To Raise a Soul - Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Hospital
Three days later, Yu Zhen buried Grandpa Yu with the help of cadres  from Lotus Village .
The funeral ended before lunch and Yu Zhen invited the cadres for a meal in the village’s small restaurant. He bought cigarettes and gifted them to the people who helped move the coffin. After saying farewell to everyone, he walked alone in the direction of the Taoist temple with a pale face.
The village head of Lotus Village looked at Yu Zhen’s gradually retreating silhouette, sighed and shook his head. He said, “It’s so pitiful. It’s going to be a New Years soon. But Old Man Yu he… Ai. When we return, let’s give him a portion of the New Year’s subsidies. Although we don’t have many encounters with him, he is a part of our Lotus Village.”
“Now the Yu family is left with only one person, and the Taoist temple is so rundown. Would he stay in the temple for the New Year?” The elder responsible for managing the New Year subsidy questioned.
The village head frowned. He thought for a while and sighed again. Waving his hand, he said, “Then let’s keep the subsidy for now, when the New Year arrives I’ll personally go for a visit. If he isn’t there, then we’ll forget about this issue.”
Although Qing Xu temple was a part of Lotus Village, it was quite a distance away from the village. The road leading to Lotus Village was out of the way and wasn’t connected with the road to the temple . If he didn’t take a detour from the path, Old Man Yu would almost never bump into any of his fellow villagers.
Yu Zhen was a little foolish when he was a child. It was only when he reach elementary school that he could remember things better. Old Man Yu used to be afraid that Yu Zhen would be bullied at the town’s elementary school, so, he spent money to send Yu Zhen to a strict elementary school with student accommodation. After that, he stayed in a middle school with accommodation, then a high school with student accommodation. All the way until he completed his high school education, Yu Zhen didn’t cross paths with the people from Lotus Village.
The faces along the road were all unfamiliar. Yu Zhen knew the folks were sneaking glances at him and secretively exchanging old gossip. But Yu Zhen had no energy to think about this issue.
It was very cold. It was clearly a sunny day after the heavy snow, and the layers of clothing worn was more than usual, but it was still cold.
The hands in his pockets were cold, his legs were stiff and numb, his back was cold, even his brain seemed to be frozen. He struggled to think.
Was he ill?
He tightened his lips and found that his lips had no feeling. He walked more quickly on his return to the Taoist temple.
Passing through the residential area, through the farmlands, and up a gentle slope, Yu Zhen’s footsteps became faster and faster. Trotting into the temple, he found a flask of hot water in a corner. He poured out a large glass of water and drank it in one gulp without feeling a scalding sensation from the hot water.
The heat spread from his throat to his stomach, and his limbs seemed to warm up a little. He exhaled a long breath and looked at the black and white portrait of the deceased hanging in the hall. After being entranced for a long time, he smiled with a lowered head.
“Grandpa, I am so cold.”
The temple was silent, and the familiar nagging would never be heard again.
He bowed his head and rubbed his eyes. Seeing that it was no longer early in the day, Yu Zhen put down the cup and began to pack up.
The reason he came back this time was to wear down his grandfather’s resolve, and persuade his grandfather to spend the New Year with him in the capital. For this reason, he also specially rented a two-bedroom apartment. He wanted his grandfather to live comfortably. But he didn’t expect that what he would face coming back this time was a coffin and the old man within it.
As if knowing that he was coming back, the old man took the time to tidy himself up. Then when he pushed open the temple’s doors he took his last breath.
… He couldn’t even see the old man one last time.
When his suitcase was filled, he took a deep breath and suppressed his tears. Then he closed the suitcase. When he went out, he saw the brazier in the corner and stopped walking. He lowered the suitcase and headed to the brazier.
The paper ashes were piled up inside. He rummaged in the ashes and pulled out an intact and undamaged small bead that was covered with black ash. He looked at it and suddenly smiled.
“It’s not plastic.”
Plastics wouldn’t be so resistant to burning.
