Chapter 5: Ghost?
Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The statement landed in Lily’s and Anna’s ears like thunder.
It also shocked Finch so that he practically forgot to breathe.
She had already died long ago… What did that mean? Then what was the Ceci that they had seen?
A chill crept up along his spine. Everyone had heard legends of ghosts before, but hearing them was merely hearing them, and everyone knew that they weren’t real. But everything that had happened tonight, including Zheng ZhiRui’s ferocious expression, definitely didn’t seem like a joke.
Lily’s face was ashen, and after a while, she smiled stiffly. “Mr. Zheng, don’t joke around… How could Ceci have already died? No, she died just now, she was clearly fine before…”
Ceci had had blood, flesh, could talk, could smile, and they had even held hands. Skin to skin contact like that meant that she definitely wasn’t a ghost!
Ghosts should be cold or completely intangible; wasn’t that what the legends all said? They had interacted all night, so she could guarantee that Ceci had been a normal, living person! And there were so many people on the cruise, so if something was wrong with Ceci, then it would’ve been discovered earlier. If even Ceci could be called a ghost, then what was the difference between humans and ghosts?
Anna added shakily, “Exactly. How could Ceci have already died long ago, she was just killed by someone! Right, she even said that you invited her. She said that you favored her and was planning to introduce her to some important people… Last time when we brought her, didn’t you let her stay the night?”
It was precisely because of that that the two of them hadn’t been suspicious of how Ceci had come; they thought that Ceci had already won Zheng ZhiRui’s favor.
Unexpectedly, when Zheng ZhiRui heard this, his eyes suddenly became bloodshot and his expression became even more terrible. He even seemed to be a bit scared, and he said, “That’s what she told you two?”
They nodded and said, “So what you said just then was to scare us, right?”
Scare you? You think you’re worth scaring, worth me joking with you, and at this time?!
Zheng ZhiRui was nearly about to roar at them, as they had practically crushed the last straw of his reason. But since such an unbelievable thing had happened, what wasn’t possible?!
In his fear, Zheng ZhiRui seemed to think of something, and he hurriedly asked a bodyguard, “Where’s Cesar? Where did he go, go find him, quick…”
The bodyguard said, “Mr. Yu went to chase down the murderer.”
Zheng ZhiRui became even more anxious at this. “Then quickly——” He was about to order his bodyguards to go find Cesar, but he suddenly paused, and his expression changed. After a while, he sighed, “Nevermind.”
The bodyguard said hesitantly, “You don’t want us to go find Mr. Yu? He went out to chase the murderer, so he probably still doesn’t know there’s something wrong with the victim, and it’s likely that he’ll encounter danger.”
Although the bodyguard was scared, he still maintained a certain level of professionalism. He knew that the situation was beyond their imagination, and if something really was wrong with Ceci, then everything before might be a scheme, so it was necessary to inform Cesar.
Zheng ZhiRui’s eyes flashed. “No need. He’s already left for so long, so it’ll be hard for you to catch up to him now. Also, he can definitely take care of the murderer! Talking about that is useless, so it’d be better to wait for him to return first.”
The bodyguard wanted to say more but he stopped himself. The chef had worked on the ship for many years, and could be considered as Zheng ZhiRui’s confidant. It didn’t make sense for the chef to murder people in public, so the situation was very illogical.
But from start to finish, Zheng ZhiRui hadn’t asked why the chef would kill people. Since he hadn’t asked, then maybe it was because he already knew the reason and didn’t want to tell what he knew to Cesar, which clearly meant that Zheng ZhiRui was hiding something.
It was a pity that these weren’t questions he could ask as a subordinate.
Zheng ZhiRui’s gaze swept viciously over Lily and Anna, and he said coldly, “You two know what you can say and cannot say when you go back, right?”
The two girls were frightened and nodded dazedly.
When he saw that Zheng ZhiRui and the others had stopped talking and were about to go back, Finch left quickly and quietly. As soon as he stepped into the hall, he avoided Zheng ZhiRui and the others.
His heart was racing.
Just then, Zheng ZhiRui had revealed a lot of information.
He had said that Ceci had died long ago, but why was he so sure that Ceci had already died? The answer didn’t seem to be too hard to guess…
Assuming that that was all true, then the Ceci he had met most likely wasn’t a person. If she wasn’t a person, then why would she die again? What was the purpose? And it just happened so that the murderer was seen by people and lured Cesar away.
