It was still cold up in the mountains, and no matter how thick your clothes were, the wind would be biting.
Fu Ge’s mobile phone was on silent, and he didn’t receive Qi Han’s WeChat messages. After having fun with Zhuo Ma for a while, he planned to go down the mountain.
But he didn’t expect to meet an old friend before leaving.
It was a couple in love. The tall Alpha was carrying all the equipment and holding the hand of his bouncing Omega. When the little Omega was talking, he stood on tiptoe and leaned very close, and the Alpha also lowered his head and looked at him intently.
Fu Ge recognized almost at a glance that the young man was the Omega who lent him the best isolation room four years ago.
The young man also noticed him, “Nah nah nah, it seems that I’m not mistaken, and my beautiful gege still remembers me.”
His smile was infectious, docile and well-behaved, but also cute and sly, making him look like a smart child.
Fu Ge smiled unconsciously: “We’ve met again. I didn’t even get to thank you properly back then.”
“You’re welcome.” The little Omega took the initiative to hug him, “Seeing you recovering so well is the biggest thanks I can get.”
He let go of Fu Ge and took the hand of the Alpha next to him, “This is my husband, you should have seen him back then.”
Fu Ge didn’t have much of an impression of the Alpha, so he only nodded politely when a voice suddenly sounded behind him: “President Lu.”
Qi Han walked over at some point and stood behind him, “What a coincidence, are you here to travel too?”
The tall Alpha let out a “hmm” and stretched out his hand to shake Qi Han’s hand.
Qi Han took Fu Ge by the shoulders and introduced:
“Mr. Lu Tinghe, President of Xinghe Electronics. And this is Xiao Zhu, Zhu Wanxing, President of Tingwan Technology. They are both young talents. In the entire business circle of the capital, they alone can cover half of the sky.”
He withdrew his hand and pushed the person in his arms forward a little, “This is my lover, Fu Ge.”
“Don’t exaggerate, President Qi, we’re just relaxing outside, and Xiao Ge and I have known each other for a long time,” Zhu Wanxing said.
Qi Han: “Really?”
Fu Ge nodded, “I didn’t have an isolation room during estrus, and it was Wanxing who lent me his isolation room.”
Qi Han’s expression immediately became serious, “Thank you, President Zhu, thank you very much for helping my lover. If you need anything in the future, just contact my assistant directly.”
“Wow, President Qi’s private line, this is a great favour for me.”
Zhu Wanxing leaned over and took Fu Ge’s hand, saying in disgust: “These two workaholics are going to talk about serious things again. Shall we go and have fun?”
Fu Ge was amused: “Okay.”
“Wanxing, come here.” Lu Tinghe took off his watch and put it on Zhu Wanxing, instructing him: “Don’t go to windy and high places, and don’t go to the water. If you fall into the water again, I won’t be able to catch you.”
Zhu Wanxing was not happy and wrinkled his nose: “Brother, can you speak even louder? Save me some face.”
Lu Tinghe raised his hand and rubbed his hair, then turned to Fu Ge, “He is rather playful, please keep an eye on him, Mr. Fu.”
Zhu Wanxing muttered that his face was completely lost and pulled Fu Ge away, just in time for the girl to say that she had something to discuss on the phone, leaving the two of them alone.
“The weather is so nice and warm.” Zhu Wanxing lay on the ground with his arms under his head, swinging his feet comfortably, like a puppy who was taking a nap after a full meal.
“You really don’t look like that at all. I didn’t know your business was so big.” Fu Ge sat down next to him.
Zhu Wanxing was quite modest: “It’s all the credit of my parents, I barely took over.”
“You and your husband also have a very good relationship. The wedding of the century was a sensation in the whole city back then, and I even grabbed a red envelope.”
Zhu Wanxing squinted and smiled: “It has to be good, we’ve been together for many years.”
Fu Ge teased him: “Not so modest now?”
“No, no, I’ll clean up and get modest again before going home.”
He pulled Fu Ge to lie down with him, “You can relax too, don’t be so tense, I think you are very tired.”
Fu Ge was still wondering where he could tell that he was tired when he heard Zhu Wanxing say, “Wow, the clouds in the sky are like two dogs fighting.”
A shadow suddenly appeared above his head, and Zhu Wanxing was startled: “My god! Why is my brother up there?!”
“Your brother is here.” The shadow leaned over and pinched his nose, “You lie down like that, aren’t you afraid of catching a cold?”
