Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: KarateChopMonkey (┬┬﹏┬┬)
These days, no matter how hard the neighborhood security guards worked, that pervert fan always had a way to put some strange things in front of Shen Jize’s house. Sometimes it was a pair of dirty underwear, and sometimes it was a mannequin with its body parts cut off, lying bloody at the bottom of the box.
When Shen Jize left the house, he also felt that someone was following him, but when he looked back, he didn’t see anyone.
He was living in a company house, but it was clearly not a place he could continue to live in. The house he bought himself had just been renovated and it would be a few days before he could move in, so he would have to make do for now.
The police said, “Don’t worry, Mr. An, we will do our best to investigate and ensure the safety of our citizens.”
“Are these for An?” Kate’s voice rang out in the hallway outside the house.
“Yes, there were fans waiting at the gate, Manager Wang asked me to take these gifts in and let those fans go back.”
Kate said, “You can put them inside.”
When the door opened, a staff member came in carrying a pile of gifts. The boxes were piled up like a mountain, and they couldn’t see the person behind them. He put the gifts on the coffee table, and boxes of all sizes were scattered around in a flurry.
Shen Jize looked down and picked the box up in his hand.
The box in his hand was light, as light as if it didn’t contain anything. The box was very simple, the outer shell was the kind of cardboard box commonly used by some treasure merchants, only with a transparent tape to close the seal.
This was the first time Shen Jize had seen such a gift, and suddenly became curious. He tossed the box in his hand and instructed Xiao Chu to fetch a paper cutter. Xiao Chu answered and quickly brought the paper cutter. Shen Jize was just about to cut through the transparent tape when the box was taken from his hand.
A police officer took the box and examined it, saying, “We’re not sure if there’s any dangerous goods inside these gifts, so don’t open any of them. If there’s any new evidence, it will be left at the police station, and you will be notified to pick up the other normal gifts.”
With that said, he tossed the cardboard box back to the coffee table and plunged into the mountain of gifts.
“Yes, it was an oversight on our part.” Kate said busily.
The two policemen had asked all the questions they wanted to know, and without further delay, they shook hands with the people in the room and said goodbye.
“If there’s any new information, please contact us in time.”
“Okay, no problem.”
After the police left, Kate looked at the watch on her wrist, “An, it’s about time, we should leave for the airport.”
They were going to another city for a promotion and would be back in about a week.
Shen Jize was just about to answer when his phone vibrated on the table. He looked at the number on it and said, “Okay, you guys go downstairs first, I’ll be right back after I go to the bathroom.”
“Xiao Chu, we’ll go downstairs first, have you packed An’s luggage?”
Shen Jize stood in the bathroom, heard the door open and close, and picked up the phone.
Xiao Yong’s voice came on the other end of the line, “Ze’er, I found out some things about the boy.”
“Mn, speak.” Shen Jize’s voice was serious.
“The boy is not a local, not sure where he is now, but I found a hotel where he stayed that night.”
Shen Jize asked, “What kind of identity did he use at the hotel to register?”
Xiao Yong sighed, “Here’s the problem. Because the receptionist gave him a discount for regular customers, and he wasn’t a regular customer, she was afraid that her boss would blame her if she found out, so she didn’t use the boy’s identity to register, but her own, saying that he was a relative of her family who had come to stay for the night. The boy checked out the next day, and now I don’t know where he went. But don’t worry, I’ll keep asking around there.”
Shen Jize rubbed his palm with his thumb, his eyes downcast and silent.
Xiao Yong said tentatively after a few seconds of silence, “Ze’er, I want to ask you a question.”
“I still remember when you went back home to look for him, excited to get on the train, only to come back in a few days. When I asked, you said the village had relocated and you didn’t find him. You also said that you would never go looking for him, and I wasn’t allowed to mention this wild— your brother in front of you… What exactly happened that time? Why are you looking for him again now?”
Shen Jize, holding the phone in one hand, propped up on the sink counter with the other, and looked up at himself in the mirror.
The young man in the mirror had handsome and profound features, like they were painted with a brushstroke. His usual demeanor that often revealed carelessness had been gathered up, and his expression was complex and hard to understand.
“You just have to find someone, so why are you spouting nonsense? If I can’t find him again, I can go to a private detective agency to hire someone, they are more professional than you.”
Xiao Yong said, “Then I also have to ask ah, if you find that someone, in other words, the one you are looking for, what do you plan to do?”
Shen Jize’s end was silent, if not for the sound of breathing, Xiao Yong suspected that the other party had put down the phone.
