Stop Lying to Yourself
Chapter 2/9. Support us on Patreon! ;)
It was as if Lin Ruoxi’s words were digging a hole in Yang Chen’s long settled past, and the many ideas he didn’t dare touch.
“Shut up! Shut up!! How many times must I tell you for you to believe me? It’s not what you think!”
Yang Chen’s mind was like an exploded boiler—aches he had not felt for ages made him rage, and his temples began throbbing!
Yang Chen didn’t know why he was so furious, why he would yell at Lin Ruoxi uncontrollably—he didn’t want to, but all he could think about doing is exactly that!
Lin Ruoxi’s gaze became keen and cool, as if she was able to see everything through.
“Stop lying to yourself, Yang Chen. The fact is you’ve always known that you could never tell me and Seventeen apart; you believed that she and I were different only because you wanted to convince yourself, to numb yourself; you didn’t want to be the weak one in the relationship; you didn’t want to dwell in that past any longer than you already have; you tried to reinvent yourself, instead of being a pitiful wretch who was depressed because Seventeen left him… To you, I am just an excuse for you to use as painkillers for your past… You deceive yourself. In fact, everything between us began only because of Seventeen…”
Lin Ruoxi’s words were like an icy rain, falling on Yang Chen’s ears, immobilising him.
“If you could really tell Seventeen and I apart as you said, then what about Rose who knew you long ago—why isn’t she your wife, don’t you love her? Is it because she’s from an underground syndicate? Do you care about that? If you want to, would she refuse you? And Jingjing who’s already left for the United States, couldn’t you see her feelings for you? They were with you long ago, they have treated you far better than I ever have and are more suited to be your wife… a woman like me, with no understanding of relationships, who only knows work, who is disdainful and cold, and won’t even let you in the door, yet somehow you want me to be your wife… You’re aware of everything I’ve said, don’t you?
“You never wanted to let go of Seventeen, you’re only with me because of her!!!”
Body limped against the railing, Yang Chen’s face was pale, as if his soul was depleted, or had gone through a long weary battle.
Yang Chen stared blankly at the distant riverside with dim eyes, mumbling, “Ruoxi, stop it… I’m begging you… I’m begging you to stop…”
Lin Ruoxi raised her head, reached out to wipe her eyes, and smiled apologetically. “Sorry, I know this seems harsh, and you’ve done a lot for me… some of which I’ve witnessed and the others I haven’t. But I couldn’t just sit here and take anymore of it… I’ve been suppressing these doubts deep down, like a slow poison eating into me. It’s not easy for me either.
“Ever since Christen told me about Seventeen, I’ve wanted to ask you, but dare not to. I worry too about what will happen afterwards, afraid that the truth would hurt more than the lie I tell myself. But fortunately I’m stronger than I thought. And I know you won’t be beaten down by these words either.
“Maybe because I’m abroad, I don’t have as much work or people to distract me, and have more time to overthink. It happened again just now, all those many tiny reasons coming together, and you let me question you, so I said everything I’ve never said… Next time, I won’t tell you off like this...”
Yang Chen remained silent, like he didn’t hear a thing.
Lin Ruoxi bit her lip. “The conference is starting soon, I should return to my seat. You don’t have to join me, if your mood is still sour. Plus, your friend must have a reason for coming here. Don’t take my words to heart, it’s just me venting my complaints. Don’t we always fight? It’s the same. At the end of the day… we have to still keep on living like usual.”
After she finished speaking, Lin Ruoxi tidied her appearance before returning to her seat calmly. As she passed Sauron, he nodded respectfully, and she gave him a polite smile.
Everyone saw that Lin Ruoxi was returning to her seat, and a murmur arose as they wondered what had happened. After all, anyone perceptive could see that she had just cried.
Conversely, the siblings Stern and Alice were much quieter. Worried, they remained in silence as they noticed Lin Ruoxi’s state.
Lin Ruoxi didn’t care about the whispers or gazes, entering business mode quickly as she examined her documents.
Just then, the missing manager appeared before her with a flattering smile, asking softly, “Miss Lin, may we begin with the conference?”
Lin Ruoxi was caught unawares, puzzled. “Why ask me? It’s not up to me.”
