Newly gained abilities generally had many restrictions. Just like Allen, who had tremendous improvements in certain physical qualities but at the cost of great stamina. After he joined Dong Zheng, he immediately stopped using his ability. They ran to the cafeteria and pushed open the closed door.
The cafeteria was flooded with lights, and loud laughter immediately assailed their eardrums. Allen quickly closed the door and leaned against it, panted heavily. He raised his eyes to look around and was horrified to discover that…the cafeteria was full of people!
This late in the evening, the deserted campus unexpectedly had a group of people eating in the cafeteria. This horror quality was obviously no less inferior to hearing the call of a young lady knocking at the door, only to realize that it was actually ten strong men instead. It really made people’s heart feel cold. Allen swallowed hard and looked at Dong Zheng.
Dong Zheng only had a frown on his face and didn’t seem flustered at all.
….Really deserving of being the team leader!
Dong Zheng wiped the cold sweat on his palms against his pant legs, took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly. The adrenaline rush made his fingertips feel numbed. He turned to look back out. The glass was foggy and only a bright orange could be seen under the warm light.
The doll, Spongbob Squarepants, and the dinosaur were naturally blocked outside.
The cafeteria had both students and teachers, and every table was full of people. Although they seemed to be eating and talking to their companions, no one finished their meal and no one left.
Everyone remained in place, as if maintaining a false prosperity.
“Look first,” Dong Zheng whispered.
Cui Zuojing turned his head to look at Allen. “What’s your plot story line?”
“I’m a policeman. I received a report saying that a child of a family member and a teacher are missing and for me come over and take a look,” Allen said.
Dong Zheng sighed. “Then your task can be considered as completed. We went into a classroom earlier. There were many dead children and a dead teacher.”
Allen imagined the scene and scared himself. “Ah? So horrible… By the way, I also found a few newspapers and was just waiting for some spare time to read it.”
Dong Zheng hummed in acknowledgement. Then, the three of them walked between the students and slowly headed toward the food service area. Children in school uniforms gossiped about school assignments and where to go and play, often speaking for a long time before remembering to take a mouthful of food.
The more lively and exuberant they were, the more unsettling it was.
The aunties who served food wore masks to cover their faces, revealing only two dark, glassy eyes and looking indescribably strange.
Dong Zheng said, “I want a bean paste pastry bread, for take away. Thank you.”
The auntie grabbed a bread and put it into a plastic bag for Dong Zheng. Then, she entered 1.50 into the credit card machine.
But Dong Zheng didn’t have a card.
Taking the pastry, he made a secret gesture to Allen behind him. Under that aunties’ watchful gazes, he calmly said, “Sorry, I have no money.”
The cafeteria immediately fell into silence.
All the students and teachers in the cafeteria suddenly stopped talking and eating, and with perfectly blank faces, they turned in unison to look at Dong Zheng and the pastry in his hand.
Cui Zuojing took his hands out of his trouser pockets and quietly sighed.
Tusks punctured through the mask, revealing the auntie’s face. The exposed skin turned into a gray-green color. With a sharp hiss and an ominous glint in her eyes, the auntie raised a round spoon and brought it down on Dong Zheng’s head!
At the same time, all the people in the cafeteria instantly turned into countless ghosts and monsters and flew at the three living people with their teeth exposed.
Dong Zheng was long prepared. He flipped the food tray and smashed all the food on it onto the auntie’s ghost face. Then, he turned his head in the direction of the kitchen and rushed into it at once with Allen close on his heels.
Cui Zuojing leisurely picked up a corn kernel that had fallen at his feet and flicked it behind him in passing. The ghost that was just about to grab onto his clothes let out a screech. But there was no time to do anything else, because it quickly turned into ash-colored smoke and scattered.
The three of them rushed into the back kitchen. Unlike the bright lights in the dining area, the back kitchen was completely dark. Only the safety exit sign was lit. Dong Zheng drew out a flashlight and illuminated the path in front of them. Allen reached behind his lower back and pulled out a gun. With both hands holding the gun with the muzzle faced slightly downward, he directly pulled the trigger without even aiming.
The loud noise caused the malicious spirits to slightly pause, but they soon became even more frantic as they shrieked and continued to give chase.
The bullet shell hit Allen’s face, and he let out a pained cry. Quickly using his ability, he caught up with Dong Zheng in the blink of an eye. However, he couldn’t stop in time and ended up crashing into a stove.
The exit light was clearly ahead. Yet, although they ran for three to four minutes with all their strengths, they couldn’t seem to be able to reach it. Dong Zheng’s speed had gradually slowed down, but the ghosts behind him were still tireless and were even picking up speed. Pale fingers seemed as if they would touch the edge of Allen’s clothes in the next second.
The glare of the exit light bumped up and down with every running step, but it never seemed to arrive.
Dong Zheng slowed his pace, trying to think under extreme tension and fear.
The real exit, where could it be?
At this moment, Cui Zuojing’s voice sounded in his mind: [I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but Nietzsche once said “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”]
His words became a small spark that ignited inspiration. Dong Zheng grabbed Allen’s wrist from behind and shouted, “Close your eyes!”
“Huh?!” Although Allen didn’t know the reason, he immediately obeyed out of trust in Dong Zheng.
But the darkness that he expected didn’t arrive. Instead, he saw a light on the right hand side, illuminating the way forward.
Dong Zheng and Allen turned and ran for a while before they finally slammed open the door and rushed out.
