Chapter 42: Widow An Bu
Jian Ningxuan planned to stay at Uncle Jian’s house until the third day of the lunar new year, and An Bu didn’t rush him. She had things to do every day, and she didn’t care about the time and place. However, when sleeping at night, her cat master didn’t like sleeping alone and always ran over to share the bed with her. She could only sleep for about two hours a day, and if she stayed stiff for too long, her body would become stiff. So, after going back, she would still sleep in separate rooms with him; she couldn’t spoil him on this matter.
An Bu took a walk in the garden, wearing earphones and playing with origami in her hands, keeping her brain and body active.
“An Bu.” A bright girl approached, and it was Jian Ningxuan’s cousin, Ge Tingting.
An Bu lowered her earphones, smiling, “Miss Ge.”
“Why call me ‘Miss Ge’? Just call me by my name.” Ge Tingting said boldly, “Just because you’re my cousin’s girlfriend, I respect you like a man.”
An Bu: “…”
“Did my cousin tell you about my profession before?” Ge Tingting took out a business card and handed it to An Bu. “I’m a stylist, and I especially like supernatural makeovers. Recently, we have a supernatural program about to start filming. I’m looking for suitable candidates. The first time I saw you, I felt you have a supernatural aura. Do you have any interest in participating in this program?”
An Bu took her business card: Escape Panic Program Makeup Artist.
“Escape Panic” is a reality show of the supernatural genre. The production team and planning team are separate, and each episode selects guests from different professions to participate in the game. They, along with the production team, enter the filming location, which is often in nationally renowned haunted areas or remote old houses in villages. The planning team sets up frightening scenes and props at the filming location, designing various supernatural events with the goal of scaring people to death. Members of the production team have a “survival card,” but they may also be “possessed” by a “ghost.” Guests must find a way to clear the game and escape from the area alive.
This show is highly popular in the country, airing every two weeks, testing the guests’ intelligence and courage.
Ge Tingting is one of the makeup artists on “Escape Panic,” and she wanted to invite An Bu to play the role of the female ghost in this episode.
Although An Bu wasn’t suitable for appearing on the screen, there was nothing to worry about if she was made up as a ghost. More importantly, she enjoyed role-playing, and this show was popular. After it aired, she would also receive a good amount of vitality points. So, she readily agreed.
“That’s great.” Ge Tingting exclaimed excitedly, “One week later, come to Kangquan Town, rehearse in advance. I believe you can be the scariest female ghost.”
An Bu: “… I think so too.”
In the afternoon, when Jian Ningxuan learned that An Bu was going to shoot a supernatural film in a week, he looked like a newlywed husband who had just been abandoned, full of displeasure. He knew An Bu liked to run around and couldn’t restrain her, but staying at home alone made him feel a bit lonely.
“Can’t bear to part with me?” An Bu looked at him with a smiling squint.
“Yeah.” Jian Ningxuan hugged her, leaning on her relaxedly.
“What to do?” An Bu teased nonchalantly, “Do you want to lock me in a small dark room?”
Jian Ningxuan stared at her with a deep gaze: Did she think he didn’t dare?
“I know my cat master the best; how can you bear to lock me in a small dark room?”
Jian Ningxuan: Since you say so, he’ll have to endure it.
“After finishing, come back. Don’t stay outside too long.” Jian Ningxuan made a request.
“Roger!” An Bu saluted playfully.
Jian Ningxuan’s eyes softened, and he lowered his head to kiss her cheek.
At night, Jian Cheng called Jian Ningxuan to the study and said, “That girl is good; cherish her.”
“Yeah.” Jian Ningxuan replied, “In a while, I plan to propose to her.”
“So soon? Haven’t you known each other for less than half a year?” Jian Cheng didn’t expect him to be ready to propose already.
Jian Ningxuan’s ten fingers interlocked, neatly resting on his knees, and a gentle warmth reflected in his eyes. There was a hint of pride in his tone, “She really likes me.”
Jian Cheng: Clearly, it’s you who likes her!
“Well, after you successfully propose to her, bring her over. There are no other elders in the family now, and I’ll handle it for you.” Jian Cheng thought about the necessary formalities like a meeting gift. He had to prepare for it.
“Thank you, Uncle.” Jian Ningxuan informed him of this matter, also with this intention. He wanted to give the best to An Bu and not let her suffer any grievances.
Jian Cheng looked at him, feeling both gratified and worried.
This child has been lonely since childhood, both in physique and character, it was difficult for him to get close to others. Now that he finally found someone he liked, Jian Cheng genuinely hoped that he could find happiness. However, like his father, he was too dedicated, and once he made up his mind, he wouldn’t turn back. If he and that girl didn’t end up together, Jian Cheng had no idea what he would become.
Jian Cheng had investigated An Bu’s background in the past two days. Although she was an orphan, she was clean, outstanding in both character and academics, matching Ningxuan well.
“Uncle, An Bu and I will leave tomorrow. I just wanted to inform you in advance. You’re often busy with socializing, sometimes going to bed late, and I didn’t want to disturb you early in the morning.”
