Book 8 Chapter 11: A Price to Pay

Xiao Xia didn’t have time to explain things to Wan Li. She grabbed his hand and turned to run.

With a flash, Three-inch golden lotus teleported to the other side of the street. Along with ordinary shoes, they trapped Xiao Xia and Wan Li between them.

This was a commercial street and there were no residences. There were also no stores that were open 24/7. Even the light from the street lamps had turned pale green, making mournful sounds as they illuminated the ground. In their current situation, unless they could walk through walls, they wouldn’t be able to escape. Even if they could walk through walls, Xiao Xia wouldn’t be willing to do so. All the wooden mannequins in the store windows had transformed, their faces those of opera performers with evil grins. They seemed to be summoning her.

She didn’t know if they were illusions or if the yakshas had brought helpers. Regardless, she didn’t want to get close to those windows!

“Oh, there’s actually a man who spirits cannot approach!” Three-inch golden lotus laughed lightly. “Really quite the looker too!”

“Aw, shucks!” Wan Li remained calm in the face of the unexpected. “How did our Xiao Xia end up provoking you guys?” He looked down at Xiao Xia as he spoke. “Little troublemaker, what did you end up provoking this time? You didn’t even say anything when we asked.”

“It’s not my fault!” Xiao Xia felt incredibly wronged. “I didn’t do anything. I ran into a “gambling god” and worked for him for three weeks before running off. Is that not allowed?”

“You’re certain?”

“Couldn’t be more certain!”

“Then why did you run off?”

“Because she saw something she shouldn’t have. Because she slipped through our fingers.” Ordinary shoes answered coldly.

“That’s right. We initially thought she was an enemy spy. Afterwards we realized she wasn’t, but she actually found out about our existence. Although she knows some magic, we have to pull out weeds by the roots!” Three-inch golden lotus said.

“See, I said it wasn’t me.” Xiao Xia spread her arms, her brows furrowed. “I’m just innately unlucky, a natural bad luck charm! What should we do now?”

“A bad luck charm is still a charm.” Wan Li laughed. He was still able to laugh so handsomely, so calmly in such a situation. “Don’t be scared.”

Don’t be scared? Easier said than done! Xiao Xia grumbled to herself. Her five elements spells were useless against the two yakshas. Besides, she hadn’t brought her talismans along. Although Wan Li had his repellant constitution, he would still be in danger if their opponents used spells.

The question was how did the two yakshas find this place? She was certain she had shaken them off!

Three-inch golden lotus started giggling, the shrill sound echoing through the street. It was as if she was present in every corner. “This man is really interesting. I really want to spare you. Unfortunately, my little sis won’t agree.” She dragged the last word out, and shook her hand at the same time. Her crimson qipao revealed flowing sleeves that were usually only seen on stage.

Yet the sleeves were pale green with specks of glowing white light. It contained an indescribable yin aura as it shot over. It headed towards Xiao Xia, but right as it reached her it suddenly turned onto Wan Li.

Wan Li was immediately tangled up. Xiao Xia hurriedly grabbed at him but only felt his clothes slip through her fingers. She watched as he was pulled next to Three inch golden lotus’s side, and couldn’t help but panic. She had no talismans and couldn’t use the five elements spell. The only thing she could use was the minor spell Ruan Zhan had taught her previously. Without hesitation, she picked up a stone from beneath the nearby tree and threw it with all her strength.

“Strength from Mt. Tai, stone general, strike!”

This spell technically required a talisman as well, but it wasn’t absolutely necessary. Along with her having cultivated for several months, it actually succeeded.

The stone flew from her hand, shooting straight at Three-inch golden lotus. Because it was a spell, and because her sleeves were busy with Wan Li, the stone struck straight onto her pale white face. It passed through her incorporeal figure and flew a long distance before landing.

Three-inch golden lotus let out a scream and instantly vanished, but the fire on her chest did not go out. A cluster of flames could be seen, dancing about in the dark. It gradually reached the end of the street. A gust of wind blew at the flames, which seemed on the verge of being extinguished yet still remained burning. It looked extremely tragic.

The moment Wan Li got free, he immediately called for Xiao Xia. She understood his intentions and swiftly ran to him, planning on escaping from the side Three-inch golden lotus had vacated. There was a police station just past the street. They could use the baleful aura there as shelter, at least buying some time to call for help.

