Chapter 22 Obituary

Fatty dared not speak any more. The three of us stopped moving and listened carefully to the voice on the satellite phone.

After saying “it’s too dark”, the voice paused for a moment and a bunch of rhythmic white noise could be heard, as if the speaker was moving. Soon, I heard the white noise stop and then there was a string of strange sounds.

These sounds were very similar to the sound of the wind or the sound of a door being bolted shut, but I thought that they sounded kind of like a human whimper. Or maybe it was the stretched-out sound of someone weeping.

The sound lasted for about three minutes before the white noise started up again. But it was shorter this time, and then the voice spoke again.

This time, he began to say several names: “Bai Jinyou, Laxi Dongribu, Wang Shixi, Li Xiangdong.”

I frowned. I didn’t know if these four names were actually right since I was just going off of what I could hear, but I made sure to remember them anyways since he had started to list them off.

Hearing the names of these strangers on the satellite phone was almost like we were listening to someone reading an obituary. It was very strange and terrifying.

After saying those four names, the satellite phone went silent. Fatty couldn’t wait any longer and gestured at me, telling me to hurry up and analyze the situation.

First of all, I was sure that this was a man, but I couldn’t tell whether he was talking to himself or other people.

But if he was talking to other people around him, then they weren’t responding to him.

Why would he want to recite people’s names? Was he sane? I didn’t think so.

There was another long string of white noise, followed by a long silence. The only sound we could hear now was the wind blowing through the air. Fatty was just about to speak when the voice suddenly appeared again.

The voice continued to say even more names, but there were so many of them that I couldn’t remember them all.

He didn’t repeat them, so these voices went in one ear and out the other. He probably listed out six or seven more names before his voice disappeared again.

Fatty was getting a little impatient, but Poker-Face had already come over and forced him to put the satellite phone down. As a result, he had to try his best to endure not answering.

Fatty made a few gestures, which meant that if there was a chance to communicate now and we didn’t take it, then we may not have the opportunity later. It would just be better to ask this person directly.

Poker-Face shook his head. I actually wanted to respond as well since the words were so distorted now that I couldn’t make any sense of them, but Poker-Face was very determined.

Then, we heard the sound of a whimper mixed in with the white noise. At this time, I was almost certain that someone was crying.

After that, the person started talking again, but he was still just listing names.

Only this time, he said one name in particular.

“Wu Xie.”

I stared blankly for a moment, but at this time, I suddenly saw that there was a fourth person among us. He appeared behind Fatty and was looking at me from over Fatty’s shoulder.

I swear up and down that he was squatting in a strange position. His face was very dark—abnormally so—and his two eyes were bright, just like an animal’s eyes at night.

I was so scared that I fell backwards, but when I looked up again, the man was gone. Fatty was startled by my sudden movement and wanted to ask what I was doing, but I quickly stood up, picked up my knife from the side, and inserted it into the belt at my waist. Then I started looking everywhere for that person.

But within the halo of light cast by the bonfire, there wasn’t a single person to be found.

I was panicked, full of doubt, and gasping for breath as I recalled the last few minutes. I was absolutely certain that a man had suddenly appeared at that time. But in the few seconds when I had panicked and fell, he disappeared just as quickly as he had arrived. It was so fast, in fact, that I didn’t even see his face clearly. All I saw was that he was abnormally dark.

Fatty wanted to ask me what was going on, but Poker-Face put his hand on his arm to stop him, silently asking him not to make a sound. I saw that Poker-Face’s expression was very serious, so I tried my best to calm myself down.

What was that just now? If it appeared like that, is it a ghost?

I had heard that it was very easy to encounter paranormal phenomena on the grasslands. In fact, one of my friends had gone to the grasslands to take photos for a research project. One night, seven people were playing Zha Jin Hua in the yurt (1) to pass the time. But as they were playing, the dealer couldn’t shake the feeling that the number of cards left over was wrong. After the game was over, everyone returned the cards to him so that he could reshuffle them. As he did so, he suddenly realized that he had dealt out eight hands just now.

But there were only seven people playing, so why did he deal for eight? After thinking about it carefully, he remembered that there had always been an inconspicuous local who played together with them. But as he looked for this person now, he couldn’t find them at all.

What I found most strange at this time was that things were seriously wrong on this grassland. It was only our first day since we had set off and we had already encountered something strange again.

I looked at the darkness around me and suddenly felt that the grassland was alive. No, it wasn’t the grassland that was alive, but the darkness. It was looking at me, ready to tease us.

It was a very strange feeling. I couldn’t sense anything in the darkness around me, but I felt that something was wrong with the darkness as a whole.

The satellite phone was silent for a while and then the white noise appeared again. The same man came on again and said the same words from before, “It’s so dark.” This time, his tone had changed and suddenly became a little more fierce.

Poker-Face immediately turned the satellite phone off. Fatty was twice as confused as before, but at this time, I heard a voice come from the darkness outside of our bonfire’s light, “It’s too dark here.”

It wasn’t from the satellite phone, but from the darkness nearby. Then we heard the white noise again. It was also coming from the darkness, as if a satellite phone was over there.

All three of us immediately looked in that direction. I didn’t even have time to react before Poker-Face was already walking over there.

<Chapter 21><Table of Contents><Chapter 23>


TN Notes:

(1) Zha Jin Hua is a card game. Kind of sounds like poker to me. Info here. A yurt is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt. Info here, but if you’ve seen “Long Ballad”, it’s what the Ashile tribe lives in.


Probably my top reaction meme for DMBJ:


11 thoughts on “Chapter 22 Obituary

  1. wah 😮 thank you for the chapter! i’m so curious about what’s gonna happen next 🧐 who or what did Wu Xie see, and why was his names called?


  2. honestly when u started following the series I so wanted to read the book but what I was getting were non translated versions…..thank you@merebear226… You are simply awesome. 👍

    Liked by 1 person



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