Dangerous Heretics Handling Bureau
Lu Yizhan waited and waited. Almost a few minutes passed and Bai Liu didn’t float up. Lu Yizhan found this wasn’t right. He didn’t even have time to take off his clothes and plunged fiercely into the lake, searching for Bai Liu everywhere at the dark bottom of the lake. Finally, he saw Bai Liu being swallowed up by mud and sand. His hands were suspended in the water and there were obvious signs of drowning.
Lu Yizhan held his breath and swam over quickly. He grabbed Bai Liu by the shoulder and lifted him up.
Bai Liu seemed to be dragging something but he was too weak. With Lu Yizhan’s help, Bai Liu barely dragged it out. Finally, Lu Yizhan held it with one hand and pulled Bai Liu and the thing he was dragging out of the water.
Lu Yizhan lay on the edge of the lake and gasped for breath.
Bai Liu shook physiologically and vomited out a few mouthfuls of lake water. There was a long pause before he leapt up from the ground.
Just now, Bai Liu almost drowned at the bottom of the lake. Due to low blood sugar and general weakness, the intensity of this physical activity was very difficult for Bai Liu to do.
“What are you thinking?” Lu Yizhan scolded Bai Liu while gasping for breath. “If you can’t drag it out at once, don’t you know to come up and take a breath before continuing to drag it? Do you have to drown yourself?”
After saying this, Lu Yizhan turned to look at the thing that was dragged out by himself and Bai Liu. The sight made Lu Yizhan instinctively stand up and his expression became difficult to look at.
Lying next to Bai Liu was a corpse with a clean face and a rope tied around his ankles to prevent him from sinking.
“You hid a body in the lake?” Lu Yizhan was really going crazy. “You really have a lot of courage to think that no one will find it here. What is with this corpse? Why are you dragging him out every day?”
Bai Liu knelt down silently next to Xie Ta as if he hadn’t heard Lu Yizhan’s words. He broke the bread he had placed on his clothes and rubbed it against Xie Ta’s cold lips like he was feeding fish.
He told Lu Yizhan what he had come to do with his actions—he had come to feed the underwater corpse.
Lu Yizhan fell into an eerie silence and he watched as Bai Liu calmly finished feeding the bread.
Bai Liu patted the bread crumbs off his hands, looked up at Lu Yizhan and explained lightly, “He is a monster, not a corpse. He isn’t dead. He will come back to life so I can’t let him go hungry.”
“Bai Liu (6), do you know?” Lu Yizhan’s tone and expression were incredibly complicated. “You are more like a monster right now.”
As he said this, Lu Yizhan’s eyes fell on Xie Ta’s corpse. The right hand of the corpse had started to decay. It could be imagined how long Bai Liu had been ‘feeding’ it.
“It doesn’t matter if he is a corpse or a monster. You have to let him go.” Lu Yizhan felt that his brain was going to explode. He crouched down, held Bai Liu’s shoulder and looked at this person, trying to explain the current situation in a language that Bai Liu could understand. “You can avenge him when you grow up and find out the culprit who killed him. But right now, you can’t bury yourself in the water with him.”
“He isn’t breathing and he doesn’t have a heartbeat. It isn’t known when he will wake up.” Lu Yizhan sighed. “Bai Liu (6), you can’t go to sleep with him.”
Xie Ta was still lying quietly on the ground, the pinpricks on the back of his hand still not yet healed. Yet in a trance, Bai Liu seemed to see Xie Ta open his eyes and say to him, ‘Get out of here, Bai Liu (6). We will meet again one day.’
We will meet again in the endless horror games and stories that we have seen, played and shared.
So for now, let me go and let yourself leave. It is only when you say goodbye that we can meet again, Bai Liu (6).
Bai Liu muttered, “You swear that we will be reunited?”
Xie Ta smiled very shallowly. He held Bai Liu’s hand with his rotten right hand. “I swear.”
Lu Yizhan turned his head doubtfully. He looked at Xie Ta’s motionless body with some goosebumps. “Bai Liu (6), who are you talking to?”
Bai Liu slowly released the hand holding Xie Ta. He looked down, the water on his body dripping onto the soles of his feet. Then Bai Liu took a knife out of his pocket and cut off the rope tying Xie Ta’s ankle. Bai Liu picked up Xie Ta’s body in a laborious and difficult manner. He walked step by step to the pond and calmly placed Xie Ta in the water.
Xie Ta’s hair fluttered as he was immersed in the water.
