This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, and Yeenie.
The Mysterious Residents
Time: 3:25 pm
“I want to choose this song.” Someone was pressing the input button.
“It actually has a Chinese version of Mulan, choose this one!” Someone was currently feeling nostalgic over cartoon songs.
“Next allow me to continue to sing for you.” Leido, who took another microphone, very coolly stood at the other side of the screen wall, enthusiastically using his heavy accented Chinese. Taking advantage of the interlude, he continued singing “A Man Should Strengthen Himself”.
My question is, how is it that you guys know how to sing this song?
Can it be that this song was actually extremely popular in their world!? The mystery is finally solved!
“Very good, very good!” Ryan, who was biting onto a dried squid strip, was very supportive and applauded hard.
The people, who were standing outside the entrance, were stunned.
I saw some girls immediately blushed after they saw a room full of handsome guys (of course I’m not included.)
The five-colored rooster head threw the microphone he had in his hands towards the audience seat, started cracking his knuckles as he murderously walked towards the entrance, “Just now who was the one who interrupted my singing!”
“Who wants cakes?” Chifuyu picked up an entire plate of small cakes and passed it around.
“Me.” Someone took the cakes.
“The vanilla milk one is not bad.” Chatter.
I felt the room seemed to have already split into two different worlds.
“Hmph! If you have the courage then I dare one of you to come out!” It was very obvious the leader of Ho Zheng’s group didn’t care who who pushed Ho Zheng. He now just felt unhappy with the five-colored rooster head, and argued back.
“Who’s afraid of you!?” I saw something an emotion called “joy” on the five-colored rooster head’s face.
“If you want to fight, all of you should go out and fight. Don’t argue over here, it’s annoying.” Senior pushed the five-colored rooster head out into the crocodile pond. With a clang, he closed the room’s door, and even locked it.
Ah… this way, how are we going to save them? Of course I was definitely not referring to the five-colored rooster head.
Extremely miserable screams could be heard outside the door, multiple sounds and not from a single person.
“Yang Yang, sing together with us!” The twin brothers, regardless of what was said, dragged me from the side of the door towards the screen wall. There were black lines on my face, until I heard one song… that no matter who it was, they would be able to sing it.
A very familiar melody. Isn’t this the wonderful sound of childhood?
…You guys actually chose Doraemon!
“The world’s famous song, the world’s famous song.” Leido picked up the microphone, and said with a serious face.
“The world’s famous song, the world’s famous song.” Yado did the very same action.
Your telepathy is used for jokes?
Listening to the extremely cute childhood music, I suddenly felt black lines falling off of my head.
“Let us have a game of choosing songs in the dark.” Senior Geng, who was very bored because she had nothing to do, suggested a game that causes one chills, “Now I’ll randomly press the song numbers, everyone will take turn to sing a song, and the one who couldn’t sing will need to entertain everyone.”
“I suddenly remembered I still had something to do, so I’ll be leaving first.” I immediately ran towards the door.
“It’s already too late.” Senior smiled evilly, “I already added an incantation on the door, be careful to not get bitten.”
I immediately withdrew my hand that was about to pull open the door. You’re very evil, Senior!
Leido and Yado, who didn’t care about anything, were already happily singing their “The world’s famous song,” and also continued on with some dance moves.
I could only obediently return to the sofa and sit down.
“Yang Yang, this is really delicious.” Chifuyu passed the dried squid strips.
Only then did I realized another tragic matter. On the table, other than the small cakes and biscuits, half of the table was filled with dried squid strips. Where did these damn things came from! At least get a bag of sunflower seeds!
Just as I was feeling sad due to having no sunflower seeds, both the entertaining twin brother group on stage had already finished singing Doraemon’s the world’s famous song, came down the stage and bowed, “Yido’s turn.” The two people very understandingly surrendered their microphones and framed their so-called most important older brother.
Yido calmly stood up, and with a serious expression as he took out a notebook from behind.
“I’ve already saw that you guys would do this from the Foretelling Mirror, and I’ve already prepared for it.” Then, he opened the cheat notes.
…Was it really necessary to go so far just for a song, boss?
After three seconds, Yido met the greatest challenge in his life.
I only saw him standing before the screen wall, very, very quiet as he glanced around, and after a few seconds, he slowly opened his lips.
