Highway 404 (10)
Pei Mo’s flashlight rolled down to his feet. The beam of light happened to hit his white running shoes which were stained with blood. There was a ‘drip drip’ sound as blood flowed down the wall like a waterfall, gathering into a pool of scarlet blood.
Through Jiang Yu’s flashlight, they could see that Pei Mo’s left hand was drawn into the wall from his fingers to his forearm. His upper arm was flipped and folded in an extremely twisted posture. The skeletal muscles had long been deformed, and the junction between the arm and wall was integrated. It looked like Pei Mo’s hand was growing out of the wall.
“S-Save me!” he screamed, “The monsters in the wall are eating my hands!”
As Pei Mo spoke, he pulled his half swallowed arm with his other hand while crying tears of pain. There was the illusion of reaching into a high speed mixer.
Jiang Yu was the one who was most able to take action. She quickly weighed the pros and cons before raising the machete in her hand, slashing it at Pei Mo’s half engulfed arm!
Blood immediately splashed out like fireworks. The moment his arm was cut off, Pei Mo fell backwards from the inertia. The severed arm was quickly sucked into the wall and there was the faint smell of barbecue grease coming from the thick blood.
The blood on the wall was sucked clean in an instant, as if the bloody scene had never happened.
On the other hand, the patient in the chalk drawing had an extra skewer in his hand. A freshly cut arm was strung on the iron stick. It was set up on the roaring campfire and sauce and oil were brushed on.
The pain had already consumed all of Pei Mo’s mental strength and willpower. At this moment, he fell to the ground in a cold sweat, curled up and convulsing.
Jiang Yu came over, took off her coat, and tied it around his arm to stop the bleeding. “Don’t blame me. If I didn’t cut off your arm, your entire body would’ve been pulled in and eaten.”
“This should work soon.” Chi Nan handed over painkillers. He wasn’t in good health and always brought medicine with him. This might be an immersive dream and the objects they carried weren’t carried over, but You Yu opened a back door for him. He secretly stuffed the medicine that Chi Nan used into his pocket.
Less than five minutes after Pei Mo took the medicine, the pain was reduced by more than half and he started to cry bitterly, “I just said that there is nothing good in a ghostly place like the welfare home! I shouldn’t have been deceived by you! Wu wu wu…”
The scolded Jiang Yu frowned as she looked at the collapsed middle-aged man. She endured it and didn’t fight back.
Pei Mo looked at Chi Nan in an unwilling manner. Why was this little boy unscathed when he also looked at the chalk drawings?
He had complaints in his heart. If Chi Nan hadn’t opened up this plot point, he wouldn’t have lost an arm in vain.
However, Pei Mo didn’t rush to blame Chi Nan. Chi Nan might always be quiet and harmless, but Pei Mo had always been slightly afraid of him.
Pei Mo could feel a strange sense of danger and divinity from Chi Nan that couldn’t be described in words. This person seemed distant.
Lu Baizhou, who was interrupted during the process of picking the lock, walked over and fixed her gaze on the chalk drawing on the wall. She had just stared at it for a moment, but her eyes already lost their luster and she started to walk mechanically toward the chalk drawing like Pei Mo. Chi Nan immediately waved his hand in front of her eyes. Lu Baizhou, whose eyes were out of focus, was suddenly startled. “I just seemed to…”
Chi Nan told them, “Try not to look at them directly. The chalk drawing will trick people into approaching and then prey on them.” He quickly deduced the mechanism and effect of the chalk drawings from Pei Mo’s tragic experience.
Lu Baizhou had just come back to her senses. She blinked in shock and was still in a bit of a trance.
Chi Nan stared at the chalk drawing and explained, “It is kind of like…the principle of a mosquito killing lamp.”
The reason why he wasn’t bewitched…was probably because he wasn’t a good hunting object.
Jiang Yu on the side: “……” Wouldn’t the murderous wall of chalk lose dignity if it was likened to a mosquito lamp?
