Chapter 42: A Little Love Song
Tan Xilu typed “Happy New Year” in the chat box but hesitated to send it to Xu Huaiming.
He felt sorry for Xu Huaiming, but his feelings could only be sympathy. He couldn’t fully open his heart to love Xu Huaiming because there were too many barriers between them, not just because of Xu Huaiming’s AI identity.
Just as Professor Bowen had said, whether it was the past Xu Huaiming or the present one, they both treated him as an experimental target for emotions. So Tan Xilu couldn’t distinguish whether Xu Huaiming’s “I love you” was part of his programming or genuine feelings from the heart.
He was indeed conflicted. The current Xu Huaiming was obviously wiser and more mature, more understanding of his own softness, and more in tune with him. He couldn’t be sure if one day he would truly fall for Xu Huaiming, but if that happened, he would feel guilty towards the past Xu Huaiming, so he hesitated.
Tan Xilu sighed, not knowing what to do.
As he contemplated, his phone vibrated again.
The caller ID showed Li Xuandie. Tan Xilu had saved her number since the last time she had asked him about the person in the office with Qin Sizhe. However, this was the first time she had called him proactively, and Tan Xilu had a feeling that this call might not be a typical New Year’s greeting.
After answering the call, he heard a girl crying on the other end. Li Xuandie choked back tears and said, “Teacher Tan, can you come to the hospital? I’m so scared.”
It seemed like this New Year’s Eve was destined to be far from peaceful. The sky outside was gloomy, the fireworks seemed endless, and snowflakes fell, covering everything in a hazy veil.
At 12:15 AM, news reported an accident on a certain road, resulting in one person being critically injured. At 12:20 AM, Li Xuandie, in a state of panic, called Tan Xilu. Qin Sizhe was in the intensive care unit, fighting for his life, and his condition had worsened twice. At 12:23 AM, Tan Xilu, in a hurry, changed his shoes and rushed to the hospital.
“Tan Xilu, where are you going?” Just as Tan Xilu reached the ground floor, Li Zhaode caught up with him and grabbed his arm.
“My student had an accident, I need to check on him,” Tan Xilu replied, panting. The situation had unfolded so suddenly, and it was unexpected.
“I’ll drive you there; it’s not safe to take a taxi in this snow,” Li Zhaode suggested.
Tan Xilu looked at the heavy snowfall and the scarcity of taxis on New Year’s Eve, so he nodded in agreement.
Li Zhaode went to the parking lot to get the car, and Tan Xilu waited at the entrance of the residential complex. As he passed by a wooden bench, he noticed that the streetlamp above it was out. However, streetlamp malfunctions were not uncommon, so he didn’t pay much attention to it. Moreover, it was quite late, and he assumed that Xu Huaiming had already left, so he headed straight for the entrance.
Just as he reached the entrance, Xu Huaiming’s car was also coming out. Tan Xilu opened the door, got in, and informed Li Zhaode of the hospital’s address.
Li Xuandie explained that the accident involving Qin Sizhe had occurred while street racing.
Every New Year’s Eve, the Qin family would invite relatives and friends to their home for dinner. Chi Yehang was Qin’s mother’s student and had been invited this year, along with his fiancée.
They had gotten engaged the previous month, and during the dinner, Chi Yehang had shared some happy news: he was going to be a father, and they planned to have a formal wedding after the New Year.
That announcement had hit Qin Sizhe like a thunderbolt. He stood up immediately, his eyes filled with intense emotion. He asked, “Chi Yehang, are you really… going to be a father?”
“Qin Sizhe, please sit down.” Beside him, Qin’s mother grabbed his arm, afraid that he would make a scene. “Be more sensible.”
But Qin Sizhe shook off his mother’s hand, paying no attention to his pride. He asked again, “Are you really going to be a father?”
Chi Yehang looked at him, his brows furrowing, his gaze icy. “Yes, I’m going to be a father.”
In that moment, Qin Sizhe felt the last line of defense in his heart crumble. Despite the warm indoor temperature from the air conditioning, he shivered uncontrollably.
Qin Sizhe dropped his chopsticks and said, “I’ve lost my appetite.”
The people at the table were puzzled, not understanding what had just happened, but they were used to Qin Sizhe’s capricious behavior, so few paid it much attention, except for Li Xuandie.
Only she followed Qin Sizhe when he left the table.
“Qin Sizhe, where are you going? Your leg isn’t fully healed yet.” Seeing Qin Sizhe changing his shoes at the door, Li Xuandie furrowed her brow and asked.
“I need some fresh air,” Qin Sizhe crouched down to tie his shoelaces and said, not looking up. “I know the condition of my leg better than anyone.”
