Melody of the Snowfall chapter 1

Chapter 1 (Oneshot)

The winter of City A is not as cold as it was rumored out there, during January and February, there have only been one or two light snowfalls that have taken place. On the day when the snow melts, the coldest temperature is merely minus three to eight degrees.

After the snowfall, the sun will shine on high, and atmospheric conditions will become warmer. The city which was frozen by the snow seems to have the hints of being revived again, as each of the passers-by on the sidewalks and the vehicles parked beside the road illuminating with life after being washed anew by the snowfall.

Da Qin and I were dispatched by our high-ups as specialized investigators who were responsible for inspecting the recent cases of missing organs and human blood in the high-classed military hospital from City A.

According to the research from the high-ups, this case is not a trivial one since it’s related to a certain foreign professor who has published an academic article on “artificially man-made living being” from the previous year.

By working with a type of rare flesh and bone components, a bionic living being is created and can be injected with medical fluid in order to make it motile. Later, by slowly substitute the medical fluid with human blood as well as implanting it with flesh and organs, it is able to create consciousness, memories, and thoughts. If the experiment is successfully complete, that person will be no different from another real living human being.

After that professor published the article, he immediately received opposing views and skepticism from other scholars of various institutions. It was rumored that the professor was threatened by superiors of the state, and he withdrew the article due to public pressure not long later and was completely excluded from the academic community.

An artifactually man-made living being, conceding that this research is successful, the world will undergo a drastic change. Since this could be used for medical expertise, in business marketing as well as military forces.

Not only did the superiors of the state seek to negotiate with the professor to continue with the research by using the threat of banning him, but superiors from other nations also treat that professor as a rare prey and has dispatched not a few people in order to hunt him down and abduct him.

Shang Haifeng, a 34-year-old retired specialized military soldier who currently residing in an old residential building in the west of City A is the primary target of mine as well as Da Qin’s suspicion.

During the former years, the superiors of the state also dispatched soldiers to privately track down the professor’s research, and Shang Haifeng was one of those who volunteered to do so.

Those soldiers returned afterward and reported that within the primitive of a forest, Shang Haifeng chased after the professor by himself and returned empty-handed after two weeks, saying that he had lost the target.

After returning back home after no more than six months, he retired from the military. He neither stayed in the city nor did he return to his hometown but instead came to this small residence in City A against all odds.

We have reasons to suspect that he spent some time alone with the professor during those two weeks and reach some sort of agreement to let the professor off. What Shang Haifeng requested from the professor was presumable the disclosure of the “artificial man-made living being” research.

As for the purpose of his objective, it’s most probable that it’s for the sake of reviving his female partner who has passed away six years ago.

City A’s high-classed military hospital is a private existence, there are only a few who know the location, and not to mention the fact of sneaking into the hospital for the sake of steal the organs and blood without being caught on surveillance cameras.

Unless if this individual is highly skilled and understands the structure of a military hospital like the back of their hand.

Through investigating, in addition to Shang Haifeng who is living in seclusion, we weren’t able to find a second individual who is more suspicious than him.

 

I’ve visited Shang Haifeng once.

During New Year’s Eve.

On that night, my wife called me over and over again, asking me why I wasn’t able to return home for new years. I was annoyed with handling the case already, so I only replied to her in a pissed-off manner, then I hang up the call and switch my phone off.

 

The snowflakes are descending at a slow pace, as the world is shrouded in tranquillity.

 

I composed a bunch of excuses in order to remain in his home for a bit longer as I arrived at the entrance of his house.

Knocking on the door slightly, two minutes later, the door opened. A male dressed in a black sweater stood behind it, as his original handsome features were cut across by a scar near the root of his ears which appeared to be rather hideous and unsightly.

I opened my mouth, intending to say the speech that I’ve prepared beforehand in one breathe.

However, he spoke up first and questioned: “Here for case investigation?”

Only with those four short words, my speech was forced back down.

Shang Haifeng invited me to come in and sit for a while.

