164 The Malice of Two
His words made me curious. Raising my brows, I asked, "Oh? You mean it was because I confused you with Gao Qi, and that led me to be lenient towards you so many times?"
Gaoqin Jiuye's gaze darkened slightly. "Well, at least I can tell that you feel something for him, and I can tell you treat me a little differently because of that."
I smirked. "You're overthinking. Firstly, since you think like this, it means you're definitely aware that I've been lenient towards you more than once. Even after I found out that you were the soul splitter who captured me, I still chose to be lenient. Secondly, I hope you get this clear - that you and Gao Qi are totally different, and you guys have absolutely no similarities. This is why no matter what, there's no way you could have triggered the feelings I had for him."
Gaoqin Jiuye laughed so hard to the point that he was almost tearing.
"Nothing's made me happier than hearing I have absolutely no similarities with him. I, Gaoqin Jiuye, want nothing to do with that man whom you're willing to love and protect with your entire life."
For some reason, I felt like there was an underlying meaning to what he just said, and it felt unsettling.
"You know him?" I didn't know why I had to ask that, but I had this feeling that Gaoqin Jiuye did not look well upon Gao Qi. I felt like it might have been more than a simple feeling of dislike - that it might have been hate.
I was shocked by what went through my own mind. How could a soul splitter, Gaoqin Jiuye, hate Gao Qi if they should not even have met?
These weird thoughts must have appeared because I was too tired.
But, weren't I also unaware of what exactly a soul splitter was? If we uncover the secret behind the soul splitters one day, and they were indeed somehow related to each other, what should I do?
"Are you afraid that I'll know him."
I looked away as I met Gaoqin Jiuye's eyes.
"Gaoqin Jiuye, I don't care how you treat me. Just don't use him as a tool to beat me down and trigger my emotions. I admit that I'm not strong enough, especially when it comes to matters that has to do with him. I wouldn't be here in the Split Zone now if I was strong enough to withstand such things, if I had retorted and fought back in those situations."
I then looked up at him with a smile.
He looked rather stunned.
"You're really, something." He laughed suddenly, and lay back down.
He continued in a low voice, "Tell me how you feel about him. You can start wherever you want, or you can just start from how it began."
I had never expected a day like this. A day where I could have a peaceful conversation with Gaoqin Jiuye about the feelings I had for Gao Qi, the person with the exact same face and body as him.
It might be because I've never thought of this before, but I suddenly had an urge to complain.
I just didn't know where to start.
"If you don't know where to start, how about you answer my questions then?
"Promise to answer truthfully?"
I smiled as I answered, "I will."
Gaoqin Jiuye closed his eyes and said, "What do you love about him?"
I thought this was a simple question that I could answer immediately, but I was stunned by how my mind was a blank.
Yes, that's right. All this time, what do I love about him? Though there was usually no reason needed to like or love someone, there still had to be some point where it starts. What was it about him that attracted me, why did I start noticing him, and what was it that turned initial curiosity into love?
Just what was the reason behind it?
"At the time, everyone around me knew that I was afflicted with a mental illness, and they ostracized me because of that. But Gao Qi…" I didn't know how to continue after this.
Gaoqin Jiuye opened his eyes, as if he was looking at that black hole above us.
"But, you found something similar in Gao Qi?"
"No, that's not it! Gao Qi is different from me. He's nice and popular among the girls. He's also known to be a really warm person in school, so how could such an excellent person be similar to me at all!" My emotions went a little out of control as I made a loud retort.
I felt a little breathless after finishing my sentence, probably because I used too much strength while saying it.
"He's excellent, warm and nice, and others like him, so you like him too. Do you think this is the case?"
Gaoqin Jiuye's question was rather normal, but why did I feel as if he was trying to drive me into a corner?
At the beginning when Gao Qi suddenly showed an interest in me at the sports field, I did find him very warm. But, was it because he was a warm person that I fell in love with him?
