"First, you need to follow me to meet Fang Yu. I have promised her that I will bring you to meet her." Chen Ge opened the comic. "I believe that you want to meet her as well too, right?"
The man nodded. "Yes, but I am afraid."
"You want to meet her, and she wants to meet you; that is enough. We will work together to overcome any difficulty on the way." Chen Ge communicated with Yan Danian and pulled the man into the comic. Taking out the black phone, Chen Ge had not received a new message. Even though the man agreed temporarily to listen to Chen Ge, he had not become an employee at the Haunted House. That was probably because he did not completely believe Chen Ge.
"Let's go. This trip to the dam has reminded me that one can't be too careful. This period is a very sensitive period; the ghost fetus is about to be born, so I have to stay on my toes."
Chen Ge felt like there was a need for him to keep Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer on him at all times. He did not have any actual physical power that could threaten a ghost, but if he had the hammer, at least he had a chance to strike back. As the number of Trial Missions he had completed increased, Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer changed. Thin threads of blood vessels appeared on the grip, and the blood grooves in the hammerhead had collected some deep dark substance.
"It will be inconvenient to bring the hammer around everywhere with me, but now is not the time to be concerned about that."
Putting away the red high heels and the boy with the stench, Chen Ge and Xu Yin once again returned to the altar. This time, without any other interruptions, they planned to give the altar a close study. The altar was definitely 'older' than Chen Ge. The shadow had probably found it from some blasted place, and it was not made by the shadow himself.
"Perhaps there was originally some Demon God that occupied the altar, but currently, the shadow has taken over their homes."
Chen Ge was reminded of the painting that he had seen at the futuristic theme park, the completed evil demon that was constructed from the body parts of twenty-four other demons.
"If these nine paper dolls correspond to the nine missing evil demon pictures, can I establish that the ghost fetus is trying to use these nine paper dolls to construct his own body? The picture of the demon has appeared at many places before. Both Doctor Gao and Chang Wenyu knew about it. And now even the ghost fetus has dabbled with the use of this demon. It appears like this demon is a symbol of something important."
Without any evidence and with too few clues, Chen Ge could only make some speculations. He wanted to take the altar home with him, but he was stopped by both Xu Yin and the headless woman. Getting such a reaction from the Red Specters surprised Chen Ge. The altar that was filled with the death characters appeared to be a very cursed object. Without touching the altar, Chen Ge placed the mud statuette with Fang Yu's name on his own shadow. The black blood on the mud statuette slowly disappeared as if it was being absorbed by Chen Ge's shadow.
"There must be more than these few altars in Jiujiang. I will try my best to find more mud statuettes. Hopefully, that means Zhang Ya will be able to wake up earlier."
Chen Ge was somewhat stressed inside even though he did not show it on the surface. Normally, after a Red Specter consumed another Red Specter, they would hibernate for a long time, but due to many various reasons, even after Zhang Ya had a feast, she would only need a short time to rest before she returned to normal. Other than that, there were times that she had awakened from her hibernation due to certain incidents like when they were at the School of the Afterlife.
Even though the shadow had been separated from the ghost fetus, the shadow himself was a Top Red Specter. After he was split and ingested by Zhang Ya and Doctor Gao, Zhang Ya had awakened after a few days of hibernation, this caused serious damage to the Red Specter. Taking a tour around the house, after making sure Chen Ge did not miss any clues, he left the place. He was unable to get a taxi near the damn. To get back to the city as early as he could, Chen Ge raced down the highway.
Finally, he ran into a van driver who was kind enough to drive him to the city. Chen Ge returned to the residential area where Fang Yu stayed at around 11:45 pm. The sky was still drizzling, and through the hazy yellowish glow from the streetlights, the scenery took on a sepia tone. Chen Ge had no idea which floor Fang Yu stayed at. He first knocked on the door of the elder, and then with the elder leading the way, he went to the fourth floor. The fat aunty had not gone to sleep; she had been waiting for Chen Ge to come back with news.
The doors were pushed open. The aunty's expression became very excited when she saw that it was Chen Ge. "Did you find the person?"
Chen Ge first returned the umbrella to the aunty and then looked into the room. "Is Fang Yu here?"
"She lives in the innermost room. I'll get her."
"There is no need." Chen Ge took out the comic from his backpack. He walked to the bedroom door and knocked lightly on the door. "I have found Fang Yu."
The door was pulled open in that instant. Fang Yu, who was dressed in pajamas, stood at the door. Her exposed skin was tattooed with the name Fang Yu. The first impression it gave was horror, but as he looked at it longer, he felt something like pain and sadness.
"Where is he?"
Chen Ge's gaze leaped over Fang Yu and looked into the room. Inside the room that was not that big, all the items were neatly organized. There were paper notes stuck to wall, and the notes contained reminders that could not have been more normal for a person. 'Put on your clothes after waking up', 'brush your teeth', 'wash your face', 'place your identification card inside your wallet', 'place your wallet inside your left pocket'...
Fang Yu tried her best to live her life, repeating every day that was a new day for her. Taking one step forward into the room, Chen Ge closed the door and locked it. He pulled the curtains shut. Sniffing the scent of flower in the room, he reached out to switch off the light. With Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge could see Fang Yu clearly in the dark. Suddenly being placed in the darkness, Fang Yu was quite afraid. Flipping the comic pages, a man's figure appeared in the bedroom.
