The car fell silent and everyone’s expressions became strange. Lucy laughed awkwardly and Andre sneered. The two of them obviously didn’t believe it. Jeff looked down and only Bai Liu remained calm.
The driver drove calmly and steadily to a building. “This is the museum. Get out of the car.” Once everyone got off, the driver said, “You can visit first. Call me in the evening and I will pick you up to go see the merfolk fishing activity.”
He drove away after speaking.
Bai Liu looked at the surrounding environment after getting out of the car. The building in front of him was so high that he needed to tilt his head to see the top. There were several English letters at the top which made the English name of this place, ‘Siren Museum’.
[Scene unlocked – Siren Museum.]
The entire museum was painted a sea-like dark color and it was supported by a few thick granite columns. Standing at the door, Bai Liu could see the outline of many merfolk statues inside.
The decorations of Siren Museum looked new but the exterior walls were a bit worn. It was a type of red brick wall and there were many old newspaper clippings of missing people posted on it. The wind blew one onto Bai Liu’s face.
Bai Liu took the old newspaper off his face and saw a notice printed in bold writing: [Police Notice – 12 people have gone missing in Siren Town this month. If you have seen the missing people published in the following photos then please report it to the police. In addition, please pay attention to your safety when visiting Siren Town. Don’t play with large fish and beware of falling into the water.]
There were 12 black and white photos posted below the notice. The people all had joyful smiles from visiting Siren Tower. However, the smiles in the yellowed, outdated newspaper gave off an indescribably strange feeling when they fell into Bai Liu’s eyes.
After carefully reading, Bai Liu planned to put it away in his bag. He folded it twice only to suddenly feel that the folding wasn’t right. It was a bit too hard. It was a newspaper. Even if it became dry and brittle due to the sea breeze, it shouldn’t have such a hard texture… it was like it wasn’t just a sheet of paper.
Bai Liu looked at the cross section of the newspaper. The cross section did look thick but there were no traces of multiple sheets. The main reason was that the newspaper was very solid. Even if there were multiple sheets, it couldn’t be easily seen. Bai Liu frowned and put the newspaper away. He decided to find some warm water to soak it in after entering the museum to see if the newspaper had multiple layers and could be separated.
[The side task has been triggered: Find the hot water pool in the museum and separate the newspapers stuck together. 10 points will be rewarded.]
The keeper of Siren Museum was an old man with cataracts. His eyes were cloudy and white but he seemed to have no big problem seeing people. The moment Bai Liu and the others walked in, the old man quickly turned his head toward them. The keeper’s eyes were blank but his face had a polite smile. The way he quickly moved to their side made Lucy exclaim in a low voice.
The keeper of the museum looked strange as he sighed. “It has been a long time since someone came here… since the incident last month, no tourists have come to Siren Museum. No new merfolk statues have entered the museum for a long time.”
Bai Liu heard this and hurriedly asked, “Why haven’t there been any new merfolk statues entering the museum for a long time? Does it have anything to do with the absence of tourists?”
“Of course.” The keeper’s tone became excited and he waved his stiff arms. “Without tourists, we rarely do large-scale activities like merfolk fishing since it is time consuming and laborious. Without merfolk fishing, we can’t make merfolk statues to place in the museum.”
“Was there always a steady stream of merfolk statues entering the museum?” Bai Liu immediately realized a problem. “The capacity of this museum is limited. If you keep getting new statues, surely you won’t be able to store all of them?’
“No!” A weird smile appeared on the museum keeper’s face and his white eyes rolled toward Bai Liu. He spoke in a mysterious tone, “These merfolk statues will never fill the museum. Siren Museum will never be filled because as many merfolk statues will leave the museum as the number that enters.”
Bai Liu raised his eyebrow and continued to ask, “Then where do these merfolk statues go after leaving the museum? Will they be thrown back into the sea?”
The keeper shut his mouth. He seemed to feel he had said something he shouldn’t have said. Bai Liu keenly sensed it and continued questioning the keeper. “What happens after the tourists come?”
“Nothing will happen.” The keeper whispered to himself. “You will have a pleasant holiday in Siren Town and then leave here.”
The keeper refused to answer any more questions. After asking about the hot water pool in the museum, Bai Liu gave up. He took the ticket and walked into Siren Museum with the others behind him.
The moment he entered, Bai Liu saw a golden-lacquered statue of an imposing middle-aged man standing at the door. This was a humanoid statue wearing a suit and a hat. He was completely different from the previous merfolk statues Bai Liu had seen. He had no fishtail and was covered with gold. There was an official smile on his face as he waved to the tourists coming in.
The lights in the museum were very dim and cast an unclear shadow on the face of the statue, making the polite smile on the statue’s face become weird.
An introduction about this statue was engraved onto the black stone platform. Bai Liu leaned over to take a look: This is the statue of the mayor of Siren Town. It was completed when the ribbon of Siren Museum was cut and the museum opened.
The stone platform used some exaggerated tones to highly praise the major’s contribution to Siren Town. He supported the development of tourism by salvaging the bones of the merfolk and supported the construction of Siren Museum. This made the entire backward seaside Siren Town thrive.
Another sentence was carved on the stone platform: [Mayor Harris has an unconditional love for every villager in Siren Town like they are his children.]
Bai Liu was reading it carefully when Jeff, who had been silent the entire time, suddenly approached and asked in a low voice, “Do you believe that there are merfolk? Do you think the things mentioned about Siren Town are true?”
Of course, he didn’t believe all of it. This type of novelty experience was specifically created to promote the development of tourism. It might look serious but probably only 30% of it was the truth. Most of it was false information fabricated by the locals and used to hype and attract tourists.
However, this was a horror game.
Bai Liu said, “I think they are true.”
Andre folded his arms and grinned widely. He seemed to be mocking Jeff and Bai Liu but he didn’t say anything. He just followed Jeff and entered the museum.
Bai Liu and Lucy were supposed to be together but Bai Liu wanted to go to the hot water pool to separate the newspaper. Therefore, Lucy left to go shopping alone. She expressed her regret and said she would wait for Bai Liu in the exhibition hall. Bai Liu went in the direction of the room containing the hot water pool that the keeper had mentioned.