Chapter 2: Supernatural Encounter

Wang Chenghao pressed his hand heavily on Qin Ye’s schoolbag and glanced at him, “What are you trying to do? Do you want the teacher to scold us tomorrow? You’ve still got the last two rows of tables. Clean them before you go!”

Zhang Yilong blew out another puff of smoke, “What’s the meaning of this? Have we been too nice to you lately? Don’t our words carry any weight at all?”

Yet, Qin Ye simply couldn’t appreciate what they were saying, because he could feel the chill around him intensifying… His hair stood on end, just like how a rabbit’s ears would perk up when it discovers a tiger approaching. 

It was abject fear stemming from a primal instinct for survival.

That’s right - he believed in these things.

Regardless of whether it was a figment of his imagination, or… whether it was true, he sincerely believed that he was quite sensitive to these changes. Therefore, as the inexplicable sense of fear washed over him, he immediately thought to flee - as far as he could!

“Let go!” With one powerful tug, he managed to wrest his schoolbag free of their grasp. Wang Chenghao’s expressions immediately darkened, and he kicked ferociously.

Caught off guard, Qin Ye cried out in shock as he was knocked back a meter by the powerful kick, crashing into three desks behind him. Crash! The textbooks that had been placed neatly into each of the desks were instantly strewn all over the floor once again. All of his hard work had gone to waste.

“Bloody hell!” Wang Chenghao kicked again as his face contorted menacingly, “I gave you face, and you trampled on it!! I’ve been spoiling you too damn much! Go f**k yourself!” 

Crash! Yet another desk tumbled to the ground. Just then, a bolt of lightning flashed across the sky.

Rumble!

What was once clear skies had suddenly become overcast, like the underside of an urn, whilst greenish-white coloured lightning streaked across the sky like a dragon’s majestic dance. The shadows of the three students in the classroom extended ominously.

Bzzt...bzzt… As though suddenly plagued by an electrical surge, the lights in the classroom flickered several times. Wang Chenghao was unable to hold back his anger. His wrath was stirred by the sight of Qin Ye rubbing his back and catching his breath. His anger burgeoned, and he grabbed a nearby textbook and motioned to charge at Qin Ye once again.

Suddenly, an ear-piercing sound of a cell phone rang out.

Three kinds of sounds rang out three times each.

Wang Chenghao was taken aback. Zhang Yilong was stunned. Qin Ye also froze on the spot.

Bang bang bang! At the same time, windows and doors which were originally open were immediately slammed shut. Papapapapa… It was as though an invisible person were pushing against it.

In that moment, the classroom was engulfed with a pin drop silence.

An empty school; an empty classroom; windows and doors that suddenly shut on their own; overcast skies; and dim light within the classroom. All the works were present, save possibly for the sound of tolling bells that signified the end of a person’s life.

The silence was so oppressive that a person’s breath sounded almost deafening and harsh on the ears.

At that moment, Wang Chenghao and Zhang Yilong exchanged glances and gulped uneasily.

Gulp… The otherwise discreet sound of swallowing saliva was now so loud that they inadvertently jumped at it. Wang Chenghao immediately switched on his phone. In the next moment, he let out a shrill cry and almost dropped his phone.

Qin Ye switched on his phone and looked at the screen.

He owned an old-fashioned Nokia phone, the kind that could be used as a brick. At this moment, the black-and-white screen of his phone...was presently displaying 7 numbers - “4444444”!

Death, death, death, death, death, death, death! (TL: in mandarin, 4 sounds like death)

“This...this...what kind of a j-j-joke is this…” Zhang Yilong’s voice trembled. His grip loosened, and his phone fell straight to the ground.

“Run!!” Goosebumps emerged all over Wang Chenghao’s skin. Too weird...what the hell is going on?! Without any other thought on his mind, he turned around and motioned to leave.

However, just as he attempted to leave, Zhang Yilong grabbed tightly onto Wang Chenghao’s sleeves.

