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Chen Yuanxi would leave for abroad tomorrow. Chen Tianjiao had prepared everything for him, like visa, luggage and ticket, and had found a university that would accept Chen Yuanxi. Chen Yuanxi had to admire Chen Tianjiao’s wide connections. Chen Wanxin was assumed to go abroad, but she decided to give it up. She would like to take over her family business while continuing her studies at Jifu University. Even so, Chen Tianjiao had managed to arrange everything in such a short time.
“Dad, I’m going abroad tomorrow. I want to go back to my hometown and walk around. After all, it may be a long time before I come back.” It was the first time for Chen Yuanxi to request Chen Tianjiao for it.
Chen Tianjiao closed his eyes and did not answer.
Chen Yuanxi lowered his head slightly and said with a smile, “I know you don’t want me to go back because I lived with my adopted father there so many years, but there are trails of mother as well…” He sobbed.
After hesitating for a while, Chen Tianjiao nodded. He touched Chen Yuanxi’s head and said, “I have arranged people to look for your mother. I promise they will find her.”
“Please arrange more hands to protect me! All the outsiders said that I was Lin Ziwei’s unfilial adopted son. Maybe some impulsive young men will throw stones at me. Who knows?” Chen Yuanxi said with a smile.
Chen Tianjiao nodded in agreement.
Chen Yuanxi walked slowly and after a while, he was far away from the Chen mansion. He turned around and said with a smile, “Brother Fa, someone has been making trouble at your girlfriend’s hair salon recently. Even I worry about her safety. If there is nothing special, you can take a leave today. And you, Brother Fu! I asked someone to bring imported nutritious food to your mother. I’m sure she is much better now. You can visit her today. Brother Lu, You should know better than a bachelor like me what day is today. You’d better take the time to be with your wife. Otherwise, she will be annoyed.”
The three bodyguards were so touched at his words. However, since Chen Tianjiao had ordered them to closely follow behind Chen Yuanxi, they did not dare leave without his permission.
“It’s up to me. Don’t worry. My father won’t object. I will contact you after I come back. I will meet you here at eight this evening.” Chen Yuanxi smiled.
The three bodyguards had never seen their young master smile like that. In their minds, Chen Yuanxi was just like a god who knew what they were thinking about, and all of them felt extremely flattered. However, they were still hesitating.
Chen Yuanxi frowned slightly and his face darkened. “You only have five seconds to think about it. Get out of here, now! Do you want me to go back home and leave you here in the sun?”
The three of them immediately disappeared from Chen Yuanxi’s sight.
“Our young master has always been nice to us!” one of the bodyguards said with a sigh. The other two nodded in agreement when they thought they were going to see their family members.
Chen Yuanxi stood on the street and stretched himself at the sun. He flicked the dust from his sleeve. Deng Yifei had bought this suit for him, and he had to put it on at Chen Tianjiao’s compulsion. This suit was tailored and carefully made, so it was very expensive. When he was Lin Wenxi, he had never imagined that he would have worn such high-quality sports clothes one day.
The girls on the street could not help but look at him. Chen Yuanxi looked too obvious on such a street with his tall and slim figure, fair and handsome face, high-class suit and glitter watch. Such a wealthy and handsome young man was the Prince Charming of all the young girls in love. For them, such a man could only appear in the movies and TV series.
Chen Yuanxi walked slowly. He walked down a long street full of roses, but no fragrance left on his body.
At the end of the familiar road was his home, which he could never return.
Zhao Yuan was lying on a bench at the gate, wearing plain clothes. Chen Yuanxi could not tell if he had fallen asleep. Beside Zhao Yuan were the bedding and sheets Chen Yuanxi had taken from home and some clothes he could no longer take.
Some of them belonged to his father, some to his mother, and to himself.
Zhao yuan seemed to lie in a broken and sweet memory.
Chen Yuanxi suddenly felt liking crying.
“You finally got him,” said the old man who had leaned on his crutch to show Zhao Yuan the way. He walked to Zhao Yuan and continued, “Young man, you have been waiting here from sunrise to sunset every day. You’re even more diligent than I when I was courting my wife!”
