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In the scorching summer the sultry air pressed down from above and the dark bitumen roads seemed to be steaming.
The A/C in the Porche kept the air cool. Lu Shenxing sat on the leather seat in the back with his eyes closed. He recalled the driver's expression when he'd first opened the door and asked, "Am I that bad?"
The driver, who was driving cautiously, shook and the steering wheel swung out a little. He shook his head in a panic, "No, no, you are so majestic and fabulous…" The driver racked his brains, "and very rich!"
It was embarrassing to watch. Lu Shenxing was worried he'd say something even more absurd and stopped him, "You work well."
The driver looked flattered, "Just doing what I should."
Suddenly, there was singing in the car. It was an English song, the voice was full of youthfulness and life. Lu Shenxing’s face changed and he immediately felt sick.
Realising the atmosphere was no right, the driver secretly took a look in the rearview mirror. He shouldn’t have looked, after he saw it he almost cried. Qi Ye seemed to get very upset when he heard Luo Yang’s song.
“Turn it off.” Lu Shenxing said coldly.
“Yes.” The driver’s palms were sweaty, it seemed the Qi Ye had had an argument with Luo Yang.
Just over half an hour later the driver once again glanced at the man in the backseat and said cautiously, “Qi Ye, we’re here.”
Lu Shenxing got out of the car and walked into the apartment wearing his hospital gown. When he opened the door he was struck by the visual impact of a tyrant’s den.
Knowing it was one thing, actually seeing it was another.
He almost lost his footing.
In a state of shock, Lu Shenxing was too preoccupied to even change his shoes. Slack-jawed, he opened the closet and found it full of a variety of limited edition clothes, flora shirts, three-piece suits, black mink….
Lu Shenxing pulled closed the doors, he was worried he’d start to doubt his own taste if he kept looking.
The whole house, from the furniture to the decorations, showed off Lao Tzu’s wealth and pride, even the flooring was high-profile and luxurious.
When Lu Shenxing walked into the bathroom, the man in the mirror was tall and strong, with wheat-coloured skin, a small face and sharp eyes. He looked very happy.
Lu Shenxing touched the stubble on his chin, stood in front of the mirror for a while, then went out. He flipped through the drawers finding gold chains, gold watches, gold rings, and gold bars.
Cheng Tianqin liked gold. He liked it too, but it’s really heavy.
However, he’s different from Cheng Tianqin. The more he liked something the less he was willing to share it with others. He only wants to hide it away.
There was also a drawer full of various photo albums, all full of Luo Yang. Early photos from high school, stills of different roles, and candid photos, including him sleeping, eating , reading, shopping, and even taking a bath and sitting on the toilet. He had everything.
His love was excessive.
Lu Shenxing closed the album and thought about how to have it all taken away. The first step to changing his fate was to completely dig out the malignant tumor and remove all parts of Luo Yang from his life.
A knock at the door outside disrupted Lu Shenxing’s thoughts and he went out to find that he hadn’t closed the front door. The young man who was standing there was stunned, apparently he’d never seen such a lavish house before.
“Who are you looking for?”
The young man regained his sense, although he couldn’t help but check out the tall man in front of him, was he an underworld boss?he swallowed, then looked down at his list and asked nervously, “Are you Mr. Cheng?”
Lu Shenxing raised an eyebrow, “I am.”
The young man handed over the package and pointed to the tag on the corner, “Sign here please.”
Lu Shenxing glanced at the recipient, the name was Mr. Cheng. He didn’t sign for it. He knew someone was using this trick to remind him of his existence.
As a male protagonist, he had to be smart.
In the afternoon, Lu Shenxing received a call. The caller ID blinked with the words ‘Little Baby’. He couldn’t bear to look at it directly.
“Tianqin-ge, the day before yesterday I bought some books, but I forgot to change the address. I checked the tracking and I saw that you already signed for it, can you bring it to me?”
Too lazy to deal with him over and over again, he wanted to block him out entirely. Lu Shenxing spoke coldly, “It has been sent to your school.” Then he added, “Everything.”
