Chapter 23: It wasn’t because he was certain, but because he was scared.
• • •
Lu Li’s eyes swiftly darkened: “Do it?”
Xie Jianwei was very obedient, he didn’t dare move even an inch after speaking. Because he was too shy, even the tips of his ears were thoroughly red.
Lu Li was entirely unsure of how he managed to protect the last remaining shreds of his intellect: “You…want to do it with me?”
Xie Jianwei nodded.
Lu Li said: “Do you know what that means?”
Even Xie Jianwei’s voice was trembling slightly: “Of, of course, I know, only people who like each other can…can…” In the end, he was too embarrassed to spit the words out.
Lu Li stared at his pretty neck, and said in a low voice: “It’s not only ‘like’.”
Xie Jianwei looked up at him uncertainly: “En?”
Lu Li met his eyes, and his gaze deepened, deep enough that one couldn’t see what was oscillating within its depths: “This is something that only people who ** can do.” [censored in original text]
Xie Jianwei’s heart was beating rapidly. He was clearly flustered, yet he still stubbornly met Lu Li’s gaze. He said: “Doctor Lu, I love you.”
Lu Li didn’t reply.
Xie Jianwei thought that he didn’t hear him, and repeated it in a louder voice: “Doctor Lu, I love you!”
After a pause, Lu Li smiled, and tugged him into his embrace, lightly sighing: “You’re still too young.”
Xie Jianwei’s voice was frustrated: “I’m already seventeen!”
“That’s right, you’re only seventeen.”
Xie Jianwei: “…”
Lu Li said: “Be good, we’ll talk about this topic again when you’re of age.”
Xie Jianwei wanted to defend himself still, but Lu Li pressed a kiss onto his forehead, getting up and saying: “I still have some stuff to do, go to sleep by yourself first.”
Realising that he was about to leave, Xie Jianwei no longer cared about the topic before either. He hurriedly pulled on the corner of his clothes: “Doctor Lu!”
Lu Li smiled very gently. His manner seemed to be the same as usual, and yet it was somehow also very different. He said to Xie Jianwei: “Goodnight.”
Xie Jianwei couldn’t bear to see him go, but he didn’t want to trouble Lu Li with his disobedience.
While he was hesitating, Lu Li had already left.
Xie Jianwei stared blankly, diving back under the covers with disappointment all over his face.
He knew that the room had surveillance on it, so Xie Jianwei put on a one-man act for a little while.
Stuff like disappointment, conflict, sadness etc. – he put himself through all sorts of ‘can’t think straight’, once each.
As he acted, the King-of-Acting Xie fell asleep.
Everything was within expectations.
Lu Li bottom line was pretty solid – if he wasn’t of age then he wouldn’t touch him. He was pretty amazing in his own way.
Everything went about as usual on the second day.
Lu Li made an intricate breakfast. When Xie Jianwei sat at the dining table, he couldn’t resist stealing secretive glances at him constantly.
His thoughts were written on his face. It was hard for Lu LI not to see them even if he didn’t want to.
Xie Jianwei didn’t raise his head either, merely holding the spoon and using it to stir the millet congee unceasingly.
Lu Li asked him: “Is it not tasty?”
Xie Jianwei said: “it’s very tasty.”
Lu Li asked again: “Then are you not hungry?”
Xie Jianwei paused for a moment. In the end, he still put down the spoon, raising his head and looking at Lu LI: “Where did you go last night?”
Lu LI said: “I slept in the guest bedroom.”
Xie Jianwei was somewhat sad as he said: “Why didn’t you come back into the room to sleep?”
Lu Li replied: “It was too late when I finished working, I didn’t want to wake you up.”
Xie Jianwei immediately said: “I sleep very late, I’m don’t mind you waking me up!”
Lu Li laughed, shaking his head, saying: “Okay, let’s eat, it’ll get cold in a minute.”
Since he didn’t want to continue the conversation, Xie Jianwei could only swallow back down the words that were at his lips, eating the dry and tasteless breakfast as if he were chewing wax.
From the time when the two had first met to now, this was the tensest the atmosphere between them had ever been.
No one said anything the entire time, and the only sound was that of the spoons touching the porcelain bowls, and the chopsticks tapping the porcelain plates.
After eating, Lu Li prepared to leave.
Xie Jianwei was still mad and didn’t spare him a glance.
