484 Midnight Hearse
Chen Ge finally stopped next to Fan Dade and Fan Chong. These two visitors' situation was more serious than others. Fan Dade's eyes were unfocused as he stared at the ceiling. It looked like he was contemplating his life and future. His brother, Fan Chong, had returned to normal, but his body would spasm occasionally, and it looked quite scary.
"Feeling better?" Chen Ge sat down next to the bed with a thermos of hot water. Fan Dade looked at Chen Ge, and he really could not believe that this unassuming man was the culprit behind all those things that they had experienced.
"Thank you, we're feeling much better." After being scared so many times, Fan Chong seemed to have walked out from the haze of the break-up and found a new lease on life.
"Good." Chen Ge poured two cups of water and left them on the table. He planned to leave right after. The business was still running, so he could not be away for too long.
"Boss Chen, wait a minute." Fan Chong sat up in bed and looked at Chen Ge.
"Can I ask you a question?" Fan Chong's chubby hands held the edge of the bed. He thought about it for a long time before asking, "You've designed so many ghosts and monsters at your Haunted House, so do you personally believe in the existence of ghosts in this world?"
"Many visitors have asked me that." Chen Ge looked at Fan Chong with some surprise. This large child seemed to have an unknown past. "I don't know the real answer. Perhaps there are ghosts, but in any case, I have not seen any."
"You have not?" Fan Chong looked quite saddened.
"Why would you suddenly ask that?" Compared to whether there were ghosts in this world or not, Chen Ge was more curious about what had happened to Fan Chong. The man looked normal, but he had managed to retain his sanity after so many repeated scares. That was quite impressive.
"Actually, it's nothing. Recently, I've been playing a game that is said to have been created by a murderer, and the game is supposed to contain hints of his murders." Fan Chong used one sentence to attract the attention of everyone in the room.
"A game designed by a mad murderer?" Chen Ge's interest was piqued. "But how is that related to the existence of ghosts in this world?"
"Perhaps it was the sound effects, but after some time playing the game, I began to hear the sound of children crying. I like to wear earphones when playing games, and that is a source of curiosity because even after I took the earphones out, I could still hear the sound of crying." It was the first time Fan Chong said these things, and his expression was strange. "I suspected that I was hearing things, but after examination, the doctor told me that my body was fine. So, those children crying must have been real."
"Can you tell me what the crying said?" Chen Ge stopped at the door.
"She kept crying and only appeared at night."
"What is the game generally about?" Chen Ge asked another question.
"On the surface, it is a clothes-changing game. You can pretty up your avatar daughter in the game and use her to complete various missions. After completing the mission, you'll be awarded with more clothes and accessories. Things like school uniform, sun dress, things like that."
"Daughter? Dress up?" Chen Ge looked at Fan Chong with suspicion. "Why would you play a game like that?"
"That's not important. The important part is that after I cleared all the missions, the game gave me the very last reward—it was a piece of clothing." Fan Chong hugged his head, and his fingers poked through his hair. "The clothing was named 'Mummy's Pajamas'. After I got that outfit, a window appeared on-screen, and it said that Xiao Bu had found a key that leads to the dungeon in Mummy's Pajamas."
"Xiao Bu was the name that you gave your daughter in the game?" Chen Ge asked.
"No." Fan Chong shook his head. "At the time, I had just broken up with my girlfriend of four years. I named the avatar in game after her, Liu Jiaru."
"You named your virtual daughter after your real girlfriend?" Chen Ge was just beyond speechless. He sat back down and decided to ask for more.
"Don't mind those details. At the time, I was confused. My daughter's name was Liu Jiaru, but why would the game change the name on its own to Xiao Bu? I googled the game online but could not find any information on it." Fan Chong saw the question on Chen Ge's face, so he explained, "I found the game on a small gaming forum. The forum has plenty of indie games and mod files for mainstream games."
"In essence, you completed the game and got a key that led to some dungeon. What happened after that?" Chen Ge took a sip of the warm water and continued to listen.
"The setting of the game is not big; it's just a small town, and all the missions can be completed in said town. After I got the key, I had the girl whose name had already changed, put on Mummy's Pajamas, and exit the room to look for the dungeon entrance." Fan Chong curled up on the bed, and his expression slowly changed. "The game's style is very warm and kid-friendly, filled with sun and flowers. Every character in the town is kind and helpful. Actually, it is because of how warm the game felt that I chose to play it after the break up. I thought that the game might be a good distraction, but something scarier than the break up happened."
"Don't need to explain so much. Just give me the result." Chen Ge was eager to find out what happened.
"I spent one week and used the mouse to click on every inch of the town until I eventually found the entrance in one of Xiao Bu's friend's houses behind a dresser." Fan Chong raised his head to look at Chen Ge. "The window popped up to inform me that I had already found the entrance of the dungeon and asked whether I wanted to use the key or not."
His hands closed and opened; it was clear that Fan Chong was very nervous. "After I clicked yes, the door opened. I controlled Xiao Bu to enter the space behind the dresser. My computer went blank instantly, and about two seconds later, when the screen returned, the style of the game became completely different."
"Was it a blood red world behind the dresser?" Chen Ge was reminded of the 'door'.
"No." Fan Chong shook his head. "The world behind the dresser was dim. There were dead sunflowers littering the ground, and the walls were thick.
"There was a grey road, and there were streetlights on the side of the road, but the distance between them was very far. It was recognizable that I was still inside the town, but night had arrived. The surrounding buildings looked so different compared to how they had looked in daylight.
"I controlled Xiao Bu to walk down the road and eventually came across a bus stop. Waiting at the bus stop was a rather old, worn public bus."