For the following days, Zhou Yun Sheng continued trying to guide Xue Jing Yi to tell him the truth, but disappointingly, no, perhaps as expected, she slowly went from tangled pain to numbness, her nervous, flickering gaze becoming more and more tranquil.
She quietly dialed her private doctor’s phone, and asked him whether she could live if she didn’t do the surgery, but the doctor gave her a negative answer after a long silence.
“I’m recuperating nicely, never too angry, never too happy. I can live a quiet life, won’t that work? I don’t want to use someone else’s heart.” She exclaimed tearfully.
The doctor answered her with a long sigh.
She cried until she grew tired, then hung up the phone. Because of the excessive emotional ups and downs, her heart began to pound in bursts of pain. At first she propped herself up stiffly to endure it, then fell down a few minutes later, feebly calling out, “Fu Bo, Xiao Deng, medicine, my medicine!”
Nurse Xiao Deng wasn’t far away, she quickly ran over to give her the medicine, then promptly laid her flat on the ground, undid her top few buttons, and held her head up so she could keep breathing unimpeded.
The old steward immediately called the private doctor, but the other side was already on his way after getting a bad premonition from the phone call. They brought Xue Jing Yi back to her room for treatment. Fortunately, Xue Jia had deep pockets, their home had all sorts of medical equipment, and in order to perform the top secret surgery to give his daughter a new heart, Xue Rui had even remodeled the underground garage into a very advanced operating room.
Busy until eight or nine o’clock that night, Xue Jing Yi’s situation finally began to improve. The doctor didn’t tell the old butler about her phone call and break down today, he just gave a few random explanations and left. When he met a boy who looked exactly like Xue Jing Yi downstairs, his eyes seemed to ooze coldness like a scalpel.
Zhou Yun Sheng slightly nodded, and made way for the doctor to leave first. He put down a bowl of congee by Xue Jing Yi’s bedside and softly said, “Jing Yi, do you feel any better? Eat something if you feel a little better, or your body will feel very weak.”
The old butler picked up the congee bowl, and asked with an expressionless face, “Mr. Huang, who authorized you to use the kitchen?” At present, the adults in the house were only him, Xiao Deng and the male assistant, all the cooking natural fell on his head. He didn’t know when Huang Yi had the opportunity to learn to use the kitchen supplies, so he was feeling very angry and uneasy. He would never allow the Miss to even touch food made by Huang Yi.
“I didn’t do it, it was Mr. Assistant.” Zhou Yun Sheng waved, his expression was very innocent.
The old butler was still very harsh, he told him, “In the future, these things need not be done by Mr. Huang, taking care of the Miss is our responsibility.”
“But aren’t I her brother?”
The steward didn’t answer, he only smiled contemptuously and took the bowl away. He had to re-prepare dinner for the Miss.
Xue Jing Yi was lying on the bed, woodenly staring at the gorgeous crystal lights overhead. She knew that her hopes for survival would be slim without surgery. Her blood type was the very rare HH, which was commonly known as the Bombay blood group, the whole country had more than a billion people, but only 34 people had her blood type. Except for this boy, she might never find a second person who would match successfully with her.
“Jing Yi, I feel like your family doesn’t like me, maybe I should leave.” Zhou Yun Sheng scrunched his brows and complained.
“No, don’t leave!” In an instant, Xue Jing Yi went from a state of numbness to wide awake, she forcefully gripped the boy’s thin wrist, her nails digging deep into his flesh, and begged, “Don’t go, stay with me! You’re my only family!”
The closer she was to survival, the more scared she was of death, even she had to admit that she was a selfish coward.
I don’t know anything, I really don’t know anything, I never saw that report! She kept hypnotizing herself, and her sad and painful expression slowly became calm.
Zhou Yun Sheng understood that she was doing psychological build up. At such a thought, he realized that the same thing had happened in the previous life, Xue Jing Yi was recovering very well, but after an inexplicable attack, she’d woken up and grabbed his hand, staring at him with eyes full of tears, as if she had greatly wronged him.
