FMEA Side Story 1

Side Story 1 – Light (Xia Mingxuan)

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“Did you really think I was willing to give birth to that child? If it wasn’t for the special circumstances at that time, I wouldn’t have given birth to him at all. That child is an unwanted b*stard! He’s a mistake, just like you, a mistake! Do you know that every time I see that child, I can’t help but think of the night we made a mistake. Just thinking about it makes me feel nauseous, makes me want to strangle him in the cradle, strangle him to death!”

A woman’s almost desperate scream echoed from inside the house, startling a child who was squatting by the window, holding a small white rabbit, preparing to surprise his Royal Mother.

From the high window ledge, the child couldn’t see the person inside, but the voice was so familiar that even five-year-old Xia Mingxuan couldn’t deceive himself.

Xia Mingxuan stood alone under the window, discovering for the first time that the gentle and virtuous Royal Mother he had in his mind could have such hysterical moments.

He couldn’t hear what the person inside said after anymore. When he came to his senses, he had already run out of the courtyard, and the rabbit he was holding had slipped to the ground without him noticing. It was now looking up at him with its innocent red eyes.

Looking at each other for a moment, the little rabbit suddenly turned around and hopped away to the side.

Xia Mingxuan’s face was numb, and his mind was blank. Without thinking too much, he instinctively followed the little white rabbit.

Only a little over five years old, Xia Mingxuan was still a cute little boy with short hands and short legs. The little white rabbit ran around happily, and he chased after it. Unfortunately, even so, after several turns, Xia Mingxuan lost his little white rabbit.

Breathing heavily, Xia Mingxuan looked up and found that he had followed the rabbit to a secluded courtyard.

In the center of the spacious courtyard stood a towering tree, and its huge trunk extended to all four sides, forming a canopy that covered a large area of the courtyard, casting a gloomy and mottled shadow.

Xia Mingxuan sat down in the courtyard filled with fallen leaves, laid back on the soft leaves, and raised his hand to block the dots of light that penetrated through the tree shadow.

Under the dappled light, he somehow thought of the runaway little white rabbit.

“In the end, do you not want me either?”

The young voice carried a hint of grievance, evoking an inexplicable sense of pity.

Xia Mingxuan covered his eyes with his hand and laid on the ground. He didn’t know how long had passed when a soft and cute girl’s voice suddenly came from nearby.

“Um, are you okay? Did you fall asleep?”

Xia Mingxuan didn’t expect there to be someone in this secluded courtyard. He looked up in a daze and met the concerned gaze of a little girl.

“You were crying? Did you fall down?” The little girl noticed Xia Mingxuan’s slightly red eyes and was taken aback, asking carefully.

Only then did Xia Mingxuan recall that he had felt sad just now because of certain memories and something seemed to unconsciously slip from his eyes. So… he was crying?

Xia Mingxuan shivered all over, hastily stood up from the ground, and wiped his face with his hand, becoming annoyed, “I wasn’t crying; there was just some sand in my eyes!”

The little girl was startled by Xia Mingxuan’s somewhat stimulated shout, and her big watery eyes widened. After a moment, she couldn’t help but smile slightly, “Mmm, there’s a lot of dust here, so it’s easy for sand to get in your eyes.”

Hearing the little girl’s laughter, Xia Mingxuan’s face blushed. He carefully looked up and stole a glance at the little girl, only to find that she looked about the same age as him, wearing a light pink dress. Her round face looked cute, and her bright eyes were full of curiosity as if they could talk.

Curious? Xia Mingxuan suddenly woke up from his thoughts. He realized that he had been caught red-handed stealing glances at the little girl, and his face had turned red to the point of nearly dripping blood.

The little girl didn’t pay much attention to it, thinking that the boy who suddenly appeared in the courtyard had accidentally fallen and cried. Feeling embarrassed after being seen crying, he reacted like this.

As the two remained silent, there was movement in the girl’s arms.

Xia Mingxuan’s attention was drawn to the movement in the girl’s arms. Soon, a fluffy thing popped out from the girl’s embrace.

