Chapter 9: Evil Spirit?
Cheng Dong took a stack of paper bills out of his wallet, about 2,000 yuan, and then spoke to me, “If you can make me see ghosts, then the money is yours. Otherwise, I’ll have you reported to the police immediately and I will sue you for spreading rumors and deceiving people!”
I only smiled and smirked, “It’s easy if you really want to see the ghosts. But I have to warn you, though. When you see the ghosts, pretend that you can’t see them. Don’t become too excited or surprised, and you must absolutely not scream. If they know that you can see them, they will haunt you and you will be in for some big troubles.”
Xu Xiaoling stepped back with both hands covering her chest, and asked in a low trembling voice, “I-I-Is there really a ghost here?”
I waited for a while. I could see that he had a slight change in heart. Then, I shot a straight look at Cheng Dong and said, “If you are afraid, just back off and take your money. I don’t need it.” I deliberately provoked this bloke since he just ruthlessly ridiculed me in front of Xu Xiaoling. If he did bite the bullet then I would play him well enough.
And… he did take the bite!
Cheng Dong’s complexion changed and fear could be seen in his eyes after seeing my confident manner. But he braced himself and said, “Who? …Who the hell said I’m afraid? I don’t believe in superstitions! It’s illogical! Come try me!”
I took a piece of the Moon Charm out of my trouser’s pocket…
I brought several charms this morning. 3 Moon Charms, 3 Sun Charms, and 3 Heart and Mind Purifying Charms. While holding the Moon Charm with my right hand’s forefinger and middle finger, I spoke to Cheng Dong, “You can see for yourself that there’s nobody on the street and there are only several traffic lights here, right?” Then I directed a strand of Yang Qi from my Dantian and lit the Moon Charm. The charm instantly burned and emitted a green light flame.
Cheng Dong and Xu Xiaoling’s face showed a shocked expression because they saw that I didn’t use any tools to ignite the Moon Charm. They had only seen this kind of acts in the movies before, and now they suddenly saw it in real life, so it’s not that strange if they were to be surprised. My mouth slightly curled up and smiled as I quickly touched Cheng Dong’s left and right shoulder with my two fingers.
Cheng Dong complexion instantly changed. He looked like he was about to wail and his body was violently trembling. He quickly handed the stack of 2,000 yuan in his hand into my hand and wept in fear, “Master…. I believe you! I really believe you! Just… just don’t make me see those things again!”
I quickly received his money without hesitation, took a Sun Charm from my pocket, and ignited it before I lightly touched both of his shoulders. A tiny part of Yang fire was pasted and ignited on both of his shoulders. Then, I talked to him casually, “If I’m not mistaken, the ghost that haunted Miss Xu is very ominous, so I advise you to go home quickly because it could be dangerous if you continue following us.”
Cheng Dong swallowed his saliva back down into his throat and said, “Great Master, I ask you to grant me… a magical charm, otherwise… I… I don’t even dare to go home… after seeing those things a moment ago… And… and please forgive my manner previously!”
I took a glance over the money he gave me, pulled out another Sun Charm and handed it to him as I then explained, “Actually, the ghosts won’t harm you under normal circumstances, as long as you ignore them and are not showing any expressions that you can see them. Alright, I’ll give you this Sun Charm. If someday you feel a cold sensation and your body suddenly shivers, just burn this paper charm and pour the ashes into a glass of water and drink it. If you encounter an extremely urgent matter, you can immediately come to see me, with the condition that you absolutely cannot reveal my identity. Or else, this will be our last meeting.”
Cheng Dong immediately took the charm and thanked me profusely. He then apologized to Xu Xiaoling and ran like hell.
Xu Xiaoling wore a shocked expression after seeing the great changes from Cheng Dong with her own eyes. A trace of fear could be seen on her face. She quickly walked forward and stood beside me and then spoke in a respectful and scared tone, “Great Master, is there really a ghost around here?”
Seeing Xu Xiaoling’s complexion, I couldn’t help but remember the scene when I first met the Old Swindler. At that time, I was also scared shitless and instantly fainted. Now that I had become accustomed to seeing the ghosts, it was natural that I wasn’t afraid of them anymore. However, facing high-level ghosts and evil spirits with a dense Yin Qi aura like Miss Murong still made me frightened. I tried to comfort Xu Xiaoling who was still in shock and spoke, “Don’t be afraid. There are indeed some ordinary wandering souls around here. But they have no ability to harm people. Anyways, I must go home first to get some weapons and tools to cope with the ghost that haunts you.”
