Chapter 19: Small Island
After receiving Su Min’s message, New Century Cinema quickly inquired if they could publicized this information.
Curious, Su Min asked, “Publicize? Why would you guys want to publicize it?”
The person in charge said, “Naturally, because you succeeded last time, we want to use your name to build up the hype. If Mr. Su succeeded the first time, you will certainly succeed the second time...”
Su Min directly stopped him, “Don’t, don’t publicize it.”
If this promotion plan was carried out, it would seem like he wanted to be a celebrity. However, he wasn’t the least bit interested in joining the entertainment industry. All he wanted to do was see a film, that’s all.
The other side was rather regretful, “Alright, everything will be according to Mr. Su’s intentions. We originally wanted to attract some of the enthusiasm from the last batch of audience members, but since Mr. Su is unwilling, we’ll let it be.”
With an odd expression on his face, Su Min said, “No need.”
If this was known to the public, he was afraid there’d be another circus in the forum, accompanied by new little yellow texts.
It had been very difficult waiting for the heat to finally cool down. He didn’t want it to stir up again.
The person in charge quickly relayed his answer back to management, then asked for his ID to prepare the ticket.
New Century Cinema could still be trusted; the matter of Su Min going to experience a new horror movie–Murder Island–wasn’t leaked.
In the days leading up to the movie’s release, Su Min continued living life normally.
Occasionally, he took time out of his schedule to research Murder Island‘s plot.
Just by looking at its name, one could tell that this horror movie took place on an island. In that kind of isolated setting, it was very easy for the characters to break contact with the outside world. Once that happens, their cry for help would be left unanswered.
Unlike University Thriller, this movie had a simple plot, one that could happen to anyone.
Because fright and suspense were the two most important things to a horror movie, the film did not leak any information.
Online, the synopsis of Murder Island only contained a few hundred words, and no key information had been provided.
This time, there was both a female and male lead. The male lead, Chen Xingzhou, and the female lead, Zhao Mingya, were a pair of sweethearts. In the movie, they were still attending college.
For unknown reasons, they had a big fight that lead to a cold war.
The two people’s mutual friends couldn’t stand them being like this any longer. To solve the conflict, they took Chen Xingzhou and Zhao Mingya to an island, claiming that it was to relax.
But since they arrived at the island, all kinds of strange events happened one after another.
Friend #1 died in a bizarre manner, and Friend #2 followed soon after... These consecutive events casted a shadow on everyone’s hearts, enveloping them in terror.
More and more dangers began approaching the few living people. In order to survive, Chen Xingzhou and Zhao Mingya started to actively seek out the island’s secret.
In the end, will they successfully escape or will no one survive?
Su Min felt that the latter was more likely to occur.
The director of Murder Island was experienced in creating horror movies. He was well-versed in horror movie routines, so an ending with a successful escape might be too simple for him.
On the contrary, an ending with no survivors, though a bit terrible, was more frightening on further thought.
In his heart, Su Min labelled the movie as ‘slightly dangerous’.
Since it was likely that no one would return alive, the role he’d receive is most definitely an average cannon fodder. Once the time comes, there’s a 100% chance he’d be the first to die.
Preparation was necessary to avoid this danger.
After he read from beginning to end, Su Min continued his research.
However, the things he later found were useless. In the news, there were nothing but some small scandals that happened during filming. Seeing the sweet interactions of the male and female lead actors would not help him survive the horror movie.
Su Min was very curious about this Murder Island.
Early the next morning, Wang Di rushed to Su Min with dark bags under his eyes. “I know where Murder Island was filmed. Do you want to know?”
Su Min took a moment to respond, “Filming place?”
Wang Di nodded, “Yeah. Coincidentally, this film was shot in my high school classmate’s hometown.”
He told Su Min the information he’d heard.
Murder Island was filmed on a domestic island, but that island wasn’t a tourist attraction. Except for the island’s residents, very few people would travel there.
Last year, Murder Island signed a contract with the people on the island.
Wang Di scratched his head, “But he wasn’t home during the filming process, so he isn’t clear on the storyline.”
Last night, he was so excited to tell Su Min that, if he hadn’t been afraid of disturbing Su Min’s sleep, Wang Di would’ve shook him awake.
Su Min gave him a smiled, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Although Wang Di’s words were of no use to him, he still appreciated his roommate’s good intentions.
Wang Di thought of something and whispered, “You know, some people are waiting to see you mess up, so perform well and slap their faces.”
Because Su Min became an overnight sensation, many people were green with envy. Unlike him, when they went to experience the movie for themselves, they ended up dying tragic deaths.
So, after they had returned, they spread the rumor that Su Min only had good luck going for him.
Wang Di didn’t understand their thought process. So what if it’s good luck? Even if good luck lead him to the movie’s finale, it could still be considered a type of strength.
Su Min was very calm, “What I do is my matter. It has nothing to do with others.”
At present, he didn’t know if he would die at the beginning of the film, halfway through, or live until the conclusion.
All he could do was try his best.
The night before the movie’s release, Li Wenxin bought him a talisman.
Li Wenxin said that he got it from a temple, and told Su Min to take it along with him so he could return alive.
Su Min just wanted to ignore him.
The day of the movie’s release fell on a weekend. A part of this was due to the cinema’s consideration for Su Min’s schedule as a student, but a bigger part was because of the weekend crowds.
When Su Min arrived to New Century Cinema, many young couples were waiting in line.
Prior to his arrival, the person in charge had instructed the cinema to guide him. The staff member responsible for this task was the same person who guided him before. This time, he gave Su Min his name, “Call me Xiao He.”