Zhu Wanxing was picked up; Lu Tinghe took off his jacket and put it on the ground, and then put Zhu Wanxing down again.
“Thank you, brother. Isn’t my brother cold?” He hugged Lu Tinghe’s calf.
“You’re welcome. Your brother is not cold.” Lu Tinghe rubbed his head.
Meanwhile, Qi Han had already taken off his coat and put it on Fu Ge, “Gege, if your waist doesn’t feel good, don’t lie down, okay?”
“Uh-huh, you guys go and get busy.” Fu Ge said.
The two Alphas were driven away again, and Fu Ge didn’t beat around the bush anymore, “Do you have something you want to tell me?”
Zhu Wanxing smiled, “Beautiful gege doesn’t remember me at all?”
“I sent you flowers at the high school literature and art show and threatened to take you down within a week.”
Zhu Wanxing himself felt shameless when he said it; he really lacked self-awareness back then.
However, Fu Ge was indeed the type he liked at the time. The spotless flower of the high mountain, with a good family background and appearance, was one hundred percent suitable for Young Master Zhu’s appetite.
After thinking about it for a long time, Fu Ge didn’t remember who sent him flowers at the art show. There were too many people, but he remembered other more interesting things.
“I don’t remember flowers, but I remember that there was an Omega junior who wore his school uniform and carried his school bag to the business district every day after class to wait for his boyfriend to get off work. Was that you?”
Zhu Wanxing smiled happily, showing a dimple, “The prodigal son has come home.”
“Congratulations.” Fu Ge said sincerely.
Zhu Wanxing looked at his profile for a long time, and suddenly said, “What about you, when can I congratulate you?”
“I’m getting married soon, too. In February, you and Mr. Lu should come together.”
Zhu Wanxing was silent for a long time. “How do two people who don’t love each other get married? You can’t wait to kill him.”
With a tremor in his heart, Fu Ge’s breathing suddenly halted, “What are you talking about?”
“You hate him very much.”
Fu Ge’s face became completely gloomy: “I don’t know what you mean.”
Zhu Wanxing sighed, sat up obediently, and said with some difficulty: “At your wedding ceremony five years ago, I… I was there too. My dad took me there.”
So he witnessed everything that happened that day. Qi Han’s back-stabbing, the police coming to the door, Fu Zhenying being taken away, and Fu Ge looking at his lover blankly, his eyes helpless and desperate.
“I looked for you after the incident and used many methods but couldn’t find you, and the time I met you again was in the isolation room, but you didn’t seem to be in good spirits and didn’t remember me.”
Fu Ge’s breathing gradually became heavier, his nails sticking deeply into his arms, and even his voice was shaking: “At that time… I lost my memory…”
“It had something to do with him… right?”
Zhu Wanxing blinked his slightly reddened eyes and solemnly assured him: “Don’t be nervous, don’t be afraid, I don’t know what happened to you over the years, but I promise that the content of our conversation today will be buried in my stomach, okay?”
Zhu Wanxing was a rare old acquaintance and the man who helped him in the isolation room. His eyes were so sincere that Fu Ge felt he couldn’t be a bad person, so he slowly relaxed his vigilance.
“Do I really act that badly?”
Zhuo Ma could see that he was unhappy, and Zhu Wanxing got to the bottom straight away. What about Qi Han?
With his attitude in the past two days so bad, would Qi Han find any clues?
Zhu Wanxing smiled bitterly, “You are not bad at acting, but the way you look at him, I am just too familiar with it.”
Zhu Wanxing plucked a blade of grass, tore it and threw it away, but his eyes were always looking in the direction of Lu Tinghe, “Because… Tinghe used to look at me like this for many years.”
“He hated me so much that he wanted to kill me by a thousand cuts but couldn’t do it. He persuaded himself not to hate me but couldn’t let it go.”
Fu Ge sighed in his heart.
“I thought you and President Lu have always had a good relationship. Aren’t you childhood sweethearts? There was talk of it when your wedding was broadcast.”
“Yeah, we did know each other since we were kids. Then we got separated. He looked for me for many, many years, but I went the wrong way and made a big mistake. I…”
He said with a slight lump in his throat, his fingers stiffly moving twice and his voice so soft it was about to be scattered in the wind, “I almost killed him.”
