Dong Linhai bit the flashlight in his mouth and carefully climbed down the nearly vertical slope.
There were only a few small bumps on the slope that could be used to climb. It was similar to rock climbing, only that he didn’t have any protective tool. Even though Dong Linhai knew that Fu Zhe was monitoring everything and would save him, he couldn’t help breaking out into a nervous sweat. Even his breathing was shaky.
After ten minutes, he finally managed to get down from the straight slope that was more than 20 meters tall. The moment his feet stepped on solid ground, his legs became soft and he almost slumped to the floor.
Where was this?
Dong Linhai took the flashlight out of his mouth, which was now so sore that he could barely close it properly. He rubbed his face, grimaced, and looked around with the flashlight.
This place didn’t look like it was part of the castle. The walls were pitted and arched and were painted with colorful, abstract graffitis. However, the layers of colors were so dense that it gave people a feeling of disgust and discomfort.
He seemed to be in a long, narrow passageway with a shallow layer of sludge. There was an old, pungent stench in the air, like something from a sewer.
Was this really an illusion Fu Zhe created?
As he took a few steps toward the water, the sound of his feet moving through muddy water echoed loudly in the empty sewer, which seemed to completely amplify his originally small movements. This scared him, and he abruptly stopped.
Dong Linhai swallowed hard.
He looked up and swept the beam of his flashlight overhead, illuminating a trail of dark blood.
It looked like an injured monster had crawled along the ceiling, leaving behind terrifying traces that trailed on as far as Dong Linhai could see.
The flashlight’s luminosity was limited and could only illuminate a small distance ahead.
Go forward or backward?
Dong Linhai didn’t hesitate for too long. He took a coin out of his pocket, tossed it into the air, and caught it—face up.
So he moved forward without hesitation.
The sound of his footsteps echoed and gradually slipped away.
Behind him, in the darkness at the end of the passageway, a pair of thin red eyes opened silently. They were hazy, with dark vertical pupils, and they stared at the young man’s back.
At the same time, Wang Que panted as she climbed up to the top of the suspended ladder. The ladder had long fallen into ruin and was unstable. It seemed as if it might break at any moment, and the rust on it clung to her hands.
She’d stumbled into a dark and filthy sewer and had walked on, trying to find an exit. Unexpectedly, she came upon a vertical ladder at the end of the path. She thought that she might be able to get out from there, so she climbed up.
Wang Que hung one arm on the bar of the ladder and tried to push with her other hand. But she was only able to lift the heavy iron door by a mere slit.
Fortunately, it wasn’t too heavy, so it should be okay.
Wang Que adjusted her posture, put her arms horizontally and parallel to her shoulders, took a deep breath, and strenuously lifted her shoulders.
Due to her effort, the suspended ladder that was already crumbling emitted an unbearable groan. This was an inconvenient posture. Fortunately, due to this recent period of training, she had mastered many techniques for exerting force.
Wang Que gritted her teeth and managed to push open the heavy iron door. It emitted a harsh creak as it opened just wide enough for her to slip through.
As she hurriedly squeezed through the gap, the suspended ladder made a cracking sound under the exertion of her last step and most of it fell away into the darkness below. A few seconds later, a dull thud drifted up.
The wind was blowing.
Her rubber hair band had come off when she was squeezing through the iron door. Her hair spread out and was blown into a messy tangle over her face. A beautiful, dark blue strand twirled across her vision. She raised her hands and tucked her hair behind her ears, and as she did so, she squinted at the large red sun that hung low overhead.
She stood up slowly.
The rooftop, the strong wind, and the sunset like a fire burning across the sky.
All of them terrified her to the depths of her soul, as if they were intent on dragging her back to that nightmarish evening.
This thought slammed through her senses. A second before she could turn away, a gunshot exploded from behind her. Wang Que’s head whipped around, her hair swinging in an arc like a little beast whose fur had suddenly puffed out.
Her eyes, so full of horror, reflected the figure dressed in a school uniform. The other person was a slender girl, wearing a huge rabbit headgear. Its three tipped mouth grinned slightly, revealing two front teeth. Its ears were perked straight up, and its red eyes stared at her.
