Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Bao GuiChen was only one year older than Nan HuaiLin. Both of them were only children and they grew up together, so their relationship was better than that of biological brothers.
When Nan HuaiLin wanted to follow Shi Yan to Beijing, his father refused to agree and locked him in the house for a week. Finally, Bao GuiChen stole the key and let him go.
If it wasn’t for Bao GuiChen, he would have missed the freshman orientation at Beijing Film Academy, and taken a very different path in life, so he was very grateful for Bao GuiChen.
When he heard Nan HuaiLin’s shout, Bao GuiChen turned his head to look over and waved his hand with a smile. He bent down to put out his cigarette, and threw the cigarette butt into the trash can next to him.
Nan HuaiLin held Fei Cheng’s hand,as walked over quickly and gave Bao GuiChen a big hug. He said with a smile, “Brother, it’s been a long time.”
“It’s been quite a long time. More than a year, right?” Bao GuiChen swept a glance at Fei Cheng next to him, and said with a smile, “Hurry up and introduce yourself.”
Fei Cheng didn’t wait for Nan HuaiLin to speak. He extended his hand and called out ‘brother’ before he smiled and said, “My name is Fei Cheng. I’m Nan HuaiLin’s boyfriend.”
Bao GuiChen shook hands with him. “Let’s get in the car first.”
Fei Cheng put the suitcase in the trunk, then Nan HuaiLin pushed him into the back seat, sat himself in the passenger seat and took off the sunglasses and mask.
“Watching TV and seeing real people are really different,” Bao Guichen said, as he stared at Nan HuaiLin from behind the steering wheel. “Are you really my brother?”
Nan HuaiLin said, “When you were in fifth grade, you were blowing shit up in front of the house. You threw the cannon up there, just as my aunt’s husband came out from inside, and the shit smeared on his face. He chased you and hit you. Then you jumped into the river in a hurry, and almost drowned.”
Fei Cheng didn’t hold back and burst out laughing.
Nan HuaiLin and Bao GuiChen turned their heads to look at him at the same time, “…”
Fei Cheng hurriedly choked back his laughter. “No, sorry.”
Bao GuiChen reached out, and pushed Nan HuaiLin’s head. “Can’t you remember me a little better? Little wolf with white eyes.”
Nan HuaiLin smiled and said, “I’m just trying to prove myself.”
Bao GuiChen drove up the road and said, “Your house is probably occupied by all the neighbors who have heard about it, so be prepared to be surrounded.”
Nan HuaiLin said, “I’m used to being mobbed everywhere I go now.”
Bao GuiChen glanced at Fei Cheng in the rearview mirror, hesitated for a moment, and said, “How about…You take your boyfriend to the hotel first? There are so many people around, and I’m worried about your parents if you take your boyfriend home–“
“Brother,” Nan HuaiLin interrupted him, and said bluntly. “I came back this time just to get my account book and get married.”
Bao GuiChen looked at him in surprise. “How old are you to get married? Besides, in the entertainment industry, you have to hide your love for fear of losing fans. How come you are going to get married?”
Nan HuaiLin said seriously, “Because it has been determined that this life will never change. So I want to get married, and live together in a proper way.”
Bao GuiChen was silent for a moment. “Your parents will never agree.”
Nan HuaiLin said, “Brother, you will stand by my side, right?”
Bao GuiChen smiled helplessly. “I still don’t know you. You look like a soft persimmon, but in fact you are the hardest. Once you make up your mind, nothing others can say will help.”
Nan HuaiLin turned around and winked at Fei Cheng, who then gave him a kiss. Fei Cheng said to Bao GuiChen, “Brother, please take me to the mall. I need to buy some gifts for my aunt and uncle.”
Bao GuiChen drove directly to the Stone Road Pedestrian Street, parked the car on the side of the road and took Fei Cheng to buy something. It wasn’t convenient for Nan HuaiLin to go in, so he just instructed Fei Cheng, “Don’t buy anything too expensive. My mother hates to spend money indiscriminately.”
“I know,” Fei Cheng said with a smile. “I have it in mind.”
Nan HuaiLin waited in the car and, since he had nothing else to do, called Man Tianzhu.
“Little Sister Zhu,” Nan HuaiLin said. “Can you send me the account password of my big Weibo account?”
Nan HuaiLin had been filming continuously during this period of time, and his Weibo account had been managed by Man Tianzhu, but she would let Nan HuaiLin go through things before she posted. What she posted was basically the various promotional blogs of his TV series, and occasionally she would also post two photos of Nan HuaiLin on the set, or at an event.
“Okay, I’ll send it to you on WeChat later,” Man Tianzhu said. “You’ve put off all your work. Is there something important going on?”
“No,” Nan HuaiLin said with a smile. “It’s just that my boyfriend is back, and I want to talk to him about love.”
“…” Caught off guard, and stuffed with dog food, Man Tianzhu was speechless for a moment, then said, “So when are you going to start taking jobs? I’m used to being busy, so suddenly I’m quite uncomfortable.”
“I’ve taken a month’s leave from Sister Shan,” Nan HuaiLin said. “Let’s talk about it after May 1.”
