YBCB: V6C9

Translated by: TaffyGirl13

Previous             Index              Next


Chapter Nine

When Yi Tai woke up again, it was already the next day.

After giving Yu Yin a good beating, Yu Xia contacted Yi Tai’s guardian, and the hospital also transferred him to a private room.

“Ah…”

When Yu Yin heard the person in bed let out a soft groan, he immediately stood up from his spot next to the bed where he had been dozing off. “Are you awake?”

Yi Tai slowly opened his eyes. At first, all he could see was white, but after a few seconds, he finally realised he was inside the hospital. He turned his head to nod at Yu Yin. “I’m fine.”

Yu Yin passed some water over after hearing the weak voice, and then pressed a button to call the doctor and nurse over to examine Yi Tai. At the same time, he woke up Xiao Yu, who was sleeping off to the side.

After checking Yi Tai, the doctor still told him he needed to rest more, and also gave Yu Yin instructions on what to look out for.

The doctor and nurse left, suddenly leaving the room quiet again.

After they left, Yi Tai automatically shifted the pillow and sat up from his original laying down position on the bed. However, he struggled quite strenuously for a bit to do so, likely because of his many injuries.

Yu Yin did not intervene, since he knew that this person did not like others butting into his personal matters.

Yu Yin waited for Yi Tai to finish getting ready, then pulled the chair closer to sit next to him. “I have a ton of questions I want to ask!”

“Do you?” Yi Tai glanced around, and his lips curled up into his usual, small smile. “Your father isn’t here?”

“Uncle seems to have been dragged over to the station by a family member. He said he won’t be able to come over until later.” Yu Yin had already called the police to notify them. He asked the other person, “You should also know what I want to ask, right?”

Yi Tai nodded and accepted the yoghurt Xiao Yu passed over to him with a word of thanks. “I knew there was something wrong with that house. I had a bad feeling about it from the beginning when I read its webpage description, and I told Ah Fang and the others as well. However, since they were all very interested, they still came here.” Thus, he could only say he would join them on this journey; if not for this, he would not be very interested in this kind of group trip. “My first impression was that the villa itself likely did not have any issues, but the room on the first floor made me very uneasy, and the noises coming from underground were a bit noisy.”

“You can see ghosts?” Yu Yin was somewhat surprised by Yi Tai’s words.

Who would’ve guessed that I’d have a companion here!

“No, you are mistaken. I was just referring to a feeling I had. For some reason, my senses are slightly more accurate than others’; I have always been like that.” Yi Tai corrected the other person’s assumption before adding in slight objection, “It is not really anything special. In my opinion, what Ah Yin is able to see is truly something unimaginable.”

“It’s okay, I guess…” Wait, no! What am I trying to act all modest about! Yu Yin abruptly realised that this was nothing worth flaunting at all. “Why are we chatting about this! What happened after all that?”

“Afterwards…I told Ah Fang and the others to not go near that room. Then, everyone went outside. A while later, I went downstairs to find something to eat while waiting for them to return. When it reached evening, the pension staff came over to fix up the barbecue tools. However, the group did not return after a long while.” Yi Tai pressed his hand against his forehead, narrowing his eyes slightly in pain as he struggled to recall back then. Yi Tai shifted his gaze and said, “I do not clearly remember what happened after, it’s all a mess in my mind. I think I heard someone shout, so I probably went to go check…I’m not certain…a man wearing a mask was inside the room. I wanted to dodge, but I was still stabbed by him…and I really have no memory of anything else following that. When I woke up, I was already in the intensive care unit. I evaded the doctors and nurses and ran back to villa just in time to see you go inside.”

Yu Yin could tell from Yi Tai’s expression that he was not lying. Yu Yin quickly patted his shoulder to temporarily stop him from thinking about it any further. “So, you don’t know where the others disappeared off to either?”

Yi Tai raised his head to look up at Yu Yin.

