News

Mara’s death

  ”Welcome to the ‘Destin’ bar.” As soon as I entered the room, a young waitress greeted me warmly, “Please wait here for a while, Mr. Xu, and I’ll call the boss to meet you.”
  The waiter bowed politely and left, leaving me alone at the bar.
  ”Destin” is a French transliteration, and translated into Chinese means “destiny”. I don’t understand why a bar has such a deep name. While waiting for someone, I looked around and observed the interior of the bar.
  It’s nine o’clock in the evening, and there are only three or four tables of customers in the bar. The light in the room is extremely dim. Around the barrels are antique oak seats.
  This simple and elegant design style is like the name of the bar, showing French characteristics everywhere.
  ”Hello, my friend!” A short-limbed but stocky man in the distance walked towards me with a smile, “My name is Reno, I’m the boss here, you came here with sincerity, right?
  ” After the greeting, the man got behind the bar, and we were facing each other across the bar, as if we were in a negotiation.
  ”Let’s get straight to the point, before my friends can help you, you have to get past me.” My tone was a little tough, after all, it was he who asked me, “You have to give me a good reason.”
  Renault’s With a smile on his face, he screened away the waiter next to him, and took out a black cloth bag from under the bar. The bag made a heavy sound when it was placed on the table.
  ”This is the first reason. Although it is not sufficient, it is heavy.” As
  he spoke, Renault opened the cloth bag with both hands, and the bag shone with golden light, containing fourteen gold bars.
  ”Four of them belong to you, and ten of them belong to your ‘secret weapon’. What’s the reason for this?” Renault looked at me proudly, as if he had taken the initiative.
  ”He’s not my ‘secret weapon’, he’s my friend, and his name is Josie!”
  Although the gold bar in front of me once tempted me, I had to be considerate for my friend.
  Josie had been a mercenary abroad for five years and had a lot of blood on her hands.
  I was a medic in the mercenary corps, and Josie was my only compatriot in that group, and we soon became good brothers. After returning to China, I opened a clinic and returned to the life of ordinary people. But Josie chose to be a professional killer after quitting the Legion. He had asked me many times to introduce him some business, but I never agreed.
  Except this time.
  ”I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to disrespect your friend.” Renault apologized and reloaded the gold bars, “Please don’t treat this as a deal, I’m not hiring a murderer, I just asked Josie to participate. An adventure that’s definitely more romantic than what you guys were doing on the battlefield.”
  ”French romance?” My tone was sarcastic.
  ”Well, you should have seen that, I like French culture, French art, and even French history. Next, I will show you something, I believe you will understand why I am so fascinated by them, please follow me Come.”
  I followed Reynor through a narrow aisle next to the bar to a hidden corner where the lights were dimmer than the area in the middle of the bar.
  At this time I saw a dark red flannel hanging on the wall, Reynolds greeted me to sit on a chair, and then went straight to the wall and slowly lifted the flannel.
  A painting appeared in front of me.
  The upper part of the painting is a deep darkness. Because the black background is too oppressive, it became difficult for me to breathe for a while. In the lower part of the oil painting, a pale-skinned man collapsed in an ink-colored bathtub. The man held a letter in his left hand, his right arm dipped outside the bathtub, and a quill was held in his hand.
  The man’s expression is very serene, it looks like he’s taking a nap after exhaustion, but the gap in the man’s chest is telling us that things are not that simple.
  It was a wound cut by a knife, and blood was gushing out from the man’s chest. The water in the bathtub was already red with blood, and a bloodstained dagger was lying quietly on the ground. The oil painting conveys a terrifying message. In this small space, a murder has just happened…
  The name of the deceased was Paul Mara, a famous politician during the French Revolution.
  ”Do you like this painting?” Reynolds disturbed my thoughts inappropriately, “I saw this painting in “The World’s Five Thousand Years” when I was a child, and later I saw the real work in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, through the creation of oil paintings In the background, I gradually began to understand Paul Mara’s life, he is really a great man!”
