Mosaic School (20)
The crack in the wardrobe door meant Chi Nan could see outside a bit. It was just that it was too dark, so he couldn’t see who was approaching.
They both held their breaths across the thin wardrobe door, and Chi Nan could even hear the other person’s heart beating faster and faster due to nervousness. It was so careful that it definitely couldn’t be the maid or madam. The only possibility was—
“Who…? Is there someone in the wardrobe?” It was Tang Yu’s trembling voice as Chi Nan had expected.
Chi Nan relaxed his shoulders against the wall of the closet. “It is me.”
“Chi Nan?” Tang Yu exclaimed with disbelief. “But…how did you get into the wardrobe… And it is locked?”
The surprised Tang Yu didn’t forget to help Chi Nan open the lock on the wardrobe.
The moment the door lock came off, the two of them received a system notification.
[Congratulations to the two students for freeing an important character in the story. 20 favorability is gained and the accumulated favorability is now 50 points.]
Tang Yu’s face was full of confusion. “What is going on? Who is the important character?”
Chi Nan quickly jumped out of the wardrobe and briefly told Tang Yu about the series of strange events that took place after the lights went out in the living room.
Tang Yu felt frightened when she heard this. “I would probably be scared silly on the spot if I encountered this type of thing. I might not have been able to follow the clues…”
“Why did you think about coming to this room?” After coming out of the wardrobe, Chi Nan found that he was currently in the spare room locked by the madam.
Tang Yu explained, “My room is next to this room and I have been hearing the laughter of a child at night. I thought about how Mother Chen specifically told us today that the madam hates children. All the tenants in this apartment building are unable to get pregnant or raise children. It is impossible to have a child laughing in the middle of the night…”
“Then I listened carefully and found that the laughing was coming from this room. I happen to understand a bit of lockpicking.” Tang Yu pursed her lips and showed Chi Nan the homemade unlocking wire item that she was holding. “I went to the living room, only to find you weren’t there. Therefore, I entered without permission to find clues.”
This reminded Chi Nan of another friend who was good at lock picking, Hei Cha.
Tang Yu continued speaking, “I entered and heard a noise from the wardrobe. To be honest, I was shocked, but there was no way to retreat after coming here…”
“Let’s hurry to find clues in the room before the madam finds out,” Chi Nan suggested. They didn’t have any equipment that could be used for lightning and didn’t dare turn on the lights. Fortunately, there was a full moon hanging outside the window of this room that shone brightly. The moonlight clearly illuminated the room.
There was a lot of junk piled up in the room, so much that there was no way to put anything else on top of some of the piles. In order to prevent dust, the junk was covered with a layer of white cloth.
Chi Nan lifted the white cloth and found that most of the junk was children’s toys with a sense of age. There were dilapidated small basketball hoops, building blocks, dinosaur models… the strangest thing was that some of these boys’ toys were in pairs, regardless of type and shape. Others were just a single one.
For example, the piggy bank, diving goggles, and observation glasses all appeared in pairs, while the Trojan horse toy, small bicycle, skateboard, and diving suit was just a single one.
They found a small wooden box with four glass beads in it. Two were a cold and gloomy green and two were an obsidian-like black. Chi Nan held the four glass beads in his hand and thought of something.
It wasn’t a coincidence that the madam was afraid of green-eyed creatures.
Tang Yu wondered, “Who would buy identical toys for a child?”
Chi Nan was silent for a moment. “My character is likely to have a twin brother.”
Based on the way he saw the exact same ‘self’ in the mirror previously, Chi Nan could only guess that the character played by 229 was his twin brother.
He guessed that the acting class task was to find his mysterious brother and increase the favorability based on his various bad tastes.
Tang Yu nodded thoughtfully after hearing this. “It is true that many families will buy the same items for twins. Then why are some of them…”
She thought about it and couldn’t sum up the doubts in her heart. She could only shake her head. “The existence of twins can indeed explain it. Then we have to find this ‘brother’ next.”
Chi Nan nodded in agreement. It seemed like a story that 229 would design.
The two of them quickly covered the piles in white cloth again to restore the room to its original state. They had just finished cleaning up. Before they could even straighten their waists, the sound of the madam’s high heels outside the door was heard. She was getting closer to the room.
The sound of the high-heeled shoes stopped at the door in the blink of an eye. “Who is inside?”
Chi Nan and Tang Yu immediately stopped moving. They held their breath and made eye contact. Then they quickly determined their next move.
They moved on tiptoe and took advantage of the time when the madam was looking for a key to open the door to lock the wardrobe again. Chi Nan picked a corner furthest from the wardrobe and hunched over among the miscellaneous objects to avoid the madam’s gaze.
They had just covered themselves with the white cloth when there was the creak of the door opening, followed by a popping sound. The madam turned on the lights and the light instantly filled the room.
“Nan Nan, did you come in?” The madam’s voice was gentle and patient, but the boning knife in her hand glowed coldly in the light. It was so sharp that it made people feel terrified. “This isn’t a place where you should come. It is a punishment room where bad children stay.”
