Chapter 48.2 New neighbor
In the following days on the cruise ship, Lin Zhaohe remained cautious but didn’t encounter any more strange incidents.
A temporary truce seemed to have been reached between Lu Xiaotian and Juzi. Lu Xiaotian managed to save her own life.
The only dissatisfied person was Qi Ming. His competition with the young detective reached a stalemate. Qi Ming was on the verge of winning the battle, but the captain, tired of having murder cases popping up among the passengers every day, took action and banned the use of Qi Ming’s soul-summoning lamp as a prohibited item.
Faced with Qi Ming’s angry accusations, the captain said, “Brother, why argue with him? Let him solve a case, and the rest of our time can be spent enjoying the vacation, can’t it?” Otherwise, this would never end, and there would be few passengers left by the time they returned.
Qi Ming was speechless and reluctantly agreed, tears welling up in his eyes.
The young detective, however, stated that it wouldn’t be honorable to claim victory like this and proposed finding another opportunity to have a decisive battle with Qi Ming. They exchanged contact information, promising to determine the winner another time.
Zhuang Lao commented on this, saying that they could make an appointment, but not at the company. He didn’t want the company to suffer casualties due to the young detective’s “BUF”, as he put it.
Lin Zhaohe, who successfully took a vacation, returned home with his luggage.
As he stepped out of the elevator onto his floor, he noticed someone in the neighboring apartment carrying various bags and moving things inside. Surprisingly, there were new neighbors next door.
Lin Zhaohe observed for a moment and confirmed that the neighbor was a normal human with two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. He approached and greeted, “Hello, are you the new neighbor?”
The neighbor, a young man who seemed slightly younger than Lin Zhaohe, had a handsome appearance and a sunny disposition. His smile was charming, making him the type that girls nowadays adored. Upon hearing Lin Zhaohe’s greeting, he smiled and replied, “Hello, I just moved in today. I’m not familiar with this area yet.”
“Oh, this neighborhood is quite convenient. We have supermarkets and everything nearby, and the fusion level isn’t high either. It’s a good place.”
The neighbor smiled and said, “That’s good to know.”
After exchanging a few words with Lin Zhaohe, he was called inside by a beautiful girl in the apartment. Lin Zhaohe watched the two of them and couldn’t help but think they made a lovely couple, unlike himself… When would he stop getting pricked by that bastard Qi Ming?
Upon arriving home, Lin Zhaohe noticed that Little Red Sqaure was not there. He knew Little Red Sqaure must be upstairs with Gu Xuyu, so he went up to see him.
As expected, three people inside the room were joyfully playing video games, filling the air with a cheerful atmosphere.
Lin Zhaohe, too, was infected by the ambiance and started playing his favorite game, Block Crush. This game also had a leaderboard, and the faster one cleared the levels, the higher they ranked. Thanks to his diligent study of the game, Lin Zhaohe was currently in the top three of their city. Ahead of him were a guy and a girl, both surpassing him by a mere two to three seconds.
One shouldn’t underestimate those two to three seconds. Time had been compressed to its extreme, making further improvement quite challenging.
Lin Zhaohe got absorbed in the game and didn’t realize it had gotten late. When he finally remembered to go home, it was already midnight. He informed Gu Xuyu and hummed a tune as he descended a flight of stairs. However, just as he turned around the corner of the stairwell, he froze in place.
Standing near his neighbor’s doorway was a person, most likely a woman judging by her silhouette. She slightly tiptoed, pressing her eye against the peephole, completely engrossed in scrutinizing what was happening inside. If it were only that, it would be fine, but she also held a shiny knife in her hand. The reflected light made it gleam ominously.
Lin Zhaohe pondered seriously whether he would be stabbed if he approached her…
While Lin Zhaohe hesitated in place, the woman also noticed him nearby. Immediately, she put away the knife and turned her head, revealing a radiant smile. “Hello, are you A’Yao’s neighbor?”
Presumably, she was referring to the man inside the apartment.
“Uh, yes,” Lin Zhaohe replied cautiously, still standing at a safe distance. He continued, “Do you… need something from him?”
“No, nothing,” the girl said. “I’m his classmate, and I heard he moved, so I came to visit.”
Lin Zhaohe remained silent, thinking to himself, “It’s quite peculiar to come to visit a classmate with a knife in hand.”
The girl clearly noticed Lin Zhaohe’s fear of her and smiled, “Since A’Yao isn’t home, I’ll leave for now. I’ll come back tomorrow.”
Lin Zhaohe: “Okay… Take care of yourself.”
Nodding, the girl turned without hesitation. As she passed by Lin Zhaohe, she glanced back at A’Yao’s room.
Once Lin Zhaohe confirmed she had entered the elevator, he breathed a sigh of relief and headed towards his home. As he passed by the neighbor’s apartment, he faintly heard music coming from inside. After a moment’s thought, he decided to knock on the door.
After a brief pause, the door opened, revealing a girl poking her head out. It wasn’t A’Yao or the beautiful girl from earlier in the day—it was an unfamiliar face.
“Is A’Yao not here?” Lin Zhaohe asked.
“He’s taking a shower,” the girl responded. “Do you need something from him?”
“Well… There was a girl standing outside for a long time…”
“Standing outside for a long time?” the girl asked. “What does she look like?”
Lin Zhaohe described the appearance and attire of the girl. After hearing him out, the girl shook her head. “I don’t know her. I’ll ask A’Yao later.”
She seemed somewhat displeased. After speaking, she abruptly closed the door with a bang, leaving Lin Zhaohe standing there in a daze. He opened his mouth, intending to warn her about the knife the girl had, but before he could speak a word, the door shut. When Lin Zhaohe knocked again, she refused to open it.
Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but feel speechless, realizing they would have to fend for themselves.
Lin Zhaohe, the unsuccessful meddler, returned home, took a shower, and went to sleep. Before dozing off, he absentmindedly played a round of Block Crush on his phone. Perhaps due to excessive gameplay, even his dreams were filled with countless blocks that ran around before him, teasing him to chase after them. In his dream, Lin Zhaohe happily pursued them…
The absurdity of the dream left Lin Zhaohe waking up drenched in sweat. In a daze, he thought he heard a woman screaming, but upon full awakening, there was nothing but silence. It seemed to be a mere hallucination from his dream.
With a foggy mind from the restless sleep, Lin Zhaohe clumsily climbed out of bed. Since Little Red Square hadn’t returned, he planned to call him from the second floor. However, as he pushed the door open, he felt something pressing against it.
“Who’s there? Who’s piling things in front of my door?” The weight of the door handle jolted Lin Zhaohe back to full alertness. He looked through the peephole but saw nothing. Helpless, he resorted to forcefully ramming into the door, causing it to swing open.
After opening the door, Lin Zhaohe saw the obstruction blocking his doorstep… a fresh, steaming corpse. His face had been brutally slashed, and his body was brutally mutilated. It was evident that the assailant harbored intense hatred, with only the knife lodged in the chest being the fatal blow.
Lin Zhaohe’s mind exploded with a buzzing sound. Although deaths had become commonplace nowadays, it was still terrifying to see a lifeless body so blatantly before his eyes. He trembled for a moment before shouting, “There’s a dead body!”
Upstairs, Gu Xuyu, who was still engrossed in his video game, and Little Red Square heard the commotion and rushed downstairs.
Gu Xuyu didn’t seem to be bothered, but Little Red Square, upon seeing the corpse, remained surprisingly calm. He stroked his chin, studying the scene, and commented, “What a miserable sight.”
Lin Zhaohe didn’t have time to pay attention to him. His hands trembling, he called the police to report the incident.
“Seems like a vendetta,” Gu Jueyu remarked. “All these wounds were inflicted while the victim was still alive. It means the killer tortured this person for a long time until they were on the brink of death before delivering the final blow.” He shook his head, expressing disbelief. “Such sadistic behavior is unbecoming of a gentleman.”
Gu Xuyu coldly slapped him on the side. “Stand up straight when you speak to me!”
Gu Jueyu instantly welled up with tears, reluctantly straightening his posture and standing tall.
The police arrived swiftly, and after a brief scene lockdown and cursory investigation, they took the body away, mentioning the need to examine the victim’s social connections to identify potential suspects.
Lin Zhaohe provided them with a clue, mentioning a girl who had stood outside with a knife yesterday, appearing highly suspicious. The police were moved by his responsible behavior and commented that there were few citizens like him nowadays. Most people’s reaction upon seeing a corpse would be to avoid it rather than report it.
Lin Zhaohe admitted that he indeed wanted to avoid it, but the problem was that the body was found on his doorstep, so how could he avoid it?
The police officer: “……”
After the body was taken away, Lin Zhaohe and Little Red Square cleaned up the house. Little Red Square mentioned that things had been turbulent lately, with many of its close friends encountering troubles. What was more, the most unfortunate part was that they hadn’t even reached the level of “unbelievable”; they barely made it to “good.” Lin Zhaohe recalled the little black slave blocks on the ship and instantly became worried. He gently touched the small head of his Little Red Square, instructing it to stay home and stay safe.
Little Red Square nodded appreciatively, assuring that it had been paying close attention to its safety lately, and keeping a significant distance from other square objects when parting ways.
After thoroughly cleaning up the final traces of blood, Lin Zhaohe’s life returned to its previous calmness. The once-filled neighbor’s house now felt empty again, leaving Lin Zhaohe with a sense of loss.
Recently, the company had few projects, and Zhuang Lao seemed occupied with who-knows-what. Lin Zhaohe’s daily goal at the office was clear: “This time, I’ll seize every opportunity.”
Few things brought greater joy than getting paid while slacking off. If anything could surpass it, it would be a group of people slacking off together.
As the workday ended, Lin Zhaohe went to the supermarket to buy groceries and some sticky candies that Little Red Square enjoyed. Those candies were products of the anime world, living up to their name—they were all about stickiness. Lin Zhaohe had tried them once, and they stuck his mouth shut for two days. They were even more adhesive than super glue. In the end, unable to bear it any longer, Lin Zhaohe managed to scrape off a little bit, barely escaping from the ordeal.
Although Lin Zhaohe didn’t like the candy, it was Little Red Square’s favorite. That was probably the disparity between the two and three dimensions.
Not having to work made people feel several years younger. Lin Zhaohe hummed a tune while carrying a bag of groceries and stepped into the elevator. There was already someone inside, and as soon as he entered, that person kindly pressed the floor button for him.
Wait a minute, they pressed a floor button? But he didn’t mention which floor he was going to. Lin Zhaohe realized something was amiss and diverted his gaze from the phone, which he was reluctant to part with. He glanced at the person next to him, and once he saw their face clearly, his smile froze.
The body that was carried away by the police in the morning suddenly appeared beside him, still with that youthful face and a radiant smile. The only difference was a change of clothes…
“Hello,” A’Yao noticed Lin Zhaohe’s gaze and greeted him with a smile. “The weather is nice today, isn’t it?”
Lin Zhaohe: “…” Nice weather for resurrection, perhaps?
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