Chen Ge nodded and did not reject the offer. "Let's get in the car."
"Thank you." Huang Ling climbed into the driver's seat. "My home is not far from here; we'll reach it in ten minutes."
The lights came on, and Huang Ling drove down the road through the rain. Inside the car, no one spoke; everyone had something on their mind. The taxi reached Huang Ling's rental at 1 am. The place was deserted and close to Li Wan City.
"In the past, the city tried to expand Eastern Jiujiang, but for some reason, they stopped. This plot of half-finished buildings is one of the aftereffects, and most of the original tenants have moved away due to traffic and living arrangements." Huang Ling drove the taxi into the residential area. In the large area, none of the lights were on, and it felt like they had entered a ghost town. "A few years ago, when Eastern Jiujiang was expanding, the real estate was so expensive, but now, the place is so deserted because only the few of us who were tricked stayed."
After the conversation, Chen Ge found out more about the woman's past. She and her husband pooled their money together a few years ago to buy a house in Eastern Jiujiang. Initially, they had been happy about nabbing a good place. They only needed to wait for the development to come to Eastern Jiujiang, and the real estate value would rise. However, not long after that, the developer failed to live up to their promise due to a lack of funds and debt.
To buy the house, the couple had expended all of their funds, and they even had some debt. They worked together with other tenants to demand an explanation from the developers, but the appeal was still ongoing. The project had been called to a stop, and the house that they bought was a building that was not safe for living. The couple could only survive on rental. Life was not easy, and during this period, the husband got into an accident. Now it was basically Huang Ling who held up the family alone.
"We're here." Huang Ling parked the car, grabbed her bag, and ran upstairs. Chen Ge and Xiao Gu followed behind her. In the building, only the lights on the first floor were usable. The walls were dark, probably from the moisture, and there was a musty smell in the corridor.
"Jia Ming!" Huang Ling arrived at the 4th floor. As she opened the door with the key, she yelled into the room. She was afraid, scared that the thing she was worried about had become reality.
Looking at the panicking Huang Ling, both Chen Ge and Xiao Gu did not speak. From their perspective, since Huang Ling's husband chose to call at that time and knew that all the other passengers were ghosts, this proved that he was most likely dead and that he himself had turned into a ghost.
Huang Ling's hands were shaking too much to be able to insert the key into the hole, but suddenly, a man's voice came from inside the room.
"Why have you only just got home? Where have you been all night? I called your company earlier..." The door was opened from within, and a haggard looking man with a broken leg appeared before them.
"Jia Ming‽" Huang Ling was very ecstatic when she saw the middle-aged man. She reached out to hug him, but the man silently but expertly escaped the hug. "You're all wet. What happened to you?"
"I'll tell you later. It's more important that you're fine. You really gave me quite a scare today." Huang Ling choked. "I'll go change first. These two are my saviors. I'll drive them home later."
Huang Ling entered the room, and the man blocked the door, showing no sign of inviting Chen Ge or Xiao Gu into the room. Chen Ge and Xiao Gu had a weird impression of the man as well. The man was alive, so how did he communicate with Huang Ling on the phone? And how did he know that the passengers on the bus were all ghosts?
"Your wife ran into some bad people, and it was us who saved her." Chen Ge glanced inside the room. The room was tidy, and the man was a typical home maker-there was nothing weird about him.
"Hey! What are you looking at?" The man was very alert around Chen Ge.
"I'm sorry, can I borrow your phone? My phone is dead, and I want to call my family to tell them I'm safe," Chen Ge said.
"Then, wait here." The man limped back into the room before coming out with a phone for Chen Ge.
"Thank you." Chen Ge looked through the phone records quickly. The man did call the woman many times, but none of the calls had been picked up. It was not him who made the calls?
Chen Ge pretended to send some messages and then deleted the record before handing the phone back to the man.
Huang Ling had changed. The woman in the casual dress radiated a mature beauty. "Honey, you stay at home. I'll drive them back; this is what I promised them."
"No way!" The man denied it without giving it any thought. "It's already 1 am-I'm worried about you going with them. Tell them to get a taxi on their own; we'll pay for the fare."
"How do you expect us to find a taxi in this rain?" Chen Ge turned to look at Huang Ling. "What do you think?"
Huang Ling hesitated before leaving the room. "Honey, it's complicated. I'll come back and explain it to you later."
"You're not going anywhere tonight! You're going out at 1 am? Have you lost your mind?" The man reached out to grab Huang Ling's shoulder but was blocked by Chen Ge. The man was obviously afraid of Chen Ge, and there was a slight quiver in his voice. "What are you doing?"
Holding his backpack, Chen Ge's eyes narrowed as he stared at the man's face. "I'm a man of my word. I've completed her request, so if she does not complete the part that she promised, then I'm sorry, I might have to do something."
The atmosphere was tense. In the end, it was Xiao Gu and Huang Ling's combined persuasion that made the man scoff and give his consent.
"I'm sorry. My husband is a bit of a worrier. He's always been like that." Huang Ling passed the umbrella and towel to Xiao Gu. "I haven't had the chance to thank you for everything on the bus."
"It's okay, I understand." Xiao Gu accepted the towel with a smile and rubbed his face.
"Stop wasting time. We can talk downstairs." Chen Ge walked downstairs expressionlessly and did not add anything else.
Chen Ge crawled into the taxi. He opened the backpack and took out something. After Huang Ling saw that her husband was fine, her heart had relaxed. Only after losing something would one learn to cherish it. She promised not to fight with her husband again.
The taxi drove into the rain, and Chen Ge, who had been silent, finally opened his lips.
"Huang Ling, did you discover that your husband changed into a different person from a certain point onward?"
The rain fell on the window. When Huang Ling heard Chen Ge, she went silent to think before answering, "I don't think so. Why would you say that?"
Chen Ge paused before answering slowly.
"I suspect that man from before is not your husband."
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