Chen Ge was absorbed in his reading, but when he flipped to the next page, all he saw was blank. "That's it?"
He looked at the date that was marked by the comic artist and then picked up the notebook that was sitting beside him.
He removed the yellowed newspaper and compared the dates. The day after finishing this panel, the artist died. The newspaper was probably slotted into the notebook by the old landlady or the other tenant. "That was the day his dream died."
Chen Ge sat on the bed with the homemade comic and a new appreciation for the few ghosts he had met that night. The comic told the five stories of the five tenants of Room 304. None of them could be considered bad people.
Chen Ge's initial guess was that the ghost in the comic had affected reality, but after reading the comic artist's own story, he understood the ghosts in reality had entered his comics.
To get all the spirits to look after him, this uncle is quite amazing.
Turning to the fifth story, Chen Ge told the despondent middle-aged man, "I understand your dissatisfaction. You wished for your stories to be seen and loved by more people-I can help you do that."
The ears of the uncle who was hiding in the corner while hugging his knees perked up when he heard Chen Ge. It felt like he wanted to turn his head around.
The comic is indeed interesting. It should be something that spirits can attach themselves to.
Lingering spirits that were not Red Specter needed to possess a certain item to ensure their longevity. The comic of the artist had over thirty empty pages. If this thing could let other spirits inhabit it, Chen Ge would not need to carry a backpack with him everywhere. In fact, he could bring the twenty-four students from Mu Yang High School to go for a stroll whenever he wanted to.
Thinking about this, Chen Ge was intrigued. "Uncle, neither yourself nor the characters by your hand had your wishes fulfilled. Why don't you tell me what you need? I can help you undo the regrets that you still have in this life."
To increase his persuasion, Chen Ge provided many examples like helping the comic artist publish his work, helping the real estate agent deal with the malicious spirit that gave him bad luck, helping the gambler find his missing left hand, or helping the English teacher meet up with the families she had not seen for many years.
After some time, the middle-aged man in the comic finally turned his face around. He had a typical middle-aged man, and he looked like he had no love for life. He stared at Chen Ge with caution and suspicion.
Several minutes later, the panel underneath him had these few words surfacing on it. "Please take care of us."
At the same time, the black phone vibrated. Chen Ge did not mind the middle-aged man, and he opened the message before him.
"Lucky Specter's Favored! You have just obtained a Lesser Red Specter!
"Yan Danian: A Rare Special-Type Baleful Specter.
"Ability One: Affinity with Baleful Specters (He looks so saddened and devastated that he can easily get the pity from other spirits.)
"Ability Two: Spirit Drawing (After seeing a baleful Specter, there's a chance for drawing it into the comic's sketch book, excluding Red Specters.)
"Ability Three: ?"
Reading the message on the black phone, Chen Ge's eyes almost fell out of their sockets. He could not imagine that the middle-aged man wearing a white shirt, curled up in the corner, with sadness overflowing from his face could be a Lesser Red Specter!
You really cannot judge a book by its cover!
This was the first time Chen Ge had met a Specter with three abilities, but the appearance of this Specter shamed all Specters. Even Xiaoxiao tried day by day to pretend to be scary, but this uncle had completely given up. He did not have any pride as a Specter. He did not look scary; he looked sad, tired, despondent, and depressed.
The third ability has not been unlocked yet; it's probably the reason the uncle is called a Lesser Red Specter. Perhaps it's a power that allows him to control all the ghosts that are not Red Specters. Chen Ge understood the comic artist's meaning. He had not fully trusted him yet. He needed to wait until he finished the uncle's wish before he could become an official Haunted House employee.
The uncle is familiar with drawing, and his style is a perfect match for a Haunted House. Other than him, there are other spirits inside his comics. Buy one, get four for free. I can probably ask them to help me maintain the props or clean the house. When the situation calls for it, I'll get them to help around the scenarios. This bunch of actors will be perfect inside a Haunted House.
A smile formed on Chen Ge's face. He promised sincerely, "Brother, I understand your wish. Don't worry, I'll definitely help you make it a reality!"
Collecting all the drawings, Chen Ge shoved the painting equipment on the table into his backpack before exiting to the narrow corridor. "It's time to say goodbye to the past."
He closed the door to Room 304. When he exited the stairwell, a faded black shadow floated out from behind the nearby bush and entered the comic. It was the escaped landlady.
Chen Ge returned to New Century Park and headed for Mu Yang High School. He explained the situation to all the mannequins, holding the comic, and left without knowing whether his message had been understood or not.
The Specters inside the comics aren't malicious spirits. They will help me resolve the lack of manpower inside the Haunted House. Yan Danian himself has three abilities. After completing his wish and unlocking the strongest power, he might give me another surprise.
Returning to the staff breakroom, Chen Ge logged into his video-sharing app's account. His livestream room was still blocked, but his followers had jumped to 510,000 already. The private messages kept coming.
Looks like people still care about me.
The Haunted House's first exposure had been through the app, so Chen Ge did not plan to give up such a wonderful promotional channel. He opened the comic and snapped the panels that looked the weirdest.
"Boss, I'm going to show your work to 500,000 people, and that is first step I'm going to take to help you promote your work.
"Times have changed. A few years ago, you still needed to personally beg the publishers to look at your work, but this time, I'll make them come to you."
Chen Ge did not worry about Yan Danian's popularity. Only those who had seen his drawing would understand the creepiness that they radiated. It was a style that could not be changed or mimicked. The characters looked like they were captured at the time of their death.
Chen Ge shot a few short videos inside the Haunted House to announce his return and used Yan Danian's name to start a serial comic called 'Ghost Tenants' on the platform's forum.
Very soon, Chen Ge's comment section exploded. With the combined promotion of online and offline activities, in less than ten minutes, Western Jiujiang's House of Horrors became a hot topic search, and the popularity was still climbing.