GC: Chapter 96

96. Stubborn Oujidere

Ma nodded along to XueQing’s speech. After brief reconsideration, she stated in a rather sad manner, “In that case, when HanHan gets better, he’d realise the perfect love he’d found was all just a lie. Everything was for nothing. He’d be so hurt then. My little baby, why can’t I suffer in your place?”

XueQing: “…” Just what do you want to do then?

In the hallway around the corner, Aunt Yang patted the tears away from her eyes. “My poor little master, once you can eat solids, I’ll cook you a grand feast to help you recover faster. Mr Mu would definitely say yes. Who in this world could bear to let such a cute young man remain upset and hurt? Mr Mu loves Little Master so much. He will save him, right?”

***

When YiHan woke up, JingYuan was spacing out while staring down at him. When JingYuan realised YiHan had opened his eyes, a warm smile immediately took over the previously blank face and leaned down to peck his lips.

“You’re up. How do you feel?” JingYuan softly asked. “Did you sleep well?”

“Extremely well. I’ve never felt so calm before,” YiHan replied, his lips pressed together into a smile that revealed two dimples. He raised a hand to caress JingYuan’s cheek. Every breath of air filling his lungs was as sweet as can be.

JingYuan felt like ever since YiHan was rescued a strange switch was flipped in the other man. Not only would slight agitating incidences not trigger a mental breakdown in him anymore, the man’s mental state had taken a turn for the better. YiHan now acted more affectionate, in a natural way, when with him. It made JingYuan’s heart race with delight. As expected, the hero saving the dam-…dude-in-distress act was the best way to win someone’s heart! Thank goodness he was the fastest among the rescuers due to his hastiness. He was the first to arrive on scene. If he was one step slower and Yan was first, he might not be met with this treatment now.

At that, Jingyuan couldn’t help letting loose a chuckle. His eyes were filled to the brim with warmth which made YiHan go into a daze while staring into them.

As the two men stared into the other’s eyes with great love, XueQing stayed frozen at the door.

She silently retracted the foot about to step into the room. In exasperation, she exchanged a glance with the beautiful, but confused if she should enter or not, nurse standing at the door beside her. They had a feeling if they went in now, lightning would strike them down.

***

Moments later in the hospital corridor outside YiHan’s room, XueQing told JingYuan about the conversation the family had last night. The man fell silent for a long time before speaking up, “You were too bold. This is not what we planned. It’s too risky.”

 “I didn’t plan on it at first,” XueQing replied. “But everything changed so quickly. Yan had detected something weird in how HanHan treats you. Thank goodness for your habit of keeping a poker fac. No one had realised your feelings for HanHan yet. Instead, they all think this will be a burden on you.”

JingYuan’s lips curled into a smirk as a hand massaged his furrowed brows. “The current development has been so unexpected,” he said. “While it’s risky, at least your parents love HanHan enough. Otherwise, this would’ve happened so smoothly. It’s my fault for making them feel guilty and upset at this assumption.”

“It’s not your fault,” XueQing glumly said. “I was too hasty. One after another, things kept happening to HanHan. “That person” kept going after HanHan. I was just too worried about his mental health. I thought the only way to make him feel safe enough is to make it so you can be by his side without any hiding. That’s how I’ll protect my little brother.”

She looked up to look at something off in the distance, her eyes slightly unfocused. Then, she muttered, as if talking to herself, “I still remember when HanHan was a kid. He’s so small, so soft, just like a bun fresh from the steamer. He stumbled after me, calling out ‘sister’ in his soft voice. I looked back to see him about to trip because he ran too fast. I hurriedly rushed over to catch him. He looked up at me and grinned. The two tiny dimples on his chubby cheeks were so cute. It was then that I thought, ‘Ah, this is my little brother. I’ll forever love and protect him. Just like today, I won’t let him get hurt at all.’

“Then, he grew up. He was no longer as close to me. He wouldn’t listen to me anymore. It upset me.

“This time, he suffered a mental trauma so serious that it turned him into a good kid. This incident allowed me to see he’s still as soft and gentle inside, just as he was when he was younger. His two wide eyes bore into me as he told me to drive safely and to take care. Hehe. He actually hadn’t changed at all.

“He’s considerate of my feelings and he didn’t dare to reveal his own feelings. Isn’t that an attempt at protecting me? I knew then my love for him had never been one-sided. He loved me too. I will stand by the oath I swore as a child and forever love him, protect him and keep him from harm.”

JingYuan’s eyes softened. “He loves you very much,” he warmly said. “There’s no doubting that. HanHan and I thank you for this. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to gain everyone’s understanding this swiftly. But what about Chen TianYang then?  According to our plan, he was never meant to appear. As you’ve said, things have changed faster than we’ve planned. His entrance was a little hasty but it’s not too bad. With what happened last night, he’s probably not useful now. Right?”

XueQing glanced at the door to YiHan’s room. “That’s true,” she guiltily admitted. “I should apologise to him. I made him do all this for nothing.”

JingYuan paused, then said, “That might not be for sure. He’s still of use to us. We’ve already told HanHan you like Chen TianYang. If he backs out of the plan now, HanHan will be suspicious and, because our engagement is now void, your parents will be worried over your future marriage. With the appearance of Chen TianYang by your side, someone with a family background as strong as yours and someone who’s proven to have loved you, it would make them feel better about this. Wouldn’t it?”

She side-eyed him. “You’re not wrong,” she said. “But why does it sound like you said all that because you’re on TianYang’s side? There’s no clandestine secret between you two, right?”

“Where did your mind go off to?” JingYuan sighed. “I’m only saying this because whenever I see him yearning for you, I’m reminded of myself before. I understand that feeling all too well. It’s inevitable I’d sympathise with him and try to help him. More importantly, I  think of you as family. Of course I’d hope you could find happiness. If we put aside his family background, he’s one of the most handsome and capable men I know. What’s even rarer is how much he loves you. He’s a great match that’s hard to come by. If you can love him and be with him, I believe you’ll definitely be happy. Naturally, it’s all up to you. If you think you’re not git for each other, you have plenty more choices. The daughter of the great Bai family would never lack suitors after all. No matter your decision, I’ll support you.”

Touched, XueQing patted him on the arm. “I appreciate all your efforts,” she said. “Fine. It’s very rare to find someone who’d love me that much. I’ll try and accept him. If I feel we’re good, I’ll definitely consider him. I would be much happier marrying someone who loves me than someone I love.”

JingYuan nodded. He took a step forward then turned to look back, “Don’t force yourself. No need to be considerate of other people. Just do what you feel best.”

XueQing’s eyes stung as she walked forward to pat the man on the back. “Alright. When did you become such a nagger? Go back or HanHan will worry.”

Only then did JingYuan fully turn around and walk to the door of YiHan’s room. “We’ll need to revise our plan for what happens afterwards,” he said along the way. “We can’t let HanHan sense any of this or he’ll think I’m not truly in love with him, that I’m only pitying him and I only wanted to save him. If he descends into a spiral over it, we’d be screwed.”

XueQing hummed in agreement. “Why don’t we just tell HanHan about everything last night then” she blurted. “I think that’s safer. He’ll be prepared for this assumption in the family. He wouldn’t split hairs over it then.”

JingYuan paused. He frowned. The more XueQing thought about it, the more she felt she was right.

“Of course, we can’t change the reason why we brought TianYang into the plan,” she continued. “Half-truths are the easiest to deceive people with. Let’s find a chance to talk to TianYang about this later. We need to continue on with the charade.”

After a long moment of weighing the pros and cons, JingYuan finally nodded. “You’re right, but remember, in HanHan’s mind, TianYang still doesn’t know we were engaged. Don’t let it slip.”

“Then we won’t talk about it before TianYang. We’ll get him out of hearing first. Make sure we play out the full act. While HanHan is gullible, we’d best be cautious,” XueQing replied.

JingYuan shot her an upset glance. “He’s your brother,” he whispered. “How could you call him gullible?”

“It’s the truth? Don’t you find his ditsy attitude to be ridiculously cute?” She smiled.

Unwittingly, a smile began to grow on JingYuan’s face. When he realised his lips were perking upwards, he did his best to push it down and glared at her. He swiftly turned around and strode back to his target.

XueQing twitched her lips to the side. “Stubborn little oujidere.”

***

In the hospital room:

“Mr Chen, you’re so busy with work. Why still take the time and visit me? I’m fine now,” YiHan warmly greeted.

“We’re friends, aren’t we?” TianYang replied with a smile. “When friends are in trouble, I’ll help them out. You don’t need my help now but I should still see how you’re doing.”

YiHan laughed, deep dimples showing up. He looked like he was in an exceptionally good mood.

“How do you feel now?” TianYang asked. “Do you still nausea or any dizziness?”

“I was a little nauseous yesterday,” YiHan replied. “But after a good night’s sleep, I feel much better now.”

“Remember to bring more bodyguards with you the next time you leave the house,” TianYang suggested. “Specially to crowded places. You must be careful. With your status, there are a lot of people aiming for you. Whenever I think about yesterday’s incident, I feel so terrified.”

