For most people, summer vacation was a luxurious break from school. However, as a third year student, Mo Shaoqing was about to start looking for an internship.
Rui Sha was already thirty five, she had worked in the industry for seven to eight years already. Although she was younger than those in her profession, she was efficient in her work.
Mo Shaoqi was in his living room on the 22nd floor of his apartment in East Lake. It was a one bedroom apartment spacious enough to work and rest comfortably in.
In the living room, Rui Sha was helping Mo Shaoqi fill up his itinerary. Rui Sha read to Mo Shaoqi of the first item on the agenda: “This official announcement is being arranged for you by Boss Ling… "
"Although it’s just an article in a magazine, don’t look down on it. You’ve heard of “ELL” magazine before right?”
Mo Shaoqi thought for a bit, Wasn’t this magazine a popular trend magazine based in the capital? Didn’t that mean he could go to the city with this opportunity?
With this in mind, he expectantly asked, “I think so, it's based in the Capital right?”
He's still a child huh, Rui Sha chuckled a little at his surprised expression, “That’s right, it’s like this --"
"This upcoming project is a collaboration between ELL magazine and the luxury goods designer Dunn.Brown. ELL will be promoting this year’s Fall and Winter collection which will include limited edition bookmarks and hand bags. The popularity of this release will be unimaginable.”
Mo Shaoqi could imagine the scene, DunnBrown wasn’t a common affordable brand. But if you were told to spend a few bucks on some magazines for a chance to win a limited edition set of bookmarks and handbags, then there would be a stream of customers buying up the magazines in fear of missing out.
“This is the first time the magazine is testing out this promotion in the country, if it’s successful there will be other competitors who will copy the PR tactic. It really is hard to come by such an opportunity, Boss Ling has assigned the cover page to Allen Lee, the most popular male model at the moment. The other pages are filled up by big companies and ours has decided to feature you... you need to perform well.”
Afraid that Mo Shaoqi would be too nervous after hearing this, Rui Sha reassured him “Of course you don’t have much experience right now, just do your best.”
Mo Shaoqi thanked sister Rui Shao and said he’d work hard.
“Alright, you should go back first, once everything has been organized I’ll give you a call. Right, afterwards we should arrange another cell phone for you. Never know when it will come in handy.”
After agreeing with Rui Sha’s instructions, he suddenly thought about something Boss Ling had previously brought up, “What do you think about my hair style?”
Looking up from the schedule, Rui Sha fixed her glasses and looked closely, “It’s not bad, pretty natural. What’s wrong?”
“Eh… Boss Ling said my hair style was no good the other day… maybe a new style would be good…”
Rui Sha didn’t really understand Boss Ling’s intention “This… maybe Boss Ling had his own intentions. Don’t worry, once we’re at the Capital for the shoot there will be stylists from ELL magazine to help you with it.”
A few days later, Mo Shaoqing, Rui Sha, and Xiao Wen boarded the plane.
It didn’t occur to Mo Shaoqing that he would be returning to the Capital so soon. Everything in the Capital felt fresh and new to him, from the foliage to even the pollution.
Perhaps it was because they were nearing his hometown, he suddenly didn’t want to get off the plane. However, he had some important things he needed to test out.
Mo Shaoqing didn’t head to the hotel with Rui Sha and the others and gave an excuse to leave separately and caught a taxi. The driver was very polite and told him about different things to do around the Capital. Listening to the familiar accent made him feel particularly close to the taxi driver.
The driver had thought he was a tourist, not even realizing that Mo Shaoqing was already familiar with the area they were in. After a few turns, they arrived at the orphanage that Mo Shaoqing had lived in in his previous life.
It really was the orphanage he grew up in! Although it had lost its original glamour, there were signs that the orphanage was once there. Only now the building was really shabby, piled with demolition waste.
How could this have happened?
The double iron gate at the orphanage had left a deep impression in Mo Shaoqing’s memory. The outer gate was an iron fence while the inner portion had large black iron doors. But now it had already aged and weakened, Mo Shaoqi pushed the doors open.
The plants and the play structure inside were all so familiar to him, except now it was all rusted and the garden was overgrown with weeds.
In the memory of an 8 year old Mo Shaoqi, the orphanage had at one point looked like this. Later on, the director of the orphanage was able to bring in support from the community. This allowed the orphanage to renovate more often, each time making more improvements.
Just as he was reminiscing, he felt his body got hit.
“Sorry, let me borrow this.” said a gloomy yet familiar man.
Mo Shaoqi subconsciously yielded. Suddenly he reacted by feeling for the wallet by his belt -- Shit, it was a thief.
Mo Shaoqi really felt that he and the police station had an intertwining fate this year, and he was always the victim.
After realizing he was robbed, he chased after them, Forgetting that nearby there was a police station. The thief was quickly caught and taken into custody.
But at this moment, he was really torn inside. He never thought that he would meet a friend from his previous life like this, it felt like a lifetime had passed.
