Chi Xiaochi pretended to not notice Yuan Benshan’s unnaturalness. He pursed his lips, his expression hesitant.
Seeing his face, the corners of Yuan Benshan’s lips raised as he forced out something resembling a smile. “Why did you think of asking this all of a sudden?”
“I’m not asking……” Chi Xiaochi put his hands behind his back, his expression as if he’d already given this a lot of deep thought. “I, know of a way, to exchange Yin-Yang eyes with someone.”
Upon speaking to this point, his eyelashes trembled at just the right time, but he let out an extremely bright smile. “Aren’t you always worried about us being separated in the tenth task? If you’re really worried, I can give you one eye.”
Xi Lou, “……” What the f.u.c.k?
“Why did you suddenly think of such a ridiculous thing?” Yuan Benshan reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders. His eyes weren’t moved, but rather held a hint of panic that he was trying to conceal but only made it more obvious.
Chi Xiaochi blinked lightly. His eyes shone with just the right amount of tears. Even through the sungla.s.ses, one could see their faint watery shine, “Is it, is it really ridiculous?”
Yuan Benshan’s grip on his shoulders tightened. “Tell me, Chunyang, why are you thinking of this?”
Chi Xiaochi glanced back in slight panic, as if afraid of his colleague hearing.
And upon receiving Chi Xiaochi’s gaze, Gan Yu gave him a puzzled look and took a step towards them, as if suspecting that they were fighting.
Chi Xiaochi pushed at Yuan Benshan’s shoulders and took a few steps forward. A little embarra.s.sed, he said, “Lower your voice.”
Even though Yuan Benshan forced down the volume of his voice, his response was uncommonly intense, “Why would I need your eyes? Am I that kind of person in your eyes?”
Chi Xiaochi thought, haish, we’re already so familiar, why are you still being so polite with me? You’re exactly that kind of person.
But on his face, he faked a pained and uneasy expression. He said incoherently, “No, I was just thinking, just…… just you and me, is best. Other people…… even though they’re also very good, but I still want to, with you……”
These words were said very strangely.
Yuan Benshan seemed to come to a realisation. He settled down, making his voice more gentle, and his movements were no longer that fierce, “Chunyang, don’t think foolish things, and don’t do anything foolish. There are probably a lot of so-called methods on the internet, but they don’t necessarily work.”
Chi Xiaochi murmured quietly, “It should probably work. It’s a kind of liquid medicine……”
Yuan Benshan’s expression became even uglier. He raised his voice slightly, “No way. What if you hurt your eyes, what would we do then?”
Chi Xiaochi instantly became docile. He lowered his head and said, “When we go back…… we can try it out.”
Yuan Benshan brushed it over, “We’ll talk about it later.”
As if Yuan Benshan’s att.i.tude of not wanting to hurt him had made him happy, Chi Xiaochi couldn’t help but smile, exposing a neat row of small white teeth. “En. I’ll listen to you. Right, there’s another matter……”
Yuan Benshan had long since become lost in thought. “Mm?”
Chi Xiaochi glanced at Gan Yu again, and lowered his voice once more, saying, “There’s a photograph in Qiaoqiao’s room, called《Person Returning on a Snowy Night》. There seems to be…… a bit of a problem with that photograph.”
Once matters having to do with life and death were brought up, Yuan Benshan finally came out of his trance. “What’s wrong with it?”
“I can’t say,” Chi Xiaochi said, “I went in and took a look at every single room, but only that photograph gave me an especially bad feeling…… Old Yuan, when you see Qiaoqiao later, help me bring it up to her.”
Yuan Benshan looked into his eyes. “Why don’t you go look for her?”
As he expected, Chi Xiaochi became nervous. His back tensed up, and he lowered his head even further. His guilt couldn’t be any clearer. “Qiaoqiao, she…… I haven’t seen her. Anyways, if you see her, you have to let her know, and tell her to move out of that room.”
Yuan Benshan didn’t ask any further. He stroked his head. “Alright, I’ll go look for you. You keep on investigating with your colleague, and if you find anything, tell me about it tonight.”
Chi Xiaochi said obediently, “Okay.”
Then, he turned and walked towards the Gan siblings.
Halfway through, he looked back and winked at him.
Yuan Benshan had already opened the door that he had just come out of. As he supported himself against the doorframe with a hand, he raised his eyebrows at him, indicating that he could be at ease.
