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“Don’t lie, Lin Feng!” Doctor Hu said, her eyes twinkling as they drifted to the tail that Lin Feng had tried to hide behind his back, and she smiled knowingly.
“Uh, well…” Lin Feng let his tail unfurl, mulling over his words for a second.
“Aren’t we supposed to be talking about when you’re gonna check on Hao Jian? The guy’s not faring so well; he needs a check-up, like, now,” Lin Feng quickly redirected the conversation toward Hao Jian’s worsening condition, making way for Doctor Hu.
Song Zhe cleared away the blood and gave a nod, signaling for Doctor Hu to take the reins. She approached and opened Hao Jian’s mouth to give his tongue a look-see.
“Looks like he’s been skipping meals, low blood sugar. It’s not a huge deal. Lin Feng, can you grab the glucose drip for me? You know which one it is, right?”
Lin Feng quickly nodded at Doctor Hu’s question, laced with a subtle hint of a threat.
“Sure thing, how could I mess up something as basic as glucose?” He recalled a detail from one of Doctor Hu’s lectures—the glucose had a purple label, right?
Turning his attention back to the assorted medical supplies, Lin Feng felt momentarily overwhelmed by the selection.
“Liu Mengqi, can you come here a sec?”
“What’s going on, Lin Feng?” Liu Mengqi, busy exploring her ‘new home,’ came over when she heard him.
“Hey, my eyes aren’t cooperating right now. Can you double-check if this is the glucose bottle?”
“Ah, this big bottle right here?”
“Yeah, how could you not recognize it?” Liu Mengqi said, eyebrows knitting as she reached to nab his tail.
“Hey, watch it! I was just seeing if you’d remember,” Lin Feng retorted, his tail nimbly avoiding her grip with a 60 degrees spin. Grabbing the bottle of glucose and a few syringes, he rushed back to where Hao Jian was lying.
As he sprinted off, Liu Mengqi rubbed her chin in thought. “Wait a sec, isn’t his eyesight sharper than a hawk’s?”
Nervously, Lin Feng approached the school doctor, offering up the bottle. It was then that he actually bothered to read the label: “Glucose Injection.” So much for cutting corners.
The doctor scrutinized the bottle before nodding approvingly and setting up the drip for Hao Jian. “Make sure someone stays here to keep an eye on him. He’ll be up and about soon enough. When he wakes, give him something light to eat. But don’t overdo it; we don’t want complications.”
Pausing at the door, the school doctor threw a last instruction over her shoulder. “You guys got the needle removal under control, right? Just yank it and press some cotton on the wound. I’ll have someone bring some cotton swabs and alcohol.” With that, she exited, merging into the throng of students cleaning up the zombie-riddled courtyard.
‘Zombies everywhere, geez’, thought Lin Feng. ‘Good thing we’re tackling this mess today. Shower and sleep are long overdue’.
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“I got this,” Lin Feng cut off Song Zhe.
He had become something like Hao Jian’s emotional anchor. Who knows how the guy would react waking up to find Lin Feng missing?
“Hey Lin Feng, remember you’re a guy, right?”
“I know. Now scram.”
Song Zhe let out a sigh, nodded, and exited. Almost immediately, Anna’s voice, tinged with reluctance, filled the space. “Nutritional drinks and alcohol-soaked cotton swabs, as ordered.”
“Wait, you’re not going to ‘blossom’?” Anna gave Lin Feng a puzzled look as she set the items down next to him.
(End of Chapter 54)
“Seriously, ‘blossom’? As if!” Lin Feng said, practically pushing Anna out the door. He paused just long enough to ruffle Anna’s furry tousle of hair, setting off a series of happy barks, before slamming the heavy wooden door shut with a decisive thud.
Kneading his temples, Lin Feng eyed Hao Jian’s inert form on the floor. His mind whirred, grappling with unsettling questions—why were bats in the school? What were those giant spiders doing by the pool? The lack of answers only intensified his unease.
“If we’re going to make this place home, we’ve got some cleaning to do,” Lin Feng thought to himself. The area seemed mostly zombie-free, but what about the giant spiders? The principal had mentioned that fire would scare them off, but that would probably only work against the smaller variants.
Carefully, Lin Feng removed Hao Jian’s glucose drip. He couldn’t help but notice that Hao Jian’s face started looking less like a zombie and more like his old self.
Just as he was wrapping his head around all this, Liu Mengqi walked in, right on cue. “Feng, you really need some sleep,” she said, yawning. She looked exhausted, dark circles under her eyes, as she helped him clean up the medical stuff.
“You head to bed. I’m camping out here tonight,” Lin Feng replied.
“Wait, for real?” Liu Mengqi perked up, her eyes trailing down to his chest.
“What are you up to?” Lin Feng blurted out, his eyes widening.
“Just checking, Feng. The doc said Hao Jian is fine, so how ’bout we get some rest?” she yawned. Already decked out in her medical scrubs like they were pajamas, she grabbed for Lin Feng’s tail, clearly planning to drag him along.
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“Hold on a sec, sis! It’s not his physical well-being that’s got me on edge; it’s what’s going on in his head,” Lin Feng interrupted, eyes narrowing as Liu Mengqi reached for his tail. Seriously, she was making a habit of this tail-grabbing thing—definitely not good!
“Fine, be my guest,” Liu Mengqi sighed, releasing her grip on his tail. “But seriously, take care of yourself,” she urged before making her exit toward the living quarters.
“Care for myself? Do I look like a kid to you?” Lin Feng shot back, though his words only echoed in the now-empty room.
Alone now, he looked around the archery hall they’d turned into their makeshift home. It was spacious, with a cool tiled roof and wooden walls in an ancient style reminiscent of a period drama. The largest room would be the main hall, acting as a central hub for several other smaller side rooms. There was a connected courtyard, roughly split in half. On the left was the archery range, while the right had a small dirt path that led to the kitchen and the toilets.
The main hall wasn’t too suited for a resting area due to the lack of walls, so the side rooms were chosen instead. For his part, he took the left side room along with Hao Jian.
As his eyes wandered to his new accommodations, he found Hao Jian’s scattered DVDs and video games – clearly, this was Hao Jian’s actual room. On top of Hao Jian’s weird limited-edition cat DVD, there was a warm brazier in the center of the room’s tatami mats.
Feeling a restless pulse in his fingers, Lin Feng got busy. He started reorganizing Hao Jian’s haphazard pile of DVDs and video games, each title finding its way back to its designated spot with a satisfying click.
Finally, he sank back down next to Hao Jian, who still hadn’t moved a muscle. As he did, a weighted sigh slipped through his lips, and the edges of his vision started to go fuzzy.
Lin Feng had never been fond of his new sleep cycle; it sapped his energy during the day. Although he seemed to be perpetually sleeping, he considered it a strategy for building up resilience. There were moments when he didn’t have the luxury of rest, so he took his sleep seriously when he could.
Spreading his hair over himself as a makeshift cover, he curled into a ball and closed his eyes, welcoming the tranquility of the night.
However, peace was short-lived. Near a pile of lifeless zombies in the yard, a pair of blood-red eyes slowly emerged from the shadows. With a subtle leap, the mysterious entity landed on the eaves of the roof, surveying the quiet courtyard and the students who were assigned to keep watch.
(End of Chapter 55)