Chen Ge had to explain for a very long time before he got his message across to Zhen Zhen, but the boy did not appear to be in the mood to talk about that topic. This was clearly demonstrated when he went into hiding behind the female officer again.
"Chen Ge, he is still a boy, and he is going through a lot of counselling to help mend his internal trauma. I must ask you to not make him remember those unhappy incidents so soon." This was the first time that Chen Ge had met the female officer, but she managed to call him by his name as if they had known each other for a very long time already.
"To stop the tragedy from its source, Zhen Zhen is the only one who can provide me with the answer. I also have no other choice." Chen Ge knelt before the boy. "Zhen Zhen, if you sense the location of the other children, you have to tell me. I am only trying my best to go and protect them."
The cursed hospital was also looking for the ghost fetus' candidates. If they got to them before Chen Ge did, the child would most likely end up dead.
After about ten minutes, Zhen Zhen finally spoke. He still hid behind the female officer, but the small face started to lose its smile. He said shyly and softly, "That strange uncle told me these strange stories before I went to sleep at night, and after hearing him, I had dreams that have nothing to do with me. It is like I am using another person's eyes to live their lives."
As a young boy, Zhen Zhen tried his best to express what he was trying to say, and Chen Ge got the message clearly.
The child shared a bond of sorts with the ghost fetus, and he possessed the presence of the ghost fetus within him. With the aid from Jia Ming, he was able to take a glimpse into the dreams of the other children chosen by the ghost fetus. Jia Ming and Bei Ye had made use of this power to find Liu Wen earlier.
"Other than Liu Wen and Se Xin, I have had one more dream. It was complete darkness inside that dream. I was unable to see anything." Zhen Zhen tried his best to remember and recollect his memory.
"Complete darkness in the dream, and you could not see anything?"
"Yes, it was a very horrible feeling. I was surrounded by darkness, and my whole body itched. I wanted to scratch at it until the skin fell off."
Just from Zhen Zhen's description, Chen Ge was feeling slightly uncomfortable.
"Even if the eyes can't see, the nose and ears should be working fine. Did you smell anything strange or hear any strange voices when you were in this dream?" Chen Ge was slowly prompting Zhen Zhen.
After giving it some thought, the boy finally said, "I believe I smelled a very horrible stench, and I heard the meowing of some cats. Yes! There were many cats in the room with me."
"Many cats? A blind person who took in stray cats?" This was the first image that popped into Chen Ge's mind. "Is there anything else other than that? There was no one talking? Only the cats?"
"I think that was the sound of a man. He seemed to call me his little brother. He said something else, but he seemed to be standing very far away, so I could not hear him clearly." Zhen Zhen had told Chen Ge everything he could remember.
"I think I get it." Chen Ge walked out from the duty room. He took out his phone and recorded all the useful information. "In Zhen Zhen's dream, the men made an appearance. They should be siblings. The younger brother is blind, and he is surrounded by cats. From the smell, they live in a less than satisfactory environment, and the big brother stays away from his brother even when he is trying to talk to him..."
Lee Zheng stood next to Chen Ge and watched the man talk to himself as he jotted down the notes and arranged the information in his mind. Without even realizing it, a bitter smile appeared on the inspector's face. "It is such a shame that you are not a part of the force."
"Brother Zheng, can you do me another favor?" After arranging his notes, Chen Ge turned to Lee Zheng. "If we do not locate that blind person as soon as possible, I am afraid he might in mortal danger."
The minute earlier, they had been chatting with a young boy, and now, they were suddenly talking about a murder. The topic changed so quickly that even an experienced police officer like Lee Zheng needed some time to get used to it. "Mortal danger? How did you come to that conclusion based on the dream of a child? Don't get me wrong. It's not that I am suspecting you, but I think that is rather hard to believe."
"You can say it's my instinct." Chen Ge had difficulty going into details. "My instinct has always been accurate."
"There is no denying that, but we are currently very short-staffed. I am afraid we are unable to provide you with much help." Even though that was what Lee Zheng said, after they returned to his office, he still entered the database that was only accessible to the police. "Let me check if there are any pet shops or stray cat centers that are run by two brothers. Based on what you said, the younger brother should be blind, and some kind of tragedy has befallen the family before this..."
Even with the many clues that they had, sifting through all the information that was available still required plenty of time, and it might not even amount to anything. At around 2 pm, Lee Zheng finally called with good news. He had found a person that matched the description given by Chen Ge.
"The name is Ying Chen. He is twenty-three years old. He is the operator of Jiujiang's Heart Kitty Rescue Center's website. He is a serious cat lover and has volunteered many times in Jiujiang's voluntary activities. He was a perfect student during his schooling years and did not have any run-ins with the police." Lee Zheng pointed at the computer screen. "This is all the information that's readily available on the website, so I am not violating any rules by sharing it with you."
