A rare heavy rain in winter.
The wipers scraped a brief clear screen on the windshield, soon to be obscured by the rippling layer of rain again.
Guan Qijun glanced at the rear view mirror. Ou Renjin was leaning back in his seat with his eyes closed and his brow unconsciously furrowed. His face was as white as paper and his lips were nearly colourless. Guan Qijun remembered the comment on the internet about Ou Renjin’s photo, “like a delicate and fragile glass figurine”. Although it was a bit corny, if you thought about it, it was quite apt.
After a moment of distraction, Guan Qijun shifted his gaze back, and saw a blurred, large black shadow falling from the sky on the windshield with a loud bang. The whole car lurched and stopped abruptly on the rainy mountain road as he heavily slammed on the brakes.
“President Ou… the car seems to have hit something.” He took a huge deep breath and turned back, “I’ll go and take a look.”
Ou Renjin half raised his eyelids, nodded, and closed his eyes again.
Half a minute later, Guan Qijun returned to the car with a white face and said in a shaky voice, “It’s a man, about twenty years old, still breathing but bleeding a lot. It’s raining heavily and it’s dark, there’s no way to identify where the bleeding point is.”
Ou Renjin frowned slightly, struggling to suppress that little bit of drowsiness and discomfort. Without a word, he pushed open the car door, walked around the man on the ground who could be dead or alive, pulled open the passenger door and sat in.
“Get the man in the back seat and take him to the hospital.” With those words, he closed his eyes again and leaned against the back of the seat, his head tilted to the side.
“But…” The common sense idea of first aid flashed through Guan Qijun’s mind. He glanced at Ou Renjin, sighed, took out a silk handkerchief, carefully dried Ou Renjin’s wet hair and turned up the heating in the car by a few degrees before getting out of the car.
Only when he had moved the man to the back seat and put him down did Guan Qijun have an opportunity to see the man’s appearance clearly. He gasped almost subconsciously and started the car again with a bit of guilt and worry.
With such a face, it would be a real shame for him to be killed like that.
The car made a difficult U-turn on the winding road and sped off towards the bottom of the mountain. The private hospital invested by the Ou family was located at the foot of the mountain. Guan Qijun did not dare to increase the speed more because Ou Renjin was taking a nap in the car; but he still arrived at the destination within half an hour.
The doctors and nurses from the emergency department were waiting at the entrance, and as soon as the car stopped, they moved the man to the medical bed in an orderly manner. Ou Renjin was completely awakened from his sleep by this noise. Even more irritated by the residual smell of blood in the car, he coughed twice, got out of the car and frowned again.
The heating in the car was on, so when he got out, the temperature difference was even greater. Guan Qijun saw this and quickly took out a woollen coat and draped it over Ou Renjin’s shoulders.
“Call another car to come and pick me up.” Ou Renjin pulled his collar tighter and walked into the hospital.
“Okay.” Guan Qijun called the villa and followed Ou Renjin about two metres behind him, took the coat Ou Renjin handed back because it was warmer inside and asked, “Do you want to stop by for a check-up?”
Ou Renjin showed a bored expression and didn’t answer. He stopped at the hospital elevator and stared at the changing floor numbers for a while, “Let’s go and see how that one is doing.”
036 woke up to the familiar pain of the rapid division and growth of cells, and blinked slowly in some confusion; the ceiling seemed to be of a slightly different colour and the light was not as harsh as usual. He tilted his head, paused for a second, then slowly sat up.
It was a brand new place, and the smell in the air was different from what he often smelled. Was it some rich man who believed in his own institution more than in the laboratory?
He sat on the edge of the bed, thinking idly, wondering which of his organs this rich man needed. It would be best if it wasn’t his heart. Although his body had long ago been transformed into a petri dish of organs, it wasn’t a cold machine after all. Regrowing organs could still exceed his threshold of pain tolerance, and the heart was the one that took the longest, hurt the most, and required the most equipment in the process.
He moved his body. He hated pain, and even more hated the feeling of being controlled and unable to move.
“You can’t get out of bed yet.”
036 turned to the visitor, who was indeed an impeccably, luxuriously dressed man. The man’s lips were pale, his voice was not loud, his breathing very slow and there was a look of exhaustion in his eyes. It was the appearance of a rich man 036 was used to seeing.
He lifted his legs to show that his feet did not touch the floor.
Ou Renjin smiled, “The doctor said the branch nearly pierced half through your stomach and you have a fracture in your right leg, so you should be staying in bed now.”
036 lowered his head. His abdomen was wrapped in a thick bandage and his calf was in a cast, feeling heavy. He poked his stomach and examined it carefully. He couldn’t feel which internal organ had been cut out of his body, so he looked back at Ou Renjin with some confusion.
