"There is another existence other than me inside the elevator. It was the one who pressed for the number three on the control panel." Thick stench rolled out from behind him. It was like an invisible hand, holding Chen Ge firmly in its palm. Chen Ge's breathing became difficult. The sound of a cart sliding suddenly echoed in the elevator that should have been empty except for Chen Ge.
The rough wheels ground against the metallic surface. It sounded like someone was pushing a small cart back and forth inside the elevator.
"I looked inside the elevator with my Yin Yang Vision, and there were no people or ghosts, much less a cart. Have I encountered something that even the Yin Yang Vision could not discern?"
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The Yin Yang Vision came from the black phone, and it had been strengthened multiple times. One time, Zhang Ya had blown a breath of Yin energy into his eyes. This talent of his was very powerful, and there was next to no chance of it suddenly failing.
"What is standing behind me?" The simplest way to get to the bottom of the puzzle was to turn around. However, Chen Ge knew that curiosity killed the cat. He bit down on his lip and refused to budge. The stench continued to thicken. It was hard to tell where this smell originated from. It permeated around Chen Ge and kept trying to seep into his body. The elevator booth was rather spacious, but as the elevator moved upward, Chen Ge felt his surroundings closing in. Even his breathing became lighter and lighter.
"It feels like the space around me is crowded even though the elevator is supposedly empty." Chen Ge kept his head lowered and glanced at the control panel out of the corner of his eyes. He did not dare move his gaze aimlessly, afraid that he would see things that he should not.
"This is so slow…" Inside the enclosed space, there was no place to hide or run; all Chen Ge could do was wait. Under Chen Ge's gaze, the number above the control panel started to change, and the red one now turned into a two. It was only a few seconds, but it felt like years to Chen Ge. "The elevator doors are going to open soon!"
Every muscle in his body was pulled taut. Chen Ge was very worried that the elevator would refuse to open on the second floor and directly take him to the third floor. The elevator that was moving upward shivered slightly. Then a ringing sound came from the screen, and the elevator stopped. The silvery-gray doors slowly opened. At the same time, the stench rushed toward Chen Ge, forming a palpable wall that attempted to push Chen Ge deeper into the elevator.
Without waiting for the doors to open fully, Chen Ge waved his arms around and darted out of the elevator!
He slowed down after running several meters. He stood on the right side of the corridor and turned back to look. The doors were slowly closing. There was nothing inside the empty elevator booth. The stench also slowly dissipated as the doors closed.
"Why isn't there anything?" Moving his eyes about, Chen Ge caught a glimpse of something on the floor of the elevator booth. There was a stain there, and it had the shape of a human face. The doors closed fully, and the number on the panel above the doors turned from two to three.
"All of them appear to have moved onto the third floor." Chen Ge was still holding the item that he had crafted earlier. It was already soaked in sweat. "Thankfully, I did not drop this thing at the door. If the elevator was unable to move up, then the thing inside would have come after me instead."
Placing the item inside the bag, Chen Ge looked at the elevator with residual fear in his heart. "Perhaps it will be safer to jump out from the window when I need to leave later. After all, a second floor is not too high up anyway."
Before knowing what kind of existence he was dealing with, Chen Ge swore not to take the elevator again.
"Chen Ge, snap out of it. Follow the plan."
Narrowing his eyes, Chen Ge held the wall to begin his search for the art room.
Now that he was on the second floor, the anxiety in his heart only grew stronger. This whole building was different from any of the locales that he had visited in the past. He could sense that there was something wrong with the building, but he could not pinpoint what was wrong with it.
His footsteps were the only sound as he moved down the darkened corridor. After walking for several meters, Chen Ge discovered a very strange room.
"A guardroom? Why is there a guardroom here? Do they need someone to stay overnight to watch over this place? Is it because something valuable is stored here?"
Two questions surfaced in Chen Ge's mind. Why was there a guardroom in the building, and why was the room situated on the second floor, not the first floor? Did the watchmen on duty only have to look after the second floor?
"Could there be someone currently inside this room?" Chen Ge sidled over to the door. He glanced in through the window on the door. The room was sparsely furnished. There was only a bed, a wooden table, a chair, and a closet that could fit two adults. Placing his hands lightly on the doorknob, Chen Ge realized that the door was not locked. He pushed the door open and entered it.
"This room should contain information or at least the layout of this building. If I can confirm that the art room is not in this building, then I'll jump out the window and leave immediately." Chen Ge left the door open and walked to the closet. The closet was unusually large. Chen Ge was worried that someone was hiding inside, so the first thing that he checked was the closet. Holding a nail, Chen Ge slowly pulled the closet door open.
Several sets of blue work outfits sat inside. Probably because he accidentally nudged against them when he pulled open the door, the clothes were swinging slightly on their rails.
"There's nothing wrong with the outfits, but how come all the places where the name of the school should be have been torn out?" Chen Ge inspected all the work clothes and realized that anything that could clarify the school's identity like the name or school symbol had been removed.
"The school staff probably wear such clothes." Chen Ge grabbed a random set and shoved it inside his bag. "When I go to the western campus, perhaps I can disguise myself as one of the workers."
Pulling up the bag's zipper, Chen Ge left the closet open as he turned to search the rest of the room. He opened the wooden drawer, which contained some inventory and transport records. All the product's names and prices were represented by symbols, so Chen Ge could not understand it.
"Should I take the account book with me?" Chen Ge thought about it and decided against it. The account book was quite useless to him, and it might place him in danger.
There was nothing else in the room. Chen Ge closed the drawers and prepared to leave, but when he turned around, he realized that the cover of the bed was wrinkled, like someone had recently sat on it. "Was the cover already wrinkled when I came into the room?"
The longer Chen Ge stared at the bed, the more confused he became. "Normally, a bed should be placed next to the wall, so why is this bed placed in the middle of the room? It's not adjacent to any wall…"
Standing next to the bed, Chen Ge could hear some soft whispering. He looked at the covers. Holding the nail, he slowly bent down. Reaching out to grab a corner of the cover, Chen Ge looked underneath the bed while half squatting.
The wooden bed was placed in the middle of the room, and there was nothing underneath it. Sighing in relief, Chen Ge was about to get up when he felt something touch his shoulder. He turned back to look and realized with a shock there was a pair of legs dangling around the head of the bed.
"Who is it‽" Chen Ge jumped up immediately, but he found no one seated on the bed. Apparently, he could only see the legs if he was looking from the beneath the bed.
"I cannot stay here any longer." Chen Ge grabbed his bag and prepared to leave. When he closed the door of the guardroom, he saw some red clothes fluttering inside the closet.