“I don’t know how to sing Taiwanese song.”
The surrounding was quiet.
Inside the room, from the rumbling sound of the song came the legendary old songs of our parent’s time, Female Dancer.
[T/N: This song is by Chen Xiaoyun, a popular Taiwanese singer in the mid 80 to late 90s.]
The music was stopped by senior Geng.
“Punishment, punishment!” Leido and Yado started to chant. Then, Ryan and Chifuyu followed suit, stirring up trouble.
To be honest, I had forgotten Ryan was here, too. He was in a dark spot and seemed to have completely blended with the background, without even a presence.
“Alright, what kind of punishment do you want to give?” Yido shrugged, very willing to accept his punishment.
“Swallow a sword!”
A “bang” sound! Oh, oh, oh, oh! This was the first time I saw senior smacking Leido’s head.
“Create a thirty centimeter radius swamp here.” Yado later said with a serious expression while proposing a new punishment.
Uh, wait a minute… create a swamp here?
“That is fine.” Yido nodded. He slowly walked towards the side of the door, “Putting it here should be fine, and I will guide some swamp over from the Astral world.” I don’t know where he took out a chalk from, he bent down and with scratching sounds, he drew a circular array.
He actually drew graffiti on the carpet…
When the circle with diameter of sixty centimetres was drawn, I saw bits and pieces of shiny object starting to expand from the middle of the circle, and then the entire circle was shone.
“The star sand swamp of the Astral world.” Yido dusted his hands, put the chalk away, and said.
This shining stuff is a swamp? Liar! Swamps should be smelly, black, with mud bubbles rolling around, right?
Everyone had a unanimous agreement to let Yido pass.
“Thank you.” Very elegantly bowed, Yido lifted his head, “Then, the next one would be Mr. Ryan’s turn.” Extremely polite while he was in the middle of naming the next person to be framed.
Ryan floated out from the wall’s shadow… No, I mean, he stood up from his seat, looking extremely calm.
The music started once again, changing into another song… Wandering to Danshui.
Why was it still a Taiwanese song?
I suspect senior Geng, who was responsible for entering the numbers, was actually fooling with us.
“Huhuhu… Hehehe… Hahahaha…! You think this would make me throw in the towel?” Ryan turned his head to one side, tying up a ponytail, and entered battle mode in a one second, “Come on! No matter what challenge, I would welcome it.”
He also doesn’t know how to sing in Taiwanese?
This was my conclusion.
A very floating type of music came on. Ryan turned around with his butt facing us, stared at the subtitles on the screen wall, and started to sing, “There’s fate, there’s no fate…”
“Spoot!” I spat out my drink for the second time.
“Hahahahahahahaha———” A bunch of people laughed madly and started rolling around on the sofas and chairs.
Mandarin! Mandarin! You actually sang a Taiwanese song in Mandarin! You’re really good!
Senior stood up from beside me, “I want to wash my hands.” Then, he went to the door and opened it, and nobody actually cared about where he was going.
Wait a minute… wouldn’t one be bitten if they opened the door?
“I also want to wash my hands.” I jumped up from the sofa, slowly moved closer to the door, carefully stretched out my hand, forcefully grabbed the door and pulled it.
Didn’t get bitten? I really didn’t get bitten! I was cheated by Senior!
After leaving the room, it was very quiet outside, I could only vaguely hear the sound from inside the room.
The surrounding was empty.
Where did the five-colored rooster head went to fight?
“Yang~~” Speaking of the devil, I immediately turned around and sure enough, I saw a certain person who had an overwhelming victory, standing at the other side of the corridor, coolly playing with his hair. It can’t be that you are satisfied with the lightings over here, boss, “I threw them back into their room already. Don’t worry, seems like one of them is your friend, so I was merciful and no one died.”
That’s not the problem, boss… “I want to go to the toilet, so you can go in first.” To be honest, I’m pretty worried about those people who were beaten by the five-colored rooster head, and wanted to go and take a look at their condition.
“Alright!” The five-colored rooster head rolled up his sleeves and went back into the room, and a very loud voice said, “My theme song! Give it back to me!”