  Renault’s admiration for Paul Mara did not affect me at all, because I did not have any good feelings for this Frenchman.
  Paul Mara was one of the leaders of the radical faction during the Great Revolution. He started out as a doctor like me, but as he gradually took power, he became a butcher of violent killings.
  ”As long as 100,000 or 200,000 traitors are killed, France will be able to fight against the whole of Europe!”
  Under his instigation, thousands of French people died for no reason!
  Finally, a 25-year-old girl came forward.
  On July 13, 1793, she deftly slipped into Marat’s residence through a forged list of opponents and ended the French statesman’s life with a dagger.
  The world famous painting “Death of Mara” hanging on the wall is exactly the scene after Mara was assassinated.
  Because the oil painter belonged to the same camp as Mara at that time, he made a lot of beautification on Mara’s body when he created the oil painting.
  ”Whether Paul Mara is a great person or not, how can my friend Josh help you?”
  ”I’ve heard of Josh’s name, he is the top killer in the industry, and he never kills innocent people indiscriminately. , Generally, the business he takes over is black and black, he will charge a bad guy’s commission, and then help this bad guy kill another bad guy.”
  Leno’s assessment of Josie was accurate, and I nodded for him to continue.
  ”It’s very simple, Josie can take the commission from my bad guy and kill a bad guy named Charlotte Corday, so you can save a great man’s life.”
  ”The girl who assassinated Mara is named Xia . Lotte Corday?”
  ”That’s right!” Renault’s face gradually disappeared, “Kill Charlotte before she starts, save Mara…”
  I didn’t want to pay attention to the crazy man in front of me, just stood up When I was about to leave, Renault suddenly took out a pistol from his arms and motioned for me to sit down obediently.
  He put a medium red wine glass in front of me, then took out a bottle of red wine from the wine cabinet and slowly poured the wine into the glass.
  ”I don’t want to force you to taste my good wine with a gun, so you’d better take the initiative.”

  ”Okay.” I lifted the glass helplessly, “but I hope you don’t play tricks in the wine, I have already said hello to Josie before I came, if I can’t get out of here safely, I believe you won’t live too long. ”
  Don’t worry my friend! I’m not going to hurt you, but don’t be surprised by anything that happens next. Drink it now and take a serious look at the painting again.”
  Under the empty muzzle , I had to drink the red wine in the glass, the rich fruity aroma filled my mouth, and the taste was really good.
  I looked up at the “Death of Marat” on the wall and felt dizzy, as if I had fallen into the deep blackness of the painting.
  I opened my eyes and realized that I was no longer at the Destin bar.
  At this point, I was in an empty and dark room, and I was about to open my mouth to call Reno’s name, when a faint flashing light not far away caught my attention.
  I tiptoed close to the light source carefully, and found that the light was coming from a bathroom a few meters away.
  At the door of the bathroom, a woman in a brown silk dress turned her back to me, and in front of him, a man wrapped in a towel was soaking in the bathtub and looking at the stationery in his hand.
  I pinched my thigh hard, and the intense pain reminded me that everything was so real.
  I crossed into the oil painting of “The Death of Marat”.
  However, Paul Mara in reality is not as handsome as depicted in the oil painting. The man in front of him is covered with abscesses. Due to the skin disease, Mara spends most of the night working in soapy water. It relieves the unbearable itching on his body.
  The unpleasant smell of medicine continued to waft in the room, which made my stomach just poured into the red wine and felt like a tumultuous feeling.
  Mara looked through the letter and said with a smile: “Thank you for the list, lovely Miss Charlotte, these opponents will appear on the guillotine in Paris in a few days…”
  Before he finished speaking, the woman in front of him suddenly pulled out a dagger from her clothes, and the sharp blade pierced into Mara’s chest instantly. The shocked Mara stretched out his hands indiscriminately, as if trying to stand up desperately. The woman immediately pulled out the dagger from his chest. A lot of blood spurted out of Mara’s wound, and the medicinal soapy water in the bathtub was instantly washed away. Blood stained red.
