"The two of you should stay here. If anyone falls down from above, remember to catch them." Chen Ge placed the travel bag with the white cat on the ground, and he ran up the stairs, wielding Doctor Skull-cracker's hammer.
"Be careful!" No matter how hard the drunkard screamed, Chen Ge did not stop moving. Rescuing people was a matter of convenience. Ever since Chen Ge stepped into Li Wan City, his real target had been the shadow. An entity who was so mysterious yet had endless details that were connected to himself, only by apprehending the shadow would Chen Ge allow himself to rest easy.
"I will definitely be able to get a lot of information about my parents from the shadow." Before entering Li Wan City, he had predicted this moment. However, his original plan was to have the smiling man and the red high heels help him scout the road ahead. Unfortunately, Doctor Gao's appearance had thrown his plan into complete disarray.
"However, generally speaking, how things turned out is still advantageous to me." Outside the building, Doctor Gao was lured away by Xu Yin, and this provided Chen Ge with a rare opportunity.
"The monster is waiting for you up here, do not come up here!" This time, it was Scissors who spoke. His condition was not that good. Faded blots of blood appeared on his body like the capillaries under his skin were all bursting at the same time.
"He's waiting for me; I'm also looking for him!" Chen Ge ran even faster. Behind him, the white cat crawled out from the bag. It followed closely behind Chen Ge, its movement very agile. The children on the seventh floor were obviously using Scissors' group as bait to lure Chen Ge further up. They had been given very strict orders. Once Chen Ge approached, they let go of their detainees and immediately escaped.
"Give me your hand!" Chen Ge dragged Scissors and the drunkard somewhere safe. There was no rope or anything similar wound around their bodies, but from the way they reacted, it looked like they were suffering from a severe reaction to something. Their bodies were ravaged by pain, and they had difficulty even standing up.
"Can you walk on your own?" Chen Ge then dragged the doctor to the side. The doctor's venom had not been cured.
"Leave us be. The reason the shadow hasn't killed us is because he is planning to use us to weigh you down. That thing will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal," the doctor uttered weakly.
"Since you can form a complete sentence, it looks like you're slowly recovering." Chen Ge was about to ask what had happened to them at Fan Chong's building, but he felt something cold touch the back of his neck. Turning back to look, the tattooed man's head rolled out from the eighth floor. His face was bloodied, and his eyes were bulging. The human skull tattoos on his arms had brutally been yanked out from his bare skin. Several emotionless and expression children stood around the man. They held paintbrushes in their hands and were using the tattooed man's blood to finish their painting.
"The man's dead?" These children were duller and more emotionless than the ones on the ground floor. The way that they treated a living human as 'toy' sent a shiver down Chen Ge's spine.
"The tattooed man is dead. If one's ending is the worse the higher we go, then does this mean that something bad has already befallen Men Nan and Ol' Zhou?" Chen Ge was worried. This was the first time that he realized how important the employees who usually accompanied him were. Without realizing it, he had already accepted them as family and close friends.
The tattooed man's dead body was shoved down the stairs by the children. It fell before Chen Ge's eyes. Such a precious life was ended just like that-this was the nature of the world behind the door. In this nightmarish world weaved from despair and pain, life and hope were the most fragile of things.
After the tattooed man's body landed with a dull thud on the ground, the children dispersed like they had completed their mission. The only thing that remained in the stairwell was the painting that was painted with the tattooed man's blood.
After the children left, children's giggling came from the tenth floor. The faces of the children up there had lost their dullness. Their faces were filled with the brightest of smiles, but what they were doing made Chen Ge grit his teeth.
Several children were detaining the phone spirit, Tong Tong. His body was yanked from so many directions that his body had become disfigured. His precious phone had been taken away, and the children deleted the messages that Tong Tong's mother had sent him one by one before the boy's eyes.
These children who were little more than animals being reared by the shadow could not be called children anymore. They had been taught to bear hatred for everything good in the world, so they viewed love as the most disgusting in the world. Chen Ge had a feeling that the shadow was training these children as his apprentices, turning them into monsters like he was.
Every employee at the Haunted House had their own story, and Tong Tong's story had touched Chen Ge the most. The reason that he had taken this boy under his wing was not only because of his power but also the promise that he had made Tong Tong's mother. Tong Tong did not resist or even cry. He had gotten used to all this. He had experienced something similar both when he was alive and when he was working for ghost stories society's Han Bao'er. However, the more he acted like this, the more it tore Chen Ge's heart.
The children knew that Tong Tong would get Chen Ge's attention. They carried Tong Tong higher up the stairs, obviously trying to lure Chen Ge to follow them.
"Chen Ge! Don't follow them!" Lee Zheng dragged Jia Ming up the stairs to stop Chen Ge. "We have people who are heavily injured with us. We need to bring them away from this place. When I entered Li Wan City, I contacted other officers at the station. Back-up will be here soon."
