Translator: hoenimochi, Rin Editor: Slumber
At this time, Shen Wenqiu finally had time to interject and greeted him politely, “Hello, Uncle Lu.”
Father Lu narrowed his eyes and smiled. He nodded his head. “Hello, Xiao Baa.”
He was as gentle as he was in the past, and Shen Wenqiu felt as if he was still in his teenage years, visiting Lu Yong every week as usual. Uncle Lu also warmly welcomed him.
Father Lu took him around and said, “Let’s go Xiao Baa, I’ll show you around my animal base.”
In order not to interfere with others, the base was built in a cheap corner of the village surrounded by farmland, and one from the nearest house had to walk for five minutes to get there.
This place was full of cats and dogs. Even if it was cleaned carefully, there was still a strong smell unique to animals. The dogs were barking simply, and every one of them looked very energetic. The kitchen aunt was making fresh dog and cat food in a big pot, and Father Lu named each animal as if he treated them as treasures.
Halfway through the stroll, he said mysteriously, “Xiao Baa, I’ll take you to see a dog—you’ll find it very interesting.”
Shen Wenqiu was curious. “What?”
Father Lu said, “You’ll know when you see it.”
Then he introduced Shen Wenqiu to a big yellow dog with a fat body and a dumb-looking appearance. Unlike other dogs, this dog lacked a forearm. Father Lu laughed and said, “Isn’t it very much like Dayong? I named him Xiaoyong.”
Lu Yong stood beside him with a speechless expression on his face. He self-evaluated it, “Indeed, it’s very similar.”
After walking around, Father Lu gave them both an apron, a pair of sackcloth gloves, brushes, coloured paint and said, “There’s nothing interesting in the countryside. Since you two have nothing to do anyway, why don’t you two help me paint the flowers and plants on the wall?”
The two put on aprons and gloves and filled in the patterns on the walls that had faded from the sun and rain just like the murals in the kindergarten they attended when they were children.
Lu Yong concentrated on his work, and Shen Wenqiu didn’t speak.
Recently, the relationship between the two people had undergone a subtle change.
They were not considered friends or lovers. They slept together yet act as if nothing happened, but they were actually very concerned about each other.
They were finally able to recover to the state of being able to talk and laugh earlier. Just staying together now made them feel a little embarrassed and slightly concerned, and they couldn’t speak freely and naturally at all.
He happened to be free right now, so Shen Wenqiu could carefully recall the details from the past few days.
Lu Yong didn’t say anything ever since they came back from Y Town. He just wanted to spend money and wanted to buy him famous brand clothes. He had asked him several times these days whether he had enough money. After he refused, he would ask again as if he had lost his memory. If he said yes, Lu Yong could immediately transfer 108,000 into his card.
It felt like he was trying so hard but he didn’t know where to start.
Shen Wenqiu’s mood was a mess. Sleeping was one thing, but what to do after sleeping was another.
It was not hard to guess what Lu Yong’s appearance meant—most likely he wanted to be “responsible”. First, he was the person involved in Lu Yong’s first intimate relationship; second, Lu Yong liked him when he was in high school, and now he doesn’t hate him; third, Lu Yong was an upright person who did something inappropriate after he was deliberately seduced. However, based on Lu Yong’s principle of honesty and integrity, it would not be too outrageous since he had the title.
Shen Wenqiu’s hand that was painting paused. He thought of something and blushed.
Lu Yong noticed it immediately and asked thoughtfully, “What’s the matter? Are your hands sore and tired from painting? Put it down there and let me do it then.”
Shen Wenqiu was embarrassed to look at him and turned his head. “No …… how much work is this? I stopped being delicate a long time ago.”
Lu Yong was slightly hit.
Shen Wenqiu thought to himself. He had been dreaming for several days that Lu Yong would ask foolishly, “Xiao Baa, can I be your boyfriend?”
