“You slept for a whole 18 hours! I thought you died of overwork!”
Editor(s): FistFullOfDollars, Amelea
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When Zhou Sheng returned, he found Yu Hao on the phone with his mother and almost blew up. Yu Hao was sharp-sighted and deft so he instantly protected the telephone cord. Meanwhile, Zhou Sheng’s mother continued to choke back sobs on the other end as she talked about how she only had this one son and so on and so forth. She begged Yu Hao, pleading him to urge Zhou Sheng to come back, and also insisted that Yu Hao must return with him.
“O……kay……okay……” Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng were fighting over the telephone cord, but Yu Hao wasn’t Zhou Sheng’s opponent at all. Zhou Sheng twisted his arm and pressed him down onto the table, while Yu Hao turned his head and spoke into the phone, “Auntie, I’ll hang up first okay!”
Zhou Sheng successfully plucked the telephone cord out. He was still pressing Yu Hao down; Yu Hao turned around to smile at him so he had to let go.
“Promise me one thing.” Yu Hao said.
Zhou Sheng, “No.”
Yu Hao, “I haven’t even said it yet!”
Zhou Sheng, “You want me to go home!”
Yu Hao, “What if that’s not it?”
Zhou Sheng conceded, “Okay, I’ll promise you as long as you’re not asking me to go home.”
During dinnertime, Yu Hao washed the vegetables and cut up the meat while Zhou Sheng lay on his bed playing games on his phone. Both of them had hot pot for dinner. Yu Hao scrolled through his phone while picking out the meat and vegetables for Zhou Sheng, so Zhou Sheng just ate quietly. After they were done, Zhou Sheng washed the dishes. Yu Hao opened up his bag and packed both their clothes inside it. Zhou Sheng wiped his hands before walking over. Yu Hao carried his bag and Zhou Sheng asked, “Where are you going?”
Yu Hao, “Going on a holiday to celebrate the New Year.”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Yu Hao, “Send me to the train station ba, you promised me.”
Zhou Sheng realised that Yu Hao wanted to force him to go home, so he said, “I’m not going!”
“You’re going back on your words, I’m leaving.” Yu Hao said to Zhou Sheng, “Good bye.”
Zhou Sheng’s expression was quite a spectacular sight, he said, “Don’t try to lie to me! Aren’t you just going to walk around outside? Do you think I’m a fool?”
Yu Hao said, “I really am going on a holiday. I finished all my work today, didn’t I tell you about it before? Happy New Year.”
Yu Hao closed the door, then left just like that.
Zhou Sheng was being completely led around by the nose by Yu Hao, so he could only grab his jacket and with both hands stuffed into his pockets, follow him out quickly.
Yu Hao got on the train, and so did Zhou Sheng. The two of them were in adjacent train carriages; Yu Hao saw Zhou Sheng, and Zhou Sheng could see him too. Zhou Sheng was pulling a long face. Yu Hao saw it from across the empty carriage, and his gaze carried a hint of laughter in it.
Zhou Sheng’s face showed his displeasure blatantly. He had followed Yu Hao to the train station, and when he saw him taking his ticket, he realised that he really was leaving. He said, “You’re really going on a holiday?!”
Yu Hao took off his earphones and said, “Yeah.”
“Then what about me?” Zhou Sheng flared up, “You’re leaving me behind to celebrate the New Year in our dorm alone?!”
“Go home.” Yu Hao said seriously, “Listen to me and go back ba. She’s your mother, why are the both of you torturing each other like this?”
Zhou Sheng finally lost to Yu Hao. He could only say gloomily, “Wait for me for awhile.” And as he spoke, he left.
Yu Hao waited in line and took his ticket, and not long after, Zhou Sheng carried a box of duck necks over. He seemed as if he had accepted this reality, and knew that Yu Hao was doing this for his sake, so he said, “Keep your phone turned on.”
“For going back.” Yu Hao passed the train ticket and Zhou Sheng’s identity card to him. He had bought two tickets for going back to Zhou Sheng’s home.
“You rummaged through my wallet?” Zhou Sheng said in disbelief.
“I wash your underwear every day.” Yu Hao, “What’s wrong with rummaging through your wallet a little?”
A lot of people suddenly turned their heads to look over and Zhou Sheng instantly felt embarrassed, “Keep your voice down!”