However, looking over his shoulders, Yuan Benshan saw Gan Yu.
That was a young man who was so handsome he didn’t quite seem like a doctor. Even dressed in ordinary clothes, he was already enough to dazzle others. He was standing there, upright, but from beginning to end, his gaze had been following the Song Chunyang who had just walked away from him.
Originally, Yuan Benshan had already hardened his heart, but after that conversation that had resolved some things and furthered some others, he finally remembered that Song Chunyang was his little boyfriend.
The actions of the person before him could be said to be incredibly rude.
But he wasn’t actually all that angry.
One, was because he trusted Song Chunyang too much. This was the little clingy kitten he had raised, he was his entire world. Two, was because he currently had more important things to do.
Only after the three people disappeared behind the corner, did he go back into the room.
Guan Qiaoqiao, who had been hiding behind the door, raised her eyebrows slightly. “What happened?”
The soundproofing here was actually rather good, so she only knew that Yuan Benshan had talked outside for a long time, but had no idea of the conversation’s contents.
Yuan Benshan summed it up simply, “He came together with acquaintances.”
Guan Qiaoqiao sighed. “Then we’ll just have to wait. Other than this one, we still have one more task before the tenth task. What we have are opportunities.”
Yuan Benshan asked, “You’re not worried?”
Guan Qiaoqiao found this question very strange. She shrugged, saying, “What’s there to worry about?”
She seemed indifferent, but only Yuan Benshan knew what kind of heart was hidden behind this gentle face.
Chunyang wasn’t the kind who was able to hide things. Him avoiding Guan Qiaoqiao like this, was definitely because something had happened.
And other than him and Guan Qiaoqiao, no one else knew of this method of exchanging Yin-Yang Eyes.
When had Guan Qiaoqiao sold him out?
It was probably yesterday.
Yuan Benshan could sense that since they’d gotten onto the high-speed rail yesterday, Chunyang had been acting like there was something on his mind, looking back and forth between them, starting to speak then stopping.
Could it be that her so-called “kind heart” had acted up? She couldn’t bear her “good friend” being hurt, so she had told their plan to Chunyang?
No, Guan Qiaoqiao couldn’t take the initiative to confess, and admit to being this bad person.
She probably didn’t trust him as her ally.
After all, their relationship didn’t extend past them working together. Even if they got the eyes, and forgot about the matter of killing Song Chunyang, this would still be a thorn.
After all, they’d each witnessed the worst of each other.
Once they successfully got out, and returned to the world of normal people, then, this thorn might be a threat to either of them.
And as a female, no matter how scheming she was, faced with Yuan Benshan, Guan Qiaoqiao would always be the weaker one.
It was probably because of this that she had changed her mind, wanting to take the recipe she had gotten from him and make a deal with Song Chunyang.
She wouldn’t even need to say that she wanted Chunyang’s eyes. As long as she handed over the secret recipe for exchanging Yin-Yang Eyes with someone, and say tearfully, she didn’t want to die in the tenth task, Chunyang, whose heart was as soft as tofu, might really sacrifice an eye just to put her at ease.
That way, she wouldn’t have to take a life, while being able to get an eye without exerting any effort. Song Chunyang would also live, and continue to stay by Yuan Benshan’s side. After all, Yuan Benshan had once plotted with her on harming Song Chunyang, even if he wasn’t willing, he would have no choice but to swallow this mute medicine.
But she had missed one point: Chunyang valued him too much.
After getting this secret recipe, after a lot of thought, Chunyang had actually planned on betraying Guan Qiaoqiao, wanting to use that recipe to exchange his eyes with him.
It was probably because of this, that he felt guilty towards Guan Qiaoqiao, and was currently avoiding her.
Upon thinking of this, Yuan Benshan, who had deduced the entire truth from his intuition, felt a subtle sense of pride and self-satisfaction.
Noticing his expression, Guan Qiaoqiao frowned. “What are you thinking about?”
Yuan Benshan said, “It’s nothing.”
Unexpectedly, Guan Qiaoqiao was also sharp. “Did Chunyang say something to you?”
The moment the seed of suspicion sprouted, Guan Qiaoqiao’s every word became something to look for hidden meaning in.
Yuan Benshan replied smoothly, “Chunyang said, there’s a nameplate hanging outside every one of our rooms, so we shouldn’t be able to casually swap rooms, and shouldn’t be able to stay together. He said that he was a little scared, so I was comforting him.”
