Bing Shuai sat reclined in the passenger seat, with his eyes closed and brows locked in a frown as the limousine wandered through the streets aimlessly. He tried to recall every single detail of his meeting with Li Yiming. 'Doesn't seem like he's anything more than just a city boy. What about that other person…?'
Tian Yan's observation alerted him greatly. Although she was born blind, her talent allowed her to perceive others' fate. 'A hidden fate? Or a barrier that prevents scrying? Regardless, this is crucial, especially with Ji Xiaoqin' case. There are people ahead of me, and their understanding of fate and karma vastly exceeds ours.'
'But who was it? The one in the checkered shirt or…?' Bing Shuai sat up with a shiver going down his spine. He suddenly realized that he could not remember anything about the other man. In fact, if it was not for Tian Yan's reminder, he would not even be sure that there were two people.
'To be able to make me forget about him… This has only happened to me once… Mr. Kong…'
"For Mr. Kong to suddenly appear in Hangzhou and then to disappear without a trace… If Jiao Xiaoqin is related to that man… Then…'"Bing Shuai muttered to himself. He began to hesitate and started to fear the implications of his encounter.
The window that separated the driver from his compartment was lowered. The chauffeur gazed at Bing Shuai through the rear-view mirror, as though he had something to say, but was too afraid to do so.
"Speak." Bing Shuai closed his eyes and said coldly.
"Young Miss has sent us a message." The chauffeur answered cautiously. It was the first time that the chauffeur has seen any display of emotion from Bing Shuai in the entire decade he had spent working for him.
"Print it out and give it to me." Bing Shuai listened for the printer working on board. 'It must be Ying Mei's investigation.'
Tian Yan laid on a beach chair on the balcony, hugging her pillow. Due to her blindness, she rarely went outside, instead preferring the darkness that reduced others to the same life she was living. But today, unlike Bing Shuai, who had been worried sick, she found herself being able to enjoy the warmth of the sun with a peaceful countenance.
Heavenly karma was the only thing that Tian Yan could see, colorful, interwoven threads that were present in every corner of her world. However, today she was able to see the silhouette of a man. The man was ordinary in every sense of the word, but his limbs and his face were traced with a pure white evoked a certain sense of holiness.
Tian Yan reported to Bing Shuai that she was unable to see one of the men that passed by. However, it was a lie. For the first time in her life, she was able to see a person's figure in its entirety.
* * *
Ying Mei's eyes scanned through the text on the monitor with furrowed brows.
Bing Shuai had just ordered her to investigate the two men and abandon her surveillance of Ji Xiaoqin for the time being. 'What could be more important than Ji Xiaoqin? I only saw one person at the furniture store… Did Bing Shuai make a mistake?'
Ying Mei had even verified the security tapes of the furniture store and found that Li Yiming had been alone the entire time. 'Did he… really make a mistake?'
* * *
Fu Bo sat at his desk as he recalled his experiences after he met Li Yiming. A warm smile hinted at his happiness of finally finding a friend.
Fu Bo felt safe around Li Yiming. Meeting Li Yiming gave him a newfound sense of purposefulness in life. He no longer felt alone, or like a spectator that was forced to see the world unfold before himself without being able to participate in it. He finally felt alive.
Fu Bo rubbed his hands together excitedly and opened his laptop. Today was a day he could feel the inspiration overflowing within him. He licked his teeth and began to type out the ideas he had.
"Sundering Nature… Chapter 085 – Catastrophe in the Sky…"
* * *
Li Yiming poured himself a glass of water and downed it in one gulp, disposing of the paper cup as he walked towards the study.
'Fu Bo, Ji Xiaoqin, Guo Xiang, Liu Meng, Mr Kong, Qing He…' Li Yiming went through the list of people that were all somehow connected him right now. 'To think that a coincidental meeting with Mr. Kong would lead me to where I am today. But… what should I do now? What's my role in this supernatural world?'
'Heaven's Laws are powerful, but not omnipotent. The same with guardians, who are merely a group of laborers that struggle to survive. And what of myself? I'm unbound by the rules, what is my purpose?'
'It's here.' Li Yiming stared at the floor. He could feel himself being cut off from the rest of the world. Now, it was only him and his own heartbeat. Li Yiming sat down in a meditative pose and tried to feel more sharply the change brought in by the opening of the domain. 'Fu Bo… I can't change how heaven’s laws operate but I can decide which path to walk in my own life.'
* * *
Bing Shuai furrowed his brows at the reports of Ying Mei's investigation of Li Yiming's life from birth to university. The report was detailed to the point of even surprising Li Yiming himself with things he did not know about himself. 'How long has it been since I've been this cautious?'
'Three points worth of attention. He was once in a relationship with Ji Xiaoqin, but the two broke up due to Guo Xiang. Secondly, he lives on the same floor as Ji Xiaoqin, and he moved in right after Ji Xiaoqin. Finally, the money he used comes from an unknown source. There's no way he could have bought this by himself… Could he be a representative?' Bing Shuai quickly caught onto the key detail.
A representative is hired by a team of guardians to overcome the hurdles of the latter's limitations in the real world. Although guardians wield extraordinary powers, Heaven's Laws heavily restricts their usage in reality, and they usually had more important matters to worry about. As such, many guardian teams relied on representatives to manage their assets and take care of the mundane problems that potentially threatened their comfortable lifestyles.
Guo Tai, Guo Xiang's father, was a representative that Bing Shuai took under his wing early on in his life. In fact, Bing Shuai was the one who oversaw the founding of Yun Long Construction Group and the company’s actual owner. The speed at which Yunlong developed and prospered was also largely due to the support of the guardians in the background, who put it miles above the company's competitors.
'Everything in the report suggests that Li Yiming is also representative. Only the asset he manages isn't money, it's Ji Xiaoqin… So there's someone out there who's ahead of us. What can I do? Try for a bargain? Impossible. No one would share the fruit of their research. Use force? Who is this kid working for?' Bing Shuai massaged his temples and sank back into his reflection.
* * *
Ji Xiaoqin once again lapsed into a confused daze. The moment she closed her own door, she glanced at the door on the other end of the corridor and her thoughts began to wander again; for some reason, she imagined herself dressed in a bridal gown and being carried by Li Yiming into the entrance.
'Why? Is he trying to make me change my mind? Or is he planning on watching and protecting me from afar? It must be financially draining to rent such an apartment… Why is he doing this? I thought he moved on?'
After the two accidental encounters they had with each other during the day, Ji Xiaoqin was convinced that this was not a coincidence. She believed that Li Yiming had come back to see her and waited for her to change her mind.
Ji Xiaoqin's heart warmed up at the thought of it, but seeing Li Yiming again also sent her thoughts into disarray. She began to second-guess her initial decision. 'I've only ever liked Guo Xiang for his wallet, not for himself. Now, I have everything I've ever wanted… but am I happy?'
Ji Xiaoqin shivered as cold streams of water trickled down on her back, but her physical discomfort did little to turn her attention away from her thoughts. Hot tears soon joined the cold water that ran down her face, and its bitterness was particularly vivid on her tongue.
Ji Xiaoqin contemplated her own reflection through the glass shower door. She looked at her white skin, her supple breasts, her toned abdomen, and her long legs that had been a result of years of dancing. Her eyes then came back to her face, framed by her dripping wet long hair. Her nearly perfect body and her attractive features had always been the object of her pride, but now it became the source of her doubts. 'If it wasn't for all of this… would Yiming still be so entranced…? What about Guo Xiang?'
Dear Ji Xiaoqin, allow me to carefully reflect upon your question…