IWBL: Chapter 221

Under the threat of the split-mouthed woman’s scissors, the writer ghost released his hand and widened the distance with the laptop. During the period of leaving the scissors, its fist was still moving up and down like it was constantly complimenting the beauty of the split-mouthed woman.

The giant scissors moved slightly and the writer ghost pressed the side of the scissors with its right hand. The split-mouthed woman used a bit of force and impatiently tried to withdraw her weapon. She was preparing to leave.

However, before she left, she thought of Sherlock’s words and the tip of her scissors moved slightly. The writer ghost put its hands together in horror. The index fingers intersected and a thumb was pressed against a thumb. It was asking the split-mouthed woman to have a heart.

The split-mouthed woman, “……”

There was a click and she cut off the long nail of the writer’s middle finger. The white debris fell to the carpet while the middle finger was so short that it looked out of place with the other fingers. The split-mouthed woman didn’t seem interested in taking a guest role as a manicure artist. Thus, she only cut off the nail of the middle finger before disappearing from the room.

As the writer ghost was stroking its middle finger with its other hand, Xiao Li pulled the laptop in front of him. The interface on the computer screen was still opened to the web version of the novel ‘He and She.’ The writer ghost had been replying to comments previously.

He moved the mouse, clicked on the author’s backend area and entered the novel’s editing interface. The novel was still on the last chapter that was just updated. The strange thing was that the author ID in the backend was blank. He didn’t know if this was Zui Tian’s own setting or some type of hint.

Xiao Li clicked into the ‘update new chapter’ page and a dialog box for adding a new article popped up. He placed his hands on the keyboard but didn’t type anything.

Wang Huai was busy taking photos of the self-pitying writer over to the side. Compared to this bigshot’s photography habit that suddenly awakened, Ye Lingshi and the others were more concerned about whether they could leave the house or not. Ye Lingshi lay down on the table, looked at the scene and asked tentatively, “Are you going to continue writing?”

Xiao Li replied, “Yes, if this is the world of the novel then writing with the original author’s account is the simplest way to end things.”

“Then why don’t you hurry up and write?” Ye Ziye urged. He gave an example of an ending. “Just writing down the following. For example, the administrators successfully found a solution and left Xiao Wu’s house.”

“It must have a reasonable plot development so that the outcome isn’t so abrupt….”

Xiao Li habitually tapped on the keyboard before following up on the last chapter by writing: [After reading these strange and distant comments, Kou Tian smiled but he felt a trace of loneliness.

An idea suddenly emerged in his heart. He didn’t want to let others continue to write his novel. It felt like his child was taken away by a stranger and the child only recognized the stranger. He wanted to continue writing according to his own ideas.

This type of thinking was so strong that even if Kou Tian knew that he wasn’t as good as the stranger, he still chose to open the next chapter and write:

“The administrators who replaced Xiao Wu entered the room but they didn’t give up. They looked for ways to survive. In fact, the way to survive was very simple. It was—”

Kou Tian wrote up to here before getting stuck. After all, this Xiao Wu’s story wasn’t written by him. It was the unfamiliar second writer so his already rigid thinking couldn’t match the other person’s thoughts at all.

The best choice was to give up on updating but Kou Tian was stubbornly committed this time. He had to update. In the end, he forcibly found a reason that wasn’t right and would even cause him to be scolded for being illogical. He wrote:

“It was about breaking Xiao Wu’s cycle, cutting off the Mobius ring, exerting influence on the author and influencing me. Thus, they managed to leave the room.”

Kou Tian pressed the update button and set the chapter to be released in five minutes.]

***

Xiao Li finished writing and set his chapter to be published five minutes later. He exited the backend. “Wait and see.”

Sun Jiaming hit himself on the back of the head. “I am going to be confused by these Kou Tian, Zui Tian and Xiao Wu. I have a feeling of how great the Chinese language is.”

“What about this writer ghost?” Ye Lingshi straightened up and glanced at the hands that had been detached from the laptop. The writer ghost clasped its hands together and made a gesture of worship to spiritually shake the reincarnators in front of it.

Bang!

At this moment, the glass of water filled by Xiao Wu and placed on the edge of the table suddenly fell to the ground with a loud noise. The water splashed and the glass fragments scattered on the ground.

