129. Special Identity
“Mr Qi, I did it for you,” Zhao Hao said, voice quavering even harder. “Please save me.”
“You still dare say you did it for me?” Qi MingYang impatiently rebuked. “After your actions today, not only can I not ensure your safety, I’ve also been dragged into troubled waters! Even if no one says anything, do you not know what kind of person Mu JingYuan is? If he knows you’ve touched a single hair on Bai YiHan, let alone splash boiling hot soup at him, he could torture you to death!”
“It’s not that bad, right?” Zhao Hao warbled. “Little Master Bai wasn’t injured anyway…”
“All dragons have a reverse scale,” Qi MingYang said. “Touch it and you enrage it. Bai YiHan is Mu JingYuan’s ‘reverse scale’. Mu JingYuan himself isn’t a small-minded man. If that pot of soup was aimed at him, he might not bother with you. However, your target was Bai YiHan! It doesn’t matter whether you hurt him or not. Mu JingYuan would never rationalise it out with you. Furthermore, Qin Feng now has his eyes on you.”
“What do I do?” Zhao Hao was on the brink of tears.
“What plan could I have?” the other man shot back, frustrated. “I can only hand you over to Little Master Bai for him to vent his anger out. If you wish to lessen your suffering, think of ways to make him plead for mercy on your behalf. A word from Bai YiHan is more useful than you bashing your head against the ground hundreds of times.”
Zhao Hao dropped to the floor with an audible thump. “Mr Qi, you can’t do this to me. If you send me over, Mu JingYuan would take away half of my entire lifespan!”
“Half?” MingYang coldly said. “I’ve told you, Qin Feng has his eyes on you. If you can’t bear to part with half of your life, then you’d be waiting for Qin Feng’s patience to run out and punish you himself. You’d lose all of your life then. You might not even know how or why you died!”
Snot and tears rolled down Zhao Hao’s face as he repeatedly muttered, “Mr Qi, I did it for you. I didn’t hurt Little Master Bai…”
“And thank goodness he wasn’t hurt,” Qi MingYang interjected. “If he was hurt, Mu JingYuan would likely strangle you to death himself. Ah, right. You must thank Qin Feng for his skilful manoeuvre. Alright. You’re a man. Stop dripping tears and snot everywhere. You’re embarrassing yourself. What were you thinking back then when you acted? Come. Let’s head back.”
“Mr Qi,” Li Guang softly reminded, “aren’t you going to have lunch?”
“Nothing has gone well today!” MingYang snapped. “Who cares about lunch?”
After dinner with the Bai family, YiHan pulled JingYuan into their room and began showing off all the loot he’d gotten from his trip to the mall. One by one, he showed them off. After a mini-speech about the “Water, Clouds and Sky” tea set, he then pulled out the wool vest.
“JingYuan, isn’t this vest nice?” YiHan said, holding the wool vest up to his torso. “Do you think Grandfather would like it?”
“It’s very nice,” JingYuan said with a nod. “Grandfather would like anything as long as it’s a present from you.”
YiHan beamed brightly. He held up a scarf and said, “Look at this scarf. It’s so thick and so soft. I’ve tried it on already. It’s super comfortable. Grandfather’s getting old. He gets cold easily in winter. If he has all these, he’d definitely be warm.”
“You’re right,” JingYuan said, wrapping an arm around the younger man. “Grandfather’s heart would warm up just at the sight of these gifts. You have good taste. These all look very nice and suitable for him.”
YiHan fidgeted with the gifts he’d pulled out. It felt like Grandfather was standing before him already. He couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. Ever since his reincarnation, he’d been too afraid to visit his grandfather. They would finally be meeting now. Longing, love and guilt twisted in his heart until they form a complicated and unspeakable emotion.
He packed everything away neatly. Once he was done, his slender fingers began fidgeting with a corner of the fabric.
“Yan Pei went with us today,” YiHan happily said. “She even brought along Yan Hui’s husband. They both have great eyes. They gave me a lot of suggestions and I’m so satisfied with everything I’ve bought on this trip. Oh, right. Qin Feng was there too.”
“What a lively day you had,” JingYuan remarked, lifting an eyebrow as he did so.
“Not only that, we bumped into Qi MingYang too.”
“Him?” JingYuan frowned.
Yihan jerked his chain at the direction of the gifts he’d put away. “Mn. He was also looking for a gift for Grandfather and he also wanted this tea set. But there was only one of it. He was a step too late. I’d already paid. He then came over and we exchanged a few brief words. Later on, when we were walking out of the restaurant we had lunch in, we bumped into him again.”
JingYuan’s brows furrowed harder as he asked, “Intentionally?”
YiHan paused to think about it before answering, “It shouldn’t be. It’s just a coincidence. Speaking of which, Qin Feng saved me today.”
YiHan looked down at his fidgeting fingers and replied, “One of Qi MingYang’s subordinates seemed to have pushed the server. The young man tripped and nearly splashed me with soup. Fortunately, Qin Feng’s sharp eyes spotted the incident. He pushed me out of the way.” He then looked up at JingYuan, eyes gleaming bright. “You should’ve seen it. His movements were so sleek and beautiful! Ah, but because of that, Qi MingYang recognised him. The other man nearly exposed Qin Feng’s identity but I interrupted him before he could. However, I’m afraid Fang Yi wouldn’t be so easily fooled. If Fang Yi knows who Qin Feng truly is, Qin Feng would be having a hard time. Also, it’d be all because of me. I’d be mortified if that happens.”
A light flashed through JingYuan’s eyes. “Were you hurt?”
“No. I told you. Qin Feng was so strong. With a ‘ha’ and a kick” – YiHan imitated Qin Feng’s movements – “the pot of soup was sent flying away. Not a single drop landed on me.”
