Chen Xuan was dead. The cause of death was identified as a heart attack; simply put, a sudden death.
Feng Yeran wanted to see her no matter what. So, a few police officers accompanied him to the funeral parlour.
It was unbelievable. The woman who’d stood in front of him yesterday, the woman who’d snuggled up to him coquettishly a week ago, the woman he’d loved for so many years yet hated so much, was now lying on a tiny sickbed. Above her head was a ring-shaped screen, on which read information about her life, the schools she’d attended, the awards she’d received, strings of data sliding through the system like a trotting horse lantern1. And she herself was covered with a white cloth, her skin pale and blueing, lifeless.
Feng Yeran stood in front of her as if in a dream, and suddenly wanted to go over and wake her up. At that moment, all that hatred was gone. It was as if they’d returned to those ordinary mornings, when she, looking very pale with her make-up taken off, had fallen dead asleep, and needed him to call out to her many times before she would open one eye slightly in protest, and then go back to sleep.
He woke up with a start when he touched her skin. His hand was ripped away.
“Who allowed you to touch her?!” It was Feng Boran’s voice.
Feng Yeran lifted his head and found himself completely unable to see the other. He didn’t care very much either. He was just startled. What he’d just touched was skin completely devoid of warmth, stiff and rough skin.
“What are you fake crying for?! A cat crying for a rat? It was clearly you who killed her!”
Feng Yeran had a blank look on his face.
The people nearby also started to jeer. “What are you still pretending for! You’re happy now, aren’t you? Because she got in your way! They were supposed to have been at the press conference this morning!”
“That’s right! She’s the key witness! You murderer! You killed her last night, didn’t you!”
“What sudden death! What heart attack! How could that be… My daughter’s always been healthy. She was still so young, no problems at all. If it wasn’t you… you… you forced her, you made her do things she didn’t want to do, made her suffer… otherwise, how could she… oh, my daughter…”
“He’s the murderer! Arrest him quickly!”
“Not just a murderer! He’s also a thief! Go to hell!!”
Feng Yeran wiped off the inexplicable liquid on his face with his sleeve. He saw Feng Hua’s angry face and the police officers keeping order.
And he wasn’t angry, but flustered.
He slowly made his way out of the crowd. After a quick word to the police, he walked into the bathroom. Feng Hua followed.
As soon as they entered, Feng Yeran pulled down Feng Hua’s collar and asked in a low voice by his drooping head, “Did you do it?”
Feng Hua was completely at a loss. “What?”
Feng Yeran’s voice was extremely soft. “You, killed Chen Xuan?”
Feng Hua was shocked. “How could that be?? I was with you last night! We stayed together all night. How could it be possible?”
Feng Yeran stared into Feng Hua’s eyes.
Feng Hua frowned. Under his thick eyelashes, those blue eyes were filled with the innocence of being wrongly blamed, so pure and clear, like an immaculate lake… It was obviously an unknowing expression.
Yeah, how could it be him? To get from there to the Feng home, by car, it’d take at least five or six hours round trip. By train, though it’d only take three hours round trip, he was really by his side all last night!
However, Feng Yeran vaguely remembered his strange dream last night, and the person who kept talking in his ear. The person in the dream was very much like Feng Hua, yet didn’t seem to be Feng Hua. Because the Feng Hua in reality wouldn’t be as sly and perverse as he was, especially those strings of high and low, and the cold and strange laughter, which was downright creepy!
That man had asked him what to do with Chen Xuan.
Feng Yeran clearly remembered what he’d said: “If only she were dead! With the man she loves most!”
A surge of guilt enveloped Feng Yeran.
Feng Hua grabbed him by the shoulders and asked worriedly, “Ye’er, what’s wrong with you? Why’d you suddenly suspect me?”
Feng Yeran shook his head. “Nothing.”
Suddenly remembering something, he held Feng Hua’s hand and said, “Later, I’ll be detained at the police station, and my communication devices will be confiscated. I’m afraid I won’t be able to be with you for a few days. You have to take care of yourself… I’ll apply for a lawyer for myself and might only need to stay at the police station for a while, but I might also have to spend the rest of my life in prison. If that’s the case, you should follow Feng Boran well. Though he isn’t a good person, when it comes to science, he’s very—”
Feng Hua hugged him and growled firmly, his eyes red, “I’ll help you get out, you have to believe me! Ye’er, I can only be yours alone! Don’t think of leaving me to anyone else!”
Feng Yeran was stunned for a moment, and a whimper finally leaked from his throat.
The two of them were interrupted by the police.
Feng Yeran was taken away.
When he reached the door, a slightly cool autumn breeze was blowing in his face. He couldn’t help but look back at Feng Hua, his hands squeezing the coat Feng Hua had draped over him. Inside the coat was medicine Feng Hua had bought for him, so he could cope for a few days at least.