Ye Lingshi’s expression changed. “The invisible guest in Xiao Wu’s house is still here?”

“Leave it alone and wait for five minutes.” Ye Ziye waited wholeheartedly for the update of the novel. Under their anxious waiting, five minutes passed and the chapter was released.

Xiao Li reached out to touch the laptop but this time the laptop seemed to have crashed. It was stuck on the previous page and wouldn’t move no matter how much he tapped. He was about to give up and call Wang Huai over when the laptop crashed and the screen went black. Simultaneously, the writer ghost next to them disappeared just like Xiao Wu.

Ye Lingshi couldn’t help getting a bad feeling when he saw this. He quickly lowered his head and took out his phone to enter the novel page.

[NO.1 Netizen Did Zui Tian Update Today’s Comment: A third update today? Is this still my Zui Tian who never adds more updates every day?]

The comments below were filled with shocked faces. Ye Lingshi purchased the content of this chapter. He clicked in and quickly read through it. Then he declared solemnly, “The content has changed.”

It was completely different from the chapter that Xiao Li had posted from the backend. After it was sent out, it looked like it was written. The chapter update on the mobile phone looked like this:

[Kou Tian looked at his novel in surprise. He found that the second writer actually did a third update. He lay on his bed with anticipation and read through the third update expectantly:

The administrators who entered the house to replace Xiao Wu encountered difficulties. They could feel the dwindling time. Unlike Xiao Wu, they had more experience in dealing with a situation like this.

The leaders tried to find a way out of the loop. They were hopeful but they failed as they approached success. They sat in the living room and frustration spread.

Just then, the doorbell rang.

Once, twice… it broke the silence.

One of the young men wearing glasses came to the door with a panicked expression.

This was an old-fashioned house and there was no peephole on the wooden door. He couldn’t see outside so he could only boldly ask, “Who is it?”

There was no response.

He communicated with the rest of the administrators for a moment and finally decided to open the door a small gap. He looked through the gap. Nothing was outside. Only the iron door that was previously closed and the thick layer of dust in front of the door…

Wrong!

There was one thing that didn’t exist before. It was the row of footprints that appeared on this layer of dust! Someone was standing at the door. ‘He’ rang the doorbell but he couldn’t be seen.

The young man with glasses was taken aback. He quickly closed the door and said something to his companions.

He was worried after closing the door. There was always the illusion that the house was invaded. Still, thinking about it, this should just be an illusion. He hadn’t opened the door widely at all. It was so small that the guests outside shouldn’t be able to enter.

These administrators couldn’t see that a group of invisible guests had entered the house. They were sitting or standing while listening to them. The administrators were even less likely to know that these invisible guests were actually themselves.

In the dead silence, the invisible guests got up from the sofa. ‘They’ accidentally knocked down the table and one of them fell hard on the glass, but it didn’t matter. ‘They’ were ready to go to bed.

Administrators, please read my advice clearly. You must be careful or you will become you when ‘they’ wake up.]

***

Wang Huai saw the last sentence and raised an eyebrow. “It is a change in perspective.”

The story perspective changed from third person to second person. It proved that the ghost story was written by someone still hiding behind the scenes and observing them in secret.

The only person present wearing glasses was Ye Ziye. He saw that he appeared in the update of the novel and habitually pushed up his glasses. “Then will a doorbell ring next? If we don’t open the door, can they still come in?”

Ye Lingshi told him, “I think it is useless. As long as the author updates a chapter and says these guests will teleport then they will appear in front of us—”

Before he could finish, he heard a loud doorbell sound!

Ye Ziye stared at the wooden door hesitantly as if his vision could penetrate it. “Should I go?”

Before he could say anything else, Xiao Li stood up and went straight over to pull open the wooden door. The wooden door hit the wall and bits of the wall from toward the top of his head.

“Welcome.” He stretched out his tone and the ending sound went upward. It was light and ominous.

Ye Ziye, “……”

There was no one at the door. Only the footprints in the dust proved the arrival of these guests. Xiao Li silently counted to five and closed the door. Then he asked the air in a tone of false enthusiasm, “Would you like some tea?”

“You won’t drink? Okay, drink it on your own.” He acted out a one-man show and it was very realistic.

