As time stood eerily still, Bai Yan was not at all in a hurry to make a decision.
Under the game’s powerful restrictions, Wu Jingang, as well as the wall clock’s hands, had come to a halt. Wu Jingang’s eyes stood motionless as if he were a lifelike wax statue in his current state.
Amid the darkness brought by the early hours, Wu Jingang’s expression looked sinister. Since he was frozen still, Bai Yan steadily clasped his head and slowly leaned in closer, paying careful attention to Wu Jingang’s face.
“No, there’s something wrong here.”
Bai Yan meticulously looked at Wu Jingang’s eyes up until his mouth and vaguely felt that there was a slight disharmony when looking at his facial features.
Wu Jingang’s wide face looked especially rough but his features looked normal, giving anyone who saw him an impression of a man who was tactless and coarse. Now, his face completely seemed distorted and ominous. Although his face was still the same, his facial features appeared slightly altered.
It was as if it were another person’s face with these features.
Connecting Wu Jingang’s story before bed, Bai Yan pieced together that he must be possessed by a ghost.
Wu Jingang already threw the teddy bear into the trash can, but the person that Baiyan accidentally murdered came back to the place he lost his life tonight not through the toy, but through Wu Jingang’s body, aiming for Baiyan’s life.
“Looking at it, the only choice would be Option B.”
With one last glance at Wu Jingang’s face, Bai Yan selected the option with absolute decisiveness.
Option A was surely not to be selected. Naively sitting and waiting for death, who would know what the ghost might do in the middle of the night.
On the other hand, if he picked Option C, players had no power to stand off against ghosts. All of the talisman and amulets blessed by the monks were useless, even more so using physical methods to defeat the ghost. The knife’s iron handle could only deal with hacking an actual person. In the current situation, the ghost could only creepily possess him, but he could still find a way to escape. If he took the initiative and chopped him up to his death, the ghost would escape and from there, God knows what other tricks the intangible ghost would use against him.
Just before the countdown ended, Bai Yan hit Option B.
In the next second, the app took control of his body.
He helplessly watched himself start to shake Wu Jingang’s arm with all his might as he called on him loudly to wake him up.
As he was shaken awake from his state, Wu Jingang opened his eyes in confusion. He seemed to be dumbfounded as to why his wife would violently rock him in the middle of the night.
“Wife, did you recall that incident?”
“Stop it.” Bai Yan saw himself be pushed away as he whispered, “Jingang, I’ll tell you about the matter. Did you know that you were extremely scary up until a moment ago? I was woken up by the noisy meat chopping from next door and saw that your eyes were bloodshot red. You were even sitting unusually straight as you watched me, which was especially horrifying. Your face also changed. It changed into something extremely similar to Liu Xiaotian’s face. Has he not moved on? He might go back here to find us and exact his revenge.”
Faced with his wife’s intense questioning, Wu Jingang stared blankly for a while, then came back to his senses.
“Impossible! I don’t have any sleepwalking-related problems.” Wu Jingang was an atheist and didn’t believe in things like ghosts and paranormal activities, “Are you sure you weren’t just half-conscious when you saw me? Maybe you mistook me for your dream. I have always been a well-behaved sleeper. I don’t even snore often. You’ve been with me for a long time, so you would know if I had a problem.”
“You are behaved when you sleep, but right now, I am completely awake and I’m sure that I didn’t see wrong.” Bai Yan heard what he had just said, “Jingang, I am genuinely terrified. Do you really think he’s back watching me in our house, just like tonight?”
“Yanyan, don’t let your imagination run too wild. That isn’t possible. After doing what he did, how could that bastard still have the balls to show his face here, seeing that I would personally slaughter him if I ever see him again.” Wu Jingang consoled his wife, “Don’t be scared. This world doesn’t have ghosts in it. The remnants of what happened that day were surely the ones that’s affecting you, making you dream about it. If you still don’t feel safe, we can open the lamp and have the lights on, so you won’t feel scared.”
