Mosaic School (21)
Everyone was stunned.
The butler talked to the old lady in their native dialect for a while before raising his head to look at the group. “Sorry, my lady is used to expressing what she sees in obscure metaphors and this often confuses people. This gentleman, if you don’t dislike it then you can come to our place. The lady will draw the scene she sees so that it is convenient for the two of you to understand.”
The old lady directly sent an invitation to Chi Nan. “I am also quite interested in the form presented by you. I hope that Mr Chi can be my model. I don’t know if Mr Chi is interested?”
Chi Nan didn’t need to think about it and he replied very sincerely, “Thank you, it is my honor.”
They came to an agreement and the two of them followed the old lady and butler to the third floor apartment.
The old lady said that she might be nearly completely blind, but she could see clearly when she painted. It was a blessing amid misfortune. She could paint magnificent things that ordinary people couldn’t see.
Chi Nan happened to be a very cooperative model. He was adaptable and could maintain the posture of sitting still for a long time without being bored. He quietly stayed next to a cluster of small white flowers and looked at a beam of daylight not far away.
The sunlight in the background of this place was much warmer than elsewhere. It was like a cluster of flowing flames that could melt everything in the afternoon.
“Little one, don’t move,” the old lady suddenly stopped her brush and warned in a tone that wasn’t severe.
Chi Nan innocently raised his eyes to question it because he had never moved from beginning to end.
The old lady pursed her mouth. “I’m not talking about you. It is the other one in your body.”
The old lady finally finished after around an hour.
The moment the fresh painting was displayed in front of everyone, Tang Yu couldn’t help letting out a low sound of amazement. This was because the scene presented in the brightly colored canvas was too eerie.
In the painting, there was a conjoined person with two heads. The facial features of both of them were almost exactly the same, except that one of them was wearing glasses and his eyes were dark black. This was the appearance of Chi Nan’s character. The other one had cold green eyes and two tear drop moles at the corners of his eyes. This was Chi Nan’s original appearance.
They shared a body and looked like two flowers of different colors blooming on a branch. There was a strange and curious beauty.
Both faces were pleasing to the eye, so they didn’t make people feel like they were monsters. Instead, there was the attraction of breaking the rules and common sense.
Tang Yu was surprised before muttering, “But this is also beautiful…”
This symmetrical and distinctive beauty made her unable to look away for a while.
Chi Nan’s face still didn’t have many emotional ups and downs. The old lady looked at him with her gray glass bead-like eyes. “This is what you look like in my eyes.”
“Thank you for letting me see…the truth.” Chi Nan looked at the painting in a daze. “Can you give me this painting?”
The old lady smiled. “Of course. This is yours.”
The system finally showed some movement the moment Chi Nan picked up the painting.
[Congratulations to the two students for discovering the identity of the important character. 5 favorability is gained and the accumulated favorability is now 60 points.]
The truth had come to light and there were 40 favorability points left before they could successfully complete the acting task.
[Now the performance of the ‘sadness’ theme has reached the passing line. In order to reward the two students for their wonderful performances, the school has decided to reward you with an important clearance item: the head of the younger brother.]
Tang Yu was stunned for a moment after receiving the system information. The younger brother’s head… what type of weird and bloody item was this?
[In addition, there is an important clue item: A copy of a lost memory.]
The moment the female teacher finished speaking, the space where Chi Nan was located immediately froze.
The old lady and the butler kept their original postures like the pause button had been pressed. The windows with warm sunlight had been covered with curtains at some point and there was a projection on the large white wall in the living room, like a movie was being played.
There was an aquarium in front of the screen and countless green-eyed paradise fish were playing in the water.
The flowing colors were just the background and the blue glass reflected the silhouette of a two-headed conjoined child.
The entire memory projection happened from the perspective of the character ‘Chi Nan.’
“Brother, they say that I am a parasitic demon in you. I am greedy and evil and will naturally take everything for myself.”
“Who are you referring to when you say ‘they’?”
The screen turned almost 60 degrees to the left and Chi Nan’s familiar green eyes came into view.
At this time, they were still children.
“The teachers, classmates, your friends and…Mother thinks so. They hate me and say that only evil spirits will have such weird green eyes.”
In the picture, ‘Chi Nan’ paused. “Their words aren’t important. What’s mine is yours.”
The green eyed-child smiled and spoke with a cheerfulness that was unique to Ye Chang, “Yes, if Brother says it doesn’t matter then it doesn’t matter.”
“They are jealous of your good-looking eyes,” ‘Chi Nan’ said firmly.
“They are also jealous that I will never be apart from you.” The green-eyed child blinked happily. “We are one. They can’t help it, right?”
“Yes, we won’t be apart.”
