The light around them slowly disappeared. It felt as if the taxi was being pushed into the ocean. When the last shred of light vanished, it meant that the passengers inside the taxi were enveloped by darkness.
"Is... is someone there?" When the continuous rapping petered away, the driver slowly raised his head. His hands went searching for his mobile.
"Don't move, lie down." The voice was harsh, but the driver did not rebel against and moved to oblige. The one giving the order was Chen Ge. The sound of tapping had disappeared, but the spirits were still surrounding the taxi; they had not left.
"What do they want?" With Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge could see things that the driver could not, and from his perspective, they were not in a good spot. Every inch of the taxi's exterior was covered by bloody handprints, and the people that had left those handprints were surrounding the taxi. Each one of them had a strange facial expression, and their bodies were turned toward the same direction. Their lips moved up and down like fish, sucking in the strange air inside the tunnel.
About ten minutes later, a strange noise came from deep within the tunnel. It was hard to describe. It sounded like thousands of centipedes crawling on the wall, and at the same time, it sounded like a giant breathing, its breaths scraping the uneven tunnel walls.
After that sound appeared, the spirits around the taxi started to move toward the sound. Footprints echoed around them, but there was no living human in sight. The driver hid inside the car, hugging his head; he was well and truly frightened. It was too dark for him to see anything, but his ears kept picking up these strange audio cues. They rushed into his mind, and the driver felt like his brain was about to explode.
A light creak came from a part of the car. It sounded like the door was being eased open.
Without the light, no one knew what was happening. Half an hour later, when the sound had completely silenced and the tunnel became quiet again, the driver finally summoned his courage to go looking for his phone. Using the weak light from the screen, he looked around the inside of his car.
The doors had been left open, and there were no other passengers in the car. The taxi was empty with the driver remaining alone at the driver's seat.
"Where are all the people?" With people next to him, he would not be so afraid, but realizing that he was all alone, the driver started to panic. He activated the walkie-talkie, but all he could hear was static-there was no one talking. He tried to call his friends and colleagues on his phone, but strangely enough, no one was answering.
He was unable to keep his movement silent due to anxiety, and he called out on the verge of tears, "Please, is anyone there? Anyone will do, can someone answer me‽"
"Stop yelling, shush." A ray of light appeared at the front of the car. The driver looked to the source, and it was a young man carrying a backpack standing there. The driver was familiar with the man's outline-he was the first passenger that he had picked up that night.
"Don't waste time and follow my orders. First, try and see if you can start the car or not." Chen Ge held the backpack with one hand and his expression was severe. The driver understood the gravity of the situation and did not pause to ask questions. He tried multiple times, but the engine was still not working.
"Get out of the car to inspect the engine. Quick, we don't have much time to waste." With the urging from Chen Ge, the driver crawled out from the car. The hair on his body stood on end once he noted the bloody prints that covered his vehicle. Opening the front lid, the driver leaned in to look. The internal compartment was ruined by the reams of black hair that curled around everything. He was unable to cut them loose without the aid of tools.
"Do you have any scissors?" the driver asked Chen Ge in a whisper.
"Will a hammer work?"
"Er, never mind then." The driver closed the lid and followed behind Chen Ge with a saddened frown. "It should be the hair that plugged up the pipes of the motor. I won't be able to fix it without the necessary tools."
"In that case, we'll abandon the car for now. Later, remember to stay close to me, and no matter what happens, do not wander too far away from me." Chen Ge turned on the flashlight function attached to his phone and started to walk down the road opposite in the direction that the spirits had gone.
"Did you see the two other passengers? How come you're the only one here?" After a brief hesitation, the driver finally asked that question.
"Even now, do you still think they are normal passengers? Those two have already moved deeper into the tunnel." Chen Ge was not going to waste time explaining these things to the driver. If not for the fact that he thought the driver was a kind-hearted person, he did not think that he would waste the time to lead the driver out and would have joined the 'crowd' earlier to head deeper into the tunnel. "This tunnel is seriously dangerous. I'll bring you out first and leave after ensuring you're safe."
"Thank you." The driver was genuinely appreciative of Chen Ge. Under that condition, having the company of a living human was something worth celebrating.
"If you want to thank me, make sure that you keep everything that you see tonight to yourself and don't tell a third person after you leave this place." Chen Ge kept his voice low, and it added an air of mystery to everything.
After hearing that, the driver nodded consecutively, promising to follow Chen Ge's orders. The duo walked down the tunnel for three minutes, but they were no closer to the exit.
"This is not right." Chen Ge stopped, standing in the middle of the tunnel. "It only took half a minute for the light to disappear after the taxi was hauled into the tunnel. At the time, the car was moving about as fast as we're moving. In other words, we should only take one minute before we saw the exit, but we've been walking for longer than that, and there's not a shred of light in sight."
"You're right! What's going on?" Hearing Chen Ge's analysis, the driver shivered out in cold sweat. "Perhaps we've gone in the wrong direction? Have we accidentally moved deeper into the tunnel?"
"The front of the car is facing the deeper part of the tunnel, so our direction cannot be wrong."
"Then, why aren't we out of this tunnel yet?"
"How am I supposed to know?" This was the first time that Chen Ge had encountered something like this. With one hand on the wall, he stealthily took out the black phone. "If only I could contact that Red Specter in the tunnel. Last time we met, we had quite a friendly talk, and it shouldn't be too hard to ask her for a little favor."
Chen Ge did not know the name of the Red Specter and did not know how to contact her. However, thinking about his previous experience there, Chen Ge had a brave idea surfacing in his mind.
He clicked open mission for the End of the Tunnel on the black phone and read the mission hint again. "Close your eyes, and you might see a different world."
With the driver looking on with shock, Chen Ge shredded the sleeve of his shirt.
"What are you doing?"
Chen Ge ignored the driver. He folded the torn sleeve into a blindfold and tied it around his eyes.
"Brother, what are you doing? Can you please act a bit more normally?" The driver was frozen standing where he was. He could not understand Chen Ge's action at all.
"Be quiet and follow me. If you're really that afraid, feel free to close your eyes." With his hand touching the wall, Chen Ge continued to move forward in this manner.