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Some things are starting to connect…but some things are just getting more confusing. The suspense is real T.T
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
Yan Si turned to look into the living room.
After a good while, he turned his gaze back onto Yu Yin, and asked in a somewhat uncertain and dubious tone, “Student that was ganged up on, are your eyes…cramped?”
“You're the one with cramped eyes!” Yu Yin glared at him. But when he glanced back, he was also stunned. Aside from Yu, there was n.o.body else on the couch.
Strange…had he been mistaken?
Wait, don't tell me it's…something I wasn't supposed to see again?
Buy why is there one in Yan Si's home?
It can't be that guy did something here…
“Just get in first, student that was ganged up on.” Yan Si pushed Yu Yin towards the living room and then turned to walk towards the kitchen. “What drink would you like? Fruit juice? Or soda?”
“Any is fine, thanks.” Yu Yin placed his bag next to the cabinet and walked in, surveying the house. It was a pretty decent residence, but didn't have the feeling he normally sensed from “that kind of place”.
So was that one just pa.s.sing by?
From his seat on the couch, Yu put down the treat in his hand and blinked his violet eyes at Yu Yin.
Yun Yi temporarily pushed his thoughts aside and sat down next to Yu. “Are you alright?” He looked left and right; it didn't seem like there was anything off with Yu. “How did you get trapped in the elevator?”
Yu gave him a long stare before he reached out to grab the notebook. However, after hesitating for a few seconds, he retracted his arm and simply kept his lips pursed together, unwilling to answer.
“Why don't you want to say?” Yu Yun asked with a frown, having noticed the unnatural response.
“Is it something that you cannot talk about?”
A while pa.s.sed. Yu still didn't respond.
Yu Yin felt this reaction was extremely strange. Judging from Yu's att.i.tude, it didn't seem like something that didn't require an answer; rather, it felt like he wanted to say something, but couldn't say it.
“Student that was ganged up on, Xiao Yu doesn't remember anything about the elevator incident; how do you propose he answer you?” As Yan Si walked out of the kitchen with fruit juice and tea, he overheard Yu Yi's one-sided conversation. Placing the drinks down on the table, Yan Si informed, “And the only things I know are that he was trapped for nearly an hour and was completely drenched when he was rescued out.”
“Drenched?” Yu Yin narrowed his eyes.
“Seemed like tap water.” However, why would there be tap water in the elevator? Yan Si remained puzzled after pondering this matter hundreds of times. Claiming the elevator was leaking would be too far-fetched. However, on the topic of water, Yan Si thought of another matter. “That's right, student that was ganged up on, my home was haunted last night.”
Yu Yin, who had just been about to take a sip from his cup of fruit juice, froze. “Haunted?” And here he'd thought that Yan Si wasn't afraid of ghosts…
“That's right, I heard you're somewhat knowledgeable about this kind of thing, so I took a picture of the situation for you to look at.” Yan Si pulled out a digital camera and pa.s.sed it over with a shrug.
“I'm not really knowledgeable.” Yu Yin accepted the camera and turned the power on. The screen was displaying a wall; judging from the angle of the picture and the surrounding decorations, it was the wall right in front of where he was sitting now.
The first thing that drew his attention wasn't the wall, but the image on the wall. It was a face, a sinister face of a woman.
Now he was certain that Yan Si truly wasn't afraid of ghosts.
A normal person would probably scream and run away at this kind of scene, right?
“I took the photo before the landlord repainted the wall. My photography skills are pretty good, aren't they?” Yan Si bragged as he pointed at the wall that still had fresh paint yet to completely dry.
“You like taking photos, huh…” The face on the high-resolution photo gave off a very strange feeling to Yu Yin, but he couldn't exactly place it. Anyways, it's definitely odd.
It wasn't as if he'd never seen these kinds of supernatural photos. In fact, it was the opposite; because his cla.s.smates and close friends knew that he could occasionally see weird things, they would find random photos from all over the place and ask him to determine whether they were real or fake.
