The author has something to say: Read this chapter after eating.
TL Note: Just wanted to give a warning that the beginning of this arc is full of some gruesome food imagery so be careful when reading. It will gradually reduce as the arc progresses.
The grey name actor didn’t understand Japanese food. He thought that the dish should taste like this and didn’t think too much about it. He didn’t like the taste so he barely swallowed it and drank something to eliminate the greasiness.
Dinner ended and it was dark.
Xie Chi waited until everyone went back to their rooms before going to the kitchen. Lu Wen watched him open the refrigerator and search around the sink. Finally, Xie Chi went through the garbage can.
Lu Wen walked over. “What’s the matter?”
Xie Chi pointed inside the garbage can. “It is reasonable to say that there should be some garbage while cooking, such as vegetable leaves. However, I searched the kitchen and found nothing.”
The kitchen was clean and didn’t look like it had just cooked a feast. There was some fried food on the table but the kitchen didn’t smell of it at all.
Lu Wen reacted by lowering his voice. “You want to ask about where those ingredients come from? How were the dishes made?”
Xie Chi nodded. “In fact, I am made inclined to think that even if the dishes are problematic, only some of them have problems.”
“Is it because it is the first day?”
Xie Chi pushed up his glasses. “Yes, it is impossible for all of us to die. Even if it is necessary to reduce the number of people, it will happen in the later stage, not at the beginning.”
Lu Wen nodded. Then their phones rang suddenly.
“It should be an update to the plot.”
Xie Chi said as he took out his phone to check.
[The plot progress has been updated. Now all actors are asked to go back to their rooms to sleep. You can move freely after the ‘incident’ occurs.]
Lu Wen stared at the word ‘incident’ and spoke with a solemn expression. “Does this mean that something strange will happen at night?”
Xie Chi didn’t take it to heart. “Yes, it is a haunted house after all. I originally wanted to go to the place where the cook sleeps. Now it can’t be helped. Let’s go back.”
Lu Wen followed him. They went back to their rooms and the app rang again.
[Please turn off the lights and go to bed within half an hour.]
Xie Chi took a shower, turned off the light at the last minute and lay in bed. Before going to bed, he repeatedly confirmed that the door was locked.
“What should we do now?” A faint fragrance entered Lu Wens nose. He turned over to look at Xie Chi in the opposite bed.
“Nothing, sleep.” Xie Chi’s voice was a bit sleepy.
“Really sleep? Aren’t you going to think about the plot?”
“If you think clearly, you can’t figure out the part that lacks information. The conclusion is that it makes no sense to do anything other than sleep. Other mental states are meaningless except for sleepiness.”
“Xie Chi, why are you so—”
Lu Wen wanted to praise this person but Xie Chi closed his eyes and his lips moved. “I think Ren Ze might be missing a roommate.”
“…I’m going to sleep.”
He didn’t want to be kicked out to join that inflexible tsundere Ren Ze. In the middle of the night, the sleeping Xie Chi turned over and pressed his hand against the pillow, but the pillow let out a few squeaks. Xie Chi didn’t respond. Lu Wen also felt safe because of Xie Chi’s presence and he slept like a dead pig, snoring.
[Son Chi! Don’t sleep so hard! Wake up soon!!]
[How can he sleep with such confidence?!]
Three seconds later, Xie Chi opened his eyes in a sharp manner.
[He woke up. I was scared to death.]
[Why doesn’t he look like he was sleeping? There is no sleepiness in his eyes.]
Xie Xinglan got up, turned over and stared at the pillow on the bed.
The pillow was originally filled with cotton and was soft and flat. However, at this time, it started to wriggle. One side was flat while the other was bulging. The thin pillow cloth lined the shape of the things inside. They were very small but the number was huge. They crowded inside the pillow as they pushed, climbed and stepped on each other. Their limbs scraped against the pillow cloth. It seemed they wanted to run out but there was nothing they could do.
Xie Xinglan took out the Evil Spirit Blade. The sharp blade pierced the pillow cloth. Loud squeaks were heard and made his ears numb. Just then, Xie Xinglan clearly saw what was in the pillow. It was full of little mice, mouse cubs that hadn’t grown their fur yet.
It was densely packed and full of hundreds of them. They were all pink with black internal organs and eyes that hadn’t fully developed. They were stacked together and bulged out on the skin like the eyes of a crab. Countless thin legs fluttered and moved like a centipede.
[My trypophobia is killing me.]
Xie Xinglan blinked and the squeaks in his ears disappeared. The pillow in front of him was restored to its usual appearance. Apart from the cut, there was nothing except for the padding.
A hallucination? However, these things seemed to be hurt by his Evil Spirit Blade or they wouldn’t have screamed. Xie Xinglan’s brow was furrowed.
“Xiao Chi, wake up.” Xie Xinglan spoke warmly.
The voice in his mind was languid and hoarse, as if he had just woken up. “Brother, what’s the matter?”
Xie Xinglan sat on the side of the bed and described what happened just now. Xie Chi instantly sobered up. “Mice?”
Xie Chi was silent for a moment. He seemed to think of something and suddenly asked, “Was there any fur?”
“No, the body was pink.”
“Their eyes are open?”
“No, their eyes aren’t open yet.”
“Is the tail long?”
