Illusions, Lies, Truth Volume 3: In the Name of God, Part One
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Existence’s Bane, Part 3—The Society—translated by Translator
Lu Yang arrived at the club’s location for the first time as a member of the Supernatural Phenomena Studies Society and had no comments about the walls mottled like those of a ghost house.
Unexpectedly, Lin Zhixiang was actually present as well. Jiang Ziya had thought that she wouldn’t attend anymore. Her initial reason for joining the club had just been a desire to figure out whether or not unexplainable happenings truly existed in this world, and using that to clarify what in the world her existence’s bane’s natal chart truly was.
“Hello.” Lin Zhixiang looked at Lu Yang a bit nervously. She hadn’t seen him when she went to Qing Wei Gong in the morning, but she kept hearing from the elders about a “Xiao Yang.” Even though they hadn’t brought up anything substantial, she could tell that this “Xiao Yang” was nothing to sneeze at.
When he saw Lin Zhixiang, Lu Yang frowned. He had already told Jiang Ziya not to mention what happened to Li Yao for now. They should complete tonight’s night venture before bringing it up to prevent something else from happening. However, the latest they would be able to put it off would just be until tomorrow, as Lin Zhixiang was likely to hear about it.
A female student had died in the abandoned building, and eight people had actually died in the same building within a single year. This case was too large; the mass media would definitely report on it. It was already no easy feat for the police to keep it under wraps for a day.
Another person close to her had died. It was going to get even harder for Lin Zhixiang to believe that she was no longer the bane of all existence.
Jiang Ziya also saw Jian Zhi and his angel. The moment Jian Zhi saw Lin Zhixiang greet Lu Yang, he immediately stared at Lu Yang as if he had seen a great rival. The angel was floating behind him and was even holding a small bow with a red heart as the arrowhead.
Can I please request Jian Zhi to just confess to Lin Zhixiang already! Jiang Ziya felt that this situation was really frustrating. Isn’t Lin Zhixiang too oblivious? Everyone can tell that Jian Zhi likes her. She’s the only one who hasn’t noticed—then again, if I were foretold to be the bane of all existence, I probably wouldn’t care about a small matter like someone having a crush on me.
“Welcome, new member.” Xu Xikai walked over.
Following his response to the club’s location, Lu Yang similarly had no comments in regards to this pale club president who looked like a ghost. He then took another look at the scarce ten or so club members around him. Every single one of them was a bit odd. There was someone who was wearing a whole bunch of crosses around the neck, someone whose hand gripped a Buddha statue, and even someone who had plastered a bunch of charms over a bag—Hey, you do know that one of the charms is for giving birth successfully, right?
Lu Yang’s head hurt a lot. Just how bad is Jiang Ziya at choosing a club? You can’t make a worse choice even if you rolled dice to determine it!
Xu Xikai counted the people present and nodded as he said, “Twelve people. That’s everyone. Let’s pay our respects or say our prayers first. Then, we’ll go to the Literature Department’s east-facing classroom. We have a time constraint with having to be there at twelve o’clock sharp, so it’s the first location.”
Only twelve? Jiang Ziya looked at the number of people there. Indeed, there were fewer now than on recruitment day. Looks like not everyone wants to participate in this kind of event.
Xu Xikai reminded once more, “Everyone, remember to never ever use anyone’s name during this entire venture.”
After everyone responded, he then declared, “Let’s depart.”
They walked through the school in the middle of the night, extremely unaccustomed to this kind of silence.
“The school in the middle of the night really makes me uneasy.”
Someone muttered that, and everyone else showed agreement on their faces.
“It feels so grim, like something might appear each time we turn a corner.”
“I know, right!”
Even though that was what they said, after having the silence broken, their moods were no longer as tense, and they began to chat normally. Soon, they arrived at the Literature Department’s east-facing classrooms. Xu Xikai used a key to open one of the classrooms and led everyone inside.
Xu Xikai said helplessly, “Since the legend doesn’t specify which classroom it is, only that we would see a student fall past the window in the east-facing classroom and smile at us, I just asked for permission for the classroom with the largest window.”
Lu Yang asked, “Where did these legends come from?”
