Thank you Lorettelala for the kofi! Here’s a bonus chapter 💖
With great difficulty, Jiang Ci grasped Ye Ming’s hand with a faint wronged look in his eyes. His voice was weak. “I’ve been waiting for you this whole time. I’ve waited so long…”
Ye Ming let Jiang Ci hold onto his hand. The rims of his eyes burned a little, and his throat felt stuffy. He knew that the day Jiang Ci had gotten into a car accident was precisely the day he’d left that year…This made him feel immensely anguished.
At that time, it wasn’t that he wanted to leave without saying goodbye, he just didn’t know how to say it.
He couldn’t say goodbye, so he said nothing at all.
Ye Ming bent slightly at the waist and looked into Jiang Ci’s eyes. Earnestly, he said, “I came back. I’m here with you.”
Jiang Ci heard this and finally seemed to calm down. He closed his eyes again and fell asleep.
During this span of time, the doctors had already gotten the news and rushed over. They examined Jiang Ci’s body and said, “He fainted again, but it’s alright. It’s good as long as he could wake up.”
Ye Ming breathed out a sigh of relief, nodded, and left. Mrs. Jiang should be arriving soon; it was best if he avoided her.
When Ye Ming arrived on the second day, Jiang Ci was already awake and sitting on the bed. It seemed he had just eaten lunch. When he heard Ye Ming, he turned his head toward him and looked at Ye Ming with his black eyes, his expression calm and not at all surprised.
After Jiang Ci woke up, he heard that Ye Ming would come visit him every day. So what he saw yesterday after waking up wasn’t a dream. It was real.
Ye Ming, however, stood there a little bit hesitantly.
This entire time, he’d been hoping Jiang Ci would wake up soon, but when Jiang Ci actually woke up, he suddenly felt a bit like he couldn’t face him. After all, so much had happened. Could he really go back to treating this person like his son again, just like that? And what reason did he have for coming here? It was merely because of self-blame and guilt…
The one who’d said he wanted to part was clearly himself.
Jiang Ci concealed the yearning and longing in his eyes and slowly smiled. He said, “I ran into you the same way before, not long ago. You just suddenly appeared in my hospital room, just like this. It was like I was dreaming.”
Ye Ming pursed his lips slightly. He didn’t really know how to respond.
Jiang Ci continued, “I’m really happy you came to see me, but you don’t need to come and feel sympathetic for me.”
Ye Ming’s expression shifted. He said, “It’s not sympathy…”
Jiang Ci was calm, his eyes hard to read. Though he was clearly in the prime of his youth, it seemed like he had already gone through many difficult life experiences. He smiled slightly. “I’m fine, I’m very well. You can leave feeling at ease now.”
You’ve always been so kind and soft-hearted, so you came to visit me. It’s not something to be suprised about. But I don’t want to be despicable and use my weakness to keep you here.
If I love you, I should let you leave me instead of taking advantage of your kindness to give you a hard time.
Ye Ming stared at Jiang Ci. After a long time, he suddenly said, “Do you know why I left you?”
Sorrow momentarily flashed in Jiang Ci’s eyes. Gloomily, he said, “Because we shouldn’t be together. Because I’m not your son.”
Ye Ming shook his head.
Jiang Ci thought it over and then said, “Because you regretted it and didn’t want to keep me?”
Ye Ming said, “Not that either.”
And so Jiang Ci couldn’t really figure it out, and looked at him, confused.
Ye Ming’s eyes became gentle. After many years, he looked at him like this once again. He parted his lips slightly and said, word by word, “It was because I love you.”
Jiang Ci thought he might be having auditory hallucinations. At this point in his life, he could actually hear these words coming from this person’s mouth.
Ye Ming smiled, looking a little reminiscent. “Because I love you, so I wanted to let you return to your true family. I wanted to let you have genuine happiness. I wanted to right my wrongs.”
“I didn’t leave you because I hate you or because I got sick of you or because I didn’t want you…it was just because I love you, that’s all.”
Jiang Ci seemed to feel something hot flowing from the corners of his eyes.
Ye Ming said, “You don’t know how much I needed you, how much I didn’t want to leave you. If it weren’t for you, I might’ve left to accompany my wife a long time ago. It was you who made me keep on living…If I could, I would’ve wanted to keep you forever, but how could I be so selfish? When you really love someone, you should stand in their shoes and consider their desires. I’m really sorry…I came to understand this so late and hurt you so much.”
Jiang Ci looked at the man in front of him. He wanted to clearly, carefully look at him, but something was blurring his vision, not letting him see clearly.
It turned out he really loved him.
