Ch78 - Ghost Stories
(Circle of Candles and Night Conversations)
Edited by Silver Wind
The end-of-class bell rang.
The students appeared like they had regained their freedom as they rushed out of the classroom anxiously.
Shen Dongqing originally wanted to find Wu Jia who was from the class next-door, but he became stuck in the crowd and his body was pushed out of class by no fault of his own.
By the time he went out of class, he could no longer see Wu Jia’s figure.
Buzzcut Boy said smilingly: “What’s wrong with you today, why are you being so strange”
Shen Dongqing replied: “I feel rather strange as well.”
Scratching his head, Buzzcut Boy asked: “Strange in what sense”
Shen Dongqing could not describe it, but he did feel very strange.
When Buzzcut Boy saw Shen Dongqing being preoccupied, he decided to drag him to the cafeteria.
It was currently their afternoon break and the cafeteria was packed to the brim with people.
Due to the short delay that Buzzcut Boy and Shen Dongqing had, they reached the cafeteria later than most and they had to queue for a long time before they reached the lunch counter but they were only greeted with the leftovers.
The elderly woman who was dishing out the food was particularly ruthless, since each ladle had to be shaken three times, which meant that there was even less food on the scoop by the time it reached their plates.
Shen Dongqing clipped up something that was trying to pass off a vegetable and took a cautious bite.
His face became colourful in an instant: “I finally know what’s wrong…”
Buzzcut Boy stopped eating mid-motion.
“What is it”
Shen Dongqing: “It must be this world that’s wrong, the food here tastes absolutely terrible!”
Buzzcut Boy almost spat his food out.
“That’s enough from you, the cafeteria food being terrible isn’t something that has been happening for a day or two.
If you really can’t choke down, you can make instant cup noodles when we go back later.”
Shen Dongqing had never been picky with food, but the tray of food in front of him was truly intolerable, so he placed his chopsticks done and waited for Buzzcut Boy to finish eating.
Buzzcut Boy was even eating with relish.
Lowering his head, Shen Dongqing felt around his pockets and managed to fish out two cards.
One of them had a sketched ice cream in the middle, while the other had a drawing of a large kitchen door.
He stared at the two cards for a long time but he could not remember what it was used for.
However, the fact that he carried it on his person meant that It should be important so he kept it again.
Once Buzzcut Bot was done eating, he rubbed his mouth, saying: “Let’s go.
We don’t have classes in the afternoon, so we can go back to our dorm and play games.”
Everything was normal apart from that particularly disgusting lunch.
Despite the pocket fabric being in the way, Shen Dongqing pinched the two cards and felt like everything in his surroundings had a sense of wrongness.
It was like… The world was not supposed to be like this.
* * *
His three roommates were sitting in front of the computer fighting bravely as Shen Dongqing huddled in his bed and ate his cup noodles.
He retrieved his phone, wanting to search for some useful information from it.
But when he flipped through his communication tools and his social media applications, everything displayed about “Shen Dongqing” showed that he was a student in university and there were no oddities.
Studded Earring Boy found it strange, “Dongqing, you’re not going to game We’re missing one person from our five-man team, are you coming”
Without turning his head back, Buzzcut replied: “He’s been incredibly strange today, I don’t know what kind of illness he came down with.”
Shen Dongqing lowered his head.
He could see the three boys staring at their screens, playing with such frenzy that sweat was emerging on their faces.
Was he the one being overly strange
Shen Dongqing jumped off his bed bunk and sat in his seat before he opened his computer and asked: “What are you guys playing”
He should integrate with them and become more normal.
This game looked very fun.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Thus, the people inside the dorm were engrossed in the gaming world and it was the middle of the night before they were even conscious of it.
Even their dinners were arbitrarily taken care of by calling for takeout.
Coafg 12 b’ mibmx lc atf wbgclcu, Dehhmea Dbs rabqqfv obmerlcu bc tlr mbwqeafg jcv ragfamtfv tlr ybvs ijhlis.
“Mlcjiis gjcxfv eq, atlr lr tjgv.”
Afgrfs Dbs megrfv jr tf rqbxf: “Pa’r atbrf raeqlv qglwjgs rmtbbi raevfcar, oemx, lo la kfgfc’a obg atbrf qglwjgs rmtbbi raevfcar, kf kbeiv tjnf oemxlcu kbc fjgis bc.”
Studded Earring Boy moved his mouse and clicked open a web page to skim through it.
