The hospital where Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang were located was the People’s Hospital in the city centre. It was surrounded by financial buildings, shopping plazas, pedestrian streets, restaurants and countless companies. Currently, it was lunch time. The delivery drivers were on the street to deliver meals, the food areas were full of people and the fragrance of various foods floated in the air.
On the surface, this city looked bustling. The people rushing down the street hadn’t noticed the huge crisis lurking in this peace. Xiao Lou walked to the intersection, looked at the pedestrians on the street and turned back to Yu Hanjiang. “What is the situation with the student you brought today? Are there many people infected at the school?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “This morning, I received a police assignment to go to the Seventh High School. The injured male student was attacked by a senior, Zhou Yu of Class 8. He suddenly attacked in the bathroom, biting off a large piece of flesh from that boy’s arms and also scratching several other boys. The school conducted a simple investigation. According to the head teacher, Zhou Yu was introverted and gentle. He never fought anyone. He just asked for leave in the morning to go home.”
Yu Hanjiang paused before continuing in a calm face. “He has obviously been parasitized. Unexpectedly, the IQ of the parasite is so high. It actually knew how to lie to a teacher and asked for leave to escape. There were more than a dozen students scratched by him. It was all skin trauma so they were left at school to be bandaged by the school doctor. If those people are also infected then I’m afraid that by this time, the entire Seventh High School has fallen.”
Xiao Lou, “……”
The parasites that could survive were extremely capable of reproduction and were extremely intelligent. Perhaps they would make an excuse to leave their teachers and students in the classroom… who could imagine that the students they got along with were actually puppets of bugs?
This morning, the Seventh High School might’ve been infected by a large number of parasites.
At first, the infected people only showed ordinary flu symptoms. They might not even know they were parasitized. Then the students would go home from school at noon, infect their parents and their parents would carry the parasites to major areas…
Xiao Lou became more shocked the more he thought about it. There were so many infected people on the first day and he didn’t have time to adapt to the environment. He hurriedly stated, “We have to find our teammates quickly. They don’t know what is going on and it will be bad if they’re infected.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Go!”
The two men strode out of the food street and shopping buildings and soon reached the square in the city centre.
There was a large sculpture in the middle of the square with many seats in the outer circle. Some old people were sitting on the seats to relax in the sun while some children were standing in front of the sculpture and excitedly taking photos.
It looked like an ordinary city square and there weren’t many people gathered.
Xiao Lou saw Ye Qi standing in the middle of the square with one glance.
Ye Qi was wearing a hood and ripped jeans, looking very fashionable. He held a guitar in his hand and was advertising loudly, “Uncles, aunts, handsome men and beautiful women, I will sing a song for everyone. I think I sing well so if you would like to give me some pocket money. Life is hard and I’m in pressing need. Thank you everyone…”
It was a familiar routine but Ye Qi felt really uncomfortable.
After seeing him jumping up and down in a lively manner, his voice clear and loud, Xiao Lou finally let go of his worries and immediately went to Ye Qi.
Ye Qi saw Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou and his eyes lit up.
His Guitar card could cause ‘sleep’ for three seconds in a wide range when using the skill but it was no different from a normal guitar when not using a skill. He could play it at will. Ye Qi wanted to play the guitar and sing but Xiao Lou shook his head to stop Ye Qi. Yu Hanjiang immediately followed and spoke softly, “You are the one who ran away from home, right? Your parents are looking for you. Come with me.”
Ye Qi was dumbfounded. “??”
How did he become a runaway?
Although he didn’t know what happened, he still packed up his guitar and followed Yu Hanjiang to leave.
The people who were just gathering to hear the song were dazed. This young boy obediently followed the police? it seemed that he had run away from home during his rebellious period and was caught by the police.
Ye Qi followed the serious-looking Officer Yu and asked incredulously, “What is the situation?”
Yu Hanjiang explained, “There is danger and you can’t stay in a crowd.”
Ye Qi nodded with understanding. “Group Leader Yu, you’re wearing a police uniform and Professor Xiao is wearing a white coat. It seems that you are assigned to the status of a police officer and doctor. Is this secret room linked to the Hearts room again? Does it want us to solve a case?”
“It isn’t a case. It is just arranging identities for us so we can gain some clues.” Yu Hanjiang looked at Ye Qi with a frown. “Where was your refresh point? Was anything strange or wrong around you?”
“I am in a music school and there was a class in the morning. The floating box told me to follow instructions so I had to follow my classmates to class.” Ye Qi took off his hood and stared at the distracted Xiao Lou. “Class finished and it was noon. I inquired about the location of the square and came over immediately. What’s the matter? Why do you look so nervous?”
