After hearing this sound, Lu Chu ran to the four doors that were getting knocked to observe. Soon, he realised that handwritten words had appeared on these four doors, and they were as distorted as the words in the password box, and difficult to identify.
These four sentences were–
It’s here, behind a certain door.
Be careful, don’t get caught by it.
When you see it, the key will be able to open the correct door.
The Doll and Teddy dance.
The meaning behind the first three lines were obvious, when this ‘it’ opened one of the doors between these four doors, and entered this place, it would threaten Lu Chu’s safety. When ‘it’ appeared, Lu Chu needed to escape from its pursuit, and at the same time, take advantage of that opening to escape from this place.
As for this last sentence, Lu Chu couldn’t really understand……
At present, he might as well do the most important thing, which was finding the correct door. The knocking sound from outside the corridor became louder, banging deafeningly, and seemed to be moving towards smashing the door open. The strength behind all the doors were practically the same, and there was no way to differentiate them, much less tell which door ‘it’ would appear from.
Lu Chu rearranged all the clues that he had gotten, and thought of the sentence, ‘the entrance is the exit’.
The knocking on the door increased bit by bit, and the mottled wallpaper on the wall started to peel off, and the dust from the wall landed on the ground. Lu Chu tightened his grip on the key.
He wanted to live on.
He wanted to see 7.
7 still owed him an explanation.
After thinking for a while, Lu Chu had already figured out which door he was going to open.
The corridor wasn’t wide, only allowing four people side by side to pass at a time, forming a peculiar ‘box in a box’ shape. The door on every wall, the narrow space, all didn’t give Lu Chu any space to escape. If he wanted to escape from ‘it’s chase, Lu Chu needed to use this narrow and repetitive space to make several rounds, and stop to open the correct door during this process too.
The four doors were placed at the right side of the walls, and the door of the small room was in the middle. Lu Chu adjusted his position and stood somewhere in the middle of the small room’s door and the door on the opposite wall, and tried his best to distance himself from each door, to ensure that later, when ‘it’ appeared at any door, he would have enough time and space to escape.
“Bam! Bam! Bam, bam, bam!”
The sound of knocking turned into banging, and mixed inside were ‘it’s’ vague beast-like roars, as if complaining about why Lu Chu didn’t open the door and let him in.
Lu Chu held the knife in one hand, and the torchlight with the other. He decided that the instant he saw ‘it’, he would throw the torchlight over. In order to ensure that he could open the door quickly, it was best to hold the keys in one hand. The knife was to protect himself, so he could only abandon the torchlight that he used for illumination. The space and size of this ‘box in a box’ shaped corridor had already been carved into Lu Chu’s heart, and because he hadn’t able to see for the past twenty years, he could completely rely on his hearing to move forward; this was his advantage.
Taking a step back, after the flashlight hit ‘it’, and fell to the ground, if it wasn’t broken, it still would be able to illuminate a certain range, thus reducing the real blind spot even more.
Lu Chu, who had decided on his course of action, listen attentively to his surroundings.
Time passed by second by second, and there was only a ‘clang’, followed by the loud sound of a door opening, before a clear voice came, “found you.”
‘It’ didn’t come from the four doors in the corridor, but opened the small room’s door, and walked out!
Lu Chu’s whole body froze, and after seeing how it looked like, threw the flashlight towards ‘it’. Then, after he had attained some temporary buffer time, Lu Chu turned and ran!
Luckily, in order to guard against the unexpected, Lu Chu didn’t stand in front of the small room’s door, otherwise, standing that close would have been akin to throwing himself into a trap.
The footsteps behind him were clumsy and slow, and Lu Chu unconsciously slowed his footsteps, afraid that if he ran too fast, he would end up face to tail with the teddy bear.
That’s right, ‘it’, was a huge teddy bear.
Calculating the time, it hadn’t even been a day since Lu Chu could see things. When he guessed that it was a teddy bear from its shape, he still couldn’t really believe it. However, when he saw its stained stomach and the inside-out cotton, he had no other choice but to believe everything in front of him. This teddy bear was almost as tall as Lu Chu, its original glass eyes had been taken down, and had mottled pieces of clothes inlaid in it. The tattered pieces of cotton around its mouth had been turned out, and looked as if it had been sown together, like the uneven teeth of a saw.
