Don’t Be a Kept Man
Xun Chuan had too many things to ask Yan Yu, but when it came to opening his lips, he couldn’t get anything out of his mouth.
His throat felt like it had been stuffed with cotton, stuffing all the bitter, the sour, the sweet, and even the spicy down, making even the wound on his throat throb.
Xun Chuan looked up at the ceiling and said,
Yan Yu: “Hmm?”
Xun Chuan: “If, and I’m saying if, if you knew that I would die that night, would you have gone to X City?”
It was suffocating, but Xun Chuan was oddly quiet.
When Xun Chuan’s words first registered, Yan Yu’s breath stuttered.
His grip on the remote tightened, so much so that veins were popping out, but in the end he only casually hummed out an acknowledgement,
Xun Chuan asked again to confirm,
“You would have gone right?”
Yan Yu still gave that casually dismissive tone,
Xun Chuan paused and then slowly nodded his head,
It was only one word, but Xun Chuan seemed to have received the answer he wanted the most, leaving everything else as not important anymore.
He didn’t ask any more questions, only rustling around to flip his body and turning his back to face Yan Yu.
He hid under the sheets, being so quiet it was as if he was asleep.
Ghosts do not breathe and could not produce any tears.
But Xun Chuan suddenly felt his throat closing, as if he couldn’t breathe and his heart was being stuffed and stuffed.
The back of his throat felt acidic, and he tightly grabbed onto his throat, desperately trying to push down this feeling that was worse than death.
Seeing Xun Chuan quiet as if he was sleeping, Yan Yu turned off the TV and the lights before lying down right beside him.
Out of habit, he snuggled closer to Xun Chuan, but the moment he got close, he realized that the other was too tightly wound up.
Following up the line of his body, he found Xun Chuan’s hands tightly grasping onto his neck.
Yan Yu slightly rose up, forcing Xun Chuan to face him.
Even if he couldn’t see anything in the dark at this time of night, he could still feel the slight tremors and shivers coming from Xun Chuan.
Yan Yu’s face turned a bit serious,
He had felt that ever since Xun Chuan came back from the fourth floor, he had been acting strange.
He was starting to suspect whether Su Qing had cast a curse or whatnot.
Xun Chuan closed his eyes and shook his head, but he did not speak a word.
Yan Yu furrowed his eyebrows and forcefully pulled his hand down.
Only then did he find out that Xun Chuan had been covering the injury on his throat, and Yan Yu unconsciously released him.
He was a bit dazed as he looked at it and then he asked,
“Does it still hurt?”
After a long while, a faint “Mhmm” could be heard.
Yan Yu didn’t know what to do.
He had never been in this kind of situation before, and he had never heard of a case where an injury sustained before death could still hurt as a ghost.
After sitting in silence for a bit, he lied back down.
Face to face with Xun Chuan, he wrapped him into his embrace.
In a rare sight, with his arms around Xun Chuan, he comforted him,
It doesn’t hurt.”
Just as he said that, he thought how could it not hurt.
This injury had taken Xun Chuan’s life.
These words somehow hit something in Xun Chuan’s mind and he grabbed onto Yan Yu’s hands in a death grip.
He gritted out two words, bringing a slight tremble to his tone,
“Yan Yu, it hurts so much.”
If he were human, he would probably be crying right now.
Yan Yu’s fingers stroked across the bottom of Xun Chuan’s eyes, but there was nothing to touch.
He slowly moved over and kissed that injury.
Warm lips brought onto that unknown flavour of blood, repeating the same words,
“It doesn’t hurt.”
Xun Chuan could feel that familiar smell surrounding him, and a light feathery warm touch to his neck flashed by, as if they returned to that night so many years ago.
His heart was filled with only one person in mind where nothing else could fit inside.
Hugged so closely against Yan Yu, Xun Chuan could hear the heart beat by his ear and he finally moved his lips.
Speaking so softly it might as well be inaudible,
“I like you……”
Liked you when I was alive, like you when I am dead.
I liked you before, and I still like you now.
If Yan Yu heard it, he didn’t show it.
His breathing seemed to have mellowed out and he didn’t respond back.
