Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 29: A Beauty’s Snores

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(cn: vehicle collision; blood; death of minor character)

‘The real murderer is…’ Chen Shuangcheng begins, just before all three of them are dazzled by a bright white light.

It’s coming from the headlights of a massive truck, which plows right into them.

Glass smashes, and the force of the collision tips the police car onto its side, leaving everyone much the worse for wear, especially Chen Shuangcheng.

Jiang Bin cradles Chen Shuangcheng’s bloodied face in his hands. ‘Chen Shuangcheng…’

Chen Shuangcheng’s head lolls lifelessly to one side.

‘Chen… Shuangcheng,’ murmurs Jiang Bin helplessly.

Back at the studio, Xu Youyi is speaking to President Wang on the phone. ‘Have you seen Agent Bai today, President Wang?’

‘Hm? No, I haven’t,’ replies President Wang. ‘Wasn’t he with you all day today?’

‘Let me tell you what happened,’ Xu Youyi explains. ‘This morning…’

We get a brief flashback to her near-drowning as Xu Youyi recounts the events of the day to President Wang, who is justifiably outraged. ‘He did what?’ shouts President Wang. ‘Someone must have paid him to do that!’

‘I think so too,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘But we need to find out who. If you hear anything about him or his whereabouts, President Wang, could you please let me know as soon as possible?’

‘Leave it to me, Youyi,’ replies President Wang. ‘Until we find him, just be extra careful.’

‘Don’t worry about me,’ says Xu Youyi, looking over at Yan Wei.

As Xu Youyi hangs up, Yan Wei marches towards the door. ‘I’m going to hunt that man down!’ she declares.

Xu Youyi grabs hold of her hand. ‘Don’t go! It’s already dark outside.’

‘I’m not afraid of the dark,’ says Yan Wei.

‘But what if I am?’ Xu Youyi asks, still holding on to Yan Wei’s hand. ‘You wouldn’t leave a pregnant woman like me home alone, would you? Something terrible could happen to me!’

Yan Wei softens. ‘Then… I’ll deal with him some other day.’

Later that night, as they lie in bed together, Xu Youyi asks, ‘Weiwei, do you think the baby will be a boy or a girl?’

‘A girl,’ says Yan Wei confidently.

‘You’re very sure,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘I would like a girl too, but I find myself hoping, just a little, that the baby will turn out to be a boy. The world is much kinder to boys than to girls.’

They look at each other.

‘But if the baby happens to be a girl…’ Xu Youyi continues. She flashes back to her childhood.

‘Did you know?’ she asks. ‘When I was little, my family were very poor, but my mother worked her fingers to the bone so that she could pay for me to go to school. She always said, the reason she worked so hard was to make sure that, once I grew up, I would never need to trade away my dignity.’

‘So,’ says Xu Youyi, ‘if the baby really does turn out to be a girl, I’m going to treat her so very, very well. As well as my mother treated me.’

‘I’ll treat her well too!’ Yan Wei chimes in.

Xu Youyi smiles at her. ‘I believe you.’

Later that night, the sound of Xu Youyi’s snoring fills the room.

‘Xu Youyi.’ Yan Wei tries to shake her awake. ‘Youyi…’

‘Mm,’ Xu Youyi mumbles.

‘What is it?’ asks Xu Youyi drowsily.

‘You’re snoring,’ Yan Wei tells her.

‘Oh,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘I think most pregnant women are prone to that. Did I wake you?’

‘It’s not that,’ says Yan Wei. ‘I was afraid you’d wake her.’ She points at Xu Youyi’s belly. ‘A small child like that needs her sleep.’

‘Really?’ says Xu Youyi.

Yan Wei sits up, leans over and begins rifling in a drawer. ‘What are you looking for?’ asks Xu Youyi.

Yan Wei produces a pair of earplugs. ‘Put these in your ears, so she won’t hear you snoring.’

Xu Youyi stares at the earplugs. ‘There’s no need, surely.’

Yan Wei slips the earplugs into Xu Youyi’s ears anyway.

‘All done, we can sleep now,’ she declares, and flops back onto the pillow.

Even later that night, Xu Youyi is awakened by mysterious clanging noises. She opens her eyes, and realises that Yan Wei is gone. ‘Where’s Weiwei?’

She sits up. ‘The noise seems to be coming from downstairs.’

She gets out of bed and heads towards the top of the stairs. ‘Weiwei?’ she calls.

The clanging noises stop abruptly.

Mystified, Xu Youyi flicks on the light and heads downstairs, where she sees Yan Wei sprawled awkwardly across the sofa. ‘Why are you up?’ asks Yan Wei.

‘What are you doing here?’ asks Xu Youyi.

‘Er,’ says Yan Wei shiftily. ‘I was afraid… I would move around too much in my sleep… I might squash the baby…’

‘That won’t happen,’ Xu Youyi reassures her. ‘Come back to bed. You might catch a chill down here.’

‘All right,’ says Yan Wei, looking even more shifty. ‘I’ll go up in a while.’

Xu Youyi heads back up the stairs, fretting. Did I keep her awake with my snoring? Perhaps I did, but she didn’t want to say so, because I’m pregnant…

At breakfast the next morning, Yan Wei looks visibly tired.

Xu Youyi gazes at her with concern over the breakfast table.

Since I started living here, I don’t think she’s had a single good night’s sleep, Xu Youyi realises. Perhaps… I should move out?


Please view the original manhua here.

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