In the end, the fox could only hold out until the new year. It went from a young and healthy little fox to an old fox, lazily lying down on Shen Hang Zhi’s bed, then constantly looking at the door. When Shen Hang Zhi pushed open the door, he would seem to be yawning, like completing a duty, then slowly lie back down, closing its eyes.
A strange fearful feeling had tightly gripped onto Shen Hang Zhi. There were only a few steps of distance between the door and the bed, yet he was stumbling to get across. He held the fox, only to discover the other party’s body had already become soft, as though there were no bones, and even the blood under the fur had gradually gone cold.
And like this, his Lan Yi left him.
The little lord felt his soul had also left with him. No, Shen Hang Zhi knew- where that fox went, that little lord had also followed it and gone.
If there were a person to dote on him, would he then be that little lord- but even Lan Yi had gone, who would dote on him?
Shen Hang Zhi hugged onto the fox’s corpse, not minding the other party was already spoiled. When the Little Father who had felt something was wrong for an entire day pushed open the door, he was a bit shocked. On that seemingly cold youth, some fine wrinkles had started to climb up on his face that could be seen with the human eye.
The servant that followed Shen Hang Zhi had repeatedly call for him. When he saw that pair of soulless eyes looking towards himself, he could not help but shiver. When he felt Qin Huai at his side, he felt a bit relieved, “The little… little lord…….”
When he heared someone call for himself, Shen Hang Zhi hazily raised his head. When he saw Qin Huai by the door, his mood stirred in that moment, “Little Father, I’m begging of you, let Mister save Lan Yi, please? I’m willing to give back his internal pill to him, please ask the Mister to save him.”
He did not want some eternal lasting youth; he did not want some beautiful appearance. He was still afraid he would become ugly, but when thinking about how his future would not have Lan Yi present, he felt even more scared.
There wasn’t anyone who would call him Zhi Zhi anymore, no one who would not mind his cold face and coax him with patience, no one who would endure pain to comfort him, nor anyone who would willingly use their own life in exchange for his.
Shen Hang Zhi wanted to tightly hold onto the fox, but was also afraid that he would break the other party. He looked around all four corners, and felt that this place was a bit familiar, but also a bit unknown. He wanted to cry a bit, but could not do it.
Without Lan Yi present, who would wipe his tears for him in his place?
He missed his silly idiot. The little lord missed him.
Seeing this kind of Shen Hang Zhi, Qin Huai could not bear his heart, and hesitated a bit, “Chang Ge is still at the residence. If you go to him him, perhaps there is a chance of saving it?
The rumoured bone engraver had ability of a miraculous level, renown for his unique ability to “engrave bones”. People would highly praise the bone engraver to be one of its kind, but a technique such as bringing the dead back alive, was something unheard of.
“Right, I’ll go beg Mister, I’ll go to him.”
The Shen Hang Zhi that would ordinarily treasure his looks staggered his way to the front of the bone engraver’s residence. When he reached his hands to push open the door, it had not budged on inch. He could only kneel before the door, and loudly yell out, ” Shen Hang Zhi has come before to ask of Mister of an audience, to ask Mister to save Lan Yi.”
He would wait and wait- but that door did not open the entire time.
As if he returned back to when he was young, the him right now acted as though it was back then- his voice hoarse, his vision without spirit, but he would obstinately not lower his voice, ” Shen Hang Zhi has come before to ask of Mister of an audience, to ask Mister to save Lan Yi.”
How could one even make out even half of the current Shen Hang Zhi’s polished demeanour he had once?
The young little lord of that time had obstinately held onto his mother’s feet, yelled out loudly, hoping that the other person would be able to hear his call and open their eyes to look upon him; in the blink of an eye, ten years had passed, the little lord was no longer the little lord, but it was as if it was the same as that time. He stubbornly called out, hoping the other person would be able to save his fox.
He knew of his mistakes- whatever he had to exchange, he would be willing.
