Sponsored Chapter by: thotpal
“Brother Xuan, since he’s not wary of you right now let him use this cigarette on the pretext of teaching him to smoke, and I’m pretty sure he’ll do it.” Feng Bo nudged his chin toward the box in Yang Xuan’s hand and lowered his voice. “Look at the color of this one, it’s quite similar to the kind of cigarettes you usually smoke, right?”
Yang Xuan frowned: “It’s too much.”
“It’s just giving someone a taste of their own medicine, Brother Xuan. Why are you so soft on him? Think about your mother,” Feng Bo lowered his gaze, “At that time when I saw her like that, I couldn’t believe she was the teacher Zhou who taught a lot to me… I can still remember what she looked like back then.”
Feng Bo’s few words brought out Yang Xuan’s not-so-pleasant memories, turning the cigarette around a few times in his fingertips, he looked at Feng Bo and asked, “What happens after you smoke it?”
“I guess it’s like a cat in heat?” Feng Bo smiled crookedly and said in an uncertain tone, “When the time comes, just throw him anywhere and see if anyone picks him up. Heh, not gonna lie, I think someone will pick him up. With his looks, he’s probably quite attractive to perverts.”
Yang Xuan pulled out a cigarette case from his pocket, took one out and bit it into his mouth. He pressed the lighter and took a drag, his expression not looking too good. “Did you ever think,” he said, “that he was as much a victim as I was in this matter?”
Feng Bo froze, and then straightened up from the wall and said urgently: “He is an accomplice! Brother Xuan, what are you thinking?! Where the hell does he look like a victim to you? If his mother hadn’t married over, would he ever get the chance to transfer from his old school to ours? Not only did he steal your father, your house, and the position of you and your mother, but his greedy-self also wants to seize you as his brother now!” Feng Bo choked out a series of words, and after a pause, turned his face away and said, “Anyway, I got that stuff for you, so use it as you like.”
Yang Xuan smoked a few puffs, annoyed: “I thought the same thing as you before.”
“Before?” Feng Bo looked up at him in surprise, “What about now?” When he saw Yang Xuan just smoking, and not answering his question, Feng Bo went on to say, “Brother Xuan, don’t tell me you’re still holding on to that small affection from him when you’re still a kid? Seriously, haven’t you thought that sending him over that time was a premeditated plan, otherwise how could he…”
“Enough,” Yang Xuan interrupted him, “You should know that I am most annoyed by other people’s instigation, I know what to do in my own heart.”
“…” Seeing the shadow of annoyance flowing between Yang Xuan’s eyebrows, Feng Bo wisely stopped his mouth.
Yang Xuan looked at the cigarette— At first glance, it did look like a genuine thing. The cigarette paper and gold tipping paper, both look the same with the one on his hand.
Looking at this cigarette, Yang Xuan’s mind flashed back to the fake smile that Tang Xiaonian barely pulled out before the elevator, and the series of instructions she gave to Tang Junhe. There is no doubt that Tang Junhe is Tang Xiaonian’s only weakness, and probably only in this dirty, disgusting way, can he make Tang Xiaonian suffer the same as his mother… always in pain and delirious. Besides, isn’t this just as dirty and disgusting as when Tang Xiaonian was having fun with Yang Chengchuan behind his mother’s back? Giving someone a taste of their own medicine… Perhaps Feng Bo’s words aren’t that completely unreasonable.
Yang Xuan opened the cigarette case in his hand, and put the other cigarette into it. With the same length and color, if one doesn’t look closely no one could tell if it was genuine or not. Such a cigarette is enough to change one’s fate, and can be left to fate itself to make a choice.
“Let’s go.” Yang Xuan put the cigarette case back into his pocket and turned around to walk back toward the door.
Feng Bo followed, asking tentatively, “Brother Xuan, you’ve made a decision?”
Yang Xuan said, “Yeah.”
The room is full of noise, and even the person holding the microphone has changed three times but Yang Xuan still hasn’t returned. Tang Junhe looked at the flickering lights on the screen and frequently looked in the direction of the door. The playful attitude of Feng Bo earlier made him feel something was wrong, he remembered the frightened look of Tang Xiaonian before leaving the door, and perhaps her concern was going in that very direction.
Tang Junhe got up from the sofa, walked around a row of feet that were sticking out a long way, went to the door and pushed it out. In the corridor came the ghostly singing from other rooms, he looked around but did not see the figures of Feng Bo and Yang Xuan. When he was about to lift his feet to the right, the door behind him suddenly opened, he looked back and saw Ying Hui poking her head out of the booth.
“Do you want to go to the bathroom?” Ying Hui asked, looking at him.
