The shadow retreated, heading toward the outskirts of Li Wan City. Doctor Gao suffered all of the curses, and his condition did not look so good either. The blood fog dispersed, and the dress that Xiao Bu was wearing grew brighter. She titled her head to the side to study Chen Ge. She felt like following this man might improve her luck.
"Let's go!" Chen Ge carried his two large bags and started running. Fan Chong was the unluckiest of the group. Due to his size, all this running was literally killing him.
"Wait for me!" Fan Chong grasped his heart. At that moment, he had a sudden clarity about how funny destiny sometimes worked. The last time he ran like his life depended on it was at Chen Ge's Haunted House, and this time, he was escaping with the man himself.
"Please do not stop! No matter what! I'll go find a car or some kind of transport for you!" Chen Ge raced down the streets for a long time, but he could not find any means of transportation that he could use. With no other option, he had to stop and tell Xiao Bu, "When the doctor starts to chase after us, I need you to take Fan Chong somewhere you two can hide safely while I lead the doctor away. But try not to stay too far away from me, I'll still need your help to deal with the shadow later."
Chen Ge was already halfway across town when Doctor Gao, whose lower body was dissolving, started to make his move. The chains surged through the fog, making a sharp sound as they ground against the surrounding buildings.
"Chen Ge..." The pair of blood red eyes looked at Chen Ge and the shadow who were escaping. Perhaps the question going through his mind at the time was-Why do these two look so similar?
The curses that had brewed for so many years in Li Wan City almost all surged into Doctor Gao's body. Black blood kept pouring out of the good doctor's body. The blood was mixed with black and gray substances. If one went close enough, one could even hear the sound of something wailing inside the substance.
Seeing Doctor Gao's condition, Chen Ge shivered in fear. "The shadow's trump card sure is something else. If Doctor Gao did not show up, then it'd be me and my employees who were suffering most of the curse. If that was the case, even if I managed to kill the shadow, I'd probably lose more than half of my employees."
There was a limit to the number of curses a Specter could digest. If it went over the limit, the Specter would turn into a new curse. Furthermore, after they digested the curse, the negative emotions in their hearts would be amplified and brought to the forefront. When that happened, it would have been impossible for them to keep their employment at the Haunted House. Without the actors, Chen Ge would have to temporarily close down all the underground scenarios at the Haunted House.
If the Haunted House could not run properly, it would negatively influence New Century Park. During this momentous period when the futuristic park was about to open, this might become the straw that broke the camel's back.
On the surface, everything might look like it was turning for the better, but only Chen Ge knew the difficulty that was involved in this process. If he was careless, all the effort that he had put in prior to this would go up in smoke.
"The shadow chose to retreat and hurry toward the ghost apartment, meaning that Tong Tong's group has obtained something very important to the shadow. This could be seen as good news for me as well." Chen Ge saw everything that might slow the shadow down as a good thing.
Behind him, Doctor Gao had started his chase. However, the man's situation could only be described as weird. Chen Ge had no idea why Doctor Gao had such a relentless insistence on chasing him. "Didn't we clear this up before he chose to commit suicide? I even promised to help him look after his daughter, Gao Ru Xue."
When he was alive, Doctor Gao was already at the verge of losing in mind. Now that he was dead and entangled by a small town's worth of curses, of course, Chen Ge was not going to stay to chat with the man.
"There's no time to draft a plan-I'll draw everyone to the ghost apartment. If there's a fight, the ghost apartment will be destroyed. Somehow, I'll have to ruin the shadow's plan." With Chen Ge leading the way, Doctor Gao and Xiao Bu both moved toward the ghost apartment. The shadow noticed this and was enraged. He knew that Chen Ge was in Li Wan City, but he had not realized that Doctor Gao's actual target was Chen Ge.
Sensing a thick, sharp point of resentment, Chen Ge looked around and saw the shadow moving down the street that was adjacent to his. Pointing behind him, Chen Ge made a signal at the shadow. "You've guessed correctly. It was me who led him here."
The shadow gritted his teeth in anger, but he knew that Chen Ge had the protection of a Red Specter. He would not be able to take down Chen Ge in a short period of time. Therefore, he decided to adopt the tactic of 'see no devil' as he picked up his speed to rush to the ghost apartment.
"Looks like Tong Tong and the guys have really created a big problem for the shadow." Chen Ge signaled for Xiao Bu and Fan Chong to move along. He rushed as fast as he could, trying to follow the shadow. Soon, a strange sight appeared in Li Wan City.
As the culprit, the shadow was chased by a living man carrying two bags like he had just come back from a shopping spree. That man was followed by a crazy Red Specter, and at the end of this strange procession was a fat man who looked like he was going to collapse at any moment due to a lack of air and a little girl who had no arms and legs.
