“He’s quite good looking.” Tang Mianmian rubbed his chin and commented, “If I looked like this, I would’ve gotten the role of supporting male no.2 or no.3 a long time ago….”
“The woman in the picture is the same person, so the child next to her should also be the same person. This photo was taken when the child was born, this was taken when the child was about five or six years old, and this last one was taken when the child was 16 or 17 years old.” Furrowing his brow slightly, Xiao Tangqiu asked, “So now the question is, who is this woman and who is this child?”
Tang Mianmian pondered, “Lily Marlene and the child she had with Lippinobert?”
Suddenly, Xiao Tangqiu thought of something. “I think I saw some words behind the photo just now. Let’s turn it over.”
Both of them made an effort to turn over all those tiny fragments and found two small lines of words in one corner of the first photo. Because the photo was so old, the words were blurry. Fortunately, they found that it was English, not some uncommon language which they didn’t know.
The words on the back seemed to be two names. Just by guessing, they could tell it was probably the names of the two people in the photo.
“L… a… ura.. Laura?” Tang Mianmian struggled to read the almost illegible writing. “Looks like this woman is Laura. What the hell is going on?! She isn’t Lily Marlene? Wait, the other name is….. “
Xiao Tangqiu paused, looking dumbfounded. “The words are Lippi.”
Tang Mianmian widened his eyes in shock. “Lippi? Lippi! Fuck! The man in the photo is Lippi!”
The others shuffled in closer to take a closer look and confirmed their findings. Windbreaker Man grinned, “The name is indeed ‘Lippi.’ It looks like this child is Lippinobert himself.”
“How the fuck is that possible?” Tang Mianmian revealed an expression of disbelief. “You’re telling me that the beautiful young man in this photo is the gloomy middle-aged uncle, Lippinobert? Even if the years weren’t good to him, isn’t this change a bit too cruel?!”
Yet Xiao Tangqiu didn’t find it surprising at all. He stared at young Lippinobert in the photo and suddenly found that his eyebrows also resembled Lily Marlene’s. But this was a given. After all, the woman in the photo, Laura, was most likely his mother, and his mother looked so much like Lily Marlene.
Looking up, Xiao Tangqiu found Shen Yuan staring at the photo with an expression as calm as a lake. It was hard to tell if Shen Yuan had discovered anything.
After getting over his initial shock, Tang Mianmian murmured incredulously, “The woman in the photo isn’t Lily Marlene? Her name is Laura? Who is this Laura? Lippinobert’s mother? “
“There’s something wrong about all of this…….” The realization from his own words terrified him. “Why does Lippinobert’s mother look just like Lily Marlene? This…. this…. this is too horrible to even imagine ah!”
“No, you got it the other way around. More accurately, it’s Lily Marlene who looks like Laura,” Xiao Tangqiu calmly reminded Tang Mianmian.
Tang Mianmian looked even more horrified. “Then… did… did….. did Lippinobert fall in love with Lily Marlene because…..” He suddenly remembered the “Oedipus and the Sphinx” painting outside, and was too shocked to continue on the subject.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Xiao Tangqiu nodded with a serious expression. “Maybe it’s Oedipus complex or maybe it’s…. narcissism.”
Tang Mianmian looked puzzled, “……Whaa, whaa, what? What is narcissism?”
“It’s excessive self-love,” Xiao Tangqiu explained casually, pointing to the third photo. “Can’t you tell that Lippinobert also looks a bit like Lily Marlene?”
Tang Mianmian looked at it carefully and was immediately stunned. “Fucking hell! You’re right!”
On the side, Windbreaker Man listened to their conversation while he fiddled with his scalpel and grinned. “Interesting, really interesting. This time round, this mission is really interesting.”
Just then, Shen Yuan, who had been silent all along, suddenly said, “There’s one photo missing.”
Xiao Tangqiu froze at once. “There’s one photo missing? What do you mean?”
Shen Yuan looked up. His gaze swept over the pile of puppets on the floor and stopped at the bare wall where the photos had been. His voice cold and without any fluctuations, he explained, “The marks on the wall show that there should be four photos, but there are only three…… One is missing.”
Xiao Tangqiu frowned slightly. “Where is the fourth photo?”
Shen Yuan answered faintly, “I don’t know.”
“But there aren’t any other photos in the room,” said one of the women, frowning. “Everything we found is here. We only found these three photos.”
Tang Mianmian rubbed his chin, wondering out loud, “Could it be on that monster?”
“But the monster has disappeared.” Xiao Tangqiu carefully thought and suggested, “Could it be in another room?”
“We can only look for it tomorrow. There isn’t enough time today. It’s almost midnight now.” Windbreaker Man pulled up his sleeve and glanced at his watch. “According to the rules, we must return to the room at midnight.”
Xiao Tangqiu couldn’t resist asking, “Actually, I’ve been meaning to ask…… what are these so-called rules?”
