In south H City, the average daily temperature in December was still above 5 degrees Celsius. The weather was good today and there was no wind. The golden sunshine melted in the air and the warmth of the sun sank beneath the surface and made people languid and sleepy.
The nurse, who had only become a full employee for less than half a year, walked to the door of the ward with a paper bag in her arms. She suddenly felt a bit nervous.
She looked back at the nurse’s station not far behind her. There were four or five nurses around her age who had been defeated in rock paper scissors a few minutes ago and reluctantly handed over the task of delivering things to the VIP ward. At this time, they were staring at her back. After seeing Xiao Ke turn back, some pulled at the corners of their eyes and poked out their tongue while others excitedly raised their fists, silently cheering for her.
Xiao Ke’s face was red and her original tension was mixed with a bit of shyness. She turned her head and took a deep breath. Then she greeted the two bodyguards she had became familiar with after more than half a month and knocked on the door. She turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. “Mr Shen, are you there? I am coming in.”
The open area of the VIP ward was beautifully decorated. Thick blue curtains were opened and bright sunlight passed through two layers of light muslin from outside the window, illuminating the room.
Mr Shen was standing at the vertical wardrobe behind the sofa. His hospital clothes hadn’t been changed yet. He held several clothes in his hand and had a bag at his feet. It seemed that he was packing.
Once he heard the knock on the door, he glanced over. His pair of ink-like eyes were clear and dark like the cold moon. “I am here. What happened?”
His clear voice was like jewels spilling on a stone. The flat tone caused the blush on Xiao Ke’s face to deepen. This Mr Shen was too good-looking.
It was a type of pretty beauty but the owner’s cold temperament and tall and thin physique meant he didn’t look feminine. It only made people feel stunned and created a sense of distance. This beauty could only be seen from afar and couldn’t be approached.
Xiao Ke’s eyes seemed to be burned and she immediately shifted her line of sight to one side. “…M-Mr Shen, I came to give you the clothes you wore when you were admitted to hospital.”
Shen Shian carefully placed his folded clothes in his bag before coming over and taking the paper bag in Xiao Ke’s arms. He had been in a car accident more than half a month ago and was sent to the largest joint venture hospital in H City for treatment. The bag contained all the things that were taken from him at the time.
His mobile phone had broken in the car accident and was replaced during his hospital stay. His student ID and ID card were taken out to confirm his identity. The rest that remained was a set of clothes and a bunch of keys.
Shen Shian simply rummaged through them before thanking Xiao Ke. “I troubled you.”
“N-No, no trouble.” Xiao Ke’s face was hot and she didn’t know where to put her hands and feet. She thought about how the other party would be discharged soon and her nurse sisters cheering her on. Her courage returned and she moved her gaze back to Shen Shian’s face. “Mr Shen, are you packing? Do you want me to help?”
Shen Shian had experience dealing with such situations and tried not to make his voice too cold as he refused. “No, I can do it myself. Thank you.”
A touch of disappointment filled Xiao Ke’s eyes. She bit her lips but didn’t dare speak the request to exchange phone numbers. She finally looked at Shen Shian and spoke in a low voice, “Mr Shen is busy.” Then she turned and walked out of the ward.
Shen Shian watched her leave and close the door before putting the paper bag on the coffee table and walking back to the cupboard to continue packing.
Not long after, there was another knock on the door. This time, one of the bodyguards had come in. The square-faced big man who was approximately 40 years old was called Fan Guoping. He said, “Mr Shen, there is a brother who said he is your classmate who wants to come in and visit.”
He hadn’t finished speaking when Shen Shian saw the tall, young man standing outside the door. The coldness around Shen Shian’s body faded a bit and a small smile appeared on his face. It was like a flower blossoming under crystal ice, making his excellent looks more vivid. “Why did you come? Don’t you have a class today?”
He and Yun Feiyang were sophomores at H City’s Medical University. They studied different majors in the same department but had some public classes together. Today was Friday and he remembered there were specialized classes in the morning and afternoon.
