Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When they arrived at the hot pot restaurant, they were led to a private room. Yu Chu had never eaten hot pot before and had never seen hot pot before, so after the big red pot of soup was brought up, his face showed obvious astonishment.
Jiang ShaSha sitting across, waved her hand in front of him, “Xiao Chu, what are you amazed about?”
Yu Chu pointed to the pot of red soup, and honestly answered her, “I haven’t eaten this before.”
Actually, he really hadn’t seen this kind of food even though he was at the Cloud Top in the Abyss. When the three people across the table heard this, their faces changed.
They knew Yu Chu was confined to the island for several years by Yu ShiQing and for him to not have even eaten hot pot before, thinking about how the isolation affected him, the others had their faces drop.
Jiang ShaSha said, “Hot pot’s delicious. It’s spicy, so since it’s your first time, you will need to adapt to it.”
Wang ChuanYou stood up and shouted, “Waiter, change to a slightly spicy pot!”
The waiter said, “Your order is mildly spicy.”
“It’s okay. Just thin it. Let’s ask for a bowl of water and it will be less spicy. Try it, it’s fine.” Fan Tao added.
When the three of them changed the subject, Xie XingMu, who was sitting next to Yu Chu without making a sound, whispered, “You’ve eaten hot pot, and you like it.”
“?” Yu Chu looked at him.
“You have. Why else would you want to eat hot pot?”
Yu Chu said, “You know I’ve lost my memory.”
His eyes were moist and full of innocence, Xie XingMu looked at them for a few seconds, reached out and rubbed the top of his head, and said, “Then try hot pot again. You’ll like it. “
When the food was served, Xie XingMu grabbed a piece of tripe, and then removed the spiciness by putting it in water before putting it in Yu Chu’s dipping bowl, saying, “Try it, and if you feel comfortable with it, I’ll grab you something else.”
Yu Chu picked up the piece of tripe, put it in his mouth, and his eyes slowly widened.
“Well? What do you think?” Jiang ShaSha asked.
Yu Chu nodded repeatedly, “Delicious.”
Fan Tao and Wang ChuanYou both got up, “If you think it’s good, then eat more.”
Xie XingMu put all the food in water, but Yu Chu was unsatisfied, “It’s not that spicy, don’t take away the spiciness.”
Xie XingMu then asked the waiter to remove the bowls of water and concentrated on grabbing shabu-shabu for Yu Chu, stacking bowls high.
“Stop being so quick, I’ll eat it myself.” Yu Chu looked at his small mountain of bowls.
Xie XingMu didn’t stop, saying, “You have to cool it in the bowl, otherwise it’s easy to burn your mouth.”
Yu Chu asked, even though he thought he could still eat a lot, “What if I can’t finish it?”
Xie XingMu put the hot duck sausage into a bowl and said naturally, “It won’t be wasted, I’ll eat what’s left over.”
Fan Tao and Xie XingMu were the only ones at the table drinking beer, Wang ChuanYou and Jiang ShaSha were drinking juice, and Yu Chu was too engrossed in eating hot pot to drink at all. Fan Tao would raise his glass and clink with Xie XingMu, Wang ChuanYou and Jiang ShaSha chatted with each other, and the scene was quite lively.
Gradually, only Fan Tao was left as the only solo drinker. Wang ChuanYou and Jiang ShaSha didn’t know when to shut up, and didn’t hear Yu Chu and Xie XingMu’s soft conversation.
“I still want to eat that.”
“The white one.”
“That huanghou 1, I’ll give you some but eat the beef first.”
Wang ChuanYou was concentrating on eating, while Jiang ShaSha’s eyes watched Yu Chu and Xie XingMu bantering back and forth. She thought it was very strange, but also felt a vague excitement.
Xie XingMu grabbed Yu Chu’s favorite tofu and put it into his bowl. He turned his eyes to see Jiang ShaSha’s staring at them and asked indifferently, “What are you looking at?”
Jiang ShaSha hurriedly lowered her head, picked up the food in the dip bowl and stuffed it into her mouth, “Nothing.”
Seeing Xie XingMu still staring at her, she hurriedly chewed a few times to show she was serious about eating.
Xie XingMu said, “Jiang ShaSha, you just ate a piece of ginger.”
“Ah.” Jiang ShaSha opened her mouth wide, swallowed and chewed, and Wang ChuanYou, who was next to her, let out a low cry and pushed the garbage can to her side with his foot.
Xie XingMu continued to give Yu Chu hot dishes, who was already sweating profusely. His face and lips were red, and it was so spicy he had to stop to huff and puff, while also letting go of his chopsticks.
