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Dreadful Radio Game - Chapter 96


Published at 17th of December 2017 08:47:56 AM
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Chapter 96
On the soft soil, Seven crouched next to a corpse, touching the dead man’s arm . He felt scriptures on that man’s arm; they were like some kind of birthmarks . It was weird because they were not tattoos, for no tattoo could be felt so distinctly like veins; but if they really were birthmarks, then… this man would be a bigger miracle than the reincarnation of living Buddha . What kind of true god could have scriptures as birthmarks?



However, these lines seemed difficult to understand . They seemed to be carrying so much truth, but were hard to get instantly, as if the truth was hidden behind a piece of silk . To Seven, such stuff was what drugs were to addicts; he was immediately obsessed with it .

At length, Seven worked something out . Such scriptures were not from modern times; in fact, they could date back to thousands of years ago . At that time, Buddhism had just been introduced in, and hadn’t been translated into the language that ordinary Han people could read . Therefore, it was rather primitive . And that was why Seven, who was educated with Buddhism in Central Plains, felt so unfamiliar with these lines .

Suddenly, it occurred to Seven that he had be indulging in his own thoughts for too long, and Su Bai and Gyatso were still waiting for him . He was a little embarrassed . He should copy these lines for further study, or just strip off the human skin; he wouldn’t mind .

However, he suddenly realized that there was no one around . Su Bai and Gyatso were gone, and he was the only one beside the corpse . Then, those lines on the dead man gradually faded and finally disappeared .

Seven took a deep breath and stood up .

He realized that…

… he had stepped into a trap .

. . .

On the dead woman’s neck, there was a tattoo of something like a totem . It was a strange animal that didn’t exist in reality at all; it was like a Taotie[1] or Pixiu[2] in myths and legends, and was only mentioned in some ancient books of Esoteric Buddhism .

Gyatso was staring at the tattoo . It was interesting; must be drawn by a master Tibetan monk with his own spirit, because it carried a special aura .

Gradually, while he was still watching the totem, a mass of black mist gathered behind Gyatso, as if he was going to ride on black clouds into the air like the tattooed evil creature . He was feeling and thinking .

At last, Gyatso suddenly woke up from his thoughts . He didn’t know how long he had been studying this tattoo, but it must have been quite some time . Why didn’t his partners remind him?

Because they were embarrassed to disturb him?

But they didn’t seem to be that nice .
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Gyatso raised his head . . . and then his eyes glazed .

What?

He was alone?

. . .

"First of all… Shall we check our team and make sure that no one is replaced already?"

Su Bai’s eyes were fixed on Gyatso and Seven .

Seven nodded . "Yes, I agree . "

But Gyatso asked, "But aren’t we making an internal conflict by doing so?"

"It’s just to make sure . Those people ahead of us . . . they might be stupid, or careless, or of low level, or far less capable than us; there are so many possibilities that can lead to their unawareness of the two changelings .

"But, if we think about it in another way…

They may be not as smart as us, but they are not stupid as well; yet they failed to notice the changelings . That means, the changelings are awfully excellent in disguising, almost as good as the real ones . "

While talking, Su Bai was watching the reaction from Gyatso and Seven . But there wasn’t anything special .

"So how can we know?" Gyatso pointed to himself . "By telling a truth about ourselves? Or showing what we can do?"

Su Bai shook his head . "It’s just my theory . There should probably not be too many of those evil things, and they must be focusing on the team ahead, so we should be good for now . Besides, considering our capabilities, it’s difficult to replace us without being noticed . If those things were really so powerful, they wouldn’t have to hide; we’d have been killed already . "



"Agreed," said Seven .

Gyatso also nodded, "Indeed . "

"So… let go catch up with that team . At least we already know which two were replaced, so we can pick them out . Once the evil things are exposed, their mysteriousness will be gone, and there will be nothing to be afraid of . "

The three of them kept going at a much faster speed . Soon, in front of them, there appeared another body .

Gyatso closed his eyes and said, "Just breathed his last . "

Seven put his palms together: "Amitabh . "

Su Bai stood there .

