Chen Ge accompanied the father and daughter and experienced all the theme park's attractions that interested them. The girl showed some signs of fatigue at around three or four in the afternoon. She leaned against her father and sat at the resting hall outside of the Haunted House to catch her breath. Her eyes were closed, and she hugged a bottle of water in her arms with a smile still hanging on her face. It appeared like that day had been a lot of fun.
The father looked at his little girl with love in his eyes. His hand lightly touched the girl's head, and he suddenly realized that someone had added a little braid to the girl's hair. He did not know who had done that, but with this small braid, the girl looked more vibrant and lively. The father and daughter leaned against each other. Even though they were both physically impaired, Chen Ge had to admit that the picture that they formed was quite heartwarming.
"Why don't you two rest here for a while? Don't wander off on your own. I'll go talk to my workers at the Haunted House, and then I'll come back to take you home." Chen Ge maintained his sense of rationality. One of the main reasons that he had agreed to accompany the father and daughter around theme park was because he could make use of this opportunity to get close to them and make them lower their guard.
Of course, Chen Ge did not once think about harming them-he just wanted to get to the bottom of the truth. The girl leaned against her father, and she looked very sleepy, barely able to get her eyes open.
There was still quite a period of time until that woman had promised to come. Chen Ge decided to personally take them home because it gave him the perfect chance to take a look around their family and understand their family situation. He had a feeling that there had to be a relationship between this girl and that water ghost.
Returning to the Haunted House, Duan Yue and Ol' Zhou had completely gotten used to their new identities. Chen Ge told them some things that they needed to be careful about, and then he went searching for Xu Wan. He told her to remember to close the door at 6 pm. After arranging all that, Chen Ge found his backpack and slid the recorder and the comic inside it. Xiao Gu was using the Skull-cracker's hammer as a prop, so this time, Chen Ge did not carry it with him.
"Come on, I'll take you home." Chen Ge held the bag in one hand. It was hard to deny the sincerity in his eyes. The man scratched his head like he was in the middle of a deep hesitation. "My, sister, no, let, other, people, home."
"Your little sister doesn't like you bring strangers to your home?" Chen Ge smiled. "I can understand that. She is worried that other people might bring you harm, attracting burglars to the house, but I'm not a stranger, am I? We had so much fun playing together, right?"
After some more persuasion, the middle-aged man finally agreed. After sending the two out of New Century Park, Chen Ge called a taxi and got into the car with the father and daughter. The little girl fell asleep not long after she got into the car. To not disturb her, Chen Ge and the middle-aged man very cooperatively did not say anything. Based on the address given by the middle-aged man, the taxi arrived at a very old residential area at the edge of Eastern Jiujiang.
The place was filled with old apartments that were about six or seven stories high, and the paint on the walls was peeling greatly. Chen Ge could hardly tell what the original color of the walls had been.
"From the looks of it, this place has been in existence for at least two or three decades already, right?"
After paying the cab fare, the group exited the car. "Your family stays here? But didn't you tell me that you lived near Eastern Jiujiang Dam?"
Chen Ge even purposely asked the taxi driver about it when they were coming over, and it seemed that this residential area was quite a distance away from Eastern Jiujiang Dam.
"My, house." The man then said a few terms that seemed to be connected in some mysterious logic. Chen Ge could not grasp fully what he was trying to expression. Holding the sleeping little girls in his arms, the middle-aged man walked ahead. Since the man did not chase Chen Ge away, Chen Ge naturally followed behind the man.
The middle-aged man might have been intellectually lacking, but he had enough common sense to survive. He walked past the many old buildings to head toward the building that was furthest away. The sun was setting, hanging low in the sky. The surroundings were completely silent. It was still daytime, but for some reason, Chen Ge felt that the area was rather dark.
Perhaps it was just his imagination.
The corridor had a very low ceiling. Chen Ge would bump his head against it if he jumped a little higher. The only sensation that Chen Ge felt once he entered the place was a sense of pressure.
With the middle-aged man leading the man, they climbed up to the third floor. The man reached his hand into his collar and searched for a long time before finding the key that was tied around his neck. Like a child, he took out the key and placed it before his eyes. He studied it for a very long time before opening the door.
