Ron quickly waved, as if to dismiss his words. “Miss Lin, please don’t think that Your Majesty Pluto is using you as a substitute for Seventeen. I might not know him that well but I know he wouldn’t do this much for a lookalike. You might look the same but you are not the same person.”
Lin Ruoxi cheered up slightly, smiling softly at him.
At this time, the door to the workshop was knocked on.
One of Ron’s assistants opened the door and nodded towards the person outside. “Sir, Miss Lin, Your Majesty Pluto sent me over to relay a message. He’d like to ask if Miss Lin was done with the fitting. He would like to invite her somewhere.”
Lin Ruoxi was slightly confused whereas Ron seemed to have understood it. “Miss Lin, shall we head out? Let’s not make Your Majesty Pluto wait for too long. We will wrap it up tomorrow.”
About ten minutes later, Lin Ruoxi followed Ron back to the house.
Yang Chen was talking to others about the Olympics when she returned.
He got up with a smile and asked, “How was it? Did you like the wedding dress?”
Lin Ruoxi was still thinking about Ron’s words when he asked her the question. She nodded while pursing her lips.
“Yeah, Master Ron’s design still fascinates me.”
“Thank you.” Ron nodded.
Yang Chen let out a breath in relief. He contemplated for a while before saying, “I’m heading to a mountain peak in the southwest area to pay Seventeen a visit.”
Lin Ruoxi’s mind blanked for a second. She trembled and gripped her fist tightly, trying to calm herself down. “What…what do you mean?”
Yang Chen tried to sound normal. “I meant her tombstone. I wasn’t able to find her when she left. So I could only bury her possessions in it. I haven’t paid her a visit for two years so I thought it’s about time. I’m saying goodbye to my past.”
Lin Ruoxi’s gaze was blurry from tears but she smiled lightly after thinking about it. “Of course you can go, but I have a request.”
“What is it.”
“I want to go too.”
Yang Chen was taken aback by her request. He took a deep breath before nodding. “Alright.”
The air on the mountain was fresh yet warm, they could feel it clearly as it caressed their skin.
Yang Chen drove a fiery red dune buggy through forest trails and after a ten-minute drive, they finally arrived at the bottom of a cliff.
Looking down from the top, they could see multiple rows of tombstones with steep trails connecting each row.
The grass was neatly trimmed and looked after.
“This is where my old subordinates rest. The higher the stone, the higher their merit. Nevertheless, being able to be buried here means that their achievements were recognized. You might think it sounds funny, but before they died, some of them even asked me if they have killed enough people or if they have bombed enough weapons. For some of them, this was their life long goal…”
Yang Chen was explaining it to Lin Ruoxi but he couldn’t stop himself from being affected by the emotions.
It was mixed with nostalgia and grief. Lin Ruoxi could sense his pain too.
When they first met, Lin Ruoxi could see from his eyes that he had led a rough life.
But the time they had spent together had numbed her sensitivity to that.
Now that she saw the tombstones and his pained gaze, Lin Ruoxi wanted to pull him into her arms and stroke his hair.
Yang Chen stopped the car and they started to walk along the trail.
It was a steep trail that was tough for Lin Ruoxi to walk on.
Especially the rocks which had become slippery after being shaped by nature.
Lin Ruoxi slipped and almost fell.
Yang Chen quickly grabbed her hand. “Be careful, I’ll hold you.”
Lin Ruoxi panted and flung his hand away when she saw that he was holding her.
Yang Chen was startled. “Ruoxi, what’s wrong? I’m just worried that you will fall.”
“Don’t touch me,” Lin Ruoxi said coldly. “I’ll be careful. Don’t touch me or pull me.”
Yang Chen was exasperated. She wanted to join him yet she was obviously still upset with him, seeing how she wouldn’t let him touch her.
But this wouldn’t stop him from seeing Seventeen.
This was something he had to do.
The wind blew Lin Ruoxi’s dress, her hair brushed past her cheeks as the sun continued to move its way towards the west.
Her training had allowed her to climb to the top without facing too much exhaustion.
There was only one tombstone standing in the middle of the grass-covered mountain top.
It was obvious her standing was incomparable to others.
The black marble stood firmly within the rocks.
Roman numbers were carved into it which stood for thirty.
“This is.…her tombstone?” Lin Ruoxi was sure it was but she still had to ask.
“Yeah.” Yang Chen nodded. He walked to the front of the tombstone and knelt down in front of it.
“Thirty…is it the sum of thirteen and seventeen?” Lin Ruoxi remembered that his code name used to be thirteen.
Yang Chen nodded in reply.
“Which means, it’s your combination.” Lin Ruoxi’s voice was trembling.
Yang Chen didn’t dare to look at her. He nodded solemnly and said, “I carved it for her with my fingers. Unfortunately, I didn’t bleed. It would’ve looked better in red”
Lin Ruoxi’s body stiffened after hearing his lame joke. “Do you need me to step away? I’m sure you have a lot of things to say to her.”
“It doesn’t matter.” Yang Chen turned around and chuckled. “You can listen if you want.”
Lin Ruoxi didn’t reply anymore and stood behind silently while staring at the carved number.
Yang Chen reached out and caressed the tombstone. His actions were light and gentle as if afraid of waking her up from her slumber.
“It’s been more than two years since I last visited you. Have you been lonely since? Knowing you, you’d very much like a dagger in my neck right now…” Yang Chen chuckled.
But naturally, he did not get a reply. All he heard was the sound of wind which made the conversation seem more forlorn.
“I went back to China. You said I should see what our home country looks like, so I did. I sold lamb skewers at the market and even rented a shabby house. It wasn’t great but it was something. I met a lot of people who did not kill to live. They led ordinary lives. Oh, I forgot to mention that I work at a company now. I’m sure you can tell that there are a lot of pretty girls there. Don’t judge me, you were the one who turned me into this. Old habits die hard. So much has happened in the two years since you have left. I don’t know how to tell you everything in such a short amount of time. But it’s not like you were a talkative person, I doubt you would be interested in my story.”
Yang Chen glanced at Lin Ruoxi and smiled. “You must be curious about her right? She’s Lin Ruoxi, the bride at my wedding tomorrow. We’ve been married for over a year now and I thought it was time that you finally met her…”