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Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
The start of the new semester slowly, but inevitably, approached. The two hid themselves at home, refusing to leave at all cost. Everyday, they would stare anxiously at the thick stack of examination papers, that taunted and teased them without a second rest. The answers to those questions were really sickening to come by and had only one final outcome. The teachers had already taken the pleasure of making it be known, that they will definitely looked at the process that lead to the solution.

With no other choice, the two decided that it was best to divide their workload, which meant that each person would only have to do half the work.

The whites of the examination papers glimmered as if it were stars, and spread all over, almost covering the entirety of the bed. To the side, there were two brand new desks, eagerly awaiting to be used. However, after it had been bought, to sum it all up, it had been used no more than three times. The majority of the time, they worked on their school assignments on the bed until they were fed up with it and tiredness lull them to sleep.

Bai Luo Yin laid flat on his stomach on the bed with the back of his hand supporting his chin. He yawned several times, while his eyes squinted in various degrees as he looked at and tried to remain focus on the innumerous characters that seemingly pirouette on the white sheet of paper in unison. At this point, he was a shade of desultory, and too enervated to be systematic. Sooner rather than later, his saliva would have quickly dripped on the paper and dried up.

Gu Hai’s eyes moved apace toward Bai Luo Yin. His heart tightened just from that single glance. Distress and concern only exacerbated each words that escaped his lips.

“If you’re tired, go to sleep. Leave the rest of the papers there, I’ll finish them up.”

Bai Luo Yin merely looked up for a second and shook his head. Then, he patted the spot near his side several times, eyes never once leaving Gu Hai.

“Come, lay down over here.”

“What for?” asked Gu Hai as he twisted his head around to face Bai Luo Yin.

Bai Luo Yin became impatient as his brows slighted weaved together.

“If I tell you to come lay here, just come and lay here.”

Suspicions shone before his eyes and inundated his vision with a strange radiance as he rolled over and laid on his stomach at the spot that Bai Luo Yin had demanded him to lie at.

In less than a second, Bai Luo Yin nonchalantly rested his head on Gu Hai’s buttocks.

So, you’re just using my butt as a pillow!

Trying for a smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes, he quickly gave Bai Luo Yin a side glance. But, all he could see was an air of comfort and contentment perching securely on Bai Luo Yin’s figure.

He couldn’t help but to ask: “Isn’t that a pillow over there……why don’t you just lie down there?”

“The pillow isn’t as soft as your butt,” retorted Bai Luo Yin before his lips crunched upward. He had talked himself into happiness as he crooked his mouth into a smile.

“You, just look at your stupid appearance…….”

Gu Hai once again twisted his head around. Eyes submerged with addiction, peering lovingly at Bai Luo Yin’s now serious demeanor. He watched him lay there on his own body, diligently working on his assignments.

His heart ached so much, to the point where he was not able to prevent the aching from escalating.

After a long while, Bai Luo Yin could sense that a certain person’s attention had been pulled out of focus, so he allowed his own pair of strict, sharp and icy eyes, swept over.

A warning dispersed within the room, “Quickly finish your work.”

Gu Hai turned his head away, but a moment later he turned his head back again.

“Lying down like this is making me a bit tired.”

Bai Luo Yin sympathetically picked his head up just slightly and moved.

Gu Hai cleared his throat and callously said: “That’s not what I meant. I wanted to say that, just a moment ago, you laid on top of me for a long time, shouldn’t it be my turn to lie on your butt?”

“No, I won’t let you lay on me,” Bai Luo Yin retorted with an absolute refusal.

“Why the hell won’t you let me?” Gu Hai exploded, “I’ve already let you lay on me, why won’t you let me do the same?”

“That’s because you willingly let me lay on you.”

Gu Hai secretly concentrated all this strength.

He blinked, and once those dark pupils suddenly revealed itself again, flames of strontium had already been set ablaze within them. And slowly, that flame began to spread. His hand that had been resting incognito on the bed, clutched the sheets before he abruptly struck it a few times lightly. Then, he suddenly stopped.

Like a wild tiger, hungrily targeting its prey, he faced Bai Luo Yin, and pounced on him.

Bai Luo Yin immediately armed himself with a deadly glare, as if readied to combat a blood-lusted wolf. His mouth then twisted in a contemptuous sneer.

“Gu Hai, you better fucking behave yourself a bit more. We don’t have a lot of time left. If you mess around, who knows how much time will be wasted.”

“I’m more than happy to.”

After those three words slowly escaped his lip, he immediately began to kiss Bai Luo Yin. His lips gently kissed the outer rim of those slightly tinted ears before his tongue crawled out and licked it, letting the taste of it lure him in. All the while, his hands worked their magic, rubbing, kneading and teasing the smooth chest beneath. He sneakily tugged at Bai Luo Yin’s trouser, before pulling in off in one go. Each and every actions were done in a very smooth manner.

As soon as those two straightened out legs were finally exposed, a bulge had already settled beneath the fabric of the underpants.

Gu Hai discovered that, Bai Luo Yin is a typical guy, cold on the outside but warm and caring on the inside. At first, he may be rather unapproachable and distant but with enough time that cold exterior can be slowly shattered. Even more so, his mouth may be harsh but his body spoke otherwise. Every single time, he pretended to be an honorable and serious person, but in the end, once he was messed with, teased with for a bit, be would be stimulated faster than anyone else.

It had been more than a month since he had seen or touched little Yin Zi and for Gu Hai, the absence had created a longing, that told him how much he secretly missed it. Separated by a thin layer of fabric, he patiently, gently and tenderly kissed little Yin Zi. His tongue kissed and messed with the white fabric of the underwear until it moistened.

The wetness, faintly revealed the color and luster of the fabric and the item underneath, which made Gu Hai’s throat tighten. With his mouth, he moved up and down that wetted area, tracing and sketching out the shape of the treasure beneath it until the soft head slightly pointed upward, becoming almost visible at the edge of the underwear.

Bai Luo Yin felt especially comfortable…yet, a sense of desperation and urgency badgered him. That annoying layer of fabric acted as a barrier and derided him, making the burning sensation beneath his underpants impossible to satisfy.

“You want me to lick it directly?” said Gu Hai vulgarly, “Then, you bring it out yourself and put it at my mouth.”

Bai Luo Yin sneered and gave Gu Hai an eternal death glare. But, in the end, unable to abandon that facial expression, he depressingly replied back, “Hurry up.”

Gu Hai ignored him, pretending not to hear the urgency in the other boy’s voice. He continued to let his tongue hang loosely on the outside of that delectable underwear, teasing and nibbling here and there.

He stared seductively at the soft head that was now fully exposed at the edge of the underwear. His finger unfurled and snaked toward the head. Once contact was established, he lightly grazed at it for a while.

Bai Luo Yin’s waist trembled of its own accord. His breaths became heavy as he desperately gasped for air. Red was smeared evenly on his entire face, the color of lust and need. As he casted his eyes downward, peering at Gu Hai, his breathe hitched. That boy was still unwilling to listen to Bai Luo Yin’s demand as he continued to stare at him.

Gu Hai placed his tongue at the corner of his mouth and sensually licked his upper lip.

A shudder raced down Bai Luo Yin’s spine under Gu Hai piercing eyes, tempting and seducing him.

Bai Luo Yin couldn’t bare it any longer….and, unable to continue taking the pleasurable torment, he suddenly pulled out his own member and pressed it against GU Hai’s face.

A familiar warmth encased Bai Luo Yin. It was something that he had fantasized about every night, thought about every night. And every single time he thought of it, he was unable to stop himself from reliving it……

He suddenly pulled Gu Hai’s leg toward himself. At first, Gu Hai didn’t understand the meaning behind it, but then he felt that someone had swiftly torn his pant off. His heart painstakingly skipped a beat and in that sudden moment a rush of heat tumbled uncontrollably in that small confined muscle.

Bai Luo Yin want……'that’, of his own accord?

This is the first time, the first time Gu Hai felt that Bai Luo Yin, himself, craved him in this way!!

Bai Luo Yin leaned on one side of his body, he adjusted his posture, getting into a relatively comfortable position. He closed his eyes, and once his eyelids parted, he found himself in close range to Gu Hai’s private part. He looked at it in details, admiring almost enjoying it. It was full of power and grandeur, frightening……it had once brought nightmares and unimaginable pain to him. It was indeed, the symbol of his manhood.

The flames burning fiercely in Bai Luo Yin’s eyes brought great excitement to Gu Hai as he licked the base of said boy’s member, and up and down the entire shaft, rolling his tongue around all sides before he gently kissed and licked the tip and once he worked his way up, he slowly took it into his mouth, a bit at a time.

But, once his eyes made contact with Bai Luo Yin’s again, a raging fire boiled over his entire body, stimulating him, causing his movements to speed up, as he sucked harder and faster.

A groan escaped Bai Luo Yin’s tight lips. This excitation and frenzied state of mind, caused him to temporarily forget his own body’s fear and the rejection that once resided on it. His mouth latched onto Gu Hai’s member. It twitched and throbbed for a while and before long, he felt Gu Hai’s thighs trembled.

“It feels good……” Gu Hai didn’t even try to refrain himself from sprouting out all his feelings, “Baby……it feels really good.”

Bai Luo Yin only presented Gu Hai with three words, “You’re so slutty.”

Gu Hai paid back Bai Luo Yin with a series of excitements. First, his tongue kissed the two balls underneath, then he heartily sucked them. The loud sound of this action resounded in the room. Slowly, he made his way down, gnawing and licking all around that tight entranceway. When he felt Bai Luo Yin’s buttocks and even his entire legs trembled, his nasal flared up a bit. He couldn’t help but snort. 'Humph!’. A question conjured in his mind.

Who’s sluttier between the two of us?

Bai Luo Yin became aware, that often excitement doesn’t come directly from being touched, but rather from how they responded to each other.

Every time Gu Hai groaned, a wave of heat surged and rolled around in Bai Luo Yin’s mind, threatening to take over his entirety. He wished that, in this moment, right now, he could press Gu Hai beneath his body, messed him up. Teased and played with him until he shouted out in pleasure.

It’s not that Gu Hai didn’t think about 'that’.

For quite a while, his mouth greedily and eagerly hovered around that tightly sealed passageway. He watched as that passageway contracted. But once again, that painful past meticulously invaded his internal thoughts. He wanted to ignore all the negative impact brought about by that incident.

Let’s just talk about their bodily sensations. That absolutely pleasurable sensation, the thrill, the high of it all. He simply does not want to dare think about it……

……if he did reveled in those thoughts, he wished he could enter again and again.

Bai Luo Yin was the first to strike.

His finger poked again and again at Gu Hai’s tight passageway, which caused Gu Hai’s breath to tense.

“I remember someone still owes me one.”

Gu Hai awkwardly smiled, “There will be plenty of time for that.”

