The World Below Surface 3 ☆ The Law of the Blood Mist

It didn't take long for the numbing voices to die and for one of them to speak out softly.

“Where are we going now?”

The place they were in was also a small stop station, but compared to the underground station they had just been in, it looked like a building from the 80s or 90s.
The walls were a bit yellowed and dusted, and about the time of the return of the south, all the walls were a bit wet and stained, smelling musty and faintly fishy.

On the side was a kiosk where it felt like all the staff were chasing after a star.
The walls where the menu should have been posted were covered everywhere with yellowed posters.
They revealed a pretty woman with long curly hair and a fair complexion looking at everyone with a gentle face.

It was impossible to say that there was nothing unusual about the posters of the actress that appeared again and again.
Everyone recalled the scenes they had seen on the underground station earlier and didn't dare to look at the posters much.
However, there were simply too many posters here.
Unless they closed their eyes, wherever they went, they would be gazed at by those seemingly gentle but, in fact, steely eyes.

Li Fang Yu asked, “Mr Lu, do you know this star?”

They weren't from this world, so they didn't understand the people in this world, and naturally, they didn't know any stars or anything like that.

Lu Yan shook his head, “I don't remember.”

He added, “I like to listen to old songs and watch movies and stuff, so if there are more famous movie stars and singers, even if they are older, I wouldn't recognise them.” He paused and asked rhetorically, “What about you guys? Do you know her?”

He Lou heard what Lu Yan meant.
This woman was either not famous or a figment of his imagination.
He began by saying, “I don't know either.”

“I don't know either.”

“Never met.”

Li Fang Zhi said coldly, “Shall we wait here or go out first? It feels uncomfortable to be stared at.”

There were posters of women everywhere, even on the ceiling when they looked up.
With so many identical faces staring at her, it was no wonder Li Fang Zhi, sensitive to this aspect, was uncomfortable.

But Li Fang Yu stopped her, saying, “Don't do anything rash now.
Just because we're in the station now means it's safe.”

The others followed suit, and the yellow-haired young man named Huang Mao (黄炜) couldn't resist asking, “How long do we have to stay? I'm feeling a bit queasy too.” I don't know if it was a psychological shadow, but he always felt that the paintings would suddenly stick out their tongues and pull him in.

Li Fang Yu, who looked gentle but had an authoritarian style, said, “We don't know what's out there yet, so maybe we need to look for clues in the station and find a way to break it.
It's not a good idea to be stuck here all the time.”

The mention of looking for clues made everyone bristle a little.

Who knows if you'll find a clue or a curse?

Huang Mao looked bitter: “Alas, my luck is so bad.
I remember the last time I found a bag, but just as I tried to pick it up, a hand came out of the bag and almost got me ……”

Before the word “death” could be uttered, Li Fang Zhi suddenly raised her voice: “Shut up, don't talk nonsense, don't you understand?”

Every mission gave back one life while taking nine deaths; every world was weird and scary to unimaginable existence.
If they were careful with their every word and action, they might be able to come back from the dead and live to the end.
Or perhaps, their unintentional words touched some trigger, which could kill them like the two men before them, who couldn't get up because they had simply sat down after running.

The saddest thing was that they could not resist.
There was no way for them to fight the terror.
They can only keep running and keep running ……

Even at the cost of sacrificing their teammates, they absolutely had to survive!

The two people who had almost quarrelled were, at best, acquaintances and not a tightly-knit group.
They were people who spoke respectfully and would never be soft when it was time to pull out.
Now, it's just because it's not the last word.

There was a delicate balance between them, with the sisters He Lou, Li Fang Zhi and Li Fang Yu trying to find a way out of the situation.
These people willingly acted as pawns for the time being.

He Lou suddenly turned his head and asked Lu Yan, “What did you see?”

“Sh, what?”

He explained, “Just now, you saw something that none of us saw.
How about now?”

Lu Yan was silent for a moment: “In my eyes, it was just a ……
very ordinary old station, a lot of posters of women ……”

He Lou pursued, “Exactly the same posters? Or not quite the same?”

“It's all the same woman, exactly the same, only different sizes.” To answer, Lu Yan looked around more and quickly noticed the poster stuck to the ticket window.
The smile on the woman's mouth raised a little, and her eyes looked straight at him.

He immediately lowered his eyes, not daring to look more.

What could that ……

A pale mist of blood slowly floated in the air once again, little by little, filling the air.

“Let's go first.” Seeing the blood fog gradually thicken, they had to leave and keep walking in the opposite direction along which the blood fog had come.

Lu Yan followed them, slowly falling to the very back.
His eyes darted a glance at the toes of the crowd, his heart chilling.

Seeing that none of them noticed, they just walked along the road.
Lu Yan didn't say anything more but just fell behind and followed.

The next building they came to was an empty building next to an open road.
There was still an identical station with the women's posters plastered inside and out.

“Have you noticed that her smile has changed?” A man in the crowd spoke with trepidation the words no one dared to utter.

Everyone had noticed it a long time ago.
On the poster, the woman's smile went up a little, blood slowly flowing from the corners of her eyes as she looked at them with malice.

All around them, there seemed to be singing again, faintly, softly, like a sheepish hand trying to drag people into hell.

The song grew louder, the fog thicker, the woman's smile bloomed, her eyes filled with icy malice, no longer the gentle image they had been when they first met.

“Everyone, move!!!”

The song could confuse people; the blood mist would devour human flesh and blood.
As for posters, they had no idea if they would be able to eat people outright like what they had seen at the underground station earlier.

But just by looking at the woman's fine white sharp teeth, the group didn't doubt for a moment that the face was lethal.

Everyone had to run away again, doing their best to think as they did so.

“It's not a good idea to keep running.
How long are we going to run away anyway?”

“That is, can't we break the game?”

They were a little anxious, and Li Fang Yu whispered as she ran, “Brother Lou, at this rate, I'm afraid we won't last until the next mission.”

He Lou looked equally uncomfortable, “We've obviously only received one quest.
Why is there an additional hidden quest?”

The mission they had initially received was to spend a week with Lu Yan at the flat they were in and then return to their own world a week later at ground zero.
That was why they were desperate to protect Lu Yan, but if Lu Yan died, who would go in with them? Would they have to carry the body on their backs if they found the location?

Of course, once they had entered the flat, Lu Yan's life was not so important.
As long as he could “stay” in the apartment, what did it matter if he was dead or alive?

The dead would be more obedient.

He Lou was already prepared to let Lu Yan be “quieted” if he insisted on going out after entering the flat.

He had been through too many life-and-death situations and had survived with many lives in his hands.
After all, every mission is a life-and-death experience, with some unlucky ones dying on the way.

Therefore, when they encountered the blood mist underground, they thought it was just a minor hurdle on the way.
Who knew it would lead to them not even being able to enter Lu Yan's flat now?

This was clearly a hidden mission! How could they have imagined that there would be two simultaneous missions?

If they didn't enter Lu Yan's flat at the required time ……
the consequences would be unthinkable!

What is the way of life ……?

The blood fog, the carriage, the woman's poster, the song ……

Who is this “woman”? Does the blood fog have anything to do with her? Is she the one who sang the song?

“Brother Lou, do something quickly!

“Yes! All our lives depend on you; you can't just run away alone!”

“Have you thought of anything at all?”

He Lou was a little angry, “Have you guys said enough?”

As soon as the words left his mouth, he was shocked to realise something was wrong.

He shouldn't have been angry.
Anger affects one's sanity, so why would he be mad at a few prodding words?

And these people ……
were also people who had returned from several missions, more or less capable of taking charge of their own.
Even if they wanted to finish him off, they should have used him as a shield before terrorising him, so why would he be angry over this little thing?

Anger ……

The thought flashed through his mind when a steep pain shot through his back.

“Fuck you! Putting on a face every day and acting like a boss, I'm going to get you killed today!” It was a tall, thin man in a sweatshirt in the group.
After he threw the stone, his eyes had turned completely red, and he pulled a dagger from his waist, aiming it at He Lou's back and about to lunge.

The others looked at each other coldly, eyes full of malice and intense anger.

“Kill him! Kill him!!!”

“Kill him! We'll be able to get out!”

Seeing that Li Fang Zhi's eyes were also about to glow red, Li Fang Yu raised her hand and gave her sister a slap, “Calm down!”

The crowd slowly surrounded He Lou, who took a few deep breaths and similarly drew his folding knife from his sleeve.

