Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 96: You Once Were, The Only One I Could Depend On
When Xun Chuan was alive, he had never known that Yan Yu could catch ghosts.
This man seemed to only be living in his dreams, getting drunk on alcohol everyday.
Getting into fights, drinking even more, smoking; whatever hooligans and troublemakers were considered to do, he would do.
Even whatever they didn’t do, he would do.
A lot of people thought that Xun Chuan was blind, as what could Yan Yu have that would make him fall in love.
What was there to him that was likeable……
There was some faint rustling by the door, and Xun Chuan looked over to find that Yan Yu had put on an outer jacket and was currently tying his shoes, looking as if he was about to leave.
With a blank face, Xun Chuan blew out a breath of air, and the shoelace that was just tied unknotted itself.
Yan Yu looked up and gave him a look, before bending down at the waist to retie it again.
He did not get angry or mad, a show of attitude better than could be believed.
Xun Chuan floated over, plastering on a smile as he said,
“This is so unlike you.”
Yan Yu asked back,
“Then what is like me?”
His ring finger and middle finger came together and suddenly reached up to hold Xun Chuan’s spirit body still.
With a flick, the upper half of the buttons on Xun Chuan’s shirt split open, revealing overly pale white skin.
Paired with the black of his clothes, it made him quite a freakish beauty.
Xun Chuan looked at him coldly, and the shirt silently reverted back to its original state.
In a stance that depicted his perverted state of mind, Yan Yu lit up a cigarette and stared at him,
“This like me now?”
Xun Chuan ignored everything that just happened and instead said,
“What are you heading out for?”
Yan Yu hefted a backpack on his back and closed the door,
Xun Chuan’s body floated through the door, following along, as he knew Yan Yu was going to finish up Su Yu’s request.
Villages and towns in the countryside were still entrenched in the traditional mindset of a patriarchal society where men were more important and better than women.
Su Yu’s family had a younger son, and so since she was young, she had never been treated well.
When the police came to inform the family and ask them to claim her body, the reason for her death was hard to cover up.
Su Yu’s father thought his face was gone and didn’t even want to grab her last belongings, directly leaving by himself and going home without even caring about Su Yu’s mother.
The train station was by the footbridge where Yan Yu normally set up his stall.
He originally was just going to “casually casually” take a look, and if nothing else, he was just going to mail the money back to their village.
He didn’t really expect to have found Su Yu’s mother.
It had been getting warmer lately, and since it was currently noon, the sun was shining at its brightest.
By the train station entrance was a field of farmers and villagers who were sitting in the shade to retreat from the heat.
In the midst of them, Su Yu’s mother was sitting in a very isolated corner, wearing that jammed packed backpack behind her and nibbling on two steamed buns in her hands.
Walking under the sunlight, Xun Chuan’s body appeared to be fading in and out.
He seemed to be in a lot of pain, and it even looked like faint smoke was emitting from him.
He furrowed his eyebrows tightly as he raised his hands to block the sun shining on his face.
Strong ghosts never feared the sunlight, but they weren’t that strong to be able to walk freely under the glaring sun when it was at its brightest.
Yan Yu silently watched him and noticed that a small part of Xun Chuan’s face had started to corrode, revealing the skeleton underneath, making him look quite terrifying.
Xun Chuan himself hadn’t felt anything, but one thing was for sure, there was no prying him away from Yan Yu.
Truly and indeed the definition of a lingering malicious presence.1
Seeing Yan Yu stare at him, Xun Chuan seemed to catch on and his eyes narrowed.
He quickly raised his hand to cover the lower right side of his face as he darkly said,
“Do you not want your eyes hmm? What is there to look at?!”
Indeed, there was nothing good to look at.
Yan Yu retracted his gaze and walked underneath the footbridge.
He took out a pure black umbrella from his bag and leisurely opened it in the air.
Isolated from the piercing sunlight above his head, Xun Chuan momentarily paused and then floated to Yan Yu’s side, walking shoulder to shoulder with him.
Quite a few other pedestrians had their own parasols, but the majority of them were female.
There weren’t a lot like Yan Yu.
He walked through the crowds and the cars, straight towards Su Yu’s mother where he then crouched down to talk to her.
Su Yu’s mother naturally recognized him and paused in eating her steamed buns.
She was about to stand up when Yan Yu pressed her back down by the shoulders and quickly stuffed a thick wad of cash into her hands.
