Fanatical

Fangirling Chinese Novels

Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — Chapter 15.2

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Birthday week day 6 of 7.

Has Cheng Muyun found the mole?

Chapter 15.2 — From Hell it Came, as Hell it shall Stay (2)

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized, except by linking to hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 

Picture after picture flashed across Cheng Jiayi’s mind. Incidents, speculations—all of them began to link up together.

Tests. They were all tests. Each one appeared to be a very direct and effective test.

Would you, knowing that Cheng Muyun at any minute might want to take your life, dare calmly and undauntedly eat something that he handed to you?

Would you, knowing that he suspected you and did not trust you, still risk your life and rush in to save him, exchanging your life for his to bring him out alive?

So long as you were the mole, you would hesitate. The more cautious you were, the more he would suspect you.

Because you could not guess what Cheng Muyun would do, you were afraid at all times that you would be killed, and so you would tread as if on thin ice, being careful in absolutely everything.

With each action of his, you did not know, was it a test? Or was he using this to kill you off?<>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.

Perverse tests.

But in the Moscow operations team, everyone was perverse.

Here, there were people all around who were the same type as Cheng Muyun and Zhou Ke, all of them carrying the creed-like attitude of “those who are my brothers must all die after me.”

Here, there was only absolute trust, the trust where one would give one’s own life in exchange for another’s life.

This almost mad, ruthless, senseless method of using one’s own life as a way to test others was most suitable for this “Hell’s Ops Team”… Only a madman could come up with this method. And only madmen who genuinely followed him with all their hearts could get through this type of perverse trap.

The shackles on her disappeared.<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Slowly, powerlessly, Cheng Jiayi turned around and pushed her back against the wall, trying desperately to find something she could lean upon, rely upon. Spates of heat flooded her body, yet cold sweat broke out on her.

Ice and fire both seemed to explode in her body, devouring away her consciousness, her mind, and her courage.

He pulled out a black gun from behind his back and tossed it onto the floor.

“You should be grateful to Zhou Ke.” With the tip of his boot, Cheng Muyun kicked the gun to her. “It is because of him that you have been granted the right to point a gun at your own head.” Otherwise, the punishment absolutely would not be that easy.

Cheng Jiayi pressed herself into the wall. The cold draft in the corridor poured relentlessly into the openings at the cuffs of her sleeves and neckline. She helplessly tried, in this dimness, to get a clear look at Cheng Muyun’s face. Even if there was the slightest hint of a hope at life…

She did not want to die, not at all…<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

In the darkness that surrounded her, the continual echoes of the safety catch being switched to “on” incited her nerves.

This was telling her, “With just this gun, you do not even need to think of trying to escape. Letting you end your own life is already the greatest kindness in the world that can be bestowed on you.”

Her fingers slowly unfurled, and bit by bit, they extended toward that gun. When contact was made, she swiftly picked it up and, summoning all her courage, grasped the gun grip forcefully. “Could you let me, in a quiet place…”

Her voice was barely audible. She was pleading with him.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

“Regrettably, I cannot.” When Cheng Muyun spoke this sentence, his voice was flat and devoid of emotion. Word by word, he told her, “You know, my dear, that I am a person who is most skilled in faking his own death. For people like us, we should not be merciful with our enemies. Watching them die with our own eyes and confirming that the body has grown completely cold is the safest way. This is common knowledge.”

This is common knowledge…<>This UNAUTHORIZED copy was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

In such a short period of time, her back was already drenched with cold sweat.

The fear of death was very real, so real that she did not even dare believe that all this was true. She needed only to finish this final mission, find leads, and locate that relic with the image of Buddha…

“Cheng Muyun, do you not even want to know why I betrayed you?”

Cheng Muyun remained silent, not answering.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

He did not want to know. Every betrayal in this world has its own reason behind it, especially when the betrayal is against one’s own brothers and comrades. But he did not want to hear it. After tonight, there would be someone responsible for pulling the records and investigating every detail of every day, every minute, every second of the life of this woman before him. That meant there would be yet another great purge that was bound to implicate many people.

The final report would tell everyone what had actually happened.

But what Cheng Muyun wanted to do was simply to find the person who was the source of the problem and do away with 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.

“Tell my mom,” Cheng Jiayi sobbingly begged him, “you must tell her that I…”

“I will tell her that you betrayed me and our entire family clan.”

