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1074 Strange Building 2 in 1

 "When and how did you receive these letters?"

"When I get back from work, the letters are stuck into the door." Xiang Nuan's mother had not realized the severity of the situation. Hugging the paper box, she merely thought this was a harmless prank. "Initially, I was also shocked by the number of letters and did try to ask a few neighbors about them, but they all refused to talk to me about it."

"Of course they won't because it was them who sent you these letters."

"But why would they do that?" Xiang Nuan's mother's tone changed slightly. "I will go and demand an explanation from them. If they really insist on chasing me and Xiang Nuan away, we can move. There is no need to resort to something like this."

"What if the thing that they want is for Xiang Nuan to die?" Chen Ge did not reach out to touch that box of letters, instead asking Xiang Nuan's mother this serious question.

"Die?" Xiang Nuan's mother sucked in a cold breath. Naturally, she did not expect Chen Ge to tell her something so drastic. "Impossible, we are all neighbors. Yes, I will be the first to admit there have been some altercations between us, but to wish a death upon an innocent child because of that? That's preposterous."

"I might've agreed with you a long time ago, but after experiencing some stuff, my opinion of humanity has slowly changed. Humanity is a very complicated concept. Through the layer of skin, you will never truly know what a person is really thinking." Chen Ge's voice was kept at a low whisper, and it sounded quite scary. "Every single death notice you are holding represents a person's collection of hate, curses, and resentment. The reason for Xiang Nuan's illness is probably related to them."

"Then I will go and instantly burn all these letters."

"It's no use." Chen Ge knew very well even if the letters were incinerated, it would not destroy the non-smilers' curse. When the death notices were delivered to Xiang Nuan's home, the curse had already been completed. "This is going to be a long night."

When he saw the abundance of letters, as much as he hated to admit it, Chen Ge believed from the bottom of his heart that the chance of Xiang Nuan surviving that night was incredibly small. The red high heels had a tremendous increase in her power after she consumed the lingering curses from the ghost fetus in the several worlds behind the different children's door, but even so, she still needed to herself push so far just to remove one character from the patient's form. That went to show how powerful the curse on this thing was.

"The cursed hospital is truly a bunch of heartless people. They targeted so many death notices at Xiang Nuan. Even if the ghost fetus succeeds in his birth, the vessel that he has gone through pain to find will be consumed by so many curses that he will fall into an extremely weakened state."

The hospital had never cared about the lives of innocent people. Perhaps, in their eyes, life was just a vessel to transmit the curses, a bridge to complete their goal. As long as it could lead them to their destination, trampling on morality and humanity did not seem to be an issue.

If the ghost fetus' evil came from within him, in a wrapping of anger, hatred, envy, and other emotions, the evil from the cursed hospital was pure in the sense that it did not carry any emotion. Before such an adversary, kindness and innocence had no chance of winning. Therefore, to survive, Chen Ge had no choice but to arm his kindness with sharp edges.

Pa!

Someone clapped on the ground floor, and it lit up all the sound-controlled lights. It appeared that someone was coming up the stairs. Chen Ge signaled for the woman to keep quiet. One minute later, the old gentleman that Chen Ge had met in the morning appeared round the stairs. He was carrying an empty lunch box in his hand.

"Xiao Wen, I have come to return the lunch box. How is Xiang Nuan's condition? Is he better? Even from the ground floor, I could hear things being smashed." The old man appeared similar to how he was in the morning. He was about seventy but still gave off a happy go lucky feeling. He seemed to be interested in everything that happened in the building. If there was a rumor mill running at this place, this old man would definitely be the one operating it.

"Xiang Nuan is already asleep." The woman forced a smile on her face. She accepted the lunch box from the old man. Just as she was about to leave, she suddenly saw the old man holding an old envelope in his hand. When she saw the letter, the expressions of Chen Ge and her turned ugly.

The old man was confused by their reaction. "What are you two looking at?"

"Sir, are you also here to deliver the letter?" Honestly, Chen Ge had a good impression of this old man. He really did not want to do anything harmful to him.

"What are you talking about? Oh, this‽" The old man lifted the letter. "When I left home this morning, I saw this stuck to my door. I have no idea who mailed it to me, but the key problem is that I'm illiterate! When I was young, I was not given an education. At this age, it's already too late for me to pick up the language. Half of my leg has already stepped into the coffin, so why do I care? Furthermore, at this day and age, even someone like me knows how to use a phone, so why would people still mail me letters? I really do not understand it."

"You still have not opened the envelope?" Chen Ge used Yin Yang Vision and realized that the envelope was indeed unopened. He sighed slightly in relief.

"Well, since you guys are here, do you mind if I ask Xiao Wen to help me see what the letter is about?" Before Chen Ge could stop him, the old man had already opened the letter. He took out the death notice, and his face dropped. "What the... It seems to be a letter from the hospital. Please see what is it about for me."

