A Match Made in Heaven
“You’re back.” Li Ping Ping suddenly smiled. “Lunch is ready, come in quickly.”
“Who are you?” Pei Xuan looked like he had never met her in his life, he said with vigilance, “Why are you in my house? Where is Yun Lin?”
Li Ping Ping took a look at him before turning around and walking back into the house.
She left Pei Xuan and the rest behind. The two neighbours exchanged looks and asked, “Should we call the police?”
“Let’s not do that for now.” Pei Xuan said, “Let’s not force her into a corner. I’ll talk to her first and get a confirmation of Yun Lin’s situations.”
In the eyes of the bystanders, he was like a fearless and loyal husband. Aunt Li was moved and said, “Then you must be careful. I will get my husband to get help. If anything happens, you should shout for help.”
“Thank you.” Pei Xuan took a deep breath and entered the door.
Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop, chop…
The sounds of (a knife) chopping meat grew louder as he got closer to the kitchen.
He reached out and grabbed the golf club in the living room, walked to the kitchen and put on a smile. “What’s for lunch today?”
“Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce and my self-made sweetheart pastry.” Li Ping Ping stood in front of the chopping board with her back to Pei Xuan, she continued to chop the meat repeatedly. “It has meat fillings, do you want some?”
Pei Xuan’s eyebrows were lifted.
He scanned his surroundings carefully. The house was a lot messier compared to when he left, especially the kitchen. It seemed like a fight had taken place, plates and cups were smashed, the pieces were swept in the corner for now, it was like a mini dumping ground.
Not only that, the floor was a little sticky, it felt disgusting to step on, every step was difficult. Upon closer inspection, there were bloody handprints left on the wall. The bloodstains had already dried, it seemed like it had been there for days.
Connecting these with the meat-filled sweetheart pastry, Pei Xuan lost some of his appetite.
“I ate on the way back.” He said with a smile, “It’s still early, don’t just stand there and cook. Come over here, let’s talk.”
The chopping sounds stopped, Li Ping Ping slowly turned around and looked at him.
“Alright.” She walked over with a knife in hand. “We should have a good talk.”
The two of them returned to the living room—one with a knife in hand, the other with a golf club in hand—being on guard mentally with a smile on their faces.
“Why did you pretend not to know me just now?” Li Ping Ping was more straightforward, she was the one to break the silence.
“In the eyes of others, I am a man who is about to get married to Yun Lin.” Pei Xuan smiled bitterly. “What would they think if I was familiar with a woman who randomly appeared in my house?”
Li Ping Ping did not say anything, she looked down and stared at the knife in her hand.
“I’m leaving the country soon, we’ll leave together when the time comes, we should not complicate matters before that.” Pei Xuan told her in a serious manner, “Later on, I will tell the others that you are Yun Lin’s colleague, that you are here to take care of Yun Lin who had fallen sick… That’s right.”
He looked at his surroundings. His gaze stopped at the walls of the corridor, every single photo frame had been taken down, the peepholes on the wall were staring back at him.
“…Where’s Yun Lin?” He looked back at Li Ping Ping. “How did you take care of her?”
Li Ping Ping also looked towards the wall at the corridor, “I threw her into the walls.”
Pei Xuan was taken aback by her words.
“I would never have imagined that a person could live within the walls.” She looked at Pei Xuan as if she was smiling. Upon finishing her sentence, she did not clarify whether the “person” she referred to wasNing Ning or another person.
The air was heavy until gurgling sounds rang out from the kitchen.
“Lunch is ready.” Li Ping Ping said as she got up.
She left Pei Xuan’s side and quickly returned with lunch in hand. Rice, Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce and a piping hot plate of Sweetheart Pastry, the aroma of sesame and meat melded together, but it was unable to stir up Pei Xuan’s appetite.
“Eat up.” Li Ping Ping placed a piece of sweetheart pastry in front of him. “Why aren’t you eating?”
“Let me wash my hands first.” Pei Xuan got up and left. When he left, he forgot to bring his golf club along with him.
Li Ping Ping stared at the golf club for a moment. She waited at the original spot quietly. She could only hear (the sound of) water flowing in the washroom, but Pei Xuan did not return, thus she put down her chopsticks and quietly walked over.
She was being careful, but she was not careful enough. A pole swung down from the side and hit her on the head the moment she entered the washroom.
Li Ping Ping shouted as she wobbled on the spot, but Pei Xuan did not give her time to recover. He hit her with a steel pole usually used to hang wet clothes to dry, he also specifically aimed for her head. He only let go of the pole after Li Ping Ping was sprawled on the floor motionless, groaning weakly. He washed his hands and dried them along with his face with a towel, then combed his hair. His reflection in the mirror slowly turned from vicious to prim and proper.
Then, he turned around and walked to the piano room.
There was still a layer of dust on the piano. Pei Xuan did not know how to play the piano, neither did Ning Ning, so this room had been untouched. It was more like a storeroom as it held his documents amongst other things, usually neither of them would come into the room.
The photo frame on the wall had been taken down as well. Pei Xuan walked over to the wall and took out a key, he inserted the key into the peephole.
