IWBL: Chapter 73

Xie Zeqing wanted to keep his mysterious and cold air. After all, a strong person wouldn’t ask other people questions and be curious about others. Even so, he couldn’t help keeping his upper body still as he asked in a pretend bored and unconcerned manner. “How do you feel now?”

Xiao Li was looking at the wood only to be suddenly asked a question by Xie Zeqing. He couldn’t help wondering, “Feel?”

“Just… you’re not afraid?”

Xiao Li shook his head. He pulled out the scalpel and cut a small piece of wood from the wooden partition. The degree of bending in the wood chip was very deep and exuded a strong smell of decay.

“Do you still find it exciting?” Xie Zeqing’s hands were in his pocket and there was nothing askance on the surface. However, inwardly he was feeling completely different.

Xiao Li honestly admitted it. “A little bit.”

“Hey, you really acknowledged it. To tell the truth, is there something wrong with your personality? What is with this excitement?” Xie Zeqing burst out, only to realize that he was too loud. He coughed and lowered his volume, restoring his calm and strong image. “Well, I mean, there is nothing to be excited about.”

Xiao Li walked leisurely and threw away the piece of wood in his hand. He touched the side and his hand left a long finger mark on the board. The air smelled bad. It was the smell of decay after something had been soaked for a long time.

“By the way, I previously went to your room to find you but there was no sound. Did you do it?” Xie Zeqing had been silent for a moment before suddenly remembering this matter.

Xiao Li didn’t know about this matter but he could roughly guess who did it. He casually nodded and this was counted as a default agreement.

“…How did you do it?” Xie Zeqing whispered.

How to do it? Ask the little yellow book. Xiao Li glanced at him and didn’t answer. Xie Zeqing was also just asking casually. Many people didn’t want to speak if it was a special item. Seeing that Xiao Li didn’t respond, he didn’t ask again.

They walked along the dark corridor and saw a closed door. Qi Xiaoxiao carefully pushed open the door. The creaking of the door was accompanied by a scream from the deck. The scream was very loud. It might not be close to them but it seemed to be right next to their ears.

The depressed Luo Shan was the first to recognize the source of the voice and she turned back sharply. “Enron!”

“Something happened upstairs…” The male reincarnator Wei Lige looked up.

Luo Shan subconsciously wanted to run back to see but Wei Lige grabbed her. “If you go back then you will die!”

Qi Xiaoxiao was a senior and had experienced many worlds. She had long been accustomed to life and death and she spoke coldly, “Living or dying was their choice. They missed many chances and everyone should be responsible for themselves.”

She took out a flashlight and entered the room.

Meanwhile, on the deck of the ghost ship, Enron couldn’t make any other noises after her first scream because a hand covered her mouth. She was leaning against the edge of the boat, looking at the sea below. Her heart had been beating rapidly as she had asked, “What should we do?”

“Perhaps… follow them? There are many people and it should be safer. They seem to have a lot of experience with ghosts.” The female of the couple spoke weakly.

Zhu Zhu shook his head and refused. “The more experienced they are, the more suspicious. What if they are the ones who did this? I suspect that we must’ve inhaled some type of suspicious hallucinogenic gas. If we go down with them, they will knock us out and sell us for money!”

“I…I definitely won’t go down. It is dark and terrible.”

They were discussing this when Lu Tang suddenly stared with wide eyes and pointed at the sea behind Zhu Zhu. “T-There is a head over there!”

Zhu Zhu looked in the direction of Lu Tang’s pointing finger.

In the choppy sea, a head stared at them. The water ghost saw Zhu Zhu looking at it and opened its mouth to reveal sharp teeth. A water column grabbed Zhu Zhu and placed Zhu Zhu in its mouth. There was something that fell from Zhu Zhu’s pocket into the sea. If someone looked closely, they would find that it was a damaged playing card.

Enron screamed but the next moment, the water ghost’s target changed to her. Her mouth was covered and she was dragged into the water.

******

The cabin.

In addition to a simple single bed, the room had a table with a cup of hot tea on it. Yes, hot tea. The tea in the cup was hot like someone had been sitting here drinking tea and left just before the reincarnators entered. Below the hot tea was a thick book.

Qi Xiaoxiao checked behind the door first for fear of an ambush. However, Xiao Li and Xie Zeqing walked in boldly. The former wasn’t afraid while the latter didn’t feel the existence of a ghost.

Xiao Li took the hot tea and opened the book below it. It was a  ‘logbook ‘ with detailed records of the date, the sea route and the wind direction of the day, but the most important thing were some life segments mentioned.

At first, the things recorded were normal.

【 29th March, sunny, southeast wind. 】

【 Today, the weather is very good and calm. The wind direction is also helping us. We should be able to reach the destination within a month. Great, I hope that all the goods in this batch will be sold. After this trip, I will stay at home and not run around. 】

Wei Lige saw this and said, “This man waved a really big flag. The white flag of death is flying all over the place.”

