1 Luminous Entertainment 1

"It's really sad, advanced bone cancer with no one by his side to care for him."

"But, he's handsome, even more so than the idols Luminous Entertainment launched this year!"

"You, getting all spring-fevered during rounds, be careful or the head nurse will hear and dock your pay..."

"Hehe, dear sister, you must keep this secret for me!"

As the playful voices of the nurses faded away, the hospital room fell into silence, broken only by the beeping of the heart monitor. Lorcan lay quietly on the hospital bed, his eyes shut tightly, breathing faint, as if life signs had left him. Most of his face was covered by a breathing mask, his cheeks hollowed severely, his complexion deathly pale and devoid of any vitality, yet his brows and eyes still retained the handsome, distinguished look of his youth.

His days were numbered, merely enduring the inevitable pain. Doctors had given him no more than a month to live, yet he struggled on for two, now thoroughly spent. It was then that Lorcan slowly opened his eyes, his beautiful gaze like still water, quietly observing the distant sky. The rain continued to fall, the sky blanketed with dark clouds, the air filled with the moist, earthy scent of vegetation.

It must be the last day. Lorcan could even smell the scent of death, a despairing, icy chill. Before this chapter of his life closed, could he wait for that person to come?

The nurses, laughing and chatting, nearly collided with a briskly moving man as they made their way down the hallway. Quickly turning, they saw his tall figure and straight posture, reminiscent of a pine. Clad in a black shirt and cargo pants, he exuded a casual yet sharp demeanor. The man strode purposefully forward, soon disappearing around the corner's end.

Elvira had received the critical condition notice days ago. He stood stunned, a look of utter bewilderment in his eyes. The paper was crumpled from being handled. It had been ages since he last thought of Lorcan, and now, to think Lorcan was on the brink of death.

How fortunate and what a good day, he thought, that Lorcan was dying. Now, standing in front of Lorcan's hospital room, he stared at the room number on the door for several seconds before finally kicking the door open.

As the door swung open, Lorcan merely lifted his eyelids, calmly looking at the person at the doorway, and smiled, saying, "You've come."

Elvira, observing the diminished and frail Lorcan, saw a stark contrast to the robust, handsome man he remembered, prompting a sidelong smile. He positioned himself beside the bed, looking down at Lorcan, his eyes carrying a trace of mockery as admired Lorcan's embarrassed appearance at this time.

"I never expected to see you like this, Lorcan," Elvira chuckled.

"All people die, including me," Lorcan replied lightly, shifting his gaze to the window.

"Yes, I've been eagerly awaiting your death," he said as he dragged a chair to the bedside, glancing at Lorcan with a casual air.

"I've waited a long time for you, Elvira," Lorcan looked again at the young man beside him, his voice soft with resignation. "But you finally came."

Without further words, Elvira clapped his hands together, then pulled an apple from his pocket, spinning it in his hand. The apple was large, round, and vividly red, obviously thin-skinned and juicy.

"I'm going to die, Elvira," Lorcan sighed, shaking his head, the light in his beautiful eyes dimming as he continued, "I don't ask for your forgiveness, just beg one thing."

Elvira remained silent, instead drawing a dagger from his lower back, instantly illuminating the dim hospital room with a dazzling flash of cold light. He pointed it at Lorcan's throat as if seriously contemplating how to end his life with a single stroke. Then, with a shrug, he began to peel the apple seriously, the only sound in the room was the "sha sha sha" of the knife against the fruit.

"I beg you to go see him for me and you know who I'm talking about." Lorcan's gaze shifted to the ceiling, his powerless eyes filled with sorrow and pleading.

Elvira tilted his head, seemingly giving the matter serious thought. Suddenly, he exaggerated an "oh" sound, and with a causal smile, asked, "You mean that little lover of yours?"

"Perhaps, he's already dead. Even shorter-lived than you," Elvira said after finishing peeling the apple, biting into it with a large bite.

Lorcan sighed, a hint of resignation as he removed his oxygen mask, and looked earnestly at Elvira's defiant face, as if through him, he was seeing another person. "You resemble me so much, you should go see him. Consider it my request, go and say goodbye for me to him."

