Tap. Wang Chenghao finally arrived at the twelfth floor, panting heavily as he glanced around at his surroundings vigilantly.
He hadn’t spoken much with Qin Ye ever since his arrival at the First Academy of Cultivators. Whether intentionally or not, both men had tacitly decided to keep their distance with the other so that the incident back at Clear Creek County would forever become buried as a secret in their hearts.
But whenever he encountered something that baffled him, he would always open up his Momo app to consult Qin Ye, while Qin Ye would explain every single to him with great patience. Thus, Wang Chenghao could be considered one of the best when it came to theoretical knowledge about the supernatural in the world. After all, not everyone had the privilege of a private tutor who could explain the greatest mysteries of life to him at a moment’s notice.
Thus, Wang Chenghao had already whipped out a talisman and primed it with true energy for activation at the moment’s notice.
He could tell that something wasn’t right about this place!
The Blue Sky Neighbourhood was a thirteen-storey mid-rise development that was built some time ago. That said, not a single soul inhabited the twelfth floor. There once used to be inhabitants, but all of them would have shifted away by now.
Thus, the twelfth floor was in shambles. Nobody knew when exactly it had been abandoned and left in ruins. The walls were mottled and covered in dark stains, while the musky smell of mildew filled the air. The door to every abandoned room was open. The torrential rain poured straight through the broken windows, pelting heavily onto the doors in the room, almost as though… countless invisible hands were desperately banging on the doors.
None of the lights were switched on.
It was completely dark within. The only source of light was the soft moonbeams that feebly attempted to peek out of the storm clouds, and it cast a pale, silvery sheen on the walls in the corridor. Anyone caught in such a situation would most certainly find themselves boosted with a great rush of adrenaline.
Cold sweat rolled off Wang Chenghao’s forehead. The palpably real prospects of being embroiled in a supernatural incident once again submerged the diminishing desire to rescue his fellow human being. He took several deep breaths to calm his heart down. Ding. Just then, there was a soft sound. He glanced at the lift, only to realize that the lift had only just finally arrived.
The elevator had gone before him, only to arrive later than he did.
Furthermore… he could smell the intense stench of blood even with the lift doors closed.
“Calm down… calm down!” He took several more deep breaths, before gritting his teeth, heading to the lift and staring intently at the slowly opening doors. The doors looked no different from a rift to Hell.
Kkkrrrrr…. The soft grinding of the mechanism was deafening in the silence of the night, and his body shivered slightly. Then, as soon as a crack opened up, he saw it…
There was blood everywhere!
An old man’s head was set upright dead in the middle of the elevator. His entire torso was nowhere to be found, while his hands and his feet were placed in the four corners of the elevator. The grotesque sight under the dim flickering lights of the elevator was a completely startling sight!
Wang Chenghao’s breaths grew faint. His hair stood on end as he glanced vigilantly around him. He could tell that the culprit had come!
The evil ghost had rushed out of his hiding in search of flesh and blood as soon as night fell. It didn’t even give a damn about Wang Chenghao’s existence!
Gulp… He gulped nervously. Ding. Just then, the elevator doors closed once more. And then, he suddenly saw it… There was a silhouette of another man standing right behind him at this very moment.
And that man… had placed his hands around his neck, and was attempting to choke him!
His body reacted on its own. Wang Chenghao’s mind instantly went blank. There was neither any fear, nor the desire to scream out loud. Instead, he immediately ducked down and tossed out the talisman in his hand.
SSS!!! A miserable scream echoed through the corridor. It was almost as though a dark rift had opened up right behind him, from which large amounts of Yin energy poured through. Wang Chenghao immediately turned around and attempted to stick his back against the wall, only to realize that… there was nothing behind him.
An intense wave of fear surged straight through his spine and filled his heart.
I never knew that a person could become speechless from fear… Wang Chenghao’s mouth felt completely parched. He wiped off the sweat beading up on his forehead as he chuckled hoarsely, “Brother Qin… did you see that? I’m actually fighting a Yin spirit all on my own… I’m becoming brave and courageous like you!”
