webnovel

Corner Cafe

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

Even in the daytime, the office was lit with a miserable white light.

Partition after partition divided most of the office into small boxes. In the middle of each box, there was an unconnected desktop computer and a telephone. Everyone was busy and walking around. Some were typing, some were on the phone, and some were exchanging documents. Lu Xin's workstation was in the very middle, with a "Best Employee" reward banner hanging on the partition.

The morning's busy work had been dealt with. Lu Xin straightened up and pinched his temples.

Staying in this environment for a long time, one would always feel depressed and stuffy. Not to mention there were always so many tedious things to deal with.

"Are you busy now, Brother Lu?"

A voice sounded beside Lu Xin. He looked up and found that it was the new young man in the office, Lv Cheng. He was well dressed, had short hair, and a sunny temperament. But at this time, he frowned as he said, "The director arranged for me to organize this batch of documents. I've sorted it out, but I can't seem to get it right. The time is almost up. Brother Lu, can you… can you teach me?"

"Sure."

Lu Xin smiled and agreed to help. "I happen to have nothing to do now."

"Thank you, Brother Lu. You're really nice!"

The energetic chap's expression was grateful as he rushed beside Lu Xin's desk. One taught while the other learned.

Many discontented gazes were cast at them from the surrounding partitions, and a few extremely soft whispers were heard.

"His own work is already tiring enough, yet he still has to teach others."

"We all have the same job. There's no need to be afraid of getting kicked out after we've taught others how to do things properly."

"…"

Under many people's unhappy gazes, Lu Xin helped Lv Cheng arrange the documents and waved as he thanked him.

Although everyone was nervous in this oppressive office atmosphere, Lu Xin had always had his own principles of doing things. When he was able to give others a hand, he would do so. The Red Moon incident had made a change in the world, but one still had to have the character of a human being.

"Lu Xin, come here for a moment, the director called you!"

Someone called out from afar.

"Coming!"

Lu Xin put down his coffee, got up, and walked towards the director's office. There, he saw the director, who was so fat that his cheeks were hanging down on both sides. On the sofa opposite sat a short-haired woman wearing sunglasses and a decent suit.

"Little Lu, here's a document. Help me deliver it to the corner cafe on Qingjiang Road now!"

The director was concise and pointed to the file bag on the table.

Delivering documents was the administration team or miscellaneous affairs team's job. It wasn't part of his job scope.

But Lu Xin didn't refuse. "Ok."

Then, he picked up the documents, nodded to the director and the short-haired woman on the sofa, and walked out.

As soon as he left the room, the director immediately smiled and attentively said to the short-haired woman, "Team Leader Chen, it's done. Don't worry, I won't ask or think much about it. But that project you just told me about…"

"Please rest assured, this project won't be given to you!"

The short-haired woman stood up, pulled down her sunglasses, and spoke gently.

The director froze for a moment, thinking he had heard wrong. Just then, he saw the woman's pupils.

Her pupils looked like they were spinning, faintly glowing red, and seemed to turn into two red moons.

"Forget about me. Also, forget about arranging for him to do anything!"

The short-haired woman whispered softly. Then, she put on her sunglasses and turned to leave.

The director fell into a moment of confusion. Then, after a few seconds, he sobered up as if nothing had happened and went on with his business.

Lu Xin grabbed a handrail in a carriage of the high-speed rail while feeling drowsy. The place he boarded the high-speed rail was near the starting station, and there were still seats available. But he saw a pregnant lady board and gave his seat up to her. He then remained standing for thirty minutes.

The lights in the carriage flickered slightly, and Sister, holding a patched-up bear in her arms, crawled over along the roof.

She hung upside down in front of Lu Xin, swaying like she was on a swing.

Lu Xin stared fixedly, pretending to be admiring the beautiful legs of a girl in hot pants at the side.

Sister played by herself even more happily. She swayed more and more violently, and a faint sound of distortion appeared in the carriage.

Fortunately, the train was moving very fast and swaying, so the distortion sound was masked.

"Brother, Brother, look, that fat man is so silly…"

Sister suddenly pointed at a fat man standing and sleeping not far away drooling and smiled at Lu Xin.

"Don't talk to me…"

Forcing himself to concentrate on looking at the legs of the beautiful woman, Lu Xin squeezed between his teeth.

"I can't look at you outside, let alone talk to you. I'll be treated like a psycho…"

"Tsk, no fun!"

