Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
(Highlight: New World Bai JunYi and partner)
Bai JunYi was a teacher, an elementary school teacher, who had a full set of weekends and summer holidays.
Just talking about this he would be envied by a large wave of people, especially Shen Si who was so busy during holidays that no one could see him. For example, this summer, Shen Si was very busy in the hot summer, the guided tour of the place he was responsible for had few people signed up, but other places were seriously short of manpower, so Shen Si was temporarily transferred as an emergency.
It was heartbreaking.
After an early start, Bai JunYi pushed open the door of his room after eating breakfast, and at that moment, he heard the door open next door, and then saw a man in black clothes and pants coming out of Shen Si’s house.
“Good morning?” Bai JunYi said good morning with a slight hesitation.
The other person seemed to not understand why Bai JunYi talked to him, but considering that this was Shen Si’s neighbor, the other person gave a fake smile and said good morning, then ignored Bai JunYi and walked to the elevator to wait for the elevator to come down.
As always, this could bring a lot of pressure on the heart.
Bai JunYi helplessly shook his head, and then walked to the elevator door together waiting for the elevator.
This person Bai JunYi didn’t know, to be honest, their floor only had the two people, Shen Si and Bai JunYi living in it. The other was either not sold or was for the live-in landlord, so he was familiar with Shen Si only.
Shen Si was very young, barely after graduating from college, and he was a hard-worker with a very friendly personality. He was a person who would not have a thorn in the side, only to make friends so… this person should be his boyfriend. But the boyfriend was a little surprising, not that bad, just a little different from Shen Si.
From the first moment he saw Jian Nian, Bai JunYi knew that this was a person who was extremely selfish and not easily influenced by others.
This kind of person was either bad or may be unable to recognize their own fault when a problem arises, only to invade another person’s space, and Shen Si happened to be a good character. Shen Si’s concessions would precisely let him get an inch.
Apart from other people Shen Si didn’t care at all, and only Shen Si would see his sincere smile. To Shen Si it was also a perfunctory smile, even lazy perfunctory, full of ‘who you are I do not care’.
It wasn’t like Bai JunYi hadn’t seen people like that before, who didn’t care at all what other people thought. Especially because of his work, he had more contact with children and parents. Jian Nian’s age meant that he wouldn’t be changed, his basic character had been established.
But Jian Nian really liked Shen Si, even Bai JunYi who hadn’t been in love could see his eyes full of love when looking at Shen Si.
Bai JunYi wouldn’t say anything, after all, love was a matter of two people, and not for him as an outsider.
The summer morning with a little breeze wasn’t muggy nor cool, Bai JunYi put his hands in his pockets as he walked in a direction to take the bus. This time he came out for a reason, as he was ready to go to a flower store. However, Bai JunYi wasn’t prepared to buy flowers, he mainly wanted to see what kind of person the owner of the flower store really was.
It all started the day before the summer holidays, when the third grader he was in charge of gave him a flower before he left, saying that he had bought it with his leftover pocket money. The flower was beautiful and fresh, and he could tell that it was picked that day, it was a rose.
Bai JunYi smiled and took the flower, thanked the child who gave him the flower, and told him that he shouldn’t give anything next time before asking him why he had given a rose.
Bai JunYi later learned that the child had no idea what kind of flower he had given him, and that he had gone to the florist with only one dollar of pocket money left. The rose was carefully trimmed, with all the thorns cut off, and wrapped in pretty colored paper so that it wouldn’t hurt the child’s hand at all.
The red flowers were slightly wrinkled because the child hid the flower, and even with care you could see the damage, but you could also see the dewdrops in the heart of the flower. The flower was at least not a defective product.
The florist did it on purpose.
Getting off the bus, Bai JunYi started looking for the florist’s way through the map, the child only told him the name and general location of the place. Bai JunYi checked when he found that there were three florists with similar names in the neighborhood, and after having no choice he was ready to ask them one by one.
Selling flowers to children for a dollar was a good thing, but selling roses was really a bit strange, so it was better to go and see.
Walking across the crosswalk, Bai JunYi looked at the cars around him and followed the map to start looking for the florist. He thought the owner of the florist might be a woman, as women were more accommodating to children, and the rose might’ve been a bouquet that was no longer used but had been built, so he casually gave it to the child who wanted to buy flowers for a dollar.
He walked through the crowd to his navigated final destination and then saw the name of the florist and the attire behind the glass doors.
The florist was small and filled with all kinds of flowers, but instead of looking messy, it had an organized warmth and a different kind of beauty. In the glass window, Bai JunYi could see the arranged flowers placed there, and the flowers were so fresh that one couldn’t help but want to buy some to take home.
