Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 38: This is the Life He Carved Out Himself
Huo Ming Chen knew he could not win against Lu Qi and so decided to use his best weapons, his wits and vicious mouth, to get the upper hand.
The latter didn’t care much for it and let him have his fun.
No matter how much he thinks he can win with words, he’ll pay it all back on the bed anyway.
To say that he won’t get out of bed for three days… Well, it wasn’t a minute more and it wasn’t a second less.
After all, Lu Qi knew this principle very well — When a gentleman wants to take his revenge, it could never be considered late even if it is ten years later.
Even if he is lacking in everything, he will never be lacking in patience.
When it was finally time, Lu Qi escorted Huo Ming Chen to the hospital to take off his cast.
At first, Huo Ming Chen kept feeling like his leg was too light and walked very strangely, which naturally concerned Lu Qi.
He held on to Huo Ming Chen and asked in a low voice,
“Is it because your bone didn’t heal well? Let’s go back to check with the doctor?”
Huo Ming Chen coldly laughed,
“There’s nothing to talk about with the doctor.
Don’t you know in your heart what’s the problem?”
After all, his sore waist, weak legs and inability to walk properly was all because of Lu Qi.
Hearing this, Lu Qi smiled with his eyes full of warmth and his mind filled with thoughts of sex.
His fingers lightly stroked across Huo Ming Chen’s waist and even though there was a layer of clothing between their skin, that kind of tickling touch did not miss a single beat in sending a heartstopping signal straight to the heart,
“I am a person who has no thoughts in their heart.
Memory’s bad too.
Whatever I did, I really can’t remember.”
Huo Ming Chen wanted to hurt him just once,
“Then can you remember who owes you money?”
Lu Qi thought about it and then lifted one finger, waving it in front of Huo Ming Chen.
His eyes suddenly fell into a state of seriousness,
“Except for you, there is no one who could owe me.”
A seemingly normal sentence, but somehow one that could make his heart beat faster.
Huo Ming Chen pressed on the area over his heart to silently try to calm down his feelings.
He felt as if he was being dipped into a jar of honey, becoming too overly sweet.
He hadn’t even come out of this secret happiness when Lu Qi suddenly pulled back his shoulder and sternly ordered him,
“But you have to remember that you must return all that you owe back to me sometime in the future.”
Huo Ming Chen’s smile immediately dropped.
At this moment, all his feelings dissipated into the air, leaving only the feeling of him being a huge fucking idiot.
He gave Lu Qi a glance and said ominously,
“You can see for yourself if I will return it or not — if I return what I owe you, I will become a dog!”
You originally were a dog, one that that goes around everyday just randomly biting people in a terrible temper.
Lu Qi looked at him and muttered quietly to himself,
“If you don’t return it, then don’t.
It’s not like I ever counted on you to return anything anyway.”
Lu Yuan was quicker on her feet than he imagined she would be.
Who knew what she said as only a few days had passed before Mama Lu’s phone call arrived.
Over the phone, the older woman’s voice sounded quite calm.
Indeed, her acceptance level was stronger than Lu Yuan, that little brat’s.
Because he had already planned that this would happen, he was not surprised.
As he had just finished his classes for the day, he randomly found a corner to sit down where no one else was around while walking through the field.
The sun was shining brightly at this time of day, but the warmth was not a painful burn.
Mama Lu said,
“Lu Yuan said that you found a partner for life and that they’re a man?”
Lu Qi nodded his head with his eyes focused on the students playing soccer in a field far away.
At that moment, his eyes appeared to be looking at something far in the distance,
“Mhmm, met at the university, same year as me.”
Mama Lu asked,
“Does his family know?”
Lu Qi replied,
“They do, but their family isn’t really supportive.”
Silence fell between the both of them at that, and after a long while, he heard Mama Lu suddenly say,
“Whatever you have to say, let’s meet up first.
I am near your school with Lu Yuan right now.”
