Slowing down their footsteps, the group followed Chen Ge's order as they moved past the bush.
How did he know that there is someone in there?
When Scissors passed the bush, he turned to look out of curiosity. There were inconspicuous traces of blood seeping out from the deeper end of the bush. There was no wind, but the bush was lightly swaying. Afraid to stay for long, the few quickly followed behind Chen Ge and entered the apartment.
"I need you guys to step away for a moment. Someone might come out from the elevator in a bit. There are so many of us, and we might unnecessarily spook him." Chen Ge was very cautious. He saw the changing number that was above the elevator and signaled for the rest of his group to go into hiding.
"If the person can be spooked by us, they probably aren't that powerful. Why don't we attack in unison to apprehend them?" The doctor was calm, and he offered his own opinion.
"We can't do that yet. I have need for this person during the next step of my plan, and the plan requires each link to perform their required deed." Chen Ge pushed the doctor slightly backward. "There are scary things in this residential area. We should try to keep a low profile whenever we can."
"If you told us to keep a low profile, just how scary are the things hiding here‽" The drunkard was the first to request a retreat. "Let's go, I don't think we should be stopping here anyway."
When the few were arguing, the elevator was about to reach the first floor. Chen Ge stopped wasting time with the other passengers and shoved them into the security door that led to the stairwell.
After the few went into hiding, Chen Ge turned to look at the elevator door. "The bad guy inside the elevator is targeting Xiao Bu because Xiao Bu is extremely weak. For these madmen, torturing and bullying the weak is a form of enjoyment. If I come off too powerful, they might hesitate to attack me. But if he does not follow me upstairs, then the rest of the plan cannot be put into motion."
Chen Ge decided to follow the guide that he had perfected in Xiao Bu's game. The plan was to turn the ghosts and monsters at the apartment against each other. Theoretically, his plan was perfect, but there were many extenuating factors when he wanted to put it into motion.
The number on the display finally turned into '1', and the stained old elevator door opened to unload its passenger. A man wearing a black colored raincoat stood in the middle of the elevator, and he was holding a large black bag in his hands. The bag looked heavy, and it was hard to tell what was being carried within. The man did not seem to expect there to be someone outside the elevator. He reached out to pull the rim of the hoodie attached to his raincoat down to fully cover his face.
"Hello, how are you?" Chen Ge voluntarily gave his greeting. While he was wondering how to lure this mad murderer to follow him upstairs, the man walked out from the elevator. The elevator door was only so wide. Chen Ge carried two large bags, and the raincoat man was also carrying one that was not small in size. When they brushed past each other, it was to be expected that their carry-on would bump against each other.
Blood leaked out from the man's bag. Both Chen Ge and the raincoat man noticed the blood stain that was spreading.
Chen Ge's expression shifted. His brows scrunched together, his calves shook, and he leaned back. All of his actions implied that he was trying to escape. In a flustered manner, Chen Ge jogged into the elevator.
Fear, panic, and anxiety-various emotions were expressed through his body language and micro expression. It was such a waste that Chen Ge was not an actor. He rushed into the elevator and pressed the button on the elevator panel several times. The panicked reaction belied the anxiety burning inside his heart, and the darting gaze amplified the terror that was grasping at his heart.
No matter the angle, Chen Ge looked like a genuine victim. Naturally, the raincoat man studied all of Chen Ge's reactions. He turned around, and since the rim of the hoodie covered his eyes and hair, Chen Ge could only see the cruel smirk that appeared on the man's lips. Chen Ge was very familiar with this expression; this was a smile that would be revealed by a beast when they discovered an unsuspecting prey.
The fish is hooked. As the elevator door slowly closed, Chen Ge allowed his expression to relax, and he sighed in relief internally. If I'm not mistaken, he would catch up to me.
As the gap between the elevator doors narrowed, and Chen Ge was trying to come up with the next step of the plan, he suddenly saw a pale hand reach into the gap of the elevator doors!
The doors that were closing reopened, and the raincoat man stood outside the elevator with his head lowered. The atmosphere in the lobby turned oppressive, and the smile on the raincoat man's face became more manic. He lifted his legs slowly and walked into the elevator.
This was an unexpected change. When he was playing Xiao Bu's game, the raincoat man had not gone after Xiao Bu immediately, and that had given Chen Ge the time to come up with a course of action.
The dim light in the elevator showered down on the two's faces. The raincoat man stood next to Chen Ge, and an uncomfortable presence radiated from the man. It was as if he was not a living human but a beast trying to reign in his feral nature.
The elevator started to move upward. Inside the completely enclosed space, there was no chance for Chen Ge to evade any incoming attack.
