“The brick-moving department. We were in charge of pushing around little carts loaded with concrete.”
brief reference to attempted suicide (of a character that appears one time)
Editor(s): jane, jelly, juurensha
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Why didn’t he mention it earlier aaaahhh ---!
The giant of happiness lifted a huge hammer and instantly smashed Chi Xiaoduo into a flattened piece of soft paper.
From the countless buildings that Chi Xiaoduo designed, fireworks shot out, filling the sky with a series of explosions.
A beautiful stage opened its curtains on a splendid prelude, and the leisurely, brilliant sunlight of Roman Holiday shone in. Xiang Cheng, refined and courteous, held Chi Xiaoduo’s hand in his own, and his other hand held a flute of champagne as he stood by a fountain, giving him a warm smile.
In an instant, a meteor shower arced over the horizon, and on the surface of the sea, millions of mola fish floated belly-up, all of them beginning to dance --
Xiang Shu said, “The color of your face doesn’t look too good. Are you feeling ill? Take a break.”
Chi Xiaoduo hurriedly said, “You sit, you sit, I’ll be good in just a moment.”
Chi Xiaoduo pushed a swivel chair over, letting Xiang Cheng sit down. His own heart thumped loudly, and he looked at his blueprints for a long while without knowing at all what he was looking at. He turned his head to the side to sneak peeks at Xiang Cheng, only to find that he was reading Chi Xiaoduo’s reference books while sitting in front of his desk, and he thought, no way, you can understand them?
Chi Xiaoduo’s entire being was not in the right state, and in his heart, two small mola fish were engaged in a constant tug-of-war. Mola Fish A told him to hurry up and finish so that he could go out and have a date, but Mola Fish B said that if he didn’t look at the diagrams carefully and the building collapsed, people would die. A then said, who cares if the building collapses? Our family’s Chi Xiaoduo is only in charge of the drainage system, not the structural parts. At most, one of the sewage pipes will leak...
In the midst of his conflict, Chi Xiaoduo managed to finish looking over the drawings at a speed that seemed to last an eternity. After he signed off on them, he said to the big boss, “I’m leaving now! Boss Lin!”
The boss of the water department said, “Wait, Xiaoduo, while you’re at it, help me…”
Chi Xiaoduo turned his head, and his killing aura filled the room.
The boss immediately fell silent like a cicada in winter, and he replied, “Have fun on your trip.”
“Hehehe.” Chi Xiaoduo chuckled warmly.
Right now, it felt as if millions of alpacas were joyously scampering about in Chi Xiaoduo’s heart as he rushed through the office like the wind. After climbing into Xiang Cheng’s car and fastening his seatbelt, his vision swam with vertigo, and he suddenly found that Xiang Cheng’s car was once again different. Today, he was driving a Land Rover.
“What do you want to eat?” Xiang Cheng asked.
“Whatever,” Chi Xiaoduo responded, smiling. “Pick your favorite, but don’t make it too expensive. It’s my treat. Thank you for coming to pick me up.”
Xiang Cheng replied, “I’m not familiar with Guangzhou.”
Chi Xiaoduo said, “Do you eat Japanese food?”
Xiang Cheng responded, “I don’t care.”
On their journey, the car passed by the streetlights beginning to glow with light, and they turned and merged into the night traffic of the city. Chi Xiaoduo recalled that Xiang Cheng was reading about the standards for the water supply and sewer system in his office, and he suddenly asked, “You can actually understand my reference books?”
“To tell you the truth, I couldn’t, but I’ve also studied construction previously,” Xiang Cheng said, before driving into the parking garage. “I only started in my current field after changing jobs.”
Chi Xiaoduo nodded. Xiang Cheng then asked, “What is a rebar extracting master?”
Chi Xiaoduo asked curiously, “Before, which construction division did you work in?”
Xiang Cheng replied, “The brick-moving department. We were in charge of pushing around little carts loaded with concrete.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “...”
Chi Xiaoduo laughed loudly, saying, “Stop joking, the structural group hates them. A rebar extracting master is in charge of pulling out the rebar that you’ve planned for and designed around. They’re in charge of reducing costs for the real estate company, and this way, there’s less rebar, so they can reduce the costs of building it. But pulling out rebar has a lot of rules, because if you pull it out randomly, then the buildings will collapse, so they must be very experienced people.”