A shudder went through her whole body. Practically on the verge of breakdown, she leaned forcefully against the wall, sobbing, “Cheng Muyun, you’re my older brother! You cannot do this to me…”

“Is that so? Why can I not do this to you?”<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Those eyes were cast downward—cold, penetrating, judging.

She even had a sense that Cheng Muyun had returned—the he of ten years ago had wholly, completely returned.

Those were not eyes that belonged to a person. Behind those pitch-black eyes, there seemed to be concealed another icy set of eyes, deep amber, with a narrow slit running vertically through them, like the cruelest venomous snake that never saw light. What was mercy? What was forgiveness?

He did not know, did not comprehend those things.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

……<>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 endless, stifling wait finally brought about the single sound of a gunshot.

The man who had been standing in the darkness stepped forward. His icy fingers brushed over Cheng Jiayi’s neck and also several other places. Only after unemotionally verifying that this body held no signs of life did he slowly crouch down. His hand stroked over the top of her head, feeling on his palm and the pads of his fingers her soft hairs that had been soaked with the cold sweat of fear before she died.

Cheng Muyun half-crouched in front of Cheng Jiayi’s corpse, his body displaying an eerie posture. It was as if the ground before him was strewn with corpses. Each face was so distinct, just as before.

It had been ten years already. In the depths of his soul, there still were spirits that could not be released from suffering to peace with even one hundred thousand recitations of the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra.<>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.

When Cheng Muyun lifted his head again, his eyes contained that familiar, flashing gleam. His languid, low voice filled that entire empty space and blended with the sound of the rain. “Who has a smoke?”

Someone tossed over a flattened pack of cigarettes.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Crouching, he opened that package. Only half a cigarette remained inside, as well as a very beat-up lighter that was made in India. Letting out a low curse, he clamped the cigarette between his teeth and lit it.

A flickering glow appeared in front of his face and then flared fiercely twice as proof that he had taken two deep inhales. Although the lighter was made in India, that half-used cigarette was from Moscow—the taste of home. Smoke was drawn deep into his lungs, then after a long time, was slowly blown back out. In that faint, gray smoke, he pinched the butt between his fingers and brought that cigarette down from his mouth, setting it on the floor. “Tidy up here. Put my things back where they had originally been as well.”

That half a cigarette that still flickered red had been set in front of Cheng Jiayi’s face.

Perhaps Zhou Ke can forgive you.<>Please support this translation at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

Perhaps Buddha can bestow his merciful forgiveness on you.

But I cannot.<>Please support the original translation of this story at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com instead

 

From Buddha it is, with Buddha it shall remain; from hell it came, as Hell it shall stay.<>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.

Unspeaking, Wen Han gave a tug on Meng Liangchuan’s sleeve and then left that little assistance and relief station. Once she stepped outside, she threw the Du Huo into the mud, watching as that small piece of herb joined with the muddy waters and was washed away into a pile of garbage.

But she clutched that empty amulet pouch tightly in her hand.

“Do you know… where Cheng Jiayi went?” she asked quietly.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

“I don’t know. It’s not like I’m their superior. Even if I were their superior, if they aren’t directly under me, I still wouldn’t have the authority to inquire about their whereabouts. That is the rule. However, I do know that after Chen Yuan finished questioning you, he left India yesterday evening and returned to Headquarters in Switzerland. Right now, he should be on a plane.”

Wen Han nodded.<>This UNAUTHORIZED copy was taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com

“You don’t really believe that Cheng Muyun is still alive, do you?” Meng Liangchuan could not watch her continue in her madness. Deciding to harden his heart and be cruel, he grabbed her and, there in that continuous torrential downpour, told her the truth. “Before we drove out here, the autopsy report had already come out. He really is dead, Miss Wen Han.”

“… What did you say?” Wen Han’s eyes were fixed on him.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

“Autopsy report. Cheng Muyun and Fu Yiming are both dead.” Meng Liangchuan tried to be as concise as possible.

“……” Wen Han shook her head vacantly. “Why didn’t you tell me right from the start?”

Meng Liangchuan did not have the heart to look at her and avoided Wen Han’s gaze. “See? He’s already left you that Du Huo, that ‘live alone.’ Miss Wen Han, don’t have any romanticized assumptions anymore. You need to trust that no one can hide anything from our autopsy.”<>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.

