GC: Chapter 116

116. Tao Qi Captured

“You won’t throw a fit at me but you would at Jiang-ge,” YiHan mumbled at his brother. “You act like this before us. Who knows how much of a bully you are behind our backs? It’s because he seemed like an easy target for bullying, right? Hmph. You could do all this just because…” he likes you.

“Just because what?” Yan tiredly asked.

YiHan bit on his hip. “Because he’s got a good personality. Not anyone could handle serving a boss as unruly as you. It’s not like no one wants him,” he huffed.

By now, JingYuan had listened to YiHan asking Jiang Hua out to a meal right before his eyes and YiHan speaking on behalf of Jiang Hua. He’d been fuming in silence.

“Hurry up and drink up,” JingYuan said in a low voice. “It’s getting cold.”

YiHan shot a glance at JingYuan and reluctantly lifted the soup bowl up to his lips once more. His poor Jiang-ge, he sighed internally. He didn’t think his big brother would be that kind of man. Jiang Hua has had it tough.

After sending off the still upset Yan, JingYuan solemnly and quietly read through his documents. (JingYuan had ordered Chen Hong deliver all urgent documents to the hospital so JingYuan could take care of YiHan himself.) YiHan laid there for a long time, bored out of his mind. He tilted his head over to look at JingYuan’s side profile. After a brief moment, he began shifting around once more.

“What is it?” JingYuan asked without looking up at all. “You keep moving.”

“I need to go to the toilet,” YiHan said, rising from the bed.

JingYuan put down his work, helped YiHan to the toilet and back, and continued working.

YiHan laid back down in his bed. He looked at JingYuan for a while longer.

“JingYuan, are you upset?” YiHan asked.

JingYuan’s eyes glanced up at YiHan and back down at his documents. “No.”

YiHan pondered upon the answer he got and moved to rise once more.

“Why do you keep getting up?” JingYuan barked. “Lie back down.”

YiHan was stunned. He let go of the blankets he’d been ready to pull aside and silently laid back down. He bit down on his lower lip and kept quiet.

JingYuan regretted his words the moment they’d left his lips. He might’ve been too harsh in his tone. However, there was a fire burning deep within him and he lost control of the volume then. He thought YiHan would be angry at him. To his surprise, YiHan really laid back down, as obedient as can be. He regretted what he’d said so much. He hurriedly walked over and smoothed a hand over YiHan’s head.

“I’m sorry,” JingYuan said. “I didn’t mean to shout at you. If you want anything or need anything, you can just tell me. The doctor said you need to rest in bed for a few more days.”

YiHan smiled up at JingYuan. “I’m fine,” he replied. “I just feel uncomfortable from having laid down for so long. It’s my bad. Um, I won’t move anymore. I’ll take a nap.” He shot one last grin up at JingYuan before closing his eyes.

Looking down at the bright red imprint of YiHan’s teeth on his lower lip, JingYuan’s heart ached. He leaned down and embraced YiHan. He tenderly kissed the younger man on the lips and ran his hand through the other’s hair.

“HanHan, are you mad?” JingYuan softly asked. “It’s my fault. If you can’t sleep, then don’t. I’ll chat with you. Hm?”

“I’m not angry,” YiHan replied, eyes still closed. “I was just a little tired. I can fall asleep. Go do your work. I know you have a lot of documents waiting for you. You actually don’t need to be here all the time. That’d be so bad for work. I’m not that badly hurt. I can go home now and…mmngh.”

JingYuan covered that chattering mouth up with his own. After a deep kiss, his tongue retreated out of YiHan’s mouth. On the way back, it gave the bite mark on YiHan’s lower lip a gentle lick.

“And you say you’re not angry,” JingYuan commented, forehead pressed against YiHan’s. “You wouldn’t even open your eyes and look at me.”

There was nothing YiHan could do then but to open his eyes. “I’m really not angry,” he said with a smile. “I’m not a girl. How could I be so easily angered? Go back to work. I’m really going to take a nap. With you here, I can’t fall asleep.”

JingYuan caressed YiHan’s cheek with a thumb and sighed, “HanHan, it’s been a while since we’ve started dating. I can feel your emotions, at least some of it. You’re upset yet you won’t tell me. That makes me very dejected.”

“But you were upset just now,” YiHan said, finally looking the man in the eye, “yet you won’t tell me.”

That made JingYuan pause. His mind recalled what happened a few minutes ago. It was certainly so. He loved YiHan so he was sensitive to YiHan’s emotions and changes. Similarly, his HanHan loved him. Of course the younger man could sense his emotions. JingYuan was certainly the one at fault here. He was projecting.

“My bad,” JingYuan whispered. He sat higher up on the bed and pulled the upper half of YiHan’s body into his arms. “I want HanHan to have no secrets from me but I couldn’t do the same.”

YiHan leaned fully into the hug, calm and docile. “Then, can you tell me,” he asked in a voice so low that it seemed like he was afraid the slightest noise could ruin the tranquillity of the room, “why did you leave here this morning in a good mood but you came back in a horrid mood in the afternoon?”

JingYuan was actually still seething on the inside and he did think this fit of jealousy was rather ridiculous. He really didn’t want to tell YiHan about it but he had just said he’d be sincere. Hence, he had no choice but to put his ego aside.

“It’s nothing much,” said JingYuan. “I just thought that you and Jiang Hua are a little too close. It hurt my heart.”

“Jiang-ge?” YiHan asked in shock.

“Yes.” JingYuan had decided to just let it all free. “Don’t you think you treat him too well? When investigating XueQing’s suitors, you go to him for help first instead of me. When I walked into the room just now, he was still holding onto your hand. If I hadn’t walked over, he might’ve insisted on holding on a while longer. You then asked him out to a meal right before my eyes. You kept defending him to Yan. You would rather have your allowance cut instead of his monthly bonus!”

YiHan’s mouth opened and closed and opened and closed. Finally, he gasped out, “My god, JingYuan. This jealousy fit…you know as well as I do Jiang-ge has no family. I just told him I’d be his younger brother forever. He only held my hand because he was excited at having family. Are you going to get jealous over my big brother holding my hand too? As for the meal, we’ve decided on that early on. He helped me look into my sister’s past suitors. You know how busy he usually is. He handed me an extremely detailed document. One glance and I could tell he compiled the information himself. He put in so much effort so I said I’d treat him to a meal as thanks.”

“Of course I know you love me and only me,” JingYuan said as he rubbed his chin against the top of YiHan’s head. “But who knows about him? You’re such a sweet man. Perhaps he has feelings for you? Why else would he be so concerned about your matters?”

“What are you rambling on about?” YiHan tiredly said. He was beaten by this man’s logic. “He has someone he likes and Jiang-ge is a very stubborn man. He’s like a swan. Once he’s set his mind on someone, he’ll only be with them and no one else. Unfortunately, he fell in love with a straight man. He didn’t want to drag that man down with him into the murky waters of being gay, so he’s decided to be alone forever. Do you know why I’m so concerned about his bonus? That truly is his retirement fund. He has already made plans for his future. He has started accumulating his own retirement fund now. I’m not like him. I’m the Little Master of the Bai family and I have you by my side. When would I ever be strapped for cash? Furthermore, it’ll only be allowance from my brother. Even if all of my allowance gets cut, the dividends I’ll earn through company shares would be enough for me to live in luxury.

“Actually, I’m a fool too. Why was I concerned for his retirement fund? I wasn’t fooling around when I said I’d be his younger brother. How could any brother of mine be afraid of poverty?”

“Is that so?” JingYuan replied, letting out an awkward cough. “Let me guess. He’s in love with Yan, yes?”

“How do you know?” YiHan cried in surprise.

“If it were someone else, would you be as concerned?” JingYuan let out a huff of laughter. “Even if you’re close to him, you’d just be his friend. Why must you be his younger brother? But you’re quite right. This Jiang Hua is a good man. He’s a great match for Yan in terms of look and personality.”

“So what if they’d be a great match?” YiHan said in frustration. “My brother’s straight. Jiang-ge has said he didn’t want to disrupt Yan’s life. Being able to be by his side is enough for Jiang-ge.”

“Nothing’s set in stone,” JingYuan said, his chin ruffling up his lover’s hair once more. “Who could say what will happen in the future?” Now that they’d both opened up to each other, JingYuan could think back on Yan’s reaction just now. It was similar to how JingYuan himself reacted. Perhaps Jiang Hua stood a chance. However, he’d wait and watch them dance around. Love was something no one but the couple themselves could control.

“This time, through sheer luck, you were able to find out Wei Quan’s plot,” JingYuan spoke up once more after a moment of contemplation. “You saved XueQing and TianYang but did you know there was someone else behind the car crash? Did you know Wei Quan was deliberately incited to act by another person?”

“Someone else?” YiHan was shocked. “Who?”

“Tao Qi.”

“Tao Qi?” YiHan said. “Tao Qi! What does this have to do with her? We’ve broken up ages ago!”

“She’s already been captured by Chen Feng,” JingYuan replied. “Captain Chen Jing knows we’re furious so he didn’t push us for her. She’s now locked up in your home’s basement. Chen Feng is in charge of guarding her, along with his men. She was absolutely the one who’d provoked Wei Quan to drive a car at TianYang. Although, for some unknown reason, Wei Quan changed targets and aimed at XueQing. The only one who knows why Tao Qi did such a thing is she herself but she’s acting deranged right now. She’s screaming and shouting about wanting to talk to you. She was your girlfriend after all. So I thought I might as well as if you want to see her.”

“You went out in the afternoon for this?” YiHan asked.

“Yes. A lot of what she’s said was utter nonsense and sometimes lies,” said JingYuan. “I couldn’t even understand what she was trying to say. I was wondering if there’s something wrong with her mentally.”

“But she’s quite normal?” YiHan said, confused. “Speaking of which, I was the one in the wrong when it came to my relationship with her. When I discovered my feelings for you were not what they should be, I panicked and agreed to her confession. Soon after we started dating, I hastily broke up with her. While I don’t like her, I can’t deny she’s an incredibly good girl. She’s extremely kind and pure. She always thinks the best of everyone and everything. She can’t have done something like this. There’s also nothing wrong with her mind at all! Just what’s going on? What did she say?”

JingYuan drily cleared his throat. “Other than her request to talk to you,” he replied, rage simmering beneath his voice, “She demanded to talk to me too. She said we’re the official couple. We’re destined to be together. I had to save her. She said if I don’t save her, I’d regret it forever, or something. Either way, it’s all a bunch of nonsense. I was afraid I’d be unable to hold myself back from hitting her if I kept listening, and I was worried about leaving you all alone in the hospital. So I came back.”

YiHan: !!!


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 115

115. Cut Bonus

When Chen TianYang’s mother left YiHan’s ward, she specifically took a walk around the floor before returning to TianYang’s room. She opened the door only to be greeted with her son looking as red as a cooked prawn. She could see steam just drifting above him. An eerie mesmerised smile still hung on his face. As for her future daughter-in-law, she was peeling an apple with a knife beside him. Her hands were extremely calm and steady as thin curling strips of apple skin were removed.

TianYang’s mother: …

I have very complicated feelings right now.

I think they’re meant to be the other way around.

I might’ve given birth to a fake son.

***

Inside YiHan’s ward:

“It’s just a minor wound,” YiHan told Jiang Hua, smiling at the man as he said so. “You’re so busy. There’s no need for you to come all the way here. Once I’m fully recovered, I’d go to you. Oh, yes, I still owe you a meal.”

“The last time you got injured, I was on a business trip so I couldn’t come visit,” Jiang Hua replied. “This time, I’m in the city as you get into another major accident. How could I not come and check in on you? As for work, time is like water in a sponge. I can always squeeze some out. Anyway, you sure are bold this time, way too bold even. You actually drove straight into that car. Do you know just how dangerous that is?”

“It was an emergency,” YiHan replied, spitting his tongue out at the other man. “I didn’t think that deeply into my actions. If I didn’t ram right into that car, XueQing and TianYang would be in danger.”

“Oh, you,” Jiang Hua sighed. He patted the young man on the head. “I know you’re worried about your sister and brother-in-law, but you must be mindful of your own safety in the future. Got it? Thank goodness you’re fine this time. If anything ever happened to you, your sister and brother-in-law would be spending the rest of their lives in agonising guilt.”

“I know, Jiang-ge,” YiHan said with a nod. “By the way, you’re here and not by my big brother’s side. He’s probably panicking over work now.”

Jiang Hua chuckled and calmly replied, “There’s no such thing as someone who’s completely irreplaceable. Without me around, there’d be plenty of employees working. I had never dared to think too highly of myself.”

“No way,” YiHan retorted. “My brother has said on multiple occasions that you’re both his right-hand and his left-hand men. If you weren’t around, he’d buried in work and at a loss.”

“Is that so?” Jiang Hua couldn’t help letting a chuckle slip. “If I can make him feel that way, I’d be happy forever.”

“Jiang-ge, I’m not criticising you, but is that all you aim for?” YiHan said in exasperation. “You’re satisfied with just that? Have you ever thought of being the proactive party and lure him in first? I can help you.”

“Thank you but I don’t plan to do so.” A bitter smile spread across Jiang Hua’s face. “If he’s like me, gay, I’d definitely try it out even if I have to risk my life. But he’s not. He’s a straight man. While gay marriage is legal, it’s not an easy path to take. Furthermore, it’s as hard as enlightenment to turn a straight man gay. Even if it’s possible, I don’t want to pull him down into the waters just because I was feeling thirsty. I can’t make him go with me on this path destined to be rife with difficulties and injustice. He’s the eldest son of the Bai family. He’ll get married, have kids, and have a perfect home blessed with lively and adorable children. He’ll take over the reins at the Bai Group. He’ll be a powerful force in the business world. I just want to be by his side. I wish to stand close to him no matter when and where, to watch him and to protect him. To do my best to ensure his life would be smooth sailing.”

