Chapter 9: “Even demons don’t do that.”
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
(TW: Child abuse.)
Han Tian, with the cake plate in his hand, was led by Yan Linlin, and soon arrived at the door of Tong Tong’s room.
“Hmm? Tong Tong is now living in a single room?” Han Tian asked.
“Oh, yes, since he has a cold, A’Jian has put him in a separate room for fear of spreading it to other children,” Yan Linlin said.
“Mn, thank you then, we can go in by ourselves next.” Han Tian looked into the girl’s eyes and his tone was extremely sincere.
According to the rules, visitors should actually be accompanied by a caregiver in order to visit the children. However, being looked at by those eyes of Han Tian, Yan Linlin only felt that everything this person said was right, and that no rule, any rule, should stop this person.
“Okay.” She agreed briskly and unscrewed the door lock for the two.
The room was not large, but also clean and bright, and the walls were painted a light powder blue.
Against the wall was a small bed, on which sat a little boy of seven or eight years old, covered with a thin quilt, with a book spread out on the quilt.
Hearing the sound of the door, the little boy’s body shivered and shrank towards the corner of the bed.
When he saw who was coming, he sat up straight again, danced his hands, opened his mouth, and made an “ah-ah” sound from his throat.
Qiao Xi followed Han Tian and took a few steps forward and gradually got a better look. The boy’s skin was coarse and black, and his features were as if he hadn’t grown up. His nose and mouth were a bit screwed up, and his eyes were naturally a bit inverted and triangular, always looking at people like he was rolling his eyes.
“Tong Tong, I brought you strawberry cake, do you want to eat it now? Or do you want to eat it later?” Han Tian put the cake plate on the small table in the room and walked to the bedside, his tone gentle.
Tong Tong’s hand made a gesture of sending it to his mouth, looking like he was planning to eat it now. However, just as he wanted to lift the blanket and get out of bed, he stopped moving. He looked blearily at the cake, slowly hung his head, and retreated back into the blanket, clutching the corner of the blanket tightly.
“Tong Tong, the cake won’t smell as good if you leave it for too long,” Han Tian said patiently.
Tong Tong looked up at Han Tian and made a gesture, probably saying that he was not hungry now, he would eat later.
Han Tian slowly sat on the edge of the bed and pressed his hand on Tong Tong’s shoulder, his voice gentle but firm. “It’s okay, Tong Tong, I can stay with you and finish the cake. And… I won’t tell anyone that you ate the cake now.”
Tong Tong’s eyes lit up again, and after thinking for a while, he finally lifted the blanket carefully and stepped onto the floor with his bare feet.
Qiao Xi saw at once that Tong Tong’s calves were covered with bruises. Each bruise was two or three fingers wide, overlapping and shocking to the eye.
He felt a tightness in his heart and involuntarily went forward to pull Han Tian’s arm, signaling him with his eyes to look at Tong Tong’s leg.
Han Tian didn’t seem surprised, just poured Tong Tong a glass of water and watched the boy gorge himself on the cake.
Only when Tong Tong started licking his fork did Han Tian say, “Tong Tong, did you fall down the stairs?”
Tong Tong nodded and gestured with his hands, probably saying that he couldn’t stand still and rolled down from the second floor.
Han Tian asked again, “Did it hurt a lot?”
Tong Tong shook his head: No, it won’t hurt, it will heal soon.
Han Tian looked at his leg and asked, “Oh, it was Teacher A’Jian who said that, right?”
Tong Tong continued to gesture: He said I couldn’t tell anyone else about it, or else…
He suddenly reacted, his hand stopped in the air, and his small eyes were full of panic.
Gradually, his hands began to tremble, his eyes filled with tears, and from his throat, “ah-ah” sounded, as if he was regretting that he had just said the wrong thing.
Han Tian sighed and stroked his hand through Tong Tong’s hair, whispering, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.”
