Clamping its hands tightly on the waste container, Nagashi stared fixedly at the human head .
“Everybody, stay calm!”
As a murmur spread across the crowd, somebody from the shop shouted . The voice was clear and crisp, and it sounded like a kid . Soon, a frail, tiny figure appeared, exposing himself as a kid . The boy, who did not appear more than 10 years old, skipped from the shop as he tried to avoid stepping on the glass fragments on the ground, causing his fluffy, curly hair to bob up and down in tandem with every step he took .
His face was pale as he went closer to the head . Then, stretching the cloth in his hand wide, he covered the head and held it up as if he was holding a football . After that, he turned around to glance at the crowd and shouted, “This woman was attempting a burglary in my shop and got hit by one of my anti-theft mechanisms . There’s nothing to worry about, so you all can disperse now . I’ve already called the police . ”
The mass of onlookers all heaved a great sigh of relief in unison . No matter when or where, be it in the modern days or in their current apocalypse era, knowing that there was a legal system to back them up was always assuring . Unlike other places, which followed Social Darwinism as the universal rule, Black’s Market had a very strict set of rules of its own, and according to the rules, any unprovoked killings were strictly prohibited . Since the boy was willing to call the police, it meant that the shop was still under the jurisdiction of Black’s Market .
It was obvious that the boy was reluctant to handle the head . He pinched the head with his fingers and stretched his arm out to keep the head as further away as possible from him . The light blue cloth turned red as it sucked up the blood from the head like a hungry vampire at a feast . It continued to absorb more and more blood until it was fully soaked up and dribbled at the tip .
‘Is the woman dead? Did she run into someone more powerful than her, so she died that quickly?’
Nagashi frowned . In her empty heart, there was no happiness or excitement as she expected but only a fit of unfounded anger . ‘No, no, I didn’t get to kill her . This isn’t enough! This isn’t what I want! I want more! I want to see her blood! I must be the one who kills her! I want revenge! I want to fill my emptiness with more death! This is all Melhor’s fault! This is all Melhor’s fault! Where is she?! I want to kill her! I want to kill her! If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have become like this!’
By the time the duoluozhong snapped itself out of the trance, the boy was walking back to the shop . The crowd began to thin out and returned to do their own errands . After all, death was not a strange occurrence in the doomsday .
Before the boy stepped into the shop, Nagashi took a glance at him . He had fair skin and a tiny build . He looked like a girl, but that was not what drew its attention . The moment the boy turned his body around from the crowd, the nervousness that was portrayed earlier vanished from his face . He just set his jaw tightly as he stared fixedly at the head in his hand while his brows were creased at the center of his forehead .
It was as if he did not understand how Lin Sanjiu could have died so easily .
Before Nagashi could go any deeper into its thoughts, the boy suddenly raised his head as if he sensed its gaze . He held Nagashi’s gaze for a while . Then, without saying anything, he resumed walking back into the shop with the head in his hand .
‘So, what should I do now?’
Even though the woman was dead, Nagashi was not the one who killed her . The darkness that was nibbling at its heart was not satisfied . It wanted to scream and shout . It wanted to destroy, and it wanted bloodshed . ‘Useless woman! Useless woman! Why is she so weak? Why couldn’t she just hold on until the bun began to take effect? Why? Why? Why?’
Just when Nagashi stood there drowned in its own thoughts, the boy’s head popped out from the shop .
“Hey you,” he hollered out, nudging his chin, “You are a duoluozhong, aren’t you? Come over here and help me clean up the mess . ”
The boy seemed to have mistaken Nagashi as the cleaning duoluozhong in Black’s Market .
Nagashi thought for a moment and then walked over without any hesitation .
“There’s blood all over the floor . Be careful with your feet and don’t make a mess of it,” the boy ordered without looking at Nagashi . He handed the duoluozhong a scrap of reasonably clean cloth and then walked to the back of the shop with Lin Sanjiu’s head . “I’ll turn on the lights while you move the corpse to the corner of the wall . What are you still waiting for? Chop-chop and get going already!”
Looking around the dimly lit surroundings, Nagashi could make out a headless corpse that lay sprawl-eagled in the center of two circular racks . The corpse was wearing a black tank top, a black jacket, cargo pants, and a pair of boots—Lin Sanjiu’s everyday attire . It appeared to Nagashi that she did not have enough time to react before she died . She did not put up any defensive stance before she fell to the ground .
Grabbing the cloth, Nagashi crouched down and scooped Lin Sanjiu’s corpse from the ground . Her skin was cool to the touch and felt smooth . There was a section of jagged bone jutting out from the badly mutilated wound . It lay the corpse on its arm as it heaved it to the wall . Since rigor mortis had not set in yet, the corpse could not stand up properly and kept sliding down the wall .
Just when Nagashi was struggling with the corpse, it heard a light tap from behind . It turned its head to see the boy admiring a choker in his hand . The boy had taken the cloth off Lin Sanjiu’s head . Her face seemed out of shape, bathed under the light from the lamp .
“So, this is the Pygmalion Choker,” the boy said as he inspected the beautifully crafted choker . He seemed eager to put it on, but a voice inside him was telling him not to . After that, he kept the choker away and examined the head .
Before the boy could realize that it had been peeking, Nagashi had turned its head back . However, just as it retracted its gaze, the boy shouted, “Hey, duoluozhong . ”
“Hmm?” Nagashi answered muffledly .
“That corpse is really a human corpse, isn’t it?” The boy did not seem afraid of the head anymore . As he went closer to study Lin Sanjiu’s bloodless face, he asked, “This seems real to me . The texture, the structure…It really is a human head . ”
Hearing his words, Nagashi pinched the neck of the headless corpse before releasing a squeal . No matter if it was the attire or the shape or the subtle “sense of existence”, all of them hinted that the corpse was indeed the woman who had bought the bun from it earlier this morning .
“Yeah, it’s human,” it replied in a low voice .
“Well, that’s great . ” The boy grinned . He put the head into a box on a table . Blood had got onto his hand and played a wild game on his arm as the blood rivulets raced all the way down to his elbow . “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be the first to finish her off . ”
‘I was so close! The woman would have died from the poison if the boy hadn’t interfered! Anti-theft mechanisms? What a bunch of crap! He must be lying! This is my revenge! I should be the one who took her life—’
Hatred and anger were brewing inside Nagashi like a storm . It stared at the boy through the corner of its eyes .
Today, it added another candidate to its revenge list .
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