The system sent Bai Liu the first task but his focus wasn’t on it. He fell into deep thought at the words ‘avoid being incubated.’
…Incubated? Could these statues incubate him?
Bai Liu silently noted it down and turned around to see a mermaid statue standing on the opposite side of the bed. Bai Liu saw that it was the largest merfolk statue in the room. This mermaid statue was beautiful and looked mournful as she held a tall and clean mirror in her hands. The graceful hands of the mermaid statue were the supports of this dressing mirror.
This was the only merfolk statue in the room not looking at Bai Liu. She was instead looking sadly at the mirror. In the mirror, Bai Liu was reflected and the mermaid embraced the mirror with both hands. This made it seem like she was embracing Bai Liu in the mirror and he was a bit uncomfortable.
The eyes of the mermaid statue were on the mirror. The eyebrows were drawn together, the corners of the eyes were drooping and the fish tail was weakly spread out on the ground. It was as if she was crying for the person in the mirror with a realistic expression of pity. Bai Liu looked at the mirror and the ‘self’ inside the mirror showed an eerie smile.
Bai Liu covered the mirror with a white cloth.
This degree of horror wasn’t effective for Bai Liu. He created horror games in the real world and often stayed up until two or three in the morning alone to conceive various horror scenes. Bai Liu was almost numb to the routine of the person in the mirror smiling and he didn’t feel anything.
It seemed the tourists Jeff mentioned who disappeared silently in the hotel and were never found were probably incubated by these merfolk statues. Bai Liu didn’t know exactly what ‘incubation’ was but he didn’t think it would be a good thing.
In order to be cautious, Bai Liu covered all the merfolk statues with white sheets in the hotel room, including the huge mirror. It blocked these weird gazes. It might not necessarily be useful but it was better than nothing.
Most importantly, there were so many merfolk watching him that he couldn’t sleep.
As he was covering the mirror, he ended up touching the fishtail of the mermaid statue. The fishtail wasn’t smooth and silky like marble. Rather, it was sticky and slippery like an actual fish. Bai Liu even felt the scales on the fishtail of the statue.
Bai Liu paused. After touching the statue, he smelled his fingers. There was a strong fishy smell. Yet when he approached the mermaid statue and smelled it, there wasn’t a fishy smell at all. There was only the incense of the hotel room. It might be a smell from inside the car.
…It was more likely that Bai Liu himself was exuding the fishy smell. He thought about how the merfolk statues ‘incubated’ tourists and felt a bit uncomfortable.
What could be hatched from a merfolk statue? It was probably some type of disgusting-looking fish. The word ‘incubation’ made Bai Liu think of a movie called ‘Mermaid in the Sewer.’ He had watched it two or three times for the purpose of drawing materials. Since then, he never had any fantasies about mermaid creatures.
Due to the long car journey, Bai Liu was already tired. He simply cleaned himself and fell asleep on the bed. His physical strength was consumed and he urgently needed to sleep for some time to supplement it.
In the middle of the night, Bai Liu was awakened by a dull dragging sound.
The moment he opened his eyes, he saw that the white cloth covering these merfolk had slipped and only part of them were hanging from the statues. Some of the statues covered by white cloth had only one eye exposed and their expressions seemed to have changed from divine compassion to unwillingness and spitefulness. They stared at Bai Liu motionlessly, seeming to blame him for covering them with the white cloth.
Bai Liu found that these statues seemed to be closer than before he went to bed. It was like a group of people about to gather at the table for a meal. They raised their hands while slowly gathering by his bed.
In particular, the mermaid statue holding the full-length mirror. Once Bai Liu woke up in a daze, he saw that his feet were almost touching the mirror. The huge mirror had moved toward the bed.
Bai Liu saw himself reflected in the mirror the moment he sat up.
The Bai Liu in the mirror had skin that was as pale as a rock, there were no blacks in the eyes and his eyes were surrounded by marble, cobweb-like patterns. ‘He’ smiled stiffly at the Bai Liu outside the mirror before becoming normal again. It was as if it was just Bai Liu’s illusion.
Bai Liu quietly stood up from the bed and covered these merfolk statues with the white cloth without changing expressions.
In order to prevent them from breaking free, Bai Liu also tied them tightly with rope. Then he wrapped the smaller merfolk statues in white cloth, threw them into the closet and locked it. The large statues were pushed into the bathroom and locked. His movements were as quick as a skilled kidnapper.
These things seemed to be subject to certain movement restrictions. Before Bai Liu fell asleep, these things couldn’t move. It seemed that even after he was sleeping, they needed to break free of the white cloth and see Bai Liu to move toward him. Some of the little merfolk statues covered with the white cloth didn’t take them off. They scurried around in all directions under the white cloth and didn’t gather at the bed.
Bai Liu figured out this rule and immediately increased the limit to the maximum.
Just as he finished this and clapped his hands to go to sleep, Bai Liu heard the sound of the door next to him opening and closing, as well as creeping footsteps.
Bai Liu couldn’t help pausing as he was going to lay back down on the bed. The four rooms he booked were all adjacent and Andre and Jeff lived in the rooms to his left and right. In order to protect (?) himself, Bai Liu deliberately arranged Lucy in the furthest room from him.
