Zhang Jia Lin!
Despite Xiao Xia reminding herself not to make any sudden moves, the unexpectedness made her involuntarily cry out and jump backwards. Almost at the same time, thudding sounds could be heard. The risen corpses all leapt to the floor and started hopping towards the source of human breath!
Without time to cry for help, Xiao Xia swiftly ran to her right in a panic before they could surround her. There was a short metal bar there, probably used to open jammed lockers. She had heard that if moving corpses gripped something rod-like, they might stop moving!
There was a rush of air behind her. Without looking back, Xiao Xia threw the metal bar backwards. There was the sound of nails against metal as the young woman in the lead gripped the metal bar tightly. The bloody fingers had already deeply penetrated the solid metal!
She was naked but there wasn’t a whole piece of skin anywhere on her body. Her muscles were exposed and pink due to loss of blood. Part of her intestines hung outside and the rest of her was blackened. Her state of death was extremely cruel!
Her appearance was both horrifying and disgusting, scaring Xiao Xia to react half a beat slower when avoiding the second corpse. She had thrown herself to the side, narrowly avoiding the strike, but her shoulder had been scored by the transformed claws, immediately causing pain and numbness!
However, she didn’t have time to inspect the wound. While she was on the floor, she swiftly crawled underneath one of the autopsy tables!
Risen corpses were like zombies. They couldn’t bend over. Therefore, she could avoid them for some time under the table and drag things out. This was the middle of the day and there were many people in the hospital. Ruan Zhan would also notice she was missing and come rescue her!”
Two heavy thuds above indicated that the two risen corpses had already leapt onto the autopsy table. They stomped, as if trying to break it apart. From the way the table shook, it was only a matter of time!
The bloodstained white sheet hanging over the table shifted alarmingly bit by bit. It finally fell under Xiao Xia’s alarmed gaze. Four pairs of feet were revealed. The moment the sheet fell, they hopped forward at the same time.
Only then did Xiao Xia realize the table was raised very high while the four children were all very small. The two adult corpses weren’t able to see her under the table, but it wasn’t able to hide her from the four smaller corpses at all! Furthermore, the table was about to collapse!
Xiao Xia held her breath, feeling around inside her backpack while slowly moving backwards. Her actions caused her aura and breath to weaken slightly in an instant, causing all six corpses to grow confuse, temporarily losing their target. However, Xiao Xia couldn’t hold her breath forever. Right as she backed into the wall, she finally couldn’t help but take a deep breath. This signaled the corpses at the same time!
With a swoosh, the two corpses above and four below leapt towards her as one with superhuman speed. If they landed on her like this, she would be trampled to death for sure. Even if she managed to survive, the smaller corpses would strangle her!
In the blink of an eye, Xiao Xia suddenly raised her hand and flung a talisman out, shouting, “Southern Trigram of heavenly flames, form the state of enlightenment, refine!”
Bao Da Tong had said it was she didn’t have to worry if she couldn’t remember which mental method went with which talisman. She just had to recite it while holding the talisman. If she felt a warm sensation in her hand, it meant it corresponded with the “fire” element. In the same vein, if it felt soft it was “water”, cold meant “gold”, hard meant “wood” and coarse must be “earth”!
The five element restricted spell she had learned from Bao Da Tong had never been used before. She had only learned the theory. Yet now, she had no other way of protecting herself. Bao Da Tong had been the one to draw the talisman and she wasn’t familiar with the chant. The reason she was able to speak it smoothly at this moment was because she had silently rehearsed it many times while retreating! Bao Da Tong had said that skillful use of this technique could injure formless entities. This was because the five elements encompassed everything beneath the heavens, even fate itself. Even a poor use of the technique could conjure up a formless barrier, temporarily protecting the caster!
She hoped it would be effective.
With a crackle, the talisman suddenly ignited in her hand and flew out as a small fireball. However, despite having thrown it out, her technique had been incorrect. She had relied on brute force so the piece of paper didn’t fly far. Therefore, the fireball landed a foot in front of her, startling her instead.
