1086 My Patients Respect Me a Lot 2 in 1
Patting Wen Qing lightly on her shoulder, Chen Ge whispered softly, "Pull yourself together. Now is not yet the time for regret and sadness."
It took Wen Qing a long time before she slowly returned to normal. She took a few deep breaths and gave Chen Ge some affirmative nods.
"After this, we will go to the tenth floor. I believe then we will find out what the landlord's real secret is. After everything is revealed, it will be about time we leave this building."
Xiang Nuan and the monster from the cursed hospital had all disappeared. Chen Ge did not wish to stay there for too long. He was worried that he might miss out on some things. Ten minutes later, the group met at the entrance to the stairwell that connected the ninth and tenth floors. They had searched through all six rooms but come up with nothing.
"The last secret of this apartment should be hidden on the tenth floor. We should be ready. Who knows what we'll face?"
When Chen Ge said that, his eyes scanned over Doctor Li and Big Head. Doctor Li and Big Head carried black, opaque bags that contained lock-picking items. The two of them stood close together. Their eyes darted about, and they did not dare look Chen Ge in the eye. They seemed to have formulated a plan of their own behind Chen Ge's back.
Are they finally going to make their move?
As if he did not notice anything, Chen Ge's tone and expression did not change much. However, he no longer walked at the front of the group and made sure that Doctor Li and Big Head always stayed in his sight. He walked together with Xiao Sun and Wen Qing. As they went up the stairs, Chen Ge even purposely held back Qu Yin to ask him some unimportant questions.
During the temporarily break, these few tenants were supposed to search different rooms on the ninth floor, but when they returned, Doctor Li and Big Head returned alongside Qu Yin and his wife. These four's patience toward Chen Ge appeared to have reached its limit. When they came to the tenth floor, the group did not take that long to pry open the door to Room 1006. They had gotten quite good at this after repeating it so many times that night. After the front door fell open, a light scent of decay floated out from inside the room. It smelled like something had been out in the open for too long and had gotten spoilt.
"Normally, only the landlord will come to this floor. The tenth floor is not open for tenants." Qu Yin held his nose. For Chen Ge, this was no smellier than the other scents in the apartment. The tenants, though, found the smell revolting. Strangely enough, the tenants did not seem to be able to smell the actual stench that Chen Ge found revolting.
The furnishing of Room 1006 was at the bare minimum. The floor was filled with puddles of water and dirty stains. Following that trail of the stench, the group entered the room. They noticed that other than a ton of big freezers, there was basically nothing else inside Room 1006.
"There won't be a dead body kept inside a freezer, will there?" Wen Qing tried to hide behind Chen Ge but was pulled out to stand before him.
"Do not wander away from my sight. Even though dead bodies are scary, at least you know for sure that they pose no threat to you. I cannot say the same for the others in our company." Chen Ge walked to open a random freezer. It was filled to the brim with rotten vegetables and meat and a big bucket of ice. "Why did the landlord need to prepare so many food items?"
The group split up to open the rest of the freezers. There was nothing scary. The first few freezers were all stocked with food. The last freezer had various rotten meat and produce littered around it.
Inside the freezer were several bags of medicine. Chen Ge took one of the bags out from the freezer. He opened one of them, took out a bottle, and studied it closer.
"This kind of drugs will spoil easily after being exposed to the freezing agent inside the freezer. The medicinal effect will be greatly affected. The landlord possesses a lot of these medicine bottles, so it means that he knew this medicine very well. He would not have made the rookie mistake of using the freezer to store them. Other than that, take a look at the meat that's littered around this freezer. The person who did this probably just wanted to find a space to deposit these extra drugs."
"After the landlord died, it must be the killer who possesses the keys. Do you mean that the killer has been to this place already?" Doctor Li carried a black, opaque bag and sidled up to Chen Ge.
"I did not say that." Chen Ge gave Doctor Li a side glance. "By the way, you have such a lucrative career, and compared to the rest of the society, a doctor's income should be quite high. why would you stay in a place like this?"
"I have gotten used to living here," Doctor Li replied lightly.
"What is it that you have gotten used to? The dirtiness, the horrid nature of the building, or the lack of management around this place?"
"I have gotten used to the air here. I feel comfortable living here, and I am too lazy to find a new place to move to." Doctor Li closed the freezer. "Come on, let's go to the next room to take a look."
He held the black bag away from Chen Ge but purposely walked past the latter. Chen Ge carried his backpack, but his eyes did not stay on Doctor Li. Instead, he tilted his head to study Qu Yin, who looked surprisingly nervous.
"And what are you looking at?"
"Nothing." Qu Yin held his hand over his stomach. He then followed Doctor Li and Big Head out of the room.
Xiao Sun was about to follow them, but he was given a tug by Chen Ge. "I want to ask you a question."
"Go ahead." Xiao Sun was still analyzing who the killer was. His brows were creased in deep contemplation.
