Tong Jian had already started singing. His strong penetrating voice combined with the sharp and strong music beats instantly changed the atmosphere on stage. The song was great but people didn’t pay too much attention.
Fans were panicking and asking all types of questions. The barrage area of the live broadcast room was also full of question marks. The topic #Tong Jian flying solo# on Weibo was quickly rising.
Under the stage, Huang Mo sighed after a moment of hesitation.
“It turned out that you had this idea. No wonder why you wanted the best of everything…” He looked at the shocked Mo Bin and smiled sarcastically. “Mo Bin, everyone has more heart than you. Congratulations, you got your wish. IUD is finally going to disband.”
Mo Bin didn’t hear anything. He was only staring at Tong Jian on the stage. So? IUD… was really going to disband?
Tong Jian finished singing but there was no applause from the audience. He put down the microphone, blinked hard and stared at the stadium shrouded in anxiety. He bowed deeply and said, “Next… I’ll give the stage to Ke Lan.”
The stage was dark and the lights gathered to the platform on the right where Ke Lan’s figure appeared. He waved to the audience and stated, “The next song I will sing should be the last song of my life. It is called God of Time and it was written for me by Chenhao.”
It was a new song but the audience didn’t cheer or scream. The fans were desperate when they realized that Tong Jian’s words weren’t just their collective illusion. How could this be? Obviously, IUD had just released a new song. The song was so good and amazing. IUD would definitely be better. Then how, how…
God of Time was a folk song. There were no high-pitched parts and it was suitable for Ke Lan. Ke Lan stood on the high stage and sang in a low voice. The lyrics were all a farewell to the stage.
Some fans couldn’t help screaming but the venue was too big and this sound quickly drifted into the night. Only a few people heard it and it didn’t stir up any splashes. Soon, another higher call rang out. “IUD, don’t disband!”
Ke Lan looked in that direction, smiled and shook his head. The audience collapsed.
At the end of the song, Ke Lan bowed deeply to the audience. Then he got up and said, “Chenhao, this stage is handed to you.”
The stage was dark again. Once it lit up, Xu Chenhao was standing in the center of the stage. He smiled apologetically at the audience. “I’m sorry, I’ve left for more than a year and came back, but there is no new song of my own to bring you.”
The rainbow sea was still flashing and all the fans had red eyes.
“As compensation, I will give you a brief account of my return and everyone’s decision about the future.” Xu Chenhao sat in the chair that Xie Yang had previously sat on and spoke carefully, like narrating something to an old friend. “Around two months ago, Ke Lan suddenly sent me a message that IUD was going to disband and it might be in an ugly manner. I won’t elaborate on the reason for the disbandment. In any case, it has nothing to do with Xie Yang.”
Under the stage, Mo Bin’s mind returned. He stared at Xu Chenhao on the stage and grabbed the handrail to stand up.
“Sit down!” Huang Mo pressed Mo Bin down and threatened him. “This is IUD’s last stage. Take a good look at it! Don’t mess around!”
Long Shuyou on the other side also glanced at Mo Bin but he soon took back his gaze. He stared past Xu Chenhao to the backstage area, his fingers moving restlessly on the armrest of the chair.
Mo Bin’s back was full of cold sweat as he stared at Xu Chenhao, afraid this person would say something that shouldn’t be said.
However, he obviously thought too much of himself. Xu Chenhao didn’t want to contaminate this farewell performance with his name. After emphasizing that the reason for the breakup had nothing to do with Xie Yang, Xu Chenhao changed the topic and talked about what would’ve happened to Tong Jian and Ke Lan if IUD had broken up at that time.
“Everyone knows that IUD’s popularity has been declining every year. After I left, IUD’s new album was delayed. Everyone had a new job but the development wasn’t good and life wasn’t too good. If IUD disbanded at that time, Tong Jian might continue to be a singer or he might’ve been involved in various variety shows and ruined his voice. Perhaps Tong Jian would’ve had a chance to become a solo singer in the future but who could say for sure?”
“Then there is Ke Lan. Everything he does is behind the scenes and his singing and vocals aren’t unique in the music scene. If IUD disbands then he will be even worse off than Tong Jian.”
The audience was restless.
