Edited by Isalee
Bai Xinyu heard someone from behind calling out to him. Right now, he could no longer estimate the distance. That voice was tangled with the wind, light and floaty, and it was actually quite pleasant-sounding…
Next, his body was supported by two powerful arms. They were very muscular, and the chest he was lying against was broad and firm, providing a great sense of security. Bai Xinyu barely managed to force his eyes open, only to see a very nicely shaped jaw, as well as thin lips that were brushed lightly with colour. Those lips were calling his name, but unfortunately, he was too dizzy, and he felt that the voice was very far away from him.
Seeing how his eyes were unfocused, Yu Fengcheng gave a strong tap on his face. “Bai Xinyu, you’ve really fainted?”
Feng Dongyuan and Qian Liang had both run over. Feng Dongyuan went forward, “Xinyu? Are you alright? I’ll take you to the infirmary, ok?”
Xu Chuang walked over, unhurried. “Why take him to the infirmary? Just take him to the canteen, and give him some electrolytes.”
Feng Dongyuan said quietly, “Sir, it looks like he’s about to faint.”
Xu Chuang glanced sideways at him. “So young and yet so physically weak. He’s a rich boy who only knows how to drink and smoke, right? Just listen to me and give him some electrolytes. It also happens to be time for breakfast now, and he’ll be alright after a meal.”
Crouching down, he tapped Bai Xinyu’s shoulder with a military belt. “You still owe half a lap of 500 metres. Complete it tomorrow.”
Bai Xinyu rolled his eyes, wishing that he could just faint away.
Yu Fengcheng helped Bai Xinyu up from the ground, carrying him on his back.
Actually, by then, Bai Xinyu had already recovered a little. Standing up on his own would not be an issue. However, his laziness took over, as well as a desire of wanting to take revenge on Yu Fengcheng. As such, he feigned dizziness, and like a sloth, he pressed his entire body weight against Yu Fengcheng, thinking that one less step he had to take was a step gained. The distance from the parade grounds to the canteen was about one kilometre, and he’d see if he could exhaust this jinx!
Yu Fengcheng shifted him up a little, heading to the canteen with Bai Xinyu on his back, while Feng Dongyuan and Qian Liang were next to them.
Seeing how red Bai Xinyu’s face was, Feng Dongyuan kept on fanning his face with his hand. He said a little anxiously, “Nothing’ll happen to him, right?”
Qian Liang said, “He’ll be fine. He’s young and strong. It’s only running after all. What could possibly happen?”
Feng Dongyuan sighed, “Really… Wouldn’t everything have been fine if you just woke up a little earlier?”
Yu Fengcheng responded coldly, “How could he have that sort of self-awareness? If not for people waking him up, he would not be running only seven kilometres today.”
Bai Xinyu secretly cursed Yu Fengcheng, but deep within himself, he also vaguely felt that Yu Fengcheng was not wrong… Why didn’t he just wake up earlier today? Even if it was just a minute earlier, he would not have to embarrass himself, or suffer such torture. Sprawled across Yu Fengcheng’s back, his nose started to sting a little, as though he was about to weep. If his mother knew that he was suffering so much in the army, would her heart ache? Would she regret it?
The distance did not seem very far from the parade ground to the canteen, but with a seventy-odd-kilogram person on his back, it was not an effortless task. By the time Yu Fengcheng arrived at the canteen, he was already all sweaty.
He placed Bai Xinyu on a chair, wiping the sweat on his forehead. Looking at how Bai Xinyu’s eyelids were trembling, yet not daring to open them, Yu Fengcheng felt both anger and amusement.
Feng Dongyuan and Qian Liang went to look for electrolyte drinks and warm water. The usually bustling canteen was currently quiet and empty. With rows and rows of vacant chairs and tables, it seemed a little lonely.
Yu Fengcheng inhaled deeply, then gave Bai Xinyu a kick. “You’re still gonna pretend?”
Bai Xinyu closed his eyes tightly, not daring to move a single bit.
Yu Fengcheng bent down, supporting himself against the table with his hands. He leant into Bai Xinyu’s face, whispering, “If you continue pretending, I’m going to kiss you.”
Bai Xinyu shuddered internally and immediately feigned as though he had just regained consciousness. Opening his eyes, he looked at Yu Fengcheng feebly. To Yu Fengcheng, that clumsy and inept acting looked very comical.
Yu Fengcheng narrowed his eyes. “Are you not conscious yet? Shall I bring you to the showers?”
Bai Xinyu hurriedly said, “No, no need, I’m feeling a lot better now.”
