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And that's the end of V6! There's a little extra part after the epilogue this time too ? Only two more volumes [of season 1] left! It definitely went by a lot faster than I had expected it to.
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
The local doctor later told them that the whole area had been a mess of burial mounds.
When they had started digging up the ground to the right of where Yu Yin had been buried, they had struck up a total of twenty-one coffins. Unlike what had been printed on the newspapers before, all the coffins had already blackened to a sinister colour, and after opening them up, the police found the missing students. Each one of them lay atop a skeleton, yet had somehow not crushed the bones that should have logically been brittle. As they opened each coffin, there was only one that had a skeleton and no human.
And the final, twenty-first coffin did not even have bones. There was just something badly scorched and rolled up into a ball. The a.n.a.lysts later verified that it was burned, synthetic cloth.
But after flipping the empty coffin over, they discovered that there was a face drawn out with an unknown person's blood on the back. The corners of the mouth were tilted upwards into a smile. Since it was aged, the drawing had darkened so much that it was not very discernible.
After this incident shook the area, even the people from other districts nearby started to hear of it. By the time the students had been pulled out and sent to the emergency room, the empty lot had become filled with people. Some were pointing and frenziedly taking photos, while others had come with candles and fruits to pay respects. However, they had all been blocked outside so that they could not have hindered the rescue. In following, an entire group of reporters surrounded the common person's shrine, pointing their cameras to record and tape the legends that even the locals had never heard of before…
In short, this was the general gist of the aftermath that Yu Yin heard about after waking up three days later and getting a beating.
The police never publicly announced to the media how exactly the students had been buried, since they likely still had not figured it out themselves. After all, the coffins had been confirmed through a.n.a.lysis that they had no traces of being opened, and the rusted nails had been secured tightly into the coffin. Even the thin layer of gra.s.s that had grown on top of the dirt showed absolutely no signs of having been dug out and replanted.
As a result, it seemed even more bizarre when it was reported as the cover story on the national news. There was even a wave of new paranormal ghost investigation shows that started as a result of this new craze.
Later on, the local elders stated that the coffins should not have been buried so shallowly back then, but rather deeper under the ground instead. The fact that Xiao Yu and Yi Tai had so quickly reached the coffin covers did not make any sense at all; the coffins had probably floated up. As for how they had floated up so close to the surface, n.o.body could come up with an explanation.
After a few days of recuperation, the parents of most of the completely recovered students had dragged them back home by their ears.
"I do not remember anything that happened after entering the villa either." Yu Yin tossed an apple slice into his mouth as he told his cla.s.smate lying on the adjacent bed, "I just have a vague impression of opening the door." But he knew nothing of what happened after closing it. All he remembered were the terrifying appearances of the eighteen students. But honestly, ignorance was bliss. When he tried to imagine the horrifying things that could have occurred after the door had closed, he felt that it was better for his heart if he remained oblivious.
Once Yu Yin confirmed his cla.s.smates were fine, he felt a huge sense of relief as well. Apparently, they just had to pay for the bikes. However, the pension owner couple had been detained, so he was not sure if this money still needed to be returned or not.
As for digging up a ma.s.sive hole in someone else's villa for no reason, it seemed as if n.o.body was pursuing it after Yu Xia had acted. However, his uncle had already declared that when they got back, he would have a very "good" discussion with Yu Yin.
"Who would've thought that despite visiting the stage several times, we had not seen anyone there?" Yu Yin sighed and randomly changed the subject, having no desire to think about how "good" his time at home would be.
"n.o.body will ever know how," Yi Tai indifferently said. He was also recuperating, currently flipping through the magazine in his hand casually as if already over the missing people incident. "Just treat it as if it was a dream. Everyone is awake and fine now." There was no way anyone would believe it even if they did say what had happened. As long as everyone was alive, it was enough.
"Ah, yeah." Yu Yin turned to glance at Xiao Yu, who was sprawled next to the bed, asleep. Yu Yin craned his neck and secretly flipped the other's hand over. It was entirely wrapped by a layer of bandages, the deep cuts from the gra.s.ses underneath the white gauze. Fortunately, the injuries had been disinfected in time that day, otherwise they could have gotten badly infected judging by how filthy those things had been.
