"Because you looked handsome! I have no defense against baristas who look handsome."
If too much crack can be considered a warning............. this is basically K-Drama AU guys, feel free to read w/o fear of any spoilers HAHAHAHA
Translator(s): Elestrea, moon, Ice
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
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On July 1st, the sun was high above the sky… It wouldn't be able to stay high for too long though —— soon after, September arrived, and the Mid-Autumn Festival was coming up.
In theory, when the weather was cool, there would always be several companies on the verge of bankruptcy, no matter whether the boss's surname was Xiang or Wang.
Sunlight filtered into the company through the French windows. Within these two years, first, there had been a trade war, and now, it was followed by an epidemic. It was practically a disaster on top of another disaster for those companies that had been poor from the start.
Chairman Fu Jian had stopped coming to the company every day; rumors said the last time people saw him was on June 1st, during Children's Day.
The remaining president, Xiang Shu, worked in the president's office all week long from Monday to Friday.
This "President Xiang", who had never appeared ever since the company opened for business, had dropped down from the sky all of the sudden and taken over management while emitting a somewhat dangerous signal.
Regarding Xiang Shu's identity and disposition, ever since the beginning of the year, there had been various opinions in the company. Some guessed that the company was going bankrupt and the boss had run away with the money, some guessed there had been a power struggle amongst the higher-ups and thus a transfer of power, and some guessed that Xiang Shu had come to lay off some of the staff...
But on the first day "President Xiang" stepped into the office, everyone was dumbfounded and threw their excellent prospects to the back of their minds, instead focusing all their attention on Xiang Shu's looks.
"So handsome! Simply too handsome!" —— once the general meeting was over, an employee excitedly said this.
Xiang Shu was in a suit; he had a tall stature, broad shoulders, long legs, and slender fingers. His clothing was fashionable, and he wore Dubuis's "Knights of the Round Table" endorsed for certain overbearing presidents. He had fair skin, attractive facial features, distinct eyebrows, and slightly biracial looks.
What made people uneasy was the fact that he hardly spoke. He didn't say a word throughout the general meeting, only quietly listening to the vice president's report. Once it was over, he merely said a sentence: "Got it," before returning to the president's office in an unhurried, stern, and calm manner.
Throughout September, employees only saw him once or twice a day. When there were fewer people in the morning, Xiang Shu would come to the company's bar counter to make himself a cup of pour-over. Once in a while, when he passed a small glass room where newcomers were interviewed, he would stop outside the small meeting room to take a look.
And today was also the day Chen Xing entered the office.
Chen Xing was so nervous about his first job it made him buy so many express deliveries before even entering the office, and he had them mailed to the company in advance —— when the packages were delivered, the man had yet to arrive
In order not to be late for work on his first day, he specifically came an hour earlier. He arrived at the company before 08:30, and since the entrance hadn't opened yet, he had to wait outside. He was so nervous he almost had a cramp.
When the elevator sounded, Chen Xing turned around and almost bumped into a tall man.
Xiang Shu: "?"
Chen Xing: "Aaaaaah, ummm… my apologies."
So handsome! When Chen Xing saw him, his heart immediately went wild. Is my teacher's tarot calculation going to come true this year?
Xiang Shu recognized Chen Xing at a glance. He slightly raised his eyebrow and made a "please" gesture with his hand.
"It hasn't opened yet." Chen Xing asked, "Is there nobody at the company at this time? This big brother... are you also from the company?"
Xiang Shu didn't reply; he took out his access card and swiped open the door.
"First day at work?" Xiang Shu casually asked while looking at Chen Xing more carefully.
"Yes," Chen Xing said with a smile. "What's your position?"
Just like before, Xiang Shu didn't reply; he just walked into the company.
Chen Xing stood outside the reception —— the big company looked deserted.
"Today is the weekend," Xiang Shu simply said. "Some people are coming in to work overtime, but they will be slightly late. What position are you in?"
"Market analyst…" Chen Xing said, "That should be it ba? Asked me to 'turn the tide' or something about that."
Xiang Shu put down his bag and replied, "Oh, Xie An introduced you and brought you in."
"Yes." Chen Xing cheekily smiled as he said, "I'm the one who went for a master's degree at 14, PhD at 16, and graduated at 18."
Xiang Shu said, "So I've heard. Is Xie An still studying for a PhD there? Did he get another extension?"
This year, the company had scooped out a "genius youngster" from a university research unit with a high salary.
In addition, they also put into use Xiang Shu's personal connections to find Xie An, who then asked for someone from his teacher.
