“There’s something up with Hu Yi today.” After school, Jiang Lei looked at Hu Yi, who was walking a few steps ahead of them.
“What is it” Huo Ran glanced at Hu Yi, “I’d also walk in front if I wanted to ignore you guys.”
“Not that,” Jiang Lei said, “He’s been too quiet today, it’s unusual.”
“Yeah,” Xu Zhifan nodded, “I agree, he was late today too.”
“Wanna ask him” Huo Ran said.
“Let’s not ask yet, if he doesn’t say anything tomorrow, we’ll ask then.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Alright,” Huo Ran stretched, “Are you guys free tonight”
“What time” Xu Zhifan asked.
“12.” Huo Ran said.
“Damn, not free, I’d have already gone through three sleep cycles at 12.” Jiang Lei said.
“What are you gonna do then Late night practice”
“I’m not gonna practice with you.” Xu Zhifan said immediately.
“Going to the haunted building.” Huo Ran said.
“To study” Jiang Lei asked, “What are you pretending to be a good student for”
“What good student is running to school to study at midnight” Huo Ran frowned, “The real haunted building.”
“What” Jiang Lei started.
“For what” Xu Zhifan asked at the same time.
Even Hu Yi turned around: “Are you crazy”
“Just tell me if you’re free to come with me,” Huo Ran said, “Kou Chen and I planned to go there.”
“Then you can have Kou Chen with you.” Jiang Lei said.
“Fuck off!” Huo Ran pointed at him.
“Kou Chen.” Xu Zhifan looked at Jiang Lei, “He said Kou Chen.”
“Damn Kou Chen You’re going to the haunted building with him Why didn’t you say so, we’ll just keep him back in the classroom for you, “Jiang Lei said with an expression of ‘why are you looking to change him are you stupid’.
“Why are you going to the haunted building with him Haunted! Building! Haunted!”
“We’re only moving into the dorms next week, how are you gonna get out tonight” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Late night training,” Huo Ran said.
“Besides, my parents are dead to the world at eleven, I could skip rope in the living room and they wouldn’t hear.”
“There’s no way you two are just going for fun, did you make a bet or are you gonna fight Are you allowed to bring another person” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Who cares if I’m allowed or not, you don’t need to go inside with me,” Huo Ran grit his teeth, “Just scare Kou Chen out before 1 o’clock, or more specifically, as long as he runs out before me.”
They all looked at him, Jiang Lei finally speaking a long while later: “Does that count as cheating”
“Yes,” Huo Ran patted his shoulder, “And it would be harder than stuffing cheat sheets in a table leg during a test, do you accept the challenge”
“It was the chair leg.” Xu Zhifan corrected him.
“Do you accept” Huo Ran asked.
“I don’t wanna accept,” Jiang Lei said.
“If I go, then there’s only one reason for it.
It’s because I’m scared something will happen to you.”
Huo Ran hugged Jiang Lei.
The September air was pretty comfortable, Kou Chen leaned against the stone tablet in front of the haunted building, watching the path in front of him with his earbuds in.
It was pretty dark, the lights near the field were still on before 10 o’clock, but after that, it was only him and the moonlight, making the surroundings look washed out.
Five minutes before twelve o’clock, a figure appeared on the path in the distance, walking over slowly.
Probably Huo Ran, Kou Chen sat up, stuffed his earbuds into his pocket and prepared to get up.
The person walked over a bit before stopping, looking like he was digging through his pockets.
Then, Kou Chen saw the glow of a phone screen, and the phone’s flashlight shined over.
But it was still quite some distance away, the meager light not enough to illuminate him.
He tsked, he really didn’t understand why Huo Ran would agree to come to the haunted building with his guts.
He took out his lighter, moving it below his chin, baring his teeth as well after a thought.
Then he clicked the lighter.
As his face was lit up by the fire, that person’s phone turned off, but before he could start laughing, a strong light shone right into his eyes.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Leb Ejc, sbe oemxfg!” Bbe Jtfc megrfv, lwwfvljafis rtlfivlcu tlr fsfr klat jc jgw.
