TANH Chapter 2: Guide 02

17TH AUG 2022~SV

I only need a bit of payment

Warning: brief gruesome description of death.

The identity card soon disappeared, and Wen Qing’s face heated up.

This… this could also count as a specialty?

What use is this specialty?

Scaring myself?!

【 When all surviving players leave the villa, the instance will end.

【 Have a pleasant game, players.

“What nonsense.”

The boy with a crew cut standing at Wen Qing’s side cussed.
“Who the fuck wants to play, today is my mother’s birthday!”

“I want to go home.”

As he said this, he walked towards the reddish brown door, grasping the metal knocker.

Wen Qing’s eyelids leapt, and he hastily said, “That… that system said the door can only be opened with a guide……”

“You just trust what it says?” the crew cut boy glanced at Wen Qing and curled his lips.
“What if it’s just to scare us?”

Wen Qing pursed his lips, he didn’t think it was a scare.

“What if it’s not just to scare us?” Zhou Zhou spoke up.

“We were all suddenly pulled into here from different places, and there’s a lot of things that can’t be normally explained.
Opening the door without a guide might have other consequences.”

The crew-cut boy thought of the shows he’d watched before, and his expression changed, but he was still stubborn, “What if it won’t cause anything?”

Zhou Zhou: “You can try.”

The crew-cut boy was put on the spot.
The muscles in the arm holding the metal knocker were tense.

Nobody tried to continue persuading him.

After a long time, he clicked his tongue.
“I won’t let you all become guinea pigs.”

When he finished speaking, the crew-cut boy loosened the door knocker.

“Clunk——” the knocker hit the door, letting out a clear sound.

Everyone’s face changed.

The crew-cut boy took a step back, hurriedly saying, “I didn’t push, and I didn’t pull either.”

“This… this can’t count as opening the door.”

In the next second, they only saw the circular door knocker escape gravity, slowly moving upwards in a counterclockwise direction, before finally pointing up towards the sky.

“Fuck, it’s really about to open?”

The crew-cut boy was in a state of shock, “My identity card from just now wasn’t the gu——”

The last syllable[1] still hadn’t been said, but the face of the crew-cut boy suddenly contorted.
Then, his body twitched twice, and in the blink of an eye, turned into a pool of blood, which fell on the floor tiles like rain.

His blood didn’t splash, but a small pool gathered at the door.
The pungent smell of blood spread, filling their noses and mouths, letting everyone know what had just happened.

He… he died……

Wen Qing’s legs weakened, slumping to the floor.
His tears fell uncontrollably.

The air was eerily quiet.

Soon, there was the sound of vomiting one after another.

“He… he……”

“Everyone, stay away from the door.” Zhou Zhou warned.

Everyone stepped back, leaving Wen Qing still sitting on the ground, his soft legs making him unable to stand up.

He wiped away his tears, having no energy to get back up.
His collar was suddenly lifted by a strong force, suspended in air, and lifted to the chair beside him.

Wen Qing tilted his head, staring at the red basketball uniform.
His facial features were deep and straight, he was at least 1.9 metres tall, and his arm muscles were clearly defined.

“Thank… thank you,” Wen Qing quietly thanked.

Red basketball uniform frowned, his whole face impatient.
“Troublesome.”

Wen Qing quietly said, “I’m sorry.”

Red basketball uniform frowned even more.

Seeing that, Wen Qing pursed his lips, not daring to continue talking to him.

The crew-cut boy died in front of everyone’s eyes just like that, and the panic of death gradually spread across the room.
Several girls quietly sobbed.

Nobody knew how long it had been when Zhou Zhou spoke, “We should all sit down.”

His face was also not good, but he was calmer than the others.
He walked up to the crowd and orderly said.
“It should be that we can only leave if we play the game.
We should sit down and discuss.”

Wen Qing nodded.
He still breathed in the smell of blood, and it was a little disgusting.

In order to divert his attention, he counted the number of chairs.

One, two, three…… ten.

If the boy from earlier didn’t die, there would be not more nor less, exactly ten.

There were still nine people.

There was no time limit in the game, and finding the guide was considered clearance.

If they couldn’t find them, the team… will the team be wiped out?

Thinking about it, Wen Qing’s eyes became a little red again.

“Am I really that good-looking?”

Wen Qing snapped back into reality.
He didn’t know when the bathrobe-wearing man came to sit by his side, looking at him playfully.

The bathrobe-wearing man suddenly spoke, and everyone’s eyes focused on him.

“My name is Zhou Zhou, may I ask what I should call you?”

The bathrobe-wearing man raised his eyebrows, spitting out two words: “Yu Xing.”

Zhou Zhou asked, “Mr Yu, may I ask if you are an old player in this game?”

“No.”

Yu Xing lazily leaned on the backrest, his right hand tapping rhythmically on the tabletop.
His movements made his bathrobe open wider, revealing his wheat-coloured pectoral muscles and abs, giving off a debauched temperament.

