Don’t Close Your Eyes At Me
Chapter 80: Old Friends
Zhou Qi’s condition was indeed very bad.
Under her mask, her lips were chapped and pale and the lower half of her face that was revealed was flushed red.
She was moved onto the bench by Zhao Jiatong and was wrapped tightly in several layers of clothing and blankets.
Zhao Jiatong returned and touched her forehead: “Here, it’s burning hot.”
You Huo and the other men naturally couldn’t touch her, but they didn’t need to either. They could tell just by looking that her fever was very high.
“What happened?” Gao Qi asked.
Zhao Jiatong replied: “How should I know? I’m also confused. She was fine the first half of the night. Although she was a little scared, there was nothing wrong when we chatted. I have neither heard her sneeze or cough or even mention anything about being too hot or cold. She fell asleep before me and I even deliberately chose a spot away from airflow from the balcony.”
“Then how did she become like this? When did this happen?”
Zhao Jiatong said: “She wasn’t feeling well and huddled over. I was originally sleeping quite deeply and was woken up from my nightmare by her temperature. She was like this when I opened my eyes.”
She looked at Zhou Qi’s unconscious state and commented worriedly: “But it’s a fever and it’s during an exam. I’m worried about whether it was caused by the exam.”
“What exam? To see who can reach the highest temperature?” Gao Qi grumbled.
“Don’t mess around. Although the system is getting more and more…..” Zhao Jiatong held herself back and didn’t say it directly. She used actions instead to express her thoughts and continued: “But the basic rules are observed. Everyone is fine and only Xiao Zhou alone is having a fever. She must have triggered something. That’s what I’m afraid of.”
Qin Jiu walked around the room and checked everything: “The bed didn’t move?”
Zhao Jiatong shook her head: “No. She’s more sensitive than me.”
“Any changes to the furnishings?”
“Haven’t taken them off.”
“Gone out alone at night?”
Zhao Jiatong hesitated: “I’m not sure about this but I don’t think so. Who’s ———”
Like you guys?
She cleared her throat and swallowed the last half of her words: “——She’s not timid but she is definitely not brave. Even if she wants to go to the bathroom at night, she would’ve woken me up.”
“Then it can only be the dinner.” Qin Jiu said.
They were all the same. The only one who was different was Zhou Qi who didn’t eat.
Gao Qi suddenly said: “Could it be like this——-?”
“The question specified that we cannot go against any of the Dukes requests. That sickly Duke asked us to enjoy the dinner but Zhou Qi didn’t touch it, so this is the so-called punishment?”
You Huo immediately threw that conjecture out the window: “No.”
“She drank some wine. Even a drop is considered drinking.” You Huo said, “The exam also mentioned that the whole group will be punished and I don’t have a fever.”
Gao Qi nodded: “Then that’s not it.”
Unable to find the cause, it was difficult for them to help Zhou Qi.
There was clean water in the corner of the room. Zhao Jiatong soaked a towel and placed it on Zhou Qi’s forehead to hopefully help cool her down a little and at least wake up.
But Zhou Qi continued to remain in her unconscious state. No matter what they did she didn’t show any signs of opening her eyes…….
She didn’t even groan.
As they spoke, there was suddenly a sound coming from the balcony.
They all looked over.
It was Yang Shu.
Everyone was shocked: “Why are you here?”
“I came from the balcony. How else?” Yang Shu said this while still holding the large dress up.
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She untied the straps and impatiently tied the skirt up, revealing two long straight legs.
She had probably left her heels behind in her room.
The three gentlemen politely turned their heads away.
But Miss Yang just said: “What are you turning your heads for? You haven’t seen people wear skirts out on the streets?”
The three men couldn’t refute. They quietly turned back.
Gao Qi secretly exchanged looks with Zhao Jiatong. He then glanced at Zhou Qi and Yang Shu.
He thought: They’re all wives forcefully allocated by the system yet why is there such a big difference???
Yang Shu muttered “This damned dress is really inefficient” as she dug out a simple bag from her dress.
Not to mention the men there, even Zhao Jiatong was surprised: “……..Where did you get that out from?”
“This dress has three layers and there’s also a cage. You can try stuffing something in the second layer. I can guarantee you it won’t fall out for an entire day.”
Yang Shu would always lift her chin slightly when she spoke. It made her appear domineering and difficult to get along with.
She pulled out a small box from the bag. Inside it were various neatly sorted medications.
“How did you know she’s sick?” Zhao Jiatong was again surprised.
Yang Shu: “I don’t. I heard you say next door that she’s strange, so I came to see what’s wrong.”
Gao Qi said with doubt: “Where did you get the medicine?”
Yang Shu was even more doubtful: “It’s strange carrying medicine around?”
Gao Qi shut his mouth.
Yang Shu walked over to Gao Qi and unceremoniously started doing her thing.
She opened Zhou Qi’s eyes, pinched her mouth to force her to open it, looked at it under the lights and then pressed her finger against her neck.
Her movements were very straightforward and not very gentle.
You Huo took this in and asked: “You’re a doctor?”
Yang Shu: “Not exactly.”
Although she said not exactly, she spread open her hand and spoke to the others without turning her head: “80-90% of it is from shock. As for what caused it, I don’t know. Her current situation is okay, it’s stable. Her temperature is just a little high. Do you have water?”
Zhao Jiatong passed a basin over.
Yang Shu: “……..To drink. Not for washing rags.”
