Don’t Be a Kept Man
The sound of an electrical shock flew by and the world was suddenly at peace.
[ My dear ~ take care of your little hands hmm ]
Wen Chuo emotionlessly retracted his hand and at the same time he saw pennies in Bai Yang’s pockets and he almost threw up blood.
He hung his head down against the railing, wanting to throw a tantrum but there was nowhere to do so, and he almost suffocated from his anger.
Bai Yang pulled on his sleeve,
Wen Chuo swatted him off in annoyance,
Leave me be.”
His strength was a bit strong, and Bai Yang stumbled back a small step.
He looked at the back of Wen Chuo and then lowered his head to count the bottles in his plastic bag before knotting it up well and heading back into the restaurant to continue his work there.
Wen Chuo had not eaten since last night and, after beating someone up, he was a bit weak.
He leaned against the railings as the sun shining on him made him even dizzier.
Finally, mustering enough energy, he pushed open the door to the restaurant and found a place to sit down.
The owner, Feng-shu2, was just behind the counter, counting up the numbers for the business.
The chef had taken these two days off to visit his hometown, so all the food had been prepared by his niece.
The business had been too quiet and hearing the door being pushed open, he lifted his head,
“Hoh, Wen Chuo, what do you want to eat, I’ll give you a discount.”
At this time, Bai Yang was mopping the floor.
Even if it was already very clean, he still mopped and mopped, over and over again, so persistent it was terrifying.
When he got near Wen Chuo, his mop was stepped on and held down which made Bai Yang lift up his head.
Facing up to Wen Chuo’s human-like dog face, he was told,
“Mop what mop.
After you mop it clean, it’s going to get dirty again when someone else comes.
You have put effort in the wrong place.”
I’m going to starve to death otherwise.”
Feng-shu lifted up his head to take a glance,
“You child, how did you turn out to be like this.
Didn’t you get along so well with Bai Yang before.”
When Wen Chuo first moved here, it was still autumn.
He looked fine and handsome, with gentlemanly manners.
More mature than adults could be at his young age, and he liked to dress up in those England-styled checkered sweaters, paired with a white button up.
Every time he was out with his backpack, he looked completely different from the children who ran around the streets crazily with snot coming out of their noses.
When Bai Yang was young, his mother had to work and had no time to take care of him, so she would always ask the restaurant owner to help out.
Bai Yang never played around in dirt nor did he run around like a crazed kid.
He would always be very silent, grabbing a little stool to sit by the entrance to wait for his mom to get off work.
He would sit there in his spot for the entire day.
Once, when Wen Chuo got off school early, he saw Bai Yang sitting like a wooden statue, almost like a soulless doll but also looked so obedient.
He crouched down to tease him,
“Bai Yang, are you waiting for your mom again hmm, do you want to go to this brother’s home to play?”
There wasn’t that big of a gap between their ages, but ever since he was a baby, Bai Yang’s physique had always been weak, and these past years, he hadn’t really grown taller at all.
His family was poor, and Chen Mei Ying had never really given him anything good to eat so the level of nutrients he received was way behind compared to his same-aged peers.
The most common thing Wen Chuo would do was wait at home and memorize english.
There were a few girls from the neighbors downstairs that loved to stick around him to play, but there wasn’t really anyone he himself stuck around, always going and leaving alone.
Bai Yang was skinny and small and he held onto his knees as he looked at Wen Chuo.
His face didn’t have a lot of fat to it, highlighting his eyes that were growing bigger and bigger.
The more Wen Chuo looked, the more he liked him.
He pushed his sleeves up to his elbows and reached down to pick him up, finding that the child was actually way lighter than he could have ever expected.
Perhaps it was because his parents had good genetics, Wen Chuo’s physique was lean and long, growing up to be so tall that even as a young child he didn’t have to expend much energy to hold Bai Yang,
Let’s go to this older brother’s house to play.
I’ll give you some chocolate.”
Bai Yang still didn’t utter a sound, only watching him with his pair of black eyes, and softly rested on Wen Chuo’s shoulders, smelling the faint lavender scent off his light colored sweater.
Wen Chuo thought that the children in this area could only scream and shout, always acting so pestering and bothersome, as troublemakers that could only make people’s heads hurt.
They kept running up and down the stairs without an end in sight, so he had never loved to play with them.
If they could all be like Bai Yang, how nice would that be, so quiet and still, obedient and good looking.
Maybe just a little bit too dumb, probably wouldn’t even know if he was being sold off.
At this time, Liu Ruo Qing’s health was dwindling to its last reserves, and so she didn’t care about Wen Chuo.
Everyday, she would only spend her time taking care to do her makeup, beautifying herself until she was pretty, and take a slow stroll outside, soaking in all the bedazzled gazes before staying by the window to mourn for her sadness.
Chen Mei Ying didn’t care as she never thought about letting Bai Yang go to school.
