Chapter 2: The Naming
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Translation
It was a Friday, so Li Yan had to go home for a family dinner. He brought the incident with Lu Shang up at the dinner table and as expected his dad did not reprimand him for his actions. Instead, his father praised him.
“When you do business with him, you have to be extra careful.” Li JinYao, Li Yan’s father reminded him.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Always think before I act. Right, you’ve said that so many times already.” Li Yan irritatedly grumbled.
“You damn kid. How dare you think I’m annoying?” Li JinYao said furiously, “Lu Shang’s father’s death had a lot to do with us. With how useless you are, I won’t be surprised if you were sold by Lu Shang one day.”
Li Yan hated feeling inferior, but seeing that his father was in a bad mood, he just replied, “Yes, I understand.”
Li JinYao had his son at an old age, so naturally he pampered him a lot. Li Yan was still very young and he was protected by everyone in the family. He never encountered any hardships in his career, neither had he ever lost to anyone. He was very proud and had no respect for others at all.
“Also, for that Sun Mao guy, watch him carefully, okay? Don’t let him get in our way.”
Li Yan said yes to his father’s warning but then he suddenly thought of something and asked, “Hey, wasn’t Sun Mao pretty great back in the day? How did he become like this?”
Li JinYao flipped the newspaper open and gave a weird scoff, “There are two things in this world that people should never do. One is drugs and the other one is gambling. Once you get into those things, even if you have a mountain of gold and silver, you’d eventually lose all of them. Sun Mao used to be really rich, but last year someone took him to Macau. After that, he barely spent a day back home. Who knows how much money he actually lost.”
“Who took him there?”
If the wise and beautiful noblewomen on television were to become a real-life person, then it would be someone like Meng XinYou. Even if her intelligence was ignored, her family background was stunning enough. Her family had high military achievements for three generations straight; so high achieving that they could be listed in history books. Others were all high officials, such as her grandfather who was the chief of a major company. This woman knew a lot of people; she had all kinds of friends. It was quite natural that she was able to get Sun Mao to Macau, but there was one thing that not many people knew…… she was Lu Shang’s god sister.
Li Yan didn’t need a lot of brain cells to understand what role Lu Shang played in this whole incident. He couldn’t help but frustratingly curse in a low volume, “Fuck.”
It was nine in the morning when the returned loans arrived on time in the books. Lu Shang listened to Uncle Yuen’s report and nodded, “Send a letter to Mr. Sun, also pick up a present for Meng XinYou for me.”
Uncle Yuen replied yes and suddenly remembered something as he was about to leave. He turned back and said, “The kid you brought back yesterday, the doctors found drugs that would drive a person insane in his system. They cleaned all of them up and there are none left in the boy now. It seems like the Li family is really doing deals with prohibited drugs in the dark. Also, as you ordered, the doctor did a full body check-up on the boy. Here’s the report.”
Uncle Yuen handed the report to Lu Shang, “The doctors think that he must have been abused for a long period of time. There were a lot of wounds and scars on the boy; some new, some old. He is also malnourished; he most likely needs to stay in the hospital for a while.”
“Let him stay in the hospital.” Lu Shang took the report and put it aside, not looking at it. “Get a copy of the drug sample, then go find Dr. Ng in the west district to make an official record of his wounds. Remember to take pictures of all his wounds. Get the surveillance tapes in the car repair factory, exchange it for something different, and save a copy of the fight.”
Uncle Yuen said, “Do you want to…”
Lu Shang gave uncle Yuen a look, hinting at him not to say anything. Lu Shang really wasn’t a kind-hearted person. If he could get a hold of Li Yan’s weakness, he didn’t mind getting himself involved in this little affair. If he hyped up the facts a bit, it would definitely work wonders in bringing him down. Li Yan was still too inexperienced, if it was Li JinYao who was handling this, he would definitely clean the kid up first and bring the boy to his door with as much publicity as possible. That would give himself face and, at the same time, not leave any traces of his wrong doings behind.
Lu Shang rubbed the bandages on his arm and changed the subject, “When will ZiRui be back?”
“Eleven tonight, I’ve already arranged people to get him from the airport.”
