Chapter 49: A Date with a Corpse (Part Seven)
Yi Zheyan knocked on the door of the first house, and it was opened by a middle-aged man with dark skin and a rugged appearance. Upon seeing Yi Zheyan and the cameraman behind him, he was somewhat surprised but not overly so. The entire town was aware of the film crew coming here to shoot a supernatural program.
He grinned and asked, “Is there something you need?”
Yi Zheyan replied, “That’s right. I want to learn about the lives of the townspeople. Would you mind having a casual chat with me?”
The man glanced at the camera hesitantly.
Yi Zheyan directly took out two hundred yuan, saying, “This money is a reward for providing information.”
“Sure, come in.” The man’s attitude softened after receiving the money.
As he led them into the courtyard, he didn’t notice that another figure was also following them to the entrance of the main house, finally stopping in the shadow outside the window.
Yi Zheyan sat on a wooden chair, surveying the surroundings. The main hall was spacious but somewhat cold. In the center, there was an altar with the photos of an elderly couple. Below the altar, a 6-year-old boy was squatting, playing with something.
“I don’t know how to address you,” Yi Zheyan took the hot tea handed over by the man and asked.
“Call me ‘Tie Chue.'” Tie Chue sat across from them, with a smile on his face but a hint of indifference in his eyes.
“Alright, Big Brother Tie Chue.” Yi Zheyan looked at the child under the altar and casually asked, “Is that your child? How old is he?”
Tie Chue also glanced at the child, smiling, “He’s called ‘Tie Dou.’ He hasn’t been officially named yet. He’s seven years old this year.”
“Where is his mother? Is she not at home?” Yi Zheyan inquired.
Tie Chue’s face darkened slightly as he calmly said, “She died during childbirth when giving birth to Tie Dou”
As he spoke, standing outside the window, An Bu saw an apparition of a woman transformed from Yin energy. The woman crawled on the ground, struggling, blood flowing from her abdomen. One hand stretched forward, mouth wide open, as if asking for help.
This was the image in Tie Chue’s mind and his memory.
Old Zhao, holding the camera, trembled slightly, not daring to believe what he saw. He instinctively looked outside the window, feeling both fearful and puzzled about what An Bu was up to.
Yi Zheyan, however, remained oblivious and continued, “Sorry, allow me to ask one more question. What is the name of the child’s mother? Before we leave, we plan to hold a ceremony for the entire town, commemorating the souls of all the deceased. We need to know their names.”
The muscles on Tie Chue’s face twitched a few times as he replied, “You have a kind heart. The child’s mother’s name is ‘Zhang Yu.'”
However, the name that appeared above his head as an apparition was: Yun Ziqi.
Yi Zheyan continued to ask a few more questions before bidding farewell and leaving.
An Bu was waiting outside in advance. When Yi Zheyan saw her, he asked, puzzled, “Why did you make me ask these questions?”
Old Zhao also wanted to know the answer. Was there any special meaning to the supernatural phenomenon he saw on camera?
“In a while, you’ll understand. Let’s go to the second house,” An Bu replied without giving a direct answer, heading toward the next target.
The second household consisted of a family of four—two elderly in their seventies, a thirty-year-old son, and a ten-year-old granddaughter.
Yi Zheyan asked the man the same questions. When he inquired about the child’s mother, an apparition of an emaciated woman appeared behind the man, lying lifeless in a dark cellar, naked…
Although Old Zhao didn’t see it very vividly, the suffocating feeling overwhelmed the fear in his heart.
“What is the name of the child’s mother?”
“Yu Xiaohui.” However, the name appearing above the man’s head was: Jia Ping.
Then, the three of them continued to visit the third, fourth… up to the seventh household.
Three hours later, in the makeshift office of the planning team, a staff member hesitated and asked the director, “Director, do we want to broadcast this recorded video? It seems a bit off…”
The director, with a stern expression, stared at the footage for a few minutes, then ordered, “Broadcast it, broadcast it now!”
The staff member said, “Are you sure? If the townspeople make a fuss about it…”
Ge Tingting interjected, “Don’t worry. When the time comes, just say it’s part of the plot, special effects. If they make trouble, our Ge family and Jian family will handle it for you.”
The staff member stopped questioning, confidently and boldly uploading the video online.
As soon as the video was uploaded, fans of the supernatural genre immediately clicked on it, watching the program with intense anticipation.
