GC: Chapter 135

135. Send-Off

The apartment has been sold off already? Yan lowered his eyes.

JingYuan nodded to what YiHan said and replied, “Yes. Jiang Hua dotes on you so. What else are you afraid of?”

“But if that’s the case, he’ll have to buy a bigger house,” YiHan grumbled in seeming frustration. “I’m afraid he won’t have enough money. He won’t even let me pay for the room.”

“Why would he need to buy a big house?” JingYuan questioned in bemusement.

“Think about it,” YiHan said, looking at JingYuan as if he’d asked a foolish question. “Lu FengYu is following Jiang-ge to ChangCheng this time.”

JingYuan was really confused. “What does Jiang Hua’s home have to do with Lu FengYu? He wouldn’t be staying in the same place anyway.”

Yan’s heart skipped. His right hand shifted off the couch arm and onto his knee.

“Have you forgotten?” YiHan answered. “When Jiang-ge got drunk, Lu FengYu protected him and stalled for time. It was because of him that we could arrive on time. Without the man’s protection, who knows what would’ve happened. Zhu Xun alone couldn’t have stopped those scum. Zhu Xun even told me it was just to men. Thank goodness I was cautious and called for more men to come with us. Only then did we win. There were about eight buff men there, right? That was so dangerous.”

“I know that,” JingYuan responded. “But what does it have to do with Jiang Hua’s house?”

YiHan patted his lover on the arm and explained, “Are you an idiot? Lu FengYu risked his life to protect Jiang-ge and now he’s leaving the city he’d grown up in just to follow Jiang-ge. He’s deeply in love with Jiang-ge. I’m sure of it. You know how much Jiang-ge yearns for a family. He’ll be all alone in unfamiliar surroundings. How could he not be touched by a man who’d so lovestruck and persistent in sticking by his side? Once he’s been touched, he’s likely to date the man. Once they’re dating, Lu FengYu would move into Jiang-ge’s home, right? Think. Jiang-ge’s place had one master bedroom, one study room, one room for me, a kitchen and a bathroom. If Lu FengYu moves in, he’d need another room, right? Then the original place would be too small.”

JingYuan glanced Yan who’d grown considerably paler from the moment YiHan started mentioning Lu FengYu’s name.

“You’re the one who’s stupid here,” JingYuan said in a monotone voice. “If Lu FengYu moves in with Jiang Hua, they’d be dating already. Can’t they just sleep in the same room?”

A loud sploosh rang out. The orange Yan had been holding in his left hand had been squashed into a ball of pulp. The man looked down at his hand and tossed the ragged remains of the orange into the bin. He then stood up.

“Where are you going, brother?” YiHan hurriedly asked.

“Getting changed. Sleep,” Yan growled out.

YiHan was so angry at that response that his eyes bulged out as he glared at the man. Then, he seized the moment Yan was still at the bottom of the stairs to turn to JingYuan and said, “Aah, you’re so smart, JingYuan. Of course, Lu FengYu would be staying with Jiang-ge then. Why didn’t I think of it? I’d better not visit so often and disturb their lovers’ world!”

Yan’s feet paused for a moment before he stomped right up the staircase.

YiHan watched as Yan disappeared from their sight. “He wouldn’t react even to that,” YiHan sighed in despair. “Looks like Jiang-ge really stands no chance. I just don’t know how to give up. He’s the one who ordered Jiang-ge’s transfer. He’s eagerly waiting for Jiang-ge to leave. They have been working together for so many years. Jiang-ge had always gone with whatever work my brother threw at him. Even if Jiang-ge likes him, the man never planned on making a move. Can’t he just pretend as if he doesn’t know anything? But then he chased Jiang-ge away. Just like that. He’s so heartless! Jiang-ge is only in love with him. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Is there a need?”

JingYuan held onto YiHan’s hands and blinked at his younger lover. “That might not be it. Some people would think they’re straight but they might already be as bent as a mosquito coil.”

YiHan’s head shot up to look at the staircase in shock. “You mean he’s already gay?” he whispered. “There’s hope for Jiang-ge then? Wait, no. We’ve turned my brother into a homosexual. I feel so bad for our parents! I’m sorry, Ma, Pa!”

JingYuan chuckled, “Just what do you think about in that little head of yours? It’s not up to us to decide or change Yan’s sexual orientation. We just never realised it before. It has nothing to do with us. It has nothing to do with Jiang Hua. Sexual orientation is mostly decided from birth. However, some people discover theirs and face it head-on. Some people never realise it and would be depressed over why their marriage to the opposite sex didn’t make them happy. Perhaps they’d think all married life is boring and monotone. Some people might realise it but would never admit it. They’d just find another person to have a heterosexual marriage with to disguise themselves.”

“Won’t that be a sham marriage?” YiHan said with disgust.

“You’re right,” JingYuan replied. “This kind of behaviour is a sham, a lie. It’s more vile and evil than cheating someone out of their money.”

YiHan nodded hard to that statement. Then, hand on his chin, he mused, “Would my brother be the kind that has never realised it? True. He’s always slow when it comes to love. There’s not a single news of him dating or anything. We all thought it was because he likes to keep himself clean of vices. Now that I look at it, maybe it’s because he can’t feel anything for women?”

YiHan had never considered this before. Yan had always been a strict and disciplined man. He’d never flirt around, or hint at flirting, with anyone. He hasn’t dated once despite his age and no one suspected a thing. However, since JingYuan mentioned it, YiHan recalled how Yan would be single even by the time YiHan died. In the story Tao Qi narrated, Yan would remain alone even at the end of the book. No dating, no marriage. How many years would that be? His brother was nearly thirty this year. How old would he be by the end of the novel? No matter how solemn, he can’t delay marriage for too long. The more YiHan thought about it, the more suspicious he was.

Nevertheless…

YiHan continued with a frown, “So what if he’s gay? Jiang-ge still has no hope. He’s so heartless to Jiang-ge that anyone could tell Yan didn’t care for him. If Yan really cared for Jiang-ge, how could he bear to treat Jiang-ge this way? Plus, he kept making things hard for Jiang-ge before.”

“Hm,” JingYuan hummed. “Love and feelings are things that no one can predict if their owner won’t say it out? Still, you are right about one thing. Yan is a log head. When it comes to other people’s business, if he really puts some effort into it, he could be as observant as a bystander. When it comes to his own matters however, that may not be the case. Don’t forget. He still thinks he’s straight. This means we can’t help with this issue no matter how much we want to. He has to think it through for himself or the more we help, the worse things will be.”

“What if he never thinks things through,” YiHan asked.

“There’s nothing we can do about that,” JingYuan answered with a shrug. “Don’t worry. If things start getting into ridiculous territory, it’s not too late for us to act then. Anyway, all we have now are our hypothesis. We still can’t be sure if Yan is straight or gay. If we act out of the blue, it might worsen things. We can only sit back and wait.”

“You’re right.” YiHan nodded. “Actually, it doesn’t matter if Big Bro doesn’t feel any love for Jiang-ge. I think that Lu FengYu is quite smitten with Jiang-ge. If he can truly move Jiang-ge’s heart and they can get together, it might not be a bad ending. I’m just afraid Jiang-ge would be too stubborn for it.”

“Alright,” JingYuan soothed. “Stop wrecking your head over it. Jiang Hua is a smart man. He’s also a logical man. He will choose the path most suitable for himself. All we can do is be by his side through it all. Love is like the water we drink. It knows its past. It knows what path it’ll take. We can’t force Yan to make a move. Similarly, we can’t force Jiang Hua to do anything. We might think it’s for the better, but he might not be happy. He might be dragging Lu FengYu into the deep end then. Why not just let him choose the way he’ll live?”

“Mn,” YiHan responded. “That’s all we can do. We’re only outsiders in this. There’s only so much we can help with.”

JingYuan stared at that soft bed of hair. He tried resisting the urge but he still gave in to it and caressed it. Instantly, his life felt complete. He then seized the chance to put his hand down while YiHan had yet to react, stuck in his thoughts about Jiang Hua.

“Okay, it’s late,” JingYuan warmly said. “Let’s go to sleep. We must get a good night’s rest so we can properly send Jiang Hua off tomorrow morning.”

YiHan nodded in reply and followed JingYuan up to their room.

This was a night destined to be restless. Jiang Hua tossed and turned. Yan was kept up by his own aggravation and uneasiness. YiHan sighed through the night. In the end, he only dropped off into sleep from exhaustion after JingYuan grabbed him for some night-time exercise.

The next morning, YiHan woke up bright and early with JingYuan. The two cleaned up and descended down the stairs to their car. At their departure time, YiHan still, in a stubborn spree, dashed to the door to Yan’s room and sprawled over it, listening for something, anything. It was as silent as the grave in there. No movement could be heard.

YiHan was so angry he walked back downstairs with gritted teeth.

When the pair arrived at Jiang Hua’s home, the man was already packed and ready to go. He looked as he always did, except for the two dark circles framing his eyes. There was breakfast on the table for YiHan and JingYuan, prepared by Jiang Hua. YiHan pulled his lover down to sit by the table.

“Have you eaten, Jiang-ge?” YiHan asked as he slurped a spoonful of congee.

“I’ve eaten long ago,” Jiang Hua replied with a smile. “Eat up.”

“Your congee tastes the best,” YiHan gleefully praised.

The smile on Jiang Hua’s face deepened. “If that’s the case, hurry up. I know there’s no way you could’ve had breakfast by this hour.”

YiHan nodded with a happy grin as he grabbed some vegetables with his chopsticks.

On the journey to the airport, YiHan chattered on and on about something or other. He didn’t remember what he said but all he knew was that he couldn’t relax at all. He wanted to sigh but he was afraid it’d bring down Jiang Hua’s mood. The urge pricked and prodded at his heart. The man merely smiled and nodded along to YiHan’s ramblings. He acted so calm that one could mistake this trip to be one of his usual business trips out of the city.

JingYuan was driving but he’d occasionally glance at the two in the back through the rear-view mirror. A smile hung on his lips during the whole drive.

When the trio walked into the waiting area of the airport, Lu FengYu could be spotted from afar, waving as hard as he could. Jiang Hua sighed at the sight of the man and shuffled over to him.

The perky man greeted JingYuan and YiHan before warmly looking at Jiang Hua and greeting, “You’re here, Jiang-ge.”

“Mn,” Jiang Hua replied, a smile on his face. “You’re here early.”

“Yes,” said Feng Yu. “I came early in the morning.”

“Then why didn’t you find a place to sit and wait?” Hua asked.

A faint blush took over FengYu’s handsome face. “I was afraid I’d miss you when you arrive,” he said, embarrassed. “Standing here, I can keep an eye on the entrance.”

YiHan could feel an itch tickling the back of his throat. He wanted to cough but he held it in. This didn’t feel like a good time to be clearing his throat. He could only raise a hand to scratch at his neck.

JingYuan silently laughed at his lover. His eyes shimmered as bright as two pools of water. His gaze so warm that they were visibly overflowing with warmth.

FengYu’s eyes were darting all over the place in anxiety. There was a moment when they drifted over to JingYuan’s face. The man was stunned at what he saw before he snapped his eyes away. For the past two years, Mu JingYuan had turned colder and colder until he seemed heartless. Now, he’s met the right man. Even the strongest steel rod could be as soft and malleable.

Jiang Hua lifted a hand to look at the time. “There’s still some time before we have to board,” Jian Hua said. “Let’s sit over there for now.”


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GC: Chapter 134

134. Strange Feelings

“Your flight ticket’s all booked?” YiHan asked as he fidgeted with his cup.

“Mn,” Jiang Hua softly replied.

YiHan paused and asked, “You’ll be flying tomorrow. Are you all packed up? Are you missing anything?”

Jiang Hua smiled and replied, “I’m all packed-up. There’s nothing much to bring, honestly. Just a few sets of clothes. The rest I can buy over there.”

“Mn,” YiHan said, nodding. “Jiang-ge, if there’s anything you can’t get used to or you find uncomfortable over at ChangCheng, do call me.”

Jiang Hua smiled and nodded in reply.

YiHan glanced up at the man again. “Why don’t you just stay?” YiHan suddenly burst out with, frustration evident in his voice. “Just quit. With your capabilities, you can find success anywhere. You can at least head into the Mu Group. There’s no need to run off to some freezing city like ChangCheng.”

Jiang Hua couldn’t help but laugh at that. “The company has never treated me badly. Why resign? I’m going to ChangCheng to be the Executive Manager of the entire branch office. It’s actually a promotion.”

“To anyone else, it’d be a promotion,” YiHan griped. “To you, that might not be it. You don’t need to comfort me with that. I know. It’s because my brother gave the order. If he says so, you’ll do it. Damn my brother!”

