Chapter 51: Reminders
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Before she left, she was worried that Lu Shang would be bored while waiting, so she turned on the TV.
It was broadcasting the news, as it was the New Year’s, it was a festive scene everywhere. In the corner of the living room, a gentle tapping sound came from the glass tank. Lu Shang smiled softly, he turned his wheelchair around and tried reaching for the food dispense button.
The two little turtles were smart. Whenever they were hungry, they would scratch the cylinder wall. Lu Shang would know that they were starving whenever he heard the noises. The turtles were quite blessed, they ate all day long. When they were full, they would hide their limbs and head into their shells. They would sleep soundly without a care in the world. After having them for such a long time, they did not grow much, they just ate a lot, sometimes feeding them once per day was not enough.
Lu Shang found that he was really unsuitable for raising animals. He raised his big turtle into a hungry wolf, while the small turtles were raised into lazy pigs.
After feeding the turtles, Lu Shang pressed on his temple, he was wondering if he had stayed in the warm room for too long time. He felt dizzy and was going to open the windows, but all of a sudden, his heart contracted hard.
He stagnated for a second, he only had time to think of the words “this is bad”, before the previous sensation was replaced by sharp pain. It was as if his blood was boiling and his heartrate was like a runaway train, one that was struggling to break free of his body’s control. Lu Shang was in a lot of pain, he bent down uncontrollably and whimpered. He lost all of his strength and fell down, huddling in pain on the carpet.
He was surrounded by a thick layer of haze, in the dizziness, countless voices intertwined together, ringing in his ears at the same time. Lu Shang’s eyes lost focus, he felt as if he was being buried alive, the overwhelming suffocating sensation hit him hard, his mouth opened up, struggling to get oxygen in the darkness.
Countless scenes spinned through his mind as if he was watching a zoetrope. At that moment, Lu Shang was in a state of chaos. He could almost feel a person standing in a corner not far away from him, staring at him expressionlessly holding a scythe of death.
“No… Not yet…” He clasped his hands together and struggled to climb to the drawer. He followed his memory and opened the drawer up, pulling out a needle free injector.
The action of getting the injector alone consumed almost all of his remaining strength. He gasped heavily, trembling and pointing the injector at his vein and quickly pressed the injector.
The crazy pilot of the runaway train seemed to have been shot dead at the same time Lu Shang injected the medicine. The drug worked fast, Lu Shang dropped the injector and curled up on the ground, allowing the medicine to spread through his body.
The whole passed by quickly. Lu Shang didn’t know how long it took, but the roaring in his ears finally faded away. The painful sounds were replaced by the voice of the news reporter. Lu Shang opened his eyes, a loud song was playing from the TV and he saw people dancing. There was a dim glow in front of him, it seemed like that he had recovered a little bit of his vision.
The song was accompanied by the sound of drums, everything was full of joy. Everyone in this city seemed to be celebrating the New Year. Listening to the joyous sounds, Lu Shang somehow felt slight bitterness in his eyes.
There was once a dark road, he had been walking that road alone for many years. He was not afraid of the dark, nor of falling. At that time, he had no concerns. Later on, a little boy appeared, he tried to help him however clumsy he may be. At first, he was just curious, he wondered what the child would grow into. He never planned on reaching out to the child. Little did he know, the child quickly became someone he depended on heavily. The seven years of companionship was as if someone had held a lamp up behind him, pushing him forward along the dark road. If he hadn’t just been in agony from immense pain, he would have completely forgotten that no matter how long the road seemed to be, there was always an end.
The news broadcast was not over yet, Lu Shang laid on the ground for a while, waiting for the pain to subside, then he sat up covered in sweat. He leaned on one of the table legs to rest. In barely 20 minutes, his clothes were all soaked with sweat, and the ground was messy. Cotton balls and gauze were everywhere since he had to go through the medicine box blinded in a hurry.
It was quiet outside, the snow was still falling. Pieces of it were blown onto the glass window, they melted quickly and gathered at the bottom of the window frame. The food sat quietly on the table, and the mini hot pot was still bubbling. In the corner, the two turtles were still happily eating their meat. Lu Shang looked around to see all the familiar things, and his heart gradually calmed down.
His legs recovered a little strength, he slowly got up and cleaned everything up. He went back to his bedroom and changed his clothes. Then he called Li Sui.
“When will you be back?” He tried to keep his voice normal.
“Were you waiting for me? Sorry for making you wait, I just got off the highway and should be home in half an hour.”
Lu Shang pinched his hand and there were sweat on it too, “… I just knocked over a bottle of medicine.”
“What’s wrong? Did it hurt?” Li Sui asked urgently.
“No, I’m fine, but the medicine got dirty.”
“That’s all right. I’m can go buy some now. You will have to wait for me a little longer though,” Li Yong said.
As Lu Shang listened, he felt his heart was boiling over restlessly, “Li Sui, I…”
“… It’s nothing. Come home soon.”
Lu Shang hung up the phone and felt a strong sense of acid in his nose. He endured it and finally called Uncle Yuen.
Uncle Yuen was supposed to go back to his hometown today. When Lu Shang called him, he was already waiting for the plane at the airport. After receiving the call, he immediately came to Lu Shang’s house without even saying a word.
