Chapter 26.2: Shen Zhifan’s Secret (4)
Translators: death, THISBRO, Vivi, Kyo576
Death: lol, I almost got every translator at dummytls into my docs for this one. That live tl session was chaotic. Speaking of, my stockpile is still dead.
Shen Zhifan read till the end and let out a breath he’d been holding. He was clearly aware that he’d survived, otherwise there was no way he’d still be here.
But as he read the diary, he had nonetheless been moved by the emotions written in it and felt pained.
So that’s how I’d lived till now. I’d nearly died, but I didn’t. Before dying, I’d recalled the countless bitter struggles and how I’d barely survived.
In reality, this wasn’t actually far from what Shen Zhifan had in mind. The manner of speech he had used in the diary allowed him to be able to imagine what he’d felt at that moment.
However, what he was more curious about was that this diary, which couldn’t be considered thick, was nearly reaching the end by this point.
A sense of uneasiness rose in his heart and he directly flipped to the last page.
That was the year 31. After he’d managed to escape death that time, he no longer recorded as much in his diary. Skimming through the remaining pages which depicted a brief summary of that battle, Shen Zhifan had finally made a name for himself. He was no longer at the bottom of the hierarchy and his life wasn’t as terrifying as before.
He enjoyed a relatively uncomplicated and happy life, but didn’t have enough free time to write in a diary very often.
And so the writing in the diary came to an abrupt end.
“Mr. Gurley found me today, and he brought me to see that person.”
“He asked me if I wanted to know the truth.”
“I always thought it had been a simple terrorist organisation that even the country was in fear of. I am very weak – I don’t want to admit this, but I do know myself, I’d never even think about taking revenge.”
“So this was why I was running all over the place like a rat in a sewer ditch, trying so hard to survive.”
“But it looks like I’m the joke now.”
“For this sort of reason, for such a ridiculous truth, how stupid was this country? And how stupid were the bunch of leaders ruling it?
And here it stopped sharply.
Shen Zhifan felt around the hidden compartment for a long while, but wasn’t able to find the other book.
No, this was impossible. Shen Zhirou said that he frequently wrote in his diary and when they first moved here, it was the year 32. There should be another book.
Moreover, that other book should be even more important.
If he hadn’t remembered wrong, at that time Yan Shuo had said that they had met again two years before – that would have been in the 31st year. However, he hadn’t written it down, clearly, something else had happened afterwards, otherwise he definitely would have recorded down such an important event.
He probably understood the gist of what happened during the interval between the 26th and 31st year, all that was left was from the 31st year until now.
While reading through the journals, Shen Zhifan paid close heed to this Mr. Gurley, as he was most likely the one who’d brought him to this place. In addition, the mysterious and unnamed “that person” who had been mentioned in the last page of the journal warranted a great deal of special attention.
Who was it, what did they see, what truth did they touch upon?
Everything was unclear, but in a few sparse words, Shen Zhifan still felt a hint of heavy, inexplicably ominous intent.
He flipped open his phone. Shen Zhifan’s phone was very strange. There didn’t seem to be any noteworthy numbers, aside from Shen Zhirou’s, it looked as though he didn’t have many connections in this world.
The most remarkable were letters, such as “f”. He didn’t know who they were.
However, in these days since he had lost his memories, no one had really contacted him either.
Was he not important?
Wait a second, his hand paused.
He suddenly tapped into a hidden address book, his fingerprint easily accessing it. This address book was very strange, with only one number, and nothing else of interest.
He had absolutely no clue who this could be, there was no information even after he had clicked into it. He didn’t know whether this meant that there truly hadn’t been any interactions or if the history log was just deleted.
With the rise of a sudden impulse, he accidentally called.
“What, you don’t believe me?”
“Fine, I know that accepting this will make you a little unhappy. I have a guess as to…the relationship between you and Shen Zhifan, but this really is the truth.”
