Xiao Li stood at the edge of the well, his hands propped against the side of the well as he looked at the bottom of the well and asked, “Can I ask you for the way out?”
His voice echoed at the bottom of the well but there wasn’t a response. Xiao Li retracted his head and looked into the distance thoughtfully. He changed his way of talking and asked, “Or should I ask, how can I go out?”
The ghost lay at the bottom of the well, hair scattered and expression unable to be seen. Only her lingering voice was heard. “Sherlock…”
Xiao Li wondered, “It isn’t over yet?”
The well ghost didn’t continue calling but let out a prophetic whisper, “You can’t get out…”
Xiao Li smiled. “Oh? What if I go out? Will you come with me?”
He just finished speaking when he rejected his own idea. “Oh, forget it. You have to live in the well and it isn’t good to raise you.”
The well ghost, “…”
Who wanted to eat this person’s rice?
Xiao Li stood up and stretched out his arms. “Then talk. How do we get out of here? Looking at where you live, it is beautiful. You shouldn’t want to deliberately trap us here.”
The well ghost didn’t speak. She lay at the bottom of the well and maintained her position of not moving. Some sobs were squeezed out of her throat.
Xiao Li spoke with a bit of guilt. “You are a ghost, you shouldn’t have a fracture or anything… right?’
The ghost slowly lifted her upper body. Xiao Li didn’t know if it was his illusion but he seemed to hear the sound of bones breaking inch by inch. She reached out a hand and slowly said, “You can leave here at any time but I will always be with you.”
Xiao Li nodded. He said goodbye to the well ghost, got up and stepped across the bridge into the distance.
Zhou Ying didn’t immediately leave. He had been following Xiao Li while looking at the well ghost. After Xiao Li left, the child bent over to pick up some pebbles and threw them into the bottom of the well. The well ghost watched the pebbles in front of her. Her long hair separated from her scalp, revealing terrible eyes that stared at Zhou Ying. Zhou Ying made a face and jumped back to Xiao Li’s side.
“Ah—” There was a cry full of grievances from the dry well and the frightened Hao Ge immediately dragged Xiao Li in the opposite direction of the bridge.
This time, the fog in the haunted house faded away and they left the area of the well ghost. Hao Ge finally stopped with Xiao Li and stood there gasping. He didn’t see what Zhou Ying had done. Once he and Xiao Li turned away, he intermittently spoke. “W-W-What was that from the bottom of the well?”
Xiao Li knocked on Zhou Ying’s forehead and then said to Hao Ge, “I don’t know. Perhaps she saw her food reserves slipping away and wasn’t happy.”
The reference to ‘food reserve’ caused Hao Ge to remember the plates of meat from the ghost house. He really didn’t want to become these ghosts’ food.”Then we will go quickly and leave this haunted house.”
They both stepped forward. The doll and Zhou Ying followed Xiao Li and looked at everything curiously. They left the well and the road in front of the haunted house was shrouded in darkness.
There were no lights in the haunted house, only the candles on the walls. The white cloth in the barrier area of the intersection floated on the wind and hindered their sight. The ceiling here was so high that the reincarnators looked up and had the illusion that it was an open-air area. The air was filled with water vapour and there was the illusion it was condensing into water droplets.
They passed through a doorway and Hao Ge stepped forward somewhat impatiently. He pulled his phone out of his pocket to look at the time but his phone automatically turned off. He tried to restart it but it wouldn’t start. Perhaps it had broken during his previous run, causing Hao Ge to whisper a dirty word.
Xiao Li was originally walking in front of him. He heard Hao Ge saying something but not clearly. Thus, he turned his head. “Did you just speak?”
The moment he turned around, the doll sitting on his shoulder followed him to look at Hao Ge. The pair of emotionless eyes made Hao Ge immediately take a step back. “I sighed because my phone battery died.”
Xiao Li responded with a sound and walked forward again.
Hao Ge followed silently but finally couldn’t help saying, “We don’t know how long we have been walking in this haunted house. I doubt it has been an hour but we haven’t gone outside yet. Where is the exit?’
“98 minutes.” Xiao Li corrected Hao Ge’s words.
“I inwardly calculated it. We have been inside here for 98 minutes. It just became 99 minutes.” Xiao Li moved the flashlight away from the ribbon falling overhead and spoke in a light manner.
