Chapter 3: Living Together
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Translation
The day Li Sui got discharged, Lu Shang wasn’t there. Uncle Yuen told him Lu Shang wasn’t feeling well, so he was resting in a care center.
Li Sui couldn’t grasp how bad this “wasn’t well” was, so he just thought it was something like a fever. As such, when he arrived at the care center, he couldn’t suppress his shock seeing Lu Shang being pushed out in a wheelchair.
“Lu Lao Ban.” His head slumped as he greeted Lu Shang.
Lu Shang didn’t say much, he looked at Li Sui and said, “Don’t slouch.”
Li Sui immediately stood up straight with his hands placed on his sides, standing up as formally as possible.
This kid was thin, but he wasn’t short, he was at the transition period between a teenager to an adult. Lu Shang could vaguely identify that Li Sui had mature-looking shoulders. Lu Shang only saw him curling up into a tiny ball in the car, so he saw Li Sui as nothing more than a kid. Now that he was standing straight, Lu Shang had the feeling Li Sui might be even taller than him.
Lu Shang looked away from Li Sui and gave him the paperwork that was on his lap, “Ask me if there are things you don’t understand.”
While the two were talking, Uncle Yuen had already left the room, leaving only Lu Shang and Li Sui behind.
As Lu Shang rested his back on the wheelchair, he propped up his head with his hand, looking at the pond outside. He didn’t talk or laugh much, neither did he make a lot of movements. When he sat down, he looked like an old oil paint under the sun at dawn. As if everything around them was infected, even the birds had stopped chirping, only the sounds of flipping paper could be made out in the room.
Li Sui finally flipped through the documents and signed his new name on the last page.
Lu Shang turned his head to Li Sui, “You understood all of it?”
Li Sui shook his head, “I didn’t understand most of it.”
This kid peeked Lu Shang’s interest, “Then why did you sign it?”
Li Sui raised his head up from the document, his eyes clear and sharp, but he said nothing. Lu Shang caught what he was trying to say from his eyes.
“You aren’t a merchandise I bought. You have the right to refuse.” Lu Shang’s voice was calm, “I don’t like to force people. The things I give you, they are all for a reason, and for that reason, you will have to pay dearly in the future. But, before that, I will do my best to compensate you. I want you to be willing when that time comes.”
This was the first time Li Sui heard Lu Shang speak for so long. In that instant, he felt his head was overloading. Yet, when he turned back to the document, the whole page of boxes and circles made him dizzy.
Lu Shang knew he was approaching this wrong. Being in the business sector for so long, he was used to doing things by the books. Deals, paper contracts, signatures, and stamps… But in front of him was a child. It was obvious that none of those would work.
“Let it be for now.” Lu Shang took the contract back, his gaze fixed on Li Sui’s signature. He stared at it for a while and said, “Your handwriting is quite good, who taught you?”
“I just copied it from the identification card.”
Lu Shang thought for a while and said, “Let’s start by teaching you how to read.”
They had lunch at the pondside, eating freshly caught shrimp and fish. Li Sui was sitting face-to-face with Lu Shang, so naturally he felt a little tense.
Lu Shang’s fingers were long and slim, his nails were tidy. He didn’t have any tattoos, nor any ornaments. Whenever he extended his arm to pick up food, a little bump, his carpal bone could be seen at the wrist. His movements were casual but, at the same time, elegant.
Li Sui didn’t dare to raise his head and look at Lu Shang. So he only stared at Lu Shang’s hand which occasionally reached over to get food, not noticing that a little mountain had formed in his bowl.
“Is the food not to your liking?” Lu Shang saw that Li Sui hadn’t moved his chopsticks much and asked in concern.
Li Sui shook his head.
“You don’t have to be so tense.” Lu Shang glanced at Li Sui. In the short time of half a month, Li Sui had already recovered a lot when compared to the last time Lu Shang saw him. It was also evident that Li Sui was too thin, his prominent collar bone could be seen through the soft fabric. His hair was all tidy now, just a very normal hairstyle, making him look like your everyday high school student.
