“Ding” — The clear, crisp sound alerted them to the arrival of the lift. Gu Xiaoshan looked at the cold metal doors in front of him, then remembered that he was no longer the youth of his past, but that elementary student Renzi was still next to him just the same. Gu Xiaoshan, without any reason, felt a satisfaction in his heart.
“Was it that time?” Gu Xiaoshan said, “That time when you fell and hurt your knee?”
Renzi paused, “What knee?”
As the numbers displayed on the screen inside the lift increased, Gu Xiaoshan’s train of thoughts also became clearer. He had heard it incorrectly. He remembered that that did not happen as “Rose Mountain”, but “Qiang Mountain1“. Gu Xiaoshan had remembered that summer camp, but Renzi did not seem to have any recollection of it, even forgetting about injuring his knee.
When they went to Rose Mountain, it was when Renzi had finished his AS exams. Their school was famous for having 91% of the students receiving As for the AS-level exams, but Renzi clearly belonged to the 9%. As for the top student Gu Xiaoshan, he had long been on the “roll of honour” to spur on the “later generations”. He then made an overseas call to Gu Xiaoshan studying in an overseas university to complain, “My AS results are like this, what am I going to do about the A2 exams? As a person who has gone through it, can you tell me about it? Are the A2s difficult?”
A curve-wrecker2 saying that it was not difficult. He thought about it, then decided it was better if he did not listen to that.
Renzi then asked, “Then, comparing A2 with AS, is it more difficult?”
By then, Gu Xiaoshan had already matured. Studying in a university, he was no longer that silly kid going through puberty, and so his tone was a lot more gentle, “It’s hard to say. But I think that you don’t have to be so pessimistic. You don’t have to take as many exams for A2 as compared to AS. You can choose the subjects that you’re stronger in, and it may be even more relaxing.”
But Renzi pouted, “Here’s the problem… I, I don’t have any subjects that I’m strong in!”
“Relax, actually it’s fine even if you don’t get any As. Your dad actually doesn’t expect too much with regards to your studies.”
Gu Xiaoshan did not really understand Old Mister Yu’s way of education. The consequences of Renzi getting an F in school was not as serious as Renzi telling a lie. This was definitely the opposite in the Gu family. Old Mister Gu had said, “My children have to be the most outstanding ones.” However, Old Mister Yu said, “He’s just like this, it’s fine as long as he doesn’t follow bad examples.”
Renzi then responded, “I know, but I still want to get good grades.”
When Renzi said that he “wants to get good grades”, it was different from when other curve fodders3 said they “want to get good grades”. Most curve fodders would only say that they wanted to score well, but they would still go sing their songs, dance their dances, and just before the exams, they would cry about their headaches after studying a few pages of their schoolwork, exclaiming that “as expected, even after putting in hard work it’s still useless”. However, Renzi would really put in the effort to study, but in the end, he still would not get the A.
This also made Gu Xiaoshan feel a little for him, and he advised, “It seems like you don’t really like studying anyway. It’s still better for you to remain happy.”
Renzi said bitterly, “But… If I don’t score well, then I wouldn’t be able to become Brother Xiaoshan’s schoolmate anymore right?”
“Hmm?” Gu Xiaoshan paused, then laughed, “Is this very important?”
“It’s very important!” Renzi declared loudly, as though expressing his determination. “I will work harder!”
Gu Xiaoshan made fun of him, “Will you be able to get B for your best subject?”
Renzi was extremely happy, “I got B for theatre! Everyone even says that it must be because as a person, I’m very dramatic!”
Gu Xiaoshan joked as well, “Then, you should go study performance arts.”
After a bout of derision, Gu Xiaoshan actually felt a little upset. It might be because he knew that no matter how hard Renzi worked, he would also not be able to get admitted to his school. He suddenly wanted to hug Renzi. However, thinking about it, after high school, they would rarely have such intimacy anymore, as they were now older. However, it would still be nice to see him, and so Gu Xiaoshan invited him on a holiday. “We’ll treat it as a celebration, celebrating that you got a B.”
Renzi thought, got a B? It sounded just like he was scolding a person4. Next time, he should still work hard to get an A.
Getting an A, it sounded so much more polite.
Gu Xiaoshan was supposed to go for an internship, but he cancelled it for this.
Gu Xiaoshan was the one who decided on Rose Mountain, saying that he had never been there before, and wanted to go there and take a look. Renzi then piped up, “Then I’ll go with Brother Xiaoshan to take a look.”
But of course, there could not just be only the two of them, as that would be too strange. They still have to find some suitable travelling buddies.
However, Gu Xiaoshan now could no longer who had went with them. Those people had long faded away in his memories, only leaving that bright and lively sixteen year old Renzi behind.
However, Renzi could remember it. He said that he was going on a holiday with Gu Xiaoshan, and the people around him immediately responded positively, saying they wanted to go as well. Renzi was not good at rejecting people, and he too liked the bustle of a crowd, so sent the name list of people who wanted to join them to the overseas Gu Xiaoshan. Seeing that name list, Gu Xiaoshan asked, “Are we forming a group tour?”
“Everyone says that they want to come, it doesn’t seem very nice to refuse them?”
Aware of that, Gu Xiaoshan could only nod his head.
So in the end, a large group of people gathered on Rose Mountain. Most of them were female school juniors who did not know that Gu Xiaoshan was gay. Renzi had thought Gu Xiaoshan’s “group tour” was a random remark, but he did not expect, that when they reached, there really was a local guide there that Gu Xiaoshan had contacted. This really saved them some worries, if not this group of people would also not know what to do — actually, it was not too difficult to make arrangements for them, but Gu Xiaoshan could not be bothered to spend this effort.
Under the directions of the local guide, the group of people moved into a local guesthouse. At dinner, Gu Xiaoshan dragged Renzi off and got into a car. Renzi discovered that in the car was his luggage, this had clearly been premeditated. Renzi was astounded. Gu Xiaoshan said, “The local guide would take care of them.”
Renzi had heard that the view of the moon on Rose Mountain was very famous.
He looked out of the window, “What a pity, this isn’t the season to come to Rose Mountain, right?”
Gu Xiaoshan held a cigarette in his mouth. “It isn’t. But although the season’s not right, the moon would still be there.”
Renzi looked up, and there was really a round and big moon, shining through the desolate branches.
“It looks a little creepy.” In the car, Renzi was a little scared.
“Don’t worry. It’ll be fine as long as you don’t go out.”
“Don’t go out?”
“Yes, don’t go out by yourself. Beware of a wolf carrying you off.” Gu Xiaoshan smiled slightly as he scared him.
Renzi shrunk, then grumbled, “Why are we going to see the moon? Doesn’t the moon look the same everywhere? Why do we have to come to a place with wolves to see the moon?”
“All the moons in the world have withered, while Rose Mountain’s moon is still round.” Gu Xiaoshan suddenly recited a line of poetry, and his voice was like the wind on the mountain, cool, gentle, and smooth as silk.
This was the first time Renzi had seen such a literary Gu Xiaoshan, and was unexpectedly stunned by him. As the moon was too bright, Gu Xiaoshan’s profile glowed. There seemed to be a glass bottle in Renzi’s heart, half-filled with moonlight, and half-filled with spring water, swirling away — Yu Yunren thought, no wonder all the girls liked Brother Xiaoshan.