“Out fooling around again?” The familiar voice of the man rang out. He glanced at the child hugging Feng Yeran and mockingly said, “What, I haven’t seen you for a few years, and you even have a child?”
Feng Yeran’s body trembled slightly. He didn’t look at the man at all, but just stared at the woman. And the woman was obviously embarrassed. She pulled the man and said, “That’s enough. Let’s go. We’re gonna be late.”
“Dad was hospitalised a while ago, and I didn’t see you come back… Ah, that’s right, he’s not your dad anyway.”
“I haven’t been informed,” Feng Yeran said.
“Who’s stupid enough to inform you? Don’t think how Dad would be angered to death if he saw you. Fooling around every day and walking around thoughtlessly for so many years…”
The woman glanced at Feng Yeran and pulled the man again. “That’s enough. Let’s go, let’s go.”
The man tsked and left with the woman.
When they were out of sight, Feng Yeran suddenly kneeled down on the ground, his face twisted. It was obvious that his stomach hurt. Feng Hua hugged him tightly and fed him some hot water. Half an hour later, he recovered.
He was lying on a chair by the street, his face pale and his forehead covered with dense, fine sweat.
Feng Hua asked him, “Who are they?”
“My brother, Feng Boran, and his wife, Chen Xuan.”
“Do they not know you’re sick?”
Feng Yeran laughed at himself. “How could they possibly know about such a little thing?”
“Kid, don’t show that look. I still have you. When they really know your value, I wonder how they’ll feel. I’m afraid they’ll want to dig a hole to get into… Haha, I’m looking forward to it.” Feng Yeran smiled as if he were really seeing the scene that day. He looked at his watch and added, “It’s still early. How about we go fool around?”
“Fool around?” Feng Hua remembered that Feng Boran had also used this term just now.
“It’s to meet my old friends. They’ve invited me many times anyway.”
* * *
Feng Yeran led Feng Hua to a bar called “Paradise Lost”. He frowned at Feng Hua, thinking whether minors were allowed in or not, then shook his head, thinking that this bar was relatively quiet and innocent, and brought Feng Hua into the adult world anyway.
There was a small stage in the bar where a female singer was playing guitar and singing. Visitors sat quietly on sofas drinking cocktails. A man at the counter saw Feng Yeran and immediately came over happily. “Long time no see. I thought I’d never see you again!”
Feng Yeran fist-bumped him. “Yeah, Brother He, long time no see.”
“Who’s this child?”
Feng Yeran looked at the somewhat stiff child and said, “My brother.”
The man, who he’d called Brother He, reached out to touch Feng Hua’s head, but was dodged. Feng Hua hid behind Feng Yeran and grabbed the corner of his coat.
Brother He smiled and said, “Where’s that guy?”
“That boy who used to follow your ass all the time!”
“Ah, you mean Xiao Zhijie. He’s been out of the country for years!”
Not long after, Brother He brought the two into a wide room with all sorts of gaming equipment and music full of rhythm. Brother He and Feng Yeran used their phones to contact their old friends. After an hour, a lot of people had come. The men and women were dressed in fashionable and revealing clothes, had tattoos on their arms and necks, and some even had nose and lip rings. It was obvious that these were people Feng Hua had never come into contact with before. He was very stiff and stuck close to Feng Yeran, pulling him several times, wanting to leave.
However, the intentionally decadent Feng Yeran didn’t want to leave as he chatted with his friends.
These friends were very interested in Feng Hua at first, but it wasn’t long before they started talking about topics that Feng Hua didn’t understand.
Feng Hua was drinking orange juice as he watched Feng Yeran talking with the others enthusiastically, finding it hard to believe and even feeling intensely struck—someone fed Feng Yeran chips and then looked at him smiling; a woman in high heels was sitting on her butt between Feng Hua and Feng Yeran, holding Feng Yeran’s arm and smelling of perfume; someone stood up and twirled her waist in the singing, and came over from time to time to pull Feng Yeran and ask him to dance with her—Feng Yeran was so popular, he was surrounded by so many people, they were touching him so rudely—
—Clearly, Feng Yeran was his, Feng Hua’s. He was Feng Hua’s alone!
Feng Hua was in a bad mood for the first time. He repeatedly went over to Feng Yeran and said, “Let’s go!”
However, Feng Yeran was still going strong. He took a sip of light wine, shook his head, and asked him to go to the side to play games.
Feng Hua forbade him to drink, but Feng Yeran continued to drink. He couldn’t hear Feng Hua’s voice at all, and he wouldn’t even look at Feng Hua!
Feng Hua was quite frustrated and puzzled for the first time. He gradually fell silent and didn’t play games, but just sat off to the side, staring at Feng Yeran and everything around him. The heavy metal music seemed to be crashing against his chest, and he felt bursts of dull pain for the first time, as if his whole body was about to explode. He always had the illusion that he had been used to this feeling, used to it for a long, long time.
Then, this group of friends started playing games.
They kept doing things that Feng Hua didn’t understand at all, but Feng Hua knew that they were intimate things. They were laughing so hard that their voices almost drowned out the singing in the bar. They shouted “tongue kiss”, “tongue kiss”, “tongue kiss”! Two girls dressed in revealing clothes stood up. One chugged down a glass, walked towards the other girl, and, suddenly, held up the other girl’s cheek, lowered her head—
Feng Hua’s eyes were suddenly covered by familiar fingers, the palm burning slightly.