Zhao Yuan came back to himself. He was so surprised when he saw the person in front of him.
“Wenxi… After all, Director Lin had raised you for nineteen years!” The old man shook his head and sized Chen Yuanxi up. Frowning, he took off his reading glasses and wiped it before wearing it again. Then he looked Chen Yuanxi up and down again and said, “You have changed a lot. I will tell Director Lin what you look like in the future when I meet him in another world.
“Uncle! Please…” Zhao Yuan stopped the old man from continuing, with a sincere look.
The old man left with a sigh. Chen Yuanxi stood still, looking at Zhao Yuan indifferently.
Zhao Yuan heard from Huang Biya that Chen Yuanxi and Lin Ziwei had a big fight, so Chen Yuanxi had even refused to attend Lin Ziwei’s funeral. Later, he got the news that almost choked him—Chen Yuanxi was actually Chen Tianjiao’s son by blood! Besides, he had already returned to the Chens. Zhao Yuan was not interested in what Huang Biya told him later about what had happened between Huang Xiya, Chen Tianjiao and Lin Ziwei. He had a feeling that Chen Yuanxi seemed to be getting further and further apart from him, and the two of them were almost standing on opposite sides of the earth.
“It’s ironic that Chen Wanxin is the murder, Chen Tianjiao’s daughter! Although I have never loved her, she had loved me for so long time. And my beloved Wenxi is Chen Tianjiao’s son!”
Zhao Yuan felt incredible. Wenxi hated everything of the Chens, how could he have taken Chen Tianjiao as his father and return to the Chens? Apart from the blood which ran in him came from the Chens, everything else about him was given by Uncle Lin and Auntie Huang!
Zhao Yuan had been waiting here for half a month.
They looked at each other. The courtyard was extremely quiet. Now it seemed the sunshine had turned to the moonlight, the day to the night and the sky full of stars. Everything was so quiet that they seemed to be the only two in the world.
Zhao Yuan could not hold back his tears when he looked at the person with his mouth open, seemed to have a thousand words to say to him.
The bearing and dress of the man in front of him were quite different from before. It seemed Chen Yuanxi had matured by ten years in the two months after leaving Zhao Yuan. His eyes were no longer clear and bright. Nobody could tell what he was thinking. His was no longer naive, but more rational and calm, like an adult man. His face was no longer as pale as a sheet, but turned a tan, like bronze polished by time, emanating the glow of maturity.
However, despite his stubborn air, the fine dress could not hide his skinny face, and the high-class skin care product could not wipe the weary look from his face.
“I knew you would come here.” Chen Yuanxi smiled slightly.
Chen Yuanxi’s tears welled up again. He had realized a long time ago that this man would be his lifelong weakness, and he was clear that he would be this man’s mortal danger. He did not know why he just could not control himself at sight of him. Maybe he still clung to the tenderness of the moment in his arms.
“Wenxi!” Zhao Yuan whispered.
Like being struck by lightning, Chen Yuanxi suddenly sobered.
“My name is Chen Yuanxi. Lin Wenxi had been beaten to death by his mother,” Chen Yuanxi said coldly, trying to break free of Zhao Yuan’s embrace.
“No. You’re still Wenxi. There is only one Wenxi in the world, and no matter what happened, you will share it with me.” Zhao Yuan held Chen Yuanxi in his arms firmly and did not want to let him go.
“I came here to give back one thing to you.” With that, Chen Yuanxi walked into the room. Everywhere in the room was clean, even better than before. The TV, table, chairs, tea table were still in their original place. Even the fan which had been used seven years had been carefully cleaned and it looked like a new one. Chairman Mao’s portrait hung above the front door. It seemed he was looking at Chen Yuanxi serenely, and reminding him about Lin Ziwei. Chen Yuanxi had a feeling that his parents were still living here just like before. He seemed to see his father sitting in the big chair on the left with a serious look and reading a book, his mother writing her work, and Uncle Hong Xuan looking at him softly and firmly.
