The driver's face was pale, and he laughed awkwardly. "Then, good luck to you."
"Thank you, so do you mind stopping the recording now?" Chen Ge flashed a smile that he thought was friendly. "This is just a misunderstanding."
"Of course," the driver answered readily. He pressed some random button on the machine. After driving for another two or three meters, the red light on the driver's walkie-talkie lit up. He pressed it lightly, and before he could say anything, a rough, gravelly voice appeared.
"Lao Liu, you're also near Western Jiujiang's Private Academy? What is wrong with people tonight? I also have a passenger with me who wants to go there. Actually, we're quite close. By the way, what is this message that you sent to the group? 'I am meld postage'?"
"It's nothing, just focus on your passenger." The driver swiped the sweat on his forehead away and quickly hung up on the walkie-talkie.
"That should be I am held hostage, right? Uncle, didn't you say you trust me?" Chen Ge asked with his eyebrow raised. Afraid that the driver uncle might just call the cops on him, he said, "You can drop me right here."
"Yes!" The driver was quick to follow his instruction. Chen Ge even managed to see that the man's legs were shaking.
Chen Ge looked around to make sure he did not leave behind anything. After he got out and closed the door, he looked up and saw the running sign on top of the taxi say-'I am being held hostage, please call the police!'
"Uncle, you sure are creative."
The taxi left Chen Ge like it had grown wings. Several seconds later, the several hundred meters around Chen Ge fell silent. It was a starless night like it was going to rain soon. The rainclouds were hanging low in the sky, blocking out all light. Chen Ge pulled out his phone to look at the time; there were still eight minutes left until the designated time.
Just now, inside the car, the person on the walkie-talkie said he's also bringing a passenger to the Private Academy. That person is coming here at 1 am, could it have something to do with me?
Chen Ge reminded himself to be careful. If not for the time limitation, he probably would have hidden himself in the brush by the side of the road to see who was following him.
Only eight minutes left. I'd better go familiarize myself with the layout of the school first. I'll need all the advantages I can get.
The area surrounding Western Jiujiang's Private Academy was a piece of deserted land. There were no streetlights, only a single road cutting through heavy forest and shrubbery.
Flipping on the flashlight on his phone, Chen Ge followed the road for another hundred meters before reaching the abandoned school's front gate. The chains and the iron bars had already rusted together. The gate was too heavy to even budge. Looking through the bars, all Chen Ge could see was darkness.
How do I get in?
Chen Ge paced around the gate. He tossed his backpack over the gate first before taking several steps back. With a running start, he grabbed hold of the bricks on the wall as he jumped over the outside wall.
The school compound was not big; the whole area could be seen with one glance. There were several tall silhouettes standing in the dark like solitary watchmen. The school's sign had long since been removed. Chen Ge himself did not know what the real name of the school was. Like everyone else in the city, he only knew it as Western Jiujiang's Private Academy.
The overgrown shrubbery had swallowed up most of the path. It scratched Chen Ge's legs at every step, making him feel both ticklish and painful.
I've managed to arrive within the designated time limit; now my mission is to find Zhang Ya's red dancing shoes.
Chen Ge pulled out the mallet from his backpack. Feeling the icy metallic touch on his skin, Chen Ge felt much safer.
Using his phone as guidance, Chen Ge walked deeper into the school. He only took several steps before he felt something was wrong. He stopped moving and took several steps back.
Is it my imagination? How come it feels like there is something pushing me into the school? And when I tried to walk backwards, there was a mysterious force blocking me from behind.
Chen Ge turned to look over his shoulder, but there was nothing there. He used the phone to shower some light behind him, and there was nothing like ghost or spirit as he has imagined.
Could it be that she's already here? Standing behind me? Only I can't see her?
Chen Ge shivered. The thought of swinging the mallet at the space behind him cropped up in his mind, but he thought,
What if Zhang Ya is really behind me and this swing angers her?
He was a mere Haunted House owner; he was practically defenseless stranded in this deserted school. He shuddered, thinking about the ending should he manage to anger a baleful specter.
In any case, I should go in first.
Chen Ge pulled his backpack higher as he walked into the school holding up his phone and the mallet. The night darkened, and a draft picked up; it even carried a light dusting of rain with it.
The most probable locations where I will find the red dancing shoes are either the female changing room at the dance studio or Zhang Ya's former bedroom. I'll have to focus on these two locations.
Chen Ge headed toward the building that was closest to him. The trees inside the school had grown into twisted shapes, and the wild grass had grown up to Chen Ge's waist. There were statues that littered the school compound, and most of them were human figures. All in all, the place radiated an air of eeriness in the dark.
The girl's dormitory?
The dormitory building was not tall, only four-stories high. However, it did look creepy, probably due to an extended period of abandonment. The glass door of the building was locked up tight using a metal chain. Chen Ge leaned against the glass to take a closer look.
The doors on both sides of the dark corridor were tightly closed, but curious enough, a solitary chair sat in the middle of the corridor facing away from the bedroom door.
A single chair is left right in the middle of the corridor? Is there some special meaning to this?
Chen Ge leaned back from the glass door.
Both the main gate and the hostel entrance have been locked, and the corridor doesn't seem to have any trash in it. This goes to show that when they were closing the school, they cleaned the place up first, so why did they leave a chair right in the middle of the corridor? Just a mere coincidence?
If the chair was purposely left behind by the school management, then what is the meaning of it? If it was not left behind by the school, then who moved the chair to the middle of the corridor after the place was locked up?
Chen Ge aimed his phone at the glass door. The chair was placed around five meters away from the entrance, and there was a broken hall light right above it.
The light is already broken, and the electrical wiring is even exposed. Chair and wiring, is it me or that looks like a hanging scene?
Honestly, after seeing this curious scene, Chen Ge's heart had started to palpitate.
I'm probably just overthinking.
He looked left and right. The breeze caused the leaves to rustle. The school after dark was hauntingly creepy.
I can't scare myself for no reason. After all, Zhang Ya, the Red Specter, is the scariest presence at this school. I have her love letter, so who dares to challenge me?
Considering the situation, this was the only way Chen Ge could console himself.
Furthermore, this is just an affection mission. To put it simply, it's a special kind of date. There's nothing to be worried about.
He gave himself a pep talk, and when he was done, he walked back toward the glass door with the mallet. He was about to smash the door when his eyes caught a shocking detail.
The chair that should have been right under the hall light had moved one meter away from the light fixture. It seemed to have moved forward.
This was the first time Chen Ge experienced something like this.
What just happened?