The one with green eyes held out his left hand. “Pinky promise.”
Little ‘Chi Nan’ hooked the left hand with his right hand. “Hang yourself.”
“Don’t change it for a hundred years.”
The light in the picture gradually dimmed and darkness covered the entire projection wall.
Only the ray of light in the middle slowly became clear.
Chi Nan had experienced this last night and quickly guessed that the protagonist of the story was locked in the wardrobe.
“What about the two children? Why didn’t I see them today?” The voice of a strange lady was heard outside the wardrobe.
The madam’s voice was contemptuous and helpless. “I asked them to stay at a relative’s house for a while. I am upset and confused every time I see those two heads dangling in front of me. I don’t know when it will end.”
The two heads in the wardrobe looked at each other in the darkness. The one with green eyes was very uncooperative and formed a fist to knock on the wardrobe door. He made a banging sound that attracted the attention of the visitor.
Through the light that seeped in from the crack in the door, ‘Chi Nan’ could see that the green-eyed boy had his mouth taped up like he was a hostage, and he could only make a whimpering sound.
“Madam, did you hear that? What is that sound?” the lady wondered.
The madam smiled stiffly. “Don’t mind it. Some time ago, a stray cat entered the house and it often makes strange noises when entering the cabinets.”
“Madam is sincere and kind. Not many people are willing to adopt stray cats now.” The lady believed her lies.
The madam sighed. “However, being good-natured can’t end well. I still can’t believe how I gave birth to such a monster. It is really…shameful.”
“Madam, don’t blame yourself. Their birth must be metaphorical. The two children might be the lives of good and evil coexisting, balancing and restraining each other. It is a good thing,” the lady comforted her.
The madam was silent for a long time before suddenly raising her voice. “Yes! Why didn’t I realize that? Good and evil coexisting… If the evil side disappears forever, then the good side has triumphed over evil. All pain and shame can completely end and it will be clean!”
The lady was a bit worried. “Madam, what do you mean by that?”
There was a smile in the madam’s voice. “Nothing. I just suddenly made an important and correct decision.”
The sound of two pairs of high heels faded away. After seeing the guest off, the madam unlocked the iron chain on the wardrobe.
It was momentarily hard to adapt to the sudden light when it used to be darkness. Suddenly, there was the sound of a slap on the bright and shaky screen.
The madam slapped the younger brother on the face. “Why did you deliberately make a sound just now? Do you want to make me look ugly?”
The two children’s mouths were covered with tape and they could only whimper in protest. However, the green eyes looked directly at the madam and there was a blatant playfulness in them.
The madam was always frightened by the green eyes that belonged to a demon and she was accustomed to using violence to hide her fear and cowardice. She slapped the little brother again and again until the pale little face had crisscrossed red finger marks.
Yet no matter how violent she was, the green-eyed boy never showed her a pitiful and submissive posture. He was also proud and full of contempt, as if he could read the deepest shame and fear in her heart.
This wasn’t an ordinary child’s eyes. This child’s body was inhabited by a demon!
“Apologize to me!” The madam tore off the tape stuck to their mouths and pinched the younger brother’s neck with both hands.”If you don’t apologize properly, I will strangle you to death.”
Her hands were extremely well-maintained. They were slender and white as they tightened little by little… No matter whether it was a threat or her genuine intentions, at this moment, a frightening killing intent flashed in her eyes.
“Mother, we aren’t monsters and my brother isn’t a demon,” Chi Nan tried to calmly explain, “We just failed to separate when we were in your stomach. It might be rare but it is natural…”
“Nonsense!” The madam angrily interrupted Chi Nan’s explanation. “You are different from other children. If you are different then you are guilty!”
The logic that those who were different were defined as wrong or guilty had long existed in human common sense.
Human beings would always be prisoners of common sense and self-righteousness.
The green-eyed brother suddenly laughed. “Brother, Mother is afraid of us…”
It was a pity that before he could finish speaking, he was strangled to the point of coughing by the madam. He could no longer speak complete words.
“I’m not afraid of you! You shouldn’t exist in this world. I made a mistake bringing you here. You have to figure it out. I can bring you into this world and I can naturally send you away!”
“I know what you are afraid of. In any case…I’ll make you pay for it twice over. Just wait for me.”
The image faded away along with the madam’s crazy laughter. Then the screen filled with a not so bright white.
The hospital bed, the surgical curtain, the hidden door, and the medical record on the table that didn’t have a single word written in it evoked the cold smell of disinfectant in the air.
“Madam, no hospital is willing to perform the separation surgery on the two children. The risk is too great.” The strange man’s tone was somewhat heavy.
The madam told him, “Don’t worry, the cost of the surgery we will pay for is definitely 10 times the risk you need to take.”
