Chapter 23: It wasn’t because he was certain, but because he was scared
• • •
Xie Jianwei hurriedly went and brought it into his arms, saying: “Don’t touch it.”
Lu Li’s expression didn’t change, although his voice grew colder: “Don’t panic, I won’t touch it.”
Xie Jianwei visibly released a breath.
Lu Li said again: “Don’t worry, I won’t touch your belongings without your permission.”
Xie Jianwei said apprehensively: “You mustn’t touch it no matter what.”
Lu Li’s forehead furrowed a little, and when he moved his gaze away, he caught sight of that flower vase that had been shattered a year ago.
He stared at it for a little while, and then tore his eyes from it, saying: “I’ll go cook.”
Xie Jianwei replied: “En.”
That night, Xie Jianwei didn’t bother Lu Li, and Lu Li slept in the guest bedroom.
The next day, Lu Yan came to see Xie Jianwei again, but today Lu Yan had something weighing on him the whole time. He kept wanting to speak, only to pause.
Xie Jianwei knew that there was gonna be drama, so he cooperatively asked: “What’s wrong with you now?”
Lu Yan didn’t reply much, merely asking: “Do you want to eat cherries?”
Xie Jianwei said: “Doctor Lu said that the cherries right now are all ripened artificially, it’s not healthy, so I’m not gonna eat them.”
Lu Yan asked a few more questions. Xie Jianwei wasn’t too interested in any of them.
It was obvious that he was changing the topic. Xie Jianwei stubbornly headed straight for the main course: “I want to see Doctor Lu.”
Lu Yan didn’t open the box like he always did, but continued to talk about other things.
Xie Jianwei said unhappily: “I don’t want to eat anything, I want to see Doctor Lu only.”
Lu Yan sounded troubled: “Can you not see him today?”
Xie Jianwei asked: “Why?”
Lu Yan said: “I’m worried that you’ll be angry when you see.”
Xie Jianwei said: “As long as I can see Doctor Lu, I’ll never be angry.”
Lu Yan sighed, his gaze filled with helplessness.
Xie Jianwei said: “Hurry and open it, I want to see Doctor Lu!”
Lu Yan replied: “Okay, you absolutely mustn’t cry.”
Xie Jianwei declared: “I won’t cry.”
Lu Yan prodded open the little box, and an image immediately appeared on the screen.
Xie Jianwei only took a glance, and it was as if he had been frozen in place, his features paling rapidly.
Lu Yan hurriedly pressed down, closing the image.
Xie Jianwei stared unmovingly at the blackened screen, as if it still held those two people, smiling as they embraced each other.
One of them was Lu Li, the other one was…Lu Li’s student?
Xie Jianwei’s voice was as light as a feather: “How did this happen?”
Lu Yan said: “Yesterday Ji Sen confessed to Lu Li.”
Ji Sen was that student.
Xie Jianwei’s face grew paler. He looked at Lu Yan: “What does that mean?”
Lu Yan’s heartache filled his eyes, but he still said to him: “Lu Li didn’t accept him, but didn’t reject him either.”
Xie Jianwei appeared as if he didn’t quite understand what he was hearing.
Lu Yan could only explain it a little more clearly: “Lu Li gave Ji Sen a chance to pursue him.”
‘Pa-ta’ – a big teardrop fell from Xie Jianwei’s eyes.
As Lu Yan looked at this sceme, his heart felt as if it had been struck violently with a heavy hammer, so painful that he almost told him the truth.
“Don’t cry ah.” In the end, Lu Yan managed to hold back, but even his tone when comforting him became a little flustered.
Xie Jianwei remained silent, only dropped tears the entire time. The tears came down large and fiercely at that, they couldn’t even be wiped away.
Lu Yan panicked: “Okay okay, little Jianwei, don’t cry, Lu Li doesn’t like JI Sen, he likes you.”
Xie Jianwei’s voice trembled: “If he doesn’t like him then why didn’t he reject him?”
Lu Yan was already barely scraping by, reciting his script line for line: “They’ve known each other for so long, so they should be a little friendly, but it’s definitely you who is more important. Just think – as long as you go out and attend school, and get into medical university, and become Lu Li’s student, Ji Sen wouldn’t stand a chance, and your Doctor Lu will definitely love you very much.”
He was flustered from Xie Jianwei’s crying – he didn’t even understand how to move forward step by step. He should have originally said something like “little Jianwei, you need to walk out, learn how to be independent, you need to become mature, so you can stand side by side with Doctor Lu, then he will only look at you, and won’t be attracted by anyone else…” But now look. He straight-up just displayed the hook – it couldn’t be more blatant.
