After stuffing the girl’s mouth, the old man and the middle-aged man returned to normal. They seemed to be extremely sensitive to the term ‘hand’. The term opened some kind of memory in their minds, and it brought out their darkest and scariest memory.
“Why are they afraid of ‘hand’?” Chen Ge looked around the room and found nothing related to a hand. He looked at the three people, and there were no obvious wounds on their bodies, so the fear was probably psychological.
“Just what is it that has scarred them so?” Chen Ge’s brain turned, and he landed on a possibility. In the information provided by Doctor Gao, Patient Number 4 lost his hand due to an accident, and he was diagnosed with Phantom Limb Syndrome after that, thinking his arm was still there. The patient had no name. Perhaps Doctor Gao had forgotten about it or the name had been purposely removed. “In my memory, only this person can be said to be related to a hand.”
Phantom Limb Syndrome was not a scary disease, and it was not even considered a serious psychological problem; it was definitely treatable through medication and counselling. Chen Ge was familiar with this information, so the thing that scared him was… why would a patient with a seemingly harmless Phantom Limb Syndrome be kept at the Third Sick Hall?
What had he done to make the hospital think that he was a dangerous threat?
Chen Ge walked to the girl. The middle-aged man refused to communicate, and the old man seemed to be retarded, so his only opening was the young woman. He squatted down beside the iron cage and looked the girl in her eyes. Since he could not communicate with her normally, he was going to try something else.
With a voice he was sure the woman could hear, he asked, “Did you see many hands?”
The girl did not react in any way but shrunk further from Chen Ge.
“Did you see a man with only one hand?” Before he even finished, the girl in the cage started to shake her head vehemently, her head banging continuously on the iron cage.
The girl’s weird reaction answered many things. The thing that gave her the nightmare was probably the person with only one hand. Staring at the girl’s face, Chen Ge paid attention to the smallest twitch of emotion on her face. “That man was carrying a weapon?”
Her eyes widened, and veins popped on her forehead.
“What was he carrying? Saw? Knife? Or axe?”
“HMM!” The woman’s mouth was gagged. She was agitated but could not make a sound.
“Looks like it was one of those things, but what would he have done to you?” Chen Ge’s voice dropped. “Chop? Saw? Did he say you are creatures of imperfections, so he wanted to fix you? Or did he want to borrow your arm?
“The number of victims is dwindling, so you should have been around when they were correcting the patients. You are the witness, and you have seen everything, yes?”
The woman’s face was twisted with popping veins, and tears flowed down her face. She continued to shake her head like she was saying that she did not see anything.
“You really don’t know anything? Then, why are you so afraid of that hand? Did the hand fall beside you, or did it once capture you when you were trying to escape?”
From Chen Ge’s perspective, even though the woman was beyond traumatized, the scary memory was also etched in her mind. Running away from fear was a human’s natural instinct, so when he mentioned something scary to the woman, her body would react to it instinctively, and the truth could be deduced from her expression and actions.
A person’s natural instincts would not lie. Chen Ge had confirmed part of his suspicion from the woman’s reaction. “Don’t be afraid. If you’re really innocent, I will save you. I came here tonight to uncover everything and make sure all these crazy people get punished by the law.”
The smell of mildew was heavy in the laundry room. Chen Ge stayed beside the woman for some time. It was unclear whether the woman understood her or not, but she did start to calm down. He reached into the cage once more and slowly pulled out the pillow case.
Cowering inside the cage, the woman’s face was etched in terror. Her lips fell open, and she kept repeating that word. “Hand… hand…”
“Just what kind of sick experience happened to her to scar her this way?” Chen Ge dropped the pillow case aside when he felt a push on the laundry room’s door behind him. The force was small, like the person planned to sneak in but did not expect there to be a laundry machine blocking the door.
“The laundry room is at the deepest end of the corridor. The rooms nearby are all locked and sealed, so it couldn’t be the wind.” Chen Ge picked up the pillow case and gagged the woman again. He then turned to look at the white cat submerged in the pile of dirty clothes. Perhaps the heavy mist of mildew had ruined its sense of smell, but it did not give Chen Ge a warning this time.
“Looks like I’ll need to depend on myself. I have to be more careful.” Chen Ge grabbed the mallet and focused on the door. Under his gaze, a hand reached into the room through the gap. The gap was small, and the person could only poke in several fingers, he was probably trying to see whether the lock was still working or not.
“The real culprit has arrived.” Chen Ge’s growth after two Trial Missions was obvious. He did not panic but slowly opened his backpack’s zipper. He took out the scary looking Doctor Skull-cracker’s hammer, removed the camera from his wrist, placed it on the counter facing the door.
The camera corresponded to the small window in the left corner of his livestream room. By placing the camera pointed at the door, he could see what was happening at the door via his phone.
After preparing, Chen Ge placed his backpack beside his leg, gripped the hammer, and hid in the corner beside the door. Not long after that, the laundry room’s door was pushed again. The person outside the door seemed to have lost their patience, and after a few attempts, they slammed heavily on the door!
The washing machine was toppled over, and the door fell open. Through his phone, Chen Ge could see two people standing outside the door!
One of them had a twisted face and was holding an axe with red stains on it. The other only had one arm and was holding an iron shovel. Neither of them noticed the small camera that was pointed at them. The single-armed man nodded at the twisted face, and he moved toward the door cautiously.
Before his body even got over the threshold, the tip of his shoe had just stepped into the room when he heard the sound of rushing wind beside his ear!
Chen Ge swung the hammer directly at the door when the single-armed man showed intention of entering the room. The timing was perfect. When the man realized what was happening, the hammer was already close to making contact with his chest.
The scary-looking hammer seemed to enlarge before his eyes. He used his remaining arm to block his chest, and with a speed several times faster than the speed he used to enter the room, he was sent flying out of it!