The two people were very close to each other, their noses almost pressed together. As such, Bai Xinyu could clearly see the beads of sweat on Yu Fengcheng’s bright and clean forehead. Thinking about how the man had carried him all the way to the canteen, a peculiar feeling rose in Bai Xinyu’s heart. Perhaps, this person might only have a nasty tongue, and his character might not actually be that bad?
Pinching his chin, Yu Fengcheng threatened, “It was really comfortable lying on my back, wasn’t it? I didn’t carry you for free. You’ll be washing my clothes for a week.”
Bai Xinyu gulped, immediately retracting his previous thoughts. He tried to fight back. “I don’t know how to wash clothes.”
Yu Fengcheng patted his cheek flirtatiously, allowing him no negotiation. “Learn it.”
Bai Xinyu looked at him with bitterness in his eyes, and on his face was an indignant expression.
By then, Feng Dongyuan and Qian Liang had both returned. They had a green water bottle, the sort used in the army, and it was filled with water.
Feng Dongyuan was delighted. “Xinyu, you’re awake? Are you feeling better?”
Bai Xinyu nodded. “Water…” He was parched.
Feng Dongyuan hurriedly handed the bottle to him, and Bai Xinyu immediately gulped a large mouthful. In the end, just as he swallowed, he immediately spat it out. Although he knew that it was saltwater, he did not know that it could be so fucking salty!
Qian Liang scratched his head, chuckling embarrassedly. “Maybe… I added too much salt?”
Bai Xinyu could not stop coughing from the disgusting taste.
Feng Dongyuqan quickly went to get him a cup of water, and Bai Xinyu finally managed to drink some down, feeling the burning sensation in his throat being somewhat doused.
After drinking some water, Bai Xinyu took in a deep breath. Grabbing onto Feng Dongyuan’s arm, he spoke as though he had suffered through the utmost torture, “Let me tell you, just now, I felt as though I was about to die.”
Feng Dongyuan consoled him. “It’s alright, you’ve now recovered. You must keep in mind this lesson, and wake up earlier in the future. Don’t repeat your mistake.”
Bai Xinyu was angry. “Xu Chuang is just targeting me! Just because I was 40 seconds late, he wanted me to be exhausted to death! Right from the start, he never liked me, and he’s deliberately making things difficult for me!”
Feng Dongyuan’s brows creased. “Xinyu, don’t say that. I don’t feel that the commander is targeting anyone in particular. Also, yesterday, he clearly stated that all he wanted was for you to be a few minutes earlier. You didn’t manage to do that, and it’s normal that he would punish you for that. When you’re faced with such troubles, you also have to do some self-reflection.”
Bai Xinyu wanted to refute him, but he could not come up with the words. His cheeks puffing out in anger, he asked, a little aggrievedly, “Even you, you’re criticising me.”
Feng Dongyuan was a little embarrassed. “I’m not blaming you. I just feel that you should change that temper of yours. My mum always says that when something happens, you must first look at yourself before you look at others. Sometimes, you only need to reflect a little and you’ll understand it.”
Qian Liang spoke up, “Yes, I’ve already told you so many times. Since you’re in Rome, you have to do as Romans do.”
Bai Xinyu still could not accept that completely, but unable to refute a word, he only bowed his head, not saying anything.
Yu Fengcheng flicked his head. “Having a bunch of people younger than you educating you, aren’t you ashamed?”
Feng Dongyuan hurriedly waved his hands. “It’s not educating, I’m not educating you.”
Bai Xinyu leapt up, pushing away Yu Fengcheng’s hand. “Who needs your comments?” He then headed out of the canteen.
Qian Liang called out, “It’s nearly breakfast time, where are you going?”
“I’m making a call.” Bai Xinyu left, not even turning back to respond.
At this time, just like he had expected, there was no one in the reception office. Like a starving man seeing a feast in front of him, Bai Xinyu lunged towards the phone. He sucked in a deep breath, dialling his cousin’s phone number with trembling fingers.
His call was picked up with just a few rings. A lazy drawl came over the phone. “Hello?” That voice was bright, magnetic, and exceedingly pleasant to listen to.
Upon hearing this familiar voice, a thousand emotions welled up within Bai Xinyu. He was excited, nervous, scared, and he was yearning. It felt as though there was a hand around his throat, choking him, and for a moment, he could not make a sound. His hand, holding onto the phone, was quaking. He understood that this was his final hope, and the more he understood, the more he dared not open his mouth. If his cousin were to hang up on him without any hesitation, Bai Xinyu would have been basically kicked off a cliff.
“Hello?” Puzzlement could be heard in Jian Suiying’s voice.
