Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 21: Cognitive Pollution
Half an hour later, at the self-service buffet grill.
“Okay, I probably understand the situation.” Liang Shan sighed. “You’re at the nearby barbecue restaurant, right? Send the phone directly to the Public Security Bureau. I’ll report it immediately, but don’t have too much hope.”
Zhong Chengshuo’s phone was on speaker, so the sigh coming from the other end was clear.
“Gao Mengyu has been missing for nearly a week, and she has no fresh water supplies, so she’s in danger. Evil things can feel emotions such as ‘fear’ and ‘hostility’, but it’s difficult for them to understand the concept of ‘death’. Even if that unknown evil thing really has the intention to protect Gao Mengyu… guarding her body is considered protection for it.”
Zhong Chengshuo was silent.
“Xiao Yin should be fine. Xiao Zhong, can you understand?”
Zhong Chengshuo’s answer was given with great certainty. Liang Shan was a little surprised. He paused for a while before continuing, “There was an accident in Fanghua Apartments last night. That evil thing is very difficult to deal with. In order to ensure the safety of the people around, Shian is likely to perform an ‘indiscriminate cleaning’.”
Yin Ren leaned closer. “What happened at Fanghua last night?”
“Don’t you know they sent the big guns to room 1413 last night? They all developed cognitive impairment at the same time, and they all saw that their companions had a few more eyes and hands. As a result, they almost attacked each other.”
Liang Shan lowered his voice.
“Listen up, you two. Those guys were equipped with anti-illusion equipment. Minister Fu stamped it—Phenomenon C-A1, ‘Cognitive Pollution’. It’s even more harmful than the gap.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “The difference between it and hallucinations…”
“Take the ‘cat’ you found as an example.”
As if he were afraid the two newborn calves weren’t afraid of tigers, Liang Shan’s tone was particularly serious.
“Have read ‘Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio’*? Evil things either physically turn into cats or use magic to confuse you. The latter is the classic illusion. Your perception of the ‘cat’ has not changed, but your senses are blinded.”
*Also known as Liaozhai, is a collection of classical Chinese stories by Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling.
Zhong Chengshuo: “Oh…”
“But ‘Cognitive Pollution’ is different. What you see is the original appearance of the evil thing. It replaces your perception of the concept of ‘cat’.”
“You think it’s a cat. The cat in your memory will look like it, and even a normal cat will look like the evil thing… But your brain’s feelings about cats being ‘cute’ and ‘lovely’ have not changed.”
“Once it is completely contaminated, you won’t notice anything strange. If you don’t intervene in time, the effect of cognitive pollution will be permanent.”
“But the actual size of a real cat is different, and so is the touch.” Zhong Chengshuo frowned. “Even if the cat in Gao Mengyu’s eyes is a monster, the movements of others touching the cat would be unreasonable if she wouldn’t see the problem, no?”
Liang Shan suddenly laughed.
He seemed to think of something and was laughing to himself on the other end of the line for half a day before he adjusted his mood.
“Perception is transmitted to the brain through various organs, and that thing directly rewrites your brain. You see, many people experience confusion in taste and smell when they are sick—it’s not that the taste of things has changed, but there’s a problem with the brain itself, so vision and touch are affected.”
“Well, I can understand now.” Even though he knew Liang Shan couldn’t see him, Zhong Chengshuo still nodded.
“Okay, you guys behave yourselves. I still have work to do over here—”
Just then, Yin Ren opened his mouth slowly. “Liang Ge.”
“Why did you laugh just now?”
“Haha, I’m just thinking to myself. Guess why I was assigned to the Public Security Bureau as a civilian?”
Liang Shan’s laughter was still hearty, but at this moment, this heartiness made people’s hair stand up.
Yin Ren: “Um… No, I can’t guess.”
“I have poor metaphysical talents, but Shian was willing to give me a Black Seal just because I have an ability that’s not worth mentioning.”
“I see the world in which the human eyes are ‘vertical’.”
“I only realized this after Shian intervened… I should have been contaminated by Cognitive Pollution when I was a child.”
“Working in the Public Security Bureau, I occasionally come into contact with suspects or corpses with ‘normal’ eyes. Whenever this happens, I can report it to Shian as quickly as possible—after all, I only have the concept of ‘human’ contamination. No matter what those things are, they aren’t humans.”
