"Boss, your Haunted House is not bad." The man realized Chen Ge had been watching him, so he smiled politely and added, "I was a very cowardly child and thus the target of bullying for neighborhood kids. It was my big brother who brought me here to train my bravery, but I ended up falling in love with the exciting experience."
"Then you will definitely enjoy the upcoming scenario." Chen Ge thought that this man was acting weird. He did not ask him anything, but the man had already volunteered all of his experience. Is this because he is worried?
Chen Ge did not expose the man. He maintained a smile before the visitors, so he left a friendly and kind impression in front of them.
"Alright, it's time for us to go in." Chen Ge led the way by walking in front and pulled back the curtains that blocked the sunlight. When they were inside the Haunted House, Chen Ge took out the disclaimer contracts and showed them to the seven visitors. "Two-star scenarios are different from one-star scenarios, so before you enter the two-star scenario to start your visitation, you'll need to sign these disclaimers."
He placed the printed paper on the table, and of the seven visitors, three of them signed it without hesitation. Two of them picked the contract up to read over it carefully.
"Do we need to sign this?" The seventh visitor, the one who Chen Ge had noticed earlier, started to show obvious hesitation when he found out about this. His gaze silently went over to meet the eyes of another visitor.
He has a partner?
Chen Ge also did not point that out. He continued as if nothing had happened. "Of course. Actually, entering our one-star scenario also requires the visitors to sign the disclaimer, but due to the high influx of visitors, we changed the rules at the last minute."
Chen Ge watched these few people closely, not letting the smallest action escape his eyes. Today was the first day the park had begun the heavy promotion, and it could be considered a new beginning for the Haunted House. Chen Ge would not allow any mistakes or accidents to happen.
The visitors started to sign their names. The man with normal looks was called Wei Wu, and the other visitor whom he surreptitiously shared a look with was called Kong Xiangming. These two people, compared to other visitors, were lacking in excitement and nervousness, and they kept a very low profile.
The other five visitors were a lot more normal. Three of them looked quite young, like university students, and the last two were a couple in a bit of an argument. Chen Ge placed his attention on Wei Wu and Kong Xiangming, but to his surprise, when he walked over to take the disclaimers, one of the female students called out his name.
"You're Chen Ge, the Haunted House boss that He San mentioned on the forum, right?"
Once Chen Ge's name was mentioned, all the other visitors also turned to look at him.
"You know He San? Wait, are the three of you students from Western Jiujiang's Medical University? The forensic science department?" Chen Ge pulled his gaze back without a trace. The two visitors whom Chen Ge suspected were members of the ghost stories society did not know they had been exposed.
"Now, He San can be considered a celebrity at our school." The girl had one pigtail. She had a little extra weight on her body and very fair skin. She could not be considered a traditional beauty, but there was something endearing about her. "There are many students from our university who have visited your Haunted House. There is even an ongoing bet on the forum guessing which of the departments will clear your Haunted House first."
"Clearing my Haunted House won't be easy. You should find He San to ask for some pointers." Chen Ge piled on the smiles. He looked as friendly as he could possibly.
"It is indeed not easy. Six of us came to visit, but half have already given up." A rather weak looking young man stood next to the girl. He seemed to have a crush on her. His face was drained of blood, and his legs were weak, but for the sake of winning the girl's heart, he insisted on accompanying her.
"Why are we wasting time? If we fail this time, we'll try again. If we repeat the same scenario many times, it won't be so scary anymore." This time it was the last student who spoke. He stood on the other side of the girl, and he looked like the type to rush headfirst into things.
Chen Ge glanced at their names on the disclaimer and memorized them.
"Since everyone has waited for so long, I'm not going to waste any more time explaining. Your goal is to find the nametags. Since there are only seven of you, you only need to find 17 nametags to clear the scenario." Chen Ge looked at the group of visitors. "Other than that, the Haunted House is coming out with a new feature. For just 20, you can rent the costumes that we provide. There are choices of police, doctor, reporter, and so on for you to choose."
"We can change costume?" The girl was rather interested but was stopped by the weak-looking man.
"It's okay. The three of us won't be trying it."
"How about the rest of you?"
The pair of couple was still arguing, so they ignored Chen Ge. The two who might have been members from ghost stories society were not interested in dressing up. Chen Ge felt rather sad; he had been hoping that they would help him try out the new construct.
