Fu Zhiyu didn’t know how Xie Ke was looking at the relationship between them now, but as far as he was concerned, it was all in the past. When he was reborn, he was still a bit resentful because of the past, not only because of his emotions, but also because of an indelible self-doubt in his heart.
—Was there nothing in me that deserved recognition? Why was it that for all my devotion for the man I loved had always been a dead weight?
Not to mention other things, his career, his friends and his family could all be regarded as failures. All things were intertwined, which made Fu Zhiyu’s self-doubt stronger and stronger. Even if part of it was resolved in the system space, the deepest damage still existed and was deep-rooted.
Even after his rebirth, Xie Ke acted so abnormally that it was hard to make up for the feeling of self-doubt in Fu Zhiyu’s heart. So, there was never a moment when he believed that Xie Ke was sincere.
No matter what Xie Ke did, he couldn’t open Fu Zhiyu’s heart, because that heart was tightly closed and no one could touch the deepest part of it.
Later, when the two of them were honest with each other and talked about everything, not only did the truth come out, but also the resentment in Fu Zhiyu’s heart finally disappeared.
It turned out that there was a reason for all this, and a so-called hidden agenda, and that it wasn’t his problem or his fault.
The self-doubt in Fu Zhiyu’s heart finally disappeared when all the truth was revealed, as if it was another rebirth.
Feelings are affected by many things. When Xie Ke asked him in tears why they couldn’t be together when the two of them were clearly in love, Fu Zhiyu was very calm.
He calmly accepted the fact that fate had caused the two of them to miss it. In Fu Zhiyu’s view, his arrow should have been able to get Xie Ke out of this world. At that time, the two of them would no longer cross paths in any sense, and this matter was over as far as he was concerned.
Xie Ke had given him an arrow, and he paid it back. They were even. And as for the countless other things, it would be meaningless to calculate who owed who at this time. Fu Zhiyu felt that his anger was over and that the matter between them was finished.
At that time, he thought that he and Xie Ke would never meet again.
But the reality was never as good as Fu Zhiyu wished. When Xie Ke gave Jiangnan to him, the two of them became even more entangled, as if a new line had been drawn in the relationship.
Moreover, the imperial decree had already been issued at that time, and the emperor’s words couldn’t be changed. When Fu Zhiyu received the news, there was no room for change. Although he accepted it at that time, he didn’t care about anything, pretending that it didn’t exist, and pretending that he had nothing to do with Xie Ke.
But Xie Ke obviously didn’t want it to be like that. Fu Zhiyu stared at the man in front of him and sighed.
“I didn’t do this to get anything in return.” Xie Ke looked at Fu Zhiyu’s face, unable to figure out what he was thinking. He explained anxiously, “I… I’m going back to the capital now, Zhiyu, just treat it as if none of this happened, okay? You can continue to do what you want to do, and I won’t interfere anymore.”
“You are just deceiving yourself again,” Fu Zhiyu glanced at him, “Did you arrange Zhang Lin too?”
“No,” Xie Ke shook his head. “Zhang Lin is just a minor character. I didn’t remember him, and I didn’t know that he would appear here after the plot changed. It is true, I don’t have to lie to you at this time.”
Speaking of this, Xie Ke suddenly remembered something. He reminded Fu Zhiyu: “Regarding the role… the plot has changed. Deng Jinghe is out of control, you must be cautious about him.”
In the original plot, the Yuan family had been slaughtered by the Crown Prince, and Deng Jinghe began to harvest the business left by the Yuan family in Jiangnan. Even then, he had already started to set up a relationship with Xie Ke. Although a cooperative relationship had not been reached yet, there had been exchanges. Deng Qian could no longer control him; whether he was willing or not, the Deng family’s business had to be handed over to him.
But now that the Yuan family had not fallen, the market was limited, and Deng Jinghe could only find another way.
“I asked someone to keep an eye on Deng Qian. After all, it wasn’t to the point of costing him his life,” Xie Ke said. “When Qian Manguan decided to save him, I found that Deng Jinghe was secretly doing something, trying to interfere with the medicine, planning to turn the bowl of life-saving medicine into a murderous poison.”
If anything had gone wrong with that bowl of medicine, things would have been even more troublesome.
Neither Qian Manguan nor Fu Zhiyu could do anything. If Deng Qian really lost his life, the whole situation wouldn’t be as peaceful as it was now.
It was not that Fu Zhiyu hadn’t thought of this before. He asked Yuan Jiangxing’s soldiers to keep an eye on it. Moreover, the administration of needles was watched by Dr. Chen, and all the medicine to be drunk was checked by Dr. Chen. It was not that he was unprepared.
“Deng Jinghe changed the spoon used to feed the medicine,” Xie Ke said. “Most people don’t care about this detail. Fortunately, my people discovered it.”
When he said this, Fu Zhiyu was a little scared, but he immediately reacted again: “Did you break Deng Jinghe’s arm?”
