Highway 404 (16)
Chi Nan waited patiently for You Yu to finish eating the puff. Then he slowly enjoyed his bag of sweets. It was just that he held it up for too long and his hand was a bit numb.
You Yu picked up ‘Killing Intentions with Nowhere to Escape’ that was left on the floor at some point. He wiped his hands clean before handing it to Chi Nan, who was eating. “If you are bored then you can use this to pass the time.”
Chi Nan followed his movements and looked at the book Pei Mo had been carrying with him before he died. He hurriedly ate the half of the doughnut in his mouth and wiped off the sugar stains on his hands before taking the book.
In his opinion, all of You Yu’s unintentional actions had a very important hint value. After all, this guy was a picky, sick person. He wasn’t bored enough to let Chi Nan appreciate the shoddy literature of his colleagues.
In fact, as early as the first day when they entered Highway 404, they had looked through the so-called famous work that influenced a generation, but everything in the book was garbled.
Or rather, they were strange characters that people couldn’t understand.
Could it be that the content of the book changed over time?
Chi Nan opened ‘Killing Intentions with Nowhere to Escape’ and couldn’t help feeling a bit disappointed. The content of the book hadn’t changed. It was still garbled code that gave people a headache.
Chi Nan looked at You Yu inquiringly. The sunlight just happened to hit the dry tear stains at the corners of his eyes and flashed with a fine light, giving people the illusion of being bullied and pitiful.
The guy who didn’t drive well raised his lips. “It is just a boring suggestion.”
“Oh.” Chi Nan closed the book, placed it on his lap and continued to concentrate on eating sweets.
You Yu might’ve fooled him before but he was more careful.
“Thanks for the suggestion,” he told You Yu.
You Yu saw that Chi Nan sealed the paper bag before eating the sweets and asked, “Is today not in line with your taste?”
Chi Nan shook his head. “It is very delicious. I just want to leave some for Jiang Yu and the others. It is easy to be hungry after dying once.”
You Yu smiled. He looked in the rearview mirror and said casually, “I think they should wake up soon.”
Lu Baizhou immediately opened her eyes when she received the prompt and yawned at the appropriate time.
Less than three minutes after she woke up, Jiang Yu next to her also raised a hand to press against the forehead that had been pierced by the iron nail not long ago. Her eyelashes fluttered. “The ghost door has been closed and is gone. I have finally returned.”
Like Chi Nan, the traces of death and the corpse spots on their bodies had disappeared after the ‘atonement’. Their bodies were completely restored.
“How did you die?” Jiang Yu asked Lu Baizhou.
She put the cigarette in her mouth as usual but when she grabbed the lighter, she found that the wallet was missing.
Jiang Yu’s expression froze. So after experiencing ‘being killed to atone’, the ‘love experience’ of the character and victim was also erased?
It was a pity. Jiang Yu inexplicably felt bored and a bit lost.
Lu Baizhou asked her for a cigarette and said simply, “I drowned in a bathtub.”
Jiang Yu raised an eyebrow. “I’ve actually always been curious. How did your character kill the main personality?”
“The main personality can’t swim and was tricked into drowning in the sea. The secondary personality successfully ascended to the throne.” Lu Baizhou retold it lightly as if she had deliberately stripped this killing experience from herself.
“Oh.” Jiang Yu looked at her curiously. “Why did you hide the situation of the dual personality in the first place?”
Lu Baizhou’s hand holding the cigarette paused and she smiled bitterly. “It is because I thought about it but I hadn’t expected it to come true.”
She was successful but she didn’t feel as happy as expected.
Jiang Yu quickly looked at her expression and didn’t ask any further questions.
Chi Nan handed over the bag of sweets to Jiang Yu. “Eat something if you’re hungry.”
“Thank you.” The two girls were a bit surprised. They hadn’t expected that Chi Nan would be able to get this in the wilderness.
Yet now in their cognition, it wasn’t surprising that Chi Nan could do anything.
“By the way, Mr Driver, can I ask you a question?” Jiang Yu suddenly looked at You Yu in the rearview mirror.
You Yu didn’t look up. “Yes.”
Jiang Yu wondered, “Do all ‘victims’ appear in the car after the body is found? Will you take turns being a driver?”
You Yu pursed his lips. “You have to look at the specific nature and wishes of the ‘victim’.”
Jiang Yu frowned. “Can you expand on your words and talk about it?”
You Yu was very patient. “If the ‘victim’ isn’t only a character who is fabricated by the instance and wants to ride along then they will stay.”
Jiang Yu said, “I see… thank you.”
You Yu told her, “However, I won’t give up the driver’s position.” He looked at Chi Nan.
Jiang Yu, “……”
Chi Nan said, “It is hard work.”
At this moment, the black plastic bag lying horizontally in the back row suddenly made a sound. Everyone’s eyes were instantly drawn to it.
“Wu wu wu… save… save me…” Pei Mo’s whimpering voice was heard from the airtight plastic bag.
You Yu stated, “It seems that the last passenger also came back to life.”
Jiang Yu helped Pei Mo undo the plastic bag. This middle-aged man who had just died once immediately rubbed his head. He wanted to sigh with relief but he saw You Yu’s face in the rearview mirror and instinctively shuddered. He was too scared to make a sound.
Now in his eyes, the driver newly dug out from the cemetery was more terrifying than any ghost.