“Don’t forget, I’m still by your side.”
Wu Jingang’s words made Bai Yan feel a cold breeze brush against his nape. He could imagine it right now. If he weren’t him and was Baiyan right now, he would still be extremely scared after hearing these words.
The closest person to him, Wu Jingang, didn’t even believe Bai Yan’s concerns and thought that he was just half-asleep. Even though his husband said that he was by his side, he was the source of his fears.
“No, I really saw it.” Bai Yan realized what he said and slightly hesitated, “Fine, let’s leave the lamp open.”
After he finished talking, Bai Yan felt himself regain his freedom, finally being able to control his body.
At this moment, Wu Jingang had already opened the table lamp beside him and upon seeing the light slightly illuminate their bedroom, he didn’t utter another word and only closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep.
Hearing how Wu Jingang quickly went off to dreamland, Bai Yan couldn’t sleep a wink.
The app fully controlled his actions and validated his theory on the ghost possessing Wu Jingang.
Before the evil spirit left Wu Jingang’s body, Bai Yan didn’t panic and lose his head. If the malicious spirit has a physical body and is bound to it, it could be dealt with accordingly. Truthfully, Bai Yan was not bad when it came to running away.
However, after he was sure of his spouse’s state, he now had more concerns to deal with.
Just now, what was the incessant meat chopping noise from next door?
This was an old residential area and not an old restaurant. Even with the noisy chopping sounds at 1 AM, the next-door neighbors should be afraid of having their neighbors complain.
Besides that, even if they were cooking up a midnight snack because they were hungry, there was no way that they would want to prepare something as hassle as a meat dish. Bai Yan felt that it wasn’t just this house. The next-door neighbors had their problems as well.
It was a pity that it was so late at night right now. It was too risky for him to go out in the middle of the night. What he could only do now was restrain himself and just silently ask these questions in his mind. He thought about it and sorted the clues he had acquired so far as he laid on his back, falling asleep in the process.
He slept until dawn this time.
The new day was a Saturday.
When Bai Yan groggily woke up, Wu Jingang was already out of sight.
Via Wu Jingang’s note, Bai Yan learned that the man was called out by his boss to do some overtime in the company. Maybe he felt sorry about his wife’s lack of a good night’s sleep, so Wu Jingang didn’t make a single noise to not disturb his wife and quietly slipped away earlier this morning.
It must have been hard for someone as burly to get out of bed and not to make a single sound.
As Bai Yan sat up, he found breakfast prepared on top of the table. He gave Wu Jingang credit for being a supportive husband and enjoyed the simple breakfast alone. Bai Yan happily ate it since he didn’t need to prep it himself.
After he finished eating breakfast, Bai Yan simply made his bed and grabbed his keys, ready to step outside and explore the surrounding environment.
His experience from the villa game made him realize the importance of terrain familiarity.
Escaping would be easier when he knew more about his environment.
At exactly eight o’clock, Bai Yan left the house.
Bai Yan locked the door and quickly looked at the door’s house number. He lived in apartment 302.
On the third floor, there were in total, three families living here. He explored the lower floors and found that every level had three apartments.
The corridor was unimaginably filthy while also exuding an indescribable smell. It was evident at first glance that the sanitation staff of the apartment complex weren’t diligent in cleaning the place.
And, when Bai Yan passed by the second floor, he saw small puddles of suspicious liquid that sent out a pungent stench. He deduced that one of these families took care of a dog and that strange smell just now must have come from their pet.
When he was out, Bai Yan casually strolled around the neighborhood. He first circled the area once, memorizing minute details, such as the main gate, the accessible hiding place, and the walls he could easily climb over. He left the area and looked for nearby supermarkets and convenience stores after walking around.
Bai Yan wandered around the small community all morning but when it reached noon, he went to the supermarket and bought some ingredients, carrying them on his way home.
As he entered the neighborhood gates, Bai Yan was by the colorful and flowery shrubs and saw a girl chasing a dog, appearing as if in bliss.
