The blanched Pei Hu staggered back a few steps before he stabilized himself.
“Are you alright? What happened?” Wang Wenlong and Xia Meili behind them rushed over immediately.
“Don’t mind him. It’s nothing.” Wang Hailong’s legs were shaking, and his face was slightly twitching, but he forced himself to appear calm. “It’s just a bunch of mannequins.”
Even though they were mentally prepared, the other three still got quite a shock when they looked into the classroom. The sudden appearance of twenty or so mannequins was scary enough, but to have them all looking in the same direction, with some of their necks twisted 180 degrees? Who would be able to prepare for a sight like that?
“I was wondering why the previous classrooms weren’t scary. It was to prepare for this ‘surprise’.” Wang Wenlong was probably the most collected of them all. He turned on his phone to use the flashlight.
“Wenlong, the boss said to not use the phone inside the scenario,” Xia Meili warned.
“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” As Wang Wenlong directed the flashlight into the sealed classroom, the light reflected on the mannequins’ shiny bodies. “Should be all mannequins. None of them blinked when the light hit their eyes. Wait! I saw nametags; there are two of them!”
“Hanging on the mannequin’s uniform!” Wang Wenlong pointed his flashlight, and everyone turned to look. The mannequin in the middle of the classroom had a nametag hanging on its uniform’s lapel while the other nametag was on the innermost table. To obtain these two nametags, one had to move through the rows of mannequins.
“This boss sure is immoral!”
“Thankfully, all five of us came in. If we followed his rules and came in to find the nametags alone, of course, that person would be scared witless.”
“Fine, time to stop praising others and lowering our own morale.” Wang Hailong walked back and forth several times until his legs did not feel that numb anymore. “There’s still time. There should be more than two nametags inside this classroom. We not only have to go in, but we also need to search the place carefully to find all of the nametags!”
“Brother Long, please think about it! There’s no reason to put our lives on the line for 4,000!” Pei Hu still had not recovered from the scare earlier, and his brain was still a muddled mess.
“Is it as serious as you’re making it out to be? Stop talking nonsense, come here!” Wang Hailong dragged Pei Hu to the entrance of the sealed classroom.
“Why do I need to enter first‽” Pei Hu showcased his survival instinct.
“I’m afraid that you’ll leave us behind if I don’t watch over you!” Wang Hailong shoved Pei Hu into the room and turned around to tell Dou Menglu and Xia Meili. “The three of us guys will go in first. If anything happens, come in to get us.”
“Okay, be careful.”
“It’ll be fine. Didn’t Wenlong say it just now? They’re all mannequins.” Wang Hailong and Wenlong also entered the classroom. The three of them stood at the lectern and looked over the classroom. Goosebumps instantly formed on their skin.
“This is just wonderful. The mannequins have taken up all the space; there’s not even room for us to move.”
“Pei Hu, since you’re so scared, you go and take the nametag in the middle of the room. Wenlong, you check the drawers, and I’ll go and grab the furthest nametag.” Wang Hailong acted like a real big brother. Even though Pei Hu did not feel that satisfied, there was nothing he could do about it.
Before getting down from the lectern, Pei Hu jumped back again. “Brother Long, these mannequins look weird; their eyes seem to move!”
“Would it kill you to be a little bit quiet?” Wang Hailong was also made anxious by Pei Hu.
“This is called the Uncanny Valley effect. Things that are too similar to humans will naturally elicit a negative reaction,” Wang Wenlong explained, but he did not seem to buy his own explanation.
“Both of you be quiet! The boss has already started the countdown, and we need to find all the nametags in twenty minutes to win. Stop wasting time.” Wang Hailong forced himself to walk toward the innermost table.
“Brother Long, don’t be angry.” Pei Hu moved toward the middle table with some hesitation. Due to his large size, when he got down from the lectern, his stomach knocked into a nearby standing mannequin, causing it to move.
“The person who designed this Haunted House must have experienced some kind of trauma to be able come up with something as sick as this…” Pei Hu grumbled, but before he finished, he suddenly felt someone knock into his back. “Wenlong?”
He turned to look, and Wang Wenlong was several meters away from him.
“Who touched me?” He looked around before his gaze fell on the mannequin that was still trembling. The mannequin was very lifelike. If one did not take a closer look, one would be prone to believe it was a real person. “This mannequin touched me?”
Pei Hu shivered. He did not dare stay to find out and hurried to the centermost table. It was a girl who sat at the table. Her uniform was different from the others’ and was drenched in blood like something horrible had happened to her at the last moment of her life.
Pei Hu stared at the nametag on the lapel and took a deep breath before reaching for it. When his fingertip was about to touch the girl’s neck, the head that was turned toward the window suddenly moved.
“F*ck me!” Pei Hu instantly pulled his hand back like he had been shocked by electricity.
“It really moved? Could this be a real person?” He looked around. Wang Hailong was still moving toward the innermost table, and Wang Wenlong was near him. His friends were close, and this gave Pei Hu some degree of courage. He reached out once more and finally grabbed the nametag.
“I did it.” Even though it was not anything impressive, Pei Hu felt incredibly happy. However, when he was about to retract his hand, he realized that someone had strung a piece of string around the nametag, and the string was tied to a noose around the girl’s neck.
“F*ck! Is this really necessary‽” He felt like cleaving the boss in two then. He gripped the nametag and moved around the mannequin. The classroom was dark, so he needed light to undo the knot. He took out his phone for light and bent down to get close to the girl.
When the phone’s light hit the girl’s face, the mannequin’s expression shifted, but Pei Hu did not notice that. Holding the phone in his hand, he stood behind the girl and had his head lowered to focus on the knot.
However, as he was fully focused, he heard Wang Wenlong suddenly take a deep breath and whisper, “This is weird, how come I feel like this mannequin has been following me?”
“You’re probably overthinking it.” Pei Hu, who found progress with his objective, laughed. He wanted to turn back to continue undoing the knot when he suddenly realized that the girl sitting before him had turned her head around, and the two faces, one living and one inanimate, were only half a finger away from each other.