Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After Chi DuoDuo fell asleep, Xie XingMu closed the living room door. With the TV sound low, Yu Chu stared at the screen, leaned back on the sofa, and Xie XingMu sat down on the sofa to his left, as they were watching the screen together.
Neither of them said anything, seriously watching the TV.
“…To choose good quality potatoes, generally choose potatoes with bright and healthy skin and no deformities. Put the selected potato in a moist and thick pot in about 10cm of sandy soil. Cover it with a layer of 5cm thickness on top of sifted sand…”
There was an atmosphere of clarity in the air, which made Yu Chu a bit inexplicably nervous and ignored Xie XingMu when he was too quiet. A few moments later, Xie XingMu stood up and walked to the kitchen. Yu Chu’s eyes followed his figure the moment he got up, but when he looked sideways, he quickly moved away.
The sound of the refrigerator opening and closing came from the kitchen, and Xie XingMu walked up the stairs with a few cans of beer, asking casually, “Want to go up for a breeze? Have some beer too.”
Yu Chu smiled lightly at him and said, “Sure.”
Xie XingMu paused his steps.
When Yu Chu went up to the rooftop, he was a bit restrained, lying on the shag carpet in the glass room looking at the sky, but leaning on the cushion, leaning sideways, with one hand under his head and one hand on the side of his leg. His posture was languid, and he was deliberately revealing a bit of bone-crushing flirtation. Xie XingMu glanced at him lightly and tilted his neck as he chugged a large beer.
The two of them drank in silence, and the glass at the rooftop staircase was left open, so the night breeze blew in, gently hitting the wall. Xie XingMu got up first, and simply opened the wide window and moved a small flower pot to block the door from shutting. Xie XingMu came back and sat down and explained, “If DuoDuo wakes up, he will look for me everywhere. If I leave it open, I can hear his voice.”
Yu Chu looked at the man’s broad shoulders and back and suddenly felt that he was quite nice to look at.
Xie XingMu took the beer on the table and saw the look in Yu Chu’s eyes. He turned his head to look at the distant lights, twirling the beer can in his hand, and after a moment said in a low voice, “The day my sister and brother-in-law died, I felt like the whole world had collapsed, and only when I held that baby’s little body and listened to his cries did I feel alive. Those most difficult days were spent by DuoDuo and I. Although I was raising him, he was comforting me and gave me enough courage to hold on. I felt guilty about DuoDuo, because of work, I had to often put him with Uncle Chen. He would wake up in the middle of the night and look around for his uncle, afraid that I had gone away again.”
Xie XingMu didn’t go on, but Yu Chu knew how difficult it was to raise a two-month-old baby alone. The hardships and sufferings couldn’t be summed up in a few words.
This seemingly cold man had a delicate and soft heart.
Yu Chu eventually got drunk, his hands behind his head, his eyes dazedly looking at the starry sky. Because of the person next to him, he felt calm and safe, a feeling he had never felt before in his life, and could lie down without worrying, paying attention to the things around him with his mind, and relaxing. This mood lasted until he went downstairs, took a shower in the bathroom with clean pajamas, and turned on the shower but no hot water came out.
Xie XingMu checked the water heater and said, “A small piece inside is broken, it will take me more than half an hour to fix it now. Do you want to wait for me to fix it or take a shower in the master bathroom?”
Yu Chu smiled at him, touched the pajamas in his hand and said, “I’ll take a shower in the master bathroom.”
Xie XingMu stared at his reddened face for two seconds and said, “Use the shower, don’t take a bath.”
He was afraid that if Yu Chu was drunk and soaked in the bathtub, something would happen.
“Okay.” Yu Chu agreed.
When he entered the master bathroom and saw the bathtub, which was as big as a small boat, he forgot what he had promised and filled it with water quickly while stripping off his clothes, then he lay down in the bathtub.
When the hot water spread over his chest, he let out a sigh of comfort.
He lay with his eyes closed and his mind empty, and, because he was too relaxed or or because the dense heat was steaming out the wine, he actually fell asleep.
