Luo Ruoyu was New Century Park's guardian angel and Chen Ge's playmate when he was small. They had grown up together, and Chen Ge's parents treated her as their own. This daughter that was not technically there received no less love than Chen Ge. Normally, Luo Ruoyu hid inside the doll that Chen Ge had made when he was small. She had helped Chen Ge to escape the wrath of the red house by the Eastern Jiujiang Dam once. That was when she was seriously injured. Once she left New Century Park, she would lose all her power. Chen Ge did not expect to see her behind the door, much less in this manner.
"Dinner's ready." The man placed the trotters on a plate, stir-fried some vegetables, and called for dinner. Initially, the atmosphere was rather tense, but it soon relaxed. Chen Ge and the man were both smiling. Perhaps that was what family felt like.
"Chen Ge, why did you come home so late today? Is it because you don't dare come home to face me due to another bad test result?" The man kept taking the vegetables and skipped the meat. He looked much older and ragged than his actual age.
"No." Chen Ge did not know how to explain himself. The closer they were, the harder he found it to explain the situation. He did not want to be treated like a monster by his own father, and it was not so bad to live in this false happiness. Working his muscles, Chen Ge looked around the house. He did not answer the man's question but asked one of his own. "Where's mom? How come I don't see her?"
After saying that, Chen Ge instantly regretted it because he saw the light go out of his father's eyes.
"Is that why you didn't come home?" The man obviously had misunderstood Chen Ge. "I miss her, too, but we have to move on after her death."
He did not continue the topic but finished the dinner and stood up to walk into the kitchen.
Sitting in the living room, Chen Ge assessed his current situation.
A single parent family, the only person important to me other than my family is a teacher. This is a complete replica of Yu Jian's story. Now, I can confirm he has imprinted my own memory into his history, so I have the chance to experience what he's gone through. But what is the purpose behind this? To get me to see his perspective? To force me to turn crazy, to become a recluse like him? The world behind Yu Jian's door is too normal and peaceful. Everything that I've experienced so far is warm and nice. But if it's someday taken away or torn apart, I'll be in such pain and despair.
When Chen Ge was thinking, he felt someone grab his hand. Luo Ruoyu leaned against the dining table, batting her eyes. Her clothes had dirty spots from the soup.
"Get up from the table."
"I... I miss mommy too, but... but I will not run anywhere. I... I will wait for her here."
"Yes, we will wait for her here." Chen Ge hugged Luo Ruoyu's head. This family was too warm, a memory that was deeply treasured in his heart. After dinner, Chen Ge cleared away the table, carried the backpack, and entered his room. He lay in bed and looked at the night sky outside the window. Even at night, the sky was heavy with rain clouds. There was no moon or stars. All the lights came from the fire in his memory.
"I have a feeling something bad is going to happen." Even though Chen Ge was sleepy, he was not brave enough to fall asleep behind the door. After the things outside the bedroom had quieted down, Chen Ge wrote a note down and then slipped out the door with the backpack. "I shan't waste any more time. Yu Jian must be somewhere in this town. Perhaps he is watching me at this moment."
The moment he made to step out of the house, the night faded away, and the sun rose. Chen Ge was stunned, holding the doorknob. He looked at the windows in the corridor. The sky outside was gray with layers of clouds.
"Why did it turn into morning when I opened the door? Does this mean it represents a new day whenever I open the door? Is this home where everything begins?"
"Huh. Why did you wake up so early today?" Chen Ge's father was well-dressed and walked out from the house. He was surprised to see Chen Ge.
"Everyone wakes up early occasionally." Chen Ge planned to make a test. He walked out the door and then stood for a while before returning to his home and closed the door. As the door clicked, Chen Ge turned to the window and the sky outside was dark. His father hadn't left the house for that long but he looked so haggard and there were small dark spots under his skin.
When I am home and close the door, night will fall immediately, but when I push the door open and step out, a new day will begin.
Chen Ge pushed the door open again. His father said the same thing, but the tiredness on his face became more obvious, and the black spots became more numerous.
No! Even though it doesn't affect me every time I close and open the door, it will impose some kind of injury on other people in the town. My time is limited. After a few repetitions of this, everything I value might be torn apart. I must find Yu Jian before that happens and get to the bottom of the mystery here!
The people at the town were people Chen Ge could not forget. They were all made from Chen Ge's memory. If something happened to them, it might mean that Chen Ge's memory of them would be wiped out.
"Why are you standing at the door? Don't you have school to go to?" Chen Ge's father walked out the door, but he was stopped by Chen Ge. "What's wrong?"
"If you're that person from my memory, you will trust me implicitly, right?" Chen Ge felt like he was talking to himself.
"What are you talking about?"
"In this small town, you must be careful around a person called Yu Jian. He is the source of all the misfortune and pain."
"I might come home late for this period of time and might do things that no one understands, but I hope you will trust me, no matter what happens." Chen Ge grabbed the man by his arms heavily.
"Looks like something really did happen to you." The man patted Chen Ge on his shoulder. "I trust you, but you have to trust your family too. If you can't solve this problem, remember the family is always your sanctuary."
The voice, the touch, the sight, everything felt too real. Chen Ge's mind wavered for a moment into believing this was all real.
"Of course." Carrying the backpack, Chen Ge walked out from the house. He decided not to open that home door for a long time. That way, he would get as much time as he could.
"Li Wan City is not as small as I hope. A carpet search does not sound possible."
Chen Ge decided to start his search at the school. Yu Jian's change happened at the school, and it was where the iron door was. This pointed to the fact that the chance of Yu Jian hiding there was high.