Li Shunxi dropped to the ground and rolled, dodging the lethal strike aimed at his neck by Gong Ruqing by a hairs breadth.
Momentarily, he had lost his bearings. Although he had methods to exorcise bodily possessions, they required the possessed party to be immobilized. Without any help, presently, he was out of moves.
He kept ducking and dodging until he suddenly heard quick footsteps heading nearer towards him.
Li Shunxi hurriedly looked towards the sound of the footsteps to see the emotionless Lu Sheng walk out of the pitch darkness.
Li Shunxi was seized by joy.
"Brother Lu! Come lend a hand!"
Without the slightest change in his expression, Lu Sheng glanced at Li Shunxi who was busy rolling around on the ground, a straight-back saber in his hand.
"SAVE ME!!!" Gong Ruqing pounced on Lu Sheng as well, lines of tears streaking across her face. Her clothes had been ripped and torn to shreds by now, revealing much of her body.
"Quick! Help me press her down! Ive got a way to dispel the possession!!!" Li Shunxi leapt up from the ground and dashed towards Gong Ruqing.
"Nine refinements return souls to rest, heavenly peace in yellow pagoda"
Before Li Shunxi could finish his sutra, Lu Shengs saber had completed a diagonal slash.
In the darkness, the bright saber gleam split Gong Ruqing into halves from top to toe, like a stream of spring water jetting across the air, clear and pure.
In a split second, the crescent-shaped saber gleam had hacked a living beauty into two pieces. Li Shunxi did not even have time to react when he saw the ground beneath Lu Shengs feet cave in as all the muscles on him bulged and expanded rapidly, ripping his clothes to shreds. A red line stretched from his chest to his crown, forming the shape of the character for blood  in the area between his eyes.
With a wave of his long saber, a thick gust of wind howled in the backyard like a typhoon. Lu Sheng smashed the back of his saber into a guard, sending him flying across the air, before charging towards Li Shunxi in two strides.
Just at that moment, a shadow shot forward from Li Shunxis side.
Two immensely powerful figures collided squarely with each other in midair.
At almost the same moment, ear-piercing and deafening roars rang out from both of them. Then, like two ferocious beasts, they pounced at each other again.
"DANG DANG DANG!!!"
Thundering clashes rang out, shaking Li Shunxi to the core till his limbs were limp.
A streak of lightning flashed across the sky, lighting up the two who were exchanging blows.
Compared to previously, Lu Shengs body had expanded by a fold. Thick bands of muscles covered his body, veins popping up in them. He swung the straight-backed saber at his opponent in a frenzy, smashing like it was a hammer.
And yet the other person was able to receive every one of those blows!
Li Shunxi stared at the other person and almost cried out in shock.
"Soul Soul of the Dead!!!" He broke out in cold sweat.
"Run!" Duan Mengan dashed out of nowhere and hurriedly grabbed him, pulling him away.
The remaining guard was presently as pale as a ghost. He quickly followed the two of them, running away from the site of the battle.
The one currently locked in combat with Lu Sheng was grayish black all over. His skin was completely exposed, rotting muscles and gangrenous blood vessels visible through it.
His eyes were a patch of white. His stature was taller than the average person's, and looked rather skinny and frail. And yet, his explosive strength was horrifyingly powerful!
Lu Sheng activated all his skills madly; Blood Fury Skill was activated to its maximum speed at his peak. And yet he could only achieve a draw against the opponent.
Another saber strike hacked at the opponent. Incredulously, the razor-sharp blade left no wound at all on this mans body despite Lu Shengs massive strength behind it.
"Im not buying it!!!" Savagery arose in Lu Shengs heart. He was about to activate Black Tiger Jade Crane Skill.
"Run! Thats a Soul of the Dead. Its got skin of copper and bones of iron. Its indestructible!" Li Shunxis anxious voice rang out from afar.
"Soul of the Dead? Indestructible?" The "blood" character on Lu Shengs forehead grew much more distinct. He gripped onto the saber with both hands, channeling power from his entire body and accumulating it in one spot.
