Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 36: Heartache
T/N: We decided to stick with the original term of pronouns in dialogues as it fits in more! Older sister/brother (Jiejie/Gege), younger sister/brother (Meimei/Didi)
After visiting Grandma Zhou, both Pei Chuan and Bei Yao returned to the neighbourhood. Bei Yao had just returned home since it was currently the school break.
Upon reaching the neighbourhood, she spotted her younger brother squatting down and digging earthworms, together with his friends.
They were making lots of noises as they dug with their utmost strength. When Bei Jun spotted his sister, his black pupils sparkled immediately. His tiny hands were covered in dirt. Instantly, he shot up and dashed towards Bei Yao’s embrace, elated, “Jiejie!”
Bei Yao squatted down to embrace him gently.
The tiny Bei Jun rubbed his head on Bei Yao.
Anybody can tell his affection towards his older sister.
And then, little Bei Jun spotted an older boy beside his sister.
Pei Chuan had an indifferent face and stared at him coldly. That made Bei Jun cower in Bei Yao’s embrace. The former had a bold personality which, at this moment, he didn’t dare to voice.
Pei Chuan’s glance landed on the little boy’s petite hands, covered in dirt, that was placed on Bei Yao’s shoulders.
Bei Yao noticed her younger brother’s fear. Bei Jun, albeit being four years old, was known to be very bold. Yet, he was staring at Pei Chuan, intimidated.
Bei Yao voiced, “He’s Pei Chuan Gege, can you remember him?”
Bei Jun shut his tiny mouth, refusing to greet Pei Chuan.
Pei Chuan turned and headed upstairs.
He had never embraced Bei Yao, not even once. However, he did receive such kind treatment when they were younger. When they grew up, albeit airheaded, she was aware of their gender difference and kept a distance. Just like the line, he drew on their desk back then, when she was younger she’d cross it when bunning up her hair. As they grew older, she respected the appropriate boundary between them.
Bei Jun whispered in Bei Yao’s ears, “I don’t like him.”
Bei Yao giggled, and asked, “So who do you like?”
“Chen Hu Gege.”
Bei Yao smiled until her almond eyes were curled, “Right, Pei Chuan Gege is so scary.”
“Jiejie, are you afraid of him?”
“Chen Hu Gege is better, he even brings us out to play.”
Bei Yao thought, Pei Chuan really is naturally bad with children. During their childhood, he had no friends, and now the children don’t like him. Bei Jun didn’t recognise Pei Chuan. From a child’s instinct, he knew the latter had a terrible temper.
Zhao ZhiLan informed the police two days ago. Upon investigation, the police had never found the dog that threatened her daughter and son.
Although rape flowers don’t bloom in this season, as a mother, Zhao ZhiLan was still worried. She has been fetching her son these two days, and never spotted that dog. In the end, she put her guard down.
Four-year-old Bei Jun brings a little sword every day, wanting to be almighty.
While Zhao ZhiLan prepared their meal and Bei Yao was doing her homework, he headed out to climb the trees outside his neighbourhood with his friends.
The trees were very old, the neighbourhood was also historic, their age far exceeding those children’s.
Bei Jun was the youngest. He could only stare at the boys aged seven and eight climbing up the tree. His tiny arms and elbow struggled.
One of the boys laughed, “Hahaha, Bei Jun, stop climbing! Stay down there and watch.”
Bei Jun was extremely disheartened, “I want to play with you guys!”
“Just play with your sword.”
Though soon enough, the laughter instantaneously stopped.
A boy on the tree spotted a black dog at a distance running over here, “That dog!”
Bei Jun swung his tiny sword and burst into tears. It was the dog the siblings saw the other day. It barked loudly while it dashed over to them. Bei Jun couldn’t even hold his toy sword properly.
The stray dog rushed over, and the children were all crying from fear.
Yet no one on the tree dared to save the little boy who was much younger.
Everyone was intimidated to their core. They heard stray dogs would tear apart a child’s body.
Bei Jun’s tears blurred his vision, and he realised he was carried by a strong force.
A boy yelled, “Shut the f**k up.”
Bei Jun was so scared he didn’t dare to voice.
Carrying Bei Jun, Pei Chuan frowned.
He carried Bei Jun with a single arm and placed him on the tree.
The dog got his leg.
The boy, using his exposed arms while his expression remained indifferent, landed one punch after another on the dog’s head. Afterwards, he grabbed its head and smashed it towards a stone.
The dog was raging, barking, and struggling intensely, showing its unwithering spirit. Even as the children wailed, the boy’s expression remained frigid. The stray dog soon softened, its body twitched, and collapsed beneath the tree.
The intense barking from the dog and wailing from the children attracted adults from the neighbourhood.
Bei Yao rushed downstairs and saw several adults crowding in one area.
Pei Chuan was spotted sitting on the ground with his hands covered in blood. Beside him was the corpse of a stray dog.
Her younger brother was wailing his heart out above the tree.
Zhao ZhiLan’s hand was still covered in oil. Upon her first glance, she could already figure out the nature of the incident. Aghast by the scene, she hurried to bring the tiny Bei Jun from the tree.
Several parents arrived and brought their children down from the tree.
The probability of that dog having rabies was high.
The adults frantically checked the children’s bodies.
Bai YuTong arrived to check out the noise. She saw her step-brother on the ground, his expression was as cold as ice formed in December.
The dog’s corpse was terrifying, with its eyes still wide open and its sharp teeth flashing from its lips.
For a split second, Bai YuTong was intimidated. How is this human? Can a mere human shatter a stray dog’s head?
Both of his hands were drenched in blood, and he was sitting there motionless.
