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    Chapter 86 [VIP] Best Friend as Shield (Conclusion + Extra)

    Thirty minutes later, Fu Qingzhou received an unknown call, informing him that Nan Yan had been in a car accident.

    Upon hearing this, Fu Qingzhou initially assumed it was a prank. His heart raced uncontrollably for a moment, and after great effort, he managed to calm the tension within his chest. This was followed by a surge of inexplicable anger.

    How could someone joke about such a matter?

    It can't be true, it must be fake!

    But not until...

    He saw the photos of the car accident scene...

    His relatively composed expression turned deathly pale in an instant!

    His face contorted almost beyond recognition. In that moment, it felt as if a thunderous boom echoed inside his head, as though he had been struck by a heavy blow.

    It left him so destabilized that he could hardly hold onto his phone.

    How could this be possible?

    Clearly... She was perfectly fine just half an hour ago, wasn't she?

    She was standing by the mirror, smiling gently at him, and even asking if her dress looked nice. How... How could she suddenly end up severely injured and in the hospital?

    This must be a trick, a conspiracy to deceive him, right? It's not funny at all, this joke is in no way amusing!

    Fu Qingzhou's eyes reddened almost instantaneously.

    He was utterly deaf to the voices behind him; his entire being was consumed by the sensation of his heart gasping for air.

    As if all the blood in his body had rushed to his head in that fleeting instant, an overwhelming surge of panic and fear gripped his heart, leaving no room for rational thought. The notion of marriage, of being a groom – all faded into insignificance.

    His sole obsession now was to reach the hospital, to find her, to see her, to know how she was faring.

    Fù Qīngzhōu raced towards the hospital in a frenzy. He didn't even have time to change clothes; Fang Wǎnróu accompanied him, the wedding having been hastily canceled. Given the gravity of the situation, her own emotions were in turmoil.

    She genuinely never imagined such an accident could occur. She couldn't help but ponder: If she hadn't gone to retrieve her ring for her, would this calamity have been avoided?

    With this thought, Fang Wanhua couldn't help but feel a wave of guilt surging within her, causing her eyes to redden uncontrollably.

    At that moment, Fu Qingzhuo finally understood how Nanyan had felt when he was injured at the construction site back then. Was her sorrow and despair in the hospital that day identical to his current emotions?

    Fu Qingzhuo prayed fervently in his heart. Gasping for breath, he finally arrived at the hospital and stood at the entrance of the emergency room where Nanyan had been taken. He even noticed the crimson stains on the ground, still moist from the blood she had lost. She must have been in so much pain; she was always so fearful of it. How could she have bled so profusely?

    Fang Qingzhuo felt as if someone had fiercely gripped his entire heart. In that instant, he was genuinely terrified, scared to the point where his heartbeat seemed to be stalling. The mist in his eyes grew thicker as he pleaded, Please, don't let anything happen to you, Nanyan... please...

    Less than half an hour later, the lights in the operating room went out.

    A group of doctors and nurses in white coats emerged, their sleeves still stained with blood. The lead physician asked, "Who among you is the family member of the patient?"

    Fucheng stepped forward instantly, his anxiety causing him to slip, nearly falling. He grasped the doctor's wrist firmly, his voice trembling with fear. "I am, I'm the family member. Her boyfriend. Tell me, how is she? Is she going to be alright?"

    The doctor shook his head solemnly. "I'm very sorry, we truly did our best. The patient's injuries are severe. She has a broken spine, multiple shattered bones throughout her body, and internal bleeding in both her chest and abdomen. When she arrived, she was already in a deep coma. So, I'm truly sorry..."

    In that instant, Fucheng felt as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. His eyes reddened, and he swayed, unable to maintain his balance. He stumbled backward, and with a loud thud, collided harshly with a chair nearby, then fell heavily to the ground.

    Yet, it seemed he was in so much pain that he couldn't feel anything anymore.

    "What did you say...?"

    Fu Qingzhou looked up at the head physician with a hint of confusion. He felt as if there was something wrong with his ears; otherwise, how could he have heard such words from a doctor?

    The physician sighed helplessly and shook his head at him before apologizing. Then, he continued, "Furthermore, the deceased consented to donating her corneas for transplantation. Among you, is there a lady named Fang Wanru? You should start preparing for the surgery."

    Upon hearing the physician's final statement, Fang Wanru, who had been standing there, could no longer hold back her tears and suddenly burst into sobs.

    She shook her head fiercely, her face filled with remorse. Tears cascaded relentlessly down her cheeks, smudging her makeup and leaving her appearance disheveled. Yet, no one paid attention to that now. They were merely perplexed as to why she had suddenly become so abnormal, weeping in such despair.

    Fu Qingzhuo's expression froze on his face.

    His pupils constricted, and he swiftly turned to look at her, a hint of foreboding stirring within his heart.

    Meanwhile, Fang Wanru continued to cry,

    "I'm sorry, truly sorry..."

    "I lied to you, Qingzhou. My eyes... They weren't blind at all..."

    Fang Wanru revealed her secret through her sobs, collapsing emotionally. From the beginning, she had deceived him. She had fooled everyone. Her eyes were never blind. It was deliberate; she had taken advantage of Qingzhou's guilt and sense of responsibility. That was the only way he would be willing to reunite with her.

