I Am Not Your Enemy
The corpse of the makeup artist laid on the floor, her eyes wide open.
A shirt was slowly laid on her, covering her body.
Chen Shuang He half squatted down and slowly pulled the shirt up to her face, covering her eyes that had died with regrets. Whispers rang out from the onlookers behind him.
“Come to think of it, haven’t you been here all this while?”
“What are you trying to say, you suspect that I’m the murderer?”
“No, no, I just wanted to ask if you’ve seen the murderer.”
“I didn’t see anything…why are you looking at me like that! I really didn’t see anything!”
Chen Shuang He remained squatting on the ground, observing the feet nearby.
After the murder, the people in the crew started to group up together—either due to fear or to have a discussion—the feet were grouped up together, only one pair of feet was the exception.
Chen Shuang He slowly stood up, his eyes naturally shifted up from that pair of feet to the person’s face.
A rabbit mask.
“Run?” Not many people could remain truly calm when facing an enthusiastic serial killer, the thought of running away seemed to immediately appear in Chen Shuang He’s heart, he quickly dispelled the thought. “No, he might not have seen me yet. Even if he has, he might not want to kill me. Calm down, I have to calm down…”
Chen Shuang He was worthy of his movie emperor title. His eyes scanned the other party’s face, then he acted as if nothing happened and turned around without changing his expression. He shouted out for people to give way as he made his way through the crowd, then took out his phone and gave Ning Ning a call.
“Hello, it’s me,” he said in the call, “you two can come over now, he…”
Chen Shuang He suddenly looked back.
Rabbit Mask was standing right behind him.
Set of <<Phantom of the Theater>>, at the rest area.
“Despair, paranoia, unreconciliation and having delusions of wanting to change your own fate—the only ones who could see masked people are these people.” Ning Ning stared at the familiar face in front of her. “Which one do you belong to?”
“I don’t belong to any of them.” Wen Yu started to laugh. “Ning Ning, I cannot see masked people.”
Ning Ning furrowed her brows, she found it hard to believe him.
If he truly could not see them, then how could one explain the Mr. Rabbit he drew?
Her phone suddenly rang, interrupting what Ning Ning had wanted to say.
Caller ID: Chen Shuang He.
“Hello?” Ning Ning answered the call.
“Hello, it’s me,” Chen Shuang He said, “you two can come over now, he… Ah!”
“…What happened? Hello? Hello!” Ning Ning’s face turned green as she looked at the phone. She looked at Wen Yu and said, “Something’s wrong, we should go over quickly.”
The two of them rushed out of the rest area and walked towards the room that housed the makeup artist’s corpse.
As they were making their way over there, the members of the crew rushed over like refugees running away from a natural disaster.
Ning Ning grabbed one of them and asked, “What happened? Why is everyone running away?”
“There’s a monster, a ghost…” the other party tried to break free of Ning Ning’s hand as he babbled, “something invisible started a fight with Chen Shuang He.”
Ning Ning was stunned. The other party took the chance to break free of her hand, stumbling as he rushed back into the wave of refugees beside them.
The wave was moving towards them, not only did it sweep him up, it also swept Ning Ning up, making Ning Ning start to retreat uncontrollably.
Her phone rang again,
Caller ID: Chen Shuang He.
“Hello?” Ning Ning frantically answered the phone, “We’re coming, are you alright?”
“…” The other side remained silent for a while, then an unfamiliar male voice rang out, “He’s fine.”
Ning Ning was rooted to the spot.
That voice was so close to her, it even had the hint of an echo.
She slowly looked back.
A man wearing a rabbit mask was standing behind her, he held Chen Shuang He’s phone and said to her, “You are not.”
“Ah!!” Ning Nin screamed. In the next second, an arm grabbed her neck and pulled her behind a person.
“Is it him?” Wen Yu stood in front of her, looking straight in front of himself, asking in a low voice, “Where is he? Point him out for me.”
