Book 7 Chapter 48: Dark Building

The sky had turned dark and the weather was still abnormally hot. The sun had been scorching during the day and now that the sky was dark, thick clouds hung in the air like a lid. The heat absorbed by the ground seemed to seep out all at once, circulating in the air and making it feel uncomfortably like a steamer!

Such weather was often the premonition of heavy rain.

The streets were quiet and empty. Even the air seemed too lazy to move. Everyone had their doors closed as they napped in air-conditioned rooms. Yet in one dark building on the outskirts of the city, a few people had no choice but to endure the vile weather’s torment.

There was a slap and an annoyed curse. “Damned mosquitos, I got bitten again!”

“Your blood is sweet.” Another voice said mockingly.

“Quiet!” The last cold voice wrapped things up.

When no one spoke again, the scene fell silent once more.

This was the building where Lu Yan originally lived. Since it was about to be demolished, the previously already sparsely populated building was completely empty. Along with the fact that those seemingly soulless children were found in the basement, the building had become much more sinister.

The buildings around it had already been torn down, leaving behind piles of rubble. Only this building remained for some reason. From a distance, the lone dark building standing in a field of rubble gave off a dangerous and weird feeling.

The moment the place became uninhabited, weeds had started growing within the rubble. Vines also grew vividly on the outside of the building, as if in a final spurt of life, making the environment seem even more desolate. If someone wanted to shoot a horror movie, there would have been no better setting.

Along with another slap, Bao Da Tong sighed. “Ah Zhan, can I also wait inside the formation?”

“No.”

“Then let me turn invisible.” Bao Da Tong’s voice was pleading.

He couldn’t be blamed. The windows were wide open. The weeds and garbage outside had spawned large amounts of mosquitos. They had probably gone too long without fresh blood. Now that a few people had delivered themselves to the door, they weren’t holding back as they rushed forth to feast.

Well, poor Bao Da Tong. He didn’t understand why he was the only one getting bitten when there were four of them hiding in Lu Yan’s apartment. The three men were in the living room while Xiao Xia was in the bedroom. Xiao Xia was in the protective formation so that made sense. However, the three others were all wearing t-shirts and jeans, without any protective measures. Was he just easy to bully? Or was his blood really sweeter, as Wan Li had said?

No, it must be because he was closer to the window!

Wan Li couldn’t help but laugh. “Idiot! Mosquitos don’t rely on vision. What’s the use of turning invisible? Your sweet scent will still draw them in to attack you.”

“Then I’ll just put up a tiny, thin barrier, ok? Otherwise, I’ll be dead before the things we’re baiting even arrive.”

“Enough, we’re still expecting you to be the vanguard. Your barrier would affect our arrangements. I’m guessing the moment you put up a barrier, Ah Zhan will tear it down without pause. You should probably not waste your energy.”

“Ah Zhan, would you do that?” Bao Da Tong asked tentatively.

“Try it.” The cold voice came from the darkness.

Best not to try, endure it! Bao Da Tong sighed helplessly. He decided to ask his old man if there are any spells that keep mosquitos away the next time they met. Alternatively, he should remember to put on bug spray in advance when met with such a situation in the future. Otherwise, he really couldn’t take it.

“Shh!” Ruan Zhan gave a warning.

The other people tensed, and then they also sensed something. In this stifling weather, holing up in a stuffy room meant they were all sweating despite not moving at all. Yet at this moment they suddenly felt a chill, causing all their hairs to stand on end.

This wasn’t caused by the temperature. It was the approach of powerful ghosts or fiends with heavy Yin aura. Obviously, it was the two they were waiting for. The fiend children had been lured here as they hoped. Regardless of outcome, things will be concluded tonight.

The three of them stood in a triangular formation in the living room of the apartment. Wan Li stood by the door, Bao Da Tong by the window and Ruan Zhan was in the innermost position, closest to the bedroom. Yet despite this, Ruan Zhan had still been the first to sense their arrival.