Sister deliberately provoked Lu Xin. But, seeing he didn't fall for it, she felt a little bored.

"Then, take care of yourself. There's something wrong with the place you're going to!"

As she spoke, not waiting for Lu Xin to ask further, she "giggled" and fiercely ran forward along the carriage. Passing by the fat man sleeping while standing, she suddenly pinched the fat man's face and then disappeared into the distance.

The fat man woke up with a start and shouted, "Who touched me?"

People around him looked at him oddly as there was no one around him in a one-meter radius.

Lu Xin joined the crowd of onlookers, looking at the fat man as though he was nuts.

When he got out of the train, Lu Xin found that the place was close to the outer wall.

The buildings here had become somewhat dilapidated. One could see that the walls were more than ten meters high, casting a deep shadow on the buildings. Although thirty years had passed and those wandering lunatics outside the city had been mostly cleaned up, the people living in the city still didn't dare to be careless. The focus of municipal work every year was to continue to strengthen and repair these tall walls.

When he arrived at the corner cafe, he found that the environment here was dark.

The old buildings and bungalows around it seemed empty, and no one could be seen.

There was a lot of garbage in front of the door like it was blown there by the wind, and he didn't know for how long it hadn't been cleaned.

As he approached the place, he felt depressed for some reason.

Lu Xin subconsciously didn't like this place, but he had promised the director, so he still walked in.

"The thirteenth observed has entered the target area!"

On a high building not far from there, more than a dozen observers were present. A variety of instruments had been set up. Around the high building, loaded guns and heavily armed warriors were hidden in the shadows nervously guarding against everything in the surroundings.

The short-haired woman was also among the office staff, holding a document with the following black lettering:

"Target codename: Corner Cafe.

"Purpose of the operation: detect the potential and specific abilities of the thirteenth observed to become a Psyche Master.

"Potential risk: The cafe has been confirmed as a Level 1 Psyche Corruption Zone.

"Specific manifestations are:

"People who are close to the cafe will be involuntarily drawn into it.

"People who have entered the cafe will die within three to five days, and the cause of death is mostly suicide.

"According to analysis, they were probably corrupted in the cafe to the point of developing a severe depression."

"…"

She put down the documents in her hands and asked the person beside her, "Is the preparatory support ready?"

The staff member nodded and gestured toward the next room.

Through the glass partition between the two rooms, a delicate girl in a western dress, who looked like a puppet, could be seen sitting there.

As Lu Xin entered the cafe, he felt warm and lively.

Outside the street, as well as inside the house, it was empty and cold.

But this cafe was full of people and even felt overcrowded.

Everyone was smiling. Some talked intimately with their head down, some sat alone by the window, drinking coffee while looking at a book. Some squinted and concentrated on a delicious sandwich. Soothing and ancient music floated in the store as sunlight poured in through the window, making people seem to be in a trance, as though they were back in that world before the Red Moon disaster…

Lu Xin passed through the crowd and came to the bar, nodding to the waiter behind the counter.

"I was asked to send this document over."

The director didn't say exactly who to send it to, so it should be fine if it was delivered to the waiter.

"Thanks."

The waiter didn't care about anything. He just smiled and thanked, then poured a cup of coffee and pushed it in front of Lu Xin.

"Um…"

Lu Xin wanted to say that he had no intention of staying for coffee.

However, the coffee smelled quite fragrant, completely different from the cheap coffee in the company.

"Thanks for coming all the way here. This cup is on the house."

The waiter smiled kindly, making one feel comfortable.

Lu Xin's heart eased a little, and he couldn't refuse at that moment.

Then, just at that moment, his eyes faintly shifted.

Behind the waiter's delicate apron, a thick and ugly tentacle suddenly stretched out and slowly reached for Lu Xin. At the top of the tentacle, the flesh slowly cracked. Suddenly, a coin-sized black rheid slipped into the coffee. Lu Xin looked down. The rheid looked like an egg, but also like an eye. Black pupils looked at him.

The coffee instantly became more fragrant. Every wisp had amazing seductive power.

The waiter also smiled more cordially and gently pushed the coffee toward Lu Xin, gesturing for him to enjoy it.

"No, thanks."

Lu Xin politely refused as if he hadn't noticed anything and turned around to walk out.

When he reached the door, he looked back.

Then, he saw that everyone in the cafe had stopped what they were doing and were staring at him in a daze.

He turned around stiffly and walked faster.