【 2nd April, rainy, northeast wind. 】

【 Today I went to check the status of the goods. I hope it won’t rain again or the goods will be flooded. 】

【 5th April, rainy, northeast wind. 】

【 The past few days have been rainy and the voyage speed is slow. The scheduled arrival time is also delayed. On the side, there are more freshwater reserves… Ah, I can only comfort myself like this. 】

……

Then turning over a few pages, the descriptions changed. The man had encountered the same thing as the reincarnators and wasn’t in the mood to write.

【 Oh my god… what happened? How did my cargo ship become a broken ship in the blink of an eye? In addition, the crew has vanished yet the ship is still sailing!】

【 My room has changed. There is a cup of hot tea on the table and no one else. This reminds me about rumours of the ghost ship I previously heard. The ship suddenly appears and is empty, but all the items look like the people just left and it is unsure where they went. This is definitely done by a god. It is something that humans can’t do! 】

【 The ship had long since strayed from its course. The navigator isn’t working and I don’t know where I’m going but the wind and waves are becoming bigger. The ship has no reinforcement measures. Surely it won’t be overturned? 】

Xiao Li looked down at the cup of hot tea and naturally took a sip. He hadn’t swallowed the tea when he heard an inhaling sound next to him. Xiao Li looked back and saw Qi Xiaoxiao leaning against the bed, pointing at the hot tea in his hands. “…Why are you drinking it?”

Xiao Li looked down at the tea and thought, ‘This isn’t sulfuric acid. Is there any need to be so surprised?’

Then he replied, “I’m thirsty.”

His tone was very natural and the logical order was also smooth. He was thirsty then he should drink water. If he was cold then he should wear warm clothes. Qi Xiaoxiao couldn’t refute these words.

She was speechless for a while before managing to say, “B-Bit, this is a haunted place. In case of poison or mold…”

“It is fresh, made no more than two minutes ago.” Xiao Li put the cup under his nose and smelled it. The hot heat of the tea wet his eyelashes.

Qi Xiaoxiao, “……”

Who was asking him this? No one was going to drink this type of thing, okay?

Xiao Li slowly closed the logbook and raised two fingers. “The tea is fresh but it doesn’t taste good. The person who made the tea has no taste. There are two possibilities. One is time freezing.”

He said this tea wasn’t good but he drank it because he was thirsty.

Luo Shan was listening and felt slightly dazed. She only had a general understanding and previously heard someone say Xiao Li’s name. The little girl was full of reverence as she said, “Mr Moriarty, drinking this cup of tea to test your inference when it has this type of atmosphere, you are really powerful.”

Xiao Li, “………”

He actually drank it because he was thirsty. Luo Shan’s flattery made him a bit embarrassed. He avoided Luo Shan’s eyes, put down the teacup and looked around the room. Finally, he moved away from the quilt on the single bed and to the next cabin.

This time, Xiao Li walked in front and the others followed him. He still touched the walls as he walked, leaving a mark. The water droplets seeped from the wood above their head and dripped onto their feet.

The reincarnators went deeper and the air was covered with dust as they moved.

After coming to the next room, Xiao Li opened the door and before he could see what it looked like, a man headed towards him. He had been prepared and moved his body. He watched as the figure was about to fall onto Xie Zeqing’s body, only for a dark shadow to jump from Xie Zeqing’s arm and push the man away.

The ‘man’ who fell from the ceiling was thrown to the ground, making a dull sound before it lay there motionless. It was only then that the crowd noticed it was a corpse. To be precise, it was a corpse with the flesh already withered to ashes, leaving only the skeleton wrapped in a damaged coat.

Xie Zeqing didn’t sense a ghost and lost interest in the skeleton. He raised his feet and walked into the room.

Qi Xiaoxiao examined the skeleton and pulled out a pocket watch from around his neck. Inside was the photo of a woman. Qi Xiaoxiao didn’t find anything strange about the pocket watch and put it back, following Xie Zeqing into the room.

They soon pulled out a sealed safe from under the bed.

Xie Zeqing stated, “There is a six digit password lock.”

Qi Xiaoxiao took the string of Buddha beads from around her wrist and pressed it against the safe. “There isn’t the influence of a spirit…”

Wei Lige stated, “The instance world wouldn’t put the safe here for no reason. Maybe it is a clue.”

Qi Xiaoxiao put away the Buddha beads, continued to rummage through the room and looked for any paper with codes. As they were discussing this, Xiao Li was still crouched next to the remains, holding the pocket watch in his hand.

Xie Zeqing rushed to Xiao Li. “What are you doing at the door? It is better to help us guess the password.”

Xiao Li didn’t get up. “Password? Je plaisante.”

Xie Zeqing, “…What did you say?”

Why suddenly speak a strange language?

“It’s a joke.” Xiao Li looked up and smiled. “Try 131513.”

Xie Zeqing looked at him suspiciously and entered the six digits Xiao Li mentioned. Then the password lock opened.

