–What’s not in your fate, you can’t touch it, what’s in your fate, you can’t escape.

    The words of the people around enlightened Zhang Man, so much that goose bumps appeared all over her body.

    She at this moment, feel haunted by the thought of Li Wei. She desperately suppressed the panic inside her and took out the phone to call him.

    But a cold, mechanical female voice came from the other side.

    “The number you have dialed is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.”

    She called again undeterred, but the phone was still off.

    Maybe it’s because the battery is dead? Or is it because you are studying and are afraid of being disturbed?

    But that’s unlikely. He had just said he would take her home, and she had to talk him into agreeing to her coming back on her own.

    Before she left, he even reminded her to call him when she got home.

    With the heartbreaking cries, the hum of the police car, the howling of the gale—Zhang Man, whose heart was pounding, turned around and walked away from the crowd, walking faster and faster, until it turned into running.

    She hailed a taxi at the entrance and said urgently, “Please go to Wancheng Haijing!”

    She had to go back to him.

    When she sat down, she realized that she had been trembling the whole time.

    –Sometimes, when a nightmare comes, there’s always a hint of it.

    Reaching Li Wei’s building, Zhang Man hurriedly took the elevator upstairs and rang the doorbell of his house.

    Unfortunately, there was no response for a long, long time.

    Zhang Man’s heart skipped a beat, intuition told her that something was wrong.

    She frantically rang the doorbell, rapping hard on the door every now and then, shouting, “Li Wei, open the door, it’s Man Man!”

    She ran all the way here, sucked in too much cold wind, so her throat was congested and sore, and her voice was a hundred times hoarser than usual at this point.

    After about ten minutes or so, the youth finally opened the door.

    The moment the door opened, Zhang Man knew that her intuition was indeed true.

    Something happened to him.

    His home is very different from just before she left—on the dining room’s floor, the table and chairs fell across the floor, and the fragments of several glasses were very striking. The pillows on the sofa, which had been neatly arranged, were now scattered all around, and one was even thrown onto the windowsill.

    However, what is even more frightening is the way the youth looks at the moment.

    His clothes were wrinkled, the top two buttons were ripped off, revealing terrible threads, and there were a few shocking scratches on his exposed neck and collarbone.

    Like there’s some kind of fight…

    He stepped on the floor with his bare feet, his eyes were red and the dense, dry blood was spread across the bottom of his eyes.

    He bit his lower lip extremely hard, even biting out blood, but he himself did not seem to notice it at all. He looked at her eyes, there is no longer the warmth and eagerness of the afternoon, but a constantly changing look, ruthless, violent, panic, and broken—compared to the way he was once out of control, at this time, he is more like a beast facing extreme danger with its tail up, claws and teeth out and ready to fight.

    Zhang Man’s heart fell with a “thud”, she already had a very bad feeling.

    “Li Wei, what’s wrong?”

    When the youth saw that the visitor was her, he was silent for a moment and collected the fearful and violent aura from his body.

    He pulled her in, closed the door, and looked at her carefully, as if trying to distinguish all the details of her face.

    A few moments later, he reached out and cautiously touched her face, so lightly, as if afraid to break a precious jade.

    “Man Man, are you real? Or am I just imagining you right now? Are you like my mom and them? Did I also make-up the ‘you’ in front of me as well?”

    His voice was hoarse and dry with uncontrollable trembling, like the last gasp of a dying man.

    He looked seriously at the girl in front of him, and in a corner of his heart, something completely shattered.

    He couldn’t take it anymore.

    It is really, unacceptable.

    Janet is a fake, Nick is a fake, and even his Man Man is also a fake.

    He had held this girl tightly in the dimly lit school yard, calling her name without stopping. He had circled her in the narrow passage of the hotel and kissed her fervently and indulgently. He had stayed awake all night with his eyes open in the dark, tucking her in again and again.