“How can I not come when you are leaving the hospital? I’m not a person who has no conscious. Mountains of daggers and seas of flames can’t stop me from running towards you.” Yun Feiyang walked around the bodyguard and entered before finally speaking the key point. “It is the end of term and the teachers’ check-ups aren’t strict. Besides, my roommate will help answer for me when my name is called for attendance.”
His gaze moved around the ward before finally falling on Shen Shian. Yun Feiyang whistled, “You must be having a good time, old pal. There are flowers, fruits and nutritional supplements. You look better than you did before you were hospitalized.”
This was the truth. Perhaps it was because he stayed indoors for a while time but Shen Shian’s skin was whiter than before. Still, it wasn’t the type of pale that came from lacking sunlight. Standing far away, it couldn’t be seen clearly but when standing close, it could be found that his pores were almost invisible. There was a red tinge to his white radiance and he looked much better than those who stayed up late playing games or the medical dogs studying at the end of term and it was unknown what grades they got.
Yun Feiyang observed for a long time before he finally found traces of a patient who was in a car accident. “You are a lot thinner.” His jaw and collarbone were thin and bony. If the female students at school saw this then they would be distressed.
In front of this familiar friend, Shen Shian was gently and had obviously relaxed. “Why don’t I pay a fee to let you stay in this ward for two days? Needless to say, the nurses will give you two shots a day.”
Yun Feiyang’s voice increased by two tones. “That’s too embarrassing. There is no need to bother the nurse sisters.” After seeing that the door had closed again, he took an orange from the fruit basket and threw it to Shen Shian. “You have two bodyguards at the door. What is the situation? I haven’t seen your dad… cough, did Mr Gu look for you?”
Shen Shian scoffed, his half-long black hair falling over his eyes as he bent down to zip up his bag. He didn’t give any explanation.
Yun Feiyang knew that wasn’t a suitable topic and didn’t continue asking. “Is the discharge procedure finished? Is there anything I can help with?”
He picked up the paper bag on the coffee table as he talked. Then he was started after opening it.
He knew that it contained Shen Shian’s blood. However, the light grey sweater and coat were completely covered with dried blood, which seemed to have completely soaked into the fabric of the clothes. The deep colour and large areas they covered looked quite shocking, causing him to immediately think of the wounds the owner of the clothes must’ve suffered.
Yun Feiyang’s face was white and his original smiling expression vanished. He stared at Shen Shian and found it hard to hide his worry. “My god, your car accident was actually so serious.”
After Shen Shian had an accident, the hospital informed the school through the student card on his body. The school informed the counsellor and the counsellor contacted Shen Shian’s only immediate relative, a Mr Gu who was far away in B City. Yun Feiyang had called Shen Shian and found he couldn’t get through. By the time he noticed something was wrong and reported to the counsellor, it was the second day of Shen Shian’s hospitalization.
At that time, Shen Shian had just finished the surgery. He was staying in the intensive care unit but his colour and the description of the attending doctor didn’t make it seem particularly serious. It wasn’t until Yun Feiyang saw the blood-stained clothes that his heart jumped. He felt the other person had clearly almost walked through the gates of hell.
Shen Shian took the paper bag from him and placed it into his luggage. “It was just a skin trauma that looks scary.”
Yun Feiyang didn’t believe it. “Really?” Based on the blood on the clothes, the blood loss was clearly enough to kill someone.
“Really.” Shen Shian’s eyes were clear and there was a lustre similar to black gems. “What is the point of lying to you? If there really is a big problem then the doctors wouldn’t let me leave the hospital. The discharge procedure is already done and I’ve packed my things. I just need to change clothes and I can go.”
Yun Feiyang still wasn’t at ease. He sat on the sofa and stared at the other person, afraid this person was enduring the pain and would faint to the ground at any second.
Based on the distance between them, would Yun Feiyang be able to catch Shen Shian if he suddenly fainted? Yun Feiyang calculated it and the butt stuck to the sofa slowly moved in Shen Shian’s direction. It was absolutely possible for him to be the hero rushing to save the beauty.