When the fingers were released, the two girls had separated, their red lips mottled.
Feng Yeran took back his right hand which had covered Feng Hua’s eyes and held his glass. “Children can’t look.”
“I’m not a child.”
The woman next to Feng Yeran leaned towards him, her red lips bright, and whispered to him, “Is the child you brought really your brother?”
“What’s the matter?”
“I always feel that his eyes aren’t right. They’re cute, though.”
“How aren’t they right.”
“They feel… a little scary,” the woman said, turning her head to look at Feng Hua.
The colourful lights of the bar were swirling and spilling down, and the moment the woman met Feng Hua’s eyes, her whole body felt as if it’d been thrown into an ice cave—
Feng Hua was standing beside her, staring at her, his cheeks pale and his face expressionless. His eyes, normally blue and beautiful, seemed tinged with a ring of red in the light, a bloody red, and his lower lashes were long and slender. He was still so young, but somehow, it felt like he was looking down at someone completely from above; moreover, he was devoid of emotion, as if he were looking at an animal, or rather, an already dead animal.
The woman felt creeped out. At a certain moment, she seemed to really feel some force pinching her neck. She instinctively stood up, wanting to get rid of this inexplicable fear.
“What’s wrong?” Feng Yeran asked.
The woman stood up panting, and suddenly took a swig of liquor. She even reached up to touch her neck. There was no pain, and the choking sensation had also disappeared. After a few seconds, she looked at Feng Hua again, only to find that the look in his eyes he had just now had completely disappeared, replaced by the most innocent and cute expression of a child, an endearing expression. He yawned and said to Feng Yeran with watery eyes, “Brother, let’s go back now. I’m sleepy.”
Was everything just now an illusion?
Feng Yeran really stood up this time, said goodbye to everyone, and took the kid away from the bar.
The two of them took the air train back to the research institute. As it was rather late, there weren’t many people. One large and one small were sitting in their seats, with endless, brilliant lights behind them, and a bright, crescent moon.
Feng Yeran smiled happily. “It’s the first time I’ve heard you call me brother.”
Feng Hua was resting comfortably on Feng Yeran’s lap. As if he hadn’t heard Feng Yeran’s words, he said, “It turns out Ye’er knows so many people.”
Feng Yeran no longer bothered to correct him. “Yeah, but ever since I went to the research institute, I haven’t been in contact with them much. I’m quite touched that they were still so enthusiastic when they saw me today.”
“But, Ye’er is mine alone, right?”
Feng Yeran was stunned. “Why do you keep acting like a spoiled child today?”
“You’re mine alone, right?”
“You’re just so sappy, little guy!” Feng Yeran patted Feng Hua on the back as he coaxed, “Yes, yes, even though your brother Feng Yeran is very popular, he is little fool Feng Hua’s alone, so he’ll have to have the little fool take care of him in the future.”
After hearing that, Feng Hua was very, very satisfied. He kissed the fingers Feng Yeran had put under his head, his favourite fingers, which had delicate skin and slightly burning bellies, then fell asleep peacefully.
* * *
After returning from the trip, Feng Yeran went to the hospital again for a detailed examination, and the results weren’t optimistic at all. Sure enough, although Feng Hua could inhibit the growth of his tumour, he was unable to kill it. His disease was still diffusing, spreading and metastasising in his body. His life expectancy was simply an unknown number.
Feng Yeran walked on the road with a gloomy mood. Maybe he would just die one day. Could he really wait until the day Feng Hua came of age and was officially exposed to the public? Why not expose him in advance? Ah, because there was still a lack of more detailed evidence—data! The usual little experiments simply weren’t enough. He needed to study the data in his brain more deeply! Just as the president had suggested earlier, they could direct open up his skull to obtain the most detailed and true information of Feng Hua’s brain, the division of labour between its various parts, the areas generating supernormal abilities and so on, and perhaps, they could study even more things as a result. The experiments could provide them with detailed and true data. When the time came, along with the live demonstration, no one would dare doubt the success of the experiments, and no one would dare doubt Feng Hua’s great potential!
But a craniotomy was a big operation! Would it harm Feng Hua’s brain? Would he have side effects? Would he… be willing? It would surely be very, very painful, more painful than any of the previous little experiments, right?
Feng Yeran was entangled. His ambition and his conscience kept tearing at him. He was in pain and every day wanted to ask Feng Hua, but he couldn’t speak up.
It was Feng Hua who finally spoke up. It was obvious that the president had already communicated with him about it.
Just after the president left, he saw Feng Yeran. Almost without hesitation, he said to Feng Yeran in a soft voice, “Ye’er, you can use me. Because, I’m also yours.”
After hearing that, Feng Yeran was excited and moved. He crouched down and tightly hugged Feng Hua, repeatedly saying, “Thank you! Thank you! My Feng Hua, thank you!”
After Feng Yeran let go, Feng Hua looked at him and frowned. “Why are you crying again?”
“I don’t know if it’s right or wrong to do this. It’s too cruel to you… I’m afraid, I can’t stop… You’re still so young…”
“It’s okay.” Feng Hua smiled. “Ye’er, I’m much stronger than you think, so use me as much as you want. It’s okay.”