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1092 Misery Is a Kind of Illness 2 in 1

 The rag doll in the thirteenth picture looked rather pitiful. It was picked up by the girl from a heap of trash and ended up being abandoned in a heap of trash again.

"There are no other pictures in the drawer. This is the last one." Chen Ge looked at the collage of pictures on the table. The family portrait that was heavily damaged and the picture of the rag doll being abandoned at the trash heap formed a stark contrast. "This should be the first time it was abandoned."

Chen Ge was just speculating. The doll was willing to put its trust in others, so that proved, at least at that time, that it had not started down the path of the ghost fetus. It believed that it could really befriend the girl. Perhaps, even at a certain moment, the girl had treated it as her friend, but reality had delivered the doll a heavy slam.

"The girl's family were probably all murdered by the doll, and the girl herself became the rag doll's own doll." Chen Ge closed the drawer and returned to the living room. The girl was leaning against the chair. She did not appear like she could stand on her own. If not for the white cloth that bound her, she probably would have had trouble sitting up on her own.

"Can you hear my voice? If you can, please blink or at least nod ..." Chen Ge helped remove the white cloth from the girl's body. Throughout the whole process, the girl did not resist or give any response. She allowed Chen Ge to handle her freely like a toy that did not have her own consciousness. When all the white cloth had been removed, the girl's body tipped to the side. When Chen Ge reached out to catch her from falling, several bloody pictures fell out from her body.

These pictures were different from the ones that Chen Ge had found earlier in the bedroom drawer. The pictures there were all taken at midnight, and the backdrop was one of blood. The main focus of the pictures were the girl's family members and the horrifying ways that they had died. In a way, they were a macabre collage of a tragedy that befell a family.

"These are the pictures of its revenge?" Chen Ge studied the pictures closely, and he noticed something very strange. In the bloody pictures, other than the girl's family and the rag doll, there was another person that had not shown up before.

One of the pictures had a room number in it. It was taken at the door to Room 504. The girl's father was lying on the ground, and the rag doll was dragging him along by his remaining leg. Other than these two inside Room 504, there stood a doctor wearing a white doctor's coat.

"Is he the tenant of Room 504?" Upon closer inspection, Chen Ge noticed that this man had shown up inside almost all of the bloody pictures. However, Chen Ge was unable to recognize him because his face had been scratched out of them all. Nevertheless, the white coat that he wore set him apart. It was filled with small holes burnt out from cigarette butts, and it was stained with something that looked like fat.

"After the rag doll was abandoned, it looked quite pitiful, but it did not turn to revenge at the first given moment. It stayed on its own inside the trash heap. Could its change of nature be related to this doctor?"

Chen Ge felt that he had found another key clue. The shadow's first change was probably because it had entered the world behind the door at the haunted house, and the second change might have been caused by its encounter with this doctor.

"Wen Qing, did a doctor once stay at Jiu Hong Apartments?"

"Yes, I think so, but I do not have a good memory of him." Wen Qing gave it some thought. "I cannot be sure whether that person was a doctor or not, but when I first got the job at Jiu Hong Housing Agency, I often saw this man wearing a white doctor's coat walking out from Jiu Hong Apartments."

"There is such a thing?"

"Yes, but after me and Xiang Nuan moved to Jin Hwa Apartments, I rarely saw that man. The doctor in the white coat did not show up that often again."

"I see." A speculation arose in Chen Ge's heart. He held the several bloody pictures in his hands. "We should go to Room 504. We should be able to find all the answers there."

Ever since he discovered the presence of the cursed hospital, Chen Ge had been very sensitive around those in the medical business. Perhaps it was a force of habit, but whenever he saw someone wearing a doctor's coat, he had an urge to follow them.

"Xiao Sun, how are you feeling? Are your wounds getting better?" Chen Ge suddenly turned to Xiao Sun.

"I feel like the wounds have worsened. The pain is becoming more and more intense, and they do not show any sign of recovering at all." Xiao Sun shook his head. "Why would you suddenly care about me?"

"I actually wanted to ask you to carry this girl with us, but since you are still injured, forget about it." Chen Ge laid the girl flat on the sofa.

"We are not bringing her with us?" Wen Qing felt quite sorry for the girl. The latter looked like she needed protection and love. She was no different from a doll who had been abandoned by her owner.

"The pictures that we've found have practically reconstructed what happened, but there are too many details in the middle that we're clueless about. It's too dangerous to carry her with us for no reason." Chen Ge gave a very simple example. "What if we are in the middle of escaping but she suddenly wakes up, strangles you, and refuses to let go?"

"Okay then, we will leave her here for now."