"When the electrician was killed, did you hear something that he said before he died?"
"I did not hear much, but I have a feeling the electrician seemed to know Auntie Ding and Doctor Ding. They appeared to share a relationship that is deeper than mere neighbors." Xiao Sun was honestly quite an observant young man, but unfortunately, his way of thinking was too narrow.
"They had a close relationship, but Auntie Ding and Doctor Li insisted on killing him. Why do you think that's the case?"
"Because they wanted to silence him?"
"Indeed. The electrician is a crazy man that likes to torture those weaker than him, Auntie Ding is a human trafficker that is mentally ill, but the biggest problem here is Doctor Li because he is the one who is the mastermind behind everything." Chen Ge suddenly revealed all the information. It required some time for the poor young man to digest.
"When did you find out about all this, and why did you only tell me about them now? What is it that you are up to?" He had been following the real killers to search for the killer. They had gone through the entire building. Just the thought of it caused Xiao Sun to shiver. Now he truly had trust issues. He was not going to trust anyone anymore.
"Everyone has their own secret, and you are no exception, but some people's secrets will not harm others, while other people's secrets are built on the basis of harming other people." Chen Ge patted Xiao Sun lightly on his shoulder. "Humanity is the most complicated concept in the world. As an individual with your own unique ability to think and freedom to choose, I am not going to force you into making any decision, but I hope that you will sincerely consider what you should do next."
Xiao Sun's appearance behind Xiang Nuan's world behind the door proved that there was something wrong with the young man, but he was not assimilated by the darkness of the world. The darkness did not corrupt him. It was probably due to his incorruptibility that he had mysteriously disappeared outside the door. Chen Ge believed that Xiao Sun was someone that he could have on his side, so along the way, he had been observing Xiao Sun. It was difficult to gain Chen Ge's confidence behind the door because Chen Ge was someone who had difficulty trusting others in nature, but there was something good about him, and that was once he had truly placed his trust in someone, the trust would not be so easily shaken.
"No matter what happens next, the thing that you need to do is make sure that you protect yourself and try not to say things that will make yourself a target anymore."
Before this, Xiao Sun was just a stranger to Chen Ge. The latter did not mind whether Xiao Sun lived or died. At most, he would only come to his rescue verbally if needed. But now that Chen Ge wanted Xiao Sun as a partner, he naturally needed to warn Xiao Sun from 'running his mouth' and getting himself into trouble. After hearing what Chen Ge had to say, Xiao Sun nodded subconsciously even though he still looked as befuddled as ever.
Suddenly, Big Head's scream came from the corridor. Chen Ge walked out from Room 1006 and saw Big Head sitting in the corridor. He had his hands covering his stomach, and blood was leaking out through his bandage. Big Head's injury was deteriorating. Doctor Li had suggested that he go back to his room to rest, but Big Head had refused to leave Doctor Li's side as if he knew what was about to happen. He wanted to stay to help Doctor Li as much as he could.
Soon, the other rooms on the tenth floor were all pushed open. They did not find anything useful from Room 1006 to Room 1002. They walked all the way to Room 1001, the room that was at the end of the corridor on the top floor of this apartment building. Before the front door was even completely open, Chen Ge's group heard a voice coming from inside the room. It sounded like a boy was crying.
"Is there someone inside the room?"
Chen Ge did not mind the crying that much. Anything could have happened behind the door. But once he noticed the shock on Doctor Li's face, he slowly became suspicious of this development. Doctor Li, who was the landlord's real killer, did not expect the crying to come from the room. This meant that something had changed since the last time he was there. They pushed the front door completely open, and the group saw what was inside the room. Their expressions all shifted.
The floor and walls of Room 1001 were painted with open eyes. There was no furniture in the living room. Instead, there were several television sets of varying sizes. The television sets were stacked on top of each other. The screen of the set right in the middle was on. The image was that of a boy sitting in front of more than ten televisions. His face was pale, and his pupils shook as he looked at the images on-screen with clear anxiety on his face.
"Xiang Nuan!" When she saw the boy on the screen, Wen Qing was unable to control herself and shouted out the boy's name. Her own child had been exposed to such a nightmarish experience. Wen Qing stood at the door, and her eyes reddened immediately. Her shoulders were shaking from guilt and remorse. She did not dare look at the television, but she could not stop her eyes from wandering toward the screen. The boy on the screen was struggling within himself. Sometimes, the expression on his face was normal, but sometimes, it was turned into a horrible grimace, like a monster.
The keys had already been taken away by the killer, but the expression on Doctor Li's face was one of surprise. Obviously, he had no idea who had switched the television on. Naturally, that still did not clear him of the suspicion. It merely meant that the person who switched on the television could freely enter this room without the need of the landlord's key. Instantly, Xiang Nuan's image appeared in Chen Ge's mind.
