Memory is a hard thing to describe. It is like snow that will not melt, light that is disappearing. The memories that you wish to catch, you cannot; the memories that you wish to forget, you cannot.
Zhou Tu had been troubled by that dream for a long time. He knew that he was different from others, but there was real no evidence. In the end, he had gotten lost in deep self-doubt. That was, until the day he met Chen Ge.
The man was the first to give Zhou Tu confirmation. His dream was all real. What he had experienced was not fake but a part of the memory seared in his brain that could not be deleted. Zhou Tu found the answer that he was looking for, but at the same time, he sunk into a dangerous whirlpool. He did not know whether following Chen Ge would lead to more tragedy or salvation.
Chen Ge stood before Zhou Tu and asked once more, "Have you made up your mind?"
"If you have not, you can take a look at him." Zhang Ju and Wang Yicheng suddenly walked over. They held Zhou Tu from either side. "Zhu Long, come over here."
Zhu Long, who walked at the back, was in an unstable state. His gaze was strange like it was burning. It appeared that he was about to lose it.
"What have you two done to him?" Chen Ge looked at Zhu Long's left hand. The hand that held the pink phone was bursting with veins.
"We found a half-destroyed article in the data filing room. A courier who worked at the university went missing in the school. After several days of investigation, a body that was no longer recognizable as a human's was found inside the autopsy room's storage." Zhang Ju handed the severely damaged article to Chen Ge. "The body was him-Zhu Long."
The fake memory had been shattered. When Zhu Long saw that article, he had remembered many things. He had studied very hard; his only dream was to get into the university of his dreams, but reality was always so cruel. The girl that he liked was a hardworking student. She got into the best medical university while his studies were a mess, and he could not even scrounge up enough money for a retest. His family was poor. His only family member fell seriously ill, and their health was fast deteriorating.
Bad fortune would not let him go, but it did not defeat this young man. He learned how to take care of the ill and supported the whole family on his shoulders. When he went searching for work, people complained about how he looked sleepy, so he went to cut away his messy long hair. People thought his tattoo might scare the customers, so he used a small knife to shear away the thin layer of skin. He was not defeated; he finally found a stable job-a courier.
He was hardworking and friendly with determination in his eyes and a smile on his face. He tried his best to survive and depended on hard work to receive respect and stability. After surviving a hard summer break, he had gotten used to the job. He worked late every day, and the only source of his joy was in delivering to Jiujiang Medical University. There would be anticipation in his heart whenever he entered the school compound. He knew that the girl was at this school. Even if he caught a glimpse of her from faraway, he would be satisfied, and that joy could last him for a day. The school was not that big, but it was not that small either; it was hard to tell when he would be able to cross paths with her.
He imagined the event when they would meet in his mind many times, but when the girl really showed up, he realized that none of his preparation was enough. He was so nervous that he could not speak, like a child who had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
After that day, they exchanged contact information. The girl was surprisingly active. She liked to be in control, and Zhu Long mistook that as affection. His obedience traded for a mental torment. The girl liked to torture Zhu Long; her favorite habit was reminding Zhu Long that he was not worth anything. The confidence that he had built was shattered just like that. Zhu Long became a puppet in the girl's hand, but the scariest thing was that Zhu Long did not realize that.
The boy who did not have a cunning bone in his body was no match for the girl who was an expert in criminology and autopsies. He was like a defeathered chicken laid bare on the girl's dining table, a feast to be had. Eventually, the torture evolved from a mental phase to a physical phase. As death approached, Zhu Long finally understood everything, but it was too late. Blood leaked out from his wounds. Zhu Long gripped the pink phone and stared at the article that Chen Ge was holding. His memory had finally returned.
"Do you know which part of the human flesh is pink?" Blood vessels sewed up his skin like a needle and thread. Zhu Long took deliberate steps toward Chen Ge. "Just as a flesh wound is about to heal, that is when it's the pinkest. She had a preference for pink."
Zhu Long's body started to distort. Sewing marks appeared on his body. It was hard to imagine what he had gone through before his death.
"Yet another Half Red Specter." Chen Ge's eyes were curiously calm. When Zhu Long was two steps away from him, he raised both of his arms to hug Zhu Long. "I wish you to understand one thing. No matter the time or the reason, any action that harms others shouldn't be allowed, even if it is in the name of love."
Looking at the boy before him, Chen Ge's heart wrenched with pain. He patted Zhu Long's shoulders. "I have no idea what's on your mind now, but I can give you a promise. If we manage to leave this school, I will help you go and meet that girl again."
The blood threads that sewed through Zhu Long's body stopped. Zhu Long stared right at Chen Ge before slowly lowering his head. "You have a promise."
Holding the pink phone, Zhu Long silently retreated to behind Chen Ge.
Zhu Long and Zhang Ju's shirts were still turning red. Even though they were not yet Red Specters, they could be considered powerful Half Red Specters. With Wang Yicheng as well, Chen Ge would not be afraid if he ran into a normal Red Specter.
"It's time to head to the lab." Chen Ge did not ask for Zhou Tu's opinion this time. He had gotten the answer from the child's gaze. After seeing what had happened to Zhu Long, his fingers dug into his flesh. He should also have an unfulfilled wish, but he had forgotten what it was. Walking through the brush, Chen Ge led the members to the lab building. This was his second visit there that night.
"The Red Specter should still be in the guardroom. If we run into him, it's the perfect chance to return the uniform to him." Chen Ge had more confidence this time. He led his students and stopped outside the building.
"This building is the lair of those upside-down monsters. The art club, which is our destination, is on the fourth floor. After we visit the place, whether Zhou Tu's memory is awakened or not, we have to leave immediately." Chen Ge walked to the one of the windows of the first-floor room. "Now, come with me."
The students looked at each other, and then they saw Chen Ge climb easily up to the second floor.
"I told you he's a physical education teacher." Zhang Ju, Zhu Long, and Wang Yicheng had awakened their memory. Scaling walls was nothing for Specters, but Zhou Tu showed difficulty on his face.