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730 Consecutive Scares

 "Come, stand before the background." The senior in the ill-fitting uniform picked up the polaroid camera from the table and urged the visitors to stand on the left side of the projector. "On the count of three, say cheese."

The senior pressed on the snap button. His finger did not move away from the flash, so the flashes kept coming. Inside the dark room, the flashes were blinding, and the visitors all raised their hands to shield their eyes.

"Alright, the pictures are ready. I will go check and see whether the doctor has arrived or not. You should spread these pictures among yourselves. One last piece of advice, do not touch anything in this room."

When the senior spoke, the camera kept 'vomiting' pictures. He picked up a random one, shoved it inside his pocket, and left after placing the camera back on the table.

The temperature of the air-conditioning in the room was low. The wind caressed the visitors' exposed skin. The boys by the name of Chui Ming and Lee Bo assisted each other, and they edged toward the table. They picked up the pictures from the ground. "We'd better follow their instructions. There are many puzzle-solving missions inside the abandoned school, and the clues are normally hidden inside these small props."

Chui Ming had his previous experience to attest to. The previous time, he had skipped over the job of collecting and analyzing these props, so in the end, he could only give up. Picking up the pictures, Chui Ming handed them out to the other teammates when he suddenly stopped. "Why is there an extra one?"

Chui Ming stood next to Chen Ge, who was at the back of the group. Chen Ge had not gotten his picture yet, but there were three pictures in Chui Ming's grasp. Not counting his own and Chen Ge's, there was an extra one.

"There must be some problem with that picture! What the f*ck! Take a look at this!" Lee Yuan screamed as he pointed at the picture that he was holding, "There is one extra person in the group picture!"

When the visitors heard that, they all looked down to check their own pictures, and they were shocked to find that an extra person had been standing next to Xue Li when they took the picture. She was wearing Nightmare Academy's uniform, her face was pale, and she stared right at the camera with her head leaning softly on Xue Li's shoulder.

"What the! But I didn't notice anything at all!" Xue Li kept brushing her shoulder. She was normally an educated woman who would never allow herself to curse.

Chen Ge stared at the picture. "This hasn't been tampered with. In other words, the actor, who had already hidden herself in the room earlier, sneaked out when the pictures were taken."

It was the senior who chose where they should stand when taking the picture. The color of the wall behind them had a slightly different hue from the rest. Upon closer inspection, one could discern a spot where it was slightly bulging.

"I don't want to stay here anymore. Let's go." Xue Li hugged Lee Yuan like a bullied marsupial.

"Don't wander off alone. It's safest to listen to the worker's instructions," Chui Ming warned. "No matter how scary the scenario is, you will not run into anything too creepy, but if you stray from the designated plot, you might run into the other ghosts and monsters hidden in the different scenarios, and then you'll know the real meaning of despair."

"Okay." Xue Li leaned on Lee Yuan's shoulder. She quickly tossed the picture aside. She was too scared to hold onto it. Her pretty eyes scanned the projected image on the screen. Xue Li had not seen this movie before. The main actors were mainly students; they had photography club's nametags on, and the movie was shot right in that room. "Wait, come and look at this movie. This is rather strange."

Everyone turned to the movie. The students in the movie were cleaning the room when one of the students found a dusty video tape at the back of the one of the cupboards. The students gathered together. They were confused and decided to see what was on the tape.

The movie did not have any sound-it felt like they were watching a silent movie. Thankfully, the actors had good acting skill, and they managed to explain the plot through expressions and actions. In the movie, the students placed the tape inside the player, and a strange scene followed. The visitors in the Haunted House stood inside the room for photography club and watched a movie about photography club's students watching a movie inside the very same room.

The location overlapped, and even the angle of the movie was similar, only the viewers had changed. This kind of similarity could easily lead to some sort of psychological illusion. After adjusting the player, the movie started to play. It seemed to record an official activity carried out by the school.

The recording was very short, only one minute long. After the movie ended, the students repeated it several times, and they got into an argument. Since the movie was silent, the visitors could not tell what the subject of their argument was. After the argument settled down somewhat, they replayed the movie again.

When the movie ran to the forty-fourth second, one of the students pressed the pause button. His finger was pointing at the corridor at the corner of the screen and said something with a fear-stricken face.

The still of the movie zoomed in, and the visitors got a clearer view of what was happening. When the school was organizing some kind of activity, a shadow flashed across the corridor.

The students got into another argument, probably because some of them voiced their disagreement, thinking that it was merely a recording mistake. Their argument went nowhere, and the students gradually filed out of the room, leaving behind the student who was the first to discover the shadow.

The student repeated the movie several times like he was trying to prove something. Weirdly enough, whenever he repeated the movie, the human shadow in the corridor would get clearer until a human face could eventually be seen.

It felt as if the person in the corridor was moving closer. When he played it for the third time, one could see it was a pale-faced woman covered in blood standing in the corridor.

The visitors' attention was increasingly drawn to the movie. The focus of the movie shifted constantly between the student in the movie and the projection on the screen. Finally, on the fifth replay, the face in the corridor became the clearest!

The twisted expression caused the student much discomfort, and it caused the visitors' hearts to squeeze with trepidation. The student in the movie started to shake. With shaking hand, he tried to play the movie for the sixth time.

Once again, the movie stopped at forty-fourth second but this time, the shadow in the corridor disappeared. The student scratched his head and leaned closer to the screen. He studied the corridor at the corner of the screen closely. Right then, the screen hanging from the wall slid off, and a creepy face materialized on the wall behind the screen!

Bang!

Before the visitors had the chance to scream, the door to the photography club was pushed open, and the senior screamed at the top of his lungs. "Quick! Run! Didn't I tell you not to touch anything inside the room‽"

Before the visitors understood what was happening, Xue Li felt a tug on the back of her head. She turned back to look, and the face that should have belonged inside the movie had appeared behind her!

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"AH!" Her mind was broken. Xue Li dragged Lee Yuan and ran out of the room as fast as she could manage. This caused chaos to spread through the rest of the group. Only Chen Ge remained where he was, holding his backpack, studying the projector and the wall at the back of the photography club.

"One of them pulled open the door to attract the visitors' attention while the other sneaked out from the worker's passageway. The timing is flawless. This can only be achieved through multiple rehearsals. Nightmare Academy shouldn't be underestimated."