192. I Only Want to Be Your Friend
JingYuan softly chuckled. “She dares to do so because she thinks too highly of herself. She thinks that no matter what she does, her family should always let her have her way.”
“Is she asking for the sun to only shine down on her? That’s so weird,” commented YiHan. “Right. Why do you know so much about her?”
JingYuan couldn’t resist tweaking YiHan’s nose as he replied, “If you understand your enemy and yourself, you can win all of your battles. If one wishes to be invincible, one needs to know their enemy. He Yuan is only a greedy coward with a silver tongue. Our true enemy is Yan Miao. She’s crueller than you can imagine her to be.”
YiHan nodded. “Mn, you’re right. Ever since I got together with you, my mind’s become worse.”
“Your mind’s not deteriorating,” JingYuan chuckled. “You’re just unwilling to use it. I’m happy you can be like this.”
YiHan’s eyes went wide. “Why are you happy?”
“This means you have complete faith in me,” JingYuan said as his smile deepened.
“Of course,” said YiHan, clearing his throat. “Who would I trust if not you? Well, um, I had too much juice. I’ll head to the bathrooms.”
“Okay,” JingYuan said, putting his glass down, “I’ll go with you.”
“It’s fine,” said YiHan. “It’s not like I haven’t been here before. Could I get lost going to the bathrooms? Wait here for me. I’ll be back soon.”
“I’ll go with you,” said JingYuan as he wrapped an arm around YiHan’s shoulders. “Let’s go.”
YiHan could do nothing but start his walk towards the bathrooms. He had only taken a few steps when a loud shout rang out.
The couple turned around to see a middle-aged man with a wineglass hurriedly walking over. The suited man quickly put his glass down and reached out with both hands to shake JingYuan’s hand.
“Mr Mu,” greeted the man, “it’s been a long time!”
“Mr Zhang,” JingYuan responded with a nod.
Mr Zhang then turned to shake YiHan’s hand. He smiled as he said, “You’ve grown more graceful and outstanding, Little Master Bai.”
“You’re exaggerating, Mr Zhang,” YiHan said with a polite smile.
“How could I be?” Mr Zhang guffawed. “I am speaking from the heart. When you and Mr Mu stand together, the sight is so divine that it makes one envious!”
“You’re too kind,” JingYuan said, a hint of a smile creeping up his face.
“No, no. I’m speaking the truth,” Mr Zhang hurriedly said. “Mr Mu, about the project regarding the Jade Water Gardens…”
YiHan stopped walking and listened to Mr Zhang, smile still present. When the other man finally stopped for a breath, YiHan patted JingYuan on the shoulder.
“You two talk first,” he said to JingYuan before turning to Mr Zhang and saying, “My apologies. Please pardon me.”
“It’s fine, Little Master Bai,” Mr Zhang hastily said.
JingYuan took a step in YiHan’s direction but was soon stopped by YiHan’s gaze.
“Wait here for me,” YiHan said.
JingYuan’s only option was to stop and watch as YiHan walked away. He then turned back to Mr Zhang and continued their conversation.
As YiHan was washing his hands at the sink after finishing up, the door to the bathrooms was pushed open. Instead of walking over to the urinals, the man then walked over to YiHan and stood behind him.
Flinging the water off his hands, YiHan looked up into the mirror. Behind him stood Qi MingYang. The other man was smiling at him through the mirror.
YiHan had to admit it. Qi MingYang was actually quite an attractive man. His eyebrows weren’t particularly bushy and they were slightly arched upwards. His eyes were similar to Qin Feng’s – a brilliant gaze hidden behind long and slender eyes. However, Qi MingYang’s eyes didn’t have that languid, sleepy quality Qin Feng’s eyes had. Beneath that high nose was a pair of pale lips as thin as the sharp edge of a knife. Such a face always exuded a strong and forceful aura, even if it was smiling.
The man was tall but still shorter than JingYuan. He didn’t have a big, sturdy bone structure. The dark, fitted suit he had accentuated his slim waist and long legs.
Through the mirror, YiHan could see how tall the other man was compared to himself. Qi MingYang was a head taller than him. If one were to ignore YiHan’s expression, the image in the mirror would appear quite romantic.
Frankly, YiHan had never seen Qi MingYang smile in such a way before. His opinion of the man was the same as JingYuan’s – the man was a double-edged sword. Lurking deep within the man was a maniac who would kill a thousand of his own men in order to kill eight hundred of his enemy’s men. People always say one’s appearance reveals one’s heart. That saying was most apt when applied to Qi MingYang. The man’s entire appearance was like an unsheathed blade. Even when the man smiled, his smiles would never reach his eyes. Combined with his sharp features, one always felt that every second spent with the man came with the risk of being cut.
But at this very moment, Qi MingYang was smiling so hard that his eyes were curved. His lips arched upwards in a natural manner. Warmth and joy shimmered in those eyes. Even the man’s foreboding eyebrows had gentled. The man appeared so much like the classic boy-next-door character.
Nevertheless, YiHan knew that the man’s crazy nature was still present. It didn’t matter what smile the man had on. Furthermore, what the other man felt or did was none of YiHan’s business.
YiHan flicked water off his hands again and slid around the other man to wipe his hands dry with a paper towel. As he increased the distance between them, he casually asked, “Mr Qi, why are you in the bathrooms if not to do your business?”
