Chapter 4 – Water
Li Yin still remembers the warning that Xia Yuan gave right before they departed from the apartment.
“Starting from the fourth bloody mission, invisible danger lurks everywhere. In order to stay alive, you must observe your surroundings cautiously to identify any patterns. You cannot dismiss even the smallest unnatural thing. It’s been awhile since the last time someone stayed alive past their third bloody instructions, so I hope you can continue to survive.”
And there was one thing that he emphasised–
“Don’t believe in anyone’s words. Don’t even believe in yourself because your eyes will trick you. Even when you are walking along the side of a sharp cliff, you will still feel as though you are walking on flat ground. ”
Li Yin firmly carves those words in his mind. He won’t even dare to relax for one second.
And the village elder’s invitation is extremely “unnatural”.
“I am the head of this village. My last name is Zhang.” That village elder who is being supported by the young woman, led Li Yin’s four people group towards his house.
“Elder Zhang,” Ye Ke Xin, a step ahead, asks, “Why… are you willing to let us stay?”
“Haha,” That elder instead gives a mysterious smile and says, “I am different from those unenlightened calcified fossils. The Village of Tranquil Water cannot continue to develop in this restricted and stagnated manner inside of this big mountain. Don’t be nervous. You can stay as long as you want.”
The young girl who is supporting him says abruptly, “Grandfather, is this… really okay? Coincidentally, tomorrow is Bing Er’s commemoration day. At this timing…”
Bing Er’s commemoration day?
Li Yin’s heart instantly plunged.
Tomorrow is the day that they will officially start living in the Village of Tranquil Water according to the instructions from the apartment’s bloody words. And that Bing Er, is she the “Li Bing” that was just mentioned?
Right on the commemoration day….
Even if you beat Li Yin to death, he will still not believe that this is merely a coincidence.
The elder’s house is quite grand and actually has the feel of a western style terrace. The house is three storeys high with an exterior of reinforced concrete, different from the other houses that are mostly constructed from cement.
Since this is not the time to be courteous, Li Yin’s group directly enters the elder’s home.
Of course, the elder is also very cautious. He brings them to his room. After sitting down, he asks his granddaughter to leave first and shut the door tightly before he inquires, “Now, can you tell me your names?”
After all, they are people with unclear backgrounds so the Village Elder needs a better understanding of them.
Li Yin answers, “I am Li Yin. This is Qin Shoutian, Luo Hengyan, Ye Kexin….”
At this moment, the door opens suddenly and a young man with a buzzcut walks in, glancing at Li Yin’s group aloofly. He says to the elder, “Grandfather… I heard from the villagers that you are really bringing this group of unidentified outsiders to live here? Is this really true? ”
“Ah Wu! Where are your manners?! ” Elder Zhang scolds him angrily, “Why do I need your permission on who I invite over!”
But that young man Ah Wu does not back down and says, “Grandfather, it is your freedom to invite whoever you want to. But I just cannot get used to seeing this bunch of dubious people running around inside of the village! ”
At this moment, the hot-tempered Luo Hengyan became enraged. He stands up abruptly and says, “Just who are these dubious ones you’re referring to?”
Li Yin also stands up immediately and whispers, “Are you thinking straight? Is this the right moment to fuss about these small things? ” He then tries to defuse the situation with a smile, “This gentleman, we are just here to experience the farm life. We have absolutely no hostile intentions. We will leave after living here for a month.”
“A month?” That young man named Ah Wu furiously says, “You actually want to live here for such a long time? Piss off! I am telling you, all these ghostly sightings are merely the stories of cowards. That Li Bing committed suicide. Even the police department ended this case. Why are people are still trying to dig up this case, lost in their phantom fantasies? It’s like trying to chase wind and catch shadows!”
This actually surprises Li Yin a little.
But this is still nerve-wracking. Everyone has seen horror movies, and it is a common plot that people who commit suicide will eventually become ghosts.
Ah Wu’s incensed gaze actually assuages Li Yin’s suspicion that… these “ghostly sightings” are not merely attempts at chasing wind and catching shadows.
“Enough, Ah Wu!” Elder Zhang strikes the floor with his cane forcefully and says, “Go back to your room! Mr. Li and his group are my guests. How can you be this rude to guests?!”
“Hn!” Ah Wu ignored his words. “Grandfather, are you seriously letting them live here for a month? Do you even know anything about their backgrounds? ”
Elder Zhang waves his cane and hits right at Ah Wu! The cane is too sudden for Ah Wu dodge and his shoulder suffers a heavy strike.
“Get back to your room!” Just as Elder Zhang lost his temper, he suddenly starts to cough.
Li Yin can not understand.
Why would he hit his own grandchild for a few strangers? Just what is this elder planning?
The level of “unnaturalness” is getting more and more intense.
That Ah Wu glares at Li Yin’s group angrily and says, “Let’s see how much longer you guys can be so cocky!” Then he rushes out of the room, running into the chest of a middle aged woman.
“Ah Wu! What are you doing?!” That middle age woman palms her forehead. “Rampaging around so recklessly?”
“Ma, go ask grandfather yourself!” Ah Wu then runs outside and that middle age woman chases after him immediately.
