ZhouXiang slept for more than ten hours. When he woke up, the sun was soon to set.
It's not that he had enough sleep but he woke up mainly needing to pee. He shook his throbbing head and got down from the bed. Once his foot landed on the ground, his legs went soft. If it wasn't for his hands holding the bed supporting him, he would have definitely fallen to the ground.
The aching pain in a specific lower area of his body embarrassingly reminded him of what happened last night.
With much difficulty, ZhouXiang propped up his body and wobbled to the bathroom, and cleaned himself thoroughly.
The house is very quiet. YanMingXiu had left at some time ago. ZhouXiang got dressed and walked out of the room holding his waist. Looking at the clock, it was already four o’clock in the afternoon.
He suddenly remembered that he should call ChenYing.
He dialed her phone. At this time, ChenYing is doing dialysis at the hospital. Immediately after picking up the call, she complained, “How could you just be calling now? I've called you several times this morning. I know that your work is busy but you should have the time to pick up a phone call right? Mom would worry.”
ZhouXiang remorsefully apologized, "I'll for sure call you ahead of time if I'm not coming home in the future.”
“Then are you coming back today?”
“Today…” ZhouXiang is momentarily astounded. Should he ask YanMingXiu first? This big boss obviously needs him to be available at all times. He thought about it. “If I don't have anything to do tonight, I'll definitely be back.”
His answer is the equivalent to not saying anything. ChenYing ended the call disappointedly.
After ZhouXiang hung up the phone, he felt hungry so he made a bowl of noodles for himself and ate it in the empty room.
Although he was drunk last night, he could actually still remember many details. It's just that YanMingXiu’s somewhat brutal actions made him feel very unfamiliar. He seemed to have been able to feel the despair vented from YanMingXiu's body, this feeling affecting him inch by inch, making him fall into a kind of inexplicable madness.
YanMingXiu really has changed a lot. But hasn't he also? Time…can really change a person completely.
Even after he finished eating, YanMingXiu still hasn't called. ZhouXiang didn't think that there would be anything going on today so he got dressed and returned home. After going home, he accompanied ChenYing for a while. Then he went into the room to rest. He still had a hangover. His head is throbbing. Since he didn't have to do any filming today, he must get a good rest.
Not long after lay down, his cell phone rang. At first glance it was a strange number. He hesitated before connecting the call.
A strange voice sounded, “Hello, is this ZhouXiang?”
ZhouXiang pondered a bit. It seems to be TanYin. He pretended to not hear him since he didn't want to have any association with this man, “That's me, may I ask who this is?”
The phone on the other line suddenly paused and then made a dissatisfactory 'squeaky' sound, “You really can't tell? Or you're being deliberate?”
ZhouXiang didn’t say anything even though he was a bit impatient.
TanYin felt that it was no fun and helplessly responded, “It's me TanYin.”
TanYin awkwardly responded, “We're hanging out. Why don't you come join us? Ah Wu and Xiao Cai are here.”
“I don’t know these people.”
“You know them before.”
“I don't know them now.”
“What's wrong with coming out to get to know them then?" TanYin is a bit displeased, “Come out, everyone wants to see you.”
ZhouXiang said with patience, “Xiao Tan, I still have to go to the set tomorrow. I'm very tired today. I need to rest. The people that you mentioned, I really don't know them. If they really wanted to see me, I believe that the two years that I was in the hospital, it wouldn't have been that nobody came to see me. I don't see what the point is now."
With these words, TanYin’s face changed. The former gentle and even somewhat weak ZhouXiang might really have disappeared. That person will never scold him indirectly like this.
ZhouXiang responded, “Let's just leave it at that. You guys enjoy yourselves, bye bye.” After saying that, he resolutely hung up.
He can imagine TanYin being so furious that his head is about to explode. This can also be said as helping the original owner of this body and ChenYing vent out a little of their resentment. Although he does not know much, his intuition tells him that this TanYin is an arrogant and pompous person with questionable personality. He definitely gave a lot of pains to the owner of this body.
Even though ZhouXiang likes beautiful boys, he likes those that are a bit adorable. It's fine if they are a bit scheming but overly extreme in that regards is detestable.
With his mind heavily in thoughts, ZhouXiang unknowingly fell asleep.
When he got to the set the next day, both YanMingXiu and WangYuDong didn't come, but TanYin had arrived early. When he saw ZhouXiang, he glared at him fiercely.
ZhouXiang pretended not to see him and went to get dressed to shoot his scenes. It wasn't until three in the afternoon that the day's work ended.
When he packed up ready to leave, the planning coordinator gave him a piece of paper.
ZhouXiang glanced at it. It is the schedule for next month’s filming location. He is surprised, "Already leaving next week?"
The planning coordinator responded, “Yeah, the itinerary is a bit tight, because we want to get it out in time for summer break next year so we have to head to the mountains before it starts to snow."
“I see that my scenes aren't starting till the 4th, can I go there a few days later?”
“My mom's health is not good. It's not convenient for me to out for too long.”
"That's not going to work ah. There's going to be a specialist who will be taking the crew to the mountains. He can't possibly just go to pick you up separately. But you don't have to worry. After filming your scenes, I'll send you back. Even if it ended early, I've also arranged to have you leave on the same day as YanMingXiu."
“Yan …. YanMingXiu is also going?”
“Yeah, but his scenes aren't many.”
ZhouXiang felt a bit troubled. In the wilderness where it's so sparsely populated, these dozens of people seeing each other every day and working so closely together, anything odd going on will easily be noticed at a glance. He's worried that his relationship with YanMingXiu would be discovered by people.
