During lunch break, Mu Mian opened his chat with the intermediary again. The last time he contacted the intermediary was a week ago. After another week, Mu Mian lost his patience.
He couldn’t resist typing again.
Mu Mian: [Hi, is there any news?]
1 was online all day. Mu Mian’s message was only sent for about 40 seconds before he replied.
1: [This is not easy to handle. We can’t find a suitable heart. I think I should return the deposit to you.] Mu Mian had already expected this outcome. But when he saw 1’s reply, he still felt very despondent.
Mu Mian was not willing to lose this last clear path. He humbly asked: [Sir, is there no other way?]
1: [What choice do I have? I can’t possibly kill someone!]
Mu Mian narrowed his eyes.
He really dared to kill for Mu Qiu.
Mu Mian was a little distracted at work in the afternoon. When it was time to knock off, he packed up and went home. Du Tingting went out for a walk and Auntie Zhang was the only one at home. Mu Mian instructed Auntie Zhang. “Make some pickled pork knuckles tonight. Both the mother and daughter love them.”
Seeing that Mu Mian was going upstairs, Auntie Zhang said worriedly, “Sir, Miss came back in the afternoon.”
Last night, Mu Qiu had sent a message saying that she wanted to meet up with a friend and wouldn’t return that night. His daughter had been very obedient and Mu Mian never doubted that Mu Qiu would lie. Hearing Auntie Zhang say that Mu Qiu was back, Mu Mian didn’t take it to heart.
Auntie Zhang added, “Miss’s mental state isn’t right. Her eyes were slightly red and swollen when she came back. She must have cried.”
Mu Mian frowned. “Got it.” He went upstairs.
He knocked on Mu Qiu’s door and entered without her permission.
Mu Qiu was still awake. She was watching a Korean movie called “The Rubber in My Mind.” As Mu Qiu watched, she dabbed at her tears and mucus with a tissue. She looked rather neurotic.
Mu Mian turned off her iPad.
]Mu Qiu looked up with reddened eyes, silently protesting Mu Mian’s overbearing behavior.
Mu Mian said, “That person replied me today.”
Mu Qiu’s eyes quivered.
Under Mu Qiu’s expectant gaze, Mu Mian couldn’t help shaking his head. Mu Qiu’s eyes dimmed instantly, turning grey and lifeless. “I see…”
Mu Qiu smiled bitterly and comforted herself. “It’s alright, Father. Don’t feel guilty. You’ve already done too much for me.”
Mu Mian was not comforted.
Mu Mian’s heart felt like it was being stabbed as he gazed at his daughter’s beautiful face. “Qiu-er, I can’t protect you anymore.” With that, Mu Mian started crying. He supported his forehead with one hand and his tears and mucus fell onto his pants.
“Qiu-er, father is useless and cannot protect you…”
“Father is useless…”
The middle-aged man’s tears burned Mu Qiu’s heart.
Mu Qiu hugged her father’s shoulders tightly and said tearfully, “Father, you are the best father in the world. I am already very satisfied to be able to bid you farewell and leave.”
Compared to those who had left in a hurry without even saying goodbye, Mu Qiu was already very fortunate.
It was a good thing that Mu Qiu thought this way, but Mu Mian couldn’t accept it. “You are my baby. I can’t bear for you to leave.”
“Father, don’t be like this. I feel terrible…”
The father-daughter duo hugged each other and wailed in despair.
At dinner that night, the father-daughter duo tacitly stopped talking about this matter and pretended to be relaxed. Du Tingting didn’t notice the secret between the father-daughter duo. She told Mu Mian, “Song Ci called me today.”
“Her?” Mu Mian didn’t wish to bring up Song Ci and didn’t ask further. Instead, Mu Qiu asked with concern, “Did Elder Sister have a good time in Austria?”
“Of course she’s having fun. But she’s very worried about Song Fei.”
“Song Fei?” Mu Qiu asked, “What happened to Song Fei? Isn’t she awake? Why is elder sister still worried about her?”
Mu Mian also looked at Du Tingting curiously.
“You guys don’t know, right?” Du Tingting told them. “That child Song Fei actually went to Congo to study the virus there.” Du Tingting shook her head and sighed. “I heard that Congo is very chaotic, yet Song Fei went there. Of course Song Ci is worried.”
Mu Mian snorted coldly and said without any pity, “If anything really happens, she deserves it. If she knew that it was dangerous there, why did she still go!”
Mu Qiu frowned, slightly worried about Song Fei’s condition. “I also heard that the political situation in the Congo is very chaotic. A few days ago, I saw the news that there was a riot and someone died. What if something really happens to Song Fei…”
Hearing this, Mu Mian stopped eating and stared at the bowl of soup in front of him in a daze.
Song Fei was an opinionated person and Du Tingting didn’t wish to speak too much about her matters. Thinking of something else, Du Tingting grabbed Mu Mian’s hand and said, “It will be Father-in-law’s death anniversary in two days. I won’t be going with you to pay my respects this year.”
Mu Mian’s father was an alcoholic. When Mu Mian graduated from university, Mu Mian’s father went into a drunken fit and fell into the river. By the time his body was found, he was already dead.
After his death, Father Mu was cremated and buried in the Great Hall of Peace.
Du Tingting was slightly superstitious. She was pregnant and didn’t wish to go to places like the Great Hall of Peace where there was so much Yin energy. Mu Mian naturally had no objections. He said, “Since you are pregnant, you can’t go there. Just stay home and recuperate.”
Mu Mian asked Mu Qiu, “What about you? Are you coming with me?”
Mu Qiu shook her head. “I’m not going either.” Anyway, she would be meeting her grandfather in the underworld soon and couldn’t be bothered to make the trip.
“Then I’ll go alone.”
The next day, Mu Mian got up early and changed into a pure black suit. He drove to the Great Hall of Peace to pay his respects to his late father.
long the way, he stopped by a small shop and bought a bottle of Erguotou. Mu Mian’s father was called Mu Congjun. He was an alcoholic when he was alive. Mu Mian didn’t bring anything else with him when he came to visit his father. He only prepared a small bottle of wine for him.
Mu Mian took out the Erguotou he had brought over last year and placed it in a small bag. He then placed the newly bought wine beside the urn.
Staring at his father’s photo in the urn, there was no nostalgia in Mu Mian’s eyes. Instead, there was only coldness and mockery. “Father, I’ve brought you your favorite Erguotou.”
As he spoke, his lips curled into a mocking smile. “Every time you got drunk, you would hit my mother. In the end, she couldn’t stand being bullied anymore and hung herself. I’ve always wanted to ask you this—when you woke up that morning and saw your dead wife hanging on your door, did you ever regret even for a second?”