1089 Cemetery Building 2 in 1
Chen Ge looked through the gap into the room. Even with the aid of Yin Yang Vision, he could not see anything clearly. He trained his ears to listen. There was no sound coming from inside the room. In fact, the whole building was eerily quiet.
"This feels so weird."
An empty apartment building had bowls of white rice placed before every door. That would be an uncomfortable sight for anyone.
"This building does not appear to be prepared for living tenants." Chen Ge pulled back his gaze. He had been through a lot and came to this conclusion based on his previous experience.
"If it is not meant for living tenants, do you mean it is meant for dead tenants?" Xiao Sun held his back with his hands. His sidled between Wen Qing and Chen Ge. His eyes occasionally wandered to other places as if something scary might jump out at him at any moment.
"If there are places for people to say, there must be places for ghosts to stay. What is so strange about that? Ghosts need homes like we do." Chen Ge turned to Wen Qing. "We are now in Jiu Hong Apartments. In your mind, what is the biggest difference between Jiu Hong Apartments and Jin Hwa Apartments?"
"Hmm. There is not much difference between them. If you really insist on one, Jin Hwa Apartments was built several years later than Jiu Hong Apartments. That is all." Wen Qing tried to think of anything else.
"Try to jog your memory and dig deeper. Maybe there is something that you have forgotten. There is no detail that is too small." Jiu Hong Apartments obviously had a bigger problem than Jin Hwa Apartments. As dangerous as Jin Hwa Apartments was, at least it was occupied by living humans. This building from Jiu Hong Apartments was basically empty and quiet. However, Chen Ge was sure that was only its appearance.
"Jiu Hong Apartments was one of the earliest residential area to be built at the old city. The buildings here are very old, and the buildings need constant repair. The rooms have many problems. Normally, there aren't any people who are interested in renting a room here, so I rarely bring people here for a tour."
"The rooms have many problems? What do you mean by that?"
"Things like water leaks, bad lighting, sound pollution, and so on."
"Wait a minute. If there aren't many tenants like you said, why is there a sound pollution? Who is making all that noise?" Chen Ge's one question stumped Wen Qing speechless.
"Er… Our company did not really give us a clear explanation on that. At the time, our boss did come over to investigate, but he failed to find the source of the commotion, and then the issue was kinda forgotten."
"Your company sure is a courageous one. Now I suspect whether you guys do business with the dead as well." Chen Ge had been to Jiu Hong Apartments in real life. Even in the morning, the place was uncomfortably eerie and secluded.
"Don't make that kind of joke. We are serious housing agency." Wen Qing's face paled. She seemed to be reminded of something. "The first batch of tenants that lived at Jiu Hong Apartments all moved away. The company did not really know why. Most of them left without saying a word. the company was unable to contact them to get an explanation at all. That is why most of the rooms in Jiu Hong Apartments were left empty, and that was related to the low number of tenants that we currently have."
"The old tenants that moved away have not returned?"
"Most of them left in the middle of the night and in a hurry. They did not even take their furniture with them."
"Does that feel like a normal moving away to you?" Chen Ge was quite speechless.
"Once this strange incident was exposed to the public, who would dare come and rent their apartments anymore? At least I would never do so!" Xiao Sun covered his back. He was one of the victims.
"Now, you have piqued my interest regarding your agency's boss. Just what kind of person would be brave enough to take over Jin Hwa Apartments and Jiu Hong Apartments? If my memory serves me right, your company's name is Jiu Hong Housing Agency as well. Is your boss somehow related to Jiu Hong Apartments?" Chen Ge wanted to get some questions clarified before he started the investigation.
"Our boss is an impressive businessman. His surname is Jiang, and he has a lot of real estate under his name. They are not only in Jiujiang, but there are some in Xin Hai as well. Jiu Hong Housing Agency is one of his earliest projects, but for now, he has basically allowed it to survive on its own. He will only transfer some money to help the agency when the agency is in serious financial trouble. Most of the time, he just let us be." In Wen Qing's mind, their boss was an amazing person.
"Jiu Hong Housing Apartments is an investment that is leaking money, so why would a sensible businessman keep maintaining a place like this? Is there a reason behind it? Is there something he wants to hide?" Chen Ge asked. "What is your boss' name?"
"Jiang Jiu. He is also one of the biggest shareholders in Eastern Jiujiang's futuristic theme park. He is a partner with many big companies."
"Jiang Jiu‽" When Chen Ge heard this name, many things started to click. The so-called Jiu Hong Housing Agency was a plot between Jiang Jiu and the ghost fetus. Over this past decade, they had probably been selecting their tenants and assigned them to fixed rooms. Now that he thought about it, perhaps the boss of Jin Hwa Corps was related to the ghost fetus as well. After all, the landlord probably slowly spiraled into insanity due to the influence by the ghost fetus.