All of a sudden, he said: “Shall we play a game”
“What” Buzzcut Boy leaned over.
There was a dark-coloured picture on the computer screen, featuring a person with their head lowers as their entire face was obscured by their black hair, which made it difficult to perceive their facial features.
In the centre was an upright candle irradiating a ghastly white light, while two blood-soaked words were printed at the bottom— Ghost Stories.
Studded Earring Boy said: “I’m talking about playing this ‘Ghost Stories’.
Each of us will tell a ghost story and blow out the white candle in front of us once we’re done.
Allegedly, this will invite the ghost over.”
The other boys were rather audacious, since they immediately agreed to the suggestion as soon as they heard it.
Buzzcut Boy even found a bundle of white candles under the bed and placed it on the table.
“Coincidentally, there are still some of the candles we bought during the previous dormitory power outage.”
Jersey Boy used his elbow to jab Shen Dongqing since he had been silent the entire time.
In a small voice, he asked: “Are you afraid or something”
Shen Dongqing blinked his eyes.
Jersey Boy did not believe him.
“Why aren’t you speaking then”
Shen Dongqing pondered briefly before he said: “Because… I think that your death-courting behaviour looks very familiar.”
It was like he had seen it countless times.
Jersey Boy clicked his tongue.
“We’re just telling ghost stories, aren’t we How are we courting our deaths”
Meanwhile, Buzzcut Boy ran over to the side to turn off the lights in the dorm and pull the curtains to a close.
The dorm plunged into a deep darkness, and they even had difficulty seeing their five fingers.
Following that, someone shifted something and it issued a metallic chafing noise.
The flame from the lighter leapt up and the four candles were lit.
The ghastly white candlelight barely illuminated their surroundings.
The four people in the dorm surrounded a small table as they sat on the floor, with a flickering candle placed in front of each of them, and the resulting illumination made their faces as white as a sheet of paper.
To accommodate the atmosphere, Buzzcut Boy deliberately lowered his voice and said in an ominous manner: “I’ll go first then.”
The candlelight for the other boys darkened slightly whilst Buzzcut Boy’s candlelight flickered and became even brighter.
“Let me talk about a story I experienced in the past.” Buzzcut Boy made it sound very mysterious, “Our university has an abandoned classroom building, do you know about it”
The others nodded their heads subconsciously.
Buzzcut Boy continued to speak: “Rumours have it that there was a female school senior who was deceived by a scumbag, and she came to school on a certain night to commit suicide.
At that time, she was also pregnant with a child.
“During that instance, we were playing truth or dare, and my friends told me to go into the innermost part of the classroom building to take a photograph.
Bolstered by liquid courage, I went.
When I entered, I didn’t discover anything that was amiss, so I ran to the innermost part of the building, took a picture, and left.
But it was at this moment where I heard the sound of a piano travelling from a place that wasn’t too far away.
“There was a music room in the old classroom building, you see.
I thought that my friends were trying to scare me so I followed the sound of the piano and walked over, planning to beat them up.
However, when I reached the music room, I immediately sprinted out without looking back once.”
Jersey Boy was spellbound by the story, and questioned: “Why”
Buzzcut Boy raised his eyes to look at him as he said strangely: “Because the female school senior committed suicide inside that music room, and the school sealed off the music room immediately afterwards.”
Since it was sealed, it was not possible for anyone to go in to play the piano.
If that was the case, why was there the sound of the piano
A gust of wind blew in from nowhere inside the closed dorm room.
Jersey Boy shuddered.
Buzzcut Bot said: “I ran out of the classroom building and showed my friends the picture I took.
The image was grey and dark, but you could see something lying on my shoulder, like a… an undeveloped infant.
“Later, I didn’t manage to sleep well for the entire night, because I could frequently hear the sound of the piano and a baby crying.”
Once his voice landed, the sound of a cat meowing travelled over from downstairs in the dead quiet, and it sounded like a baby’s wail.
“Hu—” Buzzcut Bot blew out the candle in front of him, thus concealing himself in the darkness.
“It’s your turn.”
Since Jersey Boy was still afraid, Studded Earring Boy touched his earlobe and said: “I’ll talk about a story that I personally experienced as well, and it also happened inside our school.
“There was a rumour that we used to have a school senior who was extremely fond of learning, to the extent where he would be in the self-study rooms revising in the middle of the night, and he would get a scholarship every semester.
The teachers treated him as an exemplary student.
“All the installations in the self-study room were quite old.