“I understand your thinking,” YiHan sighed again and solemnly nodded. “Just like JingYuan and me. If he didn’t clearly tell me he liked me, I never planned on telling him how I feel. That’s what I thought too. As long as I can be by his side, be his family, watch him be happy, it was enough. If one day I end up losing control over the thirst in me, I was willing to just leave and be alone so I wouldn’t disrupt his happy life.”

The older man patted him on the hand, smiled and said, “It’s already amazing that you can plan so much for him. It’s because you’re so mature and cute that Mr Mu has fallen deeply in love with you.”

“Jiang-ge, can you not use ‘cute’ to describe a man?” YiHan objected. “It’s very harmful to my ego. My siblings never listen to me. They say I’m still a kid in their minds. Even if I grow up, they couldn’t help but imagine me as I was back as a child. But you? Why do you keep calling me that?”

“I’m just saying it as I see it,” was the reply. “I think if I can have a younger brother, you’d be my ideal.”

YiHan was reminded of how Jiang Hua was all alone in this world without a single family member and his heart throbbed.

“You have a younger brother now,” YiHan beamed up at Jiang Hua. “It’s me! Were you surprised?”

Jiang Hua looked back at the bright smile YiHan had on. He could feel his eyes aching and watering up. He reached out and grabbed the younger man’s hand.

“It’s such a pleasant surprise,” he softly said. “Thank you, YiHan.”

YiHan’s hand turned and held back at Jiang Hua’s hand. “If it’s possible, I really do wish my brother is gay and he would get together with you. Because I think you love him the most out of everyone in this world. I’d feel regret and pity in his place for missing you. Perhaps he’ll get married and have kids. He might have the perfect life according to everyone but his wife would definitely not love him as much as you do. I’m serious, Jiang-ge. I really want you to be my brother too. I wish we can be a family. However, even if you can’t be with my big brother, it doesn’t stop me from treating you like my brother.”

Jiang Hua lowered his head and quickly blinked his eyes. When he looked back up, his eyes were red.

“Little one, to say something so moving…” His smile wavered. His voice sounded slightly hoarse. “Okay. Even if I have no family, it’d be nice to have a cute younger brother. My life wouldn’t be for nothing now.”

“Why are you using ‘cute’ again?” YiHan cried, upset. “Can I never escape this description?”

Jiang Hua let out another chuckle. “Speaking of which, if anyone else found out I like the eldest son of the Bai family, they would think I just want to be Cinderella. Why do you trust me this much?”

“I just know,” solemnly said YiHan. “I believe if there ever comes a day when my brother has need for help, even if he’s not the great heir of the Bai family anymore, you would give everything to him all so he could rise from the ashes.” He’d witnessed Jiang Hua do all that once. No one else knew better than he did just how sincere and loyal Jiang Hua was to Bai Yan.

The other man huffed and let out a “heh”. His hand tightened around YiHan’s. YiHan could tell he was destined to never obtain the person he loved but he didn’t know how to console the other man either. All he could do was to hold back tightly.

When JingYuan and Yan walked into the room, having bumped into each other at the hospital entrance, they were greeted with the following sight:

Warm sunshine bathed the hospital ward floors as a handsome Jiang Hua and an exquisite YiHan, one sitting up in the hospital bed and one sitting on the chair beside it, linked hands and looked into each other’s eyes. A gentle warmth exuded from them.

JingYuan and Yan: …

JingYuan’s hands curled so hard around the thermal flask in his hands that he nearly broke the handle. He loudly cleared his throat and strode into the  room, making sure his footsteps were audible. He nodded to Jiang Hua in greeting and deliberately walked in front of him so he’d have to let go of YiHan’s hand. He placed the thermal flask on the bedside table and turned to YiHan.

“Aunt Yang made you some soup,” he gently said. “I went back just to get it for you. Do you want to drink it now or later?”

“I’ll have it now!” YiHan gleefully replied. He was as happy as a flitting sparrow upon seeing JingYuan.

JingYuan was satisfied with the reaction he received. With perked up lips, he carefully poured out some soup into a tiny bowl and handed it over.

“Be careful. It’s hot,” he said.

YiHan accepted the bowl with both hands, still giggling in joy.

Having witnessed such a loving sight, Jiang Hua was happy for YiHan.

“YiHan, Mr Mu’s here so I’ll be leaving,” said Jiang Hua as he got up from his chair. “There’s plenty of work left in the office.”

“Goodbye,” YiHan hurriedly said before the man could walk away. “Let’s go get a meal together once I’m discharged. Don’t forget!”

Jiang Hua glanced at JingYuan. The man was gritting his teeth. He couldn’t help but let loose a chuckle at that.

“Okay,” Jiang Hua replied. “I won’t forget. I can’t forget. Farewell, Mr Mu.”

JingYuan robotically turned to face Jiang Hua, nodded to the other man, and sternly said, “Take care.”

Jiang Hua hid his laughter behind pursed lips as he turned towards the door. Upon finding the seething Bai Yan, he was shocked.

“Mr Mu, you’re not at the office?” Jiang Hua asked.

“So you too know there’s a lot of work waiting in the office,” Yan gloomily said. “Yet, you’d skip work for no reason. Your bonus for the month will be cut.”

Jiang Hua’s eyes bugged out and his jaw dropped. “But I applied for leave before I came. How…” could it be considered skipping work for no reason?

“Are you questioning my decision?” Yan interrupted, unhappy with what he was hearing.

“No, Mr Bai,” Jiang Hua sighed. “If that’s all, I’ll head back to the office first.”

Yan harrumphed and twisted his head to look away in a quick flick. Jiang Hua kept silent and walked off, brushing past his boss as he did so. In the whole journey back to the office, he wondered and wondered about what he did to have angered his boss. Even when he eventually arrived at his desk, he’d yet to find a clue. All he could do was let out a heavy sigh once more. Whatever. As long as his boss didn’t fire him in a fit of anger, it was fine.

Back at the hospital, YiHan lowered his bowl of soup and pouted at Yan.

“Why did you get angry at Jiang-ge all of a sudden, Big Brother?” YiHan grumbled. “What did he do to have upset you?”

Yan didn’t know why he threw an angry fit out of the blue either. All he knew was there was something pushing down on his heart and made him so uneasy that he panicked slightly. Even after his outburst at Jiang Hua, that feeling never went away. Upon hearing his own little brother questioning him on his actions, the ember in his heart burned brighter. He couldn’t find it in his heart to blame his younger brother, so the blame fell to Jiang Hua.

Yan glumly looked at YiHan and said, “He’s my subordinate. Can’t I tell him off? Also, I didn’t go off for no reason…”

“How is that not unreasonable?” YiHan unhappily asked. “He squeezed some time out of his busy day to visit me out of kindness. You, however, immediately threw a fit at him upon bumping into him and you took away his monthly bonus. That is his retirement fund. Only you’d be cruel enough to do so! Hmph! Who would dare come and visit me now with that attitude of yours? Ah, wait no. Could it be you were angry at me? Then you can just take away my allowance! Why are you stealing Jiang Hua’s retirement fund from him?”

“Just what are you babbling about?” Yan asked. He didn’t know if he should cry or laugh at how the conversation developed. “Why would I get angry at you for no reason? Alright, alright. I won’t cut your Jiang-ge’s retirement fund. Is that okay?”


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 114

114. So This is Love

“Mom, I love her.” TianYang’s smile was as heart-warming as can be. “I don’t care about winning or losing. As long as I can be with her, as long as she loves me too, I’ll be the greatest winner in life.”

“XueQing is such a lucky woman to be so loved by my son,” his mother replied. “Wait, no! You mean she hasn’t fallen in love with you yet?” Would all her son’s efforts be for nothing then?

“Of course she’s in love with me,” TianYang said after clearing his throat. His eyes shimmered. “I already said I’ve won.”

At the sight of her son’s uneasy gaze, a very rare sight to behold, and how his eyes would wander off to glance at the door, TianYang’s mother heaved a heavy sigh internally. Oh, her silly son. Mothers know their sons best. How could she not guess what he was thinking? Whatever. She’ll do her best to help him and make his dream come true. She had trust in her son and his tastes. She’ll trust the woman her son had his eyes on would be one of the best ladies around. She also knew of the Bai family daughter. That woman’s capable and strong. Bad rumours of her had yet to reach the ears of TianYang’s mother. She was just afraid the young woman might be too strong. Her son would likely be under that woman’s thumb for his whole life. But what could she do? With how her son was acting, he’d probably be willing to be submissive forever.

“I hope she would be touched by how you risked your life to save her and that she’ll love you from now on. ” TianYang’s mother sighed. “Your journey to getting a girlfriend sure is a dangerous one. You nearly lost your life.”

“She can’t be blamed for this,” TianYang replied. “XueQing is the victim here. Mom, someone wants to kill your daughter-in-law!”

“Really?” His mother let out a cold smirk as she toyed with her exquisite manicures. “It seems like the Chen family has been too lenient lately, to the point where a nobody would dare to step on us. They even dare to plot the murder of my daughter-in-law.” And they nearly killed her son!

The mother and son were stuck in their own thoughts when someone lightly knocked on the door. TianYang instantly straightened up.

“Come in,” he quickly responded.

He looked so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed that his mother heaved another sigh at him.

Upon stepping through the door, XueQing first noticed the presence of TianYang’s mother. Her lips swiftly rose into a polite smile.

“Hello, Aunty,” greeted XueQing as she strode over.

“Hello,” TianYang’s mother responded. “How is your brother doing? He got hurt saving TianYang yesterday. I should go and thank him in person.”

“YiHan’s already awake,” replied XueQing. “Madam, you’re too kind. YiHan didn’t do all that much.”

“Nonsense,” said the older woman. “TianYang saved you because he wanted to. But my son just told me YiHan’s act saved his life. These are two separate deeds. I must thank him.”

“The culprit’s target was me,” XueQing remorsefully said. “TianYang got hurt all because he saved me. I don’t know how to properly apologise for that.”

“Silly child,” TianYang’s mother said, holding XueQing’s hands in hers. “Who knew this would happen? You’re a victim in this and you did nothing wrong. What’s there to apologise for? As I’ve said, TianYang saved you because he wanted to. You’re fine, so he’d achieved his goal. No need to feel guilty.” She then pursed her lips into a smile. “Anyway, he told me to be a man is to protect the woman he loves. If you don’t let him do so, he’d be miserable.”

XueQing nodded. Her heart softened. Everything happened so fast. While she still wasn’t clear on the exact situation back then, what she did know was as clear as day in her memory. As danger closed in, TianYang didn’t hesitate at all and twisted around so he’d be exposed to the car instead of her. If her little brother hadn’t crashed into that car, this man would be in the morgue now. Hard times can reveal true colours. The subconscious actions of a person are the best gauge of one’s character. The worse the situation, the better one knew of another. TianYang’s reactions then wasn’t just an attempt to save her. He was going to throw away his life for hers. Far too many women have dreamed of having a man who would do anything for them, even give up his own life. It’s an honour for her to behold such affections. She should treasure it.

TianYang’s mother spent a moment observing the emotions flicker through XueQing’s eyes. A hand snuck around to her back and flashed a V sign at her son.

“Right, I’ll go visit YiHan now,” she said to XueQing, a kind smile on her face. “Please help me keep an eye on TianYang for a moment.”

“You’re too polite, Aunty,” XueQing replied. “TianYang is my boyfriend. It’s my duty to take care of him.”

TianYang’s goddess verbally confirmed their relationship! And she looked so serious! And she did it before his mother!

Under the blanket, TianYang’s hands clenched and unclenched. He felt as if he could fly! If he could move around unhindered as usual, he would really run up to his mother, hug her and give her a big smooch on the cheek! Oh, my sweet mother, I love you!

“Oh?” his mother hummed. “You’re together already?  When did it happen? It’s a dream come true for my brat. He’s so lucky. I could tell you’re a good kid from one look.”

“N-Not long ago” XueQing murmured, cheeks flushed. “We were going to notify our parents recently but, out of the blue, this happened. I apologise for letting such a hasty meeting in the hospital to be our first meeting.”

“What’s important is not where we meet but who we’re meeting with,” TianYang’s mother replied. “Even if I meet you beside a pile of trash, I’d be happy just getting to know a girl like you.”

XueQing blushed even harder. TianYang’s mother held her hand once more.

“Alright. I’ll go see YiHan. You two have fun chatting,” the older woman said. “What happened was so dangerous. Don’t worry. The instant I find the person who had the guts target my daughter-in-law, they’re dead!”

“Thank you,” XueQing solemnly replied.

The older woman nodded to XueQing in farewell and left.

XueQing turned around and looked at the man lying on the bed. His right leg was encased in a cast. He looked pale and sickly. This man had always portrayed a serious image. Every time he appeared before her eyes, he’d always been refined and elegant. This really was the most ragged she’d ever seen him. Even so, this was the most mesmerising version of him she’d ever seen. That messy hair, that sickly green hue on his face, those paper-white lips; they were all so heart wrenching.

She walked over to the bed, sat down in the chair beside it and gently smoothed the man’s hair back.

“Does your leg hurt?” she softly asked.

The fingers of TianYang’s idol, his goddess, were brushing against his cheek. TianYang could hear his heart thump and skip. In this very moment, all pain had drained out of him. He shook his head in response and craned his neck around to look at XueQing’s knees.

“I’m fine,” he said. “What about you? How are your wounds?”

“It’s just a little scrape,” XueQing chuckled. “It never mattered anyway.”

