After Bai Yingzhi left, the living room fell into a dead silence. For a moment, fear and suspicion filled the air. Everyone had difficulty breathing as their gazes shifted over each other’s faces.
“T-The victim isn’t me. Don’t kill me…” Nan Lu spread open her blank script and placed it in the center of the table to prove it to Hei Cha and everyone.
An Ran glared at her. “If everyone opens their script like you, won’t the ‘victim’ be forced to reveal themselves?”
Nan Lu was stunned and covered her mouth. “I’m sorry, I didn’t think so much. I was too afraid…”
An Ran rolled her eyes without saying a word.
Hei Cha rubbed his face irritably. “F*k the audition. There is no way I can kill someone. Sleep with your head covered tonight and ignore everyone!”
“Little streamer, you can’t help it in the Nightmare World.” Old Yao raised his eyebrow in a matter of fact way. “If you don’t follow the script and choose a negative way to muddle through, not only will you fail to increase your favorability but the victim will be punished along with you.”
Hei Cha laughed angrily and picked up the script on the table. “Is it that in this ridiculous setting, I really have to kill someone? It is crazy…”
The old sleepwalkers present were unable to answer this question. There was a moment of silence before Cheng Xu sighed. “This dream maker is too abnormal. He is actually playing a killing game.”
Chi Nan pushed his script directly to Hei Cha. “Help me see if the victim is me?”
Hei Cha was stunned for a moment before pushing the script back to Chi Nan. “Forget it. This time, don’t ask me. What if…”
“It’s fine.” Chi Nan didn’t care. “Acting sounds like a plot point that can increase favorability. If it is completed well, you can probably get a lot of favorability in the end.”
His remarks shocked everyone present. Old Yu directly took Chi Nan’s script and opened it. Then in everyone’s horrified gaze, he spread open his hands. “You are thinking too much. It isn’t you.”
“It is a pity.” Chi Nan pursed his lips.
Old Yu saw his calm appearance and asked with interest, “If it was you, what were you planning to do?”
Chi Nan had already thought about it. “Didn’t the script say that the bloodier it is, the better? Go to the kitchen to get some blood and a murder weapon. Create a murder scene and then sleep.”
The slightly bald man sneered. “You are fu*king talking too lightly. What about keeping the corpse that is mentioned in the script? Can you get through with a bit of blood and sleeping? Are you dreaming?”
“I happened to be assigned the role of ‘corpse’ last night. I should be able to appear in the audition as a ‘corpse’ today, right?” Chi Nan answered.
The group, “……” It seemed to make sense.
Chi Nan added, “The script didn’t say that you can’t find a substitute actor. It doesn’t matter who gets the role of ‘victim.’ I can go to the scene of the crime and be the ‘stand-in corpse’ for the victim.”
The group was silent once he finished. Then Old Yu laughed. “I think it is pretty reliable.”
Cheng Xu nodded. “Indeed. Now it seems that only this method can be tried.”
“This kid is talented.” Old Yu hit Cheng Xu’s arm while smiling. “Who made a bet last night that the little blind man would be the second one to die? Well?”
“Sigh.” Cheng Xu turned his head awkwardly and whispered, “Wait until we get out of this ghostly place and then I will transfer the money to you. I don’t break my promises.”
Chi Nan, “……” It turned out he unknowingly became the topic of someone else’s bet.
Hei Cha’s mind spun for a long time and his dim eyes flashed. “I can pretend to kill the ‘victim’ and Chi Nan will appear at the murder scene as the corpse. Fu*k! We can clear the audition and break the game hopefully!”
Old Yu looked at everyone with interest. “However, a new problem has arisen. This requires the ‘victim’ to reveal their identity. Not everyone is willing to do this, right?”
He was the most experienced sleepwalker and knew the choices that frightened, ordinary people would make. Sure enough, the air fell silent again.
The sleepwalker who got the victim script didn’t trust them and didn’t want to come forward. Everyone tacitly expressed their understanding that the risk was too great. No one was willing to hand over their lives to a stranger.
