Chapter 48: Getting Separated
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Before Li Sui got back home, he found a rubbish bin on the streets and dumped all the medicine he got in the bin. Then he tried smelling his own clothes to ensure that there wasn’t the smell of disinfectants from the hospital remaining on him. Then he opened the door.
Only Aunt Lu was inside, she was making food.
“Where’s Lu Shang?”
Aunt Lu found that odd too, she said, “He told me that he was going to buy something from the pet supplies store nearby. Is he still not back yet?”
Lu Shang seldom went out now, except for occasionally strolling in the park with Li Sui in the morning, he basically stayed home all the time. Li Sui looked out to the darkening sky, he was beginning to get worried. He attempted calling Lu Shang on the phone, but just after he had dialed the call, rings came from the living room.
“How long has he been out?”
“For two hours.”
Li Sui’s heart sank, “I’ll go look for him.”
In a hurry, he rushed to the pet store, fearing of being told that no such person was there. Just after he turned at a corner, he saw Lu Shang sitting on a bench at the entrance of the pet shop, holding a small fishbowl in his hands.
Across from the other side of the street, Li Sui took a deep breath, even from so far away, he could tell that Lu Shang’s eyes were not normal.
The pet store was closing, but the owner of the store didn’t feel right just forcing Lu Shang to leave. Li Sui ran over and turned Lu Shang to face him, “What’s wrong? Why are you sitting here?”
Lu Shang was slightly shocked, but he smelled the familiar scent, and his shoulders were loosened.
“I’m fine,” Lu Shang reached for Li Sui’s hands and shoved the small fishbowl to him.
“My eyes suddenly went dark when I came out to buy something from the shop.”
Being out in a cold winter day like this, there wasn’t any walls nearby to block the wind either. Li Sui felt how cold Lu Shang’s hands and feet were. Obviously, Lu Shang had been in the cold wind for a long time, that made Li Sui’s heart ache. Li Sui pondered over and over again these past two days, he had prepared some questions to coax the truth out of Lu Shang about his past. Yet, when it came down to it, he couldn’t bring himself to say anything.
“It’s okay as long as you are fine.” He hugged Lu Shang tightly.
Li Sui carefully lifted Lu Shang up and led him slowly towards home. Fortunately, the pet shop was not far from their house, many passers-by gave them curious looks along the way. If Li Sui hadn’t taken Lu Shang’s face into account, he would have just picked Lu Shang up and carried him back home.
“Why did you buy another tortoise? Isn’t there already one at home?”
Lu Shang’s voice sounded like he had a stuffy nose, “It always sleeps, so I thought maybe I should get two. Maybe it’d be better with two.”
Li Sui looked back at him and asked, “If I didn’t come for you, would you have just waited there for the whole night?”
Lu Shang opened his blank eyes wide and did not answer.
Li Sui looked at him, he felt his own heart being filled up with acid. The thought of Lu Shang waiting for him helplessly in an unfamiliar place made Li Sui feel uncomfortable.
“Don’t go out alone again. Tell me what you want, and I’ll buy it for you. If that’s no good. Tell Uncle Yuen or Aunt Lu, they will go buy it for you. It’s just lucky this time. There weren’t much people on the streets in the cold weather. What if something happened while you were outside and you ran into your enemies? If something happened to you, I——” Halfway through his remarks, Li Sui suddenly stopped.
Lu Shang was silent for the whole time, he had a lonely look on his face.
Li Sui reacted, he leaned over and hugged him, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that.”
Lu Shang smiled indifferently, “It’s fine, I understand.”
“You’ll be fine, you’ll,” Li Sui said bitterly. Trying to sound soothing, he said, “You can do whatever you want and go wherever you want to go. If you got lost, it’s fine, I’ll turn the whole city over to find you.”
Lu Shang did not say anything, he only had a faint smile.
After being tense for too long, Lu Shang was extremely tired. Just before they got home, Lu Shang couldn’t even stand up straight anymore., he almost fainted as they walked.