Bao Da Tong could clearly see the situation outside since he was by the window. On a pile of rubble, a black clump staggered forwards, as if struggling to walk. Once it drew closer, he could clearly see it was a child slowly approaching. Because of its small size, the piles of garbage and rubble were like a small mountains. It was barely as it appeared intermittently between the “valleys”. However, although it seemed to be struggling, careful examination showed that the crippled child was actually as agile as a monkey. It had reached the front of the building in the blink of an eye.

It raised its head and glanced at the window of its original house. When it met Bao Da Tong’s eyes, a red light flashed within his own. However, Bao Da Tong didn’t duck away and merely raised his brows. “Welcome to the haunted house tour.” He said quietly.

Lil’ Tong smiled coldly. It seemed especially incongruent on the cute, tender and frail little face. Bao Da Tong felt a wave of discomfort as he extended his hand. “Please, come in!” He said again.

During this face-off, Bao Da Tong added glyphs to his eyes. He saw the black aura around Lil’ Tong’s body, and then another larger black aura circling around above him. He vaguely saw the likeness of a girl with two buns tied in her hair. The second aura wasn’t pure black, but instead contained traces of red, like a dark cloth stained by blood.

“The two are together. The boy fiend is still in Lil’ Tong’s body while the girl fiend doesn’t have a body.” Bao Da Tong summarized the situation. The young boy walked into the building.

Footsteps rang in the hallway. They were exceptionally clear in the empty space and the silence. From the rhythm it sounded like the skipping of a young boy, but also contained an uneven gait. The three in the room looked at each other, making preparations according to the plan.

However, the footsteps seemed close yet distant. They kept walking, but never arrived. Theoretically, they should have long since reached the apartment. Wan Li waited by the door but no one appeared in the open doorway. He understood the fiends were putting psychological pressure on him, keeping him tense while never appearing. It wasted his stamina and sapped his focus. However, the fiend children didn’t know he was holding the bloodwood sword. Therefore, he wasn’t nervous at all, and just needed to remain alert. If a spirit approached, the bloodwood sword’s glow would warn him. If the fiend appeared in his physical form, even if he had magic and power, his body’s limited strength would still be a disadvantage.

The noise continued and the three of them also remained silent. After a while, the footsteps suddenly changed in rhythm. After stopping for a while, they become much lighter and slower, like a child tiptoeing towards the room!

Woosh…

A gust of wind blew in from the window. Bao Da Tong shifted out of the way slightly and the wind swept past him, rushing into the room. It swirled in the air and blew over towards Ruan Zhan in the corner, as if it could see.

Ruan Zhan didn’t move or speak, merely flicking his finger lightly. The supposedly immaterial wind changed directions as if shoved, striking an empty wall. A patch of wallpaper was immediately peeled off, leaving two dark ovals printed on the pale wall. They looked like a pair of eyes, staring at the three men in the room.

The moment the wallpaper fell off, the bloodwood sword let out a beautiful red glow. A tiny head with two tied buns slowly extended into the room.

The owner of the head was too short. For the tall Wan Li, it only reached a little over his knees. Therefore, he gripped the bloodwood sword as he crossed his arms, looking down by the door. He watched as the head peeped inside a little, as if only willing to enter once it checked the entire room. However, while her head kept extending, her body was nowhere to be seen. Her neck kept stretching like a rubber band.

Seeing that the fiend girl didn’t plan to stop scouting, Wan Li lowered the arm holding the bloodwood sword. However, he didn’t chop at the neck which was now over two feet long. Instead, he lightly smacked it against the head’s forehead. The moment the bloodwood sword touched that head, a girl’s cry of pain rang out. The black and thin elastic neck snapped backwards! Outside the door came a thump, as if a heavy object had struck the wall.

