The sudden appearance of the man turned the situation tense. Chen Ge's group stood where they were, and no one dared take another step.
"You are more willing to trust the ghosts behind the door than the living human from outside the door?" The figure slowly lifted his head to reveal a pair of curious eyes. His right eye was no different from that of a normal person, but his left eye was red like an eye ball soaked in a can of red paint.
"Chang Gu." Chen Ge's lips moved to utter the name of the person whom he had never expected to show up there.
"I know you have many questions now, but I do not have the time to explain them to you. You only need to understand that I am on your side." Chang Gu raised the backpack that he was holding. "I believe this is yours."
Chang Gu was holding the backpack that Chen Ge had taken with him from the haunted house. The zipper had been opened, but everything was inside where it should be.
"Why would you have my backpack?" Chen Ge took one step forward.
"Don't go over there!" Zhang Ju stopped Chen Ge. "He is not part of my memory; things have changed."
Chang Gu heard Zhang Ju's voice as well, and his lips curled into a smile. "You sure are popular. You can make friends no matter where you go."
Stepping aside to let them pass, Chang Gu glanced outside the reading room, and he spoke faster. "It was my sister who gave me your backpack. She told me you would come here eventually."
"Yes, she will help you escape the school, but the premise is that you have to promise to work with her." Chang Gu put down the backpack. "That is why you have shown up here, is it not?"
"It was Chang Wenyu who dragged me inside the door? Did the two of you work together to con me?" Chen Ge's habit was to see thing was the worst perspective. He thought back to how he had been dragged into the door at the hospital. The arm that reached out from behind the door had been slender and soft. Indeed, it had looked like the hand of a girl.
"I've only just found out many things as well, so technically, I didn't con you. At least, I didn't mean to." Chang Gu looked much better than before, at least one decade younger.
"Tell me, how does she expect me to work together with her?" Chen Ge felt like there was no one that he could trust in the school; everyone was out for themselves.
"There's no need to use such an unwilling tone. She is trying to save you. This school is far more complicated than you thought. Without her, you will never wake up." Chang Gu walked toward Chen Ge. "We are friends who share the same goal, friends who know each other."
Zhang Ju and Zhu Long guarded Chen Ge while studying Chang Gu.
"What do you want me to do?" Chen Ge did not like twists and turns, especially when they were in such a dangerous place.
"The painter is about to become the new door-pusher, and when that happens, all the souls behind the door will be trapped here forever, living in this paradise created by the painter." Chang Gu did not stop moving; he was very close to Chen Ge.
"Isn't that a good thing? Giving homeless souls a home to help them forget their pain and despair, to create a blood red paradise." Chen Ge had noticed the many changes to Chang Gu; he could not sense any life in the man.
"I know a test when I hear one. Actually, you know deep down that there is no paradise in this world. This is all the painter's daydream. My sister wishes to stop him, but she is not powerful enough to do it alone, so she needs your help." Chang Gu glanced at the two Half Red Specters beside Chen Ge. His blood red left eye was like a heart, and it kept throbbing in its socket. "There are thirteen Specters who are qualified to become the door-pusher in this school. The painter is the strongest, and my sister is second. Of the remaining eleven, some have sworn obedience to the painter, and others have had their memories removed and turned into puppets."
"There is too big a power gap. Even with my help, we probably can't stop the painter." Chen Ge was not lying to Chang Gu; he was telling the truth. His biggest strength, Zhang Ya, was still hibernating.
"We do not need you to go against the painter directly; you only need to go and awaken all the Specters that the painter has sealed."
"How do I do that?" Chen Ge sighed in relief when he heard that he did not need to face the painter directly.
"You have already been doing that." Chang Gu pointed at the club members. "These three are all on the list."
"Of the four Specters around me, three of them have the qualifications to become the door-pusher?" Chen Ge did not think he would be so lucky. Then again, those few had been ostracized in the western campus where only good memories should remain; that was something abnormal.
Chen Ge was about to ask who did not have the power to become the door-pusher when Chang Gu spoke again. "My sister will try her best to distract the painter, and during that time, you have to try your best to find as many Specters sealed up by the painter as you can and wake them."
"Okay, no problem." It was not like Chen Ge had a choice but to give his promise for now. Neither the painter nor Chang Wenyu was someone he wanted to anger. Furthermore, awakening the Specters and gathering power was what he had been doing.
"I knew you'd say yes." Chang Gu looked at Chen Ge with satisfaction. "Lastly, my sister has a few words she wanted me to tell you."
"Chang Wenyu has something to tell me?" Chen Ge had not met Chang Wenyu before; he had no idea why the girl would value him thusly.
"Yes, she hopes you can also gain the school's approval and obtain the qualification to become the door-pusher." Chang Gu's left eye throbbed as he studied Chen Ge's reaction.
"I do not wish to get trapped behind a door forever." Chen Ge rejected it outright.
"You only need to get the qualification." Chang Gu's expression softened. "Gaining the school's approval will aid your escape."
"How am I supposed to do that?" Chen Ge had heard the answer from Zhou Tu already, but he wished to get more confirmation.
"This door is different from others. The scenario behind the door is split by the painter in two-one normal, the other bloody. I believe you've noticed it already, just like the western and eastern campuses. Western campus transports all the despair and negative memories to the eastern campus to maintain the cleanliness on the western campus, and then the painter transports the negative emotions gathered in eastern campus to the other blood red scenario. The normal, cleansed part of the world behind the door has been maintained by the painter while the school's consciousness is hidden inside the blood red scenario.
"It's hard to explain; it's easier if you see for yourself, but I hope you're ready. The gore of this door is much greater than the other scenarios you've experienced."
Chang Gu thought about it and made sure that he had not forgotten anything before taking a step back.
"The entrance is the mirror beside the rack. Try to get the approval as soon as you can. This abandoned school is about to get a lot more anarchic."