“Wencheng! Wencheng!!!” Luo Wencheng stopped Lu Chong from approaching with one hand, turned away and vomited again. The nausea was so strong that he almost vomited out his whole stomach. In the end, he couldn’t vomit anymore. He was still holding his knees and retching uncontrollably, tears flowing from his eyes.
Lu Chong silently patted him on the back, and when he had calmed down a bit, took the water brought by the servant: “Rinse your mouth.”
Luo Wencheng took the water and gargled twice, then took a towel and wiped his face. It took him a long time to get over the nausea, and only then did he realise that Lu Chong’s shoes and trouser legs had been soiled.
“I’m sorry.” There was a nasal sound in his voice. His eyes were red and his whole face was flushed. He looked miserable. Lu Chong took him away from the courtyard that was being cleaned by the servant and touched his face: “Are you feeling better? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have told you this.”
“It has nothing to do with you. I’m fine now, go and clean up.”
“Then sit down for a while, I’ll be down soon.” Lu Chong looked at him and admonished anxiously.
“I’m fine, go ahead.” Luo Wencheng watched Lu Chong go upstairs and sat dumbly on the sofa, still a bit in a daze. Only after a while did he realise that he had a bit of filth on his clothes as well and that he didn’t smell right.
He went upstairs to his room to take a shower.
The old mansion covered a large area but didn’t have many floors. Only the main building had two floors, and there were only two rooms on the second floor. Originally it was a master bedroom and a study, both belonging to the head of the Lu family, that is, Lu Chong. But later Lu Chong converted the study into a bedroom for Luo Wencheng, and the study was moved downstairs.
Lu Chong quickly tidied himself up and went downstairs but saw no one, so he panicked: “Where is he?”
The servant replied, “Mr. Luo has gone to his room.”
Lu Chong went back and knocked on Luo Wencheng’s door. It was unlocked. He pushed the door and heard the sound of rushing water from the bathroom.
He breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed that he had been in this kind of situation of gains and losses for a long time, fearing that if he didn’t watch constantly, Luo Wencheng would disappear again.
He was leaning against the wall facing the bathroom door and had time to think. Luo Wencheng’s reaction was very strange. He was not a squeamish person, so he wouldn’t vomit like that when he heard those few words. His reaction was very much like…
In the bathroom, Luo Wencheng turned off the water and came to the mirror, propped both hands on the sink and looked at himself in the mirror, water dripping down his wet hair. He looked at his fair, intact skin, but those images from his previous life kept flashing in his mind like snapshots.
The nausea that he had felt a moment ago had gone. He wasn’t too sick to throw up again and again over some bugs, but those images were more vivid than ever. He even had the illusion of countless worms crawling all over him.
He could even conjure up that picture of white worms crawling out of his own flesh.
He wiped his face and scratched his hair, his whole being in chaos and confusion. He was conscious of the fact that he was in the wrong state; if he found out about it when he was at his most normal, he would not have reacted so badly. But now, he simply couldn’t control himself, fantasising in the most extreme direction.
He wanted to kill someone!
He was going to go mad!
“Ah!!!” He swept the items off the sink counter with one hand.
With a bang, the bathroom door slammed open, and a nervous Lu Chong burst in, looking at the young man holding on to the sink and gasping for breath. Meeting his fierce cold gaze, Lu Chong was stunned. He took the robe from a side shelf and draped it over Luo Wencheng. Then ignoring the water all over him, he held the young man tightly in his arms, “It’s okay, it’s okay.”
Luo Wencheng’s wet hair pressed against Lu Chong’s shoulder and neck, quickly wetting half of the clothes he had just changed into. He said fiercely, “Lu Chong, I want him dead!”
His voice was hoarse from the strain, but there was a frantic ruthlessness to it, “I want him dead right now, I want to kill him!”
Lu Chong lowered his eyes to hide his emotions and gently soothed, “Okay, let him die, he deserves to die.”
The comforting words said over and over again finally calmed Luo Wencheng’s irritable emotions. Such an exertion made him feel extremely tired. Lu Chong half-helped and half-carried him to the bed. After his hair was dried, Luo Wencheng lay down and fell asleep.
