The Remaining Life Has Its Limits

Chapter 17

The road out of the city at night was wide and open, shrouded in darkness. Ye Sibei gripped the steering wheel tightly, nervously watching the road ahead.

The speedometer showed 30 miles per hour, and the car moved like a turtle in the dark night. Qin Nan sat in the passenger seat, lit a cigarette, took a deep drag, and watched the road ahead with a slightly solemn expression.

As the car approached a pedestrian crossing, Ye Sibei pressed the brake and honked the horn, proceeding slowly.

Watching Ye Sibei’s standard driving actions, Qin Nan endured for a while before finally asking, “How long have you had your driver’s license?”

“Don’t talk to me,” Ye Sibei stared at the road, “I’m nervous.”

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Qin Nan sighed, took a deep drag of his cigarette, turned his head away, and tried to calm himself.

By now, it had been an hour since their escape plan began, but due to Ye Sibei’s “safe driving,” they hadn’t even reached the highway. Despite Qin Nan’s calm temperament, he was beginning to feel anxious due to the slow speed.

“Maybe I should drive.”

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Ckd Lyd nawpble swv vbl nktyalvvl, elvlaxkdle. Zl Fkclk pbssj bla blye, zssjkdt yblye pvwccsadzu.

“Ls,” pbl pyke plakswpzu, “R oydv vs eakhl.”

Ckd Lyd rywple qsa y xsxldv. Tl tzydnle yv vbl prllesxlvla yde qlzv y bkdv sq elpryka, cwv obld bl zssjle yv Zl Fkclk’p elvlaxkdle lmralppksd, bl pvayktbvldle wr yde vsze bla, “Zsw nyd eakhl, cwv alxlxcla sdl vbkdt.”

“Ebyv’p vbyv?”

“Rq vbl prlle sd vbl bktboyu kp clzso 100,” Ckd Lyd pyke plakswpzu, “kv’p kzzltyz.”

Zl Fkclk: “…”

Zl Fkclk eashl pzsozu, cwv pbl eashl rlapkpvldvzu. Ckd Lyd esgle sqq kdvlaxkvvldvzu, oyjkdt wr tasttkzu vs qkde bla pvkzz eakhkdt. Gqvla plhlayz nunzlp sq vbkp, obld Ckd Lyd osjl wr ytykd, bl alyzkgle vblu bye pvsrrle kd yd srld-yka ryajkdt zsv. Zl Fkclk oyp pzwxrle shla vbl pvllakdt obllz, qypv ypzllr. Mbl pju oyp pvkzz rkvnb czynj, okvb y qykdv tzso kd vbl ekpvydnl.

Ckd Lyd vwadle bkp blye yde tzydnle yaswde, prsvvkdt y zyatl ckzzcsyae dlyacu. Xd kv, y zkvvzl vktla oyp pralyekdt kvp yaxp okel, okvb vbl osaep “Elznsxl vs Q Ukvu Gxwplxldv Vyaj!”

Qin Nan looked at the billboard, then turned to look at the woman slumped over the wheel, unable to suppress a gentle smile.

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She actually managed to drive here.

In the quiet of the night, he lit a cigarette and watched her sleeping face, slightly contorted from the pressure. For some reason, he didn’t feel sleepy at all.

It was like he was meeting Ye Sibei for the first time, or witnessing her return.

This woman had such a strong vitality, so stubborn and determined. Just sitting in the car, she could drive it to the end.

He stared at her, feeling as if time had stopped passing by.

As the sun gradually rose, casting its light onto Ye Sibei’s face, the surrounding area slowly came to life. Shops started opening, breakfast vendors set up their stalls, and Ye Sibei slowly opened her eyes.

Qin Nan was moving around in the open space outside the car when he saw Ye Sibei sitting up straight. He walked over to the car window and called out to her, “Get out, let’s find a place to freshen up and grab something to eat.”

Ye Sibei got out of the car, and both of them took out their toothbrushes and cups, finding a public restroom to freshen up before heading to grab breakfast together.

“Where do you want to go later?”

“I want to go to the amusement park,” Ye Sibei said, lowering her head as she ate noodles, “I used to work here, but I’ve never played before.”

“Oh,” Qin Nan nodded, “Me neither, I’ve never been here.”

After they finished their meal and bought tickets to enter the park, there weren’t many people in line in the morning. They sat together on a roller coaster, fastening their seatbelts. Ye Sibei turned to Qin Nan and asked, “Are you scared?”

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“What is there to be afraid of?” As the roller coaster slowly started, Qin Nan said casually, “I’m a grown man… Sh*t!!”

