He approached the half-hidden door of the factory building, using his kernel to track the silhouette of the dark object. The weeds at his feet rustled as he walked past. Just as Dong Zheng walked through the door, something dropped down right in front of him. Dong Zheng drew back in alarm at suddenly finding himself coming face to face with something.
A pair of cold hands held his face, and a hoarse voice whispered in his ear.
“I remember the day I died, I remember who betrayed me. I finally see…I finally see that person who was there at that time, and you…you look very familiar.”
The moment something suddenly appeared in front of him, Dong Zheng was so frightened that his breathing stopped for a moment. He reflexively drew up his fist, but as soon as the first word was spoken, he recognized the owner of the voice.
Dong Zheng’s fear instantly vanished. Exasperated, he grabbed Cui Zuojing’s hands on his face, pressed them to his pounding heart, and asked, “What does that sentence mean?”
Cui Zuojing was hanging upside down on the door frame, his body swaying back and forth like a pendulum. He was full of regret that he hadn’t managed to scare Dong Zheng. He even deliberately pressed his hands on the door for a long time to keep them cold.
“Parker’s backstory in LOL. I think it’s more in line with the atmosphere, so I wanted to scare you.” The young man deftly jumped down from the door frame. His face was red from hanging upside down.
The black cat did not make a sound. It quietly jumped in from the window, hid in the corner, and silently observed them.
Cui Zuojing held up the lantern to illuminate their surroundings. Dong Zheng looked around and asked, “How did you know about this place?”
“This is where I found Morality’s box. How about it? Not bad, right?”
Dong Zheng nodded. This place was a bit complicated due to the overgrowth, but since it was an abandoned factory building, even if a large fight broke out, no one would be affected.
“Now we can rest for a bit. If Midnight dared disturb us, then he’d better watch out.”
They found a relatively clean corner and sat down. Dong Zheng could finally loosen up, and when he did relax, the dull pain from his injuries that he had ignored before made themselves known.
Cui Zuojing opened Dong Zheng’s clothes to inspect the scratches on his shoulders. Blood had stuck the cloth and the wounded flesh together. He sucked in a breath and said in distress, “Oh, bear with it for several more hours. Then we can go find the little bear.”
“It’s not a problem.” Dong Zheng could endure it. He had to endure even if it was difficult to do so. He held Cui Zuojing in his arms and buried his face in the young man’s neck, which helped him calm down.
Warm breaths swept across the side of Cui Zuojing’s neck. He rubbed Dong Zheng’s hair and leaned his head against him. They cuddled up to each other, sharing their temperature in this small corner that sheltered them from the wind.
Breaking free from Morality’s trap, fighting Cerberus, taking Morality back, and immediately falling into this Blood Night chase right after coming out of the box, these series of events happening one right after another was enough to make people breathless; they really needed a short rest.
The events that took place in The Gambling Abyss, Morality’s desire to live, and finally the man on his knees covered in blood, pitifully grabbing onto Morality’s clothes yet unable to change anything…Cui Zuojing closed his eyes and let out a long sigh.
Dong Zheng noticed the fluctuations in his moods, raised his head and said in a low voice, “Are you thinking about Morality?”
“Yeah,” Cui Zuojing murmured. “I still feel a bit uncomfortable about it. I feel like a villain from a movie who ruined other people’s lives.”
He arched into Dong Zheng’s embrace, buried his face in the man’s shoulder, and sighed again.
The soul fragment and the power of space were kept in the two seals in his left hand. He wondered if that proud, elegant, and sometimes cruel casino owner’s consciousness still existed?
Dong Zheng lowered his head to look at Cui Zuojing, but could only see the top of the young man’s dark hair and a small piece of skin around his ears.
“Are you crying?”
“No!” Cui Zuojing immediately raised his head. His eyes were not red, and did not seem like he was covering up the truth. “Could it be that I’m a crying ghost in your heart?”
“I haven’t seen you cry much, except for maybe once or twice.” Dong Zheng pinched his face. Except for earlier, when Cui Zuojing mistakenly identified the kitten as him, the last time he saw Cui Zuojing cry was in the circus. At that time, when Dong Zheng had pulled up the bandage wrapping, the gleaming eyes underneath looked like stars. He could still recall every detail of that moment.
“What kind of a weird obsession do you have?” Cui Zuojing leaned back. They were both very tired, but they dared not sleep. He glanced at Dong Zheng’s watch. It was only half past 11. They still had six hours to go before dawn.
This seemed like a long time to wait, but it also didn’t feel very long because they had each other, and so they weren’t bored.
The inextinguishable flame in the lantern leaped quietly, casting their overlapping shadows on the mottled wall as they waited out the night.
The slight whisper of something walking among the weeds outside drew Cui Zuojing’s attention. He lifted his head from where it laid on Dong Zheng’s shoulder and turned his gaze in the direction of the sound. His hand tightened on the arrow, even though the radiant light of the lantern between them could repel ghosts for up to a radius of three feet.
Dong Zheng was breathing smoothly with his eyes firmly closed. Cui Zuojing didn’t know whether he’d fallen asleep and didn’t want to bother him. He could feel that Dong Zheng was feverish, which was probably the result of his kernel overloading. The injuries that had resulted from his fight with Midnight probably weren’t contained to the physical.
