Their gazes met as they stared at each other from a distance under the dim moonlight. One was icy sharp, while the other was warm and gentle.
After a while, Mu Rulan took the first step and walked toward him. She made no move to open the iron gate, instead looking doubtfully at the man on the other side. “Mr. Mo? Can I help you with something?”
Mo Qianren focused his gaze on her body, scanning her from the top of her hair to the bottom of her feet, then twitching his nose, “Miss Mu, are you hurt?”
Mu Rulan smiled her usual smile, “Why do you say that?”
“The smell of drugs is quite heavy on you, if I’m not wrong. I smell formalin and other antiseptics on you.” Mo Qianren said lightly, but his narrowed eyes didn’t move from Mu Rulan’s body.
Mu Rulan smiled and looked into his eyes, pausing before softly speaking: “You’re right. Recently I’ve become interested in the mummy creation process, so I wanted to try and make one myself.”
“Really? I’m also interested in that kind of stuff. If you don’t mind, can I join you so I can learn to make one too? What do you think?” Mo Qianren took a glance at the ominous black house, both his hands in his pockets and his expression distant.
Mu Rulan deepened her smile. “Sure.” Translated by The Novelst
He didn’t expect Mu Rulan to agree so easily. Mo Qianren narrowed his eyes at Mu Rulan’s figure opening up the iron gate. She gestured that he should walk forward first.
Mo Qianren walked in without any hesitation, scanning the defunct fountain, the leaves on the ground, the swing hanging from dead wood, and a tiny old puppet doll sitting on the ground smiling strangely.
Mu Rulan noticed his gaze on the doll. “Isn’t it cute?”
Cute? That puppet doll looked like a clown, with its mouth wide open and lips red like blood. Its stare in the dark night in front of this kind of house was something people would definitely find terrifying. How could it be cute?
“Miss Mu’s hobby sure is special.” Mo Qianren withdrew his gaze and turned to Mu Rulan. She let him in just like that, and even liked this kind of puppet doll, this woman…
“In an ocean of people, if you’re not special enough you’ll be easily forgotten.” Mu Rulan led Mo Qianren into the house, bringing him to the living room. “Sit. I’ll make you some tea.”
Mo Qianren looked at Mu Rulan as she left for the kitchen, choosing to walk slowly around the living room instead of sitting. The inner part of this house had the same unlikeable structure, with a dark red sofa and carpet with strange black patterning; a black fireplace, a gorgeous chandelier, and the ground was clean-swept, unlike the courtyard outside…
Mo Qianren’s footsteps slowed to a stop. He looked at the Japanese-style coffee table before him. It was over an oval-shaped carpet. If this was a European country, it would probably be for pets in the winter. But there were no pets in this house. A coffee table in this position was really just in the way.
Mo Qianren narrowed his eyes, squatting down. He stretched out a hand and picked up a hair that had dropped onto that carpet. It was very long, a little dry, and golden. The tip of the hair was black, which meant that the golden color was actually dyed…
A shadow came to obscure his figure.
Mo Qianren’s body inexplicably stiffened. He turned his head, seeing Mu Rulan carrying cups of tea standing right behind him. She looked at him from her elevated position and her somber eyes flickered with a dim glow in curiosity. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” Mo Qianren stood up, both his hands once again in his pockets, the strand of hair hidden.
Mu Rulan led Mo Qianren to the sofa to take a seat, handing him the fragrant tea. She took a sip and let out a comfortable sigh. Her eyes curved into crescents, making the young girl seem like a pure, beautiful angel.
Mo Qianren returned his cup of tea to the table, turning his sight away from the deceiving face before him. Just as he wanted to open his mouth to say something, his phone rang. Lu Zimeng’s voice sounded like a pig squealing for help. Mo Qianren couldn’t help but furrow his brows, looking at the girl opposite him calmly drinking tea.
“You’re leaving?” Mu Rulan asked as Mo Qianren stood up.
“Something came up. If you don’t mind, can we postpone our talk about mummy-making until next time?” Mo Qianren stared at Mu Rulan with a complicated look.
“Alright,” Mu Rulan smiled and wrote down her phone number for Mo Qianren, seeming to be overjoyed.
Of course she was joyful. Someone like Mo Qianren was much easier to deal with on the surface rather than tussling in the dark.
Mu Rulan smiled while watching Mo Qianren’s figure disappear around a corner. The phone in her pocket started to ring. Mu Rulan picked up the call, speaking a few words before hanging up. After that, she leisurely hummed her way back into the house, closing the iron gaze and the door behind her. On top of the swing, the old puppet doll with its lips painted a bloody red smiled oddly…
Jin Moli’s entire body was stiff atop the marble top; she strained to hear anything going on upstairs, both hope and despair intermixed in her eyes. However, there was nothing to hear. After a while, she heard the door of the basement open and as the sound of leisurely footsteps and humming reached her, she fell once again back into the depths of her despair…
“Come, let us begin.” Mu Rulan, her perpetual angelic smile on her face, appeared in front of Jin Moli, her hands holding the long iron wire, the tip bent into a curve. Jin Moli’s eyes covered in bloodshot immediately widened largely in fear as the iron wire slowly inserted into her nose……
At the hospital. Translated by The Novelst
Mo Qianren glared at Lu Zimeng’s relaxed form on the bed. He didn’t appear to be hurt anywhere like it had seemed when Mo Qianren answered his call earlier.
“Looks like you’re brave now. You can even be the boy who cried wolf, huh?” Mo Qianren had finally gotten the opportunity to step into that house, but in the end just because of this prank call he had to give up halfway and rush over to the hospital, only to witness Lu Zimeng teasing the nurses. Only then did he feel that he had been tricked.
Lu Zimeng felt a little guilty being glared at by Mo Qianren, then seemed to think of something that gave him some confidence: “Who told you to annoy Mu Rulan again? More importantly, I got a call from old gramps, so I thought up an idea to bring you back.” Old gramps was actually Mo Qianren’s grandfather.
Mo Qianren continued to glare at Lu Zimeng, who deflated like a balloon. Indeed, worrying Mo Qianren in order to trick him wasn’t a good idea.
“I’m sorry…” Lu Zimeng pinched both ears with his hands, trying to admit fault.
Mo Qianren didn’t want to bother with him anymore, turning around to leave.
Lu Zimeng yelled at his back, “Oi! Do you have to be like this? Just tell me what you want me to do to obtain your forgiveness!”
“Make yourself half dead.” As the words hit Lu Zimeng’s ears, his expression immediately became stiff, his mouth curling back up.
Damn this guy! So cruel!