To introduce clarity into his line of sight, the raincoat man yanked off the hoodie of his raincoat. That action exposed the wound on his forehead and the birthmark that was near his left eye-these disfigurements took away from the man's charm. Sensing the raincoat man's movement, Chen Ge nudged deeper into the elevator. However, the space inside the elevator was only so big, so realistically, where could he possibly retreat to?
"Earlier, you saw the stuff inside my bag, didn't you?" The raincoat man turned to address Chen Ge. The birthmark on his face was torn from the movement, and it looked quite scary.
"No, I didn't see anything." Chen Ge was telling the truth; he only saw the fresh blood that leaked out from the bag.
"Is that so?" The raincoat man dropped the bag to his side and took out the knife that he had hidden on his back. "It's fine if you haven't seen anything. When I shove you inside it, you'll have plenty of time to work out what is inside the bag!"
He looked at Chen Ge with a wicked smile and enjoyed the despair that swirled in Chen Ge's eyes. He lurched forward with the blade, aiming at Chen Ge's body. He was prepared to hear the pained wail coming from Chen Ge's lips, but when his knife was half a meter away from Chen Ge, he saw the young man before his eyes grip the edge of his backpack and try to swing it heavily at him.
He had no idea what was inside Chen Ge's bag, just like Chen Ge had no idea what was inside his bag. With a moment's thought, he guessed that there was nothing more than everyday objects inside Chen Ge's bag and that it would be fine for him to suffer a blow from it. After all, it was different for his blade. One thrust from the sharp blade, and someone's blood was bound to flow.
The expression on his was twisted by hatred. Then, the raincoat man saw the young man swing the backpack harshly and powerfully on his arm.
The sound of bone shattering echoed clearly in his ears. The raincoat man's focus was completely on Chen Ge, and until then, he could not discern where that sound came from. A large force toppled him to the ground and the blade fell from his fingers and clattered to the ground.
Intense pain shot through his body, and that triggered the bestial nature in the raincoat man. Like a savage animal, he tried to reach toward the knife with his uninjured hand. The sharp blade was just right before his eyes, but when his fingers curled around the handle, a shoe stepped firmly on the blade.
The raincoat man looked up, and he saw the young man open the zipper of his backpack with a despairing expression.
"Even though the guide has proven its usefulness, it appears like I cannot rely on it fully." Chen Ge lowered his head to look at the raincoat man and his face bloomed into a smile. All the fear, terror, and panic on his face disappeared instantly. He mimicked the tone adopted by the raincoat man before. "Earlier, you saw the stuff inside my bag, didn't you?"
The zipper opened, and Chen Ge grabbed the handle of the scary-looking Doctor Skull-Cracker's Hammer. He proceeded to lift it out from his backpack. "It's fine if you haven't seen anything. When I shove you inside it, you'll have plenty of time to work out what is inside the bag!"
"Wait a second! Help!"
The elevator returned to the first floor. Chen Ge dragged the fainted raincoat man out of the elevator. "He looks quite thin, so why can't he fit inside it? Is it because there are too many unbroken bones? Oh well, at least he's lost his mobility. I am not going to break all of his bones-that is too much of a waste of time."
All the other passengers jogged over to regroup when they saw Chen Ge walk out from the elevator. When they saw the raincoat man foaming at the mouth, mumbling incoherently, all of them shivered uncontrollably.
"You saw it yourself. It was him who insisted on following me into the elevator. I was merely defending myself." Chen Ge dragged the raincoat man and his bag to the pile of trash near the entrance and hid them with the bags of garbage.
"What shall we do next?" The few passengers could not understand Chen Ge's thoughts at all.
"Since we've already been exposed, it's time to adopt a different strategy." Chen Ge dragged the hammer as he walked toward the bush that was not far away. "Follow me."
The chilly wind caressed the back of their necks. Chen Ge did not slow down even as he entered the bush. A spine-tingling noise came out from inside the bush-someone was busily at work.
Slowing down, Chen Ge, who was covered in blood stains, finally caught a look of the murderer inside the bush.
The man looked a lot scarier than the raincoat man. His body was covered in many ashen gray spots. It appeared like he was suffering from some kind of skin disease, but upon closer look, Chen Ge realized that they bore startling similarity to cadaveric spots.
"Gray skin?" Staring at the gray spots on the murderer's body, he was reminded of the few monsters and humans that he had met so far at Li Wan City. They all had the same similarity on their bodies-their skin was unnaturally gray.
These people appeared to have stayed too long in Li Wan City and had been corrupted by the world behind the door at Li Wan City, causing this strange transmutation to their physical body.
"Those gray spots are moving." After using his Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge saw that the gray spots appeared to have their own consciousness. They seemed to be treating the human body as their warm bed to proliferate and spread. "These should be the negative emotions that are accumulated behind the door. These emotions attach themselves to these people, causing their mind to go out of control."
