62nd – 【Missing Me】
Editor: Bubbles, Sammy
Early the next morning, when Chu Yu went downstairs, he spotted Dream-Ge squatting at the bottom of the stairs, as if guarding a target and demanding protection fees.
If only he wasn’t carrying four red apples in his hands.
As soon as he saw Chu Yu, Dream-Ge waved his hand like a windshield wiper. “School Flower, you’re finally here!”
Chu Yu, who was very puzzled by such enthusiasm, walked over and asked, “Why were you waiting for me?”
“To exchange viewing experiences!”
Dream-Ge was excited. “Did your phone run out of battery or disconnect from the Internet last night? After your voice was cut off, I couldn’t get through to you again. I rewatched the movie from beginning to end, and it got my blood pumping!”
Chu Yu recalled how he’d pressed Lu Shi onto the bed and drank his blood last night. That should also be considered… quite blood pumping, right?
Lu Shi’s cold white skin, unsteady breathing, and warm palms rubbing against the back of his neck, all of it occupied his mind.
Chu Yu absentmindedly replied, “Yeah, that movie was really good.”
“You have good taste! Also the soundtrack, it was so fucking impassioned. I almost couldn’t help myself from running to the basketball court in the middle of the night and doing one-handed dunks 70 or 80 times!”
Chu Yu nodded again and again while deeply reflecting: he was only around 17-18 years old, yet his mind was full of xx scenes. Compared to Dream-Ge, he was too impure!
After expressing his emotions, Dream-Ge looked around and said, “I was just about to say that there’s something wrong, so where’s Lu-Shen? Why didn’t you come down together?”
Chu Yu, who was reflecting on himself, blurted out his reply after hearing the question. “He went to collect a package first, so he left earlier than me. I stayed in bed for a while and slept in.”
After thinking about it, Dream-Ge found something wrong again. “Yi, that’s not right. School Flower, how do you know that Lu-Shen went out before you to receive a delivery?”
Of course I know, I was still in bed trying my best to wave at him when he went out.
But he definitely couldn’t answer like that, so Chu Yu imitated Lu Shi’s usual tone and replied calmly, “I slept in Lu Shi’s dorm room last night.”
“Oh, I see.”
This time, Dream-Ge didn’t notice anything wrong at all, and instead happily reminisced. “When I was in my third year of junior high school, the water in the school had been cut off, and the brothers in the neighboring room had forgotten to turn off the faucet. As a result, the bedrooms were flooded in the middle of the night, and those on the lower bunks could only squeeze in with those on the top bunks, and then hahaha the bed!
In the middle of the night, there was a loud ‘boom’! We were so scared that we ran outside without wearing our pants, thinking it was a fucking atomic bomb hahaha!”1To those confused: because the neighboring room forgot to turn off the faucet when the water got back in the middle of the night, they were flooded. Because the top bunks were so crowded, a whole double deck bed fell down.
When the two exited the dormitory building, the sky wasn’t bright yet. Wandering around were the same uniform-clad students, their resolution very low.
Not long after walking on the path, Chu Yu immediately caught sight of Lu Shi standing by a flower bed.
Beside a street lamp was the young man’s meager silhouette, as if stained with the frost before daybreak.
Bumping Dream-Ge with his elbow, Chu Yu said, “Aren’t you going to the cafeteria? I won’t go with you anymore, I’m heading directly to the classroom.”
Knowing that Chu Yu didn’t have a habit of eating breakfast, Dream-Ge casually waved his hand. “Alright, then I’m going first. If I go over there right now, I might run into Class Rep and the others!”
After Dream-Ge left, Chu Yu walked quickly to Lu Shi’s side.
“Did you get the delivery?”
Lu Shi handed the kraft paper envelope in his hand to Chu Yu.
When taking the envelope, the two’s fingers lightly touched.
For a moment, Chu Yu froze because of the coolness of Lu Shi’s fingertips.
Upon opening the envelope, there were several sheets of A4 paper. Chu Yu took them out and found several copies.
The handwriting wasn’t distinctly printed, but it could still be clearly seen. It was a declaration of marriage registration and another of no blood relationship and no spouse.
