Chapter 111 – The Cycle of Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around (25)
The allure of the planting cla.s.s was so great that all the children even gave up their afternoon free activity time, each and every one of them spending it next to the planting boxes staring at their cabbages, deathly afraid of missing the moment they sprouted and broke out from the dirt.
They had already picked out names for their cabbages. Pigtails and Bobcut had even gotten into a fight over whose cabbage would be named “Tiantian”, and were currently separated from one another and fuming sullenly while Gan Tang crouched next to Pigtails, quietly acting as their conflict mediator.
With what had happened when his girlfriend had missed out on her commitment as a precedent, Tian Guangbing gathered up his courage and walked over to the brat, patting his shoulder. “Hey, are you still up for playing basketball?”
The brat “ah”-ed, seeming to have lost interest.
All his attention was placed on the cabbage in the box before him. He reached out a little finger and gently poked the wet soil, saying, “Tian-laoshi, say, I poured so much water on it just now, is it going to die?”
When all was said and done, Tian Guangbing was young, so he had very little experience. He couldn’t really understand why this group of children could act so maliciously to people many times stronger than them, yet could yearn for and care so much for lives even weaker than their own.
Tian Guangbing wracked his brains thinking about an answer that was sufficiently comforting yet wouldn’t overstep, “It won’t. You gave it so much water to drink out of good intentions.”
Shiny, dark eyes stared intently at him, gleaming with childishness and naivety.
“Of course.” Tian Guangbing’s heart melted a little from that gaze, his slightly hard tone softening along with it. “You should talk more to it, that way it’ll know what you’re thinking. It can’t reply to you, but it can hear what you say to it.”
The brat, eyes filled with curiosity, pressed his face right up against the box. He said, provoking, “You’re really small.” Then he giggled happily.
This silly childish words and face made Tian Guangbing involuntarily laugh.
“But I’m not disdaining you.” The brat’s tone changed. He picked up the box and promised somberly, “In the future, you’ll grow into a very good cabbage. Don’t worry, I won’t throw you away and not care about you.”
Tian Guangbing suddenly thought of what these children had been through while they were still alive, and couldn’t help but feel sad.
Most of them weren’t actually children born with health issues. Other than the two girls who sounded breathy when they talked and had slightly pale lips, probably due to some form of congenital heart disease, the others were all perfectly lively.
The brat before him, might just have been the result of a young couple’s impulsivity. They got pregnant, gave birth, and carelessly went through the whole process until they found that they couldn’t deal with it, then rolled their child into a blanket and tossed him into a busy area, hoping that someone could take on the burden of caring for the life they’d brought into this world for them.
The brat pressed his ear to the soil, listening carefully for a moment, before crying out in shocked delight, “It spoke to me.”
When the other children heard that, they began to follow suit, one after another, speaking to the seeds with chirpy voices. Several even claimed to have really heard the seeds reply.
After the area around them became bustling with noise, the brat lowered his voice and spoke to his seeds, triumphant, “Look, I just tricked them.”
Tian Guangbing laughed.
……He was still a naughty kid at heart after all.
That day, other than the incident that had occurred in the canteen that morning, the welfare centre was abnormally harmonious.
Qin Ling woke up for a while during dinner. His ability to endure was really great as he didn’t shout, simply curling up and clutching his eye. He was helped upstairs by Gan Yu, and pa.s.sed out again immediately after reaching the dorms.
Liu Chengyin, who’d put everything in order, returned to her dorm after dinner, staying with her boyfriend and Qin Ling.
Chi Xiaochi and Gan Tang stayed behind to take care of that group of bear children, who were covered in half a jin of dirt, as they showered.
Chi Xiaochi was in charge of the boys, while Gan Tang was in charge of the girls.
Gan Tang, knowing his embarra.s.sing ident.i.ty, only stood far away behind the thick curtain at the door and even politely shut off his vision function. From time to time, he would move his vision to the other side, where Chi Xiaochi was, to confirm that nothing unexpected was happening.
The girls were all very good at taking care of themselves, making themselves nice and clean, and even washing their dresses with a little bar of soap.
After confirming that there weren’t any problems on his side, he looked back over at Chi Xiaochi’s side.
With that one look, his heart melted into a puddle.
Chi Xiaochi had moved over a little stool, picked up a small basin of warm water, and was sitting outside the bathroom. He picked up the shoes the boys had covered in mud spots and dirt clots, pulled off his left sock, dipped it into the water, and began to wipe the shoes clean, pair by pair.
