1151 Could This Be the Truth? 2 in 1
After hearing the revelation from Mr. Wang, Chen Ge’s heart was thumping unevenly. When he did the Trial Missions given by the black phone, he had personally witnessed these scenarios. He was the child who was killed multiple times by the killer!
Lifting his hands to press against his temples, green veins popped on Chen Ge’s forehead. The shattered memories were slowly piecing up together in his mind. He felt a headache mounting.
“Mr. Wang, are you sure that the name of the last victim was Chen Ge? Did you guys find his body?”
“Even though I failed to find his body, I was present when he was killed.” Mr. Wang’s eyes were filled with regret and guilt. His hands clenched into fists. “After our long analysis, we locked onto three children in Jiujiang who had the same build and size as the victims in the previous cases. We believed that the killer would target one of these three children next.”
“Therefore, the police had set up surveillance around these three children?”
“Yes. At the time, the law enforcement was lacking manpower, so I was called to join the operation as well. I was assigned to Team Seven by the captain of the Jiujiang Police Station at the same time. Our team was responsible for watching over a private orphanage.” Mr. Wang paused for a moment as if worried that Chen Ge did not understand him. He added, “Of the three children that we’d narrowed down, one of them lived at the city center of Jiujiang. He came from a very good family. The second child lived in Western Jiujiang, the child of the manager for Luo’s Real Estate. The last child though was living in Eastern Jiujiang’s private orphanage.”
The details of the three children did not match Chen Ge at all. He could remember very clearly that he was living with his parents at Jiang Yuan Apartments in Eastern Jiujiang. The three children targeted by the police at the time could not be him, but how come the last victim was called Chen Ge?
“Even to this day, I can remember what happened clearly. The police only told the orphanage’s teachers and the director their mission; the children did not know anything. They spent their day playing like usual and then went to sleep. Once night fell, everything was normal until it was midnight, and the child that we were supposed to be watching over suddenly disappeared. Even now, I have no idea how the killer managed to do something like that. It was impossible to sneak a child without a trace out of a room of other sleeping children. After the child disappeared, I immediately reported it to my superior, and then the whole of Team Seven started to go and search for the child.
“In the end, Captain Yan, who had just joined the force back then, and I found the child inside an abandoned building in Eastern Jiujiang.” Mr. Wang’s voice was shaking. Time supposedly washed away everything, but it was definitely not the case with Mr. Wang. Even when he was thinking back to the case now, he still found it hard to control his emotions. “The child was shaking like a leaf. He was seriously injured, and his eyes were pleading for mercy. He cried out for help. He told us that his name was Chen Ge. He said he wanted to see his parents, but just as the child was about to give us the name of his parents, the killer entered the room.”
“The child told you with his own lips that his name was Chen Ge?” Chen Ge himself had no recollection of this. He could not remember anything relating to Mr. Wang’s story.
“Every single sentence that I am telling you now is the truth.”
“So, what happened after the killer entered the room?”
“The killer was wearing a doctor’s coat and had the mask of a devil on. It appeared like he had already filled with room with narcotic gas before he walked in because once he did, Captain Yan and my mind started to spin and turn. After he shared a few words with the child, he took the child forcibly away.” Mr. Wang’s expression was wrought with pain and guilt. “If only Captain Yan had fired his gun at the time, perhaps things would have ended up differently.”
“Then, did you guys catch him in the end?” That was the only thing that Chen Ge cared about.
“Based on the report from the officers in the other teams, they finally surrounded the killer by the side of the lake, and they personally witnessed the killer toss the victim’s body inside the lake.” Mr. Wang took a deep breath. “The police instantly detained the man wearing the white coat by the lakeside. Everyone witnessed him kill the child and dispose of him in the lake, so there was no mistaking him as the killer! But the problem was there were still several unsolved mysteries regarding the killer that they captured.
“Number one, the man in the white coat that they captured by the lakeside was a madman. He kept mumbling, ‘Do not come back again… do not come back again.’
“Number two, the white coat that he was wearing did not fit him at all. It was clearly not his size.
“Number three, the way he disposed of the body was extremely amateurish. It did not look like the action of someone who had committed multiple murders.”
“So, you believe that the captured man was a scapegoat? The real killer found a madman and purposely put on a show for the police to see?” Actually, what Chen Ge did not say was, perhaps the killers had been switched as well. The victim and killer encountered by Mr. Wang and Captain Yan were the real killer and the young Chen Ge, while the one encountered by the main police force at the lakeside was a planted killer. Even the body that was tossed into the lake probably was not Chen Ge but one of the innocent orphans from the Eastern Jiujiang orphanage.
