A choice to believe him or not.
Chapter 7.3 — A Dense, Impervious Light (3)
If she could just summon up a bit more courage and scream loudly for help, those tourists and the mistress of this house just might call the police and rescue her.
But if what he said was the truth…
Wearing only the undergarments that he had asked the mistress to buy for her when they first arrived at this ad hoc lodging, she stood dazedly in front of him. The simple, loose-fitting cotton tank top that showed her navel and the cotton shorts completely revealed her figure, which had lost weight due to the constant state of being on the move and the fear and anguish of these last twenty and more days.
On her shoulders and legs, there were also bruises. <>Please read this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
These did not hinder her beauty. As Cheng Muyun lowered his eyes, he caught sight of that little nub of pink inside the loose undershirt. Stretching out an arm, he stroked her hair. “Tell me, what are you thinking?”
“Why should I believe you?” Her earlier weeping had now left her voice even more hoarse and feeble.
“Dearest, your suspicions are very logical and reasonable.” His voice grew all the more light, and his hand was already slipping the strap of her tank-style undershirt off her shoulder. He could sense her body resisting its master’s conscious control by obliging his action. “I may be lying to you, making you act the fool by believing the person who abducted you.”
His head was bowed to look at her. His fingers slid over until they held each side of her throat, and he applied a slight force.
Very shortly, red marks appeared on her creamy neck. Still, he continuously increased the pressure of his fingers, and his lips also pressed against her dry ones.
“Kiss me.” Against her lips, he spoke these words.
Forced to tilt her face upward, she began to feel that she was suffocating, and the air she took in became less and less.
She could only obey his command and extend her tongue, softly, strengthlessly entwining it with his, offering up that last bit of air that she could inhale over to him instead. Very quickly, she could feel his muscles hardening—this was the heat and physical change that both of them were familiar with.<>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 wind seemed to be blowing particularly vehemently today.
Nepal was such an impoverished country that even Kathmandu appeared to be especially decrepit and dusty. However, those earnest believers and people from all over the world who travelled here because of its repute all called it “holy dust.”
And it was amid this morning wind that left people feeling a little chilled and soiled that he, with a tormenting kiss, was already causing both of their bodies to gradually grow restless.
“Do not underestimate your own judgment. You are much smarter than even you yourself imagine. You have never feared me. If you had been afraid, long ago, on that night after we escaped from the smuggling base, you would have completely distanced yourself from me. But it is because you know that I have never truly hurt you.”
The tone and expression as he spoke now had returned to what it had been in Kathmandu.
“If you choose not to believe me now, perhaps you really will be rescued. But there is also a chance you may be taken away by other people. Trust me, those people absolutely will not be as gentle as I am.”
Eyes that seemed like pits of fog were gazing directly into hers.
“Look. I possess an instinctive desire for your body. I would not be able to bear at all it becoming cold and stiff and lifeless.”
He all of a sudden let go of his hold on her. <>Please read this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He had no time. He had to make a gamble. With his life as the stake, he was gambling that the act he was going to have her put on next would allow her to leave here safely. Earlier on in the temple, when he and Meng Liangchuan were blinded by the light reflecting off of those prayer wheels, he had already perceived that there was something not right with those Westerner tourists.
But first, he needed her to believe 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.
Wen Han’s mind was still waging an internal struggle, but her body nevertheless grew heated and on edge because of him.
Since their first meeting half a year ago on the Tibetan Plateau, there was not a moment where he had not been deceiving her: when she believed he was a lama, he had already transformed into that vagabond man who wasted his days away in a little inn in Kathmandu; after she and he had had a tryst right under the nose of everyone, he was abducted and became a hapless hostage, causing her to impetuously step forward to protect him… But when there was only hopelessness, he, in that long, long night, joined forces with the special police and destroyed an entire organized group of criminals.
Now, he was saying he could not explain anything but she should believe that he was right.
Where had he come from?<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Where was he going?<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
These were things that, to this moment, he still had not told her.
The most hateful thing was, every time, he needed only to give her a little statement that sounded even slightly sincere and then she would feel that sense of security that she so urgently yearned for, as if she only needed to believe and then it would be true.
But… he was right—he had never directly harmed her.<>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 was silent.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead
Stepping over to the bed, she pulled out a short, blue skirt and a white, short-sleeved top from the plastic bag. Under his burning gaze, she slipped on the clothing. She felt that she must be mad. This man had abducted her and was even telling her to cooperate with him to escape from here.
“What do you want me to do?” Her gaze was cast downward, avoiding contact with his eyes.
Before her words had finished, he dragged her over to him. The material at her chest was yanked open, and the front of the shirt, which had already been revealing to begin with, now had a tear in it. Without waiting for a reaction from her, Cheng Muyun then ran his hand roughly over her head and disheveled her hair, which she had just combed tidy when she got dressed. “Remember how much you detested me that first time I kissed you against your will?”
His hand travelled along her thigh and then also tore her blue skirt in a couple of places.
Forcing her against her will was absolutely something he knew well how to do and did so without difficulty.
Before long, she was in as wretched a state as a woman who had been forced against her will.
Wen Han’s mind felt like a tangled mess and her eyes flickered, not understanding what he meant by this.
“In a moment, I am going to open this door. You need to straightaway run out of this room, crying, and no matter who tries to stop you, you do not pay them any heed. I need them to have at least one minute of hesitation where they do not chase after you, so you must try as much as possible to act hysterical and make people think that you are basically a madwoman who has been provoked.” From the back of his waist, Cheng Muyun pulled out a dagger and also removed its sheath from on him. With a short cord, he tied them around her thigh. “Run out this door, head left, follow the road, and run away from here. After half an hour, you will see a temple that is under renovations. There, you will find an old lama. I bought something from him. Help me get it from him, and then wait quietly there for me.”