Yu Yin had heard about the situation from his uncle. As he stared at Xiao Yu, he could not help but get the sense that something was a bit off. However, he could not place his finger on what exactly, so he decided to let it go.
Yu Xia walked in during the afternoon.
"A body was found inside the pension wall, right behind that painting. It belonged to a child," he told the others, including Xiao Yu, who was now awake. The police had knocked down the wall to discover a second layer with a wrapped corpse of a child which had already been reduced to bones. "The wife has already admitted that it was their daughter. They had frequently lit incense in front of the painting after work hours. Since they had been afraid that the incense amount would expose them, they had been buying it outside. However, they had been using that same batch of incense to pay respects to the deceased puppetry group before then as well, so they'd used it for a long time." They had guessed as much.
"Did they say how their daughter died?" Yu Yin quickly asked, knowing that the dead child had not been very old. He did not have any interest towards the puppetry group.
Yu Xia shook his head. "They didn't say, but the forensic investigator said she had died by a sharp blade, a fatal cut through her heart. It was tested to be the same weapon as the one used on the body under the villa, which belonged to the knife placed there."
Yu Yin sighed. He could not understand what kind of problems could have led to such a result.
"Oh right, Xie Qing Hai and his wife have refused to speak, but they brought up your name and said they would be willing to talk if they met you." Yu Xia looked at his family's child with furrowed brows, uncertain of why the other party had proposed such a request.
"Just me with the two of them?" Yu Yin pointed at himself in surprise.
"Of course there will be an officer protecting you." Yu Xia rolled his eyes. He knew that if they wanted to make any progress, he would have to let Yu Yin make the trip. However, he still felt a slight sense of uneasiness.
"That's fine, I have some things I want to ask them too. Laying all the cards out on the table at once will work." Yu Yin still needed to sort out some details, so he nodded in agreement.
"Okay, I'll go arrange it." Yu Xia stood up without much further thought and walked to the doorway. He then turned around to glance at Yi Tai. "That body found underneath the villa has already finished examination. The same weapon was used to inflict thirteen, very deep cuts on the body. Quite a few had been fatal, and the victim almost died instantly."
Yi Tai gave a detached nod in response, clearly not having much interest in the corpse anymore. His only reaction was a simple affirmation of understanding.
"The forensic investigator listed the locations of the wounds. I think they're likely identical to the ones you have," Yu Xia finally told him.
A few days later, Yu Yin went to the police station as arranged, with Xiao Yu following closely behind.
Yu Yin, Xie Qing Hai, and w.a.n.g Yu Fen met together inside a room, with a recording officer next to them.
Yu Yin looked over the couple. They had gotten even skinnier and seemed as if they had aged several years, to the point where they now had white hairs. Their overall appearances were very different from what Yu Yin had seen the first time they had seen each other. Xie Qing Hai actually looked depressed, completely unlike the murderous atmosphere he had carried that day.
"Exactly who are you?"
This was Xie Qing Hai's first question upon seeing Yu Yin.
"…Just a normal university student. I even showed you my student ID the first time we met." Yu Yin shrugged while saying the truth. He pulled out his student ID to show them once more. "It's just that I came here specifically to find my friends, and there was absolutely no way I could leave them alone." Although he sometimes wanted to beat up some of those people, everyone was still good friends with each other.
Yu Yin studied the owner for a long time before taking out a silver object and placing it on the table. "This should belong to you, right? No matter how much I think about it, I can't think of anyone else aside from you two that would have a third key."
It was the other snapped half of a key that they had picked up from the villa that time. He had already matched up the very first key with Li Lin Yue's; the fragmented edges had lined up perfectly.
Xie Qing Hai stared at the small, silver item for a bit before rummaging through his pockets and tossing out a broken key to confirm Yu Yin's thoughts. It was very possible that they had gone back because they were afraid the corpse would be discovered. However, the key had somehow snapped, immediately causing that thing to later go after them.
"We were played straight into your hands." The pension boss darkly chuckled, his tone extremely frigid yet not carrying any particular emotion. "Why in the world did you dig up something that had happened so long ago? You're obviously not someone from here. We had already made it so that n.o.body could ever find out; there were so many tourists walking through here, and none of them noticed anything abnormal."
