CNC: Chapter 98

Highway 404 (18)

The moment You Yu finished speaking, Pei Mo quickly reached out and grabbed a piece of paper, holding it in his hand as if afraid that the others would do something.

Immediately afterwards, Lu Baizhou also drew a piece of paper. The remaining one belonged to Chi Nan.

The three of them opened the folded pieces of paper at the same time. Pei Mo saw the blank piece of paper in his hand and let out a long sigh of relief.

He shifted his gaze to look at Chi Nan beside him. It was also a blank piece of paper.

“The red circle is here.”

Lu Baizhou held out her own paper and displayed it in front of everyone. She pouted while admitting that she was unlucky.

Chi Nan looked at You Yu doubtfully. Based on his understanding of his sickly younger brother, he thought that You Yu had taken the initiative to apply to become the host of drawing the lots for a reason.

Either You Yu would deliberately assign the red circle to him or give it to Pei Mo, who was constantly complaining. He never thought that the person who would be caught was Lu Baizhou.

You Yu felt Chi Nan’s gaze and lowered his voice innocently. “I didn’t cheat.”

The other person’s expression seemed to be saying ‘you have no evidence.’

The car drove on the road again. Countless pedestrian shops passed by the window and more strange slogans poured into view.

[To build a civilized Smile Town, please keep a polite smile with people at all times. Any actions that destroy smiles are prohibited.]

Masks, scarves, and actions of covering one’s mouth with one’s hands were all drawn with red crosses under them. They were all prohibited items and behaviors in Smile Town.

Chi Nan looked carefully all the way. Fortunately, the slogan just said not to destroy or cover a smile. It didn’t mention avoiding eye contact with the town’s residents. The method of wearing glasses seemed feasible for the time being.

“I’m really curious about what these residents look like when they quarrel. How can they console their entire family with a smile? Can they argue? What the h*ll.”

Pei Mo was calmer after escaping from entering the glasses store and talked to himself.

Lu Baizhou didn’t complain. She had become more open-minded after experiencing the ‘atonement’ of drowning in the bathtub by the main personality.

“Over here.” Lu Baizhou’s eyes happened to fall on Jiang Yu’s side profile and pointed to the corner of Jiang Yu’s left lip. “There is something.”

She took out her character’s makeup mirror and handed it to Jiang Yu.

Jiang Yu looked at the red dot that suddenly appeared at the corner of her left lip in the mirror. It was like a burn mark and was the area that had been illuminated by the old lady’s item that was similar to a laser pointer.

So they would be flagged after being warned? Jiang Yu raised her hand to touch it. The red dot area didn’t feel painful and was no different from other places. Visually, it just looked like an extra red mole.

Just then, You Yu parked the car on the side of the road.

Lu Baizhou glanced at You Yu with some hesitation and expressed her doubts to Chi Nan, “How many pairs of sunglasses should I buy?”

Chi Nan answered, “Four pairs are good, thank you.”

“Why? You aren’t even thinking about buying a pair for me?” You Yu smiled slightly at Chi Nan. “Brother, you don’t need to think about saving money for me.”

He paused before adding, “In any case, it will be deducted from the storage fee.”

The group couldn’t understand what the new driver was talking about, but they could hear the obvious joking tone in his voice. Chi Nan was the only one who said in a daze, “Okay.”

Lu Baizhou still wanted to say something, but Jiang Yu pushed her. “Go and come back quickly.”

Lu Baizhou didn’t speak nonsense. She took the thick stack of banknotes from Chi Nan, opened the car door, and jumped down.

While Lu Baizhou went to find the sunglasses, everyone in the car spread out the map and discussed the next plan.

Jiang Yu looked at the seven streets displayed on the map with a heavy expression. Seven streets meant there were seven 201, 205, and 209s respectively. They only had five hours and four minutes left. If they based it on the inference of the previous hotel room number corresponding to the house number, they would need to search 21 places in the next five hours.

