1117 I“ve Never Believed in the Supernatural 2 in 1
"Is ghost fetus another name for the School of the Afterlife?" Shang Quan Qing Hong quietly asked the teammate beside him.
The latter was equally confused. "Probably. A scenario the size of the School of the Afterlife takes more than a year to design and build. The fact that their haunted house has one of them is already quite impressive."
"You have a point there. It appears to be just a name change."
"How come I do not feel like that is the case? I feel like we've been tricked." Shang Guan Qing Hong had interacted with Chen Ge before, so he knew what kind of person Chen Ge was. With Chen Ge's personality, he would never cave under pressure and admit defeat so easily. When Chen Ge's tone changed earlier, Shang Guan Qing Hong had noticed a bad feeling rising in his heart.
"It is too late to say anything now. We have already given the man our promise. There is no way we can back out now. I am not going to lose this face." The man with the sunglasses overheard the conversation between Shang Guan Qing Hong and the other person. He opened his mouth to say, "Do not worry. Even if this ghost fetus is a different scenario, it won't affect us that much. All of us have been in this business for more than half a century; we already know everything there is to know about the ins and outs of the business. It is easy for him to scare the normal visitors, but to wish to use the same tricks on us, it is almost impossible."
The man with the sunglasses was very confident. He appeared to be one of the top haunted house designers in the country. Even though Chen Ge did not know him, he appeared to be well respected among the other members within the business. Once the man in the sunglasses said his piece, the others were quick to nod along. The nine visitors followed behind Chen Ge to Uncle Xu.
"Uncle, I need nine tickets to the ghost fetus scenario." Chen Ge's request had cornered Uncle Xu. After all, the experienced ticket seller had not even heard of this ghost fetus scenario before, but he knew it was unwise to point that out before the crowd, so he just randomly printed nine general tickets for Shang Guan Qing Hong's group.
The surrounding visitors also heard about the news of the ghost fetus scenario for the first time. A wave of excitement travelled through the crowd. Many of the experienced visitors who were sitting at the resting hall rushed out to look.
"The four-star scenario 'ghost fetus' will be open to the public for the first time today! So, there is a fifty percent ticket discount promotion! Those are interested shouldn't let this opportunity go! The first trial of a new scenario is the most exciting. It is like watching the livestream of a sports game. You never know what will happen the next second. This kind of facing the unknown is the most exciting feeling there is!"
Once Chen Ge said that, Shang Guan Qing Hong's face turned green immediately. Now that he had confirmed that ghost fetus and School of the Afterlife were two different scenarios, it meant that the information that they had collected beforehand had all been rendered useless. He tried his best to control the expression on his face. Shang Quan Qing Hong tried to capture the attention of another member in this team, but the latter was stunned beyond belief, unable to give Shang Quan Qing Hong any attention.
"A brand-new scenario, an extreme experience, all that for just a mere twenty RMB, what are you guys hesitating for?"
The nine visitors all knew each other, so it was inconvenient for Chen Ge to stuff his own employees into their ranks. Therefore, he needed more visitors to fill up the visiting team. Whenever Chen Ge went through such promotional spiel, the frequent visitors at the haunted house would all instinctually take a step back. They would get as far away from Chen Ge as they could.
The opening of a new scenario would always capture a few visitors to use as 'sacrifices'. The experienced visitors quickly retreated. They were very familiar with Chen Ge's agenda. Other haunted houses giving a discount might be to celebrate some kind of holiday or anniversary, but whenever Chen Ge's haunted house gave a discount, it could only mean that something bad was about to happen. Everyone had learned their lesson. No one stood out to answer Chen Ge's call. Just as Chen Ge was about to give up, a voice suddenly travelled through the crowd.
"Haven't you guys been skipping class to come here to play? How come all of you are as silent as a mouse at a moment like this?" A middle-aged man wearing a pair of glasses walked out from the crowd. "Students of forensic science skipping classes to come to a haunted house to play every day and still not being able to clear the game. In a way, you students are the worst batch that I have ever taught."
"Mr. Wang, shh! Now is not the time to speak. Do not let Boss Chen make a target out of you." The students standing beside the middle-aged man quickly spoke. One of them was very familiar; it was one of Chen Ge's oldest friends.
"He San, I heard you were the first to come to this haunted house. You alone have dragged all of your seniors down into your bad habits, and that has raised the university's truancy rate by three hundred percent. When we return, we will need to have a good sit down and talk about this." The middle-aged man was very stern. He San did not even dare raise his head during the lecture.
"He San! Long time no see!" Chen Ge was troubled over the lack of volunteers, so when he saw the students from Jiujiang Medical University, it was like he had just seen his long-lost relatives. He ran over to them happily. "Is this your lecturer? How shall I refer to you, sir?"
