There was a stench in the air, and the closer Chen Ge got to the third sick hall, the more obvious the stench became. The hallway between the second and third sick hall was locked. A steel door separated the two sick halls.
Through the small gap in the door, Chen Ge could sort of see into the third sick hall. The tables and chairs were overturned, and a mess of mattresses littered the hallway. They were bloated up like they were covering something underneath.
Chen Ge stood beside the rusted steel door with his eyes locked on the keyhole.
“A double-sided lock?” Most mental hospitals used double-sided locks. In an emergency, the door could be locked from either side to prevent entry to seal up an entire area.
This was something inconspicuous, but it had garnered Chen Ge’s attention. He took out the key left behind by Wang Haiming from his pocket and tried it with the lock. Due to a lack of maintenance, the lock was rusted shut, and the key could barely fit.
“I knew it would be extremely lucky if it fitted.” After comparing the keyhole and the height of the key as well as the teeth, Chen Ge pocketed the key again. When he entered the hospital, he noticed that most rooms had single-sided lock, and their keyholes were small, too small for the key to fit in.
Wang Haiming brought the key out from the third sick hall, so the lock it fits should be inside the Third Sick Hall as well. If I dare make a speculation, there are nine patients living in the Third Sick Hall that has ten rooms, so could the missing patient from Room 3 be Wang Haiming?
Chen Ge could not confirm his speculation. Then again, Doctor Gao had searched through all the records, and there was nothing on Room 3. Just a Wang Haiming shouldn’t be enough for the hospital to delete all the records.
The mystery at this hospital was deep. Chen Ge was not interested in what happened here five years ago; he merely wanted to find the clue left behind by his parents and the way to close the ‘door’.
Chen Ge held the flashlight in his hands as he entered the third-floor corridor. He walked past the rooms carefully. “Could the person I saw earlier be hiding in one of these rooms?”
At the end of the long corridor, Chen Ge stopped at the door to a room with an unknown purpose. A heavy scent of mildew drifted out from behind the door, and the door looked different from other normal sickbays. There was also a brand-new lock that hung on the door.
“There is no rust on the lock. Similar to the lock that appeared on the first sick hall’s front door, this is new.” Chen Ge tried Wang Haiming’s key, and it still did not fit. He turned back to look down the dark corridor. After making sure there was no one around, he raised the mallet and slammed it at the door.
“Thankfully, it’s a wooden door. I wouldn’t be able to get in if it was a steel door.” As the door fell away, a heavy smell of mildew hit Chen Ge. The room was stuffed with patients’ clothing and mattresses that formed a small hill.
“This appears to be the laundry room for the second sick hall.” Chen Ge straightened up, and the camera on his chest recorded everything, including the words that left his lips. Due to the dangerous environment, he did not dare let his guard down to chat with the viewers. All he could do was vocalize everything he was thinking and seeing like a real life supernatural documentary.
The smell of mildew overwhelmed the stench that lingered at the sick hall itself. It made Chen Ge feel sticky and uncomfortable. Suppressing the discomfort, Chen Ge walked into the room.
The room was large. There were several laundry machines and special anti-bacterial machines lined up by the wall. Other than that, the room was occupied by dirty laundry and old mattresses.
“This room looks normal, so why is it locked?” Chen Ge focused his attention on the mountain of dirty laundry. Holding his breath as much as he could, he used the mallet to move the layers of cloth aside. “I have a feeling something is hiding underneath here.”
Chen Ge increased his pace, and as he peeled off the stained clothes, the mallet hit something hard, and it created a metallic clink.
“An iron cage?” He moved the layer of mattress aside, and the sight that appeared caused his heart to skip a beat. There was a young woman whose head was shaved trapped inside an iron cage!
Her mouth was gagged with a dirty pillow case, and her hands were tied to the cage. Her mental condition was unstable, and she kept shaking her head at Chen Ge, waving her tied hands as her legs kicked outwards at the cage.
Chen Ge was stunned. He definitely did not expect to find a living person under the mountain of dirty laundry. The livestream exploded, and the chatlog went berserk. In fact, there were so many comments that the livestream itself had lagged.
Chen Ge took a quiet step back. Even then, he was calm. He closed the door and moved a laundry machine to block the door. He was afraid of being assaulted from behind. It was only after he blocked the door that he dared move close to the iron cage.
“Can you understand me?” When Chen Ge neared the cage, the woman started to resist. There was no way to communicate with her. “There are no wounds on her body and no oil stains on her lips. This woman isn’t the person who was moved from the first sick hall. Perhaps there are some other people here.”
Chen Ge rummaged through the other laundry, and the horrible stench hid 3 iron cages. The iron cages were arranged in the form of the character ‘品’, similar to how the three buildings at the mental hospital were arranged.
The woman was placed in the middle, and to the left of her was an old man about seventy. He was incredibly thin, and there were oily stains on his lips and fingers. To the right of the woman was a pale middle-aged man who appeared like he had not seen the sun for a long time. This man was the only one who looked at Chen Ge. His gaze was complicated, and it was filled with a mixture of excitement, disgust, and fear.
Things were greatly out of Chen Ge’s expectations. A thought appeared in his mind. He gripped the mallet and retreated to a safe distance from the three iron cages.
When one came across strangers in a dangerous situation, the safest method was to not believe what they said and try to not get too close to them because the real murderer might be hiding among them.
Chen Ge walked around them. The cages were small; they were definitely not designed for humans. With a living person, they could not even turn their body inside the cage.
“Three cages, but only the woman is gagged and tied up.” More questions surfaced. If they were all victims, why was only the woman, the weakest of them, apprehended in such a manner?
The old man had a blank expression, and the middle-aged man had a changing expression. Their limbs were not tied, but they also did not ask for help. They just sat quietly in the iron cages, looking at Chen Ge.
Comparing the explosive livestream, Chen Ge was calm. He stood before the three cages and asked, “How long have you been kept here?”