IWBL: Chapter 123
“Help me… come here, take me home… save me…” It was unknown if the voice heard Xiao Li’s response or not but it kept calling for help. Xiao Li went out of the alley without thinking and walked to the right where the sound was coming from.
Reiko chased. Perhaps she was worried about her poor English and that Xiao Li wouldn’t understand her. She held up a mobile phone with strange Chinese translation. [Wait Moriarty, shall we go to the other side first before going to the right?]
Xiao Li guessed that the ‘other side’ meant going to the left first. He said, “I will go to the right. You can go to the left to explore.”
After saying this, he continued to walk to the right and Xie Zeqing followed him. Reiko and the others stood in place. She glanced at the left before finally choosing to go the right together.”
It was raining. The rain wasn’t big and it fell on everyone’s hair, but no one chose to hold an umbrella. The alley on the right was exactly the same as the previously lightless alley. It was dark and damp. It was colder and the spacing of the houses along the road were becoming bigger and bigger.
“Do you feel… it is becoming windier here?” Ri Yan couldn’t restrain himself and asked while his head shrank back.
Xie Zeqing said, “It means we’re getting close to somewhere.”
Ri Yan sucked in a breath and instinctively stopped, looking behind him. The long alley was like a corridor with the lights off, causing him to shudder and keep up with the group. This alley was very long but as they moved forward, they could feel the arrival of an ‘end.’ Even the thin cry for help was blown away by the roar of the wind.
“That… did any of you bring a power bank?” Ri Yan was half asking a serious question and half trying to adjust the atmosphere. “I’m running out of battery and my charger was left at the hotel.”
No one responded.
The reincarnators’ mobile phones were brought from reality. In the instance world, they had no signal unlike the native plot characters such as Ri Yan. Thus, the reincarnators rarely carried items such as a powerbank. Some reincarnators often bought another mobile phone and phone card in the instance world to facilitate communication.
“No one has this thing. Save your battery.” Xie Zeqing spoke impatiently.
Ri Yan was speechless and they fell silent again. Just five minutes later, Xiao Li stopped and looked at the place in front of him where a ray of light could be seen. “Quickly.”
“Save me… hurry up… you’re so slow…”
This place seemed gusty. There was a whistling wind and the cry for help was completely broken. Once the sound was blocked, a lot of writing urging them appeared on the left and right sides of the alley.
[You’re so slow!]
[Let’s go… come on!]
These words covered the wall like dense bugs. at this time, the wall was like the pillars with many advertisements posted on them, all of which were crooked. These words soon spread to the ground.
Xiao Li cried out, “We’re coming. How are you so impatient?”
Xie Zeqing bypassed the ground covered in writing. “Perhaps it can’t wait to eat us.”
Reason told the reincarnator that she had better turn around and leave now. Perhaps if she turned back then there was still a chance of survival. After all, she hadn’t arrived at the other person’s lair. Just as Reiko was once again worrying over a decision, Xiao Li briskly walked forward.
This time, he sped up his pace and soon came to the end of the alley. The wind blew Xiao Li’s hair, bringing coolness. After coming out of the lightless alley, a wilderness appeared in front of Xiao Li. This was perhaps inaccurate. It was more similar to a field and the most remarkable features were a few dead trees, an endless plain and countless graves.
To sum it up, the exact name of this field should be called a cemetery. Countless crooked tombstones stood in the dirt like signs inserted into a cake. The writing on them was blurred due to the constant rain and wind and couldn’t be seen clearly at all. In the night, these tombstones were like ghosts, waiting to pull people down to hell.
“Save me… save me…” The one crying for help seemed to sense their arrival and became louder.
At this time, Xiao Li also stood in the wind. He listened to the voice carefully. It seemed… like a woman and the voice sounded good, somewhat delicate and charming. It was completely different from the usual hoarseness of ghosts. This instance was strange and perhaps there weren’t just fierce ghosts.
Xiao Li asked, “Where are you?”
“Save me… just…here…” The cry for help responded. Xiao Li followed the voice into the cemetery.
