In Virtual Reality 4 ☆ The Eternal Bus (END)

We got on the bus at 19:12.
I recall the time because as soon as I sat down, I began playing with my phone.
One of the people learning to drive with us was already on the bus…
I'm unsure what his name is; I didn't pay attention.”


“— His name is Wang Zhou Zhou.”


In the office, Shen Xi held a warm cup of water.
Before proceeding, she took a sip to moisten her throat.


“I see.
I have to thank him.
Wang Zhou Zhou boarded the bus first, followed by us and last was the other man learning to drive.
He must have came running since it was the last bus and he didn't want to miss it.
When he climbed aboard, he was gasping for breath..”


“Why did you girls get on the last bus so late?”


“Because we have our second driver's exam tomorrow.
Our instructor brought us in early to familiarize us with the procedure.
Because there were so many people present, it took us a while to finish.”


“The instructor didn't give you a lift?”


We didn't want to bother our instructor.
Seven o'clock isn't too late.
Qin Yue Qing and I live near Richmoor Bank.
We can take the Route 25 bus to get there.
We'll be home in just over 30 minutes.”


“I understand; please continue.”


Shen Xi inhaled deeply and slowly exhaled again.


The officer noticed this expression on her face and sensed she was going to reveal something significant.


Wang Zhou Zhou was not the first person to exit the bus.
Before him, the other man stopped the bus midway and disembarked.”


'Midway off the bus.'


The policewoman drew the point in her notebook.


“He's dead.” Qin Yue Qing, who sat next to Shen Xi, spoke up suddenly, her pale lips quivering.
“Soon after, we saw Wang Zhou Zhou react to something out the window.
That is when we also noticed the man who got off the bus midway.
He was stuck on the side of the bus.
Only his skin remained.”


Qin Yue Qing still wanted to vomit when she recalled that scene.


Shen Xi patted her hand, gesturing for her to take a break.


“Let me tell.” Shen Xi pursed her lips and swallowed her nausea as she reflected.


“There was no blood on the skin.
Also, no eyes or teeth.
It was like a resilient leather poster stuck firmly to the bus window.
His mouth kept opening and closing as if he was saying something.” When Shen Xi said this, she shook her head regretfully, “I'm sorry, I was too scared at the time to hear what he said.”


The policewoman's hand holding the pen paused as she looked at the girl.


The other party looked pale but was still trying to cooperate with the investigation.
She was even sorry when she couldn't give details.


“Please continue.”


“At that time, Qin Yue Qing and I were too scared and screamed.
But the moment I screamed out, I felt ……” Shen Xi lowered her voice and whispered, “a strong feeling of palpitations.”


“I had it too.” Qin Yue Qing added, whispering, “And it was freezing.”


'Palpitations and coldness.'


“Didn't Wang Zhou Zhou scream?” The policewoman suddenly asked, “He was so near to the human skin's face.
Didn't he have any reaction?”




Shen Xi had an odd look on her face.


“His mouth was covered by the other boy — he couldn't scream.”


Female police officer: “..?”


Qin Yue Qing whispered, “Didn't you guys see nail prints on Wang Zhou Zhou's face? I think that little brother almost tore off Wang Zhou Zhou's mouth.”


Wang Zhou Zhou, who was cooperating with the investigation in the office next door, sneezed.


The policewoman noted this and continued, “Do you know that boy?”


We thought at first he was a ghost too and didn't really dare look at him.” Shen Xi said, “But that little boy helped us several times afterwards, so I guess he wasn't expecting it when we screamed.”


When it came to this mysterious boy, Qin Yue Qing was a little bolder and talked more.


She said, “That little brother was pretty fierce.
After he heard us screaming, he instantly decided to open the bus window and tear down that human skin.”


“???” Policewoman: “With his bare hands…?”


Both girls nodded determinedly: “With his bare hands.”


Policewoman: “……
Okay, continue.”


“He seems familiar with the Eternal Bus and secretly reminds us of it.”


The policewoman resumed writing.


“When the driver was driving, he spoke in a low, soft voice, but after the bus stopped, he spoke at a normal volume.
When we got on, we first sat in the special double seat for people with special needs.
There weren't many people, so we sat there.
But an old lady later got on and stood behind us and kept staring.
Little brother told us to be courteous, so we changed seats from the special seat to one behind Wang Zhou Zhou.” Shen Xi admitted hesitantly, “I also felt a bit cold at my back at that time.”


Qin Yue Qing was stunned and added, “Me too.
I thought it was my illusion.”


'It was cold again…'


The officer paused for a moment before writing 'cold' and 'possibly a warning' next to it.


“Later, Wang Zhou Zhou questioned the boy, and he said: You can't get off midway or before your station.
Getting off midway will turn you into a human face, and if you get off early at the station, you might get stuck at the station.
To return to the real world, you have to continue riding the Eternity Bus all the way to the station where you really wanted to get off in the first place.
That little brother asked the driver when the bus would stop at Rising Signs Mansion.
I guess that should be a rule too.” Shen Xi said, “After asking, the electronic announcement in the middle broadcasted Riverside Station six times.
Wang Zhou Zhou and the hoodie boy got off at the Zhi Xing Building.
We wanted to get off too, but the boy in the hoody reminded us it was best not to get off early, so we sat down and asked the driver for our stop.
The driver told us there were two more stops.
Qin Yue Qing and I got off at Richmoor Bank Station.
Still, before we did, the electronic broadcast repeated Rising Signs Building one more time, even though there was a different stop between Rising Signs Building and Richmoor Bank Station.
I think it was called…
Lok Junction Stop or something.
You know what happened later—we got off.


