Chapter 13: Hei Dan Wet the Bed
Ji Huan knew that Wang Xiaochuan had a disease that made him cough frequently.
Before, he was only aware that Wang Xiaochuan often asked for sick leave and that when they were at school, he occasionally noticed that he would secretly lower his voice to cough. Later, Wang Xiaochuan actually confessed to him, and Ji Huan found out that it was a lung disease. However, after their frequent contact recently, his disease seemed as if it had been cured and almost never occurred again. For a long time, Ji Huan almost believed that he had truly been cured. The relapse now was a little serious. Wang Xiaochuan had a high fever that very night.
His illness was bearing down menacingly, and the hospital couldn’t find any problems. Because he used to come there almost once or twice every year, it was actually Wang Xiaochuan’s parents that were comforting Ji Huan in the end.
“It’s all right. I was over-exhausted when I was pregnant with him, and Xiaochuan was born in poor health. You don’t need to worry too much, this situation was common before. He’s almost been healthy lately, and seeing him so happily enjoying himself with his classmate every day, we just forgot to remind him to be more careful with himself…” Wang Xiaochuan’s mother obviously blamed herself a lot. She completely attributed her son’s current poor health to her own body.
“It’s already very late. Your grandfather and Hei Dan are still at home. Go ahead, my mom will stay here with me.” Wang Xiaochuan was clearly a senior patient already. Although a little weak, he could still muster up the spirit to smile and urge Ji Huan to hurry home.
Seeing that Wang Xiaochuan’s spirits seemed to be fine, Ji Huan bid farewell.
Wang Xiaochuan was right. Ji Huan was actually very worried about Hei Dan and Grandfather in his heart. Although he called Grandfather and told him he was going to be late coming home, only the oldest and youngest1 of their family were home and he was still a little anxious.
Thinking about this, he walked out of that hospital that Wang Xiaochuan was at with a long stride.
The hospital was half-way up Bade Mountain, and the sanatorium where they worked was even further up than the hospital. They had gone around in a circle: After Ji Huan had taken Wang Xiaochuan home, they were eventually brought back by the parents of the Wang Family.
It was too late at night now, and the regular bus going downhill was already gone. Ji Huan had no choice but to walk to the foot of the mountain and take the other midnight bus route.
Maybe he should buy a second-hand motorcycle later. That would make it more convenient gradually and save more money in the long run… With both hands in the pockets of his school jacket, Ji Huan walked with long strides at first, then he couldn’t help but start jogging.
He was very lucky to have taken the last bus leading up the mountain. It was especially dark on the mountain late at night, and Ji Huan walked cautiously with the aid of a flashlight in his hands to illuminate the road ahead. However, it wasn’t long before he heard the sound of Hei Dan crying. His heart relaxed in a second, and Ji Huan headed in the direction of the crying.
“Grandpa, I’m back!” Not yet inside, Ji Huan shouted at Grandpa from outside the house: “I stayed a little long at the hospital today, I’m going to take a shower first.”
“Oh, go. Wash up quickly. I don’t know what’s wrong with Hei Dan. He’s been crying since just now. I fed him milk, he drank all of it and still cried. I’m a little unsure what to do with him…” Grandfather’s voice came from inside the house shortly after. Ji Huan had just taken off his shirt in the bathroom when Hei Dan suddenly cried loudly again. Grandfather’s voice came from outside the bathroom again not long after: “Hei Dan, your uncle is inside! You want to see your uncle just taking a shower, huh! He’ll hold you once he’s finished showering!”
The corner of Ji Huan’s mouth curved up slightly as he poured shampoo into his hand, but listening to Hei Dan’s crying, he did increase his bathing speed.
After taking a shower, Ji Huan seemed like he planned to take Hei Dan out of Grandfather’s arms as he usually did, but that time, Hei Dan’s reaction was a little different from what he anticipated: Just when Ji Huan touched his swaddling clothes, a little black claw “whooshed” from the swaddling clothes and struggled out, then grabbed the back of Ji Huan’s hand.
Did this child really think he wouldn’t? Feeling a little surprised, Ji Huan readily followeed the good advice and picked up Hei Dan.
Hei Dan stopped crying the moment Ji Huan embraced him. A pair of white-ring eyes stared intently at Ji Huan’s face, and then looked down at Ji Huan’s feet.
Ji Huan glanced at the soles of his feet reflexively: Of course, there was nothing there besides his own shadow. Nothing at all.
“… It seems to have gotten colder.” Grandfather finally let out a sigh of relief after realizing that Hei Dan wasn’t crying. Shortly after, he asked Ji Huan to go and get the thick blankets out of the cabinet. Even Hei Dan got thicker swaddling clothes.
He wasn’t sensitive at all to temperature changes, but seeing that Grandpa really did look a little cold, Ji Huan promptly boiled hot water and gave the old man a hot foot bath. He also put a hot water bottle under Grandpa’s blankets and put them back over it. Finally, he put one last blanket over the one covering Grandpa, and then went back to his and Hei Dan’s room again.
