Wen Qing knew that someone was sitting beside his bed, but he didn’t open his eyes.
Nor did he speak. He merely lay there in silence.
A while later, Wen Bai swallowed and said, “Wen Qing.”
It was only then did Wen Qing slowly open his eyes, “Why are you here?”
“I came to visit you.”
“Oh.” Wen Qing answered dully.
Wen Bai took a deep breath, “Come to my side, I can protect you.”
Wen Qing didn’t want to reply as he stared out the window motionless.
Wen Bai knew that Wen Qing wanted him to leave but he didn’t move.
After a long time of dead silence, Wen Qing said, “Do you know what I regret the most right now?”
“It was deciding to stay by Yan Han’s side ten odd years ago. However, I’m quite willing to come to terms with my current situation, so there’s no need to drag you with me.”
Wen Bai was just about to speak when Wen Qing stopped him, “I don’t want to drag you with me either. See, I don’t like you and there’s no way you like me. Relying on you merely adds to my debt of gratitude, which is pretty tiring. Can’t you go do yourself a favour and find yourself a partner?”
Wen Bai remained silent.
Wen Qing glimpsed at him, “You don’t have to promise me that. Just live a good life, and don’t wind yourself up in a bunch of stuff that you shouldn’t get tied up with.”
“Is it really impossible between us?”
“It’s impossible. How many times have I told you? Can’t you take my words to heart even once?”
“Okay, this will be the last time I ask you this question.”
“Yes. It’s quite boring for me to meddle into your business with Yan Han.”
The corners of Wen Qing’s lips finally seemed to form some sort of faint smile, “That’s good. Oh, can I ask you a favour?”
“What is it?”
“Help me take good care of Han Wei.”
“Okay.” Wen Bai’s hand trembled slightly, “What about you?”
“Me?” Wen Qing tilted his head and laughed, “I’m travelling around the world on a budget, and then I settled down in Australia.”
Wen Bai nodded his head. His heart was in great agony as he got up and left.
He felt unwilling when he walked out the door, and so he turned his head back to look at the other again.
The sunshine outside the window was perfect as it illuminated Wen Qing’s backdrop, blurrily outlining a vignette of his profile.
It seemed like he was smiling, yet at the same time not.
Yan Han was carrying a bag of apples when he returned to Wen Qing’s hospital room.
The two people didn’t speak to each other. Yan Han peeled an apple while Wen Qing quietly gazed at him as he did so.
Yan Han liked to use his right hand to peel fruit. His thumb pressed against the apple as he went around in a clockwise motion. The apple skin was thin, even and unbroken.
There was one year when Wen Qing came down with a cold for a long time. He remained ill from Christmas until February of the next year.
Wen Qing didn’t like to eat medicine nor did he like visiting the hospital. When he got sick, he preferred to drag it out. That time was no exception, and so a small cold almost manifested into pneumonia. He would cough every day and night. Later on, he was coughing so badly that his eyes grew red from blood congestion. Yan Han stubbornly ignored Wen Qing’s refusal and dragged him to the hospital. His illness still didn’t get better even after a week of being hooked up to an IV drip. Yan Han then went to find a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. During that time, the house constantly smelled of Chinese herbal medicine. Yan Han would make sure the other person finished drinking the bowl of medicine three times a day. It wasn’t until this continued to the point where Wen Qing would feel like throwing up by reflex as soon as he smelt Chinese medicine, did he finally recover from his cold for the most part.
Ever since he was young, Yan Han had never been inside a kitchen. However, at the time, he learnt how to make steamed pear with rock sugar for Wen Qing. When Wen Qing finished drinking traditional chinese medicine, and was left with an unbearable bitterness in his mouth, he would give him a bowl of steamed pear with rock sugar. It was back then that Yan Han mastered the skill of peeling fruit.
After that, there was one incidence when Wen Qing suddenly said that he wanted to eat steamed pear with rock sugar. Thus, Yan Han went and made it again. That time, Wen Qing discovered that it was awfully sweet upon tasting it. It was so sweet that it made his throat feel slightly uncomfortable. Yan Han was taken aback as he said, “I’m used to putting in this much rock sugar from the time when you had to drink Chinese medicine. I’ll add less next time.”
