IWBL: Chapter 20

Xu Ying looked at him dumbly.

Xiao Li continued, “You know the truth. Then what?”

Xu Ying didn’t speak but she already understood the meaning of the other person. Even if she already knew the truth here, the task wasn’t completed because the so-called ghost game hadn’t begun.

A basin of cold water was poured on Xu Ying’s excited heart. She pulled away the hair that was stuck to the side of her cheek and quickly adjusted her mind, changing her tone. “You are right, the truth doesn’t mean anything. You are also a smart person and we can work together. To show sincerity, I will tell you the truth that I know first.”

Next, she told her speculation about the orphanage and it was exactly the same as what Xiao Li thought.

The orphanage during the day was what it used to be and these traces faded away during the year. The nighttime was the real orphanage.

Zhu Fei sponsored the orphanage and secretly used it to do some illegal activities. They took the orphans who caught their eye to the counselling room to check them, doing experiments secretly. If they had good looks or were a suitable match, they took the children out of the orphanage in the name of ‘adoption’ and sent them to luxurious houses or hospitals of the rich.

For the information in the counselling room, those with triangular mark were suitable for matching. After being discharged, they would be taken to the corresponding black market. Those with a tick mark were seen by the rich and regarded as a plaything.

Under Zhu Fei’s long-term manipulation, the Fengcheng Orphanage formed an industrial chain underground that brought him huge benefits—until the dead spirits returned.

The ghosts turned the orphanage into another hell.

“It is just that until now, there hasn’t been the ghost game mentioned in task two.” Xu Ying glanced at Xiao Li and thought about what the other person said previously. “Did you say that you played Five in a Row with a ghost previously? Is this the ghost game? Do we have to go out alone and risk our lives?”

Xiao Li shook his head. “If this counts then I would’ve already returned to reality.”

“Yes, the task isn’t that simple.” Xu Ying spoke with some disappointment. “Do you have any ideas about this place?”

Xiao Li raised a finger and spat out a syllable. “Wait.”

The first day they entered, it could be called calm. The next day, there was the counselling room. The task couldn’t let they delay until the fifth day so there should be a wave of killings tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Xu Ying still wanted to say something but Xiao Li left the reading room without looking back.

The mobile phone here had no signal and there was no way to play games. Xiao Li just wanted to rest earlier.

This night was destined to be unsettling. The selected reincarnators who were selected died in the hands of the ghosts and those who escaped were taken away by monsters in the fog. There weren’t many people who could safely return to their dormitory and shut the door. Even so, they had to endure the strange movements in the room for the rest of the night.

Many people stayed up all night and it was only when the sky brightened and everything returned to normal that they fell asleep.

They couldn’t have thought that on the third day, the so-called ghost game would begin.

During the third night, there was a voice that was heard by everyone. “Today, let’s play a game. Everyone, play together.”

“We will play… hide and seek? I will count for 300 seconds and you can just hide. I will find you one by one. The people I catch will stay with me, okay?”

The voice was cold and young, with a bit of hoarseness. Xiao Li heard it and realized that it sounded a lot like the boy’s voice in the reading room, only a lot colder.

At this moment, the endless fog became thicker and even drifted into the rooms, rendering everything in the colour of despair and fear.

This was bound to be a time-consuming game. The ghost didn’t give an end time and it was almost impossible to complete the task until the five day deadline.

On the playground of the orphanage, in the endless fog, a small figure stood, covering his eyes and shouting loudly, “One, two, three…”

The reincarnators in the dormitory were agitated. Some fled in panic and some quickly ran to a place they had thought about. In the last room on the first floor, the little fat man was flustered and opened the wardrobe, trying to hide himself inside.

Xiao Li stood to the side and watched for a while until the fat man completely hid his body inside the wardrobe. His body was even covered with the stinky blood on the walls. Xiao Li asked, “You will hide here?”

