Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Yu Chu slightly narrowed his eyes, his face glowing white in the moonlight, fleshy and innocent, but the eyes and expression weren’t the same, they resembled a sly little fox. “You haven’t told me about the key, but this is something I heard from your mouth for the first time. I don’t know what you’re deliberately or unintentionally, or mysteriously trying to say, but you’re successfully stunting my interest in the key.”
The cigarette in Zhou Mu’s mouth suddenly turned red, and after he took a puff, he slowly exhaled, his whole face hidden behind the haze of smoke.
Yu Chu paused and came closer before he asked, “Tonight, you suddenly told me so much. Zhou Mu, can I assume that it’s actually you who wants to find the key?”
Zhou Mu lowered his head, picked up the disposable paper cup on the windowsill, and threw the cigarette butt into it. He picked up the paper cup and walked to the bathroom, turning back at the door, “I’m telling you this because you’re Grandma Zhao’s grandson.”
Zhou Mu closed the bathroom door, crumpled the paper cup into a ball, threw it into the toilet and pressed the flush button. He looked down at the swirling water in the toilet, and his face was a little livid.
When he came out of the bathroom, he saw Yu Chu still sitting cross-legged on the bed, looking up at the moon outside the window. Hearing Zhou Mu’s footsteps, he asked without shifting his gaze, “What about Grandma Zhao? How is she doing?”
Zhou Mu replied after a few seconds of silence, “She passed away. Not long after Zheng Shan died, she also passed away.”
Yu Chu didn’t know Zheng Shan, nor did he know Grandma Zhao, so he wasn’t sad to hear this, but thinking about the little boy who was writing in his diary on the table, his heart was still filled with an indescribable feeling. Yu Chu suddenly turned his head towards him, “Then why did you open a restaurant?”
Zhou Mu suddenly burst into laughter.
He was facing the window, and the moonlight was shining on his face, so Yu Chu could clearly see that he had a smile that could be considered pleasant. Indifference faded from his face and his sharp features softened, making him look even more handsome.
Yu Chu promptly averted his eyes a little uneasily.
“Because I like to cook,” Zhou Mu replied.
Yu Chu looked at him suspiciously, “What about your sister?”
Zhou Mu’s smile slowly faded away and returned to its initial blandness, “My sister died unexpectedly during my senior year, so it also affected my college entrance exam results that year, and I ended up having to open a restaurant.”
This answer was so unexpected that Yu Chu didn’t know how to react, so he just opened his mouth and stared at Zhou Mu for a moment before dryly squeezing out a sentence, “My condolences.”
“It’s been many years, there’s no more mourning.” Zhou Mu walked to his bed on the floor and lay down again, putting one arm behind his head, the other on his chest, closed his eyes and said, “Go to sleep.”
“Sleeping, sleeping.” Yu Chu also lifted the quilt and got in, wrapping himself tightly, revealing only his head.
The room was quiet again, and only the faint sound of waves lapping at the shore could be heard in the distance. After a long time, Yu Chu suddenly muffled out a sentence, “I want to eat your cooking.”
Zhou Mu tsked, “I’m almost asleep, don’t suddenly start talking like that.”
Yu Chu turned his head to look at the person lying on the ground, “Then do you want to cook me something?”
“Okay, okay. I’ll make something for you to eat when I get a chance.” Zhou Mu rolled over and showed his back to Yu Chu.
Yu Chu was satisfied and stopped talking. It didn’t take long for the sound of his calm and even breathing to come from his bed.
Zhou Mu, who had been lying on his side without moving, opened his eyes and stared quietly ahead in the darkness.
Yu Chu had always been a very light sleeper, and he thought that with the extra person in the room, he wouldn’t sleep well. But who would’ve thought that he would sleep until dawn and not wake up in the middle of the night.
After a good sleep, Yu Chu was refreshed. After lunch, he and Zhou Mu went to the gym on the second floor to work out. After working out for an hour, he went back to his room, and after taking a shower, he started to watch TV shows. Uncle Wu came knocking on the door, telling him that Yu ShiQing wanted to see him.