When he entered the house, Lu Shang was writing at his desk. Lu Shang would stop writing for a while then start, his face looked pale and his eye whites were a little red. He had been working with Lu Shang for many years already, but he had never seen him like this, an ominous feeling rose in his heart.
When Lu Shang saw Uncle Yuen, he tidied up the expression on his face and folded up the paper he had written on. Lu Shang handed the stack of paper over to Uncle Yuen, “Contact the notary office to prepare a copy.”
Uncle Yuen took the paper, “This is…”
Lu Shang did not answer. He rubbed his chest and turned sideways, avoiding Uncle Yuen’s eyes, “Do it.”
Uncle Yuen could vaguely guess what was written on the paper. Suddenly, he felt immense weight in his hands, he almost dropped the paper. His hand trembled as he lifted the corner of the paper. He looked inside and was completely stunned.
” Uncle Yuen, thank you for your hard work over the years.” Lu Shang whispered but still did not look at him.
Uncle Yuen slowly turned his head slightly, only one lamp was turned on in the room. The whole of Lu Shang was hidden in the darkness, faintly showing his small figure, it seemed like he would disappear any time.
Li Sui came back later than expected. It was New Year’s after all, only on duty doctors were still in the hospital. There was a huge backlog of patients in the hospital. Lu Shang’s medicine could only be bought from the hospital, so he was delayed.
T/N: I can’t believe the hospital doesn’t give him special treatment.
When he got home, Lu Shang was lighting up candles at the dining table. Li Sui was ecstatic to see him having clear eyes. Li Sui held his hands and refused to put them down. “You can see?”
Lu Shang smiled and nodded, his expression was just like how it normally was.
After a day’s work, Li Sui was hungry and devoured the whole meal in no time. Lu Shang had no appetite, he sat down beside Li Sui and watched him eat, he also occasionally added more food to Li Sui’s plate.
The two of them seldom got the chance to have a nice meal together. Li Sui picked a few of the most brilliant roses up from the vase and held them in front of Lu Shang. He hinted by joking, “These flowers are really suitable for a proposal.”
Lu Shang froze, then he reached for the flowers.
Li Sui was a little shy, he rubbed Lu Shang’s hand and asked, “Will… will you marry me?”
Lu Shang felt a little discomfort from his question, he held it in and tried to squeeze out a smile, “Are you proposing to me?”
“Of course not, a proposal is important, it can’t be this casual,” Li Sui held Lu Shang’s hand up, he lowered his head and kissed the back of Lu Shang’s hand. “I just want you to give me a brief idea first. We’ve been together for five years, I’m wondering if you’d like it if we make it official.”
Lu Shang looked into Li Sui’s pious eyes that were filled with anticipation. At that moment, Lu Shang’s heart softened, he almost felt like confessing everything to Li Sui, despite that he tried his best to stop the urge. Although doing the operation was his own decision, in truth, he was not certain himself, there was only a 10% chance. If he really had the luck to survive, even if Li Sui wanted the stars in the sky, he was seriously ready to buy a spaceship for him, let alone marriage, but if he didn’t had that luck…
Lu Shang tidied up his own thoughts, he raised his head and smiled, “Let me examine your performance for another year.”
As Li Sui listened, his eyes brightened up, he was so happy that his hands were swinging around. He only remembered to jump over and hug Lu Shang after his mind froze, he kissed the back of his neck again and again, he said with excitement, “You said it yourself, so you can’t regret it later on.”
Lu Shang closed his eyes, his Adam’s apple moved slightly, and he answered, “No regrets.”
After dinner, the two men discussed about the company’s business again. Li Sui mentioned his gains from his hard work in recent days to Lu Shang, he got a lot of suggestions from him.
“You should be more willing to spend more money in the future,” Lu Shang cut out a piece of the cake and handed it to Li Sui. “I asked Yan Ke to find a few good cooperation partners in Japan. Everything is already agreed upon, you can bring someone with you tomorrow morning and sign the contract.”
“Tomorrow?” Li Sui held up his fork. He didn’t refuse, but reluctance was written all over his face.
Lu Shang looked at him and said after getting his emotions out of the way, “You are a grown man. You should think about your career. Don’t always stick to me.”
The remark was slightly too heavy. As expected, Li Sui’s head drooped down and did not speak. He had a hurt expression on his face.
Looking at him, Lu Shang felt pain in his liver, he grabbed Li Sui’s hand from under the table, rubbing it gently, he comforted, “Just for a week.”
In the evening, the two of them took a bath together, and waited for the next day to arrive. After a day’s work, Li Sui was obviously tired and he kept dozing off. Lu Shang, however was not sleepy because of the medicine. After Li Sui fell asleep, Lu Shang sat up and combed his hair for him over and over again. His eyes were full of affection and grief.
Even when Li Sui was asleep, he would always keep on hugging Lu Shang, as if he feared Lu Shang would run away. Lu Shang used to think that he was insecure, but later on, he gradually found that Li Sui was actually using this method to judge whether his heartbeat and body temperature were normal. Lu Shang was quite certain he would not meet another person in this world that had so much care for him.
