“Why are you yelling so loudly? Be careful, you could be heard!” Hearing Yang Qi’s scream, Li Hao suddenly became angry and turned red, “If they hear you, we could all be kicked out!”
“Don’t worry about that. The soundproofing of the villa is very good.” Lu Tianyi said, “Actually, Yang Qi’s concerns are reasonable. We have to stay in the villa for seven days, and we can’t not eat or drink anything for the next seven days, right? Even a body made of steel can’t do it.”
Seeing everyone’s frowns and dreary mood, An Qing smiled and bashfully said, “Sorry, but I forgot to tell everyone that I found these under the bed.”
An Qing took out a pack of compressed biscuits and revealed it to everyone, “I thought that since there was Chef Zhu around, we didn’t need to eat these, but if everything in the kitchen is inedible, then we will eat these meager snacks for the next few days.”
“Compressed biscuits? I can’t believe that there’s such a thing!”
Hearing An Qing’s words, everyone’s eyes lit up with hope.
If you were tough at heart, those rats and snakes weren’t completely inedible, but since firstly, the meat was spoiled, and secondly, they contained lots of parasites, they could not eat them. Even if they did eat these malicious foods, no one could guarantee that they wouldn’t have diarrhea afterward. In this game’s world, diarrhea could ultimately lead to one’s death.
“Miss An Qing, where are the compressed biscuits located? Are they all under your bed?” Lu Tianyi asked.
“No, the whole box is under Brother Lu’s bed. I couldn’t move it myself, so I just took one and carried it around.” An Qing added, “I saw that there were two big boxes of compressed biscuits. One box was already opened and partially eaten by others, but I think the rest is enough for us to last the seven days. I just don’t know if they’ve expired yet.”
“The shelf life of compressed biscuits is quite long, and granted it expires, it is still better than eating those stinky rats.” Liu Kui said, “Damn it, this owner is so rich. Let’s go and ask to see if he’ll allow us to eat out? Isn’t there supposed to be a food subsidy for hiring servants during this time?
“Don’t. We can’t do that.” An Qing interjected, “We still haven’t determined if the owner of the villa is a man or a ghost. If by chance you go to ask him, the owner will simply ask us why we won’t eat the food in the refrigerator. Wouldn’t we be exposing ourselves and the biscuits? Besides, we are only a group of temporary workers. It’s better for us to avoid causing problems and increase unnecessary risks.”
“Sister is right, absolutely right.” Zhu Fugui nodded his head and agreed.
After discussing for a while, everyone finally agreed to the proposal of eating the compressed biscuits.
They only needed to spend seven days in the game, not a lifetime. They could wait to return to the real world and eat anything their heart’s desire. They shouldn’t make trouble for just a bite.
Because of An Qing’s information, Zhu Fugui and Lu Tianyi moved the box to An Qing’s room and put the two cardboard boxes on the table accordingly.
Between the two boxes of compressed biscuits, one box was peanut-flavored while the other box was ground meat-flavored.
It has been a while since arriving at the villa this morning, and Bai Yan happened to be hungry now, so he gingerly took a piece of the peanut biscuit and smelled it. When he discerned that there was nothing wrong with it, he took a bite and swallowed the piece into his throat.
These compressed biscuits were still quite chewy but just a tad too salty for his tastes. After taking a bite, he wanted to drink some water immediately.
He went to the kitchen to grab a cold refreshing drink and when Bai Yan returned to the room, he found that Su Xiaoqian, who delivered food to the eldest son, had also returned.
Su Xiaoqian’s expression was sullen. Her hands were dripping wet, and her skirt had traces of water on them. She must have thoroughly washed her hands.
As Bai Yan walked over, she did her best to sort out her emotions and said in a trembling voice, “I saw the family’s eldest son! The madam only told me that her eldest son was in poor health and was recently in a bad mood, but she didn’t tell me that her eldest son also had mental problems!”
Su Xiaoqian’s words roused everyone’s attention. After a busy morning, other than knowing the owner’s peculiar diet, he found no other useful clues.
With what Su Xiaoqian had said just now, they all knew that it was a big fish, so they gradually calmed down and listened to what Su Xiaoqian discovered.
Seeing everyone’s attention entirely focused on her, Su Xiaoqian took a deep breath and tried to calm down, before trembling as she continued, “I went to the cellar with the plate of mice meat, as ordered by the madam, and saw an iron door with a person locked inside. As soon as he heard me, the person at the other side of the door started madly screaming at me, ‘You are all mad, I’m not the crazy one! Quick let me out! Let me out!’,’You must be crazy, you’re all crazy!!!’.”
After talking about it, there was a sudden flash of fear reflecting in Su Xiaoqian’s eyes, “That person’s voice is piercing to the ear, not like a normal person’s voice but more like that of a mental patient. Anyway, I was frightened when I heard this voice and when I was approaching him, I found that the door was bolted shut and could not be opened at all. The iron door also had a small window at the bottom, small enough for the plates to pass through, but not big enough for preventing people from escaping.”
