Chapter 17 – Promenade Hotel (17)
The painter had already walked out of the fire that was spreading unceasingly through the studio.
The fire seemed to have touched the bottom lines of the people inside the paintings.
The women’s shrill screams mixed together with the painter’s angry roars.
Yan Mingguang glanced lightly at the fire in the studio that was gradually spreading out, “You set the studio on fire.”
Gao Ming was still in a speechless state.
Fortunately, Yan Mingguang recovered quickly.
The two of them dragged Gao Ming and rushed towards room 1.
Yan Wei spoke solemnly, “We were all wrong.
The players have all been misled since the very beginning.
The painter isn’t the biggest source of danger in this instance, the female doctor’s skeleton we found in the underground floor is!!!!”
From the very beginning, the hotel background as well as the paintings had misled the players.
From the moment they were brought to the hotel lobby, whether it was Yan Wei himself or the others, everyone’s attention was on the paintings because there were densely distributed along the corridors and all the stories they heard were about the painter and the paintings.
But they had overlooked the most important point —- Throughout this hotel, in addition to the paintings, there were also a lot of mirrors!
The hotel had misled them, but it had also been hinting at them.
All the dead players seemed to have died from having their eyes dug out, but the attendant didn’t treat them all the same.
That was a hint in itself.
The difference in treatment meant that……the ghosts in this instance weren’t just the painter and the people inside the paintings that are controlled by the painter, but also a second party.
When Yan Wei saw that his reflection didn’t blink, he already had a vague guess.
That guess only became a certainty after he saw Sun Shi’s body in the studio.
Regarding everything about the painter during his lifetime, what they had found out were all true.
A gifted painter with great talent in painting portraits had relied on this ability of his to become famous and open a hotel to hold an art exhibition.
But one day, the painter’s gift was gone, and he could no longer draw the eyes he was most proud of.
The painter who had always pursued perfection could no longer complete a perfect painting.
During his visits to the hospital to treat this problem, he gradually got together with the female doctor who treated him.
Later, the painter suddenly found a method to fix his problem — As long as he dug out a person’s eyes, he could draw that person’s eyes.
The female doctor had a pair of very beautiful eyes.
The painter used a knife and gouged out his lover’s eyes with his own hands.
Like the memory the skeleton shared with them in the underground floor, after the eyes were dug out, the painter had taken them away and completed the portrait of the female doctor.
The female doctor however died from having her eyes dug out and her body was disposed of in the gym on the underground floor by the hotel attendant.
What happened afterwards wasn’t what the female doctor had shared with them! Yan Wei had found it strange from the very beginning.
Why did the painter only kill the female doctor over the past ten years Why did he die after only digging out one pair of eyes As a person obsessed with finishing his paintings, would he really be willing to dig out his own eyes next
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It wasn’t possible.
There was only one answer that could answer these questions and that was: After the painter dug out the female doctor’s eyes, he himself was killed by another person and had his eyes similarly dug out.
By the female doctor who had turned into a resentful ghost after her wrongful death! After the female doctor died, her grievances and desire to find her eyes made her turn into a ghost and take over her body.
The painter’s obsession made him want to complete his paintings while the female doctor’s resentment made her want to dig out his eyes to make up for what she had lost.
As a result, she dug out the painter’s eyes and after his death, his obsession similarly turned him into a ghost.
The painter who had turned into a ghost hid himself inside his paintings while the doctor still couldn’t find her eyes.
She constantly searched around for them and that was why she dug out the eyes of the two players last night.
Unfortunately, none of them belonged to her.
The painter had hidden her eyes every well and she couldn’t find them even now.
The woman in the long dress and the middle-aged man were killed by the painter, but the two players on the thirteenth floor were killed by the female doctor.
The information that they had obtained from the underground floor today were lies the female doctor had fed them.
“So in the end, that skeleton is actually the most dangerous thing here! She is the first victim, but also the other murderer.
The painter said that I would die tomorrow and the attendant also said that we would all be killed…..He in fact wasn’t talking about himself or the painter, he was referring to the doctor —- The doctor would kill us all.” Yan Wei avoided an arm and panted slightly as he finished explaining his thoughts, “She won’t let us off.
