“I haven’t finished speaking yet, you don’t have to be so excited,” Fu Zhiyu said; his mood had returned to calm, “After I have listened to it, I actually understand all your choices. I have said a long time ago that even if you were doing it just for points, I also understood your choice, because I didn’t think you loved me at all back then. What I didn’t expect just now was that you really liked me.
But so what? We missed it, Xie Ke, we have missed it.
You will understand after you have died once. It hurts too much. Even if you say that you didn’t want to hurt me like this, it doesn’t mean that everything doesn’t count. The hurt was real, and it can’t be removed casually because of this so-called truth.”
The truth came too late.
If he could hear these words in his previous life and know what Xie Ke really thought, maybe there would be room for manoeuvre between the two of them, but now it was impossible.
“Do you have anything else?” Fu Zhiyu asked Xie Ke after he finished speaking, “So far, we have already said everything… Do you want to persist?”
“But… I just came back for you.”
After all these things were said, the thing that scared Xie Ke the most happened.
He didn’t think that Zhiyu would accept him after the so-called truth was told. What he still hoped for was that if Zhiyu could understand all this, at least his attitude could be loosened a little bit, just a little bit. At least it could give him a way to go.
But in reality, the worst thing came true.
Zhiyu completely let go; he could finally define his past relationship as a failure, and had finally given Xie Ke a death sentence.
“Zhiyu…” Xie Ke didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t hold back his tears and struggled to hold Fu Zhiyu’s hand on the table, “We obviously love each other, obviously… We have loved each other for a long time, why did it become like this?”
Fu Zhiyu couldn’t give him an answer, he just felt that it was all a matter of turning over the new page, and there was no point in entangling each other anymore.
“You go,” he said, “and play your role. You may really not be suitable for talking about feelings with people like us.”
Xie Ke didn’t say anything like “I’m not leaving” anymore. He lowered his head. Fu Zhiyu heard his muffled voice, choking back a sob, “Zhiyu, do you want me to leave?”
Fu Zhiyu drew his hand back, nodded without hesitation, and said, “I want you to leave.”
At this time, it was useless to say anything.
Xie Ke only felt that everything was blurred in front of his eyes. The memories he brought up and Fu Zhiyu in front of him made his heart ache. He stood up and finally hugged his sweetheart tightly.
“I’m sorry,” he sobbed, “I didn’t want to hurt you like this, I just…”
Fu Zhiyu felt bored; he didn’t finish listening to these words and pushed Xie Ke away at once.
He felt that Xie Ke had indeed changed a little. When he first came back, he tricked him into that small courtyard. He was so strong and refused to let go no matter what; but now, it was easy to push him away.
Have I become stronger again?
Fu Zhiyu thought about it carefully.
Xie Ke didn’t dare to touch him again. There was only such a short distance between him and Fu Zhiyu, but it felt like an abyss.
“You… do you have anything else to say?” Fu Zhiyu frowned, “I’m leaving.”
Xie Ke didn’t answer.
When Fu Zhiyu turned around and was about to leave, he heard Xie Ke’s voice.
“I’m sorry, Zhiyu,” he said, choking, and his voice was a bit intermittent, “But I love you, for a long time… always… love you.”
Fu Zhiyu frowned, didn’t answer, opened the door and went out, not paying attention to Xie Ke staying in the room.
“Are you okay?” The man from the chamber of commerce asked him with concern, “That person…”
Fu Zhiyu turned and sat down on the couch. He waved his hand and didn’t speak for a long time, as if remembering something. The man from the chamber of commerce stopped talking, lowered his head and poured Fu Zhiyu a cup of tea.
Xie Ke stayed in the room and didn’t come out, and Fu Zhiyu didn’t move. The two of them were frozen in different spaces until the cup of tea was completely cold. Fu Zhiyu raised his hand and rubbed his eyes, asking himself: “If there is a reason for pain, can this reason make pain non-existent?”
“No… It is still very unpleasant to think of it.”
The man from the Chamber of Commerce didn’t dare to answer; he glanced out, as if he had seen the gesture of the people outside.
“The man is gone,” he said, “Those things… do you want to put them away?”
Fu Zhiyu tapped his fingers, then shook his head and said, “No. Keep them at hand.”
Yuan Jiangwen’s merchant team had no less capable fighters than Yuan Jiangxing, the general guarding the frontier. Wealth needed to be guarded by force more than anything else. It was always dangerous for caravans to travel, not to mention the caravan that was carrying real silver. After Fu Zhiyu left the capital, he immediately found a group of people sent by Yuan Jiangwen.
There were not many people in this team, about fifteen people. Fu Zhiyu specifically asked Yuan Jiangwen for this team, not just to protect himself.
From the beginning, Fu Zhiyu felt that Xie Ke was his biggest enemy in leaving the capital. Fu Zhiyu had gotten a deep understanding of the actors’ abilities in the system space but he didn’t know how much Xie Ke could use them here and how much they could be used on him. It took time.
Since the time of the Qianyuan Battle, he knew that the actor was actually not so omnipotent. Xie Ke really almost died when he came back, otherwise the Lord God wouldn’t feel such a strong fluctuation from this world, and he was obviously not as good as before since that time. Fu Zhiyu felt it from the time he had kicked away the tip of Xie Ke’s spear pointed at Lu Jian.
