Chapter 53.1 Become an idiot
Lin Zhaohe didn’t know what expression to wear on his face. He felt a little touched by A’Yao’s unwavering determination. Despite the terrifying atmosphere, he never forgot his duty as the main character of a romance galgame. He searched diligently for any potential love interest nearby, not even considering ghosts. Maybe that was why others had so many girlfriends, while he had been alone for so many years.
“Look, aren’t they all studying seriously?” Qi Ming clearly didn’t want to confront the female ghosts head-on and suggested, “Why don’t we just go around to the fourth floor?”
Lin Zhaohe and A’Yao agreed with his idea. The three of them crouched down and slowly made their way to the stairs. However, instead of finding stairs, they were met with a solid wall. They circled the hallway a few times but found no way to ascend.
“What’s happening?” Qi Ming grew impatient. “Where did the stairs go?”
Lin Zhaohe: “They should be here. It’s strange.” He turned his head and peered through the window into the classroom. He saw the female students engrossed in their studies, just as A’Yao had described. Their charred cheeks and horrifying appearance were clear indicators that they were not living beings. However, upon closer observation, Lin Zhaohe noticed something odd and asked with confusion, “What is above their heads?”
Suspended above the heads of these female students were pink hearts. Lin Zhaohe initially thought he might be mistaken, but after rubbing his eyes, he confirmed the absence of any illusions. He couldn’t help but chuckle and sigh, “Pink… hearts? Isn’t this the affection gauge from the School Festival!”
He recognized the hearts’ origin, and a horrifying idea popped into his mind.
“No way?” Almost simultaneously, Lin Zhaohe and A’Yao exclaimed in disbelief. They exchanged a quick glance, where fear was mirrored in each other’s eyes.
“Seems like it,” Qi Ming remarked. “If we want to ascend, we have to maximize their affection…”
An eerie silence pervaded the air, resembling death itself.
In the next moment, A’Yao felt a pair of hands firmly pressing on his shoulders. He turned to see the meaningful gaze of Lin Zhaohe, who called out, “A’Yao…”
A’Yao shook his head, tears welling up in his eyes.
“A’Yao, didn’t you once say that life or death makes no difference?” Lin Zhaohe spoke gently. “You know, if I were to go, I would just receive a slap. They are not female ghosts but rather tragic beautiful female spirits. They likely experienced great suffering before their demise. I trust you. You can soothe their souls.”
A’Yao choked on his words, “But…”
Lin Zhaohe continued to persuade, “No ‘buts.’ You came all the way here for the chance to get close to them, right?”
A’Yao hesitated and said, “Well… it seems like it…” He couldn’t quite put his finger on what didn’t feel right about Lin Zhaohe’s words. In that moment of hesitation, he even started to disdain himself. Oh, A’Yao, A’Yao, who would have thought you could be so shallow, judging their beauty just because they’re no longer alive? How could you hesitate!
“Hurry up,” Lin Zhaohe glanced at his watch. “This is your only chance for a soul conversation!” It was a literal soul conversation.
Lin Zhaohe’s words stirred something within A’Yao. He stood up, adjusted his backpack, and announced that he would go. He asked them to wait outside for good news. Then, with determination, he pushed open the classroom door and walked into the midst of the terrifying female ghosts.
Qi Ming’s eyes widened, concerned about A’Yao’s safety. Lin Zhaohe raised the camera in his hand and reassured him that they still had one last option. To be honest, if he had any expertise in pursuing girls, he wouldn’t have encouraged A’Yao to go.
As A’Yao entered the classroom, he was quickly surrounded by the ethereal spirits of the girls. Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming’s hearts hung in suspense. However, before long, the unfolding events proved that A’Yao had the required strength. Their worries were unnecessary.
The pink hearts floating above the female ghosts’ heads gradually filled with color, one by one… from one heart to two hearts…
Laughter filled the entire classroom, as if a joyous gathering was taking place. A’Yao, shining like a star, became the pursued object of all the girls.
“Oh no,” Lin Zhaohe said. “These three hearts are full. What do we do next?”
Qi Ming: “What?”
“The first three hearts can be earned through conversations, but it seems we’ll need to give gifts… to continue increasing the rating,” Lin Zhaohe said. “…Damn!”
It turned out that Lin Zhaohe was too young, and his worries were completely unnecessary.
A’Yao smiled and took out small, delicate gifts from his backpack. He started giving them one by one to the girls. What impressed Lin Zhaohe the most was A’Yao’s clear memory of the girls’ preferences. Despite their charred appearance, he could still recognize their identities and their favorite gifts from small trinkets.
As a result, the affection rating began to skyrocket, leaving both Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming dumbfounded.
“How did he do that? I remember this girl doesn’t like bows!” Lin Zhaohe exclaimed, wide-eyed.
Qi Ming: “How did you know she doesn’t like them?”
Lin Zhaohe: “She mentioned it. Hmph, she really detests bows and such.”
Qi Ming: No wonder you’re still single.
Lin Zhaohe shook his head, realizing that understanding a woman’s heart was as difficult as finding a needle in the sea.
