160. I’m Eager
JingYuan’s hand started a soft, rhythmic patting on YiHan’s back. “Yes, of course I will. I’m not so tyrannical as to stop you from making friends. You like his books. It’s normal for you to want to know him better. I’m not a dictator. As your future husband, I do trust you. HanHan, you are a free bird.”
YiHan buried his face into JingYuan’s abdomen. He then said in a muffled voice, “No. I don’t want freedom. I am yours. I am like Tripitaka and you are the circle Sun Wukong drew out. You can’t restrain me. I’m the one who doesn’t want to leave.”
JingYuan chuckled. “Little one, when did you learn how to sweet talk? You’ve turned me into a restraining circle. Okay. Being your circle has made life worth living. Come, let’s go eat. You must be hungry, right?”
YiHan clung onto JingYuan, unwilling to get off. As he was slowly shuffled along by JingYuan’s movements, he said, “It’s really not sweet talk. It’s the truth. Tell me. What do I do about Nan Shan? With you around, I don’t want to use my brain at all.”
“If you don’t want to use your brain, then don’t,” said JingYuan, dragging YiHan along with him out of the room. “This one is very willing to work on Your Majesty’s behalf.”
YiHan hummed and replied, “Teach me.”
“Right now, we have limited information on his personality, identity and true past,” said JingYuan. “As Sun Tzu wrote, ‘if you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles’. From what you’ve said, he is safe for now. Don’t act too hastily just yet. I’ll gather all I can on him and we’ll plan the next step then.”
“Mn, mn. Okay. I’ll go with what you said,” YiHan said, nodding.
“You said you bumped into him today?” JingYuan asked. “Did you two talk? How did it feel?”
“We exchanged a few words,” YiHan replied. “I was holding onto ‘The Blue Night’. That’s a famous work of his and the book he’s most proud of. He saw it when passing by so he stopped and chatted with me. However, he didn’t know that I knew who he was. He only told me he was a fan of the book too. I got his contact number, just in case I needed it. As for him, I had a really good first impression of him. His skin was pasty pale, the kind you see on people who rarely get exposed to sunlight. I could instantly tell he rarely left his home. He had a refreshing air to him, constantly giving the impression of a calm, melancholic yet ethereal person. There’s always a hint of a frown on his brows. He looked very much like those gloomy poets.”
“You did very well and your observations were detailed,” JingYuan said. “This is crucial to analysing his personality. How about this? Keep in contact with him for now. Don’t do it too often and don’t make it sound intentional, but you must frequently remind him of your existence. Let him get used to you in his life. Once I have further information on him, we can discuss what we should do.”
YiHan’s head bobbed up and down like a chicken pecking at the grains scattered across the ground. “My amazing, strong husband-to-be,” said YiHan, eyes squinting in a smile, “I just love how you look when you’re strategizing and planning.”
JingYuan dragged YiHan to the dining table and pushed him into his seat, “My smart, cunning husband-to-be, hurry up and eat. We have something to do later.”
YiHan paused in thought. “There’s nothing,” he said in confusion. “Do you have something planned?”
JingYuan blinked back at his fiancée and smiled. “Big Mu-Mu’s exercise. Eat up. Have some more.”
YiHan: “…” You’re making me unable to look at the nickname with a straight mind, okay?
After dinner, the couple returned to their room. They had just finished their showers and had yet to proceed with Big Mu-Mu’s exercise when they received a call from Qin Feng.
The other man didn’t waste any time. He went straight to the point. “YiHan, did you speak to Lil Fang? Said a few nice words about me?”
“Those aren’t really nice words,” YiHan replied, a hand towelling his hair dry. “I just told him what I thought. Well? Did Ah-Yi soften up a little?”
“Mn,” Qin Feng whispered, excitement audible in his voice. “When he made noodles just now, he made me a bowl too.” He paused for a moment and added, “He even gave me an egg.”
JingYuan walked over to YiHan, took the towel from the younger man, and helped YiHan dry his hair. The younger man looked up to flash JingYuan a smile before returning his attention to the phone.
“I see, that’s good,” YiHan said. “Ah-Yi might be a bit hard to approach but he has a soft heart. It’s only a matter of time when his heart gives in. This bowl of noodles shows you’re not far from victory.”
Qin Feng’s voice dropped lower as he chuckled, “I can see it. Right now, Lil Fang’s heart is not as cold as his face. I thought it’d be some time before anything happened but after a meeting with you, he’s visible softened. I guessed you had helped plead my case. Mere thanks are not enough for such a big favour. If you ever need me, just let me know.”
“It’s not that serious,” YiHan laughed. “A big favour? It was only a few words of truth. Anyway, your identity was revealed to Ah-Yi because you saved me. It’s been bugging me this whole time.”
“That incident was merely the spark,” the other man continued, voice still in a whisper. “Lil Fang and I will be spending many days together. Even if I hadn’t acted that day, he would find out sooner or later. It was only a matter of time. I had thought of finding a proper time to confess about it to him, a time when he’s in a good mood.”
“Is it not convenient for you to speak?” YiHan curiously asked. “Why are you whispering? If it’s not a good time, we can just hang up and talk another day.”
“I’m hiding in Lil Fang’s bathroom currently,” Qin Feng chuckled. “I’m afraid he’d overhear our call and think we’re plotting together against him. That’d be troublesome then. You have to explain to him that I have never ever asked you to help plead my case. I am true when it comes to him.”
“I’ve got it,” YiHan chuckled back. “Don’t worry. I’m hanging up. We can’t let him overhear us.”
“Okay,” Qin Feng responded.
