Chapter 31: The Questioning
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Li Sui’s foot froze for a bit, “Knowing or not won’t change anything.”
Li Yan laughed as if he just heard a funny joke, “How foolish. Don’t tell me you are seriously in love with him, that would be the funniest thing I’ve heard in my life.”
Li Sui turned around, his voice deeper, “I love him, so what? What does that have to do with you?”
“It has nothing to do with me—I’m just nice enough to warn you in case you find that your heart has been gouged out and you don’t even know whom you should be haunting.”
Li Sui’s eyes turned grim, “What nonsense are you spouting?”
“I’m talking about why Lu Shang took you in.” Li Yan said each word slowly and clearly, “It’s because you’re the heart donor he prepared for himself.”
Li Sui’s fingers trembled unconsciously. Li Yan obviously was very satisfied with Li Sui’s expression, as he continued, “For such a long time, had you not sensed any of it? Don’t you find Lu Shang very forthcoming with his relationship with you? Why would a loner like Lu Shang have you by his side?”
Li Sui glared at Li Yan. Li Yan sighed, and he said, “You don’t understand. To people like us, a lover isn’t a threat, but his heart disease, that is a big threat. That is the only reason why Lu Shang would let you stay by his side.”
“Do you know how many people in Tong Yan want to take over his job? If they knew you are the key to Lu Shang’s survival, you would have been dead within a month. Your relationship with him is just a cover, a cover to ensure your heart is safe. You think that he has your best interest in mind? Don’t be an idiot.”
Li Sui rubbed his fists together, staring straight into Li Yan, he said, “Unless he admits it himself, I won’t believe you. Stop your meddling.”
“Admit it himself?” Li Yan laughed, “Admit what? Admit that he’s going to take your heart out, admit that he’s a human-eating demon?”
Li Sui’s pupils constricted.
“Xiao Li, idiot child. He has inborn heart defects, he needs a healthy heart. You, you are the most suitable donor for him.”
Seeing that Li Sui went silent, Li Yan took out a folder of documents, “You don’t believe me? This is a document brought straight out from RuiGe hospital. Look at what’s written on it.”
Li Sui didn’t take the paper, he just looked at Li Yan quietly with a cold face, “Are you done?”
Li Yan froze, he retracted his smile.
Li Sui turned the screen of his phone on, showing it towards Li Yan, “I called the police around ten minutes ago. Now, I think you have about five minutes of escape time.”
Li Yan never thought Li Sui would have the courage to trick him; the veins on his head popped up in anger. He said with a grim face, “You will regret this.”
The person at the motorcycle seemed to have noticed some movements, and they flashed the motorcycle headlights as a warning. Li Yan cursed then ran towards the motorcycle and got on after throwing the document on the ground.
The roaring of the engine became distant, darkness returned to the street. Li Sui had to stand in the cold wind for a long time, before he could finally muster enough courage to pick up the documents.
The documents were a compatibility report, it was one of RuiGe hospital’s top-secret documents. It was a compatibility report of Lu Shang and Li Sui, Li Sui himself had no memory of when that was done already. On that piece of white paper, there were clear black words. The two of them had the same blood type, and their individual HLA matched each other’s (i); Li Sui’s heart was the perfect match for Lu Shang. All the data pointed towards one thing—Li Sui was truly the very rare and perfect heart donor for Lu Shang.
T/N: Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA), antigens are things on human cells that allow other cells to detect if that cell was foreign or not.
Li Sui remembered that when Lu Shang first took him, Lu Shang gave him a contract to sign. At the time, Li Sui couldn’t read the contents. Later, Li Sui refused to have a look at it. Now that Li Sui thought back, he could surmise that the contract was most likely about this.
To Li Sui’s dismay, he couldn’t run away from it forever. He still had to face the truth in due time, this was fate and he couldn’t flee from that.
The wind picked up; a few pieces of leaves twirled in the wind, passing beneath the car, and the car window was covered in drops of rain. Li Sui’s fingers tightened on the paper, and his breathing was erratic. As though in immense pain, he frowned as he shut his eyes tight.