The scene Yun Feiyang imagined couldn’t be realized because Shen Shian didn’t faint. He walked back and forth in a normal and comfortable manner. Apart from his hospital clothes under his long-sleeved t-shirt, there were no blood-stained bandages or wounds.
It wasn’t until Shen Shian wore a thin black sweater that Yun Feiyang saw something abnormal. “Eh, what happened to your Buddha beads?”
Shen Shian’s always wore a string of beads around his right wrist, each bead carved with an ancient lotus shape. It was a relic left behind by his mother, Ms Shen, and Yun Feiyang had never seen him take it off.
Now he wore the black wool clothes and there clearly wasn’t anything around his right wrist.
Shen Shian slightly paused while putting on the jacket. Then he pulled up the zipper as usual and replied, “It was gone when I woke up from the operation. It was probably broken in the car accident.”
Yun Feiyang knew the meaning of the Buddha beads to Shen Shian and didn’t know how to comfort him. After a long time, he said, “If the old doesn’t go, the new won’t come.” Once he finished, he wanted to slap himself. This cheap mouth, how could it say such words?!
Shen Shian knew this person’s personality and didn’t care. He finished changing his clothes and picked up his bag. “Let’s go.”
Yun Feiyang hurriedly grabbed the bag and tried to make up for his sin. “You are the sick one. How can I let you carry this? Give it to me.” Then his gaze swept over the fruit basket in the room. “What about this?”
Shen Shian’s voice was cold. “Just leave it. It originally wasn’t for me.” The Gu Family was one of the major shareholders of the hospital and this basket was sent by the director and leaders of the hospital after Mr Gu came.
‘It is common for patients to give things to doctors and rare for patients to give things to patients,’ Shen Shian thought.
Yun Feiyang immediately protested. “Isn’t this sent to your ward? How is it not sent to you? There are so many fruit supplements, it is a pity to throw them away. Tsk, this loser child.”
He picked up a few bouquets of flowers and went to the nurse’s station to request several large cloth bags. He picked and chose between the fruit basket and tonics, filling three large bags. Then he laughed as he spoke to the two bodyguards outside the door. “Hehehe, take these home to help An An restore his body. Bodyguard brothers, please help out.”
Fan Guoping chuckled lightly at the good words, his big hands stretching out to easily pick up two bags. The other bodyguard was young and called Mo Feng. He was taller than Yun Feiyang and had sharp corners. He stared at Yun Feiyang in an unsmiling manner before picking up the other bag of things.
Yun Feiyang quietly rubbed his arms. He didn’t know where Mr Gu invited this person from but he was like a fiery wolf.
The group of four said goodbye to the staff of the inpatient department and arrived at the underground parking lot. Fan Guoping drover, Mo Feng sat in the passenger’s seat while Shen Shian and Yun Feiyang were in the back. Approximately half an hour later, they arrived at Shen Shian’s residence near H Medical University.
The apartment building was left to Shen Shian by his grandparents and the residential area belonged to the compound of the faculty and staff of H Medical University. It was rare to enjoy municipal heating in this slightly south H City.
Shen Shian took out a key and opened his door, the group of people sucking in a breath from the heat rushing out.
The apartment had a two bedroom, one kitchen and two bathrooms structure, with a storeroom and balcony. The area wasn’t too large but it was more than enough for Shen Shian who was living alone.
The house was very clean and tidy. He hadn’t stayed here for half a month yet not a single mess could be seen. There was only a shallow layer of dust on the furniture and this was easily cleaned.
The two bodyguards stopped Shen Shian as he was about to walk through the door. “Mr Shen, please let us check first for safety reasons.”
Shen Shian licked his lips before nodding. He stood at the door and watched as the two bodyguards carefully checked every corner of the house. It was only until Mo Feng was going to open the storage room facing north that Shen Shian coldly stopped him. “Wait, you can’t go in there.”
As he spoke, he walked over and turned the handle, opening the door on his own.