It was as if he was doing something incredibly normal for him. His eyebrows furrowed slightly, a hint of impatience visible on his features.
Chi Xiaochi muttered, his face full of disdain, “A group of dirty little brats.”
As he spoke, he put down a newly-cleaned pair of sport shoes.
Like him, Xi Lou was watching all of this.
After all this time, even though the number of snide remarks Xi Lou had made about Chi Xiaochi could already fill an ocean, he had to admit, “You’re pretty alright.”
Xi Lou stopped speaking, so Chi Xiaochi started teasing him, “If Song Chunyang comes back, what’s your plan?”
Xi Lou said, “We haven’t even compared our Eight Characters, don’t talk nonsense.”
Chi Xiaochi poured out the basin of now-muddy water, filling it anew. “You young people should have dreams, after all. Old people like me really yearn for a young love like yours.”
Xi Lou persisted in staying silent, unwilling to give Chi Xiaochi any chance to perform his usual antics.
Chi Xiaochi smiled, then looked down and continued to clean shoes.
He actually really did envy Xi Lou and Song Chunyang very much.
After all, Song Chunyang could still come back.
Many years after Lou Ying’s death, Chi Xiaochi once had a dream. In that dream, the one who’d died all those years ago wasn’t Lou Ying, it was him.
After waking up, he stayed in a daze for a very long time, thinking, if things had really been that way, would the still-living Lou-ge love him like he did?
When he was done with his ruminations, Chi Xiaochi happily hugged his pillow to his chest and rolled around on the bed.
……As long as Lou-ge didn’t forget him, he’d already be very happy.
As he was lost in his thoughts, he suddenly felt a slight p.r.i.c.k of pain on his finger. He frowned slightly, opening up his right hand, and found a wound on the joint of his index finger.
Thinking about it, it seemed like he’d gotten slashed by a spade when he was digging with the bear children that afternoon. It hadn’t hurt at the time, but it was probably hurting now because water had gotten in.
There were readily available band-aids in the storehouse. He got one out, but who knew that just as he tore open the packaging, a svelte figure would appear before him.
Gan Tang, “I’ll do it?”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t think much of it, saying with a smile, “Okay.”
Gan Tang didn’t make any unnecessary flirtatious movements, except for stroking his palm with her fingertip as she pressed down the edge of the band-aid.
Chi Xiaochi was a little tickled by her action. He withdrew his hand, about to bend over to pick up the half-cleaned shoe, when Gan Tang took his sock from him.
Chi Xiaochi, “Hey……”
Gan Tang said gently, “Just sit. If you keep soaking your wound with water, it might get infected.
Chi Xiaochi smiled, revealing shallow dimples. “I’m just supposed to watch as you clean shoes? That’s far too ungentlemanly.”
Gan Tang also smiled. “Just sit and watch.”
Chi Xiaochi leaned back against the wall, one foot bare, as he stared up at the moon of this alien land, while Gan Tang engrossed herself in washing the children’s shoes in front of him. Splashing and laughter drifted over from the children in the bathroom, making the atmosphere so pleasant that for a while, there was no need for words.
Who would have thought that they would still be able to experience moments of peace like this in a supernatural world.
After mulling over his own matters for a while, Chi Xiaochi was actually a little tired.
He did his best to keep his back straight, wanting to keep himself awake, but unexpectedly, Gan Tang said, “You should just sleep. I’m here to keep an eye on things, so you can just relax.”
Xi Lou thought, relax my a.s.s, female rogue.
Xi Lou wanted to give Chi Xiaochi a head’s up, but then thought, something like both siblings having feelings for the same person sounded ludicrous even to his own ears. There was no guarantee that surnamed Chi would believe him. Anyways, she hadn’t gone any further to express her feelings, so he could observe a little longer before making a decision.
Unlike Xi Lou, who was watching from the darkness, Chi Xiaochi still trusted Gan Tang, so he dozed off against the wall, at ease.
Gan Tang washed all the shoes and arranged them properly, then threw away Chi Xiaochi’s sock, which was already so dirty that it was unbearable to look at. After washing her hands, she lightly grasped his foot and helped him put on his shoe, worried that he would catch a chill from the night wind.
This action was already overstepping a little.
Alarm bells started to ring in Xi Lou’s head. Just as he was about to open his mouth and wake Chi Xiaochi up, he saw Gan Tang raise up her index finger, place it against her lips, and say in a soft voice, “Shh.”
