469 Starting Now! 2 in 1
After Yang Chen said that, he took several steps forward. He felt cold wind caressing his back, and when he turned, he saw the other visitors still standing where they were earlier, including Wang Dan and Lee Xue.
"Why aren't you guys moving? Let's go together!" Yang Chen was not that courageous of a person in reality—he was just comparatively more rational than others.
"Based on the personality of the Haunted House's boss, the most dangerous place is often the safest place. Based on your earlier analysis, the white corridor is to transport the cadavers, so it should be the dangerous path, but I feel like the unpainted corridor that you chose is the real dangerous one. We cannot use a normal way of thinking to dissect the boss' design," Bai Qiulin said. His voice was cold and made some of their hearts tremble, but they could not deny that the man had a point.
"Then how do you suggest we carry on?" Wang Dan's tone was pointed. His group of three friends had contributed the most, but they only were given one picture—he was still hung up over that.
"It doesn't matter which path we choose; the most important thing is that we do not split up from one another." An Nan from the magazine walked forward. "As long as the twelve of us stick together and don't panic unnecessarily, we have a good chance of clearing this scenario."
He looked at the object that bounced up and down inside the corridor, and his expression became rather unnatural. "The exploration time is thirty minutes, so we have time to go down both paths. There is no reason to argue due to a small issue like this."
Ah Nan tried to mediate the situation. Bai Qiulin looked at the three medical students like he muttered like he was talking to himself, "This is just weird. Why do the three of them insist on leading us down that path?"
His volume was so soft that only Fan Dade, Fan Chong, and Xiao Lee, who were standing beside him, heard him.
With the three medical students leading the way, the twelve visitors officially entered the corridor. The lights on the wall flickered nonstop, and there was a faded smell of formalin in the air. The corridor narrowed as they moved forward, and the floor became more dirtied and stain. They had no idea what they were, and it was sticky when they stepped on it.
"Bro, should we just return and leave?" Fan Chong suggested again. He really did not understand why his big brother would bring him to a place like this to relax.
"Don't be scared, I'm here for you." Fan Dade himself did not notice that when he spoke, his expression was nervous like he was a thief who had broken into someone's home. Wet handprints started to appear on the wall, and the ceiling above their heads seemed to have gotten lower. The tallest among them, Fan Dade, could touch the ceiling just by raising his hand.
The few continued to move forward. After they walked another ten meters, it was Ah Nan who first realized that something was wrong. "Wait a minute, we have been walking for so long, but how come it feels like the distance between us and that ball object hasn't changed?"
Now that he mentioned it, the others came to the same realization. They realized that he was right. The bouncing object seemed to be moving at the same speed as them, and it maintained a constant distance behind them.
"There is still time to walk away now." Bai Qiulin stood in the middle of the group, where it was the safest. "You all know that is probably not some kind of ball, but a human head that is moving on its own. This has to be something designed by the Haunted House's boss, just waiting for us to scare ourselves."
Bai Qiulin seemed to have a lot of experience visiting the Haunted house. He placed his hand inside his pocket. He did not go after anyone, just explaining the situation, "Think about it, when we were distracted by the human head and continued to move into the corridor, what if the human head suddenly increased in speed to move toward us? Will we be flustered? If some other monsters come from the other end of the corridor then, the twelve of us will be surrounded and probably separated in the chaos."
Ah Nan nodded and agreed with Bai Qiulin. He shouted at the visitors behind him, "Please remember to stick close together, and don't run off on your own. It is safest when we stick together."
"It is futile to say something like that. We all know what we're supposed to do, but when the real terror arrives, the thing that decides what we'll do is not rationality but human instinct. The body will move before the brain thinks." Bai Qiulin's tone was detached and straight-forward, but other people could not find a counter-argument. "If I'm not mistaken, if we continue to move forward, there will most likely be another split in the path, and the corridors will become more and more complicated. The human head and monsters will appear then. The Haunted House's aim is to heighten the fear in everyone's heart, and to do that, it tries everything within its power to separate us. At the split, when people are scared, they might run down different corridors. The layout here is so complicated that once you run down a corridor, it'll be hard to get out."