“How could it not matter?” TianYang sternly replied. “If it’s not dealt with well, it’d create scars. It’d affect your ability to wear skirts.”

“Do you think I’d be ugly with a scar?” XueQing leaned in and asked.

His goddess was so close to him that he could feel their breaths mingling and mixing together. A red blush swiftly overtook TianYang’s pale face. He felt as if he couldn’t breathe.

“W-W-Why would I?” he stammered. “Y-You’re beautiful n-no matter what.”

“Since you, my boyfriend, don’t mind, what’s the big deal with having scars?” XueQing remained hovering close.

“You’re a girl,” he muttered. He could feel his cheeks burning up. “It’s natural for you to want to be pretty. I was afraid you’d be upset if they really left scars…”

By now, XueQing had found the pose she’d adopted to be quite exhausting. Her palms reached up and pressed flat against TianYang’s pillow by his ears, supporting herself up while framing his head. She leaned further in and looked him in the eyes.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’m not the kind of girl who’d be depressed over a tiny scar. You, however, won’t be able to work for a very long time.”

“It’s fine,” he whispered. He could feel his cheeks burning harder with every puff of warm breath he could feel against his face. “It’d be good for me to take this chance to take it easy.” He paused and bit his lip as he thought. “XueQing, you told my mother…I…I’m your boyfriend. Were you serious? The kind of relationship that has nothing to do with the contract?”

XueQing’s red lips perked up in a slight smile as she replied, “I was wondering how long you’d hem and haw around the question. You’ve finally decided to spit it out.”

As TianYang was stuck in a faze, XueQing leaned down further and, as gentle as a dragonfly flitting over a pond, lightly pecked him on the lips.

“Well? Do you think I’m serious now?” she asked, straightening up and away.

TianYang’s mind was already blown to smithereens. Fireworks were shooting everywhere. He was so light and floaty. Nothing felt real. He could feel a faint numbing sensation spreading over his lips. He stretched them out into a slightly agape shape. Oh, they can still move.

But…

His eyes scanned past XueQing and landed on his encased leg. His eyes dimmed as they moved back to XueQing’s gorgeous face. His fingers clenched hard at his blanket.

“You don’t need to push yourself.” He forced a smile out. “I actually…mmngh!”

XueQing’s gaze had been following his. Her flushed cheeks cooled down as she looked at TianYang’s broken leg. From that glance, she knew that he likely thought she only agreed to date him because he saved her or that she pitied him.

There’s no point talking anymore at this time. The best way is to just stop his mouth. They say women overthink everything, always scheming and plotting. Men act the same way too!

The kiss ended and TianYang’s face was hot enough to cook an egg on. At the sight of the flustered man, XueQing couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. How had she never realised this man could be so cute?

She looked into those eyes, shimmering with tears, and slowly said, “If I, Bai XueQing, truly wanted to pay someone back, I have plenty of methods to do so. I have no need to pay with my body. You humiliate my feelings by thinking that.”

“That’s not what I mean, XueQing!” TianYang panicked.

“Then do you believe me?” XueQing asked with a slow blink.

“I do. I believe you,” he hurriedly said. “XueQing, I…I love you. I love you so much. Don’t…please don’t…”

“Don’t hurt you, I know,” XueQing interrupted. “By the way, I’m the woman here. Shouldn’t I be saying that instead?”

“I know it’s not manly of me,” TianYang replied with a bitter smile. “My mom told me that I’ve been utterly defeated in this battle of love, even before the battle has started. I’m not afraid of losing, XueQing. I’m just afraid I can’t earn your true love.”

In that moment, XueQing felt her heart race like never before. It thumped and twisted in distress. The emotions carved itself deep into her bones. She couldn’t help but dip her head down and kissed the man once more.

“You didn’t lose, TianYang,” she mumbled into his lips. “You’ve earned it…” JingYuan was right. So this is love.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 113

113. (Untitled)

With TianYang’s leg fracture found, another was to be sent in for surgery. However, even at the doors of the operating theatre, TianYang could still be heard rambling on to the doctors.

“Arrange for a doctor to take care of XueQing’s wounds,” he said. “Her knees are scrapped. They’re still bleeding…”

XueQing was rendered speechless at that. She could do nothing but obediently let a nurse clean and dress her wounds.

As the nurse finished up, FuRen and Yan arrived at the hospital.

“How’s YiHan?” the two men frantically asked as they marched over. “What happened?”

JingYuan remained silent, his head still in his hands.

“Someone drove at me with a car today,” XueQing’s glum voice said. “Lil Bro rushed over and banged into the car, pushing it away. That’s the only reason I’m alive. YiHan’s been hurt on the head and he’s still inside. The doctors say he’s safe though.”

Yan let out a sigh of relief. “What about you?” he asked. “Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine,” she replied, massaging her forehead as she said so. “But TianYang broke his leg in saving me. He’s in the operating theatre over there.”

“Have you notified his parents?” FuRen asked.

“Aah!” XueQing lightly smacked her head. “I forgot.”

Yan patted her on the shoulder in consolation. Just then, footsteps echoed down the hallway. Chen Feng rushed over with two men right behind him. They were panting hard.

“How’s the Little Master?” Chen Feng pushed out between big gulps of air.

“How did you protect HanHan? Where did you go?” Yan barked.

Chen Feng stood up straight. “Little Master asked me to look into a few men,” he said in a frustrated tone. “I saw that he had no intentions of leaving the house so I went to get it done. I only knew Little Master got into an accident when the men I’d ordered to follow the targets called me.”

“You’re the one who called this afternoon,” JingYuan suddenly broke his silence and asked. “Who did he ask you to investigate?”

Chen Feng didn’t dare to hide anything. He immediately dug out the paper and handed it over.

“The person who drove at Miss XueQing today is this man,” Chen Feng said, pointing out Wei Quan’s name.

JingYuan stared so hard down at the handwritten piece of paper that it seemed like he was trying to bore a hole in Wei Quan’s name through sheer force of will.

After a pause, he said, “What did you find?”

Chen Feng told the Bai family and JingYuan everything he’d found out about Wei Quan.

“Woman?” Yan spoke up. “What woman?”

Chen Feng took out his phone and showed them the photo of the woman and Wei Quan heading into the rental car shop that afternoon. The lady in the picture only had a sliver of her side-profile showing but that didn’t prevent JingYuan from instantly recognising her.

“Tao Qi!” JingYuan spat out through gritted teeth. His eyes glared at the phone screen.

“Tao Qi? Why does this name sound so familiar? Ah, right,” XueQing gasped in shock. “Lil Bro’s girlfriend?”

It was only when the words left her mouth did she realise she’d misspoken. She hurriedly glanced at JingYuan. His face had turned a sickly green. His lips were pursed in a tight line.

“Why would this woman want me dead?” XueQing cautiously continued. “We don’t even know each other. Right?”

“That will be a question for her,” JingYuan darkly said.

“How did Lil Bro know there’s something wrong with this man? Why did he have Chen Feng investigate these men out of the blue?” Yan mused.

JingYuan tilted his head and supported it with a hand. “Ever since XueQing and TianYang confirmed their relationship, HanHan had been worried. About two weeks ago, he asked Jiang Hua to look into all of XueQing’s suitors. He said he was afraid the more easily agitated suitors might not accept the relationship and splash acid at XueQing and TianYang.”

“Jiang Hua…” Yan muttered. His heart started racing for some unknown reason. He  looked at the paper Chen Feng handed over. He continued, “The organisation method used here is certainly Jiang Hua’s style.”

“He must’ve been traumatised by his kidnapping,” XueQing murmured. She was both touched and upset by the thought.

“I thought so too,” JingYuan said. “Who knew that HanHan’s blind guess really dug up a sinister plan and he just so happened to have found him.”

“First, it’s HanHan. He was the target for attack after attack,” FuRen mused. His brows scrunched together in a frown. “Then, it’s XueQing. The mastermind isn’t just targeting HanHan. They’re after the Bai family. HanHan, XueQing, Yan, even I, are all ‘their’ targets.”

JingYuan closed his eyes and said, “Everyone might be ‘their’ target, but this matter might not be ‘their’ doing. Uncle, what happened today and what happened to HanHan don’t seem to have been done by the same person. The mastermind behind the attacks targeting HanHan is very thorough. There was a plan for every step of the way. They also hid their identity extremely well. This person behind the incident this time, however, was clearly much more crass in their methods.”

“Just what did our family do to have made so many enemies?” XueQing exhaled in frustration. “They’ve all popped out of the woodwork and they all want the lives of us three siblings!”

“Calm down, XueQing,” FuRen said, patting her on the shoulder. “The police are still investigating HanHan’s case. They don’t have a lead yet but today’s incident…Chen Feng, you’ll handle it yourself. You must find me the woman in that photo before the police does. I’d like to ask her just what my family did to make an enemy of her!”

Chen Feng was already ill at ease with himself because a mistake on his part had put the Little Master in danger’s way. Upon hearing Bai FuRen’s order, he immediately stood to attention.

“Don’t worry, sir,” Chen Feng solemnly replied. “I’ll bring that woman to you even if I have to risk my life!” He then shot a look at the closed doors of the Emergency Room before marching off.

XueQing collapsed back on her chair. She’d instinctively shot to her feet when her emotions overwhelmed her.

“I’m so very tired of being stuck at such a disadvantage!” XueQing roared with a frustrated ruffle of her hair. “That man was definitely gunning for me yet HanHan was the one who’s hurt. TianYang also broke a leg! They’ve both gotten hurt in my place. Aaargh! I’d rather the one who was hurt is me!”

Yan leaned down and hugged his sister around the shoulders. “Don’t be like this, XueQing,” he softly said. “They love you. They don’t want you hurt. It’s why they’d do anything to protect you, even if they’re injured in the process. Being well is the best way to reciprocate.”

JingYuan nodded in agreement and patted XueQing on the shoulder.

The time they spent waiting was long and arduous. During the wait, Chen Jing and Fang Yi had rushed into the hospital. After getting a detailed statement on what happened, they went to look in on Wei Quan.

YiHan’s car crashed into the silver Volkswagen on the passenger side. Wei Quan was merely knocked unconscious due to the impact. He suffered no major injuries. Not long after arriving at the hospital, he woke up. He quickly realised something was off with his surroundings and tried to run away. However, the Bai family bodyguards swiftly stopped his escape attempt and kept him confined to his ward.

During Chen Jing’s questioning, Wei Quan acted like a delirious crazy man who kept mumbling and rambling utter nonsense. He even loudly proclaimed he had a history of mental illness. He can’t be held accountable. Also, he clearly remembered not having killed anyone anyway. When the man spoke, every sentence made sense. Combined with his occasional bursts of blather certainly matched how a mentally ill patient would act.

Chen Jing and Fang Yi moved the man back to the station for further interrogation. Before they left, they asked the Bai family to contact them when YiHan and TianYang woke up so the police could get their statements too. The two police officers also assured the family they would do their best in finding and interrogating Tao Qi, the one suspected of pushing Wei Quan to commit the crime.

***

Thankfully, YiHan suffered no lasting injuries. The doctors said it was fortunate he had his safety belt on. While the front of the car was heavily dented, the driver’s seat suffered no damages. Thus, YiHan’s injuries merely came from the impact. He would suffer a slight concussion but completely fine otherwise.

YiHan woke up the next morning and was in a good enough mood to joke around.

“I didn’t have a smart mind to begin with,” YiHan said. “And after hitting my head so many times, I was probably going to be even more stupid than before.”

XueQing gently embraced him and whispered, “It doesn’t matter if you turn into a fool. I’ll protect you forever.”

Sadly, this heart-warming scene was ruthlessly shattered by JingYuan. He dragged XueQing aside and took her spot. He even shot a warning  glare at her.

XueQing: …Damn it! Can’t I even hug my own little brother now? What has the world come to? Hmph. I’ll go to my boyfriend!

In spite of his whirling migraine, YiHan’s smile shone bright and showed off two deep dimples.

***

When TianYang came to, the first person he saw was his mother, sitting by his bed and staring at him in worry.

“Mom, why are you here?” he asked with a smile.

A slender, manicured finger reached out and gently poked him on the forehead.

“You broke a leg,” she said. “How could I not be here?”

TianYang answered her with another bright smile. He looked around then his shoulders drooped slightly in disappointment.

“XueQing hasn’t come to visit?” he asked. “Ah, right. She must be taking care of YiHan. How is he?”

“Look at you,” came the unhappy reply. “You just woke up and all you think about is Bai XueQing. If not for her, you wouldn’t be hurt. Does your leg not hurt anymore?”

“Mom, I know you’re worried for me but just like how my father loves you,” TianYang warmly replied, a hand reaching out to hold his mother’s hand. “I too love XueQing. Protecting one’s loved ones is part of being human, is it not? You’ve always told me I had to treat my future wife well.”

His mother was rendered speechless at that. Yes. That was just part of humanity and she certainly would tell her son that line over and over again, but her heart rejected the notion upon seeing her own son getting hurt over it.

She blinked hard. “Even so,” she said. “You love her so you wish to do all you can to protect her. But what about her? Does she love you? Look. She hasn’t even been by to see you.”

“If she’s not here,” he said, smile as bright as ever. “That means she must be with YiHan. Speaking of YiHan, you remind me of what happened back then. If YiHan hadn’t driven into that crazy man’s car in such a suicidal manner, XueQing would probably be fine but I would very much be dead. YiHan’s act saved me. You still haven’t told me. How is he now?”

His mother hurried over to cover his mouth. “What are you rambling on about?” She could feel her heart racing. “How could you talk about your death as if it’s nothing? Aren’t you afraid of cursing yourself? Don’t worry! Bai YiHan’s fine. Just a concussion. He just needs to rest.”