Absentmindedly, Yan Han had already finished peeling an apple and was now cutting it into pieces to put on a fruit plate. He stuck a toothpick in and gave it to Wen Qing.
Yan Han stiffly lifted the corners of his lips in a fawning manner.
“I know that I’ve treated you badly in the past. Don’t leave. Live a good life with me. We’ll live a peaceful life together without stirring up any trouble. I’m not young anymore. I can no longer afford to mess around. We’ll go home after your feet heal. I won’t be unreasonable anymore in the future. It’s okay if you don’t want to stay here too. I’ll hand over all the work at hand during this period of time, and accompany you to go see the outside world. Everything’s fine as long as you don’t leave me.” Towards the end of his speech, Yan Han couldn’t hold onto his smile anymore as the corners of his lips started drooping back down, whilst his eyes also became red. He felt so nervous his palms were sweaty, like a child who had finally admitted to his wrongdoings and was waiting to be punished by his parents. At the same time, he felt like the world was spinning around as he waited for the other person to speak.
Wen Qing grabbed the plate of fruit and placed it on top of the cupboard next to him. He smiled as he reached out with his hand and ruffled Yan Han’s hair.
For an instance, Yan Han couldn’t hold it back as tears began to fall.
Wen Qing wiped away Yan Han’s tears. His ice cold fingers trembled as if they had been burnt by the other’s tears.
Wen Qing gazed at Yan Han, “Why are you crying? The past is in the past, make the future count.”
Yan Han lifted his head, slightly afraid to speak.
Wen Qing hugged Yan Han and gently patted his back. He whispered beside Yan Han’s ear, “See, I’ve liked you for so many years. You must remember to live a good life in the future.”
Yan Han’s face was buried in the crook of Wen Qing’s neck. Wen Qing’s words made him feel anxious, yet he couldn’t put his finger on why. He merely kept nodding his head.
Wen Qing asked, “Will you stay back with me tonight?”
Yan Han took a few deep breaths and nodded his head again.
Wen Qing stared at the white ceiling with empty eyes and smiled, “That’s good.”
In 2012, when the everyone was spreading rumours about the end of the world, Yan Han asked Wen Qing what he would do on the night before doomsday.
Wen Qing was eating lychee at the time and a splatter of fruit juice spattered onto his face as he peeled one open. The two people started to laugh loudly.
Yan Han laughed at Wen Qing’s denseness, whilst Wen Qing laughed at Yan Han’s childishness, “I don’t believe in doomsday.”
Yan Han wrapped his arms around Wen Qing, “What if it really exists?”
“Then I will fall asleep that night with my lover as we embrace each other.”
Yan Han lifted a brow, “Then who is your lover?”
Wen Qing ate a lychee, unwilling to talk. Yan Han tickled Wen Qing, causing him to discard the lychee and dodge towards the side.
By the end of it all, Wen Qing was completely exhausted. He said in a begging manner, “It’s you okay? You.”
Wen Qing thought about today’s events and smiled. Borrowing the moonlight, he gazed at the man in front of him who had already fallen asleep from weariness.
The hospital bed was very narrow. The two of them were very close to each other. The other man was in a curled up position, for he was afraid of touching Wen Qing’s wounds. Yet, his hands grasped extremely tightly onto Wen Qing’s clothes.
This man’s temper had always been bad. See, he even knitted his brows so tightly together in his dreams.
Wen Qing carefully reached out and gently smoothed out the frown lines between the man’s brows. He then softly sighed.
He felt comforted, yet at the same time he seemed to feel full of grief deep inside.
Wen Qing wanted to close his eyes and fall asleep together with the person before him as they held each other in their arms, as if nothing ever happened in the past. However, at the same time he was reluctant to do so, because he wanted to use this night as an opportunity to take another glimpse at this man.
He settled on just embracing the other like that. It felt quite nice.
He could consider his wish fulfilled. It didn’t matter whether it was still someone he loved or not, for it was fine as long as it was the man in front of him.
The next day, as soon as the man woke up, he hurriedly opened his eyes to see if the other person was still there or not. It wasn’t until he saw Wen Qing’s smile did he feel at ease.
