Chapter 558: City of the Living Dead (2)

Qin Ye stopped right in front of the washroom and glanced straight at the door. A spot of golden light appeared within his pupil.

Fwoosh… Everything in his eyes turned completely monochromatic. Everything within a radius of ten meters around him became clear as day. The rest of the carriages beyond that appeared grainy and hazy. The door to the washroom opened slowly with a soft creak.

And a third colour appeared right before his very eyes.

Red. The colour of blood!

The entire washroom was stained red with blood!

There were discarded heels, broken cell phones, and even clumps of hair that were drifting in pools of blood. They haven’t had the time to clean up the bloody mess in the washroom just yet!

The walls were covered with scratch marks, almost as though someone had been clawing desperately at the door in a feeble attempt at escaping a monster. This was no different from a scene right out of a horror movie, and yet the entire carriage of passengers were completely oblivious to the fact that something so horrific was but a door away from them!

Pak! A hand suddenly appeared right in front of his face. The attendant had stormed right back in her heels, darting right in front of her door and slamming it shut, “Sir? What’s the matter?”

Her voice was trembling.

She was clearly preventing Qin Ye from entering the washroom.

That said, her body language spoke volumes about how repulsed she was by the presence of this particular washroom. Her entire body trembled, and her chest rose and fell with every breath she took.

“[in English] What’s in it?” Qin Ye looked her straight in the eye, “[in English] Why close?”

“I don’t know!!” The attendant screamed back, drawing the attention of all other passengers seated ahead in the carriage. She immediately caught herself, realizing that her actions could be interpreted to be rather disrespectful. Thus, she bit down on her lips and looked to Qin Ye with pleading eyes once more, “[in English] Breakdown! Breakdown!”

She’s truly unaware of what’s going on inside. But I’m afraid I can somewhat guess how the entire carriage would look without the effects of Demonic Suppression… Qin Ye turned and gazed down the aisle.

Sss… Qin Ye didn’t know if his mind was playing tricks on him, but he could have sworn he heard the sound of countless grievous moans coming from the front of the carriage.

It was almost as though the train was hurtling straight into the Yellow Springs.

Qin Ye finally turned around and began to walk towards the aisle ahead of him. Having noticed this, the attendant finally slid away from the door. As she did so, her back inadvertently struck the door to the washroom. Her mind was swamped with such anxiety that she nearly screamed at the top of her voice. Fortunately, she managed to hold herself back.

She took a single step, and then she paused again.

Someone… appeared to be tugging at her silken scarf from behind.

T-t-t-t… Her teeth chattered wildly. She could clearly hear a voice call out to her.

“Help me… save me…”

“AHHHHH!!!” She screamed at the top of her voice and ran helter-skelter away from the washroom. At once, the other passengers in the carriage turned to look at the source of the commotion.

And then, all eyes fell on Qin Ye and Wang Chenghao.

Holy shit!

That wasn’t me! I swear that wasn’t me!

Both men cursed under their breaths - Bloody hell… How are we supposed to clear up the air?!

Just then, a male attendant marched forward.

He had a grave expression on his face. The previous female attendant followed closely behind him, still trembling from fright. The male attendant marched right up to Qin Ye, nodded slightly, and then addressed him in fluent Cathayan, “Sir, please come with me.”

Thus, both Qin Ye and Wang Chenghao followed closely behind the attendants. As they did, they couldn’t help but scan the expressions of the other passengers on board.

Everyone appeared just as oblivious as the other. It was almost as though they had boarded a midnight train, only to discover that everyone around them were dead people, and they were the only odd ones out.

They continued walking down the aisle for some distance. The washroom in three consecutive carriages were all out of order.

It was only when they had finally arrived at the fourth carriage that they were finally allowed to enter the washroom.

The other thing that Qin Ye noticed about the fourth carriage was… the fact that there were surprisingly few passengers in this carriage.

In fact, there were only seven or eight passengers on board this carriage right now.

That’s impossible. Hanyang and Pusan are the two largest cities in Daehan. Regardless of what time of the year it is, it cannot possibly be so empty. And that’s not to mention the fact that…

We’re currently aboard a train that hasn’t even been completely disinfected and cleaned of its stains, and everything has to be concealed by the deployment of the Demonic Suppression!