Negative emotions could slowly drive a normal person crazy, and the scarier thing was that the living humans themselves could be turned into a vessel to contain these emotions. They used their skin to feed these gray spots, and as this continued, the entire human being would be taken over by these gray spots.
Having entered the world behind the door, Chen Ge understood the horror of that world. If he was unable to resist the negative emotions, he would eventually fall under the effect of these negative emotions, becoming their puppets and turning into the resident behind the door.
"Based on the information given by the door, the shadow once sent endless despairing passengers into the world behind the door. This murderer before my eyes should be one of them."
These people with the last trace of hope came to the city, not expecting that the thing awaiting them would be a chasm with even deeper despair. The shadow never wanted to rescue them in the first place-he only saw these unfortunate people as nutrients to sustain the world behind the door.
The man inside the bush noticed Chen Ge as well, but probably because he saw the hammer Chen Ge was holding, he did not act rashly. He might be murderous, but he was not an idiot. He could sense an indescribable horror coming from Chen Ge.
"Wow, there is really someone hiding here. How did you know from so far away?" Scissors followed behind Chen Ge. Just in terms of appearance, he might not lose to the man in the bush. At least, the first impression that he gave was quite scary. He gripped the scissors in his hands, and he did apply Chen Ge's advice and held the blade at its middle and not at its edge.
"F*ck! This is too much!" The drunkard only poked his head out to take a look before cowering behind the doctor.
"Can you stop hiding behind me every time?" The scarf covered his face, but one could see the doctor's brows crease together. The sudden appearance of four people startled the murderer. He had not experienced something like this before-he felt like an animal at the zoo being looked at. He took a deep breath and silently reached for the tools that he was using earlier to cut up the body parts. His eyes were filled with sin. If he had the chance, he would not hesitate to kill the group of people before him.
"Don't worry, I just want to ask you a few questions and also ask you for help." Chen Ge tossed the white cat aside and pressed the button on the recorder. Even though the man before them was a living human, perhaps he had stayed here for too long. His body was seriously corrupted by negative emotions, such that he appeared more like a monster now.
"How long have you been here? And how many other humans are like you living in this small town? Have you seen the person who is responsible to look after this city?" Chen Ge was about to ask the fourth question when the man took advantage of the quick moment Chen Ge blinked and sprung toward him. He raised the weapon in his arm, aiming at Chen Ge's neck.
His speed was conspicuously faster than a normal man. Thankfully, Chen Ge was already prepared for an ambush. He reacted fast and used the hammer to block the incoming attack. However, the hammer was very heavy, and it was not that easy to operate, especially during moments that required speed. In the end, Chen Ge only managed to raise the handle to block the attack.
To Chen Ge's surprise though, when he was attacked, Scissors next to him did not retreat from fear but raised the weapon in his hand to help Chen Ge block the incoming attack.
"Nicely done, but you're still too slow." Chen Ge jumped backward to introduce some distance between them. Then he gripped the hammer with both hands and slammed it at the murderer in the bush. In terms of presence, it was a landslide victory for Chen Ge. "I just want to ask you a few questions, and you wish to take my life?"
The two raced through the bush. Chen Ge held the hammer and chased the murderer three laps around the apartment before the latter collapsed under the strain of exhaustion and was detained by Chen Ge.
"You're still too weak to contest me in terms of endurance." Chen Ge's body was very well trained. Of course, it had plenty to do with the ghosts that he needed to escape from daily. Walking to the trash site, Chen Ge found some rope to apprehend the murderer. "Be careful, it's about time for us to face real danger soon."
"Wait, these crazed murderers aren't the real danger?" The drunkard really did not want to stay there anymore. He had a feeling the longer he stayed here, the crazier he would become.
"You'll see in a bit." Chen Ge whacked the raincoat man in the trash heap a few more times.
"Don't look at me like that. There are many living humans in Li Wan City with blood on their hands. The reason I'm doing this is because I'm afraid they might expose us after they wake up. Even though most murderers work alone, it is never wrong to be cautious." Chen Ge then grabbed the murderer from the bush and hauled him into the apartment with him. "You should wait for me downstairs. When I signal for you to run, just run out of the apartment."
"That doesn't sound like a good plan at all." The drunkard wanted to ask for more clarification from Chen Ge, but Chen Ge had already started to move up the stairs.
He led the murderer to the door to Xiao Bu's house. Seeing the familiar scenario, Chen Ge had this strange feeling of the game world overlapping with reality.
"I shall enter to take a look first. If there're no helpful clues, I'll figure out a way to lure out the Red Specter from Xiao Bu's neighbor home."