The Last Curse
“I know what you did with the box.”
Boss Qu grasped Ning Ning’s hand once he said that, although Ning Ning balled her hand into a fist tightly and refused to look at him, he still managed to easily loosen her fingers.
There was a fresh wound on the tip of her finger, it looked like an accidental cut.
“In the beginning, you wanted to sculpt a few dozen wooden dolls then switched them with the ones in the box right?” Boss Qu asked while touching her fingertip.
Ning Ning hissed from the pain, then she answered honestly, “Yes.”
“The box is too light.” Boss Qu said, “What’s inside?”
“Paper.” Ning Ning replied.
“What’s written on them?” Boss Qu asked.
Ning Ning remained silent for a while, then replied in a very quiet voice, “Human.”
Boss Qu forced out a helpless laugh.
“Look.” He opened her palm and let her look at the injury on her hand, “Kindness never begets kindness, in the end you will be the one who gets hurt.”
As he finished his sentence, he brought her finger to his mouth and blew on it as if he was coaxing a child. He asked gently, “Does it still hurt?”
Ning Ning shook her head and asked, “Are you going to continue?”
“…… I need the money.” Boss Qu said after a pause, “Your clothes, your servants, the physicians that treat you, and your future husband, all of these requires money. I want to buy you the most handsome man, one who will obey you……”
“I don’t want them!” Ning Ning shouted suddenly, “Papa! Stop doing these kind of things, you will receive retribution!”
Boss Qu laughed coldly, “I have never been afraid of retribution……”
“What if it fell on me?” Ning Ning interrupted him.
Boss Qu shivered.
“Papa……” Ning Ning suddenly started to tear up. In this moment, she had already lost track as to whether she was speaking as Ning Ning or Ning Qu’er, “Stop this. I don’t want nice clothes, I don’t want servants, neither do I want medicine. Let them go.”
The thing Boss Qu couldn’t bear to see the most was for her to cry. He anxiously dried her tears with his sleeve wrapped around his fingers. “I don’t want to let them go, especially Chen Jun Yan that little bastard.”
Ning Ning’s heart sank abruptly, but then Boss Qu flashed an extremely loving smile and said, “But today is your birthday.”
“Papa…” Ning Ning looked at him with surprise.
“I hate this world, this world has never been good to me, I also won’t be kind to this world.” Boss Qu gently touched her face, “But today is your birthday, it’s the only day the accursed Heaven ever showed me kindness. If…if this is your wish…”
He knitted his eyebrows and pursed his lips, looking as if he was making an extremely difficult choice.
“……then I can let them go.” He finally unfurled his eyebrows, then gently kissed her on the forehead, “I’ll treat this as…a birthday gift for you.”
“Papa.” Ning Ning closed her eyes, tears flowed down her cheek. She reached out and hugged him. Both Ning Ning and Ning Qu’er within her called out as one, “Papa.”
Ning Ning never had a father, but if she had one, a father should be like this right? If God could give her a father, it should be him……
Neither Boss Qu nor Ning Ning said another word. The winter winds whistled outside the window, on the other side of the window the two of them snuggled together. Like sunlight enfolding the snow, the final crack between Ning Ning and Ning Qu’er melted away with the hug. She hugged Boss Qu tightly and said, “Papa…Thank you…”
Thanks to this world, for allowing the talentless me to be born in it, for allowing me to come into this movie.
“Thank you…,”Ning Ning cried, “thank you…, for loving me this much”
Thanks to this world, for allowing me to meet you. It wouldn’t matter even if I could not return. You care for me while I was young, I care for yo when you grow old, I will accompany and live with you. No matter what happens next, we will face it together, solve it together, atone for the crimes together……
Suddenly someone busted through the door to the room. Snow and wind poured in, pairs of military boots stepped in from the outside.
By the time Chen Jun Yan rushed over to the Qu house, the scene was already a mess. Cabinets were open, the qipaos and dresses were taken out and tossed on the ground, they had black shoe prints on them. Wang Ma knelt on the ground, slowly picking up the clothes, cleaning up the aftermath.
He walked over and asked, “Where did they go?”
Wang Ma muttered with her head down/lowered, “One yuan, two yuan……”
Chen Jun Yan knelt down, “What are you counting?”
“Counting funeral funds.” Wang Ma answered without raising her head, “Need to collect money for two funerals, one for Master, one for Miss.”
At this moment the policeman who was panting finally caught up, Chen Jun Yan got up and grabbed him, “Where did you bring them to?”
“To Li Xiu Lan.” The Policeman replied while panting.
“Bring me there quickly!” Chen Jun Yan went outside hurriedly while dragging him along. The cold winds of the snowy night couldn’t stop him, he hoped that he could get there in time. With much difficulty, he arrived at the courtyard of where Li Xiu Lan was currently staying. Just as he pushed his way through the crowd of people, he heard someone mocking from the inside, “Monster!”
Who are they calling a monster? Is it me?
Ning Ning sat on the floor unkempt, she looked at the people around her blankly.
Her mask had long been removed.
When it was being removed, Li Xiu Lan was jeering beside her, “I heard that the man who sees your face has to marry you. Now that so many people are going to see your face, are you going to marry all of them?”
Amidst the laughter, Ning Ning’s mask was removed. In that moment, the sounds of laughter suddenly became sounds of terror. Li Xiu Lan was stunned as well, she then laughed loudly. “This is the most beautiful person in the world?”
What was presented to the crowd was not just an ugly face.
