Chapter 8: Arc 1 – Rural Love 8 – Dead Fish Eye
There was a glimmer of deathly stillness in the room.
Wu Cui Ling pounded at the door vigorously. “Uncle He, I still have to scatter a rice bed full of the unhulled rice. I cannot go back late!”
There wasn’t even a slightest bit of noise outside the door.
Wu Cui Ling’s heart sank. She bit out a deep circle of teeth marks on her lower lip. Her nails were also digging into her palms.
He Wei who on the bed sat up by propping up his arms. “Cui Ling, you are here.”
Wu Cui Ling’s back went rigid and she turned around slowly. Her face was full of alertness and uneasiness.
“Come and sit down. What are you doing at the door?” He Wei waved. The dead grey faded away from his face and his eyes became terrifyingly bright. “Come over here.”
His voice was soft like he was whispering. “Cui Ling, I have a lot to tell you. It’s good that you are here. Let’s have a good chat. Come on.”
Wu Cui Ling’s scalp went numb and her feet could not move.
He Wei said, “Come here.”
Wu Cui Ling pounded on the door more vigorously and shouted loudly.
He Wei’s face instantly became twisted. It was unknown where his strength came from. He jumped out of the bed and rushed to the door. He pulled Wu Cui Ling’s arm. “What are you shouting for? You came into my house by yourself, it’s not like someone put a knife around your neck. Putting on such a reluctant look when I haven’t even done anything to you yet.”
Wu Cui Ling said, “He Wei, calm down.”
He Wei smiled and said, “I’m calm, Cui Ling. I’m really glad you could come and see me.”
Wu Cui Ling was so anxious that her forehead was sweating.
“I’ve known Da Gui since I was young. He changed women like he changed clothes. I didn’t have any,” he said incoherently, “When Da Gui told me about you, I grew curious.”
“After seeing you for the first time, I already felt that Da Gui was not worthy of you.” He stared at Wu Cui Ling with greedy and distorted eyes. His throat trundled. “You are well educated and know how to write poems. You got into college and studied outside, but you were arranged by your parents to marry into Sha Tang Village.”
“Although Da Gui was not educated, he was strong with no illness and he was also not disabled. His appearance fit in line with your standards, you married him and became the object of many women’s envy, so you thought that life would go on just like this.”
“But you never thought that even after marrying you for less than half a year, Da Gui still continued to play. You could not control him, nobody could control Da Gui. You were sad, resentful, regretful, and then he finally died. You are finally happy.”
“He Wei, what nonsense are you spouting?” Her face changed dramatically. Wu Cui Ling broke away from He Wei’s hand and said, “Let go!”
He Wei suddenly said, “You knew since long ago that I’ve liked you, didn’t you?”
Wu Cui Ling suddenly froze.
“How was it? Did you feel proud to discover that someone was peeping at you and liked you?” He Wei approached her presumptuously and said with ambiguity, “Cui Ling, do you know that when you read poetry on the ridge, you would cry and laugh. It was especially charming. Every time I would want to press you on the ground and sleep with you under the moonlight you are so fond of.”
Wu Cui Ling’s face burst with shame and anger as her voice trembled, “Let me go!”
He Wei said, “Recite a poem for me, all right. Recite it now.”
Wu Cui Ling could not break away. She looked at He Wei and said, “Recite it for you? Do you know what poetry is?”
This sentence jabbed at He Wei’s foot painfully. He was not good at studying and he was born with an average appearance. He always felt inferior since childhood. In front of Li Gen and Li Da Gui, he was inferior and when it came to Wu Cui Ling, he felt even more inferior.
Knowing that Wu Cui Ling was fond of poetry, He Wei went to the city’s bookstore to purchase them. He found that he was unable to make sense of it, let alone writing it. That kind of cultural disparity meant that he and Wu Cui Ling were not on the same level.
But Li Da Gui was able to step over this gap and nevertheless, pressed Wu Cui Ling down under him and tamed her.
Thinking to this point, He Wei’s mood went out of control. His expression was crazy as he grabbed Wu Cui Ling’s coat collar roughly and put his head inside.
Wu Cui Ling leaned back and her face turned pale. “He Wei, if you dare to touch me today, I’ll bang my head and die in front of you.”
