GC: Chapter 18

18. Not to be His Obstacle

If YiHan started saving now, he could make it. But time waits for no one. He’s afraid by the time he saved enough, all property would be split up and devoured already.

He laid down on his bed. Maybe he should borrow some from his mother, brother and sister. He’d try and get as much as he could. And JingYuan could also lend him some…

Forget about it. YiHan had yet decided on how he should face JingYuan. Soon, JingYuan will announce his engagement with YiHan’s sister. He’d best avoid interacting with JingYuan as much as possible.

Bai YiHan sprawled on his bed like salted fish waiting to be dried. He closed his eyes and recalled the last time he met Mu JingYuan in his last life.

That time, he’d finally understood his emotions for JingYuan had long since been sown deep into his heart. However, their relationship was already broken beyond repair and he’d been so spoiled that he didn’t understand who he really was. He wanted to repair his relationship with JingYuan, fight for a chance to be with him, yet was unable to put away his ego and could only think up an evil plan. He’d pretend to be drunk and confessed to JingYuan with his arms around the other’s neck. “Let’s get together. I quite like you.”

YiHan still remembered the nervous drumbeat of his heart and how laughably secure he was in his actions. Since they were young children, JingYuan had always been doting and spoiling him. He thought JingYuan must’ve had feelings for him. But what were JingYuan’s reactions then?

YiHan laughed mockingly at himself. He’d memorised that single moment. Every one of JingYuan’s expressions. Every one of his words. JingYuan stared down at him with eyes hiding an endless void of disappointment. He spoke with his unique deep bass voice, “Bai YiHan. You really disappoint me. Emotions are not a game. They’re not for you to play with, and not for you to use as tools.”

Heh. Was YiHan already considered helpless in JingYuan’s eyes? True. Now that he looked back at how he was back then, he really wanted to slap himself. It’s rare enough that JingYuan had held it in and not just beat him up then and there.

Back then, he’s maintained his laughable pride. His embarrassment turned into anger. “Scram! Get out! I never want to see you again!” he shouted.

And then? Then, JingYuan really left. He went overseas to his branch office, and never came back again. Just as YiHan said, he never saw him again even when he died.

It’s meant to be too, now that he thought about it. The one JingYuan loved was YiHan’s sister. YiHan’s nonsensical behaviour destroyed his future marriage. As a male, he then shamelessly ran to recommend himself to JingYuan. JingYuan, as a straight man, was probably so disgusted he was about to puke, wasn’t he? No wonder he rushed out of the country as if he was on fire and never came back again.

YiHan couldn’t help but wonder. In his last life, when JingYuan knew of his death many years later, how would he react? Would he be upset? Happy? Or would he let out a sigh of relief?

He should’ve let out a sigh of relief, right? If he knew of what a miserable and cruel death YiHan had, would JingYuan felt like he’d vented his disgust? Would he come back and marry XueQing? Without YiHan as an obstacle, if they married, they’d be happy, right? And with JingYuan, YiHan’s family would be able to rise again. After all, his family’s cursed luck was all because of him. With his death, everything would be alright.

YiHan hoped it was so. He didn’t know if he really did travel back in time or if he travelled into a parallel dimension that looked exactly the same. No matter what, he wouldn’t be JingYuan’s obstacle to love again.

For JingYuan. For his sister. This whole life, YiHan must maintain his distance from JingYuan. He can’t make any other move to create more troubles for his sister and JingYuan. It’d be for the best if he could move out and live alone. That way, he wouldn’t affect his family anymore.

YiHan turned on the bed and stretched his limbs out until there was a starfish lying on the bed. He broodily thought: Why was he reborn? It was clear that without him, everything would be alright. So, why send him back? Why not just make him disappear? He’s so stupid. He’s useless even when he came back. He finally thought of a way to earn money, but it couldn’t be realised. He’s just so useless.

Ah~ So infuriating. His hands wandered up and scrunched his soft hair into a chicken’s nest. Resigned, YiHan showered and slept.


