“Yu Ren, what are you saying…? How is it possible for me to do such a thing to Ning Ning?” Xu Rong’s forehead started to perspire, she tried very hard to force a smile at Ning Yu Ren. “You must be dazed from sleep, that was only a dream…”
“Was that only a dream?” Ning Yu Ren murmured. She opened her handbag and took out a transparent ziplock bag, within the bag were a few pills.
“Do you remember these?” Ning Yu Ren said, “I had someone bring the pills you fed her for a lab test, more than half of them were sleeping pills.”
Xu Rong’s forehead was perspiring even more. She wanted to deny it, but Ning Yu Ren said, “Fifth of August, Changnan Pharmacy, Li Qing—the time you bought the pills, the pharmacy, the person who sold you the pills, I have found all of that out.”
Xu Rong’s hands and feet felt cold. She was in a hurry that day, she did not look at the nametag on the chest of the staff member. She didn’t remember the name of the staff member, but she remembered the time and place she bought the pills—the fifth of August, Changnan Pharmacy.
“That’s…something I bought for myself.” Xu Rong explained with difficulty, “I was having difficulties sleeping those few days and was feeling dizzy everyday, maybe that was why…I then, then accidentally gave Ning Ning the wrong pills.”
“After giving her the wrong pills once, you could still give her the wrong pills twice, thrice more?” Ning Yu Ren said with a smile.
Xu Rong fell silent for a moment, her whole body was trembling all of a sudden, like she was suddenly stripped naked and thrown into the snow.
She knew everything? No. Xu Rong thought, “She’s tricking me, I definitely cannot admit to it. If I were to admit to it, if I were to be brought away by the police, what would happen to Xiao Yu?”
“It wasn’t me.” She covered her mouth and cried under the immense pressure. “I have never harmed Ning Ning. I only gave her the wrong pills once, out of curiosity, she took them herself later. The clothes…clothes were from when we were on our way home after a snowball fight. She started sweating, so she took them off and had me hold them. I admit, I did not take good care of her, that’s why she got lost, but Yu Ren…you cannot assume that I did everything just because you are sad, I’m not that bad of a person am I?”
Would Ning Yu Ren fall for the chicanery? She let out a cackle before reaching out to caress Xu Rong’s cheek. Through the window, one would mistake them as a person who was blaming herself and getting consoled by the other party.
But what came out from Ning Yu Ren’s mouth was not words of consolation.
“I will not let you die nor will I hand you over to the police.” Ning Yu Ren smiled at her, a smile that was extremely eerie. “You have to quickly recover and accept the gift I have prepared for you.”
The smile made Xu Rong shiver nonstop, she asked while shivering, “What gift? What are you planning? Don’t leave, Yu Ren, don’t leave! Explain yourself!”
But Ning Yu Ren ignored her. She put on her bowler hat and smiled elegantly at Xu Rong with a side of her face, then picked her handbag up and left the room.
Xu Rong’s shouts brought Xiao Yu into the room.
“Mummy.” Xiao Yu walked over and looked at her worryingly, “What’s wrong?”
Xu Rong huffed and puffed. The white hospital ward seemed like a white snowy ground, she was like Ning Ning—abandoned at the snowy grounds, unable to do anything, unable to escape, her fate was in the hands of Ning Yu Ren.
“It’s fine, I’m fine.” Xu Rong had a terrible expression on her face, but she then smiled to avoid having her daughter worry about her, “There’s still hope, there’s still hope for you…”
As long as Ning Ning did not return, as long as no one could prove that she had deliberately left Ning Ning behind at the abandoned tracks, then there was still hope.
At the same time, in the milk tea shop.
“Who exactly are you two?” Mu Gua stared at the two people in front of him. He looked like he did not sleep last night, looking haggard, his eyes were a little bloodshot.
Ning Ning and Wen Yu looked at each other. Ning Ning asked him, “Did it all come true?”
“That’s right, it all came true.” Mu Gua mocked himself, “Pei Xuan brought my sister out, the two were dressed as if for a funeral. Later that night, my sister brought home overtime pay and had a huge fight with me…”
The fight between the siblings seemed to have mentally and physically exhausted him. He looked down in silence for a moment, before slowly looking up at Ning Ning. The caution between his brows dispersed a little as it was replaced with a trace of melancholy and weakness.