However, Bai Luo Yin had already rested his own body right on top of Gu Hai’s body. He brought his lips close to the side of Gu Hai’s ear, practically gluing it there. His hot breath tickled the nerve in that area.

And, in a soft tone he said, “It’s better to let things happen spontaneously, than to set a day for it.”

Gu Hai’s eyes fled in every direction before they ultimately landed on those white examination papers. His voice like a trapped beast, struggled. “Look, we still have a lot of homework left to do.”

Red flames trickled into Bai Luo Yin’s eyes as he savagely stared at the spot between Gu Hai’s legs. His eyes emitted a brilliant glimmer.

“I would rather be punished to stand still when we go back to school…….but today, I must take my revenge!”

Gu Hai’s back straightened out for a second. He thought of the five days that Bai Luo Yin spent lying on the bed all day. His heart suddenly lost all hope as he remained still, unable to budge.

Bai Luo Yin was a lot more merciful, showing more kindness than Gu Hai. He, at least, knew to apply some oil, wiping it gently at that tight passageway. He had even carefully messed around and fooled with that area for quite a while before he entered.

Then, he suddenly took in a long and deep breath. Even when he breathes, a pleasurable sensation caused him to shiver and tremble in ecstasy.

It’s so tight, so good……

Bai Luo Yin impatiently quickened his pace.

The room was filled with the sound of Gu Hai’s roaring and bawling voice. It was as if a pig was being slaughtered.

“Fuck……it really hurts……aren’t you being too fucking aggressive……?”

There was a complete lack of pity as Bai Luo Yin’s hand slapped Gu Hai’s ass for a little while.

“You better fucking calm down for a bit! You’re not even bleeding so what are you shouting for? That day I was in so much pain and became like that, I didn’t even shout and wail like you are now!”

Gu Hai continued to howl in grief. Being in pain was just one aspect of it, what’s more important was that he felt sick.

Think about it, Gu Hai, himself, could easily brawl with three men with no problem at all……yet now, he was pressed down beneath his own wife. If other people were to find out, how could he ever face people again huh?

Bai Luo Yin, however, had already been carried away by the pleasure, practically forgetting himself. Even to the point where he intermittently moaned in between his breaths. The hair on both side of his face, swayed rhythmically with each of his movements, allowing the beads of sweat that had gathered on his forehead to easily and confidently fly off in all directions. That handsome face became even more erotic…sexy and enticing than it normally was.

Never had Bai Luo Yin’s face been as striking and bright as right now. It was as if a strong and powerful vital force had been poured into his entire body, creating an unruly and high-spirited youth……Gu Hai twisted his head away, bit down on his teeth and endured it.

Even if he was in great pain, he endured it. Even if he was a bit annoyed, he endured it. As long as he thought of Bai Luo Yin’s excited expression, he felt that everything was worth it.

Finally, Bai Luo Yin moaned before a growl escaped his lips. A stream of burning hot fluid spurted on Gu Hai’s buttocks. With uneven breaths, that had yet to quieten down, he collapsed on the bed. Bai Luo Yin’s entire chest was red, faintly exposing the joy that he had just experienced.

A sinister air, indistinctly painted itself in Gu Hai’s dark eyes as he gazed for a moment at Bai Luo Yin. Finally, he let out a light cough, hinting at Bai Luo Yin to look at his body.

Originally, little Hai Zi was in a very high fighting spirit, but at this moment, it had withered, becoming listless.

Bai Luo Yin was rather embarrassed. Just a moment ago, he had only treated himself with pleasure that he had forgotten about that little guy. He wanted to stretch his hand out, however, Gu Hai stopped him, revealing only half of his face. And before long, the corner of his mouth exposed an evil smile.

“Now, we don’t owe each other anything right?”

Bai Luo Yin was able to immediately decipher the meaning behind Gu Hai’s words.

With confidence, he then rationally reminded Gu Hai, “The doctor said, it’s best not to let it happen a second time.”

Gu Hai was surprised, almost frightened, “When the doctor said that, weren’t you unconscious?”

“You’ve forgotten. Even when I sleep, I can still hear everything.”

Gu Hai, “………”

Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
After leaving the dormitory courtyard, Gu Hai took Bai Luo Yin on a tour around the nearby weapons and ammunition warehouse that stored the large caliber guns, tanks and heavy artilleries.

In that area, there were all kinds of anti-aircraft warfare*1, firepower as well as fighter aircrafts. Once they entered the weaponry deployment area, Gu Hai stood to the side and personally gave Bai Luo Yin a very detailed and thorough explanation of each weapon’s function and how superior it was to others. With all of these new information, Bai Luo Yin’s eyes has been opened to a new and different world that he had never been exposed to before.

    As the scorching sun reached it peaks, midday approached. Together, the two boys made their way towards the military grand dining hall and had their afternoon lunch there.

    Bai Luo Yin’s eyes feasted on the table full of various mouth watering delicacies. There were fish, meat, vegetables and even soup. With all these different kinds of food sitting in front of him, Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but let a few words escape his lips.

    “I’d always thought that meals in the army were rather poor and a bit simpler. I would have never expected it to be so grand.”

    “Well, that also depends on the situation. Some barracks are a bit better off than others, while some aren’t. These are just alright,” With that said, he picked up a piece of duck meat and placed it in Bai Luo Yin’s bowl, “Try it. What do you think? How is it compared to the food I make?”

    Bai Luo Yin took a bite. The smell was a bit strong but it wasn’t too greasy.

    He truthfully answered back, “It simply can’t be compared, definitely not on the same level as your cooking skill.”

    With a self-effacing and modest demeanor, a bright smile appeared on Gu Hai’s face. His lips inched closer and closer toward Bai Luo Yin until it was in close proximity to his ear.

    “Don’t say it so straightforward like that. The squad that cook these, their cooking skills aren’t that bad. If they heard what you’ve said, they’re going attack you with their ladles.”

    Bai Luo Yin almost spat out the food in his mouth. Just when Gu Hai had asked him that question, Bai Luo Yin, in all truth, had admired his courage, since only Gu Hai would be able to open his mouth and asked something like that. But, who would have thought, that this guy would unexpectedly put on such a smug and cocky expression right after. He had even actually thought, that Gu Hai was being considerate and proper for once.

    “Young master Gu, do you mind if I sit here and eat with you guys?”

    Bai Luo Yin’s eyelid lifted upward, catching sight of a young officer with a very handsome appearance.

    Gu Hai didn’t even bother to raise his head before he coldly replied, “I do mind.”

    The officer helplessly let out a smile, picked up his rice bowl, plates of food and made his way to another table. Several times, while he ate, he would turn and glance at them.

    Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but to finally ask Gu Hai, “Do you come to the army base often? Looks like a lot of people here recognize you.”

    “Not as often now. When I was a kid, I used to live within the military compound. So everyday I would interact with these soldiers.”

    “Then, do you plan on returning here afterwards?”

    No thoughts circulated in Gu Hai’s mind, he didn’t even want to think about it as he immediately said, “I will absolutely not enlist.”

    Just like everyone else that had asked him this, Bai Luo Yin was also astonished at this remark. Base on Gu Hai’s physical condition and family background, if he were to enlist, he would undoubtedly have an extremely promising future.

    “Why do you all think I will enlist? Is it because my dad is a general?”

    Bai Luo Yin thought about it for a second, pausing in between his thoughts, “It’s not entirely because of that. I thought since you grew up here, you would have a deep and profound emotional connection to this place.”

    “You’re wrong,” said Gu Hai as he momentarily placed his chopsticks down.

    Bai Luo Yin’s eyes were fixated on Gu Hai.

    “It’s because I lived here all my life and became overly acquainted with this place, that I am tired of this kind of environment. It makes me weary and numb. From the beginning, since my brain recognized what memories were, I’ve always been training with a group of army soldiers. The ground has always been hard, and the military weapons are forever cold. In my eyes, besides my mother’s hands, everything in this place is cold.”

    “I can understand,” Bai Luo Yin faintly replied.

    Gu Hai’s expression was calm, unperturbed, and his eyes like the browns of a beetle, smiled. “I’m different from other people. When other people learn something new and they become really good at it, they would go and do it over and over. I won’t constantly do the things I’m good at. I like challenges, risks, adventures, excitement and setbacks……. but, what I like even more, is you.”

    His expression was, for once, actually pretty normal when he started to say those words, but as soon as Gu Hai continued and the last few words were drawn out of his lips, a treacherous gleam of light suddenly reflected in his eyes.

    Bai Luo Yin let out a light but long sigh and with a melancholy expression painted hauntingly across his face, he continued to eat.

—-

    After they’ve consumed their lunch, the two arrived at the training site that was established solely for intensive drills. Here, they saw soldiers undergoing a rigorous training session.

    In the distance, on the site that was nearest to where Bai Luo Yin was, dozens of soldiers were crossing over the thirty-meter netted wires. They all ran back and forth several rounds until their actions couldn’t be counted any longer.

    It was here, that Bai Luo Yin sat down and watched the training session unfold before his very eyes. Just from this observation, he, himself could feel the tiredness, the exhaustion and the pain that probably ached, into the core of their bones.

    “Do they all train like that everyday?” Bai Luo Yin asked out of curiosity.

    Gu Hai placed his hand loosely on Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder before he leisurely said, “Those are just the most basic physical training. As far as they are concerned, that’s only warmup. The genuine training, is tens of time more brutal and attentive than that. “

    “I can feel your tragic and miserable childhood,” expressed Bai Luo Yin with great sympathy, delving deep into his words.

    Gu Hai laughed, “Actually, there’s really no deep feeling of being tired, what’s more important is how one suppress, endure and discipline themselves in this kind of environment.”

    “Did you also endure and discipline yourself in this way before?”

    Pride danced around Gu Hai’s countenance as he proudly said, “Yup, everyday I worked and rest with them. We never, not even once, missed a single task.”

    “I don’t see any results of it.”

    Gu Hai’s expression became blank for a second as he faced Bai Luo Yin, not quite understanding what he had just said. Bai Luo Yin’s presence continued to ensnare him, trapping his eyes in place as they beckoned and dared him to tear his sight away.

    “You’re here disciplining and enduring it everyday, why is it that your heart is still so weak?”

    The dark color of Gu Hai’s eyes deepened. He suddenly pushed Bai Luo Yin down on to the ground. But, even then, he made sure that his arm cushioned beneath Bai Luo Yin’s head, while the other hand forcefully grasped Bai Luo Yin’s throat.

    With love and hate swimming passionately within his gaze, he stared closely, intensely, with face merely inches away from Bai Luo Yin.

    “I’m weak because of who? Huh? Have you seen me anxious or miserable because of anyone else’s problems before? You little fucking bastard, you still dare to make fun of me!”

    “That’s because you were never capable to begin with.”

