[There is a basement!]
[I’m so confused. How did he think about it?]
[Smashing glass or not smashing glass. I don’t seem to understand it.]
[Whatever. Just follow Boss Chi and it will be over.]
[This movie is too terrible.]
[I seem to understand. This movie is about the opposite rules, eternal contradictions and harmful mindsets.]
[The clue is ‘a clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity’. The question is that I’m not smart and don’t know if I’m being smart or not. To put it bluntly, I still have to be smart. I’m dizzy.]
[No matryoshka dolls!]
[This should be the most critical part, right?]
“Xiao Chi, I’m going down,” Xie Xinglan stated.
Xie Xinglan wrapped the clothes around his hands, held the edge of the sharply broken foggy glass and lowered his body. He spotted a place to fall and landed on a wooden table covered with leather and dust.
The basement was extremely dark and the temperature was extremely low. The smell was musty and fishy. Xie Xinglan waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He touched the wall and fumbled for a while before finding the old-fashioned light switch. He gently pulled it down and the basement lit up with a dim light.
The basement was small, messy and dirty. Xie Xinglan immediately saw the rows of bodies on both sides of the basement. The dead bodies were leaning against the wall, the heads tilted up and their eyes staring in a dark and hollow manner. It was like a whirlpool of death.
They had been dead for a long time but due to the low temperature of the basement, they didn’t rot. They were lined up neatly. They should be the source of the bloody smell.
Xie Xinglan didn’t go over and instead looked at the coffin in the centre of the basement. This coffin was different. It wasn’t black or red but was transparent. Xie Xinglan could clearly see the individual lying in the coffin.
“Crystal coffin?” Xie Xinglan frowned.
“Let’s take a look,” Xie Chi told him.
Xie Xinglan avoided the debris under his feet and walked to the coffin. He touched the wall of the coffin. “Glass.”
It might be a closed glass coffin but it achieved the same effect as a crystal coffin. The human corpse in the glass coffin was well preserved and there were no signs of decay. Xie Xinglan went to see the face of the corpse and Xie Chi was shocked.
This was a faceless man. His facial contours were deformed and his skin and flesh were glued together. The upper eyelid and lower eyelid grew together and there were no slits. The position of the nose was sunken and there were only two holes at the bottom. His mouth was crooked and his lower jaw protruded like a balcony.
This face was creepy to look at and his back became cold.
Xie Chi rummaged through his memory. “He should be a patient with the Treacher Collins syndrome.”
The Treacher Collins syndrome was a disease caused by chromosomal mutations. These people had congenital deformities on their face and often had problems with their jaw bones and facial features confusion. In some serious cases, they might not even have eyes or a nose.
Xie Xinglan thought about it. “Is this the body of the strong ghost?”
Xie Chi was silent and seemed to be immersed in his thoughts.
Xie Xinglan happened to see an old diary on the wooden table to one side. He walked over and was about to pick up the diary when his eyes swept over the table and sank slightly.
There was a clear map of the maze on the table and a few pieces of paper nailed on the wall in front of him. There were precise data on the length, width and height of the maze, detailed information on the game of hide and seek and experiments on whether the foggy glass could be smashed by scissors…
It seemed the glass maze was deliberately built by the faceless man and this dangerous hide and seek game was also planned by him.
Xie Xinglan looked at the diary in his hand.
The cover of the diary was hard, thick and brown. The centre of the cover was an image of a short man. The man had no head and the head was instead a thumb-sized mirror that was embedded. Xie Xinglan held the diary and the mirror happened to show Xie Xinglan’s face. At first glance, it seemed like Xie Xinglan’s head was on the image, integrating with the short man.
The implication was strong.
Xie Xinglan opened the diary. The diary was parchment paper that felt rough to touch. The paper inside was full of words and the handwriting was extremely ugly, just like the handwriting on the note they obtained.
Therefore, the ‘glass’ clue they received was deliberately provided by the faceless person. Every step of the puzzle was set by the faceless person and everything happening now was within his expectations.
Xie Xinglan could feel the pride of the faceless person. There was a type of playfulness and condescending feeling of having everything under his control. Xie Xinglan scanned the dates of the diary and found that this diary actually recorded the thoughts and feelings of the faceless man for over 10 years.
At the beginning, the child was full of loss.
“Oh, it turns out that I didn’t pop out from a rock. They abandoned me. I would’ve rather popped out from a rock.”
“I also want to have a mom and a dad.”
“I want to talk to them. I can’t see them but I know they hate me.”
Later, there was resentment and curses.
“The children in the orphanage are bullying me. I want them to die. Everyone has no parents. Why bully me? Growing up like this isn’t what I want.”
“Why give birth to me? Why give birth to me and not want me? Why? My parents…? Sooner or later, I will kill you! This is the price you will pay for making me suffer alone in the world!”
“Why aren’t I dead? Hehe, I won’t die. How can I die? All of you, wait for me!!”
Finally, there was the joy of successfully getting revenge.
“Today, I tricked that idiot and killed him. It turns out that the feeling of killing is so wonderful. What a great word ‘Dad’ is. You don’t deserve it.”
“It turns out that my mother is pregnant. I don’t care about it. It deserves to die. I know there is some possibility of the Treacher Collins syndrome being hereditary. I really want to know if you will abandon him like you abandoned me if he gets it? Unfortunately, there won’t be a chance. I don’t want my younger sibling to suffer the same as me so I’ll cut him out…”
The diary contained a photo of the faceless man digging out a child from a frightened woman’s stomach.
Xie Xinglan glanced over at the group of bodies and seemed to know the identity of these bodies. They were all the faceless man’s objects of revenge.
Xie Xingxing continued to read.
