48 Hours a Day
Chapter 272 - Three Arrows
Zhang Heng was more familiar with the library than the dorm room he had lived in every day. He would either spend his time there or the gym during the extra 23 hours he had. Since a regular of the place, he made a copy of the door’s key, usually entering through its employee-only entrance. He would first head to the basement to turn on the main power before entering the elevator and pressing the button to the seventh floor.
Unsure if the thing he was looking for in the library of even a living being, he quickly came across an idea. The library was located in the middle of the university, and since it went up to seven floors, it was perfect as an observation point for the entire area. From the top floor, there was a birds-eye view of the whole university campus. If the thing that entered the library was indeed a living being, it meant that whatever he did before entering was no longer a secret.
If the creature didn’t spot Zhang Heng entering the library, it would have known by now since the electricity had been turned on. By turning on the entire building’s power, he hoped to confuse the creature, where it would have to figure out which floor he was on. Meanwhile, Zhang Heng would use the stairwell to move to the next floor.
Since the Paris Arrow’s landing spot proved that whatever he was looking for was on the top floor, Zhang Heng decided to start his search there. When he arrived, the entire place was pitch black the moment the door was opened. Utilizing the familiarity of his surroundings, he located the switch for the LED light above without much problem. However, it didn’t turn on after the switch was flipped. Alarm bells started going off in his head, and he immediately became extremely cautious. The Paris Arrow had further confirmed that there was a high possibility that his target was on this floor.
Immediately, Zhang Heng wound the string of his bow. Right now, his biggest problem wasn’t the thing he was looking for. The Paris Arrow had already helped him locate the whereabouts of the clue before its energy depleted. The problem was that he was now away from the black liquid, and having no idea where it was, in no way could he reshoot it.
Suddenly, Zhang Heng heard a rustling sound. Although hushed, it sounded extra crisp in the empty library, and he deduced that it came from the back of one of the book racks. Since it wasn’t too far from him, he approached the shelf with the bow in hand. Cautious of booby traps, he decided to take the longer route, moving around the tall rows of books to get to it. Just as he was about to close in on the source of the sound, what seemed like a masked person charged at him all of a sudden!
Zhang Heng was well prepared to handle attacks from such close proximity, and with the Paris Arrow on his bow, he couldn’t miss the target. After completing a few quests, Zhang Heng’s heightened awareness had allowed him to take aim at his mark in a split second. Right before he could release the arrow, though, the bow unexpectedly twitched a little. In the end, the arrow flew past the person and landed on an English book.
After that, Zhang Heng quickly turned his body to avoid the attack from the masked person. Before he could check his enemy out, Zhang Heng promptly pulled out another arrow from his quiver and reloaded his bow. He then aimed at the shadow that was heading towards the exit.
This time, the arrow hit the person’s calf, causing him to lose balance and falling to the ground. Seeming to be severely injured, and judging by the loss of mobility, Zhang Heng took the opportunity and shot a third arrow at the shadow. Without warning, the wall on the person’s left melted.
Now, Zhang Heng had reencountered the black liquid.
This time the liquid engulfed the masked person, sucking him into the wall. Zhang Heng chose not to pursue it this time know how perilous it would be. Whether the elevator or the stairwell, he wouldn’t stand a chance against the black liquid in such a confined space. Besides, there wasn’t much time left before the hour hand would strike twelve.
After looking at his watch, Zhang Heng held his bow and stood guard, ensuring that creature wouldn’t return to the library again. He then turned around and walked towards the masked person and took off the mask. It was actually a girl, and she seemed to be a student at this university. Both her hands were tired, and there was a sock stuffed in her mouth. She seemed to have just encountered something terrifying, and the moment Zhang Heng untied her, she started to cry, running to hide under a table near him. She was clearly panic-stricken and was trembling uncontrollably.
Zhang Heng picked up her student card that had fallen to the ground and saw that she was called Li Shengyue.
“You are safe now. The creature is gone.”
Zhang Heng put aside his bow and handed back Li Shengyue’s card.
It wasn’t until a minute later before she snapped out of her fear. She snatched the card defensively from Zhang Heng.
Li Shengyue was surprised to see that her rescuer turned out to be Zhang Heng.
“Wait. You know me?”
“I don’t know you, but I know that the creature was here for you.”
The events that had taken place tonight had gone beyond the realms of everything she knew. She began shaking each time the thought of what happened crossed her mind. Despite the stammers and stutters that she couldn’t control, she still tried her best to narrate whatever she knew to Zhang Heng.
“After the finals were over, they moved up the library’s closing time to six in the evening. In the afternoon, I wanted to come here to read, and I saw a kid around seven to eight years old standing outside. He told me that he wanted to enter the library to read some comics. However, he couldn’t get past the turnstile and seeing the librarian wasn’t around, I unlocked the turnstile and let him in. I saw him heading to the comic area on the second floor. So, I told him to look for me on the seventh before he exited the library. “While I was reading, he came up, walked toward me, and asked me a question. He asked if I knew a certain Zhang Heng. He also told me that this person is a student here. I told him that there were thousands of students, and I couldn’t possibly know every single person here. Immediately, his face darkened the moment he heard what I said.
“I have never seen such a terrifying face on a kid. He had the look of a killer in his eyes! After that, he didn’t say a word and left me alone. I was struck by fear, and I lost the mood to read. Around ten minutes later, I decided to leave the library, and I descended to the second floor to look for him. However, he wasn’t there anymore.
“In fact, I searched the entire library, but he was nowhere to be found. I thought he must have followed someone out, and just to be safe, I hung around until the closing of the library. Before I left, I went to the toilet. That’s when I saw something in the mirror. I saw…”
Li Shengyue’s voice was trembling.
“You saw the wall melting into black liquid?”
Li Shengyue nodded vigorously.
“The black liquid dripped on my shoulder and slithered onto my face. I felt that I was suffocating, and my survival instincts kicked in, telling me to get out of this place. When I tried to move my leg, I found that I was paralyzed. It was an awful feeling! Soon after that, I passed out. When I woke up, I found myself tied up here.”