“Alright, you arrange it yourselves; there’s no need to inform me.”
The next day, Jian Ningxuan took An Bu and left the Jian family villa, heading straight to the airport.
Holding her phone, An Bu browsed the script that Ge Tingting had sent her. She would play the role of a widow running a small inn in the town of Kangquan. Although it was called an inn, it was actually an old-style residence with two courtyards, with around a dozen guest rooms. Seven guests and three members of the photography team would be arranged to stay there.
Kangquan was a very small town, remote and sparsely populated. However, three years ago, there were rumors of haunting, attracting some enthusiasts of the supernatural.
An Bu’s character, the innkeeper, was not only a widow but also mute. She barely maintained her livelihood by receiving outside guests.
Originally, Ge Tingting and the team wanted to find locals to cooperate, but the innkeeper’s role itself could serve as a clue and a supernatural element. So, they decided to choose an outsider.
An Bu had no lines. Apart from arranging accommodation and meals, her appearance was limited. However, she held a clue for clearing the game. According to the script, the “innkeeper” had long been dead and was murdered by the people in the town. To resolve her resentment, the townspeople kept silent about her story and let outsiders stay in her inn as sacrifices to vent her anger.
The guests had to find evidence of her death and leave the inn. If they failed to leave within two days, they would be “cruelly” “killed.”
As long as the guests were clever enough, they would quickly discover this clue and escape from the inn. At that point, An Bu’s role would be minimal.
This kind of supernatural show was not as rigorous as filming a movie. An Bu could improvise. If she showed any flaws, it would be equivalent to providing clues to the guests. Whether it was scary or not depended entirely on acting skills.
“A widow?” Jian Ningxuan also read the script and was dissatisfied with An Bu’s role. What was Ge Tingting’s meaning in arranging a widow role for his future wife?
“She’s already dead.” An Bu added.
That’s even more outrageous!
Jian Ningxuan endured, “Are you sure you want to play a widow?”
“You think I can’t perform well?” An Bu tilted her head and looked at him.
“It’s not that. You can perform anything well.”
“I also think so.” An Bu stood up, turned around in front of him, and gave a charming smile, “A beautiful widow living alone.”
Jian Ningxuan: “…” Is this trying to seduce someone? I’m still worried about her running out!
That night, Jian Ningxuan insisted that An Bu exercise for a few hours. Due to the intense movements, her body not only didn’t stiffen but also got a good relaxation of muscles.
Despite this, An Bu didn’t share a room with Jian Ningxuan that night. The reason was that he was too enthusiastic and lacking restraint. However, only she knew how much she liked his enthusiasm.
A week later, An Bu packed her bags, bid farewell to Jian Ningxuan, and headed to Kangquan Town.
Ge Tingting’s planning team had already been in the town for two or three days. The various props and scenes were basically arranged properly. In two more days, the town would be open to the public, not just for the program guests but also for some unknowing tourists. The planning team had to try to avoid scaring these unrelated tourists while keeping the program confidential.
Of course, if they had seen the “Escape Panic” program before, they should quickly realize that they were shooting a program.
Guided by Ge Tingting, An Bu walked into a dilapidated house. A signboard at the entrance, resembling a wooden plank, displayed the crooked words “Graceful Inn.”
“How is it? Can you adapt to the environment here?” Ge Tingting asked.
“Yeah, no problem.” An Bu looked around for a week, secretly sighing that they were really good at finding places. The place was cold and damp, with an eerie atmosphere. Even if it wasn’t haunted, staying here for an extended period could affect one’s health.
“This is your bedroom.” Ge Tingting led An Bu to the end of the corridor and, with a creak, opened the door. A damp, musty smell immediately hit them.
An Bu’s sense of smell was still normal, and her perception of death energy was particularly acute. This room had undoubtedly witnessed someone’s death, with a few lingering traces of death energy in the air. As she entered, she passively absorbed it, but it only increased her death energy score by 1 point.
The room, around ten square meters, contained a decades-old wooden bed, a large round dressing table next to the bed with a blurry mirror. Opposite the dressing table was a wardrobe with a mirror attached to its door. There were no windows in the room, the walls were mottled, and the light was dim, requiring a lamp even during the day.
The only acceptable thing was that the beddings were newly changed, and when touched, they still retained some warmth, likely just dried.
“Do you have any other requirements for the accommodation conditions? Feel free to mention them.” Ge Tingting probably also felt that the environment was a bit eerie and took the initiative to speak.
“Nothing much, it’s fine,” An Bu smiled nonchalantly.
“Really?” Ge Tingting confirmed repeatedly before finally feeling relieved. “That’s good. I was really worried that you might just quit on the spot. After all, this place doesn’t seem suitable for living. As a girl, you might feel scared.”
An Bu: It’s okay, she’s not really human.
She walked around the room, then came to the corridor, looking at this heavily haunted old house. Suddenly, she felt that this season’s program should be quite exciting…