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1072 The Last Night 2in1

 "I know you are trying your best to look after him, and you want to do it yourself, but is that really what is the best for the child? The teachers at the special ed school will be far more experienced than both of us. They have been given training and a whole set of systematic methods that are designed to help uniquely gifted kids learn and get an education..."

"How do you know I have not contacted such schools on Xiang Nuan's behalf before?" The woman seemed to have an inherent meaning in her words. "The teachers and doctors at those schools always tried to treat Xiang Nuan as a child with autism, but I do not think Xiang Nuan suffers from autism although I will admit that the symptoms he portrays are rather similar to those who has autism."

Chen Ge really did not know how to form an opinion of this mother. She was very sharp and astute in a way. If Chen Ge was not mistaken with his guess, he agreed with the mother that Xiang Nuan indeed was not suffering from autism; he merely had something taken away from him by the ghost fetus. The child was stubborn, temperamental, impossible to communicate with, and always locked himself up in his own little world. His various actions confused others, and he would occasionally do things that would harm others and even sometimes harm himself. He seemed to be in a lot of pain, but other than his own mother, no other person in this world seemed to be able to really comprehend the pain that he was going through. In fact, even his mother did not quite understand what kind of experience her son was going through.

"Xiang Nuan is very shy around strangers; he has an innate fear of people. I suppose you can view it as a form of paranoia. He believes that everyone is out to get him." The woman entered the bedroom to change into a different undershirt. She held the clothes that she had earlier in her hands. The spot around her shoulder was bleeding. It appeared like Xiang Nuan had chomped heavily into her flesh. "I believe that Xiang Nuan does have paranoia, but then the doctors told me that is impossible because Xiang Nuan is still too young to even have the concept of danger formed in his mind, so he would not have been suffering from paranoia."

"Then, have the doctors told you how to cure Xiang Nuan's illness?"

"The doctors also suggested that I send Xiang Nuan to a special ed school and then combine it with some medicine that they would prescribe, but..."

After some hesitation, the woman finally let her guard down and told Chen Ge the truth.

"Xiang Nuan often acts up due to the smallest thing. He bites the people around him, he smashes the things that he can grab his hands on, and he is clearly very hostile. Most of the children at the special ed school calm dawn after being aided for some time by the professional teachers, but Xiang Nuan was different. None of the teachers and doctors seemed to be able to do anything to help him. Other than pumping him with heavy doses of sedatives, I am the only one who is able to make him calm down when he goes on a rampage."

Bringing the bloodied clothes to the washing machine, the woman sighed softly. "I have visited almost all the special ed schools around Jiujiang. Initially, there were some that were willing to take Xiang Nuan on, but after the few incidents and Xiang Nuan's name got around the small circle, fewer and fewer schools were willing to take him on. They were not afraid that Xiang Nuan might injure the workers or the teachers, but they were afraid that Xiang Nuan might injure himself when he was in their care, and they would not know how to answer to me in that situation. Of course, that could just be their business talk."

The woman and Chen Ge stood inside the bedroom. Xiang Nuan sat on the ground and toyed with a pair of chopsticks like the rest of them were not even there. He placed one chopstick over the other chopstick and then pulled the bottom chopstick down. He kept repeating this game of his over and over again.

"He has obvious problems with communication. He repeats the same strange actions, he has poor recognition ability, and he shows very few facial expressions; these are all typical symptoms of an autistic child. What has really happened to Xiang Nuan?" Chen Ge wanted to get to know the boy better. He looked around the room. "When you go to work, do you leave Xiang Nuan at home alone? Where is the boy's father?"

"When Xiang Nuan was very small, his father died from an illness."

"I am so sorry."

"It has been years already. There is nothing to apologize for." The woman knelt beside the bed and pulled out a cloth bag from underneath it. It opened to reveal several hundred wooden chopsticks that were arranged neatly.

"What are you doing?"

"Like I said, Xiang Nuan is very different from other kids his age. He does not like to play with toys but instead likes to play with wooden sticks and chopsticks. I personally do not understand why. When I am supposed to be reporting at work, I toss out all of these chopsticks, and he can occupy himself with them for the whole day."

Looking at Xiang Nuan who was quietly building something out of the chopsticks, a smile involuntarily appeared on the woman's face. "Actually, it is quite cute when he is acting this way."

"How did you find out he likes to play with chopsticks?" Chen Ge was rather curious about this unique hobby that Xiang Nuan had.

"One time during lunch, I accidentally placed one extra set of chopsticks on the table. When the food was served, I saw Xiang Nuan picked up the extra chopstick and stick them into his bowl of rice, and then he kept staring at them."

