Chapter 52.2 First and Second Floors
Slow and steady wins the race. Lin Zhaohe decided to follow Qi Ming’s suggestion and maintained the crawling position.
As they reached the second floor, Lin Zhaohe noticed that all the hanging ropes were gone. The surroundings seemed much safer, but they didn’t let their guard down. They continued to crawl cautiously.
All the classrooms on the second floor were empty, with the desks neatly arranged in the corridor, as if someone had just finished cleaning. As Lin Zhaohe crawled a few steps forward, he felt something was off. He looked down and discovered the floor was covered in a sticky black liquid. A rough sniff confirmed it was the scent of blood.
“Why is there so much blood?” Lin Zhaohe’s face slightly changed. The room was too dark, and the blood appeared black. They had hurriedly climbed up earlier and didn’t pay much attention. Now, they realized something was wrong.
“The floor is covered in blood,” A’Yao also noticed. He felt a bit scared and trembled as he said, “It’s so disgusting…”
Qi Ming was about to speak when they heard a thumping sound at the end of the corridor. It sounded like many people running fast. He quickly said, “Don’t move!” and directed the beam of his flashlight towards the depths of the corridor.
In the darkness, it seemed like a group of people was sprinting on the wooden floor, rapidly approaching their location. Once Lin Zhaohe saw what was coming towards them, he exclaimed in shock, “Damn—”
He saw countless mangled bodies leaping towards them. These people seemed to have died from jumping off buildings, their heads facing downward, creating a gruesome sight. They moved like zombies, hopping and jumping closer and closer from the darkness.
“Quick—” Qi Ming shouted, “Jump onto the tables!” He finally realized the purpose of the tables placed nearby.
Lin Zhaohe and A’Yao were nearly paralyzed with fear. They almost crawled and tumbled onto the nearby tables, causing the tables to shake and emit a rattling sound. Qi Ming was also startled, and the three of them huddled together, holding their breath, watching as the corpses jumped closer to them.
A’Yao had never seen corpses from such a close distance before. The ᴄᴏɴᴛᴏʀᴛᴇᴅ ᴛᴏʀꜱᴏꜱ, ᴛʜᴇ ᴠɪᴠɪᴅ ʀᴇᴅ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ, ᴛʜᴇ ᴘᴀʟᴇ ʏᴇʟʟᴏᴡ ʙʀᴀɪɴ ᴍᴀᴛᴛᴇʀ—everything surpassed his limits of endurance. He choked back a few sobs and tightly covered his mouth to suppress the scream that was about to escape.
The bodies hovered around their location for a few rounds but didn’t find anyone, so they dispersed in different directions.
Lin Zhaohe let out a big sigh of relief, gasping for air. “That scared the life out of me.”
“Why is it so horrifying? How come there are guys in ‘School Festival’?” A’Yao choked, his voice trembling.
Lin Zhaohe: “Well… if it were the bodies of girls, would you be less scared? No wonder you were so calm in front of those burned girls earlier.” He patted A’Yao’s shoulder. “You’ll get used to it with time. Be strong.”
“Have you ever seen such terrifying corpses?” A’Yao complained to Lin Zhaohe with a hint of grievance. “You definitely haven’t.”
Lin Zhaohe looked skeptical. “You haven’t seen them? You have, right?”
A’Yao: “Where would I have seen them?”
Lin Zhaohe: “When you were chopped to death, you didn’t exactly look great.” He vaguely remembered A’Yao dragging his own corpse downstairs and throwing it in the garbage bin every day.
A’Yao: “How can my appearance be the same as others’?”
Lin Zhaohe had no response, but he felt that seeing his own corpse was scarier.
“Instead of arguing about this, let’s make use of our time. The staircase to the second floor is around the corner,” Qi Ming said, sweat forming on his forehead. He had watched horror movies, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid of ghosts. His speech was a bit faltering. “Let’s quickly follow the tables and make our way there. This is too damn thrilling.” The experience had even made him resort to cursing.
The three of them moved even more cautiously than when they were on the first floor. If they could ignore the hanging ghosts, they had to constantly keep an eye on these jumping ghosts. Otherwise, they might encounter them unexpectedly along the way.
The tables were not seamlessly connected; after about five or six tables, there would be an open space. They had to jump off the tables and run across. However, the sounds they made on the floor would attract the jumping ghosts that were farther away. As a result, they had to pause and wait for them to approach every few meters they moved forward.
What should have been an easy task became increasingly difficult due to their tense nerves. In just a dozen meters, Lin Zhaohe was drenched in sweat. The lingering smell of blood in the air made his stomach even more uneasy. Lin Zhaohe noticed that A’Yao’s forehead was also covered in sweat. A’Yao said, “Shouldn’t we take a break here?”
“Why?” Lin Zhaohe wiped his sweat.
“We don’t know what’s on the third floor yet,” A’Yao’s body felt weak. “It might be better to take a break here.”
“Makes sense,” Qi Ming thought A’Yao had a point. His goal was the fourth floor, and based on the current situation, there must be obstacles on the third floor as well.
“Alright,” Lin Zhaohe said, “Let’s take a short break.”