JingYuan soothingly patted his lover on the hand. “Alright now. Jiang Hua’s only going to ChangCheng. He’s not going overseas. It’s only a few hours by plane. If you miss him, you can visit him anytime. A phone call, a video call, a message, you can always contact him. Don’t throw a tantrum and make things hard for Jiang Hua, okay?”

YiHan sulkily nodded.

Jiang Hua glanced at YiHan again and did his best to change the topic. “Right. YiHan, there’s someone who’d be flying off with me tomorrow.”

YiHan’s head shot up at that. “Someone’s going with you? Who?”

“Lu FengYu,” Jiang Hua sighed.

“Him?” YiHan’s jaw dropped.

“Yes,” Jiang Hua said with a nod. “He just told me yesterday. He said his family had a branch office at ChangCheng too. He’s applied to be transferred over. He even booked the same flight as I did.”

YiHan’s eyes darted around as he thought before he finally smiled and said, “Okay. If you two leave together, he’ll at least be a familiar face. You can be there for each other or at worst, someone you can talk to. It’d be good for you.”

Jiang Hua glanced at YiHan’s bright smile and mumbled, “Why do you sound like you know him well? I don’t remember telling you about him before.”

“We don’t really know each other,” YiHan said. “I just met him once. Ah, right. I forgot to tell you. Two weeks ago, when you got drunk at the bar, there were a few men who wished to whisk you off as you were unconscious. The bartender, Zhu Xun, called me about it but it’d take us some time to even get there. Thankfully, Lu FengYu was there too. He and Zhu Xun risked their lives protecting you. They stalled things out long enough for JingYuan and me to arrive. By the time we rushed in, Lu FengYu’s clothes were torn and tugged into rags. He still insisted on protecting you. People started throwing punches soon after. During the fight, the man was very brave. Don’t be mistaken by his slender frame. He’s quite a force when he puts his mind to it. His eyes were red with rage then. Later on, he told me you were friends.

I just knew it. There’s no way a normal person would risk their lives just to be a hero. Since you’re both friends, you can take care of each other in ChangCheng. Judging by how he acted during the night at the bar, I could tell he truly cares for you. With someone like him going with you, I can relax a little.”

“Huh?” Jiang Hua was shocked. “Something like that happened!”

YiHan shot him a side-eye. “What do you think? That’s why I said you were in danger. When I answered the phone call, I was nearly keeled over from fright. JingYuan and I flew right over. I didn’t tell you the morning after because I was afraid of scaring you. Let’s see if you dare go get drunk at a bar all alone now, especially in a bar like The Dusky Alley. Do you know how lawless it can be in there? I’m afraid of telling you and scaring away your pure little soul.”

“And you still dare mention it,” JingYuan harrumphed. “You know how chaotic it can be and yet you just charged straight in!”

“Yes,” Jiang Hua chimed in. “How do you know so much about the place?”

YiHan had only thought to seize this rare chance to lecture Jiang Hua. Why was the fire directed at him now? YiHan timidly scratched his cheek and cleared his throat.

“That’s something from before,” YiHan said. “I haven’t been there for a long while now.”

“Feng Qun took you there, didn’t he?” JingYuan coldly barked out. “I’ve always told you he’s not a good man but you’d protect him all the time! You nearly decided to give up on our relationship once just for him!”

YiHan didn’t think JingYuan would bring out old issues. He was in the wrong for everything that had happened so all he could do was smile apologetically and tug sweetly at JingYuan’s sleeve.

“I was lost in life back then,” YiHan begged. “I promise I won’t go to The Dusky Alley anymore. There’s actually nothing fun to do in there. It’s not as interesting as watching you work in your office.”

“Is watching me as I work that hard?” JingYuan emotionlessly asked. “You’re using it in a negative light.”

YiHan glared at the man. “I didn’t mean that, JingYuan. How was it negative? There’s no deeper meaning to my words.”

JingYuan sighed, “I know. I’m always keeping a leash on you. I won’t let you go play by yourself. It makes you feel very bored. However, the hidden mastermind has yet to be caught. ‘They’ are in the shadows while you’re in the light. There’s no measure too protective against the unknown. If you head out of the house alone, my heart will always be racing in worry. Be patient just a little longer. We’ve got a lead now. Once that bastard’s been found and you’re safe, you can do anything you want.”

YiHan shook his head and waved a hand in refusal. “No, JingYuan. I don’t feel restricted at all. You don’t have to rush. I think what we have now is fine. I was speaking the truth. It’s very interesting to watch you work. I love it.”

JingYuan kept silent at that as his ears were tinted pink.

Jiang Hua watched as the two lovers shot back and forth at each other. He couldn’t tell just who was wrapped around whose pinkie now. He couldn’t help but let out a chuckle at the sight before him.

“YiHan,” Jiang Hua said, “what’s so interesting about watching someone else work?”

“One,” YiHan replied with a straight face, “he looks so handsome when he’s working.” JingYuan took a sip of water as his eyes bored holes into the window, his ears bright red.

“Two,” YiHan continued, “to play and have fun while someone is working beside me somehow makes me feel happy and content. (*≧ω≦*)”

JingYuan turned back around. “Why do you still act like a child?” He didn’t know if he should laugh or cry at YiHan’s admission.

“With someone willing to spoil one so, who wouldn’t want to be a kid forever?” Jiang Hua laughed.

Indeed. Those who appear strong and resilient always have a past no one would be willing to relive. No one was born strong. One’s maturity required time and, more importantly, suffering. Someone who had never experienced the tough whirlwinds of life would maintain a childish heart until the day they die.

Jiang Hua, for example, was a warm-hearted and mature man. He was extremely detail-oriented in his life. Everything he did was thoroughly considered and analysed first. This was because he was abandoned at birth. He grew up without anyone to rely on. He never knew a family. From the moment he could think, he was alone. He was the only one he could depend on in everything. That’s why he could be so mature and dependable at such a young age. He’d even begun preparing a “retirement fund” for himself.

Mu JingYuan, as another example, was a man with a powerful presence. In the world of business, there were many sly foxes, old and young.  He could run rings around them all and make his strategies come true all because his parents passed away when he was still a young child. His extended family schemed and fought each other for the family fortunes. While he had the Bai family to help him, they weren’t truly part of the Mu family. There were many things he had to do himself. While he got used to the pain of losing both of his parents at once, he still had to focus on protecting the company his parents poured their blood and sweat into. Years ago, people called him “the smiling tiger” as he’d always be smiling. His smile would never reach his eyes though. However, in the past two years, his place as the head of the Mu Group was solidified and stable. That fake smile had since vanished from his face. Now, whenever anyone spots a smile on his face, they’d be shivering in fear while their toes went numb. JingYuan was born with a stern face, thin lips and straight brows. When he wasn’t smiling, that chilling aura multiplied. A bored glance could make the target of the glace feel as though there were daggers prickling against their skin. It was only this year after he’d confirmed his romantic relationship with YiHan did that thorny man relax. His figure softened. Like a sword being sheathed, his thorns retracted. Still, it only made him more mysterious and harder to judge.

Even YiHan himself wasn’t the foolish and naive Little Master Bai he once was. He had been forced to face too much of the darkness in life to remain the same. His soul had been tainted. It was only before his beloved family could he relax to the point of speaking and acting without thinking twice.

They were not born with their strengths. Behind those strong backs were countless anguish and tears.

JingYuan raised a hand and stroked YiHan’s hair. “You can a child your whole life then,” he gently said.

YiHan’s hand shot up to smack the hand away. “A man’s head is like a tiger’s butt,” he grumbled. “They can’t be touched! You’ve got to change this bad habit of yours!”

JingYuan held up his hands, palms out to express his refusal to obey.

Jiang Hua chuckled harder. His mood relaxing with the air.

***

That evening, after XueQing and the Bai parents had wandered up to bed, YiHan seized the moment Yan was still sitting with them and asked his lover, JingYuan, what time is Jiang-ge’s flight tomorrow?”

Yan’s fingers, frozen against on the arm of couch he was on, twitched.

JingYuan glanced at Yan before dotingly sighed and replied, “Ten o’clock in the morning. Didn’t you say you’d be sending him off? Don’t oversleep.”

“Of course I wouldn’t. You’d be going with me tomorrow, right?” YiHan shot back.

“Of course. I’ll be your driver.”

“You can just wake me up then. Oh.” YiHan paused. “Jiang-ge said he’d be leaving for ChangCheng for good. He won’t be back anymore.”

Yan’s fingers twitched again.

“It’s easy to book a flight over. If you miss him, you can fly over and stay with him for a few days,” JingYuan said.

YiHan snuck peek at the Yan’s blank face before replying, “True. I’ve helped Jiang-ge sold off his apartment already. I’ve transferred the money over. Once he lands in ChangCheng, he can buy a new place and settle in straight away. He told me he’d decorate a room just for me. I can stay over anytime I want.”


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GC: Chapter 133

133. Flirt

In his heart, Bai Yan shot back at the woman, “You’re right that he should eat more but there’s no such thing as a perfect body, okay? He’s as thin as a rake. How is that pretty?” Yan then craned his neck around to look at Jiang Hua’s place. The man hasn’t even touched most of what was on his plate. Was he a cat? Let’s see what Jiang Hua says!

“My stomach’s feeling unwell lately. I can’t eat too much. I’ll recover soon,” Jiang Hua replied to the woman with a  smile.

Yan frowned. Stomach unwell? Then why did the man get so drunk last night? Did he have a death wish? He’d be lucky if Yan didn’t have to visit him in ICU today!

The pretty lady gasped in shock and worriedly asked Jiang Hua, “An upset stomach is so annoying. I’ve got some tea that’s very good for upset bellies. I’ll get you some later.”

Yan poked hard at the rice on his plate. This woman was so ugly yet she kept trying to get close to Jiang Hua. Yan had never seen her put in so much effort into her own work! If Jiang Hua wanted tea for his upset stomach, he’d buy it himself! Her efforts weren’t needed! Jiang Hua wouldn’t accept her tea!

As Yan predicted, Jiang Hua refused her, “Thank but there’s no need. My younger brother has given me something akin to that. It’s enough for me. Any more and it’d be a waste.”

Yan tilted his chin up in pride. Hmph!

“I see,” the lady said. “Alright. Jiang-ge, remember to drink more hot water.”

Yan roared with rage, in his mind. He doesn’t need you teaching him that! Go away already!

“Okay,” Jiang Hua replied. “Thank you.”

Still, the woman stood there and continued asking the man about this and that. She didn’t show a single sign of wanting to leave.

Yan pushed his plate aside and stomped off. He didn’t want to eat anymore. Back to work!

When he left, Jiang Hua turned to look at where Yan was sitting. He let out a bitter chuckle. Did Yan hate him so much that he can’t eat if Jiang Hua was in sight? Forget it. He was leaving in 2 weeks anyway.

Minutes later, Jiang Hua returned to his desk. He didn’t notice the door to Yan’s office was opened a crack. Bai Yan, whose heart wasn’t in his work at all, peeped through it at the office outside. Upon seeing Jiang Hua sit down at his desk, he fumed. Hmph. This man came back so long after Yan left the cafeteria. What was there to talk about with that hideous woman?

Just then, Jiang Hua’s phone rang. Looking down at the name of the caller, a smile spread on Jiang Hua’s face.

“YiHan?” the man greeted, answering the call. “Is there something you want?”

Bai–Special Agent–Yan: Lil Brother? Why was he so close to Jiang Hua? The two just met yesterday. Now, YiHan’s calling Jiang Hua!

“My stomach feels much better now,” Jiang Hua said into the phone. “It doesn’t hurt anymore. Don’t worry.”

Yan couldn’t hear what YiHan said but it made Jiang Hua’s smile grow bigger as he replied, “Stomach tea? I received it this morning. Really. You gave me such a big bag. Just how long do I have to keep drinking it?”

“Haha, okay. I promise you. Even if  I can’t finish it, I’ll take it with me when I go. Okay?”

“Mn. I’ve been handing over my work today. Mn. Hehe. I had been quite busy but I’ll only be handing over my work for these two weeks. It’s much more relaxing now.”

“Lunch? I’ve eaten. Mn. Everything’s fine. Relax.”

“Mn. And you? What did you have for lunch?”

“Haha. Over at Mr Mu’s place too? You eat so much yet I don’t see you getting fat at all. Don’t just have junk food. Eat more fruits. If you keep snacking on junk food, you’d get heaty. Yes, drink more fruit tea. Mn. Drink more water. Mn, mn. Don’t worry about me. Nothing’s going on here. Right, I’ll leave selling the apartment to you. Make sure to find a good owner for it. Mn. Alright, I’ll be hanging up now. Someone’s asking for me.”