She looked around with the knife in her hand. Tang Yu froze and held her breath, secretly praying in her heart that this terrible woman wouldn’t find them.
It turned out that Chi Nan’s thoughts were correct. The madam moved straight to the wardrobe with the knife. She looked it up and down, and her eyes finally stopped on the iron lock that had been moved by Tang Yu. The chill in her eyes gradually grew. “Is it the bad boy who ran out? That isn’t okay.. No, that can’t be done…”
The madam took out the key to open the iron lock, but coincidentally, a pair of dolls placed directly above Chi Nan fell from a high place. A doll’s neck was broken during the fall and the round head rolled to the madam’s feet.
“Nan Nan, are you alone? What are you doing there?” The madam turned around and walked toward Chi Nan with the knife. “I will count to three. Take the initiative to stand up, okay? You will be punished if I find you.”
The madam’s footsteps were getting closer. Tang Yu trembled and she covered her mouth tightly with her hands to prevent herself from screaming.
“3, 2…” The madam counted down while knocking on the wall next to her with the boning knife in her hand. It made a frightening sound.
Through the gap in the white cloth, Chi Nan could see the shadow cast by the madam on the ground, extending to their feet like a ghost.
He thought for a moment and made a ‘shh’ gesture to Tang Yu. He was just about to stand up and surrender when there was the sound of footsteps coming from the dark living room. It was exactly the same as the footsteps that led Chi Nan to the elevator previously.
The madam stopped moving and her attention was quickly drawn to the footsteps. “W-Who is there?”
She raised the knife to her chest in a panic. She gave up on opening the wardrobe and turned toward the living room. “Is it you… Did you come out? Who allowed you to come out without permission? You bad boy!”
“Bad boy… Demon…!” She gritted her teeth and spoke threatening words, but her voice was shaking with fear.
It was as if the owner of the footsteps was the most terrifying being. She tried to bluff to repel it, but her legs softened from the overwhelming terror.
Soon, the crazy madam gave up the struggle. She ran out of the room with the knife and even forgot to close the door of the room. She rushed to her room and locked the door to completely seal herself in.
“I can’t be found by him… I can’t let him find me…” The volume of the madam’s voice gradually decreased and finally turned into a regular snoring sound.
The two people hiding in the clutter didn’t dare delay for even a moment. They came out of the room and sighed with relief.
“It turns out that the madam has a problem with sleepwalking. It is good. She shouldn’t remember what happened at night after she wakes up.” Tang Yu wiped the sweat on her forehead. “Based on the way she was holding the knife, I now wonder if her husband’s head was cut off by her.”
Chi Nan looked at the fan on the ceiling of the living room. He didn’t know when it happened, but the fan that had just fallen down was now back in its original position. It spun in the humid and hot night.
Early the next morning, the maid prepared a rich breakfast. “Young Master, Miss Tang, breakfast is ready. You can go to the dining room to enjoy it.”
“What about the madam?” Tang Yu noticed that the madam had not come out of her room.
The maid replied stiffly, “The madam is unwell and wants to rest for a while. Young Master, Miss Tang, you don’t have to wait for her.”
“I understand. Thank you.” Chi Nan saw there was nothing suspicious about the table of food, so he sat down and ate slowly.
Tang Yu saw he was eating in a relaxed manner and moved her chopsticks. “Chi Nan, what are your plans for the future?”
Chi Nan thought about it before turning to ask the maid, “Mother Chen, can we move freely during the day?”
The maid looked at him intently. “Young Master, what are you talking about? This apartment is Young Master’s house. You can naturally go anywhere.”
She paused before adding, “As long as you don’t leave Building 229. After all, Gongcheng is very chaotic right now and it is easy to encounter danger if you go out.”
Chi Nan nodded and asked again, “Where in this building can I take photos?”
The maid’s expression finally changed slightly and her eyes were full of doubt as she looked at Chi Nan. “Young Master, why do you suddenly want to take photos?”
Tang Yu was very smart and immediately replied with a gentle smile, “I am the one who pestered Chi Nan and said I wanted to take a photo together in his hometown to keep as a souvenir.”
“Is that so? I was wondering about the reason since Young Master obviously doesn’t like taking photos…” the maid muttered to herself.
Chi Nan and Tang Yu glanced at each other. It turned out that the madam telling them that the young master disliked taking photos wasn’t just a perfunctory lie.
Tang Yu didn’t know Chi Nan’s plan, but she did her best to cooperate. She pretended to be apologetic as she smiled. “I have the habit of taking photos wherever I go. Chi Nan tries to satisfy me.”
“It seems that Young Master really loves Miss Tang.” The maid gave Tang Yu a congratulatory smile. “The boss of the female clothing store on the first floor likes to take photos of people. You can go to her to try.”
“Thank you!” Tang Yu smiled like a little girl who got her wish. Her vivid expression could definitely fool anyone.
After breakfast, the two of them went directly to the women’s clothing store on the first floor.
