I must have seen her somewhere before.
It was not that Chen Ge had that much confidence in his memory, but the girl’s face was memorable. His mind drew a blank as he chased after the girl after picking up his phone and the iron hammer. The rice on the floor turned into a mess. By the time Chen Ge exited the staff breakroom, the shadow had already disappeared.
Where did she disappear to? The front door is closed, so she should still be inside the Haunted house.
Turning on the flashlight, Chen Ge noticed that the white rice formed a trail. He followed said trail to the deepest part of the first-floor corridor. The wooden boards that blocked the entrance were lifted up, and a wind could be heard blowing underneath. Chen Ge moved the boards to the side and entered the Mu Yang High School scenario.
There was rice left on the stairs, proof that the girl had entered the same scenario.
Her escape route is clear; she ran this way.
The scenario was huge, but the rice on the floor helped Chen Ge navigate the place. The scenario was underground, but it had not changed from the layout of the parking lot. The trail of white rice eventually disappeared beside a bearing beam.
She has hidden herself inside the beam?
The bearing beam was right underneath the Haunted House, supporting the whole Haunted House’s weight. Patting the beam, Chen Ge was reminded of a story that he had once heard from his grandparents. Apparently, there was a spirit living inside every home, and while most of them were kind spirits, there were exceptions.
A kind spirit protected the house and the residents in it; a malicious spirit would ruin the family’s Feng Shui. Normally, such spirits were the ancestors who had passed away, but there were exceptions, like the place Fan Yu and his aunt called home.
This fitted the description provided by the black phone. There was an invisible customer at the Haunted House, and it might be friendly or malicious.
The girl hiding behind me earlier, could it be the spirit that protects the Haunted House?
The more he thought about it, the more convinced Chen Ge became. He walked around the beam and realized that there was a doll that had been left leaning against it. This doll was the first doll that he had made.
“Wait! Aren’t you supposed to be in my pocket?” Chen Ge’s hands wandered to his pocket, and the doll was not there. “Are you the person who has been living at the Haunted House with me?”
Chen Ge bent down to pick up the doll, and when he did, he saw that the doll was covering a relatively small hole underneath it. He shone his flashlight into the hole. The space that could only fit four fingers had a bracelet and a paper crane inside.
Neither was expensive. The bracelet was made of plastic, and it looked like a little girl’s toy; the paper crane that was stuffed underneath it had become out of shape. After pulling the items out, Chen Ge saw three curvy words at the end of the bracelet—Luo Ruoyu.
Why would there be a girl’s toy inside the underground parking lot? Chen Ge studied the bracelet closer. If this bracelet belongs to that shadow, then this should be the girl’s name.
Surname Luo, the guardian spirit of the Haunted House, a girl’s toy…
After connecting the clues, it hit Chen Ge. He finally remembered where he had seen the girl’s face. That girl is New Century Park Director Luo’s daughter!
When he visited Director Luo to discuss the possibility of renting the underground parking lot, he had seen the girl’s photo. She was physically disabled but had the purest of smile.
The girl has become the guardian spirit for the whole park? Then why would she attach herself to the doll left behind by my parents? Chen Ge felt like there was a hidden meaning to this Nightmare Mission. He took the doll, bracelet, and paper crane back to the staff breakroom. He pulled out an album from a locked drawer. The first page featured a family photo of Chen Ge and his parents. Since the picture had been taken on the day that the construction of the Haunted House had finished, the background of the picture was the Haunted House.
In the picture, Chen Ge’s father stood proudly in the middle; he was as happy as a child. Chen Ge, who had still been attending school then, stood quietly to the side, looking at the camera with a trace of impatience on his face. His mother stood beside his father, but as he looked closer, his mother’s hand was hanging in mid-air, and her fingers were curved like they were holding someone’s hand.
There are four people in the picture?
Flipping through the album, Chen Ge found another picture that was weirder. His father was pointing at the Haunted House, talking to Chen Ge, while his mother half-squatted on the floor, her hands touching something in the air.
There were many other similar pictures, and looking at them, Chen Ge felt his heart chill. Ever since he was young, he had wondered why he had to leave a huge space during picture time. Now he understood it.
They sure were nice to the ghosts! It is probably because of them that I’m favored by the specters!
Chen Ge did not expect Director Luo’s daughter to have attached herself to the doll left behind by his parents, and from the looks of it, she had stayed with them for a long time already. Director Luo’s daughter was the guardian spirit of the park, so she could not leave the park. This explained why the doll was only useful inside the Haunted House and the park. It was why, when Wang Qi tried to ambush Chen Ge at the wooden hut behind Ping An Apartments, the doll had not reacted. There were many other such occasions as well.
Chen Ge closed the album and lightly rubbed his temple. He had a feeling that the mission was more than it seemed. He moved his gaze away from the doll and the bracelet to fall on the paper crane.
The material was normal, but it was dirtied by a blood stain.
This paper crane does not look new; it should have been inside that hole for a long time already.
Opening the paper crane, several words could be seen written on the bloodied paper—The Third Room of the Third Sick Hall!
The Third Sick Hall? Chen Ge’s heart started to quiver when he saw those words. After completing three Nightmare Missions, one of the Trial Missions would be unlocked. Before this, Chen Ge had already prepared to select the Trial Mission for the Third Sick Hall because it was the only three-star mission carried by the black phone.
The handwriting looks similar to my parent’s, but why would they leave behind a clue to a location? Is the third room in the third sick hall related to their disappearance? Chen Ge put the paper aside, and his brain was mulling on another problem.
The black phone said that after completing the three Nightmare Missions, the missions in the future will be randomized. This means that the first three Nightmare Missions are fixed.
The first mission opened the door to the other world; the second mission told me my parents are still alive but missing; this third mission gave me a venue. Buying my trust, giving me hope, and then providing me with an investigative direction. The three Nightmare Missions are related to each other, and they are more meaningful than they appear.