Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Chu Feng was sitting in the rain, and heard his long-lost call, “Xiao Feng,” and was in a trance for a moment. Wang Jun lay on the ground and looked at him, “Xiao Feng, I know you became a General, I am very proud of you.”
“Proud of me? So what’s this all about?” Chu Feng asked.
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the rain in the sky, and silently went to the car to get an umbrella.
“Why… why…” Wang Jun seemed to be confused by the question and mumbled in a daze, “Why…?”
Chu Feng didn’t press him, just looked at him steadily. After a few seconds of silence, Wang Jun spoke up, “Actually, I had already joined the Olin Truth Church, but I didn’t know how to tell you. When I was on that mission, there was an archdeacon in the church in Bavo, and if he had been caught, the consequences would have been disastrous, so I had to do it.”
“But you killed twenty-eight of us, brothers from the same school, brothers in life and in death.” Chu Feng clenched his teeth as he spoke one word at a time.
“What brothers were they?” Wang Jun suddenly blurted out, “Do you remember when we first entered the military academy and were laughed at by those noble sons every day? Why should someone born in Aleisha be superior to someone from Bayard? Chu Feng, it’s not fair, it’s not fair.”
Chu Feng put his hands in the muddy water, gripping the ground tightly, “Is it fair that you killed them? Didn’t you have any fellowship with them after all those years?”
He panted heavily, his chest heaving up and down.
Wang Jun looked at him for a few seconds, then averted his eyes and said quietly, “In front of your ideals, you always have to sacrifice something.”
“What exactly is your ideal? It will allow you to sacrifice our brotherhood, the friendship you and I have grown up with, to sacrifice Wang Su and Aunt Liu?!”
Wang Jun closed his eyes and said, “As you drove through the Bayard to Aleisha checkpoint every day amidst the soldiers’ salute, did you notice the civilians, who were pulling out their IDs and being subjected to layers of rigorous scrutiny?” Without waiting for Chu Feng’s answer, he asked, “Remember Uncle Sugar Man from our street?”
“I remember.” Chu Feng said dumbly, “He made a delicious candy.”
“He had an emergency in the middle of the night, and the hospital in Bayard was helpless, saying they could only send him to Alliance Hospital in Aleisha. Turns out he couldn’t get his ID through, and he was dragged through the checkpoint for ten hours, and the man who was still alive was left to die, you remember?” Wang Jun asked.
Wang Jun took a deep breath and said, “What does that hurdle represent? To represent the highs and lows that we are born with and the injustices of our world. Chu Feng, let there be no barriers in this world, Bayard’s patients can stay in Aleisha’s hospital, Bayard’s children can play on Aleisha’s lawn, that’s my ideal.”
Chu Feng shook his head slowly, “Wang Jun, we can work together to make your ideal a reality, instead of using such a means to abandon our family members and cripple our fellow students to become pawns of the Olin Truth Church.”
Wang Jun fell silent, and Luo ZhouZhou came over with his umbrella and held it out to block them both.
Wang Jun lay back and smiled at Luo ZhouZhou. “Thank you.”
He turned to Chu Feng again and said, “Xiao Feng, I also want to thank you for always taking care of my mother and sister, I know what you did for them.”
Chu Feng’s eyes turned red, “I don’t want your thanks, Wang Jun, I don’t understand, how did you join the Truth Church?”
Wang Jun looked at him in stunned silence and suddenly asked, “Do you remember the church we used to play in when we were kids?”
Chu Feng was flabbergasted and replied, “I remember.”
“We were so happy at that time, running around and playing in the church without any worries. Then do you remember the time when we were playing in the garden and they suddenly blocked us in?”
“I remember,” said Chu Feng dumbly, “It was the Archbishop of the Truth Church who came.”
