"Looks like me, the favor he asked is related to me, smokes cigarette, and is happy go lucky." Chen Ge did feel like Doctor Chen was describing his father, but then he thought about it and realized that was not right. "I am such a big helper and lawful citizen; how could my father impersonate the police and speed drive? There has to be some misunderstanding."
Doctor Chen looked at the bloodied tape that was turning in the recorder, and he did not comment but just nodded slightly. "That is what I thought as well. Whether that was your father or not, the favor he asked was definitely related to you."
"For that, we have to go back to the Third Sick Hall. I followed the man's instructions, and with Men Nan's main persona's help, we successfully closed the door. However, about half a year later, I realized that the door was opened again."
"Was it the old director?" When Chen Ge completed the mission at the Third Sick Hall, he had found out that the old director was suffering from cancer. He did not want to die, so he had escaped into the world behind the door.
Doctor Chen shook his head. "The director was too old, and he did not have the guts. It was Doctor Gao who opened the door, and it was him who was talking into the old director's ears."
Sighing, the emotions in Doctor Chen's eyes became complicated. "I treated Doctor Gao as my dearest friend, so I understood why he did that. If I was in his shoes, I perhaps would have done the same thing because I know how much he loved his wife."
Finishing the water, Doctor Chen described what had happened over the past few years. "On how to deal with the door, there was a difference of opinion between me and Doctor Gao. I believe that the door is misfortune, an omen of tragedy, a problem that needs to be fixed immediately.
"However, Doctor Gao's opinion was different from mine. He believed that the door could be used. Emotions like despair, pain, and anger could be manipulated. At the time, I didn't know he had already opened a door of his own. Due to the difference of ideals, we eventually broke off.
"In the end, when I was forcing my way to close the door, I realized that he not only had a very good understanding of the door, he even owned a Red Specter. I was not his match, so I went to the man for help. From his perspective, we probably looked like two children arguing.
"He did not accost Doctor Gao. Instead, he went into the door at the Third Sick Hall. He seemed to make an important discovery inside that world, and that was related to his later disappearance."
Doctor Chen suddenly paused. He looked at Chen Ge as if wondering whether to tell the rest.
"Don't hesitate—just tell me everything you know." While Chen Ge was listening to Doctor Chen, he had already finished the boxed lunch.
"You should have been to the world behind the door at the Third Sick Hall already, but I wonder if Men Nan's main persona has told you that the window in one of the rooms can't be closed."
"Window?" Chen Ge thought about it. When Chen Ge recently visited the Third Sick Hall, Men Nan did appear like he had been busy fixing the windows. "Yes, I do know that."
"The man crossed swords with a monster behind the door, and they broke the window. I do not know what happened, but when the man left the door, there was a frown on his face. Then he asked me of this favor."
Doctor Chen stood up from the bed, and his expression was serious. "He gave me three scenarios, and the favor would be different depending on these three scenarios. If you did not take up the Haunted House and chose to enter another field, then I was supposed to help you from the dark; if you took up the Haunted House but the results were not great, I was supposed to write you a letter every year with Mr. Chen's name to tell you to give up; if you took up the Haunted House and did a good job, I was supposed to find you and tell you something in person."
"What is it?" Chen Ge had a feeling that his parents had already predicted that he would take good care of the Haunted House.
Doctor Chen's expression turned the most serious that it had been so far. He looked into Chen Ge's eyes and said, "Do not go looking for them."
"Do not go looking for them?" Chen Ge narrowed his eyes, smiling, but did not add anything beyond that.
"It's such a shame because I failed to help you and even ended up needing your help." Doctor Chen did not know what to say. Chen Ge's parents probably would not have predicted this as well.
"What were they doing before they disappeared? Anything weird they have told you or done, tell me everything." Chen Ge's words sounded more like an order than a question.
Doctor Chen was afraid that Chen Ge might do something stupid, so he answered honestly. "They stopped contacting me after telling me this. I know that they had been going to Eastern Jiujiang before their disappearance like they were looking for something."
"If they stopped contacting you, how do you know they had been to Eastern Jiujiang?" Chen Ge placed his finger on the recorder, and the bloodied tape turned slowly.
"These things are easy to find out. Eastern Jiujiang was relatively quiet, but for a period before your parents' disappearance, mysterious cases of ghost arson, ghost highways, cursed hospitals, water ghosts, cursed babies, and many other things were revealed." Doctor Chen shivered just talking about them. "Whenever midnight arrived, something would happen in Eastern Jiujiang. After your parent's disappearance, Eastern Jiujiang became quiet again."
"You suspect that those things have something to do with my parents?"
"I'm ninety percent sure."
"Are you kidding?" Chen Ge held the recorder and frowned. "We've always been a family of lawful citizens—why would they be involved in those things? Were they perhaps dragged into a big conspiracy?"
"That shouldn't be the case. Eastern Jiujiang used to be quiet like it is now. There haven't been any big case or too many supernatural happenings." Doctor Chen subconsciously lowered his voice.
"Something is up. After I'm done here, we shall both go to Eastern Jiujiang to take a look. There has to be a storm under the calm surface," Chen Ge told Doctor Chen. "You can stay here for now; I'll bring you out when the night falls."
"Okay." Doctor Chen sneaked a look at the recorder. "I will not run away, so you can take that recorder with you."
"You're my guest; how can I leave you here alone?" Chen Ge exited the room and placed the recorder by the door. "If you have any demand, just tell the Red Specter. I'll come back at 7 pm."
"Then… thank you." Doctor Chen picked up the boxed lunch and started to eat. Watching Chen Ge disappear down the corridor, he shook his head with a bitter smile. "This feeling sure is familiar…"