Bai Liu slept leaning to the side in the last row of the van. The back seat of the van was very narrow and it was difficult for him to turn over. The moment he moved, a necklace fell out of his shirt.
The clothes he was wearing now were the same as before he entered the game. It was a white shirt and black pants. They were the typical daily wear for office workers. Only this necklace was an extra thing.
The pendant of the necklace was a copper, square-holed coin. Bai Liu touched it and the game panel popped out. The panel was the same as the one Bai Liu had seen previously and there was no more information. This should be similar to a game manager.
Bai Liu put the necklace back in his clothes. He didn’t like to see this type of damaged coin.
He stuck his head out from the back seat of the car. This was a seven-seater van. In addition to Bai Liu lying in the back, there were four people in front. The moment he came out, someone looked at him with surprise. “Bai Liu, my sweetheart. You finally woke up!”
Apart from Bai Liu, the other people here were obviously foreigners. The one calling Bai Liu ‘sweetheart’ was a girl with brown curly hair, red lips and brown eyes. She wore hot pants and suspenders. The moment Bai Liu saw this person, the coin popped up with a panel that had the character information written on it.
[NPC name: Lucy]
[Character Profile: Your classmate who you really like. You tried to have sex last night but you were too shy to face Lucy, who is 10 centimetres taller, enthusiastic and bold. You didn’t succeed (laughs)]
Bai Liu’s gaze paused for a few seconds on the ‘didn’t succeed’ and ‘laughs’. Then he quickly retracted his gaze and fell into thought.
To trigger the NPC panel information in this game, it seemed he needed to ‘see’ the person. It was the same as the information that popped up when clicking with a mouse in an online game. The player’s eyes were equivalent to a mouse and gamepad. He was thoughtful. It seemed that he wouldn’t lose his sight in this game.
Lucy winked at Bai Liu. “Baby, did I make you tired? You’ve been sleeping since you got in the car.”
The moment Bai Liu saw Lucy, the ‘didn’t succeed’ prompt popped up in his mood. Bai Liu, who had been single since he was a child, felt a bit complicated. “……”
He painlessly ended his single life. He changed the topic in time. Bai Liu looked at the increasingly remote and cold scenery outside the window and asked, “Where are we going? Why is it so remote?”
“It seems that the coward wants to escape again.” A sarcastic male voice came from the front. A tall man wearing tight jeans and a sporty t-shirt looked at Bai Liu contemptuously. The man was too sturdy and his t-shirt looked like it was going to burst. He was like a rugby player.
He crossed his arms and looked at Bai Liu in a condescending manner. “It is too late Bai Liu. Even if you are a coward and want to escape, it is too late. We are already on the way to Siren Town.”
The new panel said:
[NPC name: Andre]
[Character Profile: Your love rival. Likes Lucy but was rejected by Lucy. Very hostile to you. Previously, you made a bet with him to protect Lucy in the most dangerous place in the world to prove your love for her. Thus, you decided to go to Siren Town. You regretted it before getting in the car and you cried a lot. You were forced into the car by Andre.]
Bai Liu had seen the name ‘Siren Town’ twice. He ignored Andre’s taunts and asked, “Siren Town, what type of place is it?”
Andre snorted and was going to continue the taunting when a whisper interrupted him. “Siren Town, the only seaside town in history where the remains of a siren have been found. In history, many people say that they have seen a siren here or heard the beautiful singing of a siren or mermaid in the waves. They’ve also seen strange sea monsters feasting on human corpses in the pitch-black reef…”
“Jeff! Those are just stories made up by Siren Town to trick tourists into sightseeing!” Andre interrupted the other person impatiently even though imperceptible fear quickly flashed across his face.
A small boy with thick beer bottle glasses shrank back with a book against his chest. He seemed a bit afraid of Andre but he still mustered up the courage to retort in a low voice, “Then how do you explain it? The mysterious disappearance of the tourists in Siren Town! 12 tourists disappeared completely in Siren Town last month! The police searched everywhere to no avail. No one has seen them leave Siren Town…”
Bai Liu looked toward the panel.
[NPC name: Jeff]
[Character Profile: A strong fan of unnatural creatures such as mermaids and sea monsters. After learning that Lucy’s group was going to Siren Town, he actively asked to come along. He is very good at telling the legendary story of Siren Town.]
Andre refuted it. “Most of those people fell into the water and drowned. Isn’t it normal for people to drown at a beach?”