Just then, he paused abruptly, and he turned to look in a particular direction with a soft gasp.
Creaaaaaak… Somewhere deep along the corridor, the door to a dilapidated room had just creaked open softly.
It was mind-numbing to hear such a sound on a still, dark night!
And then… he heard… footsteps.
Right by his side…
It was almost as though… something invisible had been standing right beside him all this while, staring intently at him.
And then, a second shadow suddenly appeared on the wall, right beside his own!
It was the silhouette of a man of average height, and it… had just stepped straight out of Wang Chenghao’s shadow! Tap… tap… It plodded along the corridor, slowly making its way towards the door that had just opened.
The man walked with a limp, alternating consistently between a hobble and a step. Thus, the corridor continued to reverberate with eerie sounds of a shuffle and a step, a shuffle and a step, as the man continued to make his way towards the door at the very end.
It was strange. After the initial pang of intense fear, Wang Chenghao found that his heart and his mind had slowly calmed down. He had already prepared another talisman between his fingers, priming it with a thin layer of true energy as he followed slowly behind the shadow while suppressing the wild thumping of his heart.
It was only natural to seek support in such circumstances. Therefore, Wang Chenghao subconsciously leaned against the wall as he followed behind the silhouette. He was only ten meters away from the room right now. Ten meters… five meters… And then, he suddenly paused, and his hair abruptly stood on end!
It was damp…
The part of the wall that he had just leaned against was damp…
He glanced at his hand instinctively. It was… blood!
He looked up sharply, only to realize that the closer he drew to the room at the end, the more the wall was covered with bloody handprints!
Fresh, bloody handprints!
In fact, it was so bloody that they were still dripping wet and trickling down slowly!
Just a moment ago, someone had walked towards the end of the corridor while leaning against the wall in a similar fashion. The only difference was that this person had left a row of bloody handprints that extended straight into the room.
Gulp… He couldn’t help but gulp nervously. A novice like him would never be able to suppress the stirring fear in his heart. Right at that moment, the silhouette ahead of him suddenly paused where he was, and then looked back abruptly!
But his body remained still.
It was only his head that swiveled around.
It swiveled a full 180 degrees, almost as though it were completely detached and isolated from the rest of its body.
Wang Chenghao was barely half a meter aware from the shadow on the wall, and he could see that the second shadow appeared to be staring straight at his own shadow. He knew that he couldn’t afford to lower his head or look away at this moment. Thus, he stared intently ahead.
But, he couldn’t see a thing.
That is, apart from the window at the end of the corridor. As soon as the shadow on the wall turned its head around, the window suddenly blew open with a gust of wind, and an unusually chilling nethergale swept into the corridor at once.
Whoosh… Wang Chenghao’s lips were completely devoid of the colour of blood by now. Yet, for some strange reason, the shadow turned back, and continued heading into the room.
Bzzt… The rooms on this floor had been abandoned for a long time. And yet, as soon as the shadow entered the room, the lights suddenly came on.
A second later, the glow of the light from the room projected two shadows out to the corridor - that of a man, and that of a woman.
“You’re useless! I’m not even asking for much, but you can’t even afford to buy a single bag for me?! What the hell are you getting married for?!” The woman’s hoarse voice lingered in the corridor. Wang Chenghao gritted his teeth, rushed forward and peered inside.
There was only the sizzling, flickering light.
But there wasn’t a single soul in sight!
An endless gale continued to pour through the open windows, sending the torrential downpour scattering into the room. The tattered curtains fluttered wildly. Everything inside was a mess. Tables and chairs had all collapsed to the ground, and there were a multitude of household objects such as calendars, vases and books lying all over the floor.
Yet, the projection of shadows were still arguing with each other.
“Tell me!!” The woman’s shadow picked up a vase and smashed it against the wall, “What was the point in getting married to you?!”
“Useless piece of trash! Idiot! Why can’t you learn a thing or two from Old Zhang next door and ply the Khumba line?!”