The grass he played with was violently pulled out. Fu Ge lowered his eyes and raised his hand to squeeze Zhu Wanxing’s shoulder, “It seems that it is the most difficult thing for two people to simply love each other.”
“Well, it’s really difficult, so don’t make it too hard on yourself.”
Zhu Wanxing was not the kind of person who would be like an old friend as soon as he met someone. He just saw Lu Tinghe’s shadow in the senior he had once admired. He had been under the rain himself and wanted to help others hold an umbrella, even though he knew it might not be of much use.
Fu Ge understood his painstaking efforts, and hesitated for a long time before asking, “Then President Lu… did he ever retaliate against you? Because of what you did.”
Zhu Wanxing lowered his head: “Yeah…”
Fu Ge clenched his fists: “What he did… is it too much, I mean—”
“I almost died, because of those things. I got sick and had to be treated for many years.” Since Zhu Wanxing decided to help Fu Ge, he didn’t hide anything.
Fu Ge raised his eyes in disbelief, and the shock quickly turned into confusion and bewilderment. He never understood, “Is it possible that after so many things, even to the point of life and death, two people can be together again?”
Zhu Wanxing smiled and looked into the distance, silent for a long time, then suddenly asked, “President Qi is your ex, right? Do you know how to test whether you have let go of your ex?”
“How to test it?”
Fu Ge blurted it out, and the moment he finished speaking, it suddenly became clear.
“If you ask this question, you have the answer.”
If you really let him go, you won’t care about testing it at all.
The same way, if Fu Ge’s subconsciousness was firm enough in believing that what was left to him and Qi Han was a dead end, he would never ask: can two people be together again?
Zhu Wanxing finally stroked his long hair and gave him his mobile phone number, “I’m not trying to persuade you to let him go, why should I? I just want you to let yourself go first. The path you have chosen is too tiring and too bitter.”
“If you need something in the future, just make a call. Under the premise of not angering President Qi, we will try our best to help you.”
He stood up, picked up Lu Tinghe’s coat and shook it clean, folding it in his arms with the lining inside so that his husband didn’t get cold when he put it on again.
Fu Ge looked at his habitual movements, and an impulse suddenly surged in his heart, “Wait a moment, Wanxing! I have one last question.”
“Hmm?” Zhu Wanxing turned around; his whole body was bathed in the light, looking gentle and quiet: “Ask it.”
“Did he regret it… Lu Tinghe retaliated against you, did he ever regret it himself?”
The corners of Zhu Wanxing’s mouth froze and his hands slowly dropped.
“He regretted it, but I didn’t…”
Fu Ge didn’t know why his heart was beating so fast, “Why… why?”
“Because guilt and remorse can make people never lift their heads. I didn’t want to crawl under his feet to love him, and he wanted it even less.”
“As for why he regrets…” Zhu Wanxing raised his hand to help Fu Ge remove grass from his pants, lowered his eyes and said, “Xiao Ge, you have the answer in your heart.”
This conversation didn’t have a proper ending. Fu Ge looked at Zhu Wanxing’s back for a long time. Was there really an answer?
He didn’t even dare to think about it anymore.
He turned on his mobile phone to find the picture of the brooch to calm himself down, but to his surprise, Qi Han’s WeChat messages popped up as soon as the screen lit up.
There were more than a dozen messages and only the last sentence was visible. The lover who misunderstood that he had slept with someone else begged: Your inner cavity is still healing, remember to make her wear a condom.
The phone fell to the ground, and Fu Ge pulled Qi Han’s coat to cover his face.
They finally were about to leave.
Qi Han had called a car for Fu Ge and Zhuo Ma in advance and had planned to use it to go back with Fu Ge.
But he didn’t expect Lu Tinghe and Zhu Wanxing to join in temporarily. By the time he gathered his things and was ready to go, the four seats were already full.
Lu Tinghe was in the passenger seat, while Zhu Wanxing and Zhuo Ma were sitting on Fu Ge’s left and right. It was obviously the car Qi Han had called, but he was left behind in the end and stood there like an outsider. The scene was very embarrassing.
He was holding the drone they had been playing with, his hands were blue from the cold, and his eyes were a little red when he looked at Fu Ge. Anyone could see how much he wished for the little Beta to accompany him.
However, Fu Ge never raised his head, staring at his phone in silence.
Qi Han hooked the corner of his mouth in a wry smile and said to the driver: “Let’s go, I’ll take a taxi back, I can’t fit my stuff into the car anyway.”
