Chapter 35: The Beginning of Death
It’s beginning to shower.
Mist is hovering above the surface of the river, and the bridge above it seems to be swaying even more in the rain.
Han Chen and Bai Jin Xi cross it.
A dense forest is up ahead. The sound of rain drowns out all other noises. Not a single person can be seen in their view.
Jin Xi can feel the forest’s dampness through her clothes. The mud beneath her feet is also moist, making it hard to walk on.
Han Chen is walking beside her. The blood stains have been wiped away from his face, but a long and thin cut can be seen. It’s as if it’s a declaration to them: they have been under T’s control all along. They must continue playing the game according to his rules, or else he can kill a person at any time.
And if they want to stop him, there are only two ways——
They either have to find him;
Or end this competition as soon as possible and gather everyone together so that he can’t do anything.
It’s just that this landscape is too complicated and the rain is pouring too hard, washing away all the footprints. It’s too difficult to round up everyone at this point. They run for about half an hour before hearing faint sounds of gunshots amid the pouring rain.
Han Chen gestures with his hands for Jin Xi to follow him and walk around the back of the slope. But within a few steps, they suddenly hear the sound of someone pulling the gun bolt above their heads. They both look up immediately. In perfect timing, Han Chen holds up his gun, pulls the bolt, and fires a series of shots before the other person, “Bang, bang, bang.”
The other person is struck dumb as he lowers his gun. In the rain, Jin Xi can still make out his face clearly. It’s the sunshine boy of the Blue Team, Yan Er.
He clicks his tongue and throws his gun to the ground, as well as removing the sensor device from his body. Han Chen and Jin Xi climb up the slope.
“You’re too quick, aren’t you?” Yan Er says. Probably because he’s feeling extremely tired, he sits himself down in a muddy puddle and wipes away the rain on his face, “I should’ve fired at you secretly from behind!”
Han Chen doesn’t comment on his complaints. He looks around at the top of the slope and asks him, “Where are the others?”
Yan Er looks up at him and responds lazily, “I don’t know. It’s raining too hard, so it became chaotic. I waited for a long while before spotting you guys.”
Han Chen and Jin Xi look at each other.
Yan Er is the first person that they’ve bumped into after crossing the bridge. And T’s gunshot was fired from this direction.
Jin Xi squats in front of him and says grinning, “Yan Er, since you’re done already, it doesn’t matter to you on which side wins. Why don’t you tell us where they’ve headed to.”
Yan Er glances at her, “If I tell you guys, what’s in it for me?”
Jin Xi thinks for a second and answers, “If we win the prize money, we’ll give you a portion of it?”
He sits up straight right away and looks at her with a faint smile on his face, “How much do I get? You have to keep your words.”
His serious tone makes him seem like a greedy person. Jin Xi responds smiling, “10 thousand RMB.” He probably won’t believe her if she gives him more than that.
Just as she expected, he looks at her and then looks up at Han Chen, “Can I trust her words?”
Han Chen answers, “Yes.”
Yan Er smiles, “I knew you would listen to your girlfriend.” He looks towards Jin Xi, “Deal.” He points over to the right side of the forest, “I got lost and separated from the Blue Team, but the Red Team was heading in that direction.”
Jin Xi gets up and looks at Han Chen. Han Chen says, “You come with us.”
But Yan Er doesn’t move. He picks a leaf from the side, uses it to cover his face, lies down and says, “I’m exhausted. Since I’ve lost already, I’m not going.”
Jin Xi tries to persuade him but he refuses. He takes out his headphones, puts them on and blocks out their words. There are still seven people. They cannot stop here. Therefore, Han Chen says, “Go over to the bridge or stay here and don’t move. Watch for your own safety.”
Yan Er waves his hand, “Don’t worry. Although your shooting skills are better than mine, you definitely can’t compare to my outdoor survival skills.”
They walk for another ten minutes or so, and they do indeed spot a few people. Han Chen blows a few whistles as instructed by Zhang Mu Han.
He gets a response back right away.
The five of them gather around.
Han Chen goes over to Zhang Mu Han.
“What’s the situation?” he asks.
Zhang Mu Han answers, “We haven’t caught Fang Xu. We followed him here, but after he ran behind the slope, he hasn’t come out yet. Once he does, we’ll finish him.” He turns and looks at Han Chen, “What about you two?”
Han Chen also takes a look at the slope ahead and then says softly, “I finished Yan Er.”
