The group heard Xiao Lou’s words and examined the wall together. They carefully observed the arrangement and distribution of the bloody handprints.
The messy array of bloody handprints covered the entire wall and they couldn’t see any clues for a long time. They weren’t numbers or images. What did these handprints mean? In order to better observe the layout of these bloody handprints, Xiao Lou took a few steps back. He leaned against the wall behind him and observed the handprints on the front wall at the furthest distance.
Gradually, he found that the bloody handprints on the wall had different shades. There were a lot of lighter handprints and after removing the interference of these light colored handprints, he could find that the darker handprints were arranged in five straight lines. Some of the handprints moved between these straight lines to form notes. Counting the straight lines carefully from top to bottom, there were exactly five.
At the same time, Ye Qi called out excitedly. “I understand, this is a music staff! The light colored handprints are just distractions. You can ignore them and only look at the deepest colored handprints. He took a step forward and pointed at one of the walls. “These bloody handprints make up the five lines of the staff and the handprints in the middle are connected in the shape of a note. This one represents the ‘mi’ sound in the C key.”
Their teammates, “……”
Staves were drawn on the four walls with bloody handprints. It was worthy of the A of Diamonds.
Xiao Lou glanced at Ye Qi with relief. “Fortunately, there is Xiao Ye. Otherwise, we would be eliminated in this music secret room.”
Yu Hanjiang seriously nodded. “I don’t understand staves so I will leave it to Xiao Ye.”
Long Sen, Old Mo and Shao Qingge exchanged looks and also said they couldn’t understand.
Qu Wanyue had been dancing since elementary school and she also dabbled in music. She might not be as professional as Ye Qi but she could understand simple staves. She listened to Ye Qi’s words, turned to examine the other walls and agreed. “Excluding the light colored fingerprints, the dark ones are indeed musical notation. The notes on the left wall are so, mi, re, do and la.”
Ye Qi’s eyes swept over the remaining three walls. “The notes on the other three walls are la, fa, mi, ti, so, so, fa, re, mi and so, mi, re, do, so…”
He connected the notes of the four walls, adjusted the order and sang softly.
Then Ye Qi’s eyes lit up. “This is the score for a Christmas song!”
So, mi, re, do, so.
So, mi, re, do, la.
La, fa, mi, re, ti.
So, so, fa, re, mi.
It was a classic Christmas song melody.
Xiao Lou couldn’t read the staves but he could hear the Christmas song when Ye Qi hummed it. Xiao Lou became puzzled. “We can convert the notes of the staves into the number it represents. Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti represents 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively. The code of the wooden box is seven numbers while the melody of the Christmas song is 20 notes.”
The notes of the Christmas song were changed into numbers.
53215, 53216, 64327, 55423.
Ye Qi scratched his head in a puzzled manner. “There are 20 numbers. How do we pick our seven numbers to form a password?”
Xiao Lou thought about it carefully. “We have to pick 7 numbers out of 20. It is likely that the rule of ‘superimposition’ is used. Stack the four sets of numbers together and eliminate a number once it appears again. This will leave a final number without any repetitions. Then the order of these four sets of numbers after superimposition is 5321647.”
Yu Hanjiang was convinced by Xiao Lou’s judgment and simply said, “Try it.”
He turned the password lock of the old wooden box to ‘5321647’. There was a clicking sound and the box was successfully opened! The team members had admiration in their eyes as they watched Xiao Lou. Before anyone had time to speak, they heard the familiar Christmas song melody in their ears.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way，
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh…
In the confined dim space, music suddenly played and startled them. Ye Qi raised his head and looked for the speakers. After looking around, he couldn’t find them. He had no choice but to say, “Isn’t it frightening to suddenly play music? A of Diamonds has been affected by the other keepers.”
Xiao Lou stated, “It seems that this secret room has a Christmas theme. We should look at the clue in the box first.”
Inside the wooden box was a yellowing hardcover leather diary bound with red thread and a beautiful bow tied in front. Yu Hanjiang untied the red thread and opened the book. The first page read, “Lucia’s diary.”