Of course, Chen Xing himself lived in the dark, knowing none of these.
The PhD's teacher had only told him, "You've graduated, let's find you some job ba." And so, Chen Xing came.
"Err…" Chen Xing replied, "Shixiong is currently working on something. I guess he also doesn't want to come out to work ba?"
"Why did you want to work?" Xiang Shu said while taking a look at the registration form at the reception. He noticed there were express deliveries piling up into a mountain, and the names registered on them were all Chen Xing, Chen Xing, Chen Xing...
"Didn't they say that the company's capital chain was broken and about to collapse?" Chen Xing said, "I came to help. I'll help if I can, to accumulate some virtue for myself ma."
Xiang Shu: "..."
He threw the registration form to the side, thought about it, and finally said, "I'll show you around the company."
And then, Xiang Shu took off his outer suit and led Chen Xing around the company. Though, since he had never given a tour to a newcomer before, he had limited knowledge towards the actual practice. He could only show him the coffee maker, water dispenser, teach him how to operate the microwave, and instruct him to familiarize himself with the employee handbook and the like.
At 09:30, many people came into the company one after another. All of them looked shocked as they spotted Xiang Shu making a pour-over coffee for Chen Xing at the counter.
"Is that the boss?" whispered someone. "Who's that high-schooler? Why is the boss making coffee for him?"
"Shh, stop bullshitting. I heard people say that he is the newly-recruited genius boy!"
The receptionist replied, "The 18-year-old PhD!"
"Ah? Aaaaih, it's really tasty ah! You brewed it so well!" At the counter, Chen Xing expressed his sincere praise.
By chance, Chen Xing had missed his breakfast, and Xiang Shu's coffee effectively relieved his nervousness. This guy really brewed so well. Xiang Shu was wearing a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up. And brewing coffee under the morning sunlight, he looked extraordinarily handsome.
Chen Xing was drinking the coffee on one side while also scrutinizing Xiang Shu on the other.
"Are you a barista?" Chen Xing asked.
Xiang Shu replied, "You can tell."
Chen Xing said in a low voice, "This company is really extravagant and wasteful. No wonder the capital chain is strained. Yi? Why aren't they coming to get a drink?"
The employees looked at Chen Xing and Xiang Shu from a distance.
"HR hasn't started the day yet." Xiang Shu rarely had a good mood like today. He had always liked PhD graduates, because his own mother also had a PhD, so his tolerance threshold towards Chen Xing was quite high.
If it were another new employee, maybe by now Xiang Shu would have already asked him to pack up all those piled-up express deliveries and get lost.
"Boss…" CFO Feng Qianjun came over carrying a document and probingly asked, "You're here early today."
Chen Xing: "Ahahahahahaha so you're the boss ah, no wonder! The coffee was so tasty…"
"Listen," Xiang Shu politely said, "what's your name again?" Saying so, he gave another look at Feng Qianjun.
With tremendous speed, Feng Qianjun handed over the finished ID badge to Chen Xing. Chen Xing got down from the bar chair at once and stood upright.
Xiang Shu held up Chen Xing's employee ID and took a quick look. He then lazily put one hand on Chen Xing's shoulder, made a few small turns on the stool, before coming close to his ear and said in a low, soft, magnetic, and patient voice:
"After drinking coffee, be a good employee and show me what you can do…"
"...or I'll beat you up." This was what Xiang Shu said.
Chen Xing: "..."
Ever since childhood, Chen Xing had never been beaten; he had never even been pretend-beaten up before. Thinking he might become the first person in the company to be manhandled by the boss, he put down his coffee without delay and with a "whoosh", he whizzed away.
But Xiang Shu obviously didn't plan to let him go. As soon as Chen Xing started to work, he was called into the president's office. Chen Xing could only start reading out his "Turn the Tide Project Plan" document to Xiang Shu while trembling in fear.
Xiang Shu patiently listened behind his large desk, his hand playing with a small shining, silver knife.
Chen Xing: "Th-thi-this… I have something to say, boss. Do you mind putting down the knife first? You're making me very nervous."
Xiang Shu propped up his long legs in front of him; the knife in his hand flipped back and forth, as if he were going to make Chen Xing his throwing knife target practice anytime soon.
He could conclude that Chen Xing studied a lot about the company before coming here; he did have substance.
"I'm very sorry you feel this nervous," Xiang Shu said. "Shall I help you open your deliveries?"
"Aah… okay, okay." Chen Xing turned over the page and continued, "The majority of problems lie in the stock share structure…"
Xiang Shu asked Feng Qianjun to bring the deliveries in. He then popped out the knife and began to open Chen Xing's packages.