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GC: Chapter 17

17. It’s not Easy Raising a Child

YiHan definitely could not tell his father about being reborn. Regardless of whether his father would believe him, Yihan was too ashamed to even mention the dishonourable things he’d done. He had decided to keep this secret in and bring it to the grave with him.

However, he can’t just make a fuss over nothing just because he wanted something like before. How should he word such an “unreasonable” request?

YiHan hung his head. He tried his best for a long time, but he couldn’t think of a way to convince his father. His head drooped as he dejectedly thought: He’s really the most useless child. His elder siblings are all so clever, so why’s he so stupid? Did his family doted on him because they pitied how especially dumb he was? Ah, he’s off-topic. What should he do now?

Bai FuRen looked on at his depressed son. Nothing showed on his face, but his mind spun fast. Based on his youngest son’s personality, if he didn’t give YiHan money when asked, YiHan would definitely display his obvious displeasure. Even if he didn’t dare throw a tantrum in front of FuRen, he’s certain to slam the door with an upset face and find his mother or some other helper. However, he’s just like a little flower being hailed on today, sitting there hanging his head in dejection. Was this a new strategy or did something really happened which made him hold his temper?

Helpless, YiHan could only ask pitifully, “I only want the south. Can’t I?”

FuRen’s kindly father’s heart was harshly triggered. He felt that if his son really was trying out a new strategy, then he’d succeeded for sure. Such a miserable look was much more useful than making a ruckus. Still, he persisted.

“HanHan, you must know that while that’s not a particularly big sum, it’s not small either. It’s good that you want to plan for the future by buying immovable assets. But you need to research deep into such a matter. Weigh the pros and cons, not follow your gut and feelings as if you’re buying a toy. Understand?” FuRen gently said.

YiHan’s face fell. “I know,” he dolefully replied.

FuRen was somewhat uneasy at how obedient YiHan was. His heart softened. “Why don’t I help you look at some land which are more likely to rise in value? Okay?” he asked.

YiHan shook his head.

FuRen pondered as he looked on as YiHan’s disappointed figure. “Can you tell Father why you must have that place?” he said.

YiHan’s mouth gaped and closed. “Property there is very cheap now. Once everything goes as planned, it’ll surely raise in value,” he softly said.

“HanHan, you must know that one can’t be greedy when doing business. Cheap property has its reasons for being cheap. Until now, there’ve been no rumours of any government plans for that area. Your habit of blindly rushing in to take advantage will make you suffer a great loss,” FuRen said with a resigned tone.

By the time word of it gets out, he can’t even squeeze in to buy them, YiHan despondently thought. There’s nothing he can do but to nod in agreement and walk out the door with his head drooped down.

FuRen watched as his young son walked out with his head full of grief. There were a few times when FuRen wanted to call out to YiHan. Stop him and hand him the money to play with. He held it in with immense willpower. He kept chanting in his head: You can’t dote on a child like that. You’ll raise him to be a useless son. That’s not loving him, it’s hurting him.

Ah~

FuRen took off his glasses and massaged his nose bridge. It’s not easy raising a child!

YiHan returned to his bedroom and look at his bank balance via his phone. He let out a heavy sigh. New Year’s, dividends, pocket money from his parents and siblings. Add up how much he’d gotten throughout his life and it’d be a sizeable sum. Pity he never had any notions of saving up before. After all, he had enough cash to spend and he never thought of the future. Money always left him as fast as he got them. That meant there was only one million left in his bank account. It really disheartened him.


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GC: Chapter 16

16. Lend Me Some Money

Bai FuRen was very satisfied with how attentive his eldest son was to his youngest son. FuRen raised his hand to invite Bai Yan to sit down. Then, he informed Yan about the discussion from before and what FuRen’s own thoughts were.

Yan frowned. “Something like that happened? This is strange indeed. I’ll arrange some hidden bodyguards for him. I want to see who it is who dares to touch my little brother!”

“This is all just guesswork for now. Perhaps your brother suddenly matured. Nothing’s confirmed yet,” said FuRen.

“Even if it’s maturity, it’d be a slow and gradual process. He won’t suddenly mature overnight. If my brother’s maturity and obedience come from pain and suffering, then I’d rather he doesn’t grow up,” replied Yan.