In the room, there were the sounds of intense coughing. Liu XinMing poured a cup of hot tea, giving it to Lu Shang. He asked worriedly, “Director Lu, are you okay?”
Lu Shang shook his head, swallowing his discomfort, “I just have a cold, it’s not serious. I didn’t invite anyone else today, just you and me, let’s have a talk.”
Liu XingMing straightened his back; he knew what Lu Shang wanted to talk about. As one of the main managers in this project, he had to be held responsible for the incident. It was impossible that Liu XingMing didn’t know about the material swap, Lu Shang wouldn’t believe that even if Liu XingMing were to lie.
“I saw you getting this position on your own two feet. Back when my father was still alive, he praised you a lot. All these years, I haven’t put much effort in this project. That may have cost you a lot of chances, it was my fault.”
Liu XingMing quickly cut in, “No, please don’t say that. I’m the one who refused to work at the main headquarters, I…”
Lu Shang gave a short laugh, “I always thought that even if others would change, at the very least, you wouldn’t. It seems like I’ve underestimated the allure of money.”
Liu XingMing knew he was in the wrong, so he gave up playing innocent, he said with a tiny voice, “I have a family to support. My mother has severe cerebral palsy, I have to pay 8000 yuan every month for her treatments alone. The kids are still young, they have to go to school, and my wife is weak, so she can’t work. Director Lu, I swear, if it weren’t for all that, I would rather beg for food on the streets than corrupt with them. You know I am not the kind of person that would do anything for money, I was really in a bind, that’s why… I can’t get myself a bad name and make my wife and kids suffer…”
“But the things you did, they were enough to send you to jail. Do you know that?”
Liu XingMing’s face turned pale, “Yes. This whole incident is my fault, I admit that. I will accept punishment for it, anything, no matter if it’s my resignation or fines. Please, just don’t spread what I did around. Please, as a favor for working here for so many years. My mother is still in the hospital, I really just…”
Lu Shang stared at the cup of tea in his hand, but he didn’t reply. The longer Lu Shang held this position in the company, the more he understood why his father said that he was fed up with the job. His father had experienced too many changes of heart, heard too much gossip and too many problems. He always knew that the human heart wasn’t trustworthy, but even so, he wanted to hope, hope that there were pure people who won’t change. However, his hopes were always brutally shattered, leaving only weariness behind.
Lu Shang thought that not everyone was like Li Sui. Li Sui always had his best interest in mind, Li Sui would always carry out what he asked. A person who didn’t ask for anything in return, a person whom Lu Shang could trust wholeheartedly. Lu Shang was quite certain that even if he searched the entire globe, he wouldn’t find another person like that.
“I will ask Uncle Yuen to give you the transfer papers. This project, you shouldn’t manage it anymore.” Lu Shang put the cup down, but he didn’t look at Liu XingMing.
Liu XingMing looked at Lu Shang. His mouth opened, as if he still had something to say. However, he also knew that this was already the result of Lu Shang compromising, so he gave up. Liu XingMing replied in a glum voice, “I understand.”
After he left, Uncle Yuen opened the door and walked inside. The two of them looked each other in the eyes, both had complicated expressions. After a period of silence, Lu Shang finally spoke, “Get me the new phone from brand A. I’m going back home this afternoon.”
On the plane, Lu Shang had nothing to do, so he opened the packaging to the new phone. He did the basic configuration processes, then did some basic settings. After he had finished doing all that, Lu Shang remembered, Li Sui wasn’t the kid who knew nothing anymore. Smart phone was no longer a foreign thing to Li Sui, so what he was doing just now seemed extra unnecessary.
After Lu Shang got off the plane, the car which was supposed to bring him home hadn’t arrived yet, so Lu Shang waited a bit in the airport. Suddenly, he got a call from Leung ZiRui, who sounded like he was in a rush.
“A few days ago, there was a burglary case, something is missing.”
Lu Shang thought it was an expensive machine or something, “If it’s gone, then let it go. Just buy another one.”
