The cover of the blue, underglaze tea cup was lightly placed, a trifling sound could be heard in the quiet study room. Mrs. Luo placed the tea cup aside, she raised her head and looked at the youngest son in front of her, “Are you sure you want to move out?”
“Yes.” Luo Shaoheng answered, he was standing upright, he was polite and courteous even if he was just facing his mother.
Mrs. Luo leant against the royal chair, her delicately painted fingernails knocked lightly onto the carved handle a few times. She pondered deeply for a while and only said, “Then go ahead, I’ll tell your father about it.”
Luo Shaoheng heard her words, joy swept in his eyes, he nearly wanted to hug her and whine ‘Mum, you’re so good!’ to her like what was shown in dramas, but the strict family upbringing and etiquette forced him to give up on that intention. Moreover, even if he did that, his mother would only scold him gently.
When Luo Shoheng thought about it, he could not help being sad, but it was quickly covered by the happiness of being able to live outside. He suppressed his excitement, slightly nodded his head and said, “Thank you mother, I won’t disturb you any further.”
However, he was still young. Although he controlled his expression, the tone of his words could be heard flying. Mrs. Luo smiled and waved her hands, “Look at how happy you are, go ahead.”
When Luo Shaoheng came out from the study room, his footsteps were getting faster, the smile on his face was getting more obvious, he nearly ran at last. He went through the long corridor, ran down the stairs, ignoring the stares of the maids and continued running towards the lawn in the back garden.
As he came to an open area, he could not conceal the joy when he got permission from his mother in the study room earlier. Luo Shaoheng happily said, “Oh.”, he laid onto the lawn and breathed a sigh of relief.
“It’s just like a dream.” Luo Shaoheng raised his hand to block in front of his eyes. He stretched open his five fingers, his sight went through the fingers’ gap and looked at the sunset, the smile framed on the edges of his lips could not be hidden.
Although he had brought up the matter of staying outside last time, they only touched on the topic and did not discuss it thoroughly. His mother also did not express that she would agree, so he broke into a sweat with fright when his mother brought up this topic proactively, he did not expect that she would agree to it.
The happiness in his heart expanded without limitations from the point that he got permission. Now, he was expanding to a point that he was going to boil, it made him feel like he broke free from shackles.
After his parents allowed it, Luo Shaoheng contacted someone to help him rent a studio apartment with two bedrooms and a living room. He moved there before school opened, he called it by the glorified name of wanting to adapt to the environment earlier. Mrs. Luo knew his intention, she did not stop him and urged him to take care of his own safety.
Luo Shaoheng cleaned and organized the house once he moved over, one was regarded as a bedroom, and another as an art room. Although the house was not big, it was cozy enough. The building he lived in was nearly built, he needed to walk through a long alley to reach. Some stray cats could be seen nearby, he would also take the opportunity to feed the cats from time to time.
Encountering Luo Shaoheng was an accident. That night, Luo Shaoheng bought some cat food and sausages and planned to feed the cats. The alley extended in all directions, he was stumbled by something beside him when he entered the alley. He staggered two steps and paused his movements, he used the flashlight built in his phone towards his side and found out that there was a person who was coiling in the corner of the wall.
Luo Shaoheng felt confused that someone was lying at his place in the middle of the night, he went forward and asked, “Hey, are you okay?”
The person did not answer him, Luo Shaoheng patted him lightly, “Did you drink too much? Where’s your house? I’ll help you contact… “ Before he finished his words, that person suddenly stretched out his arm and grasped onto his hand. Through the light of the phone, he could see that person staring deadly at him with reddened eyes, maliciousness and coldness could be seen in his eyes nakedly.
Luo Shaoheng was shocked by that sight, he swayed away his hand and moved backwards reflexively. That person’s arm was swayed away by him and slapped onto the wall beside, it then hung down helplessly.
The hand that was grasped earlier felt sticky. Luo Shaoheng rubbed his fingers and lowered down his head to see what it was, he was shocked.
The liquid on his hand was blood, from the person that grasped his hand earlier.
He’s injured. When Luo Shaoheng realized this, he quickly came to his senses. He walked towards the person, squatted down in front of him and wanted to check which part of him was injured. However, that person was wearing a black shirt and he could not see it clearly. He could only pat him again and asked, “Are you okay? Do I need to send you to the hospital?”
That person did not give any response as if he had fainted. Luo Shaoheng stopped calling him, he swiped his phone and prepared to call 120. However, before his call was dialed out, the flashlight shone downwards and showed that person’s stomach, the hand that was covered on the stomach was also dyed with blood.