The furnishing in his house is very decayed, which had an appearance of an old-fashioned style from ten years ago that has yet been replaced. Apart from the necessary furniture, there’s nothing else extra in his house.

On his bookshelf was a photo of a handsome lad dressed in a white shirt under the shade of the tree with his arms crossed and a particularly bright smile.

I later learned form Da Qin that the lad in the photo was named Su Liu, a specialized police officer who’s has lost his life eleven years ago during a large-scaled drug enforcement operation.

Only at the age of twenty-one.

I asked Da Qin: “Why would a photo of him be place upon Shang Haifeng’s bookshelf? Do they have a close relationship?”

Da Qin shook his head with a frown: “No, I learned from Shang Haifeng’s comrade that he especially loath him.”

I am unable to understand.

Da Qin told me the reason.

It was because Shang Haifeng loath Su Liu for the reason that Su Liu has taken an interest in him.

I am convinced.

Assume that if another male has taken an interest in me, I will most likely bore resentment towards them too.

As for why there’s a photo of Su Liu on the shelf, according to the investigation, they had previously been tasked on a mission to track down a spy together, it’s City A where the two of them resides during that time, and it’s also the house where Shang Haifeng is living in currently. So that photo was probably left behind by Su Liu on purpose back then.

We also looked up a lot of information regarding Shang Haifeng’s already deceased female partner.

His female partner is a high school language professor who was originally a student returning after studying abroad, living in Hangzhou, and later lost her life due to a car accident.

Shang Haifeng attended her funeral subsequently and offered her a white rose. After Shang Haifeng retired, he returned to Hangzhou every year to visit his female partner’s tombstone.

I also investigated some of Su Liu’s information during the process.

Su Liu join the military at the age of sixteen and was distributed into the same division as well as class with nineteen-year-old Shang Haifeng at that time. He went on the become specialized police at the age of nineteen and lose his life two years later during a large-scaled drug operation without his remains nor tombstone.

There had been a farewell ceremony to memorialize Su Liu, but Shang Haifeng did not show up due to his special identity.

This is when Da Qin obtain some video footage of Shang Haifeng as a young solider in the military, filmed by his former comrades in secret.

I rolled up my sleeve on my desk and broke out into a sweat while sorting out documents, so I wasn’t in the right mind to sit down with Da Qin to watch the video footage together. I merely overheard a group of youngsters stirring up a ruckus, laughing and joking about full of youthful vigor and vitality.

I glance up at Da Qin who was leaning back in his lounge with his leg crossed, and sinking into an amusement while watching, as if having a flashback to his youth.

A moment later, Da Qin suddenly turn his head towards me and asked: “Are you able to understand the affection between two men?”

I shook my head slightly and said: “I’ve already got a wife.”

Da Qin rewinds the video footage backwards and step aside in order to let me have a look.

I witness the sixteen-year-old Su Liu shoving the nineteen-year-old Shang Haifeng while asking: “For what reason do you not understand the affection between two men! For what reason!”

Shang Haifeng glared down at him from above and said: “Scram.”

“Scramming it is then, are you assuming that you are a fragrant pasta ah, so you are taking me for granted! I will immediately search for a new lover here and now!”

T/N: The special one or the favorite

Su Liu appeared to be displeased with him, after shoving him away, he pouted and turned around to leave.

Once he left, the Shang Haifeng within the video footage heaved out a sigh of relief.

Shang Haifeng despises Su Liu really much, I was able to see it from this video footage.

 

We remained in City A for two months with no new breakthrough in our case since the clues has been cut off, so our process was stagnant.

Just as we assume that this case is about to meet a dead end, our men finally discovered a huge clue —— Shang Haifeng will visit an area every two or three days on end, a cabinet in the suburbs.

It wasn’t easy to discover this clue.
Perhaps Shang Haifeng already knew that we’d show up here to investigate this case, so that’s why there has been no news of activity over the past two months. Only by ordering our men to keep his house under surveillance for a long period time, are we finally able to discover that he actually disguised himself every time he went out.