The burning flames told Xiao Xia the only reason her stone damaged Three-inch golden lotus was because Wan Li had struck first. The yaksha knew Wan Li had brimming yang aura yet still chose to attack him. She definitely assumed her powerful mana would prevent Wan Li’s yang aura from harming her. Yet they didn’t know Wan Li had learned the flaming handprint from Ruan Zhan. Ruan Zhan’s father had said it was extremely suitable for him.

Although Wan Li wasn’t like Ruan Zhan or Bao Da Tong, he was in excellent shape and was also intelligent. It was impossible for him to have gotten hit right away. The reason he got swept away so easily was definitely to close the distance. A flaming handprint from point blank range did more damage.

Three inch golden lotus’s plight was completely due to being surprised. Yet she would soon put out the fires made of mana and pursue them with increased ferocity. Therefore, they needed to use this opportunity to escape!

Besides, they still had another pursuer behind them. Wan Li had realized this issue and prepared another flaming handprint. As Xiao Xia ran over, he threw it out at the same time.

But ordinary shoes was too fast, seemingly catching up to Xiao Xia in an instant. Her entire figure turned into a white face, opening its maw to swallow Xiao Xia.

Wan Li’s flaming handprint arrived but the pair of yakshas were no herbivores. Ordinary shoes seemed to be more powerful than Three-inch golden lotus, and she was also ready for it. A breath of black aura blew out Wan Li’s fire and the giant face above Xiao Xia bit down.

Xiao Xia instinctively ducked, hearing a clack above her head like the sound of snapping bones. Her eyes widened in shock, expecting to see her own blood or perhaps the inside of that yaksha’s mouth. Yet instead she saw the pale face flying into the air in pieces. With a scream, it too vanished.

Then, she felt a strong arm wrap around her waist and a warm hand grab hold of her arm. She was pulled up into a familiar embrace.

“Your wind blade is still more powerful. I want to learn that next time.” Wan Li said.

“You think it’s something anyone can learn? Your the dumbest person I’ve ever seen. How is your flaming handprint so weak despite all that practice? Don’t tell anyone that we’re acquainted!”

Xiao Xia relaxed upon hearing that voice. With Ruan Zhan here, everything would be ok.

She felt herself being gently pushed towards Wan Li. Seeing him drawing glyphs easily with the cool expression on his face once again, Xiao Xia was infatuated. She forgot they were in battle, and also forget her life was hanging on the line a second ago.

The three long months of separation didn’t cause her love to decrease at all. Instead, it had taken root deeper in her heart. Even if he wiped away her memories again, she would definitely not forget him!

The glyph was four-sided with a ripple at the tail. After he was done drawing, Ruan Zhan swiped outwards with two fingers. The two yakshas immediately appeared. They seemed to have been captured and were unable to escape. One had injuries on her chest and forehead while leaking wisps of black smoke. The other was covered in cracks, as if she had temporarily put herself back together. Their appearances had been horrifying weird to begin with, and were now even more malevolent and ruthless.

“Wind blade!”

“It’s him!” Their voices had turned hoarse and their lips didn’t move, so it wasn’t possible to tell who was speaking. But the voices both contained fear and hatred!

“Knowledgeable.” Ruan Zhan was cold. “You’re luck you didn’t manage to hurt her. Otherwise, I guarantee your deaths would be more tragic!”

“Think we’re scared of you?” One of them said. “Since we ran into you, we might as well kill you too!”

Two sets of flowing sleeves shot out at the same time. One pair was pale green while the other was blackish blue with a hint of bloody red. They writhed like four fiendish snakes as they swelled, intertwined and then used each other’s momentum to burst forth.

Ruan Zhan took a few steps forward, standing in front of Wan Li and Xiao Xia. He drew a spiral glyph with one hand that wrapped around the four sleeves like a lasso, preventing them from looping behind him. He shot out four flaming handprints in rapid succession with his other hand.

His flaming handprint was much larger than Wan Li’s so he didn’t need to get close before casting. The fiery aura was also more overwhelming. The four resplendent-looking flowers landed onto the sleeves, making them give off a beautiful glow like that of the sun.

The two yakshas were startled once again, clearly not expecting Ruan Zhan to be so powerful. They hurriedly each blew a breath of black air that encased the flames, trying to extinguish them the same way as Wan Li’s.