His eyes were blurred, and the crowd turned to grey patches.
And amidst the messy grey patches was Feng Hua, dressed in light tan leather shoes, dark grey trousers, and a dark blue sweater.
A tall figure, black curly hair, a pair of blue eyes, and fair skin.
At that moment, Feng Yeran seemed to see the child he once was in the crowd.
The little guy stood amidst the messy, constantly changing, grey and black patches, gazing at him with those eyes filled with tears, blue as swallowtail butterflies.
Feng Yeran sighed and was taken into the police car.
* * *
That afternoon, Feng Boran held a news conference. The conference was extremely impactful due to Chen Xuan’s death. At the conference, Feng Boran was adamant that Chen Xuan didn’t simply die a sudden death but was murdered. He strongly urged the police to arrest the culprit and accused the culprit with grief and anger. Feng Boran believed that he himself was in danger, but still insisted on seeing justice through to the end, even at the risk of his life. He boldly showed most of that confidential document, analysing and showing the new embryo—the “second generation of Adesir new humans”.
Feng Hua temporarily lived in the research institute, which was already under full police surveillance, its data being pulled out and examined without reservation.
Feng Yeran’s image in society had fallen to rock bottom. His residence, the research institute where he worked, and his videos, advertisements and so on on the internet had become the focus of attacks.
Cyber violence was terrible. Fortunately, Feng Yeran was locked up in a closed room, totally unaware of the outside world—
After numerous interrogations and conversations, the police finally left.
That afternoon, Xiao Zhijie came to see him.
Through the glass, Xiao Zhijie said to him seriously, “Don’t worry, I have many friends. I’ll hire a famous expert for you. I don’t believe Feng Boran’s side hasn’t got a single flaw! You can just eat and sleep inside. Don’t worry too much… Also, what should we do about your illness? If you get sick…”
Feng Yeran shook his head. “I’m fine. It’s only a few days. I have medicine.”
After Xiao Zhijie left, Feng Yeran took the medicine and felt drowsy. He didn’t have any communication devices on him; even his watch had been confiscated. There was no clock in the room.
He lay on the hard little bed, awake at times and asleep at others. Soon, he lost all concept of time.
His thoughts were like a flood, at times as if compulsive, creating a large whirlpool, swirling in the memories with Chen Xuan, in the betrayals by Chen Xuan, in the abandonment again and again by everyone.
But, in the end, those streams of water would converge together. Whether it was Chen Xuan, Feng Boran, Feng Mu, or anyone else, they would gradually dissipate, and the image finally left behind always had something to do with Feng Hua.
A nightmare of total darkness.
A dream of beautiful colours.
After an unknown amount of time, the iron door was opened.
Several people took him into the blinding light and told him that he was released. After only four days, public opinion on the internet had changed.
In fact, on the third day after Feng Boran’s news conference, a renowned expert appeared and denounced Feng Boran’s stupid deception.
His so-called original confidential material had actually reversed cause and effect, leading to faulty logic within it. Not only that, but some of the material names on it were obviously wrong and some of the data was questionable. It was impossible to create Feng Hua based on this material—Feng Boran claimed that his was the original material, while Feng Yeran’s was not, which wasn’t convincing at all.
Feng Boran claimed that the new embryo was his experimental result, but most of the experimenters at Feng Yeran’s research institute could testify that this experimental result was theirs. Although the records had been maliciously destroyed, each of them could retell the details of their experiments.
The more obvious evidence was undoubtedly Feng Hua himself. As a superhuman, he had an excellent memory and could even remember things from when he was an embryo. He knew who had given him life bit by bit, who had nurtured him, who had constantly talked to him, who had brought him up little by little. If it was true, as Feng Boran had claimed, that Feng Yeran had stolen two-thirds of his results, then Feng Yeran wouldn’t have been able to create Feng Hua, and, even if he had stolen all his material, he couldn’t have succeeded—moreover, Feng Yeran’s creation of Feng Hua had been recorded. His team had spent five whole years, from every collection of materials to every experiment, keeping detailed records.
Immediately after that, the police finally found the original information, detailed and without any errors, inside one of Feng Yeran’s hard disks.
This expert specially met Feng Yeran and praised him for his intelligence. Because he knew how to protect his results. The material in his computer had been disguised and tampered with. The person who stole the material obviously hadn’t checked it carefully and just took it for themself.
Feng Yeran smiled, but, in fact, he had absolutely no clue.
Firstly, he hadn’t deliberately disguised his confidential information at all; secondly, he had never put that information on his hard disk.
That meant that someone had used his computer before the incident, helping him transfer the document and tampering with it.
