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850 Begging, Persistence, and the Sky 2 in 1

 The cracked pieces of the mirror fell from the surface, creating a silvery, tingling sound as they hit the ground. Behind the red mirror, the face of the smiling man was twisted. His smile was growing bigger the closer he was to death. It was as if the closer he was to death, the more he was unable to control his urge to laugh and smile.

"We are called non-smilers because father once said that we do not deserve the ability to smile." The man in the mirror seemed to have remembered something, and his lips curled open. Even through the mirror, one could hear this spine-chilling laugh like the words mentioned by his father were the most humorous joke in the world.

"Father?"

"He was a doctor at the hospital. He was not a good father, but he was the best doctor I have met in the world." There was a trace of pain in the man's crazed eyes. Other than that, there was also a trace of terror and passion. "Other doctors only care about treatment, but while he saves people, he has been busy killing them. He believes that both angels and demons are hidden inside the human heart, and for that, he has personally constructed a heaven and a hell."

"Is the cursed hospital the hell?"

"No, that is the heaven, but it is a heaven that everyone wishes to escape from!" The man in the mirror had exposed his true personality. He looked at Chen Ge and laughed happily. He seemed to enjoy having this conversation with Chen Ge.

"Since it is a heaven, why would people want to escape?" Chen Ge had a simple conclusion regarding the man inside the mirror-a mad man.

"That was my father's heaven, not our heaven." The man pressed his face against the mirror. The cracked surface printed on his face like it was cutting his face into pieces, and it looked startlingly scary.

"If the heaven is already so scary, what does the hell built by your father look like?"

"No one has seen the hell. Do you think the people who have entered the hell could stand here and talk to you?" The man's eyes were as wide as saucers. His mouth was opened to the maximum of a human's musculature limit. If his smile grew any bigger, it would have torn his face in half. "Hey, why are you so interested in that hospital? You already know some information about the hospital. When I said I was a teacher at this school, you realized immediately that I was lying. Is that because you have encountered other non-smilers before? You have seen my family? Or is it because you have also received an invitation from that school?"

The middle-aged man in the mirror was the epitome of evil, but he was also very clever. From a few details, he deduced a lot of information. Chen Ge normally would not waste time facing this kind of clever person. He silently gave a sign to Xu Yin so that he could find a chance to kill the man. Whether this man was enemy or friend, after he was killed, he would be turned into feed for the Haunted House. This was the lesson that Chen Ge had learned from his many interactions with Doctor Gao.

"Never mind. It doesn't matter whether it's because you have seen my family or you have received the invitation from that hospital. Once you are connected to that hospital, you are unable to escape. He will continue to appear beside you in various forms. Until one day, when you peel open your eyes, you will suddenly realize you are lying on top of a cold slab of operating table and starting a cursed game that is uniquely yours." The man's tone did not sound like he was threatening Chen Ge; he was merely stating an inevitable truth.

"I don't need you to worry about me." Chen Ge stared at the mirror. "You just mentioned that you have other family?"

"What? Can't you see it? Like you, I was once a living person. However, the things that accompanied you are friendship and family, but the things that accompanied us are pain and hatred. We spent our days in the eerie, despairing hospital, watching the spread of death and disease until they one day decided to crawl all over us."

Pa!

The man slapped his palm heavily on the surface on the mirror. His body was pressed hard against the many splintery gaps. "Father does not appreciate it when we cry, so we can only smile and laugh. When we are not feeling well, we need to smile; when we are sick, we need to laugh; the greater the pain in our heart, the harder we need to laugh! But no matter how hard we smile, he still does not like us. He said we have a horrible-looking smile, and he said that our smiles are not sincere!"

The man's laughter came from inside the mirror. His face was leaning close to the surface, knocking against it repeatedly. "But look, look at me! I am laughing so happily. Can't you see that I am laughing so happily‽"

Blood slid down the wounds. The man's face was cut by the sharp edges. He touched the blood on the corner of his lips. "We are smiling at every single moment, but we are called the non-smilers. Isn't that the most hilarious thing you have heard?"

