The Trial Game of Life

The Trial Game of Life – Chapter 72

Table of Contents | Character Guide

Chapter 72: Before Dawn (11)

“1916, my parents got married in 1916.”

The key that the young miss stuffed through the crack on the door matched the keyhole of the piano room. At this time, there were still eleven minutes left before the clock hit 12 o’clock. Not daring to delay any second, Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng rushed to the second floor, paying no mind to the young miss’ reaction after receiving the letter.

Qi Hui couldn’t keep up with their speed and had to stay in the living room, waiting for the piano to sound at midnight and cross with them to the year 1926.

On the second floor.

In the empty piano room, only a solitary piano was bathing in the gloomy moonlight. There were several obvious fingerprints on its keys, proving that the young miss must have been here.

The piano bench could be opened up, where Tang Cuo found another key.

But other than that, there was really nothing in the piano room, let alone any movements. The two searched all corners of the room and tapped on the walls, but they didn’t find any secret room or trigger any plot.

“If the movement isn’t here, where would it be?” Jin Cheng said.

“Let’s open the door first.” Tang Cuo firmly made the decision, and the two returned to the corridor, trying the key inside the piano bench on the doors of the lady’s and the young miss’ rooms.

Just at this moment, the young miss’ angry cry came from downstairs: “You lied to me!”

The letter was forged by Jin Cheng. The handwriting looked like Yu Wangyue’s from a distance, but it was rushed and his attempt to make it look worn out wasn’t very great either. A close look would expose the forgery at once. Of course, the fooled young miss instantly became irate, so the next thing that pierced their eardrums was Qi Hui’s exclamation.

“She’s starting to set fire! It’s a big fire! It’s burning!”

Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng looked at each other with the same calmness in their eyes. There were only a few minutes left. The young miss could burn down the place as she wanted to. Anyway, when the time came, they could pat their buttocks and leave.

As they continued with their trial and error, it was the young miss’ room that was unlocked.

The room carried an obvious aura of a young lady from a rich family. It had a western style, with two old dolls clad in princess dresses on the bed.

Seeing the dolls, a common element in horror movies, Tang Cuo took them apart without saying a word. Hearing the crisp sound of cloth being torn, Jin Cheng felt a bit of a toothache.

Tang Cuo ignored him and turned on his ‘disassembling maniac’ mode. In just five minutes, the lady’s bedroom became a garbage recycling station, and the horror movie atmosphere vanished without a trace.

Also, he blatantly hated Jin Cheng’s inefficiency.

“Have you found anything?”

“No.”

“.”

“Did you just hate me?”

I’m going to say it once: You can’t hate me when we haven’t even started dating. Not good.

Tang Cuo didn’t want to talk to him. After tearing open the dolls, he found a small bamboo basket from the drawer of the dressing table, which contained various lacy ribbons, rags and a sewing kit. If they put in the small golden scissors found in the fireplace, it nicely made one set.

This was probably one of the evidence that the young miss killed the lady. If the player couldn’t get the answer from the young miss herself, then this could be the proof.

There was also a safe hidden in her wardrobe, with a six-digit password.

In the last two minutes, both Tang Cuo’s movements and mind acted quickly. His fingers swiftly entered the number ‘180206’, because he remembered this from Yu Wangnian’s diary:

[February 6, 1920
My 2-year-old baby will soon learn to say “Daddy”.
I’ve prepared the best gift for her and kept it in a private safe at Jincheng Bank. I’ll take it out when she’s 18 years old.]

He made a bet. 6th February was the young miss’ birthday, so two years earlier made it 6th February 1918.

“Click.” The safe opened.

“It’s too late, we have to hurry up.” Jin Cheng’s reminder also came. Left with no time to pay close attention to anything, Tang Cuo took away the contents of the safe and followed Jin Cheng back to the piano room.

They also wanted to see the changes in the piano room at 12 o’clock.

The moment they stepped into the piano room, “Ting!”, the chime from the living room came promptly. The two turned towards the piano at the same time and saw Yu Wangyue’s ghost standing in front of the piano, but he didn’t sit down and play.

Without any player, the piano stayed exactly the same. Naturally, there was no sound at all.

Tang Cuo frowned. At this moment, Yu Wangyue turned his head. Tang Cuo followed Yu Wangyue’s line of sight and saw the man in the attic coming through the wall.

The two ghosts stared at each other from a distance, then Yu Wangyue suddenly stepped back and gave up his position in front of the piano.

This was interesting.

Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo didn’t dare to bother those two, so they both folded their arms and leaned against the door to look. At this time, Qi Hui also ran up because of the fire on the first floor and turned up at the door panting hard, but he was stopped by Jin Cheng’s hand.

“Shhh.”

Qi Hui hurriedly came to a stop, not daring to even breathe loudly.

The man in the attic finally walked to the piano and stroked it gently, his gaze deep and complicated. The fire had spread up here and the flames were poking in from the cracks on the windows as if to burn even the moonlight. The heat waves slowly seeped in from the corridor.

Amidst the crackling sound, this run-down abandoned mansion eventually gave in, its gradual collapse heard through the air. As the glasses shattered and the beams fell down, the destruction of the entire place was only a matter of time.

The flames danced in the eyes of the man in the attic. He looked at it from a distance, as if thinking of the distant past. After a long time, he finally sat down before the piano, raised his hand and pressed the first note.

The eerie yet gentle melody of the [Song of God, Lambs and Crow] cast over the fire, carried by the heat waves throughout the house. It kept moving upwards and upwards, drifting all the way towards the bleak moon.

At this time, Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng weren’t in a hurry to leave. The heatwaves or the fire no longer mattered as they stared intently at the man in the attic playing the piano.

He played as though the surroundings didn’t exist, his expression agonising yet delightful at the same time. Although the melody was eerie, it perfectly matched his expression and the old mansion on fire.

As they looked back, the lady, the patched-up ghost, the butler, the young servant and the maid had all gathered here because of the fire. Then finally, Yu Wangnian appeared.

The ghosts didn’t fight each other anymore. They seemed to know that everything was coming to an end, each with a different expression of either grief or relief. Yu Wangnian and his wife looked at each other through the other ghosts, but neither of them said a word.

Back in 1926.

At the juncture when the music was about to end, Jin Cheng, Tang Cuo, and Qi Hui shifted back here. They started to look around carefully while walking downstairs to the living room.

Jin Cheng: “In this dungeon, as part of the plot, the 6th Movement has been integrated into the story. It must have its own origin. We first thought this song is from Yu Wangyue, but now it seems that it has something to do with the man in the attic. Otherwise, why would Yu Wangyue let him play at the end?”

Tang Cuo walked quickly down the staircase: “Indeed, maybe this piece was written by the man in the attic. He played it every night after Yu Wangyue died as a reminder.”

There was another very important reason for Tang Cuo to make this inference ― from what they had learnt so far, Yu Wangyue was indeed a good person.

He had an illness and came from a wealthy family. Relying on medical treatment abroad could have allowed him to live for ten more years, but he still chose to return because he was a radio technology expert. He went abroad to learn advanced technology, and he believed that he must go back to his home country to apply it in the right place. This was his ambition.

Those who were this far-sighted were rarely confined to the trivial scandals of the laymen. For Yu Wangyue, even if he was a ghost, he maintained his calmness all the same. Such a person seemed too incompatible with the sort of music like the ‘Song of God, Lambs and Crow’.

Of course, these were just speculations. The first thing they had to do was to make a phone call.

There were no players in 1926, so the time had been reset. The three quickly found the phone book, got the bank number and smoothly made the call.

While waiting to be connected, Qi Hui stared at the handset nervously, his heart pounding hard. When he was shifting across the dimensions just now, he actually wanted to find Zhou Dahai, but he didn’t dare to say.

Jin Cheng had him frightened. He always suddenly stared at Qi Hui, making the poor xiao di very worried about his life.

“Hello, this is Jincheng Bank. What can I do for you?” A sweet female voice abruptly came on the phone.

It really worked!

Qi Hui looked at Jin Cheng excitedly. Jin Cheng kept smiling and said: “Hello, my surname is Yu. A few years ago I deposited something in your bank’s private safe, now I want to take it out in advance. What procedure do I need to go through?”

“What is the safe number?”

“062.”

“Please wait a moment.”

After a while, another reply came: “Mr. Yu, after verification, the contents of your safe were already taken out a week ago. It was your butler who went through the procedure.” 

“What he took out was a box, right?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t answer that.”

Jin Cheng then asked a few more questions but none could be answered, so he had to hang up. He looked back at Tang Cuo, who said thoughtfully: “If the butler took it out a week ago, then this thing should still be here. Now that the system has arranged this story and allowed this call to be made, there’s no reason to not find it.”

Qi Hui was puzzled: “But haven’t we searched everywhere?”

“No.” Tang Cuo said firmly: “This time, we have the keys to the young miss’ room and the piano room.” 

Without wasting another word, the three quickly returned to the second floor.