After Xie XingMu fixed the water heater in the main bathroom, he sat on the living room sofa for a while, but Yu Chu hadn’t finished his shower.
Hesitating, he still got up to the master bedroom knock, knocked several times, but didn’t hear any movement inside.
“Yu Chu. Yu Chu!”
Not hearing a response, Xie XingMu had a premonition, knocked, then directly turned the handle and rushed in. He pushed open the frosted glass of the bathroom, when his footsteps paused, as he saw Yu Chu soaked in water, eyes closed.
“Yu Chu! Yu Chu!” Xie XingMu froze and shouted twice, Yu Chu moved, he didn’t twice as he rushed over and reached out to probe under the end of Yu Chu’s nose. He swooped Yu Chu up from the water, despite the water flowing down, he carried him all the way to the bedroom, and put the person on the bed.
“Yu Chu, are you awake?” Xie XingMu sternly asked, reaching out to pat Yu Chu’s face, then was about to lean down to do artificial respiration.
Just as their lips were about to touch, Yu Chu, who had been seemingly unconscious, fluttered his eyelashes and opened his eyes. His eyes were dazed as he looked at the face close at hand, adjusted his focus, and after recognizing Xie XingMu, he let out a soft yelp.
Xie XingMu stopped moving down and just hovered above him, gazing at him motionlessly, asking in a soft voice, “Are you okay?”
Yu Chu blinked, then blinked again, before answering, “I’m fine.”
“Are you conscious?”
Yu Chu replied, “I must have fallen asleep.”
The two looked at each other until Xie XingMu straightened up and pulled the quilt next to him to cover him up. He found himself lying on the bed with nothing on. Xie XingMu turned around and headed for the bathroom, “I’ll get a bath towel.”
Yu Chu stared at his back and felt that his back seemed straighter than usual.
Xie XingMu brought the bath towel, handed it to Yu Chu and subconsciously asked, “Do you want me to dry you?”
He habitually used the same words he used for DuoDuo, just out of the sense of the right, was trying to remedy, and saw Yu Chu give him a sweet smile, “Yes.”
Yu Chu waited for Xie XingMu’s reaction, then lifted half of the covers and sat up. His white skin was still covered with water droplets, his slightly thin shoulder and back line, as well as the downward undulation, all showed in Xie XingMu eyes.
“Dry my hair for me.” Yu Chu tilted his head at him. The wet hair dangled on the forehead, revealing the watery eyes, obviously with a worldly expression, but with an unspeakable seduction.
Xie XingMu took one look at him, then quickly turned his head towards him, turning back with a calm and unruffled expression. He put the bath towel over Yu Chu’s head and rubbed it slowly, then unfolded it and draped it over his shoulders when the water dripped down, saying, “Go to your room and get dressed.”
The voice didn’t sound different, only a little hoarse. He turned around and went into the bathroom, and a few seconds later, there was the sound of the shower head clattering.
Yu Chu stared at the frosted glass, but finally got up, wrapped the towel around him, and went back to his room with a few drunken and slightly steady steps.
The next day when Yu Chu woke up, he opened his eyes and there was Chi DuoDuo’s magnified face in front of him again. He had already prepared his mind and only blinked.
“Xiao Chu, are you awake? You have been sleeping for a long time! I came in to check on you several times but you didn’t wake up. Uncle asked me to wake you up, so I had to keep coming in to check.” Chi DuoDuo was very happy to see that Yu Chu was awake.
Yu Chu picked up the phone by the bed and looked at it, and found that it was almost noon, so he asked, “What about kindergarten?”
“It’s Saturday.” Chi DuoDuo reached out and dragged Yu Chu, “Xiao Chu, get up! Uncle said he was going to take us out to play.”
In the middle of the conversation, the room was pushed open and Xie XingMu stood there, saying, “Are you awake? Wake up, get up, and let’s go out.”
Chi DuoDuo had already pulled open the closet and was diligently looking for clothes for Yu Chu, pulling out a T-shirt and carrying it to the bed, excitedly saying, “Xiao Chu, wear this, so we wear the same thing.”
