If this three-star scenario had been at an open space, Chen Ge would not have been so conflicted. With the help of his workers, if he could not win the fight, at least he could have made a swift retreat. However, the problem was, the morgue was underground. If something happened, there was no place for him to run, and there was a high chance that he might be trapped down there.
Holding the pen and paper, Chen Ge made a quick assessment of the baleful Specters that he had on his side. "Technically speaking, my Haunted House can be considered a three-star scenario. I have many ghosts and most of them have special powers, but generally, their combat ability is very weak."
Eighty percent of the Haunted House's combat power came from Zhang Ya, fifteen percent was Xu Yin, and the last five percent was everyone else. "I have the power to force my way through other three-star scenarios, but I'll need to wait for Zhang Ya to wake up first."
Honestly, there were ways to make Zhang Ya wake up sooner-Chen Ge only needed to find other female ghosts to chat with. However, should Zhang Ya wake up from that provocation, he might be the one who died. Chen Ge lay in bed. He told himself that he probably should not rely on Zhang Ya so much, but it felt nice having someone to depend on.
"The other Specters at the Haunted House have potential to improve. Xu Yin's heart hasn't been dyed red yet, and he is just one step away from becoming a real Red Specter. This last step should be related to the door." Turning the pen in his hand, Chen Ge thought back to the door at the Third Sick Hall. "Should I go ask Men Nan's main persona? That boy is a door-pusher, so he should know plenty of information."
Chen Ge was subconsciously averse to the world behind the door, but he had already lost that choice a long time ago. "The chairperson of the ghost stories society has at least two Red Specters, Xiong Qing and his wife, so I have to be prepared to face two Red Specters at once."
Chen Ge looked out the window at the darkening sky. "Since I have nothing to do tonight, I should pay the Third Sick Hall a visit."
After packing his backpack, Chen Ge glanced at the black phone before he left. When Lee Zheng mentioned the missing person's body had been found, the black phone vibrated, and Chen Ge had not read the new message. He clicked the message open.
"The Special Visitor's Mission, The Missing Wife, has been completed. Specter's Favored, congratulations for unlocking the scary scenario-Wife's Room!
"Wife's Room (One-star Scream Factor): I thought that he would marry me, but he shoved me inside the statue and placed me inside the morgue that could see no sun."
The hidden mission for the special visitor Liu Xianxian had been completed, but there were many unanswered questions. For example, why would Liu Xianxian force herself to come into contact with these scary things? And why would she force herself to smile when she was fearful?
Chen Ge knew that Liu Xianxian was hiding something from him. The girl's relationship with Liu Zhe was not simple, so he might be able to get some information on Liu Zhe from her. "Now that Liu Zhe is mentally unstable, I should focus my investigation on Liu Xianxian. The weird reactions that she has been showing should be related to Liu Zhe. This might be a useful opening."
Carrying his backpack, Chen Ge stopped at the entrance to the Haunted House. After some thought, he changed his mind and hopped into a taxi to head to Western Jiujiang Medical University. When he arrived, Chen Ge walked into the campus like he usually did.
"Hey, what are you doing‽" A tall and thin security guard stopped Chen Ge. The man looked like he was not in a good mood, and his expression was dark.
"Going to look for someone." Chen Ge's gaze scanned the tag that hung before the man's chest. The man was one of the suspects that Lee Zheng had told Chen Ge about, Zhang Li. Before Liu Zhe surrendered, Lee Zheng had also suspected Zhang Li. On the night that Ma Yin's sister disappeared, it was Zhang Li who had been on the night shift.
"The security at the campus is heavy lately, and outsiders are not allowed into the campus. You need to call that person out to meet you." Zhang Li was not going to give Chen Ge any leeway-that was probably one of the reasons he was not popular among the students.
Chen Ge did not waste time arguing with Zhang Li. He called Liu Xianxian and told her to meet him at the campus entrance.
"Boss Chen, you want to talk to me?" Liu Xianxian had a good impression of Chen Ge. He was a nice person, friendly and passionate, and most importantly, he had saved her life once.
Chen Ge nodded and led them to the teahouse that they had met up at the previous time. He asked for a private room. After the door was closed, the room became very quiet.
After a moment's silence, it was Chen Ge who spoke first. "How well do you know Liu Zhe?"
