Chapter 100

The Promise Sealed with Our Lips Guan Gai Man Jing Hua, 冠蓋滿京華 2022/9/13 16:53:46

He Nuo left, and he left with his head held high and his back ramrod straight. He Nuo got on his bike (he specially borrowed a bicycle from his younger brother). Abject pain was pooling in his eyes, yet the proud smile that hung on his lips came from the bottom of his heart.

He didn’t say ‘see you again’ to Shi Yan, because he wasn’t willing to ever see him again in this lifetime. No matter how ruthless that person’s behaviour was, or how badly his words had hurt him, He Nuo had to confess to himself: even if it was just out of compassion and pity, that person really did pull him out of his sealed off castle to stand underneath the radiant sun and had taught him what warmth meant. So, He Nuo definitely wouldn’t allow one word to appear between them, even if it was the first time for He Nuo to feel the existence of that word — hate!

After his college entrance examination ended, He Nuo carefully examined his life within these 40 days. Ever since he was a kid, he had never made a request towards someone else, and the only thing he asked of himself was to simply not be a detestable person, and to try his best to be self-reliant. This time, in order to realise his lifelong dreams, he despicably made use of Qiu Linsong’s friendship with Shi Yan, and had made use of his understanding of Shi Yan’s character. It’s not like He Nuo never condemned himself for involving the innocent Qiu Linsong in this, but if time wound back, he believes that he would make the same decision. Because he had to hold onto his college entrance examination to survive. Shi Yan’s words had thrown him into a desperate situation, so in order to come back from death’s door, he had to grit his teeth and endure it.

No matter how hard he tried before his exams, the walls around his heart would still collapse eventually, but an illusion could help him surpass the him who had to fight alone. Would this still not answer the question of whether or not it was grace? Or love? He had been locked in a fierce battle, but the He Nuo who held victory in the palm of his hands can now face his heartbreak. As of this moment, he had enough time to wait for his wounds to heal, and for new hope to emerge to add to the strength he needed to resist the cold from losing his sunshine. So He Nuo admitted defeat: he had lost his love, and he lost this battle with his head held high.

He Nuo wasn’t without resentment. He had always been indifferent for so many years, because there was no one who could cause ripples in He Nuo’s life. His isolation in childhood and the contempt he faced when he grew up, and the gazes of those who despised him were all like small, stubborn stones that fell into a pool of stagnant water — they couldn’t arouse any waves in this water. This was also the reason why his teacher could easily obtain his forgiveness after his derogatory remarks had triggered He Nuo’s eruption; He Nuo does not think highly of these irrelevant outsiders. But Shi Yan…in He Nuo’s heart, Shi Yan was someone who was interlinked with his flesh and blood, and he was someone who his pulse was linked to — it was a kind of connection that couldn’t be cut off cleanly even if He Nuo were to chop off his own veins. So how could He Nuo not bear any hatred?

He Nuo hated his ruthlessness. Wrong feelings? Confused them with love? If these reasons were all real, then there should still be some semblance of friendship between them?ba? He Nuo didn’t believe that after all those days they had spent walking through storms together, they wouldn’t have the slightest bit of comradeship. Take another step back, if their friendship was because of Shi Yan’s status, how could one be that immoral? Why couldn’t he have left him some room for him to breath? Why couldn’t he have waited until his examinations were over? Did Shi Yan really not know how important the college entrance examination was to him?

If it were anyone else who had so lightly left before his exams, He Nuo wouldn’t have the heart to blame them. In accordance with his long-standing habits, how could the predicament he caused be used as a reason to force others to postpone their departure? He Nuo would be causing the other party to suffer in that case. So it was only right and proper for him to bear that burden, even if he wasn’t capable enough, or even if he had to face many difficulties and hardship, he couldn’t transfer this burden to someone else. But that person was Shi Yan: it was Shi Yan who had abandoned him and let go of his hand — the same person who had stubbornly held onto his hand had also flung him away so wilfully too. He Nuo forced himself not to resent Shi Yan, and instead chose a path where they would both withdraw from each other’s lives.

Shi Yan didn’t stop He Nuo, and once again watched him leave. It’s not that he didn’t want to, but he couldn’t stretch his hand out, or open his mouth to spit out a single word. He Nuo appeared like he had poured his heart out. Yet he did so with a distant and polite attitude, and tone. Even when he uttered his last goodbye, Shi Yan saw no emotion in He Nuo’s dark eyes — all he saw was an expanse of cold. Shi Yan had never seen He Nuo look at anyone in that way before, it was a gaze devoid of warmth. It was so cold that Shi Yan suddenly felt terrified, he was terrified of the fact that He Nuo wanted to kick him out of his world.