Jiang Hua’s going to sell his place? True. The man’s leaving soon. The place would be left empty. Why not just sell it off? It was such a shame though. The man liked the place so much he personally kept up with the renovations and he just moved in a few days ago!

As Yan was still busy digesting the news of Jiang Hua selling his apartment off, Jiang Hua hung up and turned to the female colleague who’d stopped before his desk.

Yan watched as Jiang Hua gave the lady a polite smile and asked, “Lin Wei, is there something you need?”

“Jiang-ge, are you really going to be transferred away?” she pouted.

“I’ll be leaving in two weeks,” Hua replied with a nod.

Lin Wei’s face fell. “I heard winters in ChangCheng are much colder. Will you be okay over there? We wouldn’t want you getting sick.”

That made Yan’s heart clench as he continued eavesdropping.

“I’ll be fine,” replied Hua. “I’ll get used to it after a while. Look at all the people over there. They’re all doing fine, aren’t they?”

“They were born and bred there,” LinWei said, stomping her foot. “They’ve long grown used to the cold. How can you compare yourself to them?”

“It’s fine,” said Hua. “I’ll have to get used to it anyway. Thank you for your concern.”

Lin Wei held out a bag she’d been hiding this whole time. “Here. I knitted this scarf for my boyfriend but I knit him quite a few every year. He has enough now. This is for you. It’s cold in ChangCheng. Everyone’s hoping you can bring some warmth with you. Don’t forget about us. I just finished this scarf a few days ago. It’s much warmer than what you can get in the shops. Please ignore the imperfections.”

He stood up and accepted the bag. “Thank you.”

“I don’t know how to knit patterns,” Lin Wei sniffed. “This scarf is pure black. It suits you.”

Hua peeked into the bag and replied, “Thank you. I love it.”

“That’s good.” Her eyes were red by now. “I’ll be heading back to work.”

Hua nodded in farewell.

Yan, who was hiding behind the gap between his doors: Jiang Hua, oh Jiang Hua. So you’re the kind of flirt who seduces everyone around you!

However, what would occur in the following days would have Yan rendered speechless except for the words “hehe”.

That scarf was only the beginning. In the next two weeks, Jiang Hua would be receiving presents after presents. Every day, he’d require assistance in bringing all of his gifts home!

That wasn’t all. Under Yan’s intense observation of Jiang Hua, he’d realise there was one person who’d be sending gifts to Jiang Hua every single day. Sometimes they were flowers. Sometimes they were food. Sometimes they were practical objects. That person didn’t work in the same office building though. The gifts were all delivered via courier. While Jiang Hua never accepted any of the person’s gifts, they would insist on sending them and none of them would ever be repeated!

Hmph. Jiang Hua would be leaving soon. You wouldn’t be able to send him gifts then!

***

The day after the incident with the soup, Qi MingYang personally escorted Zhao Hao over to the Bai family home. The Bai family had yet to hear of what happened.  Qi MingYang explained the incident to them and repeatedly emphasised that it was all just a misunderstanding. Zhao Hao had nearly injured Bai YiHan only out of arrogance. Qi MingYang apologised to YiHan and expressed that Zhao Hao would be left in the Bai family’s hands for punishment. YiHan himself didn’t think much of it. He’d wanted to just let it all be but his family and JingYuan weren’t satisfied with that wish. According to JingYuan, if Qi MingYang and his men came a day later, JingYuan would’ve gone and kicked up a fuss at the Qi family home himself. Jiang Hua’s drunken escapade had delayed JingYuan which had allowed MingYang to finish the job before they could say anything. They couldn’t keep going on at the Qi family now. They were only left with Zhao Hao. That was more than enough to make them all fume.

Qi MingYang left with a smile while Zhao Hao was left behind, looking as pale as a corpse. YiHan had no interest in punishing the man, so he washed his hands of the matter. JingYuan had the man moved to an enclosed room where he gave the captive a thorough and agonising beating. In his fear, Zhao Hao, now with missing teeth, babbled something out that had JingYuan involve the other Bai family members in a deep discussion that lasted through midnight.  Then, they had Captain Chen Jing and Officer Fang Yi arrive and sneak Zhao Hao away to the police station before dawn broke. As for Zhao Hao, he was now under Captain Chen Jing’s custody with someone keeping an eye on him twenty-four seven. If the man even dared to glance at a Bai family member, he’d be taken in for another beating.

***

The day after Jiang Hua was taken home dead drunk, YiHan had the man’s two protectors investigated. Lu FengYu, of course, was no surprise. He was the young head of the Feng Yuan company and Jiang Hua’s suitor. The man would send all sorts of gifts to Jiang Hua. However, even now, he had yet to succeed once. Jiang Hua had told the man multiple times that it was impossible between the two and to not send any more gifts. Still, the man was stubborn. He wouldn’t back down no matter what. The moment he received the returned gift, he’d eagerly hop onto selecting the next gift.

Zhu Xun, the bartender, was new to The Dusky Alley. He was a university student living in a single-parent household. He’d been working as soon as he could to alleviate the financial pressure on his mother. However, as he had yet to graduate, he was limited on what jobs he could apply for. The Dusky Alley might be a shady place but servers were paid very well. He’d just grit his teeth and applied for work. That night was his second night on the job.

YiHan was initially curious. He’d frequented The Dusky Alley a lot in his last life, yet he’d never seen someone so kind-hearted working there before. If the young man had been unlucky that night, Zhu Xun would’ve been met with a bad end. On that thought, the man’s personality didn’t fit in with The Dusky Alley at all. What did happen to the young man in YiHan’s past life? However, the young man had saved Jiang Hua in this life. There was no way YiHan would let the man suffer.

YiHan called Yan up and, acting as Zhu Xun’s guarantor, arranged for Zhu Xun to join the Bai Group as an intern. Once the boy graduates, he’d formally be accepted into the company.

This was no joke and YiHan would never use his company as a way to pay back favours. He did so only because Zhu Xun was actually a top student. He had great reflexes and a great memory. He was also very professional at his job. If it hadn’t been for his family, he wouldn’t be working in a bar. YiHan’s arrangements guaranteed both a future for Zhu Xun and a talented employee for the Bai Group. Two birds, one stone.

As for Jiang Hua’s home, YiHan couldn’t bear to sell it off. So he decided to pay for it with his own money and shifted it under his name. Technically, he had sold the place.

Despite YiHan’s reluctance to part with Jiang Hua, time ticked on. The day they’d be separated for good closed in. When Jiang Hua was about done with the handover, the man had nothing else to do but wait for his day of departure. YiHan’s unwillingness to part with the man forever had the young man meeting up with Jiang Hua more and more often. YiHan had even stayed over at Hua’s place for a few nights. Of course, YiHan could never be rid of his forever companion, Mu JingYuan.

Strangely enough, the closer it got to Jiang Hua’s departure, the more agitated Yan was. A trivial matter could have him bursting and ranting. It was so bad that morale at the office was at a low. Jiang Hua thought it was because Yan was eager for the man to just get out of his sight right then and there, that Yan couldn’t even wait a day longer. All Hua could do was sigh and avoid the man as best as he could, hoping that he’d be out of Yan’s mind if he was out of sight.

The night before Jiang Hua’s flight, YiHan invited Hua out to dinner. It was the same restaurant with they’d eat Buddha Jumps Over the Wall at before. The dish was tasted as delicious as its name suggested. The scent filled the air, inviting all to praise it. Unfortunately, the mood at the table was so heavy that no one could focus on the food.

Translator’s Notes:

Hot water: Someone once asked me why Asians, particularly Asian women, liked to drink hot water and not just drink from the tap. This is partially why. The warmth is said to be good for the organs. Another reason is a bit more personal and dependant on age/individual. Some people say drinking tap water makes them “cough” (aka lots of phlegm or itchy throat). Filtered tap water doesn’t work for them either. The water must be boiled and cooled down for them to drink without “coughing”.

Heaty: Traditional Chinese Medicine concept. When one is “heaty”, the body is essentially running hot. When one is “cooling”, the body would feel colder than usual. Symptoms of imbalance are usually sore throats, upset stomachs, diarrhea, running nose and sometimes more serious conditions like worse menstrual cramps. Most high-calorie foods (fried, creamy or spicy food usually) are considered “heaty” while raw and refreshing food (like watermelons and green tea) are considered “cooling”.

Apartment: The Chinese text uses 房子, a word that can be used for both houses and apartments depending on the local slang. However, Jiang Hua’s house is a one-storey place. The likelihood of it being a house instead of an apartment or townhouse is unlikely. If the author ever specifies what kind of place it is, this will be changed.

Few days ago: I regret to inform you that the Chinese “a few days ago” can be anything from 2 days ago to 3 weeks, as evident by what I overhear from my relatives –_–.

Please ignore the imperfections: Literal translation, “please don’t dislike it”. It’s a self-deprecating/humble phrase usually said after giving a present or cooking a meal and usually by the creator/chef.

Flirt who seduces everyone around you: Literal translation, “attracting bees and butterflies” aka “attractive”.

Lu FengYu: While the man in this story is fine, please be aware of people around you who show the same persistence as this man. Particularly when it comes to wooing the people they like. There’s a fine line between rom-com and something that would have someone jailed, raped or dead. This behaviour can be considered harassment at best and stalkerish at worst. Do not be afraid to have someone talk the person down if it’s making you or someone you know uncomfortable. Most people who are this persistent just don’t understand how creepy their behaviour can be.


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GC: Chapter 132

132. Were Everyone’s Tastes This Bad?

YiHan ruffled his hair in frustration at Jiang Hua’s news and said, “How could it be? The only ones who know about your feelings are the three of us. How could my brother know?”

“If Mr Mu could see it, it’s not strange for Mr Bai to realise it either,” Jiang Hua calmly said.

YiHan looked up at the tranquil face of Jiang Hua and remembered what the man once said, “I had only wanted to stand as close to him as I can. It’s good enough that I can see him frequently” and “I’d be close to him as long as I stay in this city”. The thought of what Jiang Hua’s past words made YiHan’s heart clench. He didn’t know what to say to comfort Jiang Hua.

Jiang Hua looked around his apartment and said, “YiHan, I need to ask a favour from you. Please help me find a good buyer for this house. If I sell it off, I can properly settle down in ChangCheng.”

YiHan looked around. This apartment was filled to the brim with warmth. Jiang Hua had also just moved in. Every inch of this place exudes homeliness. It was clear to see Jiang Hua had placed a lot of effort into decorating it. YiHan had only visited this place once and he already couldn’t bear to part with it. Just how upset must Jiang Hua, the person who decorated it himself, be for him to say that?

“You can just keep it for now,” JingYuan interjected. “Why sell it off?”

“Sell it,” Jiang Hua said, shaking his head. “With it around, I’d always think I have a home here. Without it, I’ll properly give up. Only then can I start a new life in ChangCheng.”

YiHan couldn’t speak. His mind was filled with thoughts of how badly he wanted to drag his big brother over for a beating. However, just as Jiang Hua said, he can only start afresh after giving up completely. The man was still young. Who knew what would happen in the future? Jiang Hua was a good man. Perhaps he’ll welcome springtime, like Lu FengYu who was deadest on protecting him tonight.

YiHan’s voice quivered as he said, “Okay. I’ll help you sell it off. You head to ChangCheng and have a proper new beginning. Don’t think about this city anymore. Only, don’t forget about me too. No matter where you go, I will always be your little brother.”

Jiang Hua’s hands tightened around the warm glass. His eyes were red as he smiled and said, “Of course. Right. Have you seen the guest room? When the renovations were done, I kept thinking that you might perhaps stay the night one day. So I tweaked the decor in there so that you might like it. Sleep in it tonight. At least make it so it has some worth. Don’t waste my efforts.”

Sour sorrow whirled inside YiHan. “Okay,” he agreed. “Do you feel better now? Get some sleep. It’s nearly dawn.”

Jiang Hua nodded. He placed the glass of water on the coffee table before them and said, “You two sleep too. You must’ve been exhausted from last night.”

YiHan hummed in assent.

Jiang Hua pushed himself up and, waving away YiHan’s help, he stumbled into the bedroom.