But as long as Dong Zheng could persist until the morning and return to Uncle, all his problems would be solved. Cui Zuojing glanced at the phone; it was almost three o’clock, just three more hours to go before dawn.
They were originally leaning against the wall, but thinking18cv
. that ghosts could pass through walls, they ended up moving to the middle of the factory. Surrounded by open space, they leaned against a pillar to rest.
The sound of a baby’s sharp cry came from far away, and a pair of cat eyes glinted in the dark corner. Cui Zuojing looked at them for a long time and finally looked away. His instincts after years of living on the edge of life and death told him that there were many unclean things gathered outside. But now, his most important task was to protect Dong Zheng.
He raised his hand and gently touched Dong Zheng’s forehead. It was still feverish. This situation had also occurred in previous training, but as long as he rested in time, there would be no major problem. But right now, Dong Zheng was stuck out here in the middle of the night in the center of a battle.
A long tongue tentatively protruded from the rusty door. It emitted a strong stench. The LED screen on the wall that had partially fallen off to expose broken wires suddenly lit up and began to flicker with static. A woman dressed in white with long hair covering her face appeared on the screen buzzing with static. She crawled forward on her hands and knees, and then she stretched out one hand. Her hand pressed against the screen, and completely broke through the barrier of the screen to enter reality.
Cui Zuojing took Dong Zheng’s crossbow and loaded it with an arrow. He raised his arm, aimed at Miss Ghost, whose body had already half crawled out of the screen, and pulled the trigger.
There was a sharp snap as the silver arrow flew out and pierced the ghost in the head with extreme accuracy. She screamed as the Bright Holy Water on the arrow began to melt her. She struggled violently and nearly fell off completely. But at the last minute, she caught her bearing and rolled back into the screen and disappeared.
The arrow couldn’t enter the screen with the ghost and so it fell to the ground.
Static flickered on the screen for a bit longer before it too disappeared into darkness. It shouldn’t light up anymore tonight.
The long-tongued ghost outside was frightened. It quickly retracted its tongue, opting to bid for a more opportunistic timing.
Those cats hiding in the corners were sensitive to paranormal activities, which also meant that they were afraid of those ghosts they could see. Cui Zuojing didn’t care whether they were spying for Midnight or not. As long as he was here, it would be impossible for anyone or anything to make a move against him and Dong Zheng.
The ghost’s scream woke Dong Zheng up. He opened his eyes vigilantly and saw the back of the young man in front of him. He suddenly recalled the first time they met, when Cui Zuojing looked like a small youth, so brave and fearless, like a cutting blade.
Cui Zuojing noticed that Dong Zheng was awake. He turned his head to smile at him. Then he took the crossbow and scooted back so he was sitting next to Dong Zheng. He stroked his hand across the curves of the crossbow and exclaimed, “It’s really easy to use.”
Dong Zheng hummed lightly. His mind was dizzy and his throat was uncomfortable. Earlier, he had repeatedly reminded himself not to fall asleep, but he fell asleep anyway. It was probably because the young man next to him always gave him a reliable sense of safety.
He lowered his head, and Cui Zuojing leaned forward. The tip of their noses brushed first, and then their warm breaths interlaced as their lips met.
Later, by the time their mouths finally parted, they were face to face with Cui Zuojing sitting on Dong Zheng’s lap, straddling him. He was panting slightly. He pressed down on Dong Zheng’s shoulders and pushed himself away. Then as he raised one hand to wipe the corners of his wet lips, he used the other hand to cover Dong Zheng’s eyes.
“Get some sleep. When you wake up, it’ll be time for us to go home.”
Xia Qiongyun and Wang Que slept on the same bed while Dong Linhai and Lin Hangzhi spread the covers on the floor into a make-shift bed. Victor laid on the foot of the bed and watched as the blood-colored moon gradually faded outside the window. The first touch of sunlight broke through the horizon, and the broken moon finally faded into nothingness, disappearing with the night.
With the power of body, Victor wouldn’t easily feel tired, so he acted as the night watchman. He watched as the full moon gradually shifted into a crescent moon and disappeared the moment daylight lit up the sky. He got up and arched his back and stretched out his body. His task tonight was finally completed.
Midnight didn’t bother them last night, nor did they encounter any accidental danger.
The man with light blond hair and violet eyes emerged from the bedroom. He fished out the mobile phone from Dong Linhai’s jacket. To unlock the phone, he aimed it at the young man’s sleeping face with mouth unconsciously open. Then he sent a message in the group chat.
To Cui Zuojing sb: “Are you back?”
Minutes later, a new message popped up.
To Dong Linhai is my dog: “On the way, about half an hour out.”
Victor was still amused by the names these two people had assigned each other when the next message came out.
To Dong Linhai is my dog: “Dong Zheng had some injuries. Uncle, can you go downstairs to wait for us later.”
Victor replied “Okay.” Without asking, Cui Zuojing already knew that he was using Dong Linhai’s phone. He went and stood by the bed. He looked at these four young people who seemed more like children to him. Dong Linhai was in a deep slumber, and he had one leg thrown over Lin Hangzhi. Meanwhile, Hangzhi was collapsed into a “大” character. Wang Que was frowning slightly, as if dreaming about who knew what.
Victor sighed with a smile, and looked back at the slowly rising sun outside the window. The warm sunlight was illuminating the soil on the Top-of-the-Giant-Tree.
It was another day.