The signatures at the end were “Lu Shaochu” and “Jiang Yueman” respectively.
“I also have a medical record from an old lady. She and her husband used to own a clinic where my mother gave birth to me. That medical record also has my mother’s signature at the end. The handwriting is the same.”
The corners of Lu Shi’s thin lips hooked up with a hint of mockery. “Even with black characters on white paper2Legal evidence, for so many years, no one knew that Lu Shaochu’s first wife was called Jiang Yueman. And because of her identity, no one knew that she died.
In their eyes, human life is simply so insignificant.”
Lu Shi remembered that Lu Shaochu had once called and confided in him.
He’d said that everybody had a time where they were young and frivolous. In his youth, he’d been rebellious and did a lot of outrageous things.
But in the end, he reined in the horse from the edge of the precipice and turned his head back.
Jiang Yueman once regarded her love and marriage with Lu Shaochu as happiness.
Lu Shaochu, however, regarded Jiang Yueman as a stain in his life, an out of the ordinary affair he had when he was young and frivolous, which he wished would never be mentioned again.
Chu Yu carefully returned the copies inside.
He could only imagine how much energy and effort Lu Shi had spent in order to find these.
Lu Shi wanted to avenge his mother, but he’d retained his reason.
He’d never consider convicting someone by relying solely on subjective assumptions.
He continued searching for evidence and tracing various clues, all in order to restore the original picture of the events of that year.
He took human life very seriously, and didn’t want to turn himself into someone who resembled the people he hated.
Chu Yu thought that this was the person he liked— never blinded by hatred, never impulsive, and always rational.
But Chu Yu still felt very sad.
He held Lu Shi’s hand and pressed the other’s palm to his heart.
Lu Shi let him move, his voice very soft. “What’s wrong?”
Amidst the dawning sky, Chu Yu gazed into Lu Shi’s eyes that were as black as the night sky. “It’s… It’s sad here.”
“Distressed for me?”
The end of Lu Shi’s voice rose slightly, like a light mist, even carrying a bit of delight.
Chu Yu nodded and honestly replied, “Mn, very distressed.”
How could he not be distressed?
At the age of 17-18, he should’ve been like Dream-Ge, who was so enthusiastic about a movie adaptation. Or like Zhu Zhifei, who was always harping on about cram school and working hard to get into a good university. He also could’ve been like Shitou, playing with his phone or running to the Internet cafe when he had free time, gaming boisterously.
Instead, he was doing everything possible and sparing no effort to find out how his mother had died.
Chu Yu knew that his collective knowledge of literature was poor, but at this moment he thought of a sentence—
May you sit in a bright hall, free from snow and frost.3Hoping all the best for someone
As soon as he stepped into the classroom, Chu Yu found that the atmosphere was a bit strange.
He asked the angry-faced Dream-Ge, “What’s happening, why do you look like you’re about to explode?”
Dream-Ge rolled up his sleeves, exposing his muscular arms. “It’s those fucking bastards in Class D. They dared to fight over the court with our class and scolded Laozi’s brothers!”
The calm Fang Ziqi then came over to further explain, and only then did Chu Yu understand.
In the last sports competition, Class D had felt that their class should’ve taken first place overall, and that Class A wasn’t worthy of the title. They’d been suppressing their anger all along while talking shit behind their backs.
Last night, some students in the class were playing on the basketball court. There was obviously a vacant court next to them, but the students from Class D came over and insisted on fighting Fang Ziqi and the others over the spot. They also said that during the landslide at Qingming Mountain, Chu Yu and Zhang Yueshan had been trapped because God couldn’t see them. They believed Class A was too proud over nothing.
After verbal throws one after another, the two sides almost fought. But in the end, they came to the decision that the two classes would play a ball game at noon today.
Dream-Ge slapped a hand on the table, raised his arm, and shouted, “Other people are stepping on our faces, if we don’t fight back, are we still men? No! So let’s go and break them into pieces at noon! That’s not right, we’re civilized and good students. Let’s go and beat them into a sorry state!”
