Tan Qiuyu had a secret.
A big secret.
She once had a good friend, and she herself could be counted as a good friend in return. For two years after knowing her, Tan Qiuyu regarded her as her best friend.
Her friend was very good. She looked good, had a good personality, and she was an excellent art student. She was extremely talented and hardworking. Her works would be shown as examples every time. She was the teachers’ favorite and the object of much admiration.
Her name was Wang Que.
Tan Qiuyu didn’t know when her thinking became distorted. Every time she saw Wang Que’s work, the teacher would take it up and display it under Wang Que’s bright and joyful eyes. After class, she would hear the envy and praises of the other students, and although she had a smile on her face, she felt bored. This feeling slowly intensified until it directly made it hard for her to breath.
Tan Quiyu knew that this feeling was wrong, but she couldn’t control herself at all. Every day, she would eat with Wang Que, go to the studio together with her, leave the school together with her, and chat with her with a smile. Under her smile, there was a hidden, constantly surging jealousy, corroding her entire body like sulfuric acid.
Tan Qiuyu couldn’t understand why someone could have everything, beauty, talent, and good popularity, but not her. How was she worse than Wang Que? She also worked very hard, but she could never beat her.
Tan Qiuyu knew that there was also a small group of girls in the school who didn’t like Wang Que. They thought she was pretending in front of the teacher, pretending to be a good student, and pretending to be a lady. Tan Qiuyu deliberately mentioned it to Wang Que’s face, and although Wang Que said that it was okay and that she didn’t care, Tan Qiuyu still saw the disappearing smile on her face and the hurt flashing across her eyes.
It felt so good.
Tan Qiuyu knew that this kind of thinking was very dangerous. She had already thought about it. When the college entrance examination was over, she would completely stay away from Wang Que, away from this “good friend” who made her feel inferior and jealous all the time.
Until a straw fell gently, crushing her.
She unexpectedly woke up earlier that day and went to the studio. Outside the studio, she heard a boy she liked confess to Wang Que.
Wang Que rejected him.
She had secretly liked him for so long, but the boy whom she never dared to confess to had actually liked Wang Que?
Why could Wang Que easily get the things she herself couldn’t get despite putting in all her efforts? Why were they still friends? Why on earth would she stay with Wang Que all day when she made her irritated and uncomfortable?
Tan Qiuyu felt that she was sick.
But she didn’t talk to anyone about her distorted thoughts. She thought she could bear it. Then, she found herself sitting behind Wang Que in the Central Academy of Art’s entrance exam. At the end of the exam, her mind suddenly became hot and she remembered something she heard from some senior students.
She applied a thick layer of white paint on the back of her painting.
The fuse that was prepared for this tragedy was finally ignited. On the rooftop, facing Wang Que’s questions, Tan Qiuyu collapsed. She pushed Wang Que off the roof and watched as she stretched out her hand for help as she was falling
It only took two seconds to fall from the sixth floor to the ground. Wang Que fell backwards, unable to control her falling posture, and what hit the ground first was her head. Tang Qiuyu clearly saw the explosion of blood on the ground and heard the dull thud that followed.
That dazzling bright red finally turned Tan Qiuyu into panic and fear, drowning her like a monstrous flood. She wheeled backward, turned, and ran frantically downstairs.
She killed someone. She’d killed someone!
A teacher screamed in the building, and that same teacher dialed the emergency number and rushed downstairs. By the time the police and the doctors arrived, Tan Qiuyu had already escaped from the school. She wanted to run and run far away!
Tan Qiuyu rushed to the station, and with trembling hands, she bought a ticket for the nearest train. She got on the moving train and finally received a group message about Wang Que.
When the doctor got out of the ambulance, there was nothing he could do but cover the deformed Wang Que with a white cloth and deliver her to the morgue.
The monitoring on the building would reveal that she was the last person on the roof. The conflict between her and Wang Que was known by the whole school and even the art students in the city knew about it. Everyone would know that she did it!
