“The kind of person I want to be, what I like……these are all really difficult to convey."
Editor(s): Amelea, FistFullOfDollars
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So the three of them played games for two hours in the ward. Chen Yekai was actually killed several times in a row, no matter how much milk Yu Hao tried to give him. But Chen Yekai kept rushing forward like he was throwing away his life. They lost 5 or 6 times in a row on the first day of the New Year, and even Zhou Sheng couldn’t bear to watch any longer.
“I’m not playing anymore, I can’t use the Great Sage well.” Chen Yekai breathed a sigh of relief, “It’s the New Year, yet I made you guys lose so miserably.” As he spoke, he remembered that it was the first day of the New Year so he fished his phone out to send them red packets.
“Don’t, it’ll cost you too much!” Yu Hao had already received so much money today, he wouldn’t ever be able to repay it.
“Laoshi’s family has money.” Chen Yekai casually said, “It’s not a huge cost.”
Chen Yekai seemed a little sleepy, he didn’t seem to pay as much attention to his words as usual. Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao accepted his red packets.
Professor Lin didn’t come, and without their realisation, it was already very late at night. Zhou Sheng suggested, “Let’s have dinner together?”
Chen Yekai said, “You guys go ahead ba, after you’re done eating, ask the shop to pack a meal and send it to the ward. I ate those snacks in the afternoon, so I’m not hungry yet. Ask the shop to deliver two bottles of beer here.”
Zhou Sheng didn’t force him either. He brought Yu Hao to a place near the hospital to eat, and after they were done, Yu Hao said, “I’ll send it to him ba.”
Yu Hao carried a packed meal and beer as he knocked on Chen Yekai’s door, but the scene that appeared before him overwhelmed him completely for a moment.
——Chen Yekai sat before the sickbed. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was currently choking back sobs in front of Liang Jinmin. When he heard the noise, he raised his head and their eyes met.
Yu Hao, “……”
At that moment, he could sense that the Chen Yekai whose hair was in a mess and had bloodshot eyes looked just like an angry, wild beast!
Yu Hao snapped out of his daze and quickly retreated, “I’m sorry, Laoshi.”
Yu Hao closed the door. His heart was beating loudly, yet Chen Yekai said from the inside, “Come in ba.”
Yu Hao said, “I didn’t know you……”
“It’s okay.” Chen Yekai tried to compose himself and wiped his face. It took him a long time to calm down. He looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror, and could also see that behind him stood a worried Yu Hao.
Chen Yekai laughed bitterly, “Drink with me?”
Yu Hao said, “Zhou Sheng’s still waiting downstairs.”
Yu Hao meant to ask Zhou Sheng to come up to drink together, yet Chen Yekai misunderstood it, “Then go back ba, it’s very late.”
Yu Hao wanted to call Zhou Sheng up, yet Chen Yekai motioned for him to go back, “I’ll be fine after some time alone.”
Yu Hao stared into his eyes with concern and suddenly said, “You have friends too, don’t stifle yourself if you have something to say.”
Chen Yekai remembered that when he first met Yu Hao, the last thing he had said was “You’ve never had a single friend ever since you were a kid?” and immediately laughed in embarrassment.
“Okay.” Chen Yekai answered, “If I need to, I’ll talk.”
Tonight Yu Hao couldn’t help but keep thinking about Chen Yekai’s appearance that made him seem like a trapped beast. When he went to bed that night, he couldn’t help but toss and turn restlessly. He asked Zhou Sheng, “Was Liang Laoshi beat up?”
Zhou Sheng wasn’t asleep either. He answered, “Looks like it. When my Mum was beaten up by my Dad in the past, she looked like that too.”
Yu Hao said, “Forget I said anything.”
Zhou Sheng lightly said, “It’s alright. Your childhood was a documentary on the lowest rungs of society, my childhood was a Hollywood action movie.”
Yu Hao laughed, and Zhou Sheng continued murmuring to himself, “Fu Liqun’s childhood was an idol drama.”
Yu Hao, “……”
“Ai, Yu Hao. Let’s go work tomorrow ba.” Zhou Sheng suddenly said.
“Okay!” Yu Hao was very willing, he wanted to save up some more money during the New Year period. Zhou Sheng said, “I can’t be a tutor, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to hold myself back from hitting the kid.”
