Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 98: Suddenly Starting to Fondly Miss This Human Life
Walking out of the deserted building, it was very quiet everywhere; in contrast, when they reached the city, even at this time of night boisterous calls and noises surrounded them.
Wearing a short black tee, as Yan Yu walked towards his apartment, he threw his jacket casually over his shoulder, and lowered his head to light up a cigarette.
When he arrived at his apartment building, he didn’t head home right away and instead ordered some skewers at the open air barbeque stall, crouching by the curb to wait.
Xun Chuan silently stood beside him with a blood red hue still lingering in his eyes.
Not even the night breeze rustled around him..
It had been a while, for sometime now, since the two of them seemed to have been like this, crouching by the roadside, staying like this for the entire night, without an actual reason.
Xun Chuan was used to going to the same bar, used to finding the same person to drink alcohol with.
Yet on that particular day, Yan Yu was not there and so he walked along the road, walking and walking all the way to this area.
The night was reaching its zenith, and many people were coming and going about their nightly business.
Yan Yu, hiding away from the landlady trying to collect her rent, had been wandering around aimlessly under the night sky.
Nights in the summer were humid and hot, and so he bought a few cans of ice cold beer and sat by the road, never expecting Xun Chuan to bump into him.
The street he was on was a bit narrow and cramped, so pedestrians naturally crowded the entire area as they walked.
Yet for some reason, with one glance Xun Chuan could see him through the thick of the crowd.
He silently walked up behind Yan Yu, wanting to use this chance to kick him from the back.
But Yan Yu caught onto his ankle, gripping it tightly as he did so, and Xun Chuan crashed onto the ground from instability.
“Fuck! Do you have eyes on the back of your skull!”
Xun Chuan gritted the words out of his clenched teeth from the pain and he’d caught so much attention that quite a few people looked over.
Yan Yu heard his voice and with a surprised tilt to his eyebrows, turned his head and said,
“I went to the bar to find you but you weren’t there.
Your friends said you would be hanging around here so I came searching for you.”
Xun Chuan flipped his overly long bangs up, not knowing how strange he looked as he did so.
He patted the dust off his body and, not minding that it was dirty, took a seat right beside Yan Yu on the floor.
Yan Yu was a bit speechless, and gave him a look,
“For what? Do I owe you money?”
Xun Chuan glared at him,
“What a load of bullshit.
Your bill was on me last time!”
Yan Yu didn’t respond and bit on his cigarette.
His shoulders shook as he gave a chuckle while Xun Chuan could only feel the pain from his butt emanating through his body.
Whichever position he tried to sit in, it didn’t feel good, and he kept adjusting himself with his eyebrows all scrunched up.
Yan Yu looked over out of interest, and from that angle, half of his face was drenched in shadows, instilling a sense of coolness to him as he said,
“Being like this will make me think you did something bad.”
Xun Chuan gave him the middle finger and with an arrogant expression on his face, he said,
“What are you doing on the streets at such a time at night? There’s mosquitoes everywhere.”
Yan Yu raised a finger to point upwards, casually saying,
“A sad life of course.
No money for rent so I’ve been booted out and I can only sleep on the streets.”
“Then come with me to my house.”
Xun Chuan didn’t even think before blurting out,
“Come home with me.”
Smoke faintly wafted from the barbeque grills, interlaced with the faint scent of meat cooking and burning, abruptly pulling people out of their thoughts.
The barbeque stall owner sprinkled on flavouring with quick hands that showed how he has been at this for many years.
He held onto the skewers and smacked them over the grill to get rid of the excess flavourings before putting them into a bag.
He yelled out loudly,
“Xiao-Yan, your skewers are ready!”
Yan Yu had always come here for skewers, so much so that he was considered a regular customer.
Upon the call, he extinguished his cigarette and went to grab them and pay.
Xun Chuan silently watched him as he stood in the shade of a tree.
All around him, there were numerous headless ghosts, bumping into the crowds and walking everywhere to find their replacements.1
Sensing his gaze, Xun Chuan went over to follow him back home.
As he floated over, he spotted the injury at the back of Yan Yu’s hand.
He lowered his eyes and didn’t say a word, displaying an expression that was hard to decipher.
Yan Yu didn’t buy a lot of food and so by the time he arrived home, only a metal stick was left.
Using his keys to open the door, he then threw the skewer into the garbage can by the corner right as he entered.
He fell back onto his bed and then pulled a pillow into his embrace, turning over and then didn’t move.
