As long as you face your fear, you won’t be afraid anymore.
Ye Zun took a deep breath and quickly glanced to his left and right.
There was nothing at all.
He looked at the paper ball in his hand, not knowing who to throw it to, so he just kept it in his hand and rolled it into his desk cubby.
Just like this, class was over.
After class, everyone didn’t move around or talk very much, and the whole school was under that depressive atmosphere as usual.
After the case with the paper ball, Ye Zun suddenly understood why everyone behaved in this way.
On the surface, everyone was probably acting naturally, but on the inside, they were guarding themselves against the ghost in their school, therefore no one could speak loudly.
But it may not necessarily be a “ghost” in the literal sense.
When at school, students will always regard those who like to give short reports to teachers as the traitors among students; the ghosts hidden in the crowd.
Maybe this ghost is just a metaphor.
The third class, English
Because this was an international school, this language could be regarded as everyone’s common language.
After the class bell rang for a long time, the door of the classroom slowly slid open.
A female teacher, whose movements made her body appear like she was fluttering, walked in.
The female teacher looked like she was in very poor health and extremely overworked.
Her face was yellow in hue and thin, wavering around like a paper cut-out.
She braced herself with the podium and stood at the front, weakly announcing to everyone, “Laoshi* has fallen ill recently.
For this class, everyone can self-study first.”
The two class leaders immediately stood up in concern, supporting the teacher who had sweat oozing from her forehead while persuading her to go back and rest in the teacher’s office or go to the hospital.
The classroom was noisy for a while and then suddenly quietened inexplicably.
Everyone lowered their heads and wrote something on paper, deeply buried in this task.
Very quickly, a note began to travel everywhere again.
After a while, it was thrown to Ye Zun’s desk.
Ye Zun carefully observed he ball before unwrapping it, seeing the words written in the common language—
“We can’t sit around and wait for death.
I suspect that someone in the classroom has been turned by the ghost into its same kind.
We need to investigate.”
“Who do you think is the ghost? Write down the name you think is the most likely, no one can skip! If you skip, you are the ghost!”
There was a long list of responses, each one basically writing one to three names.
If you asked Ye Zun who was most like a ghost in the school, there was no doubt that Shen Yuan would definitely be on the list.
However, didn’t the last note still say they couldn’t act rashly and alert the enemy* and that if they said the name of the ghost, there would be danger? Why are they eliminating the people who hold different views now? Who even is the person who initiated this note-throwing cycle?
[T/N: literally, beat the grass to scare the snake]
If they run through the checklist and find out who has become a ghost, what happens next? What can they do to the classmate who turned into a ghost?
If they really are a ghost, is it actually good to find out?
Ye Zun felt an unexplainable panic that something was wrong, but this lingering feeling was unclear.
It was as if something dangerous was approaching.
He held a pen and the slip of paper, paused, and carefully lowered his head.
Turning his head little by little, he looked past his shoulder and behind him.
At the back of the classroom, opposite to the hand-drawn blackboard newspaper*, a figure stood in the middle of the spacious ink-black background.
No one knew when it appeared.
[T/N: search 黑板报区, its like a motivational poster drawn on the chalkboard]
White clothes and the wall merged into one, the black upper body and its hair integrated with the blackboard.
On the blackboard, it was frantically writing something.
As if it suddenly noticed something, it slowly turned its head——the white face was not like a real person.
It was like a graffitied surface, scribbled on with chalk.
Those dark green eyes filled with resentment directly stared in Ye Zun’s direction, then the black and red mouth split open.
Thump, thump, thump!
Even though the angle he turned backwards was small, and although he twisted his head to the front immediately before he was completely confronted, Ye Zun’s eyes still opened wide.
His heartbeat was out of control.
He inhaled deeply, trying to slow his breathing and heartbeat.
——Calm yourself, calm down, if it beats too quickly, you will be found!
These mental cues were useful.
Ye Zun’s heart rate quickly calmed down, but it was still slightly too fast.
