Chapter 23.2 – Dinner Party
Jiang Yujin watched the strange species circling in the room, then glanced up at the wall above, shifting slightly to the side.
The final chain broke, and the creature burst through the supposedly reinforced wall, thrashing around the space, its head bleeding profusely, its deafening cries echoing.
The walls collapsed around, but Jiang Yujin remained crouched, luckily in a safe zone.
Zhao Liu maneuvered through the debris, attempting to climb onto the creature’s back. He glanced at the staircase, realizing that the supervisor probably hadn’t informed the Special Investigation Unit at all.
When he withdrew his gaze and saw the person still crouching nearby, he raised his voice from a distance, “Go up and contact the Special Investigation Unit! Tell them to send a team over!”
Only when facing it head-on did he realize the opponent’s strength surpassed his estimation, beyond his ability to handle.
In the end, it seemed he had to climb the stairs.
After crouching for another two seconds, Jiang Yujin straightened his back and began the painful ascent.
This commotion was definitely not an easy one to join.
Slowly retracing his steps, he finally returned to his original position. Jiang Yujin reached for the door, but it wouldn’t budge—it was locked.
It seemed the supervisor not only failed to inform the Special Investigation Unit but also decided to keep him and Zhao Liu together to perish here.
Rather than trying to force the door open, now within signal range, Jiang Yujin stood by the door and picked up his phone.
After hesitating on the dialing screen for a while, he peeked out and asked Zhao Liu, “What was the number for your Special Investigation Unit again?”
Still holding onto the enormous bone wing, Zhao Liu loudly recited a string of numbers.
Jiang Yujin made the call.
The Special Investigation Unit answered promptly, and their response team was already on their way.
The team was en route, but downstairs, Zhao Liu couldn’t hold on any longer. There was no more time to wait.
The creature swatted a person into the debris, unfurling its bone wings as it spiraled upwards. It grazed past Jiang Yujin, sending his slightly longer hair fluttering to the side.
The proximity was so close that he could even see where the creature’s bone wings connected to its body, resembling newly grown tender flesh, a light red color, starkly different from the surrounding black.
Jiang Yujin seemed to recall something.
With a thunderous sound in his ears, the massive creature began ramming against the ceiling above.
Unlike when it was restrained by chains, now free from any constraint after breaking free, each impact caused the entire space to tremble.
Above the ceiling was the kitchen area, and this section of the ceiling was not within the reinforced wall range. After just two hits, the wall began to slowly collapse.
Zhao Liu, who had been amidst the debris downstairs, swiftly ascended the stairs, avoiding the falling ceiling.
For an instant, light poured into the space, and looking up revealed the brightly lit kitchen.
The creature still attempted to ascend, roaring from its mouth, crashing into the wall, causing the entire building to sway.
Faint roars could already be heard, and the vibrations had reached their feet. The supervisor, standing closest to the kitchen in the lobby, felt his heart pound vigorously. He glanced toward where the old master stood, but the latter didn’t even cast a glance his way.
Upon emerging from the basement, he had initially sought the old master’s approval and discussed halting the banquet. However, the old master was confident in his containment measures and was adamant about not ending the highly profitable event. He instructed the supervisor to close the storage room door and consider how to deal with the Special Investigation Unit member who had already discovered the creature.
The supervisor had no decision-making power and could only comply. But witnessing the scene below, he found it challenging to maintain the same optimistic confidence as the old master. He felt uneasy and realized there might be significant issues when the tremors started.
He could sense it, and so could others. Some were already puzzled, looking towards the ground and murmuring among themselves.
The kitchen and the lobby were in two separate buildings, quite a distance apart, connected by a long corridor. The supervisor glanced around and then walked to the window to look in the direction of the kitchen.
In the instant his gaze met the scene, a four to five-story building started collapsing, sending clouds of dust into the air.
This massive noise, unlike before, was impossible to ignore. Even those in the lobby turned to look. Some were the first to notice, gasping in shock.
They gathered by the window, witnessing the dispersing dust after the collapse of the building.
A massive black creature darted out from the dust, racing erratically in the garden, charging straight ahead. Eyes widened among those spectating, and someone let out a startled scream.
Thankfully, the creature just brushed against the building as it ascended. Some bricks fell, but the windows and walls remained intact.
Lu Dongcheng stood by one side of the window, glancing over. In the light, the figure of the creature became clearer, and he raised an eyebrow.
From the debris, unnoticed by others, emerged a person covered in dirt and bloodstains.
The moment Lu Dongcheng saw the bloodstains, he confirmed that it wasn’t Jiang Yujin.
Indeed, it wasn’t Jiang Yujin.
“Did you see my ‘big kid’?”
A voice came from behind, and Lu Dongcheng turned, seeing Citizen Jiang dusting off his clothes, asking, “He asked you something, right?”
Since the other party had already investigated him, undoubtedly, he had also discovered his adopted ‘big kid,’ aware of Chen Jing’s existence.
