Xiao Xia found the Nocturnal Revenant bar that night.
Actually, she was skeptical of Wan Li’s words. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in such legends, but despite hearing a lot about communicating with the dead, she had never seen it with her own eyes.
However, she was also a little curious. Furthermore, whenever she was by herself, snippets of her case would flash through her mind. She was unable to dispel such thoughts as though it was her heart demon. If Wan Li was telling the truth, she was also hoping someone could free her from her fetters.
Along the way, she had been wondering what the man called Ruan Zhan was like. Wan Li hadn’t told her anything at all and acted all mysterious. Therefore, she didn’t enter the bar directly, and peeked from the door like a petty thief.
The bar was located on the bottom floor of a large building, and occupied two stories. However, it was likely only the first floor was used for business. The inside wasn’t too large, but it was stylish despite its simplicity. The décor and layout gave off a bit of a strange vibe. During peak hours, it couldn’t be called packed with people but there was still a sizeable crowd. Furthermore, most of the customers were women of all ages. The seats at the bar were pretty much completely filled. A thin, tall and sturdy man was behind the counter with his back to the door as he busied himself methodically.
Xiao Xia couldn’t see his face but she could feel that he was the main attraction here. The women by the bar without male companions were all like sunflowers. Apart from this, there were another two young male servers who were entertaining the customers. Xiao Xia could see them. They were unequivocally handsome.
This couldn’t be a secret women’s brothel, right!? Xiao Xia’s mind was dirty as she hesitated over whether or not to enter.
“Are you going in or not?” A woman’s voice sounded behind her. Due to Xiao Xia being on edge lately, the sudden voice startled her into turning around.
A woman around thirty stood there. She was delicate and elegant, the look of a capable woman written over her face.
“Really sorry for startling you, little sis, but you’re blocking the door.”
“Sorry.” Xiao Xia apologized. She knew her baby face often caused people to mistake her age. The woman in front of her probably thought she was a college student filled with fantasies of love while peeping at handsome men.
“First time here? Since you’ve come, let’s go inside together.” The woman invited Xiao Xia, “Did a friend recommend this place?”
“I suppose so.” Xiao Xia replied ambiguously and followed the woman into the bar.
At this time, the boss happened to turn around. Seeing customers come in, he was slightly distracted by the unfamiliar face. Then, he smiled and nodded in greeting.
“Hi, Ah Zhan.” The woman greeted him familiarly. She was clearly a frequent customer. She saw the bar had no open seats and randomly found a place to sit. Xiao Xia followed mechanically but her attention was focused on observing the man called Ruan Zhan.
Ruan Zhan felt a gaze focused upon him.
He was already used to being stared at by women. However, this new customer’s gaze was filled with curiosity and a hint of mistrust. This was very unusual. Her condition when she walked in also surprised him a little, though he hoped he was mistaken.
However, his biggest principle was to mind his own business. Therefore, he immediately cleared his mind and continued making cocktails.
“The boss here has a charm that sweeps away the ladies, but there’s no need to stare until your eyes fall out, right?” The woman teased Xiao Xia.
“Ah? Was I that obvious?”
“Then I’ll restrain myself a little.”
This whatever Ruan Zhan was completely different from what she pictured.
In her mind, those who can communicate with spirits were all pale, with a wise and philosophical appearance that contained a hint of edginess. At the least they would evoke a bit of reverence. Although this was a little exaggerated, she still believed that those were their special characteristics. If they weren’t a little abnormal, how could they interact with the supernatural?!
But the man in front of her gave off a calm and steady vibe, looking cultured and refined. A pair of frameless glasses rested on his handsome face, obscuring the lines of his features. His medium-length hair was fashionably casual. He didn’t wear a tie with his simple white dress shirt, making him look clean and relaxed. He was firm yet not effeminate, and along with his gentle and faint smile, he could contend for the spot of the “mythical perfect man”, but seemed a little too “plain” to be a “spirit medium”.
The entire room of women might have some interest in the bar’s boss, but her heart was actually filled with disappointment. It seems the astute Wan Li had also been tricked. At least, he had exaggerated things, causing her to make a useless trip. However, she still forgave him. Men were all a little childish at times.
She stood up and wanted to leave but that woman stopped her, “Leaving after just getting here? Since we had a chance encounter, might as well sit a while. Don’t you like the boss?”
“I like the boss?”
“Don’t you? Why else would you stare at him the moment you came in? No need to be shy. Most people here are regulars from the office buildings nearby. They all come because they like the boss.”
“I can tell. He’s really good at doing business.” Xiao Xia looked at Ruan Zhan who was mingling with the customers as she said sourly.
