Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 104: Pretending to Lie to Myself that You’ve Been Here Before
It’s been said that what you regret the most, you will dream of it the most.
The journey to X City was a bit long, and except for the driver, almost all the other travellers were sleeping.
Yet Yan Yu, who had just woken up from his dream, couldn’t fall back asleep.
He stroked a hand over Xun Chuan’s head before following down his back, suddenly feeling that everything was fated.
The bus finally arrived at its destination, and compared to everyone else with their multiple pieces of luggage in hand, Yan Yu’s hands were empty except for a travel bag.
When he stepped off the car, he stood in one spot and didn’t move.
Perhaps because he didn’t want to go, or perhaps he didn’t know where he should go.
There were a lot of people around, bustling around on their day, coming and going, but following the passage of time and the flow of people, there were less and less.
It was quite a small place indeed as when it’s lively, it’s boisterous and noisy, but when it’s quiet, it’s as quiet as a mouse.
Seeing him like this, Xun Chuan held Yan Yu’s hand, bringing on that bullheaded stubbornness about him, and pulled him to the station.
One step, two steps, three steps……
But Yan Yu seemed unwilling and pulled his hand away, retreating back a step.
Xun Chuan turned his head to look at him and squinted his eyes.
He didn’t mind Yan Yu’s reluctance and sat down on a bench by himself.
Compared to the past winter, there were a lot more bright colors around.
Flowers were swaying in between the greenery; their faint red petals danced with the wind, swaying along with their tiny and lean stems, swirling around the whiteness of the guard rails, causing quite a few pedestrians to glance over.
A place where death used to linger, is now a shining beacon of light in the eyes of others.
Xun Chuan didn’t have much of a reaction.
He stretched out his legs, wiggled his toes and kept his arms taut against the bench to support his weight as he looked down at the ants on the road.
He seemed to have just simply wanted, just simply wished to sit here.
Yan Yu was standing not too far and not too close away from him.
After a moment, his footsteps carried him over, and he sat down next to Xun Chuan.
Shoulder to shoulder, his body temperature transferred to the other through their thinly layered clothing.
Xun Chuan looked at the endless stream of cars in front of them and then contemplated out loud,
“I’ve always thought you were really amazing.
Every time I fell and hit myself, you would always be the first one to show up.
Everything could be solved, nothing could bother you……”
Yan Yu really wanted to say that he was actually very useless.
Living aimlessly and dazedly for so many years, he was like one of the many blades of the grass living on, and even as the decaying part of it too.
Whatever he’ll be, he’ll live, to wherever he’s blown to, he’ll still live, unlike Xun Chuan.
Right now, at this time, Yan Yu was a perfect representation of the words, unable to sit quietly, as if the one who died here was not Xun Chuan, but him.
After holding it in and forcing himself for this moment, he finally dragged Xun Chuan away from that place and headed to a direction that was away from here,
“It’s quite late.
Let’s first find a motel and then we’ll take the bus back tomorrow.”
Xun Chuan obediently let himself be dragged, not struggling one bit.
Occasionally taking a look around, he carefully took in the place where Yan Yu grew up.
X City wasn’t exactly considered glamorous, and it didn’t have hotels with five or four stars, or even any with stars.
Yan Yu brought Xun Chuan a bit farther away until he finally found a motel that looked quite clean and paid out of his wallet and completed all the paperwork.
When they settled into their room, Yan Yu grabbed a set of clean clothes from his bag before entering the bathroom.
Xun Chuan lay on the bed, floating on it as he rolled around, knocking off a pillow in the midst of his movements.
Following the sounds of water from the shower, Yan Yu’s voice drifted out,
“The day after tomorrow at 9pm, the ghost door will open.
I’ll send you for reincarnation then.”
Xun Chuan paused from rolling around and then snorted,
“Why am I going to reincarnate?”
Yan Yu came out of the bathroom then, fully dressed and already knew that Xun Chuan wouldn’t listen to his words.
