Chapter 25: “Mn, you can try.”
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xiao Ke felt that it was time for them to have a chance to talk.
It didn’t hurt to keep it bottled up like this. He wanted to know about his past and could only listen to what he told him. However, if he doesn’t, then Professor Xiao will have to push him a little.
However, before Professor Xiao could find a chance to talk about it, things came together, and came to the door.
Fang Qimiao, a public official, did not have to work overtime at the end of the year, but it was inevitable for him to go around to make connections. On the day of the New Year, he knocked on Xiao Ke’s door early in the morning. Xiao Ke was not up yet so he was a bit surprised to see him standing outside with snow all over his body.
“You didn’t even call and came over? What if I’m not home yet?” Xiao Ke sidled up towards him and let him in.
“I just stopped by to take a look at you,” Fang Qimiao was carrying two boxes of things in his hand and put them on the shoe cabinet, “Give them to our mother for me later.”
Xiao Ke took a look at the two big boxes of bird nests and smiled as he said, “Thanks. But she’s my mom. Don’t get too close.”
“Hey it’s the same, your mom is my mom.” Fang Qimiao slumped on the sofa before he hummed twice and said, “Master Xiao, I’m fucking exhausted.”
“You also worked overtime?” Xiao Ke asked him with a raised eyebrow. “Your unit still uses overtime before the year?”
“No, I have to send gifts every day, my father sent a big list to me.” He fished out a bottle of mineral water from under the coffee table and unscrewed it before he took a sip. “I’m tired.”
Xiao Ke smiled and shook his head. “I can’t understand the pain of the rich generation, but go for it, little Qimiao.”
“What about you?” Fang Qimiao wiped his face, and looked at Xiao Ke. “The tattooed one still hasn’t been caught? So hard to get?”
Xiao Ke went to the bathroom to wash up, and before the toothbrush went into his mouth, he said with a smile, “What tattooed one? That’s my Teacher Zhou.”
“Yo…your Teacher Zhou?” Fang Qimiao snorted with two laughs. “You haven’t even caught him and you’ve given him a prefix? Face it, Handsome Xiao, you have to admit you’re not as good as you were back then. Chasing an old man for months and months?”
Xiao Ke did not want to pay attention to him so he finished brushing his teeth and rinsed his mouth before he wiped away the foam from around his mouth and said, “For the sake of years of love, Master Xiao does not show off with you. I will not force a bone in front of you, you single dog.”
These words immediately sounded like there was drama! Fang Qimiao sat up from the sofa and asked Xiao Ke how he could say that sweet type of thing about love. Fang Qimiao became angry. Coincidentally, he had nothing to do that day, so he was adamant about sticking to Xiao Ke. With such an annoying large tail following him around, Xiao Ke really didn’t want to visit the shop.
“Don’t be like this, how many years have we been together?” Fang Qimiao spilled and rolled as he insisted on following. “It’s been twenty years! Besides, I won’t delay you if I go, I’ll play games with the little baldy, okay?”
Xiao Ke thought if Lu Xiaobei knew that he was called “little baldy”, the machine gun would kill him. In the end, Xiao Ke was not able to get rid of Fang Qimiao. The man drove behind his car, and he was not able to get rid of it on the way.
To be honest, Xiao Ke actually didn’t care if he followed or not, but he was afraid that he would be too noisy when others were working. Before entering the store, Xiao Ke said, “Don’t talk if others are busy, play your game, don’t delay people’s work.”
“I know.” Fang Qimiao said.
The shop was already open when Xiao Ke went in, and Xiao Lin pointed out the inner room to him so Xiao Ke raised his eyebrows to ask with an expression of what was wrong.
Xiao Lin said with his mouth, “There are…. People….”
Xiao Ke was confused and walked in with Fang Qimiao. As a result, he just took two steps inside, and before he could see what was going on inside, he was grabbed.
Zhou Zui pushed Xiao Ke back out again with a large hand on Xiao Ke’s neck that gently squeezed him down.
Fang Qimiao didn’t understand from the back and said, “Hey what’s this game….”
Xiao Lin stared at them with wide eyes, and just like Fang Qimiao behind him, her face was full of bafflement. Zhou Zui whispered next to Xiao Ke, “Professor Xiao, wait for me in the car for a while.”
Xiao Ke stood in front of him and looked at the man in front of him. The series of actions just now was very warm, but Zhou Zui’s expression now was very serious.
A male voice came from inside and whistled, “Don’t leave, stay here and let’s get to know each other.”
Zhou Zui ignored the voice, and just stared at Xiao Ke’s eyes as he repeated, “Wait for me in the car, okay?”
Xiao Ke stood in place for a few seconds, not knowing exactly what his reaction should be. Finally he just nodded. “Yeah, okay.”
He turned around and went out without looking back.
His hand touched the door and stood still, but he did not turn around and just stood there as he said, “If you want me to go out, I’ll go out, but Mr. Zhou, we can be as ambiguous as we want but we both have to have the intention to continue, and that’s the only way we can go on.”
Xiao Ke finished and pushed the door outwards while not even caring about Fang Qimiao behind him, who almost had the glass door hit his head as he hurriedly followed him out. He looked back at Zhou Zui before he left, who had a gentle frown on his face as his eyes were still following Xiao Ke.
Xiao Ke sat in the car without saying a word and held his breath in his throat without swallowing. He did not finish his sentence, but he knew that Zhou Zui understood. Adults are allowed to be ambiguous, but if you keep holding everything back without not saying anything, then forget it.
“That’s awkward…” Fang Qimiao sat on Xiao Ke’s passenger seat and glanced at Xiao Ke a few times before he asked tentatively, “What’s wrong, Master Xiao? That’s not in your character.”
