With Hoodie chattering, the two eventually got out of the alley,

Hoodie coughed as they exited the alley.

Tian Si De gently bowed his head to ease his guilty conscience.

They returned to the village's centre.
The moon's soothing light significantly reduced Tian Si De's anxiety.

There was now just one remaining path here.

“That's the main path.” Hoodie said, “This is still a haunted house, no matter how fancy it appears, all of it is simply scare tricks.
You're not going for an excellent score, so go that way.”

They didn't even pause while speaking, directing Tian Si De to the opposite side.

Because he couldn't see the road, the youth was pushed to move swiftly.

A familiar whisper emerged from behind him.

The voice sounded like a dying man's whisper, squeezing out between dry throat and drifting away in the wind.

It said:

“Si De…”

“Why did you leave…”

“Please, stay with me…”

Tian Si De's footsteps lurched.

“I think I heard Wen Wen's voice…?” he said uncertainly.

At that, Hoodie whirled around and glanced behind him.

“Oh, that ah, that's the water well ghost calling out your name.
Do you wish to do its quest? I recall it being around an hour long.”

Tian Si De: “…”

He decisively refused.

Tian Si De couldn't wait to soar after Hoodie, ignoring the faint, moaning female voice behind him.

Tian Si De noticed that the third route was significantly broader than the previous two as they stepped upon it.

It felt like he was strolling down a broad road meant for vehicles.

“Get ready.”

Hoodie commented quietly as they moved forward.

'Ready for what?'

Before Tian Si De could grasp what they meant by that phrase, he observed a shift in his surroundings.

The shadows on either side rippled out like water waves.
After a few suspenseful seconds, shadows revealed a dark mass of figures on either side.

Not only one, but two rows followed that.
Men, women, and children gathered in a long line, their faces obscured.
Tian Si De gulped hard as he stared ahead and saw no end in sight!

The “folk” on each side of them murmured as they walked along the middle of the road.

“Look at the …
look …”

fox …
unlucky …”

“Pestering …
great people…”

Tian Si De strained his ears but could only hear a few phrases.
The remainder was inaudible.

He covered his forehead and coughed involuntarily after hearing too much.

''Uncomfortable …
so uncomfortable…''

Tian Si De couldn't understand why he felt like someone had splashed his eyes with acid as the coughing became louder.
He felt like he wanted to throw up his organs while wheezing.

The ghostly whispers on each side of him made it even more difficult.
The low, dense voices almost pierced his skull like needles.

What were they talking about?

Why couldn't he hear, and why was he so uncomfortable?

At some point, Tian Si De stopped.

He clutched his head, and half bowed his back, attempting to block out the noises surrounding him.

'It's so hard; it's so hard, it's so hard, it's so hard.'

'Help me help me help me help me help me.'

help me help me.”

He mumbled.

help me …”

A sharp pang shot through his back.
The defenceless Tian Si De screamed heartily.

For a second, all the voices stopped.

However, after a brief pause, they resumed, gradually becoming louder.

“Scream out.”

At some point, Hoodie had crouched down in front of him.
They cocked their head as they peered at him.

Tian Si De couldn't grasp what Hoodie meant by it as he was still gasping for breath and his face was red from coughing.

Hoodie flashed him a friendly smile before stomping on his toes!

Tian Si De: “Ow~!!!”

All of the voices abruptly came to a halt.

The “people” on each side had vanished, leaving only a lonely stone avenue ahead.

Tian Si De returned to his senses and grimaced as he flexed his aching toes.

“Wake up yet?”

The assailant spoke half-heartedly from the sidelines.

“You simply howl if you hear anything else later,” they added, tossing Tian Si De's dropped flashlight up and down.

“This haunted house accepts screaming to skip scenes.
So, when you're terrified, it's fine to shriek.”

Tian Si De: “…
Thanks, but why didn't you tell me earlier?”

Hoodie: “And then listen to you yell from beginning to end of the village?”

Tian Si De was speechless.

“By the way, you must scream loudly, clearly, and genuinely.
Fill your chest with air before delivering a loud noise!”

Tian Si De abruptly interrupted them, “OK, I know now,” while the other party hadn't said anything even more ridiculous.

He took a step forward after seeing nothing else weird appear around him.

“Let's go, let's go.”

The two set off again.

As they walked along the wide and long stone path, Tian Si De's thoughts began to wander, replaying all the scares he had just endured.

“…Now that I think about it, pink hoodie, I don't know your name.”

Hoodie, strolling alongside Tian Si De, came to a halt.

They were now standing silently.


Hoodie murmured after a prolonged pause as if they had been distracted and had just now returned to their senses.

“My name is simply Silence*.”

Tian Si De heard a very soft sigh.


“I'm your 24K* pure daddy,” Xu Jin Yi repeatedly shouted, and “What are you barking at?” as well as “YourRealDaddy24K?!” She gave up with contempt.
“Why isn't this ID working?”

