Chapter 21: Look at the Treasure in Front, Instead of What’s in the Faraway Mountain
It was the first day of the new year.
In the city, they do not allow people to light firecrackers, but in small places like the town they live in, it isn’t as strict, so it was inevitable that they would be lit here.
It was not even the crack of dawn, and there were already sounds of explosions from firecrackers being lit outside.
You could smell the air slowly filling with the smoky scent of fire.
The Lu family did not need to visit their relatives, and so Lu Yuan and Lu Qi woke up early to put up the scrolls of spring festival couplets1, and then they bowed their heads2 in respect to Mama Lu.
After they made greetings for the new year, they were both given a hefty red pocket.
Mama Lu smiled gently, patting the heads of the two children and said the unchanging but full of sincerity celebratory greetings,
“Be safe in the new year, and may things go your way.3“
“Thank you mom.
May you be healthy and live for more than a hundred years.
The longer you live, the more beautiful you become!”
Lu Yuan obviously knew how to say good blessings, as with a few words, she already had Mama Lu smiling widely.
After she said that, she took out two red pockets from her pocket, and gave one to Mama Lu and one to Lu Qi,
“Mom, you have worked hard.
This is part of my filial duty as a daughter.”
And then turned to grin at Lu Qi,
“Ah-Qi, Happy New Year, may you succeed in your studies, succeeding all the way with no setbacks.”
Lu Yuan has been working hard as a woman out in the field, and she herself needed money for everything from clothes to food to housing.
It must have been hard for her to save up enough to give them both red pockets.
Lu Qi felt the hard plastic of a bank card inside and thought she must have saved up enough for at least one year of his tuition.
He smiled, nodding his head,
“When your brother can finally head out to work, I’ll give you a big one.”
In the entire family, he was the only one without stable income.
Even if Lu Qi gave them red pockets, they would not have accepted it.
Sometimes when he thinks about it, it makes him feel like quite the failure.
On the night of New Year’s Eve, Huo Ming Chen waited right until the clock switched to the next day, and then sent him an undisclosed amount of money in an enormous red pocket.
However, Lu Qi did not accept it which made Huo Ming Chen a bit unhappy.
He was only pacified when Lu Qi said some good blessings to him.
The winter break was not very long, and the two of them only stayed home for a few more days before hurrying back to the capital.
Lu Qi had Lu Yuan’s arrangement in mind and did not want to dilly dally.
He quickly marked his attendance at the university and then arranged a meeting with Huo Ming Chen.
Lu Yuan had changed into a more professional outfit in black and white and also wore a thin pair of glasses, which hid away some of her extravagant and seductive looks, making her seem more serious, professional, and elegant.
The two of them stood next to the street, waiting for Huo Ming Chen.
She could not help but ask while they were waiting,
Lu Qi lowered his eyes slightly, half hiding his words and half exposing the truth,
“Oh, we’re alright.
Even though he doesn’t look very friendly, his personality is not bad.”
Lu Yuan said,
“I’m happy that you made a friend, but you still have to be careful.
Those wealthy princes are quite shrewd, never accepting a trade that would be a loss for them.
Don’t let someone like that trick you.”
Right as she finished her sentence, she could see a pure black high end race car flying right by them, and then it reversed and slowly stopped in front of Lu Qi.
The car window rolled down and exposed the cold, sharp eyed face of a man.
His expression looked quite frightening and made it hard to approach him.
Lu Qi leaned down, holding himself by the window frame of the car, and when his eyes met with Huo Ming Chen, he pointed at Lu Yuan,
“This is my sister.”
The latter reacted and received the message from Lu Qi.
She stepped forward and smiled,
Huo, how are you? I am Lu Yuan.”
Huo Ming Chen seemed to have something to say to Lu Qi, but as Lu Yuan was here, it was not a good time to show an overly close relationship.
So he only nodded his head slightly and said,
“Hop in the car.
I’ll send you off to the company.”
Out of habit, Lu Qi opened the door to the passenger seat.
Lu Yuan was stunned when she saw this and could only sit by herself in the back.
