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959 Two Cycles

 The road back had been blocked, and Chen Ge did not think that it was wise to break down the door with the camera there. He was afraid the futuristic theme park might use this against him.

The crying and laughter are still there, so the ghosts haven't wandered off, but I can't see them.

Returning to the room, Chen Ge studied the dead body on the table.

For medium difficulty, the key is inside the mannequin, but this is just a passing scenario. For hellish difficulty, we have to solve the puzzle of this room to move on.

Normally, that would not be a problem, but the key was the combination of many scenarios. Various projections and 'supernatural events' might appear in places that they should not, and that greatly increased the difficulty of puzzle-solving. The few visitors wasted their time at the door. The clock on the wall chimed again, and the ugly cuckoo bird crawled out from the box. The heart around it had been removed, but the blood of the heart stained the bird red.

\"If the owner's reincarnation is endless suicide, then we will have to stop him to break this nightmarish cycle. There are two ways to do this; one is to protect him from himself, and the second one is to kill him ourselves.\"

Chen Ge picked up the axe next to the sofa. Before the room changed, he aimed the axe right at the mannequin that had just been reconnected not long ago. The mannequin was chopped into pieces again, and fresh blood prints were left on its body.

It doesn't work? Should we try to use different murder weapons to kill him? But then that would drop us into the same cycle as he did.

Killing the mannequin would not break the cycle; Chen Ge realized that.

The Haunted House has to operate normally, so they wouldn't encourage something illegal like murder. They need to stay on the right side of the law.

While Chen Ge was thinking, the curtains of the living room were pulled open to reveal half a human face. The owner in bloody clothes grimaced at them. He stared at a certain spot before rushing out with a blade in his hand. Unlike the previous two times, other than behind the curtain, two other projections appeared behind the toilet door and under the bed. In the dark, three bloody faces looked at the visitors from different angles and then charged at them like crazy.

The projections would not deal actual damage, but even if they knew they were fake, when the projections got near, they would feel afraid. Adrenaline rose, eyes were clamped shut, and people screamed. The visitors squeezed in the middle of the living room; only Chen Ge stood to study the fleeing projections. \"How curious. Why would all the projections charge into the living room? No matter where they were hiding, in the end, they would commit murder, charge into the living room, and disappear. Is it to make sure that all the visitors are gathered inside the living room?\"

Chen Ge used his finger to trace the movement of all the projections. To his surprise, he realized that, despite their different hiding spots, if he made a line from their hiding spots to the place that they disappeared to, the trajectories formed by the different projections crossed at a spot inside the living room!

\"The target of the projections isn't us but the sofa at the middle of the living room!\" Chen Ge nudged the sofa away and knocked on the ground underneath it. \"It's hollow?\"

His finger slid on the wooden floor and soon found a part that was uneven. He pulled hard to peel that part of the floor up. A light stench filled the air; there was a female carcass stuffed under the ground. The body had many wounds, and she was hugging a black tape in her arms.

\"A second body?\" All the visitors gathered with their eyes bulging.

Even the police officer was stunned. \"Why is there a second body?\"

\"The answer should be inside the tape.\" Chen Ge entered the tape into the player under the television, and the flickering screen changed to show the recording.

\"Lee's paranoia is getting worse. I thought love would be able to curse him, but I realize how wrong I was. When he saw me talking with another man, he assumed I cheated on him. I was worried that he might injure the kids in his illness, so I sent all the kids back to my parent's home. But he thought I was trying to ruin his relationship with the kids. He then started to doubt if the kids were even his, and they were sent away to prevent him from realizing that fact.

\"Doctor, now he is starting to suspect you as well. He thinks we are trying to cooperate to kill him. When he's acting up, it's so scary! One night, I woke up and saw him kneeling on the bed, staring quietly at me! Imagine how frightened I was!

\"I am really afraid. I no longer dare to stay in the same room as him. He sleeps in the bedroom, and I sleep in the living room. If he sleeps in the living room, I lock myself up in the bedroom. Doctor, your medicine is working; Lee's current condition is very stable. Although we still haven't moved back together to sleep in the same room, that is probably we're both so tired. But now, even if we're sleeping in different rooms, I feel uncomfortable at night. I keep feeling there is a thief hiding inside the house. Tomorrow, I'll go install a surveillance camera in the house.\"

After the narration by the woman, there was a recording from the surveillance camera. It was the quiet of the night, and the woman was sleeping peacefully on the bed. Her bedsheet suddenly moved, and half of a man's face poked out. The man crawled out from under the bed with a cleaver slowly. Then, the screen flickered, and the image disappeared.

The screen returned to normal. This time, the woman was sleeping on the sofa. Then, the bedroom door was pulled open. A man held a table lamp and slunk to her side.

The image flickered again, and this time, the woman was lying inside the bathroom tub. The man was hiding behind the toilet door with a fruit knife.

It was clear from story-telling that woman was already dead, but the man chose to kill her again and again. He was unwilling to forgive her, and in the end, he cursed himself to end up in his own cycle of nightmares.

\"There are two reincarnations in this room. One is the dead victim being killed again and again; the other is the man finally losing his mind after murdering his wife. He couldn't tell whether he was the killer or the victim. His paranoia became so serious that he suspected it was he who killed himself.\"

Chen Ge found the key to the window inside the female body's pocket. The design of this scenario was interesting. The key to leave was with the wife all along, but the murderer did not know that. He could not escape the nightmares that he had created for himself.

\"This plot is well thought out. The designer is a genius.\" Chen Ge glanced at the police officer next to him. \"I hear this place has many designers. Do you know who designed this scenario?\"

\"The scenarios are auto-generated by the central computer using a large data storage. At least, that's what I heard.\" When the police officer saw the key that Chen Ge was holding, he was truly impressed.

\"The central computer?\" Chen Ge asked. \"How much does this computer cost?\"

\"I don't really know that. A whole AI system probably costs more than ten million?\" The police scratched his head, as if he did not understand why Chen Ge would ask something like that.

\"Come, let's move on.\" Chen Ge replaced the wooden tile. He held the key and entered the bedroom to personally undo the lock on the window.