"Are you blind? Those are not dolls; those are dead bodies! Let me go!" No matter how hard the homeless man tried to struggle, he was unable to escape from Lee Zheng and Tian Lei's grasp. He finally quieted down after a few minutes.
"No wonder he's homeless—the man is mad." The man stopped resisting, so Tian Lei relaxed. However, Lee Zheng acted different from Tian Lei. He took out a handcuff to apprehend the man.
"Hey, Ol' Lee, it's just a mad homeless person. Is that really necessary?"
Lee Zheng kicked the trash next to them aside to reveal several hidden, sharpened metal sticks. "Don't let your guard down. These people could do anything when they're pushed to their edge."
Seeing those hidden weapons, Tian Lei stopped talking. He remembered that the man had been trying to move that way when he was struggling earlier.
"I'm not crazy! I'm trying to save you!" the man screamed stubbornly.
"Stop wasting our time. You picked these broken parts from the landfill, right?" Lee Zheng looked at the dolls. After the toys were abandoned, they had lost their charm. They turned weird and ugly. The broken faces were filled with loneliness and sadness.
"No, they're not toys. They were already here when I came! They have nothing to do with me!"
"You're still trying to argue?" Tian Lei kicked the metal rods aside to make sure the man would not be able to reach them. "There are so many rooms here—why did you stay in one that is filled with broken toys? You are a sick man."
The man looked like he was really wronged, and he did not sound like he was lying. "Many have died here, so Ming Yang Residence is cursed. All the tenants that moved here became cursed; everyone in Eastern Jiujiang knows that. If not for the storm and the lack of any other shelter nearby, I would not have come here."
"Stop trying to change the topic! Answer my question! Was it you who collect these dolls?" Tian Lei's voice turned up.
"No, when I entered the room for the first time, the room was already filled with dead bodies."
"Then why did you stay here?" Tian Lei already stopped correcting the man.
"You can't leave after you've seen the dead bodies! They will follow you, and it's pointless to run!" The man screamed like mad. "Now you're stepping on their bodies, but one day, they will step on your cold, dead bodies!"
"Ol' Lee, what do you think?" Tian Lei was perturbed by what the man had said. If they were someplace else, he would not have felt that way, but standing there, he just felt unsafe.
"You believe a mad person? Keep a close eye on him. I'll go ask Captain Yan." Lee Zheng entered the bedroom where Captain Yan and Chen Ge were investigating. "Captain Yan, the man is mad. He said that these dolls are dead bodies and touching them will get you cursed."
"Well, it's too late for that." Captain Yan pointed at Chen Ge helplessly. This boss of a Haunted House was more zealous than a cop. Without flashlight, he squatted down to inspect each doll closely. With a light cough, Captain Yan asked, "Xiao Chen, did you find anything?"
"Most of these dolls are made by plastic, and the date of production ranges across many years. They should have been collected from all over the place by the homeless man. But I'm curious, why would he break them?" Chen Ge picked up the head of the doll. "Look, the cut is obviously made by knife, or else it would not have been so clean."
"Perhaps it's to vent?"
"It's not that simple. I studied toy design in university, and I know a thing or two about the materials. These parts have problems from the material to the coloring." Chen Ge placed the head next to Captain Yan. "Look closer, what is wrong here?"
Captain Yan looked at it and eventually said, "The color is faded?"
"Yes, these parts appear like they have been cooked. The color fell off, and the edges were messed up from the heat." Chen Ge looked at the room of dolls and said to himself, "Who would cook these dolls for no reason?"
Captain Yan did not get it either. After taking the pictures, he walked out of the room. "Let's go to Room 104. That room is the key to solving the issue."
The homeless man saw Captain Yan walk out, and he screamed again, "You saw the dead bodies. They will find you tonight!"
"You keep saying they're dead bodies. Then does this mean that this is a human dead in your eyes?" Chen Ge took out the doll head, and when the man saw it, he slammed against the wall. His arms were in a defensive posture before his chest, and his expression was frozen in fear like he was really looking at a decapitated head.
"Take it away! Take it away!"
The man did not look like he was acting. This was out of Chen Ge's expectations.
"Can he really see something?" Chen Ge initially did not think much of the homeless man, but when he saw this reaction, he thought about it again. He moved the head away and followed the man's line of thinking. "If these are all dead bodies, do you know who killed them?"
"I didn't kill anyone! I don't know anything! He only asked me to stay behind to watch over these bodies; I don't know anything else!"
"He?" Both Chen Ge and the three officers were shocked before surrounding him. "Who is he? Why would he ask you to look after the bodies?"
"I can't say, or I'll die! I will die! He will kill me and all of you!" The homeless man collapsed to the ground and started wailing.
"The murderer sure is something else to threaten a homeless man that is already so senior in age." Tian Lei looked at Lee Zheng and Captain Yan. "Shall we bring him in?"
"Have an officer from your station to bring him back for interrogation." Captain Yan looked at the homeless man. "I've seen such a reaction many times from murder witnesses; he might not be lying to us."
"Mur… murder?" Tian Lei did not imagine a report from a taxi driver could lead to a murder. He quickly called Xiao Qing, who was on duty.
"Lee Zheng, remember to take all the picture evidence. Give me the flashlight. We'll go to Room 104 first." Captain Yan and Chen Ge walked out of the room and walked up the stairs. From the stairs, Chen Ge saw an electric bike move past the two parked police cars as it entered Ming Yang Residence.
"Captain Yan, I saw someone enter the area. The person was riding an electric bike. Doesn't seem like he's here to avoid the rain."
"Be careful. After we confirm Room 104 is fine, we'll leave immediately." Captain Yan walked ahead. No one stayed, and soon, they arrived at the tenth floor.