SN Ch. 4: Escape

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Yan Qing was almost brought to tears from the cold air of the night. In her head, she whispered, Yun Qing Goddess I’m sorry. I broke the glass globe you gave your husband. It was an accident. 

Since you left, he hasn’t been taking it well. If you knew his current state, I’m sure you would be heartbroken for him too. 

Yan Qing felt sympathy in her heart. Taking a deep breath, she continued her way down.

She was very aware of her place on the food pyramid. No matter how pitiful Huo Yunshen appeared right now, he could still easily finish her off. It was best for her to escape before he noticed. If she was captured, she could only imagine how horrible the results would be for her.

Yan Qing clung to the bedsheets as her make-shift rope swung in the wind. Her fingers were numb from the cold, bringing her entire body to shivers. Her movements slowed, wary of the Big Boss inside.

But as expected, Murphy’s Law applied to her: anything that could go wrong, would go wrong.

As she dangled between the second and first floor, she suddenly heard motion from the open bedroom window above her. Instinctively sensing danger, she quickened her pace.

In a blink of an eye, Huo Yunshen appeared at the window edge. His face was choked with fear. He gasped out a name, his voice distorted and ripped apart by the wind.

As he shouted, Min Jing’s men moved swiftly. From hidden spots, they all assembled towards the back of the building. In moments, Yan Qing’s position was spotlighted under dazzling lights coming from all sides. Stressed and anxious, her hands slipped.

Before she could even scream, Yan Qing helplessly fell to the ground.

It’s over, I’m gonna die! Goddess! Please save me! 

Yan Qing could see the third floor window as she fell. The silhouette at the window had already disappeared. She guessed that he had already raced downstairs as soon as he spotted her.

Just as she expected her skull to collide with the ground, she simultaneously anticipated and was surprised to find herself falling into a man’s chest instead.

This wasn’t Goddess. It was Goddess’ husband. 

Huo Yunshen used his body to catch Yan Qing. From his throat burst a wordless guttural sound. His arms gripped her to his chest.

Yan Qing felt new life rush into her veins. After the scare, her mind was finally working again, leading to a realization.

It was useless to fight with Huo Yunshen or use tears or reason to combat with him. But what was he most afraid of? He feared the death of “Yun Qing.”

She pretended to be weak, allowing Huo Yunshen to lower his guard. As Min Jing rushed towards them, she snatched the fountain pen in his suit’s breast pocket.  Uncapping the pen, she pointed the sharp tip at her neck artery. Sternly she spoke, “Huo Yunshen! Are you done fooling around? Would it take seeing me die in front of your eyes for you to let me go?”

Huo Yunshen reached to grab the pen. She stumbled back, falling to the ground. As long as she was able to escape him, she didn’t care if she got hurt.

In the dark night, Huo Yunshen’s entire body was tense, stiffly gazing at her.  The woman that he loved with all of his heart, now saw him as a horrid beast. She was using a weapon and pointing it at a vital vein. She was threatening him with her own life, forcing him to let go of her.

Yan Qing was going all in. She slowly pierced the pen head through her skin. When facing a madman, she needed to use extreme methods!

As acute pain slowly intensified, Huo Yunshen defeatedly roared, “No! Don’t hurt yourself! I’ll let you go!”

Yan Qing’s heartbeat quickened, but she didn’t dare believe him just yet. She kept the pen at her neck as she scrambled up to her feet. She walked backwards, keeping her eyes on Huo Yunshen, cautious in case he changed his mind.

Every second that she looked at him, Huo Yunshen felt like his heart was being struck.

When she created safe distance between the two of them, she immediately turned around. Her thin silhouette dashed towards the residential area’s front gates. Huo Yunshen couldn’t bear to watch her disappear again. Instinctively, he stepped forward to chase after her, but stopped himself.

“Shen-ge…”Min Jing has known Huo Yunshen since middle school, but he didn’t dare make any decisions on this matter.

Huo Yunshen didn’t take his eyes off Yan Qing. He uttered, “Prepare the car. Arrange for a taxi to pick her up. No matter where she wants to go, send her there. Don’t let her feel scared.  Also,” His eyes hardened, “Find out what has happened in the past three years.”

Min Jing nodded his head. He pulled out the plastic bag holding a long strand of hair. He didn’t dare reveal that he had plucked it off. Guiltily, he explained. “… …I picked this up from Yun Qing’s back… But even if we were to test it, she probably wouldn’t believe it.”

Huo Yunshen ice cold gaze struck him, taking the bag from him.

She was able to undo the knot that had been their secret knotting method.  And yet she still insisted that she was someone else.

Huo Yunshen closed his eyes. His hands molded into tight fists, with his nails digging into his flesh. He repeatedly ordered himself. Don’t worry. It’s not that Qingqing doesn’t want him anymore. She’s just…forgotten about him. 

Yan Qing finally escaped out of the residential area. She didn’t dare look back. She followed the well-lit pedestrian path out, hoping that she could grow wings. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw an unoccupied taxi cab.

The driver was a friendly looking middle-aged woman. The driver slowed down her car, and asked with care, “Hello young lady! Are you alright? Where are you going? I’m finishing off my shift so I can give you a ride. It’s not easy finding a taxi in this area.”

Yan Qing stood in dirty clothes in the middle of an empty street. In that moment, she really wanted to cry. Her parents were gone, and she didn’t have any extended family. She had just returned from abroad. Only An Lan could be considered her friend right now.

In this big city, she was alone.

She rubbed her red eyes and ducked into the taxi cab to escape to cold. Anxiously, she said: “It’s too dangerous here, let’s leave quickly!”

The taxi driver was very cooperative. She stepped on the gas, heading towards the downtown area. Yan Qing kept her body tense for a while, only relaxing when the car was enveloped in the bright lights of the lively city centre.

