Chapter 50: New Year’s Eve
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Li Sui stared at him for a long time, his eyes sank, “Are you talking about Tong Yan or yourself?”
Lu Shang froze.
“Whichever you meant, don’t even think about it.” Li Sui interrupted him before Lu Shang could say more.
“I don’t know anything about letting go. I just know that if it’s something important, then I must fight for it. Don’t you like that about me the most?”
Seeing that Lu Shang was silent, Li Sui said, “Besides, is Tong Yan not the most important thing to you?”
Looking at Li Sui’s unswerving eyes, even Lu Shang felt a little moved. He said bluntly, “Before meeting you, it was. But now, the most important thing is you, so I don’t want to see you suffer because of Tong Yan.”
Li Sui smiled gently and said, “Rest assured, your boyfriend is not that incompetent. It’s normal to play dirty in business, I’m not suffering.”
After finishing what he had to say, Li Sui reached out his hand to the back of Lu Shang’s head, pressing it on his own shoulder, “Okay, now close your eyes and sleep. Don’t worry about your eyes, tomorrow whether you can see or not, I’ll still be by your side.”
A familiar and reassuring scent filled his nostrils, Lu Shang buried himself in Li Sui’s neck and took the initiative to hug him. The chest he touched was warm and sturdy, full of liveliness. Before falling asleep, Lu Shang thought, Li Sui was no longer a small heater, he had become a hot and bright sun.
In this world, no one was truly perfect, even the most powerful of people had times of confusion and vulnerability. What matters was whether someone was there to understand your problems and stand by you when things got tough. To gently hold your hand and lead you out of the haze.
As a child, Lu Shang’s father taught him how to be ambitious, how to be proficient in business and how to be invincible. He had always followed his father’s instructions and accomplished his duties. However, he realized later that what he wanted in his life was not to carry on the family business, he only wished to protect a person’s heart and his family.
He was doomed to not become a good businessman, being so short-minded. But, Lu Shang thought, perhaps he could strive to become a good lover, at least the kind that could stay by his lover’s side.
Li Sui kept his promise and insisted on leaving only after Lu Shang was awake up. Unfortunately, Lu Shang would become more tired during winter, and he often went to bed before Li Sui came back.
At the weekend, Li Sui took some time off to return home before dark. As soon as he entered the door, he saw Aunt Lu looking up the stairs, looking anxious and helpless.
“Aunt Lu, what’s wrong?” Li Sui put down his things and asked.
When Aunt Lu saw Li Sui coming in, it was as if she had just seen her Savior, she said, “Mr. Lu hasn’t eaten for a day, he won’t come down when I call him either.”
After a moment of confusion, Li Sui hurried up the stairs.
Li Sui opened the door to the dark room, Lu Shang curled himself up into a ball on the bed, hiding in the blanket. Li Sui hurried over, “Lu Shang? What’s the matter? Are you feeling unwell?”
Lu Shang’s forehead was covered by a layer of cold sweat. He heard Li Sui’s voice and slightly opened his eyes, then he closed them again. Lu Shang pulled one hand out from under the blanket and held Li Sui’s hand weakly.
Li Sui quickly grasped back, he pulled up the blanket, and found that his complexion was poor. He checked for Lu Shang’s temperature, it was a little too hot, but he didn’t have a high fever.
Li Sui’s heart sank, he quickly got two coats from the cabinet, wrapping Lu Shang tightly, he picked him up from the bed. Then, he asked Aunt Lu to help him open the car door.
“Should I prepare supper?” Aunt Lu was uncertain.
“Make some porridge and keep it warm. Thanks.” After that, Li Sui fastened Lu Shang’s seat belt and drove the car out of the yard.
Lu Shang suffered from the fever for about the whole day, so was not very conscious and leaned powerlessly on the back of the seat.
Li Sui was anxious and worried. While he was driving, he would never forget to hold Lu Shang’s hand whenever they were waiting for the lights to turn, “Can you hear me?”
