The weak ghost heard the clapping sound and ran over to this side, her footsteps becoming louder. Xie Xinglan ran between the lights and shadows.
At the same time, Ren Ze sneaked to a place far away from the weak ghost while You Jing broke a large piece of glass. He was feeling proud when a pale hand grabbed his ankle. You Jing looked down in horror and found that the hand… was stretching out from a glass fragment.
The hand climbed up his ankle and there was a huge pulling sensation from the glass. In an instant, You Jing’s entire foot was pulled into the glass. You Jing immediately clapped his hands and the hand retracted back into the mirror. You Jing turned and ran only to desperately find out that the glass fragments all over the ground had become a medium for the ghost.
He… had nowhere to hide. His three clapping opportunities would soon run out.
10 seconds later, You Jing felt an itchy sensation from his shoulder. He was nervous and touched his shoulder while escaping, only to touch a cold finger. You Jing froze in place like he had fallen into an ice cellar. He had kicked the broken glass and a glass fragment had inevitably fallen on his shoulder. A whole hand stretched out from the glass fragment that had fallen on his clothes at an unknown time…
You Jing took off his jacket and used the item hanging around his neck. He only had a few dozen seconds…
In the small room that contained the guests, a woman yelled angrily at her mobile phone. “Cancel it! The difficulty is out of control! Cancel!”
Her hands were shaking badly and she couldn’t stand still. This was her only son!
“Do you want all the new budding talents to die? Why do you still play word games when you know how difficult it is? Is this enough?” The woman was almost crazy.
Shen Yi frowned at her. “Calm down. The app isn’t playing word games on purpose. The form of the words is meant to imply the existence of contradictions.”
It was the moment when her son’s life or death was at stake and the woman no longer felt fear or respect. She turned a deaf ear to Shen Yi’s words and screamed at the phone. “If my son can’t make it through then it is impossible for anyone else to pass! I’m telling you to cancel it! If you don’t want all the sharp new talents to die then cancel it immediately!”
The other guest watched with an embarrassed expression. Looking at this, the woman was indeed telling the truth. At present, it didn’t look like anyone could pass this short movie. Moreover, the selection of this token by You Jing was originally an accident. It wasn’t within the original consideration of the variety show. The difficulty was indeed unbalanced.
The density of logical thinking was so high that non-specialized actors might not be able to pass, let alone newcomers who had only been here for a month or two. The atmosphere was extremely tense when the phones of the three guests rang.
[It has been detected that the actual challenge of the third part of the variety show, ‘Hide and Seek’, is higher than expected and isn’t conducive to the survival of the New and Sharp Budding Talents. The guest voting is now initiated and no abstaining is allowed. If two or more guests choose to continue, the short movie will continue. If two or more choose to stop, the short movie will stop and the variety show will end.]
You Jing’s mother immediately pressed the stop button. She looked at the male guest beside her and spoke in a trembling manner. “Save my son and press stop! You can have anything you want! I can give it to you!”
The male guest caught in the middle was awkwardly avoiding her gaze. He looked at the most arrogant but fair Shen Yi. Shen Yi was silent for a few seconds. “Forget it. Let’s stop it. It is indeed over and there is no need to continue. It is quite unfair for them and it will be a pity if they all die.”
The woman was so excited that she shed tears. She was grateful but Shen Yi didn’t care. The three of them pressed the stop button.
Shen Yi looked at Xie Chi rushing towards the weak ghost on the screen and something different flashed in his eyes. Had Xie Chi thought of a method? It coincided with himself. Xie Chi should’ve realized the opposite rule and gone to catch the ghost. It was possible for him to pass the level. The app was a sage and those who had the ability should be shown. If it was suddenly stopped then it was too unfair for Xie Chi who had a clue.
Shen Yi suddenly changed his mind and pointed at the screen. “He will continue while the others stop, okay?”
The woman had saved her son’s life and her mind returned in an instant. She looked up at the young man who might be better than her son and a bit of jealousy flashed in her eyes.