Uncle Yuen was always a meticulous person, Lu Shang was never worried about his working ability, but after Uncle Yuen replied, the two of them fell into silence, staring each other in the eyes. It was only after a long while had past did Lu Shang ask, “Do you want to ask why I brought the boy back?”
“Your father asked me to take care of you before he died. You know he was quite wary of these kind of things.”
Lu Shang imagined his father’s grave and showed a depressed expression. Then, he said to Uncle Yuen, smiling slightly, “You don’t have to worry about me.”
Uncle Yuen didn’t push the subject further and asked, “When Dr. Leung is back, do you want him to go to your home first?”
“No. Put him in the hospital. I will go find him there when I have the time.”
Uncle Yuen’s face contorted at what Lu Shang said.
Seeing his expression Lu Shang said helplessly, “I’ve waited for a long time already. It’s fine, I don’t really care anymore.”
While Uncle Yuen had been the Lu family’s personal driver for almost thirty years, he was also Lu Shang’s assistant. He understood Lu Shang’s temper and habits pretty well. He knew that it was useless for him to say anything, so he forced himself to nod.
Nine years ago, Lu Shang’s father died from acute heart failure. Lu Shang, who was still in his teens, had to rush back to the country to handle the funeral preparations and other matters. He had to take care of the company handed down to him from his father. That was when Uncle Yuen first met the Lu family’s only hermit heir. Lu Shang was very young at the time, but he did things in an orderly fashion. He was able to get used to everything very quickly. With the help of Lu Shang’s father’s friend, Lu Shang got full control of the situation promptly. At the beginning, Uncle Yuen couldn’t grasp why Lu Shang’s father kept him away in another country instead of letting him help in the family business… That was until he read Lu Shang’s health records.
A human’s life was nothing more than a trade. One exchange for another. If one wanted something, then they’d need something of equal value to trade for it. Lu Shang’s father couldn’t escape that, neither could Lu Shang.
Uncle Yuen was an efficient person and the photos of the boy’s wounds arrived on Lu Shang’s work desk at home that night. Lu Shang never really cared much for these things, so he just flipped it open and skimmed through it. Then something in the pictures caught his attention.
Leung ZiRui rushed straight to Lu Shang’s home after getting off the plane. He flung the door open and, as expected, the person he had been worrying about for his whole life, also the owner of this house, was overworking himself as per usual.
“Sick people should rest. Why is it that you never listen to what your doctor says?” Leung ZiRui threw his luggage away and ran towards the fridge, “I’m in a hurry. Is there anything to eat? I’m going to starve to death.”
Lu Shang stared at the sand and mud on Leung ZiRui’s shoes and said, “Can’t you take your shoes off first?”
“Forgot.” Leung ZiRui kicked his shoes away, then opened the fridge. A message was left in the kitchen saying that a bowl of pasta was prepared already.
Seeing that there was pasta, Leung ZiRui immediately stopped ruffling through the fridge. With a huge grin on his face, he said, “You knew I’d come here tonight, didn’t you?” Leung ZiRui saw the bandages on Lu Shang’s arm, “Oh, why is your arm hurt?” He pulled Lu Shang’s hand over, then muttered, shocked, “This is…someone bit you?”
Lu Shang was busy with the files he was working on and ignored Leung ZiRui.
“Don’t move your hand. Let me examine it.”
Leung ZiRui was Lu Shang’s childhood friend. He studied for his Medical Doctorate in America, while his family opened a Chinese medicine clinic in Chinatown. He had contact with medicine at a very young age, interchanging between Chinese medicine and Western medicine with ease. This person was crazy about medicine and its related knowledge. He especially liked to challenge hard medical cases. He was self-proclaimed to be a rare flower in the medical sector, while in truth, he was a weird mutated alien flower. Seeing people with odd diseases brought him more joy than seeing a beauty in a bikini. Others might feign a body check-up to grope a lady, while he truly just wanted to go do a full-body check-up on the person.
While Leung ZiRui was examining Lu Shang, pasta, roasted squid, and roasted Chinese toon (chun/toona) were served, making the whole house contain the aroma of food.
“You’ve been overexerting yourself again these past six months. Tomorrow, come to my place, I’ll give you a more in-depth body check-up. Don’t have breakfast tomorrow.” Leung ZiRui let Lu Shang’s hand go, his complexion looking quite bad.