I closed the door, cutting off the noisy sound. Because the rooms were soundproof, after moving away from the door, the corridor suddenly became very quiet. Occasionally passing-by other rooms, there would be that similar noisy sounds, and also there were sounds of the waiters knocking on doors to deliver things.
I don’t know why, but I suddenly felt the corridor becoming very cold and chilly. This feeling was similar to when I first stepped into lobby. This made me remember what senior said, there were many things coming in and out.
Goosebumps suddenly appeared on my arms.
Buddha, Goddess of Mercy, Allah, God, and the millions of other Gods, I was thinking nonsense. I don’t want to see anything, I absolutely don’t want to see anything, even if there are many things coming in and out, please don’t let them come and find me…
My prayer was probably successful, since I was able to smoothly arrive at the room where Ho Zheng and the other were. I was afraid they would transfer their anger and beat me up as soon as I open the door, so I very, very carefully pushed opened a crack stealthily and looked inside. It was different from what I thought. The people inside weren’t lying down on the floor, but they were like live corpses, standing upright. Their eyes were dull, looking straight ahead, but I didn’t know what they were looking at.
I guess the five-colored rooster head wasn’t be so evil that he would use super-glue to affix them in a fixed position. I didn’t know what method he used to prank them.
“I’m sorry, I’m coming in?” I pushed the door open,but they still didn’t respond, and continued to blankly pretend to be corpses standing at their original position. Even their eyes didn’t move at all.
Walking towards in front of Ho Zheng, who was the nearest to me, I carefully waved my hand in front of their eyes, “Are you guys still awake?”
No one responded, looks like all of them were sleeping with their eyes wide open.
Just as I was about to pat his face to wake him up, a whiff of white smoke moved past my hand, and phantom ghost child was suddenly standing in front of me.
“Chu Ming Yang, these people are all under an incantation, and would remain in this state for an hour. And if someone touches them, he would also turn into the same state. I recommend you don’t touch them.” The ghost child used a very heavy tone and to explain the situation to me, and then in less than half a second I immediately withdrew my hand.
Under an incantation? I knew the five-colored rooster head wouldn’t obediently let them go.
“What kind of incantation are they under?” This was regarding the matter of life and death of my ex-schoolmate, so I better ask properly.
The ghost child silently turned his head, narrowed his eyes, and stared for a long time before he turned back, “This is Rogeria clan’s Corpse Imprisonment incantation. It is used to deal with the people around the assassination target. People under the spell wouldn’t be able to see nor hear, and at the same time they wouldn’t be able to feel time passing and the changes around them. When they are finally awake, they would think the time it takes to blink their eyes had passed.”
“Yeah? So nice to use?” I felt that it wasn’t such a bad incantation. For example, if there are classes I didn’t want to attend, I could use it on the teacher or the like; so wonderful.
“There’re a lot of limitations for this incantation. This incantation is only effective on those people, since they are humans, who don’t have the power to resist. For example, if the person has some powers, then this wouldn’t work.” The ghost child broke my wishful thinking with just three sentences, “This incantation is easy to learn, but has limited usage. There are already many assassins who don’t use this incantation anymore. They think that directly killing off their opponent would be faster.”
I guess that’s true.
“This incantation has been licensed and included amongst basic textbooks for curse spells. If Chu Ming Yang is interested, you can try it yourself.”
“Ah?” Try it myself? What do you mean, “What do you want me to try?”
“Corpse Imprisonment incantation.” The ghost child started to conduct his class, “This is a reverse incantation of the combination of wind and water; the writing is very simple, please hold out your hand.” He held up his hand… his hand, which was dragging a very long cloth with it, in front of me.
“?” I obediently held up my hand.
After two seconds, I regretted it, “Hey——!”
I didn’t know where the ghost child took out a red marker pen from, but held my palm and drew graffiti on it.
“Stop shouting, this is the basic drawing of Corpse Imprisonment incantation.” After he finished drawing the graffiti, the ghost child freed my hand. A circle was on my hand, and within the circle was a word-like pattern.
“Wait a minute, let me copy it first.” I looked for a piece of paper, drew the pattern, and stuffed it in my pocket, “How do I use this?” It can’t be that all I had to do was draw it on my hand, right?