Aunt Lu came out and saw Li Sui coming into the house with Lu Shang in his arms. She thought something must had happened and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“He’s all right. Just tired.” Li Sui whispered the answer to her, then he changed his shoes and carried the man upstairs.
Lu Shang was sleeping soundly, Li Sui didn’t want to wake him up, so he changed Lu Shang into his pajamas for him. As he was helping Lu Shang change, a strand of white hair flashed across his sight. Li Sui was stunned for a moment, thinking that he had seen wrong. Lu Shang’s hair was thin and soft to touch, Li Sui brushed aside some of the hair with his fingers. It really was white hair that greeted Li Sui’s eyes, there were more than one, when Li Sui counted carefully, he noticed there was several strands of white in his view.
The tiny discovery set off a storm in Li Sui’s heart. He held his breath and stared at him for a long time, then he covered Lu Shang with the blanket and went downstairs silently.
Aunt Lu was cooking dinner, when she saw that Li Sui looked a little odd, she asked, “What happened?”
Li Sui looked at her as he said, “Aunt Lu, is there any way for me to slow time down?”
As Aunt Lu listened, she could vaguely feel the same thing, that was something all of them had been evading but getting increasingly urgent. She did not know what advice to give, she only sighed and said, “Life and death are always together, Lu Lao Ban is an open-minded people, you should come to terms with that……”
Li Sui laughed at himself and shook his head, “I can’t, I can never. I want him to live.”
Seeing Lu Shang fight with his illness for a long time, she knew how difficult this seemingly simple wish was. Looking at Li Sui losing his spirits like this made her felt sad herself. She just left with a sigh and went to the kitchen to get her things.
In the evening, Lu Shang didn’t wake up. Li Sui looked at the meals on the table. He didn’t even pick up his chopsticks and drank only a small bowl of soup.
“You had enough?” Aunt Lu asked.
Li Sui seemed shock at his own lack of appetite as well, he stood up and went to change into his running shoes, walking out, he said, “I’m going out for a run.”
When Lu Shang got up the next day, his eyes were still unable to see, his sight was pitch black. This situation had happened several times before, but this time it was the most severe. Lu Shang’s were basically a signalling device for Lu Shang’s health. When he was in good health, his eyes would be good, if his eyes couldn’t see, then his body must be in bad condition as well.
Li Sui usually forbid Lu Shang to do this or touching certain things, all he wanted to accomplish was for him to get better. However, he also knew in his heart that everything had a limit. Beyond that point and it was impossible for any human intervention to work. Although Li Sui had been prepared for it, he still felt extremely heartbroken when this day came.
Li Sui applied for a vacation from work, he devoted himself in taking care of Lu Shang at home. Phone calls from the company came one after another but Li Sui ignored all of them, he continued happily feeding Lu Shang instead. He was afraid that Lu Shang might get bored, so he dug out an old gramophone to play some discs for Lu Shang.
“Do you want to dance?” Li Sui asked after adjusting his voice.
Lu Shang turned his head around from his wheelchair and smiled, “Yes.”
In the past, Dr. Leung suggested that he could dance with Lu Shang, dancing was a good way to promote blood circulation and improve cardiopulmonary function. Li Sui moved the sofa away, then helped Lu Shang up. Li Sui put one hand on Lu Shang’s shoulder, and another held Lu Shang’s hand. He began moving slowly with the old music.
Li Sui had attended dance etiquette classes while studying abroad. When he was learning how to dance, he always fantasized that the person dancing with him was Lu Shang. He didn’t expect the situation to be like this when the fantasy came true.
“Female steps?” Lu Shang laughed as soon as he stepped his foot out along with the rhythm.
“Hmn,” Li Sui kissed him on the eyebrow, “When I was learning, I directly asked my teacher to teach me the female dance steps. I was waiting for this day, you know?”
