Chapter 5: Child

The lights flickered and went out, the room plunging into darkness.


Shen Qingcheng’s hair was blown into his face by the gust generated from the slamming door.
He lost his footing, falling forward uncontrollably.
He thought bitterly that he had been walking around the world as a celestial master for so many years, but had never expected to get caught in this damn broken game.


Just when Shen Qingcheng thought he would hit the table, a pair of hands reached out from the darkness and accurately grasped his waist, with such a strong grip that his kidneys hurt a bit.


Shen Qingcheng naturally knew who was catching him, so he closed his eyes trustingly so they could adjust to the darkness.


Thus, he didn’t see the strange and tangled emotions in Lu Qi’s eyes when he caught his little movement.


“Little black room?”


His voice was still low and deep, like an elegant cello.


Shen Qingcheng was happy when he heard those words.
He hadn’t expected Lu Qi to have remembered something he had just thrown out casually–what a good friend.
Just as he was about to make a joke about the situation, Lu Qi released him and said coldly, “Stand still.”


He opened his eyes and stood up obediently, looking left and right.
He could faintly see the blurred outlines of the security office.


“Did you see who pushed me just now?”


“No.” He stepped aside.


Had he not seen the culprit, or had he seen that no one had been there? He poked a finger at his wide back and asked.


The light seemed to be broken.
Lu Qi had been trying to open the door when he noticed the poking at his back, and he immediately turned around and grabbed Shen Qingcheng’s hand.


“Ow, ow, ow!” Shen Qingcheng screamed, grimacing in pain.
His entire index finger was caught in the palm of his hand.
“Take it easy, I’m fragile!”


He was acting like Lu Qi hadn’t grabbed his hand, but instead had chopped it off.


He was calling out so painfully that Lu Qi held himself back from scolding him and said in an unkind tone, “Don’t stand behind me.”


“You just blocked the dust for me,” Shen Qingcheng muttered softly, rubbing his finger and glancing at the other man like he had suffered grievances.


Obviously he had been behind Lu Qi so he could avoid the dust.


Lu Qi didn’t care about his explanation at all.
He wasn’t particularly good with words, but no one had ever dared to be presumptuous in from of him in the past.
Shen Meiren seemed to have been born entirely to annoy him.


“Anyway, you don’t have to try to open the door.” Shen Qingcheng wanted to poke him again, but was stopped by his cold gaze.
Whatever, he wouldn’t poke him this time.
“You can’t get out.”


Only then did Lu Qi turn his full attention onto him.


“What do you mean?”


“Well,” Shen Qingcheng pursed his lips, motioning him to look under the crack of the door, “It should be past 8 by now.
Even if the sun wasn’t out, it shouldn’t be pitch-black outside.”


The security office door was made of wood, and the gap below it was about a finger wide.
In the dark room, light should be leaking in, but clearly it wasn’t.


“Did you see someone or not?” Shen Qingcheng asked.


Lu Qi looked up and said coldly, “It’s a child.”


Shen Qingcheng didn’t question the likelihood of there being such a strong child, instead complaining, “Children are more and more arrogant these days.
If I catch one, I’ll give them a good spanking.”


That girl from last time, for example.
She liked to watch TV while others were sleeping without saying anything, and she would even let out some discordant laughter from time to time.


Luckily, her parents were still sensible.
Once they saw their child being beaten up, they apologized honestly and promised to teach her well from now on.


“What are you thinking of?” Lu Qi looked at him questioningly.
This person seemed to know a lot about this.


Shen Qingcheng replied with a smile: “I was remembering a kid from my last copy.”


Lu Qi thought he was deflecting; how could he know that what Shen Qingcheng said was totally true?


Another gust of wind suddenly blew in the dark security office, and the last trace of warmth inside vanished.


There was a chill at their necks, as if someone was blowing a cold breath onto their napes.
The coldness crawled down their backs and goosebumps appeared all over their bodies, their scalps numbing.


The smile on Shen Qingcheng’s face disappeared, and he lowered his eyes to his wrist.


“What,” the other man followed his gaze, “Does it still hurt?”


He had consciously used very little of his strength, but Shen Qingcheng was too sensitive.


Hidden from both of their sights, a little boy, around four or five years old and wearing a small school bag on his back, was obediently grabbing Shen Qingcheng’s wrist.