“He left after we talked.”
He left quite swiftly, as if he was avoiding someone.
With a faint smile at the corners of his eyes, Lu Dongcheng said, “He asked if I knew you and inquired about 001’s whereabouts.”
The other party seemed good at talking around the subject, not so direct but circling around these two points.
Jiang Yujin asked him, “What did you tell him?”
Lu Dongcheng looked down at the person in front of him and said, “We have a good relationship. 001 stayed in the game.”
Jiang Yujin met his gaze, lifting his eyes and smiling, “Everything’s good except for the ‘good relationship’ part. Thanks for that.”
Lu Dongcheng remained noncommittal.
The two conversed comfortably in the corner while panic and chaos reigned in the lobby. Some questioned the old master, who had previously promised security measures, about the sudden appearance of the creature.
The creature flew in again, this time with no deviation, heading straight for the building.
People in the hall didn’t have time to think about the accusations. They rushed towards the exit, scattering into the courtyard like tiny dots. Some fled towards the parking lot in a panic; the drivers had already fled at the creature’s appearance, but the keys were in the cars, accessible for driving.
The supervisor and a group of bodyguards escorted the old master’s family towards the parking lot. Sounds of collapsing buildings echoed behind them, and they dared not turn their heads.
The once magnificent estate was reduced to a pile of rubble.
The creature circled in the air, its huge vertical pupils scanning the fleeing crowd, as if searching for something. Spotting the group heading towards the parking lot under protection, it hesitated briefly before swiftly diving.
Its target was crystal clear—it was the old master. It remembered who had locked it away and held a deep grudge. As the colossal figure approached, the bodyguards who had been encircling instantly scattered, dragging the supervisor along.
They were all just working folks, nobody wanted to risk their lives for their jobs.
The old master’s children hesitated, attempting to move, only to belatedly realize their legs had gone soft, crumbling to the ground in resignation.
Lu Dongcheng remained still, as did Jiang Yujin. Not far away, Zhao Liu, who had been knocked down, got up, symbolically fired a shot, but the creature didn’t even pause or acknowledge him.
The fallen children of the old master lay on the ground, facing upwards, sensing warm liquid spraying onto their faces, necks, and arms. Then, they heard a faint sound nearby, something softly hitting the lawn.
It was two feet that dropped down, staining the surrounding grass crimson upon impact.
Except for the two feet, the rest of the body of the originally standing person disappeared. The pupils of the two people in formal attire dilated, hardly making any sound.
Outside the courtyard walls, red lights lit up, and a uniquely shaped black vehicle appeared, from which several people quickly descended.
The members of the Special Investigation Unit had arrived.
At the other end of the courtyard, Zhao Liu exhaled and shouted from a distance, “There’s a weak spot at the base of its wings!”
The Special Investigation Unit rushed in, restraining the creature, and the other people in the yard quickly left the estate.
The creature was subdued without surprise and fell silent on the lawn.
The evening banquet concluded in this manner. Probably no one present would have thought the birthday celebration would turn into a final dinner, causing a scare. After brief questioning by the subsequently arriving police, they quickly departed.
They left, yet the number of people around the estate didn’t diminish. In fact, there seemed to be a faint increase, all curious onlookers.
The creature’s body had been dealt with, but there was still an investigation to conduct in the estate’s underground cellar. There were numerous matters to attend to, and here, late at night, the lights were still on.
Jiang Yujin hadn’t left; he was still waiting to ride away on his electric scooter after inspecting the parking lot.
Lu Dongcheng also stayed on the side, glancing sideways at the person who had been continuously staring in the direction of the parking lot, saying, “You should have seen its wings.”
Jiang Yujin yawned and nodded casually.
Lu Dongcheng said, “That’s the one whose wings you tore off before.”
Jiang Yujin remained expressionless.
Without a response, Lu Dongcheng continued, “Logically, its wings shouldn’t have grown back.”
But now they had, and they seemed identical to before.
Jiang Yujin didn’t react much, only saying, “Is that so.”
Lu Dongcheng glanced down at him, then diverted his gaze, taking something out of his suit jacket, saying, “I brought you a gift.”
Jiang Yujin lowered his head.
He saw an open small velvet box in the other person’s hand. Inside the box was a small ring with a diamond on it, catching the light under the lamp.
Lu Dongcheng saw the other party smiling, his eyes slightly curved, and he smiled beautifully.
Jiang Yujin slowly loosened his tie, then swiftly looped it around Lu Dongcheng’s neck and gave it a hard tug.
—Chen Jing, who had returned after hearing about the appearance of the creature, witnessed this scene.
Under the dim light, the tall man was forced to bow his head, holding a velvet box tightly in his hand. His neck involuntarily showed strained veins, yet he still wore a smile on his face.
As if aware of his gaze, the person holding the tie turned, eyebrows twitching slightly. The movement of his hands slowed, and as Chen Jing approached, he casually tied the tie, explaining, “I’m helping him with his tie.”
