"You don't need to worry about me making friends. I've always been friendly with my colleagues, but you can pay me according to how you'd pay an intern. At least let me prove myself before you hire me officially," Wu Jinpeng said sincerely.
"I do not hire interns, or rather, the internship period is very short. Normally, I can tell whether a person is suitable for the job or not with one glance." Chen Ge's haunted house only had one new employee ceremony, and that was to go through all the scenarios with the visitors once. If they could come out with their consciousness somewhat still intact, they could stay and work.
"Okay, then after I send Wu Sheng to school tomorrow, I'll quit my current job. Due to this economy, I doubt they will ask me to stay. I'll head to our haunted house in the afternoon. By the way, where is it?"
"Western Jiujiang's New Century Park." Chen Ge looked at Wu Jinpeng. This was the fifth living employee that he had hired. Whether he expanded into Xin Hai or anything else, Wu Jinpeng should come in handy. The shadows would be handled by the ghosts, and the living would work under the sunlight; a good haunted house had to function on both fronts. Now that Wu Jinpeng was officially a part of the haunted house, he was Chen Ge's family, and Chen Ge always had time for his family.
"Brother Peng, I have one last thing to ask you." Chen Ge stood up and walked to Wu Kun. "Has your little brother always been like this? Did your parents try to send him to get some treatment?"
"They did try when he was young, but the effect was not so good. Even though he was unable to live independently or work, he could do some simple housework. My brother is very kind. He often surprises me by helping me with the chores." Wu Jinpeng sat down next to his brother. "Sometimes, when I was working in the day and singing in bars at night, it was my little brother who looked after Wu Sheng. Even though they both have some problems, they're good friends."
"Good friends? Then that's strange." Chen Ge did not want to hide anything. "There was a lot of symbolism behind Wu Sheng's door, and all the symbols could be related back to the reality, but I did not see anything that could represent Wu Kun in Wu Sheng's door. It is as if Wu Kun does not exist in Wu Sheng's mind."
"That's impossible. They stay together every day."
"That is the first point that struck me as strange. The second point is the fan that Wu Kun is holding. Why does he insist on the fan?" Chen Ge looked at Wu Kun's mangled fingers. "Your little brother might be mentally challenged, but he showed no sign of being a self-harming person. There are many different kinds of mental illnesses, and he does not appear to have the kind where he would push his hands into a fan voluntarily. So, I suspect someone else was there when the accident happened!"
"You mean someone pushed my brother's hands into the fan?" Wu Jinpeng's jaw tightened.
"Why else would he keep on mentioning the fan? He might be warning you." Chen Ge had just finished when Wu Jinpeng woke Wu Kun up. Wu Kun, who knew nothing, hugged the fan and curled up in the corner. He was both angry and afraid.
"Xiao Kun, your big brother is here. Tell me, did someone bully you? Don't be afraid. Have you forgotten? I always helped you fight those people who bullied you when we were small. I will go and punch those who dares bully you, so will you tell me who did this?"
Wu Jinpeng spoke very fast on the account of his anger, and that spooked his younger brother. Wu Kun hugged the fan, grabbed the blanket, and crawled all over the floor, screaming.
"Do you know what time it is? You might not want to sleep, but I do!"
The house had a horrible soundproof wall. The neighbors started to complain, so Chen Ge helped Wu Jinpeng detain Wu Kun.
"Xiao Kun, don't be afraid. I am here with you." Wu Jinpeng pulled Wu Kun's head into his embrace, but his eyes was looking at Chen Ge. "Now that you mention it, I was reminded of something. My brother's condition has been steadily improving for some time, but ever since his hands were injured by the fan, his condition suddenly deteriorated greatly."
"Did your little brother act strangely at all after that accident?"
Wu Jinpeng thought about it. "Actually, yes. There were several times when I got home and saw my brother staring at his own shadow in the corner. He even used his hand to slap at it occasionally."
"Was it the shadow from Li Wan City that harmed Wu Kun? But according to the shadow's personality, if Wu Kun stood in his way, he would have just killed Wu Kun. He would not let him live, so why was that?" Chen Ge was surprised that he would be able to get more clues from Wu Jinpeng's brother. "Other than the fan, did Wu Kun mention anything else that was out of place?"
"Let me think." Wu Jinpeng's brows were scrunched up in thought. "Yes. At the time, we were still living at our old house. Wu Kun would run away so fast whenever we needed to go out, it was as if he refused to stay too long on our floor. One time I asked him why, he pointed at the door of our neighbor, shouting again and again ghost, ghost!"
"The old house? Where did you live when you stayed in the old city?"
"We were staying at Jiujiang old city's Blissful East Street, then we moved to Eastern Jiujiang, and finally due to work, we moved again to Western Jiujiang." Wu Jinpeng told Chen Ge all the addresses of his former rental homes.
"Your family has stayed in the old city before. Jiang Ming has stayed in the old city. Fan Yu has spent his childhood in the old city. Something must be wrong with the old city." Chen Ge marked down Wu Jinpeng's former address. He planned to visit it the following day.
"Wait, I am reminded of something else." Wu Jinpeng opened the wooden box that had his guitar and took out a mud statuette with Wu Sheng's name on it. The statuette was dark like it was made from mud and blood. "When we were staying at the old city, that strange neighbor gifted us an altar. He said that by placing it at home, Wu Sheng would definitely speak within nine years."
"Where is that altar now?"
"The altar was too big to carry it with us when we moved for the second time, so we left it at the rental house in Eastern Jiujiang. The new tenant thought it was quite taboo to have an unknown altar in the house, so he moved it to the basement." Wu Jinpeng handed the mud statuette to Chen Ge. "But we have been keeping the mud statuette from inside the altar with us."
Everything now matched. Chen Ge accepted the statuette and placed it on his shadow. "Brother Peng, that altar is not for good fortune. It's a home for a demon. You have been tricked by that neighbor."
"Could it be that neighbor who stuck Wu Kun's hands into the fan?"
"For now, we can't be sure, but I will investigate this further. You should get a good rest, so I shall not disturb you anymore." Chen Ge picked up the statuette from the shadow and returned it to Wu Jinpeng. "See you at work tomorrow."
Strangely enough, the statuette did not stay on Chen Ge's shadow for that long, but all the black blood stains had disappeared.