"Chen Ge?" Ol' Wei and Doctor Gao said in unison. Neither of them had expected to run into Chen Ge here.
"I'm here to see the old man from Ping An Apartments. Excuse me, where is Room 269?" Chen Ge spoke quickly. It was not the time to chat.
"Come with me, I'll take you there." Doctor Gao seemed to be very familiar with the place. He led Chen Ge down the corridor, and Ol' Wei followed. After double checking the number of the room, Chen Ge glanced into the room through the door's window. Two nurses and a doctor were standing beside the bed. They seemed to be communicating with the old man. The old man's condition was bad. He had his eyes closed, and his lips moved, but no one seemed to understand what he was saying.
Chen Ge knocked the door before entering. One of the nurses recognized him and whispered something to the doctor. The doctor nodded and signaled for the nurses to leave the room.
"Mr. Chen, I called you here today because of two things."
"How is the elder doing? Didn't he seem like he was recovering when I left last time?"
The doctor sighed softly and walked to stand beside Chen Ge. He kept his voice low to prevent the old man from hearing him. "We have tried our best. His physical condition was not good to begin with, and he suffered under the hands of the non-professional, trapped in his apartment for so many years. It is a miracle that he survived for so long. He held onto life because he wanted to find the killer that murdered his son."
Chen Ge looked at the old man lying in bed who could not even open his eyes, and his mind was blank.
"Life hasn't been fair to this old gentleman. His apartment is a haunted property, so it is hard for it to get sold. A few years ago, the government wanted to level the place to build a villa. They promised to give him compensation if he moved, but he refused no matter what. They tried all kinds of tactics, including cut off the electricity and water, but he refused to budge.
"Finally, when the workmen came to the door, the elder sat in the middle of the road with his wheelchair. He said that if the house got torn down, the clues to the murder would be gone, and the killer would never be caught.
"I cannot imagine how he managed to survive all these years. He's malnourished and is down with many different diseases, but he held on for five years until the case was solved."
At this point, even the doctor was overwhelmed with emotion. Since Chen Ge did not pick up the thread of conversation, he continued.
"We called you over because we want to respect his final wishes. This case is the only thing that kept him alive. You have fulfilled his wish, so he is thankful to you from the bottom of his heart." The doctor gave Chen Ge a phone number. "This is number for the public notary office. He split all of his assets, including that apartment, into four parts.
"One will be donated to missing children funds; one will be donated to Jiujiang's law enforcement; one is the reward for you for completing his dying wish; the last one is also for you, but the content stated is he wished you would take good care of his granddaughter. If it's okay with you, please contact the people from the public notary office as soon as possible."
"I have a question." Chen Ge finally spoke. "Why are we talking about his will when the person is still alive? You should try your best. Don't give up until the last moment."
The doctor wanted to say something, but Chen Ge stopped him. "Do you mind if I have a private moment with the elder?"
Chen Ge did not show greed from the sudden windfall-this was different from what the doctor expected. He told Chen Ge several words and walked away. The room door closed. Chen Ge sat on one side of the bed and placed Xiaoxiao on the old man's shoulder. There were sound of weeping in the room, but it was soft and unclear. Chen Ge held the old man's hand-it was skin and bone. Holding it, it felt like he was holding a dried branch buried in snow.
"Sir, Xiaoxiao is still here. You're her only family." Chen Ge did not know whether the old man could hear him or not. He saw the old man's mouth move as it made some incoherent noises like he was trying to say something.
He had many things that he wanted to tell Xiaoxiao-he probably did not want to leave just like that either. The door was pushed open lightly, and Doctor Gao walked into the room. He made a hand sign at Chen Ge and sat down on the other side of the bed. The long fingers massaged the old man's shoulders and neck, and the man slowly relaxed.
"Let's go out for now. We mustn't give him too much stimulus at a time like this. He should rest." Doctor Gao was similar to how he was when Chen Ge first met him-mature and kind, like he could handle everything.
Chen Ge looked at Xiaoxiao, who was leaning next to the old man's shoulder, and he shook his head. Yin Xiaoxiao was the first baleful Specter that he found when he got the black phone. She was very unique and not at all scary. After so long, Chen Ge had gotten used to her presence, treating her as part of his family. "I wish to stay to accompany them a little longer."
"Them?" Doctor Gao glanced at the old man and the rag doll in bed before patting Chen Ge on his shoulder. "It's okay to be sad, but don't forget to lift your head up to look at the sky."
"Because that is life." Doctor Gao walked out the room. "A few year ago, my wife got into a car accident. I also thought about ending my life then, but due to Xiao Xue, I understood something. Giving up on life means leaving the guilt of 'not doing enough' to those that really love you."
"Yes, the love of my life."
Doctor Gao walked out the door. After the door closed, Chen Ge sat beside the bed, thinking about what Doctor Gao said. His hand did not let go of the old man's hand. He looked at the rag doll and the old man.
Actually, the fact that there are ghosts in the world is not so bad. At least there's a chance to make up for regrets.
The old man's condition was worsening, but with Xiaoxiao's company, he slowly calmed before falling asleep. The black phone in his pocket vibrated. Chen Ge took it out several minutes later. He had received a new message. He clicked it open and realized that the affection level Xiaoxiao had for him had increased to Partners for Life.
Partners for life? Does that mean...
Chen Ge placed his finger under the old man's nose. He sat back down after feeling the old man's breath. He continued to look through the phone. After the increase in affection level, there was an additional sentence to Xiaoxiao's tab.
"Yin Xiaoxiao (Baleful Specter): Special Power-Soul Comfort.
"Soul Comfort: Can comfort other Specters and cleanse their soul."
After putting away the black phone, Chen Ge finally understood why the old man would be able to fall asleep easily whenever Xiaoxiao came to accompany him.
It was not only because Xiaoxiao was his granddaughter-it was also because Xiaoxiao had the power to calm and warm souls.