Chen Xing turned his attention from the report to Xiang Shu's hands —— inside the pile of delivery boxes were his villain Legos, snacks, books, humidifier, and many other things, as well as an induction gift from his shixiong, Xie An.
"Snacks… boss, you can eat them if you like." Chen Xing said to curry favor. "But do overbearing presidents also eat snacks? Do they? They don't eat in most novels ba?"
Xiang Shu didn't reply, but he noticed the content inside another box. "Can I see?"
"Yes, of course." Chen Xing's attention had been on his report. When he looked up, he saw that Xiang Shu had taken out a BL manhua from the delivery box.
Chen Xing: "..................................................................."
"Go on." Xiang Shu ate Chen Xing's snacks on one side while also beginning to read his BL manhua with much interest on the other.
Chen Xing felt that he might as well apply for social death compensation or occupational injuries.
"AAAA MY GODDDDDD!!!" As soon as Chen Xing returned to his desk with his BL manhua and snacks, he turned into slime and slowly slid under his desk.
Luckily, Xiang Shu didn't mention Chen Xing's BL manhua anymore. Once he had finished hearing the report, the whole company was summoned the next day to once again make new personnel and business arrangements.
The night after the meeting, Chen Xing stayed at the company to work overtime. He caught a glimpse of the president's office —— the light was on all night.
Xiang Shu was also working overtime. Everyone else had left, and only Xiang Shu and Chen Xing remained in the office. Chen Xing could only work hard to forget this matter.
The second day was once again a full day of meetings. Xiang Shu began to discuss the business direction of the company and the problem of the movement of business processes. Chen Xing stood to one side, bored, and casually he began to practice his anatomy sketches on the back of the materials; his hobby was to sketch, and recently he had begun to properly practice drawing human bodies. Xiang Shu's body shape was really too classically perfect.
So on the blank white paper, he started to draw Xiang Shu's shirtless arms, clearly defining the collar bones on his bare chest and the upper half of his body as he sat on that spinning chair. He then added shading to his chest and abdomen, before quickly sketching out the outlines of several sketches of him walking naked, jumping up to shoot a basket, and making coffee. Though he did not detail out his features, he fleshed out his hairstyle.
Xiang Shu's fingers knocked against the big conference room table, and Chen Xing immediately got up to speak. When he finished expounding on the topic of discussion, Xiang Shu then said, "It'll be just like this. Distribute it before National Day, and the entire company will implement it."
The people left, and Chen Xing chased after Feng Qianjun to ask him for the reports. When he came back, he saw that in the meeting room, Xiang Shu was currently examining his anatomical studies.
Chen Xing: "..."
Xiang Shu: "..."
Chen Xing's entire face was bright red. He folded up the paper and put it away, before lowering his head and quickly passed by in front of Xiang Shu and out the door.
"Starting this week, accompany me every day to go visit clients," Xiang Shu said.
"Okay, okay," Chen Xing immediately said.
After that, for maintaining public relations, every day Chen Xing had to accompany Xiang Shu to go meet their clients. Most of these were playing golf in the plains and wilderness that had already entered autumn. Xiang Shu chatted with their big clients, and occasionally when there were questions, he would let Chen Xing take charge of explaining. Chen Xing's memory when it came to his work and his area of expertise was beyond average, as if he was a super AI. Even the smallest details he could remember very clearly.
Xiang Shu already liked Chen Xing very very very much; though this young fellow was very young in age, and he didn't care much for details, he really held an earnest attitude towards his work. When they discussed a few business secrets, Chen Xing knew to take note of him, and he understood that he should move back on his own, standing at the side to stroll about casually.
Chen Xing was breathing heavily as he walked over the golf course, before he saw the guest make their goodbyes to Xiang Shu, leaving behind Xiang Shu sitting under a tree with a tea table in front of him, sitting easily, one hand placed on the outdoor sofa, thinking deeply. The autumn sunlight landed on his head, and though he did look like a boss, it would be more accurate to say that he looked like a celebrity.
"Is it this tiring?" Xiang Shu said, displeased.
Chen Xing panted, before he smiled self-deprecatingly and nodded his head. Xiang Shu indicated for him to sit a little before continuing.
"Today's the last match ba?" Chen xing said. "Sorry, boss..."
Xiang Shu put his own cup of coffee in front of Chen Xing, letting him drink something.
"I… don't drink coffee," Chen Xing said, before wiggling the bottled water he had in his hand. "I'll drink this and be fine."
