"I'm not worried about your hunch but something else." Chen Ge could not explain the exact situation to the students; he could only think about it on his own.
Why would Chang Wenyu's presence linger around me? Is it because I've spent an extended period of time with her brother or because Chang Gu has left something of Chang Wenyu's with me?
"There's no need to panic. You'll eventually recover your memory; I have faith in you." Zhou Tu did not quite understand Chen Ge's circumstances. "Don't waste your energy in inconsequential places. What I'm going to tell you next is very important.
"Every student that enters the school will be given a choice. Each choice leads to different results. The standard of judgement is not with the painter but is based on the school's own consciousness. The monster that has collected everyone's despairing school is the real owner of this school; the painter is at most his spokesperson.
"What we need to do is get the school's approval and follow through one of the choices to the very end before embracing the corresponding outcome with open arms." Zhou Tu thought about it. "The painter's choice is probably to escape from reality and create a home for all the lost souls behind the door; Chang Wenyu's choice should be to find a way to escape from the school to return to the real world. We should follow the path left behind by Chang Wenyu, but the prerequisite is that we have to get the school's approval."
"How you do suggest we go about doing that?"
"Do not think of this school as a detached scenario. Think of it as a person, a person who was bullied and filled with despair." When Zhou Tu said that, he lowered his voice to the minimum. He had a strange expression. With each word, his face darkened like saying that in the school would get him cursed. "To get the school's approval, you have to elicit its resonance. The painter, for example, creates a home to console the loneliness inside the school's consciousness and allow it a place to stay, or like Chang Wenyu, we can choose to escape."
"I understand what you mean, but from how I see it, be it to escape or to build a fake home, neither will solve the problem." Chen Ge had his own idea. "My decision might not be correct, but if I am bullied, I will use the most direct method to fight back."
"What do you plan to do? Chang Wenyu and the painter have already provided us with two shortcuts. We only need to follow one of them." Zhou Tu frowned slightly. He saw the fire burning in Chen Ge's eyes, and that kind of fire was very rare in this eerie school.
"No one is willing to be bullied. As long as there's a chance to fight back, they will grab it." Chen Ge stood at the edge of the brush and looked at the large school compound. "The basic rule of this world is still survival of the fittest. The weak like to follow the strong or stick close to the strong, and the easiest way for the strong to showcase their strength is to control the weak and express their dominance over the weak. This is so juvenile and yet so realistic. Since we are now inside this school, we should follow its rules."
"It's the bullied victims' souls that make the consciousness of the school, so to get their approval, there is another way to go." Chen Ge took a big step out of the brush. "That is to reinstate one's spot in the cycle and bully back those who dare bully us."
Chen Ge had a real leap in his thoughts. The members were surprised by his statement. "Are you sure you want to do that? Not only might that fail to get the school's approval, it might cause them to be reminded of their weak past selves and turn hostile toward us."
"Human beings are strange creatures. Only when pain is inflicted on them would they understand how painful certain things can be. My choice might not be the best choice, but it is my favorite choice." He waited for a long time, but there was no reply, so Chen Ge turned around to look at his members. "Why are you all looking at me like that?"
"What you said is different from how you usually act," Zhang Ju said. "I mean, that does not sound like what a teacher should say."
"Then it only shows that you do not know me well enough." Chen Ge placed his hand on Zhang Ju's shoulder with a smile. "Most people have a demon and an angle in their heart. Whenever they wish to do something, there will be a heated discussion between the two parties, and that will cause hesitation, but it is different for me."
"You wish to say there is only a demon left in your heart?" Zhang Ju's ugly pupils stared at Chen Ge. He tried to find the answer from Chen Ge's expression.
"It's the exact opposite. The demon in my heart has been locked behind the door; the only remaining one is the angel that is always with me. She will always support me. No matter what kind of decision I've made, she will stand behind me."
"In that case... your angel must have her hands covered in blood, wearing a bloody red dress." Zhou Tu chuckled. He seemed to have misunderstood something.
"I'm too lazy to explain the details. You only need to know that I have my own way of doing things. And I have no regrets." Chen Ge stood in the middle of the group. "It's time to depart. We're heading to the second floor of the library next. There should be another answer to be found hidden in the mirror left behind by Chang Wenyu."
"That's right. Your instincts are very sharp. We can't stay here too long." Zhou Tu leaned on Zhang Ju's back. "The world on the other side of the mirror is the real world behind the door. This place is manufactured by the painter, a home that he created for the homeless children. Of course, you can also see it as a cage."
Zhou Tu's body was weakening; he was fading.
"We'll continue this conversation after we find the mirror. Let's go." Chen Ge felt like Zhou Tu's soul should have been destroyed already. The one leaning against Zhang Ju was just a lingering spirit. When he uttered everything that was captured in his memory, that would be the time he disappeared. There would no longer be Zhou Tu in this world; he would disappear without a trace. Zhou Tu was trapped in the war between Chang Wenyu and the painter, and his body and soul were one of their battlefields. From the ending, it seemed like the painter had won. He had destroyed Zhou Tu, but Chang Wenyu had not lost. After all, she had managed to reveal so many secrets about the painter through Zhou Tu.
There is not one character at this school who is simple, but that is a good thing because the muddier the water, the greater the chance of me being successful.
Chen Ge led the members to the library, and they moved through the brush carefully. They noticed that the doors of the buildings on both sides were all open, like 'people' had been going through them.