Lu Shang tucked Li Sui’s hand slightly but did not answer. When the light was green again, Li Sui could not bear pulling his hand away anymore. He simply grasped his hand for the entire trip.
Fortunately, Dr. Leung happened to be on duty in the hospital. Li Sui brought Lu Shang to Leung ZiRui exactly when he was being lectured by his uncle for something trivial.
“Does he have a fever again?” Leung ZiRui looked like he had just seen his savior when he saw Li Sui, he walked towards Li Sui quickly.
“He has a low fever, his heart rate is high, and he hasn’t gotten anything to eat or drink in a day.” Li Sui skillfully carried Lu Shang into the ward. Although his face was anxious, his movements were steady and careful, “He was fine when I left in the morning.”
Leung ZiRui listened to Lu Shang’s breaths with the stethoscope, he frowned and turned to call the nurse, the nurse brought a needle to draw blood from Lu Shang.
Halfway through, Lu Shang woke up. He seemingly recognized their voices and looked at the direction of Leung ZiRui.
Leung ZiRui caught a glimpse of Lu Shang’s gaze and said to Li Sui, “Go down and help me get his medication records from the archives.”
Li Sui did not put too much thought in it, he opened the door and went out to do as Leung ZiRui asked.
After the room got quiet, Leung ZiRui sat down beside the bed Lu Shang was lying on. He grabbed Lu Shang’s wrist and began to take his pulse. He had a solemn look, if it wasn’t for Leung ZiRui’s familiarity in taking his pulse, Lu Shang would have completely forgotten that Leung ZiRui’s family had a long history with traditional Chinese medicine.
“How are you feeling?” A moment later, Leung ZiRui asked him calmly.
Lu Shang answered him truthfully, “…Not very well. It hurts all over.”
Leung ZiRui pulled his hand back from Lu Shang and pinched the bridge of his own nose, he had a headache, “The dosage of medication you’re taking are too large, the side effects will become more and more evident in the future.”
“…How long do I still have?” Lu Shang’s eyes were empty and his voice could be described as a piece of silk floating in the air, it was weak and unsteady.
“If we’re in ancient times, I would ask you to choose your coffin right now. However, you know already, right? Your kid garnered a 10% winning chance for you, don’t want to try gambling on that at least?”
Lu Shang smiled lightly, “I would like to… but he doesn’t want me to.”
After that, he gave Leung ZiRui an empty gaze, “Do you still have any painkillers that works on me?”
“What do you want to do?” Leung ZiRui was immediately alerted.
“Do you know why Li Sui couldn’t make up his mind to have Leon operate on me?” Lu Shang had sadness in his eyes, “Because… he’s considering another way. He’s secretly losing weight and quitting drinking… He wants to prepare for giving me his heart, that kid… He’s silly…”
Leung ZiRui was shocked, he didn’t expect that.
The success rate of heart transplantation was indeed much higher, especially since they were the best match for each other. Lu Shang could surely live for ten or twenty years more easily if he were to receive the transplantation. Compared to the measely 10%, it was truly much more reliable, but that would take Li Sui’s life. Leung ZiRui never thought that the reason for Li Sui to hesitate on agreeing to Leon’s surgical plan was this.
“Rui, give me the painkillers. I can’t let him see me in this pathetic state, I won’t give him fuel to second-guess the surgery. I’m going to bet on this 10%.”
It was winter, but after running up and down the stairs, Li Sui was sweaty. He stood silently beside Leung ZiRui, waiting patiently for Dr. Leung to finish reading and marking in Lu Shang’s medical records. After a while, Li Sui asked, “How is he?”
Leung ZiRui looked grim, he said nothing, that was quite rare for him.
Li Sui’s heart dropped, but Lu Shang reached out his hand, trying to sit up. Li Sui was afraid that he would bump into the cup of hot water, so he hurriedly moved over to support him.