Lf jmaejiis ygbeuta j vjwc oijrtiluta! Ljnlcu la rtlcf lc tlr ojmf wjvf la offi ilxf tf kjr jybea ab jrmfcv ab tfjnfc, tlr nlrlbc ublcu ktlaf.
Leb Ejc rajsfv rlifca, yea tf vlvc’a wbnf atf oijrtiluta.
Rb wjaafg tbk tf aegcfv tlr tfjv, atf yfjw bo iluta obiibkfv.
In the end, Kou Chen gave up resisting, walking towards Huo Ran with an arm in front of his eyes.
“Kou Chen, you **er.” Huo Ran turned off the flashlight.
After about a minute, his vision finally returned to him.
“How damn scared are you” He stood up, taking in Huo Ran’s face.
“Why didn’t you just ask for a different time, like afternoon or something…”
Before he could finish, a noise sounded from the haunted building behind him.
Kou Chen turned around abruptly, it was pitch black, and he couldn’t see anything.
He still had some spots of white in his vision.
Huo Ran’s flashlight turned on again, this time pointed at the building.
The haunted building really was very old, there were three floors, with a hallway leading up to the stairs.
There was a row of rooms along the hallway, shabby windows with no glass, spider webs hanging from them… From the structure, there was probably another corridor, with a skylight in the middle, but they couldn’t see it without going inside.
This was the impression it left on Kou Chen from when he came over earlier.
But this wasn’t what he saw right then, he could only see the circle lit up by Huo Ran’s flashlight, and it took him a while to realize that it was a window.
But it was scarier to know what you’re looking at than not, twenty ways ghosts could appear around a window flashed through his head.
“Turn that thing off,” Kou Chen said, “It’s even scarier than darkness.”
Huo Ran turned it off: “Scared It’s not too late to admit defeat, don’t worry, I’m not gonna make you run around naked if you lose.”
“Let’s go.” Kou Chen cut him off, turning to walk inside.
Staring at his back, after debating between ‘should I follow him’ and ‘my friends shouldn’t be here yet what was that sound would I be safer if I stayed here’ for a second, he rushed after Kou Chen before he disappeared.
At the building, he was about to ask if he wanted to go upstairs or stay on the first floor first, when Kou Chen suddenly turned around and clapped him on the shoulder.
Huo Ran will admit that at that moment he was so scared he almost turned and ran, but for the sake of his own pride, he resisted the urge.
He even put on an act and yelled: “What are you doing—”
“Fuck!” Kou Chen sprang back, “What are you yelling for Scared me to death!”
“What are you touching me for Don’t you have a mouth” Huo Ran said.
“I can also touch you with my mouth if you want.” Kou Chen said.
“Idiot.” Huo Ran cursed.
“I don’t wanna argue with you right now, come on, what do you want”
“I just…” Kou Chen glanced at the window, lowering his voice, “I just…”
Huo Ran looked over nervously, he could feel the hairs on his arms stand on end.
“Saw someone inside.” After saying that, Kou Chen turned and ran up the stairs.
When Huo Ran came back to his senses, Kou Chen had already disappeared amongst the creaking.
He suddenly felt a bit anxious.
He looked around, not knowing where Xu Zhifan and the others were hiding, they were too serious about this.
Looking around at the surroundings, quiet like a horror movie, Huo Ran thought about the fact that maybe they didn’t even come!
With that thought, Huo Ran couldn’t stand there any longer.
He rushed up the stairs: “Kou Chen! We never agreed to scare each other!”
Kou Chen didn’t reply.
Huo Ran stood at the stairs on the second floor.
He took a step back and was met with a pillar at a corner.
In theory, this would allow him to see anyone… or anything, that approached from either side.
But in reality he couldn’t see **.
As he dug out his phone, Kou Chen’s voice sounded from a few meters away: “Come here.”
“No.” His reply was blunt.
“Then I’m gonna leave.” Kou Chen said.
