Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shen Si had always been very clear that he liked men, and he hadn’t deliberately hidden it, it was just that he didn’t have anyone around him who he could tell.
The reason for this was that Shen Si was the only one who seriously treated Jian Nian as a friend when he was young, and Jian Nian carried a feeling of dependence on him, which Shen Si did not realize at the time, nor did he consider it a bad thing.
Dependence, possessiveness, and constant skinship, as if he was suffering when he couldn’t be close, Jian Nian became increasingly unsatisfied.
The short relationship lasted until the end of one summer vacation, when Jian Nian proposed the idea of following him back to school, disregarding his own health and conditions, just so he could meet him every day. After being rejected by Shen Si, instead of accepting it, he told him he had a heart attack and needed to go out to see a doctor, hoping Shen Si could accompany him.
At that moment, Shen Si suddenly understood that Jian Nian’s obsession with him was becoming more and more problematic, and that his dependence and attachment were degenerating and slipping rapidly in a certain direction.
After this realization, Shen Si cleanly and directly broke up with Jian Nian. On that rainy night, Jian Nian stood in the rain with red eyes to keep him from leaving. He did not know how long he stood there and soon, Jian Nian began to continue to use excessive means to try to pull Shen Si back, but this approach only made Shen Si feel he was right to break up.
Two months later, Shen Si, who was at school, received the news that Jian Nian had suffered a heart attack and died.
“I didn’t agree to the breakup.” Jian Nian spat out these words a long time later, “I lived until now so I could see you again, I wanted to get you back.”
“Now that you’ve seen me, I won’t deliver.” Shen Si didn’t give him a chance, “I do not want to continue to entangle with you, dead or alive, please leave my life.”
Watching Shen Si turn to leave, Jian Nian clenched his hands tightly, his nails piercing deeply into the flesh, staining the nail crevices red. He stared closely at Shen Si’s back, his face pale as if he had received some terrible blow. His eyes were even redder, as if he was an aggrieved little soul.
The man with the camera cautiously came over, “Brother, is everything all right?”
Jian Nian turned his head to look at him, his eyes were red but his face carried a cold smile; the strong contrast made the man’s heart jump, an unfathomable panic instantly burst in his mind.
“I’m fine.” Jian Nian muttered, as he looked at Shen Si’s back, his dark eyes carrying a slight despondency.
When they were finished with the second group of tourists, it was already very late in the evening. At 8 p.m., the tourists were tired after getting off the bus and waiting to go back to the hotel. Shen Si was finally able to leave work, after which there would be other guides to lead them to continue the tour. Shen Si changed out of his work clothes, then he sat on a bench and opened a bottle of mineral water to drink, only then feeling like he recovered his spirits.
They rarely lead two tours in one day, the mountain required a lot of effort to climb, there was no tour bus, and they could only go up and down by walking. Climbing the mountain twice in one day made even him a little tired.
“Finally, it’s over.” Lin Qi took a bottle of water and sat next to Shen Si, “Where is your friend?”
“Gone, seems to have gone to find a place to live.”
Lin Qi unscrewed the cap of the mineral water bottle, “You didn’t ask your friend to stay at your house for two days?”
Almost choking on the water, Lin Qi hurriedly took the mineral water away, he looked at Shen Si, amazed, “Do you really not know or are you pretending not to? He came all the way here to see you, didn’t he? The result is that you did not even let him stay overnight and then kicked him out.”
“I know he came to see me, but does it have anything to do with whether or not I’m going to let him stay for the night?” Shen Si looked at Lin Qi with some confusion.
“I guess he already knew that you wouldn’t let him stay the night.” Lin Qi tsked twice, “I can see now why you don’t have a girlfriend.”
Shen Si screwed on the cap of the mineral water bottle, “Oh. I’m going back, is this still the same time tomorrow?”
“Yeah.” Lin Qi waved at him, “See you tomorrow, take care on the way.”
When Shen Si received the news that Jian Nian had died of a heart attack, he suspected for a second that his breakup with him had caused this guy to lose his life. Sure enough, Jian Nian was never a guy who needed someone to give him a reason to live.