Wen Qing had lived for 20 years, but this was the first time he saw this sort of person who casually exposed their bodies in front of other people.

Zhou Zhou apologetically smiled, saying, “You seemed so at ease, we thought you guys were old players.”

Yu Xing snorted softly, his eyes falling on Wen Qing again.

His fingertip paused, and slowly said, “The system said there is a guide among us.” 

“So let’s start introducing ourselves, starting… from you.”

Wen Qing raised his head, only to see Yu Xing raising his chin towards him, the corners of his lips slightly raised, like he was waiting to watch a good show.

In the next second, everyone’s eyes focused on Wen Qing.

It seemed like the first thing that had to be done after taking a class register — self-introduction.

It was just that Wen Qing didn’t have an opportunity to cheer himself up and prepare himself one or two hours beforehand.

Suddenly being the focus of so many people, Wen Qing’s cheeks flushed red in anxiety, and his earlobes turned pink.
He stutteringly said, “I… I just… just…”

Zhou Zhou raised his hand, interrupting, “Why don’t I start first, then.”

“The system gave us identity cards after it finished saying the game’s rules.
Our name, identity, age and specialty is written on it.”

Zhou Zhou spoke, simultaneously gauging everyone’s reactions.

“My identity is an ordinary human, my specialty is management, probably because my major is administration, and I’m also the president of the school’s student Union.”

Wen Qing sat to the left of Zhou Zhou.
When Zhou Zhou finished speaking, he pursed his lips, and quietly said, “My identity is also an ordinary human.”

He struggled for a while, still embarrassed to say his specialty, and raised his eyes to look at the next person.

The ponytail girl who carried a bag said, “I’m also an ordinary human, my specialty is drawing, I’m an art student.”

Once she finished speaking, she pulled out color pencils and a few boxes of newly bought paints from her bag.

“I’m also an ordinary human.”

“Ordinary human.”

“Ordinary human, my specialty is designing, I’m studying interior design.”

“Ordinary human.”

Six people, all of them were ordinary humans.

Zhou Zhou frowned slightly.
“There shouldn’t only be one type of identity, right?”

The ponytail girl glanced around, lightly saying, “Maybe one of us is lying.”

Wen Qing quietly looked at everyone.
Indifferent, anxious, calm……

He wasn’t good at communicating with people, and he couldn’t tell whether or not someone had lied.

When it was Yu Xing’s turn, a different identity card finally appeared.

Yu Xing lightly spat out two words.
“God.”

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Everyone was dumbfounded, and someone blurted out.
“Then, specialty?”

“Specialty, huh……” Yu Xing licked his lips, asking in a drawl, “Do you really want to know?”

Wen Qing was able to shake his head.

He didn’t want to know.

It didn’t sound like a good thing.

Ponytail girl continued to ask, “Why are you asking us like that?”

“Can’t you say the specialty?”

“That’s not true,” Yu Xing sneered, his eyes sweeping over Wen Qing casually, and slowly explained.
“To put it simply, some people might not believe it.”

“Why don’t you try it yourself.”

He emphasised on the words “try it yourself”.
His expression and temperament, coupled with those ambiguous words, made people unable to refrain from thinking of some physiological needs.

Ponytail girl was stunned for a moment, before immediately realising what he was talking about.
She didn’t ask further.

Wen Qing also reacted quickly and was shocked.

He was really so open with yellow jokes[2]?

Yu Xing’s temperament and bearing made Wen Qing unable to refrain from guessing his profession.

He couldn’t be a prostitute, right?

Yu Xing curled the corners of his lips and said, “Well, why don’t you send a representative?”

“For me, there’s no taboo.”

As soon as those words were said, Wen Qing felt more and more that Yu Xing’s profession was illegal.

Zhou Zhou was silent for a short while, before saying to Yu Xing, “Mr Yu, please stop joking.” 

Yu Xing raised his eyelids, and his tone was still not serious.
“I’m not joking.”

 “If you don’t believe me, let… Wen Qing, right?”

“Wen Qing, why don’t you try for everyone?”

Yu Xing targeted Wen Qing time and time again.
Everyone’s eyes focused on Wen Qing, carefully looking at him.

He had his head lowered, and his eyebrows were beautiful.
His slender neck was exposed to the air, and the neckline of his white T-shirt was a little crooked, half-exposing his collarbone, which made people have wild thoughts.
There seemed to be no flesh in his body.
He was even thinner than the girls at his side.

Timid, pretty……

He was very attractive, and the same thought flashed through everyone’s minds. 

“God.”

A voice broke everyone’s thoughts. 

Red basketball uniform unhappily raised his hand and knocked on the table.
“Next one, quick.”

The man sitting next to him warmly said, “I am also a god.”

“JI Yu, college teacher, my specialty is teaching.”

Hearing the word ‘teacher’, Wen Qing tilted his head and looked at him more.

A few of them were students, so the presence of a teacher was reassuring.