A few moments later, Shen Jize finally spoke, saying, “I don’t plan to find out what will happen, I just want to understand his current situation.”
The voice on the phone was faint and no other emotion could be heard, but Xiao Yong understood that these weren’t his true thoughts. If he just wanted to understand his situation, it wasn’t necessary to spend so much effort, and also use private detectives to find him.
“You wanting to know his situation might not be so easy. He may have returned to his hometown. Now that you’ve grown up, can’t you find one of the kids in the village from back then?”
Shen Jize didn’t answer his question, only said, “Help me find the person in the video first. Go hire a private detective, I will transfer the fee to you.”
Xiao Yong laughed, “Okay. But Ze’er, although after the village relocation it’s hard to find people, you will never be angry with your baby because of this. Although I don’t know what happened when you went to look for that someone that year, since it has been on my mind for so many years, I think—”
At that moment, there was a knock at the door and Xiao Chu’s voice came through, “Brother An, everyone is waiting for you, and Sister Kate asked me to ask how much longer you will take.”
Shen Jize didn’t say anything more to Xiao Yong, just said hello and hung up the phone, and walked out of the bathroom.
Lu Rong was working in the coffee shop these days, while keeping an eye on Shen Jize’s movements in the cell phone group, and checking the job search websites to see if there were any suitable jobs.
“Lu Rong, did you see him the other day when you went to the entrance of your love interest’s company?” Ah Guang asked in a low voice while wiping a cup with a soft cloth.
Lu Rong kept an eye on the fan base whenever he had time, so Ah Guang thought he was a hardcore fan of An’s.
“No, I haven’t seen him, I just gave him a gift.” Lu Rong said.
Guang said, “Did someone else take it away? That’s a long shot, the gifts don’t always reach him.”
Lu Rong lowered his eyes and said, “I know.”
After thinking for a while and lying on the bar, chin resting on the arm, wilted, he said, “Then I just have to send more and more to his company door. There will be a time where it will be delivered to him.”
Ah Guang patted him on the shoulder, “In fact, even if it is delivered to your love interest, so what? They are big stars, even if they receive your gift, can they remember who gave it to them? Unless you transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars to his account, you won’t be remembered.”
Lu Rong stared fixedly ahead and after a moment of silence said, “Then I’ll earn money and transfer it to him.”
Ah Guang rolled his eyes helplessly.
“He went out of town today, and I don’t know how long it will take for him to get back.” Lu Rong sat up straight, took a soft cloth and started wiping another cup.
Ah Guang said comfortingly, “It’s okay, just pay attention to the news in the group, check when he’s coming back and rush to the airport. Yesterday you said you made a support sign. He will definitely notice. Besides, you’re very good-looking, it’s hard not to get his attention.”
“Mn, he’ll be able to see me when we meet him at the airport.”
Lu Rong’s heart skipped a beat as every time Shen Jize had something new to say, the fan base would go crazy for a while and it must be about his brother again. He clicked on his phone and scrolled through the chat logs, excitedly jumping in place, “Ah Guang, he’s taking a flight back to the capital tomorrow! I can pick him up with my new support sign!”
The next day, Lu Rong was off work, so he ran out of the store and boarded the subway to the airport. As he pushed his way through the crowd, he kept reaching into the backpack he was holding and fondling the small wooden sign inside.
This was his own support sign, a book-sized wooden board painted with An’s name and a small red heart shyly drawn with a red pen.
At first, the heart was so big that he looked a bit bashful, so he reached out and erased it, and drew a small red heart in the corner. After drawing it, he thought it would not work, because it was too hidden, so he changed the position of the small red heart and placed it right below the characters in An’s row.
At the end, he drew a circle next to it, with four hard pouting sticks underneath, a stool deer.
Lu Rong arrived at the airport, he was clueless. The airport was really big, and he didn’t know where to go to pick him up.
A group of chattering girls passed by and someone saw him and recognized him as a male fan who had squatted in front of An’s company a few days before, so they asked him to join them.
Lu Rong was looking through his phone for the pickup process, and when he saw that the people calling him were some familiar faces, he responded and followed them.
When the small group of them arrived at the pick-up gate, they found a large group of fans already standing there, holding support signs with An’s name on them, sitting or standing and swiping their phones.
Lu Rong wasn’t familiar with them, so he stood by himself and didn’t feel any awkwardness, nor did he notice that many people were peeking at him.
He saw that other people’s support signs were very delicate, with flowery lights on them, and suddenly he wasn’t very satisfied with his own small wooden sign, wondering if he should hide in a corner and put a lace around his name.
