224 I Can’t Do Without You
Nie Zun narrowed his eyes. “Li Shen, it’s been two years and you’re still the same. Do you still remember what I said to you when you first arrived?”
He continued. “I said that to you when we were both sent to the Western District by Mr Blond. I said that we’ll have to be together forever from then onwards.” I looked at him, not moving a muscle.
I didn’t know what to do.
He was definitely Nie Zun, or at least, his memories were complete. Because he was the only one who had said something like that to me, and I’ve remembered it since then.
But why did he look so cold and distant?
Though he was indifferent to many things in the past and acted like he didn’t have a care in the world, he was filled with passion when it came to me. He had never treated me like this in the past.
His eyes were never that cold either.
“You…” I didn’t know what to say.
His smile faded, replaced by that indifference he always had. Except this time, there was a coldness in that indifference.
“Do you believe I’m Nie Zun now?” He asked as he looked at me.
I maintained eye contact with him. “You’ve changed. Why is that?”
I noticed that skull ring he wore on his finger as he scratched his nose with his left hand. “Nothing really. Apart from returning me my memories, the tablet had also given me some truths. I now know what a selfish person you are, Li Shen. In the future, you can go on your own path. Let’s not have anything to do with each other in future.”
My eyes widened at this.
Was this really Nie Zun? The one who said he’ll always protect me and stay by my side? The Nie Zun who’ll be with me forever? He’s saying I’m selfish and that he wants to leave me?
I said softly, “You’re still leaving me even when you’ve recalled everything that happened? Including me?”
Nie Zun’s eyes flashed. “That’s right, because I’ve recalled the past. I suddenly find it too tiring to be together with you. You go save your friends and I’ll continue living my lazy life. I don’t think you’d stick to me forever just because of one night, would you?”
I laughed in self-mockery. “What did you say…”
As I steeled myself for harsher words, I heard a loud splash from behind Nie Zun.
Looking towards the source of the noise, Gaoqin Jiuye emerged dripping wet from one of the water vats.
I was stunned. Why is he here?
The water didn’t seem to be boiling this time. Beads of water sprayed everywhere as he shook his head.
Nie Zun did not even bother to look.
I frowned at the fast approaching Gaoqin Jiuye. “What are you doing here?”
Gaoqin Jiuye looked worried, and a little angry. “You have the gall to ask what I’m doing here? What happened to you?”
He brushed past Nie Zun as he spoke. He pulled me up and looked me up and down.
I was confused at this. How did he know what happened here? Didn’t we separate at the hotel?
Nie Zun smirked. “Seems like your lover from when you were alive is the one you really love. He can even sense that I’ve taken your virginity and came all the way here for you.”
My heart hurt at what he said. Why did he have to hurt me like this?
Gaoqin Jiuye froze as he looked at me with disbelief. “What did he say… You…”
I was heartbroken. It had never felt so broken before.
I was faced with Nie Zun’s chilly gaze and Gaoqin Jiuye’s look of surprise.
I closed my eyes. I felt my arms turn numb in Gaoqin Jiuye’s grip, and that numbness spread to my entire body, going into my nerves and into all my organs.
I felt like I was being suffocated, as if my heart was being squeezed hard by a giant hand.
“Just why are you here?” I spoke after a while.
Gaoqin Jiuye seemed to be trembling. “Is he telling the truth?”
I met Nie Zun’s wintry gaze, but I asked Gaoqin Jiuye again, “Why are you here?”
I could hear the tremble in Gaoqin Jiuye’s voice now. “Is he telling the truth?”
I remained silent this time.
He couldn’t take it anymore as he grabbed me by the shoulders. “I’m asking you if he’s telling the truth… Did you and him really... in here… Is it true? I’m asking you a question.”
My head was dizzy as he shook me hard by the shoulders. I saw my own reflection in his eyes. I looked extremely pale, as if some vampire had sucked all the blood out of me.
Nie Zun laughed suddenly. It wasn’t a mocking smile nor was it a smirk. Instead, it sounded bitter and sorrowful. “Do you hate me? For saying all this to the one you love the most, huh, Li Shen?”