“Eat some vegetables too. You shouldn’t eat just the meat.” Xie XingMu grabbed some bean sprouts and put them into Yu Chu’s bowl.
“I don’t want those.” Yu Chu pushed the bean sprouts into Xie XingMu’s bowl and was blocked with his hand.
“Okay, you’ve eaten too much meat, and it’s spicy, so it’s not good for your stomach. Eat more vegetables.”
Yu Chu breathed in, “I didn’t eat too much.”
Fan Tao also advised, “Eat, eat as much as you want, but just wait until you have spicy diarrhea.” 2
“Yeah, I’ll go out and buy some gastrointestinal pills later. Take one for diarrhea first, it’s just for precaution.” Wang ChuanYou pushed down his glasses, seriously.
Xie XingMu put down the chopsticks, picked up a piece of napkin and wiped his hands, then calmly stated, “You’ve eaten a plate of beef, a plate of huanghou, seven pieces of tripe, half a duck intestine, a beef ball, five shrimp sliders, two meatballs and three skewers of lamb.”
Yu Chu: …
Fan Tao almost choked on a mouthful of beer and said, “Stop, have some vegetables and save your belly for next time.”
“I’ll treat you to eat again sometime, so don’t get worked up.” Wang ChuanYou also advised.
The only thing that concerned Jiang ShaSha was why Team Leader Xie remembered clearly what Yu Chu had eaten, so she lowered her head and tried to stuff food into her mouth, blocking her mouth so that she wouldn’t say anything out of place.
Yu Chu also continued to eat, but then felt his belly becoming really full, so he silently put down his chopsticks.
“Waiter, a glass of lemon water.” Xie XingMu stood up and called out to the waiter. When the lemon water came, he handed it to Yu Chu, “Drink some water to relieve the fatigue, and if your tummy feels uncomfortable, just tell me.”
“Okay.” Yu Chu held the glass of water.
Xie XingMu looked at him drinking water, his eyes rested on the small chin, following the swallowing motion and unconsciously slipped down. He suddenly saw the wide collar, a piece of bright shiny white skin, as well as the pink that extended down. Xie XingMu’s gaze paused, then turned his eyes away, fixed on the beer mug for a few seconds, reached out and grabbed the back of Yu Chu’s shirt and pulled, lifting the T-shirt back in place.
Yu Chu asked, “What?”
He said, “Your clothes.”
Yu Chu didn’t notice this action, only shrugged his shoulders and continued to drink water.
After eating, Fan Tao and the others went back to the criminal investigation brigade, while Xie XingMu took Yu Chu to buy a few sets of clothes.
This time Yu Chu chose his own clothes, and originally wanted to follow his previous dressing habits, but the outline of his body shape was slim in any shirt or pants whenever he looked in the mirror, so he finally chose a T-shirt and casual pants.
“Is this the same as the previous one?” Xie XingMu, who was waiting at the side, looked puzzled as he picked up the new clothes.
Yu Chu gave him a sidelong glance, “What’s the difference? It’s not like it has those yellow ducks and bear heads.”
“DuoDuo likes those kinds of clothes.”
“Do I look like DuoDuo? Am I still in kindergarten?”
Xie XingMu tsked, “Children like these patterns.”
Yu Chu smiled and took a step forward, and got close to Xie XingMu almost face to face. He slowly raised his eyes and asked in a soft voice, “Am I a child?”
Because of his height, Xie XingMu’s lips were right in front of Yu Chu’s forehead, and Xie XingMu could smell the light fragrance of Yu Chu’s body, the smell of his midday shower. Yu Chu’s eyes were brimming with light, like they were carrying a tune, but also revealed a kind of out of the mouth state of grace. Although Yu Chu’s face still had baby fat, this part of the grace was quite contrary. Xie XingMu wanted to say this but chose not to in the end.
“Am I a child?” Yu Chu stretched out his finger and poked at Xie XingMu’s chest.
Xie XingMu stood still and didn’t move, only looking down at Yu Chu, until the lady at the counter came over and asked diligently if the two gentlemen needed anything else, before taking a half step back and taking the paper bag with the clothes and asking Yu Chu, “Do you want anything else? “
“Yes.” Yu Chu said naturally as soon as he saw what he was doing and recovered.
Back at the Criminal Investigation Brigade, the police officers returned one after another, and Xie XingMu went off to discuss the case with others. Yu Chu could clearly hear them, so he closed the door of the captain’s room, and lay down on the sofa to watch TV. The sound of the meeting came in, and Yu Chu wasn’t interested in it, so he found a pair of headphones in the drawer to wear.