Inside the classroom, A’Yao had gone into a frenzy. The pink hearts and the boiling water seemed to rise rapidly. He felt at ease among the group of female ghosts, with a sunny face and a contented smile, as if he had perfectly merged into this collective.
When all the hearts turned into six ratings, Lin Zhaohe heard a rumbling sound. They turned around and saw the stone wall blocking the stairs moving aside. It was truly a case of sincere belief moving mountains.
“We did it!” Lin Zhaohe exclaimed with joy. He never expected that bringing A’Yao along would have such a miraculous effect. Truly, treasures were sometimes just misplaced junk. He quickly waved at A’Yao, signaling him to come out. They needed to leave.
A’Yao noticed Lin Zhaohe’s call but had a conflicted expression on his face. After hesitating for a moment, he shook his head at Lin Zhaohe.
Lin Zhaohe even thought he must have been mistaken.
“I won’t leave, Brother Lin.” In the next moment, a heartfelt message arrived on Lin Zhaohe’s phone. It contained A’Yao’s emotional words: “They all need love so much. I want to stay here and accompany them for a while. You were right, humans shouldn’t be swayed by appearances. They are all pure and beautiful girls. I can’t bear to leave… Brother Lin, you should go. If we’re meant to meet again, we will.”
Lin Zhaohe was dumbfounded. “Is this about appearances? It’s clearly a matter of species. Before encountering the ghost girl you liked, you always believed you were attracted to humans.”
Seeing that A’Yao really had no intention of leaving, Lin Zhaohe reluctantly gave up. He turned to Qi Ming and said, “Forget it, let’s go then?”
Qi Ming had seen his fair share of horror movies, but in all his years, this was the first time he encountered someone who wanted to romance a group of ghosts. His eyes nearly popped out as he wondered, “Am I mistaken? Is he really going to date a group of female ghosts?”
Without saying a word, Lin Zhaohe patted Qi Ming’s shoulder, treating it as the answer.
A’Yao stayed in the classroom while Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming made their way up the stairs to the fourth floor.
They had less than half an hour left until their scheduled meeting time. Lin Zhaohe messaged Zhuang Lao and learned that he was already on the fourth floor, but there was no sign of the person Zhuang Lao had arranged for them to meet.
The fourth floor was quiet, devoid of people and ghosts. It was empty, and the classrooms carried a sense of loneliness. The doors and windows were not sealed shut like on the first floor. Moonlight streamed through the windows, casting a gentle glow onto the red wooden floor.
Lin Zhaohe unconsciously slowed his pace. Classroom 4-11 was located at the far end of the corridor. As Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming approached, they could see the door of the classroom slightly ajar.
“Is someone in there?” Lin Zhaohe whispered.
“Seems like it,” Qi Ming replied. “Let’s be cautious…”
Both of them tried to minimize their footsteps as they gradually reached the entrance of the classroom. Peering inside, they were surprised to see a person sitting there.
It was a man dressed in casual clothes, his face turned away from the light, making it difficult to discern his features. He sat motionless in the center of the classroom, resembling an inanimate sculpture.
“Stay seated and don’t move!” Qi Ming pulled out a gun, aiming it at the person in front of them.
Lin Zhaohe also raised his camera, focusing it on the individual.
However, in the face of Qi Ming and Lin Zhaohe’s threats, the man seemed unfazed. He lowered his hand that had been supporting his cheek and slowly turned his head. “Well, long time no see,” he said casually.
Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming saw his face clearly, and both of them held their breath.
It was an exact replica of Lin Yan’s face, even the smile on his face was so familiar. However, Lin Zhaohe quickly recognized that he wasn’t Lin Yan. His face was intact, without the gruesome scars.
“Lin Yan??” Qi Ming also recognized him, his tone shifting from disbelief to panic. “Why would Lin Yan be here…”
“Why can’t I be here?” Lin Yan smiled and replied. “Shouldn’t that question be directed at you?” He stood up.
Nervously, Qi Ming exclaimed, “Don’t move, or I’ll shoot!”
Lin Yan: “You can go ahead and try.”
Qi Ming fired his gun, the piercing sound cut through the night sky. Lin Zhaohe saw a burst of flame hit Lin Yan’s body, followed by the sound of metal hitting the ground. Lin Yan was impervious to their weapons, as if they couldn’t harm him at all.
“Brother Lin!! Run!” Realizing the danger, Qi Ming knew they were no match for him. He shouted, turned, and attempted to flee. But it was too late. With a wave of Lin Yan’s hand, Qi Ming’s body involuntarily flew through the air, crashing heavily into the wall and losing consciousness.
Lin Zhaohe stood frozen in place, his gaze fixed on Lin Yan, as if entranced.
“So, you’re Lin Zhaohe,” Lin Yan said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. How have you been?”
Lin Zhaohe: “Who are you?”
Lin Yan replied, “I’m Lin Yan. Can’t even recognize me?” He chuckled, but there was a malevolence in his smile. It was starkly different from the Lin Yan Lin Zhaohe had encountered in “Code G,” almost as if they were two completely different people.
Ignoring his response, Lin Zhaohe asked again, “Who are you?”
Lin Yan’s smile faded, and he stood up, slightly tilting his chin. With a condescending attitude, he smiled and said, “I am Lin Yan, the one who killed your friend.”
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