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Chapter 29: Lin Feng’s Disappearance

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Mi Dashuai
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“Quick, Lin Feng, up here!” Liu Tao called out urgently, having already assisted Anna and the principal to safety. But as he moved to lower the curtain rope, Anna stopped him with a swift hand gesture.

“She might… might not have survived,” Anna’s voice trembled, the weight of despair evident in her teary eyes. Although she harbored a fragile hope that Lin Feng was still out there, alive, she couldn’t escape the gnawing fear that it was just wishful thinking.

Even though the hall was mostly cleared of zombies, staying any longer could lead to being surrounded by the remaining few. With just a dagger in hand and the unconscious principal in tow, Anna realized they wouldn’t stand a chance. She made the difficult decision to move on without looking back at the silhouette she’d left behind.

By the time she reached the 5th floor and looked downward, Lin Feng was nowhere in sight. Instead, a morbid scene unfolded: zombies gathered near a tree by the lotus pond, seemingly devouring something – or someone.

The memory of Lin Feng’s limping silhouette brought fresh tears to Anna’s eyes. She took a deep breath, then signaled the 7th floor with a unique knock: three rapid taps, followed by one prolonged. The curtain above began its descent.

After securing the principal with the curtain, Anna gave another signal. Liu Tao, along with some female students, managed to pull the principal up to the 7th floor without a hitch.

Once the principal was safe, Anna prepared to ascend next, but before she could, an alarming shout echoed, “Hey, Zhu! The girl from the 7th floor’s making a run for it!” A male student, initially irritated by the noisy zombies, had approached the window for a smoke, only to catch sight of Anna’s ascent.

“Pull her down, now!” Zhu Hanfang barked, his earlier irritation replaced by a sharp urgency upon seeing Anna. But Anna’s light frame worked in her favor. With a united effort, Liu Tao and his team quickly pulled her up.

They readied to send the curtain down again, presumably for Lin Feng, but Anna stilled them, “No need.” She gestured resignedly toward the group of zombies below. Overcome with grief, she whispered, “It’s already done,” before retreating to the storeroom, tears streaking her face.

Liu Tao and the girls stood rooted in shock, their eyes fixated on the ghoulish scene below. The once indomitable Lin Feng couldn’t have possibly…

Oblivious to the somber mood, old man Liu cheerfully inquired, “What’s transpired here? And where’s our young savior, Lin Feng? We should be thanking him. Look at all these supplies! Food, clothing, medicine – this bounty will keep us going for a long while. And since we’re mostly females here, we’ll make it last even longer.”

In different circumstances, old man Liu would’ve celebrated with his favorite tune, “Good Days.” Especially after he, accompanied by Liu Mengqi and Yan Aoxue, had discovered from the school doctor that his dear friend’s ailment was merely dehydration. They had so much to be thankful for. But the mood now was anything but celebratory.

Dr. Hu assured everyone that with a simple intravenous rehydration, the unconscious principal would be on the path to recovery soon.

Emerging from the rest area, their relief was short-lived when they spotted Liu Tao standing motionlessly beside the curtain rope. A heavy air of sorrow hung around the silent female students nearby.

“Lin Feng… he didn’t make it back,” Liu Tao uttered after a lengthy pause, casting his eyes downward as he walked towards his bed.

Upon hearing the distressing news, Liu Mengqi’s emotions surged uncontrollably. “Lies! Why would you say such a thing!?” In her agitation, she delivered a swift kick that sent Liu Tao sprawling into a stack of folded beds. Tear-filled eyes never leaving his, she glared at him.

“Liu Tao, can you explain what happened?” Yan Aoxue’s clenched hands and wavering voice betrayed the strong facade she attempted to maintain.

Unfazed by Liu Mengqi’s outburst, Liu Tao corrected the overturned beds. “I don’t have the complete story. After rescuing Anna from the 5th floor, she shared what she knew,” he said, gesturing towards Anna in the storeroom. He then lay down, turning away from the room, lost in his thoughts.

From the resting area, several students arrived, blissfully unaware of the somber atmosphere. They jovially munched on snacks, a poignant reminder of Lin Feng’s sacrifice.

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“Mr. Liu, why not lighten the mood with a party tonight? Xiaoling’s singing is a real treat,” Chen Fang chimed in, snacking and strolling beside a revitalized Xiaoling, who had recently found solace with Dr. Hu’s counseling.

“We should all rest,”Old Liu interrupted, his voice tinged with melancholy. He headed towards the storeroom, paying no heed to Chen Fang’s cheerful suggestion.

Perplexed by the sudden shift in mood, the others reluctantly retreated to their resting places. Meanwhile, Liu Mengqi and Yan Aoxue, sharing a moment of silent understanding, gravitated hand in hand towards the storeroom.

Listening intently to Anna’s narrative, Old Liu’s face reflected a whirlwind of emotions. “I shouldn’t have abandoned Lily. If only I’d been more vigilant. Liu Mengqi, I know she’s your close friend but… I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault. Lin Feng made his choice,” Old Liu consoled her. “Your efforts in bringing the principal back are commendable.” Pausing for a moment, he sighed deeply and left the room.

From a secluded corner of the storeroom, the heartrending sound of three girls sobbing echoed, their tears marking a shared grief.

That evening, despite the bounty of food and medicine they had amassed, there were no celebrations, no parties.

The loss of Lin Feng had left a void, akin to a ship losing its anchor. The group, already on edge due to Zhu Hanfang’s looming threat, was further shattered by the news of Lin Feng’s demise. It had always been Lin Feng who ventured out, bringing back the much-needed supplies. His death meant not only the loss of a protector but also a forager. Even though their current stock seemed substantial, it would run out eventually. Soon, another would have to venture into the dangerous unknown. The only males in the group with combat capabilities now were Song Zhe and Liu Tao. With Chen De handicapped after losing an arm, any expedition he undertook would be perilous. Worryingly, whispers of surrendering to Zhu Hanfang began among some of the women.

“Such cowards!” Anna exclaimed, her eyes burning with anger, as she pointed at the small group of women contemplating surrender.

“Cowards? What do you know of our fears? We’re petrified! The monsters, the dead—Lin Feng fell to them. How do you expect us to survive?” A freckled girl from the huddled group retorted, her voice thick with fear and defiance. Her sentiment was echoed by nods from her companions.

“How weak can you be? Do you still believe this is the peaceful world we once knew? Thinking that by being cute or pleading, you’ll find safety? Once you’re with Zhu Hanfang, you’ll see what a real hell feels like!” Anna shot back, standing tall and defiant, her gaze unwavering and full of disdain.

“You…” The freckled girl began, her voice thick with rage. Then, a sudden realization hit her. “See her leg! She’s been bitten by one of those monsters!” Spotting Anna’s awkward gait and the bandage encircling her ankle, she sneered, “So this is the price of your bravery? Tie her up! She could change at any moment!”

Heeding her command, two of the freckled girl’s close allies lunged at Anna, catching her off guard. With a force that surprised Anna, they threw her down. Anna’s head slammed against a glass pane, disorienting her.

“What… what are you doing?” Anna managed to murmur, the weight of her dizziness pressing down on her, as she felt the ropes start to bind her.

“It’s over for you, infected one,” the freckled girl sneered, a sinister smile warping her face.


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