Ch113 – The Cycle of Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around (27)
After a night of wild dreams.
By the time Chi Xiaochi woke up, the sun was already high in the sky.
He only felt as if his body had been hollowed out, his head hurting like it had been split open with an axe.
Chi Xiaochi forced himself to sit up, holding a hand to his forehead, and found that Yuan Benshan was currently slouched over by his right, asleep.
After staring at Yuan Benshan for a while, he quietly lay back down, pretending that he was just hallucinating and that he hadn’t seen anything.
The effects of the card could be described as long-lasting. Chi Xiaochi lay flat on his back, his mind empty, his hands clasped over his chest, his face reading “all things in this world are empty, there is no desire”.
Xi Lou asked him, “How do you feel?”
Chi Xiaochi, “Have you heard this song before?”
Xi Lou, “……St——!”
Chi Xiaochi sang, “Reject p.o.r.n, reject gambling, reject p.o.r.n, gambling and drugs.”
Xi Lou, “……”
Chi Xiaochi, “Right now, I feel very strongly about this song. Taking drugs harms lives.”
Xi Lou: Well said, right now I also feel very strongly about wanting to hit you.
But to Chi Xiaochi’s surprise, Xi Lou didn’t actually scold him. His tone was even rather helpless. “Does your head still hurt? Lie down.”
Chi Xiaochi was brought to tears by his joy. “A-Tong, what’s wrong with you A-Tong, why are you being so nice to me?”
Xi Lou, “……Shut your mouth, shut up, hold back your words, don’t talk.”
After what had happened last night, his impression of Chi Xiaochi had improved by quite a bit.
As long as Chi Xiaochi stayed quiet, and restrained from opening his respected mouth, they could even try being friends for a few minutes.
Chi Xiaochi really did stop talking, closing his eyes and resting.
Xi Lou calmed down.
He’d thought about whether he should tell him about what had happened with the Gan siblings, but in the end, he decided against it.
Before, Song Chunyang hadn’t been familiar with the Gan siblings. When Chi Xiaochi left, and Chunyang came back, this cooperative relationship that had begun because of money would naturally come to an end. There was no need to bring everything to light and make everyone look bad.
Besides, other than their touchy moments, Gan Yu and Gan Tang were absolutely outstanding in terms of overall strength. If their alliance were to be broken, it wouldn’t be good for Song Chunyang.
And most importantly……
The matter of this pair of brother and sister being able to happily and harmoniously share a person no different from metaphysics, even if he was able to tell someone, they might not be able to believe it.
A soft knocking sounded from the door.
Gan Tang, holding a dining tray, walked in. The meal was the most simple congee dish, but it had been meticulously made, the steam wafting off the rice so fragrant it made one’s heart go soft.
Gan Tang walked over to the bed and said in a soft voice to Chi Xiaochi, whose eyes were still closed, “Awake?”
Chi Xiaochi, lamenting the perceptiveness of women, obediently opened his eyes.
Gan Tang put down the tray and supported his waist through the quilt, helping him slowly sit up, asking if he was hurting anywhere.
Other than his head, which was still hurting like someone had impaled a running electric saw in it, Chi Xiaochi said that he was perfectly fine, able to wash his face, run a kilometre, and so on.
Yuan Benshan had woken up when Gan Tang came in. He got up and helped place his coloured contacts back on to hide the colour of his eyes. Hearing his little boyfriend talking so exaggeratedly, he didn’t speak, simply letting out a disapproving smile, just taking it as the words of a child.
Gan Tang coaxed him with a smile, “Okay, one kilometre, one kilometre. Come and eat. ……Mister Yuan, you should get something to eat, keep your energy up. We’ll be able to leave in another few hours.”
Yuan Benshan’s evaluation of Gan Tang, this lady, was a lot higher than that of Gan Yu. Only after confirming that all of Chi Xiaochi’s physical signs were good, he leaned over and instructed “if there’s anything, call for me”, and Chi Xiaochi nodded and obediently said “I know”, was he able to relax and leave, shutting the door behind him.
Gan Tang picked up the bowl. “Your boyfriend is so good to you.”
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Chi Xiaochi just smiled, not answering. He reached out his hands, wanting to take the bowl from her.
After taking his first bite, Chi Xiaochi visibly stiffened.
He asked, “Who made this?”
Gan Tang said in a warm voice, “I did. What is it, does it not taste good?”
Only after Chi Xiaochi lowered his head again did an expectant look appear in Gan Tang’s eyes, hopeful that he would ask him a little more.
Who would have thought that Chi Xiaochi would just smile, pick up a bit of shredded braised duck and place it in his mouth. “It’s delicious.”
Gan Tang, “……”
Sigh. Alright, it’s fine as long as it’s delicious.
Chi Xiaochi continued to eat, while she didn’t stay idle, grabbing a comb and beginning to gently comb his hair.
The hard teeth of the wooden comb ma.s.saged the acupoints in his scalp, greatly relieving his headache. Now that his body was feeling better, Chi Xiaochi’s energy also recovered a lot. As he ate, he asked, “How is Doctor Gan? Any injuries?”
Gan Tang, “Gege’s fine. Don’t worry.”
Chi Xiaochi “en”-ed. “How were the children after the fire yesterday night?”
