WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire Episode 4, "The Spirit in Sword," now streaming on Funimation.
Just when Xuan Ji thought he had seen the last of Sheng Lingyuan, the mysterious emperor refuses to leave him alone. Last week's Drowning Sorrows in Raging Fire saw Sheng Lingyuan meet the summoner of the Thousand Spirits Array, Bi Chunsheng, but her unexpected request has Sheng Lingyuan breaking the pact. The ensuing explosion destroys the building, leaving Bi Chunsheng and Sheng Lingyuan's fates unknown.
While recuperating at the hospital, Xuan Ji realizes that his sword isn't returning to its usual place in his spine. Xiao Zheng visits him and gives him a few updates: Bi Chunsheng used the people she had rescued when she was a field agent as part of the 1,000 sacrifices for the array. One of them was Ji Qingchen, the conman they had believed was the summoner. Bi Chunsheng is nowhere to be found, and the runes that previously appeared outside of their headquarters have vanished. Exhaustion sweeps over Xiao Zheng's face as he questions why the Supernaturals have to have the responsibility of protecting the normal people when they're human too. Xuan Ji tells him that the Supernaturals may be human, but they pose a threat.
Xuan Ji can't stop thinking about what Bi Chunsheng said about Chiyuan. He has roots there, after all; his clan ring was forged there before he left to explore the world. As soon as he did, he found an overturned car with two people, possibly a father-son pair, heavily injured. It's unclear whether or not the pair survived.
Xiao Zheng's team extract the last butterfly but notice something odd: it's contagious! They trap the butterfly in a sealed tube and quarantine everyone else who came in contact with it. After examining the butterfly, they realize it's different from the other butterflies that were found in the Center. Most likely, this particular butterfly didn't come from the Center, but rather from Ji Qingchen.
As soon as Xuan Ji's sword case comes close to the tube, the butterfly flits around erratically. When his sword topples out of the case, he catches it in time, but the sword becomes stuck to his hand and he starts bleeding. Immediately, he forces his sword to release him and flings it away.
There's a reason why the butterfly seems to be afraid of his sword and why his sword hasn't been able to return to its usual place. Someone is in his sword: Sheng Lingyuan. In an attempt to save his life when the explosion occurred, the emperor escaped into Xuan Ji's sword. Not only does Xuan Ji now have another person residing in his weapon, but he also has to deal with the fact that Sheng Lingyuan can hear his thoughts and vice versa. Xuan Ji tries to take advantage of their connection and look into Sheng Lingyuan's memories, but he has little recollection of his past life. However, he does show Xuan Ji a frightening image of a mass grave.
Now that Ji Qingchen is dead, Xuan Ji searches for his accomplice. He and his team revisit one of Ji Qingchen's usual haunts when a man suddenly approaches them. At the same time, Sheng Lingyuan notices that there seems to be a thick scent of death emitting from the stranger. Xuan Ji races out, and as soon as he does, a portal opens up behind the man from which various skeletal hands emerge.
The skeletal hands latch onto his sword, and shadowy tendrils grab hold of Xuan Ji's arm and start dragging him in. Before long, the portal swallows up Xuan Ji and Sheng Lingyuan. These men are far from being allies, but now that the two of them are separated from the rest of Xuan Ji's team, will we see them start to work together?