One of his hands still clenched Lu Chong’s clothes tightly.
When Lu Chong looked at him like this, his heart was aching and soft, as if it had melted into a messy lump.
The sun was shining outside the window. It was still a few hours before dark. Lu Chong took the remote control from the bedside and closed the curtains. The room suddenly became dim. He opened the quilt and lay in, took Luo Wencheng into his arms, and then took out his mobile phone and started sending messages.
It was midnight when Luo Wencheng woke up. The smell of food floated all over the room, and his entirely empty stomach contracted in revolt.
“Wencheng, Chengcheng, it’s time to get up and have something to eat.” A hand smoothed his hair, rubbed his scalp and stroked his ears for a while, waking him up as if coaxing a child.
Luo Wencheng opened his eyes lazily, lying on his back and not wanting to move. Lu Chong also lay on his back and looked at him levelly: “Shall we eat something?”
Luo Wencheng blinked his eyes, not wanting to move, not having an appetite.
“You have to eat something, otherwise you won’t have the strength to beat people to vent your anger.”
Locke Wencheng looked at him with wide open eyes.
“Bruin De Lang was caught,” Lu Chong said, “That is Professor Delang.”
Luo Wencheng hesitated for two seconds before sitting up sharply, “Caught? How did you catch him?”
He had been wearing a bathrobe before he went to bed and hadn’t even tied the belt, so when he sat up, his chest was exposed. Lu Chong covered him up and picked up a bowl of sweet soup: “First drink some soup for starters.”
Luo Wencheng was fed two spoonfuls of soup in a daze before his whole body finally woke up: “I’ll do it myself. How did you catch the man?”
He picked up the bowl of sweet soup. He didn’t know what it was made of, but it was particularly moisturising and delicious, so he gulped it all down. It wasn’t a large amount, just an appetiser, and he felt even hungrier after that.
Lu Chong moved the small dining table to the bed, “Eat first, I’ll tell you when you’ve eaten.”
On the table was a bowl of white porridge, followed by four or five plates of side dishes, fried squash strips, fried tender eggs, chicken with mushrooms and braised beans… They were all simple dishes, but they were all Luo Wencheng’s favourites. Luo Wencheng drank a large bowl of porridge with these dishes.
“Are you full?” Lu Chong asked him.
In fact, he wasn’t full. Luo Wencheng’s appetite had completely awakened, and he felt like he could eat two more bowls, but he didn’t have the intention to eat any more, so he nodded and said he was full.
Lu Chong told him to change his clothes, while telling him what had happened.
In fact, Lu Chong’s original plan was to lure Bruin De Lang to China first and then observe and investigate for a while before making the best plan to take action. But Luo Wencheng’s reaction during the day made him change his plan.
Because the other party agreed to come to China and finally stepped out of the shadows and returned to the university where he worked, Lu Chong had someone go there directly to seize the man and bring him back to China through a special channel. The plane just landed half an hour ago.
“I seized him in the name of finding out that the deep sea excavation technology was transmitted to him, so you have been suspected by me of being a traitor. The next step is for me to take you to confront him, do you understand?”
Luo Wencheng was surprised; was this a new script?!
“This professor is arrogant and suspicious. I have considered using human experiments or drug research as an entry point to investigate him. But this is his field after all, and he could easily suspect something was wrong with you that led me to him. That would put you in more danger instead. But if I found out through some IT that you and he might be in some kind of contact and caught him to confront you, it would make more sense,” Lu Chong said.
Luo Wencheng understood in seconds, “In this way, if he falls into your hands, it will be logical to do whatever you want to him while investigating him. And if he wants to escape, he must rely heavily on me as his inside man, and is even less likely to touch me easily.”
“That’s right, but after all, it’s a bit radical to do so. In case he goes crazy, he might directly declare you his person and demand you to turn against me on the spot so that everyone dies together. Or if he feels that you caused him to fall to this point, regardless of anything, he will kill you first…”
Lu Chong stopped and did not say anything further. This was exactly what he was worried about, so his initial choice was to trick the professor into coming to the country and watch him before thinking long and hard about what to do, rather than just seizing him.