“I know,” YiHan said, nodding. “Right. You rushed over to save me yesterday but my head was in such a mess that I didn’t talk to you at all. Please don’t be angry.”

The other man smiled. “You acting so formal and polite is what would make me angry. When I knew you went missing, I nearly died from fear. Those people are so very daring. Don’t worry though. I’ll definitely make sure they get their comeuppance.”

YiHan smiled and nodded. He looked out the window. “Why is my sister and JingYuan taking so long?”

TianYang frowned. “Don’t worry,” he comforted. “They should be back soon. It’s my fault. I only remembered how you couldn’t eat solids now and so didn’t bring any food with me. I forgot those looking after you needed to eat too.”

Translator’s Notes:

Oujidere: Trying out a new way to translate “arrogant/proud and cute”. How does it sound?


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GC: Chapter 95

95. Temporary Plan

At the end of XueQing’s speech, a suffocating silence fell upon the living room. A long pause later, Yan said, “What XueQing said…might be the truth. She is a girl. Her intuition’s always been very sharp. She’s also thorough and observant. On the old Mr Yan’s party, HanHan was so terrified of Feng Qun that his mind was not in the right place. Even then, he clung on tight to JingYuan’s short. He wouldn’t let go no matter what we did. When HanHan sobered up later, according to JingYuan, he immediately distanced himself and acted very cold to JingYuan. It was the complete opposite to what he did when he wasn’t completely aware of himself. We didn’t notice it back then, but now that I think back to it, that’s proof of HanHan having fallen in love with JingYuan. He was afraid he’d let it show so he forced himself to stay away from JingYuan.”

Reminded by Yan’s words, everyone in the room thought back to how the two men usually interact with each other. YiHan’s dependence on JingYuan was definitely abnormal. However, as Yan had said previously, that was how the two acted around each other all these years. They’d all gotten used to it so no one thought anything of it.

Ma swayed. Tears dripped down her cheeks and onto her lap.

“How could it be?” Ma asked, voice trembling. “HanHan…how could this happen?”

FuRen glanced at his daughter. “Should we distract JingYuan? Pull him away.” he mused. “Separate them for a while. HanHan’s still a child. Perhaps, after some time, that love will simmer down.”

“No way!” XueQing shouted in fear.

The other three around her jumped.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” Ma dazedly said. “No matter how much we love HanHan, we can’t ignore the ethics of the situation. JingYuan is engaged to you. That means he’s HanHan’s brother-in-law. If they get together, that’ll be incest. If someone outside the family knew of their relationship, they’ll forever live in shame!”

XueQing stood up with a whoosh, her eyes going red at the edges.

“If we do that, we’ll kill HanHan!” she screeched. “I don’t care about some vague moral in this situation. All I care about is my younger brother has been wronged! Did you see those wounds on his body when he was rescued? His chest was covered in bite marks…” She took a harsh gulp. A bead of tear slid down her cheeks away from her wide eyes. “But when he woke up, he didn’t react in any way one might call emotional. He even comforted Ma. Did none of you think that was strange? I’m absolutely sure he’s only so calm because there’s a terrifying idea growing deep inside him. From what JingYuan described, when he arrived on scene, that thug was planning on…on snapping HanHan’s neck. Think. That bastard actually lusted over HanHan. Why would he let HanHan go without having done anything? Why would he kill him straightaway?

“When Yan went into the room, that beast was rolling on the floor. It’s obvious HanHan thought he was at a dead end and did all he could to hurt the other. That bastard only wanted to kill HanHan because of the anger born from humiliation! This might be HanHan’s true goal. He has…given up on himself. That’s why he did all he could to push Feng Qun to kill him!

“When he woke up, he acted so natural and could differentiate what would benefit him more. It’s as if the one hurt wasn’t him. Which of us could know what he honestly thinks?

“HanHan…HanHan had never thought of fighting with me over JingYuan. He thought of just going with the flow. If the vase shatters, then let it remain shattered. He had given up on his own emotions and any hope for himself. He didn’t care if he lived or died. As his family, as those who love him so very much, are we going to give up on him to?” XueQing ended with a roar.

She closed her eyes and let herself drop back onto the arm of the couch. “We all know better than anyone else what HanHan was like before. He’s now a god child. So are we going to use his ‘maturity’ to hurt him as if that’s the right thing to do? He wouldn’t cry. He wouldn’t shout. He won’t try and fight it. He’s extremely calm. It’s highly likely due to some mental issues. Are all those trivial rules more important than his life? Do you want to see him leave us and quietly live a painful life because of some ridiculous moral value? He’s in an extremely dangerous state of mind. If we wait until the day when he loses all hope in life and seek release…” Tears swelled in her glimmering eyes once more but she did her best. They can’t fall. “The doctor said,” she continued, sadness laced through her words. “He’s very suicidal. If a person were insistent on dying, who could stop them? If he really succeeds, none of our regrets and what-ifs would matter.”

Ma and Pa inhaled, shocked. Yan patted his sister on the shoulder.

“So,” Yan sighed. “What do you plan to do?”

XueQing drew herself up. “I am Bai XueQing,” she proudly stated. “I am the daughter of the great Bai family. Would I really be worried over not finding a man to marry? It’s only an engagement. Can it really be compared to HanHan’s life? Anyway, JingYuan and I aren’t that deeply in love. We just thought the other was a more suitable match. We’re compatible in terms of family history and capabilities. I believe with how much love JingYuan holds for HanHan, he would agree with me if he were here. As long as HanHan recovers, there’s no worthier sacrifice!”

Ma’s body shook as she reached out for her daughter’s hand. “XueQing,” she warbled through the torrent of tears. “Why must you suffer so…?”

“Don’t be like this,” XueQing softly said, an arm hugging her mother around the shoulders. “I won’t suffer. In fact, I feel happy. We finally found a solution to HanHan’s problem. Think. If he could have what he wished for, he would relax. Wouldn’t he heal faster then? He won’t fight for it, so I’ll let him have JingYuan. He is the heart of our family. I love him. I can’t let him go through this pain any longer. It’s only a friendly engagement. If it had required my life, I would gladly offer it up too!”

“Even if you’re willing to, what about…JingYuan?” FuRen sighed, giving his daughter a light pat on the hand. “Even if he’s willing too, we’ve owed him too much when it comes to HanHan. How could we make him suffer for it?”

Internally, XueQing twisted her lips. He would be deliriously happy if you’d let him get together with HanHan. Suffer? As if!

On the outside, she still had a serious face on. “I can talk to him about this. I’m confident he’ll understand our dilemma. My younger brother is such a great person. JingYuan wouldn’t suffer at all being with him,” she said.

FuRen didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “Silly girl,” he said. “Your brother being a great person or not has nothing to do with whether JingYuan will like him that way.” He sighed. “If JingYuan really agrees to this, we’ll be in his debt indefinitely.”

Ma wiped her tears away with the back of a hand while the other clutched at the blouse over her heart. “My poor son,” she muttered. “You’ve suffered so much yet I, your mother, knew nothing about it. What a fool. Why didn’t he tell me? Why did he just lock it up inside and let it fester and hurt him until he wanted to kill himself? The thought of it makes my heart ache…”

Yan’s hands clamped down tight at the arm of the couch on his side. “I didn’t think that beast would actually hold such insidious thoughts towards HanHan!” he spat out. “He must’ve been lusting over HanHan long ago, but he was too scared of acting due to HanHan’s status. That’s why he induced HanHan to know more about homosexuality! It’s all our fault. We didn’t spot his plot in time. That’s why HanHan was hurt. Really! Why did HanHan not talk to us about what’s bothering him? If he told us, no matter what, I wouldn’t have let him suffer in pain until now!”

“If I knew HanHan thought that way,” XueQing nodded. “I would never have gotten engaged to JingYuan. It wouldn’t even be an idea. This foolish boy!”

Exhausted, FuRen leaned back in his seat. “Your mother and I can now relax having seen how much you two love your little brother,” he sighed. “The greatest wealth in the Bai family is our undefeatable love for our own family. We’ll have to ask JingYuan to take the hit for this. XueQing, talk to him calmly. If he says no, don’t force him. We’ve owed him enough. If he’s not willing to go along with the plan, we’ll think of something else.”

“Don’t worry,” XueQing drawled. “He’ll definitely say yes.” That bastard could ask for nothing else in his life!

Ma sighed once more. “We keep saying we think of JingYuan as our son, but it’s human to play favourites,” she said, giving her husband a comforting pat. “To ask JingYuan make that kind of sacrifice for HanHan, it’s seriously…he’d done more than enough for HanHan! We’ve not done right by JingYuan in this. We’ve also not done right by his parents. We once swore before ChuanYu’s and Ying’s graves that we’d take good care of JingYuan. Now, I think we’d be too ashamed to look at them properly in the face.”

FuRen nodded in agreement, held tight to his wife’s hand and sighed again.