“Li Yan always hit people for fun in that bar?” Lu Shang changed the subject.
Li Sui didn’t reply but his silence explained enough.
“Li Yan is a bad person, next time you see him, you don’t have to hold anything back.” Lu Shang said.
Li Sui raised his head with doubt in his eyes.
“Let’s eat.” Lu Shang didn’t say any further, he stood up from the table and said, “Accompany me to a banquet tonight. Go prepare yourself.”
After a while, Uncle Yuen arrived and Li Sui asked him, “Lu Lao Ban’s legs… are they healed?”
“There’s nothing wrong with his legs, the problem is the lack of blood supply.”
“I saw him in a wheelchair, so I thought…”
Uncle Yuen explained, “He doesn’t use the wheelchair very often. It’s only when his condition is really bad. He only uses a wheelchair because he can’t stand for long periods of time. Help him as much as you can when you are with him.”
Li Sui nodded his head with a serious face.
That night, Li Sui wore his shoes and stood in front of the mirror for a long time. The person in the mirror was in a new formal suit, brand new shoes, and had combed hair… This was the first time he inspected himself so critically, but all he felt was the odd feeling of unfamiliarity.
Uncle Yuen knocked on the door, snapping Li Sui back. He immediately folded up the clothes he just changed out of, putting them in the wardrobe. Then he totted down the stairs, but as he stomped his feet on the floor, he felt his ankle ache.
The wounds had yet to heal completely and he had been walking around a lot today. Now, suddenly forcing all his weight on his feet, certainly made him feel uncomfortable.
“Where are you drifting off to?” Lu Shang asked from inside the car.
The rain was drizzling down, Li Sui forced his pain down and stepped over to the car, opening the door to the front passenger seat.
“Come sit in the back.” Lu Shang stopped him.
Li Sui obediently sat next to Lu Shang. Rainfall in the winter was scarce; they also tended to have a metallic odor. The car began to drive forward and Lu Shang handed him a piece of tissue.
“Later, you can just follow me. You don’t need to say anything. If someone flirts with you, you don’t have to care about them.”
Li Sui replied “Hm”, after that Lu Shang just closed his eyes and didn’t say anything else.
The car drove past an observatory, the neon lights flickered and connected under the rain. It was just like a long mysterious snake, overlooking the city from above, all alone. Li Sui had been living in this city for years now, but it was just as unknown to him as if today was his first day here.
Li Sui got out of the car, he followed Lu Shang closely with his head angled towards on the ground. Walking through hordes of people, under their curious gazes, they were inspecting him. They then arrived at a grander hall after walking through the reception.
A ball would be held here, but it was not the time yet, so the people there were just chatting and laughing. The second Li Sui stepped into the room, he immediately attracted everyone’s gazes.
“What a pretty boy.” A young lady wearing a red dress was the first to walk up to Li Sui, she handed Lu Shang a cup of champagne. “Long time no see, Lu Shang.”
Only a few people would call Lu Shang by his full name. Naturally, Li Sui couldn’t stop himself from looking at this woman. But, to his dismay, their gazes just happened to meet each other, making Li Sui blush and look away awkwardly.
Lu Shang took the glass and raised it up symbolically, “XinYou, long time no see. I still haven’t thanked you for last time.”
“No, who said that? I received your present, look.” Meng XinYou waved her arm a bit, showing off the sparkling bracelet on her wrist, while her gaze went over to Li Sui, “So this is…”
“Hmm.” Lu Shang looked at everyone in the room and raised the glass of champagne again, “We are in your care.”
Meng XinYou was shocked beyond words, everyone in the hall stood up and raised their cups as well while whispering to each other.
“Are you serious?” Meng XinYou lowered her voice and said.
Li Sui was really sensitive to people’s gazes, though he had his head down behind Lu Shang all the time, he knew this woman’s gaze had never left him even once.
Lu Shang however was completely relaxed, he gave an unbridled answer, “He’s really obedient.”