Su Yu’s mother widened her eyes in surprise,
“Young man you……”
“I had borrowed some money from Xiao-Su, and I forgot to return it.
It’s the same if I give it to you anyway.
There are a lot of people around the train station, so make sure you hide this well.”
Yan Yu had very covertly stuffed the money at her and so no one else around could have seen it.
Su Yu’s mother believed his words and quickly stuffed the money inside the bag she kept secured underneath her clothes.
She was going to thank him with deep gratitude, but no trace of him could be found when she lifted her head back up.
Yan Yu returned to the footbridge he usually set up his stall at and placed the bright yellow yin yang cloth2 on the ground.
Settling in on his little stool, he stretched out his long legs and leaned back against the railing, waiting for business.
With the black umbrella on his shoulder, there was a sense of leisure surrounding him.
Xun Chuan stayed under the umbrella, avoiding the direct rays of the sun.
His face was not as scary as it was before, but he still would not dare to take his hand down, for no apparent reason.
He stayed there by himself, drowning and petulant in his thoughts, not speaking a word to Yan Yu.
Across from them was another fortune telling stall and it was the same old man from before, wearing an old fur padded jacket, with both of hands in his pockets.
With murky eyes and a large mole on the lower part of his chin, he welcomed quite a lot more business than Yan Yu.
Xun Chuan could not change the poisonous mouth that was ingrained in his DNA and took the chance to mockingly call out,
“Telling fortunes to earn money until he’s that old.
So not very easy.”
And then looked at Yan Yu,
“You’re not the same though.
You could starve yourself to death if you did that.”
Yan Yu already knew that nothing good could spill out of Xun Chuan’s mouth and took a customary glance at that old man.
At that exact moment, their eyes met.
The old man had apparently been staring straight at him and Yan Yu couldn’t help but narrow his eyes.
The old man was also holding a cigarette in his hand, and whenever he inhaled he revealed a mouth full of crooked yellow teeth.
His face was full of wrinkles and his murky looking eyes had been staring at Yan Yu…… no, to be more accurate, he was staring at the space beside Yan Yu.
It was really only empty space beside Yan Yu, as there was only a malicious ghost.
The stare from the old man made Xun Chuan unhappy from head to toe, as if he had been seen through.
He turned to look at Yan Yu, whose long and lean fingers were holding a cigarette, painting a picture so beautiful he was like a piece of art displayed at a gallery.
Faint wisps of smoke also added a layer of formidable pressure to his handsome face, pushing back any living person from daring to come near him.
Compared to the other side, it made for two extremely opposing pictures on this footbridge.
Xun Chuan looked back at the old man and then looked to Yan Yu before finally opening his mouth,
“When you get old, are you going to be as ugly as him?”
Hearing this, Yan Yu lifted up his eyes.
The cigarette in between his fingers went out and he flicked off the ashes before saying,
“It doesn’t matter if I’m ugly or not, as you won’t be around to see it anyway.”
Xun Chuan thought he meant his reincarnation, and his mouth hooked up into a frosty smile.
He didn’t speak after that, with his heart racing off to whatever schemes, no one would know.
The sun was setting in the west and in a blink of an eye, it was already the afternoon.
Yan Yu finally awaited his first business, and it was even a previous customer.
“Ah, hey master.
Your fortunes are so on the dot, so accurate! That day you said I would receive news of death at home, I didn’t believe you, but the moment I got home that day, I received a phone call from my relatives that my grandma passed away.
You, sir, are really too good at what you do!”
A man with a field of yellow on his head was pulling on Yan Yu’s hand, chatting nonstop, praising him as if he were a celestial being.
Xun Chuan’s eyes prickled with irritation and he flicked out a string of resentment to slap his hand off.
The yellow haired man felt a stinging pain on his hand and he instinctively retracted them.
Yan Yu gave a look to Xun Chuan and the latter sent back a challenging frosty smile.
Yan Yu said,
“Perhaps it was static electricity.”
The yellow haired man didn’t mind and changed the conversation to a different topic,
“Oh master of the arts, I came to find you to ask you about a very important matter.
These past few days, I had gambled a bit, and I’ve lost quite a bit of money.
I’ve sold my car and my house, and those annoying bitches at home are just crying everyday.
Since you sir, are such a master at the arts, can you help me and give me a reading for the winning lottery ticket numbers next season? The head prize is ten million! I’ll split half with you.
How about that?!”
