Chen Ge's words resonated greatly with Scissors. He had grown up at an orphanage. He was a loner that preferred his own company, and the only friend that he had ever had was his older brother. When he was bullied, when he was treated unfairly, when he could not find the meaning to live caught in a web of pain and despair, his elder brother would step forth to lend him a hand, to shield him from the ravages of life.
For Scissors, his older brother was the most special person in his life, and it was due to the connection that they shared that after his older brother disappeared, Scissors would stop at nothing to come and investigate.
Looking at Chen Ge, who was wandering away, Scissors was reminded of how Chen Ge had appeared when he was forced into the corner by those things inside the hospital, when he was at the brink of giving up. That warm and kind voice had pulled him up from hell right into heaven. It was such a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Even though Scissors did not voice it out, internally, his heart was gushing with appreciation.
Due to the appearance that he needed to maintain, he did not openly thank Chen Ge, but he made a promise to himself that should he survive this ordeal, he would stop at nothing to repay the man's kindness.
Those who appeared distant on the surface often had a blazing heart. Since their warmth was normally encased within a thick layer of ice, only when that layer of ice cracked would they reveal their real emotions.
Licking the wound of his face lightly, Scissors turned around to spit out the black dog's blood on his lips. He followed behind Chen Ge, and for a moment, he saw his older brother's shadow overlap over his savior.
I should calm down; he still might be a real murderer. It'll be better if I don't stay too close to him, but I should be there to lend a hand should he get into any trouble.
Scissors' impression of Chen Ge had changed drastically. He silently moved to follow behind Chen Ge.
Realizing that Scissors had become more honest, Chen Ge's lips curled into a grin. From his perspective, Scissors was quite a hard to find talent. It was fine that he was in reality a coward-the most important thing was that he had the courage and determination to put everything on the line should the situation call for it.
Chen Ge turned his head around to ask Scissors, "By the way, I spotted different types of footprints downstairs. Other than yourself, there should be other passengers trapped inside this hospital. Did you see them earlier?"
"I came in here alone." Scissors grumbled internally, What is this about footprints?
When he entered the hospital, he had not paid attention to that at all, but since Chen Ge had brought it up, to maintain his appearance, he could only follow the thread of conversation. "I've noticed the footprints that you mentioned... Yes, if I'm not mistaken, when I was caught in a deathly bout with the monsters on the third floor, I heard echoes of footsteps coming from the second-floor security corridor. So, they might have run down that direction earlier."
Chen Ge nodded as he stared at Scissors, giving him a once-over.
"What are you looking at?" Scissors quivered under Chen Ge's incisive gaze.
"The pair of red high heels on the bus disappeared. I remember distinctly that there were two echoes of footsteps whenever you moved, so that thing should be following you." The other reason Chen Ge valued Scissors was due to the pair of red high heels. Even the smiling man had to be cautious around the pair of heels, which was a sign that it was at the very least a Red Specter.
"When I entered the left corridor, the sound disappeared. She probably sensed the danger and escaped." Scissors lifted the pair of scissors in his hand, staring at the sharp edge of the blade. "It's obvious that she was afraid. She was a coward, too frightened of my presence."
Chen Ge really wanted to lurch forward to clamp his hand over Scissors' lips. There should be a limit to the act that he was putting on. If his words fell into the ears of the pair of red high heels, he probably would not even know how he died.
"Alright then, consider I've not asked that question. Let's go find the other passengers first." Chen Ge led Scissors out of the toilet. The drunkard and the doctor were waiting for them in the corridor. When the two of them saw Scissors, who was covered in blood, they were so scared that they did not dare move one step closer to the supposed serial killer. In their eyes, Scissors' whole persona fitted their traditional idea of a murderer perfectly. He was covered in blood and carried a crazed smile on his face. He partook in the pleasure of pain as if only pain and murder could give him the only sense of joy in his life.
"Somehow it feels like I've fallen into the wolves' den." The drunkard stood at the edge of the group alone. His face was blanched and staring at the blood trail underneath his feet; he felt like vomiting. Of everyone that he had come across so far, he was the only one who appeared relatively like a normal person.
"You fought the monsters alone for so long-you must be drained. Leave the clean-up work to me then." Chen Ge very kindly helped find an excuse for Scissors before he started to explore the rooms one by one.
The hospital was only three stories tall; it was not that big, but since Chen Ge's exploration was detailed, they took half an hour before they managed to finish a tour of the place. They found the footprints for the family of three and the pair of shoes for a boy at the second-floor security corridor. The footprints trailed down the security corridor, heading toward the other side of the hospital.