His words invited a lot of ill thoughts, even Meng XinYou’s face was flushed with redness. As Meng XinYou was in a trance, two people entered the hall, laughter racketed through the room, someone even started whistling, chatters filled the hall.
“The Li family’s heir is a high note as usual.”
“Isn’t that the hot host from Apple Channel (i)?”
T/N: (i) There isn’t really an Apple Channel, but there’s an Apple Daily that reports news in the format of videos.
Li Sui heard a familiar voice amongst the crowd, he felt cold sweat sliding down his back. His already aching feet felt scorched, as if he had just stepped into burning charcoal.
Luckily, Lu Shang didn’t plan on continuing his chat with Meng XinYou, he found a relatively quiet place to settle down.
Li Sui didn’t know if he was nervous or what, but a layer of sweat surfaced on his forehead. He followed Lu Shang until he was in front of the sofa, hesitating until Lu Shang started waving at him, “Come.”
The second Li Sui sat down, Lu Shang’s hand reached over to Li Sui’s ankle, rubbing it lightly. Across them was a guy with tiny eyes who was staring at them teasingly. Li Sui leaned on the sofa with his face red, half of which due to the pain and half due to embarrassment.
“Lu Lao Ban.” Li Sui wanted to stop him.
Lu Shang’s head turned to him, under the yellowish lights, his eyes were sombre and full of depth. Looking at his irises, Li Sui saw a glint of blue. Lu Shang looked a bit like a foreigner, but the next second, the blueness was gone, and his eyes returned to being black, perhaps Li Sui was mistaken.
“What is it?”
Li Sui snapped back from his thoughts, but he had forgotten what he was about to say.
“Hey there, Lu Lao Ban, even Xiao Li is here. Sorry, did I interrupt you guys?” It was none other than Li Yan. He deliberately walked up to Lu Shang and Li Sui, following behind was a woman in sexy clothes.
Li Sui’s back immediately straightened up, that tiny movement didn’t escape Lu Shang’s eyes.
“So how are you? Lu Lao Ban didn’t mistreat you, did he?” Li Yan said as he gazed down on Li Sui.
Li Sui lowered his head, he had Lu Shang’s words in his heart. Lu Shang told him not to care about anyone, so naturally Li Yan also belonged to this “anyone” Lu Shang spoke of.
“Thanks, he’s just as you see.” Lu Shang lightly patted Li Sui’s tensed shoulder.
“He really is good looking if you tidy him up a bit, Lu Lao Ban truly has sharp eyes. It seems like I’ve been wasting him.” Li Yan smiled and sat down across from them. What Li Yan said was actually the truth, he even felt a bit sour towards this turn of events. This was exactly what Li Sui was afraid of, if Li Yan wanted him back and asked Lu Shang to return Li Sui, would Lu Shang agree?
“Li Sui, raise a glass for your brother Yan.” Lu Shang suddenly said.
Li Sui froze up, his hands balled into fists.
“A new name?” Li Yan looked at him with eyes smiling but also not. It felt contemptuous and, at the same time, felt like a warning.
A wine glass was given to Li Sui. He took it and felt Lu Shang’s breath on his ear, whispering, “Thank you for brother Yan’s kind care.”
Li Sui suddenly understood, Lu Shang was trying to help him get out of the conversation. He took a big breath and copied what Lu Shang said, “Thank you for brother Yan’s kind care.” Before Li Yan could reply, Li Sui shoved himself to the contents of the cup, sipping it slowly and not talking.
How unwelcoming… Not even leaving a shred of face for me. Li Yan smiled awkwardly, hugging the hot woman beside him and headed towards the dance floor. It was only after Li Sui loosened up could he taste the drink, what Lu Shang gave him was a glass of grape juice.
“Are you afraid of him?”
Li Sui stared at the ground emptily, trying to control his shaking legs. He knew his performance was below Lu Shang’s expectations, “I will…will try my best to overcome it.”
Daring to admit one was scared was a huge step forward. Moreover, being scared was natural, Li Yan was like a beast master to Li Sui. The tiny lion feared the tamer because it had suffered too much whipping when it was young. The lion just couldn’t get past the psychological hurdle and not because it lacked the physical strength to retaliate.
