T/N: Hi everyone this is the full chapter of 3.5! HOORAY!!! Special thanks to @Syeki11 for helping me translate 3.5 and 3.6 which will be posted soon( hopefully) after I'm done editing! :)))
Xue Li Dan Ni was startled by the flash of fervor in her son's eyes. She hardly dared to believe that the faintly twisted expression on the young man's face belonged to her son, who did not even wrinkle his brows nor shed a tear after the death of his own biological sister. What had he experienced? Or who was it who caused him to become like this? Maybe, could it be just her own imagination?
As the car drew near to their destination, a villa stood out in the depths of a green, luxuriant golf course; the wheels of the car ran over the road scattered with loose gravel, making a rattling noise. Xue Zi Xuan clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, his eyes growing more and dry.
He repeatedly took deep breaths, fear and anticipation became a swirling mess in his chest, making him feel even more pressured. At this moment, he finally understood what homecoming anxiety felt like. The soul which had, once upon a time, yearned to be given a second chance, has finally been granted its deepest wish. But now that his wish has been realized, he was suddenly felt so heavy and timid, hesitating to approach.
"We're home. Zi Xuan, what's wrong? Are you feeling unwell? I told you to remain at the hospital but you wouldn't listen! Xiao Wang, drive us back to the hospital!" Xue Li Dan Ni had exited the car and waited for quite a while, but realised that her son had not moved. She bent over and quickly looked inside, but saw that his face pale and his forehead beaded with cold sweat, looking like he was in immense pain.
"I'm fine, there's no need for the hospital," Xue Zi Xuan answered mutedly. However, if one listened carefully, one could discern a faint tremor in his voice, choked with pent up emotion. He blinked quickly, suppressing the tears which threatened to form, and got down from the car. He took a few steps forward, then stopped, staring up at the villa backlit by the sun.
"Ge Ge, go on in, it's cold outside." Xue Jing Yi sidled up to him, urging him softly as she reached out with both hands and attempted to hold his arm.
Xue Zi Xuan evaded her before she could get too close, and continued walking forward, his steps slow and hesitant at first, then his strides grew longer as his pace quickened, just as he was about to reach the doors, he quickly jumped up the steps two at a time, and pushed open the heavy, wooden doors.
The living room was empty, the sounds of gossip and laughter between the assistant and the nurse rang from the kitchens. Upon hearing the front door being opened, they came out to look, before surprise flashed over their faces.
"Mr. Xue, you've woken up?"
"Young master, you've just come back from the hospital, I'm making some congee right now, would you like a bowl? Oh, the Mistress and young Miss are back as well." The nurse Xiao Deng quickly walked over to help Xue Li Da Ni with the luggage and led the pale-faced Xue Jing Yi to sit on the sofa.
Xue Zi Xuan ignored them, walked around the first floor in a circle but could not find the person who he was looking for, before realising that he wasn't downstairs. Subconsciously, he looked up towards the second floor, and just at that moment, a young boy appeared at the head of the stairs, peering down at them.
"Mr, Mr. Xue, you're back." Zhou Yun Sheng's line of sight briefly met Xue Zi Xuan's deep eyes, before he immediately looked away. He stammered out a greeting, while inwardly sighing to himself: Discharged so soon? Sure enough, only the good die young, but the evil live for a thousand years.
"En, I'm back." This time, I will protect you, let's start over, alright? These words once ran through his mind repeatedly in his dreams, but when his dream had become reality, he found himself choking up until he could not carry on. He ran heedlessly up the stairs and seized the thin youth into his arms, hugging him in a death grip as he trembled.
"I'm back, I'm finally back." He buried his head in the boy's warm shoulder, not letting him see the deep grief and bitter remorse on his face, nor his tears as they started to fall.
He opened his mouth and attempted to speak again, but suddenly realised that, at this moment, besides feeling the youth's breathing, heartbeat, and body temperature, there was nothing else in the world he could ask for. He forcefully suppressed the urge to cry out, his heart flooded with sorrow and ecstasy, causing to shuddered uncontrollably, the youth clasped in his hold also shaking with him.
Zhou Yun Sheng could feel the spreading wetness on his shoulder, could hear the stifled sobbing sounds; the usual high and mighty person was currently cutting a very sorry figure as he hugged him tightly while shedding silent tears, his grief so obvious, and so heavy. Downstairs, the rest of the Xue household stared up at them in bewilderment, hesitating to approach them for fear of stimulating Xue Zi Yuan further.
Zhou Yun Sheng suddenly wanted to laugh. What was up with this whole situation? Ignoring everyone else and hugging him while crying, had his brains gone soft after being discharged from the hospital? He could neither understand nor sympathise with his grief. What could be more grievous than having your own heart dug out? He hasn't even started crying yet, what qualifications does Xue Zi Xuan have to cry?
He forced down his loathing and resentment, and whispered, "Mr. Xue? Did something happen?"
The other didn't reply, only tightening the hold around his waist, to the point that he felt like he was about to be squeezed in half. Left with no other choice, he poked at the youth's head, his fingers sending up spikes of pain as he did so. He asked again: "Mr. Xue, if there's anything wrong it's best to say it out, don't keep it inside, Aunty Xue and Jing Yi are very worried about you."
Xue Zi Xuan finally stopped crying, and his trembling gradually stilled. He lifted his head and looked at the boy with reddened eyes, his slender fingers combing through the soft hair which was left to grow out, and finally gave a faint smile. He wasn't mistaken, this was indeed his youth, his innocent, sixteen-year-old youth.
At that moment, all his fears and anxiety turned into joy and gratitude as he held Zhou Yun Sheng in his arms. Xue Zi Xuan gently brushed aside the boy's hair from his face, and pressed a light kiss on the fair cheek, a kiss that was filled with endless sorrow and reverence.
It wasn't just the Xue family who was stunned stupid downstairs, even the usually quick-witted Zhou Yun Sheng was dumbstruck. He pressed a hand to his cheek, his eyes round with disbelief.
Xue Zi Xuan's tranquil expression lasted only a moment, when he touched the many bandages around the boy's hand, he immediately sank into a panicked state: " What happened to your hand?" These pair of hands which were regarded as a world treasure, has it ever had to suffer the slightest bit of injury?"
At this moment, all the memories of his current life, which were buried in the deepest recesses of his brain, suddenly came thick and fast. He had brought this boy here with murderous intentions, he had rejected the boy's touch, rejected any attempts at familiarity with him, and even refused to eat at the same table as him. And in the end, he had forcefully slammed the lid of the piano down on the boy's hands, crushing his fingers.
He could scarcely believe that this cruel man was his past self. He lightly clasped those injured hands, his fingers trembling slightly, so afraid that any carelessness on his part would cause further harm. His heart ached unbearably, it was as if the one who had suffered hurt was himself instead. He didn't know when, but this youth had become his all and only, how could he not ache for him? How could he not hurt?
homecoming anxiety-近乡情怯 literally something when you are near your hometown you are scared
only the good die young, but the evil live for a thousand years- 祸害遗千年, Literally translates to 'scourge for a millennium', usually referring to how bad people tend to be long-lived.