Daily Disposable Persona - Chapter 51
As the cell phone suddenly rang, a Western female voice soared directly to the high notes, making it sound even more conspicuous.
Zong Yan’s phone was set to vibrate and mute year-round. It was only Ye JingMing’s phone that could have rung.
Zong Yan: “…”
He immediately retreated back into the shadows.
An instant later, a dark green tentacle ripped the curtain to shreds. A dripping coat of slime corroded the cloth everywhere it landed.
Okay, that was a bit too fierce.
Zong Yan took a deep breath and finally managed to retrieve the creature’s details from his memory.
C-rank otherworldly creature: shoggoth. The usual image was a large mass of wild, demonically-dancing tentacles covered with glowing eyes, combined with a terrible smell.
Although shoggoths were just a low-level subordinate race, their combat effectiveness was the best in their class. If not for their limited intelligence they might have been ranked among the higher monsters.
It was because of their lack of brains that shoggoths were usually enslaved by stronger species. They were rarely used by evil gods. The Outer Gods had their own, superior slaves, who served them exclusively. Though Zong Yan wasn’t sure how much better they had to be compared to mindless creatures like shoggoths.
After hundreds of millions of years of enslavement, shoggoths finally rose up and launched the first rebellion in their history.
The result was a spectacular failure. They were enslaved even worse.
Although this creature was C-rank, it wasn’t that difficult to deal with. It could be damaged by both physical attacks and magic patterns.
“Wu wu wu—”
When Ye JingMing heard the familiar ringtone he widened his eyes. His clothes had been corroded by mucus. If it weren’t for the heavy fabric of his Inuyasha outfit, he probably would have lost a layer of skin.
Saving lives was important.
Because of the sudden noise, all the black and green tentacles in the room slowly rose up, leaving nauseating traces of black slime on the pale walls. Those eyes shining in the darkness were ready to strike at the intruder in the shadows.
Zong Yan silently moved from the windowsill and revealed a pair of scarlet eyes in the shadows of the ceiling.
He was waiting, waiting for the perfect shot.
Countless white bones stained with blood and bits of flesh were scattered on the floor of the anatomy room. The mucosal membrane of the shoggoth was still dripping onto the bones, most of which belonged to frog and rabbit specimens.
Zong Yan scanned the room and didn’t see any human bones for the time being. His inner tension relaxed a little.
Ye JingMing might be the first human caught by this shoggoth. Zong Yan saw that the tips of its tentacles were trembling. It wanted to enjoy this human delicacy quickly.
Of course, the person lying on the dissection table was trembling too.
An unknown item had been stuffed in Ye JingMing’s mouth. At the moment his eyes were wide open.
Because he saw a familiar face on the ceiling.
Compared to Zong Yan’s usual look, this gray-haired, red-eyed version of him was obviously pretty bizarre. It was also sharp enough to pierce most people through the heart.
In an instant, a myriad of shadows struck out from the darkness, transformed into sharp black spikes, and stabbed down from the ceiling. With incontestable force they plunged into the amoeba-like, indescribably horrifying creature.
The shoggoth screamed. Its huge, hideous tentacles rose up in a quick convulsion, and its evil luminous eyes twisted together like patterns on a cloth rag.
Thousands of tentacles began to split and reorganize, revealing the stomach-turning connective tissue inside. At the same time, the shadows swam through the narrow anatomy room one by one, like waves rolling in from the tide.
“—! ! !”
Zong Yan didn’t need to look. He could see the panic in Ye JingMing’s eyes.
The gray-haired, red-eyed Night Watchman suddenly broke free from the shadows. The black umbrella in his hand blocked the tentacles’ attack.
The shadows were like daggers. At their king’s command they fought the shoggoth’s tentacles. The Night Watchman dropped from the ceiling, grabbed Ye JingMing’s hand, and freed him from the restraints on the dissection table.
The moment his hands were freed, Ye JingMing ripped out the garbage bag in his mouth and shouted like he was about to faint, “What the hell, is this a movie?! What kind of fcking disgusting thing is this? I smell like shit now. Since when did our school’s haunted house have an immersive experience!”
