The whole book was filled with entries of cruel and gory stories, but the last page consisted of a warm, sweet dream. His fingers caressed the handwriting on the page. Fatigue overwhelmed him like waves. Chen Ge hugged the book, closed his bloodshot eyes, and collapsed to the ground. He was under enormous strain and pressure after spending ten sleepless days and nights in the world behind the door. It was little wonder that he was at his limit already.
After leaving Yu Jian's world, he finally snapped, and his last layer of defense was broken. The backpack dropped beside him, and Chen Ge fell asleep just like that. Next to him, on the single bed, Yu Jian slowly awakened from his slumber. Hugging the thin blanket, Yu Jian took a glance at Chen Ge before slowly burying his head into his chest. Yu Jian's mother, who stood at the door, took in everything. She had no idea what had happened in the room and what to make of it. Chen Ge had promised that he would help cure her son, but from her perspective, before Chen Ge got involved, only Yu Jian was the one that needed treatment; however, after their interaction, it appeared that both Chen Ge and Yu Jian needed some kind of intervention.
"Jesus, what am I supposed to do now?" Yu Jian's mother walked into the room, attempting to drag Chen Ge out. She gave the young man a tug and tried to drag him out, but she realized that she was too weak to move Chen Ge by even an inch, so in the end, she surrendered. With a deep frown, she walked out from the bedroom without noticing the many blood red shadows that appeared behind her. If she had done something to harm Chen Ge earlier, perhaps the whole building would have been awash with blood as a result.
At eight o clock in the morning, Chen Ge was woken up by the alarm that he had set on his phone. His eyes flickered blurrily open, but his eyes were still slightly bloodshot. Holding his head that was still pulsing, Chen Ge looked out the window. The sun filtered through the curtains into the bedroom. A well-dressed Yu Jian was sitting at the study table.
"You are finally awake?" Hearing the movement from Chen Ge, Yu Jian turned around. He was impeccably groomed like he was ready to leave and go somewhere.
"I am still suffering from a bit of a headache." Chen Ge picked up the backpack and placed everything inside it. "You should still remember the dream from last night, right?"
Yu Jian shook his head. "I can't say that I remember every detail clearly, but I have not forgotten the words that you told me."
He grabbed the several pieces of paper from the table, collected them in a stack, and handed them over to Chen Ge. "This is the list of crimes that I have committed. I will go and see Miss Zhang one last time before going to the police to surrender."
The content on the white paper was shocking. It was filled with horrible thoughts and despicable curses. Three of them jumped out as being the most serious. The first incident happened when he was still very young. Under the influence of the ghost fetus, he had almost poked his neighbor's child blind. The second incident was when he ran away from home during secondary school. It was during this period that he had surrendered himself completely to the ghost fetus and allowed the ghost fetus to make use of his blood to help complete the setup of the nine children. During this period, the ghost fetus had harmed many different innocent people, including Wu Jinpeng's younger brother. It was him who shoved his hand into the fan.
At the time, the ghost fetus wanted to take away the sense of sound from Wu Sheng, but Wu Kun, whose mental acumen was much lower than a normal person's, was not afraid of the ghost fetus. He tried his best to stop him, but the man was unfortunately no match for the ghost fetus, and thus, he had to suffer because of it.
The third incident was related to Yu Jian's own biological father. If not for his fateful encounter with that teacher, Yu Jian would probably have been pushed down the road of no return by the ghost fetus.
"I knew he was merely using me. From the very beginning, I knew that he would not have chosen me," Yu Jian said as Chen Ge pored over the pages of confession. "I am the same kind of person as him. He hated people like us from the bottom of his heart. The source of his hatred came from the innate disgust at himself."
Yu Jian was the living person who had spent the longest time with the ghost fetus. In a way, he could be considered the person who knew the ghost fetus the best.
"Since you knew that you were just being used by the ghost fetus, why did you still choose to help him?" This was something that Chen Ge did not understand.
"Like I said, we were kindred spirits. In that fleeting moment, it felt like he was my only friend, the only person who understood me in this world." Yu Jian's body was weak and feeble. He took back the pieces of papers and pulled back the curtain of the bedroom. The room was flooded by sunlight, something that had not happened for a long time. Yu Jian looked out the scenery from the window. "Actually, this world is quite beautiful."
Stuffing the paper inside his school bag, Yu Jian turned away from the sun, opened the bedroom door, and walked out from the small room that had been his hiding hole for so many years. In the corridor, when Yu Jian's mother saw her son walk out from his bedroom so well-dressed, her face was filled with disbelief.
"I wish to go for a walk."
"Of... of course. Sure!"
The door was pushed open, and Yu Jian left with his schoolbag. At the same moment, Yu Jian's mother rushed into the bedroom, and she looked at Chen Ge with awe and shock on her face. "How did you manage to do it? Yu Jian appears to have gotten much better! He volunteered to go out on his own to go for a walk. I feel like it is going to rain red today!"