YiHan cleaned up the living room and headed into the guest bedroom with JingYuan. The moment he stepped through the door, tears welled up in his eyes. The guest bedroom seemed to have been decorated with him solely in mind. It wasn’t just a guest bedroom with a few tweaks. It looked like his own bedroom. The colour of the wallpaper, the little rug beside his bed, the trinkets on the desk, those were everything he liked. There was even a curio shelf built into the wall. There were all sorts of models and figurines he’d like before. The bed sheets were made of pure cotton and in his favourite light green shade. There were two cute-looking pillows on the bed, similarly coloured to the bed. The room looked wide and spacious. YiHan loved anything and everything that was light green. However, he’d always thought it wasn’t fitting for a boy to own anything of the colour. So he never dared use anything light green. Not even his bedroom had this shade of bedsheet. Now, looking at this bed, he had the urge to fling himself onto the bed.

YiHan had merely said he could be Jiang Hua’s little brother and the man would go to such great lengths just for him. Jiang Hua didn’t know if YiHan could ever stay a night at his new apartment, yet he had a room made up completely of things YiHan liked. Jiang Hua would’ve needed to be very observant or put in a lot of effort to know of YiHan’s favourite home decor style, his favourite colour, his favourite decoration items, his favourite room layout. Furthermore, these models and figurines were new. Most of them needed to be pieced together by the buyer. Jiang Hua was a busy man he’d been kept so much busier by Bai Yan recently that he probably didn’t have enough time to sleep. Even so, Jiang Hua made time to complete those models for YiHan. It was clear as day just how important YiHan was to the man. One could also tell just how much the man craved for a family, for warmth, for something most people could easily obtain. He yearned so much for it yet it was so hard. In this city, he could at least watch the man he liked from afar. He at least had a little brother and a home he decorated himself. All of that was shattered by a single piece of paper. In two more weeks, Jiang Hua will be going to an unfamiliar place all by himself. He’ll be faced with strangers all the time. Just how lonely and broken would he feel when he had to put on a smile as his armour?

YiHan slowly walked over to the bed and sat down, letting loose a heavy sigh.

JingYuan sat down beside him and leaned against his shoulder. “Don’t be upset. There’s nothing that can be done about it. The one thing that can’t be demanded to change in this world is love.”

“I understand that,” YiHan whispered back. “But even if Brother doesn’t like him, Yan can just ignore him. Is there a need to chase him out of the city?” YiHan sighed again. “I only hope Jiang-ge can properly put away the past after he arrives at ChangCheng. I hope he can start anew and find a future that belongs to him.”

“He will,” JingYuan said.

YiHan bitterly smiled. “There’s actually not much hope. He’s a very stubborn man. How could he easily forget about it? I’m only saying this to comfort myself.” YiHan then pulled one of the pillows into his arms. As expected, it was soft and squishy. Unwittingly, he let out another sigh and continued, “Jiang-ge is a great man. He’s so detailed-oriented and he’s the best at taking care of other people. Why are the gods so unfair? He just had to fall in love with a log head like my brother?”

JingYuan was stuck between laughing and crying. “If Yan hears that, he’d be really sad. This matter can’t be blamed on him either. After all, love can’t be forced. Ripping off the band-aid might be better for Jiang Huan.”

YiHan thought about it. Eventually, he let out a hum in agreement and wrapped his arms around JingYuan’s waist. He then placed his face against JingYuan’s stomach.

“When I look at Jiang-ge,” YiHan says, “I feel so lucky. I fell in love with you and you just so happen to also fall in love with me. There’s nothing luckier than this.”

JingYuan stroked YiHan’s hair and softly said, “Me too. The luckiest thing in my life is falling in love with you.”

***

The morning after a brief night of acting out and letting loose, Jiang Hua returned to the original warm and capable Jiang Hua. He still looked rather pale but he also had a gentle smile on his lips. He cooked breakfast for YiHan and JingYuan with that smile on his face. After breakfast, the three left Jiang Hua’s apartment. He waved farewell to the two and return to the office with the same smile.

Last night, when Yan heard something had happened to Jiang Hua, his legs subconsciously followed behind the lovers out of the Bai family home. When he saw Chen Feng and his men charge into the bar, he stopped and stood outside until he spotted the doors swing open with the two lovers helping Jiang Hua out. He hurriedly ducked around the corner, even if he didn’t know what he was hiding from or why.

He watched from his hiding spot as YiHan and JingYuan carried the unconscious Jiang Hua into the car. To him, Jiang Hua had always been good at holding his drink. When they attended business dinners, Jiang Hua would always drink on his behalf. He had never seen Jiang Hua drunk. Now that he’s looking at Jiang Hua dead-drunk, he didn’t know what to think or feel.

As the car with Jiang Hua in it began to leave, Yan’s body began to follow suit and drive along behind it. He thought YiHan would be bringing Jiang Hua back to the Bai family home. He was wondering if he should head back early and pretend he’d never left the house when he saw the car turn into an unfamiliar street. This should be Jiang Hua’s new apartment.

Yan didn’t drive into the residential area. Instead, he stopped outside of the area and smoked by his car for a few hours. His mind was lost in a whirlwind but he didn’t know what he was frustrated over. When Jiang Hua kept appearing before his eyes, he’d find his thoughts twisted into a mess. So he thought to transfer the man far away from him. Out of sight, out of mind. Also, he thought Jiang Hua being a manager in ChangCheng would give the man’s talents a better stage. It was all for the man’s sake. However, the thought of Jiang Hua leaving in two weeks and would rarely return made his heart pound in panic.

Bai Yan, oh, Bai Yan. When did you become so pampered? Perhaps his younger brother was right. He’d constantly bully Jiang Hua just because the man was good-tempered. The man was just doing his job. He didn’t offend anyone or cause drama. His work was also perfect. One can say no one else can do any better than Jiang Hua. Yet, for his own reasons, Yan would torment him. He could still remember the smile Jiang Hua had when he bought the apartment. It came from the bottom of his heart. It was not long ago since the renovations were complete and Jiang Hua moved in. Now, he had to leave. It’s such a pity. Argh, this was so annoying.

Yan stood there for the whole night. He only left just as the sun was about to rise. At work, his eyes would unwittingly drift over to look at Jiang Hua. The man looked the same as usual. He had a smile on as handed over his work to the newly promoted staff or something. He acted so normal that it seemed like what happened last night was just a hallucination.

Yan’s feet stopped at the door to his office. He stood there for a long time as he stared back at Jiang Hua. Finally, he turned and entered his office. Still, he could feel his mind wavering and unfocused. His wandering thoughts would constantly turn to Jiang Hua. During lunch break, he put down his work and followed Jiang Hua into the company cafeteria. An occurrence rare beyond belief.

During lunch, a beautiful female employee walked over to Jiang Hua and talked to him. Jiang Hua smiled at her politely and kept the conversation going. Yan stared at the lady’s red lips open and close. He didn’t realise it before but this woman was hideous, despite being one of the women publicly acknowledged as the most beautiful in the building. Just who recruited her? She’s ruining the company’s image! Were everyone’s tastes this bad?

Then, he heard that ugly woman say in a sickly sweet voice, “Ah, Jiang-ge. Why are you eating so little? Are you trying to go on a diet like us women? Your body is already perfect. Eat some more.”


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 131

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 loathed to 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.”

Translator’s Notes:

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.


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GC: Chapter 130

130. Jiang-ge in Trouble

YiHan was about to reply to Fang Yi’s question when JingYuan patted him on the shoulder. He turned around and saw JingYuan mouth to him: it’s better to let Qin Feng explain himself.

Only then did YiHan realise he’d said too much to Fang Yi. He hurriedly said, “Anyway, it’s… Huh? Fang Yi, I’ve got a call coming in. Let’s chat another time. See you.”

 Fang Yi placed down his phone and pursed his lips. “Qing Feng,” he whispered to himself. “Who is Qin Feng? What’s special about him? Does he have an additional head? Hmph. If he won’t leave then he can just sleep on the sofa. Let him freeze!”

YiHan wasn’t lying when he said he had a call coming in. He looked down at his phone. The new caller was Jiang Hua. It’s late now. Why would Jiang Hua be calling him at this hour?

“Jiang-ge?” YiHan hurriedly answered the call.

The voice that responded to him wasn’t Jiang Hua though. It was a stranger speaking swiftly, “Hello, are you the brother of the phone of this owner? I’m a bartender at The Dusky Alley. Your brother had too much to drink. Two men attempted to take him with them but he was so out of it that we can’t confirm if he knows them. We called you as you’re the person he last contacted. Could I please get you to confirm these two men’s identities or to pick him up?”

YiHan instantly shot up. “I’m his brother!” he yelped. “Thank you for calling me. Please stall them. Don’t let anyone take him away. I’ll be there soon!”

“Okay,” the bartender replied. “I’ll do my best to stall them. Please hurry u–” Before the bartender ended his sentence, a coarse voice could be heard from the other end.

“Oi!” the man shouted. “You, server! Who are you calling?” Immediately after, the call dropped to a beeping tone.

YiHan flew out of bed and quickly got dressed. JingYuan got changed too.

“What is it?” asked JingYuan. “Did something happen to Jiang Hua?”

YiHan’s panic was visible on his face. As he put on his pants, he explained, “He’s in The Dusky Alley. He’s drunk and two men are trying to take him away! Goodness knows who those two bastards are and where they want to take him to!”

As soon as the words left his mouth, he grabbed his phone and wallet and strode out of the room. JingYuan followed close on his heels with car keys in hand. They bumped into Bai Yan at the top of the stairs.

“It’s late,” Yan said, a glass of water in his hand, “where are you two rushing off to?”

YiHan didn’t stop. He walked around Yan as he replied, “Something bad has happened to Jiang-ge! We’re going to save him!”

A loud crash could be heard from behind YiHan, the sound of a glass of water falling to the ground. Even so, YiHan didn’t look back or falter. He opened the door with JingYuan at his side and they jogged over into the garage.

On the way there, YiHan called Chen Feng and asked him to head to the bar with some men, the faster the better.

The Dusky Alley is a bar well-known among the gay community. It’s also a messy place. YiHan was a regular in his last life. He’d yet to step foot in it ever since his rebirth but he knew just how chaotic it was in there. A handsome man like Jiang Hua, with good looks, a good body and was obviously inexperienced, entering the place all alone would immediately attract anyone intent on picking a target. To top it all off, Jiang Hua got drunk. It was easy to imagine how those with bad intentions would be itching to make a move. If it hadn’t been for the bartender’s call… YiHan didn’t want to imagine what could’ve happened. He didn’t know why Jiang Hua, for no apparent reason, would get drunk in that kind of place. YiHan could only hope they can make it in time.

The car sped through the city and screeched to a halt outside of The Dusky Alley. The two men stepped into the bar. Their eyes scanned across every nook and cranny in the bar. Soon, they spot a group of men crowding around a corner of the room.

YiHan and JingYuan looked at each other in the eye and quickly walked over to the crowd. They pulled two men of the crowd aside to check out what they were standing around. As expected, it was Jiang Hua. His eyelids were drooped low as he stood behind the standing figures of two young men, one in a business suit and one in a bartender’s uniform. The trio was surrounded by a ring of men attempting to grab at Jiang Hua. One of the muscular men had a hold on Jiang Hua’s arm. Jiang Hua’s two protectors did their best to loosen the man’s grip but they failed. They weren’t tall or muscular in the first place. Jiang Hua was also drunk to the point of needing support to even stand up straight. The two men had to focus on supporting Jiang Hua while protecting him from the group around them. The tie on the young men in the business suit was crooked. His clothes were tugged askew. The bartender’s bowtie was also barely hanging onto his collar. The two were in such a panicked state that they looked bedraggled.

“I said I’m his friend,” said the man with the grip on Jiang Hua’s arm. “Just who are you? Let go. Or do you want to kidnap him?”

YiHan let out a “Jiang-ge” and charged straight into the fray. JingYuan quickly pulled YiHan aside and grabbed the wrist holding onto Jiang Hua’s arm. JingYuan pulled the hand back hard, forcing the man to let go in pain. Then, JingYuan kicked at the man’s stomach. The man cried out in agony as he took a few steps back from the impact.

The remaining men surrounding Jiang Hua and his two protectors glanced at each other before swarming forward at JingYuan. Anxious and afraid that JingYuan would be overwhelmed, YiHan dashed ahead as well. Upon seeing YiHan joining the fight, JingYuan swiftly made sure he was available to protect YiHan at all times so his lover wouldn’t be hurt. Jiang Hua’s protector in the suit handed the drunk man to the bartender beside him, then he charged into the fight as well. Don’t be mistaken by his slender figure. The man fought fiercely. He punched and lunged at everyone he could reach. As the men brawled, Chen Feng and his men finally arrived. They pushed through the crowd into the fight. JingYuan tugged YiHan out of the battlefield as Chen Feng’s men took care of the other brawlers. Chen Feng and his men were ex-military. As individual fighters, they were very strong. The tables turned and the brawl was soon over. Jiang Hua’s harassers, all eight of them, were pressed into the ground.

