Candleman Festival (4)
Chi Nan thought about it and said very honestly, “I might make you very ugly, resulting in a negative score.”
Ye Chang smiled indifferently. “I’m not good at handicrafts either. It is just right.”
Chi Nan yawned. If it was the past, he might’ve deliberately slacked off to test the rules.
After all, many clues were found in the punishment during the first two nightmare instances.
It was as Old Yu said before. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Some dream makers put the most critical information on the brink of danger, as if deliberately testing the sleepwalkers.
He could obtain clues while also satisfying his curiosity about the world. In addition, he could be a lazy fish.
It was just that before entering this instance, Ye Chang’s death probability was forcibly increased to 90% by the system. The reward and punishment rules for this instance were also based on their groups. If he took risks without authorization, it was likely to involve Ye Chang who had a death risk of 90%.
In the end, Chi Nan decided to obediently pick up the carving knife. He looked at Ye Chang in the mirror while clumsily touching the knife to the mold.
He didn’t have too many demands for his candle. It just needed to look like a person.
Ye Chang wasn’t the same as him. Ye Chang basically didn’t lift his head to look in the mirror and he used the carving knife to outline Chi Nan’s appearance one stroke at a time.
Chi Nan was a bit curious. “Don’t you have to look in the mirror?”
Ye Chang smiled. “I remember.”
“I remember the way you look.” Ye Chang smiled but his eyes were full of concentration. “So I don’t need to look.”
Chi Nan paused for a moment. “…Oh.”
There was a bit of turbulence in his always calm mood but he didn’t quite understand the reason.
In the blink of an eye, it was almost 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The female foreman stood in the center of the workshop and raised her voice, “Today’s volunteer work is over. Please show me your results and work.”
Chi Nan was a bit embarrassed to take out the candle person. This candle person could be said to have nothing to do with Ye Chang apart from the symbolic glasses.
He sighed. “Sorry, I tried my best.”
Ye Chang’s progress also wasn’t optimistic. He hadn’t finished carving Chi Nan’s face and was forced to stop because time ran out. He shrugged regretfully. “I also tried my best.”
The two people moved so slowly that they didn’t even have time to pull out the other person’s hair for the wick…
The female foreman glanced around and finally gave the boys of Room 107 a look of approval. “Today’s ‘excellent volunteer’ honor will belong to the two of you.”
Gu Xiao heard this and was so excited that he couldn’t help cheering while hugging his roommate. “Great. If it wasn’t for your help, I would probably be at the bottom.”
The art student called Bai Chuan smiled modestly. “We are roommates. This is what I should do.”
Old Yu silently watched it. To be honest, he wasn’t greedy for the honor.
He was the most experienced one here and intuitively suspected that the so-called “reward” might be a hot potato.
The female foreman silently handed a palm-sized white box to the two boys of 107 with a stiff and weird smile on her face. “This is what you deserve. Bless you, the most skilled volunteers.”
Bai Chuan’s eyelids twitched but he barely squeezed out a smile as he took the box. “Thank you.”
“The smooth success of the Candleman Festival is inseparable from your dedication,” The female foreman smiled and whispered in his ear, “Thank you.”
Bai Chuan could no longer smile. He suddenly had a bad premonition in his heart and he shivered violently.
“Since all of you have put in serious effort and no one slacked off, there will be no punishment tonight. Congratulations.”
The group sighed with relief and Old Yu said, “It seems that as long as you do it, no matter the quality, it won’t be classified as slacking off. This nightmare is quite tolerant.”
Chi Nan nodded. He thought that if it was really decided according to the quality of the work then he would be punished.
“You can explore the town for the rest of the day, but don’t forget that you can’t leave Candleman Town until the Candleman Festival is successfully held.” The female foreman looked out the window and repeated the sentence, “No one can leave.”
Her tone suddenly became cold and gave everyone the creeps.
“I want to ask you, are there any recommended attractions for Candleman Town?” Chi Nan suddenly wondered.