Lu Baizhou’s mind returned and she touched her heart which was filled with lingering fear. She hurriedly thanked Chi Nan and then Jiang Yu reminded her, “Don’t delay for too long. The welfare home is full of dangers. We should speed up the progress to open the lock and strive to get out early.”
Unfortunately, Jiang Yu had just finished speaking when the bell that signaled 1 o’clock came from the main building.
“It is already 1 o’clock so soon? I remember it was exactly 12 o’clock when we came in.” Jiang Yu was puzzled.
Lu Baizhou was the only one of the characters who wore a watch. She looked at the minute hand on the watch that just pointed to 12:20 and her face turned white. “Only 20 minutes have passed on my watch. It shouldn’t be…”
Chi Nan explained, “Perhaps the time flow rate of the welfare home is three times that of normal time.”
Jiang Yu’s expression froze and she gulped nervously. “So actually…we only have two hours.”
At this moment, the sound of an electric current came from the welfare home. Jiang Yu raised the flashlight in the direction of the sound and the beam of light landed on a horn covered with cobwebs.
[In order to welcome the four guests from afar, the principal announced that the curfew will be lifted tonight. The children will spend a stimulating and enjoyable night playing in the welfare home with the guests.]
[In order to let the four guests quickly adapt to the life of the welfare home and play with the children as soon as possible, we have prepared a game of hide and seek. The children of the welfare home will be the seekers and the guests will hide. Please correctly understand your roles.]
[The game will be played in ten minutes. Please hide immediately. You will receive a strict game punishment if the children find you.]
[The game will be held in ten minutes. Please quickly choose a hiding place to avoid being found by the children…]
If the time flow was increased by three times then ten minutes in the welfare home was actually only three minutes and twenty seconds…
Looking around, this empty courtyard simply didn’t have enough large objects for adults to hide and the iron door of the main building was locked. In this way, they had nowhere to hide and could only wait for death!
“What can we do so hastily? We can’t climb the wall and go into the building to hide. I can’t finish the climb with my hands at all…” Pei Mo immediately jumped up from the ground, frightened and incoherent.
Lu Baizhou shouted irritably, “Don’t fool around when it is so critical! I’ll be done here soon!”
Time was so tight that Lu Baizhou’s hand trembled uncontrollably. The cold sweat quickly soaked through her clothes and she could hardly breathe.
Jiang Yu quickly covered Pei Mo’s babbling mouth and tried to let Lu Baizhou calmly focus on opening the lock. “It’s okay. Don’t worry, I have a machete here. If it doesn’t work, we will face these children head-on.”
Lu Baizhou licked her dry lips. “I will try.”
“Yes, don’t panic. Chi Nan has the ability to deal with evil spirits.”
Jiang Yu seemed to want to get some spiritual support. She looked up at the place where Chi Nan had been standing, only to unexpectedly flinch. “Chi Nan?”
She was busy looking for Chi Nan’s figure with the flashlight. After looking for a while, she found that he had walked to the angel fountain and was looking down at the water in a daze. “Chi Nan, are you okay?”
“It’s fine.” Chi Nan’s voice was very calm and he didn’t seem to be confused by anything.
Jiang Yu still wanted to say something when the sound of the lock being pried open interrupted her train of thought. Lu Baizhou breathed heavily as she pulled off the lock and threw it on the ground. She hurriedly opened the large iron door of the main building.
[Guests, please hide quickly. There are still three minutes left before the start of the game of hide and seek.]
The radio reminded them again. Lu Baizhou and Pei Mo rushed into the corridor as if fleeing for their lives. Jiang Yu turned back and rushed to Chi Nan while shouting, “What are you doing there? Quickly go into the main building and hide!”
“You go first. I’ll do an experiment,” Chi Nan spoke without changing his expression.
“…Come as soon as possible!” At the junction of life or death, Jiang Yu couldn’t care about him. She gritted her teeth and rushed toward the corridor.
