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    But Tang Junhe would still hum a song from time to time, the tune drilling unceasingly with the wind toward Yang Xuan’s ears. At first, Yang Xuan was a little annoyed, and then he gradually got used to it. Later, he actually heard some patterns, such as in the mornings on Mondays, when Tang Junhe hummed most happily, and on Fridays, he seemed to wilt and stopped humming, sitting sullenly in the back seat, not knowing what he was thinking about.

    So passionate about school? Yang Xuan felt some amusement at the fact that his half-brother was really different from the norm.

    Zhou Lin’s case gradually went quiet, after days of police investigation, in addition to finding that Zhou Lin was indeed a primary school teacher with a pedophile fetish, the evidence of Yang Xuan and Tang Junhe’s crime made no progress, and finally only came to the conclusion that Zhou Lin was involved in a car accident because he violated traffic rules and ran a red light by mistake, leaving his mother who spent her days dragging the police for justice.

    After work that day, Tang Xiaonian went to the nearby mall and found the Adidas counter and bought a new set of sports men’s clothing and a pair of sports shoes. Tang Xiaonian looked at the price tag and secretly staggered; this one set is almost as much as her previous month’s salary when she worked for someone to sell clothes.

    Although it hurts, she still went to the cash register and made the payment. Before leaving home in the morning she took a special look at Yang Xuan’s sneakers, all of which are often advertised by big brands and are not cheap.

    Tang Xiaonian carried the Adidas bag out of the mall, intending to let Tang Junhe give these things to Yang Xuan at night. Although the mouth said “people have their own lives,” but in the end, the matter of Yang Xuan being disqualified from the provincial team is caused by her own son and this favor should be returned, Tang Xiaonian felt that she had done a very generous thing.

    In the evening, Tang Junhe was doing his homework in his room when Tang Xiaonian pushed the door in, stood next to him and watched him write for a while, then stroked his hair and said, “I went to the mall today and bought Yang Xuan a set of clothes and a pair of shoes. When you see him later, tell him about it.”

   “Why?” Tang Junhe turned his head to look at her.

    “It’s just… the provincial team,” said Tang Xiaonian ”we give something back to him and we don’ t owe him anything.”

    “That’s not enough.” Tang Junhe stated.

    “Why is it not enough?” Tang Xiaonian was not happy, “It’s Adidas. You know how expensive it is? Did you know how it hurts so badly for me?”

    “I just think it’s not enough,” Tang Junhe turned his head back and continued to write his homework, “If you want to talk to him yourself, he won’t want it.”

    “Hey you kid, how do you know he doesn’t want it before we can even give it?”

    “He most certainly will say ‘no need’,” He added, “And I won’t do it anyway.”

    “I’m returning the favor for you, you know,” Tang Xiaonian slapped the back of his head not too hard, “How come you don’t know how to appreciate it, and scowl at me.”

    “I will return my own favors.” Tang Junhe said as he wrote the words.

    “You’ll pay it back, how will you pay it back? Are you still prepared to work for him like a horse?” Tang Xiaonian heard the disbelief in his tone and became angry, “He robbed you and paid it back to you little by little, and you’re still thankful for it, are you stupid?”

    Here we go again. 

    Tang Junhe didn’t want to argue with her on this issue and silently wrote his homework.

    “Fine. I’ll give it to him myself.” Tang Xiaonian gave him a blank look and left the room indifferently.

    When Tang Xiaonian decided to do something, it must be done on the same day. She looked at the TV and melon seeds in the living room and glanced at Yang Xuan’s room from time to time, waiting for him to come out.

    Tang Junhe finished his homework and was called out by Tang Xiaonian to eat fruit. As he was eating, Yang Xuan came out of the room and walked in the direction of the bathroom.

    “Xiao Xuan, you come over and look at this,” Tang Xiaonian tried hard to make a pleasant appearance and patted the two paper bags with the Adidas logo beside her with a snap, “Auntie specially bought it for you, why don’t you try it in your room?”

    Yang Xuan did not even look at it, and spoke lazily, throwing out at least two words: “No need.”

    Tang Xiaonian felt embarrassed and the curls on the corners of her mouth dropped.

    “It’s a nice thought from your aunt, so just come over and try it.” Yang Chengchuan looked up at Yang Xuan and said. Just as the words fell, Yang Xuan closed the bathroom door and Yang Chengchuan only shook his head, “I don’t know what to do.”

    Tang Junhe is eating his least favorite pear, watching the TV and whispering, “I told you so.”

    Tang Xiaonian glared at him, “What did you say.”

    “I said he wouldn’t want it.” Tang Junhe finished eating the pear chunks from the fruit plate and started eating the apple chunks, his second least favorite, “And I said he would say ‘no need’.”

    “You’re the only one who knows everything.” Tang Xiaonian said without good grace.

    As soon as the words of Tang Xiaonian fell, Yang Xuan walked out of the bathroom.

    “Xiao Xuan, the clothes and shoes are here for you,” said Tang Xiaonian and slowed down the tone, “Don’t forget to try ah. If they don’t fit, auntie will change them for you.”