Not long after, faint breathing noises could be heard in the room.
Xun Chuan floated over and found that Yan Yu had closed his eyes and fallen asleep.
His eyes couldn’t help but move to the back of Yan Yu’s hand and there lay a perfect imprint of teeth marks, surrounded by a cloud of black smoke that prevented the wound from closing up.
Xun Chuan kept staring and staring before finally reaching his hand over and absorbing that black cloud slowly, one bit at a time.
When he moved away, Yan Yu’s hand looked to have recovered and was back to normal.
Xun Chuan slowly tightened his hand as his furrowed eyebrows finally relaxed a bit.
Yan Yu himself didn’t sleep well, waking up and then sleeping, waking up and then going back to sleep again.
He only managed to take a short nap before he woke up.
He lay on his bed, flipped himself around and discovered someone sitting on the end of his bed.
The person was holding a TV remote in his hands, with his back facing him as he sat there watching the tv, soundlessly flipping through channels.
The TV had not been used for a very long time nor was the signal very good; there were only so many stations to watch.
Yan Yu yawned and then snuggled up behind Xun Chuan.
He pressed the volume button on the remote in Xun Chuan’s hands and sound finally emerged from the TV.
Xun Chuan didn’t turn his head around, only focusing his eyes on the television.
Looking at him from the back, it really highlighted his lean and skinny figure, to the point of almost being able to see his bone structure.
When he was not talking, Xun Chuan had the aura of a quiet and obedient child, a look that would never enable others to see the craziness hiding within.
Yan Yu casually ruffled Xun Chuan’s hair before he left the bed to put on his slippers.
When he left the bed, Xun Chuan looked over subtly, only to see Yan Yu flipping through his closet to find his pyjamas and causing a huge mess.
Mixing up his pants and shirts to perfectly emulate a garbage pile.
Yan Yu flipped his clothes over his shoulders and when he walked over to his bathroom, he gave Xun Chuan a look, meeting directly with his eyes.
Yan Yu said,
“I’m going to shower.”
Xun Chuan didn’t say anything.
Yan Yu pointed at him,
Xun Chuan retracted his gaze and switched the station.
He purposefully turned up the volume, covering up the sounds of water coming from the bathroom.
It was at this time, the closet door suddenly creaked open, and out fell a pile of clothes.
Xun Chuan silently looked over.
The closet door was originally broken and the space inside couldn’t hold a lot.
Yan Yu was also normally very lazy and he didn’t care about folding, only stuffing them into the closet like balls.
The more he stuffed, the easier it became for them to collapse.
Xun Chuan hesitated a bit before floating over and picking up the clothes and stuffing them back in.
The clothes fell down again.
A bit annoyed now, Xun Chuan forcefully stuffed them back in.
Yet not long after, they all fell out again.
Irritated, he used his resentment to grab all the clothes and threw them onto the bed.
Ghosts like to lurk around dark and gloomy corners, so in the closet, there were six copper coins laid out in all four corners of the closet as a ward to keep them away.
Xun Chuan thought Yan Yu’s coat pockets had not been cleaned out however and with a flick of his hand, those coins dropped into his palm.
These coins had been placed in the closet for so long they had already lost their power.
They were also only able to really threaten a few low level spirits.
Recalling that Yan Yu kept his special items and tools in the drawers by the desk, he reached out to pull them open.
The first drawer was filled with books, and the second was home to the ghost-killer golden money sword and the peach wood sword, so he put the coins in the third drawer.
Humans naturally have a large abundance of curiosity and that of course does not exclude ghosts.
Xun Chuan could feel that the fourth drawer was very light as if there was nothing inside and he couldn’t help but open it up.
He was greeted by a stack of papers where each sheet seemed to contain the same six pointed star-like bagua diagram.
A very normal piece of paper, but the diagram on it was impossible to understand.
But what attracted Xun Chuan’s eyes were the two strings of numbers beside the bagua diagram.
He gave them a look, and felt that they looked very familiar.
When he realized that it was the birthdates of him and Yan Yu, he couldn’t help but slightly furrow his eyebrows.
It was at this time, the sounds of water in the bathroom stopped.
Xun Chuan closed up the drawer without another sound and floated back onto the bed.
With a towel on his neck and his hair dripping wet, Yan Yu came out and narrowed his eyes when he saw the mountain of clothes on his bed.
“Who did this?”
Facing away from him, Xun Chuan pressed on the remote to change the station, not saying a word.
Yan Yu said,
“However you did it, however you will put it back.”