—As if the most evil and dark monster had covered herself in a white and flawless skin and was now staring at its long-awaited prey.
The girl held a dark pistol in her hand, and there was a fresh bullet hole by Wang Que’s feet.
Wang Que staggered back two steps. She stared at the girl, unable to say a single word, as if she’d lost the ability to speak.
She could only open her mouth and gasp continuously, as if no matter how hard she tried to breath, no air was forthcoming. And, she didn’t seem to realize how terrifyingly hard she was trying to breathe.
The only sound was the sound of the wind.
As Wang Que watched, the girl raised her hand and threw the gun.
The gun slipped under Wang Que’s feet.
She looked down and stared at it.
The wind blew the girl’s school uniform. Then, she slowly raised her hand and made a gesture resembling a gun, with her right index finger and thumb pointed to the temple of her rabbit headgear.
Sending a silent signal.
The red sun, huge enough to engulf people, was behind her. The sky was gorgeous and warm, just like the most comfortable harbor in a mother’s womb right before birth.
The rabbit-head girl did not move, but silently waited.
Wang Que knelt down and picked up the gun.
Her hands were shaking very badly, but she still estimated that, based on the gun’s weight, there must be at least four .45 bullets loaded into it.
She slowly opened the safety and held the gun with both hands. She lifted the gun high and aimed at the girl’s rabbit head.
This girl had haunted her countless times in her nightmare.
The gun was loaded and ready. As long as she pulled the trigger, the bullet would immediately shoot out and destroy that person’s head.
Just like smashing a watermelon. Once the skin cracked open, red blood would spell and with it, the warm pleasure of revenge.
Wang Que rested her index finger on the trigger. Her hands shook so badly that she could hardly aim. But, her posture was still very correct. It was as if Cui Zuojing was still behind her, reminding her to pull her shoulders back, turn her body sideways, and to keep her wrists straight.
The wind continued to blow.
It was unclear how long the silent confrontation lasted.
The rabbit-head girl seemed impatient as she waited. She tilted her head slightly, and the muzzle that was the tip of her index finger pressed into the soft headgear. Her thumb slightly hooked down.
This silent shot instantly shattered all the memories that Wang Que had tried so hard to suppress. She could no longer restrain the past, and she returned to that day.
The rooftop, the strong wind, and the sunset like a fire burning across the sky.
Tears rushed out of her eyes and Wang Que almost collapsed. She wept loudly. She raised her hand and pointed the muzzle at her own head, decisively pulling the trigger.
The firing pin hit the air. There was no pain. No bullet shot out. Everything disappeared the instant she pulled the trigger.
The burning sky turned dark, as if the rabbit-head girl had never been there. The familiar face of a teenager was in front of her, frowning in concerned about what had happened to her.
Wang Que blinked slowly, startled. Her cheeks were wet with warm tears.
“Are you okay?” Dong Linhai asked worriedly.
The structure of the sewer was a bit complicated. He went around for a long time to try to simulate a map, but accidentally found Wang Que fainted in the corner by the wall.
Wang Que looked down at her hands, but saw no blood.
She was still haunted by her collapse and terror. She bit her lower lip hard enough to almost draw blood and could only shake her head, unable to make a single sound.
“Obviously, something is wrong…” Dong Linhai muttered softly. He looked around, his brows still deeply furrowed. The dark surroundings always gave him a bad feeling.
“It’s not very safe here. Let’s change location first and find a way to get out of the sewer.”
Wang Que nodded.
Dong Linhai stretched out his hand and pulled Wang Que up. He discovered that her hand hardly had any strength at all and couldn’t even grip his own hand in return.
What was wrong?
Dong Linhai was confused. But, Wang Que obviously didn’t want to talk about it and he couldn’t ask. The boy scratched his head, a little embarrassed. But, in this moment of crisis, he pushed aside his shyness and restraint.
So he said, “Why don’t I carry you on my back?”
Dong Zheng walked along the long hallway
There were many Persian carpets hung on the walls of the hallway, which was now completely different from its original style. There are many forks, many doors, and many square wooden boxes with dark red blood stains seeping out from the bottom.
The vent made a whistling sound above his head, like a monster growling from its throat.
