Chen Ge pitied Yin Bai, but if she refused to talk, there was nothing Chen Ge could do. "I'm a new student who just transferred here. I don't know the school that well. I hope you won't be offended if I've said something unkind."
The girl was in an unstable state. Forcing questions on her might cause her mental state to collapse. Chen Ge remembered her bed number; he planned to return as he pulled the curtain back. The thick white curtain closed, segregating the bed from the outside world. Chen Ge walked to the next bed, but before he took a step, he felt a sudden tug on the corner of his shirt. Turning back to look, a pale hand had reached out from under the white curtain to pull on his shirt.
"Run away, do not attend school here, you'll go mad." Yin Bai's voice was low, and Chen Ge had to focus to listen.
"I feel like the atmosphere here is not bad. Everyone wants to be my friend." Chen Ge did not think that the girl would harm him. He was just afraid that she would refuse to communicate. As long as she was willing, everything could be discussed.
"Go back to your old school, please." There was pleading in her voice. She did not give a specific reason, but Chen Ge could hear from her tone that she was really concerned about him and did not want him to be hurt. In the world behind the door, there was such a kind girl; Chen Ge thought that this was rather surreal.
"I can't return." Chen Ge paused, and his brain came up with the explanation in zero point something seconds. "I was bullied at my old school. I have no idea what I did wrong, but those people bullied me every day like it was something fun for them. My parents found the discipline teacher to talk about this, but after they did that, the bullying only got worse. In the end, no one in class was willing to be my friend. I couldn't stay there any longer, so I transferred here."
"You were bullied at your old school, so you transferred here?" The white curtain was pulled back a gap to reveal Yin Bai's palm-sized face. The terror in her eyes had dissipated somewhat, and in its place was shock and worry. "I don't know how to tell you this, but if you do not wish to get hurt again, I advise you to move to another school."
Perhaps this was sympathy between fellow bully victims. Chen Ge felt closer to Yin Bai.
"Why? This is my first day here. Half an hour ago, I just introduced myself to my new classmates. It feels wrong to leave now." Chen Ge was fishing for the truth. He needed more information to provide real help to change this school.
"This school is like a dark whirlpool; you have to leave before you're sucked in. Once you're trapped, you can't escape. You'll be pulled into the depths of hell. Either you're crushed, or you'll join the monsters' ranks." The girl sat in bed. She refused to gain contact with outside world. It appeared to be her limit to reach her hand outside the curtain.
"Is it that scary here?" The world was a stark contrast to the school created by the painter. At that moment, Chen Ge believed that he had gained some understanding of Chang Wenyu and the painter. One accepted beauty and hope and tore away humanity; the other chose to escape to a place where they would no longer be hurt. Their methods to gain the school's approval were interesting. It could not be said that they were wrong, but they never really tackled the root of the problem.
"You will be assimilated. If you don't want to be bullied, in the end, the only way is to turn into a monster." Yin Bai probably had not conversed with others for a long time. Seeing the kindness in Chen Ge and how he was a new student, she chose to talk to him.
"There are only two choices? Then you..." Chen Ge put down his bags and sat next to the bed. The bed was like the girl's closed inner world. Chen Ge slowly entered it with a bit of kindness. "Can you tell me your story?"
The girl did not answer, but she did not chase Chen Ge away or act agitated. She probably hoped deep inside that someone would be by her side, but for various reasons, she had lost the courage to communicate with others. Her world was enveloped by evil intent. Once she took a step, she would fall into the trap filled with venomous snakes and knives.
Looking at the girl closely, Chen Ge noticed that she was quite cute and had a sickly beauty about her. She would arouse other's intention to destroy. The slender arms, white neck, bloodless skin and face. The child hugged her knees, and black hair covered her eyes like she was spacing out. The bed was soft, and Chen Ge noticed that there was a deep impression on the girl's pillow like there was something hidden inside it.
Moving his eyes about, Chen Ge found a picture frame by her pillow. It was a family photo. A slightly large old man was pushing a wheelchair. A young woman in the chair was holding a bouquet of flowers weakly. There were needle marks on the backs of her hands. There were two cute girls next to the wheelchair. They wore pretty dresses and leaned on their mother from each side. The two girls were Yin Hong and Yin Bai, but the real person that captured Chen Ge's attention in the picture was the old man who was pushing the wheelchair.
The man had salt and pepper hair, and he looked just like someone from Chen Ge's memory.
His face and the way he laughs look ninety percent similar to the old headmaster from Mu Yang High School! Chen Ge had seen the old headmaster's picture in his office when he had it taken with the rest of the students. A rotund, smiling old man sat in the middle. But the age doesn't match! Why would the old headmaster be with these two girls‽
With a dry cough, Chen Ge softly asked, "Yin Bai, is the old man in the picture your grandfather?"
"Yes." Yin Bai nodded. "He's my only family. He occasionally comes to see me."
"He comes to see you? Your only family‽" Yin Bai's answer contained a whole lot of information, and various thoughts filled up Chen Ge's mind.
If the old man was really Mu Yang High School's old headmaster, and Yin Bai said he occasionally came to visit her, it meant that the old headmaster knew about the route to enter and leave the School of the Afterlife!
Furthermore, Yin Bai and Yin Hong were both in the picture, but Yin Bai said that the old man was her only family. This meant that from Yin Bai's perspective, Yin Hong was not family. Something bad must have happened between the girls.
"Yin Bai, can you tell me more about your grandfather?" Chen Ge nudged toward her.
Yin Bai who sat in bed lifted her head and said after a long pause, "My grandfather is infertile. He has no biological children, but he has many children."