The chair was placed right in the middle of the corridor, so if Chen Ge want to enter the second floor, he had to walk past it. The memory of what he had seen at the girl's dormitory was still fresh in Chen Ge's mind. These chairs seemed to have the tendency to get close to living humans.
Hiding at the staircase, he started to hesitate.
It has a back for people to lean on, and it looks different from all the other chairs I've seen in this building. It seems to have been moved here from someplace else, but why would someone do that?
Upon closer inspection, the chair looked similar to the one Chen Ge had seen inside the girl's dormitory; it was likely one of the chairs the school management assigned to the dormitory rooms.
Chen Ge used the camera on his phone to zoom in on the sign on one of the doors; it said something related to vocal training.
The dance studio is not on the second floor, it seems- should I just head to the third floor? But what if there's another wooden chair on the third floor's corridor? If it starts to chase after me, won't I be blocked from both sides?
As the creepy image flashed across his mind, Chen Ge decided to enter the second-floor corridor. The corridor was so shadowy that Chen Ge could not see the end. The doors on both sides were closed, and the windows were crusted with a thick layer of dust, blocking Chen Ge of the view inside.
Chen Ge took deliberate steps. He did not think to hurry simply because of the possible threat from the wooden chair. In fact, for Chen Ge, the abandoned classrooms on both sides seemed scarier than the chair.
I wonder how long it has been since a living soul stepped into this place. The dust on the floor is so thick, and I have no way of dealing with the footprints that I've left. If the person following me has also entered this building, I'll definitely be discovered.
Even in this situation, Chen Ge did not forget about the hidden threat of the third party.
I have get this over with as soon as possible!
The light on Chen Ge's phone wavered as his arms moved. He inched closer to the wooden chair.
In reality, there's nothing really scary about this, right? What can a wooden chair really do?
Chen Ge walked around the chair, and it gave him the feeling that it was just a wooden chair and nothing more.
Maybe I should take a closer look at it...
As the thought cropped up in Chen Ge's mind, he had already put it into motion. He knocked the chair to its side, and it was then that he noticed the handwriting underneath the chair.
Qian Yujiao? That sounds like the name of a girl.
In any case, the appearance of the name confirmed Chen Ge's earlier suspicion. The chair wasn't native to the Activities Centre but belonged to a specific individual. When the school hosted large events, the management would have the students bring their own chairs. To prevent confusion, many would jot down their name underneath their chair.
Does this mean there's also a name underneath the chair in the girl's dormitory?
Chen Ge memorized the name. After some hesitation, he decided not to break the chair but placed it inside one of the empty classrooms.
The longer I stay here, the more uncomfortable I feel. I'd better head up to the third floor soon.
He returned via the route that he had come from and climbed up the stairs to the third floor. The corridor was empty this time. Chen Ge pushed open the door for some of the classrooms. The tables and chairs were all pushed to the back of the room, and parts of the wall had been repainted-it was rather obvious because the wall had two different hues.
The school was already closing, so why did they waste money to repaint the wall? For whom is this for?
Chen Ge's experience at Ping An Apartments provided him with a possibility.
It's probably to hide something.
He used the mallet to peel at the paint, but weirdly enough, the wall behind the new paint was completely normal; there were no blood stains or weird marks.
No, there has to be something more than this.
Chen Ge continued his tour of the classrooms. He realized that not all the classrooms had been coated with new paint. There were spots that had been repainted, and some of them were curiously close to the indoor piping.
This building's water drainage system was probably updated before its closure.
Chen Ge looked up at the piping and concluded,
The classrooms on the first and second floor showed obvious signs of usage, but the classrooms on the third floor seem to have been abandoned even before the closure.
The tables and chairs were piled on top of each other, and there was not one piece of chalk left on the lectern. Some of the classrooms even had locks on them.
Ghost haunting? Murder? Hidden security concern?
There could be many different reasons for the sealing of the place, and Chen Ge could not pinpoint which one it was. He exited the classroom and headed up the fourth floor.
When he took the first step, Chen Ge turned back to see whether the wooden chair was following him or not.
When he reached the landing between the third and fourth floor, there was a rope tied across the two banisters of the stair that blocked his way. There was a wooden board hanging on it. Similar to the one at the front door, it said 'NO ENTRY'.
Naturally, Chen Ge was not deterred by the wooden sign. He picked it up and put it to the side before bending down to scurry under the rope.
As he reached the fourth floor, Chen Ge noticed with his first glance that a faded room sign was hanging on the door of the room right opposite from him.
The dance studio!
After such a long search at the Activities Center, he had finally located the venue where the red dancing shoes had the highest chance of appearing. The layout of the fourth floor was different from the other floors in the sense that instead of individual classroom, the walls had been knocked out to form a large studio.
After tearing down the seals and prying open the lock, Chen Ge pushed open the door to the dance studio that had been left unused for many years. The place appeared to have been forgotten by time; things seemed to be how they were several years ago.
The slick floor was filled with a thin coat of dust, and the room was suffused with a weird smell. The closest description Chen Ge had for the smell was heavy deodorant that had gone off after being trapped in an enclosed room for years.
Chen Ge walked into the studio, sticking close to the wall. The studio was at a professional level; the wooden floor was waxed to accommodate the dance practice, and the walls were equipped with acoustic boards and panels to prevent the noise from disturbing the other classrooms.
This is the first time I've seen such a large dance studio.
Chen Ge used his camera to zoom in on the various angles of the room. The walls were mounted with bars that one usually saw in ballet classes. The bars' height was adjustable, and underneath them were a row of low seats that students could use for rest.
On the other end of the room were six floor-length mirrors that were perfectly joined together. Each mirror was about one meter wide and two meters tall.
I'd almost forgotten that mirrors are a necessary fixture inside a dance studio.
Looking at the row of mirrors, Chen Ge sucked in a cold breath. He then noticed, situated right at the middle of the mirrors, three wooden chairs.
Three at once?
Chen Ge bit on his lips before walking over to the chairs, his every action reflected in the mirror.
Facing his own reflection in the mirror amid an empty dance studio at midnight, Chen Ge felt increasingly unsettled.
Resisting the urge to break the mirrors, he toppled the three chairs to their sides, and like the chair he had found earlier, all of them had a girl's name written underneath them.
Including the chair at the girl's dormitory, I've stumbled across five chairs already. If every single one of them represents a girl, then this means I'm dealing with the spirits of five girls. So, the question is, what has really happened to them?