ZhouXiang thought for a long time and still didn’t know how he could get in. With several people standing at the door, he would definitely not be able to get through.
He could see that Xue Ge had no say in this matter whatsoever, so it would be useless to wait for him to find a way. He also couldn't he wait any longer.
He is anxious to see himself. Also, he wanted to know why the two Yan brothers are here and brought so many people with them. When he was alive, he never felt that YanMingXiu cared much about him, so to be given this sort of treatment after his death is really ridiculous.
After some thought, he decided to just go directly in. It's simply impossible for him to avoid so many people so he might as well give it a try.
He walked out of his shadow and went straight to the lighted farm house.
Before he even got close, a soldier came over and asked, “Is something the matter?”
ZhouXiang tried desperately to suppress his impatience, “I'm looking for YanMingXiu.”
The solder is stunned, his expression suddenly became cold as he looked at him cautiously, “Who are you?”
“I'm his …… friend.”
Another person heard their conversation and turned around to go into the house.
After a while, a slender man came out of the house. ZhouXiang looked at him in the dim light, it is YanMingSu.
YanMingSu merely glanced at him. Then, he lowly muttered, “Let him in.”
ZhouXiang followed YanMingSu into the house.
The light in the house is a lot brighter. YanMingSu's condition looked really bad, with heavy dark circles around his eyes. His exhaustive expression seemed like he had experience some sort of torture. His entire person appeared dispirited. He swept ZhouXiang a glance and asked, "What are you doing here?”
“I came with CaiWei, CaiWei is… a friend of ZhouXiang, we came to identify…. the person.”
“There is nothing to identify. The person had been dead for three years. What do you think is left? It's just bones.”
ZhouXiang's heart tightened instantly. The person YanMingSu is referring to is not just any random person, not a dog on the side of the street, but it is him…is him ZhouXiang.
YanMingSu didn’t notice the change in ZhouXiang. He seemed very resentful as he gloomily muttered, "It’s already like this. This guy…. really fucking can't stop making people worry."
ZhouXiang felt so painful that he pressed his hand on his chest and squatted down. He only felt dizziness, as if the sky and earth are spinning relentlessly, his legs could barely support his weight. His face paled, seeming to have lost any trace of blood, “Bones… only bones are left…”
“Otherwise, what else do you think there is…..what's with you?” YanMingSu flashed him a glance and noticed that something seemed very wrong with ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang raised his pale-white face, “Mr. Yan, could I see?”
“ZhouXiang’s … corpse.” He reluctantly said these words. In this moment, he's finally acknowledged in his heart that he has completely been obliterated.
“Why do you need to go see? Who are you to him?”
ZhouXiang couldn’t answer. How could he tell him that he's the owner of that body? With only a few meters away, he couldn’t even see his own body for the very last time.
ZhouXiang is already very dazedly consumed by extreme sorrow. He persisted, “I beg you. Please let me have a look.”
YanMingSu frowned deeply and looked at ZhouXiang suspiciously.
ZhouXiang quickly added, “No, not me, for Wei Ge, Wei Ge must see.”
“Not possible, you guys can’t.”
ZhouXiang’s expression looked a bit fierce, “Why?”
YanMingSu stared into his eyes and mouthed each and every word very clearly, “My brother is in that room. He does not allow anyone to come close nor is he willing to come out. Not to mention you, I also can't go in.”
ZhouXiang looked at him stiffly, “Why?”
YanMingSu sighed, “Going out this door, every word that I said earlier, you must not leak it out. The reason why I'm here is because of this. If you dare let others know, you won't be able to bear the consequences."
“He…why is he?”
"Why?" YanMingSu smiled forcefully, "Because he is crazy."
“He… he and ZhouXiang’s…. ZhouXiang’s (T/N)….”
T/N: ZhouXiang is referring to YanMingXiu trapping himself in the room with his corpse.
“Right, he has been like this since he got here, not eating, not leaving the room, not making any sounds, just staying in that room."
YanMingSu exhaustively rubbed his eyes, “I intend on waiting another day. If he's still the same, I'm going to forcefully take him back to Beijing.”
ZhouXiang is utterly shocked.
Why is YanMingXiu guarding his bones? Why is he? What rights does he has?
ZhouXiang's mind buzzed. He couldn't digest this information at all. The scenes from the past flashed swiftly in front of him. YanMingXiu’s tender affections and ruthlessness, he had experienced it all. But never once did he feel that he occupied any space in YanMingXiu’s heart. YanMingXiu’s heart is filled to the brim of WangYuDong. There is hardly any space for him.
But what is the meaning of YanMingXiu's unusual behavior now? Guilt? Is it merely just guilt?
ZhouXiang pulled himself up from the ground, and panic-strickenly said, “I'll go see him.”
YanMingSu glanced at him and said tiredly, “You could try it. If you could make him talk or get him to come out, I owe you a favor.”
