"You go first. I hear this Haunted House delineates its scenarios into different stages of difficulty. Since it is not often that we get to visit the hardest scenario, I wish to look around some more." Ye Xiaoxin stood inside the director's office.
The noise that came out from the tape recorder grew louder, and some other sounds could be heard within the white noise. It sounded like gasps of air and also crying.
Han Qiuming looked at the time; they still had two minutes left. He did not have time to dawdle. "Okay, you take care of yourself."
Then he turned toward the exit with the recorder. Watching as Han Qiuming's back merged into the darkness, the eyes of Ye Xiaoxin, who had kept her cool throughout, bulged wide.
Why is there someone lying on his back‽
She was someone who did not believe in the supernatural, which was why she could so bravely review so many Haunted Houses. However, just now, she saw something that her experience could not explain.
Who was that lying on his back? Is it one of the workers?
Han Qiuming ran at the top of his speed with the recorder.
Two minutes left!
His body temperature fell. Han Qiuming did not know why, but there was a chill that radiated from his back and suffused through his body before finding its way into his heart.
A voice appeared beside his ear. It was fleeting.
"Who was that‽" Han Qiuming turned his head around to look behind him. It was like a girl was lying on his back, but when he looked, there was nothing there. "Was I mistaken?"
He ran faster with a simple goal in mind, to leave as soon as possible. "I already have the item, and I'll win the moment I escape. I'll gain back the face that Tian Teng Medical School has lost!" Han Qiuming ignored everything and dashed madly ahead.
The voice came closer, moving from his back to the side of his ears like it was trying to find its way into his earlobes.
" Han Qiuming waved his arms at the air around him angrily. "Come out! Who is it‽"
There was no response other than silence. There were only the echoes of his voice and the tape's white noise in the long corridor.
"Is it this recorder?" Other than himself, only this recorder could produce sound. Han Qiuming placed it before his eyes. The tape was still turning, and the play button's light had changed from the earlier green to red. "This has to be it!"
Han Qiuming could not figure out what was wrong. Time was ticking. With a grit of his teeth, Han Qiuming grabbed the recorder and continued his mad sprint.
There has to be something wrong with the recorder, but it is also the key to clearing this scenario! It took us so much time to find this-I'm not going to throw it away! It'll be a waste of all my previous effort!
Han Qiuming cursed Chen Ge within his heart.
He needed to exit with the tape recorder to win, and this was the hardest decision. Ditching the recorder meant losing, but keeping the recorder meant having to suffer the torment that it brough. This was a scenario that normal people would not be able to solve!
"Argh!" Han Qiuming gritted his teeth. He was going to give up his life to clear Chen Ge's Haunted House. He continued to run, but the weight on his shoulders gradually increased. It was as if something was pressing on his shoulders, and the chill seeped into his bones.
The voice from behind him became clearer and clearer. From the initial fuzzy male voice, it had now turned into a female voice. It sounded familiar. It was a voice that was filled with helplessness and despair.
Wait a minute!
When this voice appeared, the hairs on Han Qiuming's body stood up.
I've heard this voice somewhere before.
His sanity was almost shattered. In a Haunted House that he had not visited before, he had managed to hear a voice that he was familiar with.
Where did I hear this before?
Cold sweat slid down his forehead. He did not have many female friends, practically none from his age group.
No, I must have heard this somewhere before!
A memory from about half a year ago floated up in his mind. When editing the design to Tian Teng Medical School to increase the attraction of the Haunted House, ignoring the objections from others, he had insisted on adding the death of Xu Zhenzhen and her father into the plot. To add to the authenticity, he had thoroughly researched Xu Zhenzhen.
The girl had once worked at her father's hospital. Later, she had been fired due to medical mistake. At the time, the patient's family had made a huge deal out of it, and there was even a video online. The family had gone to the hospital to demand an explanation from Xu Zhenzhen. In a nurse's uniform, Xu Zhenzhen had been surrounded by other doctors and nurses. She had explained herself with her soft voice, but no one had paid her any attention. Later, the situation had spiraled out of control, and she had been shoved to the ground. Someone had even stepped on her fingers.
Yes! This is the voice!
Han Qiuming's head was exploding. He was listening to a dead victim's voice inside a Haunted House!
He threw the tape recorder away instantly. Even if he had ten more hearts, and he would not go near that tape recorder again.
Why would Xu Zhenzhen's voice be caught inside the recorder? Is it the work of that Chen fella? Impossible! He wouldn't have known we were going to visit the Third Sick Hall. It was my suggestion that the plan was changed.
Han Qiuming wanted to give himself a huge slap on his lips.
I shouldn't have said that!
The tape recorder originally came from Tian Teng Medical School. Could it be that the Xu Zhenzhen that I took inspiration from returned as an actual ghost?
His body temperature was dropping, and his skin was cold. The pressure on his shoulders continued to increase.
I'll need to leave this place first; this house is too haunted.
Han Qiuming continued to run, but he only took several steps before he started to gasp desperately for air. The soft mattresses did not provide his feet with any purchase, and every step he took made his body feel heavier.
What's going on? It feels like I'm carrying something.
Han Qiuming looked behind him. The tape recorder that he had dropped in the corner was unharmed because the fall had been cushioned by the mattresses, and it was still rolling. The tape that kept on turning was like a curious smile or a whirlpool that was designed to draw him in.
I need to escape.
The tape recorder was far away from him, but the white noise felt like it was just beside his ears.
"So painful, so painful..."
The woman's voice filled Han Qiuming's mind, and there was a crazed look in his eyes. "Stop talking! I told you to stop talking!"
He punched the air and turned wildly about. He wanted to search for the source. In a flash, he saw a woman's face placed on his shoulder, whispering into his ear.
"I've got you now!" He turned on his phone's flashlight and used the camera to point behind him. As the camera turned, the familiar face that he had seen many times on newspapers and medical reports appeared in his phone. "Xu... Xu Zhenzhen!"
The phone slipped from his grasp, and Han Qiuming dashed down the corridor, running for his life. His body turned colder ,and the voice refused to leave him be.
"So painful, so painful, so painful!"
After turning the corner, Han Qiuming returned to the mess of mannequins. He did not notice the changes to the mannequins and charged forward blindly. He knew that he had paid attention to where he was stepping, but for some reason, something tripped him up, and he collapsed amid the mess of mannequins. During his fall, his thick glasses were sent flying as well.
Han Qiuming crawled on all fours. His surroundings were completely blurred, but he could still make out the shapes of hands, legs, and heads. He crawled toward his glasses, but the glasses kept on moving away from him like they were being moved by the mannequins.
In the dark, he could sense the many heads and body parts moving toward him.
"What are you‽ Don't come any closer! Help! Help!"