“Sir, we’re here.” The male steward spoke, abruptly jolting Qin Ye back from his thoughts. Upon closer inspection, Qin Ye discovered that they were already at the dining carriage.

That said, what caught his attention was the fact that there was a door separating the dining carriage from the carriage further up the train, and the fact that there were heavily armed Daeian policemen standing guard by the door to the next carriage!

Furthermore, the dining carriage looked different from the usual dining carriages. There was a large table located right in the middle of the carriage, no different from the kinds used in police interrogation rooms. A man in his forties sat on the other end of the table. He wore a police uniform, and he was emitting trace amounts of true energy from his body.

“Greetings.” Wang Chenghao had gone to the washroom, and the man at the table gesticulated for Qin Ye to take a seat. The earlier attendant acted as a translator between the two. The middle-aged police officer nodded and seized the initiative, “May I have a look at your travel documents?”

Qin Ye pulled out his ID card and passport. However, the middle-aged man didn’t pick them up. Instead, he continued staring intently at Qin Ye.

Qin Ye felt somewhat puzzled. He stared right back into the man’s eyes for several more seconds before the middle-aged police officer finally sighed and responded in a deep voice, “I’m talking about… the Pusan Special Zone Access Permit.”

What’s that?

At once, Qin Ye’s mind spun with thoughts.

Pusan Special Zone? I’ve never heard of something like that. It must have obtained its special zone status in recent times.

But why would it be designated as a special zone?

Qin Ye’s first thought was the possibility of supernatural incidents.

But… didn’t they happen in Gyeonggi Province?

What’s that got to do with Pusan… No!

His gaze flickered slightly - That’s right, didn’t the Lord of the Springlight County City, Liu Changhe, earlier mention something about the occurrence of a real ‘Train to Pusan’? [1]

Anyone who’s watched the film would know that Pusan was completely emptied out due to the zombies that ravaged the lands. I even recall that he’d mentioned something about people evacuating Pusan and pouring over into Hanyang…

Qin Ye ignored the scrutiny of the middle-aged police officer’s gaze and glanced back from where they had come from.

Ooo… The faint cry of ghosts lingered in the air, almost as though the aisle of the carriages led straight into a bottomless abyss.

Is this train… the very same one on which the Train to Pusan incident took place?

Everything seems to be coming together… The supernatural incidents that have been terrorizing the masses may have taken place in Gwangju City, but… the conduit that has been feeding these terrors into Gwangju City in the first place… is none other than these trains.

It was possible to transport carriages of the living dead from place to place, so long as the “cargo” was properly secured. In other words… they might very well be riding a corpse-carrying train right now!

And if that were true, then this would have to be one of the other main stages of the script of death. They would unleash Ouroboros in Pusan, before sending the living dead into Gwangju City, triggering large-scale supernatural outbreaks to strike terror into the hearts of all citizens around. Is this what it is? Is that why Pusan was designated as a special zone?

Dong dong! Just as Qin Ye was delving deeper into his thoughts, the middle-aged policeman rapped loudly on the table, causing Qin Ye to turn back to the front, only to discover that the other policemen standing behind the middle-aged man were also staring at him.

“I don’t have one.” Qin Ye retracted his thoughts. He’d just been wondering why he had been able to board the train to Pusan even though it was a destination that clearly required special access.

But the answer was obvious. There wasn’t much to mull over.

Someone wanted him there.

Someone was showing him goodwill.

Someone was telling him that Daehan was still their vassal state, and nothing would get in the way of their business.

Who?

There was only one possibility.

“You don’t have one?” The middle-aged policeman’s voice grew stern. Just then, one of the police officers standing beside him who had been looking at something on his phone suddenly set it down, bent over and whispered something into the middle-aged policeman’s ears.

Moments later, the middle-aged policemen revealed an expression of surprise, and he promptly addressed Qin Ye with a far softer tone of voice, “Ah, I have just been informed that you’ve been granted special access. My apologies. I wonder if this gentleman has heard of the regulations in place?”

As expected… Qin Ye smiled warmly back. It was great being at the top. Sure, Lee Jung-sook might be missing in action, but the Russian Underworld most definitely had other contacts in high places. One couldn’t expect anything less of a death god of a powerful underworld.

