Facing the smiling man's interrogation, the doctor appeared surprisingly calm like he had considered this question already. He nudged to stand behind Chen Ge and pulled the scarf to cover even more of his face. "It was a friend who told me the news about you."
"Then how did your friend come to know about it?" After his secret had been exposed, the smile on the man's face bloomed like a spring flower. Both his tone and demeanor were different from before; it felt as if the man would only experience true joy when he was murdering.
"You only killed the people on the bus. At the time, my friend was outside the bus, and he witnessed everything."
"Is that so? Then, where is this friend now?"
"He's dead now. He never returned after entering the ghost apartment." When he heard that the doctor's friend was dead, there was a slight shift to the smiling man's expression. It felt like regret.
"So, I made the mistake of leaving a witness last time, but it doesn't matter. That only reminds me to be more cautious this time." The smiling man stopped hiding his murderous intention. He shuffled out to the aisle, and dark lines surfaced on his skin-they looked like black-colored blood vessels.
"Is this a man or a ghost?" The middle-aged man knew that he was no match for the smiling man either way. He abandoned his wife and son without a second thought as he ran to the front door and prepared to slip out.
"Please try to calm down. Even if you kill us, you will be unable to escape. Just as the doctor said, the real target of the mastermind is you, and we are just collateral damage." Chen Ge stood to shield the doctor. "We're in the same boat. If we turn on each other, it'll only benefit the mastermind. Doesn't it make more sense for us to work together to deal with what's to come?"
His fingers gripping the bag, Chen Ge's palm was coated with sweat. Xu Yin had warned him earlier that this smiling man was very dangerous. When the doctor was speaking earlier, the smiling man had shed his disguise. However, when Chen Ge took the podium, he had hesitated but only for a moment.
"You have a point, but why should I follow your order?" The black lines under the man's skin had connected to form something that looked like a net. It looked like they were about to yank the man's skin and flesh out. For a normal person, this would have been an insurmountable pain, but the smiling man did not show any sense of being in pain; rather, he was smiling even brighter.
He seemed to have gotten used to the sensation of pain. His hands reached toward the corners of his lips, and as he pulled on his skin, the literal yanking back of his skin helped him shed the disguise. His spine grew taller, and the already unnaturally long neck grew longer.
"Perhaps you believe that it is very easy to murder all of us, but don't forget, there is a pair of red high heels on the bus, and the owner of said heels might be following behind one of the passengers. I believe you have the capability to murder all of us, but what kind of advantage will that bring you?" The mention of red high heels gave the smiling man pause, and his hands that pulled on his cheeks lowered.
"We are not enemies. You once killed a whole bus of people, and that made you the enemy of the mastermind, but what does that have to do with the rest of us? The mastermind has dragged us into this to deal with you, so from a certain perspective, we should be ally because we have the shared enemy!" Chen Ge pointed at the blood fog outside the window. "The road we took to come here has already disappeared. We know nothing of this world, and no one can tell what will happen next. Under these circumstances, are you still confident that you'll be able to escape this place alone?"
The blood in the fog stuck to the bus windows, and the old bus was already completely red.
"There is not much time left to think. If you are willing, we'll both benefit, but if you aren't, then we'll have to fight it out. We might not be able to kill you but before our death, I'm sure we're able to injure you somehow." Chen Ge felt for the handle of the hammer through the backpack's fabric. He had no idea whether the smiling man would cooperate or not, and he had to prepare for all contingencies.
No one spoke, and silence fell. The smiling man seemed to be balancing the scale in his mind. Just as the tension rose, a sudden thud came from the center of the bus.
"What the f*ck? Where the hell am I?" The drunkard rolled down from the seat and collapsed to the ground. He glanced out the window, and when he saw the thick blood fog covering all the buildings, he woke up instantly.
The body gag from the drunkard softened the mood inside the bus. The black lines under the smiling man's skin slowly disappeared, and his body returned to normal. It was as if everything earlier did not happen, and the smiling man returned to his seat.
"What is going on‽" The drunkard pinched his cheeks. "I just took one nap, and where have you people taken me? Where's the driver‽"
"The driver has already deserted the bus. We too have to no idea where we are, but one thing's for certain, it is very dangerous here." Chen Ge sighed in relief when he saw the smiling man return to his seat. The fact that they did not resort to violence was good news for Chen Ge because, after all, he still planned to borrow the smiling man's power to deal with the shadow.
"The driver has deserted the bus? Wait a minute, this is so messy. Let me sort through it for a moment first." The drunkard counted on his fingers. "First, I had a bit too much to drink, then I waited at the bus stop for a bus. I appeared to have fallen asleep on the bus, and there's nothing wrong with that!" The haze of alcohol surrounded the drunkard. He spoke with a heavy nasally voice, and he slurred his words. "By the way, why did the driver desert the bus? Did we get hijacked? Why didn't you wake me if something like that happened?"
If there was anyone who dared to hijacked Chen Ge's bus, then they were truly the luckiest b*stard alive.
"Nothing like that happened, but then our current situation might be ten times more dangerous than a hijacking." Chen Ge did not ignore the drunkard simply because he was just a normal person. "There might be crazed murderer hiding inside the blood fog. If you fall into their hands when you're alone, you might end up getting dismembered."
"Murderers? Dismembered? What the f*ck? I'm calling the cops!" The drunkard yanked out his phone, but there was no signal after they entered the fog.
"The fog has blocked all signal. Save your energy. If we aren't able to escape from this fog, we'll all die here." Chen Ge consoled the drunkard and turned to face everyone else. "The bus attracts too many eyeballs being stuck in the middle of the road. I think we should find a place to hide first and observe our surroundings before deciding our next step."
"I have no issue with that." The doctor was the first to agree, and the other passengers soon followed suit.
"Okay, then we should leave the bus. Staying here will make us an easy target." Chen Ge grabbed his backpack and the travel bag with the white cat inside and was the first to leave the last bus on Route 104.
He used Yin Yang Vision to scan the surrounding buildings. His expression shifted. "I've seen these buildings in Xiao Bu's game before!"
At the time, to look for the first save point, Chen Ge had practically run up and down the streets in the game countless times.
"The game mirrors real life; this should be very advantageous to me." With the map of the city still memorized in his mind, the disturbance of the blood fog on Chen Ge had dropped to the lowest.