Chapter 347: Anomaly: Part 3
Cold air was blowing through the door. Taozi could not help but shiver.
She felt something amiss; the patrons still eating in the restaurant a while ago had gone. It was quiet like the morgue.
Taozi had no idea why she was thinking of the morgue, but at this moment she was cold yet sweating in her vest. It felt like in a mortuary.
Her hands being gripped on felt tighter and the pain was getting worse. She was almost in tears.
“Please let me go, You’re hurting me!” She asked, fighting the pain.
The dark-haired high-school girl still sat with her eyes looking down at the table. But Taozi had noticed something; the corner of the girl’s mouth quirked up. The girl was smiling, Taozi realized. A chill rushed up her spine to the back of her head.
Feeling cold, Taozi opened her mouth, wanting to scream. Yet something was blocking his throat. She could not utter a sound. All she could do was watching the hand of the high-school girl’s moving up her arm, grabbing her wrist and forearm.
At that moment, a large brown bowl fell on the head of the high-school girl. The impact sent a tremor to the table and the ground with mist of yellowish soup bursting out from around the bowl into all directions.
A big, strong hand was pressing the bowl onto the high-school girl’s head, slamming her on the table, keeping her still.
Taozi looked at the big hand, wide-eyed. She turned and saw a familiar face.
“It—it’s you!” Her voice was almost a scream. She recognized the person; it was one of the regular patrons of her noodle restaurant.
“Are you all right?” Lin Sheng wore a white short-sleeved shirt and brown casual pants, revealing his stout furry arms. He also wore a pair of brown sunglasses, which made him look like a gentleman yet barbaric.
“I—I’m fine.” Taozi lowered her voice, only to find that her hand was free. Just that there was a dark mark on her wrist. It looked like bruises, but with a shade of dark red.
“There is never too brutal when it comes to dealing with heresy. You can use whatever style you want so far as it is effective,” said Lin Sheng, looking at the high-school girl whom he pinned on the table.
He knew he was no match for the monster in the dream, but not in the real world. Especially a dreg like this. The high-school girl was getting her bad day because Lin Sheng happened to be in a bad mood now. How dare she looked for trouble in his favorite noodle place.
“It is not a shade because ordinary people can see it. It could create a separate dimension to isolate the others during its attack. But how? It doesn’t look that powerful to pull off this stunt. Interesting!” Curiosity got the better of him. “I will take it and do experiment. See if I can figure out its origin. Otherwise, it also makes a good offering.”
With the plan in mind, Lin Sheng grabbed the head of the high-school girl and dragged her out of the restaurant.
Feeling too cold, Taozi did not want to stay. She followed Lin Sheng out of the restaurant, gripping his sleeve and staying close to him.
The moment the two stepped out of the premise, the environmental sounds rushed into their ears. It was as if they had taken off their noise-cancellation earphones; all the hustle and bustle of the streets had returned.
People and traffic crowded the street. There were drones flying overhead dropping flyers everywhere. On her right, a man was walking his two chunky Shar-Peis. It made Taozi feel like she had returned from time travel.
Lin Sheng raised his hand and looked. The high-school girl in his hand had become an old-fashioned phone with yellow faded screen and loose keypad.
He looked back. The two patrons were still in the noodle restaurant, and the shop owner and his wife were still busy. But the busyness had a hint of weirdness in it.
He focused his holy light in his eyes, and the sight before him shattered like an illusion. The patrons and the owner and his wife had gone. The noodle restaurant was empty. But bowls of hot noodle were still on the table. Water was still boiling in the kettle in the kitchen. Just that no one was in there.
“What the heck?” Lin Sheng glanced at the passing traffic. No one seemed to have noticed the anomaly in the noodle restaurant. Some people were looking in the restaurant’s direction, but their eyes focused past it.
Taozi’s face was pale, body shivering and hand covering her mouth. “Dad! Mom!” She rushed out at once, wanting to look for her parents in the noodle restaurant. But before she could make out a few steps, Lin Sheng grabbed her harm and pulled her back.
“See? It’s too late,” Lin Sheng said. While speaking, he flicked his hand and a half invisible white dot flew into the noodle restaurant. Things faded, vanished, and the restaurant turned into a gray-brown brick wall with movie posters pasted on it.
Taozi watched as the restaurant disappeared, the door turning into a brick wall. She was rooted to the spot.
Lin Sheng sighed. It was also his first time seeing such a phenomenon. If the renovation worker he saw in the unfinished building in Xylond earlier was only a fart in a blizzard, then the disappearance of the entire restaurant would be a big deal. But what worried him most was the cognition-changing magic.
He looked around and saw a supermarket to his right. He walked in. A stuff was playing games on the mobile phone when Lin Sheng came to the counter to pay. “Excuse me, do you know the noodle shop next door? When did it close?”
The stuff, a woman in her forties, gave him a strange look. “What noodle shop? I’ve never heard there is a noodle shop on this street. You sure you’re in the right place?”
“It’s fine. Thank you.” Lin Sheng nodded. “Maybe I got it wrong.”
Taozi had also come in. Hearing their conversation, she was again rooted to the spot. After paying, Lin Sheng walked out of the supermarket.
“What’s your plan now?” Lin Sheng looked Taozi, whose face was pale. He could tell that the girl was real, a living person. And this he could not understand. The noodle restaurant had turned into a brick wall. Yet the person coming out from it was still alive. This restaurant where he always came for lunch had been here for a long time. He was dead sure about it. But Now, it had disappeared.
Taozi looked at Lin Sheng, her eyes red and swollen. “I—I don’t know… I want to find my dad and mom!”
“Very well, I see your determination. I too want to figure out what has just happened. Come. Follow me.” But deep inside, Lin Sheng knew that the owner of the noodle restaurant was dead.
Taozi was pure in spirit and had talent in neither dark energy nor holy power. But the building up of holy power was more about will and spirit than talent.
Taozi might not become a clergy like the Palatinate, but she could be an experimental assistant, run some errands, and serve as a prayer to build up the holy power for the sanctum.
Those who were pure in soul could accumulate holy power quicker than regular believers. It was usually faster by a factor of three to five. Lin Sheng started to understand why the original sanctum had to adopt orphans and cultivated them from a young age.