Chapter 117: Gift
After Shirley threw them in, she was soon caught by You Huo and tied up together with Sali on the bed.
Everyone went back downstairs and gathered around the coffee table.
Shu Xue and Yang Shu were a little dazed and didn’t make a sound.
Wu Li looked at the question for a while and suddenly said, “If the real Shirley is really inside the ball, then only two cabinets are needed for three Shirley’s to be hidden in there; Shirley with a ball and a fake Shirley with a ball. Xiao Yang had shown me a ghost story before that said that the ghost inside photos and mirrors are shadows; flat and two dimensional. They can be very thin and can enter anything like paper. If Sali and the fake Shirley are the same as that, then three Shirley’s will only need one cabinet to fit a ball in…….”
Yang Shu returned to her senses and added, “I don’t think they can become like paper. They have body temperature, have a heartbeat and have a shadow. They’re no different from a real person.”
Wu Li nodded: “Then two cabinets.”
The two discussed calmly, as if they were just working on crosswords in a magazine.
You Huo looked at them with slight surprise. The Yu father and son due couldn’t get used to it.
As for what the correct answer was, it wasn’t important to them. Their intention was to write an incorrect answer.
Such serious analysis of the question was rather abrupt.
Shu Xue quietly whispered to You Huo, “Just leave them be. They’re a little upset.”
You Huo, “What do you mean?”
“We touched on it last time we chatted. They said that it’s a habit they learnt from working in the hospital. Since large changes in emotions can affect their work, every time someone passes away or something similar happens, they would always do this and discuss something rationally. That way it can help a little……” Shu Xue said.
You Huo froze for a moment before nodding.
“I felt uncomfortable when I saw that ball the first time, but….” Shu Xue sighed.
You Huo understood what she meant.
In fact, they had already suspected that the ball had something inside it but now that their speculations were confirmed, they couldn’t feel happy about it.
Afterall, the real Shirley in the diary wasn’t some cannibalistic big boss. She was just a little girl….
In contrast, the two tied up on the bed are truly disgusting.
Wu Li fell into thought for a while before pushing the paper over to Yu Wen, “Answer it. Let those two out.”
Yu Wen didn’t pick up the marker and instead grabbed his hair, “I was standing near the mirror when Brother Qin and Boss Chu entered. Boss Chu seemed to have hastily told me not to let them out too quickly.
“Huh? Yang Shu was confused, “Why not? Did you hear wrong?”
Yu Wen was also confused, “I also don’t know. It was just that line. I might have heard wrong…..”
He hesitantly picked up the marker but was stopped by You Huo.
He asked again to confirm, “Chu Yue said it?”
Yu Wen: “Y-yeah.”
“Then don’t let them out.” You Huo said.
“Yeah.” You Huo answered, “Probably trying to accumulate time.”
“What for?” Yu Wen was even more confused.
You Huo fell silent for a few seconds before answering expressionlessly, “Afraid that Qin Jiu and I would capture you all at night again.”
Yu Wen: “Ohhhh! I get it now.”
You Huo and Qin Jiu had spent the longest time in the mirror and are the most affected, so they were the ones who replaced Sali and Shirley.
If no changes were made, it was likely that it would be those two again.
Who could bear that?
Now with Chu Yue taking the initiative to accumulate time, the result may be a little better if You Huo was replaced by her.
At least there would be an extra You Huo in the group to be captured and a better balance in power could be achieved.
That is, if he could wake up…….
Yu Wen who thought this fell into despair.
They waited until the last two minutes before 6pm before releasing Qin Jiu and Chu Yue out.
Since the answer had been changed too many times, a -2 appeared on the paper for legibility.
With his instincts as a student, Yu Wen felt some pain when he saw this.
But the others didn’t pay it any heed.
Perhaps they have been infected by the great masters and felt that they didn’t come here to complete an exam and their purpose wasn’t to achieve high scores to pass.
They were here to get things done.
At 7:20 at night, wind slipped in through the window causing the curtains of the master bedroom to flutter.
Today the master bedroom was very deserted, and the large bed was empty. The girls that were crammed onto the bed the past two nights were nowhere in sight. There was only one person in the room.
She sat on the sofa with her head tilted, her short hair covering half her face.
It wasn’t anyone else but Chu Yue.
A strong sense of hunger struck her, and her stomach called out a few times. In the silent night, it was particularly conspicuous.
She frowned and licked her dry lips before suddenly opening her eyes.
