Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter Two Hundred and Twelve: Will Never Bloom Again
The woman turned towards the source of the voice. Her penetrating gaze held no change in expression.
Nan Qi wasn’t sure if she recognized him. He wasn’t even sure if she could see him.
But, he recognized her.
This woman who’d been so tortured by her mental illness was his own Aunty and Yan Jin’s mother. She was Du Yirou.
The treasured daughter of the Du family should have lived her life happily. But, in this justiceless world, she had wasted away here in her prime years.
“Doctor, don’t stand too close. This patient is a little unstable and can become aggressive. It would be unfortunate if you were accidentally injured,” the nurse cautioned out of goodwill. She hadn’t heard Nan Qi softly call out to the patient earlier.
“‘Can become aggressive…’” Nan Qi repeated as if he didn’t understand the words.
“Recently, she’s been doing better, but two months ago, it was pretty bad. Multiple people struggled to restrain her. Most of the time, she’s as harmless as anyone, but when her illness acts up, she becomes a deranged old lady.”
Nan Qi subconsciously ground his teeth.
He struggled to reconcile the gentle woman he had known all those years ago with a “deranged old lady”.
He also couldn’t accept that his Aunty who had accurately captured that entire garden on canvas using a simple paintbrush had turned into this ghostly shell of a human body.
“Do you have her medical records?” Nan Qi asked.
“The records of these patients aren’t so easily accessible. Only the president has the privilege, but…”
The nurse hesitated, then added, “If Doctor Chu wants to see them, I can help you.”
“Didn’t you say that only the president has this privilege?”
“The record storage room is currently being remodeled, so the records can be accessed now, but only for a short while. They need to be returned immediately after.”
“Then, I’ll have to trouble you. Thanks.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
With the nurse’s departure, only Nan Qi and Du Yirou remained.
Nan Qi had straightened up earlier when talking to the nurse. He turned back now to see Du Yirou aimlessly staring into the same empty space as before. She had no reaction to anything happening around her.
Her eyes were as lifeless as stagnant water. This shell of a human seemed to be already rotting away like dead wood.
Nan Qi squatted down one more.
“Aunty, do you still remember me?”
Nan Qi repeated the question.
Still, no reaction.
“Aunty, do you understand what I’m saying?”
Di Yirou didn’t respond.
Nan Qi pulled out a small bundle of lavender from his pocket and held it in front of her.
The small flower buds fluttered in the air. The light purple petals had once made the most beautiful garlands.
The sound of flowing spring water could be heard.
“The flowers…” Du Yirou finally opened her mouth. “Are they for me?”
This over-fifty-year-old woman who was already free from material desires sounded more like a young girl.
It was a strange yet sorry scene.
Nan Qi pressed the bouquet into Du Yirou’s shriveled hands.
“How beautiful.” Her eyes began to brighten.
“Aunty, do you know who I am?”
Du Yirou stared closely at Nan Qi for a while. Then, she suddenly realized. “I know! You’re Qingqing. You’ve finally come to visit me!”
Nan Qi shook his head. “I’m Nan Qi. I’m your nephew. You came to visit me a lot when I was little. You planted a lavender garden in the courtyard of my home.”
“Ah, I know. You’re Yixue’s kid.”
Du Yixue was Nan Qi’s mother. Nan Qi was gratified to hear her name from Du Yirou.
Although he didn’t know what had happened all those years ago, Nan Qi’s heart had sunk to rock bottom when he’d entered the room and seen Du Yirou.
Even a normal person would have gone crazy after being trapped here for so many years.
Nan Qi didn’t dare consider his relationship with Yan Jin. Currently, all he cared about was the extent of Du Yirou’s condition. He even entertained thoughts of recklessly fleeing the clinic with Du Yirou.
Summer Springs Third Clinic was indeed a very nice place. They had ample resources of every type, and it was obvious that the doctors and nurses were very experienced. But, no matter how good the clinic was, it was still an asylum.
True, the clinic could satisfy any material need. But, what about mental needs?
There was no way Nan Qi could forgive Yan Jin for imprisoning his own mother here for so many years. It didn’t matter the reason. She was the one who brought Yan Jin into the world!
Now, seeing that Du Yirou could still remember her past, Nan Qi’s feelings of pity and guilt were somewhat alleviated.
But, only by a little. It was as negligible as the sun melting the tip of a massive iceberg.
“Yes, Du Yixue is my mother.”
“Du Yixue’s son, you’re all grown up now…”
Du Yirou extended a hand to caress Nan Qi’s cheeks, but she misjudged the distance between them and only caught air.