Amidst a chorus of screams, Ye Sibei heard Qin Nan’s expletive, turning her scream into uncontrollable laughter.

As the roller coaster rode up and down, when they got off, Qin Nan rushed to a nearby trash can and dry heaved. Ye Sibei quickly fetched some water, looking at him with concern. “Are you okay?”

Qin Nan waved his hand, straightened up, and drank some water. After resting for a while, they moved on together.

Ye Sibei was afraid of overthinking, so she led the way to thrilling challenges. During a break, they saw a carousel, and she and Qin Nan played rock-paper-scissors to decide who would go on it. Qin Nan lost and was forced by her to wear a child’s cow horn headband and ride the carousel with a group of kids.

The children and their parents kept looking back, wondering what was wrong with this tall, stoic-looking man. Ye Sibei stood aside, taking pictures and couldn’t stop laughing.

Ye Sibei’s laughter was contagious, and her courage had grown considerably. She dragged Qin Nan to bungee jump. After they were both strapped in, Qin Nan stood on the edge, pretending to be calm, but hesitated to jump. Ye Sibei stood behind him and asked again, “Are you scared to jump?”

“What’s there to be afraid of?”

Qin Nan glanced down, his face turning even paler. “I need a bit more preparation.”

“Take your time,” Ye Sibei reassured him, pushing him forward. “Just stand here at the edge. Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen…”

Before she could finish her sentence, Ye Sibei suddenly pushed him hard. Qin Nan grabbed her, shouting loudly, “Ye Sibei!!!”

“Aaaahhh!!!”

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They both plummeted down rapidly. Qin Nan instinctively held onto her tightly, their screams merging together. In Ye Sibei’s arms, hearing him call her name, she felt the rushing wind and the sensation of weightlessness, and surprisingly, she wasn’t afraid of anything anymore.

After finishing all the activities, it was already afternoon, and Qin Nan was on the verge of collapse, sitting motionless on a bench.

Ye Sibei turned to him, “Still want to play?”

Qin Nan, no longer trying to be macho, immediately shook his head, “No more.”

“Okay,” Ye Sibei checked the time, “Let’s go eat first.”

The two of them went to a mall together and had barbecue on the rooftop.

Ye Sibei ordered beer, while Qin Nan, who was driving, only ordered cola. They chatted while eating.

Qin Nan told her about the world she saw when she worked as an apprentice on the coast, where girls wore tank tops and hot pants in the city center, painted various makeups, laughed and played in the square without worrying about being different or being talked about or watched by others.

She talked about her envy of classmates who had computers in their first year of college, who had read extensively, who could score over 100 on TOEFL in their first year.

Listening to her, Qin Nan subconsciously asked, “What TOEFL?”

Ye Sibei was stunned. She looked at him, and in that moment, she suddenly felt that her previous inferiority complex was not that meaningful. Qin Nan didn’t even know what TOEFL was, yet he was far stronger, more confident, and lived in this world with dignity and beauty.

She looked at Qin Nan for a long time before softly speaking, “Qin Nan, next time, if I want to curse someone, you must persuade me.”

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“Persuade for what?” Qin Nan looked up at her, “What kind of curses can you come up with?”

Ye Sibei smiled and said seriously, “Persuade me to curse him to death.”

Qin Nan paused for a moment as he drank water, then smiled and raised his glass to her, “Consider it done.”

On the way back to the southern city, Qin Nan drove while Ye Sibei sat in the passenger seat, looking up some cursing phrases online and stumbling through them.

“Do you know why my grandmother lived so long? Because she minded her own business.”

“Today, I feel like cursing someone, so I won’t curse you.”

Ye Sibei repeated these phrases over and over again, and the more she did, the smoother she became, while Qin Nan drove and chuckled.

As the car moved away from G City, Ye Sibei couldn’t help but look back. She felt like the car was driving from a beautiful dream to reality, leaving her reluctant to part.

Qin Nan glanced at her, seeming to sense something.

“Ye Sibei.”

He called her softly, and Ye Sibei turned her head. Qin Nan’s voice was calm, “After the lawsuit is over, I’ll sell the house, and we’ll come live in G City.”

Ye Sibei was stunned. She turned to look at him, and Qin Nan’s gaze was steady. Every word he spoke resonated with people’s hearts, making them feel solid and steady, as if it would really happen.

“You see, as I said,” he met her gaze. “Stepping out, it’s that simple.”

Ye Sibei dared not speak. She listened, but couldn’t believe it.

She was afraid to place her hope on another person because she couldn’t control its rise and fall.

But she secretly placed her hope in her own heart.