Bai Xinyu’s eyes burned. His throat relaxed, and he called out, “Ge— Save me—
The pain, the grievances, the hopelessness of the past few days had been weighing on him, and the instant he heard his saviour’s voice, Bai Xinyu lost control of his emotions. His voice was so loud that the soldier working the shift at the reception office jerked with shock.
At the moment, Bai Xinyu was already completely immersed in his own world. In a tearful voice, he pleaded, “Ge, save me, please, I was wrong, Ge, I can’t stay even a day more in this place, I’m about to go crazy, Ge!”
The person on the phone seemed to not be able to endure any longer, and he gave a laugh. Bai Xinyu’s heart instantly chilled, and he cried out in alarm and fear, “Ge Ge Ge Ge Ge—”
Jian Suiying roared out, “Shut up, what the hell are you yelling about?!”
Bai Xinyu immediately fell silent, his every sniff shuddering.
Jian Suiying snorted. “You still dare call me? Just think about what you did. Are you enjoying yourself in the army?”
Bai Xinyu whimpered, “Ge, I’ve let you down. Please let me off, I won’t do it again.” He was truly regretful now. If he was able to go home, he would definitely turn over a new leaf. He wouldn’t gamble anymore, wouldn’t fool around anymore, he would work properly, and he would improve himself…
Sneering, Jian Suiying asked, “Let you off? Return me the three houses you swallowed and I’ll immediately let you come back.”
Upon hearing this, Bai Xinyu’s despair increased. How could he afford to pay those three houses back? He begged for mercy, “Ge, this place is really in the middle of nowhere, with no cellular reception. I have to wake up every morning at 5, and there’s not even a single girl here. They also keep bullying me, and they always look down on me… Ge… Let me go home, please, I beg you…”
Bai Xinyu’s words were getting more incoherent, as his whimpers and sobs interspersed his words. He only knew that Jian Suiying was his own hope, but he could feel that this hope was abandoning him…
Jian Suiying raged, “I’m fucking talking to you about the houses, why are you telling me all that? You’re the one who caused yourself to end up in a place like that. Ever since you were a child, when have I ever wronged you? And yet you fucking stole my money behind my back! Did your conscience get eaten by a dog, or is there nothing but shit in your brains?! Huh?!”
Bai Xinyu cried, “Ge, I’m sorry, I’ve let you down, I’ve let you down. I didn’t want it, I…”
He glanced over to the soldier on shift, lowering his voice. “I owed money to the loan sharks, and with their knife at my throat, how could I dare not pay them back? Furthermore, it was Xiao-Linzi who instigated me, if not, how could I have dared—”
“What did you say?!” Jian Suiying exploded. “What did you just say?”
Bai Xinyu sobbed, “Ge, I have been avoiding you, not because I was afraid that you’ll beat me up… No, I’m also afraid that you’ll beat me up. It’s mainly because if I see you, I won’t dare to lie anymore, but I also don’t dare to tell the truth, I’m scared.”
“Don’t fucking blabber on, what did you say about Xiao-Linzi just now?!” There was a sense of urgency in Jian Suiying’s voice, and it no longer held the previous mockery.
Trembling, Bai Xinyu said, “It was Xiao-Linzi who taught me how to do it. I owed a gambling debt, and I couldn’t pay it. I didn’t dare tell my parents and you, but he found out. He said that he could help me, but I can’t let you know… Those houses didn’t go through me at all. He just gave me 3 million to settle my debts, th-then he took those houses away. After that, I-I was afraid that you’ll find me, and so I-I ran overseas. I didn’t dare come back, because, other than being afraid that you’d blame me, I-I was also scared that you would not be able to take this information.”
“Fuck you!” Jian Suiying yelled. “Bai Xinyu! If you fucking even had a brain, you should have fucking let me know earlier!”
Bai Xinyu was so frightened that his heart pounded fiercely. “Ge, I’m sorry…”
He had always felt guilty towards Jian Suiying. Although he was quite useless as a person, he still understood who was good to him. Even though his cousin would sometimes beat him up, he truly treated him like a younger brother. At that time he had completely lost his mind and had turned desperate because of his debt. However, now, he was truly remorseful!
Quivering, he pleaded, “Ge, I was wrong, I will never do it again, I’ve let you down. You can beat me up however you like, I swear I will definitely change this time, I won’t gamble anymore, really! I beg you, Ge, I’ve confessed everything to you already. Please let me off, please let me go home, Ge—” He started crying again.
Gnashing his teeth, Jian Suiying said, “You fucking idiot, just stay there for the rest of your life.” Jian Suiying immediately ended the call.
Dazedly, Bai Xinyu looked at the receiver, seeming as though his soul had left his body.