Tang Junhe had no intention of going to the bathroom, but he nodded his head anyway.
“It’s over there.” Ying Hui walked out, closing the door with one hand and pointing to the left with the other.
“Ah…thanks.” Tang Junhe had to change the direction of his footsteps and was about to go when Ying Hui suddenly reached out and pulled him.
Tang Junhe turned back, looking a little puzzled.
“Uhm……” Ying Hui asked hesitantly, “Do you smoke?”
Tang Junhe shook his head.
Ying Hui looked like she was relieved and showed a smiling face towards him, “That’s good…you go now.”
“Why do you ask that?” Tang Junhe asked without taking a step, looking at her.
“It’s nothing,” Ying Hui did not say much, and just shook her head, “Anyway, no matter what happens tonight, do not smoke, okay?”
Tang Junhe’s mind suddenly flashed back to thatin the bar, when Ying Hui was holding the microphone and singing on stage, and she asked in a rare voice, “Lin Yilian’s ‘Paper Plane’ is also good… Why don’t you sing this? …Okay?”
Ying Hui had already turned around and was planning to push the door into the room when she stopped moving and turned her head to look at him: “Remember the song by Lin Yilian? It’s good, you haven’t heard of it?”
Tang Junhe shook his head, “I rarely listen to songs.”
“You can ask your brother to sing it for you, he sings very well.” Ying Hui smiled and suggested, thoughtfully adding, “How about I reserve it later and sing it to you?”
“Sure,” Tang Junhe nodded seriously and thanked her, “Thank you.”
Looking at the door that had re-closed in front of him, Tang Junhe walked thoughtfully to the left. Ying Hui pushed the door out, just to remind him not to smoke tonight? Why would she think of such a reminder? Obviously he never smoked, it was Yang Xuan who wanted to smoke…
Two steps from the bathroom, Tang Junhe suddenly saw Yang Xuan appear from around the corner, followed by Feng Bo. Their eyes met for a moment, and at that moment he suddenly had a hunch— Yang Xuan doesn’t want himself to come out to him and so he subconsciously took two steps forward and turned into the bathroom.
He thought back to the hostile look that had just appeared on Yang Xuan’s face, which seemed to appear in his memory only in the evening when he had plotted to kill Zhou Lin. What had Feng Bo just said to him? Tang Junhe couldn’t help but guess, would it have something to do with the smoking thing that Ying Hui said?
He walked out of the bathroom and washed his hands slowly, and the polished mirror set in the wall reflected his cold expression. But this indifference disappeared the moment he stepped out of the bathroom, because he saw Yang Xuan—Yang Xuan was standing in the hallway waiting for him, without Feng Bo following him.
“Ge, why are you here?” Tang Junhe approached Yang Xuan and asked him.
Yang Xuan reached out to rub his hair: “Wait for you.”
Tang Junhe looked up at his brother, trying to find the look on his face from two minutes ago, but that hostility had disappeared without a trace, making him wonder if he had just looked at him wrong.
“What’s wrong?” Yang Xuan lowered his eyes to look at him, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Nothing,” Tang Junhe shook his head, he smelled the faint smell of tobacco on Yang Xuan, “Ge, did you just smoke?”
Yang Xuan faced forward with a hand on his pocket. “En, can you smell it?”
“I can smell it a little.” Tang Junhe said.
“Don’t you like me smoking?” Yang Xuan asked again, tonight his words seemed to be more than usual.
“I don’t like people smoking,” said Tang Junhe, “but you’re my gege, and I like whatever you do.”
Hearing him say this, Yang Xuan smiled, then reached out and pushed open the door of the room.
They just sat in the same position again, Wangxin Chun sat in front of the song selection table, turned around and asked Yang Xuan if he wanted to put on a song, Yang Xuan waved his hand and refused. Meanwhile, Yin Cong is standing in front of the screen, holding the microphone as she vociferously sang “Love Overcomes Everything“, as if she was going to roar her lungs out.
“Go for it, Brother Cong!” Some boys chanted, “’120’ is coming up next! You still have two minutes to kill!”
“No more singing this!” Yin Cong sang out of breath and turned her head to shout, “Wangxin Chun, help me cut the song!”
There was a knock on the door and the waiter pushed in and asked, “You guys ordered beer, right?”
“Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” Sitting on a high stool Feng Bo turned his head, pointing to the corner table and said, “Put it on the table over there. Classmates, whoever wants to drink, take it yourself.” He said, then he took a few bottles from the table, uncapped them and gave them to Wangxin Chun and Chen Hao beside him, and handed another one to Ying Hui, “Sister Hui, how about a bottle?”