Zhou Sheng was thus tricked onto a train back home by Yu Hao. They sat on neighbouring seats, and Zhou Sheng’s face couldn’t look any worse than it did now.
Yu Hao gave Chen Yekai a call and told him that he went out to celebrate the New Year. Chen Yekai said to Yu Hao, “I saw the two of you at the college gates just now.”
Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng, then hung up. Zhou Sheng said, “I didn’t bring a phone charger……”
Yu Hao, “I took it.”
Zhou Sheng, “My clothes are drying…..”
Yu Hao, “I’ve kept them.”
“The groceries we bought today……”
Yu Hao, “I’ve kept them all properly.”
Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao looked at each other. Yu Hao, “Play a game?”
“No signal!” Zhou Sheng decided to ignore him.
The train plodded along as it moved forward. There were a lot of migrant workers in their carriage who were on their way home for the New Year. Yu Hao said, “It’s the New Year, come on, let’s get high! I’ll sing a song for you ba.”
Zhou Sheng: a cold and detached face.jpg.
Yu Hao sang along with the puttering of the train, “Di da di da di da……”
“Are you an alarm clock?!” Zhou Sheng couldn’t bear it anymore.
“Life is a thriller novel.......” As soon as Yu Hao began to sing, half the carriage turned quiet.
The train whistled and left Ying city. Lights streamed into the carriage, and the distant rivers and mountains all fell asleep, as if they had entered a bright and resplendent dream.
Zhou Sheng fell asleep. His head drooped sideways and leaned on Yu Hao’s shoulder. His sportswear covered both of them and Yu Hao could smell Zhou Sheng’s warmth. He looked outside the window at the endless winter night, the glass windows reflected the figures of him and Zhou Sheng snuggling together.
In this lifetime, he had never felt like he was this close to love. Even if this feeling was borne from an earlier emotion dwelling in the depths of his heart, at least on this night, on this whistling train, and by this person’s side, this feeling felt as real as the existence of the objective world -- it was so real it left no room for doubt.
“Yu Hao——! You’re Yu Hao——!”
Zhou Sheng’s mother had set up a table filled with food at home. She hurriedly called out to Yu Hao to get him to eat. Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng had slept for 8 hours on the train, so he was crippled by fatigue. Zhou Sheng didn’t say a word before he entered his room, and said to Yu Hao, “Get in here!”
“I was worried that Zhou Sheng wouldn’t be able to make a friend at school…...aiyo aiyo! You even brought tea leaves! What tea leaves are those? Come and take a seat, you even brought a gift……”
“Zhou Sheng said that you were the one who taught him English. It was the first time in his life that he passed English! He loves beating people up when he has nothing better to do, he didn’t hit you ba? Give me a moment, I’ll arrange it for you while I smoke a cigarette okay.……”
While Yu Hao tried his best to discern what she was saying to him, his head drooped as he was on the verge of dozing off.
“……for more than ten years, I was the one who fucking raised that son of an eighth wife with a handful of shit and urine, and all I was afraid of was that I’d bring him up to become an idiotic white-eyed wolf……”
Yu Hao truly underestimated Mama Zhou’s combat ability.
After Zhou Sheng got home, he stayed in his room for a little while, then forcefully pushed his door open with a loud bang. When he walked out, he was already in a new set of clothes. Yu Hao got a good scare, but Mama Zhou seemed like she didn’t hear him as she pulled Yu Hao’s hand and said, “In the future, which girl would be willing to…aiyo, I’m so worried that I’ve started sprouting white hairs on my head……”
From the corner of his eyes, Yu Hao watched Zhou Sheng walk towards the kitchen and rummage through the fridge. He got out some fruit juice and gulped down a few mouthfuls, then threw some cabbage, chicken, pork, chayote etc. onto the counter. He hacked a knife onto the chopping board before tying an apron around himself.
Yu Hao, “……………………”
“I don’t know why I was blind last time……” Mama Zhou stretched her neck out to call out, “The rice hasn’t been cooked yet!” Before she turned back to Yu Hao, “And married a lard head who only knew how to cook, ai——ya!”
The corners of Yu Hao’s mouth twitched. Mama Zhou continued, “Forget it forget it, I’ll do it ba.”
“Even dogs won’t eat the food you cook!” These were the first words Zhou Sheng had officially said to his mother after he returned.