Qi Xiaoxiao wondered, “Moriarty, how do you know the password?”

“It is a very simple, low-level conversion.” Xiao Li stood up and clapped. “Mom, translated into the order of the English alphabet corresponds to 131513.”

Qi Xiaoxiao continued to ask, “Then how do you know it is Mom, not Dad or Son?”

Xiao Li seemed a bit confused about why Qi Xiaoxiao was asking this question and pointed to the pocket watch. “Suppose this person is the owner of the safe, he is carrying a picture of a woman in his pocket watch. It is clear that this woman is someone he loves very much. The person in the photo is too hold to be his sister. There is also no wedding ring so the biggest possibility might be a mother and son. For a crew like this, who drifts at sea, they generally have one thought. The power to live is through the bond of identity. For this person, the most important thing isn’t the name but the identity.”

Qi Xiaoxiao, “……”

Xiao Li went to the box and opened it. It was empty, without the clue that the reincarnators envisioned. There was only an empty shell, the empty shell of a playing card locked in the safe like a treasure.

Xiao Li saw this and fell into thought. Xie Zeqing reached out to take the shell of the playing card, shook it and threw it back. It is very ordinary. There is nothing special.”

Playing card…

Qi Xiaoxiao took out the playing card she had drawn at the dance, held it in her hand and mused on it for a moment before asking Xiao Li, “Moriarty, what do you think?”

Xiao Li shook his head. “Not sure, look again.”

He put his hand into the safe door, took out the playing out shell and closed the door. They walked out of the room and continued.

During this time, there were no ghost appearances apart from the scary atmosphere in the cabin. This was to everyone’s relief. Luo Shan followed the familiar Wei Lige. She was still blank but eventually whispered, “Mr Wei, you aren’t ordinary passengers right?”

Wei Lige hesitated. “We often encounter ghosts and are used to finding a way out of supernatural events.”

Luo Shan bowed her head. She was often ostracized by her friends because of her divination so she wasn’t hostile to the reincarnators. “Ghosts… do they exist?”

Wei Lige asked with a wry smile, “Aren’t we in a ghost world now?”

Xie Zeqing interrupted them, holding out his hand. “Wait a minute.”

Qi Xiaoxiao asked, “Yu Luo, what’s wrong?”

Xie Zeqing explained warily, “There is the smell of a ghost…”

Luo Shan glanced around and immediately saw an object in the corner of her eye. She instantly pulled out her playing card and screamed, “B-Back!”

The reincarnator walking in front looked back. Less than half a metre from the end of the line, a skeleton was lying on the ground. It was dressed exactly the same as before and was even in the same position. However, it was no longer in front of the room and the distance between it and the reincarnators wasn’t far. It was like… the skeleton had quietly followed them!

Just before Luo Shan turned her head, the skeleton’s hand was about to touch Wei Lige’s heel. If it wasn’t for Xie Zeqing sensing it, the skeleton would’ve dragged Wei Lige down and killed him!

Wei Lige immediately pulled away from the skeleton. “This skeleton… is it alive?”

Xiao Li clapped and went to the skeleton’s side. The skeleton was still lying in the previous position and wasn’t moving. Nevertheless, Xie Zeqing sensed it and this meant it was a ghost.

Xiao Li crouched down and reached out to the skeleton on the ground. Xie Zeqing initially thought he was going to take the skeleton’s pocket watch or an item. Then the next moment, he saw Xiao Li pull out one of the skeleton’s leg bones.

Skeleton ghost, “???”

One leg bone wasn’t enough. Xiao Li removed another one from the skeleton’s right leg and held them together in the palm of his hand.

Xiao Li sighed. “Try another one.”

He wanted to get up and leave but he thought it wasn’t enough. What if this skeleton was still alive and crawled with both arms? Thus, Xiao Li also removed the skeleton’s arm bones, leaving only its back bones. Then he walked back to the team.

Xie Zeqing, “……”

Why was he so skilled in dismantling the skeleton?

Xiao Li held the pile of bones in his arms and wanted to tell the group to leave when the skeleton made a loud sound behind him. He didn’t look back but Xie Zeqing, Qi Xiaoxiao and the others were still facing the direction of the skeleton.

The skeleton seemed to want to get up. It wriggled but couldn’t even crawl on the ground. It eventually fell back to the ground. The previous sound was the sound of it falling.

“What?” Xie Zeqing’s eyes were so strange and creepy that Xiao Li couldn’t help asking this.

Xie Zeqing closed his mouth and only spoke after a long time passed. “I… just sensed its thoughts…”

Xiao Li asked, “What is it thinking?”

Xie Zeqing was silent for a while before replying, “Hell is empty, the devil is in the world.”

Xiao Li: ?

—Was it describing him?


The author has something to say:

Water ghost (covering mouth): I’m in pain and can’t eat.

Skeleton ghost: You try to experience the pain of your bones being torn off. I am in more pain. Will he also try to put my bones back?

Water ghost: …Do you want to try giving him seafood in exchange?

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