The female foreman replied, “If you love art, you can look at the Candle Memorial Wall in the square. I believe it will definitely be the most exquisite piece of art you have ever seen.”
“I already admired the Candle Memorial Wall last night. I want to explore other things,” Ye Chang replied.
The female foreman took out a map of the town from a drawer and handed it to them. “I hope this can help you.”
Chi Nan’s eyes fell on the words “Volunteer Exhibition Hall” that were covered with a red cross on the map. “Is there anything wrong with this exhibition hall?”
Fear suddenly appeared on the foreman’s face and her voice cooled down. “It is an unlucky place. The residents of our town don’t easily go there.”
Old Yu inquired, “Can you tell us why?”
The female foreman’s lips visibly trembled and she spat out, “It is haunted!”
Then she left with a panicked look.
Chi Nan quickly exchanged glances with Ye Chang and Old Yu. “Go to the exhibition hall?”
After all, a place that scared an NPC sounded like an important place with key clues.
Old Yu smiled and nodded. He put on his coat and smoked a cigarette while asking the remaining sleepwalkers, “Who will go to the exhibition hall with us?”
Apart from the two women and Rui Rui, who immediately raised their hands to sign up, the rest of the people hesitated. They were a bit scared after hearing the NPC say it was haunted.
“Mom, I can go with the brothers and sisters if you are afraid,” Rui Rui said in a very understanding manner as she took her mother’s hand.
Her mother stroked her head, her tone somewhat stiff and reluctant. “If you aren’t afraid then what am I afraid of? Mom will go with you.”
“Okay, there are seven people now. Anyone else?” Old Yu asked.
The remaining three boys exchanged looks before slowly raising their hands… They might be afraid, but no one wanted to miss out on key information.
The group of people set off from the production workshop to the square. On the way, everyone was silent except for Xia Wei who kept chatting.
“Bai Chuan, why don’t you open that box and take a look. I’m really curious about what is inside.”
Xia Wei had been staring at the ‘excellent volunteer’ box handed over to Bai Chuan by the female foreman. He half-jokingly and half-seriously wanted the other person to open it. “What are you afraid of? In any case, the final calculations of favorability are open and transparent. There is no difference between knowing now and after the instance is over.”
“Let’s talk about it later…”
“Open it. Maybe it is a really important clue? The probability of survival is higher if everyone finds clues together.”
Bai Chuan was a newcomer and he was a bit undecided. He looked in a questioning manner at the most experienced Old Yu.
Old Yu bit the cigarette. “If you don’t mind, then I naturally hope to take a look.”
In a situation where survival was threatened, the priority of finding clues was absolutely greater than the right to privacy. Bai Chuan might be a newcomer but even he knew this. He hesitated for a moment before finally deciding to open the mysterious little cardboard box in front of everyone.
The wrapping paper was peeled off layer by layer as everyone gathered around and held their breaths. Bai Chuan was stared at like this and was so nervous that his hands trembled.
“Ah, don’t tremble! Carefully remove it.” Xia Wei saw this and was anxious for him.
Bai Chuan looked at him before continuing to open the lid of the box with shaking eyes. Then everyone saw the contents of the box and inevitably let out an “Ah…”
“What… What does this mean?”
“Is there a mistake?”
“Impossible. How can a nightmare instance have such a low-level mistake?”
All of them showed confusion because there was nothing in the box.
It was an empty box.
Bai Chuan turned red. “How can this be? I’m sure I held it well along the way and didn’t take out the contents…”
“We will ask the female foreman tomorrow what is going on with the empty box,” Old Yu said after thinking about it for a moment. “It shouldn’t be a big deal. Let’s go to the exhibition hall first.”
Bai Chuan was forced to put the box into his pocket in a panic. He followed in a slight daze.
“What do you think is going on?” Old Yu had seen Chi Nan’s strength in You Yu’s Dream so he asked casually.