The rain clouds had cleared to reveal the moon , but Shen Hang Zhi had never felt such despair before, just like on first night when he fell into that mud puddle, when he turned dirty. He cried and wiped his tears, called for his father and mother, but no one would take notice of him.
It was as though he had forgotten something, but Shen Hang Zhi knew- he would not be able to find a demon that was as nice as Lan Yi in this lifetime.
He would not be able to any more.
The big doors that he had hopes for finally opened, but the one that came one was not the bone engraver, but his little disciple. The little youth stood in front of the door, blocking his path. His smile was just as fine, yet made Shen Hang Zhi felt a bit cold. Each of the words he spit out made him feel as though the sky and earth were spinning.
“Master has said, he knows what you are asking of him, but he does not want to help, nor can he be of help.”
“Before the bone engraving, Master had you confirm multiple times. It was you who had firmly decided to have his bones engraved. If he were not dead set on it, how could he use a demon clan’s most important internal pill to save you? If he had not, he would not need to suffer the pain of bone engraving each and every moment before he died, lose his life span, and quicken his death.”
“Do you know how important internal pills are to the demon clan? For you, he had lost the equivalent of hundreds of years of cultivation, and went from a materialized nine-tailed fox and into a fox that could not even compare to a regular old fox. The one from nine-tailed fox clan favoured by the gods- for you, fell into this mortal world, never to rise again.
“Shen Hang Zhi, it is you that caused him to die.”
That’s right, it was he who killed him.
His train of thought seemed to have stopped at this certain point. Shen Hang Zhi absent-mindedly watched as the little disciple return into the residence. The prickly but ice-cold feeling on his palms had made his eyes ache a bit.
In the end, he had still lost Lan Yi.
How did he not know how important an internal pill was for the demons? But at that time, he was so selfish, he had only wanted Lan Yi to save him. If he was able to live on, regardless of what he had to pay, he would be willing.
But the result? In the very end, he had paid the price, and that was to lose his fox.
If at the very beginning- at the beginning, if Lan Yi never encountered him, how great it would be. Had the fox with the appearance of a graceful little lord not met with that cold-blooded and brutal rabbit gentleman, how could he have been burdened by the other person, and in the very end, even cost him his own life.
He did not even have the chance to say ‘like’ towards Lan Yi, yet this silly fox had just left like that.
Without any precaution, not a sound or breath. He only raised his head to look at him once before shutting his eyes, never to open them ever again.
Tears gradually soaked the fox’s fur that no longer had its lustre. Shen Hang Zhi batted his eyes, and wanted to see the fox, but his vision had long turned hazy. He thought, how could he be so ruthless as to take off the fox’s jade pendant in the beginning, and even have him sent to engrave his bones, and cut his life span.
Had he not miss, not think, nor love, he wouldn’t be so nice to him, and pay up with his life for him.
That night, Shen Hang Zhi opened his eyes, and opened them wide. He had still clung onto a slight fantasy. If that silly fox would come out once again to let him sleep soundly- what he would say this time, he also needed to take a look at how this silly idiot looked.
He wanted to actively pull on the fox’s hand, tell him what a hard time he was going through, tell him if he did not have him, he would no longer be that pampered little lord any longer.
He had also wanted to hug the fox, tell him that he liked him, that he would willingly be his wife, and go back with him.
But the night had passed, and Shen Hang Zhi truly could not wait for his fox to come any longer.
 (如切如磋,)如琢如磨- This expression originated from an old poem, 淇奥, that praised beautiful men. Used to praise one’s literary grace and mastery. The full verse translates to ‘The noble’s oneself is polished like how bone after being cut with the knife is filed until smooth; just like how after jade is chiselled, it must be polished. The actions described are all used to create a fine, finished product.
 风光霁月- refers to the scenery that is revealed when the rain passes and the skies are cleared; a bright and clean, pure and fresh sight.