"Xiao Lan? Say something! What's happening over there?" Sister Mao screamed into the phone. However, there was no answer but the sound of chaos.
"Mr. Zhou! Come save me!" Xiao Lan screamed before the call got cut off. Sister Mao put down the phone with a worried expression. "Xiao Lan said Bai Qiulin is a crazy person? The five of them are together, Huang Xing has already been taken down, and now we've lost contact with Xiao Lan as well. What is happening over there?"
"Didn't Xiao Lan call for Mr. Zhou to come save her at the last minute? Looks like Mr. Zhou and his wife are also victims. We should go find the couple, and then we'll know for sure," Ma Tian suggested. "But we need to hurry before Bai Qiulin harms them."
"I don't care about that Mr. Zhou and his wife, nor do I care about your teammates. I've paid my money, so you have to help me finish my mission." The one who spoke was Brother Wong. He held his phone and kept recording everything, ignoring the rules of the Haunted House.
"You..." Ma Tian was about to say something when Sister Mao stopped him. "Brother Wong, the situation has changed. There appear to be employees from the Haunted House mixed in with the visitors. We need to clarify this first."
"What kind of danger can happen in a Haunted House?" Brother Wong used his phone to record everything inside the Haunted House. Sister Mao knew that she would not be able to persuade Brother Wong, so she said, "In that case, why don't you wait here? We'll be back in a bit."
"Before coming here, your group kept gloating, saying that going to a Haunted House is like returning home. Now we're just halfway through, and you're this panicked already? Looks like my money was spent at the wrong place." Brother Wong's identity was rather unique.
Sister Mao did not dare counter, so she nodded and said, "That is our fault. Brother Wong, just give us three minutes. If we cannot find Huang Xing and Xiao Lan, we'll come back to get you."
"Never mind, I'll go with you." Brother Wong turned and inspected the video he had just recorded.
"Thank you, Brother Wong." Sister Mao dragged Ma Tian out of the old home and said, "We'll wait for you outside."
Once they were out the door, Ma Tian could not help but grumble, "This Ol' Wong really think we're his bodyguards."
"Just focus on our work." Sister Mao patted Ma Tian's hand lightly. "Calm down."
"Sister Mao, actually, I'm curious-what is this man's identity? It's true that we did take his money, but that doesn't mean we need to be so servile toward him; we don't owe him anything."
"He is one of the top brass at the futuristic theme park. He's well connected in the business, so there's no reason for us to offend him." Sister Mao turned to look back into the house.
"In that case, why did he come to New Century Park personally? Why didn't he just send a lackey?" Ma Tian was confused. He thought that the man's actions were unreasonable.
"This is a matter between the two large theme parks; it's none of our business."
When Brother Wong came out, he had already pocketed his phone. "Let's go."
The three returned to the center of the village where they had separated from Huang Xing's group.
"There're so many houses. Where should we start looking?"
"On the phone, Xiao Lan said that she was inside a house with a sedan. We should follow the route that they used when they left." The three were about to head down that way when footsteps echoed down the streets. A man and woman ran their way with fear on their faces.
"Mr. Zhou?" Ma Tian realized something and immediately went to meet up with them. Before he could say anything, he heard Mr. Zhou's urgent calls. "You have to go save Xiao Lan! That Bai Qiulin is a monster!"
Even from a far, Sister Mao and Ma Tian could hear the panic in Mr. Zhou's voice. "Monster‽"
Mr. Zhou gasped for air as he held Duan Yue's hand. His eyes were filled with terror, and his hair was shaking from fear. "Huang Xing suggested that we split up so we could find the wedding dress faster. He went alone with Bai Qiulin, and the two of us stayed with Zhang Lan. It didn't take long for us to hear Huang Xing scream!"
Mr. Zhou's voice was shaking like he had just been through a traumatic event.
"We also heard Huang Xing's scream. What happened next‽" Sister Mao urged him to continue.
"Zhang Lan had a suspicion that something was off about Bai Qiulin; she said there are internet rumors that this place is really haunted! This Bai Qiulin is either an employee, a madman, or an actual ghost." Mr. Zhou took a deep breath. "Initially, we didn't believe Zhang Lan, but what happened next was too weird."
"Tell us, what happened!"
"When the three of us arrived, we saw Bai Qiulin come out from one of the old houses. Xiao Lan got into an argument with him then." Mr. Zhou took out his left hand. "All of you still remember Bai Qiulin kept his left hand inside his pocket, right?"
"Xiao Lan thought he was an employee and believed his left hand that was hidden must be controlling the mechanism inside the Haunted House. However, when Bai Qiulin took out his left hand, all three of us were shocked!" Mr. Zhou's voice was agitated. He shook his hand a bit dramatically. "That Bai Qiulin has no left hand; the wound was clean, like it had been chopped off by a knife!"
Based on Mr. Zhou's description, Sister Mao's group was feeling unsettled already.
"The scarier thing happened later. Me and Duan Yue tried to persuade Xiao Lan to leave this man, but Xiao Lan insisted on going into the house. She believed that Huang Xing was inside the house somewhere."
"So, the three of you entered the house?"
"The place was big; Duan Yue and myself went to the bedroom on the right. Worried about Huang Xing's safety, Xiao Lan entered the bedroom on the left alone. Less than one minute later, I heard Zhang Lan's scream!" Mr. Zhou's face was filled with guilt. "I rushed toward her, but when I arrived, she had already disappeared from the room."
His fingers seemed to be shaking from fear. "Then we saw the scariest thing. That Bai Qiulin walked out from behind the bed carrying his broken hand. His face was twisted and his body broken, just... just like he had been in a car accident!"
Mr. Zhou was babbling. It was obvious that the man was traumatized.
"Don't panic, calm down, we're here with you!" Ma Tian tried to console Mr. Zhou.
"It was too scary..." Mr. Zhou seemed to be caught in the fear. How he looked made Sister Mao and Ma Tian worried as well.
"Then the five of us should stick together and go back to the house." Ma Tian was the first one to calm down. "Mr. Zhou, you lead the way."
After some hesitation, Mr. Zhou nodded. "It's my fault for not looking after Zhang Lan. Alright, come with me."