Continue to Destroy Me!
Translate: Sae | Edit: Nancy
The two remained on this piece of solid land for no less than three days. During that time, two rescue helicopters flew by and circled around at a rather low altitude but unexpectedly, neither spot them. Afterward, when all the food in the bag was completely gone, Bai Luo Yin made a prompt decision to leave the area. Even if it was risky, it was better than waiting for death to grip them.
When they first attempted to leave, they encountered a few accidents. Fortunately, there were two of them so when something happened, they were able to quickly assist each other. After getting through the most dangerous areas, the circumstances they faced later became better. Although they forged ahead at a relatively slow speed, everything went smooth and they did not get caught up in any other perilous situation.
In this manner, the two pulled onto each other as they took one heavy step at a time into the mud toward the direction Gu Hai came from.
In roughly three days, they arrived at the area where Gu Hai had parked his car. Sadly, the pit where the wheel of the car had been stuck was still there but the car itself had gone missing.
Gu Hai gritted his teeth, originally thinking that they had finally endured it all the way to the end, however, from the look of it, they will have to waste another two days.
With nothing left to eat, they had relied entirely on water to get through the last two days. If luck was on their side, they were able to catch a wild animal or two. But since there was no dry firewood in sight, they would eat most of it raw, otherwise, they would just eat wild grass or barks.
“Wait a minute, I have a stomachache.”
Bai Luo Yin was about to turn away when Gu Hai grabbed hold of him. “Just do it here. We’re completely surrounded by the swamp anyway. What happens if you go too far and meet with some sort of danger? By then, it would be too late for me to save you.”
“I rather fall into the swamp than relieve myself in front of you!”
Gu Hai laughed until his teeth gritted against each other, “You’re really fucking courageous.”
Like a wisp of smoke, Bai Luo Yin disappeared leaving Gu Hai to wait for him at the same spot. Five minutes later, he suddenly heard Bai Luo Yin cry for help from not too far away.
Following the sound of the voice came, Gu Hai quickened his pace so that two steps seemed to be three steps. On the way, he nearly got stuck in the mud pits twice since he could not clearly make out the path ahead. While he ran, he shouted loudly towards Bai Luo Yin’s direction: “Don’t struggle! Try to lie down and let your body make contact with the surface of the quicksand.”
When he arrived at Bai Luo Yin’s side, Gu Hai unexpectedly discovered that he was perfectly fine, although he was sitting on the ground with a face full of distress.
“What’s wrong?” Gu Hai quickly asked while wiping the sweat off his forehead.
Keeping his head low, Bai Luo Yin’s face collapsed. “I’m constipated.”
Gu Hai was immediately pulled into a spell of laughter. Honestly, he really did not know what to say to make things better since—a mere constipation had actually caused such a blood-curdling scream.
“We’ve only eaten wild grass and tree barks for the last three days, it would be strange if you were actually able to relieve yourself.” He said as he walked toward Bai Luo Yin, crouched down beside him and gave out a firm command: “Move your hand away!”
Picking his eyes up to look at him, Bai Luo Yin lazily asked, “What are you doing?”
Without any explanation, Gu Hai moved Bai Luo Yin’s hand that was on his stomach away and rested his own hand there instead. Then, he began to energetically rub his stomach, especially around the area where the intestines twisted together. While he continued to rub, he did not forget to say a few sarcastic words, “You are really high maintenance!61 The soldiers under your command should really see what their Shouzhang look like right now!!”
Bai Luo Yin’s brows pulled in together so close that it tightened even more than before, and then he suddenly pushed Gu Hai to the side.
“I can feel it now, it’s coming. Hurry up and leave!!”
As a result, the person who was no longer of value was immediately expelled.
Gu Hai was standing on a piece of flat land waiting for Bai Luo Yin when suddenly he heard a burst of sound over his head. He looked upward, and sure enough, a helicopter appeared before him. Not only that, the pilot of this helicopter actually had his eyes opened and did not doltishly fly by but rather he landed over ten meters away from where Gu Hai was.
Gu Yang emerged from the helicopter and took large strides toward Gu Hai.
“Why are you here?”
Gu Yang spoke calmly, “I came when I heard something happened to you.”
Bai Luo Yin carried a rather comfortable and cheery expression as he walked out, bypassed two trees and saw two silhouettes standing at a distant not too far off. Happiness was winding up in his heart but before he had time to feel that rejoice in it, he saw a detestable face and the tiny smile that sat at the curve of his lips quickly retreated.