“Yes, your guess is similar to mine!” Mr. Wang’s gaze became sharp. “Captain Yan and I had a close encounter with the killer. Even though he was wearing a devil’s mask, obscuring his face, the chilling and oppressing presence that radiated off him was completely different from the killer who was eventually captured by the police!”
“Did the police eventually find the body of the victim of the child from the Eastern Jiujiang orphanage?” Chen Ge asked.
Mr. Wang shook his head. “Throughout the murders, none of the victims’ bodies were found.”
With what Mr. Wang had said, Chen Ge came up with a hypothesis. The doctors from the cursed hospital had been trying to kill him again and again for twenty years, but they realized that no matter how many times they tried, they could not kill him and attracted the law enforcement’s attention in the process. To distract the police away from them, they purposely directed this whole show before the team of officers and had the police apprehend a scapegoat. The killer and victim of these serial killings were still alive in this world, but other than a few people who were still concerned about this case, no one cared about it anymore. The truth would not change due to time; it would instead get buried under the sands of time.
“Have the police found any information regarding the previous few victims?” Chen Ge held onto the road light and kept his head lowered.
“No, they have failed to do so. Similarly, they could not find the bodies. Even the hair and blood had been properly cleaned by the killer, so nothing was left behind.” Mr. Wang’s expression was severe. “I can tell you confidently that this was a serial killer, but when the captain of Jiujiang Police Station closed the case twenty years ago, simply because the bodies of the victims could not be found, in the end, the case was treated as an indiscriminate murder case.”
“Is there a difference?”
“The difference is very big, but honestly, it does not really matter now.”
In the unfamiliar city, Mr. Wang and Chen Ge stood by the side of the road. The people walked past them. They had their own lives to hurry to, and no one really cared about what they were talking about.
“So, did you come to Xin Hai hoping to reopen this case?”
“Yes, the white coat worn by the killer at the time perfectly matched the uniform of a private hospital in Xin Hai. Other than that, Captain Yan and I heard the voice of the killer before. When he spoke, he had a local Xin Hai accent.”
“Do you still remember what the killer said at the time?”
“No, I don’t. The feeling of having the memory blurred out is very hard to stomach.” Mr. Wang swept a glance at Chen Ge, but he did not continue. Actually, he had the same feeling when he visited Chen Ge’s haunted house. Therefore, he had quickly recorded all the details that he could remember on the notebook the first moment he woke up. This did not mean that he suspected that Chen Ge was the killer. He just thought that Chen Ge did not appear like a normal haunted house operator, and that was one of the reasons he wished to cooperate with Chen Ge.
“What is the name of this private hospital that you mention? Where is its exact location?”
Mr. Wang was a crucial witness of the serial murder from twenty years ago, and that was the part of the memory that Chen Ge was lacking. Just based on this point alone, Chen Ge was ready to help Mr. Wang.
“The abandoned hospital was situated at the border of Xin Hai and Jiujiang. It’s used many names in its lifetime, but the one that most people knew it by would be Xin Hai’s Central Hospital.” Mr. Wang hesitated for a moment before he turned to Chen Ge with sincerity. “I know I cannot do everything on my own. A single person’s power is limited, and I won’t be able to handle most situations. If you are free tonight, do you mind going there with me?”
“Just the two of us?”
“And Ol’ Wu.” Mr. Wang was determined to make this journey no matter what, but Chen Ge also knew that with just the three of them, they would not put a dent in the defense of the cursed hospital.
“Mr. Wang, if you are willing to place your trust in me, I hope that you are able to wait a few more days.” Chen Ge would not tell Mr. Wang about his own secret, so he offered a different excuse. “The night before last, the Cards Archway in Xin Hai collapsed. The police found a mass grave there. This new case is related to a case that happened one year ago.”
“I know the police in Xin Hai are very busy, so they do not have the time to help me. I can understand that.”
“No, what I mean to say is that these two cases are related to the private hospital that you just told me as well,” Chen Ge said in a very serious tone. “These three cases are related to that hospital. The Xin Hai police will eventually realize that, and when that happens, we can go with them.”
“Then, how much longer do we need to wait?”
“Soon.” Chen Ge also had no idea when the law enforcement of Xin Hai would lead their investigation to the cursed hospital, so this was the only thing that he could say for now. “You have already waited for twenty years, so what does a few more days matter? We should exchange contact information. When the time arrives, I will inform you immediately.”