Ding-dong, the elevator door opened. Shen Si tiredly walked out, the next moment he slightly paused, as a teenager was quietly standing in front of his house.
Hearing the sound of the elevator opening, the teenager headed in his direction. By his attitude and the way he was looking at him, Shen Si was sure that the teenager was indeed looking for him.
“Who are you?”
“Your cousin.” The teenager’s cheeks were a little red from the cold, but his voice was smooth, “You’re finally back.”
Shen Si frowned slightly, “I don’t have a cousin.”
This sentence was not nonsense. Shen Si really did not have a cousin. When he was in high school, his parents were killed in a car accident. The perpetrator paid a large sum of money after the matter was closed. His parents had no relatives, his mother only had a step-sister who she never got along with, and his father was an orphan.
The unrelated step-sister came to see Shen Si once, and after throwing out a sentence that he could call her, she left. This woman did not care about Shen Si, but also did not touch the compensation money of Shen Si’s parents.
The change came three years ago, Shen Si’s nominal aunt lost her only son. She and her husband went out to post a search notice when they were hit and killed by an out-of-control truck. From then on, Shen Si became the only person in his family, but also became a loner in the eyes of the people of his hometown. Shen Si had little attachment to his hometown, so he stayed here to work after graduating from college, until now.
“You are indeed my cousin, although we have never met. Just read this, if you don’t believe me.” The teenager hurriedly dug out a household register book from the back of his school bag and handed it to Shen Si. Shen Si was slightly hesitant. Under the teenager’s serious gaze, he took the register and turned a page, and ended up seeing his aunt’s name on it.
…That woman’s son who disappeared?
“Xi Luo?” Shen Si looked at him, “You are a Survivor?”
“That’s right.” Xi Luo eyes were a little dark, “That day I was waiting for the shuttle bus to pick me up from school that day. I was just about to walk to the bus stop when suddenly, my eyes went black, and when I opened my eyes again I was in that world. Until some time ago, when the unlimited flow world collapsed and I came back here with all the other people. After coming out I went to look for mom and dad, and the result…”
It turned out that his mom and dad had died in a car accident, and after they died, the only one left alive, his grandfather, couldn’t accept the blow and drank pesticides that night.
“Mr. Policeman checked the information for me, and finally found that only you are still here. I came to you, hoping that you can be my guardian.” Xi Luo was clutching the register in his hand. Although his expression was calm, Shen Si saw a little helplessness in his eyes, “A Survivor must have a guardian to watch over them until they are 18 years old, and I will be an adult in one year. I promise I won’t give you any trouble!”
Shen Si stared at Xi Luo expressionlessly, and after a moment he sighed, took the key out of his pocket and opened the door, “Come in.”
After a slight hesitation, Xi Luo lowered his head and followed him in, holding his household register, the warmth in the room seeping into his whole body.
Shen Si went to the kitchen to pour two glasses of water, and when he came out, Xi Luo was already sitting on the sofa, so he could get a good look at Xi Luo’s face.
The cousin he had never met before had inherited that woman’s good looks, and although he had only met her once, he could easily find traces of her on Xi Luo’s face, and knew this was indeed that person’s son.
“Drink water.” Shen Si handed him the cup.
“Thanks.” When Xi Luo took the cup, he looked cold. His hands trembled slightly after touching the hot water, but he looked calm, sensible to the point of excess whether facing him or talking about his situation. That world had turned even a child into this.
Very cruel indeed.
“Have you eaten dinner?”
Xi Luo froze slightly, and after a moment he shook his head, “I’ve been here since the afternoon, and I haven’t left because I was afraid you’d come back suddenly.”
“The person who told you to come didn’t tell you I was working?” Shen Si handed him the lunchbox he brought back for dinner, “Eat it.”
“But isn’t that yours?”
“I’ll get more afterwards.” Shen Si pointed to the second bedroom next to him, “You can stay in the second bedroom from now on, until you’re an adult.”