Zong Yan: “…”
The child must be stupid. His clothes were strips of corroded rags and he was still talking about making a movie.
The Night Watchman dragged him through the shadows, disappearing from the dissection table in an instant, reappearing in the corridor outside, and fleeing as fast as possible.
The next second, the door to the anatomy room went “clang—” and was knocked down by shoggoth tentacles. Slime-covered, dark green pseudopods flowed out from the room, covering most of the corridor outside.
“Fck, did I just become a shadow? Wtf wtf wtf wtf—”
Ye JingMing’s worldview had just collapsed. If Zong Yan hadn’t pulled him, he might have fallen over on the spot.
When Ye JingMing was first caught by the shoggoth, he thought it was some kind of new attraction at the haunted house. It was only later, after he was strapped to the dissection table, that he began to feel like something was a little wrong. His materialist view of the world was greatly challenged. But when Zong Yan held up a black umbrella and called down shadows from the ceiling, and then pulled Ye JingMing directly into the shadows with him, he could no longer deceive himself.
“Who, who, who, who, who the hell are you? Are you an alien lurking in our school!”
“Shut the hell up,” Zong Yan said in a bad mood. “If you make any more noise it’ll come right over.”
Zong Yan’s Night Watchman persona was capable of fighting A-class monsters. There was no reason for him to run from a shoggoth.
The problem was what just happened.
Last time, Zong Yan was able to take Edward and Wang KeMing shuttling through the shadows without any hindrance. A large part of the reason was because they were also Awakened. Their bodies successfully assimilated.
But Ye JingMing was not. This guy was a completely ordinary person, and just a moment ago Zong Yan felt the obstruction from the shadows.
But it was an emergency situation. The shoggoth had almost filled the entire classroom, with enough tentacles to block out the sky. There was no other way for them to escape except through shadows.
So Zong Yan spent an enormous amount of effort to bring Ye JingMing out of the anatomy room, allowing this muggle to feel the power of magic.
They ran to the stairwell and began to run downstairs. But an instant later there was a familiar stench and rustling sound coming towards them from below.
“We can’t run down!” It was only now that Ye JingMing regained some sense. “I was caught on the third floor…. It brought me to the sixth floor later.”
Now that he’d regained his reason, Ye JingMing began to feel afraid again. He sneaked a glance behind them to the end of the corridor and saw something emitting a feeble light. Those hideous tentacles were already swarming, so he turned his head away.
“We’ll go up.” Zong Yan made an instant decision.
Now, because he’d consumed too much power, he could only create a few shadows to slow down the shoggoth’s movement.
As they began to run upstairs, Zong Yan heard footsteps on the lower floors. He thought it must be the investigators who came to support them.
“Upstairs?” Ye JingMing froze for a moment. His legs were shaking. “That’s the seventh floor!”
“We’ll go to the roof,” Zong Yan said impatiently.
By now he was practically dragging the weak-legged Ye JingMing, who could barely stumble on his soft legs.
They ran all the way. Meanwhile the investigators below also seemed to have found the creature, which was entrenched on the third to sixth floors. There was the sound of flames bursting out from magic patterns, followed closely by the screams of the shoggoth.
If a shoggoth gained enough sustenance, it could split into several more shoggoths. This shoggoth was furious at Zong Yan for snatching away such delicious food. To reveal its inner fury, the shoggoth’s tentacles danced in the air like a frenzy. It attacked the stairs, causing them to collapse.
There was a lock on the door to the rooftop. Zong Yan went over with his black umbrella and attacked it violently. Looking at the twisted piece of metal, Ye JingMing was dumbfounded. As he was struck by a cold breeze he said, “You really are an alien, right.”
When he thought that he’d actually tried to make trouble for Zong Yan, he felt terrified inside.
He thought he was extremely lucky. He’d caused problems for Zong Yan for three years. It was only when they were about to graduate that he realized the other teen had special powers. He wasn’t an ordinary person at all. Ye JingMing really had to thank Zong Yan for not killing him.