"Two chopsticks sticking into a bowl of white rice. That is something normally prepared for the dead on the seventh day of their death."

Chen Ge tried to analyze the situation, but all he was rewarded with was an eye roll from the woman. "I have already told you that I do not believe in this talk of ghosts."

She placed all the chopsticks beside Xiang Nuan and allowed the boy to play with them on his own. "Normally, when I bring him back from the dam, I take out the chopsticks and have him place them all over the room, but today, I had to leave in such a hurry that I completely forgot about it."

Xiang Nuan played with the chopsticks alone inside the bedroom. He was very focused in his task. Chen Ge made use of this opportunity to try to get more information out from the woman, but the reward was pitiable. Compared to the other children selected by the ghost fetus, Xiang Nuan did not appear to have experienced any outside trauma. His life so far was very idyllic and simple; he did not even have the chance to meet any strangers. Chen Ge found it impossible to work out the most despairing event in the boy's heart, and that meant that he would be completely lost when he was in the world behind this boy's door.

At around dusk, Chen Ge left the woman's home and took a trip back to New Century Park. That night was the last night for the four-star trial mission, Ghost Fetus. Whether or not he survived to see another day depended on what he did that night. He had everything to lose, so Chen Ge carried all of the ghost employees into the comic with him. Other than the lingering spirits that had no fighting ability at all, he did not exclude anyone, not even the white cat.

"The world behind the door is made from the door pusher's memory. The appearance of all the Specters is due to their lingering obsession, and the lingering obsessions themselves possess a strong and intense emotional memory. So, when I enter a certain door, the Red Specters and normal Specters will be limited by the rules behind said door. Only by breaking through the memory limitation of the world behind the door will they be able to appear in the world behind the other people's door, but the white cat is an exception to this rule. It's just a cat. The rules that target the Specters behind the door will not be able to limit it at all."

Normally, Chen Ge thought the world behind the door was too dangerous for the white cat to risk it together with him, and he did not believe a single cat would be able to change the outcome too much. However, his experience in the world behind Ying Tong's door had given him a fierce and painful reminder. Any kind of help was valuable behind the door. Furthermore, the white cat had consumed the blood vessels that the Ghost Stories Society had prepared for the Red Specters. Chen Ge had this feeling that this cat's potential had not been fully realized.

"You have snacked on the precious blood vessels that the ghost society went to great length to obtain and have gained a lot from it. Now, as the last surviving member of the Ghost Stories Society, it is not too much to ask for you to give me a hand, right?" Chen Ge grabbed the bag and wanted to shove the white cat into it, but he was shocked to realize that the bag that he had been using was almost too small for the white cat to fit into anymore. "Your body seems to have grown."

Looking at that familiar bag, the white cat's first intention was to run, but it was one step too late.

"I knew you wouldn't leave me alone." Carrying two bags, Chen Ge left the staff breakroom. He walked into the toilet. He looked at the broken mirror from his first nightmare mission and then at the cubicle door that was sealed up by wooden planks. "There is nothing you can do to stop a runaway train. Thus, there is no reason to have fear. It will only disrupt your heart."

Then Chen Ge lowered his head to look at his shadow. It was like a pool of darkness. Even with the Yin Yang Vision, he was unable to see anything. After consuming Ying Tong's mud statuette, Chen Ge's shadow had changed again. There was some response from Zhang Ya, but she still had not completely woken up. "Now is not the time to wait."

Walking out from the haunted house, Chen Ge stood at the entrance. After a moment's hesitation, he stopped and took out the key for the haunted house's gate and placed it above the fence. "I have been through a lot with the few of my living employees. I trust them with my life. If something happens to me, I know that they will do the right thing."

Chen Ge had carried away all the baleful Specters and Red Specters, but there were still plenty of lingering spirits at the haunted house like the students from both Mu Yang High School and the School of the Afterlife and Xiaoxiao's parent and so on. This was a home that they had found after so long; Chen Ge did not want to throw them out again.

Walking out from New Century Park, Chen Ge waited at the roadside for a cab to come by when he felt a chill run down his spine. He turned back to look and saw a young man wearing a cap way down his head standing across from the street. The rim of the cap covered the upper half of his face, so Chen Ge could not see his eyes and nose, but the strange and fixed smile on his lips was easily observable by Chen Ge.

"A non-smiler? But the body frame and height are different form the one that I met."

Chen Ge reacted very quietly. Without breaking a beat, Chen Ge reached into his backpack and pressed on the activation button on the recorder. The light from the streetlamps became twisted, and the busy streets suddenly quieted down. The young man in the cap did not expect that Chen Ge would summon a Red Specter the moment he laid eyes on him, ignoring their surroundings. The smile on his face froze for a moment. He turned and tried to lose Chen Ge in the crowd, but Chen Ge had already summoned a Red Specter, so of course, he was not going to let him go so easily.