Chi Nan stood alone by the fountain and looked at his reflection in the water. He moved his gaze to the four or five discarded children’s water guns at his feet. Then he suddenly had an idea when he thought of the game mentioned on the radio.
He reached into his pocket. It was full of mints from the hotel and it was enough to make him cry for a while.
Jiang Yu had just climbed halfway up the stairs when she bumped into Pei Mo and Lu Baizhou, who were breathlessly coming down from the second floor. “All the rooms on the second floor are locked!”
The countdown of the broadcast was getting more and more urgent, causing everyone’s minds to feel pained. Finally, the three people turned back from the stairs to the first floor. They rushed into an abandoned classroom before the last half a minute ran out. Lu Baizhou opened the large cabinet on the right side of the classroom and confirmed it was spacious enough to hide in. Pei Mo was the second person to enter the classroom and also squeezed in before she could close the door.
Jiang Yu couldn’t hide in the cabinet and chose to curl up behind the podium at the last second.
There was a ‘ding dong’ sound and the countdown came to an end. The three people hiding in the classroom were so nervous that they breathed lightly, but they couldn’t control the rhythm of their heartbeats.
The machete given by the driver was too long. Jiang Yu couldn’t hide it behind the podium so she had to retreat and put the knife behind the blackboard. This way, she could also observe the situation in the classroom through the reflection of the blade.
The two people in the cabinet were in a more convenient position. They could understand the situation of the classroom and the corridor through the crack in the cabinet doors.
Time passed by. Two people were squeezed into the narrow cabinet and the smell of hot blood spread through the confined space. It forced Lu Baizhou, who was already overly nervous, to become dizzy.
She tried her best to hide to the side, but the space in the cabinet was so small that she couldn’t hide. Her shirt covered in sweat stuck to her skin and she sensed that she was losing her breath. A minute seemed like a century.
She couldn’t hold back. She shrank back into the cabinet, accidentally bumping her elbow against the edge of the cabinet. This made a small noise.
The moment of the impact, the two people in the cabinet suddenly held their breaths. Pei Mo clearly saw through the crack in the row that a row of black shadows passing by in the corridor by the window suddenly stopped. They turned to face the classroom without any instructions and made a strange giggling sound that gave people the chills.
The black shadows gradually floated clearly on the window glass… It was a group of children around 1.3 or 1.4 meters in height. They were both boys and girls with various similar faces. All of them had a mouthful of sharp, bloody teeth.
The sound of the giggling grew louder. The group of children seemed to be discussing something lively and their interest was high.
The three people in the classroom forgot to even breathe. They silently prayed in their hearts that the children wouldn’t find any clues and would leave quickly. However, this backfired. The children who were playing hide and seek pushed open the door of the classroom and entered it in an instant.
Pei Mo’s heart reached his throat. He was afraid he would cry out of fear and was busy covering his mouth with his only remaining right hand. Lu Baizhou’s face was bloodied and tense fingernails dug into her flesh.
The children’s laughter was getting closer and they could be vaguely heard singing a song, “Don’t hide, dead guests. I already smell the sweet smell of blood. Don’t hide, I’m going to find you…”
They sang in a low and collective manner as they gulped.
Lu Baizhou saw the children gradually gather outside the cabinet and captured the key words in the song: the smell of blood!
Right…it must’ve been the smell of blood on Pei Mo’s body that attracted them… It must be the smell of blood…
In an instant, she had already made a decision that she thought was cruel. She looked at the terrified Pei Mo and silently apologized.
The next moment, she pressed Pei Mo’s shoulder hard and pushed him out of the cabinet. The moment the ghost children headed toward Pei Mo, she jumped out of the cabinet and ran outside the classroom. She couldn’t care less about Pei Mo’s desperate screams behind her. She silently apologized while running madly, running and running while almost crying.
This lasted until she bumped into a person holding several water guns who came from the opposite end of the corridor.