Wang Jun laughed with a pale face as he continued, “Actually, not only the archbishop, but also their holy son came with them. When they came in, we hid behind the door and peeked at the Archbishop, but in the meantime I left, leaving you still hiding there. I wanted to see the crown on the archbishop’s head, so I climbed up through the window in the back garden to get closer, and fell down. My knee got injured and I was bleeding, so I sat there crying. A young priest came and sat on the ground with me, gave me medicine for my knee, and kept comforting me.”
“Does it still hurt?”
The young priest took off the black veil covering his face and blew onto Wang Jun’s knee.
Wang Jun said with a wince, “It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
The priest put away the vial, squatted in front of him for a long while, and asked, “If it doesn’t hurt, then why are you crying?”
His voice and eyes were gentle, and Wang Jun grew wary and whispered, “I’m just sad.”
“Can you tell me why you’re sad?” The priest sat down beside him.
Wang Jun shook his head and said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
The priest smiled softly, “Don’t come to church anymore, go play somewhere else.”
Wang Jun looked at him with tears on his face, “Wherever Xiao Feng and I go to play, people will drive us away. But those Aleisha kids won’t be chased away.”
The priest seemed flabbergasted, then sighed, “Even if the world looks down on you and thinks you’re sludge on the wall, you know you’re not.” He looked at Wang Jun and said softly, “So, if you keep the faith, then one day the star will be picked up from the sludge and shine with its own light.”
Wang Jun stopped sobbing, startled, and looked at him, his eyes falling on his right breast.
There was a golden flame emblem, a symbol of the cleric’s identity. The priest patted his head again, got up and walked into the church.
“I’ve heard of this pattern. The gold one represents the Son.” Wang Jun said aloud to his back, “When I grow up, I will definitely go after you.”
The priest turned his head, smiled at him, and said, “I will look up at the stars and hope to see the brightest you.”
Wang Jun finished his long speech and began to pant rapidly, his hollow chest rising and falling.
Luo ZhouZhou tried to slit his wrists again, but Wang Jun stopped him.
“It’s no use, just let… just let me go like this.”
Chu Feng looked at his chest with red eyes and suddenly and hastily looked away.
After catching his breath for a while, when it had calmed down a bit, Wang Jun added, “Xiao Feng, if he hadn’t encouraged me, I probably would have gone to the fight with you and died in there too. But I don’t want to. I don’t want us to be like everyone else in Bayard, struggling to live and then struggling to die, like a piece of sludge in the corner. I can’t be underestimated by him, I want to follow in his footsteps and achieve my dreams. So, I took every opportunity to take you to the military school.”
“Xiao Feng, I had to do the same thing that time at the church in Bavo.” Wang Jun said, “If the archdeacon inside was caught, the Son would be in danger of being betrayed, and I couldn’t let him face any danger, even if it cost me my own life.”
“But you gave your life at the expense of others’.” Chu Feng choked out.
Wang Jun suddenly let out a violent cough, and blood spilled out of the corner of his mouth.
Chu Feng took off his jacket and put it behind his head.
When the coughing stopped, Wang Jun continued with a pale face, “I let you escape… and handed you… a cigarette. In the end I… miss the friendship we had before.”
Chu Feng turned his head abruptly, his face full of tears, “If you were still thinking about our friendship, you wouldn’t have shot me in the first place. Wang Jun, when you let me go, did you think that if I were alive, I would take care of Wang Su and Auntie Liu for you?”
Wang Jun’s breath grew fainter and fainter, his voice becoming weaker. He shook his head almost imperceptibly and said intermittently, “Because I can’t have an accident, things aren’t done yet, Xiao Feng, I often think of us… we ate a pie together… we fought together, in the church… we played, you’re my… best brother.”
Chu Feng raised his hands to cover his face, tears spilling down his fingers.
Luo ZhouZhou sat down on his knees beside him and took his head into his arms.
As the icy rain continued to fall, Wang Jun’s pupils became dilated. His lips were still slightly opening and closing, “The trumpet flowers in the church… how beautiful the red and yellow ones are… Xiao Feng, which one do you want… I’ll pick it for you…”
Gradually, the sunken chest finally stopped rising and falling, and lay silently in the rain without a sound.