"You've said so much, but that is all your imagination." Wang Dan was not feeling well. They were so kind to bring other visitors with them and had shared the knowledge of their seniors. They were even the ones leading the way. Yet, someone kept trying to go up against them.
"Indeed, that is just my speculation, but I hope everyone will be ready when the time comes. If there's a split coming up ahead, everyone must pay attention and follow me." Obviously, Bai Qiulin was trying to wrangle the leadership away from Yang Chen's group.
Wang Dan still wanted to say something but was interrupted by Yang Chen. "He's only looking out for all of us. There's no need to argue over this."
Yang Chen felt unnerved. He sniffed the formalin in the air, and his eyes scanned the group of visitors. There was something that was not right. "When we came to visit this place before, something similar happened."
As they moved forward, steel doors that were sealed up started to appear on both sides of the corridor. They looked old and rusted. "Where did Boss Chen get all these things?"
The human head continued to bounce forward. It kept a certain distance from the group of visitors. They walked for another minute before they came across a four-way junction. The corridor on the left was painted white, and it was covered with many blood letters; the corridor on the right was unpainted, but the human head turned and entered it; the corridor right in front of them was also not painted, and there was a room down the corridor that was open.
"This place is just like a maze; we have been down here for less than a minute, and we've already come across two junctions. If we continue to move forward, it is guaranteed that we'll get lost." Fan Dade had a bad sense of direction. He was the largest, but he was also the most cowardly. He kept talking to Fan Chong and Ol' Zhou to distract himself from the surroundings.
"I still say we follow the human head. First, I can promise that our seniors once said, if we get lost inside the underground morgue, we need to follow the corridors that are unpainted. They will eventually lead us out; this is the design of the morgue before it was built. Second, there's no need for us to make this into something that is so complicated. We're just here to visit a Haunted House; we're not going on some kind of exploration and adventure. In fact, this human head could very well be a guide." Yang Chen believed in what he said.
"I think we should go look inside the room where the door is open. Perhaps we can find some useful clues there." Ah Nan did not agree with Yang Chen this time.
"I don't care what kind of choice you make. I just want to remind all of you to not stay so long in the junction. It is very dangerous here." Bai Qiulin did not look at Yang Chen or Ah Nan. Instead, he kept turning his head to look behind him, like there was something scary approaching them from the dark and eerie corridor. He did not say anything scary, but his one small motion also made the rest of the visitors turn their heads to look back down the corridor. Inside the dark corridor, it really seemed like something was moving, and there was more than one of them!
"We have been walking for so long already." Fan Dade laughed drily as he dragged his little brother to the front of the group. So far, it had been the two of them who stood at the back.
"Er… I'm sorry." Tails, who stood next to Ah Nan, raised her hand. The girl's voice was soft, and it was impossible to tell her real age from her appearance and her voice. "Have you guys discovered something? That human head keeps on moving, but I've been looking around. There is no mechanism controlling it inside the walls, and look at its movement pattern—it went up and down, up and down. That doesn't look like it was pulled along by a string." Tails explained her keen observations.
"Perhaps the mechanism is hidden inside it? Perhaps the boss is giggling while he looks at us from the surveillance camera." Xiao Lee shrugged. He was an employee at the futuristic theme park, so he knew a thing or two about devices at the park. He knew that with current technology, many things that seemed impossible could be done
"But look closer." Tails used the cutest expression to say something that made the rest of the visitors so uncomfortable. "The degree that it moves up and down is different each time. It doesn't look like a programed thing. In fact, it looks more like an invisible person is bouncing the thing repeatedly against the ground, or the human head is moving on its own."
Before the visitors could recover from the shock of the shadows coming from the corridor behind them, their focus turned to the human head inside the corridor to their right. They looked at it long enough, and it really did feel like the human head was bouncing on its own. It bounced and laughed, and the distance between them seemed so close.
Fan Dade wiped the sweat from his forehead. Suddenly, he felt like standing in the middle of the group was not that safe anymore.
