Chapter 5: I Want to Stay over Tonight!
Translator: MintCatnip Editor: Chrissy
Dim alleys, frightened stray cats, and a car that nearly hit her…
A scene with a strong feeling of deja vu played in her mind. In the scene, a woman with disheveled tresses was smiling at her. Suddenly, the woman’s jaws snapped wide open to reveal her nerve-racking white fangs. Her hoarse voice sounded like the broken hourglass.
It was as though that woman was from another dimension, appearing right before her and strangling her by the neck.
“I really liked your story!
“Your updates are so slow, too slow. Sometimes, I get so infuriated that I feel like strangling you…
“If you don’t release soon… I’m going to mail you blades…
“If I’m dead and you’ve yet to finish the story, remember to burn the completed story as offering in front of my grave…
“There are so many secrets in your story… I really want to know them all…”
A faint chilly voice rang in Xiang Wan’s head. The woman’s face gradually became clearer in her mind.
A tall dark figure approached her, his shadow suddenly shrouding over her head as he tapped lightly on her shoulder from behind.
“AH!” Xiang Wan screamed in horror as she turned around.
Bai Muchuan’s indifferent face had a good calming effect at night. “I’m asking you, what woman are you talking about?”
The corners of his mouth pressed together tightly. The grimaced look on his face clearly showed that he had run out of patience.
That was the third time he asked the question but Xiang Wan was not herself. She stared at his eyes, and after much effort, she managed to recover from the dark whirlpool and go back to reality.
“She’s a reader of mine. To be specific, she’s a moderator in my reader chat group.”
“A moderator?” Bai Muchuan squinted his eyes as he listened, his eyebrows furrowed.
“I have a chat group of readers maintained by several moderators, and a private QQ group for my moderators only. I posted my first plot outline in this private group… Since everyone felt that the cat abuse plot was too cruel and rejected it, I deleted it from my story…”
“Who is she?” Bai Muchuan asked the critical question.
A layer of thin sweat formed in Xiang Wan’s palms as she recounted the incident to Bai Muchuan on how she was almost hit by a car in the alley by a woman.
“I’ve never met my readers in real life, but we add each other in WeChat and QQ. I’ve seen their photos numerous times, especially the moderators. We’ll also send each other little gifts sometimes… My first reaction when I saw the woman today is that I felt a sense of familiarity toward her, but the lights were too dim and I daren’t think that it was her…”
“Just who is that? Get to the point!” Bai Muchuan’s gaze got sharper. “Don’t be afraid! Just say whatever comes to your mind.”
“She…” Feeling cold all over, Xiang Wan took out her mobile phone and showed it to him. “She died last month.”
The name of the reader was “Er Niu”. She had followed Xiang Wan for two novels.
When Xiang Wan was writing “Murder The Dream Guy”, Er Niu had volunteered to have her name be used as a supporting role in the novel. She also changed her screen name to “Er Niu” as she liked the character.
Er Niu hardly appeared in the chat group. Although they did not chat in depth privately, both of them were considered close online friends.
Late last month, Er Niu’s family posted her death on WeChat Moments.
Besides feeling sad about the sudden demise of a person whom she had never met in real life and sending a few messages of grief to Er Niu’s mobile phone, there was no other way to know more about her.
Nonetheless, after that post, Er Niu never appeared again. Sometimes, the readers in the chat group would talk about her, but reality was cruel, and she was soon forgotten.
Someone who had been dead for almost a month had suddenly appeared near her neighborhood. Xiang Wan could not help but feel her body turn cold at that thought.
Is it really her? But this is too strange!
Bai Muchuan gave a frown as he saw Xiang Wan’s pale face. “We’ll look into this matter with the information you’ve provided us.”
The details of the cat abuse had fit the plot she wrote. The few who have seen the first plot outline was much smaller, so the investigation should be much faster. In addition, this “Er Niu” seemed extremely suspicious. At present, she’s the prime suspect for Zhao Jiahang’s death.
Ten minutes later, the forensics team arrived.
The captain of the forensics team looked just as tall as Bai Muchuan.
Xiang Wan stood aside, watching both captains communicating with each other from afar. She felt that his facial features were prominent and angular, but since it was night time, she could not see very clearly.
She stood there stiffly, thinking that Bai Muchuan would take her to the Criminal Investigation Unit for another round of questioning.