Ri Yan looked at this and felt his legs softening. “I… Can I not go in? I’m afraid this… what if a hand appears out of a grave and drags me in?”
Xie Zeqing told him, “You can stand here, as long as you dare.”
Ri Yan, “……”
He felt the darkness of the lightless alley behind him and looked at the deterrence of the cemetery ahead. Then he cried and followed. Ri Yan didn’t know if it was his illusion but since coming here, even his live room on the screen had a shadow cast over it.
[This scene simply shocked my mother. The wall here is quite dangerous. Ri Yan, run quickly.]
[Since watching your live broadcast, I won’t make a fuss about watching horror movies anymore.]
Ri Yan watched the barrage as he carefully moved around the tombstones, trying to keep up with the reincarnators ahead. However, the ground was difficult to walk on and the graves were closely spaced. This led to Ri Yan tripping over a large tombstone in front of him.
After becoming dizzy, Ri Yan reluctantly supported himself on the tombstone to avoid the bad luck of falling to the ground. He stabilized his selfie stick and said, “Don’t blame me, I was just careless. Thank you for the good wishes…”
As he took back his hand, he glanced at the handwriting on the tombstone. It was an extraordinary sight. Unlike the other blurry tombstones, the handwriting on this tombstone was quite clear. It was the tombstone of the anchor.
At the sight of his name, his entire body was shocked and he subconsciously called out. He started running forward, tripping several times along the way until he hit Xiao Li’s body. Only then did his sense of reason return.
Xiao Li asked, “What’s the matter?”
Ri Yan was pale-faced as he pointed to the previous tombstone. “I… I saw the tombstone had my name on it!”
Maybach followed the direction he was pointing and shook his head. “There’s nothing.”
“How? It was clearly there.”
Ri Yan ran back. This time, there was Xiao Li so he had a little sense of security. To his surprise, the tombstone really didn’t contain any handwriting. Even if there was handwriting, it was covered under the traces of the years. The previous name seemed to be an illusion in front of his eyes.
Xie Zeqing told him, “Maybe it is a ghost scaring you. Don’t care too much.”
Ri Yan continued to follow them without a soul. By this time, they had gone deep into the cemetery. The wind was whistling like a ghost’s cry, mixed in with the cry for help. Finally, they came to a large tree that had completely died. A line was engraved on the main branch of the tree: Here lies the tomb of Fujiang, beloved wife. Below the branches of the tree was a raised grave. This was firmly suppressed under the dead tree and the cry for help was coming from inside.
Xiao Li’s mouth flattened. “Fujiang…”
This strange story was actually Fujiang!
Fujiang was also a well-known strange story. It was said that she had incomparable beauty and everyone who saw her crazily fell in love with her, crazy enough to want her limbs. She would take back her limbs and then seduce someone else, opening a new cycle. She also had special abilities. For example, even if there was only a bit of blood and flesh left, she could endlessly reproduce and grow into an adult appearance.
“Save me… get me out of here… dig me out!” Fujiang shouted from the grave.
Xiao Li glanced around. He grabbed a thick branch from the dead tree and used it as a tool, excavating the pile of soil. He hadn’t dug for long when he heard Fujiang’s voice again, unobstructed and clear. “I’m out, thank you. Next… can you please bring me home?”
Just listening to the voice, there was a type of silky charm. Xiao Li was stunned for a moment. He looked around before finally finding ‘Fujiang’ who he dug out, because she was just a piece of meat.
It was a small piece of minced meat with only a mouth. The colour was exactly the same as the soil and she looked like a small stone. If she hadn’t made a sound then everyone would’ve ignored her.
“It… what’s this? How can it grow so beautifully…?” Ri Yan was the first to be bewitched by Fujiang’s ability. He crouched down and reached for the piece of meat.
However, Fujiang spoke with disgust. “Don’t take me back. I want that beautiful one.”
