Chapter 4: Blank



I ran into a nutcase.

Chi Qing had seen many psychologists, but this was still the first one who’d come over and gotten physical with him.


The man grasped the black glove in his hand.
It was clearly no more than a simple motion, entirely without other intentions, but when he did it, it seemed improper somehow.


That person, “Stay still.
I’m not going to eat you, what’re you nervous for.”


Chi Qing, “Get the hell off of me.”


That person, “If you continue like this, how long will it be until your mysophobia is cured? When you come to a clinic for treatment the first thing you need to do is straighten out your attitude.
Push through it.”


Chi Qing, “……”


That person had pulled his gloves up to the knuckles.
Those hands had barely had any contact with the sun, appearing with an almost sickly pallor and thin fingers, inviting that person’s gaze to linger.


Chi Qing silently recited the words “murder is illegal” in his mind.
Enduring the discomfort, Chi Qing lifted his eyes to look at him.


The long-ish hair over his forehead blocked his eyes, his pupils were such a deep black you couldn’t see the bottom.
The weather that day was actually good, but the sunlight shining on his body through the window couldn’t dispel the dispirited feeling of never ending rain, and even the light in the room seemed to darken a few degrees.


The person across from him sensed his line of sight, not realizing until two seconds later that this was him waiting for feedback.


That person grabbed his hand and examined it, saying, “En……your hand looks nice.”


The corner of Chi Qing’s eye twitched.


This was light years away from the feedback he’d imagined.


That person was still talking, “Pale; your ring finger has a light brown mole at the second joint.”




“Your fingers are very slender, they can’t be more than fifty-six millimeters around.
Has anyone ever told you you have long fingers?”


(t/n: He doesn’t actually specify the units, but I made an educated guess based on what made physical sense.)


“Told me” my ass.


This guy’s a fucking nutcase.


“No,” the joints of Chi Qing’s fingers were just as tense as always, “There are not many nutcases in this world, after all.”


That person wasn’t offended, and even smiled after hearing that, “Are you mad?”


“If you can’t tell,” Chi Qing moved the joint of his finger, “I can express it a bit more clearly.”


But as soon as his finger moved like that, it was restrained by someone.
His tone of voice was undoubtedly ordinary, but sounded as if he were sweet talking, “Alright, don’t be mad, I’m letting go.”


That person seemed to be very good at testing out other people’s psychological boundaries, treading over Chi Qing’s line, then slowly retreating at the last second.


“You’ve been in here for almost five minutes and there’s finally some expression on your face,” following this he extended two fingers, pointing towards the left as if he knew what Chi Qing had to go and do, “The bathroom is out the door to the left, keep walking and you’ll be there.”


Chi Qing washed his hands twice.


He turned off the faucet and the sound of water rushing in his ears stopped.
Chi Qing thought, that guy really doesn’t seem like a doctor.


That shirt, that ‘incorrect-model’ personality, and his unorthodox methods.


The doubt in the bottom of his heart hadn’t ceased, and a few clues pointed in the same direction, but they were all blocked by the man’s exceedingly natural disposition and the way he clearly understood psychology very well.


A few minutes later, the two people returned to sitting face-to-face with each other.


“These symptoms of yours, about when did they start?”


“Ten years ago.”


“Did anything in particular happen ten years ago? Of course, it’s perfectly fine if it’s not easy to talk about.”


Chi Qing didn’t hesitate at all, “It’s not”




That person’s fingers rested on top of the page, the corners of his eyes lifted slightly.
When looking at other people, his gaze carried an indescribable emotion, as if he were indulging the other person’s bad attitude, “Alright, if you don’t want to talk about it then don’t.”


He didn’t cling to that question, switching to a different one, “How about I put on some music?”


A soothing piano melody slowly flowed through the consultation room.


The aromatherapy diffuser emitted a light fragrance.


“It is universally known in the study of psychology that music has uses in alleviating the state of mind.
Music is another type of language, and it can give the spirit a feeling of peace,” that person’s finger tapped a few times in time with the beat, “Close your eyes and try it out.”


Chi Qing wanted to say that he actually didn’t have any interest in music.


During the time Chi Qing was taking classes at film school, his advisor had tried to use this type of strategy.


The image of his acting advisor from back then earnestly urging him to change his major seemed to appear before Chi Qing’s eyes: “We don’t want to waste your time either, you’re really just not suited for acting.
When we had you act in a scene of a father and son meeting again after many years, you went and stood over there like you came to carry out a vendetta.
A few other teachers and I have discussed it, and none of us know how to teach you……’The sky’s the limit’ as they say; why do you need to keep clinging to our tiny acting department?”


Just as Chi Qing wanted to shut his eyes, he caught sight of a picture frame with half a corner exposed resting on the desktop.


It was a picture of a little girl blowing out the candles on a cake; the bottom right corner of the photograph showed that it had been taken on the 25th the previous year.