It turned out this was the real reason he left.
Now that you’ve said this, even if we’re only strangers from now on, it’ll all be okay, because I’m already perfectly content.
[Ding, Jiang Ci’s blackening value -1, current blackening value 1]
After Ye Ming finished saying these words, he was a little bit embarrassed. He thought he would never have the chance to say these things aloud again for the rest of his life, and would take them to the grave. He didn’t think there would be such a day as today.
But this was what he owed Jiang Ci. These words—he should have said them clearly in the first place that year.
Ye Ming’s tone was warm and gentle. “I’ll come again another day.”
Jiang Ci watched as Ye Ming left. He didn’t move for a long time.
[888: You should be getting ready to leave soon.]
[Ye Ming: Right, I forgot to ask you: if I leave naturally this time, will the main system keep taking care of this body?]
[888: No, this is a paid service, and it isn’t cheap.] You don’t have any money now, but even if you did, I figure you wouldn’t be willing to spend it.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
[Ye Ming: Then why could it do it before?]
[888: Before, it was a special offer for you as a newbie.] Currently, Ye Ming was the only host who had gotten the main system’s special offer for newbies. Supposedly, the main system wanted to promote this new paid service in the reincarnation world. Taking care of Ye Ming’s body was just to test the waters. 888 suspected the main system was going crazy.
[Ye Ming: …] So they were actually promoting sales.
[Ye Ming: Then when I leave this body, it’ll die?]
[888: Yes. You’ll get a free unexpected death gift package.]
[Ye Ming: …]
Ye Ming shrugged. He didn’t have to live. He just thought that since he was healthy and hale, he didn’t necessarily need to die. But now it looked like he would have to die after completing the mission…Well, he had only come to complete missions. He didn’t actually have any intention of going against the rules.
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Jiang Ci paused. He’d thought his discharge would mark the beginning of their separation. He had already prepared himself to never see him again. But did Ye Ming mean that he could go and visit him?
Ye Ming nodded and smiled easily. He said, “Then I’ll be leaving first.”
Jiang Ci stood in place. He suddenly felt that life would be fine just like this.
Sometimes, when you love someone, you don’t have to force him to stay with you and own him completely. It’s also good to give each other some space and wish each other happiness.
If he could have understood this earlier, maybe the two of them wouldn’t have had to go through so many misunderstandings and so much pain.
They could be just like the way they were now: together under the same sky, occasionally seeing each other, sharing a meal, or giving each other a call and knowing the other is doing well…
This was already the greatest kindness Ye Ming could give to him.
[Ding, Jiang Ci’s blackening value -1, current blackening value 0]
[Ding, the blackening value of this word’s target has been completely eliminated. Host, please leave this world within 10 days.]
Ye Ming heard the voice in his mind. He didn’t turn back. He thought he ought to be leaving now. He would take the train back that night.
Since he was getting ready to leave, this body would die an unexpected death. Ye Ming passed his remaining days somewhat absent-mindedly. He felt a bit guilty toward Jiang Ci and Li Xu’an, but there would always be permanent separation in human life.
After some time, they would eventually resume their own lives and gradually think of him as just another chapter in their past.
Ye Ming thought that would be the last time he and Jiang Ci saw each other, but unexpectedly, Jiang Ci came over just a few days later.
That day, he just so happened to be working when he saw Jiang Ci appear at his workplace, looking nervous. He said, “You told me I could come visit you.”
Ye Ming stared blankly at him, and then immediately smiled. “That’s right. What do you want to eat tonight? I’ll treat you.”
When he heard this, Jiang Ci happily said that anything was fine. He saw that it wasn’t time for Ye Ming to get off work yet, so he sat and waited for him. He watched him longingly, his heart calm and satisfied.
Honestly, he hadn’t meant to come visit Ye Ming so quickly, but he couldn’t help himself. He came with the excuse of going on a business trip, hoping Ye Ming wouldn’t be sick of him.
But he didn’t expect Li Xu’an to also come when it was nearly time to get off work. He was very surprised to see Jiang Ci here, and he wrinkled his brows. “Why are you here?”
Jiang Ci was a little bit jealous of Li Xu’an, but he didn’t let it show. If Ye Ming and Li Xu’an were happier together, then he should give them his blessings. He said, “I’m here on a business trip and thought I’d drop by and take a look.”
Li Xu’an raised his eyebrows. He was too lazy to expose this kid.
Ye Ming pressed a hand to his forehead and smiled at Li Xu’an, saying, “Let’s eat together tonight.”
Li Xu’an said, “Okay. It just so happens that Siyang has been harping on about you lately.”