“So, we shouldn’t make a move now and see what really went on,” said FuRen.

“You’re right,” agreed Yan with a nod.

“You’ve also worked for a whole day. Sleep early and rest up,” said FuRen with a wave of his hand.

“You rest early too,” said Yan.

FuRen nodded and let Yan exit the study.

The evening after, YiHan knocked on the door to FuRen’s study. Carefully, he peeped his head out from behind the door and asked, “Dad, I’d like to talk to you about something.”

FuRen’s heart froze for a beat. Still, he didn’t let it show on his face and replied, “What are you hanging about the door for? Come in if you’ve got something you want to talk to me about.”

YiHan hesitantly stumbled into the room and closed the door behind him. He sat down on the chair before the desk. “Father, can you…lend me some money?” he asked. YiHan had his own little gold coffer and there’s quite a lot in it, but if he wanted to purchase huge amounts of property in the southern suburbs, it wasn’t enough at all. He didn’t plan on touching the property where the new university would be built because even if he did, all he’d get was another pile of compensation money. The average finances of the citizens from that plot of land was currently very low. He wasn’t greedy enough to want to earn money off of pulling the rug from the bottom of poor citizens. That’s rather evil.

YiHan was thinking about purchasing the districts around it where he’d build malls and so on.

“Is your allowance not enough? How much do you want?” asked FuRen.

“F-Fifty million?” YiHan sheepishly said as he scratched his head.

“Why do you want so much money?” FuRen replied in shock. His heart went cold with fear. Was someone blackmailing YiHan? The moment that thought went through his mind, FuRen brow furrowed and his gaze turned cold. “You can talk to me about anything that’s troubling or worrying you. You’re still young. Be careful you’re not lied to by others,” he continued solemnly.

“No. No. It’s just…I’d like to buy some immovable assets like property or shops. The kind that could have raised value later on,” YiHan hurriedly answered.

“That is possible. However, why do you suddenly want such assets? Have you got a place in mind? I can help you research on which area has the best potential,” said FuRen.

“It’s fine,” said YiHan, “I’ve got an area in mind already.”

FuRen was still uneasy. “Is that so? Where is it? I’ll help you purchase the property, in case you get cheated just because of how young you are,” he said.

“Alright. I want the property in the southern districts, particularly near Mount NanXiang,” said YiHan. After pondering about it, he realised what his father said was true.

It was just as FuRen thought. His silly child was being lied and cheated to by someone. Everyone knew the southern suburbs were famous for being useless. Only his own cute and silly little son would think of spending fifty million on property there.

“HanHan, have you researched the market? The south is a place publicly known to be a useless piece of land in the city. The property you buy would only decrease in value,” said FuRen as he frowned.

YiHan’s mind panicked. How was he going to tell his father that, within three years, the southern suburbs would turn into a gold mine that every single businessman would beg to get into but can’t?

Even his father wouldn’t know such sensitive and secretive information. How was he to know about it? It’d only make his father suspicious. But if YiHan doesn’t tell his father, how was he going to convince his father to lend him such a hefty sum knowing it was just a trap?

Translator’s Note:

50 million RMB ≈7.3 million USD

The amount YiHan asked for is upped in the translation (partially due to translation error as I’d mistakenly read it as thousand-10k instead of the hundred-10k it was). It was meant to be 5 million. This mistake was left in as property prices in China are relatively high.

(Below is the ridiculous explanation my brain concocted to explain why I decided to leave a mess-up for the world to see.)

A shop lot can be as small as 200 square metres (for one floor) or 2000 square metres (multi-storey). If one goes by the number given in numbeo.com where the minimum for an apartment is 10k RMB per square metre, YiHan would be spending at least 20 million for one shop lot. If one goes by a more reasonable amount provided by GlobalPropertyGuide, it’d be roughly 630 RMB per square metres – 126k to 1.26m (based on range provided above). As YiHan’s plan would need him to own at least 1 shop lot + the numerous renovations it’d require, it doesn’t really make sense for him to ask his father for just 5 million (which would not really work out as there’s a difference between buying a property and getting it up and running as a shop, a mall, or any sort of rent-able state – especially so if it’s rundown).