Putting the bead into a pocket, he picked up the suitcase and left the shabby Taoist temple more spiritedly.
At the scene of the accident, Yu Zhen glanced at the broken branches on the side of the road and the snow that was trampled. He found that his brain seemed to be frozen again. He unexpectedly couldn’t remember the appearance of the man and could not help but frown.
Was he really sick?
He knocked on his head several times, then walked forward and pulled his scarf up to cover the lower half of his face.
It would be best to find some time to visit a hospital, otherwise Grandpa would turn in his grave and nag with displeasure.
Once back at the provincial capital, Yu Zhen first went to a flower nursery to look at the treasured flowers that he raised. Then he called for a taxi back to his newly rented small house. He tidied up his luggage quickly and took a shower before throwing himself down onto his bed.
Throughout the three days of the funeral service, he hadn’t slept. At that moment he was exhausted. When his head had just reached the pillow, his consciousness fell into complete darkness.
“Do you really want to be this way?”
“We’re master and disciple, There’s no need ……”
Yu Zhen opened his eyes and he sat up in bed with a head covered in cold sweat. His hands were cold, like a dead person’s hand. With a trembling heart, he rushed to the bathroom, turned on the hot water and stuck his head underneath.
It was a dream, but what was the dream about?
The anxiousness brought on by the dream gradually disappeared and his limbs warmed up. He looked at the blurred image of himself self in the fogged over mirror.
Sure enough, he must be ill?
Within the top three hospitals in the provincial capital, a doctor examined the medical report handed over by Yu Zhen. The doctor looked at his pale face and the exaggerated dark circles under his eyes. He frowned and said, “From the report there seems to be no problem. You’re just too tired, go back and have a good rest. And eat some good food to nourish your body. Young man, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Make sure to eat and drink when you should. Try to relax a bit.”
“But doctor, I really am uncomfortable. I’m cold everywhere, suffering with insomnia and dreams. I still can’t remember the dream’s content, my mind is always confused, I…”
The doctor waved his hand and interrupted him, “But your medical report does show that your body is okay. So really, you’re under a lot of pressure. Take a good rest and eat a good meal. Okay, that’s everything. Next patient.”
Yu Zhen shut up and saw that the next patient had come in with the support of his family. He paused, got up and arranged his report, then he turned and walked outside.
After a heavy snowfall, the temperature in the province H began to rise steadily, and the weather improved day by day.
As Yu Zhen walked out of the hospital door, the sun was very warm but he still felt cold in his limbs and his brain was slow.
Was he really just feeling too much pressure?
He thought about the bag with the inspection report and medical records. He saw the traffic lights on the sidewalk turn green so took two steps towards the bus stop on the opposite side of the street. He decided to go to the plant nursery again.
The hospital was a large one with a many patients and visitors, but Yu Zhen noticed he was the only person crossing the road. The sidewalk was completely empty, and even the number vehicles waiting behind the traffic lights was much less than there should be.
A low, cool voice suddenly sounded by his ear. It sounded familiar.
“Don’t go any further.”
The voice was heard again. This time it seemed to be directly in his mind. Yu Zhen suddenly stopped and noticed that as the voice sounded in his mind, his frozen limbs warmed up a little.
What was happening?
He raised his hand to his forehead, seeing the green light was about to change, he lifted a leg to continue moving forwards. But a strong wind started to blow in front of him. A sapphire blue sports car sped by him, almost coming into contact with his body. Then the sports car stopped by the roadside.
The traffic police by the road side was angered and blew on his whistle. He strode toward the sports car that dared to speed through a red light and illegally park by the road. He waved his hand and gestured for Yu Zhen to quickly cross the road as the green light was coming to an end.
Yu Zhen’s mind returned from his shocked state and he quickly walked to the opposite sidewalk. Stopping on the sidewalk, he pressed down on his stomach and felt a lingering discomfort from the incident.