Xie Jianwei thought inwardly: Just look at you. If you want to orchestrate such an act, you should harden your heart. It’s just a few crocodile tears and you’re already feeling bad?
But Military Strategist Xie still had to cooperate with him: “Is that right?”
Lu Yan right now only wanted Xie JIanwei to stop crying. He was pouring out nice words by the bucket, and the only thing left to confess was ‘this picture is fake, it’s something I got up to fool you, Lu Li and Ji Sen are quite innocent’.
Xie Jianwei was actually quite worried that he would accidentally let it slip. How was he supposed to act anymore if that happened?
And so he said: “I want to be alone.”
Lu Yan was burning up with anxiety. He didn’t understand Xie Jianwei’s painstaking efforts at all.
“I’ll stay with you.”
Xie Jianwei: If you stay any longer, your acting will crack you stupid kid!
Xie Jianwei said: “I don’t want to see you!”
Lu Yan: “…”
Xie Jianwei could only hold back his tears, repeating: “I don’t want to see that face of yours.”
Since the Military Strategist Xie finally stopped dropping his golden tears, Lu Yan also finally recovered his intelligence, and after he calmed down, he was a little dumbfounded.
What was up with him?
Although he admitted that he liked Xie Jianwei, but did he have to abandon all his principles just because he cried, and want only to make him happy?
How could he be so stupid?
But the emotion had yet to fade. Lu Yan knew deep inside that if Xie Jianwei had cried a little more, he’d definitely have been unable to keep his ground, and he’d confess everything. Even the insane thought that “as long as he likes Lu Li, he was willing to tie Lu Li up and present it to him” had arisen in his mind.
No, no, he couldn’t stay any longer. He had planned for so long, he couldn’t fail now that he was so close!
After Lu Yan left, not to mention cry, Xie Jianwei couldn’t even hold down the corner of his lips.
How could his Lu Li be so cute?
Every single one was so so cute.
Sweetness suffused Xie Jianwei’s heart. It was stuffed to the brim with a sweet lolly called ‘Lu Li’.
What a pity that when Doctor Lu came back, he still had to put on an angsty play.
How was he supposed to switch between these emotions ah!
Xie Jianwei pondered for a moment, and then opened that little box again. The image within was still frozen on the picture of Lu Li and Ji Sen embracing.
This was clearly faked, and the synthesised nature of the image couldn’t be more obvious. Even if he only took a single glance, Xie Jianwei could tell.
But even though it was faked, it should still have some effect in influencing his emotions.
Even after staring at it for a little while, Xie Jianwei was still a little out of character.
Without even touching on how Lu Li just wouldn’t cheat at all, even if he did actually cheat, Xie Jianwei wouldn’t be filled with remorse and self-blame.
Speaking of…Xie Jianwei suddenly paused. What would he do?
If Lu Li really did fall for someone else, what would he do?
The sudden rise of coldness in his chest surprised Xie Jianwei.
He had known, since a very long time ago, that he could abandon everything, as long as he had Lu Li.
If Lu Li left him…
Xie Jianwei realised that he had never thought about this before.
It wasn’t because he was certain, but because he was scared.
When Lu Li came back, he caught sight of Xie Jianwei sitting in the bedroom, staring off into space.
He approached him, asking: “What’s wrong?”
He’d only just touched him, yet Xie JIanwei acted like he had been stung, violently standing up.
Lu Li paused in surprise.
Xie Jianwei didn’t look at him, merely asking in a low voice: “Doctor Lu.”
Lu Li smiled. “Did something make you unhappy?”
Xie Jianwei was silent.
Lu Li kept feeling that Xie Jianwei had been distancing himself from him these days. Even though there would inevitably be a stage like this accompanying him as he grew up into an adult, but when it arrived it’d still give rise to uneasiness.
Lu Li said: “Is there anything you can’t talk to me about?”
Xie Jianwei hesitated, before asking: ‘Doctor Lu, there’s nothing wrong with my body anymore right?”
Lu Li said: “Of course there’s nothing wrong, you’re already very healthy now.”
Xie Jianwei’s head tilted upwards as he looked at him: “Can I go to school?”
Lu Li’s spine suddenly straightened.
Xie Jianwei said: “There’s only a few more months until college entrance exams. If I miss this round, I’ll need to wait another year.”
Lu Li asked him: “Do you want to go to school that much?”
Xie Jianwei replied: “Yes.”
Lu Li paused. A moment later, he slowly said: “Okay, I’ll organise it tomorrow.”
He agreed, thinking that Xie Jianwei would be so happy his eyes would sparkle. But Xie Jianwei only nodded upon hearing his words, unbelievably solemn.
Dinner was very sombre when the two ate, and they didn’t speak much either when studying. When it was time to sleep at night, Xie Jianwei obediently went back to his room, and even closed the door as he went in.
