Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Sunbathing out there?” Yu Chu asked casually.
Zhou Mu also replied naturally, “I went to the balcony to smoke a cigarette.”
When Zhou Mu stopped in front of Yu Chu, his body really smelled like tobacco. Yu Chu put his changed leather shoes aside and was about to go inside, but Zhou Mu blocked in front of him and didn’t get out of the way.
“What are you doing?” Yu Chu asked in confusion.
Zhou Mu didn’t say anything, but slowly circled his chest with both hands, looking down at him from above.
Yu Chu laughed and said, “What are you doing? Why are you blocking me? Get out of the way, I need to go to the toilet.”
Both the look and the tone of his voice were very natural.
Zhou Mu still didn’t move, but when Yu Chu looked at him suspiciously, he suddenly bent his head and whispered in his ear, “Second Young Master, do you know what I found out?”
His voice was mellow, with warm breath, like velvet brushing between Yu Chu’s ears, causing his heart to suddenly skip a beat as he mechanically repeated, “What did you find out?”
Zhou Mu left his ear, still looking at his face from a very close distance, and said, “Every time you’re trying to hide something, you treat me differently.”
“What the hell are you talking about? What’s so different about me?” Yu Chu’s face became even more bewildered.
“From the moment I blocked your way, you should have unceremoniously pushed me away and presented me with an eye roll in the process.” Zhou Mu suddenly smiled, revealing a row of white teeth as he took a step back to get out of the way, “I hope you can keep this gentleness and never reveal your true nature.”
Yu Chu rolled his eyes twice and brushed past him, muttering, “That’s boring.”
His eyes inadvertently swept over the direction of the balcony, and suddenly saw the passage from the living room to the balcony. Because there was no carpet, the light brown wooden floor had a few clear leather shoe prints.
By the size of the shoe prints, they were clearly left by him just now. No wonder Zhou Mu knew.
Yu Chu’s movement stiffened for a moment, then he gave a long sigh, and his face of confusion instantly dissipated. He lazily walked to the sofa and sat down, crossing one leg and resting his elbow on the armrest. Although it was a casual pose, it had an indescribable style. He gave Zhou Mu a sidelong glance, “Why are you still standing? Come and sit down.”
Zhou Mu paced over unhurriedly and sat on the single sofa opposite him.
“By the way, go make a cup of tea first.” Yu Chu lifted his round, delicate chin and gestured toward the foyer, “Hou Koi or something, have you ever drunk it?”
“Hmm?” This time Zhou Mu was truly bewildered.
“Yu ShiQing gave the tea to me, so the quality should be very good. Something Hou.”
Zhou Mu thought about it then probingly replied, “Taiping HouKui?” 1
“Yes, that’s the one. Go make two cups.”
Zhou Mu went to get the tea box, opened the outer seal, and went to get two cups. He put a small handful of leaves in each one, then carried them to the water fountain to fill them with water.
The whole set of actions looked very stable, without a trace of panic and anxiety.
Yu Chu stared at his back, thinking that this person had found out that he heard him on the phone, but still looked as if nothing had happened, so his mental fortitude was really good. Yu Chu needed to take the lead and control the conversation to force him to reveal his true identity and purpose.
If last night Yu Chu still had doubts about Zhou Mu’s words about opening a restaurant and injuring a customer before running away, now he didn’t believe it at all.
Zhou Mu made two cups of tea and brought them over. He used the ordinary transparent water cup and Yu Chu could see the green tea leaves in the cup undulating. Even before he brought it to his mouth, he could smell a refreshing aroma.
Yu Chu had adjusted his sitting posture so that he was no longer lazily leaning on the back of the sofa. His legs were slightly apart, both hands were propped up on his knees, and his upper body was slightly leaning forward for the purpose of invisibly putting pressure on the other man.
Zhou Mu, however, put down his teacup obliviously and settled down comfortably on the sofa opposite him, taking up a comfortable position.
“Was that your son or daughter?” Yu Chu suddenly asked. He propped his hands on his knees, his head slightly bent down, and his two eyes looked sternly at Zhou Mu from beneath his eyebrows.
Zhou Mu was sitting with his arms resting on the back of the sofa, with a bit of banditry. When he heard Yu Chu’s question, he didn’t show any surprise on his face, only half squinted his eyes lazily and said with a smile, “Not my son nor my daughter.”
“Tell me the truth, or I have a million ways to make you disappear from this world.” Yu Chu squeezed a cold sentence out of his teeth.
The look on Zhou Mu’s face seemed more pleasant as he stared at Yu Chu and smiled, “Second Young Master, you really hold a grudge.”