In order to not act rashly and alert the target, we dispatch someone to impersonate as a delivery boy and secretly installed a hidden camera in the cabinet to monitor each and every single movement from Shang Haifeng.

The security system of the cabinet is particularly strict, and our men weren’t able to enter the cabinet no matter what, so we are only able to install the camera in the corners of the backyard garden.

Da Qin and I switched on the computer monitor frequently in order to keep an eye on any hints of activity in the backyard garden of the cabinet.

There’s one instance where we saw a silhouette standing behind the blinds of the cabinet window and pulled open the blind with their slender fingers to reveal a pair of huge alluring eyes by chance. Yet in less than a second, that person releases their hand and walked away.

Da Qin had a speculation that this individual should be the bionic human created by Shang Haifeng, his female partner when she was still alive.

But because we weren’t able to completely confirm this, we cannot act rashly and make an arrest just yet.

Three days later, Da Qin and I obtain the letters that Shang Haifeng passed onto his senior official during the time when he was on a mission with Su Liu, as well as the code password.

Later in the afternoon, he and I sat beside the computer to observe each movement on the screen while using blue-colored ink to decipher the corresponding letters into codes.

From the deciphered version of this information, it’s clear that Shang Haifeng’s senior official does not have trust in Su Liu and even requested Shang Haifeng to record down each and every one of Su Liu’s actions on a daily basis in this letter for him.

This includes them cooking together during the time when Su Liu deliberately smeared honey on Shang Haifeng’s face in the process; eating alongside each other, when Su Liu took away all the unpalatable dishes in his bowl; taking a slumber with each other when the sleepy Su Liu grabbed his quilt and kicked him out of bed.

All these trivial matters are written out in detail regardless of their importance.

The final paragraph within the last letter reads:

「He mentioned that he is gonna be implementing a drug enforcement mission this time around, but if he is not meticulous enough, he might lose his life during the process. That night before his departure, he confessed to me for the one last time, and I promised him that there’s indeed a relationship between us now. 」

The moment when me and Da Qin finished deciphering out this paragraph, we furrowed our eyebrows and the expression on our faces is rather complicated.

Due to professionalism, we weren’t able to comment on information such as this, so the two of us stayed muted.

On the other hand, I speculated in my heart: If I were the senior official of Shang Haifeng, I would probably not assume that this is true affection but it’s merely that Shang Haifeng had the intention of fulfilling Su Liu for once before his departure instead.

 

Yet at this moment, reality slapped me in the face precipitously.

On the monitor screen, the blinds were pulled mid-way down and we were able to see a person dressed in a loose oversized hospital gown. Unfortunately, the blinds covered the upper half of that person’s face, so we could only see their curling lips as well as pale chin.

However, less than half a minute later, Shang Haifeng’s figure appeared as he rushed over to pull down the blinds and dragged that person away.

I blurted out indiscreetly: “Su Liu!”

Da Qin immediately rebuked: “Impossible, you must have seen it wrong!”

“I’m not mistaken! That bionic human has to be Su Liu!”

We rewatched the surveillance footage countless times, but both of us still stick to our own beliefs. I am convinced that I wasn’t mistaken, this “person” may not be considered as human, since only a quarter of their smiling expression is able to be seen.

I’ve seen that such a smile before on a yellow photograph upon that old-fashioned bookshelf in the decayed and narrow house with a trace of dust, a young lad dressed in a white shirt who is wearing a similar smile that is as brilliant as the sun under the shade of the tree.

Da Qin and I was on a verge of getting into an argument because of this.

But one day, Da Qin made a trip to the military hospital, and returned with a serious expression on his face afterwards, telling me in a whisper: “That bionic human within the cabinet is indeed Su Liu”

Da Qin exhausted all his methods in order to force the chief of the military hospital to relent and admit that all the stolen organs and human blood belongs to Su Liu.

After Su Liu’s death, the remnants of him were found, his organs and blood was taken out to preserve by the state’s superiors for the manufacturing of the “bionic soldiers” experiment in the future.

