"Let's go?" Zhuo Jingren rose from his seat when he realized that it was already past ten in the evening. He roamed his eyes around the empty temple before he noticed that Lily was looking at him worriedly. "Even though this place had been abandoned, the lights from the lamp posts are still working. I would get someone to change the bulbs every now and then. You don't have to be scared," he assured Lily with a smile.
"I am not scared," Lily said before she got up from the bench. "It's quite late. Are we riding back to the resort on a bicycle?" Her hands were clutching the coat that had been draped on her before she finally decided to wear it properly. It was getting colder after all. She reckoned that Zhuo Jingren wouldn't need the coat more than she did as he was a large hot-blooded male. Moreover, the man had given the coat to her!
He smiled when he saw Lily wearing his coat. "Yes and no. We will cycle back halfway, then someone will come and pick us up and send us back to our villa."
"Alright." She nodded. Zhuo Jingren was right, even though this place had been abandoned, it was also obvious that the place had been maintained somehow. For Zhuo Jingren to take care of this place, it must be because this place held a very important place in his heart.
"Going down is going to be more difficult than going up. Do you still want me to carry you?" Lily raised an eyebrow at Zhuo Jingren's shameless words.
"No, thank you," she answered before taking huge strides past him towards the bamboo forest, taking the lead. The duo followed the stone path through the bamboo forest and it wasn't long before they reached the same flight of steps they had climbed up earlier. As they were going down, they could still catch a view of the lake and even the city below. From time to time, the duo would stop to appreciate the view. They knew they had reached the end of the long flight of steps when a huge gate greeted them, the same gate they saw when they first arrived.
Zhuo Jingren went up to his bicycle that was parked by the gate and asked Lily to get on the bicycle. Lily complied and obediently sat down on the passenger seat behind Zhuo Jingren. Just then her nose caught a faint scent. Slowly, she inched her nose towards Zhuo Jingren's back as she breathed in his scent.
The scent on him was mild, like the smell of a morning dew. It reminded her of spring and summer. It smelled comforting and it warmed Lily's heart. Once again, her arms naturally made its way around his waist, unaware of its effect on the man who was riding the bicycle. During the ride, Lily had her eyes closed as she indulged herself in his warmth.
After a few minutes, Lily sensed that the bicycle had stopped moving which prompted her to open her eyes. She immediately got off the bicycle without being asked to. "A buggy?" she asked when she saw a buggy waiting ahead of them.
"Yeah, well… We get to take in the magnificent view and breathe in some fresh air if we ride on a buggy. I figured you might like it…" he frowned, "Don't you like it? If you don't like it, I can ask someone to drive a car over. But that would be another twenty minutes wait if you don't mind."
"Oh, the buggy is not a problem." Lily gave him a sincere smile. "I would love some fresh air."
The duo then approached the buggy. However, before Zhuo Jingren could get on the buggy, the middle-aged driver stopped him. "Mr. Zhuo, Mr. Ito said that he is coming here to meet you. So I am only here to fetch Miss Lily," he said in Japanese.
Zhuo Jingren instantly furrowed. "At this hour?"
The driver nodded.
"No," Zhuo Jingren declined immediately and assisted Lily to get on the buggy before following suit.
"But Mr. Zhuo…"
"Have you forgotten who is Riku's boss?" Zhuo Jingren's words instantly silenced the driver. "Are you expecting me to wait for someone who serves me?"
"Mr. Zhuo… I-" the driver stuttered, avoiding Zhuo Jingren's gaze. "I will drive you and Miss Lily back to your villa," he immediately said before boarding the buggy and driving off.
There was still quite a distance from where they were to the resort. The road was quiet and empty as it was late. Their buggy was the only vehicle travelling on the road.
"The view is beautiful from this side of town. Especially at night," Zhuo Jingren said while looking out of the buggy.
"You are right. It is very refreshing to have this…"
A loud explosion interrupted Lily from finishing her sentence. The driver immediately stopped the buggy before looking at Zhuo Jingren and Lily worriedly. "Boss, I think there is something wrong up ahead," he spoke in Japanese.
Zhuo Jingren only furrowed his brows as the rumbling sound seemed to be coming towards them. He could literally feel the ground shaking as if an earthquake had just occurred. "Out of the buggy," he instructed while gently pushing Lily out of the vehicle.
Lily got out of the vehicle immediately before roaming her eyes at her surroundings. The shaking and rumbling continued… as if... As if it was heading towards them. She instantly turned her head towards Zhuo Jingren who had also gotten out of the buggy as he stood in front of her protectively. "What was that?" she asked, squinting her eyes into the darkness ahead. The light coming from the buggy was not enough to illuminate what was ahead of them.
Once again, the ground shook. Zhuo Jingren instinctively grabbed Lily's hand before he yelled. "Run!"
Everything happened too quickly. The roar of the ground was getting louder as she tightened her grip on Zhuo Jingren's hand. She followed his lead, unaware of the current direction that they were heading to.
Lily felt herself being wrapped by something warm and comforting before her consciousness left her.