Matryoshka Off-Limits Chapter 36

Chapter 36.1 Big Factory

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The Old Man Ghost indeed sensed the strength of the【Family Crest】.

In fact, there was no need to sense it at all. As soon as Wen Shi brought out the emblem, its undeniable energy weighed on him, making it hard to breathe. The owner of the emblem was strong. They were in different leagues.

With this powerful backup, Wen Shi’s words carried genuine sincerity when he spoke again.

“The company wanted to pick me as the new face of Beautiful Soul. I understood Qingrong’s situation. I assure you, I’d take care of him, no matter his status or health…”


Earlier, due to poor blood flow, his brain suffered from oxygen shortage, leading to a decline in thinking ability. Wen Shi promptly stopped and coughed. “Anyway, I’ll do my best to protect Qingrong. But I need to know what occurred here, Uncle. Can you share details about the Big Factory?”

The Old Man Ghost paused, “You wouldn’t kill me if I don’t tell you, would you?”

“No, I won’t.”

“Then I…”

“I’ll have someone kill you.”

The Old Man Ghost hesitated. “……I guess I’ll tell you.”

The Old Man Ghost’s first words, after agreeing to talk, were, “The Beautiful Soul Elixir produced by the Big Factory is a salvation for humanity.”

Wen Shi: “So, what exactly is this Beautiful Soul Elixir?”

The Old Man Ghost stiffly turned his neck, managing the motion with skeletal support.

Aware that his response had raised suspicion, Wen Shi calmly explained, “I’m just too pure, haven’t used that stuff.”

He wasn’t sure if the Old Man Ghost believed this explanation, but he answered, “Of course, Beautiful Soul Elixir is used to beautify the soul.”

Wen Shi’s expression revealed his disbelief.

Wasn’t that a load of nonsense? People in this factory had likely used the Beautiful Soul Elixir a lot, yet he hadn’t seen a good person here.

Sensing Wen Shi’s disdain, the Old Man Ghost’s bones turned dark. His tone grew angry, as if he wanted to tear Wen Shi apart. “Without applying the Beautiful Soul Elixir regularly, one will soon become tainted, turning into a monster! The Beautiful Soul Elixir from the Big Factory is the finest in the world!”

Wen Shi suppressed his scornful expression.

This greatly contrasted with his expectations. He thought the Old Man Ghost would despise the factory and detest everything about it. But by the looks of it now, the Beautiful Soul Elixir seemed like an object of devotion to him.

Suddenly, Wen Shi asked, “Do you think the factory manager is a good person?”

“Of course not,” the Old Man Ghost scoffed coldly. “Since the improved version of the Beautiful Soul Elixir emerged, its soul-beautifying effects have diminished, but it’s become more effective at resisting contamination. Unlike the original version, which had significant side effects, often leading to delayed child development and lower IQ.”

He sighed softly, “My son was a victim of the original version of Beautiful Soul Elixir.”

Expressionless, Wen Shi pondered. He certainly didn’t consider Jian Qingrong to have a low IQ. Moreover, that height of his didn’t seem like delayed development.

“What’s causing the contamination?”

The Old Man Ghost retorted, “I’m no scientist, how would I know? Anyway, the Beautiful Soul Elixir can save the world.”

With unwavering devotion, he continued, “Big Factory is the sole authorized producer of the enhanced Beautiful Soul Elixir. Other factories only have rights for the original and improved versions. This owes to the old factory manager’s connections with a hospital across the ocean. It’s that very hospital that formulated the secret recipe for the Beautiful Soul Elixir.”

Upon hearing the word “hospital,” Wen Shi involuntarily blurted out, “Frank Hospital?”

The Old Man Ghost’s bones rattled slightly.

Despite having been deceased for a while, his tone still held a strong tremor and reverence. “It’s a hospital with great compassion. Later, they even established a sanatorium near the factory.”


Wen Shi could ascertain that the timelines of the two instances were different. The world of Big Factory was evidently more modern.

In this light, the history of Frank Hospital seemed even longer than he had imagined. However, every detail in this history was currently filled with darkness, blood, and distortion.