It had been two months since they parted. Now things remained the same while the person had changed.
Chen Yuanxi’s tears dropped onto the floor.
Even if he avenged Lin Ziwei, his life would never be the same again.
Since parting with Zhao Yuan at the hotel, the only thing he had taken back was the pair of statues. Now they were lying in the luggage bag he had not had time to put away when he came back last time.
Chen Yuanxi took the statues and put them in his pocket. Then he slowly walked around in the room. He came to his bedroom, the living room, his parents’ bedroom, the dining room, the kitchen and the back corridor.
They walked out silently. After a while, they reached the only hill in the Yangzi County. There was a temple on the hill named Buddha’s Voice Temple. Chen Yuanxi had never believed in God or Buddha, but now he suddenly had an impulse to have someone from the temple to tell his fortune.
The buildings of the temple were mighty. Maybe because there was also a well-known Taoist mountain at the border of Yangzi County, people in this region would visit the Buddhist temple or the Taoist abbey to make wishes or ask for fortune-telling. All bodhisattvas in Buddha’s Voice Temple looked mighty and vivid.
Chen Yuanxi and Zhao Yuan were waiting for a monk to tell their fortunes.
The monk was confused. He asked Chen Yuanxi and Zhao Yuan, “Why are you both asking me to tell your marriages, not your careers?”
“Only with marriage can there be a career,” Zhao Yuan answered.
Chen Yuanxi said coolly, “All beings are endowed with the Buddha nature, but because of their delusional persistence, their Buddha nature is hidden. If we have Buddha in our minds, we’ll find Buddha everywhere. As for our career, relying upon ourselves is better than relying upon the others.”
The monk was very happy. He said, “It’s not easy to understand something about the Buddhist scriptures at your age. According to this logic, you don’t have to ask me about your marriage, because it will be better to rely on yourselves.”
Chen Yuanxi shook his head helplessly and said, “If God doesn’t bless me, no matter how hard I try, I have little chance to get married with the one I love. As the saying goes, do one’s best and leave the rest to god’s will. I have tried my best, so I want to know the god’s will now.”
Zhao Yuan gaped. He sized up Chen Yuanxi, who was still Lin Wenxi in his eyes.
Twirling the Buddha beads, the monk said with a smile, “Benefactor, please throw the peach wood for divination.”
Chen Yuanxi threw two pieces of peach wood onto the floor, one heads and one tails. The monk shook his head and said, “Young man, you’re a little upset, so you’re not sincere enough. You’re not confident about your marriage, are you?”
Chen Yuanxi froze. He had never expected that the relationship between Zhao Yuan and him to be blessed. “Did the monk mean that Zhao Yuan and I have the opportunity to be together?” He wondered. Chen Yuanxi closed his eyes and threw the peach woods onto the floor again. Two heads! That meant he was sincere enough. Then he needed to throw the peach woods another three times in a row.
According to his own rule, the monk picked a sealed slip from the third row and second column of the lucky draws. He asked Chen Yuanxi to open it.
Chen Yuanxi opened the slip and saw two words on it—”Causeless Flower.”
He was shocked.
The monk shook his head slightly. “If two people who are not doomed to be together meet, they can only enjoy a moment of happiness, but their relationship can’t last long. It will lead them to ‘marriage robbery’.”
Chen Yuanxi looked at the monk seriously and asked, “What’s ‘marriage robbery?'”
The monk explained with a sigh, “Whom you will meet and marry is destined, but many people who can’t get what they want are reluctant to accept the results, so they will think about robbing other people’s marriage. That’s the so called ‘marriage robbery.’ If the two who are not destined to be together try to be together, they will not only break up those who are destined to be together, but also unable to stay with those they love long.”
Chen Yuanxi looked at the monk blankly. He felt that it was quite like the relationship between the three of them—Zhao Yuan, Chen Wanxin and him.
“But maybe you still have a chance. As the saying goes, man is the master of his own fate.” The monk clasped his hands, narrowed his eyes, and stopped talking.