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GC: Chapter 15

15. Something’s Not Right With Little Brother

Chen Fang paused for a moment. Still, he continued on, “When they arrived back home, I saw Lil Zheng talking to the Little Master. It seemed like Lil Zheng was requesting the Little Master to not mention how late Lil Zheng was to the Madam. He must’ve agreed.” So YiHan wasn’t actually afraid to mention how he was mistreated, but because he didn’t think much of it and had promised someone else not to mention it.

“That’s not right either. Based on HanHan’s personality, when would he ever be considerate of other people? If he wasn’t happy, he would never have let things go so easily,” said Bai FuRen. He raised his head and looked at Chen Fang, “Okay. You may leave.”

“Yes,” replied Chen Fang. Report finished, Chen Fang turned and walked out, satisfied with another job well-done.

Ma closed her eyes. She tried her best to recall her youngest son’s every act, every move and every single person he’d interacted with recently. However, she couldn’t think of anything. “I think XueQing’s correct. HanHan must’ve suffered a great deal. That’s why he suddenly became so quiet and obedient. He woke up quite late this morning. When he came down, he even broke down crying in my arms. XueQing and I asked him about it and he just said he was scared because of a nightmare.”

FuRen frowned. “HanHan cried? He cried this morning. Then when he went out, he showed a calm and even temper which he’d never shown before. When he came home, he hugged you again and said he loved you…”

“No. Not just those,” Ma, searching through her memories, said. “This morning, he had prawn congee. Because he daydreamed for a while, it had cooled down. Usually, he would never have touched it but today he ate it all.”

“When I left the house today, he even told me to drive carefully,” XueQing added. “I was so happy because of it. I even thought the brat finally knew to show his concern for his sister. And during dinner just now, he ate everything we put on his plate. Due to that, he was even stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable. Usually, he wouldn’t force himself to do something just for someone else. Ah, if I’d known he’d be like that, I wouldn’t have given him so much.” Ma nodded in agreement.

FuRen leaned back on the couch and closed his eyes in thought. “The change in HanHan is too much today. This could be a major or a minor problem. He’s a stubborn child. If something really happened to him outside this house, questioning him would only make him dislike us. That way, we’d discover nothing. We need to observe every move he makes. Someone needs to stay by his side all the time. Don’t let him out of the house alone. We’ll still go about our days as normal. We mustn’t let him realise we know something.” His eyes turned frosty. “If it’s just him becoming mature and growing up, then let it be. But if someone actually dared to touch my son, I am not someone they can just trifle with!”

Ma nodded along again.

“Then Big Bro…” said XueQing.

FuRen massaged his temples with two fingers. “I’ll talk to your brother about this,” he said.

As he said so, the two brothers who’d been out on a walk returned. The three in the living room collected themselves and put on their smiles.

“Well, HanHan? Do you still feel uncomfortable? Really. If you can’t eat that much, don’t do it. You’ll only make yourself suffer,” said Ma.

YiHan sat down by her side. “It was nothing much anyway. I just had a little too much. I feel much better now,” he replied with a smile.

XueQing exchanged a glance with her father. “How old are you now, little brother? Don’t you know when you’re full?” said she.

“You put the food on my plate. I didn’t want to waste your efforts, yet you don’t care at all!” YiHan hmphed.

XueQing hurriedly begged for his forgiveness. “How could I not care? I’m so happy about it.”

YiHan pursed his lips and hmphed once more.

Bai Yan ruffled YiHan’s head. With eyes twinkling and a smile on his lips, he said, “My little brother’s growing up.”

YiHan laughed. He should be growing up. He’s someone who’d died once already. How can he not?

Deep in the night, Yan knocked on the door to Bai FuRen’s study. “Father, I’d like to talk to you about my younger brother. Something’s not quite right with him today. Something might’ve happened,” said he, as soon as he walked through the door.