In the middle, Xie XingMu came in a few times, once to adjust the thermostat temperature, and to take out a blanket. While Yu Chu was watching with great interest, a peeled apple suddenly appeared in front of him.
Xie XingMu turned the apple and withdrew his hand when Yu Chu was about to take it, “Right, I can’t give it to you, you ate too much at noon.” After saying that, he took away the apple and took a big bite himself. When he came in again, he carried a glass of water and some pills and said, “Take these pills.”
Yu Chu tilted his head, “I’m not sick, what kind of medicine do I need?”
“It’s to help digestion.”
Yu Chu was a little annoyed, “I just ate a little too much hot pot at noon, and you’re still on about that? It’s almost afternoon, if I was going to have diarrhea, I would’ve had it already, so why take medicine now?”
“Take it, there’s no harm in being prepared.” Xie XingMu said.
Yu Chu was angry that Xie XingMu disturbed him watching the drama, but only fumed on the inside. He faced towards the sofa while Xie XingMu carried in the water and took the pills out.
Just after Yu Chu thought he could finally watch the drama in peace, Xie XingMu pushed the door in again, this time with a glass of juice in his hand, and said, “Have some juice, what you ate at noon is easy to burn your stomach.”
Yu Chu sat up and looked at Xie XingMu for a moment before grabbing the glass and gulping it down, then shoving the empty glass into his hand.
Xie XingMu was satisfied and went out with the empty glass.
When the drama episode was finished and the meeting outside was over, Xie XingMu pushed the door in again and told Yu Chu it was time to get off work.
Yu Chu followed and walked towards the door, when Wang ChuanYou asked after him with concern, “Is Yu Chu’s tummy okay?”
“He should be fine, I just gave him some medicine.” Xie XingMu replied even though his head was turned back. Yu Chu was just thinking about what medicine he took, when he saw Xie XingMu looking meaningfully, “I pressed the pills into powder and mixed it into the juice for you.”
Yu Chu: …
The two went to the kindergarten to pick up Chi DuoDuo. Yu Chu stayed in the car, watching Xie XingMu carry Chi DuoDuo as they came out. Chi DuoDuo excitedly rambled, while wrapping his arms around Xie XingMu’s and kissing him twice, and Yu Chu saw a gentle and light expression on his face. This made his heart move steeply, like a silent string being gently plucked somewhere.
Chi DuoDuo got into the car and was excited to see Yu Chu. He peeked out from the back seat and said eagerly, “Xiao Chu, turn your head, turn your head.”
Yu Chu turned his head, and a hot little body came over to him. He was dazed, but didn’t push away the little person. Chi DuoDuo then wrapped his arms around Yu Chu’s neck and kissed his face twice, then was satisfied enough to sit back down.
When he returned home, Chi DuoDuo asked Yu Chu to play with him, and although Yu Chu ignored him, he didn’t object. So Chi DuoDuo sat beside him, took out a bunch of small car toys, and began a game of voice over in which one person played several roles.
Yu Chu watched the TV show, his ears full of Chi DuoDuo’s voice, but rarely did he feel impatient. Xie XingMu made a simple dinner, and when the three of them sat around the table to eat, Chi DuoDuo twisted his body, “Why are we like little sheep, eating all vegetable dishes?”
Xie XingMu looked at Yu Chu and said, “There’s a plate of cola chicken wings in the kitchen for you, go eat it.”
Chi DuoDuo shouted happily and rushed into the kitchen, carrying the plate of chicken wings and coming out, but Xie XingMu stopped him.
“Finish eating them in there before you come out, don’t let Xiao Chu see it.”
Yu Chu’s belly was indeed very bloated and when he heard this he started choking. He slowly started chewing a piece of lettuce, raising his eyes to peek at Xie XingMu. Xie XingMu lowered his head and ate his rice, the soft light spilling down from the top of his head, illuminating his high nose and sharp eyebrows. Yu Chu just looked at him, only turning his eyes away after a long time.
After the meal, Yu Chu took the initiative to clean up the dishes for the first time. Xie XingMu stood at the sink washing the cutting board, while he stood aside and watched.
Xie XingMu had a nice smell of perfume and shower gel mixed with a light tobacco odor. Yu Chu was enveloped by it and his heart began thumping. They were so close to each other, that their arms touched several times.
Xie XingMu’s body paused, but said nothing, only increasing the brushing. The strong arm was stained with a few water droplets, and then they slid down his muscles, reflecting the brown skin, looking particularly attractive.
