Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Xing Conglian’s body was full of the smell of gunpowder, coming from firearms and from the explosives that blew up the entire mine. This was probably the closest moment in Lin Chen’s life to the iron-blooded truth that was inherent in Xing Conglian. However, now, saying anything or asking any questions seemed redundant. Xing Conglian’s breathing gradually slowed down in Lin Chen’s ears, like hot milk soaked in honey, making him drowsy.
Lin Chen’s fingers gradually loosened, but when he was about to fall into a deep sleep, there seemed to be something in his heart reminding him. He shook his injured hand vigorously, and the pain made him suddenly awake. “Where’s Duan Yang? Is he still alive?”
He suddenly opened his eyes and asked.
Lin Chen’s subtle movements couldn’t escape Xing Conglian’s perception. Xing Conglian released his embrace and sat up on the edge of the bed, lifting Lin Chen’s swollen and almost rotten hand. His face immediately turned cold, but it wasn’t just because of the irritating metal ring on Lin Chen’s left finger. At least, that was what Xing Conglian told himself.
Lin Chen curled his fingers slightly. Although his movements were still nervous, he looked at Xing Conglian tenderly. “Don’t be angry. Wait for me to explain.”
Yes, damn love. Xing Conglian felt that Lin Chen’s skills were simply self-taught. In short, when Lin Chen looked at him with such a calm but affectionate gaze, he could only obediently pick up the headset he had just thrown on the ground to find out the latest progress.
At this moment, a violent pounding sounded on the door.
Although it was very clear that Wang Chao must’ve been eavesdropping outside, now that the teenager dared to pound on the door desperately, it meant there was an emergency.
“Boss, Boss, open the door!” Wang Chao’s weak voice came through the door.
Lin Chen also supported himself on the bed and wanted to sit up. Xing Conglian glared at the person on the bed, giving him a warning look, and went to open the door. Before he could speak, Wang Chao said, “Boss, Doctor Duan is dying.”
Xing Conglian took a deep breath. Although he knew that death might be a relief for Duan Wanshan, at this moment, he still felt that death was too fucking cruel that it let no one escape.
Suddenly, Lin Chen’s weak voice came from behind. “Doctor Duan… Which Duan?”
Xing Conglian turned around, only to see that Lin Chen’s face was two degrees paler than before. Even the blood in his lips had drained and looked no different than a sheet of paper.
He saw fear again in Lin Chen’s eyes—”Duan Wanshan?”
Lin Chen asked.
When hearing this name come from Lin Chen’s mouth, Xing Conglian also had a creepy feeling. After all, it was Lin Chen, and he had already guessed the answer just by looking at his expression.
“Take me there.” Lin Chen finally sat up with difficulty.
Wang Chao ran to the ground beside Lin Chen’s bed and squatted down in an instant, looking at a loss. “A’Chen Gege, why are you so badly injured? What are you going to do?”
Of course, Xing Conglian was unwilling to take Lin Chen to see Duan Wanshan. Lin Chen’s current situation was obviously not suitable for experiencing any kind of sad parting.
“Take me there.” Lin Chen insisted again. “If Duan Yang is still alive, please tell me to come back soon. Hurry up…”
Lin Chen’s voice trembled, but he forced himself to be calm. Obviously, he would stay wide-eyed and conscious even if someone held a gun to his temple and pulled the trigger. Xing Conglian’s expression darkened again. He walked to the head of Lin Chen’s bed and asked, “What if I say no?”
Lin Chen didn’t respond. He just grabbed Xing Conglian’s cuffs. Because he held it extremely hard, the blood mixed with pus flowed out of his palm.
Kang An’s voice came out of the headset. Xing Conglian listened for a moment and looked at Lin Chen, then said to the person at the other end of the headset, “Dr. Duan is dying. Under the premise of ensuring safety, take Duan Yang and withdraw as soon as possible.”
Before he finished speaking, Lin Chen spoke again. “For the time being, don’t tell Duan Yang that Dr. Duan is about to die.” Lin Chen spoke in a calm yet angry tone. “I’m afraid he will go crazy on the way, and it will be unsafe. Let them just withdraw as soon as possible.”
After Lin Chen finished speaking, he began to cough violently as he pulled himself up to get off the bed.
