Highway 404 (11)
Chi Nan’s eyes were still a bit red. “What about the others?”
There were always unpleasant side effects to crying too much. For example, sore eyes and uncontrollable sniffing.
Lu Baizhou gasped and pointed to Classroom 106. “They are entangled with the children playing hide and seek…”
“Okay.” Chi Nan handed the water gun to Lu Baizhou. “I’ll go and take a look. This is for self-defense. If the water almost runs out then you can fill it up at the fountain.”
Then Chi Nan ran toward 106 where Pei Mo was.
Lu Baizhou held the water gun in a daze and stared at Chi Nan’s back in disbelief. “Aren’t you afraid…?”
Halfway through her words, several children walked through the corridor toward Chi Nan. They grinned as usual, revealing their sharp teeth covered with blood and broken flesh. They were like broken zombies.
Lu Baizhou was so frightened that she was about to run away. Then she saw Chi Nan calmly carrying the water gun and accurately firing the water toward the children, and she was stunned.
What was this for? The welfare home said to play hide and seek…how did this guy start a water fight?
Yet what was even more surprising was the children who were soaked by the water suddenly burst into tears and fled. Their positions changed in an instant and the children switched from hunter to prey. Chi Nan seemed to be the player at the top of the food chain.
“H-How can this be?”
Lu Baizhou muttered in disbelief while her hand holding the water gun instinctively exerted force. At this moment, three or four children suddenly appeared at the end of the corridor. Lu Baizhou imitated Chi Nan and swept the water gun toward them. Sure enough, the effect was the same. The children were so frightened that they ran upstairs to hide.
Lu Baizhou was shocked. The trembling of her body immediately stopped and she carried the water gun back to Classroom 106.
By the time Chi Nan arrived at 106, Jiang Yu had already rushed out from behind the podium. She held the long knife and cut at the heads of the little ghosts one by one.
However, physical attacks were ineffective against these children. It just aroused their interest even more. They crouched down to pick up their fallen heads, placed them back on their necks, and turned around. They abandoned Pei Mo, who was full of snots and tears, and surrounded Jiang Yu as the new target.
Jiang Yu stepped back with the long knife in her hand. Just as she was forced to retreat to a corner of the wall, Chi Nan’s water gun suddenly fired in her direction.
“Chi Nan? How come you aren’t hiding…?”
Before Jiang Yu could finish speaking, the children who were grinning and drooling suddenly screamed. She was stunned on the spot. “You…what are you doing?”
Chi Nan threw one of the water guns to Jiang Yu and the other to Pei Mo. “Drench them with water to make them obedient.”
The two people: “……?” What type of confusing behavior was this?
They might be confused, but the effect was remarkable. The two of them learned to hold the water gun and sprayed them at the ghost children like Chi Nan. The children rushing to flee the classroom happened to encounter Lu Baizhou blocking the door. In a panic, they chose to climb the wall to escape.
Several of the soaked children twisted and deformed in place. Finally, they melted on the ground like a pool of melted wax, leaving dark marks behind.
The most bullied Pei Mo jumped up from the ground. He carried a water gun and ran after the escaping ghost children with swear words in his mouth.
After chasing them into the yard, he even started shooting the chalk drawings with a water gun. The wall’s surface was like a hot iron sheet suddenly splashed with cold water. Smoke suddenly rose and the moment the horror drawing was removed, his bones were spit out and fell to the ground.
Jiang Yu couldn’t look at it any longer and gave a reminder, “It is almost done. Save time to find the clues!”
It was only then that Pei Mo wiped off the blood that covered his body. He cursed with a grin and walked back while spitting a mouthful of blood on the ground. “F*k, I finally feel cool.”
Chi Nan was kind enough to give a reminder, “If there isn’t enough water, you can fill it up with the fountain water.”
Jiang Yu shook the water gun in her hand. “Chi Nan, can you explain what the principle is?”
She remembered that when she first entered the courtyard, she noticed many children’s toys left on the ground, including the water guns they were holding now. She just hadn’t considered the water guns to be combat weapons.
Chi Nan simply answered, “I did an experiment. I picked up a few water guns and added something to the fountain water.”