Bai JunYi put his hand in his pocket, felt a cut of wrapping colored paper, and after making sure it was exactly the same as the wrapping paper in the store he pushed open the door. The wind chimes hanging in front of the store rang with a pleasant bell sound, sounding extra crisp, such a flower store should be decorated by a careful girl, right?
“Welcome.” With a magnetic male voice coming from inside the cashier, the man with braided hair stood up with a little casualness in his voice, “Buying flowers?”
It was a male.
Bai JunYi slightly measured the shopkeeper, wearing relatively simple clothes, especially homely, looking warm. His half-length hair casually pulled up at the back of his head, messily braided, but because he was young, this hairstyle didn’t feel wrong, and the whole person also brought a breath of youthful vitality.
It was a man who was eye-catching enough.
“Guest?” The florist went on with some confusion.
Bai JunYi smiled as he made a gentle apology and then expressed the purpose of his visit.
“Excuse me, sir, did you sell flowers to a child yesterday?” Bai JunYi’s voice was gentle and equal, and his smile was somewhat dazzlingly nice in the light, “Probably a little boy of ten years old.”
The florist looked at him, then he got up from the register, and he found his record of yesterday’s sale, then found a receipt for a dollar, “You mean the little boy who brought a dollar to buy flowers?”
“Yes.” Bai JunYi nodded, “I am his teacher and am a little concerned about some things. Can this gentleman tell me why he would sell a rose to a small child?”
“A rose?” The florist tugged at his pigtails a little strangely, his voice was casual, obviously not feeling that this was something that needed to be asked about, and probably would have felt that Bai JunYi’s visit was really unnecessary, “Didn’t pay attention and gave whatever was on hand, because the store was busy at the time.”
Bai JunYi nodded, “Is that so? Then it’s no problem, thank you for answering my question.”
“One moment.” The florist called out to Bai JunYi as he was about to leave.
Just when Bai JunYi thought the flower store owner thought he was looking for trouble, he put the list in his hand on the table and then said something that Bai JunYi hadn’t expected.
“Did I cause you trouble? I remember that the little kid was talking about giving it to his teacher?” The florist spoke in a slightly hesitant voice, “In that case, let me treat you to dinner as compensation for the trouble I caused you.”
Bai JunYi looked at him subtly, and he was sure his eyes must have brought suspicion with them.
It was strange… this person was really strange. A dollar to sell a child roses would have been a loss, and now he even took the initiative to invite a stranger to dinner? This person must be a complete idiot if he didn’t have an ulterior motive, but seeing as he didn’t look like an idiot, it was probably the former reason.
This person must have an ulterior motive.
Perhaps seeing the suspicion on Bai JunYi’s face, the flower store owner coughed, and he lowered his head slightly, “That… although you may not believe it too much, it seems that I’ve seen you in a dream.”
In a dream?
Talking about dreaming…
Bai JunYi would always have a dream, where he couldn’t see anything clearly, and every morning after waking up, he would forget most of the content. The only thing he could remember was that he seemed to be in some cruel place in the game of life and death, very strange and scary.
Occasionally Bai JunYi still felt the presence of a person beside him, although he had no idea who this person really was.
Bai JunYi hesitated a little, and after a moment he spoke, “May I ask your name?”
“Yan Yang,” the flower store owner flashed Bai JunYi a slightly casual smile, “My name is Yan Yang.”
A name he hadn’t heard of, not ringing a bell, Bai JunYi was sure he had never seen this man before, but the other man looked like he cared about him, and wanted to know him so badly that he looked like a large golden retriever, just short of wagging its tail.
“What’s your name?”
Bai JunYi nodded politely, “My name is Bai JunYi, I’m a teacher.”
“You already said this earlier, Teacher Bai.” Yan Yang looked Bai JunYi in the eyes, “May I have the honor to have a meal together?”
With a very peculiar mood, Bai JunYi agreed to his invitation and went to have breakfast together with him, but it was strange that he didn’t feel awkward coming out to eat with a stranger, even if they didn’t talk the whole time, not even the air was stiff.
In the perspective of ordinary people, two people who have never met suddenly eating together would of course be awkward, otherwise it would be weird.
But the two of them just weren’t awkward, occasionally the gazes would meet but would soon shift away.
It wasn’t at all like they had never seen each other and were meeting for the first time.
Bai JunYi pondered this abnormal situation and thought about what the man in front of him really meant.
“Mr. Yan, why are you doing this?” Bai JunYi opened his mouth, his voice gentle as he asked the person walking next to him, “Isn’t it a bit too much to invite a stranger to eat?”
“Too much?” Yan Yang looked at him with some surprise, “Teacher Bai is a little more reserved than I thought.”
