Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 22: Souvenir
From the outside of the building, unit 1413 was no different from others. There was no trace of light in the entire apartment, as if the dilapidated and huge building seemed to be asleep.
Many Shian employees patrolled the perimeter, and the temporarily installed surveillance camera circled around.
Zhong Chengshuo changed back into his sweater and sneakers and had an extra canvas school bag on his back. Yin Ren put on a black shirt and neatly tied up his hair. The two took Xie Baocai and sneaked around to the rear of Fanghua Apartments.
“Is this really possible?” Xie Baocai clutched his cloth bag tightly as he looked at all the surveillance cameras plastered on the wall.
Yin Ren pressed his index finger to his upper lip and made a “quiet” gesture to Xie Baocai.
Zhong Chengshuo straightened up his clothes, turned his back to Xie Baocai, and hung his work ID around his neck. He took two steps forward and stopped the patrolling staff.
The male staff member looked at Zhong Chengshuo’s work ID for a while and gave him a puzzled look. “What are you doing here now?”
“I heard that this place will be indiscriminately cleaned for the second half of the night.” Zhong Chengshuo pushed up his glasses as he spoke in a low voice. “We came to investigate before, and I lost a USB flash drive here. I heard that the cleanup operation would affect data storage devices, and the research data inside the flash drive is very important to me…”
Before they came with Xie Baocai, they had made sufficient preparations.
Zhong Chengshuo went to the Public Security Bureau to investigate Gao Mengyu’s potential enemies to see if there were any familiar faces, while Yin Ren went to investigate what “indiscriminate cleaning” was…
Shian would set up large-scale spells outside the building that would attack any evil objects in the building indiscriminately.
Such an attack would not destroy things that were dead, but it would be harmful to ordinary creatures, and even data storage devices could be damaged.
Not to mention the tenants of the apartment—even cats and dogs in Fanghua had to be transferred out by Shian. A few hours before the cleanup began, there would be no living things in the building.
The preparations for the cleanup had been completed, and Fu Xingchuan had set up a dense array of spells around Fanghua Apartments to ensure that the pollution wouldn’t overflow. Fu Xingchuan himself had arranged a treatment plan and was immediately transferred to another site.
This was a great opportunity to sneak in.
As the two expected, the staff pressed their temples. “The gap hasn’t been found yet, and there are only two hours left before clean-up. Don’t wander around. Where did you lose it? I’ll go get it.”
“I’m really sorry. I left it at a tenant’s house, and I specifically found someone to open the door. We can just take them with us so we don’t have to trouble you.”
As Zhong Chengshuo spoke, he pointed at Yin Ren, who was shaking his Black Seal and work ID, and Xie Baocai.
Xie Baocai quickly picked things up. “Ah, yes. Please let us in. We’ll be quick about it.”
The staff hesitated for a few seconds. “Okay, open all your bags.”
Zhong Chengshuo opened his school bag cooperatively. There were only a few bundles of safety ropes that were attached to metal hooks.
“There’s a gap inside, and we’re afraid of encountering danger, so this is used for escape,” Zhong Chengshuo said nervously.
Seeing that he was about to be checked, Xie Baocai became flustered. “Check what! I’m kindly helping them, and you’re searching me like a thief. It truly doesn’t pay to be good! Are you a policeman? Do you have this kind of authority?”
He took a few steps back and straightened up his waist with a flushed face. Zhong Chengshuo looked at the staff apologetically, giving him an expression of “I can’t help it”.
The staff felt like he was getting a headache. He glanced at Xie Baocai’s deflated old cloth bag and waved his hand.
“Hurry up. You have up to an hour. Pay attention to the time. When time’s up, you’ll only have two endings—either you’ll be swallowed up by the gap or you’ll get axed.”
Zhong Chengshuo took off the protective clothing as he nodded like a chicken pecking rice.
The staff opened the chained back door and repeatedly said, “Go and hurry back.”
Fanghua Apartments was dark. The only light source came from the green emergency exit sign and the pale sensor lights that kept coming on and off. The elevator was still in operation. The group of them went straight to the fourteenth floor.
As far as they could tell, the fourteenth floor was no different from the other floors.
The apartment doors were all densely packed and neat, like a row of coffins embedded in the wall. Except for each other’s footsteps, the three of them couldn’t hear anything else.
“Didn’t you come to find someone? Why are we wearing this?” Xie Baocai grabbed at his protective clothing suspiciously.
“Gao Mengyu sprinkled pesticides in the corridor,” Zhong Chengshuo said in an undulating tone.
In terms of acting skills, Yin Ren had a subtle admiration for this person’s lying abilities.