As the rain grew heavier, Chu Feng sat motionless, letting the rain pour down on him. His head hung down, eyes closed, tears flowing with the rain.
Luo ZhouZhou carried Wang Jun’s body to the car next to him and then squatted down in front of Chu Feng, placing the umbrella over his head again.
He didn’t know how long it took, but when the rain slowly stopped, Chu Feng finally lifted his head. He looked at Luo ZhouZhou, who had been silently holding the umbrella for him, and a long while later, reached out and touched his exposed teeth.
It was only then that Luo ZhouZhou remembered that he had forgotten to take his teeth back, and that he still looked like a vampire. He asked, “Do my teeth look good? Compared with those little vampires, I think my teeth are the most beautiful.”
Chu Feng looked at him carefully and said in a soft voice, “Good looking, very symmetrical, better than the other vampires’ at first glance.”
Luo ZhouZhou asked again expectantly, “Was I good just now?”
Chu Feng didn’t say anything, just reached out his hands to him. Luo ZhouZhou realized what he was doing, and quickly squatted down and moved forward, leaning his upper body into his arms.
Chu Feng tightened his arms as if he wanted to crush him in his embrace and said, “Superb.”
Both of their clothes were soaked through and the rain was dripping down their hair.
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the car next to him and hesitantly asked, “Do you want to get in the car and get out of the rain?
“Is Chen SiHan okay?”
“He’s okay, I stopped his bleeding and the wound is superficially healed, but the bullet is still in the body and I want to go get it out for him.”
“How are you going to remove it?”
Luo ZhouZhou held up his right hand, showed him the long nail on it, and said, “I’ll use this here.”
Chu Feng paused and said, “Don’t take it out yet, as long as it’s not life-threatening. Wait until he goes into the hospital”
“Okay, I won’t take it. I’ll bring him here first.”
Chu Feng got up from the ground and said, “I’ll do it, you rest for a while.”
“You’ve just been injured.” Luo ZhouZhou looked at his chest a little nervously.
Chu Feng raised both of his hands up and said, “I don’t feel anything.”
When he finished speaking, he stood still and just looked at Luo ZhouZhou. After a moment of contemplation, he asked, “Will you be like this from now on, or can you change back?”
Luo ZhouZhou said with a bit of pride, “I can change back, or I can always look like this.”
Chu Feng looked at him closely and said, “This look is not bad, but it’s not convenient to go out.”
Luo ZhouZhou was about to explain that he would not look like this when he went out, but before he could say anything, a familiar dizziness came over him and the sound of rain in his ears disappeared in an instant.
When he saw what Chu Feng was saying, he kept his lips open and closed, and with a puzzled look, he rushed up to him and hugged him.
Luo ZhouZhou knew it was a seizure of Sunset Face, so he leaned against Chu Feng’s arm and took a big, deep breath, trying to fight the dizziness and hang on. His ears were buzzing, and he could only hear his own heart beating hard, and in his blurred vision Chu Feng’s anxiously enlarged face was visible.
But he felt something was wrong again.
Yes, he was in a vampire state, and the seizure shouldn’t be Sunset Face’s, but the thirst for his mate’s blood. After a few minutes, the dizziness slowly disappeared, and his ears gradually heard voices from outside.
“Zhou Zhou, Zhou Zhou…” Chu Feng was calling out to him.
Luo ZhouZhou opened his mouth to say, “Don’t worry, I’m going to be fine.” Before the words came out of his mouth, he felt a strange sensation slowly rising up.
It was a long-lost craving for blood.
Every cell in his body was stirring, screaming wildly inside him.
It was as if after he realized that this was his mate, the craving for blood awoke in his heart, grew rampant and wild, and could not be suppressed in any way. Luo ZhouZhou panted gently, trying to calm the agitation in his heart.
As a tantalizing smell rushed to his nose, the agitation became even more irresistible, rushing anxiously left and right through his body. He turned his head to the source of the smell, which was Chu Feng, who was holding him in his arms behind him.