“When will we be going back?” Lu Shang was still weak, his voice was also weak.
“Just wait for a minute, we’ll go home right away.” Li Sui coaxed kindly.
After Lu Shang fell asleep, Li Sui closed the door gently and asked Leung ZiRui, “Is his condition really bad?”
Leung ZiRui looked uncertain and asked, “Have you decided yet? When should Leon come for the surgery?”
Li Sui’s fists tightened, “I…”
Leung ZiRui saw the way he dodged the question and he knew that Lu Shang had guessed correctly. Leung ZiRui sighed and pushed Li Sui aside, then he walked straight away.
Lu Shang did not want to spend the night in the hospital, so Li Sui waited after Lu Shang got an injection to treat the fever, then he brought him back home. They were almost home when snow suddenly scattered onto their car’s front window.
At the time, not many pedestrians were on the streets, the snow fell so suddenly, and most people did not have an umbrella. Not far away, a playful child ran out gleefully, shouting and playing in the snow.
“Is it snowing?” Lu Shang suddenly asked.
Li Sui thought that maybe Lu Shang had regained his sight, but turning his head to Lu Shang’s direction, he was met with eyes that had no focus. Lu Shang’s eyes did not look back at him, and his heart sank again, “Hmn, how did you know?”
Lu Shang coughed, “I heard.”
Li Sui looked at Lu Shang’s pale cheeks and his thin neck, the veins under his skin were barely visible, he looked fragile, as if he would just disappear any time, that made Li Sui panic.
“Lu Shang,” said Li Sui, their ten fingers intertwined, “I asked Uncle Yuan to open up two weeks for me. After New Year’s, let’s go traveling, let’s go to somewhere warm.”
Lu Shang smiled faintly, “Okay.”
After taking the injection, Lu Shang’s body temperature dropped slightly. When they returned home, Li Sui warmed up the porridge and gave him with a small bowl, “Eat a little.”
Lu Shang had no appetite and did not swallow the food. When he saw Li Sui looking at him with worried eyes, his heart softened and forced himself to finish the bowl of food.
As a result, Lu Shang felt nauseous in the middle of the night. It was as if his stomach had strong alkali in it, a strong discomfort surged. Li Sui felt him trembling and hence helped him up.
Before getting to the bathroom, Lu Shang vomited on the floor, he was sweating all over.
Li Sui watched him vomiting until his eyes were blood-shot, his heart-ached as if his chest was hit by a big stone. He patted Li Sui’s back, after he calmed down, Li Sui lifted him up and put him back on the bed.
Li Sui hardly slept that night, he took care of Lu Shang and helped him inhale some oxygen from the machine. He watched as Li Sui gradually fell asleep. Li Sui himself was not sleepy at all, he squatted on the ground to clean the rug up. He soaked a towel with disinfectant, then he wiped the rug again and again with the towel, as he wiped, his tears began to roll out of his eyes.
Why is this happening so soon?
Lu Shang’s illness lasted for half a month. When the snow outside the house began to melt, his condition finally improved. Yet, Li Sui clearly knew that his health condition had worsen after the illness.
“Do you want to check the list of senior staffs that will be attending the annual banquet this year?” Li Sui was almost inseparable from Lu Shang recently, he even moved the fax machine home from his office.
Lu Shang who was wrapped tight in a blanket, leaned back on the back of his wheelchair and took a nap, “You can decide it for me.”
“The government invited you and me to promote an Environmental Protection Donation Project. How much do you think is appropriate for us to donate?”
“… Environmental Protection?”
Li Sui waited for a moment but did not get an answer. Turning his head around, he found Lu Shang was sound asleep already. He gave a gentle sigh, in order to avoid Lu Shang catching a cold, he got up and brought him to bed.
As soon as he lifted Lu Shang up and took one step, his arms tensed up.
He was a lot lighter than before.
