Jiang Zhengkai stood in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at his reflection with a dumbfounded expression. He didn’t know how he had gotten out of bed, nor how he had walked into the bathroom. His mind was completely blank! Who is she? She’s not A-Jiao! But then why does she look so much like A-Jiao? They are so alike that they’re basically identical…
Jiang Zhengkai’s head drooped, and he felt overcome with dejection and guilt. At this moment, the baby in the nursery suddenly stopped crying. Maybe he was finally exhausted from all the crying and fell back asleep? Alas! What should he do about this situation? Jiang Zhengkai was at a loss for what to do. As he raised his head to look at himself in the mirror, he noticed the necklace hanging on the shelf in front of the mirror. Surely it belonged to the woman on the bed? Jiang Zhengkai reached out and grasped the necklace in his palm. When he inspected the pendant more closely, he could not help but stare at it in amazement, his eyes wide open.
This pendant… It was impossible! It looked and felt just like the one A-Jiao had given him, with the smooth texture and sheen of jade. Only, he knew that it was not made of jade but was instead a sarira made of human remains. The thought sent a shiver down his spine. Just who exactly was that woman in his room? Who was she? How did she have this sarira pendant? It had to be a hallucination! It had to be! It must have come about because he missed A-Jiao too much!
Having made up his mind, Jiang Zhengkai left the bathroom and looked in the direction of the bed. Phew! Jiang Zhengkai breathed out a long sigh of relief. Yes, it had only been a wishful dream. There was no woman in his bed. All of this had been a hallucination born from missing A-Jiao too much. Jiang Zhengkai sat down on the edge of the bed. He felt something in his hand and lowered his head to look at it. The sarira pendant? Why? How was it still there? Jiang Zhengkai turned around and looked at the bedsheet. Blood! The blood was also still there!
“Excuse me, where is the feeding bottle?” The voice that was A-Jiao’s and yet not floated over from outside the room. The woman was holding the baby in her arms and had groped her way to the bedroom door. “He’s hungry and has been crying nonstop!”
“Ah!” Jiang Zhengkai called out in a low voice, and then looked at the woman in front of him nervously. Her body was covered only with a blanket. However, her look, her figure, her posture… She was without a doubt A-Jiao!
“If you don’t care about your own baby, then I don’t see why I should!” The woman said resentfully, still groping her way towards the bedroom. “I can’t see, but if you can find the bottle, I will help you feed him.”
“Who… who are you?” Jiang Zhengkai looked at her in astonishment. “How… how did you get inside?”
“I guess I entered the wrong house?” She answered in a small voice. Then, she imploringly said, “Can you let me go? I won’t tell anyone about tonight. You don’t have to worry about a blind woman complaining to the police.”
“But… who are you?” Jiang Zhengkai insisted on figuring out her identity.
“Me?” The woman sat down beside Jiang Zhengkai and said, “Just call me Xueyuan! This house is so familiar. Really familiar.” Slowly, she turned her head and faced Jiang Zhengkai with her blank hollow eyes and asked, “But who are you? Why do you live here? This place feels like my home.”
“Xueyuan?” Jiang Zhengkai looked at the woman beside him, still stupefied. “Then… who is Ziyuan to you?”
“Oh, she’s my sister. Do you know her?” Happiness seemed to radiate off of the woman’s face. “Where is she? Do you know where she is?”
“I know, but… she…” Jiang Zhengkai nodded stiffly as he mechanically responded to her questions. He looked at the woman again. So she was actually her? A-Jiao’s twin sister Xueyuan! He could not believe he had… Why? Why hadn’t he thought of this possibility before?
“She sold this house to you, right?” the woman said, as she guessed at the words that Jiang Zhengkai had left empty. “I can feel that you are not a bad person. I won’t blame you, as long as… As long as you help me find my sister. Our father is gone, so I came back for her. Can you please help me?” She didn’t know what madness had possessed her tonight, telling all these family secrets to this stranger who had just forcefully had his way with her.
“Ziyuan is gone,” Jiang Zhengkai replied sluggishly. “She passed away a year ago. And the baby you are holding in your arms… is our child.”
For the rest of the night, Jiang Zhengkai and Ren Xueyuan cradled the baby and sat on the edge of the bed side by side, leaning against each other as they listened to the other pour out their heart. In fact, Ren Xueyuan had not been born blind; she was blinded in a car accident two years ago. Thereafter, she had gone to many doctors, but her condition had never showed any signs of improvement. Then, three months earlier, her father Ren Pengfei had died of a heart attack. After the funeral, Ren Xueyuan felt that without any family members by her side and without her sight, she could not live by herself, so she decided to return to the country and find her sister. That was her story of how she had come back home and, as one thing led to another, ended up being intimate with Jiang Zhengkai. The next day’s sun was about to rise when the two of them finally felt their exhaustion. Like how A-Jiao used to, Ren Xueyuan gently put her head on Jiang Zhengkai’s chest and drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
Jiang Zhengkai put his hand around her back, so that she could cuddle up to him comfortably. In front of them was the crib where Jiang Zhengkai and A-Jiao’s child lay quietly, deep asleep. If A-Jiao was watching down at them from Heaven, she must have been very content.
Just before the first ray of sunlight penetrated the curtain and entered the room, a wisp of smoke rose up from the longevity lock on the baby’s neck. It used the residual formula in the feeding bottle to draw a large smiley face on the mirror above the dresser. Then, it flew to Jiang Zhengkai and lingered in front of him for a while before flying to Ren Xueyuan and hovering in front of her for a long time. Finally, the smoke gradually dispersed.
Jiang Zhengkai and Ren Xueyuan woke up to the baby’s cries. Ren Xueyuan picked up the child from the crib and gently rocked him from side to side. “Oh… Are you hungry?” She reached out to touch the baby’s face, then… abruptly stopped her hand. She gaped at Jiang Zhengkai before saying, “Sis… Brother… Brother Jiang, I… I can see! I can see!”
“Really?” Jiang Zhengkai was pleasantly surprised. At this moment, they both turned towards the dresser and immediately noticed the fading smiley face on the mirror above it. Jiang Zhengkai and Ren Xueyuan looked at each other in a moment of mutual comprehension. Ren Xueyuan then put her head on Jiang Zhengkai’s chest and said, “Brother Jiang, please let me take care of you in place of my sister…”
Three years later, the city had gone through a lot of change. The prosecutor’s office that had blown up four years ago was now the headquarters of the emerging Jiang Corporation. The gloomy alley had become a construction site and would become a part of the city’s highway. In the wake of urbanization, the alley and its dark past had all become old history now…
On the park’s lawn, two children, a boy and a girl, chased and played with each other while their parents leaned against a nearby big tree, watching them play energetically.
“Honey, tomorrow is the anniversary of my sister’s death. Let’s take the children and visit her, shall we?” the woman said softly, her head on the man’s chest.
“Sure!” the man replied, stroking the woman’s hair tenderly. “Ziyuan must miss us a lot…”
The ending is nuts. I can't believe the author ended the novel this way. Sigh. Sorry if you guys were disappointed. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed this novel. The first 121 chapters were done by daAznSesazn. Sadly, he quit before completing. I ended up finishing the rest of the novel with the help of my newbies and editors. I would like to thank our editors Fallen and Nyxnox, as well as the newbie translators Bowie, Christine, Arain, Nightcache, April, Jade, Olivia as well as Mazu (we've worked together on UPX before).
Thank you so much if you guys had given this novel a chance. Although the ending was ridiculous, I feel like this novel is severely underrated. If you are interested in reading more of my work, I'm also the translator of The Eunuch is Pregnant, Supernatural Girlfriend, Your Highness, I know my wrongs, Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao (270-384!) Do check those out if you haven't already done so!
I am also the author of Grace Time.