Yu Hao quickly said, “I’ll help him.”
“Just stay there and sit!” Zhou Sheng raised his head up to say as he sliced the chayote into shreds. Yu Hao was so terrified his soul scattered, and all he could see was Zhou Sheng cutting up the vegetables so quickly that it looked like his knife was flying, so he quickly cautioned, “Careful, don’t cut your fingers!”
“Leave him alone.” Mama Zhou said, “If he chops it off we can treat it as an extra dish. Little bro Yu, listen to me……”
An hour later, Zhou Sheng threw a few dishes down onto the table, took off his apron and scooped up a bowl of rice and soup for Yu Hao. Mama Zhou was still talking to him at one side, “Doesn’t even learn anything useful, how much can you earn from cooking?”
Zhou Sheng cast a glance at Yu Hao as if to ask, “You understand now?”
Yu Hao waved his hand and continued nodding at Mama Zhou.
Four dishes and one soup. Sesame oil chicken with scallions that was tender and slightly yellowish, claypot fried beancurd saturated with sauce, 6 rolls of cabbage-wrapped shrimps, stir fried chayote shreds and a bowl of pickled vegetable and fish soup.
Yu Hao kept telling himself, this is my first visit, I definitely can’t lick the plate later……
Zhou Sheng didn’t eat much before he stopped. Yu Hao said, “You cook so well, yet you can stomach the food from our canteen?”
“As long as it’s not something I cooked, it all tastes the same to me.” Zhou Sheng said casually.
“Yu Hao na.” Mama Zhou asked, “Is Zhou Sheng close to any girls in school?”
Zhou Sheng said, “Shut up! All of you shut up!”
Yu Hao quickly said, “So many girls are chasing him.”
“Tsktsktsk……” The shape of Mama Zhou’s face changed, “In the past, his Dad was also, ai——yo——”
Yu Hao didn’t expect that his words could incite another lengthy monologue that lasted for half an hour. He had only been in Zhou Sheng’s home for less than 2 hours, but his mother had already told him all about how his father had abandoned her. He even knew the angle at which Papa Zhou would hold a wok spatula to hit her.
Fortunately, Mama Zhou finally left after dinner. When he closed the door to change, Yu Hao saw a hole in her door that had been kicked in
Zhou Sheng was washing dishes in front of the sink. After he was done washing, he passed them to Yu Hao, then Yu Hao would use a cloth to wipe it dry and put it back on the rack.
“Be honest, are you about to fall in love with me?” Zhou Sheng abruptly said this as he was washing the dishes.
Yu Hao replied honestly, “I’m already in love with you.”
Zhou Sheng looked helpless as he said, “Couldn’t you have answered with something else?! Get lost!”
Yu Hao burst out into laughter. Zhou Sheng said in a gloomy and irritated voice, “Let’s hurry and finish celebrating the New Year here so we can go back ba, I really can’t stand it anymore. Just think about it, staying in this kind of household for more than ten years while you’re hounded incessantly with talk about my father, would you be able to endure it?”
“No.” Yu Hao said honestly, “I was wrong, it’ll be better for us to go back to our dorm……”
“Forget it.” Zhou Sheng answered, “We’re already back anyway, what are you laughing at, ah? What’s so funny?”
Yu Hao said, “Don’t! Your mother might suddenly come back!”
“She’s not coming back!” Zhou Sheng wrung Yu Hao and wanted to hit him. He pushed him onto the sofa and laid down sideways on him, and Yu Hao cried out when he landed on him. Zhou Sheng kicked him aside before taking out a few snacks and cokes from underneath the coffee table for him to eat and drink. Then he fished his phone out to play games.
“Don’t fall asleep.” Zhou Sheng saw Yu Hao begin to doze off and put his phone down, “If you sleep too much in the day, you won’t be able to fall asleep at night.”
Yu Hao curled up on the blanket. When he saw the pile of PP bags on his balcony, he asked, “What’s that?”
“Clothes.” Zhou Sheng said, “The goods my mum bought. She has her own shop.”
Yu Hao uttered an “un”. Zhou Sheng continued, “My Dad was a first-class chef in the past, and an alcoholic. He married a rich woman after his divorce and cheated a lot of money out of her, then divorced the rich woman again and took the money to open a restaurant called “Yun Lai Chun”. I don’t know if you’ve eaten there before.”
