Chapter 51.2 Where can I find female ghosts who are all good sisters?
Everyone raised their gazes and saw a room filled with countless memorial portraits and candles. The photographs on those portraits were of the female students who had been surrounding them upstairs. Lin Zhaohe’s hair stood on end as he marveled at Qi Ming’s incredible insight. He could truly see through things.
Qi Ming: “It’s just that you couldn’t see it.”
Lin Zhaohe: “The boss didn’t see it either!”
Qi Ming: “Is the boss as inexperienced in love as you are?”
Both of them turned to look at Zhuang Lao, only to see him remain composed. He calmly said, “I have something to attend to. I’ll leave first.” He walked out of the dormitory door without even looking back.
Upon witnessing this, Lin Zhaohe couldn’t help but grin widely, though he wasn’t quite sure why. Nevertheless, his heart blossomed with joy.
Originally, the two of them had planned to leave, but Lin Zhaohe suddenly noticed something and halted in his tracks. He asked, “What’s that?”
Qi Ming replied, “What do you mean?”
Lin Zhaohe pointed, saying, “Over there, on the altar in the room.”
Qi Ming focused his gaze and saw an unusually shaped camera placed on the altar. He immediately recognized the camera’s origin.
In the original work of “The Twisted Path,” the author had devoted significant attention to describing this camera. They even included a somewhat unskilled illustration. In the novel, this camera had the ability to imprison souls. If used to photograph living people, it would render them catatonic, while photographing the deceased would trap their souls. It was considered one of the powerful props possessed by the main characters.
“Why is this thing here?” Lin Zhaohe hesitated and said, “Should we take it out?” He remembered that this item was quite useful. The protagonist had used it to evade the pursuit of vengeful spirits multiple times.
“It should be taken out,” Qi Ming also recognized the importance of this item. He furrowed his brows and suggested, “Shall we go in together?”
“Forget it, you wait outside,” Lin Zhaohe felt that his physical condition was better than Qi Ming’s. If any unforeseen incidents occurred, he believed he could escape. “You keep an eye on the door, don’t let it suddenly close.”
“Alright,” Qi Ming agreed.
Prepared mentally, Lin Zhaohe charged into the room and grabbed the camera, ready to turn around and run. However, just as his fingers touched the camera, the environment around Lin Zhaohe abruptly distorted, like the air warping under intense heat. A scorching heat that seared the skin assaulted him, causing Lin Zhaohe to lose his balance and almost fall to the ground.
After regaining his composure, Lin Zhaohe took a closer look and realized that everything around him had changed. He found himself standing in a charred room, engulfed in flames. The piercing screams of women echoed from beneath his feet, and he felt hands forcefully tugging at his trouser legs. Lowering his head, he saw countless charred corpses, no longer resembling humans but like tormented spirits, unwilling to spare any innocent passerby.
Witnessing this scene, Lin Zhaohe instinctively raised the camera, his finger almost pressing the shutter to lock away their souls. However, in that instant, a thought flashed through his mind. His finger hesitated for a moment, and then suddenly his body was pushed forcefully, slamming hard against the wall.
The pain in his head jolted Lin Zhaohe back to full consciousness. He saw Qi Ming and A’Yao, both wearing terrified expressions, holding him firmly against the wall. The impact from this action resulted in an intense collision between his head and the wall, bringing him back to his senses.
“Damn, my head…” Lin Zhaohe groaned in agony. “Why did you push me so hard? You almost smashed my head.”
“I didn’t want to push that hard!” Qi Ming replied helplessly to Lin Zhaohe’s accusations. “If we hadn’t, you might have killed us.”
Lin Zhaohe: “What’s going on?”
After inquiring, he learned that once he had obtained the camera, he quickly left the room but appeared trance-like, as if possessed. Ignoring Qi Ming and A’Yao’s calls, he even raised the camera, attempting to take pictures of the two. Qi Ming, who had read the original novel, knew exactly what would happen if a living person was captured by the camera. He shouted for A’Yao, and only then were they able to restrain Lin Zhaohe’s actions.
“You scared the hell out of me,” Qi Ming exclaimed, wiping cold sweat from his forehead. “In a place like this, the most dangerous thing truly is one’s own teammate.”
Lin Zhaohe sighed, “It was purely an accident.”
Qi Ming: “Alright, alright. Quickly see what photos are in the camera.” He wasn’t particularly afraid of death and immediately regained his composure.
After studying for a while, Lin Zhaohe figured out how to use the camera and began searching for photos. In the original novel, “The Twisted Path,” the camera’s owner was unknown, and the female protagonist found it on the roadside. The camera in Lin Zhaohe’s hands was exactly the same model, likely the same one.
The earlier photos were all normal. The previous owner was clearly skilled in photography, capturing beautiful and aesthetic images. However, as a woman entered the frame, the style of the photos started to change.
Initially, neither Lin Zhaohe nor Qi Ming noticed the presence of a woman in the frame. It was A’Yao who discovered it and wondered, “Why does this girl keep appearing?”
Lin Zhaohe: “Which girl? Where?”
A’Yao pointed to the corner, and sure enough, Lin Zhaohe saw a girl crouched beside the bushes. Only half of her pale face was visible, easily missed if one didn’t look closely.
In the subsequent photos, the frequency of the girl’s appearances increased. It started with half a face, then a full face, and eventually half of her body.