Xiang Shu: "..."
Xiang Shu resurfaced from the depths of his thoughts, looking suspiciously at Chen Xing. Chen Xing felt a little self-conscious and smiled again, saying, "Don't worry about me, let's go ba."
"Why are you apologizing?" Xiang Shu said. "You did very well."
Chen Xing hurried to explain. "My stamina isn't good, so I delayed your discussion."
Chen Xing could tell that Xiang Shu also had it hard. For the sake of saving this company, he had to work hard every day, and subconsciously he had already started to treat Xiang Shu like a reserved big brother.
"Your stamina really is not good," Xiang Shu said.
Chen Xing answered, "Actually it's because my heart has never been that good."
Xiang Shu shot Chen Xing a serious look, raising his eyebrows, as if asking, are you serious? You're not joking around with me? And he couldn't resist asking, "If your heart's not good, then why did you drink coffee?"
Chen Xing naturally knew that Xiang Shu was speaking of the day that he had first joined.
"Because you looked handsome!" Chen Xing smiled sunnily, with a shit-eating grin. "I have no defense against baristas who look handsome."
In that instant, Xiang Shu's expression clearly changed a little.
"I was waiting for the autumn weather to be a little better so that I can get a heart bypass done," Chen Xing said, smiling. "The doctor even said before, I might not live past twenty."
Xiang Shu: "..."
It was this serious? It took Xiang Shu looking over the patient chart that Chen Xing had a picture of in his phone for him to truly believe it. After they finished off that round of visitations, with great difficulty, Xiang Shu brought Chen Xing back home.
"Wah!" Chen Xing said. "Your house is so big! Boss! You have so much money!"
"You're flattering me too much, it's just a normal amount of wealth." Xiang Shu didn't look at Chen Xing, standing instead in front of the bookshelf, flipping volume by volume through the books. He remembered that he originally knew a very good cardiologist, but their business card had been stuffed into a random book he had on hand, and now that he wanted to go find it, he couldn't.
"You have so many books in your house!" Chen Xing continued.
"My mother's," Xiang Shu said.
Chen Xing then asked, "Does she not live here?"
"She passed away." Xiang Shu turned to go into the study. His stubbornness dictated that he would find that book that he was looking for today.
Chen Xing once again had inconsiderately spoken wrong, but Xiang Shu seemed to guess at what he was thinking. He opened his mouth and easily dissipated the awkwardness, saying from the study, "My dad is overseas."
Xiang Shu felt a little frustrated; he couldn't remember where he had put that business card.
"Do you have anything to do today?" Xiang Shu asked.
Chen Xing immediately responded, "No, nothing. Are we still going to the dinner party tonight?"
Xiang Shu said, "Stay here and eat dinner, I'm hungry."
This was a night of a full moon. Xiang Shu had the hotel downstairs make some dishes and bring them upstairs, and he opened a bottle of red wine but didn't let Chen Xing have any. Chen Xing saw that his mood was very good, because very soon, the company would experience a turn for the better.
And for once, Xiang Shu clinked glasses with Chen Xing's cup of soda, saying, "This time it was all thanks to you, you truly did save such a critical situation."
Chen Xing shamelessly said, "Right, me being able to help out was for the best. Of course, your own efforts were also very important. I could only stand by at the side and help give some guidance and opinions."
Xiang Shu: "..."
Every time Xiang Shu wanted to beat him up, he always talked himself out of it. Chen Xing was only eighteen, and he had heart problems… he couldn't scare him.
The words that came next, Xiang Shu had no way to say them now, so they each lowered their heads to swipe on their phones and played with them as they ate.
"You did well," Xiang Shu said, after thinking about it for a while.
"Will I get a reward?" Chen Xing lifted his head up from his phone and smiled at Xiang Shu.
Over these past few days, he and Xiang Shu had worked overtime together, and when they went out to visit, it was as if he was the president's secretary. He understood much more of Xiang Shu now, and he had created a whole new impression of him; he knew that this boss was not like the difficult to approach one that the rumors in the company had described. It was just that most of the time he didn't really want to speak with anyone, only hoping to be left alone.
Chen Xing also found that Xiang Shu seemed to have almost no friends. He didn't even pick up the phone, and the only person he was familiar with was probably the big boss Fu Jian.
Chen Xing thought, maybe usually Xiang Shu was a little lonely ba? And it was due to this little bit of shared loneliness that had him willing to interact with Xiang Shu more. Though he didn't have many words, and usually he acted grumpy, without knowing why, when they interacted it was very comfortable.