He brushed his wet hair back with his hand, showing off his face without any hindrances,
“Because there is no future in being a ghost.
Nor is there one in following me.”
Xun Chuan thought to himself, why should he listen to Yan Yu.
Yan Yu wants him to go reincarnate for a new life, but does that mean he has to follow his words huh.
But he didn’t show that on the surface and only unhappily let out a ‘hmm’ before turning his back towards him, and faced the other way to watch the TV.
Yan Yu was originally drying his hair with a towel when he spotted Xun Chuan’s lonesome shadow and his movements paused.
Xun Chuan turned his head back then and found Yan Yu zoning out with his eyes on him.
He glared back,
“What are you looking at huh!”
“Your handsome good looks.”
Yan Yu chuckled and then threw the towel aside.
He sat on the bed and then brought Xun Chuan over into his embrace.
He tucked them both in tightly with the blankets, and with their close proximity, so close their breaths could mingle, he brought with him that bit of secretive tightness, much like the strings of a lotus root; no matter how much you try to chop, you cannot get rid of it all.
Xun Chuan didn’t think at all that he would go reincarnate.
When it was time to play, then he’ll play, and occasionally he would kick the blankets, and then use the remote to change to a station he liked.
His emotions were completely unaffected, but Yan Yu, he hugged Xun Chuan from behind, burying his face in his neck and did not move for a long time.
Xun Chuan felt that he was acting a bit weird and turned his head to look at him, but Yan Yu covered his eyes.
Xun Chuan’s vision went black and following a slight warm touch to his lips, his teeth were pried open and something warm came in to investigate, sticky and chasing, never losing its dominance.
Xun Chuan’s fingers trembled and the remote fell under the bed.
When he came back to his senses, he couldn’t push Yan Yu off, and the only thing he could do was wrap his arms around Yan Yu’s neck, kissing him back with fervor.
But no matter what he did, in the end, his entire body was pressed down under Yan Yu.
Under the cover of darkness, a slightly warm palm began to climb up to his waist.
Xun Chuan wanted to pull the hand covering up his eyes away, but he found that he couldn’t move.
He could only use a bit of strength as he kissed Yan Yu and bit down viciously but thankfully without seeing blood.
The light on the ceiling was so blindingly bright but Xun Chuan could not see even a hint of light.
In the midst of this darkness, only a bit of uncertainty but also a bit of excitement lingered.
“Yan Yu…… Yan Yu……”
There was a hint of a begging cry in Xun Chuan’s voice as he grabbed onto Yan Yu’s back in a death grip, leaving trails of red scratches behind as the only thing he could do in response.
Yan Yu hooked Xun Chuan’s legs up around his waist and as if he was deep in a craze, he kissed him hard, over and over.
And in those moments, a liquid, a liquid that held some warmth within its drops dropped down onto Xun Chuan’s face.
Whether it was sweat or tears, no one knows.
“Yan Yu…… Yan Yu……”
Xun Chuan shook his head, wanting to shake his hand off.
With a hoarse and broken voice, speaking in almost different octaves, he begged out,
“Let me see you……I want to see you……”
Yan Yu tightly held onto him, his warm breath surrounding Xun Chuan’s ear.
There was a gentleness in him that was so different from usual when he spoke so softly,
“There’s no need to see, I’ve always been here……”
“I’ve always been here……”
Xun Chuan stopped struggling then and grabbed onto Yan Yu’s wrist, holding still in this position.
He suddenly felt petulant, and looked as if he was about to cry,
“You liar, I don’t believe you.”
“Don’t cry, I’m here,”
Yan Yu embraced him, with an indecipherable tone in his voice.
He only repeated over and over as he kissed him, subconsciously saying,
“It’s all my fault……”
Hearing this Xun Chuan immediately let go of the hand covering his eyes, and just by touch, he reached for Yan Yu’s face and caressed it softly.
When his fingers felt a wetness in the corner of the other’s eyes, he suddenly paused.