He wore a blue T-shirt today with a brown dog on the chest, and Yu Chu didn’t expect that among the pile of clothes Xie XingMu had bought for him, there was one that was really the same as this one, and it was happily carried by Chi DuoDuo.
“I’ll wear this one.” Yu Chu coldly rejected him, then lifted the quilt to get up.
After he saw the little boy’s bright eyes, the light instantly dimmed, and was covered with a thick layer of disappointment.
Out of a subtle sense of guilt, he made a rare outburst of explanation, “I can’t wear this, because it’s not suitable.”
Chi DuoDuo took the T-shirt in his arms and headed for the closet with a downcast look, whispering, “I’ll choose a new one for you then.”
Yu Chu looked at his dejected back and blurted out, “Then I’ll wear that one.”
Even as he said the sentence, he regretted it. He didn’t want to wear those childish clothes outside, but Chi DuoDuo cheerfully ran to him, “Xiao Chu, come, I’ll give you this to wear. We will wear the same thing! It’s good! Hahahahaha.”
Yu Chu then swallowed those words of contrition.
Xie XingMu was carrying a watering can to water the flowers on the balcony, heard the movement and turned back, his gaze falling on Yu Chu.
Yu Chu deliberately acted as if he cared, but added proudly as he passed by the balcony, “Chi DuoDuo insisted that I wear it.”
“Well, it’s quite nice.” Xie XingMu said from behind him.
Yu Chu pursed up his lips and snickered.
The three of them went out and when the car drove out of the parking lot, Chi DuoDuo twisted around in the child seat and asked, “Uncle, what are we going to eat?”
Xie XingMu turned his head and asked Yu Chu in the passenger seat, “What do you want to eat?”
“Whatever.” Yu Chu said.
“Okay, let’s eat whatever we want.”
Hai Yun City was full of seafood restaurants, so Xie XingMu chose one with a weird name and ordered some seafood. When each seafood was served, he put on gloves and started peeling shrimps. He asked Yu Chu, “Do you know how to peel shrimp?”
Although Yu Chu grew up on an island with so many servants, had probably never peeled a shrimp himself. But Yu Chu said, “Yes.”
He had peeled shrimps in the original world, but he rarely ate them.
Chi DuoDuo’s mouth was about to come up to the shrimp and kept chanting, “Uncle, hurry up, hurry up!”
Xie XingMu plucked the shrimp skillfully and dropped it into Chi DuoDuo’s small plate. Yu Chu started to peel the shrimp, but he didn’t expect it to be troublesome. He peeled the white shrimp for a while to get it out, but it was gone as soon as he put it in his mouth.
“Don’t you have any shrimp thread?” Xie XingMu suddenly asked.
“What?” Yu Chu looked blank.
Xie XingMu cupped his cheeks and put his other hand over his mouth and said, “Spit it out.”
“What for?” Yu Chu asked in confusion.
“Spit it out.”
Yu Chu had been pinched by him a few times, before it was okay, it was a private action, but this time it was in a restaurant, and they were surrounded by people, so he was a little angry, twisting his head to break away.
Xie XingMu didn’t see him spit it out and simply put his fingers into his mouth, and picked the not yet chewed shrimp out.
“This restaurant uses kung fu shrimp threads. Next time, I’ll take you to a high-class restaurant, and you will use your own hands.” Xie XingMu ignored Yu Chu’s anger, peeled off the disposable gloves on his hands and threw them into the trash along with that shrimp.
Yu Chu immediately wanted to have a fit and throw his chopsticks on the table, but Chi DuoDuo handed him a glass of Coke at the right time and also thoughtfully consoled him. He pushed down all that anger and just sank his face and picked up another shrimp. But this shrimp was too slippery for him to peel out, so he threw the shrimp into the trash can next to him and said angrily, “I’ll eat it.”
A peeled shrimp suddenly appeared in the small plate in front of him, and Xie XingMu’s voice with a few laughs sounded, “I’ll peel it for you, you’re responsible for eating it, you didn’t even eat breakfast. It’s necessary to eat lunch.”
