"Since we're already here..." Chen Ge walked toward the coffins.
"Calm down!" Master Bai grabbed Chen Ge. "Those are for dead people!"
He was a bit loud, and Ol' Wei came to stop both of them. "This place is off; we need to be very careful."
"The three rooms mentioned by the old lady should be these three coffins. She's not a living person, so for her, coffins are rooms." Chen Ge pried Master Bai's hand off calmly. "Is there something wrong with my logic?"
"The problem is..." Master Bai and Ol' Wei did not know how to communicate with Chen Ge.
After a long pause, Ol' Wei asked, "Aren't you afraid around these things?"
"Of course, I am, but fear is not going to help us in this situation, is it?" Chen Ge looked at Ol' Wei. "Don't let it get to you. Come help me."
The three walked to the coffins. They were roughly made, and they had a layer of dark brown coating. There was a light smell.
"Is that decomposition?" Master Bai looked at Ol' Wei.
"No, decomposition is much worse. This should be the smell of decaying wood." Knowing Chen Ge would not leave that easily, Ol' Wei quickly got into the correct frame of mind. After all, he was an experienced police officer and would be dependable during the crucial moment. "Listen to me, we cannot believe the old lady fully. We'd better be careful.
"When we were led this way, I memorized the route. The three of us will stay here for now, but if danger comes, we'll run out immediately. Remember to follow behind me, and make sure not to get left behind!"
"There's only one way to find out whether the old woman was lying or not." Chen Ge put his hands on the coffin lid.
"What are you doing?"
"Opening the coffin." Chen Ge pushed, and the lid slid off a little.
"You seriously plan to sleep here with one of the coffins?"
"It depends." Chen Ge pushed the coffin half open, and he peered in. It had a set of graveclothes at the bottom of the coffin.
"Don't touch it! This is a real taboo. What if you offend the spirits?" Master Bai held Chen Ge's hands tightly, and Ol' Wei also ran over to pull Chen Ge back.
"I just want to see what's so mysterious about this place." Ol' Wei and Master Bai sighed when they finally got Chen Ge to calm down. However, what Chen Ge said next got them all worried again. "My plan is to open all the coffins we find in this village. The village's biggest secret should be inside the coffins."
"Please don't say something like that when you're outside; I'm afraid the villagers might kill you if they hear you." Master Bai walked to stand beside the coffin. He thought about closing the coffin, but when he glanced at the clothes inside, his brows locked. "Why are their graveclothes bright red?"
"Yes, that confused me when I first saw it too, so I planned to take it out to have a closer look." Chen Ge joined Master Bai. "White lantern above the door, white paper on the door, red graveclothes; this village seems to invert all the common Chinese practices. This reminds me of Minghun."
"You even know about Minghun?" Master Bai glanced at Chen Ge.
"One of the scenarios at my Haunted House is Minghun-themed. A living bride for a dead groom..."
Chen Ge wanted to continue the story when both Master Bai and Ol' Wei waved at him to stop. "That's enough, it's already scary enough."
The two of them stood beside the coffin, looking inside at the red graveclothes, and it just did not feel right.
A sudden noise spooked Master Bai and Ol' Wei. They turned and saw Chen Ge was pushing the other two coffins open. Three coffins meant three set of red graveclothes. As they shone the flashlight at them, it looked like the coffins were bleeding.
"All the sizes are different, there's for male and female. Looks like a family of three." Chen Ge stood beside the coffin, "I'm wondering, the coffins are inside the house, so where are the bodies?"
He turned to ask Master Bai, "Could this be one of Coffin Village's cultures? Every family will prepare a living coffin even when they're still alive?"
"I suppose so." Master Bai could not be sure.
"There aren't any bodies inside the coffins, and if this is really a living coffin, then it means that the owners are still alive." Chen Ge scratched his chin. "What do you think the chances are that they will return tonight? How will they react when they see we're inside their home?"
He was just asking that, but Master Bai and Ol' Wei each sucked in a cold breath.
"Perhaps it'll be good if they return; we can ask them what's going on with the village." Master Bai still insisted that Coffin Village's people could be communicated with.
"Special times call for special measures. Would normal people leave their home in the middle of the night inside a deep mountain?" Chen Ge gave his suggestion. "I think we should ambush them at the door and capture them when they walk in. They're a family of three, and there's three of us. After detaining them, remember to keep their mouths shut. Shove them inside the coffins, and we'll use the graveclothes to bind them. Then we can start the interrogation."
Chen Ge gave his plan, but Master Bai and Ol' Wei looked at him with weird expressions.
"That isn't good, right? They haven't done anything bad to us after all." Master Bai was an honest man. He moved away from Chen Ge and stood beside Ol' Wei. At a time like this, he felt better siding with the police.
"It'll be too late to react when we realize they want to harm us. This is called taking the initiative." Chen Ge said so and moved to stand behind the door. He appeared masterful as he readied himself for the ambush, as if he had done this many times already. "Ol' Wei, you can hide under the window, and Master Bai, you hide beside the second coffin. I checked it earlier-that corner is perfectly hidden from sight."
"Who did you learn all this from?" Ol' Wei and Master Bai moved to their spots. For some reason, they followed Chen Ge's instruction.
"I operate a Haunted House, and the best skill is to make use of the geography to scare the visitors." Chen Ge looked through the slit into the small courtyard. "You two can rest for a while; it must have been tiring walking for so long already."
"Okay, we'll do this one hour each, so everyone can have the chance to rest." Ol' Wei suggested.
Master Bai nodded. "No problem, I might be old, but I'm still healthy. I should be able to survive one sleepless night."
"There's no need." Chen Ge turned back from the door to look at Ol' Wei and Master Bai. He reached into his backpack to sooth the angry white cat. "Shush, they're coming."