Chapter 12: Recollections, Part 1

“Li Jing Ming. You are no longer under its control for the moment. Tell me what’s going on. I will help you.” Xiao Xia said earnestly.

Li Jing Ming looked at them in bewilderment, seeming in disbelief.

“This is a high priest I invited over. He was the one who temporarily helped you escape its control. However, this ghost is powerful and we can only suppress it for a while. If you don’t tell me now, I won’t be able to help you. Only after speaking can we figure out how to deal with it. Are you willing to allow it to bully you after harming your whole family?”

He was a high priest she invited over? She was really good at making things up. No wonder lawyers charged a fee even for speaking. Despite her poor ability, she was actually able to make up such a convincing story. These thoughts ran through Ruan Zhan’s mind.

However, Li Jing Ming still didn’t dare to believe her so easily.

“Didn’t you ask for my help last time?” Xiao Xia spoke urgently. “If you don’t make the effort yourself, no one else can help you. You may not care about what happens to you, but what about your son? It tried to harm your son a few days ago.”

These words stimulated Li Jing Ming. He suddenly raised his head, startling Xiao Xia. She thought he was being controlled once again.

“Who are you?” Li Jing Ming asked, his voice so low and hoarse it was almost inaudible.

“Who am I? I’m your lawyer Yue Xiao Xia. I’ve already introduced myself several times.”

“Give me your hand.”

“What for?” Xiao Xia subconsciously hid her hand behind her back. Yeah right, buddy. She wasn’t going to fall for it again. Last time the ghostly handprint left her in pain for three days. It was still bruised even now.

“It can turn into anything and anyone. It could turn into you, or this table, this chair, or even this priest. I have to be sure it hasn’t turned into you to trick me.” Li Jing Ming whispered as though scared of being overheard. His demeanor creeped her out. She turned and looked at Ruan Zhan. Under his encouragement, she hesitantly stretched her hand towards Li Jing Ming.

Li Jing Ming suddenly grabbed her hand. The ice-cold and rigid feeling made Xiao Xia pull back with all her strength. She almost screamed. Luckily, Ruan Zhan held her shoulders so she didn’t faint on the spot.

“You done verifying yet?”

“You are real.” Li Jing Ming released Xiao Xia, his tears suddenly welling up. “You believe me.”

“Of course I do. It also tried to harm me.”

“But it has never left. How did it try to harm you?”

“Could there be another one? Or…” Xiao Xia looked at Ruan Zhan.

He shook his head. “I’ll explain it to you later. There isn’t much time. I suggest hearing what your suspect has to say.”

“That’s right, you should speak first. Tell us how you provoked it, how it harmed you, what’s going on with this case and why it harmed you. Go over everything in detail.” They didn’t have the time to coddle Li Jing Ming and could only get to the point.

“Tell me first how my son is doing.”

“If you’re asking about his body, I can only say he’s in recovery but has yet to wake up. However, a few days ago, it controlled your son’s unconscious body to cut a nurse’s head off.”

Xiao Xia’s words stunned Li Jing Ming. He stared at her as though not daring to believe her words.

“I knew it! It wasn’t lying to me. Not only did it make me commit evil, it also wants my whole family to die, down to the last person! I knew it! I knew it!”

“Calm down, or you won’t have any chance at all!” Ruan Zhan curbed the emotional Li Jing Ming.

“That’s right!” Xiao Xia pressed onwards, “Since you know it wants to thoroughly harm you, aren’t you going to resist? If not for anyone, then how about for your son. He’s only fifteen, and still has his whole life ahead of him. No one can predict the future. Perhaps your son will bring about a miracle. Helping yourself means helping him!”

Xiao Xia’s words gave Li Jing Ming a trace of hope. Although it was weak, a parent’s unconditional love for his son gave his despairing heart some courage. “Yes. Even if I have to risk it all, I won’t let it harm Shu Lun again.” This was the most determined he had been since the event. He started recollecting the hellish things that happened in the last few weeks.

“This needs to be told starting from my upper-class family. I used to be a teacher in an impoverished rural village in the northwest. During a commendation ceremony for outstanding teachers, I met my wife. At that time, I was the representative for rural teachers while she was one of the outstanding teachers being commended. You can’t imagine what the conditions were like in the countryside. I can only say that I was willing to do anything to be transferred to the city. That convention was my only opportunity. I’m someone without wealth or looks, let alone any significant background. As for my wife, although her appearance was ordinary and her character shrewish and domineering, without much luck in love, she was still from a major city and an outstanding teacher. I never imagined I would somehow catch her eye. Regardless, I felt overwhelmed by her favor. Soon, I married into their household. Her parents were very influential within the city’s Department of Education, so not only did I get my wish of remaining in the city, I also got a pretty good job in the city’s Third Middle School. Everyone thought I lucked out and struck it big. However, no one knew that her family looked down on me a lot. Back then, it was due to my wife’s forceful personality that she was able to bring me into the family. At first she treated me well, but soon she started acting like the rest of her family. Sometimes I think maybe my in-laws had high expectations of my wife. She was a very capable person. However, in a twist of fate, she had chosen me and ended up becoming mediocre. Perhaps she ended up regretting it but she had already given birth to Shu Lun. She’s also especially proud, and wasn’t willing to admit she was mistaken and divorce me. Ultimately, my existence was a disappointment to the entire family, and resulted in this oppressive environment back home.”

Li Jing Ming paused for a bit and continued: “I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, but at this point there isn’t really anything I can’t say. I’m sure you guys have heard of domestic violence. Don’t think that only women can be victims. At least, in my household, I was the one being abused. At the slightest disagreement, my wife would pinch, choke, kick and hit me. Verbal abuse and emotional abuse was also par for the course. Don’t assume teachers are saints. It’s just a profession. They could do their jobs well but it didn’t mean they were respectable people. Someone timid like me isn’t manly to begin with. Along with feeling that I wasn’t worthy of her, and that I was a level lower, I submitted myself to this humiliating life for the past couple of decades. She also became even more extreme. Not only did I have to obey her every word, I didn’t even have any control over my own finances. We worked at the same school and my monthly salary went to her. I don’t even know the password to my own debit card. Forget about sending my mom back home some money, I couldn’t even send her a letter without asking my wife for the stamp money. I let my mom down. She had been widowed at a young age, and after finally raising me, I was an ingrate and coward who lusted after comfort and ran off to the city by myself, leaving her behind in the countryside. I didn’t have the ability to bring her over, even for just a single day. Once, she missed me too much and came to visit me with various local specialties. However, she was indirectly scolded by my in-laws and ended up being forced to return that very night. She cried the entire time at the station, and even stuffed me two hundred bucks. Do you guys know how long it took her to save that much? And in the end? My wife confiscated it and bought her mother a silk shirt! Imagine that! This household of teachers, what saints!”

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