Hard to Escape Chapter 5.1

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Candle: I highly recommend you watch this skit by Key & Peele, so you can having the following exchange w/ your friends&family

Candle: GetintheredogGetintheredogGetintheredog

Niang Niang: ImintheredogImintheredogImintheredog

Candle: TuckitTuckitTuckitTuckiTuckit

Niang Niang: ImtuckingitImtuckingitImtuckingit

In conclusion: “Get in there dog” is a phrase that deserves to enter the national lexicon.

Honestly, I didn't really care what Yin Li might be thinking. The mind of a rich person is a mysterious thing.

But being able to go to school was a huge incentive. Even Mo Xing Zhi agreed that Yin Li was rarely so charitable.

"Judging by your age you should probably be a second or third-year university student, but I'm really curious as to what major you are," Mo Xing Zhi had said to me.

Ever since Yin Li had left for Europe, Mo Xing Zhi only visited that one time. I saw him mostly in the news on television, in magazines, or in newspapers. He had officially taken over the reins of the Mo clan.   

In regards to his question, I was pretty curious too but lacked the courage to ask Yin Li. The topic of my previous major was a th.o.r.n.y maze. I stood at the entrance wanting to go and ask but was too afraid to take the first step. The maze was covered in a dense layer of fog. I had exerted all my brain power but couldn't remember. In my mind there was only an illusory, gray mist.

Thankfully, my leg was recovering rapidly. Before leaving Yin Li had ordered the group of experts to draft a new rehabilitation plan. On top of that, I exercised for an additional thirty minutes every day on my own.

Those thirty minutes belonged solely to me, and only me. No Yin Li, no Mo Xing Zhi. 

I would look at myself in the mirror, thinking that from now on I would take care to never look as awful as I had on that day.

At the end of the two-month deadline Yin Li had given me, I was finally able to walk without pain or difficulty. My posture wasn't pretty, my stride was unnatural, and I could only walk for up to an hour. Despite it all, being able to walk without any support was sweeter than anything else in the world.

During the afternoon when the yard basked in sunlight, I would walk slowly for half an hour filled with a simple but poignant feeling towards life.

Because movement was easier, I was constantly br.i.m.m.i.n.g with excess energy. Take Yin Li's house. Previously my movement in it was limited to the first floor but nowadays I was itching to explore the rooms upstairs, especially the room next to Yin Li's study with an intricately carved door. The door handle's delicate patterns must have been designed to lure people in, because I swear that a sound called from deep in my heart. Open it, open it.

Without any inner struggle, I obeyed.

It's a pity I was disappointed upon opening the door.

Turns out it was a s.p.a.cious room with many windows. The walls were lined with mirrors that refracted every image and strand of light and seemed to detain sunlight itself. Squinting against the glare, I stood there and took in the staleness of the air and the layer of dust under the light, all evidence hinting that this room had been abandoned for a long time.

I walked in.  

Only then did I notice photos progressing from childhood to adolescence hanging above the mirrors. From the facial features, it appeared to all be of the same person. She wore leotards and tutus, striking different ballet poses through different years of her life—standing en pointe, tilting her graceful neck upwards, and leaping through the air. The photos captured a singular frame of her figure in movement.

So beautiful.

From the photos, I could feel the dynamic rhythm. In a way, the path from the doorway to the far wall held the entirety of that young woman's life of dance. The uncertain gazes from youth progressed to her proud expression and refined air.

At the end of the room, an oil painting of the woman replaced the photos. Dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, posing with the lofty air of n.o.bility, and sitting with an upright posture, she stared out from the center of the painting with an enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. This looked to be a family-portrait-style painting. It was also the only picture where she wasn't in ballet clothes.

That painting was placed so high up that I had to tilt my head back to look at it. The person in it seemed to be looking straight at me, staring or perhaps even glaring at me.

I didn't recognize that face but the expression made me feel extremely uneasy.

Although its features were different from Yin Li's face, its expression resembled his. Solemn, arrogant, and unapproachable.

Scared by that painting, I rapidly s.h.i.+fted my gaze away and, turning my head, instantly spotted interesting objects on the other side of the room.

It was a huge cabinet. I opened it and the clouds of dust instigated a coughing fit.

But as expected, this cabinet had some interesting things.

At the very bottom were dancing shoes, both old and new; in the middle hung many large and small ballet costumes; and on the top shelf were rows of trophies of many different shapes and sizes.

Seems like this room was for practicing ballet.

Wanting to cast more judgement, I looked back. That huge oil painting was still gazing down at me with an aloof and superior air. A mischievous idea suddenly popped into my head.

I turned around to face the mirrors. Then, twisting one foot back, I took a bow, even remembering to hold up the hem of my non-existent skirt. The woman's pervasive presence in the room seemed to vanish temporarily, and I once again felt like I had owners.h.i.+p of the place.

Looking in the mirrors, I noticed that my bent knee and the arch of my body were also extraordinarily elegant. Even though my leg still hadn't recovered its nimbleness, my calf had finally regained muscular contours.

This discovery temporarily distracted me from my surroundings. I copied the various ballet poses in the photos, repeatedly mimicking her dance positions in the mirror. To my surprise I was very successful, and once my playfulness was triggered I couldn't help but continue. Finally, I stood on my toes and grabbed a crystal trophy from the cabinet's top shelf and fiddled with it.

Then facing the setting sun, I stood in front of the mirror and raised the trophy up above my head. Like I had just won an award, I announced in a voice choked with emotion: "First, I'd like to thank the committee for giving me this opportunity! I also want to thank my loved ones for supporting me: Thank you Dad, Mom, thank you Teacher, thank you CCTV!1 Thank you everybody!"

1CCTV here refers to China Central Television, a state-owned television broadcaster in China that's one of the most prominent/popular networks in the country. They do stuff like news, entertainment, drama, etc. They also do the ma.s.sive Lunar New Year's Gala show (春节联欢晚会) that's hugely popular with Chinese families. It's like the Superbowl in the USA, it's that popular to watch.

I stared at my reflection in the mirror, feeling more pleased with myself the longer I looked. Once again I bent my waist and took a few more bows, but straightening back up I was still unsatisfied. I turned to my imaginary audience and graciously blew a few kisses. "Thank you everyone! Thank you everyone!"

*Clap clap clap* Matching the scene, the sound of applause came from behind.

Still immersed in my own little world, I didn't stop to question it and continued idiotically crying into the mirror: "Thank you all for your support! I'll always love you guys!" Then, I laughed loudly with my hands on my hips.

Only then did I feel that something was off……

Candle: We have switched to this new footnote style, I hope everyone finds this more readable!

Hard to Escape Chapter 5.1

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Hard to Escape Chapter 5.1 summary

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