Just like before, they acted separately, with Jin Cheng taking the key to the piano room to lure the two ghosts away while Tang Cuo and Qi Hui headed to unlock the young miss’ room. The room looked similar to that in 1936, and  Tang Cuo had a clear goal ― to open the safe first.

The password of the safe didn’t change. Tang Cuo took out the contents and laid them on the ground, then he pulled out the contents of the safe in 1936 and placed them in the same arrangement.

They included a box of jewelry, a calligraphy painting and some children’s toys. The only difference between the two dimensions’ safes was a diary found in 1926.

Like father, like daughter. It seemed that Yu Wangnian and the young miss had the same habit of writing diary.

The 1936 diary should have been taken away by the young miss herself, whereas the 1926 one was relatively well-kept because it remained in the safe.

In the diary, a child’s crooked handwriting overflowed the paper.

Tang Cuo looked at everything from the beginning. The first date was 8th September 1923, which was very close to Yu Wangyue’s death, only two and a half months away.

[8th September 1923
Uncle gave me a pen!]

Starting from this one, the next dozen pages simply recorded the weather and food of the day. At this time, the young miss was only 5 years old. Although she was born in a rich family and learnt to write earlier than most people, she still made a lot of typos. When some characters couldn’t be written, she replaced them with simple strokes.

About a month later, the content of the diary changed.

[11th October 1923
I like the new teacher and Mother also likes him. I’m very happy.]

[9th November 1923
Mother is always with Teacher.]

[11th November 1923 
Mother is in the piano room again today. She says that she also wants to learn piano. I’m very happy that I can learn piano together with Mother.]

[13th November 1923
Mother is so strange. She always looks at Teacher in a daze and no longer looks at me.]

[17th November 1923 
Mother says that I can’t tell Father about her frequent visits to the piano room. Why?]

[26th November 1923
Uncle has been taking medicine, but I can’t recognise the words written on the bottle. It’s strange. They look like tadpoles. Father says that Grandpa also had the same illness. It’s the heart that gets sick. But why does the heart get sick? My heart hurts when I see Uncle take medicine. Am I sick too?]

[15th December 1923
I secretly see Father and Mother quarrel. But the one who stays with Mother every day is obviously Teacher, so why does Mother say that it’s Uncle? I don’t understand. They’re a bit alike, but they can be distinguished.
Uncle covers my eyes, saying that I shouldn’t look, that I don’t have to be scared.
I am not scared.]

[16th December 1923
Teacher disappears. I ask Father and Father says he’s gone.]

[17th December 1923
Uncle disappears. Father says that he has also left. What does it mean? I don’t understand.]

[18th December 1923
Mother falls sick. She has to drink very bitter medicine. I feel very sad for her.]

[20th December 1923 
Mother cries a lot. Is the medicine too bitter? I give her candy but Mother doesn’t want it.]

[25th December 1923
The sound of the piano comes in the middle of the night. I am scared.]

[26th December 1923
I am scared.]

[27th December 1923
I want to sleep with Mother but Mother is crying all the time. I am very scared]

[28th December 1923
Uncle, I am scared.]

……

In the content that followed, ‘Mother is crying’ and ‘I am scared’ kept appearing alternately. Although there were only a few words on each page, for a child, that might be her entire life.

The new piano teacher should be the man in the attic. He had an affair with the lady during his teaching time here, but what did this affair have to do with Yu Wangyue?

Tang Cuo suddenly remembered what the young miss said: The person the lady admired was Yu Wangyue. She couldn’t love him, so when she saw someone who was very similar to Yu Wangyue, her heart shifted?

The affair was later exposed. She loved him so much that she hated him, so she simply put the blame on Yu Wangyue to protect her lover?

This was very similar to the ‘substitute theory’ mentioned by Jin Cheng, but the entry on 26th November could be used as evidence for the ‘illegitimate child theory’, because the young miss saw ‘tadpoles’ on the medicine bottle. It was Herzmon.

Grandpa also had the same disease of his heart being sick. That was genetic heart disease.

From an illegitimate son, a substitute, Yu Wangyue to the piano sound at midnight, then from the first victim to the eventual massacre of the whole household, all of them were connected. Tang Cuo suddenly thought of something completely different from this story of a man and a woman blinded by love.

What if all this was a carefully planned conspiracy?

The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 71
The Trial Game of Life - Chapter 73
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yel
yel
2 months ago

is everything planned by the seemingly nice guy yu wangyue??

Maschenny
Maschenny
1 year ago

LOL whoa thats complicated. What soap opera drama is this

Thanks!

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