Zhao Jiatong shook her head. She was afraid that the young lady here would say “Then drink the rag water” so she immediately said: “Is it for the medicine? Taking it without is fine too. I learnt a trick from someone in the military so I can help her swallow.”
Yang Shu crossed her arms and watched her with slight concern.
It wasn’t until Zhou Qi really swallowed the medicine that Yang Shu looked at Zhao Jiatong with an assessing look: “You’re from the military?”
“Yeah, I don’t look it?” Zhao Jiatong smiled bitterly, “I have been a bit slack the past two years.”
Yang Shu pursed her lips but didn’t comfort her.
Her finger swept across the others in the room. She pointed at You Huo and assessed: “You should be from the military.”
She then pointed at Qin Jiu: “You should be too.”
And she finally moved to Gao Qi: “You are definitely not.”
Gao Qi: “………”
The middle-aged man who heard this almost vomited blood.
Miss Yang calmly analysed: “You are in a bad state, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that it’s all just a pretence.”
Gao Qi neither nodded nor shook his head.
“You said you’re not exactly a doctor. What do you mean?”
Everyone was also a little curious about this lady here.
“I study this. As for the specifics, it’s hard to explain.” Yang Shu said.
“Oh…….I thought you were from the military health department.” Gao Qi mumbled, “Young lass here is quite good at judging people.”
Yang Shu frowned. She clearly didn’t like the term “young lass”.
“I have dealt with the military for some projects before.” She explained briefly and then changed the subject. She clearly couldn’t be bothered talking about it any further.
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Zhou Qi’s sickness was both sudden and the cause was unknown. It seemed inappropriate to continue with their plans of causing havoc so You Huo and Qin Jiu decided to push the plan back.
Since they weren’t sleepy, they didn’t return to their rooms.
While waiting for Zhou Qi to recover a little, they discussed the exam.
Gao Qi and Zhao Jiatong conversed back and forth and tried to extract information from the Duke and head butler’s words.
Yang Shu didn’t comment or intervene and just sat there listening.
Using Gao Qi’s words: She looked like a judge.
As they discussed, two of them were completely uncooperative——–
Qin Jiu said to You Huo: “I have been thinking that there is something unusual in this exam.”
“The group punishment mentioned earlier.”
Gao Qi’s originally keen ears caught onto this and he immediately rolled his eyes. Okay! Go ahead and ponder about the rule violations, thought Gao Qi.
“In previous exams, if there were punishments, it would be clearly stated. At the very least, they would tell you the punishment method.”
For example, the Foreign Language exam. The system mentioned “entering the coffin”.
Another example was the previous one. The system also mentioned “to replace the dead examinees”.
Although it wasn’t explained in detail, it at least gave them information.
This time it only said “group punishment”. What was the punishment? How would it be implemented? None of that was mentioned.
You Huo also noticed this peculiarity.
Afterall, information related to rule violations have always drawn his attention more.
Qin Jiu asked: “What do you think the system meant?”
You Huo coldly ridiculed: “Damned system couldn’t think of anything else.”
Gao Qi and Zhao Jiatong suddenly turned their heads and looked at him.
You Huo: “?”
Gao Qi said incredulously: “You can actually swear?”
You Huo: “………….”
His expression gradually turned colder. Qin Jiu quietly laughed.
Gao Qi quickly explained: “No, no, I’m just………a little surprised. I don’t often hear you speak like that.”
In his memory, this young friend of his was cold, indifferent and not very talkative but he was also very good at sarcasm. Whenever this Big Invigilator was angry, every word of his were like icy cold needles. Although the amount was small, it was very painful. That was something everyone knew.
But as a friend, Gao Qi could sense from various aspects of life that Invigilator A was holding back.
In fact, most invigilators are holding back. If anyone were to live all year round in a place where you’re constantly being monitored, one would naturally hide their “true selves” and restrain themselves so that they could meet the system’s standards as best they could.
At the very least, that was what it seemed like on the surface.
But Invigilator A was different.
Someone once joked in private that the reason why Invigilator A was ranked A was not only because he was strong, it was also because he was very similar to the system itself.
He was able to adapt to the systems changes faster than any of the other invigilators, and he was cold and unsympathetic. All the emotions a normal young man would experience was very rarely seen on him.
He would get impatient, unhappy, be picky or be disgusted.
But more intense emotions like irritation, anger, excitement, sorrow or even cursing out……..It didn’t exist.
It was only when he was confronted by the other faction that he would occasionally show a bit more life.
Gao Qi had grown used to it in the past, so he took it for granted.
But now he suddenly remembered……….Invigilator A back then was just a twenty-something year old young man.
If he wasn’t under the systems constraints, he should be like a normal young man filled with vitality and emotions. Although he might be a little arrogant because of his good looks but when he’s happy he would smile, when he’s angry he would curse and he would also have people he hates, and people he loves.
He wouldn’t have become a cold, emotionless representative of a machine.
He would have had the life of a normal person.
When they were in the carriage before, Gao Qi felt that You Huo’s behaviour was still the same as the past and not much had changed. He thought the influence and effect by the system was probably too strong, too deeply etched into him. Even after losing his memories, Invigilator A was still unable to revert back.
It was only now, when he saw You Huo talk to Qin Jiu, that Gao Qi finally saw on this old friend of his……..A trace of vitality that he should see in a young person.
He wasn’t used to it, but he was very happy.
Very, very happy.
He even started to find Qin Jiu a little more pleasing to the eye.
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Mother Gao Qi worrying about his good friend