“Okay.” Mr. Wang also sighed in relief. If the police in Xin Hai could help him with the investigation, naturally, that would be best.
“Mr. Wang, there is one last thing that I need to tell you. Do not try to investigate this on your own. If there are things that you wish to tell me and cannot do so on the telephone, you can come find me at Nightmare Academy on Destiny Avenue.” Chen Ge put on a reassuring smile. “That is one of my estates as well. It is very safe.”
“Thank you.” Mr. Wang focused his eyes on Chen Ge. It was clear that he still had something else on his mind, but he did not say anything in the end. He turned around and left, melting into the crowd. After Mr. Wang walked away, the smile on Chen Ge’s face disappeared along with him.
“How come I have no memory of any of that at all? Has my own memory been tampered with as well?” What Mr. Wang just told him could prove indirectly that Chen Ge indeed had been killed many times when he was young. That was not an illusion created by the ghost fetus; it was something that had happened in real life. The thing that Chen Ge had been trying to ignore now was brought up to the surface. He could not pretend that it did not exist anymore. He had to face this head on.
“The child who was killed again and again should be me. All the information and details matched, and the person who killed me should be someone from the cursed hospital. And what kind of role did my parents play in this whole process? How come they did not stop the hospital from murdering me?”
Chen Ge gripped his hair tightly until some strands of hair came out in his fingers. This kind of feeling of being unable to remember something that had clearly happened was very painful.
“My parents were always so kind to me. It was this family who showed me the meaning of happiness, warmth, and love. How could such parents sit idle and watched me being murdered again and again?
“Or perhaps the person that the doctors killed was not the real me, but a kind of something on me. Like perhaps the amalgamation of sin on my body?”
Chen Ge took out the black phone and carefully looked over the Trial Missions that he had done in the past.
“When I first obtained the black phone, the first Nightmare Mission that I did required me to stand before the mirror with my eyes closed. It was midnight. The me standing outside the mirror was a person, and the me inside the mirror was a ghost. One was kind and cowardly; the other was cruel and scary. Is it possible that the mission was trying to tell me something through the Mirror Ghost?”
Chen Ge could still remember the description of that Nightmare Mission now.
I know you’re still not wholly convinced about the existence of ghosts in the world. In that case, how about a little game? The truth will be revealed when you open your eyes.
“The mirror was used as the main item, when I opened my eyes at the time, would I see the version of myself in the mirror?
“When the haunted house officially opened for business, the first unique visitor that I encountered was Fan Yu. The child was reluctant to communicate with others in real life, and he had been searching for heaven. The other Fan Yu turned into the painter in the blood red world behind the door. He carried the curse and the resentment of the whole School of the Afterlife, building a heaven within the realm of hell!
“Fan Yu and the painter—one represented humanity, and the other suffered all the sin; one was living outside the door, and the other had entered the door. Fan Yu was the key person to unlocking the scenario of Mu Yang High School, and Mu Yang High School was the first two-star scenario I encountered.
“The key character to my first three-star scenario, the Third Sick Hall, was Men Nan. Wait, the situation here was the same with Fan Yu! He was born inside a mental hospital. All the tragedy and pain morphed him into a Red Specter behind the door while his actual living body became a student under Doctor Gao and lived a normal person’s life.”
Now that he thought about it, the whole thing was incredibly scary. Doctor Gao was the chairman of the Ghost Stories Society, and the Red Specter Men Nan was trapped by him inside the door at the Third Sick Hall while the Men Nan in real life became his best student. Doctor Gao might have known more than Chen Ge expected. From the very beginning, he was probably doing some kind of purposeful experiment, and Men Nan was his test subject!
“The events surrounding the four-star mission, ghost fetus, are even clearer. The shadow escaped from me. From the information that I have, he suffered most of my pain and despair, and he was desperate for happiness and bliss. It was this part of his emotions that became the seed that eventually birthed the ghost fetus.”
Holding the black phone, Chen Ge’s face was pale. He finally realized it. Ever since he obtained the black phone, every single key Trial Mission had been trying to tell him the same message. Behind one person’s happiness, there was another person who was silently suffering all the sin and tragedy.
“Could there really be another version of myself behind the door?”
Chen Ge looked at the black phone he held in his palm. He looked at the messages that he had received on it. He looked at the reflection of himself on the cold phone screen.
“I think I get it now.”