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“Lin Feng’s always been the most steady of us all, why would he break down all of a sudden?”
“I can’t say. Perhaps we’ve been depending on him too much of late…”
“Was there a pre-existing psychological condition, maybe…”
“Enough!” Yan Aoxue’s voice sliced through the murmurings of Chen Fang and Li Yixin, sharp and commanding.
Yan Aoxue’s mind involuntarily replayed the recent memory of Lin Feng’s face. His inner turmoil, though subtly seeping through moments prior, erupted after his eyes met the television. His reaction, albeit momentarily delayed, seemed out of place — it was just a typical news broadcast, after all. Yan Aoxue had initially intended to discuss with Lin Feng the sudden appearance of the news, but then…
Was it genuinely a mental breaking point due to stress? It hardly seemed consistent with Lin Feng’s usual demeanor, did it?
“This young man…has he been concealing something all this while?” Old Liu felt a stirring of guilt in his chest as he observed the school doctor rush after Lin Feng. Their collective, perhaps excessive, reliance on Lin Feng might indeed have sparked his psychological eruption on this occasion.
“What happened during your mission with the spiders?” The principal inquired, gazing at Hao Jian, who had been pacing uneasily ever since he observed Lin Feng’s abrupt shift.
“Eh? Principal, what were you saying?” Hao Jian blinked, redirecting his attention to the principal.
“Steady yourself, Hao Jian. Trust the school doctor,” assured the principal, patting the young man’s tense shoulders. “She’s basically our in-house psychologist now. I asked you what you experienced during the mission with the spiders.”
“I apologize, Principal. My knowledge is limited. Actually, most of the mission involved Lin Feng communicating with the spiders. We only assisted in transporting oil drums. After a brief battle with the spiders, we ventured out again to rescue Lin Feng. Beyond that…”
Hao Jian took a reflective pause, yet he still couldn’t pinpoint the cause of Lin Feng’s sudden mental unraveling.
“I can’t, Principal. I need to see him.” Unable to suppress the concern burgeoning within him, Hao Jian decided to follow, unwilling to bear the sensation of possibly losing something crucial once again.
“I’m going too,” declared Yan Aoxue with firm resolve.
The principal, with a somewhat dimmed expression, sighed. “All of you… Please ensure that you do nothing to further agitate Lin Feng. The madness that this apocalyptic situation can induce is something I… will choose not to witness.”
He recalled his own dark moments, contemplating suicide when his wife and daughter turned into zombies, and water resources dwindled to nothing. He’d even thought of embracing his wife as they both perished. But then, Lin Feng entered his room.
Perched atop the warehouse roof, Lin Feng observed the school doctor below, his gaze laden with vigilance.
If this scenario were a spider’s illusion, then the school doctor below would be a giant spider with a gaping, bloody maw, presumably the so-called Spider Queen, waiting to savor the delicacy of his imminent demise.
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He hadn’t anticipated such a brief ‘cat life’, barely over a month since the apocalypse began. Damn the end times! He still wished to see his parents once more and worried about the well-being of Liu Mengqi in the real world, having promised his mother to take good care of her.
On the warehouse rooftop, Lin Feng unleashed a series of melancholic wails and woeful howls, echoing despairingly into the vast sky.
Unexpectedly, a delectable aroma wafted into Lin Feng’s nostrils, prompting his petite nose to twitch, tracing the source of the scent.
Following the scent, he saw the school doctor below, one hand holding a pack of his beloved small fish snacks while the other wafted an alluring fragrance toward him with a fan.
“Even if I, Lin Feng, were to starve, or dive from here to my death, or perish outside, I won’t fall for a spider’s temptation!”
Yet, after a mere few seconds of resistance, Lin Feng opted for the path of indulgence, leaping from the rooftop, and grasping the pack of small fish snacks from the school doctor’s hand.