Ning Ning was taken aback. It was already such a juncture in time, he could not have been acting… So, he really couldn’t see masked people? Ning Ning said frantically, “Right side! Right side! He’s coming for you from your right side, watch out… Ah!”
Her prompts were not as fast as Mr. Rabbit’s movements.
Ning Ning could only watch as Mr. Rabbit jumped Wen Yu, both his hands reaching out to strangle him.
Wen Yu could not see masked people, his eyes were still looking in another direction, but his right hand was raised up, a dining knife was raised horizontally in front of the other’s neck.
“Ah!!” Now, it was Mr. Rabbit who was the one screaming.
He had pounced too ferociously, but Wen Yu had blocked at just the right time. Both of Mr. Rabbit’s hands were slashed, black tape flowed out from the wounds.
Mr. Rabbit bent his back, his hands trembling, wails of pain rang out behind the mask, but he did not give up. He circled the two of them repeatedly, the black tape from his hands flowing to the floor.
“Continue,” Wen Yu said, “point out where he is to me.”
“He’s here.” Ning Ning pointed at Mr. Rabbit, her finger pointing to wherever he walked to like a shadow.
Mr. Rabbit roared angrily and pounced on her.
“He’s coming to me… Ah!” Ning Ning’s voice just petered out as a dining knife was held horizontally in front of her neck.
Mr. Rabbit screamed again. He was injured again, he was injured on the same place too, he could not help but take a few steps back, he looking at Wen Yu with hatred and doubt, “…Can you really not see me?”
Wen Yu smiled without saying a word, his vision was still not on Mr. Rabbit.
But Mr. Rabbit was unwilling to fall for it again! He shouted in pain, “You’re a liar, an actor! You can clearly see me but you’re still acting like you can’t! I won’t fall for it again!”
He shouted as he opened the door, then turned around and ran.
Ning Ning waited for a moment. Seeing that Wen Yu had no reaction, she asked anxiously, “He’s running, are we not chasing him?”
“Why don’t you say so earlier?” Wen Yu immediately reacted, “Which direction did he run to?”
Wen Yu chased after the other for a while with Ning Ning’s guidance. Unfortunately, Mr Rabbit injured his hands, not feet, there were a lot of people around too on top of that, they lost him in the end.
“It can’t be helped.” Wen Yu put the dining knife back into his pocket as he said with some regret, “Although we can’t catch him, the good thing is that we injured him, he won’t be able to harm anyone for a while… Let’s go, we should go back and check up on Chen Shuang He.”
“Okay.” Ning Ning answered, the two of them started to walk down the empty long corridor. Halfway through, Ning Ning hesitated and asked the figure in front of her, “How did you do it?”
Wen Yu, “The neck.”
“Mr. Rabbit is a serial killer, the method he uses to kill is fixed—to strangle a person’s neck until the person stops breathing.” Wen Yu said with his back to her, “Knowing where he will attack makes dealing with him very easy.”
“How do you know everything…” Ning Ning murmured at him, “including what he looks like, the way he attacks…”
Wen Yu stopped in his tracks. He slowly turned around and looked at her.
“Seven years later, everyone knows who he is.” Wen Yu looked down at her, “It’s not just him, the government had a file on every dangerous masked person. They did not only have portraits, they even had their individual methods of killing. Even children can recite their data, not to mention me.”
“…What are you talking about?” Ning Ning held her forehead, “Wait a minute, I’m a little bit confused now, what you’re saying is…”
She stared at the unfamiliar yet familiar face in front of her as she murmured, “Are you…from the future?”
“Yes,” Wen Yu admitted calmly, “I am from the future.”
“Then you…” Ning Ning hesitated for a moment, “are really Wen Yu?”
The calmness that was close to unfeeling on his face cracked, showing a dejected and bitter smile, he nodded, “It’s me… Aunt Xiao Ning.”