“So hungry……” Chu Yue muttered. Her voice was hoarse, completely unlike her usual voice.
She supported herself using the arm of the sofa and stood up while staggering a little. She rubbed her temples a few times with her hand.
She said this as she headed for the door.
A shadow slipped past her foot. It was the ball they had been chasing after all afternoon.
At some unknown point in time, it had returned to the cabinet in the master bedroom and it was now silently following behind Chu Yue.
Perhaps it was due to the angle, the lips of the cartoon face on the rubber surface appeared to be downturned. It looked both confused and wronged.
Chu Yue pulled open the door allowing the ball to roll out and move over to the opposite end of the floor.
There was also one less person in the children’s room tonight. You Huo wasn’t there.
When the door to the room was pushed open by Chu Yue, Qin Jiu was already awake. He stood in the centre of the room buttoning his cuff.
The ball rolled over to his feet and rubbed the ends of his trousers a few times. Qin Jiu stooped to pick it up and, one after the other, they left the room.
The sound of ball bouncing continued down the stairs. As the sound moved away, a head peeked out from inside the small mound on the bed.
“Shirley’s” light golden hair was a mess from sleep. She laid with her face down and her arms and legs spread out. With all four limbs tied to a bed post, she looked a little ridiculous.
“Sali! Sali!” She called down to the lower bunk.
A moment later, Sali also stuck his head out.
“Help me undo the rope!” She said.
Sali: “……I’ve been bound twice.”
It was because he was crazier than Shirley when hungry.
Please read this from kk translates
“Useless!” She scolded.
Sali buried his head back in the sheets again.
“Then I’ll do it myself.” Shirley huffed in anger, “Help keep a look out on those nasty guests.”
Sali mumbled sulkily, “Didn’t you hear that they are all downstairs? They said earlier that they will all sleep downstairs. They won’t come up.”
“Shirley” snorted again.
The bed continued to creak. The person up there was struggling very fiercely.
If it was the past, Sali would work harder than her to escape and could bite through everything with his fine, sharp teeth.
But he just licked his lips and didn’t have any intention to move.
For some reason, he wasn’t in the mood tonight. Perhaps it was because he saw the guests chasing after the balls, revealing a lot…….a lot of things along the way. At that time, he and Shirley had not been reduced to this state.
“Why are you trying to get up?” Sali asked sullenly, “We have others helping us fill our stomachs tonight so why are you getting up?”
Although what they eat would soon be spat back out, it at least filled his stomach temporarily.
He had nothing to lose.
“I hate the ball.” Shirley was busy struggling.
At this moment, her tone was just like the crazed words in the latter half of the diary.
“They’re only playing with the ball. I hate her! I’m the true Shirley.” She muttered.
In the past, whenever she said these words, Sali would echo with a sentence, “Yeah, stupid and nasty.”
But today he didn’t say anything.
“Shirley” bared her teeth and rubbed her sharp teeth against the rope like a saw.
Her arms and legs are short but her neck could be stretched rather long…..So long, it looked strange.
After a long time, Sali suddenly muttered, “No, you’re not.”
Shirley’s gnawing stopped. Her fake look of innocence was gone.
She blinked a few times and tilted her head, “Do you regret it Sali? Didn’t you hate her for taking your place? Didn’t I help you by taking her place?”
Sali didn’t speak.
Shirley stretched her neck out and bit onto the part of the rope that had been half cut through.
Gnawing sounds continued.
After biting through the first rope. She freed her left hand and said in a girlly coquettish voice, “It’s useless even if you regret it! I hate that ball, so I plan on burning it today.”
“Listen——–” She whispered, “Her head went downstairs. It should be in the guest room. Can you hear it? Her body is still rolling around in the building. It probably wants to chase after her head. I’m going to catch her.”
“The guests are so slow today. Why haven’t they started yet?” She complained, “I’ve already prepared my tears.”
Sali buried his head more deeply.
He didn’t want to give any response to that…….”sister”.
But his hunger prevailed. Soon afterwards, he also stretched out his neck and began to gnaw on the ropes.
“Ah…..It has started.” Shirley suddenly spoke up, “I can feel it! They have caught an unlucky one!”
Downstairs, Qin Jiu and Chu Yue stood outside the guest room door. The bouncing of the ball was unhurried.
Chu Yue rubbed her stomach and urged with a strange tone. “Hurry and open the door. I’m really hungry.”
Qin Jiu raised an eyebrow and turned the door handle—–
Couldn’t be pushed open.
Chu Yue: “…….”