“You! Don’t pretend to be an adult!” Ying Hui refused with a smile.
“Pretending to be an adult, you say? Aren’t we gonna be all adults soon?” Feng Bo came down from the high stool and handed another bottle of beer to Yang Xuan: “Brother Xuan, here you are.”
Yang Xuan reached out and picked it up, put the bottle of beer on the table in front of him, and did not immediately pick it up to drink.
“Let’s play the big king and small king,” Feng Bo held a pile of playing cards in his hand, tapped the microphone in his hand and shouted, “The rules are like this, the cards will be dealt randomly. In the first round, those who draw the two cards of big king and small king, I will designate you to do one thing, and in the second round, the big king of the previous round will designate the two people of that round to do one thing, how about that?”
Someone raised his hand to object: “Why should it be you first?”
“I’m the game initiator,” Feng Bo blurted out, “What’s the matter? If there’s someone who wants to designate the first round, I’m fine with that too. We can both think together.”
“Whatever, dude.” Most people wave their hands carelessly.
“Then I shall deal the cards.” Feng Bo counted the cards, mixed up the order, and dealt them in turn. When he passed by Tang Junhe, he reached out and handed him one, but Tang Junhe shook his head and refused.
“Play together, or else it will be more boring.” Feng Bo held up his card without retracting his hand.
“Deskmate, don’t be afraid. I’ll definitely cover for you!” Sitting on the other side of the sofa, Yin Cong shouted at him.
Tang Junhe thought about it and reached out to pick up the card that was held down, and Feng Bo followed by handing the next card to Yang Xuan. Tang Junhe got his card and turned it over to see that it was the seven of hearts, and he secretly sighed with relief. The first time he participated in such a game, he was a little apprehensive about drawing himself.
After a round of cards was dealt, Feng Bo looked over in all directions, “Who drew the big and small kings this round?”
Ying Hui stood up, “I have one here.”
“Oh…? What about the other one?” Feng Bo stretched his neck.
Yang Xuan turned his card face forward and looked at Feng Bo expressionlessly.
“Ahahahaha! Such a coincidence, huh?” Feng Bo slapped the table and laughed unkindly.
“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Ying Hui slanted a glance at him, but there was no pout on her face.
“Sister Hui, don’t get angry, give everyone a demonstration first… How about I give you this chance to kiss Brother Xuan?”
Ying Hui brushed a red face, looked first at Yang Xuan, and then to Feng Bo: “Go fuck yourself!”
“Okay fine… How about a little hug then? …just a little will do?” Feng Bo loosened up, “A hug is fine, right?”
“Hug! Give us a hug!” Some people watching began to clap and shout.
Tang Junhe squeezed the card in his hand, his eyes looked at Yang Xuan, and his lips pursed into a line.
Ying Hui looked at Yang Xuan, and was hesitant to come toward him, but she did not expect Yang Xuan to get up directly and put the card on the table: “Deal it again according to the rules.”
The noise was quiet for a second, but the song on the screen was still raving nonstop, Yang Xuan looked up at the people around him: “Shall I do it?”
“I’m coming, I’m coming, I was wrong, Brother Xuan,” Seeing Yang Xuan’s expression was different, Feng Bo busily came over to collect the cards, “this time to ensure fairness and equity, Sister Hui, you designate what to do in the next round, all right?”
“No more petty tricks.” Ying Hui sat back and warned him with her eyes.
A group of over-energetic high school students are usually quite slick with their mouths, but when it comes to this kind of game, they shy away from playing, and it’s better to draw two boys together, since they either disgust themselves by confessing to each other or giving the other a piggyback ride. If a boy and a girl are drawn, in addition to the love song duet, the other dozen big eyes to small eyes can’t think of any good drama. After a few rounds of play, the people present were starting to get bored.
“This is the last round, right?” Feng Bo dealt the cards and said, “I say, let’s play something exciting this time, okay? Who’s with whom in this round?”
Yang Xuan pushed the card in his hand onto the table, “I have one.”
The other one was slow to show up, and the people present looked at each other in disbelief. After a few seconds, Tang Junhe put his card on the table. After being on tenterhooks all night, he eventually got drawn together with Yang Xuan, and his hanging heart sank back. As long as he was with Yang Xuan, he had nothing to be afraid of.
In the last round, the person who drew the king was Wangxin Chun, who was sticking his head in the air and winking at Feng Bo: What kind of trick can you think of? We can’t let Xuan beat him up on the spot, right?
“Can you do it Chun’er,” Feng Bo raised his foot and kicked his stool leg; “if you can’t think of anything, give me the opportunity.”
“You do it, you do it.” Wangxin Chun was not concerned about handing over his chance.
