The elevator finally opened at the 12th floor, the middle floor of the building.
The game is over, but the 24th floor hasn't appeared.
The elevator opened to a darkened corridor, and Chen Ge stood within the elevator as he took out the ghost stories society's flyer.
1st floor corresponds to the 23rd floor, and the 2nd floor corresponds to the 22nd floor, but the 12th floor is right in the middle; there's no corresponding floor.
Chen Ge thought about it but could not be sure whether he had been successful or not.
Is it because of the old woman? Is that why I failed? Should I try again?
It was already Wednesday. Standing inside the elevator, looking out, Chen Ge felt unsettled. "There are 24 numbers on the elevator, but there is no button for the 24th floor on the control panel. Is this a mistake by the elevator company, or is there a second meaning?"
Chen Ge would not give up so easily, so he decided to go back up to the top floor. He pressed the button for the 23rd floor, and the elevator started to climb. The number kept changing, and it did not stop.
20, 21, 22...
Chen Ge looked at the number, and when the number changed from 22 to 23, unlike before, the elevator did not slow down. The number deepened like it was bleeding. The enclosed elevator booth suddenly gathered a cold gust, and weird sounds could be heard coming from outside the elevator.
Chen Ge stood in the corner and half-arced his body. His fingers reached toward the cleaver tied to his calf. After about two seconds, the elevator started to slow. When the elevator completely stopped, the number on display lit up.
The 24th floor!
The silvery-gray door opened, and as the two halves parted, a sticky substance that looked suspiciously like blood was stuck to them. A stench surged into the booth like a wave. Covering his lips and nose, Chen Ge was very familiar with this smell. He had smelled something similar when he was at Hai Ming Apartments and the Third Sick Hall.
This smell seems to be unique to the monsters behind the door!
The elevator door opened fully. Chen Ge looked down the corridor, and he started to hesitate. He did not walk out immediately but changed the speed dial on his phone to Gu Feiyu's number. Even though this added an extra procedure to calling the cops, it could prevent the emergency call to the police from exposing his identity.
When he set up everything, Chen Ge removed one other thing from his pocket. Before he arrived, he had also been wondering if he should bring this out of the Haunted House.
There is a requirement on the flyer that since all the members are not allowed to reveal their information, they must wear a mask.
There were plenty of masks inside Chen Ge's Haunted House, but the one he was most comfortable with was the skin mask for Doctor Skull-cracker.
With this, it should be easier for me to join the group of insane people.
It was understandably unnatural since this was the first time he had put on the mask outside of the Haunted House. However, now was not the time to be concerned about these details.
Exiting the elevator, Chen Ge turned back to look. On the walls beside the elevator door, there were some blood stains and blood prints like people were struggling to crawl toward the elevator but were cruelly pulled back.
The elevator slowly closed, and it did not return after it left.
How am I supposed to leave?
There had to be a way-that was the only thing Chen Ge could think of to console himself. He inspected everything he had before moving down the corridor.
When he was inside the elevator, Chen Ge could hear people's screams, but now that he was outside, he realized that the place was suspiciously quiet. All the doors were locked, and there was no sound coming out from within.
It doesn't seem like there is anyone alive on this floor.
As he moved forward, the light dimmed, and more blood stains appeared on the wall.
Will the society be in one of these rooms?
Chen Ge walked for about ten meters when he came across a door that was open. He sidled carefully toward it. He was about to enter when a person wearing a bird's mask suddenly came out from it.
Chen Ge stopped moving, but the birdman jumped back like he was spooked. Chen Ge did not speak. In this unfamiliar environment, the more he said, the greater the danger he put himself in.
Both were silent. After several breaths, the birdman asked with suspicion, "A new member?"
"Yes." Chen Ge changed his voice to make it sound gravellier and lower.
"But three new members have already arrived today, why is there a fourth one?" Birdman blocked Chen Ge's path. "How did you find this place?"
Chen Ge showed the man the flyer for the ghost stories society. The man glanced at it, and his curiosity deepened. "This is indeed a flyer that we sent out, but how can there be a fourth one?"
He leaned toward Chen Ge until the beak on his mask was almost touching Chen Ge's face.
"You smell nice..." The birdman closed the door behind him and said with uncertainty, "Come with me."
Chen Ge followed with his head lowered. His eyes twitched. When the birdman was closing the door, he tried to glance inside the room. A few wooden boxes sat in the dark room. One of the boxes had not been sealed-an arm was poking out from it. There was a circular hole in the middle of the palm like it had been poked through by a bird's pecking.
Following the birdman, they reached the end of the corridor.
"Go in." He pointed at the door at the end of the corridor.
Chen Ge did not waste time. He opened the door and waited for two seconds to make sure this was not an ambush before walking in. When he saw what was inside, Chen Ge sucked in a cold breath.
The room was bigger than he had expected. There was a long dining table in the middle of the room, and sitting on its sides were ten people with faceless masks and dark robes, five on the left and five on the right. There were three people in casual outfits standing to the side.
Thirteen of them...
In a few seconds, Chen Ge memorized the characteristics of everyone there.
Is it because of the light? How come the five on the left don't have shadows but the five on the right do?
"Get in, our fourth new member. Good luck." The birdman did not give Chen Ge any chance to run and slammed the door shut.
The sound was loud, and it attracted the attention of everyone in the room. All the masks turned toward Chen Ge.
"Why is there a fourth new member?" The man who sat on the first seat to the right stood up. His voice sounded sharp, and there was a cigarette burn on his exposed pinkie.
"Do not interrupt someone's story," the first person on the left said in a faded tone. He sounded disgruntled.
"But how can there be four new members?" The man on the right took his seat back.
"It doesn't matter. After all, in the end, there'll only be three people left," the man on the left said darkly. When he said so, the three new members who stood by the dining table became nervous.