“Use his head to hit the wall? Like something had drilled into his brain?”
Chen Ge thought about what the man had said and realized that Wang Haiming’s condition was rather similar to Zhang Peng’s. They were both possessed by something, but Zhang Peng had chosen to cooperate while Wang Haiming had decided to struggle.
Midnight was the time of the day when the Yin energy was most concentrated and thus the time when those things were at their most active. It explained why Wang Haiming acted up every day near midnight.
Chen Ge decided to continue this line of questioning. “Boss, other than the nightly madness, did Wang Haiming perform any other weird actions?”
“When he first came out of the mental hospital, he felt normal, a little reticent if anything. However, after prolonged interaction, we discovered how weird he really was. He seemed fine in the day and sometimes would even greet others, but he changed into a different man as night fell. Banging his head against the wall, talking to mirror and the walls, strangling his own neck until his face was purple, but he still would not let go.”
Through the man’s description, Chen Ge discovered a thing or two about Wang Haiming’s past. Wang Haiming’s second wife cheated him out of all his money and sent him to a mental hospital. If this was a set up, then Wang Haiming had probably been totally normal before he entered the hospital. A normal person entered the hospital and came out not normal.
He probably brought the thing back from the hospital. An answer slowly settled in Chen Ge’s heart, and he asked another question, “Do you mind giving me the details of Wang Haiming’s death?”
The man raised the bottle in his arm to take a big gulp. “I don’t know why you’re so interested in a dead man, but listen to me, get out while you still can; the place is cursed.”
“Thank you, but I know what I’m doing.”
After more persuasion from Chen Ge, the man finally loosened his lips. “Before this, whenever Wang Haiming acted up, we could hear his screaming, and the tenants would go over to help or call the place. However, on the day of his death, none of us heard him. The next morning, when the landlady went to drop him food, his body had already gone cold.”
“What did the scene of his death look like?” Chen Ge asked. This was crucial if he wanted to reconstruct what happened to Wang Haiming.
The man gave Chen Ge a curious look. He could not understand why this young man was so interested in these things. “At the time, I was also there. There was a large hole on Wang Haiming’s forehead, and blood was splattered all over the wall between 303 and 304. His face was purple like he had died from asphyxiation. There were finger prints around his neck, but according to the police, they came from Wang Haiming himself.”
“So, he strangled himself to death?”
“The room was locked, and he was alone. The door and windows weren’t tampered with, so that seemed like the logical conclusion.” The man finished the beer and tossed the empty bottle away. “You done? Since the sun is still up, I want to go down to buy some beer.”
“Since the sun is still up?” Chen Ge glanced at the darkening sky and finished the conversation. “One last question, after Wang Haiming’s death, have there been any weird happenings around here?”
Chen Ge noticed the man’s face shift when he asked that question. The man glanced at the money in his palm and whispered to Chen Ge, “Many old tenants swear that they have seen Wang Haiming return.”
“But isn’t he dead?”
Before Chen Ge had finished, the man pushed him out of the room.
“Hey! Explain yourself!”
The man had already turned down the corridor. After some hesitation, Chen Ge walked toward the first floor, the landlady’s room. Since Wang Haiming had probably come from the Third Sick Hall, this meant that he had probably carried some information on the Third Sick Hall on him. Chen Ge would not give up on that trail. After all, the Third Sick Hall was the clue left behind by his parents.
After the landlady knew of Chen Ge’s intention, her reaction was surprisingly intense. She warned Chen Ge that if he did not get off her premises soon, she would call the cops.
The steel door slammed in his face, and Chen Ge was feeling rather helpless, standing in the corridor. The landlady refused to cooperate no matter what Chen Ge said.
If I use my mallet to break down the lock of Room 303, that landlady will probably call the police.
Chen Ge returned to the third floor to discuss this with Doctor Gao, but he stopped when he reached the door.
Why is the person in Room 302 still on the phone? A young man’s voice drifted out from behind the door, and the most repeated sentence was—”Are you trying to push me to my death?”
It has been more than half an hour since I left Men Nan’s room, and the young man still hasn’t finished his phone call? It was normal for a phone call to extend for longer periods of time, but it was weird for him to repeat the same few sentences with similar meanings again and again.
Who is he arguing with? His voice is the only one I hear, and now that I listen closer, it doesn’t sound like he’s talking on the phone at all. Chen Ge leaned against the door to listen in. He was reminded of what the middle-aged man had said—When Wang Haiming acted up, he would argue with himself.
This person is suspicious. He knocked on the door, and the sound of arguing stopped immediately. Ten seconds later, the door opened a sliver, and a young man’s voice came out from behind the door. “How can I help you?”
“Regarding this Room 303 next to you…”
Before Chen Ge finished, the door already closed. He had asked everyone he could, and Chen Ge was running out of options. He returned to Room 304 and nodded at Doctor Gao before walking over to the door to lean against it.
The mission venue given by the black phone is Room 303. I’ll need to enter it and check it out before midnight. Chen Ge rubbed his eyes before walking to the window and pushing it open. Room 304 and 303 were adjacent to each other, and their windows were about one meter apart.
I should be able to get over it. Chen Ge pulled over a chair and placed it beside the window to give it a try. The window to Room 303 was not locked, so he could pull it open from the outside.
Getting over there is no problem, but what about the thing that might be waiting inside it? Climbing over the windows to get back might take too much time. Chen Ge lowered his head. The height of three floors was not quite short or tall. However, different from Ping An Apartments, the courtyard of Hai Ming Apartments was not a grass field but hardened concrete.