After all, strictly following the script and committing a real killing was a foolproof way of increasing favorability. Killing in the Nightmare World wasn’t illegal and Hei Cha occupied a favorable status. He could really kill the ‘victim.’
They had only met for two days. The so-called ‘one might know a person for a long time without understanding his true nature’ meant no one was sure about what Hei Cha was planning.
After waiting five minutes, no one stood up. The meaning was obvious. Hei Cha leaned back against the sofa in frustration and started to reflect on whether he really looked like a murderer.
“Okay, the script doesn’t say that only one corpse can be found. Later, Hei Cha and Chi Nan will play the part of the ‘murderer’ dealing with the ‘corpse.’ Meanwhile, the ‘victim’ will prepare to be killed on their own. How about it?” Cheng Xu spoke helplessly. This state of mutual distrust was normal in the Nightmare World.”
“In other words, the murder is performed separately. The killing and the dying are carried out in different rooms at the same time. The logic is a bit forced but it is possible to try out two crime scenes. This way, the victim’s identity isn’t revealed and they will have peace of mind.”
In the case of mutual distrust, this was the only way. Hei Cha nodded. “Then let’s deal with the murder technique first. Then we’ll get ready.”
The ‘victim’ naturally wouldn’t respond to him. Hei Cha could only turn to Chi Nan. “What type of corpse do you want to be?”
“The bloodier the better. A dismembered corpse would provide a better score but this is too difficult to present…” He seemed a bit regretful.
Everyone, “……” What was with this appearance of clearly being interested?
Chi Nan thought about it. “Why don’t we go to the kitchen and get a kitchen knife. Cutting to death should belong in the bloody category? The crime tool is also convenient.”
Hei Cha’s lips twitched. “Okay… any other suggestions?”
No one answered and Hei Cha smiled bitterly. “Then it’s settled. I will go to the kitchen to get a kitchen knife to act it out well.”
Aunt Mei once again brought out the late-night snack. Tonight it was rice wine and cheese stew. The mellow rice wine rushed into the fresh, warm milk that curdled into white, clear cheese in white porcelain. Aunt Mei gave the cheese to everyone. Only the one in front of Chi Nan was different.
“What is this?” Hei Cha saw the weird brown liquid in Chi Nan’s bowl and asked Aunt Mei.
Aunt Mei explained, “This guest left a deep impression on the mistress and young master. He deserves it.”
Chi Nan couldn’t see so he lowered his head to smell it. There was nothing strange.
“Is this the young master’s medicine?” Chi Nan asked. After all, he poured out the medicine during the day and Bai Yingzhi couldn’t remain indifferent.
Aunt Mei didn’t answer the question. She just said politely and mechanically, “Please enjoy.”
Hei Cha wondered, “What if he doesn’t drink it?”
Aunt Mei’s eyes turned cold. “Everyone will have to perform his role last night.”
Everyone present except for Hei Cha, “……”
Chi Nan couldn’t see but he could feel the urging gazes of everyone. He took the medicine and drank it cleanly before politely handing the bowl to the maid. “Thank you for the hospitality.”
The soup medicine didn’t taste strange. It tasted like warm honey water. It was sweet with a bit of a flower fragrance. Thus, Chi Nan shed tears.
“What’s wrong with the drink?” Hei Cha was anxious when he saw that Chi Nan was crying.
Chi Nan wiped away his tears and thought for a moment to find a strange reason. “It’s okay. It is delicious but it is a bit hot.”
Hei Cha, “……?” You are crying because it is so hot?
After the late night meal, Chi Nan asked Aunt Mei if there were any live eels. Aunt Mei nodded and said she happened to have a few in the kitchen sink.
Hei Cha was confused. “What do you want the eel for?”
“Use it as blood.” Chi Nan explained. “The color and texture of the eel blood are more like human blood and it isn’t easy to coagulate. I have heard of many cases of people using eel blood for scams. It is easy for people to get confused and it is the most suitable to create a murder scene.”
Hei Cha, “……” He found that this blind man wasn’t only quick-witted and bold. He had also studied killing people and scamming.
