After the shower room brawl, no one dared to mess with Shen Xi again for some time. According to the rumours, the man who led the fight against Shen Xi had serious injuries to his lower body and very possibly would never be a man again in his life. When the news reached 302, Fang Luowei obviously sensed the few people in the cell who were chatting animatedly shiver at the same time, glancing subtly at the silent Shen Xi and quietly distancing themselves from him.
Fang Luowei had seen Shen Xi’s attack with his own eyes and had already guessed the outcome, and even guessed the reason why Shen Xi had done so. Shen Xi was deterring those who were hiding in the shadows and had ideas about him, or those who might have had ideas about him in the future.
After this incident, Fang Luowei did not conceal his closeness to Shen Xi in front of others but appeared openly by his side, not caring in the least about the trouble Shen Xi might bring to him. He still remembered Shen Xi’s alienation when he first entered the prison, and the snicker he heard when he couldn’t sleep on his first night in prison. He could never have imagined that a few months later, Shen Xi would become his only trusted friend in prison.
After another confrontation with the inmates, Shen Xi and Fang Luowei were sentenced to confinement together. This was Fang Luowei’s first experience of confinement. In the small, dark space, no matter how wide he opened his eyes, all he could see was darkness. The wounds on his body ached dully, and he and Shen Xi had not received any treatment before being confined. Fang Luowei groped his way closer to Shen Xi who hadn’t said a word since they had been locked in.
“What’s wrong? Does it still hurt?” Fang Luowei said in a low voice.
“I’m the one who dragged you down,” Shen Xi replied.
Fang Luowei froze; he quickly realised the reason for Shen Xi’s silence and said sternly, “Why do you say that!”
“They are coming at me.”
Fang Luowei reached his hand to hold Shen Xi, “We are friends, what’s the difference between coming at you and coming at me.”
Fang Luowei’s words came from his heart. He and Shen Xi were friends and Shen Xi’s trouble was his trouble. Apart from that, because of his relationship with Shen Xi, many people did not dare to attack him again, so he really avoided a lot of trouble. Since he had enjoyed the benefits of this friendship, how could he refuse to give anything? Of course Fang Luowei had always been secretly curious, who had Shen Xi offended? Looking at Shen Xi’s opponents, it was clear that they did not intend to kill Shen Xi straight away but rather enjoyed torturing him.
Shen Xi never mentioned anything about his past, and although Fang Luowei was curious, he kept to the boundaries of friendship and never asked. This time, perhaps it was the darkness that made people weak, or perhaps it was Shen Xi’s true recognition of Fang Luowei but he took the initiative to reveal his scars in front of Fang Luowei, squeezing out the pus and blood inside.
As he told of his frivolous youth, of his family’s dislike, of the consequences of an impulse, Shen Xi’s voice was not as calm as usual and carried a deep sense of resentment.
Fang Luowei listened quietly to Shen Xi’s narration, saying nothing. What Shen Xi needed was not his comfort, but simply a quiet person to talk to.
“I hate them, I hate my father, I hate the Shen family, I hate all the people surnamed Shen.”
Shen Xi ended his story with these words, and Fang Luowei held Shen Xi’s hand silently. The world that Shen Xi talked about was the world that Fang Luowei had never been exposed to, so he could not understand how there could be such a father in the world. Shen Xi was also his son, how could he be so biassed? How could he be so cruel stomping on Shen Xi’s desire for affection? How could he even kill Shen Xi’s hope for freedom? He thought of his own life. Although his parents died young, his grandparents had given him everything they could. Compared to Shen Xi, he was lacking in material things, but emotionally he was so much richer than Shen Xi.
Fang Luowei let out a silent sigh. He could understand Shen Xi’s resentment, but it did not mean that he wished Shen Xi to dwell on his hatred all the time. There was no turning back in one’s life, one could only ever keep moving forward. He wanted Shen Xi to live for himself, even if they were behind bars, even if they could never be free for the rest of their lives. At least their hearts were free. Shen Xi was still young, and he could not imagine Shen Xi living constantly gnawed by hatred for a long time in the future and looking back in his old age with nothing but hatred in him.
Nietzsche once said, “When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Fang Luowei quoted these words to Shen Xi and hoped that Shen Xi would understand what he meant.
Perhaps, no matter how difficult the days were, two people supporting each other would always be much better than one person.
