It was already one o’clock in the morning when they1Xie Qing and Liang Hong could finally come out of the police station. Street lights were lit everywhere and the people walked past them at night. The summer wind blew, spreading the aromatic scent of cumin.
As the informant and victim, Xie Qing was able to provide evidence and recorded a statement in the police station. But when he got out, he found that Liang Hong was still waiting for him outside the police station. Liang Hong was completely different from what Xie Qing had imagined him to look like. He was tall, but his appearance gave him a simple and honest look.
“Why are you still standing at the entrance this late at night?”
“Isn’t it because I was afraid you’d be in some kind of trouble?” Liang Hong scratched his head and smiled.
This was also fate. Liang Hong had asked Xie Qing a few days ago if he had some other material. Xie Qing’s answer at that time was to wait and see if there’s an opportunity another time. Liang Hong was afraid that the upcoming opportunity wouldn’t belong to him so he forcefully asked for Xie Qing’s WeChat. As a result, Xie Qing’s moments2feature on wechat on WeChat revealed his address and Liang Hong immediately noticed that they lived in the same community.
So when Yu Kaize came to the door today, Xie Qing had swiped his phone with his hand that was hidden behind his back. Liang Hong’s contact was the number on top when he opened the address book.
As soon as the call connected, before Liang Hong could ask if anything was wrong, he heard Yu Kaize’s voice first. Liang Hong’s heart trembled and he immediately thought of what Xie Qing had said back then while they were chatting before——
“Yu Kaize will come to me once he gets angry. Maybe you can get some exclusive news at that time.”
Liang Hong didn’t take his words seriously at all that time. But when he received Xie Qing’s call, he had to admit that Xie Qing really knew Yu Kaize well and had guessed everything.
Liang Hong lived on the second floor of the building next door. He had ran down the stairs in a few steps and looked at the emergency exit next door. After learning about Xie Qing’s situation, he immediately turned around and called the police station. It only took a few minutes for the police to come and go to his house.
Xie Qing took out his phone and looked at the time on it. He then looked at Liang Hong and asked him with a smile, “Do you have time? I’ll treat you to some skewers.”
The stand that was selling skewers was at a nearby alley. As soon as someone walked close, they would be able to smell a strong aroma. Liang Hong and Xie Qing chose a place in the outer area and carried their cheap red plastic stools. As he sat down, Liang Hong couldn’t help but stare at Xie Qing. Seeing the other party sitting upright even on this kind of small stool, he couldn’t help but sigh——
Good looking people were of a different breed. Even while sitting on such a stool, it made them look as if they were sitting on a throne.
As soon as they sat down, Liang Hong immediately asked, “Xie Qing, let me ask you a private question. If you mind, you don’t have to answer me.”
Xie Qing raised his eyes and glanced at him. The corners of his lips curled up with a half-smile as he said in a casual manner, “Xie Ling is my blood-related older brother.”
Liang Hong, “…F*ck. How did you know what I was going to ask you?”
“Under normal circumstances, when people who know Xie Ling see me, they’ll all say I look similar to him.” Xie Qing spread his hands, “I’ll tell you about the grievances between Xie Ling and I in the future. It’ll be another big news at that time.”
When he had said these words, Xie Qing’s voice was neither satirising nor was it weak. Not much emotions could be detected from him. But Liang Hong’s sixth sense was telling him that Xie Qing didn’t really like his ge3elder brother, Xie Ling, very much. So this grievance between them… might ruin Xie Ling’s reputation.
Liang Hong silently noted it down and slowly gave Xie Qing a thumbs up, “I have also taken a picture of Yu Kaize today. He would definitely go completely cold this time.”
It just so happened that a large plate of skewers finished cooking and Liang Hong took a bunch of it for himself. He passed a few to Xie Qing, but the latter waved his hand, “I’m not in good health. I can’t eat this sort of food. I’ve told you that I’m treating you, you can eat more.”
Hearing this, Liang Hong was stunned for a moment and then he understood.
The first time he saw Xie Qing, he had felt that this young man in front of him didn’t look like a normal person. His thin physique and pale complexion made people perceive him as someone who had been ill for a long time. But compared to those haggard and sallow looking patients, Xie Qing’s condition was obviously caused by his weak health.
Liang Hong nodded to express his understanding and chatted slowly with Xie Qing while eating skewers. The word ‘cozy’ could be seen all over his body.
When Wen Xu received a call from Elder Zhou, he had just changed into his pajamas and was about to rest. Knowing that Elder Zhou met the person he was looking for, Wen Xu’s mood had been in a state of excitement. He hadn’t calmed down at all. He had wished that time would pass by in the blink of an eye and that tomorrow could come immediately.