Had she also discovered the truth at that time? Human nature was indeed really selfish. Zhou Yun Sheng patted the back of her hand in appeasement, “All right, I won’t leave, I was just casually complaining. Whenever Fu Bo speaks to me, it’s always yin and yang, and Mr. Assistant and Xiao Deng just ignore me.”
“Don’t get angry, I’ll speak to them.” Xue Jing Yi gave him a weak smile.
From that day on, Xue Jing Yi’s attitude towards Zhou Yun Sheng underwent a fundamental change. She no longer guarded against him, instead, she did everything she could to treat him well, as if to make up for something. She talked to Fu Bo and the others, asking them to treat her brother as best as they could.
There was no doubt that her efforts were making Zhou Yun Sheng very comfortable, except for the more and more feminine clothes he had to wear, nothing was unsatisfactory.
Probably because of the peaceful mood, Xue Jing Yi’s physical condition slowly improved, after a month, she could occasionally go for a walk around the garden. Zhou Yun Sheng tried to accompany her, but she rejected him.
Subconsciously, she didn’t want to have Zhou Yun Sheng and herself be seen in the same place, it would make the neighbors doubtful. But in order to make up for this, she agreed when Zhou Yun Sheng asked to wander around the golf course alone.
While he cheerfully hopped and skipped around on the lawn, Xue Jing Yi stayed in her room, observing him through the curtain gap. She admired him for his healthy body, bright smile, and bright future. However, she should also have these things.
“Don’t look Miss, you’ll feel better.” Fu Bo pulled in all the curtains, then walked outside to call Zhou Yun Sheng back in, he handed him the counterfeit residence certificate and identity card, “Sir has already finished your household registration, but the school’s summer vacation begins in a month, so it’s best to start school next semester.”
“Okay, I know, I wouldn’t be able to follow the classes if I went now anyway.” Zhou Yun Sheng nodded cutely, then picked up the ID card and looked at it, his expression turned a bit surprised.
“Xue Jin Yi, this is my new name?”
“Of course, Sir adopted you, you naturally need to take the Xue surname, please completely forget your original name. I’ll keep the household registration and identity card for you, before you lose it.” The old butler took the items back and unhurriedly left, he didn’t think the boy would be willing to abandon his past.
Zhou Yun Sheng stared at his thin back, grinning like a little devil. He certainly knew why Xue family got him a name pronounced exactly like Xue Jing Yi’s name. Xue Jia, whether good or bad, was a distinguished family, having huge influence in China. The house was naturally quiet when Xue Rui and the others were out, but when they came back, it was unavoidable for them to hold a variety of banquets, inviting celebrities from all walks of life.
In order to prevent the guests from inadvertently meeting the boy and questioning things, they’d fully prepared. They not only transformed his appearance, they also took away his name, letting him live in Xue Jing Yi’s shadow. When Xue Jing Yi needed it, he would completely disappear.
Zhou Yun Sheng chewed on his new name, his hatred insuppressible.
Xue Jing Yi learned that the boy was renamed Xue Jin Yi, and was even more responsive to him, often staring at his profile in a trance, her eyes filled with tears.
That day, she was practicing her finger positions in the piano room, because of her long-term bedridden-ness, she felt very rusty, and had to stop several times to adjust her condition.
“What are you doing?” Zhou Yun Sheng reclined on the door frame.
“I’m practicing piano. Do you want to learn? I can teach you.” Seeing the boy’s curious look, Xue Jing Yi waved him over with a smile.
“Let me see it first, I’ll be able to repeat it.” Zhou Yun Sheng moved a chair to sit beside the girl and boasted.
“Well, then please look carefully.” Xue Jing Yi pursed her lips and smiled.
Cheerful piano tinkling resounded in the piano room, improving the mood of anyone who heard it. Zhou Yun Sheng obediently sat, then started swaying and nodding to the music, obviously happy.
Xue Jing Yi saw his lively look, and started playing more vigorously. She hadn’t been so happy for a long time.
They were so involved in playing, they didn’t notice Xue Zi Xuan quietly standing in the doorway. He had just arrived home today, and had wanted to go back to his room for a hot bath, when his sister’s music attracted him over.
