It was beyond outrageous. 


He had to prolong his suffering for another 24 hours just because of a few words that another person had said to him. How outrageously foolish of him. 


It was a brand new day and the sun was hanging high outside narcissistically. Without blinking, Shen Tingmian’s gaze was fixed on the ceiling in his room. 


He thought hard, racking his rusty brain to work. He needed a period of staring into space like this every morning, for him to draw his mentality out from the dull and absurd nothingness before assembling himself into a normal, functioning person.


It felt terrible to live for an extra 24 hours.


No, not 24 hours. Today, it’ll definitely end today.


His body always only allowed him to sleep at the crack of dawn and it was no exception this time. He probably only slept for an hour or two, he couldn’t care less to continue counting the hours after time has passed. 


Living meant extreme mental torture. 


He cried under the comfort of his blankets last night, to the point where he would retch in utter desperation and despair. This method of suicidal crying caused him excruciating headaches, but it wasn’t enough to make him die. If excessive crying could make people die a sudden death, he would’ve died thoroughly a long time ago. He wrapped his blankets around his head tightly in an attempt to relieve some of the splitting pain in his head and even though the results were always meaningless, he still did it anyway. 


A person who was destined to drown would also end up struggling in the water in their final moments; unfortunately, his unconscious desire to survive couldn’t profane his obsession with death.


His temples were pounding, each ache piercing an indescribable into his head. 


He didn’t have an attachment for his bed. The reason why he was even still in bed was because he was bathing in utter hopelessness for the new day. 


Thud. Thud. Thud.


Thud. Thud. Thud.


Shen Tingmian’s mother, Zheng Wenying, was banging on his door. With every violent thud, Shen Tingmian’s body would tremble as if he was experiencing involuntary convulsions. 


“Hurry and wake up! Wake up!”


Her voice was loud and shrill, like a singer who couldn’t hit the notes she was supposed to. 


The mother hurriedly shouted a few more words before leaving. The day was about to start, and she still had a lot of things to take care of.


It took Shen Tingmian sometime before his soul was finally shoved back into his body. He opened his mouth yet no sound came out. 


The sound of his mother’s slippers scraping against the floorboards outside his room was sharp and rather sloppy, depicting that she was dragging her feet at some point. Zheng Wenying knocked hard on his door once again.


At this point, she was screaming in annoyance at her son’s laziness.


She roared: “Are you having another episode again?!” 


Shen Tingmian’s movements stagnated. He sat in a daze for a while before slowly speaking up: “No, I’m up.”


The voices of the mother and son were high-pitched and hushed respectively; his mother’s movements were made known to the people around her while Shen Tingmian moved discreetly.  If people were to hear both of them speak, they would find the stark difference to be very abrupt. In the past, Shen Tingmian was nothing like his current self. He was more energetic than his mother, and would always argue with her with the same level of loudness in their voices. Back then, it would be a competition of who had the sharper voice and whose words came out harsher. But now, he has lost the strength to compete. 


His mother banged on the door twice more, it was exceptionally loud this time. 


In the end, her voice, laced with fury, traveled through the door like tremors: “Stop locking the door!”


The sound of her footsteps slowly faded into the distance but Shen Tingmian was still thinking about how to reply to her.


Weakly, he shot his answer at the cold hard wall in front of him: “Okay.”


When he finished getting ready, Zheng Wenying had already finished her meal. She was busy looking for something and spoke to Shen Tingmian as she passed by him.


“Grandma’s birthday is next Saturday. You don’t have any classes, right? We’re going back to our hometown.”


Next Saturday, huh? Shen Tingmian thought slowly. Picking up his bowl and chopsticks, he could only stare at the steaming porridge in front of him. 


He replied with a delayed hum. 


After leaving his house, Shen Tingmian switched on his mobile phone in the corridor. He originally wanted to delete the Weibo he posted last night, but he decided against it after giving it some thought since no one would see it anyway. 


There was a private message from a stranger.


The other party asked at 2:13 am last night: [ Are you still alive, brother? ]


Shen Tingmian replied: [ Yeah. ]


He never thought that the other party would reply in mere seconds: [ Are you still planning to die? ]


Shen Tingmian’s fingers typed up a response skilfully, and a little habitually even: [ Yeah, this Sunday… ]


Grandma still has several birthdays to celebrate, right?


He paused for a while, deleted his initial message, and replied instead with: [ Yeah, the Tuesday after the next. ]


[ Let’s die together then. Your location is pretty near mine, I’ll go look for you. ]


Shen Tingmian asked him: [ You have ideas? ]


[ Yes, take sleeping pills and just burn some charcoal in a closed-off room. It’s painless. ]


[ You can find a hotel. ]


Shen Tingmian replied: [ Alright. ]


After chatting with that person for a while more, Shen Tingmian swiped back to the interface of his phone and saw three replies under the Weibo he posted yesterday.


