Mosaic School (12)
“The rules of the game are simple. The students participating in the game will stand at the starting point, which is here.” The female teacher stepped on the red rope in the middle of the classroom with her high heels. “Once the game starts, I will stand at the end of the classroom in front of the window with my eyes closed. You will move to the finish line as quickly as possible while my eyes are closed.”
“However, you should be careful. Try not to make too much noise during the movement. Once I turn my head and open my eyes, you must be like a statue with no movement. You must not make any sounds or expressions. You must be completely still.”
“The students who can’t do it will be considered to fail the game and will be out. The other statues will continue to play until I turn my head and close my eyes,” the female teacher said while twisting her neck 180 degrees. “As long as one of the statues successfully moves to the finish line, you can get the prompt about tonight’s school rule.”
The twisted neck of the female teacher was chilling, but the last rule made everyone see hope.
The Statues game didn’t seem that difficult. Based on the rules, only one person needed to successfully make it to the finish line and they would pass smoothly. Getting the reward meant that everyone would know the answer to the taboo.
“I don’t know if the students are clear about the rules or not. Remember, any movement in my line of sight is absolutely forbidden.”
Chi Nan asked, “Why is the starting point the middle of the classroom rather than where we are standing now?”
According to the usual thinking, the starting point was often at the entrance, so as to ensure that there was enough room to play.
The female teacher replied, “As long as the classroom is spacious enough, it doesn’t matter where you start.”
Guo Xian said, “The longer the distance, the more unfavorable it is for us. It is better to start from the middle.”
Everyone agreed. This dance studio was around 30 meters long. The starting point being in the middle of the classroom meant the finish line was only half the distance, or 15 meters. This was a favorable condition for the ‘statues’ so they didn’t think deeply.
“If there are no problems, the students can start grouping themselves. Remember, there must be at least four students in each group. The end time of each game is determined by the time of the last student’s failure.”
Guo Xian thought about it for a moment. “In other words, the 12 of us can be divided into three groups at most to play.”
“Is it allowed for 12 people to directly play together according to the rules?” one of the male newcomers asked.
Guo Xia replied, “It is allowed in the rules, but the fewer groupings there are, the more unfavorable it is to us.”
“Why? The success or failure of the game only depends on the final score of the individual, not the group elimination system. The number of people in a group shouldn’t make a difference?”
As an old sleepwalker, Guo Xian was more sensitive than the average person in this regard. “There is naturally a difference. The more groups there are, the more opportunities we will have to do trial and error, and the more time there is to prepare. The later students can make plans according to the special situations encountered by the previous participants and the winning rate will be greatly improved.”
“Ahh…. Why didn’t I expect a special situation?” The student suddenly realized. “This way, we will have two trial and error opportunities. If the first two groups fail, the last group of students will be relatively stressed.”
After being inspired by Guo Xian, they quickly divided into three groups according to their experience and performance in the last two days.
The four members of the final group were Chi Nan, Tang Yu, Guo Xian, and his roommate Jiang Liang.
The first group to play the game was Liang Han and Shu Yanfan of Room 204 and Jiang Boming and Song Ye of Room 208. They stood at the starting point indicated by the red rope in the middle of the classroom and couldn’t help looking around with trepidation.
The female teacher’s high heels clacked as she walked to the window at the end of the classroom and stood still. “Once the game starts, you need to read a password in unison: ‘No walking, no laughing, no talking, no moving. We are all statues.’ Then, after chanting this, the game will officially begin.”
The password to play Statues was backwards. Tang Yu, who was standing next to Chi Nan, muttered quietly, “Why is it read backwards? Is there a mistake?”
However, she didn’t take it too seriously. She soon focused on the four sleepwalkers at the red rope that was the starting point.
“No walking, no laughing, no talking, no moving. We are all statues.”
The voices of the four participants fell and the lights in the classroom snapped off in an instant. The four people at the starting point seemed startled and looked around uneasily. The light from the snow coming through the window of the dance studio became the only light source in the darkness. The figure of the female teacher facing the window appeared elongated. She hugged her arms and turned her back to the players. Her leisurely pose looked like she was admiring the snow outside the window.
Humans were creatures of light and would instinctively move toward bright places.
Song Yu had just tentatively taken a step forward when there was a popping sound directly above him. A beam of light fell on the four people, and Liang Han couldn’t suppress himself from making a sound.
“W-What is going on…?” Liang Han asked in a trembling voice.
“Shhh, don’t talk loudly. It should be a game effect to deliberately frighten us.”
The spotlight that hit them gave them the illusion of standing on the stage. In the pale light, the player’s every move became the focus of all eyes.
There seemed to be countless pairs of eyes hidden in the darkness and staring at them. As ‘statues,’ they had to perform in the spotlight according to the rules, like puppets with bound hands and feet.
Everyone breathed lightly, but they couldn’t control the thumping of their hearts. They pounded in their chest cavities and they had dry throats and difficulty breathing.
The four newcomers in the game and the eight onlookers looked at the female teacher at the end of the classroom. She held her posture like a statue and gave the illusion that she wouldn’t turn her head.
The four people carefully moved forward two steps.
