The woman with a big chest broke the strange atmosphere. She suddenly sneered, took out a white sheet from her brand-name bag and threw it in front of the old captain. “This clue is too conspicuous. Should I complain about your inadequate service?”
The old captain picked up the sheets and opened them to take a look. The snow-white cloth was mottled with old blood stains…
A few newcomers screamed but the old captain gently placed a finger to his lips and signaled for them to keep quiet. “Those of us who live at sea need to maintain a tacit understanding. Even if we see terrible things, we can’t make too much noise in order to not disturb ‘them’.”
“It is because like ‘them’, we are trapped on the sea. We have to respect each other.”
The faces of several newcomers were scared green and they hurriedly covered their mouths to stop themselves from making noise.
The woman lit a cigarette and bit it. “Even if it is a supernatural incident, I am still living on the ship. Shouldn’t room service give a statement? Can I change rooms?”
The old captain apologetically told her, “We are sorry for the unpleasantness caused to you. The sheets will immediately be replaced with clean ones. As for the matter of changing rooms, I can’t meet your needs temporarily. On the Dusk Cruise Ship, all rooms have been arranged and a temporary replacement isn’t allowed.”
The woman didn’t continue to mess around. She made an understanding sound before indulging in smoking.
“That woman is trying out the rules. Previously, it was said we couldn’t change rooms without permission but it didn’t say we couldn’t change because the service wasn’t in place. Thus, she deliberately brought the sheets.”
In a rare manner, Hei Cha was insightful and he busily explained it to the newcomer Ye Chang.
Chi Nan said, “My guess is that every room has death marks.”
Hei Cha, “……” He thought of the ashes in his room and shuddered.
“That is all for me. I’ll turn the remaining time over to the guests.” The old captain’s gaze swept over the faces of the sleepwalkers one by one. “Those who tell a wonderful story will receive the favor of the dusk and harvest rich rewards.”
The moment the old captain said this, the old sleepwalkers understood that storytelling was closely related to the distribution of favorability points.
They immediately became energetic at the idea of completing the tasks and searched their brains for ghost stories to tell.
Hei Cha had a huge advantage due to his profession and was the first to speak. “I was searching for materials previously when I heard about a real event. It was very evil.”
“It was around seven or eight years ago. A bus in Z City rushed off the bridge and fell into the river. It was a rainy night and it was the last bus. The bus was crowded with people. In the end, 72 people were declared dead but only 71 bodies were recovered. After searching for half a month, there was still one female body that wasn’t found. IT might’ve been swept away by the undercurrent.”
He paused and several sleepwalkers straightened their necks, listening more attentively.
“Originally, this incident would’ve just passed. However, evil is evil. The girl who was washed away had a twin sister. It was said that for a long time, her older sister’s phone would ring in the middle of the night without a caller ID. If she didn’t answer, it would never stop ringing. It rang all the time even if she turned off the phone. Even so, there was nothing in the call records.”
“Every time the sister answered the phone, there would be silence on the other side. Still, she could vaguely hear the sound of water flowing. According to the person concerned, after answering the phone, it felt like water entered her ears and the tinnitus would continue until dawn. It was as if everything was separated by a layer of water.”
“The sister asked someone to find a professional in metaphysics. After a few spells, she was able to hear the message that her younger sister wanted to convey on the phone.”
“Then according to the contents of the call, the investigators finally found her sister’s corpse over 300 kilometers away from the place where the accident occurred. Her flesh had been eaten by fish but strangely enough, her hand was still holding the broken phone…”
Hei Cha stopped at the creepiest part. The banquet hall fell silent and only the sound of waves hitting the hull could be heard from far away.
The triplet sisters in the corner had particularly ugly expressions. The one with long, straight black hair trembled and asked, “That… was it really a phone call from her sister in the water?”
Hei Cha shrugged. “There is no standard answer to this type of supernatural event. In any case, the body was found and the family sent it to be cremated.”
“That…” The girl with long, straight hair bit her lip. “What happened to that older sister?”
“This… I don’t seem to have heard the sister’s follow-up.” Hei Cha scratched his head.
A middle-aged woman on the side came over and asked, “I heard that there is telepathy between twins or triplets. Is that really the case?”
The three young girls were visibly embarrassed. The girl with the ponytail finally said, “It varies from person to person. We don’t have this situation.”
“I also know a real incident.” It was a man in a DIY t-shirt this time. “My mother likes to play mahjong with some aunts. Have you heard of a saying, ‘Four people return to the west?’” (TL: euphemism for ‘to die’. Lit. to return West or to the Western paradise)
Chi Nan had never played mahjong and couldn’t understand at all. Fortunately, some knowledgeable people explained it.
“I’ve also heard of this.” The aunt who seemed a bit older spoke. “After four people have drawn the tiles, the first lap starts from the dealer and each player plays a ‘west’ tile. In other words, four people return to the west. If there is another ‘one circle’ tile then it is even eviler.”
The man in the t-shirt nodded. “Yes, my mother had a friend before. He played mahjong until dawn. It was said they played a game of ‘return to the West.’ At that time, they were a bit concerned but everyone laughed about it. At dawn, they separated. The card friend later received bad news that an aunt he played mahjong with died in a car accident on the way back. A big cement truck hit her and she died on the spot.”
“Later, the remaining three card friends suffered accidents one after another. They really returned to the West…”
Once he finished, the air in the room cooled down.