  Due to severe blood loss, Mara collapsed on the edge of the bathtub and finally died after struggling for a few minutes.
  I can clearly see that Mara’s tongue sticks out of his mouth, and the hideous expression left by the pain is far less serene than in the oil painting.
  My stomach started to cramp, and after witnessing the whole murder, there was only one thought in my mind: hurry up and go back, no matter what Reynolds put in the wine, I’m going to get out of here!
  Just behind is the door of the living room. After opening the door effortlessly, it is still dark outside.
  God bless.
  I meditated and stepped outside the door.
  When I woke up from the bar, I saw Reno sitting in front of me with a smile on his face.
  ”Every time it’s ten minutes.” He looked down at his watch, “No matter how many minutes, hours, or even days you stay in the world in the painting, as long as you go back to ‘Destin’, it’s always just ten minutes in the past. ”
  The smell of alcohol and cigarettes is in the air, my head is still a little dizzy, and it’s reassuring that my stomach doesn’t hurt as much as before. A piece of news just pushed on my mobile phone proved that I was indeed back: “Overseas Network, February 3, 2032, French prices will continue to rise in early 2032, and energy prices will soar.”
  ”What psychedelic drugs did you put in the wine? You What tricks do you want to play?”
  ”It’s not magic, there’s no hallucinogens, you did go to Paris just now, Paris in 1793.” Reno picked up the red wine in his hand and pointed to the painting, “Just drink it up. A small sip of red wine, but it has to be from Chateau Ripeng, I have tried nothing else and nothing works, then stare at the oil painting and you can travel to France during the Revolution, but each time it starts with Mara’s bathroom. ”
  Looks like you’ve been there more than once?”
  ”I used to stay there for a few days, and I visited Notre Dame once, but you know, I’m not French, and I don’t dare to stay there for too long.”
  ”But why did you stay so long? ? That door in Mara’s parlour just opens and goes back to the bar.”
  ”That depends on whether you want to go back to the bar or not.” Reno had an intriguing smile on his face, “You must have been terrified, so you I thought about coming back quickly. I was similar to you at the beginning, but after I went there a few times, I gradually got used to the scene of Mara being stabbed. Once I said to myself, “I don’t want to come back so soon”, so I I pushed open the door as usual, and it turned out to be on the street outside the house, on the street in Paris!”
  ”You mean, I have the final say if you want to come back?”
  ”That’s right! And the door to go back. Not only this one, no matter where you go, as long as you want to go back, open the door of any building, you can come back here, it’s easier than waking up from a nightmare while you sleep!”
  Just a cup The red wine of Château Ripeng, an oil painting of “The Death of Marat”, my friend Josie can rewrite the history of France?
  I shudder.
  ”Let Josie take over this business! Let Marat and his comrades continue to maintain the hard-won fruits of the French Revolution!” Renault said excitedly.
  ”Your idea is so crazy! Even if Marat doesn’t die, the radicals he leads will eventually be overthrown, and the trend of history will not be changed because of him alone! This is simply an impossible task!”
  ”In Anything is possible in those turbulent times, do you think Paul Mara could have expected him to be killed by a weak girl? Let Josh try it out and see which of us is right.”
  Josie has always liked a tough challenge, and I know very well that he will embrace it.
  I threw my final question to Reynolds: “You have a gun too, why don’t you save your idol yourself?”
  ”I can easily shoot that girl, but I’m not sure I can get away, I’m not a quick killer like Josie, why don’t we leave professional things to the professionals?”
  Reynolds’ answer was flawless, and I didn’t look for it again . There is no reason to refuse. Before leaving, I looked back at the oil painting on the wall.
  Mara was still lying in the bathtub.
  The next day I came to Josie’s apartment in the suburbs. Due to his special occupation as a killer, his residence was very hidden, and I had a good meal around.
  Entering the room, he saw Josie wiping a short knife with a white handkerchief, the blade gleaming brightly in the sunlight.
  ”You’ve come.” Josie put down the short knife in her hand, with a bright smile on her face, “Dear Lao Xu, what big business did you bring me today?”

