The masked man was like a hotshot in the world of martial arts. The Sirius Whip in his hand moved imposingly. The three of us couldn’t deal with him.
Yin Xinyue said, “Brother Zhang, quickly find a solution!”
“What solution would work right now? Run!”
I remembered that Li Mazi had been punched back into the room. I called him, but there was no answer. I realized that he had crawled away through the window.
Lingering for a moment had earned me a few whips. I flinched in pain.
I pulled Yin Xinyue and ran away from the courtyard.
As soon as we left the courtyard, the masked man screamed and jumped on the wall of the fence. He aimed the whip in his hand at me. It seemed I was his only target.
“We should part now!” I told Yin Xinyue.
“No, I can’t leave you!” Yin Xinyue answered.
“Go and get some help. The two of us can’t deal with him!” I told her. Yin Xinyue eventually agreed, then made a turn at a small alley.
I tried my best to run through small alleys as the whip wouldn't reach me there. The masked man kept running on the rooftops. This scene looked even more thrilling than a fight and chase scene between two martial arts experts.
I gradually slowed down. The masked man landed in front of me. The whip in his hand was like a slithering snake; it kept spinning around. Instinctively, I raised both arms to parry the incoming blow. The whip coiled around my wrists.
As I had often used the whip, I knew his plan. He wanted to pull me down. Immediately, I stepped on the whip to hold it and uncoiled it from my wrists. Afterward, I ran in the opposite direction.
The masked man wielded the whip and forcefully hit my back. The pain made me scream.
At this moment, I felt lucky that my weapon was a whip. If it was a sword, I didn’t know how many times I would have died today.
My phone rang. It was Yin Xinyue. “Brother Zhang, run to the East of the town. We’ve made the preparations as you advised.”
I cheered up and headed to the East. Many people were standing there, wearing ancient armor costumes. They were holding spears and swords. Of course, they were all props.
There was a sword stabbed into the ground. I moved around to avoid that sword since it marked a pit trap.
Team leader Xu from the prop team and Yin Xinyue stood underneath a tree. They were connecting a cellphone to a speaker. When they saw me, they called me.
The masked man arrived. However, he stood still when he saw so many people at the scene.
“Play the music!” I cried.
Team leader Xu turned on the speaker. Immediately, imposing and magnificent music blasted. It was the song, ‘Lanling Prince in Battle.’
It was the Prince of Lanling’s popular song when he was alive. Sure enough, the masked man was stimulated. He threw the whip aside and slumped on his knees. He clutched his head as if he was in great pain.
The staff members wearing armor screamed in unison. The masked man was under attack. He crawled toward the sword stabbed into the ground. As soon as he got there, his body sank into the trap.
“Get him!” Team leader Xu screamed.
People threw their weapons aside and grabbed a massive net. They rushed over to cover the trap.
The masked man wanted to jump out of the trap, but the net had confined him. He struggled unceasingly. A few men jumped on him to subdue him. However, he was too strong.
“Get his mask!” I cried as I ran toward them. Two men were sent into the air and flew past me. No matter what, the Prince of Lanling was a famous general, and he had extraordinary strength.
More and more people were hurled away. After an uproar, the masked man tore the net. I grabbed the Sirius Whip from the ground and muttered a spell. The whip moved through the air, which created a tearing sound. Then, it lashed the masked man’s neck from behind.
Both of his hands grabbed the whip in midair. He pulled forward, while I pulled backward. However, he was too strong. My feet created two deep ditches in the ground. This power didn’t belong to a human.
“Take off his mask! Don’t be scared!” I screamed hoarsely.
However, no one dared to approach him. They picked up some long-handled weapons and tried to pry the mask off the man’s face. The masked man was enraged and broke the spears.
I took this chance and threw my whip aside. I stormed toward him from behind and successfully struck his mask away. When the mask fell off his face, the people at the scene were stunned. The masked man was Yi Xi!