But the sense he got from this photo was something he couldn't describe with words.
“That's right. If you want, we can go out and take photos together someday.” Yan Si sat down and smiled as he lifted his cup of coffee, “My old friends from the forensics team said my ability to photograph corpses is pretty good, always getting the best angle and highest definition. My skills are way better than those of the staff taking pictures at the crime scenes.”
“…No need, thank you,” Yu Yin refused without even needing to think about it.
“Tsk.” Ignoring Yan Si's disappointment, Yu Yin inspected the photo a few more times before pa.s.sing it back to its owner. “You're still staying at a haunted house?” Does he think that after repainting the wall, he can just pretend nothing ever happened?
“Why not continue staying here?” Yan Si furrowed his brows, finding the question strange. “This is my house, the one that should scram is that one.” This was his territory, his house. There was no reason for him to leave; rather, it should be the one that had arrived later leaving.
Wow, what a brave person.
Yu Yin seriously admired this forensic investigator who had clearly knocked a few mental screws loose but somehow had yet to kick the bucket.
He was willing to bet that if Yan Si was not the type born with a sinister appearance, then he was the type with an aura that frightened away ghosts. Otherwise, there would be no way he could stay in his field for so long and maintain the att.i.tude of “I'm the boss, anyone else should go die”.
“I'm really not that knowledgeable in this. Why don't you ask my old man and see if anyone with this appearance has died or gone missing recently? It's possible they came specially to find you for help.” Yu Yin could only come up with this response after thinking over the matter.
“Why come to me for help? It's not like I can communicate with spirits. It's more likely they ran through the wrong door,” Yan Si knit his brows together. He had absolutely no idea how to help this person, and truly believed they'd come to the wrong address.
It couldn't be that the ghost had appeared in the residence above him but accidentally slipped down a floor, arriving at his place by mistake?
“…I doubt they just ran through the wrong door.” Yu Yin picked up the drink he had yet to try, not quite sure whether he should be laughing or responding. But if the residence's owner didn't think anything of it, there wasn't much for him to say either. He swirled the drink in his cup as he instead thought of another matter.
“Don't they always show those plots on TV where people come to look for the forensic investigator to redress an injustice? And those instances where forensic investigators solve cases. Are you sure you want to drag me over to that side and suffer from Uncle's wrath?” There was now way Yan Si wanted to contend against Yu Xia. After all, in the short month since he'd joined the team, he had already heard of Yu Xia's various deeds from the office, and some were really terrifying.
“Just joking.” As someone that was constantly dragged to that side, Yu Yin understood Yan Si's thoughts.
Yan Si looked at the photo again and after thinking for a while, said, “That's right, if you disregard the fact that it's an image formed by leaking water, the image alone looks very similar to that of a swollen corpse.”
Yu Yin's expression twisted.
In short, it was best to quickly eat and hurry back home. He didn't want Yu to be influenced by this weird mister, or else someone would scold him back home.
Yu Yin raised his cup of juice and downed it in a single gulp without looking.
In that instant, an intense stench rose up and made its way down his throat. The odour was so strong that he suddenly became lightheaded, and his vision immediately went black.
Yan Si, who was still studying the photo and trying to figure out how the owner of the face had died, was startled by the sudden sound of vomiting.
When he turned around, he saw that Yu Yin was bent over, his entire face pale, with the fruit juice he had just drunk vomited onto the ground. Yu, who was standing on the side, was similarly startled. He then hurriedly half dragged, half supported Yu Yin towards the bathroom.
Yan Si watched in bewilderment as Yu pushed the other person into the bathroom and then stood outside the door, not daring to go in.
Yu Yin immediately knelt before the toilet and violently threw up, as if he was emptying all the contents of his stomach.
“Student that was ganged up on, did you get poisoned by something you ate on your way here?” Yan Si coolly questioned as he also walked over to stand outside the bathroom door.
The only response was a raised middle finger and the slamming of the door.
