Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 118: Young But Feels Old and Mature
He was deep in the mud pool, and yet he could not not lift up his head to look at their unlimited and promising futures.
Wen Chuo pressed down these complicated feelings.
Remembering that he had a group battle in the afternoon, he forced himself to focus and log online.
A few hundred bucks came into his account, but his heart held no more of that joy from before.
Looking around this cramped and old apartment surrounding him, he suddenly felt how small he was, as if he was only one of the most average and normal out of the millions in the world.
Wen Chuo didn’t do anything else, only grabbing his jacket, and silently left the apartment.
He wandered around on the streets like he had in the past, but this time, he didn’t go and get drunk on alcohol.
Right now, at this time, he didn’t want to see anyone, only wanting to be by himself.
Slowly and unknowingly, the night had already descended.
Bai Yang put the tablecloth back in its place and then took a look at the clock hanging on the wall.
Preparing to head home, he was watched very curiously and strangely by Liu Meng Meng,
“Going home this early?”
The chubby chef in the back was also preparing to leave and he laughed as he said,
“Why won’t you leave when it’s time? You don’t even give overtime.”
Liu Meng Meng rolled her eyes and ignored him.
She organized the money in the cash register and then used a key to lock the door.
She originally thought that Bai Yang would be like usual, grabbing a bag to pick wasted materials, but instead, she saw him walk around the corner of the alleyway to head home.
Liu Meng Meng muttered under her breath to herself,
“Weird, so weird.”
Wen Chuo was normally the king of troublemakers.
But there were times where his courage was smaller than small.
And it was as if Bai Yang knew that he had been scared out of his mind yesterday, and he purposefully went home early.
Following the faint yellow lights of the stairway, he rustled out his keys to open the door, only to find that it was completely dark inside, without a single hint of light.
He turned on the light and the living room brightened up for a few seconds before dimming back down, as if the lightbulb was almost at the end of its life.
Bai Yang stood in the doorway, a bit confused with his eyebrows wrinkled.
As if he couldn’t really understand why Wen Chuo was not home.
After a few seconds passed, he closed the door back up and went back out to go find him.
Not at the arcade.
Not at the bar.
Not at the internet cafe either.
These places were a bit far from home, and in the slight breezy cold temperatures of the night, Bai Yang’s back was overflowing with sweat.
He leaned against the wall to take a break before continuing to search each and every place.
At this time of night, all those wandering on the streets were pretty much troublemakers, thugs.
Seeing Bai Yang, they had a curious look on them from the rare sight.
One of them, a long haired man who acted very feminine, stared at Bai Yang’s clean young look for a bit, before walking over from the midst of his laughing companions.
He rested his arm across Bai Yang’s shoulders and said,
“Little brother, are you bored by yourself? This big brother will bring you somewhere fun to play.
Bet you will be feeling out of this world.”
One hand was about to drop onto Bai Yang’s waist when he was suddenly pushed away with force.
The effeminate guy stumbled backwards a few steps, as if unable to believe that such an idiot could even fight back.
After a moment of his shock passed, his face couldn’t hold up his smiling expression and he was about to slap a hand over.
Yet he suddenly met up with Bai Yang’s dark eyes, full of an unspeakable lurking darkness and surging glint of cold ruthlessness, and froze up.
It was just at this time that Shan Dian came out of the arcade with his group of friends.
Seeing this situation, he walked right over with an expression of interest on his face,
“Ah ah ah, when did you girly boy learn to fight someone huh? Are you not embarrassed, to bully even an idiot.
How embarrassing for your mother.”
The girly boy had been trembling from Bai Yang’s stare and he immediately put his hand down at those words.
He stomped in anger and glowered at Shan Dian with the ponytail at the back of his head swaying back and forth,
“You, fuck off!”
His voice was a bit gentle, which only accentuated his effeminacy.
Seeing how his voice screeched up from his anger, Shan Dian and his gang felt it was too interesting and they almost teared up from laughing.
When they finally caught their breaths and stopped laughing, the moment they lifted their eyes up, there was no hint of Bai Yang anywhere.
But they didn’t really care and they called up their other friends to hit the night market for some food.
Bai Yang, on the other hand, began searching one alley after another, searching and searching, as if he didn’t know what tiredness meant.
Until an unknown amount of time passed and his face had gone pale, his breathing slowly becoming heavier, he finally saw two people supporting each other up, faintly from far away by the building at the edge of the east district.
Their faces and noses seemed to have a lot of bruises and one of them was Da Hong, the one who had taken a beating from Wen Chuo the other day.
Sliding down the wall, Bai Yang slowly crouched down on the floor and curled up into a ball, hiding his face in his knees.