Thus, after work, the four of them went out for hotpot together.
Jiang Ci thought of the last time the four of them ate together. At that time, he was completely preoccupied with his anger and jealousy. Now, though, he only felt he’d been super ridiculous and so childish he couldn’t bear to think about it.
Why didn’t he figure everything out earlier and believe this person earlier, instead of being controlled by anger and hatred?
Li Siyang still didn’t like Jiang Ci and glared at him the entire time.
Jiang Ci wasn’t offended. He was afraid he might’ve lost his mind for getting jealous of a twelve-year-old before.
Li Xu’an helplessly knocked on Li Siyang’s head, before Li Siyang finally stopped glaring at Jiang Ci. They ate happily and harmoniously.
Li Xu’an dropped Ye Ming off at home at night and then asked Jiang Ci, “Where is Young Master Jiang headed? Why don’t I give you a ride?”
Jiang Ci said, “It’s fine, I’ll get off here too and walk to help with digestion.”
Li Xu’an didn’t push either and let them off. He smiled at Ye Ming and said, “A new restaurant just opened over by East Street recently. Let’s go out for a meal again some other day.”
Ye Ming smiled and nodded. He waved goodbye at Li Siyang.
After Li Xu’an left, Ye Ming opened his mouth to speak with Jiang Ci, when he suddenly heard 888 warning him in his mind.
[888: I suggest you not invite him up. There’s an uninvited guest waiting for you at home.]
[Ye Ming: Oh?]
[888: Jiang Sheng was released on bail the day before yesterday. He’s waiting for you in your home. I figure he wants your life.]
[Ye Ming: …]
[Ye Ming: This is how the main system arranged my unexpected death?]
[888: I don’t know. After all, he hates you to death already. It’s not impossible for him to want to take you down in a life or death struggle.]
[Ye Ming: Tsk tsk tsk. How the tables have turned…]
[Ye Ming: He’s doing just fine—why can’t he get over it and instead insists on acting recklessly? If he just bears with it for a few years, he’ll be an illustrious man again after he’s released.]
[888: How would I know? I’m not him.]
[Ye Ming: Impulsivity is truly the devil ^_^]
Ye Ming smiled at Jiang Ci. “Then I’ll be going up. Let’s meet up again in the future if we have the chance.”
Jiang Ci was a bit reluctant to leave, but he nodded nonetheless.
Seeing him about to leave, Ye Ming suddenly called, “Xiao Ci.”
Jiang Ci turned back around and looked at Ye Ming with some surprise.
Ye Ming thought for a moment and said, “Never mind, it’s nothing.” He wanted to say goodbye to Jiang Ci this time, but it didn’t seem like there was an appropriate way to say it, so it was better just to not say anything.
Jiang Ci didn’t know what Ye Ming called him for, but he didn’t say anything and only thought that Ye Ming’s gaze was a bit strange.
Ye Ming parted with Jiang Ci and went upstairs. When he opened the door, he discovered that the door wasn’t locked.
And all the lights were off inside. Only the light of the moon shone through the windows. A lone figure was sitting on the couch, half of his body shrouded in darkness.
Ye Ming’s expression became extremely vigilant. He pressed the switch and looked at the person seated on the couch, his expression turning into one of shock. “Why are you here—”
Jiang Sheng was wearing a black coat and leather gloves. He narrowed his eyes at Ye Ming, his expression malicious.
He seemed to have aged a lot and was no longer as put-together, graceful, and spirited. His face was covered in some stubble, and his appearance was unkempt. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was like a starved wolf—fierce, solitary, and radiating danger.
It was precisely this unremarkable man before his eyes who not only stole his son but also made his son betray him and his wife hate him, made him lose everything he took pride in: his social status, his money and power, his family and spouse…
From his high-up position to not having anything at all, his pitch-black, desperate future and his tremendous fall caused his psyche to begin to crumble. Every day and every night during his imprisonment, he cursed this person to die a painful death! He swore he’d make him pay!
This bout of vengeance had persisted for over twenty years. It caused him to lose the last of his sanity.
How could he have lost? Lost to someone like this?
He really couldn’t accept it…
Ye Ming also stood there and watched Jiang Sheng. The Jiang Sheng in front of him was like a wild animal backed into a dead end, who only wanted to tear its enemies to shreds at any cost.
But he was not afraid. On the contrary, he watched him, his gaze burning. The hatred deep inside of him once again resurfaced.
He remembered that scene in the past of him standing in Jiang Sheng’s office. This person looked at him with disdain, as if he were some laughable little thing that wasn’t even worth a glance, and drove him away.
