“They’re coming right now?” Chen Ge actually did not mind He San’s seniors at all.
“I’m risking my life by giving you this information; the seniors are planning to shoot a funny video inside your Haunted House and put it on the internet to make Senior Gao laugh. I hope you won’t be angry; after all, our course only has five classes and, in total, only seven girls. The one you made cried was the prettiest of them all, so Boss, take care!” He San heard coming footsteps, so he quickly hung up.
Want to shoot a funny video at my Haunted House? Chen Ge put his phone away, and a wicked grin appeared on his face. They say medical students have bigger guts than most. They’ll be the perfect guinea pigs to try out my new scenario, and we’ll see who’s laughing then.
After lunch break, Chen Ge went downstairs to open the gate. The visitors who missed the chance to visit the Haunted House in the morning all rushed over. Some of them purposely came to pay the place a visit after watching Chen Ge’s videos and livestream online, some of them were dragged there by families or friends, while the rest were merely curious. Since the line for this attraction was so long, it had to be for something fun, right?
“Ticket price is 20 RMB. For the best effect, we suggest going in with a group of three.” Chen Ge maintained the order as he communicated with Xu Wan. Both of them were busy beyond belief. Time flew, and when it was 3 pm, seven fashionable youths entered the New Century Park. They made a beeline for the Haunted House like they were on a mission.
Each of them had different personality, and they did not talk much among themselves. They stood in the line for the Haunted House quietly, making the atmosphere become weirdly serious. Several minutes later, when the earlier group of visitors came out holding each other for support, the tallest among them walked toward Chen Ge.
“Boss, six tickets.” His voice was deep and gravelly.
Chen Ge raised his head to look at the young man and glanced at the group behind him. “But there are seven of you.”
“This one is just responsible for bringing us here.” The tall youth yanked He San to the front.
“Boss, I won’t be going in.” He San was traumatized by his earlier experience in the Haunted House. After smiling at Chen Ge, he hurriedly squirreled back to the crowd.
“Since you’re already here, how can I leave you all alone standing outside? Here, this is on the house.” Chen Ge passed the tall youth seven tickets. “All of you are from Jiujiang Medical University, right? Nice to make your acquaintance.”
Chen Ge’s kindness and enthusiasm made the few medical students feel rather embarrassed.
“He San, since the boss has gifted you the ticket, it’ll be wrong if you refuse his kindness.” The tall youth passed everyone their ticket, but what they did next confused the other visitors. They did not enter the Haunted House directly and seemed to congregate outside it for some kind of tactical meeting.
“He San and myself will be a group; Monkey and Lao Zhao will be a group; Lao Song, Xiao Hui, and Shi Ling, you three will be the last group. Everyone has memorized the tactics that were posted on the forum before we departed, right?”
“Yes. It’s all memorized.”
“The layout of the set has been drawn out by He San already, and we’re familiar with every trick the place has to offer. Be prepared and show no trace of fear, we mustn’t bring shame to Jiujiang Medical University!”
“Alright, from now on, put yourself into the correct mental state and bring that adrenaline up! Increase the breathing rate—imagine that you’re going skydiving or bungee-jumping—and make your every cell come alive!”
“Indeed, be fierce, be tough! You’re fiercer than the fiercest of ghosts! You’re not afraid of anything!”
“Do you still remember the oath we made when we joined the university‽”
“A straight heart leads a right path! Jiujiang Medical University, Speaker of the Living and the Dead!”
“Alright, let’s go!”
The speech was so inspiring that even the other visitors could not help but clap and cheer. Even Chen Ge was internally impressed.
He San and the tall youth departed from the group and said, “The two of us will lead the way, wait for our good news.”
The two stepped toward Chen Ge with fire and spirit.
“Just the two of you?”
“Your rules only allow a maximum of three people in one group, don’t they?”
“Oh, that’s the rule for the Minghun scenario. Don’t mind that little detail, all seven of you can come in all at once; I wouldn’t want the rest of you to waste your time waiting for others.” Chen Ge led the group into the Haunted House that felt like it was colder than the temperature outside. “First, all of you need to sign the disclaimer agreement on the table, waiving away your right to sue the Haunted House for any and all injuries, supposed or otherwise, before I can allow you to continue.”
“Wait, this wasn’t here last time.” He San wandered over to the table.
“That’s because you were my first customer to faint inside the attraction.” Chen Ge smiled kindly at the group of students. “I believe He San will have already briefed all of you on the history of this place, so I won’t go into the details. All I want to give you is just a reminder and warning.”
Chen Ge slowly pulled his smile away. He pulled out his phone to search for the morning news. “The case at Ping An Apartments four years ago was finally solved, but there is still a killer on the loose. Of course, this has nothing to do with us, but when I came to work this morning, the door of the Haunted House was left open like someone had wandered in. Ping An Apartments and New Century Park are both on the western side of town; hopefully, it’s just me overthinking.”
In a few words, Chen Ge managed to plant the seed of doubt. He did not need to convince He San’s group that was the truth; he merely needed to implant the suggestion in their mind. After all, one’s imagination could always conjure up things that were scarier than reality.
After signing the agreement, Chen Ge led them up to the third floor and slowly pushed the door to the Murder by Midnight scenario open.
A cold draft picked up from somewhere. Along the dark corridors, it felt like eyes were peeping at them from the half-open doors. The corridor led down to an endless staircase, and maze-like turns and corners. The ceiling was charred, and everywhere they turned, they could see scratches, like someone had desperately tried clawing their way out.
The fire of the group was half stifled the moment they saw this. Every single one of them froze on the spot, and they turned to look at He San in unison.
“Where’s the Siheyuan?”
“This is different from what you told us.”
“I was training with weights the whole night to lift the coffin lid.”
The eyes on He San almost made him cry. The honest young man could only turn to Chen Ge for help, but the latter ignored him. “The theme of this scenario is called Murder by Midnight. Please do not take any pictures, and violators will be personally responsible for the possible consequences. The exit is hidden within the set, and the time limit is twenty minutes. If you wish to surrender, just yell at the camera, and I will come get you.”
After all of them entered the corridor, Chen Ge smiled at them and said in parting, “Enjoy.”