Perhaps it was because the neighbours upstairs couldn’t give them a break, but Yan Yu hadn’t headed out for his stall recently.
In either case, he wouldn’t be earning more than a few dollars anyway, not even enough for a car ride; there wasn’t much difference whether he went or not.
Compared to him however, Su Qing seemed to have reached a peak in her career.
Having not slept for an entire night ever since she arrived, she has been busy going everywhere for her divinations, not stopping for a single moment.
Because of her, the stairway of the apartment building has not had a single quiet moment either.
In the morning, Yan Yu grabbed a small bucket of chicken blood and crouched by the door to draw something.
He only finished sometime around noon, and when he was done, he had looked so content and satisfied with himself as he chewed on his cigarette, holding that empty bucket, that an immediate impression of him was that he was up to no good.
Xun Chuan’s spirit body sat on the desk, both his legs swinging in mid air.
His legs knocked against the side of the fourth drawer with every swing, sounding out a heavy thump every time.
Yan Yu gave him a glance, before heading to the kitchen to wash the bucket clean and throwing it casually into a corner after.
Xun Chuan cocked his head to look at him, his pair of eyes as dark as the abyss.
A sinister air seemed to be descending upon him,
“What did you draw on the door?”
Yan Yu sat on the bed and inhaled a mouthful of smoke.
Then in the midst of that puff of smoke, he hooked his fingers at Xun Chuan.
With his eyelids lowered a bit, he looked quite devilish and like he was up to no good,
“Come over and I’ll tell you.”
Xun Chuan didn’t move a single inch, not even to nod or shake his head, and his expression was emotionless, indecipherable.
His legs, however, were still moving, knocking neither softly nor harshly onto the knob of the fourth drawer.
Yan Yu switched his sitting position, and a drop of ash fell onto his black pants.
He flicked it off, but he made it even messier and so he just patted it again a few times.
Xun Chuan lifted his eyes and when he found that Yan Yu was looking straight at him, the corners of his mouth strangely began to tilt up,
“What are you looking at me for?”
“Your good looks.”
Yan Yu said before retracting his gaze.
He turned to look at his cellphone, and it was at this time that a knock rang out from the front door.
Xun Chuan stopped his movements and glanced off to the side.
“Ah, your neighbour is here.”
He said so with a gleeful tone poking at Yan Yu’s misery.
Yan Yu lightly chuckled,
“I knew she would be coming.”
And then threw aside his phone to go open the door.
Without a doubt, it was Su Qing standing right outside.
Perhaps it was because she had been working nonstop these past few days, but heavy black eyebags were resting on her face, making her look quite tired and haggard.
As a complete asshole and one of the many hooligans roaming the streets, Yan Yu didn’t fear her coming to cause trouble, and he leaned on the door frame as he asked,
Su Qing wiped her face and then massaged those twitching eyes on her face.
She faintly let out a long sigh as her voice begged at him,
“Friend, can you wipe the array off your door? You’re scaring my customers.”
Yan Yu had drawn for exactly five hours, so it’d be weirder if he did scrub it off.
He lazily responded,
“Then that’s your problem.
After all, the one doing business isn’t me.
If you have a way to break through the array, I won’t say a single word.”
Su Qing had not anticipated that there would be so many wandering spirits here, and the past few days had drained her of everything.
How could she still have the energy to break through Yan Yu’s array? Because of it, there was a crowd of “customers” clustering together that couldn’t even step up the building.
All of a sudden, a thought came to Su Qing’s mind and she smiled at Yan Yu,
“Friend, do you want to earn some money? I’ve been too busy recently, and I can’t take all of this on my shoulders.
If you can, I’ll hire you as my assistant.”
He blinked at Su Qing, his eyes a bright beautiful red, so red and sparkling like jewels, but they were now glaring with a bit of hostility.
Yan Yu slightly raised his eyebrows,
Su Qing slightly smiled and nodded her head,
“I’ve heard from the landlady that you are unemployed.
Since you’ll be staying at home and doing nothing anyway, why don’t you become my assistant? Just have to move some ghosts and switch some placements, that’s all.
I believe that shouldn’t be too hard for you.”