More than twenty years have passed. He originally wanted to let go of his hatred, not because he no longer hated Jiang Sheng, but because of Jiang Ci.
But this time, you’re the one who can’t let go.
Jiang Sheng’s lips curved into a frigid smile. His eyes were as gloomy and cold as a venomous snake’s, and they carried a crazed resentment. “Are you very happy that you finally got your revenge? Are you proud of yourself? My son is completely dedicated to you…This was your goal in raising him for sixteen years and then sending him back, wasn’t it? This was what you planned for a long time. You used him to get revenge against me.”
Ye Ming scoffed. “Do you think I’m someone like you?”
Jiang Sheng rasped, “Aren’t you? You lunatic, is there anything you wouldn’t do in order to get back at me? Wasn’t it just hitting and killing one person? Didn’t I give you money? You could’ve taken the money and lived an easy and comfortable life and had as many women as you wanted…but you just had to come after me tirelessly. You used my son to get to me—is there anything you wouldn’t do? If I knew earlier that he was such an ungrateful wretch who’d betray me for an outsider, I should’ve straight up choked him to death back then!”
Ye Ming’s eyes became colder and colder. Jiang Sheng’s words finally got to him. Even to this day, this person’s attitude still did not change in the slightest. He wouldn’t repent, he wouldn’t admit to his mistakes, and he always had the most malicious presumptions about others. This kind of person…did not deserve forgiveness at all.
Ye Ming lowered his eyes slightly and caught a glimpse of a black pistol, exposed beneath Jiang Sheng’s coat. His pupils shrank.
Now you want to kill me. Do you understand my past despair and pain now? To hate someone to the point that you wanted them dead. Thinking about it, Ye Ming started laughing. Serves you right…
Only, the person who deserves to die is you.
Upon seeing this, Jiang Sheng became even more enraged. “What are you laughing about? Are you mocking me?”
Ye Ming grinned and said, “Yeah, I’m laughing at you for getting what you deserve. You’re just like a stray cur, hahaha.”
Suddenly, Jiang Sheng’s eyes flashed with extreme iciness. He wanted to kill this person! It was all this person’s doing that ruined everything!
As long as this person was alive, there was no way he would tolerate it! He had lost everything, whereas this lunatic got to enjoy his son’s affection. His hatred and unwillingness completely distorted his heart.
He lifted his gun and pointed it at Ye Ming.
Right at that moment, Ye Ming suddenly lunged at him! The bullet flew past his shoulder, and he forcefully pushed Jiang Sheng down onto the couch. The gun flew out of Jiang Sheng’s grasp. He didn’t expect Ye Ming to react so quickly, and immediately began to grapple with him.
Ye Ming landed a punch on Jiang Sheng’s face and turned around to reach for the gun on the ground. Jiang Sheng reached out at the same time, but Ye Ming was slightly faster!
Peng! Jiang Sheng’s obstructive motions stopped. Blood flowed out of his chest.
He lowered his head and stared at the wound on his body in disbelief. How was this possible? He’d wanted to kill this person…This was impossible…
[888: What are you doing?!] Wouldn’t you be able to leave naturally after getting killed? Jiang Sheng wouldn’t have a good end anyway.
[Ye Ming: I’m taking revenge for Chen Zhao. Innocent.jpg]
[Ye Ming: Ai, I originally wasn’t gonna bother with him, but since he sent himself straight to my door, I can’t be blamed. I find him offensive to the eye and didn’t want to let him kill me ^_^]
[888: …] As long as you’re happy.
Ye Ming looked at Jiang Sheng coldly. He slowly stood up, the gun dangling in his grip at his side, his expression calm. He’d fantasized about killing this person countless times before, and now it had finally come true.
You killed my wife and killed my child, and now you want to kill me.
Originally, I was going to let go of my hatred. I wanted to leave everything in the past. It was you who didn’t allow me to let you go.
Jiang Sheng wanted to stand, but he couldn’t move. Little by little, his life force flowed out with his blood. His eyes practically overflowed with hatred and unwillingness. Suddenly, his gaze fell behind Ye Ming and changed. Weakly, he begged, “S-save me…”
I’m your father, hurry and come save me…Save me and I’ll forgive you…
Ye Ming slowly turned around and saw Jiang Ci standing at the door. His eyes were sorrowful. Why did you come back…?
Jiang Ci suddenly remembered that there was something he forgot to tell Ye Ming, so he headed back…but seeing the scene in front of him, he couldn’t remember what he’d wanted to say. Everything before his eyes unfolded in slow motion, becoming slower and slower, frame by frame. Cold, ruthless, and independent of human will.