A’Yao’s thought process was different from that of a regular person. Most people, upon seeing this style of photos, would have immediately associated it with the supernatural. However, A’Yao wondered, “Is the owner of this camera a voyeur? How did they manage to capture photos of a girl?”
Lin Zhaohe and Qi Ming: “……”
“I hope the girl is safe,” A’Yao said. “Although her complexion looks pale, it’s not difficult to see that she’s a beautiful girl.”
Lin Zhaohe silently mocked in his mind. The girl in the photos clearly had no trace of color on her face, so how could he determine if she was beautiful or not?
They quickly flipped to the last few photos. The camera’s owner seemed to be in a long corridor, and at the end of the corridor stood the same woman from earlier. She was dressed in white, her eyes turned into terrifying hollows of pitch-black.
Enlarging the photos allowed them to observe that the photographer was in a hallway inside an academic building. With keen eyes, Lin Zhaohe noticed it was the 4th floor because the adjacent classroom had “4-11” written on it. The photos were slightly blurry due to intense shaking, but when they reached the final one, all three fell into silence.
In the picture, countless women’s faces protruded from both sides of the hallway, each with a different expression, but all were eerily pale, their eyes glaring menacingly at the person holding the camera.
Beyond that point, the camera had no further recordings.
Lin Zhaohe: “This… means they died?”
“Probably,” Qi Ming replied. “According to logic, when the camera captures ghosts, it traps them… so why did the camera’s owner still end up dead?”
“One, it didn’t capture ghosts,” Lin Zhaohe said, “Two, it didn’t capture the ghost that killed them.”
A’Yao wasn’t particularly afraid. He held his chin, pondering over the last photo, sensing that something was amiss.
Lin Zhaohe asked him what was wrong.
“Take a close look at this photo. Don’t you feel like you’ve seen these people before?”
Lin Zhaohe was puzzled. “Seen them before?”
A’Yao: “Aren’t these the same girls we saw upstairs earlier? There might be a few differences… but most of them are from that group.”
Lin Zhaohe: “…You can recognize them?”
A’Yao was baffled. “Isn’t it quite easy to recognize them?”
Qi Ming and Lin Zhaohe chimed in unison, “We have no clue!”
A’Yao: “And that’s why you two can’t find favor with any girls!”
Lin Zhaohe couldn’t be bothered with his remarks. He hung the camera around his neck and said, “Hey, where’s the boss? Didn’t he leave earlier and hasn’t come back?”
Qi Ming also noticed that Zhuang Lao was missing. “Let me give him a call.”
After making the call, Qi Ming learned that Zhuang Lao had already arrived at the entrance of the acdemic building. However, the door there was locked, and he was contemplating whether to search for the key or simply break in.
Qi Ming was startled and quickly tried to persuade Zhuang Lao not to get agitated, as breaking into a haunted building wouldn’t be a wise move.
Zhuang Lao: “Hmm, you guys go ahead. I’ll think about it.”
Qi Ming: “…” He sensed a hint of tension in Zhuang Lao’s “I’ll think about it.”
“Let’s hurry over,” Qi Ming said. “We shouldn’t keep the boss waiting, or else he might end up tearing down the entire academic building.”
Lin Zhaohe nodded in agreement.
The three of them hurried towards the direction of the academic building. According to Qin Ruanruan’s description, the academic building was southwest of their location. After crossing the playground, the closest building would be it. It had a quaint appearance, with wooden windows and floors, resembling an old building from the Republican era.
The sky had completely darkened, and the large campus was eerily silent. The dim streetlights sporadically flickered, accentuating the somber atmosphere.
Despite the scorching weather, Lin Zhaohe felt a chilling sensation running through his body as he walked. He glanced at Qi Ming and realized that he felt the same way. They both crossed their arms and rubbed them, muttering about how unexpectedly cold it was.
Lin Zhaohe glanced at his watch. It was already nine o’clock, and they still had three hours until their agreed meeting time with Lu Pingping and Oedipus.
“We’re here,” A’Yao exclaimed, feeling energized. “Is this the place?”
Lin Zhaohe followed his gaze and saw the academic building described by Qin Ruanruan and… the wide-open entrance door.
“Did the boss go in?” Qi Ming exclaimed fearfully. “I hope he didn’t just blast the door open with a gun.”
Lin Zhaohe pondered silently. For some reason, he felt that Zhuang Lao’s mood seemed a bit off.
Qi Ming: “The lock on the door is really damaged.” He noticed the traces of destruction on the lock. “What should we do now?”
Lin Zhaohe hadn’t expected Zhuang Lao to be so reckless. He could only suggest, “Let’s follow him inside and make sure nothing goes wrong.”
Qi Ming sighed and agreed, knowing that in horror movies, splitting up was a grave mistake.
A’Yao’s face looked uneasy as he stood by. After struggling to contain himself for a while, he couldn’t hold it in any longer and trembled as he said, “What about needing to use the restroom in a horror movie?”
Qi Ming: “…Are you asking for trouble? Are you having stomach pains again?”
A’Yao: “They are so cunning! They poisoned the sausages!”
Lin Zhaohe thought to himself, who in their right mind would start by devouring sausages in a horror movie and then complain about the lack of chili powder?
“I can’t hold it anymore,” A’Yao insisted, clutching his stomach. “Give me some tissue. I need to go to the restroom.” Just as Lin Zhaohe took out some tissue, A’Yao snatched it from him and hurriedly rushed to the restroom.
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