Chapter 10: Luring
When Su Min caught sight of the manager’s expressionless face as he appeared in the corridor, his heart skipped a beat.
The other person was clearly a living human being, yet the scare the man gave him exceeded the fright he received from confronting ghosts.
Truly experiencing a horror movie as opposed to just normally watching it was indeed different.
Su Min thought that if he was watching this movie in the theaters and saw the protagonist getting scared from this, he would say that it was unreasonable. As expected, only through personal experience could he clearly understand the situation.
He didn’t watch the previous spat-on-the-streets horror movies this director created. He merely saw the online critics ranting on how unintelligible the movies were and how they didn’t understand what the director was trying to convey.
Maybe that was the problem when literary film directors go rogue; they wanted to add more meaning to a horror film, failing to realize that this genre was not meant for that.
“University Thriller” probably learned from its failed predecessors. Some of Su Min’s current experiences were common tropes found in horror movies, but there were also some scares that were innovating and frightening. If the secrets revealed in the conclusion were not too chaotic, it could be said that the director made process.
In the corner, Lin Yiri nervously stood on the stairs. “What is it? Did the manager discover us?”
Su Min shook his head, “No.”
When the manager came from the staircase at the other end of the hallway, they just barely managed to make it into this one.
Lin Xiao Yan patted her chest. “That scared me. Let’s hurry up and return the key while the manager is gone.”
There wasn’t that many people at dusk.
While Lin Xiao Yan and Lin Yiri were on the lookout, Su Min quickly placed the key back. As he left, he couldn’t help turning back to take a backward glance. Coincidentally, he saw the manager emerging from the stairs.
‘In this horror movie, you have to live like your life is on the edge every second,’ Su Min sincerely thought.
The sun had already set outside, leaving behind a burnt orange afterglow in its wake.
As the three people saunter down the deserted road, Lin Xiao Yan asked, “Su Min, did you find out who the schoolgirl was?”
Su Min showed them the pictures he took. “I didn’t have time to check, but they should be her classmates.”
It was the first time Lin Xiao Yan saw this kind of photograph.
She thought that it was too bizarre. These faceless people from a photograph who knew how many years old were utterly horrifying.
“This graduation photo is so scary,” Lin Xiao Yan spoke her thoughts out loud.
“Scary, yes, but it gave us a clue,” Su Min said. “Why did so many people die in one class?”
The hole in Lin Yiri’s brain widened. “Was there an accident when they were all out on a trip?”
They went out as a class to travel, but like those terrible bus accidents, the bus overturned and the lives of many students perished–he theorized.
Su Min rejected that theory, “Impossible. The accident should’ve happened inside this school.”
If it had occurred outside, the thing Lin Xiao Yan and her roommates summoned would not be Kuai Xian but another ghost.
Lin Xiao Yan was doubtful, “But they had to have died together or else there wouldn’t be so many faceless people in this photograph.”
Su Min thought for a moment. “That’s also possible.”
However, because this was a horror movie, he was more inclined to believe that all of them died in one accident as oppose to many. But the two of them didn’t know this, so he kept this thought to himself.
He took about six pictures on his cellphone. Excluding that graduation photo, the rest were pictures of the student profiles that turned black-and-white, along with their corresponding personal information.
The information not only included the students’ home address, but also their home phone number. ‘At least one of these phone numbers would get through,’ Su Min thought.
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When they arrived back to the dorms, the sky had already darkened.
There were still only three people in his dorm room. From the beginning to end, Su Min never caught a glimpse of his fourth roommate.
Su Min had thought that the man was involved in the incident and hid himself, but now, he didn’t know what to think. Why was he gone for so long? Was this movie that careless in its explanations?
Zhou Runian was in the middle of playing a game. Hearing the sound of movement, he turned his head to the door and asked suspiciously, “Where are you two heading off to recently?”
Lin Yiri replied, “We went to admire the beauty of the campus with the belle Lin1.”
Zhou Runian didn’t believe him, “Uh huh, right2.”