Only half a month had past, Lu Shang seemed to have lost a whole lot of weight. He was like a rapidly withering plant, the weak branches and leaves just drifted down overnight. No matter how sick and unwell Lu Shang was before, Li Sui had never been so afraid. Although Lu Shang was almost never in good health, his mental strength was always strong enough to make people believe that he could get better. But now, Li Sui was not as certain. Every night, he worried if Lu Shang would fall asleep, then just not wake up the next morning.
“I won’t let anything happen to you…” Li Sui held him tightly, trying to hide all his insecurities in the depths of the night.
At the end of the year, Li Sui deliberately raised the employee’s year-end bonus, seeing as everyone was becoming increasingly insecure. This measure could be described as bribing, but even Li Sui had to admit, the charm of money was remarkable. The leaders in charge were all reluctant to be in the limelight at such an important time for everyone, so the year-end banquet went smoothly.
The two major shareholders of the company did not attend this year’s annual banquet. It was not surprising that Lu Shang did not come, he never liked crowded and noisy places. However, for Liu XinTian to be absent as well, that was truly odd, he always liked going to big events like this, as he needed to show his face in the company, since he seldom did.
T/N: Why is Liu XinTian so trashy, so apparently he does nothing for the company.
“He recently opened a training school, so he seems to be busy recently,” Uncle Yuen said.
“Training school?” Li Sui doubted.
Both were puzzled, Liu XinTian himself was not highly educated. He had never set foot in the education sector before. For some reason, he suddenly decided to go into that.
Li Sui found that an anomaly worth investigating. Liu XinTian tried going into other businesses before. In the past few years, online financial investments were gaining popularity, so he went and registered his own online investment company. Unfortunately, he was not well-versed in the relevance knowledge and lost a lot of money.
Everyone involved in the financial industry knew that the game was essentially a giant roller coaster. It was nothing odd to gain or lose millions in mere seconds. That brings a huge emotional toll to a person, it was generally quite difficult for people to accept having to start with nothing again, after being used to having so much money. That was why people who owned a bankrupted company could still do everything all over again, but people who got bankrupt working in finance seldom returns.
Li Sui did not believe Liu XinTian had the fortitude to return.
The two of them walked out of the elevator to the parking lot, they were on the floor below ground. A drunk female employee came out of the bathroom on that floor, she stumbled over.
“Be careful.” Li Sui was quick, he gave her a hand as she almost fell down.
The two of them looked at each other, then the woman immediately pulled her arm away. She snorted and left, but she was too drunk, so not much longer, she collapsed onto a car’s door.
“Isn’t that Secretary Yeung?” Uncle Yuen asked.
Li Sui sighed and walked over, “You can’t stay here like this. I’ll get someone to send you home.”
“Don’t pretend to be nice!” Secretary Yeung swiped Li Sui’s hand away. She must had drunk a lot, her makeup was a complete mess and there was a lot of grease stains on her clothes.
Li Sui ignored her refusal and asked Uncle Yuen to call Xiao Zhao. Li Sui said, “I’m only showing care to an ordinary employee. You shouldn’t overthink it.”
Secretary Yeung glared at Li Sui with her head down, but she didn’t refuse anymore.
Xiao Zhao arrived very soon. Li Sui and Uncle Yuen waited for Secretary Yeung to be sent away, then they looked at each other without saying anything.
“Liu XinTian seemed to be preparing for a huge move.”
Li Sui rubbed his own hands together and frowned deeply.
Back home, Lu Shang who was rarely awake sat near the stove in the living room. He had a pile of cloths on his knee and was rubbing his hands together.
“Why haven’t you slept yet?” Li Sui walked over and pulled his wheelchair away from the fire a little worrying that Lu Shang might burnt himself.
Lu Shang smiled and handed Li Sui the book of cloths on his knees, “The custom suits shop sent over samples of their new fabrics, I chose a few for texture that I liked, come see which pattern looks good.”