Even Ye Lingshi couldn’t help wondering, “…Did you really see them?”

“No,” Xiao Li answered. “Still, guests have come. It would be impolite not to entertain them.”

He sat back down on the sofa. Not long after, time passed and a huge noise was heard on the way to the master bedroom from the living room. The entire table was knocked to the ground and there was the sound of an object hitting the floor!

Everyone reflected on the plot in the novel.

An invisible guest had fallen down.

Ye Lingshi watched this scene. He jumped up, holding an amulet in his hand but not using it without authorization. He maintained this posture and sweat was dripping on his forehead as he asked Xiao Li, “Do you want to stop them from falling asleep?”

Or should they prevent their invisible selves from entering the room?

The uninvited guests didn’t cry out with pain so the reincarnators didn’t know their exact location. Xiao Li bypassed the glass fragments and the overturned table. He opened the door of the master bedroom, walked in and pressed the light switch on the wall.

The master bedroom was twice as large as the second bedroom. The most conspicuous thing was the double bed in the centre. He hadn’t seen it clearly before due to the lighting problem. It was only now that he discovered the sheets and quilt were all white.

An ordinary person’s bedsheets and quilt cover were usually a bit colourful, not to mention the girlish Sailor Moon bed sheets in the second bedroom. Even an old lady would have the corresponding old-fashioned floral pattern. However, the main bedroom’s bedsheets were white.

In front of Xiao Li’s eyes, the original flat sheets gradually protruded out like a balloon. Soon, a ‘human’ shaped object lay stiffly under the quilt. There wasn’t the spectacular scene of five people lying in a row like Wang Huai mentioned. There was only one person. The other guests remained invisible and only one chose to go to bed.

Ye Lingshi followed Xiao Li and approached the bed. He saw the figure on the bed becoming more distinct while the room became colder. It was as if this was…

A morgue. They were standing in a morgue and the body in front of them was covered in a white cloth that symbolized death. Beneath the white cloth was one of them.

As Ye Lingshi was thinking this, Xiao Li reached out and lifted the white cloth without hesitation. It was Ye Ziye’s face that appeared in front of everyone.

Under the white quilt, Ye Ziye didn’t wear his distinctive glasses. His eyes were closed tightly and he looked serene. Even the acne scars on his nose were restored. This was Ye Ziye himself. Even if he stood next to the bed, they couldn’t distinguish any differences. This person who looked exactly like Ye Ziye had no breathing and no heartbeat. He was lying on the bed and was cold all over.

“This is me…?! The next one to die is me?” Ye Ziye tried his best to control his emotions and swallowed down the whimper in his throat. He comforted himself, “It doesn’t matter. We still have time. We can leave.”

Ye Lingshi came to him and hugged the junior of his family. “Calm down.”

Ye Ziye nodded. He was a senior reincarnator. He never thought he would fall in reality but he had to face it. He rubbed his nose. “Since we know it is me, what should we do? Try to wake him up?”

Xiao Li walked to the other side of the bed and opened the closet. Then he closed it.

Sun Jiaming’s face wasn’t good as he stood by the bed. “He isn’t asleep. He is dead. Can a corpse fall asleep? How can we wake up a corpse?”

Ye Ziye was originally trying his best to be calm. Now that he heard this, his voice trembled. “Then am I dead?”

“I don’t think we can do anything to this corpse.” Wang Huai added fuel to the fire. He reached out a hand to measure its breath and then pulled the quilt over its head. “After all, what we do to it now will be returned to you tomorrow.”

He added, “Of course, if we are still here.”

“IS there no solution?” Ye Ziye gripped the door frame tightly to support himself and prevent himself from falling down. “There must be a way—”

He wanted to say ‘the instance won’t arrange an absolutely unsolvable task’ only to remember that this was reality. It wasn’t an instance with a task. Everything that happened in reality was still unknown.

On the one hand, the ghosts in reality hadn’t experienced as much and weren’t as resentful as they were in the instance. On the other hand, there were no restrictions here. The young man turned pale and the lines on both sides of his cheeks became deeper.

Apart from their voices, there was no outside noise in the room. The bird’s singing and the natural circulation of the air couldn’t be heard. This was an independent and enclosed environment. It was so quiet that people could almost hear their own ringing in their ear.