Da Hong didn’t recognize him and directly passed by Bai Yang, saying to the other man beside him, cursing and swearing every other sentence,
“Fuck his fucking mother.
This bastard can really fight.
Two of us couldn’t even win over him, what the fuck! Fuck all his ancestors! One day or another, I will kill him……”
The other man rubbed his face and said,
“My ass, what’s the point of provoking him.
You should hurry and hide for the next few days before he recovers.
When he gets his gang around here to stop you on the streets, he’s going to beat you until you can’t walk, cough…..my fucking eyes……”
It was only after they were quite a distance away did Bai Yang push himself up from the wall.
But the moment he stood back up, his vision started going black and he tripped over a rock.
Ignoring that, he patted his pants, stood back up, and started limping over to where Da Hong came from, finally finding Wen Chuo right at the end of the alley.
Thugs looking for thugs for revenge was a very common thing and Wen Chuo wandering by himself had just perfectly bumped into it.
Da Hong had a helper, but Wen Chuo wasn’t one to take it lying down, so there wasn’t much meaning in an additional person contributing to the fight.
Still, spots of blood red stains could be spotted on his white shirt and his left knee was wounded as Wen Chuo sat slouched on the ground with his back against the wall and a brick broken in half beside him.
He never would have thought that Bai Yang would find him here and his chest heaved a few times before he pushed himself up forcefully.
But the moment he did so, he could only helplessly flop back down.
The arrogance and confidence he normally carried in his eyes were very evidently dimmed, and now looking up at Bai Yang, he unhelpfully said with his head ducked down,
“……Go home first.
I’m just going to wait here for a bit.”
Bai Yang ignored him and grabbed his arm to rest over his shoulder.
It looked like he wanted to heave him up on his back, but when Wen Chuo touched him, he found that Bai Yang’s face was full of sweat, dripping down to his chin.
Even his hair was wet.
Wen Chuo pushed him away then, using the wall to stand up by himself and wanted to use it to help him move.
But then he found out that his right leg wouldn’t respond, and his eyebrows furrowed.
He irritably sighed, wanting to try again when he lost control of his body, and in the end, he was forcefully carried by Bai Yang on his back.
Wen Chuo didn’t have much strength left to start a cold war with him, as otherwise he wouldn’t have laid here for so long.
Saying in a hoarse voice,
“Ack…..put me down.
When you trip, I’m going to get hurt even more.”
Bai Yang was really too skinny, almost bare to the bones.
With Wen Chuo on his back, it was evidently very strenuous on him, with his hands trembling and his body swaying, but each and every step he took was very stable.
Wen Chuo’s eyebrows furrowed even more as he leaned against Bai Yang’s not very fleshy back, but his eyes were beginning to droop; he was very tired and in pain and sleepy.
When he opened his eyes again, he was met with bright and piercing lights, a sight that could only mean he was brought over to a small clinic.
The doctor on shift was a bit old, and with his terribly high prescription glasses, he helped Bai Yang move Wen Chuo over to a chair.
He took a few looks at his patient before chuckling,
Did you get into a fight again? Hu hu hu, young man, you have so much strength.”
Evidently, Wen Chuo was a regular around here.
He didn’t have the strength to start a battle of words with the doctor and in his half dead, half alive state, he slouched on the chair.
His deep eyes trembled, finding that Bai Yang was staring at his knee with his face drenched in paleness and his hair all drenched with sweat.
Who knew how long he had been looking for him for?
Wen Chuo patted the seat beside him,
“Come over…… sit here.”
There wasn’t much expression on Bai Yang’s face as he quietly and obediently sat beside Wen Chuo, not speaking a single word.
The old doctor wrapped some gauze around Wen Chuo’s knees and shook his head,
“Thankfully the bone’s not broken, as otherwise you would have had to go to the hospital.
You have a bit of a fever, so take an IV before you leave.”
Sitting beside him, Bai Yang was leaning against the railing on the wall, and it looked like he was sleeping, probably due to his exhaustion.
When Wen Chuo finished paying, he let the doctor close some of the lights, and in the half dark, half lit up room, he stared at Bai Yang’s face before taking off his outer coat.
After the doctor set up the IV, he sat back on his chair and said before continuing his nap, his voice old and wise,
“Young man, fight a bit less.
How hurt your mother or father would be.
When it’s empty, remember to call for me.”
Wen Chuo wanted to say that his parents wouldn’t care about him, but he still gave a verbal acknowledgement.
Seeing the doctor close his eyes to take a nap, he placed his outer coat lightly over Bai Yang.
He had been dizzy and sleepy when he was lying in the alleyway, but now he felt no inkling of sleep.