“W-w-wait for me, Brother Wang.” His earlier imposing disposition was completely gone, and his face was pale and drained of colour. Then, he turned his head stiffly and stared at Qin Ye, “You… you!! Go pick it up for me!!”

“Why don’t you do it yourself?!” Qin Ye continued to massage his waist as he clambered up from the ground, made a beeline for the door and grabbed the handle hastily. Unfortunately… He first shook it, and then began to hammer it. Yet, despite the loud, thudding sounds resulting from his efforts, the door remained firm and unyielding.

“Qin… Qin Ye, y-y-you’d best not be scaring me.” Wang Chenghao’s lips quivered. Even though he was already on his feet, he was still huddled close to Zhang Yilong at this moment.

“Who the hell is trying to scare you?!” Qin Ye turned around and bellowed with bloodshot eyes, “The door won’t budge!”

“What do we do?! What do we do?!!” Wang Chenghao’s voice grew shrill. He had never encountered something so bizarre in his entire life. The anger that plagued his heart just moments ago had also completely dissipated as a deeper, intense chill shot down his spine.

Terror?

Perhaps. But an overwhelming part of it was simply the fear of the unknown. Could… could there really be something like the supernatural?

“Don’t give me that bullshit!” Qin Ye clutched desperately at his hair as he wracked his mind. Three seconds later, he yelled, “Smash the windows!”

The other two were momentarily taken aback. Then, Wang Chenghao’s eyes brightened as he picked up the closest chair and motioned to smash it at the window. Just then--!

BZZT!! All of the lights went out.

Dead silence.

It was a deathly silence.

The entire school was completely engulfed in darkness. Nobody dared to make a single sound. It was as though someone had their fingers wrapped tensely around their hearts, and the only thing that could be heard was the faint breaths of the trio in the classroom.

“Smash it!!” Qin Ye gnashed his teeth as he bellowed once more, “Do you really want to spend the night in school?!”

Wang Chenghao’s lips were slightly agape and his teeth were chattering incessantly. He yelled loudly in an attempt to muster his strength to stand up. However, just as he picked up the chair once more, he screamed shrilly, before his legs gave way again.

“Ahhhhhhhhh!!” His crackling voice echoed throughout the entire classroom as he held his head with both hands. Qin Ye immediately grabbed him by his shirt, “What going on with you?! If not for the fact that I'm not as strong as you, I would have personally smashed the windows by now! Is breaking a window really something that difficult?!”

“There’s… there’s a ghost!!” Wang Chenghao croaked raspily - he was evidently on the verge of breaking down, “I saw it… I saw it! I really saw it!!”

“What the hell is going on?!” Qin Ye peeled Wang Chenghao’s hands away from his head.

Yet, there was no response - there was only the sound of whimpering. The towering, dominant student had been reduced to nothing more than a pile of snot and tears in just an instant. It took him two full minutes to pull himself together and chatter with a quivering voice once more, “I… when I stood up and picked up the chair… I-I-I saw from the window… a-a small child dressed in complete white j-j-just staring at me--ahhhhhhhhh!!”

Mid-seventh month, ghosts run amok.

Qin Ye released Wang Chenghao’s hands. He was now almost certain that this bizarre encounter was caused by something unclean.

Why else would the school have to keep repeating those announcements?

Bibibibibiibi!! Suddenly, an ear-piercing sound echoed through the darkness. Wang Chenghao and Zhang Yilong were so shaken that they even cried out in alarm. Simultaneously, a faint light shone from the ground.

It was Zhang Yilong’s phone that was still on the ground.

Nobody dared to pick it up.

His phone had fallen to a location that was four rows of table from where they were presently at. And right now, the only sense of security they had came from the mild heat that was emanating from each others’ bodies.

However--

The fact that nobody answered the phone didn’t mean that it would stop.

One minute… two minutes... three minutes!

Just like that, the phone continued to ring menacingly, intermittently cutting through the oppressive solitude within the classroom. The three teenagers who were huddled together, cowering in the corner of the classroom had an expressions that were nothing but fear.