The little fat man reached out for the door and spoke solemnly, “The most dangerous place is the safest place. This is the dormitory and the place where the CG movie took place. It is very conspicuous and safe! The last time I stayed where I was, the ghosts didn’t come back and I lived!”

Sun Ang hesitated. “You… would you like to come in with me?”

The moment his voice fell, he saw the doll that had been in Xiao Li’s pocket show the head. The terrible eyes still surrounded him in his nightmare. The little fat man scolded himself for daring to be kind and immediately shook his head. “Forget it, you can’t squeeze in here, haha.”

Xiao Li, “…”

He closed the door of Sun Ang’s wardrobe without any expression and walked out the dormitory.

Hide and seek…

Could they really play a game of hide and seek with a ghost?

Moreover, the duration was so long. Humans always needed to eat, drink and sleep. If the ghost was invincible and the humans had to win in hide and seek, how was it possible to win? How could they avoid being caught by ghosts?

The dormitory, counselling room, toy room, canteen, reading room…

The places flashed in front of Xiao Li but he crossed them out. He always felt he was missing something but he couldn’t remember. Xiao Li stopped to think for a while before finally walking towards the building.

In this situation, the little yellow book was tireless. 【 Hide and seek isn’t fun. If you want to play then we can play something more fun. 】

【 Like bed games. 】

【 I think so. 】

However, Xiao Li felt this wasn’t possible. The dark-haired child didn’t stop. He walked lightly in the darkness like a dexterous cat.

“56, 57, 58…”

The number in the ghost’s mouth kept increasing. It echoed in the empty courtyard and there seemed to be an invisible force increasing its voice, making it enter the ears of everyone, making them more anxious to find their own hiding place.

In the boundless panic and fear, some people chose to hide in the toilet cubicle, some chose to stuff themselves into small cabinets and some chose the corner of a quiet and uninhabited room.

“…298, 299, 300.”

Once the number 300 was reached, the small figure on the playground put down the hands covering its eyes and swooped towards the building.

*******************

Inside the main building’s utility room, there was a small box hidden under a pile of blood-stained clothing full of dust.

A man was squeezed into the box.

His hands and feet were curled up together and his entire body was bowed into an almost impossible arc. Due to this distorted posture, he felt a dull pain from the curved part. It was like a needle and the pain kept increasing with time. However, he didn’t dare to go outside and didn’t dare to move. He just had to bear it. Hiding in such a place, no matter how hard the ghost looked, it surely wouldn’t find him.

The man thought like this, breathing slowly while enduring the sting. As time passed by, he seemed to hear some movements that made him nervous. He hadn’t be found, he surely wasn’t going to be found. It was just the traces of the wind or someone else passing by.

Despite this, it wasn’t as he wished. The friction of the clothes moving was getting closer and closer to him and seemed to be… entering this room. Then after entering the room, there was no movement.

The man in the box stayed quiet for a while until he couldn’t hold it anymore. He wanted to open the box and breathe. He had just squeezed himself out of the box with great effort when he looked up and saw a pale face.

It belonged to a child who looked at the man coming out of the box. “Caught you. You lost.”

The same thing was happening in the canteen.

There was a reincarnator who chose to hide in the soup barrel of the canteen’s kitchen. The iron barrel was very large and he was thin. He could perfectly hide himself while suffering from something different.

At the beginning, he was somewhat proud of his choice but then he soon heard a loud noise. Someone kicked down the iron barrel where he was hiding, creating a loud noise. He lay on the ground and before he could climb out of the iron barrel, he saw a nightmarish face. “You lost.”

*********************

On the other side, near a toilet on one floor, there was a child with pimples on his face. He was desperately panting and sweat fell down his face. If the muscular man wasn’t dead then he would recognize this person as the one who pushed him towards the ghost.

The pimple man was followed by a person who was his partner in action. They had been hiding in the vicinity of the utility room and once they heard the screams from the utility room, they shifted their positions.