“Don’t tell Dr. Duan Yang the news about this. Just retreat as soon as possible.” Xing Conglian ordered according to Lin Chen’s request. Although he wanted to knock Lin Chen out immediately, he could only bend down, pick up the person, and rush out the door.
Duan Yang felt that something was happening.
He couldn’t quite describe the feeling, as if someone had hit him hard on the top of his head with a sledgehammer. Just a few minutes ago, the masked man who had kidnapped him all the way to Dana was neatly and cleanly killed by a stray bullet.
When Lu Jia died, he was lying on his back with his eyes wide open and had an unwilling expression. But the bullet took effect quickly, and he died before he could even say any last words. Without Lu Jia, Duan Yang was obviously unable to board the helicopter. At that moment, he looked up at the sky, completely bewildered. He had no idea what all this was for. The blast from the factory explosion knocked him to the ground. He lay there among the rubble, looking up at the indescribable sky, too lazy to even move a finger.
Now it seemed that Lin Chen’s death was meaningless, and he would perish as well.
Then, he heard a distant voice. Someone was calling his name.
He felt it was an auditory hallucination. He even thought it was his teacher calling him. The smoke in the sky seemed to converge into a face that was always serious and handsome at that moment. His teacher was wearing a formal, smoky gray suit and checkered cashmere scarf. He put his hand on his hand and corrected his less standardized stitching movements.
It was at this time that Duan Yang felt as if he had been hit hard by a hammer. He struggled to sit up from the ground. Because of the explosion, everything around him was quiet, leaving only the sound of the wall rumbling and collapsing. The next moment, he was pulled up by someone.
A face mixed with colorful paint appeared in front of him. The man showed a mouthful of snow-white teeth and asked him, “Are you Duan Yang?”
Duan Yang opened his mouth and found that he couldn’t speak, so he could only nod his head reluctantly.
“All right, come with me.” While talking, the man grabbed him and started running away. Duan Yang wanted to ask such questions as “Who are you” and “Why are you rescuing me”, but when there was a glimmer of hope, such bullshit questions weren’t important. He used all his strength to roar, “I still have a friend in that building. Can…”
“Are you stupid?!” The other party turned around. “Consultant Lin, right? Of course it’s him who asked me to save you!”
While running wildly, Duan Yang said excitedly, “Is Consultant Lin okay? He’s not in good health. Be careful not to let him get hurt again…”
Duan Yang rambled all the way, but as soon as he ran to the collapsed factory building, he obviously saw the person who led him to escape pause. The man gave him a deep look with strange eyes, and Duan Yang once again had a bad premonition in his heart. When the man was about to say something, he suddenly shut up and just said, “Hurry up. The boat is about to leave.”
When Lin Chen saw the dying patient on the bed in the room, he didn’t know how things had become like this. Someone must be playing a huge joke on him somewhere. Other than that, there was no explanation.
Wang Chao quickly dragged a backrest chair, and Xing Conglian laid him onto it. In fact, he really didn’t have any energy to maintain the sitting position at this time. Xing Conglian had no choice but to wrap his hands around Lin Chen again so that he could barely maintain his sitting posture.
At the beginning of everything, he had already heard their detailed description of Dr. Duan from Mrs. Jiang and Duan Yang. Lin Chen always felt that it should be a handsome doctor, gentle and polite, and maybe even the type that would make female patients blush when he looked at them. The person on the bed was really far from such descriptions in his memory.
Although he could barely see the handsome facial contours under the thin skin of the other person’s face, the teacher that Duan Yang dreamed of obviously shouldn’t be like this.
He bent down slightly and held Duan Wanshan’s withered fingers.
Duan Wanshan seemed to sense something. He forced his eyes to open and looked at Lin Chen with a gentle and calm look.
Although Duan Wanshan probably didn’t have the strength to speak, Lin Chen had the illusion of being looked into the depths of his soul with just his gaze at that moment.
He was so sad in his heart that he didn’t even know if he should tell Duan Wanshan about Duan Yang. This was a really difficult situation to deal with. If Duan Wanshan didn’t know about it, wouldn’t it be fine?
He looked at Xing Conglian helplessly, and Xing Conglian nodded at him.