“Uncle Wu, what did Dad ask me to do?” Yu Chu’s wet hair rested on his forehead, making him look timid and well-behaved.
Uncle Wu looked into the bathroom without moving. The door was closed but the sound of water could be heard, so he asked, “Is Zhou Mu in the shower?”
“Yes.” Yu Chu nodded his head.
“Then let’s go first and talk as we go.”
Yu Chu said a little uneasily, “Wait, let me change my clothes first.”
After his shower, he wore his normal pajamas so he hurriedly went to change into a black shirt and followed Uncle Wu upstairs. Uncle Wu didn’t say exactly what he wanted him to do, but asked in his usual kind tone, “Second Young Master, what month and date is today?”
“October 20th.” Yu Chu replied smoothly.
Uncle Wu smiled sideways at him with a meaningful look. Yu Chu was stunned at first, but his mind spun quickly and immediately remembered the contents of that diary, so he gave a coy look, “I know, Dad’s birthday is coming up soon.”
Uncle Wu nodded approvingly, “Second Young Master has heart, never forgetting Master’s birthday.”
Yu Chu lowered his head a little embarrassed and followed Uncle Wu upstairs, guessing in his heart a few reasons why Yu ShiQing had asked him to go.
When he arrived at the study, Yu ShiQing was standing with his back to the window and turned around when he heard the door slam, saying in a gentle tone, “Xiao Chu is here?”
“Dad.” Yu Chu greeted him respectfully and stood in the center of the room.
Yu ShiQing pointed to the sofa in front of him, “Have a seat, don’t just stand there.”
They sat down face to face on the sofa, Yu ShiQing picked up the alabaster pot in front of him, refilled a small cup of steaming tea and handed it to Yu Chu, “This is the Taiping HouKui I just got, try it.” 1
“Thank you, Dad.” Yu Chu carefully took a sip, the tea glided down his throat, and his mouth was filled with a fresh and sweet aroma. Although he didn’t know anything about Taiping HouKui, he knew that this tea must be of good quality.
“It’s good, right? Take this back to drink.” Yu ShiQing took out a delicate round wooden tea box from under the coffee table and tossed it to him with a smile.
“Thank you, Dad.” Yu Chu held the tea box in his hand.
Yu ShiQing leaned back on the sofa, the sunlight shining through his side, those tiny wrinkles on his face thus becoming obvious, highlighting a bit of his old age; not as majestic as he usually looked.
Neither of them spoke, just quietly drank tea until the cup of tea drained, only then did Yu ShiQing put down the cup and started speaking, “Xiao Chu, you know what the 30th of this month is, right?”
Yu Chu hurriedly also put down the teacup and put his hands on his knees, “Yes, it’s Dad’s birthday.”
Yu ShiQing nodded with satisfaction, “I knew you would remember. Xiao Chu, don’t stay in the house all the time, and stop listening to things going on outside the window. When you grow up, it’s time for you to learn how to treat guests and take care of things for the family. There will be a lot of guests that day, so Dad is going to put you in charge of the reception. What do you think?”
Yu Chu mumbled, “I’m… I’m afraid I might not do a good job.”
“I know you don’t like to do these things, but didn’t Yu Feng’s leg get hurt? You’re also Dad’s son. The time to head out will be soon and you can’t always hide behind Dad. Dad will get old too. You have to rely on yourself in the future.” Yu ShiQing was as serious as any father would be.
Yu Chu tugged at his pants leg with some uneasiness, “Then, I’ll try.”
“Mn, I will send Old Wu to assist you. If there’s anything you don’t understand, just ask him.” Yu ShiQing said.
Yu ShiQing had just finished talking about this matter when the phone sitting on the coffee table started vibrating and the screen lit up. He reached out and picked up the phone, looked at the number on it, and his face became somewhat solemn. He was about to press the answer button when he realized Yu Chu was still sitting across the table, so he waved his hand and said, “That’s it then, go back to your room first.”
Yu Chu gave a ‘mn’ sound and got up to leave. The moment he closed the door, he heard Yu ShiQing’s low voice, “…Will you be here later?”
