Chapter 56.2 – One-eyed (2)

No longer constrained by One-eyed’s body, the worms’ rate of reproduction suddenly accelerated. The sound of skittering continued incessantly as a pile of tiny worms formed a black wave, crawling out from behind the gigantic worm. Wherever they passed, the ground turned charred black, even corroding plastic.

Jiang Yujin felt that it might have been better to bring the barber shop owner here; these worms would vanish with a single fire.

But there was no barbershop owner here now; he had to handle this himself.

Utilizing a nearby square pillar, he leaped directly into the air, the steel rod in his hand aimed at the black worm’s eye.

The black creature truly had a black eye, and beneath it was a mouth that spewed yellow liquid. Jiang Yujin shifted in mid-air, avoiding any contact with the liquid, ensuring the steel rod in his hand remained untouched.

After all, there was nothing more convenient in the building than what he held in his hand.

He gently landed on an unsealed windowsill, sparing a moment to glance at the time.

Today was Saturday; it was currently twenty-one minutes past ten. There would be a rerun of a highly popular soap opera at eleven-thirty. If there was even a slight traffic jam on the way back, he’d miss it.

He needed to pick up the pace.

The black worm reacted swiftly. The moment he landed on the windowsill, it turned its body, and dozens of legs scurried rapidly towards him.

The length of the steel rod wasn’t sufficient to pierce the entire worm, so Jiang Yujin had to swing the steel rod as the worm approached.

The large worm dodged quickly, but his movement was faster. In the blink of an eye, green fluid gushed out, a black head flew into the air, then was impaled by the rusty steel rod, firmly pinning it to the ceiling.

The remaining body continued to squirm but soon ceased movement entirely. The produced smaller worms scurried around chaotically. This was beyond his scope of handling. Jiang Yujin landed effortlessly, glanced at the time, then stepped away.

His purpose in coming here today was to confirm how Zero combined individuals with the strange species or rather, what method or substance was used.

One-eyed and the worms coordinated reasonably well, and their strength seemed slightly enhanced. It wasn’t far from what he had imagined; Zero indeed used something unconventional.

Between leaving from the front and directly jumping out the window, Jiang Yujin hesitated momentarily before choosing to leap out. Relying on the temporary sense of direction still present in his mind, he picked a direction to depart.

Perhaps this was the liveliest day this abandoned building had ever seen.

After Citizen Jiang left, three more individuals arrived at the building shortly after. Chen Jing, Zhang Xin, and Xiao Pang had left the hospital right after the doctor finished changing the bandages. They had arranged for a vehicle nearby and walked the rest of the way.

Originally, they intended to find One-eyed, but upon hearing that Xu Tonggui was in charge, they refrained from acting immediately, waiting until later in the day.

The incident at the lotus pond had been cleaned up, One-eyed had been apprehended, and the only possible remaining clue was here.

From the information they gathered, One-eyed’s accomplice who briefly stayed here had already passed away. The SIU had already inspected this place, and the probability of finding anything significant was, in reality, quite low.

—But it’s not certain either.

As they reached the entrance of the building, they immediately noticed glass shards glinting against the faint moonlight.

Xiao Pang instinctively turned on the flashlight on his phone. With a more direct beam of light, the glass shards on the ground became clearer. Around the shards lay severed bodies of worms, appearing freshly dead, still soft, and without signs of decay.

Taking out a plastic bag, they collected the glass fragments along with the heavier worm corpses. Standing up again, with a flick of the flashlight, they noticed a long strip of dead worms forming a path from the middle of the road all the way into the building.

They followed this trail into the building. There might still be people inside, so they turned off the flashlight before entering.

Indeed, there was someone inside, a deceased individual, with a large worm’s corpse not far away, and numerous small worms crawling on the ground.

Xiao Pang was encountering so many worms up close for the first time. He was so frightened that he almost screamed and jumped on his feet.

It seemed there was no one here except for them.

Without using the flashlight, Chen Jing directed the faint light from his phone screen toward the person on the ground.

The figure on the ground might have once been a person, only half a body remained, a dried layer of skin loosely draped over the bones, with scattered hair around. One eye socket was hollow, seemingly devoid of eyes for many years, while the other socket was moist with blood vessels, though now similarly devoid of eyes, indicating something had been there before.

“This…,” Zhang Xin looked at the figure on the ground uncertainly, “Is this One-eyed?”

Not every one-eyed person was the One-eyed they were seeking, but in such a time and place, it was challenging not to associate it with the individual they were after.