After the variety show Horror Skewers ended, the surviving New and Sharp Budding Talents would be invited to film a movie together. This person would be the biggest stumbling block for her son as long as he was alive. It was better to let him die in ‘Hide and Seek’…
The woman immediately smiled. “Of course.”
She watched You Jing escape from ‘Hide and Seek’ and was relaxed.
Shen Yi tapped the table with a long finger as he weighed the subtle differences and abilities of Xie Chi’s two personalities. He had an idea and said, “It is really unfair to him if we make decisions for him without authorization. If he passes the level, I have an item suitable for him that will be given to him as compensation. The difficulty is too high so it won’t be kind if the program only gives him points.”
The smile on the woman’s face became a bit stiff. She could only nod her head in agreement while sneering in her heart. ‘Is it so easy?’
The male guest asked, “It is the weapon with the evil spirit that has to acknowledge the master?”
The male guest knew this because Shen Yi had never bothered to hide the items he obtained. The process of selecting items was open to all audience members. This weapon was obtained by Shen Yi in a horror movie called ‘Evil Spirit Blade’. The quality was the pros outweigh the cons but unfortunately, the requirements for its master were too strict.
Shen Yi didn’t hide it and spoke with a bit of regret. “Yes, it is too heavy and I can’t control it. However, it might be suitable for him.”
The guest nodded.
He had a certain understanding of Shen Yi. Shen Yi was extremely arrogant and he only had himself in his eyes. He was an absolute egoist who liked to deal with the strong and despised the weak. However, he would always admit it if he could do something or not. He was very open and hated making mistakes. Of course, he had the capital to be proud. This was why Shen Yi’s dislike of You Jing relying on his mother was clearly seen. Shen Yi looked down on this incompetent guy.
Shen Yi seemed to appreciate this Xie Chi. It could be understood. After all, if this newcomer came out alive then he would have a bright future. Shen Yi opened his phone backpack and searched for a while. Then he found it and sent the item to the app. After the app received it, the app would explain the situation to all the viewers.
Shen Yi watched Xie Chi sprinting on the screen and his voice was inaudible. “Little guy, don’t let me down. An excellent pet 1.0 won’t die from this bad short movie.”
[Wtf. All of the third level is stopped and only Xie Chi is remaining. Those who didn’t enter the third level were directly pulled out…]
[This is very unfair. The fifth ranked newcomer died in the third level. Why did no one care? It only stopped it at this time.]
[How is there absolute fairness? There must always be kids ahead.]
[Hey, which guest has Xie Chi offended? Do they want him to die so much? He received this special treatment and was left alone…]
[It must be You Jing’s mother. After all, the New and Sharp Budding Talents will make a movie together after this. Why not kill Xie Chi to pave the way for her son?]
[I might not know the plot but I know that Son Chi will live!]
At this time, in the short movie, Xie Xinglan was still running and Xie Chi didn’t know anything about what was happening off the field. His brain was flashing back to the conversation between him and Xie Xinglan.
Xie Xinglan previously said that the weak ghost was too weak, so weak that it was no different from a human. Thus, he said that the weak ghost was more like a human with a ‘ghost identity’ in this hide and seek game.
Xie Chi had previously tested the boss and asked what would happen if he was caught by the ghost. The boss avoided answering and Xie Chi had been confused. Now he seemed to have an answer.
In the hide and seek game with the opposite rules, the ghost was a person with the ‘ghost identity’ and he was the person with the ‘human identity’.
The rules of the hide and seek games in the real world were mostly like this. One person played the role of ghost while several people played the role of prey. Whoever was caught by the ghost would become the new ghost to catch others.
So the ending wasn’t death if he was caught by the weak ghost. Instead… he would become the weak ghost!
Xie Chi’s brain flashed. He finally understood why the weak ghost cried!