The emotional grasp was very accurate, but the skills were lacking. But no matter what, skills could be remedied through training, but perception and emotional input required talent. His sister was very musically talented, he was most proud of her for this aspect. Xue Zi Xuan secretly nodded in approval, and waved his hand to let Fu Bo take his baggage back to the room.
“Nice?” After the song finished, Xue Jing Yi asked with anticipation.
“Very nice.” Zhou Yun Sheng nodded.
“Did you learn it?” Xue Jing Yi deliberately teased him. She didn’t think that the boy could learn to play the piano after only seeing it played once, unless he was a genius.
But unfortunately, Zhou Yun Sheng was precisely such a genius. Playing the piano was like writing a program, just using a few keystrokes to create a rich rhythm and assemble a combination, not to mention that he had a super photographic memory.
“Scooch over, I’ll play for you.” Zhou Yun Sheng switched into Xue Jing Yi’s position, then sat in front of the piano, casually pressing two keys.
Xue Jing Yi clutched her mouth and giggled, but soon, she couldn’t laugh anymore. Strings of a familiar melody overflowed from the boy’s flying fingertips, and the sound was lighter and more agile than her own performance.
His eyelids twitching, his expression intoxicated, his slender fingers skipping over the black and white piano keys, the sound was meandering and melodious, like a Kingfisher’s cry. It was sometimes gentle, like slowly blooming flowers, and sometimes lively like dripping dew. The first section ended, then he entered the second section, which had a faster rhythm, he bowed his back, pounding the keys, like countless raindrops falling on lush green grass, overflowing a blue lake, stirring up a small flower with a spray of water.
Early summer morning, the scenery as beautiful as a paradise. The teenager used the invisible piano sound to draw out such a vivid, magnificent paradise.
Not only did Xue Jing Yi freeze to listen in closely, even Xue Zi Xuan was intoxicated, unable to extricate himself.
At the end of the song, Zhou Yun Sheng placed his hand on his lap and asked, “Did I play it wrong?”
“You’ve never learned to play the piano before?” Before Xue Jing Yi could answer, Xue Zi Xuan strode in, looking into the boy’s eyes for the first time.
“I’ve never learned, I can repeat anything I see.” Zhou Yun Sheng stared at his hands, falling into a scene from the past life.
Last life, Xue Zi Xuan had also come back on this day, and Xue Jing Yi had taught him to play the piano. At that time, it was only his second reincarnation, except for hacking, he hadn’t mastered any other skills. But he was extremely smart, boasting that playing the piano was a piece of cake, after seeing Xue Jing Yi’s performance, he made a perfect copy.
But Xue Zi Xuan’s attitude then was completely different from now. He’d walked over and fiercely closed the piano cover, almost crushing his fingers still placed on the keys.
When he cried out in pain, the man had warned him word by word, “Your sound is like a lifeless corpse, emitting a rotten, disgusting smell. If you touch the piano again, I’ll break your hands.” Then he turned and left, and never looked at him again.
At that time, Zhou Yun Sheng inwardly cursed Xue Zi Xuan as a pervert, nitpick, and firmly believed that his performance was perfect. Until much later, when he finally got rid of the villain system’s control, and dared to pour his emotions into the reincarnations, sincerely falling in love. Then he finally understood Xue Zi Xuan’s meaning.
His music had no emotions, a lifeless corpse missing a soul, perhaps a layman couldn’t see the problem, but to Xue Zi Xuan, he’d felt discomfort from the first note.
Xue Zi Xuan was extremely cold, he felt no empathy, had no sense of morality, no sense of right and wrong, like a grotesque character living in a black and white silent film. So when Xue Rui told him to bring Huang Yi back, he knew that his father wanted to dig the boy’s heart out, but he had no problem with it.
The only thing that made his life feel vivid and hot was music. Once infused with enough touching music, his cold heart would became soft and tender, and vice versa, if someone defiled music, he’d fly into a rage. He would never envy more talented musicians, in his view, they were the world’s most valuable assets. He worshiped them, upholds them, and subconsciously learns from them.
As a result, Xue Zi Xuan had an excellent reputation and high popularity in the music industry. Every year, he donated a large sum of money to music institutions in order to train more talented future musicians.