But time was running out, as the airport announced that the flight Shen Jize took had landed. There was a small commotion in the crowd as those sitting stood up and rushed to the fence.
Lu Rong also hurriedly took out the support sign from his backpack, pressed it tightly to his chest, and looked at the entrance of the passage.
The first few passengers came out in business attire, and after they left in a hurry, another group of people in suits came out.
“An! An! An!” Screams were heard all over the hall.
Lu Rong followed the tide of people surging forward, his ears were surrounded by a shrill shouting, making his head buzz.
He didn’t know who was pushing him, but the support sign he was holding fell to the ground. He hurriedly crouched down to get it, but was swarmed by the crowd and stumbled forward a few steps. When he turned around after standing firm, he found that the support sign had been stomped on.
Thinking that Shen Jize was just a short distance away, he didn’t care about the wooden sign and fought his way forward, trying to get through the crowd.
When he finally reached the front, he only saw the group of people in suits, surrounding a long back in a dark black jacket, as they were hurriedly striding towards the airport.
Although Lu Rong usually looked at the poster of Shen Jize, countless times envisioned what it would be like to see him in person.
——He must shout out to his brother, wave at him, see his eyes fall on him, and his expression change from bewilderment to enlightenment and then to joy.
But at this point, when he was at the closest distance to Shen Jize, he couldn’t even utter a single syllable, and his throat felt like it was tightly blocked by something. He could only stare at the back with red eyes, clinging to the fence in front of him, insisting on stabilizing his body, which had been rushed by the crowd.
Shen Jize looked sideways to his left and suddenly took a big step forward, taking a pen and paper from a fan and signing his name quickly before lowering his duck-tongued hat and turning around to walk forward.
“An! An! An!” The fans followed and chased after him.
“Brother…” A low, inaudible murmur finally spilled out of his throat as Lu Rong regained his ability to speak, and he then repeatedly shouted, “Brother! Brother! Brother!”
The boy’s voice trembled with excitement and even changed its pitch, which was distinctly mixed with the screams of the other little girls.
The tall back that was advancing suddenly stopped in its tracks.
Lu Rong stopped shouting as the other halted, the blood in his body also stalled flowing at that moment, and he involuntarily held his breath.
But at that moment, other fans also followed Lu Rong’s example and started shouting, “Brother! Brother! Brother!”
The entire hall was filled with the sounds of shouting “Brother!”.
Lu Rong watched the back of that shadow only for two seconds and then continued to walk forward.
Seeing Shen Jize was about to turn the corner and leave the passage, Lu Rong stood and held on to the fence, and with all his strength, he closed his eyes and shouted, “Husband!”
This clear, high-pitched husband clearly reached the ears of everyone in the hall, including Shen Jize in front of him.
Shen Jize’s back, which was walking forward, gave a start again, and he stopped and slowly turned around to look behind him.
The fans’ excited cries followed, “Honey! Honey! I love you!” “Hubby! Hubby!”
They waved their hands and instantly squeezed Lu Rong to the back again.
“Brother, I’m Rong Rong…” Lu Rong was carried by the crowd and swayed from side to side, his voice drowned in the shouts.
Shen Jize’s eyes were hidden behind his sunglasses, and his eyes darted past the fans’ faces as if he was looking for someone. He searched around and didn’t find the one he wanted to see, a trace of unnoticed loss and a faint self-deprecation flashed under his eyes. But he quickly adjusted his expression, hooked his lips at the fans, and made a goodbye gesture.
“Husband is so handsome…” The fans covered their mouths and screamed.
Lu Rong had a hard time stabilizing himself and when he squeezed to the front again, he only saw a side view of Shen Jize. He had already walked to the entrance of the hall, surrounded by people, and hurried out of the door.
The fans followed him until they watched him dart into the waiting commercial vehicle outside, then they dispersed, flipping through the photos they had just taken on their phones as they walked.
The pick-up lane soon quieted down, leaving only a downcast Lu Rong.
Lu Rong crouched on the ground with his backpack in his arms, burying his face between his legs, only his thin shoulders and neck and protruding butterfly bones could be seen, as well as his hair, which had just been squeezed into a mess.
A janitor grumbled in a low voice, picking up the remnants of the pieces of the support signs on the ground and throwing them into a nearby trash can. She saw a broken wooden board by the wall and was just about to pick it up when another hand picked up the board faster than she did.
“Auntie, this is mine. I’ll take it with me, thanks.” Lu Rong said softly.
The thin board had split down the middle and was only held together by the side strips. He used his hand to wipe off the dust covering the letters An and the few footprints on it, and put it back into his backpack.