Xiang Cheng nodded; he understood.
Chi Xiaoduo brought him to a Japanese restaurant, and as soon as they went in, they were asked to take off their shoes. The menu was also very simple. When Chi Xiaoduo saw that Xiang Cheng’s socks had two holes in them, and the socks were of different colors, he suddenly had a feeling of thunder rumbling overhead. However, he also felt that it was very funny, and he hid his laughter by pretending that he hadn’t finished looking over the menu.
Chi Xiaoduo’s sock-clad feet touched Xiang Cheng’s under the low table from time to time, sending ripples across his mind.
“You’re pretty amazing, do you guys have job examinations?” Xiang Cheng asked. “Have you passed them?”
“A first-class water supply and drainage engineer test,” Chi Xiaoduo answered. “I’ve taken the test, but the results haven’t come out yet. So far, I’ve only passed the second-class exam, and if I can pass the first-class one, I won’t need to go to work anymore. All I’ll need to do is put my certificate out there as an affiliation, and I’ll be able to make four hundred thousand in three years.”
“If you don’t go to work, then what do you want to do?” Xiang Cheng asked.
“I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet,” Chi Xiaoduo responded. “Plus, it’s a really hard exam; I bet that I won’t be able to pass it this year.”
Xiang Cheng replied, “I couldn’t tell at first that you’re pretty important in your department, with a group of people circling around you. Your major must have been pretty good.”
Chi Xiaoduo smiled a little self-consciously, and he asked, “How about you? What plans do you have for your future?”
Xiang Cheng thought for a bit, before saying, “I don’t know. I was tricked into coming here and becoming a duck. I’ll probably quit after a while. I want to go back to my old line of work, but even after working myself to death, I only got paid a little bit, so I couldn’t keep working in that job. They don’t even count overtime, the leaders often made things difficult for me, and they found every excuse to dock my pay.”
Chi Xiaoduo’s heart blossomed with emotion, thinking, how about you quit right now, and we can start dating! He didn’t know what exactly Xiang Cheng’s “old line of work” had been, but it was probably construction? En, his description was spot on; an architectural firm was truly a place where you could work to death and use your life to trade for wages. He worked overtime all the time, and he was often beset with difficulties and docked pay.
But Xiang Cheng sighed again and said, “Even as early as the beginning of this year, I was thinking of forgetting all about the past, changing up my life, and getting a fresh new start, but I still can’t let go of the past… what is this? Is it raw?”
Xiang Cheng looked oddly at a plate of surf clam sashimi. Chi Xiaoduo put some wasabi on one piece and fed it to him with his chopsticks, pink bubbles floating off from his head. Xiang Cheng immediately began to cough as he choked on the wasabi to the point that tears were coming out.
To think that he had never had wasabi before… Chi Xiaoduo’s feelings towards Xiang Cheng were immediately overturned.
“Drink some tea,” Chi Xiaoduo said hurriedly.
Xiang Cheng, while sporting an odd expression, waved his hand. He had tears running down his face.
“It’s too strong,” Xiang Cheng said. “I know, it’s wasabi.”
Chi Xiaoduo smiled. “I like the feeling of wasabi, but you must not have had this very much before.”
Xiang Cheng said, “Before, there was a big boss who invited me out for dinner. There was wasabi there, and we also drank Lafite. One bottle was more than twenty thousand.”
The warm light of the lamp enveloped Xiang Cheng’s eyebrows and eyes. In this entire world, it was as if there was only this one lamp shining down from above his head, lighting up his hair and his eyebrows, which were both warm and firm.
Chi Xiaoduo had drunk a little sake, and his face was red. Some people would go into a frenzy after drinking, while others wouldn’t speak at all; Chi Xiaoduo was that kind, the type that quieted down after drinking alcohol. He wanted to ask many questions, but he didn’t ask a single one, and if the two of them were able to just sit here quietly like this, that would be for the best.
“What are your dreams?” Xiang Cheng ate a little sushi. He seemed to be pretty interested in the wasabi, and this time he put less on.