The two of them sat there for a while longer. When the dance floor became more lively, Lu Shang brought Li Sui and walked out of the front door naturally. Everyone knew Lu Shang didn’t fancy crowds, so the banquet holder let him go without a fuss, just sending two people to escort them out with umbrellas.
The sky was already dark, drizzles became heavy rain. Uncle Yuen had been waiting for them all this time. Seeing them come out, he immediately walked up to them and asked, “Are we going to assistant Xu’s home now?”
Lu Shang opened the car door and sat in the car, he said lightly, “Go home.”
Uncle Yuen wanted to say something, but seeing Li Sui’s complexion, he swallowed his words.
Li Sui’s face was a little pale, even though his endurance was higher than most people, he couldn’t do anything if his physical limit was up. His injured feet began to swell, they were cramped in the tight shoes. He didn’t feel right taking his shoes off in the car, so he could only hold it in. He looked at the streets and counted the seconds, hands clenched into fists for the whole journey home.
Lu Shang’s home was a small three story building. Uncle Yuen didn’t live there, neither did the chefs and cleaners, they only came when needed. Therefore, Lu Shang used to live here alone, but now adding Li Sui to the picture, two people lived here.
“Here’s a compress. Do you know how to apply it?” Lu Shang took a bag of ice out from the freezer, wrapping it in a towel and giving it to Li Sui.
Li Sui took the bag quietly before sitting on the sofa and placing it on his ankle.
“There are pain-killers in the drawer. If the pain is too much, feel free to use them, but remember not to take too many.” Lu Shang saw that Li Sui could handle himself, so he turned around to the living room and sat in front of the dinner table, opening his laptop to start working.
There was an office in the house, but Lu Shang didn’t like using it. As a rectangle table was in the living room, located right next to the window, so when the weather was good, the sun could come in and shine on him. He liked going through boring documents there, as it made the words seem livelier.
Unfortunately, it was night. So all Lu Shang could see from the window was a bit of green from the grass outside. There were absolutely nothing besides that.
Lu Shang was always very concentrated when he was working, he would forget the time easily. When he finished and came back to earth, it was already way past dinner time. Li Sui was still keeping the position he was in before, eyes staring blankly at nothing, and the bag of ice melted.
“Are you hungry?” Lu Shang closed his laptop and asked.
Li Sui shook his head, but his stomach just wouldn’t cooperate and growled.
Lying… Lu Shang sighed in his heart, then called the people working in the kitchen for two bowls of noodles. He pushed all of the noodles to Li Sui and poured himself a cup of warm rice wine, “If you can’t finish it, you can just leave it. Someone will come up to take it away.”
“Lu Lao Ban, you are not having any?” Li Sui’s gaze fixated on the two juicy sunny-side-up eggs sitting on the noodles. He was still growing, so naturally he needed a lot of food. Before, in the bar, he had to endure long periods of starvation. He was used to that, so it was nothing. But after living in the hospital for so long, having three whole meals a day, his appetite had grown exponentially.
Lu Shang shook his head and pinched his own forehead, “Does your leg still hurt?”
“No, it doesn’t hurt.”
Lu Shang looked at the way Li Sui was stuffing his face, it was screaming ‘I’ve been starving to death’ and he knew that this ‘it doesn’t hurt’ wasn’t trustworthy either. Lu Shang felt like he was raising a cat or something, it also happened to be an extremely obedient one.
Lu Shang pulled out a napkin, “From now on, you don’t have to be so tense. If you’re hungry, call the kitchen down below; if you’re feeling unwell, go find Dr. Leung, and if you need anything, just go find Uncle Yuen. But there’s one thing that you must remember——”
Li Sui raised his head from the bowl of noodles.
“Don’t leave my sight.”
From the day they met, Lu Shang gave Li Sui the impression that he was cold and uncaring. It was as if nothing interested him, this was the first time he saw a hint of forcefulness and will in the tired person’s eyes.
Li Sui knew that this was the only rule; the one thing that would get to Lu Shang.
