IWBL: Chapter 122
Just as the reincarnators were sleeping again, the night-shift security guard was reading a book in his office. It happened to be a book on strange stories. After turning a page, he looked up at the clock on the wall. Once it reached a certain point, he closed the book and got up, ready to go on his last patrol.
Just as he was waiting for the elevator in the hall, the security guard scratched his neck and remembered the woman sitting at the front desk. At first, he hypnotized himself by telling himself that perhaps Xiao Xi’s child was better and she returned from sick leave, but the manager forgot to tell him. Now that he thought about it, he felt there was something wrong. Xiao Xi’s hair was black and straight but it didn’t seem as long as that woman…
In addition, the woman’s every movement revealed an unspeakable sense of weirdness. Or… he should ask Xiao Xi to make sure. Once the security guard entered the elevator, he took out his mobile phone from his pocket and opened it to Xiao Xi’s WeChat. “Xiao Xi, how is your child’s illness? Is it okay? Also, did you come to work today?”
He mulled over the words before finally pressing the ‘send’ button, waiting for the other person’s reply. The lights of the elevator hit the security guard’s mobile screen. He didn’t feel anything strange at first but once the elevator went up two floors, he suddenly opened his eyes like he saw something incredible on the mobile screen.
On the mobile phone screen, a woman’s silhouette appeared in the reflection, standing right behind him. The security guard was frozen. When he entered… there was no one else in the elevator. He looked behind him and there was nothing. He pressed against the screen, held up the phone and looked at the screen reflection to see—
The woman was still there. She was wearing a red dress and stood motionless beside the security guard. No…
The security guard immediately thought of something and showed a sense of shock. It wasn’t ‘incomprehension’ but more like ‘it’s real.’ He turned around, throwing himself to one side of the elevator. He held his phone tightly, eyes constantly switching between the phone screen and reality.
However, the woman continued remaining still to the slight relief of the security guard. He just needed to wait for the elevator to open and he could get out! In the expectant eyes of the security guard, the elevator rose to the next floor but as he kept looking up, he saw the female ghost in red appear directly in front of his naked eyes.
It wasn’t through the reflection of the phone screen but directly in front of him. The phone slipped from the security guard’s hand to the ground. He couldn’t even cry out because of her astonishment. He could only watch the female ghost in the elevator head towards him.
The early morning sun shone through the revolving door of the Cavill Hotel, making the two potted plants at the door comfortably stretch their leaves and branches.
It was just that the hotel’s staff weren’t so comfortable right now. Although the hotel was usually very leisurely at this time and the number of guests would be less than usual times, but it obviously wasn’t the same today.
The cause was due to a body being found by a guest in the elevator. One became two, two became three, three became 100 because a guest’s high-pitch scream meant many people gathered in front of the elevator before the hotel manager could arrive and give directions.
They were ordinary guests, not to mention reincarnators. Xie Zeqing and the others had appeared as early as the first scream and they were standing outside the crowd.
“What’s going on here?” Xie Zeqing found a man standing outside and asked casually. The man looked at Xie Zeqing. Perhaps it was due to his extraordinary bearing but the man didn’t get angry with Xie Zeqing’s rude behaviour. Instead, he spoke in an exaggerated tone, “A dead body.”
“What is the situation?”
“The woman in front wanted to take an elevator. As soon as the elevator opened, she saw the security guard’s body lying inside.”
Xie Zeqing stated, “That’s terrible.”
He pushed to the front and looked into the elevator. The security guard’s face was blue, stiff and shocked, as if he had seen something incredible. His mobile phone was on the ground and through the cracks on the screen, there was a WeChat message from Xiao Xi: Don’t mention it. He still has a fever. I’m with him in the hospital.
Xie Zeqing took back his hand and squeezed out of the crowd again, translating for the rest of the reincarnators. Xiao Li wasn’t present. He was still in Shen Chenzhi’s room. Xie Zeqing hesitated at the door for a moment but didn’t dare to enter. He chose to wait for the other person to wake up naturally.