The bottom hem of his pants had several sharp teeth marks imprinted. Yet, out of everyone who surrounded the children, nobody helped him up.
As if someone poured a bucket of ice water on her heart, Bei Yao pushed through the crowd towards him.
Her almond eyes were filled with tears as she helped him up, “Pei Chuan.”
He glanced at her silently.
Both of his hands were covered in filthy blood.
Childhood memories of a school picnic flashed through his mind, in which he killed a snake. Those pure innocent eyes avoided him like he was a vicious person.
He nudged her away with his elbow, he could feel his heart empty.
Now that he is all grown up and could make himself money, he became calculative as well. He still couldn’t become a hero, only the odd one out.
The cries around silenced for an immediate second. Pei Chuan avoided Bei Yao’s helping hand and got up himself.
However, he fell again.
Everyone then noticed this boy’s calf was seriously bitten.
There was pin-drop silence.
He wasn’t an average person, hence losing his balance. Twice, he tried to get up pathetically, avoiding Bei Yao’s gaze. Finally, on the third try, he stood up, gritting his teeth.
Everyone was staring at him, yet he looked at no one. Carrying his last ounce of pride, he dragged his broken prosthesis and headed home.
He walked past Bai YuTong, carrying the chill from the latter part of September and a scent of blood. Bai YuTong stepped back and stared at him with terror and shock.
He had walked far away.
Bei Yao squatted on the ground, burying her face into her knees. Her whole body was shaking, and tears rolled down like a broken tap.
For the first time, Bei Yao deeply understood, some events were not Pei Chuan’s fault.
She was heartbroken, as throughout the ten or so years together, Pei Chuan never became a good person. However, she forgot that in these ten years, a person’s heart never changed. He had no parents to worry for him and ask, “Son, are you alright?”
The neighbours who watched him grow all knew he was an introverted oddball. He saved their children, yet no one extended him a helping hand.
The police officers arrived. Upon further inspections afterwards, the dog was found to possess the virus.
Zhao ZhiLan was horrified. She planned to bring Bei Yao for a body check-up since he was the only one beneath the tree when the incident took place.
She was a strong yet weak mother. Normally, she is kind. However, during such circumstances, thoughts of her losing a son she had carried for ten months flashed through subconsciously. It terrified her. Nothing could distract her from this.
Bei Jun, who had a serious fright, sobbed on the sofa.
Bei Yao, face covered with tear stains, never embraced him this time around.
Zhao ZhiLan rushed out hastily to get the kids’ uncle who was a doctor.
Bei Jun sobbed, “Jiejie, hug me.”
Bei Yao stayed still.
“Jiejie, hug me,” he felt bitter and extended his hands. Bei Yao knocked away those hands harshly.
Bei Jun was utterly dumbfounded.
For all this while, Zhao ZhiLan would reprimand him, Bei LiCai too. However, Bei Yao never criticised him. This was the first time his older sister hit him.
Despite this, he saw Bei Yao cry with more grief than he did.
A girl in her sixteen, sobbing relentlessly.
Bei Jun got paranoid, so he embraced his sister and cried together with her, despite still being unclear as to why his sister hit him.
Bei Yao pushed him aside, she sobbed, “I protected him for so many years. But for the first time, he got so seriously injured, and it was because of you.”
Bei Jun, who didn’t understand a word, wailed.
Bei Yao added, “He didn’t arrive originally.”
She knew he was evil, cold-blooded. If that kid wasn’t Bei Jun, he wouldn’t have bothered.
The prosthesis, exposed to the world beneath the torn pants. His mask of pride was forcefully pulled away, crumpling the last of his ego. She was even thinking if he’d die. Everyone knew the danger of a dog with a virus. Yet nobody cared for Pei Chuan who suffered the most injuries.
Bei Yao wiped dry her tears and tried her best to call her father to bring him home.
She walked downstairs, her steps spiritless.
That window opposite and the one in her room, which was filled with plants and flowers blooming warmly in all seasons, were different. His was a plain grey curtain, isolated from the world’s sunshine.
Pei Chuan removed his prosthesis and laid on his bed with his eyes closed.
He didn’t wash his hands and returned to his room under Cao Li’s terrified stares.
Not soon after when Bai YuTong returned, her voice trembling, asked, “Mom, where is he?”
Cao Li undressed her apron, “His room, what happened downstairs?”
“I’m not too sure, apparently he was bitten by a stray dog. The dog was huge, he killed it. You know, the dog’s skull was shattered. He is crazy! What if one day…”
“Shut up!” Cao Li realised her voice was trembling too. With her utmost effort to calm down, she recalled her step-son’s pants that had several holes.
D-Did he catch any virus?
Although Cao Li was calculative and obsessed with ‘fighting at home’, when matters concerning a life arose, her legs grew weak.
Both the mother and daughter didn’t dare to knock on the door that was shut. Cao Li could only dial Pei HaoBin, who was still working.
Bai TuYong, teeth chattering, “I’m scared, I don’t want to be with him. I’m going out.”
Cao Li pinched her hard, and whispered, “If uncle Pei sees you like this, can you still live a good life? Dream on, don’t drag your mom into your dumb choices.”
Bai YuTong didn’t dare talk further.
The doorbell rang.
Bai YuTong was told to open the door.
At the door was a girl, eyes filled with tears. Her petite face was beautiful, one that made Bai YuTong hate it to the core.
However, this pretty face belonged to a girl almost sixteen, eyes red from all the weeping.
Bai YuTong startled, almost forgetting her fear.
Bei Yao never visited their house. This was the first time since the Bai YuTong family moved in.
Bai YuTong in disbelief went through her thoughts. Did this pretty girl the former saw in her life, come here just for her crippled, half-dead, unruly brother?
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