Xiao Lou had played many escape room games and the ‘diary’ was the most common clue in this type of game. Many themed escape rooms would use a diary to tell the player what happened many years ago. They had to follow the clues in the diary to solve the puzzle. However, this was the first time he encountered a corpse in an escape game.
Xiao Lou glanced at the young girl on the bed and suggested helplessly, “I’ll do an autopsy while everyone else will look for clues in the room.”
The labyrinth had to be cleared in the one hour time limit. The difficulty was much higher than that of ordinary escape rooms.
In reality, multiplayer escape room games generally gave players three to five hours to challenge and the number of rooms usually didn’t exceed five. The little girl’s dream room was just the first room. If Ye Qi hadn’t understood the notes on the staves then everyone would still be there now, staring at the bloody handprints on all four walls with a headache.
Xiao Lou thought up to here and warned, “Everyone, hurry up. Don’t miss any clues.”
The team members started to take action. Some people looked through the closet, some looked through drawers and some on the balcony, bathroom and other places.
Xiao Lou stepped forward, removed the quilt and carefully examined the girl’s body. The little girl looked peaceful and her clothes were neat. It was obvious that she didn’t struggle before she died. There were no obvious scars on her body and no bruises on her neck. Judging from the postmortem lividity, the appearance of the face and the blue lips, it could be preliminarily determined that she died of poisoning.
Xiao Lou examined the body and determined, “She was poisoned. The time of death should be around three days ago.”
Yu Hanjiang approached the bed and looked down at the little girl’s body. “The first room was her dream and required us to sing a Christmas song to fulfill her wish and escape from the dreamland. Obviously, she was poisoned before she could spend Christmas with her parents. It can be inferred from her diary that she died on Christmas Eve.”
Xiao Lou wondered, “Who would do such a thing to a 10 year old child?”
Yu Hanjiang folded his arms and pondered on it for a moment. “It is likely that her parents are dead and the murderer didn’t want to keep anyone alive. Therefore, the little girl was also poisoned to death. We should check the medicine she has taken.”
Hearing this, Liu Qiao found two bottles of medicine from the little girl’s dressing table and handed them to Xiao Lou, “Look, Professor Xiao.”
Xiao Lou took it and read the name of the medicine. “This bottle is anti-fever medicine and should be for a cold. Lucia recently fell ill and her cold hadn’t improved. She took medicine every day. There is this medicine bottle so it is likely someone replaced the capsules. She was poisoned after she took it.”
Yu Hanjiang picked up Lucia’s diary and quickly flipped through it. “A person who can walk into her room and change her medicine must be someone Lucia doesn’t suspect and is very familiar with this villa. Her diary mentioned three key figures, namely the doctor, the nanny who took care of her and the driver who picked her up. All three are suspects.”
Xiao Lou added, “A lot of her parents’ friends came to the party on Christmas Eve. Is the murderer the doctor, the nanny, the driver or a friend attending the party? We must find her parents’ bodies as soon as possible before we can proceed to the next step.”
Long Sen walked to the bedroom door and pushed it hard. “The door can’t be opened. There is another code lock on the doctor and it is seven digits.”
Xiao Lou looked around and asked, “What clues did everyone find?”
Qu Wanyue came over. “I checked Lucia’s wardrobe and saw many pink princess dresses. I looked through the pockets of all the clothes and found nothing related to numbers.”
Liu Qiao continued, “Lucia collected many rag dolls. There are precisely seven but I don’t know if they have anything to do with the password.”
She held seven rag dolls and placed them on the bed in turn.
Xiao Lou took a closer look and found they were all classic characters from cartoons. There were two Mickey Mouses in different colors, one Donald Duck, one Snow White doll, one Spider-man, one Winnie the Pooh and the last one was the female protagonist from Frozen. He checked the dolls carefully. All the dolls were very new with a zipper on the back. He pulled it down and only found cotton filling. There were no other clues.
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “Do the seven rag dolls have anything to do with the seven digit password?”
Xiao Lou answered, “At present, we can’t see the connection. Search again.”
Mo Xuemin had found Lucia’s bag and opened it. He took out all the textbooks instead and found a pencil case. It contained seven things including a pencil, brushes that were red, yellow and blue, an eraser, a ballpoint pen and a ruler. It was seven again. How did pencils and erasers connect with numbers?
Xiao Lou frowned slightly. “We should take a look at things that are music-related. These dolls and pencil case are probably just distractions.”
The group searched Lucia’s room again. Suddenly, Ye Qi crouched down in front of a dresser. “There seems to be a compartment here.”
He gently tapped on the bottom drawer of the table and heard a hollow sound compared to the other other drawers. Yu Hanjiang immediately came over and pulled out the drawer. He found that this drawer was much shallower than the others and had a mezzanine partition in the middle.
He soon disassembled the partition and found a small and delicate box at the bottom of the drawer. The small black box looked like a piano when opened. There was a little princess the size of a thumb standing on it in a pink tutu. Her left arm was up and her right arm was stretched out in a dancing pose.
Ye Qi’s eyes brightened. “This is a music box!”
Yu Hanjiang had never played with a music box as a child so he handed the box over to Ye Qi. Ye Qi observed carefully and found the clockwork key on the bottom of the piano music box. He turned the knob slightly.
The little person started to spin and at the same time, the music box played a clear piano melody. Everyone fell silent at the same time and listened carefully. It was a very familiar melody. It was a children’s song that almost everyone could sing.
Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are…
There was the original English version as well… but no matter the version, the melody of the music was the same. The melody played by the music box was very clear and present.
