translator: baumkuchen (unedited)
In this so-called “hide-and-seek”, at half past seven, all the task-holders were to leave the milk tea shop and go into the fog. Without leaving the block of “Zhengxin Street”, they were to avoid strangely-shaped monsters.
In total, including Song Chunyang who had broken in halfway, there were 11 people taking part in this game of “hide-and-seek”.
A man sneered at the girl’s warmheartedness. He said coldly, “Xiao Guan, what are you saying so much to him for.”
The girl’s surname was Guan. Probably out of guilt for being unable to help Song Chunyang escape, she said, “Since we’ve met, it must be fate.”
Song Chunyang, feeling both moved and wronged, sniffled. “Sorry, I already have a boyfriend.”
Miss Guan, “……” Oh, isn’t that too bad.
At the moment, Song Chunyang’s brain was mush, made utterly lost by the girl’s explanation. When everyone stood up one after another and stepped out into the fog-engulfed streets, Song Chunyang followed the crowd and walked out as well.
Song Chunyang’s every move was incredibly similar to those kinds of cannonfodders in horror movies who seemed to want nothing more than to paste “shoot me” on their foreheads. It was no wonder that everyone looked down on him.
Entering the parallel world’s streets, which were already no longer bustling like usual, the white fog was incredibly thick. Just a light breath made their lungs feel a little uncomfortable.
The street which had still been brightly lit just now had fallen into a dead silence. The only living people left stood at the entrance to the milk tea shop, breathing in the cold fog, frantically looking around.
There were still a few lit street lamps around, but they were unable to provide anyone any reassurance at this time. The dim yellow light of the bulbs was obscured by the fog, making them look like single eyes peeping at them from where they were hidden in the cracks of the walls.
After the last person stepped out of the milk tea shop, the lights in the shop automatically turned off.
Breaking through the quiet, was the sound of a countdown coming from within the fog.
“One—— Are you ready? Two—— Are you ready? Three……”
The voices came from all directions, from different throats, different genders, delicate, deep, clear, hoarse, upset, joyous…… All the voices reverberated through the fog, as if they were everywhere.
There was even someone who realised, one of the voices was coming from by his feet.
He hurriedly jumped away, letting out a curse, his expression extremely ugly.
According to what Miss Guan divulged, after counting to one hundred, the ghosts would materialise a body and the ability to move around freely.
Similarly, according to Miss Guan, in the early stages of the task, the ghosts would have certain restrictions imposed on them, and would have rules to their movements. The closer it got to the time limit, the more freedom the ghosts would have.
And they would have to play an hour of hide-and-seek on these streets with the ghosts.
No one was willing to bring this weak-looking newbie along with them. They all formed their own groups and left, until in the end, only Miss Guan stayed by Song Chunyang’s side.
Miss Guan, seeing that he was still wiping away his tears, felt rather helpless. “Let’s go. If there was a use in crying, we……”
Song Chunyang wiped the tears from his lashes, and took off his coloured contacts.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
In the dark of the night, Song Chunyang’s eyes which had been washed by tears were abnormally clear, like high-quality gems. Even under the dim light of the street lamps, one could still see the unusual colour of his eyes.
Zlrr Xejc kjr rtbmxfv. “Tbeg fsfr……”
Vbcu Jtecsjcu’r nblmf kjr j ilaaif cjrji. “Gbc’a rjs jcsatlcu ilxf wfc ktb kfjg mbibegfv mbcajmar jgf ulgis.”
Zlrr Xejc rajgfv ragjluta ja tlr fsfr, tfg ujhf ybat meglber jcv obmerfv. “……Yxjs, P kbc’a rjs jcsatlcu.”
Vbcu Jtecsjcu rabbv lc qijmf jcv ibbxfv jgbecv.
The 3D surround sound demonic voice filling their ears had successfully interfered with everyone’s hearing, but without a hint of hesitation, Song Chunyang chose a direction, taking Miss Guan’s hand and running straight towards it.
Song Chunyang said, “If we head this way, there’ll be less of ‘those things’.”
Miss Guan, “How do you know……”
Song Chunyang turned around and looked at Miss Guan.
He didn’t need any further explanation, his heterochromatic eyes were already very persuasive.
He could see where those things were. This was undoubtedly a big help to the two of them.
Song Chunyang found a clean shop, blocked off the front and back doors, and hid behind the counter with Miss Guan.
Just as the countdown ended, a man’s scream came from a jade shop not too far away from them.
……From the sound of his voice, it happened to be the man who’d told Miss Guan to mind her own business in the milk tea shop.
Perhaps because this person was too unlucky. He’d thought he’d found a place where he could hide from the evil spirits, but, in the end, when he turned, he found one squatted right next to him.
Song Chunyang poked his head out from behind the counter, and saw a deformed girl with a big head and small body, whose head and limbs were twisted 180 degrees, giggling with a sweet smile on her face. She was on all fours, upside down like an arched bridge, chasing after the screaming man.
Song Chunyang, “……” My dog eyes are blind.
Not long after that, the terrifying sound of tearing flesh and gulping came from not far away. The man was roaring and screaming, his fingernails madly scrabbling against the ground, the sound they made clearly audible in the silent streets.
He drew back to behind the counter, took the equally pale-faced Miss Guan’s hand and squeezed it comfortingly.
……No matter what, he had to go back.
Yuan Benshan was still waiting to see that movie with him.
Other people couldn’t see it, but Song Chunyang was able to see the positions of the ghost in this area, and tell that they were probably distributed according to an an ancient evil trigram.
From following his grandmother, Song Chunyang had learned a lot of miscellaneous information related to ancient Taoism. He knew that there was a kind of cultivation array that needed to be painted with the ground bones of disabled people.