    The fallen leaves they stepped on together, the snow they stepped on together, the sea they saw together, how could it be all fake?

    His beloved Man Man, how can she be fake? She is his cure to drive away the night from now on, is the only faith that he has identified in his heart, so…how can she be fake?

    His world, his faith, collapsed in this instant.

    If she is a fake, how can he still continue on living?

    The youth just looked straight at the girl in front of him, his throat rolled, but he could not say another word. He can only be like a wounded and lonely beast, crumbling and wailing in the dark world that only he knows.

    Zhang Man has long since burst into tears.

    She didn’t know exactly what was going on, but she knew that he was afraid, he probably realized it.

    The realization that he had been delusional for so many years, the realization that his mother and Nick were both fakes. And, as in his previous life, he was so delirious that he was unable to tell what was real and what was not anymore.

    He even thought that she was also his delusion.

    Zhang Man’s heart, at this moment, surged with boundless panic.

    What’s not in your fate, you can’t touch it, what’s in your fate, you can’t escape.

    He went round and round, but still had one foot in the dark vortex.

    She suddenly began to wonder what her rebirth could change. Obviously he had stopped deluding himself about those unreal people some time ago, and obviously his condition had gradually stabilized after being with her.

    She thought that she was his cure, but she never thought that fate had played a huge joke on her.

    His outburst, surprisingly, was even earlier than in his previous life.

    He can’t escape.

    “Li Wei, look at me! I’m real! I’m your Man Man!

    With tears streaming down her face, Zhang Man gently patted the youth’s shoulder and stroked his face haphazardly, trying to soothe him.

    Yet, the lights in his eyes are getting more and more empty, as his whole body slowly calms down.

    He even turned to her and smiled softly.

    They were right all along.

    He’s just as crazy as his father.

    –The girl in front of him, however, was so beautiful that she looked like an angel that did not exist on earth.

    How could he think that an angel would belong to him? Especially a mortal like him who was loathed by everyone.

    Zhang Man saw that he was unresponsive, so she threw herself on him fiercely and kissed him passionately. It seemed that only a kiss could give vent to her anxieties.

    Her voice trembled, and her kiss was tinged with salty tears: “Li Wei, if you don’t believe me, kiss me. You feel, if I’m real.”

    Her lips were soft and warm, burning through the last remaining trace of sanity in the youth’s body.

    His body stiffened, and before his mind could react, his body had reacted first. He lifted his arms to embrace her, pushed her against the doorway, and kissed wildly.

    There was no more tenderness and lingering, he sucked her lips without pity, gently biting her lips, and indulged in this illusion with reckless abandon.

    Even if it is false, he still wants to… to keep this unreal illusion.

    Zhang Man has never known this kind of him, like a raging storm, the way he is now is like a person about to drown but is desperately trying with all his might to grab the last straw.

    His kiss gave her a twinge of pain and even a taste of blood on the tip of her tongue.

    But she didn’t let go. She held him firmly, kissed him tenderly, and honestly let him feel her truest self.

    But the youth seems not content with that.

    He kissed her cheeks, her ears, and buried his head on her neck, nibbling gently. He pushed her hands to the sides, took off her heavy down jacket, and advanced even further to unbutton her top two buttons.

    His movements were tinged with trembling, but crumbled to a halt when he saw her white, delicate collarbone.

    The youth stumbled back a step and crouched on the ground, holding his head and wailing in pain.

    “Li Wei, you’re a piece of shit. She…she’s your angel.”

    Zhang Man, feeling distressed, squatted down and gasped for breath with tears.

    She surprisingly did not know how to prove, at this moment, the reality of this world. She also does not know how to prove that she herself is real.

    She remembered her former life, the ‘him’ whose worldview collapsed. For him who originally existed alone in this world, the collapse of his worldview was an irresistible storm, enough to destroy all his perceptions and insistence.

    She was worried that he would become like that again, as he had in his previous life.