"TIGER KILL!!!" Black Tiger Saber Technique was his only Intent Proficiency saber technique, as well as his most powerful attack.
This Tiger Kill carried Lu Shengs accumulated Blood Fury Skill inner Qi. Under the moonlight, it burst out like a lightning bolt and landed on top of the Soul of the Deads head.
The trembling blade vibrated and trembled atop the Soul of the Deads head.
Under the compression of immense force, the blade exploded into countless shards on the Soul of the Deads body!
Innumerable shards burst out like rain. Lu Sheng threw aside the saber hilt. His hands turned crimson like blood as he smashed them into the Soul of the Deads head continuously with a series of Heart-Shattering Palm attacks.
"DIE!!!" Lu Sheng roared like an insane beast, ramming his palms straight into the Soul of the Deads face with his entire bodys might under the activation of Blood Fury Skill.
After his last palm strike, Lu Sheng flew back and landed, staring at the Soul of the Dead, whose face had been hit into a concavity by his palms.
The Soul of the Dead had been slammed into flying backwards, countless broken blade shards pierced into his body. It was a terrible sight to behold. It roared in anger, then fell and rolled on the ground. Its body was burning hot like a steam cage, white steam and a charred stench rising up from his head.
Rolling on the ground, the Soul of the Dead gave its final roar, and then dissolved into a puddle of black water.
Wisps of steam still rose from Lu Shengs palms. He breathed out at length after landing, the vapor in his breath like smog. Only after seven or eight deep exhalations did he finally breathe out all the smoke from within him.
His body was also gradually reverting to its original size and shape, and the red "blood" character on his forehead was dissipating.
"You alright, Brother Li?" Lu Sheng turned back to look at Li Shunxi who was standing beside Duan Mengan.
Li Shenxi stared dumbfounded, his face as red as beetroot. He had yet to recover from the earlier scene of savagery. "Al alright thanks for coming to rescue Brother Lu," he stammered in reply.
After finally regaining his wits, a sudden anguish seized him at the thought of the mutilated Gong Ruqing. "How can Brother Lu take lives so callously and treat them like dirt?! Miss Gong Ruqing was a living person! Since Brother Lu possessed such power right from the start, why didnt you use it earlier!?"
Lu Sheng had walked to them by then, a new outer coat on him.
"What power? I dont know any supernatural skills or magic arts. And was that Gong Ruqing? Hasnt she turned into a ghost after being possessed?"
"Dont know? Brother Lu, are you kidding me? You dont know and yet you could kill a living Soul of the Dead?" Li Shunxi exclaimed in anger.
"I dont know whatever soul or dead. As long as its a freak, Ill smack it till it's dead. Isnt it as simple as that?" Lu Sheng looked at him, perplexed.
"A possessed body is a possessed body! A ghost is a ghost! A possessed body is just a body possessed by a ghost. As long as the ghost is expelled, the body is still a living person!" Li Shunxi croaked.
"A possessed body is a ghost. And a ghost must die," Lu Sheng corrected him in all earnestness.
"But thats a person! A LIVING PERSON!" Li Shunxi seemed to have forgotten Lu Shengs earlier ferocity, arguing heatedly, sticking to his own logic.
"Whatevers a danger to me is a ghost," Lu Sheng replied. "You should count yourself lucky you werent possessed," he looked at Li Shunxi emotionlessly.
Shivers ran down Li Shunxis spine. He still had his piece to say, but could no longer find the guts to do so.
"Lets go," Lu Sheng headed towards the cellar in the backyard.
"Boss, heres a saber," Duan Mengan quickly handed over his saber. In his hand was yet another saber which he had picked up from the guard.
Lu Sheng took the saber and strode towards the kitchen.
The few of them approached the kitchen, then traced the earlier route to the cellar.
Lu Sheng lifted open the cellar door and saw several more people lying inside indeed. They were Ning San, who had gone missing, as well as the two remaining guards and two more ladies.
"Its not wise to stay here any longer. We need to get out immediately," Lu Sheng said flatly. "See if these people can be woken up."
