Xue Zi Xuan Extra:
After his sister’s death, Xue Zi Xuan realized that he was a monster. That year, he was only eleven years old, and he practiced in the piano room every day in order to participate in the Chopin International Piano Competition. He remembered, one day, his mother suddenly rushed in and choked, “Zi Xuan, your sister passed away, go see her.”
He walked out of the piano room to find that his home had already been arranged into a funeral hall, his less than a year old sister lying in a small coffin, wrapped in new swaddling. She was born with erythroblastosis, and still passed away after several months of treatment. His mother was lying on the table, crying bitterly, yelling out his sister’s name with heart wrenching wails. His father was silently crying, his eyes red, his expression similarly grief-stricken. Xue Zi Xuan touched his heart, but it truly was awfully tranquil. He couldn’t feel their grief, he couldn’t blend in with this family. When they were busy rushing back and forth to treat his sister’s illness, he never even asked about her well-being.
“Take a good look at her! What’s that look on your face? Don’t you feel sad?” His mother had apparently noticed his abnormality, she pressed his indifferent face to the small coffin, so he could look at his dead sister’s face. He stared at her indifferently, his eyes dry, after a long time, his mother let him go and regarded him with new, doubtful eyes.
After his sister’s burial, his mother took him to visit a psychiatrist, from then on, he started a five-year treatment. He slowly accepted the fact that he was a monster would couldn’t feel empathy, such people couldn’t understand the feelings of others, didn’t understand what it was to feel their sadness or joy. He had scoffed at this, because he knew that music could make him feel sad, and even make him feel happy. In the world of music, he was complete.
But many years later, when that fated boy appeared, he understood what it was to feel truly complete. Prior to this, his world was black and white, like the jumping piano keys, but after his arrival, the world’s most beautiful colors were brought into his monochrome world, loveliness and beauty that he had never appreciated before.
His mother was suffering from depression, and even had suicidal tendencies, in order to help alleviate her condition, his father adopted a baby girl. But unfortunately, when the girl was three-years-old, she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease. Because Xue family already had one dead daughter, they refused to give up on another, so his parents spared no effort for her treatment. Xue Zi Xuan already understood that he was different from ordinary people, and had learned to cover it up. Even though he felt nothing for this sister, he reluctantly accepted her intimacy, but this eventually led to a habit of wearing gloves, which was his last layer of defense.
When she was six years old, her piano talent started showing, and he saw her for the first time, he even thought that she’d appeared in Xue family by the will of heaven. He was willing to teach every talented child, and he looked forward to their growth. The country needed more people to uphold music, because it was the only place that could make him feel emotions, it was his bridge to the real world. If there was no music, it felt like he was living in a vacuum, and would eventually suffocate.
As his sister grew to sixteen years old, her heart gradually became unable to support her increasingly maturing body. When his father asked him to secretly bring her twin brother back to Xue house, he knew what they were going to do, but he didn’t feel anything. His sister needed a healthy heart, and someone could provide such a heart, that was all.
The first time he met the boy was in a rundown loess cave, to tell the truth, the first impression was not good. He never imagined that the waxy skinned, yellow dirt stained boy standing in front of him would became his most beautiful dream, and his most regretful predestined fate. On the way back to the capital, he didn’t say a word to him, and after he took him back to Xue house, he treated him with extreme apathy and warned him, one, don’t touch me; two, don’t call me brother. After all the dust settled, he often recalled this sentence, and felt like his bones were being crushed and his heart was being clawed out.
The boy looked up at him, his black eyes full of fear and confusion, faint tears glittering in his eyes, as if he would cry at any moment. Every night, every night for the rest of his life he dreamed of being able to travel back to that point in time, to hold the boy tightly in his arms and tell him in the gentlest tone. “You can, you can do anything to me. Don’t be scared, I’ll protect you.”
But in reality, he’d done nothing for him. He threw him to his scheming family and left, until he came back home after his tour and found him sitting before the piano. He couldn’t believe that it was the first time the boy had touched a piano, his ‘Good Morning’ made him feel as if he was smelling the fresh morning dew and the dawn, the exhaustion from the long journey immediately dispersing. That was the first time he’d truly looked into the boy’s eyes, suddenly realizing that they were extremely beautiful eyes, and as he stared deeper into those eyes, it felt as if he could glimpse another gorgeous world in his bottomless pupils.