Wen Qing gently laughed, “You woke up?”
The man nodded his head.
Wen Qing hastened the man to get out of bed. The man acted shamelessly like a child and was unwilling to release his hand that was wrapped around Wen Qing.
Wen Qing smiled bitterly, “Aren’t you going to quickly go and sort out your work? I’m still thinking of going on a trip somewhere with you after my feet heal.”
The man hesitated and asked, “Really?”
“Really.” Wen Qing nodded his head. His nails were almost going to pierce into the flesh of his palms.
The man packed his stuff and kissed Wen Qing’s cheek before he left, “I’ll come back and eat lunch with you.”
Wen Qing watched the man leave with a faint smile.
Chapter 53 (END)
After the man left, Wen Qing found an excuse to send away the nurse aide that Yan Han had hired. He then called Xiao Zhang over and told the other that he wanted to eat Li Ji’s steamed buns.
Xiao Zhang looked like he had been put in a slightly difficult position.
Wen Qing smiled and pointed to his feet, “I can’t go anywhere with the state my feet are in now.”
Only then did Xiao Zhang agree, thinking to himself that if he drove there by car he would be back in no time.
It wasn’t until Wen Qing could no longer hear Xiao Zhang’s footsteps did he get up off the bed.
As soon as his feet touched the ground, he felt a stabbing pain. Wen Qing’s legs were shaking as he finally sat himself down on the wheelchair with much difficulty.
Wen Qing laughed bitterly and awkwardly pushed himself along in the wheelchair.
He made his way to the hallway and rode the elevator to the top floor.
Wen Qing clenched his teeth and used his hands to support himself against the handrail as he climbed up a small flight of stairs before he finally reached the rooftop.
Wen Qing was in so much pain that his face was pale, yet he still had a self-mocking smile on his face.
He had it coming after all.
Even seeking death was so hard.
Blood had already seeped through the thick layer of bandages on his feet.
Yet, Wen Qing didn’t feel as much pain. It was like he was already numb.
Wen Qing used every ounce of strength he had to sit on the edge of the rooftop.
He gazed down at everything beneath him. He squinted his eyes, and it was like as if he saw the debauchery he had experienced himself over all these past years.
The sunlight on a Winter morning shone brightly, blinding his eyes.
Wen Qing’s face was slightly wet.
He swung his dangling legs and tilted his head upwards. He opened his arms out wide with a faint smile.
He slowly leaned forwards.
He felt the speed of the wind. He felt the endless fall.
He remembered Wen Bai looking young and vigorous as if he had victory in the bag. He remembered the way that dumb girl, Han Wei, acted in a spoiled manner towards him. He remembered his parents.
And finally, he thought of Yan Han. Him and Yan Han.
In the moment of freedom, he felt as though he embraced the entire world.
The world he so deeply loved.
He buried himself in a riot of colours, as if he had returned to the gentlest home in his dreams. Beneath the sunlight, a smile spread on his delicate face.
Inside the office, a wave of thundering noise resounded beside Yan Han’s ears. Yan Han subconsciously looked out towards the window.
A piece of his heart suddenly disappeared.
 李记的包子 This literally translates to Li Ji’s steamed buns. In China, ___记 is used very often as restaurant names, although typically usually for smaller scale street food stalls. The 记 (Ji) is akin to that of ‘house/family’, so in this case, it means the steamed buns made by the Li family. It’s not restricted to steamed buns, and could 张记牛肉面, which would then mean beef noodles made by the Zhang family.
Author’s Note (Translated)
After a long time of hesitation, I still decided to write a piece like this for you guys.
Through this novel, ‘Gaze at the Scenes of Debauchery’, I became familiar with many new people.
And you guys became acquainted with Wen Qing, Yan Han and Wen Bai.
I received many long comments for this novel. I saw that amongst you guys, there were people who couldn’t hold back from confiding in others about their own lives. More or less, they were dark and depressing.
Yet, for some unknown reason I feel slightly flustered. I want to comfort you guys after witnessing your depression, but at the same time I don’t know what to say.
My chief editor told me one day late at night, that a good writer should be able to empower their readers through their work.