“How did you pass away?” Worried about angering the Old Man Ghost, Wen Shi kept some distance when asking this question.

Unexpectedly, the Old Man Ghost was oddly calm. “I don’t remember. I only recall feeling unwell for a period, worrying about contamination. Thankfully, Qingrong worked tirelessly day and night, allowing me to use the Beautiful Soul Elixir daily. After that, after that…”

Dark streaks of blood emerged on his bone-riddled figure. Almost all that remained was the twitching face, just a skin-covered visage. In an instant, the Old Man Ghost’s expression turned fierce, and a chill rushed recklessly through the room, toppling furniture except for the chair beneath the corpse.

As he lost his sanity, overwhelmed by a self-destructive urge, the intimidation of the【Family Crest】faded away.

Attempting to diminish his presence, Wen Shi gradually stepped back.

Upon turning around, he bumped into Jian Qingrong, who surprisingly didn’t seem as slender as he appeared. Without intention, Wen Shi’s hand slipped down and actually touched his abs.

The touch felt quite pleasant. Damn slow development. The Old Man Ghost simply had no real understanding of his own son.

Realizing the action resembled oiling, Wen Shi quickly retracted his hand. “Uncle seems upset, should we leave for now?”

Jian Qingrong’s gaze lingered on his hand for a few seconds before calmly lifting the fallen incense burner. Igniting three incense sticks, his pale fingertips looked even thinner in the faint flame. He bowed towards a black-and-white photo on the wall, then inserted the sticks into the burner.

The Old Man Ghost settled down, leaning back in his chair, no longer making a sound.

Jian Qingrong said, “He hasn’t spoken in a long while.”

Duh, how can one speak much after death? But Wen Shi couldn’t say that, so he just nodded in agreement.

“Since my father likes you, I’ll let some things go.”

A casual remark, Wen Shi assumed it referred to his incident of peeking at the diary.

Later that night, Wen Shi refrained from opening the drawer again. If caught once more, it wouldn’t end well. He constantly recalled the contents of the diary he had seen earlier.

Jian Qingrong’s behavior was strange. Having encountered ghosts before, he knew what to expect during night shifts. But he was always willing to help or stand guard together. What was even stranger were his reactions after encountering ghosts each time.

…He was calling out their names.

“Name.” Suddenly, Wen Shi realized he had never asked the teenager’s name. It wasn’t a simple case of forgetting. There was some force causing him to overlook it. Otherwise, in any human interaction, one would instinctively ask for a name before inquiring about age.

Alright, he would discuss this with the teenager tomorrow when they met.

The Old Man Ghost’s death was clearly not simple.

For the first time, Wen Shi began to doubt Jian Qingrong’s filial identity. This Beautiful Soul Elixir was far from being a good thing. However, during the final days of the Old Man Ghost’s life, Jian Qingrong continuously provided him with it.

Wen Shi silently consolidated the information he could confirm: being scratched by a monster led to infection; excessive use of the Beautiful Soul Elixir caused dependency. Workers in the factory, before their deaths, had a more urgent need for the elixir. Moreover, those who died in the factory seemed to remain attached to this place.

He thought he wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight, but after turning over, lost in thought, he unknowingly drifted into slumber. Around three in the morning, a loud noise jolted Wen Shi awake. The commotion was intense. Not long after, a mournful scream pierced through the air.


Boom boom!

Wen Shi hesitated. Hadn’t the Old Man Ghost quieted down already?

Soon, he realized that the tumultuous uproar was not coming from inside the room, but from outside.

Wen Shi rushed to the window and pulled open the curtains. At first glance, he saw a dense crowd of people, nearly stumbling backward. In the moonlight, these creatures used their hands and feet with astonishing speed, climbing towards the upper floors of the dormitory building. Most flooded into the windows of the first three floors like a tide. However, there were still quite a few robust male creatures that began scaling past the third floor.

One of them spotted Wen Shi, its decaying half-cheek pulling into a horrifying grin, revealing rows of sharp, slender teeth smeared with blood.

The scent of the living lured it, hastening its climbing speed.

This scene was like a real-life version of a zombie siege.