Wan Li retrieved the bloodwood sword and pulled out a flashlight. He stood in the doorway and lit up the dark corridor. The snowy light searched the derelict hallway for several seconds before fixing upon the opposite door. The door was made of metal and a thick, rubber band was attached to the bars. A worn soccer ball was tied on one end of the rope.

“It was an elastic band tied around a soccer ball.” Wan Li stepped back and resumed his position by the door. “They are using illusions.”

“It wasn’t an illusion.” Bao Da Tong said quietly. “They can actually use objects as clones! Look out for…”

Before he could finish speaking, he suddenly sensed something behind him. Whirling around, he actually saw his vision filled with green plants. He froze, recognizing the vines that crawled along the outside walls. The vines had crawled inside at some point. Before he had realized what had happened, he was trussed up in the blink of an eye. He didn’t even have the time or energy to resist, leaving only his mouth free.

“Behind!” He cried out.

Along with his shout, the soccer ball clone bounced into the room again. It still looked like a little girl’s head, but it was no longer scouting this time. It rushed over, wrapping around Wan Li’s legs.

Wan Li was caught off guard. He felt something tugging at his legs and lost his balance, toppling over. The bloodwood sword and flashlight fell far away, underneath Bao Da Tong. Bao Da Tong immediately kicked out, trying to kick the bloodwood sword back to Wan Li. Yet Wan Li had just reached out when the soccer ball head suddenly increased in strength, forcefully dragging him towards the hallway. He didn’t have time to retrieve his things and could only focus on grabbing the doorframe to prevent himself from being taken away!

Ruan Zhan wasn’t able to save either one of them because the sudden attacks happened almost simultaneously. Right as he wanted to help his friends, the marks left by the strange wind on the wall suddenly spat out two chains made of black miasma. Ruan Zhan was also tied up top and bottom by each chain. Although the chains were formless, they were even more powerful than the physical elastic band and vines. They seemed to be digging into his flesh, pulling him tight against the wall.

At that moment, the footsteps rang out again. A tiny black shadow appeared in the door.

“And here I thought you were strong!” He sneered, picking up the flashlight and shining it on his own face. He then pointed it towards the three people. “Ai, it’s quite hard to live up to your reputation. So big, yet no brains at all. All those years, lived in vain.” He said smugly, his little face extremely sinister.

“Why must you possess that body? Wouldn’t it be easier to appear as yourself?” Despite being tied up, Ruan Zhan’s demeanor was still calm, as if it was an even match instead of him being unable to move.

“I like this body.” The boy fiend said. “It will slowly mature. If I didn’t have this body, how will I live happily ever after with the woman in there?”

“There is no woman in there!” Bao Da Tong responded swiftly.

“How obvious.” The boy fiend said.

Although his voice was young, his tone was arrogant, half coarse half well-enunciated. He clearly thought himself elegant despite his tone being that of someone lowly. He must have been too young when he was used as a funerary offering. Afterwards, due to having devoured the old Daoist, he not only inherited his powers, he also adopted his knowledge, way of thinking and even knowledge of the world.

As he spoke, he slowly strolled towards the bedroom. Wan Li hurriedly called out to him. “Hey, boss man. You should at least give us your name. I have to know who it is that’s going to steal my crush away!”

The boy fiend turned and waved a hand towards Wan Li. Startled, Wan Li instinctively closed his eyes, thinking he was going to do something to him. Yet nothing unexpected happened, apart from two icy objects extending from his legs to the back of his head. Then, it floated in front of him. He took a glance before realizing it was the little girl’s shadow.

The little girl had previously occupied Zhang Jia Lin’s body, and even wanted to take Xiao Xia’s. At this moment, she was only an eye of black miasma. She had probably been casting spells outside the whole time before her brother had her come in. Despite not needing to touch the ground, she still maliciously stepped all over Wan Li.

“You’re quite the naughty little girl.” Wan Li still bitterly clung onto the doorframe in case the tightening elastic band dragged him into the hallway. “But no boy will like you if you’re so mean.”

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