Chapter 9: First World (9)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When he returned to his apartment, Bai Duan washed up and went to bed early, because Liu Lang would be taking him out tomorrow to introduce him to some of his friends in the capital.
Bai Duan had always been insensitive to such gatherings. After all, he did not like to contact strangers, nor did he like busy occasions. However, he could not refuse Liu Lang’s invitation, because most of Liu Lang’s friends were sons and daughters of important people in the capital city. Several of them were quite close to the Zheng family, and they should know more about them and Zheng Xu than Liu Lang.
Obviously, Liu Lang quickly pinched Bai Duan’s soft spot even though he had only been in contact with the other for a day. If Zheng Xu was hanging in front of him, Bai Duan would be hooked, no matter how unwilling he was.
On his first night in Beijing, Bai Duan was lying in bed, turning and tossing, and his mind was full of Bai Xu. He imagined his brother growing up, worried about his situation in the Zheng family, and fantasized about the scene when they met. He thought for hours before finally, and reluctantly, falling asleep.
Of course, that night, Bai Duan dreamed of his brother, but it was also a fairly beautiful dream. In his dream, he hugged and kissed his older brother, and then did something hazy but rather shameful and pleasant.
The next day, when he woke up, Bai Duan looked at his wet underwear with some annoyance and sighed silently.
This was not the first time that Bai Duan had experienced a spring dream with himself and his brother as the leading roles. Since he entered adolescence and began to awaken his sexual consciousness, Bai Duan’s dreams were full of Bai Xu’s figure, from vague to clear, as if his feelings towards Bai Xu were from ignorance to profound.
Due to the scenes in the dreams, Bai Duan gradually realized his feelings for Bai Xu and realized that Bai Xu was not only his brother who grew up together with him, but also his lover who wanted to go on and stay together with him for a lifetime.
Turning over and getting out of bed, Bai Duan put on clean underwear then dressed, before taking his dirty underwear into the bathroom. After washing his underwear, he opened the door of the bathroom and happened to meet Liu Lang, who was also up and ready to wash. Liu Lang sounded, “Good morning,” sleepily, and his eyes glanced at Bai Duan’s hands. Then he smiled “Heh Heh” and showed an understanding smile—boys washing underwear in the early morning? The reasons were well known to all.
“Little brother has been busy with his studies and has no time to solve his physiological problems? I heard that you don’t even have a girlfriend?” Liu Lang looked into Bai Duan’s eyes and said in a jeering tone, “How about asking brother to take you out to play and see the world?”
Although not explicitly stated, Liu Lang’s ‘play’ was obviously not simple. Bai Duan looked at him calmly and passed Liu Lang sideways. “No.”
“Why not? Are you shy?” Liu Lang grabbed Bai Duan’s neck with his hand and stopped him from leaving with a laugh.
Bai Duan stopped, reached out, and pulled Liu Lang’s arm down. His tone was cold, “Because I am still underage.” (1)
Liu Lang choked for a moment and did not know how to refute. He watched Bai Duan hurry back to his room, shut the door, raised his hand, and grabbed his messy hair. “Well, you are underaged.”
On the other side of the door, Bai Duan quickly lifted his cool disguise. He looked at his underwear, which looked like a hot potato, and his cheeks flushed as he aired them out.
It was the first time he had stayed at someone else’s house, and he was bumped into after such a scene. It was shameful and embarrassing. Bai Duan’s mind was blank. God knows how he handled it. Fortunately, Bai Duan had a natural skill; that is, the more nervous he was, the more calm and collected he appeared. It was an excellent way to frighten an uninformed outsider, and only in front of a genuinely intimate person, could he show his foolish and straightforward nature.
After dawdling in the room for half a day, he finally lowered the heat on his face. When Bai Duan came out of the room again, Liu Lang had washed, changed his clothes, and bought breakfast. He was sitting at the table eating.
Seeing Bai Duan, Liu Lang lifted a bao bun with his chopsticks and said, “You finally came out? Come to dinner now!”
Hearing this meaningful appellation, Bai Duan was embarrassed, pretending that he was deaf to Liu Lang’s jokes and sat silently at the table.
After having breakfast, Liu Lang took Bai Duan to the racetrack in the suburbs of Beijing.
Because the party was to be attended by a minor, Liu Lang warned his friends in advance, and the venue deliberately avoided any messy situations. Liu Lang’s friends did not reject his proposal to introduce Bai Duan, although they did not have much interest in the little boy who was five or six years younger. After all, the three-year generation gap, these Beijing elites did not feel like playing with the little brother.
However, this haughty indifference suddenly changed when they saw Bai Duan behind Liu Lang for no other reason than after looking at his face. Even if they could not play together, it would be pleasant to have such a beautiful little boy with them at least. Fortunately, although Liu Lang’s friends liked to play a little, their nature was not harmful, and no one had any bad ideas; otherwise, Liu Lang would not bring Bai Duan and introduce him to them.
In the face of strangers, Bai Duan was always silent, and Liu Lang knew his nature and so he did not force him to talk to others. He intended to take him to play for a while before the others got familiar with him and then help him find out any news about ‘Zheng Xu.’
Liu Lang told Bai Duan to take the lead in the horse selection. Bai Duan was left behind for the first time because of horse riding. He was taught how to wear protective gear by the staff of the racetrack and listened to all kinds of safety matters that should be paid attention to in a horse race.
Although he had never ridden a horse, Bai Duan was not very interested in the sport. He casually put the protective gear on himself and was a little distracted. Suddenly, someone patted him on the shoulder.
Bai Duan was stunned, turned his head to see who it was, and then was frozen in place.
Looking at the startled Bai Duan, the visitor smiled softly, “What’s wrong? Can’t recognize me?”