Luo Yang paused, what did he mean by everything? Then he heard the man’s indifferent voice again, “Everything you owned.”
“Tian…” There was a beep. Luo Yang sullen slammed the phone into the ground. The latest LL8 bounced across the ground, somersaulting until the screen broke and the battery fell out.
The assistant who was standing behind him was distressed and couldn’t help but sigh. That was worth half a year of his salary.
Luo Yang sat back on his chair, “Go buy some chive pastries.” He stopped the assistant again, “Forget it, I’ll go myself.”
After work was over, Luo Yang went to the apartment. When his key didn’t fit the keyhole, there was no panic in his eyes, but he found it strange that that man was actually angry.
From last year until now, this was the first time he hadn’t seen him for almost a month.
He spoke coldly, and even changed the locks, he was really getting irritated. Luo Yang pursed his lips, smiling in contempt. Although it was irritating, it was still easy to fix.
Lu Shenxing had gone to buy some food from the supermarket, and when he saw the boy at the door his eyes sank, “What are you here for?”
Luo Yang frowned and said softly, “Tianqin-ge, here are some chive pastries I made myself, you can taste…”
Lu Shenxing interrupted him impatiently, “I asked, what are you here for?”
Luo Yang squeezed the plastic bag, his eyes gradually reddened, and his voice had a slight coquettishness to it, “I missed you.”
The mood and tone were very well grasped, if he was a little more delusional and a little less rigid, he could be considered sincere and moving, and good acting.
“Thank you.” Lu Shenxing took out his key and opened the door.
Luo Yang stepped to the side awkwardly. He reached out the touch Lu Shenxing’s arm and whispered, “Tianqin-ge, I was in a bad mood that day.”
His answer was to swing the door open and slam in shut mercilessly in his face.
Luo Yang, who was locked out, paled and clenched his fists. Something was wrong with that man, usually so long as he said a few soft words he’d agree to everything.
Who are you kidding?
Luo Yang looked at the box of pastry in his hands and sneered. He went downstairs and threw it directly into the trash can, then returned to school. He didn’t take what was said over the phone earlier seriously and asked casually as he passed the concierge, “Is there anything for Luo Yang from the 091215 Performance Department?”
The concierge put his pen in his mouth and flipped through his records, “Yes.”
Luo Yang was confused after seeing the list given to him by the concierge. All of his things were really here, it was all thrown out by that man.
“Please sign.” The concierge watched the boy standing there motionlessly, looking like he’d been struck. He hesitated then said, “Is the number of packages wrong?”
Luo Yang didn’t speak, he squatted down and opened the cardboard boxes one by one. There were only a few books and some clothing. He was usually at school or at work and didn’t like spending the night and that man’s place.
Finding a cracked photo frame, Luo Yang questioned aloud, “What happened?”
Was he talking to me? The concierge clarified, “Hey! Young man, you shouldn’t ask me, these were all delivered express, I haven’t touched them.”
Luo Yang smashed the frame.
The concierge was startled, he swallowed back his words in shock, then muttered to himself, “I’m getting old...almost scared me to death.”
Luo Yang piled the cardboard boxes together and lifted them with difficulty. After stepping out, he staggered across the threshold and, either out of anger or something else, he smashed the boxes across the ground, “Cheng, Tian, qin!”
Lu Shenxing, who was soaking the bath, sneezed then leaned comfortably to the side.
On the 8th, Lu Shenxing was called by Cheng Tiandao to have a meal together. When he walked in Ching Zi was sitting on the sofa watching TV. He didn’t look up, “Xiao Shu.”
“Lao Qi, here are your shoes.” Cheng Tiandao prepared him slippers and said, “I’ll go to the kitchen and check on the dishes.”
Lu Shenxing glanced at Cheng Zi, then glanced at the - salt soda? He hadn’t had it in years.
Cheng Zi was uncomfortable under his gaze and he subconsciously checked out what he was wearing. From the top of his shoes to the zipper of his trousers there wasn’t a speck of dirt. There was nothing wrong with him.
Lu Shenxing walked over and looked at the soda in Cheng Zi’s hand, “Is there any more?”