Teachers and colleagues kept asking about her whereabouts. Her parents promptly called her. Faced with a series of informational bombs, Tan Qiuyu turned off her mobile phone. She curled up in her seat and covered her ear, as if, if she did it this way, nothing that was going on would have anything to do with her.
She hid outside for two days and changed her mobile phone card to avoid being tracked by the police. She didn’t know how long she could hide. Her bank card was frozen, and since her mobile phone would be tracked, her whereabouts would be known the moment she used her ID card. She couldn’t live in even the cheapest hotel. She was 18 years old, and she knew she would bear all criminal responsibility. She knew clearly that those convicted of the serious crime of intentional homicide would be sentenced to death.
She didn’t want to go to jail, she didn’t want to die.
But in three days, everything changed.
Internet news reports about a high school girl being pushed off a building disappeared overnight. Tan Qiuyu checked her QQ and saw that there was no news about it in the current class group. All the calls she’d gotten from her parents and the teacher were gone, and Wang Que’s name was no longer in her address book or on her friends list. Even all the photos and videos of her were gone.
Tan Qiuyu felt uneasy. She tried to use her bank card. The freeze had been lifted. When she used the bank app to check the records, there was no indication that her account had ever been frozen.
She went home, because she really couldn’t bear such a life of hiding
When she got home, her parents were busy with their own affairs and as usual, they were unconcerned about her, permitting her to do as she pleased. Tan Qiuyu rushed into her bedroom and overturned boxes and her closet to look for the gifts Wang Que had given her. But she could find nothing.
She went crazy, asking her classmates one by one if they remembered the girl who was the best painter in the class. And all of them responded with the same answer: Aren’t you the best painter in the class?
Tan Qiuyu ran to the school. All the things about Wang Que on the display column were gone. Her name was not on the class roster. Her seat had always belonged to another student.
She inquired about Wang Que’s parents, but learned that the couple had no children.
Tan Qiuyu even went to the morgue, but no, there was nothing at all.
Everyone had forgotten Wang Que, as if she had never existed in this world.
Everyone except for her.
After confirming this matter, Tan Qiuyu decided to take this secret into the grave. She would keep it to herself until death.
She recovered her art exam results, which was reportedly cancelled because she framed Wang Que. She successfully admitted to the most prestigious school. She was the envy of her colleagues, the teacher’s darling, and the pride of her parents. After the close friend who crushed her in every aspect disappeared, she became the best.
The fearful anxiety gradually settled down after all signs pointed to the fact that Wang Que was really completely forgotten by the world. Although she didn’t know why, this obviously gave her a chance to start life again.
Tan Qiuyu also began to try to forget Wang Que, the mistake that almost destroyed her. But she couldn’t do it. For several late nights, Wang Que would appear in her dreams, covered in blood, wanting her to pay for taking her life.
Wang Que became her secret, and she was determined to take this secret to her grave.
Tan Qiuyu successfully went to study in the art school. During the summer vacation of her first year, she followed her teacher to Shanghai and was fortunate to participate in a charity exhibition.
There were all kinds of rich people attending the exhibition, and the teacher told them to be cautious in their words and deeds. Tan Qiuyu secretly wondered if she could take this opportunity to meet a rich man?
Fate seemed to have heard her, because she met a young man in a remote corridor of the exhibition. He was about 20 years old, his stature was tall and straight, and his boyish childishness had almost completely faded away. His hair was cropped very short, and he had a fierce aura scattered throughout his body, as if he wasn’t wearing a suit but a police uniform.
He stopped in front of Tan Qiuyu’s painting and studied it very carefully. Some minutes later, he turned his head to look at the woman standing by the side and asked, “May I ask if you painted this?”
When he spoke to Tan Qiuyu, her heart began jumping wildly. This painting was something Wang Que had once painted. After she disappeared, Tan Qiuyu repainted many of her works according to her memory. Although there were still some differences, it still had a bit of the same aura.
