Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Yan had always been that sort of polite, calm, and reliable man. If he said that he went to Tibet to cleanse his soul and that he boiled tea, burned incense, and read Buddhist scriptures, no one would be surprised. Finch even remembered that on some TV program, they had gone to Xie Yan’s house for an interview, and his house had been decorated with an elegant modern Chinese style, and the books in his study were all about things like philosophy…
Yet now, Xie Yan was saying that this childish room that was filled with comics and figurines was his?!
Finch didn’t believe it, okay?!
Xie Yan shrugged calmly when he saw everyone’s surprised expressions and said, “Before, I really liked these things, but nowadays I’m always busy with work, so I don’t have that much time to read them anymore… As for my profound, refined, and elegant image, that was just the image that my agent felt suited me best because it seems more compelling. Isn’t everyone already worn out during the day? Isn’t it a lot of work to still pretend to be someone you’re not at home? I’m just an ordinary person.”
Gao TianRui and Ji XueFang were speechless.
Although it sounded very reasonable, where did this surprise and sense of betrayal come from?!
Actually, for such a beautiful actress like Ji XueFang, if the scandal of her sleeping with people to gain favors was exposed, although it would be a fatal blow to her career, no one would be too surprised. After all, such things weren’t that uncommon in the entertainment industry… Not too long ago, some anti-fans had used this exact point to attack her, but it was just that they didn’t have any evidence.
But saying Xie Yan liked to read comic books?! WTF? It made people speechless…
Finch was shocked…
Xie Yan looked at Finch, a little amused, and glanced at the monsters that were still scuffling outside. “Humans always like to limit their own imagination and don’t believe things they haven’t seen before. But look… even something as absurd as this can happen, so what can’t? On the contrary, I think that these comic books are very imaginative. Could you have imagined that these monsters really exist?”
Finch was still speechless.
Xie Yan gazed at him with a strange look in his eyes, sort of like a smile but not quite. “Have you seen hell before? Or rather, a darker, scarier, and creepier world… That world has actually always been next to us, but we just don’t know about it…”
Finch inexplicably felt that Xie Yan was acting a little strange and scary, and he swallowed. “You mean a parallel universe or something?”
Xie Yan suddenly stepped closer to him and chuckled lightly. “Perhaps I’m not me anymore, and I’m actually an entity that came from another world that’s also named Xie Yan. A resurrected demon…”
Finch looked blankly at Xie Yan, then burst out into laughter. He couldn’t help it.
Finch exclaimed, “I believe that this is your room, isn’t believing you enough? Your acting is really good!” Xie Yan really was being childish! Could normal people be like this? Ah, no wonder Xie Yan concealed his true self, if this persona was revealed to the public, he would be ridiculed!
Xie Yan looked fixedly at Finch and smiled helplessly. “You’re really making me look bad.”
Ji XueFang interrupted. “Um… let’s first think of how to get out, okay?”
Gao TianRui said awkwardly, “The fight outside is almost over.”
Sure enough, Finch looked out through the slit in the door and saw that one of the monsters was nearly dead.
Xie Yan frowned. The puppet had implied that they should be able to defeat the monster. He suddenly said, “I got it.”
At this moment, the battle outside was over, and the victorious monster roared furiously. It began to run towards them, intending to kill these annoying ants!
Gao TianRui and Ji XueFang were scared out of their wits and exclaimed, “What did you get?!”
Xie Yan abruptly grabbed a sparkling sword that was decorated with gems! He threw the sword at the monster without hesitation!
The sword looked extraordinary, and it violated the laws of physics as it flew towards the monster. It easily pierced through the monster’s body! Blood sprayed out, and the monster howled in agony as it struggled to continue charging towards them! It seemed to be even more infuriated.
Xie Yan lifted up one of the floorboards beneath his bed, revealing a pitch-black hole. He shouted, “Let’s go!”
Finch was the first to hop in, followed by Gao TianRui and Ji XueFang. Xie Yan was the last to get in, and after he did, he closed the trapdoor! It muffled out the monster’s roars!