Ye Qi listened carefully and quickly hummed the tune. “C major, 4/4 beat, six bars in total. It is do-do-so-so-la-la-so, fa-fa-mi-mi-re-re-do, so-so-fa-fa-mi-mi-re, so-so-fa-fa-mi-mi-re, do-do-so-so-la-la-so and fa-fa-mi-mi-re-re-do.”
Xiao Lou took out a pen and paper and wrote the corresponding number according to Ye Qi’s hummed melody.
1155665, 4433221, 5544332, 5544332, 1155665, 4433221.
Yu Hanjiang asked, “The password is seven digits but the entire piece has six bars for a total of 42 notes. Do you still use the same method of eliminating repetitions like before.”
Xiao Lou carefully scanned the recorded numbers. “No, this piece of music is missing a note.”
Ye Qi nodded in agreement. “Yes, the entire piece doesn’t have ti which corresponds to 7. If you use the superimposition and elimination method then only six digits would be left.”
According to the rules of eliminating duplicates, this melody would be 156432. There was no number 7 and they couldn’t get a seven digit password.
Ye Qi suggested, “It is missing a number. Perhaps we should add 7 directly at the end so the password is 1564327?”
Liu Qiao added, “Lucia has seven rag dolls, there are seven things in the pencil case and the password for the doll is seven digits. Will it be as Xiao Ye said and we only need to add 7 at the end?”
Xiao Lou thought it made sense. “Try it.”
Yu Hanjiang walked over and entered the password 1564327 into the electronic lock at the door. The moment he finished, a piercing alarm sound was heard. Immediately afterwards, countless rag dolls fell from above.
Xiao Lou, “…”
Being buried by rag dolls? He was a boy and his parents had never bought him a rag dog as a child. Today, he saw so many at once!
Everyone was caught off guard by the dolls. The rag dolls didn’t hurt when they fell and hit the body but this scene made everyone feel dumbfounded. Ye Qi couldn’t help complaining. “The ceiling is obviously sealed yet a bunch of dolls fell from the sky. This isn’t scientific at all.”
Beside him, Long Sen cursed. “F*k, the little bear just sat on my head!’
Shao Qingge didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “This is the punishment?”
Meanwhile, there was a Donald Duck doll hanging from Yu Hanjiang’s head and dozens of teddy bears around him. Yu Hanjiang blankly stripped away the surrounding dolls and turned to help Xiao Lou clean up the dolls.
Seeing Xiao Lou’s dumbfounded face emerge from the pile of rag dolls, Yu Hanjiang couldn’t help smiling slightly. “This punishment is quite unique.”
Xiao Lou looked embarrassed as he pushed away a Mickey Mouse doll lying on his face. “The music labyrinth we are in is likely to be all dreams so these unreasonable scenes will appear. We are now in Lucia’s bedroom and the child’s way of punishing us is to use dolls to bury us. If we go to another room, the punishment might be more dangerous.”
At this point, the other team members also climbed out of the doll pile.
Ye Qi quickly kicked the dolls into a corner and cleared an area where he could stand. He helplessly gazed at the dolls strewn all over the room. “The password is wrong. It seems that it isn’t the elimination method this time?”
The elimination method plus the number 7 was the wrong password. Xiao Lou touched his chin thoughtfully and looked again at the numbers on the paper.
1155665, 4433221, 5544332, 5544332, 1155665, 4433221.
The first and fifth sections of this nursery rhyme, the second and sixth sections and the third and fourth sections were the same. During Ye Qi’s humming, the third and fourth sections repeated parts continuously. This was kind of like an ‘emphasis’ on singing twice in a row.
The first room used the superimposition elimination method. Perhaps the second second room was the repeated ‘emphasis’ section?
Xiao Lou suggested, “Try 5544332.”
The team members heard this and took a defensive posture out of fear that something would fall from the ceiling if the wrong password was entered. Yu Hanjiang stepped forward and quickly entered 5544332.
However, this time there was no punishment. The moment the password was completely entered, the melody of the music box stopped and the door of the little girl’s bedroom opened with a creak. The sound of the door opening was unusually clear and there seemed to be an echo.
It was pitch black outside the door. The light from the girl’s room warmly illuminated a fan-shaped area of the corridor. The team members exchanged looks. Yu Hanjiang took the lead to walk out of the room and Xiao Lou was right behind him. The other members immediately followed.
There was an empty corridor where the lights were turned off. As everyone walked out the door, something suddenly rushed past their feet. In the darkness, a living creature suddenly rushed past their feet and everyone was frightened. They instantly took out the Night Pearls to light up the corridor.
Yu Hanjiang looked calmly at a corner of the corridor. “It is a cat.”
As if to prove it, the thing in the corner turned around. Its eyes were a beautiful gold and the color of its fur was as white as snow. It was the cat mentioned in Lucia’s diary that she named Tom. The white cat looked at everyone, meowed and disappeared at the end of the corridor.
Xiao Lou glanced at the direction it disappeared in and was thoughtful. “If Lucia’s family had an accident on Christmas Eve, it is likely that this cat is the only survivor. Perhaps it is here to help us uncover the truth.”
Yu Hanjiang agreed. “Go, follow her and see.”
They all followed the cat around the corner and a door appeared in front of them. Yu Hanjiang walked over and opened the door. It was a piano room. There was a huge grand piano in the middle of the room and no other furniture.
A woman was sitting at the piano. She wore a beautiful dress and had curly blonde hair all the way down to her waist. Her hands were on the keys of the piano like she was about to play a tune. However, there was a dazzling burst of blood on her dress. A sharp knife had pierced her chest from the front!
Proofreader: Fictional Reality