At that time, Chi Nan ate dozens of mints and stood by the fountain with tears rolling down non-stop. Fortunately, the fountain itself was mostly dry. He cried for seven or eight minutes. The tears might’ve been diluted, but the effect was equally significant.
There was just a scorching mint coolness in his throat and stomach…
Pei Mo exclaimed, “If I knew you were so powerful, I would’ve…”
Then he raised his water gun and gestured it toward Lu Baizhou, who had betrayed him. Chi Nan immediately stopped him with a loud voice, “Don’t spray it on people.”
Lu Baizhou quickly dodged at his words and Pei Mo was frightened. “What…will happen?”
Chi Nan said quietly, “The water is dirty and unhygienic.”
The crisis was over, so the four of them decided to search for clues separately after refilling the water guns. Pei Mo, who had seen Chi Nan’s strength, took the initiative to volunteer this time. “I will be in a group with Chi Nan.”
Lu Baizhou glanced at Jiang Yu for help, afraid she would be grouped with Pei Mo and the other person would take revenge. Jiang Yu took the initiative to say, “Then I will search the second floor with Baizhou. How about it?” She was seeking Chi Nan’s opinion.
Chi Nan nodded. “Then we will meet here at 3 o’clock.”
After being assigned their respective search areas, Chi Nan looked from corridor to corridor and found that the windows facing the north side of the welfare home were all welded shut with iron. He tried to pry at one with his dagger for a moment, but it didn’t move. It was as if someone had deliberately tried to hide an important clue.
What secrets were hidden on the other side of the welfare home?
At this time, the bell of the main building rang to signal it was 2 o’clock. The ghost children curled up and shivering in a corner of the welfare home disappeared the moment the bell rang.
Pei Mo was holding the water gun and wasn’t afraid. “It seems that these ghost children are really afraid of us and ran away.”
Chi Nan said, “Maybe the hide and seek game can only be played at a fixed time.”
“A fixed time? Then does it mean they will still appear?” Pei Mo hadn’t thought of this.
Chi Nan answered, “Wait until 3 o’clock to know.”
The game of hide and seek started after the bell rang at 1 o’clock, and they entered the welfare home at 12 o’clock. Chi Nan had reason to suspect that every time the hour hand pointed at an odd number, it was game time.
Pei Mo didn’t know how Chi Nan came to this conclusion, but he thought about how he could easily deal with the evil spirits of the welfare home now and he felt no more fear.
Jiang Yu shone the flashlight in front of her. Lu Baizhou followed behind her and asked, “I came up here before and all the rooms on the second floor were locked. We need to unlock them one by one to find clues and we definitely don’t have enough time.”
She had roughly calculated that it would take around 5-10 minutes to open a lock. This was 15-30 minutes at three times the speed. They could only open a maximum of four locks in an hour while the second floor was the accommodation area and had at least 30 rooms. It would take more than seven hours to explore them all…
Jiang Yu told her, “We just need to open Room 213.”
“Room 213?” Lu Baizhou thought about it for a moment before realizing. “That’s the room number of the motel room where Chi Nan was killed!”
The two girls’ brains turned quickly and their movements were also very sharp. They determined the target and pried open Room 213 as quickly as possible. There was a ‘clicking’ sound and Jiang Yu slowly pushed open the dilapidated door.
Unlike the previous Classroom 106, where the air hadn’t been ventilated all year round and a dull and decaying smell lingered, the air in this room was mixed with the freshness of the earth and the damp smell of moss.
Jiang Yu used a flashlight to shine around the room and found that the window on the west side of the room was open. There was even a wind that was stirring the pages of the book on the table.
“Hey, the windows of this room aren’t welded shut.”
The window was facing the backyard of the main building of the welfare home. Jiang Yu used the flashlight to look outward. She saw the situation behind the welfare home and couldn’t help gasping.
The west window was facing a large cemetery.
Thousands of gravestones stood tall and were densely packed in the darkness. It even gave people a sense of boundless absurdity and horror.
On the other side, Chi Nan and Pei Mo quickly searched the principal’s room and the faculty room. They found no useful clues.