“It’s the little rabbit!” Xia Mingxuan exclaimed, pointing at the innocent little white rabbit peering out from the girl’s arms.

The girl paused for a moment, looked at the fluffy rabbit in her arms, then looked back at Xia Mingxuan, and asked softly, “Is this rabbit yours?”

Xia Mingxuan hesitated for a moment before nodding.

The girl looked somewhat unwilling as she glanced at Xia Mingxuan before returning the rabbit to him.

Xia Mingxuan took the rabbit back, thanked the girl, and turned to leave.

However, as soon as he stepped out of the courtyard, his footsteps came to a sudden halt. He unconsciously turned back and vaguely saw the lonely figure of the little girl standing under the swaying tree shadows.

In the vast courtyard, she was the only one, looking lonely and desolate.

The little heart that had been severely hurt not long ago seemed to have been stung again, causing him pain and swelling. He hurriedly turned and fled the place, not daring to look back.

Xia Mingxuan thought that his encounter with the little girl was just a coincidence and that they might never meet again. But fate had its ways, and when everything seemed too normal, unexpected events followed.

After accidentally overhearing the conversation between his Royal Mother and his so-called biological Royal Father, Xia Mingxuan became as timid as a frightened bird. But being an introverted child, he didn’t directly confront his Royal Mother about the truth but chose to hide it in his heart.

Several peaceful days followed, leaving Xia Mingxuan with a sense that what happened that day was just a figment of his imagination.

In the days that followed, Xia Mingxuan had countless thoughts about what might have happened if he hadn’t accidentally stumbled upon that conversation, or if he hadn’t witnessed another late-night conversation between Imperial Concubine Roujia and her maid. Maybe he wouldn’t have to live such a burdened life? However, the most unreliable thing at this moment was the word “if.”

Xia Mingxuan would never forget that night with the distant cicada cries when he woke up in the middle of the night due to the oppressive heat, only to run into a conversation between Imperial Concubine Roujia and her close maid.

“King Ying… is dead?”

“Yes, Niang Niang. I followed your orders and bribed a servant in King Ying’s residence. For half a month, we secretly poisoned his meals with a tasteless and colorless slow-acting poison. The court physicians could only find that his health was deteriorating, but they could never trace it back to us.”

King Ying… is his own biological Royal Father?! Imperial Concubine Roujia killed him?! Xia Mingxuan, dressed in casual clothes, stood behind the door, wide-eyed and incredulous, listening to the conversation between the two, who were just one door away.

“Niang Niang, King Ying is already dead. As for the little prince, what are your plans…”

Upon hearing the maid mentioning him, Xia Mingxuan couldn’t help but tremble.

“That child…”

Hearing the voice of Imperial Concubine Roujia, Xia Mingxuan’s body unconsciously tensed up.

“At first, I intended to use that child to regain favor, but even if he’s a prince, he couldn’t compete with that wretch. However, that wretch is dead now and can’t make any more trouble. Without her, her child won’t be favored by the Empress Dowager either. Now, there aren’t many people in the palace with a child by their side. I kept that child as a bargaining chip. The Empress has given birth to multiple children, how can I compete with her if I have none? Hmph, I refuse to believe that. My maternal family’s status is far more prestigious than the Empress’s. With this child as well, I have no doubt I can ascend to the throne.”

“That’s true, Niang Niang.”

“King Ying was too ignorant of what’s good for him. He said he admired me, and giving him a chance to father a child with me was his great fortune in this lifetime. Yet he still dared to dream about running away with the child. It’s nothing but wishful thinking, the delusion of a fool. Hopefully, his son won’t be as foolish and ungrateful as him… Otherwise, hmph…”

Even though it was a hot summer night, Xia Mingxuan suddenly felt cold, not an ordinary kind of cold, but a bone-chilling cold as if a winter wind blew through him, making him shiver to the extreme.

At that moment, he wanted to rush into the room and shout at his Royal Mother: “Why do you keep calling me that child, his son? Aren’t I your child too?”