The peephole was hidden behind the photo frame, the keyhole was hidden within the peephole.
The door that was disguised as a wall opened.
Who knew that there was another world on the other side of the wall.
This world was like a reflection of the outside world. The corridor reflected the corridor, the room reflected the room, it seemed like someone copied the villa on the outside and pasted a copy inside the walls.
The difference was that the world outside was bright and beautiful, whereas the world on the inside was dark and desolate.
“It’s so dark, why don’t you turn on the lights?” Pei Xuan felt around the wall beside him. As he finished speaking, he switched on the lights.
The lights were turned on, the woman in the corner of the walls flinched.
She was so shrivelled up and skinny that she looked like a dried corpse in a floral dress that was just dug up. The originally pretty curls in her hair were now withered and yellow, her hair was draped on the floor.
Beside her was a plate and a bowl, both of which had been licked clean by her.
“It’s just you?” He asked, “Is there anyone else?”
The woman was slow to react, it took a while before she managed to softly make a noise. She did not answer his questions. Instead, she grabbed the bowl beside her while shivering and reached out towards him with it. She looked very cold, hungry and pitiful.
Pei Xuan looked at her quietly for a while before suddenly turning around and running, rushing towards the door.
But he was a step too late.
Ning Ning had led a group of people to the entrance of the walls amidst the sounds of chaotic footsteps. She stopped in her tracks, Pei Xuan stopped in his tracks as well. The two of them looked at each other, Pei Xuan reacted in a flash.
“Little Lin!” He suddenly rushed over and hugged Ning Ning tightly. He smiled as if he met a disaster survivor, repeatedly saying, “You’re alright, you’re alright…”
How could Ning Ning let him slip away so easily? She looked behind him, “…Yan Qing?”
“Yan Qing?” A cry of surprise rang out from beside them.
These were all their neighbours, the incident with Yan Qing was such a huge deal, everyone knew who she was.
A few bold people walked over and parted the hair of the woman, revealing her face, then shouted in surprise, “It really is Yan Qing, she is not dead!”
Everyone’s attention was on Yan Qing, Ning Ning was the only one who was staring at Pei Xuan. She wanted to see if he had anything to say about it. This lying scoundrel actually sighed calmly and turned around to face Ning Ning. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want you to see this.”
“…What exactly did you do?” Ning Ning asked coldly, “Why is she alive? Why is she here?”
Pei Xuan looked at Ning Ning sincerely, “She begged me to do this.”
Ning Ning was taken aback.
“Isn’t that right, Yan Qing?” Pei Xuan turned and looked at Yan Qing with a look of pity and disgust. “You said you cannot continue living, you begged me to hide you, to not let anyone from the outside to find you, to not let anyone from the outside to see you, you didn’t want to be scolded or spurned.”
The originally muddleheaded puppet-like Yan Qing suddenly started shivering upon hearing what Pei Xuan said.
“Your parents also begged me, I agreed in a moment of weakness, I even helped you identify the corpse of a vagrant woman as you.” Pei Xuan had more disgust than pity in his eyes. “But these things would always have a limit, right? You weep and sob all day, cursing at everything. Being together with you has been really tough, you started cursing me when I mentioned a divorce…”
“I… didn’t.” Yan Qing said weakly, “I really didn’t…”
“You did.” Pei Xuan said with determination. Compared to Yan Qing’s frailty, his words were more concise and powerful, his fatigued demeanor was more effective, he said, “You tortured yourself into such a state. You were clearly the one who cheated, you don’t want to admit to your mistake, neither were you willing to die. You did not want to go through with a divorce nor did you want to leave me, what exactly do you want? I’m truly…very tired. Truly so very tired…”
Upon finishing his sentence, he took off his glasses and covered his face with his hands.
For a usually smartly-dressed elite to suddenly display weakness in front of others would make him seem even weaker than a weak person.
The people started to empathise for him as if they were bewitched.
“Why is she like this?”
“Sigh, he must have committed a grave sin in his past life to have married such a woman.”
“They should have gotten divorced long ago, let her parents bring her back.”
“Let me inform her family.”
Someone really went ahead and informed her parents, Ning Ning saw Pei Xuan’s lips trembling but he did not step up to stop them.
“That’s right, we should also call the police.” Aunt Li hated injustice, she slapped her husband’s thigh and said, “There is another person lying in the washroom, is that a burglar? Forget it, the police will question her.”
Pei Xuan’s lips trembled again, that was it, he could not say anything to stop them anymore.
He took a glance at Ning Ning beside him, suddenly put his arm around her waist and told the bystanders, “Little Lin looks a little uncomfortable, let me help her get some rest.”
“Go, go, we will handle things here.” The earnest bystanders urged.
Pei Xuan forcibly helped Ning Ning into the bedroom and closed the door, he stared at her without blinking.
“…You are smarter than I imagined. You are more evil than I imagined.” He suddenly started smiling, exposing his true nature, removing his facade. The smile was cunning and gorgeous, it looked like the colourful scales of a venomous snake which were reflecting the sunlight. “The two of us are really a match made in heaven.”