If the lights were on in the haunted house at the amusement park, Song Jun believed everything around would appear comical in the bright light. However, in this pitch-black environment, even fake and laughable toy ghosts could frighten someone to half-death.

       People’s biggest fear often stemmed from the unknown in the darkness. It was the anticipation of what might be, coupled with the uncertainty, that made it particularly terrifying.

       However, with Xia Hongshen in front of Song Jun and Ling Xiao and Xiang Wenxi behind him, those fears were buffered, and he felt much more relaxed.

       For example, right now, Xia Hongshen was pushing back the hair of a female ghost who suddenly fell from above with some disgust.

       Song Jun hurriedly followed Xia Hongshen, trying not to be swept away by the female ghost’s hair falling again.

       The haunted house in this amusement park was actually not big. It was originally located in an urban area, and the surrounding land was very expensive. The amusement park did not have much land to build such an unpopular haunted house.

       However, they had been walking for more than ten minutes and still had not seen the exit. Along the way, Song Jun was sprayed with air-conditioning, saw a coffin that was suddenly opened under a green light, and heard all kinds of ghostly screams. But now, the surroundings suddenly became quiet, and nothing strange was seen anymore. Only the green light not far from the ground still extended toward the front.

       Song Jun heard Ling Xiao, who was walking not far behind him, say, “Something’s not right.”

       Xia Hongshen said, “Something is indeed wrong. We walked into a formation set up by others.”

       “Formation?” Xiang Wenxi was surprised.

       Xia Hongshen stopped and said, “Nine-gate Yin-dispelling Formation? Do you know this formation?” There was some confusion in his tone, and then he said, “Be careful. No matter what you see or hear, don’t panic.”

       Hearing what Xia Hongshen said, Song Jun became even more panicked. He said, “What will we see?”

       Xia Hongshen just said, “Don’t be afraid.”

       Xia Hongshen closed his eyes and carefully checked the formation alignment before continuing to walk forward with Song Jun.  Although the spell array was complex, the location of the formation’s centre was also the position of the one who set it up. For him, breaking it was not difficult, as no scene could induce fear in him.

       Similarly, Chunjun would not be afraid because he shouldn’t have any fear emotion.

       But Song Jun didn’t consider himself Chunjun, and he felt extremely scared.

       He couldn’t see the people in front and behind him, and the weak light near the ground was not enough to illuminate the people in front and behind him. He could only feel Xia Hongshen holding his hand and the footsteps before and after him.

       Somehow, Song Jun felt very scared. He always tried to distinguish which footsteps belonged to whom. For example, Xia Hongshen’s footsteps were very light and almost silent, while Xiang Wenxi’s footsteps were slightly brisk, and Ling Xiao’s were relatively calm. But as he walked, Song Jun always felt that there was an extra person in front of him.

       He shook Xia Hongshen’s hand and asked, “Senior brother, is there no one in front of you?”

       “No,” Xia Hongshen told him very clearly.

       Actually, Song Jun knew the answer. He just wanted to hear Xia Hongshen say it so that he could feel relieved. Then he told himself not to think wildly and hummed a song in his heart. Anyway, he didn’t need to know the way; he just needed to be led by Xia Hongshen.

       However, while walking, Song Jun suddenly found that the footsteps behind him disappeared. He was stunned for a moment, then listened carefully. He really couldn’t hear the footsteps of Xiang Wenxi and Ling Xiao anymore; only his and Xia Hongshen’s were still there.

       Song Jun swallowed and said, “Senior Brother Xia, Ling Xiao, they are missing?”

       Xia Hongshen said calmly, “Got separated and had hallucinations.”

       Song Jun suddenly became worried, “Will something happen to them?”

       Xia Hongshen said, “Don’t underestimate Ling Xiao.” After saying that, he was silent for a moment and then said, “Don’t let go of my hand, or we may get separated.”

       Song Jun nodded, then realised that Xia Hongshen couldn’t see it, so he whispered, “Yeah.”

       After taking a few steps forward, Song Jun suddenly asked curiously, “Why didn’t I have hallucinations?”

       Xia Hongshen did not answer him immediately, but after a brief silence, he asked, “How do you know you are not hallucinating?”

       Song Jun was startled when he heard this.

       Xia Hongshen continued in a calm voice, “What you heard and saw, can you tell which one is true and which one is false? You may have been hallucinating from the moment you entered without knowing it. Do you know whose hand you are holding?”

       When he finished speaking, Song Jun suddenly felt goosebumps all over his body, and the hand of Xia Hongshen that he had been holding became cold. The outline of the person in front seemed to be faintly visible in the dark. He was very thin and tall, not like Xia Hongshen at all.

       Maybe what he said was true. Maybe the person he held was not Xia Hongshen’s hand from the moment he came in!

       Song Jun couldn’t help but scream, throw away the hand he was holding, and back away hastily.

       After taking a few steps back, he heard Xia Hongshen ask him, “I told you, don’t let go of my hand no matter what. Why didn’t you listen?”

       Song Jun was suddenly stunned. He stood there at a loss because he had let go of Xia Hongshen’s hand. He had clearly held Xia Hongshen’s hand before entering the haunted house. As long as he didn’t let go, there was no reason he was led by other people by mistake.

       However, he let go now.

       Xia Hongshen walked to him, held his hand again, and said, “Be obedient, don’t let go again.”