Hearing this, Xun Chuan didn’t even turn his head and directly used his resentment to throw the clothes back into the closet, and even closed the closet door.
Three seconds later……
The clothes all fell down.
It was the actions of the heavens, not something due to humans, and absolutely not the blame of any ghosts.
Yan Yu could only dry his hair and grab the pile of clothes back onto the bed.
With rusty motions he folded his clothes and as he did so, his eyes drifted to the TV.
The show playing on the TV was an old version of << Legend of the White Snake >>, playing right at the scene of Xu Xian confessing to Bai Suzhen on Duan Bridge.2
Xu Xian: “Milady, if I told you that I’m ill, would you believe it? Only because a few days ago, on Duan Bridge, I met someone, and since then, there has been an illness inside my heart.”
Xu Xian: “I don’t know who caused this illness, but when I saw you today, I think I understood something in my heart.”
Yan Yu was dumb and completely useless at folding clothes.
A collared shirt that was folded over and over again would still be crooked and wonky in the end.
Out of frustration, the shirt was just turned into another ball and thrown aside.
That shirt landed right beside Xun Chuan’s feet and he had the urge to take a look at what Yan Yu was doing.
But the only thing he could see was a mountain of clothes and Yan Yu hidden behind it.
After a bit of hesitation, he reached out to grab that wrinkly shirt and put it on his knees to fold it flat and perfectly.
During that time, only the television made any sound.
Xu Xian: “This illness unfortunately…… looks to be caused by milady here.”
Bai Suzhen was befuddled,
“We have only met two or three times.
How could you be sick because of me?”
Xu Xian: “Two or three times is definitely not a lot, so perhaps, milady, you haven’t really felt anything.
But a human’s life is not more than 70 years, and taking away ten years of learning, ten years of being feeble and old, there are only 50 years left.
Within these 50, half is taken away by the night, leaving only 25……”
Xun Chuan matched the shirt to its corners, right to the edge, and then folded it tight and flat, folding it perfectly.
His personality was a bit special, one that had his possessiveness levelled to the max.
He didn’t like other people touching his stuff, and so he had always done his own cleaning.
Some things once started, would not be able to be stopped.
Xun Chuan put the folded shirt aside and then quietly grabbed another one, repeating his actions, carefully setting it straight.
All the while the TV was still displaying the show.
Xu Xian: “……And think of eating and drinking, working and getting sick, running around in all different directions during your lifetime, how many days will be wasted? The days that can be left to be with someone you love, counting with our fingers, is actually really smaller than small.”
Xu Xian looked exactly like a studious student who only had his head in the books, but there was some wisdom in him,
“I don’t want to allow milady to think that I am a flouterer who is on the hunt for girls.
But if I only had these two or three chances in this life to meet with milady, I have already missed two, leaving only this one, so how could I let it go?”
Out of nowhere, Xun Chuan suddenly felt agitated, and he didn’t want to fold anything, not even to finish the half folded shirt in his hands.
He threw it aside but he didn’t think he would knock down the mountain of clothing instead and also knock over Yan Yu’s folded pile of clothes.
Xun Chuan wanted to turn back towards the TV, but he was pulled over backwards by Yan Yu.
Both of his hands were caught and he was unable to move.
Yan Yu was mad enough to laugh,
“It was on purpose wasn’t it?”
Xun Chuan thought to himself, so what if it was on purpose, and turned his head to the side, not making a sound.
Yan Yu forced his face to turn back,
“You could be a bit more open about it if you wanted to retaliate against me.”
To speak between the lines, it means to not do things in secret.
Xun Chuan kicked him at that, but he followed his words and openly kicked a shirt away from the bed before looking at Yan Yu in the eye challengingly.
He was just going to kick him again when Yan Yu flipped over and pressed down on both of his legs,
“Pick it up.”
Xun Chuan coldly snorted, closing his eyes, and ignored him.
Yan Yu said,
“Do you believe that I will just take the clothes off of you and throw them away?”
Xun Chuan opened his eyes then and emotionlessly looked at him.
However, just from the naked eye, he somehow seemed visibly mad.
In the next second, his palm slightly moved, grabbing that piece of clothing through the air and dropping it right on Yan Yu’s head.
The moment it fell, it blocked Yan Yu’s sight, and it even covered Xun Chuan from under him.
Yan Yu wasn’t mad or annoyed; he only quietly looked at Xun Chuan.
His handsome face was magnified in front of Xun Chuan’s eyes, and he was close enough to smell his breath.
