Mosaic School (19)
“Sorry, I can’t drink it.” Chi Nan simply refused.
The madam’s expression changed suddenly, but she still smiled stiffly. “Don’t you like fish soup? Mother Chen’s fish soup tastes very delicious. It isn’t fishy at all and there are no fish bones.”
“I’m allergic to fish.” Chi Nan found a reason for himself that no one could refuse.
The anticipation in the madam’s eyes went cold. Finally, she turned to Tang Yu, who had returned to her seat. “Miss Tang…”
“Auntie, I’m sorry. I’m allergic to fish as well.” Tang Yu learned from Chi Nan and refused.
The madam sighed listlessly. “Mother Chen, remove these two bowls of fish soup and delete this dish from our family menu.”
“Yes, Madam.” Mother Chen quickly removed the creepy fish soup.
“Eat while it is hot. Pick your favorite dishes,” the madam quickly regained her enthusiasm and told the two people.
It was a pity that after the episode with the paradise fish just now, the two of them completely lost interest in the delicious food on the table. They both took a few bites before putting down their chopsticks. The madam was the only one who enjoyed it.
Chi Nan also concluded from the test just now that making the madam unhappy wouldn’t reduce favorability.
Moreover, he suspected that the target of the favorability wasn’t the madam, but a character who didn’t appear easily. For example, the one hidden in the mirror.
After the meal, Chi Nan proposed the idea of going for a walk and the madam looked at him vigilantly. “It is fine to take a walk, but stay in the building. Remember, don’t leave this apartment building.”
The two of them knew that this was a rule as soon as they heard it. Chi Nan nodded. “I know.”
They headed out into the corridor and Tang Yu immediately asked, “Do you have any clues? Where do we go now?”
Chi Nan said, “There is a restaurant on the first floor.”
“What’s wrong? Is something wrong there?” Tang Yu remembered the restaurant. She had looked closely when she came in, but didn’t find anything suspicious.
Chi Nan answered, “I didn’t eat much. Let’s go there to eat.”
Tang Yu: “……” Okay, she was quite hungry at this moment.
To Chi Nan’s satisfaction, the dishes served at this restaurant were all sweets and sweet soups. Now, he wouldn’t be triggered to cry, so he ordered all the signature sweet soups of the store.
The thing that satisfied him even more was that the florist next to the restaurant had small white bell flowers for sale.
“Young Master, you can tell us what you need. We can also give you good advice if you want to give it to your girlfriend.” The boss of the florist store looked at Chi Nan enthusiastically and blinked at Tang Yu beside him.
Chi Nan looked at the small white bell flowers for a moment. “I want those. Thank you.”
The female boss froze awkwardly for a few seconds. “Young Master, these white flowers are for visiting graves on Tomb Sweeping Day.”
Chi Nan was polite. “It’s fine. I know this already. I’m sorry to bother you.”
After all, this little white flower symbolized praising death and a joyful funeral. 229 had explained it to him.
The boss gave Chi Nan a strange look. “That… Okay, I’ll wrap them up for you.”
Chi Nan took the carefully wrapped bouquet and thanked the boss again. Then, he returned to the fifth floor apartment.
Tang Yu could see his intentions, but she couldn’t guess the mystery behind it. Still, she knew that Chi Nan was a very powerful sleepwalker so she didn’t ask.
The maid who opened the door saw the bouquet of flowers in Chi Nan’s hand and her expression darkened. “Young Master, I have to remind you that the madam hates white bell flowers the most. She will be unhappy to see you bringing them home.”
Chi Nan sincerely thanked her for the advice. “It doesn’t matter. Mother’s anger doesn’t affect our role play.”
The maid couldn’t understand his words, but she didn’t stop him any longer. Chi Nan took the white flowers straight into the bathroom.
There was a bouquet of half-dried red roses to the side of the washstand. Chi Nan threw them into the trash can and carefully placed the white flowers in the vase.
He looked at his reflection, who was wearing glasses and asked, “Do you like them?”
No one in the bathroom answered him, but the system voice was heard.
[Congratulations for successfully triggering the condition for increasing favorability in the ‘sadness’ theme. Favorability has increased by 5 and you now have 20 favorability points.]
Sure enough, the target for favorability wasn’t the madam but 229, whose role in the story was still unknown.
“229, who are you this time?”
The mirror was silent. It was just a cold mirror.
Chi Nan came out of the bathroom and Tang Yu ran over with a photo album. “I just found a photo album in the room. Do you want to take a look at it? Maybe you can find some important clues.”
In fact, she had searched the room very carefully and found no useful clues except for this photo album.
Chi Nan and Tang Yu looked through the photo album in the living room. It was very strange. There were hundreds of photos in this thick album, but there wasn’t a family photo or photos of the husband and wife. Among the wedding photos, photos in recent years, and photos sent back by the young master when he was studying abroad, there were no photos of him when he was a child.