The footage was mainly from Yi Zheyan’s perspective as the camera followed him visiting the townspeople. When they heard the questions he asked, the audience was somewhat puzzled. Even when they witnessed the subsequent supernatural occurrences, they assumed it was just a special lighting effect.
It wasn’t until they visited the third and fourth households that some viewers began to sense that something was amiss.
[Strange, why have all these men’s wives died?]
[Is this part of the story plot, or is it a real situation?]
[Why do I feel like those ghostly shadows aren’t post-production effects?]
[It’s definitely not post-production. Look at the filming time; it was just a few hours ago. There’s no time for post-processing.]
[Oh no, don’t tell me the ghosts we saw earlier were real!]
[Take a close look, when these people mention the child’s mother’s name, do the shadows behind them resemble characters?]
[Indeed, they do! What’s even more eerie is that the names they mention are clearly different from those characters.]
[What on earth is going on???]
[I recognize one of the names; ‘Yun Ziqi.’ I remember a few years ago, a girl went missing in our neighborhood with that name. Her parents were quite wealthy and spared no effort to find her, but she’s still missing. Could this Yun Ziqi be the same person?]
[Is this for real?!!!]
[Don’t tell me the show intentionally used real missing persons to create sensationalism? That’s just disgusting.]
[Don’t worry, keep watching.]
After visiting ten households, An Bu stopped in front of the last house, her gaze fixed on a particular building emitting a sense of death.
Checking her phone and finding a signal, An Bu dialed Ge Tingting’s number. “Miss Ge, could you please call a few more staff members, preferably strong ones?”
“What do you plan to do?” Ge Tingting curiously asked.
“To save someone.”
“To save someone?” While on the call, Ge Tingting directed the staff around her to find An Bu and follow her instructions.
Jian Ningxuan was also present. Upon hearing An Bu’s request, he was the first to stand up. However, just as he reached the door, Ge Tingting stopped him. “Cousin, Sister-in-law says she doesn’t want you to go.”
Jian Ningxuan: “…”
However, he still followed, keeping a distance without getting too close.
When the staff arrived, Yi Zheyan knocked on the door of this last house.
“What’s the matter?” The door opened halfway, revealing a face full of defiance, scrutinizing the group.
Yi Zheyan was about to speak when An Bu, without hesitation, kicked the door open rudely. The man behind the door was forced back several steps, angrily shouting, “What do you want?”
The staff behind An Bu were also confused, not expecting such a turn of events.
Ignoring the man, An Bu walked directly to the location where the death energy appeared.
“Stop!” The man aggressively reached for An Bu’s shoulder. Suddenly, his body stiffened, and he looked in horror at the distorted face of a woman that appeared on the back of An Bu’s head, staring at him with hollow eyes.
“Ah!” The man screamed.
An Bu, shrouded in Yin energy, easily made the apparition visible. What the man saw was the ghostly shadow formed through the manipulation of Yin energy.
While the man was still in shock, An Bu entered the main hall, leading Yi Zheyan and Old Zhao to the firewood room in the backyard.
Opening the door, a damp and putrid smell mixed with moisture hit them. Yi Zheyan and Old Zhao covered their noses, showing signs of unbearable discomfort.
Following the death energy, An Bu found a hidden door on the floor near the left wall. Pulling the latch, she opened the hidden door, revealing a wooden staircase leading to an underground chamber.
Yi Zheyan and Old Zhao approached in amazement, shining their phones down. Astonishingly, they saw a pair of pale and emaciated feet. The light moved along these feet, revealing that the other leg was severed below the knee. The upper body wore tattered clothing, with a conspicuously swollen belly, indicating a pregnancy of at least nine months. Disheveled hair fell in front of the skeletal face, and a pair of vacant eyes squinted uncomfortably in the light, trembling as the face buried itself in dirty bedding.
Yi Zheyan and Old Zhao gasped simultaneously, unable to believe their eyes.
Although they had some suspicions before, witnessing this scene made it difficult for them to accept.
At the same time, netizens watching the video exploded!
[What the heck!!! Can someone tell me what’s going on?]
[I can’t take this anymore. If this is fake, I’ll blacken this show for the rest of my life!]
[I believe it’s real, at least that pregnant woman is definitely real. I don’t think any pregnant woman would cooperate with the crew to shoot such a scene against the health of the child. This underground chamber is dirty, damp, and cold. She isn’t even wearing pants, and she’s disabled!]