He Wei paused for a few seconds and sneered. “Why you are pretending to be pure? I panicked whenever you looked at Li Gen with that kind of expression. You probably have been done by him before Da Gui died, haven’t you?”
Wu Cui Ling slapped He Wei across his face. The rim of her eyes were red as she glared at He Wei with indignation.
He Wei’s temporary guilt soon disappeared. “Was I right?”
“Rest assured, there is only you and I here, no one else would hear anything.” He trapped Wu Cui Ling in front of himself. “Da Gui is dead and you’re still young. Being a widow is very lonely. I can understand if you and Li Gen fooled around. Whatever Li Gen has, I also have. If he can make you happy, so can I.”
Wu Cui Ling turned her head and avoided He Wei’s mouth.
“Cui Ling, be with me.”
He Wei shifted Wu Cui Ling’s head back. “As long as you nod your head, I will have ways to get through your mother-in-law and marry you into my house.”
Wu Cui Ling said, “Get rid of your intention as soon as possible.”
“He Wei, if Da Gui knows of this at below, he will not let you off.”
He Wei suddenly twisted his head and looked at the room as if someone was standing at the corner. His face has turned grey again and he harped onto something neurotically before he shouted at Wu Cui Ling.
“Damn you! You’re not a virgin. You’ve been slept by Li Da Gui for several years and even had a child. What are you pretending for?”
Child… Wu Cui Ling’s struggles stopped.
Upon seeing this situation, He Wei reckless nibbled around Wu Cui Ling’s neck; his rapid panting voice was like a boar eating its food.
Wu Cui Ling returned to her senses and pushed him away. She screamed, “Scram——”
“Since you like to scream so badly, I’ll let you scream to your heart’s content later!”
He Wei carried a malevolent face as he suppressed Wu Cui Ling’s wrists, intending to drag her to the bed.
Wu Cui Ling was struggling frantically.
Amidst the scuffle between the two of them, Wu Cui Ling lost her balance and fell forward uncontrollably. She knocked her forehead against the corner of the table.
Seeing blood coming out of Wu Cui Ling’s forehead, He Wei stood dazed on the spot. He exclaimed in a panic, “You knocked onto it yourself. This has nothing to do with me.”
The bump was a hard one. Wu Cui Ling was dizzy and her ears buzzed.
The blood on her forehead dripped onto her face. It was a sea of bright red, and in the eyes of He Wei, she was just like a ghost.
Just then, the door was kicked open. Huang Dan ran in and saw the scene in front of him. He was stunned. “Sister Cui Ling?”
Wu Cui Ling stretched out her hand like it was a cry for help. “Dong Tian… Dong Tian… Quick… Quick…”
Huang Dan went over, carried Wu Cui Ling and quickly left the room in a hurry.
He Wei’s parents who came inside the room were panic-stricken. “Xiao Wei, what’s wrong? What’s that? What happened to Cui Ling’s head?”
He Wei smashed the water bottle off the table.
After coming out, Wu Cui Ling’s consciousness became more sober. “Dong Tian, quickly let me down. It’s not good if anyone else saw this sight.”
Huang Dan’s eyebrows moved and he placed Wu Cui Ling on the ground. “Sister Cui Ling, let me help you to the hospital.”
Wu Cui Ling shook her head and said, “What are you doing here?”
Huang Dan came after Wu Cui Ling as he felt that Wu Cui Ling was the most suspectful at present. Since he couldn’t say this, he made up an excuse and averted the topic. “Sister Cui Ling, let’s leave the river farm first.”
Wu Cui Ling made a sound of agreement.
When they reached the hill forest, Wu Cui Ling’s forehead was still bleeding continuously, which made her unable to walk normally.
Huang Dan asked Wu Cui Ling to wait in place. He ran to the village to find Li Gen.
Not long after, Li Gen and Huang Dan pulled a handcart to the hill forest. Wu Cui Ling had already fallen to the ground. Her face was covered with blood and seeing this scene was dreadful to one’s mind.
Li Gen brought Wu Cui Ling onto the handcart. He wore the hemp rope in front of his shoulder and pulled the person forward.
Huang Dan was pushing from behind, and they quickly crossed the pond ridge of Da Tang. They walked a section of the road and pulled Wu Cui Ling to the clinic.
