Lawyer Zhang drove Fu Yangxi back in his car. He couldn't help but glance at Fu Yangxi, who had closed his eyes and calmed down, from his rearview mirror.
This young man has changed a lot.
He remembered the first time he met him. He was still a newcomer in the legal profession, and he followed his boss to deal with the Fu family’s affairs.
At that time, Fu Yangxi was only 13 years old, and his elder brother Fu Zhihong was 18 years old.
The two brothers were well-taught. They treated others with modesty and politeness. Anyone in contact with them would feel like a spring breeze had blown through them.
The 13-year-old Fu Yangxi was still a child. His clear eyes were especially clean and innocent. When he ran into a caddie on the golf course he would quickly help him up to apologize. At that time, he was still like Fu Zhihong, with pitch-black short hair, looking like a clean little white poplar, tall and slender.
Then, that incident happened.
The incident was a hot topic at the time. After all, the kidnappers dared to kidnap the two young masters of the Fu family and publicly demanded that Fu Chao personally bring the ransom to redeem his two sons.
It almost appeared in the newspapers at that time, but since it would be a bad influence to their business, the Fu family managed to suppress it with a little money. Only some small gossip circulated in private.
As for what happened to the kidnapping case, even though Lawyer Zhang was already regarded as a trusted friend of the Fu family, he was still not clear about it.
All he knew was that Fu Chao, who had gone to redeem his sons, didn't come back, and neither did Fu Zhihong. They all died there, and the appearance of their corpses was rather gruesome. Because one person escaped, both of them were harshly punished when they were re-captured by the kidnappers.
Only Fu Yangxi returned.
Something must have happened during the kidnapping. Because after his return, not only did Fu Yangxi not receive any comfort or hugs, he was also not forgiven by his grandfather and mother.
At that time, the old man gave him two options: either leave with the money or stay and clean up the mess. Fu Yangxi probably chose the latter.
Then when Lawyer Zhang saw Fu Yangxi again, it was already the beginning of this year.
Fu Yangxi was already 18 years old, and he grew up to be completely different from his brother back then.
Dyed red hair, a lackluster spirit in studying.
There was no trace of that 13-year-old boy anymore.
Fu Yangxi opened his eyes abruptly. It gave Lawyer Zhang a shock but he managed to quickly withdraw his gaze.
In the night, the car drove into an exorbitant villa.
There were several cars parked outside the villa, one of which had the license plate of Fu Yangxi’s mother.
"Madam is back?" Lawyer Zhang frowned when he saw her car.
"Everything that should come will eventually arrive." Fu Yangxi cheered up and exercised his arms a little. He pushed the door and quickly stepped out of the car.
After taking two steps, he sucked in a deep breath and made larger steps so that he would touch his wounds less often.
The villa was cold. There was not a single photo or frame.
The lights were also frigid.
There was only a lamp in the living room, and a woman with delicate makeup was sitting on the sofa. She held her arms, heard the footsteps, and glanced at him coldly. “I’m surprised that you know how to come home. I heard that you went to the police station. You’re really capable now, aren’t you?”
Fu Yangxi said nothing. He turned and walked upstairs.
In the next second, a glass crashed and shattered on the floor in front of him with a ‘bang’.
The glass shards exploded and cut across the back of Fu Yangxi's hand.
Fu Yangxi's eyelids twitched. The two servants in the corner were almost innocently injured. They hurriedly avoided it.
Fu Yangxi said, “You can leave.”
"Thank- Thank you, Young Master." The two quickly hid in the kitchen.
"What the hell are you doing?" Fu Yangxi turned around and said in an annoyed manner. “Yes, I went to the police station, but it was Lawyer Zhang who got me out. I didn't bother you to go. What's it got to do with you anyways? And I used the private jet under my own name, so what does it matter to you?”
