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(A funeral)

"You should be ashamed of yourself to mention Autumn before me!" Arthur observed coldly, "Once Autumn learned about what happened between Bowen and you, she fell sick leading to her hospitalization. She will be more than pleased to see me teach you a good lesson."

"Wendy Ye, you are old enough to face consequences like you being sentenced to life in prison." After saying that, Arthur left abruptly, leaving Wendy nonplussed.
"Arthur Zhao, stop right there! You can not treat me like this, leaving this conversation hanging. Come back and finish this chat. I will fight you till the end; remembering only revenge will satisfy me!" Wendy tried her best to negotiate with Arthur, but was left hanging helplessly behind bars.

Meanwhile, Aron gathered the strength to attend Simon's funeral where a few had gathered to offer their condolences and pay respects. Wendy and Yvonne both were jailed. Aron was paralyzed with terror upon realizing that he had to part with his father for ever. Isla tightened her grip on Aron's hands in a bid to express her care and love, "Take it easy, I am right by your side."

Aron forced a wavering yet weak smile after a while, filled with unsaid sorrows and regret.

The formalities concluded gracefully. Aron bent down against the new tombstone, declining Isla's request to keep him company. "Isla, please go back. I want to stay here alone for a while. This is something I have to do..."

"But...." Isla's mind was brimming with anxiety and concern.

"You don't need to worry about me. I will be just fine." Aron added, "The relationship between my father and me was beyond repair. It was filled with quarrels and disputes till the very end. And now that he is dead, I want to communicate with his soul and make peace."

"Ok, I can wait for you outside." Isla acceded to Aron's request, leaving him alone. Aron pulled out a bottle of beer, uncovered it, and poured it out to pay respect to the dead soul. "I remember you were fond of this particular beer. And you can appear in my dream to thank me for that."

Aron kept on yammering in front of the tombstone all alone, the affectionate words flowing from tip of his tongue towards his departed father.

"Our bad blood drove me to see you no more. And I regret that I did not try to fix our relationship. I never thought something like this could happen..." Aron began to open up, "You were as good as dead even when you were around."

"At that time, I was dying to grow up, and drift away from your shadow. Every time I was asked something about you, I would fall silent. I always had mixed feelings about our relationship. Now that you are forever gone, I have plunged into the depth of sorrow!"

Aron mistook his overflowing tears which streamed down his face for cold rain.

Indeed, he loved his father more than anyone else and he just came to realize it.

"I was reluctant to answer your calls." Aron forced a smile. "But for not answering, I would forever feel the burden of regret and guilt."

Had he not answered, he would have been left in the dark about Wendy's heinous crime.

Had he not answered, he would not have listened to his father's last charge.
Had he not answered, he would not have realized.... his father loved him the same way, always had and did till his very last breath.

"I was too anxious to lose a second while speeding toward your home, only to lose the last meeting with you." Aron was filled with suppressing guilt over his failure to rescue his father.

Aron looked at the tombstone from the one side where "The Tombstone of Late Father, Simon Gu" and "Erected by Aron Gu, his Beloved Son" were graphically inscribed.

Aron's attention was drawn to the smile on Simon's portrait and said, "My departed father, could you please forgive me?"

Aron felt guilty over his failure to speak his mind to Simon while he was alive.

Aron, overcome and overwhelmed with emotions, kept opening up to his father's departed soul.

All of a sudden, a voice came up from behind him, "Aron, your late father would bear no grudge against you. Please rest assured."

Aron turned his face only to find Autumn, standing behind him across the cypress, with a yellow chrysanthemum in hand.

"What brings you here? Were you not in the hospital?" Aron looked at Autumn in bewilderment.

Autumn laid the yellow chrysanthemum before the tombstone as she paid her respects and explained to Aron, "Sorry, I was just discharged from the hospital and that's why I was late for your father's funeral service."

"It doesn't matter. You came and that is what counts..." Aron replied with a gentle smile and expressed his gratitude, "I am thankful to see you offer your condolences."

"It is honor-bound." Autumn felt an overburdening helpless sense upon seeing Simon's portrait, "Aron, your father.... I am truly sorry to learn of his death."

Aron looked at Autumn as he composed himself. "His death has nothing do to with you. I am sorry for all that I said earlier."

"Anyway, It was Wendy, my dishonorable mother, who brought this misfortune upon Simon, your late father. You are free to vent your anger at me. It is justified and I understand where those emotions come from and what your intentions are..." Autumn tried her best to dispel Aron's reasonable feelings.

Aron tried to push away Autumn's guilt, "Autumn, you are also a victim, and are in no way liable for any mistake. Your presence is a gratification to me."

In Aron's mind, Simon did not get along with Autumn. Despite that, Autumn came to offer her condolence filled Aron's heart with happiness.

Autumn paid her respect to Simon as he died, even though Simon while he was alive treated her miserably.

Autumn kept Aron company in the cemetery until the evening. Death spares no man, whether you are rich or even poor. It comes when it must.

Autumn, who was not in the mood to return to Dream Garden, drove directly to Shining Company, buying dinner along the road, only to find Charles absent in the office.

Leila was not there either.



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