It’s probably just the nature of the mystery genre…but every chapter in this series ends in a cliffhanger :’)
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
He heard a sound.
The originally quiet building was now filled with a strange mixture of noises.
At 11 AM sharp, Yan Si was leaning against the door and staring at the time in suspicion as he heard some unnatural sounds.
“Weird, didn’t Xiao Yu agree to arrive at 10:30? Why is he so late? He can’t have been stuck in a traffic jam.” Yan Si continued to check his watch, feeling like there was something wrong. If it were Yu Yin, then he could let it pass since he could understand Yu Yin being late, especially after hearing Yu Xia say how their son loved to play around. But Xiao Yu and Yun Yin were polar opposites, so such a case wasn’t really possible…
Just as he was thinking of returning to his room to make a call and ask, the sound of hurried footsteps came from the staircase.
“Mister Yan!” The guard panted after running up the stairs, “There’s a mute child…is he your friend?” He supported himself against the stairway railing while wiping the sweat off his face.
“With violet eyes?” Yan Si narrowed his eyes, immediately feeling something was off.
“Yes, that’s right, that’s the kid. He’s been trapped in the elevator at the top level for over half an hour now. The elevator company’s people are currently trying to think of a way to pry the elevator open,” the guard hurriedly said.
“How is that possible?!” Why would Xiao Yu go to the top level?
Yan Si furrowed his brows as he just noticed the elevator next to him indeed had no indicator lights on. “Why didn’t you guys tell me earlier? Hurry up and call the fire department!” He shouted, without caring about whether he’d frightened off the guard or not. He then immediately broke into a run towards the staircase.
Having actually been terrified by the sudden hostility, the guard immediately pulled out his phone to make the emergency call.
Yan Si quickly ran up the stairs. He didn’t notice that another floor’s resident suddenly walked out from the side at the same time, and the two of them crashed hard into each other. Bang! A bunch of glass and plastic bottles scattered in all directions.
“Sorry, are you alright?” Yan Si immediately regained his balance and reached a hand out to help the other person, before gathering all the scattered bottles and dumping them back into the bag on the side.
“I’m fine, I’m fine, just be a bit more careful while walking,” the resident retrieved his things with a frown, grumbling as he walked down the stairs.
Having realised that he had indeed been too impulsive, Yan Si took a deep breath. Only then did he notice that he’d sprained his hand from the collision just now. “How bizarre.” He felt like everything had been going wrong since last night.
After climbing up to the top level, he noticed that there were already quite a few people wearing the uniforms of the elevator service company attempting to open the elevator door. However, they had only been able to pry open a tiny crack. Even the combined strength of several men seemed to struggle to open the door.
“Mister, the one trapped inside is your…” One of the middle-aged workers immediately stopped Yan Si as he was walking over.
Yan Si frowned and answered, “My friend. Why hasn’t anyone called the fire department even though he’s been trapped for so long?!” He noticed that these people’s movements were awkward; it looked like they weren’t very experienced.
“This kind of malfunction is our company’s problem; it would be hard to deal with an alarm to the fire department.” Although the worker’s tone of voice was fairly polite, his words did not seem amiable, spoken as an ice-cold courtesy.
Was it because he was afraid that alerting the authorities would ruin their company’s image?
“If anything happens to my friend, will you take full responsibility?!” Yan Si glared at him.
“Don’t worry, our company’s reparation services are perfect. There is no need for concern.” The worker then continued with the same attitude, “Please trust in our specialised skills. In addition, because we are currently undergoing maintenance, I will have to request for you to not disturb our work as much as possible.”
“You think that my presence here will disturb your work?” Yan Si raised an eyebrow and coldly smirked. “I must say, I’m starting to really suspect whether you guys are actually professional elevator maintenance workers. Do you guys have any complete process flow charts?”
“Please don’t doubt our professional abilities. If you do suspect us, go ahead and watch from the side,” the other person answered in a not-so-quite polite manner. He then led Yan Si to wait off the side of the elevator, refusing to allow him to go up front and hinder the maintenance work.