Xue Zi Xuan rarely looked into other people’s eyes, but now, he walked up to the boy and towered over him, his formidable gaze scorching.
“I’ve never learned to play the piano. My family was poor, that was beyond our means.” Zhou Yun Sheng stood up, he looked uneasy, but in fact, he was enjoying the other side’s attention. Gaining Xue Zi Xuan’s interest was his main purpose today. If you want a game to be more fun, then you must create contradictions and conflicts, Xue Zi Xuan was his tool to disrupt the Xue family.
Xue Zi Xuan nodded, eyes burning hotter. He knew about Huang Yi’s family circumstance, it’d be strange if he’d ever seen a piano before, how could he learn to play it? But if he could play it to this extent after only listening to it once, then his musical talent was probably beyond his own.
When he realized this, Xue Zi Xuan didn’t feel narrow-minded jealousy, on the contrary, he was very happy, no, perhaps excitement was a more appropriate description. He took pleasure in immersing himself in beautiful music, it made him feel like his heart was still pounding, his blood was still flowing. He hoped mankind could create more and more wonderful music, to make the world a more beautiful place to live.
He gave a faint, unprecedented smile and asked, “How did you feel when you played that song just now?”
Zhou Yun Sheng said with a slightly hoarse voice, “It felt just like getting up early in the morning and breathing in the first batch of fresh air, I’m happy and very motivated.”
Xue Zi Xuan stretched out his hand to pat the boy’s hair and saw him shift his head to avoid it, but his pleasant mood wasn’t affected.
“Your feelings are right, that song is called ‘Good Morning’. I’ll play another song, please look.” He sat in front of the piano, took off his white silk gloves, and carefully played.
There was no doubt that his skill was far greater than his contemporary musicians, his understanding of life was morbid and abnormal, but precisely because of this morbid and abnormal outlook, his music brought out indescribable impact, and this impact could directly attack the audience’s souls.
He gained more and more achievements, going farther and farther, until everyone was left behind. But no one knew how strong the loneliness he felt in his heart, he was eager to have a partner who could resonate with him, one who could shake his soul with their music.
The magnificent sound echoed in the air for a long time, at the end of the song, he withdrew his hands and looked towards the younger man, “Did you learn it?”
“Good, now play it for me again.” Xue Zi Xuan left the main position.
Xue Jing Yi sat on the side lines and watched their interactions, her tinted purple fingertips forcefully squeezing her clothes. She knew she shouldn’t, but she still hoped that the boy couldn’t finish playing, so her brother wouldn’t cast such a gentle and focused gaze on him.
She remembered when she was younger, her brother never looked at her, but one day, when she excitedly played a minuet for him, he picked her up and smiled at her for the first time, “That’s our Xue family.” Because of that song, he acknowledged her presence in his family, which showed how much he favored people with musical talent.
If the boy’s talent transcended hers, maybe her brother would like him better than herself. Her heart writhed with a strong sense of crisis, she tugged on his clothes and shouted, “Big brother, my chest hurts!”
Xue Zi Xuan immediately picked her up and carried her to the bedroom, but he didn’t forget to leave an instruction in passing, “Wait for me in the piano room tomorrow.”
Zhou Yun Sheng nodded, and also followed them up.
Xue Jing Yi’s heart really started aching at these words. She could stop it once, but she couldn’t stop it for a lifetime, if she revealed her selfish thoughts, her brother would feel disgusted by her. She laid in bed, her weary expression revealing unease and alarm.
When the doctors left, Zhou Yun Sheng quietly opened the door and slipped in, he asked, “Jing Yi, what type of illness do you have, why do you always faint?”
“It’s nothing, I just had poor nutrition as a baby, my body is relatively weak.” Xue Jing Yi’s lying skill was growing deeper, when she faced the boy, there was some guilt, but it thinned day by day, especially after today.
“Then rest well.” Zhou Yun Sheng sympathetically touched the girl’s pale cheek, felt her muscles instantly stiffen, and a touch of ridicule slipped across his eyes.
