TOTLS Chapter 107: Arc 6.22

Arc 6: Interstellar Literary Soldiers Chapter 22

Erman lay beside Dean’s hospital bed, crying like he had never cried before. Their parents passed away when they were very young and it was Dean who had raised him. For Erman, Dean was not just a brother but also a parent. Now, with Dean losing a leg, he would rather have lost a leg himself.

Dean’s body was still recovering, and his face was pale. He looked at Erman, who couldn’t stop crying, and said, “Don’t cry. After a while, I’ll be able to get a prosthetic. The doctor said that once I get used to it, I can walk freely and naturally. It won’t be noticeable as a prosthetic from the outside.”

“No matter how good it is, it can never be as good as having your own leg back. It’s still fake,” Erman sobbed, growing more and more upset. “I regret it, I really regret it. I shouldn’t have done those things. But why isn’t the punishment falling on me, who actually did wrong?!”

Erman was overwhelmed with guilt and regret. He felt that his past actions had caused his brother’s current suffering. He truly wished that the one who lost a leg could have been him instead.

“I haven’t been a literary soldier for many years now so I don’t need to dance or perform. Putting on a prosthetic will not affect my future promotions,” Dean gently pat Erman’s head. “Your brother is a very strong person. Even if I lose a leg, I can still excel. And remember, I lost my leg due to an accident, not because of you. Don’t blame yourself for my loss.”

Despite Dean’s words, Erman still felt deeply troubled. He cried as he promised Dean, “I will become a better person from now on. I won’t do anything that goes against my conscience, and I won’t ever let you down again.”

“Okay, I believe you can do it.” Dean said with a smile. 

The hospital room’s door suddenly swung open, and both Dean and Erman turned to look.

Kaden’s face was purple, and as he walked to bed his face was filled  with a somewhat bad expression. He looked at Dean and opened his mouth, but no sound came out.

“What happened to your face?” Dean asked in confusion.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t bring Zuo Lei here,” Kaden said, filled with guilt.

“You went to see Zuo Lei?!” Dean widened his eyes and asked, “Why did you go to see him? What did you say to him?”

“I wanted him to postpone the wedding to be with you…”

“Why on earth did you do this?!” Dean’s anger was causing him physical pain, and he felt even worse. “Why did you go to him?!”

“Please don’t be mad. He… He…” Kaden was torn, seeing how much Dean was suffering, and he almost blurted out that Zuo Lei had refused. But he realized that saying that would make Dean even more upset.

“Did he hurt your face?” Dean looked at him and asked.

“…Yes,” Kaden admitted softly.

“I’m begging you, please don’t go see him anymore, and don’t use my name to ask him for anything. Leave me some dignity!” Dean was so angry that tears streamed down his face.

“I’m sorry…” Kaden apologized to him.

“Go now. Our marriage is over, and you don’t need to be responsible for me. If you want to compensate me, then never appear in front of me again, and stop meddling in my affairs. That would be the best compensation you can offer me.” Dean was really tired. After seeing Zuo Lei and Tao Yuan on the Border Stars, he knew that he and Zuo Lei had no future together. He just wanted to retain a bit of dignity and respect in Zuo Lei’s eyes, but Kaden had taken that away from him.

“Let me take care of you, just like you took care of me before. I’ll be good to you for the rest of my life. Come back home with me,” Kaden pleaded, looking at Dean with desperate eyes.

“I learned one thing from Zuo Lei. When you decide to break up, it has to be clean and decisive. There can’t be any lingering connections, or else hesitation and soft-heartedness will only cause more pain to more people for a longer time. When love is gone, it’s gone. No matter how much sympathy we have, forcing ourselves to be together will only prolong the suffering.”

“But I really love you. We can take it slowly…” 

“But I don’t love you anymore!” Dean shouted, cutting him off. “I’ll say it one last time. I don’t love you anymore. Since I met Zuo Lei a few years ago, my feelings for you have been gone. One wrong choice has brought me too much pain, and the wounds in my heart may never heal in this lifetime. Do you want me to continue living in this pain, to keep making the same mistake?”

“I… I didn’t know being with me would cause you so much pain. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” Kaden said with his eyes closed. He had thought that Dean’s inability to be happy with him was due to lingering feelings for Zuo Lei, not realizing the extent of Dean’s suffering.

“Leave. Don’t appear in front of me again, that would be the best compensation you can offer me. Don’t involve yourself directly or indirectly in my life from now on. Let everything from the past disappear, and give me a chance to start anew,” Dean told Kaden firmly.