Today’s incident really surprised Fang Qimiao. Xiao Ke was a person who did not like to get angry, and it was quite difficult to make him angry. Today Xiao Ke was obviously in a mood, but from Fang Qimiao’s point of view, Zhou Zui’s approach actually made sense. It was just a matter of not wanting Xiao Ke to get involved in trouble, which didn’t mean anything.
Xiao Ke closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. It was only after a while that he pinched his brow and sighed.
Fang Qimiao turned on the radio, and the two hosts on the station were doing an uncomfortable interactive call-in program.
“Not happy, huh?” Fang Qimiao laughed with the radio voice turned down a bit. “It’s not worth it. Has master Xiao’s mature brain become muddled after falling in love?”
“Don’t talk.” Xiao Ke said with his eyes closed.
“Okay, I won’t talk.” Fang Qimiao shrugged and said, “This matter today, your Teacher Zhou is not wrong. Do not blame him.”
Xiao Ke frowned and said after a while, “I know.”
“As long as you know. You can figure it out yourself, I won’t say much.” Fang Qimiao finished this sentence and stopped talking. This person was not always talkative, and he was quicker than anyone else when it was time to be silent.
After Xiao Ke went out, Zhou Zui stood in the same place for a while and lit a cigarette and smoked two puffs before entering the inner hall. Just now, Zhou Zui did not wait for Xiao Ke to come in before he stopped him. In fact, Zhou Zui was deliberately standing in the doorway as he was afraid that he would step in.
There were four people sitting on the sofa in the hall, and a tall thin man in the middle opened his mouth first and asked, “Is there someone with Brother Zui?”
Zhou Zui did not pay attention to him and went over to sit on the single sofa. He took the ashtray from the coffee table and flicked in his ashes but did not look up. “Go back and tell the third brother not to reach out to me. If I do not reach out to you, don’t contact me.”
The man laughed and also took a cigarette in his mouth but did not light it, “Brother Zui, do not be so stubborn.”
“I’m not stubborn,” Zhou Zui still lowered his head and did not look at them. “I’m easy to talk to.”
Lu Xiaobei came out from the other side of the tattoo room and leaned on the door frame as he half-lifted his eyes to look at them without saying a word. Zhou Zui looked at him but did not care about him.
“Third brother is also easy to talk to. If we cooperate, how simple will it be? Brother Zui, don’t make it so complicated.”
Zhou Zui shook his head, “I’m serious. Don’t reach out to me. The number I said I could give before can also be given now. If you don’t, forget it.”
He spoke in a deep voice which made people scared to hear it.
“I’m a loner, so don’t push me.” Zhou Zui pressed his cigarette into the ashtray with his arm leaning on his knee, and he looked up into the man’s eyes as he stared into his eyes. “When the third brother broke his leg, he should have held a grudge. But that’s all I can give. Anymore, I don’t have it.” Zhou Zui stood up after finishing his speech and said to Lu Xiaobei. “Xiaobei, go home.”
“You’re a loner?” The man called out to Zhou Zui and laughed, “Before yes, but not now, right, brother?” Zhou Zui looked back at him. “Who was that? He’s a good-looking guy, and our brother Zui still has the same taste.” He lit up the cigarette that he hadn’t lit, and his eyes were half-squinted due to the smoke. “A teacher? Oh, Brother Zui is amazing.”
Zhou Zui did not make a sound and just stared at him.
The man folded his hands, and then spread them out flat with a rough smile on his friendly face, “I have no other meaning, brother. In fact, the road we draw is really a matter of mutual benefit. You really do not understand. I can help you ask that teacher? Let that brother teacher help you.”
Lu Xiaobei licked his lips and silently cursed a swear word.
“Professor Xiao, is it?” The man shook his head, “I really do not want to make trouble with a school. I grew up seeing schools and I shivered. Brother Zui, our thing can be resolved without involving a teacher.”
This was a very vulgar threat on the surface, but as a matter of fact, he would be heartless enough to implicate others so perhaps he just wanted Zhou Zui to hear it to simply upset him.
After he finished, Zhou Zui looked at him for some time without giving any expression so he just nodded and said, “Ok, you can try.”
Xiao Ke waited in the car for more than half an hour before Zhou Zui came out of the store. He didn’t wear a jacket and was just wearing a sweater as he stood at the door looking around for Xiao Ke’s car. Xiao Ke reached out and honked the horn briefly, and Zhou Zui came towards him.
“I’m going back to my car to sit for a while!” Fang Qimiao opened the car door and jumped down, “Talk nicely and properly rant!”
Zhou Zui nodded at Fang Qimiao when he came over, and Fang Qimiao said “hello” to him, “Hello, cool man.”
When Zhou Zui got in the car, the smell of cigarette smoke was still there, and the cold air puffed it into Xiao Ke’s nasal cavity which made Xiao Ke’s nose a little sore and made him feel like sneezing for a moment.
In fact, after Xiao Ke calmed down, he also regretted that he had spoken too much just now. At that moment, he was not angry, but Zhou Zui had pushed him out more often than not so he couldn’t help the irritation in his heart. Fang Qimiao was right, it was not Professor Xiao’s style.
Falling in love really reduces people’s IQ. Xiao Ke still wanted to say something to ease the atmosphere, but it was Zhou Zui who opened his mouth first, “Professor Xiao, it’s not that I didn’t want to continue. Don’t be angry.”
This all seems very ominous. Are they gangsters? It seems ZZ has been living off-grid, not in hiding, but simply to avoid any and everyone not in his inner circle. They must be connected to that person that died… ZZ’s ex I assume and related to these creeps.
Thanks for translating and editing.