The most terrifying thing was that this bear was holding a chainsaw in its hand, with the tip dragging on the ground, and the ensuing friction causing an ear-piercing sound. Along the chainsaw’s teeth, a dark, and thick liquid continuously dripped.
The bear was obviously awkward and clumsy, and its speed wasn’t fast, yet it followed behind Lu Chu step by step. Lu Chu couldn’t throw it off, thus he couldn’t find the time to open the door. Without any other choice, Lu Chu could only quicken his steps, and for a moment, there was only the sound of the bear’s clumsy steps and Lu Chu’s quick ones echoing in this ‘box in a box’ corridor.
“Tap, tap, tap—” This was the sound of Lu Chu’s footsteps.
“Bam—Bam—” This was the sound of the bear’s footsteps.
Suddenly, the sound of the bear’s footsteps vanished.
Immediately, Lu Chu stopped his steps. His whole body felt cold, and he stood around a corner to wait and see. Currently, he was in the corridor where the small room’s door was facing, and the fallen flashlight illuminated a small area, which was enough to let him see the nearby situation.
Lu Chu stopped his breath, tightened his grip on the knife in his hand, and stood at the corner, looking around the two corridors, trying to guess where it would approach from.
Time slowly passed by, and the corridor was so quiet that only Lu Chu’s light breathing could be heard……
A bad feeling crawled up Lu Chu’s back towards his brain, causing his whole body to feel cold–
“Hu…… Hu……” Cold air landed on Lu Chu’s neck, and at the same time, a dull and deep voiced said slowly behind his ears, “found you.”
The light from the flashlight shone towards this direction, casting half a shadow of a raised chainsaw on the wall, almost merging it with Lu Chu’s own.
Lu Chu’s breathing froze, and he instantly moved sideways and barely avoided the chainsaw that chopped downwards. After, he didn’t dare to stop at all, and ran forward with a sudden big stride. Two seconds later, the giant bear reacted and stepped forward, dragging the chainsaw. At the first corner, Lu Chu purposefully slowed his footsteps, and used his ears to estimate the distance between the giant bear and himself. Just as it was about to catch him, he used the quickest speed possible, then turned back and ran!
The giant bear’s body was clumsy and slow, and it took another two seconds for it to react. By this time, Lu Chu had already quickly taken the key and opened up the small room’s door, and in one go, rushed in, then closed the door without even looking.
Finishing these actions, he leaned against the door, panting.
— ‘The entrance is the exit’.
Lu Chu entered into the corridor from the small room, and the giant bear also appeared from that door, so, the door of the small room could be considered as the ‘entrance’, if that was the case, then the exit would be that door too.
Lu Chu had a bold guess, that using the key to open the door to the small room after the giant bear had appeared, wasn’t the same room as the one that Lu Chu had entered and exited from.
He calmed down, and realised that the room in front of his eyes suddenly lit up, and the pleasant yellow light excluded warmth and gentleness. The originally old and shabby room disappeared. What replaced it was cleanliness and comfort, and neat sheets lined with cute patterns. Dolls were all over and floor, and this confirmed Lu Chu’s guess of there being different rooms before.
He…… was this considered a success?
Lu Chu sat on the floor against the wall, and fell into confusion.
Just at this moment, his body started to uncontrollably twitch in pain, and his consciousness started to dissipate. When he returned to his senses, he realised that he was sitting on a bed, with a soft pillow behind him, a cute and thick bedding on his legs, and there was a teddy bear plush in his hands.
Lu Chu wanted to speak, to get up, yet he realised that his actions weren’t within his control. What surprised him the most was that his hand became small, his hair was long and soft, and his height appeared to be about a six to seven years old…… little girl.
This wasn’t him.
Lu Chu acted extremely calmly, and he could steadily face any mysterious thing.
In this type of situation, he seemed to be in somebody else’s body, experiencing another type of life.
Lu Chu watched as ‘she’ brought the teddy bear in ‘her’ arms up to ‘her’ eyes, gave a cute laugh, and used ‘her’ face to nuzzle against the bear.
“Today’s my birthday, bear-bear, dance with me, okay?” The child innocently followed along, and used both hands to lift the teddy bear into the air, humming the song <The Doll and the Teddy dance>,1洋娃娃和小熊跳舞. An actual Chinese children’s song. shaking back and forth, letting out a sheepish and happy laugh at times.
