Chapter 7: Leaves in Pain
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Chen Lan woke up from chaos and felt like he had just been resurrected. His stomach was still bad, so he had to undergo a second operation. He drowned and got sick. The high fever caused pneumonia. During this period of time, he was in a state of confusion.
There were thick bandages around his wrists and ankles. The iron shackles were gone. Chen Lan slowly opened his eyes to see where he was. He inadvertently heard a familiar voice.
Li PanEn took his hand, put it to his lips and kissed it, “It’s good that you woke up.”
Chen Lan’s throat was so dry that he couldn’t speak. His Adam’s Apple bobbed up and down. Li PanEn immediately understood and mixed some warm water for him to drink.
“Don’t drink too much at once,” seeing how thirsty Chen Lan looked, Li PanEn’s nose scrunched up. Chen Lan had a circle of bloody blisters around his wrist. He couldn’t hold the cup stably. How much wine has he mixed with his hands? How many glasses had he held before? When had his hands ever shaken? When the nurse regretfully told him that it would leave scars, he thought about Chen Lan’s ever-so-white and perfect skin, and with that thought, his heart broke.
Chen Lan drank very slowly. It seemed that it was a little difficult to swallow. Li PanEn helped him hold it carefully so as not to spill it on the bed. After feeding him water, Li PanEn laid him back down; he could feel all the bones on Chen Lan’s back. He’d lost so much weight. Li PanEn felt as though he had just choked. He almost couldn’t resist the urge to hold Chen Lan in his arms and take him home.
Chen Lan was not honest either after lying down. He looked at Li PanEn with his eyes as if he wanted to see the lost month back.
Li PanEn’s voice was soft, “It’s OK. The court has changed its verdict. You’re no longer required to go back.”
Chen Lan’s eyes were suspicious.
Li ChengHuai stopped their conversation from outside. “Are you ready? The person woke up, can we go now?”
Chen Lan turned to look, but Li ChengHuai didn’t want to look at him. He retreated from the door with a cigarette in his mouth; the nurse rolled her eyes when he passed by.
“That’s my father,” Li PanEn said.
Chen Lan replied hoarsely, “I know him.”
“You know him?”
“I’ve seen him on the news,” said Chen Lan. “I didn’t expect Xiao Pian’er’s father to be such a powerful man.” When Chen Lan said that, Li PanEn’s face was displeased. Li PanEn thought Chen Lan was comparing himself to his father, “When Uncle reaches his age, you may even achieve more than he did.”
“What can a bartender accomplish?” Li ChengHuai said with disgust. He got annoyed seeing them get all chummy with each other.
Li PanEn sneered, “Oh, not much, he just helped you raise your son for six years. Can’t you show him some respect?”
Li ChengHuai was taken aback; it made him speechless, so he went back outside to smoke.
“Xiao Pian’er…” Chen Lan suddenly grabbed Li PanEn’s hand. It seemed like Chen Lan had something to say. After a while, he loosened his grip and asked, “You… are you leaving now?”
Li PanEn was stunned for a moment; he opened his mouth and couldn’t say a word. Li PanEn’s eyes turned red. He didn’t mean to tell him that yet, or at least tell him after he was in good health, but the moment Li ChengHuai showed up, with Chen Lan’s intelligence, there was no more need for words.
Li PanEn held his hand tightly, rubbed it against his lips, and finally let it go. Before he left, he leaned over Chen Lan’s forehead and solemnly planted a kiss there.
“Xiao Pian’er,” Chen Lan called out to him, and he sounded as though he was smiling. “I love you.”
Li PanEn’s tears began falling. He was afraid that Chen Lan would see them, so he dared not look back, “I love you too.”
After he left, the ward fell into a long silence. Chen Lan lay on his bed quietly. From that point until he was discharged from the hospital, no-one came to visit him anymore.