In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 14 ☆ Screaming Haunted House (10/12)
Roaring counted as screaming as long as the sound was loud enough, and the encounter with the haunted home staff (NPCs) could be bypassed.
Fang Wen Wen's high-pitched voice was enough to insta-kill those NPCs.
She groaned, pressed her palm to her throat, and licked her dry lips.
She was preparing for another tongue-lashing!
But the black shadows encircling her had fled in shame.
There was utter silence all around.
She could no longer hear those irritating whispers.
Hoodie, who was standing nearby, cocked their head at her.
Even though their expression was not abnormal but merely curious, it made Fang Wen Wen blush from embarrassment.
“Ahem,” she coughed softly, “I got a bit carried away here.”
“It's okay,” Pink hoodie shrugged, “I believe that if the real Liu Lili was more like you, she would have more choices.”
There was a faint sob in the air, and the last of the crying faded not long after.
Fang Wen Wen raised her long skirt again and resumed a frenzied race towards the village's edge with the hooded youngster.
As the girl with the long skirt dashed towards the light, her footsteps echoed on the green stone walkway.
The moonlight highlighted the green and black stone slabs, and the lofty homes stood oppressively on each side.
Hoodie turned back as they hurried out of the village as if they were aware of something.
A woman with an unreadable face stood motionless at the end of the green stone walkway.
She stepped back after sensing Xu Jin Yi's gaze, slipping back into darkness.
It's the end…
Xu Jin Yi had to give the new VR narrative and NPCs a thumbs up.
The two NPCs had obviously fleshed out the prior two-dimensional plot.
They even made it more aggravating.
[TN: Poor Xu Jin Yi despises babysitting NPCs.]
Xu Jin Yi followed Fang Wen Wen's direction while mentally processing what had transpired.
It wasn't difficult to put together the truth when she combined it with her experience playing the game on PC.
The village was formerly known as Paper Home Village.
Zhang Huai, who had transformed into a ghost, returned to this location and ruled with resentment (directly or indirectly, he converted the residents into his ghostly servants) and turned this place into abandoned Zhang's Pagoda Tree Village.
Prior to his death, Zhang Huai, who came from a large family with considerable standing in the village and was the only son, had a crush on Liu Lili, the community's prettiest orphan girl.
He had thoughts for Liu Lili, but she didn't.
But, because of Zhang Huai's status, she didn't dare to say no and instead kept her distance.
Later, a few people from outside the community came here to promote “science and democracy to abolish feudalism”.
Liu Lili wanted to leave this place to see the rest of the world.
Despite his lack of education, Zhang Huai knew what Liu Lili wished to attain as she stared at the poster with the huge words.
But Liu Lili had grown up in the village, and Zhang Huai couldn't bear the thought of her leaving.
Furthermore, Liu Lili was so beautiful; what if she was cheated on outside? What's the issue with staying in the village? Why did she have to go when she was fed and clothed?
Ultimately, Zhang Huai decided that he wanted to 'make things right' (rape) with Liu Lili in order for her to become his mistress.
He invited Liu Lili out to the end of the village in the name of the propagandists in the evening.
He only sneaked there after midnight.
As long as he and Liu Lili became husband and wife (had sex), she couldn't leave!
But what Zhang Huai didn't anticipate was for even heaven to be repulsed by his face.
While attempting to force Liu Lili, he unintentionally slipped into an undrained paddy.
When he fell, Liu Lili panicked and fled, leaving him there.
He fell face-first into the muck in the middle of the night, his ankle cramped and twisted, and perished in the not-too-deep, not-too-shallow paddy.
The next day, residents who had hurried to turn over the fields in the morning discovered a swollen and soaked Zhang Huai.
Zhang Huai had died, and Liu Lili also couldn't have a future.
Everyone in the village saw how much Zhang Huai had tangled with Liu Lili.
Now that one of the protagonists had died, the other had become the centre of the talk.
Liu Lili was able to put up with the rumours.
Still, it was Zhang's parents who suggested: “ghost marriage” (冥婚) that ultimately got to her.
She didn't want to marry Zhang Huai.
Not in life, and certainly not in death!
Furthermore, the idea of a living person marrying a dead person…
was beyond Liu Lili's comprehension.
She had a gut feeling that this was not how the world was supposed to be.
However, there was too much gossip in the community.
Even though Liu Lili tried not to notice, she could feel their eyes, the comments, and the phoney smiles every day.
Layer after layer, they peeled off her skin and flesh, eventually ripping out her backbone and shattering it piece by piece.
In a daze, she began to question if she had made the wrong decision in the first place.
Zhang Huai died because of her.
She had a debt to pay:
To Zhang Huai.
To the villagers.
She was a woman who carried a heavy blood debt.
Liu Lili had no desire to be Zhang Huai's ghost bride.
But she could pay him with her life.
Liu Lili perished after diving into the well.
In this village, she lived and killed herself.
The two sped to the village's outskirts.