All the noise and chatter in the bar was gone. It was now so silent that one could hear a pin drop.

“Are you people crazy?” said one of the men pressed into the ground. He was as thin as a monkey. “Why are you attacking us for no reason?”

“Should I have stood by and watched as you whisk away my brother-in-law?” JingYuan’s deep voice rumbled.

YiHan softly cleared his throat and jabbed an elbow into JingYuan as he looked away.

The man was taken aback. A moment later, he spat through gritted teeth, “What nonsense are you spouting? I’m his friend. I also haven’t heard him mention a family member like you before. What? You were going to kidnap him, weren’t you?”

JingYuan’s eyes bored into the man. “Oh? You’re friends? What is his name then?”

“Of course I do,” the man stubbornly insisted. “But why would I tell you, an outsider?”

“I know it too,” JingYuan replied, “but I can tell you, an outsider. His surname is Jiang and he’s part of the Bai family. You don’t deserve to lay a single finger on him. If you ran off with these losers before we arrived, I might’ve just let it go. Unfortunately, you still refuse to give up. No one can save you now.”

Fear rose within the man when he heard “the Bai family” but he continued protesting, “Who’d know if you’re telling the truth or not? You’re just trying to intimidate us.”

Chen Feng stepped forward and slapped the captured man across the back of his head. “Who do you think you are?” he disdainfully said. “You’re just a nobody. Do you think you’re worth Mr Mu lying to you? You sure think highly of yourself.”

YiHan stepped forward to support Jiang Hua, pulling the drunk man’s arm around his shoulders. YiHan then gently pat the man on the face.

“Jiang-ge?” YiHan softly called out. “Jiang-ge, can you hear me? I’m YiHan. Do you recognise me?”

Jiang Hua squinted at YiHan and whispered the younger man’s name. However, he’d slurred it out so softly that it was hard to tell what the man was saying.

The bartender on Jiang Hua’s other side didn’t let go at YiHan’s approach. “Are you his family?” the young man asked, frowning.

YiHan smiled at the rather dishevelled man and replied, “You’re the bartender who called me just now? My surname is Bai. On the phone just now, I said to you, ‘Please stall them. Don’t let anyone take him away. I’ll be there soon!’ Do you believe me?” As YiHan said so, he pulled out his phone and dialled Jiang Hua’s number.

Music echoed through the bar as a phone on the floor lit up. Chen Feng went to pick up the phone and handed it to YiHan.

“Look,” YiHan said, showing the ringing phone to the bartender. “Did you use this phone to call me just now? You should see my number calling it right now.”

The bartender took the phone and looked down at it. “Brother” was displayed on the cracked screen as the caller. Tension drained out of him.

“My apologies,” the bartender apologetically said. “That group of men kept going on about how they’re his friends or acquaintances. It made me paranoid.” He then handed Jiang Hua over to YiHan.

As YiHan shifted to accept Jiang Hua’s weight, he smiled in gratitude at the bartender and said, “What you did was right. Thank you for calling me. Who knows what would’ve happened otherwise? What’s your name? I’m Bai YiHan from the Bai family. Our family is extremely grateful for what you’ve done today!”

Jiang Hua was so drunk that his legs were wobbly. He couldn’t even support himself anymore. No matter how thin the man was, he was still an adult man. JingYuan could tell YiHan was straining, so he walked over and took Jiang Hua over from YiHan.

The bartender was stunned by YiHan’s admission. He didn’t think there’d be powerful men among the guests today.

“No, no,” said the bartender, shaking his head and waving a hand before him. “I just thought those men didn’t look like good men and I merely poked my nose in where it shouldn’t. No need to thank me. Also, the man just now helped me a lot. If not for him, I wouldn’t have been able to stall them for so long.”

YiHan was in a good mood from having succeeded in saving Jiang Hua. He chuckled and replied, “Don’t say that. Because it might just be an incident of being busybody for you but you’d saved us from a great disaster. Thanks are a must.”

The young bartender still shook his head. He kept silent and wouldn’t tell YiHan his name. JingYuan glanced at the man.

“Zhu Xun?” JingYuan read from the bartender’s nametag. “That’s a good name.”

It was only then did it occur to the young man to cover up his work nametag. Upon hearing YiHan chuckling once more, a red flush bloomed across his face.

YiHan then looked up at Jiang Hua’s other protector, the man in the suit, smiled and said, “Thank you for helping out. I am forever grateful.”

The other man straightened his outfit and walked over, replying, “Excuse me, you’re…are you the Little Master of the Bai family? I’m Lu FengYu. I’m…Secretary Jiang’s friend.”

YiHan took a closer look at the man. The rowdy situation just now had distracted him. Now that the man had tidied himself up a little, YiHan could tell he was rather handsome. YiHan thought back to how hard the man fought to protect Jiang Hua and how furious the man was in the brawl. No matter what, this man didn’t seem like a normal “friend” to YiHan. Even if he was close to Jiang Hua, YiHan had never once heard of him from the other, now drunk, man.

Lu FengYu’s occasional worried glances at Jiang Hua flicked a switch in YiHan’s mind. It’s probably one-sided.

True. With Jiang Hua’s charms and status, it’s more than normal for someone to have romantic feelings for Jiang Hua.

“Thank you so much for protecting Jiang-ge just now,” YiHan said with another smile. “I owe you one. If there’s anything I can ever help you with in the future, please ask away.”

Translator’s Note: Apologies for the missed/late updates! Here they are.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 129

129. Special Identity

“Mr Qi, I did it for you,” Zhao Hao said, voice quavering even harder. “Please save me.”

“You still dare say you did it for me?” Qi MingYang impatiently rebuked. “After your actions today, not only can I not ensure your safety, I’ve also been dragged into troubled waters! Even if no one says anything, do you not know what kind of person Mu JingYuan is? If he knows you’ve touched a single hair on Bai YiHan, let alone splash boiling hot soup at him, he could torture you to death!”

“It’s not that bad, right?” Zhao Hao warbled. “Little Master Bai wasn’t injured anyway…”

“All dragons have a reverse scale,” Qi MingYang said. “Touch it and you enrage it. Bai YiHan is Mu JingYuan’s ‘reverse scale’. Mu JingYuan himself isn’t a small-minded man. If that pot of soup was aimed at him, he might not bother with you. However, your target was Bai YiHan! It doesn’t matter whether you hurt him or not. Mu JingYuan would never rationalise it out with you. Furthermore, Qin Feng now has his eyes on you.”

“What do I do?” Zhao Hao was on the brink of tears.

“What plan could I have?” the other man shot back, frustrated. “I can only hand you over to Little Master Bai for him to vent his anger out. If you wish to lessen your suffering, think of ways to make him plead for mercy on your behalf. A word from Bai YiHan is more useful than you bashing your head against the ground hundreds of times.”

Zhao Hao dropped to the floor with an audible thump. “Mr Qi, you can’t do this to me. If you send me over, Mu JingYuan would take away half of my entire lifespan!”

“Half?” MingYang coldly said. “I’ve told you, Qin Feng has his eyes on you. If you can’t bear to part with half of your life, then you’d be waiting for Qin Feng’s patience to run out and punish you himself. You’d lose all of your life then. You might not even know how or why you died!”

Snot and tears rolled down Zhao Hao’s face as he repeatedly muttered, “Mr Qi, I did it for you. I didn’t hurt Little Master Bai…”

“And thank goodness he wasn’t hurt,” Qi MingYang interjected. “If he was hurt, Mu JingYuan would likely strangle you to death himself. Ah, right. You must thank Qin Feng for his skilful manoeuvre. Alright. You’re a man. Stop dripping tears and snot everywhere. You’re embarrassing yourself. What were you thinking back then when you acted? Come. Let’s head back.”

“Mr Qi,” Li Guang softly reminded, “aren’t you going to have lunch?”

“Nothing has gone well today!” MingYang snapped. “Who cares about lunch?”

***

After dinner with the Bai family, YiHan pulled JingYuan into their room and began showing off all the loot he’d gotten from his trip to the mall. One by one, he showed them off. After a mini-speech about the “Water, Clouds and Sky” tea set, he then pulled out the wool vest.

“JingYuan, isn’t this vest nice?” YiHan said, holding the wool vest up to his torso. “Do you think Grandfather would like it?”

“It’s very nice,” JingYuan said with a nod. “Grandfather would like anything as long as it’s a present from you.”

YiHan beamed brightly. He held up a scarf and said, “Look at this scarf. It’s so thick and so soft. I’ve tried it on already. It’s super comfortable. Grandfather’s getting old. He gets cold easily in winter. If he has all these, he’d definitely be warm.”

“You’re right,” JingYuan said, wrapping an arm around the younger man. “Grandfather’s heart would warm up just at the sight of these gifts. You have good taste. These all look very nice and suitable for him.”

YiHan fidgeted with the gifts he’d pulled out. It felt like Grandfather was standing before him already. He couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. Ever since his reincarnation, he’d been too afraid to visit his grandfather. They would finally be meeting now. Longing, love and guilt twisted in his heart until they form a complicated and unspeakable emotion.

He packed everything away neatly. Once he was done, his slender fingers began fidgeting with a corner of the fabric.

“Yan Pei went with us today,” YiHan happily said. “She even brought along Yan Hui’s husband. They both have great eyes. They gave me a lot of suggestions and I’m so satisfied with everything I’ve bought on this trip. Oh, right. Qin Feng was there too.”

“What a lively day you had,” JingYuan remarked, lifting an eyebrow as he did so.

“Not only that, we bumped into Qi MingYang too.”

“Him?” JingYuan frowned.

Yihan jerked his chain at the direction of the gifts he’d put away. “Mn. He was also looking for a gift for Grandfather and he also wanted this tea set. But there was only one of it. He was a step too late. I’d already paid. He then came over and we exchanged a few brief words. Later on, when we were walking out of the restaurant we had lunch in, we bumped into him again.”

JingYuan’s brows furrowed harder as he asked, “Intentionally?”

YiHan paused to think about it before answering, “It shouldn’t be. It’s just a coincidence. Speaking of which, Qin Feng saved me today.”

“What happened?”

YiHan looked down at his fidgeting fingers and replied, “One of Qi MingYang’s subordinates seemed to have pushed the server. The young man tripped and nearly splashed me with soup. Fortunately, Qin Feng’s sharp eyes spotted the incident. He pushed me out of the way.” He then looked up at JingYuan, eyes gleaming bright. “You should’ve seen it. His movements were so sleek and beautiful! Ah, but because of that, Qi MingYang recognised him. The other man nearly exposed Qin Feng’s identity but I interrupted him before he could. However, I’m afraid Fang Yi wouldn’t be so easily fooled. If Fang Yi knows who Qin Feng truly is, Qin Feng would be having a hard time. Also, it’d be all because of me. I’d be mortified if that happens.”

A light flashed through JingYuan’s eyes. “Were you hurt?”

“No. I told you. Qin Feng was so strong. With a ‘ha’ and a kick”­ – YiHan imitated Qin Feng’s movements ­– “the pot of soup was sent flying away. Not a single drop landed on me.”

JingYuan stroked YiHan on the head and said, “That’s good. Okay, if Qin Feng’s cover is blown, we’ll go plead to Fang Yi on his behalf. Hm?”

“Mn,” YiHan said, nodding his head.

***

Meanwhile at Fang Yi’s place.

The police officer stared at the man who’d entered his home as if it was his instead of Fang Yi’s.

“Why are you following me into my home?” Fang Yi asked. “Aren’t you going home?”

Qin Feng lazily sprawled out across the couch and replied, “This is my home.”

“Can you be any more shameless?” Fang Yi said, eyes wide in disbelief. “This is my house, my home!”

“What’s with the extra anger today?” Qin Feng asked, glancing up at the policeman.

“I’m extra angry?” Fang Yi coldly smirked. “It’s not as big as your talents. A ‘thug’ who Qi MingYang refers to as ‘mister’ is certainly someone my humble abode isn’t suitable for. What name did he want to call you by? YiHan must’ve known too, right? Otherwise, he wouldn’t interrupt the man and cover for you. Only I’m the fool who truly thinks you’re just a street thug.”

“Lil Fang,” Qin Feng said, scratching his face, “there’s no need to be so serious. No matter what other people call me, I’ll still be the thug you met.”

“Oh?” Fang Yi huffed out, turning to look away from the young man. “How poetic. Is it because there’s a big flashing sign on my face that reads ‘I’m very gullible, come swindle me’?”

Qin Feng looked right at the man and solemnly said, “Lil Fang, I never wanted to lie to you. I’m honest and sincere with you.”

