Chapter 7: First World (7)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Bai Duan tried to calm down, took a deep breath, and finally clicked on the email.
This email was sent automatically, triggered by the fact that you have browsed fifteen reports about the Zheng family. At this time, I must have been taken away by the Zheng family, and you will certainly have doubts after reading these reports. You must think it strange why I paid so much attention to the information of the Zheng family so early on.
Yes, as you guessed, I did know I was the illegitimate son of the Zheng family.]
Reading up to this, the first feeling Bai Duan had was not the anger of being deceived, but the unexpected reassurance, which made his fingers loosen his grasp on the mouse.
Brother knows that he’s the illegitimate son of the Zheng family. In this case, he should have prepared for it. When he returns to the Zheng family, he will probably not walk on thin ice as his father said.
Bai Duan had an inexplicable trust in his elder brother, who was only one year older than himself. He trusted the ability of the other party and believed that he would not suffer when he was already prepared.
As long as brother gets along well… Then he can rest assured.
In this way, Bai Duan finally felt a sense of grievance, he thought that he and his Brother had no secrets, but his brother concealed such a big thing and did not reveal it to him at all. But it wasn’t long after Bai Duan felt wronged when the next email mentioned the problem as if he had known what he was thinking.
[Not long ago, I found out that I was Zheng’s son. My blood brother had an accident, was kidnapped, had a high fever, and was rescued successfully, but he was frightened and burned into a fool. (1) From then on, the Zheng family began to look for Zheng Ershao’s illegitimate son.
[After I got the news, I knew that I would be taken to the Zheng’s house one day. Several times, I wanted to tell you about it, but I was afraid that you would be sad. We are alone and cannot prevent it from happening. At the same time, I really need to go to the Zheng family to settle some hatred. I don’t know how long it will take, and I don’t want to see a gloomy smile on your face before I leave.
[Little Duan, forgive me, I just hope our time together is full of happy and happy memories. I am afraid to see you sad, worried that I will be defeated by your plea to stay, give up my principles, disrupt my plans, and caused more trouble for our future.
[Whatever I do, even if it’s separate from you, I’m fighting for the future of both of us. Please believe me and wait for my safe return.]
Bai Duan licked his lips, and though he was still sad for the separation, he could not help feeling a little sweet— even he did not know what he felt sweet for. Knowing this changed his mood, Bai Duan was so happy that he secretly resented himself. A few words of apology in the mail made his mood turn from cloudy and rainy to sunny.
Next, Bai Xu began to tell Bai Duan in his email that he should pay attention to all the things after he left. Trivial things, almost covering every bit of things in Bai Duan’s daily life. Since Bai Xu came to the Bai house, the Bai’s parents had never worried about Bai Duan’s growth because of this. Everything had long been unconsciously handed over to Bai Xu.
Bai Xu was extremely worried that his brother, who had been brought up with his painstaking efforts, had suddenly left his shelter. Even though he knew that his parents would never let Bai Duan be wronged, he would inevitably worry about it.
And the most essential thing in the email was— [No love, no love, no love! Important things are to be repeated three times! When I come back, and I find you have a lover, male or female— you don’t want to know what I will do.]
Seeing the threat being specially placed in the email, Bai Duan shivered subconsciously, and the appearance of a sneer from his brother’s face emerged in his mind involuntarily.
Bai Duan was not foolish, although he was not very emotionally enlightened, being a junior high schooler, he had long known what love was. He had been ignorant of Bai Xu’s feelings and realized that he had similar expectations for Bai Xu. Only Bai Xu had been restrained, and Bai Duan’s character was more passive since he did not like change, coupled with the nominal ‘brother’ restriction, which made them not pierce that layer of window paper and abandon the ‘brother’ camouflage.
After reading the mail several times over and over, Bai Duan finally wholly calmed down. He believed that Bai Xu, who had been prepared for a long time, would not let himself suffer. So long as his brother was well, and as long as he would return to him, the temporary separation would be acceptable.
But Bai Duan didn’t want to just wait for Bai Xu’s return as he was told in the mail. He would undoubtedly wait for Bai Xu’s return, but it was more than that. He hoped he could do something, even if he couldn’t help Bai Xu, at least…he would be closer to him.
