Chapter 46.1 – No.6 Middle School (2)

Xiao Pang felt familiar, as did Zhang Xin. They both had this lingering feeling of familiarity with the face but couldn’t recall where they had seen him before.

The three of them stood by the photo wall, contemplating. Suddenly, Zhang Xin reacted, reaching out to cover the photo.

She lowered the eyes a bit, let the hair grow a little longer, bit by bit.

Xiao Pang exclaimed, “Wow!”

Now they finally knew why it felt familiar.

After all, they used to meet frequently before, and Chen Jing could see him almost every day.


After a moment’s reflection, they pictured the other person lying on the sofa watching soap operas. Despite being young, they suddenly felt a sense of time passing.

Xiao Pang said, “Illusion, we must have entered an illusion by now.”

Liuling constructs illusions based on each person’s cognition. Inside the illusion, there would unconsciously be various things within the person’s cognition. This should also count as something within their cognition.

Xiao Pang touched the photo, “It’s strange that it’s real.”

It was evident he was trying to deceive himself. Zhang Xin patted his shoulder, saying, “Let’s go, upstairs first.”

The classrooms and offices filled the building upstairs, typical of every high school. Desks in the classrooms were piled high with books, and various water cups adorned the tables.

The classrooms were all locked, inaccessible, as were the offices. When they reached the end of the hallway and turned, they faced the restroom.

On the sink in the restroom, there was a mirror. Unlike the darkening walls around it, the mirror was clean and bright, obviously recently replaced.

This should be where the girl from No.6 Middle School broke the mirror. The shattered mirror had been replaced, and everything looked normal.

They entered the restroom together. Due to the incident involving the girl from No.6 Middle School, they specifically paid extra attention to the reflection of the corridor in the corners of the mirror.

The corridor appeared normal, dark as it should be, no different from reality. Xiao Pang averted his gaze and, along with Chen Jing, turned to look at the toilet, asking, “Should we check inside?”

Suddenly, Xiao Pang felt Zhang Xin’s hand touch his. In this situation, a sudden touch wasn’t exactly comforting. He jolted in fright, nearly jumping up.

Zhang Xin gestured for him to stay calm, subtly pointing her finger towards the mirror. Xiao Pang then glanced at the mirror.

In an instant, his body tensed, goosebumps rising all over him. He froze.

In reality, there were three of them, but in the mirror, there were only two—Zhang Xin and him. Chen Jing, standing next to them, didn’t appear in the mirror.

Or rather, maybe the mirror held the truth. He and Zhang Xin were real, while the person next to them was not.

Both of them fell into silence, while Chen Jing, on the side, also turned to look at the mirror.

The moment he saw the mirror, Xiao Pang and Zhang Xin dashed out of the restroom.

Chen Jing encountered a bit of trouble when trying to open the farthest window. It was tightly locked, and the sliding door had issues. He worried that forcing it might cause damage, so he spent some time figuring out how to open it without harm.

Returning to where he was before, the other two were gone, probably exploring elsewhere. He glanced around briefly and noticed the wall with the photos, stepping closer.

Almost on a whim, he glanced up and saw a photo near the upper middle part of the wall.

It was a picture from many years ago, starting to yellow and fade, showing people in white shirts, smiling brightly. Each year had a photo of the top graduate, one per year. Checking the graduation year, Chen Jing did a quick mental calculation and realized the person was surprisingly still young.

Young, yet they had aged into a middle-aged man, even being called “uncle” by Xiao Pang without it feeling off.


Chen Jing pondered for a moment, recalling the impressive story about copying homework that the person had shared on the way back today. It felt disjointed.

Without averting his gaze from the photo, he heard footsteps nearby. Turning, he saw two people turning the corner from the end of the corridor. They noticed him too and quickened their pace towards him.

As they approached, footsteps echoed from the stairs, a bit disoriented, clearly someone rushing down.