"My surname is Wang. I am a senior lecturer at Jiujiang Medical University." The students beside him kept making faces at Mr. Wang, but Mr. Wang ignored all of them. "My students often skip class to come to your theme park to play after classes and even during classes. They only talk about how to clear your scenarios. Their parents have paid for their tuition, and the country has given them such a conducive education environment. Is that for them to think about how to clear a haunted house day in and day out?"
Mr. Wang was a very stern but responsible lecturer. That could be seen from the fact that he had personally purchased the ticket to come to the theme park to capture the students who had skipped class by himself. Furthermore, this lecturer had probably been observing this for quite some time already because once he showed up, he managed to capture so many of his students in the act.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Skipping class to come to a theme park is something wrong, but with a proper time management, a visit to a haunted house can help a student greatly release their stress. It is a very good method to relax after a long day of studying." Chen Ge did not mind the expression of the other visitors around them, and he continued to speak in a serious and open tone. "How about this, Mr. Wang? You should give it a try in person. After that experience, perhaps you will be able to understand why your students have such passion for my haunted house. After all, my haunted house is distinctively unique from other haunted houses. It is hidden with many puzzles and unsolved cases. During the visitation process, the visitors can improve their observation, analysis and logical thinking abilities."
"Sir! You really have to think about this!" He San quickly grabbed Mr. Wang by his arm. "A four-star scenario is very scary. It is not a joke!"
"Do you have such little faith in your lecturer?" Mr. Wang stared harshly at He San. "I have participated in many heavy crime investigations. I only retired from the front line two years ago. What kind of gory and bloody crime scene have I not seen before in my career?"
The innocent He San felt wronged. "Sir…"
"A real crime scene is one hundred times scarier than a scenario made up inside a haunted house. When you are there in person, you can sense the presence of the lives that once occupied the space. The smell, the wounds, any traces could be hiding a true horror." Mr. Wang shook his head. "When you graduate and become a qualified coroner, you will naturally understand these things. By then, you will know that these so-called haunted houses can only bring you temporarily shocks, but they are far from being actual terrors."
"Well said, I agree with that whole-heartedly." Chen Ge finally understood the confidence behind Mr. Wang. This Mr. Wang was not a normal lecturer; he was a coroner who had just retired from the front line two years ago. He had actual experience dealing with murders and homicides under his belt. Unfortunately, it was because Mr. Wang had retired from the front line two years ago that he had not heard of the record where Chen Ge had helped the law enforcement solve so many actual cases in the past few months. The number of heavy crimes already could not be counted. Just considering super heavy and serious crimes, there were already quite a few. Chen Ge admired people like Mr. Wang who had actual experience to back up his words. Of course, he also wished that he could undo the prejudice that Mr. Wang had toward his haunted house. "Mr. Wang, ticket sales are this way."
"There has to be a reason why your haunted house enjoys such high popularity on the internet. I am here today not to ruin your reputation. I just want to instill a lesson in my students. Nowadays, the kids are too used to not taking things seriously, but I need to make them understand that the occupation of a coroner is a very serious one." After saying that, Mr. Wang grabbed the two students closest to him and walked ahead. "Come on, we will experience this today. Actually, after listening to you people doing research about this place day in and day out, I am quite curious about it."
Mr. Wang was surprisingly strong. When He San felt his body being pulled along, he took a moment to realize and snapped out of it. "We're entering the haunted house together with you, sir? What the f*ck!"
"How could you curse before your teacher?" Chen Ge chided He San with a smile. He was reminded of the first time he encountered He San. That day, He San had come to visit his haunted house with Gao Ru Xue.
"No, wait! Sir! Wait a minute!" Not only He San, the other student from Jiujiang Medical University who was closest to Mr. Wang failed to escape, and he was half dragged and half pulled to the ticket sales booth.
"Three tickets to the ghost fetus scenario, please." Mr. Wang was quick and efficient. After he purchased the students, he dragged the students through the gates of the haunted house.
"This lecturer is not as brash as he seems. He purposely grabbed He San and the other student, who are already familiar with the rules of the haunted house, to prevent accidents from happening." After Chen Ge saw the other people from Jiujiang Medical University retreat back into the crowd, he turned to lead the other nine visitors into the haunted house. "Please sign the disclaimer forms first. I will go out and see if there are any other visitors who are willing to join. It costs quite a bit to open a four-star scenario to the public, so I wish to fill up twenty people in a team before we start."
Moments later, Chen Ge came back with three new visitors. One of them was Xiao Sun, and the other two were a couple from Xin Hai. The couple appeared to have just finished an argument. In the heat of argument, the girl grabbed the man and registered to join. Chen Ge initially wanted to reject them, but to his surprise, he realized that there was a heavy air of Yin energy around the man. He suspected that this was a unique visitor, so in the end, he did not stop them. After all fifteen visitors had signed the disclaimers, Chen Ge put the forms neatly away and then started to explain the background of the ghost fetus scenario and the rules of the game to them.