There were currently four workers in front of the elevator. One of them looked like an older and actually experienced person, while the other three were young, and their movements seemed extremely out of practice. The one that appeared to be experienced was directing the other three youngsters from the side, while the three men actually trying to pry open the elevator were soaked in sweat. However, the door still didn’t budge at all.
“You youngsters these days are completely useless! You can’t even properly deal with a door!” The experienced person’s voice gradually grew louder after seeing the other three spend a lot of time and effort with no result. He directly grabbed a tool from on the others’ hands. “Stand on the side and watch properly!”
He swiftly and smoothly set up the frame and inserted the tool into the top of the door—after opening a crack about ten centimeters in size, the door got stuck again. It was as if someone was pulling a prank in the back. No matter how much the door was pried, it refused to budge any further. Even the experienced person’s face was gradually starting to slip.
“I can see the person inside,” said one of the newbies observing from the side.
“What’s their status?”
“Shouldn’t be any problems at the moment.” The newbie put his face right up against the crack in attempt to get a better look inside, then attempted to start a conversation, “Young friend, are you alright?”
The other side was completely silent.
“How does it look?” Yan Si rushed to the front.
“I can see the young friend standing inside, he should be fine,” the other person replied. He then turned back around to say into the crack, “Just wait a bit, we big brothers will rescue you out of there soon.”
The situation was already to this point, yet they were trying to coax a small child!
Yan Si suddenly felt a strong urge to knock the newbie in the head. There was no way Xiao Yu needed to be coaxed in that kind of way!
“Try again!” The experienced person waved at the others and unyieldingly reinserted the tool into the door. “Motherf*cker, having done this for so long, I refuse to believe that an elevator door can be stuck that badly!”
Another while passed, but the elevator door still refused to budge.
“Do you guys just plan on attempting to open it like this for the entire day?” Yan Si surveyed these people with a displeased expression. He was already starting to lose patience. “Your movements are so slow, yet you call yourself professionals? Looks to me like you’re more specialized in running your mouths.”
“Oi, if you don’t understand anything, you shouldn’t be saying any irresponsible remarks! We’re also earnestly trying to rescue a person here!” The experienced person raised his voice. Since the work had been going slowly with absolutely no progress, his attitude wasn’t very friendly either.
Yan Si extended his hand. “Give it over.”
“What, give what over?” The experienced worker froze for a moment, unable to catch on.
“Give that thing you use to make a living!”
Pressed by Yan Si’s imposing manner, the experienced person could only blankly watch the other party grab the tool from his hands. Without caring about the spectators’ opinions of him, Yan Si set up the frame, and just like the experienced worker had earlier, inserted the tool into the door crack. After taking a deep breath, he lifted his leg and violently kicked the tool downwards.
The entire elevator fiercely shook.
A few seconds later, the elevator door unexpectedly sprung open.
Everyone on the scene was struck dumb.
Yan Si didn’t care if they were struck dumb, or actually dumb. He directly kicked the tool away and strode into the open elevator. Yu was sitting curled up in the corner, his head burrowed into his knees.
“Xiao Yu!” Yan Si immediately reached out and gripped Yu’s shoulder, and a chill seemed to flee from his palm.
Yu’s body was drenched, as if he had been soaked by pouring rain.
Violet eyes slowly raised up to look at Yan Si. Those eyes were expressionless and somewhat vacant, like impenetrable, dark jewels.
“You’re alright now, good boy.”
Yan Si gently rubbed Yu’s head, then directly lifted him up. At the same time, he mentally scanned Yu’s condition.
Yu’s condition didn’t seem very good. His body temperature had clearly dropped a bit, but although his entire body was freezing, he wasn’t trembling at all. Yan Si found this a bit strange but couldn’t figure out exactly what part of it was. Typically speaking, any living person would subconsciously shiver when under extreme cold…
Before he could think much more about it, a loud sound came from the stairway, interrupting his hesitation. Then came the jumbled sound of footsteps as several members of the fire department charged onto the top level from the stairway. “Mister…Mister Yan!” The leader was someone Yan Si had met several times before, so they immediately recognised each other. When he saw the person Yan Si was carrying and the situation the elevator was in, he made a split judgment.