Yu Hao, “No problem, I’ll be our manager. Leave everything to me.”
When it comes to finding a part-time job, Yu Hao’s skin has always been very thick. He didn’t take the initiative to find part-time work last semester and instead accepted the tutoring job from the work-study program because he had just entered college and needed to adapt to the environment. He was really afraid of failing his final examinations, so he didn’t dare to spend too much time working.
But now that his situation had improved, Yu Hao began his attack in earnest on all sides. He specifically targeted places that would be busy during the winter vacation and Spring Festival, and finally found an amusement park called “Happy World” in the city center. Yu Hao was dressed in a butler uniform from Kuroshitsuji. He was holding up a sign as he acted as a guide and had to coax the crying children who were running around. Meanwhile, Zhou Sheng was making popcorn and barbecuing chicken wings with a bored expression on his face.
“I’ll switch with you, daily wages for barbecuing are higher too.” When they were eating the lunch prepared for the staff, Zhou Sheng’s heart ached a little when he saw how exhausted Yu Hao was from guiding people around the park.
“I don’t cook as well as you do.” Yu Hao answered, “In order to not betray everyone’s expectations, we can’t swap!”
Before the seventh day of the New Year, Yu Hao’s daily wages amounted to 300 while Zhou Sheng got 360.
Within the short span of three days, Zhou Sheng’s barbecued chicken wings had become a new favourite in the amusement park. Everyday, he would even personally barbecue a whole chicken for Yu Hao to eat. The second afternoon after Zhou Sheng began barbecuing meat, the long, winding queue that lined up for his stall was nearly 50 meters long. However, on the third day, Zhou Sheng began to find it troublesome and wanted to stop barbecuing.
Pay raise! The manager quickly played his played his trump card, and increased Zhou Sheng’s wages by 120 yuan. Zhou Sheng didn’t really care about it. He always transferred his daily wages directly to Yu Hao and let him be responsible for managing the money. He didn’t carry money on him, so if he needed to pay for something, he’d ask Yu Hao to pay.
It was not until three days before college resumed that the manager reluctantly let them go, and even asked Zhou Sheng to visit them frequently. Zhou Sheng just said ‘okay okay I got it’ plainly showing his annoyance, before he and Yu Hao left with their arms around each other’s shoulders.
“We earned more than 8,000!” On the last morning, Yu Hao was bursting with joy after he received their wages. Zhou Sheng received more than 5,000, while he received more than 3,000. Zhou Sheng sighed ruefully, “Money isn’t that hard to earn ma.”
“So it’s really important to have a special skill.” Yu Hao said with a smile. He had still benefited from his association with Zhou Sheng this time. At the very least, his expenses for this semester were settled.
“But it’s not like I can barbecue chicken wings forever.” In contrast, Zhou Sheng was rather sober.
Yu Hao suddenly snapped out of his daze and looked at Zhou Sheng. He understood the meaning behind his words. He has lived in fear of poverty since he was a child, and as a result, he has always focused all his time and energy on earning money without even realising it himself. A student’s duty was to study, not just to be satisfied with a few thousand dollars in remuneration from part-time work.
Chen Yekai had said something similar before, but Yu Hao had spent his entire winter vacation on working and earning money for the next semester’s living expenses. Although he could take pride in providing for himself, he had missed a lot of opportunities to learn new things during the holidays.
“Alright.” Zhou Sheng saw that Yu Hao seemed a bit dejected, so he patted his back forcefully, “Let’s eat a good meal later! Then you’ll feel better.”
Under Zhou Sheng’s guidance, Yu Hao struggled to cut his steak. They had ordered a 1kg Angus steak, and Zhou Sheng taught him to hold his fork with his left hand and a knife in his right.
Yu Hao spoke as he cut his steak, “I need to start planning for my future, I can’t always be satisfied with just working part-time.”
“Why are you saying that all of a sudden?” Zhou Sheng said, “I was just mentioning it casually, you’re not treating it seriously ba?”
Yu Hao said, “But I really am at a loss, General.”
When Zhou Sheng heard that form of address, he suddenly became serious. Yu Hao rarely called him that, and they seldom discussed the dreamscapes. But aside from being Yu Hao’s friend, he had also assumed another identity —— Yu Hao had always regarded him as the one who could show him the way when he felt lost.