He glanced a few times at the picture, then swept his gaze over the other furnishings on the desk once again.
A box of goji berries that had just been opened was arranged in the corner of the table; none of the other items on the table were valuables.
A calendar was standing next to the computer with the 25th this year specially circled in pen.


Chi Qing rubbed the pad of a finger over a black glove, asking calmly, “Let me ask you a question, when is our next appointment.”


The man replied without much care, “Anytime, the most important thing is when you’re available.”


“The 25th.” Chi Qing said.


“I’m only free on the 25th.” He repeated once again.


The man across from him took the time to show concern, “It seems like you’re typically very busy with work.”


He had no response at all to the day of the 25th.


Chi Qing looked at him.
His heart had it’s answer, and he wanted to say you aren’t this clinic’s doctor.


Before he had the chance to speak, the door to the consultation room was quietly pushed open by someone.


A man wearing a white woolen sweater and carrying a thermos in his hand stood in the doorway.
The man wore a badge on his chest; Chi Qing’s gaze swept over the words on the badge from afar—”Jiakang Psychology Clinic, Doctor Jingyu Wu.”


(t/n: the name of the clinic is 佳康, which is a combination of 佳(jia1) meaning ‘fine’ or ‘beautiful’ and 康(kang1) meaning ‘health’)


The real Doctor Wu was exactly like the one he’d heard about.
Hot steam rose up from the thermos, making him look even more gentle at that moment.
Even if he was puzzled by the situation inside the consultation room, he still spoke gently in a soft voice, “Excuse me, what……are you guys doing?”


He had only left for a second between appointments, taking a trip to the bathroom and getting a cup of hot water to steep some goji berries along the way.


(t/n: Goji berries are said to have certain medicinal properties according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
My knowledge about TCM is limited and it’s not important to the story anyway, so if you want to know more you can google ‘goji berries tcm’ and there should be lots of resources you can look at! Pretty much all I know is that my grandma scolded me for eating too many due to the excess fire when I was younger haha)


But upon coming back he didn’t totally understand the situation going on inside his own office.


“I’m sorry Doctor Wu,” the receptionist heard the activity and rushed over to check, apologizing without pause, “It was my mistake, I thought your appointment with Mr.
Xie had already finished, so I let Mr.
Chi come in.”


As it turns out, it was the consultee who had stirred the receptionists’ amorous affections, “Mr.


The consultation room was incredibly quiet for a moment.


Doctor Wu was a textbook southerner, and with a bit of the local accent he very slowly inquired, “Mr.
Xie, just a minute ago I said I was stepping out for a moment, and you said, ‘That’s fine, I’ll sit here and read in the meantime.’ How did……”


How did it develop into this.


The guy with the surname Xie used a finger to prod at the cover of that book The Study of Personality in Psychology, explaining, “I was reading, but I was uncomfortable sitting in the chair over there, so I borrowed yours to sit for a while.
If you don’t believe me, ask him.”


(t/n: 姓解的 – loosely, “the guy with the surname Xie.” A rude way to address someone)




If covering his face with a book counted as “reading.”


Moreover, the way he was sitting was still extremely arrogant.


Chi Qing suspected that he hadn’t checked his own fortune before coming out today.
He guessed correctly that this person was not the doctor, but he hadn’t thought that he was also here to see the doctor, “You have an illness yourself, and you’re still seeing patients?”


“I think you’ve misunderstood,” the guy with the surname Xie truly seemed like that wasn’t his intention, “I never said I was the doctor.”


“Then you talked a lot of nonsense.”


The guy with the surname Xie’s brow twitched, “You suddenly pushed open the door and came in.
Doctor Wu wasn’t here so I could only extend some courtesy and entertain his guest.
I thought we were having a friendly exchange.”




Fuck your ‘friendly exchange.’


This mishap cleared up quickly, which was specifically related to the guy with the surname Xie dealing with himself.
He first said, “Apologies, I’ve offended you, it was me who didn’t clarify” and in doing so reassured the receptionist that it wasn’t her fault.
As he left he even pressed a mint into Doctor Wu’s palm, “Doctor Wu, just now I heard your voice was a bit hoarse, take care of your throat.” He even considerately helped close the door.


Doctor Wu stood awkwardly in the same place for a spell, “My apologies, Mr.
Chi, can you give me a few minutes to prepare? Then our session will begin right away.”


To tell the truth, he didn’t really want to keep being in this clinic.


Chi Qing pulled off a glove which he sat waiting off to the side, clicking open his phone to check the time.


In the end the first thing he saw when he opened his phone wasn’t the time, but instead a string of messages sent by Ji Mingrui.


Ji Mingrui was on duty that day, but he kept thinking about how Chi Qing said he was going to the hospital, and couldn’t help but announce his opinion.


– Did you see the doctor?


– What did the doctor say?


