Su Jin pulled his knife out and stood in front of Zhang Jing alongside Chu Yi. Yang Zichen removed his jacket and helped to wipe the black liquid off Zhang Jing’s face.
“Watch out, everyone!” Su Jin remained cautious as he held the lamp out in front of him to see where the sound was coming from. But each time he shifted the light, that thing would shift its position as well, so Su Jin couldn’t see what it looked like at all.
The tension in the air made it almost impossible for any of them to breathe.
Just then, someone opened the door to the storeroom. Lin Yue’s younger brother ran in with a white piece of cloth in his hand. He ran into the darkness without saying a word, but before Chu Yi could tell him to watch out, he emerged from the dark corner again.
But this time, the white cloth came walking out behind the brother too. He had used the white cloth he was holding earlier to cover something.
“It’s the thing that attacked Zhang Jing just now.” It didn’t take a genius to guess what was beneath that white cloth.
The brother had entered the room and left the room in silence, and none of them had the courage to ask him anything. The thing under the white cloth made them fear for their lives, and they couldn't wait for it to leave the room.
Su Jin made sure that the door to the storeroom was left slightly ajar. That way, they could escape more easily if something like that happened again.
“What do we do now? Should we go and ask Lin Yue for help?” asked Chu Yi.
Su Jin nodded. There was no other option but to look for Lin Yue for help now. He said to the two other boys, “Take care of Zhang Jing and look for me immediately if you sense anything amiss about her!”
He walked out of the storeroom again and came face to face with Lin Yue immediately after he stepped out of the room. She was staring straight at them, and the look in her eyes startled Su Jin.
“Why are you here?” Su Jin sounded like he was asking casually, but he was wary of her and hid his knife behind him.
“My grandmother died.”
“What?” Su Jin didn’t expect that answer.
“I said, my grandmother’s dead! The four of you are the ones who caused her death! It’s the four of you!” Lin Yue’s expression suddenly turned nasty as she shouted viciously at Su Jin.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Su Jin took a small step backwards as he looked at her warily.
Lin Yue took a step forward and gritted her teeth as she said, “You’re a bunch of ingrates! I was kind enough to save you, but you killed my grandmother instead! I’m going to make all of you pay with your lives!”
“Calm down! We’ve never even met your grandmother before, so how could we have killed her?” Su Jin got himself ready to defend himself anytime in case Lin Yue attacked him.
“You’ve … you’ve never seen her before!” Lin Yue’s expression suddenly calmed down as she slowly considered Su Jin’s words. Then she smiled apologetically at Su Jin and said, “I’m sorry, I was too agitated. You’re right. You’ve never seen my grandmother before, so how could you have killed her?”
Su Jin breathed a long sigh of relief and thanked his lucky stars. But they couldn’t stay here anymore, he thought. The way Lin Yue behaved earlier had been way too terrifying. Who knew when she might suddenly become like that again?
Just then, Su Jin heard the sound of the bells ringing again. He looked towards where the sound was coming from and failed to notice that Lin Yue’s expression had turned menacing again.
“Where is the sound of the bells coming from?” asked Su Jin as he turned back to Lin Yue, only to see her pounce towards him with her mouth wide open, as if she was going to bite into his neck.
He raised an arm to block her attack, and then used his body to shove her aside before running back into the storeroom and slamming himself against the back of the door.
When Chu Yi saw how panicked Su Jin looked, he quickly asked, “Brother Su, what’s wrong?”
“There’s a problem with this place! We’ve got to help Zhang Jing regain her consciousness fast because we’ve got to get out of here as soon as possible!” Su Jin yelled at the other two.
“We can’t get her to wake up! Why don’t I carry her instead?” suggested Chu Yi.
“We’ll do that! We can’t go out through this door anymore, so check if we can make it out of the windows,” instructed Su Jin as he continued to lean against the storeroom door. The way Lin Yue was ramming against the door from outside made it hard for Su Jin to believe that all that strength came from a woman her size.
Chu Yi passed Zhang Jing over to Yang Zichen before climbing up to the window on the other side. But before he could steady himself on the window ledge, a head that was completely white suddenly appeared outside the window.
“Oh my god!” Chu Yi gasped and nearly fell from the ledge.
The white head rammed against the window repeatedly without stopping and was soon covered with blood. Its features also slowly revealed a creepy smile.
“What are you waiting for?!” yelled Su Jin.
“Bro, this side’s even worse!” Chu Yi really felt like crying now. Even though he was brave in a fight, he was afraid when it came to such supernatural beings.
Su Jin had no idea what Chu Yi was talking about. He used all his strength to finally lock the storeroom door from the inside and collapsed onto the floor as he panted heavily.
“Brother Su, what’s happening on your side?” Chu Yi was still squatting on the ledge and looking out, watching the white head smash itself against the window repeatedly.
“It’s Lin Yue … she seems to have gone mad and was trying to attack me.”
“That’s nothing! I’ve got a flying head here!”
“A flying head? What flying head?” Su Jin stared at Chu Yi before he quickly noticed a white head flying at the windowpane from outside in an attempt to get into the storeroom.
“Brother Su! Brother Chu! There's something… strange about Zhang Jing!" yelled Yang Zichen.
By this time, Yang Zichen had already wiped off the black liquid that had been on Zhang Jing’s face, but he noticed that Zhang Jing’s face kept contorting, as if she was making funny faces at him. However, after he yelled for the other two men’s attention, she suddenly opened her eyes.