Chen Ge hopped onto the internet and searched for this website. The Heart Kitty Rescue Center's website's main page was filled with cat pictures and comments from different cat lovers. The most popular feature on this website was a stray cat rescue plan, urging the public not to abandon their pet so easily. As Lee Zheng said, there was a brief introduction on Ying Chen on the website. Other than that, there was a picture of the man as well. The man looked talented and had very fair skin. At least for Chen Ge, he gave a good first impression.
"The man is quite impressive. His parents died when he was very young. He and his younger brother then moved to stay with their relative, but it turns out the relative only took them in because they wanted to lay claim to the house that Ying Chen's parents left behind.
"The relative treated the brothers badly. Ying Chen did not complain about it. He threw himself into his studies. When he was old enough and capable enough to look after them both, he chased the relative out. This sounds like a young man with a sunny and hardworking disposition."
Lee Zheng collected the report of his investigation.
"The other users all leave shining reviews for the man. They feel like he's a man who has the light shining from within him. In fact, many single female users have shown public interest in him, but because he had to take care of his younger brother, he kindly rejects all of their advances because he does not want to burden them with his younger brother."
"Based on what you said, he sounds like a perfect young man and citizen of society." Chen Ge looked through the website. He did not know anything was wrong, and then he clicked into Ying Chen's own main page. Inside that main page, there were videos, pictures, and blog posts written by Ying Chen himself. Most of them recorded the lives of him and his younger brother and their lives together with the stray cats. All his videos and blogs had very high views. He even had his own account on a certain popular video-sharing platform. He had a respectable number of followers, not too many but just enough to be called popular and influential.
"The big brother is such a kind and loving person. Even though the younger brother might have some eye problem, I am sure he will be taken care of." Chen Ge clicked on one of the videos and watched it silently.
"Yes, with a brother like that, it is quite fortunate that his younger brother has him considering the other things that have happened to them."
"Brother Zheng, I do not think that you have understood me." Chen Ge turned back to look at Lee Zheng. "Do you still remember how Zhen Zhen described that dream? It was surrounded in complete darkness, and it reeked of horrible smell. He could not see anything, and his body was incredibly itchy. If the big brother really took such good care of his younger brother, this kind of situation would not have happened."
"But that was merely just a dream made up by Zhen Zhen." For Lee Zheng, police detective work required actual evidence to back it up, and a dream could not be considered proper evidence.
"Dreams are the manifestation of a person's subconscious. The majority of people will choose the response of flight when they run into a scary situation in their dreams, but a small portion of people will choose to fight. Their different choices can reflect a person's mental and psychological health and condition." Chen Ge did not lift his eyes off the video and provided his theory.
"Does the operator of a haunted house nowadays need to know so many things?" Lee Zheng had noticed that Chen Ge was still going through the list of videos. "Are you trying to find evidence to back up what you are suggesting through the videos? The fact that Ying Chen is not the man that he has made himself out to be?"
"On the surface, the videos appear to be perfectly normal, but..." Chen Ge took out his phone and searched for the official website for the local Jiujiang weather report. It contained the weather data over the entire year for Jiujiang. He compared the weather data, and his expression slowly became more and more severe. "Brother Zheng, I think I have found the evidence you need."
"What do you mean?" Lee Zheng was an experienced detective. He had seen parts of the videos himself, but he did not spot any big problems with them.
"When I clicked on Ying Chen's main page, I realized that most of his videos were centered around rescuing stray cats. The cats in the videos looked so devastated, and they were so fearful around human beings. But after Ying Chen's rescue and treatment, the cats turned out to be healthier and prettier, and they were less scared around strangers."
"That proves that his methods are effective, and that is exactly what their website is promoting-rescuing the stray cats and giving them a new chance at life."
"But did you realize one thing? Most of the stray cats rescued by Ying Chen were already adult cats, and their body frames have already matured."
"What are you trying to say?" Years of detective experience gave Lee Zheng a very bad feeling in his heart.
"I suspect that part of his videos are doctored and shot in reverse." Chen Ge stood before the computer and spoke in a low voice. "He will first take pictures and videos of healthy cats, and when he has enough material to post on his website, he will start to torture them. The poor cats that were featured at the start of the videos are exactly how they ended up in the end. Now, isn't that a scary thought?"
"The fact that you could even come up with a speculation like that is even scarier." Lee Zheng realized that Chen Ge was able to picture everything from the perspective of the criminal. He was thankful that Chen Ge had not strayed from the good path, or else he would be a very difficult criminal to deal with.