“There’s a spiritual hole in the center of a human’s forehead. You just have to hit the person’s forehead and that’s it. You don’t even need to chant any incantation because this curse mark comes with the power of the incantation.”
“So simple?” I looked at the ghost child, wanted to experiment with it on the spot.
“I’ve already said it, this is not effective against me.” The ghost child immediately saw through my ambition, and snorted twice, “It’s only effective against those negligent humans.”
“Oh.” So I need to find people whom I have grudges against and try it out.
“Then, that’s it. Please remember not to touch people who are under the incantation, since it has a chain effect. I’ll take my leave first.” In a blink of an eye, the ghost child disappeared; he really comes and goes without leaving a trace.
I looked at the big red mark on my hand, and started feeling a little troubled.
“How do I get rid of this…?”
Holding onto the hand with the graffiti, I was once again standing on the corridor.
I didn’t know why, but the corridor seemed to be even colder now. It felt a like I was standing in front of a freezer with icy cold wind blowing. It can’t be that this shop’s corridor has a dozen air conditioning units crazily blowing cold wind, right? Also, I kept getting goose bumps as though something bad is going to happen… I guess I better go to the toilet and wash my hand clean. If don’t and accidentally hit my own forehead later or someone elses’ it would be troublesome. I still have no intention of turning into a live corpse in the middle of the corridor.
After turning a few corners, following the labeled diagram in the corridor, I walked towards the public male toilet at the far end. To be honest, it was damn huge, and there were mirrors all over the floor and walls. The entire toilet gave a broken and a huge extended kind of visual illusion. There were probably about seven or eight elongated urinals, making it seem like there were a dozen instead; it looked really rather spectacular.
The toilet lights were faint yellow with some decorations, making it look very high class.
That’s weird, just now senior said he wanted to go to the toilet, but how come I didn’t see him on the way here? Or was it because I spent a long a time in the other room, and he already went back to our room?
Looking around, attached on top of the sink was a milk wash, but looking inside, it doesn’t seem like there was anyone else inside. I pressed the milk wash and started rubbing off the red weird pen mark. That hateful ghost child, instead of using a normal pen, he used marker pen instead. Doesn’t he know how hard it is to wash away the ink from a marker pen!?
Just as I opened the tap to wash away some of the bubbles, there were sounds of toilet flushing coming from a single stall behind me. When the door slowly opened,I could clearly see it from where I was standing thanks to the mirrors.
There was something coming out from the stall. At that same second, I froze a moment, completely stunned.
That’s right, it was “something” because it didn’t look human, so I described it as something. It was a blackish, shaped like a wooden club, standing upright, and at the bottom was split into two legs. Then, it walked, by step, stopping at the sink furthest away from me.
I didn’t see anything, I didn’t see anything… Based on experience, if I run now, he will definitely chase after me, so I must stay very calm, pretend I didn’t see anything, and continue to wash my hands. I didn’t turn my head to look at the damn thing, I stayed very calm, acted normal, continued to squeeze the milk wash, and rubbed my hands.
Ghost child! I’m in a pinch because of you!
The black wooden club was still standing at the same spot, I wasn’t sure if he turned his head to look at me, but from the reflection on the mirror, I saw a black part of him facing me, and a pair of turbid yellow should-be-eyes appeared.
I’m very calm, I’m very calm, you won’t be able to scare me! You definitely won’t be able to scare me! There’s nothing scary about a black wooden club! I’m not afraid of you!
… To be honest, I’m very afraid of you, boss. Please leave quickly…
The black charcoal wooden club looked like it wouldn’t leave even if I beat it to death.
I continued to rub my hand hard. I don’t know which brand of marker pen the ghost child used, but it was super hard to wash off. I’ve been rubbing it until now, and the color didn’t even fade the slightest. The red circle was still very clear.
When I lifted my head to look at the mirror to check if the black wooden club had left, I froze once more. I didn’t know when, but behind me, there were more vague shadows dangling about. Some of the shadows had human shapes, while others did not; but I still had no clue what they were. I once again remembered what senior said about many things were coming in and out of this place. However, this amount was really too many!
I’m just a passer-by washing my hands, so can you guys not be enthusiastic about entertaining me?!