This a top-secret of the state.

If it wasn’t for Da Qin’s bluffing, that naïve female doctor wouldn’t have spilled the beans.

We exchange glances and did not argue nor speak up, I also didn’t take the initiative to ridicule him.

Da Qin sat on the lounge while quietly taking a drag out of a cigarette.

After a long period of time has past, he exhaled a puff of smoke as some of his cigarette ashes drop onto the floor: “You can’t blame me, all of them mentioned without any doubt that Shang Haifeng especially despise Su Liu.”

I didn’t give a reply since I had the same doubt in my mind too.

The atmosphere is shrouded in silence for awhile with only the scent of cigarette smoke wafting around in the air.

After wasting a lot of my efforts contacting Shang Haifeng’s former comrade, only then are we able to know that Shang Haifeng and Su Liu actually had escaped death together once in the past.

After their escape, a scar is left behind on Shang Haifeng’s face while Su Liu acquired three long cuts on his back and nearly lost his life in order to block the dagger for him.

When their comrades discovered them, Shang Haifeng is embracing Su Liu while constantly reminding him to stay conscious. Telling him that if he falls unconscious, he will immediately return to his hometown for the sake of getting engaged and never remember his existence for the rest of his life.

It is said that when Su Liu heard those words in a delirium back then, he gritted his teeth while sobbing and slapped Shang Haifeng with all his might, uttering: “You moron!”

Shang Haifeng’s comrades mentioned that before Su Liu’s death, Shang Haifeng often lost his temper with Su Liu and brawl with him. There’s even one instance where they both had a tough fight and they almost beat each other to death.

Ever since Su Liu passed away, Shang Haifeng has never lost his temper to anyone, nor did he smile often.

No one actually understands what kind of relationship exists between Su Liu and him.

Su Liu has taken an interest in Shang Haifeng from the year he joined the military at the age of sixteen, and the entire navy force is able to notice it. But Shang Haifeng starts to bear a grudge against Su Liu from the year when he starts to take an interest in him, and the entire navy is also able to notice that too.

When one has taken an interest in the other while the other responded with hostility, their state of mind will become stirred up and intense, thus entanglement will be something that occurs often.

 

In order to make up for his lapse in judgment, Da Qin decided to take matters into his own hands.

He exhausted all his methods and finally manage to place a hidden camera onto Shang Haifeng, who brought it into the interior of the cabinet himself.

At this very moment, we are finally able to witness the true appearance of “bionic human”.

His thin body is hidden under an oversized white hospital gown while his appearance nevertheless remained at the age of twenty-one. As the camera approach closer, a glimpse of a smile emerged from his lips.

He extended out his arm towards the direction of the camera, as he enunciated each word with difficulty: “You, have, returned.”

The camera suddenly went black as Shang Haifeng tightly embraced him in his arms.

Shang Haifeng praised him: “Your speech is much smoother compared to yesterday, you’ve shown some improvement.”

Su Liu responded with a soft voice: “…… hmm.”

“Your wound, does it still hurt?”

“Not anymore.”

“Alright, we will perform the final surgery tomorrow. Soon, you will be able to return back to me.”

By listening to their conversation, we can envision that scene even if the screen is pitch-black.

Shang Haifeng embraced Su Liu while using his chin to rub against the top of his head and tenderly repeating, return to me, return to me.

That tone penetrated my ears, it sounded like someone is unceasingly calling out to a distant person from afar.

I got into a daze while listening.

Da Qin and I to may’ve both understood something, yet we also seems not either.

It’s crystal clear that he bear a grudge against Su Liu, but then why would he create a bionic human who had the exact same appearance as him? And why would he bring him back?

But in fact, we should’ve realized it long ago.

If he truly loath Su Liu, then why would he be willing to cook together with him, dine together with him, taking a slumber with him and even got into a relationship with him?

The time wasted on a confession is enough to make a person to bear a grudge against whoever confided them. But if it’s five years of pursuance, it should be enough time to make somebody to be attracted to the one who they’ve to bear a grudge against.