"Do you mind if come in?" The man did not say anything. He opened the door and then carried the girl into the room. He placed the little girl on the couch and then half-jogged into the bedroom as if he was in search of something. The place was very clean, different from a dirtiness that Chen Ge had been expecting. Even though the place was sparsely decorated and there was little furniture, everything was cleanly and neatly arranged.
There are only two pairs of slippers, one big and one small. There are also only two toothbrushes in the bathroom. Looks like the man's sister does not live with him. Normally, it is this man who looks after this child.
Someone with a mental problem looking after a child who also suffered from the same problem had managed to keep their living area so clean and neat-this came as quite a surprise to Chen Ge. He looked inside the bedroom. The man was kneeling on the ground. He opened the bedside table and took out a wool blanket.
As if afraid that he might mess up the things inside the room, his every action was very careful and deliberate. After finding the blanket, he rearranged everything before exiting the bedroom. The middle-aged man seemed to only have the little girl in his eyes. He covered the girl with the blanket with as light a touch as he could. He then sat down on the other side of the couch and looked at the girl lovingly, completely ignoring Chen Ge, who was still standing in the room.
"No wonder your little sister does not allow you to bring strangers home. If you run into a bad person, even if he cleared out this place, you probably would not have realized it."
As he wandered around the room, Chen Ge began to respect the man more and more. The place was not big; there was only one bedroom and one very small kitchen. It was simple, but it felt very warm and homely. The man suffers from this family's hereditary illness and was abandoned by his wife, but he is able to survive with such dignity and determination. That is quite impressive.
Chen Ge walked into the bedroom. When his gaze scanned past the bedside table, he accidentally caught a framed picture that was sitting on it. He picked up the picture frame to take a closer look, and the picture inside the frame looked rather strange to him.
On a bright and sunny grass field, the middle-aged man was smiling blankly while the little girl was running after a fluttering butterfly. There should have been someone who stood beside them, but the person had been cut off from the picture. There was a hole in the shape of a person.
Could this be the child's mother?
He wanted to look for more clues, so he opened the bedside table. Chen Ge found a notebook that was hidden under the stack of clothes. He flipped through it and realized that the notebook was completely empty, but then again, he noticed that many pages of the notebook had been torn out already.
Whose notebook is this?
Looking at the notebook, Chen Ge was reminded of a detail. Even though the girl suffered from the same hereditary illness as her father, meaning her intelligence was lower than normal, she knew how to write. Chen Ge had personally seen her write down the term 'big sister' in the Haunted House.
Who taught her how to write? Was it her father, or was it someone else?
When the middle-aged man heard the words 'big sister', his reaction had been huge. Those two words seemed to be a taboo that could not be mentioned at the home, so the person who taught the little girl to write those words should not have been a family member.
Closing the notebook, Chen Ge placed it back where he found it. He closed the drawer and was about to stand up and leave when he noticed that the middle-aged man had been standing at the bedroom door for who knew how long, watching him silently. Probably due to his natural limitation, his expression was unreadable, but there was a trace of uncertainty in his eyes as he looked at Chen Ge.
"The picture..." Chen Ge did not know how to move the topic away, so he grabbed the thing that was closest, which was the picture frame. Before he could come up with a reason, the man walked into the bedroom. He did not seem to mind what Chen Ge was doing-he just moved past Chen Ge silently and picked up the pillow that was on the bed. During the whole process, he did not say a word to Chen Ge. After he grabbed the pillow, he walked out directly and placed the pillow under the girl's head.
Chen Ge was scared for no reason. He continued to walk around the place, but he could not find anything valuable.
"Since you're already home safely, then I feel much better. If you want to come to New Century Park in the future, or if you need any help, you can call me at any time." Chen Ge found a pen and paper, jotted down his phone number, and placed it on the coffee table.
The girl was sound asleep on the couch. Throughout the whole day, the black phone had not sent any message, so the mission that was attached to this special visitor had not been triggered by Chen Ge. However, Chen Ge was not that disappointed. He had already confirmed the girl's identity and address, so there would be plenty of chances in the future. After bidding the middle-aged man farewell, Chen Ge left their home.
After closing the door and heading toward the stairs, he heard a sound coming from the corridor. "Hey!"
Stopping his footsteps, Chen Ge looked around. He noticed that the door of the room right opposite from the middle-aged man's home was open a sliver, and the sound seemed to have come from inside it. "Were you calling me?"
"If you don't want any trouble, it's best if you stay away from that family." This time, Chen Ge heard it clearly. It was an old lady who was speaking behind the door, and she sounded very vehement.
