In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 15 ☆ Screaming Haunted House (11/12)
4.30pm at the exit of the haunted house at Morphy's Amusement Park.
The sun wasn't as scorching as it had been at midday, but some residual heat was still lingering in the air.
Except for the haunted house enclosed by iron sheets, the amusement park was crowded.
They claim it was being renovated.
Cao Wei Min raised his hand to check his watch and then glanced at the haunted house manager beside him.
“This was the same time they went in the afternoon before yesterday?”
Mr Jiang (姜) nodded: “Yes.
Generally speaking, our slowest time for this haunted house is half an hour, and the fastest is only ten minutes.
After they went in, they didn't come out after about forty or fifty minutes, so we suspended operations and went in to look for them.”
As a result, they looked all over the place and didn't find them.
It was only later when the surveillance was checked, that it was discovered that apart from the short footage of Tian Si De and Fang Wen Wen entering the haunted house, they were nowhere filmed by the night vision cameras inside.
“So Tian Si De and Fang Wen Wen disappeared when they entered…”
Cao Wei Min rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“Officer, have they entered the shenanigans…?” The manager cautiously whispered from the side and instantly closed his lips in fright as he saw the towering, intimidating cop gaze at him.
Cao Wei Min's face was expressionless: “Don't ask what you shouldn't ask, and don't say what you shouldn't say.”
The haunted house's manager hastily nodded.
After a while, Cao Wei Min asked again, “It wasn't opened the last few days, correct, the haunted home you have here?”
“No, no! After they vanished the day before yesterday, I shut it down and dialled the police.
Even if I didn't find anybody, I didn't dare open the door.”
Cao Wei Min nodded but said nothing further.
Here, two people went missing, but even when others entered to search for them after they disappeared, they didn't.
In other words, it wasn't that entering this haunted house would result in shenanigans.
If this event resembled the “Eternal Bus” incident, which the police department had just finished investigating, then it was likely that there were rules for it as well.
For example, after the visitors entered, the next group of visitors could only enter once previous visitors came out or were dead?
He rubbed his brows, thinking.
Cao Wei Min's ears twitched somewhat unexpectedly.
He cast a wary glance towards the haunted house's exit, which was only a few feet away.
“Get out of the way!” He yelled loudly the next second, pushing the guy at his side behind him and hastily removing the powerful torchlight from his belt.
As soon as the words dropped, the two people staggered out of the haunted house's exit.
The exit was a heavy curtain that you had to move to the side rather than a sliding door.
Acting more than thinking, Cao Wei Min made a large stride over the two persons who had fallen to the floor and stretched out to grab the curtain that had not yet draped down.
He pulled it upwards —
There was nothing beyond the haunted house's gloomy corridor.
He looked at it for a long time before grudgingly lowering it.
Cao Wei Min turned his head and looked at the man and woman slowly getting up from the ground.
He asked suspiciously, “Tian Si De, Fang Wen Wen?”
The youngster unconsciously replied as he was not yet accustomed to the brightness of the light.
“Cao Wei Min of Criminal Police Detachment of Jiang City Public Security Bureau.” Cao Wei Min gave him a glance at the People's Police ID in his pocket, “You've been gone three days now.
I hope you can accompany us to the police station and have a serious discussion about what transpired.”
The boy, hugging the girl, frowned at his words, “Are you saying…
we've been missing for three days?”
Tian Si De shook his head, “No, although it took us a bit longer in the haunted house, it definitely couldn't have been three days.”
They couldn't have gone three days without eating or drinking while participating in strenuous activity.
Cao Wei Min stared at him before saying, “First, accompany me back to the station.”
“Mr Jiang,” he called out to the manager of a haunted house, “First, I'll take them back to the police station.
For the time being, this site should not be opened, and other personnel are strictly prohibited from entering the haunted house.
If something happens, please notify the police station as soon as possible.
I hope you can cooperate with the authorities.”
With a jolt, Mr Jiang hurriedly said, “Sure, sure, sure!”
“Tian Si De, male, 20 years old, a freshman at Bright Virtue(明德) University.”
Cao Wei Min sat behind his desk, holding the boy's papers and reading it word for word.
He then lifted his eyes to gaze at the youngster holding hot water.
[TN: They are so cheap, giving only hot water and not tea or coffee, lol]
“You just got out of the haunted house, so you must know what's going on now, don't you?”
Tian Si De remained silent for a moment before nodding.
“Did I get involved in Spirit Shenanigans, Uncle Policeman?”
