Trigger Warning: Suicidal Thoughts, Implied Sexual Assault/Dub-con
Without the stalker in the chamber, the surroundings immediately became empty and quiet. It was so quiet that Luo Jian felt uncomfortable.
Now, he had all the props in his hands—a small mirror, held together with transparent glue, that connected reality and illusion; a big mirror that didn’t reflect him; a diary; an old Nokia cellphone that displayed a frozen time; and two keys.
The second key appeared completely identical to the one he had found in the real chamber. It seemed that Luo Jian guessed correctly: there were not only two chambers but also two doors and two keys. Luo Jian put the key found in the real secret chamber in his left pocket and the key from the mirrored chamber in his right pocket.
He did not use a key to open the door in a rush. After the stalker left, he had tried opening the door again. It had clearly been easy for Xing Yan to push the mahogany door open, but even when he used all of his strength, Luo Jian couldn’t open the door, which made him realize that only the stalker could come and go freely in the secret chamber. On the other hand, if he wanted to leave the chamber, he might have to pay a price.
Now, Luo Jian had to deal with the problems he was facing. He needed to find the 35th student, who had disappeared.
The printed note indicated that as long as he could find the disappeared student, the road to escape from this secret chamber would be laid out in front of him. However, the two secret rooms were only so big. Everything could be seen from the podium, and there was clearly no place to hide.
Luo Jian immediately went to look through the diary. Unfortunately, it seemed that because he was in the illusory secret chamber, even the words in the diary are written in reverse. After studying it for a long time, Luo Jian found that it was an exchange diary.
It was the kind of exchange diary shared by lovers or very close friends. One person wrote in it one day, and the other person would write in it the next day. The concept of the exchange diary seemed to be very popular among students during a certain period of time. Unfortunately, students would not be dedicated and continue to exchange their diaries. Many of them only wrote one or two times before giving up and leaving them in a corner.
However, the diary found by Luo Jian was a little different because the diary could be regarded as completed—at least one of the two people who had exchanged the diary had completed the whole process perfectly.
The first page of the diary was a white piece of paper. On it, two words, “exchange diary,” were written childishly in red pen. Of course, all the words were written in reverse. Luo Jian twisted his neck and looked at it for a long time before he could smoothly interpret it.
Under the two big words of “exchange diary,” two people’s names were written in small, cursive handwriting, but only one person’s name was completely and clearly written out. The other name was repeatedly covered and scratched with black pen, and even the shape of the original handwriting was almost impossible to infer.
The clearly-written name was a girl’s name, Xiao YaXuan. The name sounded familiar. After deliberating for a long time, Luo Jian realized that wasn’t Xiao YaXuan the woman who was raped to death? He had seen her name on the female corpse’s textbook, but since there were more than 30 people in the class, Luo Jian did not remember all of them. Therefore, he could only try to vaguely remember the names of the key figures.
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.
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As Luo Jian conjectured this point, he was naturally excited to start studying the diary, but the content of the diary made him a little disappointed.
The content of the first page in the opening entry was obviously written by the girl, the poor female corpse Xiao YaXuan, whose handwriting was very beautiful. This was what she wrote:
[January 6, sunny and cloudless. I’m very happy. Today is the first day that we are exchanging diaries. I clearly have a lot that I want to say to you, but I can’t write anything right now. How strange. We have known each other for so long. When did you exactly appear in my world?
Well, I don’t know what I should write in this diary, but I’m really excited to write an exchange diary with you. Because of this, I don’t even feel bothered by those annoying girls who came to find trouble with me.]
[From the Ya who loves you. I look forward to seeing your diary entry tomorrow.]
Xiao YaXuan’s diary entry was very short but very neat. It could be seen from her handwriting that she was a serious girl. In the first entry, she simply expressed her happy mood and also revealed the fact that there were girls in the class who often found trouble with her.