“You…changed so much.” Ning Ning could not help but touch his face, as if she was touching his worn out soul through his young face. “Is the situation in the future that bad? Masked people like Mr. Rabbit…are there a lot of them?”
“Yes.” Wen Yu bent over slightly, opening up his tired soul to her, he said in a low voice, “There are a lot of them…”
He described the strange future to Ning Ning with an insipid tone.
Seven years later, masked people were no longer the minority.
Normal people became the minority.
Furthermore, their numbers continued to dwindle, they were either killed by masked people or tricked into entering the movie theater by masked people.
“The mainstream view of the future was that masked people are also people. People would get lonely, so they want to increase their numbers.” Wen Yu said, “It was fine at first, but after a certain incident in a certain year, the masked people started their expansion plans. When it got to 2025—the year I came from—the number of masked people had already exceeded normal people, moreover, their numbers were increasing by the year… For the sake of turning the situation around, the government and the people started a lot of research…”
The opponent was something which couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, they didn’t even show up on machines.
What was even worse was that these people wouldn’t die.
As long as Life Theater existed, they would not age nor die. Even if they were blown into pieces with a cannon, they would just turn back into a mask, hung on the wall in the projection room. As time went by, the humans buried in the ground would turn into withered bones, the masks hung on the wall would turn back into masked people.
It was a completely unfair battle.
It made even more normal people feel despair, it even caused the thoughts of “If I’m going to die, why not turn into a masked person”.
“At the end of the research, they came up with a conclusion.” Wen Yu said, “Life Theater…we must go back to the beginning of the entire incident through Life Theater, then change everything at the source.”
“Source?” Ning Ning asked, “You’re referring to Mr. Rabbit?”
Wen Yu shook his head, “No…he is only one of the people from the incident.”
Ning Ning was shocked, “There are others?”
She wanted to pursue the matter, but she couldn’t bring it up.
Because Wen Yu was looking at her with an expression that was hard to describe. That expression was so familiar yet unfamiliar, intimate yet hateful, full of pity and remorse.
“…Who is it?” After half an instant, Ning Ning finally asked him, her voice sounded a little bitter, “Who else is among the masked people that were placed on file?”
Wen Yu took a deep breath, he seemed to be unwilling to answer the question, thus he started to speak indirectly, “Through a series of data, we finally found the source. The source was the year <<Phantom of the Theater>> was filmed, it was news which rocked the world. First, a makeup artist died of an accident, but the culprit was never found…”
“Who is it?” Ning Ning vaguely had an answer in her heart, she interrupted Wen Yu and held his hand forcefully, fixing his eyes on him.
His drifting eyes were fixed on Ning Ning. Wen Yu seemed to be looking at her, but he also seemed to be looking at another person far away. After a long period of time, he quietly spat out two words.
Everything around them seemed to have fallen silent. Ning Ning stood on the spot as if she had turned into stone, looking at the person in front of her, listening to him using an extremely low voice to tell her, “After <<Phantom of the Theater>> ended, you turned into a masked person. The evaluation the later generations gave you was that—hell started from you.”
You were the leader of all the masked people.
You were the most dangerous masked person on record.
You were my enemy…all of our enemy.
“Me?” Ning Ning pointed at herself, forcing a laugh. “You gotta be kidding. A person like me could be the leader of all the masked people? I’m even the most dangerous masked person? I…was just being hunted by Mr. Rabbit….”
She babbled on her explanation for a very long time before she finally sighed, reaching out to hug him.
“I don’t like to harm others, I don’t want to be friends with Mr. Rabbit either. Will I change in the future? I don’t know. But I can guarantee you one thing.” Ning Ning leaned on Wen Yu’s chest. Rather than describing it as her trying to draw warmth from him by relying on him, it would be more accurate to say that she was trying to let this ice cold soul rely on her, to draw warmth from her. “….I will never ever hurt you. Wen Yu, I am not your enemy.”