite the evil spirits being very powerful, he had long since come up with ways to deal with them.
Everything had gone according to plan. The process had just been a lot more risky than expected.
His life had hung by a thread several times. He had almost died underwater while battling the evil spirits from the Hungry Ghost Path. Luckily he had won, allowing him to implement the third phase of his plan.
He purposefully diverted the attack from the resentful spirits onto the tower, making them think its loss of power was due to their strong resentment. Then, he smashed Xiao Xia’s doll in his haste and didn’t even have time to give it a glance. He purposefully appeared bedraggled and about to collapse. If he didn’t do so, those resentful spirits wouldn’t have abandoned all caution to chase him into the tower!
The tower had just been repaired so he was afraid the stronger spirits couldn’t be recaptured. Therefore, he also prepared the tattered banner for cleanup duty. The banner had been on him the whole time. He just hadn’t used it, saving it for a critical moment.
Now that things had gone according to plan, he had come out victorious in this spirit battle. Next would be the duel against Si Ma Nan!