Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Summers in Wangdong City were especially hot. It was like a big steaming oven, making everyone hot and frustrated. But this year’s summer was exceptionally scorching.
Layers of steam visibly rose in the air, and the limp, withered leaves on the trees seemed hoping for a huge downpour.
Under the white pavilion, a girl napped on a bamboo chair, her curly black hair glossy with sweat. Still dreaming, the teenage girl suddenly raised her arms and gripped the sides of her chair ever so tightly. She shook her head in fright…
Song Ci suddenly opened her eyes, and she sat straight up.
She was still alive?
Didn’t her adoptive father knocked her down unconscious and then shoved her into a car? And they drove the car straight into the Great Dragon River so both vehicle and body would sink and disappear?
A maid passing by heard her screams and halted. Standing under the corridor, she asked, “Ms. Song, what’s the matter?”
Song Ci took a few deep breaths before looking toward the direction of where the voice came. Noticing the maid, it took a few moments before Song Ci recognized her. “Auntie Zhang, I am fine. Perhaps the weather is too hot, and I got heatstroke.”
“Go into the house to rest, then. I made smoothies for you and the Young Mistress. You are just in time to eat.”
Song Ci stood up after seeing Auntie Zhang enter the house.
She stood within the pavilion and surveyed the yard. It was the Mu Family garden, planted with decorative shrubs and a deep pond. Song Ci walked to the side of the pond and gazed into the clear water. That painful scenario from her ‘previous life’ surfaced in her mind.
Was that so-called previous life a real experience or just a dream?
Song Ci had no idea and didn’t dare jump to conclusions.
Suddenly, light, dainty footsteps rang around. As it approached closer, Song Ci could detect the faint scent of lilies. Mu Qiu loved the smell of lilies and always used it as her perfume.
“Sister, Auntie Zhang said you were suffering from heatstroke. How are you now?” The teenage girl’s voice was melodious, sounding like freshwater dripping upon a stone plate.
Song Ci turned and looked at the girl beside her. Mu Qiu had black, shoulder-length straight hair; a dainty, egg-shaped face; and a slender, delicate figure. Anyone who saw her would want to protect and dote on her.
Mu Qiu was smiling, and concern filled her eyes—completely different compared to that selfish, heartless woman from her previous life. Would Mu Qiu really kill her and Song Fei to live?
When Song Ci didn’t respond, Mu Qiu grew increasingly worried about her health and those lovely brows furrowed. “Big sister? Why are you keeping silent?”
“I am still feeling a little dizzy,” Song Ci replied, “I am going back to my room to lie down for a bit.”
“Go and rest then. The aircon is still on.”
Song Ci and Mu Qiu’s rooms were side by side on the second floor. But after entering the house, Song Ci could not go back to sleep. She thought of something and circled the house in search of something. Finally, she found her cell phone on the study table.
Song Ci opened it and glanced at the date.
5th of July 2020.
Song Ci widened her eyes. The 12th of August 2020 was Song Fei’s death anniversary. There was still a month to go before Song Fei’s death!
Her elder sister was still alive!
Raging with emotions, tears streamed down Song Ci’s face.
She hurriedly wiped off her tears and put down her cell phone. Walking next to the window, Song Ci remembered that a month before her elder sister’s death, Mu Qiu suddenly fainted and was admitted to the hospital. Only then did they find out that her heart was failing, and that she urgently needed a heart transplant.
If it happened like so, she would soon find out whether that ridiculous past life was just a nightmare or the real deal.
If everything in her dreams turned out to be real, then she must do her best to protect her sister in this life!
Song Ci locked herself inside her room for the entire afternoon to reorganize her thoughts and the details from her dream.
When it was almost evening, there was a sudden knock on the door.
Song Ci heard a middle-aged woman’s gentle voice from outside. “Song song, are you awake? I heard from Qiu-er that you got heatstroke today. Auntie Zhang brewed some green bean soup. Do you want to have some?”