The next day, Zhou Yun Sheng woke up early and entered the piano room, Xue Jing Yi was already sitting in front of the piano, playing the song Xue Zi Xuan had played yesterday. And the end, she anticipatingly looked up, “Brother, have I improved?”
“More practice.” Xue Zi Xuan’s tone was indifferent. This level of musical talent couldn’t move him, but it wouldn’t make him feel disgust either. Although his sister had no blood relationship with him, she miraculously had Xue family’s unique musical talent. If her physical condition allowed it, some hard training for a few years should bring about great achievements.
“You, come over and play it again.” He waved at the young man standing in the doorway.
Xue Jing Yi slowly left the seat, subconsciously patting her chest, she couldn’t pretend to be sick today.
Zhou Yun Sheng wiped his palms on his clothes, then slowly positioned his fingers over the corresponding keys. The past Zhou Yun Sheng was ignorant about playing the piano, and because he was under the system’s control, he was reluctant to reveal his true emotions, so he’d destroyed one of the world’s most moving and beautiful musical platforms with a blunt imitation. But the current Zhou Yun Sheng was no longer the same person.
He gotten rid of the system’s shackles, broken the barrier around his heart, and experienced the deepest sorrow, but also received the most extreme pleasure. Regardless of what kind of emotion he needed to express with music, he could render it vividly, like summer rains, winter snow, spring sun, autumn breeze, he could use music to build a fantasy or realistic world.
This song was called ‘The Ocean’, it described scenes of schools of fish frolicking in the deep sea. Zhou Yun Sheng closed his eyes and adjusted his mood to the best state before playing.
The boy’s whole body was surrounded by brilliant sunshine, his fingers lifted and fell, drawing out mottled light and shadow, as if countless silvery white fish were swimming across. He pressed hard to create choppy tides, tapping gently to let the tides quietly fall back. His flexible fingertips flowed across the keys quickly, as if the white dolphins were pursuing delicious sardines, creating whirlpools in their passing.
He reproduced the incomparable scenery of the deep sea with wonderful melodies.
Xue Jing Yi had covered her chest with her palm. The more melodious the boy’s sound, the more uneasy she felt, she couldn’t help but constantly peek at her brother’s expression, and found that he was watching the teenager with an indescribable, burning gaze, her heart twinging in pain the more she looked.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s fingertips gradually slowed down until completely resting, the tide slowly receded, revealing the soft, golden sands, the end of the play.
Xue Zi Xuan walked up to his side and hoarsely asked, “Do you like playing the piano?” He absolutely wouldn’t accept a negative answer, the boy had such amazing talent, he was born for music.
“Of course I like it.” Zhou Yun Sheng uneasily stood up.
“Good, from tomorrow on, you’ll learn to play the piano with me. Come here at six o’clock every morning.” He said in a commanding tone.
“Okay.” Zhou Yun Sheng nodded, his cheeks flushed.
“What’s your name?” Until this moment, Xue Zi Xuan really hadn’t acknowledged the boy’s existence.
“My name is Xue Jin Yi.”
“Xue Jing Yi?” Xue Zi Xuan frowned.
“It’s this Xue Jin Yi.” Zhou Yun Sheng spelled it out on his palm.
Xue Zi Xuan nodded and noticed his assistant beckoning him at the door, then remembered that he was scheduled to teach at the university today. He put on his coat, tidied his tie, and suddenly remembered something when he reached the doorway, he turned back and said, “My name is Xue Zi Xuan.”
Zhou Yun Sheng nodded dazedly.
As the black car drove down the gravel road, Xue Jing Yi stood by the window to watch, when the car was hidden behind the vast forest, she turned back to the young man, her voice strained, “Big brother really likes you.”
Zhou Yun Sheng blushed, tongue-tied, “R-Really? But I didn’t feel a thing.”
His plan was exactly that, make Xue Xi Xuan like him, like him more and more, until it was difficult to leave him.
Of course, this sentiment had nothing to do with love, but with faith. Xue Zi Xuan’s faith was music, and he just needed to make him see his musical talent as part of his faith. How to choose between family and faith? This was the biggest problem for music lover Xue Zi Xuan.