Xie Baocai chuckled but didn’t ask more. It was fine with him. With this thing he was wearing, blood wouldn’t get on his body later. The clothes he was currently wearing were worth hundreds of dollars and were bought by his precious nephew.
The three of them quickly reached unit 1413.
Zhong Chengshuo and Yin Ren looked at each other and nodded.
In order to facilitate the investigation, the door of unit 1413 wasn’t locked. Zhong Chengshuo grabbed the doorknob and opened the anti-theft door slowly…
Everything was quiet inside, and the furnishings remained the same as last time. Xie Baocai was the first to rush in and look around.
“What the hell? Where’s that girl surnamed Gao?” He couldn’t hold back his anger, and his eyes were surging as soon as he entered the apartment.
With a loud bang, the anti-theft door closed behind him.
All three of them entered the small apartment. Moonlight poured in from the large open windows. Although there wasn’t any light in the room, it was still bright. The silver brilliance brushed over the floor tiles, giving up a hazy and calm feeling.
The strange thing was that although everyone could feel the oncoming evening breeze, the curtains were motionless, as if they were frozen in the air.
“You’re fooling around with me! There’s no one here!” The apartment wasn’t big. Xie Baocai hurriedly scanned the room and then spoke with a shrill voice.
Zhong Chengshuo ignored the old man and stood between Xie Baocai and the window as he faced it.
After a while, he cleared his throat.
“Uncle, Xie Chao died so tragically. Do you want to kill Gao Mengyu?”
Xie Baocai’s hand clutching the cloth bag tightened. He spat out his spit and bared his browned teeth. “Yeah, and? Shouldn’t that bitch deserve to die?”
The corners of Zhong Chengshuo’s mouth twitched as if he were about to show a smile.
Unfortunately, his back was facing the other two, and from this angle, Yin Ren couldn’t see his expression.
As soon as Xie Baocai’s voice fell, a soft mew sounded.
Immediately afterwards, there was a strange booming sound in the air, like a scalpel cutting through skin, and suddenly a gap opened out of thin air in front of the window.
A grayish-yellow mucus dripped slowly down the gap, attracting sticky filaments in the air before melting silently into the floor. The fat, fleshy limbs drilled out like loaches, moving completely symmetrically from left to right. Within five seconds, the weird “flower” bloomed again.
The “flower’s center” was facing the three of them.
In the thick darkness, fourteen dots of red light flickered and would move from time to time.
The soft, fleshy limbs danced lightly in the room; their rhythm matched the beat of the heart. As the fleshy limbs “opened the screen”, brain-like folds glowed in the moonlight.
Xie Baocai stopped yelling and stared blankly at the behemoth stretching along the wall before gradually revealing a disdainful smile.
“Hahahaha. I thought it was something, but it turns out that bitch is still obsessed with raising cats…”
The old man seemed to lose interest in what was in front of him. He turned to Yin Ren, who was closest to him. “Didn’t you say that you wanted to take shots of Gao Mengyu? Where is she? If you really deceive me, I’ll sue you for tricking me into coming here and even lying to the police…”
Was this cognitive pollution? Yin Ren observed with interest.
At least for now, Zhong Chengshuo seemed to be okay.
This “cat” wasn’t weak in strength. Compared to other evil things, its methods had been thoroughly investigated.
Yin Ren lowered his head. His black hair hung down, and his eyes glowed with a bright red light.
At this moment, in Yin Ren’s eyes, Xie Baocai was like a sprouting potato. Translucent tumors gradually emerged from the old man’s eyes, nose, and mouth, and even many joints appeared.
Those tumors burrowed densely out of his skin and grew and elongated as they stretched towards the ceiling.
They were half-imaginary, half-real, with a texture close to the fleshy limbs of a “cat” but they looked like a deformed brain. At the root of the tumor, the capillary-like, thin roots were wrapped with evil qi and stretching into his body.
The problem wasn’t large.
Removing these things in time and killing the roots that had penetrated into the body as soon as possible would still cure him.
However, it was just a bit unsightly.
Yin Ren’s eyes quickly returned to their original state, regaining a relatively fresh field of vision. He took a deep breath, then shivered and shouted, “Zhong—Zhong Ge, be careful. There’s a big monster in front of you! Something’s wrong with Xie Baocai. Let’s run away—”
Xie Baocai cooperated conscientiously. “It’s great that young people have many eyes and hands. When laozi was young, I also had seven or eight hands and feet…”
When he said this, the old man’s movements were extremely distorted and weird.