He originally thought that he would die successfully yesterday, and thus he posted a Weibo in which he had typed in advance prior to that. 


[Bye-bye, I’ll be leaving first. ]


It was nothing new.


One reply was from the person he was texting earlier, asking: [ Was it successful? ]


Another person whom he didn’t know posted: [ You would’ve died earlier if you really wanted to. ]


There was another reply which could’ve been written by a female user. The other party posted a lengthy paragraph which was something along the lines of there is delicious food for him to try and praise-worthy movies waiting to be watched. She also urged him to eat what she had eaten today, yadda yadda. She told him that she was okay with him chatting her up and her final sentence was: [ The world is worth living for. ]


Shen Tingmian had seen tons of content similar to the stranger’s long encouraging message. 


Shen Tingmian was itching to tell her that appreciating good food and enjoying beautiful scenery was totally irrelevant to him. He had stopped getting excited over these trivial things a long time ago and there was nothing in this world that could possibly bring even an ounce of joy into his being. Now that things were in such a dire state, he found himself harboring some sort of hatred and disgust towards this form of goodwill. Even a short, perfunctory “thank you” as a response would cause him psychological repulsion; to him, words of gratitude and encouragement were an endless loop of futility. 


This kind of displeasure only deepened the hatred he had for himself. It hurts knowing that nobody loves you, but it also hurts when you’re loved and cared for. Apart from the people of his kind, no one would really understand him.


He swore to never repeat the same mistake again. Be it goodwill or spite, none of it has anything to do with him.


The world may be worth it, but I’m not. 


With that thought, he stuffed his phone back into his pocket and continued down the corridor.


Around the corner, Li Muze was straddling a mountain bike. He wore his usual baggy school uniform with alternating blue and white colors. With an earpiece hanging lopsidedly from one ear, his figure was displayed flamboyantly like a helix; pressed under that wind-tousled hair of his were a pair of slightly widened eyes. Occasionally, he would take an abrupt step back and force out a pretentious cough to act as if nothing was going on in the judgemental eyes of passersby. Then, he would bend down and look in that particular direction again carefully. 


Shen Tingmian locked the door with a carton of milk clinging to his lips. The way he walked was unsteady and it wasn’t long before he staggered into Li Muze’s line of sight. 


Li Muze’s head rested against the handlebars of his bike. He didn’t blink like a big squirrel fixated on the single pine cone growing on a tree. 


The pine cone’s hands were in his pocket as the back of his figure tethered like that of a drunkard’s. 


With each turn he took, he soon left the squirrel’s line of sight. 


The squirrel’s mouth tilted upwards into a smile as he clutched his stomach in a fit of giggles like blossoming flowers around the corner.


A woman who was sending her child to preschool looked at him in horror, and couldn’t help but to pick up her pace. Her daughter grabbed her hand and asked, “Does that brother have a stomachache?”


And just like that, Li Muze’s day was brightened up.


He gripped the handlebars with both hands and began pedaling through the lush city alleys. The warm morning breeze blew on his school uniform, making it seem like he had a pair of wings. He kept pedaling faster,  swerving from lane to lane on that narrow mountain road as he passed through the scent of pancakes wafting from stalls and the mottle of sunlight splashed across the streets.


His eyes darted around in enthusiasm. There was a boy in front of him who looked like Shen Tingmian from the back. He knew it wasn’t him, but the similarity was there so he grinned and indulged himself in the bliss of made-up scenarios.


Without thinking twice, he let go of the handlebars and threw his hands into the air, the sleeves of his uniform fluttering in the wind. But he retracted his hands modestly after being interrupted by an ear-piercing honk from the car driving behind him. 


At that moment, he really wanted to proclaim out loud like a self-absorbed middle-schooler: “Shen Tingmian, I like you—”


‒ Second Year, Class 3, Baiju High School ‒


The bus came late today, and when Shen Tingmian dragged his feet into the classroom, Zhao Chen was already sitting there.


He was chatting idly with Meng Yuanyuan who sat in front of him. 


Shen Tingmian eavesdropped on their conversation a little. He looked at the unfinished homework spread out on his table and thought in bewilderment. Oh, it’s the 1st of June today.


Fortunately, he didn’t die yesterday. Otherwise, the festive atmosphere in class would’ve been killed immediately. 


Perhaps it’s God’s will.


He relaxed a bit after thinking that.


Shen Tingmian tugged on his earlobe. The cicada that was chirping up a symphony into his left ear still hasn’t given up on its musical dream. 


Would this cicada go to heaven with him?


