This man is in his thirties, medium-built, spectacled, and wears a sandalwood prayer beads bracelet. On a glance, he seems to be rather ordinary.
He gets off the car, and takes out a phone; he records himself with the hospital as the background, and says, “September first, eleven twenty three, special mission at Dragon City Second Hospital, Baota East Road, Eastern District; Lin Jing, over.”
A black SUV hurriedly arrives, and Zhao rushes out, “stop that nonsense and come with me, quick!”
Someone’s about to die and you’re taking a selfie video… Zhao furiously thinks; his colleagues are either not human, or has severe brain damage.
The hospital is shrouded in dark mist, and nobody is inside. Zhao tries to call Shen and Guo, but neither picks up; he swears, and violently busts through the hospital door.
A black cloud pounces forward at Zhao, who swiftly dodges, and takes out a small dagger. He rolls on the floor, jumps to the side, and accurately slashes on the shadow, which splits in two.
More are coming from all directions. Lin follows behind Guo and takes out a gun; while chanting some mantras, he shoots down the creatures one after another, not missing any one of them.
“Have you checked the horoscope readings of the trainee?” Zhao faces the shadow-laden corridor, “why does it seem like ghosts and spirits follow him wherever he goes?”
Lin chants, “that which is form is emptiness… I will pray for him after this.”
Zhao is irritated, “that which your head! Speak English or shut your mouth!”
Lin calmly continues, “…that which is emptiness is form.”
Lin pauses for a moment, and advises, “Chief, you must purify your six senses, and abstain from evil.”
This is the reason why he hates his job!
Zhao takes a deep breath, and puts the dagger in his mouth; he takes out a yellow paper talisman, and lights it with his lighter. The paper explodes into a storm of flames, engulfing all nearby spirits into a three feet tall fire spiral. The flames destroy everything in its path, and the endless crowds of ghosts vanish in the mystical flare.
“Amitabha, may Buddha have mercy on your soul.”
Zhao is pissed, “enough of that.”
Half a minute later, only embers and ashes remain.
Zhao lights a cigarette with the dying flames, signals Lin to follow him, and opens the door at the end of the corridor.
The group in the storage room doesn’t know that help is on its way. The screeching fingernails are increasingly vicious, and Guo’s breathing speeds up uncontrollably. He is on the verge of insanity.
Shen ignores him, and asks the cat, “what do we do?”
Da Qing the wise old cat calmly replies, “don’t worry, hang on for a moment, Chief Zhao must be on his way.”
“What? He’s coming alone? Is that safe? How can he save us?”
Da Qing feebly waggles its tail, “don’t worry, a few small ghosts can’t hurt him.”
Shen frowns, and leans against the wall, “we can’t save ourselves?”
Da Qing glances at him, and replies coldly, “we have a team of human, garbage, vegetative state, and me… a cute mascot. How do we save ourselves?”
“Didn’t I crush that thing with a chair?”
“That’s because it was too hungry, and let its guard down. Besides, two young guys have strong life energy, so it must have been weakened a little. Now
we’re surrounded by a whole horde of evil spirits, there’s nothing we can do… oh, shit, why is there another one?”
A squeaking laughter can be heard from the corner of the room, Shen looks down and sees a five year old girl kneeling on the floor, eerily giggling, and trying to grab the cat’s tail playfully. Guo jumps on to Shen and holds on to him like a koala with a tree.
“Help!” Guo’s face is covered in tears, saliva and snot, and he screams at the top of his voice, “ghost!! It’s a ghost!!”
The child ghost floats towards Guo, and curiously looks up to the scaredy officer. Guo carefully looks downwards, and sees it stick its tongue out and roll its eyes back, while her head spins a three hundred and sixty and almost detaches.
Guo is too frightened that he can’t even pass out, he hangs on to Shen as tightly as he can and continues screaming, “ahhhhhhh!!! Ghost!!!”
Shen stands upright like a soldier, and is comically trapped amidst the ghost child, the stupid koala, and the horde of hungry ghosts.
A few metres in, Zhao’s revealing watch is already starting to malfunction; there are way too many evil things in here.
“Hey fake monk, my watch is broken again, use whatever tricks you have, and be quick.”
Lin sits on the floor, closes his eyes, and holds the prayer beads in his hands. He chants mantras in a soft voice. Zhao impatiently waits against the wall.
A moment later, Lin opens his eyes, and shouts, “there!”
The prayer beads quiver and rattle, and Lin Jing the Saint stands up and points to a direction, “over there.”
Zhao starts walking, and remarks, “that was faster than usual.”
Lin sluggishly explains, “they are both guys, and young, so their life energy combined is very easy to spot.”
Zhao pauses, “two guys? What about the girl?”
“Da Qing is there too, but the girl isn’t.”
Zhao frowns, it’s true that Da Qing is just a cat, and a lazy one too, but it’s not cruel and frivolous, and there is even the Professor, he could not have abandoned Li Qian.
“That’s impossible, Shen would never abandon a student.”
Zhao has only met the Professor for a short time, but he has a strong feeling that he is not that kind of person.
Lin asks, “who’s this Shen person? I thought the trainee is called Guo?”
Zhao only says, “you don’t need to know.”
Lin pauses for a moment, and makes a realisation, “the last time you tried to avoid conversation like that you were falling for the campus belle; so tell me, who’s the beauty this time? Wait, is it a guy or a girl?”
Zhao ignores him, “Amitabha, that which is emptiness is form.”
Lin has nothing to say.
Zhao lights the way with the lighter; the convoluted corridors intersect and diverge like a deadly spider lair.
Why isn’t Li Qian with the guys? Why would they abandon the girl? Or… do they just think that they are with her?
At this moment, ‘Li’ opens her eyes.