It was Mu Qiu’s mother, Du Tingting. She was a woman who Mu Mian had pampered all his life.
Du Tingting thought that Song Ci was still sleeping and was just about to turn around when Song Ci suddenly opened the door.
Startled, Du Tingting turned towards her. She carefully scanned Song Ci and saw that she appeared rosy and well. She felt relieved and said, “Since you are awake, come down for dinner.”
Song Ci followed Du Tingting down the stairs.
She gazed at Du Tingting’s back profile. She had wound up her hair in a bun and pinned it with an expensive white jade clip. In her dreams, Du Tingting would pass away three years later because of a cerebral hemorrhage.
When she opened the door and suddenly came face to face with Du Tingting, Song Ci felt a sense of surreality.
Song Ci wasn’t sure whether Du Tingting had anything to do with Song Fei’s murder. On the surface, Du Tingting seemed to love her as her daughter. In her previous life, Song Ci only realized at her point of death how wrong she had been about everyone around her. Whether she was blind or just plain stupid—Song Ci no longer believed in her judgment.
Song Ci and Du Tingting arrived at the dining room together, where Mu Qiu was.
Noticing Song Ci’s arrival, Mu Qiu said, “Cheng Ziang called in the afternoon to ask you to the movies tonight. Big sister, will you be going?”
Before Song Ci could answer, Du Tingting said, “Why didn’t he call your big sister instead?”
Mu Qiu replied, “He did, but his call failed to go through.”
Song Ci had spent the entire afternoon engrossed in her thoughts and had her phone turned off. She explained, “My cell phone was off. I forgot to charge it.”
Mu Qiu looked at Song Ci with gossip-hungry eyes. “So, big sister, are you going?”
It was a date that should never happen. She would never go on a date with Cheng Ziang in this life.
Cheng Ziang had an elder half-brother called Cheng Yanmo. They shared the same father but had different mothers. Cheng Yanmo was an exceptionally talented young man, and with such a genius older brother hovering over him, Cheng Ziang led a suppressed life and possessed a terrible character.
At one time, there was a saying amongst the wealthy young men in Wangdong City:
‘If you seek an affair, go after Song Ci. If you seek a wife, marry Mu Qiu.’
Song Ci’s beauty was dazzling and spectacular. She was like a rare jewel, coveted by all. Meanwhile, Mu Qiu was like a brilliant pearl. Gentle, quiet, and virtuous.
Mu Qiu was best fit to be at home as a docile and chaste little wife. Meanwhile, for Song Ci, her beauty destined her to be the center of all attention. No man could conquer her, but then again, every guy dreamt of fooling around with her.
But this female, one who had countless men adoring and obsessing over her, obeyed her adoptive father’s arrangements. She married Cheng Ziang when she was 24 years old.
Cheng Ziang had a mental affliction. Whenever he got nervous, his performance on the bed would drop. Marrying the gorgeous Song Ci for him was like possessing a delicious ripe fruit but unable to eat it. Cheng Ziang was always worried that she would stray that even a month after their wedding, he beat her up just because she smiled at a delivery boy.
After the first incident of domestic abuse, there came a second time. And then a third…
Song Ci tried to leave and file a divorce against Cheng Ziang, but he used the plight of Chao Yang Company to threaten her. During that time, Chao Yang Company was in a mess and had cash flow problems that if not for Chuan Dong Group’s help, Mu Mian would have faced bankruptcy.
Grateful for Mu Mian’s care for her elder sister and herself, Song Ci couldn’t bring herself to divorce Cheng Ziang. But as a result, the two of them tussled with each other for over six years. In the end, Song Ci stabbed Cheng Ziang in the gut, and they divorced subsequently.
Married at 24 years of age and divorced at 30 years of age. Song Ci turned from a regal desert rose into a trampled little weed.
The more she thought about it, the more Song Ci felt very aggrieved for her previous life.
There were plenty of distinguished men in this world. That Cheng Ziang was nothing!