Chapter 1: Crossing
It is a world where beauty roamed the earth and everything ugly had no rights to produce, no rights to breathe nor live if they’ve not the slightest backing or richness. If there’s a person hideously ugly to the point of monstrosity, his richness would not save him much less spend his life with a beauty.
Shen Lang was this sort of man whose features were grotesque and appalling. He had not the sliver of rights to reproduce an offspring. Much to his luck, his beastly look was not gifted to him the time he was born. Rather, he was once a beautiful man studying at an ivy league medical school. Since he could remember, women from all walks of life loved him dearly be it in secret or out in the open. They lusted after him, even pursuing him crazily just for a touch of his affection.
However, during his first year of study, a terrible accident befell him. In the midst of a hazardous experiment, a bottle containing low concentrated sulfuric acid cracked. The chemicals burst and showered his face whole. His white lotus face was ruined, irreparable. Those who once looked at him like an angel now saw in him the face of the devil. He was a beast, a monster. They dared not look him straight in the eye. Even Quasimodo of Notre Dame’s plight fared better than Shen Lang’s monstrous ugliness. His face was a true nightmare.
He who was once the center of many women’s love and affection was now an outcast. They were afraid of being seen with him. The few who did stay eventually left. The sight of him was not something they could bear. So he lost the right to reproduce an offspring.
With his beauty gone, Shen Lang walked the path of a noble soul.
After graduation, he ceased to further his studies nor did he choose to stay in a university-affiliated hospital.
He chose to walk the most difficult path.
Over the past ten years spent out in the frontier, Shen Lang saved countless lives, winning the many gratitudes and honor from the hearts of the people, yet no woman wished to be with him. Somehow, he felt he’d not done well enough, felt that he hadn’t shine brighter, so he chose to be more noble, so noble they’d ignore his beastly features and fall in love for what was inside.
Shen Lang turned towards a place torn apart from the bitter hardships of war, poverty, and crime—Middle East. Amidst the ongoing war, he couped himself inside a tented medical center twenty-four seventh without rest. He spent another ten years in the frontier, this time his journey filled with numerous angst and hardships.
He’d go on to receive countless honorary awards and a Nobel Prize even. The United Nations also commended him for his heroic efforts.
He soon became a person of status both domestically and abroad, becoming the face of struggle, sacrifice, and dedication. His face covered the front page of various newspaper and magazine organization. While true he was admired, he was never viewed in a romantic way.
Then, his parents passed on. He grew more solemn and lonely, but even then, he toiled himself daily in his work ten hours each day. At this point, he was like a robot operating day in and day out without thought.
It had been like this for over twenty years.
Shen Lang devoted himself to his work, hardly finding the chance to rest his weary body.
He was like a robot.
But what was the point?
As it turns out, even ugliest of the noble was without luck. They weren’t favored. Things like Quasimodo from Notre Dame chancing upon love from a beautiful lady was unlikely to happen.
No woman wanted him.
At this moment, Shen Lang meticulously sutured a refugee’s broken leg. He’d yet to rest and he felt exhausted to the point of passing out, yet he did not slack one bit.
A whistling sound from far away flew overhead accompanied by the air shuddering.
Shen Lang looked up the tented ceiling. He knew it to be the sound of bombs heading towards him. Instead of being afraid, his eyes emitted a look of pleasure as he sighed contently.
He felt… relieved. He was too tired, too lonely… he wanted to rest. This world was too cruel and he’d grown tired of this poor life of his.
“I’m tired…” He chuckled. “It’s a pity I’ll die without ever loving a woman or finding every single inch of her body… God, if ever there is a next life, I promise to live the most comfortable life. I promise never to toil myself in hard labor… if God could give me a beautiful face, I promise I’d use it to marry the most beautiful woman…”
Shen Lang gave an oath deep within the depths of his heart.
A bomb or two landed on the front entrance of the tent. A second later, the bomb exploded. In the next instant, his body was torn to piece. The x-ray machine and laptop beside the bedside table fell on top of his body.
Soon, a whirlpool of light came to existence. What looked to be a vortex appeared and disappeared just as fast in less than breath a second.
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