The family of three happened to cross Chen Ge's group by. When Chen Ge crashed through the door, they slipped down the stairs on the other side of the hospital and slithered away.
"These few people sure are something else. We came to save them, but they fled without even leaving a message for us. They only care of themselves, how selfish can they be?" The drunkard placed himself in the shoes of Chen Ge. He felt like if he was Chen Ge, he would not have been such a busybody.
"This is hardly their fault. It is simply human nature to choose to escape when faced with fear."
"You sure have an open-minded attitude about everything." The drunkard thought that Chen Ge had a positive outlook on life. Following their interaction, he realized that Chen Ge was a good ol' man with no cunning in his heart. "Since the people that we're here to save have already left, isn't it time for us to leave this place as well?"
"There's no need to hurry. We've circled around the hospital at least once already, and there are three locations that we need to pay close attention to." Chen Ge stood where he was to think for a while. "In the first room on the left after turning up the stairs on the second floor, there's a diary. It recorded how a patient was forced to the brink of insanity by the ghosts inside the hospital before becoming a ghost himself. That should not be an isolated case."
Naturally, Chen Ge knew that was not an isolated case. The poor spirit whose legs were encased in plaster and had his eye poked blind was currently residing inside Yan Danian's comic. With the guidance from Scissors, he had rushed toward the dresser once he stepped into the sickroom, and it did not take long for Chen Ge to locate the spirit that possessed the diary.
"But what does that have to do with us?" The drunkard had a bad feeling about the hospital. It felt like it was more dangerous than the 'doghouse' that he had stayed in earlier.
"If the patient decides to play the game of hide-and-seek, they will be trapped inside the hospital, becoming a part of the game after they die. However, have you ever considered this question-who was the first person who started this game of hide-and-seek?" Chen Ge turned to look at the other passengers. "There has to be a person who came up with the idea of the game, only then would the string of ghost patients follow."
The few passengers looked at one another; this question naturally had not crossed their mind before. Chen Ge gave up completely on asking for their opinions. The perspectives that they adopted were completely different. The way that they viewed this strange world was too different to reconcile.
"Like I said earlier, there are three locations inside this hospital worth noting. The first location is the room where the diary was found, and the second room will be the filing room. Just now, I've looked through the information regarding the problematic sickroom roughly, and I noticed something weird. Basically, any patient that stayed in that room would encounter a less than peaceful ending, and because of that reason, that sickroom-Room 201-became the room that should be avoided among the doctors and nurses."
Ignoring the response of the other people, Chen Ge continued his analysis. "The files recorded very clearly that the first case in Room 201 happened five years ago, and coincidentally enough, it was within that same year that this private hospital accepted a patient that was transferred over from another hospital."
He took out a case file from his backpack and it was stained dirty. Most of the content could not be read anymore, and the name of the patient's original hospital was conveniently smudged. Only the term 'Hai' could be roughly discerned.
"Do you know any hospital that has this character in its name?" Chen Ge turned to look at the burn unit doctor.
The good doctor shook his head. "It's too difficult to tell with just one character. This could be many things."
"The last time we took the bus, there were a few female patients wearing hospital gowns. Do you remember that?" Chen Ge stared at the doctor.
"I do." With the reminder from Chen Ge, it got the doctor's brain moving. "There appeared to be a Hai character on their patient's gowns as well."
"You're right." When Chen Ge first saw the female patients, he had immediately suspected they were related to the other four-star Trial Mission in Eastern Jiujiang-the Cursed Hospital. Now, with the strange happenings at this hospital, it was also probably to do with the patient that was suspected to have transferred over from the cursed hospital. In other words, the game of hide-and-seek was a continuation of some kind of curse at the four-star scenario.
This discovery might not mean anything to anyone else, but it was a key piece of information for Chen Ge. A three-star scenario and a four-star scenario could not have been more different, and any clue would be immensely important.
"But even if we know that this situation might be related to that hospital, it does not provide any help to get us out of Li Wan City." The drunkard was the most realistic. He just wanted to leave this place with his life intact.
"I think you'll change your mind after giving this a read." Chen Ge turned the file to its last page. It contained the information of the transferred patient. The patient who arrived from the other hospital was a child around six and a half years old. The doctor's diagnosis was that he suffered from rabies. Whenever he acted up, he needed to be tied to the bed. He would scream in extreme pain and contort his body into impossible angles.
However, even when he was not ravaged by sickness, the boy's condition did not appear normal. He would say very weird things like telling people around him that he was being chased by something incredibly scary. He would tell them that he must not be found by the thing, and for that sake, he had to make sure that he hid himself very well.
