So, it’s yet again a totally different mood in this chapter. A misunderstanding…
Chapter 6.2 — Fate’s Preface (2)
In a small Western restaurant that was already temporarily closed for business, Cheng Muyun stood outside the door of a utility room. Beside him, Meng Liangchuan handed him a cigarette, but he did not take it. Meng Liangchuan raised his brows.
Cheng Muyun looked down at this short man. “There is still use for him.”
Wang Wenhao was only the furthest down line in the operations. He needed to let the ones above Wang Wenhao, or perhaps even one level higher, know that he—Cheng Muyun—had taken their goods.
He needed to be “regarded as an enemy” and, from that, get new leads.
“No problem,” Meng Liangchuan grinned. “Aside from me and my comrades, nobody knows that this Wang Wenhao is a trafficker. To everyone’s understanding, and even in the eyes of those friends of his, he’s still an ordinary university professor and was merely unlucky enough to be kidnapped time and again.”
With a slight lift of his brow, Cheng Muyun reassessed this man in front of him.
“Why did you give me leads that allowed us to exterminate that smuggling base?” Meng Liangchuan unexpectedly asked.
“A few years ago, a friend of mine died there.” Cheng Muyun did not try to avoid the topic. “He was like you, a police officer, but he was not a Nepali. He was Chinese.”
This was a very good reason, but was outside of expectations.
It was not something Meng Liangchuan had thought of, yet it was the best explanation that was most in line with Cheng Muyun’s personality. In only a few words, a story had been sketched out.
But the storyteller said no more.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
The Italian chef of this Western restaurant walked by the two of them, warmly greeting them both in English. With his hand propped against the side of the door, Cheng Muyun gave a low chuckle and greeting in return and skillfully exchanged some idle chitchat with the other party.
That Italian chef soon left them. After all, they were still in the middle of a general strike, and this place was also in the central area of the city. This restaurant would be closed for business for at least three or four days. The chef had come back only to retrieve some items. After a short while, he headed straight out of the restaurant.
Quiet was restored all around them.
Meng Liangchuan pressed down on the door handle, personally opening the door for him. “Cheng Laoban, have a look.”
He stepped into that messy utility room.
Wang Wenhao, his eyes bound with a black cloth, lay hunched in a corner.
Walking up to him, Cheng Muyun bent down, took Wang Wenhao’s chin between two of his fingers, and forced the man to tilt his head upward. His voice low, he greeted, “My friend, I did not expect that we would meet again so soon.”
In darkness and despair, Wang Wenhao’s face twisted together. “Cheng Laoban?! Cheng Laoban… You-you’re Cheng Muyun?!”
His voice practically a whisper, he answered, “It is I.”
As if struck by lightning, Wang Wenhao recoiled fiercely, then retreated backwards some more, knocking over all kinds of odds and ends. Amid the dust and debris that was kicked up into the air, he suddenly grew hysterical.
Cheng Muyun made a signal with his eyes.
Meng Liangchuan abruptly flattened his hand and slashed it down hard like a knife into Wang Wenhao’s neck. Crumpling, Wang Wenhao passed out on the floor. In a quiet tone, Meng Liangchuan told Cheng Muyun, “I will arrange for him to be rescued by the police and will also let him return safely to Moscow.”
Cheng Muyun ambled a half-circle around Wang Wenhao, pulling out his dagger from his waist.
Some wounds were still needed.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
The dark silver blade slid from Wang Wenhao’s cheek and down to his neck. In that instant, what came to mind was that Wen Han had willingly chosen to be a hostage in order to protect this man.
This was what they called… jealousy?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Blood oozed down Wang Wenhao’s neck.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
“Cheng Muyun!”<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Without warning, a familiar voice interrupted his struggle.
A glimmer of surprise flashed across Cheng Muyun’s eyes. Tilting his head to the side, he saw that girl whose entire body was trembling. Slowly, he straightened back up. Zhou Ke shrugged, expressing his silent apologies to Cheng Muyun. He had not expected that when he brought her in, she would witness such an exciting scene.
