Xiao Tangqiu felt pins and needles pricking his scalp. Finally, he couldn’t resist looking out from the corner of his eye. The next second, he saw the woman in the portrait on the wall, Lily Marlene, stare at him under the white glare of the flashlight. Her eyeballs rotated with his every move and soon, when her eyeballs had reached their limit, she began to turn her face.
Her face turned towards Xiao Tangqiu until her neck was bent at a 90 degrees angle, which was as far as the painting would allow. As Xiao Tangqiu ran down to the next floor, her neck turned towards him again in an effort to follow his every move.
If it was only one painting staring at Xiao Tangqiu like that, he could still brush it off and think that it was just strange. But with a whole row of paintings was staring at him, it was horrifying.
Xiao Tangqiu turned to ask Tang Mianmian who was running behind him, “Did you see that?”
However, Tang Mianmian didn’t answer. He merely looked at him in silence, his face as ashen as a dead man.
Xiao Tangqiu suddenly remembered that Tang Mianmian’s physical strength had always been better than his. How could he fall behind him?
He suddenly looked in front, and sure enough, another Tang Mianmian was running ahead of him. And that Tang Mianmian didn’t seem to hear him or have any reaction to what he said.
Wait a minute.
Xiao Tangqiu suddenly realized something even more terrifying.
Wasn’t this staircase a bit too long?
How long had he and Tang Mianmian been running?
………Five minutes? Ten? Or longer?
Why did it seem like they couldn’t reach the second floor no matter how they far they ran?
Had this spiral staircase always been this long? Was the second floor really so far away?
Xiao Tangqiu felt his hair stand on end and in a bout of carelessness, his left foot tripped over his right foot. He lost his balance at once, his entire body falling down the stairs and smacking right into Tang Mianmian who was in front of him.
The two of them rolled down the stairs in a heap, their limbs entangled together.
Xiao Tangqiu subconsciously closed his eyes. The pain from hitting his head against the stairs almost made him burst into tears. Fortunately, Tang Mianmian ended up being his own personal meat cushion. When the two finally rolled onto the bottom floor, Xiao Tangqiu just so happened to crush Tang Mianmian under him.
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 had just let out a sigh of relief when Tang Mianmian cried out, “Ouch! Ouch! It hurts, it hurts! I’m going to die from the pain……”
Xiao Tangqiu quickly got off Tang Mianmian. “Are you alright?”
Tang Mianmian stood up slowly, supporting his waist with a blank expression on his face. “What happened just now? Why did we suddenly roll down the stairs?”
Xiao Tangqiu laughed bitterly and explained what happened. Tang Mianmian turned pale with fear. “Fuck! I was just wondering why the stairs were so long….. “
Xiao Tangqiu was about to say something when a dark shadow suddenly appeared in front of them.
Tang Mianmian was so frightened he almost cried out. But in the next second, using the flashlight, they caught sight of who it was – the housekeeper of the castle.
The housekeeper’s face looked extremely pale under the white light, not at all like a living person. She looked at them so icily they broke out in goosebumps. She said impassively, “It will be 12 o’clock in two minutes……”
12:00 midnight in two minutes?! They had been delayed on the stairs for that long?
Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian looked at each other in horror. They didn’t have time to say anything to the housekeeper. They quickly turned and ran upstairs. Earlier, they rolled down the stairs onto the first floor in a huddle, but their room was on the second floor.
Climbing up obviously wasn’t as easy as going down, but fortunately, they didn’t encounter anything strange this time and managed to reach the second floor without any problems.
As soon as they got to the second floor, Xiao Tangqiu couldn’t help but look back at the housekeeper who didn’t disappear like before. She still stood in place, watching them with a mild look in her eyes. The corners of her lips curved up in a strange smile. It was as if she was looking at prey that wouldn’t be able to escape no matter what they did.
Her smile seemed to penetrate into his soul, so much so that Xiao Tangqiu felt chills crawling down his spine. He quickened his pace at once.
They only had two minutes left.
The castle was too big, the corridor was too long, and the time they had left was too short. Xiao Tangqiu was anxiously counting down the time in his head, for fear that he wouldn’t be able to return to their room before midnight.
Fortunately, in the last five seconds, Xiao Tangqiu and Tang Mianmian just made it into their room.
Xiao Tangqiu was the last one to rush inside. He gave a hard push and the door slammed shut.
