Edited by: Sparrow
Under the dim light, everybody in the room waited with bated breaths as they succumbed to such an atmosphere.
With the four people’s movements, the tip of the pencil started to leave circles across the white paper. The scratching of the pen across the paper was soft yet it was grating against the ear.
The four of them closed their eyes, and kept reciting the chant–
“Pen Immortal, Pen Immortal.
You are my past.
I am your future.
To continue our predestined fate,
Come and meet me
Time passed, minute by minute.
Lu Chu stared at the pen held by the four of them and started to sort out what he knew about the Pen Immortal in his mind.
He hadn’t played any spirit invocating games before, and his understanding of such matters was limited to the occasional hearsay.
As far as Lu Chu could remember, there were many taboos and restrictions when playing these kinds of spiritual games.
Amongst them, the three most famous ones were–
First; the people who invited the Pen Immortal could ask the Pen Immortal to predict what would happen around them, or ask the Pen Immortal what they knew about the asker. However, they were absolutely forbidden from asking the Pen Immortal about their own personal matters — such as the Pen Immortal’s name or past life.Most importantly, they must never ask what caused the Pen Immortal’s death. Second; when invoking the Pen Immortal, they needed to be respectful at all times and must ask the Pen Immortal to leave at the end of the session. Third; when the players wish to end the session, they must remain their hold on the pen, while continuing to be respectful towards the Pen Immortal in their hearts. Only when the Pen Immortal leaves can they release their grips on the pen.
If they happened to violate any of these taboos, the Pen Immortal may end up becoming a fierce ghost that would stay by the players’ side for a long time. If that occurred, what would happen subsequently was unpredictable.
There were various anecdotal examples of people who got into trouble after playing Pen Immortal.
The whole atmosphere was eerie. As soon as the four of them started to chant in unison, everybody felt as if time had frozen – whether it was because of the alcohol or some other illusion.
In such an enclosed space, even the sound of a pin dropping could be heard.
The air started to feel heavier, and someone’s breathing suddenly sped up.
Suddenly, the four people who were playing started to feel the pen they were controlling draw circles, and move on its own. It was as if it had gained a mind of its own and was beginning to resist. They immediately opened their eyes and looked at each other, and could see surprise and excitement reflected in each other’s widened eyes.
The ones watching them play the game also realised — they managed to invite the Pen Immortal.
Du Yangnan’s eyes brightened when he saw this and used his gaze to hint at the other four to ask questions quickly.
Gao Yong gulped, and struggled with his choice of words for a bit, before asking in a hoarse but polite tone, “excuse me, are you the Pen Immortal?1He uses the polite version of you here. If yes, please draw a circle. ”
The tip of the pen moved, gently going acrossthe paper, drawing a circle so perfect that it seemed to have been drawn with a compass.
A few girls were so shocked they shrieked.
This time, the one who asked the question became Chen Hong.
Chen Hong thought for a while and asked, “will I fail this semester?”
The sound caused by friction from the pencil resounded across the room, and a word appeared on the paper—Yes.
Chen Hong choked.
Everyone laughed, and the strange and suffocating atmosphere was thus reduced.
Seeing this, Wu Xuan immediately asked, “Pen Immortal, Pen Immortal, when can I stop being single?”
As the pen moved, an “X” appeared on the paper.
“Hahahaha—” A boy couldn’t help but hug his stomach and laugh loudly.
Wu Xuan frowned and looked at the other three, “are the three of you playing tricks on me?”
Chen Hong also retorted, “I think you’re the one playing tricks.”
After that, other than Du Yangnan and Lu Chu, other people started prompting the four of them to ask questions. They asked stuff like when would they end up rich, or when they would get a partner, or what was going to be in the next exam. The Pen Immortal would answer a ‘Yes’ or draw an ‘X’, and Du Yangnan explained that the Pen Immortal would also choose the questions they liked to answer.
On the other side was Cao Wenwen, who originally wanted to play this game because she wanted to show off.
After all, amongst this crowd of timid and squeamish girls that she looked down upon, she was the only one who dared to step up and play these kinds of games. The boys definitely had a strong impression of her, and what she wanted was this kind of praise and appreciation that came from being different. However, at this moment, it seemed that everybody’s attention was drawn away by the Pen Immortal. She was clearly acting as a medium, but it was as if it had nothing to do with her at all.
Thinking of this, Cao Wenwen suddenly used more strength to grip the pen, and stroked Chen Hong’s fingers that were beneath her in a secretiveand ambiguous manner. Just as the rest of them were asking questions, she suddenly laughed and said, “aren’t we playing Pen Immortal for the thrill of it? So why are you guys just asking about useless things?”
The others looked at her in confusion.
Seeing that everyone’s eyes were drawn to her,Cao Wenwen raised her perfectly drawn, slender and delicate eyebrows and said, “why not, we ask something more interesting?”
Lu Chu and Du Yangnan immediately realised what she wanted to ask.
“Don’t–” Du Yangnan instantly spoke up to stop her.
However, he was a step too late, and could only listen as Cao Wenwen asked in the next second, “Pen Immortal, Pen Immortal, how did you — die?”
The air froze for a moment.
