Chapter 174: Who Are You
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Her tears had dried up, and there wasn’t any more to shed.
The past memories disappeared like smoke.
“Sister Xiao Ling,” Her assistant Wei Wei carefully piped up. “do you want me to get some water for you to wash your face?”
With that interrupting her thoughts, Xia Ling recalled that her face was in a mess and it was rather unbecoming of an artiste. She was about to nod her head in agreement when she heard a huge “bang,” and the door of the makeup room was swung wide open.
Everyone turned to look towards the door.
At that moment, Xia Ling felt her throat go dry, and she was unable to make a sound.
If there were anyone in this life that she never wanted to see again, it would be him. Yet, if there were anyone that could make her lose sleep at night, and to love and hate with all her heart, it would also be him. Only him… Pei Ziheng.
Her God, her Satan, her everything.
Looking at the tall shadow in the doorway, Xia Ling felt her body stiffen, and she could not breathe.
He was wearing an old, light gray round-necked woolen sweater that was very familiar. She subconsciously lowered her gaze to the bottom corner of the sweater, and as expected, she saw an insignificant stain. That was a stain that she had caused by spilling a drink on the sweater in the past.
She felt her heart clench, and there was a sharp pain in her chest.
Why was he still wearing that sweater? She knew how picky he was in the sixteen years that they had been together. He would usually throw anything that was slightly damaged away, and only this sweater had survived all those years ago. Then, Xia Ling had insisted that he keep that sweater because she liked its soft texture, and would snuggle in his embrace whenever he was wearing it, refusing to leave. Now that the Xia Ling that would snuggle up to him was gone, why was he still wearing that sweater?
What’s more, to somewhere like this?!
Pei Ziheng did not allow himself to dress so casually in public areas. Whenever he left the house, he would be in a formal suit, emitting a cold, tough charisma. However, at this moment, he looked disheveled. Could it be…
Pei Ziheng, how hurriedly did you leave the house? For… whom?
She stared at him blankly and heard Xia Yu’s surprised voice ringing out from the side. “Brother Ziheng, why are you here? Did you come to pick me? That’s great, once the show is over, I’ll follow you…”
As she spoke, she walked up towards him.
Surprisingly, Pei Ziheng looked past her, and his intense gaze swept across the room to finally settle on Xia Ling. Her heart lurched, and Xia Ling instinctively wanted to run away, but she seemed to be frozen to the spot and could not move.
She watched as he strode across the room with long steps until he was right in front of her.
“Who are you?” His tone was sinister, and there was danger in his eyes.
Xia Ling was in shock. Her throat was dry and her mind completely white.
“Speak! Say it! Who are you?!” Pei Ziheng grabbed her wrists tightly, almost crushing her bones.
The intense pain brought Xia Ling back to her senses, and she struggled to extract her wrists from his grip. “Pei Ziheng, let go of me!”
He ignored her cries, and his grip became even tighter. His eyes were bloodshot like that of a savage animal, and he seemed ready to tear her apart. “Who are you? Who are you?! How is it that your version of ‘The Caged Butterfly’ is so much like hers?! How do you know the second half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’?! How in the world would you know how to sing that?!”
The pain was making Xia Ling break out in cold sweat, and his words struck her like lightning.
The second half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’!
How could she have forgotten? In the final concert in her past life, she had only sung half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’ before she was murdered! The second half of the song had always been a mystery. However, when she was singing the song in the Nebula Music Festival today, she had been lost in her emotions and memories of the past, and she had unknowingly sung the unreleased second half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’!
Oh my God…
She felt her body go cold, the blood seeming to have frozen in her veins.
Pei Ziheng cornered her to the makeup counter and pressed on with his interrogation. “Tell me right now! Who the hell are you?!”
Being this close to him made the memories of the past come back to the forefront of Xia Ling’s mind, and she struggled in panic. “Pei Ziheng, let go of me! Let me go! I’m not anyone! Not anyone at all! Let go of me, quick! It hurts!”
Feng Kun rushed forward to pull Pei Ziheng back. “Boss! Calm down! She’s Ye Xingling from Skyart Entertainment, not the person you’re looking for!”
Pei Ziheng was not convinced and looked like he was ready to eat her alive. “How could you know the second half of the song?!”
“It was me! I gave her the music and lyrics!” Feng Kun used all his might to pull Pei Ziheng back. In actual fact, Feng Kun was also feeling shocked. He did not give her the lyrics, and no one other than Pei Ziheng and him knew the second half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’ since it was top secret. However, this girl that was uncannily similar to Xia Ling was able to sing the second half of the song. What did this mean?!
The answer was evident to him. However, Feng Kun was more interested in making sure that, this time, he protected her, rather than to dwell too much in the truth.
“She just sang according to the music and lyrics I gave her. It’s perfectly understandable that she knows the second half of the song!” Feng Kun shouted at Pei Ziheng.
Yet, Pei Ziheng refused to hear any of it and continued to press on, almost hysterical. “Who the hell are you?!”
Xia Ling felt like her wrists were being crushed, and the pain was close to intolerable. She shrieked in despair. “Why do you care who I am?! Pei Ziheng, who are you to me?! Everyone knows how to sing ‘The Caged Butterfly.’ I simply sang according to the music and lyrics that were given to me!”
“You’re lying!” Pei Ziheng was furious and suddenly used his other hand to grab the bottom of her face, forcing her to look up at him. “You’re lying! It’s not possible! It’s not possible that Feng Kun would give you the music and lyrics. How do you know the unreleased second half of ‘The Caged Butterfly’?! How is it possible that you can sing it in its entirety?! Who in the world are you?!” Perhaps it was hope or anguish from missing her for so long, Pei Ziheng refused to believe that the music and lyrics were given to her by Feng Kun. He knew it was preposterous, but he was waiting for a different answer.
His tirades came in waves at Xia Ling, and she thought she heard his voice trembling ever so slightly.
She shut her eyes, willing herself not to reveal a single ounce of emotion.
There was a rare tinge of anxiety in Feng Kun’s tone as he said, “Boss, please let her go first. Calm down…”
He sounded so helpless.
Pei Ziheng still refused to let go.
A chill ran up Xia Ling’s spine.
She could not let him discover her real identity. She definitely could not. Pei Ziheng’s monopolist tendencies were too strong, and she did not dare imagine what consequences she would face if he took her back.
Xia Ling forced herself to calm down…
She mustered up courage with difficulty and said, “You…” Her chin was still in his vice-like grip, and it was challenging to speak. “You… let… me go…. go first… I.. I will… tell… you… tell you how… I know…. the… song.”
She felt his grip loosen as she spoke.
She did not have time to think. Using all the strength she had, Xia Ling pushed Pei Ziheng aside and half-rolled, half-crawled, as she sprinted out of the room.
“Stop right there!” He shouted out in anger.
How would she dare to stop? She crashed through the tables and chairs in her way as she ran off, sprinting down the hallway without thinking. She could hear him chasing her from behind, his steps heavy and thunderous, getting louder and louder… closer and closer… Xia Ling ran with all her might and saw the elevator in front of her. If she could just ride the elevator down to the first floor before he caught up with her… The bodyguards that Li Lei had sent to protect her were on the first floor. She would be safe there.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.
Just as she entered the elevator and pressed on the “close” button, a tall shadow squeezed into the crack of the closing elevator door.
The elevator door closed with a loud “ding.”
Xia Ling felt the blood drain from her face as she looked at the man in front of her. She kept backing away until her back was flat against the cold, metal walls of the elevator.