Erman looked at Kaden and said, “Brother Kaden, please go. I’ll take care of my brother. Let him forget everything from now on and start a new life.”

Kaiden lowered his head, turned around, and, despite the pain that was about to explode inside him, walked away with long strides. He wasn’t just leaving the hospital. He was walking out of Dean’s life. Although Dean’s words had caused him immense pain, he regretted even more the pain he had caused Dean.

It was him who caused Dean’s pain, but in this lifetime, he will not have the chance to compensate him.  It was his fault from the beginning, and even if he was about to die at that moment, he shouldn’t have asked Dean to break up and spend his final moments with him.

He had been too selfish, thinking that as someone on the verge of death, fulfilling his last wish was a given. It was only now that he suddenly realized that everyone would eventually die, it was just a matter of time. How many people died without fulfilling their wishes? How could he demand that someone else give up their happiness just because he didn’t have much time left to live?

Even though he had come to terms with this and was willing to let Dean go, it was already too late. As Dean said, he had moved on, and the pain and self-blame would haunt Kaden for the rest of his life. This was his own punishment for the mistakes he had made.

After Kaden and his family left, Zuo Lei’s family continued with their own activities. Although they were quite angry inside, this anger was quickly overshadowed by the joy of Zuo Lei and Tao Yuan’s wedding. Madam Rui Ya paid no attention to Kaden’s family, and even if Zuo Lei had confronted Kaden, she wouldn’t have seriously considered pressing charges. Even if he had gone ahead and reported it, they could have also reported him for trespassing and disturbance.

After having dinner outside, Tao Yuan and Madam Rui Ya continued shopping for household items. They simply selected the items they wanted on the computer, and a salesperson would then deliver the goods to their home. If they liked the items, they would keep them, and if not, they could just have them taken away.

The long-awaited wedding finally arrived. Madam Rui Ya, Zuo Lei’s father, and his two brothers with their wives were all busy entertaining the guests at the wedding venue. Since there were too many guests, Madam Rui Ya had also brought in Zuo Lei’s younger brothers and their wives to help with the reception.

Tao Yuan had given a collective invitation to his squad. Whenever a soldier within the squad got married and had some free time, the whole squad would attend the wedding. So, on the day of the wedding, except for Erman who was still at the hospital taking care of his brother, the other members of Tao Yuan’s squad, led by their squad leader, were all present to celebrate the wedding.

Those who had been jealous or envious of Tao Yuan in the past put on a facade of reluctance when attending the wedding, but deep down, they were very curious to see if the actual wedding matched the projections that Tao Yuan had shown to Lin Ya. 

Once they were led to their assigned seats by the attendants, these literary soldiers couldn’t help but look around. They initially thought they could stroll around and chat with others after identifying their designated seats. But dressed in their literary soldier uniforms, they needed to maintain their image. So, after taking turns to get their preferred food, they sat at their tables and engaged in conversations with those around them.

There were over twenty of them, seated at four tables in total. At the farthest table from the squad leader, they couldn’t help but start discussion in low voices.

“There are so many high-ranking officials from the Imperial Star! I’ve only seen them in the news before. This is the first time I’ve been so close to them, and it’s hard to describe the feeling of being surrounded by these big shots.”

“The Arnold family is already a well-known noble family, and General Zuo Lei’s father holds a pretty high rank. It’s not surprising at all that so many high-ranking officials are here.”

There were over twenty of them, seated at four tables in total. At the farthest table from the platoon leader, they couldn’t help but engage in a hushed discussion.

“So many high-ranking officials from the Imperial Star! I’ve only seen them in the news before. This is the first time I’ve been so close to them, and it’s hard to describe the feeling of being surrounded by these big shots.”

“The Arnold family is already a well-known noble house, and General Zuo Lei’s father holds a pretty high rank. It’s not surprising at all that so many high-ranking officials are here.”

“The decoration at this wedding venue is really breathtaking. It feels like stepping into a dream. But isn’t it a bit too luxurious? Look at these porcelain dishes with petal patterns and these vintage-style teacups. They’re all custom-made by the Imperial’s Porcelain brand, the highest tier, and you can’t buy them even if you’re wealthy. Only people with a certain status can get them.”

“Sigh, I’m so jealous. If I could have a wedding like this in my lifetime…”

“You can’t envy things like this. Even if you’re lucky enough to marry into a noble family, it depends on whether their family has a strong foundation and whether they’re willing to organize such a grand wedding.”