Right before YiHan hung up, he added, “Qin Feng, Fang Yi is a naive man. Don’t hurt him or I won’t forgive you.”
“Don’t worry,” Qin Feng seriously replied, something rare for him. He thought for a moment before continuing, “Lil Fang is so lucky to have you as a friend. Bye then.”
YiHan hung up and turned to JingYuan. “Qin Feng said Fang Yi’s attitude to him has visibly softened. The man even cooked him a bowl of noodles. Qin Feng was so ecstatic that he hid in the bathroom to call me and say thanks.”
JingYuan gently massaged YiHan’s head as he replied, “That’s good. With Qin Feng’s protection, Fang Yi’s path ahead will be much smoother. He won’t have to trip over unnecessary rocks now.”
“I can see Qin Feng feels deeply for Fang Yi,” YiHan said, a hand on his chin. “If Fang Yi can really get together with him, it’s a good thing too. But if Fang Yi doesn’t want to, they’d be at it for some time, especially with Qin Feng’s personality. Fang Yi will also be in danger then.”
“There’s no need to worry,” JingYuan said. “I think Qin Feng isn’t the kind of thug to be rash and impulsive. Fang Yi should also feel something for him. From the looks of it, those two are most likely going to get together.”
YiHan nodded. “With your confirmation, I feel much more relaxed. Qin Feng is absolutely a fierce beast. If Fang Yi is with him, Fang Yi will definitely be the weaker party. I’m really worried he’d suffer.”
“The weaker party?” JingYuan asked with a laugh. “I don’t think so. There’s a very apt saying: the one who falls in love first loses. Qin Feng has lost at the very start. Between the two of them, Fang Yi might be at a better advantage.”
“True,” YiHan said. “Qin Feng is quite a groveller. Mn, that’s good.”
“Little one,” JingYuan chuckled, “you’re so brave. In this entire city, not even the old Mr Yan would dare explicitly threaten the head of the Hidden Dragon. You just said it straight to his face. Aren’t you afraid he’d take offence?”
“He didn’t,” YiHan said. “He even said we’re friends. So what if I threatened him? If he really hurt Fang Yi, I would really be picking a fight!”
“It’s very good that you’d fight for your friends,” JingYuan said, trying to hold a laugh in. “But your figure’s quite small. You want to fight Qin Feng? He could take you down with just one finger. Do you know what kind of training he’d been put through since he was a child? Don’t be fooled by his lanky looks. I dare say that in this entire city, no one is his match, not unless they come in a mob.”
“Who said I’d be fighting him physically?” YiHan rebuked. “Have you heard of using one’s brain? JingYuan, between us two, whenever I hear of Qin Feng’s father, I get so angry. A tiger may be cruel but it doesn’t eat its cubs, yet that man would dare treat his son so badly. He’s just inhumane.”
JingYuan placed the towel down and moved to sit beside YiHan. “What one person treasures is different to what another treasures. We think our emotions and mental state is more important. Qin HaiTian wanted power and wealth. If Qin Feng weren’t his only child, Qin Feng would never have a chance to grow up. He would never have a chance to avenge his mother. What comes around goes around. Qin HaiTian scoffed at emotions. In the end, he died in the hands of his own son. That counts as karma.”
YiHan sighed. “Qin Feng is a pitiful man too. If not for an extreme amount of hatred, who would be willing to kill their own father? Qin HaiTian was not fit to be a parent! He deserved to die.”
JingYuan stood up and grabbed the hairdryer from its place. He then carefully blew YiHan’s hair dry. “If Qin Feng hadn’t gotten Qin HaiTian for a father, he could have led a vastly different life. Actually, it’s easy to see. Feelings and relationships are important to him too, but he is the head of the Hidden Dragon. He also has a fearsome reputation. No one dared to get close to him so no one noticed it.”
“That might not be so,” YiHan said. “why else would so many people be willing to follow him and help him overthrow his father?”
JingYuan froze. He chuckled, “True. HanHan, you’re still the wiser of us two.”
YiHan smiled. “I won’t accept such sweet talk. Finish blowing my hair dry and let’s sleep.”
“Okay,” JingYuan said, letting out a sly smile. “I didn’t think you’d be so eager. Don’t worry. I’ll be done soon.”
A look at JingYuan’s face and YiHan knew the other man’s mind was filled to the brim with perverted thoughts. “I’m not eager,” YiHan helplessly said. “Please, take your time.”
JingYuan leaned in close and said, “I’m eager.” His deep voice vibrated through YiHan’s ear and deep into his bones.
YiHan: “…!!” (*/w\*) That’s against the rules!
YiHan added Xu YouRan into the fan group of Nan Shan’s books. The two men would occasionally chat with each other. Even through the internet, YiHan could tell the other man was rather depressed. Xu YouRan only appeared excited when they discussed his books’ plots. When it came to everything else, he was rather uninterested. His books were usually plot focused. Rarely did the novels feature romantic relationships. When YiHan, seemingly nonchalantly, steered the topic of their conversations to what they thought of romance, the other man’s views were quite pessimistic. The man either held no expectations of relationships or the man’s past relationships didn’t make him happy.
1. Free Bird: Technically, the line is “you’re free” but that has a slightly different implied meaning.
2. Ah-Yi: Ah (阿), the typical character used for nicknames.
3. A tiger may be cruel but it doesn’t eat its cubs: Chinese idiom used to decry how cruel humans can be.
4. Qin HaiTian: The author wrote Qin LianHai here. Uncertain if it’s another impromptu name change. Qin HaiTian will be the name used for Qin Feng’s father, if his name ever pops up again.