“It is,” she replied.
The young man nodded, and he took a step back and looked at it as a whole. The inexplicable throb of familiarity in him became stronger.
What was it about this painting…?
“I want to buy it. Name a price.”
After responding, Tan Qiuyu asked the young man about himself and found out that his name was Dong Linhai, he was the second young master of the Dong family, he was 10 years old, and he was studying in the police academy.
Dong Linhai exchanged contact information with her, saying that he liked her painting very much. Later, should the opportunity arose, she could contact him with more artwork. Tan Qiuyu was extremely excited. She never imagined that after she’d impulsively killed someone, she would become so lucky. Not only was her sin wiped out from the world, she later met a handsome and wealthy young man.
Later, when Dong Linhai asked her to meet him at a certain building, Tan Qiuyu agreed without thinking. She put on beautiful makeup, dressed in her favorite clothes, and rode up the elevator nervously to the place where she’d agreed to meet Dong Linhai.
This was an upscale hotel.
Tan Qiuyu’s heart nearly jumped out of her throat with excitement and various situations continued to surface in her mind. In this kind of place, did the second young master want to have a baby with her? How should she react?
When she arrived at the agreed-upon room, Tan Qiuyu took a deep breath. Finally, she took out a small mirror, re-applied her makeup, and knocked on the door gently.
The door was quickly opened, but the one who opened the door was a strange young man. His handsome face had a very faint smile, but his eyes looked at her with a needle-like sharp coldness that made Tan Qiuyu shudder.
Tan Qiuyu hadn’t realized the upcoming trial yet, and she was swayed by her ecstatic expectations. With a polite and genial smile, she asked, “Is Mr. Dong Linhai here?”
The young man’s voice was cold. “He’s inside. Come in.”
Tan Qiuyu walked in with some faint doubts. As the door closed behind her, she saw a very handsome man sitting on an armchair. His arms were crossed over his chest, and he was silently looking at her. He had the temperament of a superior person and the chill in his eyes suddenly made Tan Qiuyu afraid.
“I’m Dong Linhai’s older brother, Dong Zheng. Are you Tan Qiuyu?”
Tan Qiuyu didn’t understand why Dong Linhai was the one who asked her to come over but the person waiting for her was his older brother. Still, she answered honestly, “Yes. Mr. Dong, hello.”
“It’s there that there’s no mistake.” Dong Zheng stood up. At this moment, Tan Qiuyu heard the sound of the door being locked.
She turned her head. The young man who opened the door for her was standing in the doorway, smiling at her.
“Remember Wang Que?” Cui Zuojing asked.
This name evoked all of Tan Qiuyu’s shame and fear. The fallen body and the explosion of blood, the blood-red figure that appeared in her dreams time and again, whose face she could not see but whom still made her scream again and again, wanting payment.
Why? Besides her, how could anyone else know? Clearly, no one remembered her anymore!
It was just a coincidence! It must be a coincidence. After all, all traces of Wang Que had already been erased.
Tan Qiuyu resisted her panic and tried to keep her voice from trembling too much. “This gentleman, I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Wang Que was your friend in the same school and the same class. She was the best art student in the school. You held a grudge against her because you were jealous of her. When you both participated in an art school exam, you deliberately painted the back of your exam paper with white ink and ruined Wang Que’s exam. She made a complaint against you, and after the incident, you were scorned by all the students and teachers. In the end, you were completely distorted. One afternoon, you pushed her off the roof, leading to her death.”
Dong Zheng walked towards Tan Qiuyu step by step and finally stopped at a distance of three meters in front of her. “Am I right?”
With every word that came out of his mouth, Tan Qiuyun trembled more and more severely. She took a step back and turned to escape, but the door was blocked by the young man.
Calm down! Wang Que was long gone! No one knew she existed anymore!