His eyes were directed at Chu Feng’s neck, which was bulging slightly with the movement. Luo ZhouZhou didn’t even have to taste it to know how warm the blood flowing there was, full of sweet temptation.
He couldn’t help but lean in and put his mouth close to it. The skin his lips touched was chilled with the rain of a winter night, but where the blood vessels pulsed, he felt the warmth.
He licked his lips and rubbed his fangs lightly against that skin.
He was tempted to just stab the blood vessel regardless, letting the hot blood fill his mouth and then slide down his throat. But thinking that Chu Feng might not want to, he resisted the urge and tilted his head back slowly, letting his lips leave the area.
“Zhou Zhou,” Chu Feng, who had been watching him, called out to him in a soft voice.
“Hmm.” Luo ZhouZhou licked his dry lips.
Chu Feng asked again, “What are you thinking about?”
“I… I’m not thinking of anything.”
Chu Feng leaned over and whispered in his ear, “Just tell me what you want to do, you know, I’ll agree to anything.”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at him breathlessly and asked incoherently, “Chu Feng, I… I really want to drink blood, can I?”
“Do you want to drink my blood?” Chu Feng continued to ask quietly.
Luo ZhouZhou did not deny it, but looked up at him.
Chu Feng put his forehead against his and whispered in a sighing voice, “Zhou Zhou, you really are a vampire.”
“I’ve always been, but now… now I’m whole.” Luo ZhouZhou couldn’t help but look at his neck and swallow hard.
Chu Feng didn’t say anything else, just tilted his head slightly to the right shoulder, so that more of his neck near Luo ZhouZhou’s side was exposed.
“Are you asking me to drink blood?” When Luo ZhouZhou saw his action, his heart beat even harder.
Chu Feng closed his eyes and said, “Drink.”
Luo ZhouZhou held his breath as he leaned in close to Chu Feng’s neck and peeked at his face. If Chu Feng didn’t want to, he would have had to hold back even if he had wanted to. But Chu Feng’s expression was calm, not resisting in the slightest, and he even grabbed him by the waist and brought him into his arms.
“It doesn’t hurt, my teeth will make you feel nothing, and when I stop, your neck won’t continue to bleed.”
Luo ZhouZhou leaned in to kiss him a few times as a reassurance. His lower lip couldn’t touch Chu Feng’s face, because of his fangs, so he sucked on it, trying to squeeze it out of his fangs.
Chu Feng looked at him with downcast eyes, suddenly smiled, and said, “Drink, or your saliva will drip.”
Luo ZhouZhou gently brushed his right hand across Chu Feng’s neck and then up against it, sniffing the skin. He slowly opened his mouth and licked it with his tongue, hearing what sounded like a gasp from Chu Feng.
He looked up at Chu Feng’s face and stabbed his teeth decisively into the blood vessels.
Chu Feng felt a tingling in his neck, and he frowned very gently, then the pain disappeared, leaving only a numbness.
The rain had stopped and there was silence.
He heard Luo ZhouZhou swallowing and counted subconsciously.
One, two, three…
He counted to four, and then the sound was gone. He looked down and saw Luo ZhouZhou still lying on his neck, just not moving.
“Zhou Zhou.” He tried to call out, but Luo ZhouZhou didn’t move at all.
He tried to call out, but Luo ZhouZhou still didn’t respond.
He shrugged half of the shoulder he was leaning against. The next thing he saw was Luo ZhouZhou falling backwards with his eyes closed.
“Zhou Zhou, what’s wrong with you?” Chu Feng quickly grabbed him around the waist and hugged him in the crook of his arm.
Under the streetlight, Luo ZhouZhou lay in his arms with his eyes closed tightly, the two sharp teeth sticking out of his mouth had disappeared, and his pale face gradually began to take on a normal red color.
“Chu Feng, Old Chu!…”
Out in the woods ahead, Chen SiHan called out to him, limping along with his back covered.
Sirens also sounded in the distance.