Chapter 39: Does it Hurt?

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

The third floor was Children's Toy City. Compared to the second floor's atmosphere, it was more innocent and cheerful here.

Pei Chuan looked down at her. From the left pocket of her uniform, she took out a red envelope with "peace and happiness" written on it. Bei Yao said very sincerely, "Thank you for saving Bei Jun. My mother said our family has nothing we can give to thank you. She wanted to meet you, but you don't live in the Pei house anymore."

His pitch-black eyes were looking at the red envelope.

The girl's cheeks were pink. "Well… there isn't much inside. My family is a little poor, you know. These are my parent's feelings."

All throughout Pei Chuan’s life, it had been the first time someone had given him money.

He knew he might have a bad reputation at their Sixth Middle School, but she had still come to give this to him. Pro Chuan said with a low voice, "No need, I'm not short on money."

She looked up at him, her gaze very pure. "Okay." Bei Yao put the red envelope back into her left pocket, then took out something from her right pocket.

His gaze was fixed on her hand, his heart beating faster for a moment.

The girl's tone was very soft and asked his opinion, "Can this be accepted?"

It was a "Jing Wan Hong*" burn ointment which was sold for only a few yuan.

(T/N: Jing Wan Hong is a burn ointment made out of 30 kinds of Chinese herbs. It can promote blood circulation, heal and relieve scars, reduce swelling by detoxification, and much more.)

"Pei Chuan, do your hands still hurt?" Her voice was soft and gentle, like a fine thread of silk slipping into his heart.

He knew he couldn't and shouldn't accept it. He should reject it the same way he had done to that red envelope. But his body stiffened, and he felt like there was a fishbone stuck in his throat. He stretched out his right hand.

The line on Pei Chuan's palm was broken palm*.

(T/N: It has something to do with palm reading fortune-telling. A broken palm is when there is a line in your hand that crosses the entire palm, which looks like a dividing line.)

It was said that people with such a palm were quite ruthless when they hit others, but they could endure hardship and were hardworking. The young man practiced boxing, his bones wide and distinct, and his palm was still red and swollen.

She gently placed her hand on his palm. "From now on, you cannot wash your hands with boiling water, do you understand?"

His voice was so low it was almost inaudible. "En."

She’d found out about it last night when she’d tied up the balloon for him. She’d understood what had happened once she’d thought about the hot water dripping on his room’s floor. Bei Yao had gone to the school early and visited the school infirmary first. It was now 6:30 p.m. and Bei Yao hadn't eaten yet, but she had to rush back before 8 o'clock for the first period of evening self-study.

Pei Chuan knew she had to go.

He held the box of ointment tightly and put it into his pocket.

"Bye Pei Chuan, I'm going back."

He watched her go downstairs. The silhouette of the girl's slender back gradually faded.

The door of elegant room* on the second floor was open, the food was completely cold, but Pei Chuan had not returned. Jin Ziyang had a big heart. He smiled and said, "Let's go and look for him."

(T/N: Pretty sure, elegant is the name of the room.)

They went upstairs. Pei Chuan stood in front of the window with his hands in his trousers pockets, calm and quiet.

This boy who was as silent as a mountain didn’t look like the Pei Chuan they knew.

Jin Ziyang said, "Brother Chuan? Do you still want to eat?"

Pei Chuan shook his head. "No."

~

National Day* arrived with October's clear autumn. On a day of national celebration, the school was on holiday.

(T/N: National Day celebrated on 1 October, it is a public holiday in China to commemorate the formal establishment of the People's Republic of China.)

The TV was showing the military parade and how flourishing the country had developed.

It rained on the night of October 2nd. The rain kept drizzling, but it could not stop the lively celebration seen from outside the window. The stronger the country, the better the life of the people. Pei Chuan was changing his clothes in the room when a small button fell off.

His expression froze for a moment.

This button-like remote control was like a Pandora’s box, tempting him to open it.

He didn't throw it away, but also had never pressed it once.

Pei Chuan picked it up, put it on the side of the table, and went to the bathroom to take a shower.

 He had just gotten out from the shower, but his eyes were glued to it again.

He pursed his lips and told himself, just this once.

He pressed it on and put on a Bluetooth headset. The small dot of light on the button was blinking over and over, like his irregular heartbeat, smashing his chest with both anticipation and depression. After the summer camp, it had remained unchanged.