Both parties drew closer, and suddenly, the person running down the stairs shouted, “That’s the fake one!”

It was Xiao Pang’s voice.

Two pairs of identical individuals met in the corridor—one with a calm expression, the other panting heavily. Another Chen Jing followed down the stairs. The situation became utterly perplexing.

Outside the walls of No.6 Middle School, a figure skillfully climbed up and over the wall.

Gracefully landing, Jiang Yujin straightened his posture, scanning the surroundings.

At this hour, he should have been either asleep or enjoying some leisure time. However, after hearing the gossip from the nearby chatterbox brigade while strolling downstairs after dinner, he heard an elderly man whose grandson attended No.6 Middle School mention that a student seemed to have encountered something unclean at the school and refused to go back.

He was precisely seeking this kind of “unclean” thing, so he came.

It was evident the school had prospered in recent years, with the cafeteria expanded several times over. Standing outside the cafeteria, he glanced from a distance at the menu posted by the food serving window, displaying an indescribable expression.

Although the cafeteria had expanded significantly, the menu hadn’t changed a bit.

Many years had passed, and the school seemed to have changed in many ways, but the basic layout remained. Relying on his almost fading memory, Jiang Yujin walked through the school until he finally spotted the teaching building.

The main door of the teaching building was closed, but a ground-floor window was already open, offering an easy and quick way to climb in.

Inside, it was eerily quiet. As he approached the vicinity of the main door, he noticed a wall dominated by photos. Without giving the photos a second glance, he moved away.

The lighting tonight was bright, illuminating the entire corridor clearly. There were signs of scuffling on the floor, perhaps simply caused by students playing and running around in the corridor.

Before he drew closer, there was a commotion at the far end of the corridor, prompting him to step closer.

Footsteps echoed from the other end of the corridor, while the initial commotion faded. Jiang Yujin casually sidestepped into the shadow of a cabinet.

Chen Jing and the other two retraced their steps from the far end of the corridor back to the photo wall. They had exerted effort earlier to deal with the imposter on this side, and since then, they hadn’t split up. They went together to check the situation upstairs in the teaching building, but ultimately found nothing.

Liuling was definitely around, but there was no way to track them down. The time on their phones remained stuck at 2 AM, but in reality, it was no longer early. Cafeteria staff typically began preparing breakfast around 4 AM, meaning they had to leave before that.

Xiao Pang said, “Then we’ll have to come back tomorrow night.”

Unless Liuling appeared voluntarily, searching all night would be in vain. Their appearance relied purely on luck. Perhaps Liuling might play a role in the environment or as an object, but more often, they let the created illusion do the work.

It seemed Liuling had no intention of showing up today and appeared disinterested. The entire illusion was mild, not generating hostile entities based on their cognition. The news about the school incident probably hadn’t spread far, so no reinforcements were likely to arrive immediately. They still had time.

Exiting the illusion only required breaking the first anomaly noticed within it, just like the girl from No.6 Middle School breaking the mirror. They had dealt with the imposter Chen Jing, and now they just needed to break the mirror to leave.

The three of them ascended the stairs again and disappeared above.

The person who had been standing in the shadow of the cabinet stepped out, gazed at the unchanging moonlight outside, yawned, and then climbed out from where he came.

After breaking the mirror, the position of the shadows in the moonlit corridor suddenly changed, fast-forwarding time by two hours. The three of them left the school.

There were still opportunities in the night; even at midnight, there were still taxis on the road. Walking back wasn’t practical, so they hailed a taxi.

The taxi driver assumed they were students sneaking out at night for mischief. He kindly advised them to be good students and avoid getting into trouble.

Unable to offer a convincing explanation, the three chose silence in the end.

Jiang Yujin returned home before the high schooler did, changed into pajamas, and slipped under the covers.

The high schooler returned quietly, making no noise, and even heard the sound of their neighbor turning over in bed, oblivious to anything unusual.

It was a harmonious night for both parties.

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