“No, this is the only bottle, do you want to drink it?” Cheng Zi spoke deliberately, wanting to see how the other reacted. Unexpectedly, as soon as his words came out the bottle in his hand was taken.
“Then, I’ll have a sip.”
Lu Shenxing took a big gulp. The salty taste was exactly as when he was a child. He licked his lips in satisfaction, his eyes narrowing as the pleasure he felt was shown on his face.
It looked particularly perverted.
Cheng Zi grimaced. This man’s words and deeds were completely different than before. Did the car accident change his habits?
The best flavour was at the bottom of the bottle.
Lu Shenxing was still lost in thought as he picked up the lighter and cigarette case. He took one out to light it, then stretched out on the other end of the sofa, looking entirely content.
Cheng Zi breathed in the second-hand smoke and turned to look at the man lying on the sofa. He was suddenly reminded of the lazy old cat he used to raise.
"Don't look at your uncle like that or I'll get embarrassed." He laughed, then Lu Shenxing, with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth, turned away and changed the channel on the TV.
"..." Cheng Zi turned away, I didn't think you even knew embarrassed was a word.
Cheng Tiandao came out of the kitchen wearing an apron and carrying the waft of oil and smoke. "Lao Qi, what soup would you like to have with lunch?" He guiltily lowered his voice towards Lu Shenxing, "That abalone you brought back, I gifted it to Lao San."
He didn't give it, he was pressured into giving it up, but Lu Shenxing didn't expose him. Aside from Cheng Tiandao, everyone else in the Cheng family treated Cheng Tianqin with kind words and compliments while in private they looked down on him for being uneducated and speaking crudely.
They laughed at him only having some money to his name while all trying to grab a piece of the pie.
Especially the youngest Cheng, who perfectly matched the saying of only one in ten phrases were true, and the single truth was indistinguishable from the rest.
Lu Shenxing stubbed out his cigarette in the ashtray and took a banana and peeled it. "Fish is fine."
Cheng Tiandao's mouth fell open in surprise. The more he thought about it, the more he felt it was wrong, "Lao Qi, you're not kidding, right?"
"Don't add chives." Lu Shenxing didn't bother to explain further, instead looking around, "Where's my sister-in-law?"
On the topic of his wife, Cheng Tiandao's attention was diverted and his face was full of concealed happiness. "She took Xiao Mi out for a stroll and hasn't returned yet."
Lu Shenxing then remembered that Cheng Tiandao also had a baby, less than three months old. His second wife, Fang Wen, was a dozen years younger than him and had given birth to their daughter not long ago.
Not everyone could be so blessed when they are older.
A few minutes later, Fang Wen returned with their daughter and enthusiastically brought her over to Lu Shenxing, "Come, let Xiao Shu hold you."
The baby made soft sounds in his arms and his muscles immediately stiffened. "Dasao, take her away."
"Lao Qi, Xiao Mi is smiling at you." Fang Wen looked at him earnestly and smiled, "She must know her Xiao Shu is holding her."
Lu Shenxing rolled his eyes, your baby is less than three months old and her eyes are closed, is it really okay to lie so blatantly?
Cheng Zi said, "A'Yi, Dad is calling you."
"Ah, okay!" Feng Wen apologised and went into the kitchen, leaving Lu Shenxing in a mess.
There was a sudden heat in the palm that was holding the baby's butt. Lu Shenxing's eyebrows raised, and he quickly walked over to Cheng Zi, placed her on his lap and stepped away.
The hot damp place was stuck to his leg causing all the hair on his body to stand on end, "A'Yi, Xiao Mi has peed!"
Fang Wen in the kitchen immediately put down the kitchen knife but then picked it up again. Seeing that she wasn't going, Cheng Tiandao prepared to go himself.
"Don't go." Fang Wen lowered her head to continue cutting celery and said solemnly, "Xiao Zi needs to learn to deal with his problem, otherwise no one will want to stay with him in the future."
After ten years, there'd been no change, he'd even taken him to see a doctor. His problem wasn't simple, Cheng Tiandao shook his head.