Pulling the wooden boards back, Chen Ge sent the group of visitors into the scenario. "The scenario you're visiting is called Mu Yang High School. It's on the left, make sure to not take the wrong turn. The one on the right is called Third Sick Hall, and it's our only three-star scenario. It's very dangerous. Our previous visitor was scared until he was sent to the hospital."
Chen Ge purposely mentioned the Third Sick Hall not because he wanted to remind the visitors out of kindness but because he wanted to test the reaction of the two suspicious visitors. If they were the patients who had escaped the Third Sick Hall, when they heard the name, they would definitely react in some manner. The few visitors all nodded and promised would not wander off on their own. There was no change in the expressions of the two suspicious visitors. They did not seem to know about the presence of the Third Sick Hall.
Am I mistaken? Chen Ge gave a few more pieces of advice before closing the wooden boards and running to the main control room. Even though those two don't look like they're the patients from the Third Sick Hall, chances are high that they're members of the ghost stories society.
Chen Ge's eyes were calm, but the smile on his face had already disappeared. Captain Yan found pictures of me entering New Century Park on Xu Tong's phone, so this means that members of the ghost stories society already know what I look like.
Last night, the monster possessing No. 5 had been consumed by Xu Yin, and No. 12 had been taken away by the police. Most crucially, Chen Ge had managed to hear the voice of the chairperson on No. 12's phone. Even though the person did not say much, it was the biggest reward for Chen Ge that night. I've heard the chairperson's voice somewhere before. He is probably someone I know or can recognize!
There should have been a monster possessing each member of the ghost stories society. This meant that they were the most powerful at night, but they had chosen to enter Chen Ge's Haunted House during the day. From this unusual behavior, Chen Ge could surmise two things.
One, the exposure of the chairperson's voice was more significant than Chen Ge believed. The person was worried that Chen Ge might suddenly remember who he was, and so he needed to make sure Chen Ge shut up forever before that.
Two, perhaps they were cautious of Zhang Ya. As the monsters' powers were strongest after midnight, they would be weakened in the day. That was no different for Zhang Ya.
But why would they pick this particular time to come? They arrive just as the promotion period is beginning. Looks like they have been planning this for a long time already. They're trying to mix themselves among the visitors, hoping to escape my detection.
The ghost stories society's plan was good, but they were simply unlucky. They did not expect Chen Ge to happen to catch Wei Wu's face on the surveillance picture that also captured No. 5. This meant that their plan had already been exposed before they even started.
I need to play along at least for now. There are too many visitors, and I cannot disturb the everyday running of the Haunted House.
When the ghost stories society tracked down the thin monster at Hai Ming Apartments, they had sent out at least two people. Based on how much they valued Chen Ge, he believed they would not send out fewer people than that.
Not including myself, there are twelve members at the ghost stories society. Zhu Xiu, No. 5, and No. 12 have been taken care of, so only nine of them remain.
Chen Ge entered the main control room and planted himself before the computer screens.
After today, there will only be seven left.
Chen Ge called Xiao Gu on his phone. Chen Ge asked him to remove the Doctor Skull-cracker's outfit and enter the hidden passage reserved for the workers to head to the main control room.
"Have the visitors left?"
"They have found the exit. I have a feeling they're not that afraid of me." Xiao Gu sounded depressed on the phone. "I've tried my best. Perhaps I simply don't have the talent to do this."
"Don't give up so soon." Chen Ge changed into the costume that Gu Feiyu had removed. His lips twitched, and a scary smile appeared on the skin mask. "Are you interested in learning how to master this character?"
"I have zero interest." Gu Feiyu shook his head determinedly. After Chen Ge put on Doctor Skull-cracker's uniform, the whole aura about him changed. It was as if the outfit was specially made for him.
"In that case, we're going to help you cultivate that interest. Come with me." Chen Ge grabbed Gu Feiyu by his shoulders and dragged him underground.
The wooden boards closed to block the last ray of light. The underground scenario was very dark, and the group of visitors needed time to get used to it.
"Everyone, don't panic. Even though the difficulty for this scenario is high, there is a fair chance of clearing it."
The student who looked weak and flimsy before Chen Ge suddenly changed into a different person when he was underground. His voice sounded stable and calm. He took out a notebook from his pocket and said, "Please lend me thirty seconds of your time. I wish to go through some things that we need to be careful about."
"We need notes to visit a Haunted House? Also, what era are you from? Don't you know how to use a phone? Why are you still using a notebook?" the woman from the couple grumbled with annoyance. She was quite angry.
"That is the first point I want to bring up." The young man pointed at the first thing in his notebook. "You mustn't use your phone inside Boss Chen's Haunted House! It's best if you don't even touch it!"
