"What are you looking at?" The thick appendage moved to point to Chen Ge, stopping before his eyes. The boy seemed to be averse to be gawked at like a spectacle.
"I'm sorry, that was impolite of me." Chen Ge pulled his eyes away from the part where the body's stomach was joined to the spider's body. Even if the 'door' for White Dragon Cave Tunnel was really on the child's body, he would not tell Chen Ge anyway, so focusing on that point would be useless. Thus, Chen Ge ended that topic quickly. "If you're not willing to share about that, we'll talk about something else."
Chen Ge suddenly turned serious. "This is my last question, and it is related to all of our safety, so I hope you wouldn't hide anything from me with regards to this question."
"Go ahead." The boy pulled back his scary appendage.
"At midnight several days ago, did you see a shadow enter White Dragon Cave Tunnel?"
The mention of the shadow caused the boy's expression to shift instantly. "Are you here because of him?"
"Looks like you do know something." Chen Ge was excited. He had finally someone who could tell him more about the shadow. The temperature in the tunnel suddenly dropped, and a cold wind drifted out from the deeper part of the tunnel. Neither the boy nor his mother spoke. They were silent for a long time until the boy jumped down from the wall. With his strong appendages holding his large body up, the boy looked down on Chen Ge.
The monster was incredibly large, and the way he stood placed Chen Ge under great pressure.
"Go home. The more you know, the deeper you'll sink into despair." When the boy said that, his voice even quivered slightly.
"Are you afraid?"
"I'm not!" The boy suddenly lost control of his emotions and raised his front appendage to swipe at Chen Ge's chest. The human faces on the appendage wailed, but it stopped at the last minute.
"We have the same enemy, so I can help you in any way that you might need me to." Chen Ge looked at the appendage right before his eyes and slowly lowered his arms. If the boy wanted to hurt him, he would be sent flying already.
After a long time, the boy slowly moved back from Chen Ge and lowered his body to maintain the same eye level with Chen Ge. "That man is crazy. That was not his first time coming to White Dragon Cave."
"He's been here before? Was this several years ago?" Chen Ge thought back to the strange 'memory' that he had seen in this tunnel, about how his young self was killed.
"Do you know why my mother and I insist on hiding here, unwilling to take one step out of this place?" Uncertainty crossed the boy's face.
"Is it because of the shadow? Does he want to harm you?"
"Who really knows? The shadow comes every year, and every time, he is stronger than before. I only barely manage to keep him back every time." The boy did not sense any threat from Chen Ge, but he felt a strange discomfort from the man's shadow. "I hate shadows."
"I met the shadow recently, and in just a week, he has grown much stronger. I have no idea how he did that." Perhaps the information revealed by Chen Ge made them uncomfortable. After sharing a look with his mother, the boy told Chen Ge, "I can tell you everything I know, but you have to promise me one thing."
"No problem." Chen Ge gave his promise without even asking what the promise was. His easy-going nature unsettled the boy.
"I need you to wind this spider thread around your neck." The appendages on the spider body spread and a gap slowly opened at the joint where the boy's torso was sewn to the spider body. A thick stench of blood floated into the air, and blood dripped down his body. As the gap grew bigger, the expression on the boy's face turned scarier. He reached his hand into the gap, and it looked like someone was reaching into his own stomach.
"Tell me your choice." The boy slowly pulled out his hand to retrieve several red spider threads from the gap. They were stuck to each other, and with the boy pulling on them, they gradually wound into a thin red rope.
There was no fear in Chen Ge's eyes as he stared at the thread dripping with blood. His answer was still the name. "No problem."
Stepping forward, Chen Ge moved to the boy's side without any hesitation.
His insouciance caused the boy to become suspicious. He studied Chen Ge seriously, and for a moment, he thought this kind-looking man before him could be hiding a devil with self-destructive desire deep inside his heart.
Being close to the boy, Chen Ge finally had a chance to inspect the gap on the boy's body.
Fresh blood, spider threads that looked like blood vessels, the heavy scent of blood-all these features matched those of a 'blood door'.
Accepting the spider thread with both hands, Chen Ge smiled at the boy. He cried for Zhang Ya's name internally, wanting Zhang Ya to see whether the thread would be threatening to his health or not, but Zhang Ya gave him no reply.
The thread slowly neared Chen Ge's neck; it was too late to turn back now. Just as the thread was going to wind around his thin neck, the woman in the tunnel stepped forward and shoved the thread away. Perhaps Chen Ge had left a good impression on the woman the last time they interacted, so this time, she came forward to help him.
"Are you really not afraid?" Suspicion appeared in the boy's resentment-filled eyes. Then he turned around. "Follow me. I know many things about the shadow. Perhaps we can work together this one time."
Chen Ge had no idea why the boy suddenly changed his mind. He followed the boy, and something brushed against his head. He lifted his head to look, and Chen Ge's eyes twitched. In the center of the tunnel, at the top of the darkened ceiling, hung many "bodies".
Their necks were all wound with spider threads, and they dangled from the ceiling like hanging victims.
"If you wind the thread around your neck, your only destination is death. I have no idea why Mommy suddenly decided to intervene, but I respect her choice." The boy's heart was seared by hatred and anger; the only thing that could give him pause in the world was his mother.
The boy crawled onto the wall-this 'forest of bodies' was where he rested normally. "I met the shadow a long time ago. At the time, he was not as powerful as he is now; he was just a kid slightly older than me.
"I have no idea where he came from or what his origin was; I only know he's being looking for many different children, and if I'm not mistaken, he needs to feed these children to something called a ghost fetus.
"He told me that he needed to build a door at Li Wan City. Initially, I had no idea what he meant, but later, I understood that the door he mentioned was this."
The boy moved his body, and blood splashed. A large gap opened up between his spider body and his human torso. A conspicuous depression could be seen. "I have a distorted door, and the door is stuck inside my body. It was something I edged open little by little when the fire was burning."