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GC: Chapter 14

14. The Little Master’s Changed

YiHan lowered his head and worked hard through the food in front of him, afraid his family would spot his tearing eyes. It’s so weird. In the life before, even though he was spoiled by his family, he’d completely changed his cry-baby personality after disaster struck his home. Even on the day he died, he never cried again. So why had he turned back into a cry-baby when he travelled back to here?

Seeing him bury his face in his food, Ma worriedly spoke up. “HanHan, why do you only eat what’s in your bowl? Why don’t you take some more vegetables?”

Bai YiHan: “…” It’s already a very challenging task for him to just digest all of the food in his bowl. More vegetables? Where would they go?

“The child’s eating. Don’t disturb him. Let him eat what he wants,” said FuRen to his wife.

Ma agreed with a smile and a nod.

Another meal finished and YiHan was stuffed once more. He seriously began to question if he’d become fat during this incarnation.

“Ate too much? It’s not good to overeat at night. Come, let’s go for a walk. Helps you digest faster,” said Bai Yan. He smiled and petted YiHan on the head.

YiHan hurriedly nodded.

Ma pursed her lips in happiness as she watched her two sons walked out the door, shoulder to shoulder. She was suddenly reminded of something and asked Aunt Yang, “Can you go look if Chen Fang is around, Aunt Yang? Tell him to come over.” Chen Fang was Bodyguard A who’d secretly followed YiHan around during the day…

Soon, Chen Fang marched into the living room. “Mr Bai, Mrs Bai, Second Miss,” he said.

“I forgot to ask you this afternoon. When you were following the Little Master around today, where did he go to play?” asked Ma.

Chen Fang relayed every single detail of Bai YiHan’s trip outside.

The more she heard, the more uneasy Ma felt. “You said he went and ate at a small cafeteria? And it’s the kind that don’t look very clean?” she interrupted.

Chen Fang nodded, confused. He too didn’t understand how or why the Little Master suddenly changed.

However, Ma’s focus was clearly on a different channel to his. “Then why didn’t you stop him? His digestive system is weak. Eating any sort of unclean food will make him sick!”

“I didn’t think he’d really eat it. He’d be upset if he knew we were there, so I didn’t dare reveal myself,” said Chen Fang.

FuRen spoke up. “Outside food isn’t poison. It’s fine for him to have some occasionally. Wasn’t he alright this whole afternoon? The main point is why would he suddenly eat in a place he used to look down on? And he adapted quite well.”

XueQing had been silent this whole time. “Did something happen to him that we’re unaware of?” she asked with a sombre face.

“How could it be? That child’s been under our eyes this entire time.”

FuRen went quiet for a moment. “Continue your report,” he said to Chen Fang.

“After the Little Master finished his meal, he began walking about on the streets before heading to the spot where he’d be meeting up with Lil Zheng. However, the driver was not there, and Little Master waited on the spot. It was roughly over 10 minutes before Lil Zheng arrived with the car. The Little Master immediately returned home in the car,” said Chen Fang.

Ma was furious. “I knew the newbie is unreliable. This Lil Zheng actually made HanHan wait for him for over 10 minutes? What time was it? It’s the sunniest time of the day. HanHan’s body can’t handle that. And that child. Really. Why didn’t he say anything after going through such a painful ordeal? We can’t keep employing this man. It’s his first time driving for HanHan and he dared make HanHan wait for him? He might even start bossing HanHan around the next time!”

FuRen patted his wife’s hand, soothing her turbulent emotions. “Lil Zheng’s movements are just a trivial matter. The issue is HanHan waited under the blazing sun for over 10 minutes, yet he didn’t throw a temper tantrum. He didn’t even mention it when he came home. It’s much too strange. It’s out of character,” said he in a deep, thoughtful voice.

XueQing’s heart sank. “Lil Bro must have suffered in the hands of someone some time unknown to us. That’s why he suddenly became so obedient. He didn’t even dare speak up after being wronged! He might be a little spoilt, but he’s not brave. He’s easily frightened. That someone had better not let me know who they are, or I’d make him regret being born!”