Yu Yin bitterly smiled. Actually, he really wanted to cry out that he had not wanted to discover [the body] at all. Rather, he had been dug it up just like digging up some sweet potatoes from the ground; he had been pretty astonished by it too.
"It was probably just time." Even Yu Yin could not understand the words that came out of his mouth. He looked at them as he said, "Sometimes, there are things that will rise by themselves when the time is right. But I don't understand, why did your daughter die? And the corpse underneath the pension should have been the twenty-first person in the puppetry group…after you killed him, you tied a mask onto his face. I asked my friend that researches masks, and he said that mask should have been an item used by real people to play as large monsters during old plays. Is that right?"
Xie Qing Hai smiled. But although the smile was on his face, there was no trace of mirth to be seen. "Back then…it all happened that time." His expression suddenly dropped as he stared at Yu Yin with a strange look. "The puppetry group had many taboos. Despite being pregnant already, Yu Fen had been pushed down from the trunk. I had only swung a bottle at him in anger, but he'd somehow caught on fire. That bottle of oil had not been placed by us, nor had it belonged to us, and we could only run away.
"When we saw the coffins back then, we all thought everyone in the group had died, so we did not say anything and let the outsiders think it was just an accident. Besides, those people didn't really have families, and there wasn't much need to worry about being pursued. But I was afraid someone would discover something odd, so Yu Fen and I built the pension to guard over that place…however, that person returned.
"I had no idea why the group leader's son had not died, although his arm was badly burned. I heard that he had been rescued out and held at another county's hospital to recuperate for a very long time. However, he had run away with no money to spend on medical fees, and when he had returned to look for the group, he found us…luckily, he didn't know why the fire had broken out."
Xie Qing Hai told Yu Yin that since the other person had already begun to rely on them for help, they could not refuse without seeming unreasonable. As a result, they let him continue staying there.
Back then, their daughter had still been young, and did not know what had happened with the adults. She had played frequently with that group leader's son, and the two were exceptionally close.
Because w.a.n.g Yu Fen felt ashamed about the glove puppetry group, she had originally planned on considering the other person as part of the villa home after it was completed, as a kind of compensation. As a result, they had built in a room for him in the villa.
"One evening, because our pension's work finished earlier than usual, I wanted to bring my daughter to a furniture store. But when I opened her room door…I saw that person sprawled over my daughter's body…"
Xie Qing Hai did not continue, but Yu Yin could guess what had happened from the terrifying expression on his face.
"At that moment, all I wanted to do was kill that b.a.s.t.a.r.d, so I grabbed a knife and charged into the room. But what I didn't expect was that he would push my daughter out…did you know that killing people is actually very easy? In the past, I had killed twenty people by smashing a bottle, and when my knife stabbed into my daughter's body, I discovered that a person can stop breathing more easily than taking a deep breath. She did not speak a word…and could never speak again." Xie Wing Hai look down at his own hands and laughed. "It's just that easy. I chased after that b.a.s.t.a.r.d and killed him in the villa. But if I tossed the corpse outside, it would definitely be discovered, so I buried him in the room that was originally to be his. Even after he was dead, I refused to let him lay down…I couldn't bury my daughter anywhere either, or else someone would find out…so I put her in a place where we could see her every day…"
His last few words did not make much sense anymore, and then he continued to mutter things that were too indistinct to hear.
w.a.n.g Yu Fen covered her face and began to cry next to him.
The rest were just insignificant words.
Yu Yin glanced at the officer next to him, the latter indicating that he could leave first. Yu Yin stood up, but before he had even taken a single step, Xie Qing Hai suddenly called out to him.
"Do you know why I called you here?"
Yu Yin noticed that the other person's expression was now very unusual. He shook his head while maintaining his distance to avoid suddenly being charged at with a murderous intent again.
"You know too much." Xie Qing Hai lowered his voice and calmly said, "Some things are better left unknown, yet you pursued it so far. You dug up what we least wanted others to know about. There will eventually be a day where you will have to pay for your meddling…"
His voice was actually extremely low now, a sound that Yu Yin found uncomfortable to listen to as he felt chills go down his spine.
Xie Qing Hai only mouthed the final sentence without speaking them, but Yu Yin saw the words very clearly:
"Go to h.e.l.l."
It was pure malice.
Then, Xie Qing Hai broke out into crazy laughter.