Hao Ge wondered, “So long? Does this haunted house really an exit?”
“There is,” Xiao Li stated. “It just doesn’t exist in a normal form.”
“You mean, the exit of the haunted house… we can’t see it?” Hao Ge followed Xiao Li’s thoughts and gave in to his thoughts. “Would it be in that well? In fact, that well is the real exit in a ghost was arranged in it to mislead us?”
“…Then I don’t mind if you go back and tried it. If you are successful then you will go out. If not, you will stay with the ghost.”
Hao Ge heard this tone and knew he had guessed wrong. “Then what would it be?”
Xiao Li said simply, “I don’t know. Look again.”
Hao Ge’s original guess was refuted by Xiao Li. He felt his strength and vigilance being drained out but he had no choice. He could only continue going forward. They walked through the corridor and there was a wooden door around the corner.
The door was very old and there were even cracks in it. The sound of water flowing could be heard from inside the wooden door. Xiao Li walked up to the wooden door. He pursed his lips and knocked on the door first.
Hao Ge spoke weakly, “Sherlock, why are you being a gentleman at this time? Even if there is a ghost inside, it would reply if you knock on the door.”
Just as Hao Ge was speaking, there was subtle movement from behind the wooden door. It was as if someone let out an exclamation and then hit the ground.
Hao Ge, “………”
Xiao Li felt this sound was familiar. He pushed open the wooden door and entered. The world inside the wooden door was the same self-contained world as the well. Xiao Li felt heard the sound of water and the sudden rise of water vapour. The water vapour here was different from the well. The temperature was higher and the water source was wider, making the sound seem close at hand.
He bypassed the bushes and followed the path through the false mountains. The clouds opened to reveal a quaint building. The building was like an old Japanese inn. It was around two stories high and had a small attic with a triangular shape. The sign above that window read: Hot Spring Hotel
The sign was very old. The hotel’s doors and windows were covered with spider webs and it was apparently uninhabited. There was a hot spring in front of this hot spring hotel. The water seemed alive. It was warm and crystal clear but due to the temperature difference, it was covered with mist.
A woman could be seen in the hot spring. Only the woman’s head was revealed. She had soft, soft hair. The end of her hair was wet with water and stuck to her neck. She had her back to the reincarnators. Once she heard this noise, she turned her head and exclaimed loudly to Xiao Li, “Who are you?”
The hot springs woman had a beautiful face. She could almost directly be a celebrity. Her facial features were beautiful and she had bright red lips. Xiao Li didn’t immediately answer her. He first glanced around to look for the familiar sound. Finally, in a flower bush behind the rockery, he found Zou Hanyi. Zou Hanyi was pale and lying down on the grass. She reluctantly took out a pill from her cuff and stuffed it into her mouth.
Hao Ge rushed over and helped her up. “Miss Zou, what happened?”
Zou Hanyi had obviously come here earlier than them. How did she become like this? Was it done by that hot springs beauty?
“No, don’t look at her.” Zou Hanyi coughed heavily. “I… was going ahead and came in here. At first, she also communicated with me like this.”
“Then she invited me to take a dip in the hot springs with her. I naturally didn’t say yes but as I interacted with her, I felt increasingly unable to control my limbs. It was like someone was pushing me from behind. trying to push me into the hot springs.”
“Fortunately, I brought some items. I can transfer one wound on my body and I avoided the bad luck of entering the water.”
She quickly explained what happened after she came in. Xiao Li thought about it for a moment. The woman soaking in the hot springs, was she the drowned woman?
The drowned woman was a famous ghost legend in line with the split mouthed girl. It was said that she often haunted a hot springs hotel and invited others to enter the hot springs with her. Once they entered, she would reveal her full skeletal body and turn that person into a skeleton.
“What did you visit here to do?” The drowned woman was unaware of the hostility of the reincarnators and smiled, inviting them. “Do you want to enter the hot springs together? The hotel’s water temperature is very comfortable. You’ll like it.”
Hao Ge helped Zou Hanyi and looked back at the wooden door they entered through. He wanted to get out of here but to his disappointment, the wooden door had disappeared and turned into a wall.
“Come down.” The drowning woman said. “I will make you not notice the pain.”