The next day.
A singular incident caused a stir and panic throughout the city—
Eleven students had been brutally murdered in the city’s best high school, Yucai High school.
At the last scene, countless broken limbs were lying in a sea of blood, a chilling sight of pieces of meat and organs tangled together. The police who had rushed down to the scene were also frightened, and it took a long time for them to return to their senses.
Yes, eleven victims.
The first deceased was the one who had his head immersed in boiling water in the washroom. The second one was placed into a strange position and left in the top floor of the laboratory building with his dismembered left leg. The rest were the two students who travelled from home who that stayed in 318, the six people who were lying on the washroom blood that had been killed before Lu Chu had arrived, and the last one was the one who had been held by Zheng Wei, and had his flesh cut off with a utility knife in front of Lu Chu.
A total of eleven people.
Lu Chu, who was present at that place, had the ability to stop Zheng Wei. However, he didn’t do so, and instead, he watched as Zheng Wei cut the last person to pieces, looking at the man’s desperate and pitiful eyes without any turmoil in his heart.
A natural circle, the cycle of cause and effect.
People were always responsible for the wrong things that they did.
That night, after Zheng Wei killed all the people who bullied Zheng Ran, he looked fondly towards the happy and excited Zheng Ran at the side. Zheng Ran waved her bluish hands and feet, floated over, and draped on Zheng Wei’s back. Zheng Wei rubbed his hands which had been dirtied with blood on his trousers, and supported her.
Lu Chu looked at Zheng Ran, who was being carried by Zheng Wei, “you have the ability to kill these people by yourself.”
Zheng Ran blinked her black and innocent eyes, and tilted her head, “yes. All of them deserve to die.”
Lu Chu looked at Zheng Wei after hearing this.
If it had been Zheng Ran who killed all eleven of these people, it would still be okay, but, it was a human, Zheng Wei, who did it from the beginning to the end. For the first two deaths, he created an illusion of a perfect alibi, but, for the last one one, because Zheng Ran couldn’t wait, he killed nine people one after another, without careful planning, and without Zheng Ran to cover it up. He didn’t even bother to hide his fingerprints, and simply let loose his free and unrestrained desire to kill freely from the bottom of his heart.
Sooner or later, the police would notice what he gave away.
A serial killing involving the murder of eleven people. By then, what Zheng Wei would might be a gun.
Zheng Wei understood the thoughts he saw in Lu Chu’s eyes. He coughed twice, and gently held and patted Zheng Ran’s soul on his back. He turned around to smile and talk with her, as if he didn’t care about the coming storm.
Normally, Zheng Wei always had his head down and did his own things without saying a word. Now, he finally raised his head, and Lu Chu could see his ashen face. He could probably guess the reason why Zheng Wei had slept with such a heavy blanket before – it was probably because he and Zheng Ran stayed together for too long, and as time went by, he was stained by her energy, and his body became colder.
Zheng Wei looked at the corpses covering the floor without any emotions in his eyes.
Zheng Ran laid on his back, with her decaying and grayish foot dangling by the side. Her tone of speech was particularly naïve, “the underworld is too lonely, I don’t want to go there alone. Why didn’t brother save me at that time?”
Zheng Wei lifted her up a little, and said, “it’s big brother’s fault, for letting Ranran suffer so much at that time.”
“Ranran, don’t be scared. Which way is the underworld? Big brother will accompany you.”
Saying that, Zheng Wei look at Lu Chu and 7 again, and walked eastward along the corridor as he carried Zheng Ran’s soul on his back. The moment they stepped out of the blood-soaked ground, everything around them started to change, and the originally isolated space returned to its original form, the wooden board reappeared, and Lu Chu and 7 stood outside it.
Zheng Wei carried Zheng Ran down the stairs, preparing to leave this old dormitory building.
The moment they were about to turn into the east stairwell, Zheng Ran turned back to look at Lu Chu. The corner of her lips split apart again till her ears, and she gave a weird smile. With her hideous mouth, she silently said—
It’s big brother who’s willing to come with me.
The next moment, Lu Chu and 7 were sent back to 318.
Inside, Zhang Cheng, who was standing by the window, had long returned to his original state, and Xu Yuan, who was crouching on the ground, looked around in confusion.
Zhang Cheng swallowed, in a daze, he asked Lu Chu, “why am I here…… wasn’t I sitting by the bed……?”
Xu Yuan shook his head, and said to himself, “I felt as if I had a terrifying dream…… huh, aren’t there two less people in the dorm?”
Lu Chu calmly shook his head, “I don’t know.”
“Okay……” Xu Yuan said, “I should go to bed earlier, I feel as if my head isn’t that clear.”
“Count me in, count me in!”
Zhang Cheng said as he walked over, and wanted to put his arm around Xu Yuan’s shoulder, but Xu Yuan instinctively avoided his touch.
Zhang Cheng was puzzled, “why did you avoid me?”
Xu Yuan shook his head, “I don’t know either, perhaps, its habit?”
Zhang Cheng laughed and scolded jokingly, “piss off with your habit.”
