The posters for ‘Restriction’ were quite strange. It wasn’t like the scary movie posters for ‘Peeping’ and ‘Death’. It was unique. The colour of the poster was black. Under the grey sky, there was a sea and the sea was calm.
In the middle of the sea was a small iceberg. It was crystal clear and cast a shimmering reflection on the sea. However, below sea level, it wasn’t the middle and lower part of the iceberg but a small town. The town was very detailed, like a Lego model that had been shrunk countless times. There were lights on in the houses and people walking around the town.
There was nothing wrong with the small town. It was even a bit warm at first glance. However, on the poster, it was suppressed by the iceberg under the sea level. At the bottom of the boundless deep sea, there were no bubbles around and no other marine life.
Wen Wenwen felt tense. He took out the map of the town that he carried with him and placed it next to the poster for comparison. Then he proclaimed in a deep voice, “The structure of this town is the same as Styland!”
Bruce added, “I feel that the clues are all tangled up. There might be clues everywhere and everywhere can be the path to life, but they are tangled up together like a ball of wool. I can’t find the right way to untie it.”
“Mainly, this task is very strange.” Wen Wenwen heard Bruce’s words and also complained slightly. “Generally, an instance requires you to stay alive for seven days or to find the truth. This time, there is actually only one choice.”
“Is this under an iceberg? However, when we came in and before the opening CG, the town wasn’t next to an iceberg. In addition, there is no sea water nearby…” Jin Handong didn’t continue to complain. She studied the poster in front of her and murmured, “Atlantis—is the town in the poster Atlantis?”
Wang Huai shook his head. “It isn’t necessarily a real iceberg. Perhaps the sea here is just a metaphor.”
…Like a curse.
Xiao Li added in his heart.
Through the information in the Temple of Records, he was almost certain that the town of Styland was the former Atlantis. It was coveted by a certain god and was destroyed. Thus, it was forced to move here. The descendants were cursed and restricted from leaving the town.
It was just that… what did this have to do with the way to live?
The reincarnators shouldn’t be encountering the same curse. It was a rule simulated by the instance. The way to live that they needed to find should be different from the solution of the townspeople.
He didn’t say what he was thinking. He just told them, “Go in and see.”
This time, the movie theatre was no longer reserved by the reincarnators. The residents of the small town filled up the seats and were whispering to each other.
They had already broken the rule of the movie theatre once and received bad luck a long time ago. The reincarnators weren’t afraid to violate the rule again so they easily bought tickets and sat down.
The movie soon started.
Xiao Li didn’t think to buy popcorn and Coke this time. He only remembered it when he had already sat down, so he just thought about it.
Due to the previous ‘Peeping’ movie, Xiao Li’s evaluation of the movies in this instance was greatly lowered. He was pessimistic about this ‘Restriction’ and didn’t even bother writing down notes. Still, he had to watch it for the sake of finding clues.
The young man covered the lower half of his face with the little yellow book, yawned lazily and shrank back in the seat.
Shen Chenzhi handed him a piece of candy. It was the same candy from Future Theme Park. Xiao Li hesitated for a moment. Then he placed it in his mouth to raise his spirits and watched the big screen.
He had to say that the opening of ‘Restriction’ was better than that of ‘Peeping’. The scene was the same scene as the poster. It was just dynamic in the movie.
The camera started from the iceberg above the sea. It first took a close-up shot of the top half of the iceberg, reflecting the sky like it was covered with soot. Then the angle of view pointed downwards and moved continuously down. It went from light blue to dark blue, pitch black and finally deep into the small town.
The footage returned to normal as it showed a group of people walking on the streets of the small town. This group of young people were very energetic and were jumping around on the road.
Xiao Li counted their number. There were eight people in total, six men and two women. This precisely corresponded to the number of reincarnators, as if they were showing the experience of the reincarnators.
…Well, there were copied goods. It didn’t feel like it would be a good movie. Xiao Li lowered his expectations again.
The scenes in the movie continued to play.
One of the teenagers said, “Do you really want to do it this time? However, my mother told me that we can’t go out.”
“What’s the matter? Didn’t I tell you? I found a dog hole over there last time! Let’s go out. Tang Tang, you are a big man. Why so afraid?” A long-haired woman laughed at the young man.
“Qiu Qiu, this isn’t being afraid. I always feel that we will die.” Tang Tang spoke dejectedly.
The tallest man in the group interrupted him impatiently. A knife was tattooed on the man’s arm. He said, “Tang, this mother’s boy. If you want to listen to your mother then don’t follow us.”
“Forget it, let’s go together. We’re all here.” Tang said.
They walked along the street toward the outskirts of the town. Here was the difference from Styland. In the movie, the town was surrounded by a high wall that was three metres high. It was more like a prison than a town.
Qiu Qiu took the lead and came to a corner with ease. It was covered with weeds and hard to see inside. She bent down and asked her companions to pull out a few weeds, revealing a small hole. It wasn’t known how this had happened but the edge of the hole was crooked and looked like it had been dug by someone. She couldn’t see the specific appearance of the outside from the hole. It seemed there was another black wall blocking the view in front of her. Still, she saw that the door could be opened.