When Zhou Sheng said that name, Yu Hao was instantly dumbfounded.
“Yun Lai Chun was opened by your father?!” Yu Hao said in disbelief.
“Un.” Zhou Sheng looked up and cast a glance at Yu Hao, then answered, “It’s quite shocking ba. His name is Zhou Laichun, I’ll bring you over for a meal on the first day of the New Year.”
Yu Hao had seen Zhou Sheng’s father’s name before on the news online. It was a feature on local entrepreneurs -- his restaurant has chain stores all over the country!
Yu Hao snapped out of his stupor when Zhou Sheng kicked him.
“Then why are you studying in our college?”
“My Mum doesn’t allow me to use my Dad’s money.” Zhou Sheng looked at his phone, “Or rely on his connections. She said that if I dare study in a college that my Dad contacted, she’d jump down from this 16th floor. She even sat on the balcony to threaten me after the college entrance examination.”
Yu Hao held his forehead with one hand.
Zhou Sheng concentrated his attention on tapping his phone, “But, I really didn’t want to study in the medical college that my Dad found for me. If I become a doctor with such lousy grades, wouldn’t I just be harming people? Let’s find a job together after the next semester ba.”
When Yu Hao heard him say this, he almost went mad. After he thought it over for a bit, he said, “As long as you’re happy.”
The murderous air around Zhou Sheng finally dissipated. He leaned on the sofa at a crooked angle and used one foot to rub Yu Hao’s waist here and there -- this movement was completely unconscious, and was just a simple exchange between straight men as they kicked each other. However, Yu Hao suddenly got hard, so he quickly covered it with the blanket.
Yu Hao, “Why did you choose sports?”
“I like exercising.” Zhou Sheng said indifferently, “Sweating to my heart’s content makes me forget all of my troubles -- like when I’m swimming, running or doing any sort of aerobic exercise. When my body feels like it’s approaching a tipping point, it feels like I’m flying.”
Yu Hao said, “That’s true.” He used to play basketball occasionally and run at night too, and it did help in relieving his stress.
“When I’m in a bad mood, I’ll run laps of 5km.” Yu Hao said, “After running 10km, I’ll feel much more relaxed.”
“10km.” Zhou Sheng was practically turning up his nose at such a distance.
But later on, Yu Hao was really too exhausted from working so he couldn’t run anymore. If he still ran 10km after working for 12 hours, he’d probably die a sudden death. But it was also because he had a lot of stress that he couldn’t relieve that he gradually became more of a shut-in.
He chatted idly with Zhou Sheng, but he really couldn’t fight off his sleepiness. Zhou Sheng even placed a warm oil heater next to him, which made him feel very warm and cozy, so he ended up sleeping. While he was in a groggy daze, he heard Zhou Sheng say, “Go to the room to sleep, don’t catch a cold……” Yu Hao responded once, but he didn’t move and only wanted to turn around and continue sleeping. In the end, he felt like he was picked up by Zhou Sheng who carried him into the room and placed him on the bed.
He didn’t know how much time had passed before the first time he woke up. He could sense that Zhou Sheng had entered the room carefully, and was laying beside him to play games on his phone. Yu Hao turned around and continued sleeping.
“Yu Hao?” Zhou Sheng’s voice rang out beside his ear, “Are you okay?”
When Yu Hao opened his eyes, the sky outside was bright.
Zhou Sheng had one hand on his forehead as he checked to see if he had a fever.
Yu Hao asked, “What time is it?”
“Are you a pig?!” Zhou Sheng scolded, “You slept for a whole 18 hours! I thought you died of overwork!”
“Ah!” Yu Hao said feebly, “It must be because I’ve been working a lot lately and got exhausted… is there anything to eat? I’m starving…….”
Zhou Sheng was at his wits’ end. Yu Hao wanted to buy groceries for the New Year, but how could Zhou Sheng possibly make him pay for that? So he said, “Help me clean up the room ba.”
Yu Hao began to tidy up Zhou Sheng’s room. Zhou Sheng’s room looked like a dog’s kennel, he couldn’t tell when Zhou Sheng had last tidied it. Zhou Sheng himself was a bit embarrassed as he said, “You know what, forget it.”
