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379 Envy

 The corridor was long, and the walls on both sides were painted white. Every few meters was a rusted steel door, and aged police tape was sealed off each of the doors. "We've been here several times already, but we never did notice that this is a corridor used to transport cadavers."

Some medical schools had pathways specifically used to transport cadavers. This type of special pathway was usually underground, and the floor would be flat to ease transportation. The other obvious feature was the layer of white paint on the walls. Other than that, there was not any special decoration.

"Let's stop wasting time standing here. Let's get to the storeroom." Liu Xianxian pulled on Ma Yin's arm and led her down the right corridor. The left led to the underground morgue, and the right was a normal storeroom where various abandoned equipment had been left. The two walked down the corridor for some time when Ma Yin heard footsteps coming from behind them. She stopped and used the flashlight on the camera to shine behind her.

"Xiao Yin, what's wrong?"

"Someone seems to be following us." Ma Yin was not sure herself because when she tried to focus on the noise, the footsteps disappeared again.

"You must be mistaken." Liu Xianxian forced an unnatural smile. Facing fear with a smile, that had become her habit.

"Let's get into the storeroom first. There's nowhere to hide in this corridor." Ma Yin and Liu Xianxian increased in speed until they reached the first turn in the corridor. There was a scratched wooden door. The lock was seriously broken, and there were various black scratches on the door. The most curious thing was that someone had carved the word 'Paradise' on the door.

"This is weird. Before we left, I remember us closing the door." The door was half-open like someone had gone in while they were away.

"Be careful." Ma Yin placed both of her hands on the wooden door to push it open. She stopped at the door and did not rush in. The girl might appear that way, but she was more careful than she looked. She used her phone to scan every corner in the room, but there was nothing out of the ordinary.

"This time, we should stick together instead of separating." Ma Yin took care of Liu Xianxian, walking in front. The block had been sealed up for quite some time already, so logically speaking, the place should have been deserted. Yet, weirdly enough, there was little dust. It was as if someone still went there to clean the place every so often.

Most of the abandoned equipment for Jiujiang Medical University was placed there, including almost every manner of thing imaginable. There were many vails on the racks, and some of them had viscous red liquid inside, like they were preserved human organ.

There were many similar things. If this was a normal person, they would have turned around and left immediately, but as medical students, Ma Yin and Liu Xianxian did not think any of that was scary.

Along the rows of racks, the stuff inside was messier. There were abandoned fire extinguishers, broken photocopiers and computers, and unused tables and chairs piled up in the corner. There were reports stuck inside the drawers, and broken gym equipment sat on the chairs. Further into the storeroom, there were drama costumes abandoned by the drama society, canvases given up by the arts society, and a lot of other junk. When the university moved campus, most of the junk had been deposited down there.

"I've asked the people at the new campus. Before the move, a few of the societies left the more difficult to deal with pieces for the school to deal with. To save money, the school left them in this underground storeroom." Ma Yin walked ahead and used her phone to search amid the mountain of rubbish. "The only society that I can think of that would have any use for statue and sculpture is the arts society, so we should focus on this section tonight."

After taking a few more steps, Ma Yin realized that Liu Xianxian was still standing where she was. "What's wrong with you?"

"Look at that." Liu Xianxian pointed at computer that sat in the corner. The plug for the monitor was plugged inside the socket. "When we were here the last time, I was afraid that the plug might cause a short-circuit, so I removed the plug, but now the plug is still inside the socket."

"Looks like someone has indeed been in here. Could it be a thief?"

"Why would a thief purposely come here to use the computer? Furthermore, this is an abandoned model. I don't think it can be operated anymore." Liu Xianxian pressed the power button, and to her surprise, the computer powered on. The screen shone a cold light, but the image froze, like it could not process beyond that.

"Just ignore it, we should focus on our search. Even if someone did sneak in, it won't affect our progress." Ma Yin turned to focus on the corner where most of the arts and crafts stuff sat. She moved some of the amateur paintings aside to look for the statue. Liu Xianxian stood where she was, staring at the monitor. It was unclear whether it was a flicker in the system or the shadows, but she could swore that she saw the shape of a human on screen. She leaned in closer to take the look, and the person's face became increasingly clearer. It looked like a bald man, and his face was twice the size of a normal person's.

"Liu Xianxian, come help me!" Ma Yin shouted, carrying a large canvas.

"Okay." Liu Xianxian removed the plug and walked to help Ma Yin with the canvas. The two worked together to move all the canvases out of the way, and beyond all of that was a wooden cupboard.

"There should be something inside this cupboard," Ma Yin said as she moved to open the door. However, when her finger touched the door, she immediately jerked back.

"What's wrong?"

"There's something on the surface." Ma Yin rubbed her fingers and gave it a sniff. "Why is there formalin on the door handle?"

The formalin on the stairs outside could be explained as an accidental splash, but what about the cupboard behind the canvases? That was too weird.

"Could there be a cadaver hiding inside this cupboard?" Ma Yin's heart raced, and her breathing became uneven. She took in a deep breath before edging the door open. She looked inside the gap, and there were no bodies inside the cupboard, just several paintings.

Ma Yin sighed in relief as she took the paintings out. However, when she saw the content of one of the paintings, her heart squeezed again.

The painting style was rather derivative. It was a painting of medical students operating on the cadaver, but the weirdest thing was that the drawing was painted from the cadaver's perspective.

Lying inside the cold storage, looking at the tightly-covered medical students, the scalpel in his hands, and then at the cadaver's own body.

There was an emotion that was running through the painting. It was an envy of life, an envy of that supple skin, those movable joints, the things that he had lost. He wished that he could have that instead of lying on the slab, unable to do anything as the students cut open his body.