Xiao Xia opened the box and saw that it was the failsafe Ruan Zhan used last time when he went to investigate her house. It was said to be very powerful.
“If you give this to me, what are you going to use?” This was the first time she felt she might be a burden.
“I’m just scouting things out today, not going for a death match. Furthermore, we still don’t know if it’s even that strong!” Ruan Zhan comforted Xiao Xia and then grabbed his things. “I’m heading out. Don’t wander about. If you are really too curious, you can close the lights and peek from the dark. Don’t let anything sense you. No matter what you see, don’t go outside. Otherwise, it’s got nothing to do with me if you get scared to death.”
Xiao Xia watched him leave before closing the lights and using the binoculars to look out the window. The paper box was held tightly in her hand. After a while, she saw Ruan Zhan unhurriedly appear by the river. He put on the equipment and dived into the water.
At this time, a cloud covered the moon that had already been a sliver. It was completely dark outside the window. The river surface was calm and indistinct.
Xiao Xia waited uneasily. A little over an hour passed and the clock showed two in the morning. Ruan Zhan never resurfaced, as though swallowed by the dark river waters. She started getting extremely anxious.
Was there enough oxygen in the tank to last this long? Or….
Suddenly, she felt her back tingle as though something was approaching her. Then, a piercing sound unexpectedly drilled into her ear, making her heart pound furiously. She leapt towards the bed and grabbed her phone, which was making the noise.
It was Wan Li!
“Why are you calling so late at night!?” Xiao Xia said grumpily. She would’ve turned her phone off if she knew!
“Has the equipment arrived?”
“It has. What are you up to, calling to ask about this in the middle of the night?”
“Ah Zhan went into the river?”
“That’s right! If you’re just here to chat, I’m going to hang up.”
“Wait.” Wan Li hurriedly stopped her. “Li Shu Lun suddenly woke up today.”
He woke up? That was wonderful news, but why did Wan Li’s voice sound so grave, as though something serious had happened?
“After he awoke, he miraculously made a complete recovery. Then, he insisted on seeing his dad.” Wan Li continued speaking. Xiao Xia had a bad premonition. “They agreed and father and son ended up meeting. Afterwards, Li Jing Ming suddenly fell unconscious and Li Shu Lun fell into a coma again that night at the hospital. The strange thing is that Li Jing Ming breathes, but his heart isn’t beating. After further examination, they realized his chest was empty.”
“What does that mean?” Xiao Xia asked in a quivering voice.
“It means his heart is gone.”
Hearing this, Xiao Xia’s heart froze over.
Did Li Jing Ming lie to her, or was there some other weird development? Was he human or ghost? Should she not have leapt to conclusions so quickly? She didn’t dare trust her intuition anymore.
“So it has become whole?” She blamed herself incessantly for not having anticipated changes to come from Li Shu Lun’s side.
“Why did you only notify me now!?”
“I only found out around eight in the evening. The moment Xiao Wang told me, I was knocked unconscious by a bookshelf suddenly tipping over in my house. I only woke up just now.”
“Are you ok?”
“I’m fine, but Ah Zhan is in trouble. If I’m not mistaken, it has already gone back but Ah Zhan is currently in the water.”
“It must be stopped.”
“You can’t!” Wan Li heard the meaning in Xiao Xia’s tone and hurriedly tried to stop her. However, Xiao Xia’s phone suddenly cut off and some movement outside the window prevented her from saying anything else. She ran over and peeked outside.
She was completely focused on the river outside and didn’t notice that the door she had locked earlier had suddenly opened wide. At this time, the river was filled with an abnormal aura. Even though Xiao Xia didn’t have Yin Yang Eyes, and didn’t have so-called “abilities”, she could still sense it.
Within that tranquil scene, only the spot where Ruan Zhan had dived down was shrouded in darkness. The river was unmoving, and seemed lifeless under the pale moonlight.
Suddenly, the dark miasma started spinning as though stirred by heavy winds. However, the surroundings were completely still. The changes were isolated to that location. Then, the surface of the water became a large whirlpool, stretching towards the depths.
That vengeful spirit had gone to find Ruan Zhan. She had to do something! This was inadvertently caused by her. She couldn’t let Ruan Zhan who wasn’t expecting this take the fall!
This knowledge made Xiao Xia involuntarily lean outside the window. A pair of ghostly hands unexpectedly grabbed her by the collar. Xiao Xia subconsciously retreated in shock, but the hands didn’t seem to be trying to pull her from the second floor. Instead, she ended up falling onto the bed behind her. Only then did Xiao Xia realize something wasn’t right.
The room was too cold for the summer and the surroundings were weirdly still. The only thing she heard was her own heartbeat. A chill and dampness quietly circulated in the air, chilling her bones. Her room door was wide open and a woman in red with scattered hair stood there holding a tiny skeleton. Her face was pale and swollen, as though having soaked for a century. Water continuously dripped from her long hair and her tongue hung out far. Something glowed eerily in her eye sockets. The skeleton in her arms belonged to a child. There were only bones left of it apart from a pair of weirdly bright eyes that stared at Xiao Xia.
This was the first time Xiao Xia saw a ghost in her life. Her cry was choked up in the throat! She stared at the female ghost and didn’t dare to move a muscle. Only when the female ghost drifted forward did Xiao Xia startle and lean against the wall.
“Come…with…me…” The female ghost said, her voice shrill and quavering. It was like someone who was freezing cold was speaking to her from a distance but also right by her ear. Then, it spun on its heels and floated out.
Her sudden words made Xiao Xia even more frightened, her heart almost stopping. How would she dare to follow it? However, other noises sounded out in the room. There was sobbing, the sound of chattering teeth, knocking and sighing, as though there was a large crowd of spirits with her in the room. They gradually approached until they crowded around her. This made Xiao Xia feel that it was better to run outside. Furthermore, she recalled that Ruan Zhan was in danger and she needed to help him.
If she died, so be it!
Xiao Xia braced herself, gritted her teeth and followed. She didn’t know where the female ghost wanted to take her. She merely followed her subconsciously. Slowly, the female ghost led her towards the river. In the faint starlight, she was no longer able to see the female ghost’s appearance, and merely felt a dark shadow walking continuously in front of her. That infant’s eyes were like two eerie little lamps that swayed in the darkness, staring at her continuously.
She followed step by step, and almost fell over several times. Only now did she realize that although the river seemed close from the inn, getting there required several twists and turns through narrow alleys. She felt she had walked a long time before finally sensing the river. However, she felt herself stepping on nothing and directly fell into the river.
She despaired as she thought she was about to die. Strangely, she wasn’t that scared at this moment. Then, she quickly realized that despite continuously sinking deeper into the river, she didn’t feel any pressure or difficulty breathing. She randomly flailed her limbs using her mediocre swimming skills and was able to control her direction and head forwards. It was like she was surrounded by a large bubble.
At this moment, the female ghost was nowhere to be seen. Only a blood-red skirt floated faintly discernibly in front of her, leading her onwards as though it wanted to take her somewhere. Either due to fear or due to space in “this place” being different, Xiao Xia felt she walked for a very long time. Finally, she felt as if a set of doors were pushed open and she walked out of the darkness onto the riverbed that was brightly lit as though it were daytime.