Extra Chapter: Nighttime Chat while Holding Lanterns 【1/2】
Your first night with Life Theater
You were a girl who loved to read novels.
You would open the e-book library on your phone whenever you have free time, with eyes wide open as you check if there were new updates…sure enough there was none!!
“Damn it, update during the holidays, update on the new year, Ah Xia…the extra chapter you promised, surely you don’t mean to release it for my grandchildren, right?”
You felt despair, the final comment below the novel was the one you sent, what about the next one? It surely could not be your grandchild who would write, ‘Grandma, the novel in your library has a new update.’
“Forget it.” You shook your head, tossing that scary image out of your head, “It would be better to download a mobile game to kill some time… Huh, what’s this?”
You realised that an extra icon had appeared on your phone without you noticing.
The icon showed a set of antiquated doors, two sets of dark red lanterns in front of them.
“Life Theater?” You read the name of the icon before exclaiming, “Isn’t this Ah Xia’s novel? Did it get adapted into a game?”
Thinking that tapping it wouldn’t kill you, you reached out and tapped on the icon.
In any case, it was most probably a trash mobile game with the intellectual properties of the novel. It would first give you a free SSR card—which would probably be the only SSR card you would own in your life—you wouldn’t get to draw a second SSR card until the game shut down its servers… Forget it, let’s not talk about such sad experiences.
“What?” Looking at the screen in front of you, you get a little disappointed. “It’s just a ticket booking app.”
It looked very similar to Ticketmaster, which was also a ticketing platform.
The app was showing four hot movies.
“<<Your Life Theater>>, <<An Ordinary Cage>>, <<The Hundredth Breakup>>, <<Stop Me>>,… What are these? Why have I never heard of any of them?” You scrolled down the screen with your finger, then frowned. “Why are there only these four movies?”
None of the trending movies were on the app.
All they had were four nameless and unknown movies.
“Are they newly released big web movies?” You murmured, “How poor, they can’t even afford to hire Weibo shills…”
There were more and more movies being made, but there were only a few of them that were good, you didn’t want to spend money on a film that seemed to be bad. Just as you were about to exit the app, a notification suddenly popped up.
“Huh? Lucky viewer?” You exclaimed, “Me?”
The pop-up said that you had won, that as the lucky viewer, you could watch a movie for free tonight, there would even be free snacks and beverages.
“Free…” You raised your chin and started to have doubts.
You were almost powerless towards freebies.
Just like free samples at a shopping mall, even if you didn’t plan to buy any, you would still try one.
“Since it’s free..then let’s go and have a look, it’s the weekend anyway, I didn’t have much planned.” You said this as you tapped the redeem button.
In that instant, a lot of voices rang out by your ears, voices of men and women of all ages.
…But you were clearly in your living room! The only person in the room was you!
You looked up hurriedly and all you could see was a masked person standing in front of you—a masked ancient lady with a curved pair of eyes, she spoke with a pleasant sounding Wu dialect, “Welcome to Life Theater, Customer.”
You were flabbergasted.
You first stared at the masked person in front of you for a moment, then looked at your surroundings. Your room was gone, you were standing in the hall of a movie theater, there were people walking about, some were wearing masks, some didn’t wear them, some were wearing casual clothes and others were wearing ancient robes.
“Customer? Customer?” The masked ancient lady called out, “Please present your ticket.”
That was when you got back to your senses, breaking out in cold sweat as you looked at her, stammering, “I, I…”
I don’t have a ticket.
—How could you even imagine saying such a thing!
You were someone who had read the novel, you knew that the people who had no ticket in Life Theater didn’t have human rights! It didn’t matter if the masked person in front of you was being courteous and nice, if she were to find out that you did not have a ticket, her entire demeanour would change, she would call upon a group of masked people to drag you away.
Then your life would be extracted and turned into a movie, providing all the masked people with entertainment.
“I, I’m just here for the bathroom…” Under duress, you used the bathroom excuse, but before you could finish, a woman’s gentle voice rang out beside you, “She is my guest, let me wait on her.”
The masked person looked behind you, “Yes, Owner.”
You were surprised, you looked back.
Standing behind you was an extremely beautiful woman.
Her beauty was indescribable to you, all you could say was that there was starlight in her eyes, starlight that would shine brightly and warmly even in the darkest nights.
“You are…” Connecting it to the original work and Life Theater that was before your very eyes, you asked with some doubt, “Ning Ning?”
The other party smiled at you, “That’s me.”
You on the other hand were dumbfounded. You couldn’t believe that the female lead of the novel was standing right in front of you in the flesh.
By the time you came back to your senses, Ning Ning had already brought you to a separate screening room.
There were no carved wooden chairs, it was not dark and scary at all. You sat on a soft fabric sofa, there was a short table by your hand, on it was a plate of snacks, the dusky light bathed it in a layer of soft gold colour.
“Coke or rose tea?” Ning Ning asked.
“Tea,” you said, you broke out a cold sweat so you wanted something warm.
Two cups of tea later, you felt much better.
“Now then, what would you like to watch tonight?” Ning Ning held the teapot and refilled the cup for you.
“…Can I watch without transmigrating?” You said with some difficulty, “I think I’m only suitable to be part of the audience, starring roles or anything like that, I’m simply not built for those things…”
You were a girl who liked to read novels, but you were not a girl who liked to transmigrate into novels.
But of course, the more important reason was, you think that Ah Xia was purely a horror novel writer.