At about nine o’clock in the evening he was called by his gold master to sweep the tomb; it was too ridiculous. The expression of the driver who had brought the gold master over was too pitiful, his lips squirming and his eyes full of tears caused by his deep love for his salary…
Ji Sheng was shocked by the collapsed look of the driver, the uncle in his fifties, and then felt a little surreal when he saw Xie Xuanming sitting on the grave mound and stroking the tombstone affectionately.
He thought that even if in the next step Xie Xuanming announced that he was going to have sex with him here, he would be able to answer politely “Yes, but please let me go back and buy a condom and lube, ‘cause I am afraid that the rivers of blood will scare flowers and plants… or lonely ghosts and spirits”.
Ji Sheng trudged slowly to Xie Xuanming’s side. He tripped over the flower bed on the way and his muffled grunt echoed in the empty cemetery, spreading far away.
Before his goose bumps had time to disappear, Ji Sheng had already walked in front of Xie Xuanming.
In the dark, the sense of smell was more acute than vision.
The cold wind, wrapped in sticky alcoholic fumes, drifted around and infiltrated Ji Sheng’s lungs.
As soon as Ji Sheng took a breath, his throat felt so itchy with the strong decadent smell that he coughed a few times.
Alcohol dispelled the cemetery fog, and Ji Sheng could see Xie Xuanming’s drunk face.
Unlike him, Xie Xuanming was not a cheerful drunk.
Xie Xuanming’s head was bowed, his hazy eyes obscured both by the mist and his lowered eyelashes.
Ji Sheng hesitantly squatted down beside him, looked up carefully and found that—
Xie Xuanming’s eyes were full of chaos.
Drunken confusion, anger, sadness and longing were raging in his eyes, scattered, floating in the mist, but all ending up in the same square of earth under their feet.
“Senior Xie…” Ji Sheng called tentatively.
Xie Xuanming didn’t move as if he didn’t hear.
After his real name was called out, Xie Xuanming finally reacted. He raised his eyes and sternly gave Ji Sheng a glance. His narrowed eyes and blurred vision made Ji Sheng feel that he didn’t recognize him at all.
But it didn’t matter who was in front of him; Xie Xuanming glanced casually, lowered his eyes with no interest and stared at the tombstone again.
He said, “Why are you here?”
“You called me.” Ji Sheng said, “How much did you drink?”
Xie Xuanming didn’t say a word, but stretched out his hand and gently touched the tombstone.
Ji Sheng followed his gaze and looked at the stone slab. The fog thickened at the right time; Xie Xuanming’s fingers were hidden in it. Ji Sheng narrowed his eyes but couldn’t see the handwriting on the tombstone clearly.
“Whose tomb is this?” he asked.
Hearing the question about the tomb, Xie Xuanming reacted as if his soul had been punctured.
Although this reaction was still not quite normal.
“I loved him.” Xie Xuanming didn’t answer the question and stopped Ji Sheng before he spoke again. He stroked the tombstone gloomily, “He didn’t love me.”
The answer was not what was asked.
But Ji Sheng’s heart suddenly understood——lying in this gave was Xie Xuanming’s unforgettable first love.
Therefore, this was the tomb of the white moonlight that had framed his two lifetimes like brackets.
Ji Sheng suddenly recalled the hesitant expression of 18-year-old Xie Xuanming when he mentioned his white moonlight.
The white moonlight didn’t go abroad; an accident happened.
Following this logic, Ji Sheng went further and…
No wonder Xie Xuanming was so extreme after his death. The substitute he had finally found left him to go to the underworld as well. How can you not go crazy when you have new grievances on top of the old ones?
However, this white moonlight was something. He had passed away so long ago but Emperor Xie could never forget him. He was squatting in front of the grave, his soul lost, refusing to look like a normal person, sad like a child.
Thinking of this, Ji Sheng inexplicably felt a bit of unwarranted hostility towards the guy in the grave.