“Tsk, such bad temper.” He shrugged and turned around, noticing that Yu had already grabbed a towel and was about to clean the floor. “Xiao Yu, don't worry; you can just leave it there and I'll clean up later.”
When he looked more closely, he noticed that, of all places to vomit, Yu Yin had chosen to do so on his decorative rug. One of the corners of the white fur rug had been ruined, looking like a rice patty that had just been rained upon.
Yu was kneeling next to this corner, hesitating on where exactly to start cleaning.
“This will have to be sent off for cleaning. I'll ask someone to come over and do it later.” Yan Si lifted the table off to the side and folded the rug into a square. At the same time, he rea.s.sured, “Don't worry, I don't know if it got wet from the water leakage yesterday anyways, so I would've had to get it cleaned sooner or later.” He had originally planned on cleaning up after the guests had left anyways, he just hadn't expected to do it a bit earlier.
After staring at Yan Si for a while, Yu finally stood back up.
“It's not your fault, don't worry.” Yan Si reached out to pat Yu's head with a bright smile.
Contrasting the merry interaction between the two outside, Yu Yin was naturally not doing well as he continued to violently throw up into the toilet.
The sudden, horrible stench was so bad that it made him feel dizzy and beyond nauseous.
Only after he'd pretty much emptied his entire stomach and had washed himself up did he miserably lean on the sink and start thinking about what he'd eaten today could've possibly poisoned him.
It couldn't have been the fruit juice just now, since he had been able to smell its freshness. Moreover, even if he could get poisoned by the juice, it couldn't have reacted so quickly.
Dad's breakfast…wasn't possible either. If that food could poison him, then nothing fresh could possibly exist.
Then that only left the snack that a teacher had given him in the school office?
But he had clearly seen today's date stamped on the snack's packaging for the date of manufacture. Moreover, it wasn't hot outside today, plus he'd put it in the fridge. There's no way it could've spoiled…exactly what was the problem?
Or had he drunk something today?
Moreover, what was up with the horrible stench that had abruptly appeared?
He turned on the faucet, intending to splash some water on his face. But all he heard was the echoes of empty pipes. When he looked down, he noticed there wasn't a single drop of water coming out.
“No way…” Was there a need to mess with him to this extent?
Just as he was about to call out to the people outside, he raised his head to look at the mirror and immediately froze.
The mirror's still reflection showed a little girl standing behind him with her head lowered, expressionless. Her clothes looked very familiar, and he felt like he'd seen them before…
Just as he was about to turn around, Yu Yin heard the gurgling of water from the faucet, causing him to subconsciously look back down. A strange, copper colored fluid was gushing out endlessly, spiraling around the sink basin.
He could smell the stink of rot.
Before long, the entire bathroom was filled with the odor strong enough to make anyone vomit.
Yu Yin furrowed his brows and pinched his nose. When he raised his eyes, the girl standing behind him had disappeared again. A drop of copper colored water had dripped down the mirror, splitting the glossy reflection in half.
Yu Yin took two steps back. The single drop of copper colored water fell down from above and landed with a plop where he'd just stood.
He lifted his head to see that the more and more drops of copper colored water had begun to leak through the bathroom ceiling. They dripped down like ceaseless rain. The originally yellow boards were moist and leaking, forming strange red patches.
Just as Yu Yin was feeling seriously doomed this time, he suddenly heard loud knocks on the shut door behind him. Bang, bang bang. It sounded urgent, and the knocking brought him back to his senses.
“Student that was ganged up on, are you still ok?”
He heard the noise from the other side of the door.
“Hurry up and open the door!” Yu Yin turned around and hastily turned the doork.n.o.b. Although it was clearly not locked, the door couldn't be opened. “I can't open it on this side.”
The person on the opposite side of the door most likely heard this, and immediately turned the doork.n.o.b as well.
Just as he was about to push the door open, Yu Yin felt a vibration come from his hand that made him stop in his tracks.
The doork.n.o.b was being twisted furiously by the opposite side, as if it would be wrenched off. Its loud noises echoed through the bathroom, and it sounded as if the entire door would collapse from the shaking.
