Chapter 27: Courtship Behavior
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The sound of propellers were too loud, hurting their ears. Uncle Yuen asked from the cockpit, “Are we going to the temporary shelter now?”
Lu Shang came back from his thoughts, he said, “To the city.”
Uncle Yuen was a bit startled, “Directly flying back to the city? Wouldn’t that draw too much attention?”
Lu Shang glanced at Uncle Yuen; the latter knowingly stopped asking, and he turned to negotiate with the pilot.
The two nurses at Lu Shang’s side were muttering something to each other, Lu Shang turned to ask, “What’s wrong?”
“We can’t get the needle in.” The older nurse replied, “His muscles are too tense, and we can’t get him to relax. Can we use sedatives?”
Lu Shang stared at Li Sui, his eyes filled with complicated and deep emotions. After a bit, he stood up walking over to the stretcher, he held Li Sui’s hand for a bit and called his name.
Li Sui’s eyes were still tightly shut, but hearing Lu Shang’s voice, his body made slight movements in response. Obviously, even though he was asleep, he could still react to Lu Shang’s voice. Lu Shang felt a hint of strength from Li Sui’s hand, it seemed like he wanted to hold Lu Shang’s hand back. Yet, Li Sui’s fingers were swelling too much, so he was unable to grab anything.
“Good boy.” Lu Shang tightened his grip, then bent down to kiss Li Sui’s eye, then comforted him with a soft voice, “Rest, we are almost home.”
The one lying on the stretcher seemed to have understood, his muscles began relaxing, even his breathing steadied.
The helicopter flew steadily in the sky; after the nurses finished injecting the medicines, one of them couldn’t help but giggle, “Lu Lao Ban, your words are even stronger than sedatives.”
Lu Shang’s gaze was fixed on Li Sui’s face, and he didn’t say a word.
Leung ZiRui was called without getting the chance to have dinner, after finishing his examination of Li Sui, he picked up Li Sui’s hand and fiddled around. After further observations, he made a startled expression, “Wow. This kid really took a lot of damage this time.”
Seeing that Lu Shang was staring at him, he immediately added, “He’ll be fine. He’s a healthy person unlike you. All of the wounds are superficial ones, give him some good food, some medicines and he will be back in two days.”
After pushing himself to the limit in the past days, he must be extremely exhausted right now. The nurses applied medicine and bandaged the wounds, but even with the movements, Li Sui didn’t wake up at all. Lu Shang of course let him sleep; he left the room with Leung ZiRui, closing the door on the way.
“Did you find Dr. Leon yet?”
The second Lu Shang mentioned that, Leung ZiRui’s face collapsed, “I almost got him, but I was one step too late. I heard that he’s doing some pharmaceutics research, he went to the mountains and totally fell off the grid. If that path didn’t work, I’m going to consider a heart transplant, prepare yourself.”
Lu Shang had an uncertain expression. Leung ZiRui suddenly remembered something else, he said while laughing, “Oh yeah, I noticed something in the patient information assess records in RuiGe Hospital. Do you know?”
“Your kid tried accessing your patient file, of course I stopped him though.” Leung ZiRui laughed, “Don’t you think you should impose a ban on him? If this keeps up, sooner or later, he will know why you took him in.”
Lu Shang lowered his eyes, “I never planned on hiding it from him.”
“Okay, whatever. It’s your decision,” Leung ZiRui clicked his tongue a little.
Li Sui slept for a whole day and night, replenishing all the lost sleep, finally he woke up from hunger. The moment he woke up, the lovely aroma of food filled his nostrils. Aunt Lu was tidying up the bowls; seeing that Li Sui was awake, she smiled, “Finally. I thought you were going to miss dinner, too.”
After a good rest, his organs felt a lot lighter. His four limbs were still a bit sore, but because of the intense training, he was already used to the soreness in his muscles.
“Where’s Lu Shang?”
“He went to the company for some matters, he will come back soon. Are you hungry, do you want something to eat?”
After tasting bugs and grass and now seeing a whole table of delicacies, Li Sui could almost begin wailing on the table. Aunt Lu prepared all of Li Sui’s favourites, Li Sui couldn’t care less about his bandaged fingers, he immediately picked up a spoon and began stuffing his face.