He patted Lu Dongcheng’s shoulder and said, “Right?”
Lu Dongcheng’s neck had reddened from the pressure, and he couldn’t articulate words at the moment.
Chen Jing: “…”
Chen Jing looked at the red scarf-like tie around the other’s neck and fell silent.
Whether that was the right way to tie a tie or not was another matter; he thought a normal person wouldn’t directly put a tie around their neck like that.
Finally, the investigation at the parking lot concluded. Jiang Yujin swiftly retrieved his scooter, and Chen Jing conjured a reason to stay by his side as they left.
Jiang Yujin then turned to ask him, “Are you still going to your classmate’s house today?”
Chen Jing shook his head, “Not going.”
He glanced towards the man still standing nearby and asked, “Do you know him?”
“I do indeed,” Jiang Yujin chimed in, “Before you came to the house, back when he had nothing, he used to come around for everything, and I would clean up after him…”
As the high schooler pushed the scooter, the adult man unbuttoned the shirt he had wanted to undo for a while, and the two of them walked farther away.
Meanwhile, Lu Dongcheng, left behind, slowly removed his tie, placing it along with the small velvet box back into his suit jacket.
By the time Jiang Yujin and Chen Jing returned home, it was well into the night. They each went to their rooms, bathed, and rested.
The person in the adjacent room had already fallen asleep. Jiang Yujin didn’t turn on the light, instead rising to open the window.
The night wind blew in through the window, tousling his hair slightly. He sat by the windowsill, leaning forward to reach for his phone and then played Xiaoxiaole a bit.
The moon outside was bright that night, casting a clear silhouette through the room from the moonlight and shadows.
The next morning.
Jiang Yujin woke up feeling hungry and, contrary to his usual routine, got up early. Finally, he could see the high schooler in the morning.
Jian Yujin, with the groggy eyes of an early riser, mechanically brushed his teeth, each of his hair standing with its own unique style.
The phone in the living room rang, and just after setting down breakfast, the high schooler picked up the phone, saying, “Your phone’s ringing.”
Jiang Yujin gestured towards the foam in his mouth, then pointed at the phone and the high schooler, making a squeezing motion with his hand and then expanding it.
Chen Jing: “…”
Chen Jing answered the call, putting it on speaker, “Hello.”
Jiang Yujin nodded in approval.
“Mr. Jiang, hello, I’m from the property management over here. We’re conducting room inspections these days. Would you have time to come by soon?”
It was a call from an unfamiliar property management. Chen Jing glanced at the person still in the bathroom, who nodded.
Chen Jing agreed on a time.
Jiang Yujin rinsed the foam from his mouth, finally picked up the phone, turned off the speaker, and walked toward the dining table to confirm the appointment with the property management.
Once he hung up and picked up his bowl and chopsticks, Chen Jing sat across from him.
Facing each other, Jiang Yujin said, “I lived somewhere else before moving here.”
This was the first time Chen Jing had heard him mention his past. Chen Jing’s eyes flickered, then he nodded, thought for a moment, and asked, “Today’s a day off. Do you need me to come with you?”
Jiang Yujin took a sip of porridge and shook his head, saying he didn’t need to.
After finishing breakfast, he left the house.
The morning on Huayang Road was not peaceful; the entire available team from the Special Investigation Unit had gathered.
Number 022, an extremely dangerous anti-social player who emerged from the Game, adept at disguises, repeatedly used people’s sympathy to deceive and murder victims. Captured previously, he escaped from a specially secured facility in the early hours of today, utilizing a hidden special ability. The Special Investigation Unit tracked him until they lost his trail here on Huayang Road. Using surveillance, they confirmed he hadn’t left the area and was likely hiding somewhere, initiating a wide-scale search.
There was a possibility that he might have found a way to hide within residential homes. Xu Tonggui was responsible for the inspection of buildings 1 to 3 in the Huayang community.
Residents who had been checked denied letting any strangers into their homes. Xu Tonggui stepped into the final building and continued his floor-by-floor search.
Ascending to the next floor, from the first household to the last, he knocked on the door, receiving no response.
Glancing at the door, similar to the surrounding ones, he lowered his gaze, his hand instinctively moving.
As if having done it countless times before, he reached for the doorknob.
“Beep—Fingerprint recognition successful.”
An electronic chime sounded, and the door swung open.
Looking at his hand, then at the door handle, Xu Tonggui eventually stepped into the apartment, and the door closed automatically behind him.
His gray eyes scanned the unfamiliar house.
Unfamiliar decor, an unfamiliar layout, leaving no impression.
As he was about to act, footsteps outside halted at the door.
Followed by the electronic chime from earlier.
“Beep—Fingerprint recognition successful.”
In the midst of the electronic tone, Jiang Yujin pushed the door open. The first thing he saw upon entering was the man standing in the hallway, those annoyingly familiar grey eyes.
Under Xu Tonggui’s gaze, the opened door slowly closed once again.