Staring at the constantly spinning doork.n.o.b, Yu Yin retreated a few steps.
Yan Si couldn't possibly open the door like this.
“Student that was ganged up on, are you still ok?!”
The voice was still repeating the same words, as if it hadn't heard Yu Yin's reply.
“I'm still ok!”
He was now very certain that “it” was not someone he knew.
And instantly, he realised what was outside.
“Who are you?”
As he quietly asked this, the doork.n.o.b's furious spinning came to a grinding halt, and the surroundings suddenly fell silent. It was as if the disturbance just now had never happened.
All he could hear was the sound of water dripping.
Then, the door opened.
The bathroom door was slowly pushed open, bit by bit.
Outside wasn't the living room he'd walked in from earlier, but a ground that had just been freshly painted. The ground also had aged, yellow water stains. His surroundings were pitch dark, and a weird damp stink lingered in the air.
Where is this place?
The strange sound of a machine could be heard from the distance. It was m.u.f.fled, but very familiar. He felt like he'd heard this kind of noise before; it wasn't foreign at all.
There were banging sounds from outside the door, as well as the rhythmic noises of a bouncing ball coming from not too far away. However, he didn't see anyone.
“Who are you?” Yu Yin stayed where he was. Naturally, he wasn't stupid enough to leave the perimeter of the bathroom. Otherwise, it could end up being like in those ghost movies where a single step out would result in him falling to his death. That wouldn't be worth it at all.
Then, the noises went silent.
It was a suffocating silence, as if a rock had dropped into taciturn waters, never to see the light of day again.
There wasn't a single person around.
Yu Yin had no idea how much time had pa.s.sed. He felt a cold sweat drip down his back; it was just too quiet, quiet to the point where he could very clearly hear his own breathing and blood racing.
Just as he was about to check his watch, the bathroom door suddenly began to slowly start shaking again. Then the door gradually closed, as if it had never been opened.
He didn't understand the intention of the visitor, nor what it was trying to express.
Once the bathroom door completely shut, Yu Yin felt an ice-cold gaze on him from below.
When he looked down, he saw a pair of eyes viciously glaring at him from the opening at the bottom of the door.
Before he could even respond, he abruptly heard the sound of knocking once more.
He hadn't even reacted before the door suddenly banged open. There was no longer some freshly painted surface in front of him; it had transformed back to the floor of Yan Si's residence. The sounds ringing out from all directions were from the wind outside the window.
“Student that was ganged up on, I thought you'd fainted in here.” Yan Si was swinging the door key around as he leaned against the door and surveyed the bathroom. “…No way, did you throw up until the entire room was spoiled?”
Upon hearing these words, Yu Yin returned to his senses and quickly turned around to look.
The red splotches around the bathroom were still there and had even formed the shape of a face.
The face was nearly identical to the one that had been displayed on the digital camera.
“Who do you think threw up until the whole room was spoiled?” Yu Yin then recalled that he'd wanted to wash himself, but he was truly unable to stay in the bathroom any longer. He turned around to leave, grabbing the bottle of spring water in his bag and heading to the kitchen.
When Yan Si saw the “familiar” face that had formed on the bathroom wall, he frowned. “This thing again, I wonder if a strong acid can wash it off.” Luckily the bathroom used tiles and not paint, otherwise the landowner would cry from being called again.
“Aren't strong acids used to clean the toilet?” Having emptied the bottle of water, Yu Yin walked back in to look at the red-blotched face on the bathroom wall and thought of the pair of eyes he'd seen just now. However, for some unknown reason, he kept feeling like the two things didn't match up.
Those eyes didn't look like the eyes on this face. They were small, not that of an adult.
“This is a female's face.” Yan Si said after walking into the bathroom and studying it for a long while. “It's a bit swollen and rotten. It looks like it's probably been soaked in water for a long while. If I had to draw a comparison, it's similar to that of a drowned body.”
