Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 34 The Murder On Campus (1)
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 34 The Murder On Campus (1)
“Get out of the way! Move!” One student forced his way through the crowd with a brick in his hand and started to smash the old door handle. After a minute, the crushed handle fell to the ground with a clang. Then, he kicked the door open.
A hush fell over the crowd.
Shi Yitong and I were at the back of the circle and couldn’t see what was happening inside the classroom. However, suddenly everyone began to scream, fleeing in all directions.
“What’s going on? What happened?” I anxiously forced my way through panicking students, towards the door. Then I saw Di Zizhen’s shocked face.
“Look!” said Di Zizhen. His voice was quivering as he pointed in the classroom.
After Shi Yitong’s and my gaze followed his finger, we were stunned.
There was a thick rope hanging from the ceiling fan, the blades of which were crooked from the heavy weight. But what made us speechless was what was hanging on the other end of the rope… a human.
“Liang Kaifeng!” I shouted.
Liang Kaifeng, who used to be arrogant and pompous all the time, hung there from the ceiling fan. His lifeless face was swollen purple.
“Why are you running?! Stop running!” Di Zizhen yelled at the students, as they scampered out of the classroom. “Call the police! Call the teachers! Boys, please guard the door. Don’t let anyone inside!”
While Di Zizhen was trying to maintain order, I began to look at Liang Kaifeng, pondering.
“Why…What happened…” Shi Yitong murmured, he seemed to be in shock.
“Shi Yitong!” After staring at the ceiling and the rope for a few seconds, I climbed onto a desk. “Give me a hand!”
“What… What are you doing?” Shi Yitong was astonished.
“Help me get him down,” I replied and tried to grab the rope. However, I could merely touch the knot and was not able to grasp it. I wasn’t high enough.
“Don’t touch anything!” Shi Yitong was so scared that he started shouting, “Don’t you know this is a crime scene? The police will accuse us of committing a crime when they arrive.”
“I don’t care, come and help me!” I said impatiently.
“He’s still breathing!” I snapped.
Yes, I saw it clearly when I stood beneath the ceiling fan. Although Liang Kaifeng was suspended by the neck and his face had turned pale, I could see him twitch slightly.
“Are you sure?!” Shi Yitong instantly clambered onto the desk and helped me get Liang Kaifeng down.
After a close observation, I was almost a hundred percent sure that he was dead because I had seen a corpse before.
Biological signs such as heartbeat and breathing were not the only way to determine if someone was dead or not. The moment they died, their spirit vanished as well. People could sense when a living body turned into a dead one. Just as you would never believe that a washing machine had life, even it was operating continuously, Liang Kaifeng no longer felt alive.
Although he was breathing, we felt it was just a lifeless corpse.
“You say he’s still alive?” Shi Yitong looked at Liang Kaifeng with doubt. “But, I feel…”
I bent down and pressed my ear against Liang Kaifeng’s chest. I could hear no heartbeat. Then, I grabbed his wrist and could feel no pulse either. However, I could still feel his breath when I put my finger under his nose.
A dead person… was breathing.
“What are you doing?!” A shout came from behind. Shi Yitong and I were startled and looked back. We saw the police had arrived and behind them were many teachers and the dean.
“What’re you doing?! Don’t touch the crime scene!” A policeman rushed over and tried to drive us out.
“Wait, he’s still breathing!” Shi Yitong shouted.
“What?!” The policeman was stunned. “What are you waiting for?! Send him to the hospital right away!”
Upon saying that, that police officer wanted to carry him up.
“No, look at him!” I shouted, “He doesn’t have a heartbeat!”
The police officers paused, they murmured ‘How is this possible’ and came over to test Liang Kaifeng’s pulse. Everyone held their breath during the wait.
“Impossible…This is impossible!”
The university suspended classes for the rest of the day. No one knew how Liang Kaifeng died, or more precisely, whether he had really died. The police kicked us out of the classroom and didn’t allow anyone to enter the crime scene. The teachers drove us, and all other students, away from the building. No one was allowed to pry into this incident.
However, the event caused severe panic as many students witnessed the grisly scene of Liang Kaifeng hanging from the ceiling. The gossip spread all over the campus. Some said an evil spirit took Liang Kaifeng’s life; the girl who jumped off the building came back for revenge. Others said this was Liang Kaifeng’s karma from being arrogant and imperious. While the most exaggerated one linked Liang Kaifeng to his father’s business, saying that his rival wanted to destroy their company.
We headed straight back to the dorm with sullen faces.
“Did Liang Kaifeng die?” Qi Bojian asked directly, breaking the silence.
Shi Yitong looked at me, so I replied, “I don’t know.”
“I think he’s dead,” Shi Yitong muttered. “He had no heartbeat. How could a man be alive without a heartbeat?”
“What did the police say?” Di Zizhen asked, “Besides, it’s Liang Kaifeng, his family won’t leave the incident unsettled.”
“When I passed the staff building, I heard the teachers were talking about it,” said Zhou Lang. “One said Liang Kaifeng’s father didn’t accept his son was dead. And he said he would take his son to a big hospital that will save his son’s life no matter how much he has to spend.”
“But…” Shi Yitong looked at us and said reluctantly, “That girl, the one who jumped off the building two years ago, you said she still had breath even as her body started decomposing.”