The bright moon outshone all the surrounding stars, making them look sparse.
The bell rang, signifying the end of the evening self-study period. The students walked out of the classroom in groups, chattering in joy while walking home under the night sky. After a diligent day of study, this might be their most relaxing time.
There was no homework and no teacher but friends around them. Soon, they would reach home, take a shower and then climb onto their respective bed.
A large group of more than a dozen people emerged among the scattered crowds. They walked neatly and steadily out of the school.
In the middle of them was a boy with black satin wrapped around his eyes. He was like the dumpling’s stuffing, being surrounded tightly.
Such a group immediately attracted the attention of all the surrounding students.
“Actually, I can walk back by myself. I’m serious.” Lin Qiye’s mouth twitched slightly, and he said helplessly, “I can see. It’s just that my eyes aren’t good with lights.”
“It’s fine, Lin Qiye!” Jiang Qian interrupted Lin Qiye and said righteously, “We promised your aunty to take good care of you, and we will follow it through!”
“Yeah, Qiye. It happens that our homes are in the same direction, and we are all on the same path.”
“I’m on the same path home too.”
Lin Qiye was speechless.
To be honest, he preferred to be the isolated one. He had been in the dark for a long time, and he was not used to the feeling of being cared for by so many people, which made him uncomfortable.
Of course, Aunty and Yang Jin did not count because they were his family.
But after all, it was their kindness, and he could not say anything about it, so he could only helplessly follow the crowd forward.
“I’m about to turn right at the intersection ahead of me, but I can follow you through a little further.”
“I’m about to make a turn here. I’m leaving the group first. See you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow.”
As they got farther and farther from the school, the classmates surrounding Lin Qiye bid farewell and left. A few minutes later, only five people were left by Lin Qiye’s side.
The originally noisy atmosphere gradually quieted down, giving Lin Qiye some space and air. He could not help but breathe a long sigh of relief.
“Do you think the fog will become active again and swallow Ta-Hsia?” Li Yifei turned his head curiously and asked with his bag on his back.
“Didn’t you listen to those experts? The probability of the fog becoming active again is small. Maybe it will not change for another hundred years. As for what will happen after a hundred years… Anyway, we are not here anymore. Why worry so much?” Jiang Qian rolled his eyes.
“Haih, it’s not like you don’t know. What the experts say is the most unreliable. What if the fog consumes the entire Ta-Hsia when we’re enrolled in the university and haven’t enjoyed our life. Wouldn’t it be a loss?”
“So that’s why you are messing around every day now and don’t concentrate on your studies?” Jiang Qian walked up to Li Yifei and said sternly, “I have to remind you that Teacher Wang has already said that if you’re the last place for the final exam this time, your seat will be moved to the podium.”
“I know, I know.” Li Yifei sneered.
“However, I don’t think the fog will be active again.” Wang Shao, who was walking at the front, blurted, “In the end, the fog is just a natural phenomenon, and it will gradually subside after reaching a certain critical level. Just like the Ice Age when the ice glaciers cover the earth. As the temperature rises, it will slowly recede, and a new era will follow.”
“I know what you’re talking about. It seems to be called the theory of natural disasters, right? The recognition of it is quite high now.” Jiang Qian nodded.
“Then what if this fog is not a natural phenomenon?” At this moment, Lin Qiye, who had been silent for a while, suddenly spoke up.
Wang Shao was stunned for a moment, then smiled, “Qiye, do you believe what the so-called Theologians claim, thinking that this fog is related to supernatural power?”
“It’s the 21st century. We have to believe in science. There is no supernatural stuff in the world.” A classmate named Liu Yuan interjected.
Lin Qiye did not answer. He knew best in his heart whether there was anything beyond science in this world, but there was no need to tell outsiders about these things.
Li Yifei whispered, “I think the world should be more interesting if those things exist.”
“Let’s forget about that nonsense. These matters are not our concern. Instead of being troubled if the fog becomes active, it is much better to sleep for our holiday. You know the Survival Day.” Jiang Qian smiled.
“Yes, holidays are more important!”
At this moment, the old town of Cangnan City.
A man was carrying a sign, walking unhurriedly on the lonely and dim street. The dim light from the old street lamps stretched his shadow longer and longer.
He glanced at his phone, walked to a narrow street, and stopped.
“This is the place…” He muttered, put down the sign on his shoulder, and straightened it.
Under the flickering street lights, the shadows of the sign trembled. On the black shadow, the bright red characters were eye-catching — Do Not Enter!
The man leaned against the street lamp, lit a cigarette, took a deep breath, and turned on his earphones.
“Captain, the third sign is in place.”
“Got it, let’s get started.”
“En.” With a cigarette in his mouth, the man walked to the sign, put his thumb on the tip of his teeth, and bit it hard!
A drop of blood seeped out from the wound. The man squatted down and used his blood-stained thumb to draw a long horizontal line on the words “Do Not Enter”!
He focused his gaze ahead, exuding an inexplicable momentum with him as the center!
He looked up at the black night sky and muttered in a voice only he could hear.
“Forbidden Ruin, [Monastic Territory].”
At the next moment, the bright red bloodstain on the sign in front of him quickly faded as if it had been absorbed. Then, the words “Do Not Enter” flashed in red!
Then, it gradually returned to normal.
The man sat down on the ground, let out a sigh of relief, and complained a little.
“Damn, I’m exhausted.” If someone had a bird’s eye view of the Cangnan City from the sky, they would find three points of light flickering near the old town. These three lights outlined a dark red equilateral triangle!
At the moment when the triangle was formed, half of the old town was covered up. This place was like being wiped off the map, gradually disappearing.
From the ground, the old town was still the same old town.
In the center of the triangle, six black and red cloaks streaked across the sky like lightning!
The man in the lead looked up at the dark red sky, reached out his hand to hold the saber’s handle behind him, and narrowed his eyes slightly.
“Let’s commence the Ghost-faced Creatures purge operation.”