Xie Ke could be killed in this world, right?
Regardless of whether he died as an actor or not, Xie Ke in this world would be dead. As the Lord God said, he would never return to this free world again.
But Fu Zhiyu chose not to hurry about it. When he realised it, the situation was at a stalemate. Xie Ke couldn’t die at that time. He needed someone to press the Xue and Lin families down, like a spring. There was no better candidate except Xie Ke, and Fu Zhiyu needed him alive at that time.
But now it was different.
The Xue and Lin families were defeated, Emperor Qingyuan died, and the chains that bound Fu Zhiyu were loosened. He had now escaped from the capital, and no one could stop him.
If Xie Ke hadn’t come to talk to him about these things today, everything would have been very different.
Fu Zhiyu was ruthless in his heart. Without this ruthlessness, he wouldn’t have been able to sit in the position of emperor in his previous life while so much of his thoughts and feelings were spent on Xie Ke.
Now, he had no love or hate for Xie Ke; there was only one criterion for judging: if this man had no other use but still decided to stand in his way, he had to die, nothing else.
Jiangnan was the cleanest place in his heart. There were his mother and Mingdao, everything he cared about, everything he had once lost and now wanted to get back. He could endure the uncleanness in the capital because that place was originally a dirty pool, and how could it be possible to be alone in it?
But he couldn’t put up with it in Jiangnan.
Xie Ke’s words did surprise Fu Zhiyu, and also made him stop his original plan for a while.
He said that he didn’t blame Xie Ke and he was sincere. Xie Ke was nothing to him. After learning the so-called truth of the past, if you think about it from another perspective, there was Xie Ke’s responsibility to the organisation on one side and his lover on the other. With so much interfering information in the middle, there was no completely correct choice. You cannot eat the cake and have it. This was just a question that had no correct answer.
But what Fu Zhie had experienced could never be erased.
Fate was such that the two of them were not born to be lovers, but rather to be enemies.
If the truth had come earlier, when Fu Zhiyu still had the passion to fight against Heaven, perhaps the ending would have been different. But that wasn’t possible for Fu Zhiyu now.
“I’m too lazy,” he murmured, “whoever wants to fight, let them do it.”
If Xie Ke really left, it would be a good ending.
If he decided to come back and stop him, then…
The next day, Fu Zhiyu left Jingyang City. It was a rare occasion for him to wear a riding outfit; he didn’t take a carriage and rode a horse like everyone else. But soon after leaving the city he heard the sound of horseshoes following closely behind.
He stopped and turned his head to see that it was Xie Ke.
Xie Ke didn’t bring many people, only him and a few shadow guards. He still looked very depressed, but when he saw Fu Zhiyu stop his horse, he perked up and subconsciously smiled.
He didn’t get too close and the place where the horse stopped was also some distance away from Fu Zhiyu.
“Still catching up,” the merchant remembered Fu Zhiyu’s order. In fact, he didn’t recognise that this man was the world-famous Xie Ke. No matter who it was, there was no way to connect the chasing person in front of him with the decisive Xie Ke, “Shall we…?”
“Too stubborn,” Fu Zhiyu also turned cold at that moment. “Ready to draw your bows.”
This distance was very suitable for bows and arrows.
Fu Zhiyu knew that the body of Xie Ke, the actor, had been strengthened, but he had already been injured at the time of the Qianyuan Battle, and his body wasn’t as good as before. He wasn’t copper-skinned and iron-boned anymore. Fu Zhiyu specially asked Yuan Jiangwen to make a batch of arrows, and he had these arrows in his hands now.
The craftsmen worked for the whole day and only made a total of little more than a dozen arrows, all of which were here. They had been tested before, and even the hardest stones could be broken by them.
The people in the caravan looked at Fu Zhiyu’s gesture and drew their bows simultaneously. The two sides were almost face to face. Even if the pursuers moved fast enough, the caravan still had some advantage.
Even though the men from the caravan couldn’t recognise Xie Ke, they could see that those people were all well-trained. There were just a few of these refined arrows. If the opponents avoided them, there would be a fierce battle.
“Don’t worry, he… won’t necessarily dodge,” Fu Zhiyu showed a weird smile, “He loves me, doesn’t he?”
Xie Ke really didn’t dodge. He watched Fu Zhiyu draw the bow and aim the arrow at him, the expression on his face as indifferent as ever.
The smile he showed suddenly froze on his face.
Zhiyu did it on purpose, right? He chose a bow and arrow this time, just like him back then.
Zhiyu… wants me to die, right?
The shadow guards around Xie Ke reacted quickly, drawing their swords and beating down most of the arrows. Only Fu Zhiyu’s arrow had great strength and speed, and even the accuracy was impeccable.
Xie Ke felt that at that moment, he seemed to be Fu Zhiyu who was killed by an arrow through the heart by his beloved without knowing anything at that time. He finally realised how much it hurt when you were approaching death.
The hellish moment of regret, unwillingness and pain was unforgettable.