Chapter 16: Happy New Year
Two bowls of instant noodles isn’t really enough for two grown men, only enough to wet their appetite.
However, as a night late snack, it’s enough.
They finished dinner and then as per usual, rolled around on their bed sheets for some fun.
Living life to the fullest.
It was almost Chinese New Year, and tomorrow the school would officially be on break.
In their last class, the minds of every student had already flown away, all talking about where they would go for the vacation, no one listening to the lectures.
Lu Qi had already bought train tickets to go back home, and his heart felt unusually excited and eager to hurry back.
Finance courses ended quite early and Huo Ming Chen shamelessly ran to sit in the accounting classroom.
The two of them were exceptionally handsome men, and attracted quite a few gazes to the back row.
Huo Ming Chen finished playing a round of his game, and turned his head to see Lu Qi spacing out.
He was very evident in his daze, especially while the professor was lecturing in full force, hitting his stride on the topic at hand.
Huo Ming Chen was suddenly curious and rested his head on his hand with his elbow against the table,
“Oh, a good student is not listening in class.
Sitting here dazing off, what are you thinking about?”
Lu Qi returned to reality and slightly shook his head,
He was obviously brushing him off.
Huo Ming Chen’s face visibly dropped into a frown, and he straightened up.
He tapped his phone over and over on the table, not feeling very happy as he asked,
“What are your plans for New Year’s?”
He actually really wanted to take Lu Qi out of the country for the holiday, but all his words were stuck in his throat when he heard Lu Qi say,
“Going back home.”
Lu Qi seemed to have realized he was acting too distant and added,
“For the New Year’s.”
In his heart, Huo Ming Chen thought, of course I knew you would go home for the holiday, would you have gone to pimp yourself out instead? Although he still didn’t feel great, he said very warmly,
“Do you need to buy anything for your elders in your home?”
Lu Qi did not dare to use his money,
“I don’t think so.
Everything should have already been bought by my mom.”
The end of the year should be the season of harvest, but when Lu Qi thought about it, the money he earned in this half year has all been funneled out of him.
He calculated the days, and thought about something.
Then he suddenly pulled Huo Ming Chen towards him by the shoulder, and lowered his head to talk quietly.
Although it was an intimate action, since the two of them acted very naturally, other people could only think that they were just really close friends.
“My sister’s job is too exhausting.
My mom is not reassured with how her daughter has to run around everywhere.
Would you be able to find a safe and steady job for her? She’s quite intelligent, not bad at all, it’s just that her education is a bit lacking.”
Lu Qi has never asked for anything before, so Huo Ming Chen was stunned for a moment but did not deny the request.
He thought hard for a bit before saying,
“It’s not a big deal.
I’ll find something for her.
Send her information and resume to me.”
Lu Qi has been shocked with electricity by the system so many times that he has pretty much figured out the rules.
He knew that as long as the benefits from using Huo Ming Chen were not for him directly, it’s not considered breaking the rules.
In other words, the one being reliant is Lu Yuan, not Lu Qi.
Huo Ming Chen took a look at Lu Yuan’s work history and then realized something.
“Your names, if you put them together, doesn’t it mean ‘the start of fate’1?”
He laughed, and his poisonous tongue came online to strike a blow at Lu Qi,
“Why is it not ‘fate ended’2?”
Lu Qi gave him a look, and calmly said,
“Because being called Lu Mie doesn’t sound good.”
Besides, putting the words together doesn’t make a good phrase.
What kind of parents would be stupid enough to name their kids that?
Huo Ming Chen chuckled, having the heart to tease him.
He used the desks to cover his actions, deliberately putting his hand on Lu Qi’s thigh.
Without hesitation, it was smacked off by Lu Qi in the next second.
“Don’t fool around in public.”
Lu Qi honestly stated.
Huo Ming Chen gave him a sideways glance, his eyebrows sharp.
You couldn’t tell if it was mocking or just a joke,
“Lu Qi, people like you are the definition of a white-eyed wolf3.
If there’s something beneficial, you would go around begging for it.
If there is no use then you kick it aside.
I assume that once I have no more value, you would throw me away faster than anyone else.”
He seemed to have hurt himself with his own words, and lay over his desk, contemplating about something and did not move for a very long time.
Lu Qi thought he was as annoying as a little kid.
He looked around and saw that no one was paying attention to them.
He then hesitated for a second before grabbing Huo Ming Chen’s hand to place back on his thigh.
It’s not as if he was a woman.
If he wants to touch then he can touch.