    “I’m not capable?” A demonic and iniquitous air swept across and settled harshly in Gu Hai’s eyes. His hands hovered above Bai Luo Yin’s body as if teasing it. And without a second of warning, they twitched, and attacked said boy’s body, tickling him here, there, and all over. Several times, Gu Hai’s hand, along with all of its ten digits would intentionally prod the lower half of Bai Luo Yin’s body. Making sure he ‘accidentally’ nudge said boy’s precious treasure.

    He persistently interrogated: “You said I’m not capable, how am I not capable?”

    Bai Luo Yin used all his strength to push Gu Hai away. He wanted so bad to shake off his scoundrel, to get rid of him, but, in the end, Gu Hai still relentlessly chased after him, unwilling to let him go nor loosen his grip.

    The two rolled around on the ground in circles several times until finally Bai Luo Yin’s couldn’t help but gasped for breath, allowing a low roar to sneak out from between his lips.

    “Stop messing around already. There’s people everywhere.”

    “Where are there people huh? How come I don’t see anyone?”

    Bai Luo Yin wanted to sit up, but Gu Hai refused to let him do so. Instead, he continued to pressed his entire weight on him.

    Their eyes met each other, face each other, there were no more than a mere centimeter separating them.

    Their breaths began to change, so much so, that even the taste of it was somewhat different. Gu Hai’s fingers that were at the back of Bai Luo Yin’s head, laced into his hair. And, not before long, those elongated fingers tussled about, caressing it, for a little while.

    Their gaze fell upon each other, taking in each other’s visage as a mutual understanding swelled up and burst within their mind, within their hearts.

    “I miss you.”

    In that moment, Bai Luo Yin’s expression became stagnate. Without him even realizing it, a rush of energy surged fiercely into the palm of his hand, causing him to suddenly push Gu Hai off of him. If he didn’t push him away now, something else might have occurred.

    He stood up and patted the dirt off his own body. Then, his arm stretched out toward Gu Hai who was still on the ground, and pulled him up.

    “Didn’t you say, today there’s a real combat practice? Take me to go see it.”

    Gu Hai’s faced returned to its stern and unflinching demeanor, “Okay, should we take the car or walk there?”

    “How far is it from here?”

    “About five kilometers.” {3.10 miles}

    Bai Luo Yin considered the distance for a second.

    Five kilometers, only five kilometers, it’s not ridiculously far.

    When Gu Hai caught sight of Bai Luo Yin’s relaxed expression, it made him want to deliberately make it difficult for him so he made a proposal.

    “It would be better if the two of us cross country*2 these five kilometers. Let me see what you are capable of.”

    Bai Luo Yin didn’t see the disdain expression that plastered itself in Gu Hai’s eyes. The will to fight and take on this battle ignited a flame within his heart.

Originally, he was a young lad that really enjoyed physical education. When he was in junior high school, he even received a ten thousand meters’ award for the amateur team.

Even though, his start off wasn’t extremely remarkable, but his endurance was rather strong. Generally, even if he doesn’t exercise or train himself, he would still be able to run smoothly for several kilometres. So, to him, five kilometres wasn’t even considered hard.

    With ease, they each carried on their backs a twenty-kilogram weighted backpack. The two, then, started their journey.

    At first, everything was still pretty relaxed as Bai Luo Yin displayed the quality of his good physical health. While he ran, he would also chat with Gu Hai.

But suddenly, after they ran for about two kilometres, he discovered that something didn’t feel right. It was then, that he finally came to fully understand the hidden meaning behind the saying, ‘carrying a burden on one’s shoulder.’

It had become a bit harder for his back to straighten out already, and moreover, cross country running in an uneven terrain made his slow pace quite appearance.

At the very start, the path was smoother, more leveled. But afterwards, bumps that rose up and down became wider and larger. He kept on making his way up the slanted downhill. But, what’s worse was that, his path was greeted with more and more gravels, that persistently dug into the sole of his foot, causing pain to gather intensely in the same spot, every time he advanced.

    Sensing that Bai Luo Yin’s speed had begun to slow down, Gu Hai turned his head around. A rather cheerful expression smothered his face as he teased and ridicule the boy behind him.

    “What? Tired huh?”

    Once he heard Gu Hai’s tone of voice, Bai Luo Yin looked as if there was completely nothing wrong with him.

    Bai Luo Yin bit his tongue down, clenched his teeth and continued to persevere.

    In the blink of an eyes, four kilometres had already passed by. Bai Luo Yin felt as though both of his legs were filled to the brim with lead that were eager to pull him down. And his body teetered on the verge of collapsing. Every step he took was extremely difficult to bare. It became a challenge after all.

Up ahead was a tremendously huge slope. Bai Luo Yin’s back was nearly pulled downward by the silent, yet powerful force of gravity, which would have caused him to descend, if he were not careful.

With much difficulty, Bai Luo Yin climbed and finally made it up the slope. He wiped the bead of sweats that formed restlessly on his forehead. He peered down, and his sight was met with Gu Hai’s, who stood at the bottom of the slope, staring intently yet softly at him. A relaxed and gentle smile adorned the outer lining of his lips.

Frustration and anger streamed into Bai Luo Yin’s mind and even his heart was affected by it. He angrily flung the weighted backpack on the ground. He looked down and at first, with small steps, he trotted down. But in mere seconds, he quickened his pace and vigorously charged downhill.

At last, in less than a second, he scurried toward Gu Hai and clamped himself onto his back.

With eighty-nine kilograms*3 of weight hung heavily on his body, Gu Hai was still able to stand rather straight.

Bai Luo Yin saw the weighted backpack on Gu Hai’s back as a hindrance that was pretty much in his way. So, with much resentment toward that backpack, he immediately tore it off and flung it on ground.

He, himself, then leaned onto Gu Hai’s back, gasping heavily for air.

Actually, he even thought that if clenched his teeth together hard enough, he could endure another half a kilometre. By then, he reckoned they would be near the end, but when he saw how Gu Hai ran with such ease, a hateful admiration and jealousy materialized in Bai Luo Yin’s heart! He might as well hang onto this body and not get off at all.

Isn’t your physical strength extremely strong? Then, you can just carry me and continue to charge forward. I want to see if you’ll get tired or not!

In fact, Bai Luo Yin was entirely mistaken. Since the moment, he rushed forth, and his chest made contact with Gu Hai’s back, Gu Hai already doesn’t know what being tired meant.

Happiness was infused into his heart, his being and everything else that surrounded him.

Bai Luo Yin never had this kind of feeling before. That is, having someone carried him, while running all over the mountains and plains, with the cold wind whistling beside his ears, and beads of sweat, the size of soybean, lingering beneath his eyes.

The sounds of Gu Hai’s breathe flowed through his thick and wide back and dispersed throughout Bai Luo Yin’s chest before it travelled deeper into the pit of his stomach.

With each sound that each breath created, electricity sparked and shook about.

It was only when they arrived at their destination, did Gu Hai finally put Bai Luo Yin down. The two laid down on the bare ground and stared upward, eyes obsessed with the scene above them.

The space above their heads, closest to the heavens, was the most beautiful brilliance of blue.

A few fighter aircrafts rumbled in the empty sky and flew passed their sight.

    “Tired?” asked Gu Hai, as his hand stretched out and pinched Bai Luo Yin’s cheeks for a while.

    Bai Luo Yin seized Gu Hai’s hand, gently placed it beside his leg and held it tightly within his own hand. Afterwards, he honestly nodded his head.

    When he ran, he was tired.

    When Gu Hai carried him on his back and ran, he was also tired.

    From when they started until now, there weren’t any breaks at all.

    “Later, if you’re disobedient and don’t listen, I’ll punish you in this way. I’ll make you run cross country for five kilometres until you admit your own mistakes.”

    Bai Luo Yin shot Gu Hai a death glare, eyes fully of tiredness and resentment.

    Gu Hai laughed; doting eyes, drowned in love and adoration, followed Bai Luo Yin’s handsome face.

    “I’m just teasing you. When have I willingly punish you huh?”

    Bai Luo Yin slowly and leisurely took in a long breath. The countryside air was, undoubtedly, fresh and clean.

[info title="Translator's clarification" icon="info-circle"]*1 Anti-aircraft warfare – or otherwise known as counter-air defense, is de defined by NATO (The North American Treaty Organization) as “all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action.” They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures It may be used to protect naval, ground, and air forces in any location.

*2 cross country - is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. Sometimes the runners are referred to as harriers. The course, typically 4–12 kilometres (2.5–7.5 mi) long, may include surfaces of grass, and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road.

*3 eighty-nine kilograms – let’s do some math ^.^ Bai Luo Yin is only a mere 69kg. Why? Because, Gu Hai already had 20kgs of weight on him, so altogether Gu Hai is now weighted down by 89kg of weight which is about 196lbs. D: Goodness, I would be crushed but not GU HAI XD[/info]

Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
As the sun goes down, night dropped in the room like a heavy curtain, hiding everything. The darkness that swept over this confined space swallowed every object in sight as it took control. The absence of light was so complete that, not even, the shadows survived.

And, in the darkness of this remarkable night, restlessness, lived on and squirmed it unwanted hands on Bai Luo Yin’s tense frame. Uneasiness wrapped itself securely around his seemingly broken body as he continued to tossed and turned about on the bed. Several times, his movements were so wide that it pulled Gu Hai’s right out of sleep.

With weary eyes, Gu Hai tentatively called out to Bai Luo Yin. But in the end, no matter how many times his lips sounded of those three syllables, only silence greeted him back. No sooner did he discovered that Bai Luo Yin had not awoken. Gu Hai tugged at the quilt that sheathed their two bodies in warmth, dragged it toward their shoulders and gently placed Bai Luo Yin’s exposed arm back into the quilt.

A moment later, not only did Bai Luo Yin suddenly moved again, but his eyes also shot open.

“Why aren’t you sleeping?” asked Gu Hai.

Bai Luo Yin was in a complete daze. Those earthen eyes were streaked with obscurities as his hands explored and ferreted around beneath the quilt. As if afflicted by some mystery force, it searched, hunted for something.

Sleepwalking? *1

Gu Hai thought that it was a bit humorous. His hand slithered and gently alighted on Bai Luo Yin’s head before softly caressed his hair.

A slight sense of panic and anxiousness penetrated into Bai Luo Yin’s eyes. They widened, much more than usual, so that, whoever gazed upon it, would undoubtedly be scared out of their skin.

Not soon afterwards, his once downcast head, lifted. As if spelled bound, several strands of hair flurried in the air, dancing wildly in the silence of the night before they plastered themselves on his forehead.

“Baby, what are you looking for huh?”

Gu Hai pressed lightly down on Bai Luo Yin again.

As Bai Luo Yin closed his eyes, his brows furrowed together. Those lines between his brows paralleled each other and this perpetual opposition at length created a visible inquietude, and excited a degree of impatient that induced them to separate. Induce him to wear upon his striking stature, a dazed expression.

