Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 90: A Ghost Will Always Follow Its True Love, Never Willing to Leave
Outside, it had begun to rain some time ago, and there were umbrellas of all sorts of colors popping up in the air, becoming the only color in this dark and grey world.
While some had their umbrellas, others hastily moved along without one at all.
Five minutes later, Yan Yu walked out of the coffee shop, but as there was still some lingering pain in his body, his face that was already paler and whiter than the average human being looked even worse than before.
The system rang out twice.
[ My dear beloved host, this system already said that there would be an electric shock punishment, why wouldn’t you believe it hmm ]
Yan Yu had only walked a few steps but he could feel his heart pounding and pounding.
He leaned against a wall to calm himself down, slowly bringing his breathing and heart rate back to normal.
Rain was pouring down and when he was almost half drenched, he wiped the water off his face.
He first coldly laughed before his face pulled downwards in a dark look and he said,
“Motherfucker, how is it any of your business if I go find someone?!”
[ My dear, this system does not inhibit your freedom in marriage.
You can find your own partner, but you cannot be a kept man hmm~ ]
Yan Yu: “If I can’t be a kept man, why else would I go find someone to be with?!”
[ My beloved host, friendly warning, water is a conductor of electricity.
Yan Yu didn’t respond and walked straight into the rain instead, drenching his black inky hair over and over again.
His skin color was an unnatural shade of white, without a single hint of blood flowing in his body; only his pair of eyes, sharp and shrewd as ever, were like an untameable wolf.
When he arrived home, he didn’t even change his clothes, only taking off his shoes before starting to flip through his cupboards and drawers for something.
He found 200 yuan under his bed and another 372 yuan and 5 kuai in the pocket of some old clothes hanging in his closet.
Money was like buried treasure; if you just keep searching, there would be some somewhere.
There was a wooden desk silently sitting in the corner.
Perhaps it was from the previous renter who left it here, but it looked very old with no end to the scratches and dents, oil and water stains galore.
Yan Yu rarely used this desk, and whatever was tucked away in these drawers were things he would never touch.
Pulling the drawer out on its already rusted hinges, he exerted a great deal of effort before finally getting it open.
Inside were all old, almost ancient, books related to the supernatural, with their covers all just about tinged yellow.
There was even a spider resting on its web in the corner, and a musky old deteriorating scent began filling up his nose.
Yan Yu lit up a cigarette, and in the midst of the puffing clouds of smoke rising up to his face, he narrowed his eyes and flipped all the contents of the drawer onto the floor.
Looking and scouring through the pile, he found not a single penny inside.
He then pulled open the second drawer and inside was a yin yang cloth, used for street stalls, along with some copper coins and yellow talismans, and a series of items for repelling evil.
Yan Yu didn’t spend any time looking at any of them, and with a bam, he closed up the drawer.
He pulled open the last drawer and inside sat a stack of paper.
The first sheet had two lines of numbers written on it, and below each number was a six pointed star shaped fortune telling diagram, with each of the cases complex and complicated.
Drawn with pencil, there were many symbols and marks that were quite incomprehensible, and unfortunately, a lot had already been smudged.
For some unknown reason, Yan Yu didn’t move after that, until the flame of his cigarette flickered out and its ashes fell silently onto the paper.
He finally reacted then and reached out to flick them off, but it only made the ash fly over everything, making it even messier.
In the end, he could only take the papers out to shake it off.
There were around thirty or more sheets of paper in the stack, and each page had a diagram that was about the same, as if the person who drew them was very persistent and stubborn, never annoyed at having to draw it many times, and only stubbornly wanted to prove something.
Yan Yu smushed the cigarette onto the floor and didn’t search any further.
He pulled out his phone to find Tang Ying’s number, and within three rings, it was quickly picked up.
Tang Ying’s voice was as cold as steel.
“Didn’t Xun Chuan leave me something? When will you give it to me?”
Yan Yu lazily replied.
It was very noisy on the other end, as if a fight was happening in the background.
Tang Ying paused before saying,
“I booked a flight for tomorrow, early in the afternoon, and I’m never coming back.
I’ll send the address to you.
Come get it yourself.”
When the news of Xun Chuan broke out, she had been out of the country, preparing for her wedding.
