The Flying Head opened its giant mouth and bit down fiercely at the back of Xiaojin's smooth long neck.
The old ghost woman hid herself in the black fog and was elated to see how things turned out. This ignorant little girl had picked up the Thunder Technique from god-knows-where and managed to put her in such a tight corner. She now had a stomach full of anger that was just waiting to be vented out.
She had made this Flying Head after painstaking refinement. It had a devouring ability, enabling it to suck dry anything it bit and fuse into the victim.
Thumping her wooden stick repeatedly on the ground, she prompted the head. That giant mouth had opened to its maximum, squeezing everything else on that head to the upper half of the face, which looked horrendous. The teeth then sank into the neck.
"What? That's impossible!"
The old ghost woman had yet to widen her mouth into a smile when the jubilation was interrupted. A fluctuation erupted suddenly from the girl, creating an impact as strong as an air bomb, which blew the head away.
Xiaojin reacted quickly. She dashed forward and turned around with a strike of Metal Thunder.
Everything was happening so fast that it was beyond either of their imagination. The situation was reversed instantly. The old ghost woman did not have time to dodge and was knocked away backwards and landed somewhere in the distance.
A tremor ran through the black fog immediately and it began to shrink at an observable speed. Soon, the view was clear again.
"That was close! I've forgotten all about this!"
Xiaojin was ashen-faced. She looked down at her chest where a turtle shell pendant was dangling despite herself. It was now completely lustreless after using up its power.
She was perfectly confident of winning this fight in the beginning, but never expected that she would be overthrown by the old woman's experience and fell into her trap. Xiaojin was now infuriated and humiliated.
The old woman was panting like a deflating balloon. Resolute as she was, she bit the tip of her tongue bloody right away.
She spat a mouthful of spiritual blood onto her wooden staff. Dark glow erupted out of the staff head, which was in the shape of a ghost head, and black fog wrapped around the old woman again. She then fled half floating and half running.
"Where do you think you're going?!"
Stomping her feet, Xiaojin went on in a hot pursuit. She did not have enough energy left to strike down with another streak of Metal Thunder, so instead, she covered her right palm with short flickering lightning. She then bolted out like a bullet out of the barrel.
The night was dark, the wind was strong, and the wilderness was endless.
Xiaojin chased the old woman through this mining area deep in the mountain. They ran through alleys lit by blurry lights; their shadows flitted past so fast that they almost seemed they were never there.
The owners and employees of the bars, shops, and clubs were all shaking with fear. All doors and windows were closed. To them, there might as well be two ogres fighting for territory out there.
After that strike, the old ghost woman was barely holding up. The Metal Thunder was ravaging through her veins and it was impossible for her to suppress it.
Seeing that she was getting closer and closer, Xiaojin strode out suddenly and raised her right palm. The lightning sizzled around her hand, which she landed on the old woman with a thump.
The old woman dropped to the ground a dozen meters away. She lay there asking in a menacing tone, "You're not going to spare my life, aren't you?"
"Cut the crap! Were you sparing anyone when you sent those things to bite me? My reputation will be ruined if I let you leave this place tonight!"
Xiaojin raised her palm and approached her, ready for her first kill tonight. However, right at that moment, the silent night was broken by a few gunshots.
"Rumble!" Several jeeps rushed into the mine area followed by a truck full of soldiers with loaded guns. One of them who seemed like an officer fired into the air for their attention and asked arrogantly, "Who are you people?"
"Hoho, just about time!"
The old ghost woman was somehow delighted at this turn of event and pounced forward with her last bit of strength.
Poof! The lump of black fog swelled up all of a sudden, wrapping around a jeep like a dark cloud. The next second, screams rang out of the vehicle, together with a strong smell of blood.
"Ghost! A ghost!"
The rest of the soldiers were petrified and opened fire, which was something the old woman was prepared for. She slithered under the vehicle, and in the blink of an eye, she was dashing out of a second jeep. Another four men were killed.
Xiaojin dared not get close to the torrent of gunfire and with a few moves, she dodged behind a house… Zap! Zap! Zap! The ground half a meter away was marked by a row of bullet holes.
"You made me do this. If I'm going down today, you're coming with me!"
The soldiers were abundant in their vitality, making them the ideal "tonic" for her. The old ghost woman had sucked quite a few men dry by now and almost looked deranged. She held her staff horizontally and ripped it open, revealing a leather scroll.
She then tossed it into the air and the scroll unfolded on its own. It was withered, yellow, and likely made from human skin. The scroll was 130 cm long and 60 cm wide, and on it was drawn a livid evil buddha with ferocious fangs.
The buddha had four-sided head and body with eight arms in total. It was now baring its fangs and brandishing its claws, eager to feed. A strong sinister energy was emanating from it.
"The evil buddha! The evil buddha!"
All gunfire ceased at the appearance of this drawing and panic filled the air. These forty to fifty men were the outpost of Ge Thantwe's army who had rushed here from Myitkyina.
Myan was a Buddhist country with countless legends and folklore, among which was the story of this evil buddha.
Legend had it that it used to be a devil living deep in the mountain. Because it had eaten so many people, it had grown so extremely powerful that it was bold enough to name itself a buddha. In the end, it was imprisoned by Buddha himself.