The method she told us was all a lie.”
Gao Ming was shocked when he heard this.
There were now several more wounds on his body from the arms coming out from the paintings.
When Yan Wei was done speaking, Gao Ming was unable to dodge in time and subsequently sustained another bloody injury to his thigh.
He hissed in pain, “My god, how did you think of this And why did we burn the studio My brain isn’t big enough for this.”
Yan Wei, “There are two many ghosts out here.
Let’s talk about it after we reach room 1!”
It took them less than a minute to run from the burning studio to room 1.
Just as the painter was about to reach them, the three finally arrived to the door to room 1.
Yan Mingguang who had entered first swiftly cleared out the ghosts in the room and the three of them then proceeded to forcefully shut the door.
The moment they entered the room, there was a sudden change out in the corridor—-
The mirrors on both sides of the corridor that were not stained by blood suddenly started to shake.
Just as the three of them ran into room 1, a skeleton slowly emerged from inside a mirror!
The skeleton’s eye sockets had uneven edges.
It clearly looked like it was damaged by something sharp.
—-It was the skeleton of the female doctor Yan Wei and co found in the underground floor!
But at this moment, the skeleton had actually come out of the mirror and moved on its own.
It angrily roared, “You actually burned the studio!! My eyes are in there.
You set fire to my eyes!!! Damn you!!!!!!!!”
As soon as the skeleton appeared, the other ghosts in the corridor seemed like they had encountered something terrible.
All the bloody arms immediately shrank back into the paintings and the eyeless women scratching at the door to room 1 also retreated.
The skeleton and the painter were now face to face.
The female doctor and the painter who were originally set on killing Yan Wei and co then proceeded to exchange blows with each other in the corridor outside.
Gao Ming used all his strength to keep the door closed.
Hearing the commotion outside, he turned and looked back at Yan Wei, “What’s going on The two bosses are fighting each other”
Yan Wei was exhausted.
The ghosts in the room had all been dealt with by Yan Mingguang.
Despite that, Yan Mingguang looked completely unruffled.
Yan Wei on the other hand was almost out of breath.
He leaned against the wall and took several deep breaths before saying, “They dug out each other’s eyes so of course they would hate each other.
If my guess is correct, the painter usually moved around using the paintings while the doctor moved around using the mirrors so both didn’t have the chance to meet.”
As they spoke, Yan Mingguang who heard Yan Wei’s words promptly moved to cover all the mirrors in the room with bedsheets.
With the people from the paintings in this room having already been dealt with earlier and the medium in which the doctor used to travel around with temporarily covered, they could now have a chance to catch their breaths.
“As for outside, I think that…..” Yan Wei listened intently to the noises outside.
Yan Mingguang spoke, “The skeleton is stronger.”
Yan Wei concluded, “That is to say, the skeleton will win.
Once she finishes the painter off, the next thing she would do would be to knock the door down and deal with us.”
At this moment, the fire in the room next door seemed to be burning more intensely.
The smoke was reaching them already through the thick wall.
“Ah, those people from inside the paintings are too powerful.
It hurts so much.
If we can’t clear this instance, would we be killed by the skeleton My god…..Yan Wei, how did you figure this out”
The door to room 1 was hit with a heavy force.
As the painter and the skeleton fought with each other, the women painted by the painter still continued to try and enter the room.
Fortunately, these ordinary ghosts didn’t have much intelligence.
Without the painter controlling them, they just awkwardly rammed themselves against the door.
The wooden door let out low creaking sounds.
It shook from the impact.
Yan Mingguang directly blocked the door using a sofa to ensure that the door would hold out a little longer.
But there wasn’t much time left for them.
“Long story short,” Yan Wei leaned against the wall.
His tone and speech were hurried, “Gao Ming, do you still remember what I asked you earlier about when your roommate died”
He died around eleven last night.”
The door continued to shake from the repeated ramming.
Hands with sharp nails directly pierced several small holes through the wooden door.
The hands struggled through the punctured holes, as if they were trying to reach for something.
Yan Wei actually chuckled in a situation like this.
