607 No Way Back
Ever since the shadow appeared at White Dragon Cave Tunnel, the strange factor of this area had been kicked up a notch. The young woman, the boy, and the old man that the driver had mentioned—before even entering the tunnel, Chen Ge had already met three 'people'.
"This place sure is crowded." Chen Ge did not ask for more information about the old man but sat quietly in the back. The taxi slowly moved down the road leading toward White Dragon Cave Tunnel. The closer they got to the destination, the more unsettled the driver felt, but he was starved of options. At this point, there was nothing he could do but move forward.
The trees by the road swayed like souls crawling out from hell. The light dimmed because most of the streetlights leading to White Dragon Cave Tunnel were broken, and the local government did not care enough to fix the road that was covered with dried leaves and mud.
However, strangely enough, amid the mess of trash, there were trails of clear footprints—some big and some small, some barefooted and others with shoes. In any case, it was clear that they had been left behind by more than one person.
"There weren't so many footprints when I was here last time." Chen Ge observed closely. He realized that all of the footprints pointed toward White Dragon Cave Tunnel. "They're all heading to the tunnel? What is attracting them inside the tunnel?"
Chen Ge had no idea what had happened to the tunnel, but he knew that after the shadow made his appearance here, the tunnel had become different from before. The car tires crushed the fallen leaves and branches, eliciting an eerie sound. With the headlights beaming, a large black outline appeared. All the lights would disappear when they hit that spot.
"White Dragon Cave!" The taboo of all the urban legends appeared before his eyes, and the driver's eyelids could not stop twitching. His legs were shaking, and his body sent him messages that it was time to turn and run.
"We're here." The taxi stopped before the tunnel, but the passengers inside the car didn't show any intention of getting out. "We're already at White Dragon Cave Tunnel, so I think I'll stop here."
The driver felt like retreating; he had already been through enough strange events for one night.
"I don't mind, but the key is dependent of the two of them." Chen Ge leaned against the cushion and shifted his weight to a more comfortable position. It was still well before the mission time given by the black phone, so he was not in a hurry. Chen Ge was the only one who was more willing to negotiate—the same could not be said of the two other passengers.
The young woman slowly raised her eyes, and between the strands of tussled hair, the pair of eyes shone brilliantly red. She slid her fingers down the window, creating a sharp noise. It felt as if there was something inside the tunnel that was causing her to go berserk.
The condition of the boy was equally strange. He was still holding the black plastic bag, but his originally innocent-looking face was now twisted beyond recognition.
The closer they were to White Dragon Cave Tunnel, the more obvious the abnormalities they possessed. It was as if the resentment in their bodies was being drawn out, and they could not hold it in anymore. None of the three passengers looked like they were getting out of the car, and this caused the driver to panic. A deep frown was etched on his face, and he appeared as helpless as they came.
They say good things come to good people, but how come it's the opposite for me? the driver grumbled internally. He stopped the car; White Dragon Cave Tunnel was the taboo location for all the taxi drivers in Jiujiang. No matter what, he was not driving into the tunnel.
Even sitting inside the car, he could feel the cold draft coming out from inside the tunnel. Rising his eyes to look, White Dragon Cave Tunnel was like the gaping maw of a beast, and everyone that walked into it would be consumed until even their bones could not be found.
"Why did you stop? You need to move forward! My house is just in front, keep driving!" the boy at the back demanded urgently.
"Your house is inside the tunnel?" When he heard that, the desire for the driver to stay away from the tunnel increased. The boy in the back looked similar to the victim from the news article. Earlier, he had even said that he was searching for his hand. If this was not a prank, then the real identity of this boy was worth pondering.
The driver realized the danger he was in, and he ignored the boy's command and turned the car around. He planned to drive all the way to the police station—regardless of whether it was a ghost or human inside his car, he would pass on all of them to the police. That was a good idea, but once he started the engine, something went wrong.
He could hear the engine starting, but the car simply refused to move. He tried it multiple times, but in the end, he only caused the dashboard to break down. This time, the driver was genuinely panicking. The car had broken down in the middle of nowhere, and the scariest thing was that he had no idea how many people were ghosts inside his car.
"Don't panic, the dashboard is acting up probably because you tried to start the engine too many times, and you short-circuited the battery somehow. It's just a small problem." At the most crucial moment, Chen Ge's words gave the driver the security that he needed. Chen Ge's voice was powerful and warm, and it helped the driver to slowly calm down.
"Okay, you stay in the car, I'll go to take a look." The driver placed his hand on the doorknob and was about to step out when there was a loud thud, like something heavy had landed on the roof of the car. The driver was frightened, and he instinctively pulled his hand back, but then something even stranger happened.
Without touching the steering wheel, the car started to move. And the direction it was heading? It was none other than White Dragon Cave Tunnel!
"I didn't start the car, so why is it moving on its own? We have to jump out now!" The driver wanted to pull open the door, but when his hand landed on the handle, the loud thud came again. This time, the sound originated right in front of the driver. He could clearly see, after the sound disappeared, on the windscreen right before the driver's seat, there was a blood red handprint.
His eyes widening, the driver's mind was drawing a blank. He had no idea how the red handprint appeared on the glass like magic. Before he could understand it, the sound appeared this time at the back of the car. Then the whole car shook, and more bloody handprints appeared on the car's back window.
"What is happening?" This time, even Chen Ge was slightly apprehensive. Different from the driver, using his Yin Yang Vision, he could just about see that the car was currently surrounded by 'people', and each handprint represented a resentment-filled soul.
"Why are there so many dead spirits gathering at the mouth of the tunnel?" Sitting inside the car, Chen Ge flipped open the comic and activated the recorder. This caused the smell of blood inside the car to thicken.
More bloody handprints appeared, and they looked quite scary, filling up the windows. With them jostling and pushing, the car was slowly sent deeper into White Dragon Cave Tunnel.
The driver's despairing cry for help was unable to stop the taxi from being engulfed by the darkness.
This happened too suddenly, and no one expected this transformation. When they recovered, the taxi was already deep inside the tunnel.
The tires felt like they had rolled over something because the car tipped slightly. More handprints continued to appear, and the spine-tingling rapping echoed in their ears.