However, perhaps it was too cold for him to move, or perhaps he understood that rushing in like that would only make him exactly what Imperial Concubine Roujia described—a fool who didn’t know what was good for him. So, in the end, Xia Mingxuan didn’t break into the room. Instead, he quietly turned away and left the place.

So, in his Royal Mother’s eyes, he was just a pawn used to compete for favor—disposable and inconsequential. Even his birth was entangled in the ugly calculations of the palace. If Imperial Concubine Roujia could easily kill King Ying once he had no more value, would she hesitate to kill him as well if she found him to be a stain she couldn’t tolerate?

Xia Mingxuan returned to his room with a numb expression. Curling up in his bed, he tried to draw warmth from the blankets, but he couldn’t stop trembling.

In the following days, Xia Mingxuan had nightmares almost every night. He dreamt that someone was choking him in his sleep, the suffocation waking him up suddenly. He would be drenched in sweat and gasping for breath, lying awake until dawn.

On this night, Xia Mingxuan woke up again from a nightmare, his eyes staring intently at the eaves above him to calm the palpitations in his chest.

After a while, Xia Mingxuan still felt suffocated. He carefully slid down and walked out of his bedroom.

The summer night was filled with a warm breeze, and the lights were dim, casting colorful shadows.

Xia Mingxuan wandered aimlessly along the palace path. When he finally snapped out of his thoughts, he found himself back in the secluded courtyard where he had searched for the little white rabbit that day.

The dark courtyard was faintly illuminated by several dim lights, and the tree shadows swayed gently in the night breeze.

As Xia Mingxuan looked at the swaying tree shadows, he hesitated about leaving. However, before he could make a decision, he heard a faint sound coming from behind the shadows.

Xia Mingxuan’s eyes suddenly narrowed, and he was so scared that he froze in place, looking at the slight movement behind the tree shadow. After a moment, a small head popped out from behind the tree trunk, and it was the same little girl from that day.

“It’s you!” Xia Mingxuan exclaimed, pointing at the little girl.

The sudden sound startled the girl, and she quickly made a hushing gesture to him, “Shh…”

Xia Mingxuan was taken aback but calmed down when he realized she was gesturing for him to be quiet. He saw the girl wave at him, indicating for him to come over.

After hesitating for a moment, Xia Mingxuan decided to approach the girl.

“Why are you here so late at night?” As soon as he got closer, the girl immediately pulled him behind the tree, scanned the surroundings, and then let out a sigh of relief before whispering.

Xia Mingxuan felt embarrassed and remained silent for a moment before replying, “I couldn’t sleep, so I came out for a walk. How about you? Why are you out at this late hour?”

“Just taking a walk.” The girl blinked her big eyes, showing envy. “It’s nothing, I couldn’t sleep either, so I came out to take a look.”

Seeing the girl’s slightly guilty look, Xia Mingxuan seemed to remember something and chuckled, “If you’re just taking a look, why are you sneaking around?”

The girl pouted when she heard that and looked a bit awkward. “It’s because my nanny wouldn’t let me roam around. I’m only allowed to stay in this courtyard. If she catches me sneaking out, she’ll scold me.”

“Oh, I see.” Xia Mingxuan looked at the girl’s round face and, somehow, the heaviness that had weighed on his heart seemed to dissipate a bit. He couldn’t help but reach out and poke her round cheek, causing it to dimple slightly. This sight brought a smile to his face.

“Mmm…” The girl let out a soft sound of discomfort. Xia Mingxuan noticed his own actions and quickly withdrew his hand, apologizing, “I’m sorry.”

The girl rubbed her slightly sore cheek but didn’t mind at all. She smiled faintly and said, “Big brother, you look really handsome when you smile.”

“Big brother?” Xia Mingxuan was startled. Before he could say anything, the girl had already taken the initiative to hold his hand, beaming at him, “Big brother, I’ll take you to a fun place.”


Xia Mingxuan didn’t say anything, but the girl playfully pulled his hand and giggled, leading him out of the courtyard and towards the back.