They were discussing it while Xiao Li rummaged through the closet and other places. He bent down and was about to look under the bed when the mobile phone on his body vibrated suddenly. He was already in this position with his knees on the floor, so he first glanced under the bed. Then he turned on the screen and found that it was a message from Shen Chenzhi.

Shen Chenzhi: [I’ll pick you up.]

Above this message, Shen Chenzhi expressed dissatisfaction that the little black cat was sleeping on Xiao Li’s bed: [Does he often sleep in here like this?]

The reply was the message that Xiao Li had sent while waiting for a taxi. He said he was coming to Shili Road with other people to deal with a supernatural incident, lest Shen Chenzhi couldn’t find him and ran to wait for him downstairs in the cold wind.

But…

Could he receive messages from outside here? There was absolutely no signal in an instance.

Xiao Li: [No, I’ll be back soon.]

He clicked send and put away his phone. Then he looked back and found that Wang Huai’s face was in close proximity to him. He almost hit this person. Xiao Li leaned back to avoid hitting Wang Huai’s nose. His elbow firmly hit the ground and he sucked in a breath from the pain. “What are you doing?”

Wang Huai reached out and pulled him up. “I was seeing what you were doing. What is your guilty conscience? Your reaction was so big. Is it your boyfriend?”

“…He isn’t a boyfriend.”

Wang Huai was obviously happy to blacken himself and he spoke with dedication, “Do you think I will believe it? What if this matter is spread out again? You met me at night and accidentally became involved in this incident while your boyfriend waits foolishly for you outside.”

“You also didn’t mention me. This is avoiding suspicion.”

Xiao Li, “……”

There was a brief silence before he tried to get the topic back on track. “I am looking for something.”

“What is it?” It was Ye Ziye who spoke. He was the most anxious and the one most concerned about a solution.

Xiao Li’s eyes searched every inch of the master bedroom. “I don’t know. Perhaps a computer, a notebook or a pen. However, it is certainly related to the novel.”

“What do you mean?”

Xiao Li’s hands didn’t stop. He opened a drawer and poured out all the odds and ends. He found a few ballpoint pens, a hair tie and sunscreen.

“I said it before. The point isn’t how to wake up the guest who looks like you. It is the novel.”

“I have divided the novel into three layers.”

“The first layer is reality. It is the novel by the author Zui Tian and the update of ‘He and She’ that we have been seeing on our phones.”

“The second layer is the horror novel updated after the return of ‘He and She.’ The protagonist in it is Kou Tian. Kou Tian had an invisible guest in his house and he wrote a novel inspired by it. This attracted the writer who continued it.”

“We can venture a guess that the so-called second writer is actually the original author, Zui Tian.”

“The third layer is the novel written by Kou Tian. It is the world written by the second writer and is about the existence of Xiao Wu. This is the bottom and inner layer.”

“If Xiao Wu also wrote novels then perhaps we would see a fourth or fifth layer. Fortunately, there are only three layers.”

“It is just that these three layers are all in the same place, this house. Zui Tian writes in this house, Kou Tian is also in the house and Xiao Wu even more so.”

“However, these layers aren’t fixed and they will float randomly over time, just like when we first saw Xiao Wu and her two corpses in the master bedroom. We were in the third layer.” Xiao Li spoke slowly. He finished searching the master bedroom and went to the second bedroom. “We found that Xiao Wu appeared in Zui Tian’s update and she suddenly disappeared. Then we entered the second layer. The master bedroom had no corpses and Kou Tian was replying to his comments on the laptop.”

“As for why Kou Tian only had a pair of hands, you will have to ask Zui Tian. Perhaps it is to make up for his regret of writing too slowly so he set Kou Tian to be a typing machine ghost.” Xiao Li speculated without any proof. “Getting back to the subject, we shuttled through the three layers of the novel but there must be one thing accompanying us. It is Zui Tian himself or the item he used to write the novel…”

He spoke up to here and Ye Ziye suddenly became excited. He followed Xiao Li in searching through the room. Compared with Xiao Li, his actions were much ruder. The storage boxes in the second bedroom were directly opened and dumped on the bed. He even searched the toilet, the toilet paper, the reading materials in the toilet, the kitchen and more. Tan Li even rolled up a stack of A4 paper with her hair and put it aside after seeing Xiao Li shake his head.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

Two hours passed. The old house wasn’t that big and the five people searched through every inch of it, almost lifting the mattress. The most suspected laptop and old-fashioned notebook were examined many times.

