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967 Sacrificial Teammates

 "Nothing happened for so many years when the old man raised the four children, but once the youngest grandson opened the altar, tragedy struck. Everything that happened later was also related to the altar. Once the altar was opened, the people present were struck with misfortune, and there was no escaping the curse." Chen Ge turned to look at the police officer. "When you played on medium difficulty, none of you opened the altar, right?"

"Yes." The police officer nodded.

"Looks like opening the altar is specific for hellish difficulty." Chen Ge waved the police officer and Xiao Ling over.

"This scenario is unique. There are at least four ghosts here. The kind and innocent grandson, the grandfather who wants to protect his grandson, the envious grandmother, and the scariest maid. The grandmother is trapped inside the room with the talismans, the maid is inside the altar, and the grandson and grandfather are inside the picture. All those are cursed items; touching them will curse you." Chen Ge placed the old man's black and white picture inside his backpack. "But if you do not use your hand to touch it, it'll be fine."

"I don't hear any commotion from outside anymore. Shall we go take a look?" The police officer was afraid, and after hearing Xiao Ling's story, he only got more fidgety.

"You can leave after you come up with a way to clear the scenario." Chen Ge arranged his thoughts. "This scenario's themed is curses. The first curse came from the maid. The second came from the grandmother. Her personality is twisted, and her heart is filled with envy and hatred for the maid. After her death, this house gained her curse. Then those innocent people who opened the altar must've felt wronged, and that imbalance in the heart would soon have been twisted into a curse. In conclusion, everyone who perished here has left behind hatred and curse, creating this unbreakable cycle."

"What should we do?"

"Either we solve the curse from its base, or we become part of the curse."

"I don't quite understand what you're saying." The police officer had no idea what Chen Ge was trying to do.

"The curse continues to reincarnate due to hatred. Since tragedy has found me, I must ensure that this tragedy finds others to accompany me. But if someone is cursed and is kind enough not to spread the curse to the next person, instead turning it into a kind thought, won't we be able to say that they have ended the cycle of the curse?" Chen Ge's words confused the police officer and Xiao Ling.

"And your point is?"

"As long as each of us can stand on our ground and not get disturbed by the curse, things should turn better." Chen Ge took out the remnants of the scrolls that he found in the bedroom. The five elements were written on them. "There are five bedrooms, counting the hidden room with the talismans and the living room. This scenario has seven rooms in total, corresponding to seven individuals. The police officer said earlier that the layout is like a person stepping on the altar. I'm thinking, if we stay in separate rooms alone, doesn't that mean every room is filled with the energy of life? The whole scenario will come to life, and the force of the living will be strong enough to inhibit the curse from the altar."

The police officer and Xiao Ling thought that Chen Ge was being ridiculous, but for some reason, he seemed to have a point.

"It's not that scary when the visitors stay together in the Haunted House, so they will always try to separate them. The designers understand that. When the central computer comes up with this highest difficulty scenario, it will have that in mind. We will follow their wish then. Even though it's dangerous, it might be the solution to this problem." Chen Ge raised the scrolls that he was holding. "The scrolls should be able to protect us, but that is also where the brilliance of this scenario shines. There are only five scrolls, so there is bound to be an argument among the visitors."

"The scrolls aside, based on what you said, someone is bound to be in the hidden room alone. Isn't that a bit unfair to that person?"

"It's more than unfair; it's cruel." Chen Ge smiled. "So, I suggest the person going into the hidden room can have one more scroll."

"I can't make this decision. We'd better get everyone to discuss this." The police officer pushed open the door a sliver. The big spider had disappeared.

"Everyone, come out now. We don't have much time!" Chen Ge shouted. "The key timing here is the windchime. When the windchime rings, the scenario will change. When the spider appeared, it was the third time that the windchime rang. When the windchime rings next, the ghost from the altar might come out."

Chen Ge and the police officer shared the solution with the rest. Everyone felt it was rather preposterous, but there was no better idea. Staying there and doing nothing would only make things worse.

"We agree with you, but who is willing to stay inside the talisman room?" The man with glasses was brave when he was with the rest, but when he was left alone, he too would be afraid. "If you are willing to volunteer, we..."

"I'll be in that room then." Chen Ge took two scrolls. "I'm here to clear the scenario. I don't want anyone to hold me back."

"You're still thinking about that?" The man shook his head. He felt like Chen Ge was dreaming. "We have no problem with you staying in that room, but you cannot take two scrolls. There's a limited number of scrolls, and you wish to take two? What about the rest of us?"

"Fine, I'll take one." Chen Ge placed the scroll on the ground. Throughout this process, not one 'visitor' argued for his safety. The visitors got their assignment. The police officer would stay in the living room, and the woman with the long hair would stay in the bedroom next to the hidden room. After everyone got into position, the windchime rang again.

"Xu Yin." Chen Ge stood in the middle of the talisman-filled room. He contacted Xu Yin immediately, but he did not summon Xu Yin to stand beside him. He was waiting for a chance.

"A Red Specter can move about freely. Where will the maid go?" Chen Ge smiled as he talked to himself. "Opening the altar triggers the curse. I've helped you separate all who have triggered your curse. Can you resist and not do anything?"

When he first entered this hidden room, Chen Ge realized that there were no cameras, so he did not hold back. Actually, when he found out that the Specter inside the altar could fight against the red high heels, he was determined to find her. A normal Specter was different from a Red Specter. Even if he could not bring her back to the Haunted House, consuming her would highly increase Xu Yin and the headless woman's power.

The spider projection brushed past Chen Ge through its fixed trajectory. It crawled out the closet, and a scream came from outside. Then, the scenario returned to normal. Just as the visitors recovered from the visit by the big spider, a scent of blood permeated the air.

"She's here!"

Chen Ge grabbed the closet door, and he heard a wailing song sang by a woman coming from the corridor.