During one of the nights, the electric fan hanging from the ceiling loosened and dropped, smashing down on the school senior’s body directly.
The school senior was the only person inside the self-study room, and he was only discovered by someone the next day.
By then, the school senior’s blood had already soaked the entire floor, and in his death, his eyes were still wide open as he stared at the book in his hands.
“Gradually, everyone stopped going to that self-study room, but there was one day where I was on a stroll with my goddess.
I wanted to find a quieter place to chat with her, so we ambled into the vicinity of that self-study room.
I wasn’t thinking about it much at that time either so we stepped in.
“However, just as our relationship was improving, we suddenly noticed that someone was sitting inside the self-study room and he was reading his book with a lowered head.
My goddess felt embarrassed so we decided to change to another location.
“And when we were going past that schoolmate, I suddenly noticed that something was off, then I pulled on my goddess’ hands and walked away without looking back.”
Studded Earring Boy gave a pause before he continued, “Because I realised that blood was all over his book and his head had been cut into half.
He looked like the school senior who died in that classroom.
“I was both scared and curious, but I couldn’t suppress my curiosity in the end.
I turned around to take a look.
“That person was sitting there, staring at my back figure fixedly.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash as the electric fan dropped down, causing fresh blood to paint the entire window.
“I ran back to take a look, but there was nothing inside.
I asked my goddess about it, and she thought that I was insane.
Afterwards, the thing between us went up in smoke.”
Jersey Boy laughed out loud: “The terror in your ghost story probably resides in the fact that the relationship between you and your goddess went up in smoke, right”
Studded Earring Boy rolled his eyes at him before he extinguished his own candle.
Perhaps in a feat of sheer coincidence, the rotating electric fan above their heads suddenly jammed, issuing an ear-grating noise as if it was going to drop down at any given second.
In response, Studded Earring Boy slid away from being under the electric while he was still seated, perhaps because he had a psychological shadow.
Jersey Boy said: “It’s my turn I’ll also talk about a story that happened in school then.
“I’m on the basketball team, yes Previously, we had an active figure in our basketball team.
He wasn’t fond of fangirls but he was rather fickle minded himself, since he would step on numerous boats at the same time, and they were all big beauties so we were absurdly jealous.
“But there was one day where this matter was exposed.
There was a lady who had a particularly fierce temper and she called all of his girlfriends over before they ran to the basketball gym to interrogate him.
Good lord, can you imagine seven beautiful ladies arriving and causing an uproar as they surrounded the school senior, asking for an explanation on who the real girlfriend is
“That school senior was truly fickle in his love affairs; he couldn’t bear to part with any of them, so he threw down the line: ‘I’m only one person, I can’t bear to break up with any of you, I might as well split myself into pieces and each of you can take one’.
Then he went back to playing basketball.
“In the end, not two days after, the school senior was dismembered by someone in the basketball gym and he was separated into seven parts.
It was just enough for his seven girlfriends since they each got a piece, but his head was missing.
The police treated all those girlfriends as suspects but the investigation later showed that neither of them were the culprit.”
Studded Earring Boy interrupted: “Isn’t this just a pure homicidal case”
Jersey Boy shook his head and said: “The murderer hasn’t been found up until now, but it is said that the school senior made a female ghost his girlfriend, and that head was taken away by that female ghost!
“Much later, there was a day where something happened between my girlfriend and I.
My girlfriend thought that I had something with another female classmate and she refused to listen to my explanation no matter what as she clamoured about wanting to break up.
At that time, my anger got ahead of me so I said, ‘let’s break up then’.
After saying that, I went to the basketball gym to play basketball and vent.
“Since I played until it was nighttime, there were very few people around in the basketball gym, but I bumped into a gorgeous woman as I was leaving and she was holding a basketball in her arms.
You probably know what happened next.
Men, yeah I went to strike a conversation with her.”
At that moment, someone clicked their tongue derisively.
Jersey Boy patted Studded Earring Boy once before he continued with his story: “I was just chatting up a line or two when that gorgeous woman said: ‘If you have a girlfriend, then what about me’, and I was definitely going to say that we have already broken up.
However, that gorgeous lady actually said: ‘Since that’s the case, your girlfriend and I can have half each’.
“I was delighted at the start, believing that I had encountered some female bodhisattva.
But I wasn’t happy for too long because I suddenly saw a picture of that senior on the wall, which shocked me into remembering his ending.
When I took another look, I saw that the gorgeous woman wasn’t hugging a basketball in her arms at all, but a human head!
