vol. 1: Chapter two – Xue Rui and Li Jinghua (Part 1)

Li Xinwen stared at the man with a complicated look. According to the original’s memories, this man is Xue Rui and is indeed the original’s patron. Rich, powerful, and owner of the No. 1 entertainment company in Huaxia1. The scary thing is, that the entertainment company is not his only business. In fact, he also has his hands on one of the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world. Aside from being Li Xinwen’s patron, Xue Rui is also his sister’s fiancé!

The only reason why Li Xinwen was in an indecent relationship with Xue Rui was that the latter had taken a fancy to him and used Li Xinwen’s weakness against him.

Li Xinwen looked back through his memories. A particular scene came to mind. Xue Rui had come to visit him during the filming of his second work after his debut. Back then, Li Xinwen had only known Xue Rui for a week, after his sister introduced the man to the family as her fiancé. Xue Rui acted like a gentleman and Li Xinwen did not feel suspicious at all. It wasn’t until break time when the two of them were left alone in Li Xinwen’s dressing room that he showed his true colours.

Xue Rui came on to him and started to harass Li Xinwen.  Li Xinwen pushed Xue Rui away in surprise and a scuffle ensued. Li Xinwen was about to leave the room when Xue Rui threatened him that he was going to cut off the engagement with his sister.

‘What a scum! This person had the audacity to use Li Xinwen’s affection towards his sister as a means to push him into a corner.’ A feeling of revulsion welled up from the pit of Li Xinwen’s stomach at the memory.

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“I apologize Rui-ge, I am still feeling the effects of the medicine and did not recognize you earlier. Pray, tell what brings you here? Is my sister with you?” Li Xinwen responded, trying his hardest to suppress his revulsion.

“Jinghua still had work, so I came alone.” Xue Rui answered with a hint of sensual malice. “How are you feeling?”

“I feel a lot better, thank you. Most of the wounds have healed and the more serious injuries remaining have also almost healed completely.”

“Good.”

“…”

“…”

The awkward silence that came after made Li Xinwen uncomfortable and Xue Rui seemed to enjoy watching Li Xinwen’s discomfort. After a while, Xue Rui finally moved. At first, Li Xinwen thought he was going to leave so he closed his eyes and sighed. But then, he felt the bed dip slightly and sensed someone hovering over him. By the time he opened his eyes, it was already too late. Soft lips pressed against his and Li Xinwen’s eyes widened in surprise. ‘This bastard is very daring!’

Li Xinwen clenched his fists and he was about to punch Xue Rui regardless of his injuries when Xue Rui suddenly pulled away as if sensing what Li Xinwen was about to do.

“How naughty of you, Li Xinwen!” Xue Rui remarked with a smirk and a glint of perversion in his eyes. “But that’s one of the things I like about you,” he added while buttoning his coat.

Li Xinwen had no comeback retort. Disgust and anger stirred inside him and the mix of his repulsion and surprise could clearly be seen from his face.

The sound of the door sliding open brought him back to his senses. There standing in the doorway was a young woman in her early twenties. She carried herself with such confidence and authority that the air around her seem energized. She wore a simple black office dress that went just below the knee and was accessorized by a simple pair of gold earrings and a pandora necklace.

Her hair was tied in a neat bun and she wore a pair of nude 8-centimetre pumps and carried a croc-embossed leather envelope clutch. The young woman was Li Jinghua, Li Xinwen’s sister and Xue Rui’s fiancé. She exuded power as she entered the room. She was so well put together, except for the fact that she was carrying what looked like a plastic bag on her other hand.

“Hua-jie2! You came!” with a look of relief, Li Xinwen greeted the elder female as he tried to cover his emotions from earlier with a smile. He was grateful that Li Jinghua arrived when she did, otherwise, he didn’t know what he would have done to Xue Rui. But Li Jinghua’s reaction was not what Li Xinwen expected.

In the original’s memories, Li Jinghua always treated him kindly no matter what, which made the original feel guilty for being forced to climb into bed with her fiance. Li Xinwen saw disdain in her gaze which quickly disappeared. ‘Is Li Jinghua aware of her fiance’s infidelity and indecent relationship with her brother?’ Li Xinwen started to get worried.

Li Jinghua approached Li Xinwen’s bed and gave him a short but heartfelt embrace. She set her clutch on the table beside Li Xinwen’s hospital bed and affectionately caressed her brother’s cheek.

