On October 7, Zhang Man arrived at the N City Auditorium early in the morning.

    Since N City High School is the leading provincial school, it attaches great importance to the multi-faceted development of students, and this kind of performance which can showcase the cultural and artistic outlook of the school is relatively grand.

    In addition to seating for all students, a separate section of the auditorium was reserved for some parents who had signed up.

    Zhang Man arrived backstage, changed into the dress Zhang Huifang prepared for her and went to the makeup room. The school hired a team of professional makeup artists for the students.

    Most of the performers had met yesterday at the rehearsal and were now in the dressing room getting ready and nervously waiting for the second rehearsal scheduled for the morning.

    Since Qin Shuai is the head of the Arts and Literature Department, not only does he have his own solo piano program, but he is also the host and the coordinator of the whole show. He went in and out to check the status of each actor as well as the preparation of props making him very busy.

    “The makeup artist is over there, applying makeup to the girl who arrived first…”

    He had just opened the door of the dressing room when he saw the young girl standing aside waiting for her makeup.

    Snow-white skin, black dress, the exquisite modified version of the cheongsam is extremely flattering, outlining her enchanting curves. She pulled up her long hair today and instead of tying it in a ponytail like before, she fixed all her hair at the back of her head and put it in a bun, even her bangs were carefully pinned up with a hair clasp, revealing a clean forehead.

    The 16 or 17-year-old girl with fair and clear skin looks stunningly beautiful even without makeup.

    Qin Shuai in this moment, suddenly could not help but freeze.

    He had already seen her several times before, yet his heart still felt like it had been punched hard each time. After knocking his head, he thought to himself, this girl really grew on his aesthetics.

    Completely forgetting his task, President Qin went in and got close: “Junior, are you nervous?”

    Zhang Man saw him come in and greeted him, “Hello, senior. I’m okay, not too nervous.”

    “En. Your rehearsal yesterday was exceptional.”

    Actually, Zhang Man’s heart is still a little nervous. In her previous life, she had never sung in front of Li Wei. She looked at the clock in the dressing room. It’s only 8:30 a.m. ‘I wonder if he’s up yet.’

    The auditorium is very close to his home, just a ten-minute walk away. Moreover, her show is around five o’clock, so even if he sleeps until the afternoon, he will be able to make it.

    Qin Shuai wanted to add a few more compliments, but was pulled away by Zheng Nan, another member of the Arts and Literature Department. He(ZN) reported that there were changes to the host speech and told him(QS) to take care of it.

    He walked out of the room and pulled Zheng Nan aside, “Hey, do you have something to do later today?”

    Zheng Nan shook his head, “Nothing. Boss, what’s wrong?”

    “Help me buy a bouquet of flowers, the kind that are fresh and unpretentious but not gaudy. I’ll reimburse you when you get back, go.”

   —

    Rehearsals went well in the morning and soon it was time for the cultural performance to officially begin. Her performance was still a long way off anyway, so she simply sat down and watched the show on stage in the audience area.

    There were so many people that the auditorium was divided into blocks of areas according to classes, and almost all the seats were filled. The stage and sound effects were very good and the audience seemed to have a good time despite the fact that some students were in a mess on stage.

    Frankly, the shows were of varying standards. The performances presented by normal class were obviously a bit childish, but those presented by genuine clubs such as folk orchestras, western orchestras, rock bands, etc. were of high caliber.

    She looked at her watch, it was 4:00 pm. She still had half an hour to go backstage for the performance. Glancing over to the freshman class area, the crowd was overwhelming but Li Wei was nowhere to be seen. She took out her phone and sent a text message.

   【Li Wei, are you here?】

    After waiting for half an hour, the other party did not reply.

    Zhang Man was a little anxious and was worried if something had happened to him, so she went to the backstage lounge and gave him a call.

    Still no answer.

    Zhang Man had no choice. The temporary venue arranged by the Student Council has already started to rush. In the back of her mind, she thought maybe he was already here. The sound was too loud and she couldn’t hear the ring on her phone any longer.

    She went to the backstage waiting area with her guitar in her arms, and waited just over ten minutes, right before Qin Shuai on stage announced her name.

    “Next, we have a freshman singing with her guitar.”

     “Let’s give it up for Zhang Man!”

    …

    When Zhang Man finished singing there was an extremely boisterous applause from the whole audience, and there were many sophomore and seniors who even whistled towards her. Chen Feier, sitting in the front row, kept shouting her name frantically, her voice so shrill that it stood out in the midst of a cacophony of applause.

    She stood up and bowed towards the audience, and was about to leave the stage when she noticed that the host Qin Shuai, who was supposed to come up after she left the stage, came up, holding a large bouquet of flowers.

    It was a bouquet of fresh and common lilies.

    He smiled and handed her the flowers in a natural fashion. Zhang Man hesitated for a moment. She was not good at embarrassing people in full view, so she reached out to take them and gave him a polite smile, nodding her head in thanks.

    Once off stage, Zhang Man returned her guitar to the instrument station and immediately went back to the first class area. However, she did not see Li Wei even after looking from front to back. She asked her classmates and found out that Li Wei did not come and his phone number could not be reached.

    Zhang Man was a little lost. In her mind, she thought, “He didn’t forget, did he? 

    But immediately afterwards, a strong wave of worry came over her.

    He clearly said he would come and that he was looking forward to it so how could he have forgotten? Something must have happened, right?

    She frowned and her heart began to beat wildly. She stopped herself from thinking ahead and walked towards Li Wei’s house without even having time to change her clothes. She even had the flowers that Qin Shuai had just given her in her hand and didn’t have time to deal with it.

    When he arrived at Li Wei’s door, Zhang Man heard his voice in the doorway. She breathed a sigh of relief, fortunately, nothing happened to him.

