Chen Ge was the last to jump down from the second floor. When he stood at the windowsill, he was shocked by the size of the crowd that had gathered on the street. "I seem to have gone overboard this time."
To not allow himself to stand out too much, after a moment's hesitation, Chen Ge also leaped out from the window.
"Another one is jumping!"
"Go and catch him!"
The screams echoed down Xin Hai Central Street, and more and more people started to rush toward the building. About ten minutes later, after the police arrived, the scene finally started to calm down.
"Do not stay here and block the road, please refrain from blocking the traffic. Let the ambulance through!" The police officers tried their best to move the spectators back. They did not spend too much time to find the few people who jumped out from the building.
"The things hidden underground have come alive! Officers! I know this is very hard to understand, but that is the truth!" Xiao Zhao kept jumping up and down, trying to get the police's attention. "There are still other visitors trapped inside! Quick! You have to go save them!"
The few Haunted House workers were agitated, still calming down from the trauma. After being briefly interviewed by the police, the officers looked at them strangely. Initially, the police had thought that there was some kind of serial killing. Then, they had thought that perhaps the Haunted House had been set on fire, and the people inside had been forced to jump out from the window to escape. However, after hearing the explanation from the Haunted House workers, the officers felt like they had been made a joke.
"The things hidden underground? Do you know what the consequence of making a fake police report is?" the leading police officer warned with a grim expression. After getting a grasp of the situation, he suspected that this was a promotional feature by Nightmare Academy to obtain some traffic online. It was all a fake show.
"We're not lying to you! It is real! The thing came out of nowhere! He was wearing a red shirt!" The few conscious Haunted House workers talked over each other to try to describe the situation to the officer. The eyes frozen in fear, the words that came a bit too quickly, the exaggerated manner in which they spoke-the Haunted House workers appeared like they were still in character and were unable to shake their identity loose.
"Fine, fine, where is your boss? I wish to talk to him, get him out here." The leader felt like he was unable to get through to these people. Communication was impossible.
"The boss?" The workers looked at each other. They all suddenly realized that their boss was still inside the Haunted House!
"Oh no! The boss is still inside!"
Waving the golf club in his hands, the boss of Nightmare Academy, Shang Guan Qing Hong, frowned slightly. "This is a bit too light. Oh well, I can't find a better weapon in such a short amount of time anyway. This will have to do."
He turned to look at the computer screen and inspected the few clips that he had cut out from the surveillance video. Chen Ge was the main character in all of these videos, and the clips that he had taken all showed Chen Ge running away in fear while inside his Haunted House.
"With such a weak boss, how is it possible that Jiujiang Haunted House could ever reach the height of my Nightmare Academy? Their boss is so easily scared. Look, he's crying like a baby at my haunted house." Even though many accidents had happened that day, the boss was still very happy. He felt like he had saved the reputation of his Haunted House and heavily damaged the pride and arrogance of his competitor.
"So what if the real ghost hiding underground has appeared? As long as it appears inside my Haunted House, it can be counted as a part of my Haunted House." All's fair in love and war. Shang Guan Qing Hong did not think that he had done anything wrong. "I have the clips of Chen Ge being scared until he mentally collapsed. Now all I need is to leave this place safely."
After all the clips that he needed were safely transferred to his phone, Shang Guan Qing Hong put his phone away. He put on a safety helmet, knee guards, and gripped the golf club with one hand.
"It's time to leave. Even though the thing coming from underground is creepy and scary, I have so many workers. As long as we cooperate together, nothing is going to harm us, not even a Specter from the beyond." Taking in a deep breath, Shang Guan Qing Hong pulled open the door of the headmaster's office. "Everyone, do not panic! Listen to my instructions, and we will leave this place safely!"
The door opened, but there were no workers waiting for him outside like he had imagined. There was not a single person in the dark corridor, only the cold wind from the air-conditioning.
"Where is everyone?" Standing alone inside the very dark corridor, Shang Guan Qing Hong could not help his heart from racing. He took out the walkie-talkie and yelled loudly into it. "Where are you? Xiao Zhao? Ol' Lee? Xiao Jiu?"
He switched through many channels, but there was no answer. The only response was the echo of his own voice reverberating down the corridor.
"What is going on?" There was no one on the walkie-talkie, and no one answered his phone calls. It was as if he was the only person left in this world. "Where has this bunch of slackers run off to?"
