When ZhouXiang woke up the next day, the first thing he saw was LanXiRong’s face.
He stared at the simple roof and recalled everything that happened last night. His entire person felt like a dream, completely unreal.
LanXiRong quickly patted his face, “Xiang Ge? Are you okay? Can you hear me?”
CaiWei also came over and looked at him worriedly.
ZhouXiang laid stiffly for a long time before opening his mouth, “I'm fine.”
The two are relieved.
LanXiRong supported ZhouXiang to sit up on the bed and poured him a glass of water.
ZhouXiang drank a few mouthfuls of water and looked at the people and things around him. He doesn't know how to describe this feeling. It's like his body is stepping on empty space, but his mind is very clear.
It's likely that his frantic wailing from yesterday enabled him to release most of his suppressed emotions. The somberness from his body has uplifted quite a bit so he had regained his sanity. He thought, even if he were to be faced with his unrecognizable skeletal remains again, he wouldn't run away.
He said to himself, ZhouXiang, you must have a clear mind. You must pull yourself together.
After this last bit of his hopeful illusion had completely shattered, there was no way for him to go back so he became surprisingly calm. He clearly knew that the most important thing for him right now is to be able to get back his and his parents things. To continue on being perplexed over it will not change the facts and is completely meaningless.
ZhouXiang looked at LanXiRong and CaiWei's concerned expressions and apologized, “Sorry, sorry for making you guys so worried, I'm fine."
Seeing him appearing so calm instead made the two of them scared. After all, ZhouXiang was acting as though he was crazy yesterday; his entire person mentally collapsed. Anyone who had experienced this kind of thing would likely act like him. So now, seeing him so calm, the contrast is too big, making the two of them feel very uncertain, afraid that ZhouXiang will do something even more extreme.
ZhouXiang got on the ground and put on his shoes, smiling calmly, “I am really fine. I got over it. Yesterday was just very upsetting… but…it's no longer important.”
CaiWei shook his head and sighed. “If you're really feeling pained, you must not hold it in. Seeing you like this is even scarier."
ZhouXiang patted CaiWei’s shoulder, “Wei Ge, me going over there by myself yesterday might have cause some trouble for you.”
"That's not the main concern. YanMingSu wanted you to go see him after you wake up.”
LanXiRong grabbed his arm, “Xiang Ge, you don't have to go. I know that this is really hard for you. If you don't want to stay here, I'll go back with you. Wei Ge can stay by himself and handle the rest.”
CaiWei also nodded in agreeance. “It's fine for me to stay”
ZhouXiang shook his head. “I want to stay here. I'm going to go see YanMingSu and…” and YanMingXiu, but he didn’t say that aloud. Seeing YanMingXiu looking like that yesterday made him extremely unsettled. He wanted to confirm something.
ZhouXiang didn’t allow them to come along with him. He went by himself to see YanMingSu.
Just when he got to the front door of the farm house to where YanMingSu was staying, to his surprise, there are actually two monks standing outside.
ZhouXiang is a bit oblivious. He didn't know much about religions and the like but his first reaction is that they were invited to perform some sort of religious ritual to help the soul find peace. ZhouXiang felt a bit frightful. Looking at him now, he appears to be a normal person. But the most unbelievably absurd thing had occurred to him. Although taking possession of another person's body is not something that happened to him voluntarily, it's still not right. So when he saw these two monks, he was particularly nervous, just like how monsters would feel see Taoist priests. But it was too late for him to turn back. The soldier who was standing at the door had already saw him. One of them turned and went to inform YanMingSu. ZhouXiang could only force himself to move forward. The facts have proved that this was just his imagination. The two monks just nodded politely and didn’t pay too much attention to him.
After a while, that soldier came out and motioned for him to go in.
Immediately after ZhouXiang entered the house, he felt an extremely unusual atmosphere. He couldn’t describe the feeling. It's like this dilapidated rural house suddenly became very different. Even the flowing air had become gravely solemn. He walked into the bedroom and realized that not only was YanMingSu sitting inside but next to him is a tall and thin old monk, looking about seventy years old with no facial expressions. The moment ZhouXiang came in, the monk looked up and shot him a glance, a glance that is endlessly penetrative. Although there weren't any fluctuations in his expressions, ZhouXiang became extremely tensed.
YanMingSu said to ZhouXiang, "This is my master, JiKong Great Master." YanMingSu seems very respectful, his mannerism is even humble.
ZhouXiang made a Buddhist gesture (clasp his palms in prayer form and bows), this he dared not neglect.
In the past decade, he has come in contact with many prestigious and powerful people in the entertainment industry. Although they might not remember him, he knew a lot about these people. He found that the more powerful a person is, the stronger the need for faith. For example, the second generation wealthy President Wang is an obsessed Buddhist, no matter how busy he is every year, there is a fixed two to three months where he will take a retreat to devote entirely to the faith. Everyone in Beijing highly respects him but even so, when he goes to Tibet, he remains very-well disciplined. When he saw TieBang lama, he didn't even dare to lift his head. These were not rumors but came proudly from President Wang's own mouth. When he mentions his master, it is like admiring the gods. It is extremely common for some big state-owned enterprises and private enterprise bosses to believe in Buddhism or other spiritual beliefs. It was not at all surprising for ZhouXiang to find that YanMingSu has a master.