Huo Ming Chen started the car and took a slight glance at Lu Qi, who was wearing an all black suit and his legs casually crossed.
He then looked up at his face, and his gaze went from his eyes, nose, and mouth, to his suit collar which was buttoned all the way up.
All to which gave off the impression of a cold and calm exterior hiding an interior of extreme and wild passion.
Mensao4, what are you pretending for.
He couldn’t keep himself from pressing on the gas pedal to go faster, so he could send Lu Yuan to the company as soon as possible.
Lu Qi’s eyes took this all in, and his mouth twitched to smile.
He quickly held a fist to his lips and coughed twice and then crossed his arms.
Holding his arms by the elbows, he turned to look at the scenery outside.
Huo Ming Chen gave him a glance over and coldly said,
“What are you looking at outside? Flowers?”
Lu Qi closed his eyes and like an old man said,
“Where would there be flowers in the winter?”
Hearing that, Huo Ming Chen mockingly laughed out of habit and then didn’t speak again.
Lu Yuan looked at them from behind, and she thought that Lu Qi was making Huo Ming Chen angry and was a bit worried despite herself.
However, once they reached the company, the two of them acted very naturally and started talking to each other, as if they weren’t fighting.
The company of the Huo family was situated in the middle of the city, like a forest, surrounded closely by other tall buildings.
This was the absolute prime real estate.
Lu Qi looked upwards to where the building seemed to disappear into the clouds and suddenly felt like they were but passing shadows on earth.
Huo Ming Chen led them inside, and while waiting for the elevator, said to Lu Yuan,
“I’ll bring you to HR to do your paperwork.
I’ve already arranged everything, so there should be someone who will bring you around.
If you get into any trouble, have your brother tell me.”
He obviously put in a lot of care and effort because of Lu Qi.
Lu Yuan nodded slightly, without showing shame or inferiority.
Even at her young age, she already knew the ways of working society.
She could tell that Huo Ming Chen’s personality was on the cold hearted side and did not say anything other than,
“Thank you Mr Huo.”
This kind of personality made Huo Ming Chen see her in a new and better light.
The three of them were too outstanding, especially when one of them was the chairman’s blood related brother.
Seeing that they were walking near the elevator, the front desk receptionists could not help but gather and gossip together.
Their voices going stir crazy over their looks,
“Who is that handsome guy beside little president Huo!! So handsome ah ah ah ah ah ah ah! That waist, those legs, OH MY GOSH, they are not worse than a model’s!!!”
“The company’s been eyeing the land at the auction, maybe it is the management from Yue Ke.
Look, beside him is a beautiful secretary, can’t be any lower than that.”
It was not only the receptionists as after the three of them went up, everywhere they walked, the female employees would ogle at Lu Qi.
In his previous life, he occupied quite a high position here.
He was too used to using a leader’s glance to supervise, and his eyesight made him seem exceptionally cold, making all the employees wonder if upper management was changing heads, having a new supervisor in line.
After bringing Lu Yuan to orientation, Huo Ming Chen put a hand in his pocket, and looked at Lu Qi moodily,
“Can you relax now?”
He looked at Huo Ming Chen with a flirtatious smile and warmly said,
“I let you take care of it, why would I not be relaxed?”
Huo Ming Chen’s heart unfairly skipped a beat.
He remembered that Huo Ming Cheng was not at the company today, and said to Lu Qi,
We’ll sit in my office for a bit.”
He only thought that there were too many eyes outside here, and wanted to find a quieter place.
Who knew that Lu Qi intentionally misconstrued his meaning and let out a long “oh” in acknowledgement,
We haven’t done it in the office yet huh……”
Hearing this, Huo Ming Chen paused in his footsteps and almost tripped over himself on flat ground.
He wanted to turn his head, but his waist was suddenly grabbed and beside his ear, he heard the sounds of the door locking.
Behind him was an all too familiar chest, and Huo Ming Chen closed his eyes silently.
He felt the belt on his waist being loosened,
“Why the fuck did you say I was bold? I think you are much more bolder than me.”