Although Lu Shang’s eyes couldn’t see, he was not afraid of hitting something at all. He let Li Sui guide him along and set the rhythm, relaxing himself in the music and immersing in his lover’s consideration.
The cell phone at the corner of the desk was still vibrating, as if it were adding music to their dance. Dancing gently to the middle of the living room, the light from the glass lamp shone on Lu Shang’s nose. Li Sui looked at his closed eyes and found that the man in front of him was just so beautiful, he couldn’t help bending over and kissing him.
Suddenly having something warm on his lips startled Lu Shang a bit, he moved back on reflex. After moving away, he smiled gently and came up to return kiss. Their tongues touched and soon became entangled together.
Li Sui was extremely happy, his huge invisible tail was wagging. Li Sui held Lu Shang close as they circled the room along with the music, he was reluctant to let go. Li Sui heartily liked this kind of tender kisses which didn’t involve lust or desire, they always make him feel the strong love and dependence Lu Shang had for him. It was truly odd, even after being together for years, he would still get excited for a single kiss, as if he was still having his first crush every day.
In the evening, Li Sui filled a wooden container with hot water and massaged Lu Shang’s legs and feet. Lu Shang listened to the sound of the water and touched Li Sui’s hair with his hands, he said softly, “Go back to the company tomorrow, you don’t have to stay with me.”
Li Sui refused without even thinking, “If I’m not here, then nobody will be staying with you. You’re super valuable, if you got dented somewhere, then I’m going to lose a whole lot.”
Lu Shang was amused, “I’m just a burden now. I’m not worth anything.”
As soon as Lu Shang finished speaking, the sole of his foot was badly tickled twice. Lu Shang twitched from the itching. Li Sui held on to his thin ankle and pretended to be vicious, “Who said you are a burden? I will broke his leg.”
Lu Shang reached for Li Sui’s chin and pinched it. He said sadly, “I don’t like seeing you worry about me every day, so much so that you’ve gotten thinner.”
Li Sui moved his face away quietly.
“Besides, if I can’t see all the time, are you going to stay at home forever?” Lu Shang rubbed Li Sui’s hair with a smile, “Someone must go out to make us a living. I can only depend on you now.”
Li Sui looked up at him but swallowed what he wanted to say.
Even though he was reluctant to part with him, Li Sui also understood that it was far from the situation was far from reassuring at Tong Yan, the internal affairs in the company was still very messy, all of those problems were waiting for him deal with. Several cooperation projects with Mu Sheng had reached the settlement phase, not to mention his border plan…… There were so much work that he couldn’t really afford to leave the company for another moment.
The next morning, Li Sui returned to work and Uncle Yuen told him an explosive news. In the days of his absence, Liu Xin Tian had successfully got the Meng family’s support. In addition to the elder shareholders who had clearly stood on Liu XinTian’s side before, his influence in the shareholders’ meeting had already surpassed Lu Shang’s. They might hold a shareholders’ meeting to change the board of directors at any given moment.
Li Sui frowned when he heard about it.
“The reason why he didn’t hold the shareholders’ meeting, I guess is…”
“He’s afraid of my projects with Mu Sheng,” Li Sui said while sneering. “He’s afraid that if I was pushed too hard, he wouldn’t be able to get a penny out of those projects.”
Uncle Yuen nodded, “Also your border trading project, he doesn’t dare to confront the government.”
From the start, Lu Shang had gone to great lengths to secure the border project for him, it must had been a move after deep, long considerations. The results of that move were finally shown today. In the world of business, everything seems important but the country is still the most powerful force.
“What should we do now? Everyone in the company is filled with anxiety.”
Li Sui also found it difficult. The best way to stabilize everyone’s hearts was to get Lu Shang to come out. Most of the employees of the company were recruited and nurtured by Lu Shang, they grew along with Tong Yan. Even if the company had drastic changes, most of them still had an instinctive trust in Lu Shang.
However, Li Sui knew that it was impossible. With Lu Shang’s current physical condition, his appearance would only make people more anxious.
