You Seem Delicious
Chapter 34: Yu Yao
When they got off the car, they stood around dumbly.
Before them was a street. There were high-rise buildings on both sides.
The high-rise buildings were a bit old, like department stores from a century ago. The shop windows were grey and dusty, and the lights in the corners formed a ring of light around them.
It was like a forgotten old city street.
“This is a rest stop?” Everyone grabbed onto the driver and didn’t let him get back into the car.
“Why are you grabbing me?” The driver wasn’t happy. He pried off their hands: “This is a rest stop. Can’t you see that hotel over there?”
The dilapidated minivan indeed stopped right before a hotel.
The hotel had the typical look most common stores had. It was located at the corner of the street and appeared completely desolated.
…….Actually, it wasn’t just that one. It was the same for the entire street.
“Rest stops can change?” Everyone was surprised.
“What about the small inn? Boss Chu? We only just managed to get acquainted with her.”
“Boss Chu? Chu Yue?” It may have been because of the lighting but the drivers’ dark face appeared to turn a little red. He then quickly restored his expression: “You met her? She must still be in that small inn. There are five rest stops in total in the country and are often rotated.”
You Huo: “In the country? This examination also happens overseas?”
The driver pursed his lips.
He didn’t seem to want to speak any further but, for Chu Yue’s sake, he finally said: “Of course. Don’t you have a foreigner standing there? Also, if there is a subject called foreign language, then there would naturally be examination centres overseas.”
The examinees who had just left the village stared wordlessly at him.
“Your situation was a rare case.” He added.
You Huo looked around. Those high-rise buildings were brightly lit. It was as if it was filled with people.
“Can you choose the rest stop?” He asked.
The driver said: “It’s generally random. Each of the five rest stops have their own special features——”
You Huo recalled the earlier rest stop and said expressionlessly: “Especially run-down?”
Driver: “…..Chu Yue’s one is indeed a bit———”
You Huo’s expression was cold.
Driver: “………especially run-down.”
“That rest stop may be the only one without any merits.” The driver frowned and mumbled: “Otherwise, she wouldn’t be sent there as punishment………”
“But the others have their own advantages. Chu Yue’s one is rest stop 1. Rest stop 2 is like a military base with all kinds of weapons. Whatever weapon you can think of, they will have it there. For some examinees, it is heaven.”
“The major feature at rest stop 3 is its casino. If you are lucky, you can give it a try. You may even get your hands on a guaranteed pass card. Rest stop 4 allows you to eat and play as much as you wanted to. Staying there for a few days would allow you to temporarily forget about the exams. And this place here is rest stop 5.”
You Huo frowned. He had a bad feeling: “And the advantage of this place?”
Driver: “The market is cheaper.”
Everyone: “How cheap?”
Chen Bin couldn’t help but say: “In all honesty, I can’t even deduct 0.1 points right now.”
Driver: “What a coincidence. Most examinees are just like you so coming here would be considered bad luck………..”
The lucky king You Huo turned his head and walked away.
Anyway, this rest stop was better than the previous one.
They didn’t want to use the adjective “prosperity” because it sounded rather ironic.
In any case, even the management of the hotel was stricter.
A scanner was installed on the automatic glass door and a red light swept across the examinees.
With the principle of allowing the old, sick and frail to go first, You Huo leaned against the door and waited.
He waited until everyone entered before following behind.
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The moment he stepped through, the alarm went off.
The woman at the front desk shot up. She stretched her neck out: “What have you brought?”
You Huo stopped his steps: “What do you mean?”
Everyone didn’t understand what was going on, and they were worried about You Huo. They all stared at the front desk vigilantly.
The woman at the front desk beckoned him over: “I’ll have to trouble you to come this way. I need to check.”
You Huo threw the black bag onto the table and unzipped it. He raised his thin eyelid and said: “Check what? Go ahead.”
That face of his was more impactful when seen up close.
The woman went red from her neck to her face. She explained: “Uh…..You can do it yourself. Please try and recall for a moment. Did you bring back anything from the examination centre?”