“You can refuse to come, but the next time you have surgery, I’ll reduce the amount of anesthesia I administer.” Leung ZiRui continued to eat his food calmly as he said that.
The wood in the fireplace cracked, giving a short sharp sound. Lu Shang avoided the subject completely and pulled out a picture from a folder, pushing it towards Leung ZiRui. “What do you think this scar was caused by?”
Leung ZiRui gulped down some water and gave the picture a peek. Immediately, he concluded, “A gunshot wound.”
“Could you determine the caliber of the bullet?”
“That’d be hard. This must have been a wound from at least a decade ago. Moreover, the person was still a child when he got hurt. This person must have grown a reasonable amount already.” After saying that he got curious and picked up the report to give it a more detailed look. “China banned guns long ago. There aren’t many people with gunshot wounds left. Whose report is this?”
Lu Shang made an indescribable expression, “ZiRui… Do you believe in destiny?”
Leung ZiRui raised his head from the report in shock, “Did you eat the wrong medicine or something?”
Lu Shang shook his head, “I didn’t believe that before either.”
Leung ZiRui’s hand stopped. He tried to link the clues together and when he finally understood what Lu Shang was suggesting, he stood straight up from the chair and asked, “Are you saying that this is the kid from ten years ago? He’s not dead yet?”
“I don’t know, so I’m asking you.” Lu Shang seemed to be quite calm, “I left him at your place. Go and have a look at him tomorrow morning for me, okay?”
“Why didn’t you say that earlier? Driver! Take me home immediately!”
After seeing Leung ZiRui off, Lu Shang worked for a while more before finally resting. It was nearing the end of the year and there were a lot of complicated things to deal with, so he had to put in the extra effort to get them done.
The next morning, when Lu Shang woke up, his complexion was even more sickly than usual, making Uncle Yuen frown in worry. “Maybe you shouldn’t go today?”
“No, I’m fine.” Lu Shang tidied up his clothes as he replied.
There was some fog in the morning and it still lingered in the afternoon. Lu Shang drove all the way to RuiGe Hospital’s inpatient department where Leung ZiRui was already waiting for him at the door. “You sure look like you just crawled out from the grave.”
Lu Shang really didn’t feel good today. His right hand couldn’t help but press on his chest in a futile attempt to stop the pain. “Let’s go.”
“Where do you think you’re going?” Leung ZiRui placed his arm on Lu Shang’s shoulder, pushing Lu Shang to turn around with a perfect smile hanging on his face. “You will get a body check-up first.”
RuiGe Hospital was funded by the Lu family. It was opened under Leung ZiRui’s uncle’s name as a private hospital and was located next to one of the biggest public hospitals in the city. Between the two hospitals was a bridge so that the two hospitals could share the more expensive equipment.
Lu Shang hated places with a lot of people, so Leung ZiRui had to lure him there with sweet words, but mostly lies. Luckily, Lu Shang’s medical file was already established, so getting the report didn’t take a long time.
“You got worse AGAIN!”
Lu Shang didn’t put much care in what Leung ZiRui was saying.
“At this rate, it’d be a miracle if you could stay alive to next year.” Leung ZiRui felt a wave of pain in his head, “I got that kid’s sample, the results will come out next week.”
“There’s no hurry.”
“But I’m in a hurry though!” Leung ZiRui screamed, “You don’t have much time left.”
Lu Shang raised his head to look at Leung ZiRui, he shoved an echocardiogram result in Lu Shang’s face. “The blood vessel allografts I implanted two years ago weren’t very effective. An aneurysm was found in the constricted part of the aorta. This thing is extremely dangerous, if it bursts, then you can only go greet God.”
“And the solution?” Lu Shang said blandly.
Leung ZiRui was helpless at how uninterested Lu Shang was about the entire situation. After thinking for a while he said, “I am developing a new type of Cyclosporine. If it goes well, maybe it could help you. You…please just hang in there.”
That night, they had dinner together. Lu Shang packed a bowl of thick egg soup and some sweets that kids would like back home.
“Oh, how caring. That’s such a rare sight, Lu Lao Ban.” Leung ZiRui couldn’t help but tease him.
Lu Shang didn’t mind and just asked, “Which room?”
