Chapter 10: A Figure At The Doorstep

“Hello, we are a legitimate live streaming room; please don’t just start competing without warning!” I quickly stopped the people who were preparing to fight it out in my chat.
What I was planning on doing was just simulating the behavior of the deceased, and I didn’t plan on doing anything real.

“Host, you’re playing with fire right now!”

“Don’t worry, I won’t do anything that violates moral or legal constraints, I’m well aware of that.”

“You’re right, but why do I feel disappointed?”

In the live streaming room, a group of troublemakers who enjoyed watching the excitement and weren’t afraid of causing trouble were becoming restless.
I made a wise decision to end the topic.

“Let’s not forget, even though the victim’s personality may be difficult to duplicate, his financial situation at the time did not allow him to do anything out of line.”

As someone who was in debt, living in constant fear, and hiding in a cheap inn in the suburbs while struggling to make ends meet, his financial situation must have been extremely poor.

With that being said, we are back to square one.
What exactly did the victim do that night?

Suppose I was him, cowering in a creepy room with nothing on me on a late night like this.
Under such circumstances, would I make a choice like leaving the room to smoke a cigarette outside?

“When I checked into Room 203, the old lady specifically instructed me not to go out no matter what noise I hear.
Presumably, the victim was also reminded of this before he passed away.
But what if he didn’t follow the agreement and went out on his own in the middle of the night?”

Logically speaking, there must be a connection between the victim’s death and going out late at night.

I checked the time and realized it wasn’t dawn yet.
I opened the door and placed the camera outside, watching the live stream on my phone.
The third floor was completely empty, with only a deathly silence.

“Let’s go for a walk.
Since we’ve decided to encounter ghosts, there’s no need to be so timid.”

I placed the camera at the door and looked at the opposite room 206, recalling the eerie victim.
Anyone who claims to be unafraid right now would be lying.

“If I could enter room 206, perhaps I could find some clues that the police overlooked.” Unfortunately, this idea could only stay in my mind.
Requesting such a thing from the old couple could easily startle them, and in my eyes, they were also suspects of the murder.

I went down to the second floor with my phone.
The scar-faced old man and the short, chubby old lady were not there.
There was only a young woman in her twenties at the front desk.
She was kneeling in the corner with her back to me, seemingly worshipping a picture of a little girl who was only two or three years old.

“Excuse me, do you know where the landlord is? The TV in my room is broken,” I asked.

“The TV is inherently broken, and a broken one can’t be repaired.”

“Oh, what you said is a bit interesting; after all, only the broken ones need to be repaired.”

The woman stood up and wiped the black and white photo of a two to three-year-old girl in front of the incense burner.
“Just like people, once something is broken, it will never repent.”

The woman remained with her back turned to me and spoke softly, “It’s better for you to go back to your room, it’s not safe here at night.”

“You’ve piqued my curiosity, though.
By the way, is the little girl in the photo your daughter? I noticed that you…”

“She’s my sister.
She disappeared when she was very young.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, I’m used to it.
I just hope the next missing person won’t be me,” the woman said in a pessimistic tone.

“Is it just you three holding it together at the Peace of Mind (Anxin) Inn? Where is your husband?”

“I have an older brother who works in another city,”

“Oh, life is tough.
If you need any help, just let me know,” I said generously, patting my chest.
My eyes never left the woman, who trembled slightly, as if afraid of something.

“I mean in any aspect, including seeking help and everything you can think of,” I added tentatively.
I didn’t think the other person would trust a stranger like me unless she was desperate.

After a fruitless search, I returned to room 203, closed the door, and set the camera aside.

This low budget inn, charging only 35 yuan per night, could hardly be relied upon to have high-level security measures.
Apart from being careful of ghosts, I also had to watch out for human mischief.

The paint-chipped wooden door looked old, and the lock was loose.
Its style should have been most popular in the 80s or 90s.

I pressed against the door handle and shook it back and forth.
Honestly, this wooden door probably couldn’t withstand the force of an eight or nine-year-old child kicking it.