And then Jiang Ci saw Ye Ming reveal a helpless smile. His lips moved slightly. He seemed to be saying: Sorry.
In the next moment, he raised the gun to his head.
To take revenge for enmity, to take a life in payment for another, there was now no further justice to be had. From the moment he killed Jiang Sheng, he had not intended to keep on living.
A week later, Jiang Ci once again woke up with a start from his nightmare. Every time he closed his eyes, all he could see was a sea of blood. His fathers…the one who gave life to him and the one who raised him, the two most important people to him—he looked on helplessly as they died in front of him…
Chen Zhao died at the scene. Jiang Sheng could not be saved in the end either.
Suddenly, he felt that his entire life, from beginning to end, was all a nightmare. He wanted to wake up from this nightmare, but he couldn’t wake up no matter what. His every waking moment was filled with despair, pain, powerlessness.
He kept asking himself why he had to go through all of this.
If living meant he was doomed to this kind of torment, he was better off dead.
Everything was all his fault. If only he’d realized the truth earlier and didn’t hurt Chen Zhao, then Chen Zhao wouldn’t be disappointed in him. If only he hadn’t exposed Jiang Sheng, then Jiang Sheng wouldn’t hate Chen Zhao so much and wrongfully direct his anger at him to the point that he wanted to kill him.
This enmity originally could have come to a conclusion. It was all his fault. It was him who’d hurt Jiang Sheng’s heart and caused him to hate Chen Zhao so much…and caused everything to come to this…
He was a complete and utter failure of a person. A loser. Someone who couldn’t protect even a single person.
He was the one who deserved to die.
Jiang Ci looked a bit distracted. He didn’t know what time it was right now or where he was. All he knew was that his surroundings felt cramped, and the air was stifling.
But he suddenly remembered what he’d wanted to tell Chen Zhao that day.
He’d wanted to say to Chen Zhao, Could you spend my next birthday with me? Even if we can’t be together in the same way we were in the past, I still want to treat you as my father and just pretend we aren’t living together anymore because I grew up.
He was also thinking about visiting Jiang Sheng and properly begging for his forgiveness after going home. He’d betrayed his birth father who loved him, and he ought to spend the rest of his life making up for his wrongs. It wouldn’t matter even if Jiang Sheng blamed and loathed him.
Life may not be that easy, but at least he still had things he had to do. He still had his two fathers.
But in the blink of an eye, they didn’t want him anymore.
Then why should he keep on living?
He lifted his head and looked all around him. Ahead of him seemed to be a void, with a beam of light. He couldn’t stop himself from stepping forward. It felt as if as long as he went to it, he could head to another world.
Maybe they were waiting for him in that world…
Just as he was about to enter, he was jerked out. Jiang Ci suddenly felt an immense force fiercely dragging him back. He was a little bit angry and wanted to ask questions, but suddenly his head turned to the side, and his face burned in pain.
And then he saw a thin, haggard woman standing in front of him.
Mrs. Jiang had returned home and noticed Jiang Ci was gone. She madly looked for him everywhere and finally found Jiang Ci at the top of the company building. At that moment, she didn’t know where she got that immense strength from either, but she rushed forward and pulled Jiang Ci back.
She slapped him in the face, weeping, and yelled, “You’re so selfish! Have you never thought about me?”
Jiang Ci blinked. He couldn’t stop his tears from flowing down. Right…how could he be so selfish?
He was in so much pain, he didn’t want to press on.
But how could he be so selfish…?
A year later, Jiang Ci, dressed in all black, and Mrs. Jiang, wearing a black skirt and veil, walked out of the cemetery.
He said to Mrs. Jiang, “Mom, you go back first. I’ll return later.”
Mrs. Jiang didn’t say a word. She got into the car without saying anything or asking anything, and the black car quickly sped away.
Jiang Ci stood in place for a while longer, then drove to another cemetery in the eastern part of the city. This cemetery was a lot simpler and more cramped. He slowly walked forward along the stone-paved path before finally coming to a stop in front of a headstone.
The headstone read: Grave of Chen Zhao, Yan Yue.
Jiang Ci didn’t say anything. There wasn’t anything to say. He even felt that Chen Zhao wasn’t happy to see him come. He was together with his wife and son—that was his real family. He probably didn’t have the time to think of him anymore.
But he didn’t frivolously hope he was thinking of him. It was good if he forgot, too.
Forget all of the Jiang family, completely and utterly.
It’s enough that I remember you.
That’s all for arc 4! Tbh I’d like to know how YM was so good at evading the cops this entire arc??