The side of his face that was lightly cut was bleeding slightly and his cheeks were also stained with some dust, but those light amber eyes of his were still as bright as stars.
It was as if even if the sky fell, those beautiful eyes would never be filled with fear.
He said, “At eleven last night, the person the painter was going to kill was me.
After I slept—-perhaps it was done using the paintings—I was moved to the art studio from my room.
I was able to escape because I avoided a death trigger, but I remember clearly that it was eleven.
At that time, Yan Mingguang was also with the attendant.
If the painter was with me and the attendant was with Yan Mingguang, then who killed your roommate”
“The painter used the paintings as a medium to move around.
This was something we knew of since our second day here.
As for the female doctor, the medium she uses are mirrors.
Because the gym was filled with mirrors, the black blood didn’t dare flow past it.
She had tried to trick us into finding her eye because she cannot enter the studio —- It’s because the studio had no mirrors.
When those two players died last night, what was next to their body”
Yan Mingguang answered in a low voice, “Mirror.”
“Yes, a mirror!” The corners of Yan Wei’s lips raised, “On the first night, Yan Mingguang and I also encountered a death trigger.
At that time, I found it very strange because we didn’t have any paintings in the room, and I also didn’t hear the door opening.
I believe it was actually the female doctor who had entered our room at that time.”
That was why the bloody handprints appeared particularly delicate.
The female doctor’s skeleton had directly entered and left their room using the bathroom mirror, and the dolls placed by their bed were actually something the attendant had left to attract her over —- That was the death trigger for the first night.
They had thrown the dolls out and the skeleton dug out their eyes instead, allowing them to escape this death trigger.
As for the woman in the long dress next door, she had accidentally triggered the painter’s death trigger and in the end died from having her eyes dug out.
The chronological order of the events at the time was that the woman in the long dress had died first and her corpse was disposed of in the underground floor by the attendant, resulting in her blood getting onto the skeleton.
Later in the night, the skeleton arrived in their room and because the doctor was covered in blood from the woman in the long dress, their room was covered in bloody handprints.
The next night, the betting stage was activated, the difficulty of the instance was increased and the restrictions binding the ghosts were reduced.
The skeleton no longer had the restriction of needing to have dolls by their bedside table and could kill people directly through the mirror.
The bathroom in Gao Ming’s room had a mirror so when Gao Ming’s roommate washed his hands while facing the mirror, he was instantly killed by the skeleton.
As for Sun Shi’s room, there was also a dressing table next to the deceased player.
There were no bloody handprints left behind this time except for a small amount of blood found next to Sun Shi’s roommate because the skeleton had acted first and then the attendant cleaned up the middle-aged man’s body so there was no blood on the skeleton’s hands.
It had only become slightly stained after killing Gao Ming’s roommate so when the skeleton went to kill Sun Shi’s roommate, there were some stains left behind.
That was why the bodies of those two players were not disposed of by the attendant and it was also why method of digging out the eyes was very similar to that of the painters —- It was done using the skeleton’s hand.
But despite having dug out so many eyes, the doctor still couldn’t find her eyes.
With the painter also hiding in his paintings, the doctor could neither find the painter nor her eyes.
So she eventually set her eyes on the ‘guests’ who were still alive and seemingly useful —- That is, players like them.
She tricked the remaining players into luring the painter out of the studio and searching the studio in hope of someone finding her eyes.
The clue Sun Shi had found in the art exhibition….was probably related to this.
Sun Shi thought he had found the key to clearing this instance, but it was actually false information that the skeleton had deliberately left for them to see.
In the end, Sun Shi’s abilities still weren’t enough.
Although he was deceived by the skeleton, he didn’t have the ability to lure the painter out and, in the end, he died inside the studio.
The skeleton then came to deceive them.
It made up a seemingly logical explanation and tried to get them to search for her eyes in the studio.
From the very beginning, the doctor didn’t say anything about letting them live after they found her eyes.
Even if they brought her eyes out, the doctor and painter would never let them go so easily.
There were already several holes pierced through room 1’s closed door.
Arms covered in black blood tried to desperately reach through those holes.
The entire hotel shook from time to time.