The instant Gu Yang caught sight of Bai Luo Yin, his gaze froze in place.
Bai Luo Yin walked over, stood steely before them, and threw out two words: “Let’s go!”
With just that, he went directly over to the helicopter by himself.
For some reason, when Gu Yang watched Bai Luo Yin walked past him unemotionally like that, without exposing even a hint of changes, a sense of loss and disappointment gripped his heart.
Once he was on the helicopter, Bai Luo Yin saw the pilot. “How long have you been flying?”
“Nearly the entire night,” the pilot said with a yawn.
Bai Luo Yin simply patted his shoulder, “Okay, I’ll take over.”
As a result, he quickly took over the pilot seat.
By the time Gu Hai and Gu Yang got on the helicopter, Bai Luo Yin and the pilot had already swapped their seat while the two brothers properly sat in the back seat.
It was silent until Bai Luo Yin suddenly spoke. “Do you have any cigarette?”
Gu Yang pulled out a cigarette and calmly hand it over to Bai Luo Yin, then he took out another one and placed in his own mouth.
The sound of the lighter broke the silent a second time.
Bai Luo Yin turned around, gripped Gu Yang’s wrist and snatched the lighter that Gu Yang had placed close to his lips.
“Let me borrow this.”
As the cigarette hung in Bai Luo Yin’s mouth, a mischievous smile appeared near his lips.
This unreasonable smile seemingly provoked Gu Yang’s heart to slightly shake. Before he could digest what happened, Bai Luo Yin had already turned back. Soon, the smoke that coiled out of the cigarette lingered around his neck for a second before pervading the entirety of the cockpit.
Bai Luo Yin did not fly the helicopter back to the military base, but rather, he landed at a large leveled public square.
The pilot next to him wore a flabbergasted expression that covered his entire face as he quickly asked, “What’s going on? Is there a problem with the helicopter?”
“No,” Bai Luo Yin simply yet indifferently replied, “I have to get off!
“That…” The pilot of completely puzzled by his sudden statement, “You…you’re not reporting back to base?”
Bai Luo Yin’s cold and stern gaze swept toward the pilot, “I’m on vacation right now, why should I report back to base?”
“But…shouldn’t you at least let your superior know that you’re safe?” The pilot’s voice goes weaker the more he spoke.
With a darkened face, Bai Luo Yin angrily said in a loudly, “Do you not have a mouth?”62
The pilot was chided to the point that he looked just like a little baby chick who did not even dare to take another loud breath.
At that scene, Gu Yang’s eyes moved toward Gu Hai.
Gu Hai immediately threw out a sentence, “Don’t look at me, I’m not in the military.”
In seconds, Gu Yang’s blackened face followed along as these two men strutted off in front of his eyes. The pilot dragged his gaze toward Gu Yang who in turn did not say anything and directly walk away.
Once again, the pilot was completely dumbstruck.
What am I going to do now? Wasn’t I ordered to look for them? Where are they? …
Looking at the empty aircraft, he immediately beat his chest in agony.
I can’t even accomplish such an easy order!
A moment ago, he was still sitting in the aircraft silently beaming with happiness, thinking that once he returned with those two, he would at least receive a third-class merit!!
This is just great! I didn’t bring either of them back and even worse, I’m fucking one person short from when I started off!!
The two had walked shoulder to shoulder for nearly half the way when Bai Luo Yin suddenly felt something fishy.
“Why are you following me?”
Gu Hai let out a cold grunt before he spoke, “Who’s following you? We just happen to be going toward the same direction, that’s all.”
“Oh,” Bai Luo Yin faintly said. Then a few moments later, unable to hold it any longer, he asked again, “Then, where are you going?”
“I’m going to your house.”
Bai Luo Yin, “…”
Gu Hai explained, “Not to your family’s new house…to your family’s old place.”
The look on Bai Luo Yin’s face changed, “There’s no one at the old house. Who are you going to see there, huh?”
“I don’t know. I just want to go and take a look.”
When they arrived at the area where he was supposed to make a turn, Bai Luo Yin hesitated for a moment. “Forget it, I’ll go with you.”
“You’re not going to head home first to inform your family that you’re safe?”
Bai Luo Yin replied indifferently, “There’s no need to. I’m sure my dad doesn’t even know that something happened to me. Every time I go on an important mission, the military would always hide it from my family. If I really went missing, they’ll wait at least half a month before notifying them.”
This point was something that Gu Hai knew quite well. He just thought that Ban Han Qi must have certainly guessed that something was awry.