JingYuan stroked YiHan on the head and said, “That’s good. Okay, if Qin Feng’s cover is blown, we’ll go plead to Fang Yi on his behalf. Hm?”
“Mn,” YiHan said, nodding his head.
Meanwhile at Fang Yi’s place.
The police officer stared at the man who’d entered his home as if it was his instead of Fang Yi’s.
“Why are you following me into my home?” Fang Yi asked. “Aren’t you going home?”
Qin Feng lazily sprawled out across the couch and replied, “This is my home.”
“Can you be any more shameless?” Fang Yi said, eyes wide in disbelief. “This is my house, my home!”
“What’s with the extra anger today?” Qin Feng asked, glancing up at the policeman.
“I’m extra angry?” Fang Yi coldly smirked. “It’s not as big as your talents. A ‘thug’ who Qi MingYang refers to as ‘mister’ is certainly someone my humble abode isn’t suitable for. What name did he want to call you by? YiHan must’ve known too, right? Otherwise, he wouldn’t interrupt the man and cover for you. Only I’m the fool who truly thinks you’re just a street thug.”
“Lil Fang,” Qin Feng said, scratching his face, “there’s no need to be so serious. No matter what other people call me, I’ll still be the thug you met.”
“Oh?” Fang Yi huffed out, turning to look away from the young man. “How poetic. Is it because there’s a big flashing sign on my face that reads ‘I’m very gullible, come swindle me’?”
Qin Feng looked right at the man and solemnly said, “Lil Fang, I never wanted to lie to you. I’m honest and sincere with you.”
The man standing in the room responded to that with merely a cold chuckle.
“How about I come clean to you then?” Qin Feng sighed. “Will that do?”
Fang Yi crossed his arms on his chest and, cold smirk still on his face, said, “There’s no need. It doesn’t matter who you are. I’m just a lowly policeman. I can’t afford to make enemies with the great man. Take care.”
“You wish to deny our relationship just because of an identity?” Qin Feng asked.
“Were there any relationship between us? Was it one built upon lies?” Fang Yi shot back.
Qin Feng ruffled his hair in frustration, stood up and walked over to Fang Yi. “Lil Fang, must you say such hurtful words?”
“So you’re the poor, miserable one here now?” Fang Yi spat out. “Just who was the one that only lied and lied? I don’t even know who you are! What emotions could be harmed?”
Qin Feng reached out and grabbed the man’s arm. “I said I’ll come clean!”
“It’s too late! I don’t need it! Scram!”
“Alright,” Fang Yi hissed, a finger angrily pointing at the young man. “If you won’t leave, I will!”
The policeman grabbed the jacket from where he left it and stomped to the door. He was about to open the door and leave before he stomped right back.
“This is my home,” said Fang Yi. “Why should I leave? You leave!”
Qin Feng laid back down on the couch and stubbornly said, “I won’t!”
Fang Yi could do nothing to that. He could shout and scream at the man but the other would just play dead. Fang Yi can’t win a fight against him. After numerous futile attempts at throwing the man out, Fang Yi just gave up and left him alone in the living room. He stomped off into his bedroom and slammed the door shut with a loud bang.
The living room was left in the bitter cold. While Qin Feng would usually mooch off Fang Yi and sleep on his couch, he would be provided with a blanket at least. Now, there was only an army of one in this room.
Qin Feng sat up on the couch and laid his head back against the backrest. He wouldn’t leave anyway. Only here can he feel at peace. It was only by Fang Yi’s side did he feel like it was good to be alive.
He glanced at the tightly-shut door then walked over to the apartment entrance. He picked up the jacket Fang Yi had left near it and returned to the couch. Nose buried in the jacket’s collar as the clothing draped over him like a blanket, the man happily closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Back in YiHan’s room, the young man was sprawled out on his bed. He pondered and mused but he just couldn’t stop worrying. So he called Fang Yi with his phone.
As soon as the other man picked up, YiHan asked, “Fang Yi, is Qin An at your place?”
There was a silent pause before the police officer replied, “YiHan, is his name Qin An?”
YiHan gulped hard. “Y-You know?” he whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep it from you but if his identity is known, you two couldn’t have been close friends. He’s probably too scared to tell you because he thinks the same too.”
“I know,” the other man said, shooting a glance at the door separating him from the man in the living room. “You don’t need to apologise. It’s not your fault.”
“But you must know that we all truly think of you as a friend,” YiHan emphasised. “You mustn’t doubt that.”
“Mn, I know,” said the man over the phone.
“Then,” YiHan cautiously asked, “what do you plan to do about Qin An?”
“Who’s Qin An?” Fang Yi asked in return.
“Qin Feng!” YiHan hurriedly said. “What do you plan to do about Qin Feng?”
Fang Yi let out a snort. He gritted his teeth and turned the question over in his mind. YiHan had yet to realise he’d just sold out Qin Feng. All he heard were teeth gritting over the phone. It made him nervous on Qin Feng’s behalf.
“Fang Yi?” YiHan softly called out.
The older man snapped out of his thoughts. He paused to think on the question posed to him before sighing, “I don’t know.”
“Where is he now?” asked YiHan.
“He’s in my living room. He refuses to leave,” Fang Yi replied.
“Fang Yi, it’s not easy for him either,” YiHan said. “He’s truly sincere when it comes to you. Why not just forgive him? His identity’s rather special. He can’t just let someone he just met know about it. Then, you two became friends and he kept silent because he’s afraid you’d be angry.”
“Special? What’s special about his identity?” asked Fang Yi.
Dragged into troubled waters: The literal translation is “now, even I stink” or “even I smell fishy (because of you)”.
Li Guang: The original text said “Zhao Guang”. As Zhao Hao’s name had appeared multiple times already, this typo was likely referring to the other man in the room.