After a slight pause, Su Xiaoqian hesitantly added, “Then, I walked over and squatted down, only to catch a whiff of a foul odor, which smelled particularly smoky. I gently knocked on the door and told the person inside that I brought him his lunch. In turn, the man started roaring aimlessly again, telling me to get lost and to take the food away because he doesn’t want to eat them.”
“If he weren’t causing such an uproar, it means that the eldest son and the second son both don’t want to eat the strange meat.” Su Xiaoqian’s face turned perplexed, so Bai Yan told her about what happened during noon, “The meat dishes that Old Zhu prepared for lunch was completely licked clean by the master and the madam. On the other hand, their second son only ate some vegetables and two spoonfuls of soup, and he didn’t touch the meat dishes at all.”
“Maybe he didn’t like eating them.” Su Xiaoqian slowly nodded, acting a little calmer, “Straight from the person’s mouth, he declared that he detested eating these things, and even thinking about them made him feel sick, but the madam ordered me to make him eat it. I was afraid that I would not finish her task, so I pretended to help him find a way out and promised to help him to coax him to eat some of the mice. I heard a swallowing sound from the inside, but I’m not sure if he had finished it all. In any case, when the plate was returned, there wasn’t anything left, so he must have eaten it.”
Su Xiaoqian brought a lot of information, leading everyone to ponder on it and dissect it, word per word.
After a pregnant pause, An Qing asked, “Did you ask him information about the villa? And, are you really sure that he is the eldest son?”
“I think it’s him because there was only one door in the cellar and I only heard his voice.” Regarding this matter, Su Xiaoqian is fairly certain, “Actually, I think that maybe he and the second son are the most normal people among the family. Although he is a little crazy, constantly yelling and throwing out words, he and the second son both don’t like eating dead mice and cats, which is enough to prove that they are real people.”
“Not necessarily.” After listening to what Su Xiaoqian had to say, Bai Yan considered it for a moment and abruptly looked up, “If they are both normal, why is he locked up in the cellar while the second son is not?”
“Being forced to eat dead mice all day and every day, regular people will surely lose sanity.” Su Xiaoqian said, “Well if it were me, I would definitely go insane.”
“Everyone needs to eat, even during years of famine, but not everyone goes crazy because of it.” Just as he finished speaking, Bai Yan felt that there was something amiss with his thoughts, so he quickly corrected himself, “But you are correct, there may be other reasons that we don’t know of why the eldest son is currently locked up.”
“So, did you ask about the villa? Did he talk about his parents?” Bai Yan asked.
“No, if he had said anything, I would have already told you.” Su Xiaoqian shook her head sadly, “His mental state is really problematic. Except for going crazy, shouting for me to go out, repeating that he isn’t insane, and avoiding the food I brought for him, it would be pointless asking him since he doesn’t answer them.”
After saying her piece, Su Xiaoqian expressed that she really didn’t know anything else.
The eldest son’s abnormal behavior made everyone realize that something important must have happened to him, which may correlate with their current game.
After a brief discussion, the group decided to continue to come into contact with the eldest son and see if his rationale could be restored in the hopes of him revealing unknown information.
Of course, due to their duties as staff of the household, this difficult task was unfortunately handed over to Su Xiaoqian.
As the villa’s maid, she delivers three meals to the eldest son in a day, therefore, giving her plenty of opportunities to get in touch with him.
At the mention of the meal delivery, Su Xiaoqian’s expression changed again. She remembered the disgusting dish and almost got sick. But as noon fell, she got a little hungry and asked everyone, “What do we eat for lunch? Break time is about to end, and I don’t want to work on an empty stomach. “
“Here, compressed biscuits.”
Bai Yan threw her a ground meat-flavored pack, and Su Xiaoqian quickly ripped the packaging open and stuffed the contents into her mouth, not getting even a small amount of taste.
While Su Xiaoqian was busy eating, the other people, who didn’t feel like eating, also saw the need to eat. After all, they still had a whole afternoon of work that needed to be done. If they didn’t eat now, it was plausible for them to encounter something later but not have enough strength to deal with it.
As everyone was quietly eating the biscuits, An Qing bit hers while sharing to everyone, “Oh yes, there is still one more thing. Since everyone was discussing, I didn’t have time to bring it up earlier. But when I was searching through several rooms today, I saw bits of dried blood on the headboard. The bloodstains were dried up for a long time, so the color of the bed board was very dark. So much so that I almost missed it.”
“I personally think that these rooms are all servant’s rooms, and the people living here were all servants, so it was most likely that the blood belonged to the earlier workers.” An Qing heaved a stress-filled sigh, “The madam previously said that those people’s actions were not swift, and their hands and feet were not clean, so they were dismissed. Now, it seems like they weren’t fired normally, as they were likely killed off.”
“In this villa, it was already difficult for them to leave normally. If there were no problems, why would the game put us in here?” Bai Yan’s eyes grew brighter as he said a devastating fact, “If the dead were really the departed staff… then we don’t need to think about what happens when we make a mistake. If we don’t complete the game’s tasks, the ghosts in this villa will send us all to hell.”
Defensivecake/ Bee: Hallu!!! I’ve decided to switch back to the original schedule, so I’ll be posting chapters every Saturday and Sunday 8 AM GMT+8 starting next week.