After breakfast, the two of them cleaned up the dishes, and 7 placed two reclining chairs and a small wooden table in front of the window in the living room, then took out a set of exquisite tea cups. He said to Lu Chu, “come, have some tea.”
Lu Chu walked over, stood by the window and looked outside it. What entered his eyes was a small courtyard, with a tree that Lu Chu didn’t know the name of, and at the corner of the yard was a small bush. At this time, it was about early autumn, and several half-yellow leaves had fluttered down after being blown by the wind.
7’s gaze followed along Lu Chu’s and he looked out of the window. His hands didn’t stop moving as he kept on making tea slowly and elegantly, “do you like it? Sorry, I can’t take you out of this room yet.”
When Lu Chu heard this, he shook his head. Naturally, he knew that as a ‘kidnapper’, 7 was have already stepping on the bottom line of the ‘rules’ by letting him walk around freely in this house.
If 7 had let him move about freely in the courtyard, then the ‘rules’ will naturally detect this abnormality, and take a corresponding action to remove it.
While Lu Chu thought about this matter, 7 had already finished brewing the tea.
He took the tea that 7 passed to him, looked at the glaze on the edge of the cup, and after spending some time in a daze, Lu Chu took a sip of tea and gave a smile to 7 as he said, “it’s feels as if the last time I was so comfortable was something from a century ago.”
“There really aren’t many opportunities like this,” 7 said, with his arms folded in front of him as he reclined on the chair. He half lowered his eyelids, and his long and thick eyelashes casted a light shadow under his eyes, “I can’t decide what identity I have when entering into a ‘game’.”
Hearing that, Lu Chu looked at him, “7, how do you enter the ‘game’ and replace a character’s identity?”
7 didn’t hide anything, “at the beginning, although the ‘rule’ that I belonged to could only carry out orders, but after a long time and countless of tasks that I undertook, I felt that it started to have its own ideas.”
He sat up and continued, “but no matter how much self-consciousness it developed, it’s useless, because from the start, the ‘rules’ are bound to the players, and once all of the players they select die, the ‘rules’ would destroy themselves.”
“That means,” Lu Chu followed along what he said and speculated, “in a sense, the players and the ‘rules’ have a symbiotic relationship.”
Especially after the ‘rules’ started to have its own consciousness, this kind of ‘symbiotic relationship’ would become even more obvious – the ‘rules’ didn’t want to disappear, and the players didn’t want to die.
“Yes, thus I’m maintaining an equilibrium with it until now, and as long as I don’t deliberately do anything that violates the ‘rules’ bottom line, it will always be on my side. ”
Something that violated the ‘rules’ bottom line, 7 had only done it once, which was saving Lu Chu.
The third day of imprisonment.
7 got a bunch of potted plants from somewhere he didn’t know. There were succulents, large bonsais, and ornamental flowers.
Lu Chu and him worked together to bring these potted plants onto the second floor’s balcony, and after arranging them in a way that looked good, 7 also moved the chair and wooden table from the previous day over. After finishing and tidying up, the entire balcony on the second floor was like a small garden. He could even see the tree from yesterday from the balcony, and in early autumn, the wind was very comfortable. Lu Chu and 7 had placed the two lounge chairs in the shadows and the both of them laid down to look at the clear blue sky, drowsy.
At night, after both of them ate dinner, they watered the potted plants on the balcony to help with digestion, then Lu Chu sighed and laid back down on the reclining chair again.
Naturally, 7 accompanied him.
The weather on this day was very good. The night sky was dark blue and clear, the stars were bright, and the clouds were lightly drifting.
“The weather will be good tomorrow.” Lu Chu’s eyes were soft and bright.
7 didn’t look at the sky, but turned sideways to look at Lu Chu’s face. The side of his lips curled up and he said, “en, the weather will be good.”
The weather the next few days was really quite good; it was sunny and the skies were clear.
Lu Chu went to bed early every night and got up early every morning. He cooked, ate, and chatted with 7, then took care of the flowers and plants on the balcony.
The two of them occasionally chatted, but never talked about the ‘games’ or the ‘rules’. Instead, they lived each day in an ordinary manner. Such a relaxed life would go by day by day, and whatever they would encounter in the future would be unknown to them.
The eight day of imprisonment.
Lu Chu stood on the balcony, and held a watering can as he carefully watered the potted plants. In a trance, he felt as if he had returned to before everything had started, repeating his stable and simple life every day. On occasion, Carrot would be a little noisy but cute, and most of the time, they would be the closest partners. Even though he couldn’t see, but he enjoyed every moment.
“What’s the matter?” 7 came over, saw Lu Chu in a daze, and asked.
