C33 — Last Call

Yu Rui and Feng Huai still put down the puppet.

The puppet was a perfect replica of the person, even the objects on the body would be replicated, and the rules of the game also allowed the existence of the replicated objects by default.

If a substitute puppet was used, the original would usually dispose of the dummy, so that the clues wouldn’t be utilized by those who came after them.

There were only two reasons why Tan Lin’s substitute puppet was still in the same place – Tan Lin didn’t have any system props or clues to utilize, or Tan Lin was too injured and didn’t have the strength to deal with his puppet.


Feng Huai helped Yu Rui flatten the dummy on the ground, he couldn’t help but look at the puppet a couple more times, and said, “It’s really good, enough to pass it off as a real person.”

“It was produced by the game, its quality is guaranteed.” Yu Rui joked.

He examined the wounds on the puppet’s body, speculating on how much mobility Tan Lin’s original body still had left at the moment, “The most serious wound is at the neck, it’s very deep and touches an artery, but fortunately the wound surface isn’t too big, the blood loss is still optimistic, so he should still be able to walk around.”


“After all, the person who did this didn’t intend to take his life, but didn’t care much whether he was dead or alive.” Feng Huai said.


Yu Rui nodded slightly, the person who did this, even if he wasn’t Luo Haonan’s murderer, he must have been one of the accomplices.


“But speaking of which, how did you recognize that this was a puppet and not Tan Lin himself when it was made so realistically?” Feng Huai asked curiously.


Yu Rui lowered his head to look for clues, and after two seconds of silence, he faintly said, “…The biggest difference between a substitute puppet and a real person lies in the joints, after all, puppets are only puppets, and the bone and joint parts are very rigid and stiff, so if you look closely, you will be able to feel the difference between the puppet and the real person’s body.”


Feng Huai smiled and casually said, “Even such a tiny detail was noticed by you, it seems that you are very familiar with substitute puppets.”

Yu Rui’s hand movements slightly paused for a moment as he turned to Feng Huai, his pair of ink-black eyes clouded with too many emotions.


“What?” Feng Huai raised his eyebrows slightly.

“If there was a person who had been fraudulently dead for a year with a substitute puppet, you would have recognized it as well.” Yu Rui said.


Feng Huai paused, what was the connection between fraudulently dying for a year with a substitute puppet and researching puppets?


He took a few seconds to react and shivered slightly, he wouldn’t keep a corpse around to study every day.


Both men tacitly agreed not to bring up the subject again.

The only things recovered from “Tan Lin” were a cell phone and an invitation, which was addressed to Luo Haonan.

“Mr. Tan Lin is cordially invited to attend the opening ceremony for the completion of the New Opera House on November 26th…,” Feng Huai read it out softly and looked at Yu Rui, “The time is just a week later.”

Yu Rui narrowed his eyes slightly, “So our Mr. Conductor has another appointment.”

“No wonder Tan Lin was chosen here.” Feng Huai tugged at the corner of his mouth, Tan Lin was too unlucky, he drew a character role that was on the side of cannon fodders.

Whether the Sif Opera House was remodeled or a new site was chosen, it went against the original purpose of the place and was the source of all the strange events and tragedies.


Feng Huai still remembered the news of compensation for the relocation that they heard when they tailed Luo Haonan after the previous media conference.

They originally thought that since the compensation terms were still under discussion, the reconstruction should still be under planning, but they didn’t realize that Luo Haonan had made preparations early, he was just waiting for the compensation to fall into place, and then he made a great fanfare to push the newly built Opera House in front of the public.

Carefully recalling what Luo Haonan said in the media interview at that time, he had long been paving the way for future momentum in his words.

Feng Huai sneered, that cunning businessman.

Yu Rui turned in Tan Lin’s cell phone, and a WeChat message notification lit up on the phone’s screensaver, dated ten hours ago.


The sender was Luo Haonan, asking Tan Lin about the time and place of the meeting.

“Looking at the time, it should be before the private meeting with me.” Yu Rui said, tapping the screen, “But Luo Haonan doesn’t know that Tan Lin has met an untimely end.”


“Luo Haonan didn’t get a reply from Tan Lin, so that’s why he turned to me, wanting to invite performers to hold his new opera house using my position as the head of the troupe.” Yu Rui slowly rationalized his thoughts.

Feng Huai nodded thoughtfully and added to Yu Rui’s words, “You said that he received a phone call in the middle of talking to you and left in a hurry through the dark passage, and then we sought out this place through the dark passage and saw all this.”


“In other words, that call he received was most likely guiding him to the location or direction of Tan Lin.”


Yu Rui nodded slightly and said, “The meaning of the tarot cards may not be obvious to everyone, but the way Tan Lin was hung upside down would definitely remind Luo Haonan of the conductor who died in the same way in the opera house more than ten years ago.”


“But whenever he feels the slightest hint of weakness, he will definitely panic and choose to run away.” Feng Huai’s eyes were stern.


Yu Rui answered and put away Tan Lin’s cell phone and that invitation card, “Assuming that Luo Haonan came out of the dark door at that time and saw Tan Lin’s corpse, where would he go?”


“If he lifted the curtain and ran outside, he would have bumped into the media people and artists outside the door who were conducting interviews for the evening’s performance, and more staff members would have appeared unexpectedly at all corners.” Yu Rui analyzed.