The man standing in the room responded to that with merely a cold chuckle.

“How about I come clean to you then?” Qin Feng sighed. “Will that do?”

Fang Yi crossed his arms on his chest and, cold smirk still on his face, said, “There’s no need. It doesn’t matter who you are. I’m just a lowly policeman. I can’t afford to make enemies with the great man. Take care.”

“You wish to deny our relationship just because of an identity?” Qin Feng asked.

“Were there any relationship between us? Was it one built upon lies?” Fang Yi shot back.

Qin Feng ruffled his hair in frustration, stood up and walked over to Fang Yi. “Lil Fang, must you say such hurtful words?”

“So you’re the poor, miserable one here now?” Fang Yi spat out. “Just who was the one that only lied and lied? I don’t even know who you are! What emotions could be harmed?”

Qin Feng reached out and grabbed the man’s arm. “I said I’ll come clean!”

“It’s too late! I don’t need it! Scram!”

“I won’t!”

“Alright,” Fang Yi hissed, a finger angrily pointing at the young man. “If you won’t leave, I will!”

The policeman grabbed the jacket from where he left it and stomped to the door. He was about to open the door and leave before he stomped right back.

“This is my home,” said Fang Yi. “Why should I leave? You leave!”

Qin Feng laid back down on the couch and stubbornly said, “I won’t!”

Fang Yi could do nothing to that. He could shout and scream at the man but the other would just play dead. Fang Yi can’t win a fight against him. After numerous futile attempts at throwing the man out, Fang Yi just gave up and left him alone in the living room. He stomped off into his bedroom and slammed the door shut with a loud bang.

The living room was left in the bitter cold. While Qin Feng would usually mooch off Fang Yi and sleep on his couch, he would be provided with a blanket at least. Now, there was only an army of one in this room.

Still…

Qin Feng sat up on the couch and laid his head back against the backrest. He wouldn’t leave anyway. Only here can he feel at peace. It was only by Fang Yi’s side did he feel like it was good to be alive.

He glanced at the tightly-shut door then walked over to the apartment entrance. He picked up the jacket Fang Yi had left near it and returned to the couch. Nose buried in the jacket’s collar as the clothing draped over him like a blanket, the man happily closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

***

Back in YiHan’s room, the young man was sprawled out on his bed. He pondered and mused but he just couldn’t stop worrying. So he called Fang Yi with his phone.

As soon as the other man picked up, YiHan asked, “Fang Yi, is Qin An at your place?”

There was a silent pause before the police officer replied, “YiHan, is his name Qin An?”

YiHan gulped hard. “Y-You know?” he whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to keep it from you but if his identity is known, you two couldn’t have been close friends. He’s probably too scared to tell you because he thinks the same too.”

“I know,” the other man said, shooting a glance at the door separating him from the man in the living room. “You don’t need to apologise. It’s not your fault.”

“But you must know that we all truly think of you as a friend,” YiHan emphasised. “You mustn’t doubt that.”

“Mn, I know,” said the man over the phone.

“Then,” YiHan cautiously asked, “what do you plan to do about Qin An?”

“Who’s Qin An?” Fang Yi asked in return.

“Qin Feng!” YiHan hurriedly said. “What do you plan to do about Qin Feng?”

Fang Yi let out a snort. He gritted his teeth and turned the question over in his mind. YiHan had yet to realise he’d just sold out Qin Feng. All he heard were teeth gritting over the phone. It made him nervous on Qin Feng’s behalf.

“Fang Yi?” YiHan softly called out.

The older man snapped out of his thoughts. He paused to think on the question posed to him before sighing, “I don’t know.”

“Where is he now?” asked YiHan.

“He’s in my living room. He refuses to leave,” Fang Yi replied.

“Fang Yi, it’s not easy for him either,” YiHan said. “He’s truly sincere when it comes to you. Why not just forgive him? His identity’s rather special. He can’t just let someone he just met know about it. Then, you two became friends and he kept silent because he’s afraid you’d be angry.”

“Special? What’s special about his identity?” asked Fang Yi.

Translator’s Notes:

Dragged into troubled waters: The literal translation is “now, even I stink” or “even I smell fishy (because of you)”.

Li Guang: The original text said “Zhao Guang”. As Zhao Hao’s name had appeared multiple times already, this typo was likely referring to the other man in the room.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 128

128. A Lively Day

Qin Feng had acted so swiftly and fluidly that it seemed easy. He then loosened his grip on the server’s shirt and dusted off his hands. Those forever sleepy eyes of his opened wider.

“Mr Qi should teach your subordinates to pay more heed to what their hands are doing when walking. We wouldn’t want a disaster to happen. If Little Master Bai was hurt, we’d all be having a bad day.”

Qin Feng had been silently walking by YiHan’s side during both encounters so Qi MingYang didn’t notice the man’s presence. MingYang was surprised to hear those words. He took a closer look at the man and it shocked him to the core. Suppressing the urge to show any of his emotions visibly, MingYang took another look to confirm if Qin Feng was really who MingYang thought he was.

MingYang forced a smile out and muttered, “Qin…”

“Qin An,” YiHan interrupted, “were you hurt?”

Qin Feng glanced at YiHan. His smile softened. “Who do you think I am?” he replied. “It’s just a pot of soup. How could it hurt me?”

From the words Qin Feng uttered before, Yan Pei knew the server’s stumble wasn’t accidental. She was about to speak up when Zhang Su placed a firm hand on her shoulder. With a pout, she closed her mouth.

MingYang was stunned by the interruption. He paused to gather his thoughts and said, “Mr Qin, you seem to be quite close to Little Master Bai? How peculiar.”

“We’re just friends,” Qin Feng said. His smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Anyone should have friends. I’m no exception. However, I’m sure you know my greatest flaw is I’m overprotective of my friends.”

MingYang froze. He glanced at his two subordinates. The man to his left was looking visibly guilty. The man’s eyes darted wildly around the room. MingYang shot the man a dark look and turned back to Qin Feng.

“I understand,” he said, a smile back on his face. “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure Little Master Bai will be happy with how things end.”

Qin Feng lazily waved a hand at Qi MingYang. The hand then landed on Fang Yi’s shoulder. The policeman shot a glance at the younger man but did nothing to the hand. Instead, he went along with the force behind the hand back to YiHan.

MingYang gave YiHan an apologetic nod and led his two men into the restaurant.

YiHan and his group then headed for the elevators. Inside the lift, Yan Pei was sulking in a corner with puffed cheeks.

“Are you upset because I didn’t let you talk?” Zhang Su said with a smile and a pat to her head.

The girl shot a glare at the man and remained silent.

“You’re such a pure-hearted and just girl,” the man continued. “That’s good. However, in this social circle, a lot can be done behind other people’s back yet a calm and peaceful appearance must be maintained. I know your temper. If you speak, the words you’ll say would never be kind. You were standing by Bai YiHan’s side. That’s a show of the Yan family’s attitude to him. There’s no need to make things awkward. It’s fine as long as everyone knows deep down what happened. Didn’t you see how he kept quiet too? Moreover, Qi MingYang might not have arranged for the incident to occur.”

“As a daughter of the Yan family, I understand all of that,” the girl muttered. “But I still feel anger blazing within me. If not for Qin An, that pot of soup would’ve landed on YiHan. Who knows how badly burnt he’d be then?”

Her eyes then sparkled. “However, Qin An, you’re such a great fighter. That kick, that push, that pull – you were so cool! We didn’t even realise it was a trick but you did!”

“I have someone I wish to protect,” Qin Feng smiled back. “How could I not be strong?” He then glanced at Fang Yi. The other man looked away, hiding from the emotions swirling deep in that gaze.

A secretive smirk crossed Pei’s lips before anger overtook her once more. “I told you that Qi MingYang is a small-minded man. No one would believe me. See? He ordered his man to splash boiling hot soup at YiHan!”

“You might be wrongfully accusing him,” YiHan said. “I know a little of him. While he can be quite narrow-minded, he’s also a thorough man. If he wished to do something, it wouldn’t be so obvious. What happened today wasn’t that major, not to the point where he’d hate me and wish to act on it immediately.”

“What? Did his subordinate do that out of boredom?” she shot back.

“That man is likely an ass-kisser,” Fang Yi chimed in. “Unfortunately, he kissed somewhere else instead. That guess is still quite a stretch though. As YiHan said, what happened today was nothing big. If Qi MingYang would get angry over something so trivial, he’d have died long ago from anger. Unless, something else happened between YiHan and Qi MingYang. It could be why that man thought he could suck up to his master by ‘teaching YiHan a lesson’.”

“Lil Fang, you’re right. Somewhat,” Qin Feng chuckled. “That man is a bootlicker, but Qi MingYang is even pettier than you thought. Think about it. Men like that are best at gauging their master’s thoughts. If the man wasn’t this narrowminded, how could that subordinate have acted/ The only reason why Qi MingYang is still alive is because of his social status. Most of his grudges can be resolved on the spot, rarely would he be forced to swallow his fury. However, today’s incident didn’t happen on his orders. For sure. As YiHan said, he would never be so obvious. While YiHan holds no power in the Bai Group, he holds a social rank equal to Qi MingYang. Not only do the Bai and Mu families dote on him, everyone knows of how madly in love the Chen family heir is with Miss Bai. And everyone knows Miss Bai loves her younger brother the most. Additionally, YiHan has been getting quite close to the Yan family. The old Mr Yan’s liking for him is clear to see. No matter how small-minded Qi MingYang is, he wouldn’t do anything to YiHan over such a minor issue. YiHan is likely one of the few who can make his suppress his rage.”

“Would he play some underhanded trick behind our backs then?” Fang Yi hurriedly asked. “My god. It’s my first time ever meeting someone so petty. Surely it’s a mental illness of some sort now?”

“Don’t worry,” Qin Feng replied, a hand stroking against his jaw. “He shouldn’t. YiHan’s worth is enough to keep him at bay. The man might be spiteful but he’s smart. He knows there’s a time and place for everything. I trust he wouldn’t be that stupid.”

YiHan nodded in agreement. He then looked deep into Qin Feng’s eyes. There was a glint of a smile in those eyes that made Qin Feng’s mouth subtly smirk. With eyes narrowed into slits, the thug then walked out of the lift, still sprawled on Fang Yi’s shoulders.

Meanwhile, there was a suffocating presence looming in a private room of the restaurant the group had departed from.

“Zhao Hao,” hissed Qi MingYang, glowering at his subordinate, “you’ve gotten great at causing trouble for me. Why didn’t you think of your place before you acted? Do you think the third son of the Bai family is someone you can pull tricks on? Even if you were to harm him, you can’t do it directly! You are my man. Every move you make is connected to my intents. Today, you publicly attempted to splash hot soup at Little Master Bai. Everyone would now think I ordered you to do so!”

“This one thought to teach him a little lesson because I saw him snatch the tea set from you, wasting all the time you’d spent looking for the gift,” Zhao Hao stammered. “I-I-I didn’t think of anything more than than.”

“If you want to do that, then be smart and precise with it!” Qi MingYang bellowed. “Don’t let anyone realise it’s you and connect it to me! But you were so foolish that you were caught red-handed. Can you be any more of an idiot?”

“Mr Qi,” the other man murmured, “I was being very careful. I thought no one would’ve realised. I didn’t think that Qin guy had such sharp eyes.”

MingYang’s palm came up and supported his forehead as the man sighed, “You think you’re skilled enough to fool Qin Feng? That man is the head of the Hidden Dragon! With one hand, he could defeat you over and over and over again. You’re quite unlucky to have done such a thing under his nose. It’s considered generous of him to not cripple you right before my eyes!”

“Shouldn’t the head of the Hidden Dragon be with his men?” Zhao Hao gasped in fright. “Why is he by Little Master Bai’s side?”

“I don’t know either,” MingYang fumed. “The Hidden Dragon never bothered itself with the five great families. No enemies, no friendships. Why is he so friendly with Bai YiHan all of a sudden? Does he wish to cross the divide?”

Li Guang, who’d been standing by Zhao Hao’s side, then spoke up, “Didn’t Qin Feng say he was merely making a friend?”

“Your thinking is way too simple,” Zhao Hao replied. “Every move the people in this circle makes has a deeper meaning behind it. If he only wanted a friend, there are plenty of people in this city. Why must it be someone from the five great families? Why must it be someone from the main Bai family? It’s clear he wished to befriend the Bai family instead.”