After a very long while, he could finally push through the cry caught in his throat and he pursed his lips to say past his trembling,
“I’ve never blamed you……”
Never ever had……
“I was only angry, angry that you were breaking up with me, and afraid that you would find someone else, afraid that you would fall in love with someone else, and never remember me anymore……”
Yan Yu seemed to want to say something, but then there was nothing to say.
He took away the hand covering Xun Chuan’s eyes and carefully looked at the face underneath him, absorbing all the details.
No matter how he looked, Yan Yu felt that it was beautiful, and no one else could compare.
“Go and take the chance to reincarnate.
I will never find anyone else, never like anyone else…..”
Yan Yu kissed his eyebrows, smoothing out the anxious plea hidden in those eyes slowly and steadily.
When he saw Xun Chuan holding in his tears as he lay underneath him, with his eyes so wide…
Just looking at him like this, it felt like they had returned to so long ago, watching this person in front of him being such a force of nature in front of others, but when he was by himself, he would be licking his own wounds, that kind of Xun Chuan.
Yan Yu couldn’t bear for him to receive any bit of suffering, really truly couldn’t let him suffer……
Not even a single bit……
Yet in the end, how many times had they broken up, how many times had he tried to end it, and how many more times had he been unable to bear it and they would come back together, leading Xun Chuan to his death.
Xun Chuan hid under the blankets, showing only half of his face.
His eyes were watery, looking so much like a kitten meowing for attention.
After Yan Yu took another shower and climbed back onto the bed, Xun Chuan came closer over to him and nuzzled in his embrace.
Yan Yu hugged him, kissed him on the brows and then kissed him on the nose.
Then on his lips, kissing until Xun Chuan got too embarrassed before finally turning off the lights to sleep.
In the dark, there was only the noise of one person quietly snoring.
Yan Yu couldn’t sleep, suddenly feeling like time was passing too quickly.
Even just glancing at the patterns on the window curtains and morning had already arrived.
A faint ray of sunlight peeked through the window blinds, and Xun Chuan shifted his head, his body was like a giant octopus as it clung onto Yan Yu.
He scrunched up his eyebrows as the sun started to wake him up, trying to hide under the sheets when Yan Yu pulled him out.
“Come on, wake up.
We still have to take the bus.
Don’t make us miss it.”
Yan Yu grabbed a jacket, not looking even a bit tired.
His face looked to be chiseled out from the finest marble, looking so handsome from the side, but the closer you looked, the more it felt like something unknown was lurking underneath.
Xun Chuan slouched on his back and then opened his eyes, pinching Yan Yu’s waist before letting go.
Yan Yu turned to look at him, but he didn’t get mad.
Seeing Xun Chuan pull himself up to sit on the bed cross legged, looking evidently very unwilling, he reached out to ruffle his hair before heading to the bathroom to wash up.
They had reserved bus tickets for 9 o’clock in the morning, and beside the station was a shop that could barely be considered a bubble tea chain store.
Yan Yu, holding his black umbrella, took a look at the bright sun burning in the sky and then went over to buy a cup of bubble tea.
He passed it to Xun Chuan and asked,
Xun Chuan wanted to say no, but looking at the half transparent cup, he realized it was his favourite grape juice.
As the ice clinked, he leaned over to take a sip, but no flavour could be tasted.
He pushed it towards Yan Yu,
“You drink it.”
Following his order, Yan Yu took a sip, and Xun Chuan asked him,
“What flavor does it taste like?”
“Couldn’t taste much,”
Yan Yu hooked his bag onto his fingers as one hand held up the umbrella, and the other held onto Xun Chuan’s hand, walking towards the station,
This time, they were still in a window seat.
The seat beside Yan Yu looked to be occupied by a middle aged man who smelled strongly of liquor and smoke.
When he talked, spit flew everywhere, and before he even took his seat, his shoes were already almost off his feet.
He even squished towards Yan Yu, stuffing his big suitcase up top, and another right under Yan Yu’s seat.