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GC: Chapter 13

13. What a Good Family

When his emotions calmed down again, YiHan turned to wash up and change. He cleaned himself up and stretched his lips into a strained smile. He wasn’t satisfied with that. He vigorously rubbed his face, and patted it over and over until his white cheeks were flushed before he tried smiling again. He buried his face in his hands. Much better. He gathered his courage, cheered himself on in his mind, and firmly pressed on out of the room.

Downstairs in the living room, with a smile spreading through her face, Ma was describing her youngest son’s hairstyle when he woke up. XueQing was laughed until she fell into Yan’s lap. Yan’s brows softened into a gentle look. Even the ever-dignified FuRen was smiling.

The dinner table was set. All that’s left was for YiHan to come down.

When she heard movement on the stairway, Ma immediately stopped her recollection. XueQing quickly sat up. The whole family turned and watched the stairway with a kind aura blooming around them. They must not be discovered gossiping about YiHan’s inelegant behaviour behind his back. He’d burst into rage from embarrassment.

YiHan: “…” You were so loud just then that I heard everything, okay? But whatever. Just think of it as entertaining his family.

He nonchalantly walked down as if he heard nothing. As he looked at his ever-prim-and-proper father and solemn brother, guilt crept into his heart. He wanted to avoid looking at them, yet he couldn’t bear not to look at them. Stunned, he stood there.

Ma felt her son had been exceedingly cute since he woke up from a nightmare that morning. She couldn’t resist walking over to wave her fair palm before his face. Smiling, she asked, “Come back, little one. It’s only been a day. Don’t you remember your father and brother?”

YiHan snapped out of his daze. He reached out and caught the hand before his eyes. Then, he embraced the entire arm. Only then could he force the big, blaring sign of “terror” of terror out of his mind.

Ma was very appreciative of her son’s endearing actions. She patted YiHan with the other hand and said, “Let’s go eat. You’ve got to eat more to build up your body.”

Bai Yan had been observing his younger brother this whole time. Upon seeing him calm and serene without a single trace of the frustration that’s been looming over him, Yan secretly let out a sigh of relief.

FuRen rose with a smile still hanging on his lips, and led his family to the dinner table. The long, long table was already packed with all sorts of delicacies. The aromatic fragrance in the air enticed their fingers to start moving.

Picking up his chopsticks, FuRen spoke, “It’s been a long day. Eat up, then go shower and rest.”

XueQing squeezed in next to YiHan. She fished out a ball of prawn meat from the platters into YiHan’s plate. “Your favourite prawn balls. Eat up,” she gently said.

YiHan had always loved eating prawn balls. But he was a disaster with his hands. He could never grab any ball-shaped objects with a pair of chopsticks. He even wailed and cried over it once as a child. From then on, if there were any round objects on the dinner table, the closest family member would get it for him. It’s already a habit in this household.

Yan shelled a large prawn and placed it in YiHan’s plate as well. There weren’t a lot of underwater creatures YiHan liked to eat. Large prawns could be said to be one YiHan loved the most. However, he’s lazy and disliked dirtying his hands. Because he thought it was troublesome, he never bothered to eat anything with shells. Yan, this big brother, could do nothing about it. From when he was a little boy until now, as long as they’re eating at the same table, Yan would be the “shelling machine”.

Ma wasn’t willing to back down too. Her son loved to eat this. That’s very nutritious. Her chopsticks never stopped moving. In the blink of an eye, a mountain was build on YiHan’s plate. When they saw that his plate was packed tight, they started attacking his rice bowl in turns. Even FuRen silently moved a chopstick-ful of beef over to YiHan’s bowl.

As YiHan looked at the swaying mountain of food on his plate, he felt like crying again. His family was so good to him. Why did he think it was expected before? Why did he think everyone in his family should treat him like this? Such expectations and “should”s weren’t realistic. His family didn’t owe him anything. On the contrary, he owed his parents an endless amount of gratitude. He owed his siblings all the love in the world.

Translator’s Note:

Large prawn: Also known as scampi. While just “prawn” would do, shelling large prawns is a harder task than smaller prawns. Hence, “large prawn”.