It’s not like his touch will hurt him.
Huo Ming Chen’s head didn’t even move, and he pinched Lu Qi’s thigh with force.
Lu Qi did not look pained and even had the heart to say,
“Look, I let you touch and you don’t touch.
I don’t let you touch and you say I’m a white-eyed wolf.”
“Who cares about touching you!”
Huo Ming Chen sat up straight, and his eyes were as clear as a mirror, reflecting the shapes of the clouds outside.
You could see them, but you could not catch them.
“When are you going back to your family home?”
“The day after tomorrow.”
“When are you coming back?”
Lu Qi thought about it, and couldn’t tell offhand how long he would be.
He gave a very traditional answer,
Huo Ming Chen took a grape flavored candy out of his pockets, ripped off the wrapper and sucked on it in his mouth, as if it would hold back what was in his throat.
After a while, he said,
“Come back soon.”
The Huo family isn’t as calm on the surface as it looks.
His grandfather is old, and has retired early to hand the family business to his eldest grandson.
Everything was as per normal, but because of one person’s return, it was destined to break the mirage.
No one knows why his uncle left the country by himself for so long.
It was rumored that when he was young, he touched something that he did not know he was not supposed to touch, and as such, lost the right to inherit the company and was banished outside the country.
This one leave lasted 15 years.
The Huo family has good genetics.
Huo Yuan Guang, even in his old age, is still a generous looking old man.
His continuously smiling face is 100% a lie.
He is like a chameleon, always assuming the perfect face for the situation at the right time, as if that leave of 15 years did not affect him at all.
Huo Ming Cheng has no recollection of this uncle, but hearing that the other wanted to work in the family company, still agreed,
“We’re from the same family, the Huo family will always have a place for you.
What are you talking about troubling us?”
His uncle smiled and knocked on his leg, eyes full of familial love, lightly sighing,
“Don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older.
At first I just couldn’t sit around.
For so many years, I haven’t done anything for the family, and while I’m still able to walk in these old bones, I’ll be happy to do something to the best of my ability, for the benefit of this family.”
He was actually not older than 50, and could be considered more energetic than the average 50 year old.
Huo Ming Chen had gone back to his family home a bit later than normal.
The housekeeper boiled a bowl of congee and also cooked up some other small dishes for him as it was past dinnertime.
He was sitting at the table, eating as he heard this exchange.
He slowly wiped his mouth, with his back facing them and with an unclear emotion in his tone,
“Uncle, someone your age should be like my dad.
Retiring and living the life.
If other people saw it, they would think we were not being filial.”
Huo Ming Chen has always been an obnoxious kid, and with these words, even Huo Ming Cheng could hear his hidden implication.
He immediately scolded,
“Ming Chen! How could you talk like that to your uncle?”
Huo Yuan Guang quickly pulled Ming Cheng aside,
“Ah, Ming Cheng, don’t be angry at your brother.
You are the older brother, you have to act as the older brother.
He is still young.”
“He’s already an adult, how is he still young? Spoiling him is not the way to go.”
Huo Ming Cheng is not as attractive as his brother.
However, with his thin glasses resting on his nose, he was the perfect representation of a brilliant businessman.
Especially now, with a grim face and an attitude of being the eldest.
Huo Ming Chen raised his eyebrows and did not respond.
After their uncle went up to rest, he turned towards Huo Ming Cheng and said,
“You’re even letting that man join the company.
Well that’s perfect as I have a friend who is in need of a job.
Have her enter at the same time.”
Huo Ming Cheng sighed and only thought that his little brother was angry at him.
He pushed up his glasses and said warmly,
“Dad has already agreed about hiring Uncle.
It’s not something we can control as the younger generation.
Don’t make a fuss about it now.”
“Who’s making a fuss?”
“I’m stronger than dad.
He can only recommend an old bastard into the company, I’m recommending a hot female.”
Huo Ming Cheng shook his head and did not sink to his level to argue,
“This kind of request you can just tell secretary Lee.
Just a warning, don’t mess around.”
It might be that he thought Lu Yuan was a girlfriend of Huo Ming Chen and so did not ask any more questions.
Two days later, and the university was officially on holiday.
Lu Qi just finished packing and discovered that Huo Ming Chen had already driven the car under his dorm, and was waiting there.
He rolled down the car window, his face looking cold.
Compared to others who were dressed like a hibernating bear, he dressed very thinly.
A simple black tee with a black down jacket, making him look like he’d be freezing in the cold.