Even if the time when acting separately was barely enough, there was no guarantee that the direction of the search was correct.

Pei Mo looked at Jiang Yu with a frown. “Do you still want to do it according to the previous plan?”

Jiang Yu was silent for a moment before pointing to the 4th street where they were now. “In this instance, no matter whether it is the license plate number or the number of highway, it is all related to ‘4.’ The pronunciation of ‘4’ is also very close to ‘die.’ I think that the 4th street can be used as a key search object.”

Then she pointed to Number 201 on this street. The map showed it was a flower store. “The 201 flower store is less than three minutes away from my location. Let’s wait for the sunglasses and then we will go there. It will be regarded as an experiment and shouldn’t waste much time.”

Jiang Yu looked at Chi Nan, but before Chi Nan could speak, You Yu put his hand on the steering wheel and said idly, “It is just right. I can go there and buy something.”

Following his words, everyone looked at Chi Nan with subtle expressions, but they didn’t dare to say anything.

Later, Pei Mo expressed his thoughts to Jiang Yu in a low voice, “That driver is really the body of the ‘younger brother’ that we dug up at the welfare home, right? Could it be that the corpse also inherits the feelings from the character setting? I see that this ‘younger brother’ has a lot of feelings for Chi Nan… It is hard to put into words.”

Pei Mo was a serious middle-aged man, so it was difficult for him to summarize the delicate relationship between the two of them.

“Don’t speculate if you don’t understand.” Jiang Yu gave him a blank look and didn’t intend to continue talking nonsense.

Then she thought of the possibility that the corpse had inherited the character’s emotions and her heart was inexplicably filled with anticipation and anxiety. She looked at the pedestrians outside the window in a daze. Then she realized that her thoughts were out of place and hurriedly stopped.

Lu Baizhou moved quickly. In less than 10 minutes, she brought five pairs of sunglasses to the car. The corner of her lips had the same red dot as Jiang Yu.

Jiang Yu frowned. “How did you get it?”

Lu Baizhou shrugged. “I avoided the employee’s line of sight as much as possible. However, I let down my guard when choosing sunglasses. I made eye contact with the employee through the glass of the cabinet.”

Everyone: “……” They finally knew why most of the buildings in Smile Town were glass. In other words, it was inevitable to meet people’s eyes.

Chi Nan took off the sunglasses and handed them to You Yu. “The dream maker left the setting of the glasses store so the sunglasses should be the correct way to avoid it.”

After all, the dream maker wouldn’t set up an unsolvable problem. This would eliminate the viewing and fun of the nightmare.

You Yu saw that everyone had fastened their seat belts and quickly turned the car to drive to No. 201 of 4th Street. Everyone put on their sunglasses and walked toward the store.

The little brother of the flower store quickly greeted them. Then he saw the five customers wearing sunglasses and his eyes obviously froze.

Chi Nan’s gaze stayed on the employee’s hand. He found that even though the NPC touched his pocket, he didn’t take out that item that was similar to a laser pointer.

“Hello everyone, do you need any help?” The employee once again greeted them with a standard grin.

It seemed that they had successfully passed the test. The group was temporarily relieved.

“Hello.” You Yu took off his sunglasses, revealing the same standard smile as all the residents. “Do you have any recommendations if I want to give flowers to my older brother?”

According to the plan, Chi Nan was responsible for stabilizing the employee while the remaining three people were responsible for finding clues related to the corpse in the flower store. They had previously discussed that they would only spend 10 minutes here. If they couldn’t find anything, then they would withdraw.

Fortunately, this flower store wasn’t large. It was less than 40 square meters and the open room structure had no obstructions.

Now the question came. Would the dream maker hide Qu Yijun’s body in this place? The odds obviously weren’t great.

The male clerk looked at You Yu, who was smiling, and Chi Nan, who was wearing sunglasses and had pursed lips.

However, there was no eye contact so the ‘violation warning’ didn’t sound.