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Ah‘Wen, I am so glad that you have finally awakened. How are you feeling? I bought your favourite chocolate milk for you,” Li Jinghua said, smiling as she held up the plastic bag she was holding.

“Thank you, Hua-jie!” Li Xinwen smiled, but he couldn’t help but feel suspicious.

He wondered whether the look of disdain earlier was just his imagination, or if he was reading too much into it. After being betrayed once, it usually is hard to trust again. But Li Xinwen prayed that it was just his imagination since the original really treasured his sister very much and he was looking forward to experiencing how it would be to have a family.

“Let your sister help you,” she said in a gentle tone. Li Jinghua reached for the button to prop up Li Xinwen’s hospital bed. Although she was aware of Xue Rui’s presence, not once did she glance in Xue Rui’s direction. After retrieving the bottle of chocolate milk from the plastic bag, she removed the bottle cap and inserted a straw before handing it to Li Xinwen.

Standing by the foot of Li Xinwen’s bed, Xue Rui observed the exchange between brother and sister. And he decided he was in the mood to tease Li Jinghua.

“My dear Jinghua, do I not deserve a little bit of your attention as your fiancé?” he said smiling, almost lovingly.

At Xue Rui’s remark, Li Xinwen looked up at his sister and for a brief second noticed an annoyed expression on her face. Li Jinghua turned to Xue Rui with a forced smile and responded with a hint of sarcasm. “Darling, you seem to be in high spirits. At the moment, I don’t believe you need any of my attention.”

She slowly approached her fiancé and pretended to plant a kiss on Xue Rui’s cheek, whispering so low it was out of Li Xinwen’s earshot, “Haven’t you had your fill of Li Xinwen before I arrived?”

Xue Rui was a little surprised but he smiled mischievously at Jinghua’s remark and let out a small chuckle. At that Li Xinwen was nonplussed as he was unsure what could have caused Xue Rui’s behaviour. But he welcomed the interaction between his sister and her fiancé as it squashed the thought that Li Jinghua was aware of the indecent relationship between Xue Rui and himself.

By this time, Li Xinwen’s suspicion had already disappeared and he believed that what he had seen before was just his imagination. He drank the chocolate milk and admitted to himself that he quite liked the sweet-tasting beverage. Although he still preferred spiritual wine over the brown coloured liquid called chocolate milk. But alas, there was none to be had in this world where there were no cultivators and even the spiritual energy was scarce.

Xue Rui held Li Jinghua’s arms and planted a soft kiss on her cheek, pushing her gently aside as he approached Li Xinwen. He squeezed the latter’s arm as if to express pent up desire.

“Then I shall excuse myself to allow you two to catch up,” he said, before turning towards Li Jinghua who stood with a resigned expression on her face. “I’ll be waiting outside until you are ready to leave, darling,” he mischievously winked at Li Jinghua on the last word before leaving the room and finally, Xue Rui nonchalantly closed the door behind him.

Li Xinwen and Li Jinghua took this opportunity to catch up with each other. They spent the remaining 2 hours of the hospital’s visiting hours exchanging stories and reminiscing about their childhood. After helping Li Xinwen lie down comfortably, Li Jinghua gave him a hug and said goodbye.

Although tired after the day’s events and visitors, Li Xinwen felt happy and light, especially at the thought that his sister treasured him dearly. ‘It’s been a good day,’ he thought.

Seeing that there was nothing to do and still wide awake, Li Xinwen decided to try cultivating. Although the spiritual energy of this world was thin, he should be able to cultivate as long as there was even a minuscules amount in the surrounding area. But then there was the question of whether the accident affected his mortal body’s capacity to absorb the needed spiritual energy. In addition, it was already past the prime age to start cultivation. But he had to try.

Li Xinwen closed his eyes and used his rich experience to sense and guide the faint traces of spiritual energy towards his mortal body. To his delight, his mortal body started absorbing it little by little.

“Amazing! Despite being injured, this mortal body still possesses the aptitude for cultivation!” Li Xinwen exclaimed. With a renewed sense of determination, he ended up spending the entire night channelling and allowing his mortal body to absorb spiritual energy to build the necessary foundation.


1 Huaxia – From what this author read in several novels as well as small research, Huaxia was the name of old China.

2 Jie – a variation of dajie, meaning elder sister.

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