With a rough voice and an unfriendly attitude, he said,
“Ack, give some space, give some space.”
Yan Yu slanted his cold eyes over, the aura around him freezing into a dangerous territory,
“Who are you telling to move?”
With his tall figure, and his face bordering on the devilish side, the pressure he gave off was heavy.
That middle aged man suddenly felt that Yan Yu was not a simple pushover, but instead a vicious character and so he did not dare to utter another sound.
He dragged the suitcase under Yan Yu’s feet back over to his own feet and then muttered something no one could understand.
Xun Chuan didn’t mind if this situation turned out worse for the wear, almost even wanting something to happen.
He poked Yan Yu,
“He’s cursing you.”
Yan Yu said,
“I’m not deaf.”
And then pulled Xun Chuan back over to him, blocking the leg he was kicking towards that middle aged man, and locking him securely by him.
No one else could see Xun Chuan, and so Yan Yu’s chain of actions were a bit weird.
“You just know how to ruin my day.”
Seeing how the middle aged man was eyeing Yan Yu as if he were mental, he flicked out a string of resentment, and the other immediately slumped over, his head slowly lowering, asleep.
Yan Yu lifted his eyes and faced Xun Chuan’s gleeful and wicked eyes.
He twisted his body to block the stares from the other people onboard and grasped his chin, kissing him on the cheeks.
His long fingers pulled the curtains taut, not letting a single ray of sunshine in.
Xun Chuan closed his eyes, his eyes that had long and thick eyelashes, which were trembling without a pause.
He slowly wrapped his arms around Yan Yu’s neck, snuggling up tight to him in this cramped seat, as the dust in the air danced and a field of wild meadows and mountains greeted their eyes through the window.
Su Qing was just returning from an exorcism in the afternoon, just as the last bit of light was just about dissipating from the sky.
Traversing through the alleyways, she saw a drunken lonely man, and behind that man was a hopping clown who had on his shoulder a hammer that glimmered with a black light.
The clown’s face was painted with thick oil paints, and he was wearing an extremely exaggerated big red nose and clothes that were decorated with bright coloured stripes.
His mouth was set in a freakish kind of smile, the one where the more you looked, the more terrified you would become.
When she rounded the corner to head into another alleyway, Su Qing’s senses immediately felt that something was wrong.
She paused in her footsteps.
The drunken man did not seem to have found out that such a ludicrous clown was behind him and he bent over slightly, facing his lower half, looking as if he was going to pee.
In the next moment, the wall highlighted the large shadow of a hammer going way up high and then ruthlessly pounding down.
In that moment of contact, it was as if she heard the sound of a skull cracking.
The drunken man trembled all over, and in that moment, a weak, hard to notice soul momentarily separated from its body and shattered into a million pieces, swallowed up by the clown.
Shocked out of her mind, Su Qing quickly covered her mouth and turned to run away.
Her footsteps echoed in the silent alleyway, with her heart about to jump out from her throat.
OH MY MOTHER, when did such a high level aggressive ghost appear here, how did she not know! It’s all gone wrong, all gone wrong, must run away, must leave!
Su Qing brought with her these scattered and broken thoughts all the way home, never thinking that when she entered the building, she would bump into another surprise.
It was a man, and the two of them stumbled back from their collision.
Su Qing was tall, and much more muscular than the average woman.
She just barely caught the metal door and used it to stabilize herself.
Holding her head in pain, she looked over and saw the other was a man, and then took another closer look before realizing that it was actually Yan Yu.
In that moment, she breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Friend, where did you go? I’ve been trying to find you for so long.
There’s so much work to do, and I thought you went missing.”
As she spoke, her eyes fell onto his hand that was holding Xun Chuan and her expression changed slightly.
Yan Yu said,
“Went back to my childhood home for a bit.
You weren’t here in the morning, so I didn’t have time to tell you.”
And then continued to hold Xun Chuan’s hand as he went up the stairs.
Su Qing followed behind when her heart began to remember the scene she just saw in the alleyway and she started to panic again.
