Chapter 182 Something Suspicious
"Wu Cuihong, you're absolutely vile! I can't believe you'd even consider using poison on Tang Zheng." Fang Shishi's voice trembled; she couldn't control her rage.
"He deserves it," thundered Wu Cuihong, "He's been working against me this whole time. You can't blame me for wanting to get rid of him."
"You have no shame at all. Back then when Tang Zheng was in Class One, he earned back so much honor for you! And now you throw it all to the wind," Fang Shishi said.
Wu Cuihong's expression became cold. "That's only part of what he should have done in the first place. A poor little brat like him comes to our school and is spared all tuition-if he didn't try to earn some honor for himself, then what would he be useful for? Wouldn't all that money be going to waste?"
After her initial panic, Wu Cuihong became calm once more. She still believed in her authority over students as a teacher, and wasn't afraid even when being exposed.
"Shut up!" Fang Shishi shouted hysterically. She had dissolved into rage. "To think I used to respect you so much...now that I know your true colors, I can only blame myself for being blind back in the day."
Wu Cuihong made a look of disgust. "Fang Shishi, you're not much of a good student either. I valued you so much, only for you to move to Class Seven because of someone so useless. You made me look bad in front of everyone."
"That's enough!" Tang Zhen's words exploded in Wu Cuihong's ears like thunder. Seeing his anger didn't make her fearful; instead, she burst out laughing. "Am I wrong? She's no better than you, just better at disguising herself.."
Now that she planned to leave this school, she didn't care about offending Fang Shishi or showing her own true colors.
"Tang Zheng, you're angry, aren't you? But what you can you to me? I'm a teacher, you're a student. Before me, you're powerless. You might have overheard what I said earlier, and take precautions, but I have other plans that you couldn't even imagine in your wildest dreams. You want to get into college? Dream on, haha!" Wu Cuihong laughed wildly, not even bothering to disguise her wickedness.
"She's gone completely crazy, there's no use in reasoning with her," said Fang Shishi angrily.
"Crazy? Haha, I wouldn't go crazy. I'm quite sane," Wu Cuihong retorted.
His expression heavy as he watched Wu Cuihong's breakdown, Tang Zheng spoke. "I really feel sorry for you. You put all this effort into taking me down. The truth is, I've never seen you as my enemy. You're too insignificant to deserve me as an enemy."
Wu Cuihong's expression twisted. "What, you say that I don't deserve you? Who the hell do you think you are, saying that I'm worthless?"
Tang Zheng shook his head. His anger had dissipated; only pity and sadness remained. Going back and forth with someone like this was just a waste of time. His time was too valuable to be wasted on her.
"Shishi, you're right. She is almost crazy. If that's how it's going to be, we should lend her a helping hand and make sure she never hurts anyone again. I'm sure she's harmed plenty of people with her scheming in the past, so letting her sink into madness is nothing more than the punishment she deserves." Tang Zheng said without any pity. He no longer wanted to keep this pointless feud going, but there was no way he was letting a potential danger like Wu Cuihong go free.
"I think you're the crazy one here. You've wronged me-I won't let you go like this," Wu Cuihong snarled.
"Just do it, Tang Zheng. I don't want to see her like this anymore," Fang Shishi said with a disgusted look on her face.
With a nod, Tang Zheng drew the Battle Soul Blade.
He'd kept it with him to prevent Fan Wuzong from attacking again, only leaving it on the bus with his bag when he entered the exam center.
"What are you doing? Are you actually going to kill me?" Seeing the cold shimmer of the sword startled Wu Cuihong enough that she took a step back.
Tang Zheng snorted. "Killing you with the Battle Soul Blade would be an insult to the sword. I've said that I want to drive you mad, and that's exactly what I plan to do."
Just as he finished speaking, Tang Zheng activated his energies. Immediately, the Battle Soul Blade flashed. A colossal object flew right at Wu Cuihong.
Immediately, Wu Cuihong's eyes widened, fixed dead ahead on the thing pouncing toward her.
The Battle Soul's figure stood tall, clothes in tatters, face pale like metal. While not as terrifying as the snarling fangs and blue faces of mythological monstrosities, a single glance was still enough to send fear through mostly anyone.
"What...is this?" Wu Cuihong felt the blood run cold through her whole body, as if she had plummeted into a valley of ice. A rotting smell attacked her senses, forcing her to shudder.
Tang Zheng let out a cold chuckle, but didn't answer.
The Battle Soul shoved her to the ground immediately, opening up a gnarled mouth as if to swallow her. Unable to take it anymore, Wu Cuihong shrieked out loud, "No!"
A chilly wind swept through the room, rich with the wails of spirits. It seemed to have turned the room into a demonic realm. Wu Cuihong began to experience hallucinations. It was as if from all directions demons with cruel fangs and bronze faces were hounding her, demanding she give up her life. From around her feet two hands shot up, grabbing her ankles and dragging her down toward the earth.
This was the horror of yin energies. When faced with locations filled with such a chilling, ominous aura, many people with weaker minds would be easily swayed toward fixating on horrifying things.
This was also why entering a haunted mansion would inspire terror in one's heart. Because the yin impacted one's brain waves, the subconscious would uncontrollably generate hallucinations.