Xu Jin Yi was indignant, “How cool is Your 24K Pure Daddy!”

Nonetheless, VR glasses returned a sequence of [Unrecognized], [Blocked word identified].
[Please re-enter ID] to reject this view.

“How troublesome, really troublesome.” Her eyes glazed over as she leaned back on the couch.

Instead of being startled awake by the plot of paper-folded people while playing horror VR in the morning, she was tortured by the plot forced [enter ID] window.
[TN: Anyone who has played online games understands this when they are trying to create a new character, but all of their n+ names are already taken.]

Even though she closed it repeatedly, it stubbornly repoped and demanded that she input a valid ID.

“Your 24K Pure Daddy is the best!”

But, to continue the plot going, Xu Jin Yi eventually caved.

She looked at the newly added NPC named [Tian Shi De] in front of her and remembered her previous incident in the alley, where she rambled frantically to appease the NPC's doping sanity value.

Xu Jin Yi heavily typed in her new ID.


She used a homophone for her name, Jin.

The story may finally progress.

Xu Jin Yi suppressed her joy, grabbed the NPC [Tian Shi De] by the back of his collar, and lifted him to the edge of the small wooden pier at the end of the village.

“Don't move around here; I'll get your girlfriend back.”

She feigned not to see the NPC's expression, which indicated he was about to say something and raced away without looking back.

She wanted to avoid encountering more NPCs that needed to talk to keep their sanity value!

It was too troublesome!

But before this —

“It's time to eat!!”

Xu Jin Yi hit the pause button, swiftly removed her VR glasses, and went downstairs to order stir-fried food.

She lived alone on a high floor, yet the lift was the last thing on her mind.
The girl grabbed her keys and phone and hurried down the stairs, landing at the diner at precisely 12 o'clock.

“Auntie! One scrambled egg with a salty-sweet tomato.
One serving of rice.
Add extra broth for the rice, please! One small dish of spicy fried diced chicken and garlic pork ribs.”

Xu Jin Yi sipped her saliva, looked at the wall menu, and ordered another small plate of baby veggies.

“Jin Yi is so punctual every day,” the dining auntie teased, stepping quickly to take her order.
“The order has been placed and will be ready in ten minutes!”

Xu Jin Yi nodded and sat patiently at the diner.

The news station was playing on the floating television in the lobby, which was currently interrupted by commercials.
Xu Jin Yi was disinterested and eventually looked away.

The diner was flooded with tantalizing food aromas, causing the hungry girl to gulp saliva and eagerly stare towards the back of the kitchen.

With some spare time, the diner's aunt spotted her and couldn't help but say, “Jin Yi is a regular customer.
Auntie will give you another tea egg.”

Xu Jinyi looked like a lovely ponytail girl with her black shoulder-length hair pulled back.
She was only in her early twenties and lively and joyful.
Plus, she had a sweet voice.
The diner auntie enjoyed her much.

The girl responded with an “Eh!” and smiled as she accepted the unanticipated egg.

At lunchtime, the diner was beginning to fill up, and the auntie was soon too busy to converse with her, so when her meal arrived, she didn't wait for auntie and waved her goodbye before bringing her packed food home.

After she left, a group of men from the construction site arrived at the diner.
These men sat down and waited for their meal after ordering a couple of bowls of fried food.

At the moment, recent news began to air on television.

“…At eight o'clock last evening, the 'Eternal Bus' appeared at Riverside station.
According to survivors' testimonies, the following 'Eternal Bus' precautions have been compiled:”

Simultaneously, the large advertisement board in the city plaza began to broadcast the same news station, displaying the list of precautions.

“Don't disrupt the order in the bus… don't interfere with the driver's work…”

The labourers' voices paused and stared at the TV above in unison.

“Eh, do you believe this is real or fake?”

“It has to be true! It's all over the news channels.
Can state television deceive us?**”

“Nowadays, it isn't even safe to ride a bus?!”

“What comes around always comes around; you can't hide from it,” said someone, breaking apart disposable chopsticks.

“But how likely are you to encounter a Spirit Shenanigans Event? You'd be more likely to win a lottery ticket than that!”

The others agreed as they reflected on the number of occurrences that had occurred in previous years.

“No one knows if this is the last one for the year.”

——— Translators Notes ———

*24k applies to the amount of pure gold in a particular piece.
24 refers to parts of 24, or karats, meaning, all 24 parts in the gold are pure gold

Characters name Xu Jin Yi (许金艺), 金 Jin = Gold/Respected

As you can see, she uses her given name's homophone, Jin, which has two meanings (Gold and Silence), as her ID.

**Just like the Chinese government doesn't disclose the real numbers of dead people from COVID, they don't post anything that would damage their image as the safest country on earth.
PROVERB: Ignorance is bliss.
This is the only reason why the Chinese believe that all other countries have crime, prostitution, and drugs while they don't.

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