"After we have explored the whole building and ensured that there is no hidden danger, we can come back to fetch her." Chen Ge took the few bloody pictures and exited Room 404. When he stepped out of the front door, he noticed the bloody handprints in the corridor had increased. The handprints appeared to be completely random, but at the same time, it appeared like the thing that left them behind was crawling around Chen Ge's group.

"I have a bad feeling about this. We'd better speed up and head to the fifth floor!"

More broken toys appeared out of nowhere. No matter how lightly they tried to move, the toys would squeak and make noise when they were stepped on. These strange noises appeared particularly harrowing in the eerily quiet corridor. With Chen Ge leading the way, the group did not stop until they reached the fifth floor. The stench in the air thickened significantly. This floor had an obvious difference compared to the previous floors. The walls were filled with bloody handprints of varying sizes, and scratch marks as well as random doodles could be seen everywhere.

The doodles appeared like they were the handiwork of a child. They had very simple lines, but the content was extremely scary. This kind of contrast between innocence and horror left a scarring impact on the adults. Other than that, Chen Ge noticed something that was quite out of the ordinary. The walls of the fifth-floor corridor had the calligraphy of the character joy as well. However, unlike the previous floors, the characters were not inverted on this floor.

"It is customary during Chinese New Year to have inverted calligraphy of the Chinese character for joy because, in Chinese, it sounds like an invitation for joy. The few floors below us all have inverted calligraphy, but the calligraphy on this fifth floor is not inverted. Is it a way of telling others that 'joy' has already arrived at this floor?"

After seeing so many inverted 'joy's, the sudden sight of the whole wall of upright 'joy's stunned Xiao Sun quite a bit. They were something that he needed to get adjusted to. Chen Ge ignored him and walked directly to the door of Room 504.

The bloody handprints of different sizes in the corridor all congregated around this place. Chen Ge used his finger to trail along some of the handprints. He noticed that all the handprints crawled out from this room, and then they would crawl back into this room.

"The secret of this whole building should be inside Room 504." Chen Ge stopped outside the door. He glanced at the half-open door, and his eyes scanned the door number. Xiao Sun and Wen Qing walked over to join him. The three of them stood together, and they were as ready as they could be.

Raising his arm, Chen Ge reached out to grab the door handle. Before he could push, however, the door was suddenly pulled open slightly from inside. Something reached out to grab at Chen Ge's wrist. Wen Qing gasped in shock, and Xiao Sun retreated out of the fear. Even Chen Ge was jolted back by surprise. However, the man recovered and reacted as fast as he could. Just as he was about to turn around to grab at the door, a ball of cloth was shoved through the gap.

"You all saw it, right? The door opened on its own!" Xiao Sun pointed at the door. "Do we still need to enter it?"

Xiao Sun and Wen Qing stood behind Chen Ge, and they stayed far away from the door. Chen Ge inspected the spot of his wrist that had been grabbed earlier. He had lost complete sense of that part of his limb; it felt ice cold like it had turned into a block of ice.

"We're already here. Of course, we are not going to stop here. We are going in to take a look." Chen Ge knelt down to pick up the ball of cloth that had fallen through the gap. It was a bolt of fabric that was rumpled together. It had a bloody message written on it-'Do not kome in.'

"The monster seems to be reminding us not to come in. Is it doing that on purpose?" Xiao Sun looked at the message on the cloth. "Then we'd better go. Even the ghost inside the building is warning us. Isn't it a bit rude for us to stay and not listen to them?"

"Wait a minute!" When she saw the handwriting on the cloth, Wen Qing became quite agitated. "Do not move yet. The handwriting on this cloth looks similar to Xiang Nuan's handwriting."

Wen Qing grabbed the cloth to study it closer. After some time, she said with confidence, "Xiang Nuan is still learning his letters, and he always miswrites 'come' as 'kome'. Yes! This is written by him!"

Holding the cloth tightly, Wen Qing's eyes were reddening from emotion. "Xiang Nuan is inside this room! He is behind this door! We have to go get him!"

"Please calm down." Chen Ge tried to make Wen Qing calm down, but the floodgates had already opened, and Chen Ge was unable to do anything to stop her. "This whole building is filled with bloody handprints, so the ghost who left them behind will have blood on their hands. But the hand that reached out from inside the door earlier was invisible. Other than the intense chill, there was no stain of even one drop of blood on its hands. Therefore, that is proof that this person is different from all the other ghosts inside this building."

"That is because it is not a ghost but Xiang Nuan!" Wen Qing was desperate to get the door open, but she was held back by Chen Ge.

"Have you really thought this through? It might not be Xiang Nuan behind the door but something else." Chen Ge wished to clarify himself. When they saw the white handprints on the bedsheet inside Room 301, Chen Ge had felt curious about its appearance. Why was the ghost that particular about Wen Qing and only targeted her?