As a teenager, Bai Duan had almost no voice and no control over his life. The only thing he could do was to study hard and then enter the University of Beijing and live in the same city as Bai Xu.
If Bai Xu returned to him before then, it would be better, but if not, it would be his turn to find his brother. Now he could not help his brother, and could only be left in place, watching him go, so he must strive to make himself excellent. Only in this way he will be able to catch up with his brother, and walk side by side with him.
After living heartlessly under the shelter of his parents and brother, Bai Duan finally learned to grow up at this moment, and this change was quickly perceived by Papa Bai and Mama Bai. The Bai parents were grateful for their son’s growth, but they also felt sorry for the way he grew up. The only thing they could do was support him and help him as much as they could.
Bai Duan was no longer playful, no longer deserted class, or failed exams; the results were a qualitative leap from his past self in an instant.
He was not a smart kid who knew everything at once, but he was not a fool. If he listened to it two or three times, he could understand it thoroughly. He devoted all his energy and mind to his study and used a tutor every day. He never relaxed on his rest day.
After seeing this high-intensity and dull learning career, the Bai parents thought that Bai Duan could not endure for long, but fortunately, he persevered, and watching this perseverance, the Bai’s parents were ashamed. Bai Duan was stubborn. Once he decided to do something, his attention would not be diverted by anything else, and he would never stop until he reached his goal.
In addition to learning, Bai Duan’s only ‘leisure and entertainment’ was to search the Internet for information about the Zheng family, but Bai Xu was never fond on it. When Bai Xu was recognized as part of the Zheng’s family, he was like a mud cow entering the sea, without any ripple. If Bai Duan did not receive the mail from the other side from time to time, he was apprehensive about what happened to his brother.
Just as the so-called ‘Emperor does not bear the heart,’ the efforts of Bai Duan were quickly rewarded. Because of his outstanding achievements, he jumped one level under Papa Bai’s operation successfully and succeeded in getting into the city’s key high school, striding a big step towards his goal.
Of course, such a result did not cause Bai Duan to relax, on the contrary, he was more inspired and thrived. During his summer vacation, Bai Duan refused his parents’ advice to take him out to travel and relax and plunged into the study of his high school classes. He hoped that he could jump one level again in the middle of high school, go to college faster and meet his brother in Beijing.
Two years later, Bai Duan took the college entrance examination and successfully entered one of the best universities in the country, Beijing University. Just because he skipped a grade in high school and was only there for two years, his review was not enough, Bai Duan’s scores were barely above the admission score, and he was transferred to the remote ancient Chinese major.
However, Bai Duan did not hate ancient Chinese, and he had an extraordinary talent for the language as if he had learned it before. He did not need to memorize it but knew it at a glance.
Fortunately, the Bai parents did not force Bai Duan to learn financial management to inherit his family business. Over the years, Bai Duan’s efforts had been seen in their eyes, and they would never confuse him at this juncture. More importantly, even if they wanted Bai Duan to give up going to Beijing University and go to another university to study financial management, it wasn’t for their youngest son’s sake, and it was likely he would not obey.
To celebrate their youngest son’s triumphant entrance to the University of Beijing, the Bai couple held a banquet to invite relatives and friends. The invitees were not only Bai Duan’s classmates, teachers, and school principals, but also the city’s business and political figures.
Over the years, Bai Duan has devoted himself to his studies, and Papa Bai and Mama Bai had turned their grief and indignation into motive force and devoted themselves to their work. After all, it was because they lost power to the Zheng family that they had to give up their proud eldest son and make their youngest son sad and grow up overnight. Unexpectedly, Papa Bai and Mama Bai who caged themselves with their work actually made several prominent businesses, pushing the Bai family from the ordinary wealthy home to the real upper class in one stroke, though they were not deeply rooted, they could not be underestimated.
Many people asked Papa Bai and Mama Bai how they had achieved their present situation. Even magazines and radio stations sent reporters to report their experience of starting from scratch.
However, in the face of these inquiries, Papa Bai and Mama Bai could not clearly say how, since even they were confused and puzzled. In their view, they just worked as usual. Without the exhaustion of the organs and the exhaustion of their brains, they mistakenly picked up the golden treasures— several in a row. If they summed up their experience, they could only say that they had ‘dog shit luck.’ Pies continuously fell from the sky, luck always found them, and they were just ready to meet this ‘unexpected luck.’