It was close. It was very close. If he hadn’t just stopped, with the speed of the sports car, he would definitely be hit and be reunited with his grandfather.
The policeman was talking loudly with the car owner who was still sitting in the car. The sidewalks which were originally empty were crowded with people again. Yu Zhen was bumped by an uncle who was in a hurry. His line of sight inadvertently swept across a handsome man across the road. The man was wearing a patient’s clothing and looked straight at him. Surprised, he was preparing to have another look when the green pedestrian light turned red. The vehicles waiting on both sides of the road started moving. A bus drove by, blocking his sight.
Once the traffic passed by, the handsome man in a patient’s clothing was no longer there.
Was it an illusion?
He frowned slightly, looking at the sapphire blue sports car that was moved to a corner under the traffic police’s instructions. He found that the shape of the car was exactly the same as the red sports car from a few days ago. Remembering how that day was full of the colour of blood, Yu Zhen felt nervous again. He called over a taxi.
“Go to JinXiu neighbourhood.”
The taxi started. Yu Zhen leaned on the door and looked out. In retreating scene, he could see a tall man stepping out from the blue sports car. He felt faint. Frowning, he raised his hand, pulled up his scarf and turned his head back.
Maybe he should rest for a while.
Yin Le rushed forward to hold the swaying Yin Yan. Yin Le took off his coat and draped it over his brother. With red eyes he said, “Isn’t it just Wu Xuan coming to pick up Han Ya? What’s the use of rushing out! Brother, can you wake up? This time Han Ya almost caused you to die. Please, just change who you like. Please, I’m begging you brother.”
Yin Le stared blankly. He looked at the brother that had become very quiet since the accident. A little stunned, he stupidly asked, “What did you say?”
“Xiao… Le.” 
The low and cool voice, had a slightly strange tone, the man who was called Yin Yan finally looked away from the road. His head was slightly tilted to one side and it was bathed in the sunshine. There was an atmosphere about him, as if he was someone that ordinary people couldn’t approach.
“Xiao Le.” The tone change from rough to natural, but the voice always carried a sense of coolness that had never existed before. He asked, “What’s your wish?”
“Brother, what happened to you?”
Yin Le looked at his calm expression and the eyes empty of emotions. Yin Le couldn’t help but grasp Yin Yan’s arm, and suddenly he panicked.
The big brother from now and the past were too different. Emotions were no longer clearly displayed on his face. His speech was also weird. Yin Le was a little afraid.
Noticing Yin Le’s emotional changes, Yin Yan slightly squinted. He no longer continued this topic. He turned and let Yin Le help him walk toward the hospital. Shaking his head, Yin Yan said, “It’s nothing.”
After speaking, he thought about the speaking habits of normal people and added, “I’m fine, let’s go. I should get a check-up.”
Yin Le was guided into passively taking a few steps with his older brother. From the corner his eyes, he saw Wu Xuan taking large strides into the hospital and he was alarmed. But trying to hide the situation would make it more conspicuous, so Yin Le simply changed to a different topic and continued helping his brother walk into the hospital.
From Author’s Note: ML is the gong
 干部 (gan4 bu4) = cadre. The first time I’ve ever come across this word and I couldn’t think of a good replacement word for it. Cadre means a small group of people specially trained for a particular purpose or profession. I was trying to decide if I should use ‘undertaker’ or the more vague ‘professionals’ since the villagers aren’t really undertakers. Neither were suitable replacements, so I just stuck with the awkward word.
 The author dropped 安阳镇 from安阳镇莲花沟村 in this chapter. The place might be called Lotus village from now on. I’ll decide after a few more chapters.
 I’m thinking that AnYang Town and Lotus village are separate communities. It’s not very clear. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Xiao3 is used between people who have a close relationship. But only older people use it when speaking to someone younger since it means ‘little’. So Xiao Le = Little Le. Aunties, uncles and elderly people also use it too when addressing young people. You guys probably know this one if you’ve read chinese novels for a while.