“Have there been any recent cases with drowned bodies?” Yu Yin asked dubiously from outside the door.
“No, at least, none in my hands.” Yan Si shrugged and confidently replied after quickly going through all the recent cases in his head.
“Then that's weird…”
Just after the two left the bathroom in single file, a sound came from the TV in the living room where only Yu remained.
“News report, a headless female corpse was found at 3 AM in Taichung City today. According to site investigations…”
When he heard the foreign yet also familiar sound, Yu Yin immediately raced into the living room.
Yu had at some point turned on the TV and was sitting in front and watching the news report. He didn't seem to be the slightest bit perturbed.
The TV continued to broadcast: “According to the site investigations, the initial conclusion from the police is that this isn't really the original site the violent death occurred in. For the details, please wait for the news from the on-site reporters…”
Yu turned to look at him.
“Headless corpse case? Strange, why would something that happened at 3 AM only be broadcasted on TV now?” Yan Si rubbed his chin in confusion as he walked over to the TV as well. “Moreover, I haven't received any news yet, but the location doesn't seem far from here…” Typically, the police nearby would exchange information, so it was easy to hear of news. However, this news was foreign to him.
When Yu Yin heard these words, he instantly turned around. “You saw the news too?”
Yan Si nodded, unsure of why he was being asked this. “Of course I saw it; otherwise, what would the TV be broadcasting right now, ‘The Adorable Pokemon Showdown'?”
Ignoring the other person's superfluous words, Yu Yin quickly fell deep into his own thoughts.
A headless corpse case really occurred?
“Is there a way to get the details this case?” Yu Yin suddenly voiced his thought as he watched the chaotic scene of the reporters on TV individually a.n.a.lysing the case. However, the policemen being questioned were unable to comment.
“I can probably borrow them, the reporting district is right next door. We have friendly relationships with the police over there. But the point of the matter is, why do you want to look at that case?” Yan Si frowned at the two children pointing their wide-eyed gazes at him.
“Curiosity,” Yu Yin responded on their behalf.
“Curiosity, my a.s.s. Young children shouldn't be fooling around with these matters; if you're not careful, the murder case's perpetrator will end up coming at you two directly. If it's nothing important, you shouldn't let your curiosity go too far.” Yan Si reached out to change the TV channel. The monitor immediately switched to show a line of frogs currently dancing around. “Cartoons are better to watch, they help preserve the purity and sincerity of the heart.”
“Not interested.” Yu Yin stood up, dusted himself off, and then looked at his watch. “c.r.a.p, it's getting late. I still have to go back and help some cla.s.smates collate some notes.”
“Oh? Doing a side job?” Yan Si seemed to suddenly recall a memory from his younger days as he gave a weird smile, “How much for one notebook?”
“As if I'd tell you, I'm saving the money to buy something.” Yu Yin pulled a face in response and then grabbed Yu to drag him towards the door to run out.
“Wait, bring the treats back with you to eat.” Yan Si quickly placed the cakes into a box and stuffed the dried clothes into a bag, swiftly catching up to them. “Xiao Yu, you can just return the clothes to me next time.”
Yu accepted the bag and nodded.
“Be careful on your way back.”
After walking out, Yu Yin was originally planning on taking the elevator down. However, seeing that there was an “Undergoing Maintenance” sign on the elevator, he immediately dispelled the thought. They were only on the third floor anyways, walking down the stairs would be fine too.
“What do you want to eat for dinner?” Yu Yin asked as he pulled Yu towards the stairs.
The violet eyes simply looked at him without any signs of a response.
Yu Yin simply shrugged; by now, he was used to this kind of answer and made the decision himself. “I'll bring you to eat something good, since Dad won't be home until late tonight anyways.”
Without giving any reply or expression of disagreement, Yu obediently followed him down the stairs.
Just as they were about to leave the complex, they heard hurried footsteps from behind them.
It was a resident carrying a bag full of recyclable bottles, heading towards the disposal area.
“Ah? Did you two just move in?” The person stopped in their tracks and asked casually.
