The school dormitory.
Yan Rui’s fever not only did not subside, he began to cough even more excessively. It sounded like at any moment now, he was about to expel his lungs from his body. He grabbed his chest in pain, and his tears could not stop falling out, wetting his temples and soaking his pillow. His eyes were sore and swollen, and he did not have to look in the mirror to imagine how red they were at this point.
He thought that as a snake, he would recover if he were to endure it for a little longer. He did not expect the illness to get worse instead.
The bedroom was a pitch black darkness and eerily silent. He was covered with three stacked quilts but his body was shivering all the way to his fingertips.
Yan Rui was nestled in his bed by himself, gasping for breath. He wriggled his body but just that slight movement made him so dizzy that his entire world seemed to be spinning. In all these years, his condition had never been this bad. This time round, it was as though half his soul had been robbed.
Yan Rui was still feeling hazy when the door to the room suddenly opened. It was already early in the morning when Song Qi returned from a day of work.
The dormitory room was exceptionally quiet and there was no light to boot. If not for Yan Rui’s suppressed coughing, one would have thought it was vacant.
Yan Rui has always been frugal, even though he knew that the school’s electricity was free for use, he turned it on very sparingly. It was exactly the same at Duan Chen’s house where he often holed himself up in a dark room and has grown used to it long ago.
When waiting for Duan Chen to come home, he will only turn on a light at the main door so that it is convenient for him to change his shoes if he were to return.
However ….For an entire month that he waited with that particular light tuned on, the numbers of times Duan Chen actually returned was so pathetic that it could be counted with his fingers.
Song Qi returned with a bag of medication in his hands. He customarily reached to turn on the switch on the wall and the entire room was illuminated in an instant, only for him to find Yan Rui curled up in a ball on the bed. He was tightly wrapped in quilts and without even exposing his head. It followed by the sounds of coughing and the quilt moved with a quiver.
Song Qi was appalled, he seemed to have worsened from before.
Song Qi walked to his bedside, carefully lifted the quilt and saw Yan Rui’s face which was now white like paper. His delicate skin appeared translucent under the light, like a piece of fragile crystal which could shatter at the slightest touch.
“How can it be so serious? Didn’t I tell you earlier to call me if it worsened?”
Song Qi moved closer to support Yan Rui, his hand retracted back as soon as he contacted his body. He was clearly covered in so many layers of quilt but his body was as cold as the snow outside. Song Qi wrapped him in a blanket and then picked him up. He was almost weightless in his arms, just like mere leaves of a tree.
“You are too sick, just taking medicine alone won’t be enough. I want to send you to the hospital.”
“I’m not going.” Yan Rui opened his eyes with tears flowing down. Song Qi felt a heart wrenching sadness.
“Nonsense, it is already so bad and you still wouldn’t go to the hospital. Do you want to die?”
Yan Rui looked back with red teary eyes: “I will not die.”
Fearing that Song Qi did not believe him, Yan Rui stretched out his hand from the blanket. He knew that his hand was freezing, he did not dare to grab Song Qi directly and could only tug on his sleeve, repeating: “I really will not die.”
Duan Chen also once said that a beast like him will not die easily.
Yan Rui’s spirit was drained and his voice sounded hoarse and tired: “This is an old ailment, I relapse easily in winter. It would be useless for me to go to the hospital. Let me sleep, once I wake I will be fine. I have survived worse before.”
What kind of life or what illness could he have to “survive worse” than this?
Yan Rui was a foolish little beast that no one cared about. Indeed he was naive, yet he was understanding at the same time. He was always unwilling to share his pains with others until eventually some people around him came to forget that he would even be in pain at all.
He was actually terribly afraid of any sort of pain. In the past, just a slight bump may cause him to tear up. He was supposed to be hardy as a snake but was as delicate and fragile like a human being. Later on, he had to bleed and remove his scales. This body with a natural fear for pain became hardened like a “bronze wall” after going through it multiple times.
Song Qi doubted his words and had the mind to send him to the hospital. However, seeing that he was so insistent, he did not want to impose him.
He put Yan Rui back to bed, took out the medicine and said, “Since you don’t want to go to the hospital, then take this medicine.”