Chapter 31 Stars On The Sky(31)
“Twinkle stars in the sky, shines and rests all the time.”
In a cramped hard seat carriage, there was a double-sided TV with a popular Hong Kong TV series on. A beauty in ancient costume holds a lock-shaped amulet recites the above verse with tears. That’s a verse on the amulet which was given to her by her mother when her mother sent her away. The verse is about a good wish, but to her, it only means separation from her mother.
A five or six-year-old boy, lying under the hard seat, staring at the fuzzy screen, trying to fight against the sleepiness.
“How can you let a child sleep on the floor? It’s cold.” An old lady nearby pointed to the thin layer of old newspaper under the boy and said to the man and woman on the seat, “Why don’t you adults sleep on the floor and let the child sleep on the seat?”
“He thinks it’s too hot to sleep in my arms.” the woman said with a smile, looked down at the child whose eyes were not closed. She reached out one foot to block his sight and scolded him in an accent, “Don’t watch TV, sleep!”
Under the influence of drugs, the young Gao Yusheng couldn’t speak out. And without the distraction of TV, he soon became unable to keep his eyes open. In a daze, he heard the man said, “You go to the rest and change his clothes. The conductor will find him suspicious with such fancy clothes.”
When he woke up again, the soft fancy children’s wear was gone, and a pilled old sweater was on. The small leather shoes were replaced by cloth shoes that didn’t fit, in which was sand and dust that could hurt his feet.
“Hurry up!” When the man noticed that he was awake, the man immediately put him on the ground and walk himself.
They had left the train and now in a small town which was completely unfamiliar to the boy. From the building to the people, everything was dirty and dusty. Anyone can see that the place was underdeveloped.
There was colic in Gao’s stomach, he squatted down, felt dizzy and couldn’t see things clearly. He didn’t know how long he had slept, but he was starving and had no strength left.
The man saw that Gao wasn’t being obedient, raised his hand to beat him up. But he was stopped by the woman.
“Don’t hurt him. There’s still a long way to go.” The woman took out a piece of cheap cake from her bag and handed it to him. “You must be hungry. Here. Eat this and I’ll take you to mom.”
The child looked up at the woman. There was a huge mole beside her big mouth. Her skin color was somewhere between pale and yellow-ish. He almost cried when this ugly face was so close. Strict family education made it difficult for him to take food from others, but then he knew that he had been abducted and now for sale. If he didn’t eat, he would starve to death.
Took the cake with mold on it, he ate every part of that cake that was edible. A scent of stale and rotten food came into his mouth, which made him nauseous and vomits directly. Looking up, he saw a uniformed traffic policeman standing at the crossroads, who was whistling and directing the traffic. He ignored his stomachache at once, and loudly he called for help: “Police! help…”
The man slapped him hard, making his ears buzzing before his passing out. What happened after that he couldn’t remember. And when he woke up, he found himself on a pedicab, heading along the mountain road.
It was a village far away, and by the time they arrived, the sun had set. He was sold to a family without children. The man in the family was stooped, and his wife was a skinny woman.
“I want to go home, I want my mother…” The little child ate something and finally had the strength to cry ceaselessly.
“Don’t cry. I’ll be your mother from now on.” The skinny woman spoke a local dialect, which Gao couldn’t understand. She took a dirty towel to wipe his face.
The stooped man came to have a look. When he found out that the child was good-looking, he laughed with satisfaction and also said a lot which Gao couldn’t understand either.
In a dark room with oil lamps, the shadows of the two men were drawn long and long, and their claws were waving on the stone walls. Everything seemed to be a nightmare. Two cannibals bought him from traffickers and were discussing whether to fry him or stir-cook. The little Gao Yusheng couldn’t help crying.
The first day the woman would try to coax him, but when she couldn’t help she ignore it. Gao tried to escape and was caught and beaten by the stooped man. When the two adults went to work, they tied him to the yard with ropes and threw a hard steamed bun.