The howling cries disappeared in an instant. Outside, the night breeze was slightly cool. Dong Zheng opened his eyes and found himself standing inside a dark and deserted cafeteria. More than ten rows of long tables were neatly arranged in place. The food counter was placed by the door, with all the food service windows closed.
“Those were just hallucinations?” Allen asked, still panting breathlessly.
Dong Zheng raised his hand and showed him the bean paste bread in the plastic bag, and shook his head. “Not all of it.”
Cui Zuojing looked at him silently. The thing that appealed to him the most about Dong Zheng was that, despite Dong Zheng’s fear of ghosts, he was still able to maintain his calm and make accurate judgement when faced with such a nerve-wrecking and fearful situation.
This was a quality that top pilgrims must possess.
They roughly explored the area. In the kitchen, Dong Zheng took a knife for self-defense. Although he didn’t believe in solely relying on his physical skills, at least a weapon would allow him to contend with those giant dolls.
Without sufficient strength, instead of lingering, the best thing to do in the face of danger was to run.
Allen asked, “Do you want to look for the others next?”
Dong Zheng said, “First, let me give the pastry to the female ghost I met in the toilet earlier. She said she wanted to eat bean paste bread. If I give her the pastry, she might give me something in return.”
Allen immediately caught on to a certain point. “Female ghost? Did you go into the women’s restroom or was she in the men’s restroom? Oh, what does the women’s restroom look like?”
Cui Zuojing smiled. “How about you go in and see for yourself?”
They left the cafeteria and found that the three dolls that had been chasing after them had disappeared. They quietly sneaked down to the instructional building. The blood that had flooded out of the women’s restroom stall remained in place and no longer spread.
Dong Zheng placed the pastry on the ground twenty centimeters away from the pool of blood and said, “I brought you a pastry bread. Next time someone wants to bully you and you feel helpless, then you should fight back.”
The moment his voice fell, the pool of blood moved ominously. A few bubbles bulged, as if reaching out, and slowly engulfed the pastry.
Immediately afterwards, the blood stains quickly moved back like a tide. The sound of breathing could be heard but soon disappeared. Within their field of vision, a small cloth bag tied with a thin, black twine appeared.
Dong Zheng picked up the cloth bag, saw that it contained ten black buttons, and wondered what he could do with it.
“Go, now we can look for the others.”
Passing the playground, Dong Zheng glanced at the poster affixed to the railing.
[The latest drama “Death of the Demon Girl” will premiere in the auditorium at 9 pm on June 6th. Performers: 5th grade class.]
The colorful crayons on the poster depicted the mountains and forests and the sky. The girl with devil wings flew in the sky, and the knights and mages below tried to shoot her down.
Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing glanced at each other. The moment they entered the school, the time on Dong Zheng’s cell phone had stopped. However, based on the time they came in, it was estimated that it was almost time for the performance.
He asked, “Go to the auditorium to see?”
Cui Zuojing said, “Anyway, you make a decision.”
“Go, let’s go to the auditorium.”
The auditorium was on the east side of the school, next to the laboratory building. It was a circular building with one door to the north and another to the south. Dong Zheng tentatively pushed on the door and it opened.
They walked in but soon saw that there was no one in the auditorium. The stage lighting was turned on but a thick, dark curtain tightly covered the stage from view. The narrator was already half done: “…in a deserted forest lived an evil girl.”
The play had already begun.
Dong Zheng sat down in the back row near the hallway, making it easy to leave at any time.
The curtains opened, revealing a cute cartoon background. The girl made of paper cried and fled the town. The residents of the town chased after her. Angry and disgusted, they threw stones and sticks at her.
“She had devil wings and a devil tail, and her eyes were like the abyss and her hair like straws. After being chased into the forest by the residents of the town, she felt resentful and was determined to take revenge on them.”
Afterward, the town was burned down, and the residents fled, weeping as their homes turned to ashes.
“She summoned a fire, causing the residents to lose their homes that they so relied upon for their survival. In order to defeat the evil demon girl, the knights and mages of the kingdom formed a powerful team and marched into the mountain forest.”
Children dressed as knights and mages held holy swords and staffs and sang loudly as they moved toward the mountain forest.
“Her magic power was immense, allowing her to gather many strong helpers, such as the Heavenly Butcher Oink, Solomon’s Warhorse, Zombie Demon Fox…they were all under her command.”
Peppa Pig, holding a large machete, a My Little Pony with bony ridges growing along her spine, and a ferocious-looking little fox Ali came out from backstage. All were nearly two meters tall.
Better yet, they should be called Big Peppa Pig, Huge My Little Pony, and Old Fox.
Allen was stunned. “The fuck???”
Cui Zuojing leaned back against his chair and commented, “If this thing was really performed at school, it will definitely leave the students with psychological shadows.”
“But, unfortunately, the knights suffered a disaster during the first encounter. The commander of the knights was captured, and the cruel demon girl decided to execute him as an example to everyone who had offended her.”
The lights dimmed. After a brief transition, the curtains opened again, revealing Dong Linhai, who was firmly tied to a chair with a white gag in his mouth.
The teen’s two hands were tied behind the back of the chair. He struggled constantly, making a crying “wuwu” sound. Big Peppa Pig approached step by step to stand behind him, the machete making a teeth grinding screech as it dragged on the floor
On her waist dangled a key.
Cui Zuojing murmured, “Ho.”
“Linhai?!” Dong Zheng exclaimed in a low voice, his hands tightening on the armrest.
Allen said, “Eh?!”
“The task of execution was handed over to Heavenly Butcher Oink, who will use the blood of the Knight Regiment Commander to tell everyone what true fear really was!”