As a result of Meng Liangchuan’s words, that entire night, in a little inn, nightmares plagued Wen Han.

When she suddenly started into a sitting position at some time past midnight, her body was already soaked in cold sweat. She was scared that that thing really was only just something of her speculation. If it really was only a smoke screen that he had left to make her think that he was not dead… Wen Han tossed and turned. This was not a very good inn. Dampness pervaded her surroundings. Though incense had been lit in the room, it still could not conceal the smells of a cheap inn, and this made her head feel heavy and groggy.

One moment, it was as if she had returned to Moscow; the next moment, she felt as if she was in that little inn in Nepal, or perhaps it was that rundown, little building on the manor estate. The latter half of the night, where she was in a half-asleep, half-awake state, was filled with sadhus, a bonfire, and also Cheng Muyun…

At the first faint glimmers of dawn, Wen Han crawled out of bed and ran next door to wake up Meng Liangchuan, telling him to go with her to the manor.

“Miss Wen Han,” Meng Liangchuan asked, somewhat dazed, “what are you going to do going back there again?

Wen Han’s voice was bleak. “I just want… to have something of his to keep.”

This reason left an ache in the heart of the one hearing it.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

Meng Liangchuan did not refuse her request, and he accompanied Wen Han to the manor. The person who received her was the one who had narrowly escaped death that day, the eldest son of the manor lord and also the owner of that three-level home by the Ganges River. He expressed his deep regrets regarding Cheng Muyun’s death, continually stating his remorse that, because he last minute had been called outside by someone, Cheng Muyun had had to wait for him under that bamboo platform, and hence this had caused Cheng Muyun to lose his life.

The entire time, Wen Han did not utter a word and, pale-faced, only gazed imploringly at the other party.

When Wen Han laid out the request to go to that little building, that priest expressed his understanding and personally led Wen Han across the entire manor grounds to arrive outside of that little building.<>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.

In the daylight, the blue peacocks had all come out from their shed. Basking in the sun after the rain and lazily dragging their tails behind them, they stared at Wen Han from afar. They were not at all bothered that the sodden grass would soil their tails, or perhaps they themselves knew very clearly that, beneath the extreme magnificence of their feathers, the mud and water droplets would all be completely hidden.

Meng Liangchuan and the Indian man stood downstairs of the building.

Alone, Wen Han stepped into the empty first-floor corridor.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

Without those sadhus, this place seemed particularly hollow and vacant. Looking at each passing room, she walked to the end of the corridor and then proceeded up the stairs.

In that open, second-level space, other than the stark, austere furnishings, there were no other unnecessary items at all.

There was only that one bed in the far corner, with items along the lines of blankets and bedding stacked on it.

In the middle were a long table and a few wooden chairs, while a corner held a shelf and a few cabinets.

Holding a plastic bag, she took all the things that Cheng Muyun had once used or come into contact with and stuffed them inside. No one. No one had come here. Everything was still in its original place.

Wen Han’s head was bowed. After packing away the last pair of pants, she at last could hold it in no longer. Sinking limply to her knees, she laid her face on the bed and began to weep.

Why does everyone say you’re dead? …<>Please support this translation  at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com 

Cheng Muyun, you’re not dead, right?

Tell me that you’re not dead…<>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.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or reposting are not authorized, except by linking to hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

Completed:
1 of 1 Prologue
46 of 50 Chapter segments
0 of 1 Epilogue

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11 thoughts on “Life: A Black and White Film (一生一世,黑白影画) — Chapter 15.2

  1. so sad… poor WH.
    Hopefully they will meet again

  2. CMY must have wanted WH to collect his belongings than CJY but hopefully nothing really happened to FYM and XZ
    Happy Lunar New Year!

    • Perhaps. At the very least, he didn’t want people to know that anyone had come back here to this place where he had once stayed.
      Happy Lunar New Year! 🙂

  3. I liked the way how CMY cornered the mole and gave final judgement. But will be bit disappointed if catching the mole actually resulted in 3 deaths.

    Thank you for the chapter 🙂.

  4. Gosh… so sad, thanks for the chapter 😊

  5. So she was the mole? My mind has been conditioned by too many sherlock holmes novels, always looking opposite to where the clues point, lol. Now, things will finally be cleared up.

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