Book 7 Chapter 60: Memories restored

Initially, both Zhang Zi Xin and Lu Yan didn’t agree with handing Lil’ Tong over to Duan Jin. No matter how powerful she was, she ultimately wasn’t a normal human being and wouldn’t be able to give Lil’ Tong a normal life. The couple wanted to give their child a safe environment that ensured their child would go through life successfully. Only then could they leave in peace.

However, after finding out Duan Jin was the only one who could save Lil’ Tong’s life, and that Lil’ Tong’s recovery would be an extended process, they could only agree. However, they asked to meet Duan Jin first.

The others understood their thoughts perfectly. They were essentially being forced to give their own child up for adoption, and wished nothing more than to plan out every step of their child’s future. Yet this was exceptionally jarring in Ruan Zhan’s eyes. He suddenly thought of himself, of how his father had given him to that cowardly couple. Hadn’t his father felt any worry or reluctance? His father must have known his son would have supernatural abilities. Had he never considered the others would view him as a monster? Thinking about it, even after his father “adopted” him, he didn’t pay any special attention to his abilities, let alone try to explain things or comfort him. Why? Why did his father treat him like that? Were his abilities really innate? Were they inherited? Were they arranged? Or had he received special “attention” from the heavens, and was a freak to begin with?

“Would you like us to be present during the meeting?” Bao Da Tong’s voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

“We want to discuss things by ourselves, is that ok?” Zhang Zi Xin said.

“Of course it is. Then I’ll go fetch Duan Jin. Ah Zhan, although the protective formation has been loosened, it hasn’t been completely removed. Without someone to bring her inside, Duan Jin won’t be able to enter.” Bao Da Tong got up and looked outside as he spoke. A woman dressed in black stood expressionlessly at the corner of the street. She had no makeup on but was startlingly beautiful, elegant and supple. Who else could it be but Duan Jin?

It had been much easier to get in touch with Duan Jin compared to persuading Zhang Zi Xin and his wife. A heart demon had formed during her cultivation and his old man had set up a controlling restriction on her soul. Therefore, he could directly communicate with her by using a spell during meditation.

He had guessed correctly. Duan Jin had no intention of refusing his suggestion. First of all, as a Daoist she felt compelled to help, and would do her best to save Lil’ Tong. Secondly, she was too lonely. A child would give her an outlet for her maternal love. This was rather attractive to her, so despite appearing very calm, the fact that she had gotten here so quickly showed she was also impatient.

He waved at her before going downstairs to fetch her. The next step would depend on Lil’ Tong’s parents. He only hoped things would end well.

Duan Jin and the couple spent three days in discussion before thoroughly completing this matter. None of the other four were parents and they didn’t understand there were so many things to discuss in regards to a child. Luckily, things seemed to have been resolved satisfactorily. Everyone could sense Duan Jin’s affection for Lil’ Tong. Therefore, they all let out a breath in relief when she took Lil’ Tong and his family away.

“I will definitely heal this child, and raise him properly.” She said prior to leaving. “Perhaps in a dozen years or so, he will attend college here. He will also become someone capable of exorcising fiends and demons.” She spoke pointedly, making Ruan Zhan and the others recall that fateful trip in the mountains that cost many innocent students their lives, as well as that of Duan Jin’s son.

Her words surprised them a lot. Normally, she didn’t really converse with them. Although she had helped them before, and also met with Bao Da Tong frequently, her attitude had been clear: she knew she had erred, but she still hated those who took the last bit of hope from her!

However, she was now speaking. Perhaps it was rather that she had finally let go, resolve the last hint of resentment. She had forgiven them. After all, while they had caused her to lose one son, they now gave her another. Although this son was sickly, he was pure like a blank piece of paper. She could raise him fresh, no longer making any irrevocable mistakes. She would give him all her love!

“We’re just going to see the place Lil’ Tong is going to grow up in. Once we do, we will leave. We won’t linger meaninglessly. Trust us.” Zhang Zi Xin promised.

With things like this, what else was to be said? They had once again worked together to overcome an ordeal. As usual, there was both happiness and some sense of less. Especially since Ruan Zhan’s past had been dragged out during this matter.

“Now that everyone’s gone, when are you going to leave?” Wan Li asked Bao Da Tong three days later.