“Don’t worry, he’s unlikely to do that.” Luo Wencheng said with an icy sneer, “He’s a scientific research fanatic, he’s so desperate to do more research that he won’t be willing to die together until the last minute.”
Lu Chong laughed, “That’s best. I’ll create an opportunity for you to beat him up in a fair and square way.”
Luo Wencheng was stunned, and then it occurred to him that Lu Chong had changed his plan, captured the man abroad and brought him to China. He didn’t know how much extra effort Lu Chong had put in just for him to be able to vent his anger as soon as possible.
It didn’t really matter; as long as the old man was duly punished in the end and Luo Wencheng was able to save his own life, that would be enough. Even Luo Wencheng himself, although he was screaming for immediate revenge and killing the man, understood after he had calmed down that he had to take things one step at a time and be patient.
But Lu Chong, just because of his words, changed his plans and put in who knows how much effort so that once he woke up, everything was ready, just waiting for his anger to be taken out.
At this moment, his heart felt truly a million different things.
“Why did you stop?” Luo Wencheng stopped moving halfway during dressing, and Lu Chong took a coat out of the wardrobe and put it on him, “It’s cold outside, don’t freeze.”
Luo Wencheng suddenly turned around and pinned him against the wardrobe, “Lu Chong.”
The two of them were very close, with their knees and their bodies pressed together. He grabbed Lu Chong’s collar and pulled him down a little bit, staring into Lu Chong’s eyes, the tip of his nose against the tip of Lu Chong’s nose. Their breath was mingling. Luo Wencheng laughed lightly: “I seem to start liking you a little bit again.”
“A little bit”, “start liking”, “again”, this sentence actually contained a lot of information.
Lu Chong’s gaze flickered slightly, then returned to deep and gentle. Being gazed at by him, one could feel an illusion of drowning in that affection: “After all I’ve done, I only get ‘a little’ liking from you?”
In the gentleness, there was a hint of faint grievances.
Luo Wencheng smiled and said, “Well, you’ve earned a lot of points.” He kissed him on the lips, “Okay, let’s get down to business.”
Before Lu Chong could catch him, he slipped away. Lu Chong looked at the door with an amused smile and gently touched the place where he had been kissed. This seemed to be the first time in a long while that Luo Wencheng had taken the initiative to kiss him.
So the previous resistance, the previous indifference and seeming neither close nor distant, was because he didn’t like him anymore?
A belated heartache squeezed Lu Chong’s heart; his breath hitched as he held onto the wardrobe door, feeling dizzy.
But then a shout came from downstairs: “Lu Chong, hurry up!”
There was excitement in the voice, and it seemed that nothing had changed.
A hint of sweetness emerged from the heavy heartache, firmly occupying a corner.
It didn’t matter, he was still him, and he was still him. They missed and lost it twice, and now it would be good to start over.
Translator’s note: I see some reviews that express dissatisfaction that Wencheng’s feelings for Lu Chong are gone. Well, they are gone, true, it’s the price he pays. But he has lost the love and hope he had, not his ABILITY to love and hope. I think it is a very important point the author makes: that no matter how many times Wencheng is stripped of his feelings, he still has strength and courage to love again and hope again. Calling him “a different person” for that is like calling a character who suffered an accident and re-learns to walk “a different person”.
Another thing that really surprised is some people echoing each other that Lu Chong really didn’t know the teenage Luo Wencheng and just loved the idea of him. Come on, the guy risked his life to save him. The guy saved the kitten even though he himself was in danger. The guy sacrificed his life without a second thought to protect him. Doesn’t it say anything about him as a person? What do you need to know to know someone? His mother’s maiden name? It was not “the idea” dying in Lu Chong’s arms, it was a lively, cute, idealistic, brave and caring teenager. Was the teenage Wencheng so unloveable that Lu Chong needed to love “the idea” of him?