The Future, Su Hang
Translator: Mr Voltaire
“Gui Ya, where’s Bing Yao? Isn’t she with you all?” After speaking with Gui Ya for a long time, he never heard Mu Bing Yao’s voice.
“She’s not with us, but don’t worry, master, we’ve been in contact with her… or rather, she contacted us. She was heavily injured that night, and was rescued by the Xiao family’s people. She only woke up two days ago, and has been recovering from her wounds at the Xiao family’s residence. It’s very safe there, so don’t worry.” Gui Ya replied.
Ling Chen nodded, and breathed a sigh of relief. He then continued to ask, “What has the situation in Beijing been like these days?”
Gui Ya thought for a while, before replying, “The Long family hasn’t been able to confirm whether master is alive or dead. However, they’re evidently very afraid of master. Although they believe that master is probably dead, they still made you a wanted person in all of China, and set up many traps in Beijing. Right now, probably everyone in China knows of master’s name and what master looks like. We highly recommend master to change to a different identity, and to disguise himself when going out. And also, please don’t come back to Beijing before you’ve fully recovered, master.”
Ling Chen voiced his agreement. This was all within his expectations. He had come to Zhong Zhou by jumping on and off a train, and he had covered his face while in Zhong Zhou. With his identity exposed, and his wounds yet to have fully healed, he couldn’t move as he wished.
“Come to think of it, why did master go back to Zhong Zhou?” Gui Ya asked.
“…Back then, we went to Beijing to look for a cure for Ruo Ruo. When Ruo Ruo was still alive, she had always wanted to come back. Now that Ruo Ruo has passed away, there’s no reason for me to stay in Beijing, so I decided to come back.”
When Ling Chen mentioned the name “Ruo Ruo”, there was not a single person listening whose heart wasn’t in pain. Gui Ya instantly cursed at himself inwardly for asking this silly question. He said, “Master, about this… we’re all just as sad as you are. Please… Please don’t be consumed by your grief. Little sister Shui Ruo loved you more than anything in the world, and although she wasn’t willing to leave, but I’m sure that she wouldn’t want to see you like this either, so…”
A faint smile emerged on Ling Chen’s face as he replied, “Haha, Gui Ya, who would have thought you’d be able to say comforting words like this. Don’t worry, I’ve already made enough mistakes. If it wasn’t for me, Ying Ya, Gui Dao and Buggy wouldn’t have had to make those sacrifices, and none of you would have received those injuries. I won’t do anything like that again- I’ll live on, and won’t selfishly seek death again.”
Gui Ya’s voice became excited again as he said, “Master, we’re all so glad that you think that way… Master, are you preparing to stay at Zhong Zhou?”
Stay at Zhong Zhou?
He wanted to stay here. After all, this was his and Shui Ruo’s first home. It was where he had watched her grow up, as well as where he had created many wonderful memories with her. However, he simply couldn’t stay here- everything here caused his heart to ache. How could he care for Tian Tian like that? Moreover, it was simply too dangerous to stay here.
“I’ll stay in Zhong Zhou Province, but not in Zhong Zhou City. I’m going to the ‘Heaven on Earth’, Su Hang with Tian Tian. We’ll probably live there.” Ling Chen slowly said.
Tian Tian was looking at Ling Chen the whole time. She had heard her big brother and big sister talk about Su Hang City in the past. Apparently every season was like Spring, and was the most beautiful city in all of China. It was even called the ‘Heaven on Earth’… it was definitely a very nice place.
Su Hang City was to the south of Zhong Zhou City. Gui Ya knew that Shui Ruo’s death was a massive blow to Ling Chen, and although he looked and sounded quite calm, he had buried the pain and grief deep down within him. This sort of pain wasn’t something that he could recover from in just a year or two… perhaps the beautiful scenery would help him forget some of that grief.
“There are three of us stationed at Su Hang City; I’ll get in contact with them immediately. We’ll have everything prepared for you by tomorrow. Has master thought of a new identity to change to, as well as where he wants to live?”
Ling Chen thought for a while before replying, “We’ll keep Ling as the surname… Ling Tian Ya. Parents are overseas, and don’t come back very often. He has two sisters: one is called Ling Shui Xin, who is also overseas with their parents, and the other is called Ling Ji Ruo [TLN: translates to ‘Ling Remembers Ruo’]. Ling Ji Ruo lives with him in the house owned by their parents. Arrange for the accommodation to be under a mountain, near a lake. It doesn’t have to be too big; I just want it to be peaceful and clean.”
Hearing Ling Chen’s words, Gui Ya’s heart ached… he knew that deep down, Ling Chen was unable to accept Shui Ruo’s death. He could only nod as he replied, “Everything will be ready for master when he and Tian Tian reach Su Hang tomorrow. After we’ve recovered, we’ll also head there. We’ll leave around 10 people in Beijing to keep a watch on the Long family. If there’s an opportunity, we’ll rescue Buggy.”