The living room was in chaos. Cheng Zi's face changed dramatically and his entire person was on edge. He grabbed a packet of new diapers from the pram, put the baby down then rushed to the bathroom to wash his hands no less than twenty times.
Throughout the whole process Cheng Zi's expression was serious and focused, as if was performing some kind of sacred ritual.
Lu Shenxing's eyelid twitched as he watched the process from beginning to end. Neither this uncle nor this nephew were ordinary.
Cheng Tiandao had worked as a chef at a hotel when he was younger and he cooked very well. The dishes were colourful, fragrant and gave the dining table a wonderful atmosphere.
"Xiao Zi, pour Xiao Shu some wine."
"I'll drink orange juice." Lu Shenxing said.
The table was silent for a second, then Fang Wen laughed.
Lu Shenxing squeezed the bridge of his nose and explained, "After that accident, I feel that life is really fragile." He wiped his face with his hand and continued in a particularly deep tone, "You only live once."
"..." And then?
Cheng Tiandao coughed, "Have some vegetables."
Two pairs of chopsticks reached for the honey roasted drumsticks, both gripping the same stick. Cheng Zi and Lu Shenxing looked at each other across the large table of dishes, neither intending to be Kong Rong.
A third pair of chopsticks joined the fray and the drumstick was moved into Lu Shenxing's bowl, followed by Cheng Tiandao's voice, "Xiao Zi, respect your elders."
Lu Shenxing almost choked, why does that sound so terrible?
When the chopsticks of the two met again, Cheng Zi smiled fakely, "Xiao Shu, I recall you don't like spicy food. Did this also change with your epiphany?"
Lu Shenxing turned to Cheng Tiandao, "Da Ge, I also don't know what's going on with me."
"You can eat whatever you want." The sliced pork was put in front of Lu Shenxing. Cheng Tiandao cast Cheng Zi another look, "Your Xiao Shu is depressed, very fragile, don't irritate him."
Cheng Zi looked away from the Bala dishes and focused on his rice, exuding a 'don't talk to me' aura.
After the meal Fang Wen spoke to Cheng Tiandao as they washed the dishes, "Don't you think today Lao Qi…" She thought for a while before she came up with the right words, "...is a little strange?"
Cheng Tiandao opened the door a crack and peeked out, he was surprised. "Lao Qi isn't wearing a gold watch, and there's nothing on his neck."
"He can't afford his place?" Cheng Tiandao placed the chopped watermelon on a plate. From what he knew, housing prices were rising all the time and the area he lived in was quite wealthy.
"He looks much more stable like this." Fang Wen twisted the cloth around to bottom of a pot. "What's the saying, fortune and misfortune go hand in hand. Lao Qi has suffered a misfortune, so he must be blessed in other ways. I think in the future he won't seem so lost.
"How about we take Lao Qi to a blind date?"
"Blind date?" Chengdao looked up like he'd just heard a joke, "Don't you know his sexuality, you can't just put him with some girl…"
"It's a man," Fang Wen said, "I know of a college teacher, I've met him. He's very talented, very smart."
"A teacher?" Cheng Tiandao frowned, "Lao Qi, really hates intellectual types the most."
"What's the harm in at least meeting once. Just bring him to a coffee shop we often meet at, then close your eyes and let it happen."
Cheng Tiandao and Fang Wen found an excuse to leave and left the little one, big one and old one at home.
The big one had OCD and it would be too cruel to let him change the dirty diaper. As for the old man, he'd adopted the posture of a quiet and beautiful scholar, with a do not disturb sign on his chest.
Lu Shenxing ate two slices of watermelon, he felt that Cheng Tiandao's daughter was really cute, not troublesome at all. The child on the rocker flattened its mouth, let out a small sound, then started crying.
The heart-wrenching roar of the hero on the TV couldn't compete with the sound.
Cheng Zi went upstairs. When he came down again, he was wearing a pair of gloves that went all the way up to his elbows. He looked at the man on the sofa, “Xiao Shu, hand me a diaper.”
