"We’re from the same village."
Editor(s): Jane, jelly, juurensha
Always support our Chicken Lord by buying the original work whenever you can! Link for each platform's guide to purchase the raws can be seen on our FAQs.
Ten o’clock at night.
The Tianhe district sparkled brightly with life as Xiang Cheng made his n-th call. Despite the relentless efforts of the phone to turn itself off, his call to the friend of the friend who his old acquaintance had introduced him to finally went through.
“Oh,” the guy on the other side said. “I’m currently serving a customer. How about you come over now, and I’ll send you the bus number and route over the phone.”
“Thanks, brother,” Xiang Cheng said.
The last bus pulled up, and Xiang Cheng squeezed on, but the huge bag on his back got stuck outside the door. He paid his fare, and the driver, with a tired expression, impatiently watched him.
There were still five or six Chaozhou people behind him who kept chattering on. Xiang Cheng thought that they were trying to hurry him up, so he could only back up as he tried to get off, but that group of Chaozhou people gestured instead for Xiang Cheng to squeeze on, and the entire group of people banded together. One, two, three, they pushed the backpack for him, and finally, with their combined efforts, they managed to shove Xiang Cheng onto the bus.
He got off the bus at the Tiyu West Road, and in the spring rain, the asphalt road was covered with a slick layer of reflections as the high-class restaurants along the road shone with neon light. Xiang Cheng lifted his head from time to time as he, still carrying that backpack, came to a stop in front of a men’s health club.
“I’m looking for Li Jincai,” Xiang Cheng said to the receptionist.
The male receptionist raised an arm to stop him, not even looking at Xiang Cheng. There were quite a few luxury cars parked outside, and Xiang Cheng turned his head, only to see that on the roof of a silver-grey Audi, there were several traces of blood. He went over to take a look, swiping his finger over the dried blood, and his brow furrowed slightly.
He peered into the driver’s seat, but there was no one there.
Xiang Cheng stood at the side of the parking lot, giving Li Jincai a call. Li Jincai said, “Take the side door!”
With that, Xiang Cheng paid no more attention to that car, and smelling the mixed scents of gas and smoke, found the back alley. Li Jincai was wearing a bathrobe and slippers, and he glanced at Xiang Cheng before saying, “Come in ba, how do you know little Sheng?”
“We’re from the same village,” Xiang Cheng replied.
Li Jincai wasn’t wearing anything under his bathrobe. His skin was very pale, and he had a youthful beauty about him as he brought Xiang Cheng into the resting area, asking, “You’re looking for work? Let me see your hands.”
Xiang Cheng spread open his palms to let him take a look. His hands were covered with calluses.
“That won’t do,” Li Jincai said. “Let me ask the director ba, you wait here for me.”
Li Jincai had him put his backpack down, before bringing him a set of the club’s uniforms, saying, “Try these on. No, first go take a bath ba… oh well, oh well, go change first, ay no, you’d best go take a shower first. Don’t wear your underwear underneath the clothes, we have heating here. The worker’s baths are that way, go ba.”
Xiang Cheng took off his clothes and laid them out on a chair, before bringing along his own towel to go shower. In the middle of his shower, Li Jincai brought the director in, and they both studied his naked body. Xiang Cheng was standing under the water, and he wiped his face before looking at the director.
“Your looks are pretty good,” the director said. “And your build isn’t bad, are you from the countryside?”
Xiang Cheng nodded, and the director continued, “How about your grip strength? Bring him a grip strength scale.”
Xiang Cheng: “?”
Li Jincai went to get a grip strength scale, and Xiang Cheng turned off the water. He took the grip strength scale and squeezed it all the way to the bottom.
“Not bad,” the director said. “Train him a bit. Lucas, you’re in charge of training him. Come up with an English name for him, he’ll start tomorrow ba. Your monthly salary will be 1.8k, not including commissions. In his first three months, for every client that he takes, you’ll also be paid a commission for them.”
Li Jincai watched Xiang Cheng with a gaze half-filled with envy and half-filled with awe. Xiang Cheng immediately opened his mouth in disbelief.
“Thank you,” Xiang Cheng said.
The director left, and Xiang Cheng came out, having finished his bath. Li Jincai had already put his clothes away and tossed him a bathrobe, saying, “Come with me.”
Xiang Cheng was completely bare under that bathrobe as he followed Li Jincai, leaving the workers’ resting area. As they passed through the hallway, a middle-aged man passed by, and as soon as he spotted Xiang Cheng, he couldn’t take his eyes off of him.
“Which number is this?” the middle-aged man asked. “I want to reserve him.”
