Volume 4: Shadow of the Grudge II
Zheng and the other two waited until the area was crowded then came out from under the trees. Since Yinkong’s clothes were stained with blood, Zheng gave her his jacket and put an arm over her shoulders just like a brother holding his little sister.
Jie and Yinkong looked at him in surprise. Zheng smiled calmly. “It looks more natural this way. After we get inside the hotel, just chat about random stuff. Best if you can keep a smile. We won’t attract attention this way… Hoho, is it alright to hold onto you for a while, Yinkong?”
She turned her head away and replied coldly, “Doesn’t matter.”
Zheng and Jie realized her figure was so different when she took off her jacket. The little girl’s chest was so big it instantly attracted the two men’s attention.
Although Yinkong didn’t care about their stares, her expression changed a bit when Zheng put his jacket on her. So that was why she wasn’t annoyed when Zheng put his arm around her.
“… Jie, Yinkong, I think our thoughts had gone into the wrong direction. Maybe it was overconfidence or maybe I lost myself after I came back from the real world, so much that I forgot our original goal… to survive.
“We all just want to survive.”
As the two of them looked confused, Zheng smiled bitterly. “Jie, do you still remember what I said to you in the last movie? I said I will do my best to protect my comrades, to trust and support them, then we will survive with the power of the team… My thoughts went in the wrong direction. The problem is who can become my comrade?”
“Like those normal people, they’re mentally weak and can drag us into danger, and those that can betray us at critical moments are not qualified to become our comrades. Yet I included all these newbies. This was a fatal mistake.”
“I will continue with my ideology. The power of comradery is very important. We should trust and support each other. I won’t treat everyone as a number like Xuan did! But I will change what I did wrong. Only people who’ve gained the trust of everyone in our team, have talent, and pass a trial can become our comrades. As for those normal people…”
Zheng fell into a silence when he reached these words. Jie and Yinkong looked at him quietly.
“As for those normal people… I can offer them some help, like weapons and warnings, but their lives won’t be a reason to put this team in danger. In necessity, I will abandon normal people for the team. Xuan was right with this point. This is a cruel world, everyone is just struggling to stay alive. We are the same…”
It didn’t take long for their bus to reach Sunlight Hotel. Thanks to it being the tourist season, they easily mixed into the crowd and got to the stairs. They didn’t want to take the elevator because of the smell of blood. It wasn’t until they climbed over a dozen floors and opened the door to their room that they let out a sigh of relief.
Zero, Lan and Tengyi were having breakfast on a table. Aside from the bandage on Tengyi’s head, they looked like they were in good shape. At least they didn’t panic when the three opened the door.
Zero asked, “Doing well?”
Zheng replied with a smile, “Yeah, stayed in the darkness for a night. Fortunately we haven’t been killed by the ghost…”
The atmosphere became relaxed. Zheng and the other two also sat down for breakfast. After eating, Zheng had them sitting on the sofa then stood in front of them.
“I’m sorry.” Zheng bowed at them then said, “This was my fault. I forgot that the most important thing as a leader… is to be responsible for the safety of my team, and not for everyone like a savior. They want to live. We too want to live. Sorry… From now on, I will only be responsible for our team. I can help newbies but I will not risk our team to help them. At the same time, any newbies that want to join our team must have talent, be someone we can trust, and over half our team has to agree… Sorry! Let us do our best to survive!”
The other five people looked at him in shock. Jie was the first one to jump up. “Zheng, you don’t have to blame yourself. We were all too careless. We’re also responsible for the loss of the scriptures…”
“No, I think he is right.” Yinkong adjusted the jacket and said calmly, “As a leader, perhaps you don’t need to have overwhelming power, or an unparalleled intelligence. What you need is to be able to identify and make use of everyone’s strengths. You actually have the potential to bring together people around you. And anyone who isn’t a team member… you have to view them as enemies before they become a team member.”
Zheng smiled at her then her turned to Lan, who had been staring at him in a daze. “Ok, that’s it for the self-blaming. Lan, aside from Xuan, you’re the best at deduction. I want to ask: Why do you think God puts us through various horror movies?”
Lan blushed and forced herself to calm down. “Probably to have us experience horror? Or to face death? No… If we include Xuan’s deduction, I think God wants us to evolve, to break through the limitation of our body on the brink of death. Then evolve and unlock the genetic constraint. If Xuan’s deductions are correct, I think this is the only answer.”
Zheng nodded. “Right, I think so as well. God probably wouldn’t just want to put us in the horror movies to die. There’s actually a method to solve or defeat the enemies in each movie. In other words, God won’t put us in a hopeless situation.”
Jie finally got it. “You mean the scriptures were the hint God gave us? F*ck, those two assholes…”
“No, I mean… uh, how should I put it. The scriptures may be one of the methods that can fight the Ju-On, but why should we be so scared of the Ju-On?”
The other people were confused by what he said. Then Lan’s eyes lit up as she thought of a possibility. Zheng continued with a smile. “Yes, why should we be afraid of it? The main reason is that we can’t understand it. We’d put ourselves in the position of the movie characters! But we forgot that we aren’t actually people from this world. We know that we are fighting against ghosts, even though we don’t know how they attack but this is enough…”
“We don’t actually have to be scared of the Ju-On. Just think of it as an Alien with invisibility! Perhaps it will sneak up on us when we are not paying attention but it isn’t something unbeatable, as long as we have the courage to fight it! It isn’t impossible to kill the Ju-On because we have magical bullets!”
Zheng’s words affected everyone. They had never encountered the Ju On face to face since they came into the movie. The reason Zheng was so scared since the beginning was because he put himself into the shoes of the movie characters. All the victims died in the movies. In contrast, if it was someone who hadn’t watched this movie and he had a gun with magical bullets, he would probably have the courage to fight the Ju-On. Because he would only think of the ghosts as a monster, and not an unbeatable and unavoidable curse!
Yes, just think of the Ju-On as a monster, a monster that one can hit and kill!
“Now then, we have just to verify one thing. That is if the magical bullets can damage the ghosts from the Ju-On!”
After Zheng finished talking and was about to assign them tasks, the communication device he was carrying started vibrating. He quickly turned it on and there came the familiar voice.
“This is Xuan…”
P.S. The title of this chapter is Growing Up and… Message