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Apartments for Rent – Chapter 06 – Part I

Chapter 06 – End of a lifetime

Part I

On that very same night, I returned to my bed to spy on Ying Ru.

Ying Ru peeled off the piece of red cloth covering the kid’s pale face; he was pretty much a goner at this point. Ying Ru didn’t bother to inject him with anything anymore. She touched his neck and his face a couple of times before she went to bed, reading and then sleeping.

The intoxicated Mr. Wang spent his night on the chair, not sure what he could be thinking about while Miss. Chen’s primal moans continuously echoed in his room. Normally he would be sleeping by now with his daughter in his arms, but not tonight.

I’m guessing he desperately wants to remain on the side of civilization and not succumbs to his barbaric urges.

But the fact that he spent the whole night spacing out on the chair, it only further exposed his hesitation and fear for approaching the bed.

 

When someone needs help, the right thing to do is to help them.

 

Immediately after I woke up in the morning, I went to the old pharmacy nearby and bought myself a lot of sleeping pills. The owner of the pharmacy was a classmate of mine from high school, his last name was Qin.

Mr. Qin’s father used to be the license holder of the store, but now that he was dead. He had to rent it from someone else. Even though Mr. Qin never even managed to acquire a pharmacist license on his own, he did not lack ideas on how to make more money.

 

“Buying so many mixed types of sleeping pills, I hope you are not planning to kill yourself?” Mr. Qin was just trying to make conversation, even if I said “Yes.” He would still sell it to me. He was that kind of person.

“Nope, just trying to get laid.” I smiled, leaving the money on the counter.

Mr. Qin took the money and smiled back like a good cashier would.

“Right, do you have any aphrodisiac?” I asked bluntly. There was only two types of language here anyway, “Do you have it?” and “How much?”

“Viagra? How many do you want?” Mr. Qin asked.

“I’m not looking for Viagra, I want aphrodisiac.” I asked directly, leaving no room for misunderstanding.

“There is no such thing, only hormones, drugs and stuff like that. If you want, I can get you some.” Mr. Qin didn’t waste time either.

“I want ten, and fast, two days tops.” I said.

“Come back tomorrow.” Mr. Qin lit up his cigarette in response: “Same as before, my stuff works, but what happens after that is not my problem.”

“Duh.” I said. It was nothing new.

 

The next day.

Mr. Wang’s room was furnished surprisingly simple, just like the way I saw onscreen. I opened the lid of his kettle, planning to mix some aphrodisiac in the water, but I had to stop myself due to the strange smell of the powder.

Mr. Qin said that this type of underground aphrodisiac was mixed with many different kinds of ingredients. It contained the traditional male potency Chinese herbs and Viagra, strange human hormones and even the latest Rohypnol. They mixed so much stuff together, like they were scared that it didn’t work or something.

After smelling it a bit more, I had to accept that it had a rather strange odor, and not the odorless, tasteless powder I had hoped for. It would be discovered for sure if I left it in the water.

I tried to recall everything I saw from his room.

Right.

I opened the cabinet, picking up the medicine bottle Mr. Wang used for his liver condition. He would always take one from this bottle every night before he went to bed. I secretly hoped that there were capsules inside the bottle and not pills; I couldn’t see it clearly onscreen.

Popping the cap, luckily, it was all capsules.

There was a time limit for my little adventure, so I had to keep it short. After remembering the name and the size of the medicine bottle, I went out of the room and arrived at the pharmacy. This time I went to buy the exact same kind of liver medicine.

 

“You have liver problems?” Mr. Qin asked nonchalantly.

I shook my head, no reason to lie.

Mr. Qin moved his finger around his nose pretending to be Chu LiuXiang.[1]

“Let me put it this way. The capsule used for this type of medicine is very common. Do you want to buy empty ones?” Mr. Qin seemed to have guessed my plans.

“Sure, thanks.” I smirked. Mr. Qin could be a good friend sometimes.

“No need, just keep the money coming.” Mr. Qin spoke more seriously: “But don’t if you kill someone with it.” Same as before.

And so, I bought three hundred empty capsules.

Back in my room, I casually opened the capsules, filling them with the aphrodisiac powder. So once more, I went to Mr. Wang’s room and this time, I emptied his medicine bottle, replacing it with mine.

Next up was old man Zhang.

There were over thirty bottles of expired milk sitting under old man Zhang’s bed, all sealed except one, an already opened bottle of fruit flavoured milk. My target was obvious.