Just a short while ago, Yu Chu tried to sneak off the island, so he caught the man, held him down and pressed him against a tree, and now Yu Chu returned the favor.
“Spill, who the hell are you? Why are you hiding your identity from Yu ShiQing?” Yu Chu’s two eyes burst into a cold light.
Since Zhou Mu had never mentioned that he had children and a family, Yu Chu believed that Yu ShiQing didn’t know this information either. Zhou Mu looked at him with a white baby face and tried his best to put on a fierce look, but he got so distracted that the corner of his mouth actually hooked up into a very light smile.
Yu Chu viciously asked, “What are you smiling at?”
Zhou Mu said, “There’s a wild cat near my home, round-headed, and fluffy, I often go to feed it.”
Yu Chu was stunned, resisted the desire to growl and clenched his teeth, “Can you not always change the subject when you are talking about business?”
“That wild cat may look cute, but it thinks it’s fierce, and every time someone approaches it, it will show its teeth and howl.”
Yu Chu’s face sank and looked at Zhou Mu sorrowfully, the corners of his mouth pursed into a cold arc.
Zhou Mu and him stared at each other for two seconds before abruptly turning his head away and coughing lightly with his fist against his lips. When he turned back again, his face had returned to a normal expression. He said squarely, “Okay, go ahead.”
Yu Chu had already played a good act and was disrupted by his sudden outburst. His heart also surged with irritation. He stopped being mean and asked in an inquisitive tone, “Who were you talking to?”
“My nephew, five years old. Still in kindergarten.”
“My sister’s son.”
“Didn’t you say your sister had died?” Yu Chu asked.
Zhou Mu replied, “My nephew was barely two months old when she died.” After that, he even used his hand to show his size, “He was this tiny.”
Yu Chu couldn’t help but ask curiously, “So your brother-in-law brought him up alone?”
Zhou Mu calmly said, “My brother-in-law and my sister died together in a car accident. Neither of them survived, leaving only the child.”
Yu Chu didn’t expect such an answer and was speechless for a moment.
“Yes, I raised him.” Zhou Mu said again.
Yu Chu was a bit stunned, staring at Zhou Mu for a long time before averting his gaze, muttering, “Then you were…”
“So I didn’t go to school later because I had to raise a child.” Zhou Mu shrugged indifferently.
“What about your nephew now that you’re here? What is he doing now?”
Zhou Mu leaned back in his chair and pressed his fingers against the bridge of his nose, and his voice was rare and forlorn, “I can’t help it, I have to earn money to support him, so I have to put him in the home of an acquaintance.”
It wasn’t clear what Yu Chu was thinking about, but he was silent. A moment later, he reached out to grab the cup of tea on the coffee table, but he ended up empty handed.
Zhou Mu moved the teacup to another position and said, “It’s hot, wait a bit.”
Yu Chu looked at the bony hand, had a sudden jolt to the brain, and sobered up. A brilliant light bloomed in his eyes, “Why do you want to hide this from Yu ShiQing?”
“Because I’m afraid that if something happens in the future, I will drag my nephew down with it.”
“Then why did Yu ShiQing fail to investigate this matter?”
“Because I was too busy when I opened the restaurant and the child was in an acquaintance’s home. The surrounding neighbors didn’t know about it, and the people Yu ShiQing sent to investigate didn’t learn anything. Besides, I didn’t want to expose my nephew, so I couldn’t have taken the initiative to tell him.”
When Zhou Mu said this, he suddenly sat up straight and looked seriously at Yu Chu, “I don’t care about my own safety, but I can’t let my nephew take a single risk, so please keep this a secret for me.”
His eyes were so focused that Yu Chu saw himself in those dark pupils. He grimaced, “What if I don’t agree?”
Zhou Mu’s upper body leaned forward slightly, “I know you’ll say yes.”
“You’re that confident? How come I don’t know I’ll say yes?” Yu Chu mockingly pulled the corner of his mouth.
I’m not a good person, he said in his heart.
Zhou Mu spoke meaningfully, “Because if you don’t say yes, I will shut you up forever.”
Yu Chu: …
Zhou Mu ignored his murderous stare, stood up as if nothing had happened, went to fetch the kettle, poured the two cups of freshly brewed Taiping HouKui into it, and said, “Come on, the weather’s perfect today. Let’s go out and let off some steam. I’ll bring the tea with me and you can drink when you’re thirsty.”
Yu Chu stared at him without moving. Zhou Mu walked to the door to change his shoes, turned back to Yu Chu sitting on the sofa and hooked his fingers, calling out, “Meow, meow.”
- MonkeyNote: 太平猴魁 – the “Hou” in HouKui is the same character as the one in “monkey” (猴子). Just putting it out there.