The girl threw a ball into a distance, and it landed into the bushes. The dog then lept to fetch the toy as it instantly disappeared like a wisp of smoke and later happily brought back the ball.
The girl did this over and over again, until the third time she threw the toy, the dog didn’t come back.
Seeing that there were no signs of movement after her dog burrowed into the bushes, she went over and came out with the dog in her arms while the ball was stuffed in her pocket after randomly finding it somewhere.
“Huanhuan, how could you eat something you found on the ground? Quickly spit out the ham you found.”
The girl forcefully pried open the dog’s mouth to take the ham out, however, the dog resisted with all its might. Without having another thought, the dog carelessly chewed and swallowed the remaining ham in its mouth, displeasing the girl and leading her to point at the dog’s nose in anger.
Even after creating some distance, Bai Yan was still able to hear the little girl’s scolding towards the dog’s misbehavior.
“Mommy, the doggy.”
Taking a few more steps, Bai Yan saw a young mother holding a child’s hand as they walked around the neighborhood.
The child was surely young. He cutely wobbled as he took strides and steps, needing to closely follow his mother. Seeing the child point at the dog and unsteadily waddled towards it, the young mother hurriedly said, “You can’t go. We need to be far away from the dog so that it won’t bite us.
“Aunty, our family’s dog doesn’t bite.” When the girl heard someone slandering her dog, the girl readily shouted at the woman.
The child looked at the woman with pitiful eyes, threatening to cry and scream if he didn’t touch the dog. In response, the woman was forced to respond, “Fine. You can pet it if you want, but if the dog bites you, you aren’t allowed to cry.”
The woman accompanied the child to pet the dog, but Bai Yan wasn’t interested and moved on from this scene. He returned home with the fruits and vegetables at hand, ate some fast food takeout, and then went outside again in the afternoon.
Bai Yan went to the printing shop to print out a stack of search notices and handed over the payment.
Bai Yan finally finished his trip at 7:30 PM and went home to prepare dinner.
Upon arriving in the hallway, Bai Yan deliberately went back a few steps to get a response from the dim motion sensor lights.
The lights lit dully in the hall along the second floor to the stairway. As he reached the second floor, Bai Yan saw an old person with white hair. The elder had unfortunately fallen on the ground, and her face looked like she was in indescribable pain. A basket of vegetables laid beside the old lady as if she had fallen on her way back from the market.
If he was brave enough to do such a good deed, Bai Yan would naturally not do it. He wouldn’t even cast a side glance and would act as if nothing happened. As he thought about taking a detour to avoid the elderly lady, his phone started buzzing fiercely.
The old lady laid on the ice-cold floor while her face froze into an agonizing expression.
Bai Yan slowly lowered his head and looked at his phone. The screen showed a new set of choices.
[On your way home at night, you have encountered a fallen grandmother in the corridor. The grandmother’s vegetable basket fell to the side, and she also woefully fell on the ground, but nobody showed up and helped her. Right now, it is 7:30 PM. It is truly scary to be alone in the stairwell at this hour. You are well aware that if you don’t help this old lady, with her old age, she would desperately struggle in the staircase for a long time before she will be able to get up. Maybe, without any help, she would just lie there on the cold ground until another good Samaritan passes by.]
[Seeing the pain-filled face of the elderly woman, you decide to:]
[A. Right now, there are a lot of old people that fall, according to the news. I could pretend that I didn’t see anything, avoid her, and go straight home.]
[B. This old lady looked extremely pitiful. As someone who has standards, if I don’t go over and help her, who will?]
Bai Yan never expected that he would be faced with such a moral dilemma. Regarding this elderly lady that helplessly fell on the ground, should he help her or not?
T/N: Happy Holidays everyone!! Just wanna inform you guys that I’ll most likely be back to my old schedule by February next year. Thank you for your continued support! <3
Special shout out again to Jany for supporting me on Ko-Fi! We’re almost half of the goal!!!