Perhaps the noodles were too hot, his head was sweating. Sitting up formally, he said, “I understand Lu Lao Ban.”
“Eat to your heart’s content.” Lu Shang held up the napkin and rubbed the corner of Li Sui’s mouth. He stood up from the chair, and left a bomb behind calmly before walking away, “Sleep in my room tonight.”
Li Sui was slurping noodles into his mouth when he heard that and, naturally, choked.
Lu Shang frowned slightly, then he remembered something. A teasing smile surfaced on his face as he said, “Do you know what a sugar daddy is?”
Li Sui’s face changed, he remembered those idols and pretty faces that frequented Li Yan’s bar. There were a lot of those around Li Yan. Even if he was stupid, being in that kind of environment, he could make out how the relationship works.
“Well, if you know what that is, then it’s fine.” After that Lu Shang went upstairs.
Li Sui sat in the living room all alone, carefully remembering Lu Shang’s words. Slowly, he realized, his words sounded like an owner announcing his possession over something.
Li Sui wasn’t sure how others see a person raised in the mud like him, most likely lowly or small, it definitely wouldn’t be something good. But from what he knew of Lu Shang, he didn’t think Lu Shang would look down on him like that. However, he couldn’t grasp why Lu Shang would be interested in him in that way either. Though, when he thought with a clear mind, he realized that most of what Lu Shang said today sounded like teasing jokes.
The door to the bedroom wasn’t closed when Li Sui went in. Lu Shang was talking on the phone in English beside the window. He was wearing pajamas; the outline of his back could be seen clearly through the thin clothes. Hearing movement, Lu Shang turned around, he pointed at the bathroom, hinting for Li Sui to take a shower.
The bathroom was very spacious; a few robes and towels were placed inside. Li Sui was injured, so he didn’t bathe. He just brushed his teeth and used the shower nozzle to avoid the wounds on his ankle carefully. He finished showering pretty fast, when he finished, Lu Shang was still on the phone.
Li Sui wondered what kind of fabric the robes were made off. They were just too smooth and made him shiver. It was feather light, as if he wasn’t wearing anything at all. The moment he walked out of the shower room; he felt an indescribable embarrassment surface in his heart.
Lu Shang kept staring at Li Sui, making him even more embarrassed, so much so that he could only keep his eyes on the floor. After a while, the call ended and Lu Shang’s hand reached over to Li Sui, “Help me get the medicine.”
What kind of medicine?
Li Sui’s head went into a spiral, thinking, “No it wouldn’t be…” Then his gaze met with Lu Shang’s, and…he knew he misunderstood.
“Which one?” Li Sui followed Lu Shang’s gaze to a drawer. Opening it, he found over ten bottles of different medicine inside.
Lu Shang leaned on the bed’s headboard, “Clopidogrel and Aspirin.”
Li Sui was dumbfounded.
Realizing that Li Sui probably didn’t know those complicated names, Lu Shang said, “The second bottle in the first row and the one with the blue label.”
Li Sui pulled out the medicine bottles frantically, Lu Shang took a glance at him. He poured out a few pieces of the medicine and swallowed them with cold water, “What were you thinking just now?”
“Hmm.” Lu Shang lifted the blanket up, “Take your clothes off.”
“You don’t want to?”
Li Sui replied to Lu Shang with calm looking eyes; he didn’t speak. After two seconds or so, he took his robe off sluggishly. The dim lights in the room shone on his body, making him look extra soft. Lu Shang turned him around, his hand grazed the scars on Li Sui’s back, movements as light as a feather. “How did you get these scars?”
Some of those scars were old and some were new, even Li Sui himself couldn’t remember most of them. “The cigarette marks were from the manager. Cuts were most likely from glass bottles and the thing that’s all wrinkled up was from boiled water.”
“Here…” Lu Shang’s fingers slid down to a scar in the shape of a circle, “There’s a scar here.”
If Li Sui were to turn around now, he would see an expression that Lu Shang had never made in front of anyone before.