The planning coordinator patted his shoulder, “In short, just get ready in advance.”
Since that night, YanMingXiu had not contacted him. It was as if he has disappeared from his life.
Instead, LanXiRong called him twice. The first time was to ask if he had returned home safely that night. The second time was to tell him to come and shoot the MV.
The second time ZhouXiang went to shoot the MV, he brought the cashmere sweater that had been cleaned to return it to LanXiRong. Originally this is just a very ordinary move but it gave the crew the impression that their relationship is very good. As such, he received yet another commercial in the afternoon.
ZhouXiang has muddled along and shot several ads, but still none has led to any fame. But after the release of LanXiRong's MV and the film he participated with WangYuDong, he will be a familiar face for some of the viewers. Fame is just a matter of being seen and be known by even more people. As long as there is exposure, how he looks is really not the main point.
Letting others mistakenly assume that he has a good relationship with LanXiRong is also a good façade. At least he can slightly touch that limelight. Although he knew that LanXiRong is only being a bit courteous to him because they are coworkers from the same company and he is giving face to CaiWei.
What he didn't know was that the more contact LanXiRong had with him, the more he felt that he has the shadows of (older) ZhouXiang and his expression toward him is becoming more and more strange.
Before going to Guizhou for filming, ZhouXiang finally finished shooting his scenes for the MV.
The day before he left, he received a phone call from YanMingXiu; whom hasn't contacted him for half a month.
"President Yan," ZhouXiang tried to keep his voice steady even though he felt a little awkward.
“Come over, not your place but my home."
“Right, you've been here.”
ZhouXiang still remembered the place where he had taken drunk YanMingXiu back that time. When he thought of ChenYing's reminder for him to come back home early to eat crabs at night, he couldn’t help but sigh.
As he was rushing to YanMingXiu's place, he gave ChenYing a call. He got to YanMingXiu's home in less than half an hour. As soon as he entered the door, he saw YanMingXiu wearing casual home clothes, giving him an indifferent glance, “I have something to ask you.”
“Oh? Mnnn..President Yan ask.”
YanMingXiu turned his back and looked out the window. He didn’t want ZhouXiang to see his expression. Although he had already forced himself to calm down, he was still afraid of revealing his emotions. His seemingly calm voice slowly uttered. “Let me ask you. Did you have an accident more than two years ago and laid in the hospital for two years?”
ZhouXiang is stunned. Is YanMingXiu investigating him?
He suppressed the uneasiness in his heart, “Yeah.”
"What is the specific time of your accident?” YanMingXiu secretly clenched his fist, even though he already knew the date. That is a date he would never forget his entire life but he still wanted to hear it from ZhouXiang's mouth.
The anxiety in ZhouXiang’s heart is even heavier. “I… I don’t remember.”
“You don’t remember? How could you not remember?”
“After I woke up, I've lost all my previous memories. I really don’t remember.”
YanMingXiu suddenly turned around, his expression a bit fierce, "Was it August 13th, X Year?”
The shock ZhouXiang’s face flashed by.
This is also a date he would never forget in his life, because it is the date he 'died.' He has been convinced that because the time of his accident coincided with the exact same time when the original owner of this body got injured, adding on that both of them have the same exact names, so the phenomenon of soul swapping could have occurred.
If there must be an explanation, he thinks that the common belief would be that when the King of Hell(T/N) was collecting souls, he ended up collecting the wrong one. Originally, only one of them died (older ZhouXiang). But the King of Hell collected two souls (both ZhouXiangs) so when he later realized that one hadn't yet died (younger ZhouXiang), he released one of them back into the living. But as a result of them having the same exact names, he released the wrong soul back (older ZhouXiang) to the living. So it resulted in today's situation.
T/N: According to ideas from Taoism,Buddhism, and traditional Chinese folk religion, after death, the soul will enter Diyu, which is a purgatory that serves to punish and renew spirits in preparation for reincarnation. All will go to Dijyu after death, but the period of time spends there is indefinite, depending on severity of the sins one committed. The King of Hell (A Yama king) is the ruler(s) of this place. In this story, ZhouXiang is thinking that King of Hell got the two ZhouXiang's mixed up and sent the dead one (Older) ZhouXiang back to the living instead of the injured younger ZhouXiang.
He didn't care what the reason was that cause this situation of today. There is one thing that he is certain, and that is, he does not want to die. He hasn't lived enough. He didn’t want to die at all. Even if he was in someone else’s body, he wanted to live on.
Therefore, he has always been deeply afraid of this matter. Regarding his unusual identity, he was even more reluctant to speak up. He is afraid that once this phenomenon got leaked, the impact to him will be unpredictable.
When YanMingXiu looked at him with this distorted expression, he suddenly felt fear. He was afraid that someone would know, especially YanMingXiu.
He forced himself to remain calm. He believes that the average person would not believe in these outrageous things. His greatest reliance is that he and (younger) ZhouXiang are really two completely different people, regardless of how many coincidences there are between them!
He pretended not to know and shook his head, “I only know that it was two years ago, specifically at what time? I don't remember. I also didn't ask my mom. I'm afraid that it'll sadden her. President Yan, why do you suddenly care about this?”
YanMingXiu’s piercing eyes moved back and forth on his face. He is utterly mystified by ZhouXiang’s innocent, calm expression.
After all, even he himself didn't know what he is skeptical about. What is this huge suspicion in his heart that is soon to make him collapse? He has no clue at all!
End of the chapter