Chapter 59: The Rose Twined in Thorns
“What happened to you? What happened?” Alex turned around in an instant and stared intensely at him with his dark blue eyes.
“It’s nothing.” Chi Yan hurriedly replied. He didn’t look attentively at his neighbor’s appearance at this time and ran to the sink with his hand raised. He let the water ran through his hand. “I cut my hands. It will be fine after I bandage it.”
He turned his head around and smiled at Alex before going back to his room. Before he set off, his mother stuffed a box of Yunnan Baiyao band-aid into the side pocket of his school bag.
It was just a small injury that tore off the surface of his skin. After putting on the band-aid, he resolutely went back to the kitchen to cut the potatoes and stir fry them. He was only gone for a moment but Alex and his steak had disappeared.
Had it been eaten? However, it was unlikely that the steak had been eaten at such a fast speed and more likely that he went to find his friends.
Chi Yan didn’t bother about it too much and continued to eat his dinner.
At night when he was lying alone in bed and about to sleep, he heard a knock on the door.
Alex’s voice came from outside the door, “Jerry, Jerry, are you asleep?”
Jerry was Chi Yan’s English name and it was given by his English teacher in primary school. At that time, the English teacher casually prepared some of the most common English names and randomly assigned them to the whole class. Chi Yan was very glad that no one in his class wanted to be called Tom. But these sort of things such as a name had a certain stickiness, and many of his social accounts were registered with this name, so it wouldn’t be easy for him to change it now.
“En, I’m asleep. What’s the matter?” Chi Yan picked up his phone and looked at the time. It was already eleven o’clock. “If it’s not urgent, can we talk about it tomorrow?” Now that he had washed up and was undressed, it’s going to be a lot of trouble for him to get up and change his clothes.
“Oh, nothing.” Alex murmured something outside the door. Chi Yan couldn’t hear clearly and didn’t care about it either.
Today, he attended a long class and a discussion class. After class ended, he even went to the school gym and ran. He used a lot of his energy and as soon as he closed his eyes, he was already falling asleep. In his daze, he heard the sound of a door opening and voices coming from Room 408 which was on his right. It was Emily’s room. It was so late now, did she just come back or was she going out?
With such thoughts in mind, Chi Yan gradually fell asleep.
Tomorrow was Saturday, so there wasn’t any class, but Chi Yan still had to go to the school library to discuss about the topic of his group report assignment with his group members. He happened to see Emily when he went out. She was holding a trash can in her hand. It seemed that she was going to the kitchen to throw her garbage.
Chi Yan casually looked down only to see that the top of the trash can was covered with paper towels stained with blood.
He looked up and saw a scar on Emily’s wrist that was holding the trash can. The dark blood scab and the blue and purple bruise were particularly striking on her white arm.
“Are you injured?” He asked.
“It’s fine,” Emily raised her head and smiled, covering her left hand gently with her right hand. “It’s just that I accidentally scratched myself and bled a lot.”
“Be careful. I cut my hand yesterday too. It’s really bad luck.” Chi Yan also smiled at her and said goodbye. He took the elevator downstairs alone, and gradually felt a little out of sorts— the wound was unlike a scratch, but more like… it was bitten by something.
He was a little concerned and thought of the glimpse of dark shadows he saw in the woods on the way from the school gym to the dormitory last night. That thing looked like a big dog. It was very tall and strong. Was anyone keeping a large dog around here? There was an even more terrible guess— Jiang Tian said that he heard wolves howling at night. The ecological environment in this place was well protected. Maybe there were wolves? Maybe they would run down from those mountains?
Chi Yan had also seen articles and reports on how people and animals, including wolves and bears, lived in harmony in some towns that had a good ecological environment. However, if there were carnivorous animals that attack people around his living areas, it was still a little scary.
But Emily’s action of covering her wound showed that she didn’t want others to see the wound, and saying it was a scratch might just be a pretext, so it would be better for him not to ask her about it anymore.
Chi Yan and his group discussed until it was 5 p.m. He thought about how it was a Saturday and school had just begun, those people in the dormitory would certainly organize a party on the fifth floor. If he stayed in his room, it probably would be too noisy for him to do anything. He just stayed in the library until nine o’clock before packing his bags and heading back.
His dormitory was built outside the school. The distance between them wasn’t near. There were school buses to pick him up on weekdays, but if he were to travel on foot, it would take him at least 30 minutes.
It was very cooling it the night as the summer heat had dissipated, and the air was diffused with the fragrance of grass and trees. Chi Yan then decided that it would be good to go for a walk.
Chi Yan heard someone shouting and the sound of footsteps, and it took a moment to respond that someone was calling for him. He turned around and saw Alex walking toward him.
“You also just left school? Are you going back to the dormitory? Then let’s go back together.”
Chi Yan was a little surprised.”Why didn’t you attend the party today?”
In his mind, Alex and his friends were all party animals. Strangely, they were still at school at this late timing today.
“Because we found something we could look forward to more, something that make one lose control.” Alex replied lightly.
“Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes you just can’t stop once you have immersed yourself in studying. So there was a saying called “thirst for knowledge”. Desire for knowledge and appetite were really two things that could neither be contained nor covered up.” Chi Yan went along with him. “By the way, what’s the matter with you coming to see me last night?”
“It’s not that important. Last night I had a party with my friends. I still lack a ‘companion’. I wanted to ask if you would like to join us.”
“It’s a pity. I hope I can come to your party again next time.” He said, thinking that he wouldn’t go out with Alex and his friends even if he didn’t plan to go to sleep.
They two of them talked as they walked towards the dormitory. All the way it was dark with only the street lamps emitting a dim orange light, which elongated the shadow of the bushes at the roadside. They took a shortcut, and now they were in the middle of two buildings. This route wasn’t short, and the only light source came from the street lamps on both sides of the road, so it was even darker.
“There will certainly be another chance,” Alex smiled indefinably, “so it doesn’t matter. I met Emily yesterday and invited her to come with me.”
“That’s good. But I saw Emily today and she seems to be injured. Do you know anything about it?”
Alex’s blue eyes dimmed. “Really? Then she is really careless.”
Chi Yan was walking next to the wall and realised that Alex was getting closer and closer to him. They were just in the middle of the road when Alex suddenly stopped and turned to face him.
“Jerry.” He lowered his head and smiled warmly. “Can you do me a favor?”
Chi Yan wasn’t used to being so close to anyone, so he took a step back. “What’s the matter?”
“I think I’m sick. I feel terrible. I hope you can do me a little favor.” There was a strange red halo in his eyes and he kept his eyes fixed on Chi Yan.
“What sickness? Acute gastroenteritis? Should I take you to the school hospital?” At this time, he also felt that something was wrong with his neighbor.
Alex seemed to be stunned for a moment, but he straightened up the next second in alertness, like he was a lion that was ready to eat only to find other coveters.
At the end of the road, a black car stopped under the streetlights on the other side of the road in which they came from.
His eyesight was far better than that of ordinary people so he could see things with details clearly. The front window of the car was half-open, and there was a middle-aged man with gray hair sitting inside. A dark gold pocket watch hung on the man’s chest, and there were some patterns engraved on the pocket watch’s case.
He narrowed his eyes and looked more carefully— the uneven lines on the pocket watch were countless clumps of thorns, and one of them was tightly wrapped on a rose.
A rose wrapped in thorns– that was Prince Eymer’s symbol.
Alex’s pupils dilated.
The back window was tightly closed, so he could not see the situation inside. He could only vaguely see a black outline reflected on the window.