“Here! There seems to be a photo here.” Tang Yu was careful and keenly found that there was a photo covered by other photos in the thick stack of photo albums.
She took out the photo and the look of confusion on her face became even stronger.
It was the only photo that could be called a family portrait, but the part with the young master in the middle was deliberately cut. Only the husband and wife were left in the damaged photo.
The husband was smiling reluctantly, while the wife had a cold expression. It was as if she wanted to get away from this annoying photo session as soon as possible.
Yet based on the other photos, it could clearly be seen that the madam liked to take photos.
“It is so weird…” Tang Yu looked at the photo of the young master who had been cut out and she felt frightened. “Cutting your son out of the photo isn’t something that ordinary people can do…”
“What’s wrong? Are you looking at something interesting?”
Tang Yu was startled. It wasn’t known when she came, but the madam was standing behind them with a condescending smile.
Chi Nan frankly displayed the photo album in front of the madam. “I’m looking at photos and trying to recall my childhood.”
“Why don’t you have photos of me when I was a child?” Chi Nan asked again.
The smile on the madam’s face froze. “We lost many old photos when we moved and you hated taking photos as a child. Your father and I tried to take a few more photos of you, but you cried every time.”
Then she shrugged and smiled again.
Chi Nan knew he wouldn’t be able to find any more useful information from her so he just said in a soft voice, “It is a pity.”
The madam looked at him and then at Tang Yu. “You have been traveling for several days. Rest early. It isn’t too late to get up tomorrow morning and recall the past.”
Chi Nan obediently closed the photo album. “G-Good night.”
“Good night, Auntie.” Tang Yu was also cooperative.
The madam naturally took the photo album and the corners of her lips curled up. “Good night.”
The lights were turned off and the living room plunged into deep darkness. The rumbling of the refrigerator engine continued and the old ceiling fan was still turning.
After five minutes, Chi Nan’s eyes had completely adjusted to the darkness. He walked to the door and turned off the ceiling fan before lying down on the sofa that was the scene of the accident.
The sofa had been cleaned and the cracks in the leather didn’t smell of blood or death. Even so, Chi Nan moved the sofa to the side just to be safe.
In this way, the ceiling fan wouldn’t kill him even if it fell down.
10 minutes later, Chi Nan was lying on the sofa in a daze due to the rumbling of the refrigerator. He saw that he was only one step away from falling into a deep sleep and abruptly opened his eyes.
Drip, drip. The sound of water dripping in the bathroom made him tense.
It was like someone hadn’t tightened the faucet. In an old building with bad waterproofing, the water seeped from the ceiling and dripped onto the bathroom floor.
In addition, the fan he had turned off before going to bed was spinning again. The wind blew the newspaper on the coffee table to the ground.
Chi Nan shook his head, only to find that the sofa had unknowingly returned to its original position. It was stopped directly below the rapidly rotating fan.
There was an inexplicable sense of danger in Chi Nan’s heart that caused him to immediately sit up and leave the sofa.
In less than half a minute, there was a loud bang as the rapidly rotating fan blades fell straight down, piercing the pillow and sofa deeply. Countless cotton wool flew out of the torn leather cover and scattered on the sofa and wooden floor.
This was where Chi Nan had been sleeping half a minute ago. If he hadn’t left in time, his entire head might’ve been separated from his body by now.
It was just like his so-called ‘father’ lying in the freezer. This family was neatly organized.
Strangely enough, the loud sound of the ceiling fan falling didn’t alarm anyone in the apartment. The living room seemed to be in a vacuum as the noise emitted was completely absorbed. It wasn’t transmitted to the people in the other rooms.
Chi Nan was calmly thankful about just escaping from death and followed the sound of the water to the bathroom.
“Thank you.” His voice was low like he was talking to himself. He knew it was the sound of the water that had saved him—or it was the person who deliberately made the sound of the water.
The bathroom door was ajar. Chi Nan pushed it open and smelled the scent of shower gel, as if someone had just taken a bath in the bathtub.
However, the people in the apartment had already fallen asleep and no one would sneak into the bathroom to take a bath after dark
Chi Nan instinctively looked at the small white flowers by the mirror. In the evening, they still had some flower buds. Now they were fully blooming in the darkness and the petals were stained with water droplets, as if someone had deliberately used the water not long ago.
He stepped forward and sniffed. The small white flowers emitted a light fragrance.
He was just about to enter the bathroom when he heard the sound of footsteps from the freezer in the living room.
Chi Nan turned his head. He didn’t see any figure or ghost next to the freezer.
In addition, the footsteps were very strange. It was as if someone had accidentally stepped into a puddle of water. There was a feeling of dampness.