He clearly knew Bao Da Tong had zero intentions of leaving. Instead, he was making himself more and more at home at the bar. His “business” was booming and his connections were numerous. There were even signs of him supplanting the host.

“My business hasn’t borne fruit yet, how can I leave my ‘cousin’?” Bao Da Tong said without any hint of sincerity. He was as shameless as usual. He was sitting with Wan Li in the corner, stealing some rest during the bustle. They watched Ruan Zhan with his stunning yet distant smile interacting with all sorts of customers.

“It would be great if he could let go at some point the way Duan Jin did.” Bao Da Tong sighed lightly.

“There’s nothing you and I can do about that. Only Xiao Xia can help.” Wan Li took a sip of alcohol. “However, his Calamity of Threes…it’s a pit he cannot avoid.”

“No wonder he’s willing to make her sad despite loving her so much. It’s naturally easy to be reckless, but once the heart is entangled, how can it be so easy to let go? If it were me…”

Bao Da Tong didn’t get to finish before Wan Li suddenly made a sound, recalling something. “I just remembered that Ah Zhan only told me about his Calamity of Threes. Why does it seem like you’ve known for a while, and aren’t surprised at all?”

“Did you only just notice? You’re really slow! How are you still a psychiatrist?!” Bao Da Tong was a little excited at having gotten the opportunity to bully Wan Li. “Calling me a quack, what about yourself? I do cheat my customers out of some money but at least they get peace of mind. You have zero medical accomplishments yet still work on treating patients. You’re essentially leading people astray. No, it’s more like killing others via malpractice. No wonder people say quack doctors are basically professional assassins!”

“I only said one thing and you’re spewing out so much nonsense. You just have to tell me, did you know about it already?”

“Of course!” Bao Da Tong said as if it were obvious. “Otherwise, did you really think I came here to set up a business? Life should be simple and natural. Why would I go through so much trouble for some material wealth. Wouldn’t that be against the essence of my Dao? Besides, that’s so exhausting!”

Wan Li was enlightened.

He never believed that Bao Da Tong was here to start a business, but he never thought he had come to help Ruan Zhan. He had assumed he just wanted to get some worldly experience or engage in mortal pleasures. Still, he didn’t expect Bao Da Tong to admit it directly!

“How did you find out?”

“By eavesdropping. Didn’t I tell you Uncle Ruan often came to chat with my dad? I loved to eavesdrop on them. Once, Uncle Ruan mentioned the Calamity of Threes. Although he felt it was an unavoidable tribulation fro Ah Zhan, he hoped my dad could help save his life. Even if there was only the slightest chance, he had to try. Therefore, I always felt there must be some deep misunderstanding between Ah Zhan and Uncle Ruan. Or else, Uncle must have some huge unspeakable difficulties. He actually loves that son of his extremely much. I’m even more certain after seeing Zhang Zi Xin and his wife with Lil’ Tong. Back then, when Uncle Ruan mentioned Ah Zhan, he had the exact same expression as them.”

“So you chose to come running over?”

“Not without approval. I got permission.” Bao Da Tong scratched his head. “I was still young back then, and had no idea what Calamity of Threes meant despite hearing about it. Yet because I had been eavesdropping, I didn’t dare ask about it. I ended up assuming it was some sort of strange spell and put it from my mind. Recently, my old man said he was going on a trip. Only then did he tell me about it in detail, and sent me here to help Ah Zhan. Only then did I realize they had been aware of my eavesdropping. They just didn’t expose me.”

“Then what should we do? Did Uncle Bao have a plan?” Wan Li asked hurriedly.

Wan Li assumed that the simple-looking yet wise Uncle Bao definitely had a great solution, and couldn’t help but feel excited. Unexpectedly, Bao Da Tong shook his head. “This is Ah Zhan’s fate. Uncle Ruan had previously divined it. He cannot avoid it. It’s just a matter of doing everything possible to prepare. My old man has also repeatedly divined that Ah Zhan’s lifeline is covered in extreme dark aura this year. It seems hopeless. I’m here to see if we can create a miracle and force Ah Zhan’s fate to change. My old man isn’t optimistic, and just wanted to keep a promise to his old friend. However, I think there has to be a way. Although I don’t know what to do yet, Ah Zhan has overcome so many odds before. Things shouldn’t be completely hopeless this time either. Isn’t there a saying: man makes his own fate! “

Wan Li froze, his newly risen hopes extinguished. Yet he also felt Bao Da Tong was right. No matter what fate had in store, they wouldn’t just sit and wait for death. Ah Zhan may appear calm on the surface. Yet when the moment comes, with his personality, he will definitely fight fiercely until everything is turned upside down.