“That’s good,” TianYang let out a sigh of relief as he said so. “Did you know? When we first opened up that door, all we could see was YiHan sitting there in the driver’s seat with his face covered in blood. I nearly fainted from shock. If anything happens to YiHan, I’ll never be able to live the rest of my life in peace. When he banged into the silver car like a mad man, he was so crazed that it didn’t matter to him it was a suicidal move. Mom, he truly thinks of me as his brother-in-law, as family. I can feel it.”

“My son has always been a smart boy,” Mom commented, head nodding along. “You’ve never ever made me worry. Since you think so well of him, he must be a good kid. Relationships are about give and take. When you marry XueQing in the future, remember to treat him like he’s your own brother.”

“You think XueQing and I will get married too, don’t you?” TianYang asked, his two eyes twinkling. “I just know XueQing and I are the most suited for each other.”

His mother froze at that. “My foolish little son,” she sighed, ruffling his hair in exasperation. “Just look at you. The battle of love has yet to start but you’ve already lost.”

Translator’s Notes:

1. Scene where YiHan woke up: This scene originally had no quoted dialogue. However, all text was written in such a way they might as well be actual dialogue. It’s a storytelling technique some writers use to blur the line between dialogue and narration, which would make a horror story even more horrifying, a simple statement seem more questionable. Here, it’s simply used because the author wishes to speed time along and doesn’t want to spend too much time on setting the scene. However, all information needed for the scene were already written, so quotation marks are added for readability/consistency with the chapter’s style.

2. Fool/stupid: There’s always an issue when translating the word 傻 (sha). Not only does it mean for “stupid”, “foolish” and “silly”, it also means “retard”. How can the implications be translated without sounding offensive? How can the implication remain an implication when the English equivalent is explicit? How to best preserve the light-hearted tone that always has the chance of being passive-aggressive/mocking? Here, YiHan means to say “retard(ed)” but he clearly meant it in a light-hearted tone and his family had/would’ve no issues with YiHan saying that of himself.

Fun fact – “retard” being a slur (that needed to be erased) only came into the English public conscious around the late 2000s and early 2010s. This event (for political correctness) has yet to happen to the Chinese language.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 112

112. Car Crash

Among the three names singled out, YiHan’s suspicions were mainly focused on Wei Quan. All because of the “mental illness”. He picked up his phone and called one of his bodyguards.

“Chen Feng (Bodyguard A),” he said. “Come here for a moment.”

Soon, the tall Chen Feng walked into the room and respectfully greeted YiHan, “Little Master.”

YiHan held out a paper with three men’s information he’d copied off the email and said, “Arrange for some men to look into them without anyone knowing. I want to know how they’re doing, where they’re going and who they’re talking to. Also, I want someone to keep an eye on them at all times. Do not let them leave your sight. Be quick about it. Remember. Don’t let anyone know about this.”

“Yes, sir,” Chen Feng gravely said, accepting over the paper. “Don’t worry, Little Master. I’ll have it done as soon as possible.”

“Among the men by my side,” YiHan said with a nod. “You’re the most level-headed. I’m at ease with you in charge of this. Go.”

Chen Feng’s manly iron-clad heart was instantly touched. His two eyes shimmered (twinkled?) bright as he loudly replied, “I will not let you down!” Then, he strode out with a confidence he’d never had before.

Chen Feng worked quick. He called YiHan to report in that very evening.

“Little Master, the men are all ready. Li Mao and Tang JianPing are fine but there’s something off about Wei Quan,” said Chen Feng.

“What is it?” YiHan froze in fear.

“After he was fired, he didn’t have a good time,” Chen Feng replied. “He went on to be a security guard in places like hotels and malls, but his mental health seemed unstable. He could never keep the job for long. He lives in the western districts. The only one living with him is his mother, a widow. He would frequently boast and gripe about how Miss XueQing is his woman but she’d ran off with another man. No one else in his neighbourhood knows of Miss XueQing so they thought it’s true. Some even think the ‘woman running off’ made his illness worse.”

“This bastard!” YiHan spat through gritted teeth. He was fuming. “How dare he ruin XueQing’s reputation!”

“He was so confident and believable in his story,” came the reply over the phone. “It seems like he too believes that’s the truth. However, that’s not the most important information. A few days ago, a pretty young lady suddenly appeared. She even stayed the night. Since then, she’d been appearing quite often. Wei Quan’s temper has also gotten more explosive. He would frequently mutter stuff like ‘kill him, kill her’. His neighbours have started avoiding him at all costs. Just now, he and that woman went to a shady car rental shop. They rented a car but the woman didn’t get on. Wei Quan drove off alone. Our men are now following him.”

A chill spread through YiHan’s body. Immediately, he was reminded of Chen TianYang’s gruesome body from the last life.

“Where is my sister now?” he shouted into the phone.

“I don’t know,” Chen Feng replied, confused. He didn’t think the Little Master would be that agitated from the news.

YiHan hurriedly hung up and called XueQing. He called and called but her number was busy the whole time.

By now, YiHan was overtaken with panic. He called Chen TianYang and, fortunately, the man quickly answered.

“YiHan?” TianYang said. “Is there something you need?”

“TianYang, are you with my sister now?” YiHan’s words rushed out of his mouth.

“No, I’m at my office. Did something happen?” TianYang was baffled.

“She might be in danger but she won’t answer her phone!” YiHan was near tears.

“What?” TianYang yelped in shock. “She should be in her office. I’ll go to her right now!”

An “ah” had just left YiHan’s lips when TianYang hung up. At a loss, he called XueQing once more but he still couldn’t get through. He shoved his phone down his pocket, ran upstairs to get his keys, and hurried out the house.

“Little Master,” Aunt Yang shouted after him. “Where are you going? I’ll go call the driver!”

“It’s fine,” YiHan shouted back, unfaltering in his stride. “I’ll drive myself.”

Aunt Yang was spinning in worry when a realisation struck her hard. She ran over to the house phone and called JingYuan. JingYuan had just gotten back to his office when his phone started ringing. A glance told him it was the Bai family home’s landline. He swiftly answered it in hopes it’d be YiHan but who he heard was Aunt Yang.

“Mr Mu, I don’t know what happened just now with Little Master but he ran out after being on the phone,” the frantic voice of Aunt Yang said. “He wouldn’t have the driver drive him. He said he’ll drive himself! That’s so dangerous!”

JingYuan was stunned too. He knew his little one always listened to him. When he left the house this morning, he’d told YiHan not to leave the house if possible. If YiHan had to leave, he should call JingYuan first. JingYuan would go back and drive YiHan himself. What could’ve made his little one rush out of the house and drive himself at such a time?

“Don’t worry,” JingYuan replied. “I’ll go look for him.”

JingYuan then hung up and called YiHan. However, YiHan’s phone was busy dialling XueQing’s number over and over again. JingYuan’s call wouldn’t go through. JingYuan thumped his desk hard. He stomped out of the office without picking up his jacket.

Aunt Yang placed the receiver back in its cradle and heaved a sigh of relief. Ah, wait. Why did she call Mr Mu first? Shouldn’t she have called the Master and the Young Master? Whatever. Calling Mr Mu makes no difference.

YiHan walked into the garage and got into a sapphire blue sports car. It was a birthday present he’d received last year from his brother. Even though his family gave him a car, none of them would let him drive himself. He’d usually be driven by a driver so this car stayed in the garage all year long. It would be taken out for routine inspection and maintenance though. YiHan didn’t know why his brother would give him a car but, on this day, he was so grateful for the gift. This was the only car key he had access to. If he wanted the car the driver used, he would have to wait. Currently, he can’t waste a single second.

His heart thumped and raced. It didn’t matter if that psycho wasn’t targeting his sister today. He couldn’t stop worrying until XueQing and TianYang were standing before him, healthy and hale.

On the drive over, he kept redialling XueQing’s number but her phone was busy the whole time. A dozen of missed calls later, her phone was actually turned off. YiHan was distressed beyond belief. His foot pressed so hard on the gas pedal that the car zoomed by buildings. Just then, he received a call from JingYuan.

“HanHan, where are you?” JingYuan said upon YiHan answering. “What happened?”

YiHan could no longer be bothered to wonder how the other man knew what he was doing. His heart did settle down upon hearing his lover’s voice. He took a few deep breaths and calmed down slightly.

“XueQing might be in danger,” YiHan said. “I’m going over to her!”

“Where is she?” JingYuan asked. “Tell me. I’ll go to!”

“I just called TianYang. He said she should be at her office. I’ve got to go check up on her. I can’t stop worrying.”

JingYuan’s worry heightened at hearing the panic in the younger man’s voice. “Don’t panic, HanHan,” he soothed. “XueQing’s at the office. Yes? I’ll be there soon. I won’t let her get into any danger. Drive carefully. Do you have your safety belt on?”

YiHan had charged straight into the car and out of the garage in a flustered state. How could he have remembered to put it on? Upon being reminded, he lifted a hand from the steering wheel and clicked the safety belt into place.

“I did,” he guiltily replied.

After speeding through who-knew-how-many traffic lights later, he was finally approaching the Bai Group’s office building. From a distance, YiHan could see XueQing walking out through the office doors while TianYang stepped out of his car parked nearby. He was about to let out a sigh of relief when the next thing he saw made his pupils dilate in fear.

An unremarkable silver Volkswagen suddenly sped up and was heading towards XueQing!

YiHan’s mind went blank. He floored the gas pedal and drove at the silver car from the side.

TianYang had let out a sigh of relief at seeing XueQing leaving her office doors perfectly fine. He was about to speak up when he saw a car charging straight at XueQing from her side!

He didn’t waste a second hesitating. He grabbed her in an embrace and lunged away with her in his arms. A sharp pain pierced through his leg while a loud boom echoed from behind him. He could hear the bystanders around them shouting in fear. He looked back to find a sapphire blue sports car had banged the silver car’s front on an angle after the Volkswagen had brushed against his leg. The huge impact forced the silver car several feet away from the duo on the ground. After the collision, both cars had large dents in their fronts.

TianYang’s brush with death caused a cold sweat to break out all over him. He knew that if not for that sports car, he would be dead for sure. Even if XueQing came out fine. He quickly looked down at the person in his arms. XueQing was in shock but she was physically fine. However, she had a skirt on today and so her kneecaps were scraped by his pounce.

TianYang let out the breath he’d been holding in  as he helped XueQing up. He was about to check in on the driver of the sports car when he heard brakes screeching loudly. He looked up to see JingYuan scrambling out of his car. The man was still in his office attire. JingYuan ran straight to the sports car and flung the driver’s side door wide open. XueQing had a peek of her rescuer as he did so and a shrill shriek escaped her. Her entire being swayed on the spot.

The driver was Bai YiHan. He was sitting there in the driver’s seat, silent and still as streams of blood flowed down his forehead. It was a grim sight to behold.

JingYuan’s breath came out in harsh pants as he supported himself against the car frame. It was the first time he’d ever felt so helpless and at a loss. He didn’t even know if he should touch YiHan. TianYang whipped out his phone and called an ambulance. None of them dared to move YiHan. They waited until the ambulance finally arrived. The paramedics reached in and released the safety belt around the man. Then, they tenderly carried him out and onto a stretcher.

JingYuan, TianYang and XueQing all got into the ambulance. The unconscious body of the silver Volkswagen’s driver was also dragged out by the Bai family bodyguards and sent to the hospital. As sirens wailed, TianYang called Captain Chen and described in detail what had just happened. Captain Chen assured TianYang he and Officer Fang Yi would head over to the hospital to arrest the driver.

The trio held their breaths as YiHan was checked into the hospital and rushed into the Emergency Room. They only relaxed after a nurse came out and informed them preliminary checks showed YiHan’s life was in no danger. TianYang then recalled XueQing’s scrapes. He headed off to find a doctor for her when, a few steps later, his knees buckled and he collapsed on the floor. Frightened, the other two hurried over to help him up but TianYang waved them off with a bitter smile. He stretched his legs out on the floor as he rolled his pants up to reveal a swollen right leg. The car hadn’t just brushed against his leg. It had hit it. It was only his worry for YiHan that helped him keep the pain at bay.

A whirlwind of panic rushed about the corridor once more. Eventually, the doctor proclaimed he had a leg fracture.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 111

111. Name List

YiHan blushed hard as he shimmied on the spot. “It’s not that bad,” he murmured. “Mom went out with Madam Chen and the others to the spa, the mall or something.”

An “oh” escaped Yan Pei’s mouth. Her eyes beamed at YiHan like two bright lightbulbs as she asked, “Say, why are you all alone today? Why didn’t you leave the house with Mr Mu?”

“H-He has to attend a business meeting today,” YiHan said after clearing his throat. A red flush tinted his ears. “He’s not going to be at the office. Even if I go, there’d be nothing for me to do. So I didn’t.”

Her eyes scanned him up and down. At the sight of his unnatural sitting position and the hand sneakily massaging his waist, she let out a sly grin.

“I understand,” she drawled. “You’re not feeling well. Of course he couldn’t bear to let you run around after him. I see, I see.”

“I’m perfectly fine!” YiHan yelped, frazzled. He immediately snatched his hand away from his waist as if he were just burned. “That’s nonsense!”

“Don’t try to hide it from me,” she shuffled closer and whispered into his ear. “You can’t cheat my eyes. I could tell early on what’s going on between you and Mr Mu.”

“You…” YiHan’s body froze as blood seeped from his face.

“Don’t worry,” she hurriedly added. “Let me tell you a secret. I’m a fujoshi. I really really support you guys. Really. Look into my eyes. They’re so sincere.” She blinked her two wide, lively eyes. They shimmered and shined.