“Aside from Li Lin Yue, nineteen people, including you, have already been missing for several days since the night you all arrived. Nobody else has been found. You were found by us in that room yesterday.” Yu Yin flashed Yi Tai the date on his cellphone as he described the current situation. “Plus, your injuries are very severe; being able to wake up today is already pretty much an exceptional miracle.” To be more accurate, it was yesterday. And you even had enough energy to chase me all the way to the villa.

Yu Yin really had no words to describe someone with such strong vitality.

“Mm…” Yi Tai propped a hand under his chin as he contemplated Yu Yin’s words. After a while, he raised his head to look at the other. “Nobody else has been found yet?”

“Yeah, you’re the first one we were able to bring back. If we just knew where they were…” Yu Yin answered with a nod.

“No, I was not in the same place as the others.” Yi Tai quickly interjected and added, “I was not with everyone else. Although I can’t be certain, I seem to remember being locked inside where that masked person was, which is not quite the same as those guys.”

When Yu Yin heard these words, he also noticed the discrepancy.

The other people had been moving as a group, while Yi Tai had been left behind alone. With regards to the group, they had probably been captured by that same bunch that had tried to seize Yu Yin and Li Lin Yue. Then it really does have a connection to that stage?

But Yu Yin could not understand how that stage and the villa were related.

Two knocks interrupted their conversation, followed by Yu Xia opening the door and walking inside. “You’re awake? Can you give a statement?” He looked down at the person on the bed, the latter likewise staring straight back at him.

“I can.”

Yi Tai gave a faint smile.

***

Yu Yin retreated out of the room, since he did not actually have any interest in watching the two police officers taking statements. Thinking of another matter, Yu Yin walked straight out of the hospital.

Yu followed behind him while looking around.

They once again returned to the pension. However, Yu Yin did not enter directly from the front door to find the owner couple. Instead, he waited at the back for a while, and once he saw a staff worker that seemed to be a bit on the older side, he went up for an approach.

The captured kitchen staff stared at him in confusion.

“Excuse me, I wanted to ask you about this person.” Yu Yin opened his cellphone and let the other person take a close look at the photo. “He’s one of my relatives; I heard he was still around this area around ten years ago?” Subtracting the age of the boss’s daughter led to somewhere around that period.

Based on his guess, someone moving about inside the villa originally intended for residence use had to have had a close relationship. If he could find a more senior worker, he might actually learn a bit of something.

The kitchen staff was an older woman around her fourties or fifties. She studied the photo for a long time before finally answering, “Oh, that was a really long time ago. It’s Ah Min, isn’t it? The timing you mentioned is about right, that was when he came to work here. He probably stayed for two years or so; then not long after the villa was completed, he stole money from the shop and ran away.”

“He stole money from the shop?” Yu Yin exchanged a glance with Xiao Yu and immediately asked further, “Could you tell me the exact details? Because he’s my uncle’s sister-in-law’s child…”

“Okay, okay. Well, he was pretty close to the boss and his wife originally; the boss’s temper wasn’t too explosive back then, and he was a pretty good person. He took care of us workers very well, and even invited us all out to eat after the villa was completed. Then, one year later, the safe in the pension was destroyed one morning, with over a million dollars in cash inside stolen. Later, the police found the tool used to destroy the safe in Ah Min’s work locker. When they wanted to track him down to demand for the money, they were shocked to discover that nobody knew where he was from, nor could the boss say why. And he just ran off like that. If Ah Min really is your relative, you should tell him after you find him that he should come back and apologise; the boss said he wouldn’t pursue it anymore.”

“Thank you, Āyí. Oh right, do you know if Ah Min had any memorable marks on his body that would make him easy to identify? I’m afraid I won’t recognise him after not seeing him for over ten years; the photo is definitely not very accurate either,” Yu Yin sincerely asked as he stowed his phone away.

“He does, his left arm has a huge burn, so he always wears long sleeves. You’ll know when you see it.” The kitchen auntie then added a few more words about how the boss was a pretty good person, having not insisted that the other person to return the money and, if Ah Min was going through a difficult time, he should just come back and say it out.

Once the old woman finished speaking, Yu Yin brought up another question after some thought. “Then may I also ask if your boss has a daughter? How long after Ah Min ran away did the daughter get sent out for recuperation?”