Ri Yan, “……”
How was a piece of meat still in control? Xiao Li crouched down and picked up the piece of meat. Since the piece of meat could communicate, he asked, “Fujiang, did you make this lightless alley and cemetery?”
The piece of meat licked its lips. “You first take me back. I’ll see my mood and think about how to answer you…or, you can feed me a bit of your meat. I like raw, fresh meat the best.”
Fujiang stuck out her tongue and licked her lips as she spoke. It was like she was thinking of a feast and the people watching shuddered.
Over there, Xie Zeqing had already shared the story of Fujiang with Ri Yan. Ri Yan covered his eyes and said, “Do you really want to take her back? What if she grows into a real person and eats us in the middle of the night…”
Fujiang sneered, looking like a bossy young lady. “You are my food who came into this cemetery. Please figure out your position. If you don’t take me back, do you think you can go out?”
She hadn’t finished speaking when Xiao Li shoved her into a pocket.
Fujiang asked, “How can you treat a person like this?”
In the pocket, the doll looked down at the piece of meat stuffed inside by Xiao Li. Fujiang was still talking loudly. She thought it was noisy and placed her hair into Fujiang’s mouth, blocking the mouth of the piece of meat.
As it turned out, this was really the burial place of Fujiang. The evidence was that after Xiao Li put Fujiang away, the cemetery in front of them immediately faded away. Instead, it was the familiar corridors of the hotel. They had taken Fujiang back to the hotel.
Ri Yan sat on the carpet, breathing heavily. He used his hand to fan himself while peeking at Xiao Li’s pocket. Fujiang was still inside and they were still facing the threat of the strange story. Xiao Li pushed open the door of the room and took something out of the cupboard.
Ri Yan held the selfie stick. “Moriarty, this is…?”
He looked at the other person’s movements with a foggy face.
At the same time, Fujiang in the pocket felt like she had suffered a great insult. It was just that she didn’t have a hand at the moment and was only a piece of meat. She couldn’t spit out the doll’s hair and could only bear it.
Soon, she had grown larger than before. She was already bigger than when she was just dug out and half an eye had grown.
Fujiang thought that if she grew a head and restored her beauty from before, no one would be able to resist her beauty. She would let this group of people kill themselves, cutting off their hands and feet for her to eat.
Fujiang didn’t endure such torture for a long time. It was because someone took her out of the pocket. However, she had only felt the outside air for a few seconds when she was put into a dark place.
It was a kettle made of stainless steel. Fujiang was thrown into the bottom, making a ‘popping’ sound. The doll’s long hair had been removed from Fujiang’s mouth so she could speak loudly. She just wanted to accuse Xiao Li of hurting her when she felt something on her head. A steady stream of water was poured into this kettle.
Fujiang floated on the water. Then someone raised the kettle, plugged it in the socket and pressed the switch.
It wasn’t until the water gradually heated that she realized what had happened. This man was going to cook her!
Fujiang was unresponsive. As a strange creature, she had experienced falling in love many times. She was broken down into limbs, picked up a new host and ate the other to get nutrition for growth. Then she grew from a piece of meat to a living person. However, this was the first time someone really treated her as a piece of meat!
Soon, the rapidly rising water stunned her again. She instinctively realized that she had to do something to save herself.
Fujiang tried to jump. As a piece of meat, she managed to control herself and banged on the inside of the kettle, shouting loudly in a voice of condemnation. “Hey, I am alive. Do you have any humanity?!”
The author has something to say:
Shocking, the strange story Fujiang encountered the biggest crisis in her life!
fujiang you chose the wrong person to seduce lmao there’s a big boss behind xiao li
I’m normally a silent reader, but as a Chinese-English person I feel like I have to give my two cents here. Although the name Fujiang (富江) isn’t technically wrong, that’s actually not what the name is originally supposed to be. It’s actually just the Chinese pronunciation of the Japanese name Tomie, specifically the infamous Tomie from some of Junji Ito’s most famous works.
I really recommend readers to go check it out if you aren’t afraid of gore/body horror. At the very least, you can see what the character looks like for a better sense of immersion.