MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Where was the key?
Finch’s lips trembled from his nervousness, but his eyes suddenly lit up. “I know!” However, when he turned around, his face paled from fright.
Gao TianRui had already caught up to them, and his fingernails were black, long, and sharp. Those claws were undoubtedly lethal, and Finch and Xie Yan were unarmed, so they were no match for Gao TianRui!
Xie Yan’s expression was very solemn, as he suddenly rushed into the closest room, took off his jacket, wrapped it around his right hand, and picked up a metal shelf. He came back out and watched as Gao TianRui approached him, shouting, “Finch, go look for the key, I’ll stall for you!”
Ji XueFang was frozen as she leaned against the wall, screaming shrilly! They clearly couldn’t count on her to help.
Finch was worried about Xie Yan facing Gao TianRui alone, but they had no other option right now. If he didn’t go to look for the key, then everyone would die at the hands of Gao TianRui! Finch gritted his teeth and said solemnly, “I’ll be back soon!”
Xie Yan nodded and raised the metal shelf he was holding, stepped forward, and stabbed at Gao TianRui, flinging him towards the wall! Xie Yan didn’t turn around as he said, “Go, quick!”
Finch abruptly slipped past Gao TianRui and returned to the room the puppet had appeared in.
It was the room where Gao TianRui had suddenly had an onslaught of drug withdrawal symptoms and where he had found the druglike substance that transformed him into a monster. It was also the only room with an old tin cabinet.
There must be something different about this room!
Finch hastily dashed in and opened every door and drawer of the cabinet. He searched through them carefully, and besides the white powder, there were also a lot of empty vials for storing medicine. He didn’t recognize these medicines, but they were probably used for detoxification.
The key, where was the key…
‘Some people know that there’s no way to retrace their steps, yet they’re still willing to give everything up for temporary pleasure.’
They had brought all of this upon themselves, and it was they who had given up on themselves.
They had given up on choosing to go back, so the key must be in a neglected place… Finch was extremely anxious, and his gaze suddenly landed on a corner of the room. There was a dirty enamel spittoon, and Finch suppressed his disgust as he picked it up and poured out its contents.
With a clatter, a brass key fell to the floor.
Finch couldn’t afford to care about how unsanitary it was as he picked up the key and sprinted back! Right now, Xie Yan was facing Gao TianRui alone, and Finch forced himself to run even faster!
Fortunately, when he returned, Xie Yan was still fine. He had a few more injuries, probably from Gao TianRui’s claws. Gao TianRui was on all fours like an animal as he and Xie Yan circled around each other, and Gao TianRui seemed to be scared of Xie Yan’s ‘weapon.’
Although the metal shelf wasn’t sharp, its one advantage was its range.
Gao TianRui clearly couldn’t get close to Xie Yan for the time being. Suddenly, his ears twitched as he heard Finch enter behind him. Gao TianRui gave up on Xie Yan, turned around, and charged towards Finch!
Finch paled and abruptly stopped dead in his tracks! How was he supposed to get past Gao TianRui!
Xie Yan suddenly shouted, “Finch!”
Xie Yan quickly tackled Gao TianRui into a ward on the right, and Gao TianRui was caught off guard. He became enraged and focused his efforts on attacking Xie Yan again.
Finch took the opportunity to shakily insert the key into the keyhole. With a click, the door opened!
It was pitch-black on the other side of the door, but Ji XueFang, who was frightened out of her wits, didn’t care anymore. She didn’t even look behind her as she ran in, panicked. Finch waited for Xie Yan and said anxiously, “Let’s go.”
Xie Yan kicked Gao TianRui’s face and ran after Finch. The two of them entered the room and shut the door behind them, trapping Gao TianRui on the other side.
As Finch tried to calm himself down, he could feel his heart pounding fiercely. Being so close to dying really was scary, and the adrenaline rush…
Fortunately, they hadn’t guessed wrong.
When they looked around, although it was a door they had gone in through already, it wasn’t that factory with the monsters anymore. Instead, it was a white, hexagonal room. There was only one metal door in the room, and it was protected by a password lock.
This was undoubtedly Finch’s room, and even he got nervous, unsure of what problems he would encounter.
He stared at the puppet that was sitting at the bottom right corner of the door.
The puppet looked back at him and giggled. “Some people are born cowards, and they don’t dare to bravely face themselves. They’re always indecisive and worry incessantly, acting out of selfish reasons. Even if they hurt others, they still don’t dare to bravely face themselves. It seems meaningless for someone like this to live, so this time, have you figured out what you need to face? The secret you’re most scared of other people finding out about.”
When the puppet finished speaking, a timer on the door started counting down, and the white walls around them began to slowly move inwards…
Ji XueFang screamed, “What’s your secret?!”
At this moment, she didn’t care about her reputation being ruined or even if she had to quit the entertainment industry, she just wanted to stay alive!
Finch was also very panicked, and he thought about the answer to the question. According to their previous experiences, their secrets were all capable of being very harmful to their careers, and it was the thing they wanted to conceal the most. However, Finch didn’t have much to conceal, because he wasn’t even that well-known!
No one cared about what little-known actors like him did, and Finch had only become slightly more famous recently. If he had to say the one thing he was a little scared of people knowing, then it would be…
Finch said tentatively, “I’m gay?”
Ji XueFang was stunned and screamed, “You’re gay?!”