Finch winced as he rubbed his injured butt and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. When he saw that Xie Yan and the others were still next to him, he sighed in relief.
Xie Yan explained, “Before, I always believed that this world has monsters in it, so I imagined that I had a dragon-slaying sword that was invincible. And because I was scared of the dark when I was young, I thought that there had to be a passageway under my bed that I could escape through…”
Everyone else was speechless.
However, they knew that they didn’t have time to care too much about that, because they clearly still hadn’t escaped the danger completely. They were now in a dark, damp corridor.
Parts of the wallpaper were peeling, and there were even leaks in the roof, causing water to drip down from time to time. There were metal doors along both sides of the corridor, and the bottom half of the walls were painted dark green. It seemed to be an abandoned hospital.
This scenery was inexplicably spine-chilling, and it was as if they were in a horror movie.
Xie Yan walked alertly to the closest door and cautiously pushed it open. The room was also dilapidated, and there was only one hospital bed placed in it. The yellowing bed sheet had black stains on it, and it was covered in dust. There were syringes and gauzes scattered across the floor.
It seemed that this really was a hospital.
Everyone cast their gaze towards Finch and Gao TianRui.
Ji XueFang was the first to ask, “Which one of you two recognizes this place?”
Finch and Gao TianRui looked at each other and shook their heads.
Xie Yan frowned slightly. According to the pattern from before, every ‘room’ should be related to the secret of one of them. Xie Yan and Ji XueFang had already gone through theirs, so only Finch and Gao TianRui were left. However, they were both saying that they didn’t recognize this place, so could it be that this room had nothing to do with them? Or was someone… hiding the truth?
Xie Yan said, “Let’s continue looking around. See if you two can think of anything.”
No one objected, and although Xie Yan’s image had been ruined, surprisingly, that didn’t affect his place in everyone’s minds, and they instinctively followed him.
The other rooms were all about the same, and they didn’t encounter any danger.
The wards all had shabby hospital beds in them with dirty or bloodied blankets. There were also empty IV fluid bags, syringes, and similar things…
The more Xie Yan walked, the deeper his frown became. He suddenly stopped and said, “This isn’t a hospital, it’s a drug rehabilitation center.”
When he said this, everyone’s expressions darkened.
Ji XueFang stared at Finch and Gao TianRui and suddenly smiled gloatingly. “No wonder you aren’t admitting anything, it turns out one of you two abuses drugs!”
That was much more scandalous than what she did!
They arrived at the last room in the corridor.
As if to confirm what Ji XueFang had said, a grating giggle sounded from above them.
Everyone looked up immediately and saw the puppet hanging on a run-down ceiling fan, still smiling its eerie, stiff smile. “Some drug addicts clearly know that drugs will destroy everything, yet for just an instant of pleasure, they’re willing to give everything up. However, they don’t know that once they start, they’ll never be able to come back. How nice would it be if this world allowed people to retrace their steps? Since you’ve come here, why don’t you taste your favorite delicacy and stay here forever?”
Finch felt wronged and said hastily, “It’s really not me!”
He had always been an obedient youth, and he would never touch something like drugs, okay?!
Suddenly, Finch heard someone bump into something, and he turned around in surprise. Gao TianRui’s face was pale, his breaths were rapid, and his expression kept changing as he staggered backward and bumped into a cabinet behind him. He seemed to be…
Xie Yan said, “It’s him.”
Gao TianRui looked up, his gaze ferocious, though he didn’t say anything, because he suddenly felt the symptoms of drug withdrawal, but he shouldn’t be getting them. He should’ve still had time, but now, he was getting an abrupt paroxysm!
He needed drugs, and he needed them now!
The puppet had said that there was an endless supply of what he liked here, so the thing he needed must be here! Gao TianRui looked agonized, and he no longer had time to care about how everyone else was looking at him. He only wanted to find what he needed.