“Have you ever seen an alien that looks like me?” Zong Yan actually bothered to reply.
He’d really never cared about Ye JingMing’s petty troubles. Zong Yan was fundamentally a lazy person. To put it bluntly, he was indifferent to pretty much everything around him. He excluded other people from his world and was pretty happy with his life.
Although Ye JingMing disliked him, he’d never risen to the level of a school bully. It was just that sometimes he would trip Zong Yan or take the lead in excluding him… but Zong Yan didn’t like dealing with others anyway. And even if there were a lot of rumors spread about him, it was hard for other students to have much ill will toward a classmate widely recognized for his good looks.
As soon as they kicked the door open and ran across the concrete roof of the art building, the shoggoth behind them scrambled to collapse the roof of the stairwell. Chunks of cement flew through the air.
“What, what should we do now?” Ye JingMing was shivering with fear. He couldn’t imagine what kind of tragedy would happen if that tentacle managed to strike him. “This is the roof. Will someone come to save us?”
“Save us? I’m here, that’s enough.”
The Night Watchman lifted his slightly disheveled top hat, and the harbinger bird circled down from the dark night sky and landed firmly on his shoulder. “Remember, no matter what happens later, don’t say a word. Do you hear me?”
“Yes, yes, I hear you. Whatever you say goes.” Ye JingMing nodded his head like he was mashing garlic.
Zong Yan felt satisfied. He took out his cell phone and dialed He Yuan while holding his opened umbrella in front of Ye JingMing.
The Dragon Group had brought in magnesium lights, so everything around the art building was completely lit up.
The members of Team 6 suddenly turned the lights around and ran towards the playground with a loudspeaker. With a flamethrower modified with alchemical magic patterns, they fired directly into the sky.
“Wow—! Look at that, fireworks!”
“Heavens, it’s beautiful!”
For a moment, golden-red fireworks rose up in the air from the playground and attracted everyone’s attention. The crowd let out a gasp of excitement.
Zong Yan pushed back the shoggoth’s tentacles with his open umbrella, grabbed Ye JingMing, and jumped down from the seventh floor.
Vague shadows covered them, reducing their visibility a bit. If someone looked over, they’d only see a shadow descending rapidly down the side of the art building.
Ye JingMing instinctively wanted to scream, but he remembered Zong Yan’s orders just now. He was so shocked that he didn’t dare to make a sound.
A floating magic pattern burst out from He Yuan’s hands. Several other members of the group formed a human wall to cover him. He successfully caught Zong Yan before he hit the ground.
Quietly, camouflaged by the distraction, when everyone else was distracted by the so-called fireworks. The darkness of night fell once again. No one seemed to notice anything strange.
“How did you get into such a tight spot?” He Yuan stepped forward and freed Zong Yan from the floating effect. “And what kind of get-up are you wearing?”
As He Yuan looked at the gray-haired, snappily-dressed person in front of him, he couldn’t really associate it with Zong Yan’s usual appearance in his school uniform.
Night Watchman Zong Yan: “…”
Night Watchman Zong Yan: “Uh, cosplay.”
He Yuan suddenly understood. Only then did he notice Ye JingMing standing to the side, who hadn’t yet returned to his senses. He Yuan frowned. “Ordinary citizen?”
“He’s just a classmate. He was almost swallowed by the shoggoth just now. I happened to run into him, so I went to help. That’s why it took me a while.”
When Zong Yan saw that He Yuan didn’t intend to pursue the matter, he breathed a sigh of relief.
The author has something to say:
Zong Yan: Think I got away with it √
WTF – What the fck – from 卧槽 – Internet slang for swearing
Think I got away with it – 蒙混过关 – to get away with it / to slip through / to bluff one’s way out
Glossary of world terms—new in this chapter:
shoggoth – 修格斯 – A sentient blob of self-shaping gelatinous flesh. It usually sports a profusion of eyes, mouths, and pseudopods, and can move at incredible speed.
Image source: The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki