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896 The Last Painting

 Chen Ge's tone was calm, like he was describing something that was unimportant. "You have stayed at the school for too long, so it's natural for you to be afraid of the painter and Chang Wenyu, but for myself and other outsiders, they are just normal Top Red Specters."

Hearing the consolation from Chen Ge, Yin Hong and the other students felt worse.

"There are no normal Top Red Specters," Yin Hong grumbled softly. She looked at Chen Ge and was suddenly reminded of what Mr. Lei had said earlier, her gaze wandering to Chen Ge's shadow. She felt like something was hiding in Chen Ge's shadow, but the presence was so weak that she could not identify it.

"Never mind, I'll choose to trust you this one time," Yin Hong said as she ran to Yin Bai, pulling her hand firmly.

"You..."

"No matter what happens later, do not let go of my hand. You have to understand that the only person who treats you with sincerity is me," Yin Hong said like this was their parting words, and that gave Yin Bai quite a shock. The sound of fighting kept coming from outside the school. Chen Ge looked calm on the surface, but internally, he was not that calm. He had called Zhang Ya's name multiple times in his heart, but there was no response. Without Zhang Ya, with the power of the Red Specters around him, he only had the power to resist.

"Mu Yang High School's old well had the painter's secret, so the painter definitely knows about it. That path is no longer safe. Even so, after leaving the school from the well, finding the Third Sick Hall through the red city won't be easy either." Chen Ge had many students gathered around him, but he really had no confidence that he could lead everyone to safety. If they go through the red city, most students would die and be permanently buried in the city.

"The best solution is to wait until we can take control of the situation." The School of the Afterlife was a four-star scenario, and it was isolated from the red city. With the appearance of the door, the fewer the secrets and the more things that appeared, the better Chen Ge felt.

"Chen Ge, forgive me for asking, but do you really think we can become the new owner here? We can do better than the painter?" The old headmaster was anxious. He was the oldest and the voice of reason. "The painter's power is close to that of a Greater Red Specter, and he has such a scary special power. Even so, he couldn't get full control of the school and gain the door's approval. Why do you think we can do it?"

This question had been in the old headmaster's heart for a long time-he just had not said it out loud. Chen Ge wanted him to become the new headmaster, but he was just a Half Red Specter. Every single Red Specter there could kill him easily, much less the painter.

"The students entered the door due to despair; they wish for salvation behind the door, not more lies. The painter has good intentions, but he is too extreme. There is no heaven behind the door. Once the fake heaven is exposed, the result will only be worse." Chen Ge turned to look at the old headmaster, "We do not want lies; we need to provide actual help for these homeless children and turn this place into a home that they can rely on.

"We are not going to fix heaven. We are going to build a sanctuary that they can use to take a break. And no one will stop them from leaving. No one's life is perfect all the time. Half of the time, it is filled with pain and conflict, but that is a complete life. We are not trying to change their life; we are merely providing them a break whenever they need it."

This was the first time that the Red Specters behind the door had heard someone say something like that. They felt like Chen Ge had a point, but once they gave it a closer look, they realized that something did not feel so right.

"Okay." The old headmaster stopped speaking, but there was still concern in his eyes.

While Chen Ge's group were discussing, the situation outside the school changed again. The man hiding in the storm was attacked from the back. He had a pact with Chang Wenyu, but at the last moment, Chang Wenyu betrayed him. Everyone was out for themselves. They were merely using each other. Trust and friendship were rarer than diamonds behind the door.

"Chang Wenyu!" The door was just before him, but he could not reach it. The man in the storm yelled crazily. He wished to tear Chang Wenyu into pieces.

"We are all one step away from becoming something more than a Red Specter. The person who pushes this door open and becomes the real owner of the school's consciousness will become a Greater Red Specter." Chang Wenyu understood that well. "Did you think I would help you become that? If you gain this moveable door, you will use it to trick more students into entering it and use their pain and despair to strengthen yourself."

"Isn't that how the door should be used? The world has abandoned you behind the door. They bullied and tortured you. Now you finally have the method to take revenge, to make them feel the same thing-don't you want that‽" The man in the storm kept screaming. He had sacrificed a lot, but he had gotten nothing in return, and he might lose his life.

"Even now I have no understanding why the door appeared. This kind of thing is better destroyed." The rune behind Chang Wenyu slipped into the door. The door slowly turned red, and blood leaked out from the gap. "Look, no matter how well the door hides it, it is still flowing with human blood. It is a monster that depends on despair and pain to survive."

The cracks on the door grew bigger, and every student in the school heard the pleading, but the sound was different, like it came from their own hearts. The pleading door influenced all the students, including the painter. Since the mirror broke, the power the he could borrow had lessened. His large body was slowly dwindling, and the arms behind him were shriveling as he dragged them weakly behind him.

Perhaps because Chang Wenyu had left the school and did not rely too much on the door, she was not affected that much. If anything, her presence only grew stronger.

"This door accepted you when you were at your most despairing moment, but now you want to destroy it. Without it, where will the other despairing people hide? Do they have the face the cruel world alone?" Even though the painter had greatly weakened, there was a glow in his dark eyes, like everything that had happened was still within his expectations.

The blood vessels that covered his skin revealed a corner, and the painter turned to look at Chang Wenyu.