Gao Yusheng sat on the root of a tree and looked at the bun that was harder than rock. He muttered: “Mom, Dad, my family lives at No.35 Mingshan Road, Xicheng District. My name is Gao Tianci, my mother’s name is Ye Rong, my father’s name is Gao…”
Flutter. A chicken on the fence suddenly flew away, and a small head came out of the fence and looked this way with clear eyes. It was a boy slightly older than him. This boy’s had skin that was as white as his grandfather’s thin fetal porcelain, which was different from the Loess and debris in the mountain village.
The boy looked around, climbed over the wall directly, squatted down and looked at him with head leaned aside and said something in the local dialect which Gao assumed that it was “Don’t cry.”
Gao Yusheng then found that he still had tears on his face: “Big brother, will you let me go? My family is not here. I want my mother.”
The boy frowned slightly, imitating his words: “Mom? Go?” Although speaking slowly and hard, the pronunciation was extremely accurate.
Gao Yusheng opened his mouth slightly, and the tear on his face went through his chin and hit the dusty ground.
The boy took out a small bird egg from the pocket, which was still hot, and put it into Gao’s hand, looking at him with a smile.
“Is this for me?” Gao Yusheng gestured.
“Eat… Yes, eat!” The boy learned Mandarin very quickly. He took the bird egg, stripped it and put it on Gao’s mouth.
Gao was starving, ate the egg with two or three bites. He choked for eating too fast, puffed his mouth and coughed, but he was reluctant to waste the food.
The boy stood up, picked up the gourd ladle in the water tank, scooped out a ladle of water and quickly ran back to him. The sweet spring water alleviated the thirst and helped him swallow the egg.
Unexpectedly, Gao felt a hand on his head and he looked up. The boy was touching his head with curiosity. But touching it wasn’t able to suffice. The boy came closer and smelled Gao’s head like what animals do.
“Brother, what’s your name?” Gao Yusheng held the boy’s hand. It was warm and soft, which made him threw all the terror behind him for a while and couldn’t help holding it tighter and tighter.
“Name?” The little brother looked at him with questioning eyes.
“My name is Tian Ci.” Gao Yusheng pointed to himself and then to the boy, “name.”
“Tian Ci.” The little boy repeated after him, then pointed to himself and said a word he couldn’t understand or remember. Seemed to realize that he can’t understand, the little boy smiled and didn’t say anything else.
But Gao vaguely seemed to hear that he said: “Don’t be afraid.”
Tian Ci… Don’t be afraid…
Gao Yusheng suddenly opened his eyes. The train, the village, the black house, and the dog rope all disappeared. What in his eyes was his bedroom in his villa. The sun came in through the open curtains, dispelling the nightmare.
“Oh, you’re awake.” Zhai Chen showed half of his head from the crack of the door. Seeing him sitting, he opened the door freely and drew the curtain wide open. “Look at you, doing all those dangerous things with acrophobia. I dare not undertake a job like this anymore.”
“You didn’t leave last night?”
“Yup.” Zhai Chen answered lazily and left the bedroom.
“My uncle was afraid that you might get a fever.” Zhai Mengmeng suddenly appeared at the end of the bed and explained to Gao, who looked confused. “He said that kids who are scared are prone to fever.”
Zhai Chen came back with his backpack on his back and held Meng Meng under his arm: “The meal’s prepared. In the kitchen. Don’t forget. I have to go to kindergarten. Oh, by the way, our employment contract has ended since today.”
“…” Without waiting for Gao Yusheng’s response, he quickly ran away.
There were two eggs in the pot. Gao Yusheng took them out and held them in his hands. Apparently, Zhai had recognized him. When he was falling from the building, he clearly heard Zhai shouted “Tian Ci”. Why would he run away?
The cell phone on the desk rang and the call was shown to be from “The TV station”.
“Mr. Gao, the television program ‘Waiting for the news’ you signed up for has been scheduled. It will be recorded in three days. Please attend on time.”
“Waiting for the news” was a TV program about finding people, especially helping the lost children to find their relatives. Gao Yusheng almost forgot that he signed up for this program half a year ago and asked them to help him find his brother.
Gao Yusheng asked: “Have you found him?”
“I’m not sure about that, but since I’m calling, there’s an 80% possibility that he’s been found.” The staff said sincerely. The failure rate of such TV programs should not be too high, otherwise, no one would watch. Since the guests have been informed to go, most of them have been found, and those of failed cases would also be informed with a clear answer.