His eyes were very big, and in his eye sockets were two thick black masses without whites.
They were filled with countless sins and resentment, in contrast to the calm expression on his face as he looked up quietly at the two men.


Shen Qingcheng shook his head, but it was unclear whether or not he was answering Lu Qi or not.
He reached out with his other hand and directly pulled the boy’s hand away from his wrist.


The boy was stunned for a moment, staring down blankly at his empty hand.
When he raised his head again, his calm expression had distorted, and two lines of bloody tears were flowing from his eyes.


The room temperature suddenly dropped by more than 10 degrees, and the cold began piercing into their skin and bones.


The monitoring screen on the wall started to flicker.
The screen was divided into several sections, where pictures intermittently appeared and disappeared.
The voices of women arguing and men hurling insults rang out.


A ear-piercingly sharp cry from the child suddenly sounded.


The light emitted by the monitoring screen brightened the room.
Only then did they realize that the piles of paper on the ground were not blank sheets of paper at all, but sheets of paper money¹.


Under their gazes, the cold white paper money was gradually died bright red.


“Mom–” The child’s screams turned from eager into meaningless crying.


This damn brat’s so resentful! Shen Qingcheng grimaced and covered his ears.


Lu Qi’s eyes were cold and his right hand moved–


Dong, dong².


The sudden knock on the door stopped the crying abruptly, and Lu Qi also stopped moving.


Dong, dong.
The person outside the door knocked twice, and an old voice asked, “Is there anyone in there?”


Shen Qingcheng quickly replied, “Yes, yes, yes!”


The flickering of the monitoring screen stopped, and it hung on the wall, blank and pitch black once again.
The overhead lights turned on.
The two of them looked at the bottom of the door, where there was visible light through the gap.


“Oh no, this door is locked.
I’ll find someone to open it,” the voice outside the door said.


“No, no, we know the password.” Shen Qingcheng poked the other man, urging, “Hurry up and tell him the password.”


Lu Qi rattled off a few numbers.


After a few beeps that indicated the owner of the voice was entering the password, the door of the security office opened from the outside.
An old lady with gray hair and a flowery dress stood at the door, and a child was holding on to her thigh and peeking out from behind her legs.


The old lady was obviously relieved to see them.
“Are you okay?”


Shen Qingcheng returned with a smile, “We’re okay, it was pretty cool inside.”


When the old lady heard that, she hesitated.


“Is there something wrong?” Shen Qingcheng asked.


She sighed and didn’t explain in the end, saying “It’s nothing.
No one has cleaned this place in a long time, and the inside is very dirty.
Unless there’s something wrong, you shouldn’t go in.”


“Were you pushed in?” She pulled the child out from behind her, and apologized, “I’m sorry, my child is too naughty.”


The child shrunk back, whimpering, and didn’t speak, just staring at them with resistance and fear.


The old lady had to apologize to them again.


Lu Qi watched them silently for a while, then suddenly asked, “Did anyone die here before kindergarten started?”


“Why are you asking this?” The old lady became vigilant, reaching for the child’s hand.
“What place in this world hasn’t seen death? It just isn’t always widely known.”


That answer didn’t satisfy Lu Qi, but she obviously didn’t want to elaborate further, and he didn’t know how to proceed.


Shen Qingcheng reached out, touching his shoulder.
When he looked at him, he said, “If you want to know, you can ask me.
I know that not only have people died in this kindergarten, there were at least two deaths, and it was possibly a mother and her son who died.”


After speaking, he looked at the old lady and smiled, “Am I right?”


“I don’t know anything about the nonsense you’re spouting.” The previously friendly old lady turned away and walked off with the child.
“Didn’t I tell you not to go to that security office any more? It’s not clean…”


The two watched the grandmother-grandson pair leave.


Shen Qingcheng: “Is that child the one who pushed me?”


“Well,” he said, his tone a little hesitant, “he’s human, so he shouldn’t be strong enough to have done it…”


“Well, there’s a simple explanation.
He was possessed.”


Lu Qi’s expression changed slightly.
“So you knew.”


Wasn’t this old news? Shen Qingcheng began to break the pot³, and the corners of his lips curled up.
“I knew, and I still know a lot more, but what will you give me in exchange?”


He poked his shoulder with a smile.
“Voluntary principle⁴, Lu-dage.”