Xiang Shu originally wanted to give Chen Xing a bonus, or when he was converted into a regular worker, to give him a position at the director level, but the events of today had happened too fast and they had disrupted his plans a little.
"I can grant one of your requests," Xiang Shu said finally.
"Any request is okay?!" Chen Xing was shocked. Was this company really so important to Xiang Shu? He originally thought that due to Xiang Shu's background, he didn't care at all whether the company survived or not.
Xiang Shu originally wanted to say "anything is okay", but he changed his mind and said, "As long as it's not too exaggerated."
"Let me think about it." Chen Xing smiled with ill intent.
Xiang Shu said, "Don't make it a prank."
He didn't know why, but Xiang Shu always ended up subconsciously treating Chen Xing like a little brother.
Ever since the day Chen Xing entered the company, there was one thing he wanted to do, and now he finally had the chance!
"Model for me!" Chen Xing said. "No no no, not the kind where you take off your clothes, just a normal model. Of course, if you're willing to put on a short-sleeved T-shirt or whatever, that would be even better."
Xiang Shu: "..."
Chen Xing: "?"
Xiang Shu: "It's that simple?"
After dinner, Xiang Shu graciously bared the upper half of his body, only wearing a pair of suit pants, sitting however he wished in front of Chen Xing. Chen Xing held a drawing board as he began to openly sketch him.
Xiang Shu put on a record, and the tune of "La vie en Rose" drifted around the living room.
The full moon sent down its silver rays, which shone through the floor-to-ceiling windows into the room, gently landing on Xiang Shu's body. He was pale, well-proportioned, and handsome, and that aura from between his eyebrows seemed reminiscent of a moon-lit Orpheus, a godly youth, from the constellation of Lyra.
"You can chat," Chen Xing was focused on drawing, and his expression was very serious, but in his eyes was a trace of mirth. Once in a while he would meet Xiang Shu's gaze, and Xiang Shu's eyes turned a little self-conscious.
"When did you start learning to draw?" Xiang Shu said.
"I learned when I was small," Chen Xing said, "because I really liked it."
"Drawing can pierce through the external appearances of things to understand the essence of the world," Xiang Shu said.
Chen Xing's face grew a little red. "Apologies, last time I unconsciously drew you, because your body proportions are very good."
Xiang Shu: "En."
"You're very serious about your work." Chen Xing was very taken aback, having heard that Xiang Shu hadn't invested that much money in the company, but he had spent a lot of effort into it.
"A friend begged me to," Xiang Shu said. "Since I agreed, then I must take seriously take responsibility and face the problems. You've confirmed the date of your surgery?"
"Ah, I won't take too much time off," Chen Xing said. "I still need to earn money to buy a house."
Xiang Shu originally wanted to say that it had nothing to do with time off, let's go find a few specialists to re-diagnose you ba, after all money isn't an issue. But after thinking it over, he finally didn't say a thing.
"Can I be nosy about something?" Chen Xing finally couldn't resist that antsy curiosity in his heart.
Xiang Shu raised his eyebrow, indicating Chen Xing to speak.
He's too handsome! He's really too handsome! Chen Xing sighed with admiration in his heart. He decided not to draw Xiang Shu's face first, because, with his own skills, he really would not be able to draw it well.
"You don't have a lover? You live alone?" Chen Xing asked carefully. This was something that the entire company was very curious about, including Chen Xing himself.
"I'm gay." Xiang Shu casually replied.
Chen Xing: "!!!"
Chen Xing accidentally snapped off the tip of his pencil.
Xiang Shu: "?"
"No-nothing." Chen Xing hastily lowered his head to resharpen the pencil. His entire person was in shock. How could Xiang Shu confess this matter in such an understated manner?!
"Then you…" Chen Xing instantly understood. He had heard Xie An talk about it before, that Fu Jian was also… so then Xiang Shu… and Fu Jian were a couple?! No wonder he took the trouble and put in so much effort to manage the company for him. Now that Fu Jian wasn't around, would Xiang Shu feel extremely hurt? Whether it was physically, spiritually, or both…
"I don't have a boyfriend either," Xiang Shu directly answered, already expecting whatever else Chen Xing was going to ask.
"Then… Fu Jian to you…" Chen Xing started somewhat sympathetically.
"What are you thinking?!" Xiang Shu cut in. "I'm a top!"
Chen Xing grew even more shocked, exclaiming: "So Fu Jian is a bottom?! I couldn't tell at all!"
Xiang Shu was already internally exploding: "The two of us don't have that type of relationship! We're only friends!"
