843 No Zuo No Die
Famous was the first to reach the fifth floor. Its vision was better than humans, but the spacious floor was complex. The dark passages and countless rooms were like a labyrinth, and the moonlight formed a contrasting light and dark boundary.
It didn't rush forward, instead, it lowered its head and sniffed for any scent as it waited for Zhang Zian at the stairway.
"How is it? Is anyone here?" Zhang Zian gasped and adjusted his breathing, sweeping his flashlight across the room.
"There's a scent, but I don't see anyone," Famous replied.
While they were conversing, Old Time Tea and Galaxy made their way up.
"Zian, did you find anyone yet?" Old Time Tea asked. "Do you want to split up and search?"
Zhang Zian hesitated before he shook his head and said, "I think it's better if we don't split up."
Old Time Tea was only able to propose such an idea because of its capabilities. They might be able to find the other party faster if they did split up, but it would obviously bring more danger to themselves. In those low-budget horror movies situated in deserted places, it was filled with stupid men and women who fled at the moment of crisis.
"Okay then." Old Time Tea seemed to understand Zian's concern, so it nodded and agreed.
Famous was still the one leading the way. Its sense of smell was the best radar, but it wasn't easy to track the smell on the complicated paths. Famous had not received any professional tracking training like Zhan Tian, so it would occasionally get lost or go in circles.
Zhang Zian was aware that the other party was familiar with the terrain, and he may have already escaped. But it was useless to panic, so he did not rush Famous. Instead, Zian allowed him to locate the source of the smell with peace of mind.
He had considered bringing Zhan Tian along, but how was he going to describe the smell of the Holy Cat statue to Zhan Tian? Even if it was an ace police dog, it was necessary to let the police dog sniff the criminal's belongings before tracking them down, but the Holy Cat statue did not have any belongings or clothes.
In addition, he was also worried that when he confronted the cat abuser, Zhan Tian might go too hard and hurt the other party. After all, abusing cats was not against the law, but it was illegal for a dog to bite a person. If Zhan Tian went light on the other party––if he just bit them and did not injure them––Zhan Tian may be injured in the other party's counterattack… so he decided to not bring Zhan Tian along.
Zian was also very glad that he did not bring Fina along. If Fina were to see a cat falling from the building, it would most likely erupt.
Famous tried its best to sniff and soon traced the smell to an empty room.
The internal wall of the room seemed to be incomplete; there were only a few load-bearing walls.
Before entering the room, Famous sniffed the room twice and whispered to Zhang Zian, "This room has the heaviest scent… both human and cat."
Zhang Zian cast a look at Old Time Tea, gesturing for it to prepare itself. He then waved at Galaxy for it to move back a little to avoid getting hurt.
He extended his fingers one by one, and when he reached "three," he rushed into the room with Famous and Old Time Tea.
There was no one in the room, but there were food packets and empty bottles on the ground that proved that multiple people had been there.
Zhang Zian carefully approached the window that had no window frame or glass. He stuck his head out and looked down. Right below them was the entrance to the corridor.
There was a pile of ashes on the floor in the middle of the room. Old Time Tea extended its claws closer and felt the residual heat of the ashes. "It is still hot… the person just left. Should we give chase?"
Zhang Zian was hesitant. The cat abuser was familiar with the terrain, so he may have already left the unfinished building from another path. They might not be able to catch up even if they gave chase now.
Just then, Famous suddenly shouted, "The scent of the Holy Cat statue!"
Famous's words got Zhang Zian's attention. The primary purpose of their visit was to find the Holy Cat statue, and since Famous was able to catch its scent, it proved that Snowy's information was correct.
"Where is it?" Both Zian and Old Time Tea approached Famous.
Famous went in circles around the food packets and empty bottles. "It should be nearby… but…"
Strangely, Famous could clearly smell that the Holy Cat statue had appeared around the vicinity of the ashes, but it was unable to locate the exact location of the statue.
"It's close by?"
Zhang Zian was deeply surprised that the Holy Cat statue was nearby. It meant that the cat abusers had been in close contact with the Holy Cat statue. Did they pick up the statue? Had they been carrying it with them ever since then? Did they bring it along during the abuse and when they were escaping?
Although it wasn't completely unreasonable, standing from the perspective of the cat abuser, was it really necessary? They shouldn't be aware of the connection between the Holy Cat statue and cat abuse. The Holy Cat statue was also deadweight, so it was clearly impossible for them to carry it around.
The pile of ashes was probably from the fire started by the lighter that Old Time Tea had seen. The cat that fell from the building was also placed on the ashes there and it was burnt before it died.
Old Time Tea was surveying the surroundings, and Galaxy was wandering around curiously.
There was a large piece of reinforced concrete debris near the ashes. It seemed to have collapsed from somewhere, and it might have been used as a seat by some cat abuser. There was a can of iced coffee on top of it.
Staring at the debris, a thought suddenly flashed in Zhang Zian's mind. He moved the flashlight up towards the ceiling and raised his head.
Just above the ashes, there was a hole that wasn't too big in the ceiling. They could see the sixth floor through the hole, and the shape of the debris was basically consistent with the shape of the hole. It seemed that the construction materials selected by the developers of the year were also inferior materials. Fortunately, the building was abandoned, otherwise, if people lived there, they would have gotten hurt sooner or later.
Famous also saw it. It vaguely understood what was going on, and got embarrassed about his blind sniffing earlier. He said, "All of you stay here. I'll be back in a while!"
"Be careful!" Zhang Zian had no time to stop it, so he reminded it from behind.
After a few moments, dust scattered down from the hole, and the voice of Famous came from above the hole. "I can't be wrong… the Holy Cat statue was just in my current position!"
"Can you smell the whereabouts of the statue?" Zian said to the empty hole.
"I can't smell it. It seems to have disappeared in thin air," Famous replied.
"Okay, come down then." Helplessness and pity could be heard in his voice. It wasn't easy looking for the clue, and now it was lost again.
After a while, Famous returned to the fifth floor safely.
Zhang Zian stepped back and took concrete blocks, ceiling voids, ashes, food packets, and empty beverage bottles into his eyes to form a panoramic image.
A cold chill enveloped his heart and made him shudder! He seemed to have seen the cat abusers sitting around the fire, eating and drinking while they abused the cat for their enjoyment.
However, above the top of their heads, where the fire was unable to illuminate, the Holy Cat statue was coldly staring at them through the hole.
Did they know that while they were willfully abusing the cats for their enjoyment, there was a terrible existence quietly lurking next to them?
It was probably best that they didn't know. Otherwise, they might be scared crazy on the spot.
Old Time Tea and Famous had also thought of that. As strong as they were, their face slightly changed.
"This is really… no zuo no die…" Zhang Zian let out a sigh. He called out towards the elfins and said, "We have no more business here. Come on, let's go home."