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COR Chapter 33

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Embrace 

When he opened his eyes, Bian Shengjian still couldn’t tell whether it was a dream or reality.

Staring at the triangular piece of rust on the bed board for ten seconds, he gently lifted the quilt and tried to sit up, but when his fingertips touched the soft fabric, he was a little stunned. Then he looked down silently for a long time.

Ahhh….it feels so good to be able to touch anything.

After a while, he turned his head, the phone was quietly charging on the table, and there was a note next to it. 

–I asked Mr. Cai for a sick leave for you. Have a good rest.

Bian Shengjian stared at the note for a long time, then squeezed it into a ball and threw it into the trash can. When he got out of bed and wanted to take a shower after lying in bed for a while, he couldn’t help but sighed deeply while his hands supported his body using the table. 

It’s really uncomfortable–on various levels.

But even though he couldn’t lift himself up at the moment, Bian Shengjian still packed up and prepared to go to the class. After all, after spending several days inside a  realm, the feeling that he could hardly communicate with others made him panic.

Bang.

As his forehead suddenly slammed forward firmly against the door, Bian Shengjian became stunned. He shook his head and stared at the door for several seconds before cursing. “Fuck.”

Damn, is this the sequelae of going through walls?

“Brother Jian! Here!” Zhou Li beckoned to him from a distance away, “I heard that you asked for a sick leave? Why didn’t you continue to rest in the dormitory?”

Bian Shengjian didn’t speak. When he heard Zhou Li calling him, he suddenly heaved a sigh of relief, and then asked a mysterious question. “Can you see me?”

“Ah?” Zhou Li was stunned for a while, then immediately rubbed his arms with his hands: “…Damn it, don’t scare me in broad daylight, I’m getting goosebumps.”

“Nevermind.” Bian Shengjian lowered his head and started to slowly clean up the things on his table, but at this moment, a strange feeling suddenly slipped through his heart. He remembered the question Lu Shen told him about his little sense of existence, and now he could really feel it. It’s really painful to be ignored.

Lu Shen…Lu Shen?

Bian Shengjian turned his head abruptly, so fast that his neck almost made a cracking sound, but he soon frowned. Lu Shen’s seat was empty.

“Bastard.” Bian Shengjian scolded through gritted teeth, “I haven’t beaten you up yet.”

“Hm? What’s wrong?” Zhou Li asked casually.

“Nothing… Have you seen Lu Shen?” Bian Shengjian asked.

“Lu Shen?” Zhou Li looked at him in confusion, “Is there someone in our class with that name?”

“…Forget it.” Bian Shengjian couldn’t help pressing his temples, “It’s alright.”

“Is there anyone in our class with the surname Lu?” Zhou Li was still confused, and couldn’t help but tap on Shengjian’s table a few times. “Hey, who are you talking about?”

“Ghost.” 

Bian Shengjian walked to Lu Shen’s seat with his brows furrowed. He lowered his head and glanced under the table. He saw that the textbooks were all neatly stacked on one side, while a piece of paper was placed on the vacated position on the other side.

Bian Shengjian frowned and squeezed out the note. The content on it was very simple, only three words were written:

 Wait for me.

“Fuck.” Bian Shengjian shoved the note back under the table hole in an instant, walked back to his seat with a face full of sullenness, and then called out after a long while, “Hey, Zhou Li.”

“What’s wrong?” Zhou Li was a little impatient when he called him to and fro, “What’s the matter, young master?”

“I want to transfer.” Bian Shengjian said.

“Huh?” Zhou Li’s voice suddenly rose, “You want to leave too? No, how fucking long have you been here?”

Bian Shengjian didn’t speak for a while. He couldn’t explain to Zhou Li all the supernatural events he experienced that night. 

“If you can leave, leave quickly, don’t stay in this shabby place any longer.”

“What do you mean?” Zhou Li stared at him with a disappointed expression. “…I thought you wouldn’t leave.”

“I fucking don’t know how to explain it to you!” Bian Shengjian suddenly roared, and the whole class suddenly looked over.

“Fuck, are you sick?” Zhou Li angrily slapped a chair. “If you want to go, just go! Why are you losing your temper here?”

“I…” Bian Shengjian took a deep breath and suppressed the inexplicable anger, but Zhou Li ignored him and turned back immediately, leaving him with an angry back.

“The bell’s ringing! Everyone, take your seat!”

Lao Tan walked into the classroom with this lesson plan in hand, and was stunned when he saw Bian Shengjian. “Shengjian, you are not…”

Bian Shengjian didn’t speak, suddenly stood up and kicked the door open. The loud noise made the whole class tremble.

“Holy crap….is this person crazy?” Hao Jing shouted in dissatisfaction.

“Okay, okay, be quiet! We are still in class.” Lao Tan patted the podium hard, and couldn’t help sighing again. “Open your Chinese book on page 75.”

******

“What’s the matter, Old third?” When Li Fei’s voice sounded, Bian Shengjian actually wanted to cry for a moment.

“It’s okay.” He sniffed lightly, but Li Fei immediately noticed it. “Fuck, are you crying?”

“No, you’re the one who’s crying.” Bian Shengjian reached out and wiped his eyes.

“What’s the matter?”

Li Fei’s tone rose instantly, “Damn it, just say it! It’s not like you if you hide it!”

“It’s just… I’ve been feeling a little uncomfortable in my heart recently.” Bian Shengjian stood by the window with one still covering his eyes. “I miss my mother a bit.”

The voice on the other side instantly became silent.

It took a long time for Li Fei to speak cautiously. “Well, in two days, it will be your mother’s….”

“Hmm?”

“Aren’t you coming back to see her in two days?”