Since Wen Chuo had nothing to do anywhere, he taught Bai Yang how to read and recognize characters.
Language, math, and other subjects, he would teach everything to Bai Yang.
Although Bai Yang looked so dumb, he learned everything that he could.
Whatever Wen Chuo could, he could as well.
He was taught out of his own hands.
The Wen Chuo of those times, was the legendary child in all the parents’ mouths.
Perfect scores on every exam, awards being taken home like they were nothing.
His english was even smoother than the teacher’s, and he could play the piano, could draw.
Everyone said he must have a bright future ahead of him.
But Wen Chuo didn’t look to be very happy, as if this wasn’t what he wanted.
Those stacks and stacks of awards and certificates that were meant to bring fame and reputation, in his eyes were just wasted pieces of paper, without any difference from the slight dust in the air.
When Wen Chuo was in middle school, Liu Ruo Qing’s health had worsened.
Everyday she would be spitting out blood, and she wouldn’t eat her medicine.
Always mumbling about jumping off of the balcony and committing suicide, without any of her previous gentle beauty in sight, she was like a crazed woman.
Wen Chuo would lock her in the bedroom and spend his time drawing right outside the door.
Chen Mei Ying had died a few years ago, but Bai Yang still came over everyday.
Wen Chuo wouldn’t say anything and give him a piece of chocolate, letting him sit beside him as he held onto his paint brush, dabbing on bits of color and drawing as Liu Ruo Qing cried and wailed and slammed against the door.
When Bai Yang heard the wrenching vomiting from inside the room, he patted Wen Chuo’s hand, but Wen Chuo covered over his eyes and calmly said,
“Don’t worry about it.”
His brush never stopped and a painting was slowly revealed before their eyes.
It was a strong, straight and stiff, never bending balsam poplar tree.
The day that Liu Ruo Qing died, Wen Chuo had run away and no one knew where he’d gone.
The awards and certificates at home had been torn apart, and his painting tools were all broken into pieces.
Bai Yang went out everyday to find him, never missing a single day to try and find him, but he couldn’t.
Half a month later, Wen Chuo came back by himself.
His hair was dyed all sorts of colors and he was hanging out with a gang of troublemakers, ruling over their patch of road.
Drinking and cursing and swearing, fighting and then more cursing and swearing: a him that was so different from before.
The air conditioner in the restaurant was a bit cold and kept making a buzzing noise.
After using a cloth to wipe the table, Bai Yang served up the dishes.
Seeing this, Wen Chuo moved his gaze off his phone and used his chopsticks to knock on the table, sounding out a heavy sound,
“Sit down and eat.”
This was said to Bai Yang.
Wen Chuo had just gone to the bank, and after some difficulty got out 500 yuan.
He thought what was the point in saving it all for, as he couldn’t buy a mansion nor a race car.
It wasn’t even enough to pay his rent, so he was just going to spend it all.
Bai Yang slowly sat beside him as per his words and took a look at the bill and then took out all the money he had crumpled up in his pockets, 5, 10, 1, 20, slowly counting each and every bill.
Wen Chuo: “Hey hey hey, stop counting.
I’ll pay for you.
Stop it will you.”
There was no customers right now after all, and Feng-shu gave a look around and didn’t care, continuing to count his mess of an accounting book.
Bai Yang was still counting his money, and Wen Chuo grew irritated.
He used the table to cover him smacking Bai Yang hard on the butt,
“You have to show off your wealth in front of me huh?”
And then said,
“You keep counting and I’ll steal it all!”
Bai Yang felt a bit of pain from the hit and his eyes looked at Wen Chuo darkly.
His overly long bangs covered his eyes and the longer he looked, the more it could make others become terrified.
Wen Chuo was someone who looked strong, but he wasn’t that strong on the inside.
After a few seconds, he gave up and patted his waist,
Bai Yang continued to count his money and when he was done, he put it on the table.
He pushed it over to Wen Chuo and then went to fill up his bowl.
Wen Chuo paused in surprise, but he didn’t dare take it.
He roughly counted with his eyes, and found at least 900 yuan, the amount perfectly matching the cost of his rent and joy exploded in him,
“Bai Yang you……”
[ Ding ~ ]
“……Take the money back.”
*1 sb: (using my own footnotes from volume 3 :p) “sb” takes on the sound of “stupid” and “force”/”cunt”/”compare”.
It is usually used along the lines of “stupid bitch”/curse word at someone, along the likes of dumbass
*2 -shu: a suffix (means “uncle” most of the time) like -shen (“aunt”) where you use it to generally call a man older than you.
Someone that usually has children or looks like an older adult man (almost like your parents age but younger than a senior) or someone that feels like an uncle to you (used similarly in volume 1, where -shu was referencing a driver of Huo’s uncle or like in this volume where -shen was for the landlady).
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