Finally, I could stand it no more. A beast was about to be unleashed from inside of me.
I pushed Gaoqin Jiuye away as I stared at Nie Zun. “You’re the one I love the most. I’ve fallen in love with you ever since arriving here in the Split Zone. That’s right, I’ve never dared to admit it, I’ve never wanted to admit that I’ve fallen in love with you, that I’ve fallen in love with a devil like you. Not only did I let Gao Qi down, I killed him and I even betrayed him like this.”
My hands were trembling and my eyes were wet with tears.
“Nie Zun, I’ve always wanted to get away from you in the past, I’ve always wanted to leave… I’ve always thought that I hated you, that I hated you like I hated her… But I slowly began to realize that it wasn’t the case… Slowly, I began to steal glances at those lazy eyes of yours, that indifferent demeanor you had, those wispy bangs that covered a little of your eyes. I looked at how you were always alone at night, I looked at how you were always behind me with those black gloves of yours, I looked at how quiet you were when you leaned against the wall in silence… There were traces of you everywhere in my life, you were everywhere…”
I couldn’t stop my tears now. I’ve never felt like this in the past two years. I’ve never felt so heartbroken like this.
The cold in Nie Zun’s eyes seemed to have crystallized into something undecipherable.
I heard my own voice echoing in this space. “Slowly… I realized I liked you… But how could I? I can’t… Shouldn’t I be liking Gao Qi, shouldn’t I like him forever, love him forever, and pay for my crimes here after killing him? Why did I end up liking you? Why did I have a change of heart? What right did I have to like you?”
I screamed as I forgot about Gaoqin Jiuye who was still beside me. I didn’t realize that he too seemed to be trembling with emotion.
My eyes were fixed on Nie Zun, who was now staring at me, unmoving.
My hands were still trembling, and the tears did not stop. “But it’s a fact that I like you… You said you’ll protect me forever… You said you’ll forever be by my side… You promised…”
I sank to the ground slowly, hugging my knees, as if all my energy had been taken away. Not wanting to look at his cold and emotionless face, I buried my face between my knees, looking at the cold, stone ground.
I muttered, “You said you’ll be together with me forever… How could you tell me that you want to leave me just when I’ve finally found the courage to tell you I love you… Nie Zun… Don’t you want me anymore…”
I never thought I’d ever end up being this pathetic, but this was too much for me to take.
My heart felt empty ever since he had been taken away by Ta Lai. I looked perfectly fine on the surface, but I’d never be able to continue living if that emptiness wasn’t filled up.
That empty hole in my heart seemed to welcome a cold wind that cut me continuously on the inside. I knew there was no way I could survive if I didn’t fill this hole, and I thought that I could fill up that hole as long as I found him.
But it was only until I found him that I realized I couldn’t fill the hole. Instead, a greater fear seemed to have found its way into that hole, and it brought me nothing but greater anxiety.
This is why I’ve been grabbing hold of his hand whenever I could, afraid that he would leave me while I wasn’t looking.
When he appeared before me without his memories, I thought my heart was already dead.
I realized I was finished when my very first reaction was not one of rejection at the moment I heard Li Qing tell me about the price we had to pay to get his memories back.
I’ve fallen in love with Nie Zun.
Not only have I fallen in love with him, I’ve somehow engraved him deep into my heart.
He has conquered my heart and filled my entire brain.
I was willing to lose everything because of him.
But when what’s happened has happened and what’s been said has been said, he decides to reject me.
He decides to leave me now.
To me, this felt like the end of the world.
I hugged my knees tightly as I cried my eyes out.
I didn’t care even if Nie Zun was watching right in front of me, nor did I remember that Gaoqin Jiuye was now a by-stander here.
I’ve forgotten everything in this very moment. The only thing I know is that the one I loved the most would be leaving me again. He said he was tired of being together with me, he said he was leaving me.
Nothing mattered now. What mattered most was that I could not let Nie Zun leave me. I could not endure a life without Nie Zun.
My hands balled tightly into fists and I felt my fingernails dig deep into my palms. I was still shaking as I saw the blood drip onto the floor from my hands.
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