“He’s a customer…” the waiter who was accompanying the middle-aged man hurried to add upon realizing that he hadn’t seen Xiang Cheng before, and Xiang Cheng didn’t have a numbered tag.
Xiang Cheng: “???”
Li Jincai brought him into a room, where there was laid a male blowup doll with a wretched appearance. The lines on its body split it into regions, each of them labeled.
Li Jincai: “Give yourself an English name ba.”
Xiang Cheng: “I don’t know how.”
Li Jincai: “...”
“Just pick one,” Li Jincai said impatiently. “Right, what are you called in Chinese?”
“Xiang Cheng,” Xiang Cheng responded. “I really don’t know how. Names are given to us by our parents, so do I really need to change mine?”
“I’m not making you change yours,” Li Jincai said. “This is a stage name , everyone refers to one another with their stage names. Otherwise if a customer were to ask for someone called Zhang Tianjing or Wang Debao, how tacky would that be?”
Xiang Cheng thought over that, before saying politely, “Then you come up with one for me, and I’ll go with what you say.”
Li Jincai left the room and randomly grabbed a list of wines before coming back in. In it was a bunch of names of red wine, and after flipping through it for a while, Li Jincai said, “Let’s call you Valpolicella ba.”
Xiang Cheng: “What what?”
“Val~ policella~” Li Jincai replied with a twirl of his hand into an orchid shape and a roll of his tongue. “A lofty, high-end, high-class Italian name. Come, thank me.” Saying this, he gestured for him to walk in front of the blow up doll, saying, “In a bit, we’ll get you a work badge. Now, massage, massage ba.”
Xiang Cheng was already completely overwhelmed. Ever since he had come to Guangzhou, he had felt that this was already beyond the world that he recognized. He asked, “What am I supposed to massage?”
“Massage the fake person! Massage!” Li Jincai said. “If I tell you to massage them, then massage away. Press down firmly, and when you press down enough, the light inside will light up.”
Xiang Cheng, with a face full of doubt, pressed his hands down on the blow up doll.
In the hallway sounded a huge boom, peng, from inside the room, greatly scaring the customers outside.
“Are you an idiot! If it explodes, then you’ll have to pay for it!” Li Jincai’s angered roar issued forth, and closely following that was Xiang Cheng’s apology.
In the early morning a month later, everything was blossoming with new life in the spring. The sunlight was bright, and the sky above the City of Flowers looked as if it had been washed clean.
Chi Xiaoduo rode his mountain bike, making a neat turn around the corner of the street, coming to a stop outside the bakery. The worker glanced outside and brought over the bread and milk.
“Thank you.” Chi Xiaoduo smiled at that tall, handsome worker.
Every day when he went to work, he would buy bread here because the worker was pretty handsome. Plus, he was very friendly.
Chi Xiaoduo was also very handsome, and although he had been working for several years, he looked as if he had just graduated from university; his looks were clean. But even though he had maintained his own body well, he had never run into someone who he liked and who liked him back.
“Today there’s a birthday cake for you,” the worker said, smiling. “When you get off work, remember to come by and get it.”
“Ah?” Today was indeed Chi Xiaoduo’s birthday. He was a little taken aback; the cake store worker still remembered the birthday that he had written down when he was applying for a loyalty card, which caused a wave of warmth to rise in his heart.
“I’m going to work now, bye bye!” Chi Xiaoduo said, waving his hand at him. “Do your best!”
Today, as per the practice, his department’s superior gifted him a cake, and he split it with his coworkers. It had already been more than two years since he came to the architectural firm, and everyone had him blow out the candles on the cake and make a wish. Chi Xiaoduo gripped his fingers, standing in front of the cake, thinking, a birthday wish… give me a more normal boyfriend ba.
He made this wish every year on his birthday, but it never came true. Now that he thought about it closely, that was a little depressing .
But when he thought about normal, Wang Ren’s menacing expression appeared in Chi Xiaoduo’s mind: what wasn’t normal about him!
Chi Xiaoduo had sketched out half a blueprint and had signed off on a few other architectural blueprints when his phone rang again. Wang Ren had gathered quite a few of their old university classmates, and everyone was taking this opportunity to find a place to celebrate his birthday. With that, Chi Xiaoduo went home, picking up the cake on the way.
At night, Wang Ren drove over to pick him up, and after they had dinner, he brought him to a men’s health club.
Just as they sat down, five handsome men came over to massage their feet.
Fuck, so handsome! As soon as Chi Xiaoduo saw those handsome men, he couldn’t turn his gaze away. There were so many handsome men in this club, and each of them had their own brand of handsomeness. He took a look at the one massaging his feet; he looked a little like a movie star, but when that handsome guy smiled towards him, Chi Xiaoduo grew nervous and didn’t dare to meet his gaze anymore.
