7 Return

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

His sanity value dropped to zero on the spot.

A chill ran up his spine and straight to his skull. Zhang Yuanqing jumped up and down on the spot like an angry cat. He blurted out a curse: "Motherf*cker!"

This was the subconscious instinct of a person when they were strongly stimulated or frightened.

He finally understood why his shoulders were so sore, and why the body by the window had to carry a bronze mirror with him.

This was to let Zhang Yuanqing check if he was being pressed down by a vengeful spirit.

When did it perch on my shoulder, when it entered the quadrangle, or enter this room?

What gave me the courage to go out and explore?!

His mind seemed to have exploded. All kinds of thoughts appeared in an instant, and fear surged like a tide.

Although he knew that there was something strange and terrifying in this temple and was already mentally prepared, when he really faced the ghosts, he still felt an indescribable panic.

Right, I have a talisman… Zhang Yuanqing took out the yellow paper talisman from the left pocket of his jacket with trembling hands and stuck it to his shoulder.


The Corpse Suppression Talisman slapped against his shoulder. He raised the bronze mirror and shone it carefully. The man with the pale face and black lips and dead white eyes was still lying on his shoulder.

It was useless as this thing was not considered a corpse-type Yin creature… The last trace of hope was gone. Zhang Yuanqing felt his shoulders becoming sorer, and his limbs turning cold.

These were not illusions, but real Yang energy loss.

At this moment, Zhang Yuanqing thought of the corpse under the table in the main hall and the senior who had died tragically under the window. Next, he would probably die here like the two of them.

A chill shot through him.

Tap! Tap!

Suddenly, at this critical moment, soft footsteps sounded in the corridor outside.

The footsteps were light, but distinct in the still of the night.

Zhang Yuanqing's heart skipped a beat. He quickly squatted down beside the corpse under the window.

The footsteps were familiar, very similar to the sounds he had heard when he entered the temple.

Tap… Tap… Tap…

Footsteps approached, heading their way. Zhang Yuanqing didn't dare breathe. His body was tense, and he could faintly hear his frantic heartbeat.

When the footsteps passed the window, he couldn't help but glance at the floor of the room. Moonlight shone in, forming a lattice window shadow on the floor.

The window wasn't high and only came up to his waist. With a normal person's height, if one passed it, the moonlight would cast its shadow on the ground.

He didn't see anything.

This meant that whatever passed by the window had no body.

Fortunately, the footsteps passed the window, didn't linger, didn't enter the house, and faded away.

Phew… Zhang Yuanqing silently heaved a sigh of relief. He focused his attention on the distant footsteps and heard it step into the courtyard, making a rustling sound.

Then it stopped. Seconds later, footsteps sounded again.

This time the footsteps were not simply walking, but stepping with a certain rhythm.

'What was it doing in the yard?'

Zhang Yuanqing supported his cold body and stood up with some difficulty. He looked out through the tattered window paper.

In the moonlight, in the wild grass, a pair of brand-new, Western-style red dancing shoes tap-danced in the night.

Moonlit night, deserted temple, red dancing shoes, solo dancing.

This scene looked both absurd and strange, but there was also an indescribable… loneliness?

Why would a pair of Western-style dancing shoes be in a Mountain Temple in the Ming Dynasty?

This dilapidated temple was getting weirder and weirder… He quietly squatted back and waited patiently.

As time passed, the vengeful spirit lying on his shoulder continued to absorb his Yang energy. His body stiffened more and more, and the pain in his shoulder turned into a stabbing pain.

He felt that if this continued, he would either die from exhausting his Yang energy or his shoulder bones would shatter from his injuries.

In the throes of agony, the dance in the courtyard vanished.

Zhang Yuanqing still didn't dare to stick his head out. After waiting for another moment, he carefully peeked through the window and looked into the courtyard.

The courtyard was filled with moonlight. The weeds stood still as the strange dancing shoes finally left.


He exhaled in relief. As he tried to stand, his knees buckled and he fell to the ground.

As the tension eased and the adrenaline ebbed, he realized he was in worse shape than he'd thought.

His shoulder stung and his bones felt as if they were breaking. His knee joints were stiff and his blood felt as if it had frozen.

Trembling, he grabbed the bronze mirror. In the dusty mirror, Zhang Yuanqing saw that his face was pale, his expression was dispirited, and his pupils were dim. How was he a normal person? He was clearly a sickly person who was exhausted.

Over his shoulder, the vengeful spirit with the dark lips stared at him in eerie silence.

If this continued, he would die. But what could he do? Nothing could reach the vengeful spirit on his shoulder.

The sharp pain in his shoulder bone forced him to lean back against the wall for support.

He turned his head to look at the senior worker's corpse. The man and corpse were in the same posture.

"I see…" Zhang Yuanqing smiled bitterly.

He could almost his end and hear the sigh of the reaper.

But Zhang Yuanqing did not give up his desire to live. His brain remained active, like an overloaded CPU, seeking hope of survival in a desperate situation.

In a flash, the body under the main hall table flashed through the chaotic flow of information.

"The bone fractures of the two corpses are different. The shoulder injury of the corpse in the main hall is not fatal. Did the vengeful spirit let him off? No, it's impossible for the vengeful spirit to show mercy…"

"Why did he hide under the table…"

"When I entered the temple, the red dancing shoes secretly followed behind me. But when I entered the main hall, it left…"

Thinking of this, Zhang Yuanqing's dim and turbid pupils lit up with hope.

Return to the main hall. Return to the main hall immediately!