“Hurry up and send him to the hospital!”
With a clamor, the crowd of elevator company workers that had still been trying their best outside finally rushed inside.
“Tsk, that guy really did manage to open it.” The experienced man who had been staring wide-eyed at the elevator door went to retrieve the tool with a rotten expression, so it wouldn’t get kicked around anymore. Then he finally noticed the newbie that had talked into the elevator earlier, who was standing on the side and staring into the elevator with an expression of alarm. His mouth opened, but no words came out. “What are you looking at? Haven’t you seen the fire department rescue someone before?”
Only after being shouted out did the newbie finally return to his senses. He slowly turned around to look at the person Yan Si was carrying in his arms, as they disappeared into the stairway with the fire department. “No, not…that’s…how can it be an adult…”
“What adult? Didn’t you look inside the elevator just now, where that ‘adult’ was?” The experienced worker then facepalmed as he crudely commented, “Looks like he’s a high school student, yet you were trying to coax him earlier. Didn’t you know that high school students nowadays don’t listen to such things?” Only now that things had calmed did he find it strange that the newbie had spoken as if he’d been coaxing a young child.
“Not, it wasn’t him!” The newbie’s voice increased in pitch. “The one I saw earlier was a little kid!”
The surrounding people all turned their heads to look at him.
“Xiao Wang, repeat what you just said?” The experience worker asked with a stunned expression.
“The one I saw inside the elevator just now wasn’t that high school student.” With a sharp intake of breath, the newbie blurted, “It was a small kid, a little girl! She was standing in the elevator and looking straight at me!”
All he had seen in the elevator earlier was a very young girl who had been staring at him with her wide eyes. That was why he had used a coaxing tone to speak.
“I didn’t see that adult, but a little girl!”
This bunch of damn kids.
Yu Yin was staring at the class of little devils before him, regretting his decision to accept this job from the bottom of heart.
“Teacher, can I ask if you currently have a girlfriend?” An inexperienced little girl sitting in the first row raised her hand and asked while cutting some paper.
“I don’t.” Answered.
“Why don’t you?” Follow-up question.
“Because I don’t want to.” What he actually wanted to say was: “It’s none of your damn business you little demon!”
“Why don’t you want to? My mommy said that if a man doesn’t have a girlfriend, he’s either too lacking or has some problem,” the little girl innocently repeated the contents of the idle conversation topic her mother had been discussing with friends.
“…Student, isn’t it a bit early to be asking about this?” Yu Yin stopped his paper demonstration and smiled professionally, “Also, if your mommy likes men dating girls so much, you can go home and ask you daddy to get another one.”
So I made an inappropriate slip in speech, so what?
Someone just come and expel me!
After two morning classes, all Yu Yin felt like doing was pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over these elementary students and seeing if that could clear their heads a bit. They’d asked him all kinds of question, such as his ancestors from the last eighteen generations and even his private life. They had then also asked if their original arts & crafts teacher had died on another planet to stop teaching them…and more. This was enough to make Yu Yin’s nerves feel on the verge of snapping throughout the entire morning.
“Teacher, Ye Xiao Xiang’s mommy has a boyfriend, and her daddy has a girlfriend, so there shouldn’t be a problem, right?” Another student immediately raised his hand and asked. The entire class then erupted into laughter.
“You idiot, my mommy said that’s a ‘hidden woman’ and a ‘stolen man’, so their kids can’t be good kids!”
“That’s right, that’s right. Maybe Ye Xiao Xiang will steal a man later too!”
Yu Yin furrowed his brows. Exactly who was teaching these kids to speak like this? “Enough, everyone quiet down.” He now truly understood the saying that “Good discipline must start from a young age”. Otherwise, the result would be like this, where children seemed to just be mirrors that reflected adults and current society. Just watching them was enough to realise what the outside world was like. If he ever had kids and they dared to say anything like this, he would definitely strangle them and make them reincarnate from the womb. “Who is this Ye Xiao Xiang you are talking about?” Yu Yin flipped through the register. He had originally planned on waiting until right before the end of class before taking attendance.
“Ye Xiao Xiang didn’t come today, she’s been out sick for many days now.” A boy pointed at the last seat next to the window, which had been littered with rags and ripped up textbooks.
“Whoever dumped the rags and textbooks there, go and pick them up!” When Yu Yin saw the state of the desk he’d just cleaned up this morning, he couldn’t help but feel upset.
The entire class fell silent. The students all looked at each other, but nobody went over to clean up the desk.
“What is wrong with this class? Is helping to clean up another student’s desk that difficult?” He didn’t understand, just what exactly were kids nowadays thinking?
A student raised their hand. “Teacher, we don’t want to be lumped together with Ye Xiao Xiang, so you should just wait until she comes back and ask her to clean up herself.”
“Yeah, that’s right…”
“I don’t want to help her clean her desk either…”
“There’s no way I’d want to be lumped together with her…”
At this point, Yu Yin was really starting to find the class of little devils intolerable. He randomly pointed to two students that were a bit closer to the teacher’s desk and said, “You two, go clean up the desk.”
The two students looked at him in terror.
The girl that had asked him about his eighteen generations of ancestors raised her hand again. “Teacher, my mommy said that teachers nowadays can’t punish students, or else she’ll ask someone to reprimand the teacher.”
He really wanted to strangle these kids.
Yu Yin suddenly felt that being a “teacher” was an extremely exhausting profession.
Damn it. He would definitely have to be brain-dead if he still ended up doing a teaching profession after graduating.
Teachers are really amazing. No words could describe the huge admiration he had towards teachers right now.
He checked his watch; there were still ten minutes left before the end of class. Yun Yin had to show some patience first. “Forget it, if you don’t want to clean, then don’t clean. In that case, Teacher won’t teach you how to make anything more fun next time.” He made the final cut on the paper he had been preparing, and with a twist of the paper, an elaborate and exquisite paper flower ball appeared.
The girls that saw the beautiful object began to shout.
“Teacher, don’t be like that. What will you teach next time?”
“If you all don’t listen to Teacher, then why should Teacher tell you how to make any fun things? Everyone bring colored paper and glue to class next time. You all will stand there and glue the papers to the walls.” As soon as Yu Yin said these words, most of the class wailed in anguish.
“Class President, you go clean.” A bunch of the students turned to complain at a somewhat more delicate boy.
Yu Yin looked at his register. The class president, Ji You Yin, was the grade’s top student.
As a result of his classmates’ cries, the boy put down the scissors in his hands and quietly stood up to walk over and clean the desk.
“Teacher, Class President is cleaning the desk. Does that mean you can teach us something fun next week?” Dozens of pairs of wide eyes focused on Yu Yin as they began to act like spoiled children.
Yu Yin glanced at the boy quietly wiping the desk and sighed. “Alright, everyone bring scissors, a small knife, and super glue. If you have pliers, bring those too. Teacher will tell you how to make wind chimes.” He had originally planned on teaching these devils how to do this as a memento anyways, he’d just been trying to scare them a bit just now.
But if the kids were too infuriating, he would really make them glue papers on the wall for the next two weeks.
The entire class of little devils let out cheers.
Passing over the rows of seats, Yu Yin’s gaze landed on the boy that was diligently cleaning the desk. He even used tape to carefully mend the ripped notebooks before gently placing them back into the drawer.
It looked like not everyone in this class of demons deserved a spanking.
The second he was about to shift his line of sight, Yu Yin suddenly saw a pair of eyes outside the window. The eyes were right up against the window, locked onto the boy at the empty seat.
Because the windows were made of fiberglass, he couldn’t clearly tell if the person was male or female.
Only the pair of eyes was particularly clear, clear to the point where he could practically see every single vein in the eyeballs.
That pair of eyes was fiercely glaring at the boy cleaning the desk.
As if blood would soon start dripping out from them.
“Ji You Yin!” Yu Yin shouted. The boy tidying up the drawer raised his head.
The eyes by the window instantly disappeared without a trace.
“Teacher, is something the matter?” The boy asked in confusion. The whole class suddenly all turned to look over at him as well.