XueQing felt very guilty at seeing how down her parents were. While what she said might’ve been a little exaggerated but it was what she truly guessed, roughly. She only changed their mutual love into a one-sided love by HanHan. However, everything about the threat to HanHan’s life was true. Currently, if he’s in pain, he wouldn’t vent it out. He’d just lock it up inside. Also, he was mentally unstable right now. Even if he’s well, how could she bear to let her beloved little brother suffer? If YiHan attempted suicide once, he’ll do it again. When his emotions reach the brink of what he could bear, he will use a method just as extreme to get relief. She cannot let it happen another time!

She paused and gathered her thoughts. “Don’t be upset,” she comforted. “When Uncle Mu and Aunt Ying were alive, they loved HanHan the most. They’d always be carrying him around. If he so much as scraped something, they’d be upset over for a long time. If they were still alive and knew how much HanHan has suffered, they would be upset too.

“I’ll talk to JingYuan tomorrow. Everything will be up to him. If he refuses, I won’t try and persuade him any further. But I believe JingYuan truly does love HanHan. He’d do it for HanHan’s sake. He might think the same as I do. He’d be so happy that there’s hope for HanHan’s recovery that he would do anything. He has the right to know about this and he has the right to choose. If we don’t tell him and he only knows about it once something happens to HanHan, he’d be so guilty and upset that he might blame us.

“Anyway, we’re not forcefully tying them up together for their whole lives. It’s only temporary. We’ll have JingYuan soothe HanHan and calm down his emotions. Naturally, we’ll respect his decision on what happens once HanHan recovers.”

Translator’s Notes:

  1. induced to know more about homosexuality: This novel has already established this family is irrationally blinded when it comes to the youngest child and I think everyone gets the idea. Just in case though, Yan’s thought process is wrong and extremely homophobic here in spite of how he’s one of the good guys.
  2. ChuanYu and Ying: ChuanYu/ChuanYü (传玉) and Ying (英) are JingYuan’s parents. Ma actually calls them Brother ChuanYu and Sister Ying. They are not related in anyway. It’s just the usual 大哥/大姐 suffix used for seniors in social circles.


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GC: Chapter 94

94. Little Brother Might Like JingYuan

As Yan spoke, telling his father to take his mother home, he kept motioning at his father to look at his little brother’s hands. FuRen followed Yan’s gaze. What he saw prompted him to hurriedly say, “The kids are right. XiaoRan, you must be exhausted. Let’s head home first. JingYuan dotes on HanHan so much. Would you really be worried about him not taking good care of our son?”

FuRen kept pushing his wife out of the room as he verbally ushered her out. Then, he whispered into her ear, “Let’s head home first. I’ve got something to tell you.”

Ma was still uneasy but, at the sight of her husband’s serious eyes, she kept quiet and followed him out.

XueQing and Yan exchanged a glance. “We’ll see them out,” she then said, pulling TianYang along with her out of the room with Yan following suit.

Now, only JingYuan and YiHan were left in the room. YiHan silently stared at JingYuan for a few moments, then reached out to grab the other’s hand.

“JingYuan, you came. I’m so happy,” he said with a gentle smile.

JingYuan’s heart ached so badly it felt like it was cramping up. His free hand came up and caressed YiHan’s soft cheek. “Happy? You’re so badly hurt. You scared me. Even now, just thinking about how I found you makes my legs buckle. It’s all my fault. I didn’t protect you properly. You were hurt right under my watch.”

“You’re not a fortune teller. How could you predict the future?” YiHan asked, pressing his lips together to hold his smile back. “Say, you’ve been by my side a lot lately. I wasn’t even meant to leave home today. Did you know there was danger lurking around? Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to you. I worried you.”

The other man grabbed YiHan’s hand and rubbed his cheek against it. He kissed YiHan’s palm. “You’ve said it yourself,” JingYuan said, distress in his voice. “I’m not a fortune teller. How could I have known there’d be danger? We just got together. Isn’t it our honeymoon period? Naturally, I’d want to be by your side every day, every moment. I wanted you to stay home today because I wanted to be able to see you the second I came back. What? Am I too clingy?”

YiHan couldn’t hold back his smile anymore. A chuckle burst through his lips. If the world knew the great CEO Mr Mu would talk like a distraught and wronged wife, the Mu Group’s stock prices would plummet.

Still, YiHan had to comfort his lover when he’s in such agony. “I would never say that. Why would I? These days, I’ve been doing my best not to burst out laughing in joy. Unlike me, an unemployed man, you’re always busy. Every day, my mind keeps making up plans to make you stay away from work. I wanted you by my side. Thankfully, our hearts seemed to know what the other was thinking. Before any of my nonsensical plans were started, you stayed. Look at me. When you’re by my side, no one would dare come near me. As soon as you leave me, I get hurt.”

Love swelled in JingYuan and he couldn’t hold himself back anymore. He leaned down to peck YiHan’s nose.

“Little one, you finally learned how to speak to your lover. If things really are as you say, then I must not stray even an inch away from you. Right?” said JingYuan.

YiHan blinked. “Then should I start showering you with praise and flattery, my dear guardian angel?”

“I look forward to it. Do your best. Ah, you must be tired. Was today terrifying?” JingYuan asked. He tenderly touched the bandages on YiHan’s wrist. His teeth were clamped down so tightly that blood would be drawn soon.

YiHan spread his arms out and JingYuan swiftly leaned in for a semi-hug, arms hovering around the man in the bed. YiHan tilted his head to kiss JingYuan on the cheek.

“At first, I was a little scared,” YiHan said. “Then, Feng Qun brought up that foul desire of his. I’m already in a relationship with you, I thought. If I can’t resist him, then I’ll drag him to hell with me. I thought I was dead.” He chuckled. A tear sliding down his cheek. “But you came. When you were standing before me, my fear vanished. I was afraid of nothing. When I saw you, my heart calmed down. It had never been so calm before.  I was ecstatic. JingYuan, you came to save me. Even if I really died, I would’ve died without regrets.”

JingYuan kissed the tear away from YiHan’s face and tightened his embrace. “What nonsense are you talking about?” he asked in a low tone. “Nothing is worth you dying with your enemy. Why would I not save you if you’re in danger? Even if I risk my life doing so, I will save you. Remember. No matter when or what happens, your life is the most important thing here. If anything happened to you, I’d…I’d follow you. It’s as you said. We’re now together. No matter where we go, we should always be together.”

YiHan was stunned. What else could he ask for but this? Nothing. He lacked nothing in life now.

***

XueQing dragged TianYang out of the room, then told him to head home. Then, she raced ahead with Yan to catch up with their parents. Under the bemused gaze of Ma, they got in the car.

Yan slipped into the driver’s seat. “Let’s go home first,” he said.

FuRen patted his wife on the hand as reassurance as XueQing kept quiet with her eyes lowered.

The journey was spent in silence.

“Just what are you keeping from me?” Ma asked when the whole family was gathered in the living room. “Is it about HanHan?”

FuRen glanced at his wife and hesitated.

“Father, I don’t want a repeat of today,” XueQing said. “We didn’t plan on telling Mother this because we were worried about her health, but now…it’s too dangerous. HanHan stayed strong this time, but what if this happens again? We might not even need to wait!”

FuRen froze.

“There are always limits to human strength,” Yan said. “We still don’t know who ‘that person’ is. We can never be on our guard all the time. She should be aware.”

“Just what are you guys talking about?” Ma shouted in worry. “What is it that all of you know but me? I have the right to know about my son! Bai FuRen, tell me!”

“Don’t panic, XiaoRan. Don’t worry,” FuRen hurriedly spoke up. “I’ll tell you.” He then told her everything about YiHan and their guesses about what happened to him. “We didn’t tell you because we were worried you’d panic and stress yourself out. We didn’t think…”

Ma was trembling in anger. “You didn’t think, in my ignorance, I’d take HanHan out of the house and nearly killed him? What do you think I am? A flimsy paper doll that’ll break at a touch? Have you never heard of the phrase, ‘women may be weak, but mothers are strong’? You didn’t tell. You let me lead HanHan into the beast’s maws like a fool!”

Ma’s chest rose and fell in quick bursts, her face as pale as a ghost.

FuRen was terrified at his wife’s outburst. “Calm down, XiaoRan. Don’t be mad,” he hastily assured. “I only did it out of panic. Thank goodness HanHan’s fine now. We must now come together as a family and help HanHan recover!”

XueQing and Yan had also evacuated their seats to kneel down before Ma. Through their comforting words, Ma’s breathing slowed down back to a regular rhythm.

“Why did you guys insist on letting JingYuan take care of HanHan overnight on that day?” Ma asked, brows locked in a frown. “While he’s very close to us and he’s engaged to XueQing, they’re not married yet. Even then, it’s unreasonable for a brother-in-law to take care of our son as his entire family stay home. There’s no way you wouldn’t know how strange it is. Why?”

“HanHan’s hand was clutching tight at JingYuan’s shirt,” FuRen sighed. “I thought it’d be good for HanHan. It’d be a comfort for HanHan to have JingYuan by his side. We can only ask it of him.”

