Chapter 107.2 – The Cycle of Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around (21.2)
One month later, Gan Yu, Gan Tang, Yuan Benshan and Chi Xiaochi got into a car together and drove to the welfare centre.
For the past month, Chi Xiaochi had been deliberately keeping his distance from Gan Yu. Only after seeing Gan Tang today did he relax slightly, pulling her over to tell her about a few funny incidents at the hospital. Gan Tang was an excellent listener, of few words but always able to grasp Chi Xiaochi’s jokes, even laughing from time to time, looking very sweet-tempered and graceful.
Looking at Gan Yu, who made even the action of raising her hand extremely ladylike, Chi Xiaochi had an absurd thought.
……This can’t be Liu-laoshi, right?
But he quickly tossed that thought to the side, thinking that he really was overly underestimating 061’s lower limit as a system.
The welfare centre was located at the outskirts of the county. Over the years, the price of land there had doubled, and the patch of scorched earth had already been turned into an exclusive mansion neighbourhood for the rich people in the county. One really couldn’t tell that it had once been destroyed.
Just as Chi Xiaochi and his group were thinking about which point they should enter from, they saw a woman and two men walk over, sneaking around the entrances like they were.
When their gazes met, both sides intuitively understood what the other was up to.
The task’s specified start time was nine pm. They all went off to eat some zhajiangmian together first, and share what they already knew.
The other group, consisting of one woman and two men, was very young, all the members looking like they were still in university. The only girl had a vivacious personality. When she smiled, she looked both soft and sweet. Her name was Liu Chengyin. The guy with a fringe, Tian Guangbing, was her boyfriend since high school. Because he played basketball, his body was very fit. The other guy clearly had a cooler personality. He was thin, tall, and wore glasses. He couldn’t even be bothered to make a simple self-introduction. Only when they heard Liu Chengyin call him Qin Ling, did they learn his name.
However, there was a possibility that those names were aliases.
Yuan Benshan said that he was surnamed Yuan, Yuan Ming. Meanwhile, Chi Xiaochi magnanimously introduced himself, “I’m Lou Xiaochi.”
Yuan Benshan shot him a disapproving glance.
……He’d changed his alias?
Chi Xiaochi pretended that he didn’t see it, while next to him, Gan Yu pressed a fist to his mouth, trying to hide the smile at the corners of his mouth.
This time, Chi Xiaochi wasn’t pretending to be blind, simply having put on coloured contacts to hide his eye colour.
He took the initiative to disclose the information they’d already gathered. After the two groups compared their findings, they found that there wasn’t any new valuable information to learn from. They then packed up, preparing to set off.
At 8:50, the white fog started to thicken. They took advantage of this to dodge the patrolling guards and vault over the wall.
Ten minutes later, the fog suddenly dispersed, a ray of white light bursting through and making their eyes hurt. Before Chi Xiaochi could open his eyes, his ears were filled with the sound of noisy children.
On a sunny patch of grass, more than twenty children of five or six years of age were doing exercises accompanied by music, stretching their arms, stretching their legs, all very cheerful.
The children were all pink, tender and cute. They couldn’t see anything wrong with them from their appearances.
The seven exchanged glances.
Gan Yu lightly placed his hand next to Chi Xiaochi’s, for him to clutch at if he got scared.
Yuan Benshan then looked towards Chi Xiaochi, asking with his eyes if he saw anything wrong about them.
Chi Xiaochi shook his head.
Even looking at them with Song Chunyang’s Yin-Yang Eyes, these children only looked like children, he couldn’t see anything special about them.
At that moment, a little girl with her hair in pigtails turned her head and spotted Chi Xiaochi. Her eyes lit up. She ran straight over to him and grabbed a corner of his clothes. “Lou-laoshi! Lead us in doing our exercises, without you we don’t know how to do them!”
Chi Xiaochi trembled. Instinctively reaching out for something to grab onto, another warm hand pulled his into a hold and squeezed once lightly.
For some unknown reason, this handhold actually really did help him calm down.
……It seemed that their role this time was as “teachers”.
Chi Xiaochi had always been sharp-witted. He instantly agreed. “Okay.”
But there were already a few more cheeky ones who had begun following Chi Xiaochi in jumping around randomly.
Chi Xiaochi’s back faced the group of children. He said to Xi Lou, “I feel like I’m currently jumping on graves.”
Xi Lou, “I feel like you’d be better off shutting up.”
Chi Xiaochi, “I feel like A-Tong, you’re really so fierce.”
Xi Lou, “I feel like I still have room for improvement.”
So for the next three minutes, Chi Xiaochi was seriously missing his Liu-laoshi.