Yan Yu and Xun Chuan both cursed out “dumbass” in their hearts at the same time.
The yellow haired man was missing a few brain cells, which Yan Yu had already found out from the last time.
So hearing this, a corner of his mouth hooked up, fakely smiling as he said,
“If I could divine that, I would go and redeem that ten million for myself.
Why would I tell you?”
And then without waiting for a response from the man, he narrowed his eyes,
“If I could fucking divine out lottery ticket numbers, would I even be here tending a stall?!”
The cold angry face of Yan Yu could terrify others and, following his freezing stare, the man didn’t dare to utter another word.
With a face of confusion, he scratched his head and left.
When he turned away, Xun Chuan could see a human shaped figure of a ghost clawing at his back, hiding within the shadow of the yellow haired man and biting at his hair with all his life to absorb his energy.
Yan Yu followed his gaze and said indifferently,
“Should be mentally retarded in a few days.”
Cars underneath the footbridge were honking as they flew down the road.
Because of its speed, a black luxury car carelessly bumped into a young girl.
The girl immediately blew up in anger and stopped the car to get an explanation.
But her actions only caused an argument with the driver, which began to attract a lot of people to crowd around and watch.
“What kind of human are you to be like this! Not a single lick of common sense.
Alright, it’s fine if you bump into me once, but you even bumped twice.
Everyone please, lend me your logical thoughts.
Does driving a luxury car mean everything!”
The members of the crowd followed along in the blame game and that driver was on the losing side.
With a reddened face, he wanted to leave, but he was held back by the girl pulling on his arms and not letting him leave.
It was at this moment the rear car door opened up, and out came a short and chubby middle aged man, dressed in a suit and tie.
He first smiled at the girl and consoled her, before whipping out a few bills to let her get a check up at the hospital.
After that, he got back in the car with the driver and left.
“Ah, that man was quite nice.
No wonder he’s so rich.”
“Yeah young miss, it’s at least a thousand.
Take the money and tend to your injuries.
You made quite a fortune today.”
The crowd of people was slowly dispersing, but Xun Chuan’s fingers were slowly stabbing into the metal railing.
His eyes were turning so red a few drops of blood began to drip out as his head began swirling with thoughts of that short fat man.
A cold, heartless mom and a greedy stepfather with only eyes for profits and benefits to himself: there were times when Xun Chuan wished for nothing more than to be an orphan.
Just like Tang Ying said, what kind of parents would send their own son to someone else’s bed just for money? But there were really some out there in the world……
Xun Chuan’s stepfather had failed in his investments and he had to compensate a lot of money to cover up his failures.
The real estate and the cars under his name were already all mortgaged out cheaply and so he placed all his hope on Sheng Long Group Corporation’s buyout next.
It was quite a coincidence that the chairman of Sheng Long Group Corporation, Liu Chang Min, and him were long time friends.
And it was very much a perfect coincidence that that day, Liu Chang Min came by their house as a guest.
His stepfather had been making a toast with a glass of wine, as they sat at the dining table in the dining hall of the first floor, sharing stories along with the alcohol with his old pal.
He had drunkenly said,
“Ah-Chuan, this is Chairman Liu.
Come over, call him uncle.”
Across the dining table from his stepfather was a short and fat middle aged man, dressed in a suit and tie, and looking very amiable.
He had been smiling pleasantly but a bit unclearly, with his pair of eyes that were not very big glimmering: sincerely a man who had a lot of hidden depths.
That day, Xun Chuan had just ended an argument with Yan Yu and he had been drenched in a heavy and dark mood.
He also quite disliked this stepfather of his and so he pretended he heard nothing and walked straight up the stairs.
A twenty or so young man would always have that youthful aura about him, and Xun Chuan was nonetheless a beautiful young man.
His eyes were cold and frosty; whenever he looked at someone, he brought an atmosphere of arrogance and pride with him, like a wild cat that would be so very hard to tame.
Just one look and the soul of Liu Chang Min was hooked away.
He had only slightly revealed some sort of meaning of it, and he was quickly being invited to stay overnight.
At the same time, an extra key was placed into his hands, a key that was handed over by Xun Chuan’s mother.
That night, Liu Chang Min came to Xun Chuan’s door in the dark, and using just his touch, he sneaked onto the bed and directly embraced that young man lying on the bed.
His mouth was full of heavy breathing as he said,
“Baby, my mind is full of thoughts of you.