Aunt Lu found this funny but also worrying, she kept reminding Li Sui to take it slowly, concerned that he’d choke. The kid always had the biggest appetite, there were never any food left on the table with him around. In the past days, he only had glucose water, those were severely insufficient. Aunt Lu originally wanted to warn him not to eat too much, afraid that his digestion might not be able to keep up. Yet, seeing Li Sui eat like he wanted to swallow the container, she decided to let him be. At least he could eat now, having a good appetite meant his recovery was going well.
When Lu Shang came in, Li Sui had already finished dinner, he was now slurping down the soup Aunt Lu brewed.
“Oh. You’re awake.”
For some reason, Li Sui suddenly felt anxious seeing Lu Shang, he randomly picked a topic, “How… how are big and small SiMa doing?”
“They are fine, director Yue took them back home.”
“That’s good…” Li Sui was relieved. Their eyes met, and Li Sui made a slightly wronged expression, “I almost couldn’t see you again…”
Lu Shang touched his hand in comfort, not really knowing what to reply.
“Oh, right. This. I will return it to you.” Li Sui said as he took the military badge off.
Lu Shang didn’t take it, he said, “You keep it. I promised you.”
“But this is very important to you. I can’t just take it.”
“You are important to me too.”
Li Sui froze, he hadn’t reacted to what Lu Shang just said yet, “I arranged an intern position in Tong Yan for you. Rest for a few days and then go try it out.”
Lu Shang nodded, “Try. It would give you a better idea what the workplace is like.”
Li Sui had his suspicions, but he’d do whatever Lu Shang asked, so he agreed without much fuss. The two of them discussed a bit about when Li Sui should start, then Lu Shang picked up a phone call and had to leave again. Li Sui wasn’t sleepy, he rolled around on the bed, feeling like he had forgotten to ask something very important.
Lu Shang got out of the building, he opened the car door, but didn’t step foot in the car. Instead, he leaned on the car door, holding his chest. Lu Shang was used to the feeling of pain in his chest, but somehow the pain felt different this time.
“What’s wrong? Are you feeling unwell?” Uncle Yuen asked immediately.
Lu Shang looked at the scenery afar, and the emotions quickly dissipated from his eyes, “Let’s go.”
Li Sui was young, so his recovery was fast. Li Sui was discharged the next afternoon, finally returning home. Aunt Lu prepared a whole table of food, making Li Sui’s stomach swell.
Lu Shang seemed to be very busy in recent days, he didn’t even come back home for dinner. Li Sui tried getting some information; apparently, Lu Shang stayed at the campsite for days during the time when Li Sui went missing. Due to that, there was a backlog of work, no wonder he didn’t see Uncle Yuen at all after he returned.
“You don’t know, but when the second Lu Shang heard you were in trouble, he immediately drove over.” Aunt Lu said while washing the dishes, “I’ve never seen him care so much for someone else.”
Li Sui pursed his lips together; unable to stop smiling, he asked, “How has he been in the past month?”
Aunt Lu thought for a while, then signed, “Well… Even if he were feeling unwell, he wouldn’t tell me about it.”
Li Sui slumped his shoulders a bit, but in his heart, he also knew that was the case.
At night, he went to shower as usual; it was only after he took his clothes off that he remembered his hands couldn’t touch water yet. Although the swelling was gone and scabs had formed, new skin had yet to grow completely; it would be a pain if water came in contact with the wounds. Just as he was picking up a towel to wrap his hand, the door to the shower room opened. Lu Shang raised his head, both froze.
“Sorry.” Lu Shang reacted shortly after, closing the door and turning back.
Li Sui smelled a hint of alcohol in the air, he immediately put his pajama pants on. Rushing out, “You drank wine?”
Lu Shang was light on his feet, he used the wall as support as he turned his head back. His face was a little red, the top two buttons on his shirt open. It seemed like he didn’t only have wine, he had quite a lot of it, to the point that he was now drunk.
“You… This…” Li Sui was worried and angry; he was so reckless.
“Uncle Yuen weren’t with you?” Li Sui basically dragged Lu Shang to the bed, “Why would he let you drink alcohol?”
Lu Shang didn’t answer, his arm clung onto Li Sui’s shoulder, pulling Li Sui down to the bed. His breath was mixed with alcohol as he said, “Be with me.”
Drunk Lu Shang was like a child, it was as if he had returned to his kindergarten days. While he didn’t cry or fuss, he just wouldn’t let go of Li Sui no matter what. Li Sui didn’t have another choice, he didn’t even had time to put his underwear back on, neither could he take a shower. Lu Shang wasn’t strong, but he was relentless; Li Sui suspected if he didn’t do as Lu Shang asked, Lu Shang would just cling to him for the whole night.