After finishing their exercises, the children broke off into groups of twos and threes. They all seemed to have their own preferred targets. Liu Chengyin was surrounded by four kids, saying that they wanted something to eat, that they were hungry; Qin Ling was taken away to the activity room by three boys, saying that they wanted to finish a puzzle, and Yuan Benshan, who went with him, was then asked to fix a broken doll; a few kids made a fuss about wanting Tian Guangbing to play basketball with them; Gan Tang and Gan Yu were surrounded by the largest number of children, wanting to be read a story.
The pigtailed girl from just now, a girl with a bob cut, and a very naughty looking brat with a shaved head found Chi Xiaochi.
Chi Xiaochi guessed that it was their free activity time right now. Since they needed to get along well with them, then they obviously needed to follow along with them.
Hence he bent down and asked, friendly, “What do you want me to do with you guys?”
The little boy said loudly, “I want Lou-laoshi to teach us how to sing!”
Off to the side, Gan Yu, Gan Tang, “……”
Isn’t living good enough?
No, it’s isn’t resting in peace good enough?
However, Chi Xiaochi’s interest was piqued. He said, “Good judgement. Laoshi will sing a song for you right now. What song do you want to hear? Make your requests, but laoshi may not necessarily know it.”
Chi Xiaochi’s response stunned the kids.
One of them let out a confused “oh”. “Then, laoshi, we’ll learn to sing whatever song you want to teach us.”
Next, Xi Lou watched on in despair as Chi Xiaochi rolled up his sleeves and confidently taught this group of ghost children how to sing the 《Great Compassion Mantra》, even duping them by saying this could purify their spirits.
……What nonsense are you spouting.
Is other people’s Great Compassion Mantra and your Great Compassion Mantra even the same version.
Sure enough, as soon as he opened his mouth, the group of little brats were completely subdued.
Three little heads looked at each other, exchanging glances back and forth. It seemed that they had already started to doubt the existence of this “song” itself.
In the end, it was the bratty little boy who was the first to start shouting, “Laoshi, you’re singing is too horrible!”
Chi Xiaochi said calmly, “That just shows you have no taste. No one has ever told me that my singing is bad.”
Brat: “Your singing is bad.”
Chi Xiaochi shamelessly pulled seniority for himself. “Once there was a gege who praised me for singing very well, you guys are the ones who’ve never heard someone sing a song well.”
Xi Lou, “……” He suddenly was rather looking forward to seeing these brats stand up and give him a round of scratches.
It was a pity that the brat quickly lost interest in Chi Xiaochi. Bob girl also timidly tugged at Pigtail’s skirt, motioning to Gan Yu and Gan Tang, silently suggesting that it might be more interesting there.
In the end, Chi Xiaochi’s music lesson ended in less than three minutes, and the fairy tale class over at Gan Yu’s ushered in four more listeners.
Gan Yu held a fairy tale book in his hands. Getting a glass of water to moisten his throat, he slowly read line by line. Raising his head occasionally, he found Chi Xiaochi sitting cross-legged behind the children, resting his chin on his hand, and listening seriously. The corners of his eyes gradually drooped tiredly. His heart couldn’t help but soften, and his voice became even more gentle.
In the story, the little mermaid met the lover of her heart and started waving her tail, making white foamy ripples on the surface of the ocean.
The children were utterly engrossed in listening, while Chi Xiaochi fell asleep.
Night had already been falling when the few of them entered this world, so it was currently about time for them to rest. Furthermore, he’d sang and danced for such a long time just now, so he was naturally tired.
Chi Xiaochi had always been more vigilant than other people, but for some reason unbeknownst even to him, even though he still couldn’t quite trust Gan Yu, he always felt perfectly safe by his side.
Gan Yu and Gan Tang looked at Chi Xiaochi sitting cross-legged, with his head nodding occasionally, their gazes more gentle than words could describe.
Gan Yu subconsciously softened his voice as he continued to read out the story, while Gan Tang signalled for the children to be quiet.
They were actually quite obedient, really lowering their voices and even glancing at Chi Xiaochi from time to time.
The brat from before plucked a handful of grass, wanting to tickle his nose, but before he could get his way, Gan Tang reached out and grabbed his wrist in a gentle but firm grip, shaking her head disapprovingly.
At the same time, her eyebrows furrowed slightly.
This child felt like a living person, his body heat, the softness and colour of his skin all normal.
The brat could only obediently sit back down, and Chi Xiaochi was able to sleep safely all the way until dinner.
Dinner was made by Liu Chengyin. Her skills were pretty good. Just in case, she’d even made a nutritious meal for all the children. When it came time for their meal, the children actually really did run over noisily to eat.
