Chapter 18: Arc 1: Rural Love: Chapter 18 – Stop Making Trouble
It was a cloudy day. The lighting in the room wasn’t good.
Wang Yue Mei was half lying down. “It’s early in the morning, yet there is a lot of fuss outside. What happened? Cui Ling, you say.”
It seemed that she had no idea but she also seemed to have some ideas.
Wu Cui Ling said, “He Wei died this morning.”
Wang Yue Mei asked, “How did he die?”
Wu Cui Ling shook her head.
Wang Yue Mei looked at her. “You don’t know, or you don’t want to say?”
Wu Cu Ling said, “I don’t know.”
“Really?” Wang Yue Mei was still looking at her. “Why is it that I heard your uncle mention Da Gui? What does He Wei’s death have to do with Da Gui?”
Wu Cui Ling said, “Someone saw a shadow when they passed by He Wei’s house last night.”
She wiped her lips and her voice trembled. “They found… in the bamboo garden behind He Wei’s house…they found…”
Wang Yue Mei said impatiently, “You can’t even speak clearly even though you are at this age?”
“The gown, the red gown of Da Gui.”
Wu Cui Ling clasped her hands and her lips were trembling. “Everyone is saying that Da Gui has come back to take his life.”
Wang Yue Mei said, “I remember that Da Gui’s clothes were burnt before his death. Tell me, what’s wrong with his gown?”
Wu Cui Ling said, “I don’t know.”
Wang Yue Mei glanced coldly at her. “Cui Ling, although mother is paralyzed in the lower half of her body, her brain is not paralyzed.”
Wu Cui Ling was a little agitated. “Mother, when we were sorting out Da Gui’s things, you were there too. I really don’t know anything about it.”
“In the morning, I was fetching the water by the river. When I heard about it, I was shocked and came back immediately.”
Wang Yue Mei pressed the honeysuckle clips on her head, into her hair, “What are you feeling guilty about?”
Wu Cui Ling argued, “Mother, I’m not guilty. I just don’t want to be misunderstood.”
Wang Yue Mei asked again, “Why didn’t you come in after Jin Hua left last night?”
Wu Cui Ling said, “In the daytime, I was planting rice in the fields. I had twisted my waist, so I went to bed early.”
Wang Yue Mei still intended to speak, but Li Gen, who had not spoken said, “Cui Ling, go and make breakfast, and look after the fire in the pot hole.”
Wu Cui Ling turned around.
Wang Yue Mei lost her temper and said, “What do you mean by having breakfast? Gen Zi, go to her house.”
Li Gen frowned. “Mother, what are you doing?”
Wang Yue Mei’s expression wasn’t good. “Your younger brother has been staying underground for two years and is now being used by someone. Can you ignore this?”
Li Gen said, “This matter is not clear yet…”
Wang Yue Mei interrupted her son, “So I’m asking you to look into it now.”
Wu Cui Ling whispered, “Big Brother, you can look around, it doesn’t matter to me.”
Li Gen kicked the threshold sullenly and went to Wu Cui Ling and Da Gui’s house.
Wu Cui Ling followed behind, and stretched out her hand to put her hair behind her ear. “Big Brother, please don’t be angry at mother. She is not feeling good inside.”
Li Gen said, “I know.”
Wu Cui Ling’s face was pale and she hesitated to speak further. “Big Brother, you say, how did Da Gui’s gown…”
Li Gen only said, “Humans are scarier than ghosts.”
A moment later, Li Gen went back to report to his mom. “Mother, I’ve taken a look, the house doesn’t contain any of Da Gui’s belongings.”
Wang Yue Mei said, “Of course not, because they were all burnt.”
Li Gen couldn’t understand, “They why did you still ask me to check?”
Wang Yue Mei did not say her reason. Instead she said, “Come and massage mother’s leg.”
Li Gen sat by the bed, kneading his mother’s unfeeling legs.
Wang Yue Mei said, “That He Wei got his retribution.”
Li Gen inquired with his eyes.
Wang Yue Mei recalled that when He Wei used to collect goose feathers with Li Da Gui around, they made a madwoman’s belly big outside. Later on, when the madwoman died during labour, her child also died.
“Few people know about this matter.”
Li Gen sighed.
Wang Yue Mei said, “Don’t go to He Wei’s house, they will also not come but look for us on their own.”
“Let them gossip as they want outside. You don’t have to bother about them.”
Sure enough, as Wang Yue Mei had expected, He Family was silent.
Firstly, they couldn’t explain their son’s death inside the house. Secondly, they didn’t know whether the gown floated here or someone had put it on.
Thirdly, they had done something guilty.
Huang Dan’s task was to find out the murderer who had killed Li Da Gui. As for He Wei, whether he died of illness or was frightened to death, it was none of his business.
However, the death of He Wei was related to Li Da Gui. Huang Dan had to follow this vine and look for clues.
Huang Dan first looked for Zhang Ying Xiong and chatted with him.
Zhang Ying Xiong was rolling up his pant cuffs at the door. “Though I don’t know how He Wei died, it is certainly not something about Brother Da Gui coming back from the grave to seek his life.”