The shadow was too worried about the ghost apartment to care about Chen Ge. So, to an outside observer, it looked like Chen Ge was chasing after the shadow. The ghost apartment was located at Ming Yang Residence outside of Li Wan City. When Chen Ge came to the edge of Li Wan City, he could sense very clearly that the blood fog there had thickened.
"The blood fog outside of the small town seems to be different from the one inside the town. There seems to be something extra in this fog." Chen Ge used his heart to sense this strange fog, and he felt like something was calling his name from the western side. He looked in that direction and understood that somewhere around there was New Century Park.
The shadow did not give Chen Ge too much time to stop to think. He crossed the traffic-less street and rushed into the residential area. The blood fog covered up his tracks, and just like that, the shadow disappeared before Chen Ge's eyes.
The shadow had disappeared, but Doctor Gao was still following behind Chen Ge. He had to figure out a way to distract the doctor's attention. Chen Ge turned back to look-one of Doctor Gao's eyes had turned blackish-red. Endless black threads entwined together with blood vessels, and they flowed out of his eyes as ash-colored tears.
"Doctor Gao is becoming stranger and stranger. Xiao Bu once said that a Specter will be assimilated into the curse once they consume too many curses, and the stronger the Specter, the scarier the curse it'll turn into! If Doctor Gao becomes consumed by the curse, what kind of curse will this Specter that was the strongest Red Specter become?
"There's no time to waste anymore!" Chen Ge reached into his backpack, and he yelled Yan Danian's name. "Can you sense Ol' Zhou's location? Quick!"
Ol' Zhou had lived inside Yan Danian's comic for many years, and they shared a good relationship. Actually, Chen Ge was merely giving this a try-he had no idea whether it would work or not.
The pressure from a Red Specter was suffocating. Understanding the gravity of the situation, the comic in the backpack started to turn on its own. Then a ballpoint pen that was taped together with clear cellophane tape started to draw a picture on the empty page. Ol' Zhou and Men Nan were hiding inside one of the rooms, and outside the window that was next to them, one could see the bus station that fringed Li Wan City.
"So, they're here?" Chen Ge tipped his head back to study the four buildings at Ming Yang Residence before rushing toward the one at the most left side. He had once entered this building with Captain Yan before. He remembered seeing the bus station through one of the windows. At this crucial moment, the Pen Spirt had worked together with Yan Danian to provide Chen Ge with this important clue. Summoning Xu Yin, Chen Ge rushed into the building.
"Ol' Zhou! Men Nan!" He screamed as loud as he could, but once the voice left his lips, Chen Ge noticed that something was wrong. The building that he was in was completely different from the building in real life!
In real life, Ming Yang Residence was an abandoned project. Some of the windows were not even fixed, and the floor was merely cement and undecorated. However, the building that Chen Ge was in had a clean, tiled floor with painted walls, and there was even lighting installed on the stairs and corridors.
"The door that Xiao Bu pushed open was in Li Wan City, and she already said that her power cannot reach this place, so Ming Yang Residence was not made according to her memory. Then, why is this place so different from its condition in real life?" If not for the fact that Doctor Gao was chasing after him, Chen Ge would never have entered such a strange place so recklessly.
The world behind the door was a reflection of the real world, the manifestation of one's nightmare. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that there were various pictures on the wall. There were children, animals, and various toys.
"These look like drawings by children. This is so strange. It feels like the feeling I had when I stepped into Jiujiang Children's Home for the first time."
There was no answer from Ol' Zhou or Men Nan. Doctor Gao was right on his tail. Chen Ge did not think that it was wise to head upstairs. He would be trapped up there if Doctor Gao decided to block off the stairs.
"I should limit my exploration to the first and second floors." With Chen Ge's current physical condition, as long as he was more careful, he would not be injured if he jumped down from the second floor, but he was not confident that he would be safe if he jumped down from the third floor.
"Doctor Gao is still quite a distance away. His speed is decreasing. But one good thing is that after the shadow left Li Wan City, it's clear that Xiao Bu has been getting stronger; the red on his dress is getting brighter and brighter."
As Chen Ge called Men Nan and Ol' Zhou's names, he charged into the building. Whenever he saw closed doors, without stopping to think, he greeted them with a hammer to the face.
Once the doors fell away, the scene behind the doors surprised Chen Ge. There were no ghosts and no horrible scenes, only a few children drawing. Their eyes were filled with innocence, not knowing what hatred and pain was. They gripped the crayons in their hands and looked at Chen Ge with confusion.
These children were like pieces of empty paper. Chen Ge was not complimenting their innocence but felt like something important had been taken away from them. They had lost something that made humans human. Studying them, it felt like they were more like human-shaped puppets.
A 'criminal' with a scary-looking weapon burst into the room, but they did not react in any way. They held the crayons with a blank expression on their faces, staring dumbly at Chen Ge.
