“But I’ve not done anything! Wait for me, I’m going down now!” Chen Ge leaned closer to the window to glance down. There was indeed a great crowd outside the Haunted House, and the number was still growing.
“Boss, listen to me, surrender while you still can before this gets worse.”
“Surrender my foot! Just wait for me.” After hanging up, Chen Ge quickly put on his clothes, washed his face, and ran to the door. He pulled back the heavy curtains and dashed out the gates.
When Chen Ge made his appearance, the rowdy crowd started to quiet down. The surrounding visitors looked at Chen Ge with curiosity and more than a bit of disappointment in their eyes. Obviously, they had expected the person who was surrounded by the police to look less… normal.
This was the first time that Chen Ge had felt so many eyes on him. He seemed to shrivel up in shyness, but he felt like he should say something. “Do any of you mind telling me what this is for?”
“You are Chen Ge?” The leading officer carried a box in his arms. He was slightly rotund, but his eyes were sharp and penetrating, which created a rather humorous contrast to his babyish face.
“Can I see your identification?”
Chen Ge searched for a long time before producing his identification card. All this while, he was silently studying the officer before him. The officer was wearing a uniform different from Inspector Lee and his men.
“Okay, thank you for your cooperation.” The officer smiled. He waved at the reporters beside him, opened the box in his hand, and announced in an official tone, “For providing the murder case at Ping An Apartments with crucial evidence, Jiujiang Municipal Bureau for Public Security is awarding this Level Three Public Security Medal of Honor to Chen Ge! Hopefully, Chen Ge will appreciate this honor and continue to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of the public security of our society!”
This series of announcement confused Chen Ge. Things were happening too quickly for him to handle. As the box was pushed into his hands, he looked at the shiny medal, and there was only one thought on his mind, which was only half-awake. Where’s the reward money?
The slightly rotund officer stood beside Chen Ge and paraded him to the wall of reporters. The whole process lasted for fifteen minutes. After the crowd dispersed and the reporters left, Chen Ge quietly sought out the rotund officer. “Sir, how may I refer to you?”
“The name’s Yan, you can call me Captain Yan. I was classmates with Western Jiujiang’s Ol’ Lee. In fact, he has told me many things about you.” Captain Yan seemed to be a friendly character. His eyes that looked upon Chen Ge were glowing the praise. “The way you handled the case at Ping An Apartments is impressive. When you were being chased by the killer, your reaction and observation skills surprised both me and Ol’ Lee.”
After being fed the series of praises, Chen Ge felt too embarrassed to jump to the topic of the reward money. “All I did was run crazily around the woods. The case wouldn’t have been solved without the police. In fact, I would have been the killer’s latest victim if not for all of you.”
After the trading of compliments, Captain Yan realized that Chen Ge was still lingering shamelessly around the police car. He smiled to himself because it finally dawned on him why Chen Ge was there. “Xiao Chen, you’ll need to go to the main city’s bureau personally to get the reward money. Due to the large scale of the case, it took a while for the reward to be approved, but you can go get it now. I hope you understand.”
“Of course, of course.” After knowing where to get the reward money, Chen Ge’s heart that hung in the air finally settled.
“I came here today to thank you in person. Every unsolved case is like a boulder pressing on every police officer’s heart, and it’s something passed on from the senior to the junior. Four years ago, I was also involved in this case, so thank you for solving this trouble in my heart.” Captain Yan smiled sincerely. “By the way, the elder from Ping An Apartment also wished to speak to you. The elder is incapacitated, can no longer move his lower body, and has lost much of his capacity to talk, but his mind is still sharp. He knows it is you who saved him and solved the death of his family. He also wants to thank you in person.”
“I understand.” For Chen Ge, the case was merely a mission dispensed by the black phone, but for the victims and their family, it was a meaningful closure.
“You’d better visit him soon. The elder is currently in hospital. Perhaps it was the emotions that ran high or perhaps the question that has been keeping him alive has been answered… in any case, he’s not doing so well.”
After that, Captain Yan got into the car.
“Okay, I’ll visit him later in the afternoon.” Looking at the special uniform that he wore, Chen Ge felt this Captain Yan carried a greater responsibility than he let on. After the police car left, the park’s workers surrounded Chen Ge.
“Boss, are you going to be on television again‽”
“Not bad, there’s even a medal.”
After sending them off, Chen Ge found Uncle Xu in the crowd, and he dragged him to a corner to speak.
“Uncle Xu, what’s the update regarding the rental of the underground parking lot? The money will be coming soon!”
The mention of underground parking lot made Uncle Xu frown. “This is not the issue of budget. Xiao Chen, I cannot sit idle and watch you jump into your own grave. The visitor number of the park has been steadily dropping, and everyone is trying to flee, don’t you understand that?”
“I do understand that, and I know what I’m doing,” Chen Ge replied confidently. The Haunted House might carry the key to the disappearance of his parents. Only by continuing to expand it would Chen Ge have the chance and the ability to interact with the other world.
“Still so stubborn.” Uncle Xu tried to persuade Chen Ge for a long time, but it was to no avail. In the end, he could only sigh. “Come with me then. Due to the appearance of the police, Mr. Luo is also with us. You might as well talk to him in person.”
“Director Luo is here?” Chen Ge had heard his parents mention this actual owner of New Century Park many times already.
“What do you think? The police set up a security perimeter around the park, did you think they would not inform the management? To provide full cooperation, Director Luo has been staying at the park for the past few days.” Uncle Xu led Chen Ge to a building on the northern side of the park. This was the second tallest structure in the park, behind the Ferris Wheel. “When you meet Director Luo later, remember to watch what you say. The less you say, the less likely you’ll make a mistake, you understand?”
Chen Ge followed Uncle Xu into the elevator that led them up to the top floor. They stopped before the door of an office. The door wasn’t locked. Uncle Xu knocked on it, and very soon, a man in his fifties came out from it.
The man was of average height, and his hair was half white. His features were gentle, and the suit he wore was not branded, but it was clean and didn’t have the slightest crease on it.
This is Mr. Luo? He looks so different from the picture. From how Chen Ge saw it, the man standing before him looked more like a retired teacher.