Lu Shenxing reached out, grabbed one and said jokingly, “You should wear a raincoat.”
Cheng Zi felt uncomfortable feeling his breath above his head and moved away instinctively.
When he was changing the diaper, the baby suddenly urinated again and the front of Cheng Zi’s clothes was hit. The thin fabric was soon soaked through. He undressed as he ran upstairs, his expression was extremely bad.
“You brother is sick.” Lu Shenxing poked the baby in the face with a finger.
More than half an hour passed before Lu Shenxing saw Cheng Zi again. His face, neck and arms were all lobster red.
He was really curious about who would ever marry this person, could anyone really accept this obsession with cleanliness.
“I’ll go for a walk.” Cheng Zi left after speaking, his wet hair dripping on his shoulders, he looked miserable.
Lu Shenxing and the baby stared after him. When the baby was about to fall asleep, Cheng Tiandao and Fang Wen returned.
“Lao Qi, don’t you think kids are fun?”
Lu Shenxing turned his back on Cheng Tiandao.
“Don’t blame Da Ge for speaking badly. Don’t you think that in twenty of thirty years when you reach my age you’ll want a little life in your family.” Cheng Tiandao spoke seriously, “If you marry a man and want to have a child won’t there be a conflict.”
Lu Shenxing walked away, and Cheng Tiandao followed, chattering.
A man in his fifties always sees things through to the end, and won’t give up if he insists on something. His career wasn’t the most successful but his life was good, the only thing he wanted to improve was his brothers.
The second child in the family had immigrated and he couldn’t see him anymore. The third was doing business well, and apart from being impetuous and full of himself, he had a stable business with a few workers and every year he could set time aside to travel and enjoy life.
The sixth was a mayor. It wasn’t easy to climb to such a position in recent years. He was afraid of affecting his reputation and rarely maintained contact. The youngest was the wealthiest of the brothers, he was also the one who messed around the most.
Cheng Tiandao touched his greying hair. No matter how much money he couldn’t take it with him. He hoped that Lao Qi could really give up on Luo Yang and find someone to live his life with.
“Lao Qi, do you have time on National Day?”
“The company is arranging for employees to go to Qiaoshan to soak in the hot springs.” Lu Shenxing played with his lighter, flicking the flint and watching the flame a s he thought about things.
There are employee benefits like that? How come I haven’t ever encountered them after working all these years? Cheng Tiandao suppressed his envy and asked, “Are you going on the first?”
Lu Shenxing shook his head, “I think it’s the third.”
The company boss spoke in an uncertain tone, as if it was someone else’s business.
When Cheng Tiandao saw this he said, “Let’s go to the city on the first.”
National Day had no impression on otakus, as they sat in front of computers and watched anime and the day passed by. It was a nightmare for people who went out to play.
But this nightmare was familiar to him, and he couldn’t control his free spirit, so he could only suffer through it.
Lu Shenxing was stuck on the road for more than an hour. He found the cafe that Cheng Tiandao had sent him the address of and when he entered he glanced around and saw a figure. He subconsciously stopped, it was as if he unconsciously had an eye for the man with delicate features.
There were a few other people at the table, including Cheng Tiandao and Fang Wen. They were talking about something but when Lu Shenxing walked over the laughter stopped.
“This is my seventh sibling.” Cheng Tiandao pulled out a chair for Lu Shenxing, and then pointed to several people as he introduced them one by one.
This was the big money of legend that loves to show off? The two other women, both in their 30s and 40s, looked and Lu Shenxing curiously. He looked very normal and didn’t seem off at all.
The man also raised his head and smiled at Lu Shenxing.
“Was it very congested on the roads today?” In the somewhat stagnant atmosphere, Fang Wen found a topic that everyone could discuss.
“Particularly dreadful.” One of the women spoke up.
After chatting for a while, everyone started to leave one by one.
In less than half an hour, Lu Shenxing and the well dressed gentleman were the only one left at the table. He took a sip of his coffee, he knew what Cheng Tiandao was doing.
Unexpectedly, there would come a day when he’d actually go on a blind date.