The two, hiding there, were currently both scared and bored. Miss Guan, looking for a conversation topic, grabbed Song Chunyang’s hand and wrote in his palm: “What did you see just now?”
Song Chunyang nodded, and wrote: “A vase woman.”
If Song Chunyang hadn’t seen wrongly, from the appearance of the girl chasing after that man, she was one of the “vase women” he’d read about in an ancient book about monsters.
In ancient times, human traffickers would steal or buy little girls and sell them to sideshow runners. In order to create an attraction, they would prepare flower vases about half the height of a human, and pick the beautiful and slim ones to shove inside, only leaving their faces outside. They would feed them a carefully chosen diet every day, and chisel a small hole on the bottom of the vase to make cleanup of urine and defecation easier.
Some girls were able to adapt well, and were able to live a healthy life before their appearances withered and people lost interest in seeing them, but some girls would grow bigger, and the vase would be unable to accommodate them, so they would have to break their arms and legs and grow in an abnormal manner.
But sometimes, that didn’t even help.
Once the vase broke under the pressure of their abnormally-developing bodies, those girls who had their limbs made useless would lose all value, and become a burden. Their only fate would be being thrown out into the wilderness to feed the dogs.
However, there were some people who believed in evil ways of cultivation, and would seek out these kinds of abnormal women at high prices, in order to extract their bones, grind them into powder, draw the cultivation array and ascend to immortality with its help.
It seemed like Miss Guan also knew a few ancient anecdotes. She swallowed, then wrote a question on Song Chunyang’s hand: “Can they really ascend to immortality?”
Song Chunyang replied, “It does fuck all.”
The world of the immortals was not in charge of recycling trash.
This was probably the worst slander the world of immortals had ever received.
Those poor girls were nothing more than tools for some high-ranking officials and dignitaries to realise their dreams of ascending to the heavens. They couldn’t even be considered stepping stones.
If Song Chunyang’s conjecture was correct, Zhengxin Street should be the place where such an array had once been drawn.
The array was drawn in ashes, stroke by stroke according to the solid and broken lines of the Eight Trigrams. And these marks of the so-called Eight Trigrams, to put it frankly, formed a set of long and short paths.
These long and short paths were drawn using the ashes of deeply resentful spirits. It could be seen that the ghosts’ activity was limited to within these straight lines, and this so called “hide-and-seek” was very simple. They just needed to avoid those areas.
Song Chunyang leaned his head against the counter, and did his best to force himself to calm down.
From what Miss Guan had said, with the passage of time, the restrictions imposed on the ghosts by the main system would gradually be released.
What were these “restrictions” referring to? Nothing other than the ghost’s abilities and their range of activity.
Song Chunyang’s circle of friends was simple. He’d never come into contact with an evil spirit. The worst ghost that he’d ever met, the most he’d been able to do was to give people a fever, then squat above their beds and angrily grind their teeth.
Miss Guan had also said, the “main system” usually wouldn’t set any certain death conditions. That meant, the ghosts here couldn’t determine one’s location through the sound of their breaths, and didn’t have any clairvoyance, X-ray eyes, or other such perverted abilities. Otherwise, they would probably all have long since breathed their last breath and have their bodies go cold.
The death of the man in the jade shop showed one thing: within the range defined by the bone ashes, the ghosts’ abilities were very strong.
At least, looking at the way the vase woman had run, her speed was close to that of a female leopard.
In such a case, if they released the restrictions on the ghosts’ abilities, they might as well just commit suicide then and there, it might be a little simpler.
Song Chunyang continued to think.
That meant, that so-called “release restrictions” should refer to the range of the ghosts’ movements would change.
It was reasonable to say that the array formation wouldn’t change. Given that, if the main system wanted to increase the difficulty, the eight-trigram array might change from being static to moving.
As for whether it would be clockwise, anticlockwise or translational, that would require further observation.
……The reason why they wouldn’t be killed immediately was probably because that so-called “main system” wanted to absorb more fear energy.
What was this so-called “fear energy”, then?
Just as Song Chunyang’s thoughts were running wild, he heard the glass door behind him open.
Miss Guan’s hand tightened around his.
As the both of them held their breaths, they heard the sound of a hard, round object roll in.
That object rolled over to Song Chunyang’s feet, and turned. It was a little girl’s head.
She said with a sweet smile, “Found you~”
Miss Guan almost screamed, but Song Chunyang immediately covered her mouth.
However, the seemingly-calm Song Chunyang’s consciousness had already blacked out for quite a few seconds, his head filled with nothing but “fuck, its a bowling ball”, “would thowing equipment have been too much” and other such lines.
After a long pause, receiving no response, the head could only angrily roll away.
With a shaking hand, Song Chunyang wrote on Miss Guan’s also-trembling palm: “It’s just a dead person’s head.”
That head’s eyes had been dull, and there was only a trace of ghostly energy in it, only enough to allow her to say one line.
Maybe that vase woman who had eaten their teammates body had found that something wasn’t right, so she had taken off her head, wanting to probe something out.
If they had fallen for the trap, and screamed and rushed frantically out the door, they would probably have run right into the vase woman waiting on the street outside.
Sure enough, in the next second, the head which had rolled over to the metal cabinets smiled again and said, “Found you~”
Song Chunyang, “……” Really relying on their strength to racketeer.
After asking another few places in the shop where people might be hiding and finding no results, the head then resentfully rolled out.
The author has something to say:
This world might be a little longer, about thirty chapters maybe?
baum: fyi, it’s 35 chapters (not counting the chapters over 5k which might end up being split)