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Guess Who I Am
Chapter 31: Burn the Exam
From their previous experience, they learnt that they didn’t need to complete all the questions provided during the exam.
As long as the examinee can bear the consequences of not writing down an answer such as not earning any points, non-critical ones could be skipped.
There were three methods one could end an exam: One was total annihilation; another was when you run out of time and the last method was answering the key question(s) early.
The key question of the hunter was finding that special set of tableware.
The key question here was the reading question —— Gifting out the dolls and finding your way home.
Previously, Yu Wen had thought that it would take them a long time to gift the dolls out.
Like how it was recorded in Zhao Wentu’s diary, everyone would gather together, try and blindly guess the correct owner of each doll and then carefully complete a small portion of the task each day.
He never expected this golden thigh of his to think that it was too slow and he even wanted to finish it in one night.
Eighteen households in one night?
What kind of joke is this……..
It wasn’t because they didn’t believe in You Huo, they just had no idea where to start.
When they returned to their house, it was late at night.
You Huo’s room was still in the same state as it was when they left. The only difference was that the water on the coffee table had cooled down and the edges of the dry bread had turned white, making it even more unpalatable. The fire in the room was still burning well in the furnace.
You Huo wandered around the sofa and suddenly asked: “Where’s the sack?”
“Sack? What sack?”
The others didn’t understand.
Just as You Huo wanted to add “the one with the dolls”, he saw Qin Jiu indicate to the furnace with his chin.
Everyone looked over.
On the woollen rug next to the fire, a grey sack laid on the ground. One of the dolls inside had fallen out and it fell right next to the fire.
If the fire was just a little stronger, it would have been burned.
“How did it end up there?!” Yu Wen hurried over and picked up the sack and the doll.
You Huo pointed to the sofa and said: “It was there before. Who moved it?”
Everyone looked at each other but no one could answer his question.
Old Yu said, “When we found out that you were sent to enter the coffin, we rushed out after grabbing the rope. Maybe someone placed it wrongly because they were in a hurry?”
But they all recalled carefully, and they were certain they didn’t touch it.
Could it be that………It can move on its own?
Just the thought of it was strange. No one dared to think any further.
Yu Wen muttered: “If one got burnt and we don’t have the right numbers, we would have been in trouble.”
He picked up the doll by its leg: “It was so close. Look, there’s a patch here.”
“And here too. Even half of the clothes——-” Yu Wen turned the doll around.
You Huo interrupted him: “Those two places were there originally.”
Yu Wen stopped: “Huh?”
That doll was one of the last four added by the black widow. You Huo recalled seeing burn patches on it at that time.
“That being said, does that mean that it was almost burnt before?” Yu Wen held onto the doll and said: “Why does it encounter so many disasters? Does this count as a clue? Who in the village has been burnt before?”
Yu Yao said: “Zhao Wentu.”
Everyone was stunned for a moment. Even You Huo turned to look at her.
Yu Yao felt uncomfortable being watched: “Uh…….I’m meant villager D.”
She felt bad calling someone “crazy” and said with a red face: “Maybe it’s because I’m a little too concerned with cleanliness, I always notice it if other people’s clothes are not clean. He had a lot of ashes on his sleeves and on the sides of his clothes. The back of his shirt was also a little burnt. It might not necessarily mean that he was burnt before, but I just thought………maybe.”
When she was done speaking, she kept quiet again. She sat there with a completely red face.
“That makes sense!” Yu Wen looked at the doll and said: “If there are really those traces, then it must be him!”
You Huo made a sound of agreement.
When he nodded, everyone was instantly relieved.
This kind of scene was like that moment when a study slag checks their answer with a study god. If they happened to have the same answer, they would be pleased because they were certain they would be fine.
Zhao Wentu had mentioned in his diary that they gave the doll to villager A because they felt that the doll resembled him.
So the key to giving these gifts out was to find the similarities between the dolls and the villagers. Each doll would represent a villager.
“I suddenly feel like I’m playing a game……” Yu Wen held the sack of dolls in his left hand and shook the doll in his right hand: “Guess who I am?”
“Then guess.” Old Yu pointed at him, “Put it down and don’t fool around!”
The dolls were lined up and everyone sat around it.
After staring at it for a full minute, they exploded.
Except for Zhao Wentu’s doll which had been burned and had obvious differences from the other dolls, the other dolls had no unique characteristics at all. The minor differences were negligible, and they all shared a common point: Ugly.
A couple of threads in the cloth and they dared to say that those were the eyes and nose. If you covered it with a piece of cloth, it was considered clothes.
Holding this and saying to the villagers “this is you” – Are you trying to piss them off?
“Are there any birthmarks?” Chen Bin raised his hand and asked with embarrassment: “Can…..we take off the clothes?”
