49 Xiao Chen, Are You Hurt!
Zhang Peng shot out of the workers' passageway like a bullet, as blind as one too. The layout of the Haunted House was complicated, and combined with the lack of lighting, several minutes later, he soon realized with a sinking heart that he was lost.
"Why are you stopping? Don't be afraid, I won't hurt you; I just want to do a small experiment on you." With both of his hands on the iron hammer, Chen Ge trailed behind Zhang Peng, slowly leading his prey into a dead-end.
"Not going to harm me? The moment we met, you cracked my arm! That is what you called not going to harm me‽" Zhang Peng had lost his only weapon; his left arm was bleeding; his right arm was limp, hanging off his shoulder like a noodle. In that moment, he felt wronged, and the thought to call the police for help appeared in his mind.
"Listen to my advice—stop struggling and follow my orders, or you might need a wheelchair for the rest of your life." Chen Ge took deliberate steps toward Zhang Peng. He had no pity for the man; after all, Zhang Peng was there to kill him. If he had not discovered that sooner, he would have been dead already.
"Boss, does that sound like what a victim would say? I must have been jinxed!" Zhang Peng was completely defenseless, so he ran down whatever open path he could find.
"That pair of legs sure know how to run…" Chen Ge continued to chase after Zhang Peng. However, several steps later, a sawing noise appeared in Chen Ge's ears again as a black shadow shot out from the workers' passageway!
The mirror monster must have understood what was really happening by then; it knew this was the perfect opportunity. Zhang Peng raced blindly around the first floor. When he turned a corner, he saw a figure of a man waving at him from the corner of his eyes. Perhaps he was too scared by Chen Ge because he ran toward that person without a second thought.
Chen Ge, who followed behind Zhang Peng, saw this, and a chill ran down his spine. The figure was around the same build as He Feng; it was the mirror monster!
"I want you to live, but you insist on dying; that's a real ghost!" Chen Ge's warning fell on deaf ears. Zhang Peng had reached the end of the corridor, and with the guidance of the figure, he wandered into the bathroom.
The mirrors in the first-floor bathroom are in pristine condition. Since it's leading Zhang Peng toward the bathroom, the monster is going to make its move soon!
Chen Ge was feeling nervous since the crucial moment had arrived. He dashed to the bathroom and worked with the doorknob. It was then that he realized the door was locked.
The development had strayed from his plan. The sudden appearance of the black shadow had ruined everything. It had managed to capture Zhang Peng before Chen Ge could detain the man.
Several seconds later, an ear-splitting scream came out from behind the bathroom door. Then it was followed by the sound of stuff falling and crashing. Zhang Peng seemed to have stumbled across something really scary.
"What's going on in there?" Chen Ge raised the hammer to crack down on the doorknob. The doorknob fell off, but the door still would not budge. Someone had used the cupboard to block the door from behind it. Unable to know what was happening inside the bathroom, Chen Ge was anxious as he swung the hammer repeatedly at the wooden door.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The loud noises could be heard even outside the Haunted House. Chen Ge had depleted most of his energy before he managed to break the hollow wooden door. The cupboard behind it had started to budge to reveal an opening that was about half a palm wide.
Looking through the opening, Chen Ge saw the black cloth that covered the mirror had fallen to the floor. Zhang Peng was staring at the mirror with his eyes unfocused, but the scariest thing was… there was a large black shadow standing between him and the mirror!
The black shadow was slowly morphing until it became almost like Zhang Peng. It took one step back to allow half of its body to melt into the mirror, and then the weirdest thing happened.
The dazed Zhang Peng walked toward the mirror. He pressed his face against the surface of the mirror. His body and the black shadow were slowly merging. About four seconds later, a creepy grin appeared on Zhang Peng's blank face!
He slowly turned around and made sure to hold Chen Ge's gaze through the door and the cupboard. He swiped some fresh blood off his arm and wrote down something on the surface of the mirror.
Another one or two seconds later, spirit seemed to return to Zhang Peng's eyes. He shuddered visibly before jumping out the bathroom window and out of the Haunted House.
The mirror monster has escaped into Zhang Peng's body? But does that thing have such a deep resentment toward me? Could it be because I've ruined its plan multiple times?
The mirror monster had assaulted both He San and He Feng. Both times, it had been interrupted due to an external influence; that was probably why the monster harbored resentment toward the owner of the Haunted House, Chen Ge.
The door to the bathroom was still blocked, and it would stay blocked for a quite some time. Chen Ge quickly rushed to the front door, but before he could get anywhere, he could hear Inspector Lee's voice calling.
"Chen Ge! Hang in there! We're coming to get you!" Following a loud bang, the Haunted House's gate was pried off its hinges, and several officers streamed into the building. Seeing this, Chen Ge immediately tossed the iron hammer to the side and removed his outfit and mask.
The sound of footsteps echoed down the corridor. Inspector Lee was the first one to burst through the darkness. Seeing Chen Ge standing all alone in the corridor, he asked with concern, "Xiao Chen, are you hurt?"
Chen Ge played into the skit as he staggered a step back and leaned 'weakly' against the wall. He had his hand on his chest as he said, "I was shocked, but I wasn't hurt. Leave me be, go chase after Zhang Peng! I saw him jump out of the Haunted House's bathroom window!"
"Okay, leave the rest to us. Thank you for your help tonight!"
"Don't mention it. To be able to help the law enforcement is my honor, what is a little risk or sacrifice?"
"But you'd better not act so rashly anymore in the future—just look at how dangerous it was tonight!" Inspector Lee's eyes were aglow with admiration and approval. He had his men chase after Zhang Peng while he stayed behind with Chen Ge inside the Haunted House to examine the crime scene.
He wandered into the staff breakroom first. When he saw the blood on the bed, he turned to Chen Ge with worry. "Xiao Chen, you're injured? Let me see!"
"That isn't mine…" Chen Ge also didn't how to explain it. "At the time, the room was dark. The suspect probably accidentally hurt himself."
Inspector Lee nodded. He used his flashlight to examine the knife marks on the bed frame and bedsheet, and his expression darkened. "You're not wrong. A man who is not familiar with knife work would accidentally slash himself in extreme stressful situations."
He counted the visible marks and concluded, "17 slashes in total! This is more than enough to pin him with attempted murder; this is the best proof!"
Looking at the knife marks, Chen Ge also felt a chill run up his arms.
Inspector Lee pulled on his gloves and signaled for Chen Ge to vacate the room. "Remember to not touch anything in this room. Later, people will come to take pictures to keep as evidence."
"Of course, I will provide my full cooperation."
Chen Ge retreated out of the room and returned to where he had been earlier to hide the iron mallet before walking to the first-floor bathroom. He stood before the ruined door and wondered to himself,
If I'm not mistaken, Zhang Peng wrote something on the mirror, right?