He was Liu-laoshi, and he often talked about how people these days all pursued material things. Lu Shenxing listened to him standing at the highest point of morality and criticising the entirety of society. He was filled with enough righteous indignation to spoil the stars.
“Mr. Cheng, are things I’m saying too esoteric?” Liu-laoshi smiled sincerely, “Ask me if you don’t understand if we are to understand and respect each other the most important thing is communication.”
Lu Shenxing again took a sip of coffee, the curvature of his lips seemed to be a smile.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to belittle you. Many successful people have no higher education.” Liu-laoshi commented on Lu Shenxing, “Mr. Cheng, I’m quite satisfied with you.”
Lu Shenxing’s hand flicked over the black lighter, and the orange flame burned the end of the cigarette in his mouth. He blew out a smoke ring.
Liu-laoshi frowned, and said in a commanding tone, “Mr. Cheng, smoking is harmful to your health and the health of those around you. You should quit.”
Lu Shenxing bit the butt of his cigarette, man, how old are you?
“Mr. Cheng, what do you think of the current state of the real estate industry?”
“Mr. Cheng, which industries do your companies cover?”
“Mr. Cheng, did you drive here?”
His head hurt so bad, Lu Shenxing’s patience was extremely good, he sat with a crisp straight back the entire time. His eyes were focused on the centre of the other’s forehead making him feel a little uncomfortable.
After a few more words, it was finally over.
Sitting in his car, Lu Shenxing called Cheng Tiandao, “Da Ge, were you trying to find me a private tutor?”
Cheng Tiandao, who’d thought that everything went well on the other side, to a while to answer before he said, “Lao Qi, you were immediately drawn to Liu-laoshi when you first came in.”
Lu Shenxing’s lip twitched, “That’s because I hadn’t woken up to reality yet.”
“He is a good man, he’s single, it’s just his personality is a little weird.” Cheng Tiandao motioned for Fang Wen next to him not to speak, “You won’t meet again?”
“Don’t make any arrangements for me, ever again. I have no plans to get married.”
In the evening, Lu Shenxing went to a bar. He didn’t understand the rules of this task. The goal was himself, so he shouldn’t have done anything wrong.
The tall and straight figure, with well-kept hair, an exquisitely cut black shirt, long straight pants, expensive leather shoes and a powerful, high-class aura attracted a lot of attention as soon as he entered.
Lu Shenxing rejected yet another person who came over to talk to him as he sat lazily on the sofa, holding a wine glass in one hand and his head on the other as he admired the crazy dancing at the centre of the stage.
Somewhere quiet, Lu Shenxing’s eyes narrowed, as he sensed someone hiding in the darkness.
On the other side of the bar, in a dark corner, there were a few trendily-dressed young men and women drinking wine. They seemed to be university students.
“Luo Yang, what’s wrong with you lately?” Asked a girl with hair dyed like red wine, “is it a broken heart?”
“As if.” Luo Yang said arrogantly, “I haven’t been in love before, so how can I be heartbroken?”
“Look over there,” someone else screamed, “Da Shu is really good looking.”
Seeing the figure clearly through the colourful lights, Lou Yang was taken aback for a moment. The corners of his lips raised into a proud arc. That man sent someone to follow him? Did he come here especially? Sure enough, he still cares.
“His lover next to him is really bold. I wouldn’t have the courage to wear such little leather pants.”
“They aren’t together.” Luo Yang said, “that man has someone he likes.”
“You know him?” A gossiping boy asked.
“Guess.” Luo Yang’s expression relaxed a little, he smiled and said, “how do you think I know him?
“I want to know.” The boy grinned widely.
“He’s only average, too old.” Luo Yang said in a mocking tone, “If you knew anything, you’d know it’d be embarrassing to walk beside him.”
“He’s so manly.” The others looked at him disagreeing.
Manly? Luo Yang felt that adjective was weird when it was used on that man. In his mind, a sense of disgust was attached to him and couldn’t be shaken off.
Lu Shenxing didn’t even notice Luo Yang, he was busy listening to this young man of mixed blood flirt with him.