He spotted a medicine cabinet nearby and abruptly rushed to it. He saw a pile of bags that were filled with a white powder, and he opened one and sniffed it. He felt ecstatic immediately!
Ji XueFang observed him coldly from the side with the hint of a derisive smirk. People were just like this: when one hits rock bottom, they would hope to see someone else be more miserable to console themselves. Moreover, Ji XueFang couldn’t forget that when she was on the verge of crumbling in her room, Gao TianRui had leered at her in disdain. Gao TianRui wasn’t the honorable, veteran actor everyone thought he was. Ji XueFang knew that he was just a scum who happened to be a little polite, and he disgusted her.
Not a single person was clean in the entertainment industry.
At a time like this, how could he even think about inhaling that kind of thing?
Even more importantly, Ji XueFang knew that she now had something on the others. This way, they wouldn’t dare to expose her scandal, and when the time came, she just had to make sure the production crew didn’t say anything…
Finch and Xie Yan didn’t think this much, and their first reactions were to stop Gao TianRui! They couldn’t bear watching someone do drugs in front of them, not to mention how eerie and scary this place was. Were the drugs here even normal drugs? Were they lethal? The puppet had wanted to induce Gao TianRui into doing this, so there must be a terrible catch!
However, Gao TianRui had clearly gone mad, and he had suddenly become a lot stronger. He abruptly swiped at Finch and Xie Yan. Because Xie Yan had been injured already, Gao TianRui’s blow landed on his arm, and Xie Yan paled from the pain.
In the blink of an eye, Gao TianRui had already poured all of the contents of the bags into his mouth. He chewed and swallowed with a crazed look in his eyes.
He seemed to have completely lost all reason!
Then, black spots as stiff as tree bark began forming on his skin, and his teeth slowly sharpened, protruding out of his mouth. He kept eating the white substance ravenously, and the more he ate, the quicker he transformed!
Ji XueFang, who had been observing with cold eyes just then, was now pale. This, this was too preposterous! How could that white powder turn someone into a monster?!
Ji XueFang couldn’t help but scramble backward, her legs trembling.
Finch’s expression also changed drastically to one of fear. Compared to the huge monsters in the factory, this was even scarier, since Gao TianRui had been one of his companions just then. Yet now, he had turned into a fanged monster with a black, hard shell on his skin!
This was exactly like a scene from a horror movie, albeit one that didn’t need any special effects!
Gao TianRui ate wildly and quickly finished everything in the cabinet. Then, when he realized that there was nothing left, he stared at Finch and the others with greedy eyes.
A chill ran down their spines.
Xie Yan’s expression changed, and after a moment, he said resolutely, “Let’s go!”
Ji XueFang was the first to run away, screaming as she did. Xie Yan pulled Finch with him and ran out the door before closing it abruptly! The instant the door closed, Gao TianRui suddenly crashed heavily into it, roaring angrily, and scratched at the metal door with his sharp claws.
The door could be locked from the outside, so Xie Yan quickly locked it. Gao TianRui was still throwing himself at the door in an attempt to break through it. The dust that had settled on the walls started drifting down from the shaking. Although they had temporarily locked Gao TianRui inside, it clearly wasn’t enough to stop him for much longer!
Finch sweated nervously. Perhaps he was too scared and too nervous, but his mind was surprisingly clear. He suddenly had an idea and shouted, “Retrace our steps!”
Xie Yan was a little stunned.
Finch said, “The puppet emphasized that there’s no retracing our steps. Is it trying to mislead us? If we can retrace our steps, then will we be able to escape?”
After all, none of them had thought of walking back the way they came, and they had been walking forward the entire time to search for an exit.
Xie Yan glanced at Finch, and the two of them turned around and ran back at the same time. They quickly arrived at the place they had started from. There was a shabby metal door with a keyhole.
It was also the only door that required a key to open!
Finch pulled on the doorknob for a while, and his expression changed. “We need the key…”
Then, with a boom, the monster Gao TianRui broke the other door and charged towards them!