Huang Dan squatted down. “Why are you so sure?”
Zhang Ying Xiong said, “As far as I know, He Wei will flatten Brother Da Gui, and there was nothing between them.”
Huang Dan said, “Really? But I heard that He Wei liked Sister Cui Ling.”
Zhang Ying Xiong was shocked.”It couldn’t be that?”
Huang Dan, “…”
Zhang Ying Xiong clicked his tongue, “Don’t you work outside? How come you know more than I do?”
Huang Dan inwardly said that’s because you are blind.
Zhang Ying Xiong bowed his head and pulled at his sleeves. “However, even if He Wei liked Sister Cui Ling, he would not dare to do anything like that.”
“Everyone is saying that the death of Brother Da Gui has something to do with He Wei. They say it as if it is true.”
He smacked his lips. “On the day of Brother Da Gui’s death, he and Sister Cui Ling were climbing trees at the top of the mountain, so he can’t possibly harm Brother Da Gui.”
Huang Dan raised his eyelids. “Are you sure?”
Zhang Ying Xiong said, “Yes, I was behind them.”
Huang Dan said, “I asked you before, why didn’t you say it at that time?”
Zhang Ying Xiong coughed, “My mother won’t let me say it out.”
Huang Dan asked him, “Then why are you saying it now?”
Zhang Ying Xiong pouted. “Aren’t I just expressing my thoughts?”
Huang Dan said, “Then how did you know He Wei died?”
Zhang Ying Xiong said, “How did I know? I didn’t open the third eye.”
He stood up and said, “Don’t think about it anymore. He Wei is not a good man. Don’t bother about him. I’m going to the field.”
Huang Dan seemed lost in thought.
In the evening, a radio voice rang out throughout the village. “Villagers, come to my side for a meeting now.”
In about half an hour, all the villagers and men gathered in the rice bed.
In his early forties, the village chief was a lean man with two moustaches; he looked like an old goat.
If Wang Yue Mei’s man hadn’t died, it would not be his turn.
The main purpose of this meeting was to convince the villagers to regard science and to not listen to the rumors.
He raised his hand and said seriously, “Rumors stop at wise men. I believe that everyone is a wise man!”
The rice bed was filled with sparse and fragmented applause.
Huang Dan spat out his saliva and rubbed it at his mosquito bump. His gaze shifted to Li Gen.
Li Gen also glanced over.
They were separated by more than a dozen people. Their eyes met only to be separated again.
The village chief finally finished his long speech. “Go back and cook your dinner!”
Everyone then dispersed.
It had been a tiring day, there was no strength left to even gossip. With regards to the incident of Li Da Gui’s spirit coming back, it was also no longer as alarming as in the morning.
Huang Dan ate his dinner, greeted Chen Jin Hua and went out to look for Li Gen. He wanted to sleep with him.
Li Gen was more than willing. As soon as the door closed, Li Gen pushed the person onto the bed.
Huang Dan rested his head on the man’s arm, he did not mention He Wei’s matter, “My mom told me to go to your field and help you to transplant rice seedlings.”
Li Gen’s hand was inside his gown. “There’s no need.”
Huang Dan said, “Last time you helped me cut the rice crops, my mom felt that I should return the favor.”
“Okay, tomorrow you should come, When Ge will look at you, he will be more energetic.”
Li Gen sucked on the young man’s lips several times. “Ge is tired today, he will not play with you. Go to sleep.”
Huang Dan was hugged around his waist by the man, and the faint smell of smoke drifted to his nose.
He told him that he wanted to go to the toilet, and then he got up and went out. After a while, he went out again.
Li Gen placed the young man in the crook of his arms. “Diarrhea?”
Huang Dan nodded, “En.”
Li Gen lifted the young man’s gown and patted his belly with his palm. “I’m telling you, stop making trouble. My wife is going to sleep.”
There was a layer of callus on the center of his palm. Whenever he touched him, it felt a little itchy and a little painful. Huang Dan said, “Ge, please don’t touch me anymore. I can’t bear it.”
Li Gen said, “Okay, Ge will not touch you.”
Huang Dan also wondered why the man was being so honest tonight, when he heard the other man say, “Ge will just use his mouth to kiss you.”
He shifted behind from the kisses, “Ticklish.”
Li Gen held the shoulders of the young man and kept on kissing them.
Huang Dan was going to be drowned by the man’s saliva. “Ge, there’s someone outside the window.”
Li Gen didn’t even lift his head. “Who’s gonna be there in the middle of the night?”
Huang Dan said, “Yes, I saw it.”
Li Gen’s chest shook, and he sucked on his face leaving a mark. “So you say, man or woman?”
Huang Dan furrowed his eyebrows from the pain, “Woman, her hair is dishevelled.”
Li Gen suddenly looked sideways towards one part of the room and stopped talking.
Huang Dan also looked there. There was nothing. He swallowed his saliva, “Ge.”
Li Gen laughed and laid back on Huang Dan.
Although Huang Dan’s eyes were filled with stars from the pressure, he really did see a figure outside the window.