"Boss Jiang is a very nice person. He was the one who offered me a job and provided me with free accommodation. Do you know how difficult it is to find a home in a city like Jiujiang?" Wen Qing's praise toward Jiang Jiu kept pouring out. The woman was oblivious to the fact that there was a price to all the 'kindness' that she had received in her life. All the clues had started to link together. Jiu Hong Apartments was specially prepared for Xiang Nuan. This place was probably the warm bed for the boy who was the most suitable candidate for the ghost fetus to take over.
"Was it the ghost fetus' intention for that old fox to build the futuristic theme park at Jiujiang, or has he found some hidden secret through the ghost fetus and thus wanted to build a theme park in Jiujiang?" Chen Ge had already memorized the name Jiang Jiu in his mind. He did not wish to do anything to Jiang Jiu. He just wanted to go and meet this Jiang Jiu after he left this door. "Since the man has the capability to cooperate with the ghost fetus, maybe I can persuade him to cooperate with me. No matter what, I will have to go meet the man to hear his side of the story."
After uncovering these details, Chen Ge had a new understanding of the building he was in. Xiang Nuan was different from other children, at least the ghost fetus thought so. "We have stayed here long enough. We should prepare to go upstairs."
The staircase was not locked. However, strangely enough the black fog outside was unable to roll in. It was as if each building was protected by some kind of unique power.
"One of the rag doll's broken body parts must be hidden here as well." Chen Ge led Wen Qing and Xiao Sun to the second floor. This floor looked even more dilapidated than the first floor. Paper money littered the ground, and an inverted 'Joy', written calligraphically on white paper, was pasted at the turn of the staircase.
"It does not look like any of the rooms are conducting a funereal ceremony, but how come there are bowls of white rice placed before every door? Who is the rice for?" The pair of chopsticks was placed right in the middle of the white rice. It was unclear whether they were meant for the 'people' inside the room or the 'people' outside the room. Other than the calligraphy, there was not much different between the first and second floor. Even the scratch marks on the doors looked the same.
For the sake of security, Chen Ge still gave each door a slight push. Most of the doors were wooden door. Some of the locks had already loosened, so the gap between the frame and the door could get very wide. From left to right, the numbering for the rooms on the second floor was 201 to 204. When Chen Ge pushed on the door for Room 201, he did not feel anything, but when he reached the door of Room 203, he started to sense that something was out of place.
He tried to push the door as hard as he could, but the door refused to budge. But when he stopped pushing, the door would slightly vibrate. It was as if when he applied pressure on the door, there was someone on the other side pushing back. But when he stopped, the person inside the room also stopped pushing. Chen Ge took out Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer from his backpack as he slowly found his way to the door of Room 204. This door was old and looked like it might break with the slightest touch. The surface of the door was filled with the muddy handprints of children and unclear scratch marks. There was a gap about two centimeters between the bottom of the door and the floor. The door itself was already loose. It looked like it could not close fully.
"Do not come over here. Keep an eye out on the staircase. We do not want to get surrounded and have our exit cut off."
After Chen Ge said that, he slowly moved to the side of the door. He reached out to slowly push the bowl on the ground aside. When he was halfway through this, he suddenly knelt to the ground and looked through the gap on the ground!
A pair of pupil-less eyes flashed by, and then a curtain of black hair disappeared from underneath the gap.
"There is someone inside!" Chen Ge was not sure whether that was a tenant or not, but his instinct told him that it was not a living human. It might not even be something that was created from Xiang Nuan's memories.
"Big brother, can you not scare people like that?" Xiao Sun jumped from the scare earlier. It tore open the wounds on his back, causing them to sear with pain.
"Shush, be quiet." Chen Ge stood up again. He took out the comic from his backpack to take a look, and then his grip on the hammer slowly tightened. His employees still had not awakened, but the ghosts had already started to show their presence in the building. This was the situation that he was most worried about.
Ta ta ta…
While Chen Ge was contemplating what to do next, a strange sound came from the stairs. It sounded like a child running down the corridor, but the sound soon disappeared.
"That sounds like it came from the top floor. Shall we go take a look?" Xiao Sun looked as unwilling as possible, but he still uttered that suggestion.
"There's no need to hurry. We need to tackle this step by step. If there is extreme danger hiding on the top floor, we will have little to no chance of escaping." Chen Ge did not choose to leave. He gripped the doorknob and gave it a few powerful shakes. After he realized the door was unable to open, he aimed at the door lock and gave it a powerful kick!
The door fell open from the force.
The person who had been lurking at the gap had disappeared.
"I do not mean to disturb you. Please forgive my intrusion." Chen Ge slowly entered the room, dragging the hammer.
