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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    Back at the stream, Xü Beijin has put the stream in the perspective of Ding Yi, which means the viewers can finally hear what the argument is about.

    “Stop thinking about those things, a-Ji. We’re getting married next month, so stop being so pessimistic! We will not die, and the world will be fine…”

    Unexpectedly, Ke Zhu sounds like the one pleading for normalcy in his tone, completely unlike the irritated, wrathful person he was earlier. If nothing else, this is quite telling for how he treats his fiancée compared to others.

    Xie Ji, though, is inconsolable.

    She is yelling, “no! No! The Apocalypse is coming! It is… Believe me, Ke Zhu, you really have to believe in me.”

    Ke Zhu sounds like he is rapidly losing his patience, “believe in you? But why should I believe in that? Why should I believe that we will die soon and end up in the afterlife together?!”
    A-Ji, wake up. I do want to believe in you, but… this is just ridiculous to say. Something is falling out of the sky and we’re all going to die? Do you not see how bad of a joke that sounds like?”

    Xie Ji is already sobbing quietly, saying, “that’s why I want you to go to the Space Agency, see it for yourself. Ok? We are going to fail. I’m not lying. Please… we, we’re all going to die…”

    Ke Zhu is breathing in and out heavily. He doesn’t want to argue anymore. They’ve already argued so loudly the whole community knew last night. He doesn’t want to repeat that.

    But he also really cannot see any meaning to believing in what Xie Ji said.

    He does believe her, but he finds it impossible to want to believe her.

    He is gripping his steering wheel tightly, with trembling hands. Why does Xie Ji not understand this…

    Why does she not understand, that it is a problem of pointless futility and death, rather than whether he believes in her or not?

    Death… Death. An encroaching death.

    Admit he’s definitely going to die? And then what, embrace it with open arms? … You’re kidding.

    Who could face the oncoming, eternal silence without a flinch? They’re not in some video game. If they die, they turn into cold coffins, buried six feet under a gravestone.

    There is no revive button. There is no restart button. They die, and they’re dead.

    That is why Ke Zhu has had enough of talking about it.

    He is staring blankly at the asphalt road in front of him. He can see the heat distorting the vision. Maybe the asphalt will melt.

    The incessant begging is fuelling some nameless anger and hopelessness within him; he is doing all he can to stop himself arguing with Xie Ji.

    Because that was exactly what happened last night.

    If Ke Zhu told Xie Ji he’s afraid of thinking about dying, Xie Ji tells him, that she fears a lot of things, but death is not one of them; why should he fear death?

    If Ke Zhu instead said, he does not want to believe in her, then Xie Ji would ask, no, why? Why can he not believe in her? It was something she saw. She saw the eventuality of the object crashing onto the planet.

    So all in all, Ke Zhu can only conclude, that Xie Ji just wants him to admit that he’s going to die.

    And their wedding, will never come.

    Here, Ke Zhu can’t help but slam on his steering wheel; his face is contorted from anxiety, from fear.

    The box truck makes a loud blaring noise, spooking even Ke Zhu himself.

    He looks around outside in reflex, when he finally notices, that a few people are standing around there.

    Furrowing his brows, his bad temper is flaring up again, “what are you all doing standing so close?!”

    Ding Yi, observing his reactions, thinks Ke Zhu does not yet remember what happened the last Nightmare.

    So then she thinks and says, “we just heard you arguing… About the object in the sky.”

    Ke Zhu’s face is quite sour, but Xie Ji has interrupted him before he can say anything.

    Xie Ji just opened the door and jumped off, then the woman in her Big Bang dress comes to Ding Yi to hurriedly ask, “you know it… You know it, don’t you?! You know about this! It’s true! Please help, please help convince Ke Zhu, my fiancé…”

    “Enough!” Ke Zhu has been pushed over the line, and disembarks, yelling, “I’ll admit it! I trust you! And then what? So we’re going to die, so what?!”

    Xie Ji is looking at him, all stunned.

    Ke Zhu is so angry he is shaking all over. He doesn’t even know why he’s so angry.

    He’s never been known for having a good temperament, but when it comes to his fiancée, he has always been as gentle as he could be. But right now, something has boiled over, and anger has overtaken him like a searing flame.

    He asks, “so you want me to admit we’re going to die, don’t you? Fine! I’m going to die, then, and we’re both going to die together! So? What now that I’ve said it?”

    During the argument last night, he actually stayed quiet in the beginning, but as Xie Ji looked increasingly agitated blabbering on by herself, it seemed to have finally infected him as well, and they bickered.

    He thought it was already over, though. He thought that, after the argument last night, Xie Ji has already given up convincing him. He doesn’t want to face or acknowledge the possibility. He doesn’t want to believe.

    Not that he does not believe, but he just doesn’t want to commit to such a reality.

    A reality… That they’re all about to die.

    It’s funny, isn’t it?

    The woman he loves, whom he is prepared to spend the dozens of years left in their lives together, told him, we’re all going to die. We have no future.

    She even wants him to say it out loud with her. How cruel.

    Ke Zhu is giving Xie Ji a hateful glance that he has never done before, and blurts out, “so are you happy now?! If you are, then just shut up! I beg you, stop talking about it!”

    Xie Ji looks completely shocked. She is frozen after Ke Zhu finally snapped.

    Her face is going pale, and she tries to quietly explain herself, “Ke Zhu, I’m not afraid of dying… I’m not. What I’m afraid is, that I couldn’t know, why I’m dying…”

    Ke Zhu retorts, “but I am afraid of dying,” he adds, “I’m happy to just die without knowing a word or experiencing a moment of pain. Please just let me die in ignorant bliss. A-Ji, I beg you.”

    Xie Ji looks like she is finding this painful to accept. She doesn’t seem to understand why the man she loves so dearly would think that way. Why is it the complete opposite of how she thinks people would react?

    Perhaps, in quieter, more mundane times, the couple would have been a happy, lovey-dovey couple that spends sweet, unremarkable days together. But when disaster strikes, and their lives are upended, their fundamental differences in attitude means they are destined to fall out.

    Xie Ji just crashes to the ground, a sobbing mess.

    Ding Yi has watched this play out in complete silence. She has no idea what’s going on. How did this couple that both love each other so much come to such bitter ends? In the face of a coming catastrophe, they are still bickering about trivialities, not conceding any ground to the other.

    Maybe it’s a lack of time. There is not enough time for reflection, only enough time for them to argue, to wrestle their clashing principles.

    Xie Ji kept repeating to Ke Zhu about the Apocalypse ad nauseam, but maybe, all she really wanted deep down, is simply for Ke Zhu to reassure her, “it’s alright. Even in death, we shall be together. We will die together, and we will still be with each other forever.”

    But clearly, Ke Zhu is not the type of person to pick up such cues.

    So Ding Yi can only remain silent as the atmosphere sinks and breaks.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    This part of the chapter finally reveals how Ke Zhu and Xie Ji ended up arguing, and would resonate a lot with some couples around the world, I’m sure. If any of you are reading, I do wish you a better ending than falling out, being unable to reconcile.

    boilpoil

    This should go without saying, but considering the nature of this novel, please think twice before posting a comment on any chapter in order to avoid spoiling any possible future plot points or twists from later chapters.

    Travis Translation

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