Ou Renjin’s tone was still gentle, “I’m sorry that my driver accidentally hit you, but he wasn’t drunk-driving, speeding, or driving tired. Any normal driver wouldn’t be able to react if someone suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. I don’t mean to shirk responsibility when I say this, I will cover all your medical expenses during your recuperation, plus compensate for lost wages, mental damage and personal injury and so on. And if you have any additional requirements, you can mention it to me.”
The injured man sat on the edge of the bed and blinked at Ou Renjin in silence. With his deep eyebrows and high nose, he seemed a bit like a mixed race, but he was obviously Chinese. He had a quiet temperament and clear eyes that carried a paradoxical sense of titillation. Ou Renjin was suddenly unsure whether this man, who had crashed into his car, had a death wish in mind or another agenda.
After all, he had a reputation for raising beautiful young men and had always been generous, throwing over enough resources to keep the young stars competing endlessly.
036 was struggling to think about the meaning of the man’s speech. He was saying a lot of unusual words that 036 had never come across before and he thought that he needed to hear him say them a few more times and relate them to the context before he knew exactly what they meant.
“Do you have family and friends? Do you need me to contact them?”
That was a sentence that 036 understood; but as a monster born in a laboratory, he wasn’t likely to have such things as family and friends. He remained silent and just stared intently at Ou Renjin. He felt now that this man was different from all the rich people he had met before. At least those people had never interacted with him in the past, nor did they expect any response from him.
Ou Renjin narrowed his eyes and finally smiled after a long time, “Then you should get some rest first. If you don’t have anywhere to go later, I can arrange a place for you to stay.”
The moment he turned away, the smile on Ou Renjin’s face disappeared without a trace. Outside the door, Guan Qijun was standing quietly, waiting for him to come out to follow him hastily.
“The nurse said that he didn’t carry any ID on him, no mobile phone, and the clothes he wore had no tags. Looking at his current mental state, there is no doubt that he tried to commit suicide.”
Ou Renjin suddenly put a hand on Guan Qijun’s shoulder and took two short breaths, his tone impatient, “You can make arrangements. It’s not a good thing, don’t make it known all over town. Has the pick-up car come yet?”
Guan Qijun hurriedly supported him, “It’s already waiting downstairs.”
In the ward, the nurse came over to give the infusion to 036, rambling the whole time, “The good thing is that it was Ou Renjin who met you, really a blessing in misfortune. He has always been generous to people. You can make a few requests. As long as they are not excessive, he will probably satisfy you.”
As she said that, she glanced at 036, and when she lowered her head again, her face was a little red. She said furtively, “In life, what can’t be overcome? Those of us who make a living in hospitals have seen it all. There are people who have tubes all over their bodies, who can’t even move, who have to spend hundreds of thousands a day. You don’t know how hard they have to work to live one more day. When you look at them, you feel that the setbacks that we encounter are not setbacks at all. What you want to give up is something they can’t even ask for.”
Originally, she was just looking for something to talk about casually. In the end, she felt quite emotional. She pulled a chair over and sat by the bed to talk to 036. She talked about the many cases and life situations she encountered in her career for a full five minutes.
The more 036 listened, the more puzzled he felt. He stared into the nurse’s eyes seriously. He seemed to be able to understand every word she said, but he didn’t seem to understand a single thing. He had no right to get something, let alone give up something. He was also working hard to live, and he didn’t know how hard he would have to work to live another day. But why did she tell him this?
Perhaps he was about to face a very, very big surgery, big enough to make the rich man himself feel pity for his gadget. Would he have more than one organ taken out? Two, or three? So they decided to be nice to him because of that?
What a rare treat, he thought as he glanced at the open door of the ward, even the door was open.
Day after day passed, and the slim, tall, rich man never came back. At one point after the doctor changed his dressing, 036 was arranged for a full body check-up, with a heart matching sandwiched between these tests. All the doctors were strangely gentle with him throughout. They didn’t even say it straight, they just called the heart matching some sort of myocardial function test. It was really, really gentle…
036 was not surprised; on the contrary, there was a sense of peace of mind when the dust settled. Although they all knew the reason and mission for his being here, he was still touched by the concealment and avoidance of these people.
This time the rich man was really a kind gentleman, and 036 felt a little grateful to him. You know, he was even surrounded by nurses who talked to him every single day, which had expanded his vocabulary to an unimaginable extent. Of course, he still didn’t answer, making many people feel sorry for his “handicap” and their attitude becoming even more tender and compassionate.
“It’s amazing, I’ve never seen anyone recover from a wound so quickly. It looks like you’ll be discharged soon.” As she said that, the nurse leaned closer to gossip, “I think President Ou should come over before you are discharged from the hospital. Have you thought about your request?”
Request? Yes, before he gave the rich man his heart to transplant, the rich man said he could meet one request from him. 036 turned around and looked out the window. The lush branches swayed gently in the breeze and the sun was so brilliant it was dazzling, an extremely rare sight for him.