Obviously, he took the initiative to say it was just an accident to not let Lu Yong take it to heart, and promise that there would be no next time. But he… these days he dreamed of them doing shameless things in different poses. When he dreamed, he felt ashamed, and when he woke up, he felt even more ashamed. No matter how much he could pretend, he still felt uncomfortable when he saw Lu Yong.
But in reality, Lu Yong didn’t say those words.
At this time, Lu Yong corrected him and said, “I don’t think you are delicate. You are now weak and sick. It’s normal for you to have no strength when you are sick.”
Shen Wenqiu said, “That’s why I need to exercise more.”
Shen Wenqiu looked to the side and found that Lu Yong had drawn a round and chubby little sheep. He smiled and said, “You are so funny. Why do you draw a sheep where cats and dogs are raised?”
Lu Yong made an excuse and said, “I think little sheep are the cutest. With so much white paint, it’s just right to paint little sheep.”
Shen Wenqiu said, “You can also use white for painting white cats, white dogs, and pandas though, can’t you?”
“Okay. You’re right.” Lu Yong agreed and said obediently, “I’ll paint whatever you say.”
The work was finally finished.
The two went to wash their hands, and Shen Wenqiu asked, “It’s getting late, and it’ll be dark if we drive to the city now.”
Lu Yong gave an “ah” and said, “We don’t have to go to the city. Let’s just celebrate the birthday here.”
Shen Wenqiu was stunned and blurted, “Here?”
Lu Yong touched his nose and said, “My dad said that we don’t need to celebrate it so extravagantly, so he bought some fresh ingredients in the countryside, set up a table, and it would be fine for us, together with the guys working at the base, to have a meal. “
This was too modest. Shen Wenqiu thought that they were really father and son—they were just as diligent and economical as the other.
After a second thought, Shen Wenqiu thought of a question, “Then we will stay here at night?”
Lu Yong nodded and replied, “Yes.”
Shen Wenqiu wanted to ask if they were going to be in one room, but the words wouldn’t come out. However, a few days ago, even when they stayed in the same room for the last few days in Y Town, nothing happened… Lu Yong was such an upright and pure person. If it was not because of his seduction, nothing absurd would’ve happened.
Shen Wenqiu thought back and felt that he was really ill-behaved and immoral, but he couldn’t do it a second time.
It was Father Lu’s birthday celebration tonight.
There was a large round table. In addition to Lu Yong and Shen Wenqiu, it was full with ten people seated at the table. All dishes were home-cooked, such as braised pork, stewed chicken with potatoes, braised eggplant, steamed fish, etc. There was also a big cake and a big pot of longevity noodles. There was no alcohol on the table, only coconut milk. The father and son did not drink alcohol, nor did they have a culture of urging others to drink either.
A table of people happily congratulated him on his birthday and they had a gluttonous meal.
Lu Yong stood up consciously to help clean up the dishes, and Shen Wenqiu was embarrassed to act like a noble guest, so he also followed to clean up as well.
Father Lu stopped him and said, “Xiao Baa, just let Dayong do it.”
Shen Wenqiu replied, “I’ve already caused you guys a lot of trouble, so it’s better to let me do something.”
The two men bowed their heads and snatched up the work, each doing his own thing.
Father Lu watched the whole thing and thought about it. When Lu Yong was rolling up his sleeves to wash the dishes, he stopped him. “Dayong, come here, I’m a little full from eating, so let’s go for a walk by the field.”
Lu Yong glanced at Shen Wenqiu, frowned, and said, “I’ll go after I wash the dishes.”
Father Lu said, “Xiao Baa said he wanted to wash, so let him wash it.”
As if he didn’t hear it, Lu Yong quickly washed the dishes and chopsticks, then took off the kitchen gloves and left with his father. Before leaving, he worriedly explained to Shen Wenqiu, “I’ll be away for ten minutes. Go watch TV, I’ll be right back.”
After walking a little further, Lu Yong turned to look at Shen Wenqiu just after he left the yard.
