“It would take a few days for the exam results to come out. You should take your mother home but according to my years of experience in medical practice, this must be an ailment with the kidney's function.” The doctor pushed his glasses and handed a list of prescription to ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang’s hand trembled a bit as he lowly asked, “Doctor, could it be cancer?”
“Don't be so pessimistic. This can’t be determined at the moment. Not until the results are out. After it’s out, I advise you take it to a big hospital for a more thorough review. But as her son, you also lacked common sense. Can't you see that your mother's expression is very bad? A person of her age would have somewhat of a yellow tinted skin but it will not be this yellow. This is not normal. It is sickly."
ZhouXiang's head lowered. He felt as if an invisible big stone is pressing on his shoulders, so heavy that he couldn’t even lift his head.
How could this be?
Kidney function disease? What could it be? Kidney inflammation? Uremia? Diabetes? Kidney failure? Kidney cancer? ZhouXiang’s understanding of kidney diseases are just a few, but each one made him endlessly petrified and worried.
ChenYing lost her husband in her middle age and in her old age have a son that laid in the hospital bed for two years in a vegetative state. Her strength is merely motivated by her son whom she didn't know whether or not would wake up. But now that her son had awakened, she had also crumbled.
Moreover, she would never know that her son's body lives another person's soul. Although this is not by ZhouXiang’s choice, he still felt guilt and heartache toward ChenYing so he would never let ChenYing know that her son is gone. After his awakening, he was confused with many things but there is one thing that he is certain of and that is no matter how harsh and difficult life may be, he would always continue to play the role of ChenYing’s son, until the day one of them dies.
He never thought that ChenYing might not have the time to enjoy their new lives after paying off the debts. She might even be leaving this mundane world with regrets and unwillingness.
When ZhouXiang thought of this, his heart felt such indescribable intense pain.
This woman is too pitiful. Why does she have to endure this? ZhouXiang clutched the medical record tightly, his body shivered lightly.
The doctor patted him on the shoulder, “I said, don’t be so pessimistic. Maybe things aren't as serious as you think. Go back first, ah.”
ZhouXiang took a deep breath and then slowly breathed out. He wiped his face and stood up, “Doctor, thank you, I will come again the day after tomorrow.”
Leaving this room and going back to see ChenYing, he must be the son that could hold up the sky for this woman.
After fluid transfusion, ChenYing had regained consciousness. The doctor did not request that she stay in the hospital. She was accompanied by a friend that she met in the caretaking training course. They were waiting in the rest area for ZhouXiang. When she saw ZhouXiang, it was like she saw her life-saving straw, her dark gloomy pupils flashing out rays of glistening lights.
ZhouXiang quickly came over and supported her arm, “Mom, how are you feeling?”
“I'm fine. Slept for a while. I'm much better now.”
The auntie next to him asked nervously, “Xiao Zhou, how is she?”
“The doctor said that the results will be out the day after tomorrow and tells us to go home first and wait.”
ChenYing pressed her hand on her chest and trembled, “Ah Xiang, what if I……”
“Mom.” ZhouXiang interrupted her. “Mom, don’t think too much. The results aren't out yet. Maybe it’s just ordinary kidney inflammation.” ZhouXiang looked at ChenYing's yellow pigmented skin. The doctor's words lingered in his ears. He faintly felt that it is not as simple as kidney inflammation.
At this time, ChenYing didn't know what to think. Hearing ZhouXiang say it in such a way, despite her anxiousness, she tried to suppress it. She didn't want ZhouXiang to be worried seeing her like this.
ZhouXiang thank the auntie who accompanied them to hospital and then took ChenYing home.
They hailed for a taxi but ChenYing was not willing get in until ZhouXiang pushed her in.
After arriving home, ZhouXiang said to ChenYing, “Mom, don’t go to any training in the future. Just rest at home. You've been worried about making money for so many years, now it's my turn."
ChenYing couldn’t help but cry, “Ah Xiang, why is it that our lives are so hard?”
ZhouXiang patted her back gently and said with a smile, “It’s not hard, we are both good now. What can be so difficult? It's only the issue with money. My income will get better and better. Mom, you don’t have to worry about anything. Just take care of your illness.”
ChenYing held her son and cried intermittently. If she didn’t have this son by her side, she would have already died. She didn’t think that God could be so cruel. She thought that once her son awakened, her hardships would come to an end. Not expecting that just when ZhouXiang recovered, she would get sick. She actually felt that her body was getting worse and worse but she had been enduring without saying anything. It's her own body so she knew that this is definitely not just an ordinary kidney inflammation. Toward the future, she is full of fear and resentment.
ZhouXiang coaxed ChenYing for a long time before she could fall asleep. Seeing ChenYing’s abnormally tinted yellow face with her brows still creasing in her sleep, ZhouXiang felt such unbearable pain in his heart that can't be described.
No matter what illness ChenYing has, it is certain they will need to spend money. ChenYing can’t go to work like this and he'd probably have to hire someone to take care of her. How much is all this going to cost? Just thinking about this, ZhouXiang could see that his path going forward is turning bleak and depressing.
From his rebirth to the present, there is not a day that he didn't have to worry about money. This has never happened in his previous life. Feeling that he is not at all like the previous ZhouXiang, this economic pressure is so overwhelming that he couldn't even breathe. His optimistic personality of the past is not something that he could afford at this moment.