Despite this, it was still effective as an obstacle. Although incredibly weak, it still caused the six corpses some pause, giving her the opportunity to escape the encirclement!
She only had three seconds!
She swiftly stood up and rushed between the table and the cabinets. She pulled out another talisman as she ran and sensed softness. Therefore, when her pursuers caught up, she used another of the elements, “Exhausting the three rivers, waves overflowing to the skies, restrict!”
Immediately, the smell of water hit her and the footsteps behind her noticeably halted. However, her spells were too weak. Despite continuously throwing out talismans while using the accompanying mental technique, the risen corpses were only temporarily halted. It was like using a remote control. Whenever her pressed the button, the scenes of pursuit would freeze. Yet the moment she let go, the horrifying situation would continue!
“With the azimuthal might of the earth, shift the three mountains, suppress!” The earth element spell tripped the six pursuing corpses.
“Wooden azure dragon…conjure countless swords, slash!” The wood element spell was cast, but due to unfamiliarity with the spell, Xiao Xia spoke haltingly.
“Vajra body…reflective aura of Buddha…ummm…dispel evil!” Xiao Xia’s tongue was twisted due to the tense situation when casting the metal element spell.
Her talismans dwindled but she wasn’t able to increase the distance between herself and the corpses. Xiao Xia couldn’t help but panic. At this moment, Zhang Jia Lin who still sat on the cabinet suddenly laughed!
“Didn’t expect you to know some spells. How entertaining!” Her childish voice said maliciously.
Xiao Xia instinctively looked over. There was a mature expression on that innocent face. Xiao Xia felt it contained cunning, shrewdness, malice and mockery. There was even some jealousy and eagerness to kill. That pale little face looking like it was watching a monkey performing made Xiao Xia’s terror turn to anger!
As Zhang Jia Lin laughed crisply, Xiao Xia used another fire element spell to avoid the corpses’ attacks. She ran around the room while shouting, “Stop feeling smug! Ruan Zhan will come save me! Then, he will destroy you! He is all-powerful!” Back when Xiao Xia used her first spell, Ruan Zhan had noticed she was missing.
There was a young father sitting in the spot where she had been sitting. At this moment, Yang Yang was done with his scans and the nurse had brought him back.
“Where is Auntie Xiao Xia?” Ruan Zhan asked.
Yang Yang looked up and honestly shook his head. His childish mind told him this uncle was too stern and he should avoid being naughty. It was better to behave.
Ruan Zhan furrowed his brows, knowing Xiao Xia wouldn’t leave without a reason. Things didn’t look good!
Actually, he and Xiao Xia normally shared a telepathic link. It had allowed them to communicate with each other in Hongqing Town. However, for the sake of severing their relationship, he had erased her memories. For some reason, their link seemed to also have faded at the same time. Now he didn’t know where she was and what she had encountered, but he couldn’t even sense her. Yet it was too late for regrets.
Stay calm! Stay calm!
He forced himself while his mind turned swiftly.
Normally, spirits couldn’t come out during the day, or in places with many people. This was why people felt safer in crowds and during the day. Yet they currently were up against a fiend with at least three centuries of cultivation. This meant it had already become a ghostly cultivator. It would be able to come out during the day as long as it was in a place without direct sunlight and with heavy yin aura. The reason Xiao Xia had seen the fiend called Zhang Jia Lin in the old garage at Lu Yan’s place was due to this.
From his conjecture, the most likely suspects of the weird events were Lu Yan, her son and Zhang Jia Lin. Unfortunately, he was never around when the strange things happened. His surveillance also yielded no results, so his suspicions couldn’t be confirmed. If Xiao Xia’s disappearance had something to do with one of these three, it had to be Zhang Jia Lin. This was just simply based on the timing. Bao Da Tong must have wrapped up his call with his dad, and would be at Lu Yan’s new place helping the pitiful widow and her son with their store’s grand opening. Although he seemed sloppy, he was very clever. No matter how powerful the mother and son were, they couldn’t make any mischief while he was present.