Xi Lou stilled.
……Who is she shushing? Me?
As Chi Xiaochi quietly dozed, his head bobbed up and down, rather unstable. Gan Tang reached out and placed her hand against his cheek. After a moment of careful consideration, a pair of lips moved closer, pushing away his hair and landing a silent kiss against the tip of his right ear.
Xi Lou, “……?!”
In his moment of shock, he saw that Gan Yu had come out of the dormitory at some unknown time, and was quietly standing in the corridor, illuminated by the moon. From the looks of it, he’d seen everything that had just happened.
Hope instantly blazed to life in Xi Lou’s heart.
Look at your sister! Quickly look at your sister!
Please start fighting with your sister! Please! Thank you!
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As Xi Lou had hoped, Gan Yu began to stride over, taking off his gold framed gla.s.ses. The golden chain of his gla.s.ses brushed against his cheek, making a soft sound.
Fortunately, he hadn’t directly called her phone this time……
After being scared so many times, Liu Chengyin had actually become a lot more calm.
Compared to yesterday night, this couldn’t be considered all that scary.
She bent down and picked up the cup phone. Tian Guangbing tried to stop her, but she shook her head, and placed the phone to her ear.
“Liu-laoshi, Liu-laoshi. h.e.l.lo, can you hear me?”
The cup phone turned the child’s voice low and m.u.f.fled, adding another few shades of a hard to describe creepiness.
Liu Chengyin took a few deep breaths, putting herself 120% on guard. In a shaking voice, she said, “En, I can hear you.”
The “phone” went silent, staying quiet for a long time.
The wait was the most unbearable. Liu Chengyin’s face was pale as her fingers gripped the side of the bed tight. Her entire palm was slippery with cold sweat, and she didn’t even dare to look at the window.
Would he get angry about her “missing their playdate” again?
Would he, with that terrifying face, once more appear at her window?
After suffering in the suffocating atmosphere for who knows how long, Liu Chengyin finally heard the brat’s voice once more.
“Lou-laoshi said, if you do something wrong, you should apologise.” His words came out haltingly, actually seeming a little apologetic. “Sorry, laoshi, I shouldn’t have purposely tried to scare you last night.”
Liu Chengyin was really far too shocked, staring blankly at Tian Guangbing, making Tian Guangbing’s heart rise to his throat as he asked her non-stop about what he had said, comforted her, and told her to not be afraid.
Rustling came from the other end of the “line”, the “phone” having been pa.s.sed to another person.
It was Ma Qing.
The soft little fatty who had said that he wanted to eat her.
His childish voice sounded, “Laoshi, thank you for giving me a baozi this morning.”
Liu Chengyin was actually a little touched. In a soft voice, she said, “……No…… no problem.”
The “phone” changed hands once more. It was the brat speaking now.
He said, “Yesterday night, I heard Liu-laoshi call out, saying that you saw a bad person outside your window. I told little fatty about it today……”
A protest came from outside the window, “I’m not fat!”
“Laoshi, don’t be scared.” The brat pushed the little fatty’s fleshy hands aside. As he sat next to him on a narrow path under the window, he said in a manly voice, “You can sleep, we’ll be outside protecting you.”
Liu Chengyin talked with the two children for a very long time until she lay down on the bed next to Tian Guangbing.
The two children were really outside protecting her.
This kind of feeling was really strange, yet touching.
She nestled into Tian Guangbing’s arms, feeling oddly at peace as she drifted off to sleep.
However, some unknown time later, the horrifying, pungent smell of burning dragged her out of her dreams. She shot up out of bed, pulling the still slightly confused Tian Guangbing out with her.
She’d gotten up too quickly. The crackling sound of flames from outside her door left her standing barefoot on the floor, unclear as to whether this was a dream or reality.
Until someone started pounding on the door. Chi Xiaochi’s voice sounded from outside, “Wake up! Quickly wake up, there’s a fire!
The author has something to say:
Even if I were to die, already nailed inside my coffin, I’ll still shout out with my rotten vocal cords from my tomb, I need to update!
LouChi’s daily life of raising children~
Also congratulations to the siblings for their successful double kiss!
sere: children are still pretty cute occasionally
baum: they’re all good kids, they were just placed into terrible circ.u.mstances T T
also I love it whenever we get Xi Lou POV hahahaha his reactions to 061’s shenanigans are always hilarious
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