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1087 Does It Not Look Like a Black Sea? 2 in 1

 Chen Ge moved too fast for them to handle. Initially, the three predators had surrounded him, and they had still been threatening him, but the next moment, one of them had collapsed to the ground already. In the blink of an eye, the three hunters had dwindled to two, and the remaining two were injured to various degrees. Doctor Li and Big Head were originally standing on both sides, trying to corner Chen Ge. But after they saw Qu Yin collapse, they moved subconsciously closer to one another. Two were still better than one supposedly.

Holding the sharp knives, the twisted expressions on their faces froze. Their eye wandered between their knives and Chen Ge's hammer. In terms of professionalism, the man before them was like a madman that had no cure anymore, and the two of them were at most people with some mental illness. They were all not right in the head, but there was a difference in essence. Even in movies, one would rarely encounter a character who would carry this kind of horrible-looking hammer at all times.

"I am sure you two are tired from all the running in one night already. It is time for you to take your well-deserved rest; try not to do any immoral things in your next life."

Chen Ge dragged the hammer as he walked toward Doctor Li and Big Head. The duo's eyes twitched. Looking at the heavy blood stains on the head of the hammer, their faces could not have been paler. Chen Ge stood strategically at the door to block any possible escape. Both Big Head and Doctor Li knew that Chen Ge would not have allowed them the chance to escape anyway, so the only chance they had at survival was fighting back as much as they could.

All along, they had thought they had the upper hand, but only then did they realize that it was not Chen Ge who was being led step by step into a trap; it was them.

Narrowing his eyes, Chen Ge did not waste any time and charged forward with Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer at Doctor Li.

Big Head's stomach was injured, so he would not be able to run. Even if he chose to escape on his own, Chen Ge was confident that he would be able to catch up to an injured man. Therefore, Chen Ge's target was clear from the beginning. He had his eyes locked on Doctor Li.

Doctor Li, who had a crazy grimace and unhinged personality, gripped the knife in his hand. He had never encountered this situation before. Normally, he was the one in Chen Ge's position. He was the one hunting others.

Bang!

Doctor Li tried his best to put up a fight, but the tip of the knife barely had the chance to graze Chen Ge. Chen Ge was masterful at using the one-meter-long hammer. After all, he had gotten a lot of practice.

With Doctor Li and Big Head collapsing, Chen Ge turned his attention to Qu Yin's girlfriend. He was not going to let any possible threats fester in his presence. He tied the few immobilized individuals with the electric wires that could be found in the room. When he was fine, he finally gave a sigh of relief.

Dragging the hammer with one hand, Chen Ge's chest rose and fell unevenly.

My physique has deteriorated greatly. Even though I have been saving my energy since I entered the door, I am already in such tired state after swinging the hammer a few times.

Chen Ge walked past the unconscious Doctor Li and Big Head and turned toward Xiao Sun and Wen Qing, who were stunned beyond words.

"All that I said earlier was merely to trick them. Facing such crazed murderers, I was afraid for my own safety too. But I know that when facing these people, you need to act tougher and more vicious than them to gain the upper hand."

Dragging the hammer that was had pieces of clothing and blood stains stuck to it, Chen Ge's expression was very natural like what he had just done was as simple as a walk through the park.

"I understand what you mean, but how do you explain the weapon that you have been hiding from us? Have you been keeping it inside your backpack all this time?" Xiao Sun's voice was shaking. He felt like he had just been taken out of some dangerous situation to be put into another. It was like the night would never end.

"You mean this hammer?" Chen Ge used the murder's clothes to wipe away the blood stain. "Even though it looks scary, it is actually just a prop at a haunted house."

"A prop at a haunted house? Do you think we will believe something like that? What kind of haunted house would use such a dangerous weapon as a prop?"

"The haunted house at Western Jiujiang's New Century Park." Chen Ge carefully wiped away the blood on Doctor Skull Cracker's hammer. He then walked toward Wen Qing. It did not matter that much whether Xiao Sun trusted him or not; the key was Wen Qing. "I have already told you about this before."

"You did, but I can't say that it's what I expected." Wen Qing's eyes were bulging. She had always had the impression that Chen Ge was a cultured man; he should be someone in the art industry or someone who earned his living using his brains. It was not until she heard Qu Yin's bones cracking that she realized how wrong she was. From the minute Chen Ge took out Doctor Skull Cracker's hammer to the moment the four tenants collapsed in the room, it took less than a minute. This happened so fast that Wen Qing still had not found enough time to process what kind emotion or expression she should be using when facing Chen Ge.

"Reality and imagination will always have that degree of difference. There is no need to mind these details. You only need to know that I will not harm you, and I wish to bring Xiang Nuan back to real life with you." Chen Ge blinded Wen Qing with a consoling smile. There was a unique presence about the man that allowed him to give off this presence of closeness to those around them. He would easily bring them into his confidence if he wanted to.

"You followed me into the door; it was me who dragged you in this mess. Honestly, I was quite scared and shocked by what you did, but don't worry, I have complete faith in you. After all, without you, I probably would have been butchered by this gang of people a long time ago, much less have the opportunity to go look for Xiang Nuan."