Xu Chenhao paused and asked, “Do you think I’m exaggerating?”
There was a positive response from the audience.
Xu Chenhao smiled. “No, it isn’t an exaggeration at all. Your idols aren’t as powerful and popular as you think. In fact, my speculation about Tong Jian and Ke Lan’s future is already in a good direction. The premise that things can develop in that direction is IUD disbanding normally. However, based on the information that Ke Lan disclosed to me, the probability of IUD disbanding normally was basically zero. They reached a desperate point. Tong Jian wanted to abandon himself and Ke Lan was ready to retreat from the circle.”
The audience members gasped.
“Fortunately, Ke Lan gave me some good news after all the bad news.” Xu Chenhao’s words changed. “He said there is a person who is willing to bring out the music he composed. It is very good and excellent. He will help IUD make a grand ending and asked me if I was willing to come back and give IUD a complete ending.”
The bad news was finally confirmed and there was desperate resistance from the audience.
Xu Chenhao made a ‘shh’ gesture. Once everyone’s voices became slightly quieter, he continued, “Ke Lan sent me an incomplete music score. I read it and immediately booked a ticket to return to China. That song is the IUD that we opened with today.”
“The composer is called Xie Yang and he is only 20 years old. He was a student dug out from an acting school by Brother Biao. Brother Biao persuaded him with his dream and signed him to IUD. It was to fill the vacancy left by me after I irresponsibly left and all the hopes of IUD taking off again were pinned on him.”
The audience gradually quieted down.
“After I returned to China, I met Xie Yang. He was very courageous and analyzed the situation for everyone. He helped IUD with a new song, contacted Wenyi to help us rent a venue and spent money to prepare such a grand farewell stage… he couldn’t leave early and withdrew but he chose to stay and help us. It was he who pulled IUD out of desperation, he who told us that IUD still has hope for a good future. The fact that IUD can say goodbye to everyone like this is all because of him.”
These were all things that the fans didn’t know and they were in a daze.
“You should believe in Tong Jian’s words. He has a crooked brain and can’t lie. Some people don’t want IUD to raise again so they used Xie Yang, who knows the least and has no fans, trying to bully him.” Xu Chenhao stopped again. “From IUD’s disbandment crisis to now, in these two months, Xie Yang has carried all the smears and attacks, giving me, Ke Lan and Tong Jian an absolutely quiet time to concentrate on preparing this farewell performance.”
“Xie Yang even arranged the future for us. Once this performance is over, Tong Jian will release an album as a solo singer. The songs in his album will be produced by me and Xie Yang. Ke Lan will transform into an actor. Xie Yang gave up an audition chance and Ke Lan was fortunate enough to seize the opportunity given to him by Xie Yang, successfully passing the audition. He will soon enter the crew. Meanwhile, I will retreat behind the scenes and use my strength to support them in whatever they want to do. In the future, everyone will still struggle together but not as a singing group.”
Xu Chenhao’s expression became serious and solemn, “We are very grateful to Xie Yang and we feel very guilty. He joined the group as the youngest. He came with dreams but he didn’t know about the sinister heart and there were traps waiting for him. He should be a younger brother taken care of by everyone but as soon as he joined the team, his future was almost ruined. He suffered from countless accusations and things discrediting him. Here, I want to solemnly emphasize that Xie Yang didn’t do anything to drag IUD down. He didn’t disrespect his seniors in the group, he didn’t walk through the back door and he didn’t use money to suppress people. From beginning to end, he was innocent.”
The entire audience was silent. Many people couldn’t stand it and looked down. Sorry, they didn’t know, they didn’t know…
Xu Chenhao stood up and stared at the audience. “Now, I want to ask you to answer as objectively as possible. IUD, Reincarnation and God of Time, were these stages excellent?”
How could they be bad, how could they be bad?
“Good” and “excellent” were heard intermittently until they gradually connected and merged into a sea.
“I think so too.” Xu Chenhao smiled softly. “Xie Yang is a member of IUD. No matter the future, the records will always show this.”
“He deserves for you to light up a sea of lights for him.”
“I’m very glad that I can officially say goodbye to you. I’m sorry I left and I’m glad to return now.” Xu Chenhao stepped back and raised his hand. “Please enjoy IUD’s last song.”