Her small and soft hand held tightly onto his, creating an inexplicable intimacy. The faint scent of milk still lingered in the air around her, accompanied by her light laughter, which unknowingly infected Xia Mingxuan. His lips, which were slightly down-turned before, slowly lifted into a smile.

The clear river water flowed along the edge of the artificial rockery to the shore. In the pristine water pond, large areas of fully bloomed water lilies were planted. Colorful koi fish swam gracefully under the wide lotus leaves, coming and going, creating a captivating and enchanting scene.

Xia Mingxuan was happily brought to the riverside by the little girl. He watched as she took off her shoes and socks, then quickly sat by the riverbank, dipping her fair little feet into the water.

Feeling the coolness beneath her feet, the little girl let out a satisfied sigh. However, she noticed that Xia Mingxuan hadn’t sat next to her for quite some time and looked at him with a puzzled expression, “Brother?”

Xia Mingxuan hesitated for a moment before finally sitting down beside the little girl, following her example and dipping his feet into the water. He felt the refreshing flow of the water beneath his feet and couldn’t help but relax, taking a deep breath and smiling genuinely.

“Brother, you look much happier now. Why did you always have a serious face when I saw you before? Why don’t you smile more often?” The little girl swung her feet, tilting her head with innocence as she asked.

The smile on Xia Mingxuan’s face diminished slightly as he lowered his head and replied in a subdued tone, “Because brother encountered some unhappy things.”

“Unhappy things?” The little girl widened her eyes.

“Yes, but it’s all in the past now.”

Observing Xia Mingxuan’s unwillingness to dwell on the topic, the little girl pouted and pondered for a moment before her eyes lit up. “I know! Big Brother, wait here for me.”

Xia Mingxuan reached out to grab the little girl’s hand, but he was a step too late. The girl dashed into the bushes beside the flower pond, and he could only hear rustling sounds.

After a while, sparkling little objects gradually floated towards him from the bushes.

Xia Mingxuan was mesmerized by the shimmering fireflies.

“Big Brother, look, aren’t they beautiful?” The little girl rushed out of the bushes again, her round face adorned with a bright smile. Excitedly, she called out to Xia Mingxuan.

The fireflies fluttered around the two children, creating a magical sight.

Xia Mingxuan was captivated by the pure joy on the little girl’s face, and he couldn’t help but smile again. He gently wiped off some dirt from the girl’s face caused by her earlier run in the bushes and said softly, “Yes, they’re very beautiful.”

“Is big brother happy?” The little girl obediently let Xia Mingxuan wipe her face, looking up with anticipation and asked eagerly. 

Xia Mingxuan was taken aback, realizing the reason why the little girl deliberately led the fireflies out. His eyes shimmered with emotions as he smiled gently, “Yes, brother is very happy.”

The little girl, gazing at Xia Mingxuan’s relaxed and genuine smile, felt reassured and smiled even more brightly.

The two children’s cheerful laughter echoed by the cool river, until the fireflies gradually dispersed, flying toward the distant end of the palace walls.

“Oh, they flew away.” The little girl returned to the riverside with Xia Mingxuan. She looked at the disappearing fireflies with a tinge of disappointment in her eyes.

Seeing the little girl’s slightly pouting face, Xia Mingxuan chuckled, “It’s alright; the fireflies will come back.”

“Really?” The little girl’s eyes lit up again, unable to hide her envy. “It’s wonderful! Fireflies can fly out to see the world and then return.”

“Do you want to go out too?”

The little girl’s head drooped, then she pouted and said unhappily, “Yes, I want to go out and see, but nanny won’t allow it.”

Xia Mingxuan fell silent, his eyes revealing deep thought. Before he could respond, the little girl shifted the topic.

“By the way, Big Brother, where’s your little bunny?”

Xia Mingxuan reached out and patted the girl’s head, smiling gently, “The little bunny is in my bedroom. I’ll bring it next time to play with you.”

“Yay!” The little girl was overjoyed, and her eyes turned into two crescent moons as she smiled brightly.

Unbeknownst to anyone, on a night no different from the others, two equally lonely hearts gradually drew closer and throbbed to the same rhythm.