Beside him, Yang Yuchan echoed, “You guys mustn’t hesitate to go, this Sister’s got all the drinks covered!”
Dream-Ge spun into action. He ripped off a piece of paper and started writing the entry list with his dog crawling handwriting. Then he looked at Lu Shi. “Lu-Shen, do you want to participate?”
Lu Shi nodded. “Yeah.”
Throughout the morning, the whole class was a little restless. As soon as the bell signaling the end of class rang, Dream-Ge stood on his chair. “Brothers, charge!”
This loud voice startled the English teacher who was cleaning up her lesson plan. She said with emotion, “It’s good to be young, such a loud voice.”
Chu Yu followed to the basketball court.
The people from Class D had also arrived and were dribbling basketballs.
Before the opponents could change faces or make a sound, Dream-Ge raised his middle finger at them, put the basketball on top of it, and performed the stunt of spinning a basketball on one finger.
He declared in a very imposing manner, “I have nothing to say to you, it’s a waste of energy. After winning the game, your fathers will have a good meal!”
Chu Yu, who was standing behind him, clicked his tongue and pulled Lu Shi’s sleeve. “Dream-Ge’s provocation level is just a little inferior to yours.”
Lu Shi didn’t answer, instead he took off his jacket and threw it to Chu Yu to hold.
Before walking away, he very naturally touched Chu Yu’s ear. “Watch carefully, and you can only look at me.”
As soon as Chu Yu heard his tone, he knew immediately that it was related to when he watched the movie last night and had praised the protagonist for being handsome while playing basketball.
He rubbed his itchy ears and whispered back, “Yes yes yes, I’ll only look at my boyfriend!”
Chu Yu had seen Lu Shi play basketball on more than one occasion, so once the game began, he found out right away that Lu Shi’s playing style was quite different from before. It was fierce and fearful. It even seemed like he was deliberately showing off when he dribbled the ball past the others.
When jumping to the basket for a one-handed slam dunk, the wind would lift the hem of his top, revealing a thin waistline, and furthermore reaching the climax.
Chu Yu swore that he heard the low-pitched screams of countless girls.
It worried him a little.
Would there be a huge pile of apples on his boyfriend’s desk tomorrow?
The game ended and Chu Yu’s class won. Dream-Ge showed a standard middle finger to the students of Class D. He also held a drink and shouted that they go to the buffet hall of the cafeteria’s top floor to celebrate.
Chu Yu was pushed into a corner by Lu Shi.
No one would basically come behind the indoor sports field, so it was quiet, with only the sound of the wind.
After playing basketball and running all over the court, Lu Shi’s body temperature was burning hot, and his body’s scent was more than overwhelming.
Sweat ran down his forehead, moistening his eyebrows and making him possess an indescribably sexy charm at the moment.
Chu Yu felt that he somewhat couldn’t bear smelling his scent.
Fortunately, Lu Shi approached him and asked, “Did I look good playing?”
There was a cold bricked wall behind him, but Chu Yu felt that its cooling effect was simply non-existent. His ear, which had Lu Shi’s lips unbearably close to it, began getting hot, and soon after, the heat spread and extended to numb half of his body.
Chu Yu’s throat was dry. Under Lu Shi’s focused gaze, he barely managed to get it together and pay attention. “Looked good.”
“Better than that guy in the movie?”
Wasn’t the eating of this vinegar taking a little too long?
Chu Yu replied, “You looked much better. You’re very handsome when you dunk.”
He didn’t tell a single lie.
Due to Lu Shi having a background in fighting, he was very athletic and nimble when playing basketball. He had a set of feint moves, wherein his opponent would be completely unsure of what he’d do in the next second.
His body was slim, but his proportions were excellent. His exposed arms were covered with a thin layer of muscle, which seemed to contain boundless explosive power.
The teenager seemed to be walking on wind when executing a three-step layup.
It really was beautiful and awesome.
Only then was Lu Shi satisfied and took a half step back. “Hm.”
After the other party’s smell was dissipated by the cold wind, Chu Yu took a deep breath of the cold air and subconsciously licked his lips, unable to tell what he’d been expecting just now.
