The island was not big; it was just a few square kilometres. Tian-Ci Sanatorium was at the centre of the island surrounded by greenery and mountains. This place with its picturesque scenery in all four seasons was indeed wonderful for recovering from illness. However, majority of the population would not be able to come here for treatment since even a few days in the sanatorium would cost over tens of millions of yuan; no regular person would be able to afford it.
Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei came to the door of a hospital ward with the guidance of a nurse.
“You go in. I won’t be going in,” said Xia Lei. “He doesn’t want to see me and he’ll definitely get angry if I do.”
He’d actually already used his left eye to survey the room to determine that there was no danger before he said that.
“Nn, then wait for me outside.” Shentu Tian-Yin followed the nurse into the room.
Xia Lei did not go in but he did not stand idly by either. He continued using his left eye to watch the situation in the room. This hospital ward was as luxurious as a presidential suite of a five-star hotel.
Shentu Wei-Ye lay on the hospital bed in the ward. Shentu Tian-Yin’s aunt, Wang Fang, sat on a chair by his sickbed and she was peeling an apple with a fruit knife when Shentu Tian-Yin walked in. She glanced at Shentu Tian-Yin, then busied herself with peeling the apple. There were no greetings.
“What did you come here for?” said Shentu Wei-Ye huffily when he saw Shentu Tian-Yin.
“Grandfather, you are sick - of course I’d come visit you.” Shentu Tian-Yin was neither haughty nor humble. She took the initiative to greet Wang Fang next. “It’s been hard on you, Second Aunt. You’re still taking care of Grandfather at this hour.”
Wang Fang spoke in a neutral tone, “What hardship? We’re family, and it’s only right to respect and care for the elderly.” After a pause, she said, “Oh, right, why didn’t your fiancé come? How could he not turn up to visit Grandfather when it’s something like this?”
Shentu Tian-Yin looked at the tightly-shut door behind her.
Shentu Wei-Ye also looked at the door and his brows wrinkled. “What? He dares show his face here? Outside the door?”
Shentu Tian-Yin nodded for some unknown reason.
Wang Fang dropped the half-peeled apple onto the fruit dish with a thunk and stood with a clatter, glaring in the direction of the door. “Someone is here but doesn’t even come in. What’s the meaning of this? Grandfather is sick because he angered him and he doesn’t come in to apologise? Tian-Yin, I’m not saying anything about you, but this sort of man cannot be relied upon. Why do you insist on being with him?”
She had no idea that Xia Lei was watching her as she glared at the door.
‘Wang Fang is here too. She obviously knows what her husband and son are up to and is here to participate. Is Shentu Wei-Ye in on it too?’ thought Xia Lei to himself.
At that thought, Xia Lei moved his gaze to Shentu Tian-Yin’s face. It was all an act but he could still see tears forming in her large eyes. His heart ached for her in that moment.
Judging from Shentu Wei-Ye’s complexion and loud, clear voice, he wasn’t very sick even if he was sick. A hospital in the city would have been able to treat a small or chronic problem well enough so there was no need for him to come to such a luxurious private hospital. This was why Xia Lei suspected that it was possible that Shentu Wei-Ye knew what Shentu Yi and Shentu Tian-Feng were up to.
This was also why Shentu Tian-Yin was so heartbroken - even her own Grandfather wanted her dead.
In the ward, Shentu Tian-Yin brushed at the corners of her eyes with her sleeve.
“What are you crying for? I’m not dead yet!” Shentu Wei-Ye was cruel with his words and did not spare her feelings.
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled bitterly. “What are you saying, Grandfather? You won’t die; you’ll live for a long time. You like boys - Big Brother Tian-Feng and his wife will definitely have a son and you’ll have your beloved great-grandson. You still have to watch your great-grandson grow up, go to university, get married and have children and have five generations under the same roof.”
At the mention of ‘five generations under the same roof’, Shentu Wei-Ye’s expression softened a little and he said, “Tell that punk to come in. What’s this hiding outside and not coming in? He’s already here.”
Shentu Tian-Yin turned to open the door. “Grandfather wants you to go in,” she said to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei nodded and walked into the room with a smile on his face. “Feeling better, Gramps?”
“Humph!” Shentu Wei-Ye just snorted and looked at Xia Lei with eyes full of hate and disgust.
“Hello, Aunt.” Xia Lei smiled again and greeted Wang Fang.
“Stop pretending. Say what you want quickly and get out when you’re done.” Wang Fang was even ruder.
“Second Aunt.” Shentu Tian-Yin was displeased.
Wang Fang then waved her hand. “All right, all right. I know you’re going to take that punk’s side again. I’ll stop talking now, okay? This Second Aunt is just like a stranger to you anyway.”