After that, Xia Mingxuan began to visit the little girl’s courtyard frequently. They would sit together high up on tall trees to enjoy the cool breeze and play by the small pond in the quiet and empty nights, watching fireflies.

Time passed, and the days of ease made Xia Mingxuan forget for a while about the scheming imperial concubine who kept her watchful eyes on him, forgetting his identity and the responsibilities he bore. However, reality dealt him a harsh blow once again.

In the palace, many people knew that when Xia Mingxuan was five years old, he had a pet rabbit. He cherished the little bunny dearly, but few knew why the rabbit suddenly disappeared. However, Xia Mingxuan was well aware; his rabbit was secretly killed by his seemingly elegant and noble imperial concubine.

“Xuan Er, it’s just a rabbit; if it’s gone, it’s gone. Besides, as a boy, keeping a rabbit may make people laugh at you for being childish. Your Royal Father, the Emperor, won’t like that either. Be good; I’ll find you another one later. In a few days, you will be sent to Yinchen Palace for study. As long as you learn well under the Grand Tutor and gain your Royal Father’s favor, even if you want a big tiger, I will get it for you,” said his Royal Mother with hidden resentment beneath her gentle appearance.

In the Xia Dynasty, unlike other countries, when a prince turned six, they would be sent to the Yinchen Palace outside the palace to study poetry, rites, music, archery, and horse riding. They would stay there until the age of sixteen before returning to the palace. The purpose was to keep the future heirs of the imperial family away from the intrigues of the harem, allowing them to grow up safely and become talents fit for governance.

Xia Mingxuan looked at his Royal Mother’s gentle demeanor hiding her bitterness and felt a tremor in his heart. However, he pretended not to know and obediently nodded.

After that, Xia Mingxuan hid in the courtyard of his sleeping quarters and witnessed the little maid by Imperial Concubine Roujia’s side sending his missing white rabbit to the kitchen, where it was brutally killed.

He watched the whole thing unfold before his eyes, his eyes turning red, but he was powerless to stop it. At that moment, a sense of fear overwhelmed him. If the Imperial Concubine Roujia felt that something was affecting him and acted mercilessly like she did with the little rabbit, would she treat anyone or anything that influenced him in the same way?

With these thoughts in mind, Xia Mingxuan couldn’t help but envision the bright, smiling face of the little girl. Suddenly, he shuddered.

For the first time, Xia Mingxuan hated his own helplessness and weakness. He needed to become stronger, stronger to break free from the control of others, stronger to protect those he cared about, and strong enough to preserve the warmth he had finally found.

As he approached the age of six, Xia Mingxuan made a firm decision and set his sights on a position that was coveted by countless people.

Before leaving the palace, Xia Mingxuan went to see the little girl one last time.

“Big Brother is leaving?” The little girl widened her eyes, looking at Xia Mingxuan with reluctance.

Xia Mingxuan gently smiled as he touched her head, saying, “Yes, Big Brother is leaving, and little sister must take good care of yourself. When Big Brother comes back, will…will you marry me?”

“Marry?” The little girl asked, puzzled, her big watery eyes filled with confusion.

“Marry means that we can be together forever in the future. By then, I can take you away from here to see all kinds of things outside, and then we can live happily together forever. Do you want that, little sister?”

The little girl’s eyes suddenly lit up, and she nodded repeatedly, “Yes, yes, Qing Er wants to be with Big Brother forever and be happy together. Here, let’s pinky promise.”

Xia Mingxuan let the little girl hold his hand, and they pinky promised. His face showed some uncertainty, “Qing Er? Is that your name?”

Then, Xia Mingxuan remembered that he had always called her little sister and had forgotten to ask her name.

“Yes, yes, the nannies call me Qing Er. Big Brother must remember Qing Er’s name. Qing Er will be Big Brother’s bride in the future, the bride…”


A gentle breeze brushed through, blurring the figures of the two people who had made a promise under the dense tree shadows.

“Qing Er, Qing Er, Qing Er…” For a whole decade, Xia Mingxuan held this name close to his heart, refusing to let it fade away.