Xie Xuanming didn’t notice Ji Sheng’s emotional changes. He squatted like a mushroom and continued solemnly: “I have been in love with him since I was young, but even until he died he didn’t want to look at me.”
Ji Sheng said, “He was blind.”
Xie Xuanming raised his gaze abruptly, staring at Ji Sheng with bloodshot eyes: “You scold him?”
Ji Sheng: ……
The subtle discomfort became even greater.
Ji Sheng was a little annoyed for no reason. Public etiquette forced him to put away his dissatisfaction with the dead, so he could only blame Xie Xuanming for this weird feeling.
Ji Sheng thought sarcastically，
Good fellow, the title of best licking dog should be awarded to Emperor Xie; Sheng Kongzhi deserved to be unable to compete with him.
The licking dog who has three meals a day and humbly pays his respects is a newbie licking dog; the licking dog who is crazy and banging his head on tombstones is a senior licking dog, the king of licking dogs!
Xie Xuanming was still staring at Ji Sheng, his misty eyes dark and gloomy, his heavy gaze pressing on Ji Sheng, as if he would not rest until he had an explanation or an apology for the “desecration of the white moonlight”.
Ji Sheng had to say sincerely: “I mean, if he was a colleague of yours, he’d be perfect for the role of a blind man and a good material for a career advancement.”
The drunk man’s logic was muddled, so he couldn’t recognize the irony.
Xie Xuanming lowered his eyes.
Ji Sheng let out a sigh of relief, but before he could relax, he heard Xie Xuanming say coldly:
“Do you love me?”
Ji Sheng choked and said suspiciously: “What?”
“Do you love me?” Xie Xuanming repeated.
Ji Sheng didn’t understand his brain circuit and couldn’t help but wonder: “Why would I…”
“You should love me.” Xie Xuanming interrupted him, “You live in my house, and I give you resources and money.”
“Actually,” Ji Sheng contradicted, “I haven’t seen a buck yet.”
Ji Sheng’s matter-of-fact remark caused Xie Xuanming’s dissatisfaction. He stopped stroking the tomb and raised his head to look at Ji Sheng blankly, with mixed indifference and threat in his eyes.
It seemed that if Ji Sheng said the wrong thing again, Xie Xuanming would ask him to find a place to rest in peace in this cemetery.
Ji Sheng was not frightened. He was used to seeing Xie Xuanming’s ruthless look, knew that he was crazy and savage, but he would not break out for no reason. What’s more, Xie Xuanming who was drunk was far less fierce than usual, and his frowning eyebrows and reddish eyes made him look like a grumpy puppy.
Succeeded by a lucky stroke — Ji Sheng had always eaten soft but not hard(1).
He sighed, then said, “Okay, I love you.”
Xie Xuanming’s expression relaxed: “Then come closer and let him see. It’s not like I’m unloved and unlovable.”
Ji Sheng got up and moved two steps forward.
Not only “he” was going to see Ji Sheng; Ji Sheng also was going to see who was the sacred white moonlight that fascinated Xie Xuanming?
In the process of moving, Ji Sheng raised his eyes without thinking.
The mist leisurely dispersed, and Xie Xuanming’s slender fingers traced the inscription on the tombstone from left to right.
The movement of his fingers was like slow motion, and the true face of the “white moonlight” got revealed slowly.
Ji Sheng finally saw the words clearly and paused, unable to move as if he had been struck by lightning.
The fog had completely dispersed, and the street lamp by the side was slowly spilling out a faint light. Under this light, Ji Sheng was like a young boy being gazed at by Medusa, frozen into a stone sculpture starting from his spine, inch by inch.
He was reborn in Ji Hui’s body, missed seven months of memories, lay in bed for more than a month, and followed Xie Xuanming for five more months…
He died too suddenly and he didn’t want to look back on his death, so he forgot that today was the date of his death in his previous life.
Stormy waves surged in Ji Sheng’s heart, reeling in the not-so-beautiful truth.
