"My name is Zhao Wen. He is Ling Feijie." The bespectacled man gave Wu Jinpeng a once over. He saw that Wu Jinpeng was dressed in night market clothes, and he could practically smell the scent of poverty from him.
"Nice to meet you. I am the haunted house's newest employee. The boss told me to join you guys to experience the scenario first before I am given any tasks." Wu Jinpeng grasped the whole situation instantly. The two men liked the woman, but the woman did not like them.
"Uncle, are you really the worker here? You don't look like one." The two other visitors came over. They also looked quite young. "We are from Jiujiang Medical University. We hear from our seniors that the workers here are the scariest they have ever met. It's as if they come out of hell itself."
Hearing the comments from the two students, Wu Jinpeng's forehead started to sweat. He seemed to have joined an inappropriate group.
"I still have not met the other employees, so I cannot confirm what you've said."
"Uncle, you look like a nice person. You wouldn't lie to us, right?" The two medical students were familiar with Chen Ge's ways. They were given information about Chen Ge's haunted house almost daily, so they were practically old costumers already.
"Do I look like a liar to you?" Wu Jinpeng wanted to explain himself, but the more he tried, the more the others eyed him with suspicion.
"Stop wasting time, we'll head in first." Ling Feijie was older than the two students, but he appeared more juvenile than the latter. He was like a flower that had grown in the greenhouse. He looked tough on the outside but weak on the inside. The few walked down the corridor into Mu Yang High School. Wu Jinpeng and the two students walked ahead while the three lagged behind. They kept glancing around. It did not seem like they were there to visit but to look for something. The blank test papers fluttered in the air, creating a rustle as they dragged against the ground. When Wu Jinpeng first entered the basement, it did not feel that scary, but the deeper they went, their faster his heartbeat, and his palms started to sweat.
"Uncle, you're too tense. Your muscles are pulled so taut that you're limping." One of the students noticed this and smiled with sympathy. "I know that you're acting, but do you need to try so hard?"
"I'm sorry, this is my first day at work." Wu Jinpeng did not wish to act like that, but he was really not that brave. "Should we wait for the others? I don't think we should split up..."
Wu Jinpeng turned around to look and saw the three standing before a classroom, stopping where they were. They did not look like they were moving forward. In fact, the man called Zhao Wen took several steps back like he was planning to sneak away from Mu Yang High School.
"Hey! There's no need to be afraid. If we stick together, it should be fine." Wu Jinpeng wanted to console them, but the man called Zhao Wen did not care for it. He even glared back at Wu Jinpeng.
"The three of you can continue the tour. Just go ahead without us." Ling Feijie guarded beside Shen Mengbing always, unable to move away from her.
"Based on what our seniors said, those who split up inside the haunted house meet a horrible end." The two students were experienced. They grabbed Wu Jinpeng and headed toward Shen Mengbing. "Stop kidding around, this is a two-star scenario!"
Being lectured by two people younger than him, Ling Feijie's temper was lit up instantly. He wanted to argue with them but was stopped by the woman beside him.
"They have a point, Xiao Jie. You always act too rashly. Sometimes, you have to listen to others." Shen Mengbing grabbed Ling Feijie's arm lightly. "The condition to clear this scenario is to find enough name tags. Time is not waiting for us. Let's try to clear this scenario in one try."
Shen Mengbing's voice was gentle, and it seemed to possess a magical power that could soften the temper of Ling Feijie.
"What about the other one? Are we just going to leave him behind?" Wu Jinpeng pointed at Zhao Wen. The man stood at the entrance of Mu Yang High School. He held his phone like he was talking to someone.
"He's on the phone with his father. We'll go ahead. I'm sure he'll soon catch up to us." Shen Mengbing came to Wu Jinpeng's side. "Come on, limping uncle."
The group thus entered Mu Yang High School. After they walked away, Zhao Wen put away the phone and glanced at the camera beside him. He sneaked to the corner that was close to the stairs. Several minutes later, the door that led underground opened again, and a batch of visitors were led toward Coffin Village by Ol' Zhou. Just as they moved toward Coffin Village, Zhao Wen came out from his hiding spot and sneaked back up the stairs. There was no one in the corridor. Zhao Wen took out his phone, and there was a map of the haunted house's ground floor on it. There were even red lines to mark out the surveillance corners.
"I really don't understand why Mengbing is so interesting in this haunted house." He avoided the surveillance carefully and entered the dressing room. There were many scary costumes in the room and many make-up kits on the tables.
"This isn't it." Zhao Wen held his phone and carefully closed the dressing room door. He opened the Prop Room next door. He still could not find what he was looking for. "I'm quite lucky. Neither room's occupied. Wasted my time to come up with so many reasons to excuse my behavior just in case I was caught."
Next to the prop room was the staff breakroom. Zhao Wen turned the doorknob, and the door clicked open. "Are none of the doors here not locked? Aren't they afraid of thieves?"
Just as the door opened, Zhao Wen was startled. A big white cat was staring at him from inside the room. The cat was larger than a normal cat. It had snowy white fur, and it was lying in bed, staring at Zhao Wen with its heterochromatic eyes.
"Phew, that scared me." Zhao Wen entered the room. He looked around and started to rummage through the place. The cat kept a steady eye on him until Zhao Wen started to feel quite uncomfortable. "Why do I feel like this cat is smiling at me? Does a cat know how to smile?"
Zhao Wen moved faster. He opened the closet. It was filled with several cheap, unbranded clothes. He looked under the bed. There was a bunch of abandoned props. They seemed to provide structural integrity to the bed.
"This breakroom is too empty. Won't the employees here complain about that?" Zhao Wen looked around before his eyes landed on the study table. "The table's drawer isn't locked either. I doubt there's anything important inside."
Pulling open the drawer, Zhao Wen saw an almost empty lighter and a thick stack of draft papers. Moving the papers away, he found a diary with a blood red cover underneath them.
"Meow." When the diary was discovered, the white cat, who had not nudged an inch, suddenly jumped to hide under the bed.
"What the hell! That scared me." Zhao Wen picked up the diary and placed it on the table. He opened it to the first page.
"X Year X Month X Day, I dragged her hair and tied her inside the stairwell. I leaned close to her face, listening to her weakening heartbeat. Before her last breath left her, I seemed to hear her utter my name from deep inside her throat-Zhang Ya..."
Zhao Wen looked at the red diary, and his pupils were vibrating. He wanted to stop reading, but he seemed to have lost control of his hands as they continued to flip through the pages. The content of the diary was too gory. Each page was filled with cruelty and pain. The owner of this diary was a real monster.