The old man passed Xiang Nuan's death notice to Chen Ge and the woman. His anxiety did not look like it was faked. Chen Ge felt like he could try to help the old man and stop the curse before it had the chance to spread, but before he could say anything, the woman accepted the death notice and read out the content of the letter as depicted on it.

The woman recited the last sentence on the death notice, if the death notice was not handed to Xiang Nuan, the next target would be the recipient.

"What kind of cruel prank is this? Xiang Nuan is still so young. There has to be some kind of mistake."

The old man heard that clearly, but even so, he still asked for the letter back.

"Sir, why don't you just leave the death notice with me? I have already received so many of them. I do not mind taking yours as well." The woman did not want to drag the old man into her mess. Knowing that the old man did not intend to harm her and Xiang Nuan, that touched her heart deeply.

"These people are getting more and more ridiculous. Who gave them the right to turn their resentment on you two? Just ignore this thing. Moving away is one thing, but this is a whole different kind of mess. I will have to have to severe talk with them tomorrow." After the old man said that, he grabbed the envelope and went back downstairs.

Looks like not everyone in the building is a horrible person. There are good people here as well. Chen Ge looked as the old man walk away. Perhaps, in the world behind the door, the old man could prove to be a valuable opening. "What is that old man's name by the way?"

"His surname is Huang. He lives at Room 104. He is one of the oldest tenants we have here." Upon mentioning the old man, the woman's face softened greatly. "When Uncle Huang was young, he was badly injured at work. He's had operations done in both his nose and ears. Then, out of any good career opportunities, he found work as a cleaner at the hospital. Normally, he works in the morgue."

"So, he spends most of his time with dead bodies?"

"Yes, but unfortunately, it is not a lucrative job. He has been working for most of his life, but his bank account is still quite empty. Nonetheless, he is a good and kind person, albeit more than a bit stubborn with his personality." The woman revealed a bitter smile. "He has no children. The room that he stays in was rented to him by the boss. Before this, I tried to set him up with a single middle-aged woman that I know, but he told me, at his age, he did not want to trouble anyone else with his problems anymore, so he told me to call off the date."

"In the way, the old man has lived quite an interesting life. I can sense his free spirit."

"I am just thankful that he has no serious illness and no horrible tragedy has befallen him. Normally, I go and take care of him, but if he suddenly falls seriously ill, then it will depend on the neighborhood to get aid for him."

The old man did not force the death notice onto the woman, and that made the woman feel slightly better.

"Oh yeah, did he call you Xiao Wen earlier?"

"Yes, my name is Wen Qing, Qing from Qing Tian[1]."

"Wen Qing? Xiang Nuan?" Chen Ge nodded as he memorized these names. "Since there is still some time left, you should stay at the house, and I will go and take a look with the other tenants."

After a few more words, Chen Ge left while holding his phone. He summoned Xu Yin and walked between Jin Hwa Apartments and Jiu Hong Apartments. He entered each building to take a look, but to his surprise, there was basically no one that stayed around these two neighborhoods.

"Where have all the tenants gone?" The calls all went unanswered. There was no response to his knocking on the door. Chen Ge had the Red Specters enter the room to check them one by one, and they came back with nothing except the light scent of that stench.

As time passed, the stench around the neighborhood started to intensify and so did the anxiety in Chen Ge's heart. He stood on the rooftop of the small neighborhood and looked around him. Jiu Hong Apartments and Jin Hwa Apartments seemed to have slowly drifted away from the rest of the world. It felt as if the whole neighborhood was sinking into a dark abyss.

"This whole neighborhood itself has a huge problem about it. The ghost fetus must have laid some kind of trap here."

With his experience from dealing with the shadow, Chen Ge had familiarized himself with the thing's personality. He was sure that he would use multiple traps to ensure that the plan would be able to follow through smoothly. So far, none of these things had been exposed, so it could only mean that it had not reached the stage where the ghost fetus had been forced to show his hand.

Time flew by. To prevent any accidents from happening, after taking a tour of these two neighborhoods, Chen Ge soon returned to Xiang Nuan's home.

"How did things so?"

"I cannot find any of the tenants. None of the calls are going through. I have a feeling that something bad will happen tonight. Your neighbors all appear to be planning something." Chen Ge took the white cat out from the bag and closed the front door. "But don't you worry. I will not impose on you for too long, and of course, I will not stay overnight. If everything goes well and nothing goes wrong after 1 am, I will leave immediately."

Since Chen Ge had already said that, the woman found it difficult to reject him. She shoved all the death notices into the box and planned to take them out from the building and burn them the following morning.

"Do you want to have something to eat?"

