Chapter 39 – Recovery (End part)
Edit: Fireclaws, IlkonEbi
TL Note: Bold text is spoken in Japanese.
The rouge on Lingjing’s cheek had been smeared by Shasha, while Shasha’s lips were now the color of the rouge. The two girls raced to the bathroom to clean up and shortly after, Lingjing washed off all the remaining makeup. She was alarmingly pretty with her hair tied in a ponytail combined with her princess dress. Later in the afternoon, mother Ye, who was working at the hospital, brought over some dinner and the three of them ate together in the hospital room. A nurse had also brought dinner for Tsukichi Karou, and even though she was the only one here at the moment, the hospital knew that she was from a powerful family in Japan and did not dare to neglect her.
Even though a special care nurse had been arranged for her, the hospital was still, unfortunately, short-staffed. The hospital bill would still register the fees of the special care nurse, but the nurse would generally be assisting with other cases in the hospital as well. Because Tsukichi Kaoru was generally quiet and also able to use the bathroom on her own, the nurse would only appear with her meals or when the assistance button was pressed.
Hospital food generally focused on nutrition and was not very appetizing, so when Lingjing saw Kaoru take small bites of the food, she suggested that they share their food with her. They split a portion of Mother Ye’s home-cooked dishes, and Lingjing passed them over to her — Lingjing had heard about what happened to Kaoru and felt sorry for her as she and Jiaming had both been tortured.
This time, Kaoru did not say thanks using Japanese but used English to say “thank you” instead. Because Lingjing was good at studying and had learned English for around a year and a half, she was able to respond with simple phrases such as “you’re welcome” and “My name is Lingjing”. The two of them spoke a bit while they ate, and Kaoru managed to find out the names of the three of them; she repeated “Gu Jiaming” a few times until she memorized it.
After dinner, the two girls remained and started on their homework; shortly after, Jiaming asked how the recitation competition went, and Lingjing’s gentle and sweet-sounding voice rang out clearly in the hospital room:
“... Until now, I meander slowly in this garden in my chair. There is a constant feeling, a feeling that I have been playing alone for far too long. One day, I organized my old photo album and I came across a photo taken of me of years ago in this garden – a young man sitting on a wheelchair; behind him, an old cypress tree and even further back, an ancient altar. I went to the garden to look for that tree. Following the background in the photo, I quickly found it. Comparing the shape of branches with the photo, it was definitely the same tree, but this tree was already dead, and a thick vine had twisted around its body. One day when I was in this garden, I met an old lady, she said, "Yo, you're still here?" She asked me, "How is your mother?" "Who are you?" "You don't remember me, but I remember you. Your mother came to look for you one time, she asked me if I had seen a child in a wheelchair..." I suddenly felt that I have been playing alone in this world for far too long. One evening, I sat alone at the altar reading a book under a streetlight. Suddenly, a sound came from the depths of the altar; surrounded by towering ancient trees, this square altar occupied hundreds of square meters, this broad and spacious area looked like a firmament. I could not see the person making the noises, but the sounds resounded clearly under the night sky – sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes touching and sometimes desolate. Sometimes they were indescribable, and as I try to clearly listen to it to find out where it is coming from, it comes from the present, it comes from the future, it resounds from the ancient past and does not fade.
A day will come, when I hear it call for me to return…”
“The Temple of Earth and I” (《我與地壇》)
Since this young lady’s voice was beautiful and emotional, it was certain that she would have won an award for reciting “The Temple of Earth and I”. Jiaming thought it was kind of pretentious for her to recite it at her age, but naturally, he did not say those thoughts out loud.
At nine in the evening, Mother Ye’s shift ended, so she and the two girls returned home. The nurse dropped by a few times to check up on them, but the two children were quietly lying in their beds — Jiaming was reading a book while Kaoru lay there and stared at the ceiling. She would occasionally glance over at Jiaming, wait until Jiaming turned to look at her, then return her gaze to the ceiling.
At around ten, Jiaming got off his bed to turn off the lights as Kaoru was only lying there staring blankly. Shortly after, he suddenly heard her say, “Gu… Jiaming…”
“I should thank you for keeping my secret,” Jiaming responded in Japanese.
The next day was Saturday, so the two girls arrived early in the morning. They had brought some warm preserved egg and pork congee for Jiaming, and naturally, Kaoru got a bowl of it as well. Lingjing ended up chatting with her in English again because she knew that to learn English properly, one had to practice speaking it, even though she only had around a year’s foundation. Thus, the two of them ended up happily babbling away; when Lingjing did not understand, she would get Kaoru to write it down on a piece of paper, then she would look through an English dictionary to translate it to get the general meaning. When she had trouble saying something, she would look through the dictionary and put together a sentence, after which the Japanese girl would guess what she was trying to say. Then once Kaoru guessed correctly, she would write down the correct sentence for Lingjing.
At this time, Tsukichi Kaoru was probably very bored and had nothing to do, so when she accompanied Lingjing in speaking English and writing the sentences down, the morning passed by quickly and the two became friends. Shasha had wandered over to take a look, but when she saw all the scribbles on the paper, she quickly became dizzy and hurriedly retreated to Jiaming’s side to gossip instead.
At around ten in the morning, Mother Ye came by and let them know that a police officer would be taking their statements in the afternoon, leaving Jiaming to contemplate on what to say. Regarding what happened that day, Jiaming had already said most of the lies the day of the incident and the police had believed him, so he figured that this was probably a routine check-up procedure. At around two in the afternoon, a policewoman entered their hospital room; when Jiaming saw her, he gave her a penetrating look.
The person that had just come in was definitely unusual in Jiaming’s eyes.
With her cap slightly pulled down, the lady that had entered was far too young, almost around the age of a high schooler. Even though some women do have a baby face, Jiaming could tell from the way she held herself that she was still a student.
Something was definitely up, so Jiaming put on his usual pretense as a young child and behaved as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He had already eyed the fork on the bedside table next to him, if someone did come to investigate him or sent a young female assassin to get rid of him, he would be prepared. Glancing over at Tsukichi Kaoru in the next bed, he saw that she was looking somewhat doubtful at the policewoman as well, but she probably had not thought about her to the same extent as he did.
“Cough, I believe you are Gu Jiaming.” This policewoman was trying to sound older than she was. She tidied up his bedside table, placing everything including the fork into the drawer, before putting a notebook on top of the table. With that action, Jiaming was even more certain about his judgment of her.
“My name is Mu Zhenzhen, and I am here to take your statement.” She briefly flashed her police badge, and naturally, one did not get the chance to see her name or photo on the badge clearly.
Jiaming felt nervous as he glanced at Lingjing and Shasha who were still in the hospital room. It had been very difficult for him to hide his abilities from Shasha, if he really were to act right now, then his secret would be exposed.
Or, if push came to shove, maybe he could rely on the Japanese girl instead?
 It’s actually something the author quoted -《我與地壇》by 史鐵生. It’s a philosophical work where the character contemplates about life and death and is split into three parts. The Temple of Earth is an actual location in Beijing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Earth).
For the full work, https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%88%91%E4%B8%8E%E5%9C%B0%E5%9D%9B/6241817 if you’re curious.
3 / 4 chapters of the week (next release is Friday, March 16).
If you missed it... Ilkon and I were working on the first ebook release for Hidden Assassin (which consists of prologue to ch40) :D
If you would like to show your support to our team, you can get it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B461V7H!
(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻┻ Trying to keep the same flow in English… I tried *bows*