Yan wiped the tears streaking down his face away, heedless of how undignified he looked then. He shot a long glance at his sister before saying, pain in his voice, “Ever since he was a child, HanHan had been exceptionally close to JingYuan. He’s a bold child. He did as he pleased with no subtlety most of the time. The only one who could sway his mind are us and JingYuan. He listens to JingYuan the most and JingYuan always knew what to do with him. After all these years, we’ve gotten used to it. Last time, he…nearly killed himself. JingYuan was the one to stop him. From what we’ve heard from JingYuan, I think that no one else could’ve calmed HanHan down quickly enough for him to give up on his suicide attempt, if we were even able to stop HanHan from doing the deed.”

Yan paused, glancing at XueQing again. “I found it strange too,” he sighed. “Why would HanHan think something happen just because he woke up to sharing the same bed with JingYuan. Anyone else would think JingYuan must’ve fallen asleep in exhaustion from taking care of him. It’s normal. Why would HanHan suspect they’ve done it, that they’ve done something wrong and betrayed XueQing? Why did he think of committing suicide because of that? I thought it was because of the vile manipulations of the person who lead him astray. Then…his hand…it clutched at JingYuan’s shirt so very hard that his knuckles were white. I thought, what if he’s…he thinks…JingYuan…”

Ma’s face went paler than before and FuRen’s breathing came out harsher. XueQing also looked rather queasy. She could feel guilt gnawing away at her.

“Yan, you mean HanHan is gay and he’s fallen in love with JingYuan?” Ma slowly said after a long pause. “Have you forgotten about his ex-girlfriend? JingYuan is also his brother-in-law.”

An idea hit XueQing then. She gripped hard at the arm of the sofa before her. It was a bet she had to take. She took a moment to gather her words before saying, “Actually, I did suspect what Yan just said too.”

FuRen’s head jerked up to look at her and so did the other two. XueQing cleared her throat before solemnly saying, “I did mention it before. HanHan seemed to be very much against my marriage with JingYuan. He didn’t say anything but if anyone mentions it, he’ll get depressed. Based on what we know, HanHan was likely manipulated by that person  during the time he was fighting with JingYuan. Not long after JingYuan left on a business trip, HanHan suddenly turned into a ‘good kid’. He ‘matured’. While he changed a lot, he was only much more appreciative of his family. He didn’t show any signs of self-harm. So why did he suddenly break down that morning?

“I’ve thought about it over and over again. My guess is HanHan realised he like men back then and developed feelings for JingYuan. In his panic, he found himself a girlfriend. He wanted to ‘make himself straight again’. From what I know, one’s sexual preferences are not something that can be forcefully changed. Naturally, HanHan failed. After he broke up with that girlfriend, he was unable to face his sexuality. That’s why his temper became so explosive. He started giving up on himself. He was unable to look at JingYuan properly. That’s why he kept picking fights for no reason. He wanted to banish those feelings through ruining his relationship with JingYuan. Then, ‘that person’ started their schemes. Perhaps they wanted to make HanHan unknowingly destroy himself. But HanHan’s much stronger than they thought. He only learned to treasure what he had. When JingYuan returned, HanHan kept hiding from him. That was an anomaly but none of us paid attention to it back then. When JingYuan and I announced our engagement, HanHan’s mood dipped extremely low. However, he’s ‘mature’ now. So he didn’t cause a fuss. Instead, he wished us happiness. He must’ve been in so much pain then but he forced himself to smile through it.

“He got drunk on that night. After he woke up, he found himself in the same bed as JingYuan. Because of his own feelings, he thought something must’ve happened between him and JingYuan. In his guilt, the pain that had been building up in him overwhelmed him. Due to that person’s manipulations, his mind was already weak. It broke through his mental barriers. He thought he ‘shouldn’t have existed’. Perhaps he merely wanted to end his pain. He told JingYuan, ‘Once I die, everything will be okay. It’ll be better for everyone.’ It’s clear he included himself in that statement. Maybe he thought the only way he could be free from the pain was death.

 That’s why JingYuan and I decided to postpone the engagement. We found out how much HanHan disliked it. We did it for his sake. You must’ve realised. During the time since then, his mood has gotten better but he was always worried and stressed out. I kept a close eye on him. The way he looked at JingYuan was definitely not the way one would look at their brother-in-law. He had been trying to hide it from the start. For our sakes. Then, today, he was kidnapped. He nearly…died. JingYuan rushed over to save him. That one action affected HanHan so much that he couldn’t hold back his emotions anymore. That was why Yan knew.

“If we never realised, HanHan might’ve kept it a secret his whole life. Even if he recovers, he would never be happy. Perhaps, to hide the truth from us, he’ll choose to distance himself from us. He might end up alone his entire life.”

Translator’s Note:

Women may be weak, but mothers are strong: Quote found in Chapter I Found, but Lost, Book V In Dæemone Deus, Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo. The Asian internet always misquote it to “women are weak but mothers are strong” and often cite Asian authors as the source. It’s probably due to Asian authors paraphrasing the Asian translation of Victor Hugo’s text without deliberately naming him


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GC: Chapter 93

93. You Came

When the kidnappers saw the tables had turned against them, they dragged Xiang onto his feed and scrambled for the door. Before they could reach it, the door slammed open with a loud band as a team of policemen and bodyguards in black charged into the room. With every kidnapper having to face against a few men at once, they were swiftly arrested. In just a blink, the tiny room was filled to the brim with bodies.

Then, and only then when all threats had been nullified, JingYuan turned around and rushed over to YiHan. With gritted teeth, he carefully untied the ropes from YiHan’s wrists. By now, those ropes were crusty with blood. JingYuan’s wrists were also bloodstained from the process of releasing YiHan from his bonds. He tenderly reached out and pulled YiHan into his embrace. He tapped his forehead against YiHan’s as his arms started quivering.

“You came,” YiHan exhaled.

A tear burned its way down JingYuan’s cheek and landed on YiHan’s face. JingYuan gently wiped it away and spoke with a trembling voice, “I came. Don’t be scared, HanHan. It’s fine. I’ll protect you. This won’t ever happen again. Don’t be scared.”

Chen TianYang had charged into the room with the policemen. He had been distracted by taking down a thug attempting  to escape. It was only then did he have time to look up and see his dishevelled future brother-in-law. The sight made his vision go blank for a few seconds. He strode over and took off his jacket to wrap YiHan in it. He was so angry that his entire being was quivering. He turned to look at Feng Qun to find Bai Yan still beating the man up!

By now, Feng Qun was unable to shout or scream anymore. All he could do was weakly groan as punches rained down on him.  TianYang walked over and grabbed Yan’s wrist.

“Mr Bai,” TianYang solemnly said. “There’s another mastermind behind this. Feng Qun wouldn’t be this bold otherwise and he wouldn’t be able to afford this. We’ve got to keep him alive so we can find out just who did this to YiHan.”

Yan glared up at him with bloodshot eyes before his fists went lax and he slowly stood up. TianYang then took a few steps away from the duo when the bruises he saw on his cute brother-in-law’s abdomen and waist flashed before his eyes once more. He then went back and threw a few hard kicks at Feng Qun’s stomach.

Feng Qun’s eyes rolled. He collapsed unconscious. Yan shot TianYang a glance as he gravely marched over to his younger brother to check on the other.

JingYuan had lifted YiHan into a carry and out the room. On the way out, he gave Feng Qun a kick so harsh that the fallen man slid across the floor. His body twitched and jerked before going silent once more.

The mouths of the policemen standing by the side all flinched. They kept their mouths shut and said nothing. These rich heirs were all so harsh. They were even harder on criminals than a policeman would ever be. Were they trying to steal their job? It’s so hard being part of the police these days.

When JingYuan passed by with YiHan in his arms, everyone else looked away. Some looked up at the sky. Some looked at the floor. Some stared at the thugs. Not a single person looked at YiHan. There was no helping it. Curiosity killed the cat. The moment something happened to the Little Master Bai, a whole bunch of powerful men got involved. Out of the five great families of the city, four of them acted. The Bai and Mu families were expected to, of course. But the Chen family heir rushed over in a panic. The old Mr Yan even threw his power behind them. From the Little Master Bai’s kidnapping to his successful rescue, less than three hours had passed. The Bai and Chen family heirs and the Mu family head personally participated in the entire operation. The Mu family head was even the first to charge into the scene. Professionally trained policemen were no match for his running speed. “Love and worry lead to panic” was a very apt phrase to be used here. Right now, this precious young man was covered in the jacket of the Chen family heir, carried by the Mu family head and flanked by the two family heirs. The three men had sombre looks on their faces. One could almost see the dark aura the three men radiated. What’s more, there were the other family members of the Bai family charging up in a flurry so hurried that smoke could be seen from their feet and there was the old Mr Yan who’d already called thrice in the past hour or so to pressure the police force to work faster.