“Are they going to fight you if you take of its clothes?” Old Yu had a glum expression: “But there’s a problem. Even if there are birthmarks under the clothes, are you going to go around stripping all the villagers?”
Chen Bin: “…………”
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Although it was spoken quite harshly, he was right.
What’s more, those villagers locked themselves in the house all day and wouldn’t come out.
Zhao Wentu said that they would only open the door if you knocked on their door three times and said “I have a gift for you”.
But once that door was opened, the examinees would need to gift out the correct doll. No mistakes were allowed.
Everyone looked at the dolls in silence. They once again deeply felt confused——
How the fuck do we do that?
“What time is it?” You Huo suddenly spoke up.
Everyone looked at him. They then looked at Qin Jiu.
Qin Jiu took out his phone: “Two in the morning. There’s still about five and a half hours left.”
You Huo: “That’s enough.”
Qin Jiu: “Are you sure?”
You Huo drank some water and made a sound of affirmation. He then swept all the dolls into the sack.
He looked around the room and pointed at a few things: “Rope, knife, cloth. Take those and whatever else you find.”
Everyone did as he said.
They got everything ready and followed You Huo out the door before asking: “What are we doing?”
You Huo said: “Robbery.”
Qin Jiu suddenly laughed.
That deep voice of his sounded close to his ear. It made those hearing it feel uncomfortable.
“Go over there and laugh.” You Huo turned his head away with a stiff expression. He then said to the others, “Don’t waste time. Are you coming or not?”
Everyone: “………Coming, coming.”
Soon, they stood in front of a small house.
The sign on the door read: “4 Chars Village”.
Knock, knock, knock.
You Huo knocked on the door: “I have a gift for you.”
Everyone held their breaths and waited. Rustling could be heard from behind the door.
It was probably the sound of footsteps, but it sounded like cloth rubbing against the floor.
Everyone recalled the contents of Zhao Wentu’s diary. He had mentioned that although he had arms and lefts, they were soft to the couth, like it was stuffed with cotton………
It was both scary and sad.
With a creak, the door opened.
Zhao Wentu poked his head out. His face displayed signs of aging and his expression was dull. The white hairs mixed in in dark hair seemed to glisten a little under the moonlight.
His black eyes stared at You Huo without blinking. He asked slowly: “What gift?”
You Huo took out the waterproof bag and the burnt doll: “A diary and also a doll of you. It’s called Zhao Wentu.”
The moonlight casted over stretched his shadow out. It fell over Zhao Wentu’s face.
He stood under the light and shadow for a long time. His eyes then finally revealed a small light.
“Zhao…….Wen………..Tu….” He looked at the humble doll and repeated that name slowly. Because he hadn’t said it for a long time, his pronunciation of it was a bit rusty.
“Zhao Wentu……” He repeated it again.
He stood there muttering the same words numerous times. Suddenly, he started laughing out loud and bowing forward.
“Don’t tell me he’s crazy again?” Old Yu asked with worry.
Zhao Wentu didn’t hear him.
He laughed for a long time, and then he started to cry. Finally, he snatched the two gifts, pushed away You Huo and the others and rushed into the woods. In a blink of an eye, he had disappeared.
“Does this count as……..freeing him? Where is he going?”
“I don’t know.” You Huo walked away. It was as if he didn’t care much about the outcome.
In a blink of an eye, they stood before another house.
This time it was 1 Chars Village, the house of villager A.
Everyone stood there with a complex expression. They stopped talking.
They had never seen this villager before so how were they going to match the villager with a doll?
Let them pick it out randomly from the sack?
Just as they were about to retreat, You Huo knocked on the door.
“Open the door, I have a gift.”
Okay, it’s too late now.
Everyone looked on numbly as the door opened. A villager they had not seen before asked You Huo: “What gift?”
You Huo immediately responded with binding a rope around the villager’s neck. He looped it around several times and bound the villager tightly.
Villager A: “???”
Everyone instantly collapsed: It really was robbery…..
You Huo tightened the ropes and placed the other end in Yu Wen’s hand: “Don’t let go. If you lose it, you’re dead.”
Yen Wen held onto the rope and looked at villager A with similarly confused expressions. He didn’t know what to do.
By the time everyone returned to their senses, You Huo was already standing at the door to villager B’s house.
Before everyone’s eyes, he once again raised that sinful hand of his and said: “Open the door, I have a gift.”
Soon afterwards, there was another person in Old Yu’s hands.
Half an hour.
In just half an hour, they had ransacked the entire village.
There was a total of nineteen people in the eighteen households. Excluding Zhao Wentu who had already ran off in a crazy state, they others were all in their hands. This even included the village chief and his elderly mother.