Lu Li finished dressing, and after going downstairs he finally called out to him in a light tone: “Come here.”
Xie Jianwei hesitated for a moment, and in the end still went over.
Lu Li bent his waist, meeting his gaze: “You’re angry?”
Xie Jianwei lowered his head.
Lu Li reached out and cupped his cheek, lightly kissing his forehead: “In a few months you’ll have reached eighteen years old. When that time comes, you can decide everything.”
Xie Jianwei’s eyes brightened: “Doctor Lu…”
Lu Li kissed his lips, his movements gentle but restrained, and yet the meaning behind it was sweet enough to make one’s head spin.
He said to Xie Jianwei: “I love you, so please grow up quickly.”
Xie Jianwei’s lips rose up uncontrollably, as happy as if he was hugging the entire world.
Lu Li went to work, and Xie Jianwei was in a very good mood, even though he knew that Lu Li’s internal conflict was still there. But such amazing sweet talking – he wouldn’t get sick of it no matter how many times he heard it.
He loved him, and it was reciprocated.
Was there anything more beautiful than this?
Xie Jianwei couldn’t think of anything.
After a few hours, Lu Li number two arrived right on time.
Xie Jianwei’s mood was very bright, so even Lu Yan became pleasing to the eye, even though he knew the guy had come to stir things up.
Lu Yan’s smile bloomed when he saw him, and he asked with an evil smile: “Did it?”
Xie Jianwei coldly humphed: “Doctor Lu wouldn’t be as dirty-minded as you are!”
Lu Yan wasn’t surprised: “Then you didn’t do it?”
Xie Jianwei’s heart was currently filled with sugar, so even when he spoke his lips were raised in a smile: “Doctor Lu said that I’m still small, he wants to wait for me to come of age.”
Lu Yan went “Oh”, and didn’t say any more, merely smiling at Xie Jianwei in such a manner..
Xie Jianwei felt uncomfortable under his stare, and shot a glare at him: “What evil ideas are you plotting now?”
Lu Yan innocently said: “What sort of evil ideas could I possibly plot? I’m clearly worrying for you so much that my heart’s in pieces, you foolish child!”
Xie Jianwei replied, unimpressed: “I’m not foolish, nor am I a child.”
Lu Yan said: “Let’s not talk about whether you’re foolish or not; as to whether you’re a child…I’m not wrong am I? Even your Doctor Lu thinks you’re a kid.”
Xie Jianwei furrowed his brows: “I’ll grow up sooner or later!”
Lu Yan shook his head, tousling his soft hair helplessly.
Xie Jianwei ducked away from his hand: “Don’t touch me!”
Lu Yan didn’t say anything else, taking out today’s little gift and changing the topic.
Xie Jianwei thought that something was off about him today.
This move of Lu Yan’s was called ‘letting the enemy off to catch him later’. If it weren’t the Military Strategist Xie that he had been facing, he probably would’ve driven Little Xie Wei in circles.
He clearly had something to say and yet he didn’t say it outright; when he smiled, there was an extra meaning hidden within its depths; and from time to time he would even let out an ‘ah you’re so naive’ expression…
To a half-grown adolescent, this stuff was only too lethal. It was practically a bait, tailor-made for him, with a fragrance that spread throughout the water in the pond. It was hard for the little fish to resist biting, even if he didn’t want to.
Pity that Xie Jianwei wasn’t a fish – he was the hunter.
Of course, he needed to bite first, so that he could leap out from the surface of the lake, and then put this guy in his place.
Lu Yan looked flippant, but in reality, he was quite a patient person.
He continued to watch a few days in a row worth of ‘Doctor Lu’s Daily Life’ with Xie Jianwei, and didn’t mention the previous topic even a little.
But he would, from time to time, send a ‘sympathetic’ gaze towards Xie JIanwei.
When Xie Jianwei asked him about it, he would avoid the topic.
Such a manner of wanting to say something and yet not saying it, completely dragged out Xie Jianwei’s curiosity.
After a week, Lu Yan began to reel in the net.
Xie Jianwei could endure no longer: “Just what is it that you want to say?”
Lu Yan said: “You’re still young, there are some things that you’re better off not knowing.”
Xie Jianwei would only grow more curious, the more he said it that way. He didn’t even watch Doctor Lu’s Daily Life anymore, staring at Lu Yan and asking: “Can’t you say it properly!”