Chi Xiaoduo had always had a thief’s heart but not a thief’s courage. As soon as he became the focus of his friends’ teasing, he acted like a mola fish, and leaving aside his lack of courage, if anything came up, he would overreact.
Wang Ren was also gay, but their other school friends weren’t. After they had graduated, some of them had gone into the real estate business, others were in construction, but everyone could basically guess that Chi Xiaoduo liked men.
“Us bros have prepared a birthday gift for you,” Wang Ren said. “In a bit, the service you’ll receive will be the full set, I’m just letting you know beforehand.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
“What, what? What service?” Chi Xiaoduo asked, almost stunned.
Wang Ren said to Chi Xiaoduo, “Last month, didn’t you say you wanted to experience it? Didn’t you no longer want to be a virgin? Since your blind dates have all failed, then hook up first ba! Us bros have already gotten everything ready for you, and the masseuse that comes in a bit will definitely make you happy!”
“I’m leaving,” Chi Xiaoduo said. “You all have fun.”
“Don’t let him escape!”
Wang Ren said, “Last time didn’t you say so yourself? You wanted to experience it, have you even grown up at all?!”
“No way…” Chi Xiaoduo said, his face was streaked with tears that flew about wildly in the wind. “No way!”
In this month, Chi Xiaoduo had changed the format and contents of his dawdling, and he constantly whined to Wang Ren that in his twenty six years of life, he hadn’t been in love even once, and had never been intimate with anybody. This was truly incomparably pitiful.
Wang Ren had listened to this so much that his ears had grown calluses, and his last words had been, “Count on me, I’ll take you out to play”. Today, he had arranged a meeting with an entire group of fake friends, saying that they were giving him a birthday present, thus bringing him here. Chi Xiaoduo struggled and tried to crawl away, but Wang Ren grew angry again, and he demanded, “Are you a man at all? What are you being all bashful for? Didn’t you want to experience it? We’ve already arranged a person for you, what are you going to do now?”
“Save me aahhh--” Chi Xiaoduo shouted loudly.
As soon as Chi Xiaoduo shouted, his volume was so loud that the shout almost echoed in the room. His entire body trembled and shook, and the guy giving him a foot massage said, “Boss, we don’t do shady things, don’t worry.”
Chi Xiaoduo let out another series of wild shouts, and Wang Ren roared angrily, “Can you not overreact so much?”
Chi Xiaoduo said, “You’re pressing too hard on my foot aah! I’m going to pee aaaahhh!”
The foot massage guy: “...”
The guy loosened his grip a little, and Chi Xiaoduo’s face was like a tomato as he panted for breath. Several of his classmates began to tease him.
“What are you afraid of, it’s just a male duck, no need to be afraid!”
“Yeah, yeah, everyone’s called one before --”
“Don’t scare him, you all, this is an oil massage.”
“Chi Xiaoduo, you’re already twenty-six, yet you’re still a virgin, don’t you feel ashamed?”
“That’s right, Comrade Xiaoduo, can you not use your face to mimic a Zhenling memorial?”
“All of you shut up aaaaah--!” Chi Xiaoduo finally couldn’t bear it anymore, and he shouted loudly, “I want to fight to the death with you group of fake friends!”
Everyone fell quiet, watching Chi Xiaoduo. Chi Xiaoduo’s entire face turned bright red, and he wanted nothing more than to find a crack in the ground to squeeze into.
After a short moment of silence, his buddies once again began to coax him, one after another.
“He’s already here.”
“This place’s oil massage skills are very good, c’mon.”
“That’s right, that’s right,” Wang Ren said, as he sat on the sofa to let them massage his feet. “If you don’t like it, then let him just give you an oil massage, you don’t need to do anything else.”
The guy massaging his feet finally couldn’t stand it anymore, and with a pu he began to laugh.
“Boss Wang, we’ve already said that we’re a proper men’s health club, we don’t do shady business.”
Wang Ren then said to that guy, “I’m just joking around with him, this brother of mine is especially pure.”
“Feelings are my birthday present?!” Chi Xiaoduo cried out.
“Of course, duh,” Wang Ren said.
“Of course,” the others responded, their expressions innocent.
Everyone’s expressions held the same emotions - you’re still a virgin at twenty-six, is there a problem with us gifting you an oil massage as your birthday present?
There was a knock from outside, and a man pushed open the door and came in, asking them, “If I may, which boss is going for the massage?”
Chi Xiaoduo: “??”
That was a tall, built male masseuse standing in the doorway, who smiled.
“Him!” everyone immediately said. “Him, him, him.”
“That’s him right there, that’s him!”
