Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 66: Meet
People in the “Seventh Prison” more or less had important relatives or friends who would visit them every “visiting day”.
The people in this prison all had a future.
Every year, there were a lot of people who worked for the country after coming out. After all, they were all people with rare talents and high IQs, and the mistakes they made hadn’t caused particularly serious consequences.
However, since Pei Chuan had come in, he had worked harder than everyone else, but no one had ever visited him.
Over the past year, over 400 days and nights, everyone’s name had been called except for Pei Chuan’s.
Everyone seemed to have tacitly acknowledged that this silent boy didn’t have any relatives. But today, someone had actually come to visit him. Adding on Pei Chuan’s reactions, it was certainly a very important person.
Of course, the “Seventh Prison” respected human rights, and Pei Chuan could choose not to go.
The “former biologist”, Cheng Zhenghai, looked at the suddenly silent teenager and said, “Just go, it’s Chinese New Year and it’s cold outside. Furthermore, this place is so remote, no matter who has come, it mustn’t have been easy for them.”
Yes, this winter’s snow was very heavy. Sometimes the water drops on the treetops froze before they could fall.
Pei Chuan went to see them.
The prison guard came and pushed his wheelchair. After Pei Chuan had arrived and signed the agreement, he hadn’t worn the prosthetics anymore. Every day he would work for a long time so that it hurt to stand on prosthetics. It also wasn’t convenient to sit down and bend his knees, so the government had simply changed him back to sitting in a wheelchair.
In the small meeting room, a dim light was on.
As the heavy snow enveloped the outside, she was waiting for him under the lamp in the meeting room.
She had grown up. Her brows made her look gentle and delicate, and her always watery eyes were calm. Her long hair was draped on her shoulders and she wore a red down jacket.
The image looked joyous and charming. It was just like a dream, but also different.
Pei Chuan looked down. His hands gripped the armrests till his knuckles turned white.
Bei Yao also looked at him in silence.
She understood why he didn’t look directly into her eyes. Pei Chuan had lost some weight; his former figure had faded. The training here had given him the figure of a man with determination. He didn’t look like Pei Haobin; he was a few points more good-looking than him.
And his hair had been cut short.
Bei Yao had seen prison-related articles; his hair should’ve been shaved and would be cut again after it grew.
In his eyes, he was always unattractive.
Her heart hurt when she saw him.
Her man, who bore pain by himself, still always thought about her future.
If she hadn’t come looking for him, perhaps it would’ve been like his predictions: she would’ve had nothing to do with him anymore, just finishing her studies, and finding a good man to marry without knowing where he would be licking his wounds alone.
The visit was timed as the spot by the door was taken by the prison guard.
It had been a long time since Bei Yao had seen him in a wheelchair. Pei Chuan was very stubborn; ever since he had worn prosthetics in elementary school, he had never sat in a wheelchair in front of others.
This year should be his most embarrassing year.
From the beginning—where so much attention had been focused on the number one science student in the college entrance examinations from C City till he fell to the ground—until he entered the “Seventh Prison,” he could always maintain his calm. But at this moment, he couldn’t anymore.
Bei Yao squatted in front of him.
Her almond eyes looked directly at his drooping ones. “Pei Chuan."
He answered in a low voice, “En.” His originally calm heart started to beat faster. He looked at the girl’s eyebrows and asked softly, “Why are you here?”
It was very cold here. Though during summer it was fine, since the inside was cooler, winter was freezing.
His throat became dry as he thought of how long she had spent braving the wind and snow.
Bei Yao's eyes were sour. "Because I miss you."
He bit hard on the inside of his mouth, and after a long time, said, “Yaoyao, don’t say something like this anymore.”
If it had been before, he would’ve been ready to face Aunty Zhao and Uncle Bei’s hatred and treat her well. But now he was in the “Seventh Prison”, and he didn’t have the qualifications to hear her say these words.
Since she had grown up, she should understand how ruthless this world was. Society wouldn’t accept that she liked a person like him, and neither would her parents.
Why did she, who looked more beautiful, never understand the things she saw?
Water filled her eyes as she was about to cry.
