Summer was Zhao Jianlong’s favorite weather. The morning sun wasn’t hot, and was occasionally accompanied by a gentle breeze. After getting up early to practice martial arts, she planned to go visit the new teahouse, and have a taste of the delicacies being served there.
Stepping out of the back door, she saw a tall sedan chair placed in the lane outside, blocking her way. She didn’t prepare a sedan chair to go to the teahouse, and her father and brother didn’t like to travel using one. Did someone come to visit?
While she was still thinking about it, she heard something from behind her. Two people carried a thick board – a stretcher – out of the back gate. Had the stretcher been covered with a black cloth, the scene would have been reminiscent of mourning for the deceased.
“Father, second uncle, what are you carrying?” Zhao Jianlong followed them and asked.
Zhao Changshan’s face was embarrassed, “He wanted us two to secretly shift him out of the house to the inn, and didn’t relent no matter how hard we persuaded him.”
Hearing that, Zhao Jianlong was so shocked that her jaw dropped. Her family was willing to protect someone who has been so seriously injured and void of mobility, that he had been judged by the doctor to remain bedridden for at least a month. Why should he give up such a good place to stay? After all, he had enemies behind him. Could that be the reason why?
The first time they met, he said, “Don’t save me.” She vaguely understood that he had no intention to live. However, she was kind to him at the time, and her entire family had gone through great pains to save him – Yet, his current actions seemed to yell at them – that all their hard work had been in vain.
Zhao Jianlong caught up with her father and uncle, and recounted the words the man had uttered in that half-dead situation. They were surprised, and drove the sedan chair back to their house.
“You…” When Shen Yue heard her words, he was so angry that he couldn’t say anything, and so dismayed, he directly fainted.
When he woke up, the night was deep, and the moonlight that shone through the opened window shone on a familiar little head, leaning drowsy by the bedside.
Once upon a time, he felt that since she couldn’t love him, he could make himself the person she hated the most, and dye her memories, making her unable to forget him until she died. As a result, she really did die. At that moment, the sky seemed to shatter, and he couldn’t bear it. She was dead, and he couldn’t obtain her – His selfish shackles and prominent role in her life meant nothing. The more he hurt her, the more he hurt himself – And every time he tortured her, his heart was tormented many times more.
Unexpectedly, God had given him another chance. After being reborn, contemplating over countless days and nights, he finally made a decision. He gave her up, so that she could live well at least in this life.
It’s not that he wanted to die that day when Zhao Jianlong found him in the woods – But that he was afraid, once he got better, he wouldn’t be able to leave her alone.
He never expected that the very woman who had tried all means to escape from him in his previous life, would choose every means to persuade him to stay this time. If she continues being so kind to him, how could he bear to leave her in the future?
The feelings welled up in his heart brought forth a sorrow far greater than death itself. From the moment she rescued him, he had no choice but to be dominated by fate.
Zhao Jianlong raised her head, surprised that the man was looking at her with such uncanny eyes.
His pale face was full of scars, and she couldn’t make out his original appearance – His visage resembled a beautiful ink painting mottled by time, but his eyes were burning. He was an excessively strange person, and this aroused her curiosity. “Master, are you awake?”
Shen Yue retracted his gaze, and closed his eyes again.
She felt that such a virtuous person would be somewhat lonely, and his previous experience might be more sad, so as long as he had a little mind in his heart, he would force himself to understand.
She felt that a person dedicated to Taoism like himself, might have been a lone wolf all his life – his previous experiences must have made it hard for him to depend on others – And that as long as she pays a little more attention and lets him sense her pure intentions, he would definitely understand and not voice any complaints.
Recalling that she had saved his life, and spent many efforts to take care of him for so many days, Zhao Jianlong was furious that the other party was as cold and heartless as a stone. “This is my home,” she exclaimed. “Why should I listen to you?”
He was as quiet as she had expected. He didn’t even breathe. It was like talking to a dead man.
Zhao Jianlong simply said: “I know you don’t want us to save you, and that you are looking for death, right?”
“Well, whether you fess up or not. I don’t want to force you. I know you are suffering. But it doesn’t mean I’ll forgive you. I just want to cure you. Don’t think I’ll act the same way when you get better! ” Speaking of this, there was already the element of anger. Zhao Jianlong rolled up her sleeves and began to take off his clothes.
“Stop it-” He cried in a weak and feeble voice, still frigid beyond compare.
Is there anything to be afraid of from a quadriplegic person? Zhao Jianlong lifted her chin and raised her voice: “I say, which part of your body have I not seen before? I’ve been wiping you down for seven days now, didn’t you know?”
Shen Yue was shocked. He knew that she had been taking care of him, but he had never expected that she would dare go to such an extent to treat him. This can’t really be Zhao Jianlong. Am I awake or still dreaming?