Legend or not, this drawing of the four-sided and eight-armed evil buddha was inherited from the old ghost woman's master and was over a hundred years old. She had been feeding it with spiritual blood and it could fly out to kill people, as well as devour her enemy directly. It was an extremely powerful object and a kind of her killing move/last resort.
The soldiers were all Myanese men and were scared out of their wits.
The old ghost woman chanted a spell and pointed with her finger, but the drawing did not move. She realized she was too badly injured to activate it and her face darkened. She was determined to share her end with her enemy.
She sliced her hand across her neck, and with a lifting movement, she removed her head from her body. Being only half human, this did not affect her like it would with ordinary people. The headless body then wobbled towards the drawing holding the head, which then turned into a streak of black light and disappeared into the drawing.
With the host herself as the sacrifice, the livid-faced and sharp-fanged buddha opened its eyes and was now radiating in a blood-red light. The drawing then dived at the crowd.
The soldiers had already scattered and were running into every direction. A teenage boy could not resist the curiosity and turned back to look while still running. He looked right into the buddha's eyes. Right away, he felt his head had been robbed blank as he felt down and passed out.
Some shot at the drawing while running, but the bullets simply went through it like they were shooting at empty air.
"Zap, zap, zap!"
Momentarily, black fog rolled out and blood was splashed, together with gunshots and screams. In half a heartbeat, there were a dozen more corpses on the ground which had no flesh or skin, but were broken skeletons only. It was a living hell.
"Gosh! Damn it!"
Xiaojin stamped her feet in vexation, but she barely had any energy left. What should she do? What should she do? She then smacked her head. It was not until then did she remember the flying message talisman. 'Will it get to him in time?'
She took out the talisman and was about to send the message when there came a clear voice. "Step back!"
She was overjoyed to hear the voice. Looking around, she saw no one. She then looked up and was dumbstruck.
A white cloud was drifting towards her from Mongkant's direction. It was moving at such a tremendous speed that it reminded one of Milky Way itself streaming across the sky, cutting through wind and waves like a swift ship.
Xiaojin opened her mouth, but words failed her. She knew her brother-in-law had been studying the Shadow-switching Technique this entire time and she had seen him using it every now and then. She thought it simply as an ability to switch into clouds or smoke and did not think very highly of it.
However, at this critical moment, Gu Yu—who was one foot in the Human Immortal state—had switched his power full on and descended like a heavenly god ready to cleanse the mortal world.
Over there, more than half of the soldiers had been killed. The evil buddha drawing was swollen with arrogance after ingesting all that blood and essence. An evil spirit was imprisoned in that drawing, and was now growing restless, as if it was going to break out.
It was feeding happily on its victims when the scroll turned suddenly to face that stretch of cloud, apparently quite intimidated. The cloud kept moving closer and reached the drawing in no time, knocking into the latter's blood-red glow.
For a moment there, time seemed to froze. The survivors looked into the sky, but felt the world shaking before they could blink.
Momauk seemed to be torn open in an instant. A violent wind howled and bellowed, sending tremors down the whole block.
The cloud trapped the drawing inside and the evil spirit was struggling with all its efforts. That livid giant head with its sharp fangs reached out of the scroll with bloodshot eyes and opened its giant mouth, trying to devour the cloud.
A faint snort came out of the cloud, and the next second, streaks of red light flew out in streams. The cloud was now shining resplendently like a magnificent evening glow, lighting up the night sky and the distant mountains.
The evil spirit could not withstand the Flame Cloud Needles and had to retreat into the drawing. It was now in a completely frantic state and was tumbling around violently.
After another moment of struggling, the evil buddha drawing finally shook the cloud loose a little. It then turned into a streak of black light dashing for the mountain to escape.
The red cloud rolled in a radiant splendor and red dots flew out, then formed into a flaming dragon and chased the scroll.
A gust of wind swept across the sky and red flame soared. The flaming dragon pierced the evil buddha drawing. Everything was quiet.
Immediately after that, the cloud scattered as if Milky Way was pouring down, and slowly transformed into a person. The evil buddha drawing was folded back in a stroll and lay tame in his hand.
Xiaojin ran happily towards him. All words had escaped her this moment and she could only express her excitement with her hands waving around.
Gu Yu knuckled her hard on the head and said angrily, "What happened to not making any trouble? Why didn't you use your talisman? If I hadn't noticed what was going on in time, what would I have told your sister later?"
"I, I really didn't try to make any trouble! I fought her and I was winning! Then I ran out of energy!"
The two were still talking when they heard a gunshot. The surviving soldiers had huddled together with their guns in hand and asked in a shaky voice, "Who, who on earth are you?"
"We're from China. Are you Ge Thantwe's men?"
"Yes, yes… why are you here?"
With most of their buddies killed, the current highest ranking officer spoke with a gun in his hand, which was shaking so badly that he could not hold the gun still.
Gu Yu was afraid of that gun going off by accident, so he made a sweeping movement with both hands and all the guns were now in his hands.
The little courage those fellow managed to gather scattered right away and they collapsed to the ground in fear.
"Don't be nervous. I was talking to Mia Lwin before, but he has run away… since you're here now, I guess I'll talk to you."
Out there somewhere, Mia Lwin had not gone too far with his retreating army, for he was still secretly hoping to get a free ride. With the death of the old ghost woman, he suddenly felt a pain in his chest. The hidden Tame Head backfired on him and he fell out of his vehicle before he could make a sound.