The handwriting was crooked and should belong to a child.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other. Yu Hanjiang opened the diary while Xiao Lou used the Night Pearl to illuminate it. Yu Hanjiang read the diary aloud in a low voice so that his teammates could hear the information.
“November 11th, sunny.
Today, my parents took me to move to a new home. Our new home is beautiful. It is a super big five storey villa. I like it here. My mother gave me a diary. I decided to record our family’s life in this book from today.”
“November 15th, sunny.
Today, I went to a new school. Some students said there are ghosts in the villa we live in. They will float around the villa in the middle of the night. Last month, all the people living in the villa were killed by a ghost. Since people were killed, the owner was anxious to sell it. I’m a bit scared. Did ghosts really kill people? My mother said those rumors can’t be believed but how can there be a ghost?”
“November 20th, sunny.
I’ve been living in my new home for a week and haven’t heard any strange noises. I also didn’t see anything floating outside the window in the middle of the night. They must be jealous that I am living in a big villa!”
“November 21st, gloomy.
My mother hired a nanny to take care of me today. Her name is Ida. She has blond curly hair and her skin is very white. Dad also hired a driver to take me to school. Uncle Farrell has a long white beard and looks like Santa Claus.
“November 23rd, rain.
It was raining heavily and my mother brought a cat back from the roadside. It was wet all over and looked pitiful. We decided to adopt it and called it Tom. Oh, she doesn’t look like the cat in the cartoon Tom and Jerry. The Tom in my family is very white after taking a bath and is very beautiful.”
“December 1st, clear.
Tom and I are getting along happily. She is my best friend. I personally drew a picture for her. She is super cute.”
“December 17th, heavy rain.
Today, my mother and I took Tom to the pet hospital for grooming. Tom’s fur was too long so I wanted to cut it and buy her a beautiful set of clothes. As a result, it suddenly rained. I caught a cold from the rain and my nose is runny. It is so uncomfortable.
“December 18th, cloudy.
My cold isn’t better. My head is cloudy and I sleep all day. There is no time to play with Tom.
My mother called the school to take three days off for me to rest at home. Great, I finally don’t have to see those annoying male classmates. They always play pranks and put bugs in my schoolbag.
“December 20th, cloudy.
This afternoon, I started to have a fever again. My mother invited a private doctor to give me an IV. I don’t like IVs. They are too painful.
“December 24th, heavy rain.
It is Christmas Eve and several people came to the house today. They are friends of my parents and a party was held on the first floor.
Adults are really annoying. They are so noisy and keep drinking. Dad will definitely get drunk.
My cold isn’t better and I feel sleepy after taking medicine. I have decided to sleep this Christmas Eve and hope my illness will be better when I wake up tomorrow. During this time, my parents are too busy to accompany me and they refused to let me participate in the Christmas Eve party, saying that I can’t go out with a cold or my condition will be worse. These are all excuses. They just don’t want a child to get in the way.
Tomorrow is Christmas. Mom and Dad must sing Christmas songs, wish me a Merry Christmas and buy me lots of gifts. Then I will forgive them.
It is Tom who treats me the best. She always accompanies me.
I am going to sleep.”
Yu Hanjiang flipped to the back but found that all the pages later were blank. He glanced at Xiao Lou. “The diary is written up to here and there are no more entries. Something must’ve happened to the family.”
Xiao Lou nodded in agreement. Based on the diary of the little girl Lucia, it can be inferred that the music labyrinth we are exploring this time is probably the five storey villa where her family lives.” The villa was turned into a labyrinth. If there were no obstacles then it was naturally easy to find the exit.
However, A of Diamonds definitely wouldn’t be so kind as to set up a villa where they could easily find the exit. Based on the clues known so far, every room in the villa might be equipped with puzzles and mechanisms. In addition, a five floor building wasn’t a flat labyrinth but a 3D one. Perhaps after solving a puzzle on the fourth floor, they would be directly transmitted to a room on the second floor. This would create a sense of spatial confusion.
