The smell of mildew permeated the data filing room. Chen Ge was the first to enter the room with his hand over his mouth. The wooden shelves looked antique. Placed next to the rusted shelves, they looked quite out of place. "These metallic and wooden shelves seem to have come from different schools."
Chen Ge took a random document from the wooden shelf. The document was so poorly preserved that once Chen Ge touched it, it started to crumble.
"Bug infestation, water damage, the school doesn't seem to value these documents at all." Chen Ge carefully opened the document file. The content inside confused him. "A donation appreciation list? Why does this look so familiar?'
Chen Ge looked through it again, and an image suddenly flashed across his mind. He looked at the file that was filled with holes. "I saw this exact list in the headmaster's office in Mu Yang High School!"
He studied the list closer and rummaged through his memory. After comparing the donor's names, he was more certain of his discovery.
"It's the exact same! It's the same as one I saw in Mu Yang High School!"
Back when he returned to Mu Yang High School to find the headmaster, he had scanned the two-star scenario but could not find the old headmaster.
"The world behind the door is created from the memory of the door-pusher, but this school is rather unique. It seems to have been created from the amalgamation of the memory of everyone who is trapped behind the door." Chen Ge touched his chin. "Other than the old headmaster, the other students of Mu Yang High School are all currently in my Haunted House. The fact that this list has shown up here, does it mean that the old headmaster is in this school?"
Chen Ge's eyes widened. He looked at the bookshelves, and the longer he looked, the more familiar it felt.
"Could these things have been moved from Mu Yang High School? Has a part of that two-star scenario been moved here?
"Looks like it is destined for me to meet the old headmaster."
He replaced the document, and his expression was hard to read. "Before unlocking the School of the Afterlife, there are nine missions to complete. Could there be a special relation between these nine missions and the School of the Afterlife?"
"Mr. Bai, what have you found?"
"I did find something, but the implication's still unclear." Chen Ge pulled out another ruined document. It was covered in mildew. "An investigation report of the school perimeter?"
Instead of calling this place a data filing room, it was more like a storage room for a variety of documents. Any documents and information could be found there, including accounting books, graduation forms, the canteen tender list, and so on.
"Mr. Bai!" Zhu Long found a few scrunched up newspapers in the corner. He showed one of them to Chen Ge. "Look at the article in the middle with the zoomed in picture."
"A fire of unknown origin ravaged the education block. Many students were trapped inside the toilet. The brave firemen rushed into the fire to save them." This article was placed in the middle of the paper.
"Based on the arrangement and content, it doesn't sound like the writer is that old." Chen Ge accepted the copy that was stained. A major part of the paper was unreadable. "This looks like the school's school bulletin."
Mu Yang High School was a private charity school; they should not have had the excess budget to have a school newspaper. Chen Ge flipped through the copy and noticed a familiar name-Western Jiujiang Private Academy. The location's name appeared many times, and many articles were about the Western Jiujiang Private Academy.
"Wait, isn't Zhang Ya from Western Jiujiang Private Academy?"
Chen Ge's first date had been with the Red Specter at that abandoned school. It was also at that school that he had walked into Zhang Ya's heart.
"There was a fire at Western Jiujiang Private Academy's education block?" Thinking back, he did remember seeing many burned bannisters in the school. "This is strange. Not only Western Jiujiang Private Academy, including Mu Yang High School, the schools that I've been to have been ravaged by fire before."
He looked through the paper that Zhu Long had given him again. At the time, the firemen had saved six people from the top floor's toilet. The paper hailed the firemen as heroes, but he saw an article in the corner that reminded the students about some fire safety knowledge. It mentioned briefly that a student had lost their life in the fire.
"The fire might have spread from the toilet, but why would it start there? It was already after the time for the students' night study when the fire started. In other words, it was already past normal school time. So, what were those students doing in the top floor toilet?"
Concluding the various articles, Chen Ge quickly zeroed in on the problem. "The fire burned the fourth floor, and the only students were found in the fourth-floor toilet. The firemen saved six students, but there was one who died in the fire. This means that there were seven students in total!"
It was hard to tell what had caused the fire. This was not recorded in any of the files. The child who had died in the fire seemed to have become a taboo topic as well.
"Something like this happened at Western Jiujiang Private Academy before? How come I didn't feel anything 'special' when I visited it?" Chen Ge was confused. "If the toilet's door was pushed open by the child who died in the fire, then he should be door pusher at Western Jiujiang Private Academy, but the reason the school could qualify as a three-star scenario was because of Zhang Ya!"
Now that Western Jiujiang Private Academy had become part of the Haunted House, Chen Ge could confirm that Zhang Ya was the scariest presence at that school.
"There should be a door in all three-star scenarios, but even though Western Jiujiang private Academy is a three-star scenario, there's no door." Chen Ge turned to his shadow and called the name silently in his heart. He repeated it, but there was no reply. "The black phone categorizes Western Jiujiang Private Academy as a three-star scenario because of Zhang Ya, and based on my knowledge, Zhang Ya hasn't pushed open any doors. Plus, when I went to Western Jiujiang Private Academy, I didn't encounter a door..."
Chen Ge slowly lowered his hands that held the paper, and a red dress appeared in his mind.
"Zhang Ya, the door that has disappeared, the door-pusher..." Those three terms formed a line in Chen Ge's mind, and he a possibility suddenly came to him.
His eyes widened as Chen Ge sucked in a cold breath. "Is it possible that the door pusher from Western Jiujiang Private Academy has been consumed by Zhang Ya?"
That would explain why Zhang Ya was so different and so ridiculously strong.
"What happens to the door after the door-pusher has been consumed?" Chen Ge thought about various possibilities. "Due to her spirit, Zhang Ya didn't become the door pusher. After the door lost the pusher, it should have gone out of control like the door at Li Wan City, but that didn't happen. The door only shows up at the bedside of these despairing kids... Wait a minute! Could it be searching for a new door-pusher?"