[If this is true, then the names of the missing persons we saw earlier might also be real. The people in this town are involved in human trafficking!]
[I still have doubts. How did the boss’s sister know that there was a person hidden in this basement?]
[Could she really be the twin sister disguising herself as the sister, hiding in Kangquan Town to investigate the murderer who killed her sister?]
[I have a feeling this episode is going to be explosive…]
“MD! What are you doing?” Under the restraint of the staff, the man angrily shouted at An Bu and the others. “This is my house, get out!”
Yi Zheyan glanced coldly at him, then, along with two other staff members, jumped into the basement, carefully lifting the pregnant woman out, preparing to take her to the hospital.
At this moment, a commotion erupted outside. Several households nearby, hearing the noise, rushed over, surrounding the group in the yard, not letting them leave.
“This is someone’s wife. Where do you want to take her?”
Yi Zheyan angrily retorted, “Who would throw their pregnant wife into the basement?”
“That’s their freedom. None of your business!”
“The affairs of our town should be handled by us. Why did you break into someone else’s house and take away someone’s wife?”
“Get lost. We don’t welcome you here.”
The townspeople showed malicious faces, holding shovels and sticks, united against the outsiders.
The crew members were outnumbered, and seeing the situation about to spiral out of control, a townsperson suddenly turned pale, looking at An Bu. His legs trembled involuntarily, and then other townspeople also looked at An Bu successively. The clamor that was present just a moment ago vanished, and the scene fell into an eerie silence.
Behind An Bu, seven or eight female figures appeared, with twisted and horrifying appearances—some without arms, some without eyes, most with disabilities. These were all illusions created by An Bu based on the memories of those men. They were once lively individuals, silently perishing in this cruel town, leaving no real names behind.
“How do you plan to compensate these unfortunate women?” An eerie voice emanated from An Bu’s mouth, awakening the panicked townspeople.
The townspeople shivered uncontrollably, horrifying images flashing through their minds. In the next moment, these images turned into reality before their eyes.
“Ah—” terrified screams echoed continuously as the townspeople scattered in panic. However, no matter how they struggled, they couldn’t escape the female ghosts that were like shadows. Dominated by fear, these people revealed their ugliest sides.
Ghost hypnosis was most suitable for them. For a long time to come, they would endure the torment of ghostly apparitions. When the fear reached its peak, they would die miserably, just like those women.
At that moment, outside, a shrill siren sounded.
An Bu wasn’t surprised, as she had called the police as soon as she sensed the death energy. It took the police four or five hours to arrive, making it quite late.
If it weren’t for this sole living witness, she believed that exposing the town’s crimes would require more effort. Even if the supernatural video was realistic, it couldn’t be used as evidence.
Before long, a group of police officers rushed into the yard, witnessing the terrified townspeople who were all stunned.
An Bu was about to suppress her Yin energy and dispel the ghostly images when a familiar figure approached her briskly. As he drew near, the chilling sensation dissipated, and the horrifying ghostly apparitions vanished simultaneously. The previously cold yard instantly became warm, and the atmosphere became calm.
Looking at the approaching figure, An Bu’s icy face immediately blossomed into a bright smile.
[What a fantastic performance.]
[I thought about the beginning but didn’t expect the ending.]
[So unexpected. I suspect that the lady is an undercover cop, investigating the town under the guise of shooting a show.]
[I’m waiting to see the follow-up reports on this case and the fate of those townspeople.]
[Ah, this episode is really intense, with high and continuous climaxes. So thrilling.]
[I believe in karma once again.]
[So, how did that lady find out about the pregnant woman in the basement?]
[This is an inexplicable mystery…]
However, the show’s creators left the audience with suspense in the end.
As the guests completed their mission and boarded the bus to leave the town, the camera focused on An Bu, who, still disguised as the old landlady, did not leave with the others. Instead, she stood at the crossroads, quietly watching them.
As the camera zoomed in, An Bu’s pale face gradually transformed into a completely unfamiliar woman’s face. A line of bloody tears flowed slowly from her eye sockets, yet a strange smile played on her lips…
“Escape Panic” – “Ghostly Shadows in the Small Town,” the entire drama concluded.
Audience: There’s a sentence that I don’t know whether to say or not!