"It's fine, I do not have the habit of dining at another person's place." Chen Ge was now in a highly alert mode. He knew that the blood door would appear beside Xiang Nuan's bed, and the people from cursed hospital would come to fight for this door as well. At 11:30 pm, the sound of footsteps came from the corridor. The sound was very complicated. It sounded like people were moving upstairs and downstairs at the same time. But when Chen Ge leaned against the peephole on the door and looked out, he could see no trace of anyone in the corridor. "They have arrived."

At 11:50 pm, the lights inside the room flickered before they all went out without any warning. The room was immediately dropped into darkness.

"The switch has flipped? I will go and take a look."

"Do not move! Stay where you are! Do not get close to any windows or doors!" Chen Ge screamed. Using Yin Yang Vision, he looked toward Xiang Nuan's bedroom. The boy was still lying in his bed. He appeared to be fast asleep. They gave up their defense at the living room. Both Chen Ge and the woman moved into Xiang Nuan's bedroom. At 11:55 pm, a knocking came from the living room door. Both the woman and Chen Ge's hearts squeezed.

"Thankfully, you decided to stay tonight, or else I would not know what to do all alone." As the insistent knocking echoed in the woman's ears, she could feel the chill crawling up her spine. "Should we go to the front door to take a look?"

"Just stand beside me and do not go anywhere." Chen Ge himself had no idea how scary the cursed hospital was. All he could was be as careful as possible. After the mechanical knocking continued for a while. Suddenly, a child's voice came from outside the door. "Xiang Nuan, my name is Se Xin. I am here to take you home."

"Who is this Se Xin?" the woman whispered.

"A dead person." Chen Ge kept his eyes screwed on the living room door. At 11:59 pm, a strange sound was coming from the living room's door. As the spring moved, the locked door opened on its own. The iron door was slowly pushed open, and it revealed a corridor that was empty.

"The door opened? How did they manage to get my house key?" Xiang Nuan's mother heard the sound as well. At that moment, her heart was at her throat. She really did not dare imagine what would have happened to her if Chen Ge did not stop her from going to answer the door earlier.

"Shush!" Chen Ge narrowed his eyes and stared at the darkness before him. There was something approaching from the corridor, and there was only a living room between them.

Tik tok, tik tok, tik tok...

The ticking of the clock sounded like the dripping of blood from a slashed wrist landing on the ground. When the clock struck midnight, a door that was completely covered in blood appeared without warning next to Xiang Nuan's bed!

This was a real blood door! The scent of blood that came from it was more intense and realistic than any of the previous doors that Chen Ge had encountered!

Blood vessels and curses spread across the room. The footsteps outside in the corridor picked up. Chen Ge also removed Doctor Skull Cracker's hammer from his backpack. He turned his full attention to the corridor. But at that moment, a woman's shrill scream came from behind him. "Xiang Nuan! Xiang Nuan!"

Chen Ge turned back to look. Xiang Nuan who was supposed to be asleep in bed had disappeared, and the blood door that was next to his bed had already been pushed open.

Xiang Nuan has entered the door? This door is not a false door! It is Xiang Nuan's own door!

The moment Xiang Nuan entered the door, his mother did not hesitate and moved to follow him. Chen Ge was not left with much choice. He grabbed the backpack, picked up White Tiger, and stepped through the blood door. He tried to close the door, but before his hand could reach the door that was filled with blood, his body and senses were overwhelmed by the sea of red.

...

After slowly opening his eyes, Chen Ge took a cautious look around. He realized that he was still inside Xiang Nuan's room. The place had not changed that much, but the furniture inside the room was mostly broken, and signs of disrepair were everywhere.

"This is Xiang Nuan's world behind the door? It is barely different from the one in real life, though the stench has disappeared."

This place felt more real than the real world. After Chen Ge came to this conclusion, he had an unsettling feeling, but he could not really put his finger on it. Picking up his backpack, Chen Ge tried to summon his employees, but unfortunately, he got no response. He then turned to look beside him. The white cat was lying on its side and was completely immobile, like the life had been sucked out of it.

"An accident happened to it when we went through the blood door?" Chen Ge's eyes immediately went red. He quickly reached to pick up the cat. The warmth that came from his fingertips was the first thing that tipped Chen Ge off. He gave the feline a good shake before the cat groaned with dissatisfaction.

"You even know how to play dead... Isn't that a dog's trick? When did you learn to do that?"

Putting down the white cat, Chen Ge sighed slightly in relief. He picked up the backpack and planned to inspect the room. He was stumped just as he pushed open Xiang Nuan's bedroom door. Xiang Nuan's mother was currently fast asleep in bed.

"Should I wake her?" Chen Ge walked into the bedroom. He looked at the woman's face, but there was a different question that was running through his mind. Is this woman really Xiang Nuan's mother? If she is, is she the version that is from inside the door or from outside the door?

[1] Qing Tian can also mean 'Sunny Day' in Chinese.