Xiao Lou questioned, “Did anything unusual happen during your class?”
Ye Qi thought about it carefully. “Many students around me had a cold and someone was coughing. The teacher said that the temperature has dropped in recent days and reminded everyone to keep warm. I wore thermal underwear and a cardigan when entering the secret room this time so I didn’t feel cold.”
Previously, in order to prepare for the survival secret room, everyone went to the shopping mall to prepare several sets of clothing, with a complete set of winter and summer clothing. According to Old Mo’s suggestion, before entering the survival room, everyone wore several layers. If the environment was summer then they could take off their clothing. If it was winter then they didn’t have to take it off. Xiao Lou also wore thermal underwear and a cardigan inside. There was even a white coat outside so he wasn’t too cold.
He whispered to Ye Qi to explain, “The flu is likely to be a precursor to the mutation. It seems that many people in your music school have been infected. This time, we are encountering something much more terrible than the zombie virus. It is an unknown parasite that affects humans. It will live in the human brain, control the human body and attack other humans to reproduce. A large number of infected people have appeared in the hospital and Seventh High School.”
Ye Qi’s eyes widened. “Bugs?”
He shivered and got goosebumps all over his body as he made a disgusted expression. “Bugs are disgusting!”
Xiao Lou added, “The more terrifying thing is that the infected person will disguise themselves so they look no different from a normal person. We didn’t dare let you continue to sing because once you sing, you will be surrounded by a crowd. Perhaps an infected person will suddenly infect you. Now we can’t go to a crowded place. We have to find another way to meet our teammates.”
Ye Qi suddenly realized. “I see!”
The crowd in the square was too big. Once an outbreak occurred, people would bite each other. If they were caught or bitten during the escape, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Ye Qi thought of the students constantly coughing at his music school and couldn’t help feeling numb. “During class, the students sitting in front of me and behind me were coughing. If a cold is a sign of a parasitic infection, will I be infected?”
Xiao Lou comforted him. “The currently known method of transmission is through the blood. You should be fine as long as you weren’t scratched.”
Ye Qi sighed with relief and spoke with a pale face, “Thank god it isn’t airborne!”
Xiao Lou’s gaze swept over the surrounding buildings and he soon found a good place. “Do you see that clothing store over there? It is a three storey building that looks like a book page.”
Yu Hanjiang and Ye Qi followed his gaze and saw that there was a clothing store in the southeast corner of the square. There were floor to ceiling windows on both walls, shaped like an unfolded page. There were crystal chandeliers hanging inside and the decorations were very luxurious. The clothing worn by the models in the store was made of fur and were obviously expensive at first glance.
Xiao Lou stated, “This store is luxuriously decorated and the clothes should be very expensive. There won’t be too many customers in the clothing store at noon. If there are only two or three employees then we can cope with them even if they are infected. We can use this as a temporary base to meet our teammates.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded in agreement. “A high-end clothing store does have less traffic at noon. However, others won’t know we are hiding in the clothing store. How do we notify everyone?”
Xiao Lou replied, “I have a way, Liu Qiao’s sky lantern is in my hands.”
Yu Hanjiang was slightly stunned. He remembered this card. In Liuxi Village, Liu Qiao placed a sky lantern on the mountain, hung a piece of cloth on it and wrote for the challengers to come there. He couldn’t help wondering, “Liu Qiao gave this card to you?”
Xiao Lou explained, “Before entering the Spades secret room, I was worried that Ye Qi’s method of singing wouldn’t work if everyone was separated and gathering would become more troublesome. Therefore, I asked Liu Qiao to give me her sky lantern. As long as I place the lantern above the clothing store, everyone will notice it the moment they arrive at the square.
The sky lantern was an A-rated card and the usage was very simple. Place the sky lantern in the sky and use it as a signal. The sky lantern came with a white cloth that was similar to the promotional banner hanging under the balloon when a mall opened. They could write on it at will with their fingers.
Xiao Lou took out the white cloth and wrote the words Sharp Arrow on it. This was the team name. After seeing Liu Qiao’s sky lantern and then the arrow mark, they would naturally know this was the team’s meeting place.
Ye Qi gave a thumbs up and praised it. “This method of gathering is much more reliable than the street singing I came up with!”
Xiao Lou stated, “Let’s go to the clothing store first.”
