53rd -【Jiang Yueman】
Warning: subtle mentions of self-harm, and you might hyperventilate and experience frequent heart squeezes this chapter1:(:’]
In the cramped narrow alley, even moonlight couldn’t shine in. Through Lu Shi’s eyes, Chu Yu seemed to be able to see an endless pain trapped whirling around within his heart and mind.
He grasped Lu Shi’s wrist and moved away his hand which was holding his chin.
His chin felt a little painful; the skin was probably red. Chu Yu didn’t pay it any attention and raised his arm to hug Lu Shi on his own volition. In this position, his teeth bit into Lu Shi’s shoulder.
The force was quite heavy while the bite was very deep.
The blood was sucked into his mouth and swallowed down his throat. Chu Yu let the blood moisten his lips and looked straight at Lu Shi with a smile. “If you think your blood’s dirty then I, who’s consumed so much of your blood, have been like you since long ago— already dirty.”
“With this, do you feel a bit better?”
Chu Yu didn’t take Lu Shi back to school. Since he was covered all over with the smell of liquor, it wouldn’t be a good thing if they came across someone who used their head.
Hiring a taxi, Chu Yu helped the person to Qingchuan Road.
The weather was cold, especially at night, and the wind was too chilly to be resisted with just a sweater, so Qingchuan Road was quiet and absent of people.
The street lights hadn’t been repaired since long ago, causing some to still be lit while others weren’t.
Chu Yu turned around to take a look every few steps. It wasn’t that he was afraid of people following them, rather it was mainly ghosts that he was afraid of.
After finally putting Lu Shi on the bed in his bedroom, Chu Yu stood by the bed and searched with his phone: [How to take care of a drunk person.]
“Drink lots of water, sweetened water, mild tea, mung bean soup, tomato juice…”
Chu Yu ran to the kitchen and rummaged through boxes and cabinets, but couldn’t find even a handful of rice. Perhaps if there were rats in the house, they’d be starved to death.
There wasn’t a spoonful of white sugar, let alone tea, mung beans, or tomatoes.
“Can’t lie flat, must lie on their side…”
Returning to the bedroom, Chu Yu put his phone aside, rubbed his hands, stooped over in a horse stance2lmao Chu Yu why the horse stance
, and placed his hands on Lu Shi’s upper and lower back, ready to exert force.
But unexpectedly, Lu Shi put a hand on the back of his hand and then held his four fingers. “Don’t make trouble.”
His voice was deep and rough, like strong wine.
Chu Yu retracted his strength and squatted quietly by the bed, allowing his left hand to be clasped by Lu Shi, whereas his right hand supported his chin.
He watched Lu Shi’s closed eyes, sharp eyebrows, as well as the youth’s distinct jaw lines in a trance.
The skin on the side of Chu Yu’s neck was so hot that it seemed as if Lu Shi’s tears were still there.
His heart was full of questions, but they were all mixed together which made him unsure of what to ask.
But he had to say, he felt… immensely distressed.
What should Lu Shi be like?
He should be at school, with the best grades, praised by teachers, and looked up to by his peers. Or on Qingchuan Road, never lenient in beating up people and whom few people dared to provoke. Or maybe, he should be on the racecourse, with the scenery outside his car window turning into a phantom and serving as his background.
That, instead of leaning on his shoulder in a cramped dark alley, reticent and severely restrained, disallowing anyone from seeing his tears fall.
But perhaps, everyone was like this, right?
What others saw was all bright and beautiful. But the inside, which outsiders couldn’t see through, had long turned into withered weeds. It was just like how others saw him as the most pampered little young master of the Chu family.
In this world, there never had been genuine empathy.
Lu Shi felt like he was dreaming.
He seemed to have returned to his childhood, wearing a school uniform and carrying a school bag home.
Pushing open the iron gate, a few flower shears were placed arbitrarily in the garden. The Lu family mansion was silent, not a soul could be seen, and there wasn’t even a trace of wind.
He clutched his report card, opened the door, passed through the empty living room, and ran up the stairs. ‘Thud thud thud’, up and down, inside and outside, all that echoed were the sounds of his own footsteps.