Gao Yusheng crushed the eggs in his hand.
The kindergarten was just as usual. Zhai Chen took the breakfast hanging on the handle of the scooter and handed it to Mr. Yang, the guard of the residential area across the street.
“You finally come back to work. I haven’t seen you for a while.” Yang took breakfast with a smile.
“That’s wrong. I haven’t missed a day” Zhai Chen was talking nonsense, and firmly refused to admit his low attendance rate recently.
Kindergarten teachers’ work is inflexible and boring, in between their time with the children, everyone loves to talk about the news around here.
“It’s so frightening that we have heresy in this city!”
“Tell me about it. These people are crazy. They rushed to the Minton hotel to set off fireworks. Why don’t they tie themselves on those fireworks?”
There was a live broadcast of the news briefing that day, but the live broadcast was in a fixed position. When the situation got out of hand, it stopped working, barely got the executioners set off fireworks. The scene of the disturbance attracted a large number of netizens’ attention. Almost everyone in the city saw it that day. The news couldn’t be covered, so the police just published the truth.
The cult’s blatant way of violating the law caused a sensation in all fields. The whole city launched a vigorous investigation of heresy. Fortunately, the police had taken all the shelters and accomplished the task as soon as they undertook it.
“Why are there so many perverts now? I’m worried about being followed when I go home these days. Looking back every once in a while, I’m a little nervous.” Miss Mi said with a worrying looking.
The real cause of Li Ting’s death was also announced. It was said that her ex-boyfriend believed in heresy. He conspired with other heretics and followed Li Ting to kill her. Those chat records in WeChat with mosaic were restored by the technicians of the punctuation map. Those words of “unbearable” and “want to die” came from the frustration when she wanted to break up with Wang Jinghang but turned down by her parents.
[Mom: Men are all the same, just bear it. ]
[Li Ting: I can’t stand it for even one day. ]
[Dad: It’s normal such a rich man like him to have a bad temper. You should keep yourself in line. Don’t break up with him! ]
Li Ting’s parents didn’t accept any interviews. It was not clear whether they had regrets after learning that their daughter was killed by their “rich son-in-law”.
“It’s good to be careful.” Zhai Chen said casually.
Miss Mi looked at him and said, “If followed by a man like you, I wouldn’t be afraid.”
Zhai Chen raised his eyebrows and said, “This is not right. You can’t forgive a man just because he’s handsome.”
“If it is a handsome man, we can’t tell who the victim is. If it’s you who stalk me, I might let you do this.” Miss Mi said half-jokingly.
“Amitabha! Please show some dignity, benefactor. I am devoted to Buddhism and won’t give in to the temptation of women.” Zhai Chen made a monk’s gesture with one hand.
It was the end of school hours, many parents had been waiting at the school gate. They heard this and laughed: “Mr. Zhai, it’s such a waste of resources for a handsome man like you to be single.”
“Doesn’t it make me a shared resource as long as I stay single?” Zhai Chen leaned against the railing and chatted with some children’s mothers.
He should be relaxed because he didn’t need to pick up Gao from work today, but instead, he was on edge. There were 18 executioners according to the ranking of eighteen Arhats, and all of them participated in the activities of the sacrifice. They were captured by the police and all locked in the prison. He shouldn’t be worrying anymore, but…
“Ah.” A sneer suddenly sounded.
Zhai Chen raised his head, looking right into Gao Yusheng’s cold and dark eyes, and suddenly he stopped worrying: “Sir, are you here to pick up your kid as well?”
Mr. Gao, who was dressed in a suit and looked good, was extremely eye-catching among a group of parents and grandparents. Everyone looked at him, and some even recognized him.
“I’m here to pick you up.”
All of a sudden, there was a moment of silence around. The parents who just heard the tone of the no-woman thing was like: “…”
Zhai Chen: “… ”
This naughty boy!
The author’s words: It is the end of the first volume.
“Twinkle stars in the sky, shines and rests all the time.”
This verse came from the novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, in which it was carved on A Zhu’s locked-shaped amulet by Ruan Xingzhu.