"Perhaps I have a high laughing point, or maybe we are in a different mental space, but I can't see how is that funny. If you tell me more information about the hospital and the school, I can consider helping you." Chen Ge had interacted with many mad people before. He was not a doctor and was unable to cure these people. The only thing he could do was filter through these people's words, maintain his own determination, and prevent himself from being assimilated by the madness.

Actually, it was pretty hard to persuade Chen Ge away from his conviction. He had seen a completely different world before. In a deep conversation, it would be hard to tell who was being convinced. Chen Ge could trade ideas with certain people, but this man was definitely not one of them.

"Looks like my guess was correct. You have seen my family before! Who could it be? My poorest big brother? The youngest, dumbest little brother? Or my big sister who still has her complete body? Or could it be my other sister? No, wait, that's impossible. If she has seen you, she would have fallen in love with you and would stop at nothing to kill you."

"Can you please shut up for a moment?" Chen Ge realized that when the man shed his disguise and exposed his true self, the true self was a very chatty person. "From now on, I will do the questioning, and you only need to answer."

"Okay, I will tell you everything that I know. You have met my family before. I believe it won't be some kind of happy memory. I..." The man leaned closer to the surface until his body was almost forcing its way through. Blood flowed on the surfaced on the mirror, but the man did not appear to be in any pain. Madness and illness were not adequate terms to describe this man anymore.

However, once the man did this, Chen Ge noticed something else. This man who called himself a non-smiler was dressed fully in red. He was a bona fide Red Specter!

Chen Ge thought back to the non-smiler from Li Wan City. He realized that this whole family of mad people appeared to be Red Specters.

"What is your relationship with the patient that's escaped from the cursed hospital? Why did he end up trapping you inside the mirror?" Chen Ge got straight to the point, but internally, he was thinking about something else. This Red Specter appears to be in his weakest moment. After killing and consuming him, perhaps there will be a new Half Red Specter amid my rank of employees.

"We were in a cooperative relationship. With my power alone, I was unable to escape from the hospital, so I needed a helper."

"How did you end up being trapped by him behind the mirror?"

"After escaping from the hospital, our goal was achieved. Both of us wanted to kill the other, so that was normal."

"That's normal?" Chen Ge still had a hard time placing himself in the shoes of a mad person. "And then what? You were apprehended by him and got sent inside a mirror?"

"Neither of us could really harm the other. The plan we had was to hide behind another door after we escaped from the hospital, but to our surprise, there was a very scary presence behind this door. It is on the same level as the hospital." The man in the mirror pointed at the top of his head. "Have you seen the eye outside the window?"

"The eye outside the window?" Chen Ge frowned. "You mean the blood red sun that has been shining on the entire School of the Afterlife?"

"Yes, it is the real owner here. The few fights between me and my partner attracted its attention, so we wished to find a back-up plan for ourselves." The man seemed to have read Chen Ge's mind already. "We wished to find a path that we could use to enter and leave the school. We put aside our differences and went into another cooperation. We noticed one peculiarity about this place-you could not find a normal mirror in the entirety of this school."

"You noticed that as well?"

"The owner of the school appears to have difficulty facing its reflection. It hates itself, and it has given up on itself. It refuses to see itself." The man's words caused Chen Ge's eyes to grow large. He had realized something important.

"Go on."

"So, we started to look for mirrors. Then we came to a startling discovery. In this school, every single mirror is made from a memory. The mirrors are hiding someone who hates themselves. Looking at our previous selves is not dissimilar to thinking about the past. We have looked through many mirrors, but an accident happened during our search. This mirror that I am in is different from other mirrors. I found myself trapped in here after entering it." The smile on the man's face sent chills down Chen Ge's spine. "After my partner noticed the strangeness, he did not follow me in here. That was truly sad. I should have acted more authentically back then to trick him."

"Even in that situation, you wished to entrap your friend? You are truly a sick person that has no cure." Chen Ge studied the mirror with a new eye. He also slowly discovered the difference between this mirror and the other mirrors. The blood on the surface was all inside the mirror, and there was a layer of dust that could not be rubbed away on the surface. The edge of the mirror had signs of being charred.