"Be careful. Make sure to not touch that bowl of white rice." This was the first time that Chen Ge had entered a room in Jiu Hong Apartments. The room size was much smaller than the room in Jin Hwa Apartments, and the place looked rather abandoned. It did not look like it had been occupied for a very long time.
"Chen Ge, take a look at this." Wen Qing pointed at the calendar that hung on the back of the door. It was marked with crosses using a red marker. It looked quite ghastly. "The calendar is not marked with a year, and a large part of it is missing, but a few of the dates are jotted with some reminders…"
There was no light in the room, so Wen Qing took out her phone to use as a flashlight. When she leaned closer to the calendar, she suddenly let out a scream.
"There… there's hair." Wen Qing's phone dropped to the group. The flashlight hit Chen Ge and Xiao Sun's faces, turning their faces white.
"I am so sorry." Wen Qing apologized as she hurried to pick up the phone, but for some reason, the scene from earlier was seared into her mind. Chen Ge and Xiao Sun were staring blankly at her with their pale and white faces. "They appear to be the same kind of person…"
Xiao Sun did not hear her because he was looking around the room for clues, but Chen Ge heard Wen Qing clearly. He saw Wen Qing's shaking shoulders, but he did not walk over to comfort her.
"Be careful not to stray too far away from me. The three of us must ensure that none of us leave each other's sight."
After giving that reminder, Chen Ge started to search the living room, Xiao Sun entered the kitchen while Wen Qing held the wall and slowly approached the bedroom. The wooden bed had a mattress that was moldy from the years. There appeared to be something hidden under the cover since it was bulging. The bed was close to the wall, and a white mosquito net hung at the four corners.
"I have a mosquito net at my place as well. When Xiang Nuan first saw it, he refused to even get in. He kept crying and making a fuss." The thought of Xiang Nuan calmed Wen Qing down. She entered the bedroom and opened the closet in the room. The broken closet had a few articles of clothing that were seriously moth infested.
"I have not seen this style of clothing before. Are these cheongsams?" She reached into the closet, wishing to take one out for a closer look. When her fingertips touched the fabric of the clothes, Wen Qing was about to take it out, but five fingers suddenly reached out from a corner inside the closet and grabbed her hand!
The color drained from her face immediately. Before Wen Qing could scream for help, the hand had already disappeared.
"Chen…" Wen Qing wanted to call for help, but she suddenly realized that she had lost the ability to speak. She slowly lowered her head to look, and she saw a pair of white hands strangling her neck. Strange noises were coming from the closet before her. The clothes that hung together were slowly pushed away, and a head of black hair poked out from the gap. It was followed by a pale face that slowly reached toward Wen Qing. Unable to speak, Wen Qing's body was slowly dragged into the closet by the pair of hands. Wen Qing stared into the pupil-less eyes, and all she could see was the reflection of her own face twisted in a fearful grimace.
Just as her body was about to be dragged into the closet, the closet door was suddenly slammed shut. Wen Qing blinked, and she jumped from the shock. Then she realized that she was still standing before the closet, and her hands were holding the closet doors open.
"Are you alright?" Chen Ge dragged the hammer and entered the bedroom.
"I… I am fine." Wen Qing shook her head. She could not tell if what had happened earlier was just her mind playing tricks on her or if it really did happen. After entering the black fog, she felt that there was something wrong with her body. For example, it appeared like she was the only one who was able to see the human heads in the black fog.
"You do not look fine at all." Chen Ge gave Wen Qing a reassuring squeeze on her shoulder. "Do not keep these things to yourself. Tell me everything you know and saw. It might help us."
Many horror movies had similar plots. One of the group felt that something was wrong, but when questioned, the character would refuse to say anything. That was a hidden bomb waiting to explode. Chen Ge would not allow something like that to happen to him. Once there was something off, he would need to get to the bottom of the truth.
With Chen Ge pressing her, Wen Qing finally came out with the truth. "I do not know what really happened. I believe, in a daze, I tried to open the closet. There was a pale face hidden inside. His eyes had no pupils, and he slowly squeezed out from between the clothes. He strangled me with his hands, and I was unable to call for help."
"The eyes did not have any pupils?" Chen Ge nodded.
"Do you have any clue of what that was?"
"Not really. I just thought his method of scaring people is worth learning. It is an interesting experience." Chen Ge looked at the closet next to them. "We will call him the closet ghost for now. Is he still inside the closet?"
"I think so."
"What did you do earlier to make it come out?"
"I only opened the door and reached into the middle of the clothes. Then, it appeared."
Just as Wen Qing finished, Chen Ge opened the closet and reached into the middle of the clothes.
"Just like that?"
"How come he is not coming out to meet me?" Chen Ge rummaged through the clothes inside the closet. He did not find the closet ghost he was looking for, but he did find other clues in the pockets of these old clothes.
He found several bedsheets that were torn apart, and they were covered in words written in blood.