Chen Ge hung up the phone and gripped the doorknob. With his right hand on the hammer, his left hand pulled the door open a sliver. The light filtered into the corridor, and the simple door seemed to split the world in two.
"Who are you looking for?"
There was a thin, lanky man standing at the door. His eyes were sunken, and his skin looked rough. He seemed tired.
"I came to give you a warning." The man kept a fair distance from the door. "Don't stay here overnight. If you have to stay within this residential area, do not stay on this floor."
"Why?" Chen Ge wanted to hear what this strange man had to say.
"Don't mind why. Just don't stay here overnight." He coughed twice and pulled his hand out of his right pocket to put over his mouth like he did not want people to hear him. He whispered, "Someone went missing on this floor before."
"Went missing?" Chen Ge was reminded of the information given to him by the agent. The second tenant was an English teacher and mysteriously disappeared inside the room.
"Leave while you still can." The man appeared like he had come to warn Chen Ge out of kindness.
"How do you know about all this? Are you also a tenant here?" Chen Ge exposed half of his body while he kept his hand that held the hammer behind the door.
"Yes, I live upstairs, and I overheard your conversation with yourself earlier." The man was wearing a dusty jacket and kept both his hands in the pockets. He looked physically weak and teetered unstably. "I thought you'd leave in the end, but you ran into the room. You look like you're planning to stay overnight, so I came to warn you."
"Conversation with myself?" Chen Ge gulped. Other people would have start to panic by now. "Have similar events happened at this building before?"
"Yes, but normally people come during broad daylight. This is the first time someone has visited at night."
"What happened to those people?"
"Some went mad, and others stayed as tenants. Then again, I'd say those that went mad got lucky. After all, the tenants either committed suicide or disappeared."
"Went mad? Disappeared? Why are the endings so different?"
"There's apparently a reason." The man signaled for Chen Ge to come closer with his right hand, but Chen Ge did not follow his order. In the end, the man had to lean closer to Chen Ge to whisper, "I heard that those who went mad found this place through the actual agent while those that stayed as tenants called the ghost agent's number."
"Ghost agent?" Chen Ge was reminded of the girl's voice who remained the same throughout their conversation, the only defining feature about her voice being the politeness. "What is a ghost agent?"
"This story began several years ago. There was a murder in this Room 304 next to you. The victim was a real estate agent, but even now, the murderer hasn't been caught." The man took in a deep breath and turned his attention upstairs. Other than Chen Ge's room, every corner was shrouded in darkness, so Chen Ge had no idea what he was looking at.
After checking their surroundings, the man continued. "Ever since his death, this room has been vacant, but weird things kept happening. People would come to see the room, but when asked where they got the information, their answers would be different. Some said they saw it online, others said roadside advertisement, but some of them could not even remember how the information got into their mind."
The man paused while he looked at Chen Ge with confusion. "By the way, how did you find out about this place? And... how did you get the key to the room next to Room 304?"
"The process is rather complicated." Chen Ge glanced at Room 304. "I saw the phone number left on the door and called it. Then a man about thirty wearing a black shirt gave me the key."
"About 30? Black shirt?" the man mumbled before his eyes widened. "He's returned!"
After saying that, the man rushed upstairs like he was running for his life.
"Hey! Finish your story!" The man was too suspicious, and Chen Ge did not intend to let him slip away. He grabbed the hammer and chased after the man. It was unclear whether the man saw the hammer or just focused on running upstairs. The building was old, and it only had eight floors. When Chen Ge chased the man until the fifth floor, Chen Ge's phone started to ring.
"Stop!" Chen Ge did not allow himself to get distracted. He rushed until the sixth floor when he finally caught up to the thin man. "Why did you run?"
"The agent was thirty plus! When he died, the white formal shirt that he was wearing was dyed black by blood!" The man was panicking, and the fact that Chen Ge was holding a scary-looking hammer did not help.
It's like I thought. Looks like the agent I saw was the first tenant. Now the issue is whether the female agent is same or not. Chen Ge's phone was still ringing, and he pulled it out. The thin man leaned against the railing like he did not want to be close to Chen Ge.
The screen unlocked, and it was the information sent by the agent. The first picture recorded the information on the third tenant, the gambler. Chen Ge swiped the screen to the bottom, and the agent was nice enough to include the gambler's picture.
"Tired-looking, sunken eyes, and slight of frame!" When he saw the picture, Chen Ge's body moved faster than his mind. He picked up the hammer and swung at the railing. When he saw the thin man, Chen Ge already had this speculation. No matter what the man did, he only used his right hand and kept his left hand in his pocket. At the time, Chen Ge had suspected that this man had no left hand!
The hammer smashed the railing, and the thin man evaded to the side as his body twisted in unnatural angle. He did not fight back. With a weird smile on his face, he jumped over the railing and disappeared to the third floor.
He's probably run back to Room 304.
When Chen Ge left the room, he did not take the recorder with him. To prevent further accident, he decided to return to the third floor first. Chen Ge felt better when he was inside Room 305, and he turned on the recorder.
This building sure is interesting. Everyone looks like they're telling the truth, but everyone is lying. I can't trust anyone. Chen Ge thought back to his conversation with the thin man. The gambler kept persuading me to leave. Why is that?
After picking up all his stuff, Chen Ge took out his phone and looked at the screen.
The agent only gave me the information on the gambler but not the other two tenants. Did she do that on purpose? What is the connection between these people to the drawer? Chen Ge shook his head. Looks like the Baleful Specter I've won this time is rather unique!
He called the agent's number. He held the hammer in one hand, and his other held his phone to his ear.
"Good evening, the information has been sent to your phone. How can I help you?" The voice on the phone was still very polite, but the time was already close to midnight!
"Yes, I still have one last question to ask."
"Please, go ahead."
"I'm sorry, but are you a ghost?"