Tan Qiuyu took a deep breath. Her eyes darkened, and she clenched her fist so tightly that her nails dug into her palms. The pain helped her keep her sanity and made her sober. “Do you have any evidence? Two gentlemen, I don’t know why you’re fabricating stories like this to frame me. There is no such person in this world!”
“What framing?” Cui Zuojing smiled. “Many people all over the world may have forgotten her, but there are still people who remember her. Just like us, you remember her too.”
Tan Qiuyu could barely calm down. Even if this was…How?
All the signs in the past year pointed to the fact that Wang Que has indeed disappeared. With only the memory and accusation of these two people, the law definitely wouldn’t convict her!
“Even if what you say is true, what can you do? Kill me? Punish me in other ways? We live in a society under the rule of law. I already told my teacher and friends when I came out. If I fail to return, they will call the police!”
“You are indeed right.” Cui Zuojing sneered. He opened the locked door, and Tan Qiuyu immediately pushed past him to rush out the door, as if seeing a glimmer of life. As a result, she did not hear the second half of his words.
“This world has forgotten her, so your trial and punishment will be completed in another world.”
How could this happen…?
Tan Qiuyu ran to the elevator and pressed the down button frantically. After a long half-minute the elevator finally stopped on her floor. Tan Qiuyu rushed in. She pressed on the first floor, leaned her back against the elevator wall, and gasped for breath.
The elevator doors closed, and the numbers shrank one by one. Tan Qiuyu’s mind was full of what Dong Zheng had just said. How could Dong Linhai’s brother know about this? Did Dong Linhai also know? Did he approach her intentionally?
This suspicion caused Tan Qiuyu to fall into an unprecedented panic. She wanted to run, she wanted to run far away!
She was so nervous and afraid that she didn’t even notice when the elevator stopped in the middle of its descent.
The sound of the train’s whistle sounded from afar. Tan Qiuyu’s head snapped up. The floor under her feet shattered like a jigsaw puzzle, plunging her into the deep abyss below. The sudden sense of weightlessness made her scream with terror as she fell into the darkness.
She didn’t know how long she fell, but suddenly she slammed into the ground. She raised her head in pain and the first thing she saw was a pure white. The train was slowly moving into the distance and in front of her stood a glaringly red and white circus tent.
Facing her was a huge human figure. He was more than two meters tall with crescent moon blades hanging at his waist. He had bulging muscles and his face was covered in white paint with a red streak bright as blood over his smiling lips.
“Welcome to the Pure White Realm.” The clown leaned down, smiled, and said, “Our Queen has been waiting for you for a long time. Are you ready for your trial?”
“Brother! Can you give me back my phone?” Dong Linhai pushed in from the outside.
Cui Zuojing had been sitting on the armrest, leaning against Dong Zheng’s shoulder and watching as Dong Zheng deleted the messages he’d sent to Tan Qiuyu. When it was all done, he let out a sigh of relief, unable to tell what he was feeling.
Dong Linhai’s gaze moved between the two of them. He noticed the unusual atmosphere and narrowed his eyes suspiciously, saying, “You…what are you guys hiding from me?
Cui Zuojing laughed. “We hide a lot of things from you.
Dong Zheng made sure everything was deleted and returned the phone to Dong Linhai, saying, “Don’t contact Tan Qiuyu anymore.
“Tan Qiuyu? Who?” Dong Linhai was stunned. Finally, he reacted and said, “Oh, I just bought a painting from her. That was the contact information she gave me. If you hadn’t asked, I would have forgotten all about it.”
“It’s okay. Let’s go back.” Dong Zheng stood up, the corners of his mouth tight. Cui Zuojing hung on his back with two hands. Finally, Dong Zheng pulled out a smile and whispered into his ear, “Okay. Don’t be difficult.”
Dong Linhai had already dealt with the two of them long enough to ignore this behavior. He said, “When I came up, the left elevator was broken and is under repair. Make sure to take the one on the right.”
Tan Qiuyu had a secret.
A secret she was determined to take to her grave.
But later, she saw this secret again in hell.