Gu Xiaoshan saw Mu Chutong’s reaction and was alarmed to realise that he had lost his composure. Panting slightly, he twisted his head towards the window. Mu Chutong chewed on the cookie, feeling rather startled as well. He had known Gu Xiaoshan for so many years, but this was really the first time he had heard Gu Xiaoshan speak so loudly. Right from the moment Gu Xiaoshan opened the door for him, his behaviour had been very abnormal, and completely different from what he was usually like.
Mu Chutong pointed at the cookies again. “You really don’t want any? It’s brown sugar flavoured, suitable for you.”
“Why is brown sugar suitable for me?”
“Look at you. Your mood swings, your pale face, one look and I can tell you’re on your period. Have some brown sugar, it’s good for you.” Mu Chutong spread his palms open.
Gu Xiaoshan ignored his stupid joke.
Mu Chutong said, “Since you’re not on your period, that means your relationship ended?”
Gu Xiaoshan tightened his jaw. “What did you say?”
“Wow!” Mu Chutong got his answer after seeing Gu Xiaoshan’s response, and was surprised. “Your father is really impressive! So impressive! You guys split up already? Then why did he look for me? He’s really being prepared for everything!”
“We didn’t split!” Gu Xiaoshan’s answer was resolute, and he gritted his teeth.
Mu Chutong also did not want to continue tugging at the tiger’s whiskers anymore, and smiled. “If you say you haven’t, then you definitely haven’t. Looking at how you’re behaving, your feelings seem to be real this time? I would never have thought so! Then I’ll wish the two of you a happy ever after?”
Gu Xiaoshan was in no mood to play word games with Mu Chutong. “What did my father want you to do?”
Mu Chutong spread his palms open. “What else? Get close to you, lure you in, seduce you, flirt with you. At the crucial moment, get you drunk, and create a misunderstanding between you and President Ren — you know, just like how they do it on television.”
Gu Xiaoshan laughed. “You’re really open, that you can do such things!”
“Hey, those words are not pleasant to hear! If I’m open, I wouldn’t have confessed all this to you.” Mu Chutong pointed at himself, “I, I also have my dignity! I have my bottom line!”
Gu Xiaoshan chuckled. “Then when you lured me in then, why didn’t you have any of that?”
At that time, Mu Chutong had brazenly chased Gu Xiaoshan. Mu Chutong was not shy about recalling it. “You didn’t have a boyfriend then, what was shameless about me chasing after you? Chasing a man, is there a need to think about my face? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t be able to lure you in even if I had 8 lifetimes. You’re so high up there, while I’m Ouyang Feng 1”
Gu Xiaoshan waved him off, his head hurting a little. “Don’t mention the past anymore.”
“Afraid that your little boyfriend would be unhappy hearing it?” Mu Chutong asked, “Isn’t it more annoying to keep hiding it? Are you treating him like a fool?!”
This sentence jabbed right into Gu Xiaoshan’s sore spot, and Gu Xiaoshan glared at him. “What does that have to do with you?”
“Of course it has to do with me, I’ve been paid to deal with this!” Mu Chutong spoke self-righteously. “If you guys can’t get over this hurdle, who am I going to get my money from?”
Gu Xiaoshan’s face again started darkening hearing the words “can’t get over this hurdle”.
In the past, Mu Chutong had scorned Gu Xiaoshan’s sweet words belying a sharp tongue, but now he had started to miss that handsome guy who could always smile despite being unhappy.
Gu Xiaoshan had only lost control of his emotions during this moment, but in the eyes of Mu Chutong, it was too alarming.
As for Yu Yunren’s inability to remain calm, everyone had expected it.
Because of the time difference, Gu Xiaoshan’s night was Renzi’s day.
At home, Renzi was extremely upset, and he was howling away. He did not eat anything the entire day, only laying about at home. Old Mister Yu was rather worried about him, but he could not do anything about it. Pulling at Zhi Xuan, he said, “I’ve been too strict with him usually, and he gets scared when he sees me. There’s probably many things he feel that he wouldn’t be able to say to me. He’s pretty close to you, why don’t you go ask him about it?”
Zhi Xuan then said, “I was planning on doing so.”
However, the first thing Zhi Xuan was worried about was that Renzi had not yet eaten, and so got the staff at home to prepare a bowl of porridge. He brought it himself to Renzi’s room, and did not ask why Renzi was unhappy, only saying, “You didn’t really eat anything in the afternoon. I guess your stomach must be feeling uncomfortable, so I got you a bowl of porridge.”