“Okay,” said Man Tianzhu. “Then have fun, and be careful not to get caught on camera by the paparazzi.”
“Got it,” Nan HuaiLin said. “Bye.”
Nan HuaiLin logged on to Weibo, replied with a few funny comments, and then went to Hot Search to see what was new.
After he spent more than half an hour tweeting, Bao GuiChen and Fei Cheng finally came back.
Nan HuaiLin asked, “What did you buy?”
Fei Cheng said, “I bought some clothes and some nutrition products.”
It was a modest gift, so Nan HuaiLin didn’t say anything.
In less than twenty minutes, the car turned from the spacious road into a cramped alley. They drove slowly around and around.
Fei Cheng lowered the window to look out. As far as the eye could see, it was all white walls and black tiles. The height was jagged, and mostly years of old houses. They turned a corner and there was a not too wide, but not too narrow river. On the river, there were boats full of tourists sailing by.
“Is this where you grew up?” Fei Cheng asked.
“Mn,” Nan HuaiLin said. “Until I went to Beijing at the age of eighteen.”
Fei Cheng imagined a little soybean version of Nan HuaiLin, running and playing in the alleyways. The corners of his lips curled up.
“It’s so beautiful here,” he said.
It was not how pretty it was per se, but it was pretty because it was where his wife had lived.
After they drove along the river for a while, they drove over a stone bridge, then the car turned into a narrow alleyway again and soon stopped.
Because the road ahead was blocked by a crowd.
“We’ll go from here. This is too much, right?” Bao GuiChen exclaimed. “Get out.”
The three of them got out of the car. Fei Cheng was carrying gift bags in both hands. Bao GuiChen went around to the back and took out the suitcase, then let Fei Cheng out.
Nan HuaiLin was swamped by the crowd as soon as he got out of the car. Fei Cheng couldn’t even see him, he could only vaguely hear his voice, as he greeted people over and over.
Bao GuiChen smiled, and asked Fei Cheng, “Is my brother so popular now?”
Fei Cheng said, “He is now as popular as the day is long. No one can compare.”
Bao GuiChen lowered his voice and asked, “So if you guys get married now, will it really have no effect on his career?”
Fei Cheng said, “Brother, our family is a media company. I will only let him get better and better, you can be rest assured.”
Bao GuiChen looked at him suspiciously. “You’re not. You’re not…submarining my brother, are you?”
Fei Cheng hurriedly clarified. “I guarantee, with my personality, he and I are absolutely in love.”
Bao GuiChen patted him on the shoulder, and said with a smile, “I’m just kidding. Don’t be nervous.” He glanced forward and said, “But you should be nervous now. See, the one in the green knit shirt? That’s Lin Lin’s mother, next to her is Lin Lin’s father. My uncle is grumpy, so if he beats you up, don’t hide.”
Fei Cheng saw them.
Nan HuaiLin’s mother looked kind and friendly, with a face of peace, Nan HuaiLin’s father was tense, expressionless, and seemed to be a serious person.
Fei Cheng was nervous. For the first time in over two hundred years of life, his heart was beating in his throat.
Nan HuaiLin had been flanked by his parents.
“Dad. Mom,” he said a little nervously. “I’m back.”
Geng XiaoRong looked at her son’s familiar and unfamiliar face. She glanced at Fei Cheng, who hadn’t yet reached her, before she took her son’s hand, smiled warmly and said, “Come on. Let’s go home.”
Nan HuaiLin waved back, as he signalled Fei Cheng and Bao GuiChen to hurry up, and then followed his parents into the courtyard.
This was a small two-story building similar to a Beijing courtyard, in which four families lived, two downstairs and two upstairs. Nan HuaiLin’s house was upstairs, with three rooms lined up, one for his parents’ bedroom, one for Nan HuaiLin’s bedroom, and one that served as the living room, with the dining room in a narrow hallway.
Nan HuaiLin followed his parents into the living room, and found that it was also packed with people. His aunt and uncle, uncles and aunts from the building, sisters and brothers…His fear of dense crowds was getting the better of him.
Nan HuaiLin politely called out to people one by one. Before he could finish, Bao GuiChen led Fei Cheng in the door.
Fei Cheng wanted to greet Nan HuaiLin’s parents, but Bao GuiChen hurriedly told him to keep quiet, so Fei Cheng had to stand aside silently as his tension level continued to soar.
After a flurry of pleasantries, Nan ZunShan gave the expulsion order without expression. “We’ve already seen the big star, so let’s all go back first, and let us talk as a family.”
A room full of people came out, and left only Nan HuaiLin’s family, Bao GuiChen’s family, and one Fei Cheng.
Nan ZunShan walked over, and closed the door.
The atmosphere in the living room was a little strained for a moment, and no one spoke.
“Dad–” Nan HuaiLin just opened his mouth, when Nan Zunshan slapped him across the face.
Fei Cheng was standing next to Nan HuaiLin, and he agilely moved between them to protect Nan HuaiLin who was held in his arms.
Nan ZunShan’s slap hit Fei Cheng solidly on the back of the head with a loud thud.