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Secrets of the Heart

There was only one sentence on the note.

“Your sister is in danger, look for me.”

There was an address attached at the bottom.

Mu Gua paced up and down at the written address but did not go in, because it was an area for the rich. If you were to look in the distance, there were only a villa, another villa and more villas.

Which rich man would have the leisure to help solve the problem of a poverty-stricken person like him? He remembered the little girl who was only as tall as his thigh, Mu Gua thought that this was most probably a prank.

But after he returned home, he felt regret.

“I should have knocked on the door and asked around,” he thought, “there is nothing to lose by asking anyway.”

After tossing and turning in bed for a night, he woke up late the next day.

His sister had already left before him. He put his clothes on and went downstairs. He was originally supposed to go to work at Pei Xuan’s house, but for some reason, he hesitated.

“I’m late anyway, might as well not go today.” Mu Gua looked down at the note in his hand. “…Shall I go to this place once again?”

He was pacing up and down at the entrance, up until a big one and a little one appeared in front of him.

It was the little girl from the other day.

Mu Gua looked at her…companion—the youth. He laughed coldly. “Did you write this note?”

The handwriting was so mature and proper, it could not have been written by that little girl.

The other party took the note out his hand, looked at the words, then said a few words to the little girl before turning around and looking at him. “Let’s find a place to sit down and talk about it.”

It looked like he had to take care of the little girl by his side. They sat inside a milk tea shop, the shop was very warm, the air had a fragrance of milk.

“Let’s talk.” Mu Gua leaned on the sofa once they had exchanged names. He folded his arms and asked, filled with doubt and resistance, “What danger is my sister in?”

The other party took a photo out and placed it on the table, pushing it towards Mu Gua.

Mu Gua picked the photo up. It was a candid wedding photo taken by a guest, the groom in the photo was Pei Xuan, the bride however was a woman he had never met.

“It happened in 1994…” The other party slowly said.

Along with his slow intonation, the year 1994, the story of <<Person by the Pillow>>, was slowly screened in front of Mu Gua like a black and white film.

A spine-chilling story.

A cunning, evil and cold-hearted man who had no mercy even for the person by his pillow.

“Your sister is in grave danger right now.” The other party concluded in the end.

“Danger?” Mu Gua started laughing, he remained doubtful. He acted like he was all relaxed and shrugged his shoulders. “The story you just told me, when you get down to it, had happened because of a love triangle. What has it got to do with my sister? She doesn’t have that kind of relationship with Pei Xuan, she is only helping him out in exchange for money.”

Wen Yu furrowed his brows. It was like Mu Gua had said, this incident was very painful for the people who were directly involved along with their relatives and friends, but from the point of view of a bystander, it was just a tragedy caused by a love triangle. Even up until today, there were still some people who believed that Yan Qing was the one in the wrong and that Pei Xuan was the victim.

“That’s it, nothing else?” Mu Gua stood up and said, “Then I’ll be leaving now.”

When he was halfway out of the shop, someone shouted at him from behind, “Wait.”

He slowly turned his head back. The one who had called out to him wasn’t Wen Yu, but the little girl who had been quietly drinking her milk tea from a straw.

“Three days later.” She hugged the cup of milk tea and looked at him with pitch black eyes. “Pei Xuan will bring your sister to Lian’s family funeral.”

Mu Gua looked at her with a ridicule on his face, “That’s it?”

“Then,” Ning Ning added, “she would bring overtime pay home at night.”

Mu Gua sneered and shook his head. “You say that as if it would be true. How would you know what would happen three days later?”

Mu Gua turned around and left after saying that. This time Ning Ning did not stop him, because Mu Gua was very smart. Smart people were very cautious. Compared to what they heard from others, they would rather believe in what they saw for themselves, what they found out for themselves.

“He doesn’t believe me now,” Ning Ning thought, “but three days later, he will find out that everything I said was true.”

But at the same time, there was another issue she had to resolve.

Ning Ning slowly turned her head and looked at Wen Yu who was beside her.

Certains things could be pushed onto Yu Sheng, certain things couldn’t. For example, the current situation, how should she explain herself?