The mention of Liu Zhe's name made Liu Xianxian's face fall. The color seemed to seep from her eyes as she told Chen Ge of her story with Liu Zhe. Listening to Liu Xianxian's description, Liu Zhe was a perfect man. He had no weakness, but his overwhelming memory of his wife was the reason he was so hesitant to accept a new romantic relationship.
After hearing what she had to say, Chen Ge looked at Liu Xianxian and asked his second question. "That day, when we were inside the underground storeroom, Ma Yin risked her life to protect you, and when it was at the most dangerous, she did not give up on you. Now, I'm asking you a question. One day, if both Ma Yin and Liu Zhe fell into the water and you could only save one, who would you save?"
It was a very clichéd question, but Chen Ge sounded very serious.
"I don't know." Liu Xianxian picked up the tea cup from the table. She was feeling uncomfortable from Chen Ge's stare. It felt like Chen Ge's eyes were like knives, puncturing her heart.
"Liu Zhe has just handed himself in to the police." Chen Ge cut right into the main reason she was there. "The killer that murdered Ma Yin's sister several year ago was him."
The tea cup clattered to the ground, and the scalding tea splashed all over Liu Xianxian, but the girl seemed like she could not feel the pain. Her eyes widened as she stared blindly at Chen Ge. "This happened two hours ago, and Liu Zhe is in police custody."
"Impossible!" Liu Xianxian sprung up from her seat. The man that she loved was the killer of her best friend's sister-that was quite hard for her to accept. Seeing Liu Xianxian's reaction, Chen Ge sighed in relief. He was afraid that Liu Xianxian would choose to help the man cover up the truth even though she knew Liu Zhe was the killer.
"Things have not reached the worst situation yet." Chen Ge tried to make Liu Xianxian calm down and told her the whole process of how Liu Zhe committed the crime. Before the truth, all arguments and lies were powerless, and Liu Xianxian sat across from Chen Ge dumbly.
"Actually, I believe you should have noticed the various problems surrounding Liu Zhe, or else you would not have gone to search for that statue to ask whether the man still loved you or not." Chen Ge gave Liu Xianxian some time to process the truth before he continued with his questions. "When you entered my Haunted House for the first time, I noticed that when you were facing scary things, even if you were really terrified, you would not hide from them. In fact, you would try your best to smile at them. Ma Yin said that this change happened to you in the second year of university. Is this change related to Liu Zhe as well?"
After a long time, Liu Xianxian nodded, and she told Chen Ge everything. "Actually, when I saw Liu Zhe for the first time, I already had a crush on him. He is a caring man and knows how to take good care of others. When I was with him, I was very happy and very satisfied.
"Everything was going fine until the night of the second semester of the second year. We had just come back from a movie and parted at the campus entrance. I was halfway back to the dormitory when I realized he left his glove in my purse. I ran back to find him but found out he did not return to the place he was staying but sneaked into the western part of campus.
"The way he looked so nervous was different from how he was usually. I was worried that he was caught in something bad, so I followed him quietly. The night was exceptionally dark, and I saw him sneak into the lab building that was supposed to be sealed. When I got closer, I heard him in the middle of a conversation with someone with terms like dead bodies and blood vessels being thrown around.
"I climbed onto the window to sneak a look, and that was a scene that I would not forget for the rest of my life. Liu Zhe was standing in front of a specimen box, talking to a human head that was encased in it. I never thought that the man I love could be a madman, and I almost screamed.
"I bit on my fingers to stop the scream from escaping. The plan was to sneak away unnoticed. Liu Zhe was facing away from me, so he did not notice me, but the human head inside the box seemed to have stopped me!
"The heavy eyelids that were supposed to be close moved open an inch, and without any outside force, the human head bounced against the glass lightly. Then Liu Zhe seemed to have understood something, and he turned to run out of the room. I knew then that I had been discovered. I tried my best to run out of the building, but I was still caught up by Liu Zhe.
"I was so scared, afraid that he might do something crazy like those mad people in movies. However, to my surprise, Liu Zhe stopped when he was about three to four meters behind me. Using a painful and hopeless tone, he told me his story.
"Seven years ago, after his wife's car accident, he had become a different person. He swore he could sense the presence of those things, and he could even hear his wife calling his name every morning like she used to do." Liu Xianxian looked at her hands that were red from the scalding tea, and her voice was raw. "I was touched by his loyalty. This type of man should not be judged by the world, so I promised to help him keep this secret."