“Right, master, there’s something else,” Gui Ya continued, “This is something all of us have been curious about. Actually, that night, the person who picked up master and ran out of the Long family’s residence wasn’t us, but someone dressed in black. If it wasn’t for that person, master would have been… finished off by Xuanyuan Dao.”
“A person dressed in black?” Ling Chen was also shocked.
“That’s right! At that time, that person brought master out, and gave him to us. That person also stopped the injured Xuanyuan Dao who was chasing after us. We later found out that that person is called Feng Xie Yu, and is that ‘Sword Emperor’! She left after we had all left, and we don’t know where she went. Right now, the Long family and Xuanyuan family are desperately looking for her. We simply couldn’t understand why she would help us.”
Ling Chen became silent for a long time as waves crashed in his heart.
Dia Wu… is it you… Are you really Dia Wu…
You’re not dead… are you really… the Sword Emperor…
You saved me… Did you recognise me? Did you recognise me, who had abandoned you for all those years…
Where are you now? How can I find you…
“Master? Are you alright, master?” Gui Ya asked, after not hearing a response from Ling Chen for a long time.
Ling Chen came back to his senses as he replied, “It’s nothing. See if you can find where she’s staying. If you find anything, let me know. Also, Ruo Ruo’s body disappeared on that night… see if you can investigate that… most importantly, have a good rest and look after yourselves.”
After ending the call, Ling Chen spent much effort calming himself down. He said to Gui Ci, “Prepare some money for me, as well as some clothes for Tian Tian and myself… as well as food… enough for five people.”
Gui Ci noted down what Ling Chen had requested for, then left. Very soon, a credit card, clothes and food were delivered. Tian Tian had not eaten much for the past few days while she was caring for Ling Chen. Seeing the table filled with food, her saliva began to drip onto the ground. She almost leapt onto the table, and began to ravenously inhale all of the food. The food couldn’t be compared to the food made by Ling Chen and Shui Ruo, but after going hungry for so many days, it tasted heavenly. Ling Chen sat beside her and watched as she devoured all the food. He told her to eat slowly while nibbling on a chicken wing. Although he had not eaten much the past few days, he didn’t feel hungry at all, and slowly ate...
That was because after all these years, this was the first time he had eaten without Shui Ruo by his side. He stared in front of him as he slowly chewed his food. His heart had long since drifted off to an unknown place.
Very soon, the meal for five people was finished. Gui Ci could only stare in shock, and looked at Tian Tian like she was a monster. He finally understood that Ling Chen did not request a meal for five people because he was too hungry, but because of the girl whose stomach was a bottomless pit. Tian Tian, who had eaten until she felt like she was going to explode, leaned against Ling Chen with her eyes closed, “Big brother, are we going to that place called Su Hang tomorrow? Is it really pretty there? Are we going to live there?”
Ling Chen put his arm around Tian Tian as he softly said, “Mmm, it’s too dangerous to stay here. We’ll leave for there tomorrow. It’s the most beautiful city in China, and Ruo Ruo really liked it there. I’m sure Tian Tian will like it there as well. If Tian Tian wants, we can live there forever.”
“Mmm.” Tian Tian replied as she leaned closer to him.
Ling Chen didn’t want them to do anything to Shui Ruo’s room, so Gui Ci tidied up Ling Chen’s old room. He never entered or exited through the main entrance, and would never allow anyone to detect him. He came and went without a trace, like a shadow. Two of Ling Chen’s subordinates stayed in Zhong Zhou, and they were in charge of gathering intelligence in Zhong Zhou City, as well as looking after this home. The other person had rushed off to Beijing when he heard about what had happened, and was on the way back. Right now, only Gui Ci was in Zhong Zhou.
Tian Tian quickly fell asleep against Ling Chen’s shoulder. These days, she had suffered too much and had become quite weary. Even after he had woken up, she hadn’t been able to properly rest. Ling Chen picked her up and placed her on the bed, then covered her with the blanket, saying, “Tian Tian, have a good rest. I’ll be right here, and I won’t leave you.”
Lying on the soft bed and listening to Ling Chen’s comforting voice, Tian Tian quickly fell into a deep sleep.
When Tian Tian was sound asleep, Ling Chen got up and soundlessly exited the room. He went to the bathroom and turned the shower to the maximum. The cold water flowed over his body as he closed his eyes, his hands pressing against his chest. Very soon, bright red marks appeared on his chest. Only when he was alone could he silently let out the agony from losing Shui Ruo. However, he would no longer choose death to seek release.
Ruo Ruo, without you, what am I meant to do in future…