He waved the notebook in his hand. "You might not believe it or think I'm exaggerating, but every detail in this notebook was learned from sweat and tears of our seniors. You can consider it a tradition at our school."
"I consider you have lost your mind from too much studying," the woman said snidely. The man behind him pulled on her sleeve. "Na Na, please. Stop making trouble."
"Don't touch me!" The woman was in a very foul mood. She swiped the man's hand off her. "Chen Zining, the first time we met was two years ago inside this Haunted House, so today, we will break up here as well! It is time for us to part ways! Goodbye!"
"Will you stop being so unreasonable‽ I don't have time to accompany you because I'm at a crucial point of my career; I cannot afford to be distracted!"
"So now I'm being unreasonable? I'm the distraction? Do you think I want your money that much‽" The woman was wearing a pair of high heels and had on some make-up. Even though the clothes on her back were not expensive brands, she wore them stylishly. "Chen Ziming, I stayed by your side when you were at the lowest point of your side, and I've accompanied you for two long years!"
"I know, Na Na..."
"Don't waste your breath. I know things are different now. Just like this Haunted House, in these two years, too many things have changed." As she said what she wanted to, the woman strode deeper into Mu Yang High School scenario. The man immediately gave chase after her.
"Hey, please wait!" The weak-looking young man held the notebook in his hand, and he appeared rather uneasy. "The second point that I want to say is to never split up!"
He shouted loudly, but the pair of couple was too deep in their argument to pay him any attention.
"Yang Chen, let's just ignore them. We can definitely do this on our own." The other two students from Western Jiujiang's Medical University came to give him support.
"But clearing this scenario requires collaboration from many people, and we already started with a disadvantage of having so few people with us." The young man by the name of Yang Chen sighed with regret. "Now that only five of us are left, we must be careful not to split up anymore."
He turned to look at Wei Wu and Kong Xiangming. "Gentlemen, would you be interested in a cooperation? After all, only by finding 17 nametags will we be able to clear this scenario."
"Cooperation?" Wu Wei shared a look with Kong Xiangming, but neither of them said anything beyond that.
"You have no idea how mad the boss of this Haunted House is. If we do not work together, the chance of clearing this scenario is zero." Yang Chen took out a hand-drawn picture from the notebook. There were 41 red cross marks on it.
"This is something to show our sincerity. Since Mu Yang High School was opened to the public, many seniors from our school have come to challenge it. They have found the nametags at these 41 places." Yang Chen showed the two the hand-drawn map. "The nametag's location does change, but there are a few constant locales where we can be sure to find them. So, the first thing is for us to search these 41 places as soon as possible."
Wei Wu and Kong Xiangming were interested in the map in Yang Chen's hands, but clearing the scenario was the last thing on their mind.
"Sure, we'll be glad for a chance to cooperate. After all, it benefits all of us."
The two visitors who acted suspiciously like the members of the ghost stories society showed their willingness to collaborate with Yang Chen.
"We're on a time limit, so I'll assign the jobs for each of us."
"Two gentlemen, if you don't mind, will you please focus on the classrooms on the left, and Wang Dan, Li Xue, the three of us will focus on the ones on the right. Please be careful! Make sure that your friends are always in your sight, and if you need to separate, make sure to go in a group of two."
Yang Chen then pocketed the map. He looked at the rest with severity. "There are several taboos inside Boss Chen's Haunted House. Do not play with your phone, don't wander off alone, and do not ask about marriage or relationships. These few warnings are the conclusion of our seniors. Some of them I don't quite understand, but I'm sure they have their reason to exist. Please remember them in your heart, and don't attempt them simply because you're curious."
Yang Chen's expression was serious, and his words confused Wei Wu and Kong Xiangming.
The team parted down the middle as they inspected the classrooms on both sides of the corridor. When the distance was drawn adequately apart, Wei Wu silently walked to stand beside Kong Xiangming. "This Haunted House is making me uncomfortable. Those taboos feel weirdly cursed."
"Stay far away from me. Remember, we're not supposed to know each other. There are cameras inside the Haunted House. Be careful not to be seen." Kong Xiangming was very cautious as he pretended to look for the nametags.
"For some reason, I feel uneasy." Wei Wu also helped look for the nametags, but his soul was not in it.
"Stop talking and start working. Don't forget the real reason we're here." Kong Xiangming kept his head lowered, and blood vessels flashed across his eyes. He turned to look at the entrance. "That Boss Chen should be coming soon."