Of course, if that was the end of the story, the doctors would not have isolated his case file from the rest. After the boy's death, stranger things started to happen.
First, it was the disappearance of the boy's body from the morgue. Even now, it had not been found. Then it was the nurses who worked the night shift claiming that they would often see the boy running through the hospital corridors at night. Then strange words would start appearing in printed materials, words like-come and find me.
Initially, these incidents were not paid serious attention to by the hospital until a worker died inside the morgue. No one knew why he would wander to the morgue at midnight. However, the police found a medical history sheet stuck to the back of the body, and written on the back of the piece of paper were the words 'come and find me'. They were written unevenly like they came from the hands of a child.
After the death of the worker, a tale spread within the hospital. Anyone who had that paper stuck on their back would need to play the fatal game of hide-and-seek with the child. The file had probably been sealed around that time. The file did not describe the action taken by the hospital, and that was pretty much all the information the file could provide on the child.
Closing the file, Chen Ge's gaze swept the rest of the group. "Some of you have had the paper stuck on you before. If we do not undo this curse, you'll still be in danger even after you leave Li Wan City."
"Then what do you think we should do now?" Scissors started to panic. He distinctly remembered seeing something like that being stuck on his back.
"I say we go to the third location of interest now-the morgue. That was where the worker was found dead and where the boy's body disappeared from. We should be able to find some useful information there." Chen Ge patted the white cat on its head and led the way forward holding the hammer. He had only managed to round up two lingering spirits in the hospital, which was quite a disappointment for the man.
"But if we are still unable to find the method to undo the curse at the morgue..." Scissors' expression was shifting-he was having difficulty holding onto his disguise.
"Since this might be dangerous, I suggest we stick together and see how things unfold first," Chen Ge told Scissors. "I'm currently staying at the Western Jiujiang's New Century Park. If you have any problem, you can come find me. We should be on the lookout for each other."
Scissors nodded slightly. He repeated Chen Ge's address inside his mind, committing it to memory.
"Okay, let's go take a look now." The group went back to the first floor and entered the security corridor, which was on the right wing of the hospital. The morgue was in the basement. When Chen Ge led the group to the entrance, he suddenly stopped. The lock that was supposed to be on the door was lying on the ground. The steel door was left half-open like something had just entered it earlier.
"The doors to the morgue are normally close," the doctor whispered to Chen Ge. "There should be something inside, be careful."
"Okay, stick close to me." There was no safe space inside the city shrouded in blood fog. Chen Ge did not wish for any accidents to befall his fellow passengers, so he had them follow him closely.
Pushing open the door, the chill swamped them from all sides. Chen Ge studied and memorized the layout of the morgue inside his mind. He realized that he might need to recreate this location for his Haunted House in the future.
"Big brother, do we really need to do something like this?" This was the drunkard's first visit to a hospital morgue. He gripped the doctor's arm tightly.
"We can't be fearful if we want to break the curse." Chen Ge once stayed the whole night inside a sprawling underground morgue, so this was nothing for him. Walking deeper into the morgue alone, Chen Ge noticed traces of a recent brawl. Many iron platforms where dead bodies were supposed to be placed had been flipped over, and some white clothes littered the ground.
"What happened here?" Chen Ge noticed a few of the white clothes had stains of blood left on them. He laid the clothes according to the shapes, and they eventually combined to form the blood red silhouette of a person.
"It looks like the shape of a six or seven year old boy." Chen Ge studied the pattern. "It appears like someone pulled up the boy and slammed him against these white clothes, and that caused this blood silhouette to be left behind. But who would do something like that? This boy that I suspect to have escaped from the cursed hospital should be the scariest presence inside this private hospital, the source of the hide-and-seek game. So, who would be powerful enough to assault him like this?"
After more detailed search, Chen Ge found a strange bloody footprint on another white cloth. It appeared to have been left behind by a pair of female heels.
"The pair of red high heels stopped following Scissors because she turned directly to the morgue? She personally dealt with the boy haunting this hospital?" Chen Ge noticed that one of the windows at the back of the morgue was broken, and there were sticky blood vessels that were gyrating around the broken glass. "They left through here?"
Looking at the broken window, Chen Ge realized that he had greatly underestimated the power level of the red high heels. The fact that she was able to deal with the boy so easily meant that she should be quite powerful even among Red Specters.
"It's unfortunate that I arrived too late. I only found two lingering spirits. Hopefully the red high heels will spare the boy. I still hope to get some information about the four-star scenario from his lips."