The three of them could hear that it was from the impact of the female doctor throwing the painter against the wall.
“….But there is one thing she didn’t lie to us about —- Her eyes should be the key to clearing this instance.
Once we find the eyes, all the grievances in this hotel will be gone.
However, we will die if we find her eyes for her —- This was something Sun Shi’s death helped me realise.
So, what should we do instead” Yan Wei’s eyes hardened, “I think that what we need to do isn’t to help her find her eyes but instead……”
“We need to destroy them.”
Yan Wei raised a brow and cast a glance at Yan Mingguang who had helped him finish his words.
Gao Ming who was clutching his wound quickly understood, “So that was why you set the studio on fire! We don’t have to risk our lives going in to search for the eyes and just needed to destroy the studio…..”
Yan Wei nodded, “Correct.
And the painter and the female doctor are enemies.
If we want to live, we must draw out both the painter and the doctor and let them fight each other to give us time for the studio to be completely destroyed.”
Gao Ming at this moment was covered in all sorts of cuts and bruises.
There were even several bloody holes on him caused by the arms trying to grab him.
This was his fourth instance, but it was his first time encountering such a dangerous low-level instance.
Enduring his pain, his eyes rested on Yan Wei’s face, and he couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with surprise.
The young man’s windbreaker was damaged in many places and one part of his arm had been pierced by one of the eyeless women’s long nails.
Despite his bloodstained clothes and face as well as his tired appearance, he appeared very lively —– It was because of his pair of bright eyes.
Even in a situation like this where every sound made Gao Ming’s heart tighten in fear, Yan Wei was able to remain calm.
Only a few minutes had passed from the moment they got out of the elevator until now, but Yan Wei was able to clearly sort out the misleading clues with one look at Sun Shi’s body and also instantly come up with the plan to set the studio on fire.
Gao Ming was just an ordinary low-level player.
Thanks to his previous profession, he was able to barely pass his earlier instances.
He had never had the chance to run into any big figures or geniuses in this world inside the tower, but while living here, he had heard stories about these amazing people and even watched several live broadcasts of emerging players who have received much attention.
The mysterious Lin Zhen, the unfathomable Jiang Xiu……
Yan Wei was definitely not worse than those people.
What’s more, there was also the taciturn and mysterious Yan Mingguang whose physical stats were clearly through the roof.
Gao Ming sighed, “Although I am very nervous now, I think I am really fortunate.
If I hadn’t met you two, I probably…..wouldn’t have been able to leave this instance.”
“You also saw a black tower and walked in”
“How could that possible You entered on your own initiative As expected.” Gao Ming pushed up his somewhat broken glasses and laughed self-deprecatingly, “I almost thought I was hallucinating and wanted to see a doctor about it, but the tower suddenly appeared in front of me, and I accidentally stepped in when I wasn’t paying attention.
I don’t want to be here at all and just want to leave….
When you enter the world inside the tower, you can use your points to redeem anything, but you’ll also realise that while a lot of people want to accumulate enough points to escape from the fate of having to enter instance, once they have accumulated enough and have reached a high enough level…..Their thoughts have changed.”
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Yan Wei glanced at Yan Mingguang.
The man’s silver-rimmed glasses had been put away during the fight earlier, revealing his distant and cold face with deep features.
Except for his hair that was a little messy, his appearance didn’t undergo too much change.
It was as if no traces of the fight earlier was left on him.
Hearing Yan Wei mentioning the matter of entering the tower, this person just bowed his head and wordlessly glanced at the necklace hanging from his neck.
Whenever the past or his origins were mentioned, this person would become more silent than usual.
Yan Wei knew that Yan Mingguang didn’t want to talk about it but he suddenly had the urge to tease him a little.
He raised a brow, “Why are you always looking at your necklace Could it have been something given to you by your first love Hey, Yan Mingguang, should I help give you some love counselling—–”
Yan Mingguang glanced at him and spoke calmly, “You should shut up.”
Yan Wei, “…..We’re teammates after all.
You should be more polite.”
At this moment, the burning smell was getting stronger and stronger and the temperature in room 1 was steadily rising.
