Chapter 20 – Castle in the Sky 2

I stood on the railing, facing the wind, and opened my eyes wide, hoping to find the reflection of the “City of the Sky” on the flowing river, but all I could see was the dazzling lights of the city.

After waking up, I realized how afraid I was of death, afraid of being submerged in the bottomless moat.

I looked back at Mi Cai, but she seemed indifferent.

“Aren’t you going to persuade me?” I frowned and asked Mi Cai.

“Why should I persuade you?”

“But if I jump, I will really die!”

“You will die, not me.” Mi Cai still had an indifferent expression.

I jumped off the railing and angrily said, “I didn’t misunderstand you. You are a poisonous woman who doesn’t hesitate to let others die for your own purposes.”

“I have no purpose. It was you who said you wanted to jump into the river.” Mi Cai still spoke calmly.

I became even more angry and pointed at Mi Cai, saying, “Can’t you stop pushing me towards death so calmly?… I remember I called you to persuade me not to jump. According to the script I set, you shouldn’t have acted like this!”

“When I came, you were lying there like a dead person. You wouldn’t have jumped anyway. Why did you bother calling me? Is it fun to play with me?” Mi Cai finally showed some anger in her words.

I felt a little frustrated. I would have jumped impulsively at that time, but who knew that fate had other plans. Suddenly, the alcohol rushed up and made me fall asleep.

I didn’t know how to explain to Mi Cai, so I made up a story and said, “I really wanted to jump into the moat. When I was about to jump, I remembered that I owed you more than ten thousand yuan. It wouldn’t matter if I died, but no one would be able to repay you. So I hesitated and didn’t jump, because I am a person with a conscience and moral bottom line. I would never do such a despicable thing as not repaying debts.”

“You sound so heroic!” Mi Cai looked at me with a half-smile.

“It’s really heroic! You don’t know how much I struggled at that moment. On one hand, there was the relief after death, and on the other hand, there was the guilt of not repaying the debt. It was difficult to choose!… Of course, in the end, I chose to uphold my moral bottom line, so I am still alive.” I exaggeratedly said.

Mi Cai seemed unwilling to listen to my nonsense. She stood up from the ground and prepared to leave.

“Wait.” I called out to Mi Cai.

“What now?” Mi Cai’s words were already very impatient. She put on the coat she had just covered me with.

“Have you been sitting here guarding me since the afternoon?”

“I came to collect your body, not to persuade you, so I came in the evening.” Mi Cai said calmly.

“Who are you kidding? You came to collect my body and even helped me put on a coat?” I exposed Mi Cai’s lie with a meaningful smile.

Mi Cai turned around and looked at me coldly, saying, “A covering is always placed on a corpse to hide its appearance. Don’t you know that?”

I was speechless by Mi Cai’s words, standing there dumbfounded. My attention shifted from arguing with Mi Cai, and the alcohol that hadn’t completely dissipated in my body started to wreak havoc. I felt dizzy and a strong sense of nausea came over me.

I leaned on the railing and vomited into the moat, emptying myself. I had drunk too much at noon.

After vomiting, I sat down against the railing, feeling exhausted. I closed my eyes, and my consciousness became clearer. The scenes from Circle and Yan Yan’s wedding at noon appeared in my mind again, followed by a tearing pain filling my body.

At that moment, Xiang Chen helped Jian Wei put on the diamond crystal necklace that symbolized their commitment. How much I wanted to tell Jian Wei without hesitation: I want to go back to the past, to the silent and joyful past, to the past full of love…

But I could never go back to the past. I lost Jian Wei, and I could only watch her be happy in someone else’s world forever!

In the midst of the tearing pain, a warm feeling spread from the corners of my eyes. It seemed like I was crying!

It couldn’t be me crying. It was the City of the Sky crying. It was using tears to dissolve the sorrow in my heart.

“You’re crying, wipe your tears.”

I opened my eyes and realized that Mi Cai hadn’t left yet. She handed me a tissue.

I didn’t take the tissue. It was better to let the wind dry my tears. That way, there would be no trace left.

Mi Cai squatted down and looked at me. Her tone finally softened as she asked, “Did I say something too harsh just now? I shouldn’t have mocked you for being a corpse.”

I remained silent for a long time and whispered, “Actually, it has nothing to do with you. Even if I were really a corpse, it would just be a moment of pain before death. But the pain of being alive is the one that tears my heart apart… Do you understand this feeling?”

Mi Cai shook her head and said, “I don’t understand. All I’m thinking about now is when you will move out of my house.”

“Are you really annoyed by me?” I smiled and asked, my tears seemed to have dried up in the wind.

“Yes, your behavior doesn’t give me a good impression. You are a complete bastard!” Mi Cai said bluntly.

“Is that so?… But you don’t know that the bastard who has done all the bad things also had a clean city in his heart!”

“I don’t quite understand what you’re saying.”

“You don’t need to understand… because today, that city has separated from my body and become a City of the Sky that I can never touch!”

I lowered my head and felt my pocket, but there was no cigarette left to burn away my melancholy and mend my broken soul.Mi Cai didn’t say anything. She sat down next to me, leaning against the railing behind us in the same posture. Our surroundings became increasingly quiet, as if we were isolated from the city’s hustle and bustle by the night. A night breeze blew past, bringing a sense of equality among all beings and extinguishing the worldly fireworks!

I saw a half-smoked cigarette on the ground that I had extinguished. I picked it up, blew on it, and lit it again. The smell of tobacco once again filled the air, then dissipated under the dim light…

Finally, I said to Mi Cai, “I know you want me to leave. I will move out tomorrow.”

“Is it for real this time?”

“It’s real… I’ve lost an entire city, why would I care about a room?…”

Mi Cai seemed curious about the city I kept mentioning. She asked me, “What does this city in the sky you speak of look like?”

I thought for a moment and said, “It’s a crystal-clear yet always silent city. It has a kind of magic that makes people forget their troubles, their pain, their vanity. When you live in it, nothing else matters, because you will become a crystal-clear bird, breaking free from all restraints and soaring in the wind of freedom…”

“But birds have to land eventually. Will it still be crystal clear after it lands?” Mi Cai asked, looking at me.

“I don’t know… because I haven’t thought about what it would look like after landing.”

Perhaps my pitiful state aroused Mi Cai’s sympathy. That night, she didn’t leave me alone by the river. I rode in her car towards the bustling, somewhat illusory city. I had made up my mind that after this night, I would move out of that old house. After all, my life couldn’t get any worse. I might as well make Mi Cai happy and give her some peace.

On the way, we both remained silent. I understood this silence as Mi Cai’s continued dissatisfaction with my repeated deception today. My current destitution and pitiful state couldn’t completely extinguish her anger. The fact that she brought me back from the outskirts was already very considerate.

When we returned to our residential area, Mi Cai parked the car. We walked towards the entrance of the building, one in front of the other. To our surprise, we found Mr. Ban sitting on the steps at the entrance, with his decades-old black briefcase beside him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *