Book 8 Chapter 5: Hanged Ghost

In the mirror, the reflection of a young woman wearing fine silk pajamas appeared. Her hair was kind of messy, her face pale and still stained by tears. It was her own reflection.

She still held the talisman with one hand as she stroked her hair with the other. She only relaxed after seeing her reflection doing the same movements. But if she was the only one in the mirror and there was nothing else around, it meant she was alone in the bathroom. Then where had the shower noise come from?!

She turned to look at the showerhead. It seemed to have been just turned off, with water still dripping onto the ground, making the dripping sounds that echoed in the empty bathroom.

There really was no one else inside, unless…it was someone invisible!

She shifted her feet and suddenly felt a chill underfoot. Looking down, she noticed the drain was completely blocked. Cold water had accumulated on the ground and she had stepped into it with her bare foot. The water had appeared too suddenly and was especially chilly. An uncomfortable and numbing sensation spread from her foot, causing her body to tense up.

Furthermore, despite being alone, she kept getting the feeling something was behind her!

Something was definitely wrong here! Although she didn’t have a Yinyang Eye, she had experienced too many supernatural events, and had long since started being able to sense certain things!

Something seemed to flash near the corner of her eyes. She wasn’t able to see it clearly, but something was definitely moving behind her. Xiao Xia’s heart clenched as she realized it was the source of the bathroom’s weirdness! She froze before slowly walking forward a few steps, the water swishing underfoot. Then, she suddenly turned around.

A woman was stroking her hair in the mirror.

The face was her own, but she knew that wasn’t her! She had been getting more and more afraid, and was currently holding the talisman with one hand while the other hand braced her wrist. She didn’t have a third hand to stroke her hair with! Those movements where hers from a minute ago. The mirror was unexpectedly replaying that scene.

Shocked, she stared blankly at the image. At that moment, another head poked out from behind her. It was like it grew from her shoulder. Long hair, bleeding from every orifice, tongue hanging out and a pair of resentful eyes!

At the same time, her reflection in the mirror changed, turning into that “woman”!

“Restrict!”

Xiao Xia finally chanted the final word in the spell, pointing forcefully towards the mirror. With a crack that shattered the darkness, the mirror split into pieces, the shards exploding towards Xiao Xia like bullets.

She didn’t move, allowing the broken glass to shoot past her like small flying daggers, striking the area behind her. When the mournful screaming stopped, she slowly turned around. The shards were all stuck into the wall opposite the mirror, forming an indistinct human shape. The shape was covered in spots of brown that looked to be congealed blood!

Xiao Xia copied Bao Da Tong and formed a hand seal. She actually didn’t know how to use it, and was merely acting in order to scare her opponent.  She knew that “woman” hadn’t left yet. If she ran now, she would leave herself open to a counterattack.

“Who are you?” She asked loudly.

The response came as a sudden sob.

“What do you want?” She suppressed her shivers upon hearing the crying and asked again.

“Wash….damn filthy….wash…” A woman’s voice came intermittently.

Wash? Was that “woman” just here to shower, and not to harm her? Was she just unlucky, and ended up coincidentally encountering these weird events? But did spirits need to shower? Or had she done something related to showering while she was alive, or had she really needed a shower?

Xiao Xia hadn’t figured out what to ask next yet when water suddenly burst from the tap. Xiao Xia was quite some distance away and it shouldn’t have reached her, but the faucet seemed to have angled itself towards her. Xiao Xia was completely soaked. The sudden shock caused her false courage to instantly collapse.

She instinctively ran to the door, casting another water spell at the same time. She had only one talisman and her hand seal was also fake. However, since she was using the water spell and there happened to be a bunch of water, she was actually able to use the spell. A small spout of water formed, shooting towards the human figure.

With a crack, the ceramic wall was split by the seemingly weak water spout. The “woman” cried out again, the shards of glass falling to the floor. They floated in the water that was pooled on the ground!

“You are an accomplice.” That “woman” yelled resentfully. “You will die miserably!” Her scream became shrill, not only forcing Xiao Xia to cover her ears but even shattering the bathroom lights, plunging the surroundings into darkness!

