e time on my phone either,” Lu Yan replied without hesitation when He Lou turned to him.

The village headman arrived, wearing a kind smile that appeared no different from that of an ordinary old man.
He said, “He Lou, tomorrow is your wedding day.
Today, we have come to send you on your way.”

He Lou had now calmed down, putting on the same smile as if he hadn't noticed the extreme malice behind the village chief's facade.
Calmness was his only chance now.
Lu Yan wouldn't assist him in escaping; instead, he would likely exploit He Lou's flight and escape.

Nonetheless, He Lou tentatively asked, “Village Chief, I want to have a wedding with my friends…
Should we postpone it for a few days?” All the villagers turned their heads simultaneously, their mouths agape.

Lu Yan was observing carefully.
Most of the time villagers appeared like ordinary individuals, nothing out of the ordinary.
However, once someone violated the rules, their faces collectively transformed into a flat, miserable white, much like…
paper people.

The village chief's voice was stern as he spoke, “You have set a date for your wedding, and now you wish to retract your promise?”

When Lu Yan initially proposed the wedding date, it was done so for the purpose of experimentation.
However, it was fruitless, for as soon as the wedding banquet was held, they would immediately shift to the corresponding time point.

Realizing this, He Lou altered his approach, “No, I simply wish to celebrate with my friends, for we journeyed to Red River Village together…”

Instead of softening, the village chief's expression grew increasingly menacing, and his eyes shone with cold malice and resentment.
Slowly, his mouth opened wider and wider, stretching beyond the limits of human physiology until it gaped all the way to his waist.
Within that colossal mouth, a seething torrent of red liquid surged, threatening to consume He Lou.

Faced with the imminent threat of being devoured, He Lou swiftly changed his tune, declaring with conviction, “I shall not alter the wedding date!”

These words caused the village chief's agape maw to freeze mid-action, and the rest of the villagers likewise froze in place, as though someone had paused a video.
Even Lu Yan remained motionless.

One second ticked by, then another, until finally, the village chief's mouth returned to its normal size, and his expression softened, as though he had not just been on the brink of swallowing a human whole.
He Lou breathed a sigh of relief, “My friends will also be getting married tomorrow, alongside me.”

If they were to escape, it would be more economical for all of them to escape together.
Therefore, it was best to awaken their memories now.

The village headman, who had regained his composure, wore a look of surprise and concern when he asked, “Is that so? Have you all found someone?”

He Lou, with a calm façade, was drenched with sweat, and the cool wind made him more alert.
“Yes, we've found good partners,” he replied.

“Shen Na and Liu Xia, Zhao Chuan and Wang Jing, An Xing Yu and…,” He Lou stuttered.

In their group, there were only four female members: Shen Na, Ding Cong Lu, Lu Xiu Xiu, and Wang Jing.
What about An Xing Yu?

An Xing Yu turned to look at He Lou with the same confusion, his youthful face making him look like an ordinary high school student.
He no longer appeared as calm and robotic as when they first met.
“Who is my partner?” he asked.

Sweat trickled down He Lou's forehead.
“I have found one for you.
You and…you and…” His eyes wandered around as he searched for a suitable match.

“Who is it?” An Xing Yu trailed off.

“You and…,” He Lou turned his head and saw Lu Yan.
Without thinking, he blurted out Lu Yan's name.

Lu Yan's eyes glared with hostility.
“He Lou, in Red River Village, it's against the rules for men to marry men.”

Rules, always rules! So not having a ghost marriage partner was the key to survival?

Lu Yan gave He Lou a quick glance before withdrawing his gaze.
He paid little attention to He Lou's babbling, still preoccupied with the scene he had just witnessed.

When the village chief opened his mouth, it was filled with fishy red liquid, which could have been blood or some other red substance, such as the Red River in the village.
Lu Yan also remembered the red mushrooms that spilled the same foul-smelling liquid when bitten.

Were there any similarities between these things?

The village headman smiled and said, “So, you're all planning to get married tomorrow, are you?”

He Lou's influence over the crowd was still apparent, as Shen Na and Zhao Chuan nodded in agreement.
A few others who had not found suitable partners also congratulated them without any hard feelings.

He Lou's entire body tensed up.
Would their memories return twenty-four hours before the wedding? Was it true or not? The most crucial thing now was to separate them.

“Village Chief, please allow us…” He Lou began.

The village headman was still smiling.
“Oh, you all want to get married? That's great! We'll all get together and have a good time.
Then it's settled.
You all will get married tomorrow without any objections, right?”

Shen Na spoke up, “I have no problem with it.”

Zhao Chuan and Wang Jing both nodded in agreement.

He Lou gestured towards a wedding dress held up by one of the villagers and addressed the village chief, “Village Chief, with the increase in weddings, do we have enough wedding dresses? Is there anything else we should consider?”

It was then that the village chief suddenly recalled the matter and instructed the other villagers to retrieve additional wedding attire without delay.

Of the seven or eight villagers following behind, more than half had already gone ahead.

He Lou realized that this was his opportunity.

As the village chief walked ahead of him towards the courtyard, he asked in passing, “He Lou, have you decided how you would like to die? Would you prefer to be killed with a sharp knife that will slit your throat in one cut?” Despite the gruesome topic, He Lou managed to remain composed and calmly replied, “I have no objection to that.”

Shen Na, on the other hand, wrinkled her brows and expressed her preference, “I'd like to change my method.
How about being strangled with bare hands instead of satin? I enjoy the sensation of having my throat squeezed by bare hands.”

Zhao Chuan chimed in, “I don't want a knife either.
Pour boiling water on me from head to toe, and I'll be scalded to death in an instant.”

The people were now invested in discussing their preferred method of death.
He Lou found himself even more resolute and managed to listen without betraying any emotion, though he inwardly cried out in desperation.
Just then, he caught a glimpse of Shen Na's face suddenly turning pale.

This, this is ……

She, what was she doing?

Was tomorrow truly the day of her death? And had she just revealed her preferred way of dying?

With the mental fortitude honed by many missions, Shen Na managed to hide any signs of panic or distress.
He Lou had quickly approached her, gripping her hand tightly, his gaze unwavering as he shook his head slowly and mouthed silently, “I have a plan.”

However, Zhao Chuan and Wang Jing were not as composed.
Within moments, Zhao Chuan's complexion turned pale as a flood of memories crashed into his mind, reminding him of their mission.
He had unwittingly agreed to a ghost marriage, and it was set to take place the following day!

The village chief's menacing visage loomed before him, and Zhao Chuan jerked upright before making a dash for the door.
He managed to keep his mouth shut, but the expression on his face spoke volumes, and the village headman could already sense what had happened.

“Someone has broken the rules and is attempting to flee the marriage,” the village chief said, his tone laced with regret.

The other villagers' faces mirrored his sorrow as their bodied became light as paper and they drifted in air towards Zhao Chuan, ready to catch the disobedient man and punish him severely.

The entire room chased after them.

Wang Jing also finally snapped out of his daze and realized what was happening.

He Lou bellowed, “Run!” and quickly pulled An Xing Yu, who was still in shock, out of the house and in the opposite direction.
Shen Na was hot on their heels, sprinting towards the edge of the village.

“We have to escape!” she urged, her voice filled with urgency.

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