Xie Chi’s voice sank. “Brother, these mice might be used for… eating.”
Xie Xinglan was stunned and a bit of disgust flashed in his head.
Xie Chi explained. “A mouse itself is a very dirty thing and has lots of bacteria. Of course, mice raised in a laboratory aren’t dirty and artificially bred mice aren’t dirty. Normal mice like to move in dirty and humid places so their fur always carries bacteria and viruses. Generally speaking, if mice are shaved and treated under high temperatures, the problem isn’t too big. Of course, the internal organs should also be cleaned. Still, as you can see, the mice just born haven’t grown their fur. This makes them convenient to handle and their meat is tender…”
Xie Xinglan frowned. “How can you eat this type of thing?”
“It is said that mouse meat is very fresh and delicious with high nutritional value. It seems that it can cure frequent urination or something.”
Xie Chi paused and searched for information in his mind. “Most of these mice are eaten raw. A dozen or so are placed on a plate and directly served to the table. They are dipped in sauce and placed in the mouth.”
Xie Xinglan found it a bit hard to accept.
Xie Chi said, “Isn’t there a dish called Three Squeaks? It is like what I described. Newborn mice are still alive and have little mobility. They are still squirming when they are on the plate. Those who eat them use chopsticks. As the mice are squeezed, they squeak. Then when dipped into the sauce, they will squeak again after touching the ice-cold sauce. Finally, there is the last squeak when they are bitten. There are three in total so they are called Three Squeaks.”
Xie Xinglan didn’t know why there was so much weird information in Xie Chi’s mind and he changed the topic. “Why is there such a thing in this house?”
Xie Chi was silent. The dual personalities shared vision. Looking at it from Xie Xinglan’s perspective, he happened to see the black monkey head on the wardrobe and something flashed in his mind. “Brother, the black monkey head, the hollowed out monkey skull is a bit like food… raw monkey brain and the Three Squeaks, they are two dishes.”
Xie Chi was surprised. “Someone here has eaten this type of food!”
“You said that your Evil Spirit Blade might’ve hurt them. This means they might not be living entities but spirit bodies! After all, the Evil Spirit Blade is only a normal dagger for entities with physical bodies. It only has great lethality against spirit bodies.”
“In other words, someone ate them and they became spiritual bodies. They wander in this house and come out to disturb people in the middle of the night. However, at present, it seems they aren’t harmful to humans. They only exist as spirits to intimidate humans. We don’t have to worry too much about these little mice…”
Xie Chi’s words suddenly froze.
Xie Xinglan realized that something was wrong. “What’s the matter?”
Xie Chi’s breathing became slightly short. “Brother, the monkey. If the newborn mice became spirit bodies then what about the monkey? If the monkey also became a spirit body then where is its spirit body?”
Xie Xinglan thought of something and his pupils shrunk. “Last night’s dinner! The iced tofu, the monkey brain, the iced tofu is mixed with the monkey brain.”
The atmosphere froze in an instant.
Xie Chi murmured, “If the mice’s spirit body is disturbing people then what is the monkey’s spirit body doing?”
[Why is he staying there motionless??]
[Shouldn’t he be screaming with fear at this time?]
Xie Xinglan suddenly stood up. He pushed the snoring Lu Wen awake and rushed out into the corridor while wondering, “Chi Chi, the number of the grey named actor’s room.”
Xie Chi found it in his memory and replied quickly, “The one closest to the stairs on the right side. Over there.”
Xie Xinglan came to the door of the room Xie Chi pointed to. Then he heard a sound. It seemed that something had been brought into the room and fell to the ground gently. Xie Xinglan’s eyes fell on the doorknob. The door was open.
In the haunted house theme, ghosts especially liked to sneak into the room at night to tease people. Every actor knew this and the grey named actor filling in the empty spots was no exception. The actor must’ve locked the door before going to bed.
Now… the door was opened silently and the person inside didn’t even notice it. Something had slipped in. Something was wrong. There was an ominous feeling in Xie Chi’s heart.
Xie Xinglan covered his breath and stood still by the door. He heard small movements in the room. It was a sound that made his skin numb, like… chewing. The chewing sound was so low that he wouldn’t have heard it if he hadn’t been listening carefully. Xie Xinglan had keen hearing and these movements were infinitely magnified.
The thing that was chewed didn’t seem to be hard. It was even very soft. It was swallowed after just one or two chews. Xie Xinglan heard the sound of drooling and eager swallowing accompanied by a sucking sound from time to time.
Something was eating. It was eating as if it was the most delicious food in the world. It was extremely satisfied with its food and was eating quickly.
Xie Xinglan gripped the Evil Spirit Blade and gently pushed open the door.
Under the clear moonlight, the grey named actor was kneeling, his upper body leaning weakly against the desk. His skull was pried open and thrown on the ground like a fluffy wig.
Two black monkeys covered in fur were sitting on the desk, digging out the brain of the grey named actor with their bare hands to eat. The white brain matter wet the black fur on their hands, slipping down their fingers and sticking to the desk, becoming a pool of something white and disgusting.
The grey named actor’s brain was plump and half of it had been eaten. The left side of the brain had been eaten while the right side of the brain was still remaining. Under the moonlight, it exuded an oily light, attracting the eater.