ZhouXiang never thought that there would be a day that he would have to go claim his own “corpse." Such absurd and cruel thing actually happened to him.
This news was so shocking that ZhouXiang didn't know if he had the courage to see his own dead body.
Deep within his heart, he still held onto the little illusion with the hope that his body was well preserved in a certain place. And that one day, God will be kind enough to let him return to his own body. He would take everything that has happened as if it was a dream. But when he heard of the news, this last bit of hope is utteraly shattered.
According to what CaiWei said, it was no longer possible to determine his identity by appearance. They could only assume that it was him by the clothing and photography equipment that he was carrying. A DNA test is required for the final confirmation. The reason CaiWei told him this was to get his opinion on whether or not he wanted to go to Guangxi to take a look. After all, that is ZhouXiang’s own… (body)
LanXiRong was silent the entire time. Apparently he still hasn't regained his senses from the tremendous shock. He just put his hand on ZhouXiang’s back and gently stroked it.
After a long time, ZhouXiang looked up. His eyes were bloodshot, looking very agitated as he hoarsely muttered, “Wei Ge, please go with me. I……I have to go look. That is the body given to me by my parents (T/N) so I must go……to handle it." ZhouXiang sniffed. "Go with me. I am afraid I can't take it." ZhouXiang covered his eyes. He felt such intense pain that he didn't know what to do.
T/N: The Chinese saying is 身體髮膚, 受之父母, 不敢毀傷, 孝之始也 which esstentially means our bodies—to every hair and bit of skin—are received by us from our parents and we must not presume to injure or wound them. This is from the Book of Filial Piety by Confucius.
What he had experienced and endured is something that no one else could experience in their entire lifetime.
He is going to see his body, a body he had used for more than 30 years. It is the proof that he had once lived and existed in this world. He is familiar with everything in that body. He is the real ZhouXiang and that body carried its weight. It was once a healthy and lively body. But now, he has to face the body that may have become a pile of bones. He simply did not know how to describe his feelings. Fear? Sadness? Despair? That's not it or it could be said……that it is.
LanXiRong said softly, “Xiang Ge, I'll go with you. I'll always be by you.”
CaiWei sighed, “Of course I'll go. Otherwise, with your identity right now, you won't be able to get near."
ZhouXiang gulped down another half glass of the liquor and regained a bit of his senses. He responded, "Wei Ge, I always wanted to ask you. How were my funeral arrangements handled? Did you inform my relatives?”
CaiWei exposed a weird expression, “Your funeral arrangements… were handled by YanMingXiu.”
"What?" ZhouXiang is shocked, "Why was he the one managing it? You have my aunt's phone number right? At that time……"
CaiWei interjected, “At the time, I did inform your relatives. Those relatives that you still had contact with all came. They wanted to inherit some of your stuff but YanMingXiu wouldn't allow it because your accident was handled as a missing person case. Without your death certificate, adding on to YanMingXiu's pressure, they couldn't do anything. Therefore, all your things are in YanMingXiu's hands.”
"Why did he do this?" ZhouXiang frowned, "Could it be……could it be that he really believed that I am still alive?"
LanXiRong added coldly, “If he didn’t help WangYuDong at the time in preventing you from going to the opening ceremony, you wouldn't be forced to take on that documentary work. YanMingXiu felt guilty so he kept your things.”
ZhouXiang combed through is hair, “Wei Ge, do you have any way to get my condo back?"
CaiWei shook his head, “I really don't have any way.”
LanXiRong depressingly muttered, “Maybe you could buy it back?”
ZhouXiang thought for a moment, “Right. Now that they found my (body)……a death certificate could be issued, then my aunt can inherit the house and I could buy the condo again."
CaiWei sighed, “It's useless. YanMingXiu won’t give your condo to anyone.”
ZhouXiang furrowed his brows, “Why?”
CaiWei was just about to open his mouth, but LanXiRong interjected him with his expression, hinting for him not to say anymore. He believed that CaiWei also felt like he does, in not wanting to see ZhouXiang and YanMingXiu get back together. It's best that ZhouXiang never know of YanMingXiu's feelings toward him.
As expected, CaiWei changed the topic, “This is not the main problem. It's that you might not be able to afford the condo."
ZhouXiang is startled then became silent.
CaiWei is right. He definitely can't afford the condo. The average price of an old condo in that location is more than ¥20,000 per square meter. Although his condo is only a little over 70 square meters, it would cost nearly two million to buy it. He really can’t afford it.
LanXiRong answered, “I will buy it.”
ZhouXiang glanced at him, “XiRong, I can’t let you…”
“Xiang Ge,” LanXiRong interrupted him with a smile, “I could treat it as an investment right? Do you really have to haggle with me so much? That condo also had my memories. How many meals have I eaten there before? How many times have I watched TV there? Like you, I'm also not willing to part with anything in that condo. If all goes well and your relatives could sell the condo, I'll definitely buy it. Don't try to persuade me to change my mind."
ZhouXiang knew that this was probably the only way to keep the things in the condo. He knew that LanXiRong would do it; two to three million is really nothing to him. It would be nice if everything really went as smoothly as they thought. But for what CaiWei had mentioned, ZhouXiang still had some concerns. He didn’t understand why YanMingXiu was holding onto his condo. Could it really be because YanMingXiu felt guilty toward him?
CaiWei didn’t give him time to think about it, “I have already made arrangements. We will go to GuangXi tomorrow. ZhouXiang, go back and get ready. I'll pick you up at 7:30 tomorrow morning.”
LanXiRong joined in and added, “Wei Ge, I'll go with Xiang Ge tomorrow and meet up with you. You don't have to pick us up."
“That'll work. Ah Xiang. Remember to request time off from Ah Liu. He's in charge of personnel."
ZhouXiang nodded; his mind in chaos. He wiped his face, "I'm going to go to the bathroom." After saying that, he got up and walked to the bathroom. He needed to wash his face and sober up. After he closed the door, LanXiRong immediately asked CaiWei, “Does YanMingXiu know?”
CaiWei nodded with a heavy expression, "Earlier than me. He's probably already at GuangXi."
“The (body) …is still in the mountains?”
“Yes, there are about forty kilometers in that place that are not open to traffic. It is all mountainous paths so can only rely on foot. They are moving it out now. It should be transported to the city closest to the mountain today.”
LanXiRong frowned slightly “If we go there like this, what are we going to do if Xiang Ge run into YanMingXiu?”
“I will try to arrange it so they won't. I also don’t want them to bump into each other.” CaiWei’s expression is a bit hesitant, “However, I'm really afraid that something will happen to YanMingXiu. Three years ago he……”
LanXiRong glanced at him sharply, “Wei Ge, don’t forget who did this to Xiang Ge. Don't tell me that you have sympathy for him?”
CaiWei shook his head, “I just think that this matter is not as simple as they think.”
LanXiRong stood up, “No matter how, I must first try to prevent them from meeting. I'm afraid that Xiang Ge will waver…… After the DNA results are out, we will inform Xiang Ge's relatives to deal with the funeral arrangements. The sooner the better.”
CaiWei deeply said, “We'll try……" He had too many concerns, like heavy clouds in front of him.
When ZhouXiang came out of the bathroom, he pushed aside his wet bangs and said to LanXiRong, "Please take me back home."
LanXiRong came over and patted his back, revealing a gentle smile. “Xiang Ge, I will be by your side the whole time. Don't be afraid."
ZhouXiang reluctantly smiled, "I'm not afraid.”
End of the chapter