Ruan Zhan laughed coldly, not bothering to switch things up. He merely increased his power. The formless lasso wound tighter around the ends of the sleeves, reducing their range of motion. They were like snakes whose weak spots were grabbed as they wriggled in vain. The flaming flowers containing yang aura on their bodies grew larger, passing through the black air. The dazzling glow burned through the middle of the sleeves, severing them!

With a screech, the sleeves fell and turned to ashes, dispersing in the wind.

“What other tricks do you have? Might as well use them all. It’s useless to beg for mercy at this point.” Ruan Zhan’s lips were lightly curled in a disdainful smile, though his words were ruthless. “Since you’ve harmed her, you will pay the corresponding price.”

“Kid, you also have a price to pay. Perhaps it might be even greater!” Their words seemed to imply something but Ruan Zhan didn’t understand. However, he noticed their images grow more powerful, though there were signs of them being spent.

They had turned into two skeletons. They were no longer as giant as the previous white face, but they were faster as they moved in and out of sight. They were encased in a layer of flowing black aura that seemed extremely poisonous. They reached him in the blink of an eye, their dark eye sockets glowing red, seeming about to strike him down.

“Beware their corpse breath!” Ruan Zhan warned. Wan Li and Xiao Xia hurriedly retreated a few steps and covered their mouths and noses.

Ruan Zhan shot out a flaming handprint from each hand, forcing the skeletons back. In the face of the flames, they suddenly vanished. There was a strange humming in the air. Clearly, they were hiding somewhere, waiting to strike again.

“I’ll let you both witness some clever uses of the wind blade!” Ruan Zhan didn’t wait for them to attack. He brought his palms together. When he pulled them apart again, a huge gale swept towards a corner. At the same time, he shot out a lightning palm.

Two skeletons suddenly appeared in the initially empty corner. They tumbled within the gale, looking like clothes in a washing machine from the distance. They seemed to realize the terror of this wind and the danger they were in. They desperately tried to escape, barging in every direction to no avail.

Strangely, the scene was limited to that corner. There wasn’t the slightest bit of wind elsewhere, as if all the wind had been used up and gathered at that spot.

“There is always a price to pay for harming others.” Ruan Zhan said coldly, or even cruelly, as he watched, not letting up at all.

“Really?” One of the skeletons resumed its original appearance. It ignored its plight as it approached Ruan Zhan, struggling to remain within two meters. It revealed a smile of Schadenfreude. “Then will such a great villain also have a price to pay?”

“What are you saying?” Ruan Zhan had some doubts. He relaxed his hands, wanting to hear them clearly.

“You are Ruan Tian Yi’s son?” The horrifying face threw out the most horrifying words. “Would you say the same thing when you see the price your dad has to pay?”

“What are you saying?” Ruan Zhan asked again. His hands shook and he almost lost control of the gale, narrowly avoiding a lamp post.

“We have an irreconcilable grudge with your dad! Killing you today would be a mercy. Otherwise, if you end up wiping us out, who knows how you’re going to face your dad in the future? You are both heretics! Hahahaha….” She laughed maniacally as she spoke.

“Truly, enemies often meet! We actually met Ruan Tian Yi’s son!” The other yaksha also started laughing from within the gale.

“Just who are you people?”

“We won’t say.” That face’s appearance became more malicious. “We’ll keep you in the dark, kid. Ignorance is bliss after all!”

“Fine, I’ll force it out of you.” Ruan Zhan grew angry as he increased his strength. The lightning palm hidden within the gale suddenly appeared, shooting towards the skeletons like a small dragon!

“If we die, you will never know the truth!” One of the yakshas called while the other suddenly conjured up Father Ruan’s face.

He couldn’t act against his own father. No matter how he hated him, that was someone who raised him!

He instinctively withdrew the fatal blow. However, the force had been too great. Suddenly withdrawing it meant redirecting its power, and he couldn’t let it hurt his friend and the person in his heart. Therefore, the windows on the side and his own body took the brunt of his attack.

With a muffled groan and the sound of shattering windows, Ruan Zhan spat out a mouthful of blood and fell to the floor, heavily injured. The last of the gale also sent Xiao Xia and Wan Li flying. Piercing intruder alarms started ringing!

The two yakshas, now free of the suppression, hurriedly fled seeing that Ruan Zhan was unable to pursue them!

“Grab him and leave, quickly.” Wan Li helped Xiao Xia up. “There will be trouble if the police arrive!”

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