"Oh, oh." Chen Xing's brain was finally running properly again -- he finally understood.
"Aiya!" Chen Xing accidentally cut his hand.
"Ai!" Xiang Shu started to reprimand him, "How are you so careless?!" and immediately got up from his seat to find some band-aids and gauze. Chen Xing was truly too shocked, and it was even to the point where he couldn't snap out of it.
Xiang Shu carefully wiped away the blood and sterilized the wound with alcohol. Holding onto his hand, he put the band-aid on for him -- the temperature of Xiang Shu's hands were nearly scorching.
Chen Xing remarked: "Your hands are also very good-looking. I'm the worst at drawing hands."
"Another day ba." Xiang Shu was a little depressed. He stroked his hair and said, "I'll drive you home."
"No, no, no," Chen Xing objected. "It's not a big problem. I want to continue drawing, so let me continue."
Xiang Shu couldn't object to him, so he could only let Chen Xing continue.
"I definitely won't leak this outside," Chen Xing hurriedly stated as he continued to draw.
"It's fine," Xiang Shu indifferently replied, "I wouldn't care even if you leaked it."
Chen Xing thought about it and realized 'true, what can anyone do to a president'?
"Then… Why are you single?" Chen Xing couldn't help himself from asking.
"Never found a suitable person." Xiang Shu scrutinized Chen Xing. "You want to introduce me to someone?"
In his heart, Chen Xing was feeling restless. He himself wasn't even sure of his own sexuality, but as long as he didn't mention it, Xiang Shu wouldn't ask.
"Oh." Chen Xing then asked, "You… What type of person do you like?"
"I'm fine with anything," Xiang Shu responded. "Just someone I have feelings for."
Chen Xing had a nagging feeling that Xiang Shu seemed to be teasing him, but he couldn't get a hold on him.
"Do you like people who have a bigger or smaller physique?"
"Are you asking about raising a dog?" Xiang Shu asked in response.
Chen Xing: "......"
Xiang Shu didn't intend on teasing him any longer, so he said: "Someone who is educated, smart, and outstanding ."
Chen Xing asked, "What would count as outstanding? Our school has some shixiongs that are pretty outstanding, but it's a shame that they're a bit too old."
Xiang Shu stared at Chen Xing before opening his mouth again, "Someone who is good-looking."
Chen Xing: "Then that's going to be a little tough. Save for me, the campus idol, it seems like everyone else… is not very particular about their looks."
Chen Xing thought around and it seemed that there actually were a few shixiongs who were pretty good-looking, just that they don't tidy themselves up too well.
Xiang Shu suddenly felt that Chen Xing's teacher really didn't have it easy. No wonder he forced his little disciple to go out and work the moment he graduated.
"Are you alone every day?" Chen Xing asked. "Won't you get bored?"
Xiang Shu: "Otherwise? Should I form a choir at home? Practice conducting?"
Chen Xing: "Hahahahaha! That joke is terrible, but it's too funny!"
Xiang Shu: "……………………"
A person wandering about in a foreign land all alone, even if Xiang Shu was so rich, it must still be very lonely ba? Chen Xing knew that feeling all too well -- he had always been on his own since young after all. Although he had his teacher and his shixiongs had always placed him in the palms of their hands, they would all be returning to their own places when the time came.
He would often busy himself with school until late at night, and when he passed by the rows of street lamps, he would look up at the lights in the millions of homes. After picking up his deliveries, he would go upstairs, back to his own house, open the door, open up the delivery… day after day, year after year. He didn't know if, when he parked his Maserati in the garage and returned to a vast yet empty home, did Xiang Shu feel the same?
"I'm finished!" Chen Xing let Xiang Shu see the finished result.
It truly was very well-drawn. Xiang Shu had felt that Chen Xing was very good at what he did since the very first time he saw his still-life sketches.
"Leave it to me." Xiang Shu put on his button-up shirt. As he fastened his collar, he grabbed his car keys, preparing to send him back. It was already very late.
Chen Xing didn't care much about his pieces after he finished them, so he was fine with casually giving them away. He said, "Then can I come by and draw again next time? I want to see you switch a pose."
"That depends on your behaviour," Xiang Shu cooly replied.
Many days later, Chen Xing didn't receive a promotion in the company. After the probation period ended, he was formally hired as a market analyst and concurrently as President Xiang Shu's assistant. The company slowed down for a while, but strangely, it achieved profits again in September.
"Oh yeah!" Chen Xing shouted the moment he saw the report, "Everyone can celebrate now!"