The two returned to the old house together. They quickly noticed that the jujube tree had been cut down and the ground was shielded with withering grass. Before, the place was filled with lively characters who assisted in making it never felt outdated. But an ineffable sorrow tugged at their heartstrings upon seeing the windows that were all locked up, the rotten wooden frames, and the roof panels that had fallen apart.
Even now, Gu Hai can still clearly remember the very first time he came here, he witnessed a scene of Bai Luo Yin quarreling with his father over a pair of underpants.
Gu Hai pushed open the door to Bai Luo Yin’s room. Everything inside felt so familiar, even the hole in the ground felt dear to him. There was also the remain of that extremely crafty double bed and the old clock hanging silently on the wall that had once fell on his leg…
Bai Luo Yin pushed open the door to his grandparents’ room.
A plate of pickled vegetables sat solemnly on a small square table, a walking cane leaned against the corner of the wall, and the space where that familiar silhouette sat on the bed holding a palm-leaf fan…
Gu Hai stood outside the door and watched as Bai Luo Yin stood still with a straight back in the now spacious room—appearing exceptionally distant. He will never in this life forget the heartwarming scenes of Bai Luo Yin crouching down to wash Grandma Bai’s feet or standing back up to wipe Grandpa Bai’s mouth.
He will never forget the young boy who although was poverty-stricken had nonetheless brought such warmth to everyone.
“We should go sweep grandpa and grandma’s tombs.” Gu Hai said, shattering the silence that shrouded the room.
By the time Bai Luo Yin turned around, the distress and grief on his face had already faded.
“Stop saying ‘we, we’, who’s your family? That’s my grandpa, my grandma. If anyone needs to go sweep their tombstone, it should ‘only’ be me.”
At those stubborn words, Gu Hai’s lips immediately curved into a smile. “I was also ‘our’ grandma’s official translate for more than a year!”
Bai Luo Yin shot Gu Hai a glance, but as he sauntered past him, a smile was smeared at the corner of his lips…perhaps he had unexpectedly recalled some very meaningful things from the past.
When the two arrived at the doorway, Bai Luo Yin’s footsteps suddenly came to a standstill.
Gu Hai’s steps also halted after he noticed that the old apricot tree had not been cut yet.
“Why wasn’t this tree cut down?” Gu Hai asked.
Bai Luo Yin softly said, “So that A-Lang cam have a companion!”
Hearing that, Gu Hai could only quietly ask again: “When did he die? How did he die?”
“Three years ago… there was no reason at all, it was just from old age. When I returned, he was already buried beneath this tree.” Bai Luo Yin said, his tone unearthed the deep sorrow that lied in his heart.
Gu Hai stayed close and consoled him. “After all these years, the number of times he kissed you was more than me. He has truly lived a worthy life.”
Bai Luo Yin walked out of the door wrapped in an air of coldness.
When the two arrived at the cemetery, respectively holding a bouquet of flowers, they placed them in front of Grandpa Bai and Grandma Bai’s tombstones.
A pensive expression lied across Bai Luo Yin’s face as he looked on dourly. Even he, himself, did not know if the words he said next were meant for Gu Hai to hear or simply for himself.
“When my grandparents passed away, I didn’t get to see them one last time.”
Gu Hai quietly said, “Perhaps it is better that way. Watching your family member take their last breath in front of you is like a shadow that you won’t ever be able to forget in this lifetime.”
Every time Bai Luo Yin stood in front of Grandpa and Grandma Bai’s grave, he was normally filled with somberness. But for some reason, today, whether it was because of Gu Hai’s presence or not, the knots that tightened tempestuously around his heart did not hurt as much.
Standing beside him, Gu Hai spoke in a serious manner. “Grandpa, grandma, I’m really sorry. I’m the one that snatched your grandson away from your side. It’s my fault that you rarely get to see him…”
“Can you not talk nonsense in front of my grandparents?” Bai Luo Yin said, his words somewhat laden with worry.
“Don’t stop me. Let me finish!!” Gu Hai charged his head back toward the tombstones, “If you can’t rest in peace in the underworld,63 then let your grandson continue to destroy me. I won’t have a single complaint!”
61 “You’re really high maintenance!” – this can also be translated to, “You’re really demanding!”
62 “Do you not have a mouth?” Bai Luo Yin is telling the soldier to go report it himself.
63 九泉之下 – Nine springs below. In the refers to the place where people live. It also refers to the “underworld” … a very deep underworld.