    Except that his voice at the moment is very different from his usual calm voice. The tone rose and the volume were heavy with a very intense mood, as if he was arguing with someone. Zhang Man was somewhat puzzled by it, did he have a guest at home?

    She rang the doorbell and the youth quickly came and opened the door for her.

    The door of the room opened and the air was filled with a damp smell that had not been ventilated for several days, the room was very dim and the curtains in the living room were drawn, not a single light came in from outside.

    Zhang Man squinted for a while to adapt to such dimness, and only then did she see the youth standing in the doorway.

    His appearance is quite wretched.

    The knotted hair was piled on top of his head in a disheveled manner, looking like it hadn’t been taken care of for several days. His slightly drooping eyes were covered with dense green and red blood, and the dark circles under his eyes were extremely heavy.

    Zhang Man noticed that the youth’s chin was flushed with green tint stubble that hadn’t been shaved for a long time, and the thin lips were pursed tightly, and were so dry that they cracked out a clear line.

    It clearly looked like he hadn’t slept in days, but his eyes were exuberant.

    Zhang Man has just put down her worry instantly raised it up again, what happened?

    Seeing that it was her, the youth had a flash of surprise in his eyes and gestured to her with a nod for her to come in first.

    “Zhang Man, please wait a minute. A friend of mine is here.”

    With that, he turned around and went into the study, as if he was completely unaware that he had stood her up.

    Zhang Man suppressed the worry and doubt in her heart, changed her slippers and followed him inside.

    He actually had a friend coming to the house, who was it?

    —However, when she actually stood in front of the study with the intention of meeting his friend, she couldn’t help but suck in a breath of cold air.

    The sight in front of her eyes made her entire body start to shiver uncontrollably. An overwhelmingly frightening realization came to her mind.

    In this study, there was no second person except himself.

    But he didn’t know that.

    The youth set up a small chalkboard in the study, and two empty chairs were placed in front of the board.

    Sitting himself in one of the chairs, he raised his hand to point to a messily written equation on the board to another empty chair, and his voice questioned, “How can such an overdistance effect exist?”

    After he asked this question, he looked at the empty chair and listened quietly with an immense concentration, as though he was listening to someone who was explaining to him that question just now.

    During this time the whole room was so quiet that it seemed to stand still, and the only sound in the room was the shallow breathing of the both of them. However, the youth’s face showed a sincere expression of listening.

    Zhang Man gradually got goose bumps. She almost thought for a moment that there was really a person sitting on that chair talking to him, only she didn’t see it.

    She held her breath and tried to restrain herself from making a sound for fear of disturbing the eerily quiet atmosphere.

    About a few minutes later, the youth nodded, looking dazed, and said calmly to the patch of air, “Right, which means that this action of overdistance between quantum entanglement does break the causality in the same way as the collapse of the wave function, right?”

    He said and spread his hands helplessly: “Nick, I still can’t quite accept this argument. The basis of quantum theory is really hard to accept.”

    After he said this, he was quiet for a long time. While listening, he nodded from time to time in recognition of the “other side’s” point of view.

    Zhang Man watched all this and felt the strength of her body being drained away a little. She clasped her hands together and tried to restrain herself from trembling.

    After about a few more minutes, he suddenly remembered that Zhang Man was on the side, so he said to that patch of air, “Sorry, Nick but my classmate is here to see me, so let’s stop here today and discuss it next time.”

    He turned sideways to face Zhang Man again and raised his hand to indicate the seat next to him, “Zhang Man, this is my friend, Nick.”

    Crashing into his gaze towards herself, Zhang Man only felt her upper and lower teeth chattering. In her two lifetimes, this was the first time she had seen his illness so directly.

    She tried hard to calm herself down and tried to use the calmest tone of voice possible as she greeted the spot he was pointing to.

    “Hello Nick, I’m Zhang Man.”

    Her whole movement was incomparably stiff and she broke out in a cold sweat with difficulty.

    Li Wei introduced her to the other person again, and there was a small gap in the conversation as he listened to the “other” side. Not knowing what he (LW) heard, she saw him shook his head and laugh, “I’ll walk you out.”

    When he walked out of the study, Zhang Man’s tense nerves instantly collapsed. She lost all her strength and her body slowly slid down the wall and sat paralyzed on the floor.

    The palms of her hands are already full of sweat.


Translator’s Note:

Tbh, I was scared with Li Wei here. If I were Zhang Man, I don’t know if I could do what she did. 


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Mei
A Japanese language student that decided to translate Chinese Novels during the pandemic. If you want to support us, you can buy us a ko-fi. To maintain the site and support the translators as well. Thank you for reading!
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Peter Tchaikovsky

I was really really excited to see Li Wei’s expression/reaction to Zhang Man singing and a potential romantic development but boy clearly that did not happen.
Honestly I did expect a scene like this to occur (tho later on in the story) and it’s admirable that Zhang Man was able to take the right course of action.

Thank you for the update!! :3

Loni

Seconding Peter; I was looking forward to how Li Wei would react to her singing :l pwq xD
And that might seem weird to say, but I kinda wonder what it’d feel like to be in Zhang Man’s place in the latter scene. I think it’d be interesting, although a bit unsettling o-o
Thank you~ owo

Weepinglady

It’s really hard for the patient and their love ones. I also don’t know if i can handle the situation or I’ll just walk out of his life for the fear that i can’t take the emotional burden and hurt the both of us in the end.

Doytch Magient

I feel like i would ran away

Apollo

Zhang Man is really strong. Because that would have been so hard on me. Hearing him talk about a dead person like they’re alive is one thing. Seeing him talk to air? Yeah man that would have been alot.

Pomelo

I’m getting the same vibes I got from “A Beautiful Mind” movie about John Nash. This scene is just heartbreaking.

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