She had immediately come back upon hearing the news, and now that she’d almost settled everything, she had to go back, as she did not plan to stay in the country for the long term.
Yan Yu hung up and prepared to head out when he saw the dimming sky outside.
His feet took him back in and he grabbed a few talismans from the second drawer before heading back out again.
The address Tang Ying gave was in a standalone house a bit farther away from the city, which actually looked to be Xun Chuan’s house.
When Yan Yu got there, there was an older lady who looked to have kept herself very well maintained, sitting on the sofa at the ground floor.
Her eyebrows held some similarity to Xun Chuan, and when she saw Yan Yu, she paused and was about to ask when Tang Ying came downstairs just then with her suitcase.
Tang Ying said to Yan Yu,
“The first room on the second floor.
Grab it yourself.”
Yan Yu only smiled in response before walking upstairs.
Only, when he entered the room, he could hear arguing slowly echoing upstairs, and he kept it as something to keep notice on.
So when he closed the door, he left a sliver of space.
Xun Chuan’s mother sat primly on the sofa, and compared to the haggardness of Tang Ying, there was not a bit of sadness on her face.
She asked tenderly,
“Ah-Ying, who is that man? Why did you let him into Ah-Chuan’s room?”
And then with her voice tinged in a sweet scolding tone,
“You child, why are you so hasty to move out today? Your uncle somehow tripped out of nowhere and hurt his neck a few days ago, and he’s still lying in the hospital.
You will think of something for the incurred fees right?”
This somehow triggered her and Tang Ying immediately threw the suitcase at her feet.
She sharply said,
“He should be in the hospital! His bankruptcy is also deserved! That kind of animal without a single lick of conscience dying a thousand times is still not enough! Karma! This is all karma and his due punishment! The more I stay here, the more I will suffocate and die from all your sickening deeds!”
Xun Chuan’s mother furrowed her eyebrows,
“How could you say that about your uncle? Everything he has done was all for this family.
No one wanted Ah-Chuan to die.
Do you not know how my heart also aches in pain?”
Tang Ying’s eyes reddened and her chest was heaving irregularly, as if she had been angered to the point where it couldn’t be controlled,
“He is an animal! You are also an animal! What kind of parents would send their own son into someone else’s bed for money! If Xun Chuan wasn’t trying to hide from you all, how could he have died!”
Xun Chuan’s mother’s face turned sour,
“Some obstacles had been thrown in the company’s way, and we had no other choice.
Who could have known that Stakeholder Liu had an eye on Ah-Chuan? Besides, we hadn’t even promised anything, so who could have known that Ah-Chuan, this child, would be so stubborn and just run away from home.
Hoh, what a pitiful life.”
Tang Ying’s face immediately dropped at these words and she laughed coldly,
“Really? Then why didn’t you send Xu Jiang over hmm? He’s not bad looking, so why didn’t you send Xu Jiang over huh?! What? Too reluctant huh?”
As her voice tinged higher and higher in octave, Xun Chuan’s mother couldn’t stand it anymore and stood up as if to argue.
Xun Chuan’s father had passed away very early on and Xun Chuan’s mother had remarried.
Not long after her second marriage, she gave birth to Xun Chuan’s little brother, Xu Jiang.
A brother with the same mother, but a different father.
The coffee table seemed to have been kicked by someone and following the screech of its legs dragging against the floor, Yan Yu moved away from the door.
He closed it fully behind him and finally understood why Xun Chuan’s voice had sounded so frantic on the phone that day.
The muscles on his arm tightened up unconsciously and for a very long time didn’t loosen up.
Rain was suddenly falling heavier outside, accompanied by spumyrts of lightning and thunder.
With the falling rain and trembling wind, thunderous roars were momentarily transmitted to the ear, as if to break apart the sky.
The things left behind by Xun Chuan were all neatly arranged into a cardboard box.
Yan Yu searched through it, finding the phone the police found, a bank card and some miscellaneous items, like a plant of some species that had been left on the window sill, but it had already withered up from not being watered for a long time.
There was still power in the cellphone, and Yan Yu tried turning it on.
The password lock had already been broken through, but there were a few things still there.
Yet the only thing that caught his attention was the display background, which turned out to be a picture of himself.
The angle was a bit disoriented, as if it was a sneakily and hastily taken picture.
