695 Congratulations, My Friend
Both of Shinozaki's eyes were glowing like he had stumbled upon a treasure. "This work has broken beyond the limitations of the current industry, and it possesses its own unique style. Isn't this what I've been striving for?"
He studied the manuscripts on the table, but just flipping through them caused his body to shake. These were simple characters, but they seemed to come alive with the artist's hand. He seemed to be able to draw out the complications of the human heart with his pen. There was no gory scene and no disgusting monsters; he merely drew the image of human beings in his eyes, and it caused Shinozaki's spin to tingle with apprehension.
"This is a complete inversion of the current style; it feels like the artist has taken the perspective of a ghost to analyze the situation of man." Shinozaki had been in the business for more than a decade, and he was a recognized voice of seniority. In recent years, he had been trying to change his style. He had visited many other famed artists, but none of them had made as big an impact on him as the art before him.
"I need to find the artist! I have to meet the comic artist that is staying inside this Haunted House!"
Shinozaki was true professional. He realized the value of the manuscript with just a glance. He wished to learn, and it would be wrong to say that the thought of claiming this manuscript as his own did not cross his mind. However, he quickly banished the evil thought. A comic artist who purposely resided inside a Haunted House to do his work should be respected; this was a true artist.
Fear and excitement filled his heart, and even Shinozaki did not know what kind of situation he was in. He looked through the whole manuscript and provided his professional opinion, and he certainly had a very high opinion of it.
"Unfortunately, there are only a few manuscripts here. I wish to know what happens next." Shinozaki was already a fan. He mumbled to himself. When he finished, the lowest drawer of the table slid open a tad. The color of this drawer was different from the table that it was attached to. In fact, upon closer examination, Shinozaki realized that it had a different shape from the other drawers. It felt like it was forcibly stuffed there.
"What a strange drawer." It felt like something was guiding his hand as Shinozaki reached out to pull the drawer open. Inside was a whole stack of manuscripts and a homemade comic.
"There're so much! How long has he worked inside this place?" Shinozaki sat down on the floor, and the more he read, the more baffled he became. "Each of the panel is of the highest quality. Just how self-critical does one have to be to achieve a standard like this? But how come I've not heard of such a master in the industry before? When did the artist join the industry?"
He sped through the manuscripts. He desperately wished to take all the manuscripts with him so that he could study them slowly at home.
"Sir, it's quiet outside now. Shall we go out to take a look?" Xiao Xia, who was recovering, noticed how out of it Shinozaki was when she woke up.
"Let's wait, there's no need to rush. When the time's up, the boss will come get us. What's that idiom again? Yes, lie in wait!"
Shinozaki scanned through the pages quickly. He wanted to find out how many stories were written in the manuscripts. "When we leave this place, I need to contact the boss! If I cannot meet the artist in person, I will pay as much as he demands to obtain all of these manuscripts!"
Without knowing it, Shinozaki had reached the end of the drawer, and he picked up the last page. The paper was yellowed, a sign that it was something old. However, the drawing on it was fresh, like the page had just been drawn!
"How did he manage to do this?" Shinozaki looked at the page dumbly. He was the character being painted on that page!
A realistic character coupled with a strange style and the perspective chosen by the artist was curious. It felt like he was hiding inside the drawer while drawing the page. Shinozaki glanced subconsciously at the drawer that he had pulled open, and there was a pale face inside looking at him with eyes shining with anticipation.
"So, this is how…" His eyes rolled upward, and Shinozaki collapsed to the ground.
Not knowing what had really happened, Xiao Xia left the post by the door and rushed to Shinozaki. "Sir, wake up! What happened to you‽"
When there were two, at least they had each other's support. Now that she had been left alone, that stubborn horror grew exponentially in her heart. On the verge of collapse, Xiao Xia did not know what to do. She took out her phone to call the emergency number. However, when she unlocked the screen, her phone was grabbed by another hand.
She turned and saw that the room door was half open, and there were three people standing behind her!
The man on the left had a blanched face, the man on the right had his chest dyed red, and one of his hands had the wrist chopped off. Xiao Xia had seen the woman in the middle before—she was the ghost that had escaped from the bathroom earlier!
"Don't be afraid, we are…" The middle-aged man with the pale face started to speak, and Xiao Xia collapsed to the ground next to Shinozaki. For visitors who were visiting Chen Ge's Haunted House for the first time, a 3.5-star scenario was too difficult.
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"I didn't plan to scare her." Ol' Zhou looked at Duan Yue and Bai Qiulin awkwardly. The other two were feeling quite helpless as well.
"Actually, this is not our fault. This is Danian's fault for showing himself, and that caused the man to faint." Bai Qiulin helped placed Xiao Xia and Shinozaki in a comfortable position, and the ease that he showed proved that he was used to doing this.
"I agree with you. The main responsibility falls on Danian." Duan Yue nodded.
Hearing the three's conversation, Yan Danian crawled out from the drawer. He wanted to defend himself, but he did not know what to say. In the end, he crawled down in the corner and mumbled, "It was so hard to find an artist that approves of my work, and I just had to scare him until he fainted."
Seeing how self-deprecating Yan Danian was acting, Bai Qiulin, Ol' Zhou, and Duan Yue shared a laugh. The three of them walked to Yan Danian's side and helped the saddened comic artist up off the ground.
"Danian, congratulations. You have finally found the professional approval that you seek." Ol' Zhou pulled Ya Danian into a light hug, and he sighed with sincerity.
"I knew that my years of helping you check your manuscript wouldn't go to waste. I know you will reach success eventually." Duan Yue nudged Yan Danian's shoulders.
"But the most important thing is, do not forget about us when you're rich and famous!" Bai Qiulin, who normally was so reticent and aloof, had a face full of smiles at that moment.
The four of them had shared the same room, and they had walked the last leg of their life essentially together. They did not curse the world or become corrupted by hatred after death; instead, they chose to help and support each other.
Yan Danian was not much of a speaker. He did not know how to express his feelings, and he could only nod in constant succession.
"There's no need for words, we understand."
"Danian, you'd better get back to your drawing. Leave these two to us."
"We need to get them to the underground morgue soon. If we're late, we might cause them trouble."
After Ya Danian returned to the comic, and the three shared a look.
"Danian doesn't need the protection of us three anymore."
"That's right, I wonder if the three of us will disappear once Danian's wish is fulfilled. After all, we'd have no reason to stay anymore." Ol' Zhou discussed the issue with Bai Qiulin.
"Why worry about that now? Come and help me!" Duan Yue dragged Shinozaki out of the room. "I overheard the girl say that this man is a famous hentai artist. He seems to be a well-respected figure in that genre. Do either of you know what hentai is?"