– After I got back home yesterday I thought carefully for a while, and I think that mysophobia of yours, it’s hard to cure.


The next string of words was longer.


– Do you still remember the time around when we first met? That whole first year of high school, the whole entire year, I never saw what your hands looked like.
Back then everyone in our class thought it might be that you had some kind of unmentionable disease, like you were missing a finger or something like that.


Chi Qing replied: It’s you who has a fucking unmentionable disease.


After a while, he added on another few words.

– I ran into a nutcase.


The actual consultation progressed smoothly; the ‘genuine model’ Doctor Wu could indeed be said to make people feel like they were in good hands.


Before the consultation started, Doctor Wu put down his thermos and flipped through the chart again.


Another chart was stacked on top of Chi Qing’s chart.
He unintentionally caught a glimpse of someone else’s chart, but that chart flashing by was difficult to ignore—it was a completely blank record form.


Psychologists would go through each and every discussion they had with the consultee and record the diagnosis and assessments.


However, not a single sentence was written on this record form, the entire paper was completely blank, without any traces of handwriting except for where the space at the very top for the name was filled in with two characters: Xie Lin.


Outside the office in the hallway:


Xie Lin followed the receptionist out.
When the receptionist made it back to her post, she repeatedly sighed once again, “This Mr.
Xie, what kind of problem does he actually have?”


“Last time, I heard Doctor Wu talking on the phone,” the other receptionist lowered her voice and said, “saying that since entering the field ten years ago he’d never run into this type of situation before—where there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the patient, as if there really wasn’t any kind of issue, but having to come for an appointment every week anyway.”


At that moment, the person at the center of their discussion was sitting on the sofa in the waiting room waiting for a car.


Just then, a cat laying nearby happened to wake up, sticking out its tongue with sleep-hazy eyes to lap at its paw.


Xie Lin glanced at it, stretching out a hand with the intention of stroking its head.


The man sat there wearing a wide smile, the kind that would easily give people a favorable impression.
However, that cat seemed like its entire body had been shocked by electricity.
Xie Lin’s hand was still hovering in mid-air; that cat instantly puffed up its fur, darting away like a wisp of smoke.


The consultation was an hour long in total, and consisted entirely of unremarkable conversation.
It was nothing more than words taken from one psychologist's mouth and put into another’s, repeated once again.


Doctor Wu also didn’t know if his consultation had produced any effect.
The gentleman with the surname Chi sat across from him throughout the entire appointment without any hint of an expression on his face.


“Our time is up,” customarily, Doctor Wu stood up and shook hands with his client to say goodbye, “I hope this consultation was helpful for you.
I have a lot of faith in you, and I hope you can have ample faith in yourself as well.”


Chi Qing planned to call a car from his phone, so he’d just pulled off one of his gloves.


Thus, he very clearly heard the heave of a sigh in Doctor Wu’s inner thoughts: [Ai, actually I don’t have all that much faith……but offering encouragement can never hurt.]


After Doctor Wu finished speaking, he realized the face of gentleman with the surname Chi finally had a bit of a change.


Doctor Wu, “What’s wrong, is there anything else?”


Chi Qing slowly extracted his hand, “No, I need to go wash my hands.”


Doctor Wu, “……”


Doctor Wu was quickly thought of something else, “I heard you wanted to set our next appointment for the 25th of this month, that’s, I’m sorry, I—”


“I know,” Chi Qing pushed open the door and walked out, “Your daughter’s birthday is on the 25th, you’re not available.”


Doctor Wu was flabbergasted, “—How did you know?”


Chi Qing didn’t have the patience to resolve his doubts, “Let’s plan for a different day, I’ll notify you about the specific timing.”


It was exactly noon when Chi Qing left, and the majority of the rainwater left on the road had already evaporated.


Online, Ji Mingrui was still waiting for his response.


– What nutcase?


– My friend, you went to the psychiatrist for your mysophobia right?


– So what did the doctor end up saying?


Chi Qing got into the car.
As he looked at the chatbox, he thought of what Doctor Wu said, the buzz of that distorted voice in his ear echoing endlessly.
Amidst the buzzing, he suddenly pulled off a glove and looked over his own hand.


At the second joint of his right ring finger, there indeed was a mole he himself had never discovered before.
That mole was quite small; if it wasn’t for his skin being excessively pale, it would’ve been difficult for someone to notice.


—”Your hand looks nice.”


—”Has anyone ever told you you have long fingers?”




Chi Qing stared at that light brown mole, trying to recall if he had heard anything other than the complete garbage coming out of his mouth when the guy with the surname Xie grabbed his hand earlier.


The scenery outside the window slowly passed by.


Only after watching it for a while did Chi Qing have a response.
That nutcase touched his hand earlier, but he didn’t mind-read anything at all.




木瓜黄’s author’s note:

Although the two of them are extremely dangerous, they’re both good, law-abiding citizens ha!

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