"You caused your father and brother’s death and yet you still dare to talk back! You still have the audacity to be so happy?!" Yu Jiarong gritted her teeth and asked. “You still have the audacity to fall in love? Are you so complacent that you have forgotten what you’ve done to them?!”
Fu Yangxi tightly clenched his fists.
As Yu Jiarong got closer, she stared at the young man before her who looked very similar to Fu Chao. She asked with a tone as if she was weeping blood, “Why were you the only one who survived?”
“Are you happy to be the only one who survived?”
“That road had no ditches and no obstructions, so why did you run so slowly?”
“Did you know that it was because of you that your father and brother died? Your father loved you so much, but he died because of you. Is your one life worth both of theirs?”
Fu Yangxi's temples began to throb suddenly. “Have you taken your medicine?”
“I won’t eat them! If you send me to the hospital, won't you forget these things? You have to remember your faults forever!”
When she saw how pale he looked and how he was about to turn and leave, Yu Jiarong stopped him angrily, “You can't stand it after just a few words? Your brother and father are dead. Have you ever thought of how cold they would be underground?”
Silence. A while later, Fu Yangxi suppressed his anger and turned upstairs without saying a word.
Yu Jiarong was still yelling behind him, but he chose to ignore it.
After tossing and turning on the train all night, Fu Yangxi was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the bed.
He began to lose the distinction between dreams and reality.
He kept on running.
The sound of the wind brushed past his ears. Half of his ears were about to be cut off.
In the dark night, the moon was large and round, its distance from the ground very low, as if it could swallow everything. It was cold. His fingers were cracked, the corners of his mouth were swollen, and his face was splattered with blood. He ran forward with all his might.
The sense of rush and panic in the dream spread from within him, and his whole body was covered in sweat.
Suddenly, there was the sound of a dog barking, one after another. It wasn’t just one dog, it was a whole group of them.
In the dark night, the group of hungry and vicious dogs kept chasing him. He could practically feel the stench and heat coming from their mouths, lingering by his ears.
Fu Yangxi didn't want his legs to go weak, but his ankle was severely bitten, and the piercing pain soon came.
He fell to the ground abruptly, his hands and elbows fractured in every single place.
The tingling sensation spread all over the body. It was incredibly painful.
His father desperately tried untie the rope around his hands. He wanted to drag out some time so he could escape along the ventilation duct and find help as soon as possible.
He ran for a long time, so long that his lungs felt like they were about to burst.
Suddenly, he was dragged back by the group of hungry dogs.
Little Fu Yangxi cried. He was out of breath, his heart in absolute despair. He tried to snatch his leg back and desperately tried to run forward——
But there was no way for him to make it in time.
He was too late.
He couldn’t do anything in time.
In the end, there were only two corpses waiting for him.
Fu Yangxi woke up in cold sweat. He sat up instantly, panting wildly as he did so.
Huge beads of sweat fell drop by drop from that head of short red hair.
After realizing that this was just another nightmare, Fu Yangxi wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, swallowed, and calmed down a little.
He sat there for a while. Then, he forced himself up, went to the bedside table to pull out two white bottles and unscrewed the caps.
He poured out a few pills and swallowed them without any water.
However, sleep still did not come to him.
It was always difficult for him to fall asleep at night. He would have nightmares as soon as he slept.
The intermittent crying rang in his ears once more. Fu Yangxi thought he was dreaming again.
But that was not the case.
The cries came from Yu Jiarong's room.
Yu Jiarong often cried in the middle of the night. She had a mild bipolar disorder, but she would never let herself stay in the hospital for long.
After crying for a while, she came over and knocked on Fu Yangxi's door.
The voice of hopelessness and despair came from outside Fu Yangxi's room. It was still the repeated interrogations. "Why were you the only one who survived?"
"Why were you so slow when your father asked you to get help?"
Fu Yangxi listened quietly.
