Red has the longest wavelength of the visible light spectrum. It is the direct contrast to black so pairing them together creates a unique optical effect.
The black house was dark as night while the red humans were fresh as blood. The picture created a great pressure on those who viewed it.
“The boy’s favorite pastime is drawing. He doesn’t like to go out and often secludes himself in his room.” Unbeknownst to Chen Ge, the woman had entered the room. She held two glasses of water in her hands. “Now, I no longer wish for anything but for him to grow up happily like a normal boy.”
The woman passed a glass of water to Chen Ge while placing the other beside the boy. “Let’s go outside, he is afraid of contact with strangers.”
“Okay.” Chen Ge returned to the living room, holding the glass of water. The woman sat down across from him.
“Do you have any other questions?” The woman seemed to have put her guard up again.
“The poor child, I believe that he was traumatized when he was young, so to cure his condition, we have to find out the reason why and then work from there.” Chen Ge vocalized his inner thoughts. “You are his only family, and it is obvious that you care about him, do you mind if I ask you a few more questions?”
The woman nodded. She had a thin sheen of sweat on her forehead, probably due to the heat.
“Earlier, you mentioned that Fan Yu’s parents went missing after going out in search of him, so where was Fan Yu ultimately found?”
“At Mu Yang High School. He was hiding in my brother’s office.”
“Mu Yang High School again? Weird things seem to keep on happening at that place.”
“You couldn’t be more right…” The woman sighed. “Mu Yang High School is the worst school in Jiujiang. To be honest, I don’t even understand the purpose of its existence. Before it was shut down, the police had to visit it every other day on account of the constant fighting.”
“That serious?” Chen Ge listened closely. After all, getting the information from the woman was much more convenient than researching online.
“That’s not all.” The woman stood up and continued in a serious tone. “The school is famously haunted. According to the nearby elders, the place was originally a crematorium. It was knocked down due to city planning, but just think about it, how peaceful could the school be, being built on top of a site like that? I advised my brother not to seek employment there, but he just refused to listen to me.”
“Then why did your brother insist on going to teach at Mu Yang High School?”
“The salary was high, and he had a record, so it was difficult for him to find a job. Who would have thought that would be his last job?”
“A record? Did he make some enemies? Could his disappearance be related to that?” Chen Ge latched onto the details in the woman’s conversation.
“No, it’s nothing like that. My brother liked to drink, but he was a horrible drinker. That was why he was fired from his original school, and a bad history was left on his record. There were only so many schools in Jiujiang, and that made it difficult for him to get a new job.”
“Then, his disappearance doesn’t sound like it was caused by revenge.”
“It’s definitely not.”
The woman’s confidence made Chen Ge narrow his eyes. “How can you be so sure?”
The woman hesitated before she pulled out a picture from the drawer to place it on the table. “Ever since the initial opening of the school, there was a classroom that had always stayed locked, and entry was forbidden for all staff and students. Other than the headmaster, nobody knew why. After the old headmaster passed away, this became a mystery. There are still many legends surrounding that classroom. People said it was a reserved classroom for the spirits who had perished in the crematorium, or some tragedy had befallen the workers before the school was completed. In any case, it is a very dark place.”
“What does that have to do with your brother’s disappearance?” Chen Ge was confused.
“Take a look at this, and you will understand why.”
Chen Ge accepted the photo from the woman, and it was a very curious group photo. A drunken man sat in the middle, and around him stood several rows of students.
It did sound like a normal graduation photo, but the problem lay in the fact that all the students were turned away from the camera!
And should one look closer, every student was standing in a curious manner—they were all on their tiptoes.
“Where did you find this picture, and have you showed it to the police?” Chen Ge placed the photo back on the table and rubbed the sweat that covered his palms.
“The night before his disappearance, my brother was at the bar watching the ball game with his friends. To ensure he would be able to attend work the next morning, he decided to sleep in the nurse’s office. When he passed one of the classrooms, he saw many people standing inside. Praising the class for their hardworking attitude, he stopped for a moment in front of the classroom’s door. The people inside the class seemed to be in the middle of taking a class photo. When they saw him, they invited him in to take the central seat. After taking the picture, the students left, and he himself was unclear who ultimately gave him this picture.” The woman’s voice was flat, but the story made Chen Ge’s skin crawl.
“When my brother saw the picture, it gave him such a shock that he woke up from the alcohol instantly. It was then that he realized he was sitting inside the sealed classroom.” The woman pushed the picture toward Chen Ge. “He only revealed this to me and sister-in-law. We all thought it would eventually blow away, but the next day, that unfortunate incident happened. Xiao Yu suddenly disappeared, and the both of them went searching for him, but it was them who ended up missing. Therefore, I believe their disappearance doesn’t have anything to do with revenge but was related to that sealed classroom.”
“What did the police say?” Chen Ge pushed the photo back.
“They did bring the photo back to Mu Yang High School to conduct an investigation. Even though the students in the picture were wearing Mu Yang High School’s uniform, they could not be found at the school. They opened up the sealed classroom and took a close look. All they found were my brother’s footprints, which confirmed that my brother was indeed once inside that room.”
“Okay, I understand.” Chen Ge asked the woman a few more questions, most of which she had no answer for and for some she only provided a vague answer. After knowing he would not get any new information from the woman, Chen Ge stood up to leave.
“Leaving so soon? It’s so hot outside, why don’t you take a sip of the drink before you leave?”
“Thank you, but I’m not thirsty.” Chen Ge thanked the woman for her kindness before leaving the second floor.
After the conversation with the woman, Chen Ge had a better understanding of Mu Yang High School. There are four side missions at Mu Yang High School, and two of them are related to the little boy’s family.
He took out Fan Yu’s drawing from his pocket to take another few looks. The contrast of black and red seemed to be telling him something. Black house and red men. Could they be related to Mu Yang High School? Could this drawing refer to a building at Mu Yang High School?