Chi Nan turned around and headed toward the freezer. The footsteps seemed to be playing hide and seek with him and immediately moved to the sofa.
Chi Nan wasn’t afraid or in a hurry. He patiently followed the footsteps in the dark.
They went from the bathroom to the living room, and from the living room to the kitchen. The other person was hiding, but deliberately making footsteps to attract his attention.
Finally, the footsteps led him out of the guest hall to the corridor. There was the sudden ‘dinging’ of the elevator that was under maintenance. In the darkness, the elevator doors slowly opened and the cold white light from the elevator spread through the corridor.
The elevator was empty, but the footsteps were walking toward the elevator.
“Are you inviting me to take the elevator somewhere?” Chi Nan asked calmly.
Naturally, the other person didn’t answer. He just made more urgent footsteps in the elevator as if urging Chi Nan to hurry up.
Chi Nan stood outside the doors and didn’t obediently enter. The elevator was patiently open and waiting, as if it wouldn’t give up until he went in.
Chi Nan knew that the owner of the footsteps didn’t want to kill him, or he wouldn’t have done so much to wake Chi Nan up to avoid the ceiling fan.
Chi Nan just wanted to make the other person anxious.
As the footsteps became more impatient, Chi Nan entered the elevator without hurrying.
The moment he stepped into the elevator, the doors behind him closed impatiently. The floor button on the left flickered for a moment before going out. Then the elevator slowly moved down without a floor being pressed.
At the same time, the female teacher’s voice came from the system.
[Chi Nan has played the character to complete the ‘hide and seek’ mission and found a close friend. Favorability is increased by 10. The accumulated favorability is now 30 points.]
Chi Nan smiled in his heart. Sure enough, the target of the favorability was this guy who had never appeared.
After around 5 minutes, the elevator steadily stopped. Chi Nan checked the floor button, but the elevator’s power seemed to be cut off.
The elevator could’ve stopped at any of the five floors, or it might’ve stopped in another empty space.
Chi Nan waited for two minutes, but the closed elevator doors didn’t mean to open.
Footsteps were heard outside the door.
“Brother, I’m locked in my room. Do you promise to help me?”
The other person seemed to be a small child who was lying outside the elevator doors to speak to Chi Nan. It was the voice of little You Yu in ‘You Yu’s Dream.’
“However, I’m locked in the elevator as well, unless you let me out first,” Chi Nan replied.
The child outside the elevator laughed. “There will be no problem as long as Brother promises me.”
Chi Nan knew this must be an important clue in the story and agreed after a moment of silence. Then he asked, “Who are you? Another member of this family?”
The other person laughed. “Brother, you need to find the answer to my identity yourself. It isn’t fun to tell you so quickly.”
“Okay.” Chi Nan obeyed the rules of the game.
“Brother, pinky promise me so you don’t regret it.”
“You have to get me out of the elevator before I can pinky promise.”
“No, I can see you. Raise your hand in the direction of the gap in the elevator doors and we can pinky promise in the air,” the other person said.
“Don’t you want to be seen by me?”
The child laughed even more happily. “No, I’m not yet ready to meet Brother. Brother, rest assured, I have already designed our reunion perfectly. You will like it.”
Chi Nan: “……” Sure enough, this was the role played by 229. It didn’t seem normal.
Even so, he made a motion toward the air according to his words.
“Pinky promise, hang myself, don’t change it for a hundred years.”
Chi Nan saw that the other person was serious, so he extended his hand toward the slit in the elevator doors.
“Brother, I like the way you cry. Remember, this is a key point.”
This clue was left as a reminder. Then the elevator doors slowly opened. The outside of the elevator was pitch black and desolate, and the child who had just spoken was gone.
The moment Chi Nan stepped out of the elevator, the light behind him disappeared. The space he was in was infinitely compressed and became smaller. The air was filled with the smell of camphor and aged wood.
Chi Nan went from strong light to darkness, so he couldn’t adapt for a moment. Then, relying on his sensitivity to darkness from when he was blind, he quickly determined that after getting out of the elevator, he came to a small space similar to the inside of a wardrobe.
The moment he moved slightly, the old wardrobe made a creaking sound like it would fall apart at any moment.
So the child just now was trapped in the wardrobe? Where was it in the apartment building? Why would the exit of the elevator be a wardrobe?
Was the story designer implying something?
Chi Nan tried to push the wardrobe door with his hand, but found he couldn’t push it open. The chain outside made a clanging sound with his movements. It seemed the child hadn’t lied. He was locked in from the outside.
Chi Nan was trying to open the wardrobe door when he suddenly heard a ‘click’ not far away. It was as if someone had opened a lock.
However, it wasn’t the lock of the wardrobe door, but the lock of the whole room.
Then, the door was pushed open and cautious footsteps gradually approached him.
Finally, the footsteps stopped outside the wardrobe.