Li Sui went to call Leung ZiRui with Lu Shang still clinging to him. On the other side of the phone, Leung ZiRui exploded the second he heard Lu Shang had alcohol. Leung ZiRui cursed for a while, then carefully gave Li Sui reminders on what to do.
After hanging the phone up, Li Sui planned on getting Lu Shang a cup of warm water. Turning his head to look at Lu Shang, he found the latter sound asleep already, but his hands remained clasped together, still clinging onto Li Sui. Li Sui had never seen Lu Shang so out of it before, his usual calmness and elegance were gone. As if Lu Shang was insecure, he hung onto Li Sui tightly with his eyebrows frowning.
“Lu Shang…” Li Sui felt his heart softened, he led Lu Shang back to the bed, hugging him tightly, “What’s wrong?”
Naturally, no-one answered him. Looking at Lu Shang’s white face, a phrase popped up in his mind: Drowning sorrow with alcohol.
However, if Lu Shang wanted money, he got loads; if he wanted respect, he had it. Except for his health condition, his life was technically perfect. What kind of sorrow would he need nulling? Li Sui just couldn’t grasp the reason.
Li Sui didn’t have any dreams that night. When he woke up the next morning, Lu Shang had already gotten up before him, washing up in the shower room. Li Sui didn’t have time to put on clothes last night, so he was only wearing a pair of thin pants. After a night of sleep, it was all wrinkled up as well, so he might as well just take it off too.
After his little fieldtrip, his skin was tanned a bit by the sun; along with the terrifying scars on him, he looked more manly than before. Li Sui observed himself in front of the mirror, then his gaze went to the closed shower room, some weird thoughts growing in his mind.
Normally, a man would react to females with a beautiful bodyline. Since Lu Shang was a homosexual, then to him, a grown man’s body must be luring. Li Sui took in a few breaths of air; he pinched his own abdomen. The lines there were quite evident already, but it was still miles away from the muscly guys on television. Li Sui’s shoulders slumped; he was feeling a little morose.
During breakfast, Li Sui was the first to speak, “Dr. Leung was very angry last night.”
Lu Shang said, “Ignore him.”
“I’m angry too.”
Lu Shang put his chopsticks down, “Why are you angry?”
“Coronary disease patients should not drink alcohol, it’s very dangerous.”
“Where did you read that from?”
“From books.” Li Sui only realized that he had just let the cats out of the bag, after the words slipped out. He immediately diverted the other’s attention, “This is common sense. Next time you must go to a banquet or something, bring me along. I can drink a lot.”
Lu Shang laughed lightly, not sure what he meant.
In the afternoon, a car drove into the yard of the house. It was brand-new, and bright red in color. Li Sui recognized it as a car showing off wealth immediately; no matter how Li Sui looked at the car, it didn’t look like Lu Shang’s style.
“Lu Shang, did you get a new car?” Li Sui asked Lu Shang.
Lu Shang hadn’t even replied yet when the driver got out of the car. It was SiMa JingRong; he threw the car keys to Li Sui right after he got out.
“What?” Li Sui was confused, “I don’t know how to drive.”
“It’s from my father.” SiMa JingRong said.
“Are you still sick?”
“No,” SiMa JingRong waved his hand in denial, “All the paperwork is in the car, the license plate will be mailed to you in a few days. Get it on the car yourself.” After saying that, he walked away like nothing happened.
“Wait, wait.” Li Sui ran over, “Why is your father giving me a car? I can’t, it’s too expensive.”
SiMa JingRong was going to reply, but Lu Shang cut into him, he said to Li Sui, “Take it. You deserve it.”
“Ah?” Li Sui didn’t expect Lu Shang to say that, he was truthfully very shocked.
SiMa JingRong squinted his eyes at them, and with a teasing smile on his face, he left.
“You are going to work soon, it’d be perfect, you can drive yourself to work.” Lu Shang scanned Li Sui’s startled face, feeling very satisfied as he said, “You should go get a driving license when you are free.”
Only a person and a car were left in the yard, Li Sui was still shocked, this was too out of the ordinary.
Li Sui would begin working in two days, so he took these few days to do some preparations. Lu Shang saw that Li Sui was still reading books at night, so he pulled him over to sleep.