Everyone was confused.
Yu Wen said: “That’s impossible. There wasn’t anything normal in that damned examination centre. Who in the right mind would take something from there? It’s not like it’s a souvenir.”
The woman at the front desk was amused by this: “But I can’t rule out the possibility of something trying to slip out together with the examinees. I’ve had it happen before, and it almost killed someone in the rest stop. It could be considered a reminder for us to reinforce security.”
Everyone internally commented: The previous rest stop didn’t do these checks.
But now that the alarm had gone off, they could only comply. Everyone just nodded and no longer made things hard for the front desk.
That woman saw that they were easy to talk to and turned to You Huo while blushing: “I know you didn’t do it intentionally. How could a normal person do something like that? It’s just a quick check to see if anything dangerous has secretly snuc——-”
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You Huo didn’t even go through his belongings. He reached into the side pocket of his backpack and pulled something out: “This?”
The woman at the front desk could no longer finish the word “snuck in”.
The speed at which he pulled that out clearly meant that this handsome guy had done it himself.
You Huo glanced at Yu Wen.
Yu Wen panicked.
No way! Just half a minute ago he was calling his brother ‘not in the right mind’.
“Brother, you…….why did you bring back the black widow’s doll?” He mumbled in a quiet voice.
You Huo: “By chance.”
Yu Wen: “……….”
What do you mean by chance?
In You Huo’s hand was the black widow’s doll.
It wasn’t the one he sewed himself, but a doll that was originally sitting on the bottom of the wooden frame. It was the doll with the bellflower pattern on its feet.
Everyone had been tortured by these dolls for the past few days, so they felt traumatised when the saw the doll.
Yu Yao and Chen Bin especially were ghostly pale.
Who would have thought that the great master would take a walk around the examination centre and come back with a souvenir?
You Huo asked the front desk: “Not allowed to take them?”
Front desk: “It’s mainly because we are concerned about examinees being faced with danger in the rest stop. If you really want it, you can keep it.”
You Huo took the doll back again.
Front desk: “………”
Alright. You’re the best.
This woman no longer blushed. She tapped the keyboard and quickly pulled out a stack of cards which were then issued to each of them: “The rest time this time is five days. The room number is marked on the card. Please make sure you don’t go to the wrong one to avoid disrupting the other examinees. The uppermost floor is the restaurant which is open 24 hours. Other daily necessities or examination required items can be purchased at the store. Five days later, which is the last day of your resting period, the store will have a big discount from 7-10am. Try not to miss it.”
You Huo took the card and turned it over.
Sure enough, the format was the same as last time.
Name: You Huo
Examination Ticket Number: 860451-10062231-000A
Completed subjects: Physics, Foreign Language (2/5)
Total points: 27
Yu Wen held his card and stood on the side scratching his head: “There is a problem with the scoring in these exams. You clearly answered the most questions and earned the most points, but in the end everyone got the same points.”
And You Huo also bought some things before. After going through the same two exams together, his total score was the lowest amongst them.
“Doesn’t matter.” You Huo didn’t look at it for long and just stuffed the card into his pocket.
Chen Bin interjected: “It’s not like this for every exam. At least one of the five exams will be scored separately. Whoever answers it will get the points. I’ve experienced it before.”
Yu Wen: “And then? How many did you get?”
Chen Bin answered grimly: “3 points.”
Everyone was frightened by the news. No one spoke until they entered the elevator.
Their rooms were just below the restaurant upstairs, so it was very convenient.
When everyone looked for their rooms, Old Yu suddenly said: “Wait, this isn’t right.”
“What’s not right?”
“The dolls were given out to the villagers. If you brought one back, doesn’t that mean that a villager didn’t get their doll? Then why did we get full marks for that question?”
You Huo said: “Extra one.”
You Huo raised the doll in his hand and said: “This one doesn’t match with any of the villagers.”
Everyone was stunned. They then noticed the pattern on the doll’s leg.