“Let’s talk about the cause of death of our characters. Maybe it will help us find the bodies in the future.”
Jiang Yu saw that Chi Nan had already started to study the radio channel dial and was ready to jump directly to the solar eclipse channel.
“After my character dismembered Qu Yijun’s body, she planned to transport the body pieces to the mountains to be buried. Unfortunately, there was a heavy rainstorm on the way. The road was slippery and my character was emotionally unstable from killing and dismembering the body. She accidentally drove the car into a cliff, which is also a sacrifice for love.” Jiang Yu took the lead in revealing her character’s death. She was so calm that no emotions could be heard.
Lu Baizhou instinctively twisted her fingers. “After my character snatched the absolute right to use the body, she greedily found Dr He from an illegal clinic to do a full-body plastic surgery. The result was that she got an infection and died. The process… was very painful.”
Everyone turned their attention to Pei Mo and he shrank back. “My role is a mid-life crisis restaurant cook. The writer complained that there was a problem with the meal. Not only did he not apologize to the guests but I also quarreled with the other person. As a result, he lost my job and had all sources of income cut off. He killed the writer in anger from being poor and ran to the restaurant that fired him that night. He lit a gas canister and blew himself up, committing suicide.”
Lu Baizhou, “…This plot is quite compatible with you personally.”
Pei Mo frowned bitterly. “I don’t have bipolar disorder. I won’t blow people up for no reason.”
Lu Baizhou refuted it. “But you have a mid-life crisis.
Pei Mo, “……”
Jiang Yu pondered on it. “Don’t you realize that in a way, all the characters are compatible with the corresponding sleepwalkers?”
Pei Mo said, “It is kind of funny when put like this…”
Jiang Yu sighed as if she cared a bit.
Chi Nan had already changed the radio weather broadcast at this time.
[Listeners and friends having a good trip, this is the weather broadcast. It is expected that for the next six hours, there will be a once-in-a-century total solar eclipse over the entire section of Highway 404. This is also known as the Tengu Eclipse day…]
Pei Mo couldn’t help complaining, “If it is a rare encounter in a hundred years then why have we encountered it twice in one day?”
Just like last time, less than five minutes after the broadcast, a fork in Highway 404 appeared.
The only difference was that the last time was a potholed path leading to the welfare home while this time was a flat road with a row of street lights on both sides of the road.
Soon, the sun was completely engulfed by shadows and the street lights turned on neatly.
A brightly lit road spread across the gray field. There were no other cars except for EM00404. It was alone and bright, giving an indescribable sense of absurdity and horror. This was even more uncomfortable than the dark path.
“That… where is this? A large motel?” Jiang Yu craned her head forward. In the distance, she saw a large sea of light emerge in front of her. Countless neon lights stained the end of the road.
Lu Baizhou also sat up straight and looked forward. “It isn’t like a motel. The lights are so exaggerated… could it be a playground?”
Chi Nan looked at the windshield for a moment. “It should be a small town.”
A strange town rose at the end of the wilderness, like a promised land in the gray wilderness that waited for weary travelers to have fun, even though the ride might be fatal.
Humans were not only light-seeking creatures but it was also easy for them to lose their resistance in the face of bright colors. Everyone couldn’t look away from the end of the road.
It was just that a small town wasn’t good news for them. The larger the area, the more difficult it was to find a body.
The broadcast forecast said the total solar eclipse was only six hours. If it was the same as the welfare home then the time was three times the normal flow rate… finding three corpses in such a large area was simply impossible.
They had to first confirm the time flow rate before finding shortcuts.
You Yu gradually slowed down and the car was engulfed in colorful lights.
Chi Nan looked up and saw the words ‘Smile Town’ written on the toll gate at the end of the road. There was a photo of a young woman giving a standard and mechanical smile hanging on the city billboard next to the toll gate.
“Please keep smiling and treat the residents of the city politely…” Jiang Yu read the slogan on the billboard. She always felt that the woman in the photo was smiling in a standard and beautiful manner, but there was an indescribable sense of strangeness.
Jiang Yu had already parked the car next to the toll booth. The staff member inside leaned out. “Welcome to Smile Town. After entering our Smile Town, please always practice smiling. Once you are in contact with strangers, you must politely keep smiling. Thank you for your cooperation.”
The smile of the staff member was as standard as the young woman on the billboard.
Why the emphasis on smiling?
Everyone in the car wasn’t a newcomer entering the nightmare instance for the first time. They were confused and disturbed by the staff members’ words. This type of nonsensical and polite reminder often symbolized great danger.
Fortunately, smiling wasn’t difficult for normal humans. After all, the staff member only reminded them to smile and didn’t require it to come from their heart.
You Yu took the payment receipt and smiled. “Thanks for the reminder.”
Chi Nan glanced at You Yu next to him. Among the people he met, no one was better at it and was more suited for smiling than You Yu.
He was just the opposite.
Chi Nan looked in the rearview mirror and tried very hard to mobilize his facial muscles, but it looked more like he was pursing his lips than a smile.
‘It is strange,’ Chi Nan thought. Human expressions and emotions were too difficult.
You Yu drove the car to the town and saw Chi Nan’s actions. “Brother, do you need me to teach you how to smile?”
“No.” Chi Nan turned his head and pressed his two index fingers to the corners of his lips. He pulled them up hard and the corners of his lips were raised by him. “I can do it.”
You Yu was stunned before immediately laughing. “It is too foul.”