Reading the mission clear message, Chen Ge sighed in relief. This Trial Mission with a two-star scream factor had been easier than he anticipated, but that was probably because the spirits inside Mu Yang High School meant him no harm.
When he was halfway through the mission, he had already noticed that the residents of Mu Yang High School were not baleful specters. Including the Pen Spirit, they had no malicious intent. What had happened to Fan Yu’s father was merely karma.
The most difficult side missions were definitely the classroom and the deep well. Even now, he still had not truly uncovered the mystery of the Sealed Classroom. He did go in to experience it once, and thankfully, the spirits inside did not make things too difficult for him. The difficulty of the Deep Well mission was high as well. Even with the aid of the police, they had dug for a whole night before locating the well before dawn. If he had attempted that alone, he definitely would have failed the mission.
Chen Ge felt satisfied with the rewards. He did not mind too much about the unlocked hidden item. According to legend, Pen Spirits could predict the future, but his Pen Spirit did not seem to be knowledgeable about anything and had no principles or morals.
The rain that had continued throughout the night finally stopped. The police did not forget to praise Chen Ge for his contribution. After taking his testimony, they drove him home. The emergency call and a whole night of digging had led to tired officers. Inside the car, the one sitting next to Chen Ge was falling asleep. Chen Ge nudged his own body to the door to make space for the officer. The journey home was silent.
Chen Ge arrived at New Century Park at 6 am. It could have been the Yin Yang Vision or constant exposure to spirits, but Chen Ge felt incredibly cold. He lay in his bed, but sleep would not come. He turned to his phone and was shocked to realize there were more than ten unanswered calls and unread messages.
Most of them came from He San, mainly asking about his safety and whether he needed to call the police. At the bottom of the inbox was a message from Doctor Gao. The good doctor said that Fan Yu’s symptoms might be related to the people around him, and he advised Chen Ge to pay closer attention to such individuals in the boy’s life.
The message was sent at 12:30 am. By then, Fan Yu’s aunt had come clean to Chen Ge. After replying to both He San and Doctor Gao, Chen Ge opened the video-sharing app and clicked into his personal page.
A four-hour livestream but not a word with the chat, and I even closed the stream several times in the middle without warning. I can only imagine the damage that was done to my popularity.
After detaining Fan Yu’s aunt, Chen Ge had closed the livestream in deference to Fan Yu’s privacy and future. He did not have the time to explain the situation to his viewers; his attention had been required elsewhere.
After loading the main page, Chen Ge glanced at the interface and was shocked to realize that his livestream’s followers had increased to 39,000 users.
I remember, before the livestream, I had less than 10,000 followers. What happened last night during the livestream?
He had been so occupied with the side mission that he had allowed the livestream to play on its own. He did not think too much of it, so he was surprised by this sudden reward.
Just as Chen Ge was trying to figure out what had happened, He San’s call came. As he answered it, he could hear the commotion on the other side. “Boss! I knew you’re still alive!”
Chen Ge ignored He San’s celebration and asked directly, “What happened last night during my livestream? Why did my followers and views grow so tremendously?”
“Since you started your livestream last night, the number has been growing, but it was incredibly slow until you started to play the Pen Spirit game. Someone created a thread on the app forum exposing Qin Guang for his plagiarism and then even attached your first livestream.” He San’s voice turned sharp from indignation. “Qin Guang’s livestream plagiarized your content down to the analysis, set, and even the identity of the killer, who was played by an actor! The evidence was right before their eyes, but Qin Guang’s fans refused to admit it. They started to slander your name in the thread, saying that it was you who was mimicking their idol.”
“Probably just the 50-cent army 1 , nothing unusual. Then what happened next?”
“Many viewers went to Qin Guang’s livestream to demand an explanation, but Qin Guang pretended not to have seen them. Not only that, he banned any viewers who brought up your name. However, with his high popularity and the all-in promotion by the platform, there were 800,000 viewers at the start of his livestream, and with the chat scrolling so fast, his team missed some of your mentions. Thus, a number of his viewers who were curious came over to your livestream.” He San got increasingly excited. “The highest viewers during your livestream was 50,000 but it was the combination of passersby, paid viewers, Qin Guang’s fans, and your own fans; it was a mess! You don’t have any mods in your livestream, so even after the livestream had stopped, the chat kept going for another half an hour. By the way, thanks to this chaos, your livestream entered the Popular Ranking for the midnight session. Congratulations, not many newbie hosts can enter that ranking so early in their career.”
Chen Ge could imagine the chaos in his livestream last night, but it was a blessing in disguise since his follower number did have a tremendous increase. After all, he was not lacking in content but exposure.
“Slow down. After all, that was just my second livestream.” Chen Ge talked for a few more minutes with He San before hanging up.
He looked at the private messages that he had received from the other users of the app. Most of them were curses, but there were a few who could not stand Qin Guang’s bullying and chose to send Chen Ge their support.
Near the bottom of his inbox, Chen Ge recognized a familiar user handler. The profile picture was similar to the studio that had harassed him before. The message warned him to not resort to dirty tricks, or he would make sure Chen Ge was unable to survive on this platform.
If another host saw this, they might have been afraid, but Chen Ge was different. Livestreaming and posting short videos were merely ways for him to promote his Haunted House. After blocking this account, Chen Ge exited the app and picked up the black phone.
“Mu Yang High School (Scream Factor 2 Stars): The setting up of the scenario has been completed, you can now go down to the subterranean level to visit it.
“Warning: Mu Yang High School is considered part of the four-star scenario, School of the Afterlife; its space is twice the size of a normal scenario. Please familiarize yourself with the interior layout before putting it to use.”
After looking at the message on the phone, Chen Ge sat up in bed. The size is twice normal scenario’s? Wait… don’t tell me, the whole of Mu Yang High School has been moved here?
He put on his shoes and ran to the first floor, peeled off the wooden boards, and peered downward.
The abandoned underground parking lot had been given a new look. The stairs had signs of being charred, the darkened corridor was littered with unfinished test papers, the doors to the classrooms creaked in the darkness, and shadows could be seen flitting between the upturned tables.