Chapter: 16

Guo hears some noise, and sees Li standing up.

Her movement is disoriented, like a broken puppet controlled by an inexperienced puppeteer. Perhaps this is due to the sedatives.

Guo is relieved, “oh thank god you’re alright.”

Li stays silent, and blandly stares at him.

Guo finds it rather strange, “Li?”

He walks forward to take a closer look, but Shen blocks his way.

Li smiles eerily, and her mouth curves up to an unnatural crescent. A strange cackling sound is heard from her throat; her shoulders abruptly twitch, and her body quivers.

The next moment, Li pounces forward at lightning speed, opens her mouth and attacks Shen’s shoulder.

In the dim light of the phone, her mouth opens wide and her eyes are almost popping out; her teeth protrude like that of a menacing beast.

Shen moves backwards, and dodges sideways, bumping into Guo. Guo struggles; flailing, he attacks Li helplessly like a frantic octopus… his attacks are rather awkward, but he hits Li across the face by chance, and the possessed girl stumbles backwards.

Guo screeches in tears, “don’t come here! Don’t come here! Help!!”

The situation cannot get more chaotic: Shen pushes Guo to the wall, and grabs hold of Li by her shoulders.

Li wriggles and twists like a crab in a cooking pot, clawing and biting chaotically. Shen clutches her neck from behind, pushes her to the wall, and constricts her quivering hands.

The small storage room has all sorts of occurrences in and out: a hissing girl, a ghost child hugging the leg of a crying policeman, a swearing cat, and horrifying fingernails scratching at the door from outside.

Although Shen is more composed than any human can ever be in this kind of situation, he wonders whether he is having a schizophrenic dream.

“Who can help me tie her up?” Shen asks, but to no avail, as the crying human and screaming cat can’t be of any help; Shen raises his voice, “stop crying, Officer Guo, that thing won’t bite you, come and help me!”

Coincidentally, the ghost child opens its mouth and nibbles on Guo’s leg.

Guo screeches like a dolphin, but the cat paws him across the head to calm him down.

“Look at your leg, you idiot!”

Guo looks down, and sees that the child’s mouth goes straight through his leg like air.

Guo blinks; it seems that his cowardly brain only imagined the pain.

Li grows stronger and stronger as she frantically howls, and Shen yells, “Officer Guo!!”

Guo scrambles over and takes off his belt; embarrassingly, his pants are almost falling off, and he clumsily ties up the girl.

Suddenly, the spirit of the old lady reappears and anxiously looks to Li. It tries to touch the young girl, but only passes through her, and the ghost begins to weaken the more it moves.

Guo can’t help but want to stop it, “hey old lady…”

His hand goes through it.

It turns around and looks at Guo with its wrinkly eyes; it desperately tries to say something, but no sound comes out. Its face is laden with utter despair.

Helplessly, grandma stares at Li.

Quietly, tears fall down its face.

The tears are muddy and murky, like the Yellow River.

Guo brainlessly stands aside, and asks about Li, “what’s… what’s wrong with her?”

Shen is lost in thought, but Da Qing sighs, “something evil is inside her; this girl really is unlucky, even you are fine, and yet she is possessed.”

Guo can’t tell if this is a compliment or an insult.

Clank!!! The small iron door bursts open. A giant scythe comes viciously slashing in.

Shen nimbly dodges downwards, and pushes Li to the side. The hungry ghost’s claw narrowly misses his skull. A few hair strands quiver in the air.

The hungry ghost has gotten bigger than before, and pounces forward, right through ghost grandma’s body. Its horrified expression remains, but its body vanishes instantly.

Da Qing screams, “dodge!!”

All Guo can do is sit helpless on the floor. Da Qing jumps to a high spot, and its body begins bulking up to almost twice the size; its eyes turn gold. On top of the shelf stands a small panther with razor-sharp teeth.

Da Qing spurts out a beam of supersonic sound waves; the humans cannot hear it, but they can feel the sheer power bursting towards the hungry ghost, like a thousand knives raining downwards.

The next second, the hungry ghost slams against the wall; Shen can barely see a crack on the wall.

The evil ghost sticks to the wall like a nailed wall decoration. Da Qing returns to normal size, stumbles forward, and feebly falls down. Shen catches it just in time, and Da Qing breathlessly glances at Shen, and passes out in his arms.

Guo rushes forward to check if it’s dead, and is relieved to find that Da Qing is only asleep from fatigue.

“What do we do?” Guo panics.

Before anyone can say anything, an earth-shaking howl blasts through the room.

Guo falls back down on the floor.

The hungry ghost on the wall starts moving again, and a horde of black shadows gather from the corridor into the room; the hungry ghost absorbs countless spirits and its gigantic stomach keeps expanding and expanding like a balloon.

It lands on the floor on its skinny legs, and stumbles towards the two men, viciously slashing the air with its scythes.

Guo horrifyingly realises that he is moving further away from Shen and closer to the ghost by the minute.

“I’m being sucked in!!!” Guo loses his voice.

“I’m being eaten alive!!!” Guo struggles to grab something in mid-air, “I… I’m a police officer! I’m being eaten alive!!”

His brain begins to malfunction; nobody knows what being a police officer has anything to do with being eaten alive.

Perhaps the hungry ghost is annoyed by him, and roars; Guo begins floating and rising as if being clutched at the neck by an invisible hand. He no longer makes any sound.

Shen grabs his hand and tries to pull him back; Guo feels as if he is being split in two.

Da Qing is still unconscious, Li wriggles on the floor, and the giant hungry ghost approaches slowly with a whole horde of smaller spirits.

The situation cannot be worse.

At this crucial moment, a sharp whistle can be heard from outside, bursting through the room and the dark spirits like a bright dazzle.

The ghost child is horrified, screams, and escapes down the floor.

A black dagger slashes between Guo and the hungry ghost, as if cutting an invisible rope, and the ghost smashes against the wall. Guo falls backwards on to Professor Shen, and the two stumble…

Guo falls flat on the ground, but Shen is caught by someone.

Zhao wraps his arms around Shen’s waist and steps aside, his face is roughly visible under the dim light of the lighter: handsome, cool, and sharply contoured like a well-crafted statue. His eyes sparkle in the sheer darkness like two passionate flames, quivering in a most seductive dance.

Chief Zhao successfully keeps his captivating pretence, and lowers his voice like an untamed wolf, looking into the Professor’s eyes like a hero saving a damsel in distress, “Professor Shen, are you alright?”

Nobody remembers the poor trainee on the floor.

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