Lin Chen turned his head and said to Duan Wanshan, “Duan Yang has been with me these days. We were kidnapped here by mistake, so… please hold on for a while longer. He will be here soon.”
The man on the snow-white sheet blinked, showing a wise and calm gaze. Lin Chen clearly saw the joy in his eyes for a moment, but the joy was replaced by despair and helplessness. “Oh, that’s really… unfortunate.”
Lin Chen didn’t know what to say. He could only hold Duan Wanshan’s hand and say, “He loves you dearly. Along the way, we were kidnapped… I have been using a book to trick him into having more faith. I told him that when a person’s faith is strong enough, he can do anything. And then he really believed it and kept talking and urging me to think of someone and to keep on living, repeating this topic over and over again.” Lin Chen glanced at Xing Conglian and said, “I think he did this because he thought it was effective. Whenever he thought of you, he was filled with the determination to survive.”
Duan Wanshan blinked, as if he understood everything. He looked at them with a smile. “Your pseudoscience…in my case…won’t work.”
Lin Chen found it difficult to breathe. “I know. Life and death are bound by fate, but please see him one last time.”
At this time, Xing Conglian stuffed the headset into his ear. The sounds of running and heavy breathing came clearly through the headset. Kang An was reporting their specific location at the other end.
At this moment, Lin Chen heard Duan Wanshan slowly say, in an extremely helpless tone, “Don’t you think…meeting like this…is too difficult…for…for…a dying person like me?”
Of course Lin Chen understood the difficulties Duan Wanshan was referring to. When he mentioned Duan Yang, the look in Duan Wanshan’s eyes already said everything.
He didn’t know what kind of twists and turns had led to this point, but when two people who were in love were forced to face separation and experience death without having the chance to express their feelings, any talk of “seeing each other for one last time” was meaningless and nothing but regret, so how could they not regret it?
Duan Wanshan seemed to see what he was thinking. He squeezed Lin Chen’s hand gently and said, “I won’t regret it. My life was very meaningful. Even if it’s Duan Yang, I believe I have taught him well.” Duan Wanshan looked at them and said, “Mr. Xing knows.”
Xing Conglian said coldly, “I know shit.”
“Then…Then…what about my requests?” Duan Wanshan asked with a smile.
“Why are you threatening me before you die?”
Lin Chen frowned and coughed in a low voice.
For some reason, Xing Conglian immediately said, “Okay, I promise you. Do you want to see your student for one last time?”
Duan Wanshan didn’t answer his question. He retracted his gaze and looked up at the ceiling. His thoughts seemed to float far away. Some very slight words overflowed from his mouth. After Lin Chen carefully identified them, he realized it should be a psalm.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
On one side were the sighs of Duan Wanshan, on the verge of death. On the other side were the sounds of bullets, running, and rapid breathing. Lin Chen felt like he was being torn apart.
He once again tightly held Duan Wanshan’s hand, but it seemed like no matter what he said, he couldn’t stop Duan Wanshan’s eyes from gradually closing.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
“Second floor, 204.” Lin Chen looked at Duan Wanshan’s face and informed the people on the other end of the headset.
The people at the end had already rushed into the cabin and were desperately pushing aside all the people in their way.
Duan Wanshan’s voice was getting lighter and lighter…
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
The sound of frantic footsteps was finally getting closer. Duan Wanshan’s voice was fading into nothingness.
The door opened wide, and Lin Chen felt a lightness in his hands.
He turned his head towards the door and looked. Duan Yang’s face was blurred in his vision…
The psalm that Duan Wanshan was quoting is Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare. You can read the full sonnet by going to the Wikipedia.
The sonnet is ultimately about how beauty will eventually fade, as in nature, everything beautiful will decline due to nature’s course because it’s always changing. However, that beauty will be immortalized in the lines of the poem, as long as they are read.
I will leave it up to you how to interpret the poem in this chapter. My interpretation of it is that what Duan Wanshan is trying to convey is that, though he will die, Duan Yang won’t forget him as long as he remembers and thinks about him, just as when your loved ones die, they are not gone forever as long as they remain in your thoughts.
So don’t be too sad because of the parting.
Still, this chapter made me cry, nonetheless. Lin Chen and us readers really can’t catch a break, can we?
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