Chi Xiaoduo’s ultimate goal in life was obviously to become a tall, rich, and handsome man and climb up to the summit of his life, or to marry a tall, rich, and handsome man and climb up to the summit of his life. Of course, this was something he was too embarrassed to say, and after thinking about it for a bit, he said, “Going out to see the sights. It’s too annoying going to work all the time, and if I can hang up my certificate, then I can go out on vacation.”
Xiang Cheng nodded. He seemed to be a little more restrained in the Japanese restaurant, as if he was thinking about something.
Chi Xiaoduo asked, “How about you?”
“World peace,” Xiang Cheng said matter-of-factly. “For everyone to live and work in contentment and live well.”
Chi Xiaoduo laughed loudly. He felt that Xiang Cheng was very amusing, and he lifted his tea to clink cups with him.
After eating dinner, Chi Xiaoduo came out to pay the bill. Xiang Cheng said, “I don’t have money, they haven’t handed out this month’s wages yet.”
Chi Xiaoduo chuckled and said, “Of course I’ll pay.”
Xiang Cheng didn’t try to fight him for the check either, and after coming out and feeling the wind on him for a bit, Chi Xiaoduo more or less sobered up a little. Xiang Cheng was deep in thought the entire way, and when they got to the gas station, Xiang Cheng pulled out a large handful of notes. Chi Xiaoduo hurriedly said, “Let me.”
Chi Xiaoduo filled up the car’s gas tank, thinking about how Xiang Cheng was a young master. His work was basically him using his good looks to earn wages, making his customers like him, before wholeheartedly allowing them to foot his bills. When he got to this point, Chi Xiaoduo once again felt that his own love was shrouded in dense fog.
At twelve o’clock, Xiang Cheng drove Chi Xiaoduo up the mountain. Wang Ren and his group were currently playing mahjong animatedly, and Wang Ren said, “You go get your own rooms! You two came the latest!”
With that, Xiang Cheng and Chi Xiaoduo took up residence in the last room with one large bed. When they were heading up the mountain, the cherry blossoms that covered the slopes danced by under the glow of the streetlights. Chi Xiaoduo felt that time seemed to slip right past him; such a beautiful time had disappeared just like that.
“Tonight, do you want me to give you an oil massage?” Xiang Cheng asked. “I’ll pay.”
“No, no, no,” Chi Xiaoduo immediately said. “Let me ba.”
Xiang Cheng pulled out a pile of folded ten dollar bills. Chi Xiaoduo had entirely forgotten about the topic of money, but now that they mentioned it, he immediately remembered again. The money for the two nights in the room and the deposit had come from him originally, but Chi Xiaoduo still took the initiative and paid for this as well.
After getting a room, Xiang Cheng didn’t say anything. He went to take a shower, and Chi Xiaoduo, his hands linked in front of his knees, sat on the bed. He sighed in his heart.
In Xiang Cheng’s eyes, he was exactly the same as those customers who treated him well, who completely and willingly pulled out money for him, who covered his food and lodgings and took him out to play.
The sound of the mahjong tiles outside stopped temporarily, and Xiang Cheng, drying his hair with a towel, walked out, saying, “Go wash.”
Chi Xiaoduo en-ed and went into the bathroom. After coming out, the two of them laid down shoulder to shoulder on the bed. Xiang Cheng pressed down the various buttons on the controller, before he let out a sigh.
“Why are you sighing?” Chi Xiaoduo alertly heard that almost indiscernible sigh.
“Nothing much, sleep ba.” Xiang Cheng turned to the side to turn off the lights.
In the darkness, Chi Xiaoduo rolled around, completely unable to sleep. He wondered, if he reached out a hand to touch Xiang Cheng and hold his hand at this time, would he refuse? Or would he say, “Four hundred for a snack? Let me give you a confirmation slip first?”
“Do you know Qiqi?” Chi Xiaoduo asked in the darkness.
“Qiqi?” Xiang Cheng asked, not understanding.
“Qi Wei.” Chi Xiaoduo said his name. Qiqi was his best friend’s older cousin. Xiang Cheng asked warily, “How do you know that I know him?”