Xia Lei did not take the ridicule by Shentu Wei-Ye and Wang Fang to heart. His left eye twitched and the inner workings of Shentu Wei-Ye’s body was laid bare to him. There were no injuries on his body, neither inside nor out. His blood circulation was normal and his heart also had no problems. The other organs had no obvious inflammation or symptoms of disease so they were normal too. Xia Lei reached a conclusion after using his X-ray vision - Shentu Wei-Ye was indeed faking his illness.
“Xia Lei, don’t you have something to say to me other than that one sentence?” Shentu Wei-Ye then spoke, looking displeased.
Xia Lei moved his gaze away from Shentu Wei-Ye and casually swept it across the room without stopping his X-ray vision.
“Speak!” Shentu Wei-Ye was mad.
Xia Lei’s gaze stopped on a flower basket on the bedside table; he saw a tiny camera hidden in the flower basket. It was a very advanced camera with a little hole to capture sound. Everything in the ward could obviously be under surveillance of the camera, including everything that was said, and transmitted to a terminal.
“Ahem…” Xia Lei cleared his throat and maintained the smile on his face. “Gramps, I know you detest me but I’m not a bad guy. I’ll be good to Tian-Yin. It was wrong of me to get you so mad you fell sick so I’ll apologise to you, okay? Be a magnanimous adult and forgive me.”
Shentu Tian-Yin chimed in, “Please forgive him, Grandfather.”
“All right, I’ll forgive you this time on Tian-Yin’s behalf.” Shentu Wei-Ye looked fairly reluctant to do so.
“Thank you, Gramps. I’ll change my bad habits, promise,” said Xia Lei.
“Humph!” Shentu Wei-Ye snorted and didn’t want to talk to Xia Lei any more.
“Let’s leave it at this. It’s also late - the hospital has a hotel. You two can stay there and come see Grandfather tomorrow. He’s a patient so he has to rest earlier,” said Wang Fang.
“All right. Let’s go, Lei. We’ll come visit Grandfather again tomorrow,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Instead, Xia Lei said, “Wait for me, I need to use the washroom.”
Wang Fang looked disgusted. “You always have something.”
Xia Lei did not retort and walked quickly to the washroom holding his stomach. In the washroom, he closed the door behind himself and unscrewed the faucet in the sink. He adjusted the flow so that it came out in a thin stream and mimicked the sound of him pissing. He then took out a small box from the inner pocket of his suit.
Two tiny listening devices were in the box.
Xia Lei put one device on the lintel of the frosted glass door of the washroom. A person standing below it would not be able to see it unless he climbed up to look.
Xia Lei turned off the tap after installing the listening device and flushed the toilet. He went out of the washroom and walked straight to the bed to lean in to Shentu Wei-Ye’s ear and whisper, “Good night, Gramps. Take care of yourself.”
He stuck the other listening device under the bed as he spoke.
Shentu Wei-Ye glared at Xia Lei. “Just leave if you’re leaving. What’s with this pretence? You can’t wait for me to die, huh?”
Xia Lei gave him a smile and withdrew.
These two listening devices had been prepared by Jin Da-Hu and were very advanced. They could catch sounds in a ten-metre radius; anything said in this ten-metre radius would be received by the receiver. The radii of the two listening devices covered the area of the luxurious ward.
“Let’s go. Don’t make Grandfather mad.” Shentu Tian-Yin took Xia Lei’s arm and left the ward.
The corridor was silent. Xia Lei did not say a word till they walked out of the wards. He spoke softly after they were out, “That flower basket has a camera in it, and…”
Shentu Tian-Yin cut him off and said distressedly, “I know. Grandfather is not sick. I know him.”
Xia Lei let out a sigh. “This guy… How do I put it… Your grandfather is possessed. Don’t be too heartbroken, it’ll all pass.”
Shentu Tian-Yin smiled wryly. “I’m not heartbroken. My grandfather may be lost but my father is back.”
She said she was not heartbroken but Xia Lei could still see the welling in her eyes. Her own grandfather wanted her head - how could she not be heartbroken over something like this?
The two of them walked to the hotel. It was a group of villas built on the mountainside, in an European style in the midst of forests. It was like a little European town in a fairy tale, as tranquil and beautiful as an oil painting of nature.
However, it was a place full of great danger to Xia Lei and Shentu Tian-Yin. One false step and they would be consigned to eternal damnation.
Shentu Tian-Yin gripped Xia Lei’s hand tightly and he could feel her nervousness.
“Don’t be afraid; you have me. No one can harm you with me around. Plus, Jin Da-Hu and Jin Zhen-Huan are around. They will protect you too,” consoled Xia Lei.
“I’m not afraid, just a little nervous,” said Shentu Tian-Yin, “Lei, when this is over, we…”
“We…” Xia Lei was going to say ‘We are still going to be good friends’ but he felt that saying so would be superfluous when it was at the tip of his tongue. After going through a whole series of incidents together, the relationship between Shentu Tian-Yin and himself was not so simple as them being ‘good friends’. However, if they were more than ‘good friends’, then what was the relationship between him and her?
Both of them were then inexplicably silent.Previous Chapter Next Chapter