The weak accept their fate, the brave challenge it and the strong overcome it!

“But it’s best not to tell Xiao Xia about this matter.” Bao Da Tong continued speaking. “There’s no need to cast gloom over her life. I envy that cheerful nature of hers. No setback and keep her down for long. Truly a good personality.”

“Do I need you to tell me that?” Wan Li glanced at the door, unease settling in his heart.

Xiao Xia was finally back to working normally. Luckily, Director Pan who spoiled her to the extreme forgave her period of absence. Perhaps he felt he was the cause of her poor health ever since being sent to promote awareness of the law. Therefore, he might be trying to make it up to her. Otherwise, with Xiao Xia’s record and attendance, it was a miracle for her to still be employed.

Director Pan definitely didn’t know Xiao Xia had a great constitution. She wouldn’t fall ill for so long just because of being overworked. It was all because her mind and heart were strongly resisting Ruan Zhan’s memory wipe.

Recently she was often in a daze, and also secretly observed Ruan Zhan for long periods of time. She seemed to be thinking about something. When asked, she wasn’t willing to say anything, as if her memory was fuzzy. Yesterday, while they were watching the Hollywood classic “Random Harvest”, she suddenly got a splitting headache during the memory loss scene. Then, she started crying randomly.

He was afraid she would recall her forgotten memories. He wasn’t selfishly trying to obtain her. Actually, after finding out the secrets of Ah Zhan’s past, he had decided to give up on Xiao Xia. Ah Zhan never had any affection, and Xiao Xia was his only hope for love. She was also the reason he struggled hard against his destiny. As his best friend, how could he bear to screw that up?!

It wasn’t like he didn’t love her. He still did. Or perhaps, he loved her more than ever. But like that line from a movie, he would rather have two happy friends than one sad woman.

He was afraid because if Xiao Xia remembered everything, she would hate Ruan Zhan. Then, their relationship would become even more rocky. However, he had a rather bad feeling that those memories were too strong. Ah Zhan had cast the spell while his emotions were a mess. So many things had happened since then, and the two had been so close. These would all stimulate recall.

Thinking of this, Wan Li looked up at the door again. She should have long since gotten off work. Why hadn’t she come back yet? He was fine with just seeing her every day. He also had to pray she wouldn’t recall the past!

The door finally opened and Xiao Xia’s figure appeared in the doorway. She still looked so delicate and cute, evoking men’s primal protective instinct. Yet she was also stubborn to the point of making one feel heartache. Yet why did her face look so pale and uneasy today.

Wan Li stood up, wanting to head over. Yet he saw Xiao Xia run straight to the bar, saying something to Ruan Zhan. Then, she turned and gave Wan Li a forced smile, planning on going straight upstairs. Ruan Zhan also looked a little confused, but still followed behind her.

Crap, she was about to remember! Wan Li’s heart chilled, wanting to stop Ruan Zhan but ended up remaining silent. What was going to come would come!

Upstairs, Ruan Zhan followed Xiao Xia into the room. The fiends had been dealt with but Xiao Xia was unwilling to leave for some reason.

“What’s wrong?” Seeing her pale face, turbulent gaze and sweat-soaked hair, Ruan Zhan felt sympathy well up in his heart.

Xiao Xia didn’t speak, merely looking at him. He gradually felt a little nervous.

“Tell me, what happened.” He couldn’t help but stroke her face. “I will help you, no matter what it is.”

“In the past, you seemed to hate whenever I came looking for you.” Xiao Xia said slowly, as if talking in her sleep. “How did we end up becoming…friends?”

“Xiao Xia…”

“Lower your head a little. There’s something I want to say.” Xiao Xia beckoned with her finger.

Ruan Zhan was puzzled, but also had a somewhat foreboding feeling. However, he still lowered his head.