He no longer stood on his legs but had prostrated himself on the ground in a strange posture. His limbs stretched awkwardly, as if he had grown invisible limbs.
When he laid down firmly, Xie Baocai turned his head into a posture that almost broke his neck. The old man rolled his eyes upward and fixed them on Yin Ren. Then his voice got louder.
“Looking down on an old man, huh? When you get old, your eyes will fall off too. Quickly, bring Gao Meng Meng Meng Meng Mengyu over here!”
Xie Baocai spit all over. His voice was hoarse, and his saliva kept flowing down the corners of his mouth. As his body squirmed, the cloth bag rubbed against the ground, causing the knife to fall out and onto the floor.
The old man bit down on the knife with his mouth, and his lips were cut by the blade. Saliva and blood dripped together. Miraculously, somehow his voice was still clear and he was able to speak.
“Hateful slut slut slut! Hateful slut! Kill kill kill kill the slut. Kill everyone. Kill, slut, kill, kill, slut, slut, kill, hateful, slut—”
Yin Ren: “……”
Wow, the style of the new era was so fierce that it even shocked this thousand-year-old Ghost King.
Yin Ren had seen enough. He lowered his body and grabbed the knife. “Uncle, this is a controlled knife. You can’t just take it out casually.”
Xie Baocai’s mouth was full of blood. “Kill, kill…”
“Murder is against the law,” Zhong Chengshuo added calmly.
Xie Baocai: “……”
He began to crawl towards the “cat”, raving wildly at an inhuman speed.
Yin Ren stepped on the corner of Xie Baocai’s clothes with one foot, stopping the old man from continuing his dying steps. He hid the knife behind him and said, with a frightened tone, “Zhong Ge, take a look. How many eyes do you think we have?”
Zhong Chengshuo turned his head back and then to the monster that was dancing with its soft limbs.
“Don’t panic. I can see what’s in front of me. It should be some kind of animal visible to the naked eye.”
“You don’t think it’s a cat?” Yin Ren added “nervously”, deliberately making a loud swallowing noise.
“I think it’s a brand-new species that can be published and make front cover.”
Zhong Chengshuo spoke in a steady voice with a deep regret in his tone. He didn’t take a step back and just stood there in front of the huge monster, looking a little… excited?
“I understand why the seniors at Shian are worried. Unfortunately, my major isn’t in zoology.”
Zhong Chengshuo was staring straight at the “cat” with a strange compassion in his gaze, as if he were reading a paper to be published.
“Don’t panic. The protective clothing from Shian can protect against any toxins. Generally speaking, since this thing is good at misdirection, its own attack shouldn’t be strong.”
Yin Ren almost applauded his partner. Comrade Zhong Chengshuo’s courage was truly amazing. Maybe 90% of the space in his stomach was given to courage.
But based on his experience, Zhong Chengshuo’s judgment wasn’t wrong.
“But—but this is really scary!” Lord Ghost King yelled earnestly.
Seeing that the two of them weren’t contaminated, the cry of that thing gradually became more rapid.
The sound continued to float out from the depths of the crack, and the crack suddenly widened a little. The rhythm of the soft limbs all over the room moved faster. Two of the limbs bounced along the side of Zhong Chengshuo’s face, heading straight for Xie Baocai.
It didn’t intend to let Xie Baocai go.
The two soft limbs hadn’t even halfway reached the old man yet but were caught. Zhong Chengshuo grabbed them tightly with one hand; his grip was extremely firm and forceful.
“We got that old man under control. Shian will ensure Gao Mengyu’s safety.” Zhong Chengshuo tried to persuade it. “Let Gao Mengyu go. If this continues, she will be killed by you…”
But that thing didn’t listen.
Before Zhong Chengshuo could finish speaking, he received a fleshy slap on his face. The “cat” had angrily slapped Zhong Chengshuo, almost knocking off the mask he was wearing.
“Unable to communicate. The attack power is equal to that of an ordinary adult male.”
Zhong Chengshuo took two steps back and raised his voice.
“Yin Ren, stimulate Xie Baocai again!”
Yin Ren: “?” Do you think the “cat” didn’t beat him hard enough? Will beating him some more make it feel good?
However, in order to pretend to be in a state of confusion, Yin Ren picked up Xie Baocai and broadcast emotionally, “We’re both friends of Gao Mengyu, and we’re here to teach you a lesson!”
Sure enough, Xie Baocai’s neck veins protruded, and the old man broke free from his clothes like a slug. He crawled all over the floor while his mouth kept muttering faster and faster. He spoke clearly, but unfortunately, none of the things he said could be connected to words. The two of them no longer understood what was coming out of his mouth.