Xu Jin Yi focused her gaze on the small wooden pier where Tian Si De was supposed to be, but she saw no one.
“Si De!” Fang Wen Wen started shouting, “Tian Si De!!!”
“Where are you!!!?”
Soon after, muffled grunts could be heard from the edge of a nearby paddy field.
Fang Wen Wen's spirits rose, and she rushed over.
Xu Jin Yi was close behind.
Half of Tian Si De's body had fallen into the paddy field.
He held his pants up with one hand and clutched to the weeds on the field's edge with the other.
A mud-covered Zhang Huai was tugging Tian Si De's pant leg in the paddy.
[TN: Maybe he is into guys?]
They were silently struggling and tugging like this, neither winning nor losing.
Tian Si De thought he heard his lover Wen Wen's voice amid the struggle.
He glared at Zhang Huai, who was yanking at his pants: How dare this monster use Wen Wen's voice to mislead him again!!!”
“Tian Si De!!!”
His sweetheart, dressed in a puffy dress, ran down the route from the village, followed by the pink hoodie.
Tian Si De was immediately relieved when he saw them.
“Pink Hoodie!” He shouted, “Help! This guy is tugging my pants!”
Fang Wen Wen, who was rushing at him from the front: “?”
'I'm the first to arrive, yet you're calling for someone else instead of your girlfriend?'
Hoodie smirked and swiftly moved over to Tian Si De's hand, seizing it and yanking it hard!
For a split second, Tian Si De felt he was flying.
Tian Si De shuddered as he checked his pants once he was back on the ground.
Luckily, his pants were still on, and he hadn't lost his face.
He choked out a sigh and then looked over at his girlfriend, who was standing on the sidelines with her arms crossed while staring at him.
Fang Wen Wen's face was expressionless, “Tian Si De.
You just saw me, and you didn't even call out to me!” His girlfriend gasped, “Isn't my puffy skirt a little more noticeable than their hoodie?!”
Xu Jin Yi: “?”
'Sorry, but I'm wearing not just a hoodie, but a PINKING ~★ Hoodie!'
Tian Si De's eyes lit up.
He walked over to his girlfriend and hugged her.
“Wen Wen, I, I missed you so much!”
Xu Jin Yi inhaled deeply.
She couldn't figure out why creatures like lovers existed in a horror game.
[TN: To kill them, of course, so that solitary dogs can howl.~!]
Xu Jin Yi turned away from the two lovers who had been through a lot and glanced at Zhang Huai, who was lying on his back in the paddy field.
He looked furious.
He died like that.
Mud and sand had clogged his nose and throat.
He couldn't speak and could only make muffled gurgles.
Zhang Huai slapped the water hard and stood up stiffly.
He was trying to escape the paddy field to capture them.
Xu Jin Yi shouted, then flung the flashlight she was carrying towards Zhang Huai's feet with pinpoint accuracy.
Zhang Huai's ghost didn't respond quickly enough, and his elevated foot was slapped back, forcing him to tilt backwards.
The next second, his body lost equilibrium and fell back with a big splash.
Tian Si De grabbed Fang Wen Wen's hand and ran towards the edge of the village the instant Xu Jin Yi opened her mouth!
They were sprinting ahead of Xu Jin Yi, who was trailing behind.
She was wary about Zhang Huai behind her and told Tian Si De and his girlfriend, “Keep running! Pass through the willow tree ahead of you!”
Zhang Huai, who had fallen into the paddy almost in the re-enactment of his tragic death, got up indignant.
He ran towards Xu Jin Yi, letting out a harsh gargle.
Despite having all his limbs stiff, he moved quickly on all his forelimbs unnaturally.
Xu Jin Yi cursed and bolted.
This was Screaming Haunted House's final chase.
The game was over when you sprinted beyond the willow tree behind the walkway at the village's end.
The trigger requirement was to travel by the water field where Zhang Huai had died, but Tian Si De had interacted with it earlier for some reason.
But this wasn't the time to dwell on it.
Xu Jin Yi frantically swung her arms to move speedily in the VR world.
Soon after, the trio of frantic runners on the long road ahead came to the tall willow tree growing on the side of the road.
Tian Si De took a moment to glance behind him; the dead man was right behind the hoodie youngster.
There wasn't much of a gap between them.
His grip on his girlfriend's petite hand tightened, and he gasped sharply, “Almost there! Silence, hurry up—!”
— The next second, Xu Jin Yi was right behind him and kicked him in the back horizontally.
“So much nonsense, just run through!!!”
——— Translator's Notes ———
冥婚 [míng hūn] – In the old days, people were superstitious about the so-called “feng shui” of graveyards, believing that the presence of a solitary grave would affect the prosperity of the family's future generations.
At that time, some “feng shui masters” (in ancient times called”Kanyu”) also encouraged such marriages in order to make a few more coins.
Basically, ghost marriage was a way for charlatans to weasel out more money and in the process they kill off poor, unwanted girls.
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