Qin Jiu said: “There’s something barricading the door inside.”
Chu Yue’s stomach cried out again.
Qin Jiu ‘shh’ed’: “Don’t be in such a hurry.”
Chu Yue: “……….”
Is this something I can control?
Qin Jiu’s interest towards the person behind the door grew and he seemed to find the food this time interesting.
He no longer tried to enter the room quietly and decided to use force——
Dull sounds of wooden furniture moving sounded from inside the room. It was probably the sound of the chair barricading the door being pushed away.
The sound was particularly conspicuous during a night as silent as today. It looked like the chair also had something heavy placed on it.
Qin Jiu looked past the door. Through the gap, he saw a pale arm hanging loosely from an armchair.
It was a slender and very good-looking hand.
Qin Jiu: “……….”
The cramped room was completely filled. Except for the one blocking behind the door. There were three on the bed and two curled up on the ground.
He pushed the door open a little further.
The heavy friction sound sounded again.
The noise was too great, and its penetrating power was amazing.
The three women all looked up and the snoring from the ones on the ground stopped.
Only that hand that was hanging loosely didn’t move.
“Fuck!” Yu Wen looked up at the door and was startled awake. He immediately flew up in panic.
He cried out ‘brother’ here and ‘brother’ there.
His chatter made Qin Jiu’s head hurt and Chu Yue’s stomach even played alongside it as accompaniment.
Losing his patience, he made a quick decision.
In the end, when he pushed the door a third time, the hand moved.
The armchairs location had changed slightly with the force from the door. The person sitting in it had finally awakened.
You Huo opened his eyes and was irate but that irritation was gone when he saw Qin Jiu. On his face was an intrigued look.
He looked at Qin Jiu up and down and focused his eyes on the ball in his hand.
Everyone in the room had suffered from this once and didn’t dare move.
You Huo looked back at them and stood up to go to the door. With the back of his hand, he slammed the door shut.
He leaned against the door frame outside and said to Qin Jiu: “Come. Try and catch me.”
“Shirley” broke through all the ropes and climbed off the upper bunk.
When she saw Sali sitting by the bed, she giggled: “Silly Sali. Do you not want to play with me today?”
Sali glanced at her and shook his short legs a few times before hopping off the bed.
“I know.” Shirley rubbed her equally empty stomach and wondered, “It’s been so long. Why haven’t they eaten anything?”
As she said this, they heard some noises from downstairs. It was as if someone was fighting.
“Looks like the sofa fell.” Sali explained slowly.
Soon after that, a glass broke.
A flowerpot fell.
As for chairs…..At least three chairs were smashed onto the ground
The house was practically being demolished.
“Shirley” listened for a while and beckoned Sali over.
Like a pair of normal children sneaking out while their parents are arguing, they gently opened the door and slipped through the corridor.
“Shirley” found one of the balls in the shadow at the end of the corridor.
She lifted it with much effort and mumbled, “One more to go.”
Please read this from kk translates
The cartoon face on the ball seemed to have sensed something. The expression was sombre, and the mouth was pressed together tightly, as if it was on the verge of crying.
Sali stared at it for a moment seemingly wanting to say something but in the end he didn’t speak.
He fell a few steps behind before clenching his fists and speeding up to keep up with “Shirley”. The two of them crouched down by the second-floor railing, looking down at the floor below.
The lights were not on in the living room. Using the lights coming in through the windows, they could faintly see two agile figures flash by. One seemed to have reached out to grab the other persons hand while the other one flipped across the sofa.
Sali reflexively closed his eyes. When he opened it again, he saw that the coffee table had also been smashed.
The two brats squatted there for several minutes as the commotion downstairs got more and more earth-shattering.
In normal circumstances, normal people would have already entered the hospital about 800 times, but the two downstairs were still going at it.
When they looked more closely, they saw that the two of them were not injured at all while everything else had met an unfortunate fate. If they wanted one to completely subdue the other, it would probably not happen in this lifetime.
“Shirley” mumbled a ‘how annoying’ before running down the stairs with the ball.
She heard the rolling sound of a ball. It came from within the chaos downstairs.
While the ‘substitute’ was busy getting food, she could use this chance to get that ball.
Sali followed closely behind her. With their backs bent, they slithered in and out amongst the broken and scattered furniture in search for the ball. While passing by the kitchen, they picked up a lighter.
Shirley saw a blueish white round shadow under the dining table.