Lu Qi was a little shocked and stood up in surprise,
“When did you arrive? Why didn’t you say this to me before? I could have picked you up.”
I can come as I go.”
Mama Lu reported a private room in a restaurant that was nearby the school and immediately hung up.
The Lu family’s main way of interaction was a bit different from your normal household’s.
Everyone was very individualistic and normally lives their own lives without each other’s interference.
Growing up in this kind of environment made it rare for Lu Qi to express his emotions externally.
At least, that was half of the reason.
The other half came from Mama Lu’s genetics.
Lu Qi was just about to head there when he paused, a sudden thought coming to mind.
He lowered his head to dig out his phone and texted a message to Huo Ming Chen.
This corner of the field wasn’t that far away from the school buildings, so in less than five minutes, someone was already standing in front of him.
Because there were too many people and eyes around in the school, they could not really act intimately.
But the happiness sparkling in Huo Ming Chen’s eyes was enough to drown someone.
He rested his arms around Lu Qi’s shoulders saying,
“Hey, what did you call me out here for?”
Lu Qi couldn’t help but correct his wording,
“I only asked if you had class, not ask for you to come out here.”
Huo Ming Chen hit him lightly as he said,
“You fucking asked me if I had class and not to come here? If you didn’t call for me, why did you send me a location tag to come find you? Weirdo.”
Lu Qi couldn’t win over him and asked instead,
“Then do you have class?”
Huo Ming Chen raised his eyebrows in pride as if he did something great, saying arrogantly,
“Yes, but I skipped it.”
As if he really meant to say, I immediately skipped class for you when you sent me a message, now quickly praise me! Quickly praise me!
Lu Qi only said,
“Skipping class is shameful, I’m going to have to report you right after this.”
And then dragged him towards the entrance of the school.
Huo Ming Chen followed him with a face full of confusion,
“Where are we going? A meal?”
“To see my mother.”
Huo Ming Chen almost tripped over himself when he heard this.
When he came to his senses, he tightly pulled Lu Qi back by his hands and said with a face full of shock,
“Wait wait wait wait wait! What do you mean?! Auntie came?! Why didn’t you tell me earlier?!”
Lu Qi shrugged,
“I just found out now.
She’s already waiting for us.”
Huo Ming Chen was shocked to the point of even forgetting his name,
“No no no! Wait a minute first! What are you doing, bringing me over? Does she know about us?!”
Lu Qi: “Mhmm.”
After receiving his acknowledgement, Huo Ming Chen’s expression instantly became complicated.
Honestly speaking, their families’ environment was very different.
He at least had a big brother protecting and covering for him and his problems, so he didn’t have to bear a lot of pressure.
However, Lu Qi was the sole male of the Lu family household.
Huo Ming Chen had said that their relationship was to be made public, but that was only directed towards himself.
He never really expected or counted on Lu Qi to be able to follow through with his family on this.
He only did what he himself should do, and in regards to Lu Qi, he didn’t hold any expectations.
As long as this person was with him, that was all that mattered.
So hearing this now, his heart couldn’t tell whether it was a bit more happy or a bit more sad and apologetic.
The moment Lu Qi saw his face, he knew what Huo Ming Chen was feeling.
He waved down a taxi on the road and stuffed him inside.
When they were safely seated, he said,
You’re serious, I’m serious too.”
Huo Ming Chen: “……”
Just for those words from Lu Qi, he will endure the punches and slaps from Mama Lu if it happens.
But of course, Mama Lu will never do these kinds of things.
Mama Lu was very different from what Huo Ming Chen imagined her to be.
She did not look older than thirty and her aura was very refined and elegant.
Her face was like that of a gentle beauty.
When she looked at someone, even if she was not smiling, you could feel some warmth and even graciousness from her.
She looked a bit too calm and collected, which was quite similar to the attitude ingrained in the bones of Lu Qi.
Lu Yuan was sitting beside Mama Lu and seeing the both of them come in, she was at first stunned.