Thinking about the person that he cared for from the bottom of his heart, Wen Xu told himself to rest early. Just as he thought that he was going to meet the other person in his best condition tomorrow, Elder Zhou called him.
A bad premonition vaguely floated in Wen Xu’s heart. When the call connected he heard the old man’s voice that was full of anxiety, “A-Xu, I just saw that kid leave with the police.”
The old man had just arrived home and was about to open the door when he heard the neighbours walking behind him discuss about the police station next door and how someone was sent over. As soon as the old man turned his head, the neighbour yelled, “Lao Zhou4Old Zhou/Elder Zhou. While normally kinda improper to use, it is often used on the seniors. A formal way would be calling them LaoYezi, but its generally the same meaning, just less formal (at least this is in my POV. Normally I don’t often meet lotsa old people. Normally I’d call them Gonggong or Ah-tai, not sure if this is Cantonese or something else… I grew up in a multilingual household. Oh nvm I call my father’s aunt and uncle Lao-gu and Lao-gutio which means grand aunt and grand uncle. Huh so it’s actually to distinguish between which is which since losta people share the same title or name), it seems that the young man who sat with you just now was taken away by the police.”
Only then did Elder Zhou realize that something was wrong and he immediately notified Wen Xu.
Wen Xu lived in the suburbs of Beijing which was connected to neighbouring provinces and separated by several mountains. After he was informed of the news, he immediately drove all the way to the police station, only to learn that Xie Qing had left.
Wen Xu grabbed a young policeman’s arm and confirmed something once more, “You said that that person was called Xie Qing?”
The young policeman, “… Didn’t you come here to look for him? Why don’t you even know what his name is?”
Wen Xu put down his hand, his palm fell to his sides and he clenched his fists. He closed his eyes and replied softly, “I just wanted to make sure.”
“It’s Xie Qing. I just saw him pass by the alley.” The young police officer couldn’t help but look at Wen Xu a few more times, scratching his head and muttering, “Why do you look so familiar——”
It wasn’t until Wen Xu’s back completely disappeared from the gate of the police station that the young police officer slapped his own thigh, his face full of shock.
No wonder he looked familiar!
The other party was on the Beijing TV station a few days ago. It was said that a young man from a wealthy family suddenly went to the suburbs to buy a few hills and to start farming. This wasn’t the key point, the key point was that Wen Xu seemed to be very good at it. The vegetables and fruits he grew were so much better than those in the general market and they were very much sought after.
The young policeman’s wife had been having severe morning sickness at this time and she had been yelling at him to buy some apricots from Wen Xu. It’s a pity that it was very difficult to buy. He had squatted in the online shop all night but was still unable to get it, which made him want to cry.
He had finally met the rightful owner today and yet he still missed a good opportunity. What a mistake!
Wen Xu didn’t know how annoyed the young policeman was at the moment. He had gone all the way into the alley in the direction that was pointed by the other party. The alley was extremely lively and the lights of different small restaurants were brightly lit. The shouts of merchants and the chatting of guests came and went one after another. Wen Xu kept looking at the stalls and restaurants in the vicinity with the help of the nearby streetlights.
After searching for around twenty minutes, just as Wen Xu was about to turn around and walk onwards, he suddenly froze.
Beside a small table by the roadside, a dim light shone down causing a faint shadow to form on the side of the youth’s fair face. Different from the tall and strong man that was feasting on skewers, he just sat there holding a disposable water cup with his bony fingers. He occasionally took a sip from the cup to moisten his lips as he turned his head to talk to the person sitting beside him.
This was an intuitive feeling.
Even though he was sitting at a barbecue stand full of fireworks5lively, the young man revealed a sense of tranquillity all over his body.
Wen Xu looked at him quietly with a faint smile in his eyes.
Even if they hadn’t met for a long time, he could recognize him at a glance.
Perhaps due to a paparazzi’s keen intuition and sensitivity to being watched, when Liang Hong was about to raise his hand to pick up the last beef skewer, he suddenly raised his head as if he had sensed something——
A few seconds later, he poked Xie Qing’s arm. When the other party looked at him, he reminded him in a soft tone, “Xie Qing, someone over there has been staring at you.”
Xie Qing looked over towards the direction Liang Hong was gesturing at.
The meeting between Xie Qing and Wen Xu could be regarded as something that happened a hundred years ago. That was when Xie Qing had just followed 034 to the small worlds to perform missions. The first small world was an ancient farming novel. The protagonist of that text was Wen Xu.
The role played by Xie Qing here was Wen Xu’s cousin.