Goosebumps covered Wen Shi’s skin as he prayed the game would be considerate and not throw him into an apocalyptic scenario. He had no desire to deal with a bunch of living dead.

The windows were securely locked, but Wen Shi didn’t believe that glass could stop these frenzied creatures.

He turned back and yelled at Jian Qingrong, “Get out, find the dormitory supervisor!”

Each floor above the third had its own supervisor, surely they’d be useful.

Wen Shi rushed into the room and slung the corpse over his back.

The Old Man Ghost felt somewhat touched.

“Uncle, please just guard me and your son a little longer.”

It was like saying he could use him as a last resort hidden weapon when things get tough.

“……” Go to hell, go to hell, how could there be such a scoundrel!

There was more commotion in the hallway.

As soon as Wen Shi opened the door, he saw the dormitory supervisor in the distance wielding an electric baton, repeatedly striking.

Approaching cautiously, he noticed a metal gate at the stairwell leading to the fourth floor. The dormitory supervisor’s baton hit a monster’s head, spewing a large amount of blood that flowed down along the metal gate. The gruesome scene didn’t deter the creatures attempting to breach the gate. Their arms stretched out through the narrow gaps, the ones in the back pushing the ones in front, like a surging wave. It was only a matter of time before they broke through the metal gate.

Going upward was the only way out, yet a similar metal gate was closed between the fourth and fifth floors. Each floor was in a relatively sealed state.

Wen Shi couldn’t help but take a step back. “Has something like this happened before? Monster attacks on humans?”

During the tunnel incident, the attackers were contaminated NPCs but not yet fully transformed into real monsters. However, these creatures now were clearly pure monsters, judging by their appearance and climbing speed.

“No,” Jian Qingrong said. “They only like to consume contaminated individuals.”

A Soul Purity above sixty but below seventy indicated the contamination phase. Below sixty, individuals start to transform. Based on the incident in the tunnel, monsters preferred eating contaminated humans but avoid the transformed ones.

Something unknown had caused them to deviate from this behavior now.

Wen Shi took a deep breath. “Do you know where all these monsters came from?”

“Behind Big Factory, there’s a sanatorium where contaminated people are taken for treatment.” Mentioning the sanatorium, a strange smile appeared in Jian Qingrong’s clear eyes. “Occasionally, there are rare cases that can be cured.”

“…It should be an issue with the sanatorium, where quite a few patients are held.”

Wen Shi silently cursed whether these people had brains. They placed a sanatorium behind a densely populated factory.

The metal gate was on the verge of collapsing. At this moment, the dormitory supervisor turned his head and saw Jian Qingrong, his face lighting up with hope.

He took a protective suit and electric baton from the staff room, calling Jian Qingrong over. “Qingrong, you’re the ambassador of our factory’s Beautiful Soul. Put on the protective suit and lead them away. I’ll go find help.”

The dormitory supervisor completely ignored Wen Shi and the corpse on his back.

Jian Qingrong’s pupils grew darker. In the dimly lit hallway, a tinge of crimson flashed deep in his eyes.

Misfortune never comes singly. Suddenly, the door of a nearby dormitory swung open, revealing an unusually thin man holding a basin of water. Wen Shi stood in front of Jian Qingrong, but before he could react, the basin of water was drenched over the man. The water emitted a strange odor, and Jian Qingrong’s hair became wet and matted against his face, instantly resembling a soaked chicken.

“Are you out of your mind?” Before he could finish scolding, the man slammed the door shut.

“Uncle, can you stand by while your son is treated this way?”

The corpse leapt off Wen Shi’s back. Just as Wen Shi thought the Old Man Ghost was about to unleash a flurry of punches, he suddenly lunged onto Jian Qingrong. His withered face revealed a salivating expression while repeteadly muttering, “Beautiful Soul Elixir, Beautiful Soul Elixir…”

Before he could do anything more repulsive, Wen Shi kicked the man away.

The thin man splashed diluted Beautiful Soul Elixir, undoubtedly trying to make Jian Qingrong the target of the monster attack.

Thanks to him, Wen Shi deduced another point: monsters had a demand for Beautiful Soul Elixir, even the Old Man Ghost.

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