After Wen Qing calmed down, she came to the realization that Chen Ge was the only trustworthy person in this world behind the door.

"What is the situation between you two? I can see that you two are not siblings as you claimed earlier. Are you pursuing her? Are you his boyfriend?" Xiao Sun's eyes wandered between Wen Qing and Chen Ge. After hearing what he had to say, Wen Qing quickly tried to explain it, but Chen Ge turned to look back at his shadow. He stared at it for as long as a minute, and then he took out Zhang Ya's diary. There was nothing new added to it.

"So, was I right? You two aren't brother and sister but a couple?" Xiao Sun felt like he had hit the nail on the head again.

"Do you wish to tempt fate every time?" Chen Ge placed the diary back into the backpack's inner compartment. He realized that there might be a reason behind Xiao Sun's mysterious disappearance in real life. "From this moment onward, you'd better watch the words that come out from your mouth. The few of us are the only remaining members left of this group. If you attract danger that is beyond my capability to handle, then I will have to abandon you to deal with it yourself."

While holding Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer, Chen Ge had a heart to heart talk with Xiao Sun. From then, he found out about Xiao Sun's secret. The main reason this university student moved into Jin Hwa Residence was due to poverty. He was taken advantage of by the landlord. The landlord rented him the house for a very low price; the young man thought that he had scored a bargain, but from the very beginning, the landlord had treated him as nothing more than a target. The rent that he had given was not money but his own life. Xiao Sun's story inspired Chen Ge's greatly. An idea appeared in his mind. If he managed to survive this final door, he could set up the scenario in his haunted house so that the visitors would live the life of Xiao Sun and see how long they could survive.

After leaving Room 1001, Chen Ge turned to look at the television sets placed in the living room. He thought back to Xiang Nuan, who had shown up on the screen. The boy seemed to have said something to the group who had gathered at the door before they came in-'Leave.'

"That was probably meant for Wen Qing." Closing the front door behind them, Chen Ge took the keys that he had found from Doctor Li and Big Head and led Wen Qing, Xiao Sun, and Granny Lee downstairs. The corridors were awash with blood. The doors had been pried open by force. None of these doors were the one that Chen Ge was looking for, but each of them was hiding their own version of despair and ugliness. When a person was pushed to the edge of the abyss, with a slight blow of the wind, they might take the path of no return.

And the thing that pushed them over the edge could be an inconspicuous detail in their life, it could be a word from a random stranger, or it could have originated from their own memory. Chen Ge used the key to open the door to Doctor Li's house. Inside it, they found many human bone specimens, the ring of keys left behind by the landlord, and a few bottles of unknown medicine. "Finally, we will be able to leave this place."

Before they left, Chen Ge took a detour to head to Auntie Ding's room. He delivered her the same judgement as Big Head and Doctor Li. At the same time, he rescued the child that was trapped in her home. Under Auntie Ding's torture, the boy's cognitive ability was severely impaired. When asked, he could only answer that his name was Jia Fu.

Chen Ge found a family picture on the boy, and the picture painted a scenario that caused Chen Ge's hair to stand on end. The brightly smiling Auntie Ding and Jia Fu stood in the middle of the family photo. Next to them was a row of wooden boxes, and the wooden boxes had pictures attached to them with children's name-Jia Le, Jia An, Jia Mei...

Jia Fu's legs had been amputated, so he could not leave with Chen Ge. In terms of how to deal with Jia Fu, Wen Qing and Xiao Sun had a split of opinion. Xiao Sun wanted to carry Jia Fu and leave while Wen Qing felt they should go and find Xiang Nuan first before they come back to get Jia Fu. After all, Jia Fu could not move on his own, and he would only bog them down.

In the end, it was Chen Ge who made the final decision. He decided to take Jia Ming to Uncle Huang's place at the first floor. As they moved down the stairs, Chen Ge stopped at the third floor. He decided to go to Room 301 to take a look. The boy known as Wu You was sitting in the living room, looking with interest at the paintings that were stuck to the window.

"Wu You, why don't you come with us? I will bring you to go and find your parents." There were not many good people in the apartment. The fact that Wu You could survive for so long was a miracle in and of itself. Even Chen Ge was surprised by this. Therefore, he wanted to bring Wu You with them; that way, at least they would have an extra pair of eyes.

"I will not go with any of you." To Chen Ge's surprise, Wu You denied him outright.

"Why? Haven't you been meaning to see your mother and father?" Chen Ge was curious. The reason that he used to convince the boy to follow him was to bring him to find his parents; he did not think that the boy would reject him so easily and firmly without giving it much thought.

"On the day my parents left, the last thing that they told me was, no matter what, I am not to leave this house. They will soon return. Whenever a person comes to get me with the offer that they will take me to my parents, that person has to be lying to me." Wu You lifted his head. "You are lying to me, right?"