“What’s a fujoshi?” YiHan asked, confusion plastered all over his face.

“You don’t know?” Yan Pei gasped in shock. She grabbed YiHan by the hand, looked up with a wide grin, and continued, “Sisters, I have been blessed. I’ve caught a pure and innocent…ahem…boy.”

She looked back down at YiHan and opened her mouth to explain, then paused. She didn’t think she could properly explain what it truly meant to be a “fujoshi”. Thus, she took out her phone and, with a few swipes, she opened up her precious stash.

“Come, come,” she said. “Look at this, YiHan. You’ll know just what kind of group I hand out with.”

YiHan leaned over to look at her phone. It was a comic, a rather dirty one.

“I see,” YiHan said after briefly clearing his throat. “I know a lot of girls like this but I didn’t know what the name was.”

“That’s it,” she said with a gleeful slap to his shoulder. “There are so many gay couples nowadays and fujoshis are everywhere. We’re bigger than you could’ve ever imagined. How could you not know? Say, why are you afraid of coming out of the closet? Are your parents against it?”

“I don’t know if they’ll agree to it,” YiHan replied with downcast eyes. “I don’t want to hurt them. I’ll bring it up to them sometime later.”

“True,” she agreed, nodding. “There are still a lot of people who can’t accept it, especially the older generation. Just like my uncle and grandfather. They’re still against my brother’s relationship. There was even a big fight. My brother stayed strong though. It’s why they got married. They don’t come to the family mansion much anymore. You should go slow with something like this.”

“Your brother is an independent and decisive man,” YiHan moaned. “Unlike me. I still don’t know how I’ll tell them.”

“My brother definitely is a decisive one,” she pouted. “He’s also a schemer. He came out of the closet, got beaten up by my uncle and dragged his injured body over to his lover’s bookshop. Zhang-ge fell for his ruse. That’s the only reason my brother nabbed himself a lover.”

YiHan recalled the brief glimpses he had of Yan Hui. No matter what, he couldn’t imagine the ever stern and refined Yan Hui he knew acting pitiful.

“How did you know all this?” YiHan couldn’t hold back from chuckling.

“Don’t underestimate the gay-dar of a fujoshi,” she proudly proclaimed. “I knew he felt something for Zhang-ge early on. Thus, I became close friends with Zhang-ge. Also, I just so happened to be there that day. I watched Yan Hui get beaten up and run into his car. I was afraid he might do something due to his bad mood, so I followed him all the way to Zhang-ge’s bookshop. I saw him run straight into Zhang-ge’s embrace. He acted so weak and feeble that he nearly crashed into a pole! The next day, I went to the bookshop and Zhang-ge was acting exactly how you’re acting now. No matter how he sat, he’d be uncomfortable. Every once in a while, he’d massage his back and waist.”

YiHan: Pfft!

“But my brother is just so mean,” she pouted. “When he found out Zhang-ge kept talking with me, he hid Zhang-ge away. He treats me like a thief! I’m an adorable and lovable little girl. As if I could eat Zhang-ge?”

YiHan: Ahem…

She glanced at him and continued, “So you just plan on staying home all day long? Don’t you find that boring? Why don’t we go out and play?”

“There’s nothing I can do,” YiHan helplessly responded. “The matter from before hasn’t completely settled yet. JingYuan said it’s not safe for me to go out alone. You might even get dragged into it because of me.”

“Just who did it?” Pei furiously spat out. “Who’d be so evil as to do something like that to a cute young boy like you? If I find them, I’d beat them up until all of their teeth are on the floor!”

“I know you’re worried about me, but can you not describe me as a ‘cute young boy’? I’m getting goosebumps,”  YiHan sighed.

“But you are one. I’m telling the truth,” Pei said, confused. “Ah, right. I heard this case was already closed?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Isn’t the mastermind still in hiding?” she glumly asked. “Why did they close it?”

“There’s no helping it. This case caused too big of a ruckus. It won’t be good for anyone for the case to drag on longer. They’re now secretly looking into it. You must keep it a secret too.”

“Of course,” she solemnly said. “I wouldn’t say anything even if threatened with death! I’ll say nothing even to my parents and grandfather!”

“Grandpa Yan knows of this,” YiHan laughed. “If not for him, the application to continue the investigation in secret wouldn’t have been approved so quickly.”

“Oh, I see. Then again, my grandfather really likes you. When I was visiting him yesterday, he kept going on about you.”

“Grandpa Yan treats me very well,” YiHan said with a little smile.

By this point, Yan Pei couldn’t hold back from reaching out to poke YiHan’s dimples.

“So you can’t leave the house for the time being?” she asked. “Won’t you be bored to death?”

“Not really,” YiHan replied. “JingYuan’s worried about me and he’s always by my side. How could I be bored? And just last week, I went to have grilled skewers with JingYuan, Fang Yi and all. Oh. Fang Yi is the officer in charge of my case. He’s a good, passionate man.”

Her eyes shone bright at the mention of food. “Grilled skewers? Where? Was it nice?”

“It’s quite nice,” YiHan said without hesitating. “It’s on HuaXi road. What was the name again? I forgot.”

“How could you forget about something so important?” she asked in disappointment.

“I-Is it very important?” YiHan blinked back at her.

“Of course! Food is a human necessity! It’s vital!” Yan Pei glared at him.

“It’s fine,” YiHan said after a pause to think. “Fang Yi often go there. He should know. I can call and ask.”

“Then, ask him,” she urged. “I’ll go ask a few friends out to try it out later.”

YiHan had no choice but to call Fang Yi right then and there.

“YiHan? Are you asking about the case’s progress?” Fang Yi asked upon picking up.

“No,” YiHan replied. “I just wanted to ask you about the name of the shop we ate at last time. What was it? I forgot.”

“Huh?” Fang Yi was taken aback. “The shop?”

“Yeah,” YiHan said. “A friend of mine wants to go try it out.”

“I see.” Fang Yi’s smile could be heard through the phone. “The shop’s called ‘Grill Some Skewers’. It’s a bit uncreative but it’s easy to find a table there and it’s quite popular in the area.”

“It’s called ‘Grill Some Skewers’,” YiHan said to Yan Pei after hanging up.

“Okay,” she happily replied, her hands clapping in joy. “I’ll go ask my friends out now. Bye!”

By the time the last word reached YiHan’s ears, she had already left the house, as fast as if a hurricane had swept her away.

The word “hey” was still unfurling from YiHan’s throat when the front door closed. He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. Just then, his phone rang. He looked down. It was Jiang Hua. His hands rushed to accept the call.

“Jiang-ge,” he greeted.

“YiHan,” said the gentle voice that was Jiang Hua’s. “I’ve sent the name list you wanted to your inbox. It should be everyone. Please look it over first.”

“Okay. Thank you, Jiang-ge! I’ll treat you to a meal sometime later!”

“Hehe,” Jiang Hua chuckled. “What does Lil YiHan plan on treating me to?”

YiHan nearly said “Grill Some Skewers” but, thankfully, he stopped that in time.

“It’s my treat,” he said. “Of course it’d be whatever you like. How about…western?”

“You know I wouldn’t have western unless I needed to,” Jiang Hua replied in exasperation. “What do you want? Just tell me.”

“Well…” YiHan twisted the pillow in his arms as he smiled. “I’ve gotten to know of a place that makes really good ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’. Why don’t we go try it?”

“Okay,” Jiang Hua said.

“When are you free?” YiHan’s eyes were squinting from how big his smile had grown.

“Hm,” Jiang Hua hummed as he looked through his calendar. “I can’t do the next few days. How about I call you back two days later?”

“Alright.”

As soon as YiHan ended the call, he eagerly took up his tablet and looked at his email inbox. As expected, there was a new document from Jiang Hua. He downloaded the file and looked through every single line in it.

It was a very long list. YiHan could tell Jiang Hua had put in a lot of effort. The information listed were also extremely detailed and properly organised. YiHan read through everything and again for another few more times. Finally, he locked onto three men.

One was named Li Mao. This was an employee of their company. His mother abandoned him and his father soon after giving birth to him. Raised by a drunkard, he didn’t have a happy childhood. His mentality was also rather extreme at times. The man had a mild grudge against all women, especially beautiful women. He paid a little too much attention to XueQing but he hadn’t done anything over the line yet.

Another name on the list was Tang JianPing. He’s a delivery boy for a dessert shop and a hardworking university student. His family was somewhat poor. As a person, his hatred and jealousy for the world was quite well-known. Once, a female employee at the office ordered some dessert from the shop he was working at. As he delivered the order, he just so happened to have seen XueQing. From then on, he’d try and break into XueQing’s office using the excuse of being there on a delivery. He’d been caught a few times already and he would always be thrown out by security guards. Young men these days were all rather oversensitive. This person was also quite radical in his mindset. It was hard to be sure he wouldn’t resent XueQing for being thrown out of the office. He might do something on impulse without thinking of the consequences.

The last name that caught YiHan’s attention was Wei Quan. He was once a security guard at the office.  He stopped XueQing in the middle of her path to publicly confess. Of course, he didn’t succeed. XueQing probably didn’t even know who he was. Later on, he was fired because he broke one of the company’s rules and he was found to have hidden his mental illness from the company.

Translator’s Notes:

Ge: Suffix for brother. Has the same uses as oppa (Korean) and nii-san (Japanese) aka for any and all older males who one is close to.

Buddha Jumps Over the Wall: Also known as Buddha’s Temptation and Buldojang (Korean). It’s a famous dish that was said to be quite hard to cook. It’s also a dish famous for its nutrition value that’s due to the different ingredients used – shark fin, abalone, quail eggs, mushrooms, pork knuckle, fish and more, cooked in rich wine (old rice wine). There are plenty of origin stories for this dish but the one I was told places its name as “smelling so heavenly that Buddha himself would jump over the wall for it”. Wikipedia’s entry is a little off though as no monks were involved. Merely scholars theorising and romanticising the scent.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 110

110. Everything’s Not Right!

“What did you say?” Tao Qi screeched. Her eyes were wide in disbelief.

“Can’t you understand human?” Li Sun scoffed impatiently. “How many times do I have to fucking tell you? Pack your things and get the fuck out!”

She couldn’t believe her ears. “Li Sun, you were the one who insisted I be with you in the first place. I’ve been by your side, slept with you, for so long. And now you want to kick me out?” Her brows knitted tightly together. She then put on a face as if she were holding back a well of tears and said, “Last night, you were still calling me your baby, your precious one! All of a sudden, you’d turn the other way just because! You must at least give me a reason why you’re kicking me out, right?”

Unwittingly, his heart sank and softened at the look on her face. However, the memory of Mu JingYuan’s dark fact coldly glaring at him made chills run down his spine. The gooey feeling that had just started growing vanished without a trace.

“Don’t try and act all pitiful,” he said, determination strong in his voice. “Even if you beg me on your knees, I wouldn’t ever take you back. Also, how dare you ask me why. You’re so talented at causing trouble that I can’t afford to want you! I’m warning you. It’s hard for me to protect myself already. It’s good enough that the fire hasn’t burned me. And you want me to keep you?”

She closed her eyes and suppressed the urge to claw his face off. “Just what happened?” she asked, doe eyed as she wiped her tears away. “Please tell me clearly who. I’m just a girl. Just who could I have angered?”

“How could you still ask?” he roared. The mere thought of what happened made fury burn through his veins. “You act so pure and innocent all the time but you’re just a gold digger! You won’t even budge an inch once you’ve got some money to set your eyes on. Take a look at yourself in the mirror first. Who are you? Who is he? You think you can curry favour with Little Master Bai? At the police station today, were you sneaking glances at him? Who in this whole city doesn’t know Little Master Bai is the apple of Mr Mu’s eye, his precious pearl? You actually dared to think of flirting with him under Mr Mu’s nose! You’re quite a bold one. It doesn’t matter if you’ve turned into a slut from how much I’ve played with you or if you’re a fricking angel. I wouldn’t dare to keep you after that! Hurry up and pack your things! Scram! Stop bothering me!”

He was already worried whether or not Mu JingYuan would let him go after how he offended Little Master Bai today. Then this woman happened. She just wouldn’t behave! That’s essentially adding fuel to the fire!

Tao Qi was stunned. “It was Mu JingYuan…” she murmured.

Li Sun had only taken her in not long ago. She still felt fresh to him. She also had a pretty face. Generally, playboys like him only care about looks. Her dazed look tugged at his heart. So what if he couldn’t bear to part with her? He didn’t dare let her stay.

“Yes,” he said with his mouth twitched to a side. “He personally said so. Don’t you feel honoured? Go, now. Don’t go causing any more trouble for me.”

“How can it be?” She was confused. “I am the protagonist. How could he do this to me? Is he jealous?”

Li Sun’s anger blazed brighter at how the woman still dared to keep blabbering nonsense. The tiny speck of hesitance and sympathy crumbled into dust. He raised a hand and slapped Tao Qi hard across the face.

“You can eat trash if you want to but you can’t go spouting rubbish,” he spat out. “Mr Mu’s matters are not something you can gossip about. If you dare go out and tell anyone about it and make them think you learned such nonsense from me, I’d get some men to gang rape you and kill you!”

Everyone might suspect there was something going on between Mu JingYuan and Bai YiHan (alright, those two had always been on a different channel), but no one was brave enough to say it. This woman really had no brains. If she ran out and blabbered all this nonsense for everyone to hear, they’d think she heard the ridiculous talk from hm. Mu JingYuan wouldn’t be the only going berserk then. Just the Bai family was enough to make him die in an unmarked grave in a snap. If this woman can’t control her mouth, then he can’t let her leave here alive and healthy.