The storage area was a similar size to the second bedroom. It was just that the north position meant the temperature was slightly lower than the rest of the house and it was written as the storage room on the house plans. This actually wasn’t used as a storage room. It was empty and the wooden furniture leaned against the wall only contained a light blue porcelain jar. Next to it was an enlarged black and white photograph. In front of the photo was a 20 centimetre long red clay, four-cornered incense burner and two candlesticks.
Mo Feng immediately realized the identity of this room and stepped back while whispering, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine.” No expression could be seen on Shen Shian’s face as he turned to Fan Guoping, who had just checked the bedroom. “Brothers, you have protected me these days but I am discharged and safe at home. The two of you should be able to leave.”
Fan Guoping and Mo Feng glanced at each other, the square-faced man showing slight embarrassment. “That… we were hired by Mr Gu and Mr Gu’s request was for you to have 24 hours personal protection. The salary has been paid and we can’t neglect our duty without Mr Gu’s instructions. This is also for Mr Shen’s safety.”
Shen Shian wasn’t ignorant and wouldn’t deliberately make things difficult for the two people. His thick eyelashes lowered before rising again. “However, you can see that there is no room for the two of you to stay here.”
No matter what, he couldn’t live with these two for 24 hours a day. He was unwilling and it wasn’t possible.
Fan Guoping’s expression immediately relaxed as he smiled. “You don’t have to worry about it.” He turned and walked out the front door, unlocking the apartment opposite Shen Shian’s place. “Mr Gu arranged for both of us to live opposite Mr Sheng. We don’t bother Mr Shen’s private life and you should treat us like we don’t exist.”
In that case, Shen Shian had to accept such an arrangement. He thanked them, sent them out and closed the door.
The silent Yun Feiyang had listened for a long time and seemed to figure something else. “Your father… no, why did Mr Gu give you bodyguards and ask for 24 hour protection? You aren’t a national leader who needs to be worried about assassinations…” His voice trailed off and Yun Feiyang’s eyes suddenly widened. “Oh my god, was your car accident not an accident?”
The shocked and angry Yun Feiyang almost jumped up while Shen Shian’s expression didn’t change. He didn’t admit or deny it. “No one can confirm the matter without evidence.” He bent over and changed into slippers, also giving Yun Feiyang a pair.
“How can it not be confirmed? If there wasn’t someone behind the accident then why would Mr Gu hire bodyguards for you?” Yun Feiyang’s temper was like a cannon. Once he learnt that someone wanted to harm his brother, his face turned red. He wanted to grab a kitchen knife and attack the behind the scenes murderer. “Who did it? Who wants to harm you? I know! It must be Mr Gu’s wife, right? My god, your surname is Shen and you have nothing to do with the Gu Family in your household registration book. Why is she always targeting you? What are you doing? This person lacking in moral sense…”
Shen Shian suddenly turned to look at Yun Feiyang. There was no anger on his face but his cold eyes seemed to choke Yun Feiyang’s neck.
He exerted his strength while venting for a while and now he massaged his head. “Okay, I won’t say anything else.” He whispered in his heart, ‘How come his cold face is more frightening then it was before he stayed in the hospital?’
He saw Shen Shian enter the storeroom and hurriedly changed his shoes to follow. The quiet environment and light scent of the incense caused him to subconsciously lower his voice. “I will also light an incense stick for Auntie.”
Shen Shian lit a candle and then used the candle to burn three incense sticks. He held it in his hand as he whispered to the black and white photo, “Mother, I’m back.”
The woman in the photo was very beautiful. Her eyebrows were gentle and her long hair draped over her shoulders. She looked 70~80% similar to Shen Shian but her temperament was very different. Her smiling eyes curved slightly and shone like the sun.
Unlike Shen Shian’s introverted restrain, Yun Feiyang talked a lot while lighting the incense. “Auntie, I came to bother you again. However, An An is sick and I don’t want him to work. I won’t let him cook and will later feed him nutritious soup. You can rest assured that An An might’ve been in a car accident but nothing serious happened. These days, people say there will be good luck if you don’t die in a disaster. I will take care of him and he will definitely have good luck every day…”
It wasn’t until the incense stick almost finished burning that he placed it in the incense burner and followed Shen Shian into the living room to order takeaway.
