48 Hours a Day
Chapter 339 - Come Along If You Can Keep Up
“Are you sure… it’s okay?” Liu Meng asked as he watched Peng Jiating running away, a worried look on his face.
Qin Zhen, who had been watching on the side, was also gaping. “I have to do this. The only way to find out what she’s been hiding is to drive her into a corner,” Zhang Heng vaguely replied, not explaining any further. He turned to Liu Yuwei and said, “Thank you for your cooperation. You can all go home now. I’ll take care of the rest.” “Will she be okay?” Liu Yuwei looked concerned. “Who? Tian Tian or Peng Jiating?”
“Both of them.”
“I don’t know. I’ll try my best,” Zhang Heng answered.
Liu Yuwei plucked up the courage to speak again. “Before this, I’ve never… told anyone in school about Peng Jiating’s family,” she blurted.
“I know.” Zhang Heng patted her on the head and told Liu Meng, “It’s late. Bring your sister home.”
“What about me? Can I stay and help?” Qin Zhen volunteered.
“Go home. You’ve already done your part. I’ll handle the next part myself.”
“One extra person, one more helper for you,” Qin Zhen brazenly replied. He saw how foggy tonight’s incident was, and until he really understood it, it would be like that itch he could not scratch. Until now, all he saw was Zhang Heng coming up with whatever he had to criticize a primary school student, and Zhang Heng had made it clear that he did not intend to explain why.
It was like watching a TV series or reading a really good book halfway before the director or author decided to cut it short and discontinue it without warning.
Zhang Heng glanced at Qin Zheng. “Whatever, come along if you think you can keep up.” “Alright.” Qin Zhen couldn’t help but get excited the moment he heard the word ‘whatever,’ completely ignoring the rest of the sentence. He had always been physically fit – part of his school’s basketball team in high school and in college. Weekly training was compulsory, and as a result, he was much fitter than Zhang Heng before he even graduated high school.
With that, Qin Zhen confidently believed that it shouldn’t be a problem for him to keep up with Zhang Heng. In fact, Zhang Heng wasn’t that fast and didn’t seem to be in a hurry. He kept a normal pace until they reached Peng Jiating’s house.
“So, what next? What should we do?” Qin Zhen was curious.
Unlike Tian Tian, Peng Jiatin’s house was on the fifth floor, the highest level of the micro-district.
Zhang Heng emphasized that he wasn’t about to make contact with Peng Jiating’s family. Puzzled, Qin Zhen instantly asked how he planned to get to her.
Zhang Heng did not answer. Instead, he walked to the north side of the building that faced a dry pond. Street lamps around the area were no longer turned on to save on electricity, making the entire place pitch black at night. This would be the perfect hideout for someone who really didn’t want to be seen.
While keeping his eyes peeled on the top of the building, Zhang Heng placed a foot on an air conditioner compressor and pushed himself up with the other, eventually managing to grab onto the eaves of the second floor.
“Hey, are you serious?” Qin Zhen was taken aback. It was now clear that Zhang Heng planned to climb all the way to the top of the building. But then again, it was way too dangerous – to the average Joe, it looked no different from climbing the Stawamus Chieftain Rock.
Zhang Heng answered, “Really? You had to shout that loud? You’re attracting everyone’s attention!” As he talked, his hands and feet did not stop, and before long, he had already reached the third floor.
Qin Zhen finally understood why Zhang Heng said ‘if you could keep up.’ He looked up the building, feeling as if he was watching Spiderman scale a wall.
Zhang Heng left Qin Zhen downstairs. His Level 1 climbing skills were enough for him to cope with the situation. Quickly, he arrived on the fifth floor without much effort. The entire process took him only less than ninety seconds.
To Zhang Heng, getting to Peng Jiating’s house on the top floor was a lot easier than getting into Tian Tian’s place since the latter’s windows were welded with security grills. Considering how high Peng Jiating’s house was above the ground, such preventive measures weren’t necessary.
Zhang Heng changed position and moved his left foot from the air-conditioner compressor to the window sill. He then swung his body over. Qin Feng, nervously watching from below, nearly bit his tongue off.
Zhang Heng had never been to Peng Jiating’s house, and he didn’t know the exact location of her unit. His only option was to search through all of them. Thankfully, it shouldn’t take much time. Even though there were curtains blocking his view, all he had to do was press his ears against the glass to find out whose unit it belonged to.
Finally, Zhang Heng stopped at the window of a quiet, unlit unit.
The window was locked by a very common crescent lock, which wasn’t very secure at all. All one had to do was push the window hard enough from the outside. Once a gap was created between the two panes, the lock would loosen.
Zhang Heng tried to do it as quietly as possible, but thanks to the old rusted bolts and nuts, they began creaking loudly. Fortunately, whoever that was inside the house seemed oblivious to the noise.
Zhang Heng sneaked in through the window. Just like what he told Liu Meng and Qin Zhen, he had deliberately provoked Peng Jiating, letting her believe that no one in the world cared about her so he could see what she had been hiding. After all, Peng Jiating was just a normal kid. Even if she hated Tian Tian to the core, it was impossible that she caused all the mishaps in Tian Tian’s family.
To do that, she obviously got ‘help’ from an external source. Of course, Zhang Heng could always choose to search Peng Jiating’s room during his Still Hours, but with the protection of the talisman, he wasn’t sure if whatever he found was the root cause of the accidents. Only when Peng Jiating genuinely felt abandoned by the whole world would she seek the thing out.
Like a drowning person grasping at the last straw in front of them, this anomaly was the only kind thing left in the world to her.
Even though he had come somewhat prepared, the scene behind the curtain still took Zhang Heng by surprise.
Peng Jiating was lying on her bed, eyes closed and completely naked except for tiny scales that covered her entire body like crocodile skin. There were even two sharp spikes under her lower abdomen.
This extremely peculiar sight had Zhang Heng wondering if Peng Jiating was a human or a mutant.
He took two steps forward and approached the bed. Peng Jianting’s eyes suddenly popped open, and she pounced at him!
Zhang Heng calmly but swiftly stretched out his right hand from his pocket. Something flashed, and he struck Peng Jiating’s forehead with the handle of the knife. At the same time, to avoid the ineffectiveness of conventional physical attacks, Zhang Heng deliberately took half a step backward.
However, it turned out that he overthought things. Although Peng Jiating’s physical appearance had changed drastically, other than being a little more agile than the average person, her human weaknesses still remained. She immediately passed out after Zhang Heng attacked her.