Pei Mo shifted his gaze to the reference room. “I will look to see if there is any information about you two brothers…”
Then he saw the dozens of shelves full of information and hurriedly swallowed down the words. “Cough..we might not be able to find the corresponding information in one night…”
Chi Nan scanned the dusty information shelves and mountains of documents. He had no intention of going in. “Let’s go to the basement first. After all, it is the scene of the murder.”
Pei Mo couldn’t help shivering when he heard the words ‘scene of the murder.’ He gripped the water gun in his hand. He didn’t know if the water gun would work if he met the instance boss…
Yet in the end, he was a bit afraid of Chi Nan. He didn’t dare question Chi Nan’s decision and only said in a trembling voice, “Okay.”
The basement was at the end of the corridor. The corridor connecting to the underground area was blocked by an iron door, but the lock hanging from the iron door wasn’t fastened. Chi Nan could pull it open with a loose twist.
Maybe the person who left the basement thought there was no need to lock it, or perhaps the last person who entered the basement hadn’t come up again…
The footsteps of the two people echoed in the narrow corridor and the flashlight illuminated the stairs under their feet. It dragged their shadows into a crooked and slender shape, reflecting on the wall covered with mold.
The stairs leading to the basement were long. Pei Mo felt that he had turned at least four or five corners and still couldn’t see the end of the stairs.
The further down they went, the stronger the damp, musty smell in the air.
Pei Mo held the water gun tightly, but his body couldn’t help trembling slightly. His fear was infinitely amplified by his footsteps and the rattling of his teeth. It was a vicious cycle.
Just as he was feeling a bit breathless, he finally saw the light of a fire shaking at the end of the darkness.
He wanted to sigh with relief the moment he saw the light. The next second, an alarm bell sounded in his heart and Pei Mo almost fell down the stairs in fright.
This f*king welfare home had been abandoned for decades. Where did the fire in the basement come from?
“C-Chi Nan…this light is absolutely wrong. Is it safe for us to rush down like this?” Pei Mo asked cautiously.
Chi Nan nodded. “You wait here first. I’ll go down and take a look.”
“No! I’ll follow you!” The thought of being alone in this eerie and lengthy corridor made Pei Mo’s hair stand up in fright.
Chi Nan was still expressionless. “Okay.”
He saw that there was a light source in the basement. In order to save electricity, he deliberately turned off the flashlight.
Pei Mo: “……” He was speechless.
“Is someone here?” Chi Nan stopped outside the basement door. He knocked as politely as usual and asked.
After waiting for five seconds, there was no answer and he entered the room.
The first thing that caught the eye was a corpse hanging from a rope. The body had decayed to the point where only a few strands of rotten flesh were attached to white bones. It seemed that this person had died for a certain period of time.
“It should be the corpse of my character, not my brother.”
Chi Nan remembered that his role as the older brother couldn’t bear the endless loneliness and the confusion of his identity, so he finally hung himself.
However, the task wasn’t to find the older brother’s body. This meant the corpse was only the same as a background plot for him and had no substantive significance.
Chi Nan’s eyes fell on the flickering candle on the table, which was also the only light source in the room.
20 candles were inserted into a cake that had long since been covered with mold and could no longer be seen. Decades had passed and the corpse had decayed and decayed. Even so, the 20 birthday candles were still burning. It was like some type of metaphor that paid homage to the corpse of the older brother hanging from the rope.
Chi Nan remembered that in the character’s dream, there were only 19 birthday candles when the younger brother died. In other words, the older brother committed suicide a year after his brother was killed, on their birthday.
Chi Nan approached the candles and found a photo pressed under the rotten cake. He carefully pulled out the photo, wiped the dust off it, and looked at it carefully.
This photo was taken by the older brother before he died. There was a fresh and tempting strawberry cream cake with a chocolate plate that read.
[10/31, Happy 20th birthday to us.]
So the birthday of the two brothers was October 31st. Chi Nan noted down this information point and put away the photo.
He looked at the candles on the cake again and thought about it. Then he finally blew out all the candles and put them in his pocket.
They couldn’t be wasted.