Then when she realized the situation, she sent a vicious glare at Lu Qi, a kind that said “wait for your impending death”.
Lu Qi pretended like he saw nothing and guided Huo Ming Chen up to introduce him,
“This is Ming Chen, my partner.”
Huo Ming Chen, after all, did not live two lifetimes like Lu Qi and as much as he was who he was, this kind of scene made him nervous, even if he was not exactly freaking out.
He immediately gave an demure look like that of a young child to an elder, saying,
“Auntie, how are you.”
Mama Lu did not give the expected cold shoulder, but she was not very enthusiastic either.
She only nodded her head slightly,
“Take a seat, I apologize for bothering you during your classes.”
Huo Ming Chen said,
“No, how could that be? I had no classes today, coincidentally.”
The moment he said that, Lu Qi turned his eyes towards him with a questioning look, and Huo Ming Chen immediately kicked him under the table in response.
Mama Lu seemed to realize that they were silently communicating with each other and her eyes were set ablaze.
She said with a faint smile,
“How long have you two been together?”
This question was very complicated as this “together” or that “together”, the meaning could have many different implications.
Even the two could not clearly distinguish them.
Lu Qi poured tea for everyone at the table as he gave Mama Lu a vague answer,
“Quite a while now.”
It was some slippery wording, just like a rubber ball sliding in an oiled pan.
Mama Lu sipped on her tea.
Her hands were kept very neat and they felt very distinct, an indication, perhaps, of being the hands of a pianist.
She slightly shook her head, not giving any dignity to Lu Qi and pointedly said,
“I have never seen someone as clever as you.
Who knows who you take after? Everyday, just twisting and turning people in the palm of your hands.”
To be said in layman terms, that is to enjoy playing with humans under his control.
It didn’t matter who his partner was, if only for the fact that Huo Ming Chen wouldn’t do what Lu Qi wanted.
The blame fell on the fact that Lu Qi had too much of a history of playing with people.
Even if he turned good or honest, no one would believe it.
If Huo Ming Chen could be silenced with these words, he wouldn’t be Huo Ming Chen.
His face still wore a smiling expression that looked like he was obedient and respectful towards his elders, but under the table he was holding Lu Qi’s hand, signalling him to not mind it.
When the elderly are displeased in their hearts, they need to exert their authority as they always feel like they know better and they are still the elder.
Since Huo Ming Chen has already hooked her son over to his side, even if he had to endure some beatings, that was no problem.
Just a few unclear but pointed words couldn’t be considered that serious.
Mama Lu didn’t continue on the subject and they began to dine as the waiters brought them their dishes.
She would occasionally ask about Huo Ming Chen’s studies and then talk to Lu Yuan.
Although she wasn’t really passionate, she was not ignoring him outright.
Instead that right was bestowed to Lu Qi who looked like he wanted to win an award on who could be a better piece of furniture.
It wasn’t until they finished their meals that Mama Lu put down her chopsticks and finally gave him the time of day.
“Did you two think about it?”
Lu Qi nodded his head,
Mama Lu gave a sudden and faint sigh, causing Huo Ming Chen to become nervous, thinking that he would be assigned as the guilty party.
But he only received the words,
“…… It’s pretty late.
You two should head back for your classes.
I have bothered you two enough for today.
As you are living on your own, make sure to take care of yourself.”
The last sentence was clearly directed towards Lu Qi.
Huo Ming Chen was a bit stunned when that was all he heard.
Before he could react however, he was already being dragged up by Lu Qi.
Lu Qi bowed slightly,
“Thank you Mother.
Then we will head back first.”
Huo Ming Chen followed him,
“Thank you Auntie.
We will take our leave first.”
The two of them left the room and Huo Ming Chen couldn’t help but ask,
“What did Auntie mean? Did she agree or did she not agree?”
Lu Qi sometimes thought that Huo Ming Chen was a little bit dumb.