He wanted to reach out his hands and wipe away the tears in her almond eyes, but he understood that one year had passed, and she must’ve seen a lot of interesting things. Lawyer Zhen said that she was still a school flower. Such a pretty girl with a good personality, no matter where she went, would be very popular.
Bei Yao would no longer be trapped by that moon in her hometown. Her vision would progressively widen, and she would no longer be curious about falling in love like a young girl, because there would be many excellent people who would pursue her and want to be with her.
She should understand how unworthy it was to be with him when she was young.
Bei Yao said, “Why can’t I say something like “I miss you”? I really miss you. Sometimes when I sleep, I feel like I’m still in Sixth High School. You are at a school not far away, very close to me.”
She said, “You always said that when I grew up, I would understand what was liking and what was curiosity. I’m now an adult and I understand every word I say. Pei Chuan, I like you.”
His Adam’s apple moved, and his finger trembled slightly. “Stop it.”
But she continued. “I really like you. It’s not sympathy, and not pity.”
He was afraid. His voice was cold, but he still spoke quickly. “Wake up, look at where this is! The outside is snowing and bustling because of New Year, but here, there are only walls and a group of criminals who’ve murdered or committed arson! I don’t have a powerful family, and I have no status nor fame! All my property has been confiscated: no fame, no money, no future, nothing!"
She sobbed twice. In her clear eyes, there was only him.
There was only a reflection of a cold young man with short hair wearing a prison uniform in her eyes.
He closed his eyes. He had never yelled at her. His finger grabbed the wheelchair tightly. “Go back, okay? Don’t come again, and don’t like me anymore, or else…”
She rushed into his arms.
This February was extremely cold, and her body carried the chill of the wind and snow. But his embrace was like a stove, burning with the man’s love and pain.
She hugged his neck and said with a shallow and nasal voice, “But I just like you.”
She was like an unreasonable kid.
“I like you, only you.”
Her small hands were freezing and her hair was slightly damp. She didn’t need to be reasonable nor have something to say. Naivety and passion—it made one’s heart burn.
He couldn’t help but hug her waist as the emotion he tried hard to suppress broke.
Bei Yao suddenly remembered Qin Dongni's words that night. It could be suppressed, but love could not be concealed.
The man was obviously trembling. He always said that she wasn’t sensible, but in the end, he still hugged her tightly. She broke into a smile and rested her chin on his shoulder. "Pei Chuan, you said girls can't be bullied. I said I miss you, so you have to say you miss me too."
His heart burned with fire, and was coated with honey. His mouth was filled with the taste of blood that was bitten when he suppressed his emotion.
“I…” He closed his eyes and his voice was hoarse. “I miss you, Yaoyao.”
Very, very much, so that I almost went crazy.
Since he had first come, he had worked hard every day, but hadn’t been able to sleep at night. Some people had big worlds, while some peoples’ worlds were so small that they could only contain one person.
Pei Chuan had been thinking countless times. If only she hadn’t entered his life. He would be free, no matter where he died in the future, even if he rotted into unrecognizable bones, at least he would have no burden in his heart.
But she had come. An innocent and ignorant teenage girl that was passionate like a fire. He didn’t know what to do with her.
Furthermore, he obviously understood how glad he was that she had come into his life.
All the colors had been painted by her, all the bitterness had been given by her, the sweetness had also been given by her.
She said, "Pei Chuan, you see, I never lost you again."
That night when she had tied the balloon on his hand and told him that she would never lose him again in this life. She said, “You aren’t allowed to make me cry anymore. Now, help me wipe it quickly.”
Her lips were lifted upwards, but the tears in her almond eyes wouldn’t fall.
His dark pupils looked at her. He held her face and wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes with his rough fingers. Her long eyelashes brushed his fingertips, appearing to be embarrassed and sweet.
One after another, he always broke his original principles and plans, giving in to her time and time again. It was bitter, sweet, and hard to let go.
Bei Yao had a lot to ask. She wanted to know if he was tired or pained. But the man in front of her would never admit he was in pain nor indulge in the past.
She also wanted to ask him if it was because of her that he had chosen this harder and bitter road. But when the words reached her mouth, she didn’t ask.