“Where are you” Huo Ran asked immediately, lighting the way with his phone.
“Here.” Kou Chen poked his head out and waved.
Huo Ran walked over, and his phone was shoved back into his pocket by Kou Chen: “Don’t turn on your phone.”
“Huh” Huo Ran felt that something was off from his voice.
“Smell.” Kou Chen said quietly.
“Did you fart” Huo Ran immediately held his breath, “How childish are you”
“I smell barbeque, you idiot.” Kou Chen said in his air.
Huo Ran hesitated, before taking a small sniff.
He indeed smelled firewood, but…
“It’s not that unusual,” Huo Ran said quietly, “Someone lit the fire a few hours ago, around dinner time.”
Kou Chen stared at him.
“Trust me,” Huo Ran said, “I was starting fires in the wild before you were in middle school.”
“I eat barbeque every day.” Kou Chen said.
“That’s coal, this is wood, idiot.” Huo Ran said.
Kou Chen didn’t say anything, still staring at him.
After a while, he suddenly raised his head and looked behind him.
Behind him was a long stretch of hallway, Huo Ran suddenly felt like a fridge opened behind him.
He straightened up, reflexively scooting forward.
Kou Chen stared at him, his expression was unclear, but he could still see a laugh flash across his face.
“Don’t worry,” Huo Ran said, “I am a little afraid, but I won’t leave.”
“Call for me if you’re scared,” Kou Chen said.
“You’re too scared to even look back, why don’t I walk behind you”
“No.” Huo Ran said immediately.
“I’m not gonna poke you out of nowhere.” Kou Chen said.
“I don’t believe you.” Huo Ran gestured with his head, “You go first.”
Kou Chen laughed as walked down the hallway with Huo Ran behind him.
He could just about see the hallway turn, planning to circle around to check things out first.
With Huo Ran’s ‘everyone’s scared of ghosts they’re just pretending they’re not’ logic, he was sure Kou Chen was also scared, but Kou Chen was too used to putting on airs, he could only walk so calmly because he was just too into the act.
He was more true to himself.
He was scared, but he could take it.
Besides, he had his buddies.
Buddies… Huo Ran looked behind him.
There was only one path from the field to the haunted building, and from the first floor to the third, so right now, Xu Zhifan and the others could only be behind him.
But what made Huo Ran uneasy was the fact that there were no signs of movement behind him.
Any noise made came from in front, it was a problem with this building no matter how you thought about it.
As he was thinking about where his buddies were and if he should text them and ask, a creak sounded from above him.
Kou Chen, who was carefreely walking in front, stopped, and Huo Ran stopped as well.
He turned so that his back was towards Kou Chen.
There has to be someone at his back, there can’t be nothing there.
This building was like the one they had classes in, with wooden floorboards.
It wasn’t weird for it to creak, but it still had to have a certain amount of weight on it, furthermore, that sound…
“Did you bring your friends” Kou Chen asked from behind him.
Huo Ran was very embarrassed, but he didn’t let it show in his words: “You’re the one that brought friends…”
“Xu Zhifan!” Kou Chen yelled.
“Fuck.” Huo Ran turned around.
“Jiang Lei!” Kou Chen continued, “Hu Yi! Come on down, let’s play cards, the five of us, loser has to give the winner a massage.”
Huo Ran did have faith in Xu Zhifan’s intelligence, but Jiang Lei and Hu Yi aren’t as reliable.
With what Kou Chen said, there really was a chance those two would come out… He suddenly didn’t want to speak.
But after Kou Chen spoke, it was still deathly silent.
“There’s someone upstairs.” Kou Chen said.
“Mhm.” Huo Ran suddenly felt like those three really didn’t come.
The inside of the security office was so bright it was like the daytime, the air smelling of smoke and instant noodles.
But the atmosphere was still the same.
“You guys really are going jogging Jogging in the middle of the night on the school field” The security guard sighed, slowly sipping the tea in his mug.
“We really were having a late night run.” Xu Zhifan said.
