Don’t Close Your Eyes At Me
Chapter 69: Unforgettable Evening
It was a villa. The interior was mainly composed of a mixture of white and dark blue and grey colours. It was simple and clean.
You Huo dreamt of himself walking down the stairs………
This place was very strange.
It wasn’t the place he stayed at temporarily when he was abroad, nor was it any place he had stayed at in China.
It wasn’t the hospital, it wasn’t the military academy nor was it Old Yu and Yu Wen’s place……..
In short, it wasn’t a place he recognised.
But as he stood there, he had a both familiar yet unfamiliar feeling———
He seemed to know which corner he should turn at, seemed to know which room he was going to and seemed to know the structure of this house.
Every move of his was as if he was the owner of this place. Everything felt familiar.
But he didn’t feel any sense of belonging from this, so it was also unfamiliar.
He guessed that this was probably where had he lived when he was Invigilator A.
This house should be located somewhere in the invigilators district, and he didn’t like this place.
But that was also normal. Who would think of a place like this as their home?
It was getting dark outside. The sun had set.
On one side, there was a large French window stretching from the first to the second floor. Every time You Huo turned to that corner, the lights outside would dazzle his eyes.
Through the glass and with the aid of the lights, he could see that it was snowing outside.
Clearly the sun had only just set but the snow was falling very heavily……
He squinted to block the light, but his steps didn’t stop at the first floor.
The You Huo in the dream somehow knew that he was heading for the basement……..
This was a day from many years ago. Night had just come, and snow was falling ceaselessly outside.
The temperature in the house was just right; just a single shirt was enough.
Invigilator A had just returned from a trip outside and had accumulated a layer of snow on his shoulder.
He took off his coat and went upstairs to hang it up in his bedroom. Just as he was about to take a shower, there were suddenly sounds coming from downstairs.
This was the place of residence the system had arranged for the invigilators. It was a group of identical villas.
To the left of the villa’s were the twin towers used for punishing examinees and to the right was a makeshift park that was usually very quiet.
And so, the sounds downstairs were rather abrupt.
Invigilator A lived alone. He didn’t like to invite friends over so there would rarely be other people at his place.
But the last two days were an exception———
A rule violating examinee called Qin Jiu was also staying there.
Of course, he didn’t stay in a bedroom and was instead confined in a confinement room.
The system didn’t allow rule violating examinees to live too comfortably.
The sounds downstairs stopped for a moment before starting again.
They weren’t sounds created by one’s voice, it was a gentle knocking sound. It tapped on unhurriedly.
You could tell just from the sound that the person doing the knocking did it with a joking intent.
Invigilator A listened to it for a moment and followed the stairs down to the basement.
According to the original villa design, the basement was supposed to be a leisure area and it also had a guest room but to accommodate Qin Jiu, the system had changed that guest room into a confinement room.
Except for its lack of monitoring cameras, it was exactly the same as a normal confinement room.
The knocking sounds came from inside the confinement room.
He scanned his finger and opened the door.
There wasn’t much in the confinement room. A set of table and chair and a bed against the wall was all the furniture it had.
Some equipments hung pretentiously from the walls.
At this moment, Qin Jiu who was still an examinee was sitting on the edge of the bed.
The lights from the corridor outside projected into the room and just happened to fall onto Qin Jiu.
He squinted his eyes, turned his head away from the light and raised his hands that were tied together by some rope.
Past his open palm, you could see a lazy grin hanging from the corner of his mouth.
“What is it?” Invigilator A asked as he leaned against the door.
“It’s nothing.” Qin Jiu said: “I heard a particular Big Invigilator return and just wanted to give my greetings.”
He squinted his eyes again, still unable to adapt to the excessively bright light.
Invigilator A glanced back at the corridor light and used the back of his hand to close the door of the confinement room.
He closed it very forcefully causing it to let out a “bang”. He clearly did it reluctantly.
The room suddenly darkened.
“Why aren’t you using the light?” Invigilator A asked coldly.
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He slapped the switch and a light somewhere in the corner turned on. Compared to the light in the corridor, it was much dimmer.
“Oh, I wanted to use it.” Qin Jiu raised his hands and said: “But unfortunately, I was tied up like this by someone so moving around is inconvenient. The person who tied me also spent half the day outside without leaving me with any food or water. If I didn’t take the initiative to greet you, you would’ve probably forgotten about me………Don’t you think this punishment is too excessive Big Invigilator?”
As far as everyone knew, Invigilator A was the youngest of all the invigilators.
So young, that it was quite surprising.
However, both examinees and his colleagues would subconsciously overlook his age because he was too strong. In the system, he held a very a high status.