Hearing this, Yu Chu’s hand closing the door paused. He squatted down and pretended to tie his loose shoelaces.
“Okay, I’ll send someone to pick it up.” Yu Chu tied his shoelaces without delay, stood up and pulled the door, saw Yu ShiQing put the phone to his ear, but he didn’t continue talking, just stared at him.
Yu Chu looked down at his shoelaces, gave Yu ShiQing a somewhat embarrassed smile, and closed the door tightly.
Uncle Wu was standing in the passage next to the door, and when he saw Yu Chu come out, he stepped forward and said, “Second Young Master, Master’s birthday banquet is coming up. I will start preparing for the banquet now, but if you have any arrangements, just tell me directly.”
Yu Chu knew that him being in charge of this banquet was merely nominal, and he didn’t need to organize it himself, Uncle Wu was saying this as a courtesy to him, so he replied, “Then I’ll have to trouble Uncle Wu.”
“No trouble at all.”
Uncle Wu went into Yu ShiQing’s study, and Yu Chu went downstairs to his room. When he reached the second floor, he heard the sound of cracking porcelain from a room deep in the hallway. He looked towards the sound and saw the door of Yu Feng’s suite open and a panicked maid hastily pushing a food cart towards the stairway.
“Get out! All of you! I don’t want to see any of you! All of you go and surround that bastard!” Yu Feng’s furious voice resounded throughout the second floor, followed by an object flying out of the room, smashing into the opposite wall and breaking apart with a crash.
It was a TV remote control, and the maid was hit in the forehead by the back cover. She didn’t dare to stop, pushing the food cart straight ahead with a pale face. She stopped when she passed by Yu Chu and greeted him with a startled voice, “Hello, Second Young Master.”
Yu Chu nodded his head and watched the maid leave.
Yu Feng was still smashing things in the room, the sound of shattering was accompanied by a series of angry curses. Yu Chu knew that Yu Feng learned of the news that he was hosting the party and was venting his anger, but he didn’t care, only raised an eyebrow, then went to turn the door handle of his room.
The door of his room was locked.
He clearly remembered that when he followed Uncle Wu out, he left the door unlocked because he knew that Zhou Mu was still in the room, so he didn’t lock it.
Now that the door was locked, was Zhou Mu also out? Or did he lock it from the inside?
Yu Chu put his finger on the fingerprint lock next to the door, and after a very slight click, the lock came undone. He pushed the door open and ran in, then closed it silently. The room was quiet, no one was in the living room. Zhou Mu’s black boots were in the foyer, but his slippers weren’t there, so he obviously didn’t go out.
The TV was on pause at the same drama that was on when he left the room; the man was pointing a long sword at the woman, the wind was blowing his hair, forming a long freeze frame.
The flushing sound in the bathroom was gone and the door was half open. Yu Chu put the tea container in his hand on the shoe cabinet, walked gently to the bathroom door, turned sideways to look inside and saw that the floor was wet but no one was inside.
He went to his bedroom and pushed the half-closed door back, but didn’t see Zhou Mu.
Although his suite wasn’t small, it didn’t have many rooms. Except for the living room, bedroom and bathroom, there was only a balcony. The balcony was open on the side of the living room, and it wasn’t looking at the front garden, but towards the small forest on the left, and the rushing sea further away.
Yu Chu turned around and tiptoed through the living room toward the balcony, and as his footsteps got closer, he heard someone speaking softly that drifted intermittently into his ears.
“…No crying… order…”
Yu Chu walked to the corner connected with the balcony, his back pressed against the wall as he listened intently. The one who spoke was none other than Zhou Mu, his voice was lowered and somewhat slurred, as he was supposedly covering his mouth, but Yu Chu could hear the patience and tenderness within.
“…Have you eaten properly? Are you listening to Uncle Teng? Be good, I will be home soon… Mn, no more, I will call you next time when I’m not busy with work…”
Yu Chu heard that the call was about to end and hurriedly turned towards the door, pulled open the room door and closed it again loudly. He began to take off his leather shoes to change into slippers, and just after he changed his shoes, Zhou Mu came back inside from the balcony.