The knocking sound was getting closer. The invisible man was knocking on the wall against his ears, each sound like a hit on his heart. Xiao Li didn’t react at first but after realizing the sounds were divided into different intervals and tones, he had a guess in his mind. Morse code?
The little ghost in this room seemed to like hiding clues rather than telling them plainly. The last time he urged Xiao Li to go, he had to write it in a poem form. If there was an opportunity, Xiao Li wanted to send the other party a book called ‘How to Write a Poem (Primary School Edition).’
At the end of the last short syllable, the other side stopped tapping. The broken teddy bear slowly took back the original white paper., crumpled it into a paper ball and threw it into the corner. Xiao Li recalled the number of times the knocking paused, the long sounds and the short sounds—N, E, W, S, P, A, P, E, R… newspaper!
During the day, Xiao Li strolled through the entire building. There was no library but there was a reading room. At that time, it was clean and tidy without any extra books. If it was a newspaper then the biggest probability was this place.
He picked up the flashlight and went straight to the door. It was just that as Xiao Li turned around, there was a weak resistance on his clothes like an invisible ‘person’ was holding it. The black-haired child stopped as he was reaching for the doorknob. “Do you still want to play?”
In the huge mirror, it was unknown when but the teddy bear had turned to silently face Xiao Li, staring with its falling button eyes. The invisible ‘person’ didn’t answer and no toys fell down. This was… the meaning wasn’t to play? However, the other side didn’t let him go.
Xiao Li didn’t know much about children. He might have a younger brother, Xiao Ming, but he never took care of the other person. He thought about it and hesitantly extended his hand in the direction of his clothes behind held and awkwardly raised the air. He used to watch his neighbours take care of their children. The children were generally happy when raised to this height.
The other side was probably shocked by his move and avoided it. Xiao Li didn’t touch anything and the force hindering his movements disappeared. The teddy bear’s eyes that were falling off swayed in the air.
Xiao Li saw the door open and walked in the direction of the reading room from his memories. During his walk, the little yellow book, who had been quiet for a long time, suddenly woke up and radiated light and heat in his pocket. Xiao Li ignored it. He planned to find the reading room first before looking at it.
The corridor of this building was barely visible, just like last night. The inconsistent thing was that people’s crying and crashing sounds came from afar. The sound seemed to be a certain distance away and there were only vague movements.
Xiao Li came to where the reading room was located and gently pushed open the door. The light of the flashlight shone into the world inside the door.
It was covered with a thick layer of blood, like stepping into a sea of blood. There were several spider silk ribbons hanging in the room, covering the entire reading room. In addition to the front desk and bookshelves, there were many tables and chairs in the room.
Xiao Li’s pace was very slow. It was too slippery here and if he fell down, he wouldn’t be able to change his clothes.
The faint light of the flashlight pushed forward little by little. There were no traces of any newspaper in any conspicuous place or the bookshelf. There were leftover sugar paper and shredded paper on the table.
Eventually, Xiao Li found a stack of newspapers in the trash can closest to the inner corner. It was a stack of local evening newspapers from one year ago. The paper had turned yellow and the creases showed it had obviously been read through many times.
The front page headline of this newspaper was ‘The local had has lasted more than three months. The weather forecast says it will take months to cool down.’ This was followed by gossip and there seemed to be no information related to this orphanage.
Xiao Li was very patient and read it one by one until he paused at a corner of one of the newspapers. In a very small layout, it stated, ‘The famous wealthy businessman Zhu Fei has died. The cause of his death is unknown. Just before the accident, he donated more than 5 million yuan.’ This was followed by a personal introduction to Zhu Fei. In this report, Zhu Fei was a good person who often funded orphanages to help orphans find new homes. Unfortunately, he was recently found in a tragic state at home and the police were working hard to solve the case.
The rich, the grouping, the marks and the division between day and night—These things crossed Xiao Li’s mind.
He closed the newspaper and was about to throw it back when he saw a vision in front of him. It was a child with long bangs almost completely covering his eyes. He was in this reading room and spoke to a little girl, “Ni Ke, wait for us to go to the toy room and play with me for a while?”
The little girl was very thin but cute and lovely, with a braid. “What to play? Teacher Wang said that I’m going to be adopted soon and I will leave this weekend. Who will you play with after I’m gone?”
The little boy muttered, “You’re leaving as well.”
“Yes, recently it is the peak period and many uncles and aunties want to adopt a second child.” The little girl rubbed her apple-like face. “You have to work harder and cut your hair first.”
The little boy didn’t speak. He looked up at his companion and bit his lips. “Don’t go.”