“No, all the machines are here. Only the report on Li Sui’s compatibility with you is gone.”
Lu Shang froze, his eyes dimmed, “Do you know who is responsible yet?”
“Still investigating. The culprit is used to stealing, he evaded all the surveillance cameras, he didn’t leave any fingerprints behind either. It might be hard to find the culprit, especially in such a short time.” Leung ZiRui seemed to be very annoyed, “I already noticed that a lot of strangers were roaming around in RuiGe hospital before, and I’ve increased the security, but even with that, something like this happened…”
Before Leung ZiRui finished what he had to say, another incoming call from Zuo Chao reached Lu Shang. Lu Shang frowned and picked up.
“I found Li Yan, can you guess where he is? No wonder we couldn’t find him, he was under Liu XinTian’s wings all this time, that’s why.”
Lu Shang had a very bad feeling. He asked, “How did you find him?”
Zuo Chao sounded chipper, “It was by accident actually. Remember how you asked me to send people to follow Li Sui 24/7? That day, the person following Li Sui came to report that someone went to see Li Sui; the two of them talked for a bit, they even began arguing. It was unfortunate that he was too far from them, so he couldn’t hear what they were talking about. I saw the footage and immediately knew it was Li Yan, I’d never forget that guy’s face. So, I asked my men to track the surveillance cameras along the road, finally leading back to one of Liu XinTian’s old factories.”
“So where is he now?”
“He’s still there, we didn’t spook him. We are waiting for you to come back.” Zuo Chao said, “That place is Liu XinTian’s territory, so we can’t exactly charge in directly.”
“Just keep an eye on him for now, wait for my orders.”
After hanging up the phone, Lu Shang was going to stand up. He felt dizzy, his body trembled. Somehow, he couldn’t stand up straight. Uncle Yuen walked up to held Lu Shang’s arm, that was when he sensed Lu Shang’s skin burning up. Uncle Yuen asked in shock, “How did you get such a high fever?”
Lu Shang’s face was paper-white, his thoughts were far away from here. Lu Shang lifted his head to look at the crowded waiting area, and in his eyes, there was a rare hint of confusion.
Could there be so many coincidences? A burglary happened in RuiGe, of all things, the report happened to be stolen and then Li Sui got a visitor. With these three things happening together, linking them and organizing them, Lu Shang already knew most of what happened.
“He knows…” Lu Shang lowered his head again, his long fingers rubbing the phone he just unpackaged a while ago. A wry smile surfaced on his face.
“What did you say?” Uncle Yuen asked.
“Uncle Yuen,” Lu Shang snapped back, and he said, “Do something for me.”
Caught in the holiday traffic jams, they were stuck on the highway for a long time. When they finally got back to the city, it was already very late at night. Uncle Yuen was worried; he wanted Lu Shang to go to the hospital first. Not sure if it was due to the fever or because Lu Shang was going through a lot, Lu Shang seemed to be very out of it, he only replied, “Go home first” after a long period of time.
The city was different from HaiNan, the outdoor temperature was just intolerably cold. The second they got out of the car, the bone-chilling wind and air hit on them, even breathing took courage in this weather. Lu Shang walked onto the terrace to see Li Sui sitting on the steps to the house, scraping a piece of bamboo. Li Sui was wearing only one shirt in this freezing weather.
Lu Shang froze for a bit, then he walked over slowly, “What are you doing?”
Li Sui raised his head; they stared at each other for a while, then Li Sui gave Lu Shang a light smile, “I am making a fishing rod stand.”
Lu Shang’s gaze was glued to Li Sui’s face; he was trying to find any hints of awkwardness from Li Sui’s expression, “Why are you making a fishing rod stand?”
“To give it to you as a present.” Li Sui continued scraping the piece of bamboo, then he stopped and put the knife down. It seemed like he had been thinking over which words to use, “It was my fault last time, I was drunk, and I wasn’t thinking straight. I apologize, so please don’t be angry anymore. Is that okay?”
“I wasn’t angry.” Lu Shang was shivering in the cold wind, he opened the door, “Let’s go inside, it’s cold out here.”