“Great Master, I really thank you for your help. But I don’t know how much I have to pay you?” Xu Xiaoling’s voice was weak and timid as she continued to speak, “I have only worked for more than a month and really don’t have much money…”
I started to walk toward the direction of my house and talked to her at the same time, “I don’t need any compensation. I’m the successor of an orthodox Daoist school, not some kind of swindler.”
“But Great Master, why do you want to help people without any rewards at all?”
“Ah… please don’t call me Great Master, will you? It sounds weird to me. My name is Zhang Xiaolong. Although I’m the successor of an orthodox Daoist school, this is actually the first time I’m going to exorcise a ghost.” I told her the truth and explained that I was originally a young disciple who had just finished an apprenticeship.
“Eh? What?” Xu Xiaoling seemed surprised and looked a bit disappointed. Yet, she still followed me and kept a close distance. Then, she spoke, “Xiaolong, am I really being haunted by a ghost? I know I have been dreaming the same dream every night in the last few days. I dreamt that I was putting on some makeup and looked into a mirror, but the face inside the mirror was not mine. Last night when I left for the toilet at midnight, I accidentally looked at myself in the mirror and the face that was reflected from the mirror was exactly the same as the face that appeared in my dream! But when I looked at the mirror again, that face is gone, so I thought to myself that I was hallucinating and it was an illusion. But somehow, I also felt that it was real and not an illusion.”
After listening to her description, I nodded and said, “According to your story, the problem should be in your apartment. When did you move into your current apartment?”
“Two months ago, but this strange dream just only started repeatedly a few days ago.”
We were still talking when we arrived downstairs at my house. Then, I spoke to Xu Xiaoling, “Alright, wait here. I’ll go get my things upstairs!”
“Great… err… Xiaolong, can I go up with you?” It was obvious that after she knew that ghosts really existed and that they were even haunting her, she didn’t want to stay alone downstairs to wait for me.
I could only sigh slightly, “Well, okay.”
Then, I opened the door and walked upstairs.
When I opened the door, Dad and Mom seemed to have been waiting for me for some time. They seemed baffled seeing me bring a girl back home. Dad gawked for a while before enthusiastically giving a warm greeting, “Oh, it’s Xiaolong’s friend? Please have a sit quickly.”
Mom also hurriedly greeted her. I quickly introduced Xu Xiaoling briefly and said that she worked at the museum nearby, and especially came to visit in order to identify and appraise the damaged sword hilt I had whether it was an antique or not.
After the small talk, I quickly entered my room and took the black backpack. I carefully put the Shadowbane sword, along with 30 Sun Charms and the remaining half vial of cattle tears. After that, I walked out of the bedroom, telling Mom and Dad that I was going out to the museum to identify the hilt. Therefore, before I led Xu Xiaoling out of the house, I told them that I would perhaps be back very late and they did not need to wait for me.
Before we left, however, Mom warmly held Xu Xiaolong’s hands and spoke to her enthusiastically, “Girl, please visit us frequently!”
Mom’s manner was way too enthusiastic. It was very obvious to see what her true intent was. Her manner made me somehow blush and also made Xu Xiaoling slightly embarrassed.
We walked downstairs and went out of the house with an awkward atmosphere between us. Xu Xiaoling stayed silent and only after a long while did she break the ice, “Xiaolong, I kinda feel strange with that garbage bin. I’m sure we had passed it 4 times already.”
Hearing Xu Xiaoling’s careful reminder, I immediately discovered that something was really out of place. I had been strolling around this block every day, running and jogging for morning exercise. It seemed that we were walking in a circle which convinced me that we had just run into a ghost barrier!
Why would we encounter such a situation? The answer was very simple. When a person’s luck was extremely low, it would be very easy for ghosts and evil spirits to seize the opportunity to posses or mess up with that person’s life. It was very obvious that Xu Xiaoling’s luck must have been extremely low recently.
‘Hmph… this ghost’s barrier is only a worthless small trick before this great patriarch.’
In “Niu School’s Past Records on Demon Subjugation”, there were dozens of methods that could be used to break a ghost’s barrier! I calmly took the time to look at the terrified Xu Xiaoling and spoke to her in a comforting tone, “Don’t be afraid, it’s just an easily broken ghost’s barrier.”
