861 Fan Yu!
The old well behind the field is the school's loophole, and the headmaster said that this is a wound that can't heal. If the entire school is compared to a person's heart, this well is the place where the deepest secret is buried.
Chen Ge was suddenly reminded of a detail.
"Sir, you said that the School of the Afterlife is made up of the memories of countless students, and the reason Mu Yang High School showed up here is because there was a student at that school who was bullied, yes?"
"Yes." The old headmaster did not seem willing to answer that question.
"Can you tell me more about the student?" Chen Ge knew that the old headmaster did not wish to bring up that past, but every clue related to that kid from Mu Yang High School would be very crucial!
The only loophole in the School of the Afterlife was in Mu Yang High School's ruin campus. There was another detail worth noting—all the buildings in the School of the Afterlife were arranged randomly, but Mu Yang High School was placed at the fringe, the closest to the blood red city.
"I don't really know the details. I only know that the child's name was Fan Yu. His adopted father was our school's teacher. He used to teach in the city, but for some reason, he was blackballed by the industry, and it was us who accepted him." The headmaster's words rocked Chen Ge's memory.
"Fan Yu? The kid was once a student at Mu Yang High School?"
"Yes, Mu Yang High School might have been small, but we offered primary and secondary school classes." The old headmaster smiled sadly. "That was something we were forced to do. The countryside has no primary schools, and the children I adopted and the children of the nearby families had nowhere to attend school, so I set up a primary school class."
"That is not important." Chen Ge moved his body upward little by little. "How long has Fan Yu spent at Mu Yang High School? Why did he leave?"
"It was because of his adopted father that Fan Yu enrolled at our school—he was our teacher. At the time, Fan Yu was still too young to attend primary school, but under his father's insistence, we arranged for him to follow Primary One class."
The old headmaster remembered what happened then. This was where the headmaster was different from other Specters—most Specters could only remember their hatred.
"After a few months, Fan Yu could not keep up with the rest of his class. The child was very clever and talented, but his talent showed only in painting." The headmaster had a clear memory of this. "The child was a master painter; he could be seen as a genius. At the beginning, the adopted father had nothing against his hobby, but one day, the child drew the face of a person in class, and that caused his father to explode. According to the other students, the father tore up his painting on the spot and gave the child a few harsh slaps. Naturally, it caused a huge commotion, and it was me and a female teacher who pulled him back."
"If he was just drawing in class and not paying attention, his father wouldn't have been so furious." Chen Ge was sharp. "Perhaps it was the painting that had angered his father. Sir, do you remember what he drew?"
"The painting was torn up, but I heard from his deskmate that when Fan Yu was drawing the painting, he borrowed his red crayon. He said that his own red crayon had run out." The old headmaster tried his best to think, but he could not remember what Fan Yu had drawn.
"Red crayon?" Chen Ge's eyes narrowed. "To be able to finish all of his red crayon and have to borrow one from his deskmate, that proves that the painting used a lot of red!"
His expression turned serious. Chen Ge slowly turned to look at the headmaster and pointed at the blood fog around them. "Just now, you said that Fan Yu is a talented painter. Then think about it, what kind of painting was he doing that required so much red?"
Initially, the old headmaster did not think much of it, but being reminded by Chen Ge, it hit him. "A murder scene‽"
"That's very likely!" Chen Ge slowed down. "That would explain why his adopted father was so angry. I suspect that the killer was Fan Yu's adopted father."
The situation was more complicated than Chen Ge thought. Chen Ge had thought that Fan Yu's adopted father had only killed Fan Yu's mother, but it looked like things were not that simple—his father might have been a complete psycho. In the morning, he was a respected teacher, but at night, he was a crazed murderer who could not control himself.
"That is weirdly sensible. Only someone like that would draw all those eyes in one of Mu Yang High School's toilet cubicles to use it to spy on his students. I underestimated the man's evilness."
After giving it some thought, Chen Ge realized that Fan Yu's experience was far more painful than he had thought.
"Fan Yu's aunt's sister disappeared without reason, but they wandered Mu Yang High School after their death. Could their death be related to Fan Yu's adopted father?"
Chen Ge revealed Fan Yu's father's real persona to the headmaster. The headmaster's eyes were flushed with red. "I thought that Fan Yu was merely bullied at school; I had no idea that it was so serious."
"One cannot judge a book by its cover. The man kept it very well hidden, or else he would have been discovered already." Chen Ge had new perspective on this. "Sir, before Fan Yu left the school, did he do anything strange?"
"I wasn't paying attention. Because Fan Yu was in his adopted father's class, I didn't think his father would do anything to him, so I didn't ask. Oh, but there was something strange. Fan Yu always came to school with wounds on him. His adopted father told me that Fan Yu liked to get into fights due to his personality." The headmaster was deep in guilt. "Now that I think about it, they were probably the work of his father."
"Fan Yu was isolated in class. For some reason, no one wanted to be his friend. His adopted father forbade him from drawing, and whenever he did, the father would beat and scold him. The child turned into a different person in a few short months." The headmaster could not bear to continue. "This was my fault. At the time, the school was targeted by the authorities, and I had to go to places to solve that. I was rarely at school and missed out on many things."
"Even if you asked him, Fan Yu probably wouldn't tell you anything because, no matter what, he still needed to go home. It was not that he didn't wish to tell you, but he couldn't. When other students were bullied at school, at least they can tell their parents. For him, after being bullied at school, he would have to go home to face his adopted father."
Chen Ge's heart went out to Fan Yu, and it confirmed his desire to take care of the child. Then another question popped up in his mind.
"If it was because of Fan Yu that Mu Yang High School appeared in the School of the Afterlife, then Fan Yu must have entered the School of the Afterlife before. But the reality is that Fan Yu is now being taken care at Jiujiang Children's Home. He hasn't left the place."
Chen Ge narrowed his eyes, and many things that he had experienced now flashed through his mind. He had a good relationship with Fan Yu and had seen his art. The current Fan Yu had no talent in painting at all. All of his paintings had crude lines, no different from other kindergarteners.
This skill cannot be called a genius at all, or is Fan Yu's situation similar to that of Lee Xueyin? His despairing side has entered the School of the Afterlife, and only an empty self is left in real life?
His brain was struck by lightning, and Chen Ge bit on his tongue. He realized that someone had noticed the uniqueness about Fan Yu before he did!
After the end of the Coffin Village's Trial Mission, the ghost in the well who had been in existence for one hundred years gifted a bangle to Fan Yu!
The Greater Red Specter had refused to entertain anyone, but she had been kind toward Fan Yu. It was as if she had purposely approached him to leave a good impression.
"When she possessed the girl's body and was sent to the Children's Home. There were so many children there, but she targeted Fan Yu! She stayed by Fan Yu's side. The old ginger is the spiciest. I should have noticed this a long time ago!"
Climbing out from the old well, Chen Ge could no longer see the water at the bottom. Thinking about Fan Yu, he was reminded of the mirrored campuses created by the painter. One was eerie and despairing; the other side was peaceful and nice.