A crisp ringing sounded. Xiao Xia leapt up as though electrified, immediately pouncing to pick up the phone. Due to her urgency, she accidentally bumped her injured arm and gritted her teeth in pain.
“Is there news?” Wan Li immediately asked after Xiao Xia finished her brief conversation.
“Xiao Yu says there’s no movement.” Xiao Xia was deeply worried.
Xiao Yu was her classmate who was working in City A, her insider.
“No, I have to go back! It’s impossible for nothing to be happening.” Xiao Xia pondered before saying decisively. “We’ll be free to go back tomorrow. If those Japanese people are going to make a move, tonight is their last chance.”
“Hmm, something does seem wrong.” Wan Li turned and looked at Ruan Zhan.
Ruan Zhan had been staring motionlessly out the window for the past couple of days, not saying anything. No one knew what he was thinking.
“Patience.” He only said one word and remained unmoving.
“But I’m afraid Xiao Yu might be danger. She’s already taken two consecutive shifts. People are probably getting suspicious.” Xiao Xia saw him remaining still and straightforwardly went to grab his face and turn him away from the window. “She isn’t aware of what’s going on. We can’t get her involved.”
She seemed to be cupping his face in her anxiety, but when his deep gaze swung towards her, she hurriedly let go and flushed as though she had done something wrong. It was night time and they only had a small lamp in small living room on the second floor. However, she still cursed herself for being a cowardly mouse. She didn’t understand why she could be so relaxed around Wan Li, but was so awkward around Ruan Zhan. She wasn’t like this with him in the past either. Was she acting unnatural because her plans for him gave her a guilty conscience?
“There will definitely be some results tonight.” The feeling of Xiao Xia’s gentle touched seemed to linger on his face, making Ruan Zhan take a breath before speaking. “Stay calm.”
“But I have a foreboding feeling.” Xiao Xia thought of her classmate and her worry intensified. “I want to go take a look at the hospital. Otherwise, I won’t feel at ease!”
Ruan Zhan felt a trace of hesitation.
He felt they didn’t have a complete grasp on the situation. The opponent must have some plan they weren’t aware of, but also vice versa. If he didn’t let Xiao Xia go and something really happened to her classmate, it would weigh on her conscience. She might even blame herself for the rest of her life. But how could he feel at ease in letting her go!?
He had even formed the mindset that he could only feel at ease when she was next to him!
“How about it? Let me go!” Xiao Xia was essentially begging Ruan Zhan. Without his help, she wouldn’t be able to slip away.
Ruan Zhan was silent for a moment before finally nodding.
“Fine. You can go, but you must promise not to do anything dangerous.” He turned to Wan Li. “You go as well.”
“Sure, but it’s probably not as simple as accompanying little sis here, is it?”
“You must keep an eye on that Japanese family.”
“What about you?”
“I still have to put on an act!” Ruan Zhan glanced outside the window. “Don’t worry, I’ll make it in time!”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Adapt based on the circumstances. I don’t think you need instructions from me.” Ruan Zhan stood up after speaking and stretched his hand towards Xiao Xia. “Let me see your amulet.” He wanted to infuse it with a little more spirit power.
Xiao Xia subconsciously brushed her neck. “It’s underneath my clothing and difficult to take out.”
She had been afraid of him asking this question.
In truth, she had lost her precious amulet! That day when striking the Yuki-Onna, she didn’t have anything in hand anymore. In her desperation, she had used her amulet as a weapon and thrown it out. Then, Ruan Zhan had been injured and it was pitch black. She had no idea where her tiny jade amulet had ended up.
The mountain was vast and covered in a thick layer of snow!
Her heart was extremely twisted with pain regarding this matter. That was the only thing her grandmother had left for her. According to Ruan Zhan, it had a very strong remnant of her will. It represented her boundless, unconditional love for Xiao Xia!
But at that time, she hadn’t had time to think. She had just wanted to save him. She had had to save him!
Afterwards, the situation hadn’t permitted her to go back up the mountain. She knew that she would never find that amulet again! Only she knew how reluctant she was to part with it, but she didn’t want it on Ruan Zhan’s conscience. Therefore, she chose to keep it from him.
Ruan Zhan glanced at Xiao Xia and finally dropped his hand. He merely said, “Be careful.”
After arriving at the hospital, Wan Li and Xiao Xia chose to move separately. Although neither of them felt at ease, they had to do so to maximize their efficiency. Their opponents were powerful and they only had Ruan Zhan as their trump card.
Wan Li went to check out the situation in the ward while Xiao Xia went to find her classmate.
After finding Xiao Yu, it took a lot of persuasion before managing to convince the passionate youth who was wan from working two shifts in a row to go sleep in the inner office room. Xiao Xia hid behind the curtains and used binoculars to observe the hospital’s rear courtyard.
The administrative building was a separate, hilt-shaped building in the corner. Although it was a little remote and not very tall, it was the perfect spot to observe the entire courtyard. This included the back of the ICU, the boiler room, storage, morgue and the hospital’s rear gate.
The admin building’s on-call room was on the top floor of the small building. It was on the outermost part so the view was even better. Xiao Xia quietly holed up, feeling a mysterious unease.