Instead of answering, Su Min went to the bathroom. He splashed cold water on his face, and felt himself becoming more clear-minded.
Lin Yiri humph-ed.
Indeed, they were with Lin Xiao Yan, but instead of appreciating the scenery of the campus, they were ‘appreciating’ paranormal activities together.
Lin Yiri felt that his life right now was very exhilarating.
“Why didn’t you go to class this afternoon?” he casually asked.
“In the afternoon, I saw a crowd at our neighboring school, so I went to see what the fuss was about. I forgot I had class,” Zhou Runian replied.
Lin Yiri was curious, “What did you see? Big gossip?”
Zhou Runian shook his head, revealing a bit of emotion. “Did you know that someone tried to jump off the building?”
“What university doesn’t have students jumping to commit suicide?” Lin Yiri said without thinking.
Nowadays, there were often news articles of student jumping off of school buildings to kill themselves.
‘It’s whatever if you want to go off by yourself, but it’s another story if you jumped and accidentally hit a passerby. In the end, you’d be the one who survived while the other person unjustly died.’ Lin Yiri thought.
“The person who jumped really is a sin.” During the day, Zhou Runian went out and listened to a stranger explaining the story. “She jumped and hit a schoolgirl who just so happened to come out of the teaching block. The schoolgirl died on the spot, and the lawn was covered all over in blood.”
“What the fuck?” Lin Yiri got scared.
His thought just then was too accurate. He should just become a fortune-teller if the whole school thing doesn’t work out.
Zhou Runian sighed with sorrow. “That girl was truly wronged. It was class time then. People upstairs saw a shadow dropped, and those on the first floor heard a loud sound.”
When Su Min came out of the bathroom, he heard this sentence and abruptly stopped. “What did the students on the first floor hear?”
Zhou Runian said, “A thump, ah. Can someone jump off a building and not make a noise when they hit the ground?”
A flash of inspiration crossed Su Min’s mind.
In the office building, when they were stuck in a ghost’s trick and had to close their eyes, he heard the sound of a heavy object crashing onto the ground. At that time, he thought that a ghost had been throwing things.
Thinking about it now, if he was right, it was the sound of a body jumping off the building and colliding with the earth.
But who was it?
Was it the schoolgirl between Zhang Yuan and Liu Lili, the one with bloodstains on the corner of her mouth?
Lin Xiao Yan returned to her room to sleep for the night.
Two consecutive people had died. Her friends didn’t dare to offer her a room again.
Actually, even if they did, their roommates would’ve made remarks, and Lin Xiao Yan would’ve had enough self-awareness to leave untold.
However, she didn’t dare go outside, fearing that no one would save her from death. In any case, there was still Su Min and Lin Yiri at school.
Fortunately, Chen Ke, her remaining roommate, was with her in the dorm.
The two people were similar.
Chen Ke’s expression was awfully poor. The unorthodox deaths of her two roommates affected her immensely. “Should we not have played that game?”
“I’m sorry,” Lin Xiao Yan apologized.
Although Chen Ke was complaining in her heart, she knew that the cause of this matter was not Lin Xiao Yan. “It was Zhang Yuan who suggested to play, not you.”
At that time, Lin Xiao Yan only thought that it would be fun. When Zhang Yuan said that the game could predict the future, she felt excited and agreed.
Who could’ve imagined it would end up like this?
Chen Ke climbed on her bed and said, “Let’s go to sleep early.”
Lin Xiao Yan also didn’t dare stay up late. The two people both agreed to keep the lights on. As for the electricity bill, at worst, they would only have to pay a little extra.
It was unknown how long it took her to finally doze off.
At this time, a voice suddenly came from inside the dormitory.
Lin Xiao Yan woke up with a start and discovered that the lights were turned off at one point while she was asleep. She narrowed her eyes, secretly watching Chen Ke as the latter got out of bed.
Turning on her phone, Lin Xiao Yan saw that it was already 11 o’clock.
She thought that Chen Ke was going to the toilet, so it took her by surprise when the girl opened the dorm’s door and stepped outside.