Hearing her meaningful and disdainful tone, the woman hurriedly said: “Did you misunderstand something or are you jealous? Didn’t the friend who told you about this place mention it? This isn’t that kind of place, and we aren’t here for those kinds of people. Although it is true that the boss and the servers here are all handsome.”
“Sorry, that isn’t what I meant.”
“It’s fine. To be honest, there probably are people here looking to pick up the guys. However, I think the majority are here just to drink and chat. It’s nice to have a decent place to relax after a long day outside.”
“This place is indeed decent. The music is also good.”
“Most importantly, the people are good.” The woman waved and smiled at the boss who looked over. “However, if you want to woo the boss, you’d provoke the crowd’s fury. He’s the ideal lover for this group of female customers. Whether they are single or not, they all like him. It’s no surprise. He’s a rarity in this world who’s good at understanding others, a refined and polite gentleman. He is kind to everyone.”
Was he really that good? Xiao Xia was very doubtful. Although she was muddle-headed normally, she was a very good judge of people. She could often make an accurate judgment instantly. Perhaps she had good intuition. She felt this Ruan Zhan’s character was definitely not what he was currently expressing. Why can’t those women see that?! She also didn’t understand why this unfamiliar woman looked astute yet was so chatty. Perhaps she was relaxing after being cooped up the entire day, or perhaps she could only be herself in front of strangers.
Xiao Xia perfunctorily agreed with the woman’s words but started observing the man behind the bar unrestrainedly once again.
Good at understanding others? Perhaps. But his gaze seemed to penetrate the mind, which would make people uneasy. Refined and polite? Certainly! However, he was in reality treating others with cold indifference, preventing anyone from getting close. A gentleman’s demeanor? That’s right! However, no matter how one looked, it seemed he was keeping everyone at a distance. Was he kind to everyone? Possibly. However, this meant he treated everyone the same way, and never treated anyone too well. No one was important to him. Was there anything more unfeeling?
This man looked gentle and considerate on the surface, but was actually cold and detached. He was very reserved and aloof. Even if he did have the ability to communicate with spirits, he probably wouldn’t easily help others. Therefore, she didn’t want to keep wasting her time here. She might as well go home early and take a nice hot bath. Maybe she will sleep better tonight.
Luckily, her colleague Xiao Wang called to ask her about the case, allowing her to break away from the woman’s chattering. She left the Nocturnal Revenant.
As for Ruan Zhan, he noticed her leaving. He felt her direct and judgmental gaze was very strange, and was also surprised she never approached him from start to finish. Towards her condition, he hadn’t been mistaken when he noticed that the yang flame above her head was very weak. What was dangerous was that it was surrounded by a ring of dark miasma. However, she definitely had some good karma that protected her from harm and prevented her weak flame from being extinguished. As long as she didn’t continue to approach things that wanted to harm her, there shouldn’t be any problems.
The law firm had moved to a new location.
It was in a newly constructed area of villas. The view was beautiful and the environment was fresh. However, there weren’t many people in the area and the place was deserted. Their law firm was the first batch of pioneers.
Xiao Xia was late because she slept in, so by the time she arrived her colleagues had packed up and gone for lunch. The director told her that the villa was large enough so she didn’t have to share an office with the three interns anymore. However, the office allocated to her was a little small and the location wasn’t too great. It was in the loft and faced an inauspicious direction.
Xiao Xia was a little unwilling to go, but she didn’t have a choice based on her status. She could only carry her things upstairs. What was weird was that this villa differed from its outer appearance. She had thought it wouldn’t be too large on the inside, but she had walked for a while, taken many turns and climbed the stairs for a long time before finally finding that small and dark room.
At this time, Xiao Xia was the only one left in the building. It was so quiet her footsteps could be heard despite the thick carpet.
Sha sha sha…sha sha sha…
Xiao Xia suddenly felt fear towards her surroundings. She really wanted to leave immediately but she had to put her things in her new office. She nervously opened the door. This room was truly too small. There were only walls, and there wasn’t even a window. The room was filled with file cabinets. There was a small desk and a wooden chair. On the chair was a square box. It seemed to be a gift.
She randomly put her things in place and couldn’t help but want to take a look at the gift. She thus opened the box.
There was a human head inside!
It was Li Jing Ming’s head. The face was covered in blood as it glared at her, its eyes continuously rolling. Then, it suddenly started laughing. It was a sinister and evil laugh!
Xiao Xia threw the box aside in fear and jumped towards the door. However, the door had vanished. She could only cling to the wall.
Li Jing Ming’s head rolled around on the floor and finally came to rest by her feet. The severed head looked up at her desperately, its eyes were rolled back and its bloody maw seemed like a bottomless hole as it continued to laugh. It tittered as it slowly moved towards her!