Chapter 136: The Return of a Diva
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“I won’t let go.” Li Lei held her hand even more tightly.
Xia Ling was furious and struggled hard to escape his grip but to no avail. Just as she was about to continue fighting, the crystal chandelier in the hall suddenly went out. Her movements came to a halt and she lifted her head. In front of her, a beam of light slowly appeared in the darkness and shined on the stage where the emcee was standing. The emcee’s low-pitched voice rang through the hall. “Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for attending Diva Xia Ling’s final tribute: The Caged Butterfly Conference.”
The hall immediately became silent.
Everyone held their breath and anticipated what was about to happen.
Xia Ling realized that it was not the right decision to continue struggling to escape Li Lei’s grip as she might cause an even greater commotion.
She was held in place by Li Lei and could not move, so she listened to the emcee as he tirelessly continued his speech. He recollected her previous life and introduced the song’s main theme. Finally, he said, “Everyone must be very curious. The Diva Xia Ling has already passed away, and her voice was considered the peak of poetic perfection. How did her previous producer, Mr. Feng Kun, restore the song? This will soon be disclosed to everyone.”
This was definitely something everyone was curious about. Her voice was very unique and had a wide vocal range. She could easily master many difficult notes that laymen could not possibly imitate.
Who else could possibly sing her important final song after her death?
Xia Ling was also very curious herself, such that she forgot that she was still angry with Li Lei. She quieted down and fixated her eyes on the screen. She trusted Feng Kun’s eye for talent, he must have chosen the most suitable singer to perform the song. Who could it be?
The lights on the stage started to change.
Then, cheers came from all directions.
Looking at the many dots of light slowly appearing in the hall, she felt a faint sense of familiarity. Gold, silver, and purple… It was like fireflies dancing. Gradually, all the dots of light gathered together to form an immensely beautiful girl. The virtual figure of the girl silently stood on the stage. She was wearing a gorgeous dress, a pink diamond bracelet, and was gently holding a microphone. Her head was slightly raised, revealing a distinctly beautiful face. Her sharp eyes were overflowing with confidence like a queen who ruled the world. One look from her was enough to enchant all living creatures.
“Xia Ling… That is the Diva Xia Ling!”
There was a sudden commotion in the crowd.
Who would have thought that they would see the return of the Diva here? This conference used 3D holographic projection technology to re-create her last concert perfectly! Within the sound coming from the surrounding stereo speakers, the cheers grew louder, and numerous people shouted in unison. “Encore! Encore! Encore!”
That was the real audio recording from that day.
The reality of that concert happened again.
Xia Ling felt a little dizzy. She did not expect it to be like this. For a moment, it was as if she had returned to that high and huge stage and was looking at more than a hundred thousand crazy fans below the stage. She said—
“Ok then, I will sing an encore.”
The voice seemed very realistic. It did not come from her memories but from the illusory projection on stage. The sound of the music rang in all directions. The prelude was psychedelic and low-pitched like the intricate falling of flowers that was sometimes violent and sad, and sometimes mildly passionate. However, it was completely different from what happened that day. That day, she sang acapella, and there was no prelude.
Xia Ling stood in the crowd and, just like the other guests, was shocked by the sudden prelude.
It was like a squally shower, with the sonority and resplendence of Feng Kun’s arrangement. It also reinforced her arrogance as a Queen who had held a position that was unattainable for many for more than ten years. It was tragic like the fragmentation of a peony.
Everyone was captivated. On the stage, the illusory projection that resembled her naturally started singing…
If she had not met someone that year, would the ending be different?
Just like a butterfly lost in time, she was unclear if the warmth she felt from him was real or just a dream…
Every sound she heard was knocking on her heart.
Xia Ling’s face turned pale and found it difficult to breathe. Before the song started, she had thought of the many possibilities and even joked about suspecting that Feng Kun had randomly looked for an unpopular singer to perform the song. However, she never would have guessed that the song would be created by mixing in her original singing voice.
The recording from a concert was far inferior to that of a studio recording. The sound was very unclear, and there were many cracks and distortions in parts of the recording.
However, that gave “The Caged Butterfly” an added effect of desolate sadness. It was as if a large invisible hand was holding her heart and squeezing it. The dark memories of her past life flooded her mind. Not able to contain her emotions, she managed to push away Li Lei’s hand with an inexplicable burst of energy and ran out of the conference hall.
On the way, she ran into many people, but she did not notice them. She only stopped and became a little clear-headed when she was under a huge flower tree.
“Xiao Ling, are you ok?” It was Li Lei who chased after her.
She supported herself by holding onto the old and mottled tree trunk and slowly squatted down. The pieces of her past kept flashing back at her: the howling dog, the demon-like man with the blood-stained whip…
Under the pale moonlight, her face was so pale it was frightening.
Seeing that she had huddled into a ball, he leaned down and gently hugged her in his arms. He did not know what had happened, but he was able to feel her pain and fear, so he used the only way he could think of to give her a sense of security and comfort. It was absurd! It was evident that she did not care about him. She had no reaction when she saw him with another woman, why could he not give up on her? Once he found out that she was hurt, why did his heart ached as well?
As he held the petite and soft body in his arms, Li Lei thought that this was probably premeditated in this lifetime.
His warmth and serene embrace slowly calmed Xia Ling down. However, once she clearly saw who the person hugging her was, she reached out and tried to push him away.
“Xiao Ling.” Li Lei was a little worried and hurt.
Xia Ling gave him a perplexed look. There was still a trace of Gu Lin’s perfume on his body. She did not understand why she felt so reassured in such a man’s arms when it was obvious that he could not give her the loyalty she wanted.
“Since you already have Gu Lin, why did you still look for me?” Her voice was slightly hoarse.
Li Lei was stunned. Suddenly, joy erupted from the bottom of his heart. “Are… you jealous?”
Xia Ling was quiet for a moment before replying, “Yes, I’m jealous. However, I won’t persuade you to stay. Li Lei, I don’t want to play a game of jealousy with you in our relationship. If you have an unclear relationship with another woman, no matter how much I like you, I will still give up on you.”
“You said, you like me?” Li Lei was so happy that his voice slightly trembled.
Xia Ling was speechless. “Did you even listen to my main point?”
“Xiao Ling, I’m so happy that you like me.” Li Lei tightly hugged her just like how he always wanted to. “This is the first time you said you like me… I swear I will never do anything to make you upset again. I will definitely keep a distance from other women and only allow you to be near me.”
That’s good. Looks like he still heard my main point. She thought.
Xia Ling nodded her head and stood up. “Remember what you said, Li Lei.”
The moonlight shined past the flower trees and sprinkled on her face. It was obscure and beautiful, like a dream.
“I will never betray you,” Li Lei said and lifted his head to look at her. “Xiao Ling, what happened to you just now? You just suddenly ran out of the hall. Is there something wrong?”