Wen Xu was born in a poor family and his parents had passed early. So Wen Xu had to live in his cousin’s house. It was a pity that his cousin’s parents also left in an accident, so the two could only depend on each other.
Xie Qing transmigrated at this time.
034 had told him that the relationship between Wen Xu and his cousin wasn’t that good. The cousin had always been jealous of his excellent cousin, Wen Xu. He had spoken ill of Wen Xu behind his back more than once and had even framed him.
Xie Qing’s mission here was to take care of Wen Xu, protect him at every moment and even sacrifice his life for Wen Xu if necessary.
After all, if Xie Qing died, it was just him leaving this world and going to the next. But if Wen Xu died, then the order of that small world wouldn’t be maintained.
How did Wen Xu appear in the real world?
“I was originally from this world.”
As if he had guessed what Xie Qing was thinking, Wen Xu raised his hand to gently rub Xie Qing’s head. He then smiled and said, “But I went to that place earlier than you. Twelve years ago, when my friends and I went to the mountains for vacation, I stumbled and fell off a cliff. At that time I thought that I was going to die. But when I opened my eyes, I found that I had transmigrated into an ancient person.”
He was reborn into a strange dynasty, the parents who were supposed to protect him had died early. Although Wen Xu lived in his uncle’s house, his life had been difficult. But that changed completely when Xie Qing arrived.
Wen Xu gradually realized that he had hope and sustenance in that strange world that he had no sense of belonging to.
However, just like what 034 had informed Xie Qing early on, when necessary, he needed to dedicate his life to Wen Xu. That night, not long after Wen Xu found out that he was actually a child left behind by the current emperor, an assassin arrived. In order to protect Wen Xu and allow him to return to the capital safely, Xie Qing sacrificed himself for him.
The one who was stabbed to death by arrows was him.
The one who was buried silently in the mountains and forest was also him.
“Ge6Elder brother. It’s fine to use it to call older male cousins in such a way. You can also use the word ge to call a male of your generation that is older than you., how was your life after that?” Xie Qing asked softly.
“Nothing special. I even thought that it would be best if the emperor didn’t find me at that time.” Wen Xu put his hands in his trouser pockets. His straight body cast a long shadow under the streetlamp. He turned his head to look at the side of Xie Qing’s face and smiled, “What are you thinking? I didn’t become the emperor. What kind of emperor can a farmer like me be? Wouldn’t the country be ruined if I were to be the emperor?”
“Farming is good enough.”
Xie Qing could still recall the scene that year. Wen Xu and Xie Qing lived in a small village. This might be the special charm of a protagonist in a farming novel. Wen Xu often dug up precious medicinal materials in the mountains. Then Wen Xu would plant the medicinal plants in his own field.
After coming and going a few times, his field became full of rare medicinal materials.
However, the efficacy of his medical materials were so much better than that of ordinary similar medicinal materials.
In 034’s words, Wen Xu could reach the pinnacle of life with his field. But the result was that he was doomed. Such a medicinal field was destined to attract other people’s covetousness. Only the identity of a prince could help Wen Xu.
Xie Qing had once told Wen Xu that if he recognized the emperor as his father, he didn’t have to hide his medicinal field anymore.
But Wen Xu regretted it.
If he knew that such stability was bought by Xie Qing’s life in exchange, he wouldn’t have gone back to the capital.
Raising his arm to wrap it around the shoulders of the young man beside him, Wen Xu remembered the strange voice he had heard before his death. It had said that Xie Qing was from the same place as he was. If Wen Xu was willing, they could meet again.
Therefore, after returning from the other world, Wen Xu had been looking for Xie Qing.
When he accidentally saw Xie Ling on TV, he thought that he had found the person he was looking for. But a quick glance in private made him ——
This was definitely not his didi7younger brother.
Fortunately, the heavens still favored him.
- 1Xie Qing and Liang Hong
- 2feature on wechat
- 3elder brother
- 4Old Zhou/Elder Zhou. While normally kinda improper to use, it is often used on the seniors. A formal way would be calling them LaoYezi, but its generally the same meaning, just less formal (at least this is in my POV. Normally I don’t often meet lotsa old people. Normally I’d call them Gonggong or Ah-tai, not sure if this is Cantonese or something else… I grew up in a multilingual household. Oh nvm I call my father’s aunt and uncle Lao-gu and Lao-gutio which means grand aunt and grand uncle. Huh so it’s actually to distinguish between which is which since losta people share the same title or name)
- 6Elder brother. It’s fine to use it to call older male cousins in such a way. You can also use the word ge to call a male of your generation that is older than you.
- 7younger brother