Xiao Li really hadn’t expected that it would refuse to carry him. He looked back in amazement and met Zheng Yi’s eyes.
“This…” Zheng Yi was also speechless as he pointed at the back of the bus, gulping without speaking any words. It would’ve been fine if no one went up but the problem was… Xie Zeqing succeeded in boarding and Xiao Li didn’t. What if something happened to Xie Zeqing?
Xiao Li suddenly spoke to him, “Lend me the key of your sports car.”
They care here in Zheng Yi’s sports car at his strong request. In order to park move conveniently, Zheng Yi had stopped at the intersection of this road. Zheng Yi’s face convulsed a bit. He knew Xiao Li’s meaning but he was distressed about his sports car. “Can you drive?”
“Not very well.” Xiao Li was already running in the direction of the sports car. “However, I will try my best. I’ll compensate you for any damage.”
Zheng Yi was worried a bit. “That… let me drive it. I’m afraid you won’t be able to control it.”
They ran to the sports car. Zheng Yi skillfully started the car and headed in the direction the bus had disappeared to. Just as Zheng Yi was stepping on the accelerator, Xie Zeqing stood frozen on the ghost bus.
Xiao Li didn’t come up and how come he couldn’t go down? Xie Zeqing touched his sweating arm and looked at the driver. He reluctantly squeezed outa sentence, “I… I still have friends outside. Can you wait for them?”
The driver ignored him. Spots spread over his entire body and he looked like a corpse who died at work from overwork. He held the steering wheel rigidly and when looking closely, a person would discover that he had increased the strength of his feet on the accelerator.
Xie Zeqing measured the strength of this ghost driver and decided not to do anything first. He looked around the bus and found there were only three passengers.
There was a woman in black sitting in the last row. Her loose skirt spread out like a black flower while her hand held an umbrella. The umbrella was open and covered her entire upper body. The other person was the one who grabbed Qi Zhu. The old lady stared at Xie Zeqing without blinking. The man in the back row without shoes didn’t look up. His feet were bare against the floor of the bus and he seemed to be subconsciously rubbing his toes against the seat in front of him.
No windows were open and there were no lights in the bus. On the road near midnight, only the occasional passing streetlights gave the interior a bit of light. The white light shining on the old lady’s face seemed even eerier.
Xie Zeqing shifted his gaze. He picked a back seat with no one around him and it was very close to the back door. If it didn’t work… he would just follow Qi Zhu’s example and run out when they arrived at the next station. It was just that compared to Qi Zhu, he must be a bit faster if he wanted to escape…
The old lady was obviously the evil ghost in the bus. She wanted a living person to take her spot and wouldn’t easily let Xie Zeqing go.
Xie Zeqing secretly touched a charm. He didn’t look at anyone but his body was tense as he stared out the window. Hazy raindrops hit the window and he had a type of illusion where he didn’t know if this was reality or the instance world.
It was unknown how much time passed when Xie Zeqing suddenly stretched out his neck. He wiped the fog on the window, which had condensed due to the different temperature, and stared out the window.
Behind the bus, a sports car with a bright colour approached. The top of the sports car was open, the wind blowing the hair of the driver and passenger. They were Zheng Yi and Xiao Li.
The bus driver also saw this scene from the rear-view mirror and tried to speed up, but the old and broken bus didn’t allow him to do so He could only watch the sports car firmly stick to the rear of the bus, never exceeding the bus.
In the sports car, Zheng Yi tightly clenched the steering wheel and felt his adrenaline surging. He asked Xiao Li, “Shall we catch up with it?”
“Don’t go past it. Every stop of the bus is set and it might not be able to freely stop by the side of the road. However, it will definitely stop at the next stop. Then we’ll catch up and I’ll get off.”
Zheng Yi vigorously nodded.
In his life as a Zheng son, he had done many exciting things. For example, he used his sports car to drive models to the road in the mountains for racing. Then he became a reincarnator and was focused on surviving ghosts. He never thought that he would one day drive a sports car to chase a ghost bus…
This was too incredible. Stimulated by the strong wind, Zheng Yi raised his head and screamed. Then he slowed down and maintained a safe distance from the bus.
Sitting on the bus, Xie Zeqing took a deep breath. The message he had been ready to send Xie Lingshi on his phone was deleted and he changed to an expression of sitting in danger. The car was quiet. There was only the sound of the vehicle running.
Based on Qi Zhu’s description, the next station was far away. but Xie Zeqing felt it wasn’t long before he saw the platform of the next stop. Standing at the stop was a human object. The reason he said it was a human object was because it was covered in blood and flesh. It looked like a skinned person but it was still moving as it stood at the platform.