Unnoticeably, their confinement ended and unnoticeably, Fang Luowei and Shen Xi spent five years in prison together, supporting each other. During these five years, the two had been calculated by others and they calculated others. As the number of scars on their bodies increased, Shen Xi’s ruthless reputation grew, and fewer and fewer people came to pick a fight, until the wind and waves were calm for more than half a year. Fang Luowei thought this meant the arrival of a peaceful life later on. He never expected the change to come so suddenly.
The gloomy weather, the chaotic crowd, the strangers waiting for an opportunity to attack; Fang Luowei could see the hideous malice on their faces. He tried to pull Shen Xi away and run, yet the crowd blocked all their paths. A cry of alarm sounded behind him and Fang Luowei turned back in fear, only to see Shen Xi give him one last smile and then fall limply to the ground, covering his chest.
Blood stung Fang Luowei’s eyes as he hugged Shen Xi, feeling the body in his arms lose its warmth little by little, and his heart seemed to be lost with Shen Xi’s departure. Only then did he realise that his feelings for Shen Xi had long ceased to be a mere friendship, but he had been blinded by the fact that the two of them were inseparable and had not discovered his feelings in time.
The chaos of the crowd was stopped by the prison guards. Fang Luowei did not react to the outside world, just hugging Shen Xi tightly and repeating his name over and over again.
Time passed, and Shen Xi was once again standing in front of Fang Luowei. In the bar, Fang Luowei looked at the drunken Shen Xi in amazement, wondering how the man could know his name. Fang Luowei didn’t take the first encounter to heart. It wasn’t until he was in a desperate situation in the alleyway that Shen Xi’s help made him truly remember this handsome young man.
What happened next was far beyond Fang Luowei’s expectations. Shen Xi appeared in his life in a way that he could not resist at all. Shen Xi cared about his work, about his life, and even about his family. Shen Xi easily got rid of the punks for him, simply helped him solve his contract with the record company. Shen Xi even set up a company specifically with him alone as a signed artist in it.
He marched all the way towards his dreams with Shen Xi’s help, while Shen Xi stood behind him with a smile, supporting his every decision.
Past experiences made Fang Luowei sensitive, and he had once doubted Shen Xi’s intentions. But no matter how critical he was, all he saw in Shen Xi’s eyes was sincerity and goodwill. He inevitably fell in love with Shen Xi, but before he could muster up the courage, Shen Xi was already accompanied by another man.
That night, he and the director were trapped in the hotel by a so-called social gathering, facing the drunk man who wanted to approach him, and strangely enough, Fang Luowei was not afraid at all, because he knew that Shen Xi would definitely come. He guessed the beginning but not the end. Shen Xi stepped in and took him away, but left him with a difficult choice.
Did he want to be with Shen Xi? Yes!
Could he be with Shen Xi? No!
The word “Cousin” was like a pot of cold water dousing the fire in Fang Luowei’s heart. He cautiously moved up and reverently placed a kiss on Shen Xi’s lips before resolutely dialling Li Mingxuan’s number.
Since then, he resigned to his status as a friend and quietly watched over Shen Xi. He watched as Shen Xi was content, watched as Shen Xi was sad, watched as Shen Xi finally achieved happiness after all the dust had settled.
Brilliant fireworks bloomed gloriously in the night sky and Ye Han had an odd look on his face, “Where did Mingxuan and Shen Xi go?”
Lao K gave Ye Han a contemptuous look, “Stupid! Where do you think the bridegroom and the bridegroom could have gone on their wedding night?”
Fang Luowei smiled as he listened to the conversation between the two, silently blessing Shen Xi in his heart. Taking his drink, he left the lively crowd and walked slowly along the garden path, listening to the band playing not far away, his mind unexpectedly very peaceful.
“Hi,” someone greeted him across the fence.
Fang Luowei looked over curiously and met a pair of smiling eyes.
“I’m Mo Zheng!”
“I’m Fang Luowei!”
Some people say that everyone in the world is a semicircle, and that two people together make a complete circle. Every one of us is struggling to find the semicircle that suits us. Perhaps one day you feel you have missed the right semicircle. Don’t worry, believe in yourself. When you turn around inadvertently, you will find the semicircle that really suits you standing behind you and looking at you with a smile.
Translator’s note: Mo Zheng is a character from another book by Li Songru ‘Rebirth of Xia Ze’. I haven’t read it but Mo Zheng is the ML’s friend, and he and Fang Luowei are listed as supporting characters, so they are apparently a side CP 🙂
The story is finished. Thank you, everyone who read and commented! I loved all your comments! If you enjoyed the story, please leave a positive review and/or good rating on Novelupdates 🙂
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