180. How It Felt to Be Worried About
Warning: This chapter features someone being suffocated repeatedly. Some might find it distasteful.
“That’s a nice fantasy,” Yan coldly said. “You came into YouRan’s home and hurt him. Now, you want to leave without consequences and even want me to help you keep this a secret? Isn’t that just ludicrous?”
“What happened today is my fault,” said He Yuan. “I can apologise and I can let him beat me up in return. As long as this matter can be left in the dark, I’m willing to let him vent his anger out in any way he wants to.”
Before Yan could speak, there was an angry shout coming from the front door, “Dream on!”
The three men looked at the door in unison to find YiHan marching into the apartment. The young man scanned the room before heading straight for YouRan. YiHan’s eyes scanned the injured man up and down. Upon realising the other man wasn’t severely injured, he let out a sigh of relief. When he noticed the big bruise on YouRan’s jaw, YiHan dashed for He Yuan. JingYuan, who was standing behind him, immediately grabbed YiHan and pulled him back.
YiHan’s legs kicked and scrambled as he roared, “Let me go! I’ll beat him up! I’ll kill him!”
JingYuan sighed. “You want to let out your anger? I’ll help you beat him up. You can’t win against him.”
He Yuan’s eyes popped out in surprise. He didn’t expect these two to arrive so quickly. He watched as Mu JingYuan released Bai YiHan. The taller man walked closer and closer.
“M-Mr Mu, t-there’s no need for you…” He Yuan stammered. He was filled with fright. “T-T-This is a misunderstandin–”
“I have always thought that violence has always been the lowliest strategy one could have, no matter the problem,” said JingYuan. “But today, if I let you walk out the door unharmed, HanHan’s anger won’t go away.”
The moment the last word was spoken, JingYuan swung a punch at He Yuan. The older man cried out in agony. It felt like his jaw was shattered.
“HanHan, look,” JingYuan said to YiHan. “Is this the right spot?”
YiHan had a good look at JingYuan’s bruise and compared it to He Yuan’s wound. “It’s fine,” he harrumphed. “It looks about right.”
He Yuan’s eyes were teary from pain. Afraid that the other man would hit him once more, He Yuan ignored the jaw-breaking pain and gasped, “Mr Mu! The He family can’t compete with the Mu family, but we’re not nobodies! Don’t you think you’ve gone overboard? I have the backing of the Yan family! What you did is a slap to the face for the Yan family!”
JingYuan turned back around to look at He Yuan. “I had never thought of the He family as nobodies. However, your family isn’t great enough to be used as a threat against me. Also, the Yan family? Isn’t there a Yan family member standing right there? Why don’t you ask him –- was my punch a slap to the Yan family’s face?”
Yan passed YouRan into YiHan’s care before standing up and saying, “From the second I stepped through the door, there wasn’t a minute when I didn’t wish I could punch you in the face. Finally, someone is here to help me take care of YouRan. Didn’t you just say you would let us beat you up? Anything if it’d soothe YouRan’s anger? What? Are you regretting what you said?”
He Yuan couldn’t resist slowly inching backwards. “I m-meant…”
Yan let out a huff. “You meant for YouRan to beat you up himself? You were thinking that since he was just a lanky, injured man, his punches wouldn’t hurt much. Weren’t you? If there’s anything he needs to do, his lover is willing to work on his behalf. It’ll be the same if a physical task like this is left to me.”
YiHan: “…!!!” He glanced at the cold, solemn look on Yan’s face, then at YouRan who had a hand covering his face. YiHan’s eyes went wide as he kept quiet.
JingYuan turned to look at the dazed YiHan. What he saw made his lips twitch. He then took a few steps back until he was right by YiHan’s side.
Yan stretched his wrists out and warmed them up. His joints loudly popped and cracked. It made He Yuan cry, but he had no tears to spare.