Lin Xiao Yan couldn’t help but shout, “Chen Ke?”
They were merely one meter apart, yet Chen Ke didn’t reply and directly left the dormitory. In response to the door opening, the emergency lights in the corridor emitted a green glow.
Lin Xiao Yan instantly knew that something was wrong.
She recalled the matter with Liu Lili and Zhang Yuan and felt that it was now Chen Ke’s turn. Quickly, she sent a message to Su Min on WeChat, “Su Min, I saw Chen Ke going outside!”
Su Min was in the middle of marking the number on a photo when he saw the message and froze.
He didn’t ask many questions, suspecting that another incident was going to occur.
Chen Ke was the third roommate in the dorm that had participated in Kuai Xian. Now that Liu Lili and Zhang Yuan had died, Lin Xiao Yan, as the female lead, would most certainly be the last target.
Su Min replied, “You follow first, but don’t beat the grass and scare the snake3. Don’t get close, too. I’ll be there right away.”
Lin Xiao Yan immediately responded, “Okay.”
She knew that she must go because her turn was next. If she didn’t find the correct solution, she would die sooner or later.
To Su Min, she was truly, truly grateful.
If it wasn’t for his appearance of having no desires, she would’ve been a narcissist and thought that he had feelings for herself.
It had been a minute since the message was sent.
Lin Xiao Yan hurriedly turned over and got out of bed. After running out of the dorm room and chasing for ten seconds, she finally spotted Chen Ke as the latter walked down the road.
She was like the Zhang Yuan from yesterday.
Su Min looked at the location Lin Xiao Yan sent and scanned his surroundings. In front of him was a dormitory.
The door to the building was made of glass. It was affixed with a layer of newsprint, blocking the view from outside. To the side, there was a sign that read ‘NO ENTRY’.
Of course, not entering was not an option.
Maybe it was because Lin Xiao Yan had just entered, but the door was slightly opened. Only a deep darkness could be seen from the small opening.
“Go in and see,” Su Min said.
Lin Yiri questioned why he was even here in the first place. It was scary, but he was the kind of person who, the more he was afraid, the more he wanted to see and experience.
As he walked, he said, “Looking at it now, it’s the dorm that was closed. I didn’t notice before, but it’s a female dormitory.”
Su Min’s eyes fell on the door of each dorm room.
The lock on every door was covered in red paper. Coming across this color in this strange scene this late at night was altogether very off putting.
His phone’s flashlight could only shine up to a distance of a few meters.
Who knew what existed at the end of this long corridor?
Lin Yiri asked, “Did Lin Xiao Yan say where she went last?”
“No,” Su Min said, “we should keep going.”
As he said that, Su Min felt his phone vibrate and saw the screen lit up. It was a message from Lin Xiao Yan: “I followed her to the fourth floor but didn’t dare go further.”
If she got too close, she might get caught up in an “accident”.
Su Min texted back a reply, then, with Lin Yiri, treaded up the staircase with extreme precaution.
There were more ghost stories set in the girl’s dormitory than there were in other places. They had the right to be careful, especially when this dormitory was sealed off for unknown reasons.
They quickly approached the fourth floor.
Su Min turned off his phone’s flashlight. Using only the light from the screen, he saw Lin Xiao Yan crouching down on the last step of the staircase.
When he went up to pat her shoulder, Lin Xiao Yan was frightened to a near scream, but luckily, she covered her mouth in time.
Before the three could exchange intel, fragments of a song drifted into their ears.
Su Min frowned. “Is someone singing?”
Listening carefully, it sounded like a distinct song. It was unknown who or what was singing–sometimes it was there, sometimes it was not–but it came from the end of the corridor. That was quite randomly placed in a horror movie4.
Lin Yiri didn’t know what to think. He lowered his voice and asked, “Could it be that Chen Ke met a ghost and tricked it into singing? She sure has talent. In comparison, Liu Lili and Zhang Yuan met horrible ends.”
Lin Xiao Yan, “...”
Su Min, “...”