The cord abruptly pulled tight around her thigh.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
As if sleepwalking, Wen Han touched the hilt of that knife, trying to pull it out but then hastily shoving it back in again.
“If you stay here, you will be a burden to me. That is why, for me and for yourself, you must succeed in running out of this place.”
He spoke all of this in a relaxed and ordinary tone, as if everything that was to follow was merely a formality, a procedure that needed to be done to leave this place. Stooping over, he helped her put on a pair of sneakers and, when he was tying the shoelaces, double-knotted each shoe with nonslip knots.
From when he took out the dagger that he always kept on himself and gave it to her, Wen Han had started to feel that perils were lurking everywhere.
In that instant when he was about to open the door, she even, for the first time, grabbed his hand of her own accord. “Wait.”
“What’s the matter? You would like a goodbye kiss?”
“If you don’t come, what should I do?” She was suddenly afraid. If she was without him and everything he had said was true, what was she to do? In this border area where she did not even know the language, it turned out this man was the only person on whom she could depend.
“If I do not come…” Cheng Muyun was pondering over this possibility.
After seeing those Westerners in the temple, he and Meng Liangchuan had quickly separated, but he did not know how much time Meng Liangchuan would need to bring the local police here.
How many people there were, he was not certain; how dangerous it would be, he was not sure, either.
Moreover, it was best if the people with him were not exposed. One more exposed meant one more would be watched. So, he truly was unable to say for certain—
“I will come.” He stated this in the end, then unlocked the door.<>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.
With the creak of the hinges, the space behind them opened to her. Wen Han turned around. A force was felt on her back, pushing her out the door.
In that second when she stepped outside, she at last felt true fear.
He had shoved a small bottle into her palm.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
She was so nervous she did not even have a chance to look at what it was. There were already other guests walking by her and staring in surprise at the frantic look in her eyes and her disheveled garments.
Wen Han gripped the front of her shirt tightly. She could feel the knife sheath on the inside of her thigh rubbing against her skin—a little cold, and also painful.
Sucking in a deep breath, she bit down fiercely on her tongue.
The sharp, stabbing pain caused her eyes to swiftly fill with tears. Immediately, she did as Cheng Muyun had instructed, stumblingly racing downstairs. The unsteadiness and weakness she showed when she ran, however, were not an act.
Amid the thudding of footsteps tearing downstairs, the mistress and her two children, as well as the seven or eight Westerner tourists who had arrived today, were given a shock.
A young girl, her expression panicked and her clothing ripped, appeared in their sight. The side of her left leg was exposed bare to the air, and it had all sorts of bruises and marks on it.
The mistress was first stunned, but then right away, she strode forward and, in a language Wen Han did not understand, shouted loudly for her man while also trying to grab ahold of Wen Han’s arm.
Wen Han’s heart pounded painfully in her chest. She was so anxious even the roots of her teeth were oozing blood from her teeth being clenched so hard.
As if she had gone mad, she threw off all the people surrounding her and shrieked, “Let go of me, let go of me!” With a violent shove at the mistress, who had been trying to constrain her by the waist, she charged towards the front door.
In the same second that her hand contacted the door, the door suddenly opened.
There was no time for her to halt her steps, and so she crashed into the local teenage boy who had pushed the door open to come in, knocking him back outside and slamming him onto the street. The boy was so scared he was still sitting on his bottom as he retreated backwards.
Before everybody’s eyes, she flew once more into madness, lurching as she crawled back to her feet and sobbingly fled from there.<>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.
Everyone was stunned.<>Please support the original translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Everyone except those several Europeans and Americans, who were sitting in wooden chairs, having their meal.
The brown-haired woman amongst them who had talked to Wen Han frowned, seemingly trying to make a judgment call on whether or not to chase after the girl. After all, the person upstairs was the true important capture; the girl was merely a lead that they could follow.
Besides, according to the information, this girl really was being held hostage.
Maybe the two of them truly had had some sort of argument earlier on, and it had caused the girl to become hysterical? These were things she needed not concern herself with… But, she still felt that this whole situation was very strange and fishy. Acting on intuition, she signaled with her eyes at one of the men who were with her.
According to their information, this girl named Wen Han was only twenty years old and was an ordinary person, so only one man was needed.
As that man rose and was ready to step outside, at the top of the staircase, their primary target—and only target—for this time had already made an appearance.
Cheng Muyun came down the stairs. The garments he was clothed in were the casual attire that the local people often wore, which were not finely made and, in fact, even seemed coarse and tasteless. Every person present here had seen, in the records of him from ten years ago in Moscow, the very valuable photograph of him left behind from that most radical period of his—and it was completely different from the present him.
Back then, his eyes had been so incisive they seemed as if they could see through the photograph and straight into the depths of your soul with a single glance.
But the person who stepped down the stairs now had changed a lot.
He had become… surprisingly calm and peaceful.<>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 brown-haired woman reached her arm out and pressed the man who had risen to his feet back down into his seat.
She had changed her mind. She even felt that there was no certainty that the seven, eight people here would be able to overpower Cheng Muyun.
“Hi. Your wife… seems to be in a state of hysteria again,” she greeted him familiarly in English. “Do you need me and my friends to help you look for her?”<>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’s internal thoughts in this update that he had deceived her are more that her impression of him was constantly being overturned. But think back: has Cheng Muyun ever outright lied to her? He may not be able to tell her anything, but he has not told her any untruths either.
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