Yun Feiyang cleaned up while waiting for the takeaway, only to suddenly remember suddenly. “Right, don’t you do good deeds every day? Is today’s share still unused?”
Shen Shian’s grandmother and mother believed in Buddha. He didn’t believe but thanks to his mother’s influence, he adhered to ‘doing a good deed every day.’ He had done it for more than 10 years, even when he was in the hospital. He heard this sentence and started thinking. The act of doing a good deed wasn’t about the size. It was enough to help one person but after returning home, he was afraid there would be no chance to implement it.
Yun Feiyang sat on the sofa, his legs placed on the coffee table as he spoke. “Otherwise, you can come over to massage my shoulders and legs.” He hadn’t finished speaking when the doorbell rang and the voice of the deliveryman was heard from outside. “Mr Yun, your takeaway is here.”
Shen Shian raised his eyebrows and glanced at Yun Feiyang. Then he chuckled and went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water. He opened the takeaway and accepted it while handing over the mineral water. “It must be hard. Drink this to quench your thirst.”
The deliveryman was stunned before taking the water with a smile. “Yes, thank you! If you are satisfied then please give me five-star praise!”
Shen Shian nodded. “No problem.”
Giving water and praise, this should be considered as today’s good deed.
After the meal and dessert, Shen Shian sent Yun Feiyang out with a large bag of fruit.
Yun Feiyang carried the bag while saying, “You can’t always rely on your bodyguards. You living alone is a bit dangerous. Hey, tomorrow is Saturday and I will go to the pet hospital to work. Why don’t I bring you a dog? There are many stray dogs who had been cleaned up and vaccinated. What do you like?”
Yun Feiyang acted in accordance with his parents’ expectations and learnt human medicine but he was actually more interested in being a veterinarian. Thus, he took advantage of his extra time to find a part-time job at a pet hospital. According to his words, “A dog is good are curing people. They are cute and obedient.”
“Let’s talk about it again.” Shen Shian didn’t agree immediately since he didn’t like pets very much. “I’ll tell you if I want to raise one.”
“Okay, make sure to tell me. Don’t buy it yourself. Adopt instead of buying! There is no harm from a business transaction.” Yun Feiyang waved and called out to Shen Shian through the gradually closing door, “Go back and have a good rest.”
Shen Shian sent Yun Feiyang away and returned home. There was a bit of sweat from cleaning and eating. The heating was dry and this stickiness felt a bit uncomfortable. He went to his bedroom to change out of his clothes and had a shower.
20 minutes later, a slender and upright figure came out of the glass door in the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist as he walked to the mirror.
Bony fingers rubbed the mirror a few times. The water vapour was wiped away, revealing a young figure in the mirror.
Water drops dripped from the wet black hair and the beautiful face was red from the steam. His tin lips were slightly pursed, the increasingly red colour tempting to the extreme. He was obviously s*xy but the coldness in his dark eyes made him seem untouchable.
The young man’s body was slightly skinny but not too much. The thin layer of muscles was just right and the smooth muscle lines descended into the bath towel. The water vapour added a fascinating lustre to him.
Shen Shian’s gaze moved away from the face in the mirror and landed on the wrist in the mirror.
The beads that he never took off had long since disappeared an in their original position, there was a dark cyan tattoo that completed circled Shen Shian’s right write. The dark blue line created a sharp contrast with the white skin, creating a thrilling beauty.
If Yun Feiyang had been present, he would’ve recognized it immediately. The mysterious and strange pattern of the tattoo was clearly the style of the Buddha beads.
Shen Shian raised his left hand and touched the tattoo that perfectly fit on his skin, thinking in his heart, ‘Enter.’
The next second, the steaming bathroom was empty.
The author has something to say:
On Friday, December 21st, 2018, there are still three months and 12 days until the outbreak.