Clearly, I still cannot be considered a good writer.
I think I probably won’t write another piece like ‘Gaze at the Scenes of Debauchery’ for a very long time. After all, I’ve got to bring you guys a bit more happiness and positivity whilst I’m still young and can still laugh out loud like no one else is in the room.
Before someone asked me why I’m called Ku Cha (t/n: underpants), and at the time I gave them a slightly ‘dirty’ answer.
“Because if underpants aren’t being used to pretend to be cool, then they’re being used to hold someone’s dick.”
The actual reason why I’m called Ku Cha is merely because it sounds funny and joyous.
My original intention for writing my first novel, ‘Farewell’, was also to create something that was motivational and soothing to the heart. There are so many hurt people in this world, but in the end one must still believe in love and run towards it. Albeit ending up covered in bruises and cuts, you’re still living inside feelings of love.
Even if it’s just ‘motivational nonsense’, in the future I still prefer to write more novels of this kind.
Along the journey from the beginning of ‘Gaze at the Scenes of Debauchery’ till its finish, some people said that towards the end, Yan Han’s character fell out of line and the story became more and more boring. There were also people who commented that they felt as though they didn’t understand some parts of the novel.
I actually don’t really want to explain anything. My male idol said that my writing was similar to the style of American dramas, in that majority of the plotline was covered by one or two sentences. I laughed out loud and shamelessly flattered myself by saying that was because my writing is succinct and my plot is well developed. Thus, my editor said ‘it seems like I’ll need to give you a word limit in the future’.
‘Gaze at the Scenes of Debauchery’ is now finished, and it only has over 30,000 characters. It won’t take long to reread it again. To the people who like this novel, I hope that you guys can read it again and listen to the story when it’s all pieced together. Perhaps then, you’ll understand certain feelings of helplessness, certain struggles and certain times when you’ve been given the deliberate cold shoulder.
If by then, you still think that there are parts that are too abrupt, or incomprehensible, then perhaps there’s a bug in my writing. Or perhaps it’s because people are all contradictory and complicated, just like how there are many times when we don’t even understand ourselves.
‘Gaze at the Scenes of Debauchery’ is certainly a novel that is slightly depressing.
Perhaps it will strike a sympathetic chord in your hearts.
However, life is bitter and short. Ku Cha hopes that you guys can live with a bit more happiness and enthusiasm.
Perhaps the reason why certain people or events make you unhappy is because you care. You are the one who gave them the power to mess around with your heart. On any day that they offend us, we can just take back that power. Time may be needed, but the owner of that power is still us!
Right now, Ku Cha still has a bit of ‘Eighth-grade Syndrome’. Parts of my words may not be very correct, but in the end, you have to be the one to figure out your own life.
Ku Cha hopes that you guys can all be a bit happier. Be cheerful and unrestrained when you start making a scene with your best friends.
The new year is fast approaching.
Hope you guys can all live happy, study well and be at your best everyday.
Be good and let your father be more at ease.
Love you guys ~
Another project is coming to an end. Firstly, thanks to Yuu, my brilliant editor who does a good job no matter what sort of novel I throw at him. Also would like to thank Addis for releasing the chapters (it was her decision to release 3-4 chapters at a time since they’re so short so you guys would have enough to read, thank her :P). Furthermore, I’d just like to reiterate that the author’s note was not written by me. It was written by the original author of this story, Ku Cha.
And of course, a big thank you to all the readers! I hope you enjoyed this piece, or at least gotten something out of it. Despite it being short, this is still one of the novels I hold dearest to heart. Look forward to the extras too (they take place after this chapter, one is Yan Han’s POV, the other is Wen Bai’s)!
I really enjoyed working on this project. Thank you to Rui for translating so that we all may read it, and thank you to everyone from EXR for being some awesome people.
I really loved this novel and the emotions I experienced with it. I could see what was coming but my heart still jumped and wrenched at the words I carefully read. I can sympathize with all three of the main characters and I really love that I can. It was an amazing story and I am so happy to have had the chance to work on it with the people I did. In the end, I suppose all I can say it: I’m just an android with a rocket launcher.