“I just don’t know if this conforms to the rules and if it can fool…” Halfway through, Hei Cha stopped in frustration.
“Following the rules might not be the most important thing,” Chi Nan said.
“What do you mean?”
Chi Nan explained, “We are in a dream and dreams are originally about improvisation. They don’t run completely according to the rules, right?”
Hei Cha scratched his head with a bit of understanding. “It seems so…”
“Last night, I was able to pass with the corpse of the female ghost. It should be fine today as long as I can justify it.” Chi Nan encouraged him.
“I hope so…”
After chatting with Chi Nan, Hei Cha thought about it. In any case, there was no other way and worrying over it would only increase his troubles. It was better to improvise as Chi Nan said. Perhaps he could find another way.
The kitchen counter was full of delicate boning knives. Hei Cha grabbed one and tried it a few times. He found that the knife was very sharp and could easily cut the kitchen tiles. He looked at the clear scratches and the hair on his body stood up. Ordinary people wouldn’t have such sharp knives in their homes…
The usefulness of the boning knives was obvious. It was a ‘weapon’ specially prepared for them by the dream maker.
After picking the knife, the two of them went to deal with the eels. In less than 20 minutes, three eels were drained of blood and the water in the sink was stained red with blood. At first glance, it looked like the scene of a murder.
Hei Cha held a bowl full of blood and the knife. As he headed with Chi Nan to the bedroom on the second floor, they accidentally ran into Aunt Mei who was coming down from upstairs. Aunt Mei immediately stopped when she saw them. She nodded and bowed. Then she stood still and watched them without meaning to leave.
“Oops, we seem to be caught by Aunt Mei…” Hei Cha was anxious and couldn’t hold the eel blood in his hands steady. Two drops splashed on Chi Nan’s clothes.
Aunt Mei raised her sagging eyelids and stared at them with dead fish eyes. “Two guests, are you going to stay in the same guest room tonight?”
Her voice was slow and steady. It rang through the empty staircase and it was creepy to listen to.
Hei Cha was sweating anxiously and thinking about how to muddle through. It was really impossible to knock Aunt Mei out. Then he heard Chi Nan calmly say, “Yes.”
Aunt Mei frowned and she repeated yesterday’s words.” Guests who don’t have a role shouldn’t leave their room at will, let alone interfere with the performance of guests with a role. Remember, it will anger the hostess and the consequences will be terrible.”
“I have a role in the scene,” Chi Nan told her calmly. “I am an important supporting role in tonight’s audition, the corpse.”
Aunt Mei was taken aback for three seconds. Then she nodded respectfully to them. “I wish you a pleasant audition.”
Chi Nan replied, “Thank you.”
Hei Cha stared at the back of the departing Aunt Mei in a dumbfounded manner. “T-That’s it?”
“It doesn’t say that actors can’t add scenes for themselves. We are complying with the rules.” Chi Nan discovered that there was a lot of room for improvisation within the rules. “It is fine as long as we can justify ourselves.”
“Absolutely.” Hei Cha found that he was like a fool last night.
Chi Nan grinned. “It is very convenient.”
Before entering the room, Hei Cha knocked on Cheng Xu’s door. “Brother Xu, once I enter the room, please help me lock the door from the outside and you keep the key.”
Cheng Xu stared at him deeply. “Do you really want to do this?”
Hei Cha scratched his head bitterly. “Yes, what if something happens? This way, the ‘victim’ can feel more at ease…”
Cheng Xu nodded. Before closing the door, he glanced at Hei Cha’s room and confirmed that the anti-theft nets were over the windows. It was only after he confirmed there was no exit other than the door that he locked them in from outside.
Hei Cha turned his head and found Chi Nan using a handkerchief to apply the eel blood to his eyes. Chi Nan also asked, “Does it look good?”
Hei Cha, “……”
“Do you really think of this as a masquerade?” He looked at the little blind man and held his forehead in distress.
Chi Nan made a blank face at him.