“… Brother, Brother?” Bai Duan stared at the other’s eyes, apparently not expecting to see the person who he had missed for four years suddenly appear here, and felt like he had fallen into a dream, totally unable to believe his eyes.
“Un, it’s me.” Bai Xu bent his eyes and raised his hand to tap the tip of Bai Duan’s nose.
Bai Duan subconsciously raised his hand, grasped Bai Xu’s wrist hard, and realized that the touch in his hand was very real. His brother really stood in front of him. All this was not a dream.
“Brother!” Bai Duan finally responded and plunged into Bai Xu’s bosom and held the person in front of him tightly. Bai Xu was much taller than he remembered and he was afraid that he would let go of his hand and the other party would disappear.
Bai Xu hugged Bai Duan and raised his hand to gently touch his back to ease the excitement of the other party. His tone was extremely gentle, with a slight smile and a kind, intimate reproach, but his eyes were particularly dark as if brewing some dangerous thoughts. “Little Duan is terrible, why didn’t you tell me you came to Beijing? How coincidental it is to run into each other at the racetrack while you have fun with others. Didn’t you want to see your brother?”
“Thinking! Thinking of it!” Bai Duan nodded hurriedly for fear that Bai Xu might misunderstand something. He pushed Bai Xu aside slightly, raised his head and tried to explain, “I was just worried that my brother would not report the good news or the bad news, and that he would not tell me if he had suffered. I want to see for myself how my brother is doing!”
Bai Xu lowered his head and looked deeply into the clean and penetrating eyes of Bai Duan. After a moment, he did not find any falsehood or concealment from them. At last, he aroused a slight smile, and his eyes softened. “Of course, I believe Xiao Duan, but I always feel jealous when I see Xiao Duan coming so close to others.”
Knowing his mind, Bai Duan face was red for a while, he did not know whether Bai Xu’s words were merely his brother’s possession of his brother or what the more profound meaning was.
Bai Duan couldn’t wait to express his feelings to him, but also knew that this was not a proper occasion. To avoid doing something wrong on impulse, Bai Duan had to reluctantly change the topic, “How did Brother come here?”
“Came here to relax, of course.” Bai Xu gave a light laugh. “I didn’t expect to see you. I just watched for a long time, and I was sure I didn’t recognize the wrong person.” After a pause, he blinked ambiguously. “I really have a relationship with Duan, right?”
Bai Duan’s face that had just dropped in heat was again hooked up by Bai Xu’s ambiguous suggestion, but without waiting for his response, he heard Liu Lang’s voice coming loudly, “Bai Duan, you haven’t gone yet?”
Liu Lang had picked up the horse, found that Bai Duan still did not appear, and had to look back. But when he pushed open the door, he saw his brother and another man, or teenager, hugging together, even his brother’s white ears and neck were red.
Liu Lang was shocked and immediately faced the enemy, “Who are you?!”
In the middle of the conversation, he took two steps to drag Bai Duan to his side, but the teenager reacted very quickly, turned around slightly, and then blocked Bai Duan behind him— and Bai Duan was entirely in line with the teenager’s movements too, even reaching out to grasp the sleeve of the other side with great attachment.
Looking at their movements, Liu Lang soon realized that brother Bai was not bullied and his mood slightly calmed down. He looked at the teenager hesitantly. “Are you…?”
“He’s my brother!” Bai Duan poked his head out from behind Bai Xu and introduced him in a cheerful tone.
Liu Lang suddenly realized, “Are you Zheng Xu?”
“Yes, hello, I am Zheng Xu.” Bai Xu nodded with reserve and smiled. “Thank you for taking care of Duan. Did he cause you any trouble?”
“… No.” Liu Lang shook his head, subconsciously. After answering, he found that he was frightened by a teenager who was several years younger than him and was led by the nose. At once, his heart was slightly delicate. This vigorous and robust teenager was really the bastard son of the Zheng family, who was honest, low-key, and transparent.
“Well,” Although he found Liu Lang’s look irritating, Bai Xu did not take it seriously. “I heard that little Duan has been living in your home. That’s too much trouble for you. I’m living alone now, so I’m going to take him to my place.”
Bai Duan looked blankly at his brother and did not understand for a while how the other party knew he lived in Liu Lang’s house. But his head was always very dull in the face of Bai Xu, and soon after the question came out, he was attracted by the latter half of the sentence, “I want to live with my brother!”
Before they met up, he could restrain himself and secretly inquire about Bai Xu’s news. Once they met again, Bai Duan did not want to be separated for another second and wished to stick together all the time.
Hearing the cheerful echo from Bai Duan, Liu Lang drew in the corner of his mouth and felt a sense of frustration when he was used and lost. Although he could understand his brother’s eagerness to meet, the initiative was not on him, “You want to take Bai Duan away, I’m fine with it, but the key is Uncle Bai’s side. Bai Duan’s parents entrusted him to my care. I’m sure I can’t let him go with others casually. You have to ask his parents’ permission first.”
“Of course.” Bai Xu did not read Liu Lang’s expression and body language half reluctantly. His hostility to him finally dissipated a little. “I will get their consent.”
“Okay, that’s all right!” Liu Lang nodded, quite simply turned his head away, leaving space for the Bai brothers.
When the eye-catching man left, Bai Xu happily threw his attention on his younger brother, reaching out to tidy up his protective gear, “Did little Duan ride a horse? Will you let brother teach you later?”
“Okay!” Bai Duan stood cleverly and allowed Bai Xu to fix his protective gear. His eyes were bright, full of joy and expectation. He completely forgot that he was not interested in riding.
Whatever he did, even if he was in a daze, as long as his brother was around, Bai Duan would feel delighted and never tire of it.
- China’s legal drinking age is 18. Remember, Bai Duan skipped a grade, so he is still 17 here while BX is 18/19