Zhou Zhou asked the ponytail girl for a pen and paper, and recorded while speaking, “Currently, we have six humans and three gods.
At present, it seems like our specialties are related to our own identities and experiences, and have nothing to do with the game.” 

“Mr Yu, Teacher Ji and that……” the red basketball uniform never said his own name, so Zhou Zhou could only call him as handsome brother.
“And that handsome brother, do you have any other tasks?”

The three of them shook their heads in denial.

Zhou Zhou picked up the pen and wrote another few lines before sighing, “This game is a bit like Werewolf, but harder.”

“Werewolf has prophets who can verify their identity.
To win, the werewolf has to kill players of independent camps.”

“The guide doesn’t reveal themselves.
It is very like that, like the werewolf, they are our opposing camp, and their tasks might be different than ours.”

Wen Qing’s eyelashes trembled.
Their mission was to leave the villa.

Was the guide’s task to leave them in the villa? Or was it to kill players?

He couldn’t help but replay the scene of crew-cut’s death just now.
Wen Qing pursed his lips and stopped thinking about it.

Ponytail girl spoke: “What you said is right.
Currently, I think the possibility of Zhou Zhou and Yu Xing being the guide is less.”

“Zhou Zhou was the first ordinary human card.
He shouldn’t know what is written on other people’s cards.
Similarly, Yu Xing was the first god card.”

Wen Qing nodded his head.
It sounded reasonable.

The next second, the girl sitting across from him asked, “What if there are other identities written on the guide’s card?”

Ponytail girl explained.
“That’s why I said the possibility is less.”

“In my opinion, we should all abstain from voting tonight and wait for the first clue.”

Nobody objected.

Zhou Zhou glanced at the clock on the wall.
“It’s six o’clock right now, but I don’t know if it’s six o’clock in the morning or six o’clock at night.”

“I suggest we inspect the villa first.”

Wen Qing was a little worried that something would happen during the inspection, but the words of the ponytail girl eased his worries.

Ponytail girl said, “I agree.”

“The game’s rules are only about this gate, so other places should be safe.
We don’t know how long we’ll be staying here……”

 Wen Qing looked at Zhou Zhou, then looked at ponytail girl.
He thought, they were too awesome, still able to rationally analyse things in this sort of situation.

Zhou Zhou walked to the stairs and glanced up.
“There’s three floors, let’s divide into three groups.” 

Wen Qing walked to Zhou Zhou’s side and quietly said, “Can I group up with you?”

“Alright,” Zhou Zhou nodded and addressed everybody.
“Me and Wen Qing will go to the second floor, does anyone else want to join?”

Yu Xing languidly raised his hand, motioning that he wanted to join.

Wen Qing weakly said, “I… I’ll just stay on the first floor.”

Yu Xing raised his eyebrows.
“I suddenly feel like the first floor isn’t so bad.”

Wen Qing: ……

With no way out, Wen Qing finally went to the second floor with Yu Xing.

He walked closely by Zhou Zhou’s side, trying to ignore the man behind him humming a tune.

The breath behind him was still cold, but it wasn’t the non-human iciness on the rooftop, but rather within a normal range.

Wen Qing had some doubts that the temperature on the rooftop was just an illusion he made up while being blown by the wind.

Because Yu Xing was a player, he should be a human, just a bit weird.

The lights on the second floor were sound-activated.
The moment they went upstairs, the lights all turned on, and they were bright.

Zhou Zhou pushed open the first room’s door.

It was a bedroom with a double bed, a bedside table…… a very ordinary bedroom.

Three three of them stood by the door and didn’t go in.

Zhou Zhou said, “Look at the next room first.”

The next room was also a bedroom with a double bed.
The furniture was the exact same as the ones in the first room.

The last room was a study as large as two bedrooms, with bookshelves on all three walls.
The books were all arranged neatly, as vast as the open sea.

After pushing all the doors open, Zhou Zhou said, “There are three rooms.
Each of us inspect one room and look for any clues.”

Wen Qing was a little scared.
Breaking up in horror movies never ended well.

Zhou Zhou comforted.
“Nothing will happen.
Don’t close the doors, if something happens just yell and we’ll come running immediately.”

Wen Qing gave a low sound of agreement.

Zhou Zhou comforted him with a few more words before walking into the study next to them.

“Want me to accompany you? Little pitiful.”

Yu Xing leaned against the wall lazily.
His eyes swept across Wen Qing.
They were the eyes of a predator having found its prey.

He slowed his movements, ambiguously saying, “I only need a bit of payment.”

The author wants to say something:

Wen Qing: Can’t have sex

Footnotes

[1] – in mandarin, the word guide is 引路人.
however, before the boy could say the last character, he was killed.
i wasn’t sure how to translate this nicely, so i just put it as “the last syllable”.

[2] – sex joke.
originally, i wanted to put that term directly, but… i felt like WQ wouldn’t say something like that so outright? idk, might change it in the future.

SV: not really sure how to put warnings for deaths… doing it as i’ve done above for now.

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