Evil As Humans Ch5

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 5: Abnormal

Fu Xingchuan didn’t go back to the dormitory. He pulled out a folding bed from the emergency management department and flattened it, then laid down. At this moment, the elites of the entire department were present. Everyone was accustomed to the style of this “First Ghost General”, so no one was surprised.

There was still important work to be done.

The small room was crowded with nearly a hundred people, making the temperature of the room rise a few degrees. There was no strict dress code, so the employees wore whatever they wanted. A small number of people were sitting at workstations, staring at the computer display with bated breath. Most people who were standing in the front row had their eyes tightly locked on the screen wall.

People were speaking in low tones; the whispers buzzing like waves as they washed over the entire area.

The blackout curtains were closed tightly, so it was impossible to distinguish whether it was day or night. Dozens of the screens on the walls had changed their content, showing pictures from different angles at a restaurant.

Everyone present recognized the restaurant.

It was an independently owned restaurant located in the small, round building. There weren’t many visitors right now. It was just after noon. The sun was shining down on the mahogany tables and chairs that were neatly arranged.

The protagonists of the surveillance footage were two young people.

To be precise, at first, it was only Zhong Chengshuo who was sitting by the window. The restaurant provided a la carte service, and when selected, the food would be delivered by the canteen logistics. It could be said that the standards of the canteen of the Shian Group were outstanding, but it was a pity that some people didn’t know how to cherish them.

In front of Zhong Chengshuo was a bowl of white rice porridge with two boiled eggs, a plate of stir-fried greens with garlic, and a plate of sautéed beef without any sauce. He ate in a gentle manner, chewing slowly. His phone was placed not far from him, and the screen was dormant.

The restaurant had large floor-to-ceiling windows and was equipped with air conditioning that kept blowing from the top, so despite sitting by the window, it wasn’t too hot. The bright sunlight enveloped Zhong Chengshuo as he ate the bland lunch in front of him, looking like a harmless herbivore.

However, this peace didn’t last long, as it was broken by Anonymous.

Anonymous didn’t seem tired. Unlike Zhong Chengshuo, who had been sleeping in the lounge all morning, he came to the restaurant as soon as the inquiry was over.

As soon as Anonymous appeared, the whispers in the department suddenly rang out. The foods that Anonymous had chosen were extremely normal—he chose a salted egg Lion’s Head, honey mustard fried chicken, and a large bowl of golden egg fried rice.

The tray of food looked tempting and greasy, which was more in line with “contemporary young people” than what Zhong Chengshuo was eating.

What was more, Anonymous’ eyes were glowing brightly. His face was full of curiosity and expectations, and his vigor was simply outrageous. He sat quite naturally opposite Zhong Chengshuo, exuding a friendly aura.

If it weren’t for that outstanding face, everyone would have gone to check to see if there was a missing salesperson.

Zhong Chengshuo paused with his chopsticks and looked at Anonymous for a moment. “Someone told me the general situation. I’m sorry about last night. I was in a rush, so I spoke nonsense. I actually don’t know you.”

He spoke in an unassuming manner. His tone was more like a statement of fact rather than someone trying to hurriedly clear the air.

“Meeting each other is fate. I don’t remember anyone anyway. It doesn’t matter if we know each other or not.” Anonymous poked the rice in the bowl. “I’m just curious—when can we leave here?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never encountered…”

Halfway through Zhong Chengshuo’s speech, a dull ringing sounded.

In the surveillance room, one of the display screens immediately changed screens, bringing Zhong Chengshuo’s phone into closer view. Everyone could see it. It was a caller named “Zhong Youde”.

There were no blind spots in the restaurant. Zhong Chengshuo looked around and decided to stay in his seat, picking up the phone while giving Anonymous an apologetic look.

“Hello, dad?”

A male voice on the other end of the line asked a lot of questions in a hurry. The old man had a slightly heavy accent and spoke so fast that everyone could barely half-understand what was being said, but they could hear real concern and worry based on the tone.

Zhong Chengshuo’s reply was a lot easier to understand. “I’m eating lunch right now. The food at Shian is pretty good. Don’t worry. It’s nothing big. Tell mom not to worry.”

“Yes, I’m still at the Shian building. I’m assisting with their investigation… Well, I must cooperate… Got it, got it. Don’t wait for me for dinner.”

“Family?” Seeing Zhong Chengshuo hang up the call, Anonymous stuffed a piece of fried chicken into his mouth and squinted contentedly.

Zhong Chengshuo nodded. “How about you? Do you remember anything?”

“It’s not that bad, you know. Look, I can still remember how to use chopsticks. This is delicious. Do you want a piece? ……Listening to your tone just now, are you familiar with this place?”

Zhong Chengshuo looked at the fried chicken and an imperceptible struggle flashed across his face. He stared at it for a few seconds, then refused the “bribe”, but he still answered politely. “I just got an offer from the Drug Research and Development Department here a few days ago—ah, um, a job opportunity.”

“Oh…” Anonymous lowered his eyes.

“Don’t be nervous. Things shouldn’t be as serious as you think. Shian isn’t an official agency. It only occasionally takes on auxiliary appraisals.”

“Drug development? Auxiliary appraisals?”

“Well, it’s also involved in hardware and software development, among other projects, so all in all, its business is quite complicated. Shian cooperates with many hospitals. Since they are willing to take over, they won’t leave you alone.”

Anonymous was silent for a moment before giving a leisurely smile. “Well, since it’s like this, I’ll just take it step by step and see what happens.”

He said it with such sincerity that anyone with ears could sense it.

Having said that, the two of them continued to eat their food. In the surveillance room, there were no alarm sounds that went off, indicating that the two didn’t lie during their conversation just now. No matter how anyone looked at it, this was simply a short chat between strangers.

Still, the staff didn’t let their guard down as a result. Seeing that the situation was uneventful, many people subconsciously turned their faces and looked at one person…

Next to the sleeping Fu Xingchuan stood a middle-aged man with a long, thin face.

His cheekbones were high, and there was some nervousness mixed in with his serious expression. With a crumpled gray suit on, this person was like the embodiment of the dean in a student’s nightmare. His fingers were long and thin, and on his ring finger was a conspicuous wedding ring.

Another head of the Emergency Management Department, Professor Li Nian.

Although the room was crowded, there was still a “vacuum zone” around Professor Li.

Li Nian himself didn’t care. He looked at one of Fu Xingchuan’s assistants. “In the previous inquiry, did Fu Xingchuan find any flaws?”

The male assistant replied nervously, “Report, no! The two of them had stable emotions, clear thinking, and normal physical indicators of concentrations of evil qi on their bodies.”

“Other related cases?”

“There is no progress. To be honest, those two seem the most normal.”

“Normal.” Li Nian harped on this word for a while. “Not to mention Anonymous, this Zhong Chengshuo isn’t considered ‘normal’.”

“Minister Fu conducted a polygraph test on him last night.”

“I’ve seen it. ‘Telling the truth’ doesn’t mean there are ‘no reservations’. Fu Xingchuan is good at fighting, but he’s not adapted to reading people.”

Professor Li turned to the male assistant. When he saw the other party’s blank face, he clicked his tongue unceremoniously.

“If you take away the ‘taking care of his parents’ excuse, despite graduating with excellent grades and honors, he defied his mentor’s wish to retain him. After he graduated, he spent two years traveling around the country alone, going to all the remote, third-tier cities.”

“After returning to Haigu, he found a job that didn’t match his qualifications but had access to us. Last night, it’s suspected that an Evil Spirit had broken a seal, and coincidentally, Zhong Chengshuo “just happens” to go out in the heavy storm late at night and run into Anonymous of unknown origins… Don’t forget, Haigu is plainly inconspicuous, and it’s the only place in the country that has raised a live Evil Spirit.”

As Li Nian spoke, he stared at the screen unblinkingly.

“Raise the level of suspicion on Zhong Chengshuo by one. You can say it’s under my instructions based on the chain of doubts I have just told you. In addition, the accent of Anonymous is not quite right. It has characteristics of an ancient language from the Gong Dynasty. Make sure to add this description to the inquiry information as well.”

“Understood!”

“Now, zoom in on monitor No. 28 and take pictures of Anonymous’ iris. I’ll show them to Zhao Bo later.” Professor Li crossed his arms while still maintaining his gloomy expression.

“Iris?”

“I have never seen that color,” Professor Li said in a very natural tone.

The assistant didn’t dare ask too much. He quickly adjusted the hidden camera, cut out a separate screen, and began to shoot Anonymous’ iris with high precision.

A camera hidden in the corner of the restaurant turned. It twisted like a crooked head—from this angle, it could capture the front of Anonymous’ face.

In the picture on the screen, at first there was only Anonymous’ smiling face, then it was enlarged to his eyes, and eventually there was only one huge eye left. It occupied a 55-inch display screen, clearly showing all the details.

Anonymous’ pupils were round and dark, and there were layers of cobweb-like folds on his iris. The color of his iris wasn’t ordinary brown; it looked more like dry blood, though this color wasn’t abnormal to the eye. Once they zoomed in and observed it carefully, the more they looked at it, the redder it seemed.

Professor Li snorted and paced forward half a step.

His leather shoes made a soft sound as they stepped on the floor.

At the same moment, the huge pupil on the screen shrank. Immediately after, the screens flickered at high frequency, and the contents on the screens were distorted into clusters of colored particles. There was an ominous low noise inside the display screen, and a faint burnt smell exuded in the air.

After a brief “malfunction”, the entire room was silent—

The multi-angle shots of the restaurant disappeared.

On the entire wall, all the images cut to an auburn pupil, except they weren’t exactly the same.

On each screen, the rotation of the giant eyes was different. It seemed that the wall in front of them had become a living creature that had grown eyes all over the wall through the monitors. Dozens of pupils seemed as if they were watching them; their oppressive gaze came from all directions, all locking in on one focus…

Where their lines of sight converged stood Professor Li, who had taken half a step forward.

The moment they saw him, dozens of eyes bent slightly, undoubtedly as if they were smiling.

The next moment, all the screens went off at the same time, and when they lit up again, dozens of surveillance screens returned to their original appearance. It was still the sunny restaurant, with two young people eating quietly in a relaxed atmosphere.

The “wall of eyes” that drenched people in cold sweat had completely disappeared, as if it never existed in the first place.

All this happened within ten seconds.

In the terrible silence, Fu Xingchuan got up with a disheveled face. His brow furrowed so much that it could kill mosquitoes.

“Something wrong? Something happened just now… Oh, Professor Li Nian is here. Tell me quickly.”

Li Nian was still standing in his original position, unmoving. He squinted his eyes and carefully observed Anonymous for a while. It took about half a minute before he turned his gaze to Fu Xingchuan.

“Nothing major. I’ll have someone follow up later.”

Professor Li’s face didn’t change color. He took out his phone and looked at it.

“There’s been progress in the mental health facility just now. A patient claimed to have witnessed Anonymous. The report has just been sent. Fu Xingchuan, there’s something fishy about those two people.”

“Hey, not bad, old partner. I think so too.”

“Keep an eye on them?”

“Yes, we’ll be keeping a very watchful eye on them.”

In the restaurant.

Yin Ren was happily enjoying his lunch. The salted egg Lion’s Head had just the right amount of fat. It melted in his mouth, and the oozing soup mixed with rice was so fragrant that he almost lost his senses. The fried chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. With one bite, delicious juices instantly slid over his tongue. He was accustomed to eating fishy animal flesh and cold food in the ancestral hall that the Great Ghost King almost wanted to cry.

It stood to reason that “ordinary humans” should eat vegetables, but he really couldn’t resist the temptation of refined meat.

‘The diced cucumbers in the fried rice should be considered a vegetarian dish,’ Yin Ren thought impartially.

Opposite him, Zhong Chengshuo had just finished his clear soup and put down his chopsticks. All his dishes were eaten clean, and there weren’t even soup stains on the table. At the end of the meal, he took the lead in confirming information on his phone, then glanced at Yin Ren.

Yin Ren knew how attractive his face was to mortals, but he continued to enjoy his delicious food, pretending not to notice the gaze.

But Zhong Chengshuo never looked away.

His eyes were not explicit. There was no appetite for food or surprise or appreciation in those eyes. Despite staring at Yin Ren in silence for a long time, Yin Ren only found traces of doubt in them.

Could it be that his “little trick” of teasing Shian was discovered just now? It shouldn’t be? He was quite sure he had hidden himself well. Wasn’t this kid unable to see the Resentment Basket?

He didn’t tease those security personnel for fun—Yin Ren had to make sure that his situation was suspicious, but he didn’t overdo it. In this way, he would ensure that Shian would take care of him for a long time without locking him up.

At this juncture, things must not go wrong.

“Do you want some of this?” Yin Ren smiled and took the initiative to strike. “You keep looking at me… Here, there’s still a piece of chicken left or do you want to take it to go?”

“No thanks.” Zhong Chengshuo shook his head. “Sorry, I just thought—”

Yin Ren held his breath.

“—I was just thinking that since you lost your memory, I’m not sure how long it’s been since you’ve eaten. It’s not good for your stomach if you eat too much.” Zhong Chengshuo pushed up his glasses on the bridge of his nose and opened his waist bag.

“I have digestive tablets. Do you want them?”

Yin Ren: “……”

Yin Ren: “…Oh, thanks.”

The other party had already reached into his waist bag, so he really couldn’t refuse.

Zhong Chengshuo took out a packet of unopened tablets. He tore off a few pill plates and handed two pieces to Yin Ren, who naturally accepted them. Without the rain wetting Zhong Chengshuo’s fingers, they felt dry and warm.

Unknown whether it was intentional or not, Zhong Chengshuo’s fingertips crossed Yin Ren’s palm and they closed as soon as he touched it.

Zhong Chengshuo’s nails were short and rounded, and the touch felt like a bird’s beak lightly brushing one’s hand. It was an ordinary touch, but Yin Ren had an odd feeling of unease—obviously, Zhong Chengshuo was of no threat to him, but he felt that something was amiss.

After giving the medicine, Zhong Chengshuo no longer looked at Yin Ren. He picked up his phone and was typing on it intently. Yin Ren took advantage of the situation and glanced at the word “family” at the top of the phone. The two digestive tablets had a scent of hawthorn in them. It seemed they were genuine goods, and there wasn’t anything unusual about them.

As for the slight sense of unease, it had since dissipated without a trace.

Yin Ren could only think that perhaps he was just being too paranoid.


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