Ye Ziye was frustrated. “Could it be that we are going in the wrong direction?”

He placed the blame on all of them instead of attributing it to Sherlock.

Xiao Li grabbed his hair and sat cross-legged on the chilly floor. He unlocked his phone and when he refreshed the webpage, he found that Zui Tian had added another chapter five seconds ago!

[NO. 1 Netizen’s Comment: Damn, four updates today. Is this really that weak and broken Zui Tian?]

[NO. 2 Netizen’s Comment: Although this chapter is very short. It only costs 1 coin.]

Update content:

[It has been a long time but the administrators are still looking for the so-called key item in the old house. They are looking for coordinates but do the coordinates really exist?

Or does it only exist in a place they will never find?

They are wasting time. Daylight is getting closer and the uninvited guest on the bed will wake up. Once he wakes up, one of them will sleep instead of him.

—Forever.]

Ye Ziye gripped his phone as he started searching more frantically.

A place they would never find.

Xiao Li didn’t move. He repeated this sentence in his heart until suddenly, it was like lightning flashing through the night. He suddenly understood where the so-called coordinates were. He waved to the others. “Take out your task book and your phones.”

“Why?” Sun Jiaming asked blankly.

“In the integration of several layers of space, there is something that is a zero axis. It won’t waver and is almost never found. Ourselves.”

“If Zui Tian is on us…” Xiao Li didn’t finish.

The others had already pulled out their task books and mobile phones. Xiao Li searched through them one by one. Finally, he held down Sun Jiaming’s task book and pulled out a piece of paper.

The paper was very similar to the paper that came with the task book. It was even more difficult to distinguish once it was inserted into the book. However, after being pulled out like this, handwriting constantly appeared and was erased. It looked like a sheet of blank paper.

The moment this paper was pulled out, the entire house went through a subtle change. Air started to circulate and there was the sound of a car passing by outside the window. A light blue halo came from the paper in Xiao Li’s hand. It was unreal and was as if some type of illusion had penetrated into his pocket.

The piece of paper wanted to use this to run but it was held firmly by Xiao Li. “Do you want it?”

He asked the others.

“No no no.” Ye Ziye shook his head wildly.

Ye Lingshi was moved but a gentleman wouldn’t take advantage of others. Sherlock had resolved this matter so Ye Lingshi wouldn’t take the spoils. He also refused. “Just keep it with your little yellow book.”

Congratulations to Sherlock’s collection +1.

He secretly thought.

Xiao Li inserted it in the little yellow book. He faintly saw a line of words in the little yellow book but he didn’t read it. He directly closed the page. “Let’s go.”

The old house was still the same. It was just that everything was covered with dust. It wasn’t just the doorway. It also included the floor and the sofa. It was as if no one had lived here for a long time. The floor was covered in the footprints left by everyone.

This was what it looked like in reality.

They pushed open the iron door and the long-lost stairs appeared. It faced the house and was like a passage to the world.

***

Xiao Li took advantage of the night to slowly walk down from the second floor. He had been stuck in that small house for three hours. At this moment, he re-integrated into the darkness and his remaining sleepiness disappeared without a trace.

He hadn’t figured out how to get back yet. He was wondering if he should call a car or simply hitch a ride when Ye Lingshi when he saw the familiar Maybach parked at the corner. The young man in the car wore a knee-length black jacket. It was clearly cold but the moment the young man saw Xiao Li, his eyebrows softened slightly.

Xiao Li cocked his head to admire this person for a while. The alienation on his face had reduced a lot. “I said that you didn’t need to come here.”

Shen Chenzhi stared at him, lips curved up in a shallow arc. “Yes.”

He gave a low chuckle and his voice was filled with a bit of hoarseness. “However, I wanted to see you.”

Xiao Li’s eyes softened. He blinked and didn’t speak.

Shen Chenzhi reached out to hold the other person’s hand with a small amount of stickiness that was hard to detect. “Besides, I don’t like leaving your business to others.”


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