“I’ll go first. You guys follow.” Qiu Qiu couldn’t wait to go in. She was thin and soon managed to get out.
Tang was at the end. He was timid and didn’t have a strong curiosity. He only came here because of his companions. At this time, he was looking around anxiously.
The other short-haired girl was next. She raised her voice and asked, “Qiu Qiu, what is it like outside?”
However, there was no response from Qiu Qiu who should be jubilant.
“Qiu Qiu, do you hear me? What does it look like outside?” The short-haired girl asked again but there still wasn’t a response. She turned her head doubtfully and asked the tattooed man, “This… is there something wrong?”
The tattooed man shrugged. “It is possible that she is playing outside and directly abandoned us. You should also go and take a look.”
“…Fine, I’ll go.” The short-haired girl hesitated for a moment. Then after looking at the tattooed man, she still bent over and went down with great difficulty.
“Rui Xin, how is it?” The tattooed man knelt on one knee and shouted to the other side of the hole. However, there was no response. Only his voice echoed in the hole and came back.
The sky was darker and the world outside the hole seemed to be hiding something. It was as if it was covered with a dark filter. The tone of the picture was very dark. The tattooed man was now scared as well. He looked back at the rest of the group. Apart from the two girls who took the lead, only Tang was the thinnest one remaining. He suggested, “Tang, you go and see?”
Tang bit his lip. He didn’t dare to go but seeing the tattooed man’s eyes, he had to bend down and go in. Due to fear, his movements weren’t as fast as the previous two girls. He just poked his head out when his entire body trembled.
The angle of view moved to the entrance of the hole. Due to being blocked by Tang, the audience couldn’t see outside the entrance. They only saw Tang’s trembling legs.
“I’m not doing it. I’m not going. I… I saw a pair of eyes! I’m not going!” Tang yelled. He retreated out of the hole and ran home without looking back.
In the silence, Tang’s voice was extremely loud and the remaining few people were startled. The tattooed man and the person opposite him looked at each other. Finally, the tattooed man said, “That kid was already timid. I don’t believe that he saw anything. Forget it, I’ll go and see.”
The scene ended here and the camera shifted to Tang.
Tang staggered all the way home, covering his face. He didn’t say anything about what he saw. He just ran toward his house, opened the door and threw himself on his bed. He cried uncontrollably.
Soon after, there was the sound of someone coming in the door. At that time, the audience was watching from Tang’s perspective. Tang refused to look up so the audience couldn’t see if it was a human or not. They only heard a gentle female voice asking, “Tang? Tell me what happened.”
“I…I did something wrong. I didn’t want to do it. I really didn’t want to do it! I was forced!”
His mother asked, “What did you do wrong?”
Tang covered his face and refused to speak.
His mother continued, “No matter what it is, it is fine as long as it doesn’t hurt others. Don’t do it again next time.”
Tang still refused to look up. His mother comforted him with a few more words before finally leaving the room.
At this time, Tang slowly lowered the quilt covering his face and raised his head. As the camera zoomed away from his face, the boy’s face showed an extremely contradictory appearance. He wiped his nose but the corners of his lips were curved upwards. It formed a sharp contrast and aroused the emotions of the audience.
The next second, the movie entered its second day.
Tang went to school and found that the seats of the other members of his group were all empty. The teacher felt that it was strange and went out to make a phone call. After coming back, the teacher spoke with a solemn expression. “Do self-study first.”
Then the teacher called Tang over. “Tang, have you seen Qiu Qiu and the others? Their parents said they are gone.”
The moment Tang was questioned, tears fell down again. He whispered, “Teacher, I went out with them last night. They said they wanted to go to the world outside the wall but I didn’t want to go. I ran away midway.”
“Outside the wall?” The teacher realized the seriousness of the problem and said, “Tang, you should’ve informed your teachers or parents in time.”
“Teacher, I was too scared.” Tang sincerely apologized. “I’m sorry.”
The teacher didn’t blame him and took his emotions into account. “Forget it, forget it. I will contact their parents first and say that they went outside the wall.”
Tang replied positively and walked out of the teacher’s office. The next day, the head teacher didn’t come to class and the Language teacher from the next class took over. Tang wasn’t in good spirits. He sat in his seat all day and stared out the window.
The teacher behind the podium already knew what happened and didn’t ask him to get up and answer questions. This allowed him to relax a bit. As the teacher was talking eloquently, Tang’s mobile phone suddenly vibrated.
Someone sent a message. Tang picked up his mobile phone and took a look. The message was from ‘Qiu Qiu.’
Qiu Qiu: [Why didn’t you… come?]
Qiu Qiu… was still alive?
Tang was shocked and his phone fell to the ground with a loud noise.
“Tang, what’s the matter?” The teacher asked as his lecture was interrupted.
“N-Nothing…” Tang stammered and picked up his phone. “Teacher, I… I have something to do. Can I take a leave of absence in the afternoon?”
“What’s the matter?”
“I’m not feeling well…” Tang did look bad. His face was pale and his head was wet with sweat. He looked extremely haggard.