It was just that they couldn’t shake off the footsteps behind them. The ghost followed them not far away, playing with them like a cat catching a mouse. They couldn’t go on like this. The pimple man stretched out a hand to the man beside him, pushing him mercilessly to the ghost behind them. He ignored the astonished eyes and madly turned the corner.

‘Don’t blame him,’ the pimple man thought. ‘It is stupid to form a team in such a world.’

The ghost caught the reincarnator who had fallen towards him. “You lost.”

The pimple man took the opportunity to shake off the ghost. He ran very far and only stopped to hold his knees and gasp. “It seems this method is quite useful. I have to find another one to die in my place…”

He rearranged his clothes and went back up the stairs.

Perhaps he was lucky. In the corridor in front of the stairwell, he saw a strange figure. He instantly rushed up to the figure and said, “Are you also looking for a hiding place? Let’s go together? I know a good place.”

That figure was Xiao Li. Xiao Li moved sideways, avoiding the hand that the other person wanted to grab him with and shaking his head.

“In this place, we should help each other. Little brother, don’t be so cold.” The pimple man said with a smile.

His smile made Xiao Li feel sick for some reason and he declared coldly, “Go away.”

“You—” The pimple man still wanted to say something when he heard footsteps that made him feel scared. His eyes were red and he had no time to care for anything else. He directly reached out to pull this person’s arm, trying to repeat his skill.

His speed was too fast and Xiao Li couldn’t react. However, the doll in his pocket was very quick to react. She extended a hand. The original small arm that emerged from the pocket turned into the size of a real person and directly held the pimple man by the neck, throwing him in the direction of the footsteps.

Xiao Li didn’t stop. He thoughtfully touched the little head of the doll in his pocket and bypassed the ghost from the front. He didn’t want to meet the ghost until he thought of a solution.

Hide and seek, an orphanage. What had he ignored?

Unlike other people who wanted to find a place to hide, Xiao Li walked down the corridor, passing one door after another. As he passed the counselling room, he paused for a moment before he quickly moved away from the closed door.

If Xiao Li was forced to choose a place to hide, he would choose the counselling room. It was for no reason other than being the place where the children were examined. If the raging ghosts here were really the souls of the orphans then they might be afraid due to the lingering fear from the counselling room.

It was just like Xu Ying, who chose to hide inside it at this time. She was kneeling under the chair behind the screen, trying to narrow her sense of presence while listening to the slightest movement outside the door. The moment that footsteps stalled outside the door, Xu Ying felt her internal organs twisting together.

However, this wasn’t Xiao Li’s destination. He wanted to go to the toy room to see if the invisible ghost was still there. He passed the counselling room and arrived at the door of the toy room. As always, the toys were piled up but the teddy bear had disappeared.

Xiao Li called out to it a few times but there were no movements. So..

Was it also playing the game of hide and seek?

In the game of hide and seek, the ghosts were the ghosts and reincarnators were people. The rule was that the people couldn’t be caught by ghosts and needed to avoid the ghosts. Once they were caught, they would lose. If they wanted to win, they could only successfully hide…

Hide.

Passively hiding was the reincarnator’s first mission and they had to survive a week. Then there must be something else that corresponded to task two. Winning the game, was that the opposite of hiding—actively attacking?

Changing positions between a ghost and person, why couldn’t people be ghosts? The game could be changed. According to the rules, the two sides were equal. Just before the ghost caught him, propose a rule change and let the person be the ‘ghost. Then catch the ghost and he could win.

Xiao Li’s lips curved and he spoke to himself in the mirror of the toy room, “Next, let’s go find it.”

It was just that in this empty building, it wasn’t easy to find a ghost. Xiao Li picked out a squeaking chicken from the pile of toys. The squeaking chicken’s ability to make noise was first class.

