96. Stubborn Oujidere
Ma nodded along to XueQing’s speech. After brief reconsideration, she stated in a rather sad manner, “In that case, when HanHan gets better, he’d realise the perfect love he’d found was all just a lie. Everything was for nothing. He’d be so hurt then. My little baby, why can’t I suffer in your place?”
XueQing: “…” Just what do you want to do then?
In the hallway around the corner, Aunt Yang patted the tears away from her eyes. “My poor little master, once you can eat solids, I’ll cook you a grand feast to help you recover faster. Mr Mu would definitely say yes. Who in this world could bear to let such a cute young man remain upset and hurt? Mr Mu loves Little Master so much. He will save him, right?”
When YiHan woke up, JingYuan was spacing out while staring down at him. When JingYuan realised YiHan had opened his eyes, a warm smile immediately took over the previously blank face and leaned down to peck his lips.
“You’re up. How do you feel?” JingYuan softly asked. “Did you sleep well?”
“Extremely well. I’ve never felt so calm before,” YiHan replied, his lips pressed together into a smile that revealed two dimples. He raised a hand to caress JingYuan’s cheek. Every breath of air filling his lungs was as sweet as can be.
JingYuan felt like ever since YiHan was rescued a strange switch was flipped in the other man. Not only would slight agitating incidences not trigger a mental breakdown in him anymore, the man’s mental state had taken a turn for the better. YiHan now acted more affectionate, in a natural way, when with him. It made JingYuan’s heart race with delight. As expected, the hero saving the dam-…dude-in-distress act was the best way to win someone’s heart! Thank goodness he was the fastest among the rescuers due to his hastiness. He was the first to arrive on scene. If he was one step slower and Yan was first, he might not be met with this treatment now.
At that, Jingyuan couldn’t help letting loose a chuckle. His eyes were filled to the brim with warmth which made YiHan go into a daze while staring into them.
As the two men stared into the other’s eyes with great love, XueQing stayed frozen at the door.
She silently retracted the foot about to step into the room. In exasperation, she exchanged a glance with the beautiful, but confused if she should enter or not, nurse standing at the door beside her. They had a feeling if they went in now, lightning would strike them down.
Moments later in the hospital corridor outside YiHan’s room, XueQing told JingYuan about the conversation the family had last night. The man fell silent for a long time before speaking up, “You were too bold. This is not what we planned. It’s too risky.”
“I didn’t plan on it at first,” XueQing replied. “But everything changed so quickly. Yan had detected something weird in how HanHan treats you. Thank goodness for your habit of keeping a poker fac. No one had realised your feelings for HanHan yet. Instead, they all think this will be a burden on you.”
JingYuan’s lips curled into a smirk as a hand massaged his furrowed brows. “The current development has been so unexpected,” he said. “While it’s risky, at least your parents love HanHan enough. Otherwise, this would’ve happened so smoothly. It’s my fault for making them feel guilty and upset at this assumption.”
“It’s not your fault,” XueQing glumly said. “I was too hasty. One after another, things kept happening to HanHan. “That person” kept going after HanHan. I was just too worried about his mental health. I thought the only way to make him feel safe enough is to make it so you can be by his side without any hiding. That’s how I’ll protect my little brother.”
She looked up to look at something off in the distance, her eyes slightly unfocused. Then, she muttered, as if talking to herself, “I still remember when HanHan was a kid. He’s so small, so soft, just like a bun fresh from the steamer. He stumbled after me, calling out ‘sister’ in his soft voice. I looked back to see him about to trip because he ran too fast. I hurriedly rushed over to catch him. He looked up at me and grinned. The two tiny dimples on his chubby cheeks were so cute. It was then that I thought, ‘Ah, this is my little brother. I’ll forever love and protect him. Just like today, I won’t let him get hurt at all.’
“Then, he grew up. He was no longer as close to me. He wouldn’t listen to me anymore. It upset me.
“This time, he suffered a mental trauma so serious that it turned him into a good kid. This incident allowed me to see he’s still as soft and gentle inside, just as he was when he was younger. His two wide eyes bore into me as he told me to drive safely and to take care. Hehe. He actually hadn’t changed at all.
“He’s considerate of my feelings and he didn’t dare to reveal his own feelings. Isn’t that an attempt at protecting me? I knew then my love for him had never been one-sided. He loved me too. I will stand by the oath I swore as a child and forever love him, protect him and keep him from harm.”
JingYuan’s eyes softened. “He loves you very much,” he warmly said. “There’s no doubting that. HanHan and I thank you for this. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to gain everyone’s understanding this swiftly. But what about Chen TianYang then? According to our plan, he was never meant to appear. As you’ve said, things have changed faster than we’ve planned. His entrance was a little hasty but it’s not too bad. With what happened last night, he’s probably not useful now. Right?”
XueQing glanced at the door to YiHan’s room. “That’s true,” she guiltily admitted. “I should apologise to him. I made him do all this for nothing.”