——The ghost has seen me ba?! It should have already seen me, it noticed me in my dream when I was sleeping.
——I can’t stay here anymore.
Right, I need to leave.
“…if you are in danger, you can escape here, to me.”
“…my classroom happens to be right above yours, you can come to me if something comes up.”
——Lin is a priest, maybe he has a way.
Doing his best to calm down, Ye Zun stood up and pressed his slightly trembling fingers on the back of the chair to steady himself.
He lightly pushed the chair away and walked out, looking straightforward.
The class leader who maintained order was a tall and strong boy.
At this moment, he frowned unhappily and glared at Ye Zun who suddenly got out of his seat, and sternly scolding, “What are you doing? Even if the teacher is not here, class is still on!”
Ye Zun pursed his lips.
“Going to the toilet.”
The class leader still frowned and had a very unfriendly expression, but Ye Zun didn’t care whether the other party was happy or not.
He glanced at the back of the classroom, intentionally or otherwise, but he saw nothing but a normal, empty space.
He wasn’t at ease, only feeling that his back was getting colder and colder.
He immediately quickened his pace and hurried out of the classroom before he was intercepted by the class leader.
The sky was densely dark and the corridor had no lights, making the surrounding even more dim.
But in the far distance, there was light peeking out from the clouds, making the situation more bearable.
During this class period, Ye Zun stood in the corridor alone, feeling that this entire area of teaching was dead still, unnaturally so.
That is until he caught the teachers’ voices from other classrooms.
Everything was very normal and all right.
After the fear dissipated, Ye Zun began to doubt himself.
——Was the ghost that I saw back then real? Or was it because of the nightmare and the implications on that note, that I mistook the blackboard newspaper and imagined the whole thing?
He stood in the corridor and turned around to look back into the classroom.
There was a comforting atmosphere under the orange light, with nothing strange or inexplicable.
Ye Zun breathed a sigh of relief, but still didn’t dare to go back.
He also didn’t dare to actually make a trip to the bathroom.
No one needs to be told to know that the toilet has always given people the creeps.
The birth of half of all ghost stories originates from the bathroom, and the other half from the girls bathroom at school.
He naturally didn’t need to go to the female bathroom, but there was only a wall between the male and the female bathrooms.
For ghosts, what is the difference?
He will go alone only when he goes insane.
Ye Zun thought for a while.
Afraid that the class leader would come out to reprimand him for being out for too long, he took a few steps and headed up the stairs.
There were three stairways in the corridor of the teaching building, on the left and right ends, as well as in the middle of the corridor.
Before, Lin walked the central path, and Ye Zun was now walking up the stairs on the right hand side facing the classroom as the previous excuse he gave was because he needed to use the bathroom, and the bathroom was on that side.
When he returned to reality, Ye Zun had already reached the third floor.
Standing in the corridor on the third floor, Ye Zun’s footsteps stalled.
He lightly pursed his lips.
Although Lin said that he could go and find him when he is in danger, but, if he went like this, what then?
Say that he suspected he saw a ghost?
He is not a child, and Lin is not his guardian.
Even if he said those words of protection, the other man also said that he hoped Ye Zun would work hard and become stronger in the Demon God’s Amusement Park.
No substantial danger has happened yet, but he wants to go and hide in fear.
How unreasonable was he?
——The ghost has not attacked me, and I have not yet encountered a life-threatening danger.
If I’m scared and surrender now, it’s far too embarrassing.
He obviously survived the novice trial with just himself to depend on, so why was he suddenly so fragile after meeting someone who was a little reliable?
Moreover, although the priest said the classroom he was teaching was above his, three periods have already passed, so it may not necessarily be the same classroom.
After thinking things through, Ye Zun built up his mental resilience while returning the same way he came, walking back downstairs.
After he turned the corner, a person walked out from the middle stairway in the third-floor corridor, quietly watching the back of his figure as he left.
“Not going to ask for help ah.” The low voice was soft, with emotions that could not be distinguished nor understood.
