Translator: Rin Editor: dedaign Proofreader: Amber.es
Click. Jiang Chenming pulled his luggage and walked into the living room.
The competition he had joined was supposed to last a full week, but he had bumped into an opponent while dribbling and injured his knees. Although the teacher who accompanied them immediately brought him to the doctor for an x-ray and the doctor said he was alright, the teacher was still worried and asked him to return to City A first.
Jiang Chenming was fine with the request since he wasn’t supposed to have joined the competition in the first place. It was also perfectly timed to give new players a chance to gain experience playing.
The house was silent. Jiang Chenming could faintly smell the scent of sweet milk, but it was so mild that he thought Mo Lingqiu hadn’t yet returned.
He went to the washroom to wash his hands and then pulled his luggage into his room. Just as he stood up, he saw a lump wrapped in his blanket. A person was obviously hiding inside.
The smell also obviously belonged to Mo Lingqiu.
The fact that he had coiled up and slept in Jiang Chenming’s bed made his heart pound quickly. His sense of superiority as an alpha was miraculously satisfied.
Jiang Chenming no longer paid attention to his luggage. He walked to the bed and tried to pull the blanket open to look inside at Mo Lingqiu. Who knew Mo Lingqiu had grabbed onto the blanket so tightly that Jiang Chenming couldn’t pull an inch.
He tugged on it with more force. The person inside irritably turned his body. He emerged from the blanket and murmured with his eyes closed, “You’re annoying.”
Jiang Chenming was stunned. He released his hand, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. After a while, he noticed Mo Lingqiu’s red face, and stretched his hand out to him.
His forehead was hot. It seemed like a fever.
Jiang Chenming quickly went to the living room and found the first aid kit. He took out the thermometer.
The thermometer in Mo Lingqiu’s house was the normal type with mercury that needed to be placed under the armpit to measure body temperature. Jiang Chenming pulled Mo Lingqiu from the blanket, undid his buttons, and properly placed the thermometer.
It might’ve only been because Jiang Chenming had come back, but Mo Lingqiu slept so peacefully that Jiang Chenming could’ve done anything to him.
After ten minutes, Jiang Chenming pushed away Mo Lingqiu’s hand that was clutching onto his own shirt and retrieved the thermometer from his armpit.
38.7 degrees Celsius. The temperature was quite high.
After he helped Mo Lingqiu adjust the blanket, he went out to boil water and to prepare the medicine for reducing fever. After attending to it for a while, he carried the warm medicine back to the room. Mo Lingqiu, who had already been pulled out, had retreated back into the blanket with only some strands of hair left outside.
Jiang Chenming felt that he was cute and moved to comb those strands of hair. He softly called to him, “Teacher Mo. Wake up and take some medicine. You can sleep afterwards.”
Mo Lingqiu ignored him. He stuck his butt up and turned his body.
Jiang Chenming almost laughed out loud. This was really different from the usual Mo Lingqiu.
Although he was cute, the medicine still had to be taken. Jiang Chenming stopped being soft-hearted and pulled the blanket with more force. He pulled out Mo Lingqiu who was trying to hide inside. To prevent him from escaping, he directly pulled him into his embrace.
The medicine was a bit bitter and the smell wasn’t nice either. When Jiang Chenming brought the medicine to Mo Lingqiu’s mouth, he turned his head to avoid it. Although he wasn’t exactly clear-headed due to the fever, his instinctive repulsion of medicine was still obvious.
Jiang Chenming tried to spoon feed it to him a few times, but all his attempts failed. Even attempting to use a straw failed.
He stared at the medicine left on Mo Lingqiu’s lips. He hesitated for a moment before using his finger to wipe it away. After that, he drank some of the medicine into his own mouth.
He tightened his lips and used his hand to hold onto the back of Mo Lingqiu’s head. Then, Jiang Chenming slowly passed the medicine into his mouth.
“Hm…” The bitter medicine slid through Mo Lingqiu’s mouth and throat before it finally flowed into his stomach. Other than the bitterness of the medicine left on his tongue, a faint bitter almond scent was fused inside. Mo Lingqiu woefully frowned.
Jiang Chenming slowly fed him the bowl of medicine just like that. When he went to stand up and wash the bowl, Mo Lingqiu grasped the edge of his shirt, rendering him immobile.
Mo Lingqiu was still frowning, but he was still in deep sleep in Jiang Chenming’s arms.
Jiang Chenming hesitated and then moved the empty bowl to the side table. He took off his shoes and then stuck Mo Lingqiu to himself inside the blanket.
He wasn’t really tired, so he went into a trance while half-hugging Mo Lingqiu. It was like Mo Lingqiu noticed the source of his warmth and didn’t want to hide in the blanket anymore. Instead, he tightly held onto Jiang Chenming.
As time passed, Jiang Chenming also fell into a dream.
Due to the fever, Mo Lingqiu had a restless sleep. When he was half-awake, he wasn’t aware of what had happened. By the time he completely woke up, it was already midnight.
As he opened his eyes, with the moonlight shining through the window, he saw Jiang Chenming lying beside him. His hands were still tightly gripping Jiang Chenming’s clothes.
He quickly loosened the grip as if it had burnt his hands. He moved backwards and sat up from Jiang Chenming’s embrace.
Jiang Chenming was awakened by his movement. He rubbed his eyes and switched on the bed lamp. “Teacher Mo, you’re awake. Are you feeling any better?”
“Didn’t… didn’t you go to the competition?” Mo Lingqiu was flustered. Why was he on Jiang Chenming’s bed hugging him while they were sleeping?