He sat down slowly with his back against the door, legs weak as he panted, “I… have never… ran so fast in my life…”
He had almost thought that he wouldn’t make it just now. In his state of fear, his head had gone completely blank and he felt as if his body had its own consciousness… Thank goodness, he made it within the last five seconds.
Tang Mianmian was in a slightly better condition than Xiao Tangqiu. He breathed a sigh of relief with great difficulty and sat his butt down on the floor. “It’s 12 o’clock now?”
Xiao Tangqiu nodded. “I timed us earlier so it must be past twelve.”
Tang Mianmian was slightly bewildered. “Why does it seem like nothing’s happening?”
“She said that we can’t leave the room after midnight. I’m guessing everyone will stay in their rooms.” Xiao Tangqiu also felt that the corridor was too quiet. The whole situation was rather fishy. “By the way … did you notice that each of our rooms has a candle at the door?”
Tang Mianmian nodded. “I did. Do they mean anything?”
“I don’t know, but I think they do. Let’s pay attention to them over the next few days.” Xiao Tangqiu said as he turned around and plastered himself to the door. “We can’t see the corridor from our room, which makes me feel a little uneasy. I wonder if there’s a peephole or something so we can look outside.”
“I highly doubt that this sort of big wooden door has a peephole.” Tang Mianmian went over and helped Xiao Tangqiu look. “But there may be cracks, holes or something like that…… Wait a minute, isn’t the gap underneath the door rather wide?”
Xiao Tangqiu looked down, and sure enough, the gap was about two or three fingers wide. It was enough for them to lie down and look outside. He quickly pulled Tang Mianmian down but he was very resistant to doing that. “No, I don’t want to look out. I don’t want to know what’s going on outside at all……”
Xiao Tangqiu saw that Tang Mianmian was unwilling and didn’t force him to look outside either. He lay down by himself and looked out through the gap.
The corridor was dim and quiet, and everything looked just the same as it had looked in the daytime, but there seemed to be a slight difference.
At first, Xiao Tangqiu couldn’t quite figure out what had changed. He just felt that something was off. After studying the corridor for a long time, he finally found something wrong. Looking out from under the crack of the door, the space outside seemed smaller than normal. The corridor appeared much shorter, and all the doors were close together, as if space had been distorted.
He subconsciously wanted to look for Shen Yuan’s room, but before he could, he suddenly saw a candle in front of one of the rooms go out!
After the candle went out, that room instantly fell into darkness.
Xiao Tangqiu jumped in horror. “Shit!”
“What’s the matter?” Although Tang Mianmian was too afraid to look out with Xiao Tangqiu, he had been watching his reaction the entire time. Seeing Xiao Tangqiu’s expression of panic, he nervously asked.
“One of the candles went out…” Xiao Tangqiu looked solemnly at Tang Mianmian. “Could the candle really have some other meaning……”
Tang Mianmian was beyond nervous. “Don’t think too much now! Keep watching first!”
Xiao Tangqiu continued to lie down and look out through the gap but he suddenly felt a chill crawling from his tailbone all the way up his back. Just a few seconds after he had spoken to Tang Mianmian, a puppet had suddenly appeared in front of the room where the candle had been extinguished!
The puppet was the one holding the axe that they had seen earlier today
But right now, the puppet no longer held the axe as before. Instead, it dragged the axe – which was too large to hold – across the floor as it slowly walked towards the door and politely knocked.
Although he didn’t know who was behind the door, Xiao Tangqiu still shouted madly on the inside, don’t open the door! Don’t open the door!
However, a few seconds later, the door was opened… Short and Skinny appeared at the door and looked down at the puppet with a face full of consternation.
Very quickly, the man’s expression of consternation turned into pure panic. He screamed and ran out of the room towards the corridor. Because his legs had been injured, he ran unsteadily, swaying side to side. But he still ran as hard as he could.
The puppet slowly chased after the man, still dragging the axe across the floor…..
Due to his limited field of vision imposed by the gap under the door, Xiao Tangqiu couldn’t see what happened afterwards. He looked out in a daze, blanking out again.
He didn’t know how long it took before the puppet reappeared. It was still wearing the same beautiful little dress and holding its little axe, but now, both its dress and axe were covered in fresh blood.
It skipped towards the stairs like a little child even though it had a blood-stained axe in its hand.