This has been burned before. Whose memory could this mirror be carrying? The painter's or the first 'door-pusher' that entered the School of the Afterlife?

Chen Ge's original plan was to kill the man inside the mirror, but now, he started to have second thoughts. If he wanted to kill the man, he would need to destroy the mirror or enter the mirror directly. Destroying the mirror meant destroying a valuable clue, and he might be trapped inside the mirror if he entered it. Chen Ge realized that the non-smiler in the mirror had altered the situation in a significant way without even realizing it. If he was not telling the truth and had created all these details to lie to himself, then this man was madder than Chen Ge thought.

It would be less worrying if such a clever and mad person was made into nutrients, Chen Ge thought, but the expression on his face did not change. "Other than the mirrors, what else did you find out?"

For the time being, Chen Ge did not plan to enter the mirror. He wanted to obtain as much information as he could.

"This school is far more dangerous than we predicted. Do not be fooled by the appearance. Other than that, I have seen many interesting things inside the mirror, but I am unable to tell you now because I am still inside the mirror. If I said those things, I might be eaten by the things inside the mirror." The man could not have been franker. He possessed a lot of information, but he would only tell Chen Ge after he was rescued from inside the mirror.

"I know what to do now. Ol' Bai, carry this mirror with you. We will leave the nurse's office first." Chen Ge wanted to wait for Zhang Ya to wake up before he continued dealing with the non-smilers. The best solution was to ignore him for now. "Find some abandoned clothes or something to wrap around the mirror; I do not wish to see the man's face."

Chen Ge was the first to walk out from the room. When Yin Bai and Lee Bing saw them, they were relieved and quickly hurried over. But once they saw Bai Qiulin and Xu Yin, who were following behind Chen Ge, they stopped where they were.

I need to find the patient that disguised himself as the doctor. Only by capturing him can I confirm the statements given by the non-smiler.

Chen Ge was concerned about the hospital. The non-smiler was right. He did not receive any mission related to the hospital from the black phone, but the things related to the hospital had already started to show up intermittently around him. He did not know how this would continue to progress, and that unsettled him somewhat.

I should focus on what is in front of me for now. When that day arrives that I have nowhere to turn, if worst comes to worst, I will lead the ghost fetus to the cursed hospital, and we will all perish together.

That was a good idea, but Chen Ge knew that the chance of that succeeding would be infinitesimally small.

For now, the only good news is that I still have time. Clearing this School of the Afterlife's mission will be the key.

Chen Ge glanced at Yin Bai and Yan Fei. The two children were weak and needed other people's support to help them walk. The fact that they were the people who were qualified to be the 'door-pushers' was probably very hard to believe.

"Zhu Long, Wang Yicheng, and the rest regained their power slowly after their memories were awakened. Does this mean I need to help Yan Fei and Yin Bai remember their past? But hasn't Yin Bai already remembered many things on her own? She has even met her old friends from Mu Yang High School... No wait! There is no mention of Yin Hong at all in her memory! The key to her missing memory lies with Yin Hong. Only by finding that girl will Yin Bai's memory be complete!"

To Chen Ge, Yin Bai was different from the other candidates due to the layer of relationship between the old headmaster of Mu Yang High School. He treated Yin Bai as someone that he could depend on.

"I seem to remember Yin Hong's class was not that far from the nurse's office." Chen Ge returned to the spot where he had run into Yin Hong. "The old headmaster has come to the school many times, so he should know about the presence of Yin Hong. Does that mean, in his heart, he treats Yin Hong as one of his family as well?"

Quickening his steps, Chen Ge was about to push open the door to Yin Hong's classroom when an announcement was suddenly broadcast in the corridor. "Emergency, emergency! All the students, please stay in your classrooms and do not wander about aimlessly! Emergency emergency..."

The broadcast was repeating the same thing. The tone was very serious like something harrowing had happened at the School of the Afterlife.

"The more dangerous the situation, the simpler and more succinct the emergency broadcast. Have the painter and Chang Wenyu started to move?" Chen Ge quickly walked to the window. He realized that the blood fog had thickened greatly, and there was something banging itself against the school madly in the fog.