Anyone with a positive IQ knew this was definitely not the time to come in contact with these powerful men. Furthermore, the Little Master Bai was not someone they could let their eyes linger on for a second longer than they needed to. They all stared down at Feng Qun with pity. That man had been beaten up to the point of unrecognisable. Idiot. Who gave you the courage to touch him? Were you sick of living? Did he have to drag them down with him? They were scared stiff by this incident. Their poor chief. He was driven to a panic that left him pacing furiously and drenched in sweat. His balding hair had gotten even balder from this.

They watched the powerful men carry the Little Master Bai into the ambulance.

“Bring the criminals,” the captain in charge of the rescue operation said with a wave of their hand. “Search the area. Collect any and all evidence found and report to the officers. Move out!”

***

When YiHan drifted awake, he heard a stranger’s voice softly speaking, “…there were a lot of sprains and bruises on his joints. Some mild bone fractures in his chest area. There’s some bleeding in his stomach. A mild concussion. The rest are just flesh wounds. He wasn’t…ahem…raped. He just needs to focus on rest and keeping an open mind. Perhaps you could hire a psychiatrist for him to make sure he’s not overly traumatised. When the patient wakes up, he might be dizzy or nauseous. That’s just the effects of the concussion. It’s normal. Thankfully, it’s nothing too serious. He’ll be fine soon.”

Then came JingYuan’s deep voice, “Thank you, doctor.”

“No problem,” the voice replied. Then, YiHan heard footsteps coming and going and his mother quietly crying.

His heart raced. He wrestled his eyes open to find his mother quickly flouncing over to his side.

“You’re awake,” Ma said, trembling. “My dear baby, how do you feel? Does your head hurt? What about everywhere else? It’s my fault. It’s all my fault…”

YiHan’s mouth opened and close. “Mom, don’t be sad,” he gasped. “How could it be your fault? This is just an accident.”

FuRen stepped up, patted his wife on the shoulder and said, “HanHan’s right. It’s just an accident. No one would’ve thought it’d happen. Don’t cry. You’ll make HanHan sad.”

JingYuan poured out a glass of warm water from the jug on the bedside table, took a straw and slowly fed YiHan some water with it.

With all the great seats by the bedhead taken, the Bai family siblings and TianYang had no way to get closer to YiHan to display their concerned for him. XueQing’s eyes darted around the room and stretched her neck out to take a closer look of YiHan.

“How do you feel, brother?” she asked. “I’ll go get the doctor.”

TianYang laid a firm hand on XueQing’s hand and said, “You’re exhausted. You stay here. I’ll go get the doctor.” Then, he turned and left the room.

FuRen looked up and stared at XueQing and where Chen TianYang used to be. He frowned and glanced at JingYuan. The other man was currently focused on feeding YiHan water. The man didn’t seem to notice what happened. FuRen let out a long exhale but kept quiet.

The doctor and TianYang then walked back into the room. After a series of checks, the doctor stepped back. “Don’t worry,” the doctor said with a smile. “Just make sure to rest up and you’ll be all healed up soon.”

Ma stood up to send off the doctor before returning to her youngest son’s bedside. “HanHan, does your head still spin?” she softly said, caressing him on the cheek. “Any nausea?”

YiHan raised a hand up to hold his mother’s. “I’m fine,” he whispered. “Don’t worry, Ma.”

His raised hand then exposed bandage-wrapped wrists to his mother’s eyes. The sight of which reminded Ma of the horrifying injuries she knew were hiding beneath the gauze. Her fingertips cautiously wandered the edges of YiHan’s bindings. Tears began streaking down her cheeks once more.

“It’s all my fault. JingYuan said not to let you go out. I insisted on having you go shopping with me. I was just so envious when I saw Madam Chen’s son always going shopping with her. I wanted to experience that joy with you too. I didn’t think it’d bring harm to you. If JingYuan didn’t make it in time…I can’t even think what would happen. If anything happened to you, I couldn’t bear to live on anymore.”

“No, Ma. Don’t say that,” YiHan hurriedly said. “Feng Qun told me he’d been stalking me for a few days before he finally found an opening. That meant that if he didn’t succeed this time, he’d try another time. I can’t stay in the house for the rest of my life. Our opponent was so adamant about it that there’s no perfect defence against him.”

JingYuan froze. The hand lifting a corner of YiHan’s blanket to tuck YiHan in paused in the air. His fingers clenched down hard at the fabric until his fingers could be heard audibly cracking. A cloudy gloom loomed over his face.

“I’m to blame for this,” TianYang glumly said. “I didn’t chop off the snake’s head. I left loose ties untied. Since I started the fight, I shouldn’t have given him the chance to breathe.”

YiHan panicked at that. His eyes darted to look at his sister. What a silly brother-in-law he had, he internally sighed. Why was TianYang so honest? What if XueQing didn’t like what he said and really blamed him for it? What would he do then?

Thankfully, XueQing didn’t seem upset and she wasn’t visibly furious.

“No, no,” YiHan drily chuckled. “Feng Qun said you only beat him up for me. You did it with good intentions. Who could’ve thought Feng Qun would go crazy? Right. He said he didn’t plan on doing anything to me but someone contacted him. They gave him some money; told him they would send him overseas and ensure he would live a life free of worries. That was the only reason why he risked it.”

Not even as a patient could YiHan stop wrecking his mind for the sake of his future brother-in-law.

FuRen nodded at YiHan’s explanation The second they knew YiHan was kidnapped, TianYang flew over to help them. He even risked his own life in the rescue attempt. No matter what was going on, the Bai family owed TianYang a favour. His youngest son was also right. The man was not to blame for this incident. His little baby has really grown up. He knew to apply reason and logic now, to not hurt others through his emotions. FuRen felt so relieved and glad.

“HanHan’s right,” FuRen said with a gentle smile. “Mr Chen, you’ve helped us so much in rescuing HanHan. We’re so very grateful.”

“No, don’t say that,” TianYang rushed out. “YiHan and I are friends. Our families have always been close. It’s my duty to help out if anything happened to YiHan. I didn’t really help out much anyway.”

FuRen nodded once more and said nothing.

“It’s getting late and HanHan’s tired,” JingYuan said. “Let’s leave him to sleep. Everyone had a tiring day. Uncle, Aunt, Yan, XueQing, Mr Chen, you guys head back. I can take care of HanHan for the night.”

“How can we do that?” Ma said. “You’ve had a busy day, JingYuan, and you personally rescued HanHan. You must be more exhausted than we are. You guys head home. I’ll take care of HanHan.”

XueQing took a step forward and shot a wink at FuRen and Yan. “Mom, you’re not that tough and you’ve had a stressful day,” she said. “How could you stay up all night? The doctor said HanHan’s fine. Dad, take her home for some rest first. Leave us young ones to take care of HanHan.”

Yan thought that was a great idea. He took a closer look at his young brother to find the young man silently leaning against JingYuan’s arm and fiddling with a corner of the older man’s shirt. His brother’s fingers were wrapped so tightly around the shirt that his fingertips were pale white. Yan’s heart ached.

“XueQing’s right,” Yan said. “Mom doesn’t need to stay up overnight. That’s what us kids are here for. Dad, hurry up and take her home. Tell Aunt Yang to make her some soup.”


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GC: Chapter 92

92. No Regrets This Time

Warning: Sexual assault/rape trigger in this chapter.

When the wet tongue swept across YiHan’s earlobe, memories of his past life flooded him. All he could feel was intense disgust, the kind that came from having a moist and slippery worm crawl on his skin. His scalp went numb with terror.

“Scram!” he roared in anger.

YiHan’s entire body then dashed back. Because he threw himself with too much force, he unbalanced himself and fell backwards. The back of his head hit the ground with a loud bang while leaving behind a few strands of blood-covered hair in Feng Qun’s fist.

Stunned for a moment, Feng Qun stared at the fallen form of YiHan before guffawing, “You’re quite a bold one. What? Not happy that I touched you? You think I’m vile? I’ll let you try out just how disgusting I can be. Don’t worry. We have a lot of time. With ‘those people’ tying up my loose ends, your ‘guardian deities’ would never find me that easily. Once they’re here, they’ll likely find your body, dead and ruined from me having my fun. Since I’ll die no matter what, of course I must have my wish fulfilled. It’d be a waste otherwise, no? I’m very skilled. I’ll definitely give you the best experience you’ll ever feel, before you die.”

YiHan’s mind buzzed. Black spots sparked before his eyes. His heart raced. He started breathing in sharp bursts. He shook his head and did his best to slowly inch backwards. His red eyes glared up at Feng Qun slowly getting closer to him. YiHan never thought the other would actually think of him in that way. No wonder the other man would choose to use that method to torture him. But this was a different world to YiHan’s past life. Here, he was now together with JingYuan. Be it in death or in life, from his soul to his body, he would forever be loyal to his partner. He would never let the repulsive past be repeated. If he had no way to resist, then he would destroy this beast along with himself. That’d probably count as settling the last time he had with his past life.

Feng Qun strode closer and closer to YiHan. The sight of someone he could only ever desire deep within look so terrified and wary, retreating backwards with every step he took, it only made his heart overflow with ecstasy.