He mumbled a few incoherent words beneath his breath, that Gu Hai couldn’t particularly descry.

Within seconds, his hands began to sought out, hunt again in anguish, beneath the quilt. Several times, his hands struck rather harshly at Gu Hai’s belly.

What’s wrong with this boy today?

Bewilderment slowly eased its way into Gu Hai’s slightly tightened chest as he felt around for Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder. As if it was second nature to him, he allowed his hand to tenderly pat down said boy’s shoulder, lightly, softly, lovingly. He prolonged this adoring movements until he felt that Bai Luo Yin, himself, had gradually calm down, even if it was just a bit.

After Gu Hai patted his shoulder a few more times, sensing that Bai Luo Yin’s breathing had slowly become a bit more even and followed in the same rhythm as his own breath, he placed his own arm back into the quilt.

But, unexpectedly, and to his own surprise, Bai Luo Yin’s hand latched firmly onto his hand, as if unwilling to let it go, even in his seemingly unconscious state.

After a while, Gu Hai faced Bai Luo Yin. His eyes fluttered in the darkened room and drew in every feature that made him, Bai Luo Yin, who he was. His voice softened, almost a faint whispered, “Yin Zi, I’m right here.”

And in that very moment, as if a promise was made, Bai Luo Yin’s body suddenly loosened. Relaxation crawled onto the tip of his toe, made its’ way pass his belly, and strutted slowly, yet surely, onto his fingertips. It was barely perceptible, as he voiced with a ‘yes,’. It was vague but it resounded in this, otherwise, quiet space. And, it was in this way that his movements ceased.

But then, it was Gu Hai, who felt a faint throbbing in his chest. As if there were invisible strings pulling at his heart, it tightened exponentially and lingered in that state for the longest of time.

He, undoubtedly, needed you so much…cared about you so much…

Why didn’t you feel it sooner….at an even earlier time?

If you’ve given him a bit more patience and trust, how could that course of event, that kind of pain……. that kind of suffering, happened, between the two of you?

Gu Hai continued to harshly criticize himself.

Fortunately……luckily, he realized it now. It is not too late. They still had a long road ahead of them, one that they can walk together through. He can still love him, for a long time, for a really long time…. love him, even more than ever……

Gu Hai placed his hand against Bai Luo Yin’s warm cheeks, his fingers softly felt the smooth skin beneath, caressing it. His eyes focused devotedly, as he obsessively stared at Bai Luo Yin. He was infatuated, moonstruck, as if bewitched by some sort of magical incantation…….no matter how much or how many times he looked, he stared, it was never enough. He looked until his eyelids became heavy with sleep, until he could no longer delay drowsiness from infiltrating his mind.  

——

This slumber lasted into the afternoon of the next day. It’s been a long time since either of them had a good night rest. For today, they can finally seize this great opportunity, so what else were needed to be done besides sleeping?

Gu Hai woke up first. After he had fully awakened, he took a closer glance at the alarm and placed it back down.

Still in a daze, Bai Luo Yin faced Gu Hai and asked him, “What time is it?”

“It’s still quite early. Just turned four o’clock.”

Gu Hai’s arm snaked its way into Bai Luo Yin’s armpit, grasped his back, and pulled him to toward his own body.

Bai Luo Yin’s drowsy eyes squinted as he turned and glimpsed outside before he muttered, “How can it only be four o’clock, isn’t it a bit light outside already?”

“Maybe it snowed.”

Once he heard the word, “snow,” Bai Luo Yin’s sleepiness immediately increased by tenfold. When it snows, that’s the best time to be sleeping. With that thought swimming around in his brain, his head fell back down onto the soft pillow, and he proceeded to sleep some more!

Around six o’clock, Gu Hai glanced outside again. The sky was still dark! Why does it feel like we’ve slept longer than an entire night? Fuck, slept so long my stomach is crying out in hunger.

Reluctant to give up the warmth of the quilt, Gu Hai, once again fell into a deep sleep.

Finally, Bai Luo Yin was awoken by the need to urinate, and having no other choice, he unwillingly pulled himself out of the quilt. He sauntered lazily toward the bathroom. By the time he passed by the window again, the night sky was remained pitch blacks as it was before.

Bai Luo Yin remembered clearly that when he went to sleep, it was only a little past one o’clock. He even remembered that he dreamt several times afterwards, so why hasn’t the sky brighten up yet? He weaseled his way back into the warm quilt, picked up the alarm and peered down on it. It was already half past eight. According to basic reasoning, the sun should have already risen. Even if it was a cloudy day, it’s not likely to be completely dark like this, right?

An ominous premonition suddenly danced its way into Bai Luo Yin’s head as he picked up the cell and glanced down at it.

“20:26” (8:26PM)

Nighttime had already descended upon them again; the first round of sleep had already swiftly passed by. His eyes peered down at the pig lying beside him, completely unconscious, and unaware of even the slightest sound. This person slept more soundly and even deeper than he, himself, was. Bai Luo Yin’s head fell back onto the pillow. He clenched his teeth, as the back of his foot hit the soft bed.

Forget it, just bare with it a bit longer.

If he remained awake at this moment, he won’t be able to fall back asleep later. He might as well, heartlessly, without any worry at all, sleep until tomorrow morning. He must absolutely not disrupt his own biological clock work.

In the end, it was Gu Hai who couldn’t bare it any longer. In the middle of the night, he crawled out of bed. And, just like a thief cloaked by darkness, he felt his way into the kitchen. He opened the refrigerator as his eyes rummaged through it, searching for some sort of substance, but there was nothing. In desperation, he overturned everything in there and thoroughly searched with keen eyes. Finally, he found two package of noodles. He proceeded to cook it, add some seasonings and topped it off with some thinly sliced pickled mustard tuber. Within seconds, he shoved the noodles into his mouth, devouring it like a hunger stricken animal.

Humans, once they’ve been deprived of food for a period of time and become extremely hungry, anything and everything becomes the world’s most delicious dish.

When Bai Luo Yin made his way into the kitchen, Gu Hai was in the middle ravenously devouring the food in front of him. Gu Hai placed the last chopstick full of noodles into his mouth and slurped. He was just about to pick the bowl up and drink the soup, when he then saw Bai Luo Yin’s frame, at the doorway of the kitchen.

Bai Luo Yin waited anxiously, a type of need scrupulously drawn in his eyes, as he stared straight at Gu Hai, “Give me a bowl.”

Gu Hai’s Adam’s apple bobbed around for a few seconds. After what seemed like the longest time, he replied back, “There’s nothing left.”

Bai Luo Yin choked on his own spit, tears seemingly welled up in his eyes as a painful expression wormed its’ way onto his face.

A rather awkward smile groveled at the corner of Gu Hai’s lips, “I thought that I was the only one that was starving in the middle of the night and couldn’t sleep. Probably because for the last few days, I didn’t eat anything so today my appetite suddenly came rushing back. Eating half the sticky rice dumpling didn’t really do anything for me. I…….if I’d know that you weren’t full either, I would have kept a bowl for you. The sky is about to lighten any time now. You……just endured it for a bit longer.”

Motherfucker, I’ve fucking endured it all day already.

Clearly wounded, Bai Luo Yin’s head hung low and with a disheartened stature, he returned to the bedroom.

In the end, feeling rather guilty, Gu Hai put some clothes on and drove down several streets in the depth of the night. He searched until he eventually found a twenty-four-hour restaurant. He bought some take outs and hurried his way back to Bai Luo Yin.

—-

Early the next morning, or to say it more precisely, early on the morning of the third day, Gu Hai took Bai Luo Yin along with him to the army base. After sleeping for more than twenty hours, their energy has been revitalized. So much so that they both felt exceptionally animated. If they were to put on those military uniforms, and stood in procession with the troop, they would definitely not look inferior to any of those other soldiers.

Bai Luo Yin followed Gu Hai to the military area where the dormitories were situated. On their way there, they bumped into several military veterans who all greeted Gu Hai.

One particular person intentionally came to a halt, looked at Bai Luo Yin several times and asked Gu Hai: “Who’s this?”

Gu Hai kicked that person’s calf, and with a stern voice, he shouted at him to clear the way.

    “Why do you care who he is huh? Go do whatever it is you have to!”

That particular person’s eyes widened as he breathed cold air into his circulatory system. He even stole another glance at Bai Luo Yin as he lowered his head and took his leave.

Bai Luo Yin could see the strength in Gu Hai’s arrogant and despotic demeanor. He even thought that Gu Hai was intentionally displaying his own fearsomeness and reverence, in front of him. He couldn’t help but to tease, to ridicule him.

“You’re truly fit to be the general’s son!”

“No, that’s not it, didn’t you notice the expression in his eyes when he looked at you?” said Gu Hai calmly.

Bai Luo Yin didn’t pay any attention whatsoever.

Gu Hai’s hand slightly stretched out and pushed Bai Luo Yin’s head a few seconds and with the utmost meaningful and heartfelt words, he said, “Stupid boy, be a bit smarter okay. Men can change after they enter the army. Out of ten guys, there will always be one that are ‘like that’.”

“I see! No wonder, before, you always stayed here all that time!”

Gu Hai didn’t hear the hidden meaning behind Bai Luo Yin’s words. And he even snorted to himself, “It’s because you made me mad.”

“I made you mad, so you ran here to find that one out of ten probability?”*2

“You fucking……” Gu Hai suddenly looked at Bai Luo Yin’s rear end and kicked it, “Besides you, I’m not even the least attracted toward any other guy.”

As the two of them bickered about, unknowingly, they finally arrived at the room that Gu Hai had previously resided.

“Come in.”

After he went in, Bai Luo Yin’s eyes swept throughout the inner surroundings of the room. He was a bit astonished, everything inside was quite neat and clean; not even a piece of crumb was on the floor. The quilt was folded neatly into a rectangular shape and the bed sheet was pulled tightly alongside the bed frame, that not even a crease could be seen.

Seeing such neatness, made him thought back to the bed in their apartment. Then, he thought back to his own family’s environment. His heart couldn’t’ help but sigh a bit.

Does this soldier style of work depend on the situation?

Gu Hai could see through Bai Luo Yin’s innermost thoughts, so he especially gave said boy a concrete explanation, “A quite diligent guard cleaned it up.”

Bai Luo Yin thoughtfully nodded his head, an idea conjured in his mind, “How about you invite him to our house too?”

“You dare!”

Gu Hai picked up a gun and point it at Bai Luo Yin’s temple. But, because he didn’t know whether or not there were bullet in there, Gu Hai’s handled the cool weapon with extreme care, afraid that it might go off.

Bai Luo Yin took the gun, laid in flat in his own hand and began to fiddle with it for a short period of time. This was the first time, in his life, that he had ever felt a real genuine gun. It was hard to avoid the excitement and the thrill that came with holding such a powerful object. He lifted it up, aimed it towards the window, and pulled the trigger.