It was Old Ye’s Chinese class in the afternoon.
Because of the victory at noon, the class was a bit restless.
The monthly exam was coming soon, and Old Ye was very nervous, so he especially took five minutes out to give them chicken soup.
“Students, the monthly exam is not scary. Young people should possess the spirit of ‘the phoenix strikes 9000 miles above, cutting apart clouds, and carrying the sky’4The King of Chu asked an official, Song You, why he is so hated. Song You answers with a question, the first part of the question is this sentence. His own mind and ambition are far from everyone else’s, also because Song Yu is talented and he loves to criticize the ills of his times, and sometimes even scorn the norms, he is a target of jealousy and slander..
This sentence is from ‘Song Yu Asks King Xiang of Chu’, students who are interested can memorize it and write it in their essay, and surely, the eyes of the teacher who will grade it will brighten.”
He wrote the sentence on the blackboard, then put down the chalk. “Let me continue. There is also, ‘chivalrous young man, associating with the five capitals, liver, gallbladder, hole, and shaggy hair5At this point, I feel like I’m gonna get sick again, kidding. I don’t even know if I translated that right, just know that it’s about being an adventurous youth with a strong sense of justice. The poem had a sad ending tho – read here – there’s a simplified version below the poem.’. Oh, this sentence can also be memorized, good poem, good sentences.
Anyway, young people, there is nothing terrible about failing once or twice. You have enough time and energy to make a comeback…”
Chu Yu was also listening.
About a month ago, if he’d heard the words “midterm exam”, he would’ve felt irritable and panicked. He would’ve even pleaded with Lu Shi to take him out to play whatever to divert his attention.
But now, it seemed there wasn’t much left of that kind of discomfort.
He thought that he might’ve been born with a weak affinity for parental relationships. For instance, his father died unexpectedly before he was born.
Chu Yu recalled that when he was a child, he’d especially wanted to go to an amusement park, but Aunt Lan was worried that it wouldn’t have been safe and never took him there.
He’d been sad for a few days, but he’d let it pass.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to go anymore, or that he didn’t like amusement parks, he merely moved on.
He tried hard, but his mother still didn’t give him a second look, and it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal.
People get used to things, and the same was true of being abandoned. Slowly, one gets used to it and lets it pass.
He’d learned to no longer have any expectations.
It was pretty good.
Chu Yu took out a printed draft paper, then rummaged through his things but couldn’t find a pen, so he simply reached out and grabbed one from Lu Shi’s table.
He flattened the paper and started drawing.
Old Ye, who was standing on the podium, wrote two more famous poems on the blackboard. After turning around, his eyes suddenly locked on someone. “Luo Jiaxuan.”
Dream-Ge, who had his head lowered, didn’t hear.
Nevertheless, his deskmate elbowed him, causing Dream-Ge to raise his head blankly and ask in a low voice, “Why the heck are you poking me?”
The anxious deskmate fiercely pointed at Old Ye.
Old Ye smiled. “Student Luo Jiaxuan.”
Dream-Ge stood up after realizing it.
“What were you watching that got you so excited while playing with your phone in class? If you don’t give Teacher an explanation, the home of that cell phone of yours will only be my locked drawer.”
Dream-Ge had watched that movie adaptation countless times now, but his mobile phone must absolutely not be handed in.
He touched the back of his head. “Teacher, actually, I-I have loved surfing the Internet since childhood because of… because of, of the lack of water in the five elements6It’s like saying I’m a virgo or scorpio etc (Or I have ADHD XD, no offense). Usually, people who lack water in the five elements are prone to lack of wit, timidity, repeated actions, and short attention span. The complete characteristic of those who have no water in the five elements is here!”
Chu Yu was still drawing on the scratch paper. When he heard Dream-Ge’s words, the eyelashes being drawn under his pen flew directly to the top of the head.
He cast a look of admiration at Dream-Ge. “Damn, lack of water in the five elements?”
Chu Yu held back his laughter until his shoulders trembled. He tugged at Lu Shi’s clothes and whispered, “Dream-Ge’s practically a golden sentence boy!”
