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Ch.29 He Died 

Chi Yan got more anxious when he suddenly felt cold hands wrap around his waist. 

He was still in a spacing out when a voice containing a familiar trace of smile spoke by his ear: “Missed me?” 

It’s Ye Yingzhi. 

“You’re alright? How did you get here?” 

Chi Yan was just a mortal. Locking him up is meaningless unless they were part of a human trafficking ring. Chi Yan already understood. Unfortunately, Tang Old Master--perhaps even their whole sect--already decided to eliminate Ye Yingzhi since discovering his existence. 

He originally thought his relationship with Ye Yingzhi was like a low-key civil case that warranted discretion--that no one would waste their time on them. But now, it seems that Tang Old Master and his sect are taking them on as a criminal case. Their stance: harmful evil spirits must be eliminated at all costs. The previous half-truths half-lies were just bait. 

Ye Yingzhi coming to find him was pretty much the equivalent to walking into a trap. 

Ye Yingzhi nodded: “If they couldn’t lure me out, how can they let you go?” 

The door was still tightly shut, but disordered footsteps came from the other side of the door. Even if the sounds were very quiet, it was clear that the footsteps belong to more than one person. 

This thin wooden door was able to keep them from leaving, but it couldn’t keep the sounds of conversation from entering the room. 

Chi Yan could hear deep, disordered chanting and people walking up to place talismans on the door. 

He could distinguish Tang Old Master’s voice whenever he chanted. 

Just now, Tang Guangyuan was anxiously saying something: “....Senior Uncle, that youth is still inside! Eight Directions Evil Punishing Formation’s power isn’t something an ordinary person’s soul can take! That youth already has a weak constitution, his soul probably isn’t strong to begin with. I’m afraid this will turn him into a fool… even cost him his life!” 

Was Tang Old Master talking about him? He will die? 

An strict, aged voice scolded: “Guangyuan, do not be soft-hearted! It is but a newly deceased spirit--yet you couldn’t resist it at all! If we don’t exterminate it today, it may be too late tomorrow. By then, we can only watch as it harms the living world. Mingshan, bring your Senior Uncle Guangyuan downstairs to rest….” 

The chanting from the other side was getting louder and louder. It was so noisy that Chi Yan’s head was buzzing. He lost his strength and leaned against the door as he slid down. 

It was still daytime, but the room turned pitch-black as if all the light has been drawn outside. At the same time, vaguely mottled red-veined patterns appeared on the floor. It looked like a secret ancient totem formation. 

His consciousness started to turn hazy. He could only sense Ye Yingzhi sit by him and draw himself into his arms. 

Ye Yingzhi’s embrace held a trace of bone-chilling coldness, but Ye Yingzhi was his only clarity in his state of confusion. Chi Yan unconsciously took initiative to hold him tighter, leaning against his shoulder. Eyes closed, he murmured quietly: “Head hurts….” 

An ice-cold kiss fell upon his forehead and lingered there, not willing to end the contact. 

His consciousness returned to normal in a split-second and his head also stopped hurting so much. 

Chi Yan opened his eyes. He could see a layer of black energy coiled around his body. When this black energy came into contact with the surrounding air, it was like water on contact with fire--a continuous volatile reaction. However, this steady stream of black energy continued to replenish itself to protect him. 

He knew that this black energy must be from Ye Yingzhi. Ye Yingzhi was bearing the brunt of the damage from this strange formation. 

But how long can he bear this for? 

“Ye Yingzhi….” He said softly. 

As if knowing what he wanted to say, the other party revealed a light smile. A finger extended out and placed itself onto his lower lip to prevent him from speaking: “Be good. I’m fine.” 

His eyes curved, looking as relaxed that night on the ghost bus when he returned from Tang Guanyuan’s residence. He smiled at him the same way when he said, “Who would’ve thought you’d be so silly and board the wrong bus.” The same way he does every morning as he watches him eat breakfast, smiling as he asked, “What do you want to eat tomorrow?” 

Chi Yan couldn’t stop himself from closing his eyes and taking initiative to kiss his lips. 

Before, even though he wanted to believe in him and accept Ye Yingzhi, his heart still held a bit of restlessness, a bit of hesitancy, and a bit of apprehensiveness. Threads of fear still rooted in his heart. Even if it was buried deeply into the ground, it didn’t mean that the seeds didn’t exist. 

The black energy lingering on their bodies continued to combust. The red glow on the floor became brighter and brighter. Their field of vision is a field of darkness. Chi Yan fumbled about and hugged the other’s body, relying on the faint red light to carefully observe his features and engrave it in his heart. 

As he responded to Ye Yingzhi’s kiss, Chi Yan repeated his name in his heart “Yingzhi” “Ye Yingzhi....” Deeper and deeper, this name burrowed itself into his heart, destroying any remaining roots of hesitation in the process. 

A while after, they finally separated from each other. Chi Yan rested against Ye Yingzhi’s shoulder, catching his breath. With a light smile, he said as if talking to himself: “...Ye Yingzhi, how did you get entangled with me….” 

He didn’t sound like he was complaining, but rather, he sounded like a lover acting spoiled asking “What part of me do you like.” But Chi Yan was thin-skinned, it was impossible for him to ask directly. 