Wen Han toppled over two wine crates as she stumblingly ran inside. Using her own body to shield Wang Wenhao behind her, she begged him, “Cheng Muyun…”
Chills came over her entire body. He was staring intently at her.
Shortly after the police questioned her, Zhou Ke had appeared in the embassy.
Beside the water dispenser, he had asked her whether she was finished up with everything. She had started back to awareness. The guilt she felt from not answering the police’s questions had left her disconcerted and questioning herself, then feeling remorse about it. Wang Wenhao was her friend, and his whereabouts were unknown. Although all she knew was Cheng Muyun’s name, she had not even given that to the police.
Distraughtly, she had come with Zhou Ke to this place, hoping to ask him.
To ask him if he really had abducted Wang Wenhao.
If he had not, she absolutely would personally explain things to the police.
If…<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
She had not expected that she would not even need to ask, that when Zhou Ke brought her inside, she would witness this scene with her own eyes—how Meng Liangchuan had knocked Wang Wenhao out, and also how he had pulled out his dagger.
“After Wang Wenhao escaped that night, he was escorted back to Kathmandu, but this morning he was abducted again… Meng Liangchuan is a police informant and just performed a great deed of merit, but it was discovered that there’s an even greater suspicion that he has committed some crimes and is now on the run… Have you seen that man who was with Meng Liangchuan? What is his name? This is the biggest lead in our hunt for Meng Liangchuan.” The police officer’s questioning was roiling in her mind.
……<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Wen Han clenched her fists tightly, forcing herself to look him directly in the eyes.
“Could you… let him go?” Wen Han tried as much as possible to make her voice sound normal, but this was extremely difficult to do. “Cheng Muyun, I’m begging you. Let him go, please.”
Cheng Muyun gazed at her.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Here in this entire restaurant, there were only Meng Liangchuan and Zhou Ke, and both were his friends.
And there was also the unconscious Wang Wenhao.
Would he listen to her?<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Would he really kill an innocent person?
Wen Han’s heart slowly tightened into a knot.
She was beginning to not even dare gaze at his face, which was bereft of any emotion.
He was examining her. Those eyes of his contained a fearsomeness that one dared not look up into. In these last several dozen hours, he and she had always communicated with each other in Chinese. This, at times, had made her feel that he deliberately did so because they were both ethnic Chinese. However, now, in this moment, when he once more opened his mouth, he spoke in Russian, and it gave a languid, cold feeling. “Dearest, you seem very accustomed to stepping forward into danger for him… Your courage has truly astonished me.”
Wen Han was momentarily taken aback.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Flipping around the dagger that he held in his palm, he handed it to her, holding it up beneath her eyes.
“Come, let me see your courage,” Cheng Muyun spoke quietly to her. In this dim utility room, in this dirty place where dust swirled in the air, he told her, “You have only one chance to make a choice. Take the dagger into your hand, point it at me, and prove to me your determination to protect your friend.”
As he said this, his hand gently caressed her right cheek, his fingers very cold. “Or, give me back the knife, walk out this door, and let him die here.”
Wen Han could not believe what she just heard.
Or perhaps he had always been like this, but he had merely hidden his inhumane ruthlessness too deeply away… and caused her to mistakenly think that she could be just like the heroines in movies and influence his decisions? Behind her was her unconscious, innocent friend of several years.
Agnesa’s words, the several hundred questions from the police officer in the embassy, and also everything she saw now in front of her all forced her to stop running away from reality. This man had no regard for human life at all.
Her heart pounded against her chest. She was terrified, genuinely terrified. She was terrified of this man before her who had suddenly turned hostile.
But she could not simply watch him kill her innocent friend.
Wen Han clenched her teeth tightly together. Trembling slightly, she took the dagger from his hand.
Gripping it with both hands, she pointed it at him.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
She must not have known what she had actually chosen.