“I dreamt all of this.” Ning Ning brought out the excuse she used to deal with Xu Rong, acting mysterious. “I’ll tell you a secret, I can dream of what will happen in the future…”

To prove that she was telling the truth, she started to list out examples, prophesying the people who would show up for Lian’s family funeral, prophesying the farce that would happen during said funeral. From the beginning to the end, Wen Yu’s face showed no signs of shock, doubt or impatience, he only looked at her quietly.

Ning Ning slowly began to be unable to continue, she asked carefully, “…Do you not believe me?”

“Ning Ning,” Wen Yu said gently, “I have used prophecies as an excuse in the past as well.”

Ning Ning was stunned.

“I was still a child wrapped up in a criminal case, I witnessed a murder with my own eyes.” Wen Yu touched her head, “I had drawn a drawing of the murderer but didn’t tell anyone. I was afraid that he would seek revenge, and also…I was but a child, I was afraid that no adults would believe me.”

His expression was upright, bright, firm, like a sword that was finally sharpened and polished. It was not frightening, because it was a sword of brilliance that was born from the need of protecting people.

“I would not believe a person just because they are older, I also would not belittle you just because you are a child.” Wen Yu looked seriously into Ning Ning’s eyes. “Don’t be afraid. Look into my eyes, tell me, what did you find out?”

Ning Ning looked at him with hesitation, she was about to speak but stopped herself.

Those secrets hidden in the depths of her heart, should she…could she tell him?

Three days later, at the hospital.

Xu Rong had just survived a critical period, she laid on the bed with a pale face. She was so weak that she could not even move a single finger, but once she saw her daughter walk in, she tried her best to keep her eyes open. She looked at the doctor beside her. “I want to speak to my daughter alone.”

Once the doctor had left, Xiao Yu walked over with red eyes. “Mommy, why did you try to commit suicide?”

“If I didn’t do that, Ning Yu Ren would hate me.” Xu Rong smiled weakly. “She would also hate you.”

“But you have already looked for her for so long…” Xiao Yu said with tears in her eyes. “Once you get Ning Ning back, Auntie Ning would not be angry at you anymore.”

Could she really be found? Thinking of the heavy snow on that day, thinking of the little figure she had left behind at the abandoned tracks, Xu Rong wanted to say something but could not. In the end, she just gritted her teeth and decided to hide this incident in her heart forever and to bring it to her grave!

“Xiao Yu, listen to me.” She suddenly grabbed Xiao Yu’s hand, her eyes were burning. “From today onwards, you have to follow Ning Yu Ren around everyday. You have to hang on to her, do not talk back even if she scolds you. If she were to feel hungry or thirsty you have to bring her food and water, especially when she is sad, you have to be by her side…”

“Mummy…” Xiao Yu looked at her, feeling a little lost.

“The human heart is made of flesh.” Xu Rong exhorted sincerely and earnestly, then she slowly looked behind Xiao Yu. “Alright, you should go out, let me have a few words with your Auntie Ning.”

Xiao Yu turned back and saw that the door was open, Ning Yu Ren standing at the doorway.

When the door was closed again, only the two mothers remained.

“What did you guarantee me previously?” Ning Yu Ren spoke first, smiling as she asked, “The last time?”

“Yu Ren, I’ve let you down.” Xu Rong struggled on the bed but failed to get up, she said tearfully, “I cannot explain myself. I feel too ashamed to look at you. If Ning Ning could not be found, I would pay for her with my life, I would die with her.”

Maybe she should have left the small county earlier and entered the show business. She cried in such a frail and weak manner, with so much pain and regret. It was flawless, as if they were her true emotions.

Ning Yu Ren fell silent for a moment before she asked, “If you were to die, what happens to Xiao Yu?”

Xu Rong wiped the tears on her face. “I will give her to you as compensation.”

Ning Yu Ren let out a cold laugh. “You’ve lost my daughter, now you want me to raise yours?”

“I’m not shameless enough to say that.” Xu Rong slapped herself, then looked at Ning Yu Ren with tear-filled eyes. “You would only focus on acting and not take care of yourself, you would not let strangers take care of you either, Xiao Yu…Xiao Yu is someone whom you are familiar with, she is very capable. She has been washing clothes and has also been cooking with me since she was young. You…you can have her replace me…cough, cough, cough…”

She coughed a few times, then suddenly reached out with a trembling hand, holding Ning Yu Ren’s fingertip.

