In Virtual Reality
In Virtual Reality 51 ☆ Elevator Safety Instructions (10/12)
“Who's there?” Zeng Zhi heard a sudden shout from a distance, which startled him, making his hands shake.
His phone slipped from his grip and hit the ground, resulting in three or four cracks on the screen.
Despite his damaged phone, Zeng Zhi turned around to find out who had called out.
He saw a construction worker wearing a safety helmet approaching him, swearing loudly as he ran.
“You came from where? Don't you know this area is still under construction? You want to die without wearing a helmet?!” The worker scolded Zeng Zhi, who had sneaked into the unfinished building that was still being renovated in the middle of the night.
The construction worker frightened Zeng Zhi so much that he didn't even wipe the dirt off his phone before running away in zigzags and twists.
Eventually, he arrived at the low wall he had used to enter the building, and with a quick dash and two pushes, he jumped over it.
As soon as he landed, his damaged phone began to ring.
Zeng Zhi took out his phone and fiddled with it a few times before answering the call, glancing around warily while continuing to run forward.
“Zeng Zhi, where are you?” His roommate, Wang Jin Long's voice, came through the speaker.
Zeng Zhi breathed a sigh of relief.
“Wang Jin Long? Let me tell you how dangerous this was.
“Where are you?” Wang Jin Long's voice sounded grave.
“Do you know that you've been missing for three days? Even when you go to the deep mountains and old forests to make videos, you never disappear for more than two days.
Today, I almost went to the police station to file a missing person's report!”
“I…” Zeng Zhi's voice caught in his throat.
“I'm by the Gourd Mouth (葫芦口Hulukou) area.” He gritted his teeth and said, “Actually, I want to go to the police station to report what happened.
I've spent the last three days in that…that 'Realm of Mystery'!”
There was silence on the other end of the line, and then his roommate's voice slowed: “Okay, I'm on my way to pick you up.
We'll go to the police station together.”
Zeng Zhi agreed.
He had things to tell Wang Jin Long.
“I'll wait for you at the west gate of Gourd Mouth.”
When the call ended, he hurried to the west gate of Gourd Mouth.
Few people were around, but the developing area hinted at potential growth in the coming years.
After scanning the area, he found a stone stool and waited for Wang Jin Long.
As he waited, Zeng Zhi fiddled with his precious camera.
He had initially planned to live stream the “Elevator to Hell” video, but the signal inside the elevator was terrible, so he switched to using his camera to record.
After what had happened, he had forgotten to turn it off and recorded everything.
He needed to edit and adjust some angles, as he had lost consciousness for a while, and some of the footage might have been obscured.
He deftly pressed several buttons on the camera and navigated to the recorded footage, which was impressively clear.
During the video's first half, he captured Silence's face several times…
Speaking of Silence, had they emerged? While Huang Yang had left earlier, Silence must have departed from “Spirit Shenanigans” (if that was indeed its name), given Zeng Zhi's uncontrollable sprint during his escape…
Was it possible that Silence had been manipulating their bodies? This thought caused a cold sweat to break out on Zeng Zhi's back.
Though Silence might have had good intentions, their ability was undoubtedly too terrifying to contemplate using for evil purposes—
“— Beep beep!” Two honks brought Zeng Zhi's thoughts back into focus.
He looked up to find a black SUV parked on the side of the road.
Wang Jin Long rolled down the driver's side window, revealing his face.
“Get in; let's talk,” he said, cutting off Zeng Zhi's chance to speak.
“Bring your things and hop in.”
Zeng Zhi eagerly stowed his camera and hopped into the passenger seat.
“Did you really venture into 'Spirit Shenanigans'?” Wang Jin Long inquired, locking the car window and door as soon as Zeng Zhi was seated.
“Did you run into any strange things or people?”
Zeng Zhi basked in the cool air conditioning of the car, relishing in its relief from the sweltering heat.
When Wang Jin Long spoke up, he couldn't help but laugh.
“No way! I can't believe it happened to me!”
Eagerly, he reached for his camera to play back the video but failed to notice the scowl on his roommate's face or the tightly clenched grip on the steering wheel.
“Hey, I've got a question for you,” Zeng Zhi held the camera teasingly before handing it over, “Do you happen to have a relative doppelganger?”
“A doppelganger?” Wang Jin Long's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“Don't play dumb!” Zeng Zhi chortled, “Take a look at this video! Why didn't you tell me that you knew someone at 'Shenanigans'? I nearly died in there! If it weren't for my calmness, I'd have had a heart attack!”
As Wang Jin Long watched the footage, Zeng Zhi busied himself with his phone, editing something.
“I reckon that if we post this video online after editing, it will definitely go viral! You were right on the money, Wang Jin Long!” After finishing his edits, he eagerly planned to share a preview on his social media account.
Suddenly, a hand reached out and snatched his cracked phone away.