Xu Xikai explained, “Some of them are tales that have been passed around for a long time. Some of them are rumors spread by word of mouth among the students. It’s nearly impossible to figure out the source.”
Seeing that he had no more questions, Xu Xikai turned toward everyone and said, “Let’s begin preparations. We only have twelve minutes left.”
Following that, they began to set up all sorts of camcorders. The club’s newcomer duo had nothing to do, so they chilled by the side.
“Ten minutes left. Please take your positions.”
“Five minutes left. Please remain quiet following this.”
As time passed second by second, everyone waited with bated breath.
At last came the final countdown. Ten, nine, eight…
It was twelve o’clock sharp.
Translator: Twelve? H-How? How can it be midnight already? I’m not ready to post this chapter! I haven’t finished translating it! And it’s not even a battle scene! Ughhhh! Um, oh! Right, this time machine here can fast forward to the future, and I’m sure I’ll already be done translating by then! Perfect!
Here we go!
Wait… not this again!
Jiang Ziya was of the opinion that nothing would happen, but as he finished counting to himself, a figure actually fell against the window, shattering the glass. He landed on the floor with glass shards falling about him.
This can’t be something only my left eye can see? Jiang Ziya wondered. He snapped his head toward Lu Yang, questioning if he was seeing this too.
Lu Yang moved forward and summoned Slay at the same time, a bright presence, yet none of the club members reacted to it. All eyes were glued on the body that had propelled itself through the window.
“Is he smiling?” someone shrieked. “If he smiles at us, we’ll die the next day, right?”
Jiang Ziya took in the sight of the man kneeling on the floor among the glass shards. He was breathing hard and definitely not smiling at all. He had delicate features, with his hair pulled behind him and a face that could woo all the girls. He looked familiar to Jiang Ziya, but he was also certain that he had never seen this person before.
Wait, I have! On the cover of Yu Shu’s latest book, the End of Dominion! Volume 6, fresh off the press. Readers have been waiting for years!
After learning that his neighbor was an author and that the illusory familiars were based off of characters she had created, Jiang Ziya had familiarized himself with all of her books. He never knew when she might summon another illusory familiar based off of some other character. One had to be ready.
When Jiang Ziya read the End of Dominion, he had thought Yu Shu to be quite vain. She had named an entire family after herself: Shuyu, Shujun, Shutian…
Meanwhile, their surname was Jiang, with the same pronunciation as his name but written with a different character. If he hadn’t met Yu Shu after the book was already published, he would have thought she was making fun of him!
Could this be her third illusory familiar? But wait, this person is thoroughly human… That doesn’t make sense! He’s a character from a book!
Lu Yang narrowed his eyes and called out, “Slay! Eliminate!”
“No! Lu Yang, that’s not a—!” Jiang Ziya shouted. He had told Lu Yang that he would help him see! Come on, Lu Yang!
But before Slay could slice into Jiang Shuyu and make all of his fangirls across the world cry buckets, Jiang Shuyu vanished into thin air before their eyes.
Lu Yang stared and turned to Jiang Ziya for an explanation.
Translator: Hah! Take that, Lu Yang! I won’t let you make the readers mad at me for getting Shuyu killed!
Jiang Ziya shrugged. “That was Jiang Shuyu.”
“And who in the world is Jiang Shuyu?” Lu Yang questioned.
“He’s a character from Yu Shu’s book.”
“That doesn’t make sense at all. Why was he here?”
Suddenly, Jiang Ziya’s phone chimed, and he looked down at the screen.
Translator wishes to add you as a friend.
Who in the world is this?
Jiang Ziya was curious, however, and so he accepted the friend request.
Translator: Hi. Did you know it’s April 1st?
Without a word, Jiang Ziya turned his phone’s screen to Lu Yang, who leaned over to read the message.
“Ooooh,” Lu Yang said. “Figures. Okay, I give up. I’ll come back and do the real chapter later in the month. I hope that Jiang Shuyu guy makes it back to his story.”
“I hope so too,” Jiang Ziya said. As a fellow Jiang, he wished Jiang Shuyu all the luck in the world.