Cheng Muyun.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
This name had once embodied a man whose methods and means of doing things were so direct it caused people to shiver in fear, who had no feelings to speak about, was radical, and would cruelly show no regard for others.
It had struck terror into those who heard it.
It was as he had said: there was no mercy or leniency in his world. To those who betrayed him, he would return the act tenfold. To those who were wicked, he would use a hundredfold factor to tell the other party just what was meant by “evil shall reap evil.”
In that instant, when the tip of the blade pointed at Cheng Muyun…
He was already suddenly snatching it away again and pressing it directly against her collarbone.
Wen Han did not have time to react.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
In her vision, there was only his hand that held the dagger, as well as, behind that hand, that pair of eyes. He was already on the brink of rage, and he gazed at her with eyes that were unfocused. “Do you still want to save him?”
She breathed deeply, suppressing the pain in her chest as she grit her teeth and spoke. “You—”
“Do you still want to save him?”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
This man’s presence and bearing were too terrifying, so terrifying she could not utter a word.
She was quivering, and somewhat dizzily, she drew in a deep breath. Summoning all of her strength, she finally heard herself speaking to him. “I cannot watch you kill him.”
“Damn—”<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
The blade suddenly shifted direction and stabbed fiercely into a shelf on the right.
A huge sound resonated through the entire utility room.
With one hand, he wrung both her arms together and confined her entire body within the curve of his arm. Wen Han was no longer able to move, forced to tilt her head back and look up at him.
Almost instantaneously, she began to cry, her tears streaming unrelentingly down her face.
“What are you crying about?” Cheng Muyun sneered coldly, his eyes narrowing into thin, dangerous-looking curves. “How do feel about dying with this university professor? Happy?”
……<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
A crease formed between Zhou Ke’s brows.
This man was genuinely angry.<>Please support the original translation hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
No joke. If it was his woman pointing a knife at him for some bloody smuggler… Zhou Ke mused about this probable scenario.
It would seem, staying calm would not be very likely.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Wen Han ground her teeth into her lip.
It was as if the rebelliousness buried at the bottom of her heart over these last twenty years was all gushing out now.
She glared fiercely at him, not making a sound.
Only a few hours ago, she had still been sitting at a table, holding a fork and thinking back on her first time of such intimacy that she had shared with him. She had even worried over whether he would be able to get a visa to return to Moscow… As she thought about this, a dull ache flooded her heart, and shamefully, tears began to fall.
What are you crying about? Don’t cry, Wen Han—
Don’t cry!<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Her teeth cut deep into her lip. Blood seeped out.
That pair of eyes in front of her was a dreadful black colour.
No light could be seen within.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Cheng Muyun caught in jealousy. 😉
It was inevitable that things would turn to this between them. Wen Han knows too little, and he is not willing to share what is going on. There are (very good, valid) reasons behind his secrecy, so the only thing that can happen is for Wen Han to learn about him “along the way” and through first-hand experiences.
So, this is my warning to you guys, there will be a “transition” period. For a little bit, Wen Han will still be carrying this impression of his “evilness.” But like I said a few updates ago, what a person values, who or what a person cares about can be seen in the choices he makes. He may not be able to tell her anything, but she can see and experience with her own eyes and heart what type of person he truly is. That is why it’s a transition. She will move from terror, to puzzlement, to conflict between her own mind and heart, to trust.
That shouldn’t be a spoiler. I just wanted to warn people ahead of time that you don’t need to be scared off. I don’t find it angst-y or heartbreaking. It can be quite tense, especially at the beginning of this transition, and because we as readers don’t know anything either, you, too, may find yourself questioning Cheng Muyun. Stick with him (and me!). You will see subtle transitions in Wen Han’s heart as she begins to listen to it more and less to her mind, and you will notice their relationship gradually change. And the author will cleverly lead you through more twists and turns, all the while giving you more information. 🙂
Thanks for reading! Cheers!
1 of 1 Prologue
16 of 50 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue