When Ji Sheng opened his eyes, he touched his sore waist and felt that the world was about to collapse.
All kinds of red fingerprints and tooth marks on his body reminded him of what happened, and the intermittent memory fragments clearly recorded the tragedy of the last night.
Ji Sheng, physical age eighteen, actual age unknown.
After twenty years of pitiful companionship with his right hand, he finally broke away from the chains of virginity yesterday in the hands of someone who had been secretly in love with him for many years and from whom he had just decided to stay away.
His brain taunted him mercilessly, and Ji Sheng hugged his head and wailed, not happy to celebrate.
He collapsed for two seconds, then turned over and sat up. The purple bruises on his inner thigh made his eyelid twitch and he hastily pulled over the quilt to hide the unforgiving marks.
Ji Sheng raised his hand at a loss, trying to scratch his head and touched a tooth mark on the back of his neck.
He jerked his hand away as if electrocuted.
Ji Sheng blushed to the tips of his ears and gritted his teeth.
You are really a dog, right?
The sound of pattering water came from the bathroom, restoring Ji Sheng’s sanity.
Xie Xuanming was inside.
Ji Sheng was now facing an important choice——to stay or to run away.
Ji Sheng didn’t hesitate. He turned over and got out of bed but his expression changed as soon as he landed on his feet.
The viscous liquid trickled down the side of his leg, and the indescribable stinging sensation went all the way to the core of his brain.
Ji Sheng didn’t really want to know what the liquid was.
But he was pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to leave.
He stood in despair when the bathroom door suddenly opened.
Ji Sheng leapt up like a carp and fell heavily back onto the bed.
Xie Xuanming came out wiping his hair, his expression no different from the previous day; but when he walked around the corner and caught a glimpse of Ji Sheng, who was neatly wrapped in a quilt on the bed, he paused slightly.
The two looked at each other, the embarrassment spreading between them.
Xie Xuanming was the first to speak: “Last night…”
“What happened last night…” Ji Sheng interrupted, “It’s my problem. I’m really sorry to pull you into it… If you find it unsightly, I will move out tomorrow, don’t worry!”
Xie Xuanming felt weird. The fact was that last night’s drunken recklessness could only be blamed on both parties, and if they had to divide the responsibility, his own lustful self was definitely more at fault than the delirious Ji Hui.
Now Ji Hui was the first to admit his guilt and apologise, making Xie Xuanming, a madman with little humanity, feel a bit guilty.
“No problem.” Xie Xuanming rarely was out of words, “I will… compensate as much as I can. If you need anything, just talk to me.”
He made such a promise and Ji Sheng was not too polite: “I want to move out.”
Xie Xuanming frowned slightly, “Choose something else.”
Ji Sheng said cheerfully: “Senior’s quality of sleep has improved a lot recently and he can fall asleep without looking at me. The current situation… It is inconvenient and uncomfortable for me to continue to live in the villa. It will be much better to move out.”
He was telling the truth. Xie Xuanming had rarely woken up from nightmares recently to open his eyes to look at “Ji Hui”.
Besides, with Niepan frequent rehearsals, it took a lot of time and was difficult to get there.
But Xie Xuanming still insisted: “Choose something else.”
“Choose something else.”
“Just…” A little weak, Ji Sheng changed the topic, “I want to take a shower.”
Xie Xuanming was stunned by this sudden twist: “Why?”
“…” Ji Sheng said succinctly, “You didn’t have a condom.”
Xie Xuanming was silent for a couple of seconds and made way to the bathroom.
Ji Sheng paused for a moment, pushed away the quilt, got out of bed naked and walked to the bathroom.
“There are bathrobes in the bathroom. I asked someone to buy the clothes and they will be delivered in a while.” As he passed by, Xie Xuanming said with his eyes downcast.
“Thank you.” Ji Sheng paused, raised his head curiously and said, “Are you blushing?”
After two seconds of silence, Xie Xuanming took off the towel on his head, covered him, then opened the bathroom door with lightning speed, pushed Ji Sheng in and closed the door again with a bang.
It takes four steps to put an elephant in the fridge.
It only takes one second to lock Ji Sheng in the bathroom.
Xie Xuanming took a deep breath.
While Ji Sheng was washing up, Xie Xuanming went down to contact his assistant. Ji Sheng also went downstairs, found a wall to lean against and waited.
He was thinking about whether to run away now when a familiar face appeared not far away.
“Are you okay?” Huang Sizhe rushed over, his anxious expression turning to anger when he saw the ambiguous marks above Ji Sheng’s wide collar. Blushing, he grabbed Ji Sheng’s shoulders and gritted his teeth fiercely, “That beast, I was a fucking idiot when I called him!”
“If he didn’t come, I wouldn’t get out of it so easily.” Ji Sheng retorted softly.
Huang Sizhe was even more angry when he saw that he was still defending Xie Xuanming: “You just let him do it, don’t you have any temper at all?!”
Huang Sizhe’s roar surprised Ji Sheng slightly. He raised his eyes, saw the unconcealed worry and anger on the young man’s injured face and read the complex emotions in the depths of his eyes…
Ji Sheng suddenly realized something.
He took a half step back, brushed Huang Sizhe’s hand off his shoulder and said calmly, “Thank you.”
Then he said sincerely and cruelly: “But this is my own business. I know what I’m doing. Don’t worry about it.”
Huang Sizhe opened his eyes wide, unable to believe the alienation in his words but understanding the meaning of drawing a clear line.
Huang Sizhe’s eyes flashed and his shining pupils darkened.
When Xie Xuanming came out, he saw Ji Hui and the bassist of their little crappy band standing face to face.
He took two or three steps past, and all at once the bassist went from frustrated to wary, his eyes glaring menacingly.
Xie Xuanming didn’t bother to pay attention to him, looked down and asked Ji Sheng, “What are you doing?”
“…chatting with a team member.”
“Are you done chatting?”
“Let’s go back?”
“Can I not…”
“No way.” Xie Xuanming categorically refused.
“Then why do you still ask me?” Ji Sheng sighed.
The man who slept with his friend/secret crush appeared swaggering and brazenly excluded him from the conversation, ignoring him. Huang Sizhe clenched his fists, feeling that Xie Xuanming was provoking him on purpose.
This conclusion was absurd. After all, he was Emperor Xie. For what purpose would he provoke a newcomer who had nothing?
Probably only Xie Xuanming knew the reason.
Huang Sizhe couldn’t help it and raised his voice uncomfortably: “Hey!”
Xie Xuanming finally noticed him and cast a charitable look: “You are?..”
“Huang Sizhe.” Ji Sheng reminded, “Niepan member.”
He added: “Niepan is the band I am in.”
“Mr. Huang Sizhe.” Xie Xuanming’s voice was kind, ”Please go to the police station this afternoon to do an injury assessment, and then ask your company to inform my assistant of the situation.”
“Why should I listen to you?” Huang Sizhe was like a barrel of dynamite on fire, unable to keep calm in front of Xie Xuanming, “What kind of a good guy are you?”
Xie Xuanming didn’t even raise his eyes: “If you want to let Zhao Wenhua go, I won’t bother with you anymore.”
Huang Sizhe was furious: “Who wants to let that bastard go?!”
“Then go.” Xie Xuanming sneered and said bluntly, “The wounds on your face are your only value now. If you don’t make use of them in time, after they heal, you can go around yelling about Zhao Wenhua’s evil deeds until your throat is hoarse and see how many fools will believe you.”
“Go ahead.” Ji Sheng inserted, looking at Huang Sizhe, “People like Zhao Wenhua, if we don’t teach him a lesson, he will continue to make trouble.”
Huang Sizhe went silent.
Ji Sheng emphasised: “Please.”