“It’s just a lesson for him,” Xie Ke said. “He has always been such a person, he will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. If you don’t make him suffer, he will dare again in the future.”
“For him, don’t you have any old feelings?”
Xie Ke was taken aback; he knew that Fu Zhiyu was talking about the plot in the original work.
“He is not a good person. We used to use each other,” Xie Ke said honestly. “Time has changed and the world has changed. I have no feelings for Deng Jinghe at present.”
When Fu Zhiyu heard this, he was silent for a while, and said, “Have you ever thought that I am actually the same as Deng Jinghe?”
“How can you be the same?” Xie Ke subconsciously wanted to refute, “You and him…”
Fu Zhiyu waved his hand and said, “You don’t have to rush to object, Xie Ke, you also know that time has changed and the world has changed. I am not who I was back then. Everything you do now is actually to make up for your own regrets. This regret is not about me, it’s just about yourself. Maybe you have some feelings for me in your heart that you didn’t realise at that time. These regrets were infinitely magnified over time. But if you calm down, you will find that in fact, all of this is meaningless. If you see your own heart clearly, you will know that what I said is true.”
Just like the self-doubt in his own heart before that made him unable to believe that Xie Ke was sincere, and also made him not want to fight for anything, not want to do anything apart from for a little concern for his family and friends, leaving the rest to fend for themselves.
The truth that he had learned was just an accelerator; it just brought Fu Zhiyu back to the starting point. But what rekindled the flame in his heart were the dreams he hadn’t achieved, all the dreams that he couldn’t forget, stirred up by the current situation in Jiangnan.
Everything outside helped it, but most importantly, Fu Zhiyu recognised himself, and only when he saw his heart clearly did he truly know what he wanted.
“What about you? Have you seen your heart clearly?” Fu Zhiyu then asked Xie Ke, “Do you love me or do you have regrets? You had smooth sailing in the mission worlds before. You saw the unexpected in me and missed the Fu Zhiyu who fought against all odds just for you. But I will never be the same again.”
Xie Ke listened to Fu Zhiyu’s words patiently, but he didn’t think about it as much as Fu Zhiyu wanted him to. He just smiled and very gently looked at the serious Fu Zhiyu sitting on the bed. He stretched out his hand as if to touch him, but quickly withdrew it.
He didn’t answer directly, but asked his own question: “Zhiyu, did you count your days when you were in the Lord God’s space?”
There was no clock in the Lord God’s space, let alone any device to calculate the time. Fu Zhiyu could only guess the time based on the speed of his reading and other self-perceptions. He felt that it should have been around a hundred years, but he couldn’t be sure. Over time, his self-perception was no longer accurate, and there might be a big error.
“The time in the Lord God’s space is standard time, but when we are in the mission world, the time will be enlarged, and the scale is different,” Xie Ke explained. “We stay in the mission worlds for decades, and there are even some special mission worlds where you need to stay for thousands of years, but in the system space, it will only be a few days.
Zhiyu, in order to reboot the world, I don’t know how many worlds I have travelled to and how much time I have spent there. If it was just a momentary fever, I wouldn’t be able to last for so long. I know exactly what I want. I could only stick to it if I thought about you.”
He paused when he said this, and some nostalgia appeared in his eyes.
“You are right about regrets, Zhiyu, you are indeed my regret,” Xie Ke said, “But it’s not what you think. It is not that I miss the freshness brought by the unexpected or the symbolic ‘Fu Zhiyu’ who was good to me. No.
Zhiyu, there is no shortage of surprises in my life, and there is no shortage of people who are kind to me. I am the person with the highest authority among the actors, and many people want to flatter me. But after all this time, after seeing so much, Zhiyu, I still love you very much.”
In order to get closer to Fu Zhiyu at this moment, he half-knelt by his bed, like that time when he had returned from the Qianyuan Battle. Overwhelmed by his love, he couldn’t help but reach out to straighten Fu Zhiyu’s messy hair hanging over his cheeks.
Fu Zhiyu’s face was white like a piece of jade in the moonlight outside the window.
“It’s ironic that in my previous life, after you left this world, I discovered that I loved you like this,” Xie Ke said. “I read the political essays you left behind and counted all the things you left behind. I love this Fu Zhiyu who is different from others and is so good. It’s not because it was fresh for a while, it’s not just that you treated me well with all your heart and soul. It’s because you deserve to be loved, and I can’t help loving you.
Zhiyu, I’m not regretting that I can’t get you. Maybe I had such an idea at first. When I first came back, I took a wrong turn because of such an idea, but I don’t insist on it anymore. I just regret that I didn’t find out that I loved you so much earlier, and I regret that I hurt you like that.
I love you and I don’t ask you to come back to me anymore. As long as you live well, I will… get what I want.”
At the end of Xie Ke’s words, he couldn’t help but reach and hug Fu Zhiyu, but he quickly let go.
“I’m sorry I still let you see me in the end,” Xie Ke said, “I will leave. Zhiyu, you have to take care of yourself here.”