ZhouXiang's voice trembled, “Let me go in.”
YanMingSu led him out of the house to the house next door and handed him a flashlight. “Look for the lights yourself inside, use the doors to guide you.”
When ZhouXiang opened the door, his hand that is holding the flashlight immediately sweated, becoming wet and slippery. He couldn't get rid of this chilling feeling since he stepped into the house.
The house inside is very dark; the ground has a lot of pot-holes. As soon as he walked in, there is a black stove on the side. ZhouXiang walked toward the stove. Everywhere that the flashlight shines at is eerily frightening. But he is not afraid. He has too many doubts and sentiments in his heart. He has no strength to be fearful. He pulled the drawstring of the kitchen lamp and the kitchen lit up.
ZhouXiang threw the flashlight down and turned to the room inside. Through the faint light, he could see what was lying on the bed in the bedroom.
ZhouXiang’s heart beat erratically. He took a few big steps and turned on the bedroom lights. The room is small. He could see everything at a glance, including the skeleton covered with white cloth on the bed and the person sitting on the ground.
ZhouXiang’s legs went soft. He almost fell to the ground.
At this point, ZhouXiang is too busy to worry about whether or not YanMingXiu is dead or alive sitting in the corner. His eyes stared unwaveringly at the skeleton on the bed. What YanMingSu said was right, there is nothing to see. When a person's skin and flesh is gone, the only thing exposed without exception is the ghastly white skeleton of the dead. No matter that this person was his most familiar self; it had become this, how could he possibly recognize it?
ZhouXiang’s tears rapidly and uncontrollably flowed down his face.
At this time, he could care less whether he would be discovered by YanMingXiu. He had almost forgotten everything. He knew that this skeleton once belonged to his healthy body; it was once full of life. He didn't know what else in the world could be more cruel than seeing his own corpse.
He almost collapsed. He's come to experience that kind of immense sorrow from losing his parents in that year, sorrow so immense that it could not be described and could not be vented.
In the end, ZhouXiang didn’t dare to go over. He only dared to look at it from a distance of a few meters. He really didn’t have the courage or strength to walk over. Even his conscientious mind has now consumed all of his physical strength.
He looked down and glanced at YanMingXiu. YanMingXiu is leaning on the wall with his eyes closed. He didn't seem at all unfitting with the skeletal corpse because he is like a dead person himself; with his face paled and his spirit lifeless. Furthermore, he's not moving at all. Even the lights and sounds coming from the external world could not trigger him to make even the slightest reaction.
If it wasn’t for the slight trembling of his nose that told ZhouXiang that he was still alive, ZhouXiang really would have thought that YanMingXiu had no heartbeat.
He has never seen YanMingXiu looking like this, so hopelessly devastated, his (YanMingXiu) entire person seeming to be completely drained, as if he is just a heap on the ground that is merely an empty shell.
Is YanMingXiu heartbroken because of his death?
ZhouXiang’s body trembled. He wanted to go up to YanMingXiu and ask him, “Are you heartbroken because of me?” If you are really this heartbroken, then why didn't you tell me before? Why didn't you tell me before I die… that you do, in fact, also care about me in your heart?
Why did it have to wait till he had turned into a pile of bones for him to realize that YanMingXiu is heartbroken over him?
Too late. Too fucking late. LaoZi has been thoroughly dead!
ZhouXiang’s tears continued to fall uncontrollably. As compared to losing a loved one, this is even more horrific, more emotional because he had lost himself. He had lost his past…his feelings… his identity…his body…his life… his everything.
Although his soul is still alive but it is never him.
He began to hate YanMingXiu again. He never wanted to put the blame of his death on YanMingXiu because he knew that he couldn’t do anything. Thinking this way will only make it more painful for himself. But now, facing the skeleton that was his own body, he hated YanMingXiu to the extreme. If it wasn’t for YanMingXiu, he would still be alive and living fine, enjoying his life with this body. But instead, he is like a lonely ghost taking over someone else's body. Not to mention, having to mercilessly look at his own corpse. He could no longer stand seeing YanMingXiu looking as if he had lost his soul.
He quickly tottered out of the house. When he rushed out, whoever he might have bumped into, whatever sounds he could have heard, he had no idea. He just wanted to run a bit farther away, so that this long nightmare is behind him. He ran into a forest, but was tripped by a stone on the ground and rolled out a few meters. He started to howl and cried loudly, frantically slamming himself on the ground. With the sight of his skeleton lingering on his mind, he couldn't take it; he felt that he's already gone crazy.
Urgent cries filled his ears. Whoever that was dragging him, pulling him, he pushed this person away, using all his energy to push this person away. He wanted to keep running but his legs were weak.
Finally, he felt darkness in front of him, consuming him, and he collapsed on the ground.
End of the chapter