There was only one doctor in the clinic, other than vaccinating the children, he was responsible for some minor illness. If there was anyone having a headache or fever in any village, he would go there, hang an IV drip and administer an injection. Any bigger issues, he would not be able to treat them and the patient would have to go to the county hospital.
When the doctor saw Wu Cui Ling, he quickly asked Li Gen and Huang Dan to help her into the house.
Huang Dan came out with a lot of blood on his hands. He rubbed it on his jacket but it did not rub off and had dried. “Ge, I’ll go out and find a pond to wash my hands.”
Li Gen who was stained with a lot of blood, was rubbing a match. When he heard those words, he raised his head.
When Huang Dan finished washing his hands, he wandered around the clinic. When he found a small door, he sneaked in and peeped through the window.
What happened this time was in Huang Dan’s expectation.
After all, no one else knew what had happened in the house. He Wei’s parents could twist the facts and turn black into white. They could say that Wu Cui Ling seduced their son.
When their son refused to comply, Wu Cui Ling was not mindful and knocked her head.
Anyone would believe it because Wu Cui Ling was a widow.
He did not know how long had passed, but a voice sounded from the room. Huang Dan saw Li Gen talking to the doctor and Wu Cui Ling who had her wound sewn, had her eyes focused straight in one direction. That was where Li Gen was standing.
She thought that she would not be seen by anyone, but she did not know that the expression in her eyes was being observed by the person outside the window.
Huang Dan confirmed that Wu Cui Ling had a different thought about Li Gen.
Huang Dan thought pensively. While he still suspected Wu Cui Ling because she had the motive to kill Li Da Gui, she might not necessarily be the murderer.
Maybe Wu Cui Ling just simply liked Li Gen, but did not take action, so the murderer was someone else.
“Ah, Mr. System, can’t you really give me a hint? How about I say that Wu Cuiling was the murderer. If I’m right, you give me one jingle. If I’m wrong, two jingles?”
The system still gave the official reply, “Sorry, this system has no authority to answer you.”
Huang Dan sighed.
[Mr. Huang, your guardian sends you a “Dead Fish Eye”. Please accept it. When the points drop, you will be able to get double the points. The validity period is one month.]
Huang Dan liked this Dead Fish Eye. “Thank you, Mr. System.”
When he turned to see again, Wu Cui Ling had gathered all her emotions and was saying something to Li Gen.
When he heard Li Gen mentioning himself, he guessed that it was probably about how he had disappeared when he was just washing his hands. Huang Dan hurriedly turned one round and entered through the clinic’s door.
Li Gen was just going out to look for him when he saw that the young man was coming back. He frowned and asked, “Cui Ling said that the injury on her head was because she tripped on her foot. What exactly happened?”
Huang Dan said, “I went to the river farm to catch loach. After passing the gate of He Wei’s house, I heard Sister Cui Ling’s cry and rushed in.” It was rather clear at this point.
Li Gen’s face was ashen. “Damn it.”
Huang Dan walked to the man’s front and asked, “Ge, are you going to find He Wei?”
Li Gen yelled, “Go away!”
He swung away the young man.
Without any guard, Huang Dan hit the door with a thump on the back of his head. Stars appeared in his eyes and he fell on the ground in pain leaning against the door. Tears dripped down.
Li Gen was temporarily overwhelmed. He squatted down and said, “Let Ge see, did you get hit until a bump was formed?”
Huang Dan was too much in pain to speak.
He heard the man say that he had a big bump and told him not to rub it with his hands.
“Ge is wrong.”
Li Gen wiped the tears from the young man’s face with his palm, his eyes were full of self-blame and helplessness.
Huang Dan was even more in pain. The man’s palm was rough and there were hard calluses in the hollow of his palm. His cheeks strung. He gasped and trembled as he said, “Ge… Your hands are so rough… I feel terrible when you touch me…”
The voice of the young man contained sobbing tone. His appearance was pitiful and delicate, and Li Gen’s breath suddenly became harsh. He stared at the two slightly opened lips in front of him. There was a rumbling sound in his head and it went blank.
In the next second, Li Gen lowered his head and pressed his lips forward.
Huang Dan stared with widened eyes.