The three of them sat on the tables, recovering their energy. The school building was empty and silent, as if the horrifying sounds were just illusions created by their presence. Only the smell of blood kept reminding them that those dreadful things were not illusions. They could come back at any moment.
As expected, after a while, the thumping sound resounded again. In the darkness, a group of indiscernible figures approached from afar. Their bodies contorted, their eyeballs dangling from their eye sockets, rolling around as they sought their pitiful prey hidden on this floor.
A’Yao hugged his legs, pitifully waiting for them to draw closer. He thought that when they moved away, they should go up. It was too terrifying, and the suspense made him feel like his stomach was about to ache again.
As he pondered this, he felt something off about the wall behind him. A’Yao turned his head and exclaimed loudly, “Damn—” Suddenly, numerous ghastly pale faces emerged from the wall behind him. Among the faces, pairs of grotesque hands reached out and forcefully pushed against his back—
Caught off guard, A’Yao was pushed off the table by the hands. He fell to the ground, his face meeting a shattered face. He saw a twisted smile appear on that horrifying face as he felt a pair of hands firmly gripping his neck. Intense pain shot through his neck, and within an instant, A’Yao felt as though his neck was about to snap.
A’Yao let out a desperate scream and struggled with all his might, screaming, “Help—”
Lin Zhaohe was also taken aback by this sudden turn of events. He saw A’Yao’s body abruptly shoot up and fall from the table, only to be caught by the jumping ghost that had just reached him. The ghost’s already fragmented body rapidly melted away, seemingly turning into liquid in an instant, attempting to envelop A’Yao entirely.
Witnessing this scene, Lin Zhaohe reacted swiftly, raising the camera in front of him and pressing the shutter button.
With a light “click” from the camera, the ghost let out a piercing scream. Its body began to convulse violently. Lin Zhaohe quickly took two more shots, and the convulsions gradually subsided. Finally, the body became completely rigid, transforming bit by bit into black charcoal ashes.
A’Yao narrowly escaped death and was left somewhat stunned. He sat motionless, with a vacant expression, while Lin Zhaohe quickly reached out and pulled him up onto the table, asking, “Are you alright??”
A’Yao responded in a daze, “I’m… I’m fine.” He reached up to touch his own neck, emitting a soft hiss from his mouth… The force of the ghost had been so strong that his fingers had almost sunk into his flesh. At this moment, his neck was a mess of blood and torn flesh, and just looking at it was agonizing.
Lin Zhaohe rummaged through his bag and retrieved some medication. He quickly tended to A’Yao’s wounds and asked, “You scared me! How did you end up jumping down by yourself??”
A’Yao shivered. He looked towards the wall behind him with a frightened expression and said, “I didn’t jump on my own. There was something in the wall… It forcefully pushed me down!” As he spoke, he instinctively drew his body back, hoping to keep some distance from the wall.
“This place isn’t suitable for lingering,” Qi Ming felt that something was amiss. “We can’t rest here. Let’s hurry and go upstairs.”
The sudden unexpected incident compelled the three individuals, already exhausted from the ordeal, to hasten their pace. They followed the tables and arrived at the staircase leading to the third floor. Even before stepping onto the stairs, Lin Zhaohe heard the melodious sound of someone reading from the third floor. The voice sounded crisp and pleasant, but in such an environment, it only felt eerie.
Lin Zhaohe asked, “A’Yao, are you alright?” He was a bit concerned about A’Yao.
“I’m fine,” A’Yao weakly replied, “Just… scared out of my wits.”
“Don’t make any noise, there are people upstairs,” Qi Ming cautiously stepped forward. Upon reaching the third floor, he discovered that the entire floor was brightly lit, and the classrooms were filled with students who seemed to be attending a lecture.
Utilizing this moment, Lin Zhaohe dialed Zhuang Lao’s number and asked, “Boss, what’s the situation over there? Have you encountered any ghosts?”
“Ghosts? There are no ghosts here,” Zhuang Lao responded. “What happened to you guys?”
Lin Zhaohe: “It’s a long story…”
Zhuang Lao: “It’s safe over here, and I haven’t seen any ghosts. The students on the third floor are studying late, just like those girls in ‘School Festival.'”
Lin Zhaohe switched his phone to speaker mode, and A’Yao could also hear the conversation. When he heard the words “School Festival,” his eyes widened, and he choked out, “Why? They are all human…” Why couldn’t he be surrounded by lovely girls instead of encountering ghostly men?
After ending the call, Lin Zhaohe reminded A’Yao, “Since there are students studying upstairs, why don’t you go and take a look?”
Prompted by Lin Zhaohe’s reminder, A’Yao, who had seemed on the verge of collapse, suddenly regained his spirit. “I’ll go and take a look,” he declared and actually followed through with it.
Love always clouded one’s judgment. Ignoring Qi Ming’s bewildered gaze, A’Yao ventured forth without hesitation. He quietly climbed up to the third floor and approached the classroom. He stood by the window, observing the scene inside for a long time, before returning with a despondent expression. “Good news: they are indeed the girls from ‘School Festival.'”
Lin Zhaohe: “Then why aren’t you happy about it?”
A’Yao: “Bad news: they all seem to be dead.”
Lin Zhaohe remained silent.
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