Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
United States, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On a bench behind the museum, a young, black-haired and black-eyed man was holding what seemed to be a museum brochure and flipping through it. The sunlight cast a golden glow on his hair and the breeze ruffled it, causing spots of light to dance in it.
A lot of visitors and passersby walked past him, and no one disturbed the young man who was reading in concentration. That was, until someone stood over him, blocking the light and casting a shadow on him.
“You… are really slippery…”
Lu YunYang pulled the person up and hugged him tightly before kissing him fiercely.
Some young people walking by whistled.
Guan Jin kicked him and wiped his mouth. “Are the Gods really this unskilled? It took you three days to find me here.” He glared at Lu YunYang.
“My Little Jin is very proficient, so how could my idiotic subordinates surpass you?” Lu YunYang replied flatteringly, as always.
Guan Jin tsked and stood up, walking away. Lu YunYang quickly caught up, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with him.
“Before, when I didn’t have any assignments, I would stroll around the museum often. However, I don’t think I’ve ever carefully paid attention to the origin stories of those exhibits, I would only look at them when I walked around. Coming back this time, I found that I had the patience to read the introductions and explanations,” remarked Guan Jin.
“In the future, I’ll accompany you to visit every museum in the world.” Lu YunYang moved closer to Guan Jin.
“I didn’t express such high ambitions.”
“What I mean is, no matter what you want to do, I’ll go with you.”
Tony was very shocked at the appearance of such an important person in his house, and the cigarette he had been smoking had fallen onto his pant leg. Only when it burned his skin did he yelp and pick it up.
“Didn’t I tell you before not to smoke indoors?” Guan Jin crossed his arms.
“Aha, I couldn’t help myself. I’ll take care of all of the cleaning this week!” Tony said immediately.
Guan Jin turned and went to the kitchen to get something to drink. When he returned, Tony was already talking intimately with Lu YunYang.
“We’re all a family, so we can help each other and get rich together, hahaha…”
“Are you planning on becoming a traitor?” Guan Jin said darkly from behind them.
Tony flinched before smiling sweetly. “What are you talking about? You and Mr. Lu are family, and I’m family with you, so all three of us are a family.”
Guan Jin pushed him to the side in distaste. “You two can become a family and do whatever, just don’t count me in.”
“Haha, Ethan has always been like this, saying the opposite of what he thinks,” Tony said dismissively to Lu YunYang.
“Have you always called him that?” asked Lu YunYang.
“Yeah, although because of the special situation, I sometimes call him Guan. However, the pronunciation isn’t too easy for me, and it sounds strange.”
“If that’s the case, you should continue calling him Ethan, since it doesn’t matter too much anyway. He’s already left your organization, so you’re also free.” Guan Jin’s past belonged here, and it was best if his future had nothing to do with this place. Thus, it was best if Guan Jin’s name didn’t remain here.
“Ahaha, that’s true. However, when I think about Ethan all those years ago, he was quite the character, handsome and never getting tempted even with everyone throwing themselves at him…” Tony rubbed his chin as he began thinking back.
Everyone throwing themselves at him? Lu YunYang glanced at Guan Jin, who had been too lazy to pay attention to them and was drinking Bacardi on the terrace, and narrowed his eyes.
“Little Jin,” he called.
“Take me to the places you used to go to, I want to see what you used to be like.”
“Hi, long time no see! Oh, have you beauties been missing me?” When Tony entered the bar, he immediately began greeting people excitedly.
“Hey, Tony! You brought a new friend?” A chubby middle-aged man behind the counter welcomed him enthusiastically
“Yep, take good care of them for me.” After saying this, Tony irresponsibly drifted towards a blond woman.
Lu YunYang looked around; this bar was very old, and it was styled after the 1980s and 1990s. He asked, “Did you spend a lot of time here before?”
Guan Jin shrugged. “Yeah, this place is quite secluded, so there’s not too many random people.”
Guan Jin knocked on the counter and extended two fingers to a bartender. “Beer, please.”
The bartender brought two beers over. “Young man, our beer is an exclusive brew, and I guarantee you won’t want to drink any other brands in the future.”
Guan Jin grabbed one and leaned his head back to take a gulp in enjoyment.
“Your current self is a little different from what I’ve seen.”
Guan Jin raised an eyebrow. “What’s different? I was originally like this, but I was tainted by you and all those other stupid people. After being away from you guys for a few days, I’ve naturally turned back.”
Lu YunYang looked at Tony, who was on the other side of the bar, trying to please the women. He smiled, saying, “In the past, did you two come here often to pick girls up?”
Guan Jin scoffed, “That’s just that idiot Tony. I didn’t even need to move, and everyone who approached me was more than enough.”
“What kind of gaze is that?! At the time, I was even more handsome than you, and whether it was normal bars or gay bars, there would be lines of people who wanted me.” As Guan Jin was immersed in his past, he completely failed to notice Lu YunYang’s gaze that was becoming more and more dangerous.
