Don’t Close Your Eyes At Me
Chapter 93: Engraved to the Bone
Qin Jiu opened his eyes slightly. His gaze fell and landed on You Huo’s lips.
They were still breathing quite heavily. Their breaths staggered with one anothers.
The warning alarm had never gone off for this long. It continued like it was broken.
But no one paid it any attention.
“Big Invigilator, your breathing is a little rough.” Qin Jiu said in a low voice.
It is said that light-coloured eyes reveal one’s concealed emotions.
But the beautiful eyes before him was covered with a thin layer of haze. It was half-open and half-closed as its owner breathed rapidly, and it was damper and mistier than the fog behind them.
You Huo turned his head to the side to recover but it was to no avail.
After a while, he turned his head back and answered Qin Jiu: “……A normal reaction to lack of oxygen.”
“Normal reaction……” Qin Jiu repeated that phrase. As he caught his breath, he laughed: “A kiss with another man in broad daylight is also our Big Invigilator’s normal reaction?”
You Huo moved his lips. He said a moment later: “What happened in the castle can be overlooked.”
“What happened in the castle? A lot of things happened in the castle.”
Qin Jiu continued: “Are you referring to the fact that you originally promised not to take this risk, but you later secretly did the exchange with the witchdoctor behind my back? Or…..when you forcibly grabbed my hand and used it to stab yourself before I could realise what was happening? Or…..the fact that you tried to deceive me with a hug afterwards while you died in my arms and only reopened your eyes after what felt like almost a century?”
You Huo: “…………”
“Three options. You can pick one to overlook.” Qin Jiu said.
You Huo: “What about you? You wanted to exchange yourself a second time and stab yourself. You thought I didn’t know?”
Qin Jiu lowered his eyes and looked down at him. He suddenly said: “My heartrate is at an all-time high. Can’t really tell if its from anger or from something else.”
His index finger rested against You Huo’s lower jaw and he used his thumb to rub his lower lip.
You Huo’s heart was beating equally fast.
He glanced down at Qin Jiu’s fingers and said with a hoarse voice: “………There is a psychological thing called the suspension bridge effect.”
“Suspension bridge effect?” Qin Jiu chuckled. His thumb gently moved away, and he leaned down again to kiss You Huo’s slightly parted lips, “Does the suspension bridge effect include kissing until your neck is red?”
The moment Qin Jiu bowed his head down, perhaps it was because he was so close, a scene from a long time ago appeared in You Huo’s mind.
It was fuzzy but familiar……..
It was almost as if it was something from a dream.
That day was a day similar to today. It was the middle of summer.
Perhaps it was because the weather was hot and blistering, it made it easy for one to become impulsive and swayed by their emotions.
At that time, You Huo was still Invigilator A. Qin Jiu was almost at the end of the exam.
It was his 11th violation. It took him a day to clean up the examination centre and he was left in Invigilator A’s confinement room for the remaining two days.
It was the evening of the second day.
Holding a glass of water, Qin Jiu was sitting on the edge of his bed. His hair was wet, and his clean shirt was slightly unbuttoned at the collar, revealing his strong chest and shoulder muscles.
He took a sip of water and turned to look at You Huo: “Thank you dear Big Invigilator for your efforts to add a bathroom to the confinement room. Without it, you would’ve probably cut off all contact with me.”
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You Huo stood on the side waiting for him to finish drinking to take his glass away.
“The system didn’t suspect anything?” Qin Jiu asked.
“Those facilities were originally available in confinement rooms a long time ago. It was later removed but it has added it back.” You Huo said, “Future examinees will also be able to use it.”
He spoke very calmly. Qin Jiu appreciated it for a while and said: “It must have been deceived by your expression.”
“…….Are you thirsty or not? You only took two sips over five minutes.” You Huo said.
“Changing the topic again.” Qin Jiu obediently took another sip and said, “Every time we’re on a less serious topic, you would always change the topic. Are you in a hurry to leave?”
You Huo: “Hot.”
The confinement room actually wasn’t stuffy; the ventilation wasn’t bad and the humidity from the shower had quickly dissipated.
But it still carried remnants of heat.
Qin Jiu said: “It was obviously hotter here twenty minutes ago but you weren’t in a hurry to leave then.”
You Huo: “…………..”
He stiffened his handsome and naturally cold face and snatched the glass from Qin Jiu: “Remember what I said earlier. I’m leaving.”
“What was it?”
He had forgotten as soon as he was done speaking.
Invigilator A really wanted to hit him.
Qin Jiu hopped off the bed and said: “You mean how you wanted me to quickly get lost after the exam, the further the better, and that I must not become an invigilator?”
You Huo: “…………”
He clearly said that he wanted Qin Jiu to successfully pass the exam, leave the system and stop trying to jump into the fire pit.
But…….if he wanted to take it that way, it wasn’t wrong.
“I came here with a purpose. Did you forget? Even if the system kicks me out, I will do everything to come back.” Qin Jiu said.
“Your purpose is the same as mine. I know this place better than you and I am more familiar with the system so it’s easier for the system to relax its vigilance and easier for the purpose to be achieved.” You Huo frowned: “You don’t have a reason to be tied up down here.”