“I don’t want to, but the risk is why I chose you. After all, I know that you guys are willing to take on many shameful jobs.” The madam smiled and snuffed out the cigarette in her hand. “I am willing to bear all risks, including…”
She leaned forward. “The death of the two children.”
The male doctor at this illegal hospital froze and avoided her gaze. “Even if they are successfully separated, they will face serious disabilities in their future lives. It isn’t necessarily…”
“I don’t want you to succeed in the separation.” The madam interrupted him. “I want you to fail in the separation. That is why I chose you.”
“Cut off the head of that green-eyed one and try to rescue the other one.”
“I’m sorry Madam, we can’t…”
“No? Why not? Do you think you are a serious hospital? Or do you really think it is a crime to kill a freak in the operating room?” The madam couldn’t suppress her manic roar. Then after a moment, she calmed down slightly and sat back down. “Okay, I can cut off that demon’s head myself. You are responsible for stopping the bleeding and preventing the scandal from leaking out.”’
“Rest assured, I won’t treat you badly when it comes to the treatment fee.”
At this moment, the twins with two heads were lying outside the door and clearly heard the conversation in the room.
Chi Nan’s first reaction was to run away and leave this demonic mother. He would take his brother away from this hell.
“Brother, are you going to run away from home for me? Where will you go?”
“I don’t know… We will just leave…”
“It is useless. The two of us are so special. We will become the focus of people’s attention no matter where we go. it is useless to escape anywhere. It won’t even take 24 hours for us to be caught.”
“Then let’s go where there is no one.”
The green-eyed boy smiled. “Then how can we live?”
“There is always a way.” Chi Nan, who was still a child, wasn’t certain.
“Brother, humans are social creatures. It will be very hard for us to be separated from people, right?”
“There will always be a way… There will always be…”
In the midst of Chi Nan’s footsteps and gasps, the picture took a sharp turn. The scenery in front of them seemed to have a scarlet filter.
The madam looked at him in a condescending manner, the corners of her lips raised. “Nan Nan, it will soon be over after you sleep.”
“Once it is all over, our family will go far away to the tropics. There is a city there called Gongcheng. No one will know us. No one will know this shameful past…”
She reached out and covered Chi Nan’s eyelids. The white light leaking through the gap between her fingers stabbed Chi Nan’s eyes with pain.
“Mother, we don’t want to separate.”
“Be obedient. He is a parasitic demon inside you. You don’t know good and evil right now, but you will understand when you grow up. With him, you won’t be able to enjoy all the happiness that ordinary people have. You can’t socialize, fall in love, get married, or have your own children. No girl would want to marry such a monster.”
“However, I currently have a happiness that ordinary people can’t enjoy.”
“This isn’t happiness. It is deformity. It is the demon who lied to you. Don’t be seduced by him.”
“Mother, I know how I feel.”
“Nonsense! You don’t know!” The madam lost patience. “You have been deceived as a stupid child. It is wrong to be different from others. I must help you correct your mistakes with my own hands and make you like a normal person.”
“No…” The light that leaked in became more confusing and Chi Nan knew it was the anesthesia in his body that was working.
“Go to sleep. Once you wake up, the nightmare will be over and the demon that has been pestering you will be gone forever.”
“Mother, I’m not going to leave my brother. Remember this.” The green-eyed boy smiled on the operating table. “I will be back.”
Darkness filled the entire picture again. The sound of voices was cut off and was replaced by the rumbling of a generator, like the huge freezer in the living room with the frozen body of the husband. The generator was rumbling non-stop.
Immediately after that, there was the piercing sound of a saw cutting flesh and bone like a curse in Chi Nan’s eyes, even though the picture was black and nothing could be seen…
Half a minute later, the item about the lost memory ended. The world flowed again and the pitch-black projection wall was replaced by daylight.
The old lady and the butler gave the painting to Chi Nan and watched the two people leave.
After seeing the images in the lost memory, Tang Yu couldn’t emerge from her sad mood. She silently followed Chi Nan upstairs.
As a transgender person, she understood the pain of being seen as ‘different’ from the average person. In people’s cognition, difference itself was a sin. The criticism and slander she suffered from childhood to adulthood was beyond the imagination of ordinary children, even though it could never influence her own choices and judgments.
She suddenly understood that the theme of this story, ‘sadness,’ wasn’t just the sadness at the funeral of a loved one. It was a deeper sadness.
“That… What are we going to do now?”
Tang Yu took a deep breath and temporarily withdrew from the swamp of memories. Instead of being sad due to her encounters that were similar to those of the protagonist of the story, she should think rationally in order to clear the story.
Chi Nan seemed to be in a trance for a moment before replying, “Find the important item that was just unlocked, the head of the younger brother.”