He slowly squatted down, then slowly sat down on the field. Shi Yan could no longer pretend to be deaf or dumb, and he could no longer remain muddle-headed and drag things out. How could he bear to set up fence at such an important junction of He Nuo’s life? At that time, if it wasn’t because He Nuo had suspected his return and confirmed that he did return, Shi Yan’s original plan was to wait until his examinations were over. But reality had forced him to slice through their tangled knot quickly and ruthlessly with a sharp knife, yet it had completely backfired on him. It was a foolish decision to hack away at a stream of water just so that the water could flow out even more. But it was also because of all this slicing and hacking that Shi Yan finally understood that he couldn’t afford to lose He Nuo. He didn’t have the time to consider whether or not this was because of his feelings or because of his desire to possess him, Shi Yan just wanted him back. Unexpectedly, he had easily pulled that person back into his embrace, and since he was facing a He Nuo who didn’t make a fuss or ask any questions, Shi Yan wouldn’t take the initiative to mention anything either.

As he faced that indifferent He Nuo, Shi Yan heard the grudges that He Nuo refused to speak of, and felt the hatred that he was trying to suppress. Shi Yan didn’t feel any resentment from being deceived, and didn’t feel indignant because he had been fooled with — on the contrary, it had made him understand just how deeply he had hurt He Nuo. The wound he caused was so deep that even the pure He Nuo who had fallen into a dry well had to come up with such a conspiracy to save himself from his desperation; it was so severe that the resilient He Nuo couldn’t bear it and had to resort to deluding himself.

Shi Yan had actually assumed a tortoise mentality. He Nuo’s lack of time to inquire about the past and his tranquility made him shrink his neck back to ignore the underlying contradictions, and to ignore the anxiety brought about by the blustering gales and downpour that heralded the tempestuous storm brewing underneath. He Nuo didn’t relieve him from the pain of lingering on with his last breath, but he didn’t remove the lid of peace that would uncover the monstrous waves billowing underneath either. He Nuo merely flipped over his last card in front of him, then completely stepped out of the world that they had shared.

Or Shi Yan could have just been deceiving himself all along. He always thought that with He Nuo’s personality, he would never ask for causes, and wouldn’t seek any justification — as long as he could return to his embrace then everything would be fine. Shi Yan deliberately neglected a side of He Nuo that he knew much better than anyone else: his unyielding nature that would rather break than bend. Now he had experienced it personally for himself; He Nuo would still rather bear this hurt by himself, than keep this relationship that resulted from the conspiracies and begging that he disdains. As of this moment right now, Shi Yan was still convinced that He Nuo’s feelings for him were the only one of its kind, but he had also experienced He Nuo’s determination to break off all their emotional attachments — this was what had truly triggered Shi Yan’s “fear”.

Shi Yan knew that he could no longer let go of He Nuo’s hand. When he tried to let go just a little the last time, his heart became as empty as a dead city that had been massacred in a war. Shi Yan wasn’t so foolish as to want to experience that kind of boundless emptiness where even his life had vanished again. But, his lover’s wings were fluttering, and he was preparing to soar up into the skies. Since he had dared to show him his final card, it meant that He Nuo no longer worried about taboos, and it meant that He Nuo no longer wanted to duck down in avoidance. Shi Yan was really worried that he wouldn’t be able to maintain a firm grip on his beloved’s hand this time.

Shi Yan went to He Nuo’s house at night. He Nuo seemed to be waiting for him, a cup of water had been prepared on his table.

“You knew that I would come?”

“This afternoon was the chance for me to speak, so of course you would have your chance too.”

“Nuonuo, I’m sorry.”

“It’s all in the past, there’s no need to think about it so much anymore.”

“I didn’t want to do it at that kind of timing, but you had seen me, right? That call was from you, so I had chosen the worst possible time.”

“What we have is real. It’s not sympathy, and it’s not compassion either.”

He Nuo scrutinised Shi Yan, as if he was trying to discern the truth behind his words. Shi Yan firmly welcomed his scorching gaze. He wanted every single strand of his hair to exhibit his utmost sincerity. Their eyes met, and it caused sparks in the air as if two power lines had collided; both sides were being extremely overbearing in this contest. One wanted to prove his sincerity, while the other wanted to tear his disguise apart.

He Nuo could no longer manipulate himself to defend Shi Yan; aside from the word ‘shameless’, He Nuo couldn’t describe Shi Yan’s actions at this moment as anything else right now. He Nuo can accept the fact that Shi Yan has a girlfriend, he can accept Shi Yan’s immoral betrayal, but to him, Shi Yan can not be despicable and shameless person.

“You should have been born before the liberation.”

“The man from Qi1?has already been obliterated by the liberation army, you’re too late.” He Nuo faced Shi Yan. His deep eyes that were slightly upturned at its corners emanated a fierce and solemn air. Shi Yan felt like he had just taken a blow to his head; his stifled chest began to throb painfully from the suffocation.