“Baby, let’s go.” The man’s deep blue eyes were full of lust, and he kept moving closer.
“Where are we going?” Lu Shenxing curled his lips.
“To the end of the earth, anywhere.” A man who spoke sincerely, and looked at you affectionately was like an angel, and could easily draw people in.
“What’s your price?” Lu Shenxing continued the play.
The man rubbed his chin, his handsome face showing a charming smile, “I’m expensive.”
“No matter how expensive it is, I can pay.” Lu Shenxing folded his legs, “Come here.”
The man approached with a smile, and the voice that fell in his ears was very low. Gradually his expression changed and he laughed enthusiastically, “Is there such a good thing?”
“Of course.” Lu Shenxing asked quickly, “deal?”
The man didn’t hesitate, “Deal.”
“I’ll await your good news then.” Lu Shenxing’s gaze swept away, cutting through the room like a knife. “Don’t try to play any tricks, and don’t do anything you’ll regret.”
The man’s expression stiffened, and he shrugged, “You’re paying, I’m not interested in anyone else.”
Lu Shenxing swirled the colourful liquid in his wine glass and licked his lips, “Happy cooperation.”
At about eleven o’clock, Lu Shenxing came out of the bar. The coolness of the night blew away his impetuosity. He locked onto a figure not far away and his step immediately changed direction as he merged into the darkness.
Luo Yang had already farewelled several classmates and mentioned that he wouldn’t be going back to school that night. He’d also prepared himself to allow that man to touch him, but he waited for a long time and no one came out. He went back into the bar curious but found that the other man had already disappeared.
The next day, Lu Shenxing went to the hospital to get his examination report. When he saw Cheng Zi there, he was surprised. The hospital was crowded and dirty and with his condition he might just want to tear all his skin off and change into a new one.
“Yo, what’s wrong?”
Cheng Zi had bowed his head to wipe down the chair. He sat down after using more than a dozen tissues. His face was pale, “Xiao Shu, can you register an appointment for me?”
“Have you been fighting with someone?” Lu Shenxing looked at his red and swollen ankle and reached out to hold it.
Cheng Zi took in a sharp breath, his whole body trembled. He twisted his eyebrows and his voice was a little off, “Xiao Shu, don’t touch it.”
Hearing that something was wrong with him, Lu Shenxing stared at Cheng Zi weirdly, then squeezed his ankle, “Is it here?”
Cheng Zi bent over and put his hand on Lu Shenxing’s shoulder, pressing down the corners of his mouth awkwardly, “No.” Unwilling to say anymore he took a twenty out of his pocket, “Help me register.”
When Lu Shenxing had finished lining up, he returned with a slip and heard the young man on the chair saying, “I just fell off my bicycle.”
“Have you called your dad?” Lu Shenxing sat next to him.
Cheng Zi said, “He went back to his hometown with A’Yi this morning.”
“Who sent you here? Is anyone going to accompany you to see the doctor later?” Lu Shenxing frowned and asked three questions in a row, “How are you getting back?”
Cheng Zi said nothing.Lu Shenxing handed over the slip and said, “Xiao Shu has an appointment this morning to discuss some business, if I’m late I won’t be able to snatch the land and I’ll lose a lot.”
Cheng Zi took out a handful of odds and ends, “This is all I have.”
The implication was that he couldn’t make up for the lost money.
“...keep it for yourself.” Lu Shenxing dialed a number and spoke as he walked, “Doctor Wang, it’s me…”
Whatever you do these days, you can’t get away from making connections. If you can show up on time when others need you, then in the future, they’ll return the favour.
After receiving Lu Shenxing’s call, Dr. Wang rushed over. Cheng Zi had a slight fracture in his ankle. He prescribed some medicine and a spray and carefully explained how to care for it.
“The foot shouldn’t weight bear for a while, it’s best to lay it flat where possible.”
“He doesn’t need plaster?” Lu Shenxing followed Dr. Wang outside.
“His bones aren’t misaligned, and his joints are normal.” Dr. Wang handed over his medical record.
Lu Shenxing raised an eyebrow and looked at him.