Everything seemed to have been planned out carefully.
Perhaps this was a trap targeted towards Cesar, and its purpose was to lure him away. And Zheng ZhiRui, who knew the truth, didn’t plan to tell Cesar any of this. Instead, he continued to hide the truth, making Cesar face the unknown dangers by himself.
Then where had Cesar gone to?
What had he encountered?
Finch’s mind was in a turmoil, and he gritted his teeth. He slipped out of the door when no one was looking; he had to go tell Cesar these things.
The lighting in the corridor outside was very dim, and there was no one else there.
Finch walked for a long while, and the quiet corridors contained only the sound of his footsteps. The perfectly straight corridors looked about the same, and it was like an endless maze. He suddenly stopped.
Just then, because of the shock of the sudden information, he had ran out impulsively, but now… he was so scared!
There was a sudden boom in front of him, and it seemed that the gales outside the ship had slammed close a door or a window. Finch was startled, and he regretted coming out…
Ah, I’m just a weak young person, why did I come out?
Impulse really is the devil…
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. Don’t be scared, don’t be scared, don’t be scared. Even if Ceci really is a ghost and killed people, dismembered them, and lied, she’s still a nice young lady!
At least we’re friends and have added each other on WeChat!
Finch consoled himself as he took out his phone with a trembling hand and opened a short video he had downloaded when he was bored before. He turned the volume up to the maximum, and sounds of laughter filled the empty, gloomy corridor:
“Hahahahaha~~you can’t catch me~~you can’t do anything, I’m just this awesome, hahahahaha~~~~”
Finch put the video on loop, and it was almost better than repeating mantras.
He drew a deep breath and started walking again as he shouted, “Cesar——”
It was very quiet everywhere, the only sounds were his background music and him shouting “Cesar.” If Cesar was still alive… then he should definitely be able to hear him.
Unfortunately, the floor had been silent the entire time, and there was no response.
Finch walked down the stairs and continued searching in the lower floor. He shouted as he walked, as well as observed his surroundings so that if something happened, he could escape quickly.
As Cesar still hadn’t responded, Finch kept feeling more anxious and quickened his pace. When he passed a tightly shut door, a hand abruptly pulled him in! Immediately after, he was pressed against the wall!
“Ahhhhh! Ahhhhhhh!” Finch widened his eyes and stared open-mouthed at the person in front of him.
Brother, will you die if you greet someone before acting? You’re going to scare someone to death like this, okay?!
But complaining was only complaining, and when he saw Cesar, Finch relaxed and said angrily, “You——”
But before he could finish, Cesar suddenly came closer and looked at Finch with his keen eyes with ink-like pupils. He seemed to be faintly suppressing anger as he said in a low voice, “Didn’t I tell you to stay there?”
Finch thought, You’re still in the mood to think about that? Weren’t you just saying it offhandedly? I didn’t even say I would listen for sure. The important thing right now is that there very likely is a ghost on this ship, and you don’t know about it!
“I came to tell you something, it’s really important!” Finch didn’t reply to Cesar’s question and said in one breath, “Just then I eavesdropped on Zheng ZhiRui’s conversation, he was really shocked about Ceci’s death, and he said that Ceci had actually died long ago! And he seemed to be hiding something from you, you need to be careful, this likely is a trap to purposely lure you out!”
Cesar was silent.
After saying this, Finch took a deep breath and continued, “There’s definitely something fishy about Zheng ZhiRui, but no matter if there really is a ghost or not, you need to be careful and don’t get tricked!”
Cesar was unmoving as he looked at Finch. After a while, a hint of an almost imperceptible, complicated emotion appeared in the depths of his eyes, as if he was trying very hard to suppress something. He asked, “You… came just to tell me this?”
Finch nodded and thought, Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come even if someone beat me to death. “Of course, why would I come down for no reason?! Do you think I want to die?”
Suddenly, Cesar laughed.
The laugh frightened Finch so much he almost thought Cesar had been possessed.