“No, nothing, just come find Teacher after class, Teacher has something to entrust to you.” After randomly giving an excuse to the boy, Yu Yin looked back at the fiberglass window. There was nothing outside, just the swaying shadows of some trees.
“Ok,” the boy nodded, and earnestly continued cleaning the desk again.
What was that just now?
While Yu Yin was just about to contemplate this further, the dismissal bell suddenly went off, its melody ringing throughout the entire school grounds.
“Class dismissed, no need to salute.” Knowing that they would rush to eat lunch, go play, and then nap, Yu Yin simply sent the devils away. He then picked up his own belongings and prepared to leave the classroom.
Before he’d taken more than a few steps, his phone that he had set on vibrate abruptly went off in his pocket without any signs of stopping.
“Hello? Who are you looking for?” Since there was no caller ID, Yu Yin went straight to the point. The words on the other end made him frown. “Where? Ok, after I deal with this school business, I’ll head straight there.”
He hurriedly hung up and placed the phone back in his pocket.
When he retracted his hand, he raised his eyebrows.
His clothes had at some point gotten a huge water stain on them.
Had there been water leaking from the teacher’s desk?
“Teacher.” While Yu Yin was bewildered by this, the boy from earlier walked over. “May I ask if you wanted me to tell the other students something?”
Yu Yin immediately returned to his senses. He wrote down some stuff on a piece of paper and passed it over. “These are the materials I talked about just now. Please remind the other students one or two days before next week’s class.”
“Ok,” the boy nodded.
“Right, if anything is the matter, you can…”
“If anything is the matter in class, I will ask Mother to contact Teacher.” Just as Yu Yin was about to write down his number, the boy replied first.
The class president nodded and lifted his head to look up at Yu Yin. “My mother is Teacher Qi.”
Teacher Qi’s son?
Yu Yin was momentarily stunned, but he soon understood.
Putting one’s child in their own class wasn’t uncommon, he had met quite a few such people before. He just hadn’t imagined that Teacher Qi was already married and had kids…
One really couldn’t just a person by their appearance.
“Alright, that’s it then.” Yu Yin patted the boy on the shoulder and quickly said, “I still have some things to attend to, so I’ll be leaving first. See you next week.”
The boy nodded. “Good-bye, Teacher.”
While Yu Yin strode forwards, he wasn’t sure if it was just his imagination but…
He seemed to hear the sound of water.
He heard the sound of water.
Yu serenely woke up.
He immediately smelled a sickly sweet scent that seemed like a fruit’s.
“Xiao Yu, you’re awake?”
Yu blinked, and quickly sat up when he heard this voice. Only then did he notice that he had been lying on a soft bed. He was surrounded by strange decorations, and the only things in the spacious room were a bed, a cabinet, and a bedside lamp. It was ridiculously simplistic. There were also some scattered books and documents underneath the bed.
Yu raised his head to look at the smiling Yan Si leaning against the door. “Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere?” He walked over and sat beside the bed.
Yu looked over with a puzzled expression and shook his head. Just as he was about to climb off the bed, he noticed a piece of gauze stuck on the back of his left hand.
“Do you remember being trapped inside the elevator, and fainting after being rescued?” Yan Si felt Yu’s forehead, then put down his hand and said, “When the ambulance brought you to the hospital, they gave you an IV drip. But after the examination showed there was nothing wrong, I brought you back to my place to rest. Do you recall any of this?”
Yu continued to stare at the gauze on his hand and shook his head.
Trapped in an elevator?
“You forgot everything?” Yan Si passed a pen and paper over and asked with a frown, “After you arrived at the complex, you took the elevator to the top level for some reason. In the end, the elevator malfunctioned, and you were trapped inside for nearly an hour. You don’t remember any of this?”
Yu blinked a few times, his head tilted as he thought about it harder. He then slowly wrote down in the notebook: “I don’t know any of that. I was trapped inside an elevator?” He had absolutely no recollection of this, but… “My head really hurts.”
He reached out to rub his own head.
Yan Si read the words on the notebook. “Your head hurts?” He then pulled Yu’s hand away, and after putting slight pressure on his head, discovered a few decent-sized bumps. “You probably bumped it on something. It should be fine after a few days.”