The “cat” also went crazy.
The sound of cracking continually sounded as the original rift expanded into a round black hole.
Centered in this huge black hole were dozens of small and large black holes that appeared inside the apartment, as if the entire space had been poked with countless holes. More soft limbs drilled out of the black holes and poked around.
Xie Baocai’s behavior became more bizarre. He was completely naked and was twisted into a knot. The old man’s limbs were strangely intertwined and kept stretching on the ground—he seemed to be looking for his knife.
Yin Ren mentally clicked his tongue.
If he continued to dawdle, healing Xie Baocai might no longer work. The old man was vicious, but he hadn’t had time to kill anyone. In case Xie Baocai really went crazy here, the two of them would really have to bid farewell to Shian.
Perhaps thinking the same thing, Zhong Chengshuo glanced at Xie Baocai, who kept crawling all over the floor. “You, take the old man out. Help me fix the rope outdoors and don’t come back in.”
“There’s a flaw in the movements of those soft limbs.” Like a fish swimming in water, Zhong Chengshuo deftly dodged the attack. “There’s a place where the movement is irregular, and the number isn’t right. It should be protecting something… These black holes are gaps, right?”
Zhong Chengshuo spoke while avoiding the soft limbs. He tied two climbing ropes firmly around his waist and flung them casually. One was firmly stuck on the guardrail outside the window, and the other one he threw to Yin Ren. “Fix this on the anti-theft door next door. Hurry!”
This kid wants to take the initiative to enter the gap.
Yin Ren took the rope and just sighed. He didn’t even have time to feign fear.
“After you go in, no matter what you touch, don’t open your eyes.”
Zhong Chengshuo paused for a moment.
“Just an intuition. I think I remembered something just now.” Yin Ren clenched the hidden knife tightly. “Go, great hero.”
Zhong Chengshuo nodded at him. He yanked the slippery, fishy soft limbs away and dashed towards the target black hole.
The next moment, his figure was engulfed in darkness and completely disappeared from the apartment.
As if the pause button were pressed, all the soft limbs all over the room froze. The “cat” seemed to be confused for a while, and then it fell into a rage. Countless soft limbs wrapped around the ropes; some trying to pull on the hook stuck to the window rail while others grabbed the fixed end of Yin Ren’s hand.
Yin Ren didn’t leave according to Zhong Chengshuo’s instructions.
With a casual kick, Xie Baocai was kicked to the wall and knocked unconscious. Yin Ren smiled at the “cat”. In front of it, he slowly sent the rope hook into his chest and abdomen.
The rope hook passed through the gap in his shirt and was embedded into Yin Ren’s skin, as if an umbilical cord were protruding out of him.
With the rope hook fixed, Yin Ren took out the knife and twisted his hand into a flower. “It’s so much easier now… Ah, I forgot, you don’t understand human language.”
[How about this. Can you understand now?]
Yin Ren didn’t open his mouth when he “spoke” but instead an uncomfortable vibration echoed in the room.
[Let that person take Gao Mengyu away. There’s more to talk about—I tied this rope to my spine. You can’t take it away.]
The “cat” hesitated for a moment, and its fourteen eyes darted around frantically. It no longer meowed but instead started making a discordant growl that was full of resistance and anger.
[…Is this animal sane?]
The “cat” hissed loudly, and its soft limbs unfolded like a screen, revealing dense and treacherous patterns in them. They kept changing moment by moment, almost sticking to Yin Ren.
It eventually stopped nesting in the gap and exposed its entire body.
At the intersection of countless soft limbs, there were fourteen crimson spheres stuck together. The sphere had soft, grape-like pieces of black and gray flesh that were covered with dark holes that were as thick as a finger.
Among them, a large piece was lighter in color and slightly lacking in shape, like newborn tissue that hadn’t yet grown.
However, even with this almost messy appearance, it was still a symmetrical beauty. At first glance, this thing looked a bit like a corrupted “ten-foot curtain” flower or a thin rib cage of some kind of animal.
…In short, there was no resemblance to a creature like a “cat”.
When it came out, Yin Ren narrowed his eyes.
[It’s not good to use one trick repeatedly. It’s easy to see through—if you want to pollute cognition, you must first parse their memories. Come, I’ll open my memories up to you.]
Yin Ren didn’t move. The room was full of soft limbs swarming all over, squirming frantically as they wrapped Yin Ren into a cocoon.
A few seconds passed.
Then, a noise sounding like a scream emerged. All the soft limbs seemed to have touched fire as they all shrank back and retreated abruptly, then they froze in mid-air.
[Is my memory very interesting?]