“Slow the progress of Mu Sheng’s projects down, push them back to at least after the New Years,” Li Sui said. “I’ll talk to Director Yue about it myself.”
Li Sui was soon proved correct. As soon as he slowed down the projects with Mu Sheng, Liu XinTian rushed into his office early in the morning. Liu XinTian always saw himself as a senior, so he did sounded at least partially decent with Lu Shang, but he was completely impolite when it came to Li Sui.
“Can you bear the responsibility of delaying the company’s workings?”
Li Sui responded calmly, “Something had gone wrong with the project, I’m not delaying it. It’s also reported on the news, it was raining heavily recently. Are you telling me with your conscience to risk the workers’ lives?”
“Don’t give me that,” Liu XinTian said. “Do you think no one knows what you’re thinking? Dragging the projects out and holding the profits back until after the end of his year. You must think you’re smart but I ask you, can Lu Shang bear the responsibility of deliberately slowing down company progress?”
T/N: I hate this guy, as if there would be said progress if Lu Shang wasn’t there.
“Director Liu, I have my own way of doing things. Since the company’s management was handed over to me by Lu Shang himself, it means that I have the right to manage it wholly. I have Lu Shang’s support and his letter of commission in my hands. The company is in capable hands, the management decisions made aren’t something that any odd person can alter.”
The remark was rather rude, secretary Yeung at the door kept looking in as if she wanted to probe in. She used to be Lu Shang’s secretary, she was planted there by Liu XinTian. After Li Sui took over, he directly gave her the cold treatment, he sent her to the archives to manage the paperwork.
“Secretary Yeung, if you want to know something, go home and ask director Liu himself.” Li Sui was quite angry, thinking about how long this woman had been watching Lu Shang, he could not help but sounded rough with his words.
Liu XinTian was a little embarrassed when he mentioned that, his momentum immediately weakened. He turned to sneering and said, “Young and vicious, huh? Didn’t Lu Shang teach you that being young and vicious have it’s price?”
Lu Shang suffered a lot due to Liu XinTian when he was young. At that time, they were still supposedly uncle and nephew. Although Li Sui didn’t know the specifics, he could almost imagine Lu Shang trusting Liu XinTian, or else he wouldn’t have had so much power in the shareholders’ meeting. Unfortunately, this trust was meant with nothing but disappointment.
When Li Sui thought about those things, the veins on his hands popped up. He stared at him with sharp eyes, trying to hold himself back.
“You just wait, you’ll regret it.” Liu XinTian walked out after leaving that behind.
After he left, Li Sui loosened his clenched teeth and gradually calmed down. He began thinking about what Liu XinTian’s next move and countermeasures might be. Li Sui hated people who badmouth about Lu Shang. In his eyes, neither Tong Yan or Liu XinTian meant anything. However, if someone dared threaten him with Lu Shang, he would surely respond in the meanest way possible.
After work in the evening, Xe WeiLan who was equally upset, asked Li Sui out for a drink. They ordered two hotpots and sat down in front of the stove, scolding Liu XinTian while the food was cooked.
“That man is really something, how can there be someone like that in this world, when did the Lu family ever do him wrong, how can he be so unsatisfied?”
Li Sui didn’t drink alcohol, he asked for a soda instead, “When I was still interning in Tong Yan, Lu Shang told me that the most unpredictable thing in the world is the human heart. If everyone treats people with compassion, there will be no more wars in the world.”
“Fuck all of this!” Xe WeiLan stuffed the pancakes into his mouth and gently hit Li Sui with the wine bottle. Seeing Li Sui’s beverage, he shouted, “Hey, why aren’t you drinking?” He was going to pour Li Sui some wine just as he asked.
Li Sui immediately moved the cup away from him, “I’m not drinking today.”
Li Sui touched his cup of sparkling water with Xe WeiLan’s wine bottle and said, “Nothing. I’m driving today. Maybe next time.”