    Yang Xuan still did not answer, and walked towards his room.

    “Come and eat some fruit and then go back.” Yang Chengchuan reached out and pulled Yang Xuan’s arm.

    Yang Xuan did not refuse this time and walked two steps toward the coffee table, bent down and took an orange, and was just about to get up when Tang Junhe handed him a half-eaten fruit plate: “Here, you can eat this.”

    He ate all the fruits he didn’t like, and the rest of the fruit plate was full of his favorites—mangoes, strawberries, bananas, dragon fruit… Tang Xiaonian watched him act in this way, her elbow turned outward, she was angry and her teeth itched so much that she knocked the melon seeds with a click.

    Yang Xuan lifted his eyes and looked at Tang Junhe, then swept a glance to Tang Xiaonian next to him, the corners of his mouth moved slightly—smiling for a few seconds, then straightened up and went back to the room.

    Tang Junhee withdrew his arm, puffed out his cheeks, and then continued eating as if nothing had happened.

    Yang Chengchuan watched everything and took it to heart, he intentionally observed Tang Junhe in the past few days and found that he can only see some of the vitality of his peers in the eyes of his younger son when he looks at his older son. However, what is more of a headache is that his eldest son does not seem to want to pay much attention to him as a brother. Yang Chengchuan sighed and intended to find time to talk to Yang Xuan in a few days.

    The two paper bags were placed on the sofa for several days, and Yang Xuan never bothered to do anything about it. Seeing that the one-week return time was about to pass, Tang Xiaonian, seeing that Yang Xuan refused to appreciate the situation, picked up the bag and went to the department store, changing all the clothes and shoes to fit Tang Junhe’s style and size.

    Carrying the paper bag home again, Tang Xiaonian felt a little resentful—this was the first time she bought such expensive clothes for Tang Junhe. In the past, the clothes she bought for Tang Junhe were either unbranded clothes or discounted models of brands. Thanks to her good eye and Tang Junhe’s good looks, she was able to avoid exposing the hardship of her life to the public. 

    When the flag was raised on Monday, students stood neatly in the field according to their classes, listening listlessly to the “flag speech” on the stage as if they were injected with chicken blood. Near the end, the Dean walked up and announced Yang Xuan’s bad deed of off-campus brawling in accordance with school rules, gave him a demerit in public, canceled his accommodation, and then routinely asked Yang Xuan to go up and read his review.

    As soon as Yang Xuan walked up, he caused a commotion among the students at the bottom. The students who had just been put to sleep by the “national flag speech” instantly came to life when they heard that Yang Xuan was going to read his review— half of Yang Xuan’s fame in Runcheng High School was the result of reading his review, when the basketball teams of the 1st and 16th High Schools beat each other up. At that time, 8 basketball team members involved in the brawl went up in turn to read their review, and all the people on the stage withered after reading it. A glance over, only few people were watching them with their eyes open. Yang Xuan was the last to go up, and although the tone of his voice is more undulating than the first few, the people below the stage tilted their necks in unison to that man standing there alone.

    The discussion about “the handsome guy who reads the review on Monday” lasted for several weeks before it gradually subsided, and every Monday morning after that, some girls would secretly complain to the people around them during the school leader’s speech about “why isn’t there a handsome guy reading a review”, which has almost become a topic of discussion that is quite unique to a middle school.

    Yang Xuan naturally did not listen to Qiu Li’s words to memorize the review, he peacefully took the A4 paper with the review printed on it and used an extremely flat tone of voice to read the boring review without enthusiasm. The people on the stage didn’t know what was going on, and those off the stage were just looking at their faces. When the last sentence was read, “You are welcome to supervise in the future”, a sparse applause actually rang out from the students at the bottom, which made the dean who went up next to conclude the speech green with anger.

    After the flag-raising ceremony, each class began to lead the group back to the building, and the group all dispersed automatically when they reached the building.

    Tang Junhe heard all the voices around him talking about Yang Xuan, his brother seemed to attract the attention of more than just him. Tang Junhe was a little lost, realizing that he was just one of the many people on the stage looking up to Yang Xuan, and not the one who had the advantage—although they had half the same blood flowing through them, although they had spent a close month together as children, although they now lived in the same home, although they went to and from school together every day, and although they changed each other’s destinies—it all meant nothing. Yang Xuan might even loathe himself and their brotherly relationship instead created an unbridgeable gulf for him.

    He suddenly recognized in this moment his desire to have an exclusive relationship with Yang Xuan—he could not stand to see someone else with Yang Xuan. Yang Xuan was his brother and could only be his alone.


Translator’s Note:

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Mei
A Japanese language student that decided to translate Chinese Novels during the pandemic. If you want to support us, you can buy us a ko-fi. To maintain the site and support the translators as well. Thank you for reading!
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Susan

Tang junhe’s obsession is really obvious now since the shower incident. I wonder when yang Xuan’s feeling towards junhe will change?

nix

TJH’s not aware that’s not asking for a brother, it’s way beyond that lol

Whyte

Has the yandre tag been added yet caaaaauuuuse it looks like we need it hehe

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