Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 3 Book of Exchange – Chapter 51 Ghost Maze
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 51 Ghost Maze
We were dumbfounded after hearing Su Xiaoyun’s words. We turned back to look at this endless road.
The road was wide, stretching out into the dense fog. We had walked along the sideways paved with bricks next to the road, but as Su Xiaoyun said, we had been walking for more than an hour without seeing any junctions at all.
“What’s more, we’ve been walking for so long and haven’t seen any passengers. Where are the passengers that got off the bus with us?” Su Xiaoyun asked.
“It’s been so long, they must have left. How could anyone still be with us?” Shi Yitong shook his head. “Aren’t you just being paranoid?”
“Impossible. Even if all the passengers have left, how come we cannot see any pedestrians on the road?” Su Xiaoyun questioned.
“Uhh… everyone probably decided to stay home for now, since there’s such a thick fog outside. Besides, this is the main road, we’re not supposed to see a lot of pedestrians here anyway,” Shi Yitong answered, but his tone suggested he was doubting his own words.
“Look, why aren’t there…” Su Xiaoyun turned around and pointed at the road. “Any vehicles on the road?”
Shi Yitong and I stopped talking. In the dense fog, we stood next to a wide but utterly quiet road. The visibility was decreasing, we couldn’t see anyone around us as if we were the last three persons on Earth.
“No way…” Shi Yitong muttered. “Is this the mysterious ghost maze? But I heard that people only encountered the ghost maze in the woods or cemeteries, I never heard of anyone encountering it on a popular road in the middle of the day!”
“Speaking of which, don’t you think the sky is getting darker?” Su Xiaoyun suddenly said.
I looked up at the sky, and as she said, the clouds were getting darker and denser. Then, just after Su Xiaoyun finished her sentence, a bolt of lightning tore across the sky, striking close to us.
“Ahh!” Shi Yitong was stunned. He rapidly moved a few steps back, whining, “We’re so damned, it’s really going to rain. How could we have rain and fog at the same time?”
As Shi Yitong complaining, I felt something cold and wet drop on my face. Was it raining for real now?
“Gu Yu!” However, Su Xiaoyun stared at my face and screamed abruptly. Her expression looked terrible.
What’s wrong? Is there anything wrong with the rain? I was confused and wiped the rain on my face with my finger, then I froze.
On my fingertips was red liquid… and it was weirdly sticky.
Blood. It was not rain, but blood.
Before I was able to react to what was happening, the rain began to drip. In an instant, our faces, bodies, and clothes were all dyed red.
“Oh my god! What is this?!” Su Xiaoyun screamed. She desperately tried to get rid of the disgusting blood on her body, but it only made her clothes dirtier as the blood kept pouring down.
That strange atmosphere around us was getting stronger. Even though I wasn’t as perceptive as Wen Jiubo, I could clearly sense that we were not in the world of living right now.
The air was filled with a rancid smell. Su Xiaoyun and Shi Yitong frowned, though Su Xiaoyun looked afraid, Shi Yitong was complaining.
“What’s going on, why does it stink so much…”
Before he could finish his sentence, I immediately covered his mouth. Shi Yitong snorted a little, and then he was too scared to say anything.
That was because we saw, in the thick fog, several vague ghostly shadows. As the ghosts drifted away, that stinky smell disappeared as well.
After a short while, there were some other ghost shadows that passed by. They moaned and cackled, and some even brushed past us. The hair all over our bodies stood on end. We were immobile, completely stiff, and didn’t dare to move an inch. However, there were more and more ghosts around us, and we couldn’t hold our breath anymore.
At that moment, a white skull suddenly showed up in front of us with sticky blood still dripping from its yellow teeth.
“Ahhh!” Shi Yitong was terrified, he let out a scream and took several steps back.
“Shi Yitong! Come back!” I was stunned for a moment, thinking that we were doomed this time, these ghosts were definitely going to eat us.
However, even after Shi Yitong loudly screamed, we were surprised to find that nothing happened after that. There was no ghost rushing towards us, and no ghosts intended to eat us alive. The skull which scared us so much just slowly pulled its head back and disappeared into the thick fog.