Between classes, Shen Tingmian would lie down on his table and sleep.


It would look like that from an outsider’s perspective but he was not asleep. His head felt like it was going to split apart and his temples were ringing in excruciating pain. Compared to the complete quietness of his room at home, being in the noisy classroom made him feel sleepier. He couldn’t tell why, but he was buried in his own arms and embracing that vague sense of security.


The excitement surrounding him had nothing to do with him. He could feel people pacing back and forth around him through the familiar shuffling sound. There was a sudden uproar and the classroom exploded into a commotion. 


The temperature of human bodies suddenly became concentrated next to him. Feeling irritated and uncomfortable, he lifted his head. 


Holding a pile of snacks, Li Muze began throwing them on random tables with a loud ‘plop’ following every throw. 


“Boss, boss!”




“The sports committee is awesome—!”


Shen Tingmian’s hair was disheveled, and the edge of his eyes was a little red. He was crumpling his own wrinkled uniform, his zipper was only pulled up halfway, and the collar of his school uniform was slanted towards one shoulder.


Li Muze didn’t dare to look at him directly, cradling the snacks that he had spent half a month buying in a pretentiously calm manner while indiscriminately shoving them to the people around him. He stole a quick discreet glance at Shen Tingmian and subconsciously licked his parched lips.


After distributing snacks to Meng Yuanyuan’s table, he hurriedly grabbed a bunch of lollipops from his snack pouch before throwing them onto Shen Tingmian’s table.


Shen Tingmian has never accepted snacks from others when they shared with him. He would just smile, say thank you and he would refuse every time.


It’s just that Shen Tingmian was in a daze from waking up this time as he sluggishly sorted out the colorful candies on the table. He wasn’t sure if it was because he hadn’t fully woken up yet, but he didn’t refuse Li Muze.


Li Muze was so happy that he could die.


Li Muze, who was usually as composed as an old dog, couldn’t even say anything to ridicule the other party because he was beyond bashful. Zhao Chen yelled from beside him: “I want some too! Gimme some!”


Shen Tingmian looked upwards and stared at him blankly.


Li Muze’s brain was a goner and his head was all muddled. He shoved all the snacks into Zhao Chen’s arms and left urgently. 


Zhao Chen exclaimed in excitement. Meng Yuanyuan turned around and stared at him in shock: “He gave you everything?” 


“Shit.” Zhao Chen said incoherently. “Holy shit.”


Students seated in front of and behind him all gathered around his table to snatch the snacks from him.


Shen Tingmian wasn’t feeling an ounce of sleepiness. He frowned and placed the lollipop in between the pages of the book in his drawer. He nudged his chair with his knees, ruffled his hair, and exited the classroom. 


Li Muze was propped up against the window in the corridor outside, pretending to look at the scenery. When he saw Shen Tingmian go downstairs with his back facing him, his eyes began to trail him. 


He was nervously doubting himself. 


Even after racking his brains, he couldn’t figure out how to give a male classmate lollipops on Children’s Day (1st of June) without it being weird so he ended up buying a bunch of snacks. In the end, the whole class wound up getting a share of those snacks too. 


But he was well aware that he had intended to only give snacks to Shen Tingmian. 


He didn’t seem to like it though.


Old Dog Liu* swaggered over and slapped him on the ass, asking unexpectedly: “What’s the matter, lil’ bro? Just a couple of days ago, you were telling me that you were short on money.”

* Old Dog Liu is a nickname that Li Muze calls his best friend. His real name will be disclosed in later chapters.


Li Muze was not in the mood to talk to him as he was busy dealing with his inner demons. 


He and Old Dog Liu knew each other since their diaper days so he knew what was wrong with just one glance. With a knowing “oh”, he straightened himself and gave Li Muze a nudge with his elbows: “So, how’d it go?”


Li Muze just hummed in response before turning to look at the sprinting students who didn’t want to be late for class. 


“This one seems pretty gentle, unlike the one last time who beat you up,” Old Dog Liu raised his eyebrows, “What’s wrong? Was it a no-go?”


“What no-go?.”


“Tsk, use your brain when you talk to yours truly!” 


Li Muze finally regained his composure and gave him a kick: “Oh, piss off, would you?” 


Old Dog Liu continued to probe further: “I mean, did she agree to go out with you?”


Li Muze answered irritably: “I didn’t ask.”


“Huh? You didn’t ask? I thought you confessed.”


It was just the both of them there. Li Muze applied force on the insides of his pocket and looked down at his own school uniform which he had elongated. “I didn’t dare to ask. It was already a milestone for me to be able to confess.” He muttered. 


“Pfft.“ Old Dog Liu touched his stubble and was this close to laughing to death. “Are you being for real, Li Muze? Since when were you so cowardly and innocent? You’ve been building up to this moment for more than a month but all you could muster was an “I like you”?”


