131. I’m Leaving
“No, what are you saying, Little Master?” Lu FengYu said. “Secretary Jiang and I are friends. I can’t just standby and watch him get taken away by those scum. It’s my duty to help, not a favour.”
JingYuan looked at Lu FengYu and asked, “Lu FengYu as in the heir of the company, Feng Yuan?”
“It’s just a small company, not much to mention,” the other man replied with an embarrassed smile.
“Mr Lu is still talented and capable. I hope we could have a chance to work together in the future,” JingYuan said. When he saw FengYu about to reply, he continued, “It has nothing to do with today’s incident. Just a business deal. I merely like the look of your company’s prospects. I was even considering your company, thinking to contact you soon. I didn’t think fate would be on our sides.”
At that, all FengYu could say was, “Thank you for your recognition, Mr Mu!”
JingYuan nodded. “Jiang Hua’s drunk. We’ll take him home first. I’ll have Chen Hong contact you about the collaboration another day.”
“Yes, yes,” FengYu hurriedly nodded along. “Let’s meet another day.”
The other conversation by their sides was also wrapping up as YiHan said to Zhu Xun, “I’ll contact you later.”
The young bartender was about to reply that it wasn’t necessary but YiHan and JingYuan were already walking away with Jiang Hua. As they walked by the captured men and the men who had done the deed, the two paused.
“I’ll leave these men to you,” YiHan said to Chen Feng.
“Don’t worry, sir,” the bodyguard replied.
YiHan nodded in farewell and, along with JingYuan, helped Jiang Hua out of the bar.
As they stepped through the doors, JingYuan suddenly halted and looked to somewhere down the road. YiHan craned his head to follow his gaze but he saw nothing.
“What is it?” YiHan asked, head tilted.
“Nothing. I thought I saw something,” answered JingYuan.
YiHan nodded in reply. The two then manoeuvred Jiang Hua into the back of their car. YiHan slid in the back seat to support Jiang Hua’s head during the ride so the drunk man won’t hit his head against the glass.
“Shall we take him back to the Bai family home?” JingYuan asked, sliding into the driver’s seat.
YiHan thought about it before looking at Jiang Hua and gave the man a slight push to wake him up. Upon seeing the man’s eyes slide open, he asked, “Jiang-ge, do you want to go home or to the Bai family home?”
It took Jiang Hua a while before he realised what was being asked. The man frowned and whispered, “I don’t want to go to the Bai family home. I want to go home.”
“Alright,” YiHan coaxed. “We’ll go home.”
“Do you know where his home is?” JingYuan asked.
YiHan gave him the address and continued, “He just moved in not long ago. He’d asked me to stop by and take a look at his new home when I had the time, but I had yet to.”
JingYuan nodded in affirmation and started the car. The vehicle then smoothly slid into the stream of cars on the road. Along the way, JingYuan would sneak peeks at the rear-view mirror. His lips would twitch into a smile at the sight he would be met with.
They soon arrived at Jiang Hua’s home. YiHan found the key in the drunk man’s pockets after a brief hunt. JingYuan then moved Jiang Hua into the apartment while YiHan closed the apartment door behind them and searched for the lights. When the lights came on, JingYuan began moving the man to the wide couch in the living room.
The two then took a brief look around the apartment. It was over a hundred square metres. There were two bedrooms and a study room. The kitchen had everything one would need. It seemed like its owner frequently cooked. The bathroom was placed in between the bedrooms. The entire apartment was bathed in warm tones. The place was clean and homely, so homely that it didn’t look like a bachelor’s pad. YiHan knew JingYuan yearned for a family more than the average person. Was this apartment’s decor a way to comfort himself?
YiHan entered the bathroom, took a towel and wetted it with some hot water. He then wrung it dry and handed it over to JingYuan for the older man to wipe Jiang Hua’s face with. The young man then headed into the kitchen. Having found some honey tucked away, YiHan dissolved it in some warm water for Jiang Hua.
After wiping the man down and feeding him some honey water, the two then worked together to move him into his bedroom, changed him into a set of sleepwear they found in his closet and settled him into his bed. Everyone here was gay. It wouldn’t be decent to help shower the man. This was all the two could do.
Afraid that the man would wake up in the middle of the night needing care, YiHan decided to stay for the night. He’d head home after the man woke up in the morning. Naturally, JingYuan stayed behind to take care of YiHan.
YiHan tucked Jiang Hua in and left the room, closing the door as he went. He sat on the couch. The flurry of chaos was finally over. It was then that YiHan felt fear rising in him over what had transpired. He dropped his head into his hands and let out a long sigh. He looked up to glance at the bedroom door.
“I don’t get it,” YiHan said, voice low. “Jiang Hua isn’t the kind to go out and party. Why would he go to a place like The Dusky Alley all alone? Why would he get so drunk? If it hadn’t been for the bartender calling me, the things that would happen to him… I can’t think about them!”
What happened today made him recall the night he was drugged and thrown into the club. That nightmare destroyed him. The thought of it nearly happening to Jiang Hua has agitated YiHan more than anything else. How he wished he could charge over to those garbage and slice them up, one after another!
“Jiang Hua has always been a mature man,” JingYuan said, embracing his distraught lover. “Something must’ve happened to make him use such a way to vent out his frustrations. However, we can only wait until he’s up. We can ask him about it then and see if we can help him, okay? Look at you puffing up. Don’t worry. I won’t let those vermin have a good time.” JingYuan then began scanning YiHan up and down to make sure the young man was unhurt.
“I’m fine,” YiHan said. “You were protecting me the whole time. They couldn’t hit me at all. But how about you? Were you hurt?”