The hallway could now be promoted into a scene that Dong Zheng feared most. He never knew whether something would pop out of a door at the next intersection, giving him a thrilling surprise.
He’d escaped from being chased and killed by all kinds of weird creatures, bumped into ghosts for the nth times, and experienced countless traps—Although he’d basically discovered and cracked all of them in advance.
So, at this moment, Dong Zheng’s current speed was slow to a level not as good as that of an old man.
But Dong Zheng knew that the main event had yet to arrive.
Because, up until now, he hadn’t met Victor or Cui Zuojing yet.
With Cui Zuojing’s temperament, he would definitely take the opportunity to fix him.
Dong Zheng walked to the end of the hallway, tried to open the door, and found that it was locked. He turned around and went to the fork in the middle.
After about four to five steps, there was another door. Dong Zheng twisted the handle, opened the door, and found that behind the door was a wall.
Having experienced this many times already, he wasn’t surprised in the slightest.
Now, all he needed to do was to look back and find other possible exits.
But he didn’t turn around rashly. Dong Zheng, who’d never played horror games before, had now completely mastered the horror game routines. He took a deep breath, squatted down, and pretended to tie his shoes.
Then he looked down and saw the feet flashing behind him.
The moment the sneakers appeared on his retina, Dong Zheng rolled on the spot and pressed against the wall, narrowly avoiding the sword that swiped at his shoulder. Taking advantage of the moment before his opponent could recover his sword, Dong Zheng escaped from this narrow gap. At the fork, he reached a relatively wide hallway.
Cui Zuojing raised an eyebrow. His black scabbard scrapped across the wall, leaving a shallow trace.
Of course, he wouldn’t really fight Dong Zheng with a sword. Although he was confident of Dong Zheng’s ability, he also knew that he would share the damage should any accident occur.
Cui Zuojing turned around, and they looked at each other at a distance of about six to seven meters wide. To be honest, he’d secretly followed Dong Zheng all the way and had deliberately made a lot of small movements against him, taking vengeance by scaring this cheap master of his who was afraid of the supernatural. But, because of this, he was also able to witness Dong Zheng’s entire performance.
There was no doubt that Dong Zheng’s IQ and his ability to strategize were superior to his physical fitness and his combat skills.
As a result, Cui Zuojing had deliberately trained Dong Zheng on these aspects. He’d been to the Pure White Realm twice, and he’d never seen a pilgrim who was both equally strong in intelligence and in combat.
Similar to Fu Zhe as the leader. But, unlike Fu Zhe, he could become a sharp weapon. Cheriyu Nana was capable of strengthening her body and so she had used her ability to fight and bring back information. Out of all the members of the Afternoon Tea Party, Fu Zhe was the weakest, even weaker than Luo Yan, who’s physical strength wasn’t very good.
Dong Zheng’s combat power would also be limited by his ability to develop his brain. But, despite this, Cui Zuojing still wanted to train him as a fully developed pilgrim. After all…after all, it would give him a sense of accomplishment.
The happiness that came from cultivating someone was probably this.
Cui Zuojing could somewhat understand Fu Zhe now.
Cui Zuojing was dressed completely in black. The top button of his shirt was open, revealing a small piece of collarbone. His index finger pulled out a key from his pants pocket. He shook it and said, “The last key to the back door. As long as you can beat me, I’ll give you the key to open that door.”
“Is that really the final key?”
Cui Zuojing said, “Why would I lie to you?”
Dong Zheng continued to look at him for a few seconds and was very positive that he may be able to find a key outside. Then, he firmly turned, opened the door nearby, and left.
Cui Zuojing: “………”
The youth’s mouth pressed together firmly in dissatisfaction. He put the key back in his pocket and turned around. He wasn’t surprised to see that the door behind him had opened and Dong Zheng was partially leaning out from behind it.
At the same time, Dong Zheng also saw Cui Zuojing. He was stunned and turned his head to look behind him, only to see that Cui Zuojing was also standing behind him.
At the other end of the hallway, the door was pushed open, and he saw himself turning his head and looking back, as well as a door behind that door, then another door, and other countless doors.
There were countless Cui Zuojing and himself.