“What the hell, man! Why'd you take my phone?!”
Wang Jin Long replied gravely, “We can't post this.”
His mood had darkened considerably after watching part of the video.
Zeng Zhi was taken aback by his roommate's sudden shift in demeanour.
His hand shook slightly as he hesitated to grab his phone back.
Upon closer inspection, Silence and Wang Jin Long didn't look as similar as before.
“What's going on? Why can't I post it?” Zeng Zhi asked in confusion.
Wang Jin Long appeared to have picked up on Zeng Zhi's anxious demeanour and paused briefly before reverting to his former self, regarding him helplessly.
“Assuming your video isn't a fabrication, Silence has killed two people.
Do you truly wish to share such a macabre video on the web? The online censors will take it down immediately and issue you a warning.”
Zeng Zhi's fervour and the video had muddled his thoughts, but Wang's statement snapped him back to reality.
He scrunched his brow and countered, “Silence didn't murder anybody; it was clearly a malfunctioning elevator…
Plus, those two were monsters.
How could you even describe them as human?!”
“Regardless, posting it online is out of the question.
However, you can give it to the authorities.” Wang Jin Long offered to return the camera but stopped, pulling back.
“I know a police officer.
I can help you deliver the video to him.”
“What? Wouldn't it be better if I gave it to him myself?” Zeng Zhi protested.
Wang Jin Long chuckled, “Do you think the police will believe a mere videotape so easily? Nowadays, technology is so advanced that the video could be photoshopped.
In the end, if you're charged with making a false report, and worst of all, detained, how will you explain it to your fans? Think carefully, brother.
You're a well-known internet star with a large following!”
Zeng Zhi retorted, “I…I'm not as famous as you're making me out to be, hahaha…”
He was feeling proud of all the compliments he had received.
“After I have a word with the police officer I know and confirm the matter, we'll call you to the police station to explain everything.” Wang Jin Long chuckled and placed the camera beside him.
“You'll have the chance to explain all the details clearly and prove yourself to be an outstanding citizen, won't you?”
That was true.
Zeng Zhi hesitated.
“Would it be too much trouble?” he asked.
“Not at all,” the man in the driver's seat smirked meaningfully.
“The police officer I know is quite interested in this sort of thing.”
Wang Jin Long ignited the car's engine and departed the desolate, underdeveloped streets.
“Head to the café I reserved and wait for a while.
I'll arrange a meeting with him,” he instructed after they arrived.
Zeng Zhi was nestled in the corner of the café, while Wang Jin Long occupied a separate location.
Later, when he rendezvoused with Cao Wei Min, Zeng Zhi's positioning would let him glimpse their movements, but he wouldn't be privy to their words.
Wang Jin Long perched his camera atop the circular table and fished an antiquated mobile phone from his pocket.
The device seemed as if it were from a bygone era, with a square shell besmirched by a small dark red blotch on one corner.
The screen was shattered into multiple fragments and barely managed to flicker on.
The signal constantly displayed “no service.”
Undisturbed, Wang Jin Long deftly navigated the old phone to find Cao Wei Min's number, then dialled it from his device.
As the ringtone played, he stowed away the aged gadget with precision.
The call was answered.
“Officer Cao?” Wang Jin Long snickered as though they were old friends.
“I've a query for you.”
“… Who are you? How did you acquire my number?”
“It's about the 'Spirit Shenaniganns Event' in the elevator.”
“…” The voice on the other end seemed to inhale a few times deeply.
“If you're a witness, you should report it to the authorities.
Professionals will handle the matter.”
Wang Jin Long arched an eyebrow.
“And what about Ye Cheng Jing?”
“How do you know…
Who are you?!”
“You can report it to the police if you wish.
However, I have a victim from the elevator incident who will be assisting in the investigation at the station shortly.
Unfortunately, I won't disclose any information about Officer Ye to the police,” he replied calmly.
From Zeng Zhi's viewpoint, it seemed that Wang Jin Long and his friend were having a pleasant conversation.
“Regarding Officer Ye, I'll only divulge the information to one person- Cao Wei Min,” he chuckled, “Of course, you're welcome to involve others in catching me.
But can I even be caught? You haven't even discovered my existence in the past decade.”
“I was told by Officer Ye that you're his closest confidant.
If you don't care about his existence, then I suppose I'll have to give up as well,” Wang Jin Long regretted.
The phone line went quiet for a prolonged moment.
Wang Jin Long grew restless until the voice on the other end broke the silence.
“Where are you?”
“Murphy's Cafe at the West Gate of Nine Heavens (九重天Jiuchongtian).
You can only come alone, Officer Cao.
Someone is keeping an eye on you.”
The call ended abruptly.
Wang Jin Long leaned back in his seat without care.
The waiter brought over two glasses of iced coffee, and he took a sip.
The bitterness lingered in his mouth, causing him to furrow his brow before setting the glass down.