After a cursory scan of the first diary entry, Luo Jian found that reading these reversed words was an extremely laborious task. He had to work diligently to identify each word. After reading it, he could not wait as he flipped to the second page. However, what entered his view was a mess of lines that left him very disappointed. The scribbled, disordered, and irregular lines seemed to be drawn on the paper casually. The person had drawn something strange that nobody could interpret. Even when Luo Jian was looking at it upside down, he could not figure out what was drawn.
After gazing at the lines for a long time, Luo Jian finally sighed and turned to the third page.
[January 8, light rain. I can’t understand the diary entry you wrote yesterday, but it doesn’t matter. I know you’re a lazy person. You are only awake for 2 out of the 24 hours in a day. It shocks me that you can sleep so long.
I didn’t have a good time today. The homeroom teacher kept staring at me again. Perhaps after school, he will find various reasons to ask me to go to his office. I don’t like him or his office, but it seems that there is no way out. In life, you can’t always act as you like.]
[I look forward to your diary entry tomorrow. From the Ya who loves you.]
This diary entry seemed to imply something. Luo Jian seemed to both understand and not understand what was written. If someone could only be awake 2 out of 24 hours, wasn’t it considered abnormal from the perspective of ordinary people? Apart from this, Luo Jian saw that the homeroom teacher was mentioned in the diary entry. He thought that the homeroom teacher mentioned in the diary was probably the corpse of the teacher that was hanging on the podium of the secret chamber. Only such a homeroom teacher would enjoy such high-level treatment.
As he pondered, he turned to the fourth page. This time, he was even more disappointed.
The fourth page was blank, and nothing was written on it.
Thus, Luo Jian could only continue to turn to page five, six, seven, eight…… Then, Luo Jian discovered that almost the whole diary was written by the girl while the other diary writer either drew some inexplicable lines or left it completely blank. This made Luo Jian uncomfortable.
But this female corpse…… it seemed that Xiao YaXuan did not care about that at all. She also tried to find various excuses to persuade herself as to why the other party did not write the diary entries properly. For example, she said that the other party was very lazy, and they were only awake for two hours a day and spent the rest of the time sleeping. When the other party was awake, there were endless tasks that they had to accomplish. Other bizarre reasons were also mentioned, like the other party being a night owl, etc, etc.
In short, Luo Jian was rather speechless as to what she was doing.
The speechless Luo Jian felt the strangeness of the whole situation. He felt that the person who wrote the exchange diary with Xiao YaXuan was not the 35th person who had disappeared, but it seemed that the other party clearly was as well. If he were, he would also be a student of the same class. If the person agreed to write the exchange diary, they should be a close friend. But in Xiao YaXuan’s entries, she did not write about the close friend or any interactions between them.
For example, he expected that they would usually go to dinner together, read books, and do homework together, and she would describe: where I went with you today and what I did. However, Xiao YaXuan didn’t mention such words and phrases. From beginning to end, she only mentioned what happened in her life. This gave Luo Jian the strange feeling that Xiao YaXuan and the person who wrote the exchange diary with her were almost like people who had belonged to two different worlds.
Apart from this diary, there was no other way of communicating with the other party.
Of course, from Xiao YaXuan’s diary, Luo Jian found that she was a very quiet girl. She was introverted and poor at communicating with others. This seemed to cause a rift between her and the other girls in her class, leading to her being alienated and isolated by others. But her academic performance was very good. Luo Jian did not know much about her family background because she only used a few words to describe it. It seemed that her mother died early, her father was a gambling addict, and her grandfather was seriously ill. Her family situation was not good.
The diary was very thick, and Luo Jian read through the entries one by one carefully. Anyway, time did not flow in the illusory secret chamber, so he had a lot of time to study the diary. After he read half of the whole book, he realized that almost all the entries were of Xiao YaXuan talking to herself about her everyday trivial happenings. At the beginning, the other diary writer would scribble a few rough lines, but towards the end, their entries are all blank.