“Then I’ll go with you.” Li Xuandie found her boots and put them on.
“No need,” Qin Sizhe replied.
“Why?” Li Xuandie grabbed Qin Sizhe’s arm.
“I’m going to street race. Are you not afraid of death?” Qin Sizhe raised an eyebrow.
Li Xuandie, despite being a young lady from a well-educated family, had only learned traditional skills like music, chess, calligraphy, and painting. She hadn’t learned to drive, and there was no need for her to do so since her family had a chauffeur. She had seen street racing occasionally on social media but had never tried it herself.
At this moment, a faint excitement welled up inside her. She nodded firmly and said, “I’m not afraid.”
Qin Sizhe glanced at her, seemingly surprised, but ultimately, he took her along.
Qin Sizhe was born with a wild nature, unwilling to be confined by rules and norms. When he drove, he became a lone eagle soaring freely in the sky, casting aside his past rotten and decaying infatuations. He embraced the thrill of the moment, feeling alive as he pushed the boundaries of danger.
The speed of the car kept increasing, and the terrified screams of the young girl echoed in his ears. At that moment, Qin Sizhe transformed into a beast, seeking liberation.
What happened next was unexpected. Just as they approached a turn, a blinding turn signal from an oncoming car momentarily blinded Qin Sizhe for a full minute.
“Qin Sizhe, move to the side!” Li Xuandie reached for the steering wheel but didn’t quite make it before the car from the opposite direction collided with them.
Qin Sizhe used his remaining consciousness to shield the girl.
“Screech…” There was a loud noise and his entire brain went numb. He felt liquid flowing down from the top of his head, and his legs throbbed in pain. He thought that his previously injured leg had suffered a second blow. Then, amid the girl’s screams, he lost consciousness completely.
After leaving the hospital during the day, they hadn’t expected to return at night. Li Zhaode had just parked the car when Tan Xilu opened the door and got out. He had heard the panic in Li Xuandie’s voice on the phone and didn’t want to overwhelm her with too many people. He walked a few steps away from the car and then turned back to Li Zhaode. “You don’t need to come up; it’s so late. You can go back.”
Li Zhaode looked at him and said, “I’ll wait for you in the car. It’s hard to find a taxi at this hour.”
Tan Xilu agreed, and so he nodded.
The intensive care unit was on the third floor. Many people were waiting for the elevator, but Tan Xilu chose to take the stairs. He reached the door of the intensive care unit, where Li Xuandie was crying with bloodstains all over her.
“Li Xuandie,” Tan Xilu called her name.
“Teacher Tan,” Li Xuandie turned around, her pretty face already stained with tears.
Tan Xilu walked over and asked, “How is it inside?”
Li Xuandie shook her head, “I don’t know, I’m so scared. Qin Sizhe lost a lot of blood. Teacher Tan, will he die?”
“It’ll be fine,” Tan Xilu took off his own coat and wrapped it around Li Xuandie. He patted her shoulder and reassured her, “It’ll be fine. Qin Sizhe will be okay.”
“Oh, by the way, did you notify his parents?” Tan Xilu asked.
“I didn’t dare,” Li Xuandie continued to cry, “I didn’t dare… The police took the drunk driver away and asked me to call Qin’s aunt. I didn’t dare to call.”
The girl, like a fragile butterfly, had chased after excitement when flying high, but she had finally had her wings broken. Now, she sensed the impending danger and was terrified.
“Okay, it’s alright. I’ll make the notification,” Tan Xilu comforted Li Xuandie. “You sit here for now. Teacher is here, so don’t be afraid.”
Li Xuandie nodded shakily.
About twenty minutes later, a group of people entered the hospital.
Qin’s mother, the head of the group, held Li Xuandie’s hand and asked, “Xiaodie, what’s going on? How did the accident happen? How is Qin Sizhe? Is he seriously injured?”
“Aunt…” Li Xuandie lowered her head and couldn’t bear to look at Qin’s mother’s face. “I don’t know… He protected me with his life. Otherwise, I would be the one lying there. There was so much blood. Aunt, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry…”
As she spoke, she suddenly saw Chi Yehang standing among the crowd. She immediately stood up, pointed at him angrily, and said, “It’s you! Qin Sizhe went street racing because of you. Why did you provoke him? Why did you tell him that he was going to be a father? Now, Qin Sizhe won’t bother you anymore. Are you happy?”
This statement not only left Chi Yehang stunned but also Qin’s mother, who looked at Chi Yehang with a delayed reaction. She pulled Li Xuandie’s clothes and asked, “Xiaodie, what do you mean by this?”
Li Xuandie cried and said, “Aunt, I saw…”
T/N: Wishing you all a good October! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
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