"After I had this suspicion, I tried to figure out a way to prove it. But most of his videos were taken in this same room. There were no signs of any calendars or clocks inside the room. And the curtain were drawn. The change of the lighting was too small to notice any difference. The man is a very cautious and careful thinker. He has thought of all the possibilities that might cause him to slip up," Chen Ge said as he clicked open the video that he had last seen. "But in this video, he missed something. If you listen very closely, at the start of the video, you can hear the sound of rain and thunder in the background. At this part, the cat looked horrible. It could barely stand on one leg, its wounds were heavily infected, and it could not even open its eyes from the scab on its face.
"The video was uploaded on the twenty-sixth of last month. He said in the video that he found this cat at the start of the month, and when he first saw the cat, he was shocked by the horrible condition that it was in. At the start of the video, he even lambasted the people who had cruelly abandoned such a cute animal. But I just logged into our Jiujiang's local weather data website to check. For the whole of last month, we only had one day with heavy rain, and it was on the twenty-fourth.
"In other word, if he was telling the truth, he shot the video about the cat in its horrible condition on the twenty-fourth, but on the twenty-sixth, when he uploaded the video, the cat in the video had supposedly recovered to its optimum condition. In fact, at the end of the video, it showed the cat making a full recovery, without a sign of physical wounds on its body. Do you think that's possible?"
Ying Chen was a cautious and deliberate thinker, but he was still far less dedicated than Chen Ge.
"But why would he go through so much trouble to come up with such a big operation? He not only tormented the cats-he even uploaded these videos to share them with the rest of the cat lovers?"
"I believe that it's similar to the psychology of a serial killer returning to their crime scenes to witness their handiwork. It is a kind of rush that they get from seeing their work being admired by others." Chen Ge continued to look at the video. Honestly, if not for the coincidental weather pattern, it would have been impossible to find anything wrong with Ying Chen's videos. "Brother Zheng, I believe that this person is a maniac with an extremely dark disposition. He is good at disguising himself and is a very clever person. If we let him be, he will eventually push himself further to commit a bigger crime."
"Indeed, but now I am more worried about his younger brother." Lee Zheng's expression turned serious. "Living with such a brother, he might be in serious danger. That's why you said that he might be in mortal danger in the first place, isn't it?"
"Yes, in any case, we should locate them as soon as possible." Chen Ge read the introduction that the website had on Ying Chen. The man had a younger brother who was blind, and his name was Ying Tong.
Chen Ge found Ying Chen's contact number on the website. He told Lee Zheng that they would go to investigate Ying Chen together tomorrow morning. But after leaving the police station, Chen Ge thought about it again. Lee Zheng was already so busy. He felt like he should not burden him with any more work. He got into the cab and called the number that he had found on the website.
The call rang about three times before it was picked up. The man's voice came from the other side of the line. "Hello, this is Ying Chen. How can I help you?"
The number left on the website was for business purposes, so Ying Chen had a fair and kind attitude.
"Mister Ying, I am a haunted house owner at New Century Park. I wish to place an advertisement banner on your website. I wonder, would you be interested in that?" Chen Ge started to lie the moment he opened his mouth. "We can negotiate the price further. I am sure you will be satisfied in the end."
"Okay, I always see a connection between cats and theme parks. Furthermore, the users of our websites are mostly young people, and I am sure that's also a theme park's target audience."
The two formed a consensus on the spot. To make Ying Chen lower his guard, Chen Ge did not ask to meet him at the man's home but had Ying Chen choose a restaurant that was close to his home so that they could meet up and discuss the business in person. Half an hour later, Chen Ge arrived at the restaurant, and he gave Ying Chen another call.
"Boss Chen! I have already booked the private room!" A young man walked out from the restaurant. He was casually dressed, and he gave off a very clean and sunny feeling.
"Ying Chen?" Chen Ge was carrying his backpack. "You know me?"
"When I heard the name New Century Park and the haunted house, I knew it was you. I just did not expect that you would come in person." Ying Chen was a well-rounded businessman. He heaped on the praise, saying that he was Chen Ge's fan, and then segued into admiring Chen Ge for his business acumen. He was so good at this business talk that he did not appear to be a young man of only twenty-two. Chen Ge did not intend to post an advertisement on his website from the beginning, so to show his 'sincerity', he offered a price that was three times the market price.
The two had a jovial discussion. Wine flowed like water. Just as the waiter came to serve the last dish, Chen Ge accidentally knocked into the man and caused the water to splash on his shoulder. Ying Chen quickly came over to dab the shoulder with the paper towel, but Chen Ge's face darkened immediately. "I have another meeting to get to. What should I do now?"
The waiter kept apologizing. Chen Ge sighed in seeming helplessness. He turned to Ying Chen. "Brother, do you mind if you go to your place to borrow a shirt from you? I have already scheduled a meeting with a client this afternoon. I do not think it will be polite to show up in a stained shirt."
Ying Chen hesitated for a while before agreeing. "Of course, there's no problem."
The two paid for their dinner and entered the residential area nearby. This place was very close to the old city, and it was quite isolated. The residential area was practically deserted.