       Song Jun was led forward by Xia Hongshen. He felt that he was completely confused because he no longer knew whether Xia Hongshen was real or fake, and he didn’t know what was reality and what was an illusion.

       As he was stumbling, Song Jun suddenly heard footsteps chasing after him behind him. As he chased him, he shouted, “Song Jun!”

       That was Xiang Wenxi’s voice.

       Song Jun stopped quickly and pulled Xia Hongshen to stop. He said, “Xiang Wenxi is here.”

       However, Xia Hongshen said, “That’s not Xiang Wenxi.”

       At the same time, Song Jun heard Xiang Wenxi’s surprised voice, and he said, “Song Jun, who is that person with you? That doesn’t smell like Demon Zhen. Who is that?”

       Song Jun looked blankly into the darkness.

       “Go quickly!” Xia Hongshen urged him.

       But Xiang Wenxi said, “Song Jun, why don’t you come here quickly! That’s not the right person!”

       Song Jun was so frightened that he finally shook off the man’s hand, then pushed him away and ran towards the darkness. The small lights on both sides illuminated the way for him. As he ran forward, he shouted loudly, “Senior Brother Xia! Where are you?”

       He ran like this in the darkness for several minutes but still received no response. ‘Xia Hongshen’ and ‘Xiang Wenxi’ who were originally beside him, had long since disappeared. He felt tired and finally stopped running forward. Instead, he stepped aside, touched a wall, and then slowly sat down against the wall.

       He stretched his hand towards the small green light in the corner and finally saw his hand. However, at this time, he also used the faint light to see another hand not far from him.

       That hand was covered in blood.

       Song Jun was extremely frightened, but now he calmed down. He even asked, “Who are you?”

       He thought he wouldn’t get an answer, but unexpectedly, the hand beside me moved, and then a haggard voice said, “I am Jijun.”

       “Ji…jun?” Song Jun repeated blankly.

       The man said, “Someone is chasing me.”

       Song Jun asked, “Who is chasing you? Why are they chasing you?”

       The man said, “He is King Goujian of Yue’s man.”

       Song Jun felt a bit disoriented in time and space. “King Goujian of Yue? Why is he chasing you?”

       The man slowly raised his hand and clenched it into a fist, “Because I have killed countless people and am the most vicious person in the world.”

       The most vicious person in the world? Song Jun felt like he had heard it somewhere.

       The surroundings suddenly lit up. Song Jun stood up suddenly in surprise. He saw that the little green light was gone. The surrounding area was not a dark and endless passage but an open desert. The place where he was leaning just now was a piece of stone. It was a big yellow stone, and there was a person leaning on the stone at this time. The person was wearing a short coat and long boots in a style reminiscent of ancient barbarian clothing. His clothing was tattered and dishevelled, and his long hair hung loose. The person looked haggard, covered in bloodstains from head to toe.

       He raised his head and closed his eyes as if he had no strength to continue running away.

       Not long after, Song Jun heard the sound of horse hooves, and a group of people came from a distance. They surrounded the place and then took away the dying man who was sitting next to a stone.

       No one saw Song Jun. Except for the conversation with the man at the beginning, Song Jun seemed to be just a flicker of consciousness floating in this world. He could see and hear, but he could not touch or communicate.

       He watched the man being taken away and followed him unknowingly. After a long journey, he saw the man being brought into the palace, tied and kneeling in the main hall, and then taken down and locked in a cell.

       Two days later, someone took him out of the cell again, tied his limbs tightly, and brought him to an old man. The old man looked at him and nodded. The men pulled him up and threw him alive into a huge sword furnace; the furnace door was closed, he was burned alive, and the sword was forged with his flesh and blood.

       “…Extolling its splendor, like a lotus just emerging; examining its patterns, dazzling like the procession of stars; observing its brilliance, turbid like water overflowing a pond; inspecting its break, rugged like intricate rocks; observing its talent, radiant like the release of ice. This is what is called Chungao.1check author’s note

       Chunjun was presented to King Goujian of Yue by Ou Yezi, and was later given to the general of Yue. The life and death of that general were unknown, and he was the one who sealed Chunjun.

       Song Jun looked at all this, and he understood that this was Chunjun in his previous life, but this past could not evoke any memories in him.

       He stood there, watching the Chunjun sword being sealed, and the surroundings turned dark again. He couldn’t help but take a few steps forward. He wanted to see Xia Hongshen coming to unseal the past for Chunjun, but at this time, he heard someone ask him: “Do you still have your memories?”

       Song Jun turned his head and saw the outline of a person clearly in the darkness.

       The man was wearing a black robe, with long hair hanging over his shoulders. He was clearly someone from modern times. He took a few steps towards Song Jun and asked, “Do you still have your memories?”

       “Who are you?” Song Jun asked him.

       The man smiled slightly, walked up to Song Jun and said, “I am your master.”

The author has something to say:
Note: Chunjun, also known as Chungou, is excerpted from “Yue Jue Book: Chronicles of the Precious Sword”

It’s so sad that my previous articles were locked…

Thanks to Immortal Mountains Glossary for those who are interested in Formation~
Formations (阵 zhèn) (阵法 zhènfǎ) – divided into battle formations and spell formations, although they are often just called “formations”. Battle formations are “fantasy-fied” tactical formations used by several cultivators or martial artists attacking in concert. Spell formations are also called Arrays. They’re essentially magic circles which cast a continuous area-of-effect spell on the location the formation encompasses.

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