Yu Hao took the blanket to hang it out in the sun. Zhou Sheng continued impatiently, “We’re only staying until the third! What are you tidying up all that for? Do me a favour and not be a little house elf, will you? If my Mum sees you, I don’t know how long she would nag me for.”
Yu Hao glanced at Zhou Sheng and said, “I don’t know what’s going to start growing on your clothes……”
Zhou Sheng immediately said, “Okay! Do it! Don’t nag!” Then continued, “I must owe both of you a lot, I feel like I’ve been bound with a Shackle Curse.”
Yu Hao was standing on the balcony. When he heard the words ‘Shackle Curse’, his heart immediately stirred. He stopped moving and turned around to look at Zhou Sheng. Meanwhile, Zhou Sheng was packing up stacks of his 《Saiyuki》and《Naruto》mangas, and as he packed them, he somehow started reading them instead.
After Yu Hao finished cleaning the windows, he lay down on the bed to rest for awhile.
“Your mother’s door has a hole in it that collapsed inwards.”
“I’m not blind, did you think I couldn’t see it?”
“I meant…….do you want to paste a “Fu” on it to cover it up?”
“Do people paste “Fu”s at the bottom of a door? Don’t be so meddlesome.”
Zhou Sheng threw a book of “Naruto” at him. Yu Hao laid down on his stomach as he began to read, and as he read the manga, his attention wasn’t actually on it as it occasionally drifted towards Zhou Sheng, who had his back facing him. Zhou Sheng was laughing as he read his manga, and his shoulders trembled a few times.
“Are you hungry?” Zhou Sheng turned around to look at Yu Hao. Yu Hao immediately lowered his head and gazed at his manga, but Zhou Sheng had already realised that Yu Hao was looking at him in that moment. He turned his head to look at his shoulders and back, “Is there something on my body?” Then he patted himself down.
Yu Hao said, “Zhou Sheng, do you remember how I said that there are some things that I want to ask you about?”
Zhou Sheng had a bewildered look on his face. He put down his manga and asked, “What is it?”
Yu Hao thought about it for awhile before saying, “What are we eating? Let’s talk outside ba.”
Zhou Sheng brought Yu Hao to Yun Lai Chun, and Yu Hao finally realised what it meant to be a tycoon: the best room, the most luxurious decorations, gold and jade in glorious splendor. When the two of them sat on the sofa in the room to order their dishes, Zhou Sheng wore sportswear from head to toe, yet he sat like a rich second generation -- he didn’t seem the least bit restrained, as if this was the kind of life he was supposed to live. Yu Hao finally saw a side of Zhou Sheng that rarely appears -- but had still always existed -- the Zhou Sheng who had a formidable and imposing air around him.
A waitress wearing a cheongsam walked over and knelt on the ground as she served them tea. Yu Hao hurriedly asked the waitress to get up.
When Yu Hao was in high school, he had worked during night self-study sessions behind his grandmother’s back. When he opened up wine bottles for people in a nightclub, he had to kneel as he offered the red wine to his customers, and it was really unbearable for him. On top of that, the customers would flirt and proposition him again and again, so he only worked there for three days before he quit.
Yu Hao and the waitress looked at each other, then he smiled apologetically. The girl smiled in an understanding manner. When Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng again, the way he looked at him had changed.
Zhou Sheng took the menu and threw it to Yu Hao, “Order anything you want.”
Yun Lai Chun often received public funds for both food and drink, but now, there were more sanctions from the higher ups, so there were two menus -- one menu was used for its money laundering commission, while the other menu contained its usual prices. Yu Hao thought, isn’t this kind of expenditure a bit too exaggerated? After he looked through a few pages, he said, “You should order ba.”
“Everything on these three pages and this page.” Zhou Sheng spoke to the foreman as he selected three pages, and chose one additional page in the menu. Then he threw the big menu aside and took the seasonal menu, “Everything on this menu, the whole menu.”
This was the first time Yu Hao encountered someone who would order dishes by saying “everything on this page”. And as if that wasn’t enough, this same person had also said “everything on this menu”, so he was left speechless on the spot.
Ame: Wife-in-training YH: I’ve already washed your underwear, what’s a little thing like your wallet?
Dollars: ZS mama’s mouth makes my ears burn! RIP my poor, innocent self!
Zryuu: Aaaaahhhhhhhh the train scene made me meeeeelllllllt
“In this lifetime, he had never felt like he was this close to love.”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat.