159. Let’s Save Them
Book in hand, YiHan sat down on a bench the developers had placed in the strip of grass by the curb. Suddenly, a pang of sadness hit him. Humans are helpless to life’s twists and turns. No matter one’s status and wealth, there was no way to make the dead come alive. Just like JingYuan in YiHan’s last life. It didn’t matter if he was in agony or lonely. It didn’t matter how much more money and power he accumulated, JingYuan could never meet up again with the dead YiHan. If YiHan hadn’t died then – even if he became a crippled or a dirty rag, as long as he still lived – would JingYuan feel better? But he died. Nothing could change that.
Xu YouRan wasn’t like YiHan. At least there were plenty of people who mourned for him. What about YiHan? He had no funeral, no family to send him off. Forever alone, he couldn’t even have a proper burial. No one would know where he was buried. Naturally, no one would pray or make offerings for him. Aah, he shouldn’t have died if it was possible.
Through the incident with Chen TianYang, YiHan knew his fate, his destiny, could be changed. If he reached out a helping hand, perhaps Xu YouRan didn’t need to die…
Leaning back against the bench, YiHan’s eyes stared blankly into the distance. He should get to know the real Xu YouRan, find out whether there was another side to the story, find out if his beloved author was truly that depraved.
A man walked past in front of him. He paid no heed to the other man. However, that man soon came back and sat beside him.
“The Blue Night?” the other man softly asked. “You like Nan Shan’s books?” The man’s voice was very pleasing to the ear. There was a hint of refined melancholy in it.
YiHan looked up and froze, shocked.
He couldn’t believe his eyes. There are infinite possibilities and coincidences in life, but sitting before him was a living, breathing Xu YouRan!
The man was handsome in a refreshing way, just like the warmth of spring air blowing through the winter snow. There was a smidge of melancholy hanging in his brows. It somehow made those who see him feel protective. YiHan had seen photos of him before but in-person, the person felt so much more alive and real. For a moment, YiHan blanked out.
The man stretched out a hand and waved it before YiHan’s eyes. “Friend, what is it?” he asked.
YiHan felt embarrassment rise in him. He felt a sense of helpless panic, the kind that happens when meeting one’s idol for the first time. However, YiHan was someone who spends every day with JingYuan, someone with an oppressive aura. He had built up a strong mind from that. (Although, JingYuan never did put on an oppressive aura around YiHan. Only a seductive aura.) YiHan did his best to take in a few deep breaths.
“Yes,” YiHan said, mustering up the strength to smile at the other man. “I’m a fan of his books. Do you also like his books?”
Clearly, Xu YouRan had a lot of patience for his fans. “Mn,” he replied with a gentle smile. “Sort of. I’ve read all of his books.”
“Me too,” YiHan said. “I have a complete collection of his works. Ah, so you’re his fan too? Since we have the same favourite author, we’re kind of friends. Why don’t we exchange contact information? We can inform each other if there are any new updates from him.” YiHan blinked and let out a sly smile. “Are you in the chat group for his friends? I can invite you in.”
“Okay,” Xu YouRan replied with another beautiful and serene smile.
When YiHan returned to the Mu family home, YiHan excitedly searched around for JingYuan. Unfortunately, the man wasn’t home yet. Thus, book in hand, YiHan settled in and waited for his lover on the sofa. While he waited, he logged onto his QQ account on his phone and began chatting with his idol. When the sky grew dark, JingYuan returned.
The moment YiHan heard the door clack open, he leapt out of his seat and pounced on the man. JingYuan opened the door to be welcomed with an armful of YiHan.
“Be careful,” JingYuan said with a helpless little smile. “You’re an adult. Why do you still act like a kid?” He then carefully scanned YiHan’s face. “What has made you so happy?” he asked with a smile.
“Mu-Mu!” YiHan said, eyes squinting as he grinned. “I have to tell you. I met my idol today!”
“Idol?” JingYuan asked with a frown.
YiHan raised the book in his hand and showed it to JingYuan. “Nan Shan!”
After shooting a glance at the book, JingYuan said, “Oh, I know him. You’ve collected a lot of his books. You’ve met the author himself today? He lives in this city too?”
“I don’t have a lot of his books. I have all of them. All of them!” YiHan corrected. “He lives in Elegant Gardens in this city! I bumped into him today!”
“Elegant Gardens?” JingYuan asked, frown back on his face. “That’s not on the way to Zhang Su’s bookstore, right? Why are you over there?”
YiHan looked around them and pulled JingYuan by the hand up the stairs and into their room. He swiftly shut the door behind them. The whole time, he looked so secretive.
“What is it?” JingYuan sighed. “Why so mysterious?”
YiHan pulled him down on the sofa in their room and whispered, “Do you remember the dream I told you?”
JingYuan’s heart went cold. “Of course I do,” he said with a nod.
“There’s something I haven’t told you about. It doesn’t have anything to do with us.” YiHan then waved the book in his hand and continued, “It’s about this author, my idol, Nan Shan.”
