Chapter 20.2 – Xuejian Flower
Shi Yuan returned home, and as soon as he entered the door, he rushed into Lu Tinghan’s arms with the fragrance of flowers.
He said: “For you!”
Lu Tinghan looked at the flowers, and then at Shi Yuan, who was smiling, and was a little surprised. He asked, “Where did these flowers come from?”
“Qin Luoluo gave it to Tracy, and then Tracy gave me some of them.” The tip of Shi Yuan’s tail swayed in the air. “Now they are yours.”
Lu Tinghan took the flower with a smile in his eyes: “Why are you so happy?”
“Because I got the flowers, and I did a bad thing,” Shi Yuan said. “But I won’t tell you what I did!”
“Why not, what’s the bad thing?” Lu Tinghan asked.
“I said I won’t, so I won’t.” Shi Yuan smiled and bent his eyes. “This is my secret.”
What a rare thing, Shi Yuan would actually do something bad and be so happy about it.
Lu Tinghan said, “Then I won’t ask. I thought that the biggest bad thing you can do is to trip over others with your tail.”
“…” Shi Yuan opened his eyes wide and asked in disbelief. “How did you know?!”
Lu Tinghan: “……”
He really just said it casually, but Shi Yuan already admired him very much, looking at him with a pair of jet-black and bright eyes.
Lu Tinghan found an empty vase, carefully put the flowers in and poured water, and heard the whole process of that “bad thing”.
“Next time don’t do that,” Lu Tinghan said. “You don’t have to go against them, and it might be dangerous.”
“They scold you,” Shi Yuan said. “I don’t like it.”
Lu Tinghan touched his head: “It’s okay, there are more people who like me.”
For the next few days, Shi Yuan changed the water for the flowers every day, and there was always a faint fragrance of flowers in the living room.
It’s a pity that he ran too fast from the square, a few branches of the baby’s breath were broken, and some of them they died after a few days, while the hyacinths were almost wilted after a week.
For the first time, Shi Yuan saw the whole process of flowers blooming and withering.
They were too fragile. The brightly colored petals gradually droop, wrinkle, and fade in color. No matter how much he changed the water, no matter how much he cared for them, no matter how much he stared at them with wide-eyed eyes, he couldn’t make them look beautiful again.
‘How can I keep them blooming?’
On this day, before Lu Tinghan came back, Shi Yuan stood in front of the vase thinking about this question. After all, this was his gift to Lu Tinghan, he wanted them to be beautiful for a long time.
He reached out to touch the limp, dying petals when an idea popped up.
—If I infect them, they might survive.
Like the infested plants outside the city, some were gray and sombre, full of giant mouths and spikes, while others were so bright and fragrant that anyone would stop by. The distortion kept changing their genes, slowing their aging, and most of them would bloom for a long time, at least longer than hyacinths and baby’s breath.
“Do you want to be infected by me?” Shi Yuan asked in a low voice. “I have never infected anyone else, but this is the only way to keep you alive.”
Of course, the flowers would not answer him.
Shi Yuan also knew that he shouldn’t do it. Humans didn’t want to be infected, and neither should the plants and flowers.
He was slightly regretful.
When Lu Tinghan came back, Shi Yuan was still looking in front of the vase.
He walked behind Shi Yuan, who said, “They’re wilting.”
“Hyacinths will be in bloom for just a few days, xuejian flowers are much longer,” Lu Tinghan said. “Soon, the xuejian flowers will bloom, when the time comes, let’s raise a few more.”
Shi Yuan: “Oh—” He still looked unhappy.
Lu Tinghan remained calm and reached out to rub Shi Yuan’s head violently.
Shi Yuan: “Purr, purr, purr.” He immediately became elated.
The next day, when Lu Tinghan was about to leave the headquarters, he asked the adjutant, “Are there any flowers recently?”
“Flowers?” The adjutant was stunned for a moment. “What species do you mean?”
