The ambulance arrived at the hospital, and Wang Hongsheng was sent to the emergency room. Su Bai sat on the bench outside the E.R. with one of his hands supporting his head.
Childe Hai had once said that usually an experiencer wouldn’t be in great trouble as long as he/she were careful and not very unlucky. But he seemed to be very unlucky. His first task was easy, with those two ghosts perishing together with the white-collar lady, but the second task was full of danger, and now the third task seemed to be a great challenge as well.
Especially, according to Wang Hongsheng’s words, the experiencers and audiences were at war, and if all the experiencers in this story were truly as good as Wang Hongsheng, they would indeed be good enough to contend with the audiences.
Now one of the audiences was dead. The cop girl was the first dead audience.
And that meant the conflict between the two parties had come to a point that blood must be shed.
For now, all the cops in Silver District were extremely busy because of the latest murder. Therefore, no one could actually come to look after Wang Hongsheng, while Wang Hongsheng had been announced to be in a coma since he was carried out of the E.R. and could not be interviewed by the police.
Su Bai followed Wang Hongsheng into the ICU. Now he offered Wang Hongsheng a glass of water and said, “Doctors and nurses are all gone now, and there’s no camera here.”
Only then did Wang Hongsheng open his eyes and manage to sit up. He grabbed the glass and drank some water. A martial artist was indeed much stronger than a normal person; especially in the time of science and technology, most people were suffering from decreasing physical fitness, so the physical strength of a man paying attention to advance his body through martial art would become even more obvious.
Of course, no matter how strong Wang Hongsheng was, he could not be a match to Su Bai who had exchanged points to be a semi-vampire.
“I could hardly breathe.” Wang Hongsheng loosened his collar and look at Su Bai, “We’re gonna have visitors in any minute.”
Wang Hongsheng nodded.
“Tell me what on earth is going on.” Su Bai sat on the bed next to him, took out a cigarette and lit it up, ignoring the fact that they were in the no-smoking hospital.
“I couldn’t be sure if you were an experiencer. But now I can tell that you surely are.”
“Because you don’t know the main task.”
Su Bai couldn’t argue with that. He just stared at Wang Hongsheng. “The main task is not to catch the killer?”
Wang Hongsheng shook his head, “That’s a thinking set. This time, to catch the killer is just the main task 2; there is a higher main task 1… You should know that main task 1 will be awarded way much more than main task 2.”
Su Bai agreed. He knew that clearly. Last time, after a little weighing, he chose to accomplish main task 2 instead of main task 1 which seemed beyond his capability.
“This time, the main task 1 is to kill experiencers. Humph.” Wang Hongsheng put the glass on the bedside table. He was hurt, so he was a little short of breath; his chest started going up and down, and he burst into a cough. “So, all of us experiencers in this story are the targets and preys of those audiences.”
Su Bai narrowed his eyes and went on smoking, showing neither approval nor disapproval.
“You wanna ask how did we know, don’t you?”
“Actually, you’re an exception.”
“All the experiencers in this story know each other except for you. I mean, we have known each other in the reality.”
Su Bai blew out a smoke ring.
“On line. One of us had posted something on a website and talked about his first experience task in an obscure way. Ordinary people would take it as merely a horrible ghost story. Only us, who had actually participated in Dreadful Radio stories, could notice those specific key points. Then we exchanged our contact information on that BBS. Finally, these people got in touch and formed a group.”
“So you mean, all the members of that group were called into this story world?”
“Yep. But there weren’t many members in the group, just the five of us.”
“So you became suspicious?”
“Yeah we became suspicious. Because none of us was simple. I’m one of the good guys; I’m just a Martial House owner. The other four are all heretics! Humph, Dreadful Radio will never be so kind to let us gang up. Therefore some of us had put forward this opinion in the very beginning. And then we saw the audiences’ deliberate actions, which could be seen as proof. At last, we chose that cop girl for a start; she begged before we killed her and confirmed our guess.
“This story is not that simple; there’s a killer, and there are clues, but there’s also a bigger background— not the historical unsolved serial murders in Silver District, but a wrestle between audiences and experiences!