Father Lu also took a second look and said, “You’re watching too closely…”
Lu Yong said nervously, “Dad, you know that Xiao Baa is sick, and must be taken care of. I used to know a friend when I was in college, and his girlfriend had depression. He accompanied his girlfriend all the time. It looked like everything was fine, but one day he was negligent and his girlfriend committed suicide.”
The two were walking on the ridge—the cool wind was gentle, and the corn leaves in the field rustled due to the wind.
Father Lu’s answer was completely inconsistent with what Lu Yong wanted to express. He said, “What? Is Shen Wenqiu your girlfriend?”
Lu Yong stopped, “…he’s not.”
They walked for another minute or two.
Father Lu asked, “You two look weird today. It’s as if you guys are not on good terms. Did you quarrel before you came?”
Lu Yong’s heart skipped a beat, and after holding back, he said, “We didn’t quarrel. How could I quarrel with him?”
Of course he knew the reason for their awkwardness, but he didn’t expect it to be seen, and he thought they were all pretending to be fine.
Lu Yong stopped. He had never done such a bad thing in his life. During this time, he was condemned by his conscience. He had endured it for a long time, but in front of his father, he couldn’t bear it anymore, “Dad…”
Father Lu didn’t notice. He continued to walk forward, asking, “What’s the matter?”
Lu Yong said in one breath, “Dad, I slept with Shen Wenqiu.”
Father Lu seemed to be nailed to the spot. After a while, he turned his head stiffly and said in shock, “Say that again.”
Lu Yong blushed, “I did that… that to Shen Wenqiu.”
Father Lu didn’t speak for a long time. He stared at him helplessly and meaningfully, “Then you guys… What kind of relationship do you guys have? Are you guys in a relationship?”
Lu Yong’s neck was almost strained. He shook his head and pursed his lips tightly as if he wouldn’t spit out half a word even if he was slapped.
Father Lu became anxious, “You’ve already slept together but you’re still not good with him? I don’t care if you are with a boy or a girl. You have to get along with people before you can do that kind of thing! Otherwise, aren’t you a hooligan?”
Lu Yong shook his head again: “…I feel that Shen Wenqiu doesn’t want to be with me.”
Father Lu asked, “Did you ask?”
Lu Yong shook his head for the third time: “No.”
Father Lu said, “How do you know he doesn’t want to if you didn’t ask?”
Lu Yong: “…”
They walked further and further without knowing it, and Lu Yong asked embarrassedly, “Are we still going to walk? It’s been five minutes, Dad, I want to go back.”
Father Lu looked at him speechlessly, waved his hand, and the father and son walked back.
His son suddenly came out of the closet.
Even if he had been mentally prepared, it was still difficult for him to accept it as a father. He thought of going to his wife’s grave tomorrow to talk about it. Lu Yong was still in a state of immersed emptiness.
Lu Yong felt that he couldn’t understand the current situation. He just came out of the closet like this, and his father naturally accepted it? It should be a supportive attitude, right?
They didn’t walk too far, and after a while, they could see the lights of the house. Lu Yong heard his father sigh, reached out, and patted his shoulder. They slowed down and stopped.
Dad said wistfully, “Back then, I never thought your mother would marry me. She was the best girl in the village, she was beautiful and capable, and the boys who liked her could make up a ten-mile line. She was the best girl in the world.”
Lu Yong saw the faint light reflected in his father’s eyes, flickering. He said with a light smile, “But in the end she wanted me.”
“She got me.”
Father Lu regained his senses and turned his head to stare at his silly son who has not been skilful in expressing himself since he was a child. “Didn’t you speak very well when you coaxed me to get money to open a company? Do you remember what I asked you at that time? “
“I asked you if you would regret it for the rest of your life if you didn’t do it. You said yes, and you said that even if you lost, it was not a big deal. You would just go back to square one and start all over again. Isn’t that very courageous?”