The bus entered the platform stop. It started to slow down and open the door. The flesh and blood ‘person’ took a step forward and slowly boarded the bus.
There was a screeching sound and Zheng Yi driving the sports car stopped in front of the bus, the wheels of the sports car leaving shallow tire marks on the road. Xiao Li opened the door to get off. Zheng Yi hesitated for a moment before pulling out the key and following.
The bus driver was still expressionless but his hand was stretched out toward the closed button. It looked like he wanted to refuse to let Xiao Li on again. The problem was that compared to Xie Zeqing, the bloody person walked too slowly.
Every step left bloody footsteps and perhaps due to the lost skin, its centre of gravity was instable. Thus, it had to hold the door to walk up.
The bus driver waited for it to come up and wanted to press the close button but Xiao Li moved at an unprecedented speed. He avoided the place where the skinned person left bloody fingerprints and held the bus door with one hand, successfully boarding.
The driver’s hand pressed down on the button, closing the door. Before it could close, Xiao Li had come up and behind him was Zheng Yi.
Zheng Yi didn’t know what was going on. He hadn’t intended to come up but sitting in his car was too dangerous. He followed Xiao Li in getting off the car and subconsciously followed Xiao Li onto the bus. By the time he reacted, the door has closed and the bus circled around the sports car in front of it, driving slowly forward.
It was too late for Zheng Yi to feel regret and he could only follow Xiao Li closely. He licked his teeth nervously and followed.
The flesh and blood shadow was seated in the front row.
Xiao Li got on the bus. He calmed his heart that was beating quickly due to the run and turned to the driver. The driver was stiff and looked like a dead person as Qi Zhu described. It was just that his closing action showed he was able to think.
Xiao Li looked over the bus and couldn’t find any workers or anything. He asked the driver, “Why refuse to let me on?”
The driver, “……”
He didn’t talk but his expression was saying, ‘I didn’t refuse to carry you. My hand just shook and I stepped on the accelerator a bit more. Moriarty, don’t talk nonsense.’
Xiao Li said, “I want to complain.”
The driver, “……”
Xiao Li continued, “I know you can understand me. You must have your own reasons for not letting me on. I want to listen to your reasons.”
The driver saw that Xiao Li was still sitting next to him and spoke slowly. “The living can’t get on this bus. I have heard your name and your body has too much yang.”
Xie Zeqing who was listening to their conversation, “???”
Wasn’t he alive? Was he dead? Then the next second, he realized it was due to his physique. He was born with a ghost body and had also domesticated an evil spirit. The yin on his body was very heavy. Qi Zhu, the female student was the same. She had a yin physique and that day was a rainy day. She had some bad luck and happened to take the bus.
Xiao Li also figured this out. He reluctantly accepted this explanation and changed his question. “Where is the end point of this bus?”
The driver shook his head like he didn’t want to answer or didn’t know the answer. Perhaps it was as Xiao Li thought and here was no end terminal at all. However, if there was no end terminal, how could this bus come back so that Xiao Li and the others could get on?
Xiao Li thought for a moment before changing his way of asking, “Are the platforms here fixed or do they randomly change?”
The driver still refused to cooperate and answered in a hoarse voice, “Don’t ask me again. I don’t know anything. If you must come up then sit down. Otherwise, you will regret it.”
Regret it? What were the consequences of a living person boarding this bus? The driver was the most important part of a vehicle. If he lost control then the entire vehicle would be in trouble. Thus, Xiao Li didn’t bother him any me. He turned away from the driver and walked in Xie Zeqing’s direction. Just after he turned around, the driver was worried. He had heard about Moriarty. Even if the next thing happened, the other person seemed like he wouldn’t regret it…
Xiao Li sat beside Xie Zeqing and Zheng Yi was even more miserable. Apart from the last row, there were only two seats in the back of the bus. However, the last row had the umbrella woman who he was afraid to approach so Zheng Yi had to sit carefully behind Xiao Li.
Xie Zeqing glanced at Xiao Li’s side profile. “What is the harvest?”
“Your body has heavy yin.”
“…I know. I mean about this bus.”
Xiao Li shook his head and looked at the barefoot man on the other side. Based on Qi Zhu’s description, this ghost was relatively gentle and had good communication. It was just unknown why he didn’t get off the bus.
The bus was still running. Xiao Li got up from his seat and sat down next to the barefoot man. He asked, “Hello, where are you going?”
The man’s feet suddenly moved. He looked up at Xiao Li but didn’t speak.