The weak ghost didn’t just want to save the fatty. She also wanted to leave the game forever! These two things weren’t contradictory! The weak ghost caught Fatty and Fatty would become the weak ghost. The weak ghost would naturally become human!
It was equivalent to exchanging identities with the weak ghost! The weak ghost wanted to lose the ‘ghost identity’ and leave the game!
At this moment, Xie Chi had almost figured it out.
The boss of the live broadcast room who tricked him into playing hide and seek in the glass maze was the weak ghost.
The boss of the live broadcast room was likely an ordinary person previously. Out of curiosity, she played the game of hide and seek. She was successfully recruited by the doll ghost but was caught by the doll ghost in the game. She didn’t die due to the rules of the hide and seek game in the real world. She exchanged identities with the doll ghost and became the human catcher. Meanwhile, the doll ghost completely got rid of the ghost identity and became a human.
This was the price that the loser of the hide and seek game would pay.
At the end of the game, the boss of the live broadcast room was the doll ghost trapped in the doll. If she wanted to get rid of her ghost identity and become a human again, she could only trick new people into the hide and seek game. If she caught Xie Chi then she would lose her ghost identity and leave the game. Xie Chi would become the new weak ghost and would be trapped in the doll after the game was over. If Xie Chi wanted to get rid of his ghost identity and become human again, he could only go to the live broadcast and do the same as the boss: trick the next person into this hide and seek game.
It was just that due to the existence of the strong ghost and the opposite rules, it was impossible for the weak ghost to catch their prey.
The strong ghost would always kill the prey before the weak ghost caught the prey. It let the weak ghost see hope again and again before falling into despair. Even so, the weak ghost had to keep luring new prey in order to leave.
This was an endless loop in which the strong ghost wantonly killed and reaped the profits. It was like a powerful emperor willfully controlling the lives of the weak ghosts, allowing the weak ghosts to run around and deceive others in order to gain a steady stream of food.
In this endless cycle, the strong ghost might be in a good mood one day and pleased with the performance of the weak ghost. It could even let the weak ghost catch the prey and turn back to human. It was because the prey would become the new weak ghost.
There would always be a weak ghost in the glass maze. The boss of the live broadcast room might be the first one or it might be one in thousands. This wasn’t important. The important thing was that the game continued to this day without an end.
The strong ghost was too strong. After killing so many innocent lambs, its strength had greatly increased.
Looking at it this way, it wasn’t appropriate to use ‘good’ to describe the weak ghost. After all, she let innocent people join the game for her own selfish desires. Still, it was clear once the expression was changed. The strong ghost was a threat and the weak ghost was a help.
The prey and weak ghost were mutually beneficial.
The weak ghost caught the prey and the weak ghost would smoothly escape the game. The prey was also free of the pursuit of the strong ghost, because the strong ghost was the mirror image of the weak ghost. Once the prey changed its identity to the weak ghost, the strong ghost couldn’t kill it.
The strong ghost played hide and seek with the prey. Under the limitations, the strong ghost had to catch the prey with a ‘human identity’ rather than the weak ghost with a ‘ghost identity.’ Once the prey became a weak ghost and the previous weak ghost left the game, the prey didn’t exist. Xie Chi would lose the ‘human identity’ and wouldn’t be chased. The strong ghost wouldn’t be able to kill him according to the rules of the game.
A clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity. The smarter a person, the better the ability of the short movie to trick them. If Xie Chi hadn’t been so vigilant and was fooled by the weak ghost, exposing his position to her, perhaps the probability of survival would be greater. If Xie Chi’s body hadn’t been so good and his sense of direction was poor, causing him to constantly bump into walls, the weak ghost would’ve directly found him by listening to his movements.
The people who entered this short movie happened to be relatively smart and flexible. However, this meant they were more likely to lose their lives than ordinary people.
In this hide and seek game between Xie Chi and the strong ghost, Xie Chi would die if he was caught by the strong ghost. The weak ghost would continue to trick the next innocent person into the game and the endless loop would continue.
