The video ended a long time ago and the screen went dark.
Ji Sheng tapped the screen in silence and played the video again. He exited Weibo, found the number of a hospital from his memory and dialled it.
Ji Yueming had been in a coma after a car accident while Ji Sheng was still alive. The doctors were not sure when and if she would wake up.
Ji Sheng originally wanted to accompany Ji Yueming to take care of her, but he didn’t expect to have a bigger accident while she would still be unconscious.
Ji Yueming was initially admitted to the city hospital, but after Ji Sheng’s accident, she was transferred to a hospital in the next city to avoid controversy. After his rebirth, Ji Sheng wanted to visit, but he was initially penniless and could not afford to pay for his travel expenses. Later he was being watched by Xie Xuanming, so he could not find the time to slip away. He had no choice but to look up the phone and find out the situation through the hospital.
The hospital said that Ji Yueming’s vital signs were normal, and Ji Sheng could barely relax.
But now she suddenly woke up.
Ji Sheng was at a loss for a while, and at that moment he felt like he had turned back into a child shivering in the top compartment of the wardrobe… and this time, there would be no one to carry him down from the precipice.
Operating mechanically, he unconsciously called the front desk of the hospital.
“Hello, I am a relative of Bed No 4 in Ward 5204, I would like to ask about Ms. Ji Yueming of Ward 5204… about her current condition.”
“Bed 4 of 5204?” There was a pause for a moment to check something, “Ji Yueming of 5204 has already gone through the discharge procedures…”
“Okay, excuse me, thank you.” Ji Sheng hung up the phone before he finished listening.
He put down the phone and stayed dazed for a moment, his mind echoing with Xie Xuanming’s flat tone when he left yesterday.
“Someone woke up.”
So that was what had happened; Ji Sheng let out a bitter laugh and squeezed his forehead.
But he was not in the mood nor did he have the time to dwell on this right now.
He searched on Weibo, but this time he was smart enough to notice that this kind of topic, clearly big enough to be a hot search, had no impact. Ji Sheng searched by keywords and was able to find some videos at first, but very soon, he watched these posts disappear one by one.
The videos were gone, but what about his mother?
Ji Sheng’s heart sank, and with a few quick movements of his fingers, he sent a message to Sheng Kongzhi.
[The woman playing the drums in the video, is she still in front of your company?]
Sheng Kongzhi replied almost in seconds.
[I don’t know, I’m filming on the site, I’m not in the company right now, the video was sent to me by my assistant.]
Ji Sheng [Then where did she go]
Sheng Kongzhi [I don’t know]
Sheng Kongzhi [Let me ask]
Sheng Kongzhi [Pull me out of the blacklist, I’ll call you when I find out]
Ji Sheng pulled him out of the blacklist and waited, clutching his phone. After about five minutes, Sheng Kongzhi called.
Before Sheng Kongzhi could speak, Ji Sheng asked straightforwardly, “Where is Ji Yueming, what did you do to her?”
“Ji… Hui,” Sheng Kongzhi paused for a moment, shocked by his aggressiveness, and said, “Calm down first.”
Ji Sheng stopped talking, but his rapid breathing continued to reach the other party through the microphone.
Sheng Kongzhi also tensed up with that breath, paused for two seconds and repeated, “Calm down.”
The more Sheng Kongchi told him to calm down, the more uneasy Ji Sheng felt. He almost yelled, “Speak.”
“Ms. Ji Yueming, she was taken away by Qingchu’s security. Then… Because she made a lot of noise, which caused a lot of people to watch, and the recording of the video also caused a certain negative impact on the Internet, so Qingchu decided to sue her for violent behaviour and provoking trouble, as well as damaging the company’s reputation… Ji Hui, she has been taken away just now… Ji Hui! Ji Hui! ”
Before Sheng Kongzhi had finished speaking, he heard a few muffled noises from the other end of the phone, accompanied by an angry growl.
Sheng Kongzhi did not know how to persuade him, so he could only repeat mechanically, “Calm down, I…”
“You, you and Li Tan! You bastards! An ordinary person, a patient just released from the hospital, a mother trying to defend her son’s rights, where did you take her? The police station? How can you have the nerve to do that? Where are you going to send her next, to prison? Sheng Kongzhi, I thought you were cowardly before, but now I see that you and Li Tan are just the same, just as despicable! Shameless! ……”
“Ji Sheng!” Sheng Kongchi couldn’t bear listening to this anymore and raised his voice to interrupt.
Ji Sheng gasped and shut up according to his wish.
Sheng Kongzhi calmed down a bit and tried to appear relaxed, “Don’t worry, I won’t let Qingchu do that either, I’ll talk to Brother Tan, I’ll persuade him… don’t worry for now.”
“What police station?” Ji Sheng did not react to his words and asked sharply.
Sheng Kongzhi froze for a moment.
“I don’t know… I’ll ask again and send you any news.”
“Good.” Ji Sheng also did not delay and was about to hang up the phone.
“Ji Sheng!” Feeling that he was about to hang up, Sheng Kongzhi hurriedly tried to stop him. By the end of the call, he had finally emerged from his embarrassment and confusion, and excitement and joy had taken over. Sheng Kongchi clenched his fists and whispered, “I’m really happy… that you’re still alive.