Lu Qi embraced him from the back, and hot kisses began to drop like water behind his ear, behind his neck.
His voice was very very low and had a teasing tone,
“Have you never thought about trying it in the office?”
In his previous life, Lu Qi’s heart was set on snatching a position of power.
Who would have the time to think about this? He had very disinterestedly rolled around the bedsheets with Huo Ming Chen, just to get it over with, and it was always scheduled at the same time, same place, and he had no time for other such thoughts.
Huo Ming Chen couldn’t speak and felt like there were a million eyes staring at him through the glass window.
He couldn’t relax no matter what, feeling as if he was sneaking around doing something wrong.
Lu Qi led him to the office desk and with little force, lifted Huo Ming Chen up to sit on top.
There was a small pile of paperwork beside him, and Lu Qi took a quick glance.
Seeing that it wasn’t very important, he brushed it all off onto the floor.
Huo Ming Chen went with it and laid down on the desk.
He hooked his arms around Lu Qi’s neck and couldn’t hold back the kitten-like noises his voice was making.
After emitting such soft moans, he felt embarrassed and used the back of his hand to cover his eyes and would not make another sound.
Lu Qi pulled his hand away, thinking that he was quite cute like this.
They exchanged a long and messy kiss.
“Don’t be scared, let it all out.
They can’t hear us from outside.”
In their previous life, the two of them, dancing with swords at each other’s throat, had negotiated in this very room.
Lu Qi made Huo Ming Chen lose everything, and the other used an even more ruthless way to get revenge.
Full of regrets and anger, a sickly pale Huo Ming Chen compared to the one beneath him right now, full of youth and passion… Lu Qi thought that he much preferred the latter.
The lights above them created moving shadows and in between the brightness and darkness, shone a mirage.
It was as if the scene from his previous life was playing out before him.
Lu Qi knew it was fake, that it was his own obsessive thoughts.
He closed his eyes to get rid of the images and held the person beneath him tighter in his embrace, using the heat emitted from their bodies to make the emptiness inside him fill up with warmth.
The Huo Ming Chen that he could touch, the Huo Ming Chen that is in front of him, that is the real reality.
*1 Spring festival couplets: basically blessings on red paper to welcome the new year (such as to be blessed with money, good grades, good health, safe travels and so forth).
There are modernized/commericalized ones with famous characters such as Disney or Sanrio characters or with the animal of the year (such as pigs in the year of the pig, etc).
You can also write your own on red paper and paste them up like posters on walls and doors for good luck.
Such as the middle picture below, the two sides would usually be placed beside a door, and the middle in the middle of the door and the top one above your door.
*2 bowing their heads: To show respect, and for thanks for the elders of the family.
And then once they do that, the elder would pass along a red pocket.
Usually all the youngsters will gather together and bow their heads (as in kneel and bow their heads onto the ground) to the elders, sometimes in some places you would do it for your ancestors as well.
There’s also customs of how many times, etc.
Lots of traditions tied to this kind of ceremony to welcome a new year full of good luck.
Some places can be less formal and may not have this tradition for the new year, or they may do something else to replace this.
It really depends on where you go or what family you are in as each family has their own specific traditions most of the time.
*3 Be safe in the new year, and may things go your way/blessings: it’s customary to say a certain group of blessings (or specific phrases) you would use every New Year for good luck/blessing.
Some of them are tied to the animal of the New Year.
*4 Mensao: A slang word(…that has many implications) to describe a man.
It’s kind of like what Huo Ming Chen says afterwards where he’s hiding a passion inside him when he’s normally so cold/collected/calm.
It’s kind of like you see someone on the streets, and they look really composed and cold, but they actually are very thoughtful, lots of passion and ideas inside them.
It’s usually accompanied by the outsider to view as that person as someone with charm or a kind of sexiness that they have this passion or thoughtfulness inside them, from their outer exterior of coldness.
Maybe kind of like tsundere? They usually appear cold but knowledgeable (kind of mysterious?), but they show their interesting, sexy, thoughtful interior by surprise or when you least expect it.
More comprehensive explanations and research on this word can be found by searching “闷骚”.
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