Hurried knocks came from the door, “Open the door! Please! Help my wife! Please!”
Luo Yuan exchanged a glance with Huang Jiahui before standing up to take a look through the peephole. It was their neighbor who stayed directly opposite them who was knocking. They were not really friends but knew of each other’s existence. His face was filled with fear and a hint of uneasiness.
Luo Yuan guessed that his wife was probably bitten by a mutated mosquito. She would not survive it but they were neighbors after all so he had to at least go take a look. He opened the door with some hesitation and asked, “What happened?”
The man frantically said, “Hurry, hurry to my house, my wife can’t last much longer. I don’t know what happened, she was mopping the kitchen and suddenly fell down.”
He turned towards Huang Jiahui, “Close the door first. I’ll go over and have a look.”
“Okay, return quickly,” Huang Jiahui replied worriedly.
Luo Yuan kept quiet and only nodded his head.
The man paced back and forth anxiously and said to Luo Yuan, “She’s in the kitchen, please follow me quickly.”
Luo Yuan followed him to his house and into the kitchen. However, as the man neared the kitchen, he slowed down as if waiting for Luo Yuan to go ahead of him.
Luo Yuan took a look at him and felt that it was normal for a person to react this way when facing a possibly infected patient but they were spouses after all. Now that he did not even dare go near his wife, Luo Yuan’s perception of the man became tainted even though he understood his rational.
As he entered the kitchen and saw the woman. She was indeed bitten by a mutated mosquito but after such delay, she had already passed away. The woman was beautiful and Luo Yuan would usually check her out when they met. However, she was swollen to the point of disfigurement now.
The mutated mosquito had obviously come from window in the kitchen as it was open and Luo Yuan saw that it was resting on the ceiling with its stomach full from all her blood. It appeared dark red in color.
The man was saddened when he saw his partner lying dead on the floor, covering his mouth as he looked anguished but still did not dare to approach her.
Luo Yuan looked at the agonized man and said fittingly, “My condolences, I’ll take my leave.”
Luo Yuan was called after only a few steps, he turned and asked, “What else is there?”
The man looked hesitant after calling him, he was biting his tongue and he could not speak.
Luo Yuan knew what he was thinking, “You don’t have to worry, this is not an infectious disease. The culprit is that mutated mosquito on the ceiling. You’ll be okay after killing it.”
The man was shocked and speechless, raising his head to look at the mosquito and subconsciously taking a few steps back.
He saw that the window was still open and rushed to close it.
“I’ll leave first then” Luo Yuan said.
“Wait! I… I can’t kill it. Can you help me kill it?” The man called for Luo Yuan once again, earnestly asking him for help.
Although Luo Yuan only disliked him in the beginning, he was now disgusted by the man! It is true that he is stronger and killing such mosquitoes was effortless to him but the man could not possibly know that he was stronger as he is just another normal person in the man’s eyes. Shifting his own risk to another person, what was more a stranger, this guy was really something.
Luo Yuan thought about it and let it go. The man’s wife just died, he should not hold any grudges against somebody like this. He nodded his head, “Alright, pass me the broom.”
“Sure! Sure! Thank you so much!” The man thanked him profusely and walked out of the kitchen to fetch the broom.
After Luo Yuan received the broom from him, he climbed up the cabinet as the ceiling was a little high. The mosquito, being full from all the blood, was extremely slow in reacting and had only wanted to fly away when the broom neared it but it was too late. With a slap, the ceiling was left with a splat of blood.
“Thank you so much. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know what to do.” The man breathed a sigh of relief and said sincerely.
“Save the courtesy. If there’s nothing else, I’m leaving.” Luo Yuan jumped off the cabinet and said, dusting off his hands.
“I still want to ask for another favor.” The man quickly said seeing that Luo Yuan wanted to leave.
Luo Yuan halted his step, intending to see what else the guy could ask for.
The man said mournfully, “Huiqin died so horribly. I want to keep her longer with me but I can’t have her here any longer. In this current weather, her body would start to rot and smell within half a day…”
Luo Yuan looked at his absolute heartbroken face but could not tell how much sincerity was actually in his words. He cut in and asked, “You mean…?”
The man said awkwardly, “I…can you help me carry her body downstairs?”
Luo Yuan gave up on the man and said emotionlessly, “If you’ve got no guts to go down, I can’t say anything. It’s only normal for people to be afraid of the mutated mosquitoes. But she’s your wife after all. You want to discard her body right after her death and want me to do it for you. Do I look like an idiot to you?”
Luo Yuan turned to leave after his words, not bothering to give a second glance towards the man.
The man was shocked, embarrassment and humiliation washed over him. He opened his mouth to speak but realized that Luo Yuan was long gone.
Huang Jiahui was washing the rice in the kitchen as Luo Yuan returned and went in to wash his hands.
“What’s going on opposite us?” Huang Jiahui asked.
“Nothing much. I’m just disgusted! Let’s not talk about him!” Luo Yuan said while shaking his head.
Huang Jiahui stopped asking after seeing his response.
Not long after, Luo Yuan’s sensitive hearing picked up a dull thud from outside. It sounded like something heavy had dropped. His expression changed slightly, and he thought to himself that the man could not have thrown his wife’s corpse from the third floor.
The dishes from this afternoon were much simpler to clean. A small plate of pickled mustard and two salted eggs. These were bought by Luo Yuan before the mutation had happened. He had stocked up a lot of non-perishable items like these and still had some leftover.
The mutated meat Luo Yuan brought home yesterday was marinated but considering that difficult days like these would not end quickly, now was not the time to eat it.
They used to have a good portion of meat and fish in their meals but they did not have much appetite for the moment. Wang Shishi even stopped eating after only a few mouthfuls.
A jeep stopped by their residential area that evening. Two armed police covered in protective gear from head to toe came down with flamethrowers on their backs and two trails of fire which were about ten meters long blazed through the empty spaces around Shuitang. Luo Yuan could see numerous mutated mosquitoes falling from midair as their wings were burnt by the fire.
The flamethrowers could only last so long though and after about ten minutes, the gas on the backs of the policemen ran out. They still had not finished clearing the residential area. If they wanted to ‘spring clean’ the whole Hedong City, the amount of gas needed would be an astronomical figure. If all the gas in Hedong City were to be spent here, it is possible that it would still not be enough.