“Okay, but I will call you in the evening. Have a good rest.” The teacher thought about what happened and agreed with a sigh.
Tang rushed home with his phone and schoolbag. Once he got home, he couldn’t wait to throw off his schoolbag and opened Qiu Qiu’s text message in a trembling manner.
The previous female voice was heard from the kitchen. “Tang, why are you back at this time?”
“Qiu Qiu and the others disappeared. The teacher let me leave class early.”’
“Oh, why did they disappear?”
“They said they wanted to go outside the wall to take a look.” Tang lowered his head. “I don’t know the specifics. Tomorrow, I will ask the teacher if they have been found.”
“Yes, you should be careful too. Fortunately, you didn’t follow or what would I have done?”
He casually replied to his mother while swiping randomly on his phone screen. Some time passed before he sent a few messages back.
Tang: [Qiu Qiu, you… are you still alive?]
He immediately withdrew the message and sent another one.
[Qiu Qiu, where are you? Are you out? Why didn’t you answer before?]
[What about Brother Dao? He went outside as well?]
Tang sent several messages in a row but no one responded. He held the phone, got up from his seat and walked back and forth muttering. “This is impossible, this is impossible, this isn’t…”
It was afternoon and it was reasonable that the sunlight shouldn’t be bad. However, the light in the Tang home was very dim. The sunlight couldn’t enter and the residual light added an ominous atmosphere to the scene.
Tang waited a long time but there were no new messages on his phone. He noticed he was hungry so he put down the phone and ran to the kitchen. “Mom, forget it. Don’t cook. I’ll eat some noodles.”
The gentle female voice said, “Okay, good boy.”
Tang smiled and ran back. He took out instant noodles from the cupboard and cooked himself a bowl of noodles. Just then, the phone screen lit up again.
Rui Xin: [Liar, traitor, why didn’t you come out? We are waiting for you. We’re waiting for you!!!]
The moment he saw the message, Tang knocked over his bowl of noodles and spilled it all over the floor. It splashed on the white walls and the young man’s pants.
“Mom, it’s okay! I’ll clean it myself.” Tang shouted to the kitchen. “Don’t come out first. I’ll tidy it up before you come out.”
However, he didn’t go straight to tidying up the messy ground. Instead, he grabbed his phone and started to reply.
[This… is impossible. Where are you sending me the message from?]
[Where are you?]
[Where are you waiting for me? You… how did you know?]
Then Tang received a series of messages from these people.
Brother Dao: [Coward, you’re a coward. Come on, come here. Everyone is waiting for you!]
[Come, we are one, we are all together.]
[We’ve all broken the restriction and we are people from outside of the wall. So… come here quickly. Don’t let us wait too long.]
These short messages were read one after another by the narrator of the movie with a voice that was both far and near. In addition, it switched from the left and right speakers and seemed to ring in the audience’s ears.
“The dead don’t send messages, they don’t!”
Tang yelled in an out of control manner and threw his phone against the wall.
[Come here, come here!]
On the wall behind him, the camera zoomed in on the snow-white wall for more than 10 seconds. It showed the instant noodles stains to the seven shadows gradually appearing on the wall. There were five men and two women. They reached out and grabbed Tang who had his back to the wall.
[We’ve been waiting… for you.]
At this time, the camera transferred to another room in the Tang house. It approached the locked door of the room and finally showed the audience a photo. This room was a mourning room and there were photos of his parents on the table.
Tang’s parents were long dead. Before the photo was a small hexagonal altar.
The movie ended here. It wasn’t long and was like a medium-length web drama. In the end, the audience didn’t know what was outside of the wall and the final truth. They could only guess from the details.
No ghost came out of it. It really seemed like an ordinary horror movie and the reincarnators were just ordinary audience members.
The other residents of the town got up and left the movie theatre.
Wen Wenwen sorted out the plot in his mind while paying attention to Sherlock beside him. He saw that the other person didn’t write a single comment like last time and asked curiously, “Old Xia, why aren’t you writing a comment this time?”
Xiao Li was stuck on the name ‘Old Xia’ but he had the lesson of ‘Old Wang’ and didn’t struggle over this point. He closed the little yellow book and turned to face Wen Wenwen. “Do you know what was my lowest evaluation of a movie?”
“Uh, directly messaging the director online?”
“No, I fell asleep halfway through. Once I woke up, the theatre was empty. Not only was I disinterested in commenting, but I also appreciated its hypnotic effect.”
He pointed to the big screen. “Like this one.”
“If I could meet the director, I would definitely give him the title of ‘King of Bad Movies.’”
Wen Wenwen, “……”
He couldn’t help looking around at the remaining audience members in the theatre as well as the big screen He was afraid that the ‘director’ who made this movie was probably a ghost and it would rush out to find Sherlock to settle accounts.
After all, according to the concept that ‘murderers often like to go back to the crime scene to watch the onlookers react in order to satisfy their own curiosity’, the director ghost of this movie definitely hoped to see the audience’s feedback.
“Okay, let’s end it quickly. I want to go back to watch a good movie and wash out my eyes.” Xiao Li didn’t care too much. He put away the little yellow book and stood up.