Only the sound of a BANG! echoed in the room.

Spider web cracks suddenly appeared on the surface of the glass.

At that moment, Gu Hai was in the middle of packing up his belongings and, the second he heard the sound go off, fear quickly slithered its way onto his face.

There were actually bullets in there huh?

Fortunately, Bai Luo Yin didn’t use him as a shooting target. That shot……was quite unexpected.

Bai Luo Yin placed the muzzle of the gun towards himself and examined the inner details of it. This action frightened Gu Hai causing his heart to skip a beat. He hurriedly pulled out the ammunition case, before he turned to face Bai Luo Yin.

“Firstly, don’t play with it anymore. Later, I’ll get you an even better gun. “

“I don’t want it.” Bai Luo Yin patted down on his own legs and stood up. His eyes glanced around the room at the various items that remained still and silent.

“Why don’t you want it?” asked Gu Hai.

Bai Luo Yin’s puckered his lips and laughed as amusement beautifully kissed his cheeks, “I’m afraid, one day when I can’t bare it any longer, I’ll shoot you.”

[info title="Translator's clarification" icon="info-circle"]*1 Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism or noctambulism, is a sleep disorder belonging to the parasomnia family.Sleepwalking occurs during incomplete arousal in NREM sleep, predominantly during slow wave sleep (SWS). It typically occurs in the first third of the night when there is the greatest preponderance of SWS.

Sleepwalking can include simple behaviours, such as sitting up in bed and appearing awake while remaining asleep, walking around the bedroom, and more dangerous activities such as leaving the house, falling out of windows, and attacking others.

*2 Bai Luo Yin meant that, Gu Hai ran back to the army base to find that one out of ten guy that ‘like another guy.’[/info]

Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
After they cleaned and tidied up the mess in the room, they enjoyed the sticky rice balls with its’ sweet soup, took a shower, and laid their tired bodies on the bed. By that time, it was already past midnight.

Unable to control the apprehensive emotions that ruptured in that pulsating muscle of his, Gu Hai let his voice sound of softly in the silence of the room.

“Another year past, time really flew by quickly.”

Bai Luo Yin simply laid beside him, his two elongated arm wrapped securely onto the pillow in front of him as he rested his chin comfortably on top of it. Those earthen eyes slightly narrowed in amusement, seemingly enjoying the tranquility that quietness brought with it.

There’s only two people in the room, their eyes only held each others visages, their ears only took in the sound of the other person’s voice, whatever else that happened in the world outside, had nothing to do with the space that they are confined in. Right here…right now.

………

Gu Hai placed his hand on Bai Luo Yin’s neck, feeling the vein beneath his palm throbbing vigorously. A nameless serenity streamed into his heart, fortifying itself there.

Like a drug addict, who had strenuously endured the pain of withdrawal for countless days, and finally being able to have that addiction surge inside those blood conveying veins, was pure bliss. The effect of the drug would quickly disperse throughout his body and even the crevices under his bones were elated.

Bai Luo Yin narrowed his eyes, swept over, glancing at Gu Hai up and down.

He was still the same person, a little thinner, with some seriously stubborn stubbly encircling his chin. The contour of the side of his face was even more distinct than usual.

“You should shave.”

Gu Hai crude and unrefined fingers touched the lower half of his own face; the existence of those prickling stubbles now obvious to even himself. It seems, a long time had passed by since he last shaved. He had long forgotten the date, and even worse, he couldn’t even recall the last time he had washed his face.

“Having a little bit of beard gives off an even more manly demeanor.” Gu Hai lazily consoled himself with this shameless excuse.

Bai Luo Yin snorted for a second before he couldn’t help but let laughter follow afterward.

“Perhaps on other people, it would make them look a bit more handsome. For you…forget about it. You just look old.”

An air of displeasure swept across Gu Hai’s eyes, “Why do you always say I look old? Where have I grown old?”

“Everywhere.”

Gu Hai teeth clashed roughly against each other as he gritted them tightly. He pondered and contemplated in agony of a particular flaw that Bai Luo Yin’s body possessed so that he could counterattack said boy with. But, in the end, he discovered that every part, every inch was visually attractive. It was indeed, eye candy for him every time his sight fell upon it.

There was absolutely no flaw…not even one, that he could pinpoint.

Bai Luo Yin got off the bed, faced the bathroom and walked in. In less than a minute, he reappeared with a towel hanging loosely on his arm.

“Lay over there,” commanded Bai Luo Yin, pointing toward the two people sofa near the front door.

Gu Hai slowly straighten his body, “For what?”

Bai Luo Yin mischievously swayed the shaver in his hand, left and right…left and right. It was quite clear what his intentions were.

Lights reflected in Gu Hai’s dark pupils, causing it to wavered for a second. It was as if he had reached some sort of epiphany. One that caused a smile to plastered itself on his face. And his cheeks stuck out, just like the stubbles that adorned his chin.

Before, it was Gu Hai who washed Bai Luo Yin’s foot, shaved Bai Luo Yin’s beard…how is it that now, Gu Hai, himself gets to enjoy this kind of treatment!

Bai Luo Yin, himself, willingly returning to his side, had already made Gu Hai faced the heavens, lower his knees and bow, as he banged his head five hundred times against the cold hard ground. If Bai Luo Yin was even a bit good to him, that would have been enough for him. But, to be able to taste such bliss was more than his heart had asked for, had begged for. Not to mention any other divine euphoria.

When Bai Luo Yin caught sight of young master Gu’s mouth stretching out from ear to ear, grinning, he knew that this despicable guy was probably indulging in his own delusional fantasy. At first, he just wanted to use the towel to moisten Gu Hai’s face as to prevent his wild fantasy from being even more insatiable. But now, perhaps, it would be better if he let him wipe his own face.

With those thoughts, he flung the towel on Gu Hai’s face, and went to the bathroom once again to grab the shaving cream. Bai Luo Yin flipped the bottle of shaving cream over and squeezed some onto his hand. He spread the cool cream evenly on the lower half of Gu Hai’s face and waited until the beard soften under the magical control of the cream.

Gu Hai leaned back against the softness of the sofa. Intense eyes, the exact shade and dimension as a handful of freshly turned soil, cracked open. They seemed to scintillate fire, so beautiful and soft as he looked closely at the visage hovering in great propinquity to his own. His vision was clouded by Bai Luo Yin, and his brain took everything in, imprinting every detail into his memory.

At first, the distance between them seemed pretty far, but as Bai Luo Yin held the shaver with steadied hand and began to move against the surface, his face inched closer and closer. So much so, that Gu Hai can feel the heat permeating from Bai Luo Yin’s lips as it floated against the surface of his own chin that had been shaven bright and cleanly. Bai Luo Yin’s expression was not only cloaked with seriousness, but cautiousness as well, as he continued to let the shaver kiss away those invasive stubbles.

Apparently, it was the first time that he allowed himself to shave someone else beard. So, as to avoid any accidental injury, he took great care in his process.

Gu Hai’s hands inch by inch, slowly but surely, stretched out and levitated closely to Bai Luo Yin’s cheeks.

Bai Luo Yin swiftly avoided those hands, “Don’t move around.”

Gu Hai’s hand lingered stiffly in the air and remained there for a long while. Only until Bai Luo Yin’s movement ceased, did Gu Hai’s hands suddenly hook onto the back his head, pressing the boy’s cheek against his own cheek.

The faint musky smell of the shaving cream intermingled with their breaths, as they drew closer to each other. Bai Luo Yin felt intoxicated, his consciousness became somewhat blurry, as if beckoning him to give up and cave. But, it was just that, with his body bent over in such an awkward position, it made him feel extremely uncomfortable. Hence, he struggled free of Gu Hai’s strong grip.

“You have to wipe it clean after it’s shaven, otherwise it’ll be uncomfortable,” said Bai Luo Yin.

A blazing red flame flashed across Gu Hai’s eyes and in a low and seemingly husky tone, his lips breathe life into the words that strung out.

“There’s no need to, I can’t wait any longer.”

With those words said, Gu Hai suddenly exerted all his energy, hook his arm around Bai Luo Yin’s waist and pulled him toward his own body. He then, intentionally knocked his feet against Bai Luo Yin’s feet. Caught off guard, Bai Luo Yin lost his balance, stumbled and fell forward. Gu Hai allowed Bai Luo Yin’s body to crash heavily on top of his own. He didn’t give Bai Luo Yin any time to respond or even the slightest chance to retaliate as he simply clasped said boy’s face within his warm hands and……kissed him.

Once their lips touched, sparks of electricity erupted and a beautiful dance ensued within the boundary of that tightly seal space. In that moment, their breaths became eager, impatience delved deeper and deeper into their anxious lips.

At first, it was Gu Hai, whose lips latched securely onto Bai Luo Yin’s thin lips, tasting, teasing, and nibbling, unwilling to release it from within his own hunger stricken mouth. But afterwards, Bai Luo Yin’s tongue snaked out, seized Gu Hai’s tongue with his own and pulled it into his ardently awaiting cavity. Gu Hai’s heart stopped, the mere contact of their tongues, sent shivers through his nerves, shivers that made his whole body tremble in ecstasy.

Like two famished kids that haven’t consumed anything for several days, the moment they saw their mother’s breast, they would gnaw at it as if their life depended on it. They would continue to nibble and bite, locking inseparably on those precious teats until those areolar glands produce the liquid needed to sustain life, as it continued to mixed and melt together with their saliva.

That is when the taste of remembering, of missing and……of longing to see what’s precious again, has reached its’ pinnacle.

Deepening the kiss, they reveled in each other taste as their tongues intertwined and wrestled about. The need to know and explore each other was an assurance……an assurance that they existed in this time and space, together.

For the longest time, their hands searched for each other in agony, and it was only when they firmly grasped each other, did their search ended.

Separation, is a painful and……….an excruciatingly torturous, yet trivial matter. But, never having felt separation, you will never experience the deep feeling of love that you have for someone.

As it turns out, I miss you……I long to see you.

In every lonely night.

Under every cold blanket.

Only then, did I realized, how much……I needed you.

Bai Luo Yin gradually brought his own actions to a halt. Slowly and deliberately, yet somewhat reluctant, he shifted his face away from Gu Hai’s. He then, nestled his own disoriented head into the crevice of Gu Hai’s anticipating shoulder. His lungs cried out in need and beckoned him to allow air in, so slowly and unhurriedly, he breathe, somewhat panting. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and……. then, his eyes open in realization as it gazed straight in the direction of Gu Hai’s bouncing Adam’s apple.

Gu Hai tilted his head slightly to the side, feigning anger as he peered down at Bai Luo Yin, whose brows had somehow managed to knit together, creating those lines that laid ignorantly between them. The tone of his voice was infused with the complaint of a person who was about to face death.

