The man's body was glued to his girlfriend, and Chen Ge pulled on his sleeve. He stood before the front door of the bus and uttered with some regret, "How about you give me some time to think about it?"
"You've helped me a lot tonight, and I'll need to thank you personally." Before the man could say anything, Chen Ge pulled him and his girlfriend onto the bus. The door closed, and the bus continued to move. Hearing the robotic and cold announcement, the man and his girlfriend felt equally chilly.
After dropping in the fare, the couple shuffled to the back of the bus under the driver's venomous gaze. However, Chen Ge held the e-bike and stood next to the driver. He turned his head to look at the man but did not say anything.
Cold sweat slid down the driver's face. He was wearing an old uniform. His hands gripped the steering wheel so tightly that the back of his palms were pulsing with green veins.
"Are you okay? You don't look so good."
"I'm fine, it's just an old illness." The driver avoided Chen Ge's gaze and kept his eyes on the road. "Er... please move to the back of the bus. Our company has a rule that prohibits the driver from talking with passengers when the bus is moving."
"The company has a rule to prevent you from conversing with the passengers? Then does your company have rules that stop you from accepting passengers at night?" He had almost failed the mission. Chen Ge had chased the bus for three stations before he finally got on, so he was still irked at that.
The driver thought about it and forced out an excuse. "I saw you on the e-bike, and I thought you were rushing to the bus stop to hide from the rain, so I didn't stop."
"That does sound reasonable." Chen Ge silently shoved the hammer back into his bag. He looked at the driver and nodded meaningfully. "What's your name?"
"Tang Jun." The driver had a feeling that he had been targeted, and his legs kept shaking.
"Not bad." The driver treated his passengers well, and his mind was active. He had a great sense of self-preservation. Was this not the type of ghost that Chen Ge was looking for?
Chen Ge did not trouble the driver anymore and moved to look at the other passengers on the bus.
Other than the couple who sat at the back and Chen Ge himself, there were eight other passengers on the bus. One was the man who was smothered in thick clothing. He was wearing a hat and a mask, so only his eyes were revealed. Sitting next to the man was the person who had gotten on at the previous stop. His limbs were uncoordinated like a toy that had seen better days.
Other than those passengers whom Chen Ge had seen get on the bus, there were four women in patients' garbs. They sat next to the window and had their heads lowered. The long, black hair covered their faces, and they looked quite scary.
Chen Ge scanned them with his gaze, and his eyes eventually fell on a middle-aged woman who sat on the third row. The woman looked so ugly and so fat. She was holding the hand of a young boy who sat next to her. The boy looked around four or five. He was leaning against the woman. No matter how much the bus shuddered, he did not open his eyes.
He doesn't look like he's asleep but feels more like he's unconscious.
This was Chen Ge's first time on the bus. The situation inside the bus was different from what Xiao Gu had described. He did not see any high schooler or men who were drenched. The only one that matched was the middle-aged woman.
Is the boy next to her the red raincoat woman's child?
Chen Ge was not sure because the description provided by Xiao Gu regarding the child was different from this boy.
Could the woman have kidnapped another child from Eastern Jiujiang?
That thought flashed across Chen Ge's mind. He parked the e-bike nicely and walked to the back of the bus. The couple hid far away from him, but they did not expect Chen Ge to come to them. The couple nudged deeper into the seat awkwardly, and their bodies did not once separate from each other.
"This is a public space, why don't you act more normally?" Chen Ge sat down next to the man like he could not see the other empty seats on the bus. "Brother, thanks for your help earlier."
The man did not know what Chen Ge was up to, so he smiled at Chen Ge politely.
Once he got a closer look, Chen Ge realized that there were burn marks underneath the man's neck, and the scary scars were a huge contrast to his smooth skin and handsome face. Xiao Gu seemed to have run into this couple before, but back then, they did not get on the bus.
"What's with the two of you?" Chen Ge asked. "You were so sweet at the station, but once the bus showed up, you started arguing."
"I wanted to move to Eastern Jiujiang, but she didn't want to, so we started arguing." The man's voice was hoarse like his windpipe had been scorched by flames.
"What is so good about Eastern Jiujiang? It's far more comfortable to live in Western Jiujiang. Once you've tried living there, I swear you'll fall in love with it." Chen Ge stared at the other passengers and did not let his guard down too much. The Hearse was a two-star scenario, so the difficulty was similar to Mu Yang High School. Even though there was no Red Specter, it was still quite dangerous for Chen Ge.
"Western Jiujiang?" That was not an option within the man's plan, but he was too cultured to deny Chen Ge's suggestion, so he said absent-mindedly, "I'll definitely go take a look if there's a chance."
"You won't regret it." Chen Ge revealed a kind smile. "If you don't mind me asking, what do the two of you do for a living?"
The man lowered his head slightly like he did not want to talk about it, but the woman next to him said, "He was my violin tutor. My dad hired him from overseas with a high payment."
"You know how to play the violin?" Chen Ge's eyes lit up immediately. This was a talent!
The man touched the woman to stop her from talking, but the woman seemed to have been reminded of something sad and gripped the man's hand tightly, refusing to let go. Her nails had cut into the man's flesh, but the wound did not bleed. "Compared to the violin, he's better at lying and cheating."
"What are you talking about?" The man's voice turned severe. "I've never lied to you; I just wanted you to give me more time."
The woman looked the man in the eye. She moved her gaze away after a while. "It doesn't matter anymore. After all, now we're finally together, and no one will be able to separate us again."
Chen Ge listened patiently. He preferred a storied life. A conflict-filled experience would give birth to a different relationship, and a strong relationship would be able to touch other people.
Taking out his phone, Chen Ge searched for the news in Jiujiang. The keywords were 'couple' and 'fire', and he soon found what he was looking for.
After the last investor for Ming Yang Residence killed himself, his only daughter committed suicide with her violin tutor at Li Wan Mall. The police originally suspected that it was the company worker who committed this crime. This had been big news at the time when it happened.