After that, Yu Yin would occasionally think back to this instance, unable to refute Xie Qing Hai's words as entirely untrue.
In the future, he would undoubtedly end up paying a heavy price as a result of meddling too much.
However, this was a matter of the distant future.
After speaking with Yu Yin, Xie Qing Hai and his wife suddenly became very cooperative, even confessing that the one who had helped them buy the incense had been that Ah Sang that Yu Yin had met in the beginning.
Under Ah Sang's direction, they broke into a townhouse. However, the place had already been deserted.
The police only found a gun inside. The gun was later confirmed to have killed a drug dealer, the one that very coincidentally happened to have sold drugs to Big Camel's group.
n.o.body knew if the gun had been purposely left behind, or if it had been forgotten. The police could only continue investigating.
The last one to leave the hospital was Yi Tai. By that time, about a month or so had pa.s.sed since the incident, and half of the summer vacation had already pa.s.sed. The entire vacation area was filled with tides of people now. The pension was still in business despite having lost its owners; perhaps the workers could temporarily keep it running so that they would not be jobless, but their business was already doomed. After the unbridled embellishment from the media, very few people still dared to book that pension. Even the customers that had previously reserved rooms had requested to withdraw; the situation was extremely bad.
"I am returning to Taichung with Ah Fang first. Are you two still going to stay here for a while?" The day Yi Tai was released from the hospital, his friend that usually stuck by his side came back down to pick him up. After recuperating for a month, Ah Fang had long since recovered to his peak condition, his complexion the best it could be.
"Oh, we're getting on the train tomorrow. We just wanted to buy some famous products nearby first." After calculating their time, Yu Yin had planned to bring Xiao Yu to stroll around the area. They had barely played around in the southern district this time. Meanwhile, they could also circle around to buy some local goods for people.
"Contact us when you get back." Ah Fang threw an arm around Yi Tai shoulder, saying that because his cellphone had disappeared, he had gotten a new number. He then gave the new number to Yu Yin. "But the events this time were really weird…why did they have to capture twenty people?"
This was something even Yu Yin did not know how to answer.
"I think it is probably because twenty people died at the same time back then. If Li Lin Yue had gone that time as well, you all would have probably lost your lives." Yi Tai's words were shocking, but he then said he was just joking. There was no need to take his words to heart, since he had not experienced being seized as a body subst.i.tute and could not confirm the exact situation.
But when the other two heard these words, they could not bring themselves to laugh.
Afterwards, they also returned.
Because the summer vacation was long, those university students soon began to plan out a new trip, intending to play long and hard for the remaining half of the break.
Of course, Yi Tai did not follow this time.
While riding the rented scooter, Yu Yin couldn't help but automatically make a trip to the common person's shrine first before heading out to walk around. Perhaps it was the desire to give a final farewell somewhere in his heart.
From the distance, he saw someone standing before the black stage burning incense, blankly standing there doing something unknown. There were also some fruits in front of the incense.
It was Ji You Lun.
"Why did you guys come back here?" Ji You Lun was somewhat astonished at seeing them.
Judging from the other's casual clothing, Yu Yin could tell the other person probably had today off. He stopped his scooter next to the stage and told Xiao Yu to stay there while he got off to give a greeting.
"I wanted to bring my younger brother around since we're going back to Taichung tomorrow. We are going to head over to downtown area to buy some local products in a bit." Yu Yin eyed the objects for worship and smiled. "Why is Ji-Dàgē here?"
"…Those in the puppetry group that died here are pretty pitiful, so I sometimes come here to pay respects when I'm free. I hope they can quickly reincarnate." Ji You Lun smiled warmly and said, "If you are looking for local products, I can introduce a few places to you. Some shops defraud outsiders, so you have to find the right places."
"I will be in your care then."
As Yu Yin watched Ji You Lun lower his head to look for a pen, a thought flashed through Yu Yin's mind. When he realised what the thought was, his mind suddenly went numb.
He finally figured out what had been off about Yan Si's previous words.
"Ji-Dàgē, you…you were the one that brought the oil that day, right?" At that time, Yan Si had smelled the oil, and Xie Qing Hai had also mentioned that the bottle of oil did not belong to them. Moreover, Ji You Lun had actually gone to settle an account with them back then. Yu Yin even now suspected that the doctor had more or less figured out the reason behind the fire, which was why he had grown distant from Ji You Lun.
