Chapter 73.2 Savage Expansion (6)
“A ghost riding on my shoulder?”
Lin Yan innocently chimed in, “Yeah, as soon as I came in, I saw something riding on your shoulder. I even thought Zhuang Lao had turned into a girl.” Then he realized that Zhuang Lao was standing right beside him.
Lin Zhaohe was on the verge of tears, his shoulder numb from fright. “Why didn’t you say so earlier? Damn it, how the hell do I get rid of this thing? Can’t we find a few second-generation Daoist practitioners to help me solve this problem?”
However, where would they find Daoist practitioners now? Mr. Li started suggesting random ideas, saying that maybe they could revive by dying once and seeing if they come back to life or not.
Lin Zhaohe almost went crazy, feeling ants crawling all over his body.
“Look, you haven’t even wiped your own asses properly,” Xiao Yu ruthlessly exposed everyone’s sorry state. “We don’t need you to rescue us and take us out. We’re doing fine here, and we don’t need others interfering.” Then she muttered under her breath, “Especially not with a ghost in tow.”
Yun Yuzi, rejected and miserable, opened her mouth to argue but felt powerless. After all, the thing perched on Lin Zhaohe’s shoulder at that moment was powerful evidence.
“Then let’s go,” Mr. Li suggested when he saw that these people had no intention of being rescued. “Let’s not waste any more time here.”
“Let’s go,” Zhuang Lao said.
“Goodbye,” Yun Yuzi waved her hand towards Xiao Yu. “If we get rid of the ghost when we come back, we’ll ask you then…”
Xiao Yu didn’t say whether it was good or not, silently nodding and wishing them a safe journey.
Several intruders who had abruptly entered another world had no choice but to hit the road again after being heartlessly rejected.
Lin Zhaohe was in a terrible mood, his head drooping along with his ears. He scratched his slightly itchy ear and asked if everyone could come up with a solution. It wasn’t a good situation to be wandering around with a ghost all the time.
Yun Yuzi whispered, “It’s alright, anyway, you can’t see it. It scares others.”
Lin Zhaohe felt that what she said made some sense, but not much.
“How about going back and blowing up those two floors?” Yun Yuzi suggested.
After thinking about it, Lin Zhaohe thought it was feasible. Luckily, they weren’t too far from the two floors. After groping around for a while, they returned to the original location.
Lin Zhaohe was already familiar with blowing up buildings. He had done it in illusions before, and now he was doing it in reality. He threw several small bombs inside and watched as the flames shot up into the sky. Contentedly, he said, “Fear comes from insufficient firepower. Look, the house is gone. Does it mean the ghost is gone too? Yun Yuzi, what does that expression on your face mean?”
Yun Yuzi stared at Lin Zhaohe and swallowed nervously. Then she cautiously said, “Xiao He, have you noticed that your left shoulder feels heavier?”
Lin Zhaohe: “?”
Lin Yan: “Well, congratulations, Lin Zhaohe, on having twins.”
Lin Zhaohe: “????”
Mr. Li: “Congratulations, General Lin, on acquiring a pair of twins.”
The ghost that was just there a moment ago had successfully turned into two, hanging on Lin Zhaohe’s body—one on the left and one on the right, like guardian spirits.
Zhuang Lao couldn’t hold back and laughed softly, which nearly made Lin Zhaohe burst into tears. “What the hell is going on? Did I not blow it up thoroughly enough? Should I throw a couple more bombs to solve it?”
Of course, such behavior was eventually stopped by Zhuang Lao, not out of concern for public property, but because he was worried that if Lin Zhaohe continued blowing things up, he might end up with another ghost on his head.
Lin Zhaohe completely broke down mentally and incoherently grasped Yun Yuzi. “Good things should be shared among everyone. It’s inconvenient for me and the ghost to go to the toilet. As a woman, you should help your good sister more.”
Yun Yuzi didn’t listen to his nonsense at all and ran faster than a rabbit, leaving Lin Zhaohe as a little puppy on the verge of crying in the same spot. “I’m so stupid, really. I actually had time to sympathize with others. Why isn’t there anyone to sympathize with me?”
Unable to get rid of the ghost and with life continuing, Lin Zhaohe, dejected and with his head down, followed behind Zhuang Lao and continued exploring deeper. His actions and demeanor became much rougher.
Lin Yan cautiously asked him, “Aren’t you afraid of encountering something in the mist when you charge forward so rudely?”
Lin Zhaohe, having reached his breaking point, laughed like a lunatic and said, “I won’t be afraid anymore because I’m not alone.”
What to do when feeling lonely? Watch more ghost movies. That way, one would feel that they were no longer alone. After so many years, Lin Zhaohe unexpectedly became the practitioner of this dark joke.
Similar to the original movie setting, the denser the mist, the more severe the mutations in the surroundings. However, several streets away, the original appearance of the street was completely unrecognizable. Plants and animals had surpassed genetic barriers and fusion phenomena had emerged.
In front of them stood a towering banyan tree, fused with an unknown animal. Lin Zhaohe remembered that it had been growing on Min’an Street for hundreds of years. He used to play under this tree when he was in kindergarten. Now, the tree had undergone a complete transformation. Its bark was covered with densely packed scales that rhythmically rose and fell. The dense roots hanging from the trunk connected to the ground, and upon closer observation, one would notice their slow wriggling. Once they detect the trace of prey, they mercilessly entangle and strangle it.
Zhuang Lao noticed something amiss on the tree in advance and stopped the others from approaching. They helplessly watched as the banyan tree strangled a passing giant rat. The rat’s body was twisted and torn apart by the branches before being devoured. The sound of chewing echoed through the air.
Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but swallow nervously upon hearing the sound.
Yun Yuzi: “What’s wrong, feeling hungry?”
Lin Zhaohe: “?”
Mr. Li: “I don’t know if he’s hungry, but I am.” Since he entered this place, he hadn’t eaten anything. The passage of time inside was much longer than outside. A day here lasted around forty hours, with daytime and nighttime evenly split. They had been inside for over two days, which was almost four days outside.
During these four days, nobody had properly eaten or rested. Their bodies were exhausted.
“Let’s find a place to rest for a while,” Lin Zhaohe admitted his own fatigue. He wasn’t sure if it was because he was shouldering a family on his shoulders, but his eyelids felt heavy, overwhelmed by weariness.
“I remember there’s a school nearby,” Yun Yuzi was quite familiar with this area too. She and her girlfriends would often come here for shopping when they had free time. Previously, the fusion level here wasn’t too high, and the surrounding residents led normal lives, with schools and hospitals in the vicinity.
Since the fusion, everyone cherished peaceful places and made efforts to protect the tranquility here. However, no matter what they feared, the fusion eventually caught up with this paradise.
“Why don’t we go to the school and rest for a few hours?” Yun Yuzi was also tired. A regular person would already be exhausted after two days without sleep, and after three days, hallucinations would start to appear, with the situation worsening over time. They had relatively good physical condition, but it had been four days without proper rest.
“I remember where the school is. Let’s go and check it out,” Lin Yan agreed. “If the fusion level is too high, we can find another place.”
Lin Zhaohe listened to their conversation but remained silent, scratching his ear absentmindedly.
The school was nearby, although it wasn’t immediately recognizable from the outside. It wasn’t until Lin Zhaohe cut through a thick layer of grass that he saw a wide, red rubberized playground on the other side.
The vegetation on the playground was sparser compared to the surroundings, making it appear suitable for resting.
Mr. Li led Lin Yan ahead, clearing a patch of weeds with a knife, and then started setting up a shelter. Yun Yuzi started a fire nearby, while Lin Zhaohe took out some food to heat up before eating.
Yun Yuzi, with her head lowered, fiddled with the firewood and suddenly asked, “Xiao He, I remember you attended high school in this school, right?”
Lin Zhaohe’s motion of holding the food paused slightly, and he mumbled an ambiguous response.
Yun Yuzi was unaware of the situation, but Lin Yan and the others had heard Lin Zhaohe talk about it. Sensing the situation, Lin Yan skillfully changed the topic and considerately asked Lin Zhaohe if he wanted something to eat.
Lin Zhaohe replied, “No, I’m not hungry.”
“You haven’t eaten since you came in,” Zhuang Lao said. “Not even a bit hungry?”
Lin Zhaohe shook his head, indicating that he didn’t have much appetite. He indeed wasn’t hungry but felt a bit sleepy. So he found a corner and planned to take a short nap.
The mist was thick around him, and the air felt damp. Lin Zhaohe found a non-mutated tree and leaned against it, partially closing his eyes.
Zhuang Lao’s gaze rested on Lin Zhaohe. At this moment, Lin Zhaohe looked somewhat pitiful, huddled tightly, resembling a small animal afraid of getting hurt. His furry ears hung down, and there was a red swelling on them, giving him a somewhat wretched appearance. However, the female ghost that had been sticking to him seemed to have disappeared. It appeared that he could shake her off as long as he kept a sufficient distance.
The sleeping position was uncomfortable, so Lin Zhaohe adjusted his body. In his half-asleep state, he felt a pair of hands gently embracing his shoulders, leading him into a warm embrace.
Unlike the chilly surroundings, this embrace was warm and soft, exuding a faint fragrance. Lin Zhaohe’s tense body gradually relaxed, and he fell asleep in that embrace.
The crackling of the fire could be heard amidst the mist. Seeing Lin Zhaohe asleep, everyone deliberately lowered their voices. Lin Yan held a stick with roasted corn on it, emitting a tempting aroma over the flames. When it was cooked enough, she handed it to Mr. Li.
Mr. Li couldn’t wait and eagerly gnawed on the corn, even though it was scalding hot.
Yun Yuzi whispered, “Mr. Li, is this your girlfriend?”
Upon hearing this, both of their expressions changed.
Mr. Li almost choked on the food in his mouth, coughing forcefully. Lin Yan’s face turned pale then red, gritting his teeth and saying, “We have nothing to do with each other!”
Yun Yuzi looked at the two of them and made a meaningful sound. “Hmm, you two seem so affectionate, doesn’t seem like there’s nothing between you.”
Lin Yan trembled with anger, saying indignantly, “There’s nothing affectionate between us!” His expression was fierce, and his small ears turned bright red, spreading the blush to his cheeks. No matter how you looked at it, he appeared embarrassed.
Mr. Li, who had been earnestly battling the scalding corn, was drawn in by Lin Yan’s adorable reaction. After some thought, he leaned his blackened mouth from the roasted corn close to Lin Yan’s cheek. Seizing the moment before Lin Yan could react, he boldly planted a kiss on her cheek.
An ashy mark instantly appeared on Lin Yan’s fair and soft face. He stood still, completely shocked by Mr. Li’s unexpected action.
Mr. Li, this guy, took advantage of the situation and couldn’t help but laugh at Lin Yan’s reaction. He opened his mouth again and lightly bit Lin Yan’s face. It must be said that Lin Yan’s cheek had a wonderful texture, soft and elastic. Mr. Li happily left a row of red marks on it that perfectly matched his sharp teeth, as if he wanted to leave his mark on his owner like a devoted pet.
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