“…okay.” After a short pause, Huang Sizhe squeezed a response through his teeth.
“A testimony is not enough.” Xie Xuanming said, “The injuries on Xiao Huang’s face are not caused by Zhao Wenhua personally, it’s easy for him to escape responsibility.”
“Who is Xiao Huang!!!”
“What’s wrong with Xiao Huang? Xiao Huang is so cute.” Ji Sheng played down the situation, raised his head and said to Xie Xuanming, “I have evidence.”
Xie Xuanming looked at him: “What evidence?”
“I recorded it.” Ji Sheng said, “Before I went out last night, I borrowed a voice recorder from your locker.”
Because of the particularity of the artist’s profession, recording was the norm. Ji Sheng had seen Xie Xuanming use a recorder several times and knew where he stored spare recorders, so he brought one with him before he left home.
“…” Xie Xuanming asked, “Where’s it?”
“In my clothes.” Ji Sheng suddenly remembered, “Clothes?”
Xie Xuanming: “…”
Xie Xuanming: “In the trash can.”
Ji Sheng: “…”
Ji Sheng: “Why are you throwing my clothes away!”
Xie Xuanming: “…”
Xie Xuanming: “Why did you take my voice recorder?”
“Don’t you apologise?”
“I can’t afford it.”
The clothes were eventually retrieved and the waterproof recorder magically still worked. Xie Xuanming cut out the middle section where Zhao Wenhua forced Ji Sheng to drink and sent it to his assistant, asking him to find the glass that contained the drug yesterday and send it for evidence.
“With these, Zhao Wenhua should be able to be sent in.” Sitting in the car, Xie Xuanming said coldly, “Buying prohibited drugs is not a trivial matter.”
“Okay.” Ji Sheng replied, “Senior Xie, did you have a conflict with Zhao Wenhua before?”
“Why do you say that?”
“Zhao Wenhua is very afraid of you.”
“If he was really afraid, he wouldn’t dare to play his tricks.” Xie Xuanming rubbed his temples.
“I didn’t know Zhao Wenhua until I entered the entertainment circle.” He continued, “He had a nasty plan for my… friend.”
“Ah, that’s it…”
Looking back, Ji Sheng vaguely guessed that the strange fainting spell when he was a teenager was not as simple as getting drunk, but now that it was confirmed by Xie Xuanming himself, he had some mixed feelings.
“What did you do? Did you beat him up?”
“En,” Xie Xuanming replied laconically.
A seventeen-year-old boy with wounds on his face and stubborn and angry eyes suddenly appeared in Ji Sheng’s mind.
He was in a daze for a second, then regained his senses. “It’s not good to beat up people,” he said.
“It’s not good to drug people.” Xie Xuanming said coldly, “Let’s not talk about it.”
He didn’t want to mention it, and Ji Sheng stopped asking.
As the car moved forward smoothly, Ji Sheng looked out the window.
His back felt fragile after the strenuous exercise yesterday and after sitting for a while it began to ache sorely. Ji Sheng reached his hand expressionlessly, trying to soothe his delicate nerves.
“You called me Xie Xuanming last night.” Xie Xuanming said suddenly, “Just first and last name, no honorifics.”
“…” The outstretched hand froze in the air; Ji Sheng withdrew it bitterly and said, “I was confused, I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay.” Xie Xuanming said, “You can call me that from now on. Every time you call me Senior Xie or Emperor Xie, I feel as if you are scolding me.”
“…” I’m indeed scolding you.
Ji Sheng was silent.
Xie Xuanming said again: “You also said something to me inexplicably, remember?”
Ji Sheng’s heart missed a beat as he frantically tried to recall whether he had said something wrong. His face remained blank: “I don’t remember, what was it?”
“I’m sorry.” Xie Xuanming repeated clearly, “You said “Xie Xuanming, I’m sorry.”
He turned his head to look at Ji Sheng, his eyes as deep as the endless night sea.
“I’m curious, what are you sorry for?”