“Eh?” Ou Shaowen turned and looked at Ou Renjin suspiciously, “Why do you suddenly come up here? Did you leave something with me?”
He had by now changed into a black T-shirt for practice and explained, “I left the clothes I just changed in the dressing room.”
Ou Renjin’s gaze was cold, and a little fake smile curved his lips, “I’ve called your manager and borrowed you for twenty minutes.”
Ou Shaowen blinked and quietly pressed his thumb to the wound he had just made, no longer feeling any pain at all.
“Oh.” He realised what Ou Renjin wanted to say to him and followed behind him somewhat nervously.
He Yixin had already told him, hadn’t he, that the reason why he had felt touched before was all due to a misunderstanding. At this moment, for some reason, he suddenly remembered what Ou Renjin had said in that interview programme, where he said that he actually enjoyed being loved, and then the host asked him, “You have been with Ou Shaowen the longest, is it because he loves you the most?”
Ou Renjin denied it at the time.
But for some reason Ou Shaowen just felt that what the host said was correct, that it perfectly matched his perceptions and answered his doubts. He believed that her words were correct, because only then could he understand why Ou Renjin had been so good to him, why he had never left him, why he was willing to continue to have a sweet relationship with him.
Everything in this world had a cause and effect, everything that was gained had to be paid for first, and that was the way it was.
It was because he loved Ou Renjin more than his exes that Ou Renjin loved him more than any of his boyfriends.
He clenched his fists and wondered, somewhat dejectedly, if… now that Ou Renjin had learned that his previous willingness was because he would not have died of it at all, had learned he was aware of it but hesitated to tell him the truth, would he stop feeling that he loved him more than the others?
Wouldn’t he stop loving him too?
It was all his fault. He had vowed to show more love to Ou Renjin, so that he could be more convinced of this fact. But the result was that he was a liar who would only make up his mind for a moment, and as soon as it was over, he would forget it all about his determination. In the end, as before, he passively accepted everything Ou Renjin gave him from start to finish.
He had done nothing for him.
The itinerary on his side was getting tighter and tighter, and even accompanying Ou Renjin to a meal had to be done in a hurry, watching the clock. It was too much trouble to fall in love with someone like him.
Ou Renjin took Ou Shaowen into an unoccupied room and locked the door, and when he turned around to look at him, he realised that Ou Shaowen’s eyes were downcast and his face was so sad that he was about to cry.
“Starting to act pitiful because you know I’m going to start scolding you?” He leaned back against the wall and looked at Ou Shaowen coldly, in an alienated yet serious manner, “Don’t think you can do whatever you want in front of me just because I once said that I can’t get angry when I face you.”
Ou Shaowen raised his eyes to glance at him before lowering them again, “I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?”
“I didn’t tell you about this early on and caused you to misunderstand. But,” although he was sad, he explained calmly, “I only realised later… that what you thought was a little different from what I thought. I didn’t mean to hide it from you on purpose.”
“Who told you that I was angry about these things?” Ou Renjin raised his voice, interrupting him. He seemed to have returned to the mood of a long time ago, when he found out that Ou Shaowen had been left in the barren mountains after filming an advertisement, but foolishly walked all the way back alone. He felt that the person in front of him was pitiful and irritating; especially this look of being completely unaware of what he had done wrong was irritating.
Ou Shaowen blinked in surprise innocently, “So what are you angry about?”
He struggled to remember what else he had done wrong.
“Fine, you don’t know, do you? Then I’ll tell you properly, and when I’m done, I’ll take the punishment that was set aside last time and combine it with this one.” Ou Renjin lowered his voice, revealing a fierce aura that he would only demonstrate at the negotiation table, “Firstly, do you know He Yixin well? Why did you choose to tell him when you had a secret to reveal? What, do you trust him more than you trust me?”
“No.” Ou Shaowen shook his head, his tone and expression very calm because his heart was prepared for the worst, “He is the family member you personally introduced to me, I trusted him because I trusted you.”
“Your trust is given quite easily. Even blood brothers have scores to settle. The ties between parents and children can be broken. I am not a god, how can I be sure what all my relatives are like? He may indeed be a good man one second, but won’t good men be tempted?” Ou Renjin began his trademark pattern of oppressive rhetorical questions again, one after another, leaving little room for thought and deliberation.