She continuously turned to look behind her as she warned Yan Yu with her voice as gentle as usual, but now tinged with an unconcealed panic,
“Yan Yu, I just saw a high level malicious ghost around here.
I can’t stay here anymore.
After I send over all the wandering souls in my hands for reincarnation, I’m going to move.”
“High level malicious ghost?”
Yan Yu pulled out his keys to open the door, and then shook the hand holding Xun Chuan’s,
“You mean him?”
Xun Chuan coldly snorted and kicked him.
Su Qing waved at them,
“Ack, no, even more stronger than him.
I won’t say much more, I have to go pack up.
You guys better quickly quickly pack up and leave too.”
And then she quickly ran up the stairs, truly becoming a woman as flippant as the wind.
Yan Yu retracted his gaze and shook his head as he said,
Running so fast even on stilettos.
Even after just a night out, there felt like a sense of being away for too long just by coming home.
Yan Yu threw his bag onto a chair, taking a seat beside it and didn’t want to move.
Xun Chuan sat on the desk, lightly bumping into his feet,
“Are you going to move?”
Yan Yu grabbed onto Xun Chuan’s ice cold feet, pondering, and was moving his head but it was uncertain if he was shaking or nodding.
He suddenly remembered something and said to Xun Chuan,
“I still have Chi Xia’s soul with me.
I’m going to pass it back to Su Qing.”
And then pushed the chair back, standing up, and under Xun Chuan’s gaze, bent over to kiss him.
When Su Qing said she was going to pack up, she really went home to pack up.
Not a single lie or hesitation.
Things filled the floor, not at all resembling a place where a woman lived.
Yan Yu knocked on the door,
“Can I come in?”
Su Qing was bent over, packing what she could into her suitcase.
Hearing his voice, she turned her head to look over, and said with a voice that was honestly too nice to listen to,
“Ah, what a rare guest.
What’s up? Come in.”
Yan Yu walked in and placed the jade bottle containing Chi Xia lightly onto the table.
Then thinking about it, unknotted the jade gourd around his neck which contained Su Yu’s soul,
“Will have to trouble you to help them reincarnate tomorrow.”
Su Qing said,
“What about the one in your home? Need my help for that one too?”
She was just asking out of courtesy but then realized that Yan Yu didn’t make a sound and she whipped back her head in shock and asked curiously,
“No way right.
You really want me to help?!”
Yan Yu paused,
“I can send him myself too.”
He glanced at the corner of a desk where there was a picture of a really beautiful long haired lady.
She was smiling in a very cutesy but elegant way, even more beautiful than a celebrity.
Her eyes were warm and gentle, a bit like Su Qing, but there was absolutely no way in which the two could be linked together.
Yan Yu was just puzzling through it when he heard Su Qing sigh,
“Why be like this? It’s already hard enough to live, even harder when you’re together.
An interchange of life and death, a standoff between the two, there is no way to solve this, but this may not be that bad.”
Yan Yu’s fingers twitched, lifting his eyes to look at her,
“What did you say?”
Su Qing didn’t pause her movements in folding her clothes,
“I wasn’t going to blabber so much but it’s just, when I moved in that day, your so and so gave me a diagram to decipher.
A Sheng Si Ju… I’ve already tried my own reading, and the ages just happened to match the both of you.”
Yan Yu narrowed his eyes,
“You told him?”
Su Qing shrugged her shoulders,
“He asked, so I naturally answered.
You didn’t tell me that I couldn’t say it either.”
Hearing this, Yan Yu’s mouth twitched, as if he wanted to laugh, but couldn’t.
In the end, he just exited Su Qing’s home and closed the door, with the hand on the door knob almost popping its veins.
Su Qing chased after him, and pulled her door back open.
Seeing that Yan Yu did not immediately leave, she apologetically smiled and waved her hand to say,
“If you can’t bear to send him then I could help you.
After all, I’d be doing it anyway.”
Yan Yu said,
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