As soon as the mask was gone, Yi Xi seemed to have used up all of his power. He fell to the ground.
“How could it be him?” Team leader Xu was surprised.
“Is the armor he’s wearing from your prop team?” I asked.
“Yes. Miss Yin came to me earlier, and I went to the storage to check. Sure enough, some things were missing. I remembered I had locked the door carefully, but the lock was broken when we got there,” said Team leader Xu.
I took a deep breath. “We should tie him up first.”
I studied the mask in my hand. It was a ferocious-looking face mask. There was a string on each side that helped to secure the mask over the wearer’s ears.
The mask reeked of murderous energy. The Prince of Lanling wore it every time he was in a battle, so it had been stained with the blood of countless enemies. Moreover, the soldiers of Northern Qi recognized their formidable general whenever they saw the mask. Eventually, the mask became a symbol of the Prince of Lanling. The trust from the soldiers was a great source of power that enriched the mask. It made its spirit stronger.
People’s faith could become tangible energy. Take a Sarira for example. A Sarira was a bead-shaped object found in the ashes of cremated Buddhist masters. Since people believed that it was sacred and blessed, it really became a sacred item.
While people hurried to tie Yi Xi, his agent ran toward us. Gasping for his breath, he begged me, “Mr. Zhang, please show mercy!”
“Good timing. You should explain what the heck is going on here!” I sneered. This time, Yi Xi was caught red-handed. They couldn’t deny it anymore.
The agent answered reluctantly, “I was the one that found the mask at the bottom of the dried pool. After Yi Xi saw it, he liked it a lot, so I gave it to him.”
“When did you learn about its special powers?” I asked.
“It was after the first audition. When the role of the protagonist was taken from him, Yi Xi was in a fume for the whole day. The actor who got the role showed up arrogantly and told people that Yi Xi couldn’t act and that he wasn’t manly enough. Yi Xi heard that and was furious. You know Yi Xi’s character. He can’t accept it when people doubt his capabilities.”
“What happened next?”
The agent told us the truth. “That night, that actor got into a car crash and broke his leg. Yi Xi secretly told me that the mask had magical powers. He brought the mask with him to the second audition, and he aced it. He trusted the mask even more. However, I always thought that good fortune wouldn’t come so easily. I told him to stop using it, but he didn’t listen to me. Whenever he filmed a scene, he brought it with him. He told me that he didn’t feel confident without the mask. The user didn’t recognize it, but the bystanders did. I discovered that ever since he got the mask, he became more and more arrogant...”
I seemed to get it. This mask gave people confidence. However, when one was too confident, he would become conceited. He couldn’t accept any criticism from other people.
When someone doubted the user, the mask would cause something unexpected to happen to that person. The former male lead and the supporting actor were good examples of this.
The agent added, “I was afraid that the mask would have a negative effect on Yi Xi. It took a lot of convincing but eventually, he agreed to give me the mask when he didn’t film. Only the two of us knew about this, so I don’t know how you guys discovered it. Today, when we went back to the hotel, Yi Xi was really mad. He said that he had to vent out this anger. He put on the mask and thought to scare you guys.”
“Did you think it was just a jump scare scene?” I sneered again.
“That was his original plan. We didn’t expect things to escalate to this point…” The agent sighed again.
I was enraged. “He uses the mask very often, and its power has already eroded his heart. Are you even suitable to be his agent?”
The agent was embarrassed. “Usually, I always listen to Yi Xi. I just hope that he will be happy.”
I lowered my voice, “Because you like him, right?”
The agent dropped his jaw in shock. I comforted him, “Don’t worry. For Yi Xi’s sake, I won’t say anything.”
“But how did you know that?” The agent was puzzled.
“You couldn’t hide the mask from me, so how could you possibly hide this small secret?” I smiled mysteriously.
The agent was finally convinced. “Mr. Zhang, you’re indeed an expert. Please save Yi Xi!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter