"Before illness, man will appear very small-that is something that I have come to understand recently."
The man kept coughing. It seemed his body could not carry on any longer. "Before this, I was an easily-angered individual, but the illness has slowly worn my edges away. After my battle with it, I've realized how fragile humans are."
"Please stop walking. Why don't you stop and rest? I'll arrive at Jiujiang World Trade Center soon. If you have anything to share, why don't we do that in person?" Chen Ge lied about his location. He signaled at the driver to tell him to drive faster. According to the internet search, the school that was next to the train track was close to Southern Jiujiang, not far from where he was.
"I stopped moving a long time ago. It's time to continue moving forward." The man's voice was shaking. The pain from his cough was hard to describe. "I know that you're only thinking about me, but I want to go and see other scenarios, and that is why I am heading to this very tall place."
Chen Ge did not know how to comfort the man. After all, he was not a professional therapist.
"If you die, you'll lose everything. Calm down first. Think about the unfinished business that you have in your memory, think about the people that care about you-they're still waiting for you. Every second that you've spent with them is an important, treasured memory for them." Chen Ge spoke fast. He was feeling the pressure and kept waving his hand at the driver.
The driver was a clever person. He knew the severity of the situation from the words that came from Chen Ge's mouth, so he drove faster. They passed the entrance to the children's theme park and headed toward Southern Jiujiang's countryside.
Eastern Jiujiang was the largest district, and Southern Jiujiang was the smallest, so it had a very good public transport system. The man's voice continued. He seemed to treat Chen Ge as his last listener and told Chen Ge many things about himself.
The taxi raced on the road. The buildings on the side became smaller, and the number of pedestrians decreased. Sitting inside the car, Chen Ge talked to the man on the phone while he kept his eyes on the road and compared the map to look for the traditional Chinese school.
The coughing of the man on the phone became more drastic, sounding very much like he was going to cough his lungs out. This was not an exaggeration. Just from the sound alone, Chen Ge could tell how much pain the man was in.
"Hang in there! I'll be there in a minute!" Chen Ge was agitated. The sound that came from the phone was so real that he believed that there was still a chance to salvage the situation.
"It's okay, I'm used to it." The man said that after a long silence. His voice was mixed with a type of release, unwillingness, and freedom. He tried to explain himself clearly even though it would injure his swollen neck and throat. "I'm already very happy that you're willing to talk to me for so long. Go back home. I'm not where I told you I am. You don't need to come to see me. I can walk the rest of the distance on my own."
The wind grew, and Chen Ge held his breath. He was afraid of hearing the sound of the train. When the sound arrived, most likely, the man would have reached his destination.
Several minutes later, the driver reached the place. There was a nicely-preserved building at the end of the street-it was the old home for a scholar at Jiujiang, and the school was next to this building. The driver did not interrupt Chen Ge's conversation with the man. After he parked the car, he pointed outside the window and then at the meter.
Chen Ge was in a hurry to find the man. He grabbed some random notes from his pocket and tossed them to the driver. Following which, he pushed the door open, grabbed his backpack, and jumped out.
On the other end, the man's consciousness was flagging. He could barely finish a whole sentence, and his sense of logic was fraying.
"You have not finished your story. Earlier you were telling me about how you met your wife. What happened then?" Chen Ge did not dare let the man stop talking and tried to make the man continue the conversation. Not far from the street were the train tracks. The tracks were shielded on both sides by rails. However, part of the rails had been taken down. Most likely, the local citizens had taken them down for the sake of convenience.
Where is the man?
This was the place that combined the sound of train and the sound of children recitation. The phone call was still ongoing, so Chen Ge did not dare make too much noise. He ran down the rails, and the wind cut through his ears. In the dark, the train tracks were like a staircase that led to another world. They had no end, reaching into the dark.
"This staircase will not lead you to heaven..." He had no idea when the next train would arrive. The only thing that Chen Ge could do was find the man and then get him to safety. Chen Ge had no idea whether he was doing the right or wrong thing, but he wanted to try his best to make the man reconsider.
With one hand on the phone and the other holding the bag, Chen Ge ran down the side of the tracks alone. "Calm down, you have to calm down!"
Chen Ge had been unable to rescue the previous two victims, but he was not going to fail this time. The coughing began anew. The man's physical condition seemed to have reached its limit. He stopped moving.
"I'm about to reach that place already," the man's voice said. "If there's any regret, I should have spent more time with them."
When the man spoke, Chen Ge's pupils narrowed. Using Yin Yang Vision, he saw a human shadow quite a distance away. The man was sitting in the middle of the train tracks, and before him extended the tracks that cut right into the darkness.
Is that him?
Chen Ge ran toward the man, and gradually, there was light coming through the darkness. The wind picked up, and the man said, "I can already see the destination that I'm heading toward. It's bright, a light that is slowly approaching..."
"Quick! Get away from there!" Chen Ge knew what that light was-the train was coming! He dropped the bag and charged toward the shadow. Through the phone, the sound of the train grew as Chen Ge got closer and closer to the shadow. He ignored everything else-there was only one thought in his mind then, which was to pull the shadow away.
Chen Ge saw the approaching train. He bit on his lips until they bled, but he forced himself to continue moving forward. If there was a third person, it would have looked like Chen Ge was actively running toward the incoming train.
"Get out of the way!" In the blink of an eyes, Chen Ge had reached the black shadow. Before the train came, he reached out toward the shadow. His palm was touched by a chill. Before he could understand what that meant, Chen Ge grabbed the thing, and they both rolled away from the tracks.
The train flew past them, just a few seconds after they had been on the tracks. His whole body was soaked by cold sweat. Even when facing a Red Specter, Chen Ge had never been this afraid. The wheels of the train trundled over the tracks. The sound was heavy. Chen Ge only sighed in relief after the train left.
"Are you okay?" He quickly looked toward the black shadow that he had grabbed earlier. When he lifted his head, he realized that the black shadow was standing on the other side of the tracks, keeping his distance from Chen Ge.
"Why would you save me?" The voice made by the shadow was similar to the one on the phone.
"Do you need a reason to save someone?" Chen Ge retorted. He ended the call and walked toward the shadow. As he approached, the facial features of the shadow became clearer. Blood soaked out from his skin to slowly dye his shirt red.