Chapter 14: The Seaside
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlation
Three hours later, the jet landed at the airport where a car was already waiting for them. When they disembarked from the jet, Lu Shang’s fever had gone down a bit, but he wasn’t conscious, he seemed to be in deep sleep. One of the male caretakers was going to carry him off, but Li Sui stopped him. He leaned forward and bridal carried Lu Shang who was still wrapped in the blanket off the plane.
Li Sui visited the gym often, so his arms were strong, and to be frank he didn’t find carrying Lu Shang the least bit difficult. The second they got off the jet, they were greeted with a gust of hot wind. Li Sui turned his body sideways, using his back to shelter Lu Shang from the wind, and nudging him closer to his own chest for protection. Li Sui only let go of him after they got into the car.
The accommodations Uncle Yuen arranged was for the top floor of a hotel that was conveniently located near a hospital; quiet and secluded. Li Sui wasn’t sleepy, he guarded Lu Shang’s bed as the caretakers gave Lu Shang an adequate amount of pure oxygen to inhale, then gave him a few injections. It was already late at night when the caretakers left their room, leaving behind some medicine on the table.
Li Sui gave Lu Shang’s body a basic scrub, then he took a shower. He sneaked into the blanket beside Lu Shang after his shower, seeing the person beside him completely unguarded, he mustered up his courage and hugged Lu Shang by the waist. After all this time, he was completely accustomed to sleeping with Lu Shang. Even though they used the same shampoo, Li Sui could always smell a different aroma from Lu Shang. It was his distinct smell and it comforted Li Sui whenever he smelled it.
That night, Li Sui had a dream. He dreamed about being in a conference room. Lu Shang stood tall in front of a room full of elites, he was giving a speech, and the audience looked up to him with anticipation. Yet, he stopped abruptly, turning his head to Li Sui, he smiled. Before Li Sui could react, Lu Shang’s body shook and he fell to the ground. Everything became chaotic at once, someone called the ambulance, some laughed and Li Sui stood still in shock. Li Sui wanted to go to Lu Shang, but as if he was frozen, he couldn’t move an inch. He heard someone saying Lu Shang was dead, he heard squealing, he heard laughter… What unfolded were like the images in a zoetrope, they all passed by him so quickly. Li Sui’s eyes were filled with tears, he wanted to call out to Lu Shang, but for some reason he couldn’t choke out a single syllable.
Li Sui woke up from his dream feeling unsettled, tears were overflowing from the corners of his eyes. It was already morning; Li Sui woke up alone in bed. Li Sui’s heart shuddered, he rushed out of bed and ran out of the room barefoot. He was in a hurry, almost clashing into the mirror as he ran.
Lu Shang sat on the sofa with a glass of water in hand, beside him was a rubbish bin. His complexion wasn’t good, it seemed like he had just woken up as well.
“What’s wrong?” Startled, Lu Shang stared at Li Sui.
That was when Li Sui noticed how unseemly he was acting. He cleared his throat by coughing a few times and wiped away the tears that were still on his face, shaking his head, he said, “Nothing.”
Lu Shang didn’t say anything else, he just stared into the glass of water blankly. Li Sui couldn’t bring himself to look at Lu Shang. The dream was too real, it was so real that it almost seemed like a premonition. Li Sui was so scared that he felt his heart twist, the sensation of losing a loved one was too real, Li Sui never wanted to experience that again.
Li Sui walked towards Lu Shang with light steps, he stopped behind the sofa, leaning down, he slowly brought Lu Shang into a hug. He knew Lu Shang wouldn’t reject him.
“Had a nightmare?” Lu Shang patted his head.
“Hm. I dreamed that… you were gone.” Li Sui muttered, he wanted Lu Shang to comfort him, to tell him that it would be fine and that dreams showed the opposite. Li Sui remembered that whenever he used to get nightmares, Lu Shang would comfort him by saying that. However, Lu Shang didn’t say that today.
Li Sui lifted his head from Lu Shang’s shoulder, forcing himself to back away from the negative emotions he was immersed in. He saw the glass of water Lu Shang was holding, “Did it turn cold? I can go get a warm glass for you.”
Lu Shang shook his head, after a while he said helplessly, “The medicine is too bitter.”
The omnipotent Lu Shang was afraid of bitterness, for some reason, Li Sui found that a little funny. But he didn’t laugh, seeing the contents in the rubbish bin, Li Sui’s face stiffened. He suddenly remembered a story Leung ZiRui told him, he said when Lu Shang was young, he hated the bitterness and refused to take the medication, so the doctors had to hold him down and force the pills into his mouth. The experience made him psychologically reject bitter medicine.