A person who YanMingSu could respect as a master is definitely an extraordinary great master, but he just didn't know why this person would appear at this place.
JiKong Master watched him quietly or a while, still having no expressions, nor did he say anything.
Being looked at by this master in such a penetrative way made ZhouXiang feel extremely awful. He said to YanMingSu, “Mr. Yan, why were you looking for me?”
YanMingSu looked at him seriously, “I want to know what you saw yesterday when you went in, what you said and what you did.”
ZhouXiang lowly muttered, “I saw a bunch of bones, saw YanMingXiu sitting on the ground with his eyes closed not saying anything. I didn’t do anything, I got scared and fled.”
“But he wanted to see you now.”
ZhouXiang is startled, “Fine, I also want to see him."
He walked into the farmhouse for the second time. But this time, YanMingXiu was sitting in front of the dining table. In front of him is a plate of breakfast but it hasn't been touched. YanMingXiu is just sitting there dazedly staring at the food.
After ZhouXiang entered the house, YanMingXiu looked up at him with blood-shot eyes. YanMingXiu's appearance now is a far cry from his coldly indifferent and calm self of the past. He looked haggard with his hair unkempt and a lot thinner in just a few days.
There is something forcefully pounding in ZhouXiang's heart.
He couldn’t help but look toward the room with his corpse but the door is closed.
YanMingXiu spoke up, his voice is hoarse, “Sit down.”
ZhouXiang sat down and looked restlessly at YanMingXiu directly across from him. He wanted to say something but didn’t know how to say it.
YanMingXiu looked at him; his empty eyes flashed a trace of mysterious light. He stared directly at ZhouXiang, as if wanting to see through his flesh into his body, making ZhouXiang feel extremely uncomfortable.
YanMingXiu said, “There are some things I need to tell you, because I can’t let CaiWei see me like this, I'll tell you and you go and convey it to him.”
“I will take care of everything for ZhouXiang so he doesn't need to be concerned.” When YanMingXiu said these words, his eyes never left ZhouXiang’s face, trying to gather all the expressions on his face.
ZhouXiang's voice trembled, “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is… ZhouXiang's remains and estate will be handled by me.”
“But, he still has relatives…”
“I know. I've already resolved that. Right now, all of ZhouXiang's things are my legal property.”
ZhouXiang’s hands under the table clenched into fists. He lowered his head and concealed his expression. He lowered his voice, “That, how do you plan on handling… handling ZhouXiang… and his things?”
“I will bring him back to Beijing for burial.”
ZhouXiang then asked, “What about the condo? Sell it?”
YanMingXiu looked at him deeply, “I'm going to remodel the condo.”
ZhouXiang is dumbfounded. He muttered, “Why… why…?”
YanMingXiu’s slender fingers gently tapped the table, and not at all politely and rhetorically asked, “Why should I tell you why?”
ZhouXiang responded, “Because… Wei Ge said that ZhouXiang has some things in the condo that he wanted to take for sentimental reasons."
“As I've said, everything belonging to ZhouXiang is now my legal property. It has nothing to do with him. I will handle it myself.”
ZhouXiang secretly bit his teeth, “How do you plan on handling it?”
YanMingXiu responded coldly, “Burn it or bury it along with ZhouXiang.”
ZhouXiang almost bolted up. What right does YanMingXiu have to decide on what to do with his things! Those are his (things)… but he immediately thought that with his current status, he had no right to decide.
With his voice trembling, “President Yan, Wei Ge's relationship with ZhouXiang is really good, he especially want to get back some things, especially ZhouXiang’s parents…”
“That doesn’t matter to me. I have a responsibility for matters relating to ZhouXiang. I think it's better for ZhouXiang to take those things.”
ZhouXiang is so furious that he felt dizzy. He said sharply, “Why bother remodeling the condo, might as well also burn it for him?!”
“The condo is not bad, I have some sentiments toward it and it's close to where I work. I can live there in the future, but I need to change how it looks so that I don't feel so bad.” YanMingXiu said this calmly, with no cracks in his expression, grim and pitiless. ZhouXiang’s heart is already thoroughly cold. He really didn't know how else he could get his things back.
He most certainly can't depend on his aunt. YanMingXiu must have resolved it. Facing YanMingXiu’s decision, he is helpless.
YanMingXiu stretched out his hand and pinched his chin, forcing him to look up. “Go back to tell CaiWei, I'm too lazy to follow up with the thief. It's no longer important. I will return to Beijing tomorrow to manage ZhouXiang's burial, then his condo and car. Tell him that he does not need to get involved. I'll inform him of the funeral.”
ZhouXiang stood up and gritted his teeth, “YanMingXiu, who are you to ZhouXiang? What right do you have to decide on the whereabouts of his things? Wei Ge is ZhouXiang's best buddy, you should…”
“I am ZhouXiang's man,” YanMingXiu’s eagle-like eyes looked deeply into his eyes. “No one is more qualified than me to handle his things.”
ZhouXiang took a step back, looked at him fiercely, then turned and left.
YanMingXiu’s eyes followed his back and knew that he had disappeared from in his sight. He grabbed his chest, the dull pain from his heart made it almost impossible to straighten his back. He slowly clenched his fists, his blood-shot eyes staring at the direction in which his back disappeared, and spit out two words, “Zhou-Xiang.”
End of the Chapter