Qin Jiu alone was an exception.
The first time this examinee saw Invigilator A, he unfearfully ridiculed him.
After learning that Invigilator A was younger than himself by two years, he added a “big” in front of his title and would call him “Big Invigilator” left and right.
This name would have been okay if it was someone else calling it.
In fact, there were also some invigilators who used this as a way of showing respect to his head invigilator status.
But when it came from Qin Jiu’s mouth, it carried a hint of casual teasing.
Invigilator A glanced at the clock and said: “I went out for work at 4pm. It is now 6:10pm.”
A total of 2 hours and 10 minutes. You have the nerve to say that it’s half the day?
As for not giving him any food or water, that was all bullshit!
He coldly snorted and pushed the glass and plate on the table: “Is this pig food?”
Of course, it wasn’t pig food. The food was exquisite, and very expensive.
It was something another invigilator got from a restaurant in the commercial area. It was given to him as a form of apology for some things that had happened during the day.
He wasn’t hungry so he threw them into the confinement room.
But this examinee didn’t appreciate it.
Qin Jiu stretched his legs and changed it into a more relaxed posture. He lifted his eyelids and scanned over the food disinterested: “It’s different from last night.”
Invigilator A: “…………”
“The food last night was very good. The taste was unique.” Qin Jiu continued: “The prawns were a little burnt but other than that it was very good.”
Invigilator A expressionlessly pulled a nearby bin over and poured out the water and meat: “You chose this. Just starve then.”
He leaned against the edge of the table and poured out the already cold dinner before throwing the dishes back onto the table
Two sets of clatters sounded in the confinement room and then it was quiet again.
For a moment, there was only the sound of the two of them breathing.
With his arms crossed, Invigilator A eyelids lowered, and his gaze fell onto Qin Jiu.
Silence would always carry a sense of confrontation.
This confrontation continued quietly for a moment before Invigilator A finally spoke up: “With you violating the rules so many times, what is your purpose?”
Qin Jiu raised his eyebrow: “Do I need to have a purpose to violate the rules?”
Invigilator A didn’t speak.
Qin Jiu then said: “Isn’t the purpose of this examination to select the right candidates? As far as I know, it should be like this. The questions are quite difficult. I couldn’t think of a perfect way to clear it so I could only use alternative means. If there are better methods, why would I violate the rules? Who isn’t afraid of punishment?”
Invigilator A: “That’s enough nonsense from you. You can stop there.”
Qin Jiu laughed.
He laughed for a moment and said: “I’m being serious. Don’t you believe me?”
Qin Jiu made a regretful expression. Just the sight of it made one have the urge to beat him up.
“The first time you cleaned the examination centre, you buried a radio jammer.”
“The third time you cleaned the examination centre, you led the exam subjects into a logical mess. When the examination centre was later put into use, it broke down halfway. Even now, it has not been successfully repaired.”
Invigilator A listed them one by one.
Qin Jiu however wasn’t anxious when he heard this. He just said bluntly: “It’s just a prank.”
Invigilator A: “The fifth time, you said you lost a re-examination card.”
Qin Jiu: “That wood looked the same everywhere. It might have fallen out when I pulled out the compass. I remember mentioning it to you at that time?”
Invigilator A paused: “And last time, you hid a cheat sheet.”
Qin Jiu: “I enjoy helping others.”
Invigilator A stopped talking.
His light-coloured eyes that reflected the light looked even lighter than it already was. He stared quietly at Qin Jiu.
Qin Jiu also looked back at him. He didn’t try to avoid his gaze.
After a moment, Invigilator A removed his gaze. His eyes swept around the room before falling over onto the floor lamp.
A few seconds passed before he suddenly spoke up: “Forget it. I’ll just say one last thing.”
Qin Jiu: “What is it? Go ahead.”
“I had countless opportunities to interrogate you, but I chose to do it here. Do you know why?”
Qin Jiu thought about it and said: “I don’t know.”
Invigilator A: “………..”
Qin Jiu took in his expression and suddenly laughed: “Alright, I’ll answer seriously. It’s because this is a confinement room.”
Invigilator A’s eyes flickered: “So you know.”
“I just happened to have heard a rumour.”
“That the confinement room is the only place that is not under the system’s control. This is the only place left from the original settings and is considered a safe haven from the rules.”
Qin Jiu paused and then said: “I also heard that this safe haven didn’t exist before this year. Someone had proposed to the system that its practice wasn’t in compliance with the rules and after that the confinement room was exempted from its control.”
Invigilator A heard this and said: “Who did you hear it from?”