In the hide and seek game between Xie Chi and the weak ghost, it didn’t matter if the weak ghost caught Xie Chi or Xie Chi caught the weak ghost. The ending was Xie Chi becoming the weak ghost and the previous weak ghost leaving the game.
Now all the rules and clues were suggesting that he had to become the weak ghost to survive in the maze.
Once the game time was over, if Xie Chi was still the weak ghost then he would never be able to walk out of the short movie. It was because ghosts were equivalent to dead things. No matter how similar they were to humans, they weren’t in the same dimension as humans.
Therefore, Xie Chi catching the weak ghost was only the first step. Catching the weak ghost meant being free from the danger of the strong ghost but it didn’t mean that he won the game. If he couldn’t find a way to kill the strong ghost within the specified time, he would be lost in the glass maze forever and become the new slave of the strong ghost.
It must be like this! However, he had no choice!
In 10 seconds, Xie Chi figured everything out and the strong ghost started a new round of pursuit. The narrow space caused great trouble to Xie Xinglan every time he dodged.
The strong ghost was everywhere. It could come out at any time to embrace him or it might reach out from the mirror beside him to grab him. Under the dark green light, the afterimage of the strong ghost kept changing.
Xie Xinglan hid if he could hide and clapped his hands if he couldn’t hide. He wasn’t a one-dimensional creature with no power to fight.
On the distorted mirror surfaces, there were twisted faces. The faces grew bigger and moved closer to plunder his health. Xie Xinglan was like a thief dexterously dodging intensive infrared sensors. The difference was that the infrared sensors had fixed positions while the strong ghost’s next attack was almost invisible.
Xie Xinglan could only intently stare at the mirrors, identify the ghost as soon as possible and then predict the ghost’s next movement, deftly avoiding it. Finally, at the next turn, he saw the weak ghost at the end of the path. Xie Xinglan sprinted forward like it was the 100 metre dash. His long legs were like a shadow and the weak ghost came rushing over in surprise.
The strong ghost stretched out almost its entire body toward Xie Xinglan, reaching out to grab him as if he wanted to destroy the hope that was so close. The hand was so close and the strong inertia meant Xie Xinglan was unable to stop. Xie Xinglan could only clap his hands again.
The strong ghost between the weak ghost and Xie Xinglan disappeared. Xie Xinglan caught the weak ghost without hesitation. His clothes were ragged, his body was injured, his hair was messy and his entire body was giving off a vicious air.
The next second, in the dark green mirror, Xie Chi’s face started to change.
His skin was originally a warm white but now it was pale. In the cold and dead silence, his slightly chestnut hair turned a depressed, pure black. His red but dry lips became as black as ink and his gleaming eyes full of secrets were reminiscent of a vampire count who drank human blood and gained immortality.
His clothes also turned as dark as night.
[Little demon immortal, the entire body changed.]
[It depends on the appearance of the ghost.]
[It must be scary if he catches someone like this.]
[If I saw such a weak ghost in the maze, I might fall in love with him instead of running away.]
At the same time, the appearance of the weak ghost also changed and became the opposite of Xie Xinglan.
She was frozen in place like a sculpture, but her complexion started becoming ruddy. The long hair that originally covered her face fell behind her back, revealing a delicate and thin face. Her empty eyes gradually recovered and her cold body warmed up again. It seemed that it was only a matter of time before she completely became human. Of course, this time wouldn’t be short. She had been a weak ghost for too long.
Xie Xinglan stared at her without saying a word. He seemed to be thinking about what he should do next. He raised his head slightly and looked at his countless images in the mirror with cold eyes.
The ability of the strong ghost was to turn into the mirror image of the weak ghost. Now that Xie Xinglan had become the weak ghost, the strong ghost naturally turned into a mirror image of himself. Among his countless selves, there was the strong ghost.
The app, which had been silent for too long, finally rang out.