If the source of the white handprints was Xiang Nuan, then perhaps it meant that Xiang Nuan had been following Wen Qing, but no one was able to see him. Only when Wen Qing was very close to him would they be able to sense his presence.

"I am ready. No matter what, I have to open this door and enter this place to take a look." Wen Qing was determined. No matter what Chen Ge said, his words fell on deaf ears.

"You want to enter this room to find him, but he has already given you the hint that forbids you from entering this room." Chen Ge sighed heavily. "Oh well. The two of you had better stay close behind me. If there is any danger, we will retreat from the room as fast as we can; there shall be no hesitation."

Chen Ge grabbed the doorknob and slowly pushed the door of Room 504 open. The door shook, and a horrible stench hit him in the face. "Looks like a part of the rag doll is hidden inside this room."

Once the door opened, Wen Qing took out her phone and shone the flashlight into the living room. When she saw what was inside the room, the expression on her face froze. The small room was occupied by bloody handprints, but other than the children's handprints, many faces of children were printed on the walls. All the faces were painted red; they did not have any expression, and they all looked different from each other.

"How come it feels like every face is a representation of a living child? It feels like they are going to open their eyes at any moment!" Xiao Sun walked at the back of the group, and he sucked in a cold breath.

"Xiang Nuan!" Wen Qing started to scream inside the room.

"Can you two be quiet for a moment?" Chen Ge pulled on the strap of his backpack, and his hands gripped the handle of Doctor Skull Cracker's Hammer tightly. His nerves were tense. He was on high alert. There were many tables and chairs placed inside Room 504. If not for the bloody faces and handprints, this place could easily be mistaken for a tuition center. A smiling mask was placed on each of the chairs. The materials that made the mask were probably the banknotes on the ground; the banknotes had the same yellowed paper quality to them.

Chen Ge picked up a random paper mask to take a closer look. This smiling mask that was cut out from paper money had a great contrast to the faces of the children on the wall. One was forever smiling while the other was bound in extreme despair.

Chen Ge looked around before he found a stack of document files inside the drawer of the television cupboard. The document files were numbered, and they appeared to be from more than a few decades ago. When he found the first file, Chen Ge stood inside the living room and opened it. The stench inside the room thickened. Chen Ge dumped the content of the file on the coffee table. It contained some documents with pictures attached to them and the dead carcass of a small bird that had been air dried.

"A patient's list?" Chen Ge read the files, and it was a doctor's records.

"It had no name. I found it among a heap of trash, so I shall call it Trash for now.

"Trash desires to have a life like a normal human being. It is chasing something that even it cannot clearly explain itself. Based on its description, I personally believe it is looking for the feeling of bliss.

"Trash wishes to obtain bliss, but it does not understand what bliss is. To cure its illness, I will have to first teach it what the meaning of bliss is.

"Trash does not understand any conversation or words that involve human emotions. I will have to use a different method to teach it.

"The lack of bliss or misery is a kind of disease; misery is like a cut that was left on one's heart. All the happiness will leak out from this opening, and bliss is the bandage that will close up this wound.

"Using my perspective to explain bliss, Trash was able to understand the concept very quickly. It started to find wounds on other people's bodies. It really is a good kid. When it first understood bliss, the first thing it wanted to do was not to create misery but to go in search of bliss.

"It looked for a long time, but it failed to find bliss. To help it understand the concept further, I persuaded it to create misery and, from the contrast, try to observe what bliss actually is.

"Trash chose a bird. Under my tutelage, it broke off the bird's wing. The blood splattered all over the bird's feathers. The bird was wailing in despair. That is the sound of misery.

"Under the watchful care of Trash, the bird's wound slowly recovered. But it had lost the ability to fly in the sky. I told Trash that was the price of bliss.

"To obtain bliss, one has to give up something; it is a very fair exchange."

That was where the first file ended. Then Chen Ge opened the second file. Other than the written documents, there was an eyeball that was encased inside a ball of glue.

"Trash is the most perfect patient I have ever encountered; it is so perfect that I do not wish to share my findings with other doctors. I will keep it here with me for now. I will not bring it back to the work. I will conduct the treatment with Trash at the comfort of my own home.

"Trash is very clever. He has created a beautiful body for himself. He used the materials that he had taken from those with misery around them.

"Even if I use all the vocabulary within my knowledge, I am unable to describe its beauty. Trash has the same eye for beauty as I do. I did not teach him that that; he picked it up on his own.

"Now that he possesses a beautiful body, Trash can go and do more things, and I can conduct more intense treatment on him."