The man responded timidly, “The Khumba line… runs through the deepest parts of the grasslands. It’s not safe… there are a lot of wolves in the area… I hear they even chase after cars…”
“It would be best if they bite the crap out of you! My goodness! What dumb luck did I have to get married to a loser like you? You can’t even earn a decent living, and the only food we’ve had for the longest time is buns and pickles! Let me tell you something - if you can’t buy me that bag I’ve wanted for so long by next month, we’re getting a divorce!”
“Then, you can see for yourself which other idiot would be willing to marry a useless piece of trash like you! It’s my sheer dumb luck to have crossed paths with you in this damn life of mine!”
Back in the guardhouse, Qin Ye watched this scene pan out with eyes filled with complex emotions.
Wang Chenghao had once been so terrified of ghosts that he couldn’t even move when he saw them. To think that he now had the courage to face these things on his own.
Why were there people who encounter ghosts repeatedly, while others never encounter a single ghost in their entire lives?
It was because the very first encounter with a ghost would leave trace amounts of Yin energy on one’s body. As soon as that happened, the Yin spirits in the world would begin to perceive him as one of their own, and he would find more and more Yin spirits revealing their existence to him. In other words, the fact that Wang Chenghao had encountered a Yin spirit as strong as the puppet master meant that he could never return to the life of normalcy again.
If not for the fact that he was residing in the City of Salvation all this while, he would already have encountered innumerable ghosts by now.
Qin Ye had reminded Wang Chenghao to be brave time and again. However, no amount of words could compare with the growth accompanying such personal experience.
Li Jixi gently concealed the surveilling gaze in his eyes and made a mental note in his mind.
As suspected, he truly takes especial notice of Wang Chenghao… He tapped his fingers gently on the table. Furthermore, Instructor Qin has never received any formal training, and yet… he’s actually sighing in exasperation?
Qin Ye was naturally oblivious to Li Jixi’s thoughts. Having watched the surveillance footage for ten minute now, he was almost certain that this was merely an Operative-class Yin spirit.
But just then, his eyelids suddenly twitched wildly.
In that very instant, the five ghosts under his command had sent him two different sets of images.
Quick. It was immensely quick! The two sets of images were transmitted to his mind almost in real-time speed, and… they were both laden with immeasurable fear!
It was a source of fear that afflicted Yin spirits.
One set of images revealed a thick and dense cloud of Yin energy rushing straight onto the Blue Sky Neighbourhood like an unstoppable stream of mercury!
Is this… a Hunter-class spirit? No… it’s probably on the verge of breaking through to becoming a Hellguard-class spirit! Such a vicious spirit is on the move?! Why?! The Yin spirits in New Hale City don’t have someone like Cao Youdao giving them instructions! What’s going on over here?! The students are in danger! Qin Ye lowered his eyes to conceal the sudden wave of astonishment that befell him. It wasn’t normal for a Hunter-class expert to have such an immense range of perception, and he didn’t want Li Jixi to notice anything suspicious about him.
This was all borne out of his acute intuition.
Whoosh! The images in his mind continued to show the dense cloud of Yin energy rushing past his five ghosts. It was filled with shrieks, howls and groans, almost like a tidal wave of grief that was rushing straight towards them. Unfortunately, he wasn’t given the luxury of time to scrutinize that image, because he was soon startled by the other set of images in his mind.
New Hale City was located on the edge of the three eastern provinces.
In fact, their borders were only separated by a single mountain range.
The next image that startled Qin Ye revealed… another cloud of Yin energy, thicker and more menacing than the one earlier, rushing straight up from behind a mountain. He could see the shadow of a single man running on the ground, and yet there wasn’t a single fleshly body above it. The shadow had already rushed past the mountain range, and was now closing in on their position, fast!
“It’s… Hellguard?!” Qin Ye’s spine tingled.
This was by no means a simple Hellguard-class spirit
He knew, because he had sensed something like that twice before.
This was… Yin energy that was characteristic of the Assassin of the Underworld!
What the hell is going on here?!
It’s normal to witness the appearances of ghosts at night, but… why did two powerful Yin spirits appear at the same time? One is on the verge of breaking through to become a Hellguard, while the other is already a Hellguard! And they’re both charging right to this location?!Previous Chapter Next Chapter