"Brother Lu, did you already know that a Soul of the Dead was lurking beside me since earlier?" Only now did Li Shunxi have the opportunity to ask.
"Mm. I sensed something was amiss, but couldnt tell who it was at that time. So I thought I might as well split up with you. As expected, it revealed itself once we split up," Lu Sheng explained simply.
Ever since rescuing the Gong Ruqing sisters, he had a peculiar feeling that something was off.
"How can Souls of the Dead have such intelligence to think that they even know how to disguise themselves and lie in hiding" Li Shunxi shivered. Realizing how close he had been to a Soul of the Dead for such a long time gave him the creeps.
"Then how about Gong Rumeng?" Li Shunxis mind was in a mess.
"Either dead or missing. No idea," Lu Sheng replied apathetically, "Whether theyre dead or alive is irrelevant to me. Im simply here to investigate a case."
"You how can you be so cold-blooded!?" Li Shunxi burst out.
"Cold-blooded? Theyre neither kith nor kin to me. Hows that cold-blooded?" Lu Sheng replied, perturbed.
Li Shunxi was entirely at a loss of words, unable to refute him.
Together with Duan Mengan, he lifted the people out from the cellar one by one and slapped them awake. Lu Sheng watched from the side without lifting a finger.
Everyone gradually came to.
"I was just resting in the room how did I get here all of a sudden?"
"Whats going on? Why am I here now?"
"Wheres Qingqing and Mengmeng? Why dont I see them?"
The group of ladies and guards panicked after waking up.
"We should get out of this place first," Li Shunxi proposed.
"Young Master Li, may I know if youve seen Qingqing and Mengmeng?" One of the ladies asked Li Shunxi.
Li Shunxi looked down without courage to look them in the face.
"Lets talk after we get out," he said softly.
Lu Sheng, on the other hand, swept his gaze across them, then looked at Ning San.
"Young Master!" Ning San ran over and bowed his head before Lu Sheng.
"Good to see that youre not dead. Alright, lets go," Lu Sheng said indifferently.
Ning San nodded in shame.
"Hang on! Wheres our Young Miss? Did you do something to her!?" One of the guards dashed over and blocked Lu Sheng angrily.
"Thats right! We woke up here, so its got to be these two!" The other guard dashed over as well and said severely to Li Shunxi, "Young Master Li, please assist us in arresting this man!"
Lu Sheng gazed at the two blocking the path, then looked at the awkward Li Shunxi.
"Are you coming?" He asked callously.
For some reason, despite the number of people present, Li Shunxi felt keenly that Lu Shengs question was directed at him alone.
"I go? Then how about them?" He asked.
"They belong here in the first place," Lu Sheng replied.
At those words, all commotion was silenced in an instant. It was as if the volume had been turned off.
Be it the guards or the ladies, eccentric smiles emerged on their faces.
Terror seized Li Shunxis heart. A keen sense of danger madly flooded his mind. With all his might, he leapt over to Lu Shengs side.
Then he turned back to look at the ladies and guards again.
"Young Master Li youve got to redress our grievances its that man, that man killed our Young Miss" the guard who had spoken earlier cried out loudly. But, the ashen hue of death colored his face now.
"Young Master Li"
A "ka-cha" sound rang out behind him. The kitchen door had been opened. A gruesome, distorted figure limped slowly through the door.
"Young Master Li, Qingqings body is hurting so badly. Why did you leave by yourself you didnt wait for Qingqing"
The Gong Ruqing that had been hacked into two halves appeared at the door! Presently, a long and fine blood-red crack line remained down the middle of her body, right along where she had been hacked into two pieces.
Li Shunxis face immediately turned a sick green.
"AH!!!" Frightened by the sight, Duan Mengan shoved the guard beside him away. That guard too was ashen-faced and an odious stench was being emitted from him.
Cold sweat broke out on Ning Sans forehead. The thought of how he had slept beside a pile of zombie-like corpses for such a long time made him shiver in disgust.
"Lets go," Lu Sheng strode towards the kitchen door without so much as a glance at the band of guards and ladies.