The ‘substitute’ had just grabbed the food by the shoulder and was about to press him against the wall, but the food bent down and quickly moved behind his back.
She could hear the food’s pants. After all that struggle, he should be tired.
Shirley felt that it shouldn’t be too long for her stomach to be filled.
Sali also swallowed hungrily.
She shoved the ball in her arms into Sali’s arms and ran over to the dining table to pick up the ball that was trying to roll away.
“We should change toys.” She patted off the dust on the ball and tilted her head, “Goodbye.”
As soon as she finished saying this, a pair of hands suddenly fell from the sky. It grabbed her by the arms and lifted her up.
Before Shirley could react, both her feet were already hanging in the air.
“What are you doing!” She turned her head and was met with You Huo’s expressionless face.
The next second, there was a strong rush of wind.
The hunter flipped over the sofa and immediately landed before them.
When Shirley looked back, she was met with Qin Jiu’s face.
Carrying the brat in his arms, You Huo turned Shirley to face Qin Jiu and said: “Not escaping anymore. Ask what you want to ask.”
His back was against another single sofa and the thing he was holding was heavy. It was too late for him to run.
Qin Jiu looked at him and Shirley with interest. With an ‘oh’, he asked jokingly, “Am I pretty?”
The location they were at just happened to be next to a tall mirror.
Despite all that chaos, the mirror was still intact.
Shirley’s tears instinctively began to fell.
Circles of ripples suddenly appeared on the surface of the mirror, resembling the ripples one would see after throwing a stone into a pond.
“What do you think?”
You Huo said this as he threw ‘Shirley’ into the mirror.
The rubber ball fell. It let out a small ‘thud——’ as it came into contact with the ground.
Sali was shocked speechless.
He glanced at You Huo, threw the ball away and turned to run but unfortunately his legs were too short and was soon picked up by the waist by You Huo.
“Am I loveable?” Qin Jiu asked again while dragging his words.
Sali struggled a few times and then suddenly felt a moment of weightlessness. He was similarly thrown into the mirror.
“I don’t know about the others.” You Huo patted off the dust from his hands and grabbed Qin Jiu’s collar to pull him down until their lips were only a few centimetres apart. He continued with his usual calm voice, “But I quite like it.”
Inside the mirror.
‘Shirley’ and Sali stood there dumbfounded. Ever since they entered, the black fog around them had been going crazy. Countless black and bony arms stretched out from within trying to grab their hair and clothes.
‘Shirley’ rushed over to the mirror and threw herself at it in attempt to get back up but all she got was a bloodied hand.
Sali also wanted to try but he stopped in the last second.
What was the point?
The little girl who would pull faces at the mirror and spin around to show off her dress was gone.
Since the day ‘Shirley’ had come out of the mirror and replaced her, she was gone.
Her head was hidden inside her favourite ball and her body inside the other one.
All her fresh blood had been drunk by himself and that fake. The blood eased their hunger and craving, allowing them to live longer in the world outside the mirror.
Oh, not just that little girl. Her parents also.
That couple who had already forgotten about him was the first thing he ate.
He stood motionlessly before the mirror, watching the lights in the living room turn on and a group of people rush out of the guest room one after another. He watched them pick up the ball that was trembling on the ground seemingly wanting to pry it open and he watched them change their mind.
That little girl who loved to look pretty definitely wouldn’t want others to see her withered and dry state.
Not knowing that they were doing, he watched the group of people go to the backyard.
Perhaps…..it was to bury his sister.
He also watched a gust of wind blow by from a door somewhere, lifting the curtains and scattering the small bits and pieces on the ground……..A rusty tin rolled before the mirror.
As the tin rolled a few times, he saw a note on the base.
The words on it were both big and ugly. It was awkwardly written.
[Gift for Sali]
When the black fog came over, he heard Shirley’s crisp, child-like voice enter his ears from many years ago.
That was probably from the first day he came out of the mirror.
She said: “I’ll call you Sali from now on, okay?”
He can no longer get out.
Because that little girl will no longer come to look at the mirror again.
The tall mirror trembled in the wind for a moment before falling silent again. No more movement came from the mirror anymore.
In the empty living room, the system spoke:
【Examinee You Huo of the 197th exam centre has made Shirley cry. Shirley declared Dead.】
【Examinee You Huo of the 197th exam centre has made Shirley cry. Sali declared Dead.】
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KK has something to say:
Even in a situation like this they manage to flirt. I LOVE IT
Side note: The next chapter is really long (almost 8.5K in length) so it will be split into two parts.