“You have never believed in Buddha. Why did you come for divination? I don’t believe the ‘marriage robbery’ he said. Even though I have robbed someone else’s marriage, I won’t give it back!” Zhao Yuan pulled Chen Yuanxi out and put a lot of money into the charity box.
“We are doomed to part. If we continue to be together, we’re robbing other people’s marriages,” Chen Yuanxi muttered.
“I know you must have a lot to tell me. Me too. Let’s find a quiet place and discuss it. Don’t be silent as you were last time, okay?” Zhao Yuan said.
“Do one thing for me,” Chen Yuanxi said.
“Let’s play house,” Chen Yuanxi said, pointing at a water pit. It was shining today, but it had rained the day before, so a number of water pits appeared on the mountain road.
“How?” Zhao Yuan asked.
“Just do as we did in our childhoods,” Chen Yuanxi answered.
Zhao Yuan found a water pit and dug a lot of mud from it. Chen Yuanxi stood still and looked at him. After a short while, Zhao Yuan’s clothes and skin were covered with mud. He built up two clay houses with mud as if by magic. Then he made eight clay figures with two masses of mud for each. After that, he made a square clay box. Time passed in the processing of the mud. It reminded Chen Yuanxi of a dozen of years ago. “The box that the eight people are carrying is a large sedan chair. The weak and slim figure on the sedan chair is me, Chen Yuanxi. The adorable sturdy man who is walking ahead of the sedan chair is Zhao Yuan. This one is his house, and that one is mine. The sedan chair is being carried out from my house,” Chen Yuanxi thought.
“A girl who lives in a small village has beautiful eyes, and black, shiny hair.” Lin Wenxi used to sing this line more than ten years ago.
“Her bridegroom made a bridal sedan chair that needed eight people to carry. It isn’t because the girl is too heavy, but because her bridegroom loves her so much,” Zhao Yuan had sung this line with him ten years ago.
“The bearers carried the sedan chair out my house, heading for yours. I opened the window and glimpsed your shoulder secretly.”
“The bearers carried the sedan chair out your house, heading for mine. You looked at my broad shoulders secretly and your heart could not help but beat fast.”
Chen Yuanxi drew his thoughts back and began to hum the song with Zhao Yuan, just like what they had done years ago.
“The girl smiled shyly and asked the magpies if her bridegroom took her to his heart.”
“Her bridegroom grinned and said, ‘You don’t have to ask the magpies. You’re already in my bridal chamber!'”
With that, Zhao Yuan suddenly carried Chen Yuanxi on his back.
Time flew. The sun and the moon rose in the sky every day. What had happened a dozen years ago was still vivid in their memories.
One day ten years ago, it had rained at beginning, and then the sun came out at dusk with breeze gently blowing. They remembered that the sunshine had been so warm, and the drizzle had been like silk.
An elder boy carried a younger boy on his back. He excitedly rushed on the path in the field and shouted loudly, “I will marry you when I grow up!”
“Do you still remember?” Chen Yuanxi asked, leaning on Zhao Yuan’s back.
“I remember. I said I would marry you.” Zhao Yuan put Lin Wenxi down and embraced him.
“Do you remember your dad’s last will? Do you remember what you have said in front of his tomb?” Chen Yuanxi continued.
“You, you still remember it.” Zhao Yuan was a little sad.
“Are you still going to marry me?” Chen Yuanxi looked at Zhao Yuan emotionlessly.
Chen Yuanxi covered his mouth gently. “Yuan, fairy tales can never come true!” With that, he hurled the statues in his hand far away and then ran away.
“Zhao Yuan, you can’t forget what happened, and I can’t forget the hatred. We will fight again sooner or later. Let’s put an end to this relationship. I wish you happiness in your life.”
Zhao Yuan failed to grab Chen Yuanxi. When he was worried about the statues, Chen Yuanxi had run away.
He stood on the slope, feeling sad.
“As man and wife we ever unite, we never doubt our love,” Zhao Yuan remember this two lines and read them to himself. “You said that…”
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