“You got everything right.” He asked, “Who exactly are you?”
Ning Ning could feel it. Not only was Mu Gua looking at her, Wen Yu was also looking at her.
“…Who I am is not important,” Ning Ning told Mu Gua, “what’s important is, three days later…”
Another ‘three days later’.
Mu Gua could not help but sit up straight, Wen Yu also paid more attention to her. One of them was paying close attention to her words, the other was paying close attention to Ning Ning herself instead.
“Three days later, Pei Xuan will bring your sister to the Lian family again. Not only will he bring your sister along, the gardener, the cook and the driver would all be brought along as well.” Ning Ning said, “Only you and two other people would be left at home.”
“Two other people?” Mu Gua raised his eyebrows, “You counted an extra person. If the gardener, cook and driver were to all leave, the house would only have me and the maid left.”
“No,” Ning Ning said, “there is another person in the attic.”
“Who?” Mu Gua asked.
“The other victim, the person who knows everything.” Ning Ning said, “Three days later, she will knock the maid out and escape. Help her out, we will meet you outside.”
Three days went by very quickly. Wen Yu had borrowed a car from a friend of Director Shi, he had also prepared food, a blanket, and a first aid kit; they were well-equipped enough to begin the great escape immediately after they got the person onboard the car. Wen Yu peeled open a piece of chocolate and gave it to Ning Ning. “Are you still not willing to talk to me?”
Ning Ning took a bite out of the chocolate, seeming like she was stopping herself from talking.
She could swindle Mu Gua by saying she could foresee the future, but she could not swindle Wen Yu. Did he not believe in those things, or was her acting not good enough?
“I’m guessing that your real profession is an actor.” Wen Yu suddenly said.
Ning Ning stopped chewing and turned around to look at him.
“Your act as a four-year-old child is very natural. Either you are very familiar with her, or you are a professional actor.” Wen Yu continued.
“What are you saying?” Ning Ning blinked.
“I’m just raising a possibility, you can retort if you don’t agree.” Wen Yu leaned forward on the steering wheel and looked at her from the corner of his eyes. “For example, I think your real age should be around twenty-two to twenty-four years old.”
“Do I seem that old?” Ning Ning questioned him back.
“You used a very skillful method to convince Mu Gua.” Wen Yu said with a smile, “First, you tossed his worries away. Then, you dispelled his doubt step by step. Finally, you said what you want. A child would never do things in such a roundabout way—whatever they want, they will ask for it in a straightforward manner—only adults would talk in circles.”
“This is reality, it’s not a fantasy movie.” Ning Ning also smiled, pinching her own face. “Look, this is human skin, this is neither a disguise or magic, reality cannot turn an adult into a child.”
“That might be so on the surface.” Wen Yu slowly reached his hand out to her, his slender fingers gently touched her cheek. “But on the inside…might it be another person?”
When this moment arrived, Ning Ning had originally thought that she would be at a loss on what to do, that she would be flustered, but she wasn’t. She felt very calm, even a little gratified. Why? Was it because the person asking was Wen Yu?
“If there was another person here.” She pointed at herself, her eyes sparkled as she asked him, “Then what do you think, who am I?”
This was a hint.
It might not be of use now, but it would be of use for him in the future.
Wen Yu furrowed his brows. Just as he was about to probe her further, someone knocked on the window behind him loudly. He turned around and saw that Mu Gua was bent over outside of the window, on his back was a teenage girl. He knocked on the window and said as he panted, “Open the door.”
The car door opened, he helped the teenage girl into the backseat.
“What happened to her?” Ning Ning looked back at the teenage girl, her brows furrowed.
To nobody’s surprise, the person that he helped into the car was Yu Sheng.
She was injured, her head was bleeding continuously, it had dyed the white sleeping gown on her red. She repeatedly grunted in pain. This was slightly different from Ning Ning’s memory, she definitely should have knocked the maid out and escaped without a scratch.
“Her legs are impaired. She wanted to mount a surprise attack on the maid even though she sat in a wheelchair. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had heard some noises and thus had gone up to help her, she might have already been beaten to death by the maid.” Mu Gua said.