“Also,” Xu Rong gazed at her. “the Yu in her name was taken from yours. I have always hoped that she would be like you…and not someone as useless as me…”

Ning Yu Ren looked down at her for a moment, then grabbed her fingertip and sat by the bed.

“Xu Rong,” Ning Yu Ren said slowly, “I had a dream.”

Xu Rong was taken aback, she did not understand why this topic was brought up.

“I dreamt that I was touched by your words and had kept Xiao Yu by my side.” Ning Yu Ren muttered, “At first I hated her, I didn’t even want to talk to her, but a human heart is made of flesh. A year then two years, three years then four years, after seven or eight years went by, I had already doted on her like she was my own daughter.”

When she got there, she slowly lowered her head, a pair of shadowy black eyes were staring at Xu Rong. She said with a smile, “Until one day, when I was packing her old clothes, I found a yellow hat, a red coat…”

Xu Rong’s expression froze.

Her first thought was: That’s impossible.

A moment of hesitation had caused her not to throw the hat and the red wool coat along the way. A moment of greed had caused her to stuff those two branded items into her bag and mailed them to her hometown. Since it would quickly be given out to friends and relatives after it arrived at her hometown, they might even wear them for a few days before turning it as a gift of goodwill and giving it to someone else.

Ning Yu Ren would never find out.

The box had already been sent away! The coat and hat had already been sent away!

“I asked her where it came from.” Ning Yu Ren said with a smile, “Xiao Yu told me that seven or eight years ago, she had returned home once she finished shooting <<Dreams of the Future>>. She saw that you were out and that you had packed up a box in your room. She opened the box to take a look, within were the things that you wanted to mail to your hometown. She had then taken out a few items that she liked, then packed the box up again for you. Xu Rong, do you know what I was thinking of at that time?”

She held Xu Rong’s hand tightly, her fingers were so icy, so cold, like a person who had died for a very long time but could not take that last breath, thus forcibly pushed the coffin open and crawled out from it.

“Seven to eight years ago on that winter day, Ning Ning went out with that coat and that hat. But when she was found, she was not wearing those.” Ning Yu Ren continued to look down at Xu Rong with shadowy eyes, even her breath had a sense of chill, a sense of a lonesome death. “A tiny little girl, wearing only a woolen sweater, curled up by the tracks, only to be found after the snow had melted. Ning Ning, my daughter…she was frozen to death.”

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8 thoughts on “ITTMB 103”

  1. Wow so NN really is a person whose fate was changed by the Theater. Is that why she has an affinity for that place? Or why her mother somehow knew that she would? Thanks for the chapter!

  2. Whew… So her mother really did change her own daughter’s past before… I wonder how it’s going to change now, with both of them there…

  3. I wonder if Ning Ning caused her own murder that her mom then had to come back and stop. Because this Ning Yu Ren needs to be from the timeline where Ning Ning went back into herself, not any initial untouched world where it was just the 4-year-old Ning Ning living her life; she remembered the medicine Ning Ning had hidden in her teddy bear, which I don’t think would have happened with the actual teensy girl, and beyond that it was her out-acting Xiao Yu that first pushed Xu Rong to have the idea to abandon her in the first place.

    So it might be: totally untouched timeline, Ning Ning stays drugged senseless through the movie shooting, never shows up Xiao Yu, and instead of getting outright murdered probably has her health destroyed by Xu Rong continuing to make her “sick” whenever it would give her daughter a leg up; the timeline where Ning Ning enters a movie for that time but Ning Yu Ren doesn’t she stops the drugging plan in its tracks and gets back to the set, shows herself to be a better actress which made people float the idea of switching the role back to her (even if she and her mom choose not to), that pushes Xu Rong to get more extreme in pushing her out of the way to give Xiao Yu the spotlight, ultimately leading to her death; and now the third loop around where Ning Yu Ren also heads back to save her.

  4. omg! the author is a genius!!! thank you so much for this wonderful translation or we would not have a chance to truly appreciate this masterpiece

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