Tao Qi stared at Li Sun, petrified at the dark cloud that loomed over him. She realised that he seriously meant what he’d just said. Once more, she was struck by how realistic life here was. The Li Sun before her wasn’t just the name of a flat character in a book. He’s real, a salivating rabid dog who could kill her with one bite.

From her two brief meetings with the male lead, Mu JingYuan wasn’t the scheming and gloomy yet passionate and fragile character he was in the novel. He was so strong and huge. He was so terrifying. With one simple whisper, he could easily decide how she’d die.

Just from Li Sun’s expression, she could tell the man was genuinely thinking of killing her. This useless bully only knew to kowtow to the strong and exploit the weak. He only knew to torment women. But she didn’t dare to make an enemy of him.

The tears in her eyes rolled down her cheeks and rained down like wilting pear blossoms. “I know where I went wrong,” she sobbed. “I wouldn’t dare to gossip about Mr Mu’s private matters and I really wasn’t sneaking glances at Little Master Bai. I was behind you the whole time. Little Master Bai spoke so I looked up at him. I know who he is. I wouldn’t dare to stare at him. I just took one glance. Is that a crime worthy of death?  I’m only a girl. I meant nothing by it. Isn’t it normal to look at someone when they’re talking?”

Li Sun sized up  Tao Qi and scoffed. “It’s your fault. Who asked you to look at him the wrong way? No one else dares to stare at Little Master Bai when Mr Mu is in the same room! You can also cut the act. Get out as soon as possible. You can take my gifts with you as well. Any longer and I’ll throw you out!”

Bai YiHan! Someone who wouldn’t live more than a few days did this to her! She could see the malice in Li Sun’s eyes. It was as clear as day. She knew that she can’t stay no matter what. She didn’t dare delay her departure any longer. She hurried upstairs to collect her things and, after a moment of contemplation, snuck one of Li Sun’s precious gem cufflinks, and walked down and out of the house. At the door, she paused. She wasn’t willing to admit defeat yet. She composed herself and turned around to look at Li Sun.

“Feng Qun,” she meekly asked. “The eldest son of the Feng family. What’s happened to him?” Just when will this man kill off Bai YiHan?

Li Sun gave her the side-eye. “Scram already,” he said. “Why are you asking about all this for?”

“Li Sun,” she cried out. “I don’t care if you believe me or not but I truly do like you. I only came looking for you at the police station today because of Feng Qun. I was only concerned for you.”

“Like me?” Li Sun snorted. “You really can lie without batting an eyelid. Weren’t you listening at the police station? Oh, right. It’s not been officially announced yet but telling you would change nothing anyway. They’d soon declare it anyway. Feng Qun is dead. He died in the hospital. He died before a trial. He died yet he fricking dragged me down with him. If he hadn’t been so foolish as to kidnap Little Master Bai, I wouldn’t have been summoned to the police station! I wouldn’t have made an enemy of Mr Mu!

“If that’s all, stop being so nosy and get out now!”

Tao Qi stumbled out of Li Sun’s mansion. She could feel a thick haze clouding up her mind. How could it be? Bai YiHan was still alive and well. How could Feng Qun be dead? Just what went wrong? Everything’s not right! Even the original protagonist, that idiot, stayed by Li sun’s side two years more. When they split, he even gave her a break-up fee! Now that it’s her, an affectionate social butterfly, she only stayed by his side for a few measly months!

Oh, no. That’s not it. It’s not that she’s not charming enough. It’s obvious that horn dog adored her body. He kicked her out all because of Mu JingYuan’s order. He even let her take away his gifts. Most of those gifts were extremely valuable. So, it’s clear he still likes her.

She thought the transmigration was her chance to shine. Why is everything different to what she expected? No “counterattacks”. No face-slapping. All she got was frustrating schoolwork! Being a sugar baby! While she’d inherited the female lead’s identity and memories, she didn’t actually inherit her brains. In the novel, the main character was a star pupil. She’s one of the top students in the entire university. After joining the Mu Group, she’s also an outstanding employee. Tao Qi herself however got into an unpopular university. She also never paid much attention to schoolwork. That meant her results were always below average. After her transmigration, her grades hit rock bottom. It made everyone’s jaw drop. It just so happened when everything began blowing up with her family so they thought it was due to the extreme stress. But as time went on, someone will eventually find it suspicious. She still hadn’t thought of a proper plan for that incident when Li Sun threw her out!

 She can’t head back home. Once she does, her bloodsucking family would likely take away all her money away! Finally, at this very moment, she thought of her own parents. She couldn’t understand it. Shouldn’t all parents be like them? They’d say yes to anything she wanted. They’d give her the best of whatever they could get. The money they earned would all be given to her, outside of what’s needed for survival. Why were the female lead’s parents asking her for money instead? And that evil cheap younger brother! Why won’t he just die?

The more she thought about it, the more infuriated she was. She still had to go through nearly two more years of schooling and her results might not even get her into the Mu Group. If she really got in because of her plot armour, did the universe really want her to be an honest employee and work for two years as a normal clerk?

With how the story was going, even if she got through those two years, would she really be faced with the start of the story?

It’s been a long time since she’d been back at the university dorms. In a few months, she’d gotten used to staying in a mansion. The thought of going back to the dorm room that could only be best described as simple made her heart cry out in refusal. Aaargh! Bai YiHan, why wouldn’t you die? Why does he insist on making things hard for her?

Feng Qun’s dead so who would kill Bai YiHan? If he didn’t die, how could she be the female lead? No way. If Feng Qun won’t do it, she’d get someone else. Either way, Bai YiHan must die! Don’t blame me for being cruel, Bai YiHan! It’s all because you just had to block my path forward!

However, how could she kill Bai YiHan as she was now? She pondered on the plot as she walked on. That’s right! The Chen family! In the story, the Chen family played a significant role in taking down the Bai family. The reason…it’s Chen TianYang’s death! That man!

Once Bai YiHan lost the Bai family’s protection, it’d be easy as pie to kill him off. In the original story, that’s what happened. If she wanted to kill him, she had to take his shields away first. Only then can his neck be bared beneath the guillotine!

The story’s already gone off the rails and she’d been dumped early by Li Sun. Why not just make everything happen early then? Chen TianYang, Bai YiHan, are you ready to welcome death?

***

When Yan Pei arrived at the Bai family home, Bai YiHan was playing a video game all alone and slouched across the living room sofa. Yan Pei changed her shoes for a pair of guest slippers and politely smiled at Aunt Yang who’d opened the door for her.

“Thank you, Aunty,” she said.

“No need to thank me,” Aunt Yang replied, waving her hand before her. Then, she returned to the kitchen with a bright smile on her face.

“You’re here,” YiHan said, sitting up straight. “That was quick.”

Yan Pei sat down beside YiHan. “I finally have you at home and all alone,” she giggled. “Of course I’ve got to rush over. Otherwise, you’d be taken away by Mr Mu again.” There wasn’t an ounce of awkwardness at all from how they’d just gotten to know each other. “Hm? Your mother’s not home too?”


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 109

109. Street Thug

“Ever since then,” JingYuan continued. “Qin HaiTian had been on his guard against Qin Feng. After all, the man had just strangled his mother in front of the boy. Back then, Qin Feng had been into quite a crazy young man. But a few years passed and Qin Feng behaved himself the whole time. Qin HaiTian let his guard down too. Perhaps he thought that the boy was his son. They’re connected by blood. He didn’t think Qin Feng’s silence wasn’t due to an absence of hate but because he was suppressing it. He used seven years to slowly get to know the ins and outs of the Hidden Dragon. Then, he whipped Qin HaiTian to death with just one belt.

“Under Qin HaiTian’s leadership, the gang would do anything and everything. They’d overreached and offended someone up top. Qin Feng acted before the officials could do anything. After Qin Feng took over the Hidden Dragon, he began a great revolution. The gang refused to have anything to do with drugs from then on. It was all so well-organised that the higher ups decided they liked him and they wouldn’t interfere with him. Currently, they’re in a rather precarious balance.”

“I understand.” YiHan nodded. “Light and dark exist together. The world cannot be absolutely good. If the river’s too clear, there’ll be no fish.”

“That’s right,” JingYuan praised. “That is why the Hidden Dragons and the five great families all stay out of each other’s business. They’ll keep to themselves. They won’t make enemies with each other nor would they really befriend each other. We all know of each other’s existence and general motives. As long as we don’t disturb each other, everyone will be fine.”

YiHan nodded along as JingYuan explained. No matter how ambitious the five families got, the Hidden Dragon wouldn’t care about what happened at all as long as the gang wasn’t involved. They’re on opposite banks of the river. All they’d do was watch as the fire burned. They wouldn’t put it out. It was why he never knew of the Hidden Dragon in his last life.

“Qin Feng is quite pitiful,” YiHan sighed. “He has a father but he might as well not have one. His mother’s dead and he still had to live such a bloody life. But since he’d reached the top, he’d become the Dragon’s head, why did he get so hurt and how was he saved by Fang Yi?”

“It happened a while ago,” JingYuan replied. “Qin HaiTian is like a centipede. Cut off one head and the other brains will keep moving on. Qin HaiTian’s loyal protectors seized the chance to assassinate Qin Feng when he was all alone, as revenge. Actually, that opportunity was just a trap. Qin Feng baited them out to kill them all off. He was hurt during the process and went missing for a time. He was probably recovering with Fang Yi then.”

“It feels like a story from another world,” YiHan said.

“That’s technically the truth,” JingYuan softly said, smoothing back YiHan’s hair with a gentle hand. “You’re born in the light and you grew up in the light. He was born to the dark and he was raised in the dark. It’s not wrong to say it’s another world. However, you don’t need to understand his world. You don’t have anything in common. You’re not going to be close friends. Just like tonight. We recognised each other but we said nothing. Not just because Fang Yi still doesn’t know who he is, it’s also because it’s the silent agreement those in the light and in the dark have with each other.”

“Then, Fang Yi…” YiHan worriedly said.

“You must understand, HanHan,” JingYuan said. “Everyone has their own path. You can’t make decisions on Fang Yi’s behalf. He’s a virtuous, passionate and bold man, but he’s not socially adept. It’d be very easy for him to attract the ire of someone petty. While Qin Feng is dangerous, he is someone who understands gratitude. He definitely doesn’t have any bad intentions for Fang Yi. Instead, he’d protect the man. Perhaps this is Fang Yi’s fate. With someone protecting him from the dark, he’s free to be the passionate and righteous policeman he wants to be.

“This is his path. We can’t meddle too much or it’d be extremely easy for our good intentions to have the opposite effect.”

YiHan recalled his past life. When he met with Fang Yi back then, the man already had quite some power. It was also clear he was as hotblooded and empathetic as he was now. Fang Yi had no one backing him up. With how dazed and green the man was, if he didn’t transform into a social butterfly, it would be awfully hard for him to be successful. Instead, he’d be battered up by how cruel reality was. However, if someone were to be his secret protector, everything made sense.

YiHan looked at JingYuan with admiration. This man was so smart and wise that he could see through the ways of the world. It’s a skill YiHan would never be able to learn.

JingYuan savoured being bathed in his lover’s worshipful gaze. Amazing! In one fell swoop, he curried favour with the little one and took care of a potential love rival. He couldn’t have done it any better. The answer he gave was spectacular!

When they arrived at the restaurant, it was rather busy as they were there in time for dinner rush hour. Barbeque tasted the best when paired with beer and there were plenty who were smoking. The main eating hall stank of haze and smog as loud chattering echoed and bounced off the walls.

Usually, Fang Yi wouldn’t think anything about it. All barbeque restaurants were like this. But when he walked through the door with YiHan and JingYuan behind him, he felt extremely uneasy. The couple behind him so did not fit in with the crowd here.

Fang Yi turned back in embarrassment to find YiHan looking as natural as can be in a room like this. This young man should be the most sheltered of them all yet when he saw an empty table across the room, he walked straight over without an ounce of contempt in his face.

The policeman let out a sigh of relief. With a small smile, he quickly followed.

The four men sat down. It was a square table. YiHan and JingYuan sat together on one side while Fang Yi and Qin Feng sat opposite them.

“I did say I’d treat you to dinner,” YiHan said with a bright smile. “Be it here or Yan Hao, it’s dinner. But you simply had to choose this place. Are you trying to save me some money, you silly man? I’d be secretly laughing if so.”

“I’m someone destined to be a stingy poor man,” Fang Yi responded with an equally bright smile. “If I picked somewhere so expensive, I wouldn’t be full.”

“This place is good too,” YiHan said. “The food smells great. Come. It’s my treat today and you’re the star. Order us some food. You can take the bill next time.”

“I can’t afford to treat you to food at Yan Hao,” Fang Yi gasped in shock.

YiHan blinked and whispered, “Actually, I don’t like going there too. No matter how pretty the decorations and cutlery are, it’s useless. We’re not there to eat the plate. And they’re so fussy with having different plates and all that. I’d rather go have some noodles!”

Fang Yi laughed so hard at the admission that his shoulders were jerking up and down.

“I sincerely agree with what you said,” Qin Feng concurred.

Eventually, Fang Yi calmed down.

“You speak as if you’d been to Yan Hao,” Fang Yi said, rolling his eyes at the younger man.

Qin An froze. “So what if I hadn’t been there before?” he said after letting out an awkward cough. “You can’t look down on me for that.”

“I’m not looking down on you,” Fang Yi solemnly said. “I only want to warn you. Don’t ever go to that place. Not only must you be dressed up in a pressed suit, but you must also have a refined air about you. If a street thug like you rocked up, they might not even let you in. It’d be humiliating.”

Qin An: …well done. In the future, I must bring you there with me. You’ll be scared stiff.