“Is it too painful? I can go ask the caretakers for medicine with syrup coatings.”
Lu Shang rejected, “This type is more effective.”
Looking at the reddened whites of Lu Shang’s eyes, Li Sui felt his heart twist again. While Li Sui was staring at him hollowly, Lu Shang tried swallowing the medicine again. But every time the pill reached his esophagus, it came up again. Lu Shang coughed the pill fell onto the floor.
Li Sui immediately gave Lu Shang a towel, patting his back he asked, “Are you okay?”
Lu Shang took the towel and buried his face in the cloth, he pointed at a small medicine box and said with a husky voice, “Help me get another cup of water.”
Li Sui couldn’t take it anymore, he asked, “If taking medicine is so painful, why do you take them?”
Lu Shang cleaned his own face, and laughed a little, “I will die if I don’t take them.”
Seeing Li Sui’s hesitant expression, Lu Shang pushed his arm a bit, hurrying him to get the water. Li Sui did as he was told, bringing Lu Shang a glass of warm water and looking at Lu Shang while his heart clenched. After trying three times, Lu Shang finally swallowed all the medicine. Li Sui couldn’t even put his feelings into words as he cleaned the floor.
With Lu Shang’s current health condition, it was impossible for him to examine the construction site. Uncle Yuen expected as much as well, so he had already prepared a model of the site and some video records. Lu Shang examined all of them in the hotel and decided on a general direction for the construction.
The original plan for this plot of land was a housing estate, it would be called the Golden Sands Shore. The proposal was scrapped later, but the name stayed. The person in charge of the project was called Liu XingMing. He had average height, dark skin and dark eyes, the tip of his nose was quite wide, he looked like someone from Thailand. He was quite capable; he also did his job meticulously. The model Lu Shang just looked at was from his team as well, the details of the model were well made, and it was quite pleasing to look at.
At night, Lu Shang invited Liu XingMing to his hotel. They had a huge feast in a private room as they conversed about their plans for the construction site over dinner. Lu Shang had admiration for this middle-aged man in front of him. Lu Shang remembered Liu XingMing from his teenage years working in the company with his father. Liu XingMing was still a small-fry worker back then. Liu XingMing fought with his own ability for his position now. When compared to those entitled brats who sat in the office doing nothing all day long, Liu XingMing was truly much stronger. Luckily the project was in Liu XingMing’s hands all these years. Related government departments had tried numerous times to get the land back but Liu XingMing was the one who blocked them. He was also the one who suggested restarting construction when Lu Shang got the extra six percent shares.
“I don’t support using the land for a housing development. The real estate market isn’t great in recent years. Moreover, the plot of land is near the seashore, so the height of the building will be limited. I did some research and tourists tend to like visiting tropical islands, so building a water park would be preferable.” Liu XingMing said.
Lu Shang had similar ideas. He leaned back on the chair and after consideration, he asked, “So the problem now is the design process. Is the investigative report from the marketing department done yet?”
“It’s done, I’ll ask someone to bring it to you tonight.”
“There’s no rush. You can give it to me tomorrow, before afternoon.” As long as Lu Shang made an appearance, there was really no rush. The news would quickly reach certain people’s ears, so he had enough time to deal with this project.
Both were workaholics, once they began talking, they forgot about eating altogether. Almost all the food on the dining table went into Li Sui’s stomach, he had never eaten Hai Nan cuisine before, he ate more than half of the WengChang Chicken. Lu Shang didn’t have an appetite, plus he couldn’t eat the food. While Liu XingMing was too excited about work to care about food.
After the meal, Li Sui still looked like he could eat more, the sight made Lu Shang chuckle. Lu Shang asked the driver to bring Li Sui out to the sea, then the night market. Perhaps they might even buy a bowl of Ching Bo Leung soup (i) to fill his stomach.
T/N: (i)There are a lot of variations of the soup, but the type that’s most common would be the sweet type that is usually considered a dessert. It’s a kind of soup that contains no meat. On a side note, it was really quite tasty. I drink it in a monastery every year on Buddha’s birthday.
“You are not going?” Li Sui knew Lu Shang was probably tired, Lu Shang was still sick, and he knew Lu Shang only managed to sit through dinner with sheer will power. However, he still had a shred of hope, hoping that Lu Shang would come with him.
Yet, Lu Shang didn’t give him that opportunity, he shook his head and turned back towards the hotel. Before disappointment surfaced on Li Sui’s face, Lu Shang turned around again, “If there are things you want, buy them. You don’t have to consider the price.”
I want you. Li Sui replied in his heart, he judged himself for thinking that, and quickly slapped himself in his thoughts.
