It’s very quiet here… in the depths of the small island forest.
Those tourists would basically not go deep into such places. On the one hand, places with old tree roots, and places where there were many snakes, insects, rats, and ants were really difficult to walk. On the other hand, there were trees everywhere in the world. If tourists wanted to take pictures, there were many other choices. They wouldn’t come to such an isolated island to do so.
Mu Enli came to a soil slope where a big tree was rooted and began to tear away the vines entangled here.
The old Captain suddenly felt a little grateful. If he wanted to do this kind of physical work a day before, he would probably not last a few minutes before he fell ill.
But his physical strength was very good now, really good.
After tearing off the vines, Mu Enli began to use the branches picked up on the road to dig out the dirt at the place under the soil slope, and soon there was a hole for people to enter.
The old Captain took out a small flashlight from his clothes, bent down, and walked into the cave-like this… It seemed to be deeper than expected, and it was tilted downwards.
The underground cave where there was no sunshine all year round was very humid, and some places even had water droplets dripping. The clothes on Mu Enli’s shoulders were wet.
After about ten meters, it suddenly became a little bit open and brighter, but it had reached the end.
Some simple wood could be seen here, nailed into a simple frame with iron nails to support the soil above.
Mu Enli silently came to the center of the frame and sat down in silence. He took a white candle out of his handbag and a pack of cigarettes from his clothes.
The lighter lit the cigarette first, and the old Captain inhaled it like a blower before lighting the candle. The smoke from the candle burning and the smoke from the cigarette entangled together, making the place a little hazy.
The old Captain smiled slightly at this time, his eyes drooping, showing a hint of tenderness. He looked a little bit in front of the place where he was sitting – a few small stones towered around a larger one.
This was an extremely crude tomb.
“Are you okay? I came to see you again.”
He became more gentle, stretched out his hand and gently stroked the largest stone, and said softly, “It’s been another year. Life doesn’t seem to be fast, but it’s not slow.”
The old Captain smiled again. This time, he took out his steel hip flask, opened the lid, poured out some in front of the rocks, and took a sip by himself, “The doctor said I couldn’t drink it, but it’s okay for today.”
He just tasted the wine in the flask quietly, like an old alcoholic. But what’s in it here wasn’t actually any expensive wine, it was just a cheap kind that could be easily bought anywhere.
When Mu Enli was accustomed to something, he usually wouldn’t change much. For example, the pack of cigarettes he carried was previously sold for only five cents a pack. Currently, it was sold for five yuan a pack, but he had been smoking it for decades.
Fortunately, the packaging of this cigarette had not changed. Otherwise, he might feel uncomfortable.
The old Captain looked at the straight candle and flame under the windless state, his eyes drooped a little bit more, and he suddenly whispered, “By the way… Next year, I might not be able to come.”
With that said, he took out some joss paper from the black handbag, grabbed a small handful and lit it with candles, and scattered them in front of the tombstone.
The old Captain shook his head, “Actually, I thought about it. After retiring, I would come to this small island quietly and live in a wooden house outside. For how long? Maybe when there is a storm on the sea, or maybe when the sun is shining and it feels like the time is almost up, I would come here and lie down. However, time is not waiting for me.”
A long long time later.
The smoke ran out, the wine finished, and all the joss paper he brought with him turned into gray embers.
The candle has already been half burned.
Mu Enli sighed and stood up, “If possible, I would also like to lie down here today. But I’m sorry, there are still some things outside that I need to deal with. The Baiyu has been with me for thirty years. I have to let it go back peacefully… You won’t blame me, would you?”
Mu Enli was quiet besides the simple grave, digging the dirt with both hands. Two palm-sized objects wrapped in a canvas were dug out from the deep burial.
The old Captain put it in his handbag and looked at the tombstone in a daze, his eyes changed from tenderness to relief.
“It’s great to be able to catch your death anniversary on the last voyage.”
He picked up the bag and blew out the candles.
In fact, there were still a lot of candles here. Some were almost burnt out; some only had a small part left; some still had half a stick; some had less than a third of the candle left.
In fact, Mu Enli dared not wait for the candles to burn out every time. This was because there was an old saying that a candle’s tears dry only when it was burned down to ashes… If there were some left, it might mean that it was immortal.
If it doesn’t die, he would not die, and he could stay here forever.
Pushing away the branches blocking the front, the golden and flat sandy beach was in front of him. The old Captain reached out to block the sunlight above his head and walked out.
He could still see some tourists frolicking on the beach, but there were fewer people, some had probably already returned.
Mu Enli took a look and found that the young couple had not yet boarded the boat, but stayed on the beach not far from the Baiyu. The old Captain thought for a while and then walked towards the little couple.
The beautiful girl was sitting on the sand with her head down. She was holding a bunch of small shells that were almost stringed in her hand, and there were still some beside her.
The boy was beside her, looking sideways.
“This is… the Lyncina broderipii, right?” The old Captain went to the two of them, squatted down, and looked at the girl… the necklace of shells on the maid’s hand.
You Ye raised her head and smiled slightly, “En, I was lucky, I picked it up by accident. You recognize it?”
The old Captain smiled and said, “Like us who have dealt with the sea for a lifetime, we can always recognize several kinds. However, this is the first time I have seen such a small one. You can pick the Lyncina broderipii up accidentally. Your luck must be really good.”
“Thank you.” You Ye smiled and nodded, then lowered her head and started to concentrate on the next knitting.
The old Captain looked at Luo Qiu and said, “Have you been to the cliff over there to take pictures?”
“Not yet.” Luo Qiu shook his head and said casually, “It feels good to stay here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t wait for the sunset, otherwise it will be more beautiful.”
The old Captain grabbed a handful of fine sand, then let them slip through his fingers, nodded and said, “That’s right, it’s almost time to get on the boat.”
“Captain, have you finished what you have to do?” asked Luo Qiu softly.
Mu Enli was startled. He wanted to speak, but he was puzzled.
Luo Qiu said, “It’s nothing. I just feel that you walked into this desolate little forest probably because you wanted to do something.”
“That’s true, normal people won’t go in either.”
The old Captain smiled and nodded, then shook his head, but did not speak. He patted the fine sand wrapped around his hands, stood up as he pressed the captain’s hat on his head, and looked at the two people, “The wind will become stronger later, so you better go back if there is nothing else.”
Boss Luo nodded lightly, watching Mu Enli’s footprint leave a string of long and straight footprints on the beach.
The shells were strung into necklaces by the handy maid. Who knows if anyone could also string the old Captain’s footprints?
But when the tide was high, the sea would wash up and probably make it disappear.
“Master, I’m done stringing it.”
“Thanks for your hard work.”
The sea was calm and the waves were calm; the huge cruise ship was naturally as stable as Mount Tai, motionless. But on the Baiyu, it was not so peaceful.
For example, in the small theater built in the Baiyu entertainment area, the actors who were performing exotic stage plays were suffering the worst things in history.
In full view, a man with a straw hat and flip-flops suddenly broke into the center of their stage, and then grabbed an actress. To be more precise, the man just held the shoulders of the actress, and hid behind her.
Of course, the actress yelled and panicked… Because other than the appearance of this man, five crew members on the ship rushed in on the stage.
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