“Weird… Can’t they see us?” Shi Yitong finally understood what was going on. He stood up, dust off his bottom, and curiously walked closer to those ghost shadows. Some of them were just intangible shadows, while some were pale skeletons and rotten bodies, however, no matter how hard Shi Yitong tried to attract their attention, they acted as if we were completely invisible, and just strolled along the road.
“I see,” muttered Su Xiaoyun as she walked to Shi Yitong. “These ghosts are not the same as those we saw during Devil’s Night. They’re the spirits of dead people. Not only can they not see us, but they’re also all going in the same direction.”
I frowned and stared at those lingering black shadows. The three of us stood among them as if we were tourists who accidentally barged into a film set. We felt out of place.
Just at that moment, I smelled a strange fragrance. I sniffed a little and said, “Do you smell that fragrance?”
“Fragrance? Are there problems with your nose?” Shi Yitong pinched his nose, frowning. “I can only smell a rancid scent. How can there be any pleasant smell?”
After Shi Yitong said that, the fragrance disappeared, leaving only the pungent stinky odor.
Maybe there’s really some problem with my nose?
Before I could figure it out, Su Xiaoyun took the lead and walked forward. She muttered while walking,
“This place is really weird. Did we accidentally walk into the entrance leading to Hell?”
“Probably.” Shi Yitong looked a little scared. He gulped and followed Su Xiaoyun so close that I almost thought he would grab Su Xiaoyun’s clothes. “Um…when I was young, my grandparents often told me that it was easy to encounter ghosts on a foggy day. Because the dense fog acts like a channel connecting the worlds of Yin and Yang.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” Su Xiaoyun disagreed. She picked up her cat Coo from the ground. Coo was also covered in red. The blood rain and dirt had messed the cat’s fur.
Frankly, we didn’t dare to look at each other’s face since our faces were stained with blood. We all looked horrifying.
“Why?” I asked.
“Even if the thick fog is the channel connecting the two worlds, it usually only happens in graveyards, late at night. The ghost stories that we’ve heard since we were kids all happened on quiet country roads in the middle of the night, or in graveyards. When did you ever hear about someone encountering ghosts on a main road in the middle of the day?” said Su Xiaoyun. “Everything was normal when we got on the bus. How could this happen after we got off the bus?”
“How would I know?” Shi Yitong muttered. “It just happened!”
It seemed that Shi Yitong had surrendered to this bad situation, but Su Xiaoyun and I were not better than him.
“The problem is not how it happened.” I subconsciously moved the bangs glued on my forehead away, the sticky blood dyed my hands red. I stopped walking and said impatiently, “The question is, when did this happen?”
Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun stopped and looked at me in doubt.
“When did we enter this maze?” I said, stressing each word. “You know, when we got off the bus, everything was fine. We recognized the road, and we all knew the way to school, right?”
Su Xiaoyun nodded.
“I remember that we talked and laughed a while ago. When did we notice that something was wrong?” I looked around. “What’s more, the fog became thicker after we noticed that something was wrong. And as soon as Su Xiaoyun said the sky got dull, we heard the thunder. Don’t you think it’s weird?”
“Of course it’s weird. Can you tell me anything that’s not weird around you?” Shi Yitong muttered.
“No, he didn’t mean that,” Su Xiaoyun gradually understood what I meant. “He’s saying… it’s different from what we experienced before.”
“Different?” Shi Yitong was even more confused. “How? You said that both of you have experienced a ghost maze on a road before.”
“Because it isn’t the same as before!” Su Xiaoyun firmly said. “No one has been through something like this before! That’s why Gu Yu feels…”
Before Su Xiaoyun could finish, Shi Yitong interjected,
“Goddess Su! Look!”
Su Xiaoyun and I turned around simultaneously and saw a scary scene that terrified us out of our wits.
I didn’t know when all the ghosts around us stopped walking. Instead, they stood still, facing us, staring at us without blinking. Dozens… no, hundreds of ghosts and rotten corpses had turned around and creepily gazed at us.
“God, when…” Su Xiaoyun murmured and subconsciously stepped back.
At the same time, all ghosts took a step forward. Su Xiaoyun let out a harsh scream that scared us to death.
“Don’t move!” Shi Yitong shouted. “The moment we move, they’ll come closer!”