"Yu Jian was never sick to begin with. He merely did not know how to love this world and how to love the people around him." Chen Ge stared at Yu Jian's mother. "If you do not wish for Yu Jian to revert to his former state, then sit down and have a talk with me. And this time, I beg you to stop with the lies and deceit."
After a deep conversation, what the ghost fetus had revealed behind the door was confirmed. Yu Jian was indeed a child born out of wedlock. His biological father wanted nothing to do with his mistress and his illegitimate son while Yu Jian's mother used him constantly as bargaining chip to get something from his father. From a very young age, Yu Jian never knew what love was, and that gave the ghost fetus the opening to enter his life. The hatred and ugliness of the world was specifically amplified, and his mind and psyche became more and more twisted.
Yu Jian's mother felt guilty toward Yu Jian, so she did the best she could to take care of him, but at the same time, she wanted to cultivate Yu Jian into someone who was better than his father, so she was also very strict with him. Banned from any kind of entertainment and social life, Yu Jian's mother demanded only two things from him. One was to have good grades, and two was to have a valuable skill so that he could take care of himself in the future.
After the deep conversation, Chen Ge discovered a much deeper layer of problems. Yu Jian's mother actually noticed the problems with Yu Jian at a very early age, but even after Yu Jian had done more than a handful dangerous actions toward others, which should have raised a red flag for the mother, Yu Jian's mother chose to blind herself to the severity of the problem. Her love and guilt toward her son blinded her eyes. All she ever did was provide excuses for her son, and that caused her to miss the chance to really educate her son again and again.
"It is not entirely his fault that Yu Jian ended up in this state." Chen Ge picked up his backpack. "If there is a chance in the future, I suggest you go and meet the teacher that was fired due to Yu Jian. She was the real hero who had entered Yu Jian's life to save him."
After getting down to the bottom of everything, Chen Ge prepared to leave.
"Wait a minute." Yu Jian's mother stopped Chen Ge. "Even though I have no idea what kind of method you have used, you have indeed helped Yu Jian solve the problem in his heart. How much do you need for this session? How should I contact you if Yu Jian locks himself up in his bedroom again in the future?"
"I do not do this for the money." Chen Ge stood inside the bedroom and looked around. In the end, he picked up a mud statuette from Yu Jian's study table. "In terms of payment, I shall that this statuette as compensation." He took the mud statuette with Yu Jian's name carved on it, stuffed it into his backpack, and left Yu Jian's home. He took the elevator to the ground. Chen Ge walked into the safety corridor, and he knelt down to look at his own shadow. "When will you be able to wake up? I have many questions that I wish to ask you."
Taking out the mud statuette with Yu Jian's name from his backpack, Chen Ge placed it on his own shadow. The black red blood leaked out from the mud statuette and seeped into his shadow. An oppressive presence was slowly waking up. "After I find the rest of the mud statuettes, it'll be about time for you to wake up, right?"
Chen Ge had not forgotten about what had happened behind Yu Jian's door. He felt like he had gained a new understanding of the girl who was living in his shadow. Picking up his backpack, Chen Ge hurried back to New Century Park before it was open for business. Without saying a word to explain himself, he hurried to the dressing room to help his employees with their make-up and prepared to start the business. The haunted house opened its gate to the visitors ten minutes late, and Chen Ge felt quite apologetic about it. He personally walked to the queue of visitors and presented them with some bottles of water and knickknacks from New Century Park for making them wait.
Chen Ge had high popularity on the internet. When many visitors saw him, they took out their phones and started to snap pictures. It even caused a small commotion.
"One day, if the haunted house really cannot operate anymore, perhaps I can consider changing my career path to become an online personality."
The haunted house ran smoothly. The visitors entered the haunted house orderly, and Chen Ge sighed in relief. He greeted Uncle Xu and then carried his backpack and left New Century Park alone.
"I feel like I am the one who is the least invested in the business even though I am the boss." Chen Ge did not have much time left before the birth of the ghost fetus. Chen Ge called Lee Zheng, and after asking for the location of Zhen Zhen, he called a cab and headed to his destination. Inside the cab, Chen Ge took out the black phone, and as he expected, there were unread messages on it.
"This message probably arrived the moment I stepped out from inside Yu Jian's door." Chen Ge clicked on the screen and opened the unread message.
"Congratulations, Red Specter's Favored, you have completed 5/9 of the Trial Mission, Ghost Fetus. The ghost fetus has lost living human emotions. He can no longer curse you through the people that you love the most! You do not have much time left!"
"Congratulations, Red Specter's Favored, you have completed 6/9 of the Trial Mission, Ghost Fetus. The ghost fetus has lost his heart! His most precious thing has been taken away, and that has depleted his power greatly! Warning, Red Specter's Favored, you do not have much time left!"
Seeing the two messages on the black phone, Chen Ge was stumped.