This person must be proficient in biological science and understand the experimental data, otherwise they couldn’t have changed it so cleverly that Feng Boran had difficulty detecting the flaw in a short time; this person must be someone who always stayed by Feng Yeran’s side…
Who exactly was it? What was their intention?
The expert was a friend Xiao Zhijie had invited. Feng Yeran specially invited them to dinner to thank them, and asked Xiao Zhijie how he should repay him. Xiao Zhijie lightly said that he only had to allow him to become an idle member of the research institute in the future. Feng Yeran was surprised that this finance guy was so interested in creating new humans. Xiao Zhijie reminded him, Don’t forget that I have a minor in psychology. I can be the psychological counsellor for your new humans in the future.
A week later, Feng Boran was imprisoned for false accusations and intellectual property theft.
Half a month later, Feng Boran committed suicide. It was said that since he was imprisoned, he seemed to have been tormented by evil spirits, screaming with fear night after night.
No matter how much he hated him, he was his brother after all. Feng Yeran went to his funeral.
But, a strong ineradicable feeling of guilt kept attacking him.
Because it was too much of a coincidence. No matter what twists and turns happened in the middle, the ending was like this—Chen Xuan and Feng Boran both died, just as he’d wished that day.
* * *
In January, everything had finally settled down.
It was snowing heavily outside and classical music was playing in the warm room.
Feng Yeran sat on the sofa writing in his diary, while Feng Hua sat on the carpet, leaning against Feng Yeran as he replied to his psychiatrist Qin Xihe’s emails. The psychiatrist who’d helped him a lot had sent him several emails asking about his situation, how he was getting on with Feng Yeran and so on. But, so much had happened in this period that he hadn’t seen any of them.
Feng Hua: It’s fine. I’m leaning on his lap right now as I’m replying to your email. We’ve just been through a big storm. I think you’ve heard about it. Fortunately, it was just a scare. It’s all settled now. I get along with him very well and it’s very warm. He seems to care about me more than ever and gets jealous over me (laughs). But his feelings for me are still mainly family love. However, you said that even if he never really falls in love with me, it’s okay as long as I get him. I am trying hard to get him.
Feng Yeran finished writing in his diary. He put it aside and asked lazily, “What’re you writing?”
“Secret.” Feng Hua smiled.
Feng Yeran was discontent. “Which little girl is it to? What did you write? Read it for me.”
“Do you really want to hear it?”
Feng Hua cleared his throat. “My favourite person’s name is Feng Yeran. I’m leaning on his lap as I’m replying to your email. He seems to care about me more than before now. He holds me tightly when he sleeps at night. He looks for where I am every day. He gets jealous over me, but still stubbornly says that he doesn’t love me—”
“Hey, hey! What nonsense! When did I get jealous? I…”
“I lied to you. I was just replying to a friend’s email, a man.”
“…You brat! I don’t care at all if you’re replying to a man or a woman!”
“Earlier, you were asking me bitterly about Jinyi. If I’d really slept with her that night, you’d be crying, wouldn’t you, Ye’er?”
Feng Yeran’s ears turned red. He kicked Feng Hua away. “Which father wouldn’t care about his son! I just—”
Feng Hua bent over and cried out with a look of pain.
Feng Yeran thought that he’d only kicked him lightly, not that much! But he was still startled, and immediately stood up to help Feng Hua up. “What’s wrong? Does it hurt a lot?”
But Feng Hua unexpectedly pressed him straight down on the soft sofa, his black curls hanging down, the shadow of his body covering Feng Yeran.
Feng Yeran’s cheeks were burning, and he almost forgot how to breathe!
It’d been too long since they’d kissed.
But he also deeply remembered how Feng Hua had used to kiss him—gently, or passionately, or even a little erotically.
Feng Hua’s breath spread on his lips, making every cell of his lips start to tremble.
He smelled that familiar, wonderful fragrance again, and the strong hormone that almost sucked his entire body in. It seemed as if even his heart had been seized, beating violently in the tense space.
Feng Hua, with those beautiful eyes half-closed, gazed at his lips and slightly leaned his head towards him.
That look was sexy as hell.
Feng Yeran closed his eyes and plunged his fingers into the sofa.
But his lips didn’t touch the familiar softness.
He only heard a few low seductive chuckles.
Feng Hua’s palm was imprinted on Feng Yeran’s chest, feeling his violent heartbeat.
He propped himself up above Feng Yeran and gazed at him with a smile. “Ye’er, did you think I was going to kiss you?”
Feng Yeran opened his watery eyes blankly.
Feng Hua was so close to him that the tip of his nose gently rubbed against Feng Yeran’s. He said with doubt, “With such a fast heartbeat, do you really not like me?”
His lips slid over Feng Yeran’s cheek, tickling, his voice raspy. “Say, just admit it, will you?”