“No need.” Lu Tinghe turned his head and asked Zhu Wanxing: “Little boy, there is guangdongzhu (oden, Japanese dish made with boiled eggs, processed fish cakes, daikon radish, tofu, etc. in a kelp-based broth) at the end of the street. Do you want to eat radish?”
The little Omega’s eyes lit up, “Yes!”
Lu Tinghe got out of the car first, then opened the door of the back seat, and half-carried Zhu Wanxing outside, letting him jump on him. He said to Qi Han, “President Qi, you go back, and I will take him to eat something.”
Qi Han nodded, watching enviously as they walked away with a smile. Lu Tinghe’s hand was a little cold. After Zhu Wanxing touched it, he held his hand and kept rubbing it, and then put it on his neck.
Qi Han looked at the scene in front of him and suddenly didn’t want to get in the car. It was the last few hours before he left. Why should Fu Ge have to endure this again?
“You guys go back first, I’m going to take a call.” He closed the door, told the driver to drive slowly, turned around and left.
The car engine sounded behind him. Qi Han moved forward step by step. He straightened his back and raised his head, trying not to make himself look too embarrassed.
He didn’t know if Fu Ge had seen his WeChat messages, and if he saw them, did he ever think about seeing him off.
He had looked for so many opportunities to have a word with the little Beta alone: I’m leaving tonight, can we have lunch together a little later? I’ll be careful what I say and I won’t make you angry again.
But Fu Ge walked too fast, not even bothering to look at him.
He didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye properly.
The parts of the drone rolled to the ground. Qi Han slowly tried to pick them up. He had a lot of things in his hands, so he picked up this and dropped that, and finally simply found a bench and sat down.
The temperature was below zero, it was windy, and with his hands exposed and holding the metal, it wasn’t long before he felt pain.
Qi Han moved his frozen hands, breathed on them a few times and rubbed them hard but couldn’t warm them up.
He suddenly remembered that someone had warmed his hands for him before.
When he was little, every time he went out to play with his dad in winter, Qi Ji would put his little hands in his pockets and cover them, so that they were still warm when they came home.
In high school, when he went out to buy baked sweet potatoes for Fu Ge on a snowy day, his fingers froze a little and Fu Ge was so distressed that he put his hands on his stomach to warm them.
Lately he had been remembering a lot of things from the past.
The cosy fireplace at home, his dad’s warm pockets, Fu Ge’s distressed eyes, and the heat of his belly under his palms…
The memories were like the final radiance of the setting sun (a flash of lucidity/activity before death), so close and so real. But he could never go back.
The winter was too long, too long, as if no amount of endurance would ever help him survive till the blossoming February. Qi Han was cold all over, and the wound on his throat hurt like hell.
He thought, I really know I’m wrong, it’s outrageous and excessive, but I want it so much. I just want a warm day to have a little wedding. After it’s done, I’ll die obediently…
But no one wanted to give it to him.
The faint sunlight gradually withdrew from the bench he was sitting on. Even the sun didn’t want to shine on him anymore.
So Qi Han picked up a small stone and drew a simple hand in the mottled light and shadow on the ground.
He raised his frozen red hand up to the sun, and the shadow cast fell right on top of that hand.
It was as if someone was holding his hand.
The last photo from Litang was taken.
Qi Han added a note: In the last winter, someone helped me warm my hands.
At that moment, his shoulder was suddenly tapped. Qi Han snapped awake and immediately wanted to stand up.
But the next second he felt a familiar touch on his neck and didn’t dare to move.
The person behind him grabbed his hand and cupped it in his palms, puffed two breaths of hot air on it and rubbed it carefully.
Qi Han simply suspected that he was frozen to the point of hallucinations, “…Xiao Ge? Didn’t you… leave with her…”
“Didn’t.” Fu Ge lowered his head and looked at the drawing on the ground. Warmth flowed from his fingers to Qi Han’s heart.
He said, “I don’t want to take the car. Shall we walk back to the hotel together?”
Translator’s note: Zhu Wanxing and Lu Tinghe are the main characters from the author’s novel 总有渣O想重生 (There Is Always a Scum O Who Wants to Be Reborn). It’s a “husband chasing crematorium”, and frankly speaking, I’m afraid to read it. The author has tortured Qi Han to death and back, and he is a big strong Gong; if she does something like this to a little Shou, I don’t think I can bear it 🙂