"Why should I do your bidding, say goodbye for you? You left me and mother, no word for years, weren't you happy enough with your lover? Now, as you're dying, that asshole hasn't come to see you, and you want me to grovel like a dog for his affection?" Elvira suddenly gripped a dagger, flipping it elegantly in mid-air, then pointed the tip dangerously close to Lorcan's left eye, barely an inch away. His voice remained calm, as steady as his hand without a tremor, "I advise you, let's play out this fatherly love and filial piety drama, and send you off to death sooner."

Lorcan slowly raised his hand, grasping the dagger before his eye. The slight warmth from his hand caused a thin mist to form on the gleaming blade, which dissipated in a moment.

"I'm asking you, please do it for me, I owe him that much." Lorcan's brows furrowed as he spoke softly, "Kill me with one stroke if that would quell your rage. My life as your compensation."

"That would be letting you off too easily, old man," Elvira gritted his teeth, articulating every word. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, he was back to his nonchalant demeanor, "You're dreaming."

"He's called Altair Sterling, the CEO of Luminous Entertainment," Lorcan said with conviction, closing his eyes. Suddenly, with a burst of strength, he snatched the dagger from Elvira's hand.

"Give it to me!" Elvira only felt a powerful force; before he could react, he saw Lorcan fiddling with the dagger he cherished as much as life itself. "What right do you have to hold my mother's knife!"

Lorcan remained silent, his gaze icy yet bright. Clutching the dagger, he maneuvered it skillfully, the blade's cold light dancing in his palm, tracing sharp, clean arcs, its edge menacing. With a flick of his wrist, Lorcan sent the dagger soaring like a meteor, its gleam brilliant, driving it firmly into the opposite wall. The ferocity, stunning beauty, and splendor of that throw left Elvira spellbound, frozen in place.

"You can't handle this blade." Lorcan dismissed Elvira's words, just as he seemed to disregard the scant time left of his life, freely spending his last bit of strength. "Help me return this to him; it's his family's heirloom." Lorcan pointed to a brooch on the table next to him. A moonstone was cradled by laurel leaves, resembling a small, delicate crown.

"Lorcan—Nieva—" Elvira stepped forward abruptly, grasping Lorcan's throat, his eyes incredible as he demanded, "You expect me to take his filthy trinket to see him?"

"Is he that good? To haunt you for over twenty-three years! To drive you to indifferent my mother, leaving me utterly alone since childhood!"

"I never agreed to your birth; you should have been strangled by me at the beginning." The words Lorcan struggled to say were laden with cold sarcasm, startling Elvira.

The little bit of heart left in Elvira's chest shattered. Then, shaking his head, he let out a laugh of resignation, reverting to his previous nonchalance.

He patted Lorcan's pale cheek, "Pity you didn't strangle me, you'll regret it." He glanced at the brooch beside the bed, his tone filled with malice, slowly whispering in Lorcan's ear, "Let that Sterling bastard wait, I'll fuck him for you, in a way he won't be able to walk properly."

Lorcan turned abruptly, grabbed Elvira's shoulder, and delivered a loud slap across his face. He pointed at Elvira's face, furious and gasping for breath, unable to stop coughing, nearly hacking up his organs, spitting blood as he did. His gaze was fierce, filled with almost bone-deep hatred.

"That's more like it. This is how it should be, father," Elvira calmly took the brooch, slipping it into the pocket of his cargo pants.

As he stood to leave, something occurred to him. Turning to look down at Lorcan, he said, "Old man, remember to strangle me quickly in the next life."

After speaking, he walked to the opposite wall, pulled down the dagger, inspected it carefully, and then sheathed it at his lower back. Elvira glanced back at Lorcan, who was still coughing in shock, then turned and left with emotionless strides.

As Lorcan watched his son's retreating figure, his fingers moved slightly on the hospital bed, drawing a small symbol that soon shimmered with a golden totem. Quickly, the golden totem vanished, and with it, Lorcan's breath.

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