Chapter 34: Listening to the Story (Part One) 1/2
Ye Sheng was experiencing live streaming for the first time.
Fortunately, his boss was just an amateur enthusiast. With just a mobile phone and a selfie stick, the equipment was simple, and the operation was straightforward. Under Xia Wenshi’s guidance, Ye Sheng opened the backend of Star Art Live, broadcasting in the “Supernatural Exploration” section outdoors.
The name of the live stream room was chosen by Huang Qiqi: “Lover’s Lake, Meeting Lover, Testing True Bridge, Testing True Hearts.”
Ye Sheng helped hold up the phone.
Xia Wenshi stood in front of the camera, with a pitch-black Lover’s Lake behind him.
The yellow-haired youth warmly greeted the audience in the live stream room, revealing a set of white teeth. “Good evening, brothers and sisters, welcome to Room 484848. Now, the lake behind me is the famous Lover’s Lake at Huai’an University. If you are a local in Huai City, you must have heard of the story of Lover’s Lake. If you are not from Huai City, just search for Testing True Bridge.
To know why this place is a romantic spot for lovers, walk across Testing True Bridge at midnight, once ranked as the number one romantic thing for couples at Huai’an University.”
He specifically wrote an opening statement for this livestream. After forgetting his lines, he sneakily glanced at the cheat sheet on his hand and continued to laugh, revealing a set of white teeth.
“I know that all the brothers and sisters in the livestream are here because of my two updates. Don’t worry, our female and male protagonists are still on their way. The main focus tonight is actually to retaliate against the scumbag. If the ghosts in Lover’s Lake don’t appear, then I’ll take on the role of love’s defender myself. I’ll make sure the scumbag doesn’t get away with it.”
He raised the radio in his hand and said, “Alright, I’ll go set up the scene now. The livestream will be taken over by my assistant, Little Ye. You can leave any comments you want; the host will read them when he comes back!”
Before leaving, Xia Wenshi made a gesture towards Ye Sheng, secretly signaling “ten.” Ye Sheng instantly understood his meaning; Xia Wenshi wanted him to set the beauty filter to level ten.
Ye Sheng smirked. Having just come out of the Yin Mountains, he couldn’t quite grasp the intricacies of this flashy world. As a paranormal exploration host, he didn’t strive for authenticity. Why bother with beauty filters?
But, for the sake of the boss’s face, he reluctantly complied.
Ye Sheng wasn’t prone to mosquito bites. Even in summer, wearing short sleeves, he sat on a wooden chair by Lover’s Lake, shaded by tall trees, without being bitten much. As he adjusted the camera angle, comments in the livestream chat started pouring in one after another.
“I finished checking the Truth-Verification Bridge, speechless. I think this is a show put on by a silly couple.”
“Upstairs, you’re rarely seen; this kind of bizarre thing happens in every university. We have something similar at our school.”
“Schools are usually built on graveyards, heavy with yin energy. And, after a hundred years, how could there not be deaths? It turns into a ghost story after a while.”
“Yeah, when I was in college, every night after lights out, my favorite thing to do was talk with my roommates about where people died on campus.”
Soon, a few newcomers joined the chat.
“Where’s the host?”
Seeing the confusion, Ye Sheng spoke up, “He went to set up things. I’ll be taking over the livestream for you guys.”
His voice was calm and pleasant, like a clear stream flowing beneath thin ice during the winter.
The livestream chat instantly fell silent.
Then, a barrage of question marks filled the screen.
“Oh my god, the voice is so good!”
“My intuition tells me this is a handsome guy.”
“Yeah, check out his face.”
“I was about to leave, but now, for the sake of this voice, I’ve decided to stay. Want to chat, handsome guy? [Dog head holding a rose]”
“Honey, how can you be in the outdoor section? You should go to the anime voice actor section, honey!”
“Are you calling him honey already? Are you kidding me?”
“All the good-looking guys I know sound like ducks. This kind of voice is usually from a chubby guy.”
“Voice changer, right?”
“Huh, the jealousy of men is really terrifying.”
As the barrage was about to escalate, Ye Sheng adjusted the height of the selfie stick. He let Lover’s Lake be clearly displayed in the video frame and casually said, “It’s almost twelve. The newcomers suggest turning off the barrage and watching the livestream.”
His completely indifferent attitude towards the barrage sparked even more interest among the viewers. However, their attempts to come up with catchy phrases and hot memes were in vain. Currently, Ye Sheng is just a part-time worker helping to hold the phone and find angles, showing zero interest in these matters.
In the sea of comments, Ye Sheng keenly noticed a message from an anonymous account.
“I don’t know why Lover’s Lake at Huaian University hasn’t been filled. So many people have died there, yet it’s being romanticized as a love sanctuary by a mentally challenged couple. You guys are amazing; you choose love over life.”
This comment was quickly drowned out, but Ye Sheng singled it out and calmly asked, “Many people have died at Lover’s Lake.”
The name of the anonymous account was “I am a little bean sprout.”
