Wu Yuanyuan’s eyes were still teary when she came out of the cinema. What to do? She was the emotional type that got affected easily by touching scenes. The temperature was still quite high in early autumn, but unexpected heavy rains were also a norm. Yuanyuan slowed down, turned on the wipers, and listened to the rain falling on the roof of the car.
The stiff neck from last night still felt sore and she couldn’t turn it properly. Yuanyuan struggled to look at the side mirrors, glancing at the cosplay event poster outside the cultural center, and continued to drive forward.
After turning a corner, she came to the side entrance of the cultural center. Yuanyuan saw a person standing at the doorway. She had a slender figure and was wearing a moon white robe. Her long hair was bunned up with a hairpin inserted in it. The woman stood at the door with a helpless and confused face. This egg-shaped building doesn’t even have a shelter from the rain. The heavy rain made her robe stick to her body.
Yuanyuan stopped the car, rolled down the window, and shouted to her: “Hey, get in the car!”
The woman raised her head suddenly and startled Yuanyuan. Yuanyuan waved to her again and shouted “Get in the car”. The woman walked over to the side of the car and just stopped there, not knowing what she was thinking.
Yuanyuan loosened her seat belt and leaned sideward to open the passenger car door. The woman climbed in without a word. Yuanyuan looked at her with a smile, seeing that her hair was sticking to her forehead and cheeks, she handed a tissue over, and asked: “Beauty, where are you going? I’ll take you there.”
The woman didn’t answer, turning to look at Yuanyuan and asked: “Your neck?” Her voice was not as clear as Yuanyuan’s, but it was low and gentle.
Yuanyuan smiled: “I have a stiff neck after sleeping last night and it hurts like hell.”
She looked over and said to Yuanyuan, “Sit up straight, I’ll help you. I’m a doctor.”
Yuanyuan felt bewildered, this woman is really strange. When I let her in the car, she did not express any gratitude or doubt whether I had any ill intentions towards her, but only cared about my stiff neck.
Did I happen to meet a mad woman?
Yuanyuan subconsciously sat upright while she was still thinking about all this. From the side of her eye, she saw the person stretched out a hand, on one side of her neck, with a stroke and a twist, she felt a sharp pain in her neck. Then as she turned her head, she was surprised to find that the originally painful stiff neck was actually healed!
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Guo Wuming was still thinking to herself, what am I sitting on? It’s like a carriage, but has no one carrying it. There are wheels, but no horses. I don’t know what kind of carriage this is. Let’s call it “car”.
When she turned around, she saw the young girl sitting next to her staring at her with wide eyes. Her eyes were foggy, like a small deer, and Wuming suddenly felt like laughing.
The little twist to her neck just now was just a simple healing process for the bones, but the girl displayed such a surprised expression. She must be inexperienced. As soon as Wuming touched her, she knew that the girl had no internal strength, and her muscles and bones were weak. She was just a common person. Wuming wondered, should I use the needle on her, hijack this “car” and drive herself to find a place to stay? But looking at the interior of the car, she was afraid she would not be able to handle it. Forget it, she’d spare her life for now. Anyway, she also provided her with shelter from the rain.
The girl with big eyes asked, “Where are you going? I’ll take you there if it’s along the way.” Guo Wuming suddenly felt lost. Where should I go, where can I go?
“I’m going to Tianxi Village.” Guo Wuming tentatively said. It would be a good thing if we can find Tianxi Village here.
“Tianxi Village? The place where illegal constructions are now being carried out. Were you affected?”
“Which part of Tianxi Village? Would it be faster if I use Nanyuan Road?”
“I do not know.”
“You’re not a local? That’s right. Locals don’t live in Tianxi Village. These are all rental houses. Let’s go, I’ll take you there.” With that, Yuanyuan fastened her seat belt and was about to set off. Guo Wuming turned her head and looked around, then fastened the seat belt too by her side following what Yuanyuan did. Looking out the window along the way, she continued to think about her next step. It would be great if I could really get to Tianxi Village, maybe she might be lucky. Guo Wuming knew it was impossible, but she secretly looked forward to it.
They remained silent throughout the journey. It took them half an hour to reach Tianxi Village. The city was in the process of transforming the villages into a city. This plan went on for several years, with interruption in between. Initially, the villagers of Tianxi Village took advantage of the opportunity to build many small houses and attics in order to get more rental fees after the renovation. During the interruption period, the villagers rented out the illegal small attic to migrant workers. Thereafter, Tianxi Village gradually became a famous gathering place for outsiders. Most of the locals made some money from renting out their houses, allowing them to buy houses elsewhere. Unfortunately, because of the large number of migrants and poor management, local security in Tianxi Village became chaotic, and it became a problem for the local government. The first thing the new mayor did after he took office last year was to continue the plan for Tianxi Village to be turned into a modernised urban village. The mayor’s determination was very strong and the methods used were relatively tough. The transformations of Tianxi Village can be said and seen to be in full swing with forced demolitions of illegal constructions everywhere. The locals had made a fortune in the past few years anyway, so there were not many strong resistance.
Guo Wuming stared blankly at the “Tianxi Village” the woman had brought her to. Where is this place?
This is not where I came from at all.
She fumbled for a long time on the door of the car, opened the door, and walked all the way down, stopping in front of a ruin. Looking up at the roaring metal monster not far ahead, she felt completely lost.
If a moment ago there was still a glimmer of hope for this place with the same name, then now, the reality has completely thrown Guo Wuming into despair.
I, really, can’t go back.
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The rain was still heavy. Wu Yuanyuan watched as the girl in Hanfu stood in front of the ruins. Then she hurriedly went over to her with an umbrella. Next to the ruins, a young outsider was arguing heatedly with a few people who seemed to be staff members. Not far from him, there were a few people standing in twos and threes, all with luggage at their feet. Some of them were talking to the small box in their hands, while some were being persuaded by the locals. Wuming could hear some of the words and phrases coming from there, saying that the rental houses that are now being demolished were originally illegal constructions, and that this piece of land was already rented to other people by the locals. The landlord who built the rental house and made money disappeared when the demolition began but did not inform or prepare the tenants for it. So they were also lost as to where they should go from here.
Wu Yuanyuan looked at the girl next to her who was already getting wet again. Her face paled with water droplets dripping from the hair in front of her forehead, making her eyes seem even darker. She didn’t show any sadness on her face, and even forced a smile. But Yuanyuan knew that this was not how she felt as there was no smile at all in those bright eyes. Her expression like this somehow reminded Yuanyuan of the tragic fate of the female lead in the movie she just watched, and an idea came to her.
Guo Wuming was aware that the woman had walked towards her holding an umbrella. It’s just that at this moment, regardless what kind of experience and fame she used to have, it was inevitable that she would feel lost. “Is there anything left for you here?” The woman asked softly.
Wuming did not answer.
“Why don’t you stay with me tonight. It just so happens that I am looking to find someone to share a room with recently.”
Wuming looked up at her, the woman had bright eyes and a sincere face. The weather now was cold and her lips were pale, like an early spring peach blossom with a layer of snow on it. While Wuming was still vigilant towards her, she was also very grateful. As she watched her firmly, Wuming arched her hands, and said, “Thank you.”