Bai JunYi didn’t have an opinion on his adjective, just smiled and spoke, “It’s not that, it’s just that our acquaintance was just a little too fast. Until now I couldn’t figure out why Mr. Yan suddenly invited me out. Was it just because he had dreamed about me?”
“Isn’t that enough?” Yan Yang stretched out in the sunlight, the loose pigtails at the back of his head swaying with his posture, “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a stranger immediately after dreaming about him, and this thing is the most amazing thing ever! It must signify the birth of a perfect friendship!”
He didn’t even know whether to call this man a child at heart or whether he was just too optimistic.
Yan Yang looked very young, but then again, he wasn’t too young to open a flower store and still run it properly. He was at least 22 years old, but like a big kid.
“It signifies that?”
“Yes!” Yan Yang pointed out a scissors hand to Bai JunYi, like a happy child, “I went to divination yesterday, and the diviner told me that today I would meet a very important person, so that person must be you! So I’ll try my best to get along with you!”
Bai JunYi inexplicably felt that he saw the innocent children in the class under him.
“If it is really because of this reason, I must say that Mr. Yan is really an interesting person.” Bai JunYi concluded.
Yan Yang raised his eyebrows subtly as he looked at Bai JunYi and after a moment put one hand on his shoulder, “Hey, Mr. Bai, can you smile a little less in the future?”
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you?” Yan Yang whispered in his ear and sighed, “Teacher Bai is really too gentle when he smiles, it feels like he gives all the gentleness and enthusiasm he has to the person talking across the room. It’s more dazzling than sunlight, there must be many people who like you. How many people’s hearts must you break?”
Bai JunYi mildly looked into his eyes, “What does this have to do with me smiling? It’s in my character, so it’s not my problem if I’ll be liked or not.”
“Yes, that’s what it means.” Yan Yang closed his eyes helplessly, “It’s this smile paired with this thought, sinful oh.”
“With my character, do you still want to know me?” Bai JunYi spoke with a smile.
“Ai.” Yan Yang justified, “Because I won’t be attracted to Mr. Bai’s gentle smile, and it doesn’t work on me at all! I am not going to have a filter on you!”
That was quite flattering…
Bai JunYi looked at him bemusedly, with a helpless yet gentle gaze in his eyes.
Although he didn’t know why, this youth said such words in front of him but it didn’t make him feel uncomfortable. Bai JunYi was an adult, a normal person, so he had a minimum of wisdom and self-control, and accepted other people’s words well, but he knew that not everyone’s words could be well listened to.
For someone he had just met, Yan Yang’s conversation with him could even be considered rude, but Bai JunYi didn’t find it offensive.
It was as if someone had once followed him around like this, talking nonsense to him, and kept walking by his side.
“Are we friends now?” Yan Yang turned around and walked backwards, he looked into Bai JunYi’s eyes with a little expectation shining in his eyes, “Teacher Bai?”
Bai JunYi nodded, “I would like to be your friend.”
“Great!” Yan Yang cheered and turned his head, his pigtails swaying with the jumping motion, “I’m going to the diviner later, to ask her if I’ve found my most important person!”
“If the soothsayer says no will you continue to look?”
“Mn? Is there even such a problem?” Yan Yang was a little surprised thinking, “If it turns out that Teacher Bai isn’t my important person, then…”
Yan Yang thought for a long time, after he spoke with some frustration, “I think there is no problem, it must be Mr. Bai.”
“You are so confident?”
“Mn.” Yan Yang’s voice was slightly lowered, as he lowered his head, looked less active than just now, and even brought a little repression. “No matter if in the dream or in reality, I think it must be you.”
The youth suddenly seemed to become an adult, the whole person was filled with a sense of maturity, as he smiled and looked at Bai JunYi, his dark eyes with a polite and gentle point of tenderness, as if the still somewhat cheerful child just now forced to grow up into an adult.
He said, “That’s what I thought when I first saw you.”
The words were sincere, but Bai JunYi’s point of concern was no longer that, his whole body was caught by another issue.
Bai JunYi looked at Yan Yang’s braid that was falling behind his head, and he finally couldn’t help himself, and directly went up and yanked it from behind. Yan Yang let out a cry of surprise and instantly freed his braid from Bai JunYi’s hands.
Yan Yang covered his hair hard, then stared at Bai JunYi incredulously, as if surprised that someone like him would do such a childish thing.
“That, sorry.” Bai JunYi meekly apologized.
“Apology is not necessary.” Yan Yang looked at Bai JunYi with a very amazing look, “I didn’t expect that you would like this kind of thing.”
No, no, he actually didn’t like pigtails, especially those tied by men, just now he pulled it so pulled naturally, it definitely wasn’t on purpose.