While they observed the person on the ground, Xiao Pang circled the building’s perimeter and noticed a pair of pants and bones on the other side. Around the pants were piles of motionless worms, completely dead and curled up.

He turned and asked, “Wasn’t One-eyed already taken by the SIU?”

“We have no firsthand information,” Chen Jing replied, eyeing the person on the ground. “He might have escaped.”

Xiao Pang nodded, then crouched down, cautiously reaching into the pocket of the pants on the ground.

There was something inside the pocket, along with a soft sensation, probably the carcass of worms. Goosebumps covered his entire body as he endured the discomfort and retrieved the object from the pocket.

It was an unsmoked cigarette. After inspecting it, he noticed something written on it—a simple “10”.

Turning back to rejoin the other two, Xiao Pang handed over the cigarette, scratching his head as he asked, “What does this mean?”

“10… Ten cigarettes, ten items, ten days…” Zhang Xin speculated, then snapped her fingers slightly. “Ten o’clock!”

She said, “Is it possible that someone arranged to meet One-eyed here at ten?”

Initially a speculative guess, but upon closer thought, it seemed more and more plausible.

If they had arranged to meet at ten, it would explain the still warm worm bodies and the unexpected appearance of One-eyed here.

The appointed ten o’clock, with it being not even half past ten now, and both the worms and One-eyed deceased, indicated that the person who arranged the meeting took less than half an hour to deal with both.

It was a terrifying scenario.

However, the primary focus now was to investigate the scene before the SIU noticed any anomalies. Remembering this, the three resumed examining the site, trying to uncover any useful clues.

Chen Jing found a brain-like fragment still attached to the tail of the large worm, stained with blood and stuck with sand and stones from the ground.

After another glance at the shattered eye socket of One-eyed, the three formed an unsettling suspicion.

The worm might have emerged from One-eyed’s body, to be more precise, from his eye socket.

Considering the absence of any flesh on the body, only a heap of worm corpses, they might have pieced together what happened.

“Look here.”

Chen Jing slightly turned out the skin around One-eyed’s eye socket, revealing a few engraved words:


Thinking about it, they took out the glass fragments they had picked up earlier from the ground, and illuminated them with the flashlight once more.

Xiao Pang pieced them together, arranging the glass shards back into a rough shape. Underneath the reassembled glass, there was a line of text.


The worms in the glass were labeled as 3.0, while the engraving by One-eyed’s eye socket showed 4.0. It was quite apparent which one represented the final research outcome.

Zhang Xin said: “The one we found before was A1, right?”

They had gathered a fair amount of data before. At that time, research in several labs had stopped at the A1 stage. Originally, Zero intended to use mermaid blood for neutralization, but the mermaids died at the sea tower.

They thought the research would at least pause for a while. They hadn’t expected these individuals to have found a substitute in secret. The research had continued, progressing to 4.0. Barring any mishaps, One-eyed should have been a highly successful experimental subject.

Realizing, Chen Jing swiftly gathered up what he had and said, “Take a couple of those worms on the ground with us.”

The worms on the ground were still alive, and Xiao Pang, having been frightened once before, opted this time to collect samples from One-eyed’s body.

Chen Jing took charge of retrieving part of the large worm’s body. Half-crouched on the ground, he felt something, and as he looked up, what met his eyes was the worm’s head impaled entirely by the steel rod, still dripping liquid.

Without choosing to touch it, he packed up their belongings, and once everyone was ready, they left the building.

They returned to A City together. Before parting ways, after leaving a backup behind, they handed over all the relevant items to Xiao Pang.

In the Game, their changes were in their bodies, while for Xiao Pang, it involved mental changes. Although usually not very academically inclined, he had a remarkable learning ability. Studying these things only required time and money.

That night passed calmly.

The next morning, while someone who had stayed up late watching soap operas was still sound asleep, the SIU looking for the escaped Deng Jiang received a report from the public. They claimed to have found bones and the corpse of a large worm while passing by the abandoned building.

Upon arriving at the scene, they found the ground covered with dead worms and bodies split into two halves, each on opposite sides of the building.

The scene was inexplicably eerie. While others attended to the ground situation, Hu Li circled the building and finally stopped in front of the black giant worm’s head impaled on a concrete slab, firmly pierced by a steel rod into the cement, appearing incredibly secure.

Almost simultaneously, he recalled encountering a similar situation long ago in the Hongsheng Building, where a human-faced spider had also been impaled on the ceiling with a steel pipe.

The brutality and ruthlessness of the method were eerily alike.

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