“It was around the same time. Ah Mei and Ah Min were very close, but her body had been weak ever since she was small. After Ah Min came, she would always call him Ah Min-Gē, sticking to him everyone he went. For a few days after Ah Min went missing, Ah Mei was nowhere to be seen. The boss later told us it was because Ah Mei was very upset about what had happened after learning of it, so she was sent to Hualien for recuperation. Now that I think about it, she should be around seventeen or eighteen now. Every year, she sends fruits from Hualien over.” The old woman prattled on a bit more about how she really wanted to see that adorable little child again. Then, noticing the amount of time that had passed, she bid farewell and left by herself to continue with her work.

Yu Yin watched the old woman leave, falling into deep thought.

Xiao Yu tugged at him from the side.

“Do you also think that the two of them were probably murdered together?” Yu Yin met those violet eyes with an expression of understanding. Actually, this was a deduction that Yu Yin really did not want to make.

Xiao Yu stared back and nodded.

“But the boss and his wife have no reason to murder their own daughter…and even though I’ve seen that little girl, I’ve never seen the one called Ah Min…” He abruptly stopped mid-sentence as he recalled everything they had seen related to this matter.

Twenty-two people.

Twenty of them from the glove puppetry group, one was the pension owners’ daughter.

Then who was the person trying to kill us?

Back then, when he saw the twenty shadows appear below the building, the mask-wearing thing had definitely already appeared inside the room, meaning it must not be from the same place.

Yi Tai had said he was locked together with it in that bedroom.

Think about it carefully…

Yu Yin cradled his head, momentarily unable to come up with the connection.

Xiao Yu tightly grabbed onto him and spat out a few words with difficulty, “Key! Door! Sliding door!”

“Right! That’s it!”

Yu Yin remembered the situation from that time. They had first opened the sliding door, which let that thing out. For the same reason, that bunch of people couldn’t have possibly not opened it. Even if Yi Tai had told them not to, there definitely would have been some troublemaker that had begged to open it and take a look; the half key he had picked up was very likely to have been snapped from back then.

The lock wasn’t hard to lock; something inside was making it impossible to be locked.

Afterwards, they had gone to the common person’s shrine, the earthen stage. Unfortunately, they had probably brought something back with them in some way, giving it access to the villa. And due to another reason, everyone had mysteriously disappeared.

The reason they were still fine was definitely because Yu Xia had chased away whatever had followed in when they went. That was what allowed them to be fortunate enough to withdraw completely.

But there were two people missing among the twenty.

He knew that Li Lin Yue and himself had been chosen as those two.

But what was strange was that they had not opened the door that time they were with Yu Xia. Why did that thing run out still?

He then recalled that they had definitely dug out a third key from the door. Just after they had left, the person with the third key had opened the door again and had likewise not locked it back. After the key snapped in half, that thing ran out once more.

But they brought Yi Tai back from the other side this time.

Exactly where did those eighteen people get brought to?

While contemplating this, an idea floated across Yu Yin’s mind. However, he did not voice it out loud, and simply stowed it away in his heart first as he decided that if the matter really started to progress towards the ultimate worst-case, he would re-consider what to do.

“Let’s make another trip to the common person’s shrine.”

He pulled Xiao Yu in tow, the two of them striding out to run towards the scooter.

After they left, someone walked out from the corner behind the pension, coldly glaring at the two people off in the distance.

“…You know too much.”

The ice-cold voice drifted through the wind.

***

A certain amount of time later, still in the afternoon.

Yu Yin jumped off the scooter and immediately ran over to stand before that earthen stage. It was still that same pitch-black color inside, and it was as if countless eyes were staring out from the depths.

While he was debating where to start searching around from, a person suddenly approached them from beyond.

The first one to notice was Xiao Yu, who was standing behind him. When they turned around, they saw an insipid, old man standing there, carrying a filthy bag. “It’s you youngsters again, why do you love running over to this kind of place! Didn’t I tell you to not loiter around here…”

“Eh, Mister, you would be…?” Yu Yin was confused as to why he was suddenly being scolded. He quickly hid Xiao Yu behind him as he looked down on the short and unfriendly old man.