In his room, Xiao Li didn’t hear the noise of the outside world. On the contrary, the room was very quiet. The curtains were half drawn and soft sunlight came in. The temperature wasn’t high or low.
He had just opened his eyes when he sensed Shen Chenzhi. The young man was sitting by the bed, holding a book in his hand. It was just that taking a closer look, his eyes weren’t on it. His legs were naturally placed together and his lines were smooth and good-looking.
Shen Chenzhi sat up. He saw that Xiao Li was awaken and put down the book, Adam’s apple moving up and down. “You woke up.”
This greeting to the newly awakened Xiao Li was something Shen Chenzhi had been longing for and there was a smile after he finished his words. If any gods in the higher dimensional world saw this then they would doubt their eyes.
It was due to this that Shen Chenzhi had to deliberately even out his tone. Otherwise, Xiao Li could easily see he was wrong. Xiao Li rubbed his eyes. He had been sleeping for a long time and his eyelids were glued together. He opened them and his black eyes were sparkling, like the sun through the shade of the tree. The slender arc of the young man’s neck was just right.
“You woke up very early.” Xiao Li spoke unclearly, his tone soft and slightly spoiled.
He usually wasn’t like this. He normally woke up very quickly. He didn’t know why but it was like someone gave him sleeping pills last night. Now he found it hard to open his eyes. Ah, too cute, it was a foul. These were Shen Chenzhi’s thoughts.
He hadn’t slept at all and lied, “It’s fine. I woke up just a bit earlier than you.”
Xiao Li removed the quilt and entered the bathroom. He habitually washed his face with cold water, forcing himself to wake up. He roughly combed his hair and came out.
“Do you want to eat breakfast?” Shen Chenzhi was dressed and looked cold and handsome, but was actually quite soft. He had asked this after looking at the time.
Xiao Li picked an apple from the fruits basket and the tone of his speed had returned to its usual form. “I usually don’t eat breakfast.”
He ate late-night snacks more often. He also handed an apple to the other person. Shen Chenzhi reached for it and looked at the water drops still on the other side’s face. Xiao Li seemed ready to go out and Shen Chenzhi looked at him. “Are you going out?”
Xiao Li had walked to the door and was ready to open it. “Yes.”
Shen Chenzhi stood behind him and in wanted to reach out to hold the door shut. Eventually, he lowered his hand to his side.
When Xie Zeqing saw Xiao Li, he was eating a steak he took away from the restaurant. He asked quietly, “Did you sleep well?”
Xiao Li sat down blankly and didn’t answer the question. “What’s going on?”
The elevator had been sealed off and relevant personnel were investigating.
Xie Zeqing roughly explained what happened and summed it up, “At present, I don’t know what type of strange story the security guard encountered but I personally think the weeping woman has no time to find trouble with others.”
In other words, there was a good chance the fourth strange story had emerged.
Xiao Li touched the little yellow book. He raised his pen like he remembered something but he was stunned the moment he opened it. Several lines of writing had appeared in the little yellow book. [Your hair looks dark and cold but the touch is very different. It is very soft and warm.]
[I’ve been thinking about kissing you, wrapping your hair around your fingers and then hold you, completely occupying you. I never thought it would be so difficult to restrain myself.]
[What type of person do you like?]
Xiao Li was no longer surprised by the preceding words. He bit his pen and wrote a line under the last question. [Good-looking.]
He turned the page and wrote a few keywords about the task. At this time, Ri Yan hadn’t opened a live broadcast but he was still holding his camera and didn’t let go. He held the selfie stick up the entire time, afraid that something might happen.
Xie Zeqing couldn’t help asking, “Why do you always hold this thing?”
“I’m afraid of unknown ghosts coming.” Ri Yan laughed “The woman who cried earlier was the same. In the beginning, I could only see her through the camera…”
At this point, Xiao Li suddenly opened his mouth. “At first, you could only see the weeping woman through the camera?”
Ri Yan replied, “Yes, at first she scared me to death. I could only hear her voice and couldn’t see her.”