Feng Huai interjected, “Tan Lin’s body would have been found, the night’s event fizzled out, and once again, the negative news about the Sif Opera House would have taken turns bombarding the news pages for an entire week. And a week later, his new opera house was scheduled to open, Luo Haonan would never allow such a media mishap.”

“So he had to run back into the dark tunnel.” Yu Rui said.

It was just that it was closer to go back to the old performance hall by going through the dark tunnel, so why would Luo Haonan fall from such a high place?


Yu Rui and Feng Huai returned to the dark passage, the oil lamp in the dark passage was always on, illuminating the passage brightly with no dark corners.


Feng Huai squatted on the ground and looked at the shoe prints. It had been raining for the past few days, the shoes were more or less covered with mud and the shoe prints in the passageway were still very new, there was only a single pair of shoe prints facing one direction.


He was even more certain that Luo Haonan didn’t run back, but ran all the way forward in a hurry.

Yu Rui faintly said, ”He didn’t run back, only because he couldn’t. The road behind him was either blocked or something is chasing him.”


“Remember the passageway we initially used into to avoid the night guard?” Yu Rui asked Feng Huai.


Feng Huai’s expression changed slightly, “That thing.”


The narrow passageway that he and Yu Rui mistakenly walked into was only one person wide and narrow, and the height was also low, so they could only bend down and creep forward, that passageway didn’t have oil lamps yet, it was pitch black, so they could only grope their way out with flashlights.


That time they bumped into a person with a greenish-white face, silently trailing behind them, neither approaching nor leaving, until they saw the exit door, and only then did he follow extremely quickly.

Until now, Feng Huai couldn’t be sure whether it was a man or a ghost.

“Assuming that the pathway and this place are also interconnected, that thing was just randomly hanging out in the dark passage. Perhaps it was the very thing that drove Luo Haonan to the highest point.”

As the two of them talked, they walked forward, and as they walked, Yu Rui’s footsteps suddenly lurched.


He bent down close to the corner of the wall, picking up a clump of soft, dark red material on the edge of the wall with his edge of his shoe. It was stuck in the gap of the wall, and when he held it up, it even deformed slightly

“What is that?” Feng Huai frowned and subconsciously asked.

But soon, he recognized it, “… is that Luo Haonan’s tongue?”

Yu Rui answered in a deep voice, and the two of them coincidentally tensed at the same time and looked at each other, “Be careful, keep going forward.”


After walking some more, they found an eyeball on the ground, it was accidentally kicked away by Feng Huai, and rolled into the corner with a gurgling sound.

More blo*od was splattered all over the red bricks of the walls to the left and right, and there was a single panicked bl*oody palm print.

Judging from the height of the blo*ody palm prints, they fit about the same height as Luo Haonan’s.


They then followed the bl*oody palm prints all the way to trot up at a fast pace, and the last blo*ody palm print disappeared in front of a piece of wall bricks, as if it had disappeared out of thin air.

Yu Rui stopped in his tracks, “This is it.”

He fumbled with the wall tiles, and after finding the correct one, he pressed hard.

A piece of the wall rotated open.


It was the very same dome of their nightly performance hall, except that it was higher than what the elevator could reach, and closer to the dome’s colorful painting of the Virgin Mary.


It was a very elaborate quadrangle, not too big or too small, enough for two people to lie flat on, perhaps the architect had designed it to get a better view of the fine masterpiece overhead.

This quadrangle was situated directly above the beams, and was perfectly concealed by the deceptive angle of vision.


The log platform was trampled with messy bl*oody footprints, proving that this was the last place Luo Haonan had been before he was died.

Feng Huai stood at the edge of the platform and glanced downwards, underneath which was the white human-shaped tape depicting Luo Haonan’s death scene.

[Congratulations to players Feng Huai, Yu Rui, and Ji Jian…… for completing the multiplayer side quest: The Last Call, successfully clearing Yu Rui of suspicion; they all get 2 points.]

Yu Rui and Feng Huai both received the system’s prompt, and Ji Jian, who was far away in the hospital receiving bandages, received the same.

Ji Jian blinked and froze for a moment, and his quest panel was populated with a complete description of Luo Haonan’s branch line –

[He received a call from an unfamiliar number, but the voice on the other end of the line was familiar.

It was that person, his face became extremely ugly, and he hurriedly noted down the place and time the other party had set for the rendezvous: seven o’clock in the evening, behind the door, the third secret door.

He hurried there and pushed the door open, but all he saw was a figure; it was Tam Lin, suspended above his head, the same as conductor Nolan.

He realized that everything he had done out of sight had been discovered, and Tan Lin’s downfall was the hint, the forewarning of his death.

He ran into the dark passage, but the footsteps of death were already plastered on him.]

Luo Haonan’s branch description was long, and Ji Jian quickly read everything in one sitting.


He realized that it was the two of them, Yu Rui and Feng Huai, who stayed in the opera house and completed the rest of the mission link.

He clasped his hands together in his heart: thank you big brothers for dragging me along.

“The last branch quest shows completion, but the other branch, the invisible door hasn’t had any progress updates yet.” Feng Huai frowned at Yu Rui.

He thought that this quest should have at least been updated with a new progress alert with the completion of [Last Call].


“[Searching for the invisible door, finding what’s behind the door is considered completing the quest].”

Yu Rui re-read the contents of the side quest and said, “It seems that the thing behind the door in the quest description doesn’t have much connection to Luo Haonan’s death.”



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