The passage of time didn’t erase the warm and profound memories between them. Instead, it transformed the tiny spark of warmth into an unyielding belief and affection. The promise they made evolved into an obsession.

Ten years flew by. When Xia Mingxuan finally returned to the Xia Imperial Palace with enough power, he was met not by the person he had been yearning for but by the long-abandoned, empty and desolate courtyard.

Xia Mingxuan hadn’t expected that after ten years of effort, this would be the result. Even more unimaginable was the fact that the person he had been dreaming of was now married to another man.

Their once heartfelt promises had become a joke, and the deep feelings he held for her had turned into a flowing river that slipped away from his grasp. He couldn’t comprehend it! Yet, he stubbornly believed that his Qing Er still had feelings for him.

Upon learning that the girl who had promised to be his bride was, in fact, the princess married off to another kingdom, Xia Mingxuan became increasingly convinced that Qing Er was still his. She had merely been taken away from him.

During those ten years of concealment, Xia Mingxuan had learned the iron rules of this world. If he wanted something, he had to take it himself, even if it meant snatching it, forcing it, or using any means necessary. The process didn’t matter; the important thing was to take back what was his, that unique warmth that belonged only to him.

For that, he went to Ye Kingdom in person, and even after sustaining serious injuries, he still monitored every move of those people. In his heart, he was willing to abandon everything, give up everything, as long as she… He couldn’t let go, because she was the faith he had held for a lifetime, the driving force that led him step by step to where he was now.

However, Xia Yuqing’s merciless resistance shattered his expectations. He had thought that as long as he rescued her, he could be with her, fulfill their promise, and explore the world together, living happily ever after.

But why… why did the person who had sworn to stay with him forever become what she was now? Why did she resist him for another man?

At that moment, Xia Mingxuan clearly heard the string of rationality in his head snap. When he came to his senses, his hand was already choking her neck, leaving a deep imprint.

Realizing what he had done, Xia Mingxuan looked at those familiar yet unfamiliar eyes, and emotions of regret and pain intertwined in his heart.

Why didn’t you wait for me? Why did you fall in love with someone else after promising to be with me? Why… why…

In that instant, the fierce beast that had been dormant for many years finally showed its sharp claws, revealing its bloodthirsty and cruel nature.

Since you have chosen to leave me and fly to a sky beyond my control, don’t blame me for breaking your wings and imprisoning you in a cage I built just for you, making sure you can never leave me again. That’s what Xia Mingxuan thought in a moment of madness.

Unfortunately, his plan ultimately became a phantom under the hands of the man who took away the most important person in his life. Victors enjoy glory while losers suffer defeat; it’s a common occurrence.

Thrown into the cage, in an instant, he couldn’t tell whether he was more relieved or disappointed. He was relieved that he didn’t go mad and hurt the person he cherished most. He was disappointed because in the end, after living a lifetime, he hadn’t truly possessed anything, gained anything.

The appearance of Xia Yuqing the two was within his expectations, but what he didn’t expect was that they didn’t come to beat a drowning dog. Instead, they came to tell him the truth behind the so-called incident.

So it turned out… that the person she was now wasn’t the same as the one from before.

At that moment, for the first time in his life, Xia Mingxuan experienced the taste of mixed pain and joy. The pain came from hoping and persisting for so long, but ultimately, it was in vain. The joy came from knowing that it wasn’t just his own unrequited love; she had never strayed from him.

In the end, Xia Mingxuan couldn’t tell if he felt more joy or pain. All he knew was that he had hoped and persisted for too long, but in the end, it was all in vain. The one he loved had chosen to leave him.

But that man understood perfectly how to deliver a fatal blow when others were most vulnerable.

“Xia Mingxuan, think carefully about why Ai Fei became like this. It was all caused by someone else!”

The man’s cryptic words echoed repeatedly in the quiet prison cell, filled with chilling irony. Xia Mingxuan had struggled all his life, and in return, he saw his only relative killing the person he loved. How cruel, how ironic, how laughable!