Bai Liu stared at it with bright eyes. The moment Lu Yizhan was sighing with relief, he saw Bai Liu blink twice and two drops of water fell from his eyelashes.
Then Bai Liu took a deep breath and jumped into the pool again.
“Bai Liu (6)!” Lu Yizhan shouted with horror and also jumped down.
Bai Liu moved his limbs vigorously and reached out to the submerged Xie Ta.
He watched as the mud and sand flooded Xie Ta’s face like the irresistible arrival of darkness.
The black sand climbed up like vines along the bridge of Xie Ta’s nose, Xie Ta’s lips and then his chest and arms. Finally, only a frighteningly white hand was loosely exposed outside the mud.
Bai Liu struggled to grab the hand.
The touch of the hand was both cold and warm. He felt Xie Ta’s hand grip his for a moment before releasing it again. Finally, Xie Ta disappeared completely at the bottom of the lake.
Bai Liu placed his hand into the mud and sand, stubbornly wanting to cut through the mud to look into this person’s eyes again. Then Lu Yizhan seized him by the shoulder with gritted teeth and started to pull him up.
Bai Liu’s lungs were running out of oxygen. The air was quickly disappearing under the water as if it had been sucked away. There were bubbles continuously rising from Bai Liu’s mouth and nose but he didn’t seem to feel suffocated. He just opened his eyes and mechanically searched the bottom, looking for the person who had been completely swallowed up by the darkness.
The picture book that was torn apart and pieced together, the patched doll, the unfulfilled agreement and the face that was already covered by hair.
The things that Xie Ta left him were always broken and incomplete.
These imperfections seemed to be reminding Bai Liu that Xie Ta wasn’t real.
Would this person really come back?
Did this person really exist?
This person… did he really appear?
Or was it just an illusion that Bai Liu (6), a child judged as mentally ill by everyone, made up to fill his loneliness and deceive himself.
If there was no god in this world, why was there a monster who was always waiting for him in the church to read books, play scary games with him, make him a doll and hug him?
[Bai Liu (6), why are you willing to believe that monsters exist but aren’t willing to believe that gods exist?]
[It is because God has never been kind to me.]
Bai Liu looked at the pitch-black bottom of the lake with open eyes. He instinctively opened his mouth, bubbles gushing out of his mouth.
He said, “Xie Ta, I’m leaving. Goodbye.”
Bai Liu felt that before Xie Ta left, they hadn’t seemed to have said a formal goodbye. If he didn’t say goodbye, they wouldn’t meet again. This was what Xie Ta had just said so Bai Liu jumped down, wanting to say a serious goodbye.
Water flowed into Bai Liu’s mouth and nasal cavity and started to choke him. The snowflake-like foam rose from both sides of his mouth.
Bai Liu slowly lowered his eyelids, his limbs losing strength. They spread back and suspended in the water like dead duckweed.
He fell into a dizzying white light.
In the white dizziness, Bai Liu saw countless memory fragments flashing back. At the end of the brilliant white light, someone sat quietly and upright in the front row of the church, wearing the worn out doll suit of the Slenderman and holding the picture book that had been pieced back together, reading it page by page very slowly.
The man seemed to see Bai Liu sitting behind him and held up the book, as if wanting to ask Bai Liu if he wanted to read the book together.
In fact, even before the man turned his head, Bai Liu was ready to agree to this person’s request to read the book together.
It was because Bai Liu liked this book very much. The book seemed a bit tattered but Bai Liu didn’t care. He had been sitting behind the man, accompanying the man and peering at it page by page for a long time.
Yet the instant the man turned his head, the white light disappeared.
Lu Yizhan’s worried face appeared in front of him and he called out while patting Bai Liu’s face, “Hey! Hey! Bai Liu (6)!”
Bai Liu coughed and spat out a lot of water. He woke up in a daze. He lay on his back on the ground, his eyes dazed and his chest rising and falling silently. Meanwhile, Lu Yizhan was covered in water and stood aside, his hands on his knees as he gasped with exhaustion.
“Bai Liu (6), we will have to change your name after leaving here,” Lu Yizhan said. “It is to prevent the teachers of this welfare home from discovering you again. This incident was too big. If the other welfare homes recognize you, it will be more difficult to accept you under the obstruction of the teachers of this welfare home.”
Bai Liu was silent for a few seconds. “I don’t accept changing the name too much.”
Lu Yizhan wondered, “Why?”
Bai Liu looked sideways, his eyes blank as he stared at the pool in a trance. His voice was hoarse. “I don’t know. I always feel that someone might… come to me under my original name.”