Windbreaker Man arched an eyebrow. “I’ll explain it to you. It’s not a big deal anyways. In this world of horror games, NPCs can tell truths or lies. The so-called rules are hidden in the truths that they tell us. And these ‘rules’ must not be violated…… You can understand them as rules of the game. Once violated, you will be immediately killed by the system.”
“So, how do you judge?” Xiao Tangqiu started to get even more curious.
Windbreaker Man laughed softly, “You will know once you become a veteran player.”
Xiao Tangqiu had to reign in his curiosity, but he made sure to remember what Windbreaker Man said, that is, these rules must not be violated, otherwise they would be killed off immediately. It appeared that they must return to their room before midnight and not leave the room throughout the night.
Shen Yuan put away the photos, looked at Xiao Tangqiu and asked, “Do you have any medicine?”
Xiao Tangqiu paused, then looked down at his wounds. That large flock of birds had pecked at him all over, leaving many open wounds. His exposed skin was covered with bloody cuts of all sizes, which looked horrifying.
“I have a hemostatic……”
Before Xiao Tangqiu could finish speaking, Shen Yuan interrupted him, “Fu Ling, give him the special hemostatic spray.”
The tall and indifferent woman froze, then shot Xiao Tangqiu a chilly look, took out a black spray from her pocket and threw it to him.
Xiao Tangqiu immediately caught it but before he could thank Shen Yuan, the latter had already turned and left, leaving only a shadow behind him.
As soon as Shen Yuan left, the others followed suit.
Only Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian remained in the secret chamber. Xiao Tangqiu looked down at the special hemostatic spray in his hand with a slightly complicated look in his eyes. He had seen this in the vending machine before, and it cost a lot of points. Both his and Tang Mianmian’s points put together wasn’t even enough to purchase the spray, but Shen Yuan had conveniently handed it over to him just like that.
“Special hemostatic spray!” Tang Mianmian marveled. “The ordinary hemostatic spray is already so amazing. This special hemostatic spray must be a million times better! Quickly, try it!”
The two of them used the special hemostatic spray on their wounds and the effect was nothing short of miraculous. Their wounds disappeared instantly; skin covered the exposed flesh and looked just as smooth as before. Even the pain went away.
“Sure enough, this thing is really worth a thousand points.” Tang Mianmian sighed ruefully but soon recalled something and immediately hurried Xiao Tangqiu. “Quick! Put it away! We have to use it sparingly. If we have any minor injuries in the future, we’ll use the normal hemostatic spray. This special hemostatic spray should be saved for critical injuries!”
Xiao Tangqiu nodded in agreement. This special hemostatic spray was really effective and it couldn’t be casually wasted.
After their injuries were treated, they didn’t dare to stay in the attic any longer and quickly left the gloomy room.
Shen Yuan and and his team had left much earlier, leaving only the two of them in the dark corridor. Looking at the long staircase that seemed endless in the dark, even Xiao Tangqiu, who was usually brave, couldn’t help but feel a chill crawl down his spine. He tightened his grip on the flashlight.
Tang Mianmian tightly grabbed onto Xiao Tangqiu’s shirt. The two grown men leaned against each other as they carefully walked down the dimly-lit staircase with the help of the flashlight. The portraits of Lily Marlene hanging on the wall seemed even more strange at night.
“Why do I feel like……” Tang Mianmian’s voice trembled slightly, “The people in the portraits are looking at us…….”
Xiao Tangqiu gulped, “It’s just an illusion.”
Tang Mianmian’s voice faintly swayed, “But they really seem to be looking at us…..”
Xiao Tangqiu felt his scalp turn numb, but he could only force himself to stare ahead instead of looking to the side. “Don’t look at them. Keep your eyes to the front!”
Tang Mianmian sobbed, “Wuwuwu, what if they crawl out from the paintings when we’re not looking…”
Xiao Tangqiu took a deep breath, “How about this? I’ll count from three and we dash down the stairs. No matter what we see, we don’t stop until we reach the second floor.…”
Tang Mianmian gasped, “Al-alright then!”
Xiao Tangqiu gripped his flashlight firmly and took another deep breath.
“Three, two, one! Run!”
Before Xiao Tangqiu could finish speaking, they started running down the stairs like their lives depended on it. In the silent castle, their footsteps sounded especially loud, thud, thud, thud, thud….
Throwing all caution to the wind, Xiao Tangqiu ran down the stairs, giving it his all. The sound of footsteps drifted into his ears. Soon, he found that besides their own chaotic footsteps, there seemed to be another slow and heavy set of footsteps. They were running really fast but those heavy footsteps appeared to be following them, maintaining a pace that was neither fast nor slow…..
P.S. I fell asleep translating this chapter yesterday 💤 Btw, I love reading all the fun speculations you guys come up with! I won’t spoil it for you, but here’s a hint – remember the story of Oedipus and the Sphinx?