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TOTY V1 Chapter 14: My City, Black and White

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The Taming of the Yandere

 

Chapter 14: My City, Black and White

 

Every day, walking home from school, I quietly observe my bustling city.

 

Pedestrians and cars fight for the same, narrow road. Tall buildings flank the streets, protruding from the earth like teeth and claws, preparing to swallow the sky in one gulp.

 

Cities seem to have all the power in the world.

 

Wherever it wants to build houses, it does. Wherever it wants to build railings, it does. No sense of beauty considered; rather, it builds by efficiency and productivity.

 

Looking at the preserved remains of ancient, dynastical China, every house and structure was intricately carved and decorated. All streets were neat and orderly, and all roads were straight and solid.

 

But what about us? Are we going to leave a disgusting world of concrete and rebar for the next generation?

 

A thousand years later, how will our descendants feel when they dig up our capitals and metropolises?

 

“An old landfill, perhaps?”

 

They’ll carelessly shovel back dirt, missing a whole era of humanity. Our century will be forgotten.

 

If by some chance, our world was recorded in their databases, and not erased, what will they call us?

 

The “Destructive Nuclear Age”.

 

Or the “Infinite Degenerate Age”.

 

…..

 

The black night followed the sinking sunset.

 

Under the dark sky, countless cities sparkled, glowing brightly. I walked down the street with my backpack slung on my shoulders.

 

Tonight, I bought more groceries than usual, since we had one more mouth to feed.

 

“Fan, it’s unusual for you to come here this late. I’ve pretty much sold all my vegetables.”

 

“Luckily, I’ve saved some for you!”

 

The vendor waved at me cheerfully.

 

“Thank you so much, Mrs. Wang. I also need some tomatoes, and maybe some celery….”

 

“Are you having guests over today?”

 

Sheesh, that reaction was quick.

 

“Pretty much, yeah.”

 

I smiled listlessly.

 

….

 

Auntie Zhang’s bean curds, Grandpa Niu’s meats and steak, Mrs. Wang’s vegetables, Mrs. Bai’s flour buns, Mr. Li’s noodles….

 

In the small market, there were always those same vendors. They sold their produce with pride, and I was their most loyal customer. They all knew me from when I was young, and long since memorized my grocery lists.

 

Are lone, grocery shopping high school boys really that memorable?!

 

But then again, there aren’t that many people my age that go shopping in markets often.

 

If my mother were to shop, she would walk around the entire market, buying from the first vendors she sees. But I stuck to the same wholesalers.

 

When men go shopping, they have a specific plan for what they’ll buy. The moment I step in the market, is the moment I know what I’m going to purchase.

 

In a mere year’s time, I’ve transformed into a “housewife”, deprived of my masculinity.

 

I thoroughly understood all of my mother and I’s meal portions. Since fresh produce tasted best, I typically cook the same day I shop.

 

With the refrigerator, I also store half a week’s worth of food to save time and effort.

 

As for the guest tonight, her appetite probably wasn’t too large. But I still bought a wide variety of produce.

 

I arrived at my doorstep with an armload of groceries.

 

“We’ll eat well today. This counts as a host’s responsibility, right?”

 

I whispered to myself. I must’ve sounded delusional.

 

It was just a simple matter of treating a guest.

 

….

 

When Jiang Muqing finished her IV bag, she didn’t go home, but came to stay at my house.

 

I didn’t want this.

 

I wasn’t like other boys, who probably would’ve jumped with joy.

 

This wasn’t some triumphant victory over high-school romance. Ironically, it only sank me deeper in worry and distress.

 

I was the only one who knew about the dangers of Jiang Muqing.

 

One day, she may actually grab a knife, and start hacking away at people like a maniac.

 

I didn’t even want to tell her where I lived. What if she came to my house one day and did something horrible to my family?

 

But my mother didn’t know a single thing.

 

To avoid dragging Mom into this mess and avert worry, I didn’t utter a word of what was wrong with the girl named Jiang Muqing.

 

….

 

It was getting late. I decided to send the girl back to her house, and study all night once I got back to mine. But my mother had other ideas.

 

She sounded like she was being polite, but my mother isn’t the type to do that. Whatever comes out of her mouth, comes from her heart.

 

“Qing, come stay at our place until you get better. I’m be really worried if you go home like this.”

 

“I’ve already told your parents, and they’re fine with it.”

 

Jiang Muqing was a bit startled. She peered at my mother, and then bored her eyes into mine.

 

Was she asking for my judgement?

 

Accept, or deny.

 

I felt a surge of conflict. If it was a regular girl, I wouldn’t have a problem. Relatives and friends have slept over at our house before. Even though it was a bit inconvenient, their company was tolerable.

 

But Jiang Muqing….

 

The shoujo’s colorless expression made my upbeat mother feel a little awkward. Mom looked at me, then glanced at her. Something clicked in her brain.

 

“If Qing were to come to our house to stay, our Fan will probably be happy like crazy, wouldn’t he?”

 

I turned around and stared at the girl with clashing emotions.

 

“Yes, I will go crazy.”

 

Shit, did I say that out loud?

 

…..

 

“It’s fine by me. Thanks, Mrs. Lu.”

 

Under the dim streetlight, the edges of the girl’s mouth lifted.

 

She seemed to smile.


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