He immediately got up and staggered out of the house. Every step was difficult as if he was carrying a huge mountain.


He fell in the yard, into the weeds, unable to rise again.

Zhang Yuanqing's teeth trembled as they collided up and down. He felt like he was in a bitter winter.

The "chill" stole the heat and eroded the will.

Zhang Yuanqing crawled towards the main hall bit by bit, using all his strength. He held his head high, allowing his eyes to always reflect the outline of the building in front of him.

Only then would the hope in his eyes not be extinguished.

It took only about a minute to walk from the main hall, but at this moment, it felt as far as the horizon in the sea.

Finally, the moment he crawled into the eaves of the main hall, he heard illusory screams. His shoulders felt light, and the negative effects of cold, dizziness, and stiffness instantly disappeared.

Zhang Yuanqing scrambled up the pedestal, staggered around to the front of the main hall, pushed open the lattice door, and threw himself over the threshold.

The candlelight was like beans, dispelling the gloom and bringing a welcome warmth.

He lay spread-eagled on the floor, chest heaving, wheezing. He lay like that for two or three minutes before he felt alive again.

"How ter-terrifying… My theory was right. The main hall is a safe house."

Based on the difference in the shoulder injuries of the two skeletons, he determined that something must have stopped the vengeful spirit from pursuing the person in the hall.

The worker under the table curled up and died, which fit a man's psychology of hiding in times of extreme fear.

To this senior worker, the main hall was safe.

The fact that the red dancing shoes had abandoned their pursuit of him indirectly confirmed that theory.

For the rest of the journey, Zhang Yuanqing remained in the main hall until the pain in his shoulder subsided and his body temperature returned.

Sure enough, he was no longer in any danger.

"If the main hall is a safe house, then my chances of survival will undoubtedly increase greatly. Even if the hunched-over vengeful spirit absorbs my essence, I can still escape back to the main hall. But if I encounter the vengeful spirit and am chased by the red dancing shoes, I don't think I can escape back to the main hall."

"The most strange and terrifying source of this temple is definitely not a vengeful spirit…"

He didn't feel smug because he'd defused a life-and-death crisis. There was more to this ancient temple.

After all, an entire construction team had died here before him.

After resting for a long time, he gradually put down his fear and was hesitating if he should continue exploring.

The voice in his head spoke again:

[Main Mission 1: Survive for three hours (Completed)]

[Main Mission 2: Explore Spirit Realm No. 0079. Progress: 20%]

[Heavenly Lord of Primordial Beginning, congratulations on completing a main mission. The reward is being calculated…]

[Obtained item/tool: Corpse Suppression Talisman (available in inventory).]

[Obtained EXP: 15%]

[Inventory Panel unlocked.]

[You will receive 36 hours of rest. Countdown to the next activation of Spirit Realm No. 0079: 35:59:40.]

The landscape inside the main hall twisted like wind-wrinkled water.

When the scene cleared again, Zhang Yuanqing saw the bright energy-saving lights, the wide bed, the desk, the PS5 game console, and the open window. The curtains swayed slightly as the wind blew in.

He was back on Earth.

"I'm back?"

Stunned, he looked around to make sure he was really back in the room before his knees buckled and he fell onto the soft bed.

He took a deep breath and found that the air was fresh.

It was good to be alive. It was good to be on earth.

After resting for a few minutes, Zhang Yuanqing sat up and pulled down the zipper of his jacket. Sure enough, the Corpse Suppression Talisman was gone.

Zhang Yuanqing naturally had the thought of "taking the item". The next moment, a fluorescent blue grid appeared in front of him.

There were five squares in total. Lying in the first was the yellow paper talisman.

It was a wonderful experience. After the inventory was unlocked, this function seemed to have become his instinct. He did not need to learn it and naturally knew how to open the inventory.

"In addition to the Corpse Suppression Talisman, I also obtained 15% experience points, but my level is still zero. This means that I haven't become a Night Wanderer yet and am still an ordinary person."

"I almost died inside after surviving for three hours. How can I complete the second mission? Is this the S-rank difficulty…"

The more Zhang Yuanqing thought about it, the more desperate he felt. He felt that he had been tricked by Brother Bing.

This lousy card could indeed change one's life, but it was also indeed difficult to handle.

He knew himself well. He was just a college student who had never even killed a chicken. It would be difficult for him to survive the second mission alone.

As an upright law-abiding youth, he definitely had to rely on the country and the government at this time.

He took the phone and planned to dial his cousin's number. When his fingers touched the phone screen, he suddenly paused.

Suddenly, it occurred to Zhang Yuanqing that he might have a better option.

He immediately got out of bed and found the business card left behind by the man with the slicked-back hair in the desk drawer.

The business card listed names and contact details.

Tonight's encounter reminded him of Brother Bing's mysterious disappearance. If he had not made it out alive, he had also mysteriously disappeared.

He was certain that Brother Bing had long come into contact with the so-called Spirit Realm. Perhaps he had entered a certain Spirit Realm?

In this case, the Security Bureau's investigators were credible.

There was another reason he chose to contact the man with the slicked-back hair. The other party had said that he might also go missing. This was a clear indication that he would enter the Spirit Realm.

Coupled with the fact that his cousin was unaware, Zhang Yuanqing had reason to deduce that the three of them were special personnel who specialized in dealing with similar incidents.

After thinking it through, Zhang Yuanqing dialed the number on the business card.

The dial tone went on for a few seconds before the call was answered. A voice with a mature male lilt asked: "Who is this?"

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