Guan Qiaoqiao smiled. “How is he still this timid.”
Yuan Benshan smiled back at her. “I’m going to go investigate now. Wait for a while before coming out of this room.”
From the beginning to the end of their conversation, not once had he mentioned the fact that there was a problem with the 《Person Returning on a Snowy Night》.
Before, him not daring to bring up the matter of exchanging eyes with Song Chunyang, was because Yuan Benshan couldn’t trust Song Chunyang’s love for him.
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What if he vehemently refused? What if he decided that he was despicable, refused to work with him any longer, and resolutely left him?
Chi Xiaochi was a little surprised. “You two have seen her before too?”
Gan Yu gave him a simple rundown of how they’d met.
Them not recognising her the first time they’d seen the balloon woman was because in their eyes, that woman was a pretty lady with a slim figure, dressed in a set of black and white work clothes that were good for moving around in.
Gan Tang said, “When we came down from the third floor, she was standing on the stairs. She called our names, and asked us to quickly get to our places on set.”
Chi Xiaochi seemed to come to a realisation. He said something to the Gan siblings.
Gan Tang took the initiative to accept this task.
At Chi Xiaochi’s behest, she went to talk to those people, asking them if they’d seen a beautiful woman amongst the crew.
Not surprisingly, they all said that they’d seen this gorgeous woman.
She didn’t say anything to them, she’d only called out their names, and asked them to quickly get to their places on set.
Gan Tang then went to ask the crew members. She asked around six to seven people before coming back to Chi Xiaochi’s side.
Not waiting for Gan Tang to speak, Chi Xiaochi said, “There’s no such woman in the crew, right?”
Gan Tang nodded.
“She wasn’t caught on any of the cameras?”
Gan Tang continued to nod.
The ponytailed man they’d ran into earlier had appeared in this world already on set. That balloon lady had come over to him, and told him to wait a moment, and see if they could get the angry director to come back.
At that time, the cameras on set had been running, but when Gan Tang checked them at Chi Xiaochi’s behest, they’d only recorded the ponytailed man’s figure. There was no sign of the balloon lady.
Gan Yu couldn’t quite understand. “What does she want to do?”
Chi Xiaochi raised a hand to rub at his temples. “If my guess is right, it’s probably a coincidence that she crawled out of the photograph in my room.”
He said, “She’s checked out all the people partic.i.p.ating in the task. She’s intentionally looking to choose someone.”
Chi Xiaochi thought that the balloon lady was probably the ghost that they’d have to face.
She didn’t have a corporeal body, so after a round of selections, for some unknown reason, she’d chosen Guan Qiaoqiao.
So she was currently staying in a photograph in her room, waiting for her chance.
If Guan Qiaoqiao had already s.n.a.t.c.hed away Song Chunyang’s eyes like in his last life, and noticed the abnormality with the photograph, perhaps she would still have the chance to avoid this danger.
But this wasn’t necessarily the case this time.
After ending her search with Yuan Benshan, Guan Qiaoqiao returned to her own room and sat down on her bed. Only then did she let out a hint of regret.
Just a little more, and she would be able to get Song Chunyang’s eyes.
To be fair, Song Chunyang had indeed helped her a lot, but with that pair of precious eyes growing on another person’s body, she often felt insecure.
But they still had a lot of time, there was no rush.
After settling herself down, Guan Qiaoqiao drew her curtains and turned on the light.
When they had entered this abandoned mountain castle, this place was still was silent and desolate as a grave, with spiderwebs everywhere, but now, it looked like it had been renovated to look new again, with abundant water and electricity, complete facilities, and with the beauty of the old and new coming together as one.
When she finished washing up and came out of the bathroom, she looked over at the painting hangin on her wall, and felt very satisfied.
All the bedrooms had the same layout. On the wall directly across from the bed, would be hanging a huge photograph, and in most cases, the subject of the photograph was humans.
It wasn’t obvious in the day, but the moment it turned to night, having a pair of eyes staring straight at the bed was still eerie.
But this 《Person Returning on a Snowy Night》 wouldn’t give Guan Qiaoqiao similar worries. The whole picture was a patch of pure white, the only human-like figure was the little black dot in the background of the painting, which was at least not so scary.
The author has something to say:
Inexplicably want to give Miss Balloon some encouragement.
Jiuyou with crawling out, please don’t be polite.
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