Su Min nodded.
Xiao He whispered, “The horror movie this time... In fact, there are quite a few audience members who wanted to experience it.”
Quite a few? Contrary to expectations, Su Min thought that it was normal.
After he had left, many people went to experience University Thriller. However, although they received the same script as him, all of them died and came out within minutes. As a result, there were numerous complaints on the internet. Some even speculated that Su Min entered through the back door1.
Su Min had just glanced at the drama before moving on, not taking it seriously.
Xiao He asked him, “Mr. Su, do you wish to experience the movie together with other people?”
Su Min shook his head. He didn’t want to be in the same movie with strangers. In the tense environment of horror, everything was unknown.
It was better to be alone.
Xiao He didn’t ask further, leading him to a new movie hall. Unlike the theater he went into last time, where there wasn’t a soul in sight, there were already many individuals, including a couple, seated inside this theater.
Su Min recalled the conversation he heard before. This pair of sweethearts is truly daring to experience a horror movie together.
The staff member Xiao He left first.
Su Min put on his helmet and watched as the lights in the theater dimmed. Before long, the movie began to play on the big screen.
This time, the opening scenes were quite normal, similar to the opening of a countryside film. When the camera panned from the ocean to a small island, the title of the movie appeared: Murder Island
The more serene it seemed, the more terrifying the horror movie actually was. This fact, Su Min was well aware.
He took a deep breath. As he exhaled, the cinema’s prompt that he hadn’t seen in a long time appeared before his eyes:【Hello, Audience Member Su Min. Are you ready to experience Murder Island?】
Su Shi answered ‘yes’ and soon fell asleep.
In the theater, all the audience members entered their respective movies.
The fishy stench of seawater was picked up by the wind and carried on deck.
Before Su Min could open his eyes, he felt his stomach clench with the urge to vomit. His surroundings jolted and swayed, making him feel extremely uncomfortable.
The nausea worsen when salt water splashed up into his nose.
“Here’s the medicine I just found in the bag. You might feel better after taking it,” a female voice sounded from beside him.
When his eyes fluttered open, he was greeted by the vast blue ocean.
Su Min blanked out before he reacted. Obviously, to travel to an island, one had to undoubtedly cross the sea. Else, why would it be called an island?
As they continued sailing forwards, however, just like a ship drifting infinitely along the waves, he was unable to see any traces of an island.
It was Su Min’s first time riding a boat; he didn’t expect to become seasick.
The woman next to him asked, “Su Min, do you need anything?”
Su Min turned his head, still a bit muddled, and took the medicine from her hand. In a low voice, he whispered, “Thank you.”
The other party smiled, “I didn’t expect you to get seasick. Rest well when we get there. We’ll have the barbecue in the evening.”
Su Min only nodded and didn’t respond.
Within a few seconds, the cinema’s prompt came:【Hello, Audience Member Su Min. Please accept your script as soon as possible.】
Su Min quickly received the script.
If he was completely ignorant to the plot, he was afraid he wouldn’t live long in this horror movie. The first one to die might be him.
Maybe it’s because he’d already experienced a horror movie, but the script arranged for him by the cinema allowed him to live a few hours.
This time, Su Min played the role of the male lead’s, Chen Xingzhou’s, roommate.
He had very little scenes in the movie. When he rode on the boat, he became seasick; when they finally arrived at the island, he went to take a rest; when the male and female protagonist merrily had a barbecue with the group in the evening, he dwelled alone in the guesthouse because of his discomfort.
Then, when he went to the bathroom to take a shower, he died.
Su Min, “...”
He was truly speechless.
Did the cinema have a soft spot for this place? Why was he arranged to die in the bathroom for two continuous times?
It was even worse this time; he died while taking a shower.
Fortunately, he was still on the boat and could live for a brief period of time. For a moment, Su Min actually thought that being seasick was better than taking a shower.
The person who just spoke to him was Zhao Mingya, the heroine.
Zhao Mingya was the flower2 of their department. No matter if it was her appearance or her family background, they were all very remarkable. From the past to present, countless of people pursued her.
Chen Xingzhou and Zhao Mingya had already been together for a semester. Their entire dormitory ate together in the same place, so everybody more or less knew each other.
However, Su Min’s character and Zhao Mingya weren’t really familiar, always maintaining a certain distance. The number of times they’ve talked could be counted on one hand.
Just as he was thinking that, Chen Xingzhou walked over. “Su Min, are you feeling better?”
Su Min replied, “Fortunately, I don’t feel like vomiting anymore.”
Chen Xingzhou felt extremely apologetic, “It’s my fault. For my sake, you guys came along with me.”
‘Yes, it’s your fault,’ Su Min thought to himself.
If Chen Xingzhou and Zhao Mingya hadn’t quarreled, leading him to want Zhao Mingya’s forgiveness, they wouldn’t have come along.
But if they didn’t come, this movie wouldn’t exist.
“When we return, I’ll treat you guys to a meal for one week, meals so big you’ll become fat,” Chen Xingzhou said.
Although Su Min wanted to refuse, his mouth said, “Okay.”
Chen Xingzhou smiled. Lifting his hand to point somewhere to the left, he said, “Fortunately, we’ll arrive soon. The black spot there should be the island.”
Su Min looked to where his finger was pointed.
The closer they got, the bigger the black speck became. Su Min, who could already make out the shape of the island, felt the danger looming in the distance.
He looked back to the male lead’s cheerful, a bit foolish but sweet, appearance. Living to the end wasn’t going to be easy.
Su Min wanted to know how the ‘murders’ would commence.