[You have temporarily gained the ‘ghost identity’ and become the weak ghost. The weak ghost and prey status are exchanged. It will take time for the strong ghost to control the weak ghost again. In the next hour, if you can’t find a way to completely kill the strong ghost, you will be controlled by the strong ghost, become its slave and never leave.]
Xie Chi thought ‘as expected’ in his heart.
Xie Xinglan leaned against the glass and his gaze fell on the bright red scissors in the weak ghost’s hand. He grabbed it and checked it carefully. It was just an ordinary pair of scissors and there was nothing special.
“Xiao Chi, what should I do?”
Xie Chi pondered for a few seconds. “Use the tip of the blade to scratch or poke yourself.”
Xie Xinglan was startled before smiling “Does injury correspond to rescue?”
Xie Xinglan squatted down, opened the scissors and aimed the sharp blade tip at his palm. The blade tip touched Xie Xinglan’s hand and went deep, but blood didn’t flow out. The blade of the scissors seemed to pass through Xie Xinglan’s palm into thin air.
Xie Xinglan paused and touched a piece of paper stuck to the tip of the blade. Xie Xinglan pulled out the note. The folded paper was small and square. It was only the size of a fingernail. Xie Xinglan opened it and saw the ugly word ‘glass’ written on it. This should be a clue for completely defeating the ghost.
Xie Xinglan stood up and frowned. “Glass?”
Could it be that a certain piece of glass contained a secret?
Xie Chi also thought of this. “Brother, shall we look for it?”
“Okay, what about the pair of scissors? Should I take it with me?”
“Yes, it might be lethal to ghosts?” Xie Chi still couldn’t figure it out.
Xie Xinglan took it with him. There wasn’t the threat of the strong ghost so Xie Xinglan started exploring the mirrors in the maze one by one. He touched dozens of them but found nothing.
A few minutes passed.
Xie Xinglan frowned. “Xiao Chi, according to the normal speed, I won’t be able to inspect all the glass in one hour. Even if I finish inspecting them, there probably won’t be much time left.”
Xie Xinglan mused on it. “The clue is ‘a clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity’. That thinking approach is what we are using now so the direction should be a problem.”
Xie Xinglan was staring at the ground.
Xie Chi accidentally looked at the ground from this perspective and a thought flashed in his mind. “Brother, it is the ground! The ground is also glass! Foggy glass! If we followed the normal pattern of thinking, we would’ve only touched the mirrors placed upright in the labyrinth. However, the ground under our feet is also glass. It is foggy glass.”
Xie Xinglan’s eyes narrowed.
“Why are all the other mirrors transparent and only the glass under our feet is foggy…? If there is nothing underneath, why foggy glass?”
Xie Chi thought about the clues and details and suddenly remembered. “The range of hide and seek is the entire area where the glass maze is located. I always thought this sentence referred to the existence of the mirror world but what if… there is also a mystery under our feet?”
Xie Chi continued, “A clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity! Our initial thinking was to smash the glass. Later, the idea was to not smash the glass. Now the thought that is in our minds is to not smash the glass. However, now the strong ghost can’t pose a threat to us. It doesn’t matter if the glass is smashed! This is also the normal mindset. Under this mindset, we would instinctively feel that not breaking the glass is correct. It is just that the conclusion is based on time. Previously, not breaking the glass was correct but now it is wrong! It is because the strong ghost can’t kill the weak ghost! We are safe now!”
“The scissors aren’t for killing the ghost. The extremely sharp scissors are provided out of fear that we won’t break the glass. It is telling us to smash the ground!”
Xie Chi felt the horror of a clever mindset. Under normal circumstances, if they didn’t break the glass then they would’ve ended up wasting an hour and finding nothing. Then they would never leave.
Xie Xinglan took off his clothes, formed fists, wrapped his hands in the clothing and slammed down on the ground. Several pieces of glass were broken and the bloody basement under the foggy glass appeared.