Song Yuelin, male, 35 years old, was a food blogger on a live streaming website by profession.
A week ago, he was invited by some friends to go on holiday at Quanzhuang hotel.


The hotel was located next to a primeval forest, and on a whim, they decided to go camping in the forest for two nights.
Unexpectedly, they encountered something strange soon after they entered.


“There were seven of us in total, and we drove.
All my friends, both men and women, make money from the internet.
Although we perform quite well in our respective fields, we have little survival experience in camping in the wild.” Song Yuelin said.


Because there was little wilderness survival experience, everyone just wanted to come over and have some fun, take pictures, and experience the feeling of relaxation.
They treasured their lives, so although they rushed in, they did not drive straight in.


The group stopped when they realised that the further in they got and they soon couldn’t drive any further.


They set off in the morning, took photos and chatted on the way.
In addition, the car was slow so they reached their current location at about 5pm.


“We were thinking of camping for two nights, sleeping next to the car on the first night and on the second night, move a bit deeper to find a wide spot to pitch a tent, then get up and leave early on the third day.
It never occurred to us that we would encounter an accident before we could even get the tent set up.”


It was almost evening and the forest was so thick that the light was much dimmer.
Even the temperature was a little cooler.


Before the sun had even fully set, most of the forest was already dark, leaving only a few unique angles where the fiery red sunlight passed through the branches and leaves, creating an eerie red glow.


Between the interplay of the black and red shadows, one curious friend stepped forward to check out the scene, weaving in and out of the dim darkness and light, and when he reached a certain critical point, his footsteps suddenly stopped and he never moved again.


Song Yuelin seemed to have fallen into memory: “There were seven people in the car.
Four of them were sorting their things and taking their personal belongings down from the car, while one of the make-up artists and I prepared dinner for everyone.”


“The name of the guy who had the accident was Lu Liang, you would know him if you follow the involved professions, he is a very well known photographer.”


“The interplay of light and shadow in the forest caught Lu Liang's interest and he went up with his camera, presumably to see what was going on and take a picture along the way.
But he never came back.”


Ji Mingxia heard the words and asked, “Never came back, what does that mean?”


“His throat was slit from where he stood.
His body was drenched in his own blood and he was clutching the camera, dead.” Song Yuelin lowered his voice and said gloomily.


Suddenly, he glanced towards the ground, “See this red grass, it's stained red by the blood running down his body.”


Ji Mingxia was listening as he walked.
On hearing Song Yuelin's words, he looked down and realised that he had almost stepped on the red grass.


Ji Mingxia was startled and he stepped back a little, jumping to Yu Ning's side.


Yu Ning naturally stretched out his hand and held Ji Mingxia in place.


As he leaned against Yu Ning, Ji Mingxia poked his head out and bent down to check out the grass.


After so many days, the blood on the grass had long since disappeared, but upon closer inspection, one could indeed see that the soil in this area was considerably darker than the ones next to it.


The soil that had absorbed the blood was a deep maroon colour, and the weeds growing on top of the soil were greener and more vibrant than elsewhere.


“There were no signs when Lu Liang had his accident.
The temperature didn't change, no ghosts appeared around him, not even a suspicious sound was made.
He just died without a sound, and by the time we realised something was wrong with him, his body was almost cold.” Song Yuelin said.


They were all ordinary people living in a peaceful era.
Where had they ever seen a dead person with their own eyes? Everyone present was stunned, while Song Yuelin, who was considered the more calm one, took out his mobile phone and called the police.


It was then that he realized his mobile phone had lost its signal.


Not only him, but everyone else's mobile phones had suddenly been disconnected, and they were completely unable to contact the outside world.


With someone dead and no mobile phone signal, everyone panicked and their first reaction was to flee this bizarre area.


Not bothering to pack their bags and food, the six remaining people scrambled into the car and drove away.


However, something even more bizarre happened.
There was only one way back, and if they followed the road straight, they would definitely be able to return to the vicinity of Quanzhuang hotel.


But they drove around for almost three hours, whether going straight or weaving through the woods haphazardly, they always ended up back at the same place, near Lu Liang.


The dead Lu Liang stood there in silence, like an eerie signpost or ghost, watching coldly as they broke down and cried.


“We planned to call the police when we got out, and wait for the police to come and dispose of Lu Liang's body, but we didn't expect to be trapped in here and unable to leave.
It wasn’t right for Lu Liang to remain standing there so after some discussion, we decided to bury him and hope that he will bless us with safety…” said Song Yuelin.


Lu Liang had died so strangely that the girls didn't dare to look at him, let alone touch his body.
In the end, Song Yuelin mobilized two other men to bury him together.


“Although we were all internet celebrities, we only specialise in our area of expertise.
We were so frightened having come across such a thing and we couldn't calm down.
My brain was also in chaos and the only thing I could think of was helping to bury Lu Liang.
I don't know which switch I pressed when I touched his camera as the screen suddenly came on, and I happened to see the last photo that Lu Liang had taken before he died.”


At this point, Song Yuelin took out his mobile phone, opened a photo and handed it to Ji Mingxia.


Ji Mingxia immediately took it and looked at it together with Yu Ning.


This photo was obviously taken by Song Yuelin, who had aimed at the camera screen.
Although the pixels were not high, it was possible to see the picture clearly.