“No, I haven’t.”

The middle-aged policeman smiled, “Well, then… shall I explain everything to you?”

“Certainly.”

The middle-aged policeman pondered for several seconds, retracted his smile and then finally explained with an authoritative voice, “First of all, the journey from Hanyang to Pusan takes two hours. Try not to leave your seat as much as possible.”

“Secondly…” He paused and took a deep breath. Qin Ye could tell that his heart was evidently filled with fear, “This journey… takes us straight through the third tunnel at Pusan.”

“When we’re passing through, you should refrain from looking out of the window no matter what happens. The train is equipped with sufficient defensive measures. Also… if you hear any strange sounds, do not respond.”

“Thirdly, once you enter the City of Pusan, please remain within the safe zone, and refrain from heading out after 6.00 p.m. and before 6.00 a.m. The safe zone also has its own set of rules and regulations, and we’ll humbly ask that you comply with them as well. Apart from that, please note that Daehan shall not be responsible for the safety of anyone who enters the Pusan Special Zone. We seek your kind understanding.”

Qin Ye nodded. Wang Chenghao had come out of the washroom by now. He listened silently as the middle-aged policeman finished up, and then they both left.

“Boss, why didn’t you ask him about what actually happened here in Pusan?” Wang Chenghao whispered softly as they walked back through the carriages.

Qin Ye shook his head, “He wouldn’t say a word. Besides, these are things that we should be in the know of, especially given that we’d been granted special access from above. Ask too much, and we might just let the cat out of the bag and strain the privileged position we’re currently in.”

“Tsk… Brother Qin, I’d say that you’re more of a tiger out of the bag…”

You’re really good at sucking up to others, aren’t you…

“Is there nothing else that goes on in your brain apart from these?” Qin Ye chuckled softly, before adding, “Besides, don’t you find the ‘third tunnel’ rather familiar?”

Wang One Tail was slightly taken aback.

Qin Ye continued, “Have you watched the film ‘Train to Pusan’?”

“No…”

“It was a film that premiered before Hell landed on my lap. I’ve had the privilege of watching it several times. It’s depressing and heavy, but pretty damn good.” Qin Ye glanced around, before lowering his voice to a hush, “There’s actually two versions to the ending.”

“The one that eventually made it to the screens is that the daughter and the pregnant mother were forced to stop at a blocked tunnel just before Pusan, and they walked through the dark tunnel on foot. The other end of the tunnel was garrisoned with soldiers with loaded guns and weapons of all sorts. They had their weapons trained at the entrance of the tunnel at all times to ensure not a single one of the living dead could make it through the tunnel. However, because of how dark the tunnel was, it was impossible to see whether the ones walking through the tunnel were living human beings or the living dead.”

Qin Ye went on, “The soldiers were just about to take aim and fire when the little girl sang a song more commonly known as ‘Aloha ‘Oe’, or ‘Farewell to Thee’. This song saved their lives. The soldiers assessed that they were human beings, and therefore set down their guns.”

Wang One Tail looked baffled, “So? What’s the point you’re trying to make?”

“Hold your horses.” Qin Ye leaned closer and whispered, “Didn’t I tell you that there is another ending that didn’t make it to the screens?”

“In that other version… the little girl and the pregnant woman who managed to escape from the horde of living dead managed to get to the edge of the safe zone, where they entered the tunnel. But just as soon as they saw the light at the end of the tunnel… they were shot down by the soldiers garrisoned at the other end.”

Wang Chenghao stared agape at Qin Ye, “Isn’t that just… too dark?!”

“... You’re a ghost. And you’re telling me about darkness?!” Qin Ye rolled his eyes and went on, “Apart from that, the actual filming location of the show was… none other than the third tunnel at Pusan!”

Boom!!!

Just then, there was darkness everywhere, and the lights in the carriage came on promptly.

“Dear passengers, we are now entering the third tunnel of Pusan. Please fasten your seatbelts and refrain from responding to any calls, prompts or signals. We repeat…”

“Have we arrived?” Wang Chenghao was taken aback, “So quick?”

Qin Ye smiled as they slowly made their way, “We’ve not arrived yet…”

“But... darkness has.”


1. See Chapter 533.

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