【 Ah, I’m speechless, Beauty is really great at this 】


【 My surname is Lu, not “security guard”, understand? 🙂 】


【 Lu-dage, what kind of tiger and wolf words⁵ are these hahaha 】


【 Wuwuwu I feel a bit bad for God 7 but seeing Beauty duck behind God 7 to hide and then poke his head out to look is really cute 】


【 Today I learned that God 7 is really patient with Beauty, and this stupid dog game has finally grown a human conscience.
What a beautiful encounter~ 】


【 I’m new here, I’d just like to ask why God 7 is so low-key even though he’s so powerful? Zhou An’an is clearly accusing Beauty of being the killer… 】


【 Thanks for your question.
I have been a fan of God 7 for many years–when the game broadcast first inexplicably appeared, I became his fan.
Here I want to clarify that God 7 is actually a really good guy.
When he first started clearing copies, he would help other players all the time! Then something happened, and–well.
You know how it is.


【 Now God 7 is reluctant to take action, and will always wait to see if other players are worth exchanging information with at the beginning of each copy.
If they aren’t worth it, he’ll just explore alone.


【 Encounter? What encounter? Clearly God 7 has a relationship with Beauty! 】


【 I think these two are interacting quite normally, how can it be that exaggerated? 】


【 Hahaha, everyone knows that, but it doesn’t stop our YY⁶ 】


【 Ah~ Appeared~ The ghost appeared with a smile of death~ 】


【 I’ll kill this stupid dog game! I didn’t get to see God 7 hugging Beauty, I hate it so much!! 】


【 God 7 hugged him because Beauty was afraid of the little black room? Thanks, I hit⁷ it!! 】


【 Thinking of the two of them in a dark, cramped black room…hehehe 】


【 For one instant I wasn’t scared at all! 】


【 How does Beauty know it was a mother and son who died? I’m really curious about Beauty’s profession, it feels like he knows a lot 】


【 He’s poking Lu-dage again… Oh, Beauty is so good at this~ Losing to him isn’t disgraceful at all.


Before returning to the apartment, Lu Qi went back into the security office to check it again.
The monitoring screen was completely broken, and couldn’t turn on.
The computer was in good condition, but all the videos on it had been deleted, leaving only a few empty folders labeled “Qi Mei”.


“Remember the videos that the kid showed us?” Shen Qingcheng asked.
“It was the same woman in all of them.”


The men had changed several times, but they were all yanking at the woman.
Their relationships with her were clearly not great.


Lu Qi: “One of them was Liu Wangyu.”




Lu Qi didn’t elaborate.
“How could you tell that Shi Juan’s death was man-made?”


“Tell me who the killer was first.” Shen Qingcheng turned to walk backwards, looking into Lu Qi’s eyes.
“Actually, even if you don’t tell me, I already know.
Bai Yi, right?”

“Now our demands are equal,” he laughed.
“Tell me how you could tell the killer was Bai Yi.”


He didn’t know how to solve cases, but that didn’t stop him from being interested.


Lu Qi didn’t answer, and they walked to the apartments in silence, Zhou An’an bumped into them in the hall, and she directed a complicated gaze at Shen Qingcheng.


Shen Qingcheng: ???


“Bai Yi is dead.
You can go and take a look,” she said with a pale face.


Shen Qingcheng was surprised.
“So soon? I thought I would at least have to wait until night fell.”





¹ Paper money (纸钱) is money that is printed for the sole purpose of burning.
Burning paper money for a dead loved one is believed to send it to them in the realm of the dead, where they can spend it.

² Knocking onomatopoeia.

³ Breaking the pot (破罐子破摔了) is letting a situation run its course without trying to steer it to a different outcome.
Since he’s been exposed, he basically said “fuck it” and stopped trying to hide.

⁴ Voluntary principle (自愿原则) is a tenet of civil law.
Basically, civil subjects cannot impose their own will on others–they are free to accept a deal or refuse if they don’t like the terms.
Here, it means he wants to make a deal.
Think quid pro quo.

⁵ Tiger and wolf words (虎狼之词) is internet slang for dirty jokes/vulgar words.

⁶ YY stands for yiyin (意淫), slang for fantasizing about sexual acts.
Basically, they ship it.

⁷ Hitting it (磕到了) means that the poster is excited by their cp/the person they like, and their behavior is making the poster excited/happy.


Chapters will hopefully be posted on Mondays from now on.

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