    But she never expected...

    She never imagined that Nanyan would die, let alone that she would willingly donate her corneas to her before passing. All at once, a torrent of guilt, remorse, and regret swelled in her chest, overwhelming her with endless regret and unease. She never thought things would turn out this way!

    He would never forgive her in this lifetime, and perhaps... She couldn't even forgive herself.

    "I'm sorry, Qingzhou, truly sorry..."

    Fang Wanrou's tears fell harder as she staggered forward, attempting to grasp Fu Qingzhou's hand, only to be harshly pushed away.

    Suddenly, Fu Qingzhou laughed.

    Clenching his fists tightly, he let tears slide down his cheeks, feeling a wave of disgust. Even the slightest touch repelled him. How foolish had he been to be deceived repeatedly?

    He reflected on those two months, ensnared by guilt and obligation. He wished it had been him who was hit by the car, instead of suppressing his true feelings, getting engaged, and caring for her emotions. He had even denied Nan Yan her last hug the night before their wedding, and now she claimed it was all a deception...

    What had he even done?

    How could he have been so stingy, refusing even a hug when she cried so pitifully? Why couldn't he trust her just one more time?

    Fu Qingzhou felt his emotions nearing collapse, especially seeing the motionless figure on the bed.

    Suddenly, everything went dark, his knees buckled, and he collapsed to the ground, drained of strength.

    Someone rushed to help him, saying, "Qingzhou, try to accept it. The dead cannot be brought back to life. She wouldn't want to see you like this..."

    Before they could finish, Fu Qingzhou staggered to his feet, expressionless, and waved them away, his voice hoarse, "Leave me alone."

    No one dared approach him in his current state.

    In the face of death, all words of comfort seemed hollow and powerless.

    Everyone understood that what he needed most was time to calm down, so they quietly left the room.

    Fu Qingzhou didn't even realize how he had made his way to her side, but he immediately noticed her slightly drooping black hair.

    She lay there quietly, her face so pale it was nearly devoid of color. Fu Qingzhou's fingers trembled as they reached out, then curled back. He was afraid to touch her, fearing even the slightest contact might shatter her.

    Tears fell uncontrollably.

    "I'm sorry, I'm really sorry..."

    He knelt and crawled to her bedside, overwhelmed by a rising tide of despair that threatened to engulf him. He cautiously touched her face,

    "It's my fault, all my fault. I shouldn't have angered you, let alone mistreated you, causing you so much pain and suffering."

    "Can you get up, please? Scold me, hit me, or let me bear this pain for you. Please, don't punish me with this outcome..."

    "I haven't even hugged you yet, Nan Yan. Can you hear me? I won't marry Fang Wanrou, I won’t marry her. Please open your eyes and look at me, okay?"

    "I beg you, open your eyes..."

    Fu Qingzhou's head bowed, he pleaded and apologized repeatedly, but the person on the bed remained unresponsive.

    He even wondered if this was like the previous misunderstanding in the hospital, where he had mistaken someone else for her, and she was actually fine...

    But why? He had waited so long, yet never heard her playful voice calling his name from behind, then jumping into his arms, teasing him for his mistake, all while he cried foolishly.

    A profound sense of despair welled up in Fu Qingzhou's heart. This was not like the last time in the hospital. Her fingers were slowly turning cold and stiff, her body's warmth fading away. She would never wake up again, never smile at him again...

    And he hadn't even seen her for the last time.

    As Fu Qingzhou contemplated this, the depth of his despair grew, and his eyes clouded with increasing mist.

    His fingers gently brushed the blood scabs on her face, looking at the girl lying quietly on the bed as if asleep, he suddenly chuckled,

    "I have a funny thing to tell you. Did you know? You and Fang Wanrou together, have at least four hundred wits. Why pick on me to deceive? You deceived me, and so did she. Is it because I naturally look easy to fool?"

    Fu Qingzhou picked up a clean towel from a nearby shelf, soaked it again in water, and gently, repeatedly, wiped the blood from her face with tender movements.

    As he spoke, he laughed again, though tears streamed down his cheeks. He continued, "But I loved being deceived by you. You know how stingy I am. Why couldn't you be more patient and coax me a few more times? You know, the first time you came to apologize, my heart softened. I secretly told myself that if you coaxed me a few more times, I would definitely stop being angry."

    "But I waited so long, two whole months, and you never came. I was angry and disappointed, thinking you didn’t care about me at all, so I decided to give up. Just when I had completely lost hope, you came, saying you wanted to leave with me…"

    His voice trembled, becoming increasingly hoarse, "But... on that day, I refused you. I know I was too cowardly. How could I let a girl say such things first?"

    Fu Qingzhou lowered his head, tears dripping onto Nan Yan's face, which he carefully wiped away. "Oh, I almost forgot. That day you said you wanted to go to a faraway city, and asked me those questions, I lied in my answers."

    "I didn’t want you to go at all."

    "I didn’t want you to find someone like me who loves you and is willing to be deceived by you in that place."