He looked at Hei Dan, who was laying down in the bed and staring at him. Thinking that Hei Dan would probably be cold, Ji Huan also added another thick layer to his blankets.
A sleepless night.
However, when he woke up early the next morning, he couldn’t find Hei Dan under the blankets and Ji Huan jumped in fright. Ji Huan suddenly sat up in the bed and lifted up the blankets with a strange expression. Then, huddling by his feet naked, he found Hei Dan. A black claw was hugging his left foot, and he was sleeping there soundly.
Under Ji Huan’s feet was warm and wet.
While wrapping Hei Dan in blankets and setting him aside, Ji Huan got out of bed and lifted up the damp mattress. A while later, he announced to Grandpa, who was outside washing his face and rinsing his mouth:
“Hei Dan wet the bed.”
It was truly worth celebrating! Hei Dan, who had never had any excretions since he was born, finally wet the bed. Although there was only a little piece, that piece of the mattress, in the end, was treasured by Grandpa and seriously collected up. After drying in the sun, it was pressed into the cabinet with the patchwork2 that Ji Huan and his sister had once wet.
Ji Huan didn’t have to go to his job during the day. In the morning, he read a book for a little while first. After previewing his next semester’s textbook for three hours, he went to look behind him at Hei Dan: Hei Dan was still peacefully sleeping in his swaddling clothes.
Except for when he was crying, he was practically a silent child with no sense of existence. Especially now that his eyes were closed ——
In this way, Hei Dan’s face really had become a ball of black fog.
He sat on the side of the bed and watched him for a moment. Ji Huan was unable to stop himself from poking Hei Dan’s belly. After listening to Hei Dan’s reflexive crying for a while, he took his hand back.
Using a pillow to block the side of the bed, Ji Huan happily went to pour a glass of water and drink it, then he went outside to work.
He cleaned the pigsty first and went around to his house’s greenhouse. After picking a handful of edible vegetables, he returned to the house. He saw on the ground what seemed to be an accumulation of soil. Ji Huan was unable to be idle, so he couldn’t help getting out a broom.
This season was relatively dry. It was comparatively humid on the mountain due to the plentiful streams and dew, but the inside of the house still easily accumulated dust. Holding a broom, Ji Huan swept one-by-one through the central room, Grandfather’s room, his older sister’s room, and finally got ready to sweep his own room.
However, when he finished sweeping and prepared to sweep the dust into the dustpan, Ji Huan suddenly froze. After a while, he squatted down and he pinched a small bit of dust out from the dustpan.
Inside the gray and yellow dust, black powder was clearly mixed in.
The dust in the other rooms from before was obviously all gray and yellow. But why was there black dust in his room?
Unable to think of a reason, Ji Huan simply put it out of his mind. Grandfather also came back after a while. Every morning, he went back to the stream in front of their house to fish. This was his practice for decades. Let alone his blind eyes, he could walk that path correctly even if his eyes were closed, so Ji Huan just let him keep that regular hobby.
“Luckily, we added more blankets to the house yesterday. When I was fishing today, I heard that several families caught colds! There were also two that were sent to the hospital with high fevers.” Grandfather could hardly wait to speak to Ji Huan once he walked through the door: “Your classmate probably had poor health, and didn’t realize to warm up in time and got sick. Put on more clothes when you go out today.”
In regards to the news that Grandfather brought, Ji Huan could only say “oh.”
Ji Huan didn’t take the matter seriously at first, but when he went back to work in the afternoon, he realized that things were more troublesome than he imagined: Because of the sudden drop in temperature, two-thirds of his coworkers in the orderly department had unexpectedly asked for time-off!
Whether they were sick or someone at home was sick and they couldn’t leave, the people who had come to work on time that day, in short, were going to be exhausted. Ji Huan’s boss also deliberately stopped Ji Huan sheepishly, hoping that she could add a few more hours to his shift that day.
“The given wage is four times your normal salary, please help out these next few days!” The other person said it in such a way that Ji Huan had no choice but to agree.
grandpa… has a very unique collection… _(:3 」∠)_ i don’t even think this is the weirdest bit in the series.
in other news, i finally had the money to upgrade the site, so no more ads, hurrah! i’m gonna see what else i can do with my newfound powers over the weekend.
1 老的老小的小: not sure what this exactly translates to, but i took it to mean the oldest of the old and the youngest of the young.
2 地图: this means “map”, but it didn’t make much sense in the context, so i assumed it was meant to describe some kind of patchwork quilt of the pieces of mattresses. it could also mean the… stain of the pee to make it look like a map? maybe? i don’t know, this was an odd paragraph all around.
Hei Dan Changed into Thick Swaddling Clothes– by Bi Weiluo (Pen Not Yet Dropped)
《A Power Outage in the Mountains》by tear_and_smile
However, tear_and_smile said just now that Hei Dan, you musn’t fall asleep. In this chapter, Hei Dan fell asleep.
Distant eyes, fortunately there wasn’t a power outage in this chapter.
Distant eyes – –
Guess what happened in Ji Huan’s room last night？”