Luo Shaoheng’s fingers stopped on the screen, he moved the light towards his face and found out that half of his face was filled with crimson blood, his five features could not be seen clearly, his eyes were closed tightly, and his face was frighteningly pale.
“Meow…” He did know when a stray cat came by his feet, it was using its head to rub against Luo Shaoheng.
Luo Shaoheng lowered his head and took a glance at it, the little guy was whining, Luo Shaoheng did not have much mood to care about it. He pushed that person lightly, “Are you okay?” When he saw that the person did not give any response, he took off his shirt and wrapped the wound on that person’s forehead. He then carried that person on his back.
They were at the back of a school, the road was narrower, rather than calling 120 and waiting for someone to come over, it would be faster to send him to the nearby hospital.
The unconscious person was heavy, he was also taller than Luo Shaoheng. He clenched his teeth and carried him out of the alley, halted a taxi and sent them to the hospital.
Other than the injury on the person’s forehead, a big laceration could be seen on his stomach. It looked like it was caused by a sharp knife. When he came out from the operating theatre, he was still unconscious and he had to endure through this 48-hour-crisis. He did not have any identification card or phone on his body, so Luo Shaoheng could not contact his family members, he also could not just leave him there. He could only stay in the hospital to guard him.
After guarding in the hospital for two days, the person in the bed finally produced a weak, airy sound. Luo Shaoheng asked surprisingly, “You’re awake?”
He quickly found out that the person was actually uncomfortable so he was raving, he did not wake up at all. His eyebrows frowned, sweat could be seen even when an ice bag was placed on his forehead. However, due to the fever, his face was not as pale as before.
Luo Shaoheng thought that he had successfully saved someone, but it was just a hoax. He rolled his eyes, pulled out a few tissues to help him wipe the sweat. Just when he touched his face, his hand was grasped, the person who was unconscious was clutching his wrist tightly.
“You’re not even behaving well when you’re seriously injured like that?” Luo Shaoheng remembered the eyes that scared him in the alley, he complained, pulled his hand away and wiped his sweat.
When he was wiping, the person murmured something unconsciously, it was so blurry that it could not be heard clearly, Luo Shaoheng lowered his head curiously and went nearer.
“…” Luo Shaoheng felt funny after he listened to it clearly, he pinched his cheeks and said, “Be obedient son, daddy is here. Although I don’t know who you are, don’t bite my hands that fed you okay.”
On the third day, Luo Shaoheng who burnt the midnight oil for two nights consecutively could not endure it and slept while bending by the bed. When he woke up, he saw the person who had been unconscious for two days had already woken up. He was tilting his head and looking at him. Both of them looked at each other. That person then asked with a hoarse voice, “… Who are you?”
“Me?” Luo Shaoheng pointed at himself and smiled, “I’m Luo Shaoheng, what about you?”
“… Shen Mucheng.”
Luo Shaoheng murmured unconsciously, his head lost stability and shook, he slowly opened his eyes and subconsciously turned his head to search for something.
Unfortunately, he was not at the hospital, it was the cemetery. The one he dreamt about was not there.
“Ah, it’s a dream.” Luo Shaoheng shook his head and laughed, “He didn’t bite my hands that fed them, but he gave his heart to me.”
He sat upright and moved his shoulders that were stiff as he was maintaining the same posture for too long, he averted his gaze towards Shen Mucheng’s picture, the edge of his eyes curved down and smiled, and said, “I’m indeed more at ease to sleep beside you, but I need to go back now.”
He stood up as he said. He stood in front of the tombstone for a while and said, “I’ll come visit you next time.” He then left.
His footsteps showed how he was not hesitating at all, but nobody saw how unwilling he was in his heart.
As he often came to the cemetery, the guard would even greet him when he arrived at the cemetery’s entrance. Luo Shaoheng smiled and gave the cigarettes that he had prepared, he then went down the mountain after greeting.
The guard opened the cigarette box and smelled it, he then kept it in his pocket appreciatively, his gaze averted to Luo Shaoheng who was walking down the mountain.
After so many years, he still remembered Luo Shaoheng asked if they were hiring guards in the cemetery. It was as if he had placed all his hopes onto that question, and a ‘no’ could easily make him crumble.
When the guard thought of this, a sighing expression could be seen from the deviant vicissitude face after guarding the cemetery for a long time.