“Anything is fine as long as it looks good,” Lu Tinghan said. “Enough to make children happy.”
Since General Lu opened his mouth, there was nothing he couldn’t get. The next day, he came home with a bouquet full of flowers, red, white, yellow, and pink, blooming brightly.
Shi Yuan: “Wow!”
The hyacinths were thrown away, and the new flowers were placed with the not-so-wilted baby’s breath. Shi Yuan crouched in front of the bouquet to look at it, and got to know four more flowers: daisies, roses, and carnations, and there was also a bunch of unopened xuejian flowers.
He asked: “What is the flower language of daisies?”
Lu Tinghan didn’t know – in his life, there was no situation where he needed to know the language of flowers, and no one ever asked him such a question. He looked it up and told Shi Yuan: “The flower language is innocence.”
Shi Yuan: “Wow.”
Shi Yuan asked again: “What about the rose?”
Lu Tinghan replied: “Love and passion, people often send roses to their lovers.”
Shi Yuan: “Wow.”
Shi Yuan: “What about the carnations?”
Lu Tinghan: “True love and maternal love, a flower suitable for mothers.”
Shi Yuan: “Wow.” He said again, “But you are going to be disappointed, I may not be able to be your mother…”
Lu Tinghan: “…” He finally couldn’t help but say, “Shi Yuan, what exactly is in your head?”
No one can figure out the brain circuit of an abyss, not even General Lu.
Shi Yuan put the flowers in the vase, and after fiddling with it for a long time, it was still in a mess. There were too many flowers, one turned left and the other crooked, and they didn’t listen to him at all. Lu Tinghan stood behind him, and when Shi Yuan gave up with his tail drooping, he stretched out his hand silently, smoothing and tidying the flowers and branches with his slender fingers.
The flowers were scattered and full of vitality.
They put the vase next to the TV, and the living room smelled of flowers again.
Lu Tinghan said, “In a few days, xuejian flowers will bloom.”
Shi Yuan was holding his tail on the sofa: “Everyone seems to be waiting for xuejian flowers to bloom, Tracy and Qin Luoluo are also waiting.”
“It is the flower of the Alliance, and the flower language is ‘hope and unyielding love’,” Lu Tinghan said. “Every time the whole city waits for it to bloom, it means we survived another year.”
“How much longer until it blooms?”
“It may be three days, it may be five days,” Lu Tinghan replied. “There is a saying in the Alliance, ‘after the flowers bloom, everything will be fine.’”
The illness will be better, the business will be better, the situation will be better… Everything will be safe and smooth, like the blooming frosty xuejian flower, strong and beautiful, and full of hope.
In the hospital, patients in light blue hospital gowns swallowed bitter medicine, the water in the hanging bottle was dripping, and the room was full of the smell of disinfectant. Wolfgang put a wet towel on Tracy’s forehead and sandwiched the bookmark on page 32 of the fairy tale book; in the distance, under the leaden gray sky, protesters held up slogans demanding that the young general be dismissed, the line was so long that it was impossible to see the end, and further away, on the city walls, soldiers patrolled with guns, and behind them was the wilderness where the setting sun fell.
On such a day, Shi Yuan and Lu Tinghan stood side by side in the living room.
The curtains were closed, the lights were warm, and they looked at a bunch of budding flowers next to each other.
“Did you have a lot of flowers before?” Shi Yuan asked. “I mean, before the abyss appeared?”
Lu Tinghan replied: “Yes, you could see a large sea of flowers, and you could have whatever flowers you wanted.”
“Is it beautiful?”
Shi Yuan said, “I really want see it.”
“Maybe we’ll see it someday.”
“Of course.” Lu Tinghan pointed to the vase. “But before that, you have to remember to change their water.”
“Okay, I will remember.” Shi Yuan said expectantly, “Then let’s wait for the xuejian flowers to bloom together.”
Lu Tinghan: “Okay, let’s wait for them to bloom.”