The stage lights dimmed again and there was a burst of crying in the audience. The ocean of starlight from the opening lit up again and light beams shone from above. This time, four people appeared on stage.
Xie Yang was in a white suit. He stood in the middle with a violin. He placed the violin on his left shoulder and closed his eyes.
“Xie Yang, I’m sorry—!”
It was unknown where this loud shout came from. Xie Yang opened his eyes as he was about to move his bow. He looked over, raised his eyebrows and closed his eyes again. Then the first sound of the last song was heard.
The IUD played with the pure violin echoed in the venue. It was full of depression, despair, darkness, death, silence… Xie Yang closed his eyes and stood in the light, moving the bow with joy. The other team members stood quietly behind him, silently supporting him.
Intermittent apologizes were heard from the audience but Xie Yang never looked at him. He only concentrated on the instrument.
Under the stage, Qiu Xing looked at the audience behind him with a cold smile before turning back to the stage. He watched Xie Yang and slightly raised his chin as he sneered, “Who cares about your apology?”
The sound of the violin finally dispersed into the darkness. Tong Jian picked up the microphone and raised a hand to wipe the tears on his face. The lyrical version of IUD reverberated through the stadium.
The darkness was smashed, the light of hope came and the layers faded away. A young animal stretched out in the light, opening its ignorant eyes and looking at the world. It got up and tried to walk before finally running towards a promising future.
The singing slowly stopped and the stage lights flickered. There was a lot of crying from the audience.
“IUD! IUD! IUD!” Fans shouted with tears in their eyes.
The music-only version of Dreaming rang out and the big screen started to show IUD’s journey. Tong Jian and the others stood side by side, holding hands. On the big screen, the first time IUD sang Dreaming on stage appeared.
Tong Jian desperately endured his tears as he raised his hands with Ke Lan and the others. His eyes were red as he shouted, “Five years of youth, five years of IUD, thank you!”
“IUD! IUD! IUD—!” The fans shouted.
Tong Jian took a deep breath. “I declare that IUD… has disbanded!”
The cries shook the sky.
The four people bowed together.
The stage lights gradually dimmed from the outside to the inside and the sea of stars faded. On the big screen, the beating picture slowly turned into three flower-shaped letters, ‘IUD.’ Finally, the letters turned into dust and drifted into the sea of stars.
The stage was completely dark. The crying of the audience was louder. It was unknown where it started but the apologies were heard again, gradually ringing through the venue.
“Xie Yang! Thank you!”
Xie Yang stopped moving as he was heading down the stage. He looked back at the sea of lights flashing in the venue. He smiled at Qiu Xing as usual before turning around and continuing to walk.
“Wu wu wu.” Tong Jian followed Xie Yang, sobbing but also trying to reach out to Xie Yang.
Xie Yang avoided him. “Don’t cry.”
Tong Jian shook his head and continued to reach out. Xie Yang avoided him again.
On the other side, Ke Lan suddenly said, “Xie Yang, I’m sorry and thank you.”
Xu Chenhao also followed. “Xie Yang, thank you.”
Xie Yang couldn’t stand the greasy atmosphere. In fact, he hadn’t known in advance that Xu Chenhao would go on stage and say such thanks. He could only tell them, “Thank you for making money for me. Don’t cry and remember to post on Weibo. Take advantage of the current heat to open up pre-orders for Tong Jian’s electronic album and pay me back.”
Tong Jian choked and then cried louder. Ke Lan and Xu Chenhao were frozen for a while before laughing.
The atmosphere of the four people was easy as they returned backstage, but they found the atmosphere backstage a bit strange.
Xie Yang looked keenly in the direction where the atmosphere was the worst and saw a strange man in a hat and mask leaning against the wall. After meeting Xie Yang’s gaze, the man stood up and strode over.
“Xie Yang.” Long Shuyou took off his hat and mask and stood in front of Xie Yang. “Do you want to release an album? I’ll do it for you.”
Xie Yang looked at Light’s eyes and slowly, slowly, raised an eyebrow.
Wait, wasn’t this what Long Shuyou specifically said to the female lead when he wanted to release an album for her?