“Shen Zifan’s next target could very well be you.”
“Me escaping from danger, General Yan, it really wasn’t easy at all.”
Whenever she became serious and refrained from blowing her bubblegum, she finally had the air of a country’s princess. She appeared very magnanimous and fitting to the occasion – extremely suited to the grace and beauty commanded by her title.
“I saw Ferdinand’s ‘death list’, we pair of husband and wife are ranked at the top, aren’t you moved?”
Yan Shuo finally calmed down, analysing the information at lighting speed. Without a word, he gave a refined answer, correcting her as well.
“Moved, however, we aren’t husband and wife, Your Highness.”
Olivia narrowed her eyes, shrugging her shoulders begrudgingly.
“Right, we never were married. If your short-lived ghost of a brother hadn’t died, my marriage partner would’ve been him, not you.”
Yan Shuo began contacting a few people. The secrets that he’d learnt about the royal family tonight were quite startling and explosive. He needed his men to start making preparations.
But even in this situation, Yan Shuo bit his tongue and flawlessly replied to Olivia.
“Actually, there’s no need to pretend not to care, Your Highness. I know that, towards my elder brother’s death, you were quite distraught. It was, perhaps, useful in strengthening the trust between us that you displayed the appropriate weakness in front of me.”
Olivia blanked, somewhat lost in thought.
At the beginning, Olivia hadn’t been his fiancee. It was rare for Yan Shuo to recall a bit of past events.
It wasn’t just this fiancee of noble status. Everything that he possessed now, originally, they weren’t things that would have belonged to him.
If it weren’t for his elder brother’s untimely demise, he would merely have been a child who grew up in an unknown back alley. Since his mother had been a mistress, although he’d been able to live a luxurious life, he wasn’t happy.
Although, it was more or less the same right now.
What he’d said to Shen Zhifan hadn’t completely been a joke. If he weren’t a Lieutenant General, he’d really want to go open a grilled fish place.
He still thought of it even now, since there would be a day when he’d inevitably have to retire, once he was older, he’d find an average location, and open an average grilled fish restaurant.
…Shen Zhifan would probably like to eat grilled fish.
Based on his expression, even when he’d drank himself stupid, he still liked eating fish.
A hint of pain flashed through Olivia’s eyes. Yan Shuo once had an older brother – Yan Jincheng. Although she and Yan Jincheng had quite the age gap, they were still childhood sweethearts.
In any case, he was still better than Yan Shuo, who’d come out of nowhere and knew nothing of decorum. It was a pity that he was much more resourceful than they’d given him credit for. Before her mother died, she’d still entrusted her to the Yan family, proving that she acknowledged Yan Shuo’s strength.
However, Yan Shuo didn’t actually want to marry her.
Yan Shuo was a very strange person. Frankly, Olivia thought that she herself could be counted as intelligent, but even after so many years, she was still unclear on what kind of person Yan Shuo was.
Saying that he was strict and always meticulous was not wrong. Bystanders all saw him as such, but sometimes…sometimes Olivia would feel a kind of extreme temperament from him.
One could say he was extreme, but he was also really too disciplined to be that. He never did anything that would expose himself, not having even the slightest weak point.
Olivia thought that not having a weak point was usually the sign of a sociopath, but Yan Shuo’s facade was truly too human-like. She actually felt embarrassed to make that kind of judgement in front of that face.
Discarding the external factors, Shen Zhifan actually was the man who fit her aesthetic requirements best. She didn’t like those who were too muscular and rough, but she didn’t like those weak and scrawny scholarly types either.
Amongst the two, Shen Zhifan was the most perfectly proportioned. He even had the elegant aura and looks that would excite the hearts of young girls and the motherly instincts of women.
But Yan Shuo was yet another kind of handsome. He was more mature, and one could see more of a dominant nature. When he wasn’t speaking, people could still feel the thick air of male hormones.