Just a little longer, just a little bit longer, Lu Shang thought.
The next day, Li Sui got up early and counted the pills Lu Shang had to take every day. He put them into small bottles with different shapes, then put them in Lu Shang’s pocket.
“This bigger square bottle contains medicine that should be eaten at noon, the smaller square bottle has the ones for night, while the round bottle and spray are to be used in emergencies,” Li Sui reminded him, he had hundreds of millions of worries and concerns, “Do not take off your wristwatch, if you press the first key, the watch will immediately phone me, do not worry about the time, I will pick up whenever…”
As Li Sui reminded, it suddenly occurred to him, years ago when he first arrived at the Lu household, he did the same as Li Sui was doing now. Lu Shang told him what to do when he was thirsty, hungry or injured. The time had not turned back, but their positions had changed.
“I’ve booked a flight already, when I get back, we can go to a tropical island for vacation,” Li Sui said.
Lu Shang didn’t respond much, he only coughed and hurried him in a low voice, “Come on, you’ll miss the plane.”
Li Sui never thought leaving home was so difficult. He changed his shoes at the door and turned back a few times. Overnight, Lu Shang’s eyesight had gotten weaker again, he vaguely saw Li Sui standing in the light coming through the opened door, he said reluctantly, “Then I’m going out now.”
The light was dazzling. Lu Shang looked at him and lost his mind in it for two seconds, “… Hmn.”
After Li Sui walked out the door, Lu Shang suddenly reacted, he lost control of his mouth and called, “Li Sui.”
Li Sui immediately turned around and waited for him to speak.
The frantic expression on Lu Shang’s face faded quickly, it was replaced with his usual calm and gentle smile, “Take care of yourself.”
Li Sui nodded, he stared at Lu Shang and left hesitatingly.
When Li Sui’s car finally left their house’s yard, Lu Shang breathed a sigh of relief. As if he could no longer hold on, he fell to the ground. He crashed into a chair nearby and made a racket in the empty living room. Later on, he heard Uncle Yuen rushing in from the yard and Aunt Lu running out of the kitchen, someone screamed for the ambulance.
There was a lot of noises all around. Lu Shang was sometimes awake and sometimes asleep. His consciousness was drifting away, he sensed that he was being lifted onto a stretcher bed and pushed away. He suddenly remembered, there was something important he had not done yet. He weakly opened his eyes, stretching out his hand to grab Uncle Yuen’s sleeve, he moved his lips powerlessly, “Uncle Yuen… That kid… Please take care of him…”
After finishing the sentence, he seemed to have accomplished what he wanted, and his bony wrist fell down limply.
It was snowing again. Uncle Yuen stood in the yard and watched as Lu Shang was lifted onto the ambulance by a group of paramedics. Uncle Yuen had mixed feelings in his heart.
He remembered that many years ago, a somewhat similar scene unfolded in his eyes in this exact yard, it also happened to the Lu family. Lu Shang’s father said to Uncle Yuen, “My son, please take care of him.” After saying that, he never returned to the house.
To simplify things, Li Sui brought along only an accountant, Xiao Tang, and a male salesman, Xiao Lin. The three of them landed at the airport in Japan, they waited for the car to pick them up. Xiao Tang called the car company, that end kept apologizing, saying that the car that was supposed to pick them up had broken down on the way. The person on the other end asked them to wait a little longer.
Li Sui listened, he wondered why a burst of anxiety grew in him, he walked around restless in the airport lounge.
“Director Li, what’s wrong?” Asked Xiao Lin.
Li Sui frowned, he also noticed the oddness of his own behavior, he shoke his head, “I don’t know, I just feel uneasy.”
Xiao Lin was a little superstitious. Listening to him, he was immediately affected and became suspicious of things. Xiao Tang, suddenly gasped loudly, which frightened them both.
“What’s wrong with you? Why are you so noisy?” Xiao Lin asked.
Xiao Tang turned over her bag, and his face turned white, “I… I forgot to bring the contract document…”
Xiao Lin stared at her in disbelieve, “Are you serious? We’re here to sign the contract and you didn’t bring the contract. What are we even here for then?”
Xiao Tang was about to burst into tears, “I… when we left the company, I remembered putting it in my bag! I don’t know…”
The anxiety in Li Sui’s heart was getting worse, he kept feeling as if an invisible force was pushing him to go back home. Announcements for boarding were constantly broadcasted on the radio, giving people a sense of tension. While waiting in the lounge, Li Sui remembered the fragments of Lu Shang’s words and actions last night, he also remembered something he heard from when he was asleep. Those made him feel more and more uneasy.
“What should we do now?” Xiao Tang stomped his feet in a hurry.
“Book a return flight ticket.” Li Sui stood up and murmured.
“We are going back?” Xiao Lin was shocked. “It might be dangerous 1 for her to go alone. Shall I go back and get it instead?”
Li Sui turned to them and his voice was cold, he said, “Book the earliest flight. I’m going back. You two stay here.”
“Ah?” Both of them made a surprised sound at the same time.
T/N: Before you all cry, don’t worry, Lu Shang isn’t dead and won’t be.