Da Qin and I didn’t speak up for quite awhile. The clock ticked several times before Da Qin heaved out a sigh: “Those bionic beings truly had the appearance of a real human.”

The weather suddenly becomes rather chilly on the day of our departure as massive gray clouds loom over the entire sky and shrouded away the sunlight.

During the process of waiting for Da Qin to prepare himself, I glance over at the surveillance camera that has yet to be switched off.

During this time, Shang Haifeng is instructing Su Liu on how to communicate. He relentlessly taught him word by word, as if he is currently teaching a child who is less than five years old.

If the child is able to speak accurately, the adult will caress his nose and praise him.

When the adult scratches the child’s nose, the child will reveal a sweet smile while grasping on the other’s cuff, acting like a spoiled kid.

However, bionic beings have yet to reach the level of perfection, thus his smile is not tender enough and it’s merely the pair of his eyes that is brimming with sweetness.

An artificially made bionic being without implanted organs, inputted memories nor thoughts will have no personality of its own.

So even if this individual has the exact same appearance as Su Liu, the personality between Su Liu and them will still have an immeasurably vast difference.

Shang Haifeng has created Su Liu, but he yet had encountered the real Su Liu. This helplessness interspersed with happiness appears to be rather pathetic.

 

According to the information provided by the monitor, Shang Haifeng will be executing the final surgery for him this afternoon.

Once the final transplant surgery is complete, Su Liu will henceforth become his real and former self.

Da Qin switches off the monitoring after he got everything prepared and gave me a headset before departing, telling me that the high-up ordered for us to directly fire the pistol if the Shang Haifeng attempt to resist. As for the bionic being, it ought to dissolve according to the regulations.

We each wore our headsets as our high-ups would monitor our movements throughout and would give us direct orders if necessary.

It seems as if I caught a light fever since my head is slightly dizzy after I got onto the vehicle. Glancing outside the window of the vehicle, the sky is overcast with gray clouds as the atmosphere is particularly heavy. Listening to the activity on the other side of the headset, the voice of our superior who is currently joking with his fellow colleague could be heard.

By the time we arrived at the cabinet, I got down from the vehicle as a sudden gust of cold breeze hit me, causing me to tremble all over.

I check the time and thought to myself that at this point, it should be about when Shang Haifeng is going to perform the final surgery on Su Liu.

I was hoping that he would complete it sooner since if Su Liu becomes an actual person of flesh and blood, we would definitely be unable to lay our hands on a real human.

But it’s such a pity that heaven does not act in accordance with the wishes of the people.

Since Heaven has never followed anyone’s wishes.

 

 

Su Liu has sneaked out once again to water the flowers in the garden, as well as plucking excess weeds from the pots. This is his new learned ability.

From the moment when Shang Haifeng opened the door and spotted us, my brain starts buzzing due to the cold breeze, as I am unable to hear anything nor detect what was right in front of me.

In a flash, Da Qin started a brawl with Shang Haifeng as they fought fiercely in the garden. Yet it seems as if Su Liu is unaware of it and continued to water the flowers as well as plucking out the weeds.

I am afraid that I’ve already lost my senses, because I actually hoped that if Shang Haifeng is able to grab Su Liu’s hand at this moment and flee with him, then we could use little effort to chase after them and finally declared them as escaped.

With Shang Haifeng’s ability, he could surely take him somewhere afar, to a place that we are never able to discover.

I must’ve been frozen silly by having such thoughts at a time like this.

I reached out and rubbed my temples.

At this time, Shang Haifeng intends to rush over to grab Su Liu’s hand, yet Da Qin mistakenly thought that he was about to open fire, so he took the initiative and shot one of his legs. One shot was not enough, so he fired another shot, then followed by his shoulders and arms.

He collapsed downwards, as the sprinkler he used to water the flowers fell to the ground.

The buzzing in my ears gradually stopped as my vision cleared up.