Xiao Li spoke to himself, “You must’ve been sitting on this bus for a long time. Don’t you want to go down?”
The man finally opened his mouth and spoke hoarsely, “This isn’t a place you should come to. Get off as soon as possible or you will regret it.”
Regret it… why did this man and the driver say he would regret it? What exactly was the end point of this bus?
Xiao Li stopped talking as he sat back and looked out the bus window. The view outside the window was no longer familiar with him. They seemed to be in the wilderness with no moon above their head. There was no light and it was dark.
The only thing that could be heard was the sound of the bus as it slowed down and arrived at another stop. There was no broadcast about stopping at the station. The driver simply turned on the dim lights of the bus and opened the door again.
Just then, the woman sitting in the back seat stood up. She was still holding the umbrella in her hand. It touched the top of the bus but the woman still refused to let it go. She continued to walk forward, the umbrella making a loud noise as it dragged against the bus.
The umbrella woman walked past Zheng Yi. Due to this walk, Zheng Yi saw her face from the bottom up. She had only half her head and the other half was cut off and dripping blood. That’s why she was holding an umbrella. The frightening image remained in Zheng Yi’s mind but he was a reincarnator who experienced several events. He didn’t scream and instead covered his mouth to hold it back.
The lights illuminated the ground behind the back door of the bus. Xiao Li noticed that this place was a cemetery. Another ‘person’ came up the front door but this time, their appearance wasn’t seen. Only the water traces indicated that someone had boarded the bus.
Everything was dark and quiet.
After two more stops, Xiao Li was ready to step forward and talk to the old lady when the bus suddenly sped forward. In order to maintain the stability of his body, he had to hold onto the railings.
Outside the window was only a blurry shadow. He couldn’t see the place but after the bus passed a big ramp, Xiao Li felt a strong sense of weightlessness. The next second, brightness appeared in the eyes of Xiao Li and the others.
The bus at night… appeared at another place that was night but this place was lit up with many coloured lights. It seemed to be a lively place. The bus stopped. The front and back doors opened but no ghost got off.
The driver didn’t urge them but the passengers turned to stare at Xiao Li and the others. The old lady’s cloudy eyes were staring at Xiao Li but Xiao Li found there was also regret in her eyes. Regret?
Xiao Li stood up. “It’s waiting for us.”
He came to the back door of the bus and the little yellow book shook twice in his pocket like it sensed something. He touched the little yellow book but didn’t get off the bus. Outside the bus was a city station but it wasn’t Xiao Li’s city.
They were outside a tall office building that wasn’t new. On the contrary, it was very shabby like a building from Hong Kong in the 1990s. The windows and window gaps were very small and arranged together to look like an extremely depressed face.
Near the office building was a small store with colourful lights selling fried noodles and barbecue as well as various other stores. This was… another world.
Xiao Li opened the little yellow book and saw familiar words.
[A city. Every city’s exterior looks bright with towering buildings and beautiful lights. However, underneath the prosperity are secrets that are covered up. The rainwater flows down the city’s sewers into the ground and into the soil where countless bones are buried. Shh, do you hear them? They have countless stories to tell you.]
[You have come to this instance world through a hearse. The hearse is a special item and you will gain the same rights as the rest of the reincarnators.]
[You and your friends are the late-night hosts of a supernatural radio station. You have to broadcast from 00:00 to 1:00 every night while listening to the audience’s troubles. However, please pay attention to the fact that callers don’t necessarily have to be people.]
[Remaining safety time: 3 minutes.]
[Task: Find out the secrets of the audience within seven days. Go to the deepest place and destroy the truth or obey it. No matter which one you choose, it must be carried out thoroughly. Once you finish the task, you will be transmitted back to reality.]
An instance world. Sure enough, the ghost bus didn’t only shuttle through reality. It was like the ghost train that moved back and forth between various parallel instances, carrying ghosts to where they should go… or was reality just one of the parallel universes? Was it the main universe?
Xiao Li got off the bus and the others followed him. The moment he got off the bus, the bus quickly drove away from the city. The others received the same task but they didn’t see the rest of the reincarnators.
Xiao Li stood in place and waited a while. Then in front of the office building, a group of people suddenly appeared. The group was surrounded by a layer of light that reduced their sense of presence here. The passersby and hawkers didn’t notice. Other Xiao Li’s group knew because of their relationship with reincarnators.
Xiao Li pulled the other two people and they mixed in with the reincarnators, disguising themselves as just arriving. There were six people among this group of reincarnators. Xiao Li was familiar with one of them. He was tall, handsome and indifferent. It was Shen Chenzhi.