Seeing him walk toward the police car after finishing the conversation with the Forensics Captain caught her by surprise.
“I’ll send you back first!”
The neighborhood was very quiet at night.
As she walked toward her apartment, Xiang Wan was scared that she might run into another stray cat.
She did not dislike cats, and there was even a period of time she liked to pet Fang Yuanyuan’s pet cat. But not tonight—she did not want to hear cat sounds anymore.
As she unlocked the door, even the rustling sound had become so unnerving.
She quickly turned the lights on. Under the weak light, she was creeped out by everything that came into her sight. It had been a hot day and her body was drenched in sweat, yet for no reason, she felt cold.
She wanted to take a bath, but when she saw the bathroom mirror, she dashed out. It was as though a woman with hair straggling all over her face would come crawling out of the mirror, laughing hysterically as she strangled Xiang Wan by the neck.
… Could it be Er Niu’s spirit coming back to look for her?
… Just because she had not finished writing her story?
No, no, no! Don’t scare yourself! Xiang Wan thought.
Xiang Wan was desperate to get rid of the creepy imagination playing in her head. However, she was all alone in her rented apartment, and she was unable to suppress the creeping fear inside her head.
She wrapped herself in a blanket and tried to distract herself by chatting to the readers in the chat group.
However, she was an unpopular author.
It was around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. Who would chat with her at this time?
Even though Xiang Wan believed that there were no ghosts in the world, she was still so scared that all her hair was standing on end.
There seemed to be a pair of eyes staring at her from a dark corner, silent and yet seemingly existing everywhere.
She suffered for half an hour under both auditory and visual hallucinations. The fear that came from the depths of her soul finally overcame her sense of reason and self-esteem.
“Hello! Detective Bai?”
When the call to Bai Muchuan came through, Xiang Wan’s voice was quivering. “I… I’m scared.”
There was no response from the other end, although the call was still connected.
Xiang Wan controlled her breathing for fear that Bai Muchuan might treat her as a nutcase.
After waiting for a few seconds, the girl who was never afraid of being alone was now trembling in fear because of her own hallucinations that she started to stammer and speak incoherently.
“Detective Bai, are you, are you married?”
“…” There was silence.
“I wanted to ask, your house, who’s in your family?”
“…” There was nothing but silence.
The dead silence from the other end of the phone made Xiang Wan’s heart pound in fear. The scenes of those horror films with regards to strange phone calls instantly played in her brain.
“Hello! Detective Bai, are you there? Say something please?!”
“No,” Bai Muchuan finally answered.
Does he mean that he’s single or there’s no one at home?
Urgh, I don’t care anymore! Xiang Wan thought. “I want to stay in your place tonight!” she blurted out.
Apparently, her words did not go through a proper round of processing in her brain.
After all that had happened, Xiang Wan was overwhelmed with fear and was unable to locate her senses to ponder over the matter.
She was really terrified.
No matter if it was a human or a spirit, this murder case was too bizarre and spooky.
She didn’t want to get involved, but it was clear that she had been caught up in it.
She could have chosen to go home, but her mom was in poor health and could not sleep well through the night. Xiang Wan did not want her mom to worry about her.
She could stay with another person, but who could be safer than the detective himself?
There was no sound from the other end of the phone, and Xiang Wan feared silence the most now.
She tightened her grip on the phone. “Hello, Detective Bai, are you listening?” Her voice was trembling slightly. “I don’t dare to be alone at home. I feel that there are scary things all over my place. I’m scared by everything I see… and my head is filled with horror music…”
She had hypnotized herself.
She entered the terrified state of mind that one would experience after watching a horror film.
“Of course, if it’s not convenient, I’m fine with you coming to my place as well.”
Worried that Bai Muchuan would not agree, she added another sentence.
“Detective Bai, is it not the duty of the police to protect the witness when her life is in extreme danger?”
“You’ve watched too much detective films!” Bai Muchuan suddenly responded.
Xiang Wan felt a chill through her heart. “I strongly suspect that someone is trying to kill me!” She was practically shouting into the phone, “Please send police officers over to protect me. And while you’re at it, please get me two packets of spicy flavored Master Kong instant noodles and two ham sausages that are not too thick…”
The atmosphere went silent.
Those silly words made her mind blank for an instant.
Guess she was really scared silly?
The next moment, she heard Bai Muchuan’s voice. “Wait a while!”