“What I want to do in the future.” Yu Hao said seriously, “The kind of person I want to be, what I like……these are all really difficult to convey. It’s just, I want……un……”
“You want to live a meaningful life.” Zhou Sheng answered.
“Yes.” Yu Hao said, “Just like what you taught me, to eventually be who I am.”
Zhou Sheng mocked himself, “I didn’t teach you anything, don’t say that, that’s too fucking awkward. I haven’t even figured out how I want to live my life……forget it, let me do it, eat more.” Zhou Sheng took the steak and split it, then passed the bigger half to Yu Hao. He continued, “Look at this. Don’t keep looking at me like that, I’ll feel very stressed!”
Zhou Sheng fished out a folded poster and handed it to Yu Hao. On the poster, the words “Notice for Registration of the International College Cycling Competition in Spring” were written on it.
“You want to go?” Yu Hao was a bit surprised.
Zhou Sheng responded with an “un”, “I wanted to ask for your opinion today, do you think I can?”
“Of course you can!” Yu Hao said, “You definitely can! You’re doing so well in your major!”
Zhou Sheng was hesitating, but Yu Hao said, “Go! Why don’t you want to go?”
Zhou Sheng liked exercising. He liked the unbridled exhilaration of pushing himself to the extreme, and especially liked cycling and running because it made him feel like he was flying within the wind. He liked swimming too; when he swam, it was as if he had turned into a fish in the sea.
Zhou Sheng said, “Actually, I don’t really want to compete that much……but have you seen the back of the poster?”
Yu Hao ignored Zhou Sheng’s ambivalence and said, “Go! I’ll support you!”
Zhou Sheng, “I just want to know my approximate ranking amongst the rest.”
Yu Hao said, “You’ll definitely win! And even if you don’t, it doesn’t matter! What’s important is your participation!”
Originally, Zhou Sheng was just slightly curious. He wanted to discuss it with Yu Hao beforehand, and now he was convinced, “Okay, then I’ll sign up for the competition.”
“Just like what you said, General wants to live a slightly more meaningful life too.” Zhou Sheng continued, “I’ll try to take one step at a time before I find my answers ba. So you don’t need to worry so much.”
Yu Hao smiled, and a bright idea suddenly occurred to Zhou Sheng, “If I’m going to sign up for the cycling competition, then why don’t you sign up for a Singing Talent show?”
“Never mind that.” Yu Hao immediately said.
Zhou Sheng, “Who was the one who said to live a more meaningful life just now?”
Yu Hao said, “But I definitely don’t want to be a singer!”
Zhou Sheng, “Then what do you want to be? In any case, you have to accompany me.”
Yu Hao’s mouth was stuffed with steak. He chewed it for awhile before saying, “I can aim for a scholarship.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Okay, that’s settled then.”
Yu Hao, “I want to take a Spanish course too.”
Zhou Sheng laughed, “You want to learn how to sing《Despacito》for me?”
Yu Hao really did want to learn that song. It was quite a chore to take a language course just for a song, but he liked it.
That afternoon, Zhou Sheng downloaded the form online and printed it out, then went to look for a college recommendation and have the document stamped. However, there was no one in the office. Yu Hao messaged Chen Yekai, and Chen Yekai replied to him very quickly.
【Get someone to come and keep watch beside the sickbed. I’ll come over right now.】
Zhou Sheng went straight to the hospital to take over from Chen Yekai. Yu Hao waited for him in the office. It was as if Chen Yekai had forgotten what happened that day, but he still looked very worn out. He came over to open the door, took the stamp, wrote a recommendation and attached Zhou Sheng’s report card. He said, “Do you think Zhou Sheng can win?”
Chen Yekai guessed it after he shot a glance at him. Yu Hao was laughing with a ‘hehe’; he didn’t really know how good Zhou Sheng was, but he believed that Zhou Sheng could win.
“You can just leave this with me.” Chen Yekai’s phone suddenly rang with a “deng deng deng” like beating drums. Chen Yekai immediately picked up his phone and said, “I’ll hand it in for you guys, go back and jiayou ba. Yu Hao, don’t fall behind either.”
When Yu Hao saw Zhou Sheng again in the evening, he seemed a bit off.