Yu Chu glanced at the shrimp and raised his chin to look out the window again.
Xie XingMu knew he had annoyed him by taking the shrimp out of his mouth, so he picked up the shrimp on his plate, dipped it in the seasoning and fed it to his mouth, saying softly, “Open your mouth, aah…”
His tone was like coaxing a child, so Chi DuoDuo opened his mouth after him on the opposite side.
Yu Chu wanted to ignore him, but glancing at Chi DuoDuo, he had to open his mouth ruthlessly and bite off the shrimp as soon as he could. The next time, Xie XingMu didn’t eat much, peeled shrimp and crab for two people, fed this and served that, until a small and a large were fed, after which he hurriedly shaved a bowl of rice, then shouted to the waiter to settle the bill.
There were still some dishes left on the table, so Yu Chu asked the waiter to pack them up. Xie XingMu thought of playing outside in the afternoon, but goin back home by dinner, but when he wanted to say it, ebut saw that the waiter had moved neatly with the lunch box, so he swallowed his words back. The three of them went out of the restaurant, Yu Chu carried the plastic bag with the lunch box, went to the trash can and put it on the lid.
Xie XingMu was stunned and understood too well his behavior of packing and throwing away, so he asked, “What are you doing putting it on top of the trash can?”
“Leave it for others to pick up and eat.” Yu Chu replied carelessly.
When he was a kid, he would go through the trash, but a lot of food was already dirty, so when he grew up, he got into the habit of wrapping up what he hadn’t finished eating and putting it on the trash can lid.
Xie XingMu seemed to want to say something, but finally decided not to, only squeezed his shoulder and said, “Let’s go.”
According to Chi DuoDuo’s strong request, they went to the playground in the afternoon, but Chi DuoDuo only dared to ride the merry-go-round or the small train that moves on the flat ground. Yu Chu had never played these, curiously staring at the roller coaster and the big swinging hammer, listening to the tourists making heartbreaking howls, as he pursed his lips and smiled.
When Chi DuoDuo entered the children’s area and played with bubble balls under the supervision of the staff, Xie XingMu asked Yu Chu, “Do you want to try?”
“What?” Yu Chu was still looking at the roller coaster in the distance. His old world had this kind of entertainment, and as a child, he used to climb up to the outside wall of the amusement park to look inside, although he could only see the section of the roller coaster flying over the top, and found it interesting, thinking he wanted to try it once.
He decided he wanted to wait until he grew up, but these dreams remained only dreams, and it turned into only a distant memory so he became uninterested.
“Want to try a roller coaster?” Xie XingMu asked.
Yu Chu hurriedly shook his head, “No.”
It was okay to look at it, but forget it if he was on it himself.
Suddenly, Xie XingMu jogged to the fence, and talked a few words with Chi DuoDuo, and then explained something to the staff, then he grabbed his shoulders and went to the roller coaster.
“I… I…” Yu Chu resisted while following Xie XingMu voluntarily, and they quickly arrived, behind a crowd of waiting people.
“Don’t be afraid, I will accompany you.” Xie XingMu whispered in his ear.
Yu Chu was still trying to struggle, but suddenly went quiet.
It was quickly their turn, and the two people were sitting side by side. Xie XingMu and Yu Chu buckled up the safety pressure bar, and fastened their seatbelts. The moment the roller coaster started, Xie XingMu firmly grabbed his hand.
The roller coaster crawled at a fast pace, Xie XingMu held his whole hand in his palm, then forcefully opened his fingers, and then their fingers tightly interlocked.
Yu Chu, when the attention was placed on that hand, actually forgot the fear for a moment, the warm feeling spread along his arm all the way, and it seemed that even his heart felt the heat.
The roller coaster went from the top using a rapid descent, he was swept away by the steep and lost feeling, but Xie XingMu held his hand tightly and didn’t let go, firm and safe, so that he wasn’t frightened.
With the whistling wind and the screams of others in his ears, Yu Chu was in a tumbling, upside-down world when a thought came to him.
I must have this person stay with me forever.