The other person’s clothes were very dirty, and he appeared a bit like a homeless person. However, one could tell upon closer look that most of the dirt had stuck on; the clothes themselves were not originally tattered, and it did not seem like they had gone a long time without being washed.

The old man’s feet were covered in dirt; it was very possible he had just walked out from the field.

“Who I am is none of your business. I told you guys to stop coming, exactly how does this place look like a tourist attraction? Really, you’re just coming to mess things up!” He rudely complained, and added, “Don’t go near the stage!”

Yu Yin and Xiao Yu quickly backed off a bit after being yelled at.

“Wait, Mister, you just said ‘you guys’…so other people came two days ago? Riding some bikes?” Yu Yin very politely asked as he watched the old man pick up some garbage and dump it into the bag.

The short, old man shot him a sideways glance. “Freakin’ hell! Just thinking about it makes me mad! Those damn young monkeys really need a spanking!”

Yu Yin was taken aback by the other’s anger and asked in a puzzled tone, “Did they do something to you?”

“Hmph! Being the old man I am, I accidentally fell and called for help. Then those damned monkeys just ended up running away as fast as they could, and I was only able to get up after a long time. Young kids these days really have no manners at all, what are their ancestors even teaching them! If I hadn’t gotten up by myself, nobody would’ve known even if I had died in there!” The old man’s anger exploded upon talking about this. “They just come to play and play! Playing from day to night. I told them not to come, but they wouldn’t listen, I called for help and they ran! If I see that group of monkeys again, I’ll beat them until they crawl on the ground like dogs!”

“Called for help?” Yu Yin stared blankly, completely unable to figure out what place was being mentioned.

“I fell into the sewer!” The old man unhappily grumbled. “There’s a huge sewer behind the stage, a lot of people have already fallen there. Mostly those stupid youngsters that like to test their courage and run around. They often fall straight down; last month there was even someone that hit their head so hard it bled. I warn you people every time not to wander around this place but nobody ever listens!”

“Large sewer? There’s a large sewer behind the stage?” Having suddenly heard the mention of something very critical, he quickly grabbed the old man’s shoulder. “Where is it? Could you lead me there for me to see?”

The short, old man was momentarily unable to respond, probably since Yu Yin’s attitude had changed so unexpectedly. After grumbling a bit more, he ended up leading them to walk to the back of the black stage.

Since there were so many weeds behind the stage, Yu Yin and Xiao Yu had only slightly glanced at the area during their first time here, and after they had run into trouble, their focuses had all been drawn to the inside of the stage. When the old man used his metal stick to whack the grass aside, he revealed a large hole inside, shocking them both.

It was an exceptionally large hole, but one really would not be able to notice it without looking carefully. It had probably been dug up before for whatever reason had eventually gotten covered by all the weeds. There was a faint stench, but it wasn’t obvious.

“There was a lot of trash dumped inside there before. It finally became a bit cleaner recently.” The old man stuck his metal stick into the stream inside the hole and stirred it around a bit, bringing a mix of garbage and mud out.

Yu Yin stared at the somewhat deep hole. Even two people would probably struggle to climb back out if they fell in, let alone one. “How old is this hole?” Right after he voiced this question, Yu Yin saw someone crouched inside, a person in their fifties or sixties, its head completely covered in blood and its arms snapped in odd directions. But it disappeared again a second later, vanishing so quickly that he suspected he had just imagined it.

“Almost twenty years now. It was already here back when I was very young. In the old times, this place had a river channel used to irrigate the fields. It later got sealed when the road was built. For some reason, this hole was dug up, and since it’s no longer a place where people go about, it was left there and abandoned.” The old man pointed at the stream of liquid flowing through the opening and told them, “This connects all the way to the other side of the mountain. But I don’t know what it’s like on that side now.”

“The other side of the mountain is…”

“Oh, the outskirts of the city. There’s also a village there.” The old man gave this simple reply before pulling the weeds over to cover it again. “Now you know. If you have nothing to do, don’t run around here, it’s dangerous.”