Li Fei gritted his teeth before speaking. They seldom chatted with Bian Shengjian about his mother. One was that because Bian Shengjian was very sensitive to this aspect, and the other was that because of his temperament. Even if it was only casually mentioned, he may explode, so whenever they talked about family issues, they would consciously or unintentionally avoid talking about this aspect.

But today Bian Shengjian actually took the initiative to mention his mother to him, and Li Fei was a little surprised by the fragility in his tone.

“Third brother, what happened to you?” Li Fei asked with some concern.

“It’s nothing.” Bian Shengjian reached out and pressed his eye socket, then wiped the back of his hand on his trousers a few times. “What did you just say?”

“What what?” Li Fei was used to being asked by him.

“In two days…ah!” Bian Shengjian suddenly shouted, and his fingers trembled a little when he lowered his head and flipped through the page on his phone. 

He forgot.. he almost forgot about it! Stupid!

He tapped into the memo, and the event reminder on the top row was clearly marked: 

3 days left until Mom’s death anniversary.

Bian Shengjian’s eyes darkened. Li Fei was shouting madly on the other side, but he didn’t have the heart to listen, and simply said. “That’s it, I’m tired, I’ll hang up first.”

“Hey! When you come back, do you want to…” Li Fei then paused before continuing, “Forget it, we won’t get involved in this kind of thing, just take care of yourself.”

“Hm.” Bian Shengjian responded.

“Also,”Li Fei hesitated for a moment, “Although this is quite hypocritical, just find a place to cry if you feel really uncomfortable, it’s no big deal.”

“Hm.” Bian Shengjian sniffled.

“Alas.” Li Fei sighed, “I thought you were having love issues…”

“Scram!” Bian Shengjian said this with a slight nasal voice, and he almost blew a snot out of his nose because of the force. He was so startled that he quickly reached out for something inside his pocket. “I’ll hang up now.”

When he finally took out the tissue, he covered his nose with one hand and blew vigorously a few times on the tissue. “…Alas!”

“Isn’t the frequency of crying a bit high recently…..Third brother.” Bian Shengjian hooked the corner of his mouth mockingly, and immediately poked into 12306 to place an order for the earliest bus ticket back home two days later. After everything was done, he leaned against the window and breathed a sigh of relief.

Bian Shengjian stared at the large swathes of sunlight pouring down on the platform in the distance. In fact, it was already cold at the moment, but as long as there was sunlight, it would look warm at first glance.

He felt the cold wind blowing on his face, and suddenly his eyes were full of confusion.

*****

When he dragged his suitcase to the door, Bian Shengjian deliberately picked a time when Bian Jianhua would not be at home. However the moment he opened the door, his heart still throbbed.

Fortunately, there’s no one.

Bian Shengjian hurriedly changed his shoes and pushed open the door of his room. The car he had booked would arrive in a while, and it was too late to put his luggage.

A fragrant wind blew towards his face. Everything inside the room was still the same as when he left, and some scattered items were rearranged in the distance, exuding a “waiting for someone to come back” atmosphere.

Bian Shengjian held the doorknob for a while, but he still placed the suitcase to his feet and strode out. After a while, Bian Jianhua would know that he was already back….he really didn’t want to bump into him in the cemetery.

The scenery outside the car window finally became familiar, but Bian Shengjian had no intention of looking outside, and only kept pinching his palm with his fingernails.

When he got out of the car, the driver couldn’t help but glance at him. “Young man, are you going to visit a dead relative?”

“Hm.” Bian Shengjian’s expression was light.

“Why didn’t you bring flowers?” the driver asked.

Bian Shengjian looked down at the bag of paper money in his hand, and it took a long time for him to reply, “I…forgot.”

“I see,” the driver smiled, “Then I’m leaving, you can go up by yourself.”

Bian Shengjian stood there for a while before turning around and slowly walking towards the entrance of the cemetery. 

There is obviously a flower shop downstairs…..why did you forget?

From here to halfway up the hillside, there were a total of 1008 steps. Bian Shengjian would count it in his heart every year when he climbed it. 

1008. It sounds like a very lonely number.

Even with his eyes closed, Bian Shengjian could find the one belonging to him from the row of tombstones, and then stopped after a distance. There were traces of burned paper money in front of the tomb. Bian Jianhua probably came here not long ago.

Without hesitation, Bian Shengjian started to clean up the traces, then squatted down and started to burn the paper money one by one. The hand holding the lighter was obviously trembling.

It wasn’t until he finished burning the stack of paper money that he finally raised his head.

“Mom,” Bian Shengjian whispered to the smiling woman in the picture, “I’ve come to see you.”

When Bian Shengjian said the second sentence, the tip of his nose began to feel sour, and he had to wipe it hard before he could continue. “I have encountered a lot of unbelievable things these days…but I don’t know how to explain it to others. I feel like I’m going crazy.”

The woman in the black and white photo looked at him gently, her smile permanently fixed at the age of 34.

“I…” Bian Shengjian took a deep breath and was about to go on, when he suddenly heard the sound of small footsteps coming from the sidewalk. From far to near, as if coming towards his direction.

Bian Shengjian glanced at the source of the footsteps, but with this glance, he immediately froze in place.

“Hi.” Lu Shen showed him a faint smile, holding a bunch of lilies in his hand, and touched his nose looking a little embarrassed. “Sorry, I don’t know which suitable flower to buy……”

“What are you doing here?!” Bian Shengjian stood up abruptly, his steps unsteady. “How did you find this place!”

Lu Shen didn’t speak. He suddenly took a few steps forward, stretched the flower in his hand straight forward, and hugged him in his arms tightly.

“To save you.”

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