“Are you worried?” Lu Shang asked.
Li Sui shook his head, “I’m just afraid that I’d be a nuisance to you.”
“You won’t be a nuisance to me, but some people might be a nuisance to you.” Lu Shang took out a pen and a piece of paper, he wrote down a few names and some lines. “When you run into trouble, don’t panic. These people are the ones you could ask for help; if you have any problems, you could go find them.”
Li Sui nodded, seeing that on the paper were some familiar names. For example, Xe WeiLan from the legal department, Mr. Gu from the executive department, and accountant Zhu from the finance department.
“The following people are the ones you need to be careful of, you have to be extra cautious of whatever goes pass their hands.” Lu Shang drew another red line on the paper.
Li Sui etched the names into his heart. Quickly, Lu Shang changed the topic, “However, the workplace is different from any other place. Everyone’s stance could change at any time, no matter what, don’t trust people completely with all your heart. Or else that trust will come around to hurt you.”
“I can trust no one?”
“You must be wary of people.”
Li Sui laughed after some thought, “I can give my heart to you at least, right?”
Lu Shang’s expression stiffened after hearing “give my heart to you”, he only said, “Let’s sleep.”
It was a weekend the next day. Lu Shang brought Li Sui to Zuo Chao’s bamboo dojo; they went there driving the red BMW Li Sui had just gotten.
“Why did director Yue give me a car?”
“He’s showing his gratitude.”
“Because I saved SiMa JingRong? That’s what I promised him from the start.”
“Not only that.”
“Director Yue said,” Lu Shang turned the steering wheel and continued, “that ever since big and small SiMa returned, their relationship is a lot better than it used to be. You solved a headache of a problem which he couldn’t solve for a decade, so giving you a car was nothing.”
Li Sui bit his own tongue, he really couldn’t grasp rich people.
The bamboo dojo was true to its name; the whole mountain was packed with bamboo—it felt like a hermit’s residence. In the middle, there was Zuo Chao’s dojo. A small water mill was outside the dojo, making crisp sounds of water and bamboo hitting each other.
This place was good for hiding from the scorching summer. Lu Shang would sometimes stay a few nights here to rest, but today, he was here for business. They parked the car; walking towards the front door, they saw a few blue peacocks roaming around in the yard.
“Peacocks?” Li Sui gasped.
Zuo Chao was cutting some bamboo in the yard. Seeing that they had arrived, he raised his head with a bright smile, “A friend gave them to me last month, pretty, right?”
“Pretty!” Seeing peacocks for the first time, Li Sui couldn’t but circle around them curiously, “Can they flaunt their feathers?”
Zuo Chao laughed, “They would when they have someone to court.”
Lu Shang went into the dojo for his business talk, Li Sui saw that Zuo Chao wasn’t following him, finding that odd, he asked, “Brother Zuo isn’t going in?”
“They’d talk about their business stuff, has nothing to do with me.” Zuo Chao continued cutting the bamboos, “What do you want for lunch, bamboo rice (i) perhaps?”
T/N: (i) A kind of Chinese cuisine, just rice cooked in a piece of bamboo.
“I have never had any, is it tasty?”
“Of course it is tasty. How about a hotpot to go along with it? Which peacock do you want? I will cook it for you.”
Apparently, the peacocks here are raised like chickens.
Li Sui walked over to help him with cutting the bamboo, he asked, “How’s Wang Wei? I haven’t seen him for so long.”
Hearing the name, Zuo Chao had an awkward expression on his face. He knew in his heart that Lu Shang didn’t tell Li Sui what happened to Wang Wei after the camp. Zuo Chao was a simple person, after all; he knew martial arts, but that was it, he wasn’t used to hiding his emotions. Zuo Chao replied after hesitating, “Should… be fine, I haven’t seen him for a while too…”
Luckily, Li Sui didn’t pay much attention. After they finished cutting the bamboos, while resting, Li Sui asked Zuo Chao to teach him how to make his muscles look more appealing.
“Aren’t they pretty good now? Your BMI should be good too, I think you can probably fight three on one.” Zuo Chao replied.
Li Sui looked evasive as he said, “It’s not for fighting. I just want to know… how to make… my physique more manly.”
Zuo Chao still didn’t get it, he asked, “Why do you need to look more manly?”
A male peacock happened to walk towards them, spreading its feathers wide.
Li Sui, “…”
Zuo Chao, “…”
Of course it’s for courtship as well.