No return (part 1)

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It’s getting dark, and the wind on the street is howling.
Despite the fact that it had been a long time since autumn, the heat, combined with the sound of one or two cicadas, is irresistible, and the heat raises fine dust on the road and fans the pedestrians.

  The night market’s lights had been turned on for quite some time.
People flocked to the streets and alleyways to grab a bite to eat.
Those who couldn’t sit at the door’s table crowded onto the steps and crouched.
A bowl of hot and sour noodles was served to the diners.

  It was not until late at night that the crowd gradually dispersed, leaving behind the food residues and bamboo sticks scattered everywhere, and the grease soaked the ground turning it black and shiny.
A middle-aged woman with a greasy face complained and splashed water on the ground to wash off the stains, while she didn’t forget to turn her head, hands on her hips and scolded fiercely.

       “Hurry up! Lest the little bastard get up and make trouble with me later!”

  ”I know, I know! What are you yelling at me after a tiring day!” The man in the shop answered, weighed a rag and threw it on the table; “hard labor!”

  ”You…” She was about to chastise the man when she suddenly caught a glimpse of a boy sitting on the steps not far away, leaning against a suitcase at his feet.
His back looked very lonely.

  “Hey, Old Li,” the woman whispered, “look at that child.
Did he run away from home?”

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“What?” Old Li wiped his hands, straightened his waist and glanced at the said boy, then frowned: “It seems like… Why don’t you go and take a look? It’s almost three o’clock, and everyone has returned home early.
Who would be wandering around in this street if they’re right in the head?”

  ”All right,” the woman said as she loosened her apron and took two steps forward, only to notice that the boy quickly turned around and peered at her with vigilance.
In the yellow street lights and the progressively thickening night, his face was a bit blurred, but she could still notice that his facial features were very straight, his skin color was very white, and his eyes were narrow and somewhat drooping.
Except for his unfriendly eyes, he did not appear to be a child from a typical home at first glance.

 ”Child, you…Aren’t you going home this evening?” she asked, her voice softening as she wiped her hands nervously over the corner of her garments.

Bian Shengjian was taken aback for a moment before standing up and saying, “I’m sorry, was I blocking the way?”

“No, no!” the woman exclaimed hastily, and she couldn’t help but be astounded as the boy rose up.

This kid is really stunning!

  ”Oh, then I’ll sit here for a bit,” Bian Shengjian said, his eyes a little wayward, which made the woman’s heart soften more: “It’s not safe for you to be here at night.
Are you from out of town? Where are your parents? If you don’t have a place to go, Auntie can help you find one.
Don’t squat there, okay?”

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“Thank you, but please don’t bother.” Bian Shengjian’s eyes finally fell on her face, the corners of his lips curved upwards and attempted a smile, but his eyes remained dark: “I’ll leave right away.”

  ”You really don’t need this auntie to find you a place to stay? The hotel nearby isn’t expensive for one night!” The woman saw him turn around and walk away without hesitation.
She continued to shout, “Then you pay attention to safety!”

  ”All right, all right.
Do you think he looked like he was short on cash?” Lao Li approached her from behind and patted her on the shoulder, saying, “OK, don’t worry so much about other people’s affairs.
I reckon that a young master of which family came out on a whim to experience life.”

  ”Hey, it would be great if our son grew up to be as good-looking as he was.” The woman turned around reluctantly after seeing the ma

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