“However, once we entered, we saw it directly with our eyes.” Xiao Li put down the pen thoughtfully. “At first, I thought the camera was only useful for Room 909 but now it seems…the weeping woman didn’t exist in reality at first, or wasn’t visible to the naked eye.”
Hull heard the translation and guessed in English, “In the West, the camera has a special magnetic field. This allows you to see something that is invisible to the naked eye.”
Xiao Li stated, “There are now two possibilities. One is that the strange stories use special killing tactics and we can only use a camera to capture their movements. Two, they only exist on the camera at first and slowly step into reality until they are finally separated from the camera media.”
Hull wondered, “The second possibility is like from a 2D world to a 3D world?
“I’m thinking of Sadako, who spread the curse through a video tape and finally crawled out of the TV. From the video tape to reality, she also crossed a dimension.” Xie Zeqing spoke as he cut a steak. Then he pushed the steak to the side. He had no appetite.
Reiko added, “At present, there are a few strange stories we haven’t come in contact with and we don’t know where the source is…”
Ri Yan played with his phone for a while as he listened. Then he said, “I’ve asked many people and no one knows the exact source of these strange stories. They are passed from human to human and the source can’t be found.
Taotie sighed. “It’s normal. If someone asked me the source of Bloody Mary then I definitely wouldn’t know.”
Hull walked around the room and spoke somewhat eagerly. “We can’t just sit here like this. I’ll go outside and ask again—”
The moment he opened the door, he froze. The rest of the reincarnators stood up and came to the door of the room, only to see that the outside was no longer the hotel corridor. It was replaced by an alley.
It was like a small alley in a southern city that went in all directions. The ground was full of potholes and rocks. The alley was narrow and the light that could penetrate through was very limited.
The moment the door opened, the interior of the room had also changed to a wall.
“The fourth strange story…?” Ri Yan’s trembling voice shook the silence. He immediately turned on the barrage protection, raised the selfie stick and opened the live room. The time in this alley obviously wasn’t the same as reality. In reality, it was day but here, it was close to night. The sky was dark and drizzle fell on their shoulders.
The edge of the alley contained houses with low eaves made of bricks. However, no one could be seen. The doors and windows of each house were tightly closed. In the corner, there were stones piled. At the end of the road was an old bicycle. It wasn’t locked but the chains were rusty and the seat was taken away, leaving only a steel pipe.
Xiao Li declared, “Go ahead and take a look.”
The reincarnators carefully took a few steps forward and entered the alley, trying to find a way out. The alley was dark, with the houses on either side blocking a large portion of the light. To Xiao Li’s surprise, there were no streetlights on either side of the road.
Generally speaking, the alleys of a city would have lighting placed. Sometimes they were lanterns and sometimes street lights. However, this road wasn’t the same and it exuded a rotten breath. The light was very dark.
Maybach was the first to pull a flashlight out of his pocket. He pressed the switch and the white light penetrated the darkness. However, it was only bright for 10 seconds. There was a crack and the flashlight’s bulb exploded and it went out automatically.
The alley was once again dark.
Xiao Li thought of a strange story that also circulated in reality: no light alley.
Legend had it that the alley without lights was the only way to get to the slaughterhouse in the old days. The most remarkable feature of the alley was that no street lights could be installed at all. The moment it was installed, the light bulb would burst. Flashlights would also inexplicably go out when walking in the alley.
Was this the city’s rumoured lightless alley? No one knew how to get out of this strange story so they could only move forward. The alley didn’t seem long but the group walked a long distance. However, just before the end, Xiao Li in the front suddenly stopped.
Xie Zeqing had been watching him and stopped in time to avoid the fate of crashing. “What’s the matter?”
Xiao Li didn’t answer. He looked at the other person’s eyes, the expression on his face frightening. There was an old man beside the bicycle parked on the road. The old man was bald. His head was lowered but his features couldn’t see clearly. He was wearing clothes of the last century.
He held the handle of the bike in one hand while the other one was raised like a guide to the right. This was… did he want them to go right?