Then, Seven and Gyatso also stopped, standing exactly where they were .

Su Bai’s lips lifted unnoticeably . During the short period when all three of them were standing still, Su Bai closed his eyes, withered and turned into a zombie .

Seven and Gyatso looked at Su Bai .

"I felt something different about this time . So I’m gonna walk past like this . As Seven said before, zombies don’t belong to the natural elements and are rejected by all ghosts . That sounds like protection . "

The he started running towards the dead man . Yes, he was running .

Seven and Gyatso followed up .

However, Su Bai had kept his eyes closed while running; he didn’t even look at that body when he passed it . He just keeping running as a zombie .



Gyatso and Seven, on the other hand, stopped by the body and silently watched Su Bai run away and finally disappear in distance .

They looked at each other . . . their faces were melting .

. . .

After a while, Su Bai turned back to his normal form in order to save some energy . He sat on a rock . In front of him, there was darkness leading to unknown places; behind him was somewhere he could never return .

Those two fake guys were almost the same as Gyatso and Seven . Their imitation was perfectly convincing, and Su Bai almost fell for it .

But sometimes, intuition spoke louder than actual details .

Su Bai could feel that Seven was much quieter after the first dead man . Though he was still talking to them as usual and reacting as he always did, Su Bai could feel that something was missing .

Seven or Gyatso might not notice what was missing, but Su Bai could . It was… intelligence .

Because: it had been such an easy ride for Su Bai since the beginning of this story world, or even before that, when he met Seven for the first time and went to accomplish a task with him, as Seven would prepare everything, and all Su Bai needed to do was to follow his instructions . Apparently, Gyatso was similar to Seven; he didn’t talk much, but was very good at his job .

This story world was about ghosts, so before they entered, Su Bai joked about riding on their coattails; and he did . He barely did anything except for a disservice of accidentally killing an innocent man . Gyatso and Seven were always in the front .

It was like a teamwork competitive game . With two master teammates, Su Bai could stand by and share the gained experience after they won . Su Bai had always felt so; he thought he would do nothing unless they were caught in a fight .

But, after they met the first dead man in the cave, Su Bai suddenly felt a change in the team . By then he wasn’t fully aware, but after the second dead body, it became more and more obvious . And finally, Su Bai figured it out .

Since when did he become the leading role in the team?

Therefore, the places where the two bodies lay were actually two turning points . At those points, Seven and Gyatso in his team were replaced, and the two people in the previous team had been killed .

That was how Su Bai knew that it was the third turning point when he saw the third body . So he just ran through it as a zombie without hesitation .

And Su Bai made it . Gyatso and Seven were left behind, which confirmed Su Bai’s speculation .

He suddenly smiled with self-mockery . It was funny that he was taking advantage as the idler in the team . If he was the first one to be replaced, Seven and Gyatso might not be able to notice, because they were taking the lead all the time and it would be difficult to tell if an idler was somehow different .

Just then, he felt something sticky in his palm . Immediately, he stood up and looked at the rock he was sitting on . Then he stretched his hand out and felt it… in the darkness, he touched something furry; it didn’t feel like any animal’s fur, but more like… human hair!

Su Bai pursed his lips, grabbed that thing with both hands and pulled it out .

A twisted body was pulled out . It was the blood on the rock that had caused the sticky feeling .

This was…

…the fourth body, and also the fourth turning point .

And Su Bai had been sitting here for quite some time .

He slapped on his own forehead as if it hurt his feelings:

"Do you have to die here in such a goddamn secret place?"


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FOOTNOTES:
[1] Taotie: In ancient Chinese mythology, Tao Tie stands for gluttony, and is one of the "Four Evil Creatures of the World" or Four Fiends, along with Hundun (Chaos), Qiongqi (Crimes) and Taowu(Ferocious) .

[2] Pi Xiu: A Chinese mythical hybrid creature resembles a strong, winged lion . It is considered to be a powerful protector of money and good fortune .


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