Chen Ge was stumped. From Wu You's words, he discerned a deeper layer of meaning. When Wu You's parents were dragged out of their house, they probably knew that they would die. That was the only reason they would say something like that. After all, no one would be able to help Wu You find them anymore, so anyone who came to claim so had to be a liar. That was solid logic.

"There's plenty of food on the tenth floor, and this apartment is now a lot safer. If you run into any trouble, go and find the old man that lives on the first floor." Chen Ge ruffled Wu You's head. This boy was clever beyond his years. "Your parents are not wrong. They will return. Before they do, you have to take good care of yourself."

Chen Ge turned to leave. Just as he was about to reach the second floor, Wu You's voice came from above them. "Hey!"

"What?"

"I want to tell you something." Wu You was leaning against the door. His eyes were locked on Wen Qing. "Xiang Nuan is lost. He also appears to be waiting for his family to come find him."

"What?"

The door of Room 301 that had never closed was shut by Wu You, and the corridor sank into silence.

"Does the boy know something that he has not told us?" Wen Qing was quite agitated.

"Perhaps he is friends with Xiang Nuan." Xiao Sun, who was carrying Jia Fu, started to go into detective mode as per his habit.

"Give me a moment while I go and deal with this." Chen Ge carried his backpack and returned to the third floor.

"What are you planning to do‽"

"I will just ask him in person! Why is a boy of six or seven years old playing guess that question with me? I hate people who finish half of their stories the most in this world."

"He is just a child!"

Wu You was surprised to see Chen Ge again within ten seconds since their last meeting. After some repeated questioning, Chen Ge finally got the information he wanted. The electrician was the first to discover the landlord's secret. The reason behind that was because Xiang Nuan had stuffed a video tape that he stole from the landlord's home into his pigeonhole. Xiang Nuan left the building that night. But before he left, Wu You chanced a glance at Xiang Nuan taking a trip to the rooftop.

After giving thanks to Xiang Nuan, Chen Ge carried the backpack and called after Wen Qing. The two of them rushed to the rooftop. "This is it."

The iron door on the tenth floor that led to the rooftop was locked. Chen Ge took some time looking through the ring of keys before he managed to locate the correct one.

"Stay far away from me. Once the door is open, the black fog from outside might rush in, and there are monsters hiding in that black fog."

After Wen Qing stepped back, Chen Ge pushed open the iron door ever so slightly. The black fog outside was not as thick as he imagined, but the stench was as horrible as he remembered. Taking out the hammer, Chen Ge slowly pushed the iron door open. When he saw the whole world that opened before him, his eyes slowly widened.

Jin Hwa Apartment Block A was the tallest building in this neighborhood. So, standing on the rooftop, he could see the entire residential area. The black fog that stretched all the way to the horizon enveloped the twisted buildings. This was like a sea of blackness, and Jin Hwa Apartment and Jiu Hong Apartment were like lone islands that were abandoned in the middle of this black sea. Giant shadows slithered through the fog. Chen Ge gulped. His hands that gripped the hammer were slick with sweat.

"So, this is the real world behind Xiang Nuan's door."

Xiang Nuan's door was completely different from any of the doors that Chen Ge had been to before. It was not covered in red mist but this black fog. Using his Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge could capture the flickering shadows that moved in the darkness. He was suddenly reminded of what happened when he conducted the nightmare mission at Jiang Yuan Apartments. When he reached on the rooftop blindfolded, he heard his own voice from twenty years ago. When he was about to be killed by the door, the younger version of Chen Ge said, '"If I am really forgotten in my nightmare one day, I will paint a window on that black sea and open all the doors in the red city so that all the eyes that have gotten used to the darkness will get a chance to see the light."

"I know what the red city is. Could the black sea refer to this endless wave of black fog?"

Looking at the dark sky, compared to the giant shadow in the fog, Chen Ge felt so miniscule. "When Xiang Nuan left, he came to the rooftop. If I assume that Wu You is not purposely trying to trick me, there should be clues left behind by Xiang Nuan here."

Chen Ge knew about the scary monsters hidden in the black fog. The memory of the sleazy middle-aged man being chomped by one of them was still fresh on Chen Ge's mind.

"I cannot miss any clues. Since I have already entered this door, I will eventually have to interact with the black fog..."

Taking a deep breath, Chen Ge carried his backpack, took out his hammer, and stepped carefully into the fog. Using his Yin Yang Vision, Chen Ge started to search around the rooftop. It did not take long for him to find a heavily broken mud statuette.

The statuette was poorly made, and it looked similar to the other mud statuettes that Chen Ge had encountered in real life, but unlike the others, this statuette had been beheaded. From the breaking point, it did not appear that the head had broken accidentally but was forcibly yanked off by someone or something.

Chen Ge's eyes wandered to the statuette's chest. Two words were carved there-Xiang Nuan.

"This is Xiang Nuan's mud statuette? Why would his own statuette appear behind his door? Was he the one who broke the statuette?"

Many questions bubbled up in his mind. Before he could give them much thought, harrowing wails drifted into his ears.

"A monster from the fog?"

Not daring to test his luck, Chen Ge grabbed the mud statuette, turned, and ran.