For a few seconds, Ji You Lun froze. However, he quickly switched back to his original smile. "Ah Yin, I don't understand what you're saying. But there are some matters where it's better not to know too much, do you understand?" He paused and smiled faintly, but the smile already seemed very fake in Yu Yin's eyes. "Xie Qing Hai has already confessed that he tossed the bottle of oil at the group leader. As for where it came from, I think only the people of the puppetry group would know. Maybe it was originally used for the electricity generator. Because it has all been burned down, there is no way of confirming anything."
Knowing that there would never be an answer to this, Yu Yin could only nod. He then left with Xiao Yu.
Sometimes, there were matters that could only remain unclear. Knowing too much was not necessarily a good thing.
The police officer standing in front of the black stage maintained his faint smile as he watched the other two leave. Only after the incense burned out did he finally make his exit as well.
Before going away, Yu Yin glanced back to take one last look at the stage. The dark and gloomy s.p.a.ce still had many black shadows crouching within; it was impossible to see their original appearances. Before the dug up coffins were reburied, they continued to wait for a chance to find subst.i.tute bodies.
Yui Yin shook his head and brought Xiao Yu out of the area.
A strange echo from a gong rang out from the empty lot in the distance.
As everyone left, a short, old man carrying a cloth bag appeared in front of the common person's shrine. He picked up garbage as usual, while also cursing at the people who had littered the ground with trash.
After circling around the black stage, he pushed away the layer of weeds to stare at that black hold. There was a person crouched inside with a large hole in its skull, bitterly gazing upwards.
The old man chuckled oddly and covered the hole with the gra.s.s again.
He was someone that could only stay here, so he spent every day constantly repeating the same movements. In the past, he had come here to request for winning numbers. Now, the things being worshipped here would not let him leave.
The old man scratched at the filth on his body, and a maggot wormed out from his back. He tossed it into his mouth and chewed on it as more bugs wriggled out from his clothes. Without even looking at them, he crushed them under his feet.
While humming that gambling song, the sc.r.a.ps-collector of the common person's shrine slowly disappeared behind the temple.
In the end, the case of the missing students was left unsettled.
However, in the later half of the summer break, the number of young students going to this place actually increased. Aside from wanting to see the murder site, they also played tests of courage at the common person's shrine.
Their summer vacation had not yet ended.Epilogue
After that, they returned home.
"Student that was ganged up on — local, product."
A certain forensic investigation that had nothing to do during his break and had come to fool around at someone else's home reached out a hand as he spoke with a self-a.s.suming expression. "Don't forget that you need to repay me for that photo."
Yu Yin exasperatedly shoved a whole bag of local products from the southern district into Yan Si's hands. He then pushed at the other person and said, "Speaking of which, my uncle forced me to delete that photo. Could you send it to me again?"
Honestly speaking, he had very few photos of his uncle. It was a shame to not save it. If he had not been forced to get rid of it, he definitely would have gone looking for a digital photo shop to print it out and keep it as a memento.
Upon returning to the central district, Yu Xia had quickly gone back to his own station without even a few days of relaxing at home. He had immediately jumped after the matters that Li Zi Hong and the others had encountered during his period of leave, and had also requested for the southern district to send the gun over for investigating the already deceased drug dealer.
For the moment, that case remained stuck in its place.
"Don't worry, I have a whole series of them. There are at least seventy or eighty of them, all super clear. I can help you burn them into a disk or edit it into a film CD without any problem. Just don't let Boss know." Yan Si sn.i.g.g.e.red. He'd already said ages ago that he had an interest in taking photos. He shot back, "Anyways, do you have any plans to go play anywhere else?" The summer break was quite long, which made him feel a bit grieved since people in society didn't have things like breaks; only lucky students could enjoy it.
Yu Yin immediately shook his head at this. As if I'd still go traveling, I've had enough this time. "Nope, Xiao Yu and I have agreed to spend the entire break watching rented films at home, right?" He shouted back at the sofa, although the person currently focused on an adventure movie did not pay him any mind.
Going to the southern district to "play" had been exhausting enough. The two of them had agreed to spend the rest of the summer vacation at home, where they would be less likely to run into trouble.