The three of them soon arrived at the clothing store. They looked through the windows and saw that it really was deserted at noon. There were only two beautiful shopping guides at the cash register and not a single customer could be seen.
Xiao Lou walked behind the clothing store, activated the sky lantern and placed it into the sky.
People in the square soon found that a big lantern similar to a hot air balloon was floating in the air. A white cloth with the words ‘Sharp Arrow’ was hanging from it. The public thought it was a promotion for a store opening and few people paid attention to it.
After finishing the arrangements, Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang and Ye Qi entered the clothing store together.
It was a bit embarrassing…
There were only female clothing sold in the store.
Female coats, furs and high-end down jackets were all scarily expensive.
Three big men walked into a female clothing store. The store assistants froze at the same time. Then a shopping guide with a ponytail quickly reacted and stepped forward with a smile. “Are the three of you choosing clothes for your girlfriends?”
Yu Hanjiang calmly answered, “I’m buying it for my mother.”
Xiao Lou immediately cooperated with the performance. “Mom’s birthday is in a few days. We are going to buy her a birthday present. You must be busy. We will take a look around first.”
The shopping guide nodded. “Okay, this side is the new style for this season. Slowly take a look and tell me what size you need.”
The three of them were relieved once the shopping guide left.
The shopping guides in the store looked normal and shouldn’t be infected. Even so, the three of them didn’t dare lower their guard. They pretended to pick clothes for their mother and strolled slowly in the store. Yu Hanjiang’s eyes kept watching the movements of these store assistants.
Just then, a man and woman suddenly came in.
Long Sen and Qu Wanyue!
The two of them had apparently seen the sign to gather and from the windows, they saw Xiao Lou’s group of three. Then they directly entered.
The shopping guide came forward and Long Sen opened his mouth. “Well, your birthday is coming. Would you like a dress?”
Qu Wanyue cooperated. “Yes, I will pick one.”
She pretended to look through the clothes while moving closer to Xiao Lou. She ‘happened’ to fancy the same one that Xiao Lou was looking at and spoke, “Sir, can I take a look?” Xiao Lou handed her the clothes. “Go ahead.”
After passing over the clothes, Xiao Lou whispered, “First wait for everyone.”
Qu Wanyue nodded in understanding.
She chose this dress, walked over to Long Sen and conveyed Xiao Lou’s words.
The two of them stood in front of the windows and continued to slowly select clothes. Meanwhile, Xiao Lou’s trio walked to the other side so their teammates could see them.
Before long, Mo Xuemin and Liu Qiao also came in.
Seeing that her teammates were present, Liu Qiao also pretended to buy clothes and casually strolled around the store, inadvertently arriving in front of Xiao Lou. She spoke softly, “Uncle Mo and I met in the square. We saw the sky lantern and came here. Is this the place to gather?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “Yes. Are you okay?”
Liu Qiao replied, “I’m fine. I came to the square after class this morning. Uncle Mo said he was arranged at a nearby decorating company. He also came to the square after serving a client.”
Her eyes swept over the store and she found that Ye Qi, Group Leader Yu and the Long Qu couple were all present.
Everyone had been in the clothing store for a long time. The store assistants realized they were just going around and didn’t intend to buy anything. Their attitude naturally cooled down and they ignored the customers, sitting at the cashier desk to chat.
The store assistants ignoring them was exactly what Xiao Lou wanted.
He winked at his teammates and had them all gather in a corner near the fitting room. He lowered his voice and quickly introduced the current situation to them. His teammates didn’t look very good after hearing it.
Qu Wanyue frowned. “I had a few children at the dance centre who were coughing. So they’re also infected?”
Long Sen added, “I was at a sports school and many people took leave from sprint training this morning. They said they had a serious cold.”
Liu Qiao and Mo Xuemin also said there were people with a cold at their medical school and decorating company. Liu Qiao also stated, “In my class, some of my classmates were injured. They said they were bitten and were preparing to go to the hospital to be vaccinated against rabies.”
It seemed that the outbreak had started to spread from all corners of the city. Many people were infected and the source was still unknown. However, according to this multi-point spread, it was likely that the epidemic would spread faster than everyone thought!
Xiao Lou stood in a corner and looked at the square through the floor to ceiling windows. There was nothing unusual in the square outside but he gradually became uneasy. “Where is Chief Shao? Why hasn’t he arrived yet?”
It was already 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Even if Shao Qingge went for lunch and came slowly, shouldn’t he have arrived? His teammates glanced at each other and said they hadn’t seen Shao Qingge.
Xiao Lou was worried. “Is he in trouble?”