Chi Nan thought about it before shaking his head. “Maybe we can’t see it at the moment.”
Old Yu’s action of biting his cigarette paused. “I hope so.”
The so-called Volunteer Exhibition Hall was a civilian villa that had been later transformed into a venue. It seemed it hadn’t been properly repaired and the rusty door was full of age.
Unlike the other buildings in the town, the windows of the exhibition hall were tightly sealed with opaque materials. It was like a large box with hidden secrets, standing silently on the edge of the town square.
There was a security guard sitting outside the rusty door. Just like all NPCs in Candleman Town, his facial features were dull and it was difficult for him to make an impression.
Old Yu asked, “Do we need tickets if we want to enter the exhibition hall?”
The male security guard’s eyes wandered between them. “Are you new volunteers from the candle factory?”
The security guard briefly laughed before waving them in. “Volunteers don’t need tickets to visit the exhibition hall.”
As he spoke, he raised his chin and moved to the side with a look of sympathy and a desire to keep his distance. “The door is unlocked so you can go in yourself.”
Chi Nan asked, “I heard it is haunted?”
The security guard stiffened and waved his hand. “In any case, the locals won’t be idle enough to visit the exhibition hall. You volunteers are the only ones willing to go there.”
The group heard this and looked at each other with different expressions. Finally, Ye Chang pulled open the iron door of the exhibition hall. “Go inside?”
He moved naturally, like he was opening the door of his own house.
Chi Nan took the lead in entering and Ye Chang followed him. Old Yu beckoned for the mother and daughter to keep up and entered himself.
“Everyone, keep up.”
The moment they all entered the exhibition hall, a gust of wind blew from nowhere. Suddenly, there was a bang and the rusty door closed.
At almost the same time, the mother screamed loudly. She shook in fear and held her daughter in her arms.
Rui Rui was very calm and made a ‘shush’ gesture to her mother. “Mom, don’t be surprised and pay attention to your awakening value.”
Her mother immediately covered her mouth nervously with her hand and looked around suspiciously. She looked at the door and murmured softly, “It is just the wind.”
“I’m sorry, I reacted too much…” The mother tried to suppress her emotions and apologized to everyone in a shaky voice.
The interior of the house was different from an exhibition hall that an ordinary person would imagine. At first glance, it looked like an empty villa. There wasn’t an exhibition area or an audience service facility in the empty hallway. Perhaps it was because it was completely isolated from an external light source, but hundreds of candles were lit at the same time to illuminate dozens of open rooms.
This villa was also strangely designed in a circular arc, and there was only one spiral staircase leading to the arched ceiling.
The handrails on both sides of the spiral staircase were covered with candles, and the flames flashed erratically even though there was no wind.
As the candles flickered, everyone’s shadows on the white porcelain floor also flickered.
Chi Nan looked at the shadows on the ground and for a moment, he felt like he was looking at the ghost wall in the square. Fortunately, these candles were the white wax he recognized, not the wax on the windowsill last night.
“How is this an exhibition hall? It is more like a haunted house…” Xia Wei shivered and hugged his arms. He looked at Ye Chang as if asking for help, but he found that Ye Chang was looking at Chi Nan…
Chi Nan hugged his arms. “It is a lot cooler here than it is outside.”
Ye Chang glanced at the closed windows and ceiling. “Yes, but no windows are open. It stands to reason that the wind can’t enter.”
The long-haired girl called Wu Ying looked around and stated in a cold voice, “The feng shui of this house isn’t right.”
“How?” Old Yu hurriedly asked.
“The exhibition hall is wide and empty. The top is curved and the spiral staircase leads to the ceiling. The handrails are also covered in white candles. Doesn’t it look like the graves we go to visit on Tomb Sweeping Day?”
Wu Ying shifted her gaze to the black doors neatly arranged in the corridor. “These doors are lined up in a row and painted with gray stone patterns. Don’t they look like gravestones?”