"Stop wasting time, we'll start the exploration now. There are only a few ways a Haunted House can scare its visitors. As long as you trust that nothing is real, nothing can scare you. When you see the workers, you won't feel scared but think they're acting funny."
Liu Gang ignored Bai Buhui and moved ahead. The team of eleven officially entered the School of the Afterlife. Semi-present crying came from around the corner, and the whispering of children floated on the wind. This used to be a heaven, but now it was only an empty corridor. The half-open wooden doors creaked, and there were small prints left on the wall. They carved down the good memories that the students had once had.
"This feels so real. Last year, we entered the biggest abandoned school in Xin Hai for a courage contest, and this place gives off the same feeling." Lan Dong took out his phone to snap some pictures. "The place doesn't look like it's purposely made old; it's as if the scenario is designed like this. Look at the dust in the windowsill and the burn marks on the wall."
His fingers peeled on the wall, and the dusty white paint hide a layer of burnt cement. "To create this effect, one has to burn the wall once before painting on a new layer. The boss has considered even details like that?"
There were two students next to Lan Dong. One was called Ah Li, slightly overweight. He looked honest. The other was a girl, very quiet and did not like to speak.
"Perhaps the boss moved some burnt walls from outside underground and redesigned them." Liu Gang did not wish for his audience to see any good things about this Haunted House, so he tried to lighten the mood to decrease the sense of fear. "By the way, we have been in here for five minutes already, but we haven't seen even an actor. The workers here are so unprofessional."
"Perhaps they're waiting for a chance." The male assistant laughed in relief. He was about to walk forward when Big Ghost and Small Ghost, who led the way, suddenly stopped.
"Did you hear that weird noise?" Big Ghost, who had been silent thus far, asked. He looked left and right before turning to look behind them. "It seems to come from behind."
"What noise? How come I didn't hear anything?"
"It sounds like a faucet hasn't been tightened, and water is dripping." Big Ghost took several steps back and pushed open the door next to Liu Gang. It looked like a normal toilet, and there were five cubicles inside.
"Be careful. The workers might be hiding inside a cubicle." The spine-tingling background music crawled into their ears, and Big Ghost and Small Ghost entered the toilet while the rest stood at the door.
"What are you so afraid of? There are so many of us. Watch me pull the actor out for everyone to see." Small Ghost burst into the room. He noticed that the camera was on him, and he acted proudly. He pushed the first cubicle open with much ceremony. There was nothing inside the small space, so he continued to open all the other cubicles before stopping at the fifth cubicle.
"Wasted so much energy to build an abandoned toilet. There must be a scare point here. The water sound came from the toilet. Something must be wrong with this last cubicle." Big Ghost and Small Ghost stood at both sides of the door and pushed the door open.
The door slammed into the wall. There was no one hiding in the last cubicle, but there was a broken diary.
"Looks like we scared ourselves for no reason."
The others entered the toilet while Big Ghost and Small Ghost picked up the book from the ground. It had some sentences written on it.
"Do not enter the dripping toilet alone. The four corners might be hiding scary spirits.
"Do not walk with your head lowered. Cold hands will press down on your head.
"Do not stay too long in the room with all the posters. They can't get out, so they will make you stay.
"Do not bite your fingers. Your fingernails will be taken away.
"Do not stare at shattered mirrors, or you might see a different you in it.
"Do not pick up and read this diary. You have read his past and will become the next him."
Small Ghost closed the tattered diary and scoffed. "If I trusted these things, I wouldn't have gone to sleep at a graveyard. Boring..."
He tossed the diary into the dirty toilet, and when the diary touched the water, the door of the first cubicle suddenly slammed shut. With a shiver, Small Ghost glared at the other people in the room. "Who shut the door? Are you mad?"
"No one touched it." Bai Buhui stood at the back of the group. After some hesitation, his palm fell on the door of the first cubicle, and the camera turned to him. Pushing it open, there was still nothing inside the first cubicle.
"The axle doesn't have any mechanism installed on it. Why would it close then? Was it the wind?"
"Something's wrong!" The male assistant suddenly screamed, and that gave Liu Gang a jolt.
"Don't do that. What did you discover?"
"Perhaps I saw wrongly." The male assistant forced a smile. He silently whispered into Liu Gang's ear, "I have been watching your livestream. Earlier, the camera was on Bai Buhui. When he opened the door, there seemed to be a child on the image, and he was squatting inside the first cubicle."
"If you weren't mistaken, the chatroom would have exploded." Liu Gang glanced at the chatroom. It was normal, so it was clear that the assistant was mistaken. "I knew I shouldn't have brought you. Don't scare yourself. We're livestreaming. If you continue to do this, we'll lose face."
After Liu Gang had the camera on him, he put his calm demeanor back on. "Alright, there is nothing to be seen inside this toilet. Let's go looking for the oil paintings and try to finish the quest in less than half an hour."
"Ok." Bai Buhui felt that something was wrong, but he could not pinpoint it. The group walked out of the toilet. Only the male assistant was confused. He lowered his head to look at the livestream on his phone and shook his head. "Perhaps I was really mistaken."
As he was about to move outside, he felt a chill on his neck like a small hand was pressing down on him.
"Who is it‽" Whipping his head around, the male assistant saw a pair of gray legs run past the fifth cubicle.
"What was that?" He did not have the courage to check it alone. He rushed after the rest and did not stay in the toilet alone.
Red liquid dripped out from the tap, and faded stains that looked like human faces started to appear from four corners of the toilets. The male assistant held the phone tightly. He squeezed next to Liu Gang, wondering whether he should tell him what he had seen earlier. He was very anxious, and the anxiety could not be dispersed even if he was in a crowd.
He kept turning to look at the toilet. The strange background music crawled into his ears, and the footsteps had a strange echo to them like there was something following them.