She was a little flustered by his deep eyes before she realized that she had said something very explicit. Heat rushed to her pale cheeks, and her knees felt a bit weak.
Shifting her gaze away, she explained, “Master, we just want to repay your kindness from nine years ago. The people of Wulin pay great attention to gratitude and resentment. When helped once, we will repay it many times over. If we’re wronged, we pay that back many times over, too. Now that our benefactor is facing troubles, the COSCO escort agency will not callously stand by.”
Shen Yue burst out laughing.
Zhao Jianlong was stunned. What an inappropriate reaction when she was being serious. Had she said something funny? He was such a strange person. “Master, if there’s something wrong with my words or conduct, you can say it out loud. Why pointlessly beat around the bush?”
In his past life, when he realized that she had misunderstood him to be a life-saving benefactor, he decided to keep the truth a secret – But there was no wrong in darkness that could remain hidden from being brought to light. As a result, upon discovering the truth, she had hated him even more. But this time round, he wanted her to dislike him and stay as far away as possible – So he frankly came clean from the start: “I assassinated the Red Fox Sect. Shi Zhongtian, your real benefactor and the original owner of the Dragon Whip, was the target of my employer’s assassination. I decapitated him half a year ago.”
This news arrived like a bolt out of the blue, and Zhao Jianlong was baffled for rather a while. Watching his mouth go off, his voice low and tinged with sarcasm, she would rather believe he said those words deliberately to irk her.
“Why? Can’t accept having saved the wrong person – Having saved the enemy of your benefactor? I wanted to get away from this house to avoid being killed upon you coming to terms with the truth. I want to leave. It’s better to kill me rather than to remain a doll at the disposal of a girl who’s still wet behind the ears.”
He felt his words would make her so angry, she would strangle him to death on the spot. Such an outcome would be way better than his current state of sorrow. After being subject to 20 years of inhumane training under the Red Fox Sect in his past life, his personality had been so paranoid for a long time that he had to get whatever he wanted, even at the expense of destroying the said conquest. When he finally set his sights on her, he was like a madman, wild and uncontrollable. If he were really to be saved here today, it would be hard to guarantee he wouldn’t revert to hurting her incessantly once again.
Even after thinking for a long time, she had no impression of that benefactor. Maybe because of that, she was only disappointed for a moment. Still, what a waste of her sincerity. “You told me the truth, but you’re still under my care. Do you think that according to justice, I should just end your life now?”
“You’re the ones who attach great importance to love and justice. I’m a cruel murderer. Is there any exception for someone like me?”
When seeing him like this, his desire to die was too obvious. Zhao Jianlong was doubting the so-called truth. “This matter hasn’t been discovered yet, so I won’t do anything to you, yet. We’ll settle accounts after I discuss it with my father and uncle.”
With that, she ran out angrily, leaving him with only a desolate silver moon for company.
Zhao Jianlong stood under the outer wall, hesitating. The lights in the courtyard were out, making it obvious that her parents had gone to sleep. If I tell Dad about this, according to his character, he will immediately break that man into pieces. However, the words of a strange man so eager to die can’t necessarily be taken at face value.
She was afraid she would have to entrust others to make a thorough investigation. In the meantime, should she continue taking care of that man? She wasn’t sure what would happen after the discussion with her family, but if she was going to save him she should commit to it until the end. After all, she had worked so hard to keep him alive.
Finished thinking about it, she went back to her room to get some money before quickly leaving the house to find someone to investigate.
After a few days of breathing adjustments, Shen Yue could feel a little more sensation in his body and hands and feet could move a little. However, after he forced Zhao Jianlong away, no one else came to apply medicine for him. When his nightmares left him waking up in a cold sweat, it caused the scab on his body to itch unbearably.
After he could move more, he began to scratch the places that were irritating him. By the time Zhao Jianlong entered the house, he had torn apart more than half the scab on his abdomen, blood dripping onto the gray sheets.
Zhao Jianlong’s eyes widened at the sight as she clapped furiously. “What a good fellow. You can move now, so you even begin to self mutilate. I see you are truly impatient to live, why don’t I help you.” With that, an index finger directly poked his bloody abdomen.
Shen Yue’s skin was still sensitive, the nerves tender. It did hurt when he broke apart the scab, but the itchy feeling was bad enough to disregard it. So it was extremely painful to receive such a hard poke. But a killer’s daily training was also like this. He has been used to it for such a long time, he didn’t even frown, his face like that of a wooden doll’s.
Zhao Jianlong could only stare, surprised at such indifference. Currently, he had no qi in him, but when she touched his body, he would open his eyes, proving that he still had sensitivity. What kind of perseverance did he have to endure the pain? Although he was a peculiar man, there was no denying his strength.
Feeling the blood on her fingers, she felt guilty. Zhao Jianlong drew back her hand and wiped it with a handkerchief. Only villains abused others and she was not that ruthless.