Hei Cha smiled angrily and shook his head emotionally. “You are really… after becoming familiar with you, it is too different from the first impression.”
“What was your first impression like?”
Chi Nan was sleepy and instinctively raised a hand to rub his eyes. The blood stains on his hands immediately stained his eyelids, making the teardrop mole at the end of his eyes even redder. His skin was as white as porcelain so the blood-stained mole became a shocking red.
Hei Cha answered in an unreserved manner, “A spoiled, very difficult to get along with beautiful younger brother.”
Chi Nan nodded and curiously asked, “What now?”
Hei Cha thought about it. “You are very good-looking and fun.”
“…Are you complimenting me?”
“Yes, I’m complimenting you.” Hei Cha smiled bitterly as he held the boning knife. “Say it. How do you want to be cut and killed?”
Chi Nan pointed to several vital parts like his eyes, neck and chest. “The corpse’s eyes were dug out and covered with a blood-stained white cloth. A few stabbings in the neck and heart are considered fatal. Then don’t waste the remaining eel blood. Sprinkle some on the bathroom floor and the bathtub. Fill up the bathtub with water. Once it is almost 2 o’clock, the corpse will be soaked in the bloody water. Won’t this be very bloody?”
Hei Cha imagined the scene and sweat immediately dripped down his back.
What did this blind man think about every day?
“By the way.” Chi Nan suddenly spoke in a solemn tone. “Make the water a bit hotter. I’m afraid of the cold.”
Hei Cha, “……”
“Can I trouble you for one more thing?” Chi Nan asked earnestly.
Hei Cha was very cheerful. “Say it. I will agree as long as I can do it.”
“Once I put on the make-up later, can you take a photo of me?” Chi Nan requested seriously.
Hei Cha had some doubts. Chi Nan was blind. Why did he want to take a photo? However, Hei Chai was too embarrassed to ask directly.
Chi Nan explained in a timely manner, “I want to keep it as a souvenir and look at it later when I can see.”
Hei Cha was startled before he smiled. “Okay, I’ll take it for you.”
It was really distressing for this blind man.
“It is a small thing.”
“By the way, can you tell me… why do you often cry…” Hei Cha hadn’t finished when he looked back and found that the blind man had fallen asleep on the sofa.
Chi Nan dreamed again. In the dream, he returned to little You Yu’s bedroom.
The white moonlight was cut to pieces by the window panes and spilled all over the ground. This time, Chi Nan appeared in the bedroom in the form of a soul. The Weeping Young Man had disappeared from the wall and there was an old-fashioned wall clock in the place where the painting was originally hung.
Little You Yu sat on the bed stiffly like a wooden doll, motionless.
You Yu didn’t respond.
Chi Nan leaned down and placed his hand under You Yu’s nose. He could feel the warm and humid breathing. He gently squeezed the white face and the skin was soft and warm. You Yu was a living person but he seemed to have been forced still and couldn’t show any reaction.
Chi Nan gave up on the idea of getting a reaction from little You Yu and walked to the wall clock.
Tick, tick. The second hand moved forward slowly and regularly. It was 11:30 p.m.
Chi Nan observed for a moment and suddenly had a bold idea. He casually picked up the lamp on the dresser and slammed it directly at the wall clock. There was the clear sound of glass cracking as the glass cover of the clock shattered neatly. Chi Nan reached out and forcibly moved the hour hand.
Time moved rapidly at his actions and the temperature in the room gradually rose. By the time he moved it past 12 o’clock, the entire bedroom seemed to be sinking in a huge fireplace. The walls and decorations started to melt and drip like candles, gradually deforming.
He glanced at little You Yu who was sitting stiffly. Only this person in the bedroom remained unchanged. Time continued to advance. Once the clock hands were pointing at 12:20, a strong fire suddenly burst out from all sides of the room. It was so bright that people couldn’t open their eyes.
Chi Nan’s eyes shook. In less than half a second, little You Yu on the bed disappeared without warning. The fire spreading from all directions quickly engulfed the bedroom!
12:20 was the time displayed in the bedroom during the day.