Yin Ren: “……”
Thousands of years had passed, and the evil in the world had become like this. Yin Ren had never heard of this practice where people would compete to see who could enact their illusions more smoothly.
Zhong Chengshuo stared at the phone that was still on speaker while lost in deep thought.
Finding that the two of them were silent, Liang Shan said, “Hmph. What? Scared—”
At this moment, Zhong Chengshuo suddenly said, “Ah, I get it. It’s like using someone who’s lactose intolerant to identify the authenticity of milk.”
Liang Shan: “…” This light atmosphere was suddenly spoiled.
Liang Shan cleared his throat. “Well, that’s that. If you don’t want to become like me, you two should be good and go back to the hotel.”
However, Zhong Chengshuo didn’t let Liang Shan go. He raised his voice. “Mr. Liang, does ‘indiscriminate cleaning’ mean killing that creature? Even if Gao Mengyu is still alive?”
“Shian confirmed that it has no communication ability, and it was clearly hostile throughout the whole process. It’s completely uncontrollable and may cause large-scale Cognitive Pollution at any time.”
Liang Shan’s voice sank a bit.
“You two, don’t just characterize this as ‘protection’. It protected Gao Mengyu as an objective result, but not necessarily as a motive. Never use human emotions to speculate on the idea of evil beings. Judging from the current case, 99% of the results is human-made.”
Zhong Chengshuo hung up the call.
“Yin Ren, you go back to the hotel to rest first.”
Yin Ren didn’t answer directly. “Why? Haven’t you given up yet? Do you think that thing is protecting Gao Mengyu?”
Zhong Chengshuo: “I don’t care about its motivation, but Gao Mengyu may still be alive… According to Miss Fang Yuanyuan, my type is minimally affected, so I have the capital to negotiate with it.”
Yin Ren squinted at Zhong Chengshuo. “You’re a really nice guy.”
A very wonderful person who obviously wasn’t good with people but harbored unnecessary enthusiasm.
“Those are two lives.” Zhong Chengshuo smiled. “And I already have a direction.”
Yin Ren stuffed the end of the ice cone into his mouth as he thought for a few seconds and returned with a brighter smile.
“We’re partners. For your sake, I must follow suit—don’t look like that. I’ll just be your lookout. I’ll run away as soon as something goes wrong.”
Near Fanghua Apartments.
Xie Baocai sat in the shade on his foldable chair as he stared at the entrance to the apartment.
The woman had been missing for almost a week.
That bitch broke the old Xie family’s legacy and killed his nephew—Xie Baocai had two brothers, but Xieo Chao was the only male in the younger generation. Although Xie Chao didn’t like studying, he had a competitive personality and had earned a lot of money.
He was such a good child, but he was killed because of that person surnamed Gao.
He heard that Gao Mengyu broke up with Xie Chao because he accidentally strangled her cat to death, causing Xie Chao to chase her for several months. As a result, on his path to win back that woman, Xie Chao died in a car accident.
His good nephew never stole or hurt anyone, but it was all because of an animal… Just because of an animal!
Now that Xie Chao was gone, that bitch couldn’t afford to pay, even if she had several lives. Xie Baocai’s teeth seethed with hatred.
Knowing what had happened to Xie Chao, Xie Chao’s father almost suffocated and was bedridden. Even Uncle Xie Baocai had nightmares for a long time; his dreams were full of his good nephew crying and suffering.
Even during the day, there were vague whispers in his ears, sounding like Xie Chao.
This was a death in vain! Gao Mengyu must pay with her life.
Anyway, he had turned 75 and had a tumor. Xie Baocai planned to turn himself in after killing Gao Mengyu and then give a good cry for repentance. He had already done some research. Even if the police caught him, it would be difficult for them to give him the death penalty.
As a result, he finally found Gao Mengyu’s address. He didn’t know if that girl saw the knife he was wielding, but that bitch suddenly disappeared out of thin air.
How was this possible? If someone was living, they had to exist, and if someone was dead, they would leave behind a corpse.
But Xie Baocai was patient.
He had no wife or children, and the last thing he lacked was time. Since Gao Mengyu had disappeared, he had been squatting nearby almost seamlessly, even sleeping in the utility room opposite the apartment.