Lu Qi put his luggage in the back trunk, and sat in the passenger seat.
He was a bit surprised,
“Why did you come?”
In his heart Huo Ming Chen thought, can he not come if he has nothing in particular to do?
He started the car in a bad temper,
“Sending you on the road.”
It didn’t sound like it was anything good.
Lu Qi smiled, face looking quite gentle,
“What road are you sending me on?”
“Of course the road to go home.
Or did you want to go on Huang Quan Road4?
As it was close to the night of Chinese New Year’s Eve, the school entrance was crowded with a sea of students, all tugging along their luggage.
The roadside was filled with cars, and the honking was nonstop.
Huo Ming Chen decided to turn around and get out through the back entrance.
Lu Qi scratched his nose, and looked at the traffic jam, feeling grateful,
“Thanks for coming over to pick me up.
Otherwise it would be a question of whether I would even make it to the train station.”
Huo Ming Chen smiled on the inside but showed no expression on his face and crooned,
“Now you know my usefulness.”
And then said,
“Your sister’s job has been arranged.
After the new year, she can head to the human resource department to get her work identification.
It’s just going to be at my brother’s company, for a secretarial assistant job.”
That position was pretty high, and it definitely showed he put some thought into it.
Lu Qi raised his eyes and looked at the side of Huo Ming Chen’s face.
He fell into a trance watching Huo Ming Chen drive the car so seriously.
Then he leaned back in his seat and said in a lighthearted tone,
“Don’t worry, my sister is pretty clever.
She won’t be an embarrassment.”
When Huo Ming Chen heard that, he paused for a moment and then for an unknown reason, he started laughing along with Lu Qi.
His residing anger went away, and his eyes reflected a rare gentleness.
They were almost at the train station, and the cars were jammed outside the entrance.
Huo Ming Chen took a look around and found that there was no place to stop the car at all.
Lu Qi said,
“I’ll just get off here.
We’re right next to the entrance anyway.”
Huo Ming Chen thought that his car was really close to the station and he really couldn’t wait for this traffic jam to go away and so could only nod his head,
“Be careful on the road.”
It isn’t often that he would say caring words as most of the time he would rather keep his silence.
It’s said that stubborn people who would rather keep their mouth shut can lose a lot of things.
Who knows if that is true or not.
The car fell into a sudden silence.
Having to say goodbye despite being reluctant to part left a faint lingering feeling in their hearts.
It’s not really sad, but it definitely wasn’t a good feeling.
“Huo Ming Chen,”
Lu Qi suddenly called out to him, and hesitated before saying,
“Happy New Year.”
Then he took off the light grey scarf wrapped around his neck and wrapped it around Huo Ming Chen.
A faint kiss was dropped onto Huo Ming Chen’s eyelids,
“It’s getting cold, wear more.”
Huo Ming Chen was stunned by his actions, and when he snapped back to reality, Lu Qi had already gotten out of the car.
Huo Ming Chen suddenly rolled down the window, yelling at the back disappearing into the crowd,
“Happy New Year……”
These last few words suddenly dropped in volume, Huo Ming Chen felt that yelling was really fucking stupid and hurriedly rolled the window back up.
He smushed his face, hoping that the other had not heard a single word.
The author has something to say:
Author: You are becoming a kept woman!
Lu Yuan: Meow meow meow?
*1 the start of fate: if you put the Yuan from Lu Yuan and the Qi from Lu Qi, it becomes “缘起” a meaning of the start of fate (an extremely vague translation here).
It kind of means, the beginning of everything, or the origin of where everything begins.
*2 fate ended: “缘灭”, as the opposite of footnote 1, as like in a circle of life, everything has an end, and with this phrase, it means fate has ended/everything returned back to its beginning roots.
Please note these are very vague explanations, as these concepts are associated with buddhism, and the fundamentals of that religion.
*3 white-eyed wolf is like what Huo Ming Chen said in the conversation, usually references to someone being raised up and given a lot of resources and money and then that person flips on the one who raised him/her, either taking over their resources/money or leaving them when they need help the most.
*4 Huang Quan Road is a road that leads to the netherworld/underworld, where people cross over when they have passed away.
It translates directly to “Yellow Spring Road”, and one reason why it was named this way because in the olden days, when they grab water from wells, it would usually turn yellow at the very bottom, and down this far in the earth is usually where they buried bodies.
Hence it became “yellow spring road”, being associated with death.
There are more myths, legends and stories if you search Huang Quan Road or “黄泉路”.
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