Zhang Yi loved to laugh and play around. In order to work hard through life’s daily struggles… slowly morphed into the cruel looking man in front of him.
Feeling eyes on him, Zhang Yi glared back. Unable to cope with it, Mo Shaoqi told the police officer to let Zhang Yi go.
“W-what? Are you sure Mr. Mo?” asked the shocked policeman. The officer unbelievably stared at Mo Shaoqi, he had never in his life seen such a tolerant victim of theft before!
“That won’t do, we can’t release someone just because you asked us to. We need to follow protocol here, he stole your things…”
“No that’s not it, actually we’re good friends just playing around… I’m sorry, we’ve inconvenienced you officers.” Mo Shaoqi hurriedly winked at Zhang Yi. But who knew, this tactic would be ignored by Zhang Yi who pretended not to notice.
“Ai ya, you’re still angry!” Mo Shaoqi was using all of his acting skills infront of the officers, “I’m so sorry officers, we were wrong. We’re willing to accept your criticisms and teachings.” The pair were then lectured for an hour and let go.
As they were leaving the police station, Zhang Yi fiercely shook off Mo Shaoqi’s hand, but Mo Shaoqi didn’t want to let go. They were still inside the station. Walking forward, he hurriedly wrapped his arm around Zhang Yi’s neck and didn’t let go until they got further outside.
“Who are you? Why are you helping me?” asked Zhang Yi coldly.
Mo Shaoqi laughed instead, he had never seen this side of Zhang Yi before. [Zhang Yi was] Trying to size him up with his gaze. Zhang Yi was stumped by the laugh. Sizing him up again gave him goosebumps.
Mo Shaoqi grinned and said “Who I am, you don’t need to know. Stealing! Why the heck are you stealing!”
“Huh? What right do you have to ask me? I stole. You had the police catch me, so why let me go?” replied Zhang Yi in disdain.
“You...because…” we were best friends in my past life.
“Because I previously donated to the orphanage. Can’t I know more about the situation?” Mo Shaoqi wasn’t lying. Before coming to the Capital, he had a special investigation done, to find if the orphanage existed. He held back his skepticism and donated 30 000 yuan.
“Really?” Zhang Yi asked, his face became hesitant.
“Of course, why would I lie on something that’s easy to disprove?”
“Fine, whatever you want to ask, just ask then”
After hesitating for a while, Mo Shaoqi finally asked the question he held in his heart, “Why didn’t you continue your education?”.
“Me? Ha ha!” Zhang Yi laughter mocked himself, “I stopped going to school after junior high. Alright, you’ve asked your question, can I go now?”
“En.” Zhang Yi turned to leave.
“Ai, you, wait” Mo Shaoqi called after and stopped him.
“What now?” Zhang Yi impatiently turned his head, but Mo Shaoqing couldn’t hear the harshness in his words, as if he had put his guard down.
“I have some money here, take it and stop stealing” Mo Shaoqi took a wad of cash from his wallet and handed it to Zhang Yi. In order to show his sincerity, he had a big smile on his face.
Zhang Yi stared at Mo Shaoqi in astonishment, his face was shocked as if asking “Are you God?” but in the end still accepted it.
Mo Shaoqi’s smiling face twitched, thinking, if you weren’t my best friend in my past life, I wouldn’t even have bothered to care about you.
On his way back, Mo Shaoqi couldn’t get his mood back up. He thought, right now the world really did change.
Thinking back to his past life, Zhang Yi’s grades weren’t that great. At that time, he could only get into the worst ranking High School or Trade School. A student with bad grades wouldn’t be able to get subsidized funding. In order to save money for Director Sheng, Zhang Yi thought about quitting school.
But Mo Shaoqi wouldn’t allow it. At the time, he had planned out their futures together, the two of them would go to University. Naturally, the first step would be to continue on to High School.
Mo Shaoqi had persuaded Director Sheng to lend money to Zhang Yi for school and promised to return whatever he had borrowed. He then persuaded Zhang Yi and got him to take the entrance exams for the High School. However the school as a whole was bad and Zhang Yi would be negatively influenced. That’s why, after school, Mo Shaoqi and Zhang Yi would work and study together. Mo Shaoqi would also tutor Zhang Yi and help with his homework.
Later, the two of them would get accepted into their desired universities. Mo Shaoqi would go on to business school, while Zhang Yi would go to an information engineering school.
So...were his efforts in vain? In this life, Zhang Yi didn’t go to high school and instead got mixed up in crime and became what he was today…
The effort he used to change everything, felt like it was wasted in the end and was hard to swallow. Also, he didn’t have anyone he could talk to about this, not even Zhang Yi remembered him. It was like in this whole word, he was the only one who had to live through this pain.
Mo Shaoqi’s feelings were all over the place, his emotions and thoughts couldn't focus. So much so, he didn’t see the text sent by Ling Senhao.
Hello everyone, this is my first time translating something so please be lenient! I'll try and get a schedule in order but currently there isn't one in place.
Thanks for reading!