Splash…

The sound of water suddenly rang out, rippled lightly brushing against Xiao Xia’s ankles. It told her something had also stepped into the water, and was approaching her step by step. She couldn’t see anything in the dark. Only the floating shards of glass glimmered with faint light. They looked more like eyes that glared at her from every angle!

“Filthy…I want to shower…you are an accomplice…” The woman’s voice echoed in the darkness.

Xiao Xia almost fainted from fear, but she maintained her last bit of consciousness. Gritting her teeth, she took a large step to her right, groping blindly towards the predetermined location. The table lamp by the bathroom door suddenly turned on. Warm yellow light illuminated a small hemisphere, driving away part of the darkness.

Xiao Xia used the light to sprint back to the bad, pulling out a large stack of talismans from the bedside table. She randomly took one and aimed it towards the darkness.

“Whoever you are, whatever your grievances, please stay away from me. I can’t help you!” The metal element talisman in her hand gave her some courage, but her voice still sounded a little timid. “If you bother me again, don’t blame me for being impolite!”

No one responded. However, the sound of water came from the bathroom again.

Xiao Xia sat on the bed and hesitated for a while. She wondered if she should wait for daylight or go to the bathroom and drive her away. She heard rumors about some hotels being haunted, but she had always assumed those were the smaller and older ones. Who would have thought paranormal activity could also occur in five star hotels? She didn’t know whether her luck was just awful or her birthdate was truly so inauspicious. Whatever the case, these things always happened to her. Now that man was no longer by her side, so she was powerless to help no matter how unjust the case was. Yet if this was an evil spirit seeking to do harm, she would have to deal with it herself!

Making up her mind, she got up and cautiously approached the bathroom door. Raising the talisman, she chanted,“Vajra body, Buddha’s warding aura, dispel evil!”

This time, she ruthlessly made up her mind to defend herself. Therefore, her heart and mind were both focused. Once the spell was cast, a burst of clanging noises rang out from the bathroom. A faint golden glow flashed within and the numbing and chilling feeling inside completely vanished.

Xiao Xia let out a long breath, knowing that the “woman” had left. She wearily turned on all the lights in the room and returned to the bedside. Randomly pulling on a shirt, she thought about what to do.

Based on the might of her five element spells, the bathroom was definitely damaged. Getting charged for it was no problem. He Fu Gui was very casual about money anyway. She had been left to arrange everything during their trip, including the various expenses. But should she tell He Fu Gui about this matter? If she were to tell him, how should she phrase it? He Fu Gui seemed intent on staying here a few days. If she didn’t say anything, should she at least change rooms? What would her excuse be? Even if she moved to a different room, would the female ghost leave her alone?

Xiao Xia finally decided to tell He Fu Gui what had happened for her own safety. She had seen him light incense and pray, although his object of worship was weirdly a pair of embroidered shoes. He even offered a bowl of rice mixed with animal blood. It was clear he was extremely superstitious. If she told him about the female ghost who wanted a shower, he might leave immediately. That way she would be able to avoid this matter.

The man who had broken her heart had once said spirits couldn’t stray far without a vessel.

Having come to a decision, she felt a little more at ease. She inadvertently glanced towards the curtains. Her thoughts suddenly stirred. She stood up and walked to the window. After mustering up her courage, she pulled the curtains open slightly and peeked outside.

Outside the window was the hotel’s amenity area. There was an enormous swimming pool surrounded by beautiful flora. It was the middle of the night so there weren’t many people around. Yet Xiao Xia still noticed something weird at a glance.

A woman was hanging in the tree across from her window. Her body hung limply like a cloth bag, swaying in the autumn breeze. As Xiao Xia was peeking, she happened to turn around!

Xiao Xia’s room was on the fifteenth floor and she was also a little nearsighted. Spotting the hanged woman should have been a struggle to begin with, yet at that moment, she was actually even able to see the face clearly: long hair, bloody orifices, hanging tongue, it was the “woman” from the bathroom!

Shocked, Xiao Xia hurriedly hid behind the curtains. However, she felt she would miss something and peeked out again!

The hanged woman’s eyes had initially been closed. Yet they suddenly opened at that moment. Her bloodless lips moved as if she was saying something, yet Xiao Xia couldn’t hear or understand her.

Ding dong…

Someone rang the doorbell, causing her to jump. She leapt for the bed to grab the talismans. While she scrambled, there was a splitting knocking against the door.