"The shadow must have done something to them!" Chen Ge knew that Ming Yang Residence was the ghost apartment built by the shadow. He had been under the impression that the place was supposed to house scary ghosts and Specters. Now he realized just how innocent he was. The shadow would not be kind enough to allow Specters to live there, so the real tenants of Ming Yang Residence were these children who had some value to the shadow.
"Did any of you see anyone walk in earlier?" The children had no response at all to Chen Ge's question. They stared at Chen Ge for a while before returning to their drawing. It felt like their mental faculty had been taken away, leaving behind simple paintings in their mind, and the purpose of their existence was to use the crayons that they were holding to keep on drawing these pictures endlessly. Chen Ge looked through several rooms, and they were all filled with such strange children.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
"In real life, Ming Yang Residence contains many broken dolls. Now that I think about it, each of those dolls probably represents an actual human life."
With no time to waste, Chen Ge hurried to the second floor. While he opened the door, he did not stop calling for Men Nan's name.
"The picture drawn by the Pen Spirit definitely points to this building, so it means that Ol' Zhou and Men Nan are one hundred percent inside here. In that case, why aren't they answering me? Even if they're in danger, they should be able to give me some response, right?"
The message that Tong Tong had sent was a SOS message. Chen Ge knew that something must have happened to their group, but he did not expect things to become so complicated. Chen Ge hammered down the doors on the second floor-they were still filled with children. "Xiao Bu's limbs are hidden on the higher floors. Doctor Gao is not far behind me, and if I rush up the stairs, I might be blocked off on both sides by the shadow and Doctor Gao."
When he was hesitating, a voice suddenly came from the fourth floor. "Chen Ge! Save me! Please save me!"
There was not many who knew Chen Ge's real name in Li Wan City. Chen Ge turned his head up to look and saw Jia Ming poking his head out from the stairs until his body was almost falling. His expression was one of extreme pain. His eyes were red like they were about to pop out from his skull. "Save me! They are all here!"
When Jia Ming spoke, another voice appeared. Chen Ge was very familiar with this voice-it belonged to Inspector Lee. "Don't come up here! Chen Ge! Leave this place immediately! Tell everything that you saw here to Captain Yan! Remember! You have to tell Captain Yan!"
"Don't drag me with you if you want to die! Chen Ge, we are all here! Bring us with you! Please save us!" Jia Ming seemed to be experiencing inexplicable pain. He kept trying to stretch his body forward. Chen Ge noticed that his wrist was handcuffed, and the other cuff was chained around Lee Zheng's wrist.
Lee Zheng, Jia Ming, Scissors, and the rest had disappeared at Fan Chong's place, but now, they had suddenly shown up here. This aroused Chen Ge's suspicion. Normally, Chen Ge would continue to observe for a while before making his decision, but the situation now was too unique.
Doctor Gao was catching up, and he would arrive soon. He did not have much time to think, and his body moved instinctively up the stairs. He could not care less about Jia Ming's life, but he had to save Inspector Lee. A long time ago, when Chen Ge first fought the ghost stories society at Fang Hwa Residence, this police officer had been a big help to him by helping him buy time at the most crucial moment. Chen Ge had never seen himself as a saint, but he would remember every kindness that been directed his way.
"Inspector Lee mentioned Captain Yan earlier, but why would I tell everything I saw here to Captain Yan? Is he really more than he appears?"
Running to the fourth floor, Chen Ge saw Lee Zheng and Jia Ming, who were detained. Their legs and arms were tied. A few children were shoving into the middle of the stairs. Once the children saw Chen Ge, they dispersed.
"What is going on the here?" Cutting off the ropes, Chen Ge helped Lee Zheng get up. He was about to ask more questions when more weird noises came from upstairs. Lifting his head to look, he saw that half of Scissors, the drunkard, and the doctor's bodies had already been pushed into the staircase, and the children were holding their legs down.
The three of them were on the seventh floor, not too close and not too far.
"The shadow is forcing me to go upstairs, huh?" Chen Ge instantly understood the shadow's intention.
"Leave us be! You need to leave! This is a trap!" the drunkard shouted, and he sounded quite valorous.
"There is only one shadow; he couldn't have controlled so many people at the same time..." When Chen Ge was thinking, a loud boom came from outside the building. A chain that was filled with human faces smashed against the wall of the building.
"Doctor Gao has arrived." Gripping his fist, Chen Ge summoned Xu Yin. He had the Specter hold the flyer and rush to another building to lead Doctor Gao away.
"You think I don't have any other Red Specters other than Xu Yin?" Chen Ge pulled out the hammer and started running to the top of the stairs as fast as he could. "I refuse to believe that you have more trump cards than I do! After I deal with you, I'll go reconnect with my old friend, Doctor Gao."