I didn’t know what Poker-Face meant by that sentence, but I didn’t have time to ponder it as I reflexively answered the phone.
“Sorry,” I said to the person on the opposite end, “We didn’t get to finish our conversation yesterday. I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you again.”
But as it turned out, I didn’t hear the words I had been expecting to hear. Shen Qianjue was a very polite person, so she should have immediately said that it didn’t matter. But I didn’t hear those words at all. Instead, I heard the sound of someone taking a deep breath and then she said, “Oh my God, it’s finally a person talking.”
I was stunned for a moment before I managed to ask, “What’s wrong?”
It’s true that I didn’t get to finish talking to you yesterday, but do you really have to go so far as to scold me for not being human?
“What happened to you?” Shen Qianjue asked. At the same time, I heard another woman’s voice behind her say, “Don’t ask any more questions. It has nothing to do with you.”
“It’s a senior. You have to be a little more polite,” I heard Shen Qianjue say to the woman behind her.
“I didn’t get to finish hearing your story yesterday,” I replied. “That’s why I wanted to call you back today. Nothing happened.” I didn’t want to tell her about everything that had happened last night.
“Between yesterday’s phone call and when you picked up just now, your satellite phone called us more than sixty times,” Shen Qianjue said. “Every time we answered, there was a terrible voice that kept talking on the other end.”
I paused, “Someone called you back?”
“There was no satellite, so I don’t know how they managed to call us. It’s too scary. Plus, what the voice was saying was also very strange.”
I looked at the two beside me and asked, “What did it say? Whose voice was it?”
“I couldn’t tell, but it definitely wasn’t you. It also ignored what I had to say and just kept talking.” Shen Qianjue took a deep breath, “He kept telling us to go back to the grassland. I recorded it. I’ll play it for you now.”
I heard the sounds of Shen Qianjue turning around, and after a short pause, she seemed to start playing the recording with her cell phone.
I heard a very low, hoarse man’s voice come through the satellite phone’s speaker. He seemed to be talking to himself and was saying, “Come back. Come to the Sea of Black Lights.” He just kept repeating those words over and over without any changes.
I turned the volume up and looked at Fatty in disbelief. After listening for a few minutes, Fatty immediately understood and said, “This grassland is evil. It seduces people into coming here and then fucking eats them.”
“Is it the same man from last night?” I asked him.
Fatty shook his head, “It’s another one. How many people have died here?” He looked around, almost as if he felt like countless souls were wandering the area.
Shen Qianjue turned off the recording and said, “Senior, there must be something going on with you there. You should just come back like we did.”
I sighed. If we go back, then what about Xiao Hua?
“To be on the safe side, block this number after today’s call is finished,” I said to her. “Don’t answer such calls again. Can you play that recording one more time so that I can record it?”
Shen Qianjue played it again and I recorded it on my cell phone before handing it to Fatty. Shen Qianjue once again suggested that I come back.
I looked at the grassland all around me. The sun was shining, but I was feeling so much fear in broad daylight that it began to make me breathless. I had never felt such a strong sense of strangeness before. It was almost as if all of the grass here was laughing at me.
“Let’s continue with what we were talking about yesterday,” I said to Shen Qianjue. “If you can tell us the rest of what happened, it will be a huge help.”
Shen Qianjue sighed, and I heard the woman behind her say, “I told you. All of these people will die on that grassland, so what’s the point in talking to the dead?”
“I’m sorry,” Shen Qianjue said to me. “My friend isn’t very normal. I’ll tell you all the details.”
I turned the volume up and listened to Shen Qianjue continue yesterday’s narrative as our horses walked on.
After she retreated to the edge of the coffin and saw the information on it, she immediately knew that there wasn’t a human inside of it.
After grave-robbing for so long, we had come across a lot of so-called monster coffins. The ones buried in these coffins weren’t people, but animals. There were also many strange things that we had never seen before. All of these things were collectively called “monsters”. But as it turned out, none of these things were in this coffin. Instead, the thing in it was even more bizarre and strange.
When she looked at what was written on the coffin, she was completely blindsided and didn’t believe it at all.
The thing buried in this coffin turned out to be a dish, but the ingredients in this dish were very special. As soon as Shen Qianjue saw it, she immediately wanted to vomit.
She began to realize that this octagonal coffin wasn’t actually a coffin, but a food box that was meant to preserve an extremely complex and cruel dish.
The information said that this dish was called “Wanshi Liuxia” (1) and it needed to be stored underground for thousands of years before achieving its best flavor. The “food box” was full of children and a type of strange bird. The picture was indescribable, but when this food box was opened, the contents would surely be horrible.
(1) Can mean something like “Rose-tinted clouds at sunrise/sunset drifting through the ages”.
Not sure if you all saw or would be interested in it, but there’s a Pingxie exchange on twitter that some fans have set up. The link is here. Looks like you can sign up until the 28th.