Shen Chenzhi also saw Xiao Li. He smiled at Xiao Li from afar, looking at him intently. In the last world, Shen Chenzhi had used a special item to intervene in the hotel. This time, he appeared again.
Xiao Li took back his gaze and observed the others. Apart from Shen Chenzhi, there were three Asians, a white woman and a black man. There was an Asian man with large black-rimmed glasses that almost completely obscured his entire first. As the other people looked at each other, he took the lead in speaking in English and Chinese. “My name is Kudo Shinichi, you can call me Kudo.”
Xie Zeqing had seen Kudo Shinichi once. He reluctantly raised his hand and greeted the other person. “Kudo, I didn’t expect to see you again.”
Kudo pushed up his black-rimmed glasses. “Yanluo.”
He was high on the reincarnator rankings and had done business with the Xie family, so he had seen the other person in reality. Apart from Kudo, there was another Asian woman who looked young. Her short hair was combed tightly to her head, making her facial features look very masculine. “Lin Qili.”
The last Asian person was a middle-aged man with a short beard and some chubbiness. “I am Chu He and I’m used to acting alone. However, this instance looks very big. We should try to support each other.”
The white woman was very beautiful with white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Her blonde hair was tied in a beautiful ponytail behind her head. “Alice.”
“Will.” The black man shrugged.
The rest of them reported their names but once it came to Xiao Li, he glanced between Zheng Yi and Xie Zeqing and finally said, “Call me Hercule.”
In this situation, he would be entangled with the other two for a long time if he used either Sherlock or Moriarty. For convenience, he could only change to a third identity. Once he reported his name, Zheng Yi and Xie Zeqing glanced at him.
Xie Zeqing was stunned. Xiao Li had a second identity? Why use the name Hercule now? Was it because of Shen Chenzhi? There seemed to be something wrong between them previously…
Zheng Yi wondered about Xiao Li’s second identity. He didn’t use Sherlock so did this mean he was guarding against the person next to him? After all, Yanluo seemed a bit hostile to Sherlock…
Kudo spoke first. “I like your name, Detective.”
Xiao Li smiled. “Your name is also very interesting.”
Alice couldn’t understand their words. She looked at her task book and introduced the main topic in fluent English. “This task description is very strange. Destroy or obey, it needed to be done thoroughly…”
Xiao Li had encountered this type of selection task before. It happened in the forbidden zone but it was actually done by the god of lies.
Now that their choices were revealed, Xiao Li didn’t think it was the style of the god of lies.
Kudo habitually pushed his glasses up his nose. “Based on the task description, we will meet radio listeners who are ghosts and people. There is a huge secret hidden among them. We must discover the truth of this secret and then make a decision.”
Lin Qili glanced at her watch. “It is 11:30. We have to broadcast live on the radio at midnight so let’s enter first.”
No one disagreed. The three minutes of safety time passed but this time, there was no introductory CG. It seemed that there were no plot characters. They walked into the office building.
The office building was very dilapidated and narrow. The front desk had no one at this time and the lights were dark. Fortunately, they had flashlights and found the broadcasting company of the late-night radio described in the task book on the 14th floor based on the signs in the hall.
Ito held up a flashlight. “The floors are very high and it is inconvenient to escape.”
Xie Zeqing agreed. “If we meet a ghost, it is easy to fall from a window to our deaths.”
Zheng Yi touched his arms. “Can you not say these words? I’m a bit scared listening to them.”
It was now 10 minutes until midnight. According to the task law, the probability of meeting ghosts wasn’t very high so they chose to take the elevator.
The 14th floor of the building had a lot of debris. There were many companies on this floor although some had closed down or moved. There were only three companies with no debris and the late-night station was one of them.
The door of the company was unlocked.
The reincarnators pushed open the door and entered the tiny office.
The moonlight outside the window shone through the dark clouds onto the floor. Zheng Yi turned on the lights but the entire office only had a yellow light bulb, exuding a light that seemed like it was going out.
Talking live on radio wasn’t difficult. The people present had no experience in this regard but most of the buttons had their names written and there was even an operating guide.
Lin Yuli delved into it, and took the initiative to ask: “I’ll come first.” “
Generally speaking, the first person had advantages and disadvantages. The ghosts wouldn’t attack the reincarnators but it was possible that the first person would be attacked first. No one could be sure.
Once the clock hand pointed to 12, she pushed several buttons at the same time, turning on the first radio broadcast.
The author has something to say:
* Hercule Poirot, the lead character in Agatha Christie’s detective series and a famous detective.