“I am a little bean sprout: Yes, they have. I know of two people who died because they crossed the Truth-Verification Bridge. After going back, the way they described the ghost was identical. They said they saw a woman on the bridge—white dress, no feet, wet hair hanging down like water plants. The creepiest part was that the woman ghost had black eyes and pupils. One was a male friend who died a week after crossing the bridge, and the other died two months after. I don’t believe it’s not the work of a water ghost!”
“I am a little bean sprout’s” words immediately stirred up a heated discussion in the livestream.
“Is this for real?”
“Damn, that’s terrifying.”
“It sounds like a fake story. The reason why these ghost stories persist for so long is that there are always special circumstances that make them seem real. It’s the same with horoscopes.”
At this moment, students from Huaian University entered the conversation.
“I know you, little bean sprout; you’ve posted on the forums. You’ve been exposed. One of your friends died in a car accident, and another friend jumped off a building due to graduation pressure. Don’t spread rumors.”
“I am a little bean sprout. Believe it or not, it’s not me who died.”
Watching them discuss, Ye Sheng’s gaze fell on the dark lake surface and the abandoned bridge on the screen. He remembered hearing about Lover’s Lake for the first time on a taxi ride in a radio show called “Little Mouth Tells Stories.”
The female host spoke in a gentle tone as she narrated the story of the Truth-Verification Bridge.
There’s a campus legend at Huaian University. Couples confess to each other in the middle of the truth-verification bridge at midnight. If they speak the truth, love each other deeply, and are both sincere, they can safely walk across the second half of the bridge. But if one of them lies, the liar will hear someone calling their name from behind, and the water ghost will pull them into the lake.
Ye Sheng turned off the barrage, sat in the darkness, and stared fixedly at the screen.
Xia Wenshi placed the radio in the water and crouched on the other side of the bridge.
Meanwhile, Huang Qiqi and her boyfriend arrived late.
Even from a distance, they could hear the boy becoming increasingly furious and defensive. “Qiqi, how do you want me to prove my love to you? I’ve walked with you across the Truth-Verification Bridge. Doesn’t that prove my sincerity? I told you early on that your friend is a schemer, but you didn’t believe me. Now, look what happened. I saw through her true nature a long time ago. Clearly, she was the one seducing me. Why are you picking a fight with me instead of confronting her? Qiqi
Be obedient; let’s go back.”
Huang Qiqi rolled her eyes in her heart, but for the plan tonight, she still pretended to be angry and sad, with red eyes. “Li Guangyun, do you think I’m a fool? Last time at the bar, there were photos of you hugging her sent to my phone.”
She had never doubted these two before, but after being hinted at, she quickly found a bunch of evidence of the scumbag’s infidelity.
Li Guangyun, as a professional playboy, quickly found the right words: “She was drunk at that time. I couldn’t just leave her alone on the street. She’s your friend. If it weren’t for your face, I wouldn’t have bothered with her.”
Huang Qiqi retorted, “Wasn’t her roommate at the bar? Did she need you to escort her? And then, after escorting her, you went to a hotel and booked a room?”
Li Guangyun said seriously, “Believe it or not, I just dropped her off at the hotel and went back to school. I didn’t even enter the room. We really didn’t sleep that night.”
Huang Qiqi held back the impulse to slap him, grabbed her bag zipper, and quickly walked towards the Truth-Verification Bridge in her high heels.
Li Guangyun started defending himself from behind. “Qiqi, don’t be angry! You’re a thousand times more beautiful and excellent than your friend. How could I give up on you for her?”
Huang Qiqi was not appeased at all; she was even angrier. She regretted falling for such an idiot.
Now it was midnight, the curfew time for Huaian University. There was no one near Lover’s Lake. There were only two streetlights at the beginning and end of the bridge. In the dim yellow light, moths hovered around. The faint light illuminated the abandoned bridge covered with moss.
Suppressing her anger, Huang Qiqi calmly said, “Li Guangyun, I’ll trust you one last time.”
Li Guangyun’s eyes brightened, nodding. “Sure, sure, Qiqi, you have to believe that I truly love you.”
He had no intention of giving up on Huang Qiqi; she was a local resident of Huai’an, and just having her household registration was enough for him to cling on.
Checking the time on her phone, Huang Qiqi said, “Let’s go up.”
The Truth-Verification Bridge was not small; it was quite long.
Li Guangyun didn’t take the strange rumors about Lover’s Lake seriously. Such silly things were only meant to deceive someone like Huang Qiqi, who was obsessed with astrology and fate.
Although he was scared by the eerie atmosphere the first time he walked here, especially at midnight when the lake was pitch black and eerie, that day he had just given roses to another girl in the afternoon. After confessing to Huang Qiqi on the Truth-Verification Bridge that night, nothing happened.
This time, Li Guangyun paid even less attention to the ghost rumors.
As Huang Qiqi walked across the first half of the bridge, her anger gradually subsided with the calming night breeze, replaced by a deep sadness. She and Li Guangyun met in their first year of college. After being a good and obedient girl for so many years, she never expected to encounter such an idiot in her first relationship.
“Qiqi, we’re in the middle of the bridge.”
Li Guangyun pretended to be affectionate and shouted at her. He was an athlete, and although his features weren’t outstanding, he was tall, muscular, and somewhat popular on campus.
Huang Qiqi stopped.