Some of the children held the shredded carrots in their mouth and ran to the bathroom to spit them out, some put the eggplants on the surface of the table, or threw them into other people’s bowls. Accusations began to sound one after another. Liu Chengyin had to coax and discipline them left and right, making her so busy that she ended up with a full body of sweat.
Only after she finally managed to send the children off to go shower was she able to return to the table, exhausted.
She’d pulled a schedule off of the wall on her way back for everyone to look at.
It was pretty much the same as the system usually used by regular welfare centres. The children would get up in their small classes at 7am to wash up and tidy their rooms. At 7:30, they’d go to the dining hall for breakfast. At 8:30, classes would start. After two periods were lunch and afternoon break. At 3pm, classes would resume for one period before they had one hour of free activity. Dinner was at 5pm, followed by bathing, one hour of television, and then all the children would go to bed at 8:30.
Everyone also exchanged their experiences of what had happened since entering the task world.
The strange thing was that everyone said that the children were completely normal, without any particular problems. They’d just asked them to play with them.
Since they couldn’t understand it, they could only wait and see what would happen on the first night.
Before going to bed, Chi Xiaochi and his group made one round of the main building of the welfare centre.
Even though the sparrow was small, all its vital organs were there. Outside the main building was a huge lawn with equipment for various types of outdoor activities. There was even an area specially dedicated to a badminton court. In the main building, the first floor contained the activity room, the infirmary and the canteen, the second floor had the classrooms and a tiny library, and on the third floor was the storage room, used for storing bedding, tables and chairs, and other miscellaneous items, as well as the place where the children slept. There were toilets and water heaters on every floor, all at the east end of every corridor.
That year, that fire had started in the storage room.
And sharing a wall with the storage room, was that class of children.
The teachers’ dormitory had two rooms with open doors, right next to the stairs, similarly located on the third floor. Each room could fit four people, holding two bunk beds, just enough for Chi Xiaochi’s group.
Chi Xiaochi slept in the lower bunk.
He’d just had a good sleep, hence, he couldn’t sleep anymore.
With no way to fall asleep, he put on his headphones, closed his eyes, and listened to the fairy tale FM programme he’d downloaded on his phone.
He’d still thought about the story of the clownfish often, wanting to know how the story ended, but after returning to the real world, he looked up a lot of related FMs, but hadn’t been able to find that radio station.
Chi Xiaochi didn’t want to find Gan Yu to ask about it, as it would bring their relationship closer, so he simply found some other stories and downloaded them to his phone as sleep aids.
However, just as his sleepiness began to grow, Chi Xiaochi suddenly smelled a faint burnt smell.
……The smell came from right next to his pillow.
His entire body tensed. He flipped over and sat up, just in time to lock gazes with a pair of dark eyes.
Bobcut girl was standing by the head of his bed, cocking her head and looking at him.
She was completely different from how she’d been in the daytime, her neck stretched to an angle an ordinary person wouldn’t be able to reach. In her hands, she held a burnt cloth doll. There was a chillingly dead look in her dark eyes.
……Before they went to sleep, they’d clearly locked the door.
“Laoshi, I can’t sleep.” She stared blankly at the Chi Xiaochi with that abnormal visage, but her mouth was twisted in an extremely exaggerated smile. “Play with me, okay.”
Chi Xiaochi probably blacked out in his mind for about five seconds.
Then, he asked, “What time is it now.”
Chi Xiaochi, “According to the rules, where should you be right now?”
Bobcut’s expression changed. She said, a little aggrieved, “……I should be sleeping.”
Chi Xiaochi, “As long as you know. Turn around, your target is your bed. Now, march.”
Bobcut, “Laoshi, I want you to play with me.”
Chi Xiaochi, “Then tomorrow, you’ll have to stay in bed for the entire day. You won’t be allowed to get up.”
She considered this for a moment. Then, deciding that lying in bed for a day was worse than not being able to sleep, she walked back to the open door, her doll in her arms.
Only after her figure completely disappeared from the doorway was Chi Xiaochi finally able to breathe again.
……Sleep wasn’t possible anymore, there was no way he could fall asleep anymore.
That little girl had made her way here without creating any noise, the Gan siblings and Yuan Benshan hadn’t even woken up.
Chi Xiaochi deliberated amongst the three people, then sighed and reached out to tug at Gan Yu, who slept in the bunk above him. “Hey, let’s share a bed.”
The author has something to say:
I originally said that we’d speed past the ninth task in one stroke, but it turned out there’s still some plotlines I need to set up, so……
I’m not going to raise any flags, I won’t say that this arc will be over in a few chapters anymore [Learned to be good.jpg]
Everything Xiaochi is doing now is slowly digging a pit, one shovel load a time, there won’t be any escapes from death, everyone relax~
Rather than worry for Xiaochi, why not feel some heartache for the secretly suffering Liu-laoshi w