Shang Haifeng collapsed onto the floor with his body entirely stained with blood, yet he still stretched out his hand and crawls towards Su Liu step by step with difficulty as he kept muttering Su Liu’s name under his breath.

Su Liu turns around strenuously with a stiff expression of panic on his face, as he also reaches out his hand and approaches Shang Haifeng step by step at a slow pace.

Da Qin stood behind Shang Haifeng, his hand froze in mid-air while grasping onto his gun as he panted.

It was as if our body was frozen by the cold, as we motionlessly watch the scene unfold right in front of us.

A trail of blood was left behind by Shang Haifeng on the grass within the garden, he refused to lay down his hand from the beginning till the end and reached out towards Su Liu with great difficulty. From my angle, it just so happens that I am able to see Shang Haifeng’s desperate expression in his eyes.

During my entire lifetime, I’ve never encountered someone who yearned for something to such a degree, that even after being bruised all over, and drained of life, he still reaches out his hand in order to capture that thing firmly.

I don’t know what exactly he is intending to capture. If he is truly able to grasp onto Su Liu’s hand, what could he get from it? Is it Su Liu, or the dream that has long been shattered, as well as the affection that has already been creased to existence? If he is able to capture this hand, can he dive back into the time and add a single phrase of “love” into the conversations that you’ve exchanged with him?

 

When I’ve just regained my consciousness, our superiors beside the headset immediately yelled: “What are you waiting for, open fire and dissolve that bionic being! Shoot!”

I grasp onto the gun in my hands, then aimed towards Su Liu and press the trigger.

Once Su Liu encounters the bullet, he collapsed like an avalanche in a split second and dissolved into a pool of icy liquid as he seeps through Shang Haifeng’s fingers.

At this moment, Shang Haifeng’s hoarse roar penetrated our ears, as it scraped through my numb mind as well as the condensed clouds in the air.

He still failed to capture Su Liu’s hand in the end.

He ends up unable to encounter the actual Su Liu.

 

It seems as if something icy has fallen onto my cheeks, as it dissolved into liquid and slid downward.

I lift up my head and witness the rustle of snow descending downwards as it gradually becomes harsher

 

The snowfall is incredibly grim and dense.

 

It turns out that after the sunshine, only then will the sky be ushered in a heavy snowfall.

It’s like a shattered dream before you are able to finally see reality clearly.

I remained in City A for another 3 days by myself and visited Shang Haifeng’s house once.

 

I don’t know if he offended someone in the search team since the decayed furniture in his house was smashed into pieces by them. The picture of Su Liu was crushed under the table, the frame was broken, and the photo was torn in half.

I secretly took the torn photo and stuck it with adhesive tape. Afterward, I spent money to accommodate someone and deliver this photo to Shang Haifeng.

It’s a pity that the current Shang Haifeng is now delirious, and without saying a word, he grabbed onto the photo tightly and didn’t let go of it even when it was wrinkled.

The day before returning, I was walking alone on the streets of City A. Amidst the snowfall, a white butterfly flew from nowhere and landed on my shoulder.

I stretched out my hand and attempt to catch it, but before I touched it, it suddenly fell into the snow and was buried in the mud.

I stared at its withered and dead corpse for a second, when the pedestrians stepped on its corpse and spoke with a quivering tone: “It’s truly freezing in City A!”

As they’ve mentioned, it was cold to the point where our blood could coagulate, where the ice could seep into our bones and caused our hearts to throb.

The whole city, including pedestrians and vehicles parked on the side of the road, seemed to be frozen again. As for the next time it melts, I don’t know when it will be.

It is time for me to return back to my city and be reunited with my wife and children, I feared that I will not have the opportunity to witness the scene of its resurrection again.


Melody of the Snowfall

Melody of the Snowfall

Xuě gē, 雪歌
Score 8.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: , Released: 2018 Native Language: Chinese
During my entire lifetime, I’ve never encountered someone who yearned for something to such a degree, that even after being bruised all over, and drained of life, he still reached out his hand in order to capture that thing firmly.

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