Xia Mingxuan thought that everything would end here. He could finally put an end to his fruitless life and the pursuit without an ending. However, the old man’s self-righteous actions dragged him back from the brink of death.

“Fourth Prince, the Crown Prince has been completely misled by people from the Ye Kingdom. Please, for the future of Xia Kingdom, shoulder the responsibility!”

What grandiose words! Unfortunately, he was no longer the naive young boy who believed in everything. Besides, who could have known that from the beginning, what he wanted was not this so-called vast territory. The reason he wanted to sit on the throne was only because he believed that standing at the top, possessing absolute power, would allow him to protect the person he wanted to protect. But now, what did it all mean?

So what was meaningful now? Xia Mingxuan spent several months regrouping and once again sought out the person who had occupied the body of his beloved, hoping to find the original owner of that body. However, he failed again.

In the moment Xia Yuqing fired the gun, Xia Mingxuan suddenly understood why he was so stubbornly looking for trouble with Xia Yuqing and the others. It was because he had lost the person he regarded as his lifelong faith, lost his faith, lost the meaning of his existence. No matter how hard he struggled, it was all in vain.

In the instant he fell off the cliff, Xia Mingxuan looked up at the sky, feeling a blankness in his mind, but also a sense of relief and excitement.

In the darkness that engulfed him, he thought that it was finally over.

As the Buddhist saying goes, when a person is trapped in the cycle of reincarnation and after death goes to h*ll, he wondered whether, by the side of the River of Oblivion and in front of the Naihe Bridge, someone will be waiting for him according to their agreement to see her one last time. If there really is an afterlife, can he dare to hope for one more glimpse of her?

Carrying such a hope, Xia Mingxuan didn’t expect that when he woke up again, he would find himself in such a strange place.

Traffic flowed back and forth, horns and shouts filled the air. Not far away on the pedestrian sidewalk, people dressed in magnificent clothes hurriedly passed by. A variety of unfamiliar skyscrapers arose from the ground, dizzying.

The drizzle scattered in the air and fell on the various umbrellas carried by passersby.

Feeling powerless, Xia Mingxuan sat by a dilapidated alley, paying no attention to the curious or alarmed gazes from the passersby. He covered his extremely disheveled face with his hand, feeling that… in the end…

“Uh, are you okay?”

Just as Xia Mingxuan was in the depths of self-abandonment and bitterness, he suddenly heard a soft female voice coming from above.

Xia Mingxuan trembled all over and slowly lowered his hand, looking dazedly at the girl standing in front of him, holding a light purple umbrella.

The attire was completely unfamiliar, the face entirely unknown, but those eyes, that tone of speech, even after tens of millions of years, he would never forget.

“Uh, are you okay? Did you fall asleep?”

“Did you cry? Did you trip?”

“Um, there’s a lot of dust here, and it’s easy for sand to get in your eyes.”

“Big brother, you look so handsome when you smile. Why did you always have a serious face before? Can’t you smile more?”

“Big brother, big brother, look, is this pretty?”

“Is big brother happy?”

“It’s great that fireflies can fly out and see the outside before coming back.”

“Is big brother leaving?”

“Willing, willing. Qing Er wants to be with big brother forever, to be happy together, come, let’s make a promise.”

“Big brother should also remember Qing Er’s name. Qing Er will be big brother’s bride in the future, a bride…”

Scenes from the past flowed before his eyes like a gentle stream – the initial cautiousness, the warmth and excitement of watching fireflies by the lotus pond together, and finally, the resolute commitment made under the falling petals while standing under the tree. Each moment seemed like it had happened just yesterday.

The drizzle, once as soft as cotton, seemed to have stopped at some point, and the sun peeked out from behind the dark clouds, gradually illuminating the whole world.

“Are you… alright?”

The girl who still held an umbrella in front of Xia Mingxuan asked once again, and the dazzling sunlight cast a faint glow upon her.

The sparkle in the girl’s eyes reminded Xia Mingxuan of the little girl’s eyes reflecting fireflies by the lotus pond.

In that moment, he knew that he had finally found his own light.

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