The pencil started to tremble uncontrollably and violently, as its tip drew forceful and disorderly lines on the paper. A few strokes even scratched through it. The sofa they were sitting on, as well as the square table, started to violently shake. The four people holding onto the pen felt these sensations the most and could barely hold on to it.
Cao Wenwen was angry, “who’s the one making a fuss?”
Nobody answered her. The nib of the pencil had long been broken from the intense pressure applied, yet it still did not stop drawing lines.
Seeing this, Cao Wenwen simplylet go of her grip and stood up, “what’s your issue! Who’s so bored they keep dragging the pen?”
“Why did you let go? !” Du Yangnan quickly stood up and turned on all the lights and scolded angrily.
“What’s wrong with letting go?” Cao Wenwen looked at him, “such a senseless game, if you want to play, then play it yourself.”
“You?!” Du Yangnan was furious.
Only Lu Chu knew the reason why Du Yangnan was angry and anxious — Cao Wenwen had broken two taboos at once.
The boys all went to comfort the angry CaoWenwen, and instead told Du Yangnan that he wasn’t being chivalrous at all; why was he arguing with a girl? Couldn’t he see that even such a cheerful and easy-going girl like Cao Wenwen was angry?
Du Yangnan didn’t know how to defend himself. As soon as Lu Chu wanted to say something, he suddenly heard Gao Yong let out an “ah”.
Lu Chu looked at him, “what’s wrong?”
Earlier on, when Cao Wenwen had let go, Chen Hong and Wu Xuan had also released their grips on the pen. Gao Yong was the only one still holding onto it. At this moment, he raised up his hand and spread out his palm to reveal it to everyone before stuttering out, “the pencil — it broke on its own……”
Tang Shizhe’s eyes widened, “it…… broke?”
Everyone looked at Gao Yong’s palm, only to see that the pencil, which had once been whole, was completely divided into two sections from the middle. The cut was so clean it looked as if it had been cut by a machine.
For a moment, everyone fell into an eerie and dead silence.
After a long time, Du Yangnan had finally calmed down and sneered, “we’re screwed.”
Chen Hong smiled awkwardly and looked at the broken pencil, “perhaps, it was just an accident?”
Although it was still early spring, and the outside was still cold, but the room was still getting heated. In theory, it should be very warm, but strangely, it felt as if some cold air was lingering in the room.
Lu Chu was as calm as always.
Du Yangnan, on the other hand, pushed up his glasses and looked as if he was calm. In reality, the fear in his heart was surging like a river.
Most of the people present were atheists, and they had proposed playing this game after drinking too much. However, Du Yangnan came up with so many ideas because of his love for horror and supernatural events. It was precisely because he believed, that he was so obsessed with ghosts and gods. Now that such an incident has occurred, the layman would think that it was someone playing a trick, or that it was just an accident. However, Du Yangnan was sure that they had been stained with something unclean.
Du Yangnan swallowed, and asked everybody, “who do you think the Pen Immortal is?”
Someone hesitated, “the immortal attached to a pen?”
Cao Wenwen guessed, “a dead person’s ghost?”
Zhang Qian’s lips were already pale with fright. Chen Hong sat next to her and brought her into a half hug to comfort her. Then, glaring at Du Yangnan, he said, “how can there be so many ghosts and spirits in this world, stop scaring people.”
“It’s up to you, but there are things that will be there whether you believe it or not. If you don’t–” Du Yangnan smiled, “it will still continue to exist by your side.”
“So,” Wu Xuan frowned and asked, “what the hell is a thing like the Pen Immortal?”
“Shhh–” Du Yangnan pressed his finger to his mouth, “don’t say something as disrespectful as ‘thing’. We failed to finish playing the Pen Immortal game and didn’t send it away properly. Now, it’s beside us, and watching us from our surroundings.”
Wu Xuan shuddered at his words, rubbed his goose bump-covered arms, and scanned his surroundings. He felt as if there was something hiding in a dark in an unseen corner, staring at him.
Everyone present was startled, and only then did Du Yangnan continue, “there are various opinions about the origin of the Pen Immortal. Personally, I prefer to think that a Pen Immortal is ‘a soul that has been around us’. These souls were more or less related to you in some manner. When you’re playing Pen Immortal, they would attach themselves to the pen that you’re holding and communicate with you.”
It was the first time that Lu Chu heard of this sort of sentiment, and he couldn’t help but wonder and ask, “if the Pen Immortals are souls that had been with us all this time, and they’ve never done anything to harm us during the time they’re by our side, this means that they don’t intend to harm us at all. If that’s the case, why are there so many horrible legends about the Pen Immortal or the Dish Immortal?”2Dish Immortal/Fairy – 碟仙. Another version of the Pen Immortal/Spirit calling game.
Du Yangnan looked at Lu Chu when he heardhis words, and smiled, “You’ve managed to ask the key question about the origin of the Pen Spirit. Do you remember? Pen Immortal — it’s a spirit invocation game.”
Lu Chu immediately understood, “invocating spirits, doesn’t necessarily mean invocating the spirits that had originally existed around us……”
Invocating spirits, invocating spirits. Anything existing outside the scope of science could be a spirit.
Including — Fierce ghosts.