272 I’m Going to Leave You
My consciousness felt as if it was floating away, and before I knew it, I was already back outside standing in front of Nie Zun.
Nie Zun looked calm as usual, as if nothing had happened. “Where did you go?” He asked as soon as I steadied myself.
“Do you actually care?”
“I just want to know where a living weapon would take you.”
“What defence techniques did it teach you?”
“Then what are you going to do in future?”
“Nothing. You’re around, aren’t you?” I answered as calmly as I could.
Nie Zun was no ordinary individual and he wasn’t fazed by my thick-skinned response at all. “I wouldn’t be protecting you like I did in the past.”
Look at him being ruthless.
I took a deep breath and slapped myself gently on the cheeks.
Nie Zun seemed surprised by my actions.
Relaxing myself, I put a smile back on my face as I looked at him. “Nie Zun, listen to me properly from now on.
“I don’t know why you’re acting this way, but the truth is that I’ve decided to stay by your side no matter what your reasons are. Even if you don’t love me anymore, I’m going to stubbornly continue loving you. Love doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. We’re all people living in our own little worlds.
“The situation, however, is different now.”
Nie Zun’s eyes seemed to darken as I spoke. His pupils looked like a black night before the arrival of a thunderstorm. I stopped a little in my tracks as I looked at him, but I continued eventually.
“Let me tell you a story, Nie Zun. I suddenly want to tell a story. It’s my favorite one.” A wave of exhaustion suddenly hit me and my voice sounded hoarse and tired.
Nie Zun regarded me and said, “Go ahead.”
I spoke slowly.
“There once was a young, pretty lady from a respectable family who was very talented. Though many matchmakers appeared at her door, she did not want to marry because she was waiting for the day when her beloved would appear.
“A young man caught her eye one day when she was at a crowded festival and she immediately knew he was the one she had been waiting for all this time. However, it was too crowded and no matter how hard she tried to approach him, she couldn’t get any closer.
“After that, she began to search high and low for this young man, but he seemed to have simply disappeared from the face of the earth, never to reappear again. She then prayed to Buddha every day, hoping to see the young man again. Buddha was moved by her sincerity and finally appeared before her one day.
“Buddha asked, ‘Do you wish to see that man again?’
‘Yes, even if it’s just one look!’
‘What if you need to give up everything that you have, including your loving family and your happy life?’
‘I’m willing to give that up.’ The girl was resolute.
‘You need to train for 500 years before you can have one look. Are you sure you won’t regret it?’
‘I won’t regret it.’ Nothing could change the girl’s mind.
“The girl then turned into a huge rock who lay by the countryside. She weathered 499 years and though she could endure this, she hadn’t seen a single person in all this time. Without any slither of hope, she began to lose faith. In the last year, a quarrying team came along and decided to refine her into a cut stone. She was then imported into the city, where a stone bridge was being built.
“The girl ended up being a part of the rail on the side of the bridge, and on the first day the bridge was completed, she finally saw the man she had waited 500 years for! He looked like he was in a hurry and he passed the bridge very quickly, so of course he wouldn’t realize that a stone was actually staring at him. The man then disappeared once again.
“Buddha then reappeared.
‘No! Why am I part of the rail on this bridge? If I was put in the middle of the bridge, I would’ve been able to touch him at least once!’
‘You want to touch him? Then you’ll have to train for another 500 years!
‘It’s very difficult. You’re not going to regret it?’
“This time, the girl turned into a huge tree by the side of a busy road. Many people passed by her every day, but this made her more upset because she would always end up disappointed. If it weren’t for her experience in the previous 500 years of training, she would probably have gone mad by now! Days passed, and the girl calmed her heart as she knew that he would not appear until the very last day.
“It had been 500 years, and the girl knew he would appear, but she was calm instead of excited now. He was finally here! He was wearing her favorite robes of white, and his face was still as beautiful as before. The girl gazed at him lovingly. This time, he didn’t leave in a hurry since it was too hot. He went over to a huge tree by the side of the road to take a breather. Leaning against the tree trunk, he closed his eyes and fell asleep.
“The girl was finally able to touch him, and he was lying right beside her! But she couldn’t tell him about how she had been thinking about him for a thousand years. All she could do as a tree was to give him the best shade from the sun. The man took a short nap before going on his way. He got up and dusted his white robes. Before leaving, he turned back to look at the tree and touched it lightly. He then turned and left, never looking back.