He ruffled Huo Ming Chen’s hair and said,
“Did you think that she agreed? It does not matter anyway as it’s the same as always.
She cares about me, but ever since I was born, she has never had control over my life.”
Huo Ming Chen’s heart suddenly started to skip.
He grasped Lu Qi’s hand,
“Auntie is so open.
And that doesn’t matter, from now on, I will manage you.”
Lu Qi slowly smiled,
“……Alright, from now on, you will manage me.”
Seeing the two of them leave, Lu Yuan finally couldn’t hold it in anymore and stood up noisily, anxious and angry,
“Mom, did you see the face of that Lu Qi? It’s time to make him reconsider his life choices!”
Mama Lu looked down, a silent tell that showed that her heart was not as calm as it looked,
“To manage him and his life, that depends on him listening to me.
Ever since he was a young child, he’s always had his own opinion on whatever he did.
Now that he has directly brought this up to my face, it’s not something that we can persuade him away from, with just a few words.
Do you think that I need to act like the evil mother from television dramas? To cry and wail that I will die because of this? What would be the point of doing all that?”
She closed her eyes in silence after she said that.
When she opened them, she could see the unwillingness and unhappiness on Lu Yuan’s face.
She reached up to pinch her daughter on the nose,
Your brother, he’s grown up now.
Whatever he’s doing, he has his own thoughts.
The more you try to stop him, the more he would do it just for the spite of it.
If we break them up now, Ah-Qi will never forget about him.”
“You forever immortalize what you cannot obtain.
You just have to let him see if that is something he really wants.
If it is, let him go.
Who can live a life without a few setbacks and failures? They will know pain when they bang their heads until they bleed.
Once they understand the concept of pain, they will not be so stupid again.”
Mama Lu was a rarity among the vast majority, being such an open-minded person.
But this kind of thinking made her seem a bit coldhearted in Lu Yuan’s eyes.
Lu Yuan pursed her lips.
She thought about her childhood up to now and found that Mama Lu has never had control over Lu Qi’s life.
Perking up with interest, she asked,
“Mom, honestly speaking, did brother really come out of your womb?”
Mama Lu paused after hearing this and felt as if she was suddenly transported to a strange place.
She asked back,
“Are you and your brother twins?”
The exact meaning being, if Lu Qi was not her child, could Lu Yuan be hers too?
Lu Yuan’s words immediately got stuck in her throat and she knew that her own family would not be able to put a stop to this relationship.
She could only put her hope on one other person.
What she didn’t know was that after their last conversation, Huo Ming Cheng was travelling on an entirely rocky road.
He himself can’t stop Huo Ming Chen and he can’t really break the news to their grandfather and father who’s outside of the country right now.
Not even thinking about their current health, to be quite honest, they only have a few years left to live given their age.
Why give them more things to worry themselves over? As long as they lived safely and in happiness, that was enough.
He also doesn’t dare to break them apart by force and that Lu Qi looks like he doesn’t hold his own idiotic brother in his heart.
What if he does forcefully separate them, threatening with his own life to break them apart and it just results in two deaths?
He could only hope that Huo Ming Chen would soon see and think with clarity again.
Once their relationship starts to fall apart, breaking up on their own was the best option.
And yet time passed by very quickly, like the blink of an eye.
A year passed, then two and then three.
Even when Lu Qi and Huo Ming Chen both graduated from ‘C’ university, his hope still did not get realized.
In that time, Feng Jie’s start up company, M&E, had officially barged into the market and they were successful in securing their own part of the territory.
In the midst of the youngsters that had joined, there were some that left, there were some that continued down the path.
They all received a different result based on their choices.
Lu Qi was now the vice president of M&E, and in the business world of this time, he was considered a very young and handsome fellow who was good at what he did, to the point where people called him President Lu everywhere he went.
He was on a completely different path from his past life……
With his own hands, he earned more than enough money to let his family have a better life and from his own efforts and hard work, successfully gained the position of an equal beside Huo Ming Chen.