JingYuan paused, then said, “That might not be for sure. He’s still of use to us. We’ve already told HanHan you like Chen TianYang. If he backs out of the plan now, HanHan will be suspicious and, because our engagement is now void, your parents will be worried over your future marriage. With the appearance of Chen TianYang by your side, someone with a family background as strong as yours and someone who’s proven to have loved you, it would make them feel better about this. Wouldn’t it?”
She side-eyed him. “You’re not wrong,” she said. “But why does it sound like you said all that because you’re on TianYang’s side? There’s no clandestine secret between you two, right?”
“Where did your mind go off to?” JingYuan sighed. “I’m only saying this because whenever I see him yearning for you, I’m reminded of myself before. I understand that feeling all too well. It’s inevitable I’d sympathise with him and try to help him. More importantly, I think of you as family. Of course I’d hope you could find happiness. If we put aside his family background, he’s one of the most handsome and capable men I know. What’s even rarer is how much he loves you. He’s a great match that’s hard to come by. If you can love him and be with him, I believe you’ll definitely be happy. Naturally, it’s all up to you. If you think you’re not git for each other, you have plenty more choices. The daughter of the great Bai family would never lack suitors after all. No matter your decision, I’ll support you.”
Touched, XueQing patted him on the arm. “I appreciate all your efforts,” she said. “Fine. It’s very rare to find someone who’d love me that much. I’ll try and accept him. If I feel we’re good, I’ll definitely consider him. I would be much happier marrying someone who loves me than someone I love.”
JingYuan nodded. He took a step forward then turned to look back, “Don’t force yourself. No need to be considerate of other people. Just do what you feel best.”
XueQing’s eyes stung as she walked forward to pat the man on the back. “Alright. When did you become such a nagger? Go back or HanHan will worry.”
Only then did JingYuan fully turn around and walk to the door of YiHan’s room. “We’ll need to revise our plan for what happens afterwards,” he said along the way. “We can’t let HanHan sense any of this or he’ll think I’m not truly in love with him, that I’m only pitying him and I only wanted to save him. If he descends into a spiral over it, we’d be screwed.”
XueQing hummed in agreement. “Why don’t we just tell HanHan about everything last night then” she blurted. “I think that’s safer. He’ll be prepared for this assumption in the family. He wouldn’t split hairs over it then.”
JingYuan paused. He frowned. The more XueQing thought about it, the more she felt she was right.
“Of course, we can’t change the reason why we brought TianYang into the plan,” she continued. “Half-truths are the easiest to deceive people with. Let’s find a chance to talk to TianYang about this later. We need to continue on with the charade.”
After a long moment of weighing the pros and cons, JingYuan finally nodded. “You’re right, but remember, in HanHan’s mind, TianYang still doesn’t know we were engaged. Don’t let it slip.”
“Then we won’t talk about it before TianYang. We’ll get him out of hearing first. Make sure we play out the full act. While HanHan is gullible, we’d best be cautious,” XueQing replied.
JingYuan shot her an upset glance. “He’s your brother,” he whispered. “How could you call him gullible?”
“It’s the truth? Don’t you find his ditsy attitude to be ridiculously cute?” She smiled.
Unwittingly, a smile began to grow on JingYuan’s face. When he realised his lips were perking upwards, he did his best to push it down and glared at her. He swiftly turned around and strode back to his target.
XueQing twitched her lips to the side. “Stubborn little oujidere.”
In the hospital room:
“Mr Chen, you’re so busy with work. Why still take the time and visit me? I’m fine now,” YiHan warmly greeted.
“We’re friends, aren’t we?” TianYang replied with a smile. “When friends are in trouble, I’ll help them out. You don’t need my help now but I should still see how you’re doing.”
YiHan laughed, deep dimples showing up. He looked like he was in an exceptionally good mood.
“How do you feel now?” TianYang asked. “Do you still nausea or any dizziness?”
“I was a little nauseous yesterday,” YiHan replied. “But after a good night’s sleep, I feel much better now.”
“Remember to bring more bodyguards with you the next time you leave the house,” TianYang suggested. “Specially to crowded places. You must be careful. With your status, there are a lot of people aiming for you. Whenever I think about yesterday’s incident, I feel so terrified.”
“I know,” YiHan said, nodding. “Right. You rushed over to save me yesterday but my head was in such a mess that I didn’t talk to you at all. Please don’t be angry.”
The other man smiled. “You acting so formal and polite is what would make me angry. When I knew you went missing, I nearly died from fear. Those people are so very daring. Don’t worry though. I’ll definitely make sure they get their comeuppance.”
YiHan smiled and nodded. He looked out the window. “Why is my sister and JingYuan taking so long?”
TianYang frowned. “Don’t worry,” he comforted. “They should be back soon. It’s my fault. I only remembered how you couldn’t eat solids now and so didn’t bring any food with me. I forgot those looking after you needed to eat too.”
Oujidere: Trying out a new way to translate “arrogant/proud and cute”. How does it sound?