The door pusher is Xiang Nuan. This is his world. Is he leading us to see the truth?
The group froze at the front door. Just as they were considering whether to walk into the room, Xiang Nuan inside the screen suddenly lifted his head. It was as if the boy was looking at those gathered at the door through the television screen.
"Leave…" A very soft voice called out from inside the television. Then, all the screens of the rest of the televisions were switched on at once. The images started to play.
The middle-aged man in Room 302 caressed a fresh dead body beside him as he worked on the joint of his beloved mannequin.
A fifty-year-old man in Room 205 slammed Granny Lee's black and white photo onto the ground. He grabbed the sacrificial food on the altar and threw it at Granny Lee, and then he lunged at Granny Lee to strangle her.
The man in Room 701 used the burning end of a cigarette to sear away his fingerprints. He stood next to the mirror while waving a knife. The picture of his warrant was plastered on the mirror.
The young woman in Room 702 sat before the computer. She was bathed in blood. Behind her lay the dead body of a middle-aged man. She appeared to be searching the internet for information on how to deal with large trash.
In Room 505, a man put on makeup and then dressed himself up in his wife's clothes. He held up his wife's picture and struck the same pose as his wife, who was captured in time.
In the kitchen of Room 602, a man washed his hands again and again. He used various tools and rubbed until the skin of his hands were bleeding. The water was running red, but he still could not stop himself from scrubbing his hands.
In Room 301, Wu You had his eyes and ears covered by an adult whose face could not be seen. His parents, who lay in a pool of blood, were dragged out of the living room by the other tenants of the building.
Reels of uncomfortable videos played on the screens. Xiang Nuan was surrounded in the middle. His expression became more and more unhinged. He waved his hands wildly about before he collapsed to the ground and shoveled the pills that were on the ground into his mouth. After some time, all the screens started to flicker. As Xiang Nuan's body collapsed with a thud to the ground, all the images disappeared at the same time.
The room sank into silence; the only sound that remained was Wen Qing's remorseful sobbing that echoed around the room. The images on the screen were very real, and because they were real, they were scary.
"So, is that the final truth behind this building?" Xiao Sun felt like he was about to go crazy soon.
"You're wrong. That is only just a part of the truth." Chen Ge turned to Doctor Li. "Why didn't the videos relating to you, Big Head, Auntie Ding, and the electrician show up earlier?"
"What's so strange about that? Doesn't that prove that we are normal, innocent people?" Big Head countered to defend himself.
"Stop lying to yourself. You know full well what the electrician has done. The real reason you killed him was to protect yourself." Chen Ge pulled out the zipper of his backpack. "It was the four of you who ganged up together to kill the landlord."
The atmosphere in Room 1001 froze. After a long time, Doctor Li's cold face suddenly surfaced with a thrilling smile. "You're not wrong. The landlord saw our secret, so he had to die. He was killed by the four of us. Those teeth and the letter were our things, and we planted them on the man. You are very clever, but it is too late now. You will not find any allies in this building anymore."
Seeing the scary smile on Doctor Li's face, Chen Ge also responded with a smile. However, his smile was like a blazing sun; it was radiating with warmth. Yet, in the circumstance, his smile appeared even more absurd and out of place. "Do you know why I only understood it now?"
After hearing what Chen Ge had to say, both Big Head and Doctor Li laughed. The two of them waved at Qu Yin. The three of them surrounded Chen Ge from all sides.
"Actually, I have been lying from the beginning. I am no pediatrician, and Big Head is not my patient." Doctor Li pulled back his sleeves to reveal the horrifying needle holes and scars that ran up his arms. "We are both mental patients, serious mental cases who are unable to control ourselves."
They searched inside the black bag. The bags not only contained lock-picking tools but also two sharp knives.
"When we were coming up the stairs, I wanted to take this out several times, but I reined myself in every time," Doctor Li said as he brandished the knife. In his eyes, Chen Ge probably did not even qualify as a human. The doctor looked at Chen Ge like a butcher would look at a cow waiting to be slaughtered. "I always felt this place was too noisy and crowded. Finally, it has quieted down, and I can officially take over as the new landlord."
"That sure is a beautiful dream you have." Chen Ge also reached his hand into his backpack. "Actually, two can play at this game. I am no psychiatrist. In fact, the patients that I have treated refer to me as Doctor Skull Cracker."
His fingers clamped around the handle that was shaped like a human spine. When Chen Ge said that last word, he lunged forward. He swung the hammer heavily on Qu Yin's body.
Qu Yin crumbled to the ground as he coughed out mouthfuls of blood. His expression was frozen in disbelief.
His mind was still processing the development, but before he could even say a word, his chest had already caved in.
"Why me?" His body lost its mobility. Qu Yin looked like he was not long for this world.
"One left, two to go." Chen Ge stood at the door. The sharp edges of the hammer ground against the wall, creating a harrowing sound.