Arc 4: Shocking Orphanage
Chapter 70: Photo
After Yan Jing Cai took Xu Yixiang away, Su Min felt much more relaxed.
He was a little overwhelmed by that female protagonist with very imaginative thoughts.
When they reached the third floor, Yan Jing Cai stopped, “We’re here.”
They lived on the second floor and had not had the chance to go to the third floor. After getting out of the stairwell, they saw locked rooms.
Unlike the floors below, there were only a few doors here. On both the right- and left-hand side, which also happen to correspond with the dining hall downstairs, were rooms that were locked up.
Their memories of this place from more than ten years ago were very faint.
Yan Jing Cai tried to recall a little, “We seemed to have come to the third floor before when we were young.”
Su Min didn’t receive much memories, but he still possessed the ones that he needed, “Yes, when we were playing hide and seek.”
When they were young, they didn’t have much. All they could do was play games like these.
According to his script, Yan Jing Cai and Su Min often played games together after their relationship improved and there were also several other children.
The game of hide and seek relied on how well one could hide.
There were only a few places where the children can hide in the orphanage, and he and Yang Jing Cai hid in many of those. After they had nowhere else to hide, they came up to the third floor.
But they were still young at that time and they didn’t know much even if they saw anything.
Xu Yixiang pointed at the closest room, “Let’s try this one first. It’ll be convenient to run out if we need to later.”
Yan Jing Cai walked over, “The door is locked.”
Su Min looked at it, “Let me borrow your hair pin.”
Xu Yixiang didn’t understand and handed over the small hair pin. She whispered: “You’re going to pick it?”
Su Min said: “I’ll try.”
It wasn’t actually difficult. The lock was very old, and it was also just a normal padlock, not the advanced locks you find nowadays.
After about a minute, the lock was opened.
Su Min turned around and saw Yan Jing Cai and Xu Yixiang’s complicated expressions, “Have you been picking locks all these years?”
Xu Yixiang: “It’s been hard on you.”
Su Min: “…………”
He returned the hair pin to Xu Yixiang, ignored the protagonists with exaggerated imaginations and proceeded to enter the room.
Xu Yixiang said: “I’m not going in.”
Yan Jing Cai asked: “If you’re not going in, where are you going?”
Xu Yixiang volunteered to go down and act as lookout, “I’ll warn you if I hear anything. You guys be careful.”
Yan Jing Cai thought about it, “Okay then. You must be careful too.”
He watched Xu Yixiang go downstairs before he also entered the room.
Doing something sneaky like this was very nerve-wracking.
The room should be an archive room. There was a bookshelf in the middle with many old books sitting on it. You couldn’t tell if there were files there as well.
As soon as Su Min entered, he could smell something mouldy.
He was very familiar with this smell. It was the smell paper made after it was left around for a long time.
He also heard the conversation between the two protagonists.
Xu Yixiang was looking out from the stairs. Although there wasn’t any danger at the moment, something could happen so they had to hurry up.
There were a lot of things in the archive room and they weren’t labelled with years and the like. Su Min could only take them out one by one.
There was even an accounting book here.
The book he had in his hand listed the sponsors to the orphanage from ten years ago. He had never heard of them, but he could tell that they must have been set up by the movie as rich characters.
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At the end of the accounting book were the company’s name and their sponsored amount’s.
Happy Home was very prosperous at that time, so the number of sponsors filled an entire page.
Su Min casually flipped a few pages and placed it back after seeing that there wasn’t anything useful.
He looked at the bookshelf for a long time before finally pulling out a file covered with a lot of dust. When he opened it, he saw a photo.
The photo had turned yellow and some of the people in the photo were hard to discern.
Su Min asked: “What is this? Our photos from back then?”
Hearing the word photo, Yan Jing Cai quickly came over. He squinted for a moment, “This is us here. Looks like it was taken by the director.”
That’s why the director didn’t appear in any of the photos.
In the photo, he stood in the centre while Su Min stood at the side.
Su Min could feel the age of this photo, “Since we took it back then, then they may have photos taken now.”
Yan Jing Cai thought about it, “Seems like they take photos every year. I remember also taking a photo the next year and since we got along well, we stood together.”
The third year, Su Min left the orphanage.
After that, Yan Jing Cai also left the orphanage and it was only now that they have reunited after separating for so long.
Su Min stored away the photo, “Then let’s find the latest one.”
The files here were too messy and they weren’t organised. The director probably had never organised them.
The orphanage was initially funded on a regular basis by someone, so it was okay to hire people but now there arent’ anyone around.
They didn’t know if the two remaining are humans or ghosts.
Since there is a photo, then their mission was to find the latest one.
The lights in the archive room was very dim. Su Min and Yan Jing Cai used their phone flashlight and used it to help them see.
There shouldn’t be as much dust on the latest files. He turned over a few and finally found a new one.
The moment he opened the folder, a photo suddenly fell out.
Su Min picked it up and felt that the photo was quite new. He turned it around and saw that it was indeed the case. It had the date written on it. It was taken last summer.
Because there were not many people left at the orphanage at that time, there were only about a dozen people in the photo.
Su Min glanced over it. Among the children at the front was the young girl who had fallen off the building. She stood at the centre.
The two other children who ate with them at lunch were also in the photo.
Su Min counted the heads. There was a total of nine children in the photo and they stood in two rows. Four stood at the front while five stood at the back.