"I'm not afraid of trouble-their whole family is too pitiable. It's better if we can help them to the best of our ability." Chen Ge walked toward the old lady's room.
"Those who are pitiable must have something that is detestable. Listen to me, don't walk too close to them, or you might get unnecessary trouble." The old lady's words interested Chen Ge greatly. It seemed that the lady knew some things.
"Granny, they suffer from a hereditary illness. That is something that you are born with..."
"I saw how kind hearted you are, so I opened the door to remind you. What you want to do with the information is your own business."
After saying that, the old lady was about to close the door, but Chen Ge jumped forward to grab the door. "Granny, can you not just tell me half of the truth? You'll only make me even more curious."
The old lady probably was touched by Chen Ge's acts of kindness, so after a few second of hesitation, she opened the door fully. "Come in, and I'll tell you."
"Okay." With such a sudden turn of events, of course, Chen Ge would not let it go. After entering the old lady's home, Chen Ge realized that something was wrong. The old lady's home was fully covered with scary-looking Taoist paper charms. There were even various charms hanging on the door. This place was completely different from the middle-aged man's home.
"Granny, this place is..."
"Don't be afraid. These talismans are to ward against evil spirits. They are harmless against living humans," the old lady said confidently, but Chen Ge shook his head. The ghosts that he carried had no reaction, not even fear to these things, so the old lady had definitely been tricked by someone.
"You've just interacted with that family, and you might be followed by those scary things. When you leave, I can give you a few of the talismans."
"Scary things? Are there really ghosts in this world?" Chen Ge scratched his chin. "Granny, have you personally seen them before?"
The old lady was silent to think before finally nodding. "It was just inside this building. Whenever the clock strikes midnight, the sound of water dropping comes from the corridors. It sounds just like rain, and then you will hear a sound that is similar to someone mopping the ground. But think about it, who would come out to mop the corridor at midnight?"
"Could there really be a ghost‽" Chen Ge cooperated fully with the old lady and revealed a shocked expression.
"There was this one time when it was so noisy that I could not sleep, so I leaned against the peephole on the door and looked out."
"What did you see?"
The lines on the old woman's face were creased together like she was reminded of something very scary. The expression on her face was serious. "I'm not lying to you. At the time, I saw a woman who was completely drenched walked down from upstairs. She stopped at the door of the opposite room. Her skin was white from being soaked in the water for too long, not how a living human should look. There were also things like water grass and other weird objects curling around her body. Her long hair was dragging on the ground, and she was mumbling the name of the girl next door."
"Someone completely drenched and calling Wen Wen's name?" A thought flashed across Chen Ge's mind, and the words just tumbled out of his mouth. "The big sister?"
The old lady was surprised that Chen Ge would say that, and her expression softened quite a lot. "Looks like you also know about their family business."
"I do not know much." Chen Ge took out the paper that the girl had left at his Haunted House from his pocket. "I'm a worker at New Century Park. Our park saw how fragile they were and was afraid of their safety, so they ordered me to personally bring them home. I only knew about this big sister because that girl once wrote this down when she was visiting one of our theme park attractions."
Looking at the words on the paper, the old lady's lips were pressed tightly. She waved for Chen Ge to move away from the door. The two walked into the living room, and then the old lady whispered, "In that case, I won't hide the facts from you anymore. Actually, many people in this old residential area know about this. Their family has been involved in something called Bury Seed, and this is karma coming to get them."
"Bury Seed?" Chen Ge was confused.
"It is what it means literally. Their family has a hereditary illness, but according to rumors, it only affects the males, not the females. However, their family wanted to have a healthy boy to continue the family legacy. They started to look for alternative methods, and someone recommended the method of burying seed.
"The method is quite cruel. First, you have to find a girl and bury her as a seed inside another child's body. I am not quite sure about the actual procedure, but I know that their family has tried this before. However, it failed. The child that was born was not a boy, and even though a girl was born, she could not escape the fate of the family illness."
"But how is that related to the ghost that you saw?"
"The seed that was used by that family was their first child, the big sister. They used their first child as the seed, and the child that was buried with the seed was Wen Wen."
What the old lady said made Chen Ge take in a cold breath. He could understand why the Trial Mission was called Twin Water Ghost. It was not because they were twins but because it was a twin birth.