Shen Xi laughed bitterly, “Luckily, I trusted Wang Zhou Zhou and the other boy; otherwise, Qin Yue Qing and I might not have made it back.”




Wang Zhou Zhou's transcript was roughly the same as Shen Xi's and Qin Yue Qing's.
At most, he added some additional details with strong personal emotions.


For example, the men that sat in the backseat looked at each other fiercely.
The social animal that kept turning its back on them may or may not have a face.
The old man may have a human head in a black bag by his feet.


Male officer: “……”


The kid sure liked to speculate.


But amid Wang Zhou Zhou's string of detailed narrations, the male officer instantly caught the key point.


“Are you saying that the boy beside you helped you?”


Wang Zhou Zhou gave a nod.


“He caught my eye when he first got on the bus.
This brother was wearing a pink hoodie and looked flamboyant.
He skipped all the empty seats and instead sat next to me.
But thanks to it, I am still alive.
If he hadn't stopped me, I probably would have tried to get off like the other man and met a similar end.”


The male officer nodded and continued, “Did he have any characteristics?”




Wang Zhou Zhou thought carefully and held out his hand to gesture.


“That brother looks a bit shorter than me, about 1,75 meters (5'7″) or so, less than 1,8 meters (5'8”).
He had a phone in his hand.
He kept looking at it for some time, but I didn't peek to see.
As for his face, he was good-looking at a glance, but his eyes looked pretty intimidating.
Nothing else stood out.” Wang Zhou Zhou stammered: “But that brother's eyes are really scary.
When I tried to stand up, he stared at me, my legs turned to mush, and I had to sit back down.
I didn't dare to look at him closely afterwards, but if I saw him again, I would recognize him.”




Inside Jiang City's Bizarre and Mysterious Event Investigation Division conference room.


About twenty people were sitting inside, each with a different expression.
They had just read the freshly made statements and held them in their hands.


The sophisticated-looking male officer spoke first: “The survivor's transcript of this 'Eternal Bus' incident is in front of you.
Please take a look and express your opinions.”


The people in the conference room flipped through the pages again.
After organizing their words, they started discussing.


About half an hour passed before the discussion was called to a halt.


“Lieutenant Li (李), I think we should start with the boy in the pink hoodie.” Someone suggested, “After all, he helped Wang Zhou Zhou, Shen Xi and Qin Yue Qing, which shows that he deeply understands the supernatural.
If we're lucky, he might know something about the origins of the Spirit Shenanigans that we don't.”


The male officer, also known as Lieutenant Li, nodded.
“I have also considered what you said.
However, neither of the survivors are familiar with him.
Under the strong pressure of fear and stress, the impression of the mysterious man in their minds is distorted by personal emotions.
Wang Zhou Zhou only remembered that the other party had frightening eyes.
Shen Xi and Qin Yue Qiang only had the impression that he was a handsome boy.
But none of them could describe any specific facial features to draw a portrait.
We can only pay more attention to the investigation.”


The female officer in charge of Shen Xi and Qin Yue Qing's transcripts looked at the information in her hands and speculated, “But from Shen Xi and Qin Yue Qing's descriptions, it seems that this mysterious man was quite friendly to them.
The other party hinted at how they survived the mystery through a series of body movements and words.
We can tentatively classify the mystery man as a friendly faction.”


“Inspector Wang, that's a bit hasty, isn't it?” Someone offered a different opinion, “Just by virtue of this one shenanigan that was described through the mouths of the survivors? You can't possibly know how many filters the survivors would apply to the people who helped them, can you? Besides, Wang Zhou Zhou said he got off the bus with the hoodie, but the station surveillance didn't see anyone other than him get off.
For that alone, we can guess the other person is probably not human.”


Wang Ju (王菊) frowned, “I'm just guessing with the given evidence.”


“Okay.” Lieutenant Li halted the debate, saying, “Little Wang is just giving ideas.
It's good for everyone to have more ideas about the shenanigans.”


He pondered for a long time, then said to Wang Ju, “Little Wang, go and arrange for Wang Zhou Zhou to meet with Shen Xi and Qin Yue Qing and have He Du (何都) work with you to mark out as many notes as possible about the misadventure into the 'Eternal Bus'.
Show me the summary after you have finished.
By the way, have the comrades who monitor the Internet pay more attention to see if there are any signs of bizarre and unexplainable incidents emerging.
The comrades in the other operations sections should go out more often when they have time.
Look for patterns from previous Spirit shenanigans.
That's it, all right, everyone take action.”


——— Translators Notes ———


Lieutenant Li

李: Li = plum


Wang Ju/Inspector Wang

王菊: Wang = king or monarch / best or strongest of its type / grand / great, Ju = chrysanthemum… King of Assholes? XD In BL novels chrysanthemum is usually a synonymy for the back door.


He Du

何都: He = what / how / why / which / carry; Du = all / both / entirely / (used for emphasis) even / already / (not) at all / capital city / metropolis

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