49. Engagement’s Cancelled
JingYuan didn’t understand what XueQing was referring to. “What?” he asked. He raised his hand to touch the spot she exposed. Teeth marks, slightly swollen. It must’ve neem from last night when YiHan was so excited that he bit him. At the thought of last night, his lips unwittingly stretched into a strange (sweet?) smile.
At the sight of JingYuan’s reaction, the bad feeling within XueQing grew stronger. She stared at JingYuan, waiting for his answer.
He snapped back into focus. “XueQing, I’m sorry. Our engagement is going to be cancelled,” he apologised.
XueQing’s heart sank. “Why?” she questioned.
“Because last night, HanHan and I were together,” he solemnly replied.
“Together…meaning what? You two…”
“As you’ve seen. We did it,” JingYuan honestly answered.
XueQing blinked. Her gaze bore right into JingYuan. “When he’s sober?” she pushed.
JingYuan paused and frowned. “He was drunk,” he hesitantly said.
All of a sudden, XueQing recalled Dr Chen telling them they could give YiHan some alcohol. Then, she remembered seeing Aunt Yang moving a few bottles up into his room. She had shaken her head in exasperation then. With her younger brother’s “drunk in one shot” alcohol tolerance levels, he didn’t need that much. It was clear Aunt Yang’s mind was befuddled from all that worrying.
Then, the current situation was: JingYuan got YiHan drunk, took advantage during then and…
The thought of that possibility made XueQing’s blood rush up to her head. She didn’t even pause to think. She raised her palm and gave JingYuan a loud slap.
“How dare you betray our trust in you? How dare you betray my brother’s dependence on you? I didn’t think you were a monster that’d take advantage of other people when they’re incapacitated! And you dare say you were together? Did my brother agree?” she interrogated through gritted teeth.
No wonder there were scratch marks and bite marks on JingYuan’s body. It must be from when her poor brother struggled and fought. And where was she then? She’s such a failure of a sister. She and all the people in this household sent the foolish little sheep straight into the wolf’s jaws!
XueQing clenched her teeth so hard that her gums were about to bleed. That slap was not held back at all. A handprint quickly emerged on JingYuan’s cheek.
“I love him and he likes me. Is it that wrong for us to be together?” he asked with another frown.
“He likes you?” XueQing let out a cold chuckle. “You really know how to dress yourself up in glitz and glamour. He’s drunk. What made you think he likes you?”
JingYuan let out another smile, as mysterious as Mona Lisa’s. A tinge of blush flushed through his handsome face. “He himself kissed me when he knew it was me. When we…ahem, did it, he kept calling out my name. What do you think that means?” he asked.
XueQing was stunned. How can this be? She clearly remembered her little brother’s girlfriend from a few months ago. “Are you sure it’s not a hallucination?” she said in a raised voice. Was JingYuan hallucinating out of mad desperation for YiHan?
“Of course not,” JingYuan unhappily replied. “My name was on his lips the entire time. I heard it loud and clear. It was consensual between us. It just happened because both parties wanted it. If he didn’t want to, I wouldn’t have forced him.”
XueQing’s blazing mind slowly calmed down. Yes. If JingYuan really was a monster in disguise, then he’s way too good of an actor to have hidden his personality for over ten years as if they were just a day. From how important JingYuan held her younger brother, it was certainly impossible for JingYuan to push himself on her little brother. Then…does that really mean HanHan likes JingYuan?
1. As mysterious as Mona Lisa’s: Mona Lisa is not directly referenced in the original text. The phrase used (迷之笑意) is a “copy-paste” of the phrase (迷之微笑) used in memes. Notably, it’s used when referencing Mona Lisa’s smile.
2. Consent: As rape is within this story, it’s best we address this incident between JY and YH here too. This is under the category called “dubious consent” (dub-con) on the internet. No one in published media really uses this phrase though.
According to Planned Parenthood (USA), sexual consent is:
- Reversible at any moment
- Specific as to which actions are being consented to
- Informed on both ends on what’s going to happen
- Freely given without any pressures/inhibitors like drugs or alcohol
However, that’s a very textbook way of defining things. Half of sexual encounters, inside or outside of committed relationships, occur when intoxication is involved. Instead, ReachOut.com (Australia) has a more realistic and simple checklist:
- It must be explicit. Just a simple hum won’t do.
- Minds can always be changed.
- Consent is ongoing. Always check-in on each other or speak up about it.
- There are yellow lights like “slow down”
- Alcohol/Drugs affect consent. The moment the other party is too drunk/high to know what’s going on, they can’t (give an informed) consent.
The same definition is given by Healthline which has a more in-depth article.
Also, Arousal =/= consent.
Now that all definitions are pointed out, I’ll attempt to explain why this situation with JY and YH should be viewed as dub-con instead of flat-out rape/non-con.
According to PP’s definition, YH shouldn’t be able to give consent since he’s drunk. But ReachOut’s/Healthline’s definition states YH’s consent here is technically valid. YH was drunk, but (as JY states) he knew who it was, what was going on and he was saying yes. Yet something to keep in mind is the POV. We witnessed the entire encounter through JY’s POV. That means the narrative is slightly unreliable. Did YH really give consent the whole way through or did JY just interpreted YH’s body language whatever he pleased?
We never really hear a “yes” from YH throughout the chapters around it. The only time we had a clear-cut yes was when YH kissed JY. Consent to kissing is not consent to actual sex. Dub-con essentially means the reader doesn’t know whether the consent was ongoing, accurate, explicit and/or voluntary. The scene is presented as consensual but if it’s taken apart, it can be non-consensual. Examples in this range include the non-rapey “rape” scenes seen in smut, very drunk sexual encounters that are passionate and might’ve had some social/personal pressure involved, surprise sexual encounters like semi-somnophilia where the other person wakes up and passionately says yes halfway through, sexual encounters where consent is missing for the introduction of a “surprise” kink, etc.
With all that being said, dub-con scenes are generally viewed as rape in real life, especially during convictions/trials. Dub-con also rarely applies to real life because real life involves two human beings thinking in the moment. If such a situation ever happens, speak up. Communicate. Failure to do so will firmly put it in the non-consensual section. Dub-con is only morally acceptable as romance novel fodder.
3. I wouldn’t have forced him: Rephrased for tonal issues from literal translation. This was changed from “How could I have forced him?” The implied meaning of the original sentence is more of “It’s not in me to force YH to have sex if he didn’t want to” than a smug rapist’s excuse that can be read as “males can’t be raped if they’re aroused”. As this is fluff, the author didn’t really mean anything by it, it’s just social norm and nothing would be discussed about this later, the “social norm” sentences have been changed to be less controversial and more accurate to the tone attempted.