Chapter 38: My Gentleness (2 of 2)
Jin Xi has taken off his shoes and is wiping the bottom of his feet to help him cool down when she suddenly hears him murmurs, “Bai Jin Xi.”
“Hm?” she raises her head.
But his eyes are closed, and there are no further movements.
Jin Xi ignores him and continues to wipe his arms. But she hears him call out again, “Bai Jin Xi.”
She tosses away the wet towel, squats and looks down at his face.
He’s usually cold and unruly, but his cheeks are currently red from the fever. He looks calm while sleeping, but he’s murmuring her name.
She can’t believe that a manly man like him could be like a child at times.
Jin Xi says in a very soft voice that only she could hear, “What are you calling me for? Since you don’t care about me anyway.”
Li Ming Yue, who’s sleeping beside them, laughs, “I didn’t know your boyfriend likes you so much. He’s even calling your name in his sleep. Yet you guys didn’t even seem like you were dating before.”
Jin Xi smiles and picks up the towel again. Feeling a bit annoyed, she slaps the towel on his face, covering his handsome eyes and tall nose.
She sits down beside him and after a moment of silence, she carefully lifts up a corner of the blanket and slips herself inside.
It’s already past 1 am. Probably because they’ve been through a frightful day, some are asleep while others’ eyes are still wide open, just like Jin Xi.
You Chuan and Professor Sun are lying down facing the wall. They seem to be sleeping as they haven’t budged. Li Ming Yue is lying down not far away. Her face is red most likely due to the cold, but she is breathing in and out evenly. The Zhang Mu Han couple is hugging each other inside the blanket and is chitchatting quietly. Ke Fan is lying beside You Chuan, staring at the ceiling.
And Fang Xu also has the same expression with his eyes opened, thinking about something.
Outside of the house, the old man is sending his sons back. They’re still chatting quietly.
“Go into the forest tomorrow morning and collect more mushrooms.”
“Your youngest brother hasn’t come back from fishing yet?”
“No. He has most likely gone to have fun in the city.”
“Have you collected the corn cobs from yesterday?”
“Yes, I collected them before the rain.”
Everything is calm and quiet. The smell of soil mixed with rain and corn permeates the air as if it’s the most ordinary night at the farm.
Jin Xi continues sitting quietly for a while. She takes a sniff and realizes that her nose is stuffed. She feels her forehead, and she’s actually having a bit of a fever.
It must be because she was wearing her damped clothes for too long.
She refocuses her mind, and just as she’s lying down, she hears a noise coming from behind.
Ke Fan rips his blanket open and stands up. Everyone also wakes up at the same time and looks towards him.
“I’m going to the washroom,” he explains.
Fang Xu gets up suddenly and looks at Ke Fan, “I’m going too.”
Jin Xi’s heart pounds as she sits back up. She looks up and sees that the old man has already gone to the backyard. He’s probably sleeping in the small house there. She can see the washroom at the corner of the yard. But the big mountain behind it is casting a large shadow over it.
“It’s not safe to go with just two people,” she says.
Ke Fan and Fang Xu both laugh. Ke Fan says, “The washroom is just in the backyard. What’s not safe about it?”
“Wait——” Zhang Mu Han stands up, “What a relief! I can’t hold it any longer. Let’s all go together.”
Jin Xi feels her head getting heavier; her cold is getting stronger. She glances at the washroom that’s only about ten meters away and nods, “Go and come back quickly.”
As the three of them leave the room, Zhang Mu Han reaches out his hand and touches the light switch, “Should I close the lights?”
Jin Xi is losing her patience towards such a dumb teammate as she says, “We must not turn off the lights throughout the night!” Zhang Mu Han looks at her and then retrieves his hand.
But they never come back after a long period of time. Jin Xi sleeps for a short while before she wakes up in fright. She looks at her watch; it has already been past twenty minutes. She raises her head and looks around. Their three beds are still empty. She’s now fully awake panicking. She picks up the flashlight and just when she’s about to get up to look for them in the backyard, she hears the door squeak. The three of them walk in.
Jin Xi lets out a breath of relief. They’re a bit surprised to see that she still hasn’t gone to sleep yet; they exchange a few glances at each other.
“Go to sleep,” Ke Fan says in a low voice. Fang Xu doesn’t say anything as he returns to his own bedding. Zhang Mu Han glances at Jin Xi. He stuffs his hands into his pockets, takes them out again, and then goes back to lie down.
Jin Xi watches their expressions and movements. She can’t help but feel that something is strange. She looks over to You Chuan in the corner. He still hasn’t budged, as if he’s deeply asleep.
Jin Xi stays still for a while before slowly lying back down again. She hides both the flashlight and knife inside the blanket beside her hand.
Han Chen is still sleeping. The redness on his cheeks seems to have faded a little. Jin Xi touches his hands and discovers that they are very cold. She touches his neck, and it’s also very cold.
Is it because the blanket is too thin?
Jin Xi stares at his face that is only a few centimeters away. Their bodies are against each other with not much free room to move. The light distinctive smell that belongs to him has been hovering over her all this time.
Jin Xi reaches out with both arms and embraces him. She leans against him with her warm body, resting her head on his shoulder.
She’s using her body to warm him up.
He moves slightly, suddenly turning his body slowly and hugging her. His eyes are still closed, but he buries his head into her subconsciously. His face is against hers and his nose is in her hair. He then stops moving.
Jin Xi’s heart beats quickly.
She feels as if her face and body is no longer hers. The man’s cheeks are a bit cold, and his head is bit heavy. There’s also the light scent of cigarette, and his overbearing embrace. There isn’t a gap between the two of them.
After a while, her heartbeat gradually returns to normal, and now she feels that this is quite funny.
This Han Chen…he sure has bad sleeping habits. During the day, he likes to remain chaste and have no body contact, but once he’s asleep, he takes advantage of women.
From now on, she must remember to stay away from him.
But for tonight, she’ll just have to cope with this……
Jin Xi doesn’t know how long she has been sleeping for. Maybe it’s been ten minutes or half an hour, or perhaps, it has only been a few minutes?
Even though her cold has started to worsen and her head is dizzy, Jin Xi knows very well that Han Chen’s wound isn’t light. She must let him rest for at least a good period of time in order for him to recover his strength.
And since she is a criminal investigator, she has the ability to do so. While she’s half asleep and everywhere is quiet without a sound, she wakes up suddenly from fright.
She opens her eyes and everywhere is pitch black. Han Chen is still breathing calmly beside her.
It’s pitch black.
The lights were still on before she fell asleep, and she had warned Zhang Mu Han before not to shut them off. After all that had happened today, she trusted that no one would turn them off.
But right now, the lights have been turned off at some point.
Cold sweat begins to run down her back. She holds her breath, reaches into the corner of her blanket and pulls out the knife.
There are no stars or moon. There isn’t a single source of light in the deep part of the mountain. This house is completely dark like it’s painted with thick black ink.
And right at this moment, she seems to hear some footsteps. They’re from inside this room.
And then, she suddenly hears a very low whimpering sound coming from a woman.
It sounds as if her mouth has been covered by someone, and her neck is being strangled, so she can only make the most desperate cry for help from the deepest part of her throat.
Chapter 38: My Gentleness (2 of 2)