"The brighter the girl shone, the more envious the other girls became. The truth was, even if she did not do anything, others ostracized her. Sometimes, being loved by God was not necessarily a good thing. After all, most of us are demons.
"Of the five girls, one of them was in love, and what happened next could not have been more common. She wrote a love letter for her confession, but the boy did not like her at all. In fact, he only approached her because he wanted to know more about the other girl.
"After she discovered everything, envy and shame pushed her into a crazy decision. She found the worker who managed the equipment, and they came up with plan to ruin that girl.
"As the date drew closer to the competition, the six girls went to the dance studio to practice every afternoon. Because it was summer break, the school was vacant. The other girls played nice with the girl, and in her innocence, the girl really thought that they wanted to be her friend.
"She volunteered to take on many chores and even made homemade candy to give her 'friends'.
"However, she should have known it was all a trap. It was her 'friends' who pushed her into the depths of hell."
No. 2 was still telling his story, but Chen Ge's fingers were already clenched.
The killer was telling his story of sin to everyone there, and there was no regret in his voice.
Chen Ge called in his heart. Knowing the whole story added a different emotion in Chen Ge's heart. It was heartache. The color of his shadow changed, but Zhang Ya did not appear. Perhaps she had eaten too many ghosts at Third Sick Hall and was still digesting them.
As if knowing something was up, No. 2 glanced at Chen Ge.
"The girl called for her 'friends' to help, but instead of coming to help her, one of them took out a love letter from her backpack. It had been written by the boy she loved, but the recipient was not her.
"The cornered girl looked at the window behind her. She fell from the fourth floor, and blood blossomed around her. Even then, she was beautiful.
"She was still alive. She could not make a single noise, and her eyes were open, staring at her 'friends' who abandoned her.
"Her white ballet dress was dyed blood red. No one knew her exact time of death, and her body wasn't discovered until the next day."
With every single sentence, the blood lines in Chen Ge's shadow deepened slightly. After consuming two thin monsters and a large part of the Red Specter that was the old director, something seemed to have changed within Zhang Ya. Chen Ge had no way of summoning Zhang Ya. Zhang Ya had aided him thrice, but every time, she had appeared of her own volition.
"Other than the wounds from the fall, there were no other injuries on the girl's body. With the testimonies from the ugly ducklings, her case was deemed a suicide."
No. 2 could keep his calmness initially, but as he talked, his breathing started to get ragged, and he kept looking at Chen Ge. He seemed to have noticed something, and he sped up to tell the ending of the five girls. They would receive unknown love letters written in blood at night, and the girl who received it would die a week later due to unknown reasons. Coincidentally enough, all of them had ended up in a chair.
"The school rumor says that it's a cursed musical chair game, but the truth is the girl has returned as a specter and has been roaming the dance studio."
No. 2 took a step back. "That's the end."
"The plot is not bad, but your pacing is all over the place. In the future, you will have to learn how to tell a good story from others." The man on the right yawned before turning to the other side of the table. "What do you guys think?"
"At least it's interesting, unlike the new member from last week." The first man on the left tapped his finger on the table, his eyes shining coldly. The man on the right laughed before adding, "Since he has passed, it's No. 3's turn."
"Wait a minute," the man on the left said. His gaze slowly moved away from No. 2 toward Chen Ge. "No. 2, No. 4, do you two know each other?"
Chen Ge had not expected the man to be so astute. Zhang Ya did not give him any response, so he could only try to drag things out.
"No, we don't know each other," No. 2 said. He also was surprised that his slight tell had been caught by the man.
"Since you don't know him, why did you keep looking at him both consciously and unconsciously when you told your story?"
After the man said that, all the masks seated at the table turned to look at No. 2 and Chen Ge. Gazes that were sharp as knife penetrated them.
The atmosphere in the room tensed. Chen Ge kept calling for Zhang Ya in his heart, but there was no reply. However, the blood lines in his shadow did turn redder. In comparison, No. 2 was more honest. "He makes me feel uncomfortable. There's a voice in my head telling me this person is dangerous."
"Dangerous?" The masks focused on Chen Ge. "A dangerous new member?"
"Is it because of his mask?" asked the person who had expressed an interest in Chen Ge's mask earlier. Holding his chin, he seemed to be admiring Chen Ge's mask. "It is indeed a work of art. One day, it'll be mine."
The man did technically help take the focus away from Chen Ge. The first man on the left did not press. He shrugged and said, "No. 3, let us hear your story."
Of the four new members, only No. 3 was a woman. Her height and weight were average.
"My surname is Zhong, and I work at a chemical plant." The woman touched the homemade mask on her face, and her first sentence made everyone frown.
"Miss Zhong, for the sake of your safety, please do not reveal any private information," the man on the right warned, but the woman did not seem to mind it.
"The story I wish to tell is related to my wife." The woman's voice was soothing like the chirping of a bird. "She was four years younger than me and was a DJ for a midnight radio show.
"Her time slot was between midnight and 2 am, so she would return home late every night. When we first got married, I would wait for her to come home so that we could fall asleep together, but since I had work early each morning, I only managed this for a while.
"I would make dinner for two of us and left her a note, telling her to warm it up when she returned home.
"Initially, it was still fine, but starting from one night, my wife stopped touching the food left on the table. When I woke up the next morning, the food looked untouched, but the cooking utensils in the kitchen showed signs of use.
"My wife seemed to be cooking in the dark."