“From the second I knew of this, I’d wanted to give you a beating,” said Yan. “But just as JingYuan said, violence is a lowly strategy. It’s why I held back and didn’t make a move. Who would’ve thought you’d barge straight in and offer yourself up? I have to stop holding back then.”
He Yuan kept backing away. “I didn’t know. I didn’t know you…” His voice was trembling as he pleaded. “If I’d known, I would never dare to…”
“Now you know,” said Yan. “What a pity. It’s too late. Can you bear the pain on his behalf?”
Yan didn’t waste any more time talking. He walked straight up to He Yuan. His muscles bulged as he gave the older man a thorough beating. He Yuan’s pained cries were loud at first but slowly went soft. Tears and snot streaked all over his face.
Yan cracked his neck. “Don’t you love suffocating other people? Let me give you a taste of your own medicine. There are a lot of people who’d pay to experience near-death. I’ll let you experience it once for free. No need to thank me, but I’m not interested in touching your filthy mouth.”
Yan walked to the kitchen and dug out a transparent plastic bag. He placed it over He Yuan’s head and tied it around the neck. “We’ll start a timer. Let’s see how long you can last. You must properly experience what YouRan suffered just now.”
Yan glanced at the growing grimace on He Yuan’s face before carefully turning to look at YouRan.
The other man was spacing out, pondering on something unknown. YouRan didn’t seem to notice what Yan did.
Yan let out a breath as he relaxed a little in relief.
Every time He Yuan’s hands desperately scrambled and he was visibly on the brink of fainting, Yan would untie the bag and let the man breathe. Yan repeated the act twice. By then, He Yuan had given in and was curled up in a ball. He cried hard as he pleaded again and again for Yan to stop.
“Enough,” YouRan said.
Yan froze. With gritted teeth, he said to He Yuan, “I find what you said to me quite reasonable. It’s better if we don’t risk anything when it comes to YouRan. I won’t tell my aunt about this but you’d best remember your words. If you ever see YouRan, you will avoid him at all costs. If I ever find out you still lust after him, I will make you regret it. When I go mad, not even my aunt can stop me.” Yan leaned in close and whispered into the older man’s ear, “After all, things are different when it comes to my spouse, as compared to my idol.”
He Yuan was delirious by this point. He only knew he must keep nodding his head. All he wanted to do now was to leave this accursed place. How he loathed being unable to turn back time to when he had yet to step a foot in here. How he wished he could force himself to go back to that time with a single slap.
“If you don’t want to make Yan Miao suspicious, you’d best avoid going home with that face,” said JingYuan.
He Yuan was quivering as he replied, “I understand.”
JingYuan glanced down at He Yuan again. “There’s no escape from your own actions. He Yuan, you married Yan Miao and brought glory to the He family, yet you’re still not satisfied. You cheated, lied and toyed with other people’s emotions. All for your own desires. You think you’re a winner in life but you were just digging your own grave. You brought this on yourself. You can’t blame anyone for it. Nan Shan’s a soft-hearted man. Don’t you find it humiliating that he’s pleading for mercy on your behalf?”
Snot and tears dripped to the floor as He Yuan nodded. “YouRan, it’s all my fault. I’m sorry. Forgive me,” he moaned repeatedly.
YouRan turned and looked away.
Yan’s face grew darker.
“Why should he forgive you?” YiHan coldly huffed. “Because you have a thick skin and you’re shameless?”
“I hope you can understand this,” said JingYuan, “YouRan is someone you can’t touch. If you ever dare to aim for him again, HanHan, who holds Nan Shan dear to his heart, would definitely be upset.”
“I won’t! I won’t!” exclaimed He Yuan. “I promise! From now on, I’ll dodge and hide and avoid him to the best of my abilities!” Heh. Anyone who makes Bai YiHan unhappy would have their life taken away by Mu JingYuan. He knew that. He Yuan wasn’t that rich. He couldn’t afford to fight with the man.
Yan let out a huff. “Let’s take YouRan to the hospital.”