The streetlight filtered through the curtain, and it shone a weak light into the room. The gentle light fell on the spot behind Chen Ge, and the silhouette of a man could just about be picked out. Ten years ago, when they parted at the junction, the man had retained the look from that day, and Fang Yu had been repeating the memory of that day. The man that appeared inside the room at that moment overlapped with the person from Fang Yu's memory.
When they last met, Fang Yu had stood at the junction. She had turned back to look like usual, but she had failed to find the man who was supposed to stand there. She had stood alone at the junction before she was swallowed by the bustling city crowd. A decade had passed, but time did not seem to leave any trace on these two individuals. The room was very quiet. No one spoke, and it passed like that for several minutes.
The man and Fang Yu suddenly looked at one another, and they both uttered the same name.
Chen Ge very astutely walked to the corner and took out the pair of red high heels. Once the curse was triggered, he would have the red high heels suppress the man immediately. The room became quiet again. The two of them made one hell of a couple. One had retained his look from ten years ago but had experienced a torture that lasted for a decade; even though the other was no longer the young woman from ten years ago, her memory was stuck on that day from ten years ago. One had lived the past ten years suffering every single day in different kind of torment, but his appearance had remained the same; the other had whiled away ten years, with the decade leaving a clear toll on her physical body, but in her mind, only one single day had passed.
"I... was unable to walk you home that day because I had something else to do." The man lowered his head like he did not want others to see that he was unable to control his emotions. "You don't blame me, right?'
Fang Yu shook her head and she walked toward the man. When she took the first step forward, the man moved one step back. Fang Ya moved faster until she finally stood before the man. The distance of three meters took her ten years to complete. She raised both of her arms to give the man a tight hug like she wanted to grab him tight so that he would not escape from her again. When the hand touched the man's body, bitterness and chill came from the palms. The woman ultimately only managed to pull the hug around herself.
Small dark threads crawled out from the man's body, and his face was locked in an ugly grimace. The many curses that the ghost fetus had planted in him were triggered, and he was trying his best to control himself. The black threads that were yelling with pain rushed at Fang Yu. Just as they were about to swallow Fang Yu, drops of blood dripped from the ceiling, and they sealed the curses in their path.
"I'm so sorry."
The curse implanted at the deepest part of his soul was triggered. The man's body became more and more vague. He used his last shred of energy to whisper a final apology to Fang Yu. Then, his body shattered, and he was sucked back into the comic.
Fang Yu stood blankly in the darkness. Her energy seemed to have left her, and she slowly dropped to the ground. The weak light shone on her face. The clock struck midnight, and Chen Ge walked to switch on the light in the room.
"Are you already?"
Hearing his voice, Fang Yu turned around. Her pair of red eyes looked at Chen Ge. Her lips moved, and the tears that she could not control started to slid down her face.
"I'm sorry, but do you know Fang Yu?"
Fang Yu appeared to have lost her memory again. Chen Ge helped move her to the bed and poured her a glass of water. "I am good friends with Fang Yu. He will be busy for a little while, but when he is not so busy anymore, he will come visit you."
Fang Yu, who was lying quietly in bed, looked at Chen Ge. For some reason, she had an implicit trust in this man, and she felt like he was not lying to her. For reasons that she could not explain, Fang Yu knew that this man beside her bed would not lie to her and would make things better soon.
"Get a good rest and try not to worry over unimportant things too much. What you need to do now is focus on taking good care of your body. I am sure Fang Yu will return soon."
The body had just received a huge trauma. After one dropped down from such a high point in terms of emotion and agitation, it was easy to feel tired, so Fang Yu drifted off to sleep quite quickly. Chen Ge switched off the light and slunk out from the bedroom. The fat aunty was guarding outside the room.
"Is Xiao Yu feeling better? It sounded like she was very excited earlier. Have you really found that person?"
"Yes, I have found him."
"Can you tell me where he is?" The aunty looked like she was about to dole out justice on Fang Yu's behalf. "A man just went and abandoned Xiao Yu because she lost her memory. We will go and get him now. I have to teach him a lesson, or else I will not rest easy tonight!"
"The man has his own reason for staying away. The pain that he has suffered is no less than Fang Yu's suffering," Chen Ge said with a sad smile. "Aunty, thank you so much for having taken care of Fang Yu for so long. I will come and visit her more often during this coming period. One day, I might even be able to cure Fang Yu's illness."
"You mean her weak memory?"
"Yes." Chen Ge placed the comic inside the backpack. "I won't disturb you anymore. See you later."
"Hey! You need to explain it clearer! And it is still raining! Take the umbrella with you!"
Carrying his backpack, he jogged out from the building. The rain fell on his body as Chen Ge rushed through the streets. The yellowish streetlights stretched his shadow as the man raced through the city that was already asleep. Before he left, he turned back to look at the apartment behind him. "There are bad guys in the world, but there are quite a number of good guys as well. A city in the night hides many cruel and gory madmen, but there is also plenty of quaint and normal beauty."
Taking a cab back to New Century Park, Chen Ge carried his backpack and went straight underground.