Because of his worries, he felt a little irritable.
“Reason?” Qin Jiu said: “I have one right in front of me. The one throwing out harsh words without looking back.”
You Huo stopped in front of the door.
“I’m suddenly a little curious. In your eyes, what kind of relationship do we have?” Qin Jiu said.
You Huo stood there for a while and said after a pause: “Invigilator and examinee.”
When he was done, silence filled the room. The arrogant and conceited person behind him suddenly became quiet.
You Huo’s expression was calm but the finger joints around the glass were slightly pale.
After a very long time, just as he decided to open the door, light footsteps suddenly sounded behind him.
Soon afterwards, it was Qin Jiu’s scent.
With his head lowered, he said next to You Huo’s ear: “Other invigilators and examinees don’t sleep together, Big Invigilator.”
You Huo’s eyelashes trembled.
They were in a position that was almost like he was being embraced from behind, but there was also a sense of confrontation between them.
“I’ve already grown used to your prickly words. The more worried you are, the sharper your tongue. I haven’t seen you be this harsh to anyone else. With just this, I will definitely come back.” Qin Jiu said.
“Even if the system throws me out and clears out my memory, I will come back.”
The castle burned for a long time. There were no indications of it extinguishing. It was as if there were too many things that needed to be burned clean.
The Duke’ and the witchdoctor’s souls had long since dissipated. With the curse lifted and everything returning to normal, all the body remnants and corpses slowly returned to its original, living state.
Those who were reborn rushed out from the fire to greet the sun again.
In the fire, all life and death had returned to its starting point.
In a corner of the castle, a crimson red coffin shook a few times. Someone inside was screaming in panic, trying to get out.
Even since the Duke’s resurrection, that coffin had beeen hidden under his bed.
Every few days he would call out “My Alyssa” and would look for women similar to her to cut off their heads and limbs to try and bring Alyssa back.
But he had never opened that wooden coffin.
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He had it hidden under his bed. From the day he placed it there until now…….it was had never been opened.
That witchcraft technique required the person to be resurrected and the sacrifice to be placed together inside a ring of candles.
The Duke himself had done it countless times; he was extremely familiar with the process.
But every time……every time he went to find the women, he had never brought Alyssa along.
It wasn’t because he was afraid of severed limbs.
He had seen plenty of them, and he had done it plenty of times himself. He just didn’t want to see the face inside that coffin; he didn’t want to see the woman lying inside.
Because that woman wasn’t Alyssa.
The real Alyssa had been taken away by the witchdoctor the day the Duke was resurrected.
The witchdoctor said that his body was too old, that it couldn’t last much longer. His life and the Duke’s life was connected. If he was weak, the Duke would also be weak; if he died, the Duke would also die.
He needed a suitable body to take over to ensure that the Duke could live a long and healthy life.
In fact, there were many bodies they could choose from, but the butler chose the one most intimate in relationship with the Duke.
He knew that the Duchess loved her husband dearly. If the witchdoctor took over the Duchess’s body, perhaps he would be influenced by the original and would always be loyal to the Duke.
And so that night, the butler only resurrected the Duke and the witchdoctor took over the Duchess’s body. In return, the servants’ spirits were summoned back.
But he didn’t stay in the castle. Instead, he went to the church in town and pretended to be a nun. It was because there were more living humans in the town, enough for him to use.
The butler was afraid that the Duke would be upset when he wakes up, so he chopped up the woman he had lured over and placed a mask on her face.
He said to the Duke: “The resurrection failed. I don’t know what went wrong.”
The Duke stood beside the pool of blood, staring unblinkingly at the face that was half covered by a mask. After a long time, he said to the butler: “Put her in the coffin.”
Since then, he could only turn a blind eye to it.
He could ask the witchdoctor to change to another body, but he didn’t.
He just quietly hid “Alyssa” under his bed and made everyone in the castle wear masks to show everyone how much he missed her.
But…….she could never be resurrected.
When the red coffin was finally broken open, a young woman with dishevelled hair climbed out. She reunited with her unfortunate husband somewhere in the castle and left the place together.
In the corridor that was surrounded by fire, oil paintings were scattered across the floor. The paint dried and cracked with the heat, and soon burned black.
The Duchess’s lips pursed tightly under the scorching heat. From a rising smile, it slowly formed a straight line before turning down slightly. It carried some loneliness, and also some sorrow.
Her body laid inside a once magnificent bedroom while the Duke’s original body was buried somewhere else under the scorched earth. Separated by thousands of metres, one burned to ash while the other rotted into the earth. Never again will their fates intersect.
Outside the castle, Jiang Yuan stumbled out into the crowd. Zhou Qi ran to embrace him. They both laughed and jumped, and finally sat down and cried in each other’s arms.
Even further away, the invigilator’s received a notice.
The system had sounded out the longest alarm in history, but the three invigilators only received a blank note.
It was because it couldn’t find any basis for punishment, or any rules to support it………Why was it that two people who had no memories, who had been separated for several years and are now of opposite identities were still able to get together?
That’s why they say that love and hate are very mysterious things.
Some have already rotted away.
Others are engraved into the bone.
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KK has something to say:
“Other invigilators and examinees don’t sleep together, Big Invigilator.”