“Excuse me, can I ask if you are twin brothers?” The male clerk’s eyes were full of envy.

“Yes, do we look alike?” You Yu asked knowingly.

The little brother nodded. “You looked exactly the same when you were wearing sunglasses just now.”

It was just that the younger brother on the left was half a head taller than the older brother on the right. The clerk NPC was set to have high emotional intelligence so he didn’t say this.

“For boys, especially those in more intimate relationships, I generally recommend white roses, sunflowers, hydrangeas, bellflowers, daisies, etc. Still, it is the other person’s preference that is the most important.”

You Yu turned to Chi Nan, a smile in his eyes. “Brother, you can pick it.”

Chi Nan wasn’t very good at procrastinating. He looked along the flower shelf for a moment. He confirmed that the three other people had searched the small store and Jiang Yu, who found nothing, was shaking her head at him with a calm expression. Then Chi Nan calmly wondered, “Is there any mint?”

The clerk was a bit surprised. “Mint?”

Chi Nan nodded. “The kind kept in a small pot.”

“Yes, wait a moment.” The male clerk turned to the flower stand next to him to get the potted mint.

You Yu asked, “Why do you suddenly want to raise mint?”

Chi Nan looked at him indifferently through the sunglasses. “The pot I raised in Zi City died and was thrown away.”

He paused before adding, “I want to try to raise another pot.”

This answer wasn’t expected by You Yu. Then he remembered that he had indeed raised a pit of mint in the apartment where they lived together.

“Ah.” You Yu habitually looked at the corner of Chi Nan’s eyes. Unfortunately, now there was a pair of sunglasses blocking the teardrop moles. “Then buy a few more pots.”

“No, I’m afraid they will die again and it will be a pity.”

You Yu smiled and lowered his eyes. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll raise them for you.”

Five minutes later, their group came out of the 201 flower store, each holding two pots of mint neatly in their hands.

Their faces were speechless and gloomy. They held the mint as if going to a funeral.

“What should we do now? My inference was obviously wrong. Qu Yijun’s body wasn’t in the flower store. Sorry to waste everyone’s time.”

The moment she got in the car, Jiang Yu took the initiative to apologize to everyone. After all, the method of finding the body corresponding to the room number was suggested by her. She was reflecting on her own experience.

Pei Mo maintained the depression of a middle-aged man. “F*k, what can we do in such a big Smile Town? It is like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Depression was as contagious as fear. Lu Baizhou couldn’t get used to Pei Mo’s unfortunate appearance and coldly said, “You better shut up.”

“It is also necessary to eliminate the wrong options,” Chi Nan said while looking at the map again. He found that the map was very detailed with the names of the stores. The words were printed in very small letters but they were very clear.

His gaze swept over a food street and he suddenly thought of a possibility.

“Your character is a restaurant cook, right?” Chi Nan turned to Pei Mo.

The topic changed too quickly, but Pei Mo nodded in a confused manner. “Yes, I remember it was a high-end skewers restaurant.”

Chi Nan wondered, “Do you remember the name of the restaurant?”

Pei Mo thought about it before nodding sharply. “Sunset Restaurant. When the character finally killed the writer and went back to commit suicide, there was a close-up of him looking up at the restaurant sign. I remember that it was the Sunset Restaurant. What’s wrong?”

Chi Nan pointed to No. 404 of 5th Avenue on the map and told You Yu, “Go here.”

You Yu smiled. “Received.”

“The Sunset Restaurant?” Pei Mo followed Chi Nan’s finger on the map and exclaimed.

The font on the map was too dense and small, and since they had been acting according to Jiang Yu’s inference previously, no one noticed this.

Chi Nan nodded. “The body of the Judge might be related to this restaurant.”

He recalled all the dreams described after the characters experienced death. Among them, the deaths of Lu Baizhou and Pei Mo were related to the environment. Lu Baizhou went to an illegal hospital for plastic surgery. Illegal hospitals were generally unlicensed and didn’t appear on the map. This left only the role of Pei Mo, who worked in a restaurant.

