There was no one inside. Huang Yuying almost collapsed, her teeth rubbing on the inside her mouth as she screamed in panic, “I’m begging you! Please open the door! Please!”
Amid her hopelessness, she heard the doorknob turn. The sound of the door being unlocked was like music to her ears, like a light of hope in the darkness. The door was opened, but just as she was about to step in, she found a young man blocking the entrance, looking at her coldly. She stopped and shivered as she looked into his eyes. She suddenly seemed to have forgotten about the scary mutated mosquitoes.
“I… Outside.” Huang Yuying didn’t know what to say. Her brain had gone blank.
“Come in,” Luo Yuan suddenly said.
“I… Oh, thank you, thank you so much.” Huang Yuying did not know how else to respond, so she thanked him excitedly.
She lowered her chin as she entered the house anxiously. There were two people there watching her and judging her.
“Sit down and help yourself. We can talk after dinner,” Luo Yuan said as he frowned.
Huang Yuying nodded and took off her helmet. She moved a chair close to the dining table and sat down carefully. Luo Yuan had not realized she was so pretty until she had taken off her helmet. He was amazed. She was not pretty in a slutty way. She was beautiful. Wang Shishi watched her carefully. The fact that the newcomer looked better than Huang Jiahui made her sense some danger. Luo Yuan turned his gaze away and went to the washroom. He opened his hand and realized there was a squashed mutated mosquito on his palm. He washed it away in disgust. When he came back from the washroom, he found Huang Jiahui chatting with Huang Yuying.
“Which department were you in?” Huang Jiahui asked as she smiled.
“I was teaching History in Year 9,” Huang Yuying replied, putting down her chopsticks.
“Then why did you join those bullies? You don’t look like a bad person,” Huang Jiahui said honestly. She really did not think that Huang Yuying was evil.
“I did not have a choice,” Huang Yuying smiled awkwardly.
Huang Jiahui seemed to understand and stopped asking. She just sighed and said, “There’s been some chaos in our area recently. Most of the pretty girls have gotten into trouble. Actually, we should consider ourselves lucky just to be alive under the circumstances. We thought Hedong City would be more stable and safe when we first arrived here. We really did not expect things to change so drastically.”
She started to get worried as she thought about the chaos not coming to an end. She did not know where she would go if a war like the one in Donghu City broke out there.
“Oh, are you from Donghu City too? My mother also lives in Donghu City. Actually, in a nearby village.” Huang Yuying started to sob again as she talked, “We have lost contact since all communications broke down. I have no idea how she’s doing.”
Huang Jiahui did not know how to comfort her. She could only sigh. A moment later, she asked her, “Does that mean you have no relatives in Hedong City? What about your husband? I thought you were married.”
Huang Yuying looked heartbroken as tears started gushing out of her eyes. Everyone knew what had happened to her, even though she hadn’t said anything. Luo Yuan returned to his seat. His ears were sensitive and he had actually heard most of the conversation. Although he was not happy with her earlier actions, he still felt sympathy towards her. He said, “You still have relatives here, right? I’ll take you to them tomorrow.”
Huang Yuying had not expected Luo Yuan to offer. She looked surprised. She was about to stand up when she felt that something was wrong. She wiped her tears away quickly and said, “No, not anymore. My father-in-law lives nearby, but I don’t want to go there. I can’t face him.”
She was crying again. After a moment, she pushed her chair back and stood up. Luo Yuan was shocked. He wondered what was she going to do when she suddenly knelt down and said, “Please, let me to stay with you. I’ll do anything you ask.”
Luo Yuan stood up awkwardly and moved to the side. Huang Jiahui could not bear to watch the scene. She quickly pulled Huang Yuying up, saying, “It’s alright, it’s alright. We promise, just get up. The house does not belong to us, but we have some extra food. You can stay as long as you want.”
“If Jiahui agrees, you can stay with us. But there is nothing free in this world. Starting tomorrow, all meals and house chores will be your responsibility.” Luo Yuan knew not to reject her request when he saw the look Huang Jiahui was giving him. Plus, there was a lot of food in the underground chamber. It was more than enough to feed them all.
“Of course! I’ll do my best!” Huang Yuying said, looking excited. “Thank you, Sister Huang. Thank you so much!”
She did not know Luo Yuan’s name, so she stopped talking even though she did not look like she had finished her words.
“I’m Luo Yuan,” Luo Yuan said.
“Thank you, Brother Luo.”
Wang Shishi was not happy. She thought Huang Yuying looked older than Luo Yuan, yet she still addressed him as Brother Luo.
Huang Yuying started cleaning the dining table after dinner, even though Huang Jiahui told her not to. In the end, they cleaned it together. Then it was time for Huang Yuying to choose a room. There were four bedrooms in the house, one master bedroom and three guest bedrooms on the first and second floor. Luo Yuan and Huang Jiahui naturally had taken the master bedroom on the second floor, and Wang Shishi had taken the guest bedroom on the same floor. Huang Yuying decided to stay in the guest bedroom on the first floor.
Even though it was just a guest room, the room was quite spacious and cozy. The walls were light orange and there were many advanced home appliances, although they only served as decoration. The only imperfection was the dust. The room was quite dirty and the blanket on the bed smelled.
When the three of them left, Huang Yuying closed the door and sat on the edge of the bed in the dark. She felt like she was dreaming. She could stay with them after all. A few minutes later, she entered the bathroom in the dark. Her long dress dropped from her smooth shoulders, exposing her bruised body. She hated her body so much. She turned on the shower and scrubbed herself, wanting to wash away the dirty marks left by those three bastards.
After a while, she stopped. Her entire body was red from scrubbing and she had scrubbed her pubic area so hard it hurt. She walked a few steps before she frowned. She touched her pubic area and realized there was blood. Somehow, she felt relieved. She looked for some tissue under the light of the moon and pressed it against her wounds. She lied down on the bed and looked at the ceiling in the dark. She suddenly felt safe as she listened to the weird buzzing and chirping sounds of the birds and insects outside.
“Fantastic!” she thought. She suddenly felt extremely sleepy. She slowly closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.