“My knee got injured, so I came back earlier.” Jiang Chenming got off the bed and walked towards the door to switch on the room’s lights. Then, he came back and picked up the thermometer that was on the table by the bed. He shook to reset it and handed that to Mo Lingqiu. “Teacher Mo, take your temperature. You had a fever when I came back.”
Mo Lingqiu stared at the thermometer. He only accepted it after a pause. He turned his body away and placed the thermometer under his armpits. Then, he sat without moving.
The atmosphere was a bit awkward so Jiang Chenming picked up the empty bowl from the table. “I’ll go and wash this. Remember, you should take that out after ten minutes.”
“…En.” When Mo Lingqiu heard his words, his eyes dropped to the empty bowl. The memory of being dizzy slowly appeared in his mind. A flash of bewilderment passed through his face. He pursed his lips, becoming silent.
When Jiang Chenming came out of the kitchen after washing the bowl, Mo Lingiu was already sitting on the living room sofa. His legs were pressed together and he looked rather serious, even though he was only taking his temperature.
Jiang Chenming had helped him measure the time. Once ten minutes had passed, he stretched out his hand. “Let me take a look.”
Mo Lingqiu automatically passed him the thermometer without hesitation.
When Jiang Chenming saw the 37.1 degree reading on the thermometer, he was a bit relieved. “It’s dropped a lot. You should take some medicine again after eating later.”
Mo Lingqiu slightly nodded his head. Jiang Chenming noticed that he wasn’t going to talk and coughed. He walked to the kitchen, planning to make some food. Mo Lingqiu wasn’t the only one who hadn’t eaten, and Jiang Chenming was still hungry.
Mo Lingqiu stared at Jiang Chenming’s unstable movement, and then suddenly remembered that he had said that his knee had gotten hurt. He quickly stood up and walked towards him. “I’ll cook porridge.”
Ultimately, they both stood in the kitchen. Mo Lingqiu lowered his head as he washed the rice and Jiang Chenming stood staring beside him.
“Use the warm water. You’re still using cold water when you’re ill?”
Mo Lingqiu, who was ‘scolded’, paused. He turned the tap to the warm side.
He threw the rice into the rice cooker, added some water, and closed the cover. After setting the timer, he turned his head and asked Jiang Chenming, “I… Was it you who fed me the medicine?”
“Ah… En.” Jiang Chenming had indeed been courageous when he was feeding him the medicine, but he became a bit nervous when Mo Lingqiu asked him about it.
Mo Lingqiu figured out exactly what had happened at that moment. He turned his head away and grazed his lips with his fingers. Then he asked, “What happened to your knee?”
“I bumped into an opponent during the competition and fell.” Jiang Chenming answered him calmly, but he had actually fallen quite hard. Both of his hands had slapped the floor and his knees had heavily smashed into the ground.
Mo Lingqiu pensively turned his gaze towards Jiang Chenming’s knees. “Let me take a look.”
Jiang Chenming waved his hands. He didn’t want to pull his pants up. “It’s alright. I already got an x-ray. There’re just some bumps and bruises.”
Mo Lingqiu’s delicate eyebrows drew together. “Let me take a look,” he repeated.
Jiang Chenming bent at the waist like he had been defeated. He rolled up his wide sports pants.
Both of his knees were wrapped with bandages and a few streaks of blood seeped out. His knees were severely sore. Just by looking from the side, it was obviously not like Jiang Chenming had described.
Mo Lingqiu’s expression darkened. So that was why he’d been limping earlier. His knees were severely injured and he still took care of me with my fever.
“Come here,” Mo Lingqiu said. He pulled Jiang Chenming’s arm, bringing the much taller man to the living room.
Jiang Chenming was surprised. He stared at Mo Lingqiu’s hand grasping his wrist. He thought it was an illusion until Mo Lingqiu pushed him onto the sofa and then sat, crossing his legs, on the floor in front of him.
Mo Lingqiu opened the first aid kit, taking out the bandages and alcohol. He removed the bandage that wrapped around Jiang Chenming’s knees.
Jiang Chenming looked at the person who had a low fever and who was still sitting on the floor. He moved backwards. “Teacher Mo, don’t sit there.”
“Don’t move.” Mo Lingqiu glared at him with eyes so sharp that Jiang Chenming couldn’t move an inch.
After a moment, Jiang Chenming grabbed a pillow from the sofa and bent his waist to carefully stuff it under Mo Lingqiu’s butt.
Mo Lingqiu hesitated before he slightly lifted up his butt to sit on the pillow. Then he continued dealing with Jiang Chenming’s injury.
Most of the injuries on his knees were abrasions, but, since there was an impact, the skin around the injury was filled with bruises. The clotted wound suddenly started bleeding again and it looked scary enough.
Since Mo Lingqiu was doing this for the first time, he was very careful and a serious expression filled his face.
Because of the height difference, Jiang Chenming had to lower his head to look at Mo Lingqiu. His slightly pink ears, long eyelashes, tall nose, and slender pale fingers didn’t seem to belong to a man who was reaching his thirties.
“Teacher Mo, when is your birthday?”
“The 1st of September.”
Jiang Chenming felt regretful. “It passed already.”
Mo Lingqiu didn’t respond to him.
“Teacher, have you been in a relationship before?” Jiang Chenming daringly asked.
Mo Lingqiu glanced at him and still didn’t respond.
Jiang Chenming pressed on. “I haven’t been in a relationship before either.”
Mo Lingqiu finished bandaging Jiang Chenming’s left knee and moved to the right one.
Jiang Chenming kept speaking. “Teacher Mo, what kind of person do you like? Someone tall? Someone handsome? Or someone who does academic research? Or…”
“Someone who’s not talkative.” Mo Lingqiu glared at him again.
Jiang Chenming immediately shut his mouth.