A short while later, Yu Jiarong slowly squatted down outside his room. She hid her face as she cried. “I'm sorry, Yangyang, I’m really sorry. It just hurts so much. You’ll make me feel better, right? Don't forget your brother— They’ve all forgotten, no one remembers your brother anymore, but you can't forget.”
Fu Yangxi remained silent.
After a while, Yu Jiarong seemed to be a little more sober. She fumbled around and left, sobbing as she went.
Fu Yangxi glanced out the window. The morning fog was hazy.
Another night had passed. The sky was about to be bright again.
His mother had been blaming him for so many years, thinking that he was the only one who escaped.
But sometimes Fu Yangxi would also wonder if he ran faster; if he was stronger and braver; if he didn’t have to take a detour because of that group of vicious dogs, even if they pulled his whole leg off— would the outcome be different?
Everyone in the family felt that he and his brother looked too similar. The same face, the same black hair, and the same personality. Whenever they saw him, he reminded them that both Fu Zhihong and Fu Chao were dead. Only Fu Yangxi with the weakest body survived.
So no one wanted to look at him anymore.
After the age of 13, Yu Jiarong always stared at him with hatred in her eyes, hating him for being too similar to Fu Zhihong.
So he dyed his hair red.
Then Yu Jiarong hated him because he no longer looked like Fu Zhihong.
Yu Jiarong hated that Fu Zhihong and Fu Chao were no longer found in him, so she went to pick up Fu Zhiyi.
Fu Yangxi lay down again, resting his head on his hands. He stared at the ceiling for a long time in cold sweat.
He tried to make Zhao Mingxi's face appear in his mind.
—Those eyes that were shining, clean and clear when they saw him.
He tried to make her smile fill his mind, and let her voice linger in his ears with the words she said.
—"My name is Zhao Mingxi. I just transferred here from Normal Class Six."
—"Can I run on his behalf?"
Little Mask likes me.
Little Mask cares for me.
At least I have Little Mask.
After chanting it many times, his anxious mood slowly began to calm down.
Suddenly, there was a madness in Fu Yangxi's heart. He had a mad desire to see Zhao Mingxi. That desire burned hot every night, and it was even more turbulent tonight. If it was Zhao Mingxi, would she blame him if she knew about this? Would she still say ‘I’m worried about you’ to him?
Fu Yangxi was uncertain.
He couldn't help but get up and put on his shoes and jacket. Then, he jumped out of the window. When he did this, his mind was blank, just like a person who was about to freeze to death, eagerly trying to head towards the scorching fire.
He took off in one of his family’s cars.
In the early hours of the morning, the sky was still dark, and the whole world had yet to wake up.
Fu Yangxi rushed all the way to the school dormitory. His cheeks were pale due to the cold. He panted wildly. When he saw the iron gate, he realized that the dormitory where Zhao Mingxi lived had a guard stationed at the entrance.
He stopped running.
A warm yellow light outside the guard’s booth dragged his figure long.
White puffs came out of his mouth, and his eyelashes seemed to be condensed with hoarfrost.
After standing blankly for a while, Fu Yangxi collapsed and sat down on the flowerbed next to him in exhaustion.
He wanted to wait for Zhao Mingxi to wake up. He wanted him to be the first person Zhao Mingxi sees when she comes downstairs. He wanted to see her earlier.
No one likes him, they all hate him.
But as long as Zhao Mingxi likes him, he is not afraid.
ray's note: where's the tissues (;﹏;) also early update because i finally passed my exams!! i don't know if you guys recall but there was this period of time when i only updated once a month + you guys wished me luck for exams (and my laptop died around that time too) BUT I DID IT! i became the 20% who passed the exams!! and while translating this story!!! not gonna lie, Mingxi, Yangxi and all of you were the reason why i kept on translating despite the stress of exams. this story deserves the best, and you guys deserve to see this till the end!
thank you so, so much for your support and love throughout these few months. onward we go in life, and of course, with the rising plot of this story ٩(ˊᗜˋ )و