Then, someone pushed through the door from outside the room.

“Act faster. If the Bai family finds us, we’ll all be doomed,” that person said.

Feng Qun paused. “Just who do you think you are?” he roared. “How dare you talk to me that way! Be careful. I’ll make sure you won’t get paid at all! Get out and guard the door!”

The man slammed the door behind him. “I certainly am not anyone significant,” he scoffed. “But who are you even? You’re also just a stray. Put away that young master attitude of yours! Also, are you paying me? I’m not looking down on you, but do you even have enough cash for one meal?”

Feng Qun’s face went green, then pale. However, he knew he still needed the men outside. Now was not a good time to turn them into his enemies. Anger just overwhelmed him for a second just now. If not for that, he wouldn’t have said something so antagonising. He can’t rush it now. One day. One day he’ll make everyone who’d made an enemy of him pay the price!

His face changed a few more times before he finally spoke, anger obvious in his tone but suppressed, “My apologies. I was overwhelmed by my anger and spoke too rashly. Please leave the room. I’ll be done soon.”

The man huffed a snort of laughter. Since the other had stepped back, he didn’t want to cause irreparable damage to their partnership. He shot a glance of sympathy at YiHan, then turned away and left the room.

Feng Qun turned back to YiHan. He can’t drag it on anymore. He went to YiHan’s form, pulled at the hands tied before YiHan and dragged the other man over to a rack in the corner of the room. One hand tore YiHan’s shirt away as he began nipping and licking at YiHan’s neck as his other hand rushed over to unbuckle his belt and reach into his pants.

All YiHan could do was glare. The skin on his wrists had been scraped off through his struggles against the coarse rope. Blood stained the rope red. Yet he couldn’t get them off at all.

Feng Qun held YiHan’s lower jaw in a tight grip. “I love your eyes the most,” he said with an evil smirk. “They’re so clean and full of contempt for us lowly people. They’re so mesmerising. I rarely looked at you straight in the eyes because I was afraid I’d accidentally get hard…now, I can finally od as I wish and savour it as much as I want. Yes, that’s the look. Keep looking at me like this…”

His breathing turned into hoarse pants. He lowered his mouth to lick at YiHan’s eyelids and eyelashes. The bound man’s jaw was still stuck in Feng Qun’s grip. There was no way for the other to escape. With an angry roar, YiHan’s entire body jerked forward. He bit hard at his assaulter’s neck and sawed at the flesh in an attempt to bite off a piece of it. Feng Qun yelped in pain. His hands forced YiHan’s mouth to release, then raised them to the wound on his neck. His hands came back dripping with fresh blood. In a fit of rage, he slapped YiHan hard across the face. That wasn’t gratifying enough for him though so he slapped YiHan a few more times until there was blood dribbling from the corner of YiHan’s mouth and YiHan’s vision went black. Only then did Feng Qun held the other’s neck in a stranglehold.

“Are you a dog? You can actually hurt someone else during such a moment,” Feng Qun demanded. “Let me see if your hole can grow teeth and bite off my dick!”

In one frenzied motion, Feng Qun untied the ropes on YiHan’s legs and tore at his pants. YiHan slowly exhaled. He didn’t fight, but silently gathered his strength. Then, as Feng Qun bent down to pull his pants down, YiHan raised his leg in a hard kick at Feng Qun’s excited and flushed with blood organ.

YiHan had put all of his strength behind that one kick. Feng Qun collapsed to a side with a cry of pain. His hands reached down to cover his groin and he began rolling around on the floor.

The men outside heard that something was wrong inside the room, so they hurriedly pushed the door open to check it but only to find YiHan with his clothes in tatters. His bound wrists were covered in blood. Bite marks littered his chest. There was a bright red handprint adorning his pale cheeks. Dried blood caked his lips. His bloodshot eyes stared at the men at the door. They looked just like a cornered wolf’s eyes.

Then, there was Feng Qun howling and rolling on the ground with his hands over his groin. When he saw the other men had entered, he lifted his sweat soaked face to roar at the men, “Get him! Fuck him to death! Beat him up until he dies!”

The men looked at each other. None of them moved. They already despised Feng Qun. The man from before spoke.

“Feng Qun, one mustn’t go overboard,” he said. “We all heard your conversation just now. This man owed you nothing. You’re just jealous he was born into a higher place in society than you were. He’s now in our hands. If we are to kill him, let’s just kill him. Why humiliate him so?”

By then, Feng Qun had recovered a little. He still laid on the floor and his breathing still came in short pants.

“Oh? What now? Does your heart ache?” Feng Qun asked. “You like him? You want to play the hero saving the damsel-in-distress? Look at yourself in the mirror first! He won’t even glance at you, let alone like you! If you don’t want to do him, I will!”

One of the men behind the man that’d spoken up twitched his lips to the side. “You’ll do him?” he questioned. “You weren’t kicked into impotency by that wolf brat? You can still get it up? You are sure you’re not going to be someone who can only perk his butt up and wait to be fucked now, are you?”

Feng Qun’s face went ghastly pale once more. Despite how he acted, he’s only a rich young kid who’d never really worked out. YiHan kick was no joke. His groin had hurt so much that his entire body was drenched in cold sweat. He didn’t even have the strength to climb back onto his feet now. He knew there was no hope these men would obey his command. He shot a glare at YiHan who was still coldly staring at him. Gritting his teeth and letting out a cold chuckle, he looked back at the men standing at the door.

“You might not want to do him,” Feng Qun said. “But don’t forget why we brought him here for. Weren’t you in a hurry just now? Why aren’t you killing him yet? Are you waiting for the Bai family to come in and capture all of us?”

“How are you not too ashamed to speak of that?” spoke the man who’d questioned Feng Qun just now in a very unhappy tone.  “If you hadn’t held us back and insisted on your revenge in humiliating him, we would’ve instantly killed him in the van. We’d now have been scattered to the four winds. Why would we stare here and risk our lives with you?”

“Then are you going to do it or not?” Feng Qun yelled. “Kill him!”

The man gave Feng Qun the side-eye. He stretched his wrists and fingers. His joints popped and cracked. As he walked over to YiHan, he spoke to the captive man.

“Hey, bro, don’t think us cruel,” he said. “We hold no grudge against you but we’re all fugitives of the law and we have no money. We had no choice but to do this. Once you’re on the other side, don’t blame us. Blame those who truly want you dead and Feng Qun, this perverted man.”

YiHan’s face stayed expressionless. His eyes had now shifted to stare at the man walking over to him. The man knelt down before him.

“Don’t be scared,” he softly said, his hands supporting YiHan’s head. “It’ll be done soon. It won’t hurt.”

“Xiang, move faster,” impatiently said the man from the group who had spoken first.

Xiang was also a killer. Even so, deep down, he had his limits. He was about to snap YiHan’s neck when he heard a large crash coming from above his head. He looked up to find a window on the wall before him had been shattered. A shadow flipped into the room through the opening and kicked the stunned Xiang away from YiHan.

The other men were all rather far away from YiHan. They didn’t have time to rush forward to secure the hostage but the invader didn’t attack them either. All the did was stand before YiHan’s body as a shield.

When YiHan saw his rescue was here, his fierce and rebellious air vanished. All that was left was a heart full of sorrow and bitterness. His eyes stung. The man before him was tall and strong. Broad shoulders, slim waist, two slender legs stretched slightly apart and his two fists clenched tight. The man’s entire being was covered in taut muscles, just waiting to explode into motion.

He was still wearing the clothes he had worn this morning when he left the Bai family home. A black open-collared shirt and long black pants. It was an outfit of darkness but the man dressed in black shone as bright as the sun. He was like the world’s strongest barrier, steadfastly protecting him.

YiHan’s heart was overwhelmed with the complex mash of emotions swelling in him. Gratitude, bitterness, sadness, they caused tears to silently slide down his cheeks. How many times had he fantasised about JingYuan charging into the “secret base” Feng Qun and his two followers had brought him into? How many times had he wished JingYuan would arrive in time, chase them off and save him? That’s all in the past now, forever unable to be change. Regrets were just regrets in the end. Even if the two men were now lovers in this life, the past would still be a thorn stuck in his heart, stabbing him every time he thought about his past life. It made him unable to face JingYuan naturally, to accept his affection.

However, what’s happened today seemed to be a re-enactment of what happened in YiHan’s last life. This time, there would be no regrets. JingYuan came.

To YiHan, JingYuan was an angel, a god. To Feng Qun and the other men in the room, JingYuan was a devil.

JingYuan’s two eyes were red with blood. His teeth were loudly grinding against each other. His face was filled with a savage ferociousness. That handsome face was twisted in rage. If he didn’t have to protect YiHan, Feng Qun would undoubtedly be pounced on and torn into pieces by this man who’d reached his limits for anger. He was doomed! So Feng Qun thought.

Just then, another man swerved over the open window. The new rescuer scanned the room as he panted. In a few quick steps, he strode over to Feng Qun, straddled over the man on the floor and punched him. It was Bai Yan!