"There won't be any back-up. I need you and Jia Ming to help me carry these people downstairs. Try to move them as far away from this place as possible." Chen Ge frowned slightly. He flipped through the comic to one of the pages, but he did so without arousing Lee Zheng or Jia Ming's attention. He did this in less than one second.
"Aren't you going to leave with us? What are you going to do?" Lee Zheng tried his best to stop Chen Ge.
"I am not good at educating children, so I can only treat these children who are bullying others as adults, and if they're adults, things will be much simpler." Chen Ge raised the hammer while murmuring someone's name. In the cramped staircase, a thick scent of blood bloomed. A twisted hand appeared next to Chen Ge before slowly falling on his shoulder.
"Capture them all, bring them back with us so that we can give them some corrective education."
The head that dangled on the shoulders slowly raised itself. The body that was ruined from the car accidents was slowly recovering as the woman raised her head. The Red Specter from White Dragon Cave Tunnel had been summoned. She seemed to have a natural curiosity toward the world outside the tunnel. When the thin blood fog surrounded her body, it gave her a desire to kill everything before her.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click for visiting.
After Xu Yin led Doctor Gao away, Bai Qiulin was too weak to deal with any dangerous accident. So, to ensure his own safety, Chen Ge used his other trump card-the woman from the tunnel.
With a Red Specter forging the way forward, he could charge forth with abandon. No matter where, no matter when, a Red Specter was the scariest presence. When the children in the building saw the Red Specter approach, they started to run and hide on instinct. The few children who grabbed Tong Tong also had to put their smiles away. They charged ahead like their lives depended on it. From how Chen Ge saw it, it felt like the children were completing a mission, which was to lure Chen Ge to the top floor.
"The top floor is very dangerous! Don't go there!" Lee Zheng called out urgently from the back. He seemed to have gained some information from Jia Ming. Compelled by the urgency of the moment, he abandoned Scissors and the drunkard and moved to chase after Chen Ge.
With the Red Specter leading the way, Chen Ge could stop worrying about the danger that might appear along the way. He calmed down to dissect a few important questions.
"The painting that was drawn by the cooperation of the Pen Spirit and Yan Danian showed Ol' Zhou and Men Nan hiding inside a small room. They were not captured but temporarily trapped. In other words, the shadow does not really have a full control of the situation. He has been caught up in the fight with Doctor Gao, and he only disappeared from my eyes several moments ago. How did he manage to set up so many scary traps in such a short amount of time?
"The shadow has fought Zhang Ya before, and he knows that I have a Greater Red Specter with me. Therefore, the only possibility he has is to come up with a trap that can threaten a Greater Red Specter before he can deal with me. But I doubt something as powerful as a trap like that can be constructed on short notice."
Chen Ge knew all this perfectly. He narrowed his eyes, and suddenly, a small detail flashed across his mind.
"I know!" Without lowering his speed, Chen Ge rushed up the stairs without stopping. The higher he went, the deeper the resentment the children carried. They changed from lingering spirits to baleful Specters. Beyond level eleven, some of the children's shirt were stained with blood, and Chen Ge even saw a young man who was a half Red Specter. Without the aid from the woman in the tunnel, with just him and Bai Qiulin, their journey would have stopped at the eleventh floor.
However, even with the woman's aid, their journey was not easy. Complicated paintings started to show up on the wall. They were painted with some kind special, dark liquid. Chen Ge had encountered this kind of liquid at the hotel earlier. It could cause some kind of influence on Red Specters. Now Chen Ge regretted using such a valuable item to provoke the headless woman. Glancing at the wall, the paintings on the wall were all painted in this dark liquid, and walking past them gave Chen Ge plenty of discomfort.
"All the paintings look rough; they look more like doodling of a bored child. Could these paintings have been made by the ghost fetus?"
The woman who walked ahead suffered most of the pressure, and her condition was not looking so good.
"These paintings can weaken even a Red Specter. Is it because they have something to do with the presence above a Red Specter?" Looking at these paintings, Chen Ge noticed that they were merely recording mundane everyday activities, but for some reason, they made the hair on Chen Ge's back stand on end. He could not explain why he would be afraid of these things. "Could the pictures on the wall refer to the things that I've once experienced? But how come I don't have any memory of them at all? No, these should be the memory of the ghost fetus-they have nothing to do with me."
"Chen Ge! What are you doing? Quickly follow me downstairs!" Lee Zheng and Jia Ming followed closely behind him. The paintings did not seem to have much of an effect on normal human beings. They were unable to feel the deep resentment and hatred inherent in the paintings.
"They still have my employees, how can I, the boss, abandon them and run away on my own?"
Resisting the pressure, the woman in the tunnel and Chen Ge reached the top floor of the building, but Tong Tong had already disappeared. All Chen Ge could see was the door that led to the roof, which had been left half open.
"The shadow allocated so many resources just to luring me here?" The door that led to the roof was covered in black paintings, but the content of the paintings was different from the ones on the wall. They were no longer about life, but they described many death scenarios that were impossibly cruel.
The child in the painting experienced various kinds of death, and he had been alone throughout it all. He did not understand the meaning of his presence like the purpose of his life was to await and experience a harsher death.
The dark paintings when viewed from afar seemed to form the shape of a human and curiously enough, the shape of the human matched Chen Ge's a bit too well. The color of the ink at the bottom part of the strange paintings were relatively light. As the paintings grew, the darker it became. It felt like the monster would return every time he grew older and used the paintings to fill up its body.
Initially, the shape of the paintings should be that of a child, but it had grown with time, similar to Chen Ge. However, Chen Ge's growth was accompanied by light and hope while the growth of the thing on the wall was filled with various scary and improbably ways of death.
"Tong Tong is just behind this door." Chen Ge looked at the door that led to the roof, and he felt his consciousness fading. It was as if the methods of death were slowly drilling themselves into his mind, trying to make them his own memory.
"I have not experienced these things! These are not my memory!" Chen Ge raised the hammer and planned to shatter the door before him, like he was under the impression that once the door was broken down, the painful memories that did not belong to him would disappear.
His expression was twisted, and just as the hammer was about to fall, he felt a piercing pain around his heart like someone had poked him with a needle. The shot of pain brought Chen Ge out of the haze. In just this short moment, his back was wet with sweat. Reaching into his chest, Chen Ge pulled out the two similar-looking keys from his chest pocket.
"Self-perceptive Key?" The rust on the keys had fallen away for the most part. Chen Ge still had not understood how to correctly use the keys, but it seemed like it was the keys that had helped him moments earlier.
"If his memory melded into mine, then the consequences would have been unimaginable." Chen Ge put down the hammer and looked at the half-open door. Like a mad person, he spoke to the inanimate object. "Who are you? Why do you hate me that much?"
"We should not stay at this place any longer, let's leave now!" Lee Zheng looked around him with alert. His hand went to the gun around his waist. He was about to take it out when Chen Ge slowly turned around to stare directly at him.
"Who are you?" Holding the hammer, Chen Ge's eyes were bloodshot.
"Me? I'm Lee Zheng! Chen Ge, what's up with you?" Lee Zheng's hand was over the holster. He wanted to take out the gun, but he realized that Chen Ge was ready to hammer his hand if he reached for the gun.
"You are not Lee Zheng." Chen Ge's voice was hoarse. "You said earlier that when you entered Li Wan City, you contacted the rest of the station. At the time, you were pursuing Jia Ming alone. When we encountered each other at the hotel, I did not see you carrying a walkie-talkie, and the range of a walkie-talkie is limited, so I believe that you were using your phone to communicate with the rest of your team."
"What's wrong with using my phone?"
"Before entering Li Wan City, I received messages from you. Your voice and speech pattern were similar as Inspector Lee's, but due to the unique circumstance that I was in, I couldn't answer your call, so I had you write me messages." Chen Ge's eyes were filled with blood, but his voice slowly calmed down. "When Doctor Gao was battling the shadow, it was just around the time that you all disappeared. Now that the shadow has stopped fighting Doctor Gao, you have reappeared. This can only mean that the shadow is one of you who went missing."
Lee Zheng still wanted to say something but was interrupted by Chen Ge.
"You were afraid of being exposed, so you used your trump card earlier than necessary and had the curses dispense of the people who were waiting outside the tunnel. That way, you'd be able to continue hiding your real identity." Chen Ge took a step forward, and the woman from the tunnel shielded by his side. "In the beginning, I only had a suspicion, but now, I can finally confirm that you are the shadow."
He opened the comic to release a weak and sickly black puppy. The puppy was overjoyed when he saw Chen Ge, but when it saw Lee Zheng, it moaned in confusion.
"You are the most unique presence to him. You might be able to trick the rest of us, but you will never be able to trick the 'person' who saw you as his whole world." Chen Ge turned to look at the black dog that he had brought out from the doghouse.
Seeing the black phone, Lee Zheng's hand that went to the gun slowly relaxed. The anxiety and anger on his face slowly dispersed, and in its place was a deep serenity.
"This is just ironic. This is the one good thing I've done in my life, and it became the clue for you to see through my disguise." Lee Zheng looked at the puppy, and the coldness in his eyes caused the puppy to cower in fear. "I should have killed it. Back then, I figured it would fun to keep it tortured."
Once he finished, Lee Zheng closed his eyes. His body crumbled to the ground, but his shadow stood upright, maintaining his earlier posture.