Passing by a closed door, there were suddenly strange sounds that could be heard. Panting and screaming akin to a thick mucus constantly seeped out from the cracks in the door, dirtying his shoe soles.
Lu Shi turned his head and saw a woman standing in the depths of the corridor. The woman’s face was hidden in the dark, thus her expression couldn’t be seen clearly.
Feeling happy, Lu Shi stopped paying attention to the mucus beneath his feet. He turned around and ran to the woman, saying excitedly, “Mom, look, I took first place again!”
The woman wearing a luxurious evening dress said resentfully, “Little bastard, do you hear that? Your father has other women again, he brought those bitches home to play around! Time and time again, why can’t he just control himself? WHY? Lu Shi, the blood that flows through your veins is really so filthy and truly disgusting.”
The light coming in through the window stretched the length of the woman’s shadow. The black figure kept getting longer and bigger, like a terrifying monster hiding in the dark, extending its sharp claws and grabbing towards Lu Shi.
Lu Shi held the report card and backed away in a panic, his voice seemed stuck in his throat. “Get lost, don’t touch me, go away, go away—”
Calling for help and struggling had no effect. Lu Shi was caught in the shadows and thrown into a river the next second.
The water was piercingly cold, and darkness obscured everything. He seemed to be trapped in a box and could only let himself sink, and sink further—
Lu Shi abruptly opened his eyes.
He saw Chu Yu standing by the bed. The other’s pupils had shrunk slightly, as if he was seeing something horrible; his expression was unfamiliar.
At that moment, Lu Shi felt that he was like some dirty monster whose exquisite leather skin was being pried open.
His murky thoughts, that dark past, everything was being exposed and spread out under the scorching sun.
His head was dizzy so he put his wrist on his brow bone and covered his eyes.
Lu Shi thought, if you want to leave, just leave. He’d never held extravagant hopes that someone such as himself could always keep people by his side.
Happiness was always only temporary. So from the beginning, one shouldn’t be greedy.
Because there was an arm covering half of his face, Chu Yu couldn’t see Lu Shi’s expression properly.
Thinking of Lu Shi’s pale face when he woke up just now, he asked tentatively, “Lu Shi, w-would you like to drink… hot water? I’ll pour it for you.”
No answer was heard.
Chu Yu struggled in place for two seconds before walking out of the bedroom to pour a glass of water.
“Um… I saw on the Internet that drinking more water will make you feel better.” Chu Yu’s heart was beating a bit fast as he kept finding something to say. “I don’t know if it’s true. Would you like to try it?”
Still no response.
Chu Yu also possessed a young master’s temper. With Lu Shi’s apparent uncooperative and unresponsive attitude, he didn’t bother stupidly holding the glass of water anymore.
He randomly put the glass of water on the table, but didn’t leave. Taking off his shoes, he went to the bed and straddled Lu Shi’s waist, then grabbed Lu Shi’s wrist and moved it away. His tone was a bit fierce and a little anxious. “Just say something. If you’re unhappy then you’re unhappy, what dejected, closed-off appearance are you playing at?”
Recalling Lu Shi crying earlier, his heart softened a bit, causing his tone to also soften. “Did you have a nightmare just now? What did you dream about? I called you several times and you wouldn’t wake up. I heard Aunt Lan mention that if you have a nightmare, just saying it aloud will do.”
Chu Yu softened his tone further, just like coaxing a child. “Really, I’m not lying to you, just speak it out and you won’t be afraid anymore.”
Lu Shi opened his eyes and gazed at Chu Yu, his eyes dark like an abyss.
Chu Yu continued to persist, using Lu Shi’s tricks when he usually coaxed him. “Or, do you want a hug?”
Lu Shi didn’t reply, so Chu Yu simply regarded it as tacit approval. He leaned down, wrapped his hand around Lu Shi’s neck, and with head rubbing against head, he hugged him.
He tensely held his breath, and it wasn’t until Lu Shi placed his hands on his back did the taut string in Chu Yu’s heart loosened by two points.
