Zheng Zhifei was silent for a while and tossed a few stones down the cliff. Chen Shi took advantage of the gap in the story and said, "I noticed that you speak like a city person."
"Uncle, do you know what my favorite type of entertainment is?"
"I’m guessing... Watching TV?"
"That's right! When I came to the city, I found a place to work. I waited tables, collected sewage water, and handed out leaflets. I didn't have bad hobbies and didn't spend a lot of money. The only entertainment I had was watching TV. I love watching all kinds of programs. I love watching the life of the people in the city. Everything on TV was better than reality. When I got my first paycheck, I went to find her. I saw her walking with a few girls and eating ice cream, talking about topics that I couldn't understand. I didn't dare come forward to talk to her. I was wearing tattered clothes and stood like a beggar in front of the princess. I didn't have the courage.”
"But, I often followed her and she never even found out. Finally, I gathered my courage and bought clean clothes to knock on the door of her house. When I saw Father Li, I said timidly, 'I'm looking for Li Mengran!’ Father Li answered me coldly, saying she was having a nap before closing the door."
Chen Shi said, "He may have thought of you as her classmate."
Zheng Zhifei shook his head stubbornly. "He just doesn't want to recognize me! It must be like that! I often stood at the bottom of that building and looked up. I thought that such a tall building required countless yuan to build and that it was also the distance between me and her... I spent year after year in the city, and I also had a girlfriend for some time. She was a rural woman like me. She was short-sighted and a woman who was very realistic and annoying. That’s why we broke up.”
"Uncle, maybe you can't feel it. There is an invisible wall in the city that separates us from you. We can only eat boxed lunches in the corner and watch the city’s beauty, but we will never belong there..."
Chen Shi interrupted him and said, "The people in the city are just as indifferent and cold to the other people in the city. The invisible wall you talked about exists everywhere."
Zheng Zhifei continued, "One night, I followed her and saw her walking with a boy. They laughed and joked. Later, the boy suddenly started touching her. I walked over angrily and beat the boy! I said to her, 'Li Mengran, do you remember me?', but she just looked at me in fear and ran away. I didn't believe she didn't remember me and ran outside her house. I heard her crying and her father yelled loudly, ‘You’re not allowed to acquaint yourself with those people!' She said in response, 'I hate him. He took the initiative to find me!' My heart turned cold. I didn’t know how I got downstairs..."
"I think you misunderstood. She was talking about Gao Xiang. That is, the boy who tried having his way with her. She hid from you not because she was afraid of you. The first reaction for a young girl who encountered something like that is to flee."
"It’s not like that!" Zheng Zhifei shouted. "She looked at me for a long time but ran away. She must remember me, but she didn’t want to recognize me. In the eyes of her and her father, I was just like a smelly bug. They don’t want to look at me!"
Chen Shi sighed. Due to his strong inferiority complex, the child had such a misunderstanding.
Perhaps he had realized this misunderstanding in his subconsciousness, but this misunderstanding was the fuse that killed Li Mengran, so he was unwilling to admit it. If it was acknowledged, the killing would have been all for naught.
This was his self-esteem looking for a cloth to cover his shame for himself. However, Chen Shi didn’t want to point that out. It wasn’t a good idea to drive a murderer crazy in this situation.
"So, you developed the intent to kill?" Chen Shi asked.
Zheng Zhifei shook his head. "I'm not exactly sure when it started to change from love to hatred. After that, whenever I saw her, there would be a tingling in my heart, which made me feel very pained. That night, I transported the sediments away from the construction site. The bits spilled out on the road. I got out of the car to fix it back up when I happened to see her walk past… I caught up and called out, 'Li Mengran!' She looked at me in surprise and said, 'You have the wrong person!' before leaving. At that moment, I understood that she would never want to recognize me. Our shared memories meant nothing to her. She was a proud city person. A hateful city person, so... I killed her! I smashed her to death, dragged her to the car, transported her to an empty place, and then cut off her head with a shovel! At that moment, I felt as if I had overcome a demon, and the girl of my dreams died like this. She was killed by my own hands. Haha, the people in the city are so fragile as well, hahahaha..."
Zheng Zhifei laughed frantically and the laughter echoed in the woods below. Chen Shi shook his head and thought that it was a shame. "You really have a demon in your heart! You don't know about her life. She isn’t as carefree as you think. She didn't sleep over six hours a day for the entrance examination. She studied hard and had to endure her father's constant scolding at home. She got a good grade, but her father thought it wasn’t enough and hit her in the quarrel... When you saw her that night, she was running away from home."
Zheng Zhifei wasn’t impressed. He shouted, "At least she doesn't have to think about how to earn her next meal. She doesn't need to sleep in a dirty, smelly, and hot dormitory. She doesn't have to grit her teeth and work hard even when she is sick. Being baked by the sun and getting drenched by the rain... I’m willing to trade anything to have her life. Why was I born in such a family? Why is there such an injustice in the world? What have I done wrong? Tell me what to do!"
Chen Shi answered gently. "Accept fate!"
"Hahahaha, you sound like my dad..."
"Accept fate, then work hard!" Chen Shi said. "You can't change your own birth, but you can change your future. You are destined to suffer more than those children born with a golden spoon, but this is destiny. What can be changed by killing people in jealousy? You just ruined a family! You are weaker and more stupid than those who are struggling to survive!"
"I don't accept my fate!" Zheng Zhifei gritted his teeth and raised his feet towards the cliff.
Chen Shi suddenly rushed over and pressed him to the ground. Zheng Zhifei's legs thumped around hard as he struggled. Chen Shi took off his belt and tied his feet.
"Sorry. I didn't hurt my spine. I just deliberately said that. Just accept your fate obediently and take legal responsibility for what you did!"
"Shameless city people!"
"Don't wear the words ‘city people’ or ‘rural people’ on your lips all the time. I despise you, but you alone. It has nothing to do with the place where you were born! The world will not spend more resources to change you anymore. You will only be thrown into prison, together with other scum as you rot!"
"The world has never given me anything!"
"It gave you family and loved ones. It has given you the opportunity to receive education. Don't push everything onto society. You are here today because of your own decisions!"
Footsteps came from above and Xu Xiaodong shouted, "Brother Chen!"
Chen Shi responded, "We’re here!"
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