    Zhang Man looked out of the living room window and the snow filled the air with a sense of despair that precedes the end of days.

    She abruptly wiped away her tears and took the youth’s hand.

    “Boyfriend. I’ll show you the world, alright?”

    She then took the coat from the door and put it on him, put his shoes on and pulled him out.

    On the streets, the snow flurries, even in such weather, there is no shortage of pedestrians returning home at night in the city.

    She pulled the youth with hollow eyes and strode aimlessly through the streets.

    The cold wind blew through their hair and snowflakes fell on their interlocked hands.

    She held up a snowflake and put it in front of the youth’s eyes.

    “Look, it’s snow.”

    She led him, walking past one glowing streetlight after another.

    She reached out and pointed to one of them, “This is a street lamp, it lights up the darkness at night, it’s the night watchman of the city.”

    The youth’s eyes gradually become less empty and confused just now, he looked at the street lamp emitting a dim soft light but did not speak.

    Zhang Man bit her lip, not enough, still not enough.

    She pulled him along and continued on her way through the wind and snow as they crossed one of the city’s criss-crossed streets. The large city did not stop its operations because of weather, and has long been ready to meet one test after another from nature.

    At the noisy traffic lights, a few pedestrians held their heads against the wind and snow, hurrying forward. A bus full of passengers, honking its ear-splitting horn, grabbed the only two seconds left of the green light and rushed across the road.

    “These are the people coming home from work.”

    “This is public transportation ……”

    “This is the store ……”

    “This is the liveliest bar in the city, with the strongest drinks and the hottest music ……”

    She introduced him to the world one sentence at a time, as if she wanted to have the world spread out and broken down for him to see.

    Zhang Man looked at the youth beside her, his eyes, reflecting the lights of the city at night.

    Still not enough.

    This vast and great world has not only traces of the existence of human society, but also boundless and magnificent natural scenery.

    Zhang Man held the hand of the youth, and ran like crazy in the cold snow.

    By the time they stopped once again, there was an empty beach in front of them, the sea roaring in the middle of a snowstorm.

    Zhang Man, facing the sea, shouted loudly and firmly: “Li Wei, look, this is the sea, the most mysterious and broadest sea. Do you hear it? The sea is ebbing, that is the sound of the waves. I was once here, singing to you, and you drew an entire field of roses for me on this beach.”

    ……

    “The beach in spring is perfect for walking around. Where couples and families frolic and play…”

    “When the tide fell at dusk in the summer, people would come with baskets and small shovels and dig for scallops and oysters.”

    “In autumn and winter, there will be a violent sea breeze like today.”

    “Unfortunately, we can’t see it today. On an unusually clear night, the sky above this beach will be covered with tiny points of stars—all your favorite stars and the universe.”

    She turned around and looked him in the eyes.

    “Do you believe me? Don’t be afraid, this world, this snow, this beach under your feet, this sea in front of you, including me, is all real.”

    She hugged him gently and tenderly at that moment, buried her head in his chest, and let the tears well up.

    The youth’s expression, finally, broke in this moment, and the person he loved, in the clumsiest and crude way, tried desperately to wake him up.

    This world, vast and magnificent, is full of rich and realistic details.

    The mottled grease peeling off the street store signs, the hurried look on the faces of passersby, every strand of her hair flying in the wind and snow…… everything is not something he can simply imagine.

    He believed it, he thought.

    The sea roaring fiercely in the snowstorm, the golden beach wet by the waves, as well as the flakes of cold snow that fell on him, and the soft, warm girl in his arms.

    It is indeed all real.

    It’s not the illusion that frightened him.

    The youth curled his lips and woefully fell into tears.


Translator’s Note:

Why is it that my tears are still falling even after translating this chapter? _(:3」∠)_


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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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sasisuseso

😢😢😢

wyvern

HHHHHH POOR KID, I HOPE IT GETS BETTER FROM HERE FOR HIMMN

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