The door to the room was almost about to be smashed down but there weren’t many eyeless women, and they were clearly dealt with by Yan Mingguang the moment they barged in.
Very clearly, the painter was about to lose.
Yan Wei got up.
He slowly approached the door that was in rambles and looked out.
The fire was now spreading over towards them.
The painter was still fighting against the doctor.
At this moment, he only had one arm and one leg left and was on the ground unable to put up any resistance.
Despite this, the painter still roared, “I will not return your eyes…..They’re mine! They belong to my perfect paintings——–!!!”
The skeleton bent down and proceeded to tear the painter apart.
The moment the painter was torn apart, all the eyeless women also turned into torn paper fragments, instantly disappearing.
The skeleton slowly got up, turned her head and directed her hollow eyes at Yan Wei.
“Now, it’s your turn…….You burned the studio!! You burned my eyes!! I will also dig out your eyes and let out your blood!!!!”
Yan Wei retreated back into the room.
He turned back and exchanged a look with Yan Mingguang.
The two spoke at the same time, “Something’s not right!”
From the reasoning earlier, rather than returning the eye, destroying the eye should allow the instance to be cleared and the stairs to appear, but based on the extent of the fire spreading, the studio should already be destroyed….So why wasn’t this instance over
In an instant, the skeleton was already very close.
The moment she was about to grab Yan Wei, Yang Mingguang strode forward, pulled Yan Wei behind him and used his short knife to stab her.
The skeleton’s face that shouldn’t have any expressions seemed to have smirked.
The next moment, she grabbed Yan Mingguang’s hand and then used her other bony hand to reach towards his eyes.
Yan Mingguang reacted quickly and moved to kick her but found himself thrown out of the way instead.
Although Yan Mingguang was able to quickly get back up, Yan Wei was surprised, and Gao Ming began to panic.
With even Yan Mingguang unable to go up against this skeleton…..They clearly couldn’t clear this instance using brute force! The skeleton’s strength was very likely on completely different level to theirs.
Thick black smoke travelled over from the studio next door.
The gradually increasing temperature made the people present dizzy.
Yan Mingguang who had once again lost against the skeleton spat out some blood.
At this moment, as if he had felt something, Yan Mingguang quickly pulled out the painter’s self-portrait from his pocket.
The next moment, that self-portrait dissipated in his hands, turning into a dark grey whip that floated before Yan Mingguang!
Gao Ming was overjoyed.
He quickly yelled, “Grab it! That is an instance dropped item.
It’s better than any ordinary weapon!”
Before he could finish speaking, Yan Mingguang had already grabbed the whip and swung it at the skeleton.
But although this item had boosted his strength, it still wasn’t able to put him on the same level as the skeleton.
The female doctor seemed to have realised that Gao Ming was the weakest among them and instantly charged towards Gao Ming after throwing Yan Mingguang away again!
Yan Wei quickly grabbed Gao Ming and they together avoided her attack.
It had only been a few minutes but the three of them had already exhausted a lot of their physical strength.
They probably wouldn’t be able to last more than a few minutes.
After dodging again, Yan Wei took a few deep breaths.
He tried to calm himself down and numerous thoughts spun around in his mind.
The studio had already been destroyed and the fire was about to reach them, but the instance still wasn’t over.
They must have overlooked something.
What went wrong Was destroying the eyes not the right move No, that wasn’t not possible.
The doctor earlier was trying to trick them and never had the intention to let them leave this place alive.
Sun Shi had also paid for it with his life.
The only possible method was to find the eyes and destroy them so that all the grievances in this hotel will be gone together with the eyes.
If destroying the eyes wasn’t a problem, what else could it be Could the eyes have not yet been destroyed
The doctor could travel through the mirrors and the studio was the only place without a mirror.
The doctor could go anywhere in the hotel so she must have already searched all the places she could search.
The only place she couldn’t enter was the studio.
But that studio had ben destroyed by fire, yet the doctor’s eyes were still fine.
These thoughts flashed over and over in Yan Wei’s mind.
Yan Wei’s eyes lit up.
He got it!
The doctor’s eyes weren’t in the studio!