Li Sui froze, then he followed Lu Shang into the house. The living room was so much warmer than being outside, and in the air, there was the lovely smell of food. Aunt Lu knew Lu Shang was coming back today, so she prepared a whole table of delicacies.
Lu Shang didn’t have an appetite, and when he smelled the odor of food, he couldn’t help feeling nauseous. Suffering from a high fever for the past few days, his appetite had basically fallen to the pits of hell, and he probably needed to get a nutrient injection soon.
Li Sui handed Lu Shang an opened box, “I bought a fishing rod, I think it suits you. When you have free time, we can go try it out together?”
Lu Shang was still staring at Li Sui’s face, he only looked at the contents of the box after a while. The merchandise was a high quality one; Lu Shang knew with one simple look that Li Sui put in a lot of effort in choosing the gift. “Put it there.”
Li Sui didn’t lower his arm, he was looking at Lu Shang with begging eyes. Lu Shang averted his eyes, but he still ended up taking the gift. After receiving the box, Lu Shang put it on the side.
Dinner was gloomy; Lu Shang only had a small bowl of white congee, he didn’t even touch his pair of chopsticks.
“You don’t have an appetite? You look thinner than before.” Li Sui asked.
Lu Shang was tired, and he didn’t have the strength to explain, so he just said, “I ate on the way back.”
At the end of their dinner, Lu Shang looked at Li Sui a few more times, and after hesitating over and over again, Lu Shang finally decided to speak, “I’ve prepared a student visa for you, one of the best schools in California. Uncle Yuen will give you some money, it should be enough until you could support yourself financially.”
Li Sui’s movements stopped, as if he suddenly didn’t understand Chinese anymore, he processed the sentence for a long time. When he spoke, his voice was trembling, “You… are you sending me away? Are you… still not forgiving me?”
“It’s not about that.” Lu Shang thought for a bit, he had something to say, but found that difficult, so he just gave up and let it be.
“Is it because I know about the compatibility report?” Li Sui finally asked, he looked at Lu Shang with heavy eyes.
“I’ve never planned on hiding it from you.” Lu Shang frowned, he couldn’t look at Li Sui anymore, “Li Yan could find you, he could also find others to catch you. If you stay here, you will become their hostage against me.”
The Li family was in ruins, so Li Yan hated Lu Shang to his core. Li Yan wanted nothing more than for Lu Shang to drop dead from his heart disease as soon as possible. Naturally, he wouldn’t want Lu Shang to get a heart transplant. Li JinYao was still in jail, so Li Yan was afraid to make huge moves. However, when Li Yan found that trying to wreck Lu Shang and Li Sui’s relationship was useless, he would definitely go after Li Sui. The most important thing now was to send Li Sui away to a safe place.
“If that’s the case, why don’t you immediately arrange for the surgery now? You need a healthy heart, right?” Li Sui’s eyes were filled with emotions as he stared at Lu Shang, “All you need is a simple lethal injection. Lu Shang, you know already, I’m willing to do anything.”
For some reason, Lu Shang was extremely sickened by what Li Sui had just said, “A heart transplant isn’t the only treatment there is for me, I don’t need you anymore, so you can go.”
“If what you say is true, that you don’t need me anymore, why would I become a hostage against you? Why do you need to waste resources to send me abroad?” Li Sui refuted.
Lu Shang didn’t know what to say, though he had worked in business for over ten years, and he was well-versed in debates. He wasn’t scared of people injuring him, nor was he scared of his health condition, but for some reason, he was scared that this person here would get hurt. Why was that? An answer was bouncing up and down in his mind, but he just didn’t dare admit it.
“Li Sui, please be good. You… don’t make me worry.” Having rushed back from the island, Lu Shang was already exhausted. Now that Lu Shang was sitting at the dining table, he only felt dizzy; it was also difficult for him to breathe. Lu Shang didn’t want Li Sui to notice, so he placed his arms on the table, using his hands to support his own body.
“Lu Shang.” Li Sui lifted his head, the corners of his eyes were slightly red, “Do you love me?”