  He called me Lao Xu, not because I was much older than him. Josie and I were both nearly forty years old, but in the eyes of others, Josie did look much younger than me.
  The essence of human aging is cell decay, but the activity and regeneration of stem cells in Josie’s body never seem to decrease. His appearance seemed to stay in his twenties, and he was full of energy at all times.
  Faced with this man with the “frozen age gene” in front of him, he didn’t know where to start the language he had just organized on the way here.
  ”The next thing I’m going to tell you is a little weird. You might think I’m crazy, but I think so too. Are you ready to listen?”
  ”I think I’m ready.” Josh He was upright, his eyes full of anticipation.
  I started talking about the amazing experience at the “Destin” bar, and while listening to my description, Josie’s expression changed from surprise to joy, which is what I was worried about.
  ”Lao Xu, that’s why I admire you! You can always do something new.”
  Josie excitedly rotated the short knife in his hand, only then did I realize that there was a dark green gemstone inlaid on the handle of the knife .
  ”Are you going to accept Renault’s request?” I asked knowingly.
  ”Why not? It’s not about a few gold bars. I want to save a great statesman and even change the history of France.” Josie happily raised the short knife in his hand, “I’m going to use this treasure to end up That woman’s life, she deserves this honor!”
  ”Well, it’s easy for you, but there is one detail that must be paid attention to, after saving Mara, don’t have any communication with him, like I did In that case, you must think about coming back. Behind you is the door of the living room, which is the door to return to the real world.”
  ”But according to Reynolds, it shouldn’t be only the door of Mara’s residence that can return to reality? As long as I want to come back , doesn’t opening the door of any building take me back to the ‘Destin’ bar?”
  Josie’s objection is precisely what worries me the most.
  ”As you said, Renault did stay there for a while, but he didn’t interfere in anything, and you are different, don’t stay there after you kill that girl named Charlotte, Paris A foreign murderer with blood on his hands is obviously not welcome in the streets of the city.”
  ”Then listen to you.” Josie’s expression was frustrated, like a wronged child.
  I wasn’t sure if Josie would hear me, but I gave him the contact details of the bar owner, Reynolds.
  Before I left, I couldn’t help but made another exhortation: “Do you know the story of Sodom in the Bible? The angel told Rhode and his family that when Jehovah punishes Sodom, don’t Turn back, otherwise she will be destroyed with the people in the city, but Rhode’s wife forgot the angel’s warning when she destroyed the city, just looked back, and she immediately turned into a pillar of salt.”
  ”Curiosity killed the cat, I understand . Yes!” Josie put me on my shoulders and laughed and sent me out, “Don’t worry Lao Xu, it’s only ten minutes each time, don’t get too nervous.”
  ”Remember to call me when you’re done.”
  ” No problem!”
  I haven’t heard from Josie since that day.
  After waiting nervously for two days, I got a call from the bar owner, Reynolds.
  On the phone, Reynolds told me that Josie had successfully completed the task. He asked me to go to the bar to get the four gold bars that belonged to me. When I asked Josie’s whereabouts, Reynolds avoided talking, and my heart was filled with ominous ominousness. hunch.
  After hanging up, I hurried to the “Destin” bar.
  I parked the car in an open space opposite the bar, and as soon as I got out of the car, I saw an old man in ragged clothes walking around the corner, with a tattered cloth bag hanging on his chest, his dark hands stretched out tremblingly come to me.
  ”Get out of here, I don’t have time to deal with you.”
  I took out a few coins from my pocket and threw them in front of the old beggar, then went straight to the bar.
  Since it was in the morning, the bar had not yet opened, and there was only Renault in it. When he saw me, he took out four gold bars from behind the bar with an indifferent expression, and reluctantly placed them in front of me.
  ”This is your reward. I’ve given Josie the other ten gold bars. He did a good job.”
  But Reynolds lost the enthusiasm that day.
  ”For the sake of gold bars, I forgive your indifference. Where did my friend Josie go? He hasn’t contacted me for the past two days.”