Li Sui tried his best to remember, “It’s from when I was younger, I don’t remember anymore.”
Lu Shang’s hand lingered at that round scar for a while, then he said, “Let’s sleep.”
There weren’t any extra meanings in the sentence, neither was there any awkwardness. Everything was just so straightforward, so much so that Li Sui wondered if there something was wrong with his ears. Li Sui obediently snuggled into the bed, he watched as Lu Shang turned the lights off. Lu Shang’s arm circled Li Sui’s shoulders and pulled him in slightly. Lu Shang closed his eyes and just slept, no unnecessary movements at all.
Growing up in a complicated environment, Li Sui had hyped-up senses for danger. Lu Shang’s thoughts and emotions were hidden a lot better than most of the people Li Sui met before, so he couldn’t grasp what Lu Shang was thinking exactly. But his senses told him that this person here did not possess any malicious thoughts like he just imagined. Li Sui breathed a sigh of relief, he shifted his body inside the blanket, placing his own head on Lu Shang’s arm. Keeping enough distance while not seeming too weird.
Everything quieted down, outside the window were the soft sounds of raindrops, all of it seemed so unreal. This was the first time Li Sui slept with someone in bed, so he wasn’t used to it at all. It was as if he had forgotten how to sleep. Every time he wanted to move his body, he was afraid it would wake Lu Shang up, so he forced himself not to move an inch. Lu Shang had a light aroma of shampoo on him, it smelled nice. Immersing in the smell confused Li Sui’s brain, he lay on the bed like a corpse, until he finally fell asleep in the middle of the night.
He didn’t have any dreams that night.
The weather in this city was everything but nice. Cold, humid rainy days often lasted for a long time. The rain began to subside a little only after long queues of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients were forming in the hospitals. Finally today, the rain became snow that drifted softly down from the sky.
When Li Sui first woke up, there was a few seconds of confusion, it took him a while to remember where he was. There was no one in the room, on the bed was the pajamas Lu Shang changed out of.
Creak. The door opened. Though it was quite late, Li Sui was a bit nervous. The person who walked in however, wasn’t Lu Shang, but a middle-aged lady.
“You are awake?” She walked in with a lovely smile on her face, walking straight to the window to pull up the curtains and picking up the pajamas on the bed. “Breakfast is prepared downstairs, go have some when you’re done washing up.”
“Thank you.” Li Sui remembered, this lady was the chef Lu Shang had hired. Lu Shang usually called her sister Lu (ii). This lady had a friendly face, she always had a huge smile on. Li Sui liked her a lot, so he dared to ask, “Where’s Lu Lao Ban?”
T/N: (ii): This “Lu” has a different character then Lu Shang’s, so they aren’t related. Lu Shang’s “Lu” is 陸 and sister Lu’s “Lu” is 露.
“He went to the company. Do you want to go find him?”
Li Sui was a little surprised, “Can I?”
“No, you can’t.” sister Lu said smiling.
“I’m just toying with you.” sister Lu happened to really like this kid too. “Lu Lao Ban asked me to make sure you stay at home. He said that you need to let your legs heal. Dr. Leung will come over this afternoon to give you an acupuncture session.”
When Li Sui walked down the stairs, he realized that Lu Shang had other stuff prepared for him as well. Lu Shang had also arranged a private tutor for him.
Li Sui had never been to school before, so he had no idea what normal education in the country was like. Luckily, the tutor Lu Shang found wasn’t a follow-the-books kind of teacher, so he was able to adjust the curriculum after considering Li Sui’s level.
Actually, Li Sui knew a certain amount of basics already, but when it came to less used words, Li Sui tended to forget the characters for it. When the teacher reminded him, he immediately remembered the whole thing.
“Is this your first time learning these? It seems like you know some of them already.” The private tutor’s surname was Wong, he was wearing a pair of glasses with a slim gold frame, his face was always serious.
Li Sui thought for a few seconds and replied, “When I don’t have to work, I would learn some in secret.”
The teacher nodded his head, looking like he was in deep thoughts.
