Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
At six o’clock in the morning, Shen Si opened the door and walked out. Because of the dramatic change in the weather, he put on a gray windbreaker jacket, but even so, the outdoor temperature still made him involuntarily shiver, and he wondered how many people got sick and cold because of this sudden temperature difference.
Being a tour guide was different from other professions; they did not have a fixed commuting time, sometimes even spending a few days and nights outside was normal. Yi MingZhi informed him of today’s work hours but didn’t ask him to prepare anything else, today’s tour was expected to be short.
Shen Si lifted his hands and straightened his jacket, then walked to the elevator and waited for it to come down, watching the number decrease, when a person came up next to him. Shen Si was slightly startled, but then remembered that his neighbor who had been missing for three years came back yesterday.
“Good morning, you’re up early.” Bai JunYi yawned, his face was full of drowsiness.
“Because I have to work. Why is Mr. Bai out so early?”
Bai JunYi rubbed his eyes, then he replied in a somewhat sleepy whisper, “Didn’t I say yesterday that I wanted to open a flower shop? The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced it was a good idea, so I planned to go out today to research what flowers are popular these days, and buy some flower seeds to plant.”
The elevator door opened with a ding-dong, Shen Si did not continue to chat with Bai JunYi as they walked into the elevator. Shen Si stood expressionless next to the still yawning Bai JunYi, and only when they walked out of the door of the residential building did Bai JunYi shiver from the cold, his whole person a lot more awake.
Looking at Bai JunYi wrapped in clothes and running to wait for the bus, Shen Si thought: Aren’t he and ordinary people exactly the same? He doesn’t look like a Survivor at all.
After getting on the tram, Shen Si leaned back on his seat. The early risers around him were talking about the Survivors, and some of the sleepy-looking social workers were a bit worried about the matter because they thought that these Survivors who came back from the world of unlimited flow with strange abilities would definitely become strong competitors in their jobs.
It wouldn’t be rare for one or two Survivors appearing out of nowhere and working. After all, the ability of these Survivors was to fight with their lives. It was a pity for those employees who would have had the opportunity to move up the ladder.
With his hands in his pockets all the way to the assembly area, Shen Si saw that Lin Qi and Yi MingZhi had already arrived. They waved towards Shen Si, gesturing to him to come over.
“Here are your clothes.” Lin Qi handed a set of work clothes to Shen Si, “This year is really great, a week ago it was hot like a furnace, today it’s cold as if we’re about to enter winter, I think in a few days the temperature is going to decrease below zero.”
“After all, even those from the unlimited flow world are out, compared to the temperature, that’s more amazing.” Yi MingZhi interjected.
Lin Qi nodded in agreement and said, “You’re right.”
Changing into his work clothes, Shen Si put on his hat to cover his white hair, “What time do we leave today?”
“7:30, the passengers should come to the rendezvous point later. Remember to keep an eye out when you get to the top, especially at those young people.” Yi MingZhi was still a bit worried, “Many people are here for that crater that was smashed in by that Survivor. When the time comes I will go to explain. Since Shen Si does not like to talk, you’ll maintain order.”
“Okay.” Shen Si responded, “We’re so early today, is there another team in the afternoon?”
“Yeah, to be honest, I really don’t understand the admiration those young people have for Survivors.” Yi MingZhi shook his head, “As far as to run over to personally see a pit made by one.”
Lin Qi snorted out a laugh, “Hey, I say, you really don’t treat Shen Si as a young man, I remember Shen Si is only 23 years old.”
“Huh?” Yi MingZhi froze for a moment, then laughed along, “I can’t help it, Shen is really too old-fashioned and mature, I forgot he was still young.”
Shen Si moved his body around for a bit, then he saw someone coming from not far away, “People are coming.”
Lin Qi and Yi MingZhi rushed to welcome them, showing the way to the tourists. They told the people to go to the bus and wait for a while; this time the tour had many people, so it was going to be a long wait.
Tourists were coming one after another, most of them were young people. Before getting on the bus, they kept asking if there really was a Survivor that smashed a pit. There was also one holding a video camera, probably a video blogger who was shooting vlogs, and after seeing Shen Si, he has been hoping that he could record Shen Si as well. But after being rejected many times, he got on the bus with a disappointed face.
The time passed, and it quickly reached 7:30.
“It’s time to go.” Shen Si looked at Yi MingZhi, “Is everyone there?”
“One more.” Yi MingZhi compared the number of people, “The registered name is Jian Nian. Let’s wait for five minutes. In five minutes, I’ll call and ask what’s going on.”
Shen Si lowered his head when Yi MingZhi said the name Jian Nian when he was in a slight trance. Jian Nian was his childhood friend’s name. He died of a heart attack three years ago, and when Shen Si rushed back he had long been cremated, so he couldn’t even see him one last time. It was probably someone with the same name, after all, Jian Nian was not an uncommon name.
Shen Si turned around and began to check his things, before he finished his inspection, a hand was placed on his shoulder. Shen Si subconsciously elbowed the person, who let out a muffled grunt behind him in a familiar voice.