Lu Li stood outside the door. He stood almost the entire night.
What was up with Xie Jianwei?
In the days that followed, everything appeared to be as usual on the surface, but in reality, it was very different from normal.
They would routinely do the things they’d always did, the only difference being that Xie Jianwei no longer bothered Lu Li.
On Monday, Lu Li sent Xie Jianwei to school.
Because the where he studied was a private school with a large number of students from overseas who joined during the year, and also because they’d given notice already earlier, Xie Jianwei easily integrated within.
His deskmate was an English youth who carried in his hands a book on grade 1 Chinese after all. Xie Jianwei was so skilled in comparison he couldn’t get any more skilled…
Life as a student was even calmer than he had imagined.
Lu Li had probably only decided on this school after a lot of effort. The entire class was exotic, and that nationalities were very distinct, their aesthetics were extremely different, so Xie Jianwei’s incredibly outstanding features didn’t actually draw too much attention.
Of course, Xie Jianwei figured that it was most likely ‘The Will of God’ making mischief.
Anyways, if Lu Li wanted people to like him, then there’d be a whole heap of people pouring in from all sides, loving him to death, just like assistants A, B, and C from before. On this, Xie Jianwei too felt speechless.
If he didn’t want people to like him, then the classroom would be filled with straight men and bent women with exotic tastes.
As for the abuse that he had suffered in the Xie family when he had entered the dream, that part was probably an actual result of logic. ‘God’ Lu didn’t have time to interfere that much.
Xie Jianwei took a day of classes with exceptional boredom. Honestly speaking, to him, the course was as bland as if there was someone repeating over and over again “one plus one equals two”.
Repeating it a few hundred times even. It would’ve been better to let him go back to plant trees – and maybe an orchard of a new species of cherry trees not of the planet earth would be cultivated.
He’d finally made it to after school. Xie Jianwei picked up his backpack and walked out of the schoolyard. He was just thinking of Lu Li, when Lu Li appeared in front of him.
Oh…it wasn’t Lu Li number one. It was Lu Li number two.
Xie Jianwei walked right up, and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “Doctor L…”
The last letter hadn’t even jumped out when Lu Yan smiled. Xie Jianwei immediately stopped talking.
Lu Yan said: “What? I’m not your Doctor Lu, so you’re not happy anymore?”
Xie Jianwei said: “In a moment Doctor Lu will come pick me up. I’m waiting for him here.”
Lu Yan said: “He probably has some stuff, he won’t be able to make it for a while. How about I send you home first.”
Xie Jianwei said: “We agreed already!”
Lu Yan said: “Then I’ll wait for him with you.”
Xie Jianwei said: “I don’t want you to, hurry up and go.”
Lu Yan said: “Don’t be like that. I even took a long path today to buy coconut milk pudding for you.”
He shook the little box in his hand. XIe Jianwei had eaten it once before, and he knew that the pudding from that shop had an excellent taste, deserving to be called the best.
He visibly hesitated.
Lu Yan said: “Do you want to go into the car to eat? Lu Li will definitely have arrived after you finish eating.”
Xie Jianwei stayed steadfast: “I’m not eating, and I won’t go into your car either.”
Lu yan asked him: “What, did you think that I’d take you and run off?”
Xie Jianwei looked at him with suspicion, obviously thinking just that.
Lu Yan couldn’t help but laugh, saying: “Okay, we’ll not eat in the car. I’ll stay with you right here.”
Xie Jianwei ignored him, looking left and right for Lu Li.
Right at this moment, Lu Li arrived.
He had left home long ago, but on the way had received a phone call from his father, so he went back to his house. When he came out he got stuck in a traffic jam too, and so had lost a bit of time.
He was worried that Xie Jianwei would be worried from all the waiting, and was also worried that he wouldn’t be safe standing there all alone. So Lu Li was anxious the entire journey, wishing that he could fly himself over.
But when he arrived, he saw that Xie Jianwei wasn’t alone.
Suddenly seeing that face, the exact same as his own, made Lu Li’s heart leap.
Lu Yan and he had never gotten along, he’d always fought with him, be it out in the open or under the table.
Lu Li thought instinctively that Lu Yan was disguised as himself with the intention of deceiving Xie Jianwei.
But when he walked slightly closer, he heard Xie Jianwei say: “Take it away Lu yan, I already said that I didn’t want to eat.”
Lu Yan asked him with a smile: “What’s wrong? Last time you said that it was yummy, and you even ate two.”
The author has something to say: President of Drama: on the road of blackening oneself , I am invincible.
• • •
• • •
 Blackening: twisting of personality into something darker