Only then did Qi MingYang speak, “I saw you heading in here. I came in just so I can speak with you.”
YiHan threw the wet paper towel into the bin and looked at the other man. “If there’s anything you wish to tell me, you didn’t need to come all the way here.” YiHan looked around the room. “I don’t think this is an ideal spot for a conversation. Is it? Anyway, I am only an unemployed man right now. Mr Qi, the weight of your entire family rests on your shoulders. You are an outstanding member of society. What can you talk about with a lazy, useless kid?”
“If you’re considered lazy and useless,” said the other man with a bitter smile, “wouldn’t the rest of this city be considered worse than trash? Looks like you’re very wary of me.” He raised his hands in a shrug. “I’m no lion or wolf. I only want to be your friend.”
“We both roam the same social circle,” YiHan politely said. “We’re always bumping into each other. Naturally, we’re all friends. What forced you to compare yourself to lions and wolves?”
Qi MingYang took a step towards YiHan. “You should know what I mean. Why try and go around in circles? Be blunter. I personally admire your personality and hope to become true friends with you. Just like…Qin Feng and Nan Shan.”
“Birds of a feather flock together,” YiHan said, smile still present. “I make friends for fun. Everyone hangs out together just to fool around. I’m not like you, Mr Qi. Your friends are all people in high places. It’d be a blow to your dignity to be friends with me. But I am honoured to be admired by you. Excuse me, JingYuan is still waiting for me. Please, Mr Qi, continue about your business. I’ll be off.”
YiHan took two steps towards the exit before turning around to face the man again. “Right,” he said in a low voice, “you mentioned Nan Shan just now. I still have to thank you. Thank you so much for keeping Xu YouRan’s identity as Nan Shan a secret. I, Bai YiHan, owe you one for this.”
“You don’t need to be so formal with me,” said the other man. “You two are true friends. I admire such friendships. Helping to keep such a minor matter a secret is nothing.” His eyes blinked in an innocent and mischievous manner as he continued, “I thought that since Nan Shan is so important to you, you wouldn’t want the world to know about this. I just didn’t want to step on your tail and make you hate me more.”
YiHan’s face dropped into a cold and blank stare as he forced out through his lips, “Thanks.”
The man burst out into a little chuckle. “Don’t worry, Little Master Bai,” the man warmly said. “I have no need to use this as blackmail. I might not be someone of great worth but I keep my word. Right here and now, I promise you. No matter what happens between us in the future, I will forever keep Nan Shan’s identity a secret. You can relax.”
YiHan nodded and turned to walk out of the bathroom. Just as he reached the door, he heard Qi MingYang call out from behind him.
“Little Master Bai!”
YiHan stopped. He didn’t turn around.
“I hope one day,” said the other man, “you wouldn’t call me ‘Mr Qi’ in the future and that you’ll permit me to call you by your name.”
YiHan’s head turned to look at the other man out of the corner of his eye. “You’re funny, Mr Qi. I call you Mr Qi because I respect you. Excuse me.”
YiHan then pulled the door open and strode away. Not far away from the bathroom door, he bumped into JingYuan who had wandered over in search of him.
When JingYuan saw YiHan, a smile instinctively bloomed across his face as he walked over to hold YiHan’s hand. “You were in the bathrooms for so long that I thought you’d fallen into the toilets. I was rushing over to save you.”
“Relax,” said YiHan. There was also a smile on his face. “I’m a big boy. I won’t be flushed down.”
JingYuan pinched YiHan’s ear as he laughed, “Aah, you’re that unsanitary? You were actually thinking of taking a tour of the sewers?”
YiHan gave JingYuan a sidelong glance. “You’re the one who said I’d fall into the toilets. I’m the one who’s unsanitary now? I think you’re just trying to disgust me because you don’t want me to eat anything.”
“Okay, okay,” JingYuan softly chuckled. “It’s all my fault. My lord, please forgive me.”
YiHan held his head high as he said, “Alright. Since it’s your first time, I’ll let you go this time. Let’s head back.”
JingYuan nodded. He was about to lead YiHan back to the hall when his eyes went cold. His back straightened as the relaxed smile on his face vanished.
It was Qi MingYang walking out from the bathrooms. He had his signature smile on as he greeted, “What a coincidence, Mr Mu.”
“Mr Qi,” JingYuan said. “You’re in a good mood.”
The other man nodded. “I’m fine. I just so happened to bump into Little Master Bai. We had a little chat. It’s so wonderful talking to him. It makes one so happy.”
“YiHan has a good personality,” JingYuan said with a skin-deep smile. “He’s always so kind. He always avoids putting other people in a bad spot with his words. It might be a rare quality but I’m just a common man. I’m always worried he’d be bullied due to his kindness. After all, there are a lot of people in this world who are strangely illogical.”
“You’re right,” Qi MingYang said with a formal smile and a nod. “Little Master Bai is naturally great but I believe no one in the world could bear to make him unhappy.”
JingYuan looked back at the other man and slowly said, “Who knows? There’s no wrong with being wary. Right, Mr Qi?”
Qi MingYang’s smile didn’t falter as he said, “Of course.”
Qin Feng: Reminder, this is Qin An aka the gangster character.