He was so sensitive. He could never misunderstand her saying she liked him out of guilt anymore.
There was nothing more joyful than the future.
Maybe it was because he was young and vigorous that his hug was warm. Coupled with his strong body, she warmed up in no time at all. The visiting time was almost up, and she said softly, “Pei Chuan, Happy New Year.”
The girl searched through her pockets, took out a bank card and banknotes, then stuffed it into his hands. “I heard you could buy things here. Pei Chuan, if you’re cold or hungry, ask someone to buy you something, okay?”
He took the bank card and banknotes, then looked at the silly girl.
There were too many things he hadn’t taught her yet; a good man would never spend his woman's money. But she was so stupid. How pitiful would it be if she was cheated?
Pei Chuan put them back into her pocket and stroked her hair. "No need for this here, has the diamond been sold?"
She shook her head.
Pei Chuan said, “Sell it and go to the city to buy a new house.” Fortunately, things like diamonds and gold would never depreciate.
She said, “I won’t sell it. I will make it into a ring for you in the future.”
He looked at her in disbelief.
She lowered her eyes; her eyelashes were like two small fans. “Pei Chuan, you have to take good care of yourself here. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. Though it’s something to be ashamed of, it’s not a shame to make up for it. We can face our mistakes and correct them, but we shouldn’t see them as something that we can’t wash away for the rest of our lives. Look into the future, okay?”
She said, “Pei Chuan, don’t look down on yourself.”
His throat was so dry that he couldn’t say a word. Such a soft girl, but always making others helpless.
After a long while, he replied, “Yeah.”
She smiled and gently stroked his cheek with a tender voice. “How many more years, Pei Chuan?”
He whispered, “Eight.”
There was no disappointment in her eyes, only a smile. “Then I will ask Uncle Guard when the next prison visit is. I’ll come to visit you again at that time, okay?”
When she followed the prison guard to leave, the snow had already been reduced a lot. The sky had darkened and the bicycle was covered with thick snow.
She brushed off the snow on the seat, sat on it, and wrapped her scarf again. Her petite back disappeared into the wind and snow.
Such a delicate body, but strong and filled with power.
When would you see this usually ice-cold young man be so emotional? But when this young girl had come, Pei Chuan’s whole body had left with her.
The prison guard smiled, shook his head, and then asked Pei Chuan, "What are you doing, lying to her?”
What eight years? The “Seventh Prison” was different from other prisons. It could be regarded as the cradle of talented people. Pei Chuan had performed very well. He surrendered at the beginning and hadn’t caused serious consequences at the time. Not only that, but there was also the meritorious service that had put a whole organization into a pot*.
*t/n: Catching the culprit.
Pei Chuan had been sentenced to eight years, but after being sent to the "Seventh Prison," Pei Chuan had gotten the settlement for four years.
To work for the country for four years, one must have the right ideology and morals. One also needed to receive education and continue to study. Of course, one also needed to regularly see a psychologist. By the time the settlement time was over, they would come out as a full-time member of the national staff.
Young people like Pei Chuan had good futures. They had originally been students with high capabilities, but they had been misguided when they had been growing up, so the country would give another opportunity for such people.
Pei Chuan had "served" for more than a year. There were over two years before he could get out.
Pei Chuan didn’t answer the prison guard.
He was just giving her a chance for regretting and leaving in the future.
Pei Chuan went back to eat his reunion dinner with his “cellmates”.
He changed his chopsticks and held up his bowl. This group of “cellmates” had no conscience. They had eaten all the meat, leaving only the soup. He ate the rice with soup blanky.
The “former biologist” Cheng Zhenghai said with a smile, “Pei Chuan, ah, are you in a good mood?”
Pei Chuan kept his face uptight, not saying a word. He was the youngest. Though there was a group of geniuses here, Pei Chuan also had a good brain.
Everyone in the “Seventh Prison” were individuals with promising futures, so it had always been harmonious. Who knew if they would be colleagues in the future?
The several people looked at Pei Chuan’s cold expression. It wasn’t known who took the lead and laughed.
Cheng Zhenghai slapped his thigh and guffawed. “Pei Chuan, ah, you should laugh when you’re happy. Why keep such a cold face when eating?”