The sound of the door opening and closing came from the left which was Jeff’s room. Bai Liu got up from the bed and looked out into the corridor through the peephole. He saw Jeff standing in the corridor, looking around. After confirming there was no one in the corridor, he sneaked down the stairs of the hotel.
Bai Liu frowned. Jeff wasn’t sleeping in the middle of the night?
Bai Lu was going to open the door and take a look when he saw the doorknob of the door Jeff had closed start to slowly turn again. It seemed that someone else was going to follow Jeff out of his room.
The hotel room was for one person. Jeff was the only one in his room. Lucy wouldn’t go to Jeff’s room in the middle of the night and Andre had a bad relationship with Jeff. Bai Liu was in his own room. So who was this person coming out of Jeff’s room?
Bai Liu’s heart thumped as he realized something and he slightly moved away from the face that was close to the peephole. It wasn’t a man coming out of Jeff’s room!
Jeff’s door knob turned with a click and finally opened slowly from inside. Bai Liu heard that same dull dragging sound that occurred in his half asleep, half awake state. It was as if something was kneeling on the ground and being dragged.
However, Bai Liu knew how the sound came about this time.
A tall merfolk statue came out of Jeff’s room. Its face was still and there was no expression. It looked lifeless because its eyes were all white but its tail was on the ground. The tail dragged along the deserted corridor in the middle of the night.
The snow-white, heavy fishtail dragged on the hotel’s old red carpet as it moved toward the stairs, reminding Bai Liu of a stiff ghost that can only move forward. This thing could actually run out by itself and open the door…
The merfolk statue ‘walked’ out of Jeff’s room and was heading to the top of the stairs when it seemed to sense something. Suddenly, its head turned 180 degrees to the back. Then it changed its forward direction and walked toward Bai Liu’s room without any expression.
Bai Liu determined that the door was locked and took two steps back, holding his breath with his back to the door. He wanted to know what this thing wanted to do. Bai Liu saw from the corner of his eye that the peephole at the door had turned white.
This thing came to look at the person inside the room. The thing that kept turning was the white eyeball. It was searching through the peephole for the person in this room.
Bai Liu frowned. This peephole… it didn’t seem to be the normal one-way peephole. It was like a piece of glass where the person inside or outside could see to the other side.
The white eyeball at the peephole was still turning non-stop. Bai Liu held his breath and slowly moved, stretching out his feet to hook around the white cloth on the ground. He was preparing to cover himself with the white cloth.
This terrifying scene was projected onto the big screen and the people waiting in front of Bai Liu’s TV stared breathlessly, almost biting their hands out of nervousness.
“F*k, it’s too scary. If I was in the game then my mental value would definitely drop…”
“Stay steady! Stay steady! This place has a high mortality rate for newcomers!”
“The monsters in Siren Town are really disgusting. This newcomer just came in. it will be hard for him to keep calm and find out the weakness of this thing.”
The newcomer players on the screens around Bai Liu had almost reached the place where the merfolk statue was blocking the door. Some players were faster and were at the point where the merfolk statue knocked on the door.
One of the players was whimpering and curled up by the vibrating doors. He held a wooden stick in his hand as he was ready to fight. When the merfolk statue hit the door, he cried and screamed loudly but no one came to rescue him. After the door of his room shook twice, it stopped. The merfolk statue outside seemed to have left.
The crying player wiped his tears, sighed with relief and stood up weakly while supporting himself against the door. The thing he didn’t notice was that the peephole was still white. The pure white stone eye was quietly staring at the person through the peephole.
The merfolk statue hadn’t left at all, it just pretended to leave. Seeing the player strand up, a strange and stiff smile appeared on the statue’s face. It smiled contentedly like it had found its prey. The door was slammed against twice again and was easily broken open. The player didn’t have time to react and screamed as he was pressed under the door.
The merfolk statue dragged its heavy fishtail into the room. There was a strangely pure yet fierce smile on its face as it slowly reached out toward the player under the door.
The moment the player was touched by the merfolk statue, he seemed to be sucked by something. It sucked at his brain and his eyeballs rolled crazily while foam flowed from his mouth. His limbs slowly curled up, twitching and shaking like a fish that was splashed with boiling water. His skin instantly became stiff and pale.
The grey-marble pattern seen in the Bai Liu reflection appeared around the player’s eyes. His pupils disappeared leaving only the whites of the eyes and the corners of his lips were stiff and upturned.
[Player Yi Zhong’s mental value has fallen to 0. He is completely alienated by the monster Merfolk Statue and has failed to clear the game instance.]
[Player Liu Xiaohong’s mental value has fallen to 0… has failed to clear the game instance.]
[Player… failed to clear the game instance.]
The small TVs of the players who failed to pass the level turned off and the people around these TVs sighed.
“I knew it would be difficult to pass the instance this time but it is too hard…”
It was only the first night and the first encounter with a monster yet almost one-fifth of the small TVs filling the entire wall of the Newcomers Area were dim. The TV screens on the top and bottom of Bai Liu went out, leaving him alone on the black screen as he looked at the door calmly.
TL: Yes, I don’t know where Bai Liu got so much cloth and the rope from haha.