Gan Tang replied, “The children were very scared. Seeing that something happened to you, a lot of them even cried.”
Chi Xiaochi then asked, “How did that fire come about?”
As she spoke, Gan Tang’s long lashes drooped slightly. “The children said that the fire comes and burns everything every once in a while.”
Chi Xiaochi frowned.
Could it be that the circ.u.mstances of their death kept repeating?
It was said that ghosts of people who had committed suicide or had grudges in their heart would be forced to repeat the circ.u.mstances of their death over and over again, endlessly experiencing the pain of their death.
Following that, Gan Tang told him what the children had said, confirming Chi Xiaochi’s guess.
The children said that the welfare centre would catch fire during the night, at an unspecified time. When the fire started, no matter where they hid, they would be forced back into their burning dormitory. They were scared of the fire, yet had no war of escaping it, only able to suffer the pain of burning to death over and over again.
No matter how many times they were burnt, their deformed appearances and the burnt building would always return to normal the next day.
But the things they had truly lost, could never be recovered.
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Can they not escape?”
Gan Tang said, “They can’t. When the fire starts, all their abilities would be taken from them, so they would only be ordinary children.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t speak, simply lowering his head and taking another sip of his porridge.
“If gege and you hadn’t saved them……” Gan Tang said, “I think, in their minds, we would be the same as those teachers who abandoned them.”
As for the consequences of that, they could be easily imagined.
Upon speaking to this point, Gan Tang’s tone filled with admiration, “When you insisted on saving them at that time, was it because you thought of this?”
Who would have thought that upon hearing her guess, Chi Xiaochi was stunned. He turned and looked at her, then picked up a slice of cuc.u.mber and casually shrugged. “I didn’t think about all that. I just wanted to save them, just try it out and see.”
Gan Tang’s hand that was combing his hair stilled slightly. Then, she let out a soft laugh.
……Oh you. Really.
After breakfast, the children came to visit him.
This small team of visitors was led by the brat, and the other members were Pigtails and Bobcut,
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The moment the brat entered the room, he placed his hands behind his back and puffed himself up like he was the head of the centre. “Laoshi, I heard from Tian-laoshi that you fell from upstairs.”
When the children were utterly engrossed in their work, he retreated to the side, pulled out a blank big character book and a book on plants, referencing which, he drew the shapes of all kinds of seeds in the big character book, even using language that the children would be able to understand and drawing diagrams to explain how to plant them.
He had learnt storyboarding, so his drawing skills were rather good, actually managing to make very lifelike drawings.
Yuan Benshan sat down next to him. “Even if you do this, will they be able to understand it?”
Chi Xiaochi’s head was lowered as he drew another line. He said, “They’ll learn.”
Learning was also a kind of hope.
They shouldn’t be always worried about what time or day the fire would come and repeat what had happened all over again, they would have some new hope, such as learning how to break the windows and escape from the flames when it happened, such as looking forward to the plants growing anew and the grapes blooming in spring.
All things should grow. They should as well.
When Pigtails was halfway done with setting up her grape trellis, she couldn’t keep herself from going to see her cabbage again.
It was just a simple look, but it made her eyes light up.
From the dark dirt had grown a tiny green sprout, lush green and glistening.
Pigtails let out an excited cry. She couldn’t keep herself from turning back and running over to the grape trellises, shouting, “Laoshi, Lou-laoshi, quickly come look——”
Her little partners were still huddled together in a noisy group, discussing whether they should water the grapes with sugar water, and if this would make the grapes sweeter.
But Chi Xiaochi and the rest had already disappeared. Fallen on the ground was a big character book with a full 18 pages filled.
In the mansion district, the fog faded. When the group woke up, the children were already nowhere to be seen.
Pleasantly shocked, Yuan Benshan said, “We’re out!”
Chi Xiaochi looked at his hands, saying with a little regret, “……I didn’t even have time to say goodbye.”
Tian Guangbing supported Qin Ling as he wildly pulled off the bandages on his face. Seeing new flesh growing with a squelch in that empty right eyesocket, he couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.
As long as it wasn’t a fatal wound, once they left the other world, the system would heal them and restore them to their original state.
This could be considered the greatest welfare the Lord G.o.d could offer to them.
For this ninth task, the entire group survived.
Up until leaving the other world, Liu Chengyin had still been unable to forget that woman in black.
In the beginning, she’d thought that the fire that had started in the welfare centre had been set by her, but what the children said had proven her theory false.
So what had that woman been there for?
Seeing that she was really vexed, Gan Tang asked, “Could it be that you saw wrong?”
Up till today, even Liu Chengyin herself doubted her eyes and memories.
She muttered, “But I really did see……”
Chi Xiaochi shrugged, saying briskly, “Probably just a pa.s.ser-by ghost.”
No matter what, they’d safely gotten through the ninth task.
But before the group could rejoice, Xi Lou’s voice suddenly sounded in his ear, “Wait. ……The new task is here.”
Chi Xiaochi started.
Noticing that Yuan Benshan’s expression, too, was strange, he knew that he had also received this notification. He asked Xi Lou, “What is it?”
“The tenth task: Time, September 7, that is, in 15 days; location, this city, Hongfei Road, Jinhong Building, Room 1207; task brief, in one hour, complete an escape room.”
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