  ”He left after the matter was done. He said he would take the initiative to contact you. , maybe he went somewhere to be cool? After all, ten gold bars are enough for him to squander for a while.”
  ”You don’t seem very happy? Didn’t Josh save Paul Mara’s life?”
  Reno shrugged helplessly. shrugged.
  ”Josie prevented Mara from being killed, but it didn’t stop Mara’s death. When you traveled through the past, you should have seen how bad Mara’s body was, right?”
  That’s right, thinking of Mara’s overgrown body now The abscessed skin, I still feel nauseous.
  ”Mara escaped the assassination with the help of Josie, but it didn’t take long for him to fester and die from herpetic dermatitis.” Reno’s tone revealed regret, “Everything that happened after that happened as normal in history. Yes, the Jacobins where Marat belonged was overthrown, and slowly, a short man named Napoleon began to stand out, and finally became the emperor of France… Nothing has changed.”
  The tide of history is mighty, not Will change because of Josie’s actions alone, which is a relief to me.
  ”But Josie seems to like that turbulent era.”
  Reynolds’ words surprised me. He didn’t notice my surprise and took me to the painting again.
  The background in the upper half of the painting is still dark, but I was shocked that Mara, who should have died, was sitting quietly in the bathtub and reading letters. Beside the bathtub, a young woman was lying on the ground. The woman’s expression was extremely painful. There was a knife stuck in her back. The blood stained her brown silk dress. Because the knife was inserted too deep, only the The hilt of the knife was inlaid with dark green gems, which was the short knife that was seen at Josie’s house at that time.   ”Because of Josie’s intervention, the world famous painting “Death of Marat” disappeared, and now there is only this painting in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium. It is the only thing Josie has changed, and I
  lost ten gold bars for this.”
Ignoring Renault’s complaints, on the table below the painting, a yellowed French newspaper caught my attention.
  ”This is a piece of news published in 1836 by the French cheap business newspaper Le Century,”
  Reynolds introduced, handing me the newspaper.
  I took the newspaper, because I had learned some French before, and I could understand a little bit. The general content was as follows:
  On July 13, 1793, a black-haired and yellow-skinned foreign man stopped Charlotte from assassinating Paulma. Pulling the action, the man became a hero of France.
  In July 1794, Mara’s faction was overthrown because of the “Thermidor coup”. Because the foreign man Josie murdered the young girl Charlotte Corday last year, the coup d’état announced that the minions of this Mara faction would be imprisoned forever. In a dungeon under a castle. When the dungeon was built, the soldiers sealed all the gates with cement. This man named Josie was put into the dungeon by people in a wooden cage.
  In August 1836, just after the “July Revolution”, King Philip, who was newly on the throne, announced the release of Josie, who had been imprisoned for 42 years. This person has since disappeared…
  The French letters on the newspaper gradually turned into Countless claws, my heart seemed to be ripped tightly, and the contents of the newspaper suffocated me. Although it only took ten minutes from time travel to return, Josie seemed to have experienced too much in another world.
  ”As long as you want to go back, open the door of any building and you can go back to the bar.”
  This is what Reynolds once said to me, but Josie seems to be too immersed in the feat of saving Marat. He is anesthetized by the title of “Hero of France”. He has forgotten the principle of “one emperor and one courtier”. The hero was imprisoned in a dark dungeon in the blink of an eye.
  When he regretted it, he found that there was no door in the dungeon!
  My stomach was surging, and I hurried out of the bar, now I desperately need a breath of fresh air outside.
  Just as I rushed out the door, I suddenly stumbled and stumbled under my feet. I looked down and saw the old beggar I had just seen outside curled up on the icy ground.
  The old man’s face was covered with deep wrinkles. He closed his eyes tightly and opened his mouth wide. At this time, he had already lost his breath.
  I walked to the old man’s body, and with trembling hands, I opened the cloth bag on the old man’s chest, which contained ten golden bars.
  That was Josie’s last bounty.