Leung ZiRui got scared and gave up, “Sigh, room 503.”
The news was on, talking about a coming cold current. Lu Shang walked into the hospital room; the teenager was daydreaming on the bed. In order to make addressing his wounds more convenient, the teenager’s hair was cut short, showing a pair of shiny black eyes. A piece of medical gauze was placed under his eye. Originay, his skin was really white, but after he had changed into a new, clean hospital robe, he looked quite energetic.
Lu Shang put the packaged food on the bedside table, asking with a light voice, “Do you remember me?”
The teenager’s deep (i) black gaze lingered on the bandages around Lu Shang’s arm. Then their eyes met, and he said politely, “Lu Lao Ban.”
Lu Shang nodded his head, sitting down on the chair beside the bed. He said, “What should I call you?”
“Xiao Li… My surname is Li, so they call me Xiao Li.”
“You don’t have a name?”
“I don’t remember anymore.”
Lu Shang stared at him for a while and said, “How about Li Sui (ii)?”
The teenager looked at Lu Shang with confused eyes.
“You will follow me from now on.” Lu Shang didn’t plan on explaining and continued to say, “Can you read?”
“Just a little.”
Lu Shang had a gest of Li Sui’s level of knowledge, so he didn’t continue with the questions, he just made him eat the food.
A few days later, some clothes were delivered and all of them were high quality. It was only until Li Sui saw Uncle Yuen put them into the wardrobe did he realize that the clothes were for him.
“You will be discharged from the hospital after three weeks. Someone will come pick you up. Remember to change clothes prior to that.” Uncle Yuen said with his usual working tone, “This is your identification card.”
Li Sui received the card. He went into a trance for a while, seeing the words “Li Sui” (iii).
“This is a credit card. It is a card connected to Lu Lao Ban’s credit card. If you have something you want, just use this to buy it. However, it can’t be turned into real cash. If you want to save money, you can create a bank account once you get out of the hospital.”
“I…” Li Sui stared at the credit card; he wasn’t able to utter a word for half a day.
Seeing that, Uncle Yuen didn’t say anymore and just left the card on the table.
Leung ZiRui was watching from the surveillance cameras. He was absolutely enjoying himself, “Look at how you are scaring the kid, Lu Shang…”
Lu Shang opened a can of beer nonchalantly as if this had nothing to do with him.
“So what exactly are you planning to do with him?”
“Adopt him.” Lu Shang was straight to the point, giving extremely short answers.
“Adopt him?” Leung ZiRui clicked his tongue and gave him a white eye, “What if you become his benefactor?”
Leung ZiRui didn’t really think it through when he said that, but the suggestion actually lodged into Lu Shang’s brain. If he adopted the boy, then there would be problem with inheritance in the future. More so, it would bring unnecessary danger to the boy. Those were also the things he was considering these past two days. But if he were to provide for him, then it would be perfect in almost every way. Lu Shang could also make sure Li Sui stayed near him.
“The old guys in your company are counting the days for you to die. They won’t let him go if they catch wind of this, but if he’s just your little lover, then there won’t be a problem. Even if he stays near you, no one will bat an eye and get curious.”
Lu Shang considered his suggestion carefully. “Becoming a sugar daddy to an underaged teenager… What a great sin…” That reminded Lu Shang, “How old is he actually?”
“From his bones, he should be around fifteen to sixteen years old. However, since he was malnourished for such a long time, he had a slow growth. That means he might be a little older than that. I would guess around seventeen.”
“What about his wounds? How long will it take for those to heal?”
Leung ZiRui shot three fingers up and said, “His bones and muscles were severely injured. They need at least three months. I personally suggest that he stays in the hospital till the end of the month, but you’re his sugar daddy, so I can’t really object. Still, I need to warn you. You know you don’t have a great rap sheet. He lacks nutrients and his legs haven’t healed as much as it looks from the outside. Don’t let him walk for long periods of time for a month.”
Author Note: The ship here is Li Sui as the seme and Lu Shang as the uke.
T/N: (i) & (ii): The word “deep” used to describe Li Sui’s eyes was “Shen Sui” (深邃), the name Lu Shang gave him was Li Sui (黎邃).
(iii) I think he’s in a trance because the character “Sui” is pretty hard to write, plus it’s not a common word.