“You’re the one… that approached him first?”
“Yes, at that time I thought that Li’s domineering behavior was just an instinctive defense due to the lack of friends who were really trustworthy and close enough to him, so I thought that befriending him from the bottom of my heart and understanding him from the side could revert him to be like most people and lower his arrogance.”
Josh smiles bitterly at me, “My personality is very easy to get along with, I have many friends in college, and my family background is simple. I grew up in a warm, little family. Perhaps that’s why I was naive enough to think that being close to Li and being friends with him heartily could melt his cold heart. I have always been confident that I can be friends with Li, that I could be the first person to understand him truly… However, I forgot one of the most important things— Li, whose background and personality were completely opposite to mine, is not someone I should easily understand.”
“I did make friends with Li, but I still didn’t know him back then.” Josh holds up his hot tea, takes a sip, and lets out a deep sigh, “After becoming Li’s friend, I became complacent, but at the same time, I gradually realized that my other friends around me were alienating me. Li began to threaten people around me not to come near me. I didn’t know that when I became Li’s friend, he would become so possessive of me.”
“Only after I lost all my friends did I realize how terrifying Li’s possessiveness was. Later, I finally couldn’t bear it and confronted him at last. I told him that I wanted to cut off my relationship with him, and I was relieved when Li accepted it coldly, but what I didn’t notice at that time was Li had actually gone crazy—”
Josh’s voice trembles, at the same time I feel very uncomfortable, and the air surrounding us feels dull and heavy.
“One day, when I arrived home, I found Li standing in my living room covered in blood, holding a knife covered with the same blood, my parents lying in a pool of blood, and my sister huddled in a corner shivering . In the corner… When I saw Li smiling at me, my entire scalp became numb and I felt like I was in an endless nightmare.
“Li gave me one of the knives, and he wanted me to hold it. He said he would admit that he killed my father, but he wanted me to admit that I killed my own mother. If I didn’t confess it, he would continue and kill my sister. Then I was forced to confess my guilt. I, who obviously had not committed any crime, became a murderer who mercilessly killed his own family members.”
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“Tso nyd vbkp cl esdl? Mbkp kp vss wdalypsdyczl!” R lmnzykx.
“Ls… Yyucl kv’p yp Nk pyke, R nywple xu ryaldvp’ elyvb, yde kq R byed’v yrrasynble Nk kd vbl qkapv rzynl, xu ryaldvp oswzed’v byhl ekle clnywpl sq Nk’p flyzswpu.”
“Ls pwnb vbkdt. Kspb…” R iwkaj xu lulcasop wr.
Kspb zssjp yv xl, pvkzz okvb vbl pyxl ckvvla pxkzl sd bkp qynl, “R oyp lmrlnvkdt vs plahl xu pldvldnl kd y dsaxyz rakpsd, bsrkdt vbyv vbl rszknl oswze kdhlpvktyvl vbl vawvb yde vbyv R oswze cl alzlyple swv sq fykz psxleyu, cwv kdpvlye R oyp kdqsaxle vbyv R oswze byhl vs plahl xu pldvldnl kd vbl Gcpszwvl Ekdt. Ebld R ldvlale vbl Gcpszwvl Ekdt Tyzz yde xlv Nk, R alyzkgle yv sdnl vbyv Nk wple bkp qyxkzu’p qkdydnkyz alpswanlp yde rsola vs cakcl swv vbl tshladxldv sqqknkyzp yde fwetlp vs plde xl yde Nk vs vbkp rakpsd byzz vstlvbla okvb ds rasrla alypsd vs prlyj sq.
“Rd vbl rypv vos ulyap pkdnl ldvlakdt vbl Gcpszwvl Ekdt Tyzz, oblal alypsd yde fwpvknl bye zsdt pllxle vs nlypl lmkpvkdt, Nk clnyxl y Ikdt pwkvyczu yde pxssvbzu, obkzl R, obs bye ds yckzkvu dsa cynjcsdl, bye ds nbsknl cwv vs clnsxl y rakpsdla wdela bkx. R oyp kxrakpsdle yde hkszyvle cu bkx, qsanle vs alnlkhl bkp blyhu zsye sq zshl. Nk, bl kp naygu. Jasvbla Zl FbkKkw, bl kp naygu, clnywpl R zlv bkp bkeeld aytl cl alzlyple, dso bl oydvp xl vs clya kv yzz, cwv R nyd ds zsdtla bsze sd…” Kspb’p lulp aleeldle.”
R qllz zkjl pwqqsnyvkdt qasx vbkp wdhlkzkdt, R qllz zkjl y cswzela kp pvynjle zyula cu zyula sd xu nblpv, ps wdnsxqsavyczl yde wdyczl vs calyvbl.
R bye ds kely vbyv Kspb oyp cwaeldle okvb ps xydu wdqyka, wdalypsdyczl yde nawlz vaytleklp, bl oyp fwpv y vlldytla!
—Nk TsdtSyd kp vawzu zkjl xu qkapv kxralppksd obld R qkapv xlv bkx, y clywvkqwz, cwv nawlz yde blyavzlpp clypv.
The young man in front of me suddenly seems a lot thinner, and he is not as strong as his looks appear to be.