All his colleagues were celebrating. After all, they were finally free from being laid off. Xiang Shu came out of the president's office and made a cup of coffee for every one of the employees to provide encouragement but caught sight of Chen Xing tidying up a few things.
"Your surgery is tomorrow?" Xiang Shu asked.
"En." Chen Xing knew that Xiang Shu saw that he applied for a leave and that it happened to be on the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day. He said, "I will come back."
"Go ba." Xiang Shu handed him some plain water, saying, "You still have a long life to live."
At the end of September, Chen Xing went to the hospital alone, signed the consent form, and listened to the final verdict of the attending doctor. He made the pre-surgical preparations on his own, changed his clothes, sent a message to his teacher, shixiong, and Xiang Shu, saying:【I'm going to have the operation now】, and finally turned off his phone.
When he woke up, Chen Xing opened his eyes to a boy around 12-13 years old sitting by the hospital bed.
Chen Xing: "???"
The unknown boy also looked back at him with a blank expression, maybe even a little nervousness.
Chen Xing wondered in his heart, are you a patient's family member? Wait, that isn't right. This is a single-person room. Hold on, why is the ward so luxurious?! "Who are you?" Chen Xing asked the boy. "Xiao, Xiao Shan." The boy was wearing a t-shirt, baggy jeans, and a pair of skateboarding shoes. Why did his mannerism appear a little like Xiang Shu? "You… Do we know each other?" Chen Xing asked, thoroughly confused. "Ge——!" Xiao Shan yelled out a few sentences in German in panic, "He's awake! Ge! Where are you?!" Xiao Shan left the room to find somebody but still returned alone after a period of time. The attending doctor came over, and after checking up on Chen Xing's condition, he said, "It was very successful. You should rest first." Chen Xing was so curious that he was about to explode. He stared at Xiao Shan. Xiao Shan came over and fixed the blankets for him before saying, "Fruit, I'll eat, one." "You eat ba." Chen Xing was a little tired so he said, "I'll sleep again for a little longer." He didn't expect that even when his companion was a stranger, Chen Xing still managed to fall asleep. He didn't know how long he had slept, but when the anesthetic finally wore off and he opened his eyes, he saw Xiang Shu and the boy called Xiao Shan sitting by the side. Xiang Shu's face appeared evidently exhausted. "Ah!" Chen Xing was overjoyed, "Boss! You came!" Xiang Shu: "Hmph. I came to accompany you during the holidays, but I didn't expect that you would sleep through the entire Mid-Autumn Festival." "He came soon after you entered the operating room and was waiting outside the whole time," the nurse that came by to change the medication said. "Today's already the third day now." Chen Xing and Xiang Shu's eyes met and the entire ward fell into silence. In the end, Xiang Shu gave an unnatural cough, and the nurse finally left. "Ahaha." Chen Xing said somewhat awkwardly, "Sorry, I've been anesthetized… I didn't even know you were beside me." "This is my god-brother." Xiang Shu introduced Xiao Shan to Chen Xing and explained, "He's a child of an old family friend and has come back to study in China. I occasionally had some things come back and needed to leave, so he accompanied you during those times. I'm his guardian right now." "Hello, hello." Chen Xing smiled as he greeted him, "You two brothers are both so handsome ah." "So he's my sister-in-law?" Xiao Shan turned toward Xiang Shu and asked. Chen Xing: "......" Xiang Shu threatened in a low voice: "Your Gundam is confiscated, Xiao Shan. If you spout any more nonsense, I won't buy you a new skateboard either." "He's not very articulate." Xiang Shu turned toward Chen Xing to explain, "He doesn't know what 'sister-in-law' means. In German, 'big brother's friends', are all called 'sister-in-law'." Chen Xing: "Boss, my German has already passed eighth grade…" Xiang Shu: "......" Thus the atmosphere became even more awkward. "I…" Chen Xing started. "You……" Xiang Shu thought again and again. The level of awkwardness in the room had already reached its peak. In the past few days… He's already had enough! This was the first time in his life he had ever felt what it was like to care about a person so much. The night after Chen Xing's surgery happened to be the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Xiang Shu had fallen asleep as he accompanied him. Under the moonlight, he dreamt of a magnificent dream. It seemed that in his dream, they had already recognized each other, known each other, protected each other, and spanning the vast time and space, they had experienced thousands of stories and traversed through a tumultuous lifetime before they finally vowed to meet again in the next life. Maybe he should take this chance to… say it? A stormy sea rose in Xiang Shu's heart. Xiao Shan lifted his phone, turned toward Chen Xing, and motioned for him to look: "I, googled it before. This illness, after recovering from bypass surgery, will not affect sex life." "Xiao Shan!" Xiang Shu finally couldn't hold back anymore. "You shut up for me!" —— Extra: A Wave of Silver Light Reflects the Passing of Years · Dinghai · End —— This extra is posted for Mid-Autumn Festival 2020 on Feitian Official WeChat Account. Raws can be accessed here.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Elestrea.