The nightlife in Hai Nan was quite bustling, a lot of people roamed around the streets even at this hour. The streets were lined up with people gambling and selling mung bean soup, it was ten at night, but the streets were even livelier than during the day. Lu Shang wasn’t here, so Li Sui wasn’t all that interested. He leaned on the vehicle window, gazing at the night view in silence. It was Lu Shang who suggested this, so he would see it through nonetheless, as if it was an important mission.
Xiao Zhao was driving the car, Li Sui saw a few familiar vehicles in the rearview mirror. He asked with suspicion, “Are those cars following us?”
Xiao Zhao glanced at the mirror and replied indifferently, “They were following us from the beginning, and they are arranged by Lu Lao Ban.”
Li Sui asked, “Arranged to do what?”
“To ensure your safety I presume. Didn’t you notice that they follow you every time you go out?” Xiao Zhao laughed.
Li Sui didn’t notice at all, he was sensitive to gazes, but that was limited on humans, it didn’t include cars. Now that Li Sui took a better look at the cars, he did have vague memories of seeing these cars before.
“Do you have anything you want to buy? Shall we go to the markets?” Xiao Zhao asked.
“I’ll pass, I don’t like crowds.” Li Sui said. On this point, he was just like Lu Shang. However, Li Sui avoided the crowd because he found it difficult to overcome the fear of socializing with people while Lu Shang simply liked the peace and quiet.
“Aww. What a waste, Lu Lao Ban handed me a card for the special occasion too.” Xiao Zhao waved Li Sui over, “Look, there are a lot of shops here. They carry a lot of rare merchandise.”
Li Sui’s interest wasn’t peeked by the bright stalls, instead he caught a lighthouse with the corner of his eyes, his somber eyes lit up in an instant, “Is the sea nearby?”
“Yes. If we turn left ahead and drive for around twenty minutes, we will be at the sea.”
“I want to go to the seaside.”
It was dark, so the beach was basically empty. They only saw an old lady picking up plastic bottles. Li Sui had never been to the beach before, his usual tense façade melted quickly, revealing a childish expression. Li Sui took his shoes and socks off, jumping and running on the soft sand.
The wind here was hot even at night, it felt like someone was tickling him when the wind blew on his face. Li Sui played in the water for a while, then he got out and texted Lu Shang.
After Li Sui had left, Lu Shang called Leung ZiRui while standing in front of the window.
“What’s the matter?” Lu Shang got a text from Leung ZiRui in the afternoon, saying that he had important things to talk about, and he emphasized not letting Li Sui know.
“About your surgery, there is finally a breakthrough.” Leung ZiRui continued, “Do you remember that super smart, former professor of mine?”
“Leon, was it?”
“Yeah, him. Yesterday, a junior of mine told me that he saw Leon in Cuba. I’m going to go check it out.”
When it came to this person, Lu Shang had quite the impression, he really was a renowned physician.
“Lu Shang, my uncle did an operation on you again, didn’t he? But perhaps you can put the matter with Li Sui aside for now, a heart transplantation isn’t the only way. If I can reach Dr. Leon, then I’m certain there will be better options.”
Lu Shang sat on the sofa, he felt relieved for some reason, “That would be the best.”
“But with your condition now, the next few years won’t be easy.”
Lu Shang lowered his head, Li Sui’s black eyes flashed across his mind, he replied with a low voice, “I know, I’ll be fine.”
Lu Shang hung the phone up, black clouds roamed the skies. It was about to rain. Lu Shang sat on the bed in a daze, which was interrupted by the ringing of his phone, Li Sui had texted him.
[I saw the ocean, it was beautiful. But I can’t buy it, so I can’t bring it home.]
The vivid image of Li Sui saying this rose in Lu Shang’s mind. His mouth formed a slight curve as he typed back, [It’s going to rain soon, come back home quickly.]
Li Sui looked up to the sky. As expected, the pitch-black sky was covered with thick clouds, the winds around him began to pick up as well. Li Sui made sure to reply [I will] and returned to the car.
Xiao Zhao was waiting for him; he was planning to fetch Li Sui if he didn’t return. Being near the sea during a rainstorm was no joke, if a wave came crashing towards the shore, they probably wouldn’t even find the corpse.
The engine started; Xiao Zhao calmed down only after driving far away from the beach. Li Sui’s foot had sand on it, but he didn’t mind. He had a seashell in his hands, he looked at it from every angle, it was something he just dug up from the beach.
“Is that a gift for Lu Lao Ban?” Xiao Zhao laughed.
Li Sui only replied “Hm”, not even raising his head.
T/N: For those who understood what Leung ZiRui said, go read the last sentence of the summary again. Read it as literally as possible.