In this quiet night, Xiao Li rubbed the squeaking chicken and walked back along his path, leaving deep shadows and doubts in the reincarnators hiding around him. Under the effort of the squeaking chicken, Xiao Li saw a shadow in front of him. He threw the squeaking chicken in his hand and immediately said, “Wait a minute, I want to exchange roles. I will be the ghost and you will be the person. I will catch you.”

The actions of the opposite ghost suddenly stopped and he didn’t directly catch Xiao Li. Xiao Li instantly knew that his speculation was correct. Xiao Li continued, “I will countdown from three. Three, two, one—”

As the ghost looked surprised, Xiao Li closed his eyes, quickly finished the countdown and grabbed the opposite side’s wrist. “I caught you.”

The black-haired child revealed a smile in his eyes that was as bright as another world. He once again said, “I won.”

The ghost whose arm was grabbed stared straight at him. It hadn’t been exposed to a person’s body temperature for a long time and some images flashed through his pupils that had no whites. Xiao Li felt that he had fallen into a long memory clip and glimpsed some of the past of this ghost.

This was a very gloomy and introverted little boy. He was called Zhou Ying and he lived here when he was very young. He always had long bangs that made people shrink back with fear. Thus, he didn’t have many friends and there were only two children willing to play with him. One of them was Ni Ke.

Zhou Ying’s sense of existence wasn’t strong. Apart from the occasionally beating by the educators, the adults selectively ignored him. He liked to read books and always quietly found a corner to read in. Therefore, he found some clues. Those who were adopted never came back.

One time, he was under the window of the counselling room, hugging a book and bowing his head as he heard the crying and struggling sounds coming from inside.

At that time, a little girl had been crying and struggling. “Let me go, Teacher, I am in pain.”

He sneaked in, was thrown out by Teacher Wang, locked up for three days without any food and almost starved to death.

The news that Zhou Ying made a big mistake was publicized and he was alienated even more. They never took him when they were playing games. Zhou Ying was very young. He might like to read but he also loved to play. Now no one accompanied him to play.

Only Ni Ke and another child there were willing to keep in contact with him. However, fate was forever absurd and bad luck turned on Ni Ke. Zhou Ying tried to tell the other person the truth but Ni Ke didn’t believe him. She happily followed the teacher and there was no more news about her.

Zhou Ying knew this matter so he was always regarded as an insecure factor by the higher-ups. During a fire drill, Teacher Wang used an excuse to lock him in the toy room. No one came to rescue him and he died of hunger and exhaustion. He turned into a ghost and returned for revenge.

The little yellow book once again appeared in the air. The golden thin lines intertwined around Zhou Ying and an image belonging to the little boy appeared on the cover next to Tan Li.

【 The reincarnator Xiao Li has completed the original task two, evaluation level S. The task completion is 800% and successfully copied the ghost Zhou Ying. 1,000 survivor coins have been obtained.  】

【 Scenario conversion. 】

【 3, 2, 1—】

【 I can too. 】

【 Why don’t you look for me? 】

【 A little… jealous. 】

The little yellow book put away the golden g light and the ghost while Xiao Li’s figure disappeared in place. No one knew that in the dean’s room of the orphanage, a figure was sitting on the sofa. The man’s gaze looked through the building and directly glimpsed the scene. He played with his fingers, lips curved up in a faint arc, but the smile didn’t reach the bottom of his eyes.

—This person was still so popular.

First one instance and then another one. It was a good thing but—the blood in his bones was cold. He didn’t just want to obtain this person, he wanted to monopolize the person. In the cold room, something appeared.


The author has something to say:

Tan Li: I occupy the left pocket and the big boss occupies the right pocket. You can find a place yourself.

Zhou Ying: …(suddenly shaking).

**********

P.S. the orphanage has two types of clearance methods for ordinary reincarnators.

1. Passively avoid the ghost in the counselling room. It is just like Xiao Li mentioned. He would choose this place because the ghosts were killed here and felt fear. It was okay to hide here until the last day.
2. Take the initiative to go out to negotiate. Propose to change the rules before the ghost catch people and become the seeker.

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