“Do you know where she is sealed?” I asked.
“I don’t know the exact location, but I can sense Tamamo no Mae-sama’s aura exuding from the mountain.” Jade Tail spread her arms.
Yin Xinyue was curious. “Little fox, how can you speak Chinese so well? Aren’t you a Japanese fox?”
“Tamamo no Mae-sama came from China. That’s why we can speak the language. Moreover, I’ve been out for ten years already!” pouted Jade Tail.
“I thought you just escaped.” I was surprised.
“We were sealed inside the silver fox, and it was really hard to weaken the seal. Unfortunately, a Chinese master who liked to stick his nose in other people’s business came and reinforced the seal. Later, there was a time when they took out the silver fox to mend something. We took that chance and bewitched the expert in charge, making him destroy the seal. That’s how we were able to come out to play!” Jade Tail proudly lifted her chin.
“What did the man who reinforced the seal look like?” I asked.
“Hmm, he looked similar to you…”
“What?” I was amazed.
“You are so annoying! How could I know what he looks like? I was still sealed at that time!”
I had to ask my grandpa about this matter the next time I saw him.
Jade Tail yawned. She was dwelling inside an otherworldly item, so she couldn’t endure the daylight for a long time. If she wanted to live longer, she had to absorb Yin energy like Jade Fang. She eventually turned into a crystal-clear glazed bead. I put her into my bag to protect her.
Chiba frowned. “Mr. Zhang, this bead…”
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep it safe. After everything is solved, I’ll give it back to you,” I said.
We left the chamber. Urashima told us that Xiao Gao had woken up and that he was about to call the police.
“Please don’t. If the police come and seal this place, we won’t be able to do much. If we are unlucky, they will take us to the station for oral confessions. It won’t be good for Xiao Gao as he will become the main suspect.”
Since Xiao Gao wasn’t here, Chiba had to translate for us. Urashima thought it was reasonable. He agreed that he wouldn’t call the police. However, he hoped that we would bring back their Silver Fox Guardian as soon as possible. Since it was a hard task, I didn’t dare to promise anything and just said that I would do my best.
It would be silly to search the whole city. Furthermore, we weren’t detectives. I decided to use a passive approach. We would wait here for Jade Fang. As long as we got him, the Silver Fox Guardian would return.
Chuyi and I wanted to go to the mountain to check. However, Li Mazi’s waist was hurting since Xiao Gao had bumped into him; he didn’t want to go. Ru Xue wanted to stay with him, too. I asked Yin Xinyue to stay with them, but she insisted that she come with us.
In the end, Chuyi, Yin Xinyue, Chiba, and I went to the mountain behind the shrine together.
It was a small mountain, and the mountain trail wasn’t very steep. The bamboo forest was silent, and a thick mist hovered like a layer of miasma. Yin Xinyue pulled my arm. She looked scared.
Chuyi pinched some soil between his fingers and observed it. After a while, he said quietly, “Many people died here…”
“This was a battlefield! Those samurais were fighting every day to claim the territory.” A voice came from my chest. It was Jade Tail talking.
Chuyi chanted a spell. Little Lin protruded from his chest. He floated and led the way for us. Soon, we saw a broken statue. We couldn’t tell what it used to be from its remains.
When Little Lin passed the stone statue, he flashed like a broken television screen. I immediately understood what was happening. This stone statue was part of a sealing formation, which led us to believe that it was really vast as it covered the entire mountain.
“The power of the sealing formation is weakening,” I said. Since Little Lin was a spiritual being, if the formation was strong enough, he wouldn’t be able to go there.
Chiba asked, “Mr. Zhang, can we mend it?”
“I assume we’ll have to break the seal and create a new one. Of course, the most dangerous moment is when we break the seal. If we are careless, Tamamo no Mae can escape before we can cast another seal…” I said.
