He looked strained as he said this as if he was putting great effort into organizing his words. There was a faint tinge of red on his face and it was only at this moment when he walked up to me that I smelled not only pungent paint but also the unconcealable smell of alcohol on his body.
A wealthy drunkard who also happened to dislike Yin Li.
“Are you planning to paint Yin Li’s house?”
“Ah, that’s right!” Then the man was suddenly overcome with embarrassment: “But I just can’t make up my mind on what to write. Which do you think is better, ‘Yin Li is an asshole’ or ‘Yin Li is an idiot’?”
As he talked about Yin Li, his gaze suddenly emitted two small flames. He tightly gripped my wheelchair and then looked at me with an earnest and inquiring expression. It seemed like if I didn’t make a choice for him, he wouldn’t let me go even if he died.
I had a bit of a headache. As always, the less I was involved in Yin Li’s affairs were, the better. Let alone Yin Li’s enemy. However, with regards to Yin Li, my heart had unfathomably accumulated resentment and resistance so I couldn’t help saying: “There’s no effect whatsoever if you write in English. People who don’t understand English would even think that Yin Li is cultured for specially painting the walls with post-modern art.”
“Ah! So it’s like this! I just returned from abroad. I can only use English for a lot of words. What should I do?” He seemed to be anxious.
I jokingly said: “Why don’t you just draw a gigantic hand gesture with the middle finger pointing up! Hand gestures are worldwide and don’t require language, this kind of medium, for everyone to understand. It’s concise and has a profound message.”
However, this man was more mobile than I had thought and I had also overlooked the fact that he had drank to the point of losing his rationality. He simply glanced at me with both eyes shining and quickly turned to pick up his paintbrush to draw on the wall. It seemed like I saw Yin Li’s hand reaching to squeeze my neck.
I hurried to shout at him while breaking into a cold sweat: “Wait! That’s inappropriate!” The face of the man across from me was already displaying a look of fanatical impatience.
I swallowed my saliva: “It’s like this. Your main reason for painting this picture is to let Yin Li see it and be humiliated, but he usually stays in his room so even if you paint on this wall, he wouldn’t be able to see it. If you’re going to paint then you should paint somewhere where he will be able to see it with one glance. Therefore, you should return home and sleep first. We can take our time in deciding the specific location.
The man across from me lowered his head to ponder over it and seemed to be very receptive to my suggestion. I let out a sigh of relief. He was seriously intoxicated at the moment so if he went to sleep, then there was a chance that he would even completely forget about this matter of painting Yin Li’s house. Yin Li wouldn’t know anything about this incident and everyone would continue to be harmonious and happy on the surface.
However, I had underestimated his fighting spirit and had only seen him mutter to himself for a moment before he was radiant with delight: “I know where to paint! My house! When Yin Li comes home, he’s bound to pass by my house. I want to paint the outer wall of my house! Make him see it everyday!” Then he turned his head and thanked me enthusiastically: “You really are a good person! Oh, right, my name is Mo Xingzhi. I live at the end of this road. I p
redict that we’ll become really great friends!”
As he said this, he picked up his paint bucket. Swaying and wobbling, humming a popular song, he walked towards his house. He turned his head to bid me farewell: “Friend! Wait for me to come back in a few days to find you! Never put off something for tomorrow if you can do it today! I’ll go paint that picture first!”
He left in a hurry. I watched his back, wanting to yell something to try and stop him, but he suddenly turned around and blew a kiss at me. In an instant, the words I wanted to say were blocked in my throat. I watched him walk far into the distance until he disappeared at the end of the road.
The next day, the newspaper was full of earth-shattering news about Mo Xing Zhi. Recently returning from the UK and a second generation young master, this man had painted a shockingly red and enormous middle finger on the wall of his own house. The media’s opinion was very divided. There were some who praised Mo Xingzhi’s painting as mocking this scatterbrained society. There were also some who said that Mo Xingzhi’s character was free, reckless, and frivolous. In addition, there were some who said that this was Mo Xingzhi challenging the Mo family and was an uninhibited manifestation of his unwillingness to be restricted by his family.
It was also said that presently, reporters had completely surrounded Mo Xing Zhi’s house and were waiting for young master Mo to wake up and accept an interview. Nosy people had even gathered outside Mo Xingzhi’s house one after another to take pictures as a souvenir as if it was a famous tourist attraction. On the other hand, old master Mo had also called together an emergency Mo family meeting.
Yin Li flipped through these news while at the dining table, brows slightly furrowing.
I cautiously asked: “Did something happen between you and this young master Mo?” In order to prevent him from thinking too much about this, I dignifiedly added another sentence, “Looking at you, it seems like you don’t really admire this person.”
Yin Li drank a mouthful of coffee and then glanced at me: “Right now, the road is completely blocked with cars and people over there. Traveling is now inconvenient so indeed, I don’t like it very much. Mo Xingzhi and I have only met once and it wasn’t anything special.”
“No way! Then why did Mo Xingzhi……” I realized that I had made a slip of the tongue and immediately stopped. I pretended to gracefully cough and also picked up the coffee to drink.
Yin Li wore a pondering look on his face as he looked at me and then as if he had just recalled something: “It really was just a one-time meeting. It was several days ago. We mutually exchanged business cards and then he loudly called me ‘Mister Yi Li.’ I told him that this character was read as ‘Yin’ using the third tone in Mandarin. After that, everyone was either laughing or holding in their laughter.”
I choked on the mouthful of coffee going down my throat and loudly coughed.
At this moment, Yin Li was frowning while looking at me. I could completely imagine him frowning like this and looking disdainfully at Mo Xingzhi back then. It was likely that the expression on his face could be interpreted as “He isn’t literate, how terrifying” this kind of message.
Then, like any illiterate, he flew into a rage out of humiliation after being exposed. I felt like I could really understand where Mo Xingzhi’s hatred towards Yin Li had come from now.