“Bam!” Just at this moment, the door was violently opened, and a fierce-looking woman walked in. She took the bear from ‘Lu Chu’s hands, threw it to the ground, and used her strength to stomp on it twice, then roared ferociously, “how could I have given birth to a useless thing like you! What use do you have if you’re not a boy?! Will he even spare a glance at us…… Seems like, he will…… He really will, hahaha……” After the woman furious shouts, she gave an insane and sinister laugh, and talked to herself, “he will spare a glance for you, buy you toys, but what about me? I love him…… and without me, where would you have come from!”
After this came a series of punches and kicks, and currently, Lu Chu was this child, and that kind of beating, to vent her anger, had landed on him without any mercy at all, and it was extremely painful.
The woman purposefully avoided the child’s face, felt bored after hitting for a while, and left with a ‘clean up by yourself’, followed by slamming the door.
Lu Chu watched as ‘she’ lifted off the bedding covering ‘her’ legs. The pair of legs under the bedding was covered in scars, and bruised all over. ‘She’ dragged her aching body off the bed, hugged the thrown teddy bear to ‘her’ chest, and her tears fell unconsciously, wetting the teddy bear’s fur.
“The Doll and the Teddy dance, dance and dance, one, two, one.
They dance in a circle, dance and dance, one, two, one.
“You’re the teddy, I’m the doll.”
The child’s immature and tear-filled voice choked and stammered.
“Bear-bear, it hurts. Save me.”
The time seem to be adjusted to flow at a high speed, and ‘Lu Chu’ had never left this room before. Everyday, ‘she’ would hug the teddy and talk to ‘herself’, occasionally ‘father’ would come to visit, and he would pat her head and call her a good child. After ‘father’ left, she would usher in the woman’s harsher beatings. Finally, one day, her legs couldn’t be used anymore.
Slowly, she stopped speaking, and hugged the teddy without saying anything, with lifeless eyes.
“Bear-bear, save me.”
Lu Chu couldn’t control himself as he picked up the scissors beside him. He could only watch as ‘she’ firmly and awkwardly plucked out the bear’s beautiful eyes, before mending it with scraps of fabric., then, pick apart its mouth, and used a hidden needle to sew it up. Finally, ‘she’ used strength to rip open its stomach, and caused the cotton inside to be turned out.
“Clack—” The woman opened the door, and when she saw the scene in front of her, she shrieked again, “what are you doing again? Did I give birth to you just to bring trouble for myself?!”
Saying that, she quickly walked over, lifted the broken teddy bear up, and viciously threw it out of the room.
Without a doubt, another ruthless beating followed.
The woman left the room in high spirits after beating, and the child was lying on the bed, singing a song, a bit at a time.
“The Doll and the Teddy dance, dance and dance, one, two, one.
Suddenly, the woman’s shrieks and shouts travelled in from the outside, and following that was the sound of a machine starting, then, the shrieks abruptly stopped. Immediately after that was the sound of blood spurting after something sharp had entered into a human body.
What came through the door was a strong and bloody smell.
Blood dripped from the corner of the girl’s mouth, and it was clear that she had been beaten too brutally before, and her internal organs had been injured. But, she still continued to sing, softly, and carefully.
The sound of the machine stopped, and the blood-red liquid slowly flowed into the room. “Step—Step—” The teddy bear that had been hideously sown together had become extremely big, and danced over the bloodstained floor as it approached.
At this time, Lu Chu was still in the girl’s body, and he could only uncontrollably continue on with her movements, and lay down flat beside the bed, letting the blood drip from the corner of ‘her’ mouth.
The giant bear stood beside the bed, and in its hand was an electric saw it had gotten from some unknown place, and it looked at the girl with eyes that had been inlaid with fabric.
“I came, to save you.”
Then, came the sound of an electric saw, and the giant bear lifted its hands up, and the side of Lu Chu’s lips lifted up without his control.
Then, pain from having his body cut into half burst over him.
When he woke up covered in sweat, Lu Chu was lying in the separated space with floating panels.
One of the panels grew out paper-like arms and legs, fell beside Lu Chu’s legs, and he picked it up. As expected, he saw what was written on it – Congratulations on living through the previous ‘game’.
The translator has this to add:
Moral of the story? Don’t hurt your kid’s stuffed animals lest they find a chainsaw from somewhere.