He is now just a poor man working hard to make a living.
ZhouXiang thought of the text message from Zhang Jie.
What conditions does he have to be proud? To pick and choose? To have a job that makes money, he should have no hesitation in accepting. What capital does he have to be picky on whose stuntman he is for?
When a man is poor, he should have low expectations (t/n). ZhouXiang is now fully aware of the meaning of this sentence.
T/N:人窮志短: idiom means when a man is poor, his ambition is not far-reaching; poor with low expectations.
Just this morning, he had despised taking on this proposal (to be to WangYuDong's stuntman). But now, he knows that he must seize every opportunity in his hands to make money. It is not clear what kind of illness ChenYing has, but it is certain that they would need money.
After ChenYing fell asleep, ZhouXiang called CaiWei.
CaiWei quickly picked up, “I've just finished being busy and was just going to give you a call. Ah Liu said that Auntie Chen fainted? Did you guys go to the hospital? How is her condition?”
CaiWei asked a series of questions in a row. ZhouXiang felt a migraine coming as he somberly responded, “Still don't know yet. She had an examination today. The doctor said to go back to the hospital the day after tomorrow to get the results.”
“Can’t be…anything serious right?” CaiWei is heavyheartedly anxious.
ZhouXiang heaved a sighed, “Not sure right now, Wei Ge. I'm calling you for another thing.”
“What is it?”
“I recently met a big sister, surnamed Zhang, from the same company as WangYuDong. She wanted to recommend me as WangYuDong's stuntman. I wanted to let you know.” No matter what happens, he can't accept private jobs behind CaiWei's back. This would sabotage CaiWei's trust in him.
CaiWei didn’t say anything for a long time. After a while, as if he had regained his senses, he asked, "You say….who?”
"WangYuDong," ZhouXiang knew what CaiWei is thinking. Even he felt that this is hard to believe. He had clearly changed to a completely different identity but still, he seems to be taking the same old path.
When he first entered the martial arts stuntman world, he could only get minor roles. Until one time he became WangYuDong's stuntman. At that time, WangYuDong had also just debuted, but because there was huge financial backing, he was the company's targeted object to promote. So right when he debuted, he played the lead actor of a martial arts film. When they were looking for ZhouXiang to be the stuntman, in order to mold WangYuDong's divine wholesome image, they made an agreement to pay him double the fee but ZhouXiang's name will not appear in the film's credits. The film was promoted as if all the scenes were done solely by WangYuDong himself. At the time, ZhouXiang was also a newcomer. Without foresight, he agreed without hesitation. Later, he regretted it tremendously because the film became a huge hit. There were several martial arts scenes in the film and most were done by him. The scenes that were arranged by the martial arts coordinator, the shooting skills of the filmographer and the later production; overall the effect in the film was remarkably superb. Those scenes were gorgeous and beautiful. One of the scenes was even deemed as classic. If ZhouXiang had insisted on having his name shown on the film's credit, just from the reputation and popularity of the film, he would've gotten some of the limelight and likely wouldn't have been underrated having to struggle for the few years after. Unfortunately, he had already signed the contract. Even though the people that knew about this in the entertainment circle is not many, it's not something that he could expose to the public.
However, later even after WangYuDong got famous, he continued to look for him to be his stuntman. Both him and CaiWei didn't agree to have his name removed but WangYuDong didn’t care too much. The two continued to cooperate. So, he also rode along the waves of WangYuDong's popularity. It could be said that by being beside WangYuDong, he got a lot of opportunities. The WangYuDong at that time could not be compared to the WangYuDong now. He was already able to bring him a lot of benefits. Right now ZhouXiang is indeed short of money, under the lack of connections, if it wasn't because of the bad experiences from the past, he would not have refused.
Although he deeply hated having anything to do with WangYuDong again, the reality is that there is a sword on top his head, forcing him to make a decision.
CaiWei deeply sighed on the other line and lowly muttered, “What life is this? How could this be……?.”
ZhouXiang pretended to be confused, “What?”
“You don’t know? That ZhouXiang also use to be a stuntman for WangYuDong. As a matter of fact, the two have worked together on several films. He was almost the predominate replacement for WangYuDong.”
ZhouXiang lowly muttered, “I've heard it from others.”
CaiWei added, “Ah Xiang, this matter. I advise you not to go.”
“Because that buddy of mine had a very unpleasant experience with WangYuDong over something in the end. Do you think that WangYuDong could accept another person with the name "ZhouXiang" as his stuntman? No matter how you put it, it'll be awkward.”
ZhouXiang smiled bitterly, “Wei Ge. My situation right now, as long as there is a way to make money, even if I have to go inside a black lighted bonfire, I have to go inside, let alone because of this. You don't have to worry. This Zhang Jie only knows that my surname is Zhou. I will change my name when the time comes. As long as you don't reveal it, it'll be fine."
CaiWei thought of his more than ¥300,00 debt and then thought of his mother who fainted today. He couldn't say anything to stop him.
ZhouXiang is right. At this time, he really should not stop him from doing this because of his own apprehensions.
CaiWei reluctantly responded, “Give me the number of that person. I'll help you get connected through the company. Do it well. You'll be able to meet many people being by WangYuDong's side. It's a …… good thing.”
ZhouXiang softly responded, “Thank you, Wei Ge.”
End of the Chapter