“Yes, that’s right,” said YiHan. “Let’s hurry.”
YouRan raised his hands and waved them before him. “There’s really no need. I’m fine now. It’s only a few scrapes and I’m only feeling a little feeble. There’s no need to go to the hospital.”
“If he doesn’t want to go, we can ask Dr Chen to come and check on him,” said JingYuan.
“Okay,” YiHan said, nodding.
YouRan’s apartment door was warped by the violent kicking. There were cracks around the door frame too. Because of the fight, the place was a mess.
“Let’s go to my place,” Yan said as he lifted YouRan up in a carry.
JingYuan turned to He Yuan who was still sprawled out on the floor. “As you can see, we don’t welcome you here.”
There wasn’t a muscle in He Yuan that didn’t ache with pain. Still, his reluctance to stay was greater. After a brief struggle, he eventually got to his feet and limped out of the apartment.
YiHan frowned. “Would He Yuan bear a grudge against Nan Shan after such a beating? Would he perhaps give us trouble?”
“Don’t worry,” JingYuan replied. “If he tries anything, I break his thing. It’ll forever be useless.”
He Yuan who had just stumbled into the lift: “…!!! /(ToT)/~~” The soft, gullible and easily fooled lover has suddenly turned into a plate of steel. His toes were broken from trying to kick it, okay? A grudge? Who would dare bear a grudge against you?
After a thorough checkup on YouRan’s wounds, Dr Chen turned to YiHan. “There’s no need to worry, Little Master. Mr Xu isn’t gravely injured. These are just flesh wounds. I’ll give him some cream for the bruise. He’ll be fine after a few days.”
YiHan’s entire being relaxed. “Sorry for troubling you, Dr Chen,” he said with a smile.
“This is no trouble,” Dr Chen chuckled. “When Mr Mu called me, I thought you were hurt. I was so scared that I ran all the way here!”
“I’m sorry,” JingYuan said to Dr Chen. A rare smile on his face. “It’s my fault. I wasn’t clear enough.”
Shocked by the apology, Dr Chen hurriedly waved his hands and said, “It’s fine. It’s fine. Thank goodness everyone’s alright. It just so happens I have some bruise cream here. Squeeze some out and warm it in your hands before spreading it on the wound. If that’s all, I’ll be off.”
After Dr Chen left, silence reigned in the apartment.
A few long moments later, YouRan spoke up. “You all knew about the matter with He Yuan already.”
“YouRan, don’t be mad,” said Yan in a panicked tone. “I really only meant to gather information about you. I didn’t mean anything bad by it!”
“Nan Shan, you know there is absolutely no way we’d disrespect you,” YiHan added. “It’s just…something we did out of a want to protect you, you know?”
YouRan let out a bitter laugh. “I don’t mean to accuse or blame you for anything. If you hadn’t rushed in and saved me, I would’ve died today.”
YouRan then looked at Yan and asked, “Before, you guys were always hanging around in my place or you would drive me to Zhang-ge’s place. Were you afraid of leaving me alone? Today, I had just left Zhang Su’s store and you immediately head home. Was it also because you were afraid He Yuan would come? You were afraid I’d suffer because you knew he’s not a good man, right?”
“I didn’t know he’d be here today,” Yan guiltily said. “I’m just anxious about letting you be alone. I came back to check in on you.”
YouRan nodded. “I know. Also, thank you for believing me.” His hand pressed against his chest. So this was how it felt to having someone worrying about you. This place, his chest, it was boiling hot.
In a show of loyalty, YiHan said, “Trust in you as a person is the most basic of all, okay?”
JingYuan smiled as he patted YiHan on the head and winked at him.
The last line is a big mystery on my end as the actual translation had “him” instead of “YiHan”. It would be logical for YouRan to be the “him” as that’s the character they’re comforting. However, it’s not like JingYuan to pat anyone but YiHan on the head. Feel free to guess away at who this “him” should’ve been.