Ou Shaowen seemed a little surprised by his questions, “I… haven’t thought about it that much.”
Ou Renjin came to his senses when hearing his response and suddenly calmed down. An embarrassment flashed in his eyes and he unnaturally avoided Ou Shaowen’s gaze. A person like Ou Shaowen, who was naturally clean and clear, would probably find his words just now so dark that they sent chills down his spine.
After a pause, Ou Renjin went back to his rhythm, “Even if you trusted him because of me, why didn’t you just tell me?”
“I just… because I cared about you, I couldn’t say it all the more.” Ou Shaowen felt even more sad; his eyelashes fell softly, hiding the look in his eyes, “To you, I just couldn’t say it.”
“Why?” Ou Renjin’s voice lightened a little, but he still didn’t let him off the hook like that, insisting on asking, “Is there something about me that scares you?”
Those eyelashes fluttered gently, “I feared that you wouldn’t like me as much after you knew… that I wouldn’t die for you.”
His words were light and airy, but they were like a heavy hammer that struck Ou Renjin’s heart. A boundless sourness spread out. It was undeniable that he was very distressed, distressed by this trembling person who could never accept love calmly. However, he suddenly felt a little tired again, and he began to wonder if this person’s character had already been formed and there would never be a way to change it.
He thought he had changed Ou Shaowen, but in fact Ou Shaowen had never changed.
He would think that if he didn’t dare to die for someone, he wouldn’t deserve to be loved.
“Do you think that I love you because you were willing to die for me?” His voice was low and flat, without ripples.
Ou Shaowen was acutely aware that Ou Renjin was sad. Say something quickly, he told himself.
But what was it Ou Renjin wanted to hear? He could not guess the correct answer.
If he had to answer the question according to his heart, he would answer, “Yes.”
For it was really as if only after that had Ou Renjin begun to be more and more gentle and tolerant towards him.
But he could tell that Ou Renjin didn’t want to hear that answer.
“So now that you know the truth, do you still like me?” He didn’t know how he was going to answer, so he asked what he most wanted to ask.
Ou Renjin was exasperated by him, “If you ask me that question again, I think I’m going to be sick.”
“Then I won’t ask.” Ou Shaowen hurriedly shut his mouth.
Ou Renjin took a few deep breaths, and after a long time, feeling that he could finally answer him calmly, he said word by word, “I still like you.”
Ou Shaowen finally raised his eyes to look at him, solemnly checking the expression on his face, and after confirming that he was serious, it was as if some burden had been lifted from him, and a layer of light rippled in the depths of his eyes as he stretched out his arms to hug Ou Renjin.
Ou Renjin took a step back, “It’s just that because of you, I feel sad and dejected.”
“Why? I’m sorry, I won’t let you be sad and dejected next time.”
Ou Renjin turned his face away, not directly answering his question, “Let’s continue with the topic just now. Secondly, He Yixin said that you showed him your ability to heal quickly. How did you show it?”
“Just…” Ou Shaowen tremblingly stretched his palm in front of him, like a child waiting for his teacher to slap him, “After making the wound, I let him watch the healing with his own eyes. This is more intuitive, and there is no need to explain more.”
There was still a light white mark on his palm, and if he didn’t say anything, no one would know that this had been a wound that had pierced his entire hand just over an hour ago.
Ou Renjin looked straight at it but didn’t reach out to touch it, “What kind of wound?”
“A knife… wound.” A kind of small animal-like intuition made Ou Shaowen nervous.
Ou Renjin spotted the narrow, tiny white mark on his palm that couldn’t possibly be a scratch, “How deep was it?”
After contemplating the thickness of his palm, Ou Shaowen turned his hand over to show him the back, “Just this deep.”
Ou Renjin turned his head away and faced the wall in silence for a moment before looking back at him, his tone flat, “Doesn’t it hurt?”
“It hurts a little,” in such an atmosphere, Ou Shaowen seemed afraid to tell a single lie, “just… a little.”
There was a long silence again, as if Ou Renjin had to expend a tremendous amount of strength to suppress those waves that were churning in his heart before he spoke again.
“And then? Did the wound heal quickly?”
“Yes, very quickly.”