After a brief sound of static noise, he heard the pattering sound of rain on the other end as well.

Soon after, he heard Zhao Zhilan saying, "Yaoyao, collect the clothes."

The girl proudly replied, "Mom, I've done it already."

Zhao Zhilan hurried into the house. Her daughter was in her room doing homework, and her son, Bei Jun, was sleeping on the couch holding a sword. He was curled up like a ball with a tear-stained face and was covered with a quilt that Bei Yao had put on him.

He was startled awake and saw Zhao Zhilan when he opened his eyes. Then he yelled out with a loud "Waa" and cried again, "Mom!"

Zhao Zhilan was shocked by his clear and loud voice. "What's wrong?"

"I threw Jiejie’s doll into the washing machine, I didn't mean to."

Zhao Zhilan's eyebrows jumped, and she rushed to the balcony to take a look. Sure enough, the clothes had been collected cleanly. Then she checked the trash can. There was a panda doll whose color had been washed away, its cotton had come out, dying.

Zhao Zhilan turned her head and saw her daughter Bei Yao patting Bei Jun's head. Bei Jun was even sadder, "I didn't mean to, I saw the bear was dirty."

Zhao Zhilan simply wanted to beat up this frisky and naive child.

Zhao Zhilan said, "This doll has accompanied your sister for twelve years. Even you have to call this panda Gege! But you actually threw it into the washing machine and broke it!"

Bei Jun's eyelashes were wet. He had a third of Bei Yao’s face, like a beautiful porcelain doll. He felt sad. "I'm sorry, Big Brother Xiong, Bei Jun was wrong."

Bei Yao couldn't hold back her smile: "It's okay, Jiejie doesn’t blame you."

Zhao Zhilan said fiercely, "But I, your mother, blame you! Come here and let me beat you!"

Bei Jun choked and went over. Zhao Zhilan gave him a few slaps on his little butt. Bei Jun didn't try to dodge. As he took the slap he said, "I have pocket money, I'll buy Jiejie the same one."

This child gave others headaches when he was being naughty, but made them distressed when he was being sensible.

Zhao Zhilan wanted to say, where could you buy a toy that is not unique twelve years ago? But she saw Bei Yao shaking her head. Although she felt a sense of loss in her heart, she knew that Bei Jun did not mean it, the child was even more upset than her. She pulled her brother. "Alright, but not a little panda, buy me a little rabbit, okay?"

Bei Jun rubbed his eyes, "Does Jiejie like a little rabbit?"

"Yes ah."

"Then I'll buy Jiejie a little rabbit, they sell them beside the kindergarten."

"Thank you, Xiao Bei Jun."

The child's tears turn into a smile.

The sound of drizzling rain was still there, but the sound of people gradually faded away. Pei Chuan returned to his senses, threw the button into the trash can, and closed his eyes.

After a long time, he got out of bed and put on a new set of clothes. The autumn night was a bit cold. He drove his car and searched around a few toy stores.

His car had been modified, but it wasn't obvious to outsiders that it was designed for disabled people. After all, it was a good car. He still had a few months before turning eighteen, and the driver’s license application had been done by "those people". They didn’t care about his age, as long as he had outstanding means and abilities, he could do anything.

The quality of the picture on the phone wasn't good. There was a twelve or thirteen-year-old girl with an old washed-out white school bag, her head looking back, her curved big eyes full of the colorful starry sky. The picture had faded a bit, but you could still see the cute little panda which she liked to unconsciously pull the ears of.

He pointed it out to the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper shook his head, "Where did you get this kind of thing? We have something better, do you want it?"

He drove through the streets, the tires splashing water. He traveled through the city night.

The sky gradually became clear, the sun rose. Pei Chuan realized some things that might have existed in those years, but after more than ten years passed, one couldn’t find a second one in the whole city.

Pei Chuan leaned on the car and smoked to clear his chaotic mind. Jin Ziyang called at this time. "We're at Qinshi, coming or not?"

His voice was muffled. "Coming."

He didn’t even know what he had been doing this entire night. How many doors had he knocked, and what had he been crazily longing for?

He turned the wheel and went to Qinshi.