YiHan and JingYuan: …well done. You’re probably the only one alive who’d dare say that of this powerful leader of the underground world.

The barbeque restaurant Fang Yi chose was a place where the staff would provide pre-marinated food. The customers would grill the food themselves. The food didn’t look bad, and the cutlery, plates and bowls looked clean. JingYuan rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Whatever YiHan pointed to, JingYuan would cook. The man would look after the fire’s size and carefully turned the food over to the other side as they cooked. He treated the food on the grill with an even more serious attitude than when handling business deals worth billions.

YiHan stared at the sizzling skewers of meat, eager anticipation glimmering in his eyes. He pointed to the skewer that was the first to be placed on the grill.

“This one should be done, right?” asked YiHan.

JingYuan picked up the skewer and thoroughly inspected each inch of meat that could be seen.

“It still needs to cook for a while longer,” JingYuan said. “It’s not cooked through yet.”

With an obedient little “oh”, YiHan leaned back. He took a sniff of the scents wafting up from the food as he continued to watch his meal cook. Food was only given to him after passing JingYuan’s three rounds of inspections and verbal approval. When one finally passed the tests, YiHan eagerly picked up the skewer from his plate, huffed twice at it and bit into it.

“Mmh,” he hummed in happiness. “It’s delicious. Officer Fang, you really picked a good spot.”

JingYuan placed another skewer on YiHan’s plate. This time, it consisted of vegetables.

“Blow on it a little more,” JingYuan murmured to YiHan. “It’s very hot.”

Fang Yi and Qin Feng were astonished. They thought YiHan only agreed to come to such a place because he didn’t want to be rude to Fang Yi. They didn’t expect him to really eat anything. To their surprise, YiHan actually ate a full skewer. He looked so happy and satisfied with his food.

“I often come here,” Fang Yi proudly stated around a mouthful of meat. “Their prices are reasonable and they’ve got big portions. Most importantly, their food tastes good. They’re one of the best when it comes to their marinate. I hear it’s a secret recipe from the boss. No one else knows of it.”

“A restaurant’s food quality cannot be judged by the size of the shop,” YiHan said, nodding along. “A lot of places are hidden gems. This place is quite nice. We can come here more often.”

“Very nice, Little Master Bai! You’re a great man to get along with!” Qin Feng roared in laughter.

“Call me my name,” YiHan said with a wave of his hand. “It’s so weird to hear someone call me Little Master Bai on such a happy and casual dinner outing.”

“Yet you keep calling me Officer Fang,” chuckled Fang Yi.

“My bad,” YiHan said, raising his hands up in surrender. “Come, come, Fang Yi. Pour me a cup of juice. This is rather spicy.”

Fang Yi hurriedly poured some orange juice into YiHan’s cup. After a few sips, YiHan began chowing down on the vegetable skewer JingYuan had given him.

JingYuan brows furrowed slightly. He didn’t think YiHan would really like the food here. He thought YiHan only wanted to come because it’d be something new and exciting. If YiHan kept eating like this, his digestive system might not be able to handle the food. However, JingYuan couldn’t bring himself to stop YiHan from enjoying himself.

As JingYuan debated with himself on the issue, he heard YiHan say, “This beef is nice. It’s tender and juice. It’s very appetising.”

Before JingYuan’s brain could react to what he heard, his hands had already reached out and placed a few more beef skewers on the grill. Regret began to grow when he realised what he’d done, but then he turned to find YiHan’s eyes shining bright at his actions. Those chubby cheeks bopped up and down. There was a dab of sauce staining the edges of YiHan’s mouth. JingYuan pursed his lips and silently committed himself to cooking the skewers thoroughly.

YiHan could tell JingYuan was conflicted about something, but he thought it was because the other man wanted to try some yet was too proud to do so. YiHan raised one of his beef skewers to JingYuan’s mouth.

“It’s super nice,” YiHan coaxed, smile beaming up at JingYuan. “Try it?”

JingYuan shot a glance at YiHan and down at the skewer. He reached up, grabbed the skewer and took a bite.

“Well?” YiHan anxiously asked.

JingYuan looked back at YiHan. Finally, a snort of laughter burst out of him and he wiped YiHan’s mouth with a paper towel.

“It’s not bad,” JingYuan said with a smile.

“Right? Right?” YiHan joyfully crowed. “I’m telling you; barbeque is a food that can’t be eaten with dignity and refinement. Put table manners, etiquette and all that aside. Food will taste much nicer that. It’s such a relaxing thing to do.”

JingYuan nodded and continued nibbling on the skewer in his hand.

Fang Yi and Qin Feng looked at each other in the eye. They were holding back so much laughter that they could feel their bodies aching at the strain. Who knew that there’d be shocking revelations waiting for them once they properly got to know Bai YiHan? This man was actually teaching the big boss of Mu Group how to eat grilled skewers with a straight face. Would anyone believe them if they said it out loud?

But then again, no one would even believe them if they said they’d had grilled skewers together. Right? They would definitely be mocked as delusional mad men.

The four cheerfully ate and spent the evening away. Meanwhile, a hurricane was brewing elsewhere.

Translator’s Notes:

Qin Feng, Qin An: The changes between using Qin An and using Qin Feng are kept from the original text.

Great man to get along with: This line should technically go, “Little Master Bai, you sure are a carefree (easily satisfied) man! That’s the way to live/I like you!”. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue as easily though.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 108

108. The Hidden Dragon

YiHan glanced at Qin An and back at JingYuan. Then, he smiled and interrupted Fang Yi before the man could say anymore, “It’s fine. He’s right. The more the merrier when it comes to barbeque. Or are you afraid you’d burn a hole through my wallet?”

Fang Yi chuckled in embarrassment as Qin An began poking the ground with the tip of a shoe.

“Officer Fang,” YiHan asked. “Since you like grilled skewers, you know where the best is. Why don’t you lead us?”

After a moment of serious consideration, the policeman said, “There’s a shop on West Hua Road that’s really nice and affordable, but it doesn’t have any private rooms.”

“Then, let’s go,” YiHan replied with a smile. “We’re eating barbeque, not private rooms.”

That response made Fang Yi burst out laughing. The awkwardness from before dissipated.

Qin An glanced at YiHan and chuckled, “I know the shop Lil Fang speaks of. I’ll lead the way. Get in my car, Lil Fang.”

“Then we’ll go get our car,” JingYuan said.

After the two men left, Qin An turned to Fang Yi and languidly asked, “Was that the third son of the Bai Family? He’s different to what the rumours say.”

“How very smart of you.” Yi could feel a headache coming on. “And how did you know he’s Little Master Bai?”

“How could you ask me that?” An smiled. “Everyone in the city knows of Mr Mu’s precious one, the Little Master Bai. The only one who could make the man worry would be him, right? Also, you called him Mr Bai. If I couldn’t make a guess from that, I’d be an idiot. Say, Mr Mu went off to get their car. Can’t Little Master Bai just wait here with us? Why must they go together? Did he think we’d gobble up his precious young man?”

“Haven’t you heard?” Yi sighed. “He was kidnapped a while ago. Little Master Bai nearly died. It’s natural for Mr Mu to be on his guard. Ever since the kidnapping, he’d never left the young man’s side. He even brings Little Master Bai along with him to the office. He’s just terrified the man would disappear once more. He’s not particularly on alert just because of us.”

“Never left his side? Mu JingYuan really is a fool when in love,” An mused, a hand tapping at his chin. “Huh? How did you know they’ve never left each other’s sides?”

Yi pushed the arm An had around his shoulders since the start of their meeting and said, “I’m in charge of Little Master Bai’s case. Of course I’d know a little of their private lives. Also, don’t go spouting nonsense. Fool when in love? The Mu and Bai families have always been close and Mr Mu doesn’t have any direct living relatives. It’s not strange for him to treat the younger man as a brother.”

An twisted and turned, hoping to keep lounging against Yi. “Oh, pure Little Fang. If Mr Mu really just thought of him as a younger brother, then what about the actual big brother? He never said anything about sticking to his younger brother’s side at all times. What does Mr Mu have to worry about? There was obviously something going on with the way they stood together. Look at the little glances they keep throwing at each other. Pew, pew, pew. If you hadn’t bumped into me today, you’d be the third-wheeling lightbulb for the rest of the night.”

“For real?” Yi gaped. “Don’t joke around.”

An finally succeeded in remaining lounged against the policeman with his arm around the other man’s shoulders. “Of course it’s true,” he said, satisfied with his achievement. “Let me tell you. My eyes are as sharp as an eagle’s and as bright as fresh snow. Also, I’d lie to anyone and everyone but you. You are…”

Yi look at An suspiciously when the young man just drifted off into silence. “But what?” Yi asked.

An cleared his throat and stood up straight. “But you’re my saviour,” he said. “Erm, they’re here. Let’s get in the car.”

Once they were in the car, Yi continued shooting suspicious looks at An.

“What are you looking at?” An cheerfully asked as he drove. “Did you just realise how handsome I am? It’s fine to for you to look longer. I won’t charge you.”

Speechless, Yi turned and stared out the window.

An glanced at him and said, “Hey, speaking of which, whose idea was it to eat barbeque? Why all of a sudden?”

“What?” Yi curiously asked. “Mr Bai asked me what I like to eat so I just said I like grilled skewers.”

“I just knew it was you,” An said, mirth laced through his voice. “But really, you. What were you thinking? You actually made the youngest son of the Bai family go eat barbeque with you. But it’s such a shock that he said yes.”

“What’s so weird about that?” Yi asked in confusion. “He’s human. He has to eat too, right?”

“Oh, you,” An chuckled. “You’re such a simple man. Think. What kind of person is Little Master Bai? A single piece of beef steak in a place he chooses would be worth your entire month’s salary. It might not even be enough to pay for it. He’s definitely someone who nit-picks a lot and only eats exquisitely cooked food. Mr Mu, I won’t say too much about him. What family does he come from? He’d probably never had barbeque before. You’re asking them to go have grilled skewers with you and it’s a shop that doesn’t even have private rooms. It’d be so noisy and their outfits would stink of smoke and meat later. It’s such a great honour they’d be willing to go with you. But then again, this Little Master Bai is quite interesting. He’s completely different to what the rumours say.”

Yi pondered hard at that. Guilt started rising in him. “What do we do then?” he uneasily asked. “Why don’t we go somewhere else later?”

Yi’s used of “we” made An feel very satisfied. “No need to do that. They agreed to follow you. That’s  something they’re doing because of you. If you change your mind at the last minute, it’d be awkward. Just leave it. They don’t mind so who are we to be worried on their behalf?”

That made sense to Yi. “Little Master Bai is a very nice young man.” Yi had to admit it. “He doesn’t act high and mighty at all. He even told me not to think of him as a son of the Bai family but as a normal friend. I really don’t understand why anyone would say such rotten things about someone so kind. They go on about how he’s arrogant and self-centred. I think they’re just jealous. They’re jealous of how he’s got a great family and a great personality. It’s probably because he wasn’t petty enough to argue with them over it and would ignore them. That’s why the rumours are so ridiculously far from the truth.”

An dotingly glanced at the furious Yi. “What you say makes sense,” he agreed. “How can an ordinary person really get to know Little Master Bai? They’re just lying. It’s fine that we know. He doesn’t even mind. Don’t get so angry over it.”

“You’re right,” Yi muttered after shooting the man driving a quick glare. “But that’s because Mr Bai is generous. He thinks of me as a friend. Of course I’d be angry on his behalf.”

“Okay, okay,” An chuckled. “I know you’re someone who have a strong sense of loyalty and justice. However, he wants to be your friend. You don’t need to be so formal with him. Only then can you two naturally get to know each other. Once social statuses are put aside, humans are all the same. We all have two legs, a stomach, and a head to top it all off. Everyone needs to eat, sleep and poop. Even an emperor’s crap stinks.”

“As if I need you to teach me how to make friends,” Yi barked out. “Anyway, we’re going to have dinner. Can you not talk about something so disgusting?”

“Oh, Lil Fang,” An guffawed, a hand reaching up to ruffle Yi’s hair. “Why are you so cute?”

“Go away!” Yi shouted. “You’re the one who’s cute! You’ll forever only be cute!”

“Shoot! How mean.” An cried in surprise.

Yi harrumphed and huffed. His face said all, “I’m just that mean.”

***

In the other car, YiHan was sitting on the passenger seat while JingYuan drove.

“Is there something wrong with that Qin An?” YiHan asked.

“Not bad.” JingYuan smiled and glanced at his lover. “You could tell something was up with him. As expected of my HanHan.”

“I’m asking you a proper question,” YiHan replied, shifting in his seat. “Just what’s weird about him?”

“Hm, you tell me first,” JingYuan hummed. This was a good chance to train up YiHan’s mind. “How did you realise something was off about him?”

“I didn’t actually,” YiHan said, scratching at his cheek. “I saw your expression. Your guard raised up when you saw him. There aren’t many people in this city who could get you to make that face and I know all of those people. This Qin An, however, I’ve never seen him before.”

“I see.” JingYuan couldn’t hold back from chuckling. “Alright. You’ve grown up. You should know about the underground world now. To outsiders, there are only five great families in this city. Unbeknownst to them, there’s a faction that can go head-on with all five families at the same time. That Qin An is the head of that faction.”

“What faction?” YiHan was surprised. “Why didn’t I know?”

“You were still young,” JingYuan said. “We just didn’t let you know. In this world, where there’s light, there’s dark. If white exists, black does too. If we five families exist in the light, then the Hidden Dragon Qin An leads is in the dark.”

“A triad gang?” YiHan exclaimed in realisation. “They’re called the Hidden Dragon?”