“When we were trying to figure out the differences between the dolls, this wasn’t there. If it was, we would have noticed it immediately.”
You Huo said: “I didn’t put this one in.”
“Then does that mean that this was something the black widow made?”
You Huo: “Yeah.”
“That’s weird! There is a total of eighteen households. If you include the village chief’s daughter, it’s a total of nineteen people. The black widow gave us twenty dolls? She can’t count? Or did she do it deliberately to confuse us?”
You Huo pinched the dolls leg and said: “Maybe it’s because the person the doll matched with was overlooked.”
As soon as he said those words, everyone stopped.
What do you mean overlooked? All eighteen households in the villagers were given their doll. Did someone not come out?
Impossible. Even the exam deemed them as correctly completing the task.
How could anyone be overlooked in the examination centre?
Everyone thought about this for a moment.
Suddenly, their expressions turned green———
Of course they could. There were also examinees.
Yu Wen shuddered: “Brother, please don’t tell ghost stories so late at night.”
With this scare, everyone couldn’t help but glance at each other.
It was as if anyone here could be a ghost.
They then noticed that You Huo was looking at someone on the right.
The person being looked at was Yu Yao.
She was the first to find her room and was currently swiping her card to open the door.
The hotel had plenty of heating, so she had taken off Mike’s large jacket.
Like this, her torn clothes were naturally exposed. The clothes were torn both at her shoulder and at her pant legs.
On her right exposed ankle, there was a small bellflower pattern. The lights in the corridor was bright enough to allow the others to clearly see it. It was exactly the same as the pattern on the doll’s leg.
Yu Yao stood in place with a ghostly pale expression.
The expressions of the others were even more pale.
“……….Sister?” Yu Wen’s voice shook, “You…….what’s going on with you?”
Yu Yao lowered her eyes. Her shoulders shook.
After a long time, she lifted her head and looked at You Huo. With a pair of red-rimmed eyes that made her look like she had just cried, she asked: “You…….when did you find out?”
Even at this moment, her voice was very gentle.
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You Huo remained calm. He still retained his usual lazy and sleepy look: “Me? I noticed something in the first exam and I only confirmed it just now.”
Yu Wen was terrified: “First exam? What was wrong with the first exam?”
You Huo: “The question mentioned that there are thirteen people dining. Try and count how many people there are.”
Yu Wen quietly counted: “It’s thirteen!”
As soon as he said that, he realised something: “No. There are thirteen examinees, but the people dining also include the hunter so that would be fourteen…….Was one of us not human?”
Everyone looked at Yu Yao. Their faced turned from white to green.
Yu Wen wanted to say “What the hell are you” but just as those words were about to be said, the young boy relented and changed his words: “Who the hell are you?”
Yu Yao gripped tightly onto the door handle and exhaled softly: “Come in. I’ll tell you everything. It’s not convenient standing in the corridor.”
Who would dare enter?
While the others hesitated, You Huo nodded his head.
Soon afterwards, everyone crowded inside Yu Yao’s room.
Yu Yao stared at the doll for a long time and finally spoke: “When I said that it was my first exam………It was actually a lie.”
“I am indeed an examinee, but that was years ago. At that time, I was very unlucky. The first exam I got was the one we just finished. We were tested on Gypsy and I……… was in the same group as Zhao Wentu.”
She knew a little Gypsy so she helped make simple translations for her teammates.
Like this, she became the girl constantly mentioned in Zhao Wentu’s diary.
But at that time, she didn’t know of this diary’s existence.
After Zhao Wentu was gone, there were only two examinees left.
Only Yu Yao and a middle-aged man remained.
That night, as usual the ghost arm came.
It originally came for the middle-aged man but amidst the panic he pushed her over and sent her to her death.
“I still clearly remember his final words. Kill her, don’t kill me. I beg you. The ghost arm didn’t aim accurately, and the knife fell several times. It probably…….was not a good sight.” Yu Yao shrank in her seat as she recalled her memories.
The group couldn’t bear hearing this: “Then you………..”