"I lost many of my memories with Gao Qi after arriving here in the Split Zone, so, so I…"
As I was trying to explain myself, Gaoqin Jiuye interrupted me. "How could you forget the feeling of loving someone just because you lost your memory? Even if you've forgotten majority of your time together, you'd still remember that he was the person you loved, right? So how could you have forgotten why you love him?"
But I seem to have really forgotten.
Yes, why did I love him?
"Admit it, Li Shen. That senior Gao Qi whom you've always loved was never who you thought he was. More importantly, it's not because you aren't sure of who he really is, it's because you know exactly who he is that you love him. You're just afraid to believe that you've fallen in love with a monster. You're avoiding it, and that's why I had the chance to step in and take you here."
Gaoqin Jiuye yawned before continuing casually, "Nobody knows you better than I do."
I looked at him.
"What did you say?"
"Nothing," he answered with a smile.
Huh, nobody knows me better than you do? Are you kidding? How long have we known each other?
A terrifying emotion overwhelmed me.
"You, just how are you related to Gao Qi."
Gaoqin Jiuye closed his eyes and ignored me once again.
I crawled towards him on all fours as I was overcome with emotion. Grabbing his collar, I pulled him up into a sitting position.
Gaoqin Jiuye looked irritated. "Li Shen, can you be a lady for once?"
"Just how are you related to him. Both of you look exactly the same, that's no coincidence, right?"
My voice trembled as I finally voiced the question I had always been afraid to ask. But it seems that I had to clear this up now. There are too many secrets and mysteries here, and I'll just go crazy like this. (Passerby A: You're already crazy… It's been medically proven… Me: *kicks Passerby A without hesitation*)
Gaoqin Jiuye suddenly looked at me with interest.
"What if we were really related in some way? What if I told you I was him, or we have some sort of inseparable relationship? What would you do, Li Shen? Would you love me like you love him?"
"Don't be ridiculous, you're not him. How could you be like him." I responded without much thought, but I saw Gaoqin Jiuye's gaze instantly turn cold.
"That's right, I'm not him. So please stop asking me how I am related to him, since you've also said so, that I'm different from him. And since you'll never love me like you love him, then don't ever ask me who I am!
"Since you've never cared anyway."
It felt like my heart was instantly wrapped in ice.
His voice carried a sort of cold, viscous sorrow that seemed like it would never be quelled.
I was rather confused as I looked at Gaoqin Jiuye's eyes. I could not comprehend this. I didn't understand why he was like this, why he had such a gaze, and why he would say such a thing.
Me and him, him and I, him and him, just how are we related to one another…
Gaoqin Jiuye seemed to get angrier as he saw the look of confusion on my face. He leaned closer suddenly, asking "Li Shen, why lie to yourself? It's no fun. Others don't know, but did you think that I, Gaoqin Jiuye, wouldn't know too?"
The underlying meaning seemed to be: 'How could I be unaware of what happened when you were alive if I was the one who brought you here?'
I looked at him anxiously. "You know what happened in my lost memories? Can, can you tell me…"
"Huh." He laughed, eyes shining. "What can I tell you? You're asking because of him, right?
"Li Shen, you know very well what kind of individual Gao Qi is, and you also know how Nie Zun is. Even so, you still love them. The only thing you don't know is what kind of person you are. The her that you ostracize, is the you that you don't know. And you don't know what kind of person I am either."
It sounded complicated, but my eyes were surprisingly wet with tears after hearing it.
"Li Shen, I'm not saving you. I can tell you're feeling wretched, and you know this too, but why are you running away from it? Why are you being even more cowardly than when you were alive?"
A malicious, evil feeling overcame me, as if my soul was dyed black in a mere instant. I looked at him coldly. "Are you that much stronger than me then? If you were doing everything right, Si Luo wouldn't end up like this today, Du Yue might not be like this now, and I might not end up like this either."