“What are you talking about?” Doctor Gao was made even more confused by what Chen Ge said. He could not follow the man’s train of thought anymore. Of course, this was not Doctor Gao’s fault; only Chen Ge himself knew about the hint provided by the black phone. The most crucial hint was the name of the mission—A Room of Three.
Chen Ge would not reveal the black phone to anyone, so he did not explain himself to Doctor Gao but walked out of the room alone.
Men Nan kept experiencing the same dream, and the thing that he remembered most clearly was washing his hair. The dream itself could not be counted as a nightmare; even Men Nan had said at the park that when he experienced this dream for the first time, he did not feel fear. It was after the man had gotten close to him that he started to feel fear. So, in that case, the real threat to Men Nan was the man.
Men Nan’s description of the dream confirmed this. When he was washing his hair, he did not feel any threat, but when the man neared him, he felt hostility. In the last dream, the man had wandered to his side and strangled his neck; obviously, the man meant him harm.
Therefore, in the room of three, there was Men Nan—the victim—and of the remaining two; one wanted to protect him, and the other wanted to harm him. In traditional Chinese beliefs, washing one’s hair in a dream meant removing bad luck, so Men Nan’s dream could very well be warning him that danger was encroaching!
After uncovering Men Nan’s past, Chen Ge suspected that the person who wanted to protect Men Nan was his mother. They had only had each other when Men Nan was growing up, so his mother had no reason to harm him. On the other hand, the person who wanted to harm him should have been the ex-tenant in Room 303.
When Chen Ge arrived at Hai Ming Apartments for the first time, he had immediately noticed the red strings on the railings; they were knotted in a special way. It was a traditional method of warding off evil spirits. From that moment onward, Chen Ge had suspected there was a malicious presence in this apartment.
That combined with what the uncle from Room 301 had told him before entering Men Nan’s room as well the mission hint from the black phone confirmed his suspicion.
To know the identity of the man from Men Nan’s dream as well as to solve Men Nan’s problem, I have to enter Room 303. Furthermore, this is related to the black phone’s mission.
Harming people in their dream, the thing in Room 303 was definitely not a kind spirit; it was probably similar to the mirror monster Chen Ge had come across earlier.
Have to face those monsters again.
People were separated into good and evil; it was similar for the departed. Chen Ge would not hesitate to destroy these evil spirits.
The uncle from Room 301 said that someone died in Room 303 before, and it has stayed vacant since. This means that what remains in the room is probably the dead tenant’s malicious specter. Chen Ge had seen several types of ghosts already. The weakest of them was the lingering spirits; they were not that powerful, just a lingering consciousness. Stronger than lingering spirits were the spirits like Xiaoxiao, and stronger than that was the mirror monster. Chen Ge believed that the thing inside the apartment should be as powerful as the mirror monster.
I wasn’t afraid then, so why should I be afraid now? Furthermore, there are so many living people around me who can help at a moment’s notice. Chen Ge walked toward Men Nan to ask about the location of the landlord. Then, he left Room 304. He returned to the first floor to knock on Room 101.
After a while, a fat woman in her fifties opened the door. She studied Chen Ge up and down before asking, “You want to rent a room?”
“Yes, my friend is living in Room 304, so I want to rent the room next to him: Room 303.”
“303 is not for rent, find another room.”
“The room is empty; why isn’t it for rent?” Chen Ge asked.
“There are empty rooms on the fourth floor. If you refuse to take those, then leave.” The woman then closed the door, effectively ending the conversation.
Is she naturally that unsociable, or have I touched upon a sensitive subject? Either way, Room 303 sure has its secrets. The landlady naturally would not share the history of the dead person inside Room 303, so Chen Ge swapped his target and returned to the third floor to knock on Room 301.
The television volume lowered, and the man that stank of alcohol came to answer the door. “You again?”
“Boss, can I have a little bit of your time?” Chen Ge handed him a 100 note from his pocket. The man accepted the money, and his eyes that fell on Chen Ge seemed friendly. “What do you want?”
“I want to know about the things that happened in Room 303. The more detailed, the better.”
“Room 303, you say?” The middle-aged man did not exit the door but waved at Chen Ge to ask him to enter his room. The small apartment was filled with trash, and Chen Ge could barely find a place to stand.
After closing the door, the man turned the television volume up before saying, “You sure are an inquisitive fella, but listen to me, for the sake of yourself and your friend, move out of this place as soon as you can. Not everyone can stay here.”
“What do you mean? There’s criteria to the tenants?”
“Interestingly enough, it’s related to Room 303.” The man grabbed a random bottle off the table and took a slurp of beer. “Do you know what the name of the original tenant that stayed in that room was?”
“How would I know something like that?” Chen Ge tried his best to ignore the alcoholic breath that drifted out of the man’s mouth. It was difficult to tell whether the man was serious or merely making up a story.
“The man’s name was Wang Haiming; this is his apartment building.”
“But I saw the landlady earlier. She appeared to be a woman in her fifties.”
“That’s his ex-wife.” The man glared at Chen Ge, telling him to not interrupt him. “Wang Haiming was fortunate enough to land on a pot of gold. After that, he abandoned his wife to marry a woman from a mysterious background. A few years later, that woman left Wang Haiming with all his money and even registered him at a mental hospital. In the end, it was his ex-wife who pitied Wang Haiming and got him out of the hospital. She then arranged a room for him to stay in; that room was Room 303.”
“Wang Haiming was once in a mental hospital?” Chen Ge was reminded of the black phone’s mission hint—He came from the Third Sick Hall.
“Yes, regardless of whether or not the man was crazy before he entered the place, after he came out from it, he was definitely abnormal.”
“Abnormal? What do you mean?”
“I’ll give you a simple example.” The man pointed at his head. “Wang Haiming had the tendency to knock his head against the wall whenever midnight arrived. It was as if there was something that had drilled itself inside his brain, and he wanted to crack it open. He would scream and wail as well as have arguments with himself. Sometimes, he would not stop even when his head was already bleeding. No one was able to stop him. Occasionally, they even had to call the cops to apprehend the guy.”