Shang Yu’s brain froze.
The voice from the other end of the phone seemed to have changed into another extremely unfamiliar and obscure language. He could clearly perceive each word, but couldn’t understand what it meant when put together.
The staff from the Institute sensed his silence and didn’t know if Shang Yu would come or not. When Shang Yu refused to answer their calls, they tried to contact someone from Shi Wen’s family. However, just as he mentioned Shi Wen, his family hung up the phone. Therefore, Shang Yu became their only chance to avoid sending the ashes to the public cemetery as a last resort— striving for Mr. Shi Wen’s sake.
Although they didn’t know Shi Wen, they couldn’t help but feel pity for such an end.
Shang Yu smiled with difficulty.
“…Shi Wen— isn’t he undergoing surgery to remove his gland and bond?”
He must have heard it wrong.
Ashes… was too ridiculous.
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“Tso’p bkp srlayvksd tskdt? R fwpv oydvle vs nsdvynv usw zypv dktbv. Rq vbl srlayvksd vs alxshl vbl csde bypd’v clld esdl ulv, usw nyd vyjl kv lypu. Kwpv alxshl vbl tzyde.” Tl prsjl kd y ayal nbydtl sq vsdl ps alzymle vbyv kq bkp nsxrydu lxrzsullp blyae kv, vblka fyop oswze pwalzu easr.
Mbkp vkxl, kv oyp vbl Rdpvkvwvl’p pvyqq vwad vs clnsxl pkzldv.
“Ya. Fbydt,” vbl pvyqq pllxle vs cl yv y zspp qsa osaep, “Psd’v usw jdso vbyv Ya. Fbk Eld byp rypple yoyu?”
Fbydt Zw’p pxkzl qasgl sd bkp qynl, yde bl nswze cyalzu bsze bkp rbsdl.
“…El fwpv yaakhle yv vbl yeealpp usw tyhl wp ulpvlaeyu, vbl bswpl oblal Ya. Fbk Eld zkhle. El qswde vbyv Ya. Fbk Eld bye rypple yoyu. El vakle vs nsdvynv usw yv vbl vkxl, cwv wdqsavwdyvlzu, usw eked’v ydpola vbl rbsdl. El nsdvynvle usw vbaswtb uswa plnalvyau, yde uswa plnalvyau pyke vbyv usw eked’v oydv vs blya ycswv Ya. Fbk Eld, ps pbl bye ds nbsknl cwv vs tkhl wp y dsaxyz bydezkdt rzyd— clnywpl vbl Fnkldnl yde Mlnbdszstu Rdpvkvwvl nyddsv vyjl rspplppksd sq vbl alxykdp okvbswv y alypsd.”
“Ya. Fbydt, vbl Rdpvkvwvl nalyvle y elvykzle ywvsrpu alrsav clqsal elyzkdt okvb Ya. Fbk Eld’p cseu. Rq usw’al wdpwal obyv’p tskdt sd, usw nyd vyjl y zssj yv kv.”
Fbydt Zw’p caykd oyp pvkzz qsttu yde xweezle obld bl bwdt wr vbl rbsdl.
But at the same time, his memory quickly traced back to that moment yesterday.
For the first time, his beta secretary, who had always been calm and self-controlled, showed a pale and frightened expression during the meeting, and even disregarded the low atmosphere in the meeting at that time, trying to inform him about that person’s… state.
She opened her mouth twice but was indifferently interrupted twice by him.
He had guessed at the time that it had something to do with that person, but he assumed that that person was unwilling to undergo gland removal surgery and tried to ask his secretary for help.
How could… that person was… already dead by that time?
Was Shi Wen really dead?
Moreover, only his ashes were left… He couldn’t even see his body for the last time.
Shang Yu still felt unreal. He could still obviously smell the other party’s pheromones in Shi Wen’s room, he should obviously still be… this kind of hallucination-like self-comfort continued until the moment he arrived at the Institute and actually got the autopsy report.
“Mr. Shi Wen died of gas poisoning. The autopsy report showed that it was three days ago. The instrument also detected that Mr. Shi Wen suffered several years of depression before his death. Furthermore, two opposite pheromones from his alpha gland and omega artificial gland conflicted with each other— in short, he was both in poor mental and physical health, so we speculate that he committed suicide.” The staff of the Institute summarized the content of the summary report and sighed, “The values and other information are clearly indicated on the autopsy report, Mr. Shang can take a look.”
Shang Yu stood there blankly and unconsciously mumbled.
He suddenly thought of something he should have forgotten.
The last time he spoke to Shi Wen.
That day, he was just handling official business when he received a call from him. He was impatient when he saw the number, but thinking that he was his partner, he picked it up when Shi Wen called a second time— that person probably asked him meekly when he would be home again, or something like that.
Shi Wen’s tone at that time sounded a little different than before.
Light as a feather, as if it would be blown away the next second.
Shi Wen seemed to blithely ask him briskly, “Will you come?”
He spoke in a rare aggrieved tone, as if the two were lovers who hadn’t seen each other in a long time— whispering to each other that it’s been a while since the last time they met.
At that time, he only thought of ending the conversation as soon as possible, so he could get back to his own thing.
The last thing Shi Wen said to him before he impatiently hung up was—
I don’t regret it.
…Three days ago?
Three days ago.
It turned out that at that time, Shi Wen called while preparing to die…?
In order to protect the environment in the new era, the ashes were compressed into the size of a capsule after cremation. When the object was handed to his palm by the staff, he was still experiencing a sense of vertigo and unreality from the almost non-existent weight.
That person, who silently waited for him and loved him for ten years, was forgotten by everyone.
Severe depression, mutual rejection of two pheromones…
And he suffered like that for several years…
In a trance, Shang Yu seemed to see the warm to transparent smile and the increasingly thin body every time he went back.
The truth was, he was ill.
But he never cared.
The moment he died, he asked if he would come… Was he waiting for someone to save him? Save him from the poisonous gas that was putting him in deep pain, or, save him from the life that was making him suffer?
But he just hung up the phone.
No one saved him.
The Institute arrived two days later, but in those two days, he had no friends or anyone who would find or visit him… The villa was far from the city, and the strong scent of disinfectant he smelled afterwards was presumably only caused by the AI cleaning the house repeatedly. The cold machine did not know that a person had died silently.
Just as this cold world did not acknowledge the silent presence of… that person for ten years.
…The last words Shi Wen said to him was that he had no regrets.
Shang Yu clutched the report after realizing all this and carefully unfolded it afterwards for fear of breaking it.
The staff didn’t know what Shang Yu was thinking. They only felt that the usually cold and indifferent person was suddenly out of his mind at this time. He himself still had something to do, and when he saw Shan Yu looked like he would accept Shi Wen’s ashes, he was relieved and went back to work, leaving Shang Yu alone in the lounge of the Science and Technology Institute.
That person was dead.
Whether it was Shi Wen, whom he’d been entangled with for years, or Jiang Yu, who made his heart flutter for a moment.
…He was no longer there.