Having the ability to stand side by side…… This was the life he had slowly, one step at a time, achieved.
It was hard climbing up, but it was not as hard as he imagined it to be.
Using his own blood and sweat to claw out his own life and territory, the heavens couldn’t take it away as easily now as it had in his past life.
It was another bright and sunny morning and Lu Qi was still sleeping away, when he was suddenly woken up by a long forgotten voice in his head.
He was dazed and out of it but then recalled something.
Slowly taking a look at the person who was still in Morpheus’ arms, he gently and lightly extracted his arms and left the bed to head for the balcony.
[ Ding! The galaxy’s most strongest self improvement system is happy to be at your service.
When Lu Qi committed any actions that made him a kept man, the system would automatically and instantly dole out punishment.
Since a very long time ago however, the system had never made another sound.
It had been so long that Lu Qi even forgot about its existence.
After so many years, this was the first time that the system had rang out with its voice, and Lu Qi narrowed his eyes, not knowing what commotion it was trying to make now.
He pursed his lips, waiting to hear the rest but then……
[ This service is about to conclude after seven years.
My dear host has successfully relied on his own efforts to carve out a path that is different from your previous life.
Judgment from our galactic jury has reached the levels of passable and we wish for you to continue to do your best, to continue to maintain this path ~ ]
Lu Qi finally reacted after hearing this message,
“You mean…… you will be leaving?”
[ Yes my dear host ~ You must really hate me, the dear system, no~ Now you are released ~ ]
Hearing this Lu Qi’s eyes looked far away, and with his mind taking on a very different perspective, he shook his head,
“I don’t hate you.”
[ Wuwuwu I’m so touched, I have tortured you so many times, my dear host, but to me you…… ]
Lu Qi expressionlessly said.
[ …… (biting handkerchief) ]
If the system had a human form, it must be in a tearful state with a constipated look.
The corners of Lu Qi’s mouth tugged up and he suddenly and lightly chuckled,
“I am really thankful to you……”
“Not everyone who has done something wrong has a chance to fix their mistakes.
Thank you for letting me have a second chance, to catch those who I have missed and to give back to those who I have wronged……”
The system was silent for very long time before it said,
[ Not everyone has the clarity and good sense that you have come to gain.
Some people, even if they have a second do-over, still do not have a good life.
But you, you are very lucky.
Someone lying on the king size bed inside was shifting his body and that person furrowed his eyebrows, trying to hold onto something.
He seemed to be muttering something incomprehensible and then flipped over to get out of bed.
Rubbing his eyes, he looked over to the balcony just as the system rang its last few sounds inside Lu Qi’s head.
[ Ding! Activating System Withdrawal, please make your preparations my dear host.
Starting Program Check,
Program Check Complete.
This mission has been completed to its conclusion.
We are thankful for our every encounter.
See you never again ~ ]
Lu Qi’s waist was grabbed by someone behind him and Huo Ming Chen’s sleep befuddled voice rang out as he put his head against his shoulder,
“What are you doing standing out on the balcony so early in the morning? Aren’t you cold?”
Lu Qi chuckled but didn’t say anything.
He turned his head a little bit to kiss his face, but Huo Ming Chen was very displeased, pinching Lu Qi’s chin,
“Why did you not kiss the lips?”
Lu Qi laughed out loud,
“Puh hahahaha because you didn’t brush your teeth.”
“Fuck! You didn’t fucking brush your teeth either!”
For the both of them, this was a perfect capture of the rest of their lives.
Besides the floating clouds in the sky and their hair turning white with the passing of many moons, nothing would change.
And we are done! For Volume 1 ✧｡٩(ˊᗜˋ)و✧*｡ Once again, Plum and I cannot thank everyone enough for reading, commenting and liking for almost 2 months! Thank you for coming along this journey with us from our fledging kindle to now a rolling snowball by itself… (๑◕︵◕๑)
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