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    Chapter 118: Station 24: Disparity

    Just as those rough and dirty hands were about to touch Yan Qiling, the seemingly normal giant suddenly turned and grabbed at the air beside him, as if he had actually grasped something. Following the previous routine, he began to hang the person upside down.

    All those suspended saw this scene.

    No one spoke. They only stared at the slender figure in the wheelchair, still wearing the hood, with various thoughts swirling in their minds.

    Hou Gaoqing didn't initially recognize that person as Yan Qiling, but he knew that the one sitting on the wheelchair might be a crucial point for their escape.

    Satisfied with his handiwork after hoisting them all up, the driver paused to admire his creations before lifting the bloodied tattered cloth curtain and entering the compartment.

    Inside was a mountain of organs and blood, yet curiously, it resembled a crude "kitchen" by its arrangement.

    The driver picked up a fresh liver and stuffed it into his mouth, mumbling indistinctly,

    "Ubitos, you're too slow."

    The sound of sharpening knives quickened.

    The play of light and shadow from the flimsy curtains cast upon the bloodstained walls illuminated not only the lifeless bodies hanging by their chests but also revealed the massive shape of the knife in its entirety.

    As the knife's silhouette flickered, everyone became acutely aware of their grim fate awaiting them.

    In that moment, the man who had been abandoned on the trolley managed to break free from his ropes and remove his black hood.

    This man's striking appearance was utterly captivating; his East Asian features stirred a sense of disappointment, for such a delicate-looking individual seemed unrelated to any hope of survival.

    Someone attempted to call out to him, trying to guide him into doing something meaningful. The man's beautiful, contrasting eyes, resembling those of a cat, turned towards them, and he placed a finger to his lips, making a "shush" gesture.

    His irises glowed with a faint, lifelike radiance in the dim light, yet they also concealed a lurking danger more perilous than a python's strike.

    The person who had intended to speak suddenly fell silent, not quite realizing what was amiss until the man had already gracefully descended from the trolley.

    As he passed by the unfortunate souls suspended upside down, the man spoke in perfect British English:

    "Wait a moment."

    He didn't immediately set about freeing them from their bonds but instead used the interplay of light and shadow to blend into the dark corners, searching for a new path to escape.

    The door that had been slammed shut by the coachman had now transformed into an immovable iron barrier.

    Yan Qiling recalled the man who had escaped earlier, pounding desperately on the metal. Following the same path, he reached the other end of the room, where he found an operational meat grinder in action.

    From the chute of the grinder hung the body of a slaughtered, gutted corpse, its headless form being fed into the buzzing machine. Fresh, crimson blood mixed with the reek of ground flesh as it flowed into the drain.

    Large chunks of meat were ground and transported like waste onto a second conveyor belt, destined for an unknown location.

    To Yan Qiling, this scene wasn't terrifying, but he couldn't help but wonder about the fate of the meat.

    As expected, opposite the meat grinder was a tightly sealed iron door, locked and requiring a key.

    Upon seeing the lock, Yan Qiling almost instinctively thought of another person.

    If Ming Yiyang were here, perhaps he could have opened it right away.

    This dangerous thought was quickly extinguished as he began to recall details about Ubitos and the coachman, remembering how the unshackled driver would occasionally emit strange metallic sounds.

    Perhaps those were the keys.

    He decided to give it a shot.

    Yan Qiling returned to the cart, intentionally making noise, but the sound of sharpening was so loud that he had to slap the cart's railing to get attention.

    The group hanging upside down watched his reckless act anxiously, wanting to stop him or say something, but fearing repercussions, they could only glare at him helplessly.

    Only Hu Gao Ming looked calmly at the man, not revealing any sign of panic, remaining silent throughout.

    The driver, hearing noises aside from the blade sharpening, rushed out from the veil almost instantaneously.

    With bloody teeth bared, he stretched out his broad palm, reaching towards the source of the sound like a giant fan—

    But he grabbed thin air!

    This seemed to enrage him further.

    The room was too dark, and all he could see was the tiny creature darting about in the shadows. Frustrated, he flailed his arms blindly in the air, unaware that the person had already circled behind him and taken the key chain from his waist.

    Then, they vanished into the darkness, hiding away without a trace.

    The coachman angrily searched the shadows for his target, and suddenly, as if he had caught a glimpse of something, he dove into the darkness! However, what he actually dragged out was a broken scarecrow!

    Yet, the coachman seemed convinced that he had seized the real culprit. He treated the scarecrow as he would the nameless man, ruthlessly hanging it on the iron hook before storming back to his original position with a veil of fury.

    The flickering crimson in Yan Qiling's right eye gradually subsided, and he emerged from the darkness, gently unlocking the iron door next to the meat grinder with a key.

    The rusty door creaked softly.