“Feng Bo, take it easy.” Yin Cong said out loud.
“I think,” Feng Bo ignored her, thought for a moment and said, “You can let Brother Xuan teach our class god to smoke a cigarette? Experience a bit of life, how about it?”
When these words came out, Tang Junhe’s eyelids jumped for no reason, and the words of Ying Hui from an hour ago flashed through his mind, “Anyway, no matter what happens tonight, do not smoke, okay?”
Across a long table, he felt Ying Hui’s gaze fall straight to his face, and he glanced back at Ying Hui, who, however, immediately withdrew her gaze.
The people who were watching were magically quiet and turned their heads to wait for Tang Junhe’s reaction. They remembered the time at the beginning of the school year when Tang Junhe threw Yang Xuan’s basketball straight into the back of the hill, and although the difference in physique was vast, the out-of-touch good student didn’t seem to be as easy to mess with as they thought. They waited for Tang Junhe to annoy Yang Xuan and get a public lecture from him—Yang Xuan had a reputation for fighting, but most had never witnessed it.
However, to their dismay, this so-called “punishment” went quite smoothly, Yang Xuan opened the cigarette case and pushed it in front of Tang Junhe, gesturing for him to take one out himself. Tang Junhe also didn’t have the irritated reaction they imagined, and just took a cigarette out calmly.
As the KTV lights flicker, the blinding colored light accompanied by a dynamic rhythm from one corner to another shakes people dizzy, making the room appear bright and bizarre—where everything has lost its original color. Tang Junhe did not even take a close look at the cigarette case and just straight up looked at Yang Xuan and pulled one out of it.
— “Don’t smoke tonight no matter what.”
–But Yang Xuan wanted to teach him, so how could he refuse?
Looking at the greenish-blue cigarette being pinched out by Tang Junhe’s fingertips, Yang Xuan’s pupils suddenly shrank in an imperceptible way. The decision he just made about fate worked immediately, could it be that fate was directing him to use his brother to get back at Tang Xiaonian?
“Ge…” he watched as Tang Junhe’s lips opened and closed in the obscure light, “the lighter.” The cat-like eyes looked at him, resembling a black agate unadulterated with any impurities, which did not fit in with the crazy rhythm of the lights overhead.
–It can also be used as an aphrodisiac.
“In that state with this face in front of me that had flashed an innocent and seductive look before… if he really got aroused… what will happen?”
Yang Xuan took out another cigarette from the box, bit it into his mouth, took out the lighter and lit it on fire, he took a drag, then raised his chin toward Tang Junhe and pushed the lighter toward him, signaling that he was done with the demonstration and it was his turn.
Tang Junhe has always learned things quickly, this time he even learned the exact same order, he followed the example of Yang Xuan—put the greenish-blue cigarette between his lips, picked up the metal lighter on the table, and thumb scratched the cap. When the lid was opened, there was a soft sound of “zi”, and the fire jumped up.
He dropped his eyes, his dense eyelashes covered down, casting a jagged row of dark shadows on his lower eyelids that twitched slightly. He brought the lighter towards the end of the cigarette, and the golden-yellow strands were lit, emitting a pale greenish smoke.
Tang Junhe raised his eyes to look at Yang Xuan. The way he smoked looked completely different from the usual, less innocent, more seductive, and the two lips with the cigarette were lined with greenish-blue and looked especially red.
Yang Xuan’s throat rolled, and before Tang Junhe could take a puff, he reached out and pulled the cigarette out from between his brother’s lips, then turned his head and looked up at Feng Bo: “Are we clear now?”
Feng Bo froze before coming back to his senses, “Eh? That’s it?”
“What else?” Yang Xuan frowned, and there was some impatience in his expression.
“At least take a puff…” Feng Bo looked to the person next to him, trying to find approval, “Right? The rules were stated in advance, right?”
“This will do.” Yang Xuan said in a deep voice without question, as if he was speaking to Feng Bo or to Tang Junhe, and when he said this, he reached out and rubbed Tang Junhe’s hair, his movements were not gentle.
And the greenish-blue cigarette, still burning with a golden spark, was pressed to the palm mound of his other hand as he twisted it stiffly out.
Hello dear readers, hi to all of you. The translator for this project is currently with covid and still has difficulty using her wrist due to an accident (she already mentioned it in the previous chapter) so I’m substituting for her while she’s gone. If there’s any suggestion or mistakes in the translations, feel free to say it. Btw, I’m still working on the chapters she already started, those sponsored chapters will be out once I’m done with it, so please bear with me.
PS: I’m praying for your soon recovery, Mei! <3<3<3