“I’m so glad you’re alright, Zhang Jing!” Yang Zichen breathed a sigh of relief.
But Zhang Jing suddenly sat up and lunged for Yang Zichen’s throat. As Yang Zichen was very near to Zhang Jing and couldn’t dodge her in time, her teeth sank right into his throat.
Su Jin and Chu Yi were shocked by this and ran over immediately to try to pull Zhang Jing off Yang Zichen. But Zhang Jing’s teeth seemed to have taken root in Yang Zichen’s neck and simply couldn’t be pulled away from Yang Zichen. Su Jin had no choice but to take his knife out and stab it into Zhang Jing’s thigh, hoping that the pain would make her loosen her bite.
But Zhang Jing didn’t seem to feel any pain whatsoever and didn’t let go of Yang Zichen. Yang Zichen’s eyes were as wide as saucers, and he was clearly in a lot of pain.
Chu Yi decided to elbow Zhang Jing hard in the face since she refused to let go of Yang Zichen. There was a loud bam as Zhang Jing was finally separated from Yang Zichen, but the scary part was that they were separated not because Zhang Jing had let go of Yang Zichen, but because she had bitten right through Yang Zichen’s throat and went flying backwards with a large piece of his flesh in her mouth.
Both Su Jin and Chu Yi almost lost their minds when they saw what had happened. Zhang Jing swallowed the flesh in her mouth down and pounced towards Yang Zichen again. The poor boy was already lying in a pool of his own blood, and his limbs were convulsing slightly. It was pretty obvious from his state that he wasn’t going to make it.
Chu Yi grabbed hold of Yang Zichen and dragged him backwards so that Zhang Jing couldn’t pounce on him, while Su Jin used both arms to hold Zhang Jing back and pulled her backwards as well.
“Find a rope!” There were a lot of random things in the storeroom, so it didn’t take Chu Yi long to find one. It took the two men every bit of energy left inside them to finally tie her down properly.
After they had tied her up securely, they went back to check on Yang Zichen. Unfortunately, Yang Zichen was no longer breathing. His entire Adam’s apple had been swallowed by Zhang Jing just now, so even if he were still alive, he wouldn’t have lived for much longer.
As they looked at Yang Zichen’s widened eyes, both Su Jin and Chu Yi looked terribly sad. But there was also clear traces of terror and despair in their eyes apart from their obvious sadness.
From the moment they arrived in Fengxi Town, Liu Yingying had already warned them that they might die here. But when someone among them had actually died, both of them realized that they weren’t prepared for it to happen at all. It was so hard to accept this reality.
Su Jin ran his hand over Yang Zichen's face to close his eyelids; then, he gently patted Chu Yi's shoulder. Chu Yi turned to him and gave him a bitter smile before both of them turned to look towards Zhang Jing. Zhang Jing’s face was still contorted, and her mouth was making weird noises. They could still see some bloodstains on her teeth. Blood that once belonged to Yang Zichen.
“What’s going on?! Why did things suddenly turn out this way?” Chu Yi slumped back down on one of the stools. The flying head outside was still trying to smash through the window, while Lin Yue was still trying to break the door down. Both of them were still in danger.
“I have no idea, but… all of this could be connected to the sound of the bells.” Su Jin’s mind was still quite alert. Lin Yue’s sudden attack, the flying head outside the window, and Zhang Jing's sudden outburst had all happened right after the bells had sounded.
“And it’s not only this time. The last time we got attacked by a ghost, it also happened after the bells sounded!” Su Jin suddenly realized with a start that both attacks had occurred after the sound of the bells.
“You’re right. Could the strange events in Fengxi Town be linked to the place where the bells are ringing?” said Chu Yi puzzledly.
"I would think so. I think… if we want to survive the night, we’ve got two options. One is to keep running and escape any dangers that come our way. But it seems like taking that path is not going to be easy." One of them had died, and another had gone mad. Su Jin didn't think they might be able to keep doing this until daybreak.
“What’s our other option?”
“Find the source of this problem and resolve it.”
Chu Yi fell silent. But his training in martial arts had taught him to tackle dangers head-on, so he gritted his teeth and came to a decision. "Fine, we'll stop running. We didn't do anything until now, and we’ve already lost one companion. If we keep running, we might not survive either, so we might as well try to solve the root of the problem once and for all.”
Su Jin was also thinking along the same lines. When it came to supernatural beings, just running away from them blindly was a stupid thing to do. One just had to look at the characters of a horror movie. Those who just ran for it tended to die the earliest.
“Hmm … did those two know about this right from the start? Was that why they headed that way immediately?” Su Jin suddenly thought about the first thing the aloof young man and Liu Yingying had done earlier.
“But what do we do with Zhang Jing? Do we bring her along?” asked Chu Yi.
Su Jin glanced at the struggling Zhang Jing and shook his head sadly. “That’s impossible. If we bring her along, we’re definitely going to die. And I’m pretty sure she’s not going to make it either.”1
“So, you’re saying we should just abandon her here?” Chu Yi was a little hesitant. Zhang Jing had completely lost her mind, but she was still one of their companions.
But at the same time, he also agreed with Su Jin. If they had to bring Zhang Jing around in this state, all three of them were going to die. But it didn’t seem right to leave her here to die either!
Just then, they heard the sound of something breaking. The flying head had finally broken through the window and had landed on the floor beside them.
F to pay respects to fallen comrades. First casualties of the novel, probably many, many more to come. ↩️
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