“Nan Shan’s real name is Xu YouRan,” YiHan solemnly said. “In…the dream, he died too. He died about six months before I did. He was exposed as a homewrecker who seduced a married man. The entire situation escalated hard and then he was doxed as well. Things pushed him to commit suicide. I was so upset over it at that time. He’s really talented. From his books, I could tell he had a righteous moral compass carved into his bones. There’s no way I’d believe he’d be a homewrecker. Plus, the man he apparently seduced never even showed his face once. There wasn’t even anything anyone knew of him. Three days before Nan Shan jumped off his balcony, the other man’s wife barged into his apartment with some men. No one knew what happened and no one knew anything of the wife. There wasn’t a single piece of public information on who the married couple were. They were the start and end of the story that killed off Nan Shan. No matter what, it felt shady to me. I am Nan Shan’s fan. His death was so upsetting. It’s such a pity. However, in that dream, I was in a tough situation myself. I had no power to seek out the truth. Many of the events in my dreams have happened in reality too. You’ve said the dream was a warning. Then, if we don’t do anything, would Nan Shan really be pushed to suicide?”
“According to Tao Qi’s appearance and story,” JingYuan said, “and your dream, this incident really might happen. Just like the matter with Chen TianYang. Without your interference, he would’ve died back there. Was the sudden urge to get Jiang Hua to look into XueQing’s suitors, and the mad dash out when you found out about the man, also because of this dream?”
YiHan nodded and sprawled out over JingYuan’s lap. His mood visibly dipped. “When I saw Nan Shan’s book today, I was reminded of his death. I followed the address I remembered from the dream and I really bumped into him. Mu-Mu, he’s my idol. I like his books. I don’t want him to die. I want to read more of his writing.”
JingYuan stroked YiHan’s hair. “I know the kind of person you are, HanHan. If we just let things be and something did happen to Xu YouRan, you would feel uneasy. Go. Do what you want to do. As I’ve said before, you and I are forever on the same team. Let’s look into the truth together. Even if he truly is a homewrecker, it’s not a crime he deserves to die for. We’ll save him. Alright?”
YiHan sat up and hugged JingYuan around the neck. “Big Mu-Mu, why are you so nice to me? I feel like I love you more than I did yesterday.”
JingYuan hugged back. His fingers massaged the back of YiHan’s neck as he said, “You’re still calling me Big Mu-Mu? Are you thinking of that again?”
The younger man instantly bounced to his feet. He raised his hands in the air as he hurriedly said, “No. No, I absolutely did not mean that. It was just an expression of my respect and love for you. Please do not misunderstand me.”
JingYuan grabbed YiHan by the hands and pushed him back down on the sofa. “It’s just a joke,” he chuckled. “Look at how scared you are. Am I that scary?”
YiHan blinked and smiled back. “You’re not scary but I really want to eat a proper meal. I don’t want to have to gingerly sit on my chair. Going to sleep right after doing it in the best. From now on, we cannot do it before dinner.”
JingYuan let out another chuckle and gave YiHan a hard kiss. “Sure. From now on, we won’t do it before dinner. Doing it after dinner can also help with digestion.”
YiHan sighed and seriously replied, “Mr Mu JingYuan, you are truly getting more and more improper.”
JingYuan rubbed his forehead against YiHan’s and softly said, “This is a secret only you know in this whole wide world. You must know that I’ve always been extremely proper when I’m interacting with anyone else but you. Say, to avoid letting the world know of my true persona, should I consider eliminating all loose ends?”
YiHan was so entranced by JingYuan’s actions that it felt like his heart had died right then and there. He valiantly tilted his head up and kissed JingYuan on the cheek before huffing, “There’s no need to eliminate the loose end. You just need to seal his mouth shut.”
“Okay,” JingYuan huffed back as he slowly closed in on YiHan. “I’ll do as you say. I’m here to seal your mouth shut.” Saying so, he gently kissed YiHan on the lips and the two men exchanged a languid and tender kiss.
JingYuan then let go of YiHan and pulled the younger man into his embrace. “What’s your plan about Nan Shan?”
“I have no plans,” YiHan said, frustrated. “I really don’t know how I should get close to him.”
“That’ll depend on you,” JingYuan replied, resting his chin on YiHan’s head. “If you just want to save him, you don’t need to befriend him. You can just do your thing form the shadows and help him avoid death. If you wish to be friends with him, then that’s another topic.”
YiHan looked up and poked JingYuan’s chin up higher with a slim finger. “Mr Mu, if I say I want to be friends with him, I’m afraid you’ll die of jealousy. So, let’s forget about it.”
“Since you’ve said that,” JingYuan seriously replied, “won’t I be admitting I’m jealousy incarnate if I say that I’d be jealous? Don’t think I don’t know what you people say behind my back.”
YiHan burst out in a chuckle and said, “No, no. I didn’t mean that. I just don’t want you to be unhappy. I may have family and friends but no one can compare to you.”
JingYuan tweaked YiHan’s nose and laughingly scolded, “How dare you. You’ve learned to cover your verbal traps in pretty words.”
YiHan pulled the other man’s hand away from his nose and sprawled back over JingYuan’s lap. “Would you accept it then?” he laughed.