“Today, I watched the Hunchback of Notre Dame. There was an ugly bell-ringer Quasimodo who liked a beautiful and kind gypsy girl Esmeralda. Quasimodo was willing to give everything for her and so am I. It is a pity that you only have a beautiful face while your mind is as poisonous as a snake. Quasimodo can only reluctantly kill you so that you can be with me forever…”
“People are always squeezing out those who are different. It is probably because they want to show their superiority and find their own sense of belonging. They are so ignorant and ridiculous. I pity them but I don’t want to forgive them. Killing isn’t a challenge at all. It is boring. I’m about to finish my revenge. What should I do afterwards?”
“The scum are dead. My basement is a masterpiece. There are many corpses.”
“I was born alone. I am different and especially lonely, different and a genius. This is probably the ultimate loneliness…”
“I’ve been wondering if I can make a face for myself…”
“I’ve found a way to have a face! As long as I—”
At this point, the diary was suddenly missing a page. It was torn out. Xie Xinglan first put this question on hold and kept going down.
“I can have a face in the future. I can have any face, beautiful or ugly, male or female, as long as I want it.”
“I want to create a game.”
“Ah, my own game is really fascinating. It is finally completed and it is seamless. Life is so boring. After I die, I have to play games with people. Humans and despair, what a delicious concoction. An invincible power, an infinite world, infinite eternal life, an endless game…”
“A human’s sense of self-righteousness, superiority, and intelligence will eventually harm them. I will let them understand this truth in the moment of despair.”
“Contrary rules, a set way of thinking, a clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity, hahahaha…”
“The world is ruthless and indifferent. I naturally have to repay it with the greatest malice and mockery.”
“I will be in another world, spying on what is going on.”
“I will live forever while you will always be as humble as ants.”
This was the end of the diary. The game was created by the faceless man to get revenge on the world and play tricks on humanity. The faceless man had already stripped himself of humanity.
Xie Xinglan turned to the last page and his eyes narrowed. The last page read:
“You surprised me by coming here. You should be the most intelligent human being. I appreciate you and you will be my most satisfying slave.”
“Are you running out of time? Get the ‘glass’ clue within an hour. Oh, after an hour, you will become my new weak ghost.”
“Are there no clues? Do you feel desperate?”
“What did you come here for? Can you… kill me? Even if I tell you clearly that there is a way to kill me, what can you do? Can you find it?”
“The smarter you are, the less willing you will be.”
“Everyone might be smart but only I am really smart. Accept fate.”
The faceless man’s words were full of mockery. Xie Xinglan squinted and tightly gripped the edge of the diary.
[This man is disgusting.]
[I’m panicked. This diary is too terrible. In particular, the high intelligence. Everything was arranged by him and he is even crazy enough to say there is a way to kill him.]
[Do you think that Son Chi is smarter or the faceless man?]
[The bigshot must be smarter if he gets out.]
[I’m so nervous I’m going crazy.]
Xie Xinglan glanced at the phone. There were 40 minutes left. After 40 minutes, he would be under the control of the faceless strong ghost in the mirror. Xie Xinglan went to the side of the coffin, opened the coffin and checked everything in the coffin. There was nothing. He left the coffin lid open and wandered around the basement again to look for clues.
Xie Chi was silent for a long time before suddenly saying, “Brother, let’s say you are the faceless person. If someone actually arrives here, will you feel panicked and leave that paragraph on purpose to make the intruder feel chaotic?”
Xie Xinglan suddenly realized. “I see. It is ‘a clever person might become the victim of their own ingenuity’. No one can escape this sentence, whether it is us or the faceless man. The contradiction is like this and the opposite rule is like this. The more something is deliberately hidden, the easier it is to expose. The more flamboyant it is, the more it is lacking in confidence.”
Xie Chi laughed. “Yes, Brother. There is a page missing from the diary. He wants to hide what makes him invincible but he exposed the most critical clue.”
Inspiration flashed in Xie Xinglan’s mind. He returned to the original table and opened the diary to the missing page. In the front, there was the ‘I’ve found a way to have a face’ and behind it was full of complacency and intoxication. Then the page that was torn off was…
It was how he became the mirror ghost.
Xie Chi was calm. “Based on the writing, the faceless man is especially arrogant and a self-proclaimed genius. He mentioned the loneliness of a genius. He feels that his wisdom surpasses human beings and even one-sidedly removed himself from the human race. He recorded the entire process of revenge in his diary and is extremely meticulous. We can see his detailed killing process and there are even pictures in the diary. Therefore, the glorious deed of how he became the mirror ghost would definitely be kept in his diary. However, after he finally finished the game setting, he tore out this page.”
Xie Chi laughed. “It is because he doesn’t want us to see it. It will expose how to kill him.”
Xie Chi paused before continuing. “In fact, even if he didn’t tear out the page, I think I would know how to completely kill him.”
Xie Xinglan glanced at the large, open glass coffin and smiled slightly. He understood Xie Chi’s meaning.
Xie Chi laughed. “Outside the mirror, the strong ghost is strong and the weak ghost is weak. The opposite rules are applied so inside the mirror… the weak ghost is strong and the strong ghost is weak.”
“The laws of everything in this world are fair. There is no absolute power and everything is conserved. This is an unchanging principle and also a rule implied from the beginning to the end of the game.”
“The strong ghost possessed the ultimate strength but there is bound to be a fatal flaw. This is his Achilles’ heel. Invincibility is relative and everything has a back side.”
“The faceless man is invincible to us in the real world while in that mirror world, he is bound to be as weak and humble as an ant. This is the price he paid to gain the power to dominate the real world.”
“So as the weak ghost, we just need to enter the mirror world and completely change our identity from weak to strong. We will have the invincible power and can easily obliterate him.”
“In fact, the method is in front of us.”