The room was extremely quiet. Even the two who liked to critique the most were quiet. The atmosphere around the dining table was weird. The ten black robes looked at one another, and they seemed to be communicating with gazes.
"If that's not enough, I have other stories." Chen Ge was buying time for Zhang Ya. He was not interested in the other members; he only had one target that night, which was to capture Zhu Xiu.
"You still have other stories?"
The dining table fell silent again. The first man on the right scratched his head before turning to the fifth person on the left. "No. 5, are all his stories real?"
Everyone then turned to this most mysterious No. 5. The black robe fluttered slightly, and a gender-neutral voice came from the mask. "I cannot detect any signs of deceit in his words."
Five ghost stories, all real... what kind of 'amazing' life had he led?
"Looks like we have to redo the judging." The man on the left moved his gaze to fall on the three other new members. "All of your stories are amazing, but we can only keep three new members."
He placed his left hand on the table and extended one finger. The second vote had begun. Other people came to the decision equally quick. Six of them extended one finger.
"You got more than half of the votes." The man on the left turned to No. 1. "I'm sorry, No. 1, but you can leave now."
"Leave?" No. 1 started to panic and wanted to say something but was cut off by the man on the left.
"You can come back next Wednesday."
The alert No. 1 was sent out of the room. The birdman had been waiting. When he saw it was not Chen Ge, he was rather surprised.
"Follow me." The birdman led No. 1 away and closed the door.
When the door shut, the first man on the left finished his sentence. "Provided you can survive until the next Wednesday."
The moment he said that, there was screaming from the corridor and then something heavy fell on the floor. No. 2's legs shook. Earlier, four people had picked him. If there were two more votes, he would have been the one outside.
"Don't worry, the new member lives on in another form." The first man on the left softened his voice. "Welcome to the ghost stories society. You will be respectively No. 11, 12, and 13."
Chen Ge came in last, so his number was 13. The blood in the shadow behind him grew obvious. Chen Ge, who had survived the first wave of danger, slowly relaxed. The ghost stories society was the hidden mission for the Third Sick Hall. It was related to the world behind the door, and the reward was probably Men Nan's main persona, a Red Specter who could control the opening and closing of the 'door'.
"I have a question," the woman who was now No. 12 said. Her emotions had always been light. "The flyer says that I can find a way to soften the pain, so how do I do that?"
"Don't worry, everyone here has once been in depths of pain. We're all patients, and the purpose of building this society is to help everyone seek salvation." The man on the right stared at the woman. "When you tell us three real ghost stories, we'll find a way to help you according to your situation."
Chen Ge listened quietly. He had initially thought that this society was a bunch of madmen playing with themselves, and he did not expect that it would have such a deep meaning behind it.
"How do you expect real ghost stories to happen so often?" When the woman was speaking, she turned to look at Chen Ge with slight alert.
"Ghost stories surround us-you haven't been paying attention. All the words written on the flyer are real, and many members have sought salvation with us. There was once a member who had been tormented by her stepfather since she was young. She was whipped and drowned, making her fear water very much. After she came to us, her illness was fixed, and she no longer feared water."
"How did you cure her?"
"Very simple, we forced her stepfather underwater and had her personally destroy the phobia in her heart."
"Yes, it is that simple. Every one of us is sick, but we suffer from different conditions. The reasons for our illnesses are different. Don't worry, when it's your turn, we'll draft a solution designed for you." The man on the right's voice was calm and confident. Chen Ge imagined a trustworthy face under that mask.
"You already know the condition. Once you can tell three real ghost stories, you can demand something from us, or you can choose to leave." The man laughed and added with humor, "And it'll be real that time."
"Three ghost stories?" The woman lowered her head to think.
Listening to their conversation, Chen Ge was shocked.
This is not therapy; it's murder! Then again, only mad men would come up with these therapy methods.
Chen Ge's gaze swept over everyone at the table. The patients from the Third Sick Hall were probably among them!
The devil from Room 10 and Wu Fei from Room 9, these two were probably the founders of the ghost stories society. They themselves were patients. In fact, Room 10 was filled with records of the devil's suffering. In a way, no one could empathize with these crazy people more than them.
Since medicine could not solve their pain, they would provide treatment themselves, using the crazy method to give crazy people their salvation.
"Every new member is given the right to ask a question." The man looked at No. 2 and Chen Ge. "Which one of you would like to go first."
"I've run into some trouble recently. I have the police on my back." When No. 2 said so, he raised his head to look around. No one reacted; this seemed to be something common here.
"I can probably guess your problem, another man pushed to the wall." The man on the left leaned against the back of his chair. "We cannot help you solve that problem, but the society can provide you a place to stay. We can even let you stay forever."
No. 2 nodded, slightly disappointed.
The room turned back to Chen Ge. "What is your question?"
"My question is simpler." Chen Ge felt a chill run down his spine. He did not expect the monsters behind the door to work together with the patients from Third Sick Hall to organize something like this. After a long pause, he directly stated, "I want to know who the society's chairperson is."
The black robes went silent once more. They looked at one another, and in the end, it was the first man on the left who spoke. "Change your question."
"You cannot tell me?" The more they wanted to hide it, the more interested Chen Ge was.
"It's not that," the man on the right said. "We know the chairperson is among the ten of us, but which of us it is, we ourselves do not know."