Chu Yu asked in a low voice while leaning close to Lu Shi’s ear, “Lu Shi, what’s the matter with you?”
“Would you like to tell me? I’ll help you keep it a secret. Just like how you helped me keep my being-a-little-blood-sucking-monster a secret, I’ll also keep your secret, okay?”
Maybe it was due to being hit straight by the “little monster”, or that Lu Shi could no longer bear the weight of the truth by himself for much longer. He spoke with a raspy, heavy voice, “They all told me that my mother became pregnant with me shortly after getting married. She died because of dystocia later on. After giving birth to me, she died.”
Chu Yu didn’t dare interject. He inwardly guessed that “they” should refer to Lu Shi’s father, his weird stepmother, or Lu Shi’s grandfather.
She died of dystocia, so Lu Shi felt that he’d killed his birth mother?
“But by chance, I learned about another possibility. That she didn’t die due to dystocia, but rather was killed.”
Chu Yu’s heart shuddered.
Lu Shi’s voice was dull and hoarse, without any prominent emotions.
“I hired a private investigator and have been investigating what happened in the past, wanting to find evidence. After searching for a long time, I finally found some fragments of the past. When she gave birth to me, she was by herself but her body had recovered very well. I, who wasn’t a full-term baby, was taken back to the Lu family while she was given the label ‘died due to dystocia’. I didn’t even know of her existence before last year.”
“I’ve always believed that Fang Weiyun was my biological mother.”
Chu Yu’s breathing was sluggish.
Just these few words were frightening.
Lu Shi closed his eyes again.
He’d been trapped in a nightmare day and night. Every night, he’d hear his biological mother crying, blaming, and hating.
Her biological son, year after year, would affectionately call her enemy “mom”, humbly currying favor and trying to please her.
He fell into the nightmare and the abyss, torturing himself every moment, every hour, in exchange for that half a second of ease.
He wanted revenge, but he was akin to a trapped beast that had nowhere to go. As if stuck in the quagmire, he hobbled with difficulty while sinking to its depths, unable to turn around— he’d never thought of turning around.
Those wretched people, they deserved to die long ago.
It took a long time for Chu Yu to come back from his reverie.
He wanted to comfort him, but his diction was poor, so in the end, he closed his mouth and said nothing.
At this time, all comforts seemed futile and vain.
Chu Yu lay down next to Lu Shi, staring at the ceiling and piecing together the details in his mind.
According to Lu Shi, his biological mother gave birth to him on her lonesome, and it didn’t take long before he was snatched back by the Lu family. His biological mother should’ve been killed at that time.
People from the Lu family kept telling Lu Shi that he was Fang Weiyun’s child. After Lu Shi uncovered this lie, they changed their pretext and told Lu Shi that his biological mother had died of dystocia.
He reckoned that a lot of their words had been weaved to whitewash.
Chu Yu thought deeply, only feeling cold all over his body.
He didn’t know when, but it started raining outside the window. Chu Yu was awakened from his train of thoughts and sat up with the help of his arms on the bed. “I-I’ll close the windows.”
He stepped barefoot on the floor, his feet gradually going numb from the cold.
The wind was a bit strong, so the scratch papers on the desk rustled.
Out of the corner of his eye, Chu Yu caught a glimpse of sharp handwriting on a paper. It was a poem. He had once read Lu Shi’s writing and intentionally checked it out. The poem was ‘XiJiangYueman’.
It wasn’t his first time seeing it.
His heart suddenly issued a ‘badump’. Chu Yu reclined back on the bed again and asked hesitantly, “Those words—”
“That’s my mother’s name. Her name was Jiang Yueman.”
He once wrote those words over and over again.
Just to make himself not forget even for a single moment.
The author has something to say: Here’s a heart-shaped raindrop that hit the glass as my love for you~
Xena: Oh wow, so—Did the author see the message of the poem and made its title Lu Shi’s mother’s name? Or is it all just a coincidence? By now, I think we all know what happened… I’m glad I forgot about this revelation and didn’t spoil you guys when the poem was written by Lu Shi back then kekeke all’s well that ends well
- 2lmao Chu Yu why the horse stance