“However, there are unspoken rules of this war: never identify yourself to outsiders, and never cause any changes or chaos that are not supposed to appear in the original story. Therefore, both sides have been very careful.”
Su Bai listened quietly. Wang Hongsheng believed him to be an experiencer, not an audience, because he had fought against that killer with his life instead of striking Wang Hongsheng while he was down or just leaving him there to be killed by that man; he had set up a small trap, but that was all. If Su Bai was an audience, he would want as much experiencers killed as possible, considering that someone on the experiencer side had already been killed. Besides, in order to accomplish MT 1 and get more awards, he would want the killer to be caught later. Otherwise, MT 2 would be accomplished sooner than MT 1, which would not maximize the benefits for audiences in this story.
Just then, someone approached the ward. The door was opened and three people walked in: two men and one woman.
One of the men surprised Su Bai, but he knew it made sense.
Director Zhou put his police cap on the bed, approached Wang Hongsheng and touched his wound.
“How are you doing?” He asked.
“Not bad. Rest tonight and I’ll be walking tomorrow.”
“Ha, I envy you for your vigorous health.”
Then Director Zhou looked at Su Bai and said in a low voice, “So this time, we are not the only experiencers in this story, and he’s an experiencer, too.”
“Yes, he is. But he had exchanged some kind of physique.”
“Oh? Capable of earning story points before becoming an audience and exchanging for physique... that’s impressive. Really impressive.”
Su Bai squinted at Director Zhou and simply nodded. Now he was no longer showing respects to Director Zhou as he did during work time.
And in the meantime, he had become more and more concerned because of Director Zhou. This guy had perfectly integrated into the role of a leader after the identity shift; that indicated his awful capability and strong mindset, or maybe he was not just a nobody in the real life.
A fat guy sat on the bed, grabbed the glass on the bedside table, drank up all the water in it and then wiped his mouth.
“That’s f*cking unfair. You’re all cops in a police station while I was made a cook in the mess by that damn Dreadful Radio!”
“Fat Dong, if you don’t want to cook, I can give you an application for leave and you’ll be justified to take some days off.”
“Good idea! Ha ha, why didn’t I think of that!” Fat Dong laughed and patted on his own belly, “You are the director after all!”
The only woman here was a quiet cop lady with oval face and calm eyes; she was well-shaped but a little too slim. She stood there as if she was refusing all strangers from coming close.
Just then, Wang Hongsheng suddenly asked:
“By the way, where’s Nona? She’s not here?”
“Yeah, where’s Nona?” Fat Dong seemed to have just noticed that.
“Because of the new case, Nona was held up by some work. But she should be here any minute,” Director Zhou answered.
“I’ll go give her a call,” said that lady.
By visiting Wang Hongsheng in the hospital, they could also use it as a meeting for all the experiencers, so Nona must join them as well.
“Sun Fei, can you borrow the telephone in the reception and call her?” Director Zhou said.
“Okay.” Sun Fei answered and went out of the ward.
The others sat down in the ward, but hardly did they get seated when the door was opened again and Sun Fei showed up outside the door.
“Nona’s here.” She said.
“Where is she?” asked Director Zhou.
“By the stairs. Dead.”
Everyone hurried to the stairs, including the injured Wang Hongsheng. There was blood running out from behind the door, where the body must have been hidden.
Nona was a young girl with a baby face. Now, her neck had been cut open and her jeans were stripped to her knees.
She was dead.
Killed in the same way as the Silver Serial Murders.
Everyone on the site fell into silence.
Fat Dong punched his fist against the wall, “Damn it! Is this the strike-back from those audiences?”
Su Bai crouched, reached out his hand and touched the private part of Nona. He rubbed her black pubic hair and took out his hand with some filthy mucus on his fingers.
“It was the same person— the killer who had killed according to the M.O. of Silver Serial Murders.”
“How can you be so sure?” Director Zhou asked.
“Because…” Su Bai showed his finger to everyone around. “His semen is watery. You can try it yourself. If you have ejaculated already, next time, the semen will become much more watery.
…is just a common sense.”