Renzi replied gloomily, “Just leave it there.”
“It’s a rare occasion that I’ll enter the kitchen! Your brother hasn’t even had the opportunity to eat anything I made, and yet I’ve prepared it for you! You’re not eating? No way!” Zhi Xuan lied, saying that the porridge was made by him. Actually, how would he know how to make it? At home, it was always Yu Yuntao cooking.
Renzi accepted the porridge with difficulty. Under Zhi Xuan’s urging gaze, he unwillingly picked up the spoon. “Can this even be eaten?”
“What are you saying? Of course it can.” Zhi Xuan too was afraid that what he made would be inedible, and so got the staff to prepare it instead. “Quick, try it and see if it’s good. If it is, I’ll make it for your brother too.”
Renzi had a mouthful and frowned. “Why does this taste the same as the one Auntie makes?”
“How can that be? Have a couple of tastes to see. Try the meat, does it taste the same as well?”
Reniz listened to Zhi Xuan, and had a few more bites. “It’s the same!”
“That’s not right, I did add a few drops of sesame oil.”
“You added sesame oil when you made the porridge?” Renzi was quite surprised.
“Yes, you can’t taste it?” Zhi Xuan asked.
Renzi slurped the porridge down. The more he ate, the more he felt that it was impossible for there to be sesame oil in the porridge. However, being coaxed and deceived by Zhi Xuan, he finally finished most of it.
Zhi Xuan took the empty bowl away, and his eyes turned about the room. Seeing the dark screen of his phone, he said, “Your phone isn’t switched on? Is it out of battery? I’ll help you charge it.”
“Don’t!” Renzi stopped him, “Don’t touch it!”
Renzi thought about it, and decided to tell Zhi Xuan the truth. “I’ve switched it off. I’m afraid Brother Xiaoshan would look for me.”
“You’re afraid he would look for you?” Zhi Xuan frowned questioningly, “Weren’t the two of you getting along fine? When he called you, you even called him ‘hubby’.”
Renzi felt upset hearing that, “Yes… But you were right, he’s been lying to me the entire time!”
Zhi Xuan felt his impending doom. “What? What did I say? I didn’t say anything!”
Renzi had kept this grievance in his heart for a very long time. Seeing Zhi Xuan, everything burst forward. “Didn’t you say, that everyone would dodge the problem by just saying that their current partner is their ‘first love’? And when faced with a question that is difficult to answer, just dodge it by answering it with another question… Brother Xiaoshan always does that to me! And I’m the fool, always feeling happy about it! He’s actually just lying to me!” Renzi felt as though tears were welling up in him.
Zhi Xuan’s temples started aching, feeling that he really had messed up. He quickly spoke up, “Your brother and me are also always doing this to each other, this cannot be considered dodging or lying! It’s actually part of the fun of being together!”
“This isn’t lying? But I feel like I’ve been lied to!” Renzi’s voice was hoarse, sounding like he was going to cry. “Also, I finally understand. If I haven’t forced him the way I did, he wouldn’t have started dating me! He also admitted that he had wanted to marry Mu Chutong. Then, what am I? I’m a fool!”
Zhi Xuan was troubled, and only said, “Then, then you mean….”
“Done, we’re done.” Renzi could not control himself, and bawled out loud. Hugging his pillow, he said, “But I really don’t want to do that!”
Renzi buried his face in his pillow, whimpering away, like a young girl who had her heart broken. Zhi Xuan sighed, rubbing Renzi’s back. “You’re now lost in your emotions, so maybe you won’t be able to hear this. However, I feel that Gu Xiaoshan’s feelings towards you aren’t false. Is there a misunderstanding somewhere? You’ve chased him with so much effort in the past, and you’re now finally together, that’s hard to come by! Just because of a misunderstanding, you’re giving up on this relationship that you’ve fought to get, I’m afraid that when you think through it in the future, you’ll regret it!”
Regret was the most useless thing.
It could not change the reality, but it could really cause pain.
So, Gu Xiaoshan was always trying his best to avoid doing anything he would regret. He would always assess things logically, and managed to prevent many risks from occurring. Handling his matters in this manner allowed him to not make any decisions he would regret over the years.
However, when it came to Renzi, Gu Xiaoshan always broke his own rules.
Both him and his father were victims of Tang Guoguo’s behaviour, and the two men shared the same fear. For many people, a passionate love would be like the sun, while for him, it was traumatic. He had always worked to prevent himself from falling into the whirlpool of romance. After so many years, he had done it skilfully and easily, having many entanglements but never letting any affect him.