Who would have thought that when I mentioned the ghost’s wall, Xiaoling’s eyes immediately became teary like she was about to cry? She then instantly forgot her embarrassment and tightly held onto my body. I was really baffled as to whether I should laugh or cry.
Because I was not in the “Opening Eyes” mode, I couldn’t see the ghost that wanted to confuse us. To be honest, I really didn’t want to see it at all. I just drew a circle on the ground with my left toe and then stomped the ground powerfully…
‘Damn…My leg is so damn numb, but we got out from the ghost’s wall, nonetheless.’
This method was invented by one of my ancestors. Actually, I could also use the Sun Charm to break the ghost barrier or used the “Opening Eyes” method to then negotiate with the ghost. However, I felt that stomping my own foot was much simpler. It was the simplest, yet the most mysterious… and the most beautiful method…
But I never expected this method to make me feel so numb, though… Really… I reaped what I had sewn…
We finally arrived at the road with great difficulties… and that was because of my numb leg…
We called a taxi and then headed straight to Xu Xiaoling’s apartment.
No one spoke a word along the way…
The moment we arrived at Xu Xiaoling’s apartment, she suddenly told me that she wanted to see the ghost that was haunting her. I told her that she should not let her curiosity win since doing so might leave some trauma for her.
But she insisted that she must see it! Therefore, I could only take out a few of my precious cattle tears and coated her eyes with it.
I didn’t use the Moon Charm’s “Opening Eyes” method on her because Xu Xiaoling’s Yang Qi had been weakened, to begin with. If I were to use the Moon Charm to extinguish the Yang Qi on both of her shoulders, she would be inflicted by some serious illnesses, of which, her already weakened body couldn’t afford to handle. As for me, I had my share of experience in coping with the ghosts, and it seemed that I had to cleverly use my head since I estimated that my Yang Qi was not yet strong enough. After all, I just finished my apprenticeship and absolutely could not screw up because it was my first time exorcising the ghost by myself.
After using the “Opening Eyes” technique on myself, I took out my Shadowbane sword and held it in my left hand while I clamped a Sun Charm with two fingers with my right. With that, I walked upstairs slowly with Xu Xiaoling.
We were both very nervous, so it took more time to go upstairs than usual. This caused one of the light bulbs to extinguish. Xu Xiaoling let out a small scream nervously, so I relit the Yang fire light bulb once again. Shortly after, we arrived on the 3rd floor. Xu Xiaoling was panting and immediately pointed at room #381, indicating that she lived there. I took a deep breath before I spoke, “Open the door.”
Xiaoling anxiously opened her apartment door and quickly hid behind me as she grabbed my clothes with an expression like she was going to her own burial.
This was also the first experience for this great patriarch, mind you… so I was infected by Xu Xiaoling’s nervousness… and perhaps, more than that. Even my two fingers that clamped the Sun Charm trembled slightly.
The moonlight was shining through the windows and illuminated the room. The living room itself was empty, so Xu Xiaoling and I quickly entered the room and turned on the lamp. That made all the nerves that had been grounded by restlessness to relax, albeit a bit.
It is an instinct of humans to fear the dark and the unknown. We are easily frightened when we are in darkness because we don’t know what kind of “things” will appear before us. Even encountering other people in the dark would scare one to death.
I slowly inspected several rooms, including the bathroom, kitchen, and closet. However, I couldn’t discover any traces of that ghost anywhere. This even made me more anxious! Miss Murong once said to me that the cattle tear was not omnipotent, as high-level ghosts could conceal their body shape and even their aura. I had done an experiment with her before… and it was impossible for me to see her if she didn’t want to be seen by me.
But the evil Yin Qi on Xu Xiaoling’s glabella was absolutely the most obvious evidence that she was really being haunted by a ghost! After listening to her explanation a short while ago, the ghost must have been in her apartment, but why couldn’t I discover any trace of that ghost anywhere? Was it really a high-level ghost? Damn it… I really forget that I was born with the Red Arrow fate mark. Bad luck always followed me everywhere, and it will for a lifetime… It was highly likely that I would run into one bad ass-dreadful-evil spirit today!!!
‘Damn… I’m dead… so very dead… ‘
‘What kind of troubles did I just incite this time?’