Low level wandering ghosts had a very limited range of where they could wander.
Their last wishes were mostly to see their loved ones one last time, and shu-shis could help their souls create a spirit line, allowing them a short temporary period to go find their loved ones.
Simple was indeed simple, but the rate of doing this was quite low.
At most, in a day, only five lines could be created, and evidently, Su Qing couldn’t finish it all by herself.
Yan Yu was still thinking when the system rang out.
[ Ding! Received extra career side mission.
Please, my host, accept this beautiful lady’s request, and achieve the position of an assistant one day or another~ Self sufficient and self reliant, the galaxy’s strongest system is here for your service~ ]
Yan Yu just knew this piece of sb would jump out at this kind of timing.
With a face full of impatience, he asked Su Qing,
“How much for a month?”
Su Qing silently reached a hand out with the sign for a “9”.
Her fingers were quite thin and slender which were quite beautiful for a woman like her.
It was probably the only good looking part besides her hair on her body,
Yan Yu was a bit weirded out by her generosity,
“90 thousand yuan?”
Su Qing’s smile froze on her face,
“Why don’t you guess 900 thousand instead huh?”
Yan Yu ‘tsk’ed and then was about to close the door when Su Qing quickly blocked with her hand,
“Two thousand! Two thousand a month.
A raise every new year, two days off a week.
You know, it’s really not easy to earn money from the dead nowadays.
Please, please give me some leeway.”
Yan Yu immediately paused, as if he had been waiting for these words,
“Alright, but I’m saying this up front.
I won’t take on difficult tasks.”
Su Qing gave an “OK” with her hands and then carefully asked,
“Then…… can you erase your array now?”
Yan Yu looked at his watch,
In half an hour, it’ll erase itself.”
A powerful array wouldn’t be active for a long duration, as it needed a continuous feed of energy.
The array Yan Yu drew, once it passed a certain time and was not reinforced, it would automatically disappear on its own.
Su Qing silently cursed,
Xun Chuan had been listening to their conversation the entire time, and so once Yan Yu closed the door, he was a bit off kilter, and tugged at Yan Yu,
“You want money, I can give it to you.
You don’t have to go find that woman.”
Yan Yu thought to himself, to be a human was too hard.
When Xun Chuan was alive and he went to ask for money, he’ll be called a scumbag every single time.
Now that he’s not coming to Xun Chuan for money, he’s unhappy instead.
Yan Yu tugged his hand back and offhandedly said,
“Don’t want your money.”
Xun Chuan’s hand froze in midair and then slowly retracted back.
He pouted his lips, a feeling of being wronged arising in him,
“Do you like that woman?”
Yan Yu: “No.”
Xun Chuan: “Then why do you want her money and not mine?”
Yan Yu laid on the bed, and silently grabbed a pillow over to cover his own head.
He elongated the end of his syllables as he said,
“That means I’m good to you, and I don’t want to spend your money.
Save it for yourself.
Whatever you want to eat or drink, you can use that money then.”
Xun Chuan reached a hand over to pull that pillow away and then laid on top of Yan Yu.
He tilted his head to watch him quietly and then said,
“That money was originally for you anyway……”
Just like when Yan Yu went to collect Xun Chuan’s last belongings, Tang Ying had said that if Xun Chuan was still alive, that money would have ended up in his hands sooner or later, as Xun Chuan would only give it to him.
Perhaps it was because of his family, but Xun Chuan’s personality was sensitive and quiet.
In the eyes of the older generation or family relatives, he was one of the most unlikeable.
His possessiveness was also strong, and he could not accept others touching his stuff.
Only Yan Yu was an exception.
Xun Chuan was an extreme sort of person.
Love or hate, he experienced both of these emotions very deeply.
So deeply to the point that it would terrify others if he expressed them fully.
Yan Yu looked at him and didn’t say anything.
He wanted to say that he was no longer the kind of person who really desired money anymore, but in the end, he couldn’t open his mouth.
Xun Chuan’s face and eyes trembled; his eyebrows were slender and combined with his face, it brought out a special kind of delicate beauty from him.
Coming closer to Yan Yu, he quietly repeated his words,
“They were originally left for you…..”
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