Mu Chutong was his first boyfriend. Their relationship had made a very big fuss, not because their feelings were deep, but because he had used this and rebelled against his father for the first time. At that time, whether it was Mu Chutong, Li Chutong or even Wang Chutong, it would still be the same. He would have imposingly brought this man to his house and tell his father that he was gay, no matter whether he liked it or not.
Many people had thought that he had caused the uproar, even moving out of his home, for Mu Chutong. In actual fact, he had wanted to create this uproar for quite some time, and had wanted to move out long ago already. Mu Chutong was only a stepping stone. Also, the more devoted to Mu Chutong he looked in front of his father, the angrier his father would be and he would then lose his composure. This made Gu Xiaoshan, who had been under his father’s thumb for many years, extremely satisfied.
In the end, his father had resorted to a very inelegant method, using money to chase Mu Chutong away. He then gleefully told Gu Xiaoshan, “The person you like isn’t much to speak of!”
Gu Xiaoshan was not the least bit heartbroken, and even felt rather relaxed. He had already moved away, and was starting to become independent. If Mu Chutong was still around, he might have even become a hassle. Gu Xiaoshan vaguely felt that Mu Chutong knew he did not have any strong feelings for him, and so he might as well just take the money and leave. This would prevent the situation from worsening, and with him ending up with nothing.
And Gu Xiaoshan had never placed any importance on this “relationship”. He had always felt that he had no cares for anyone, until he discovered Renzi’s sudden feelings.
For someone to signal their intentions towards him out of nowhere was nothing surprising for Gu Xiaoshan. He knew his own attraction, even if he did not have his appearance, and looked as ugly as a pig, he would still have no lack of pursuers. He had long been used to such matters, and no matter how passionate the love was, he usually felt nothing towards it. He had even thought that he had left his trauma behind.
Only when Renzi started chasing him was he alarmed to find out how wrong he was.
The trauma had always followed him, even becoming his shadow, and so he had not realised it. Renzi’s love had made him terrified, and so he chose to run away, ignoring Renzi, and accepted his father arranging a blind date for him. He was quietly waiting for Renzi to give up in face of such difficulties, so that they could return to being good friends. No matter what, he did not want to lose Renzi as a friend. Still, when Renzi had became Shu Jingyi’s prey in Country C, he suddenly realised that not only did he not want to lose Renzi as a friend, there was no way in hell that he wanted to lose Renzi’s love.
He did not know when his feelings for Renzi had exceeded the safety zone.
However, he was still very unfamiliar with such sincere feelings. He was unwilling to move jerkily through this dance for two, afraid that he would fall behind. He then used sly methods to hide his worry, and employed tactics that he was familiar with to maintain his ease. Like this, he could remain looking elegant and untroubled, just like a perfect lover.
But there clearly was a problem here.
He was not a perfect lover, and he was unable to continue pretend being so.
When the mask fell, and the music stopped, everything would go back to what it once was. He could turn and run away, preventing his dance partner from seeing his flaws — or, he could choose not to do so.
Renzi had switched off his phone because he was afraid of a call from Gu Xiaoshan. He knew that by speaking to Gu Xiaoshan, his resolution would definitely be shaken. Renzi even suspected that Gu Xiaoshan could cast a spell of sorts, because just by saying something, he could make his mind turn around, and make him lose his ability to discern matters.
It was as though he was a siren singing at him.
With Zhi Xuan’s consolation, Renzi felt a little better, and could listen to Zhi Xuan’s advice. When his feelings somewhat calmed down, he then switched on his phone. According to his phone’s notifications, Gu Xiaoshan did try to call him many times. In reality, Gu Xiaoshan called a few times, and after realising that Renzi’s phone was off, he knew that even if he continued calling, his call would be rejected. However, he still tried calling many more times, acting fruitlessly.
Renzi was quite upset about it, and could not help speculating, if the call came through, what would Brother Xiaoshan tell me? What song would this siren sing?
However, he would never know. He received a message from an unfamiliar number, but it was clearly from Gu Xiaoshan. He suspected that his number had been blacklisted, and so changed to another number to send him a message, and in it were only three lines.
“This is Gu Xiaoshan, I don’t agree to splitting up.
We’ll talk about the rest when I’m back.
I love you.”
Seeing this, Renzi’s heart was flustered. Oh no oh no, the siren is singing again!
Because of this short message, the ashes in his heart had actually re-lit again, and there were even fireworks exploding within him!
Still, he did not know that for Gu Xiaoshan to use the word “love”, it was something that took him a lot of effort.