Old Ye nodded. “Not bad, not bad, this student is quick-witted. Now sit down, throw the phone in the drawer, and do not take it out. What were we just talking about? Let us continue, students…”
Inspired by Dream-Ge, Chu Yu stopped drawing.
He put down the pen, propped his cheek, and thought for a while. Then he picked up the pen and wrote on the paper: one, two, three, four, five, seven.7Written in Traditional Chinese 壹、贰、叁、肆、伍、柒。Explanation at the end.
On another line, he wrote: eight, nine, eleven, twelve.8Written in Simplified 八、九、十一、十二. Explanation is at the end.
Then he pushed the paper towards Lu Shi for him to see.
Lu Shi, who was solving a problem, was distracted by the words Chu Yu wrote on the paper.
Chu Yu was afraid he wouldn’t be able to make sense of what he was looking at, so he reminded him in a low voice, “Look, look, I have all these in my life, but what’s missing?”
He stared at Lu Shi with anticipation in his eyes, anxiously wanting to stuff the answer into Lu Shi’s mind.
After he finished looking over it, Lu Shi shook his head. “What’s missing?”
Chu Yu was in a hurry!
He said quickly, “Look again, take a second look, look for the pattern! Observe it, what’s lacking? Bring out your first place position in the grade and first prize winner of competitions IQ, I trust your insight! You certainly can—”
Speaking up to here, Chu Yu abruptly stopped talking.
He raised his head, met Lu Shi’s eyes, and saw the faint trace of a smile.
Shit, I was played!
Chu Yu’s hair instantly puffed.
Lu Shi raised his hand and pinched his face. His soft and hoarse voice carried a smile. “Mm, you’re missing me in your life.”
The author has something to say: Here’s a heart-shaped arc drawn by a basketball in mid-air as my love for you~
Dream-Ge used the word 缺 for the lack of water in the five elements thingy. Chu Yu got inspired and did the numbers numbers intentionally leaving out the陆 or six in 壹、贰、叁、肆、伍、柒 and 十 or ten in 八、九、十一、十二. Now 陆 is exactly the same character as the Lu in Lu Shi (陆时), then 十 or ten is read as shí which is the exact pronunciation of the shi from Lù Shí.
staff shenanigansI was eating while translating this and just had to take a bite after Chu Yu wrote all those numbers. When I read “Look, look, I have all these in my life, but what is missing?” I thought about it and nearly sprinkled my food onto my computer screen after getting it.
Promisory noteInstead of being a double update, this chapter ended up as last minute. Came down with a fever last tuesday, only managed to recover on friday, and first week of February is my first exam week, so just great… I’m also keeping track of all the chapters I owe you guys: 1 compensation and 3 bonus ko-fi chapter. I’ll get back on my feet after school settles down, so please enjoy one chapter a week for now *dogeza*. Thank you very much.
- 1To those confused: because the neighboring room forgot to turn off the faucet when the water got back in the middle of the night, they were flooded. Because the top bunks were so crowded, a whole double deck bed fell down.
- 2Legal evidence
- 3Hoping all the best for someone
- 4The King of Chu asked an official, Song You, why he is so hated. Song You answers with a question, the first part of the question is this sentence. His own mind and ambition are far from everyone else’s, also because Song Yu is talented and he loves to criticize the ills of his times, and sometimes even scorn the norms, he is a target of jealousy and slander.
- 5At this point, I feel like I’m gonna get sick again, kidding. I don’t even know if I translated that right, just know that it’s about being an adventurous youth with a strong sense of justice. The poem had a sad ending tho – read here – there’s a simplified version below the poem.
- 6It’s like saying I’m a virgo or scorpio etc (Or I have ADHD XD, no offense). Usually, people who lack water in the five elements are prone to lack of wit, timidity, repeated actions, and short attention span. The complete characteristic of those who have no water in the five elements is here
- 7Written in Traditional Chinese 壹、贰、叁、肆、伍、柒。Explanation at the end.
- 8Written in Simplified 八、九、十一、十二. Explanation is at the end.