This isn't normal.

This… can’t be a normal phone call at all.

No matter what model of phone this was, and regardless of who the caller was, the phone would most certainly have to stop for a moment before ringing once more. Yet… this phone had been continually ringing for three full minutes without pause.

“This… this isn’t my phone’s ringtone--ahhh...wuu-wu-wu!” Zhang Yilong exclaimed with much difficulty before he completely broke down and began to bawl.

Had they known that something like that was going to happen, they would most certainly have left the school at 5.30 p.m. without fail. But who could have expected something like this to happen?!

They were witnessing a well-kept mystery of the world.

They were experiencing something almost akin to a miracle - albeit much darker.

However, this was just the beginning. As soon as Zhang Yilong broke down into a pile of tears, Qin Ye and Wang Chenghao immediately held their hands over his mouth. Zhang Yilong’s eyes widened in surprise.

The ringtone plaguing them seemed to have dwindled slightly. Torrential rainfall was pouring outside. Yet, amidst the chaotic cacophony of sounds, a faint voice penetrated the darkness, sending a mind-numbing chill down their spines.

“Kekeke...hehehe…”

Laughter.

A child’s laughter.

Hollow and peculiar. The sound reverberated throughout the dank eeriness of the classroom. The trio couldn’t help but shudder in fear.

None of them uttered a single word at this point in time. Tears were already strewn all over Wang Chenghao’s face, and he had bitten down so hard on his lips that faint traces of blood could already be seen. He clutched desperately at his own hair. On the other hand, Zhang Yilong eyes were already glazed over. His body trembled uncontrollably, and his eyes were bloodshot. Both men held onto each other tightly. Qin Ye was the only one who was not out of sorts at this moment.

Thump… thump… It felt as though his heart were leaping out of his chest. Qin Ye’s palms were moist and damp, and his inner shirt was already soaked through by now. This… were they supposed to answer the call?

Bibibi! The shrill yet monotonous ringtone cut through the silence once more. Approximately ten seconds later, Qin Ye gnashed his teeth and bent down as he took a closer look under the desk. Yet, in the very next moment, his head recoiled, and he immediately covered his mouth.

Shock. He nearly gasped and exclaimed.

Just a moment ago...amidst the thunderous night, amidst the darkness that engulfed the entire classroom, and amidst the faint glow of the ringing phone, he had just seen a pair of pale, white legs belonging to a child - patpatpat - dashing straight towards the phone.

A ghost…

It was really a ghost!

It was in the classroom, together with the three of them!

And it was attempting to communicate with them at night.

Almost as though it was aware that Qin Ye had bent down, the phone rang with renewed vigor, so much so that it even began to vibrate slightly. Qin Ye held his chest and regulated his breathing. After steadying his mind, he crouched down once more and made his way down the aisle.

If nobody switched off this phone right now, they would most certainly go mad from all that ringing!

It was merely four rows of seats, yet he trudged along the aisle for what felt like tens of minutes on end. Qin Ye was completely drenched in sweat by the time he arrived beside the phone. Then, just as he picked up the phone, the screen went dark...

In that single moment, the reflection of the ink-black screen revealed for the first time a child’s face!

Long hair draped over the face, and the places where the eyes and mouth ought to have been were instead hollowed out, leaving three dark orifices that seemed to be widening in an exaggerated fashion as it shrieked at him.

His heart nearly stopped and sweat percolated his skin. He suddenly whipped his body around and switched on the light on the phone once more, illuminating the area behind him.

Nothing.

His hands were trembling as he opened the message on the phone with bated breath. The message consisted of only two words.

“Look up.”

Drip… Just then, a drop of water fell from the top of his head, sliding across his neck icily before landing on the ground.

At this moment, Qin Ye was still crouching in the aisle between the rows of desks and chairs.

That drop of water was red in colour.

And… it was thick.

Blood… Qin Ye’s body trembled. Something… something was just over his head!

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