Translated by: La Phong
Edited By: Androkles
Book 1 – Chapter 11: Dead or alive
Although Ye Jiang could stay alive in such a critical situation, his tickets had been greatly deducted. Only 57 tickets left!
Ye Jiang thought he would die in the previous incident, but he was still alive. However, the longer he lived the more tickets he lost until the movie ended! It meant he could live in the film but he would die for real! Therefore, he must increase his tickets or his fate would be tragic. To do that, he had to make some important changes to the plot. For example, saving someone meant to be dead or finding out the truth behind the terror bus … If he could do something like that, his tickets would be raised. The truth … If he could find it, he could survive. So … what lies behind all of this? The problem was that he had too little information. The unclean thing the beggar mentioned was unknown. These actors knew nothing. In the guide book, he could not find any legend or ghost story. Of course, if the guide book told about the ghost then who would go to this place? Except someone wanted to discover the myths.
Where was the unclean thing? Contemplating for a while, Ye Jiang decided to go back to the bus! The origin of all misfortunes was the bus. Many people did not want to stay on the bus because of their fear. But now Ye Jiang surely knew that this was the only option to gain tickets. He wanted to find that unclean thing. About You Lin, she had helped him wholeheartedly, he did not want to force her into following him. He remembered exactly the way back to the bus, so he was calculating the direction. It was easy for him to turn back.
"I … I want to come back to the bus, You Lin."
She asked but had no surprise.
"I thought it would be dangerous for us to run around like this. Liu An was missing, sister Ruo Yue had been disappeared too … I still felt it very suspicious."
"Ok, let go together."
You Lin did not wonder much.
"Really? You want to go with me?"
"Yeah, in fact, I had the same opinion as yours. But it would be hard to go back successfully."
Meanwhile, on the bus, Du Yan went forth impatiently. He survived but he lost too many tickets, it made him hopeless. He tried his best but the unclean thing was nowhere to be found. In the plot, the beggar told about the impurity only to Hao Sheng, so Du Yan did not know about that detail. But he heard the beggar talk about the miasma, so he could conclude that there was something weird on the bus. Previously, Ye Jiang did this too.
The night was dark and the lights inside were broken. Du Yan was scared to fall to the floor. But all the elders in the bus did not react. Du Yan got off the bus and tried to find something. The unclean … The impurity … He repeated these words in his mind. He looked all around the bus but did not manage to find anything. He disappointedly came back to his seat and saw a horrifying scene! What … This … All 11 elders had vanished … There was no one left … The scenarios told nothing about this. No … The bus was not mentioned in any part of the second scene. So no one knew about what happened to the bus. It would be a risk to stay on the bus! These were all support characters but they could not die at the same time. He crawled on the ground in fear. He just went out for a bit and then the bus became empty! His pants became wet and emitted a terrible smell.
Du Yan's real name was Wang Ming, an ordinary name. He himself was just an ordinary otaku. He had just graduated from university and just stayed home and played games like Starcraft and Warcraft. Sometimes he played Japanese horror games and watched a lot of horror movies. On that day, his computer crashed so he went to an internet cafe to play games till nighttime. The store was prepared to close as he was the only one left in the store, but then he noticed a flyer on the ground and picked it up. It was the same flyer as the one Ye Jiang found. He saw his name appearing on the actors' list! Right after that, he found himself sunken in a blood tank. His skeleton was disposed of and only the skin was soaked. He even saw his skeleton pour more blood into the tank. While he was soaking in that tank, data about 'Hell Cinema' was transferred into his mind. According to the data, he must obey the rule and act in the movie. If he disobeyed, he would be the soaked skin forever, death would be a luxury for him! Wang Ming was scared nearly to death. He could not dare to doubt the authenticity of this world. He only could blame his unfortunate hands, why did he come to that store and why did he pick that flyer??? If he had not done that, he would not be cursed. If he doubted or wanted to escape, he would be turned into that skin in the blood tank! When he completely believed and swore to follow the rules, he was sucked into the horror movie world, sat in the assigned seat, and played a character named Du Yan!
His ticket salary was lower than Ye Jiang's, so it could be the reason why he died earlier than Ye Jiang. He earned only 130 tickets! He had 30 tickets left. Once his tickets went negative, his death would be confirmed! It would not be better than being a skin.
At this time.
"No … No … don't do this!"
Du Yan, or Wang Ming for exact, was out of control. He was shivering and trying to get off the bus! His tickets continued to be deducted but he could wait no more! When he got off the bus, his legs kicked themselves and he fell to the ground. He tried to stand up but at that moment … he felt something grab his leg! He did not have the chance to turn his head before he was pulled into the space under the bus.
His scream echoed in the air, but it quickly dissipated. The bus stood there like nothing happened.
A while after … Ye Jiang and You Lin appeared in front of the bus once again. Fortunately, Ye Jiang had left some marks along the path and he remembered the way well enough so that they could return to the bus quickly. Looking at the bus from a distance, he wondered why the light was not turned on?
"Xia Yun, wait a bit."
You Lin felt something and stopped Xia Yun.
"Something is not right."
Ye Jiang had an uneasy feeling too.
You Lin raised her voice highly:
They did not reach the bus yet but You Lin could see that there was no one on the bus. Ye Jiang noticed that too. It was a horror movie world, so Ye Jiang would be easily scared and now that the bus was empty he was shaken up even more. He took You Lin;s hand and stepped back. But he stopped after a step. He did not have many tickets left. Since he tried to go back, his tickets had been deducted by 40. He must find the way to earn more or he would lose his life! He must stake his life this time!
Ye Jiang released You Lin;s hand and walked toward the bus. In this condition, he should not trouble her anymore. She must have more tickets than him so she did not need to risk. The only way for him to turn the table was finding the unclean thing and destroying it! That was the only chance!
You Lin watched Ye Jiang go and could not stop thinking. He … Is he worth for me to do this?
Ye Jiang slowly trudged to the bus. Stay on the bus or run away, he had to choose many times before. But now he did not care anymore. His thinking began to change as he was no longer an ordinary working man. His life was no longer the boring scheduled go to work at 9 am and back home at 5 pm, or go drinking with colleagues. Now he did not have to please the boss anymore. For everyone in the same situation as he was now, normal life was just history.
He had to put all his mind into playing a character in a deadly horror movie, for just one careless second would end with death! He could not depend on some simple thought like before because he must risk his life to seek out hope! He had been forced to do this!
When he reached the bus, it was empty. He clenched his teeth, clasped his fists and got on the bus! He immediately stepped in a puddle. That was the urine Wang Ming made when he was out of control. Ye Jiang was stunned, he remembered that this place was not wet before. What had happened? On the bus, there was absolutely no one. From where he stood, he could see all the things on the bus. The secret must be here on the bus!
There was miasma on this bus! Maybe it was a medium which connected to hell? Ye Jiang recalled some taboos about ghost like don't peel the apple in front of a mirror at midnight and don't open an umbrella in the elevator. Could the unclean thing violate the taboos and lead the evils to hide on the bus? But Ye Jiang did not know much about these taboos. Normally, he just watched the economic and political news on the internet and never read the junk on the forums. His favorite movie types were war and sci-fi. He did not like watching horror movies because many horror films were sloppy, had too many flawed details, and the script often pretended to be deep but could not please the viewers in fact. He felt strong regret now because if he watched more horror movies then maybe he would have understood more. Of course, regret was useless, the most important thing now was the unclean thing!