“This entire month, you’ve almost tortured me to death!”

At long last, it was today, that Bai Luo Yin finally came to understand and gain more knowledge on what the idiom, ‘the villain sues his victim before he himself is prosecuted,’ meant.

His soft and tender face, which was normally a seldom sight to come by, immediately tightened in dismay, frustration clearly evident along the lines of his statuesque countenance.

“You fucking have the nerve to say it’s me? Who’s to fucking blame for this?”

Gu Hai thought about it……the cause from the past that affected the events of today and possibly the future. But even then, he could not find anything that would put him at an advantage.

Ultimately, he had no choice but to admit, “Blame me.”

Bai Luo Yin coldly grunted, humph! Before his hand curled into a fist and ruthlessly smashed into the pit of Gu Hai’s stomach for a while.

Gu Hai took the chance, seized Bai Luo Yin’s hands and secured it with his own. He then pulled said boy’s hand close to his quivering lips and gently kissed it. Even then, his heart was still a bit unstable as it continuously throbbed within the cavity of his tight chest.

“Even if I’m to blame, you also shouldn’t have been so cruel and heartless, right? You adamantly said you wouldn’t see me anymore and you really didn’t……and you said you’ll walk on the streets with other people and you really did. We’ve been apart for such a long time, isn’t it even a bit unbearable, a bit painful for you as well?”

Bai Luo Yin pulled his hand back and sat upright, “Even if I am in pain or can’t bare it, I still won’t let you see it!”

Gu Hai sat up, both of his arms encircled Bai Luo Yin’s frame from behind. Hugging him with great care as his chest rested devotedly against it. His chin snuggled their way atop Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder, remaining comfortably there.

And, with great interest, he asked, “In what ways did you suffer? Tell me about it.”

“What is there to say about this?” Bai Luo Yin became annoyed, somewhat angry.

Gu Hai’s seductive lips slowly caressed the nape of Bai Luo Yin’s neck, before he softly stated, “I want to hear it.”

His sultry voice and the heat that secreted from within his lips, made the hair on Bai Luo Yin’s neck stand on end.

“You know, you’re an especially despicable person. You always take pleasure in other people’s pain and suffering.” Bai Luo Yin also recalled Gu Hai’s previous statement, “You even said I’m cruel and heartless, am I more heartless than you? You got two soldiers to beat up relentlessly. So tell me, how much have I suffered? If it happened to you, how would you feel?”

Just because of a misunderstanding, the person who usually showed the most consideration and took the best care of you, actually hits you when he said he would……. every single time Bai Luo Yin thought of this matter, a fit of rage would consume his mind for while.

Gu Hai immediately straightened up his body, his gazed locked with Bai Luo Yin’s. As a sense of urgency ravished the expression in his eyes.

“I have to explain this matter to you. That’s right, I did order those two young soldiers over, but I absolutely did not instruct them to attack you. They misinterpreted my intentions and thought that the person I like was Shi Hui. So. when they saw the two of you being intimate, they just……”

Bai Luo Yin felt as if two persimmons had smashed right on to his skull. His heart felt someone disgusted. What do you call this? It just like being arrested, for no reason at all while strolling the streets, then dragged to the police station, then locked up. Before you know know it, you’re being beaten up for an entire day and night, only to be told early the next morning, that they caught the wrong person………

Bai Luo Yin’s face darkened as he got up and off the bed. He silently walked back toward his own bed.

Gu Hai’s heart also became tormented.

“I know I’m an asshole because of that. Later on, every time I thought about it, I also felt especially tormented, but at that time, for the sake of venting my own selfish anger, I gritted my teeth and refrained myself from going to see you. Tomorrow, I’m going back to the army base. There’s still some things that I have to bring back. Come with me, I’ll retrieve those two young soldiers, you can punish them however you like. What do you think?”

Bai Luo Yin shot a deathly glance at Gu Hai, “You’re the person that should be punished the most!”

Gu Hai laid back down on the bed and sprawled. His four, long and lanky limbs stuck out in all directions. He glanced over, eyes engrossed in and obsessed with Bai Luo Yin’s prepossessing appearance.

“Come, you can punish me however you want.”

Bai Luo Yin did not pay any attention to him. He simply squeezed himself into the blanket.

Gu Hai used his leg to nudge Bai Luo Yin, “I gave you such a good opportunity and you choose not to cherish it.”

Bai Luo Yin’s indolent voice transmitted from within the blanket, “Forget about it, just let the past remain in the past. I was also wrong. We don’t need to blame each other. Let’s see what your actions are like later on.”

Imitating Bai Luo Yin’s action, Gu Hai also squeezed himself into the blanket. He then placed his hand over Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder.

The sound of Bai Luo Yin’s voice thundered in the room when he gave said boy a warning, “Sleep.”

“I wasn’t thinking of doing anything else!”

While Gu Hai said this, he grabbed onto Bai Luo Yin’s entire body and turned him over, so that his face was facing his own. His hands snaked around Bai Luo Yin’s waist as he affectionately hugged him. Perfectly contented, he closed his eyes.

It’s been longer than a month…

….and this, was the first peaceful night of sleep for both of them.

Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
It was almost the middle of the month, and the streets once enclosed with peacefulness, at long last, began to bustle with noise and excitement. Once the sun rose, early in the morning, Bai Luo Yin and Yang Meng rushed toward the main street’s entranceway, which had been completely decorated with the traditional features of ocean decorations and Chinese lanterns. As they promenaded around, their eyes absorbed the lively sceneries. They encountered various performances from traditional Chinese opera, magic shows, acrobatics to……even the distinguishable characteristics of old Beijing’s vendors, loudly broadcasting and advertising their products.

When the blazing sun soared into its’ brightest peak and basked the entire street with it brilliant, they joined the horde of people, happily watching and applauding the lion and dragon dance show as it paraded down the street in all its’ magnificence.

Their eyes were dazzled by an endless array of mouth watering delicacies that laid out in front of them, tickling the five senses that entangled their taste buds. This exhibition was indeed a feast for their hungry eyes. It was just like that, that Bai Luo Yin and Yang Meng could no longer let their stomach suffered in such agony. So, as to cure their hunger, they strolled through the street and tried as many things as possible until their stomach hit its’ capacity and satisfaction settled in.

“Hey, those lanterns over there with the riddles on them, if answered correctly, there’s a prize,” proclaimed Yang Meng in excitement.

Bai Luo Yin followed behind Yang Meng to have a closer look at the riddles.

Before him was a large plaque with a red paper attached at the top. Several string of riddles were written boldly on each sheet of red lantern paper; the powerful strokes that permeated with each characters were visibility delightful.

The rule on the plaque read:

All those who guess correctly, will receive a sticky rice ball in sweet soup or sticky rice dumpling. The more you guess correctly the more you receive but one wrong guess, and it will game over. No second chance.

When it was Bai Luo Yin’s turn, he answered the first two riddles with much ease. Yang Meng, who stood to the side, was given the responsible of holding onto the prizes. Once those precious prizes were within his grasp, no one could pry it out of his hands. But toward the end, there were so many prizes nestled against his chest and in both of his hand that he could barely hold on to them.

Embarrassment wormed its’ way on to the stall owner’s pallid face. If this continued, in less than five minutes, all the riddled on the plague would sooner than later be decoded.

Bai Luo Yin continued, “The fifth riddle on the third row, that idiom is, “A crowd of good friends gathered together.”

The girl in charged of verifying all the answers looked extremely petrified as she said “Incorrect,” with a very low voice, almost inaudible.

The stall owner, whom beforehand stood to the side, interrupted. And in a loud, ear splitting tone, he roared, “Wrong! Next!”

“That’s impossible!”

Bai Luo Yin firmly believe in his answer. There was no doubt, in his mind at all, that he had answered correctly. He snatched the answer book from the girl and as expected, with just one look at it, his answer was verified.

“Are you serious, how can you be like this? We obviously answered correctly and you still have the nerve to accuse us of being wrong? Or is it that, you can’t give us our prizes?” bellowed out Yang Meng, using Bai Luo Yin’s fierceness to flaunt his momentary superiority.

In the end, the stall owner himself came out. With a smile adorning his lips, he confronted Bai Luo Yin and Yang Meng.

“It’s the Lantern Festival, a very auspicious day. It’s not that we’re unable to give you the prizes, it’s just that we encourage more people to participate and have a go at it as well. Two handsome men like yourselves, I know you’re both knowledgeable and are expert at answering these riddles. You want the prizes and you can easily obtain them. But the crucial point is, those people standing patiently at the side. You also have to give them an opportunity to win some prizes too right?”

Bai Luo Yin laughed to this statement and turn to leave the premises, with the dignity of a gentleman enveloping his stature.

“Wait a second, take these!”

Upon hearing someone called out to him, Bai Luo Yin turned around. With great agility, he skillfully caught the package that was tossed in his direction, by someone on the other side.

After he steadied his footing, he finally saw clearly what it was. Yang Meng couldn’t help but cry out in alarm, “That’s some freaking huge sticky rice balls! Is it……is it even cooked!?”

Bai Luo Yin’s eyes froze, somberness congealed the blood that once graced his picturesque features.

A memory flashed across his mind, and drowned out the loud noises of the streets.*1

Once dusk sauntered by, all the street lights turned on. Together, Bai Luo Yin and Yang Meng stood at the corner of the street. For a long while, they once again, admired and took pleasure in the beauty of all the lights as it illuminated across the street; painting a picture perfect illustration of the festival in all its’ glory and magnificence. Afterwards they made their way back him with contentment already poured deeply into their heart.

By the time Bai Luo Yin got to the courtyard of his house, food was already prepared and everyone was waiting patiently for his arrival. Once Meng Tong Tian saw Bai Luo Yin’s figure approached, he pulled a chair over and gestured him to quickly sit down.

“Come, come, come, supper’s ready,” announced Bai Han Qi loudly, excited intermingled with his voice, as his signature smile crept swiftly toward the corners of his lips.

Everyone lifted the cups in their hands, regardless of whether it was liquor or a soft drink, they toasted each other first before exchanging any words.

“Eat, eat.”

“Wait, we should eat the sweet sticky dumplings first.”

“That’s right! It goes without saying that our Tong Tian is the most intelligent.”

The whole family surrounded the table as they happily ate and chat at the same time. Their faces full to the brim with happiness and the events of the few precious days did not affect their mood even the slightest bit. It was as if they had mutually agreed to seal their lips and bury those unfortunate occurrences. It was the last day of the lunar month, they had long ago resolved to only talk about all joyous things and determined to perpetuate happiness and harmonious until the very last minute, last second of that year.

Bai Luo Yin calm and quietly looked at everyone smiling faces. He listened to them discussed each other’s cheerful stories, ate soggy sweet dumplings, and no sooner did a as a strong pervasive warmth infiltrated into the bottom of his heart.

