Chapter 34 Destiny
“Please come in.”
Qin Zhao’s voice came, and the moment his eyes met Jian Chi, he turned the back of his chair and slowly put down the pen between his fingertips, “If you are sick, sit in bed and describe your condition. If it is not for this, please leave.”
The attitude that can be called rejection did not stop Jian Chi from walking straight ahead. The smile on Qin Zhao’s mouth was reduced, replaced by a cold mixed vigilance, staring at Jian Chi who was getting closer, “My words, did you not understand?”
“I know you’re here.”
A writing desk separated them. Jian Chi stopped, and looked deeply into Qin Zhao’s eyes through his lens, “I don’t know what to call you, but I need to see you now. Don’t be like last time and create a dream, I want to talk to you, face to face.”
A long silence.
Qin Zhao blinked his phoenix eyes slowly, as if he heard a joke, absurd and incomprehensible. Accompanied by a faint sullen anger similar to being played, he just spat out a word: “You…”
Jian Chi repeated his name, and for a moment, his heart beat faster than ever. He wasn’t sure, just betting on the possibility, “Come chat with me, can you?”
There seems to be a subtle difference in the silence this time. Jian Chi pursed his lips tightly, refusing to let go of any changes on Qin Zhao’s face. Seeing that the absurdity in his eyes was gradually replaced by a deeper joke, he raised his hand to remove the gold-rimmed glasses. The phoenix eyes lifted up and the voice was sweet and magnetic as he opened and closed his lips: “Of course, how can I refuse your request?”
Clearly separated by a certain distance, Jian Chi’s ears suddenly was numb for a while.
The first two meetings were too quick and sudden, and he did not make any preparations. This time, he finally calmed down and pushed his reasoning to a higher ground. The ‘Qin Zhao’ voice in front of him was filled with a light and airy emptiness, as if it did not come from the open and closed mouth, but from another unfamiliar place.
Qin Zhao covered this up with a deliberately low tone, until at this moment, Jian Chi finally noticed something unusual.
The bottom of his heart shivered for a moment and Jian Chi asked in the calmest voice possible: “Who are you?”
It sounded like a ridiculous question. Qin Zhao leaned back in his chair relaxedly, and asked back, “Where do you want me to start to answer this question? You want to know my name, my identity, my character, hobby, or something else?”
“Name and identity.”
Qin Zhao took the pen on the table, shook it from side to side in front of Jian Chi, and said in a low voice, “Don’t be too greedy.”
Jian Chi was not in the mood to joke with him, and left the more important option: “Identity.”
“I think you should have guessed this,” Qin Zhao smiled, “I’m not from your world.”
Even though there had been speculations for a long time before coming here, countless layers of defense towers built in the bottom of his heart, but Jian Chi’s eyes were still dark for a while. After a long time, the dizziness gradually faded.
He recovered his voice with a slightly altered tone, and said with difficulty: “Does this world really come from a book like that dream?”
“Yes and no.”
Qin Zhao restrained his smile, half lowered his phoenix eyes, and answered: “The source of the world is a book, but you live in a complete world.”
Jian Chi didn’t understand, so he couldn’t help propping up on the table, looked into Qin Zhao’s unfathomable eyes from a close distance, and asked the question that had been in his heart for too long: “Is this world real? Am I real?”
“It depends on how you define ‘reality’. If you mean soul and body, all living beings, everything in this world is real. They have individual minds and are not controlled by any force. If you define reality as destiny, there is no absolute truth in the world.”
Qin Zhao stopped the pen that was turning and happily greeted Jian Chi’s inquiry. Even if he was sitting on a chair and raised his head, he seemed to be pinching the back of Jian Chi’s neck from top to bottom. He smiled slowly.
“What is the connection between the book and the world?” Jian Chi asked.
“That’s a good explanation.”
Qin Zhao took a piece of paper from the table, pulled off the cap of the pen, and drew circles scattered one after another in the blank space. The pen tip lightly touched the middle one, “This is the world you live in, its source comes from this book and is slowly expanding from a plane into a complete world. The book may describe the stories of ten people, but this world can have a billion people. The book is a part of this world. It is never the dominant one, but one lead.”
Jian Chi stared at the circle in a trance. With a sudden stroke of the pen tip, it came to another circle, followed by Qin Zhao’s magnetic voice: “This is the second world. Its source can be a book, a movie, even a sentence. Its existence cannot be precisely defined, but it is indeed a complete world with a complete system of society. There is no primary and secondary relationship between the source and the world. They are symbiotic. Understand?”
There were several double images in front of the circle under his long gaze. Jian Chi raised his sour eyes, and his heartbeat rang in his ears, “I think I understand.”
“I said you were a smart person,” Qin Zhao narrowed his phoenix eyes and smiled like a fox. “In that case, can you guess why I came for you?”
He didn’t say ‘come here’, but ‘for you’.