“Squeak… Ahhh… Ah… Ahhhhh…”
[What did you say? There’s someone guarding outside? It’s okay, I’m not going to use my evil qi.]
Yin Ren stopped playing with the knife and instead muttered a string of syllables. Those syllables were rapid and rhythmic, like a ballad passed down from ancient times.
If Fu Xingchuan was present, the cultivator would recognize it as soon as he heard it. It was undoubtedly an orthodox technique that humans could use.
Yin Ren’s long hair had fanned out and was frozen in mid-air. There was a stomach-churning distortion that appeared in the air, causing the furnishings of the apartment to shake slightly and make subtle rattling noises.
Suddenly, the chanting stopped.
[Wait. I don’t want to use my own blood.]
Yin Ren moved to Xie Baocai, who was unconscious, and slashed the old man’s arm with the knife while he kept grumbling, “It’s not that I’m afraid of pain. It’s really because you young people are too impulsive and scream bloody murder at every turn. The little girl didn’t even do anything wrong. This is just a scratch. Consider it compensation for other people’s spiritual loss…”
Scared “cat”: “…………….”
Putting away a handful of blood, Yin Ren stood back in his original position and put on his solemn expression again.
As soon as he loosened his hands, the blood turned into a pea-sized blood bead and spread out in the air. The rhythm of the ballad suddenly accelerated, and the blood beads in the sky spit out countless filaments that wrapped around the soft limbs like a snake and then suddenly tightened.
Weird blood silk hung in the air, and like this, the “cat” was completely bound.
Yin Ren’s black hair was still floating, and his eyes were red. He squeezed his hands as he gave a smile that was so pure it was frightening.
[You’re not from “this side”, are you? I have heard of things like you.]
Since people could stray into gaps, something on the “other side” could get lost too. Their fate was not much better than that of those who entered the gap—if they couldn’t find supplies in time, they could only die in despair in a strange world.
Of course, there are evil things that could survive and form communities on this side of the world, and thus they were dubbed monsters by the inhabitants of this world. This one looked like it had good essence, which meant Gao Mengyu had raised it well.
Based on its current performance, it had the strength to “go home.”
[Don’t be afraid. I won’t kill you.]
The “cat’ trembled and made weird growling noises from time to time. Yin Ren leaned closer and touched the stiff, soft limbs of the “cat”.
He put his hand on the “wound” that wasn’t the right color.
A gentle evil qi brushed over the piece of flesh and blood, which gradually became full and flat. All fourteen human-sized eyes turned to Yin Ren, and all twenty-eight pupils were locked on him.
The “cat” stopped growling and stayed in place in confusion.
[Okay, now you can go home faster.] Yin Ren petted the nearest eyeball.
“Meow.” The cat purred from the thin hole in its flesh.
[Knock it off. After that person leaves, you must immediately return to the other side of the gap and never come here again. As for Gao Mengyu, we’ll take care of her—we have the ability to do so.]
When Zhong Chengshuo poked one hand out of the gap, it had been less than thirty minutes since they entered unit 1413.
Yin Ren quickly pulled out the rope hooked inside his body and let it fly on its own towards the neighboring door. He yanked a fleshly limb and wrapped it around his waist in an effort to look moribund.
It could only resign to its fate and cooperate.
Zhong Chengshuo tightened the rope and crawled out of the gap with great force. His entire body was filthy and covered with gray-yellow translucent mucus, and a thin girl was tied behind him. The mucus on the girl’s body was thicker, and her long hair was tangled in a ball as her head was hanging limply.
Her body was slightly undulating, but it could be seen she was still breathing.
As soon as Zhong Chengshuo crawled out, he saw Xie Baocai unconscious and his partner was entangled hard by the soft limbs. His hair was disheveled and covered in blood, and he looked as if he could no longer hang on.
“Zhong Ge, I can’t anymore—you run—don’t—don’t mind me—”
Zhong Chengshuo gritted his teeth and cleanly retracted the rope. He used the rope to form a noose and directly put it around Xie Baocai’s ankle. He then immediately rushed towards Yin Ren, grabbed him by the waist, and abruptly pulled him out.
After saving him, Zhong Chengshuo carried Yin Ren on his shoulder, causing his glasses to knock askew. Gao Mengyu was tied to his back, while Xie Baocai was dragged by his hand as he rushed towards the corridor elevator.
Yin Ren: “…” As expected from a young man. His physical strength is really good.
Yin Ren’s head was facing behind, and he could see unit 1413 when he looked up.
[Go.] In the shaking field of vision, Yin Ren ordered silently.
