Chapter 2 - Sundial of Reincarnation

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Street lights flicker like fireflies in the air, darkness reigns over light in this dismal and dreary night. A young girl's staggering steps bash at the bumpy brick road. Suddenly, she trips, and heavily falls kneeling on the ground.


In the suffocating heat of a summer's night, Li Qian puffs and pants vigorously, her fingers tightly clutching her clothes.

She hears her thumping heartbeat and the thumping footsteps of someone else.


The noise seems to come from a pair of old, soft-soled cloth shoes, and the wearer seems to be stumbling due to a leg problem.


Li abruptly looks behind her, but there is nothing within her sight besides small, swiveling insects by the street lamp.

She has a delicate look, and normally, she would be considered pretty, but now her hair is messy and soaked with sweat, clinging uncomfortably to her face. Her cheeks and lips are becoming paler by the minute, and she is looking a lot less pretty than she usually does.


Gradually, her expression becomes strangely unsettling, like an evil smirk, or a malicious glare, with a remarkable yet indescribable sign of pure terror.


"Go away." She bolts up and says, grinding her teeth, "if I can get rid of you once, I can get rid of you twice."


The footsteps have stopped.


Li rolls up her sleeves, her snow-white arms now infested with goosebumps. In the cooking heat of summer, something invisible is making her cold.

She picks up a brick from the ground, as the footsteps close in on her from all directions like a swarm of bone-devouring maggots. But there is nothing within her sight.


The invisible is the most frightening.


Li begins to scream, smashing and bludgeoning the air with the brick.


The brick begins to grow heavier and heavier, the coarse surface pains her palm. Exhausted, her eyes grow dark; hunch-backed, her arms rest on her crooked knees. Puffing and panting, she inadvertently stares at the ground.


Li's irises begin to narrow and her entire body begins to tremble with vigour. The brick in her hand drops to the ground, plunging onto her toes in her sandals. But she seems to have not felt the pain at all, as she stumbles backwards, her knees bend, and she crashes down, sitting on the ground.


A shadow... it's a shadow!


The street lamp is right in front of her, how could there be a shadow in the light without an object?


The shadow looks like black ink spattered across the ground, a figure watching her for god knows how long.

Li is paralysed on the ground, but the shadowy figure is standing upright.


If you haven't done anything wrong, why are you so horrified by a shadow?

She seems to hear a screeching laughter.


It's dawn, almost five o'clock, the phone on the bedside drawer is ringing with a ghastly howl.


Zhao Yunlan worked overtime from dusk til dawn, when he got home he didn't even take off his clothes, and just rolled right onto the bed. It seems that he has just gotten himself comfortable, and the phone has yet more work for him.


He opens his eyes blandly, his double eyelids drooping heavily, and stares at the ceiling with contempt. After three seconds, he rises like a zombie, struggling to hold up his squishy brain, and reaches out for his cell phone.


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