It was only after JingYuan finished his thorough check-up, lifting YiHan’s shirt to confirm there were no wounds on the other’s chest and back, did he chuckle and reply, “Of course I’m fine. You were gushing about Qin Feng’s fighting skills today. Did you not pay attention to me during the fight? Even if Chen Feng and his men didn’t arrive just now, I could’ve easily taken care of those men.”
YiHan was in the middle of lifting JingYuan’s shirt as the man talked. “Of course you’re the best,” YiHan chuckled. JingYuan’s little pout had made the suffocating emotions in him drift away. YiHan carefully looked JingYuan over. Indeed, the man was fine. He only had some scrapes along his knuckles and a bruise on his back. They were nothing serious.
YiHan got up and began searching through the living room. Upon finding the first-aid kit in the television cabinet, he used a spray, indicated to be for bruises, on JingYuan’s back and dressed the older man’s scrape wounds with some bandages.
“Alright,” JingYuan said, pulling YiHan down to sit beside him after the man had put away the first-aid kit. “Settle down. You must be exhausted. Why don’t you rest up in the guest bedroom? I can take care of Jiang Hua myself.”
YiHan leaned against the older man and lazily stretched. “It’s fine,” he said. “How boring it’d be for you to stay up all alone. If we’re together, we can at least chat.”
JingYuan shifted his arms to wrap even more securely around YiHan and kissed him on the forehead. “Okay. Thank you so much, Little Master Bai, for chatting with this one.”
“No problem. We’re lovers after all,” YiHan replied with a smile.
The two lovebirds cuddled up against each other and chattered away in low voices. A soft chuckle could occasionally be heard when someone said something particularly funny. Two hours later, just as the two were starting to get tired, a loud thump could be heard from the master bedroom. YiHan shot up and ran for the room, nearly crashing into Jiang Hua who’d been running out of the room. The older man was barefoot with a hand over his mouth. He blinked in shock at YiHan for a moment before stumbling straight into the bathroom.
YiHan hurriedly followed behind. Together with JingYuan, they patted Jing Hua’s back and provided him with water to swirl his mouth with as he retched and puked. When the man was finally done and helped out of the bathroom, his face was a sickly shade of white. The two lovers helped him to the couch and got him some water to drink.
Jiang Hua took a sip and leaned back to lay his buzzing head against the backrest. “YiHan, Mr Mu, why are you here?” he feebly asked. He then knocked a hand against his head, looked around and continued, “Ah, you sent me home?”
“A bartender used your phone to call me. I was told you’d a little too much to drink at The Dusky Alley. JingYuan and I went to fetch you. I remember you being able to hold your drink quite well. Just how much have you had to make this drunk?” YiHan replied.
“I’m sorry,” Jiang Hua apologised, “for troubling you two in the middle of the night.” A hand rubbed at his stomach while the other held onto the arm of the couch and pushed himself up.
YiHan hurriedly pressed the man back down and said, “You can’t even stand straight. Why are you getting up?” He then looked at the hand at Jiang Hua’s stomach. “Gastritis?”
“Yes. I’ll go get some medicine,” Jiang Hua replied.
YiHan went and grabbed the first-aid kit from the television cabinet. As he looked through its contents for what he wanted, he chuckled, “While you were asleep, I’d gotten to know your home.”
Despite his pounding head, Jiang Hua smiled back and said, “I should’ve shown you around. It’s my fault for making you figure out my home on your own.”
“Yes,” YiHan said in feigned rage, “so you must make it up to me.” By now, he’d found a box of antacid pills and was reading the directions on the back.
“Alright,” came Jiang Hua’s soft reply. “What would you like?”
YiHan handed over two pills to Jiang Hua and watched the man down it with some water before he replied, “Then can you tell me why you went to The Dusky Alley all alone? Why did you get that drunk? Don’t you know how dangerous that was?”
Jiang Hua bit his lip and said nothing.
YiHan pushed the first-aid kit aside and continued, tone as serious as before, “Didn’t you say you think of me as your brother? What is it that you can’t tell me about?”
“Is it related to Bai Yan?” JingYuan exhaled.
Jiang Hua was shocked. Unwittingly, he glanced at YiHan. All of the anger had left the younger man, leaving him deflated.
“I didn’t tell him, Jiang-ge,” YiHan said, awkwardly scratching at his face. “This guy’s eyes are way too sharp. He guessed it by himself. Don’t worry. He and I are of the same mind.”
JingYuan couldn’t help chuckling at YiHan’s words and raised a hand to stroke YiHan’s hair.
Jiang Hua sighed and bitterly smiled. “Forget it. Nothing matters now. I didn’t know of The Dusky Alley or anything about it. I just entered the first bar I noticed.”
“I knew it,” YiHan said, exasperated. “How could you know which bars to go to? Tell me. What happened? I know you don’t drink other than the times you need to at business dinners.”
“I’ll be moving out to ChangCheng, YiHan,” Jiang Hua answered, hand massaging his forehead.
“Why?” YiHan gasped.
“It’s a company decision,” Jiang Hua replied. “I’ll be transferred to the branch office there. Mr Bai personally announced it himself at the meeting today. The paperwork’s all done. From tomorrow onwards, I’ll be handing over all of my work. In two weeks, I’ll be leaving. I’m…likely to ever come back.”
YiHan was stunned. “My brother said so?” he finally uttered after a long while. “Just what is he thinking?”
Jiang Hua let out a self-mocking chuckle. “Perhaps he found out about my feelings and wanted to transfer me far away from him.”
Manoeuvred Jiang Hua: Author had a typo here saying “Jiang Yuan” instead.
We’re lovers after all: The actual phrase is “who are we to each other?” which MTL might translate as “who and who”. The MTL version is kind of accurate as the meaning changes according to context.