Zhang Ju had long noticed that Chen Ge was not a normal person. The man's eyes could retain calmness no matter the situation, like there was nothing in the world that could shock him. To be honest, he was afraid of people like that, but it was because of that fear that he had chosen to follow and listen to Chen Ge's orders. Standing before the picture, Zhang Ju opened his remaining right eye and stared quietly at Chen Ge's face.
It was a normal facial feature, a face that would be lost in the crowd, but someone like that subconsciously radiated a presence that frightened even himself. It was hard to describe; it was like a hatred-filled Specter was mixed with a crazed madman. He could see madness, sickness, and cruelty from that face but could not find a trace of fear. Zhang Ju knew how he looked, that he looked like a scary monster, but Chen Ge's earlier reaction made him realize that there were scarier 'monsters' than him in the world.
"Yes, we should be the same type of person." He believed Chen Ge because only those who had experienced hell would make that kind of expression. The man, like him, had also forgotten his past.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Bai. It's because of this sudden return of bad memory that I lost control of myself." Zhang Ju's voice was harsh and grating, but his attitude became much better.
"It's no matter. Of course, I do not mind. A teacher has to be understanding of his student," Chen Ge said with a smile. He gave off warmth and kindness. It was hard to imagine that he was the same person who had confronted Zhang Ju earlier. "What have you remembered? There's no need to be shy. Let me everything."
"Actually, it's nothing, just some painful memory." Zhang Ju's wounds were still opening. His shirt was slowly being dyed red. "I remembered the time when I witnessed the murder. I was scared and cowardly. I remembered the pain of having my skin seared by fire. It was like having needles pierce into your skin until you couldn't feel pain anymore. I still remember the pain and helplessness I felt when I was lying in the ICU. Despair grew in my heart. I didn't want to know, but I didn't know how to survive."
"At the last moment of your life, did any special happen to you or around you?" Zhang Ju appeared in this world inside the door, but at the time, he should have lost the ability to push open any door. Chen Ge was curious how he ended up at the school. Only by knowing how he entered would they have a chance of exiting. For a three-star scenario, the door was the only exit, but that did not seem to be case for four-star scenarios.
"At the last moment of my life..." Zhang Ju reached out to touch his face. "It seems I fell into a coma, but I could sense the goings-on around me. I cannot tell the difference between the nightmare and reality, but I remember one thing very clearly. Whenever midnight came, there would be a door inside the sickroom."
"I stayed for seven days at the hospital. The door appeared every night, and each night, it showed up closer. Until it stopped right beside my bed." Zhang Ju lifted his bloodied face. "It was a moving door. The more afraid I was, the more despair I felt, the closer it would come to me. I couldn't ask for help. At the night of the eighth day, the door was pushed open from inside. Hands reached out from behind the door to pull me into it."
What Zhang Ju described was similar to what had happened to Chang Gu. They had both encountered a door that could move. Every night at midnight, this door would get close to the sleeping victim before ending up beside them. The door would be opened from inside to pull the victims in.
"And this school is behind the door?" Chen Ge was curious about what had happened next. He wanted to know how Zhang Ju had lost his memory. Just how did this student whose face had been ruined in a fire become a Half Red Specter?
Zhang Ju shook his head. "I felt trapped in a dream, a dream that felt so real. In the dream, everyone referred to me as Lin Sisi even though I told them again and again that my name is Zhang Ju. I said they'd got the wrong person, but they thought it was just a joke.
"No one would believe me, and I could only survive in the dream as Lin Sisi to experience everything as Lin Sisi. Eventually, even I started to wonder if I was really Lin Sisi.
"Being bullied, ostracized, ignored, it was hard to stomach, but I thought about it from another perspective. In real life, I had already become a monster. The life in the dream was not that bad."
Zhang Ju's voice was flat enough to feel like he was telling another person's story. "I had no friends, and everyone hated me. I started to get dull to both the spiritual and physical torture, but then one day, a girl walked into my dream.
"It was a cloudy day. Someone planted a frog in my deskmate's school bag. She suspected that I was the culprit, but I wouldn't do something so stupid.
"No one listened to my explanation. The class chased me out, and everyone in the corridor gawked at me with their strange eyes. I ran away from them to go hide on the rooftop of the education block.
"I met her there.
"Even though I knew it was a dream, I felt that she was very special." Zhang Ju's voice started to change. "Her name was Wen Changyu, the only person who didn't ignore me. I told her my sorrow, and she showed me sympathy.
"Then I told her about my past, and she confirmed that I am not Lin Sisi. Only when I was with her could I remember myself and not get assimilated into the dream. We would meet every dusk on the rooftop, and gradually, I felt like I couldn't stay away from her anymore.
"She said that she was very interested in my stories, and I liked spending time with her
"Just as color started to return to my life, she suddenly posed a question to me-would I like to see the world outside of the school? At the time, I had no idea what she meant. I just wanted to stay with her, so I nodded.
"That day, after midnight, she led me to the library. The library's door was always locked, so we jumped in through the window. We found a mirror behind one of the bookshelves on the third floor.
"The mirror was very big, and the girl said that the mirror could still be used several times and told me to keep it a secret.
"I trusted her implicitly. At the same time, I realized something. This was the first time that I had seen a mirror inside my dream!
"I asked the girl what I should do. The girl told me that I only needed to peer into the mirror.
"I stood before the mirror, and she moved to stand behind me. In the quiet night, I stared at myself in the mirror.
"The more I stared, the more I felt the reflection in the mirror changing. Slowly, my reflection started to bleed, and scars appeared on the person's face. His ears started to wilt, his left eye closed, and his face started to get scarred and burned!
"I did not dare look further, but just as I wanted to leave, the monster in the mirror reached out to grab me!
"Blood leaked out of the mirror until the surface was completely red!
"I screamed loudly for help and turned around to look at Chang Wenyu, but she was unmoved. Even now, I can remember what she told me last. 'Why are you afraid? That is the real you inside the mirror.'
"Her slender fingers pressed on my left eye softly and slowly plucked it out!
"The world immediately lost its color. I was dragged away by the monster inside the mirror. All the beautiful anticipation turned into the most venomous curse."