He had his slim business suit on still. His hair was combed and set with not a single hair out of place. He was dressed for an office meeting and this man said nothing. He merely rained punch after punch down on Feng Qun’s face. After a few hits, Feng Qun’s teeth were knocked loose. Blood filled his mouth and endless shrieks of pain rang from his throat.

Translator’s Note:

We’re now at the VIP chapters. Expect longer chapter from this novel.


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GC: Chapter 91

91. No More Hesitations

Warning: Potential sexual assault/rape trigger in the last few paragraphs. Proceed with caution after * symbol.

“So many people would pounce at a single wave of the Little Master Bai’s hand! Did you need to force me to? Do you know just how much I had to do, what I’ve paid, just to be able to get near you? I bore with the humiliation all for the Feng family! Look what you guys do to me in the end!” Feng Qun shouted in rage.

“For the Feng family?” YiHan sighed. “It’s for yourself, right? Your father has 5 illegitimate children, known to the public at least. You befriended me to fight for Feng family’s benefit. Was it really not so you can solidify your position as the heir?

“Even if you bore through all that “humiliation”, it was for the Feng family. Now you’re venting your anger on me. Do you think that’s fair?”

Feng Qun stomped back to YiHan to jerk the other’s chin up. “Little Master, oh, Little Master Bai, why are you so naive?” he asked with a smirk. “The world is never fair. Take for example yourself. You were lucky with your birth. Born in the Bai family, everyone loved you. From birth, you were placed on a pedestal high up in the clouds for everyone to worship. Me? I’m not your lesser in any way at all. I did so much, put in so much effort, only to have nothing today!”

YiHan looked away and twisted his chin out of Feng Qun’s grasp. He knew just how easily agitated Feng Qun was, how impulsive the other could be. There was no meaning in debating with him on what’s wrong and what’s right.

“No one can choose their birth,” YiHan said. “Since I’ve been born into the Bai family, then you’ll be faced with a bad end if you do anything to me.”

The other man gave a low and menacing chuckle. “Of course I know that,” he spat out. “But even if I do nothing to you now, would there be a good ending for me? You guys backed me into a corner with no path to survive. If anyone’s to blame, blame yourself!”

“So you’ve abducted me. I’m in your grasp. What can you even do? Ransom? You might live to obtain that money, but you’d never survive to spend it,” YiHan replied.

Feng Qun raised a hand and slapped YiHan across the face. He grabbed the tied-up man by his hair and pulled his head back, bending it so he could glare down at YiHan.

“Of course I know what the Bai family and Mu JingYuan, that man who’ll turn into a mad dog if anyone so much as snap one of your hair, will do to me,” Feng Qun said. “Now that I have you here, I don’t mind telling you. I never planned on letting you leave here alive. All I did today was for your death.

“I didn’t plan on doing this at the start. I was planning on sneaking out of this city and find a new place to rebuild myself. But then someone contacted me. He told me if I did this, if I killed you, he will send me overseas and give me a lump of money. While I might not be as successful then, at least I can live a life without worries. It would be much easier, much faster than a future where I don’t even know if I can build myself back up again. No? I’ve waited days. Finally, a chance appeared today. He’s behind everything today. The men, the money. Otherwise, even if I wanted to, I could do nothing about you. See? Not everyone likes you. Not everyone will protect you. There’ll be someone who’ll hate you, who wants you dead.”

YiHan pursed his lips and kept silent.

*

YiHan’s arms and legs were tied up. His hair was caught in a tight grip. The numerous times his face had been forcefully jerked up had left distinct bruises on his chin in the shape of fingers. This pose elongated his neck and made his fair and slender neck look even slimmer. From Feng Qun’s point of view, he could see YiHan’s beautiful and erotic collarbone peeking out from a slightly agape collar. YiHan’s pale lips were tightly pressed together. Those wide almond-shaped eyes were filled with hatred and disgust, yet the man was unable to struggle or resist in any way. If one were so inclined, YiHan’s entire being was so very seductive. The helpless beauty.

The man who’d been high up above where Feng Qun could never touch was now lying on the ground before him, helpless to his every whim. It made his blood throb with heat.

Feng Qun leaned in closed and slowly whispered into YiHan’s ear, “Bai YiHan. Little Master Bai. Do you know what I longed most for since the moment I first saw you? I wanted to push you down beneath me and fuck you. I want to fuck you so hard that you cry. Your looks, your body, they’re all what I like the most. Even the way you glance at other people in contempt was so very seductive. Just the thought of you begging me with tears in your eyes under me would make me as hard as can be.

“But who are you? You are the third son of the Bai family. So many people doted on you, protected you. I wouldn’t even dare to look at you any longer than I needed to. But now? What could make me hesitate anymore? You win some, you lose some. Right?”

Then, his tongue reached out and licked along YiHan’s ear.


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GC: Chapter 90

90. An Agitated Man, a Twisted Heart

After Feng Qun was done speaking, he stood up and threw a hard kick at YiHan’s abdomen.

“While I, Feng Qun, am not anyone grand in this city,” he barked out. “I grew up as a young master too. But I followed you for so long. You ordered me around. I had to come at a summon and leave with a wave, just like a dog! Have you ever thought of me as a human? One would become fond of even a dog after being together for so long. But you turn your back to me in an instant. Without a single word, you broke off all contact with me. You made it so I had to be mocked and laughed at by those lowly illegitimate brothers of mine about how I “lost your favour”. In that old fart’s birthday banquet, you ruined everything I had with a single scream! My father gave me up without hesitation. Those bitches ran away with all of my assets and money. All of my shops encountered difficulties. Not only that, I had to be beaten up in some dark alley and have all of my documents and cash stolen. Three of my bones were broken! They have yet to fully recover! If not for my only remaining watch, I don’t even have a place to live in! Bai YiHan, you ruined everything for me. Now, I have to scurry and hide like a street rat. Always afraid of being discovered by you “great people” and be utterly beaten down! You did this to me! Now, you dare ask me why?”

The more Feng Qun spoke, the angrier he got. By the end of his rant, he had kicked XiaoYu a few more times on the abdomen and legs.

YiHan did his best to curl into a ball to protect his organs. Once Feng Qun finished kicking, YiHan coughed. He suppressed the blood he could smell coming up his throat.

“You should know that I’m not the one behind everything afterwards,” YiHan said.

Feng Qun smirked. “I know,” he said. “It’s Chen TianYang. But is there a difference? He only did it for your dear sister? Because that slut used too much force when strangling me so one of her nails snapped, he shut off all of my paths to survival. He even hired men to break three of my bones! What a lovestruck fool. Oh, the Bai family are all deities! They’re humans! Am I not a human then?”

When YiHan heard that, he was internally ecstatic for his sister. Chen TianYang really did adore XueQing to his core. They will be very happy together.

YiHan twitched and gradually shifted his body to ease up the pain in his stomach.

Like a cornered beast, Feng Qun paced around in a circle.

“I followed behind you like a loyal Labrador,” Feng Qun angrily scoffed. “How much humiliation did I suffer for that? I’ve been the Feng family’s tool and slave for years. I became your dog for them, so the Feng family could have an ally in the Bai family. But you guys? How did you guys treat me? A single yelp and my father, that old coot, just gave up on me! He watched as I was cornered into an unwinnable situation by Chen TianYang’s men, as they pummelled me into a hospital. Yet he didn’t dare to say anything! Don’t you guys feel any guilt when you look at me?”

“About the Feng family, your father, I know nothing,” YiHan slowly said. “But you’re the young master of the Feng family. You grew up well-dressed and well-fed. Servants heeded your every order. You lived in luxury. These were all given to you by the Feng family. Then, when you grow up, it is your duty to give back to your family in return. There’s no such thing as being their “tool and slave”. Your father gave you up because your relationship with him isn’t strong enough. What do I have to do with it? As for me, I thought of you as my friend. You did so many vile and evil deeds in my name, ruined my reputation. Have I ever interrogated you over that? Have I ever said anything when you used my name to reap benefits for the Feng family? You think it’s a humiliation to follow me but think about it. Have I ever forced you to stay by my side?”


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GC: Chapter 89

89. Nightmare

A passer-by saw a few men helping a young man, seemingly drunk, into a silver van in an alleyway nearby. Unfortunately, the witness didn’t take any photos and the surveillance cameras at that area weren’t working. The Bai and Mu families, and the police force chased the trail down and eventually found their target van abandoned in the outskirts of the city.

It was left in a very remote place where there were no cameras around. Naturally, no one was around to see who abandoned the van or when it was abandoned. The car’s engine was still warm, which meant it wasn’t left behind that long ago. But where did they take YiHan? There were no more clues.