Lu Yan troubledly said: “What would it matter even if I said it? You wouldn’t believe me either way.”
Xie Jianwei said: “If what you said was correct, then why wouldn’t I believe it?”
Lu Yan replied insinuatingly: “What I said might not be correct, but it is definitely the truth.”
Xie Jianwei feigned ignorance at the meaning hidden within his words, and merely exclaimed impatiently: “Just what are you trying to say!”
Lu Yan saw that the fire was just about right. If he kept teasing him, the fish might walk away in anger, so he said: “Do you really think that it’s because you’re small, that Lu Li doesn’t want to do it with you?”
His sudden jumping to this topic made Xie Jianwei visibly pause. After all, that incident had passed quite a while ago.
“What other reason could there be? Doctor Lu’s already said that he loves me!”
Lu Yan laughed: “That’s why I said you’re such a small kid.”
Xie Jianwei wasn’t happy: “I’m not small!”
Lu Yan replied: “Someone randomly tells you a lie to make you happy, and you believe it just like that. And you still insist you’re not a small kid?”
Xie Jianwei caught the hint in his words: “Doctor Lu wouldn’t lie to me.”
“Little Jianwei.” Lu Yan flicked his forehead, “Grow some insight.”
Xie Jianwei was angry now: “If you say any more bad stuff about Doctor Lu, then get out of here, I don’t welcome you!”
Lu Yan immediately raised his hands in surrender: “Clearly you’re the one who made me say it, and now you’re the one getting angry.”
Xie Jianwei said: “I didn’t tell you to say rubbish!”
Lu Yan glanced at him, and suddenly became serious, saying: “Whether you believe it or not, is up to you; but today, I’ll put these words down here.”
Xie Jianwei had known him for quite a while by now, and although Lu Yan looked exactly the same as Lu Li, out of the two, one of was withdrawn and serious, and the other liked pranking people, so Xie Jianwei could very easily tell them apart. But now that Lu Yan suddenly became serious, the astonishing similarity slammed him in the face, and his heart couldn’t resist leaping.
Lu Yan said to him: “Seventeen really isn’t young anymore. If Lu Li truly loved you, he wouldn’t ignore your plea for love. He’s been taking care of you this whole time, and he’s probably thought of you as his own younger brother. He doesn’t want to make you sad and thus said all those nice words to please you. He wants to slowly distance himself from you, and when a long time has passed, you won’t ever see him again.”
Xie Jianwei brows knit tightly.
Lu Yan said again: “Think back for yourself. During this week, has Lu Li been distancing himself from you?”
The question made Xie Jianwei speechless.
Lu Yan was also quite scheming. He was fully confident when he asked the question.
Xie Jianwei took the initiative to seek sex. Lu Li could hold back once, but he couldn’t hold back a second time. There were only a few months left until he turned eighteen, and, in order to keep his to his morals, Lu Li would definitely quietly maintain a distance from Xie Jianwei, or else he’d really fail to tide these few months over.
Xie Jianwei had successfully ‘entered the trap’. He said stubbornly: “He hasn’t distanced himself from me.”
Lu Yan smiled as he looked at him: “Whether he has or not, you’re the one who knows best about it.”
Xie Jianwei bit his lips unconsciously. It was obvious that his thoughts were already running astray.
Lu Yan continued to poke at his sore spot: “You don’t need to feel impatient. When a few months have passed, you will discover…”
“Impossible!” Xie Jianwei hurriedly interrupted his words.
Lu Yan comforted him: “Don’t be angry now.”
Xie Jianwei’s chest rose and fell, and his expression was ugly: “I…I’m tired. You should go back.”
Lu Yan said: “You’re not gonna watch Doctor Lu anymore?”
Xie Jianwei swept his gaze across the screen, a shade of sorrow in his eyes: “I’m going back in.”
Lu Yan left.
Xie Jianwei fittingly spent a little while in despondency, and then went to investigate the cherry trees in the backyard.
What was the use of cherry trees that couldn’t produce fruit! He was going to figure out how to alter the species, and let the cherry tree in the backyard mature earlier, and bear a lot of cherries while it was at it. Best if every one of them could be as big as a pigeon’s egg, and sweeter than a maraschino cherry, and it also needed to be juicy and full.
Even the thought of them was tasty. After finishing the yandere teenager act in these hard times, Military Strategist Xie will turn to join the agricultural industry on the side.
