YanMingXiu took him to a members only restaurant that he had previously gone with LanXiRong. The patrons who come and go from here are all from the entertainment industry so they are protected from being harassed by the public.
It seems that fame has brought a lot of disturbances to YanMingXiu’s life. It is hard to imagine that a person like YanMingXiu, who is so self-centered and so indifferent toward strangers, would put himself in the entertainment circle where there is a complete lack of privacy. Even though gossip relating to him is very rare, but coming and going will require him to conceal his face. Just thinking about this kind of life already made ZhouXiang thinks that it difficult to bear, not to mention for YanMingXiu, who has a very bad temper.
The waiter took them to a secluded area and politely offered them the menu, “Mr. Yan, please.”
YanMingXiu seems to come here often as he familiarly selected a few dishes.
After taking the order, the waiter went away. The two sat directly across from each other, both not knowing what to say. The atmosphere is very awkward.
ZhouXiang unintentionally looked at YanMingXiu and was stunned by the depressive expression in his eyes.
YanMingXiu's facial features did not change from before but the temperament of his entire person has changed completely; from this bright and brave looking, arrogant and unyielding youngster to this introverted, coldly detached, and unsmiling young man.
Only one person can make him change to such extent.
Even though many things have changed with the passage of time, the two of them is actually sitting together again. But YanMingXiu could no longer recognize who he is. This scene seemed to change instantly and the dark and exquisite restaurant became ZhouXiang's old family home with the both of them sitting face to face at the table tasting the dishes that ZhouXiang cooked.
At that time, YanMingXiu’s smiles and his smiles…both of their smiles came from within their hearts.
Looking at YanMingXiu, seeing this person who is now so unfamiliar to him, who he could no longer guess what is on his mind, and then thinking of his already 'dead' self, he can only look at life through someone else's body. With this person (YanMingXiu) whom he had once been intimate with, now they are looking directly face to face, but no longer know each other. His inner pain and sorrow are like the torrents of the river's raging water, furiously flooding his heart.
This moment is so painful that it is indescribable.
People who have not experienced this can never understand how much sadness, regret and helplessness is in his heart.
He desperately appeased himself in order to forcefully maintain calmness on the surface, even though his heart has already felt like it had been twisted with a knife.
YanMingXiu’s slender fingers tapped on the wooden table and said in a low voice, "Your name is ZhouXiang, is it also the Xiang from "fei xiangT/N"?
T/N: 飛翔 – fei xiang means to soar in the air, spreading wings and fly
ZhouXiang took a deep breath with his lips shuddering a bit as he nodded, “Yeah.” Does he (YanMingXiu) still remember himself (ZhouXiang)?
YanMingXiu stared at him for a while, and then turned away, his half-lidded eyes concealing his emotions.
(Yan's thoughts) Does he look like him? Not alike? Even the back is a little similar. Why is he only interested in this person? When he is with him, he always has this odd feeling. It is as if something is pulling at his heart, making him follow this person closely. Why is that? Besides having the same exact name as ZhouXiang, what else is there? Why is he hoping for this bit of pathetic consolation?
YanMingXiu’s heart tightened.
He is nowhere… nobody can be him.
ZhouXiang asked cautiously, “President Yan, why did you want to invite me to dinner? I'm a little embarrassed."
YanMingXiu didn’t respond to his question. He didn’t know how to respond. He just felt that there is something that he needed from this person but he didn’t know what it is. He couldn't even explain this weird feeling to himself, how can he explain it to someone else?
He thought of a question that he had wanted to ask all along, “What is your relationship with CaiWei?” When Xiao Jiang told him that CaiWei refused his request, he was very astonished. Originally, the coincidence of ZhouXiang working with CaiWei is enough to make him wonder. Now CaiWei's attitude is making him even more suspicious.
“Wei… I am Wei Ge's employee. Wei Ge takes great care of me.”
“Why would he do that?”
ZhouXiang lowly muttered, “Maybe because I have the same name as his buddy who has died."
YanMingXiu slammed his fork on the china plate, his neck stiffly moving, and his serenely deepened eyes probing him, “You know about his (older ZhouXiang) matters?”
ZhouXiang carefully pondered over every word he is going to say next, “Wei Ge told me a bit.”
“CaiWei…what did he tell you?”
“Only said that he was filming in the mountains and had an accident and died…”
“He's not dead!!” YanMingXiu suddenly shouted lowly, shocking ZhouXiang.
YanMingXiu’s eyes suddenly became bloodshot as he glared at ZhouXiang, “Who told you that he died?”
ZhouXiang is so shocked that he sweated profusely. What does YanMingXiu really know?
YanMingXiu's attitude made him even more afraid to speak. He hesitated, “The specifics… I don’t know. It’s what Wei Ge said.”