Ye Zun walked down the stairs from the third floor, and when he finished making his way down the zigzag stairs, he suddenly came to a stop.
On the floor between the stairway opening on the second floor and the corner to the corridor, a cheap rectangular duffle bag with an extendable handle was left there.
The plastic-lined duffle bag was bulging, as if it was packed with all sorts of shapely things and someone left it there due to its weight.
He didn’t know if it was because it had been soaked in foul water, but there are some dark stains on the lower part.
“What is this? Doesn’t seem like it’s filled with rubbish, are there old books inside?”
Who would put a duffle bag here in this school?
Saying that, he seemed to have seen this when he went up, but at that time he was too frightened and absentminded, so he didn’t pay attention.
Ye Zun walked past the bag from a distance, turning back for several glances, but in the end he still suppressed his curiosity and didn’t touch it.
Because the duffel bag really looked like a cheap model and visual inspection was not enough to probe what the contents were.
Maybe the bag will break if he lifts it just a little and the contents will fall out.
Ye Zun absolutely did not want to touch porcelain* and damage someone else’s belongings.
Although the money in his online mobile-wallet was sufficient for the time being, there wasn’t much, and definitely not enough to pay for compensation several times over.
[T/N: extortion, for example, if you run up to a car and pretend to be hit so the driver owes you compensation]
Coming out from the corner to the right stairway, the path leading to the classroom was the hallway-windows and wall of Nogawa Kaoru’s classroom.
The door to the classroom was on the left and the corridor was to its right.
Ye Zun’s steps couldn’t help slowing down.
The classroom was covered in a blanket of silence.
Everyone’s heads were bowed down as they did their homework.
The orange light gave off warmth.
Suddenly, his footsteps stagnated, and he tilted his head to look down.
He saw a small pool of thick, black blood on the floor of the corridor.
Ye Zun’s eyes slowly widened.
He held his breath, and in the next instant, he crouched down and hid himself in the blind corners of the walls and windows.
The heart leaped thump thump thump.
——What’s this? This is blood ba, such thick blood can only come from the rupture of large blood vessels!
Only when he squatted down closer to the ground did he notice that the floor was patched with a damp, light pink colour, as if there were originally more blood stains but were all roughly scrubbed away.
Because it was close to the bathroom, the stench of blood was covered up, so he never noticed it.
Ye Zun endured the fear that almost made him want to puke and carefully peered into the classroom.
What did he see?
The tall and sturdy class leader walked up and down the hallway of the classroom with his hands behind his back.
The classmates at the desks hung their heads quietly.
However, if one looked closely, they would find that everyone had a stiff posture.
Some had their heads down, lying on the tabletop.
Some were sitting unsteadily, leaning to the sides.
Some had their eyes wide open, a complete blank slate.
On the floor, on the tables, large swaths of thick blood soaked the workbooks.
The class leader patrolling with his arms behind him held a gleaming axe in his hand, with blood dripping from the blade, soaking into his sleeves!
Ye Zun stuck himself against the wall and slowly slid down, his Adam’s apple rolling without pause.
——Murderer! The class leader is a murderer! He killed everyone!
If he hadn’t made up an excuse to go to the bathroom earlier, would he have also been…
His intense fear suppressed the trembling in his body.
Ye Zun took in a deep breath.
The greater the fear he felt, the more calm he became.
He needed to escape, hurry to warn others, look for security guards, and call the police!
He must not be found!
Ye Zun crouched down, looked through the horizontal gap at the bottom of the window, and carefully observed the situation.
Then he suddenly retracted his eyes, pasting himself against the wall.
At the same moment, in the classroom’s window, the class leader with a shadowy and pale face stuck his entire face to the windowpane.
His black eyes looked straight down the corridor, to the stairs on the right.
Like he was waiting for the slippery fish who went to the toilet to come back.
The author has something to say:
When coming back from the toilet, the whole class is lying down and the murderer is waiting for you to come back.
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