“Hi handsome, I haven’t seen you around here before. Bartender, I’d like to buy a Godfather cocktail for this handsome man.” A tall brunette leaned against the counter next to Lu YunYang, her gaze intense.
Lu YunYang smiled faintly. “Sorry, I’m not a godfather, I’m just a professor.”
The woman was very tactful, so when she heard his polite rejection, she shrugged in pity. “Then you’re either the most scholarly godfather or the most dangerous professor.” Then, she walked back into the crowd in search of a new target.
Lu YunYang turned back around to see Guan Jin staring at him with a dark expression.
“I rejected her very clearly. I’m not interested in women.”
Guan Jin continued to stare.
“Besides you, I’m not interested in anyone else!” insisted Lu YunYang.
Guan Jin put down his beer and grabbed Lu YunYang’s arm, dragging him out of the bar.
“Ah, darling, I’m very happy that you’re jealous, but you have to believe me when I say that I can’t even look at anyone besides you.” Lu YunYang continued to give explanations.
After some twists and turns, they arrived at a small, unassuming grocery store. Guan Jin stuck his head into an open window. “Mrs. Hops! Do you still have the pictures you took the Christmas before last? My friend’s in one of them, and he told me to come look for it.”
Someone rummaged around inside, and a few minutes later, an old lady stuck her head out of the window to look at the two of them, handing a stack of photos to him. “Look quickly, young man. I still have to watch the big finale of a television show!”
Guan Jin took the photos, and a moment later, he took one out and placed the rest back onto the windowsill. He gave the picture to Lu YunYang, who was perplexed.
In the photo, there were a lot of people having fun in the Christmas snow. However, Lu YunYang’s eyes were drawn to a Chinese man near the front. He was tall and handsome, with a straight nose, a delicate chin, and an indifferent expression. He was wearing a black coat and his hands were in his pockets. He simply stood in the snow, and although there were people everywhere around him, he stood out strikingly.
Lu YunYang gently put his finger on the person in the photo and looked at Guan Jin, saying slowly, “This is you. The moment I saw him, I knew that he was you.”
“Hmph, you’re not completely an idiot. What do you think?” prodded Guan Jin.
“He’s very indifferent and lonely, but he’s also very happy. He envies those normal and joyful people, yet he calmly stands at the edge, because observing happiness is enough for him.” Lu YunYang’s gaze became very gentle.
“Hey! What’s wrong with you?! I didn’t ask you to profile me! I’m asking, was I handsome or not before?! I wasn’t much worse than you, right?”
“Of course, you’re outrageously handsome.”
“That’s too perfunctory!”
“It came from my heart. By the way, what is a photo of you doing here?”
Guan Jin humphed. “I never get my picture taken. This was from two Christmases ago, and I was passing by and got caught in the shot. I knew that the shopkeeper’s granddaughter was taking pictures, but since I’m so handsome and photogenic, I didn’t destroy it and let it stay here, otherwise there would be nothing left of me.”
Lu YunYang carefully placed the photo in his pocket and hugged Guan Jin. “It’s fortunate that I met you. Now, you don’t have to pretend to arm yourself with indifference, and you can directly be yourself, awkward and cute. In this lifetime, you can be who you like, and you can just leave the rest to me.”
Guan Jin frowned uneasily. “Who the fuck are you calling awkward and cute? Which of your lovers are you talking about?”
“In this life and in this world, you’re my only one.”
“…How cheesy. Tomorrow, I’ll take you to see my old man.”
“…Isn’t your old man’s house in heaven?”
“Yeah, which is why we’re visiting his grave. What, do you want to have a chat with him personally?”
“…Ahaha, how could that be? If I’m gone, what would you do~”
Lu YunYang sighed inwardly in relief; it was good that Guan Jin had become this petite, otherwise it really might’ve been hard to top him.
“Colorado Grand Canyon! I’m finally here!” Yan Qing rushed up the mountain path.
Lu YunShen, who was shouldering a heavy backpack, felt that this really was both enjoyable and arduous. Seeing Yan Qing this unrestrained and open was quite rare, but after finally accompanying him on a vacation, shouldn’t they go to the beaches of Hawaii or a luxury hotel in Las Vegas? Why did they come all the way here just to climb mountains and provide food for mosquitoes? It wasn’t romantic at all!
Yan Qing sprinted around ahead for a while before running back. “Hey, at this time of the year next year, let’s go to Africa to see the Great Migration!”
“…How long is the migration?”
“It’s every year during July or August, and it lasts for one or two months.”
“…Why don’t we go to New Zealand to see kangaroos?”
“Do kangaroos also migrate?”
“Of course, they jump around all day, so they’re a lot more interesting than Africa,” Lu YunShen blatantly lied.
“How come I haven’t heard of that before?” Yan Qing was a little dubious.
“Look, what’s that up ahead?” Lu YunShen suddenly pointed.
“Where, where? Let me see!” Yan Qing instantly forgot about New Zealand’s kangaroos and ran up again.
Lu YunShen sighed inwardly; he definitely couldn’t let Yan Qing go to Africa!