Ah Tou and Liang Yanyan came out of the crack on the other side of the ancestral temple’s courtyard and carefully swept their flashlights around. They saw that there was a hill covered in weeds behind them. Ah Tou’s heart rate had jumped to more than two hundred beats per minute, and she couldn’t see clearly because she was a little nervous.
There were numerous statues of Long Immortal on the hillside. When they swept their flashlights across parts of these statues, they were certain that they weren’t alive. But many of them were wearing clothes, which made it hard to tell. Ah Tou was afraid to go near the statues, so they hesitated at the foot of the hill for a long time. Eventually, Liang Yanyan gave up and they detoured around the hill.
As they followed along the courtyard wall, they found that the village extended beyond this hill. The first thing Liang Yanyan saw was a large tree, behind which was a very flat area covered in weeds. They could even see piles of blue bricks in the four corners of this area.
Liang Yanyan squatted down, pushed aside the grass, and saw that the ground had been paved with bricks. All of the grass was growing out of the gaps.
“This is a foreign house built by overseas Chinese who returned home from the South Sea. Long Immortal bought it later,” the driver had followed them over, looking like a daughter-in-law seeing her in-laws for the first time.
“Is it this house?” Liang Yanyan took out her phone and opened her camera roll to a photo of Xie Yuchen’s house.
You saved it? Ah Tou thought to herself. She wasn’t in the habit of saving photos of other people’s houses and found it weird that Liang Yanyan did. But when she thought about it, she remembered that Liang Yanyan came to deal with the problems inside Xie Yuchen’s house, so it was reasonable that she had a photo of it.
When the driver nodded, Liang Yanyan said to Ah Tou, “It turns out that Boss Xie’s house was transported from here. Transporting a house like this requires a special company that can dismantle, repair, and reassemble it.”
“Oh,” Ah Tou said, not really knowing what kind of opinion she should express. Although she realized that it was a good thing to do detective work, it seemed like she wasn’t very good at it. She always felt like whatever Liang Yanyan said made a lot of sense, whereas her mind was completely blank before Liang Yanyan had even opened her mouth.
Liang Yanyan walked to the center of the area and lit a cigarette. Her ribs began to ache again so she took two more pills. Ah Tou felt that she had taken enough and wanted to confiscate the pills, but Liang Yanyan moved too fast and swallowed them in an instant. Ah Tou decided that if the other woman tried to take medicine like that again, she had to snatch the pack away.
Liang Yanyan took a couple of puffs of her cigarette before straightening her arms out and letting the cigarette fall. Her cigarette was very strange in that it could produce a lot of very dense smoke. Under the flashlight’s glow, Ah Tou saw the cigarette quickly fall onto the ground and then the smoke gradually began to spread out along the paved bricks.
Is Liang Yanyan a nickname (1)? Ah Tou had a confused look on her face right as the driver cried out in alarm, “The smoke is walking!”
All three of them saw that after the cigarette fell to the ground, the smoke began to flow along the gaps between the bricks. Liang Yanyan squatted down, took a big puff, and blew towards the ground in front of her. Soon, a square outline appeared on the ground. The lines on the four sides were the gaps between four paved bricks, and the smoke appeared to be sinking into these gaps.
There seemed to be a hidden door here.
“It’s the door to the basement,” Liang Yanyan said as she took out a small umbrella from her bag. She pulled the umbrella handle—which had a very long hook inside of it—and inserted it into a gap in the brick. After hooking it a few times, she pulled up a hidden door that had been disguised as bricks, revealing an entrance.
The crevices of the bricks had long been covered in all kinds of unknown insects. Ah Tou stepped back as soon as she saw them, but Liang Yanyan pointed her flashlight into the entrance and then jumped right in.
Ah Tou shined her flashlight inside and realized that there was a small iron ladder below. There was also a very musty smell emanating from the entrance. She took a look at the driver, who said to her, “If you’re going down, I’m going down. If you’re not going down, I’m not going either. I can’t be alone.”
Ah Tou carefully held onto the ladder and made her way down. At this moment, she didn’t know what she was doing anymore. She just felt that everything was so exciting that she didn’t want to stop.
The basement really wasn’t that big. When Ah Tou reached the bottom of the ladder and swept her flashlight around, she immediately saw an operating table and a shadowless lamp. She looked around and realized that the basement was basically a standard operating room, but there were a lot of holes in the wall the size of oil barrels. The holes were very deep, and it was impossible to know where they led to or what had made them.
“This is a top-tier operating room for brain surgery. Everything is recordable. Look,” Liang Yanyan pointed to some stands beside the operating table that had monitors and surveillance cameras attached to them. “These are the devices used to record the operation.” She pointed her flashlight beam to another stand against the wall that was full of X-ray films.
Then, she approached the stand and started examining one of the X-rays under her flashlight’s glow.
Ah Tou didn’t understand X-rays, so her gaze instantly moved to the bookshelf on the other side of the wall that was full of videotapes. She picked one up and saw that some information had been written on it: an operation date of February 15th, preoperative preparation, and the patient’s self-statement.
(1) Liang Yan Yan = Liang Smoke Smoke