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Qin Jiu: “Those who have investigated, those who have participated, those who just happened to know.”
This answer was equivalent to a confession of some sort.
Invigilator A remained silent for a while. He then said: “So you did come with a mission. And then you set your eyes on me.”
This should have been an interrogative statement, but he spoke very calmly.
Qin Jiu: “Invigilator A has a special relationship with the system. This was the information I got. If I didn’t give you special treatment, don’t you think it’s too unreasonable?”
Invigilator A coldly snorted. It could be considered an answer from him.
This reaction of his seemed to please the examinee. He stared at Invigilator A for a long time and said: “When I first saw you, I felt that you were on the system’s side. Like all the engineers and personnel involved, you had your head buried in the sand like an ostrich; covering your eyes and ears so that you can pretend not to have noticed the system’s problem. Afterall, it would be the ones who try to interfere who would be in trouble if it can no longer be controlled.”
“But I later realised that it didn’t seem to be the case.” Qin Jiu said: “But you’re too difficult to read. I don’t know whether it’s because you’re good at acting or if it was because of reasons on my end, I have never been able to determine your position. In fact, even just now I was a little swayed.”
Invigilator A looked at him through the corner of his eyes. As usual, he spoke unenthusiastically: “And now?”
“Now? Let’s change it up a little.” Qin Jiu said: “Can you tell me something straightwordly Big Invigilator? I have been trying to guess your thoughts for a long time……….”
He paused for a moment and then said: “If I continue guessing, I’ll soon start doubting my identity.”
“Identity? What do you mean?”
“Do you know what kind of relationship involves guessing the other person’s thoughts?”
Invigilator A looked at him and didn’t speak.
Qin Jiu also didn’t speak.
Silence once again spread through the room.
Invigilator A suddenly spoke up: “The confinement room exemption, I did that. Is that straightforward enough?”
Qin Jiu’s eyes were bright. He said: “Forget it, it’s barely okay.”
Invigilator A glanced at the time again. He finally got up.
Qin Jiu only now realised that he hadn’t taken off his military boots. He probably still needed to go out again.
“You can slowly bear with it then.” He said this as he headed for the door.
Qin Jiu’s voice rang from behind him: “You’re not going to untie me?”
Invigilator A’s footsteps stopped. He answered expressionlessly: “You can obviously undo it in one minute. Do you really need to pretend to be so pitiful?”
Behind him, a chuckle sounded. This was followed by the rustling of ropes.
“Alright then, but there’s something you’re wrong about———-”
Invigilator A didn’t look back.
Just as he reached the door, someone appeared behind him.
“———-It actually only takes a few seconds.”
Qin Jiu stood behind him and was about to say something, but he suddenly stretched his thumb out and rubbed it against the side of his neck: “Your collar is a little damp. Is it raining outside?”
Sensation of that touch was both warm and dry.
Invigilator A held the door handle and didn’t move. Only his eyes narrowed slightly.
After a while, he said: “No, it’s snowing.”
At this moment, You Huo suddenly woke up.
Like those occasional dreams he had the past few years, the moment he woke up, the contents of his dream became too fuzzy and vague to remember.
He could only quickly grasp onto little bits and pieces left behind.
You Huo could only remember that there seemed to be Qin Jiu in his dream, as well as a rope and a room.
But he couldn’t remember the details.
Somewhere outside, there were a few knocking sounds. They were dull knocks.
You Huo sat up from his bed and pinched the bridge of his nose to ease off his sleepiness.
But after pinching his bridge a few times, he suddenly felt that something wasn’t right.
Dreams come true, dreams come true. If he really dreamed of Qin Jiu, then wouldn’t that mean——-
You Huo quickly opened his eyes.
The first thing he saw was Qin Jiu in the bed opposite his. He had also just woken up and was a little confused.
Soon afterwards, he silently turned his head. There were now extra people in the dormitory——-
Not far from his bed, a man with his hands tied up with rope was sitting lazily on the desk.
And next to Qin Jiu who had just woken up, there was a man wearing a shirt, trousers, and military boots leaning against the balcony door. With his arms crossed and his eyes half-lowered, he coldly watched them.
A badge was attached to his upper right arm. On it were the words “Invigilator A” engraved.
It was clear who dreamt of who.
You Huo: “………..”
Qin Jiu: “………..”
The atmosphere in the room was extremely stiff. The moonlight was particularly beautiful.
It’s an unforgettable evening.
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KK has something to say:
An unforgettable evening indeed 😂
Side note: Several CN fans have pointed out that the re-examination card Qin Jiu lost in the woods might have been the one Shu Xue picked up! 😮😮