That world was so mysterious that it fascinated him. He began teaching the boy to play piano, and was forever captured. The boy was even more outstanding than he’d imagined, and when he sat in front of the piano, cheerfully dancing his with fingers, he simply couldn’t look away from him. He was like a magnificent bridge, like a surging tide, charging into his heart with irresistible force.
When he saw the boy fondly lying on Xue Yan’s knees and chatting happily with him, he felt jealousy. He hated his original self for being so indifferent to him, turning his heart away from him and letting him give it to another. If he’d taken care of him after bringing him back to Xue house, and listened to his anxiousness and confusion, maybe he would’ve become the most important person in his life.
But this ‘maybe’ had never existed from the start. When his sister and parents squeezed and exploited the boy, he gradually became conscious of why he’d originally brought him back. The boy stood on the Vienna Golden Hall’s stage, shocking the world with his superb skills, but also shattering his heart. The boy’s tears and sweat that had sprinkled onto the keys had also fallen onto his heart, watering a seed called love, letting it quickly take root and sprout. His barren, desert-like heart was gradually covered in green vines and beautiful flowers, and each flower was condensed from his love for the boy and his music.
He was a lovely high note, he was the most beautiful melody, and also the most touching love song. Through him, he realized the beauty and warmth of the real world. He ran onto the stage and firmly embraced him, announcing to the world that he was his pride. If he could, he wanted to freeze time at the moment of their embrace.
The boy made his hollow chest grow a heart, gushing out blood, becoming a flesh and blood man capable of feeling. However, wherever life had a beautiful side, there was naturally an ugly side. When he brought the boy back to Xue house, he was once again suddenly conscious of his original purpose for bringing him there.
His sister asked him if he wanted her to live, this sentence made his blood condense into ice. He naturally wanted her to live, but if he could only choose one, he knew which one he would choose. He tried to protect him, but it was all too late.
The boy seemed to notice something off about the family, escaping Xue house that night. He both wanted to bring him back, and hoped he would never come back. But as long as he recalled him lying on Xue Yan knees and smiling brightly, he couldn’t restrain his jealousy. At that time, the boy’s eyes were full of countless stars, floating across one by one, forming a bright light stream. His greatest wish was for that stream to envelop him too one day.
He endured for three days, almost going mad from desperately missing him. When his father decided to bring the boy back, he was ecstatic, and anxiously impatient.
But then reality gave him the hardest blow. The boy had unexpectedly joined with Xue Yan, and while he was still fretting and hesitant, they had made a commitment for a happy future. He didn’t know how to get away from Xue family, he woke up from nightmares every day. Xue Yan had found out about their plot, his father was extremely panicked, but he was only concerned about whether the boy had also found out the truth. What he craved most was the boy’s love and attention, and what he feared most was the boy’s hatred. However, he not only didn’t get his love, he could possibly be confronted with his hatred.
Who would fall in love with someone trying to kill them? This was his original sin that he would never be able to wash away. He hid in his room, clutching his throbbing heart, he clearly had a healthy body, but he was experiencing the gut wrenching pain of his sister’s heart attacks, wishing for death. When the boy returned to Xue house, every cell in his body was clamoring in longing, but he didn’t even have the courage to look him in the face.
He was afraid to see hate and resistance in his pure, watery eyes. Hate was a knife, it would cut his mind and soul into pieces. However, beneath the pain and suffering he felt a trace of relief: It’s good the boy got away, now he can’t be hurt. But in the end, he’d underestimated his sister’s determination, when he received the butler’s warning message, he almost dropped the phone.
He rushed home as fast as he could, but it was still too late. Seeing the boy’s bloody chest wound, he felt like his own body was cut. When the police brought him out, his reoccurring nightmare had already become reality. The boy was hiding behind Xue Yan, and looking at him with fear and hate.