“Honored guest, please open up. Did something happen?”

It turned out to be a staff member!

“Honored guest, we’re coming in!” The man’s voice rang out again.

Xiao Xia hurriedly called out in response, stuffing the talismans into her bag. She had just finished when the door was opened.

Seeing Xiao Xia standing by the bed looking panicked, her clothes in disarray and her hair still dripping wet, the male staff in charge of security seemed a little confused. He glanced at the woman next to him, whom Xiao Xia recognized as some sort of manager.

“Excuse me, Miss Yue, right?” The women was very professional and knew Xiao Xia’s name. “Apologies for disturbing you. Our staff heard very loud noises coming from this room. The guests next door also heard strange noises. To confirm Miss Yue’s safety, we came to check things out. Did you need any assistance, Miss Yue?”

Xiao Xia glanced towards the door, seeing three security guards behind the two people. Outside, several guests were also poking their heads out curiously. She realized how startling the noises from the bathroom had been and decided to go along with it.

“I don’t now. I was asleep and suddenly heard water coming from the bathroom. I went to look and the shower turned on by itself, soaking me in water!” Xiao Xia recalled, her fear completely authentic. She vented all the unease she had felt earlier. “I ran out in fear and then heard another loud noise coming from the bathroom. I don’t know what happened!” The last part was a lie, but her expression completely convinced the staff.

“Are you injured?” The female manager glanced at the open bathroom door and gestured at the security guards. The three immediately got into formation and surrounded the bathroom doorway. The bathroom only had one entrance, and wasn’t connected to the outside. As long as the doorway was guarded, if there was a culprit inside, they definitely couldn’t get out.

“I’m fine, but the lights in there suddenly exploded.” Xiao Xia recalled the shattered glass, with an eye reflected inside each piece, and couldn’t help but shiver. “This is too weird. Is your hotel perhaps…unclean?”

Xiao Xia’s honest appearance also scared the female manager, but she knew the door was still open and worried about the hotel’s reputation. She hurriedly gave the security officer a glance.

“I’ll send someone to investigate. It might very well be some electronics malfunctioning. As you know, it’s possible for switches and taps to malfunction. If that is the case, let me apologize on the hotel’s behalf for the fright, Miss Yue. We will definitely give you an explanation.”

She spoke expertly and the security officer hurriedly dispersed the other customers at the same time. Xiao Xia heard him tell the others that due to operator error, the bathroom lights had blown out. Then, he spoke into his walkie talkie before returning to take charge of the “investigation”.

The results were as Xiao Xia expected. After the light bulbs were replaced, the staff discovered a mess in the bathroom. The mirror was shattered, the pieces falling far away. It was physically impossible to explain. The walls and floor were covered with gashes. The extent of the damage definitely wasn’t something the delicate Miss Yue was capable of.

“I also heard a women’s voice saying she wanted to shower. No one…died here before, right?” Xiao Xia added some fire to the staff members’ doubts.

Everyone at the scene turned pale. No one had died at the hotel before, but Miss Yue didn’t seem to be lying and the scene was there for them to see. Could it be a haunting?

“Let us give you a new room so you can rest properly first.” The situation was too sudden and abnormal. The shrewd and capable female manager and the tough-looking security officer also didn’t know how to handle it. They could only try and remedy things first. “But we must ask that you not spread word about this matter for now. Our hotel’s service has always been good. If our reputation gets ruined due to some malfunctioning electronics, we…we ask for your understanding. Once we discuss things, we will give you a satisfactory resolution.”

Xiao Xia knew it wasn’t their fault so she didn’t make things difficult for them. She straightforwardly agreed and immediately changed rooms. Once everything was done, the sky was brightening. She happened to run into the excited and tired He Fu Gui returning with his four bodyguards.

“What happened?” He Fu Gui asked.

Xiao Xia felt the bodyguards didn’t need to know about this matter and pulled him to the side, speaking in his ear, “I encountered a ghost.”

He Fu Gui immediately stiffened. At the same time, Xiao Xia felt a wave of discomfort and dizziness. She felt it was extremely cold near He Fu Gui’s ear, as if something was blowing wind next to it. His reaction also seemed a little too extreme.

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