What a very fast and exceedingly natural switch.
After busying about for a little while, Lu Li came back.
He once again started the act. Lu Yan gave him such a good foreshadowing; if he didn’t show some slip-ups now, it wouldn’t do his painstaking operations any justice.
That night, after Lu Li finished tutoring him on his studies, he got up to leave.
Xie Jianwei pulled on his clothing: “Stay.”
Lu Li said: “I still need to work for a little while, you should go to sleep first.”
Xie Jianwei stared at him unblinkingly: “I’ll stay up with you.”
Lu Li said: “It’s all very boring stuff, you’ll be bored when you see it anyways.”
But Xie Jianwei persistently said: “I want to be with you.”
Lu Li was very familiar with Xie Jianwei when he was in this state. When he was uneasy, nervous, when he was afraid of losing something, he would be like this.
If it was before, Lu Li would baby him, but today he paused. In the end he still said: “Rest up earlier, okay?”
Xie Jianwei didn’t say any more, but when Lu Li started leaving, he followed behind him like a little tail.
That night, Lu Li worked until it was almost am. Xie Jianwei didn’t do anything either, merely sitting by his side and watching him, barely blinking, as if, if his gaze strayed away slightly, his Doctor Lu would disappear into thin air.
Lu Li couldn’t say what the feeling inside his heart was – it seemed to be very sweet, and yet also very bitter.
Xie Jianwei was so sleepy that his eyelids drooped, and yet he still didn’t want to leave. His little head bobbed up and down, and the stray hairs against his forehead were like the thin branches of willow in early spring, swaying this way and that with a youthful air.
Lu Li, in the end, felt worried for him, and didn’t continue the stalemate anymore: “Okay, go to sleep.”
Xie Jianwei stood up immediately, pulling on his hand and saying: “We’ll sleep together.”
Lu Li knew that the reason that he had waited for so long, was this.
Xie Jianwei immediately bloomed in a smile, the fatigue in his delicate features swept away instantly, leaving only the satisfaction from having his wishes granted.
The words at Lu Li’s lips were pushed forcibly back down again.
Because he had slept too late, the next day Xie Jianwei slept until the sun was high up in the sky, and Lu Li didn’t wake him up either.
Xie Jianwei woke up groggily, and a bantering voice came by his ears: “Without a maid helping her, she could not have lifted herself, for it was her first time receiving the love of her monarch.” 
Xie Jianwei: What the fuck!
Lu Yan came to the bedside, dipping his waist and observing him: “Except the monarch in the poem never attended morning court since then, but your Doctor Lu seems to have left a little early?”
The timbre of Lu Yan’s voice was very pleasant, a warmth within its beauty, sensuality weaved into its lingering sounds. Put simply, it was very seductive, particularly in the morning. When it sounded by his ears, it was especially erotic.
Xie Jianwei’s waist went soft, and he didn’t want to get out of bed even more.
Lu Yan didn’t tease him anymore, merely smilingly asking: “Did you get what you wished for?”
Xie Jianwei humphed. His mood was very good, and he said: “We slept together last night!”
Lu Yan ‘Oh’ed very meaningfully: “So you weren’t sleeping together before?”
Xie Jianwei’s sore spot was poked at, his expression getting darker.
Lu Yan put on a show of comforting him: “Okay okay, all of what I said before was wrong, your Doctor Lu indeed loves you. Hasn’t he done intimate things with you now?”
Xie Jianwei’s forehead wrinkled, and he made no sound.
Lu Yan exaggeratedly asked: “You guys didn’t do it?”
Xie Jianwei: “…”
Lu Yan clearly knew it already, and yet he asked anyway: “Then how come you’re so tired?”
Xie Jianwei didn’t want to talk to him.
Lu Yan murmured to himself: “You and your beloved Doctor Lu slept together, and didn’t do anything tiring, so how come you’re so worn out? Could it be that you’ve separated for too long, so you’re not used to sleeping together?”
Xie Jianwei immediately denied: “No it’s not! We’re very used to it?”
Lu Yan lead him on, asking: “Then what happened?”
Xie Jianwei told him in the end: “It’s only that we slept a little late.”
Lu Yan went deep in thought for a moment, then solemnly asked: “Little Jianwei, it couldn’t have been that you bugged Lu Li, begging him to sleep with you, right.”