"We should ignore the human head for now. We should go straight ahead to inspect what is behind that open door." Ah Nan looked at Yang Chen. "Based on your speculation, the human head is a guide. If that is the case, when we exit the room, it should still be here waiting for us, so there is no reason for us to hurry and leave."
"I also think it is better that we check out the room first." Hu Ya had been silent throughout, but when she spoke, it meant that the three editors would be following her direction. Yang Chen felt like arguing his case, but he surrendered after Hu Ya stated her stance. The beautiful main editor had a mature and warm voice—it was a completely different style from Tails. In fact, she reminded Yang Chen of Chen Ge. Yang Chen felt this was a very well-hidden, black-belly big sister and not someone he could cross.
"Then, we will do that first." The twelve visitors walked past the junction and squeezed themselves before the open door. This was a wooden door, and the bottom end was dug out. The door itself was covered with scratch marks. There was a sign written on the side of the door in pen that read 'Paradise'.
"A paradise inside theme park?" Yang Chen walked at the front of the door. He used his hands to touch the deep gouges on the door. Inside the grooves, there were blood stains and some brownish-black substance. "Do you think these marks were made by human hands?"
After entering the underground morgue, everything that he saw was so authentic to a point where he almost forgot he was visiting a Haunted House. Pushing the door open, the room was filled with many different items. There were bottles and vials arranged on the racks. Various organ models were soaking with yellow liquid inside the containers.
"What kind of paradise is this?" The room was very small, and it could not fit all twelve visitors. As Ah Nan entered the room, he told the rest of the visitors, "The rest of you should stay outside. Don't wander off on your own. Wait for us to come out, and we will move out together."
The three students from Western Jiujiang Medical University and the three editors entered the room. To complete the mission handed to him by Mr. Mu, Xiao Lee also entered the room. After they entered, Bai Qiulin very naturally stood guard at the entrance to the room.
Fan Dade, who was more cowardly, dragged his little brother and squeezed next to Ol' Zhou. "The two of us should just stay here. When they're done with the search, we'll just continue to follow them."
When he finished his sentence, he turned to smile at Ol' Zhou with an embarrassed smile. "We don't visit place like this often. When we move in deeper, do you mind if we stick with you?"
"Of course not." Ol' Zhou looked like such a friendly person. Kind, passionate, and loyal. Inside the dark and eerie corridor, Fan Dade was surrounded by Ol' Zhou, Duan Yue, and Bai Qiulin. He felt safe. These three were more trustworthy compared to the young'uns inside the room.
"We sure are lucky this time. We've found ourselves good company to party with—perhaps we really can clear the scenario this time."
While the big brother was happy with their luck, the little brother had a bad feeling growing in his heart. The meat on his body jiggled as Fan Chong turned back to look down the corridor that they had come from. The lights that were attached to the walls had been extinguished. He had no idea when that had happened.
The scariest thing was that the lights continued to get extinguished starting from the furthest one every few minutes. The corridor became darker, and the thing hiding inside the darkness seemed to be moving forward.
"It really feels like something is coming."
Yang Chen, Ah Nan, Wang Dan, Lee Xue, Xiao Lee, Tails and Hu Ya ransacked the place, and other than the dust that covered their hands, they did not come up with any worthwhile discoveries.
"The haunted House's boss would not have wasted such a huge amount of energy to create a useless room. There has to be a big secret hidden inside this room." Ah Nan led the two female editors to walk through the racks. "This place looks very much like an abandoned warehouse."
There were some ruined tables, chairs, and society equipment left in the corner. Ah Nan went to pick up one of the costumes from the pile. He discovered that the costume was wet like someone just had a bath and then put the clothes on. Putting the costume down, Ah Nan moved his finger to his nose, and he smelled a weird stench.
"This doesn't smell very much like water." While Ah Nan was caught in his thought process, Hu Ya walked deeper into the warehouse alone. She opened the cupboard that was placed at the corner and looked through the weird paintings that were stored inside.
Tails followed behind them. Since the path was blocked, she leaned against the printer that was by the wall. She accidentally hit the switch, and a rather pudgy face appeared on the printer.