Luo Jian looked at the poor little girl writing to herself patiently, but when he was half-way through, things seemed to have changed. In the diary, the girl repeatedly mentioned her father’s car accident, her grandpa’s serious illness and how she worried about him, and the frequent advances of the homeroom teacher. Before, he just bought all kinds of clothes and gifts for her, but now he even took the initiative to transfer some money to her.
From this point onward, Luo Jian could easily see the ups and downs of the girl’s mood. Her originally beautiful little words have become impetuous. The sentences she wrote were filled with desperation. She frequently started to write sentences like “I feel too tired to carry on living” or “I want to go somewhere far away and never come back.”
“I’m afraid she wants to die,” Luo Jian sighed. She was a girl of about 17 years old and had not gone to university. She lacked the protection of her parents and the accompaniment of friends, and her classmates isolated her while a teacher who was old enough to be her father often harassed her sexually. Most importantly, she carried the heavy burden of her family, so at such a sentimental age, it was probably normal to think of wanting to die.
Luo Jian felt that it was a pity and continued to flip through the diary. The speed at which he turned the diary’s pages became faster. Although the words were written in reverse, he quickly adapted after reading it for a while. When he reached the second half of the diary, he found that the main event was coming.
[February 26, rain. What should I do? I did something wrong. Those girls came to find trouble with me again. They called me a bitch. I said I wasn’t. They slapped me in the face, and one of my ears was beaten until deaf. It felt very painful at that time, so I pushed the girl who hit me hard. She fell down the stairs. But I didn’t mean to do it. I don’t think I used that much strength, so how did she fall down?]
[The people in the class looked at me with strange expressions. The homeroom teacher took me into his office again, but it was so terrifying. He put his hands under my clothes. I can’t stand it. Someone help me, please!]
Luo Jian frowned after reading this entry. He immediately turned to the next page. This time, unexpectedly, the other party who was writing in the diary had finally given a response for the first time. A few scrawled and crooked words were written:
[Nobody can save you except yourself.]
“F*ck his sister!” After reading this part, Luo Jian felt a little agitated. He wished that he could drop the diary on the ground and trample on it hard. But after grinding his teeth, Luo Jian gave up this kind of indignant behavior. He was affected emotionally by the diary entry. No matter whether the happenings in the secret chamber were real or fake, whether the outcome was good or bad, Luo Jian was not able to interfere.
Luo Jian could only continue to the next page and keep on reading the diary:
[February 28, rain. That day, the girl went to the hospital because her leg broke. She asked me to pay for her medical expenses, but I have no money. Finally, the homeroom teacher paid for me, and later he took me to the hotel. I don’t think I can manage to dodge it this time.]
[Father and grandpa are both hospitalized. There is no money at home. Yes, you are right. No one can save me except for myself. I need to learn to be more mature. It’s just my body. I just need to spend a few nights with others. As long as I have money, I can survive.]
[But I still feel sad, sad, sad, sad…… Do you think I will die?]
After reading this entry, Luo Jian felt mentally perturbed. He was in a strange and irascible mood. He quickly turned to the next page. This time the other person had a response again. A few words were scrawled:
[You will die]
“Your mother! Can’t you even bother to write with punctuation?!” Luo Jian finally could not help but throw the diary out of his hand! Reading about how this tragic history unfolded was simply draining away his life! After being depressed for a long moment, Luo Jian had to go pick up the diary again and continue reading it!
T/N: Thank you so much for the Ko-Fi support, Anon, Anon and Kiya. The bonus EIC Ko-Fi goals chapters will be uploaded on Mon, Weds and Fri next week. Please look forward to 3 extra chapters :3!
**Please note: I will be closing EIC Ko-Fi goals now to stockpile some chapters, and goals would be closed from now till 17 Jun 2020. I.e. If anyone supports a Ko-Fi when ko-fi goals are not open, it would not count towards an extra chapter!