Chen Xing wondered in his heart, are you a patient's family member? Wait, that isn't right. This is a single-person room. Hold on, why is the ward so luxurious?!
"Who are you?" Chen Xing asked the boy.
"Xiao, Xiao Shan." The boy was wearing a t-shirt, baggy jeans, and a pair of skateboarding shoes. Why did his mannerism appear a little like Xiang Shu?
"You… Do we know each other?" Chen Xing asked, thoroughly confused.
"Ge——!" Xiao Shan yelled out a few sentences in German in panic, "He's awake! Ge! Where are you?!"
Xiao Shan left the room to find somebody but still returned alone after a period of time. The attending doctor came over, and after checking up on Chen Xing's condition, he said, "It was very successful. You should rest first."
Chen Xing was so curious that he was about to explode. He stared at Xiao Shan.
Xiao Shan came over and fixed the blankets for him before saying, "Fruit, I'll eat, one."
"You eat ba." Chen Xing was a little tired so he said, "I'll sleep again for a little longer."
He didn't expect that even when his companion was a stranger, Chen Xing still managed to fall asleep. He didn't know how long he had slept, but when the anesthetic finally wore off and he opened his eyes, he saw Xiang Shu and the boy called Xiao Shan sitting by the side. Xiang Shu's face appeared evidently exhausted.
"Ah!" Chen Xing was overjoyed, "Boss! You came!"
Xiang Shu: "Hmph. I came to accompany you during the holidays, but I didn't expect that you would sleep through the entire Mid-Autumn Festival."
"He came soon after you entered the operating room and was waiting outside the whole time," the nurse that came by to change the medication said. "Today's already the third day now."
Chen Xing and Xiang Shu's eyes met and the entire ward fell into silence. In the end, Xiang Shu gave an unnatural cough, and the nurse finally left.
"Ahaha." Chen Xing said somewhat awkwardly, "Sorry, I've been anesthetized… I didn't even know you were beside me."
"This is my god-brother." Xiang Shu introduced Xiao Shan to Chen Xing and explained, "He's a child of an old family friend and has come back to study in China. I occasionally had some things come back and needed to leave, so he accompanied you during those times. I'm his guardian right now."
"Hello, hello." Chen Xing smiled as he greeted him, "You two brothers are both so handsome ah."
"So he's my sister-in-law?" Xiao Shan turned toward Xiang Shu and asked.
Chen Xing: "......"
Xiang Shu threatened in a low voice: "Your Gundam is confiscated, Xiao Shan. If you spout any more nonsense, I won't buy you a new skateboard either."
"He's not very articulate." Xiang Shu turned toward Chen Xing to explain, "He doesn't know what 'sister-in-law' means. In German, 'big brother's friends', are all called 'sister-in-law'."
Chen Xing: "Boss, my German has already passed eighth grade…"
Xiang Shu: "......"
Thus the atmosphere became even more awkward.
"I…" Chen Xing started.
"You……" Xiang Shu thought again and again. The level of awkwardness in the room had already reached its peak.
In the past few days… He's already had enough! This was the first time in his life he had ever felt what it was like to care about a person so much. The night after Chen Xing's surgery happened to be the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Xiang Shu had fallen asleep as he accompanied him. Under the moonlight, he dreamt of a magnificent dream. It seemed that in his dream, they had already recognized each other, known each other, protected each other, and spanning the vast time and space, they had experienced thousands of stories and traversed through a tumultuous lifetime before they finally vowed to meet again in the next life.
Maybe he should take this chance to… say it? A stormy sea rose in Xiang Shu's heart.
Xiao Shan lifted his phone, turned toward Chen Xing, and motioned for him to look: "I, googled it before. This illness, after recovering from bypass surgery, will not affect sex life."
"Xiao Shan!" Xiang Shu finally couldn't hold back anymore. "You shut up for me!"
—— Extra: A Wave of Silver Light Reflects the Passing of Years · Dinghai · End ——
This extra is posted for Mid-Autumn Festival 2020 on Feitian Official WeChat Account. Raws can be accessed here.