Chopstick-ful: Forkful, spoonful, chopstick-ful. I know. I know. It’s lazy writing, but it’s fun! Especially since thinking spoonful just brings Mary Poppins into my head.


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GC: Chapter 12

12. Soft and Fluffy Youngest Son

YiHan counted the time he had left. News of the move started from around April next year. All of the land to be used by the university were all bought out then. Paperwork was done, and work had started. In that case, the officials might even be finalising everything now.

Bai YiHan laid back down with a hand on his head. He didn’t expect to be able to profit much from this business. Even if he knew about it before others, his brain wasn’t good enough to start snatching food from those realty agencies. Perhaps if he headed to the suburbs around the new university and bought up property like shop lots or houses, he might earn a small sum too once everything was done?

And once construction starts, he could buy some shops there. If he can’t manage them, he could at least rent them out. Before his death, he remembered the market was at the point where even begging for one shop lot to rent was hard. Then, he can just sit at home and collect rent, right?

If an emergency happened, selling them out would net him a nice pile of cash too. And with how capable his father and brother were, the Bai family would have no issues rising from the ashes again. If that won’t do, then at least the family won’t have to worry about food and shelter.

As YiHan’s thoughts spiralled down this trail, his heart began to settle down. The house was too quiet. He’d lain down for far too long and had thought too hard. Slowly, he drifted off to sleep.

He only woke up when Ma’s soft knocks reached his ears. Blurrily, he opened his eyes. Was it day? Was it night? What time was it? What day was it? He couldn’t tell.

With a messy bed head and in blue bear pyjamas his mother had bought for him, YiHan open the door with a yawn.

Ma looked at her own soft and fluffy youngest son and hated the fact she couldn’t just press him tight into her embrace or give him a vigorous petting. Reality was too cruel. As her children grew up, they refused to allow her to pet them. If she did so, this son of hers will fly into a rage out of embarrassment.

Even so, she couldn’t resist pinching YiHan’s cheeks and helped him tidy up his messed-up fur. YiHan was still fuzzy from his nap so he blearily let her did as she pleased.

With one hand running through her son’s soft locks, Ma’s heart melted again. With a voice so gentle that words seemed to trickle through her mouth, she asked, “Are you done sleeping? Go freshen yourself up. It’s time for dinner. Your father, brother and sister are all home.”

He blankly nodded. Once Ma had had enough of petting her son’s head, she happily walked back downstairs. When she reached the stairway, she paused then looked back at him. “Hurry. Also, Mother loves you too,” she tenderly spoke.

Like a fool, YiHan just smiled back at her. He closed the door and continued staring blankly at it. Only then did his scrambled mind began focusing and deciphering what Ma had said.

And then…!

His father and brother were home?

YiHan stood there, shocked. He wasn’t ready yet. The last memories he had of his father and brother were their angry, disappointed and hurt eyes glaring right into him, hating him for being how he was.

The last time he saw his father was at Grandfather’s funeral ceremony. His father’s forever-straight back was hunched over. His hair was pale white. His looked so old and powerless. And his big brother, whose face was always calm and mature, was filled with sorrow. He had looked so torn up. His eyes were red, yet he continued to stand straight, for he still had to support his parents and siblings.

And he? He didn’t even dare stand close to where the ceremony was held. He could only watch from afar in silence as his beloved and kind grandfather was turned into a black box of ashes before being buried in cold dirt.

With everything that’d happened that day, how could he bear to go downstairs and see his father and brother again? Even if none of that had happened yet?

Ah, right. Nothing had happened yet. Grandfather’s not dead. The Bai family wasn’t bankrupt. His spine was not broken and cracked yet by torture. His family was not yet beaten down to the point of being shamed wherever they went because of that.

He was just the Little Master of the Bai family who had a bit of a temper issue. As long as he was a good child. Over and over, he repeated to himself. As long as he was good, everything that was bad wouldn’t happen.

Translator’s Note:

Voice so gentle that words seemed to trickle…mouth: It’s a very common Chinese imagery. It doesn’t make much sense and it might not be the best imagery in the world but it fits. To be concise, it’d just be described as “soft” or “smooth as silk” in English.


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