“Buddha reappeared when the man left. ‘Do you want to be his wife? If so, you’ll have to train again.’
“The girl interrupted Buddha calmly. ‘I want to, but there’s no need for that.
‘This is good enough. Loving him does not mean that I have to become his wife.
‘Did his current wife go through all this pain like I did?’ The girl wondered.
“Buddha nodded slightly.
“The girl smiled. ‘I can do that too, but I don’t think there’s a need to.’
“The girl then realized that Buddha seemed to sigh. She asked, ‘Buddha, is there something on your mind?’
‘That’s good. There’s a boy who can wait a thousand years less. To get one look at you, he had already trained for 2,000 years.’ Buddha answered her with a huge smile.
“That’s the end of the story.” I smiled, looking at Nie Zun.
Nie Zun was silent for a moment before he said, “Continue. The moral of the story should be at the end of it, right?”
I looked at him gently. Tamping down the bitterness in my heart, I finally asked, “Many people are aware of how this story goes. You know it too, right?”
Nie Zun hesitated for a while before nodding eventually.
“If I could add an epilogue to the story, it would be that the girl was so moved by what Buddha told her that she decided to be with the boy who had waited 2,000 years for her. However, the boy who waited 2,000 years for her said he was tired of it, and it’s also at this point that Buddha tells the girl that the man she had been waiting for all this time had known how she had waited for him. It’s just that he didn’t think he was able to give her happiness, but he had actually been aware of her all this while. What do you think she’d do at such a juncture?”
Though this was convoluted, Nie Zun would definitely be able to get it.
His eyes darkened further.
“What are you trying to say?” He sounded slightly emotional when he asked the question.
My gaze was gentle. “I love you. It’s the same today as it was yesterday, it’s the same as it was from the day before, and it’s the same as it was when you loved me. But Nie Zun, I’m no longer able to love you in the future, because I owe somebody. I have to return to that individual’s side. You said you were tired of our relationship, and yes, you should be tired now. I changed the life that you could have had. You’re innocent. Everything is my fault.
“Now, when the time to correct all this has come, the only thing to be happy about is that you’ve already left me when I have to leave you. Because then you wouldn’t have to feel upset about it.”
I’ve practiced this a million times in my head, and I thought I wouldn’t cry when I said it.
I still cried in the end, but I tried to cry silently.
I looked at him with a tearful gaze and smiled faintly. This did not seem like something I would do at all.
Even though my vision was obscured by all the tears, I could see his gaze turned dark.
“Nie Zun, if this was what you wanted, I’ll give it to you now.
“Nie Zun, Gaoqin Jiuye had been waiting for me for way too long. I’ve let Gao Qi down, I’ve let him down, and I’ve even forgotten about him. I even told him that I loved you. There’s no way I can erase these sins in my next lives. I’m going to go and return the favor now. I’ll also be returning you your freedom.”
My face was drenched in tears.
Nie Zun’s eyes looked like the surface of a still lake. After a moment, they seemed to light up like fiery torches as they shone and burnt brightly.
My vision cleared up as the last of my tears escaped me and his profile and face appeared slowly before me. His eyes were extremely bright and they were shining with a dangerous light.
He appeared right in front of me in the next second, those wispy bangs falling onto my forehead. Grabbing my neck and my arm with each hand, he spoke in a suppressed, low-pitched voice. “What did you say? You’re going to him? My ears aren’t fooling me are they, Li Shen? Didn’t you love me? Didn’t you say that you’ll love me forever? What now, you’re turning your back on your promise?”
His hands made my neck hurt as he strangled me. Seeing me refuse to look at him, he turned my chin forcefully towards him.
“Say it, Li Shen. Tell me why you’re going back to him. What, you’re not satisfied even after sleeping with me?” I could hear the suppressed rage in Nie Zun’s voice. His eyes looked frantic even as they shone.
I looked at him with a bitter smile. “What are you doing, Nie Zun? Aren’t you tired? Didn’t you leave me? You don’t love me anymore, so why do you care? It doesn’t have anything to do with you whoever I’m with and whoever I’m in love with!”
“You…!” Nie Zun looked at me with gritted teeth. I felt as if the bones in my chin were going to be crushed.
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