“Fortunately, my girlfriend ran over to the basketball court to find me and save me from that predicament.
Ever since then, I’ve been treating my girlfriend wholeheartedly, except I would occasionally hear the sound of basketball bouncing outside my door at night.”
Pa pa pa—
As if it was coordinating with his words, a series of ball noises came from outside the door.
Jersey Boy blew out his candle.
Since the three of them were done talking, only Shen Dongqing remained.
They twisted their head to look at Shen Dongqing and said in unison: “It’s your turn.”
Shen Dongqing opened his eyes, lost.
“Ah It’s already my turn”
The ghost stories that were being told were too boring, he almost fell asleep.
All three of their faces were hidden in the dark.
In a gloomy voice, they asked: “You’re not afraid”
Shen Dongqing rubbed his eyes, “It’s really boring.”
For some unknown reason, it was like he had never been afraid of gods or ghosts.
“Why” In the darkness, Buzzcut Boy’s voice became slightly distorted.
Feeling odd, Shen Dongqing said: “Weren’t you the one who said it You have to believe in science!” He even clenched his fists.
Jersey Boy and Studded Earring Boy exchanged a look, “It’s your turn.”
“Fine, I’ll also talk about a ghost story that I personally experienced.”
“I met a ghost and then…” Shen Dongqing yawned, “I gave the ghost a thrashing.”
Other people: ……
Despite waiting for some time, they did not get an ending so they asked: “What happened afterwards”
Shen Dongqing pushed his hands: “Afterwards, the ghost ran away.”
Other people: What kind of ghost story was this!
Shen Dongqing did not care; he had already said his piece, so he extinguished the candle in front of him.
Once all the candles in the dorm had been extinguished, the dorm room plunged into darkness again.
Someone got up to turn on the lights, but before they could fumble their way to the switch, a light source lit up their dorm.
A candle was lit at the corner of the table and the faint illumination swayed.
A human figure could be seen sitting behind.
Since his back was curled and shrunk into the corner, and the hair falling down his lowered head was covering his facial features, his appearance could not be discerned clearly.
“It is my turn now—” That human figure’s voice was hoarse and he spoke at a slow speed, “I will also tell you a story.”
Their dorm only had four people in total, why was there another
Studded Earring Boy’s entire body trembled as he rambled incoherently: “I get it, when we’re done telling our ‘ghost stories’ we’ll invite a ghost.
When the ghost is done with their story, we will all die!”
Clambering to his feet, he ran to the door swiftly, wanting to open the door and leave.
However, perhaps owing to his panic, he could not open the door no matter what so he sat on the ground numbly.
Jersey Boy was scared to the point where he could not even move, and he could only scramble into a corner with his arms and legs.
The extra person took no heed of their actions either.
Instead, he merely continued with his story: “Once upon a time, there was a group of dormmates who decided to tell ghost stories because they were bored.
After each ghost story was told, one candle would be blown out, but they did not know that this was actually a game to attract spirits, and it could also attract ghosts and monsters.
“They narrated about the female school senior who committed suicide in the classroom building, the school senior who was smashed to death in the self-study room, the basketball team member who was dismembered… they were all so invested in these stories that they did not notice the additional person at the side, oh no, the ghost…
“As long as the ghost finishes the story and blows out the candle, everyone will die wretchedly.
My story has been told…”
Trembling, the trio hugged each other.
Studded Earring Boy said in despair: “He’s talking about us!”
Jersey Bot: “Ahh— I don’t want to die!”
Buzzcut Boy still remembered Shen Dongqing: “Where’s the last of us”
They opened a slit in their eyes and looked over, and realised that Shen Dongqing was still sitting there, listening to the ghost tell its story.
Buzzcut Boy said anxiously: “Dongqing! Come here quickly! He’s a ghost ah!”
Shen Dongqing suddenly saw the light, “So he’s a ghost”
Buzzcut Boy was on the verge of tears: “Hurry up and come here!”
In lieu of running, Shen Dong immediately leapt forward and pressed the ghost on the ground when he finally chose to stand up.
His right hand formed a fist and he swung it in the ghost’s direction.
The human figure, who had previously scared them into shivers, was now being beaten to the point where he was wailing like a ghost and howling like a wolf.
The others began to suspect that there was a problem with their eyes: …Wait, why was it that fierce
Shen Dongqing restrained the human figure that was attempting to flee as he landed another punch.
— Although he could not remember anything, he could not be wrong by doing this!