Come and be with me.
This uncle will promise you nothing but the best!”
Xun Chuan’s eyes quickly flew open and he glared at the man in the dark.
Reacting to his touch aversively, he quickly went to kick him off and ran to turn on the lights.
Liu Chang Min never thought that Xun Chuan could have this kind of strength and so he was caught off guard.
He curled up into a ball on the floor, being overwhelmed by pain from the unexpected hard kick to his body.
Seeing that it was him, Xun Chuan viciously kicked him again with a cold face,
Liu Chang Min was so angry that words did not come smoothly out of his mouth,
“Little bitch…… this was something your parents agreed to…… the key was even given to me by your mother…… if you’re smart, you better apologize to me…….
or you’ll be dead after I’m done playing with you!”
Xun Chuan immediately felt like he had been drenched in ice, and being stared at by Liu Chang Min’s sinister and vicious eyes, he suddenly felt frantic, frantic and helpless.
This ice cold luxurious house had turned into a lair of death in his eyes.
If even blood related family could betray him, who could he still trust on this earth?! He hated this place with everything he had, as if just by staying one second longer in this room, he would immediately die.
He didn’t care that it was snowing outside and quickly packed up that night and ran away……
Xun Chuan’s fingers couldn’t stop shaking.
How could he forget this person, how could he forget this person!
His resentment was growing stronger and stronger around him, causing Yan Yu to look over.
He pressed down on Xun Chuan’s shoulders,
Xun Chuan paused, slowly closing his eyes.
He just suddenly remembered, there was actually still someone else who should die.
Xun Chuan suddenly felt very empty, an emptiness that came from nowhere overcame him.
The deathly ice cold feeling in his heart was slowly spreading, spreading into a field of emptiness.
Xun Chuan moved to sit on Yan Yu’s legs, shrinking himself into his embrace.
Holding him tight, as if that could increase his sense of security and safety just a bit more.
Xun Chuan said,
“Hold me tight……”
“Yan Yu, hold me tight.”
Hearing this, Yan Yu slowly tightened up his arms, holding and embracing a person that could not be seen.
*1 lingering malicious presence: this is actually a four letter idiom that means someone or some ideology that’s bad and never really goes away, like a boss enemy gets slain by the heroes, but his evil work gets carried away by his henchmen, so his evil deeds kind of never goes away and keeps popping back up for the heroes to fix.
Or like cannon fodders popping up and doing the same thing as a so and so character that’s mean/evil, seeming as if that so and so character is still here, but Yan Yu also means it literally where the “evil ghost” won’t leave as the words are part of the idiom itself, pointing at Xun Chuan.
*2 yin yang cloth: Just to add a bit of information on the yin yang cloth: it is the yin yang symbol with a special type of diagram on it, called Ba Gua/bagua.
Ba Gua, kind of like the instrument he had before to detect ghosts, falls in the category similar to feng shui, where it is to “tell” of something, or use it to fortune tell, as it encompasses (like feng shui or the five elements) everything that consists or makes up the universe (sidenote: it can also mean to gossip, which I was actually surprised to know it originated as a meaning on the diagram.
Sidenote to a sidenote, it’s also been used a lot for me as a negative connotation that someone’s been sticking their nose in somebody else’s business).
Anyway, ba gua diagrams have these lines and 8 “areas” (hence the “ba”/8), where the long lines represents the “yang” and the two dashes as the “yin” and each of the areas represent a factor in the universe.
They have olden names but as a brief summary, they mean “sky”, “ground”, “wind”, “thunder”, “water”, “mountain”, “pool of water” (which of course doesn’t only mean the geographical meaning, but also a lot of other meanings that the “universe” is classified into from types of humans to animals to emotions, etc., and each of these are represented almost like a morse code (made up of the yin/yang lines).
There’s a lot more notations and explanations that go on as this is like a fundamental of … belief? and has many roots in history.
Edit: Just to clarify as for some reason this didn’t save before it got published: The picture below is only one of many many examples that can be used.
Some may only have the inner ring, some may be more complicated like the luopan pictures or some may be more simple with only the yin yang symbol.
As with all things history and belief, there are many variations and branches of teachings and knowledge in this kind of realm and so different people may use different types of pictures and diagrams and it would depend on the individual – although in this case, some variance on the ba gua diagram.
In this case, something like the picture would be printed on, sewn on, etc.
onto the yellow cloth.
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