He chose Murphy's Cafe, while Murphy's amusement park chose him.
The werewolf game played there was thrilling and terrifying, resulting in the deaths of almost everyone.
His plan would have succeeded if it weren't for the woman who disrupted it.
Wang Jin Long pondered, wondering who this person named Silence was in the video.
They looked almost identical to him now.
Could it be the Black Robe Woman?
Did the reward at Murphy's amusement park include the ability to change one's gender?
No, there were no apparent indications of Silence's gender in the video.
While the Black Robe Woman was shorter than Silence, they could have grown taller or worn shoe inserts in the years since the amusement park incident.
Unfortunately, he didn't get a clear view of the Black Robe Woman's face, but he had a hunch that Silence was most likely the same person.
What was this guy thinking? They were still here, carelessly and foolishly enjoying themself in a dangerous place like they were playing a game…
they were really crazy.
Wang Jin Long lowered his gaze, and a hint of coldness flashed across his handsome, pale face.
Despite the risks, he knew that in rare and elusive Shenanigans, there were often rewards for those who dared to solve them.
Was it possible that the Black-Robed Woman's obsession with exploring “Spirit Shenanigans Events” stemmed from discovering some incredible treasure?
With a creaking sound, the door to the cafe swung open, and the wind chime at the entrance rang with a clear and pleasing melody.
Wang Jin Long turned to the man, whose face had frozen in a look of detachment, and beckoned him over.
“This way, Little Cao!”
As the elevator door slowly closed, all that stood between her and the ultimate prize was her success in solving the challenge.
After her game save had been stored, Xu Jin Yi gazed eagerly at the elevator display, watching as it finally stopped on the tenth floor she had been striving for.
“Yes!” she exclaimed, elated that her luck had held out.
The doors opened, and without hesitation, Xu Jin Yi hit the button and ran for her life.
With quick, frantic strides, she ran through the grey space, thankful that she had adjusted the brightness earlier to avoid the menacing horde of monsters.
She headed towards the “exit.”
As Xu Jin Yi approached the white boundary, a piercing scream rattled her eardrums:
“Xu Jin Yi !!!”
“Sweet heavens!” Amid this tense and thrilling pursuit, Xu Jin Yi was so startled by the sudden outburst that her throat quivered three times.
The world went black, and without a second thought, Xu Jin Yi ripped off her VR headset in frustration.
A pair of eyes stared back at her through the crack in the drapes.
After hesitating, Xu Jin Yi reached up and pulled the curtain back.
In an instant, blinding white sunlight flooded her darkened chamber.
“Have you been up all night?” Yang An An, her classmate, asked incredulously.
“I called out to you to move your books for the new term.
How are you going to attend classes without your books?”
Lao Xiang, their other classmate who had already finished packing, also poked their fuzzy head out.
“Old Yang An An heard you playing games, but you didn't respond even after she called you multiple times.”
“I'll come down now,” Xu Jin Yi muttered awkwardly.
After closing the drapes, Xu Jin Yi straightened up from her bed and hesitated momentarily as she was about to rise.
She then put her VR headset back on and took a look:
Still pitch black.
She had no idea whether her last move had succeeded or failed.
Oh well, time to go grab the books first.
She removed her VR headset and got out of bed, tidying up before joining her roommates to collect their books from the classroom.
Although it was only eight in the morning, the line for book distribution was already long and winding.
Xu Jin Yi and her roommates sat in an empty classroom, listlessly scrolling through their phones to kill time.
As Xu Jin Yi absent-mindedly checked her phone, she furrowed her brow, deep in thought.
When Yang An An saw an intriguing news article and tried to share it with her, she noticed Xu Jin Yi's expression and asked, “What's the matter? Did something just scare you?”
Yang An An leaned in and hugged Xu Jin Yi, apologizing, “I'm so sorry, Jin Yi; I didn't mean to scare you!”
“What's happening?” Xu Jin Yi laughed and pushed Yang An An away, explaining, “No, it's not that.
It's just that I feel like I've forgotten something…”
Suddenly, a brilliant light flashed in Xu Jin Yi's mind, and she stared off into space, stunned, before exclaiming to her roommates in disbelief, “I didn't have a nightmare about being hunted down yesterday!” Xu Jin Yi continued, “I slept very well last night! There wasn't even a trace of a nightmare about being hunted down!”
Her roommates replied, “Oh…
This definitely caused congratulations!
Xu Jin Yi held her head, still in disbelief.
Since starting college, Xu Jin Yi had been plagued with bizarre dreams where she was running frantically, with something relentlessly chasing her from behind.
Still, she couldn't remember any specifics about what she dreamt about after waking up.
She could only vaguely sense that she had been running in her dreams.
However, after hitting her head and falling asleep in a daze yesterday, she woke up without feeling any discomfort.
Had the nightmare that haunted her every night disappeared?
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