At that moment, the green vines and beautiful flowers in his heart all withered, once again barren. The bloody wind assaulted his face, almost choking him. In that moment, the gorgeous and magnificent world he was able to peep into had completely closed. The blissful future he’d imagined countless times had become unending hopelessness. It was at this moment that he realized what it truly meant to lose the boy’s trust.
It was a dead silence more terrible than death.
The doctor told him that his hands couldn’t be healed to their previous condition, but he didn’t feel anything. These hands were destroyed to save the boy, this thought brought him unprecedented satisfaction, he even looked at the bloody bandages with gratefulness. Before that, he’d never done anything for him, now, he was willing to pay everything for him. He tried his best to cooperate with the police investigation, and confessed in court. He’d stared at the plaintiff seat, hoping the boy would look at him, even if it was with hate.
But he was still disappointed, the boy’s hatred had reached a point where even looking at him was nauseating.
He lowered his head and told himself that this was the retribution he deserved. Xue Jia collapsed, and Xue Rui’s company was annexed by Xue Yan. Part of its assets was used to cover debts, part was used to compensate for the boy’s mental trauma. Xue Zi Xuan was the world’s former top pianist, he had quite a lot of savings. He refused the agent’s proposal to sell the mansion, the boy had lived here for at least a year, if he moved, he would lose his last connection to him.
Now, his outcome could be considered as ‘a complete defeat and fall from grace’ and ‘ruined and orphaned’. Because of ligament rupture, even holding a pen was difficult, not to mention playing the piano. If it was the past, he would certainly be unable to face such despair, but now, he was quite peaceful, because he was paying for his crimes. He seemed to have lost everything, but only he knew, the burning love that filled his heart had not even been slightly reduced, instead, with the passage of time, it grew more and more intense, and it was enough to keep him living. He sat in front of the TV and unblinkingly stared at the boy’s performance with Ivanov.
After the attempted murder, the boy was known as the tragic genius, his amazing talent and rough life made everyone fanatically love him. In fact, he was worthy of this love. He performed so well, the audience stood up and applauded, and many of the invited war veterans even burst into tears. A long time later, after the boy’s figure had long disappeared from the screen, Xue Zi Xuan wiped away his cold tears, and walked to his desk. Then he drew music notes using the burning love that overflowed from his heart.
He edited it over and over again, spending a full five years to compose the song ‘Forever’. Then, with apprehension and excitement, he mailed it to the boy who had already grown into a piano master, no, he should be called a young man. He was still so handsome, his clear and bright eyes also hadn’t change. He behaved more and more low-key, often not appearing in public for a year or two, unless there was a major performance. Xue Yan had treated his legs, and every time they bustled through a crowd, he would embrace his shoulder protectively, and even reach out to hold his waist, his smile especially contented. There was a lot of speculation about their relationship, but no one dared to be too excessive.
Xue Zi Xuan collected all the media photos of the two, cutting out Xue Yan’s face, and made an album. The belief that kept him alive was – Perhaps one day, that boy will personally play ‘Forever’ as a memorial to his love. However, Xue Zi Xuan waited for a lifetime, in the end, he couldn’t wait any longer. He laid on a hospital bed, a needle piercing the back of his wrinkled hand, hooked up to a ventilator.
He pulled off the ventilator and took a difficult breath. His vision started to blur, and he seemed to return to the beginning, when he was a young man, walking down the muddy path and into the boy’s dilapidated cave. Seeing the boy’s dirty face, his bright, star-filled eyes widening in wonder as he looked at him, he couldn’t help but smile. He walked over, unhesitantly pulled the dirt stained boy into his arms, and piously kissed his forehead, sighing, “I’m here. This time, I’ll protect you. Can we start again?”
The boy nodded ignorantly, his dark pupils vividly reflecting his figure.
In a longed for, magnificent fantasy, Xue Zi Xuan contentedly left the world.
Predestined fate- 劫數 –Kalpa, Wikipedia “a Sanskrit word meaning an aeon, or a relatively long period of time (by human calculation) in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology.”
This is the longest chapter of the novel btw
This extra is part of Chap 15.1 in the raws.
Next Chapter: Hilarity ensues