Only blanking out as he stared at the IV slowly dripping its liquid.
The feeling of having a fever was not a good feeling.
Feeling so stuffy and choked up, Wen Chuo’s head was dizzy and heavy, as if he wanted to vomit, but he lacked the strength to even do so.
Furrowing his eyebrows, he switched to a sitting position, and his handsome face was tinged with a paleness, looking lifeless.
It was already past midnight, and the old doctor was asleep, sounding out faint snores.
The tip of Wen Chuo’s tongue was turning bitter, and his body and mind felt numb, feeling nothing yet he was in great unbearable discomfort.
Bai Yang had woken up sometime ago and seeing Wen Chuo leaning on his chair, with a dazed expression, he reached over to test his forehead.
Only when he felt that the temperature was considerably normal did he retract his hand.
Because of his movements, the jacket on his shoulders had slipped off onto the ground.
Bai Yang picked it up and patted the dust off.
The faint rustling attracted Wen Chuo’s attention, and with a great deal of effort, Wen Chuo opened his eyes and hoarsely said,
“Go back home first.
Go get some sleep.”
Bai Yang ignored him and tested his forehead again.
His expression was so overly serious that the usual aura of dumbfoundedness around him was faded a bit.
He asked Wen Chuo instead,
Wen Chuo originally wanted to shake his head, but for some reason, he confusedly and dazedly nodded, a bit powerless as he said,
“My head hurts……”
Bai Yang silently looked at him and then slowly retracted his gaze.
He seemed to be thinking of something and after a long while, he knocked his head with force and said quietly,
don’t run off by yourself.”
Wen Chuo didn’t hear him and had, as he leaned on the chair, fallen asleep.
In his dreams, there was a weird separation of light, and a familiar house appeared before him.
It was decorated lavishly, and it could be said to be the top of the top of buildings to live in, a heaven that others could only admire and be jealous of.
It could be anything, but it could never be a home.
Wen Chuo had never told anyone, but in his past life, when he had lived in that ice cold, elegant and lavish “rich people” district, the memory he thought of the most was another small place that was shabby and broken.
Numerous sleepless nights, there was always one idiot occupying his mind that would never go away.
Those years in Lin Xian… were the years he had never cared about.
Yet when he left far away, and turned his head to look back…
He found that it was the only place he had truly had in his hands.
The liquid in the IV setup had already emptied and Bai Yang walked over, lightly shaking the old doctor awake.
The elder opened his eyes, smacked his lips a few times before sighing deeply and standing back up, with his chair squeaking and creaking under his movements.
Wen Chuo’s mind was off in the distance and seeing him pluck out the needle in his hand, he experimentally moved his right leg, finding that it wasn’t as painful as before.
He dug out his phone to pay, and then not letting Bai Yang carry him on his back, he used Bai Yang’s shoulders to limp away.
For the next couple of days, Wen Chuo lay at home, healing from his injuries.
He didn’t play on the computer nor on his cellphone.
Except for editing his videos, he basically cut off all internet communications, silently waiting for the headlines from the Wen family to pass over.
The most common thing he would do these days was to blank out, but later on he had been too bored out of his mind and bought a set of painting tools online.
The price was a tad bit too expensive, as just a small box of watercolors around the size of his palm cost over 300 yuan, and that didn’t include all the other items such as paper, pens, etc.
But Wen Chuo didn’t mind it, as he only wanted to find something to waste time on.
Liu Meng Meng had a blind marriage date set up for today, and Feng-shu was going to accompany her.
The restaurant would close for half a day, so Bai Yang had already come back by 1pm.
In his hands, he held a bag of rib bones, and a few potatoes, which looked as if he was going to make soup.
Wen Chuo was just opening up his delivery when Bai Yang came out of the kitchen, and he waved over at him,
“Come over here.”
It was only when Bai Yang walked closer that he find that Wen Chuo’s computer desk had a few new potted plants, all in different arrays of color, chubby and fat succulents, which when they were in their cute little pots, they were quite likeable, quite pleasing to the eye.
Although, it looked like they were still not fully mature and looked a bit too small.
Wen Chuo said,
“For you to play with.”
Bai Yang reached out his hand and lightly touched the plants in the pots, very slowly saying,
“…..I don’t know how to.”
He said he couldn’t, but he still moved the pots down onto the ground, kneeling right on the floor, and tore apart bags of dirt.
He tended to each succulent as according to the instructions, and the sun shone just then with the perfect timing, shining onto a side of Bai Yang’s clear and clean face, bringing out his features and looking so ethereal as a picture.
Wen Chuo hadn’t picked up a brush in a very long time and so he was a bit rusty.