A clear side profile of a man sitting at the bar drinking alcohol with dark blue light spotlighting his body; he was like a beauty of jade.
His handsome face was a bit cold, but it made those who looked at him unable to move their eyes away.
The first time they met, it seemed to be this exact situation.
Clearly a beautiful young adult, yet he was full of thorns, making others want to pick him up but instead had to pull their hands away.
Yan Yu had been sitting at the bar and slowly sipping his wine.
He drank for a very very long time, with Xun Chuan sitting right across from him.
Xun Chuan’s above average handsome looks attracted quite a few gazes, and there were even some who dared to get handsy, but their end result was being smacked and doused in wine.
Yan Yu had smiled then, spending the entire time watching this show before his eyes.
Xun Chuan was annoyed out of his mind, and in the end took his glass of wine over– he had noticed that it was very empty around Yan Yu and everyone, including the rowdy and handsy hooligans, seemed to be purposefully avoiding him.
Within three minutes, he couldn’t sit still and kept taking glances at Yan Yu.
He finally came over to converse when he was unable to hold it in anymore.
With a face of unknown curiosity, he asked,
“Ah, why do you drink so slowly? A handful of alcohol has already taken you more than ten minutes to drink.”
Yan Yu: “Oh, I have no money.”
Xun Chuan’s eyes had been pure and clean.
His eyes held a clear distinction between the sclera and pupils – black was black, white was white.
He seemed to be interested enough to stare at Yan Yu for a long time and then pushed the glass in his hands over,
“I’ll pay for you.”
Yan Yu raised his eyebrows and then finally turned to look at him fully.
He calmly stated the truth,
“You’ve already drank this glass.”
Xun Chuan said,
“Ok, then you pick something for yourself.
The bill’s on me.”
Yan Yu took a look behind him and pointed out,
“I’m afraid before you can even pay the bill, you’ll already be admitted to the hospital.”
The hooligan who had endured a slap before had brought his underlings over in a huffy puff, and his target was clearly Xun Chuan.
Hearing Yan Yu’s words, Xun Chuan unconsciously turned his head back and evidently found them as well.
Couldn’t win me over, so he grabbed his friends.
What a group of children! We’ll see if I can’t toss them back around to where they came from!”
Xun Chuan evidently had come here for the very first time, and he was not afraid.
He pushed up his sleeves and went straight over to deal with this.
The leader of the gang was a small mouthed lanky fellow, with a pair of squinty fidgety eyes, and he was also the head gangster of the territory around here.
When he glanced behind Xun Chuan however, he paused for some unknown reason and his expression turned weird.
Xun Chuan tightened his fists,
“You wanna fight here or outside?”
Sometime ago, Yan Yu had stood up to stand behind him and he soundlessly nodded his head at that.
He followed along to push up his sleeves as if he was an underling and also a bodyguard.
The head hooligan said,
“I’m an honest fellow and I won’t bully you with numbers.
Next time I see you however, you won’t be so lucky!”
And then turned around to leave, leaving Xun Chuan standing there in a bout of confusion.
Xun Chuan shrunk down his neck, shocked out of his mind, and stuttered out with wide eyes,
“You you you….
What are you doing?!”
Yan Yu looked at him,
“Didn’t you say that you’ll pay for my drinks?”
Xun Chuan rubbed his neck, still not over that ticklish feeling,
“You order then.
I’ll pay up.”
Yan Yu: “No need.
You can just transfer the money.
I don’t want a lot.
Just seven to eight hundred.”
Xun Chuan: “Fuck me! You aren’t shy!”
In the end, Yan Yu swindled all the cash that Xun Chuan had on hand, and he put the money in his pockets before preparing to leave when he was suddenly called back by Xun Chuan.
Xun Chuan’s voice held a bit of unwillingness to end it like this,
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“…… Yan Yu.”
“I’m Xun Chuan.”
One’s find, and the other’s meet.
If you don’t find, then you don’t meet.
You don’t meet, then you can’t find…… 1
Perhaps it was because Yan Yu took too long, Tang Ying had headed back upstairs and when she opened the door, she saw him staring blankly at the phone screen.
She knocked on the door frame with her knuckles, pulling his attention back.
Yan Yu came back to his senses and threw the phone back into the box.