When afternoon came, Leung ZiRui arrived as promised. Unlike his usual lively self, he seemed quite exhausted today. He was yawning the whole time he performed acupuncture.
“Did Dr. Leung not sleep well last night?”
Leung ZiRui nodded his head, “Unlike your Lu Lao Ban, I’m just a little worker in a hospital. Last night I was writing a thesis, so I didn’t get a wink of sleep, I’m so tired.”
Li Sui always had admiration for people with high education qualifications and this admiration was expressed in the purest of form on his face. It made Leung ZiRui laugh loudly.
Since they started talking, Leung ZiRui couldn’t help but dote on him, trying to make Li Sui laugh as well. Leung ZiRui picked some stories of him studying in America for Li Sui. As he continued to recount those stories, he himself laughed instead. On the other hand, Li Sui was way calmer, mainly because he didn’t understand most of it, so Li Sui could only pretend to laugh while being absolutely confused.
Some time later, Leung ZiRui pulled out the needles in Li Sui’s legs, he couldn’t help but glance at Li Sui a bit more. He heard Uncle Yuen describe Li Sui’s childhood. He said that Li Sui endured abuse throughout the period when one’s personality began to take shape, yet he didn’t have any violent tendencies or gangster traits about him. It was truly quite remarkable. Though Li Sui seemed tense from time to time, it was nothing psychological. He didn’t show any signs of hatred towards society either, instead he possessed an unknown gracefulness, this part of him was quite compatible with Lu Shang.
Destiny was again toying with people, if he were to be born in a better family, being nurtured with care, perhaps he could achieve greatness in the future.
“There are still some extravasated blood (iii) left in your legs. Don’t run around the next two days. Apply heat to your legs every night. If there are any changes in your condition, contact me.”
T/N: (iii) Blood flowed out from ruptured blood vessels.
Li Sui nodded his head and gave him a huge gratuitous smile.
The sky darkened, the fireplace on the wall was burning a little too much, making the room warm and cozy. After Leung ZiRui left, Li Sui flipped open the book Mr. Wong left behind, he looked through it over and over again. He really liked the book, so much so that he didn’t want to part with it. He finished the homework given to him, but found it insufficient, so he found the characters for “Lu Shang” in the dictionary. He copied the words in both traditional and simplified characters, copying for over two whole pages worth. Eventually, he lay on the sofa and fell asleep, not even noticing when Lu Shang came back.
Uncle Yuen wanted to wake him up, but Lu Shang stopped him, hinting for Uncle Yuen to go home himself.
Li Sui’s sleeping face wasn’t especially good looking, but he was quiet. His body curled up and his arms wrapped lightly around his own chest, with his head buried into the sofa, it was a guarded posture. Lu Shang sat beside him, he pulled out the book in Li Sui’s arms. The book’s inside was full of Li Sui’s handwriting, they had strong and clean strokes, his writing was tidy and graceful. Lu Shang found his name amongst the words as he flipped through the book, his gaze landed back on the teenager beside him.
Li Sui’s skin were very white to begin with, not the kind of white kept from skincare, but the kind of lively white that one would see on an infant. There weren’t any unseemly scars or spots on his face, which was also weird, given that his body was covered with scars and cuts. Perhaps his face was just so perfect that even the abusers couldn’t bring themselves to dent it.
Li Sui stirred, he slowly opened his eyes and solidified immediately, he greeted “Lu Lao Ban” as he propped himself up.
“Next time, when you feel sleepy, sleep on the bed.”
Li Sui gave a light “Hmm” in reply, then he continued with a sleepy voice, “I wanted to wait until you got home.”
Lu Shang’s heart throbbed a little and proceeded to ask, “Are you not used to being alone in the house?”
Li Sui was always alone, there was never another option and of course he was quite accustomed to it. But he knew Lu Shang was just showing his care for him, so it would be impolite for him to retort. He pushed his luck a little, “Is this how Lu Lao Ban takes your day off too?”
“Hmm.” Lu Shang lowered his head and suggested after thinking for a while, “How about I bring you to my company to play tomorrow?”