"Why are they following us?" Xiao Du's voice was shaking. He was closest to the group of mannequins.
"Did you hear any footsteps?" Han Qiuming moved his eyes away to look at Xiao Du. "There should be more than one worker mixed in the mannequins since they need to move so many mannequins."
"There was no sound. It was as if they suddenly appeared behind us, I swear." Xiao Du was afraid that Han Qiuming would not believe him.
"No sound?" Han Qiuming's brows were creased together. He stared at the mannequins for a while before suddenly laughing. "I know the reason!"
He strode toward the mannequins like he had really discovered their secret. "The Third Sick Hall is filled with mattresses. The workers will not create any footsteps if they step on them. The designer of this Haunted House has an impressive mind. He purposely hid the dolls underneath these mattresses to distract our attention, making us forget their actual purpose."
Han Qiuming stopped beside the female mannequin with his lips turned up. "Using the mattresses to hide the sound of footsteps, that is a great idea, but your lousy performance gave it away. You have to maintain a safe distance if you aim to psychologically pressure the visitors. Making the visitors aware of your presence but not close enough for them to touch you is the best method."
Xiao Du did not quite get what Han Qiuming was saying. "Why is that the best? For me, this kind of encroaching assault is scarier."
"Pushing it too far will cause the opposite reaction in the visitors, and they might do something like this." Han Qiuming pulled the mannequin's head off and shoved her to the ground. Facing the group of mannequins in the darkened corridor, he shouted, "Come out on your own. Don't make me go in to catch you-that will just be awkward for everyone."
"Who are you talking to?" Xiao Du found him unable to catch up.
"The workers inside this Third Sick Hall. They are hiding among the mannequins with special make-up!" Han Qiuming pushed on his glasses. His face stated that he had everything under his control.
However, ten seconds later, the mannequins in the corridor still had not moved. The shadows stood unmoving in the dark corridor, and it was weirdly scary with how still they were.
"Mr. Han, should we just move on? It's fine if their workers don't want to come out," Xiao Du advised, but Han Qiuming felt like this was an affront to his face. "If they're exposed, then this is no longer their choice. It's their bad luck that I'm in such a foul mood today. That Chen fella has ruined our Haunted House, hasn't he? Today, I'll repay his kindness and wreak havoc inside his!"
Han Qiuming strode inside the group of mannequins. He pulled off the heads of the mannequins one after another and kicked them to the ground. "Fine, continue to hide. Let me see how long you can hold on!"
The rolling heads made the situation worse.
"Please come back, Mr. Han!" Looking at the mannequin heads that rolled across the floor, Xiao Du's heart raced.
"What are you in such a hurry for?" Han Qiuming yanked out five heads. "This worker sure is loyal. He'd rather watch the props get destroyed than come out to surrender."
"Boss and Brother Song have wandered far away, we need to catch up!" Xiao Du urged. More heads rolled on the floor, and his scalp went numb because their facial expressions seemed to be changing-they were smiling!
"Don't fret!" When Han Qiuming pulled off the eighth mannequin head, he also realized that something was wrong. "The mannequins are installed with metallic joints and support. Even an adult would have a hard time moving four of them at the same time. Could the workers be hiding at the back of the group? That has to be it. Even with special make-up, the workers will be exposed if they wander too close, so they have to be hiding at the back!"
Han Qiuming convinced himself. He charged forward, knocking the mannequins all over the place.
"Mr. Han!" Watching as Han Qiuming rushed into the group of mannequins alone, Xiao Du was worried. With a grit of his teeth, he ran after the man. "Let's go! It's not nice for us to ruin so many expensive props."
"He dares wreck our Haunted House, so he should be prepared to face such consequences." Han Qiuming strode toward the last four mannequins, which were lying on the ground. "You are making me do this to you."
His hands tightened around the fourth mannequin. With a light yank, the mannequin's head came off easily.
"It's also a mannequin‽" Xiao Du's voice was shaking. "Mr. Han, are you sure the mannequins weren't moving on their own? When I came over, I swear the expressions on the mannequins' faces changed."
"What do you know? Stop talking!" Han Qiuming pulled off another two mannequins' heads. His hands started to tremble when they tightened around the last mannequin's head. With a strong pull, a face that was crying got separated from its body.
"What the f*ck‽"
Holding the head, Han Qiuming stared at Xiao Du.
"They're all mannequins‽" Xiao Du's voice was shaking. Standing in the grave of the mannequins, he did not even dare move.
"Don't be afraid! The workers probably ran to hide inside the sickrooms on both sides when they saw me coming." Han Qiuming dropped the head to the ground and rushed to inspect the sickrooms. "Come out now! I've seen you!"
He searched several rooms, but there was no reward. Han Qiuming returned with a stern face.
"Mr. Han, do you think this place is really haunted? That Boss Chen is a madman; he is someone who will do anything. I was trapped inside a steel box by the man before." Xiao Du was covered in chills and started to relay his nightmarish experience.
"Enough, that's not something to boast about." Han Qiuming waved to interrupt Xiao Du. He was calculating the distance between the corridor and the entrance to Third Sick Hall. "The workers wouldn't have time to run out the entrance after they moved the mannequins. Yes, I know it now. They should have left through a workers' pathway. There is probably some hidden passageway underneath one of these mattresses."
No matter what he said, Xiao Du would not believe him anymore. Now he just wanted to get as far away from Mr. Han as possible. Xiao Du had a feeling that staying close to the man would not lead to anything good.
"If you want to go look for that, you have fun. I'm leaving." Xiao Du turned and ran.
"With such cowardice, no wonder he was spooked by the visitor." However, the confidence in Han Qiuming's voice had disappeared. He walked back to the Third Sick Hall, and a headless mannequin's finger pulled on his pants. He promptly kicked the mannequin away. "Who are you trying to scare?"
After turning the corner, Han Qiuming heard the sound of stuff rolling on the floor coming from behind him. "That is so fake."
However, he did not turn back around the corner to look but increased his speed to catch up to the rest.