The entire night, Cesar had radiated a cold aura, and was still unsmiling even when he chatted with other people. It was as if he had stuck the six words, ‘I’m not to be trifled with,’ on his forehead; he was so cold that Finch almost forgot that he could laugh…
But please, brother, is now the time to be laughing? Are my actions very funny to you?
Cesar looked at Finch’s melancholic expression, and his gaze landed on Finch’s messy hair, which was now partially covering his eyes, probably because he had run urgently and had been frightened just then. His face was also a bit pale, probably from the fright…
Cesar thought, Even you know that coming down here is dangerous…
But you still came.
Or perhaps, just like how you’re here tonight, some things are simply unavoidable…
Cesar’s lips twitched, and he slowly wiped away the emotion from his eyes. He said lightly, “I already know.”
“You know… what? You already know?!” Finch looked at Cesar, dumbfounded.
If you know, then why would I come here? I’m so mad!
At this time, thumping sounds came from inside a room, as if someone was chopping something… it made the hairs on the back of Finch’s neck rise.
Only now did Finch notice that they were in a spacious room that looked like a private room, and there was a reception room next to it which had coffee tables and sofas scattered in it. And the thumping came from the room of which the door had been tightly shut…
Finch was speechless.
He didn’t even want to bother about how Cesar knew; his legs felt pretty weak now.
Cesar grabbed Finch’s wrist, and the warmth from the palm of his hand was transferred to Finch, and it seemed to give him stability and strength.
Actually, that was quite reasonable; in dangerous situations, if everyone panicked, then the panic can very easily turn to fear. Fear is contagious, but if someone could, in a similar way, remain calm and steady, as well as console other people, then that would make people not as scared and feel that it wasn’t such a big deal. If the sky collapsed, tall people could hold it up; there was nothing to worry about.
Cesar was one of those people that could calm people down and give them strength, making them feel as if there was nothing he couldn’t fix.
Cesar said calmly, “I already found the chef.”
Finch had also calmed down slightly, but his voice was still hoarse, “Is that so…”
Cesar nodded and looked at the tightly closed door, “He’s in there.”
Finch was speechless.
When Cesar saw that his soul seemed to fly out of his body, he felt a bit sympathetic but also amused. He suppressed the urge to quirk up the corner of his lips. He lowered his head and came closer to Finch and said in a magnetic voice, “The things you see next might be a bit beyond your cognition. Are you ready?”
Finch said loudly and expressionlessly, “No.”
A small chuckle escaped from Cesar’s throat and he paused, “Really?”
“…Never mind, I’ll just take a look.”
Finch had already come here, and had already seen such a scary scene, so what else could he not dare to see? Not knowing was the scariest! Today, if he didn’t understand what it was, then he was scared that he would have nightmares every night, and that his own mind could scare him to death.
Of course, he would probably regret this decision very quickly.
Cesar looked levelly at him and seemed to finally make a decision… He didn’t speak and silently held Finch’s hand as he pushed open the door.
The first thing that entered Finch’s vision was a familiar face.
Finch had seen the face tonight several times already.
By his feet, a girl smiled at him, and there were even sweet dimples on her cheeks; she looked like she was greeting him.
In reality, just this wasn’t enough to frighten Finch; after all, he had seen the exact same head just then, in the restroom upstairs. That time, her head had also rolled to the doorway and stared at him. He had been scared so much he became numb.
But this time…
Finch took a deep breath. It turned out that Zheng ZhiRui was right; she indeed had died already, because a living person couldn’t die two times, nor three times, nor… countless times.
Limbs and pieces of corpses were piled around the room, and there were several of the exact same head.
They were like mountains of flesh and oceans of blood, and Finch couldn’t tell how many bodies there were. Every face was exactly the same, and the bloodstained cheeks all had a sweet smile on them, as if they had been carved out of the same mold.
Giggles seemed to reverberate in the air.
In the middle of the piles of bodies, the chef was holding a cleaver and chopping at the corpses on the ground. He seemed to be set on chopping all of them up! He seemed not to notice Cesar and Finch and only stared at the corpses on the ground. His eyes were maniacal as he laughed wildly while chopping. “You already died! You already died, so why would you come back when you’re already dead?! I’m not scared of you at all, I’m going to kill you! No matter how many times you come back, I’m going to kill you just the same! See, I killed you again, hahahaha—— Why aren’t you dead yet? Die!”