Xiao Xia moved in close, so close they were almost touching. She looked at him with some fear in her eyes. “I want to try an experiment, to prove that the thing I keep dreaming about in my dreams really happened.” She spoke, and before Ruan Zhan could react, she suddenly pecked him on the lips.

Ruan Zhan was completely stunned, his bent over body remaining rigid in place. The emotions in Xiao Xia’s eyes became fiercer and she kissed him again.

This time, her lips lingered on his for a long time, long enough for him to lose his reasoning, for his mind to turn fuzzy, for all the bitterly constructed defenses around his heart to completely collapse. His deep longing caused him to take the initiative, pulling her into his arms for a passionate kiss.

He loved her so much! But he had had to suppress that deepest longing of his. It had taken so much effort to hang around her daily while suppressing his urge to touch her!

He completely forgot his surroundings as he lost himself in the lasting kiss. He was drunk on her softness and sweetness. Then, he suddenly felt pain on his lips before he was pushed away!

“You’ve kissed me before. When we were in Hongqing Town’s new town.” Her lips were stained with his blood, anger and sorrow on her face. “But you forcibly erased my memories! What right did you have to do so? Didn’t you promise me you definitely wouldn’t use that awesome power of yours on me? You promised!”

In an instant, he realized she had recovered her memories. But her extreme reaction and the expression on her face horrified him. “Listen to me, Xiao Xia…” He tried to hold her trembling body but she desperately kept her distance!

“What right did you have? Those were my memories, that was my past. How dare you?!” Xiao Xia was practically screaming, her face covered with tears.

Ever since Hongqing Town, she kept feeling a stinging pain in her heart. Every time she saw Ruan Zhan, she felt confused and bitter. She had thought it was due to her crush on him, but every time they inadvertently made contact, she would feel she had forgotten something! It was only recently when the door that was shut inside her mind was suddenly opened by a crack!

And that kiss had proved everything. It had proved her feelings weren’t wrong. The kiss was the key that had unlocked that door, allowing the memories to flood into her mind like the tide, washing away all the tenderness in her heart!

“It’s not what you think!” Ruan Zhan took a step, wanting to comfort Xiao Xia who was no longer rational due to her emotions. However, she didn’t listen.

“I’m only asking what right you had to do that to me!” She had run out of space to retreat, her back against the wall. “No matter how much you hated me, how much you regretted kissing me, how much you wanted to get rid of me, you just had to tell me. Why would you do that to me? I wouldn’t have misunderstood. I would have stayed far away from you and left you in peace! Even if I and my feelings for you aren’t worth a damn in your heart, did you really regret it so much you had to make me forget everything? Do I make it so hard for your to own up to your actions? Did you think that a kiss would make me cling to you and refuse to let go? Whether you were just playing around back then or were temporarily confused, I wouldn’t have blamed you. After all, I was the one who lowered myself, I was the one who offered myself up! But you had no right to take what was mine! No right to toy with me in the palm of your hand. Tell me if you want me to scram. I will immediately scram far away and you won’t ever have to see me again! Why would you use such a method to humiliate me? Were you secretly laughing at me? Another foolish woman falling at your feet, with excessive expectations of obtaining your love! You…have gone too far!”

“No, I didn’t mean to, listen to me…” Xiao Xia’s grief left the usually calm Ruan Zhan incoherent, his heart twisting in pain.

“Stay away!” Xiao Xia once again yelled at Ruan Zhan who tried to approach as she leapt next to the table. She seized a letter opener and pointed it towards her throat. “If you dare get any closer, I’ll brand you a murderer. Let’s see if you can erase my ghost’s memories too!”

Seeing the gleaming blade and traces of blood on her slender neck, Ruan Zhan immediately retreated in fright. Xiao Xia was a fiery woman, in both love and hate. He had messed up. He was the one who caused her to burn. In the past it was due to love. Now, it was due to hate!

Why had Ruan Zhan’s father treated him like that? What secrets or difficulties did he hide? Can Wan Li and Bao Da Tong help Ruan Zhan overcome his Calamity of Threes? What will happen to Xiao Xia and Ruan Zhan’s love now that things are at an impasse? What new ghosts or monsters will come cause trouble? Read on in the next book God of Gamblers.

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