A limp limb stuck out the door, waved at him, and then shrank back.
When they rushed into the elevator, the atmosphere of unit 1413 completely disappeared.
The gap was completely closed, and the “cat” had left.
The moonlight was bright, and the uninhabited room was quiet. There was still blood and mucus on the floor. All the knickknacks in the apartment were smashed into a mess by Xie Baocai, but fortunately, there was no serious damage.
There was only one thing missing in Gao Mengyu’s apartment.
The books on the table were scattered all over the place, and the pen had fallen to the floor with a little bit of ink leaking out. Only the cat-patterned tablecloth was missing.
The indiscriminate cleaning plan was launched on time that night, and all evil spirits in Fanghua Apartments were cleaned up and the last remnants of the gap disappeared. The twelve-hour observation period had passed, and the tenants gradually moved back in.
Xie Baocai was taken by Shian and underwent interventional treatment for cognitive pollution. The old man himself wasn’t seriously injured, and the treatment was timely, but due to his age and physical fitness, he probably would get some minor sequelae, such as physical fatigue or being particularly afraid of cats.
Xie Baocai didn’t have time to hurt others, and he was too old to be dealt with legally. However, the Haigu police sent a special personnel to check on the situation, and the two parties decided to discuss follow-up measures.
Gao Mengyu was taken to Haigu People’s Hospital. She wasn’t injured, but her body was severely deficient. After a period of recuperation, she would make a full recovery.
Her disappearance was characterized by the outside world as “accidentally stuck in the gap of the old building”, while they explained to Lin Bei that she “was haunted by an evil spirit, but the corrupted thing has been eliminated”.
Although she was cut off from water and food for nearly a week, it was unknown whether the environment in the gap was special, but that night, Gao Mengyu regained consciousness.
She opened her eyes in a trance and saw Lin Bei beside her. Gao Mengyu struggled a bit and subconsciously tried to get up.
“It’s okay.” Lin Bei’s tone was blunt, but she still helped tuck Gao Mengyu in. “Don’t panic. That old man won’t harm you again.”
Gao Mengyu opened her mouth, and some tears flashed in her eyes.
She hesitantly stretched out her hand and grabbed Lin Bei’s clothes. Lin Bei pursed her lips, and her expression became a little stiff. After a while, she breathed a sigh of relief and bent down and put her mouth close to Gao Mengyu’s ear.
“Your cat? Didn’t Qiqi die a while ago… Um, the wounded cat you rescued? I see. I’ll help you get in touch.”
Lin Bei called the Shian Cooperation Group and directly initiated a multi-person call.
Soon, someone joined the call.
“What’s the matter?” The voice on the other side was brisk and pleasant. It should be Yin Ren.
“Mr. Yin, Mengyu woke up. She’s looking for her cat. Did Shian find anything?”
“Don’t worry, Miss Gao. We have properly housed your cat and arranged for special treatment.”
Gao Mengyu didn’t show a relaxed expression. She mustered all her strength to force her voice from her throat.
“Can… Can you give it back to me? I know it may be a bit… strange… but…”
Gao Mengyu had a sensitive mind, and after being scolded several times, she noticed some abnormalities.
But this was her only friend.
In those nights where she was on the verge of collapsing, Gao Mengyu would hold it tightly and bury her head in those soft limbs. The cat was reluctant at first, but as time passed, it would separate those soft limbs and pat her gently on the back.
It was her giant, quiet, soft cat.
Yin Ren was silent for a moment.
“It has a home, Miss Gao,” he said softly. “It always wanted to go home.”
“I know. I know… Cough. I was going to wait for it to heal and let it go… Can I take a look at it…”
“You should rest first. Someone from our company will talk to you about it later.”
Gao Mengyu’s cognitive pollution must be treated as soon as possible. It was only a matter of time before she knew the truth. On this point, Yin Ren didn’t intend to prevaricate.
Gao Mengyu stopped talking, and just as Yin Ren was about to end the call, she suddenly spoke up again.
“You’re more professional than me,” she muttered cautiously. “It… doesn’t hate me…”
“I heard from our leader that it hates video equipment like cameras because it doesn’t want to be discovered by too many people. If it doesn’t want its picture taken, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Yin Ren smiled.
“But it still left you a picture.”
“Why what?” Lin Bei was confused.
Yin Ren, however, understood. “Things like that cat have always been sensitive to emotions. Maybe it just thinks you’re very similar to it.”
“…After all, to it, our world is equally terrifying.”
That was why it tried to pollute the cognition of people nearby and defined itself as a “cute and harmless” creature in the eyes of most people.