Finch nodded awkwardly. Sure enough, for the entertainment industry, being homosexual was a very terrible thing, but… it still wasn’t the right answer, the walls were still closing in, and the door hadn’t opened!
Finch looked at the walls that were coming closer and closer, and he wiped the sweat on his forehead. Just the thought of dying by being crushed by the walls was enough to frighten someone. Finch didn’t want to die just like this, but what else could there be?
What other secret did he have that he was scared of people finding out about?
Xie Yan frowned, but he said as calmly as he could, “Don’t be too nervous. Think carefully, what selfish things have you done that you don’t dare to face…”
Xie Yan felt a little embarrassed at saying this, and it didn’t sound very polite at all. However, in order for them to survive, he had to prompt Finch. Besides, everyone had already exposed their own secrets, so it didn’t matter how embarrassing it was, because getting out of here was more important.
Finch nodded and pursed his lips. Inexplicably, that wording made Finch think of Cesar…
It was worth a try.
Finch said quickly, “I only found out I was gay two years ago, and at that time, I was very nervous about it. I mustered up my courage and went on a date and found a boyfriend, but I was secretive about it and I didn’t want anyone to know about him. We didn’t date for too long, because one day, my sister and brother-in-law suddenly said that they wanted to come over to my place to eat, and at the time, I wasn’t prepared to come out of the closet yet. So I told my boyfriend to go and that I was breaking up with him. Actually, I didn’t want to break up with him, but I also didn’t want my family to find out about him…”
Finch looked down and said quietly, “But later, my family still found out. They didn’t blame or disown me, and they even told me that it wasn’t too big of a deal and were very supportive… They were all very open-minded about it, and in the end, I realized that I was too cowardly and cared too much about other people’s opinions. I only cared about protecting myself…”
Finch hadn’t even cared about whether or not he had hurt others, and even when they encountered each other again, Finch hadn’t been brave enough to take the initiative to see him.
That was what he felt most guilty about, so he had chosen to avoid it.
With a click, the walls stopped moving, the timer stopped counting down, and the door swung open.
Finch looked up in surprise, his expression a mixture of joy and something complicated.
Ji XueFang looked at Finch in disdain, clearly a little disgusted. After all, not everyone accepted homosexuality.
Finch shrugged carelessly. He had never expected everyone to accept him, and although he didn’t deliberately hide his sexual orientation anymore, he still wouldn’t bring it up in front of people he wasn’t familiar with.
He was very lucky that his friends and family were all very understanding, and that was enough.
People were always slowly maturing, and at the time, Finch had been scared, uneasy, cowardly, and timid. However, two years had passed, and Finch had changed. He didn’t think that his sexual orientation wasn’t something to be disdained, and this was everyone’s freedom of choice.
If he had to say one thing he regretted the most, it would be that he had dated some more people after, but he could never forget the one he had met by chance, yet had also disappeared from Finch’s life because of his own cowardliness…
Fortunately, he had encountered him again.
It felt a little unreal that they had reached the end, and Ji XueFang was the first to arrive at the doorway. However, she hesitated, because she didn’t know if she would be welcomed by reality or by another scary situation.
Xie Yan walked to Finch’s side and grabbed his wrist, saying gently, “Let’s go.”
He and Xie Yan walked out, and Ji XueFang gritted her teeth, closed her eyes, and also rushed out!
Then, they opened their eyes and saw the familiar studio hall.
They had escaped!
When the staff from the TV show saw them come out, exhausted and even bloodied, they were surprised and shocked as they asked, “What happened?!”
The guests had gone in for only a short while and then suddenly came back out. Weren’t they still searching for clues in the first room?
And Xie Yan getting wounded was a big deal, and no one could afford to think about what happened as they quickly crowded around Xie Yan, asking, “What happened to you?”
Ji XueFang sighed when she saw these people, glad that she had finally returned to the familiar reality. Immediately after, she was extremely furious, saying coldly, “You guys don’t know what happened to us at all?!”
The staff were all baffled. The game they had set up was very simple, and they naturally wouldn’t want to embarrass such famous actors as them. So how did they end up like this, and why did they seem to be mad at the staff?
The staff were dumbfounded.
Suddenly someone realized that a person was missing and asked, “Where’s Senior Gao TianRui?”
Finch thought, He’s already turned into a monster, and he may or may not be dead…
Fortunately, there were some calm and cool-headed people present, and they immediately called for an ambulance, as Xie Yan’s wound seemed quite serious. Then, they found a first aid kit and began treating Xie Yan’s injury.
Xie Yan was silent despite their questions, not willing to expose what had happened.
Finch knew that what had happened probably had nothing to do with the show, and if told them what happened, they probably wouldn’t believe them. Thus, Finch also remained silent.
Ji XueFang called her agent and lawyer, her expression anxious.
The ambulance arrived quickly, and it was very chaotic. The person in charge of the production crew was pale and thought, I’m screwed.
Besides Xie Yan suffering an injury, the medics had also found Gao TianRui’s dead body in the room, and he had died of an overdose… It really was way too preposterous!
Xie Yan was quickly sent onto the ambulance.
Finch was uninjured, but he decided to follow Xie Yan there to make sure he got in safely. Today, if it wasn’t for Xie Yan, then Finch probably would’ve been dead by now.
Xie Yan smiled weakly at Finch and said, “I’m fine. Right… I also want to tell you a secret.” He whispered into Finch’s ear, “I’m also gay.”
Xie Yan winked at Finch.