“You’re smart,” MingYang said to Zhao Hao, “so smart that you dragged me down the waters with you. Even if I announce to the whole wide world I didn’t mean for today’s incident to occur, would anyone believe me? It’s not like you don’t know of the complex social network Bai YiHan has. How could you be so obvious? You’re not hurting him, you’re hurting me! Now, there’s a Qin Feng added into the mix. That man is the worst! Everyone who knows him knows just how cruel he is. He’s a man who strangled his own father to death!”

Zhao Hao and Li Guang didn’t dare speak anymore. They silently stood there.

Qi MingYang slowly thought back to every word Qin Feng said to him earlier. “But,” he mused, “from what he’s said, he should have no ties to the Bai family. He’s only protective over Bai YiHan. As long as we don’t hurt Bai YiHan, he won’t act. He had said nothing for the whole day. He only acted when Bai YiHan was in danger. It seems like he didn’t even want to announce his presence had it not been for your moronic actions. If he secretly made a deal with the Bai family, he wouldn’t expose himself today. That means he must really just wish to make a friend. True, this man is cruel. But it’s also true that he’s overprotective of his own.”

“If we can’t do anything to Bai YiHan, then wouldn’t it mean the anger you’ve felt today would need to be kept inside forever, sir?” Zhao Hao softly asked.

“Is there something wrong with your brain?” Qi MingYang coldly smirked. “Out of the five great families in this city, he has four of them protecting him. Now, even the Hidden Dragon of the underworld is standing by his side. Who could hurt him? Anyway, nothing major happened. Is there a need to risk our lives for a tea set?”

“Four?” said Zhao Hao.

“I said you were stupid,” said Qi MingYang, “but I didn’t think you were brain-dead. Of course, there are the Mu and Bai families. In the Chen family, Chen TianYang’s standing is of no question. As long as he lives, he will, sooner or later, hold the reins. That man’s entire heart belongs to Bai XueQing. The two are now confirmed to be dating and everyone knows who Bai XueQing dotes on the most! The old Mr Yan has publicly proclaimed his liking for the boy. Yan Cheng is a filial son. Whatever the old Mr Yan says, goes. Moreover, didn’t you see Yan Pei standing by Bai YiHan’s side? And that man who steadied the boy. That is Yan Hui’s legally married husband!”

Zhao Hao’s face went stark pale. His voice trembled as he said, “Mr Qi, then I…”

“Do you only just realise what a bad situation you’ve put yourself in? After all I’ve said? ” Qi MingYang asked, “Zhao Hao, I can’t protect you this time.”


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 127

127. A Lively Day

YiHan nearly had his breath knocked out of him by Qin Feng’s claps to YiHan’s shoulder. Fang Yi walked over and smacked Qin Feng’s back as hard as he could.

“Not so hard!” Fang Yi scolded. “Do you think he’s as rough as you? You’re a thug. Why would YiHan ever need you? To help out in a brawl?”

“Lil Fang,” Qin Feng whined, “can’t you leave me some dignity intact?”

Fang Yi side-eyed the man and kept silent.

YiHan eventually caught his breath. “Let’s get in the car,” he said, holding back a laugh.

Not long after the car departed from the gates of the Bai family home, YiHan received a call from Yan Pei. She chattered and begged over the phone for him to go play with her. She said that she even had a bodyguard with her, just for his safety.

All YiHan could answer in reply was to tell her about his plans for the day.

“Then let’s go together!” Pei eagerly cried. “Let’s go! I can help give you ideas too. I’ve got great tastes!

YiHan glanced at Fang Yi. Upon seeing the older man shrug to show he didn’t mind the additional company, YiHan replied, “How about we meet up at the strip mall in Wen Fang?”

“Okay,” Pei excitedly replied. “We’ll head there right now! Quick, Zhang-ge! Get in the car!” It was obvious the last two lines were directed at someone else behind her. YiHan thought for a moment. She called the other person “Zhang-ge”. That should be Yan Hui’s significant other. What a surprise. What a lively day it’ll be.

When the trio arrived at the strip mall, Yan Pei could be spotted from afar, enthusiastically jumping up and down and waving her hands. Beside her stood a tall man.

YiHan and the other two men walked towards them and the two parties introduced each other. As expected, that man was Yan Hui’s legally married husband. His name was Zhang Su. The man was very tall and quite lanky. His skin was a pale white, as if it rarely ever sees the sun. He looked like a proper gentleman dressed in a white collar shirt and beige slacks. A pair of rimless spectacles perched on top of his straight nose, making him seem like a studious scholar. YiHan could sense an air of books around him. The man didn’t say much but his manner of speaking was very elegant and refined.

The group of five made their way through the crowds and into the mall. They wandered from shop to shop. Pei was animatedly chattering non-stop. YiHan had picked out two vests made of goat wool, some winter scarves, gloves and hats, but none of those could be used as birthday presents. The group then turned their focus to the antique stores.

Everyone in the group were of the same age group. Soon, they were familiar with each other. Pei pulled YiHan back as the group headed to the next shop.

“YiHan, your two friends are a couple, right?” she whispered.

“No,” he said. “They’re friends. Don’t talk nonsense or they’ll feel awkward.”

“Ooh,” Pei drawled with an evil smirk. “Little YiHan, you’re too pure. You must trust in my eyes. There’s definitely something going on between them!”

YiHan looked up ahead at Fang Yi and Qin Feng only to watch Qin Feng attempt to put his arm around Fang Yi’s shoulders while the other man would constantly push it off.

“You see that?” cackled Pei. “There’s no way their relationship could be that simple. Even if they’re not a couple now, they’d absolutely be one in the future.”

“How do you know?” YiHan couldn’t help but lower his voice and whisper back.

“Nothing can escape my eagle eyes!” said, giving a proud little laugh. “Look. I won’t talk about Qin An. It’s all too obvious what he thinks of Fang Yi. As for Yi, the man looks like he’s rejecting on the surface but if he really didn’t feel anything for the younger man, he can just pull away. Why is he still walking beside him? It’s clearly a ‘yes’ wrapped in a ‘no’!”

“You have great observation skills,” YiHan commended.

“Of course!” Her chin was held high in pride.

YiHan glanced at Zhang Su who’d been walking by them and whispered to her, “Didn’t you say your brother keeps Zhang Su well-hidden? How did you invite him out?”

“Naturally, it’s because I’m amazing!” She was so happy she could fly. “My brother can be as thorough as he wants but he’s still human. It’s how I got to Zhang-ge. Zhang-ge actually likes me a lot. I just need to plead prettily and he’ll cave in. As long as I send him home before the evening, my brother wouldn’t find out.”

YiHan was curious. “Why doesn’t your brother let you talk to Zhang Su?”

“Hmph!” Pei pouted. “He said he’s afraid I’d teach Zhang-ge bad habits! As if he’s perfect. He’s like the Big Bad Wolf! He’s just afraid I’ll expose his true self to Zhang-ge!”

“And you still have him come with you all this way?” YiHan sighed. “Won’t your brother be furious if he finds out?”

“I’ve wanted to introduce you two for a long time,” she exclaimed, eyes glimmering brightly. “Do you know what’s the happiest thing that can happen to a fujoshi? It’s being a friend to two ultimate bottoms! Bwahahaha! I’m living the best life possible, alright?”

“Who said I’m a bottom?” YiHan said, embarrassment turning into anger. “I’m a top, okay?”

“Okay, I believe you,” she said after pausing to give him a pitying look.

“What’s with that glance?” YiHan could feel the comical black lines descending down his forehead. “It’s true!”

“Yes, yes. I know. I believe you’re a top too. You’re a strong top! Okay? There, there,” she coaxed.

YiHan: …

***

It was nearly noon by the time YiHan finally found something he liked, a tea set made of purple clay. The teacups and pot were quite plain without any decorative touches or any sharp corners. The smooth rounded clay surface gleamed. They were exactly the kind of tea set YiHan’s grandfather liked. YiHan was very satisfied with his find, so he had Chen Feng go pay while he watched the store staff pack the tea set into a box.

“That tea set looks nice. Find me another of the kind. I want to take a closer look at it,” a man’s voice rang out from beside YiHan.

The manager walked over and said, “Our sincerest apologies, Mr Qi. We only have one of the ‘Water, Clouds and Sky’ set. Mr Bai here has already paid for it. We do have plenty of other great tea sets in stock. Perhaps you’d like to take a look?”

YiHan turned to look at the voice to find that man looking back at him.

“Ah, it’s Little Master Bai,” the man said, walking over with a smile and a hand stretched out for a handshake. “What a coincidence. Miss Yan, you’re here too.”

Pei smiled back at the man and nodded in greeting.

YiHan politely smiled at the man and shook his hand. “Yes. Unfortunately, I bought this ‘Water, Clouds and Sky’ tea set for my grandfather. Otherwise, I’d let you have it.”

“It’s fine, Little Master Bai,” Qi MingYang said, smile still present. “It’s a purchase. It’s first come, first served, let alone it being a gift for the old Mr Bai. Even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t make you give up on it. Are you getting it as a birthday gift for your grandfather?”

“Yes,” YiHan answered. “How do you know, Mr Qi?”

“There’s really no such thing as a pure coincidence. I was thinking of getting that tea set as a gift for the old Mr Bai too. In that case, it doesn’t matter who buys the tea set. I’ll find something else.”

“Alright, Mr Qi. Take care,” YiHan said, nodding in farewell.

“See you,” Qi MingYang said.

The man left the store first. Once the tea set was all packed away, Yan Pei and YiHan walked out of the shop.

“I don’t like him,” she whispered to YiHan, hand in his arm.

“What is it?” he asked. “What don’t you like about him? Oh, is it because he’s straight?”

“This isn’t a question of sexuality,” she solemnly replied. “Am I that shallow?”

At YiHan’s side-eye, she sighed, “Alright, I’m quite shallow. But this time, it’s really not because of that. He’s always smiling at everyone but he’s actually quite petty. If anyone ever offended him once, he’d bear a grudge against them for his whole life. Even if we were in the right back there, he’d think we snatched something from him. He might bear a grudge against us for that. Anyway, I just don’t like him.”

“Oh,” YiHan slowly let out. “It’s not that serious, right?”

Zhang Su, who was beside them during the whole incident, chuckled and patted Pei on the head. “We all belong to the same social circle. There’s no need to cause a fuss. Nod in greeting when you do meet him and it’ll be fine. If you don’t like him, you can just avoid interacting with him in your daily life.”

“Mn,” Pei nodded hard in agreement. “Zhang-ge is right. But, YiHan, you need to be careful of him. Just in case he ends up getting revenge against you.”

“That won’t happen,” YiHan replied.

“I’m serious,” she said. “Anyway, just be a little more cautious. Caution is the parent of safety.”

“Yes, I know,” YiHan said, nodding. “It’s noon now. Come, let’s go get lunch. What do you want?”

“Let’s see what everyone else says. Guys, what do you want to eat?” Pei replied.

“You’re the only girl among us. Of course we have to go with your choice,” YiHan said.

“In that case,” she mused, hand on her chin, “let’s head to the top floor. There’s a really good restaurant up there. I’ve been there a few times.”

YiHan asked around. No one objected to the suggestion so everyone went straight for the restaurant.

As the only regular of the shop, Pei took up the burden of ordering. With an ease born from habit, she swiftly ordered a few signature dishes. Everyone else then added a few more to the list and their table was settled. Indeed, the food was delicious. The group had also been walking around for the whole morning. They were starving by the time the food came. They were enthusiastically downed their meal. Coincidentally, they bumped into Qi MingYang once more on their way out.

The man was heading into the restaurant. When he spotted them, he smiled and greeted, “It seems we’re destined to meet today, Little Master Bai. We meet once more.”

“Yes,” YiHan replied, politely smiling back. “Here for lunch as well, Mr Qi?”

The man nodded and said, “This place has very good food.”

YiHan nodded along in agreement. They exchanged a few more words and said their goodbyes. YiHan and his group walked out of the shop. MingYang walked into the shop with two men by his side. As the two men passed by each other, a server walked by with a pot of soup. One of the men behind Qi MingYang drifted slightly closer to the server and, in a seemingly accidental move, tapped a spot on the server’s back. He was right behind the server as he did so. With the server’s form blocking his actions from sight, no one saw what he did. The server was caught off-guard. He stumbled and tripped forward along with the soup in his hands. Bai YiHan just so happened to be right in front of the server.

Fang Yi and Qin Feng were walking a few steps behind YiHan. The police officer had fast reflexes. His hands were up and about to block YiHan from being splashed when the man beside him, Qin Feng, had acted. With his left hand. Qin Feng pushed YiHan away. His right leg swept up and kicked the pot of soup away. In the chaos that ensued, the man still had the time to reach out with his other hand and grab the shirt collar of the server, saving the young employee from falling flat on his face. A loud crash rang in their ears. The pot of soup had fallen to the floor. The ceramic pot shattered. Steam rose from the puddle of boiling-hot soup.