Yu obediently nodded and pushed the covers away to get off the bed. He then discovered that the clothes he was wearing were different from before: a large, baggy shirt and some loose slacks. They looked more like Yan Si’s clothes.
“Not sure why, but the clothes you were wearing earlier were completely soaked through, so I helped you change. I dumped your clothes into the laundry machine to wash. They’ll finish drying in a bit, and you can wear them back home.” Since it didn’t seem like Yan Si would be able to figure out what happened, he temporarily gave up on asking and simply helped Yu out of the room. “I prepared some small cakes and fruit tea. You can just rest here for a bit and eat some things to recover your energy.”
He was certain that someone would charge over to kill him in a few moments.
Any one of the three other members of the Yu family would do it.
The living room was pretty large; one could jog in several loops around it without a problem.
After walking out of the bedroom, Yu surveyed the entire living room. The furniture was just as simplistic as that in the bedroom. There was a three-person L-shaped couch, a table, and a TV on a TV cabinet. There were two mini fridges along the far wall, and some luscious plants on the balcony outside. And just like the bedroom, there were books and documents scattered all over.
Yu sat down on the couch and stared at the wall in front, which seemed to have just been repainted. He could still smell the lingering odor of paint, so it was clearly fresh.
Yan Si walked over with some fruit tea and placed it down on the table. Noticing Yu’s line of sight, he said, “Oh that. It was raining yesterday, and my house unexpectedly began to leak. The entire wall was covered in water stains. Luckily, the landlord was kind enough to spend the whole night to help me repair the wall.” A strange smile spread on his face.
Had the landlord really come over out of sheer kindness?
After seeing Yan Si’s strange smile, Yu didn’t bother to ask.
“These small cakes are pretty delicious. I went to line up for an hour early this morning to buy them.” Yan Si pushed a large plate of delicate cakes over and happily said, “The fruit tea was also freshly brewed. Xiao Yu, you have to try them all. I don’t typically welcome just any guest like this.”
Yu picked up the wrapped cake that was as large as his palm, and after inspecting the delicate cake covered in attractive decorations, he took a small bite.
The sweet aroma immediately filled his nostrils, and the frosting melted in his mouth. Its taste was fresh and cool, not overly sweet.
“How is it? Pretty good, right?” Yan Si smiled at Yu’s expression. “I highly recommend this shop. It has limited edition items that are very fresh. The ingredients they use are definitely authentic.”
Yu nodded. He really like the taste of the cake, so he slowly began to eat.
“That’s right, the documents you brought over were safely received by me. Thank you for making this trip.” Yan Si said as he poured himself a cup of hot coffee and placed it next to him. He then also reached out to grab a cake and take a big bite.
Yu stared at him for a while before nodding again, and then continued to slowly eat through the plate of cakes.
While the two of them were peacefully eating, the doorbell hanging outside the front door abruptly rang out without restraint.
“Coming,” Yan Si quickly ran over to open the door.
The one standing outside was Yu Yin, who had rushed over after answer the phone call. “How is Yu doing?”
As soon as he had finished cleaning up the teaching materials, he had immediately gone for a joyride in his rush here. He’d even sped up to pass through a red light. Hopefully he wouldn’t be issued an infringement notice.
“He’s great. Don’t forget what my profession is, student that was ganged up on.” Yan Si gestured for him to come in.
“Your profession is postmortem examination.” Yu Yin rolled his eyes as he stepped in and instantly took off his shoes. Being extremely worried, all he wanted to do was check on the sick person’s condition first.
“I’m concurrently working as a doctor too, ok?” Yan Si justified himself in discontent, following behind as they both walked into the living room.
Yu Yin froze at the entrance of the living room and turned around in bewilderment.
“What’s wrong?” Seeing Yu Yin freeze, Yan Si stopped in his tracks as well.
Yu Yin pointed in the direction of the couch in the living room and lowered his voice as he shot Yan Si a rebuking look, “Why didn’t you mention you have a guest? I nearly let out a shout as I was about to walk in.”
Yan Si blinked, not understanding.
“Isn’t the little girl sitting on your couch your guest?”