Caught by surprise, he turned his head. He saw the person behind him covering his chest with a bitter face, immediately after seeing Shen Si turn around, he collected himself, smiling and waving to him, “Surprise.”
Shen Si couldn’t believe his eyes, but this person in front of him was undoubtedly Jian Nian. He still liked to wear black clothes as usual, having a strong sense of sickness and frailty, and his face, which was described as beautiful, was extraordinarily striking when he smiled.
“It’s me, I’m back.” Jian Nian smiled at him with his hands behind his back, “It’s the first time I’ve seen this expression on your face.”
Shen Si glanced at the side, Yi MingZhi had already boarded the bus and was explaining to the travelers what they should pay attention to and where. There were only two people here, him and Jian Nian.
“You are a Survivor? But I remember your family saying you died of a heart attack.”
“They just didn’t want to look for me. After all, a congenital heart patient would only burden them, so they were probably thinking how nice it would be if I died.” Jian Nian spoke in a brutally uncaring tone, his black eyes carrying a hint of mockery, “Now that I’m out of that hellhole, their first reaction had still been to throw me out. Wouldn’t their lies be unraveled if I were alive?”
Shen Si was slightly silent for a moment, Jian Nian’s parents were indeed capable of such things.
Jian Nian suffered from congenital heart disease, the hospital said he would not live to be 18 years old. After that diagnosis, his family did not try to help him find a cure but seized the time to give birth to a second child. Since then, Jian Nian had become a dispensable person in the family and had always been rejected.
Because of his heart problem, Jian Nian grew up weak and sickly, he did not even go to school. It was Shen Si who taught him to read and write and helped him chase away the children who bullied him.
More than once, Shen Si saw his parents pointing at Jian Nian and telling him to go to hell, but at those times, Jian Nian was still smiling, even laughing at his parents’ cursing, and when they left he dragged Shen Si, while still laughing, to teach him reading.
When Shen Si received the news that Jian Nian had died of a heart attack three years ago, he thought, He’s finally free.
But it turned out to be a lie.
“Your heart condition…”
“It’s not better, but it won’t occur often either.” Jian Nian put his hands in his pockets and his voice cleared, “What do you think they feel like now? I’m not dead but also gained magical powers, maybe they’re scared of me. Would they be so afraid that they can’t sleep at night?”
Shen Si didn’t answer, just then, Yi MingZhi poked his head out, “Hey, are you ready? It’s time to go.”
“Ready, thank you little brother for giving me time to chat with Shen Si.” Jian Nian smiled and waved to Shen Si as he boarded the bus.
Shen Si stood silently watching Jian Nian get into the bus. Lin Qi tsked twice next to him, “What’s it like to be reunited with an old friend?”
“A very amazing feeling, like when a toy is accidentally lost when you’re a child, then after growing up, during a move the toy appears from under the bed. Although very surprised, you’re no longer at the age when you care about toys.”
Lin Qi thought about it, “You mean… you’re not actually that surprised?”
“Probably.” Shen Si put on his backpack, “Let’s go, there is a team in the afternoon and it’s going to be dark by the time we come back.”
The main objective was actually the quite dangerous mountain forests after all, so not yet climbing halfway up the mountain, those excited young people had already wilted considerably while gasping for air and asking if they could take a break. Shen Si had seen this more than once, the road to the top of the mountain had several resting points, and it was indeed time for a break.
The rest time was 15 minutes, and Shen Si unscrewed the water bottle to drink a mouthful of water. He took a tissue to wipe the sweat on the side of his forehead. From the corner of his eyes, Shen Si saw Jian Nian’s figure.
Jian Nian, as always, was standing not far behind him, his sickly face full of smiles, as if embracing the bright sunshine, but only Shen Si knew that Jian Nian’s smile was not any sunshine, but a smile he liked to use as a disguise for everything.
Pain, sadness, breakdowns, obsessions… all of it would only make Jian Nian smile.
After the break, they continued to set off, and with Lin Qi’s encouragement, they made it to the top in one go. The small store that was half-collapsed at the top of the mountain had been rebuilt, and the uncle selling cold drinks smiled at the group, showing a mouthful of white teeth. Shen Si stood by to watch over the tourists and prevent them from accidentally walking into a dangerous place.
Of course, this was basically unnecessary, as most people went with Yi MingZhi to the pit and listened to his story about the earthquake and the pit.
“What a nice view.” A familiar voice came to his ears, Shen Si turned his head to look next to him. Jian Nian opened his hands to the wind, the gale blew up his black windbreaker as if he was about to fly.
Shen Si responded, “It’s really good.”
“It’s good to be alive. After coming back, I have two things I am grateful for.” Jian Nian put his hands in his pockets and smiled against the wind, “The second is seeing a very nice view, as for the first… I finally came back alive to see you.”
Shen Si turned his head and locked eyes with Jian Nian, but after a moment Shen Si turned his head away, his voice seemed to be a little colder than this autumn wind. “If I remember correctly, we already broke up before you disappeared three years ago.”
In that instant, the smile on Jian Nian’s face froze.