“Boss Chi! Go ba!”
“Get the full set! Go ba!”
“The full set?” that man said politely. “Come ba.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
“I will wait for you next door,” the oil masseuse said as he smiled. “Don’t be nervous, I’ve already taken a bath.”
Everyone laughed at that, and the masseuse left first.
“Is he your type?” Wang Ren asked.
Chi Xiaoduo’s expression twitched as he said, “He’s just alright ba…”
“What do you mean just alright?!” Wang Ren said angrily. “He fulfills all of your requirements! 1.82 meters, not fat but also not skinny, and he earns 25k a month…”
“What?!” Chi Xiaoduo howled. “You even know this?!”
“Of course. Being a masseuse brings in a lot of money.” Those friends added, yeah, yeah, being a masseuse does bring in a lot of money.
The guy massaging his feet smiled. “Aiya, please don’t joke anymore, bosses.”
“... His work doesn’t make him go on business trips, and he’s the sporty type,” Wang Ren said. “He used to shot-put in the Sports Academy, and he’s amusing and witty enough ba? Try chatting with him to see if you have any topics in common to talk about? He even knows how to cook, that’s what they said. Doesn’t smoke, doesn’t gamble…”
Chi Xiaoduo wailed piteously, “You’re insane aaaahh--!”
Wang Ren continued, like a cannon firing off consecutive blasts, “He’s also out of the closet, is responsible and kind, and David even said that he likes small animals and is raising a Labrador at home; he has dreams, he wants to be the number one of the club…”
Everyone almost fell off their massage chairs from how hard they were laughing at Wang Ren’s words.
“Oh?” Wang Ren made a hand gesture, before saying to the rest of them, “David says that he’s even a reader.”
Everyone collapsed. Wang Ren continued, “Tang and Song poems and whatnot, he likes them. He’s your ideal type, Chi Xiaoduo.”
A series of size 26 font “haha”s traveled out of the room, bonking repeatedly on Chi Xiaoduo’s head. Chi Xiaoduo was on the verge of going mad.
“It’s just a joke,” Wang Ren said, looking wholly serious. “David is my friend, and he’s a good person. Go ba, he won’t force you.”
Only with this guarantee did Chi Xiaoduo, completely unwillingly, walk away.
The door to room 702 opened, and David popped his head out, saying, “You’re here? Then come in ba.”
With that, Chi Xiaoduo braced himself and walked in.
This men’s health club’s waiters were all male, as evidenced by all the equally handsome guys who were massaging their feet. It was rumored that they took male and female customers alike, and to a stay-at-home man who had never dated, for them to order him a full body oil massage service for Chi Xiaoduo’s first time was really too-too-too… too heavy-handed.
Wang Ren chased after him, saying from behind, “Just let him service you, no need to be nervous, he’s very experienced.”
Wang Ren had even specially booked the best one to service him, which caused Chi Xiaoduo not to know whether to thank him or choke him to death.
But this men’s health club did have a good atmosphere. Perhaps it was only because they had rich customers, but their interior decor and quality of workers all complemented its famous name.
“Please wait a sec,” David said, laying out a towel. “Handsome little brother, lie down for a bit, I have something to take care of. I’ll be right back.”
“O-okay.” Chi Xiaoduo couldn’t help but hope that he didn’t come back, and he immediately added, “Take your time, I’m not in a rush.”
David left again, before vanishing like a gust of wind.
Chi Xiaoduo began to scheme, what if he didn’t go for the oil massage after all and snuck back instead? But his clothes were with Wang Ren, so he would definitely be caught and brought back. How much did this kind of all-night oil massage cost? It probably wasn’t cheap ba.
David walked out of the room, taking a few even steps, before he suddenly increased his pace and dashed towards the bathroom at the end of the hallway.
“Valpolicella!” David hurried to say. “Fill in for me, Room 702.”
Xiang Cheng was wearing a t-shirt and long pants, sitting in the resting area while reading Story Collections, and at that, he raised his head and glanced at David.
David’s face was a very nasty color, and it was clear that he wasn’t feeling well. As soon as he finished speaking, he ducked into the bathroom. Xiang Cheng put away his book and rose to knock on the door of the bathroom.
“You alright?” Xiang Cheng asked.
“I’m alright…” David said from inside, gritting his teeth, before there was a jumbled series of odd noises.
Xiang Cheng: “...”
“Those three customers just now were too ruthless…” David said. “The cord of the dildo broke off, but they didn’t even take it out. I might have to go to the hospital…”
Xiang Cheng: “???”
“Do you need me to call you an ambulance?” the director came over, also knocking on the door.
“It’s… it’s alright, I’ll see if I can pull it out on my own…” David replied.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.