Cao-Twenty-five-year-old police uncle-Wei Min: “…For the time being, it is inconclusive.
The police require you to provide pertinent information for us to assess.”
Tian Si De's countenance softened somewhat as he heard this, but he grimaced again quickly.
“What's the problem? Is there an issue?” Cao Wei Min inquired calmly.
“No, it isn't…” Tian Si De hesitated a bit before continuing, “Actually, another person just came out with us.”
“A boy in a pink hoodie, around my height.”
Cao Wei Min narrowed his eyes.
A pink hoodie.
This individual had reappeared.
Last time it was the bus.
This time it was the haunted house.
It's only been two days…
Doesn't this person even take days off?
No, there was a time discrepancy between what Tian Si De experienced in the haunted house shenanigans and the real world.
That might explain why the hoodie appeared in both shenanigans.
“Didn't he come out?” Tian Si De was a tad worried.
Cao Wei Min attentively observed his countenance and saw that his eagerness was genuine but tinged with guilt.
He said, “As far as I could tell, there was only you and Fang Wen Wen.
Nobody else came out.” Then he pressed on, “Do you know who he is? Did he help you? Why are you worried about him?”
Tian Si De froze.
“I urge you to think carefully since everything you say now will be crucial reference material for future shenanigans research.” Cao Wei Min fixed him with a piercing glare.
His naturally aggressive looks placed considerable strain on the other individual.
Tian Si De: “I, I understand…!”
Xu Jin Yi kicked [Tian Si De] out and rushed through herself.
The game was finally over.
She removed her VR glasses and slumped on the couch.
The sun was already slanting westward.
The orange-red afterglow streaked across her brow.
It was soothing, like a caress.
Xu Jin Yi closed her eyes, her thoughts consumed by Liu Lili's life.
She only whispered after a long time.
“So compulsory education really is a must.”
After a while of lying down, Xu Jin Yi patted her phone on the sofa and opened it to look at it.
It was already close to five o'clock.
After a brief shower, she wiped herself up and changed into a sweatshirt.
Xu Jin Yi decided to run at the park after spending nearly the whole day playing video games.
Xu Jin Yi dashed downstairs, her keys and phone in hand.
When she left the neighbourhood, the aunt of the nearby eatery was still busy with her dinner service.
Xu Jin Yi greeted her casually before flying straight to the park near the neighbourhood.
Xu Jin Yi came to a halt after a short stroll.
The park was across the street.
There was a lot of traffic in this area.
She had to wait till it was safe to walk over.
However, were there fewer buses arriving here?
Confused, Xu Jin Yi looked to the right at the bus stop.
Even though it wasn't quite late, no one was waiting for the bus.
The passing pedestrians were in a rush, but they skipped the bus.
Xu Jin Yi withdrew her gaze.
She cautiously walked across the zebra crossing, paying attention to the vehicles on both sides.
[TN: Wait, if there is a zebra crossing, why do you have to wait to cross? Aren't they there, so cars stop…]
At this time, there were not many people in the park.
To warm up, Xu Jin Yi stretched her body and began jogging.
As time passed, the sun entirely set into the horizon, and the park's street lights came on.
More people arrived.
Men and women straight from work and children fresh from the school visited the park for a stroll.
Xu Jin Yi expelled a bad breath and began to walk slowly back.
It was now seven o'clock in the evening.
She wiped the perspiration from the corner of her brow while seriously considering: 'I didn't play with my phone today, and I'm going to bed early.
Following this reasoning, I shouldn't experience a nightmare about Battle Royal, right?'
Xu Jin Yi's thoughts were scattered, and she didn't pay attention to her side until someone bumped into her shoulder, and the stranger fell to the ground.
“Sorry!” She subconsciously apologised and then attempted to help the other person get up.
“Don't touch me!!!”
Xu Jin Yi: “?”
Bludgeoned head-on by the loud voice, Xu Jin Yi withdrew her hand.
'Fine, I haven't touched you yet; what's the big deal? Luckily for you, I have a good temper.' She thought and then said nonchalantly, “Sorry, I'll go first,” and left.
The man raised his head after Xu Jin Yi had departed, revealing a very handsome but pale face.
The man sat on the ground for a long time, unable to return to his senses.
His body defied his will and continued to tremble while those dark pupils contracted as if he was terrified.
Someone could hear his faint, thin, soft mutter only by getting close enough.
After a long moment, before someone almost accidentally kicked him, the man stood up quickly and stumbled towards the park exit.
——— Translator's Notes ———
姜: jiāng = ginger
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