Chapter 431 - First Sign of Trouble
Cai Hao Chen and Ana started counting off their own groups. They were missing a person. It was from Ana’s team. It was the teenager who ran off earlier, Sun Chao.
“You guys didn't see Sun Chao?” Ana quickly asked Cai Hao Chen, then the people in her own group.
“No, haven't seen him.”
Star Yu and the other players from Ana’s group stared at each other. They shook their head in disbelief.
“Anyone else seen Sun Chao? While we were in the haunted house investigating, did anyone see him run out?” Ana continued to ask.
“No, I was working hard with my group so I didn't notice anyone running out,” Cai Hao Chen replied. At the same time all the other members in his group shook their heads.
Ana quickly ran to the haunted house entrance and screamed out Sun Chao’s name. She only heard the feedback of her own voice.
“He's been taken away by the ghost! Just like my friend! There's something wrong with this haunted house! It's not suitable for camping!” Star Yu continued to shout louder and louder.
Liu Gan glanced at Star Yu. That stopped Star Yu in mid-shout.
“Tell me what happened? How did you separate? Who was the last person to see Sun Chao?” Liu Gan asked Ana.
“Well…” Ana explained the situation in detail to Liu Gan, including Star Yu’s paranormal encounters in real life, and especially how Sun Chao had been scared off in the haunted house.
“I’m not making it up to scare people. Everything I’ve said is true. I personally experienced it,” Star Yu walked over to explained to Liu Gan. He didn’t want Liu Gan to think that he was disrupting morale and had indirectly caused Sun Chao to run off.
“Could it be possible that he found a place to take a dump?” someone suggested loudly and called for Sun Chao, but no one responded to the absurdity.
“Stop screaming!” Liu Gan halted everyone.
“Didn’t I say that someone would be disappearing? This haunted house isn’t worth the trouble to stay in…” Star Yu mumbled.
“I will go take a look,” Liu Gan took his flashlight and walked towards the haunted house. Ana and Cai Hao Chen quickly followed behind Liu Gan.
“I will go with Hao Chen, you will stay behind and watch over the other players. Don’t let them run off,” Liu Gan ordered Ana.
“I should be the one to accompany Lord Liu! I am more familiar with the haunted house. I can lead the way!” Ana rushed to suggest.
“Ah, Ana is right about that. I will switch places and stay behind,” Cai Hao Chen sensed Ana’s alternative agenda.
“That’s fine too. Make sure you control them. Don’t let them shout or run around. We will be back out quick,” Liu Gan said to Cai Hao Chen. Liu Gan had no qualms about who was going to accompany him.
“This haunted house definitely has a problem. We can’t stay here to set up camp. Sun Chao has been taken away already!” Star Yu said to the others and began telling his background story.
“So it’s like that? If it’s as you have said, then this is really dangerous. We can’t stay here any longer,” a few players started tensing up after hearing Star Yu.
“Please don’t continue spreading your story. Lord Liu hates it when someone disrupts the troops’ morale. You have been warned. So don’t say that I haven’t warned you if an axe flies at your neck,” Cai Hao Chen gave a final warning to Star Yu.
“I’m just doing it out of good intentions! Something has happened to Sun Chao already. We don’t know who the next victim will be,” Star Yu sighed as he looked at the haunted house.
The huge bonfire, its flames flickering back and forth, produced shadows that made the demonic entrance to the ghost house look more dangerous. From a distance, they stared at the building. The shadows resembled a demon laying on top of the building, getting ready to eat anyone that entered.
“Wait, did anyone see that deer’s head move a little?” A player named Liu Kang suddenly asked others. Liu Kang was the person roasting the deer on the bonfire.
“It’s dead. Why would anything dead move?” other players asked and looked at the deer.
“That deer seems to be crying… It wouldn’t be Sun Chao, right? Can you imagine, Sun Chao went missing. Then, Lord Liu encountered a strange shadow. After he killed it, he found that it was just a deer. Can you connect the dots and just think for a little? How can this strange place have a wild deer? It must be Sun Chao transformed. Now we are cooking him! Then, we will eat the meat as if it were venison, when it is human meat!” Liu Kang speculated.
“That’s too horrifying! So should we eat or not?” Star Yu took a few steps backward when he heard Liu Kang’s speculation. Star Yu now had intentions of running away from this place.
“Are you done yet? If you continue, Lord Liu will definitely kill both of you!” Cai Hao Chen said in a serious tone. Hao Chen had an important mission assigned to him by Liu Gan. If he couldn’t even stop the players from running around and spreading rumors, then how would he be treated seriously in the future by Liu Gan.
“The haunted house is a maze. There are several different branch points. When we enter it, our sequence of going through the room is this: First was the set with ‘The Ring’, then it was ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, following that was ‘Yamamura’s ancient village’, after that was the ‘Horrifying ancient well’...” Ana explained to Liu Gan as she walked behind him. Now that she was alone with Liu Gan, she acted calmer and with more maturity.
“When did Star Yu begin to tell his story? And when did Sun Chao decide to part with your group?” Liu Gan shined his flashlight into every nook and cranny to ensure that he didn’t miss any small evidence, all the while listening to Ana tell the timeline.
The sudden disappearance of a member meant there was a potential danger lurking about. He must find the source of the danger, before deciding if it is worth the trouble to abandon this choice of location as a base.
“Star Yu started telling his story on the second floor. Sun Chao split apart from our group near the second floor, the furthest room in the back.” Ana lead Liu Gan up to the exact room where Sun Chao had left the group.
“What were your positions during that time?” Liu Gan looked around at the props nearby. Then, he looked out a nearby window.
“I was standing here. Star Yu was by my side. Sun Chao was around this location there…” Ana pinpointed the position of every member in her group.
“There are two doors out of this room. Which one did Sun Chao exit from?” Liu Gan continued to ask.
“It should be that door,” Ana replied after thinking for a while.
Liu Gan pointed his flashlight on the ground and saw a series of messy footsteps.
“Lord Liu, do you feel that Star Yu’s story is possible? Will something happen to us if we continue to stay in the haunted house?” Ana whispered the question to Liu Gan.
“Even if there is something suspicious with the haunted house, it won’t matter if we don’t panic. Those who can’t keep calm in this situation, will be the ones that run at the first sight of danger. So even if there is no real danger, they will panic before realizing that,” Liu Gan responded calmly.