This was the most outrageous greeting ever received by the villagers in Chars Village.
They found an empty space by the river and gathered the villagers there under You Huo’s instructions.
“And then?” Old Yu asked.
He then saw You Huo pick up the sack and pour out all the dolls. He pushed them over before the group of villagers: “We have brought the black widow’s gift.”
“Something like this is okay?”
The eyes of Old Yu and the others were about the protrude out. But they then thought about it: “That’s true, the question didn’t specifically say that they had to gift it out individually.”
There was complete silence by the river.
Then all the villagers went crazy.
The dolls ended up in their hands and it ripped apart that earlier illusion of peace.
The villagers started to scream and struggle around. With them losing their senses, they suddenly became a lot stronger.
They broke free from the ropes and rushed forward, attacking everyone in sight.
Their crazy act was completely different to Zhao Wentu’s. Everyone was caught off guard by this and weren’t able to hold them back.
Although they had brought knives, it was only used for threatening. Now that they knew that the villagers were once examinees like them, they didn’t have the heart to harm them.
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Amidst the chaos, there was suddenly movement coming from the woods.
The sound of crawling came from all directions.
You Huo looked back and his pupils instantly constricted.
The ghost hands that came out this time wasn’t just one or two. It also wasn’t a dozen…….
Everyone who had been buried six feet under- all their severed limbs and body – they all emerged out from within the woods.
It wouldn’t be too excessive describing this situation as exam uprising.
Sharp screams rang. Everyone drew closer together and panicked.
“Take them into the woods!” You Huo shouted.
“The woods again? Why?!!!!”
Despite asking why, the group of people still did as they were told. They formed a circle and pushed their bodies to their absolute limits as they ran.
The cold touch from the bone cleavers brushed past them numerous times. Each time, it would narrowly miss their faces and skin.
All those “near misses” were more terrifying than anything.
Soon, they scattered in all directions like ripples in a pond.
You Huo jumped over a fallen tree and examined his surroundings. He quickly calculated the density of the woods.
Ever since Zhao Wentu ran into the woods, there had been one thought on his mind: In this place, what would be considered liberation?
According to the diary, one could be freed following successful gifting of the dolls.
But that was just Zhao Wentu’s speculation. He was just an examinee at that time, so he only knew part of the truth. He just happened to see villager A go missing the next day after gifting him a doll, so he connected the two dots together.
But looking at the situation now, there was clearly something important still missing.
If not, they wouldn’t be chased down like this.
There must be something they had to do to quell the resentment and hatred held by these severed limbs. Only then, the examinees will be able to relax.
You Huo had been constantly mulling over this problem.
He then recalled the doll that had been burned by fire.
Whether it’s the doll or Zhao Wentu, why were burn marks appearing over and over again…….
Why did the villagers say that it was a tradition of Chars Village to bury, not cremate………
The more he thought about it, the more he felt that there was only one reason for this——–
A burial would trap and bound them to this place while cremation would allow them to properly rest in peace.
You Huo eyed several easily flammable locations and internally made his decision. He lured those arms and legs over to the burning nest and felt that time was right.
Immediately, he stopped his steps. He reached inside his pocket intending to pull out his lighter and light up a nearby tree but the moment he reached inside, his eyebrows raised.
His pocket was empty.
You Huo: “………”
Must have fallen out during the chaos earlier……..
But in some situations, even a one second pause would put one’s life at risk.
In just that time frame, countless horrible figures had already rushed over. They immediately surrounded him forming a circle.
What was even more terrible was that there was also the thick fog from last time that induced drowsiness.
When the limbs started to take action, You Huo pressed his finger against a tree trunk and drew a few strokes.
He did it faster than he could think about it.
When he suddenly realised that what he was writing didn’t seem to be 001, a sudden burst of fire enveloped those severed limbs.
It was as if it was thrown into a pot of hot oil. The fire spread and scattered rapidly the moment it landed.
The tangled trees here appeared to burn more easily than expected.
In an instant, the woods were enveloped by a sea of fire.
Countless pale severed limbs flew out from the fire before falling silently to the ground and disintegrating into dust.
You Huo narrowed his eyes as he watched the fire. Bright reflections flicked against his light-coloured eyes. His gaze crossed over the fire and it fell over to a location out into the distance.
There, invigilator 001 emptied the remaining contents of an oil barrel into the fire.
The flames instantly surged in intensity. Under the bright lights, he strode over. There was a hint of arrogance lingering at the corner of his lips. It made his usually apathetic and lazy look seem a little livelier.
Under the hands of this man, the entire examination centre had turned into a burning furnace. All the zombie limbs that were trapped in a never-ending cycle were smothered by this sea of fire.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
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