“Thank-thank you.” Knowing that the other person was actually saying this with good intentions, he immediately gave a thank you in response, and his tone relaxed a bit. “By the way, Mister, how long have you been around here? Have you always been taking care of this common person’s shrine?”

The short, old man glanced at him, and his tone was not as fierce as before. He just went back to picking up garbage again. Xiao Yu spotted some smaller objects and bent down to help. “It’s been very long. I came when I was young, but it wasn’t to pick up trash, it was to request for winning numbers. Back then, everyone played like crazy. When you’re young, you don’t realise that no matter how much you win, you’ll still lose it all again. Originally, my dad left me over a dozen acres of land, but in the end, I owed someone else millions of dollars, and could only flee without money or food. Eventually, I came back here to pick up garbage and clean the common person’s shrine to finally be able to eat three meals a day, and look at me now. In the past, I had even asked some young miss to do a striptease.”

Yu Yin did not interrupt the other’s story of the past. After waiting for a while to let the old man finish speaking, he helped to pick up some trash and placed it into the bag as he asked, “So back when the glove puppetry group was lost to the fire, you were also here? It happened so long ago.”

“That’s right, it was a pretty big incident.” The old man rubbed his chin, not minding the fact that he was dirtying his face.

“How many people died back then?”

A strange smile suddenly appeared on the short, old man’s face. He glanced around and said, “Since you two seem pretty decent, there’s nothing wrong with telling you. It was such a joke; twenty people died, yet they messed up and buried twenty-one coffins.”

“Huh? And nobody noticed it was wrong?” Yu Yin feigned shock on his face, although he was actually a bit frightened as well. He quickly asked, “Having one extra is really weird no matter how you think about it!”

“It’s not weird at all! The day that coffin seller, Miaokou Wu Zai, was bringing things over, he was completely drunk and ended up dragging over twenty-one coffins. He was scared of people getting mad at him about it, and wanted to earn some extra money too, so he dragged out something the size of a person from the scene of the fire and placed it inside. It was also completely scorched, and nobody knew whose corpse was whose back then since there was no one to identify them. Besides, who wanted to look at something burned that badly? And so he muddled through just like that.” The short, old man shook his head and chuckled, “This place is so remote that everyone just accepted the fact that the bodies were not identified, and simply buried them all.”

Yu Yin furrowed his brows at this. “Why didn’t you tell anyone else about this?”

“Hah, that Wu Zai gave me three thousand bucks; why turn down the money? Plus, he died last year. I heard someone say that they want to dig up the coffins to look at the bodies now. It’s not worth the effort.” The old man waved his hand and laughed, “Just look at that hole. Last year around this time, Wu Zai ran over to the common person’s shrine while drunk. In the middle of the night while I was sleeping in the shrine, I heard a loud shout and the sound of a bottle breaking. When I woke up the next day, I saw that he had fallen to his death there. Humans only have one life.”

Yu Yin turned around to look at the stage. He had a feeling that the person missing that night had likely survived because of that hole, and later went to find the pension owner couple. But most importantly, why had he sought them out, and why did he go missing afterwards? Why did the boss’s daughter then die?

And why had that villa basically turned into a ferocious, haunted house?

There had to be a connection as a result of accessing that realm somehow, probably via the same connection his classmates shared. Then that murderer is…?

“Mister, thank you. We’ll be taking our leave now.” Yu Yin stuffed the last bit of trash into the bag, and in no mood to clean his hands, directly began to lead Xiao Yu towards the scooter.

“Come visit again if you’re free.” The short, old man waved at the disappearing brothers and tied the bag up, slowly dragging it along the ground with him as he entered the common person’s shrine.

Someone had placed rice wine and fruit on the table.

He tossed the garbage off to one side and opened the rice wine, sitting down on the nearby seat as he gulped it all down. The alcohol burned down his mostly now numb throat. With the rising, hazy moon, many black shadows began to sway about around the common person’s shrine.

Some were old, some were new. Countless eyes glittered in the darkness.