    However, due to Yan Qiling's cautious movements and the kitchen ventilator's roaring noise, the creak was insignificant and completely drowned out.

    At this point, Yan Qiling pulled out a handkerchief from his sleeve and extracted a long, rusted blade from a corner.

    He first untied the ropes around Hu Gaoming's wrists, then handed him the blade, instructing him to curl up and cut the ropes around his own legs.

    Afterward, Yan Qiling proceeded to free the others' wrists.

    Throughout the process, they didn't exchange a single word, yet their cooperation was seamless.

    Hu Gaoming moved swiftly, suppressing any sound even when he fell to the ground.

    Assured that the two giants hadn't noticed anything amiss outside, he grasped the blade and began to free the others' bound wrists and ankles.

    Everyone tried their best not to make a sound as they successively entered the dark space beyond the entrance, refraining from any sudden movements for fear of attracting new danger.

    Yan Qiling made a three-finger gesture to everyone, then pointed at three individuals to accompany him in scouting ahead.

    The group quickly understood his intention, and without a word, the three chosen didn't object but obediently followed him.

    Beyond the door lay pitch darkness; fortunately, a faint light flickered ahead.

    As the light grew brighter in their eyes, they discovered that this path led to a railway that ran right through the upper part of the kitchen!

    This railway clearly connected to another room, but the issue was that it was situated inside the kitchen itself. To pass through, they would have to traverse directly over the heads of the two mountainous monsters.

    It seemed almost impossible to do so undetected.

    Aside from passing through the kitchen, there was another problem with the railway—it was too narrow.

    This railway could only accommodate one adult man at a time; anyone slightly overweight might get stuck.

    Mobis was among the first to follow Yan Qiling out.

    At that moment, he hadn't yet donned his helmet. With the low hum of the whirring fans as cover, he spoke in a hushed tone with a distinct Sacramento accent:

    "Let slender women and children go first. Men and the obese should stay back, or we'll all die."

    Aside from him, Yan Qiling had selected two others: Hu Gaoming and Steven.

    Both had inspected the railway and raised no objections.

    Physically, they were by no means heavy, more than capable of passing through the narrow passage. Besides, what Mobis said made sense – it was indeed a way to save more lives.

    To survive, choices had to be made.

    But Yan Qiling stopped them from going back to announce this plan:

    "We can't do it that way."

    Mobis lifted his gray eyes, his prominent aquiline nose casting deep shadows in his eye sockets, giving his angular eyes a keen, falcon-like sharpness.

    "Why?"

    Yan Qiling was not intimidated by the gloomy gaze; human expressions held no sway over him.

    "People who have lost all hope are likely to resort to extreme measures. We're all on the same rope now, our fates intertwined: one falls, all fall. You might want to rid yourself of the 'unfit,' but they only need to cry out for everyone to be doomed."

    "Our priority now is to prevent such possibilities. It's a difference between 0% and 100%, with no middle ground."

    Mobis didn't argue, maintaining his intense stare at the handsome East Asian man.

    "What do you propose?"

    Yan Qiling was straightforward.

    "Order according to the sequence we were initially bound."

    Mobis raised an eyebrow.

    What about the person squeezed on the bridge by the fatty? And don't forget, according to the order, you're the last one."

    The man with an Eastern face uttered icy words:

    "No need to do anything. Submit to fate."

    The trio, upon returning, tacitly omitted any mention of the situation on the iron bridge.

    They only said that they had to hurry across, or else they would be discovered by the monsters.

    No one objected to escaping in the order they were captured, as Yan Qiling was at the bottom of the list. Since he proposed the plan, no one could say anything against it.

    However, Hu Gao Ming was well aware of the reason for the previous concerns.

    The fourth-to-last person to be hung was a significantly overweight man; his girth would directly contribute to his demise.

    Silently, Yan Qiling removed the key from the door and closed the rusted iron gate.

    Steve headed for the exit. As the leader, he would be the first to confront danger but also the most likely to secure a chance of survival.

    As for Yan Qiling, he stood in line in the darkness, the queue stretching as long as a typical line for shopping, with fourteen individuals in it.

    Steve held his girlfriend Isabella's hand, endeavoring to tread cautiously across the tracks without making a sound.

    Despite their disgust at the scene below.

    An endless pile of organs lay below them, a revolting mix of fresh and decaying matter. The driver sat on his chair, indulging in the freshest parts, while Ubitos was sharpening an enormous blade that no ordinary person could wield.

    The blade seemed only half-polished, yet its razor-sharp edge sent shivers down their spines.

    Despite Steve's utmost caution, he couldn't prevent their shadows from falling upon the feast before the two monsters –

    when an additional shadow cast itself directly above the organs they held.

    The driver slowly lifted his head.

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