Chen Ge had seen many present boxes in his life, but this was the first time that he had seen one that appeared like it had been soaked in blood.
"Did Zhang Ya want to give this to someone, or did someone want to give this to her?" A dirty box was placed on the clean bed. It was clear that the owner cared about this present. Standing in the scariest forbidden zone at the school, with screaming monsters everywhere, Chen Ge did not feel afraid but had a special feeling. "Before this, when Zhang Ya gave me a bloody love letter, a candy made from a soul, and dolls sewn from hair, I felt that they were hard to accept, but seeing this box on Zhang Ya's bed, I feel weirdly envious."
Malice surrounded him, and Chen Ge stood inside the room alone. The people outside were highly tense as they kept their gazes on Chen Ge. They would rush in to save him if there was something wrong, but who would have thought that Chen Ge was thinking about something else? From their perspective, Chen Ge's usually calm face suddenly turned serious with a frown like something unexpected had happened.
Should I open it? But it's not good to go through people's stuff like that. But Zhang Ya is not a stranger, and she is still hibernating, so it should be fine if I help her take a look at it.
Chen Ge felt conflicted. His hands just touched the box, and the bow at the top of the box undid itself.
"I didn't touch anything..." Chen Ge turned to the shadow behind him and then slowly opened the box lid.
Nothing changed inside the room. The sound of a heart beating came from the box. Chen Ge leaned closer to look and saw the red ballet dress that sat inside the box.
"This is the present?" There was a card on top of the dress. Chen Ge picked up the dress, and a simple wish was written on it.
"Merry Christmas, my dear daughter. Me and your mother miss you a lot, so we prepared a new dress for you."
The present seemed to come from Zhang Ya's parents. In this room filled with malice and despair, this small box was the most precious thing to Zhang Ya. Seeing the dress inside the box, Chen Ge felt like he was looking at Zhang Ya's beating heart. Under the cold exterior, there was warmth.
This is the most important thing to Zhang Ya, but how come I feel so sad looking at it?
Chen Ge put the card down. His fingers caressed the dress. The dress was soaked in blood, and the stains were uneven-some deep, some light. There was sign of wearing at the edges of the box.
The box was placed on the clean bed neatly, so she wasn't the one who did this. In real life, when Zhang Ya saw the box for the first time, it was probably already like this, soaked in blood and ruined.
Chen Ge did not know what had happened to Zhang Ya's parents, but since this box was Zhang Ya's deepest secret, it explained many things. There appeared to be something else inside the box, under the dress, but Chen Ge did not go through it.
He replaced the box and turned to his shadow. "Sorry, I'm not good wish words, so I don't know what to say. I can't promise you anything, but I can tell you, as long as I am around, you won't be alone; I will be by your side."
Carrying the box carefully in his arms, Chen Ge wanted to hand it over to Zhang Ya personally, but he noticed that the bottom of the box was stuck to the bedsheet. Upon closer inspection, he found that the bottom of the box was tied with long hair. The hair appeared to be alive as it fixed the box to the bed. Other than Chen Ge, anything that came close to the box would be pierced by the hair.
I was too careless; I didn't even see this. Thankfully, she has no malice toward me.
Chen Ge was not going to force things. He placed the box back and allowed Zhang Ya to make the decision herself after she woke up. Strangely enough, when he placed the box back on the bed, a sound came from the cupboard next to him like someone was trying to get his attention.
"Is there something inside the cupboard?" This was the scariest forbidden zone, so Chen Ge did not dare lower his guard. He slowly pulled the door open. As the door opened, a doll fell out from inside. This was an ugly doll. Instead of saying it was made from cloth, it was more like it was patched up with hair.
"What is this?"
The doll's eyes were glinting. It could not control its body and could only move one finger.
"What are you trying to tell me?" Chen Ge felt like the doll wanted to express something. He did not get too close but dragged the doll by its leg to the door to meet up with Xu Yin before squatting down next to it. After leaving Zhang Ya's room, the doll seemed to come to life. The eyes became more brilliant, and it used its remaining finger to point about.
"Boss, you took this from inside the room?" Bai Qiulin and Xu Yin guarded beside Chen Ge. They looked at the doll on the ground strangely. It was the first time that they had seen something like this.
"I think it's someone who has bullied Zhang Ya before." Once Chen Ge said that, the finger of the doll moved wildly like it had been wronged. Seeing this reaction, Chen Ge was curious. He pointed at the ground next to the doll. "Use the blood on the ground to write. I can read."
The doll hesitated. It did not seem to wish for too many people to know what he wanted to say. Under the doll's insistence, Chen Ge and Xu Yin moved to block the other people's view. "Now, you can write."
The doll's finger moved quickly. Chen Ge tried to understand its handwriting.
"Take me away from here. I know her secret."
"You wish to talk terms with me?" Chen Ge scoffed. This doll wanted to use Zhang Ya's secret to negotiate with him. He was about to remove one of the doll's arms to make it come to its senses when the doll started to write again.
"I can sense her presence on you, but I've been watching since you enter the door-she appears to be sleeping. If she knew that I'm still conscious, she would kill me!
"Everyone that gets too close to her dies; you are no exception! I know you are afraid! Take me away! I know her very well, and I know how to get rid of her!
"You might not sense it now, but she is using you. After you've lost your value, she will not hesitate to kill you! Those dolls are your future!
"Do not be tricked by her appearance; she is the scariest Specter, a nightmare you can't shake, completely mad!
"Trust me! I was this school's first headmaster; the woman killed the real door-pusher! She is the school's consciousness' real enemy!"
The doll's eyes were glinting. After he wrote everything, he glanced at Chen Ge. The shocked expression that he expected from Chen Ge did not appear, but the atmosphere was rather strange.