Lu Chu returned to his senses, placed the watering can down, gave a slight stretch and smiled, “I suddenly remembered something from before. It’s probably because the days have become more leisurely.”
7 stepped forward and stood next to him, “it’ll rain tomorrow afternoon.”
“En?” Lu Chu was surprised, and turned to look at him, “will it rain for a long time?”
That means that it would rain to the twelfth day.
The twelfth… day.
The ninth day of imprisonment.
Sure enough, it rained.
The rainstorm came, the wind blew about the leaves, and the sky turned dark and dim in an instant.
Fortunately, in the morning, Lu Chu and 7 had moved the flowers and plants on the balcony back into the house.
Both of them sat in front of the living room window, listened to the thunderstorm outside while the wind howled. Lu Chu wore a coat that was a size too large for him, passed the hot rock sugar pear drink that he had just made to 7, then picked up the other cup and took a sip. He gave a comfortable sigh, “this is an ideal life for old age.”
But Lu Chu was clear, for the time being, he probably didn’t have an ‘old age’.
It really rained for the next few days, sometimes it would be pouring down, and sometimes it would be drizzling, but it didn’t stop.
The twelfth day of imprisonment.
The rain stopped.
Lu Chu washed the clothes, took them out to dry on the balcony, and also moved the plants back to the balcony on the second floor.
After the rain stopped, autumn came back even stronger, and a good half of the leaves on the tree had turned yellow. When the wind blew, they would shake, like they were going to drop.
From the closet inside the room, Lu Chu pulled out a thick set of clothing and placed them in a prominent location. He said towards 7, “it’s getting cold, you have to wear thicker clothing, otherwise, it is easy to catch a cold.”
7 nodded, “okay.”
Clearly, everything would end tomorrow, but the two of them were talking as if they would continue in this manner for a long time, and needed to prepare for the coming cold autumn.
That night, both of them smiled and bid goodnight to each other.
The thirteenth day of imprisonment.
When Lu Chu woke up, he only felt unbalanced and drowsy. He was lying down, and struggled a little, before barely managing to open his eyes.
Soon, he found that he didn’t even have the strength to move his fingers, as if he had been drugged with anesthetic.
He blinked, and his sight slowly started to become clearer, and Lu Chu realised that his hands and feet had been tied to an operating table, and beside him was a bright surgical light.
7 was wearing a white coat, and his head was lowered as he gracefully tightened his cuff.
When he saw that Lu Chu was awake, 7 went towards the operating table.
Lu Chu was still a little confused, but instinctively gave 7 a gentle smile. 7 was slightly stunned, then reached out and rubbed the area between Lu Chu’s eyebrows, “sorry, are you uncomfortable?”
Lu Chu shook his head, he knew that this was something necessary to end this game – the player would be selected to undertake this surgery, then counter-kill the kidnapper.
Lu Chu couldn’t do the ‘counter-kill’ part, but 7 had said it before, that he had a way.
“Lu Chu,” 7 slowly picked up a scalpel beside him, “you have to live on.”
Lu Chu nodded.
“Don’t easily believe in other people.”
“Don’t be soft-hearted.”
Finally, 7 looked directly into Lu Chu’s eyes, “believe me.”
Lu Chu smiled and nodded, “okay.”
7 lifted up one corner of his lips, then flipped over the sharp scalpel in his hands over, turning the tip of the blade towards himself. Then, he placed the handle into Lu Chu’s hands. His actions were gentle as he wrapped his hand around Lu Chu’s, which were holding the knife, and led Lu Chu’s hands to point the knife at his own heart.
Lu Chu, who had been drowsy all this time, understood something. He widened his eyes, frowned and shook his head, and wanted to pull his hand back, but while 7’s actions were gentle, they couldn’t be rejected. So Lu Chu, who didn’t have much energy left, could only watch as 7 pulled his hand and slowly inserted the scalpel into his own heart.
The sharp blade cut through the surface of his skin, went through his flesh, and the sound of it gliding across bone made one’s scalp tingle. Before he knew it, the hot and sticky blood had flowed all over Lu Chu’s hands.
The smell of blood filled the air, and the entire process was unreasonably gentle.
Lu Chu’s hands were shaking as he shook his head non-stop.
“Lu Chu,” 7 lowered his head and looked at Lu Chu, and instantly, the scalpel was inserted deeper into his flesh, yet he didn’t seem to mind. Instead, he smiled and kissed Lu Chu’s forehead, “I won’t harm you.”
In this game that nobody knows when will end, if your hands are destined to be stained with blood, then, let me be the first soul to die under your blade.