He was just about to say something when Tang Ying spoke up,
“The card still has a bit of money left behind by Xun Chuan.
You should know the password.”
The system rang out at this moment:
[ Ding~ ]
Yan Yu said,
“Keep it for yourself.”
Tang Ying gave him a look,
“If Xun Chuan was still alive, that money would have been in your hands not long after anyway.
He would only give it to you.
Take the stuff and leave quickly.”
And then turned back around to head downstairs.
Not long after, the sound of a car starting up in the courtyard could be heard.
The system said,
[ My beloved host, we cannot be a kept man~ Come on now, be obedient, put the money down, or you’ll be fried into an idiot ~ ]
He didn’t say anything else and carried that cardboard box down the stairs.
The system seemed to sense his thoughts, and it only rang out twice before quieting down.
Downstairs, things were in a messy state, and Xun Chuan’s mother was still sitting on the sofa but now with a face full of undissipated anger.
Yan Yu walked passed her from behind and his long lean fingers touched the back of her head for a second before a few extra strands of hair turned up in his palm.
Xun Chuan’s mother furrowed her eyebrows from the pain and she seemed to sense something and looked behind her.
Greeted by the sight of Yan Yu standing there, she freaked out,
“What did you do?!”
Yan Yu smiled,
I am Xun Chuan’s friend and wanted to ask where he is buried?”
Xun Chuan’s mother’s face did not look good at that, but she did give out an address.
Yan Yu nodded his head and walked out, but he did not immediately leave.
Instead he went around to the backyard and took out a talisman from his pockets.
He bit his finger for a bit of blood and with it, drew a talisman for gathering bad luck and intertwined it with the strands of hair he had in his palm.
Then, he muttered out a curse word and that talisman started to burn in the air.
Yan Yu’s face became even whiter than before and he quietly watched that talisman burn in his palm.
His face was slowly layered with the flickering warmth and his eyes seemed to take on that flame.
Within moments the talisman turned into ash and Yan Yu’s hands unfolded, releasing and burying the ashes in the ground before finally leaving.
It was already night, and perhaps it was because of the heavy rain today, but there were not many pedestrians on the streets.
The moon was dim, and the surroundings were freezing cold.
Yan Yu’s expression was lazy with his lips pale.
He carried that cardboard box with him back home, and at some point he felt a faint shadow appear on his shoulder.
The streets were quiet and in the exchange of the moon with the night sky, in a place where others could not see, a hand appeared on Yan Yu’s shoulder.
It was pale white, lean and long, with a clear bone structure; a hand that clearly belonged to a man.
Contrasted against Yan Yu’s pure black outfit, it was exceptionally good looking.
A faint shadow of a man started to slowly take shape.
He lovingly cuddled his chin against Yan Yu’s shoulder, and his movement slightly revealed the cut wound on his throat where the blood was not yet dry.
The man’s other hand slowly climbed upwards to the other’s shoulder, faintly and weakly grasping at the other’s neck.
“I’m waiting for you……”
He chuckled lowly, sending goosebumps to those who could hear him.
*1 The Yu, “遇” in Yan Yu “嚴遇” can mean to meet or to encounter, whereas Xun Chuan’s “荀川” Xun “荀” sounds close to the word to find “尋” or to seek.
*2 Apparently it’s called Joss Paper in english, not too sure why, but it’s basically a currency for the afterlife that people would burn for their loved ones (usually) to make sure they have money to use.
There are other paper things you can burn too, like houses, clothes, servants, etc.
In this specific case, what he’s mentioning is the paper folded up into gold ingots (Chinese form not the flat bar ones like in Minecraft).
It differs from family to family, but sometimes there is just the origami type of paper (golden/yellow) for these “gold ingots” interspersed with a certain type of joss paper.
The original of the “gold ingots” is a type of currency used in the ancient eras like this (on the left and a bit glamorized on the right below, which I believe was from a feng shui influenced/advice site actually):
And the type of “joss paper” gold ingots are like these above (specific types of paper used to fold into shapes like it) as Plum had included before that are like the origami type (but can also be silver now that I recall from my own experiences), or they can have print (with specific lettering) or like “gold silver sheets” where it’s like beige with a foil like sheet of gold or silver.
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