“If you leave then you won’t come back.” The little boy spoke vaguely. “Listen to me. Don’t go…”
“What are you talking about?” The little girl was surprised. “I’ll come back to see you if I’m free.”
At this time, a middle-aged man in a white coat came to the middle of the reading room. He had a stethoscope around his chest and stood next to the little girl called Ni Ke. “Come Ni Ke, time is up.”
The little girl laughed and ran towards him. The little boy who remained behind slowly buried his face in his arms.
The illusion disappeared.
Xiao Li licked his lower lip and didn’t go out directly. Instead, he stayed here and took the little yellow book out of his pocket, seeing a line of words on the yellowish pages. 【 I also want it. 】
【 You can’t hold others. 】
【 …can only hold me. 】
Xiao Li wondered, “…What do you want, to be hugged and held high?”
Little yellow book: 【 I want it all. 】
【 I want to get deeper, I want you. 】
Xiao Li, “………”
He used to think that the little yellow book was a female ghost and considered the other side’s words as unwarranted love. Now that he linked the little yellow book’s existence to the man who suddenly appeared, he had a subtle feeling when looking at these words.
Xiao Li wrote, “Are you him?”
He didn’t say who but he knew the other party could understand. The little yellow book paused and was thinking of how to respond. Then the little yellow book turned over a page and pretended to be dead.
Xiao Li hummed coldly and put the little yellow book away, prepared to go out of the reading room and back to his dormitory. He hadn’t left yet when he heard the sound of footsteps from outside the door. Another person was approaching here. Xiao Li raised his eyebrows and turned off his flashlight while taking a few steps back. He stood in a corner and watched the figure approaching here and then walking in.
The person was a beautiful child with black hair. It was Xu Ying.
Xiao Li was currently standing in a corner and almost integrated into the darkness. He couldn’t be seen at all.
Xu Ying held her phone in her hand and was looking at the place behind the podium. Perhaps it was because of tension but her breathing was very heavy. She didn’t dare make a sound and had to walk forward step by step. She was afraid her actions would bring a ghost and Xu Ying used her other hand to cover her mouth.
Xiao Li watched for a while and just as the other side was about to hit his body, he opened the flashlight as a greeting. In the boundless darkness, another source of light suddenly appeared in front of Xu Ying. The light was facing a person’s chin and the other person’s face was illuminated from the bottom up. Xu Ying was so scared that she almost lost her soul. If it wasn’t for the hand still covering her mouth, she would’ve screamed.
The next second, Xiao Li frugally turned off the flashlight again. “Miss Xu.”
Xu Ying took three steps back and was about to drop her phone. She touched her chest and asked, “What are you doing here?”
“I got a clue and came here to see.” Xiao Li saw that Xu Ying was really scared and in a rare manner, spoke a bit more. “I heard footsteps and didn’t know if it was a person or a ghost so I turned off my light. Once you came in, I knew it was you.”
Xu Ying had originally been a bit angry because she thought this person deliberately pretended to be a ghost. After hearing this, she wasn’t mad anymore and focused on the other party’s first sentence. “You got a clue?”
Xiao Li pointed to the trash can next to him without making a sound.
The little girl bent down and picked up the newspaper inside, turning it over page by page. She also stopped on the report about Zhu Fei and made a ‘sure enough’ expression. Then she looked up and saw the faint outline of Xiao Li in front of her again. She couldn’t help asking, “Where did you get the clue?”
“I played with a ghost for a while and won.”
Xu Ying, “…….”
Xu Ying, “???”
Xu Ying muttered, “You accompanied a ghost… to play for a while? What did you play?”
“Five in a row.”
The little girl was silent again. Xu Ying was a very strong senior. She often relied on her mind to save her life and had many items. She saw all types of people but she had never seen… anyone as strange as this Sherlock.
Then this person disappeared from the grouping because of his special nature?
The method she found herself was very simple and stupid. She was walking around the stairs and then looking from room to room. Some rooms she glanced through roughly and some she examined carefully. She hadn’t expected to see Xiao Li here. This person was unfathomable and perhaps she could explore the truth with him here.
Xu Ying thought up to here and decisively declared, “I already know the truth here.”
She shook her chin slightly when she spoke with a hint of ostentation. She always boasted that she was intelligent. Although Sherlock was fearful and she wanted to pull him into a group, she wasn’t quite willing now that an outsider found a clue first. Sherlock had missed what happened with the groups and only knew half the truth.
Xu Ying was asked by Xiao Li.
The author has something to say:
Little yellow book: He doesn’t seem to like that man so I won’t admit it.