No wonder Sheng Kongzhi asked him out and talked to him so depressed. No wonder Xie Xuanming got so drunk that he didn’t go home and came to the cemetery to keep company with the lonely ghosts instead.
Ji Sheng froze as the lightning split him open and every waff of the charred smell emanating from his flesh mocked his stupidity.
The greatest mystery unravelled; Ji Sheng curiously approached Xie Xuanming’s discreet love, lifted the curtain and peered in the mirror to see his own stunned face.
Memories came like a tidal wave, covering Ji Sheng’s cheeks with wetness.
In the suffocating lack of oxygen, Ji Sheng drifted back to the dusty, shuttered room on the day before Qingchu was disbanded.
“Love song? Do you want to hear your little first love sing and come to me to find a mood?”
With the unconcealed embarrassment in his cold expression, the boy said angrily: “Will you sing or not?”
Ji Sheng watched in awe as a soft, unheard “I’d love to hear it” sounded in his ear.
He saw his 19-year-old self raise an eyebrow and open his mouth to sing.
He peeped at the 18-year-old Xie Xuanming secretly and saw that the gaze he cast at him was gentle and wistful, full of unrelenting sadness.
“If, for one moment, you look at me, I’ll…”
The young man’s depressed thoughts travelled across time and space.
Ji Sheng’s throat was inexplicably dry.
The 19-year-old Ji Sheng sang without distractions, without any intention of opening his eyes.
Ji Sheng’s throat moved as he said silently.
Take a look at him.
It’s better to refuse, to break his heart.
Don’t let him hide for so many years, a dull knife seems to hurt more the longer you carry it with you.
Ji Sheng was overwhelmed with a complex and indefinable feeling. A picture changed and he saw Xie Xuanming lying on his side one night after his rebirth with his brows furrowed, his voice murmuring softly.
He saw himself get off the couch lightly and lean over to listen.
After listening for a long time, he got up and returned to the couch regretfully.
From the present, Ji Sheng couldn’t bear to look at this picture any further, the flood of dreamy words echoing in his ears.
He finally heard it clearly.
“Boom.” With a bang, Ji Sheng returned to his senses.
While he was indulging in memories, Xie Xuanming, unstable due to alcohol, swayed a few times and flopped down onto “Ji Sheng”’s grave.
He fell to the ground in a heap and lay unresponsive and dazed on his side, his fingers moving hesitantly, as if he didn’t understand what was happening and was thinking about how to get up.
Ji Sheng also finally emerged out of his stone sculpture state.
He patted his numb legs and got up, limped to Xie Xuanming and asked in a low voice, “Are you okay?”
After speaking out, he realized that his voice was hoarse. Plus to his unsteady steps and dizziness caused by his heart throbbing, likely, he was the one who needed to be asked if there was anything wrong.
Fortunately, the man he faced now had no intention of judging him or laughing at his state.
Xie Xuanming slowly raised his head in a daze.
When he saw Ji Sheng, a bit of consternation appeared in his eyes, followed by uncontrollable ecstasy.
Ji Sheng didn’t understand the meaning of that look until he was suddenly pulled violently, lost his balance, staggered and fell into Xie Xuanming’s arms.
Ji Sheng reflexively wanted to struggle but heard the words whispered in his ear.
Xie Xuanming said, “Ji Sheng.”
Ji Sheng couldn’t move anymore.
Xie Xuanming hugged Ji Hui’s outer shell and said, “Ji Sheng.”
Ji Sheng’s soul was in this shell, shaken by Xie Xuanming’s shouts of joy or sorrow, unable to stop trembling.
In a blur, Ji Sheng felt Xie Xuanming put his chin on his shoulder; Xie Xuanming’s jaw pushed against his collarbone and his heart ached.
“Ji Sheng.” He finally heard Xie Xuanming say sullenly. “I miss you.”
The author has something to say：
Player [White Moonlight] has fallen off the horse
Player [Ji Sheng] Please make persistent efforts
1. Amenable to coaxing but not coercion.