With a higher level and a broader understanding of people, the Bai parents succeeded in finding a ‘guide’ for Bai Duan to familiarize himself with life in Beijing and provide him with the necessary help after dinner. After all, Bai Duan had never been away from home. Suddenly living away from his parents in another city would inevitably lead to some maladjustment.
This ‘guide’ was named Liu Lang, and he was the son of a friend, and also attended Beijing University. He had a bright and generous personality and was the second generation of officials, so he mixed well in the Beijing circle. Liu Lang happened to be in his senior year, not preparing for the postgraduate entrance examination, and not worrying about work. It was the most leisure time. He loved Bai Duan, this younger brother of his, who was five years younger. The key was to look at his face since he promised the Bai’s parents that he would take good care of his younger brother.
After finding the ‘nanny’ and reassuring the Bai parents, Bai Duan, who had worked hard for four years to go to the capital city that he had always thought of finally could not sit still. He had wanted to see his brother whom he hadn’t met all these years.
Understanding the youngest son’s imperative mood, the Bai parents, although reluctant to give up, were still relaxed, willing to let Bai Duan go to Beijing before the start of school. Fortunately, Liu Lang also liked the bustling and lively capital more, staying at home for a few days, he was bored and ready to go to Beijing with Bai Duan.
Liu Lang moved out of his dormitory as early as his sophomore year and rented an apartment near the school. When Bai Duan came to the capital, he naturally lived with him. Liu Lang was not short of money, the conditions for renting apartments were naturally good, and he often had friends stay over, so the extra rooms were ready-made, did not need to be tidied up, and he could carry in his bags at any time and anywhere.
After sorting out the luggage, Bai Duan turned to Liu Lang and asked him silently what to do next.
Liu Lang looked at his little brother, who was quiet but cute and beautiful. He liked him very much. He couldn’t help raising his hand to touch his head but frowned when Bai Duan stepped back, turning his head away.
Although he failed to reach the end, Liu Lang did not feel embarrassed. He shrugged, opened his hands with regret, and resolutely shifted the topic, “Are you hungry? Let brother take you out to eat?”
“… Okay.” Bai Duan nodded gently, followed behind Liu Lang, hesitated for a moment, and finally asked him the question that he had held back, “Do you know Zheng Xu?”
Zheng Xu was Bai Xu’s new name, he had changed his surname after he was brought back to Zheng’s house. He mocked himself in his emails for this.
“Zheng Xu?” Liu Lang carelessly raised his eyebrows and said, “Who is that?”
“That’s…” Bai Duan licked his lips. “Child of Zheng Ershao, the Zheng family head in Beijing.”
“You mean him?” Liu Lang suddenly realized, “The illegitimate son that the Zheng family recognized a few years back?”
Liu Lang’s voice, with a touch of contempt, made Bai Duan very uncomfortable to listen to but tried to suppress it quietly, “Well, yes, it’s him. Do you know him?”
“Yes, I’ve heard of him, and I’ve seen him many times, but I don’t know him.” Liu Lang shook his head. “He’s not the same person as us. He can’t play with us. Why are you interested in him?” Liu Lang looked back at Bai Duan. Then he realized that his new brother didn’t look very happy. At once, he was a little cynical. “You…know him?”
“Un, I know.” Bai Duan looked up at Liu Lang. His eyes were calm, and his tone was flat. But Liu Lang could hear the surging anger. “He’s my brother.”
Liu Lang, “…”
How did the Zheng’s illegitimate son become the brother of younger brother Bai? Wasn’t this hitting himself with eight sticks?! No, little beauty, listen to my explanation! It was a slip of my tongue for a moment, and I didn’t mean to belittle him. Don’t be angry!
- Burned into a fool: So, a lot of Asian cultures believe that a high fever will burn the brain, turning the person into an idiot. Temperatures between 99°F (37.2°C) and 100.4°F (38°C) are called low-grade fever, 100.4°F (38°C) and 105.8°F (41°C) (pyrexia), 105.8°F (41°C) and 109.4°F (43°C) (hyperpyrexia) above 109.4°F (43°C) are usually fatal, causing death. This so-called, burned into an idiot, would only “technically” occur at 108 °F (42.22 °C). But this would be caused by the stroke-like symptoms that the fever induces, not the temperature itself.