This was the hospital so it wasn’t unusual for a child to be here. Especially considering the fact she was able to use illusion spells. While he had been in line to pick up the prescription, Ruan Zhan had heard something that was even more disadvantageous for him.
That morning, a boiler had suddenly exploded at a Aluminum factory near the children’s hospital, causing a chain reaction. The factory also had it’s own nursery for the workers. The boiler that exploded was the closest one to the nursery, so the loss was most tragic. Now the doctors were mostly busy in the ICU and the patients were continuing to pile up.
Most importantly, the explosion was so violent that the morgue didn’t have enough space for the bodies of the victims, and some needed to be left on the autopsy tables!
Ruan Zhan’s heart tightened when he thought of the morgue. If something had really happened, it must be in that place!
He lifted Yang Yang and put him in an open seat, secretly drawing a talisman on the back of the chair. He also drew one on Yang Yang’s cartoon band-aid. “Listen to me, Yang Yang. Are you a man?”
Hearing this, Yang Yang nodded very solemnly.
“Good. Uncle needs to leave for a moment. You have to sit here. Don’t leave no matter who calls you, even if it’s Auntie Xiao Xia, even if it’s your mom!” He gripped Yang Yang’s little shoulder as he spoke. “Men keep their word. They would rather die than go back on their word. Can you make this promise?”
“Can I not leave even if a big tiger is going to bite me?” Yang Yang asked earnestly.
“You cannot. Also, uncle has placed a small fire on your body. The big tiger cannot bite you. Tell uncle, can you do this?” Ruan Zhan waited anxiously for Yang Yang to “consider”.
“Alright.” Yang Yang finally nodded his head heavily. Ruan Zhan immediately stood and ran down the hallway!
The hallway led to the hospital ward. Normally, the morgue was located in the back of the entire hospital, closest to the garage and boiler room.
Ruan Zhan ran while figuring out the way. By the time he reached the hospital’s rear doors, he clearly sensed a gust of yin aura. Although it had already dissipated, he could clearly tell something had happened here. A small white door appeared in the distance. There was a little red light that was lit year round on the door, indicating it was the place he was looking for.
And under the shadow of the garage stood a little girl!
Zhang Jia Lin!
The thought of immediately attacking her crossed his mind to prevent her from harming more innocent children and families. However, another voice reminded him that saving Xiao Xia was more urgent! She was the most important thing to him. He would rather lose or go against the world than allow her to suffer any harm!
He only had a second to make up his mind, but this wasn’t even a decision for him. He had long since made his choice already! Therefore, he completely ignored the fiend provoking him, merely gathering his spirit power into his yinyang eye to glance at her. Then, he shot out a palm with one hand while drawing a symbol with his other, immediately arriving before the morgue’s door!
The palm was something he had developed based on a chant his father had taught him. Although it looked ordinary, the gathered spirit power would suddenly dissipate when it reached the opponent, attacking from all sides. It was very hard to avoid. This was his first time using it. Zhang Jia Lin hurriedly made a gesture and retreated several meters. She plastered herself to the wall like a painting, making the palm lose its target and sweep past the wall.
It had missed! At the same time, Zhang Jia Lin’s restriction on the morgue failed to stop Ruan Zhan. He dealt with the door using a single flaming handprint.
Ruan Zhan ignored the angry sneer from behind him, stepping into the morgue. He saw another “Zhang Jia Lin” sitting on the cabinet, watching Xiao Xia wearily run for her life. A group of small risen corpses had already caught up to her, in the middle of reaching out to grab her leg.
Without thinking, Ruan Zhan pointed two fingers towards Zhang Jia Lin while drawing a symbol with a long tail in the air with his other hand, pointing towards the six corpses around Xiao Xia!
A rip and a crackle sounded at the same time. A beam of white light shot from the fingers pointed at Zhang Jia Lin, penetrating her body. She swiftly turned transparent and vanished resentfully. Six sparks of flame shot from the other hand, each striking a risen corpse in the head. They suddenly froze and then toppled backwards to the floor!