Lu Yan hurriedly lunged over and stopped the tall, thin man, “Calm down!”

“Get lost! You let go! I'll kill him!!!” The man he had pounced on struggled angrily.
He was so strong that he tried several times to thrust the tip of the knife at Lu Yan, who had the same irritation welling up in him.
He dodged the dagger and punched the tall thin man hard in the face, knocking him to the ground.

He could stop one, but not the second, and the others had long-standing grievances and resentment.

He Lou drew his folding knife but did not strike, but gasped and crossed it in front of him.

The song ……
angry ……

They smiled after the first song ……

He yelled, “Everybody calm down! This song is not right!!!”

“The song causes our emotions to fluctuate.
The first song was a joy; now it's anger.
Calm down!”

Joy, anger, mourning and disgust be next?

Don't dare bet on it.

A loud bellow more or less woke everyone up for a moment.
The others gasped and struggled to contain their impulses, except for the tall, thin man who had been knocked down by Lu Yan.
He slowly rose from the ground.

His limbs were already stiff, his gaze grim, his face gradually turning blue and white, his cheeks deeply sunken, his mouth salivating unnaturally at the corners, and his breath coming in ragged gasps.

He didn't look like a living person anymore.

Rather, he looked ……
like a zombie.

He rose from the ground and slowly turned his head.
A pair of black eyes deadly stare at Lu Yan.

“Old Wu (武)! Stop him!!!” Li Fang Yu screamed in defiance of her image.

Old Wu, the tallest man in the group, was the closest to the tall, thin man and slowly lifted his head at the sound of his voice, striding towards the two men.
Lu Yan, however, did not feel saved at all.
He did not hesitate to duck behind the pole beside him!

Old Wu, the one in the group whose pace he saw was not right, was walking on tiptoe!

Almost simultaneously, Old Wu turned a corner and accelerated straight at him.
Lu Yan was hurrying to dodge, and the other man's outstretched hands fell on a telephone pole.

On the pole, there was a poster of a woman.

Lu Yan gasped, his eyes fixed on Old Wu, and one of his hands touched the woman's face.

The woman on the poster instantly changed her face.

Or rather, all the women on the posters from all sides began to turn pale, their faces grim and blue, their eyes focused on that one hand.

Not one of them?

Lu Yan guessed as he dodged the tall, thin man.

The next thing he knew, the woman's bright red lips were grinning from her face to her ears, and the hand was reaching for the poster bit by bit.

And then the sound of chewing resumed.

The woman's expression calmed down, and she stayed still on the poster.

The blood mist around her likewise dispersed considerably.

This did not reassure the group.
For no reason other than that, the little friend who had been able to communicate and work together without any problems had turned into a monster of some unknown species in an instant.
He, or more appropriately “it”, had stiffened his limbs, his hands were flat in the air, his knees were stiff, and he was jumping, jumping, jumping after the group.

Old Wu was dead, and the tall, thin man had become a monster.
In a flash, two more members were lost.

Counting Lu Yan, only eleven of the initial fifteen remained!

If they couldn't think of a way out, all eleven would likely break down here.

“Everyone, be careful! Don't let it scratch you!” The yellow-haired young man shouted.

In the old Hong Kong movies, if one was scratched or bitten by a zombie, the injured one would likewise be infected as a zombie.
Although this might differ from the zombies in Hong Kong movies, no one wanted to check whether it was true.
Just look at the other person's long nails that were green and dripping with an unknown liquid.

It was not long before the transformation, its movements were still a bit stiff and slow, and the big guy could still turn and dodge so that it could not pounce.
The later the transformation, the more sensitive and athletic its movements became, the less able they were to avoid, and the more we brushed against the sharp nails from time to time.

Even more frightening was that it possessed a certain degree of intelligence.
Everyone tried to repeat the same trick as Lu Yan had done before, but they did not fall for it.

He Lou, and the others thought about things as they dodged.

It seemed that the woman on the poster didn't distinguish whether the prey was a human or anything else, and as long as it came across it, it ate it up.
Every time it devoured, the blood mist would dissipate, and the song would subside.
Judging by the pattern of power and timing, a new round must be even more horrific and bloody.

It was as if it could gain some sort of sustenance from that flesh and blood.


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