Chapter 1 - Protecting You At All Costs
"If I cannot be your blazing sun, I'll be the tree that towers over you that shields you from the wind and rain." Fu Tingyu said. "Babe, you're not allowed to die, you're not allowed to… Do you hear me?"
Qin Shu, whose entire body had previously felt icy-cold, was suddenly thrust into his warm embrace. Her dissipated consciousness was pulled together again by this heart-wrenching low roar.
As her tears-stained eyelashes trembled and slowly fluttered open, the first thing that filled her vision was the sight of Fu Tingyu's immensely attractive face, his bloodshot eyes, and his tears.
Qin Shu was startled, as this was the first time she had seen him cry.
In the next moment, the bedroom was suddenly ignited with raging flames as thick pungent smoke filled the bathroom.
"Fu Tingyu, you should hurry and leave…" Qin Shu started coughing from the smoke inhalation the instant she opened her mouth. She knew she was not going to make it out alive, and she could not make Fu Tingyu lose his life along with hers.
"Babe, don't be afraid. As long as I'm around, I won't let anything happen to you. I'll take you with me, we'll get out of here." After soaking a bath towel, Fu Tingyu wrapped it around her frail body to prevent her from sustaining any burn injuries.
"Fu Tingyu, you should get out of here on your own. It's not worth it if you lose your life because of me." These words used all of Qin Shu's energy to exclaim, and yet they were feeble and her voice trembled as she said them.
Fu Tingyu turned a deaf ear to those words, his deep eyes were tinged with a dark red. The only thought in his head was that his love could not succumb to death no matter what.
"Don't try to run away from me. Be in this life, or my next, you're meant to be my wife." Fu Tingyu's domineering vow was filled with desire. His arms tightened around Qin Shu as he comforted her with his embrace. "Babe, don't be afraid. I'll get you out of here really soon."
He then rushed out of the room by making large strides.
Outside, the flames were licking the sky. Thick, acrid smoke pervaded the surroundings of the villa.
Suddenly, at this moment, a loud bang resonated.
Fu Tingyu protected Qin Shu in his arms as the crystal chandelier overhead collapsed and crashed heavily onto his back, causing him to stagger a couple of steps.
Fresh blood seeped from the corners of his mouth, tainting his lips.
At the same time, this sight made Qin Shu's eyes hurt. Her pale lips trembled, but she found herself unable to utter a word as tears streamed down her face.
"Fu... Fu Tingyu, what's happening to you?" she asked.
Fu Tingyu gritted his teeth and endured the excruciating, stabbing pain in his back. The veins on his forehead were bulging but his arms around her did not ease one bit, growing firmer instead as they exited the villa.
Fu Tingyu could no longer withstand the pain and fell to the ground. His arms remained in a deadlock around the woman in his embrace, shielding her from harm.
His slender fingers caressed her pale face as he spoke in a voice brimming with an overwhelming amount of love. "Babe, being able to marry you was the happiest moment of my life..."
At the end of his sentence, he spat out another mouthful of bright red blood, flowing down the corners of his lips.
Qin Shu finally regained her voice as she placed her trembling hands against his incessantly bleeding lips. In a shaky voice, she muttered, "Fu Tingyu, how are you? Please don't scare me, okay?"
Fu Tingyu's lips were stained bright with blood and spoke with the last of his energy. "Babe, you'll always be my wife, whether in this life or the next. I can't bear to let go of you, not in the least bit. Who's going to protect you if someone bullies you? I can't bear leaving you…"
His shoulders suddenly slumped. Qin Shu's mind went blank momentarily, her heart aching so badly it became impossible to breathe.
She pressed her pale face against his cold, handsome face. Tears streamed down her face silently as she replied, "Fu Tingyu, don't worry about me getting bullied by anyone. I'll keep you company…"
Qin Shu opened her eyes and was greeted by the sight of a very familiar stained-glass ceiling light, leaving her in a daze.
She wondered if this was Bright Garden, and the bedroom that she lived in? Why was she here?
She remembered dying from excessive blood loss after Qin Ya slit her wrists…
Qin Shu raised her hands, seeing that her fair and slender wrists were smooth without any scars.
Did the wounds disappear?
Suddenly, the bedroom door was pushed open.
After hearing movement, Qin Shu turned her head and caught sight of Fu Tingyu's slender figure walking in.
His eyes were deep and dark as though there was a beast hibernating in the darkness within, waiting to be unleashed any moment.
Qin Shu did not know if it was because she was overcome by emotions, but she was temporarily stunned. All she could do was stare dazedly at the insanely attractive man standing before her.
Fu Tingyu walked to the bed, his dark and mysterious eyes were on her. He pursed his lips, asking, "For him, you're going on a hunger strike? Do you think I'll let you leave just because you're doing this? Don't even think about it."
Qin Shu froze. A hunger strike?
She suddenly recalled Qin Ya telling her to go on hunger strikes frequently because Fu Tingyu would let her go the moment his heart softened.
Yet, behind her back, Qin Ya informed Fu Tingyu that this hunger strike was being done for Shen Yaohui to coerce Fu Tingyu.
Fu Tingyu's sudden return was due to Qin Ya's text message as well.
Fu Tingyu pinched her chin with his slender fingers. His masculine scent overwhelmed her, making her heart skip a beat.
The man had defined edges, a tall nose bridge, sharp eyebrows, and the outer corners of his eyes were long and narrow. His eyes were dark and mysterious, and one glance too many could cause anyone to fall right into them.
This was Qin Shu's first time examining Fu Tingyu from so close-up. She was momentarily stunned.
"Babe, don't think about leaving me anymore. Do you hear me? In life, you are a person who belongs to me.. And even in death, you are a ghost that belongs to me."