But that dominance always gave people the illusion of a predator. Even if Shen Zhifan was more dangerous than Yan Shuo, when looking at Yan Shuo, Olivia would still always feel somewhat uneasy.
If it weren’t for her not being able to find anyone else to rely on, Yan Shuo wouldn’t have been her first choice.
He didn’t like her, even if they were engaged. However, he didn’t have any sense of responsibility towards her either.
Although she was always calling and throwing around ‘short-lived ghost’, Yan Shuo knew that she really did have deep feelings for his brother that had died early.
“Will you? On your brother’s account?”
Olivia looked at him.
Yan Shuo hesitated for a second before suddenly replying.
Olivia laughed curtly, “I’ve suddenly found out that you’re a real bastard.”
Yan Shuo was still in the middle of contacting others, but this didn’t affect how his refusal to comment made him seem cultured and refined as he raised a smile to Olivia.
“Actually, after Yan Jincheng died you should be the happiest,” Olivia lifted her head slightly, an illusion of sorrow in her gleaming, watery eyes, “You possess everything that he had, since he died. Dead people have no value, so you were very lucky.”
His hands finally ceased their movements. He put on his coat again, but seeing Olivia’s eyes follow him, he took a step back.
“Your Highness, I don’t want to mention those things from the past. However, perhaps I never actually liked this bit of luck that landed on me.”
“Back then, no one even asked for my opinion. I was just forcefully pushed way beyond my abilities.”
A drop of cold sweat dripped down Olivia’s forehead. She strove to maintain her calm in front of the muzzle of that damned gun.
“Okay, fine, fine, it was my mistake,” Although Olivia had been pampered since she was little, she knew that a wise man would submit to circumstances, “Though to be frank, your delicate fiancee really doesn’t like this thing.”
Yan Shuo’s lips hooked up. Since his expression was always as cold as an iceberg, a smile like this actually had a kind of inexplicable charm.
“I will tell my father the grievous news of your unfortunate sacrifice.”
“Fuck,” Olivia couldn’t help but spit out the curse through her teeth. She didn’t dare to step back, since she was sure that Yan Shuo wasn’t joking, “Don’t you think doing something like this is too immoral? Aren’t you too disloyal to your country?!”
Did she make the wrong bet?
Where did she go wrong? Could it be that Yan Shuo was also one of Ferdinand’s men?
She, who bore hardship with composure, who had been glared at by that viper Ferdinand, suddenly clearly felt a trace of despair.
Yan Shuo pulled the trigger without a sliver of hesitation.
She squeezed her eyes closed fiercely. It was as if death itself had embraced her at this moment, and yet it was not.
It was really quiet.
Her limbs were rigid, and after half a minute she firmly let out a breath. Fuming, she glared at the man in front of her.
“Great. So, when did I actually offend you?”
Olivia suddenly felt that her own sixth sense couldn’t be more accurate. Sure enough, Yan Shuo was a complete bastard. Look, his disguise was better than anyone else’s. Righteous, handsome, severe, loyal, meticulous – he was the epitome of an upright gentleman.
But was it him?
Not at fucking all.
“Don’t be nervous, Your Highness,” He retracted that rare smile, “I just wanted to remind you not to use him as a bargaining chip between us.”
Flashes flew through Olivia’s mind before suddenly, the frame froze.
“He…really is Ferdinand’s blade,” Olivia turned her gaze. She was very smart, “But he’s being exploited – he doesn’t have much to do with Ferdinand’s rebellion…”
Yan Shuo’s expression eased up slightly.
She continued, “Moreover, he’s amnesiac. Since he wanted to quit, he was persecuted.”
Yan Shuo nodded, “You’ll say this in front of my father as well, correct?”
Olivia wanted to roll her eyes.
Sure enough, it was because of Shen Zhifan. To tell the truth, she really hadn’t made out the real relationship between Yan Shuo and Shen Zhifan.