"Even though most of you are experienced members of this industry, there are certain things that I need to warn you about." After signing the disclaimer, Chen Ge's tone and expression changed. It was as if he had changed into a different person compared to the smiling man who had welcomed them warmly outside the haunted house. At this moment, he looked quite scary. "This ghost fetus scenario is different from any of the haunted house scenarios that you have ever designed or visited. You will meet life threatening danger inside there, but you might run into some very interesting events."
"Why is your scenario called ghost fetus?" The lights inside the haunted house were dim, but the man with the sunglasses did not appear like he was about to remove the glasses.
"There was once a shadow who wanted to become human. He yearned for bliss, but during the process of chasing after bliss, he ran into many twisted and crazy monsters who left scars and incorrect values in him. In the end, he turned into a ghost fetus that was feared by everyone. You will soon experience his slow process of descending into the dark abyss. I hope you will treat every choice that you face seriously because every choice that you make will greatly influence the plot that will come in the future." Chen Ge heard a grunt of impatience coming from the team, so he quickly wrapped things up. "The time limit is one hour. You need to find a rag doll inside the ghost fetus' scenario."
Chen Ge took out two pictures that he had taken beforehand and handed them separately to Mr. Wang and Shang Guan Qing Hong. "This rag doll has been severed into many parts by a doctor. You only need to find all the broken pieces within an hour and piece them together to clear the scenario!"
"The goal is that simple?" the man who was fashionably dressed asked to confirm.
"If you ever want to give up, just scream loudly for them. Other than that, I have to give you one last piece of advice. Do not have any physical contact with anyone inside the haunted house, including your teammates." Chen Ge led the fifteen visitors down the steps into the underground scenario. "Take good care of the pictures and pay attention to the people around you. Most importantly, do not wander off on your own."
Chen Ge gave the visitors a lot of warnings. He was being sincere; he did not want anything bad to happen to these people. After all, the memory of the Demon God lingered throughout the ghost fetus' scenario. Opening the steel door that headed underground, the ambient temperature dropped immediately. Chill winds rushed out from the ground, and among the visitors, three of their expressions changed immediately.
One of them was the man from Xin Hai, the one who had heavy Yin energy on him. The second one was the woman with the black skull tattoo on her arm. She touched her earring and opened her lips as if to say something, but in the end, she quieted down again. The woman with an explosive temper suddenly became curiously quiet. The last one was Mr. Wang. His brows were heavily creased together, and the bridge of his nose twitched like he could smell something special in the air.
"Stick close to me." Chen Ge led them underground. They walked past the first floor and then headed to their destination, the underground second floor. Another black iron door appeared before them. This door was embedded into the ground like it had grown out from the walls. It was giving off a fainted disinfectant smell.
"Everything you need to know about the ghost fetus is behind this door." Chen Ge used quite some strength before he managed to push the heavy door open. His eyes narrowed as he studied all the visitors coldly. "You can go in now. The timer will start once this door closes."
Standing outside the iron door, the visitors all stopped at the same spot as if they had discussed this earlier. No one appeared to wish to make the first step. After some time, the man with the sunglasses took off his glass. He coughed several times and grabbed another person to walk past the door. The other visitors moved to follow. After they had all walked in, Chen Ge stayed to look at them. His eyes were like he was looking at a group of walking corpses, and the corners of his lips curled upward. "Welcome to the four-star scenario, ghost fetus. I hope you enjoy yourselves."
The heavy black iron door was slammed shut. The chains grinded against the rusted railings, and the iron door was locked tight.
"I think it's better if I follow behind them. After all, I am one of the nine chosen children." Chen Ge returned to the dressing room to touch up his make-up and then went to the Specter's Changing Room to pick up a costume. After he was ready, Chen Ge went to survey the other scenarios and called over some of the employees who were free. "Now, there should be no problem already."
The black iron door closed heavily. None of the visitors wandered away from the team. The haunted house was a completely different world aboveground and belowground. It was as if before this group of people was ready, they were kicked down from heaven into hell.
"Buildings that are completely unfamiliar, the video information did not provide us with any details related to this scenario at all." Shang Guan Qing Hong's scalp was numb. He leaned against the iron door, and it felt like the air that entered his lungs even chilled his organs. "We have worked together to plan this for a whole month and wasted so much money to have people collect information for us, but in the end, we were ushered into a new scenario that is completely unknown to us."
For some reason, Shang Guan Qing Hong was suddenly reminded of this quote from Zhu Ge Liang's Memorial on Sending out the Troop—'The late sovereign was taken from us while his life's work, the restoration of the Han, remained unfinished.'
"Snap out of it. As the initiator of this proposal, you cannot give up now." The man who had been exchanging glances with Shang Guan Qing Hong before they entered the haunted house whispered to him.
"Director Ma, you have no idea how scary the owner of this haunted house is. The man is evil incarnate!" Shang Guan Qing Hong also lowered his voice to a whisper. He did not want to lower the group's morale.
"I personally have never believed in the supernatural because I only believe in myself." The man patted Shang Guan Qing Hong on his shoulder. His gaze was as sharp as a knife.