But he held onto his pencil, sketching out the shape of Bai Yang in a few strokes before slowly detailing out his eyes.
He was in a state of seriousness so rarely seen.
When he was at Bai Yang’s waist however, he suddenly lifted his eyes and lightly knocked on the table with the end of his pencil,
“Wear your clothes properly.”
Bai Yang’s clothes were a bit loose and when he knelt on the ground, his shirt had moved up, revealing a pale white waist.
Hearing Wen Chuo’s voice, he quickly wanted to pull on his shirt, but he spotted how his hands were a bit dirty and he slowly shook his head,
“I’ll fix it in a bit.”
And then continued to focus his attention on the pots of plants before him.
Wen Chuo stood up from his chair and hugged Bai Yang from behind.
He then tucked his shirt into his waist before kissing him on the cheek.
Only then did he go sit back down to continue painting.
The young man in the painting looked refreshing and clean.
Especially with the multi-colored succulents on the ground, it made the impression of the artwork feel less muted and depressing.
With the sunlight shining in from the windows, showering the scene in a faint golden glow, there arose a silent gentleness in this work of art.
Wen Chuo grabbed a camera stand to stabilize his cellphone and he painted as he recorded.
He was extremely focused, with a lot of care and great detail put into the painting, repeating his drawing over and over again until it was perfect, down to the finest details.
He used a bit of technique in the blurred and faded background, so when the art was finished, it was beautiful beyond comparison.
The drawing wasn’t very big, but Wen Chuo drew for the whole afternoon, only completing it when the sky was darkening.
When he was done, he stared at his work, in an evident mood of satisfaction, before penning two words in the lower right corner.
白、杨; Bai, Yang.
There were only these two words, yet they held a meaning that was more than what precious could ever be.
The rib bone soup in the kitchen was going “gu-lu-gu-lu” and its meaty scent slowly unfurled.
Bai Yang went to set up dinner and upon seeing this, Wen Chuo started packing up the random items on the table.
Seeing that already dried watercolor painting on the table, he ended up stuffing it into a thick dictionary of Bai Yang’s.
Wen Chuo was very picky when it came to soup.
He would only drink clear soup, and there cannot be too much oil.
There cannot be soup scum and the meat must not be fatty, without that meaty stench either.
He originally wanted to grab his own bowl, but Bai Yang had already prepared one for him.
Bright clear soup with two lean rib bones and a few potatoes.
Not a lot, not too little, just perfect.
Wen Chuo called out to him like usual, yet his tone had suddenly brought on the tinge of arrogance and possessiveness like that of a child’s.
When Bai Yang looked over, however, he was sitting just like an old man, waving him over.
Bai Yang walked over and let Wen Chuo wrap him into his embrace as he wished.
He was kissed, hugged, pinched and caressed until finally Bai Yang patted Wen Chuo’s shoulders and said,
Wen Chuo buried his face into Bai Yang’s chest, slowly recovering his breath silently.
Yet he somehow had the feeling that Bai Yang was just like a snail, never rushing, always slow, but when you listened closely to his words, there was an old, mature sense to their meaning.
The chapter’s released! (＃⌒∇⌒＃)ゞ Unfortunately both Plum and I were a bit busy, so the chapter was released a bit later than usual : ) We’ve both been pretty swamped lately, and some of you may have noticed I’ve been very behind on my comments haha (trying trying!).
But I also wanted to take this time (now I am uploading a chapter for once haha – thank you Plum – and here’s hoping I didn’t forget anything (;´Д`)/) to thank you for all your support! Plum reminded me that we’ve almost reached one year! That’s insane!!! It felt like yesterday when I wrote that we’ve reached one month, half a year… and now that I have a little time, I wanted to take a brief moment here to thank all you readers who have stuck with me through the better part of the year, especially through all the breaks and all your kind words when I needed it the most <3, and to the new ones as well! I hope you all have been enjoying the volumes (thank you to all the commentors and the likes for letting me know your thoughts (｡’▽’｡)♡), and I hope you will join me for the rest of the journey to the end! ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡ Which… we’re almost near the end, something that is pretty crazy to think about (also more than half now I believe on this volume as well). Well, in any case, I hope you all have been enjoying Wen Chuo’s journey of self realization and growth with Bai Yang, and here’s to a few more future volumes (◍˃ᗜ˂◍)ﾉ” Thanks for reading my little blurb haha, see you Monday, Galactic Judges! Oh, also one little thing about Wen Chuo’s painting: I kept Bai Yang’s name as Wen Chuo penned onto the painting as it felt … more natural? So when you see that he penned two words, he only penned his name and not the english portion : )
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