Shu Yanfan had just wanted to take a third step when a pair of hands blocked her eyes. She was frightened and stiffened in place. A moment later, she found that it was Jiang Boming’s hand. She raised her eyes to find that the female teacher’s neck had started to creak in their direction. Shu Yanfan secretly sighed with relief. If it hadn’t been for Jiang Boming stopping her in time, she would’ve become the first person out.
Before she could sigh with relief, the female teacher standing near the window teleported to the position where they were standing and stared at Shu Yanfan. Her blood red lips split all the way to the base of her ears and the pale light of the spotlight revealed her bright red gums and sharpened, claw-like teeth. She showed a vicious smile toward the four ‘statues’ fixed in place.
“Ahhh—!” Shu Yanfan and Jiang Boming were caught off guard by fear and screamed. Song Yu didn’t scream, but he reflexively took a step back. The remaining Liang Han didn’t scream or move. He was stunned for half a second before straightening up and falling backwards. He was actually extremely frightened by the sudden, blood-red smile.
The female teacher put away her smile with satisfaction. “Unfortunately, the four students in the first group have failed the game. I hope that the remaining students will have a better performance.”
They hadn’t played in person, but the four people in the next group, who had been standing near the area, were also scared to the point of sweating. Just watching from a distance was terrifying enough. How could they not scream if the bloody mouth was directly in front of them?
Guo Xian’s eyes narrowed slightly. “It seems to be more difficult than expected. There are all types of frightening interferences on the way to the finish line.”
Tong Yu was unmoved and looked eager to try it. “Look at me. It just so happens that my motor nerves are good and I’m not afraid of these things.”
Soon, the four members of the second group stood at the red rope of the starting point. They were Zhen Zimo and Tao Le of Room 206 and Tong Yu and Guo Yaoyao of Room 207.
“The rules haven’t changed. Students can start reciting the password when you are ready.” The female teacher stood at the window at the end of the classroom again and had her back to them with arms folded like before.
Due to the experience of the first round, everyone was calm when the spotlight came on. However, even though two of the students were psychologically prepared, they were still caught off guard when the female teacher suddenly appeared to scare them. Another student saw a dark shadow in the mirror that devoured people behind him when he was moving. He was so scared that he shouted without paying attention to the rules.
Soon, only the calm Tong Yu was left on the field.
“I had been wondering what the mirrors on the two walls were for. They are meant to interfere with the players,” Guo Xian stated.
Chi Nan looked at the out-of-sync images in the mirror. “The pictures on the mirror should be virtual projections. They are just placed there and can’t harm us.”
Guo Xian glanced at the expressionless Chi Nan and smiled bitterly. “That’s right. It is just that in extremely tense situations, not many people can control their fear when they suddenly see a horrifying image in the mirror.”
Then he shifted his gaze to the calm and agile Tong Yu. He admired, “This girl’s potential is really good.”
Chi Nan looked at the room where only one student was left and then instinctively glanced at the clock on the wall. He found that the clock that had previously shown 5:30 was now pointing at 4:10.
His heart sank slightly. It seemed that it wasn’t that the clock was broken and didn’t work. It was that the time was wrong.
On the field, Tong Yu’s movements were brisk and quick. The moment when the teacher twisted her neck the third time, she moved as light as a swallow behind the teacher symbolizing the end. Once she reached this point, all the sleepwalkers in the dance studio sighed with relief.
The rules of Statues were clear to everyone and the female teacher had stressed before that those who made it to the finish line were free and could move at will without being restricted by the teacher’s gaze.
Therefore, Tong Yu let down her gaze and even raised her chin triumphantly when the female teacher turned her head. “Teacher, I have successfully passed the test. Please give me tonight’s clue according to the rules set previously.”
The female teacher slightly raised an eyebrow and clearly enunciated every word, “Unfortunately, this student failed the game. I will now announce the second group has been eliminated.”
Everyone was stunned the moment she said this.
Tong Yu’s eyes widened with disbelief. “How can it be a failure? Didn’t I make it to the finish line?”
The female teacher just smiled and shifted her gaze to Chi Nan. “The third group of students, please get ready. The new round of the game will start in five minutes.”
The group was suddenly dumbfounded.
“How can this be played? Tong Yu obviously reached the finish line in accordance with the rules but was unilaterally judged to have failed the game without a specific explanation. Doesn’t this mean we have no chance of winning?”
“I now suspect that it is a failure no matter how we play the game? What playing the game? We can only fight for luck tonight.”
Guo Xian frowned. “This is unreasonable. The dream maker might have absolute power in the Nightmare World but they can’t break the rules they set without authorization. There must be something we have overlooked.”
“However, the rules of Statues are simple. We can’t make any sounds or movements when under the gaze of the teacher and we must quickly reach the finish line to gain freedom. Tong Yu obviously did it…”
There were still three minutes until the third round of the game started. The group couldn’t deduce the reason for the failure and felt frustrated and nervous.
Only one last chance remained, but the situation had changed drastically and they had no clue…
Chi Nan looked at the clock on the wall again. Now the time had become 3:50.
Time went back!
In addition to the clock, there was the beginning of the game where Tang Yu complained that the password was said backwards.
Chi Nan shifted his gaze to the starting point of the game, which was located in the middle of the classroom.
Why start in the middle of the classroom? It was absolutely impossible for the female teacher to be merciful in order to reduce the difficulty and shorten the distance. This was actually the biggest trap of the game.
Chi Nan already had an answer in his heart.