The old man let out a strange laugh. The air was filled with the smell of cheap wine. “What! Whatcha looking at? Lin Bei’s entire life was destroyed by your winning numbers…”

Oh, he thought of a song. It seemed to be that…Cai Qiu Feng’s song?

A song that mocked life. He forgot the lyrics, simply remembering a few he randomly changed himself—

“I dreamed of a pig, the pig said I was a liar…”

He broke out into laughter again.

***

“How did that happen?” Once the other police officer finished organising the records, he took his leave first. Afterwards, Yi Tai voiced this question while pointing at the bandage around Yu Xia’s arm.

Yu Xia eyed him and casually told him what had happened. But it was just a simple description without many details, so he finished within a few sentences.

“Anyways, do you have any impression of that masked person?”

This matter was truly too bizarre. Even the statement could not prove anything. Although the local area believed more in such things, they couldn’t actually rely on such strange phenomena while formally handling the case.

“If I really had to say an impression…it would probably be that his method of killing was a bit odd?” Yi Tai accepted the water the other poured and tilted his head in thought. “Typically, if one wanted to attack a person, they would not stab a specific location. But even after I dodged, that person persisted on having to stab that spot for some reason, before continuing on to another direction.”

“Attached to a specific spot, huh?”

Yu Xia was also somewhat surprised by this attack method. It actually was not very commonly seen. After all, the occurrences of someone stabbing another to death with a knife were increasing in number. If one really wanted the other party to die, they would theoretically try to inflict various wounds in such a situation. He had seen a similar case in the past before, but it was just one time. That incident had been a revenge for a murdered family, inflicting fatal injuries according to the victim’s wounds. However, that was after making sure the other party had already lost all ability to resist.

“Yes.” Yi Tai nodded and tugged at his clothing to show the different-sized wounds on his body. “It doesn’t appear to be as severe as I had thought…”

“It’s already plenty severe!” Yu Xia furrowed his brows, unable to understand what exactly went through Yi Tai’s head. “You just stay here and rest properly. Is nobody from your family coming?”

After the incident, quite a few family members had flooded the police station. But this student’s family was the only one that had not acted at all; they had not gone to the station to throw threats or deride them, go to the pension demanding for justice, nor threaten to call the media or publicly post on the internet. When he had contacted them by phone, the person on the other end, who may or may not have been a family member, simply requested for the police to help deal with the necessary procedures, acting extremely indifferent.

Yu Xia knew some households were indeed like this, where the parents and children acted as strangers. But this was no small matter, and not showing the least bit of concern was going a bit overboard.

“Ah, I instructed them earlier to not come.” Yi Tai smiled as he gave this strange reply, his expression showing that he had nearly forgotten about this.

“Instructed?” Yu Xia was unable to process this for a moment.

“The person taking care of my everyday life right now. The adults in my family are overseas.” Yi Tai did not pay any mind to the other’s shocked expression, and he indifferent explained, “I did not think it was a very serious matter, and what’s more, I am an adult now. There was no need to trouble them to make this trip.”

“…” Yu Xia thought about it, but he did not particularly want to ask too much about another person’s affairs either, and he stood up. Regardless, he could just let the local police deal with the trouble of any issues involving the hospital stay. “Then you should continue resting. I’ll ask Yu Yin to come over later and keep you company.” And it will be a perfect way to keep that wandering bastard put in one place.

Yu Xia asked about a few more matters, and then took his leave.

After the voices outside the room faded away and Yi Tai confirmed nobody was there anymore, he pulled out the IV drip on his hand and got off the bed.

The small drawer next to him had some clothes and small change that Yu Yin had brought over earlier. He had probably been afraid that it would be difficult for Yi Tai to go out and buy things alone. Yi Tai’s luggage was probably still in that villa; these were likely Yu Yin’s.

After listening for any sound outside the room, he grinned.

About ten minutes or so later, the nurse opened the door to come in and change his medicine.

All that welcomed her was an empty, uninhabited bed in the white room.


Previous             Index              Next

2 thoughts on “YBCB: V6C9

Leave a Comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.