The two middle-aged aunts exchanged looks before one of them smiled nervously. “There is always this type of legend in a mahjong game. In fact, it is just used to scare people. How can we take it seriously?”
The other aunt agreed. “Yes, we have played mahjong for so many years and what situation haven’t we encountered? Nothing happened…”
Hei Cha wanted to tell her that it was better not to plant flags but in the end, he didn’t say it. The aunt’s age wasn’t young and she might not understand what a flag meant. He endured his words and swallowed them down.
Next, inspired by the favorability of the dream maker, the sleepwalkers in the banquet hall started to describe the horror stories they knew one by one.
It was almost 11:30 and only Chi Nan and Ye Chang hadn’t spoken yet.
“The last two people remaining, can I ask who wants to share first?” The old captain asked politely.
Chi Nan had no concept of terror so he could only make up a story he thought ‘normal people’ would be afraid of.
“There was a naughty child.” It started in a boring manner. His voice was also cold and had no sincerity. “He slept very restlessly and often kicked off his quilt in winter. Due to this, he was scolded by his mother countless times.”
Everyone, “……” Oh.
“He was scolded, hit and almost tied up with a rope. Eventually, his mother couldn’t help it and bought him a new quilt.”
The group, “……?” Was this really a horror story?
“The new quilt was a bit special. If the sleeping person doesn’t cover themselves tightly, the parts exposed outside the quilt will be cut off. “Chi Nan paused. There were still no ups and downs in his voice. “So the day after changing to the new quilt, the mother opened her son’s bedroom and found that her son’s cut off heads and limbs were neatly arranged next to the bed.”
“What… happened after?” Hei Cha asked.
Chi Nan thought about it. “The mother was busy for a day. She sewed up her son and placed him back on the bed. Then he strictly covered him with the old quilt, washed clean the new quilt and sold it on a second-hand platform.”
The group, “……!” F*k. At first, it sounded very ordinary. However, the style was too strange and the momentum of the back was really big… thinking carefully, it was frightening.
The old captain nodded with satisfaction. “Then there is only one guest left to tell a story tonight.”
All eyes fell on Ye Chang.
Ye Chang gave an uncomfortable smile. “This shouldn’t be considered a horror story. It is probably a hypothesis.”
“What if the Nightmare World we are in now is fictional? We experience an infinite cycle of death, fear and despair in each instance but in fact, the so-called wish exchange is useless. It is because we have died in our own world and can only ‘live’ in the Nightmare World. This… should be scarier than a horror story.”
Ye Chang calmly talked about his guess but the expressions of the sleepwalkers present weren’t very good.
“You mean, we are probably all dead which is why we were invited to the Nightmare World?”
“it sounds like Terror Cruise… it is terrible…”
“Speaking of which, that movie also happened on a cruise ship.”
“Student Ye, you are also a sleepwalker. Don’t scare yourself so much.” Hei Cha patted Ye Chang’s shoulder, soothing the other person while also comforting himself. “How can it be useless? Look at chi Nan’s eyes. It is an example of redeeming a wish to reach the pinnacle of life.”
Ye Chang smiled as warmly as usual. “I know. This is a story. Don’t take it seriously.”
However, the power of the subconscious was always above reason. Many times, their sense of reason knew it couldn’t be taken seriously but their subconscious mind couldn’t control their doubts.
The same was true of fear. Oftentimes when they told themselves not to be afraid, they tended to be more afraid.
The cruise ship’s storytelling ended and a shadow of terror was left in the subconscious minds of most sleepwalkers. Even the red light of the sunset seemed to have a bloody air.
The group followed the rules and went back to their room to rest after the story.
Several veteran sleepwalkers were more nervous than the newcomers. The first night was often the most dangerous one. It was because they didn’t know the rules so many things couldn’t be avoided. All they could do was control their emotions as much as possible and keep their awakening values at a relatively low level.
After the first night, many potential clues would come to light.
Chi Nan and Hei Cha said goodbye in the corridor and locked the doors after entering their rooms.
Chi Nan was too sleepy. His green eyes were misty as he lay directly down on the bed after washing.
Ye Chang was a bit embarrassed. “Brother Nan, I might have to study till late. Will it disturb your sleep?”
Chi Nan shook his head. “It won’t wake me up. Feel free.”
He knew his sleep well and was confident.
“But if…” Ye Chang hadn’t finished speaking when he turned around and found that Chi Nan was already asleep.
He was startled before smiling. He took off his glasses, placed them on the table and walked to Chi Nan’s bed, quietly watching this person.
Their room was facing the west and the light shone into the room without reservation, falling on Chi Nan’s quietly sleeping face. His fingers gently touched Chi Nan’s eyelids. Chi Nan’s tears oozed out unknowingly, sliding down from the corner of his eyes onto the bridge of his nose.
Ye Chang crouched down and his eyes slightly narrowed like he was seeing something interesting. Before Chi Nan’s tears could roll down onto the pillow, he took out a handkerchief and wiped them for him.
He might’ve seen it countless times on the surveillance but the feeling of the other person crying while sleeping was very different. He could touch and there was temperature.
“Thank you for finding me likeable.” He moved his lips casually before folding the handkerchief covered in Chi Nan’s tears and placing them in his pocket. Then he closed the curtains. “Good night.”