The exit must definitely be on the first floor but the rooms they needed to move through to reach the exit and the right order were still unknown. This required everyone to explore together. In fact, this labyrinth was very similar to the escape rooms in reality.
Old Mo was an expert when it came to space. Xiao Lou looked at him and told him, “Old Mo, this time it is a five storey 3D labyrinth. Make sure to draw a picture of every room we enter and whether we go up or down. Otherwise, we will become dizzy.”
Mo Xuemin immediately took out a pen and paper and nodded. “Understood. In a normal villa, the bedrooms will be on the second floor. At present, there are only lights in this room. It is probably a separate storage room and the floor number isn’t known yet.”
He paused before asking, “Why is the little girl’s diary in the storage room?”
Xiao Lou couldn’t explain this. “We should go to a few more rooms to figure out the layout of the villa.”
Ye Qi wondered, “The box containing the diary has been opened. Where is the door of this room?”
The team heard this and couldn’t help looking at each other. The walls of this room were full of bloody handprints, the melody of the Christmas song played in their ears and a little girl’s diary was left in the wooden box. Where was the door? Shouldn’t they be given a door to go out of?
Everyone looked around but didn’t find any hidden doors.
Xiao Lou read the diary again. “The clue might be in the diary. The little girl’s last entry is on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow is Christmas and she asked her parents to personally sing Christmas songs for her so she can forgive them…”
Xiao Lou spoke trailed off and glanced at Ye Qi. “Xiao Ye, try singing the Christmas song.”
Ye Qi had a complicated expression. “Professor Xiao, are you sure I should try singing to open the door?”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Try it. In any case, there is no other method. This sentence in the diary shouldn’t be useless.
Ye Qi coughed, cleared his throat and started to sing the Christmas song following the melody being played.
The girl in the diary had an English name so this secret room should have a Western background. Therefore, Ye Qi sang the English version of the Christmas song. He sang really well and his voice was clean and clear.
Strangely, as he sang, a small colored light abruptly lit up at the top of the room. Every time Ye Qi sang a word, there would be one more light and it extended along the wall.
By the time the song finished, colorful lights surrounded the entire room. A huge Christmas tree appeared in the middle and the room was filled with colorful lights. The Christmas tree had stockings for gifts hanging from it and the entire scene was like a dream.
Then something unexpected happened. The four walls in front of them suddenly disappeared and everyone appeared in a pink bedroom.
The bloody handprints, the Christmas song melody that had been playing and the colored lights and Christmas tree were all gone. Everyone seemed to have woken up from a dream and returned to reality.
This was a large bedroom with curtains, a bed and a wardrobe. It was in a cute pink that girls liked.
Ye Qi stared blankly at the room in front of him. “Is it really a voice control mechanism? Singing to unlock it is weird…”
Before he finished his words, he heard Yu Hanjiang’s solemn voice, “Look at the bed.”
Everyone followed Yu Hanjiang’s words and saw a little girl in a dress lying quietly on the pink princess bed. She was covered with a quilt and only her head was exposed. The little girl had a delicate appearance and long, blonde curly hair. She looked like a beautiful doll sleeping peacefully.
Unfortunately, her face was as pale as paper. There was obvious postmortem lividity.
Xiao Lou’s expression changed slightly. “She must be Lucia. She is dead.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “So we were trapped in her dying… dream just now?”
A dream made sense. Otherwise, how could there be so many weird things in the room before a Christmas tree finally appeared?
Were those bloody handprints her struggle in her dreams?
The staves with bloody handprints drawn on the wall was a Christmas song. Before she died, her biggest wish was for her parents to sing Christmas songs to her and for them to spend Christmas with her. Unfortunately, her wish didn’t come true.
Ye Qi remembered the scene when he saw the Christmas song just now and couldn’t help sighing emotionally. “The little girl who died was very innocent. This secret room seems to involve solving the mystery of the family’s death in order to find the right way out. I don’t believe in ghosts killing people. There must be a murderer.”
Shao Qingge didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. “Professor Xiao, should we find the mechanisms first or do the autopsy first?”
Proofreader: Fictional Reality