Ye Yingzhi didn’t speak for a long time. It wasn’t until Chi Yan already closed his eyes, given up on receiving a response, that he slowly replied: “...When I was still alive, I always felt like I was searching for something but I didn’t know what I was searching for. At the time, my health wasn’t too good. I was originally supposed to die sooner, but I wasn’t willing. Using any means possible, I strived to live on even if it’s just for one more day...hoping to find it.” 

“...In the end I still died, but then you appeared. That’s when I knew. I found it.” 

He held Chi Yan’s hand and placed it where his heart was supposed to be. That place had no sign of life or even the slightest movement, but it was quite full. 

“From that point on, I wanted to keep you locked by my side, so you could never leave me.” These honest words were both spontaneous and rationally structured, as if expressing his soul’s desires. 

Ghosts were different from humans. They will use any means necessary to achieve their desires, to quench their cravings. 

“Ah Yan, don’t leave me.” He bent down, lightly kissing the stray hairs on Chi Yan’s forehead. 

Chi Yan was stunned “Oh.” Under the protection of the black energy he was able to stay sober, but his sleepiness and tiredness continued to rise. His subconscious mind answered Ye Yingzhi: “Then hug me.” 

Ye Yingzhi smiled, reached out and drew him tightly into an embrace: “Silly, haven’t I been hugging you this whole time?” 

Ye Yingzhi stroked his back. Ink-black eyes were completely tranquil, watching as Chi Yan slowly entered the dark, sweet dreamscape. 

The black energy around their bodies became even denser. It gradually spread out. It was actually able to condense and fill the room. 

Where there is a huge fire and little water, that water evaporate; but within the vast ocean, what kind of tinder could possibly ignite? 

Ye Yingzhi revealed a tender expression and touched Chi Yan’s face softly : “Be good, sleep well.” 

His smile never disappeared, the corners of his mouth still lifted as stood up. He held the person in his embrace tightly, knocking down the door with a single kick. 

The same door that Chi Yan couldn’t open no matter how hard he tried was like a paper door to Ye Yingzhi. The black energy emitted from his body expanded and gushed through the door violently. 

Just beyond the stone steps, faces ashened in terror.  ———————

When Chi Yan came to, he was in the hospital. Ye Yingzhi was at his bedside. 

Without waiting for him to speak, Ye Yingzhi automatically explained: “Before I went in, I anonymously tipped the police that there were illegal cult activities on the mountain. That they wanted to take advantage of autumn and burn down the mountain. When the investigators came, you had already fallen asleep so I carried you to a boulder by the road. They thought you fell into a coma so they sent you to the hospital.” Since that bunch of “Practitioners of the Arts” weren’t even legit Daoists, he felt his report was quite accurate. 

“Where are they now?” 

Ye Yingzhi knew who he was talking about and smiled: “Of course they aren’t able to lock me up. Once I got out, I locked them all inside that room. Since the formation in the room was placed by them, let them reap what they sowed. Who knows? Maybe the police officers sent to investigate already let them out.” Of course, it isn’t that easy to get them out. 

When he smiled, his eyes slightly curved. It’s impossible to see through him: “Ah Yan, don’t waste energy on side characters.” 

“Ye Yingzhi…” Chi Yan called out quietly. “Right now, I’m not even afraid of death… there’s really nothing I can give to make it up to you now.” 

Ye Yingzhi calmly held his hand: “Then just stay with me forever.” 

Just as Chi Yan was about to say something, a nurse walked in. She looked at him strangely: “Bed number 7, who are you talking to?” 

Chi Yan gave Ye Yingzhi an embarrassed glance and coughed: “No one. I’m just reviewing recipes.” 

Ye Yingzhi raised a brow at him: “Ghastly lies. I’ve never seen you cook before.” 

Nonsense. I clearly cooked every day when I made those offerings to you. Chi Yan secretly grumbled. He couldn’t even retort since there was an outsider. 

The nurse reluctantly accepted his explanation. She came in, checked his heart rate and blood pressure. Everything was normal. She told him how he was found unconscious on the mountains and was sent to the hospital. 

Nurse: “You don’t need to worry. Just focus on recuperating. There isn’t anything wrong, probably just fatigue. We already contacted your friend. He’ll come pick you up soon.” 

Chi Yan was still wondering which friend, when a travel-worn Xu Jiang rushed in. 

Chi Yan felt moved and apologetic at the same time. He didn’t think he would make Xu Jiang make another trip. 

Xu Jiang was like a man on a mission, not minding single bit. He had called Chi Yan right as the nurse was about to contact his relatives. After receiving the news, he rushed over immediately. He knew Chi Yan didn’t have any immediate family, and the closest friend he had was himself. He asked about his condition and was relieved after hearing Chi Yan didn’t have any major illness. He spoke with the doctor and they decided to have Chi Yan stay at the hospital overnight. If nothing crops up, he can leave the next day. 

He grabbed a chair, sat by the bed as he played on his phone. He chatted with Chi Yan as he played: “Ruler(1)? Where’s your partner? Weren’t you in a relationship starting this spring? We couldn’t even get you to come meet up. Why’d you come out hiking on your own? You got hospitalized but there’s not even a phone call.” 

Chi Yan glanced at the Ye Yingzhi who kissed his face and stroked his hair from time to time, and replied ambiguously: “He died.”


1: Chi Zi is Chi Yan’s nickname, a homonym for ruler

Translator’s Notes: 

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