Chuyi suddenly gestured at my chest. I understood what he meant. He was still cautious against Jade Tail. He was afraid that the two foxes were cooperating and they would take action once we lifted the seal.
His worries couldn’t be dismissed. If we accidentally released Tamamo no Mae, we couldn’t imagine the consequences.
“We should leave the mountain to prepare some things. We’ll come back later,” I said.
When we returned to the shrine, I asked Li Mazi to buy something. Since Jade Tail could listen to our conversation, I casually told him some general items while I texted him. I asked him to get me a bag of lime, a bag of jade fragments, a bag of lead powder, a few black snakes, iron nails, several shovels, and a bottle of rooster blood.
Li Mazi smiled. “Little brother, the stuff you want has become more and more difficult to get. We’re in Japan. Where should I go to get them?”
Chiba glanced at the list. “We can get them in Kyoto. I can go with you.”
Li Mazi was happy that Chiba wanted to accompany him, but Ru Xue immediately intervened. “No, thank you. My husband can do everything by himself. Isn’t that right, honey?”
Li Mazi was embarrassed. “All right, all right. I’ll figure it out later.”
“You should get them as soon as possible. You’d better come back here before nightfall. This time, the situation is rather complicated,” I told him.
“Okay, I’m leaving now.”
Li Mazi and Ru Xue left first. Due to the language barrier, Xiao Gao went with them. Yin Xinyue, Chuyi, and I left for lunch.
At around 2:00 PM, Li Mazi, Ru Xue, and Xiao Gao returned. They told me that they bought all the stuff.
“Little Brother Zhang, I couldn’t find the jade fragments, so I bought real jade and ground it into a powder. You don’t know how hard it is to buy jade in Japan. I spent a lot of money!”
I checked the items. “It’s okay. I’ll pay you back.”
“Hey, I haven’t asked you yet... But how much can we earn this time?”
“I’m not gonna mistreat you.” Li Mazi would throw a tantrum if he knew there would be no payment.
I asked Xiao Gao to take Yin Xinyue and Ru Xue on a tour or go shopping with them. This afternoon would be a busy one, and there would be nothing interesting to see. When we went to the shrine to find Chiba, Li Mazi became more lively and teased her since Ru Xue wasn’t there. Chiba was polite enough to go along with him.
I pulled Li Mazi aside and said, “Can you please mind your image? She’s a miko, and you asked her if she has a boyfriend. Do you want to be beaten black and blue?”
“She’s such a beautiful girl. It’s lame that she’s living like a nun.” Li Mazi shook his head and sighed.
“You’re truly hopeless!” I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh.
The four of us went to the mountain. We decided that Chuyi would break the seal while Li Mazi and I would prepare the new formation. We had to carry out the tasks at the same time to increase our odds of success.
If it was an ordinary soul, we would just need a small formation to deal with it. However, this sealing formation was used to seal a fox spirit that had cultivated for several thousand years. We had to prepare a large-scale formation for it.
I used lime powder to draw a hexagram. Then, I started to dig a ditch with Li Mazi’s help. The entire process took two hours. The sky above became darker in the meantime. Afterward, we sprinkled the jade powder into the ditch, covering it with lead powder. I then poured the rooster blood to finish the arrangement.
Jades were items with thick Yang energy, but they were gentle at the same time. My grandpa used to tell me that if we casually used stuff with thick Yang energy to seal evil spirits, the spirits would fight back hard. If that happened, they would be able to chip the seal bit by bit.
Abe no Seimei’s seal was gentle. That was why it could last for more than one thousand years.
After we finished with the outer layer, we went to the core of the seal. There was a huge pine tree that stood alone in a vast and empty area. Chuyi was standing under the tree.
“I’ve been waiting for you guys for quite a long time. This place is the eye of the formation. I haven’t opened it yet,” he said.
“Let’s start with the last step!” I said.
But all of a sudden, I felt so exhausted. Everything in front of me turned black.Previous Chapter Next Chapter