“Well…” Chi Xiaoduo said. “I’m good friends with his cousin, and his cousin said that you looked really handsome. Is Qiqi also one of your customers?”
“Oh --” Chi Xiaoduo wanted to ask how they had met, but continuing to ask just like this felt like he was trying to interrogate him about his family. But after a while, Xiang Cheng spoke a sentence that almost sent Chi Xiaoduo falling off the bed.
Xiang Cheng: “He’s my coworker.”
Chi Xiaoduo: “.....................”
In Chi Xiaoduo’s mind appeared an image of Qiqi, wearing a suit, horsing around with a group of ducks, being a male public relations figure. His soul immediately left his body.
“You guys were… at the same club before?” Chi Xiaoduo asked delicately.
“No, no.” Xiang Cheng immediately realized the different interpretations that sentence had, and he explained, “My old line of work.”
“Oooh --” Chi Xiaoduo said, but he couldn’t figure it out and asked, “Construction? Did you guys move bricks together?”
Xiang Cheng didn’t respond, instead changing the subject. “My cellphone’s broken, and I have his number on it. I’ll call him for you when we get back.”
“No need,” Chi Xiaoduo responded, finally relieved.
Chi Xiaoduo knew that his small tricks had definitely been guessed at, and he couldn’t help but feel extremely awkward. A moment later, he reached out a hand and stroked Xiang Cheng’s broad, warm palm, before placing his hand in that palm.
Either way, he had already paid for it, so holding hands should be alright ba. As Chi Xiaoduo tried to guess at what Xiang Cheng would say, he caressed his fingers. But Xiang Cheng didn’t say anything at all, instead grasping Chi Xiaoduo’s palm with his hand.
Chi Xiaoduo felt that he had reacted to that motion, and his heart thumped violently. Getting an inch and taking a yard, he said, “Can I hug you?”
Xiang Cheng generously opened his arms wide, pulling Chi Xiaoduo into his own embrace. He was wearing a set of cotton pajamas, and his chest was very warm. Chi Xiaoduo pillowed his head on his arm. After drinking some wine and being blown by the wind that night, his head hurt a little, and he didn’t want to do anything else; just being held like this was good enough.
“Do I need to pay to hug?” Chi Xiaoduo asked amusedly.
Xiang Cheng replied in good humor, “If it were other people, they would have to pay, but for Didi, it’s free.”
Chi Xiaoduo began to smile.
The room was quiet. A moment later, Xiang Cheng continued, “I never let people hug me randomly, it depends on my mood.”
“En, Wang Ren told me before,” Chi Xiaoduo said.
Xiang Cheng continued, “David said that even though I have to be a duck, I still want to keep my good name.”
Chi Xiaoduo chuckled at that, but he then felt a little embarrassed. He said, “These few days are delaying your work ba.”
“I have some matters to take care of on Mt. Lianhua,” Xiang Cheng responded.
“Some matters?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
“A business trip,” Xiang Cheng responded.
Business… business trip??? To keep a customer company? Chi Xiaoduo found this pretty inexplicable. Was it an oil massage? He didn’t keep asking, but instead, Xiang Cheng felt that Chi Xiaoduo was shivering a little.
“Cold? Are the blankets too thin?”
“Wu, no, no.” Chi Xiaoduo’s entire body was snuggled into Xiang Cheng’s embrace, and he was so emotional that he was trembling. Gradually, he began to grow sleepy, but he didn’t want to sleep. He felt that this was so nice ah. If time could pause right at this moment, that would be nice. What business trip, all of that could fuck off.
Chi Xiaoduo slowly fell asleep. In the middle of the night, he heard a quiet commotion, but he was so sleepy that he couldn’t peel his eyelids open. He reached a hand out to feel by his side, only to find that Xiang Cheng wasn’t there. Chi Xiaoduo was startled awake at that, and he sat up, looking to his left and right.
“Xiang Cheng?” Chi Xiaoduo asked.
The room was dark, and a small amount of light shone in from the outside. Chi Xiaoduo rose and took a look at his phone, which indicated that it was currently 2:25.