Bai JunYi returned home with a pot of sunflowers, which Yan Yang insisted on giving him, and even if he kept refusing, Yan Yang told him to bring it back.
So Bai JunYi came back with a pot of sunflowers, with a head full of questions.
It was clear that he was just going to find some shopkeeper who sold roses to children, to make sure that the shopkeeper didn’t have bad intentions, which was the accusation of a teacher, but who would have thought that this flower store owner would be such a person. He even gave him a potted sunflower plant with roots, which was simply a loss for his business.
Just then, there was a ding-dong, as the elevator door opened. Shen Si came out of the elevator, reached out and held down his shoulder, looking a little tired.
“Shen Si?” Bai JunYi glanced at the time on his watch, yes, it was noon, shouldn’t Shen Si be at work at this time?
“Mr. Bai, good day, I didn’t have work this afternoon, so I came back early.” Shen Si greeted him, then his eyes moved to the sunflower in Bai JunYi’s hand, “Sunflower? Do you like flowers, Mr. Bai?”
“This is a gift from someone else.” Bai JunYi put the flower pot on the ground, “I met a friend who owns a flower store, and when I came back, I was forced to take this pot, so I brought it back, but it’s my first time raising flowers, I don’t know what to do. It just needs to be watered, right?”
Shen Si smiled and nodded, “Don’t worry, as long as you’re around, the plants can grow very well, after all, Mr. Bai is a person as warm as the sun.”
“I’m a little embarrassed when you put it that way.” Bai JunYi pushed open the door with the key, “Then, I’ll go in first.”
“Hmm.” Shen Si nodded his head as he murmured, “Mr. Bai needs to live a little happier.”
Bai JunYi didn’t hear Shen Si’s words, he simply carried the pot of flowers back to his room, looked at his room which was still sort of organized, then looked at the empty balcony, placing the sunflower on the balcony so it could be exposed to the sunlight. Bai JunYi then let out a heavy breath.
“It looks so alone, but it can’t be helped, I don’t know how to take care of plants.” Bai JunYi watered the sunflower a little, then turned around and went back to the living room.
Turning on the TV, which happened to be on the noon news at this time, the host was broadcasting the recent temperature and rain, and after telling everyone that soon it would be raining here, and would probably even be humid because of the heat.
Bai JunYi was lying on the sofa, feeling a rare wave of sleepiness.
At school work wasn’t as easy as expected, especially because he was also the class teacher, so he had to do all kinds of preparation and grading homework. When the school had a lunch break, Bai JunYi needed to occasionally patrol to ensure that they didn’t affect the other students’ nap, so down, Bai JunYi almost never had a nap, he didn’t have the habit of napping.
But today’s sleepiness was like a continuous sea that kept coming.
Lying on the sofa, Bai JunYi closed his eyes, the news on the TV was still on, which didn’t affect Bai JunYi from sinking into the dream world.
He had that dream again. The dream was a horrible scene that couldn’t even be imagined with a constant and terrible aura. Bai JunYi saw himself running continuously, behind him was a terrible, unidentifiable creature, but he knew that as soon as the thing caught up with him, he would be finished and would die, die where no one knew, so he could only run away, run to where no one could find him.
But just then, he fell and a hand reached out in front of him. Bai JunYi looked up, his eyes kept moving up as he saw Yan Yang’s face.
“Mr. Bai calm down, it’s okay, I will protect you.” Yan Yang said, “Okay, okay, no need to say thank you, just protect me in the future instead.”
A dream… a dream about Yan Yang.
Bai JunYi could easily identify that it was in a dream, and could easily recognize Yan Yang. He watched himself and Yan Yang become companions in this world, following each other with every step. They were the best partners and had the perfect tacit understanding.
The long knife penetrated Yan Yang’s chest, crimson blood splashed onto Bai JunYi’s body, his hands were full of red blood, he opened his eyes wide, but only saw Yan Yang slowly fall down.
“…Yan Yang?” Bai JunYi heard his own voice calling out to him, but the other side didn’t respond.
Bai JunYi sat up furiously, and gasped with his face full of sweat. The TV news was still broadcasting the recent important events, but Bai JunYi couldn’t hear anything, he curled up on the sofa and looked at his hands, which were dry and clean, no blood was visible at all.
Slowly putting his hands down, Bai JunYi looked to the balcony, where the sunflower turned its head, and persistently looked at the sun.
This was the characteristic of sunflowers.
Bai JunYi tilted his body onto the sofa, calming his violent heartbeat.
Yan Yang said he saw Bai JunYi in his dream, so did he dream about this? Did he dream that it was Bai JunYi who killed Yan Yang and ran him through with a knife in this dream that he entered to be able to immerse himself in it?
The blood that can never be wiped away.