By some miracle, Yu Chu suddenly reached out his hand and pressed on one of the water droplets.
It was as if the pause button was pressed and both of them froze.
Yu Chu noticed that his move was too abrupt and froze in panic, Xie XingMu only looked down at the finger, not saying a word, letting the water from the faucet flow.
“Ha, I’ve finished building the blocks!”
A cheerful cry came from Chi DuoDuo in the living room which broke the sticky, almost stagnant atmosphere. Yu Chu withdrew his hand as if he had been burned, while Xie XingMu turned off the faucet and used a rag to wipe the water on the side of the sink.
Yu Chu’s fingers were twirling around the side of his pants, as if he could still feel the touch and temperature of Xie XingMu’s skin. When he realized what he was doing, he hurriedly shoved his hands into his pants pocket and turned out of the kitchen without a word.
Sitting beside Chi DuoDuo, Yu Chu was staring blankly at the TV. Chi DuoDuo kindly offered the remote control, “Xiao Chu, change the channel if you want to watch something. I’ll watch it with you.”
The TV was showing cartoons, which Chi DuoDuo liked, and Yu Chu didn’t take the remote control, but said, “Let’s watch this one.”
“You like to watch Woof and Meow too?” Chi DuoDuo’s eyes lit up.
“Yeah.” Yu Chu nodded his head carelessly.
Xie XingMu cleaned up the kitchen and came over to sit down. Yu Chu felt the sofa sink and there was another person beside him, but he stared stiffly at the TV without moving his sight. His heart was beating normally and his face was warming up, so he subconsciously used the back of his hand to check his temperature.
“What’s wrong? Uncomfortable?” Xie XingMu, who seemed to have been talking to Chi DuoDuo, didn’t overlook any of his movements.
“Ah, no, just casually touching.” Yu Chu stammered and almost stuttered the words.
“Sit here and don’t move, I’ll go get the thermometer and take your temperature.” Xie XingMu was about to get up.
Yu Chu pulled the hem of his shirt, “It’s okay, I really feel fine.”
Xie XingMu frowned at him, and pursed his thin lips. Yu Chu was very familiar with this look, and his heart didn’t feel a trace of resistance, even felt a vague joy.
“Then you must tell me if you’re uncomfortable.”
When it was time for Chi DuoDuo to go to bed, Xie XingMu, despite his objections, carried the person on his shoulders and headed for the bathroom, Chi DuoDuo laughed and reached out to pat Xie XingMu’s sturdy back.
When the two of them went into the bathroom, Yu Chu then slowly breathed out and stretched his already stiff neck and back. The TV was showing a youth idol drama, a young girl running in the rain, followed by a kind of soaked boy.
The boy grabbed the girl’s arm and shouted, “Why did you approach me? Do you like me?”
The girl also roared with rain on her face, “What makes you think I like you?”
“Why? Do you like me?”
The girl yelled back, “You idiot! I’m close to you because I like you and I care about you! Every contact I have with you makes me nervous, makes me shy, and I’m at a loss for feelings like this. How can I face a confident person like you? “
Yu Chu really didn’t hear the shyness and helplessness from these justified yells, but woke up, had a sense of enlightenment, like there was a thunderstorm in his brain.
Xie XingMu carried Chi DuoDuo out of the bathroom after taking a shower, and subconsciously looked at Yu Chu who was sitting in the living room. When he saw Yu Chu sitting still, his face changed, seemingly from sad to happy, so he stopped and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Yu Chu suddenly heard Xie XingMu’s voice and trembled, slowly turning his head to look.
Xie XingMu was wiping Chi DuoDuo’s wet hair with a towel, and when he met Yu Chu’s eyes, he also slowly stopped moving his hand.
Yu Chu’s eyes were already big, but now they looked like they had many emotions swirling, and they looked even more misty in the light, like they were holding a lake. His ears were also flushed with redness, and that color spread all the way to the back of his neck.
“What’s wrong? Is the thermostat too high?” Xie XingMu’s voice was a little low.
Yu Chu looked away and said, “It’s okay.”
Chi DuoDuo drilled his head to look at Yu Chu and Xie XingMu, and felt something strange, but he couldn’t tell what, so he said in a low voice, “Uncle, you keep covering my head with a towel. Rub it.”
Xie XingMu’s hand had been on top of Chi DuoDuo’s head, so he continued to rub his hair while walking to the child’s room, “Your hair isn’t dry yet, so let’s rub it again.”