This was when Ning Ning noticed that there was a rod on Yu Sheng’s right leg. Was it caused by the traffic accident last time? A traffic accident that was slightly brought forward by a few days, causing an unexpected injury. In the end, she almost ended up dead. In hindsight, those small and seemingly inconspicuous changes causing such a big change made a person break out in cold sweat.
“Alright, you guys quickly send her to the hospital.” Mu Gua closed the door.
“Wait.” Ning Ning frantically wound down the window. “Where are you going?”
“I have other things to attend to.” Mu Gua was in a hurry to leave, his shoe had only left a few footprints in the snow when Ning Ning’s voice rang out behind him, “Are you going to call Pei Xuan?”
Mu Gua could not help but stop in his tracks and look back at the little girl.
“You knew that too.” He looked at Ning Ning with an odd expression. At this time, he was already unable to look at her as an ordinary, normal little girl.
“I know.” Ning Ning opened the door and got off the car, the wind rustled by her ears. She looked at the teenager standing amidst the snowy winds in front of her and said, “I know you want to call Pei Xuan, to lure him and his lackeys to come find you, so that they would not have the time to harm your sister.”
Mu Gua looked at her silently for a long time, then suddenly asked, “Then, will I succeed?”
Ning Ning fell silent for a long time, before she said softly, “You will.”
Upon hearing that, Mu Gua smiled.
Snowy winds brushed past his face, his smile was more beautiful and fleeting than the snow, snow that would melt when the sun came out, a person who would disappear when the sun came out.
“That’s good.” He said with a smile, “As long as I can save my sister, I am satisfied.”
“No,” Ning Ning said coldly, “she would not be saved.”
The smile on Mu Gua’s face stiffened.
“After you die, your sister will be forced to become another person.” Ning Ning said as she walked towards him, “She would not be able to marry the video-tape store boss, she would not be able to have kids, even more so she would not be able to forget about you. Even when she was well into her years, her only wish was…that she would rather not have been saved by you today.”
Her footsteps stopped in front of him, Ning Ning held Mu Gua’s hand, her tiny fingers held firmly onto his fingertip as she looked at him seriously. “So you have to come with me, we will use another method to save your sister, and you.”
Mu Gua looked at her with a complicated expression, in the end he slowly opened his mouth, “What do you have in mind?”
“Get in the car first.” Ning Ning looked back at the injured member on the car’s backseat. “First, we send her to the hospital, we will talk about other details along the way.”
When the two of them got back into the car, Wen Yu was at the backseat, beside him was the first aid kit, he was bandaging Yu Sheng up. Hearing the two of them approach, he said with his back towards them, “The situation doesn’t look good.”
The two of them were both shocked.
“With her like this, we have to go to the hospital.” Wen Yu turned around and looked at them. “Will Pei Xuan give the house a call? If so, if the maid answered the phone in time, then all they had to do is to stop us at the hospital.”
“…Then you guys send her to the hospital.” Mu Gua immediately wanted to back out. “I will handle my own affairs.”
How could Ning Ning let him leave her sight? She grabbed a handful of his clothes and said, “What are you afraid of? I have an idea.”
Dealing with this ridiculous little brat gave Mu Gua a little ridiculous trust, thus he asked, “What idea do you have in mind?”
“Wait here.” Ning Ning took a deep breath and ran towards Pei Xuan’s house. Wen Yu was also done with handling Yu Sheng’s injury at this time. Seeing her stumble and fall in the snow, he walked over impatiently and helped her up. He told her a few words then went into the Pei house with her in his arms. Around five minutes later, the two of them came out with a pile of things in their arms.
Those things were laid out on the backseat of the car. It was a set of makeup and a set of female clothes.
“Drive steadily.” Ning Ning opened the makeup box. She was clearly just a little brat, but she was extremely experienced with the powder brush in her hand.
“Ok.” The car moved off, Wen Yu’s driving skill wasn’t bad, he was driving steadily.
“…What are you doing?” Mu Gua had a face of terror as he watched the powder brush that was getting closer to his face.
“Makeup, also known as one of the four biggest sorceries. As long as the technique of applying makeup is incisive enough, even your mother would not be able to recognise you.” Ning Ning said with a smile, “Come, for the sake of not letting Pei Xuan’s lackey find you, put on some makeup.”
It was finally time for her to bring out the makeup skills she had practiced hard for a long time under Crossdresser Li, no, Teacher Li.