YanMingXiu seems to be aware that he has lost self-control. He used a napkin to gracefully wipe his lips and tried to suppress his emotions, “He's not dead. Go back and tell CaiWei not to speak utter nonsense."
These words were not only a warning to CaiWei but also a warning for him. ZhouXiang could certainly understand its meaning. He wanted to ask YanMingXiu why he is so certain that he's not dead. He's so obviously and thoroughly dead… so thoroughly dead that his soul has taken on someone else's body. In this world, is there anyone else who can have more say with regards to his life and death than himself?
But to say that he's not dead is indeed right. His soul is still alive.
But how can YanMingXiu be so sure?
He pondered over and over again but still did not ask. He was afraid of making YanMingXiu suspicious.
YanMingXiu said faintly, “ZhouXiang is not dead. He will come back one day. You should be glad that you've touched his light. Otherwise, why would CaiWei take special care of you?”
That is also the truth. CaiWei is one that upholds the code of brotherhood but is not a fully compassionate Holy Mother. The only reason why CaiWei would help him for the most part is because CaiWei wanted to make himself feel better. Even though he never blamed CaiWei, CaiWei still felt guilty for his death.
ZhouXiang glumly responded, “President Yan is right.”
Eating this meal is bland and flavorless. No matter how delicious the food is, ZhouXiang can't taste it because his heart is suffering from unspeakable torment.
Fortunately, YanMingXiu did not continue on with this topic. It seems that he was treating him as though he was transparent. YanMingXiu finished eating his own food and didn't utter another word.
Remembering the countless meals they had eaten together, ZhouXiang never thought that one day they would have such a strangely bizarre meal together.
ZhouXiang realized that his psychological defense is not strong enough. All these happy and sad memories still penetrated through these small cracks right into his heart, piercing him and riddling him with holes.
It would be nice if he was really given more than two years' time, even if he was just lying in bed, it is enough for him to get rid of these huge, negative emotions. Unfortunately, although the world’s clock has ticked passed two years, in his consciousness, he was still sleeping with this person in front of him just three months ago. He will get up early to prepare breakfast and then happily pull YanMingXiu out of bed to eat.
Drastic change. In such a short time, he had experienced a drastic change.
If time is a cure for everything, then the dose he took is obviously not enough.
After the meal, YanMingXiu didn't appear to have the intention to take him home. ZhouXiang was even more eager to leave separately. The two of them left the restaurant and parted ways.
ZhouXiang took out his cell phone and called CaiWei.
He thought it was necessary to tell CaiWei about this (regarding the ad), but he had been so busy the entire day that he didn't even have the time to check his phone.
CaiWei really didn’t know anything about him going to film this ad with YanMingXiu. In President Wang's eyes, this is nothing that is worth informing CaiWei. When ZhouXiang told CaiWei about it, CaiWei was utterly astounded.
ZhouXiang asked, “Wei Ge, why didn't you want me to come?”
CaiWei didn't want ZhouXiang to misunderstand so he explained, “It's not that I don't want you to get more work, I just don’t want you to get too close to YanMingXiu.”
ZhouXiang quickly voiced, “Wei Ge, you must have your reasons for doing what you did. I have no other meaning, I'm just curious.”
CaiWei deeply heaved a sigh, “With my buddy's accident, this surname Yan person needs to bear a huge part of the responsibility. I don’t want to say more. In short, stay far away from him. He's nothing good.”
ZhouXiang sighed, “Wei Ge, don't worry. I'll remember." Clearly, CaiWei has grudges toward YanMingXiu because of him. The reason why he was in an accident, indeed, is in part due to YanMingXiu.
To say that he does not hate YanMingXiu is impossible. But since he has been reborn, there are many things that are more important than holding grudges. Not to mention that he didn’t want to have any connection with YanMingXiu. Hate or not hate, what can be done?
ZhouXiang didn't tell CaiWei about YanMingXiu inviting him out to eat. Naturally, he didn't mention YanMingXiu's warning (about him speaking nonsense with regards to ZhouXiang's death). CaiWei is not a blabbermouth. What’s more, what YanMingXiu said is really baffling.
However, since YanMingXiu is so determined that he is still alive, then the things in his home most likely have not been changed. And naturally, YanMingXiu will not initiate in getting his death certificate issued. He has no relatives in Beijing. If his death certificate is not issued, the Public Security Bureau can only treat this as a disappearance. He's afraid that his relatives who have the legal rights to manage his assets will never know that he had passed.
Then the cash and bank cards left at home are likely still in the same place. YanMingXiu simply would not be interested in these things. He must go back as soon as possible.
ZhouXiang looked up Assistant Jiang’s cell phone number. He planned to start with this assistant and get close to him to find out about YanMingXiu’s recent itinerary. And then pick a time when YanMingXiu is away to go back home and take a look.
End of the Chapter