Xiao Li looked closely at the old man but before he could reject, the old man had disappeared without a trace. It was as if he was a ghost meant to show them the way. Xiao Li took two steps forward and looked at the end of the road. After going out this alley, he had two options, left and right. Both of them led to another alley. Perhaps this would be endless branching roads.
“Is this a ghost wall?” Xie Zeqing touched his arm and asked. (TL: Ghost wall showed up earlier but I forgot to put a note. Means going in a circle and not being able to get out. The idea is that people are obstructed by walls the ghost put in front of them and have to wander endlessly)
“No,” Xiao Li denied it. “They look roughly similar but the details aren’t the same. It is more like a… huge maze.”
“Have any of you ever heard of this strange story?” Ri Yan held off the selfie stick and asked the audience.
[No, what is this place?]
[It looks terrifying. Big person, protect me.]
[The strange stories that you’ve been encountering, apart from the Cavill Hotel, I’ve never heard of it. I also can’t find anything on the Internet.]
Perhaps they were delayed here for too long. Several more people appeared in front of this alley and pointed in an unified manner to the right. They were like emotionless road signs.
“These little ghosts are all asking us to go to the right. Shall we listen to them? Taotie’seyes narrowed as he stared at the alley to the right. However, he could only see something dark.
“I think it’s better not to, Who knows where the ghosts are guiding us? Perhaps… their lair?” Reiko bit her lips and stuttered as she expressed her opinion in English.
“However, in this case, the strange story takes advantage of our psychology.”
Ri Yan looked to the left and right before finally relying on Xiao Li. “Moriarty, what do you think?”
Xiao Li’s response was to touch the phone and he said, “Wait a minute, I’ll ask a professional.
Ri Yan, “???”
Xiao Li dialled a number.
Xie Zeqing’s eyes twitched. He could roughly guess who the other person was calling but Hull and the others didn’t know Previously, Xiao Li had made a ghost call in front of them but they didn’t understand at the time. In addition, they had been speaking in Chinese. Thus, Hull asked, “Mo, who are you calling? We have no signal?”
Xiao Li stated, “Electronic navigation.”
Xie Zeqing took the initiative to translate for him in English. “G**gle maps.”
What was this? After the ‘beep’ was heard, the ghost picked up the phone. Xiao Li got straight to the point. “Can you locate where I am?”
The phone ghost was silent for a moment. “No.”
Xiao Li told her, “Don’t be so ruthless. Think of our relationship. We have to talk once in a while.”
“I mean,” the phone ghost replied. “I can’t locate you. Another force is blocking my signal.”
“Oh? You really rely on a signal? Then next time, I’ll have to bring a signal enhancer with me.”
The phone ghost recited, “…The number you called is turned off. Please call it again later.”
These words were correct but the hoarse voice full of resentment was far from the sweet voice of normal customer service. Xiao Li took it apart. “These are your own words, right?”
The next second, the phone hung up. Xiao Li retracted his phone and shook his head at the concerned Xie Zeqing.
“It’s just instinct now.” Xie Zeqing bitterly spoke. “Why don’t you throw a die to decide, lucky king.”
Xiao Li leisurely looked at him. “Not necessarily.”
“What does that mean?”
“Listen.” Xiao Li indicated to his ears.
Xie Zeqing listened for a moment. There was a faint voice coming from the right side of the alley, like the wind can blow away the sound. “There is someone…”
“Save me… ah… it hurts, save me…ah…”
The voice repeated these words intermittently. They weren’t poignant but were full temptation to rescue it.
“This type of distress can’t be believed. It must be a ghost. I once met a siren in an instance. Once you answer—” Reiko quickly opened her mouth, trying to make her voice drown out the cry for help.
Before her voice finished, Xiao Li suddenly responded, “Where are you? I’ll come to save you!”
She was so frightened her face was green.
The author has something to say:
Help ghost: Save me…
Xiao Li: Where are you? I’ll come to save you!
Help ghost: No no no (kicking back), I don’t want you to come and save me.