Chi Xiaoduo didn’t turn on the lights. He pushed open the window of the lodge and peered outside, only to see that there was a piece of paper stuck on the window. He thought it was a message from Xiang Cheng, but when he peeled it off and looked at it, there was a “Xiang” character written on it, and it was being held in place by a little golden evil-warding statuette.
Chi Xiaoduo: “???”
That was a piece of yellowing parchment. Chi Xiaoduo folded it up well, putting it together with the evil-warding statuette into his pocket. At the same time, he heard the sound of a vehicle outside, and it didn’t seem too far away. Where had Xiang Cheng gone? Chi Xiaoduo suddenly remembered that he was here on business. Had he left in the middle of the night to go keep a customer company?
Chi Xiaoduo crept out on tiptoe, and in the lodge made of wood, he did his best not to make any noise. He used the flashlight on his phone to light his way, and a gust of wind blew by, causing him to immediately feel a little chilly.
Aaaaaahhh… so scary. Without knowing why, the hairs on the nape of his neck stood up. He peeked into the yard and saw that there was a point of light in the distance. It looked like the headlights of a car, so he started walking that way.
He hid behind a cherry tree, and he saw a moped with its headlights on.
The headlights were extinguished, and a man clambered off. Xiang Cheng was standing in front of the headlights.
“It’s up to them,” Xiang Cheng said. “Saving lives comes first. If they keep it around, it will kill more people. Has the actual cause of the car accident been figured out?”
The man’s voice responded, “The victim of the homicide had started his own business and kept a mistress. His wife, through who knows what means, spent a large sum of money so that she could fuck with them. When she made the wish, perhaps she said the wrong words, but the guiche manipulated that human greed of hers. It led her to murder both her husband and his mistress. The wife is now currently trying to commit suicide.”
“How did she spend a large sum? How did she want to fuck with them?” Xiang Cheng then asked.
“I cannot inform you of that,” the man replied. “The Association has records, but you won’t be able to find them.”
Xiang Cheng fell silent, and the red dot of his cigarette flashed in the darkness.
Chi Xiaoduo could dimly grasp what was going on. Someone had hired a criminal syndicate to carry out a murder, and after killing the person, it was now in hiding on the mountain. They wanted Xiang Cheng to go and get rid of it, but could he do it all on his own? Should he call the police? Xiang Cheng didn’t say anything, instead turning to leave. The man asked, “Should I call a few helpers for you?”
“No need,” Xiang Cheng replied. “It knows that I will come, and if you call in too many people, then it won’t be interesting.”
While saying this, Xiang Cheng started walking towards the side of the road. The man whistled once and said, “You’ve started dating someone?”
Xiang Cheng: “???”
The man continued, “Who was that kid from that day?”
“A didi,” Xiang Cheng responded.
“Why can’t I recall that you had a didi? But just giving you a heads up, your didi has yao energy on him, as if he’s been marked by something.”
Still smiling, the man climbed onto his moped and twisted the ignition.
Xiang Cheng: “I found out one week ago, and I’ve been observing for a long time. The guiche hasn’t sought him out.”
All of the hairs on Chi Xiaoduo’s body seemed to instantly rise at that.
The man said, “It’s not the guiche. The Association thinks that it’s a superior of the guiche. They don’t know how it found him. Bye, do your best.”
Xiang Cheng: “Wait! Old Kuang!”
The man drove the moped at a breakneck pace, and it was also a downhill slope about halfway down the mountain, so with a ceng, he disappeared. Xiang Cheng chased after him for a few steps, before chucking the butt of his cigarette to one side, standing there frustratedly and anxiously for a bit. He then turned and headed towards the tree that Chi Xiaoduo was hiding behind. Chi Xiaoduo turned to run, but Xiang Cheng appeared like a ghost behind Chi Xiaoduo.
Just as Chi Xiaoduo was about to shout loudly, Xiang Cheng covered his mouth, and Chi Xiaoduo’s voice was muffled.
“I told you not to come out,” Xiang Cheng said in a low voice, his brows furrowed deeply.
“Wuwuwu gugugu…” Chi Xiaoduo’s eyes flicked back and forth, before his bright, shiny pupils stared fixedly at Xiang Cheng. Xiang Cheng was going to die from rage because of Chi Xiaoduo, and he released him.
juurensha: Exorcist time!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.