In a strange environment, there were weird beings going about their business everywhere. It waited in place to heal its wound, hiding in this vast world, trying to find a safe haven.
It was equally fearful, helpless, and lonely.
99% of human emotional analysis of monsters was self-serving. However, there were no absolutes. There were still 1% of “other possibilities” in this world.
Gao Mengyu was silent for a long time as the tears in the corner of her eyes became a little heavier.
“I understand,” she said weakly. “I’m sorry. I caused a lot of trouble for everyone…”
“It’s okay. I wish you a speedy recovery.”
The call ended.
“You’d better take care of yourself first and take care of your business while no one is looking for you,” Lin Bei said. “Speaking of which, I happen to have a Mr. Rose project in my hand, and I’m going to write a powerful proposal.”
Lin Bei was peeling an apple and had a sneer on her face.
The truth could also attract a large amount of traffic. Besides, the company of “Mr. Rose” originally planned to abandon the account, so there wouldn’t be too many opinions.
“The patient can’t eat yet…”
Seeing Lin Bei peeling apples, the nurse raised her concern in a low voice, but before she could finish speaking, she heard a crisp crunch and saw Lin Bei take a bite of the apple.
Gao Mengyu: “Pfft.”
“What are you laughing at?”
“I never thought you would come see me.” Gao Mengyu stared at the ceiling of the ward. “I know, you actually have been…”
“We’re friends now,” Lin Bei interrupted Gao Mengyu and took another bite of the apple. “I admit, my personality isn’t very good. Anyway, let’s go out for a meal once you get discharged.”
Gao Mengyu recovered quickly and was discharged from the hospital a week later. The police gave her a hand-stamped apology from Xie Baocai and promised to arrange a safer—or at least one that the Xie family couldn’t find—residence for her. As for the deposit and the cost of moving, Shian would fully cover it.
After all, two impulsive kids messed up her home.
Shian arranged professional psychological counseling and comprehensive cognitive therapy for her, with which Gao Mengyu fully cooperated. Seeing that she wanted to get some fresh air, Shian released her early and returned her to her daily life.
In order to consolidate her cognition, Shian specially made a cognitive rehabilitation webpage for her…
- Cats have one head, two ears, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
- Cats have an undivided cylindrical torso, four legs, and a tail.
- Cats usually do not exceed one meter in length, and their posture is similar to that of cats such as tigers, lions, cheetahs, ect..
- Cats cannot speak or walk upright. The normal cat diet is 100-200g of cat food per day.
- Please listen to the cat’s call in the recording in time and compare it to the call you hear.
- Please log in to the website every day and watch 30 minutes of cat videos. Pick out 10 cat pictures and upload a hand drawn cat sketch.
※Note: Please check the completed entry above. If you find that your cognition doesn’t match the description of the entry, do not check it.
After a week had passed, Gao Mengyu completed her rehabilitation, and her cognition recovered. Now she could distinguish between a “real cat” and “that thing” in her memory.
Gao Mengyu walked into a pet adoption center.
Dozens of cats were sitting or lying in cages, making soft purring sounds. They had small, furry bodies, soft paws, and two pointed ears.
Gao Mengyu stood between two rows of cages and ticked off the numbers on the webpage one by one.
She had already sketched a standard cat picture, but to this day, her finger still stopped in front of the number 1 entry for a few seconds.
“Qiqi,” she called in a low voice.
That was the name she gave to her deceased cat, as well as “that thing”.
She wondered if it liked it.
With a tap on her finger, Gao Mengyu checked off the number 1 entry and stared at the “confirm correct” pop-up window. If today’s rehabilitation self-test could be completed, she would be judged as being “fully recovered” by Shian.
She didn’t like to lie, but she really wanted to leave a little… warm souvenir.
Gao Mengyu took a deep breath and clicked “yes” on the pop-up window.
Another pop-up window appeared.
[Shian Corporation congratulates you on your recovery and wishes you a happy life.]
“Hello!” Gao Mengyu put away her phone and waved to the staff.
“Hi miss. Do you want to adopt an animal?”
“Which one do you want to adopt? Do you want me to introduce you to some?”
“No, I’ll take this black one. Black cats can calm the house.” Gao Mengyu smiled. “I want to name it ‘Qiqi’.”
In Gao Mengyu’s eyes, the cats were attracted by the voices of the two and turned their heads one after another.
It was bright there, and all together, they blinked a total of fourteen eyes, full of curiosity.
As for the “two impulsive kids” at the center of the incident…
On the night Gao Mengyu woke up, as soon as the call ended, Yin Ren and Zhong Chengshuo were sitting in separate interrogation rooms.
Yin Ren: “It’s all my fault. I wanted to get a better performance, so I went with Zhong Ge. If I hadn’t encouraged it, Zhong Ge would certainly not… Haa…”
Yin Ren: “Don’t fire me. Isn’t the result quite good? I can write a review. I don’t have a salary, and there’s no other place I can go… Please understand…”
Yin Ren: “Uh, a monster? I did see it, but I’m okay now. Maybe it was too focused on attacking Xie Baocai.”
At the same time, in another room.
Zhong Chengshuo: “It’s all my fault. Yin Ren was willing to help be the lookout, but I should have refused. Why did I think this? Well, Gao Mengyu still had the possibility of being alive, and the facts proved that I was right.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “I didn’t intend to obstruct the ‘indiscriminate cleaning’ from the beginning. From the time we entered the building to the time we came out, it was only 35 minutes and 12 seconds. It’s just that we had to lie about getting a USB flash drive, but actually went in to save someone… In this matter, the only thing I feel guilty about is Yin Ren. It’s fine to punish me. Please don’t fire him.”
Zhong Chengshuo: “I saw the monster… It should be some kind of terrestrial mollusk, but unfortunately it has disappeared, so I can’t give a firm conclusion. Impact? It didn’t affect me.”
The two each said the same thing. Their description of the incident was clear and consistent.
The two of them thought Gao Mengyu was still alive, and based on the path taken by the Public Security Bureau, they identified Xie Baocai as the suspect. The two used Xie Baocai to lure out the monster, and Zhong Chengshuo took the opportunity to rush into the gap and rescue Gao Mengyu.
Then the indiscriminate cleaning spell was activated, and the monster was successfully eliminated, which sounded reasonable…
Something was wrong with these two boys. If it hadn’t been for the defeat of several Black Seal veterans by that “cat”, Fu Xingchuan might still buy it.
But he couldn’t think of what else they could do. Could it be that the “cat” had recognized Xie Baocai and then ignored everything else?
Fu Xingchuan was pacing up and down in the office and almost tripped over Professor Li’s outstretched leg.
“Lao Li, what are you doing?”
“There’s something obviously fishy about those two, and it may not be due to the influence of the unknown Evil Spirit.”
Professor Li took a sip of his tea and narrowed his eyes.
“Fu Xingchuan, if you were a freelance cultivator and this same scene appeared before you, would you single-handedly go and save someone?”
Fung Xingchuan clicked his tongue. “Would.”
“Do you think Liang Shan would?”
“That kid definitely wouldn’t. He can’t handle it…” Fu Xingchuan suddenly paused halfway through speaking. “Lao Li, let’s pass this. There are so many people who act bravely for good, but you can’t say that ‘nothing bad will ever happen to them’.”
“To save strangers, the person who’s doing it must have at least a little certainty. However you look at it, those two boys did not have this level of confidence—after that kind of experience, Zhong Chengshuo’s mental stability is a bit abnormal. And how did Yin Ren, who you said has average talent, survive the cognitive pollution without protection?”
“Uh, because that thing just wanted to deal with Xie Baocai…”
“They couldn’t determine this in advance, but they still acted anyway and even succeeded. To say that both of them are foolhardy and hot-headed… Fu Xingchuan, hot-headed people can’t pass Shian’s entry exam.”
Fu Xingchuan was silent.
“Two people with no experience in cognitive pollution. In addition to being ‘reckless’ there’s another possibility.” Professor Li’s face was calm. “No one in Shian knows this possibility better than you—”
“It may be the ‘confidence of the strong’.”
Fu Xingchuan wiped his face a few times. “But you have no evidence.”
Li Nian: “Yes, everything is just my inference. Of course, they may have just joined the company and want to show off. I’m just reminding you.”
“Just tell it to me straight. You’re not one to gossip.”
Professor Li put down the thermos and looked out the window. At this height, he could see half of Haigu.
“I do have an idea,” he said.
“Fu Xingchuan, Yin Ren is a Black Seal. You can figure out how to check on him yourself, but Zhong Chengshuo is my subordinate, so I should be qualified to suggest it.”
“I applied for him to observe ‘Shian’s Evil Spirit’.”
The author has something to say:
Xiao Zhong: A man who has not only seen an Evil Spirit, but also eats and lives with an Evil Spirit and even carries it on his back.
Xiao Yin, lost the opportunity to visit his same kind!
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2 thoughts on “Evil As Humans Ch22”
Oooh damn does that mean ml already knows what’s up with mc?
Don’t hurt my babies! Thank you for the chapter!