“We’re even wearing running shoes,” Hu Yi lifted his leg, showing off the new shoes he bought that summer, “Just for jogging.”
“You students wear those shoes all the time…” The security guard glanced at their feet.
Xu Zhifan looked down as well.
At the back, Jiang Lei took a step back.
Xu Zhifan sighed in exasperation, Jiang Lei was wearing skate shoes.
“You guys don’t even need to tell me your names and class,” The security guard jotted something down in his notebook.
“I know you’re Xu Zhifan, you and that basketball captain, you guys come as a set, always together.
I’ll report this to your teacher tomorrow, you can explain to him.”
“Sir, this is…” Jiang Lei struggled.
“Okay,” Xu Zhifan said, “We’ll explain to Old Yuan tomorrow.”
“Mhm,” The security guard stood up, “I see you guys out, get a ride home.”
“…No need.” The three of them answered at the same time.
No need for that sir, our friend is still in the haunted building.
He can survive for a month on his own in the wilderness but he can’t take twenty minutes inside the haunted building alone.
Sir, let us leave ourselves, we can still go around and climb over the fence to save him.
“Come on!” The security guard shooed them along.
Xu Zhifan, Jiang Lei, and Hu Yi looked at each other, walking out of the room.
After they walked to the gates with their heads down, Xu Zhifan immediately turned and ran, Jiang Lei and Hu Yi on his heels.
Ten meters later they all turned right, this was the shortest path to the back gates.
“Wanna go check” Kou Chen asked.
“Check what” Huo Ran wanted to ask if he was crazy, he clearly knew there was someone upstairs when there shouldn’t be, what, is he gonna go catch him in the act
“You really didn’t bring your friends” Kou Chen asked.
Huo Ran hesitated, he really did bring his friends, but he couldn’t say that.
But at the same time he felt that it really wasn’t Xu Zhifan and the others who were upstairs.
But if they went up and it really was them… Then that would be extremely embarrassing.
Right then, something sounded from the ceiling, this time it was a few meters closer to the stairwell.
“I really didn’t.” Huo Ran raised his head, saying quietly.
There was no way whoever upstairs couldn’t hear them talk, if they still made noise after that, there was no way it was Xu Zhifan and them.
There really was someone else upstairs, and that person was making their way to the stairs.
The hairs on Huo Ran’s arm stood on end.
“Fuck,” You could hear the excitement in Kou Chen’s voice, “Let’s go check.”
Huo Ran stayed standing.
Kou Chen took a few steps forward before stopping: “You wait here, or…”
He pointed at the stairs, saying: “Run down the stairs before that person comes down.”
When he finished, Kou Chen rushed in that direction, looks like he wanted to catch the person on the stairs.
Huo Ran stood there in the dark, so shocked he forgot to feel fear, before realizing that Kou Chen probably really isn’t afraid of ghosts.
But Kou Chen suddenly yelled out loud: “AH—”
Then he fell back onto the floor.
The floor cracked beneath him.
Huo Ran rushed over, not knowing if he was trying to rescue him or because he was scared and wanted to find someone to get it together with.
As he reached to pull Kou Chen up, he saw a white figure float out of the platform in the stairwell, disappearing quietly.
“AH—” He also yelled out a few seconds after Kou Chen did.
“Holy **,” Kou Chen jumped up and ran over, “Was that a person”
Huo Ran didn’t know where he got the courage to run over like that, but to save face, he had no choice but to move over slowly: “I didn’t see it clearly.”
“Let’s go,” Kou Chen tugged at his collar, “That really did scare me.”
“Okay.” Huo Ran nodded immediately, he didn’t want to spend one more second in this place.
The two of them went down the stairs, looking around them, but they didn’t see anything that could move.
What exactly was that
At the bottom of the stairs, Huo Ran sighed, it’s fine, they left together, nobody won or lost, it was a draw…
Kou Chen suddenly stopped, Huo Ran couldn’t do so in time, stepping outside as he watched Kou Chen move back up a step.
“You lost.” Kou Chen said.
“What” Huo Ran was shocked.