She watched the car lights break through the darkness, driving on the highway, and said softly, “Okay.”

One day in the future, whether Qin Nan was there or not, she would leave.

But before leaving, she needed the world to give her an answer.

Qin Nan’s driving became much faster, and before eleven o’clock at night, they were already home.

As soon as she entered the house, she received a call from Ye Nianwen.

Ye Nianwen sounded excited, “Sis.”

Listening to Ye Nianwen’s voice, Ye Sibei couldn’t help but hold her breath. Ye Nianwen happily continued, “I heard the DNA results came out, it’s Fan Jiancheng.”

Ye Sibei listened, her lips trembling slightly, unable to say a word.

“The police have arrested him, and they are currently gathering further evidence. I just wanted to let you know.”

Ye Sibei listened and nodded, “Okay.”

Her voice was hoarse, “That’s great.”

After finishing the call with Ye Nianwen, Ye Sibei looked at Qin Nan, who smiled. Just as he was about to say something, her phone lit up.

Ye Sibei looked at her phone, showing a name “Xu Xia”.

Seeing her hesitation and confusion, Qin Nan asked, Ye Sibei explained, “A colleague from Fuqiang, she used to take care of me.”

After Ye Sibei finished speaking, she hesitated for a moment but still answered the call.

Before answering the call, Qin Nan reminded her in a low voice, “Remember to curse.”

Ye Sibei couldn’t help but laugh, turned and walked to the balcony.

“Hello, Xia Jie. What’s up?”

“Oh, um, Sibei,” Xu Xia spoke, “What are you doing?”

“At home.”

“Uh, I called you because I heard something. I heard that Mr. Fan was arrested, and you reported the case.”

“It was me.”

“Sibei, actually Mr. Fan has always been nice, and he treated you well. When you first joined the company, HR didn’t want you, but Mr. Fan insisted on keeping you.”

“Xia Jie, what are you trying to say?”

“Ah, it’s nothing, but I just want to advise you, it’s better to forgive and forget. If something happens, discuss it privately. It’s not worth sending someone to prison, right?”

Ye Sibei remained silent, and Xu Xia relaxed and continued to persuade, “If this matter gets bigger, it’s not good for the company, and you’ll lose face. And, if you don’t think about yourself, think about your family, okay? In the future, how will people see Qin Nan? And Chu Chu, if such a thing happens, if you don’t back down, can the company still keep Chu Chu? What about your parents…”

“What else?”

Ye Sibei interrupted her, leaning against the door frame, looking down at the patterns on the ground. “What else do you have to threaten me with?”

“Sibei, how can you say that?” When Xu Xia heard this, her tone immediately became serious. “I’m thinking for your own good, how can you…”

“Thank you,” Ye Sibei interrupted her, speaking very quickly. “We have no relationship, you don’t need to worry about me so much. Whether to withdraw the lawsuit after the criminal case is filed is not up to me. Don’t call me in the future, it’s useless.”

“Ye Sibei, think carefully. Will it be easy for you to find a job? With Mr. Fan’s connections…”

Xu Xia didn’t finish her sentence before Ye Sibei hung up the phone.

After hanging up, Qin Nan walked over. “What did she say?”

“Nothing.”

Ye Sibei smiled. “I’ll go look for a job tomorrow, you go to the store, don’t worry about me.”

Qin Nan hesitated for a moment, wanting to say something, but in the end, he remained silent.

Originally, he wanted Ye Sibei to stay at home, but he was afraid that her confidence, which had been built up with difficulty, would be shattered again because of such “special treatment”.

The two didn’t speak, and Ye Sibei thought for a moment. “Let’s sleep.”

Qin Nan nodded, hesitated for a moment, then asked, “Where will I sleep?”

Ye Sibei was taken aback. Qin Nan looked at her. “On the bed, afraid you’ll be nervous. On the floor, afraid you’ll overthink.”

Ye Sibei understood Qin Nan’s meaning. She lowered her head, thought for a moment, smiled, and finally asked, “Where do you want to sleep?”

“On the floor.”

“Why?” Ye Sibei understood that when he said it, it meant that he would sleep on the floor not because he minded it.

Qin Nan didn’t respond directly. He went to get the bedding, and said softly, “I’m willing to.”

With that, he took the bedding and laid it out. That night, the two of them lay down to sleep. Ye Sibei spoke softly, “Qin Nan, do you like someone?”

Qin Nan looked at the moonlight and replied softly, “I don’t know what it means to like someone. But there’s someone I’ve always hoped would live well.”

“I’ve never thought about being with her, but I’ve always hoped she would live well.”


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Mily [Translator]

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