In the darkness of the forest, there was a dark shadow in the interplay of light and shadow.


This shadow maintained the shape of a human, but both its head and limbs were longer than those of an ordinary human.


It stood with its knees slightly bent and its arms and legs were thin.
It looked like a human, but somewhat like a humanoid insect.


A chill went down Ji Mingxia’s back as he looked at this picture, and a feeling of discomfort rose up in his heart.


It was because this shadow looked very similar to Lin Siyun's ghost.


‘As expected, the painting style of the ghosts created by the pair of rings is so consistent …’


After handing out the photo, Song Yuelin carefully observed Ji Mingxia and Yu Ning’s reactions.


Yu Ning still had no expression, while Ji Mingxia looked quite frightened.


After a few moments together, Song Yuelin had roughly seen through the personalities of both Ji Mingxia and Yu Ning in general.
Although Yu Ning’s lack of interest was disheartening, at least Ji Mingxia was normal.


Seeing Ji Mingxia staring at the photo, Song Yuelin said to him, “We never suspected that Lu Liang died at the hands of someone.
After all, there were so many people present and he died so silently, ordinary people simply couldn't do it.
After the ghost hitting the wall, coupled with this photo, we were sure that it must have been the work of a ghost.”


With no way to escape and no way to contact the outside world, the six remaining people had no choice but to gather together and immediately alert each other to any movement.


They had heard many stories about ghosts and monsters since they were children.
They knew that such things came out in the dead of night, so all six were prepared for a tough battle at night.


That night, none of the six slept well.
They were all prepared for another ghost encounter, so no one dared to sleep at all.


The strange thing was that the first night passed without a hitch.


Aside from Lu Liang, who died at the beginning, the rest of the group was intact and no one else encountered any accident.


As soon as the next day dawned, the six looked for a way out, but just like the first day, they found nothing.


The whole day passed by like this, and in a blink of an eye, night was coming.
By that time, Song Yuelin and the others had not slept for 24 hours and they were all sleepy.


Everyone took turns on guard duty while waiting for the darkness to come.
Unexpectedly, an accident happened once again.


“We were so sleepy that we finally decided to take shifts for the sake of safety.
Two people would stand guard and shifts changed every two hours.
I remember that it was around five o'clock and Zhou Li and I had been on duty for two hours.
We were so tired that we were glad it was time to change shifts with Shi Wei and Meng.”


“As a result, I had just returned to the car to lie down when I heard Meng Xinyi's screams from outside ……”


Ji Mingxia asked appropriately, “Shi Wei died?”


Song Yuelin turned his head to look at Ji Mingxia and Yu Ning: “That's right.
Shi Wei and Meng Xinyi both saw the ghost, but Shi Wei died and Meng Xinyi escaped.
She survived because Shi Wei was standing outside the car while she had gone behind a tree trunk to change her clothes.”


“The ghost appeared and found Shi Wei when it walked around the car, cutting his throat on the spot.
Meng Xingyi was so scared that she didn't dare let out a scream until the ghost had disappeared.”


Ji Mingxia's brain quickly sorted through the information provided and carefully organized his words, “The ghost appeared, went straight for someone and left after killing one person? In addition, it came out at around five o'clock in the evening for two days in a row.
It was calm and safe at night, which means that the ghost appears at a fixed time and only kills one person a day?”


Song Yuelin was planning to take his time to explain the situation, but to his surprise, Ji Mingxia quickly summed up the key information after hearing it.


He looked at Ji Mingxia in surprise and said, “I didn't expect you to be so smart! We didn't notice this pattern until the third day….”


Ji Mingxia couldn't help but think internally: I'm just summarizing.
You haven’t seen Yu Ning's reasoning, citing every clue and reverse thinking.
Even the clever Tong Jing died at Yu Ning’s yet he solely relied on his smart brain ah.


But Ji Mingxia doesn't trust Song Yuelin, so naturally he won't reveal their cards.


To not show any flaws, he didn't look at Yu Ning the whole time and didn't exchange information with him.


So on hearing Song Yuelin's praise, Ji Mingxia smiled a little and said, “I listened to your narrative.
The information itself had already been simplified and refined, which is why I was able to summarise it quickly.
You guys are the parties involved so it was normal for you to receive a big psychological shock and not be able to relax your mind for a while.”


Song Yuelin nodded and agreed with Ji Mingxia's words, “Everyone thought that ghosts only come out at night, however ……
I wonder if you guys have heard of “the time of the devil”?”


This was not a new point of knowledge as Ji Mingxia had seen it when reading novels.
He remembered it immediately Song Yuelin mentioned it, “At dusk, it is the time between day and night, and there are some people who believe that this is the time when people and ghosts coexist, and is also known as the most dangerous time?”


Song Yuelin didn't expect Ji Mingxia to know much and he gave up trying to explain, “That's right, from the third day onwards, we saw through the ghosts' routine.
We began to hide in a targeted manner and soon found that this approach was effective.”


“The ghost would come at around five o’clock to kill people, and as long as it didn't find us, we could escape.
It looked like a horror prank game since we were trapped in a specific area and were completely isolated from the world because our mobile phones lost their signal.”


“So I called it: the game of hide-and-seek.”

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