Dr. Wang touched his nose, “Cheng, it was your nephew’s own decision.” He didn’t really know what to say, “When I touched it, he hit me.
“Don’t get me wrong, I was only touching the fracture point.”
Lu Shenxing was still, pondering the meaning of his sentence, then he turned to find Cheng Zi, “Let’s go back.”
Cheng Zi bent his leg and jumped down a step, then noticed that Lu Shenxing was looking at him. He turned his body to ask, “Xiao Shu, what are you looking at?”
“I’m watching you jump.”
Lu Shenxing drove him home, the high-profile convertible attracting the eyes of everyone on the street. He calmly turned the steering wheel while Cheng Zi in the passenger seat tilted his head to look at the market outside the window.
It was the first time he’d ridden in this person’s car. Cheng Zi’s neck was a bit stiff, when he turned his head he saw a disc with two men on it. One had a fluffy tail hanging by his thigh, while the other was standing above him with a leather whip.
“Xiao Shu, do you like looking at these?”
Lu Shenxing followed Cheng Zi’s line-of-sight, and his expression suddenly twisted, why didn’t he realise this thing was in the car before?
The original Cheng Tianqin liked to collect these discs. It wasn’t that he liked to watch them so much as he would study them, so that one day when he and Luo Yang did it, he could make him feel good.
“It’s a game for adults.” Lu Shenxing spoke seriously.
He thought of this old man alone in the car watching this kind of thing while relieving himself with his hand, then a scene of Luo Yang and him tumbling on the sofa came to mind. Cheng Zi closed his eyes, feeling a little short of breath, and more than a little nauseous.
He also felt something else, but he didn’t know what it was.
“Your dad was talking to me about you last time.” Lu Shenxing remembered something, and casually remarked, “He said you were walking close to a senior girl. If you like her you should take her home and show him.”
Cheng Zi frowned but didn’t explain.
After sending him home, Lu Shenxing went out and made another call, “I’ve notified Ma Wu, she’ll come and take care of you this afternoon.”
When he went back in, the person on the bed was gone, and he heard the sound of water running in the bathroom. He strode over and saw the young man leaning on the sink with his back to him and washing his face with a towel.
Cheng ZI accidentally met his eyes in the mirror and was shocked. The basin in his hand was overturned and water spilled onto the floor.
“You have a lot of things.” Lu Shenxing watched the young man slowly squat down, feeling conflicted somehow, he stepped forward and lifted him up.
“Let go.” Cheng Zi felt uncomfortable and desperately wanted to be clean.
“Okay.” Lu Shenxing let go and Cheng Zi’s body slumped to one side due to inertia. In a panic he instinctively reached out to grab something nearby.
Lu Shenxing was held tightly by him and the corners of his mouth twitched.
At noon, Lu Shenxing and Cheng Zi ate takeaway, each one unpacking a dish and helping each other.
After returning from outside, Lu Shenxing saw Cheng Zi’s bedroom door open and light from a screen flashing inside.
He took out his cigarette case, lit a cigarette and leaned against the door, smiling lazily, his voice was low and magnetic, “How old are you, still watching cartoons.”
Cheng Zi turned a deaf ear to him.
Lu Shenxing laughed, “That pig is too stupid.”
Does he mean the horse? His age is higher, but the intelligence is lower. Cheng Zi twitched, “What pig?”
In the lingering smoke, Lu Shenxing turned his head to look at Cheng Zi.
Cheng Zi suddenly pursed his lips and covered his head with a pillow without saying a word.
So....I don't know if you noticed...but this chapter was FOUR FUCKING TIMES LONGER than usual, this was a special release by the author as this is the first VIP chapter. The rest will not be like this and will return to 3500-4000 characters.
Also, the results of my poll was....seems you can't vote without actually having a Twitter account, lol. Sorry guys, I thought since it's anon anyone could click. Having said that, I think I'll be using Xiao Shu mostly, for consistency since I'm also using gege, jiejie, a'yi, etc. Just consider it Chinese practice, if I find time I'll out the piyin in the notes.