Wu Cuihong was experiencing just that. She began to squirm, as if trying to free herself from something. The Battle Soul stood immobile to one side of the room, emanating wave after wave of yin energies that filled the whole room.
"Demons...demons, don't grab me, don't claw at me like that..." Wu Cuihong shrieked.
It was the first time Fang Shishi had seen a Battle Soul. His terrifying aura roused some fear in her as well, and she couldn't help but tug on Tang Zheng's sleeve.
Tang Zheng quickly grasped her hand. "Don't be afraid. He won't hurt you."
Fang Shishi nodded and took a deep breath. "I have you, I'm not afraid." Watching Wu Cuihong curl into a ball, she asked, "Is she already mad?"
Tang Zheng nodded. "She's been scared silly. No one else will fall to her schemes again."
"She deserves it!" Fang Shishi said, her voice filled with disgust.
"Let's go. She's being too loud; people will hear her soon and come." Tang Zheng retrieved the Battle Soul. For a moment, he watched Wu Cuihong's facial muscles contorting and shuddering. Then he pulled Fang Shishi away, and they left the dorm together.
Wu Cuihong's screams finally drew spectators. When they saw her in her wild state-her face paper white, losing control of her bowels, shuddering nonstop-everyone could hardly believe it.
But it wasn't long before someone suggested that perhaps she had been driven out of her mind by fear of her impending punishment, so no one suspected Tang Zheng.
The news that Wu Cuihong had gone crazy spread quickly. Even the hotel Tang Zheng stayed at was filled with rumors. He and Fang Shishi remained silent as everyone else stated their thoughts. Everyone agreed that Wu Cuihong must be really weak if she was scared silly by the mere thought of being punished.
But the whole thing was nothing more than an interesting anecdote for most. The exams continued, and everyone focused their attention on that.
Tang Zheng continued to answer his questions at inhuman speed, handing his test in much earlier each time, and then walking out of the examination center amidst expressionless faces who had grown used to his antics.
Several who didn't understand him shook their heads. What a stupid method of throwing one's future away! Others, however, muttered to themselves when they saw his confident swagger. Perhaps he wasn't just throwing away his future, but was actually just that good.
Amidst all this doubt and guesswork, the exams concluded, bringing the conclusion of an eventful segment in everyone's life. Some were excited, some disappointed, but they had all finished one of the most important journeys in their lives.
Just as Tang Zheng and Fang Shishi prepared to leave the exam center for good, Auntie Feng the Fourth arrived on the scene. Seeing the two holding hands and walking close together, she couldn't help but heave a sigh: seemed like Dingdang wasn't putting in enough work if this girl from the Fang family had Tang Zheng so firmly in her clutches.
But Auntie Feng wasn't giving up just then. The days to come were long, and it was much too early to say who would win or lose in the long run.
"How were the exams, handsome?" she asked.
"Not bad. Auntie Feng, are you here for Dingdang?"
She shook her head. "I'm here for you. Come over for dinner, I have something I need to talk about with you."
Fang Shishi watched their interaction with curiosity, unsure of why Tang Zheng and the Ye family were so close. She decided to stay in her lane and remained quiet on the topic.
Just the thought of Fourth Auntie Feng's attempts at matchmaking gave Tang Feng a headache. He glanced at Fang Shishi and spoke his mind. "Auntie Feng, can Shishi come with me?"
"Of course," said Fourth Auntie Feng with a sweet smile.
Ye Dingdang walked closer with surprise written on her face. "Auntie Feng, what are you doing here?"
"I'm here to invite our favorite stunner over. Come on, get into the car." Fourth Auntie Feng started the car. After an expressionless glance at Tang Zheng, Ye Dingdang got into the front seat. Tang Zheng and Fang Shishi sat in the back. They zoomed at top speed into the Ye family's manor.
Ye Tianlei was awaiting Tang Zheng in the living room. He glanced at Fang Shishi with a look that Auntie Feng understood all too well.
"Dingdang, would you please take Fang Shishi out and show her around? We have something to talk about with our favorite cutie here."
Ye Dingdang's brow furrowed. Every time her parents asked for Tang Zheng the whole thing became mysterious. She, the actual daughter of the family, felt like she was being thrown to the wayside for an outsider.
Tang Zheng patted Fang Shishi's hand and said softly, "I'll be there later."
Fang Shishi smiled gently, nodding.
The three of them came to the study and sat down. Ye Tianlei's expression was extremely serious. "Tang Zheng, we're going to Jing City tomorrow."
Tang Zheng was taken aback. "So soon?"
"Wuzong hasn't shown any reaction throughout this time. We think there's something wrong, so we're going back to see what's happening." Fourth Auntie Feng was finally being serious for once.
Tang Zheng felt something stirring in his heart. During this time Wuzong had been quiet, which was unusual. If Wu had reported the events that were going on, it shouldn't be so quiet on that end. What had happened?
"You don't want to come with us?" Ye Tianlei asked.
Tang Zheng shook his head. He was planning on making use of the summer vacation to go to Diannan, and try to obtain Mu Hongyan's deceased husband's artifact.