Gao Mengyu had vanished into thin air. This bizarre event was the topic of discussion all around. Recently, the building had been closed off and groups of people had gathered. The first thing Xie Baocai did when he woke up every day was to inquire about Gao Mengyu with the old men and women who were watching the excitement.
But today, he seemed to have had a strange encounter.
Xie Baocai was smoking a cigarette casually when a young man came over. That person was good-looking and wore glasses. He seemed to be a simple student.
“Hello, are you Mr. Xie Baocai?”
“Yes, who are you?” Xie Baocai became vigilant.
“Xie Chao’s colleague, Xiao Zhong.” The young man scratched his head nervously. “Xie Chao showed me your picture, so I felt you looked familiar… Do you live nearby?”
“Sorta.” When he heard that this was his baby nephew’s colleague, Xie Baocai relaxed a bit.
“Are you also here because of Gao Mengyu?”
Xie Baocai narrowed his eyes. “Oh, not really. There’s lots of people watching the excitement.”
“I heard through the grapevine that the police want to catch Gao Mengyu,” Xiao Zhong said in a low voice. “She seems to have lost her mind a few days ago and was hiding in a garbage chute without saying a word, so the anxious apartment manager called the police. They found her two days ago. She was unwilling to leave even if she died and threatened to blow the whole building up.”
“Tsk, tsk—” Xie Baocai clicked his tongue loudly.
The tenants were quickly evacuated, and professionals brought advance equipment into the venue, which lined up with the developments that he saw.
Xiao Zhong: “Now the police have found that there aren’t any explosives in the building. They plan to arrest her in the middle of the night.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“We want to sneak in to make a video, so we should work together—you’re also a relative of Xie Chao, so it works out. Uncle, we know Xie Chao died because of her. That woman was scared of ghosts knocking on her door, so she went and gone crazy.”
Crazy? Xie Baocai swallowed.
So what if she’s crazy? She still has to pay with her life.
“Okay, uncle will go with you. Uncle also wants to talk to that little girl.”
He fumbled around in the bushes for a while and pulled out a cloth satchel, which contained his sharpened boning knife.
“You don’t need to take the bag. It’s too heavy. We can buy whatever you need.”
For some reason, Xiao Zhong’s tone was a bit odd, and there was a subtle hint of regret in it.
“It’s a little knick-knack that I always bring with me. I’m used to it.” Xie Baocai grinned as he spoke slowly and stickily.
“Young man, when are we leaving?”
At the same time, room 1413.
A dark gap opened in the void.
The gap was hanging in the air, and countless jellyfish-like soft limbs protruded from the edge of the gap. There was no hair on the soft limbs, and the color was close to rotten meat. Its surface was full of layers of precise folds, looking like brain grooves.
Its dozens of soft limbs were as thick as a human leg, constantly stretching, almost filling the room. They were perfectly symmetrical, and at first glance, they looked like a deformed flower, emitting a creepy geometric beauty.
In the depths of the darkness, at the roots of countless soft limbs, fourteen red lights of uniform size lit up one by one.
It seemed to sense something, making a noise as if nails were scratching on a blackboard. Several seconds passed, and the sharp sound gradually became distorted and mellow.
“…Meow,” it whimpered.
The author has something to say:
“Full Server First Kill”
When Xu Yue woke up, he found that he had become a monster.
Going left would encounter two groups of slime who were the old couple that live on the opposite door. Going right was a young dragon, which was the junior high school student who lives downstairs. Everyone encountered the correct situation, but they were of different races and were all stunned.
Until Xu Yue inadvertently opened his personal status bar.
(Former) Game Producer Xu Yue: ……
His game has successfully launched, but something seems wrong.
A holographic game in which an entire community is trapped, trying to find a way out (?).
The author note is a sneak peek for her next work, Full Server First Kill (title roughly translated). It hasn’t been released yet as of now. Most likely, she will start on it once Evil As Humans is completed.This is the last of the free chapters on jjwxc. If you’ve been enjoying the novel so far and are able to, please consider supporting the author by buying the raws. I used Google Chrome with their auto translate and this guide on how to buy novels on jjwxc. Remember, only with your (financial) support can artists continue to produce more great works.
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3 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch21”
ooooh author’s future novel seems interesting 👀
unfortunately for now i’m broke so i can’t support
That novel sounds interesting :o..
Are you considering translating it?
Thank you for the chapter!