He closed his eyes for a rest. This was the first time that Chen Ge had felt so safe behind a door. After a moment, he felt what he was doing was quite inappropriate. He sat upright and whispered, "I'm sorry."
This was something he had not experienced before, and then he realized the burning sensation that he was feeling was 'shyness'. Without waiting for Zhang Ya to reply, he grabbed his backpack and slipped away. Closing the door to the roof, Chen Ge jogged out of school. Perhaps because of the running, his heart was beating very fast. "Looks like the ghost fetus is giving me more pressure than I thought. I shouldn't underestimate this door."
Exiting the school, Chen Ge followed his plan and started to search from the eastern side of Li Wan City. He could not employ the help from his workers, so he needed to rely on his super senses to feel out the cold and eerie locales. Chen Ge did not find anything the whole afternoon. He did not have any keys to go into people's home. He did consider breaking and entering, but once he caught sight of a passing police car, the thought was safely out of his mind. The ghost fetus and Yu Jian wanted him to experience despair and sink into the dark. If he used violence, it might bring the darkness closer.
"This world is too big. Li Wan City, which was transformed by the shadow, is a 3.5-star scenario, so a completed Li Wan City should be a four-star scenario..." Chen Ge was startled with this thought. "Well, it is true that Li Wan City is part of my memory, but it could be part of the ghost fetus' memory too. After all, the shadow's old lair was Li Wan City."
Chen Ge did not have a deep impression of Li Wan City. He did not know the exact location of each building. "Yu Jian's life does not cross with Li Wan City. I've only been to Li Wan City a few times myself... Is it possible that this world also combines the ghost fetus' memory?"
He was frightened by this thought. If that was true, the chance of the ghost fetus hiding there had multiplied. "I still cannot contact my employees, not even for simple communication. Now it's a race against time, seeing whether my employees will break through the limitation first or the tragedy of this world will arrive first."
The sky started to rain, so Chen Ge returned to school. He tried to communicate with other students, but they seemed to hate him and purposely stay away from him.
"Was I this hated during high school?" Chen Ge tried to think back to that time of his life. He felt like this was something Yu Jian had added.
"Playing truant, coming late to school, bad results, lack of a smile for anyone, I'd advise you to accept your fate." Du Ming twisted open his thermos. He blew on it and then took a sip. "Actually, it's not that bad. Loneliness is a one-man party, they say."
Chen Ge ignored Du Ming. He was concentrating on how to solve this problem. If Yu Jian had locked himself inside a room somewhere, without his employees' help, Chen Ge would not find the guy.
"Looks like I still need to focus on the important figures in this world. Perhaps I can find some clues from Zhang Ya, my dad, and Luo Ruoyu." Chen Ge turned to look at Du Ming. Technically speaking, this deskmate was an important figure, too. At least he had a lasting impression of Du Ming for him to appear.
"Du Ming, I have something to discuss with you," Chen Ge whispered.
"Which subject's homework do you want to borrow?"
"It's not that. Can I please go to your home after school?" Chen Ge wanted to look for clues. Perhaps he could find some at Du Ming's home.
"Definitely not. If my mom knows I hang out with you, she will break my leg."
"You're exaggerating. Auntie has always been nice around me, and she's kind to everyone." Chen Ge tried to fight for it. "Just think of it as a favor. We can sneak in. I mean, you do remember the birthday present I gave you, right?"
"Don't you even mention that. The prank box that you gave me had a clown jump out from it. My mom opened it and sent it to the temple to be exorcised." Du Ming shook his head. "She even said that if I bring anything from you home in the future, she will toss it out immediately."
"For real?" Chen Ge widened his eyes. This was not part of his memory. He was not sure whether he had forgotten about these episodes or Du Ming was lying to him. The rain was getting heavier, and the sky was darkening. Time moved so slowly that Chen Ge started to while away time by doing his homework. He waited and waited, and finally, it was time for school to end.
"Late afternoon every day, it starts to rain until the next morning. From the weather pattern, it seems like this world is repeating the same day again and again." Chen Ge looked out the window and watched the raindrops slide down the glass. "Perhaps when Yu Jian left school that one last time, this was the weather."
The school was almost empty. Chen Ge walked to the exit and realized that he had forgotten to bring his umbrella again.
"Don't you have an umbrella?" Du Ming walked from afar with his school bag.
"I came out in a blur this morning, so I must have left it at home. You also don't have an umbrella?" Chen Ge studied the pouring rain. He could not help but feel that it signified something.
"Yeah." Then Du Ming took out a folded raincoat from his bag. "But I have a raincoat. See you tomorrow."
"Did you just come to me to show off your raincoat? After I leave this world, I'll be sure to pay you a visit." Chen Ge wagged his fist. Du Ming suddenly coughed. He sucked in his stomach, puffed up his chest, and lifted his head.
"Is that fear I sense? You knew what I meant by 'after I leave this world'? Damn you! You really have something to do with Yu Jian!" Chen Ge was about to chase after Du Ming when he heard footsteps coming from behind him. He turned to see Zhang Ya standing beside him. "Zhang... Miss Zhang?"
"It's unwise to get into fights with your friend." Zhang Ya opened the umbrella. "You didn't bring an umbrella again? Come on, I'll walk you to the bus stop."
She stood next to Chen Ge and walked into the rain together. They left Du Ming in a bright yellow raincoat standing in the rain.
"What's this feeling?" Du Ming looked at his raincoat. "I've obviously won, but how come I feel so defeated?"
Chen Ge did not have time for Du Ming. He leaned closer to Zhang Ya. "How about I carry the umbrella?"
"No way, I'm the teacher. I should be the one looking after you. If I let you take the umbrella, it'll feel so strange." Zhang Ya rejected his offer with a smile. They walked to the bus stop like the previous day. Since they had missed the peak hour, they were the only two at the stop. Neither of them spoke; one looked at the falling rain, and the other studied the passing cars.
This time, the bus on Route 104 arrived first, but Chen Ge did not move.
"Your bus is here. Remember to bring an umbrella tomorrow," Zhang Ya reminded him, but Chen Ge stood where he was. "The bus is leaving. Chen Ge?"
"I'll leave after you get on your bus." Chen Ge looked at their reflections in the puddles. "This way, at least we'll be together a little bit longer."