It was unfortunate, that he had that kind of mother, but he was fortunate enough to have such a great family that forgave and love him dearly.

A gleaming reflection of tears in the light, shone on those earthen eyes of Bai Luo Yin. He willed them away, out of his sight before he placed his chopsticks down and walked out.

Aunt Zou noticed that Bai Luo Yin had left so she prodded Bai Han Qi and asked, “Why did Yin Zi eat so little today?”

“I’ll go and take a look.”

Bai Han Qi followed behind his son’s shadow.

Bai Luo Yin returned to his own room, simply gathered up some things and dragged his luggage out. A bag of sticky sweet balls, that he had won earlier, was held tightly in his hand as he pushed the door open and made his way out.

Bai Han Qi stood planted at the front door, looking at Bai Luo Yin with amazement. His eyes continued to drown in astonishment as Bai Luo Yin got closer.

“Where are you going so late at night?”

Bai Luo Yin silently allowed his gaze to reach his father’s face, “Dad, I have to go back.”

“Today is the fifteenth day of the lunar month, the time when the whole family are together. Why don’t you go back once the holiday ends?”

Bai Luo Yin didn’t move.

Bai Han Qi looked the expression on Bai Luo Yin’s face, knowing full well that he will undoubtedly leave, but at the same, he still urged and wished for him to stay.

“Why don’t you at least finish eating your meal before leaving?”

Bai Luo Yin’s heart struggled for a second, a mini war broke out from deep within, but still he faced Bai Han Qi. And, with a stern tone, he said, “I finished eating. Please talk to my grandpa and grandma and let them know that I’ll be back in two days.”

Bai Han Qi let out a long sigh, his heart somewhat unwilling to let go. However, he still patted Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder and looked at with understandings, an air of approval permeated from his gaze.

“Go then. There’s still a whole family here, even with one less member, it will still be lively. Da Hai’s dad went to the army base, so don’t let him celebrate the New Year alone at home.”

Nobody understands one’s son better than his father.

And, no words escaped Bai Luo Yin’s lips as he remained unresponsive. He merely turned around and walked out of the courtyard.

Bai Han Qi stood against the strong whistling sound of the Northern wind and watched as Bai Luo Yin’s shadow gradually disappeared into the distance. A bitter sadness welled up in his chest, and he couldn’t help the tears that reared its’ way around the corner of his eyes. It is said that when a girl has come of age, she will not remain at home any longer, how can it be that a grown son can’t remain at home either?*2



Gu Hai was dragged from slumber and into consciousness from his position on the sofa. The lights in the room remained on and the windows were still opened wide. He was unable to distinguish whether it was daytime or nighttime, even worse, the exact time or date. He wasn’t certain at all, how many days he had spent in this bemused and hazy frame of mind. His eyes, once like two pristine stones of onyx, now lifelessly wandered toward every and all corners of the room.

The whole room was in complete disorder, almost as if it had been replaced with an uninhabited jungle. Bottles upon bottles of liquor were scattered everywhere, covering the floor as it laid unwavering in the silent room. Some bottles were full, some half consumed, and some completely empty of its’ intoxicating content. While some were strewed across the floor upside down, others were standing upright……. aside from liquor, his stomach was empty of all other solid substances that were needed to sustain life. The agonizing pain of hunger, scorched and set aflame the heartache and sorrow that ate at his internal, relentlessly tearing apart every vitality that once resided within.

Only when his lips pressed roughly against the liquor bottles, that refreshingly cool yet bitter taste flowed down his throat, and extinguished the painful attacks of the fiery flames. He allowed the liquor to consume his consciousness until he could no longer perceived any sense or emotion, and only then, was he able to rest his head and resume the slumber that was unfairly taken away from him.

Gu Hai stood upright, from his bones to the muscles, these two mechanisms that allowed him to be mobile, ached and sore painstakingly. He dragged his tired and somnolent feet over toward the windows, and with one swift motion, he pulled open the curtains, revealing the darkness of the night that had devoured the city. His solemn eyes swept across the landscape. The lights outside were stunning to his vision. More than art, more than aestheticism, life presented beauty in thousands upon thousands of variations; it was indeed, a gigantic panorama of eternal change that befell his eyes.

Large crowds of people spread out all around the streets beneath his looming shadow. Blossoming and dancing amongst the unseen clouds in the midst of the Southwestern night sky, were fireworks. It soared higher and higher into the vastness of the heavens and scattered in all directions before fading into the shadow of the sparkling stars…

Stupefied and taken aback, Gu Hai drew the curtains close, sealing his sight from the gatherings outside. His hand gripped the refrigerator door open, only to find that nothing was in there. His eyes like a global positioning system, mapped out and stalked the floor below his shadow, and not before long, it located a bottle of red wine that had not been opened yet. He then fished around in the tight crevices of the sofa and found the wine opener that had secretly hid itself. With skilled hands, he jabbed the corkscrew into the secured cap of the wine bottles, twisted it several times and unplugged the cork. The bottle kissed his desolated lips and the intoxicating liquid rushed inside his awaiting tongue.

Gulp, gulp, gulp. He chugged it down, but after only two gulps, the doorbell suddenly rang.

His throat paused its’ motion, practically stopping for a moment. Pretending not to hear the invading sound, he continued to force down several more gulps.

The doorbell rang again.

With a sullen, yet calm demeanor, Gu Hai dropped the wine bottle on a nearby tea table, straightened up his spine and walked toward the front door.

A burst of pain shot throughout his forehead from all the alcohol. All ten of his fingers, that had not been active for days, felt clumsy and awkward as if they were not apart of his body. He struggled to turn the doorknob several times before he, somehow, unknowingly, managed to finally jerk it open.

Outside stood a lonely figure.

Gu Hai stared, blankly. Dumbfounded.

Bai Luo Yin was still wearing the same down jacket that he had wore the day he left. He dragged the same luggage as before. And, his hands were encased and kept warm by the same pair of gloves that Gu Hai had given him, that Christmas Eve, all those weeks ago.

His hands gripped tightly onto the bag of sticky sweet dumplings, as two attentively red ears peered down at Gu Hai.

At this moment, time ceased.

Neither of them said a word to each other. They silently observed each other while an undercurrent of immense and passionate emotion swept under and surrounded them.

At long last, Gu Hai strode over, each step lessened the proximity between them. He suddenly pulled Bai Luo Yin toward him, held him tightly within his arms and trapped him in his never ending warmth.

No one can describe that feeling of when you recover everything that you have lost. That feeling was the same one that engulfed, possessed and overwhelmed Gu Hai at that very moment. It tortured and continuously attacked his heart, causing him to teeter on the verge of collapsing. As if any second now, the edge of the cliff will crumble, sending him into an endless pit.

Nor can anyone put into words or even come to understand what Bai Luo Yin felt at that very moment, how precious…how dear Gu Hai was to him.

Gu Hai wrapped one of his arm firmly around Bai Luo Yin’s back, as if to embed him into his own body, while the other hand, curled around the back of Bai Luo Yin’s head. With his face slightly turned, his cold lips gently caressed the outer edge of Bai Luo Yin’s ear, allowing himself to take solace in Bai Luo Yin’s body heat.

Originally, Bai Luo Yin’s heart was very calm. Even when he pressed the doorbell, he didn’t have any particular feeling or expectation that could be pinpointed. But once Gu Hai hugged him with such intensity, all kinds of emotions effervescence to the surface. Sparks of electricity ruptured throughout his body, igniting his nerves and encased him in a feeling that he refused to word.

After what seemed like an eternity, Bai Luo spoke first.

“Gu Hai, I’ll remember this, you owe me one.”

Gu Hai’s body stiffened for a second, as he momentarily released Bai Luo Yin before a steadfast resolution rain over him.

“I will repay you back!”

With a faint smile, Bai Luo Yin almost relieved, urged Gu Hai to take his belongings inside.

Gu Hai peered down and noticed the bag in Bai Luo Yin’s hand, then asked, “What’s this?”

“Sticky rice balls, I won them by answering all the riddles on the lanterns correctly.”

Gu Hai took the bag and glanced over at the digital clock hanging on the wall. It was only then, did he realized that today was the Lantern Festival.

For a moment, he felt extremely touched. A twinge of happiness manifested within his soul.

“Then, let me boil them, you just need to sit here and wait.”

After he said this, he hurried into the kitchen. And, just as he was about to turn the gas in the stove on, his eyes caught sight of Bai Luo Yin who had joined him inside.

“I’m warning you. You better try and cook them thoroughly in one go this time. If you keep on tasting one and throwing one out as you go, there won’t be anything left for us to eat.”

[info title="Translator's clarification" icon="info-circle"]*1 This reminded Bai Luo Yin’s of when Gu Hai cooked dumplings for him, and before he gave it to Bai Luo in, he would check to see if it was cooked or not.

*2 This refers to when a girl gets married and move out to live with her husband, so to Bai Han Qi, how can it be that this notion would apply to a son too. XD You funny man you!

** I will update notes on sticky rice balls (yuan xiao) and sticky rice balls with sweet soup (tang yuan) later since I find that it is an important part of the Lantern Festival **[/info]

Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han
Since the moment Jiang Yuan’s sight fell upon Bai Luo Yin, she remained silent. She thought that he was contemplating, considering the suggestions that she had put forth. Her face that had been heavily painted with anxiousness and fear, for the past few days, finally allowed a slight smile to manifest up it.

“Son, everything that mom has done, are all for your sake. You don’t have to think about how things are with Gu Hai. After all, he is Mr. Gu’s flesh and blood, his biological son. Even if he remained in the country, he will still be in a relatively safe and reliable position, but you are different. Although Mr. Gu has also thought about you, but in the future, the treatments he gives you will certainly differ, in tens and thousands of miles away, from Gu Hai. Mom, don’t want you to be subjected to nor forced into this position.”

After a long while, unable to hear listen any longer, Bai Luo Yin suddenly opened his mouth.

“Jiang Yuan.”

Just from hearing herself being addressed in such manner, the smile on her face ceased and stiffened.

“Luo Yin, what did you just call me?”

Bai Luo Yin looked at Jiang Yuan indifferently. His insouciance, frankness and tendency laid out across his face. “Then, what should I call you? Aunt Jiang? Mrs. Gu? Or Madam Gu?”

A disturbingly sallow complexion, almost as if death had warmed over, washed evenly across Jiang Yuan’s beautiful and charming cheeks. This layer of sickness was persistent and hard to cover up.

Bai Luo Yin peered at the pile of documents on the table and calmly said, “Can you not make me feel disgusted toward you?”

‘Disgusted,’ this word was like a sharp stake that cruelly and ruthlessly push itself into Jiang Yuan’s chest, stabbing her heart. That momentary feeling of peacefulness that she felt earlier, abruptly, exploded. The color of her lips were drained of all the colors that once adorned it as her trembling figure faced Bai Luo Yin.