"He has taken advantage of your kindness. Based on my investigation, Liu Zhe has not been married, and what he told you was what happened to his brother-in-law." Chen Ge pressed the service bell and had the server come over to help Liu Xianxian with her burned hands.
"I know, I realized some things after a while." After the server left, Liu Xianxian continued her story. "After spending some more time with Liu Zhe, I started to notice some weird things about him, like he would enter the underground morgue every Wednesday."
"Enter the underground morgue every Wednesday?" Chen Ge took a sip of the tea. Wednesdays were the day of the week when the ghost stories society would meet up.
"Yes, but no one knew what he was doing there. I tried to question him about it, but he would explode and get angry at me, saying that he did not want to do it either. He was forced; he was also a victim." Liu Xianxian took out her phone and found a recording for Chen Ge to listen to. "I didn't understand why he needed to get so angry so during one of our arguments, so I silently recorded it."
Chen Ge put on the ear buds and listened to the recording for a while. Other than anger, there was also traces of nervousness and fear in Liu Zhe's voice. He sounded like he was afraid of something. "Was there anything else curious about the man in his everyday life?"
Liu Xianxian thought about it. "Liu Zhe's closet radiates this formalin smell, and whenever he cooks, the dishes have a similar smell. The stench seems to have seeped into his body, so he has made a habit of putting on heavy cologne before leaving the house."
Liu Xianxian hesitated before she exposed something even scarier. "Liu Zhe is not a medical student, but there was a lot of research on autopsies and death study on his computer. His interests and hobbies are rather unique, or some would call it scary. It seems he is an adrenaline seeker. The more dangerous something is, the more excited he becomes."
Her face forced a smile, and Liu Xianxian touched the corner of her upturned lips. "You are right in the sense that this is also because of him. He once told me that there are many scary presences in this world that are beyond human comprehension. However, if we turn to smile at them, they will not harm us."
"Is that why you have been trying so hard to train yourself?"
"Liu Zhe has been very nice to me; he bought me many things and took good care of me. I lost my father when I was very young, and the feeling he gave me is very unique. Perhaps I was possessed at the time, but for his sake, I was willing to do anything."
Chen Ge felt like he had found out everything he needed to on Liu Zhe, so he jumped over that topic. "How well do you know Liu Zhe's brother-in-law?"
"Honestly, not much." Liu Xianxian shook her head. "He would go far away from me whenever he answered his call. He seems to be afraid of his brother-in-law. Oh, right, there was one time when Liu Zhe had an argument with his brother-in-law. At the time, Liu Zhe practically begged the man with tears in his eyes, saying he did not want to go through those red corridors anymore."
"Then what did his brother-in-law say?" The underground morgue's corridors were separated into three types; Lee Zheng had told Chen Ge that before.
"His brother-in-law's voice was low, so I couldn't hear it clearly, but he seemed to be saying that everything would be fine if he did not make a sound after entering the red corridors."
"So, one needs to be quiet inside the red corridors. Okay, I understand it now." Chen Ge nodded. Liu Xianxian had inadvertently revealed some important information to him. He asked some more questions, and after making sure that he did not leave out any details, Chen Ge sent Liu Xianxian back to the university. Before they parted, he reminded her to stay in the dormitory if she had nothing else to do and to not go anywhere with few people.
Chen Ge called the taxi to drive him to the Third Sick Hall. Inside the taxi, Chen Ge keyed in all the information on his phone. He was preparing a guide to take down the underground morgue. Chen Ge arrived at the Third Sick Hall at around 11 pm. This time, he had the whole group of employees with him, so he was not afraid of a fight with Men Nan's main persona.
After paying the fare, Chen Ge hopped over the wall and ran to the third building. The last time he was there was several weeks ago, but the place had not changed. Pulling off the seal on the door, Chen Ge pushed open the steel door and stood before the door to Room 3.
Back then, Men Nan's main persona had said that whenever midnight struck, the blood door would open for a minute, and if Chen Ge wanted to find him, he could come at this time. Standing outside Room 3, as time ticked by, Chen Ge became increasingly nervous. This was the first time he would reach into the world behind the door actively.
His palms sweated, and his heart raced. Chen Ge stared at the door of Room 3. When the first blood vessel appeared, he pressed the play button on the recorder.