Her intuition had always been strangely accurate. Was something going to happen here tonight?
Seconds and minutes trickled by. The entire rear courtyard was permeated with a vague silence. Xiao Xia didn’t feel any drowsiness. Instead, she felt more and more anxious, and concentrated on observing.
She felt something had changed, but due to her anxiousness she didn’t see what it was right away. Over time, she realized what it was.
There would often be fog during winter nights up north. However, it was very strange for fog to appear on a clear night after the snow. Furthermore, the rear courtyard just happened to be covered by the fog that suddenly arose.
The fog was very white and seemed to be roiling. Furthermore, it had come very swiftly, covering everything in the blink of an eye. She couldn’t even see the streetlamps outside the walls of the hospital, let alone the buildings on either side.
The strange thing was that the moon was still present in the sky. It illuminated the fog from above like a lamp, allowing Xiao Xia who was looking down to clearly see what was going on within. It was like a play, and the fog was the curtain that opened on the performance.
Xiao Xia didn’t know what to do. Should she inform Ruan Zhan and Wan Li? Was this a trap or was it something else? She wasn’t able to judge!
Then, it was like the play started. The white curtain silently lifted.
A figure emerged from the fog. Then, a wave of rigid footsteps could be heard.
Heels struck against the cold, hard ground, the footsteps orderly and slow. Gradually, Xiao Xia could make out the white figure in the fog.
It was a woman!
It was a woman dressed in a white nurse’s outfit!
She held a syringe platter covered by a layer of white cloth. Her head was lowered as she walked out from the impenetrable fog. Behind her was another nurse with the exact same demeanor. She walked the exact same way and had the exact same posture, following closely behind the first nurse. Then came another, then another. There were over five in total!
They stood in an orderly line and moved forward mechanically, heading straight for the hospital’s rear gate!
The rear gate was a large rusted metal gate. Normally only deceased patients would be sent out this way. There was no one on guard and no one walking by at night. Only a large lock hung crooked upon the gate.
There was a clang. It seemed very abrupt in the silent night, making Xiao Xia almost drop her binoculars. She saw the doors to the morgue open and something rigid jumping out.
It was wrapped in a black body bag with only its head exposed. The white tag hanging on its chest swayed as it hopped.
Xiao Xia didn’t see his face but felt that this was the “deceased” Japanese person: Matsui Shigenori!
When did he become a zombie?!
Xiao Xia anxiously covered her mouth to prevent herself from crying out. She had seen zombies before and knew she wasn’t mistaken. But what were those Japanese people planning?
She desperately watched the “person’s” back as he hopped towards the gate. Sensing him hesitate, she hurriedly crouched down, subconsciously covering her mouth. She narrowly avoided being discovered by the zombie who had turned around. She covered her pounding heart as she slowly made her way back to the window. She saw the zombie gathering with the row of nurses.
They stood in front of the metal gate and it wasn’t clear what they were up to. Xiao Xia just felt the fog twisting, gradually forming a whirlpool. She seemed to have seen a red, decorated gate appear. That zombie leapt into the heart of the whirlpool and the nurses followed behind. They were gone in an instant and the fog was also sucked into a point before vanishing. It was as if it had all been an illusion!
That was Yang Mu You’s space-warping spell!
Xiao Xia could recognize this teleportation method, but also felt it was a little different when the zombie used it. He didn’t have Yang Mu You’s extravagant style. Instead, it seemed more like he was jumping into a lake and killing himself. Regardless, they had vanished in front of her and she also recognized the house behind that red decorated door. It was the love motel.
She hurriedly pulled out her phone and dialed the preset emergency number. “Ruan Zhan, they’ve gone over!” She reported the moment the line connected.
“Stay there and don’t move! I…” Ruan Zhan’s voice rang out but cut off abruptly.
Xiao Xia looked anxiously at the screen but the call still seemed to be connected. “Hello? Ruan Zhan, can you hear me?”
An unfamiliar breathing sounded out. It was artificial and malicious, as though done purposefully for her to hear. Then came a slow and rigid sentence in Japanese followed by a sinister laugh.
Ghosts picking up phones?!
Xiao Xia didn’t know what was going on but hurriedly hung up the phone in fright. However, the sound still remained, unrelenting. Even pulling out her battery didn’t work, forcing her to ruthlessly throw her phone out the window!
There was a cry of pain. Xiao Xia instinctively looked over and almost cried out in shock.
Her phone had landed on someone’s head.
That person was dressed in a white nurse’s outfit. Her nurse’s cap was knocked off by the phone, scattering her hair. Her lowered head slowly raised upwards.
Her face was pale grey and was half covered by the fresh blood flowing from her temples. Her eyes were sluggish and the muscles of her face remained motionless. Her lips were split in a terrifying smile.
“Bleeding!” She wiped her face with an empty hand and displayed it for Xiao Xia to see.
Xiao Xia was completely frozen. She saw that apart from the nurse who was hit by her phone, there was another one whose head was lowered. The two of them stood outside the door of the admin building, as though they were there for her.
Was she discovered by Matsui Shigenori after all? When did he discover her? Were these two nurses sent to kill her? How had they gotten back?
Right as she had these thoughts, she saw the two nurses swiftly barging into the building and disappearing from view.