“I should’ve met the same fate as the other examinees and be buried in the woods and become another one of the villagers?” Yu Yao said: “I also thought that, but maybe I was lucky.”
She had cried for Zhao Wentu all day, and even went into the woods trying to find blood stains left behind by him to try and find his body.
If the worst comes to the worst……She could at least set up a grave for him.
In the end, after searching around all night she didn’t find any traces of Zhao Wentu and instead she found a card.
“What card?” You Huo asked.
Yu Yao said: “Retake the exam.”
“After I was…….cut, that card took effect but because it was something I picked up, it only worked halfway.”
Everyone asked blankly: “Halfway? What does that mean?”
“I didn’t become monsters like the other examinees, but I also wasn’t completely resurrected to retake the exam.” Yu Yao said: “I drifted down the river in the village and was picked up by the black widow.”
You Huo suddenly remembered the village chief once mentioning that the black widow specialised in dealing with the dead and had once picked up a girl from the river.
“I was clearly an examinee, but I also seemed to have become a part of the examination centre.”
As part of the exam, the black widow used witchcraft on Yu Yao and it worked on her.
She sewed a doll that resembled Yu Yao from her daughter’s hair and then Yu Yao, like the villagers, came back to life.
“When I woke up, I was like this with a big belly. The black widow said she had hidden her daughter inside me.”
Everyone’s hair rose.
They then noticed another problem: “You can understand the black widow?”
“As part of the exam, I could understand her.” Yu Yao said: “But after I left, I was no longer able to understand it anymore. Even the Gypsy I knew in the past was forgotten.”
“Left?” You Huo: “The driver said he never picked up anyone.”
Yu Yao: “Am I still considered human? Even I don’t know myself.”
She was like a bug that had appeared by accident. She stood somewhere in between an examinee and an NPC.
She didn’t leave the examination centre by the intercity bus. Instead, she walked on her own for a very long time. After walking through numerous unknown places, she just happened to run into a group of examinees about to enter an exam.
Perhaps it was something the system did deliberately, or perhaps it was because of other factors.
Her memory got worse and worse. She could no longer remember the things that happened before the exam nor could she remember the people who had harmed her or protected her.
“I didn’t know what I was supposed to do so I thought I could help out the examinees.” Yu Yao said, “This continued until a certain exam where I once again saw the man who hurt me.”
Yu Wen heard this and couldn’t help but swear: “Fuck! He’s still not dead?”
“I later learned that he had an exam exemption card that he won through the casino.” Yu Yao said: “He had wanted to try and pass that foreign language exam without using the card, but he later found it too difficult and used the card up.”
“Then did you find him?”
Yu Yao didn’t speak. You Huo instead spoke up: “You found him. In the first exam.”
Yu Yao was silent for a moment before she finally nodded.
You Huo: “The one who turned into the hunter.”
Everyone was stunned.
After a long time, Yu Yao sighed softly: “I have always wanted to apologise to you. I have been overlooked by the system a lot and that violation that time…….they probably overlooked me. You were stained by the ink, so the system wrongly punished you. I have been trying to find a chance all along to compensate you.”
You Huo: “Doesn’t matter.”
Even if he was punished a few more times, he didn’t lose anything.
“But you.” You Huo said: “Why didn’t you say anything when you saw Zhao Wentu?”
Yu Yao was silent for a long time. She smiled bitterly and said in a quiet voice: “I have already become like this. My face is also different now. Probably because of the black widow’s daughter’s influence, I now look like a young woman who had just come of age so he couldn’t recognise me. Also, I don’t even know if I’m a human or a ghost so………..I didn’t want to disappoint him.”
If they didn’t meet then…….the Zhao Wentu who managed to remember his own name would at the very least be satisfied during his final moment in life.
As for his regrets, it would remain inside his diary.
He himself wouldn’t be distressed about it anymore, only the ones who read it would know.
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KK has something to say:
OMG the black widow actually hid her daughter inside her. WTFFFFFFFF