“Josh.” I call out heavily and seriously, “You have not done anything wrong, you are even the innocent, blameless, framed victim of an obligation you have not assumed.”
“But if I don’t take the blame, it will be my sister’s turn, and I sure am not happy to see that… Ahhhh! Speaking of which, I should thank you for preventing me from escaping when I lost my mind, because if I did escape today, then won’t my sister really have to face my own crime? I can’t believe I actually forgot about her…”
I interrupt Josh and say to him in a sincere manner and tone of voice, “I don’t think the truth will be concealed for the rest of your life. I always believe that fairness and justice exist. One day, you will be able to clean your name and meet your sister.”
“Really?” Josh stares at me with only despair in his eyes before sighing softly, “Big brother Ye ShiJiu, I’ve already said so much yet you still can’t understand. The fairness and justice you speak of, today, after two years in the Absolute Wing Hall, there’s no longer a shred of hope in my heart.”
“Josh…” I stare intently at Josh and suddenly feel the urge to cry.
Josh smiles faintly, “But even so, I feel very fortunate to have met you. I can feel a sense of comfort with you, because you still have the stubborn spirit of struggling in despair and the glimmer of hope you hold, even if it looks like ashes waiting to be extinguished to the eyes of others, it still brings me some vitality, and you remind me of myself before I entered the Absolute Wing Hall.”
At this moment, the thoughts in my heart are very chaotic— In two years, will I become like Josh, lost and unable to find myself in the Absolute Wing Hall?
Or in fact, I’ve already…
Gu Yan’s face that surfaces through my mind makes my heart vaguely throb with pain.
“No matter what, Big brother Ye ShiJiu, thank you, and I’m sorry… for giving you trouble.” Josh bows his head deeply.
I clench my fists, wanting to hug the pitiful young boy in front of my eyes…
Just then, the door of the medical care room is kicked open, and when I see the person who walked in, the entire back of the neck seems pricked by a thousand needles.
“You are so fvcking bold, how dare you bring my people here without authorization?” The young man flicks his long, silky black hair behind his shoulders, and a bloodthirsty and cold smile appears on his beautiful face.
“Li…” In an instant, Josh’s face pales as white as snow.
“Ah, I didn’t believe it when someone came to tell me! Now I didn’t expect it to be true! Alas, I thought I had taught you enough? Mr. Rookie Prison Guard…” Li advances lightly, walking towards us like a creeping cheetah. I was panicked by his bloodshot pupils glaring at me, reminding my body the unforgettable bloody and heavy blows Li once gave me.
His name keeps roaring and roaring in my mind…
I tighten my fists nervously, and watch as Li walks up to me and grabs me by the collar, but my clenched fists contain no power because I know I couldn’t beat Li.
“I’ll teach you a good lesson this time, and no mercy will be spared.” Two soft grunts of disdain escape from Li’s nose.
I want to make a sound, want to say something, but my head is blank, only echoing one thing— I need Gu Yan.
“Stop! Li!” Josh yells behind Li, but Li’s eyes are nothing but burning madness and jealousy.
“Josh! You stay out of this and get back to your cell!” Li roars.
I stiffen as I watch Li raise his right fist high in the air, and just as I close my eyes and prepare to take the hit, a woman’s high-pitched shrill voice suddenly bursts in and stops the mess.
“You little bastards, you’ve got the guts, huh? You dare to fight in this lady’s territory, you sure are looking for death!” HuiMeng LuoLuo is standing at the door carrying large and small bags of food while scolding us with her high-decibel voice.
She approaches us with her high heels clicking on the ground and glares at Li fiercely, “Little King bastard, it’s you again. Can you stop making trouble even for one day? Quickly let go of that little idiot!”
Little idiot? Although I hate to admit it, I think she’s referring to me correctly.
“Stinky woman!1Stinky woman = B*tch What do you care so much for?”
“Stinky woman? Who are you calling a stinky woman! You b*tch…” Huimeng LuoLuo raises her head high in disdain, “If you really think I care about this so much, fine, go ahead and fight, go on, but next time your dear baby Josh has some kind of accident, don’t expect me to heal him.”
“What? Are you gonna let go or not?”
Li tugs at my collar a little more tighter. He and HuiMeng LuoLuo stand head to head in a stalemate for a few minutes before he finally lets go of me.
“I won’t let you off so easily.” Li snorts and hooks Josh away. Josh doesn’t even dare to turn around as he lets Li yank him away.
I look at their departing backs and stand up. I understand that Li’s eyes are serious, this time I’m just lucky enough to escape, but next time…
“Hey! What are you staring stupid? If you don’t have anything to do, go back and don’t interrupt this lady’s meal.” HuiMeng LuoLuo sits down, spreads the food on her desk and gobbles it up in unconcealed hunger.
“Thank you for helping me out, Dr. HuiMeng.” I try to scratch my head in embarrassment, but realize my fingers are still trembling and immediately retract it behind my back.
“You’re welcome, just get out of here.”
I smile bitterly and turn around to leave, however, before I do so, HuiMeng LuoLuo’s serious and grave voice sounds again from behind me, “Be extremely careful these days.”
“I will.” I answer.