“Sorry for exposing all of you to such embarrassment,” Elder Zhang shuts the door immediately, says, “Everyone please don’t be offended… Feel free to stay, just stay.”
Li Yin can feel that there seems to be some intention hidden behind the elder’s invitation.
What is it?
There are four people living in Elder Zhang’s house — he himself, his daughter Zhang Yinglan, the middle aged woman from just now, his grandson Zhang Hongwu and his granddaughter Zhang Suyue, that young girl who supported him. The elder’s son-in-law passed away three years ago.
Judging from Ah Wu’s temper, Li Yin believes that it is inappropriate for everyone to eat together so he suggests that instead of bothering the elder, they will cook dinner by themselves. They brought a lot of food just in case anyway.
To Li Yin’s surprise, the elder does not insist, agreeing easily after hearing Li Yin’s words.
The night gets dark.
The rapid water currents flows along the waterfall and pours down violently. Ah Xiu treads through the water, stepping towards the waterfall.
“Sister Bing Er…” At this moment, her face is drowned in tears.
At the same time, near the elder’s house, there lives the middle age man who troubled Li Yin’s group earlier. He is called Yan Haotian, a very forthright man within the village, a fairly popular figure with quite a some influence over the other villages. As of now, he is unmarried and living alone.
“What was the Village Elder thinking…”
At this time, it is almost 12 o’ clock midnight. But Yan Haotian still finds it hard to fall asleep.
Logically speaking, it is almost summer, but he feels cold all over his body so he covers himself with an extra blanket. Even so, he continues to huddle and shiver in his bed.
All of a sudden, he feels a sense of wetness inside his blankets. He does not pay it much attention in the beginning, but later, he begins to feel like the whole blanket is immersed in water.
Yan Haotian immediately sits up and flips his sheets open. Without knowing when, his whole bed is completely soaked by water.
He immediately sits up. When his feet touch the floor… the floor is also submerged in water!
“What…What is going on?”
He begins to feel alarmed.
The room is very dark. Since there are no electric lights, he cannot distinguish directions at all. He has to feel his way forward. Since he has been living here for a long time, he is already familiar and does not knock against any furniture.
He touches the drawers and finds that the top is covered in water. He pulls the drawer open, takes out a kerosene lamp and a box of matches.
After igniting the lamp, he feels slightly more at peace.
It is now past 12 o’ clock midnight.
Time has passed into the 7th day of June.
Yan Haotian walks out of the bedroom and checks the outside. He realizes that the amount of water accumulated on the floor is quite severe.
“Did it just thunderstorm?”
But outside the window, the bright moon hangs in the sky. Where was there a single trace of rain?
Soon, he senses that the water is dripping down from the ceiling.
Yan Haotian raises the kerosene lamp and takes a look. As expected, there is indeed water on the ceiling.
But… at the same instant as he sees this scene, his soul is almost scared away.
How…How is this possible?
On the snow white ceiling, there are actually rows of footprints being left behind! Footprints made out from water!
One can clearly see the five toes on each footprint. But how could anyone walk upside down on the ceiling.
Yan Haotian gathers his thoughts and bites his lower lip as he looks at the footprints on the ceiling. Those footprints even extend into his kitchen.
Although he was terrified, Yan Haotian still wants to see for himself. Maybe he can find some explanations behind this creepy phenomenon.
His whole body shaking like a leaf, he gradually walks towards the kitchen.
That kitchen is not very big so with one glance, he could see the entire room. There is no place at all capable of hiding a person.
Except for that big dish cabinet.
And the footprints on the ceiling, stretches unexpectedly to the top of the dish cabinet. And then moves to the wall that the dish cabinet againsts.
“This… is not possible.”
Yan Haotian raises the kerosene lamp high and walks towards the dish cabinet slowly. Every step he takes is like stepping on thin ice.
When he finally reaches the front of the cabinet, he grasps the dish cabinet’s door with his left hand and takes a deep breath.
“No… It has nothing to do with me… Li Bing, you killed yourself. I never harmed you so d-don’t come to bother me…”
Then, he abruptly flings open the door of the dish cabinet!
Under the glow of the kerosene lamp, what greets his eyes is–
Some neatly arranged bowls and soup spoons.
Everything is quite normal.
Yan Haotian feels as though he is about to pass out before eventually relaxing a bit. After all, he is only scaring himself.
But what is happening with the footprints on the ceiling? Is someone playing a prank? But there is no one in the village who has a conflict with him. Also, with only the water dripping from the footprints, can there be so much accumulated on the floor?
Anyways, he has to scoop out the water first. Otherwise there is no way for him to sleep.
Thus, he shuts the dish cabinet’s door and decides to begin scooping out the water with a washbasin.
But precisely at that instant the door was about to close completely…
A hand without a trace of the colour of blood reaches out from within the cabinet and holds the door open!
Faster than Yan Haotian can respond, another hand reaches out and grabs onto his neck. Following that, the door opens fully and the body of Yan Haotian is dragged into the cabinet!
The dish cabinet door slams shut heavily. For a long time, nothing happens. Instead, the accumulated water soaks into the ground as though it is being absorbed before disappearing entirely.
A gust of wind comes this way, blowing the cabinet door open again. Inside, there are only the same old bowls and soup spoons, arranged in neat rows.