“No, we came to visit a friend.” Yu Yin smiled and asked, “Uncle, do you live here as well?”
The man was probably in his forties. His outer appearance was like that of a normal office-worker, with a somewhat cowering smile. However, his looks weren't unlikable.
“Mm, I live on the seventh floor. My last name is Ye, full name Ye Li Shen.” The man smiled; he seemed fairly easy to interact with.
Something seemingly flashed through Yu Yin's mind, but he couldn't quite grasp a hold of it. “h.e.l.lo, my last name is Yu, full name Yu Yin. This is my younger brother. We're friends of Mister Yan on the third floor.”
“Oh, the Mister Yan that recently moved in. We just b.u.mped into each other on the stairs.” Ye Li Shen nodded in acknowledgement and subconsciously looked back at the building. “If you two are free, you should come by to play more often. The residents here are all pretty nice and easy to talk with.”
“Alright, thank you, Uncle Ye.” Yu Yin thanked in response before moving aside to let the other person leave first.
Hefting the empty bottles, the man nodded at them and then walked straight out.
As the man left, Yu Yin seemed to hear a small ball bouncing again. But the sound faded in the blink of an eye, which made him think it was probably his imagination.
Yu walked over from the side and tugged on Yu Yin's bag.
“What's wrong?” Yu Yin turned around and asked when he saw Yu's expression of slight embarra.s.sment.
Yu shook his head and pushed him out.
Not quite understanding what Yu wanted, Yu Yin could only walk out of the building first, leading them across the street to where he'd parked his motorbike.
After turning to stare at the towering building for a while, Yu finally took out a notebook and wrote down a few words, then flipped it open to show Yu Yin.
“You drowned in the elevator?” As Yu Yin read the words on the notebook, he unknowingly raised his voice. “Yu, this joke isn't funny.”
Yan Si said that Yu was drenched when rescued out of the elevator. But how could he drown inside an elevator? Unless it was an endless swimming pool?
Not funny at all.
The violet eyes were earnestly looking at him and didn't show any signs of joking at all. Yu then took the notebook back and wrote a few more words before pa.s.sing it over. “I…forgot. All I remember is water, and that it was difficult to breathe, before I pa.s.sed out.”
Seeing his serious att.i.tude, Yu Yin frowned. “I really believe you, but drowning in an elevator…is too bizarre. Do you remember anything before drowning?”
Yu shook his head.
“You just remember drowning then?”
This time he nodded.
“Weird, why does it feel like everything is related to water?” Yu Yin then described what had happened in the bathroom earlier, with growing suspicion.
Way too coincidental.
Yan Si's home leaking water, Yu drowning in the elevator, and then him encountering that strange water in the bathroom. It felt like everything was connected somehow, but he couldn't figure out how.
Just as he was pondering this, Yu suddenly lifted his hand to show him something.
Yu Yin's attention was drawn downwards as he tugged Yu's sleeve to inspect it. “When did you get your sleeve wet?” It was completely soaked through, as if it had been placed under running water.
Yu shook his head, indicating that he didn't know either.
“You probably wet it by accident. After we get home, we can wash it before returning it to him.” Without paying any mind to the water stain, Yu Yin pulled out his keys and bent down to undo the lock. He then tossed a helmet at Yu and said, “Let's go buy dinner first.”
After securing the helmet on his head, Yu climbed onto the backseat of the motorbike.
“Today was super miserable. I hadn't imagined that little devils nowadays are as hard to teach as ghosts.” Yu Yin changed the topic as he started the engine, not wanting to continue discussing the elevator or water. He continued to grumble, “I should just bring you along to help next cla.s.s. I refuse to believe that bunch of demons can ask anything out of you!”
There was no response from the backseat.
“Did you hear me?”
He turned around and saw that the helmet-covered head was leaning against his back, with eyes nearly closed.
“Would you believe me if I said I'll tie you to the bike with my jacket and bring you on a spin in the cool air at 150kph?”