“You can see? You can see?” The black wooden club asked. I don’t know when he got behind me, but he was kind of like a suspect of sexual harassment. He said in a very hoarse voice, rather low, making it rather hard to hear what he said, “You can see, human? Human, you can see?”
You think I’m an idiot who would answer you!?
“You can see, human? In fact, you can see, right!? You definitely can see and pretend to play the fool, right? I guessed correctly, you definitely can see and pretended you couldn’t see, right?” The way the black wooden club spoke made me suspect he was a schizophrenic person. When the black wooden club started talking, I realized the vague things behind all started to lean over, and they got closer and closer. What is it that you guys want!?
“You can see, you definitely can see. You human definitely can see! You don’t need to pretend anymore, you definitely can see!”
I had a feeling my veins were popping out, mainly because the black wooden club’s tone was very annoying.
“You definitely can see, you definitely can see…”
“So what if I can see?! You think I’m afraid of you!?” My hand, which was still stained with milk wash, smacked the black wooden club. I had a dying-to-release-my-anger kind of feeling.
Unexpectedly, the black wooden club stood upright at the same spot, and didn’t continue talking.
I saw a red circle mark appearing on top of the two turbid yellow eyes belonging to the black wooden club. The red mark slowly started sinking in, and disappeared. The black wooden club stopped moving completely.
This can’t be right? Could this thing even happen?
I was stunned, and when I looked at my palm, the circle mark on top had disappeared as well.
“He really can see!” I don’t know where the sharp voice came from the lump of vague shadows. I quickly washed away the milk wash on my hands, and retreated to the entrance. I saw those lumps of things suddenly stopping at a certain place, and didn’t move at all. When they completely stopped moving, one of the human shaped lump stepped out from the group. The vague shadow slowly cleared up, turning into a woman wearing a Cheongsam (Mandarin gown), with rolled up hair; she looked like she was wearing clothes from the seventies.
“Miss, this is the male’s toilet, you are in the wrong one.” This was my first reaction. I never thought a female ghost would appear inside the male toilet. Could it be a perverted ghost by chance!?
“This is my home!”
Good, very good. Although her pronunciation was rather weird, I could still communicate with her, “Your home is in the toilet bowl?” I took another two steps back, because the woman wearing the cheongsam walked towards me. Her whole face looked deathly pale and rather translucent. I didn’t need to think, since I knew what I had came in contact with. Still, I was very calm, extremely calm.
“This place used to be our home, which was then destroyed by you ignorant younger generations, so you better pay the price!” The transparent cheongsam woman held up both her hands, stretching out her zombie-like fingernails, and opened her mouth, revealing fangs and blood. This was totally to the feeling of watching a horror movie.
It was rather strange, I didn’t feel frightened. If it was me of the past, I would have been severely frightened.
“Wait a minute, this human knows how to use incantations.” Another lump of shadow suddenly pulled at the transparent cheongsam woman, “Human, who are you?”
Who am I? I’m the most normal of all the normal human beings…
“I’m a normal person passing-by. You guys better not cause any mischief here, or else things won’t end as simple as this.” I secretly held onto the explosive charm in my pocket. My plan was, if they rushed up together, I could immediately throw the bomb and run.
I’ve been experiencing a lot of things today, I really want to go home…
Several lumps of shadows probably heard what I said, and gathered together to discuss something. When another shadow cleared up, it was an entity with a cow’s head and a human body, “We respect you as someone with powers, but we’ve already lived here for so long. This place used to be a place to worship us. In the end, due to the landlord’s greed for a large sum of wealth, our homes were demolished. We are homeless so we could only live at this place. Normally, we wouldn’t go out of this area, and definitely wouldn’t cause any mischief.”
The cow-head person’s speech was steadier, and felt rather sincere.
“If you didn’t cause any mischief, then why are the corridors so damn cold. Who are you trying to trick?” And the lobby was the same, if you said you guys lived in the toilet, then why are the other places so cold.
“That’s not caused by us, our living area really is just the toilet.”
Why the hell am I here questioning the toilet monsters?
“Then what is causing it?”
All the vague shadows very, very neatly raised their right hands and pointed at me, “It’s him!”
It’s me? That’s not right, I’m standing at the toilet entrance, if it’s not me… I mechanically, slowly turned around, facing a pair of bloodshot huge googled-eyes.