Shang Guan Qing Hong held the golf club tightly. After a brief panic, he immediately calmed down. "When the accident happened, the first thing I did was contact them. The workers on this level should have gathered outside the door. Now that they have disappeared, there are only two explanations.
"First, the thing from underground is currently chasing after them. They have attracted the thing's attention to give me the chance to escape.
"Secondly, they have all been taken down already. If that's the case, it's pointless for me to be worried or afraid. I will eventually run into the thing. Blindly panicking will only make me lose my focus." Shang Guan Qing Hong was not easily fooled. After all, he was the boss of the biggest Haunted House at Xin Hai. However, probably due to the smooth sailing of his career, there was a clear deficiency in his personality.
"My goal has already been reached, so I only need to guarantee my own safety." Shang Guan Qing Hong decided to leave immediately. The safety of his workers? That was something to be worried about only after his own safety had been ensured. He edged carefully to the elevator. It took him a full two minutes to cover that short distance. The scenario that looked so familiar suddenly took on a strange and unique sense of horror. Wiping away the cold sweat on his forehead, Shang Guan Qing Hong pressed for the elevator to come. However, the elevator seemed to have malfunctioned, and it kept getting stuck at the basement.
"What is going on?" He pressed the button several times before the number shown on the panel started to change. The elevator was slowly ascending.
"Why is it so slow‽" Standing at the elevator door, doing nothing, fear curled itself around Shang Guan Qing Hong. He looked down the dark, empty corridor and felt like something would appear in the dark. Fear was like a toxin, slowly spreading through his body. When the elevator reached the second floor, Shang Guan Qing Hong heard footsteps coming from the stairs. The background music also changed then. He could hear the voice of a strange man rather clearly. "The thing is coming."
The footsteps coming from the staircase became more pronounced. Shang Guan Qing Hong stared at the number on the panel, and both of his hands held the golf club tightly. "Quick!"
When the footsteps appeared on the fourth floor, the elevator also reached the same floor. The elevator doors that were covered in different paints opened to the sides. Shang Guan Qing Hong hurried into it, but he only took the first step when his whole body froze. There was someone else inside the elevator!
The man was cowering in the corner of the elevator booth. His face was pale. When he saw the Haunted House boss carrying a golf club, he was given quite a fright.
"Who are you?" Both of them spoke at the same time, like they had rehearsed it earlier. They studied each other for about three seconds, and the boss was the first to break the silence. "Are you one of the visitors?"
He was paying Chen Ge his full attention that day, so he had not paid much attention to the other visitors. The middle-aged man with a white face nodded cautiously. He looked at Shang Guan Qing Hong guardedly. "And who are you?"
"I am the boss of this Haunted House. There is currently a small accident. Don't ask too many questions. The important thing is that I will now get you out." Before the visitor, the boss acted very professional.
After hearing Shang Guan Qing Hong introduce himself as the boss, the other person inside the elevator sighed conspicuously in relief. "Okay."
"When you're famous, there is bound to be some detractors. The accident today is because a competitor came here to create trouble. Normally, something like this wouldn't happen at my Haunted House." Shang Guan Qing Hong forced a smile and very easily shifted all the blame onto Chen Ge, which was not that far from the truth. "Friend, what is your name?"
"My surname is Zhou. Everyone calls me Ol' Zhou." The footsteps from the corridor came rapidly; they were already turning the corner of the fourth floor. Shang Guan Qing Hong quickly pressed for the elevator doors to close. The elevator doors that were painted with fake blood slowly closed, and those strange footsteps were drawing closer and closer!
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Currently, trapped inside the elevator, the Haunted House boss could not do anything. His heart was filled with anxiety.
"Close, close, close!" Perhaps God heard Shang Guan Qing Hong's prayers. When the elevator doors closed shut, the footsteps were still several meters away.
"We're safe now." He heaved a sigh of relief. However, something that he did not expect then happened before his eyes.
An arm reached out from inside the elevator to block the closing doors!
Shang Guan Qing Hong swore that he was not mistaken; the pale arm indeed reached out from inside the elevator!
The hand touched the elevator door, causing them to open again. Shang Guan Qing Hong glared at Ol' Zhou, who had moved to the door, and he was so angry that his head was about to explode.
His lips were devoid of color, but before he could get any words out, the thick stench of blood rushed into the elevator like a wave!