Early next morning, just as the students who woke up stepped into the corridor, they were instantly petrified by the blood oozing out from the bottom of the wooden board that separated them from the washroom. Somebody quickly notified the teacher on duty. Since the stairwell on the west side was locked from the first floor to the sixth floor, and the key couldn’t be gotten for a while since it was at the school, the police directly took down the wooden boards used as a barrier. The instant the wooden boards were taken down, a blinding red colour and horrendous pieces of corpses immediately caught everybody’s eyes.
The news could no longer be suppressed and travelled outside the school. Panic spread out from a single school to the whole city.
This time, the police found the clues really quickly – on every corpse at the murder scene, there were fingerprints from a second year high school student in Yucai Highschool, Zheng Wei.
The police immediately set out to pursue Zheng Wei, but didn’t manage to find anything.
The people in dorm room 318 were temporarily detained in school. Since they were people who had stayed in the same dorm as Zheng Wei, perhaps something could be learnt from them. However, Zheng Wei usually stayed alone and didn’t interact much with people, so even if it was someone from the same dorm, sometimes, they wouldn’t even speak a word to him for the whole day, so they really didn’t have any useful information.
Just as the police were struggling, somebody found Zheng Wei’s body in the bushes behind the school cafeteria.
He was laying on his side in the bushes, with a bluish grey complexion, and seemed to be at peace. His body was covered with mottled and solidified blackish red blood, and both of his hands were behind him, as if he was carefully carrying something.
The police took the blood on him for testing, and concluded that all these bloodstains belonged to the deceased who were killed in the old boy’s dormitory, and confirmed Zheng Wei’s identity as a murderer.
At the same time, the news of Zheng Ran, Zheng Wei’s sister, being bullied to death by more than ten people resurfaced again. The way it had been easily settled and how the school had deliberately suppressed the seriousness of the incident had emerged, once again attracting widespread concern in society. Everybody finally learned the reason behind this serial murder, and as they felt fear towards Zheng Wei, there was also a hint of pity.
604 was indeed haunted and this ghost was Zheng Ran. Since Zheng Ran had died in 604, it would be normal for her spirit to linger there after death.
As for the girls in 604 who all came down with a fever at the same time, it was probably because they had been stained with Zheng Ran’s energy.
So far, everything had an explanation, and Lu Chu’s task was also completed.
Before he left this ‘game’, Lu Chu was somewhat curious and asked 7 “at that time, Zheng Ran was surprised that you could touch her, which means that without her permission, most people wouldn’t be able to do so. 7, how did you manage to touch her?”
7 explained, “my duty is to remove the unstable factors in each ‘game’, and this includes people and other things – humans, animals, or monsters and souls.”
Lu Chu understood. 7, who might need to remove souls had the ability to touch souls at will, and this ability was given to him by the ‘rules’ themselves, so he wouldn’t be bound by the ‘game’.
There was nothing he could not kill.
Lu Chu said to 7, “previously, Song Gui invited me to do a multi-person task with him. I’m planning to accept it.”
7 looked at him, “do what you wish to do.”
“But in this way, 7, won’t your identity be exposed?” Lu Chu asked in a worried manner.
7’s identity of a ‘cleaner’ was a secret that shouldn’t be known to too many people.
In the Beheading a Snake ‘game’, Song Gui had seen 7 who held the identity of ‘Qi Li’, and had interacted with him for some time. 7 wasn’t like other ordinary players like them, who despite having a role while they were inside the ‘game’, used their own name most of the time. For example, in the games that Lu Chu experienced, he was called ‘Lu Chu’. If the same solo missions were done by Song Gui, he would be given the same role as Lu Chu had, and live in dorm room 318. There would be Zhang Cheng, Qian Wenhao, Zheng Wei, and the other dorm mates, but his name would be ‘Song Gui’.
Of course, this wasn’t absolute, and there was a possibility that the players might be called by another name.
In order for 7 to find Lu Chu, he had entered into the ‘game’ and replaced one of the people inside the game. This role wasn’t a role specifically prepared by the ‘rules’ for the players, but was a person within this ‘game’. The name of this role wouldn’t change according to the person, after all, out of so many players, the only one that would be able to replace him would be 7.
This was also why after 7 didn’t have a way to remember his name even if he wanted to after he met Lu Chu.
However, 7 had something in common with them. That was, even if he took on a different role, his name had changed, but his appearance wouldn’t change that much. This meant that, even if his identity would change along with the person inside the game, and his age and temperament would be adjusted, but the people who have met him before would be able to recognize him with a glance.
After 7 listened to Lu Chu’s concerns, and said, “don’t worry, I’ll find a way.”
When Lu Chu heard his words, he put his worries away.
The moment he left this ‘game’ and returned to his own ‘rules’, Lu Chu suddenly felt stunned and froze to the spot.
Where did he get the idea that 7 would always be next to him?
Clearly, as long as 7 didn’t enter into the same ‘game’ to look for him, there was no need for him to bother about the possibility of being identified.