The two owners of the female clothing store were the two cohabiting ladies on the second floor of the apartment building. One of them with curly hair extinguished the cigarette in her hand and smiled in a friendly manner at the two of them. “We have many fashionable dresses in the store that are suitable for Miss Tang. Do you need my help for any recommendations?”
In addition to studying, Tang Yu was the best at dressing up. At this moment, she smiled modestly. “If you can, that would be better.”
Tang Yu and the curly-haired woman moved through the various shelves to select clothes. Chi Nan sat quietly on the sofa of the clothing store and looked like a bored gentleman waiting for his girlfriend to shop.
He recalled his green-eyed ‘self’ in the mirror. What did the mirror image want to express to him? What did the madam do to the person in the mirror that frightened her so much she didn’t dare to look directly at green-eyed creatures?
The madam was by no means a positive character. Chi Nan found that in 229’s dreams, the role of the mother was always creepy.
Chi Nan thought of this and an absurd idea flashed in his mind. Before he could catch it, Tang Yu’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Chi Nan, we’ve selected them.” Tang Yu held several wrapped clothes and winked at him.
Chi Nan understood. Then Tang Yu turned to the female boss. “Sister Tao, can you please help my boyfriend and I take a photo? There is no need to go far. We can just stay in the store.”
“It is a minor thing.” Sister Tao’s personality was cheerful and she didn’t talk too much. She directly went to the storage room to take out a Polaroid. Then she smiled and looked at the place where a bouquet of flowers was placed by the store door. “I think the background here is quite suitable. What do you think?”
“Yes, thank you Sister Tao!” Tang Yu’s mouth was very sweet when she wasn’t shy.
During the whole process, Chi Nan just cooperated to stand beside Tang Yu. He aimed his face at the camera and slightly relaxed his facial muscles as they heard the sound of the shutter being pressed.
At almost the same moment that the photo came out, the female teacher’s voice was heard.
[Congratulations to the two students for completing the important favorability plotline. 5 favorability is gained and the accumulated favorability is now 55 points.]
Sister Tao handed the photo to Tang Yu. “Are you satisfied? If you’re not satisfied, then I can help you take another one.”
Tang Yu looked very beautiful in the photo and she couldn’t help nodding. “Thank you so much, Sister Tao. I like it.”
Sister Tao smiled. “Don’t be so polite. If there is a chance in the future, I would like to invite you to come to the store as a model.”
Chi Nan walked to the window and held up the photo to look at it in the sunlight. Then Tang Yu asked him, “Can you tell me why you suddenly wanted to take a photo?”
“I was a bit curious about what would happen if I took a photo.” Judging from yesterday’s photo album, a photo might be an existence that could reveal clues.
Tang Yu nodded thoughtfully. “Hearing you say this, I remember that photos in ghost stories are important ways to find the dead. Many things that living people can’t see will be captured by the camera.”
“But…” She looked at the newly taken photo with Chi Nan. “I don’t seem to see anything in this photo.”
She had just finished speaking when an old voice was heard behind her.
“Can you show me the photo?”
Chi Nan turned around and saw an old woman in a wheelchair. Her eyes were a pale gray, like two chaotic glass beads embedded in her face. Behind the old woman was a well-dressed man who looked like a butler, who was bowing to the two of them in a gentlemanly manner.
Sister Tao was very familiar with the old woman. “This is Ms. Grace, who lives on the third floor of this apartment building.”
The old lady said slowly but clearly, “My eyes might be almost unable to see this world, but there are advantages and disadvantages to being blind. It allows me to avoid the interference of the world so I can see the other world more clearly.”
She paused before smiling very kindly. “If the two of you don’t mind, I can tell you what is in the photo.”
“Thank you.” Chi Nan politely handed the photo to the old lady. “Please help us see how many people are in the photo.”
His words were enough to cool the room.
The old lady’s fingers brushed over the photo. The moment her fingertips stopped on Chi Nan’s left shoulder in the photo, the wrinkles on her face started to tighten and tremble. Her dignified expression was instantly replaced with incredulity.
She said in a trembling voice, “There are two people standing in the photo, but I can feel three souls.”
Tang Yu shuddered, but Chi Nan remained calm. “Has the extra soul always been with me? Can you tell me his identity?”
Chi Nan already had a guess, but he still wanted to confirm it.
The old lady slowly raised her finger and pointed to Chi Nan’s left shoulder. “He is there.”
Tang Yu was startled by her behavior and let out an ‘ah’ sound. “Do you mean that the soul is riding on Chi Nan’s shoulder?”
Tang Yu had seen a famous ghost movie in the past. The evil spirit in it liked to ride on the shoulders of the protagonist, and even made the protagonist think that he had a cervical vertebrae problem. Therefore, she had such a guess.
The old lady firmly shook her head and kept pointing at Chi Nan’s shoulder. “No, he grew up here.”
Tang Yu was confused. “What do you mean…?”
The old lady looked at Chi Nan with eyes that were like gray glass beads. “This soul was born and grew up with you. He is part of your body.”