"Did you have to find me at a moment like this? Do you wish to die that much?" Chen Ge had hardened his heart. "If a single Red Specter can't capture you, then I will summon two. If two still can't get you, then I will call out five. Even if I fill up the whole damn street with Red Specters, you are not getting away this time."

The ghost fetus mission had placed a lot of pressure on Chen Ge, and it pressed him greatly. He was definitely not in a good mood.

Normal people were unable to see Red Specters and baleful Specters; those who were more sensitive would at most feel the temperature drop around them. Carrying the two big bags, Chen Ge chased closely behind the young man. Seeing the young man turn the corner and run into a small alley, Chen Ge gave a sigh of relief. It was Chen Ge's favorite place in the world, this kind of dark and isolated small alley. In such places, he could do anything he wanted; he did not need to hold back.

"When you were chased by me, you should've headed toward the crowd. The best solution was to hide inside a police station and stay in there for the rest of your life."

Soon, the young man was caught in a corner. The smile still hung on his face, but the smile in this situation appeared to be quite scary. There was no confrontation, no interrogation. The first thing Chen Ge did when he caught up to the non-smiler was have a Red Specter possess the young man's body. Compared to using his lips to communicate with the young man, Chen Ge believed that this kind of method would be far more effective.

Non-smilers were unique creatures. They were unlike humans, and they were unlike ghosts. Chen Ge had been trying to find out what kind of creature they were, so naturally, he would not let go of this precious opportunity. Chen Ge's presence appeared to have stunned the young man. The latter appeared to wish to say something, but he was unable to open his mouth.

"Don't worry, I will not do anything too bad to you." After Xu Yin and Men Nan crawled into the young man's body, the young man's facial expression changed multiple times until the corners of his lips that had been carved into the smile slowly returned to normal. He leaned against the wall and slowly collapsed to the ground. He soon lost consciousness.

"This man is so far weaker compared to the non-smiler from the cursed hospital." When the young man collapsed, a patient's form slipped out from his pocket. Compared to the young man's fashionable get up, this tattered patient's form looked rather out of place. It was probably from years back.

"He X, died on XX/XX/XXXX at midnight. Cause of death: Overly traumatized during a haunted house visit, causing his heart attack to claim his life.

"To those who happen to find this patient's form, please hand it to Chen Ge within three days, or else the next one will you be."

The patient's form was like those boring curse games that had become popular on the internet several years ago. Such chain messages would normally say, 'If you do not share this post within X days, something horrible will happen to you'.

Chen Ge's friends rarely sent those kinds of things to him. He wished that someone would so that he could take his employees and follow the trail, paying a visit to the first person who started this silly game and giving them his 'blessing' to let them know how silly this whole thing was.

"He should be the surname of a young person. He died when he was visiting a haunted house, and on the back of the form, it says that the form has to be handed to me within three days. My name is clearly specified on it, so from the very beginning, I was the target. Does this mean that the non-smilers are trying to reach out to me? Is this a kind of warning, or are they seeking cooperation?"

Chen Ge had encountered several non-smilers in his lifetime. Every one of them had a different ability, but they shared a common similarity. All the non-smilers were extremely cunning and powerful. Cooperating with them was like asking for medicine from a ghost; he should always expect to be betrayed by them. Moments later, Xu Yin and Men Nan left the young man's body. Xu Yin directly returned to the recorder while Men Nan stayed with Chen Ge.

"So, what did you find out?" Chen Ge inspected the young man's body and did not find anything out of place.

"The young man has a very heavy Yin energy about him. Before Xu Yin and I entered his body, there was another ghost inside his body, but the thing was too cunning. When you summoned us, he left. He abandoned the young man without a second thought."

"In other words, the young man was possessed by a ghost?"

"You can say that. The young man's mission appears to be handing you this patient's form. In a way, their goal has been achieved because the form is now in your possession." Men Nan had a clear mind in his analysis. Among all the Red Specters, he was the most rational.

"Temporarily, I do not want to have anything to do with the cursed hospital, but I did not expect them to come to me voluntarily." Chen Ge opened the backpack and placed the patient's form on top of the red high heels. Before he said anything, the words on the form started to wiggle and twist like a strain of hair. Finally, just one sentence was left on the form.

'You will die tonight.'

Without waiting for Chen Ge to summon her, the red high heels appeared on her own. Her hand that was wrapped under the bandage grabbed at the patient's form, and she tried desperately to change the statement on the patient's form.

Her body was slowly wavering. After paying what appeared like a great price, she managed to remove the word 'you' from the sentence.