Mr. Zhou and Duan Yue walked in front, Ma Tian stayed in the middle, and Sister Mao accompanied Brother Wong at the back.
"Brother Wong, you have to stay close to me," Sister Mao said softly. "This Haunted House has a very high review online; even the 50-cent army I hired barely managed to knock its review down. Therefore, there has to be something unique about it."
"We've been here for about ten minutes already. We've not run into any actors or scary props. I wonder how this Haunted House operates. Do they just allow their visitors to wander about on their own?" Brother Wong used his phone to record everything along the way but did not find anything that was particularly scary. "The three-star scenario should be the most difficult and thus have the best design, but so far, the only thing I'm feeling is boredom."
"His old Haunted House cannot rival the Haunted House that you've designed, but we still mustn't let our guard down." Sister Mao smiled and did not dare say anything against Brother Wong.
"Recently, New Century Park has been showing signs of recovering, and it is all thanks to this Haunted House, but I cannot understand how a Haunted House is going to revive an entire park." Brother Wong walked slowly, so Sister Mao did not dare walk too fast.
The group was either worried about Zhang Lan and Huang Xing's safety or concerned about something else, so they did not notice the doors of the houses on the side of the street creak open, nor did they notice the shadows that crossed the wall. In fact, none of them noticed the shadow that hung from the rooftop that trailed behind them. The good actor, Mr. Zhou, slowly led them into the grasp of the ghosts.
Funeral music appeared in their ears, and the white lanterns swayed, causing the light to flicker.
"Wait, something is not right!" Ma Tian signaled for them to stop. "The atmosphere is different from before; it feels like many pairs of eyes are staring at us."
"In that case, we better get out of here first." Mr. Zhou was even more of a scaredy cat than Ma Tian. "I really don't want to go any further!"
"We haven't found the wedding dress, and we've lost our teammates. The time limit is forty minutes, and we're leaving in less than ten minutes? If this is heard by other people, how are we going to continue to survive as Haunted House reviewers?" Sister Mao took a step forward. "We'll keep moving on. At the very least, we have to see what's happening in front."
After that, she turned to smile apologetically at Mr. Zhou. "Please continue to lead the way, but don't worry, as long as you're with us, you'll be fine."
After a little more persuasion, Mr. Zhou finally relented. "Then, we'd better get a move on. I'll lead you to the place, and then we'll leave on our own."
He and Duan Yue picked up speed, and Ma Tian followed close behind. The paper money on the ground flew up into the air, and there was the sound of crying. There were children giggling, and the lanterns at the end of the street were moving on their own. They moved another few meters, and footsteps came from the other street. Mr. Zhou and Duan Yue acted like they did not hear anything and continued to move forward. Ma Tian followed without paying attention.
However, after they crossed the street, the funeral music sounded, and two men with their heads lowered, carrying a broken coffin between them, walked out from the other street. The coffin blocked the road. Sister Mao and Brother Wong were separated from the three by the coffin.
"This is?" They finally saw the Haunted House's actors, but both Sister Mao and Brother Wong were unsettled. The two men were not wearing make-up, but how come they... looked just like dead people?
The air froze, and Sister Mao pulled on Brother Wong's sleeves as she took a step back. She felt like she had knocked into something. She turned and saw a boy with a painted face smiling right at her. Before the fear in her heart exploded, Mr. Zhou, who was at the front of the group, suddenly screamed, "There he is! He killed Zhang Lan!"
In the middle of the courtyard stood Bai Qiulin with his spine broken and his face mangled. His body covered with blood, he ran at them waving his hand madly!
"I'm not a killer! I'm not a killer!" he screamed, but there was a hole on his throat, and his voice came out together with gushing blood. Mr. Zhou, who stood at the start of the group, turned and ran. Fear spread through the group. Ma Tian only saw Bai Qiulin's look before he also joined Mr. Zhou and ran. It was too scary! That was more than make-up; Bai Qiulin's head was almost falling off!
"Run!" Mr. Zhou cried out, but a coffin blocked their way. The two pallbearers seemed to hear their signal and let go of the coffin together before they reached for Sister Mao and Brother Wong.
The coffin crashed to the ground, and the coffin lid slid off. A red set of graveclothes stood up on its own!
Brother Wong and Sister Mao could not get a good look at what was happening in front. She barely had the chance to recover from the fright given by the boy before the world changed. The dead people charged at them, and the graveclothes inside the coffin jumped out and walked toward them!
She was not a particularly courageous person. Normally, she depended on Ma Tian and Huang Xing. This sudden accident had spooked her too much. She grabbed Brother Wong, found the closest street, and ran down it.
"Sister Mao!" Ma Tian cried, but Sister Mao had already run away. The coffin sat between them, and the graveclothes now climbed back to stand on the coffin. Given this situation, the man did not dare get close to the coffin.
Without any options, he followed Mr. Zhou and Duan Yue and ran into another street. Human faces appeared on the walls. Ma Tian did not dare to stop; the bloodied Bai Qiulin was right behind him!
He really looks like he has killed someone!
When that thought flashed in his mind, Ma Tian's heart could not stop shaking. He had just come to visit a Haunted House; how come such an unfortunate thing happened to him?
"A madman hid inside a Haunted House and chopped off his own hand. This is insane!"
"Don't run away! I'm not a killer! I swear!" Bai Qiulin's voice came from behind him, and it was getting closer to Ma Tian. He did not dare turn back and run full speed ahead. His heart raced, and he made sure to stay close to Mr. Zhou. He soon reached his limit, and his speed slowed down. Mr. Zhou, who was in front, screamed at the top of his lungs at Ma Tian, "Quick! Don't stop!"
After turning another corner, Mr. Zhou pushed open the door to one of the homes, and he waved at Ma Tian. "This way!"
Ma Tian followed Mr. Zhou into the room, but after closing the door, he started to regret it. "Mr. Zhou! This is a dead end!"
"My wife cannot run anymore! You want me to abandon her?" Mr. Zhou helped Duan Yue into the inner room. "We'll hide here for now."
The urgency of the moment made Ma Tian miss the change in Mr. Zhou's reference toward Duan Yue, which had changed from girlfriend to wife. He followed them into the inner room. "But there's no place to hide in here!"
"Come, we'll hide inside the dresser!" Mr. Zhou pulled the bedroom dresser open, and the three crawled into it. The door closed. There were three people inside the small space, but Ma Tian did not feel warmth. If anything, it felt like he had fallen into an icy cave.
"Something's not right..."
"Shush!" Mr. Zhou glared at Ma Tian. "I've closed the front door; the madman probably won't know we're hiding here."
The moment he finished, the front door creaked open. The sound was close to shattering Ma Tian's heart.
"How can the monster know we're in here?" Mr. Zhou's face was filled with terror, but he soon recovered. "He probably just came in here to take a look."
This time, before he even finished, the door of the inner room was pushed open. Ma Tian's heart went to his throat, and his breathing became uneven.
"Don't panic! He definitely wouldn't know we're hiding here!" Mr. Zhou was like a fortune teller because Bai Qiulin was heard stepping into the bedroom and stopped before the dresser. Ma Tian's face blanched, and he held his breath from fear of being discovered.
"Don't be scared. Now is not the worst situation. At least there are three of us humans visitors facing one ghost." Mr. Zhou's voice changed. "But if there were three ghosts chasing one human visitor, then you should be afraid."
Hearing that, a thought crossed Ma Tian's mind. How did Mr. Zhou know there was a wooden dress in this bedroom?
Other houses did not have dressers, and this was the only exception!
An indescribable terror filled his head, and it made every hair on his body stand on end.