Quality Check: Kittsune
First Published on Ainushi.
A burst of melodious bird chirping came in from the window. That was the sound of the doorbell. Who was it? I gave Zhao Yi Xuan a doubtful look.
“That should be the doctor.” He pulled at the blankets covering my body and made sure that there wasn’t a single trace of naked skin showing. Then he got up to open the door.
In no time at all, he was back in my room, and an old doctor dressed in a western-style suit followed behind him. He really didn’t look much like a doctor, or rather, he seemed more like a scholarly intellectual. However, if he was able to become the Zhao family doctor, I believe that he must be quite an accomplished person.
“This is Doctor Xu, our family doctor.” Zhao Yi Xuan introduced him to me, but he did not bother to explain who I was. He should be the doctor who has been seeing me for the past few days. When I thought about how he must have seen all those bruises that were difficult for me to speak about, a powerful feeling of disgrace arose from the bottom of my heart. It made me wish I could dig a hole to hide myself in.
“Are you awake, Miss Shi? You look a lot stronger today.” Doctor Xu walked to the side of the bed and smiled as he spoke to me. The expression on his face was completely natural, almost as if he didn’t see how sorry I looked.
It’s all his fault! His fault for making me feel humiliated in front of others! I hatefully glared at Zhao Yi Xuan. Why the hell was it that I was the one feeling ashamed, when the person who committed these shameful acts in the first place was him?!
Possibly because he sensed how I was glaring knives at him, Zhao Yi Xuan turned his eyes towards me. When he saw my expression mixed with anger and embarrassment, he started to smile slightly. From the look in his eyes, I felt that he saw me as a child that was presently throwing a tantrum.
The impression I got immediately caused my rage to boil up. I forgot about my shame and the doctor who was preparing to examine my body watched as I glared at him even more harshly.
“Miss Shi, please open your mouth.” Doctor Xu’s voice interrupted the stares I was giving Zhao Yi Xuan.
“G-get out…” I opened my mouth and a shattered voice left my throat as I commanded Zhao Yi Xuan to leave my room. I didn’t want to see him right now.
Hearing my words, he withdrew the smile on his face and furrowed his brow. “Don’t speak. Your throat is injured. Besides, your voice is so ugly it sounds like a crow.”
You’re the crow! My feeling of fury burned even more stormily.
“G-get out…” I clenched my teeth. With every sound that I made, it felt like knives were slicing apart the depths of my throat. However, I still forced myself to croak something out. If he showed up in front my eyes again, I’d rather die of pain.
“Please don’t speak anymore.” Apparently seeing what I was thinking, he finally capitulated. “I’ll wait by the door.” After saying this, he turned around and walked out. When he passed Doctor Xu, he shot a warning glance at him.
“Haha~~ This is my first time seeing the second young master be so compliant.” Doctor Xu watched his departing figure with interest and laughed as he spoke.
Have you known them for a long time? I asked with my eyes.
“Ever since their grandfather was still here, I have been the Zhao family doctor. You could say that I watched the two young masters grow up.” Doctor Xu talked as he took out instruments from his briefcase to examine me.
I obediently allowed him to move me around. His actions were extremely delicate; he didn’t cause any pain at all.
After finishing a round of inspection, he told me that my condition was much better. “You don’t have a fever anymore, so taking one more day of medicine for consolidation should be enough.”
Was he finished already? What about the other injuries on my body? Don’t those need to be examined?
“Miss, it’s not that I’m cutting corners with my work. Rather, I’m not able to examine the other injuries on your body. The young masters threatened me that if I take a peek, they’d make me regret it.” He smiled to me as he explained this.
“On the first day though I was able to give you an examination while you were unconscious, and your body just had a few surface bruises. They aren’t serious, and they’ll take care of themselves if you rest in bed for a few days.”
“That day when I picked up the phone from the older younger master, I rushed here as fast as I could to examine your unconscious self. At that time, the expressions on the young masters’ faces were something I had truly never seen before. When they lived together with their grandfather in this large mansion as children, their grandfather’s elite education made them to appear very mature and collected from a young age. It frequently made everyone forget that they were actually children who hadn’t yet reached adulthood. At times, some of their expressions even made adults feel nervous and afraid. However, on that day, the panic and utter fear on their faces were very appropriate for their age. I think if I had declared you dead at that time, they probably would have seized the opportunity to murder me on the spot and then kill themselves afterwards.” While remembering the turn of events from that day, Doctor Xu appeared extremely intrigued, and he chuckled softly.
However, I felt like there was nothing funny about this. After hearing his story, a strange feeling rose from the bottom of my heart. It wasn’t pity, sympathy, hatred, or anger. The feeling was just that unfamiliar and profound.
“Alright then, Miss Shi, today the exam will end here. I better hurry up and see myself out or else the second young master will think that I’m up to no good inside the room.” Doctor Xu humorously gave me a few winks before he picked up his briefcase and left.
As I soaked in the shock that his words gave me, I totally didn’t notice him leaving.
How could a pair of barely sixteen-year-old kids possibly understand love? Was it even possible for them to have such intense and sincere feelings? I wouldn’t know…
These few days, I had always assumed that all of their actions were due to an adolescent boy’s impulsive urges. One day they would grow up, forget about all these feelings they presumed was love, and then feel regret about everything they once did. Then they’d return to me my peaceful life and my freedom, and we’d become two parallel lines that would never cross again.
However, I wasn’t so sure now.
What would become of our future?