Nan Qi caught her hands with his own.
He finally understood why her eyes couldn’t focus. It was no longer a mental issue.
She was almost blind now.
The world no longer looked the same in her eyes.
Nan Qi suppressed his own sadness. One word at a time, he asked, “Who made you become like this?”
Du Yirou tilted her head just as a young girl would. However, it looked wrong coming from her.
Nevertheless, Nan Qi didn’t mind. In his eyes, Du Yirou was still the irresistible beauty from long ago.
To him, she would always be the master of that lavender garden.
Even if she was confined to the wheelchair and had lost nearly all her eyesight.
Even if she would never again be able to prance through the sea of flowers.
With no master, the flowers would never bloom again.
“Aunty, who made you like this? Who…?”
Nan Qi desperately wanted answers, but he also feared the answers he would receive.
Du Yirou shook her head. It was impossible to tell if that was her response to the question or if she didn’t understand the question.
Nan Qi grasped her retreating shoulders. His throat caught, but he still forced out the words like he had a mouthful of sand. “Was it… Yan Jin? Did he do it to seize the Du Family’s assets?”
The response was entirely unexpected.
A mournful cry came from Du Yirou’s lips, like the final death cry from a crow.
The two words “Yan Jin” acted like a key to unlock the woman’s insanity.
Nan Qi received a scare from Du Yirou’s cry. He’d unconsciously loosened his hands, and in the next instant, Du Yirou slid off the wheelchair in a heap, wheelchair and all. She landed heavily with a piercing screech.
“Monster! Die, monster, die!”
Du Yirou pounded the ground, disheveled. Her bones rattled and fingers bled, but she didn’t feel the pain and continued her self-injury.
Nan Qi was only late by a few seconds, but Du Yirou’s hands were already completely mangled. Before he could stop her, a sudden burst of strength from Du Yirou pushed him aside.
An alarm began wailing next to his ear.
The pain from his head hitting against the bedhead couldn’t compare to the twist of anguish in his heart.
Nan Qi looked on helplessly as a fully geared team of medical personnel stormed the room and injected Du Yirou with some unknown drug in a very practiced maner. Then, she was cruelly tied down onto the bed.
They didn’t care for her desperate struggling one bit and unyieldingly restrained all four of her limbs. The treatment seemed more suited for livestock rather than a human.
“Wait, you guys—”
“—Doctor Chu, are you okay?!”
The nurse threw aside everything in her hands and rushed to Chu Ge’s side. She pulled him up and said, concerned, “Sorry! It’s all my fault; I shouldn’t have left you alone here. She’s been well-behaved for the past few days so I didn’t think her illness would act up again! I’m really sorry!”
“Don’t worry about it.” Nan Qi barely managed a smile.
“The symptoms appeared so suddenly… *sigh*, it’s getting worse and worse…,” the nurse muttered. Then, she told Nan Qi, “They’ll take care of everything. You can leave it to them; let’s step outside.”
The team that had stormed in were the clinic’s dedicated team for handling the symptoms of insanity. They were more experienced in handling this than any doctor or nurse.
Nan Qi wanted to stay, but he didn’t have the courage.
He saw someone stuff gauze into Du Yirou’s mouth to prevent her from biting her own tongue or trying to kill herself. As he left, he thought he heard the sound of her cries, but that was impossible; she already had no way of speaking.
Nan Qi walked out of the ward with the nurse.
“Here’s the medical history, Doctor Chu. Would you like to look at it now or…”
As the nurse was talking, she realized something wasn’t right with Nan Qi. She quickly added, “Doctor Chu, don’t take it too heavily. This patient’s symptoms appear quite frequently. It’s not your fault. Since you’re new here, you’re probably not too used to what we do here. Most of the patients here have illnesses that can act up anywhere, anytime. Our team here is always ready on standby, so don’t worry. Nothing bad will happen.”
“Need to fix up her injuries…” Nan Qi muttered.
“Sorry?” The nurse didn’t hear him properly.
“Her injuries, her hands were hurt.”
“Huh? Is it bad? Were her wrists cut?” the nurse asked, concerned.
“No, but her joints…”
“That’s not a major issue then. It happens frequently.”
The nurse didn’t seem too concerned anymore. “It’s only a problem if the bleeding is too serious. This patient has type AB panda blood. The blood banks don’t have enough of this type.” [TLN: “panda blood” is commonly used Chinese slang that means Rh negative blood factor, since it’s “as rare as pandas”. About 3 in 1000 people carry Rh negative factor.]
“What blood type?”
“Rh negative. We don’t have enough of this stored up…”