Xia Zi exclaims a soft “yeah” and nudges Zhang Mu Han, “You see? He’s so awesome!”
Zhang Mu Han is a little upset from her comment and says coldly, “There’s no need to exclaim about it.”
Jin Xi glances at everyone else and says by his ear, “What should we do now?”
Han Chen puts his hand softly on her shoulder and whispers, “Let’s find Fang Xu and then think of a way to lead them back to the bridge.”
Jin Xi nods.
They wait for a while, but there’s still no one coming out.
Han Chen holds up his gun, “I’ll go take a look.”
Jin Xi: “I’m coming too.”
Since they’re willing to take a chance, Zhang Mu Han doesn’t object to it.
They make their way to the slope slowly and discover that there is no one behind it. Fang Xu is long gone.
Han Chen straightens his back. Just when he is about to signal to Zhang Mu Han, he hears a faint and mournful scream from a woman’s voice, “Ah!——” penetrating through the forest and into his ears.
Han Chen and Jin Xi raise their heads and see the shock in each other’s eyes. Zhang Mu Han and the other two also turn their heads.
In the next second, Han Chen and Jin Xi are already sprinting to where the sound originated.
Blood everywhere on the ground.
Meandering streams of blood are mixed in with the muddy ground and are spread across by the falling rain, leaving big patches of red. And the source of the blood is from the young man lying on the ground.
His eyes are wide open. He’s lying on the ground without any movement. His camouflage clothes are stained with blood at his chest, as well as his face. A deep and long knife cut has been left on his neck, exposing the bone inside.
Blood is still rushing out from it.
Ke Fan, Xiao You, and Fang Xu are standing a few meters away. They seem completely dumbstruck. The one who let out a horrified scream just now was Li Ming Yue. She’s almost collapsed at the side of a tree trembling as she stares at Yan Er on the ground.
Han Chen and Jin Xi are shocked by the scene. Han Chen dashes to Yan Er, wanting to press onto his neck. But the moment he touches him, he realizes that he is no longer breathing. It’s just that his blood has not been completely drained yet.
It hasn’t been half an hour since they left the area!
Zhang Mu Han and the others have arrived. Xia Zi immediately lets out an even more terrified scream than Li Ming Yue’s after seeing the body on the ground.
“What happened? Is he dead? Who killed him?” Zhang Mu Han asks in a shaky voice as he looks at everyone at the scene.
“There’s something written!” Ke Fan says suddenly, pointing at a tree beside the body. Everyone turns to look. Han Chen and Jin Xi are the closest. They can see clearly that someone has used a knife stained with blood to engrave the characters on the tree trunk——
“What does it mean? What does first one mean?” Xia Zi asks in a teary voice and buries herself into Zhang Mu Han’s embrace.
At the same time, Li Ming Yue, who’s leaning on a tree, turns around suddenly and looks at them with an unreadable expression. She gets up in a split second, pulls a knife out of her boot, turns around and runs towards the direction of the bridge.
Everyone reacts right away and also runs towards the bridge, wanting to leave the place immediately.
Han Chen and Jin Xi take a look at the body on the ground and follow everyone else, watching each of their movements to prevent T from taking action again.
Half an hour later.
When they get to the cliff facing the other side of the mountain, they’re all in shock.
The suspension bridge that was standing before has been disconnected by somebody. The area above the river is completely empty; only a broken bridge is dangling on the side of the other cliff, swaying in the rain and wind.
“Ah——” it’s Xia Zi screaming.
The rain is pouring down harder.
Everyone is standing like frozen statues. Xia Zi is shaking in her boyfriend’s embrace. Li Ming Yue is quiet with a grave expression on her face.
Jin Xi is staring at the rushing river when she suddenly feels warmth in her hand. It’s Han Chen holding her hand.
She twists her hand and grabs him back.
Ke Fan, who’s standing in front of everybody, turns around suddenly and looks at the two of them.
He pulls out a knife from his boot and points it at them. You Chuan, Fang Xu, and Li Ming Yue watches him. After feeling stunned for a moment, they all pull out their knives and point it at them. Zhang Mu Han and Xia Zi are staring at them from behind as they step backward. Zhang Mu Han makes eye contact with his girlfriend and they also pull out their knives. Professor Sun hasn’t taken any action but has also taken a few steps back.
“Only you two are newcomers,” Ke Fan says in a raspy and shaky voice, “Was it done by you guys!? Why!?”