It was exactly 1 o’clock when they arrived at the Sunset Restaurant. The sound of the pendulum bell in the center of the square resounded through Smile Town.

All pedestrians stopped the moment the bell rang. It seemed to be a silent ceremony to mourn the hour they had wasted.

Pei Mo pointed to the intersection in front of the restaurant and said excitedly, “I remember. The writer’s car was parked here at the time and the car exploded the moment he started it. The sound was very loud and the buildings on the block shook. Many people thought there was an attack and all of them looked out of their houses.”

“My character was very perverted. He hid in the alley and peeked at the whole explosion.” Pei Mo pointed to the opposite alley. “Shortly after the explosion, he mixed in with the crowd watching the fun. After the fire truck and ambulance arrived, the corpse of the writer was removed from the burned car piece by piece. His skin was burned black and burst… He was beyond recognition…”

The death dream was very realistic. Pei Mo still recalled the burnt smell in the air after the body was burned, like a skewer of roasted meat.

“Looking back…I really don’t want to eat barbecue for at least a year.”

Jiang Yu looked at the intersection where cars came and went with a frown. “Now it doesn’t look like there has been an explosion nearby. We can’t waste time here. Where can the writer’s body be hidden?”

Chi Nan shifted his gaze to the Sunset Restaurant. A gust of evening wind blew and the aroma of barbecue came from the back kitchen of the restaurant.

Pei Mo’s detailed description of the writer’s death inspired Chi Nan. He said, “Let’s go to the back kitchen of the restaurant and look for it.”

“The back kitchen?” Pei Mo was a bit confused.

Chi Nan nodded. “The writer’s corpse makes you think of roasted meat and your character’s identity is a chef. The corpse is likely to be hidden in the back kitchen.”

The group heard this and got goosebumps due to disgust.

The Sunset Restaurant was a typical skewers restaurant. The band next to the door had just finished its performance and 1 a.m. was the busiest time.

Their group mixed in with the fans after the restaurant ended to enter the restaurant. They didn’t look abrupt even if they wore sunglasses at night.

The stove in the back kitchen made a crackling sound from the charcoal and the temperature was so high. The two chefs were busy swearing and laughing that they didn’t notice Chi Nan when he walked in.

Chi Nan grabbed two disposable gloves and opened the kitchen waste bin next to the food preparation area. Among the pile of rotting vegetable leaves and bones, a pair of bloodshot eyes stared at him.

Chi Nan calmly blinked at the bloody eyeballs and lifted the lid of the trash can. “I found the head.”

The group: “……” They didn’t know whether to be happy or afraid.

At this moment, the chef handling the chicken pieces on the board came over with a kitchen knife. He raised his knife to the group and scolded them with a smile, “Idle people aren’t allowed to enter. Immediately get out or else…”

Before he could say anything else, his eyes rolled with shock and he suddenly fell to the ground. The kitchen knife in his hand fell and made a harsh sound.

You Yu stood behind him and rubbed his wrists. He was like a younger brother who passed the exam and was asking for praise from his older brother. “Brother, you don’t like people who are too noisy, right?”

“Thank you.” Chi Nan used gloves to take out the head that had been in the waste bin and placed it on the board next to him.

The head had been burned black and it was horrible to see.

Chi Nan sighed in his heart. “Continue to look for the rest of the body parts. They should all be in the kitchen.”

The other chef was screaming with fright. You Yu knocked him out neatly and said with regret, “It seems that the guests outside will need to wait a long time.”

Jiang Yu frowned as she looked at the driver. Then she suddenly said to Chi Nan next to her, “Your ‘brother’ reminds me of a person.”

“Who?”

“The high school senior who liked you at that time, Ye Chang,” Jiang Yu answered.

Chi Nan: “?”

Proofreader: Kat

 

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