"How is this possible? Last night, I only entered Yu Jian's door and helped Yu Jian regain the love that he lost. I only completed one mission! How did the ghost fetus lose its heart‽" His brows dipped into a crease as Chen Ge wrecked his mind, and suddenly, a brilliant flash crossed his eyes as a possibility came to him. "It was the non-smiler from the hospital that stole the ghost fetus' heart!"
Chen Ge still had an impression of the child whose heart had been stolen by the ghost fetus. At the time, Chen Ge had run into the non-smiler at his home, but he did not get into an altercation with the non-smiler during that time.
"The non-smiler belongs to the party of the cursed hospital. They have also targeted the ghost fetus. After all, the child with the heart deficiency was one of the children selected by the ghost fetus!"
Last night, Chen Ge had entered Yu Jian's world behind the door to take away the love that had been snatched by the ghost fetus. But on the same night, the non-smiler had reached out toward the child with the heart problem, and they had walked away with the ghost fetus' heart. "Is the cursed hospital also going after the ghost fetus? What is their connection to the ghost fetus?"
Chen Ge was reminded of something else. Whenever he entered the door of the children selected by the ghost fetus, there would be a black, iron door that appeared behind him. The door appeared to be the door of a quarantine room. It was splattered with faded blood stain and lingered with the smell of disinfectant. The world behind the door was weaved from the children's own memories, but the black door was quite possibly part of the ghost fetus' own memory.
"Could the black iron door be a part of the cursed hospital? Was the ghost fetus once trapped at the cursed hospital?"
In his mind, Chen Ge used to separate the ghost fetus and the cursed hospital, but now, he realized that there might be a connection between these two that he had not chanced upon yet.
"Evil is something like a disease, so the question is, who is the patient zero?"
Chen Ge did not have a good impression of that cursed hospital. His greatest wish was for the ghost fetus and the cursed hospital to butt heads and kill each other, but the problem was that the cursed hospital was probably after the same thing as Chen Ge. They wanted Chen Ge to cross swords with the ghost fetus while they stayed out of it to reap the benefits.
"Other than the ghost fetus, I have to be cautious of that hospital." Chen Ge was very calm. "I needed almost ten Red Specters to take down Du Ming's mother, who was actually disguised by the ghost fetus. The cursed hospital managed to get away with the ghost fetus' heart, which means that they are no less powerful than I am! They might even have a Top Red Specter among them!"
His heart rose with agitation. Chen Ge kept on urging the taxi driver, and ten minutes later, he arrived at the police station.
"Inspector Lee, where is Zhen Zhen? Can I please meet him? After all, it was me who saved him."
"He is at the duty room. The child is a very quiet and obedient kid. He has gained quite a following at the station." Lee Zheng was originally busy with something else, but when he saw Chen Ge, he put down all his work immediately. "I will take you to meet him now."
"There is no need to hurry. There is one other thing that I wish to ask you." Chen Ge walked up to Lee Zheng. "About the child with the heart disease that I asked you guys to investigate earlier..."
"He died last night at the hospital." Lee Zheng pulled out a document from his drawer. "The boy's name was Se Xin. With his heart problem, the doctor said that it was already a miracle that he had lived so long."
"He died? Last night?" Chen Ge's jaw tightened. He was pretty sure that this was the non-smiler's doing. A human life was lost just like that. He was just a child. He did not even have the chance to see and experience what the world had to offer just yet.
"I should have gone to him earlier." Chen Ge felt some responsibility and guilt. The children chosen by the ghost fetus came from a pitiable background, so Chen Ge had been trying his best to help them as well. After Chen Ge entered the door, he would help the children find the power that had been taken away by the ghost fetus and then hand the power back to the children so that they would become complete again. But the others, be it Jia Ming or the non-smilers, did not care about the children's lives. They would stop at nothing to destroy the ghost fetus' lingering spirit. They had no bottom line.
"What about Se Xin's parents?"
"They're taking it as well as they could. But strangely enough, something has happened to the main surgeon who conducted the surgery. He had been unconscious since the surgery last night. He still had not woken up."
Chen Ge asked for and memorized the physician's name, and then with Lee Zheng leading the way, they headed to the police station's duty room. Before they arrived, Chen Ge could hear the sound of laughter coming from inside the duty room. Pushing open the door, they saw a female officer playing with Zhen Zhen. When Zhen Zhen saw Chen Ge walk in, he jumped down from the bed and hid behind the female officer. He seemed to be afraid of Chen Ge, which was something that no one expected.
Putting down his backpack, Chen Ge walked toward Zhen Zhen. "You do not recognize me anymore?"
Zhen Zhen nodded and then quickly shook his head. He seemed to see another person on Chen Ge's body. The second person made him feel familiar yet anxious. After a while, Zhen Zhen slowly returned to normal. He took Chen Ge by his hand and handed him a candy that was left on the table.
"Zhen Zhen, I'm here today to ask you some questions." Chen Ge accepted the candy given to him by Zhen Zhen. "When you are being held by Jia Ming, other than Liu Wen and Se Xin, did you manage to sense the presence of the other children?"