Although she could get the general gist of it, she’d always thought that the way Yan Shuo looked at Shen Zhifan…was a bit off. While her sixth sense was quite accurate, Yan Shuo was far too restrained. Absolutely nothing could expose him.
She didn’t expect Yan Shuo had actually taken it very seriously ah. Even knowing that Shen Zhifan’s next target would be him, he unexpectedly didn’t care in the least.
An innate talent of women was to gossip. Olivia was almost touched by Yan Shuo’s infatuation, which had completely shattered her worldviews.
This older brother, forgive me for my bluntness. He wants to fuck you up, not fuck you – how can you still protect him without fail like this?
…There’s something wrong with you, right?
Was he a masochist?
Olivia’s face was full of incredulity, yet in the end, she still swallowed it all down.
“Right, Your Highness, you still hadn’t mentioned the cause of his amnesia.”
Olivia replied unhappily.
“Hypnosis ah, a very particular kind of hypnotism that is a lost technique of mine, though I’d thought that it would definitely fail. No matter how miraculous it was, it would only work on people with weak wills, but it unexpectedly succeeded.”
Thinking of this, Olivia raised an eyebrow, somewhat puzzled.
“But Shen Zhifan’s willpower isn’t that weak. I inquired into his past – there’s no way he’s that type of person, so there’s only one possibility left. At that time, he must’ve been struggling immensely, and wanting to escape…”
“Subconsciously, he wanted to forget all of this, so I succeeded.”
Yan Shuo lowered his gaze, “But it’s very unstable. It seems like he’ll recall his memories anytime, especially when he’s in contact with mechs.”
Olivia was slightly embarrassed, “…That’s not something I can control. At worst, I can go try again after he’s remembered everything?”
Yan Shuo shot her a curious glance, “What, you think I’m quite opposed to him recovering?”
Olivia blanked, “…You, you want him to recover?”
Yan Shuo looked down at his watch, “I’m actually rather looking forward to it, when you talk about his relationship with Ferdinand.”
Olivia was stunned.
“I’ve always thought that he liked Ferdinand, but now it seems like it isn’t so.” It looked like Yan Shuo’s spirits weren’t bad, “I’m awfully happy.”
…She was going deaf.
Olivia couldn’t help but shatter his fantasy, “But it’s clear that they’re very close, and that Ferdinand saved him, besides, Shen Zhifan hates the whole Empire, so towards you…”
Yan Shuo glanced at her, annoyed.
…‘Liv, smile, ‘Liv, bear with it.
Olivia swallowed the words she wanted to say and smiled, “But one can still see that he had been struggling because of you, clearly, your position in his heart is higher!”
Yan Shuo nodded. It was clear that, from this, his mood had actually lightened immediately.
Men were really both complicated yet simple creatures ah.
Olivia almost gave up all hope.
At this time, Yan Shuo’s phone rang. Praying to the heavens, Olivia dearly hoped that he’d go off to deal with some proper business.
However, upon seeing Yan Shuo’s eyes light up, Olivia felt that she was to be disappointed, yet again.
Somewhat nervous, Shen Zhifan waited for the other person to pick up. The call was picked up immediately – since he didn’t know who the other person was, he stayed silent.
The familiar, low voice came through the line.
Shen Zhifan’s heart, which had just been adrift in apprehension, suddenly stabilised.
This number…Sure enough, it was Yan Shuo’s.
Shen Zhifan had been sober for a while now. However, upon hearing Yan Shuo’s voice, he suddenly felt his alcohol levels rise, and was somewhat dizzy.
“Have you sobered up? How do you feel?”
“I’m fine now – it must’ve been troublesome for you.”
“En, then I’m relieved. I didn’t know your alcohol tolerance was so light, I’ll pay more attention next time.”
Upon seeing Yan Shuo’s change of face, Olivia wanted to go blind.
Brother, the country still needs you. Pull yourself together, alright?