Pei Chuan’s chopstick paused and he looked at the group of people in front of him.
Some people could not resist it. “Pei Chuan, your neck. Your little lover rubbed lipstick marks on your neck. Aiyo, your heart must be overjoyed. It must be difficult for you to sit so calmly while eating!”
“It must be hard.”
Pei Chuan put down his bowl and touched the place where the little girl had been whining just now and saw that there was a very light pink lipstick stain on his fingertips. He didn’t know when the little girl had rubbed it.
It seemed to still carry the half-cold girl’s fragrance.
Pei Chuan finally laughed and said to the joking crowd, “Get lost.”
This winter wasn’t too cold.
When Pei Chuan had first come, he had worked harder than any old man inside. After a long time, it wasn’t known who first said that Pei Chuan wanted to be a scientist.
There were only a few people who could still be scientists after they got out, but he still worked hard day and night.
No one understood why he was being so stubborn. Not until today, after more than a year, when someone had come to visit him that they knew. Some people had faith and love that would never die, no matter how long or bitter. They always remembered everything.
He remembered the first time they had taken a plane together. Bei Yao had talked about scientists like heroes. Her eyes had been filled with love and expectation for this world.
Bei Yao was relieved now that she had found him.
What people feared most was that there was no hope. The next “prison visit” would be in April next year, and it would be spring.
Meanwhile, it was naturally impossible for her to return to C City for the New Year.
Since she did not need to rush back and forth to the law department anymore, she could now focus on her major.
The holiday in February had ended and the students came back one after another.
The first person who came back to the dormitory was Qin Dongni; she was a B City native. She was astonished to see Bei Yao coming back from the library. “Yaoyao, you came back so early?”
Bei Yao smiled and nodded.
It was 2010. Bei Yao and her roommates had a five-year medicine course. Qin Dongni saw her carrying a stack of thick books and leaned over to take a peek. “What kind of books are these? Huh? Nursing and Massage, Yaoyao, we don’t learn this, what are you doing reading these?”
Bei Yao put her books down, smiled, and said nothing. Although she didn’t mind Pei Chuan’s body, she didn’t like to recklessly talk about something that he cared about.
Fortunately, Qin Dongni had only been asking casually and soon talked about the New Year’s festivities.
Tomorrow was the last day before school started. Wang Qiankun and Shan Xiaomai had returned too.
Shan Xiaomai, who was timid and looked childlike, had also brought some hometown specialties for her roommates. Wang Qiankun was terrified when she saw her climb to the fifth floor carrying a big bag.
At that time when there had been an opportunity to change majors in freshman year, Shan Xiaomai had especially wanted to do it.
Of the four people in the dormitory, she was the only one who fainted and screamed during anatomy class. She had also cried when she had seen a corpse soaked in formalin. At that time, Qin Dongni’s expression had been normal, Bei Yao could also bear it, and Wang Qiankun… don’t talk about this one, because she loved this course.
Unfortunately, Shan Xiaomai’s mother hadn’t allowed her to transfer, so she hadn’t changed.
Wang Qiankun picked up her things with one hand and put them away. “Mai Zi, why did your mom ask you to study medicine?”
Shan Xiaomai lowered her head. “My brother isn’t in good health.”
A disease carried in the mother’s womb, a congenital deficiency.
After Shan Xiaomai said that, the several people looked at each other and stopped asking. Different families had their own difficulties. Shan Xiaomai's family was patriarchal.
Wang Qiankun casually draped her hand over Shan Xiaomai’s shoulder. “Come on, Mai Zi, show us what specialties you brought.”
Pain from family could affect children. Compared to Qin Dongni, Mai Zi lacked self-esteem. She always felt that excellent boys would look down on her, so she had always been uncommunicative.
Bei Yao glanced at the Nursing and Massage book on her right. He had always said that growing up would let her have a broader vision and deeper understanding of human nature, and then realize that he wasn’t worthy of being loved.
But she was lucky. The more she grew, the more she understood him.
She loved his gentleness, loved his coldness and pride, and also began to understand his difficulty in speaking about his sensitivity and low-esteem.
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