“Also, today is your birthday… happy birthday…”
A cold hang-up tone was the only response he got.
Ji Sheng didn’t have any wish to care about Sheng Kongzhi’s four types of human emotions(1). He didn’t care at all and even felt bored.
After receiving the information, Ji Sheng hurried to a police station, entered the door and rushed to the front desk.
“May I ask if you have a lady named Ji Yueming coming in this afternoon? I want to see her.” Ji Sheng said urgently, “Is she alright? Is she not feeling well? Has she been bullied?”
“Mister.” The police officer on duty was forced to frown by his barrage of questions and said calmly, “We are a proper authority institution and the situation you are worried about cannot happen. If you want a visit, you will need to show proof of the relationship with the lady.”
Ji Sheng froze, silent for a moment.
He calmed down.
He was now “Ji Hui”, and Ji Hui had no way to prove his relationship with Ji Yueming.
The police officer thought he didn’t hear him and emphasised, “May I ask what your relationship with that lady is? Her situation is complicated and does not meet the conditions for bail. I suggest you hire a lawyer.”
He glanced up and down at Ji Sheng, and asked, “Or are you the lawyer?”
“I’m not…” Ji Sheng whispered anxiously, “I…”
“Ms. Ji Yueming’s lawyer is here.” A familiar voice sounded abruptly behind him.
Ji Sheng was stunned for a moment, stiffened and turned back to see Xie Xuanming striding in with a formally dressed man.
Xie Xuanming stood two steps away from Ji Sheng, but did not look at him, only saying flatly to the police, “This is Ms. Ji Yueming’s lawyer, we request a visit.”
The lawyer went in, and Ji Sheng and Xie Xuanming stayed in the corridor to wait.
The two sat on a bench in the corridor, one at one end and the other at the other, both silent and not speaking.
Ji Sheng looked up from time to time but could not see anything from the angle he was at.
He glanced twice, then lowered his head in disappointment and stopped looking. After a while, he decided not to give up and looked again.
“It’ll be alright.” After Ji Sheng looked at him for who knows how many times, Xie Xuanming said, “That man is a very good lawyer, and Qingchu’s reasons for suing are untenable.”
Ji Sheng lowered his head again and gave a vague “en”.
After a moment, he whispered, “Thank you.”
He didn’t know in what capacity he was thanking him.
But it was clear that Xie Xuanming knew.
Xie Xuanming was silent for a moment and then asked calmly, “Is there anything else you want to ask?”
Ji Sheng’s mind was muddled for a second, and he shook his head.
“Then do you have anything you want to say?” Xie Xuanming’s tone was flat, “Something you want to say to me.”
Ji Sheng’s breath hitched; he did not speak.
Faced with the expected silence, Xie Xuanming calmly spoke, “I have something I want to say to you.”
Ji Sheng lowered his head, and a thousand emotions flashed through his mind in an instant, but they were all like the water seeping through his fingers, and the only thing he could catch clasping his hand tightly was some wetness.
Ji Sheng closed his eyes and replied in a low voice, “En.”
Then Xie Xuanming spoke, his voice calm and cold as always.
He said, “There are still four minutes before twelve o’clock.”
The water droplets that couldn’t be caught fell from his fingertips, leaving thick water stains in his memories.
On a rainy night, a young man suddenly raised his eyes, his gaze cutting through the rain and fixing on a distant light.
He ran all the way to the ward and fell on his knees and a bandaged hand brushed away the dust and tears on his face.
Ji Sheng, who stopped to a halt at 24, looked back to watch.
Say, you should at least wish me a happy birthday one last time.
24-year-old Xie Xuanming sitting on a cold bench said:
“Ji Sheng, happy birthday.”
1. Happiness, anger, sorrow and joy
Translator’s note: Ji Sheng’s birthday (as well as the date of his death) is a mysterious thing. In the first variant of the text, the dates on his tombstone (Chapter 34) were 2000.10.4—2022.1.17, which actually makes him twenty-one, not twenty-four when he dies. The last official variant is 2000.10.4—2024.11.17. All right, the year of death makes sense, he’s twenty-four, but the date doesn’t. Ji Sheng sees Xie Xuanming in the cemetery after Double Twelve Gala (12.12) – in this context, January 17 makes more sense.
The birthday doesn’t make sense in any way. Obviously, no more than a few months passed after their meeting in the cemetery till Ji Sheng’s birthday. Maybe, the author meant 4.10, April 10? It doesn’t help that later the author writes that Ji Sheng’s birthday is “in the middle of the year”… and later it turns out that his birthday is some time (a couple of months?) before the Dragon Boat Festival (the 5th day of the 5th lunar month). Okay, if we ignore “the middle of the year”, April 10 fits. So, maybe, we can say the correct dates are April 10, 2000 – January 17, 2024?
Translator’s note-2: I know it’s a little, odd story. But I hope there are readers who enjoy it 🙂 If you do, please think of giving it a good rating on Novelupdates. It’s quite disheartening to get only one- and two-star ratings recently.