With the key in my pocket, I opened a small gap in the door.
Room 203 and 206 were in the middle of the hallway, and what was eerie was that the corridor was dimly lit, with the staircase’s barely functioning light bulb adding to the scary atmosphere.
Without any exaggeration, it was enough to discourage anyone from venturing outside.

“I really don’t know how this inn manages to stay in business,” I placed the thermos flask that the short, chubby old lady had given me in the door gap and put a teacup on top of the lid.

I did this not to block the door but to warn me in case someone tried to sneak in during the night.
If someone were to open the door, the tea cup would fall and make a noise, alerting me to take action promptly.

Being cautious wasn’t a sign of paranoia, but my experiences in the last few days had been truly terrifying.
I still didn’t know if I would be facing a human or a ghost.

Beside the room door was a separate compartment, the bathroom.
Because of Half-Immortal Liu’s barrage of comments earlier, I didn’t have the chance to inspect it during my survey of the environment.

“I hope nothing strange will happen again.” I muttered to myself, trying to self-hypnotize.

I pushed open the bathroom door.
The floor was covered with new tiles, and the walls were adorned with clean porcelain tiles.
Needless to say, the toilet and sink were also in top condition.
As I looked further in, I saw a semi-fixed bathtub under a solar water heater that had only been used a few times and was still wrapped in packaging.

“For a low budget Inn that charges 35 dollars a night, this bathroom is a bit too luxurious,” I said to myself.
Although there were no talismans or Buddha statues, the dim lighting reflected on the pale tiles created an indescribable sense of eeriness.

The decoration outside was still stuck in the 90s, but this bathroom had obviously undergone some renovation.
The contrast between the two created a sense of dissonance.

“This is too unusual.
There must be something wrong.” I muttered to myself, believing that when things deviate from normalcy, there must be something supernatural involved.
In this case, all the illogical situations in the case were actually loopholes inadvertently left by the culprit.
“Why was only the bathroom renovated?”

After pondering for a moment, I had a thought.
“The inn owner did this to cover up something.
Could this bathroom also be a crime scene?”

I fetched a camera, briefly explained the situation in the bathroom, and began searching for any clues.

Time flew by, and half an hour had passed before I was interrupted by a very soft knock on the door, while I was still engrossed in my search for evidence.

I quietly approached the door and listened intently.
When the knocking sound rang out again, I leaned against the door crack and peered outside.
In the dim light, all I could see was a blurry white figure standing silently at the door of room 206.

“She’s knocking on the door of the room where someone died three months ago!”

The light was too dim, and I couldn’t see clearly, so I leaned my body against the door and strained to open my eyes wider.
The blurry figure appeared tall and thin, with long black hair hanging down her shoulders.

“Is this a person or a ghost?”

The figure stood motionless, and I felt like time was frozen.
I tightened my grip on the talisman paper in one hand and held up the camera in the other.

“What’s there to be afraid of? I came here today to look for ghosts.
If I want to uncover the true face of this underworld show, I can’t back down now!”

With that thought in mind, I let go of the talisman paper and slowly turned the lock, pulling the door open bit by bit.

“Come on, let me see your true face.
Show me what ghosts really look like!”

As I reached for the door handle, the hallway plunged into darkness as the cursed light bulb flickered and died.
The icy wind from all directions seemed to grow stronger, piercing through my clothes and sending shivers down my spine.

My back was instantly drenched in cold sweat, and it felt like something was moving in the silent darkness!

The light bulb flickered, and a brief moment of brightness returned.
It was in that split second that I saw a face with black hair and pale, lifeless features rapidly approaching me!

“Holy crap!”

As the door was pushed open, the warning flask at the entrance toppled over, clanging against the tea cups and spilling scalding hot water all over my legs.

With the slippery floor and intense pain, I lost my balance and fell backward, instinctively holding onto my camera with one hand while grabbing onto the blurry white figure with the other!

With a loud crash, my body hit the ground hard.
When I regained my senses, I saw that I was clutching onto a half-torn, pure white dress.
As I lifted my head, I found myself face-to-face with a pair of seductive, snow-white legs, pressed up against my nose.

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