The buds of Xie Jianwei’s lips trembled, and he wanted to open his mouth and deny it, yet he paused.
Uncontested anger filled Lu Yan’s eyes: “You, why would you go so far? Melons that have been pulled off forcibly will not be sweet – if it happens once or twice, Lu Li will still forgive you, but if it happens frequently, would he not become even more annoyed at you?”
The last five words made Xie Jianwei snap: “Doctor Lu wouldn’t be annoyed at me!”
Lu Yan shook his head, saying: “If you don’t believe me, then carry on bugging him tonight.”
Xie Jianwei stubbornly said: “You only know how to speak rubbish, I won’t believe you!”
Lu Yan had on a look of helplessness and said: “I spoke too much.”
Xie Jianwei didn’t want to talk to him anymore and dove back under the covers to go back to sleep.
Lu Yan asked him: “You’re not going to watch Doctor Lu today?”
Xie Jianwei said, still holding a grudge: “Not gonna watch.”
Lu Yan smiled and didn’t leave either, instead, he started strolling around the place.
The room had clear signs of someone else living in it. There was a lot of new stuff, but there was also an extremely numerous amount of old possessions.
Lu Yan looked at that flower vase that had been forcibly pieced back together, asking curiously: “It’s already like this, and you still haven’t thrown it away?”
Xie Jianwei sat up immediately: “You’re not allowed to touch my stuff.”
Lu Yan’s outstretched hands were once again retrieved: “Is this flower vase very important?”
Xie Jianwei didn’t like him: “Regardless of whether it’s important or not, you’re not allowed to touch any of my stuff.”
Lu Yan paused, and suddenly laughter emerged in his eyes. He had guessed more of what Lu Li was thinking, and he felt that it was getting more interesting.
Lu Yan asked without a change in his expression: “Can Lu Li touch it?”
Xie Jianwei said: “Doctor Lu never randomly touches my stuff!”
Lu Yan got it now: “Is that so.”
Xie Jianwei’s mood was unpleasant, and he started chasing him away: “You should go back. I need to sleep in the morning, and I still need to study in the afternoon, I don’t have time to play with you.”
Lu Yan wasn’t demanding either: “Then I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Xie Jianwei said: “No one wants to see you.”
Lu Yan lowered his voice, and softly murmured: “It’s me who wants to see you.”
Xie Jianwei: “…”
Lu Yan ruffled his hair, and said: “Rest up, I’m leaving.”
Out of the blue, Xie Jianwei’s face reddened, and he dipped his head, saying: “Hurry and leave.”
Lu Yan turned around and left. Just as he was about to walk through the door, he looked as if he had just thought of something, and turned back around to utter a reminder: “The little box I gave you; you must never let Doctor Lu touch it.”
Xie Jianwei asked: “Why?”
Lu Yan said: “He and I are blood-related brothers, and that thing is DNA sensitive. If Lu Li touches it, it can be opened too, and when that time comes…”
Xie Jianwei thought inwardly: Go right on bullshitting. DNA sensitive – what era do you think it is?
But Xie Jianwei went along with his acting, and said: “Doctor Lu won’t touch it.”
Lu Yan said: “Then that would be for the best.”
After Lu Yan left, Xie Jianwei displayed the little box he had hidden away carefully on the table.
When Lu Li came back, he saw the little box at first glance.
He asked: “What is this?” As he spoke, he reached out his hand to touch it.
Xie Jianwei hurriedly said: “Don’t touch it!”
Lu Li’s hand abruptly froze.
• • •
• • •
 Comes from a poem, describing the soft, languid manner in which one of the emperor’s consorts (Consort Yang) lifted herself up from her bath, having received the favour of the emperor for the first time.
Still looking for an editor, you don’t need to know Chinese. Being fluent in English is fine – I just need someone to make things sound less awkward and check for errors~~ Even if you’re only able to be one temporarily, it’ll still help! I’m thinking late June to early July cause that’s when holidays are, so I’ll focus more on translating during that period.
I’ve translated most of the chapter, so I’ve only got 7 pages left of the 2nd half 😀 Shit hits the fan in the next half chapter, and in chapter 24 the fan starts spinning. :))))
Exams, on the other hand, will begin in June, so I don’t think there’ll be updates during the month, but I will do my damndest to pump out chapters faster during the break so it doesn’t take five years to finish translating this lmao. Just four years instead hehehe.