“But you only demonstrated it to him, I didn’t see it, and there’s no way I can believe something I haven’t seen with my own eyes.”
“…Then, I’ll show you again?” Ou Shaowen asked in a small, tentative voice.
Ou Renjin’s throat moved and he spat out a “yes”.
“I’ll find a tool?” At this moment, Ou Shaowen was at a loss for words. He could only follow Ou Renjin’s instructions like a robot. There was a string in his mind that was tightly stretched, as if it could break at any time.
The room was a cloakroom, with rows and rows of hangers arranged together, full of clothes hanging, and next to them a workbench, perhaps used by the company’s stylists to occasionally alter clothes.
Ou Shaowen searched around blankly and found a utility knife in the pencil holder on the workbench. He took the knife and walked up to Ou Renjin.
“Then you watch carefully!”
There was nothing wrong with Ou Renjin’s expression. Ou Shaowen breathed a sigh of relief. He felt that he was probably too nervous just now, so he calmly took the blade and drew it towards his palm.
He also very thoughtfully switched hands, and remembering Ou Renjin’s strange demeanour and tone of voice just now, was prepared not to make it so horrific this time, just a slight cut, although this proof would be less powerful than before.
However, he felt it would be better not to frighten Ou Renjin.
The blade was halfway down and Ou Shaowen prepared to feel the pain when he saw a hand reaching out in the air in front of him, catching the sharp blade in its palm.
In that instant, it was as if a blinding light flashed in front of his eyes.
Ou Shaowen’s eyes narrowed subconsciously, and he took a step back in a stress reaction, pulling the knife away.
Ou Renjin let go, but his movement was too sharp and too violent, as if his ultimate goal was to make a wound on his palm.
As expected, the blade had already made a long and narrow cut in his palm, and the blood seemed to be still for half a moment before it slowly began to seep out of the wound, drop by drop, not raging, but continuous.
“What are you doing?” Ou Shaowen’s voice trembled. He dropped the knife and tried to cover Ou Renjin’s wound with his hand, but then withdrew it as if it were inappropriate. At this moment, he finally realised Ou Renjin’s premeditation and said in a hurry and panic, “You hurt yourself on purpose, why did you do that?
“I’ll look for something to stop the bleeding.” He really started crying, spinning around in place, dazed and confused, then pulled a random piece of clean cloth, trying to come over and bandage the wound.
Ou Renjin looked him straight in the eye and took a step back.
Ou Shaowen was most familiar with this action, a sign that he was not allowed to approach. He suddenly stopped moving and stood still as if he had lost his soul, tears falling from his eyes. But this time Ou Renjin did not come over to take him into his arms, softening his tone and coaxing him in a low voice.
“Didn’t we talk about it before? The punishment you were spared from before is combined with the punishment this time.” Ou Renjin stood still, his expression calm, “So, don’t touch me for two months from now on.”
“Can I… bandage the wound first?” Ou Shaowen sobbed, crying pitifully.
“Why are you crying?” Ou Renjin asked him, “It’s not like you’re the one who’s hurting, obviously.”
“Because you’re hurt and I… I’m sorry, I know I must have done something wrong, I can go two months without touching you, but don’t let yourself get hurt on purpose, okay?” From the moment they entered this room, his mind was a mess, and now, as he looked at Ou Renjin’s palm that was still bleeding continuously, vaguely, he seemed to understand what Ou Renjin wanted to say to him.
“I know I was wrong, I’ll correct it and promise never to do it again… woo woo woo woo.” His shoulders shuddered and he buried his face in his palms.
“Is it uncomfortable? Watching me get hurt.”
“Uh-huh.” Ou Shaowen confirmed in a sobbing, flustered voice.
“Okay, if you hurt yourself one more time on purpose, I’ll follow suit and hurt myself. Want to compete in not being afraid of pain? We can compete.” When Ou Renjin said this, his expression was still calm, but there was a certain madness in the depths of his eyes that had been suppressed for a long time.
This direction was actually not what Ou Renjin expected. He didn’t know how it suddenly changed from the frank communication he wanted to this way.
When Ou Shaowen said it seemingly very easily and casually that he made a wound in the palm of his hand just to demonstrate it in a more intuitive way so that there was no need to explain more, his anger couldn’t be suppressed.