Jin Ziyang yawned lazily and said, "I invited a lot of people over to play today, and I slept at Qinshi yesterday. Chuan Ge, how come you get up so early, eh? Your clothes are still wet?"

He craned his neck and looked outside. "It’s not raining ah."

Pei Chuan ignored him.

He leaned on the sofa, his stump aching. In fact, the modified car didn’t torture his body much.

Pei Chuan ordered a glass of wine.

He snorted slightly when the strong wine entered his throat, laughing at his stupidity last night. Didn't it make him more heartless when he eavesdropped on his father and mother? When it had been used on her last night, what kind of madness had been happening?

He wouldn’t search anymore, he wasn’t crazy!

Jin Ziyang said, "When was this thing installed here? Hahaha crane machine, can it be clamped?"

He put in a coin, but before being able to play, he saw Pei Chuan stride over, looking over for a while, and was strangely silent.

"Get someone to open this!"

Jin Ziyang, "Ohhh… Ah?" No way!

Jin Ziyang went to the front desk to ask, and the receptionist said, "I don't have the key, it's still early, the person who installed the machine yesterday isn't here. That thing has just gotten installed for the girls to play."

Jin Ziyang relayed the receptionist's words truthfully.

Pei Chuan pursed his lips.

Then he exchanged for a hundred coins and threw them in one after another.

Jin Ziyang was dumbfounded. "..."

Pei Chuan sucked at this. Either the doll hadn’t been touched or he couldn't clip it out. Jin Ziyang couldn't stand it anymore. "Forget it, how about you just install one for yourself at home to play, ah."

On the seventy-third coin, he clamped out a pink pig.

Jin Ziyang was very excited. "Awesome! Awesome!"

However, he saw Pei Chuan exchange for a hundred more coins, then continue.

Purple monkeys, blue elves, little bees, long-eared rabbits……

They were caught one after another.

Jin Ziyang went from looking casually to looking with distress. What was this? Did he want to empty it? What kind of hobby did this Chuan Ge have?

Zheng Hang, who had just come was taken aback. "Chuan Ge, this is?" He and Jin Ziyang looked at the piled-up messy dolls around.

"Are you possessed? It's been more than 500 times, right?"

Didn’t his hands hurt? Even the machine was going to be played to the point of being broken.

A black and white cute little panda finally fell out. Pei Chuan picked it up and headed out.

Jin Ziyang suspected that was still dreaming. "F*CK, I stood here all morning only to watch Chuan Ge clip a panda that isn’t any bigger than my palm?"

~

Early morning of October 3rd, the air was exceptionally refreshing. It had rained all night yesterday, so the air was a little humid.

At home, Bei Jun woke up the earliest, the curtains swinging. He rubbed his eyes and saw a remote-controlled plane.

"Wow! So cool."

Bei Jun didn't even wear pants, he ran over to open the curtains. Fortunately, the window wasn't closed, or he would not be able to push open the window with his small muscles.

The remote-controlled plane seemed to understand his intentions. It flew in and landed in his hand. It was heavy with a cute little panda tied to it.

Bei Jun did not know what it meant.

For children, it was as powerful as a superhero. He cheered and ran out of the room, and got a beating from Zhao Zhilan for not wearing his pants.

Hr didn't care, raising the little panda in his hands, "Jiejie’s little panda is back! It was brought by God Sath!"

(T/N : The raw was 萨斯神 (sasi shen) which is God Sasi, but it's weird. And when I searched, this Sasi was actually SARS (yes, the disease))

Zhao Zhilan put his pants on him and was amazed when she looked at it. It really was the same.

Bei Jun went to knock on his sister's door and yelled with his milky voice, extremely excited.

Bei Yao opened the door, the girl's long hair draped over her shoulders, she squatted down and took the little panda from her little brother's hand.

Bei Jun asked, "Did God Sath send it back?" He had watched too many cartoons. God Sath was a heroic and omnipotent male deity character in a cartoon.

Bei Yao's gentle and smiling eyes were basked in the morning light. She tilted her head and touched the little panda with her fingertips which still held dampness from the morning dew.

She gently told her brother, "Yeah."

She took the little panda to the window with rosebuds entwined around the branches, then looked down. There was only a lush of greenery at the gate of the neighborhood as if that man had never come.

-

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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