“Do you want to order some suits?” Li Sui laughed as he took the samples, they were all high quality cloths, the texture was great. Li Sui picked out a cloth with a plain color, he placed it near Lu Shang’s neck and said, “This light blue one matches you.”
Lu Shang smiled and pushed his hand back, his face was still very pale, “It’s for you.”
“The clothes you picked out for me before could last until I’m sixty. As long as I don’t get fat that is,” Li Sui sat across from Lu Shang, he took off Lu Shang’s shoes and touched his feet. Li Sui frowned again and said, “Why is it still so cold. Are you feeling cold?”
Lu Shang shook his head silently.
Li Sui stood up and took the rest of the things in Lu Shang’s hands. He bent down and hugged him, “Don’t worry about that anymore. Come and sleep with me.”
“There’s perfume on you.” Lu Shang said suddenly.
Li Sui was embarrassed. He sniffed his own clothes and noticed that the smell of perfume was really there around his wrist, but it was very faint. The smell most likely cam from when he gave a hand to Secretary Yeung. He didn’t pay attention to that and he never thought Lu Shang’s nose was so keen.
T/N: I want that perfume, how does it last so long?
“Were you messing around with ladies outside?” Lu Shang laughed at him.
Li Sui was amused, he chirped back, “Are you jealous?”
Lu Shang pretended to be angry and nodded. “Let me guess my ‘rival’ is a woman under 30 years old. She is probably beautiful and pays attention to what she dresses, but her financial situation isn’t all that good.”
Li Sui thought he was just making things up randomly at first, but the more he heard, the more he found the deductions amazing, “Are you Sherlock Holmes?”
Lu Shang shook his head and laughed, “This is L brand’s most expensive perfume last spring, for a period of time, I could smell it everywhere even on the streets.”
“But why do you think she’s in a bad financial situation?”
“This brand has relatively cheaper perfumes. If it’s just for showing off, buying a cheaper one is enough. If she is willing to buy this perfume at such a high price, then she must be very particular about perfumes. Normally, people like that won’t use products that are out of date for two years. So, I guess either this person got the perfume as a gift or her financial situation isn’t great.”
Li Sui was suddenly alerted by his remarks, he just couldn’t help thinking of Liu XinTian’s training school. Lu Shang couldn’t see the startled expression on Li Sui’s face and he just hurried him to take a bath, “It smells bad. Go wash it off.”
Li Sui never knew that Lu Shang was so possessive about his smell. He could not help but feel a little happy while finding it funny.
It was New Year’s Eve in no time, in order to clear up two weeks in his schedule, Li Sui pushed all of his work up and he spent the whole day at the company.
The sky turned dark earlier than usual on snowy days, some impatient people were already setting off fireworks and firecrackers in the distance. Lu Shang asked Aunt Lu to heat up the food and to get the roses and the cake.
“Do you want to light up candles?” Aunt Lu asked with a smile.
Lu Shang thought about it and nodded.
New Year’s Eve was not only a celebration for a new year approaching, it was also their dating anniversary. Lu Shang did not used to calculate such days, but this year was special, so he thought he had to at least celebrate it once.
Moreover, he had been reminiscing in the time when he first brought Li Sui home a lot recently, even Lu Shang himself didn’t know why. He wondered how a thin child could turn into such a tall young man in the blink of an eye?
“Xiao Li will be very happy when he comes back.” Aunt Lu laughed.
Lu Shang thought of Li Sui and a smile surfaced on his face. He took out a thick red packet from the pocket on his wheelchair and handed it to her, “I’ve been a trouble for the whole year. Sorry and thanks.”
Aunt Lu refused slightly (i), but still took it.
T/N: (i) Culturally, red packets are given by seniors to their younger relatives. As Aunt Lu is older than Lu Shang by a lot, it would be rude and demeaning to just take the red packet without at least trying to refuse.
“Go home to celebrate the New Year’s.” Lu Shang knew that she had kids to take care of herself.
Lu Shang smiled, “It’s all right. He will be back soon.”