    "I didn’t want you to love him as you loved me. Loving you alone is enough for me. So, please don’t go, okay, Nan Yan?"

    As Fu Qingzhou spoke, his heart ached. He gripped her hand tightly, feeling her previously stiff fingers suddenly loosen, as if by fate, a silver, delicate ring fell from her palm.

    It landed on the floor with a "ding."

    Fu Qingzhou snapped back to reality, looking down at the bloodstained ring on the floor, the very one he had prepared on the day he proposed. She had kept it with her always, never letting go even in death...

    At that moment, Fu Qingzhou could no longer contain himself. His entire body shook uncontrollably, and a part of his heart completely collapsed.

    Half a month later.

    It had been half a month since the car accident, and the initial uproar had gradually subsided. After Fu Qingzhou learned of Nan Yan's demise, he was in a state of emotional breakdown for three consecutive days. Following that, he somehow calmed down gradually.

    After all, life and death were the most unpredictable matters, and only time could heal all wounds.

    Just when everyone assumed he would eventually move on, Fu Qingzhou suddenly vanished. On the very morning of his disappearance, he had seemed entirely normal, warmly greeting the staff at the flower shop next door and purchasing a large bouquet of lilies from the owner before driving out.

    In fact, the night before, Fu Qingzhou had dialed an unfamiliar number on his phone. When the call was answered, a young and unfamiliar voice spoke up on the other end,

    "Hello, who's this?"

    Pausing for a moment, Fu Qingzhou's voice croaked as he inquired, "I'd like to ask if you recall calling my number multiple times on October 9th. I missed your calls that day. Do you have any memory of it?"

    The young man scratched his head, initially having no recollection. But upon hearing the mention of October 9th, a memory suddenly resurfaced in his mind, "Oh, I remember now! There was a severe car accident in the city center that day, and I happened to be there. However, it wasn't me who called you; it was a man and a woman. The man was extremely anxious, almost to the point of tears. He tried calling several times but nobody answered, and eventually, the line went dead..."

    Fu Qingzhou instinctively clenched his fingers, feeling a dryness in his throat as if he had swallowed a mouthful of sand, "Yes... it was that day. Could you describe the situation more precisely? Was the girl... very upset at the time?"

    "About that girl, let me think for a moment..."

    "It's been too long, I don't quite recall."

    Recalling the scene, the young man felt reluctant to delve into the memory, fearing it might haunt his dreams at night. "I believe she was... She kept calling out someone's name, it seemed to be... Zhou something, Zhou Qing, wasn't it?"

    "I can't quite remember either, but it should be the groom's name. She said she was supposed to be the bride that day. Such a pity, the phone wouldn't connect. The girl mentioned she wanted to hear the groom's voice one last time..."

    Before he could finish, the phone slipped from his hand and hit the ground with a 'smack', its screen shattering into pieces instantly.

    Fu Qingzhou closed his eyes, replaying the events of that fateful day in his mind. How utterly desperate must she have been then?

    During her immense pain and sorrow, he had missed her final call – what a regretful oversight...

    Afterward, Fu Qingzhou vanished. That same afternoon, the police received a report of a car accident near a riverbank. A white sedan had careened through the guardrail and plunged into the water...

    When the car was eventually retrieved, someone spotted from a distance that it was occupied by a young man, and the vehicle was filled to the brim with lilies, now ruined by the water – a tragic sight.

    Meanwhile, Jiang Shaoyan's condition after the crash was grim. Though he survived, his leg injuries were severe, possibly condemning him to a life in a wheelchair.

    These were merely superficial wounds. After the accident, Jiang Shuyan seemed to have developed psychological issues; he refused to communicate with others and his depression worsened. At times, his memory would falter, confusing the day of the accident with the day he was supposed to attend his wedding with his fiancée. The once vibrant and charismatic Mr. Jiang now appeared like a withered, lifeless tree, his eyes devoid of all luster.

    ……

    A new batch of young nurses, fresh graduates from school and fond of gossip, had recently arrived at the psychiatric clinic near the suburban villa.

    They had been discussing the tragic story of the young Mr. Jiang. It was heartbreaking!

    He was on his way to his own wedding with his fiancée when the accident occurred. Not only did he lose his fiancée, but he also lost his leg and suffered mental distress. How pitiful!

    "Indeed, I heard that his fiancée passed away right in his arms. The shock was so overwhelming that he couldn't bear it, leading to a mental breakdown," one of them shared.

    "Sounds like Manager Jiang is quite deeply affectionate."

    "You guys don't know yet, do you? I heard he's slit his wrists three times this month. It was fortunate that he was found in time; otherwise, it would've been too late!"

    "I've heard about that too. Apparently, he's severely depressed, refusing to speak or take his medication..."

    Meanwhile, Jiang Shaoyan was oblivious to all external matters, completely absorbed in his thoughts.

    Seated quietly in his wheelchair, a thick photo album rested on his lap. The warm afternoon sun filtered through the window, casting a gentle glow on the back of his hand, which appeared translucently pale, revealing the faint blue veins beneath.

    His fingers traced the image of the girl in the photograph, her smile so radiant, and his own lips curled into an unconscious echo of hers.

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