Xi Luo blinked, seemingly not expecting it to go so well. He remained stunned for a few seconds before picking up the dinner lunchbox on the table and starting to eat it. Shen Si turned around and walked out of the room, he was used to living alone, so there was no extra bedding in the house. Hopefully the supermarket next to the neighborhood hadn’t closed yet.
The autumn breeze was so cold that Shen Si stuck his hands in his jacket pockets, but even so his hands were cold and a white mist came out of his mouth with his breath.
The temperature had reached below zero, right?
He thought Survivors would be far away from him, after all, he was on his own since he was very young, going to school alone and working alone, and he even thought he would die alone. He never thought that, in just two days, there would be three Survivors around him.
The missing neighbor, the ‘sick and dead’ childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, and the cousin who was suspected of being sex trafficked.
Survivors should not be so common.
He bought new bedding and toothbrush before the supermarket closed, Shen Si asked for two fried dumplings that were already cold and on sale. For Xi Luo’s age he would probably eat a lot, so that bento should not be enough for him. Carrying the things back to his home, he was just out of the elevator door when Shen Si’s footsteps stopped.
Bai JunYi stood in front of his house, as if looking at something interesting.
“Good evening.” Bai JunYi smiled and Shen Si greeted him back, then he very naturally walked to the door of his house, “It must be hard getting off work so late, good work.”
Shen Si shook his head, “Was Mr. Bai planning to look for me just now?”
“No, just felt a little bit out of sorts.” Bai JunYi smiled gently as he pointed to Shen Si’s door, “It seems like there’s a scary guy in there, has Shen Si taken in a fierce beast?”
“Scary guy? A fierce beast?” Shen Si repeated in confusion.
“Just a metaphor, no need to care.” Bai JunYi opened the door with his key, “In any case, good night.”
Shen Si was slightly puzzled as he opened the door to his room, Xi Luo was still sitting in his original position, just slightly fidgeting. The TV in front of him was on, but his attention was not on it, instead, it was on the other side of the wall, the wall closest to the home of his neighbor Bai JunYi.
“You’re back.” Xi Luo hurriedly stood up from the sofa.
Shen Si put the things in his hands on the table, then went to the kitchen to heat up the cold fried dumplings. Xi Luo followed him, and he helped Shen Si put away the things and also tidy the kitchen before he asked, “Brother, is there a Survivor living next door to you?”
“Yes, it’s the neighbor who disappeared three years ago.”
“Three years?” Xi Luo murmured in a small voice, looking like he was deep in thought.
Shen Si turned his head to look at him, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, but brother, how is your neighbor’s personality?”
“He used to be a teacher, now he’s getting ready to open a flower shop, he has a great personality and has always been the most popular teacher in the elementary school.” Shen Si set the time one the microwave, “Do all Survivors sense each other? Just now Mr. Bai also seemed to have sensed you.”
Xi Luo slightly shook his head, “Generally between the Survivors we will not sense one another, because some games will arrange ghosts and monsters hidden among the group, requiring the Survivor to find the fake. If we could sense each other, this game would not continue. To be able to detect that something is amiss can only mean that there may be some attribute mismatch between the two of us.”
Shen Si didn’t quite understand, but he was not curious about the Survivors, so he didn’t ask anything else.
At 10 o’clock in the evening, the news broadcast announced the rank division of Survivors. The number of returned Survivors was too much and the information could not be kept secret, so in order to prevent rumors spreading indiscriminately, the government opened a forum dedicated to Survivors and posted the most important information on it.
They would publish the information of the only three S-Rank Survivors in the country, and foreign countries would also publish their domestic S-Rank Survivor information at the same time.
Shen Si registered to that forum, but because the traffic was too much, he was kicked offline many times. After the registration and the real name authentication was finally done, he opened that post. The post didn’t allow replies, and the only information there was the three S-Rank Survivors’ details.
Light God Bai JunYi, S-Rank Survivor.
Sorrowful Ghost Jian Nian, S-Rank Survivor.
Dark Night Manipulator Xi Luo, S-Rank Survivor.
Shen Si: …
Did he read the wrong names?