With their clues leading to a dead end, the Bai and Mu family members, the police force and Chen TianYang, who had swiftly rushed over when he heard the news, were all frustrated. To their surprise, it was a thorough young policeman, who had only followed along as an assistant, who found some fresh and reddish mud stuck in the tyres’ grooves. He said that this type of dirt can only ever be found in a specific area east of the city. He had been a playful boy and went there once when he’d discovered this specific dirt. The red colour wasn’t obvious and if one didn’t carefully inspect it, it was hard to differentiate it from any other dirt. He was so very proud that he had noticed this colour difference while no one else did. He felt as if he was as sharp as lightning and had the potential to be a godlike detective. Combined with his boyish wish to be a hero, he had aspired to be a reputable policeman. Thus, that area and its special dirt colour were always in his mind.

With a new lead, everyone gathered their spirits and restarted their search.

As for YiHan, he really was being held in that specific area. On that piece of land with mud tinted red was an abandoned logistics warehouse. YiHan was thrown onto the dusty floor with his limbs all tied up.

His fingers twitched as he slowly regained consciousness. He remembered being separated from his mother as rabid fans rushed by. He was worried his mother would be squished and trampled on. As he focused on the need to get to her, someone covered his mouth and nose with a handkerchief soaked in something strong and he fainted.

From the cold, hard floor beneath him and the numbing sensation seeping into his limbs from ropes bound too tightly, he wasn’t in a good situation. But this never happened in his past life. He hesitantly opened his eyes.

Above him came a mean and evil voice that he could and would never ever forget. “Hey, Little Master Bai. Awake at last?”

YiHan’s eyes shot wide open in horror He twisted his head to look up as best as he could. There, sitting in a chair before him, was his everlasting nightmare, Feng Qun!

His pupils shrank from fear. The blood in his face swiftly drained away. Even his lips had turned pale and colourless.

Feng Qun was very satisfied with his reaction. He walked over and knelt down before YiHan. He reached out and tilted YiHan’s chin up even further.

“Afraid?” he asked with a wicked smirk. “I’m so very sorry. Your body is so precious yet we crudely threw you on the floor. That was disrespectful of me, but I had no choice. Because of you, I, Feng Qun, have nothing now. You’ll have to be more forgiving due to my circumstances.”

By this lifetime, YiHan wasn’t the sheltered and naive little master of the Bai family he used to be anymore. He suppressed the terror he felt for Feng Qun. Repeatedly, he told himself this wasn’t his past life, that he had to calm down.

“You should know that no matter what happens to me, by abducting me, you will never have a place in this city. Can you tell me just what made you decide to exile yourself?”

Feng Qun’s head tilted sideways as he stared at YiHan. After a moment, he walked back to his chair and sat on it.

“You overcame your fear that quickly?” Feng Qun commented. “I have underestimated you. Why, you ask? Hah. Do you really not know?”


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GC: Chapter 88

88. Search and Rescue

“Shortly after you left, Mr Mu,” the man over the phone said. “The Little Master went out with Madam Bai. They went to the shopping district in a car. It was very crowded so we could only follow from afar. Then, we passed by a group of performers surrounded by a lot of people. By the time we squeezed our way past the crowd, he was gone. Madam Bai is now in our protection but it was such a messy situation. The crowd forced them apart and the Madam didn’t know when the Little Master disappeared. She’s currently in great distress.”

“You couldn’t find him anywhere nearby? No other clues?” JingYuan asked.

“We’ve searched everywhere but there was not a single trace of him. However, someone did spot a few men carrying a young man who seemed to be asleep into a man.”

Blood drained from JingYuan’s face. “Then? What did you find?” he shot through gritted teeth.

“All our men are on the case. Our investigation will soon bear fruit. I think it should be that van. This was a premeditated abduction,” the bodyguard said.

“Use everyone we can. It must be swift. I’ll be there soon,” JingYuan sternly barked. His voice was so cold that it could freeze water.

JingYuan hung up and turned to the Bai family. “HanHan was kidnapped,” he said.

The three Bai family could guess what had happened from what they could hear of the call, but their fears were now confirmed. There was no hope it wasn’t true.

“Didn’t you say HanHan was at home?” XueQing angrily asked.

JingYuan’s face turned gloomy and his eyes were red. “My men said that soon after I drove off, he left the house with Aunt Bai,” he replied. He repeated what he knew of the current situation, then turned to Bai FuRen. “She’s very upset right now. You had best head back to comfort her. Yan, XueQing, we must combine the might of our two families and find HanHan as fast as possible. In his state, he can’t be agitated anymore!”

“I’ll go call the old Mr Yan,” FuRen said. “YiHan made a good impression on him. During the birthday party, the old Mr Yan protected him so much. The Yan family has ties in the government. The police would definitely be much more effective if the old Mr Yan speaks up!”

“Will he help us?” Yan asked.

“We’ll only know once we try,” FuRen replied.

The Bai and Mu families threw themselves into a tense search and rescue operation. Everyone had a dark and brooding face on. Their pace so swift that winds were born. The most unexpected thing to arise from it all was that the old Mr Yan actually helped them.

The Bai and Mu families were powerful enough that the police were already under high pressure. While YiHan had yet to go missing for over twenty-four hours, they’d already arranged for a team to solely tackle this case. When the old Mr Yan spoke to the police, the mountain putting pressure on the police force only grew. They assigned all the elite members they could to this case. Through rigorous investigation, they soon found a lead.

YiHan went missing at the outskirts of the performing group. The store had hired several great celebrities to help out with the event and they had a lot of fans. Every single inch of the area was packed with people passionately cheering for their stars. Many of them had already lost their sense to the cheering. If one wanted to get across this area, they’d had to loop around them.

YiHan only came out this time because he wasn’t strong enough to keep his objections up against his mother’s requests to go shopping with her. JingYuan told him to stay at home and wait for him. He wanted to be home before JingYuan did. Thus, he didn’t want to waste any more time by circling around the crowd or by driving off to somewhere else. The mother-son duo had a discussion, before deciding to wade through the crowd at the outer rings of the group. But then a group of rabid fans charged over all of a sudden and forced them away from their bodyguards and from each other. By the time JingYuan’s men and the Bai family bodyguards could grab Ma and pull her out of the crowd, YiHan was nowhere to be seen.


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GC: Chapter 87

87. Little Master’s Missing

FuRen paused and considered. “What JingYuan said makes sense,” he said after a while. “We’ve all been trapped by the stubborn assumption it’s ‘useless’ land. Now that I’ve reconsidered it, it’s very likely the heart of the city would shift in the future.”

“In that case, we…” started Yan.

“Unfortunately, the Bai family isn’t into property investment,” FuRen interrupted.

“Truthfully, the southern suburbs are too big. The Mu Group can’t handle it all alone. If you have any intention on trying your hand, why don’t we work together and nab the land first? Even if it never comes to anything, we wouldn’t lose too much if we wash our hands of the land then. It’ll be a gamble that can also make HanHan smile,” JingYuan said.

XueQing: “…” Making HanHan smile would be the main point, wouldn’t it?

“Okay. You go get your team to prepare the documents,” FuRen eventually agreed with a nod.

JingYuan nodded. “Any development regarding HanHan’s matter?” he then asked.

“No,” FuRen replied with a frown. “We’ve only found out the Qi family had contacted Feng Qun once. In the end, that was all. Afterwards, they did nothing. We need to re-evaluate the Qi family son. He did something to HanHan without any of us noticing. We can’t find out what happened even now. He’s definitely a complicated guy.”

“Could it be we were wrong? Qi MingYang wasn’t the one behind this after all?” XueQing proposed.

“He’d been in contact with Feng Qun. Usually, someone like Feng Qun wouldn’t bother about some proud, egotistical man like Qi MingYang. The man specifically contacted Feng Qun. He must’ve been aiming for HanHan. Only, this pawn was rendered useless,” JingYuan said.

Then, JingYuan expanded into his guess of how not every single part of the mental manipulation could be controlled.

XueQing perked up. “That means as long as we protect Lil Bro well and make him comprehend the vast difference between reality and the ‘dream’, he can recover without us needing to capture the enemy?”

FuRen let out a sigh of relief. “I’ve been searching for an expert in hypnotism, but those are for too rare. I couldn’t find anyone. I was thinking if the only chance we have of healing HanHan would be to make the opponent act first. If it’s really as you guess, we can relax a little.”

“Father’s right,” Yan said. The cold hard lines on his  face softened. “As long as HanHan is okay, we won’t have to hold back.”

“So when HanHan wants me to buy the land and I’d buy it, he was so very happy,” JingYuan proudly stated.

The Bai trio: “…” So it was because of HanHan! That entire speech and debate was just so he could convince himself? But they had to admit. JingYuan doted on HanHan to the extreme. Not even his family could do any better than JingYuan.

FuRen patted JingYuan on the shoulder and said nothing. Thanks wasn’t enough for this. He can only hope that once his younger son recovered, the boy could understand just how much effort his brother-in-law put in for his sake, that the boy would be grateful to JingYuan.

Just then, JingYuan’s phone rang. The man glanced at it. It was the man he’d arranged to secretly follow YiHan as the younger man went about his day. JingYuan’s heart sank. He swiftly answered the call.

“What is it?” JingYuan barked.

“Mr Mu, Little Master’s missing.”

JingYuan instantly shot to his feet. “What did you say?” he roared.


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