Jian Chi guessed right, he was the variable, the butterfly that flapped his wings.
“I’m not the original Jian Chi,” Jian Chi said firmly, “I’m not the Jian Chi of this world, I have always been me.”
“Your presence disrupted the source of the world, in fact, it was a major blunder.”
Qin Zhao didn’t refute, he drew a crying face and a smiling face in the two circles just pointed out and clicked on the smiling face,
“This is you.”
Jian Chi frowned in confusion.
Then came the crying face, “This is the original ‘Jian Chi’.”
Qin Zhao said slowly: “When you came to your respective worlds, the two worlds made mistakes that they had never made before, so your souls were put into the wrong container, and you changed from a smiling face to a crying face. The original ‘Jian Chi’ had changed from a crying face to a smiling face that should be yours.”
Two worlds, two him—no, not two hims, but two people who are also called ‘Jian Chi’ who have completely different life trajectories.
Nothing made Jian Chi understand what had happened so far in this explanation. The world was real, and he was also real. It was just an accident. He exchanged his life with the ‘Jian Chi’ who should have come here. Under the guidance of some force, he entered Saintston and got to know these people who lived at the source of the world.
It was not the plot that led the world, but the choices of each of them that led the plot.
“The original Jian Chi,” Jian Chi said with difficulty the exact same name as himself, “how is he doing there?”
“Very good,” Qin Zhao said. “He is living a good life, living in a place other than the source of the world, with ordinary family, friends and lovers, and an ordinary him. That was your life originally.”
Jian Chi was silent for a while, and the palms on the table were slightly folded. Even he couldn’t tell what he was thinking in the silence. After a while, he said, “I see.”
“Jian Chi, you don’t need to panic about this and make changes,” Qin Zhao’s voice seemed to come from afar, deep and powerful, “According to the rules, I can’t reveal this to you, but this mistake made you a victim , you have the right to know this secret.”
The pen on his lips made Jian Chi come back to his senses. Qin Zhao’s face was very close to him for some time. With a meaningful smile, he whispered, “Remember to keep it a secret for me.”
Jian Chi straightened his stiff back and the cold texture of metal on his lips also parted. He looked at Qin Zhao deeply, “What about you? You haven’t answered my first question, who are you?”
“You just need to know that I come from a more advanced world where we find out the secrets of the world or the universe.”
Qin Zhao raised the corners of his lips and his voice drifted slowly along the air, as if whispering ambiguous things in Jian Chi’s ear.
“You still have a lot of opportunities to get to know me slowly. Isn’t it more interesting to discover with your own hands than to have me say it?”
Jian Chi didn’t answer. The strange thing was that he didn’t question what Qin Zhao said at all. This kind of absurd explanation had become less unacceptable and even reasonable after experiencing more absurd things.
Before Qin Zhao disappeared, he left two sentences.
“What you don’t know is much more than what you see. The story you think you know may not necessarily happen. Every choice you make will make the future different. Jian Chi, this is not a book, it is your life.”
“Also, my name is Qin Chuxu, don’t call it wrong next time.”
This sentence kept ringing in Jian Chi’s ears, as if pushing aside the dark clouds that had been accumulated in his heart, he suddenly saw the scenery farther away.
He blindly avoided the plot and wanted to bring the story back to the right track, but in fact there was no such thing as the right track. Whether it was the reality or the source book, all developments came from everyone’s choice. They were not on a left or right track, and that dream, that book had caused him too many unwarranted troubles. Now he finally saw it.
Walking down the steps of the teaching building, Jian Chi looked up at the spotless sky. He forgot to ask Qin Chuxu, was the sky in every world the same? Does the person who had exchanged life with him sometimes stand under this sky and think about whether the world was real or not?
Jian Chi undeniably envied the ‘Jian Chi’ who escaped from the source of the world, very lightly. He only had ups and downs when he heard Qin Chuxu’s sentence, ‘That was your life originally’ and it disappeared in an instant.
What didn’t happen can only be hypothesized. Jian Chi liked this world and left his mother early on. Jian Chengchao, who didn’t care about the small details gave all his love to him. Although he didn’t want to admit it, he really regarded Ji Huaisi as a friend, a loyal friend. There was also the straightforward Zhang Yang protecting his shortcomings… Whether this was the world he should live in or not, this was the only home he acknolwedged.
This was the best sleep that Jian Chi had had in the past two months. In the dream, he seemed to see a person with a blurred face walking towards him. Jian Chi believed this nameless person was smiling at himself.
Thanks. He said.
Jian Chi wanted to tell him ‘no need to thank me’, but didn’t understand why the other party wanted to thank him, and why he naturally wanted to answer. Perhaps this was the so-called force, the real fate that everyone bore.
The author has something to say: The world outlook has been revealed, and Xiao Chi’s mentality has also changed. He will increase his efforts to engage in men
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