The manager giggled. “We can wait if you're not ready. Oh right, Mr Yang hasn’t returned yet, shall we wait for him as well?” The manager glanced with reverence at Yang Chen who was still by the riverbank.
Lin Ruoxi understood suddenly. It was almost funny how everyone there was intimidated by Yang Chen’s mysterious identity, and subconsciously decided to allow him to call the shots.
“There’s no need to be anxious. What happened just now was a personal matter, don’t let it affect the fashion week,” Lin Ruoxi advised.
The manager nodded immediately. “Miss Lin is indeed gracious. At the afternoon reception later, please honor us with your presence. As it’s your first time attending a fashion week, we must be good hosts…”
Lin Ruoxi replied carelessly, indicating they should start soon. She wasn’t interested in receptions and the like at all.
Only, she couldn’t help but glance at the figure by the riverside, feeling an indescribably complicated emotion...
At this point, Yang Chen, who had stood rooted by the railing, gradually came to his senses.
He raised his left hand, and beckoned with a finger.
Sauron noticed the gesture and moved towards him.
Yang Chen sighed, asking, “Sauron, I’m going to ask you something, be honest with me.”
Sauron’s scarred face remain expressionless while only his lips moved. “Your Majesty Pluto, I never lie.”
“Very well,” said Yang Chen, “tell me then, in your eyes, am I someone who will cower in the face of my own weaknesses…”
Sauron’s milky pupils gleamed. “Your Majesty Pluto, although I am your subordinate, in terms of age, your question is as childish as your years.”
“Hmm?” Yang Chen couldn’t help laughing. “When you put it like that, my question seems so silly.”
Sauron replied directly, “I think that deceit and honesty are only a means, as long as one acknowledges one’s own intention—that’s what the strong does. True strength lies not in the physical, but in whether one is able to confront and resolve problems in the face of adversity.”
Yang Chen squinted, pondered for a while, then laughed at himself. “It seems like my question is silly indeed… That’s right, it doesn’t matter if I’m weak or strong, as long as I face my problems there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Sauron said nothing, but his eyes twinkled.
Although they couldn’t talk all his troubles away, Yang Chen soon settled his heart for now, and asked, “You couldn’t have come here just to see me. You’ve noticed, that once you arrived, the situation nearly got out of hand.”
Sauron became solemn. Nodding, he said, “Indeed there’s something important. I believe Your Majesty Pluto have heard that the International Special Organisation Secret Meeting hosted by France’s External Security will convene in Paris.”
Yang Chen frowned. “I’ve heard that it’s to counter ‘the Realm of Gods’ or such an organisation, and its leader Apollo. In fact, I’ve crossed paths with them already—when I was kidnapped in France, it was by one of their subsidiary groups.”
“Indeed, so Your Majesty has had contact. However, I came here especially, other than to see Madam Persephone, with an urgent matter to discuss with Your Majesty,” said Sauron.
“What? Are you possibly going to tell me that you’ve identified the authenticity of that Apollo?” laughed Yang Chen.
Sauron shook his head. “Apollo’s legitimacy is not a major concern for us, nor is it something we can deduce. What I wanted to tell Your Majesty is that tomorrow’s secret meeting, besides addressing how to hunt out and vanquish Apollo and the Realm of God, will discuss a matter relevant to Your Majesty. It’s about the debate on the ownership of a divine weapon.”
“Divine weapon?” Yang Chen blanked out, then laughed. “You’re not talking about the weapon that the previous Pluto lost—that’s no ordinary weapon. Previously when I fought with Ares, I got to know that a god’s divine weapon has truly astonishing power. Ares’ spear can suspend spacetime; the divine weapons of the other gods could only be equally or more impressive. If something like this surfaces, there’s no way I won’t feel it.”
Sauron was slightly startled—it seemed like he didn’t know about the battle with Ares. But he didn’t press the matter, and explained, “This ‘divine weapon’ is not held by any of the Twelve Olympians, but its owner shares a most significant past with Your Majesty Pluto.”
“Don’t keep me in suspense. Who is it, what divine weapon?” Yang Chen prodded.
“It’s the divine weapon of the God of Death—the Sword of Thanatos,” answered Sauron.
The God of Death Thanatos?