As if racing against time, she ran to her old family home to retrieve her personal luggage and immediately left straight for Chengfeng Videos.

While driving, the taxi driver asked: “It’s still the middle of the night. Would that kind of place be open right now?”

Yan Qing firmly responded: “It’s okay. I can wait.”

It was four o’clock at night, the sun would be up soon anyways. Chengfeng Videos had 24/7 security guards and cameras. Later, when the doors unlocked, she’ll run in and report to the dorms.

But for now, Yan Qing rested her head on the car window. Her reddened eyes contrasted with her pale face. After the chaos of tonight, anyone else would have collapsed. Yet she sat quietly, nestled into the car seat.

From the rearview mirror, the driver glanced at the black SUV following closely behind them. Then she peaked at Yan Qing, before shaking her head. This maiden was truly beautiful. No wonder President Huo was willing to forget about his past love and turn to her. 

At 5AM, Yan Qing arrived at Chengfeng Videos. The driver wanted to help with her luggage. She shook her head, “I’ve got it.”

She pulled out the little cash she carried on her, giving the driver three 100s. “Auntie, thank you. I’m in a bit of a situation. If someone asks if you’ve driven me, you must deny it. I don’t want to burden you.”

Yan Qing quickly checked for her personal belongings, making sure that she had her money, passport, and important documents. As for her phone and bag, Huo Yunshen could keep them. She would prefer to not even have them.

She pulled her luggage along, not even noticing that on the corner of both sides of the building, there were already video cameras set up. The cameras captured her walking alone at the break of dawn into the dorms.

The security guard had been a bit sleepy. But when he saw a beautiful girl heading towards him, he suddenly woke up.

With that face, she’ll definitely be famous! This was a great opportunity to get close to her and get some signatures!

The security guard excitedly helped Yan Qing into the building. Yan Qing shivered from the cold and rushed into the building, collapsing on a seat. She could still see Huo Yunshen’s image flash before her eyes. Especially that moment when she met his eyes as she fell to the ground. In his eyes were madness and pain, even she felt sympathetic.

Ai- – she had to stop herself.

Yan Qing angrily shook her head. If President Huo still had a bit of reason or conscience left in him, then he might just let her go. She’ll just treat today as a nightmare and forget about it quickly.

But she didn’t know that a few kilometers behind her was a black SUV.

In the front seat, a man peered through the window, his eyes on her side profile. With all his might, he held back the urge to rush inside and snatch her back.

Min Jing called him at that moment: “Shen-ge, everyone involved in the matter three years ago is no longer alive. A deeper investigation requires more time. I guarantee we will work quickly.

“Additionally…” Min Jing felt like his livelihood had been challenged multiple times tonight. Knowing he was walking on thin ice, he spoke. “Yun Qing has been uploading songs online for the past two years. Currently, she’s a reputable singer-songwriter. Her voice seems a little different than before. Moreover, you’ve always disliked topics related to entertainment industry, so we’ve never spotted her there.”

Huo Yunshen didn’t respond, but the sharp creases on his forehead signified his mood.

Qingqing’s voice did change. Before, she had a clean and silky sweet voice. Now, there was a layer of raspiness. What had happened in these three years? What pains did she endure alone?

Huo Yunshen clenched his jaw, gripping the steering wheel to the point of his knuckles turning white.

“More importantly,” Min Jing braced himself and continued, “last night, Yun Qing signed a contract with Chengfeng Videos. For the next three months, she will appear as a girl group trainee in a competition…”

The more he spoke, the quieter his voice became. Because of Shen-ge’s level of possessiveness, back in school, if another man even gave Yun Qing a second glance, Shen-ge would have the man beaten to tears. And now? He had already been hit with the double punch of a long-awaited reunion and her not remembering him. If Yun Qing then decides to go sing and dance and become an idol, where all the boys and girls in the country could chase after her, where if she gets popular there will no doubt be future filming requiring intimate contact with male idols, wouldn’t Shen-ge self-implode?

Min Jing foresaw a bleak future. He probed, “Would you like to intervene? Abrogate the contract?”

Huo Yunshen narrowed his eyes, coldly biting out: “What needs to be abolished isn’t the contract. It’s the show itself.”

Min Jing should have expected this. See? As expected of his Shen-ge. As extreme as usual.

Huo Yunshen’s fingers were still bleeding, made worse by his current temper.

Back in school, Qingqing also liked to sing. At a teacher’s request, she performed a stunning folk song at a school event. He hated how everyone coveted her. He had pulled her into a dark corner and demanded that she could only sing to him.

She had cutely tilted her face upwards, her eyes softly meeting his. “Then I’ll sing another one only to you. Don’t be upset, okay?”

His voice was hoarse. His expression still fierce. “We’ll see after the song. I want one that no one has heard before!”

She smiled, gently pulling him down. Near his ear, she spoke mischievous and melodious tone: “I’m willing to follow you to the ends of the world[1].”

His heart trembled.

He couldn’t wait long enough to hear the rest of the song. Instead, he pulled her in to kiss her.

Huo Yunshen leaned back into the driver’s seat. There was a knife stabbing his chest. Again, and again.

His fingers gripped together, tightening and then loosening. Slowly, his breathing changed.

Min Jing was on edge. He thought Shen-ge was going to erupt, but Huo Yunshen lowered his phone and opened the browser app. With his head lowered, his muffled voice spoke: “Qingqing…What songs did she sing?”

He wanted…to download them all.

He would put on earphones.

And listen to it alone.

And pretend…that they were for him.

T/N: I’m still crying…wuwuwu

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[1] Lyrics of song “Yong Qi” by Fish Leong.

4 thoughts on “SN Ch. 4: Escape

  1. This is a serious and sad chapter but the secret knotting method comet killed me.

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