“You could say that,” JingYuan replied. “They’re the city’s greatest power in the dark. Qin An is the king of the underground kingdom. His name isn’t actually Qin An. It’s Qin Feng, as in the character used for the sharpness of a blade. He’s the bastard son of the last leader of the Hidden Dragon, Qin HaiTian. Three years ago, Qin Feng killed his father and ascended the dragon’s throne.”

“He’s that cruel?” YiHan was truly shocked. “He’s so dangerous. Wouldn’t Fang Yi be at a disadvantage? Why is he bothering Fang Yi?”

The sight of YiHan being so concerned for Fang Yi made JingYuan’s belly fill up with acrid sour jealousy. “He might be a man who can be cruel but he’s not a bloodthirsty man. The Hidden Dragon controls the entire underground in this city. It’s hard for them to avoid selling weapons illegally or other shady businesses but they never involve themselves in drugs and they would never force anyone innocent to be a prostitute. The hostesses and hosts in their clubs all do so willingly. Furthermore, he had no choice but to kill his father.

“His mother was just an ordinary university student. Qin HaiTian took a liking to her. When sweet talk and lying couldn’t get her to fall for him, he just took what he wanted. Her family had no power or connections and they didn’t dare say no. So they gave her to Qin HaiTian. When his mother gave birth to him, she was traumatised and hurt herself. From then on, she’d be sickly and fall ill. Combined with the harsh life of struggling to survive every day, the pressure built up quickly. She grew old quick wasn’t as beautiful as she was before giving birth to Qin Feng. By then, Qin HaiTian was sick of her. He only kept her by his side because she gave him a son.

“Qin HaiTian is a greedy and lustful man. As long as it’d make him money, he’d do anything. He’s also a brutal man. Perhaps it was karma. He’d done too many bad deeds. He never had another child. The only option he was to raise Qin Feng as his heir. Ever since he was a young child, Qin Feng had to go through his ‘training’. Qin HaiTian’s ‘training’ is no mere training. He would lock the small boy up with starving wolves and dogs. Compared to that man, Feng DeCheng can be considered the kindest father of all. Qin Feng’s mother had always been against putting her son through such savage training and she refused to let her son take over his bastard of a father’s job. She didn’t want a life of blood and darkness for him. But her words held no power. No one would listen to her. When Qin Feng was sixteen years old, she organised an escape attempt for him. In a fit of rage, Qin HaiTian strangled her to death.”

Translator’s Note:

Barbeque, not private rooms: There’s another pun in here where the term for private rooms has the character for bao and bread (包).


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 107

107. Treat You to Barbeque

JingYuan placed his hands on his knee, fingers linked. “Feng Qun is clearly just a scapegoat,” he said. “The true mastermind is still eyeing YiHan from the dark. YiHan is still in a lot of danger. Ending the case this sloppily would upset the victim further instead.”

“I also told the higher-ups that,” Captain Chen sighed. “But this case has just blown up. The old Mr Yan called yesterday to ask about the case’s progress. The officials are under a lot of pressure.”

“If there’s a lot of pressure, then the police should do their all to solve the case,” JingYuan replied with an unamused smile. “Not try and wave us off with a vague excuse. Captain Chen, I believe in you. It’s only a matter of time to when this case would be resolved. We’re not in a hurry so what are your higher-ups panicking about?”

“Thank you, Mr Mu, for your confidence in me.” Captain Chen bitterly smiled. “However, there’s a lot of rumours and talk flying around now and the mastermind is doing their best to hide. Feng Qun is dead and all our leads have gone cold. If we want to drag the true mastermind from hiding, we’d need a lot of time. The higher-ups seriously can’t wait anymore. Actually, I also think it’s best to end the case early.”

“Oh?” JingYuan’s eyes gleamed. “You have a plan, Captain?”

“I do have some kind of a plan,” Chen Jing said with a nod. “Those men had confessed after undergoing several sessions of interrogation. Unfortunately, the information they provided wasn’t of any true help at all. The person who paid them certainly wasn’t Feng Qun but the money passed through the man’s hands. The mastermind never showed themselves. ‘That person’ contacted Feng Qun and told him to hire these men. Due to their paranoid nature born from being criminals, they didn’t trust or believe Feng Qun. He looked like someone who couldn’t pay up back then and since he’d fallen from grace overnight, Feng Qun kept muttering and mumbling to himself as if he were crazy. Thus, ‘that person’ had to appear before them and alleviate their concerns. They were told that as long as they did their job, they’d be paid. None of them wasn’t able to see what ‘that person’ looked like back then. The room they had their chat in had a barrier between them and ‘that person’, plus ‘that person’ used a voice changer. All we know is they exist. We have no way to investigate them. Everyone in the city is now on alert and the mastermind must be too. They wouldn’t slip up. Why don’t we act as though we’re ending the case to put ‘that person’ at ease? Fang Yi and I would then secretly continue our investigation. Perhaps we might be pleasantly surprised by the results.”

YiHan leaned back on his chair, smiled and said, “That is a perfect plan. We can continue investigating while giving the public and your bosses a resolution.”

“It’s our last resort,” Captain Chen replied. “It involves the dignity of the old Mr Yan, and the Bai and Mu families. My application to continue the investigation in secret would soon be approved. Mr Mu, Mr Bai, please don’t worry. I will do my best to find everyone involved and eliminate all future worries.”

“That’d be good.” JingYuan nodded. “We’ll be depending on you and Officer Fang then.”

“You’re too kind,” Captain Chen replied. “This is my duty. Thank you so much for your understanding.”

“You’re doing all you can do for YiHan’s case,” JingYuan said. “I can still see that.”

Chen Jing’s ever-stern face cracked with a smile born from his heart. “It’s my duty,” he said.

“It’s getting late,” JingYuan commented, standing up from his chair. “You two should be off work soon, right? Why don’t we have a meal together?”

“Thank you for your offer, Mr Mu,” Captain Chen hurriedly said. “But it’s my wedding anniversary today. My wife is waiting for me at home with a feast she’d spent a lot of time preparing. I can’t bear to disappoint her. Please forgive me.”

JingYuan’s mind began imagining his and YiHan’s future wedding anniversary. On that long-awaited day, he’d prepare a feast of eight dishes and one soup. HanHan would gasp in awe and stare at him with admiration. The two would then lock eyes and smile. In the warm, gentle glow of candlelight, they’d dine and do something a little more after…

JingYuan’s mind wandered so deeply into his fantasy that a smile began spreading across his face. “A wedding anniversary certainly is a very important matter,” he agreed. “Best not to be late. You’d best head home early.”

Chen Jing had to go through what JingYuan said three times before he was sure the man wasn’t mocking him in a passive aggressive manner. He was touched upon realising it was serious. “Thank you so much for your understanding, Mr Mu. The one you marry will certainly be happy.”

“Of course,” JingYuan said in a matter-of-fact tone. “If a man can’t make his lover happy, then he’s not fit to be a lover.” As he said so, he shot a glance full of love at YiHan.”

YiHan’s heart skipped. He twisted his head and looked away, revealing bright red ears.

“Indeed,” Chen Jing said, nodding. “You’re so insightful, Mr Mu.”

YiHan cleared his throat, stood up and said, “Well, Captain Chen, you’d best be getting ready to be home on time. You can’t make your wife wait on such an important day. We’ll be off.”

“Take care, sirs,” Chen Jing said, standing up as well.

The couple nodded and left.

Li Sun knew the two powerful men didn’t want to see him and he wouldn’t even dare to let Tao Qi appear before JingYuan again. After Fang Yi was done with his questioning, he charged out the station with the reluctant Tao Qi in two.

When JingYuan and YiHan entered the reception area on their way out, it was to a peaceful room only occupied by Fang Yi packing up.

“Officer Fang,” YiHan asked, walking over. “Do you have anything on tonight?”

“No.” The policeman was stunned. “What is it, Mr Bai?”

“That’s great,” YiHan gleefully said, smile so wide that his dimples were showing. “Let’s go eat. It’s my treat tonight. I was going to invite Captain Chen too but it’s his wedding anniversary tonight. He can’t come so it’ll just be us three tonight.”

“How could I?” Fang Yi quickly refused. “As I’ve said, it’s my duty to hunt down clues and investigate all I can. You don’t need to take it to the heart, Mr Bai.”

“I know,” YiHan replied, carefree smile still on his face. “You’re a very responsible policeman, a true servant to the public. I didn’t mean anything by the offer. I just want to be friends. Don’t think of me as the Little Master Bai. Think of me as a normal friend. Well? Would you come?”

Fang Yi was a frank man. Upon hearing such a sincere plea, his impression of YiHan became much more favourable than before. He couldn’t help smiling back. “Of course. Why wouldn’t I? I’d be glad to be your friend!”

“That settles it. Let’s go!” YiHan patted Fang Yi on the shoulder. “What do you want to eat? Just tell me. I’ve got plenty of money!”

Fang Yi was stunned. “Really?” he dazedly asked.

“Of course,” YiHan replied.

“I like barbeque skewers the most!” said Fang Yi, the honest child.

JingYuan: …! You want to ask someone who’s so nit-picky that there’s no food he’d never criticise to go eat grilled skewers?

After a silent pause, Fang Yi realised what he said wasn’t really appropriate for someone of YiHan’s calibre. He was about to change his answer when YiHan suddenly laughed.

“Okay! We’ll have barbeque tonight!” YiHan then turned to JingYuan, his eyes gleaming bright. “Can we?”

JingYuan was shocked. He was going to refuse. He was afraid YiHan’s digestive system wouldn’t be used to it but upon seeing such happiness glimmering in those eyes, he hesitated. YiHan was likely afraid of disappointing Fang Yi. JingYuan can just keep a closer eye on YiHan. He won’t let the younger man have too much. And so, the words hovering on his tongue dropped back down to his throat.

“It’s fine to have some occasionally,” JingYuan said with a nod.

“You’re the best, JingYuan,” said YiHan. He the raised a hand, pointing out ahead and said in the grandest tone he could muster, “Let’s go!”

This was the first time YiHan had acted like a kid since his “incident”. It made JingYuan worry much less. Plus the “sweet talk” just now, JingYuan’s mood was soaring high. A doting smile hung on his face as his steady strides followed YiHan out.

At that moment, Fang Yi somehow felt a glow shining bright from his head…

The trio walked out the police station to find an SUV parked by the side. A rather handsome but thuggish young man was leaning against it. He was very tall, but lanky. The two long and slender legs wrapped in a pair of leather pants were extremely eye-catching. His eyes looked as if they’d never wake up. Squinted, those almond-shaped eyes stared unblinkingly at the police station entrance. When Fang Yi appeared in his sight, those sleepy eyes lit up. By the time the trio heard him calling out to Fang Yi, he was already on his way over.

Fang Yi shot an apologetic glance at YiHan. The younger man tilted his chin up, indicating he could go handle it.

The young man stopped before Fang Yi. He first scanned JingYuan and YiHan from top to toe. An intelligent glint flashed across his eyes before being suppressed again.

“Lil Fang, let’s go get dinner,” he said to Fang Yi with a roguish smile.

“Qin An, didn’t I tell you?” Fang Yi sighed. “Don’t come looking for me anymore.”

“How could I?” Qin An chuckled. “I’ve got to pay you back for saving my life.”

“Why can’t I get through to you?” Fang Yi sighed once more. “The wounds you had back then only looked terrifying. Even if I hadn’t saved you, you wouldn’t have died. You’d suffer more pain at most. Aren’t you afraid of being a laughingstock? How could you say I saved your life?”

“You just don’t like me because I’m a street thug,” Qin An muttered, his lips pushed out in a miserable pout. “You don’t want to be seen with me.”

“You too understand you’re a thug,” Fang Yi said in a defeated tone, head lowered into his palm. “Look. You’re a thug. I’m a policeman. We have nothing in common. How can we be friends? I’ve advised you to change your ways but you refused to.”

“So what if you’re police?” Qin An huffed. “I’ve not broken the law. Why can’t we be close?”

“If you weren’t fighting, where did the stab wounds come from?” Fang Yi asked, looking back up. “How did I find you again? You’re lucky I didn’t bring you back to the station for questioning.”

“What stab wounds?” Qin An blinked and innocently asked. “I don’t know. Either way, we’re friends. Let’s get dinner together.”

Fang Yi let out another sigh and shook his head. He didn’t know what else to say anymore. “Forget it. Whatever I say just goes out the other ear. I can’t do tonight though. I’ve already got plans.”

Qin An peeked around Fang Yi at JingYuan and YiHan. “With them?” he asked. “What a coincidence. You can just bring me along. The more the merrier. Mr Mu…you don’t mind me joining you, right?”

“Of course not,” JingYuan replied. His smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“How do you know Mr Mu?” Fang Yi curiously asked.

Qin An took advantage of his height and hung himself over Fang Yi’s shoulders. “I’m just a little thug,” he laughed. “How could I know him? He’s just incredibly famous. I’ve seen his picture in financial magazines.”

Fang Yi, a true innocent silly goose, replied with a simple “oh”. Now that he knew there was no way he could get rid of this clingy man, he turned to YiHan, “Mr Bai…”

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Feast of eight dishes and one soup: It’s only a common number used for family feasts. A round table in a Chines feast would typically only seat 10. Eight dishes and one soup would be just enough for 10 adults to dine on. There’s also some number speculation (on my end). Eight (八ba) can be a semi-homonym for prosperity (发/發 fa). There’s also 8+1=9 of which 9 is another lucky number. All personal speculation though.
  2. Glow shining bright: Reference to a lightbulb, the Chinese term for third-wheeler.
  3. Qin An: 秦安 He’s…important. Let’s applaud for a deed he’ll do in the future.


Previous IndexNext