“What happened?” Yu Hao guessed that something had happened in the hospital.
“How are you so good at discerning people’s moods?” Zhou Sheng scrutinised Yu Hao with a doubtful gaze, “Nothing much, Professor Lin was at the hospital.”
Yu Hao tried to sound him out, “And then?”
Zhou Sheng thought over it for a bit, “There’s no ‘and then’. We’ve handed in the form, so where are we going next?”
Yu Hao, “I’m going to study.”
Zhou Sheng, “I’ll go play ball……forget it I’ll go study too ba.”
And thus, what happened next was that Yu Hao studied in the library while Zhou Sheng took a nap beside him. Sometimes, Yu Hao felt that Zhou Sheng could really sleep a lot. He was always either eating or sleeping, yet he didn’t get fat.
A new semester commenced, so students began returning to college one after another. Yu Hao decided to spend more time on preparing for next semester’s courses. Meanwhile, Zhou Sheng would spend half his time accompanying Yu Hao in the library, and the other half sleeping or playing games. In the beginning, both of them would go everywhere together -- wherever one of them was, the other would be there too. And after Fu Liqun returned to the college and joined in, the three of them would always move around the campus as a group. With the addition of Fu Liqun who was half a head taller than the other two, this trio seemed very peculiar to onlookers.
Chen Yekai hadn’t looked for Yu Hao for a long time. When Yu Hao messaged him, Chen Yekai would only chat with him briefly. Yu Hao was really worried about his mental well-being, yet he didn’t dare mention it to Zhou Sheng.
Winter passed in Yin city. Now that it was spring, couples could be seen everywhere. In spring, everything was imbued with new life, and a sentimental feeling inexplicably struck him, rending Yu Hao’s heart apart. Especially when he was alone with Zhou Sheng, he wouldn’t dare to get too close to him and he would always worry about losing what they had.
Every morning, Zhou Sheng would call out to him after he woke up before going out for a jog. He would come back with breakfast while Yu Hao would be brushing his teeth, then greet him with a “wu” and glance at him -- and this was what he felt was most difficult to suppress; at that kind of timing, his heart would already be stirred up, but coupled with Zhou Sheng’s masculine scent that seemed to invade his senses, he always felt like something was going to happen while he was half-asleep.
He was aware of his own thoughts, and Zhou Sheng was mostly aware of them too -- what could he hide from him? But Yu Hao was always doing his utmost to contain their relationship within the boundary of friendship, and wouldn’t dare to do anything that would cross this boundary in the slightest. But Zhou Sheng seemed to care even more for Yu Hao then he did before, though he joked with him a lot less, and he wouldn’t tease him occasionally like before.
“Your husband’s not here?”
When he attended his Higher Mathematics class, the students in the front row turned around and teased him.
Yu Hao’s face immediately flushed red, “He went for a competition.”
Yu Hao knew that a lot of people in class were already starting to gossip about them. They were always stuck together; when Zhou Sheng goes for his runs, Yu Hao would memorise his words at the field with his earphones on, buy water for him and look after his clothes. When everyone was playing basketball, Zhou Sheng would always pass the ball to him too.
Yu Hao remembered that his previous roommate was gay too, so he was probably the one who spread it around.
Yu Hao reserved a seat for Zhou Sheng in the afternoon. When he returned to his dormitory, Fu Liqun was wiping his shoes.
“Yu Hao, you don’t have anything on with Zhou Sheng ba.” Even Fu Liqun couldn’t help but ask.
“Gege!” Yu Hao looked like he was going mad. A lot of people in their college called Fu Liqun “Gege”. He thought, why is Fu Liqun asking that too? You live with us every day, so wouldn’t you know if there really was something between us? But he changed his mind as he said, “What if there really was something between us?”
“Calm down!” Fu Liqun immediately said, “Of course I would wish you both well!”
Yu Hao, “……”
Ame: ZS already delegating control of finances to wife… daily morning greetings and bringing breakfast back…
Dollars: I need Yu Yu singing Despacito to ZS to become a reality. Have you checked out those lyrics? Fufufu
Zryuu: This…. is so wholesome. How they’re encouraging each other to live a more meaningful life ahhhh. ^ Dollars I literally only know the words ‘despacito’ from the song Despacito, also, +1 for an audio version of it
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Ellie.