"The renovation team already did not want to stay inside the deeper part of the morgue, so they sealed up the road that led into the morgue and started expanding outward, following the blueprint. After we left the deeper part of the morgue, the accidents stopped, and the renovation started to rush for the deadline. When they were close to the deadline, to rush the progress, they worked into the night.
"The school also knew how hard it was for the team, so they would assign people to send them water and provide aid." Zhang Li's teeth gritted as he continued. "The school handed this chore to the teachers that stayed at the school dormitory and the security team. Initially, everyone would go together, but after a while, the teachers would leave early since everything was going well. Other people from the security team took this opportunity to push all the work onto me.
"The underground morgue had been renovated many times, so the internal routes were very complicated. I was new, and even with the map, the chance of getting lost was still high. Three days to the deadline, the people from the team were nervous, and they had to hire a new batch of workers to hurry up the process. They worked day and night, so I had to stay to accompany them. It was fine during the day, but the place changed after the sun fell.
"It was middle of summer at the time, and outside was as hot as an oven. However, once you entered the morgue, it was not only not hot, you would shiver uncontrollably for no reason. The new batch of workers did not know about the things that happened in the deeper part of the morgue and they thought the working environment was alright. When some of them got tired at night, they laid a mattress on the floor and slept just like that." Zhang Li squeezed the cigarette against the metal plate as his story was reaching its end.
"The underground morgue was different at night, but how different, I could not really tell. In any case, that night, the strange thing happened again.
"I received a call at 1 am saying that someone on the team had disappeared. I quickly called everyone else and headed to the underground morgue. When we were halfway there, the people called again, saying that the man had been found. At the time, I was so angry, but I was even angrier at the teacher who was responsible for watching over the renovation. The man berated me, saying that I had disturbed his sleep and worried him before I understood everything.
"I could not say anything to explain myself. So, I returned to my bedroom. Not long after that, the people from the renovation team called again, saying that a different person had disappeared. This time, I asked the man for more details. The man said, when the first person disappeared, he said that he heard someone calling his name and he raised his head to see someone waving at him, so he had followed the person. When he was halfway down the corridor, he had realized that the corridor led deeper into the morgue. At that moment, he knew that something was wrong, so he quickly ran back.
"The second person disappeared after he went out in search of the first man. His phone was not reachable, and no one knew where he was. The incident sounded serious, so as I rushed to the morgue, I called the teacher. After the teacher knew the gravity of the situation, he told me to calm the people first, and he would arrive shortly.
"That night, I stayed with the renovation team in the underground morgue, and around dawn, we found the missing man inside the deeper part of the morgue. He was lying next to the half-dug pool, unconscious.
"No one could explain this situation, and anxiety spread through the team. They refused to stay there any longer, but since the deadline was coming soon and their work was almost done, it would be a waste to give up then.
"In the end, it was the school who settled the problem. They assigned the security team to stay with the renovation team in the underground morgue to ensure that the project could be finished on time. That night, two guards and I stayed back so that the team could come to us directly if there was any problem.
"I really could not stand it anymore after midnight, so I found a corner to take a nap. It was quite peaceful that night; there was no accident. The project was reaching its end. After spending so much time in the morgue, that morning, I hit the bed and slept.
"On that last night, we returned to the underground morgue. Everything was going fine, and I believed that the peacefulness would persist through the night, so I found an isolated room and covered myself up with several old cement bags as I tried to sneak a bit of shut eye. Perhaps my mind had been too stressed at the time-sleep came quickly.
"When I opened my blurry eyes, the underground morgue became so dark. The lights brought by the renovation team had all been switched off, and only the old-fashioned lights on the wall were still on.
"I curled up in the corner and looked outward. People were moving in the outside corridor, and it sounded like the team was still working. I had just woken up, so my mind was not that sharp. I took out the phone to check the time. Before I got a clear look at the time, I suddenly heard footsteps. Someone was coming into the room. I was sleeping while people were working-that wasn't good, so I hid myself deeper and kept myself quiet.
"The person walked around the room and left. I glanced at the time; it was 3:40 am. There were several unanswered calls and unread messages on my phone. I clicked the messages open and realized that they were from my teammates, asking me where I was."
The smoke in the room had not dissipated, but Zhang Li took out another cigarette. He lit it and puffed on it.
"At the time, it really did not cross my mind, so I replied to him-'I'm still in the morgue. Where are you guys? Did you two sneak back into the bedroom already?'
"I was a newbie, so I'd been trying to buddy up to him. I even joked about how they left without telling me.
"About ten seconds later, the man replied, telling me to show myself instantly because people were looking for me.
"I was confused. The team was still working outside, and these two had run away from their post. Yet, they told me that people were looking for me.
"Just as I was about to send a reply, the man called. After I answered it, I realized that things were different from what I thought.
"The man immediately told me that the renovation had finished a long time ago, and the team had already all retreated. They wanted to know what I was doing inside the underground morgue."
Zhang Li bit the cigarette in his mouth into half, and his hands gripped his knees. "When he said that, I glanced out the room. One of the people walking on the corridor seemed to have heard me and was walking toward the room that I was hiding in."