Moreover, Xiao Yu had seemed to grow addicted to movies after coming back, to the point where he would even forget to eat. He would just hole up in the living room and watch for an entire night, and Dad had even lectured him several times now.
"Eh, why not come watch them at my place? I even have a super large screen. Plus I spent some money to get an entire set of speaker equipment some time ago." Yan Si occupied the sofa while hugging the local products. He then took out something to eat it right on the spot. "Oooh, Ah Yin, you really do have some good foresight. You picked some good things."
"No need, we both prefer staying in our own home," Yu Yin huffed back. Who knows if another floating corpse would appear over there?
Yan Si grumbled a bit, but also focused on the film.
Just as Yu Yin was about to join them, the doorbell rang. Behind the door was a delivery person dressed in black. The other person handed over a large box of items, with a logo of a certain pasture on top. These were what he and Xiao Yu had ordered online after searching the web.
After signing the form, Yu Yin checked the amount. Back then, they had only thought about the free shipping fee, and had ended up accidentally buying too much. With this amount, their family could eat it for all three meals daily, and still not be able to finish by the expiration date. As a result, he called Ah Fang to ask him to take some, as well as bring a bit over to Yi Tai too, which also counted as a thank you for helping them previously.
As for figuring out what kind of person Yi Tai was, Yu Yin had decided it would be better not to look into it.
By the time Yu Yin had remembered that Ah Fang had changed to a new number, he had already started calling the old number.
"Weird, didn't Ah Fang say it was stopped?" Yu Yin blankly listened to the line that had not yet been cut. There's no way someone else has already requested for this number, right?
Actually, this was possibility too. Just as he was about to hang up to avoid wasting money, the line suddenly connected.
There was absolutely no sound on the other end.
After a moment, the low sound of strangely cold and eerie laughter came from the cellphone.
As soon as Yu Yin heard this, he hung up without hesitation. Pretending as if nothing had just happened, he picked up the box and kicked the door open with his foot.
"Xiao Yu — the pudding was delivered. If you want to eat it, just speak up."
People, were truly hot-blooded in the summer.
Yu Brothers' Mini Theatre
Commentator: After discovering Yu's inability to resist pudding gelatin desserts, Yu Yin began to hara.s.s him every day. Yin (singing): If you want to eat it, just speak up and tell me~ Yu (dark expression): … Commentator: But this was the usual conclusion. Xia (with a punch): I told you not to hara.s.s Xiao Yu! Yin (soul gets sent flying): … Commentator: However, there were occasionally rewards. Yu (embarra.s.sed + quiet): Thank you… Conclusion: So Yu Yin enjoyed it without ever getting tired. Commentator: During the chapter, Yu Yin had truly realised that Yi Tai was a mystery. Yi Tai (reading + humming): ~~~ At the train station on the way back Student A: Sorry, we asked you to come out and play yet you ended up injured. Yi Tai (mysterious dark air appearing behind him): It's fine, I did what I needed to do. It was pretty enjoyable~ Student A (internally shouting): What did you do?! Yi Tai: Ah, train bentos. Let's buy one for the way back~ Conclusion: Despite very much wanting to question it, he could not speak out.
Commentator: After discovering Yu's inability to resist pudding gelatin desserts, Yu Yin began to hara.s.s him every day.
Yin (singing): If you want to eat it, just speak up and tell me~
Yu (dark expression): …
Commentator: But this was the usual conclusion.
Xia (with a punch): I told you not to hara.s.s Xiao Yu!
Yin (soul gets sent flying): …
Commentator: However, there were occasionally rewards.
Yu (embarra.s.sed + quiet): Thank you…
Conclusion: So Yu Yin enjoyed it without ever getting tired.
Commentator: During the chapter, Yu Yin had truly realised that Yi Tai was a mystery.
Yi Tai (reading + humming): ~~~
At the train station on the way back
Student A: Sorry, we asked you to come out and play yet you ended up injured.
Yi Tai (mysterious dark air appearing behind him): It's fine, I did what I needed to do. It was pretty enjoyable~
Student A (internally shouting): What did you do?!
Yi Tai: Ah, train bentos. Let's buy one for the way back~
Conclusion: Despite very much wanting to question it, he could not speak out.