Tong Tong’s hand no longer trembled, but there was still a frightened look in his eyes that could not be erased.
Qiao Xi, who had been staying by the side, couldn’t quite understand Tong Tong’s gestures, but with some guessing, he understood what was going on.
He rolled up his sleeves, tugged the door, and rushed out.
Han Tian behind him held him down.
“Qiao Xi, what are you doing?”
“What else? Of course I’m going to break that bastard’s legs!” Qiao Xi lowered his voice as much as possible. “Look at what that bastard did! He’s abusing Tong Tong! Even a demon wouldn’t do that!”
The Demon Academy had a basic rule: demons were not required to stop the spontaneous evil acts of humans. However, the exception is the act of harming human children.
So when Qiao Xi saw such a situation, he was already reflexively angry.
But after a five-second pause, he added, “I just said demon or something, that’s just rhetorical.”
Han Tian ignored the rhetoric and just frowned. “I’ll go find that teacher A’Jian and convince him to turn himself in to the police.”
Qiao Xi’s eyes widened. “You’re going? You? You can’t do it! You’re too gentle and too good-tempered! You couldn’t even handle that old pervert from last time!”
At that moment, a muffled call came from the open doorway: “Ahhh?”
The two rushed back to the room and found Tong Tong with tears in his eyes, his hands gesticulating desperately, as he lunged over to try to hug Qiao Xi’s legs.
Qiao Xi panicked. “Han Tian, what’s wrong with Tong Tong? What is he trying to say?”
Han Tian looked gloomy as he translated, “Tong Tong said that Teacher A’Jian was nice to everyone else and that Teacher A’Jian just didn’t like him. He told you… Don’t go hitting Teacher A’Jian.”
Qiao Xi’s face turned pale as he listened, his fists clenched tightly, wanting to get angry, but not knowing how to do so.
Han Tian sighed, took Tong Tong’s hand and guided the boy to sit on the bed, then beckoned Qiao Xi to come over too.
He handed Qiao Xi the book Andersen’s Fairy Tales that Tong Tong was reading and said, “This child is terrified. Why don’t you stay with him and tell him a story?”
Qiao Xi looked at Tong Tong’s tear-stained little black face, and then at the pleading look in Han Tian’s eyes, and finally said, “Okay. I’ll stay with him.”
Tong Tong hurriedly hugged Qiao Xi’s hand, as if he was afraid that the man would go to beat up his teacher.
Han Tian looked into Tong Tong’s eyes and said sincerely, “I will go and talk to Mr. A’Jian. Don’t worry, I will never touch him with my hands.”
Qiao Xi gave him a blank look, went to Han Tian’s ear, and whispered, “How could you possibly do it?! You… I’m telling you, don’t go alone. This kind of person, what if they are unreasonable and strike and hurt you?”
His hair, brushing against Han Tian’s ear, was as soft as a cat’s fur.
Han Tian’s body trembled lightly and imperceptibly. He moved away a little and said softly, “Don’t worry, people who secretly abuse children are cowardly and despicable in nature, they can never hurt me.”
Qiao Xi was still a bit uneasy. “Really? How about this, you try it out first. Test, test you will?”
Han Tian had a serious face. “I can do a little.”
Qiao Xi continued to teach. “Then, you can see what happens. If there is anything wrong, you run and call me, got it?”
Han Tian nodded solemnly. “Got it.”
Qiao Xi sighed. “Alas. You just have too strong a sense of justice. It can’t be helped.”
Hey, this good and smart prey, everything is good, but too stupid and naive, ah.
Han Tian’s eyes curled, and he walked out of Tong Tong’s room alone.
He really had no intention of doing anything at first.
But when he put his hand on Tong Tong’s forehead, he saw that this human-faced beast called A’Jian had put the scars on Tong Tong’s calves two days ago. But on Tong Tong’s back and thighs were countless needle holes, and even a few burns.
This beast, just beat him up?
That would be too easy on him.