It was clearly a monster.
She had the facial features of a human, but none of them were aligned. Her eyes were of different height, her nose was to the left, mouth to the right. The small inconsistencies added together formed a huge inconsistency, which made her face looked like an abstract painting of Picasso. One glance was enough to make people laugh.
“Pfft!” A person started to laugh, the laughter started to spread, they surrounded her and everyone began laughing one after another as if they were watching a circus show on deformed creatures.
“……Shut up!” Boss Qu slowly lifted his head and looked at them maliciously, “No laughing allowed, I’ll kill anyone who laughs!”
Yesterday his wrath could scare everyone, but it didn’t work today, because he was tied up on a stake. The members of the circus were throwing firewood below his feet. When they were done, Li Xiu Lan ordered an attendant to light up a match and toss it on the firewood. The fire lit up the courtyard and inched towards Boss Qu.
This was not enough, before he burned to death he had to have a taste of the worst pain on Earth.
That was to have the thing he loved most be destroyed.
They beat Ning Ning up in front of him, mocking, cursing and spitting on her. Suddenly someone suggested, “Where’s the wooden box, let her pick a wooden doll!”
“That’s a good idea.” Li Xiu Lan’s eyes lit up, she asked the attendant beside her, “Where’s the wooden box? Did you see a wooden box filled with wooden dolls?
“No,” said the attendant, “I’ll go look for it.”
Li Xiu Lan looked at the fire on Boss Qu and furrowed her brows, “There won’t be enough time.”
She suddenly laughed cruelly and said to the audience, “We will vote, what will we make her into?
“Shut up! Stop it!” Boss Qu shouted at her, “Come at me, my daughter has done nothing bad, who are you to do this to her?”
The crowd ignored him. One could say this was exactly how they wanted to see him. They started a heated debate.
“White bone demon!”
“Big headed doll…..oh this won’t work, she’s overweight.”
Ning Ning laid on the floor and cried. She suddenly turned over and looked at the person who suggested the big headed doll and said, “Li Xiu Lan has every right to hate me, why do you hate me? I didn’t hurt you, I even gave you food, I gave you new clothes. You, you thanked me and said you would repay me in the future.”
The reserved youth she addressed looked awkward. For the sake of drawing a line between them, he hurriedly gave her a kick. “You thought a few snacks would win me over! My family is in the shipping business, I had bird’s nest and shark’s fin when I was young, I could discard a bowl of it for every bowl I had……”
“Enough!” Chen Jun Yan rushed over after pushing through the crowd, he pulled the youth away then bent over and helped Ning Ning up.
Ning Ning was dizzy from the beating, the Ning Qu’er within her didn’t understand why this was happening. The Ning Ning in her understood, but it was hard to bear all of it. She was helped up with a face full of blood. She turned around and realised she was looking at Chen Jun Yan’s face, she screamed and pushed him away as if she was stung by a scorpion.
Chen Jun Yan took a few steps back from being pushed, he bitterly reached out to her once again, “Don’t be scared, I won’t hurt you, trust me.”
Ning Ning looked at him while trembling, her eyes said that she didn’t believe him.
In the snowy courtyard, she retreated step by step, getting further away from him, moving towards the fire behind her.
“Ning’er!” Chen Jun Yan walked a few steps towards her, “Trust me!”
Ning Ning turned around and jumped into Boss Qu’s arms.
Flames engulfed her.
“Papa!” She cried mournfully.
“I am so sad! They said I’m ugly!”
“It hurts so much! They beat me up!”
“It’s so hot! It’s scalding! Papa, save me, papa!”
Boss Qu who was tied to the stake suddenly struggled violently. The fire had been burning for too long, it had burned the rope that had tied his hands. He suddenly broke free from the ropes, but the first thing he did was not to get out of the fire. He snapped Ning Ning’s neck with tears in his eyes.
The mournful wailing stopped. Ning Ning fell into his arms. Her ugly face rested on his shoulders, as if she were a child who had finally found a peaceful place to sleep. Boss Qu hugged her. He had never begged nor scream while he was being burned. The boss who had shown no fear of death suddenly exploded with a long, hoarse, sad howl, “AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!”
He looked up at the crowd after he stopped howling.
Everyone was scared by his expression and took a step back. Those who had less guts took a couple or three steps back… When they saw him stood up and walked towards them step by step with Ning Ning in his arms, everyone turned tail and ran. Li Xiu Lan almost ran, but she very quickly remembered that she was not her past self from the circus. She was no longer alone, she had the backing of the Li family, she didn’t need to be afraid of anyone. She composed herself and ordered the servants beside her, “Shoot him!”
Her attendants raised their guns, bullets were whizzing towards Boss Qu! One hit his abdomen, one hit his knee, Boss Qu fell to the ground. With Ning Ning in one arm and supporting himself with the other, he got up from the snowy ground covered with fire. He scanned everyone on site before finally fixing his gaze on Chen Jun Yan.
“I won’t die.” Even though flames continued burning his body, the fires of hatred burned even more fiercely in his eyes. He told Chen Jun Yan word by word, “Even if I die, I won’t drink Meng Po’s soup1. I will remember what you look like. If I get reincarnated as a dog I will bite off your neck. If I get reincarnated as a bird I will peck your eyes out. Life after life, in an unbreakable cycle…, this hatred will last beyond death!!!”
1 Common Chinese belief – when you die you need to drink this soup to forget your past life before you can reincarnate.