YiHan stumbled forwards from the force of the push and was steadied by Zhang Su. Upon hearing the commotion, Qi MingYang looked back.

“What happened, Little Master Bai?” MingYang hurriedly asked. “Were you hurt?”

YiHan stood straight and replied with a smile, “I’m fine. Thankfully, no one was hurt.”

Translator’s Notes:

Eagle Eyes: Actual translation = “fiery eyes/penetrating eyesight”. The phrase came from Journey to the West. It’s the skill Wukong uses to differentiate demons from humans. The CGI artists usually show his eyes glowing gold. The phrase’s modern meaning is eyesight so sharp that they could see what’s true and what’s not.

‘Yes’ wrapped in a ‘no’: No. No matter what this story says, a no is a no. It doesn’t matter that the other person could’ve pulled away at any time, it’s still scummy. Not everyone has the courage to reject a friendly face as people often are afraid the other person could react badly. If you ever find anyone in this kind of situation and you’re close/acquainted with the people involved, an intervention might be needed. However, some people do like to play “hard to get”. Always confirm if both parties are aware of what’s going on and had time to think about what they want before staging an outright intervention.

So happy she could fly: The original phrase is “so happy (pretty in mtl) that a bubble swelled from their nose”. It means extremely happy as the explanation given was when kids are happy, a big bubble would appear on their nose (formed from their snot). This phrase is usually used to mock other people for being too happy.

Qi MingYang: Just in case anyone has forgotten, this is the Bai family’s prime suspect for the mastermind behind YiHan’s trauma. He’s the son of the man (Qi Kun) who has a lifelong grudge against Bai Pa due to competition and being thoroughly defeated after years of assuming he was better than Bai Pa.

Caution is the parent of safety: Literal translation, “Caution steers the 10,000-year-old boat”.

Pot of soup: For those unfamiliar, some restaurants serve their soups in little pots like below. It’s usually an implied sign of quality as only the higher-end/soup-focused restaurants would bother buying crockery just for soup and nothing else.

HOLA 雅芙湯盅10cm|餐具|特力家購物網


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GC: Chapter 126

126. More and More Childish

JingYuan gently bit down on YiHan’s shoulder. His hips sank lower in a light thrust and a moan escaped YiHan’s lips.

“What are you doing? Get out,” YiHan demanded, tears shimmering in the corners of his bloodshot eyes.

The older man remained silent. He merely twitched his hips. YiHan could feel the change going on within him and scrambled to crawl away, but JingYuan locked his waist in with an arm around it.

“You big pervert!” YiHan mewled in dread. “Again? I don’t want to! I want to sleep!”

JingYuan slowly thrust further in as he coaxed, “There, there, HanHan. I just want to change the focus of your attention. I don’t want you to keep thinking about unhappy thoughts.”

YiHan moaned. He shook his head and stammered out between moans, “I don’t need…don’t need you to. I’m…I’m happy. I-I want to sleep!”

JingYuan’s hips moved faster. “Just a while,” he panted. “You’ll sleep much better…”

YiHan’s forehead fell to the pillow, his breath coming out in harsh pants as he moaned and begged, “No…slow down…”

“I can’t, HanHan…”

***

The next morning, YiHan laid in bed as he savoured his back massage. JingYuan obediently kneaded YiHan’s slim waist. Once in a while, his hands would dip lower down that slender body.

“Enough, you,” YiHan pouted, at his wit’s end with the distracted man. “Wasn’t last night enough? Massage my waist properly!”

“It wasn’t,” JingYuan replied with a serious face.

“You darned pervert!” YiHan glowered.

“Do you want me to have enough?” JingYuan leaned down.

YiHan choked. A blush overtook his face and he roared, “Focus on the massage!”

JingYuan chuckled and changed the topic, “In less than a month, it’ll be your grandfather’s birthday. You gave the go game set to old Mr Yan, so what do you plan on giving Grandfather?”

YiHan went quiet for a moment then said, “I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll go look around the shops tomorrow.”

“Okay, I’ll go with you.”

“Don’t you need to go to work? I’m just going to buy a present. You don’t need to follow me. I can go by myself.”

“No way.” JingYuan frowned. “It’s dangerous for you to be out alone.”

“So much time has passed already. That person can’t eye me up all the time. I can’t spend my entire life glued to your side whenever I leave the house, right?”

“It’s my fault,” JingYuan rumbled, his hands steadily kneaded YiHan’s waist, “for having yet to pull the mastermind out of the shadows. I’m why you’re restricted in all your outings.”

“What does it have to do with you?” YiHan giggled.

JingYuan pursed his lips and remained silent.

“Look,” said YiHan after a moment of contemplation. “Even if you go to work now, it’d be late. You can’t always push aside your work for me. How about this? I’ll call Fang Yi and ask if he has time to go shopping with me. You can stop worrying then, right? Fang Yi’s a good fighter.”

JingYuan didn’t seem particularly happy about it.

YiHan turned around and patted the older man on the hand. “You can’t always be by my side. The Mu Group needs you to oversee it. I promise I’ll do all I can to protect myself and not make you worry. Well?”

JingYuan didn’t say a word.

YiHan took his phone and called Fang Yi. The call was soon answered.

“Hey,” Fang Yi said. “YiHan?”

The young man held one of JingYuan’s hands close as he replied, “Hey, how’s my case going?”

“We’ve found some clues but we can’t confirm them yet,” the officer solemnly said. “Captain Chen said we can’t let anyone know for now.”

“Okay, I understand,” YiHan understandingly said. “I’m calling to ask if you’re free in the next few days.”

“I am. I’m off shift the day after tomorrow. Is there something you need?”

“Oh, my grandfather’s birthday is coming up soon. I want to find him a present but JingYuan’s too worried to let me go alone. I was wondering if you’re free to go with me so he can relax.”

“Sure. Day after tomorrow?”

“Okay. Let’s get in contact on that morning.”

“Alright. I’ll come to your home then.”

“It’s fine. I’ll have a driver pick you up. We’ll go together.”

YiHan then ended the call. He wiggled the phone in his hand at JingYuan as he gave the man a wink and said, “This’ll be fine, right? I’ll be going with Fang Yi the day after tomorrow.”

“Fine,” said JingYuan after a moment of hesitation. “Be careful.”

YiHan meekly nodded.

JingYuan blinked back at YiHan. He patted the young man on the butt as he said, “Aren’t you going to get up then?”

“The plan’s on the day after tomorrow. Why do I have to get up now?”

“Weren’t you telling me to go to work? Hurry up and get up then.”

YiHan slumped back onto the bed and closed his eyes. “You still want me to go with you? No. I don’t want to. I want to sleep.”

JingYuan gently swung the hand he was holding and soothed, “Then sleep. I’ll help you get changed and carry you out. You can keep sleeping then, okay?” As he said so, he began unbuttoning YiHan’s shirt.

YiHan opened his eyes and swiftly stopped the hands on his chest. “Please. If you do that, I wouldn’t be able to look at anyone else in the eye tomorrow.”

“How will you get to the office then?” JingYuan insistently continued.

“Please,” YiHan said in exasperation. “You’re going to the office to work. All I do over there is eat and play. I’d get self-conscious, alright?”

“Did someone say something?” JingYuan scowled. “Or did Chen Hong treat you badly?”

“Dear, are our brains on the same wavelength?” Yihan lightly smacked the man on the head. “I was talking about how I don’t fit in with your office’s serious work environment. What does it have to do with Chen Hong? Every time I’m there, he’d give me a lot of delicious snacks and things to occupy myself with. I get embarrassed. Go to work by yourself?”

JingYuan stared back in silence before finally rising to get changed. The miserable sight of his back looked so forlorn.

YiHan stared after the man’s shadow before getting up to walk to the man. He walked around to look at the man in the face but JingYuan turned his head away, insistent on not letting YiHan see the emotions on his face. YiHan went to help JingYuan put on his tie. The older man wanted to dodge away but he couldn’t bear to do so. He stiffly stood there and watched with lowered eyes at YiHan’s slipper-clad feet.

The young man grabbed JingYuan’s hands. The older man used the tiniest fraction of the strength to struggle out of it and failed. He then just let his hands lay limp in the other’s grip, but he adamantly refused to hold those hands.

YiHan leaned up and pecked the man on the lips. JingYuan’s lashes fluttered as he pursed his lips and glanced up at the man. Upon seeing no intention in the younger man to get changed, he turned away, sighed and walked towards the door.

JingYuan’s steps were heavy and shuffled across the floor. The short journey to the door was dragged out to a few long minutes. When he finally reached the door, he placed a hand on the doorknob and stood there for a long silent moment. When he still didn’t hear any attempts to make him stay, he harshly turned the doorknob a few times before eventually open the door, disappointment weighing down his shoulders.

YiHan watched JingYuan’s entire act, torn between laughing and crying. Just as JingYuan opened the door and was about to despondently charge out, YiHan couldn’t hold back anymore.

“Wait,” YiHan called.

JingYuan instantly let go of the door and turned back to the closet. “If you sincerely don’t want to go, then you can rest at home.”

YiHan was about to speak when JingYuan, who already had a shirt in his hands, interjected, “How about this white collar shirt?”

“…Fine.”

Why has the ever-strict and mature JingYuan become more and more childish?

I might not truly understand my husband!

Why is the Mu JingYuan I see different to the man everyone else sees?

Like a doll, YiHan was dressed by a serene JingYuan and was led out the door by the hand. When they reached the top of the staircase, YiHan tugged his hand out of JingYuan’s.

When the older man felt his hand become empty, he turned to look back at YiHan. The younger man’s heart ached at that gaze.

“You can hold my hand once we’re out of the house,” YiHan carefully coaxed. “We can’t let my parents see us like that.”

JingYuan fully turned around and whispered back, “When do you plan on telling them about us?”

“I don’t know yet,” YiHan said, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, JingYuan. I’m just so scared it’ll hurt them.”

JingYuan nodded. The couple then walked down the stairs, side by side.

Once the two were in JingYuan’s car, YiHan turned to look at JingYuan.

“Are you angry?” YiHan cautiously asked.

The older man lifted a hand to smooth back the other’s hair and said with a smile, “I’m not that easily angered. You’re afraid your parents would be upset. I can understand that but we’re going to be spending the rest of our lives together, HanHan. We would even get married sometime soon in the future. We can’t keep it from your family forever. We have to find a suitable chance to tell them the truth. We’d be respecting them then.”

YiHan solemnly nodded.

JingYuan started the car. As he turned out of the garage, he continued, “Furthermore, I sneak into your room every night while everyone’s asleep. I feel like a lusty horndog every time I do that.”

“It’s fine,” YiHan said, smiling back. “I like lusty.”

The car swerved around the corner. The driver’s eyes stayed focused on the road but a red blush could be seen tinting the tips of his ears.

YiHan cleared his throat, closed his eyes and said, “I’ll take a nap. Call me once we’re there.”

JingYuan let out a soft “mn” in response.

The couple walked together through the Mu Group office building and into JingYuan’s officer under the gaze of every employee they passed by. As YiHan sat down on his personal couch, Chen Hong piled a mountain of snacks, magazines, a laptop and several gaming devices on the table before him. The secretary took the task so seriously it was as if he was handling a vital task.

When Chen Hong was done, YiHan thanked him. Looking at the vast array of items before him, YiHan internally sighed. As expected of a top-tier personal assistant. The man was very thoughtful. He’d merely observed YiHan for a few short days yet he already knew what YiHan liked. Everything displayed on the table was something YiHan had displayed a preference for. YiHan quietly grabbed a bag of beef jerky and began munching.

Ah, he had fallen from grace.

Two days later, YiHan was standing at his home’s doors, waiting for the car sent for Fang Yi to arrive. To his surprise, Fang Yi wasn’t the only passenger in Uncle Xu’s car.

YiHan’s lips twitched as he watched Qin Feng languidly step out of the car.

The man walked up to YiHan and, a smile on his face, said, “We meet again, Little Master Bai. If you don’t mind, how about you take me with you today?”

YiHan glanced at the embarrassed Fang Yi and let out a light-hearted laugh. “We’ve shared a meal before. Why are you acting so polite? Anyway, there’s nothing safer than having you with us. Right, Qin An?”

Qin Feng lowly chuckled and gave YiHan’s shoulder a few hard claps. “I knew it. I like you, Little Master Bai. We’re friends now. If you ever need me in the future, just ask Lil Fang to get me.”

Translator’s Note:

Technically rape in the first scene but some people (stories) like to pretend it’s some romantic gesture.


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