“Why do you care?”


“Are you scared that it might just be puppy love?” Old Dog Liu shot him a judgemental look. “Seriously? You won’t be the only one getting into a relationship anyway. I think Meng Yuanyuan and Shen Tingmian are gonna be a thing soon.” 


Li Muze’s expression turned contemptuous in an instant: “Do you have any evidence? You’re just bullshitting.”


“What’s up with you? You didn’t even bother fact-checking when I told you last time.” Old Dog Liu mused. “Weren’t they teased a lot for answering a question at the same time back then?”


“That doesn’t mean jackshit! It’d be the death of me if I believe the nonsense you spout again for fucks’ sake.” Li Muze slapped the back of Old Dog Liu’s head. “You better keep that in mind!”


The first bell rang, and Old Dog Liu was scolding him while giving him occasional shoves as they walked into the classroom. He was pondering about his problem related to Shen Tingmian, and thus ignoring the old dog. Before entering the door, he turned around to glance in the direction that Shen Tingmian had left in earlier. 


Shen Tingmian would never be tardy no matter what. He would always scurry into the classroom two seconds right before the official class bell rang. 


Li Muze’s black irises traced Shen Tingmian’s movements. He watched as he returned to his seat with the back of his school uniform crumpled and even damp in some places. His throat clamped up when a blind assumption crossed his mind, causing his face to turn bright red.


Shen Tingmian was daydreaming in his seat and no one knew what he was thinking about. He wasn’t a stellar student and was always easily distracted in class. Li Muze had his gaze fixated on him and after some time, he picked up some of his tendencies. Although he was staring at the blackboard and the teacher with all seriousness, he wasn’t actually listening to a word being taught. 


He was distracted. 


In the second half of the class, the English teacher passed out a sheet of practice paper and left the class for more than ten minutes. 


Chaos gradually built up in the classroom with audible buzzing, several people were talking.


Li Muze grabbed the paper and wrote a few words down halfheartedly. He saw Old Dog Liu who was seated at the front, teasing his fellow deskmate. 


As for Shen Tingmian…


His Shen Tingmian was leaning against the back of his chair while slowly raising his head. 


His Adam’s apple rolled as he gulped, Li Muze was choking on air. 


Then, he rummaged through his drawer.


He fished out a lollipop. He stared and stared at it and tore off the wrapper before putting it in his mouth.


The English teacher came in through the back door coldly, and she tapped Li Muze whose shoulders were hunched up with consistent trembles. (He was containing his laughter)


“Li Muze, what are you giggling about?”


Zhao Chen who sat in the front row turned around when he heard the commotion, nudging Shen Tingmian’s arm: “Teacher.”


Shen Tingmian hummed knowingly. He carefully put the lollipop on the wrapper and stuffed it back into his drawer on top of some books. 


Zhao Chen said: “This isn’t nice, it’s too sweet.”


Shen Tingmian asked him, “Is it sweet?”


He looked absent-minded as if he genuinely didn’t know. 


Zhao Chen said out of nowhere: “Yeah, it’s so sweet to the point you’d get tired of it after eating one.” 


Shen Tingmian focused on the aftertaste of sweetness lingering in his mouth. He lowered his head and looked at his premature palm lines; his organs were losing their functionality, and his body was slowly inching toward the demise of the next week. 


Li Muze was…


Li Muze was an overly sweet candy, and he was someone who had lost his sense of taste. 


Li Muze didn’t know what Shen Tingmian was thinking.


As per usual, he continued to admire Shen Tingmian in secret from behind while holding his chin with a stupid smile plastered across his face. 


In that youthful summer, teenager Li Muze’s head was filled with happy and naive thoughts. This was the beginning of the story between these two adolescents; one was ignorant of death while the other anticipated the future. 


☆ 🖇️ 𖥻 <꒱ ୭ ✧ ˚. ᵎᵎ 🏹


tl/n: hello griseo here! and i come bearing a note from the author of this amazing novel hehe (i was also listening to it on loop while i translated this chapter) the song literally screams li muze & shen tingmian (ᴗ_ ᴗ。) anyways, thank you for reading! <3

spotify song link:



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Being Towards Death

Being Towards Death

Being Towards Death, BTD, Live to Death, 向死而生
Score 8.2
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Released: 2020 Native Language: Chinese
Before committing suicide, he was confessed to. The kid who was determined to die slowly didn’t expect at that time, he would always be sabotaged by the confessor.


  1. LicoLico says:

    Thank You for the new chapter (ฅ^ω^ฅ)​♥

  2. Cherry says:

    Thank you so much for picking up this novel 💗

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