Jeff was unconvinced. “The police organized salvage crews for a month but nothing was found. Even if they really fell into the sea, this isn’t normal…” As he spoke, his tone became low and gloomy with a hint of excitement. “Unless their corpses were eaten by sirens. This way, the police can’t find them…”
Andre finally became angry and hit Jeff hard on the head. “Shut up! You damn four eyes! All day long, it is mermaids, mermaids! I think you look like a mermaid!”
Andre’s hands were heavy and Bai Liu could clearly see that Jeff’s head hit against the seat before bumping into Andre in a daze. This completely angered Andre and he slapped Jeff several times so that some teeth fell out.
Jeff lowered his head silently and picked up his teeth. He stared at Andre with a faint look of hatred and said something very softly. No one else heard it but Bai Liu’s hearing had always been good. He heard Jeff say, “The mermaids will tear you up and swallow you, Andre.”
Bai Liu slightly raised his eyebrow but said nothing. The relationship between NPCs was really complicated. It seemed that Andre’s random beating and scolding of Jeff wasn’t just something that happened once or twice. This Jeff seemed to have made a revenge plan using the ‘mermaids’.
The driver was a local from Siren Town that Bai Liu paid for. Based on Lucy’s words, Bai Liu found that he was a rich second generation and was covering all the food and accommodations of the group. The driver was also paid by him. He had asked the driver to help find a local hotel for them to stay at.
It was late at night when they finally reached the mysterious Siren Town. According to the driver’s description, Siren Town was a small town that relied on fishing and helping to salvage sunken ships. It had always been relatively remote and dilapidated until the new mayor found ways to attract tourists using the rumors of sirens. Siren Town then relied on tourism to develop.
However, there were many incidents with tourists starting from last month. These tourists didn’t fall into the water as Andre said. Some of them disappeared from different corners of Siren Town before even having time to go to the beach. For example, a tourist stayed in the hotel and disappeared early the next morning. The door was closed and no one saw him go out. The bed in the room was still messy like the person had just disappeared.
Due to the disappearance of tourists, Siren Town was incredibly desolate when it should be tourist season. Many hotels were closed due to poor management.
Siren Town was indeed very dilapidated. There were flying fence fragments and fishing nets everywhere. The ground was covered with dried shells, seaweed and silt. There were only a few hotels that were well decorated. Bai Liu and the others arrived at night but there were still many people on the road.
These people were originally going to the beach. However, once Bai Liu and the others drove in, they stopped in unison. Their heads turned and they stared straight at Bai Liu’s car. Lucy shuddered at being watched by so many people in the middle of the night. She screamed softly and retracted into Bai Liu’s arms. It was just that she was much taller than Bai Liu. Her head emerged above Bai Liu’s shoulders and it looked more like Bai Liu was in her arms.
Bai Liu, “……”
Bai Liu turned his head and asked the driver, “It’s midnight. What are these people doing by the sea?”
The driver shook his head. “No one has come to travel recently and the economy is down. They can only rely on fishing again to make a living. You haven’t fished before so you don’t know how many valuable fish are afraid of strong light and only move at night. Thus, the people are going to the sea at night.”
The townspeople looked at Bai Liu with strange eyes. Their eyes glowed like cat eyes in the night and there was a strange expression on their faces. It was as if they were smiling but the corners of their mouths didn’t completely rise. Instead, they were stiff and just twitched.
They held fishing nets and hooks in their hands while some had emulsified oil lamps. They stared intently at the car containing Bai Liu and their eyes moved with the car. It was as if they would rush to attack the car with their fishing gear.
“You have to be careful with them.” The driver warned, “They’ve been short of money lately and you are rich.”
Bai Liu was a rich second generation so the driver arranged for them to stay at the best local hotel.
This hotel was a very modern and luxurious five-star hotel. It was so luxurious that it was incompatible with the style of the entire town. There was a fountain at the door.
The fountain contained a stone sculpture of a mermaid. The mermaid was carved in a life-like manner. The shiny marble was almost like human skin shining in the moonlight. Her long hair hung down to cover her plump breasts and the fish tail hung down in the pool. Her eyes were lowered and she had a compassionate expression. She held a jug in her hand with some pearls scattered. The water poured down from the jug and fell into the pool, making a sound like ocean waves.
The driver bypassed the fountain at the entrance of the hotel and drove all the way to the front entrance of the hotel.
Jeff suddenly screamed as he pointed to the mermaid statue in front of the hotel. “She was just looking at me! She just moved!”