Tao Yuan was in the dressing room. He had just put on his white formal attire. He stood in front of the mirror, adjusting it when he was suddenly embraced  by Zuo Lei from behind.

Zuo Lei 1 lowered his head and kissed Tao Yuan’s cheek, saying, “You look so handsome.”

“Are there times when I don’t look good?” Tao Yuan asked.

“Never,” Zuo Lei immediately replied.

“Will you always think I’m handsome, no matter how long we’re together? What if I get old and have wrinkles, will you still find me attractive?” Although Tao Yuan had aged much slower than an average person in previous lifetimes, it was impossible for him to remain unchanged forever. Like everyoneelse, he wanted to maintain his best appearance in front of his loved one and dreaded the idea of growing old.

Zuo Lei turned Tao Yuan’s body, looking into his eyes with sincerity. He said, “I love all of you, every part of you right now, every strand of your hair, and every wrinkle that may appear in the future. I love them all because, no matter how your body changes, it contains the soul I love the most.”

“Are you starting with your vows before the ceremony even officially begins?” Tao Yuan was touched every time he heard Zuo Lei’s heartfelt words. From the beginning, he thought he might be sent here as a punishment, so he had to go through these lifetimes to complete a mission. But as he enjoyed each lifetime filled with love and happiness, he began to see it as a reward. He wondered if he had done something exceptionally good to deserve such immense happiness in every lifetime, creating beautiful memories.

Zuo Lei kissed Tao Yuan passionately, and Tao Yuan, with his hand on Zuo Lei’s neck, kissed him back. They only stopped when someone knocked on the door. As they left Tao Yuan held Zuo Lei’s hand.

In front of all the guests, the two of them walked slowly on the carpet made of various flowers, heading towards the ceremonial platform.

Almost all the guests had smiles filled with blessings, except for one person who couldn’t muster a smile and had sadness in their eyes. Ke Ning watched Tao Yuan, who wore a smile of happiness, slowly pass by in front of him. He suppressed the pain in his heart and silently wished him well in his heart.

Standing on the platform, they gazed into each other’s eyes and recited vows that sounded like sweet nothings.

Madam Rui Ya and Isa stood together, holding hands, and watched the two deeply in love with each other. They were moved to tears of joy.

The daytime was filled with wedding ceremonies and banquets, while the evening was for the two families to celebrate together in their respective homes.

Tao Yuan had also consumed quite a bit of alcohol during the day. As everyone sat around the table, engaged in conversation, he started feeling a bit drowsy. He leaned on Zuo Lei’s shoulder and looked like he was about to fall asleep.

Zuo Lei turned to him and whispered, “Sleepy?”

“Yeah,” Tao Yuan nodded.

“Mom, Tao Yuan is tired. I’ll take him upstairs first and come back in a while,” Zuo Lei said to Madam Rui Ya and Isa, who were sitting on the other side.

“Go ahead,” Madam Rui Ya said, observing Tao Yuan’s tired demeanor. “There are no outsiders here now, just family. No need to be too formal. If he’s tired, let him rest.”

Zuo Lei helped Tao Yuan up and embraced him as they went upstairs.

Putting Tao Yuan down on the bed, Zuo Lei started to help him take off his clothes.

Because he drank alcohol, his body was more easily aroused, so he said “Yes” in a coquettish tone.

When Tao Yuan asked for it, there was no way Zuo Lei wouldn’t give it. After taking off Tao Yuan’s pants, he opened Tao Yuan’s legs and pressed on him.

Tao Yuan hugged Zuo Lei’s shoulders and made a comfortable sound, “A bit harder…”

Originally, Zuo Lei had said he would go downstairs after helping Tao Yuan upstairs, but he didn’t actually go downstairs until both families had left. Anyway, they didn’t really expect him to go downstairs, and once the group had chatted enough among themselves, they all left.

From meeting, to falling in love, to staying together, and then starting all over again. Even though they had so many lifetimes of memories, constantly transitioning from young to not so young, Tao Yuan had never once felt tired of it, not even for a second. Perhaps they didn’t know when such happiness would suddenly come to an end. That’s why Tao Yuan cherished not only every lifetime of meeting his lover but also every second of falling in love in each lifetime.

The curtains fall for the sixth arc. See you all tomorrow for the next one!

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If there are any mistakes/error, feel free to comment it down below.

  1. Author wrote Lei Yuan instead of Zuo Lei in the following sentences HAHA[]

1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    ah i think this is the first arc of this book where the antagonists actually get to learn from their mistakes.. i hope they get their extras and they eventually move on from this event in their lives..

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