The moment she imparted her lips, she sobbed and choked convulsively.

“Disgusted? You say I’m disgusting? In spite of everything I did for you, all you can say is that I’m disgusting? Bai Luo Yin, what in the world…how many kinds of medicine did Bai Han Qi shove down your throat to ensnared you, to make you carelessly slander and condemn your own mother like this?”

“Don’t use your ugly heart to measure other people’s conducts and deeds. Beside you, no one around me are wicked or immoral.”

Jiang Yuan exerted all her strength to pulled Bai Luo Yin out of his seat. She hissed and wailed out, an interrogating tone trenched her every question, “You say I’m wicked…immoral? You actually took my good intentions toward you as immoral? Bai Luo Yin, will you only be satisfied after you’ve kill me?”

Bai Luo Yin coldly flung Jiang Yuan’s hand, that had grasped his, away. There was silent pause between each words that sauntered out of his mouth: “Don’t use that motherly love notion to wrap around that egotistical heart of yours again. From the beginning to the end, I never took you as my mother. I never did before, I never did now, and in the future I never will either!”

Jiang Yuan’s body became paralyzed as she stumbled to one side of the sofa, her hand placed against her tightened chest. She was in such grievance that she wished death upon herself.

“Also, in regards to all those things you’ve said about going abroad.”

Bai Luo Yin spoke as he picked up the documents and data that were on the table. He slowly, one by one, tore each sheet in front of Jiang Yuan’s face.

“Don’t waste your energy doing these utterly pointless tasks again. Did you think an insignificant little girl can deceive me into going abroad? You’ve really thought too highly of her! You’ve really thought too highly of yourself! If I, Bai Luo Yin, want to go abroad in the future, it won’t be through those two filthy hands of yours!”

A big piles of shredded paper suddenly crashed onto Jiang Yuan’s head. They all slowly, but surely, scattered right in front of her eyes and landed all around her. The fruits of her, ten days or more of hard labors, destroyed in one day!

As he made his way to and arrived at the front door, Bai Luo Yin turned his body around once again and glanced at Jiang Yuan’s cold and ashen face.

“Don’t hurt my family again, if I find out a second time, I will make you pay back tenfold!”

When he took his first step out of the room, behind him, a loud and painful sound of sobs transmitted throughout the vicinity. It was as if war had broken out in heaven and the muffling sounds of thunders struck this earthly ground. The sound struck rhythmically, one after the other as it shrouded the entire world in the mist of its’ thick haze.

Bai Luo Yin’s footsteps were a bit stagnant as he lightly closed his eyes. Once he opened them again, not even the slightest sign of any emotions remained within him.



On the fourteen, of the first month of the lunar year, Grandma Bai was released from the hospital and the Bai’s household returned to its’ usual tranquility.

In the afternoon, Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou came back from their trip to supermarket and brought back many gifts. They had planned to go from house to house and present it to the neighbors as an apology. Bai Luo Yin also wanted to accompany them. Since the problems arose because of him, it was only right that he should be the one to go in place of his parents and apologize. But in the end, no matter what, Aunt Zou refused to let him go. She said that no married man’s son should show their face like that because it was not auspicious. So he was forced to remain in the house with Meng Tong Tian.

Meng Tong Tian, such a big kid now, only liked to play with his toy sword and toy gun. When Bai Luo Yin walked out of his room, he caught sight of Meng Tong Tian handling a fake machine gun. He shot randomly at the trees in the yard.

Noticing that the little boy played with such vigor, Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but to approach him.

“Give it here, let me see.”

Meng Tong Tian very generously passed the gun over to Bai Luo Yin.

Bai Luo Yin weighed it in his hands for a second, it was rather heavy. The meticulous workmanship was clearly visible; no matter the size, the weight or patterns, only a few craftsmen could achieve expertise and make fake product pass off as genuine.

“This gun is pretty good,” Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but praised.

An intensely proud expression tickled across Meng Tong Tian’s face, “Of course. My classmates always want to exchange and play with it, but I am unwilling to give it to them. Even if they buy those low quality ones, it still can’t be compared to mine.”

Looking at Meng Tong Tian’s arrogant manners made Bai Luo Yin want to laugh.

“Must be quite expensive huh?”

Meng Tong Tian’s little head flapped up and down before he replied, “Don’t know. Brother Gu Hai gave it to me.”

The color on Bai Luo Yin’s complexion changed once those two characters, “Gu Hai,” penetrated his ears. He gave the gun back to Meng Tong Tian and sat to the side. He proceeded to watch Meng Tong Tian happily play around, before he, himself pulled out a cigarette and smoked.

Kids at this age really makes people extremely jealous of them. They were carefree, without any worries at all. Thinking back to when Bai Luo Yin was about that age, he would also scuffle around in the alleyway all day long as well. At that time, who would have thought about their single parent or poverty and other things alike. The entire day was spent foolish playing around and the only thing in his head would be, what can he do to make his life even livelier.

A state of simplicity and purity was truly enriching.

“Brother Gu Hai also bought me many other fun things. It’s all kept in a room over there. I’m don’t want to open them. I must wait until my classmates get here before I open them. When that time arrives, it will still be new. Let me tell you, you better not sneakily tear them open for me ah!”

Bai Luo Yin was still lost in thoughts as his mind wandered about. Both of Meng Tong Tian’s fist stretched out toward his nose as if to guard off a thief.

Bai Luo Yin softly smiled for a second. He pulled on Meng Tian Tong’s belt and flipped him over which allowed him to turn a somersault.

After Meng Tong Tian steadied his balance, he felt extremely cool, suave, and wanted to try it again.

Bai Luo Yin was unoccupied and bored anyways so he accompanied and played with him for while longer. Finally, Meng Tong Tian became tired and sat down on a little chair situated to the side. While he played with the bullet cartridge, he counted them, looked at Bai Luo Yin and asked. “Why hasn’t brother Gu Hai come over recently?”

Bai Luo Yin appeared dejected as he unenthusiastically replied back, “He’s spending the New Year at his own house.”

“After the New Year is over, he will come back?”

Bai Luo Yin twisted his head around to look at Meng Tian Tong and was met with his long-drawn, expectant gaze.

“Why are you looking forward to seeing him?”

Meng Tong Tian nodded his head vigorously in excitement, energy could be seen in every nod, “Because we’re both suffering from the same illness.*”

Suffering from the same illness?

Bai Luo Yin painstakingly ruminate on it for quite a while but he still couldn’t figure out, in what ways were Meng Tong Tian and Gu Hai alike.

“We’re both being tormented by love.”

Thunder struck at Bai Luo Yin’s internal structure. It wasn’t enough for Gu Hai, himself, to commit those sins, he just had to drag a child into it.

“Last time, we talked for a really long time. Brother Gu Hai spoke about all the pain that was in his heart and I also found out about my own pain. So, brother Gu Hai said that we’re both suffering from the same illness. Afterward, I thought about it for a long while, and what he said was really true.”

You fucking bastard! You even went as far as to talk to a kid about these things?

Only Gu Hai would do something like this.

Bai Luo Yin intentionally teased Meng Tong Tian, “Then, tell me, what pain do you have in your heart?”

“Aiii……” Meng Tong Tian seemed rather melancholy again, “I like a girl in my class. It seems like, she’s also interested in me but she never admits it.”

Since Meng Tong Tian said it in such way, Bai Luo Yin could roughly understand what Gu Hai so called “pain” was, at that time.

“Then, did the pain end and the happiness come yet**?” asked Bai Luo Yin.

Meng Tong Tian shook his head, “What does that mean?”

Bai Luo Yin finally realized, Meng Tong Tian was just a seven years old kid, how in the world could he understand so many idioms!

“I’m asking you, in the end, did the girl admit it or not?”

Meng Tong Tian shook his head again, “I forgot, I switched a few times already.”

Bai Luo Yin, “……”

Not soon afterwards, Yang Meng came over because Bai Han Qi and Aunt Zou had not only gone to their house, carrying a big pile of stuff but also vigorously apologized to them. The problem now was that, at that time, Yang Meng and his parents had stayed at his grandmother’s house all along. They had only gotten back today, so in reality, they didn’t know anything at all about this matter. They were quite baffled to receive such a big pile of things and the person who gave them the gifts had also bow excessively toward them.

“What provoked your dad?” laughed Yang Meng mischievously.

Bai Luo Yin drew a long sigh, his hand hung loosely on Yang Meng’s shoulder with a lazy appearance.

“Two days ago Jiang Yuan came to cause trouble at our house. It was so chaotic that the neighbors in this entire street were restless. My dad thought that it’s New Year and making the neighbors hear everything was quite bad, so he’s going house to house and apologize.”

“Is it necessary to apologize just because of something like that? Your dad is too conscious! Let me tell you, all day my mom would roar about in the yard. There’s not a single day that she doesn’t roar, moreover, she roars because she wants the surrounding neighbors to hear it. If she and my dad were to quarrel at night time, everyone within these five streets could hear them. The next day, it’s as if nothing had happened and they would strut proudly out the door and go about with their days.”

Bai Luo Yin maintained his usual quietness.

Yang Meng glanced at Bai Luo, who had not made any sound or utter a single word. His eyes shifted back and forth before his elbow to jabbed Bai Luo Yin.

“That’s right, I didn’t get to ask you yet, how are things with you and Shi Hui?”

Bai Luo Yin only replied back with two words, “Completely over.”

“Completely over?” an air of surprise and astonishment washed over Yang Meng.

Bai Luo Yin was quite unwilling to discuss this topic. He only told Yang Meng that Shi Hui will probably go back abroad after the New Year is over.

Yang Meng gaze regrettably at his friend; he felt a great pity toward this matter.

“Tell me, why didn’t you cherish such a good opportunity?”

Bai Luo Yin tugged at the collar of Yang Meng’s shirt and faintly said, “Don’t talk about her anymore. Why are you looking for me? It can’t be because my dad went to your house?”

“No, tomorrow is the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar year, the Lantern Festival! Let’s go for a stroll around the temple fair*** together! Its boring stay home all day!”

Bai Luo Yin thought about it for a while. There’s nothing for him to do at home anyways. It would be better to go and relieve his boredom and drive away all his cares.

“Okay. Then, I’ll go and find you early tomorrow morning.”

[info title="Translator's clarification" icon="info-circle"]* 同病相怜 : this idiom means those who have the same illness sympathize with each other or misery loves company.

** 苦尽甘来 :literally means - bitterness ends, sweetness begins; the hard times are over, the good times is just beginning

*** temple fair - For residents of Beijing, attending a local miaohui, or temple fair, comes second only to the big family dinner when celebrating the Chinese New Year. Typically held at temples and parks, these week-long events combine religion, shopping, culture, entertainment, and food, and are open to all. Temple fairs trace their roots as early as the Wei dynasty, but today they’re lively gatherings, packed with things to do.[/info]

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