It was two more than the current number of people now.
The old director wasn’t in there. He was probably the one taking the photo.
As for those who didn’t appear in the photo, there should be Xiao Chen. The rest were unclear. There may also be children who were reluctant to have their photos taken.
Thinking this, Su Min suddenly stopped.
He looked at the photo again. None of the nine children was Ming Ming, the one who asked him to play games.
The old director treated Ming Ming as an orphan staying here earlier so why didn’t he appear in the photo? Was it because he didn’t want his photo taken?
Su Min didn’t know what exactly happened that year.
“What at you looking at that’s making you lost in your thoughts?” Yan Jing Cai didn’t hear him and walked over to check on him, “What’s this?”
Su Min said: “This is the latest photo.”
Yan Jing Cai looked over.
He asked: “There are nine children here and now there are only seven of them. Were those two adoped?”
The key point was that there were still children that they had never seen before so they couldn’t tell which ones had already been adopted.
Su Min: “Take a closer look.”
Yan Jing Cai looked closer, but he didn’t see anything. Instead he recalled a ghost story, “What did you see? Did you see another ghost in there?”
Su Min: “…………”
He and his girlfriend are a match made in heaven.
Su Min pointed at the photo, “Do you remember that Ming Ming? The child laughing in the corner. He’s not in the photo.”
Yan Jing Cai checked and saw that he was indeed not there.
He speculated: “Is he a ghost?”
Su Min shook his head and said: “I don’t know, but the director’s behaviour that day made it look as if Ming Ming is human.”
Yan Jing Cai: “What if neither of them are human?”
That was also possible. The two ghosts working together to trick them. That was very possible.
“It is possible.” Su Min glanced at him and said: “I’ll go look for Ming Ming’s file first.”
Ming Ming’s file should record whether he had been adopted and whether he had died.
Su Min picked up the file he found earlier and flipped through it.
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Because the orphanage only had a few children, he went through the records and found Ming Ming’s records in about ten seconds.
Xu Yixiang stood by the stairs on the second floor
She stood there because if she stood at the third floor and someone came up, they would have nowhere to escape apart from hiding in the third floor.
She didn’t know if they managed to find anything useful up there.
She thought about this nervously when she suddenly heard slow footsteps below. It clearly wasn’t Han Qinqin’s.
Xu Yixiang felt all the hair on her body rising.
She hurried upstairs and patted the door: “Come out, the director is coming up.”
Fortunately, the door to the archive room was close to the stairs and not far away.
Su Min and Yan Jing Cai inside were startled.
Su Min quickly shoved the photo into his pocket and placed the file back, “Let’s leave first.”
Xu Yixiang warned them and then ran back downstairs to try and delay the director.
Perhaps it was because he was quite old, it took a long time for the old director to reach the second floor. He saw Xu Yixiang standing there.
Xu Yixiang revealed a smile, “Director.”
She was trembling. She was afraid of the old director suddenly exploding in anger.
The old director’s footsteps didn’t stop. He slowly walked up step by step, “What are you guys standing here for?”
“Just getting ready to return to our rooms.”
Hearing the voice behind her, Xu Yixiang turned back and saw that Yan Jing Cai and Su Min had both come down. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Yan Jing Cai swallowed and asked nervously: “Why did director come up? Did you need something?”
The old director nodded, “Yes, something very important.”
The hearts of the three people there stopped. They didn’t know what he was going to say next.
The director was usually smiling but he currently had a stern expression. He suddenly asked: “Did you eat all the food?”
At this moment, his expressionless face was hidden in the dimly lit corridor. It looked a little ghastly.
Hearing those words, Su Min felt very nervous.
Yan Jing Cai glanced at Su Min. Did the director find out about them disposing of the food?
Su Min tentatively asked: “Why do you ask that? The food was delicious.”
He was afraid of triggering his death flag after he asked that.
The old director asked: “It’s delicious?”
Yan Jing Cai echoed: “Yes, it’s delicious.”
“Delicious?” The old director suddenly raised his voice: “If it’s delicious then why did you throw it out?”
Su Min’s back went cold.
Xu Yixiang subconsciously denied it: “No, we didn’t.”
The old director stared at the three of them and then waved his hand: “I saw the food Han Qinqin poured out. What about you guys?”
Yan Jing Cai and Xu Yixiang’s eyes widened.
They had changed locations this time and had poured it out at a place much further away than the original location. It would be difficult to find unless you looked very closely.
Unexpectedly, Han Qinqin’s was discovered.
If Su Min didn’t suggest changing locations back then, they would have already been found out.
Yan Jing Cai said stiffly: “She threw it out. We didn’t.”
Although everyone’s food was the same, they were also slightly different.
The old director was doubtful, “Really didn’t?”
Yan Jing Cai: “Really!”
How could they admit to that?
The old director sighed; “Sigh, Xiao Chen is just a social worker, so his main job isn’t cooking. It’s inevitable that some small mistakes can happen so don’t be too harsh on him.”
Yan Jing Cai only flushed red and didn’t dare refute.
What small mistake? He even put his own finger and eyes into the food. If it was a big mistake, then I’m afraid he would stir fry his head in instead.
If you leave out Su Min, the head would have to be split into three portions amongst them!
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KK has something to say:
Uh oh, Han Qin Qin’s death flag was raised 🙊