I took a few pinch of the aphrodisiac power and dumped it into the bottle, giving it a good shake. I hoped old man Zhang’s iron stomach would not provide too much resistance to the aphrodisiac.

“One step at the time; there is no hurry.” I smiled as I left old man Zhang’s room.

 

I went up to the fourth floor and glanced at Ying Ru’s door.

It was half past three in the afternoon; she should be sitting on her bed writing around this time. Before I snuck into old man Zhang’s room and she started typing, she had already dropped the seemingly dead kid into the bath, together with that black plastic bag.

“Are you kidnapping and killing people so you can write stories?” I watched her door, confused.

But, what kind of stories would require such terrifying personal experience? Horror novels? Detective novels? Or some dark fantasy novels?

Nope, none of that makes sense. There is no way she would risk herself like that merely for the reward of writing a story. Besides, the romance novels are the ones popular these days, the real money maker.

It mostly likely has something to do with her perverse psyche. The scariest thing about her is her unpredictability.

Bo Yan went to school an hour ago. I carefully opened his door. Lifting the cover of the instant noodle left on his desk, I added some more sleeping pills; they were even more potent than the last time.

That kid’s sense of hygiene was terrible. He would always finish the left over instant noodles, without bothering to reheat them.

“Soon, I will help you uncover all of your potential.” I was overjoyed.

My notebook was filled with all kind of plans to further Bo Yan’s abilities. He could be considered to be the first but essential step in my grand scheme.

 

I carefully opened Bo Yan’s door, checking if Ying Ru who lived next door had come out. I was wary of her existence.

She didn’t.

Thus I walked out of his room, closing the door behind me.

 

Suddenly the door in front of me opened.

 

“Mr. Landlord?” Ying Ru greeted me with a smile.

“Hello.” I nodded, smiling.

 

Did she see me coming out of Bo Yan’s room?

 

“I haven’t thanked you yet for last night.” I tried to come up with something.

“But I noticed you weren’t too fond of my cooking. Was it really so bad?” Ying Ru seemed embarrassed.

 

Why does she have to open her door?

 

“No way! I was just…” I was at a loss for words.

“Not used to the taste?” Ying Ru eyed me curiously.

 

Why does she always appear at such suffocating moment?

Can she read minds?

 

“It is not your fault. I just have a bad habit being very picky with my food. I feel ashamed.” I apologized.

“I see.” Ying Ru nodded.

 

What now?

If she saw me coming out of Bo Yan’s room, I definitely can’t give her the opportunity to ask me why, because I’m nowhere near of coming up with an answer.

 

“Right, Ying Ru. Aren’t you a writer of some sort? I have been to the bookstore a couple of times, but I have never seen any of your books. I’m guessing you are using a pen name, right? Can you reveal it to me?” I pretended to be excited.

“The truth is, I’m not really much of a writer…” Ying Ru smiled.

 

An idea suddenly came to me; I should make use of this opportunity and try to learn more about Ying Ru, for both public and private reasons.

Publicly, understand Ying Ru could help me realize my plans.

Privately, who wouldn’t die for an opportunity to talk to the crazy cannibalizing killer?

 

“Ying Ru, are you free? How about a cup of coffee or something to eat?” I interrupted Ying Ru’s sentence, speaking enthusiastically: “I want to get to know you better. The truth is, I don’t really have many friends I can talk to. Haha. This is embarrassing. I haven’t had a heart to heart talk with someone for a long time.”

 

Ying Ru squinted her eyes.

I tried my best to spread my smile, and tried to infect Ying Ru with it.

 

“Sure, why don’t you come over to my room for coffee? I can make some right now.” Ying Ru’s smile was the most innocent smile I have ever seen, but my survival instinct was still intact.

I cleared my throat.

 

“I wouldn’t want to impose. I remember you telling me when you first came for the interview, you are not a local, right? I know a great coffee place nearby, what do you say?” I clapped in excitement, showing that I couldn’t wait.

“I don’t want to be a bother. But I’m quite an expert when it comes to coffee making.” Ying Ru’s smile could render any one defenceless.

Except me.

“It wouldn’t be proper for me to enter a lady’s room. Besides, that coffee place is really good. I have always wanted to go, but going alone is so sad, I couldn’t get myself to do it! Therefore this will be my treat, will you do me this favour?” I spoke in such hurry, just short of showing my wallet.

“Fine.” Ying Ru finally agreed.

 


[1] Chu LiuXiang is the fictional protagonist of a Wuxia novel series by Gu Long.

 

 

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