When he raised his head, Shang Guan Qing Hong saw Ol' Zhou move to the back, and a strange man was standing at the elevator door. The shirt was as red as blood, and black curses crawled all over his body, cutting in and out of his flesh and skin.
"Don't come any closer!" The Haunted House boss squeezed himself into the corner and watched as the bloody figure strode into the elevator. From the corner of his eyes, he saw Ol' Zhou press for the doors to close.
The elevator doors slowly closed, and this time, no one was there to stop them from closing.
"Your boss is still inside the Haunted House?" The leading officer saw the worry on the workers' faces, but he could not understand what had caused them to react thusly.
"Officer please, you have to save our boss! He's still on the fourth floor! There are other visitors still inside the Haunted House!" The officers felt like the Haunted House workers did not sound like they were joking, so they nodded. They gathered at the front entrance of the Haunted House.
"This elevator is the only exit in our Haunted House, but the elevator is currently being controlled by some unnatural beings! It stopped at the basement and refused to move..." Xiao Zhao was jumping all over when he spoke. He led the way and pointed at the panel showing the number. However, when he saw the number of the panel, his whole person froze. The number showing was two, which meant that the elevator was currently on the second floor.
"The elevator moved? This must mean that the thing from the basement has taken the elevator up to the second floor!" Xiao Zhao screamed. The number on the panel was still changing and it soon turned to one. Several seconds later, the elevator doors opened slowly before the police officers and the Haunted House workers.
The boss of Nightmare Academy was lying unconscious on the ground, still gripping the golf club. His body was spasming, and the man had already lost his consciousness.
"Boss!" The workers rushed forward. "Please, someone call the ambulance!"
If this was a self-made show, it had gone over the line. The boss himself was unconscious. The leading officer soon realized that things were far more serious than he had imagined. He quickly ordered a few men to take the elevator into the building.
They scoured the whole building but could not find the 'unnatural being' mentioned by the Haunted House workers. Instead, they ran into many fainted Haunted House workers and a couple that looked at them strangely. When they saw the police approach, the couple thought that they were actors of the Haunted House. They tried their best to trigger the event.
About thirty minutes later, the area near the entrance was cleared out. The fainted Haunted House workers and boss were sent away in ambulances. The remaining visitors and actors stayed back to give their statements to the police. In the end, everyone was taken to the nearest police station.
Sitting inside the police car, Chen Ge very expertly helped himself put on the seatbelt. He did not expect that his first visit to Xin Hai would end up with him sitting inside Xin Hai City's police car. "Officer, you have to trust me, I am really innocent. I came from Jiujiang and travelled so far just to visit the Haunted House. Actually, I am also one of the victims..."
"Get out the way! Emergency! Get out of the way!" Medical carts rolled down the corridor, rushing the unconscious patients into the emergency room.
"There's no more space! Send the other patients to the other sick hall! Xiao Zhang, go and call Doctor Liu and Doctor Xu who are on off duty to come back to work! A large group of workers at the haunted house on Xin Hai's Central Street have fallen unconscious! Current speculation is that they all suffer from food poisoning! They might have ingested food that caused hallucinations!"
"There is nothing wrong on the physical scan! They probably suffered from some kind of trauma, and the fainting is because the body's self-defense mechanism kicking in."
"When will they wake up?" The leading officer was suffering from a headache. Xin Hai had always had a good security, and the area under his jurisdiction had never seen something like this before.
"No clue! Shortest will be one or two hours, but it might be days; we cannot tell for sure." The doctor could not give an exact answer. "If you are in a hurry, I suggest you transfer them to Jiujiang Central Hospital. I hear the doctors there specialize in fainting spells. They even have a special care unit that accept patients with this kind of illness!"
"There's a hospital that specializes in treating fainting patients?" The leading officer hesitated. This had gone beyond something that he could make quick decision about.
"Other patients should be fine, but the condition of the patient by the name of Shang Guan Qing Hong is very serious. He is in a deep coma and does not respond to any external stimuli. It is my professional suggestion that he be transferred to Jiujiang immediately. He should receive treatment from the leading experts."
"Okay, I will report that to my superior instantly." The leading officer nodded. "The hospital in Jiujiang is called Jiujiang Central Hospital, yes?"
"Yes, Jiujiang Central Hospital, Number 514, theme park care unit!" the doctor said seriously. "I do not know why they named their unit that way, but I am certain that they are the best of the best in treating coma and fainting patients."