Uneasy, Xun Chuan shifted, but he was pressed down by enough strength that he couldn’t move.
He avoided Yan Yu’s gaze and turned his head away, closing his eyes and growling out,
His chin was strongly defined, belonging in the category that defined a man as masculine.
His face was also pretty, so pretty it was out of this world.
His eyelashes were also not to be shied away from.
Long and thick, they were currently slightly trembling, unlike his outer expression that was trying to project that he was strong.
Yan Yu leaned closer, and he asked back,
“And what are you going to do if I don’t?”
Xun Chuan gritted his teeth and then narrowed his eyes,
“I’ll suck up all your human energy if you don’t.”
Yan Yu laughed at his naïvety, and nodded his head,
“Come on then.
If you can, I’ll count you as amazing.”
Xun Chuan of course couldn’t actually go and absorb anything for real, so he was stuck when he heard that – couldn’t move and couldn’t do anything.
Yan Yu only had to lower his head slightly and he would be able to touch the tip of his nose.
When he was talking, their lips had touched, and now Xun Chuan could feel something and slightly widened his eyes,
It was already too late, and his unfinished words were swallowed up by Yan Yu.
Xun Chuan clenched his teeth tight and wanted to turn his head away, but he was held tightly by the back of the head.
Yan Yu easily pried his mouth open and then swept through his mouth, unconstrained and wild.
The more they kissed, the deeper he went, until Xun Chuan’s entire self was starting to feel dizzy and his tightly coiled body was unconsciously loosening.
Sometime ago, that white t-shirt had somehow slipped off from Yan Yu’s head and bright white light shone brightly down on top of them.
Xun Chuan gathered back his senses, as a low chuckle sounded by his ear,
“What, have you absorbed my human energy yet?”
Xun Chuan did not get a single wisp, and his gaze floated towards the ceiling.
Because he was overly stimulated, his eyes were layered with a faint red sheen, as beautiful as red jewel stones.
Yan Yu let him go and rose up.
He put the clothes back on the bed and then grabbed a lighter out from the bedside table.
He bit down on his cigarette as he said,
“You keep fooling around and I’ll throw you out the door.”
After a while, Xun Chuan finally crawled back up from the bed.
He didn’t look at Yan Yu and wrapped his arms around his knees, sitting on the end of the bed to continue watching his drama.
Yan Yu looked at him from behind, and he tapped the cigarette ashes on the top of the bed before continuing his painful battle with his clothes.
His folding rate was very low, and he couldn’t help but let out a deep sigh and then leaned against Xun Chuan, not moving.
Yan Yu said,
Xun Chuan didn’t make a sound and instead grabbed a shirt to put on his knees, following his own process to fold it perfectly.
In the meantime, the TV was broadcasting the part where Xu Xian was asking for a reading at Yuelao Temple.
Yan Yu reached out from behind to wrap his arms around Xun Chuan’s waist, putting his chin on his shoulder.
He smoked as he watched, his expression displaying a never before seen quietness.
Xu Xian: “Do you perhaps not believe my heart?”
Gua Po-Po3: “It’s not that I’m looking down on you, foolish child.
A man’s heart has never been stable.
You can set your heart on her, but after tonight, who knows who will be there again tomorrow?”
Xun Chuan thought this phrase suited a certain person perfectly.
He turned his head back but he was then grasped by the chin and forcefully kissed by Yan Yu.
Given a mouthful of smoke, he quickly and immediately turned away from him.
Others have said that you can tell the future, but I don’t see that.
Where my heart lies, only I would know.
It has always lain there where it is, never moving an inch.”
Gua Po-Po: “Your heart may only have her now, but in the future, when you meet someone more beautiful, someone better, it would be hard to say that your heart won’t be moved.”
Xun Chuan thought, if he had not turned into a ghost to find Yan Yu, perhaps he would have already found a new love interest.
That unwillingness, that resentment belonging to that of a malicious ghost started to surface up from his heart, but it was forcefully stomped down.
Xu Xian: “Even if I meet some other better, some other, more beautiful lady, then there would naturally be a better, more handsome man to suit her.
What business would that be of to me?”
Gua Po-Po: “You say it like this, only because her beauty now is like no one else’s.
Once she ages, and that beauty fades, when she grows old and wrinkly and yellow, would your heart still be on her?”
Xu Xian: “She’s growing old, then I will be with her to grow old.
My heart would naturally be in the same place.”
At last, they finally finished folding the stack of clothes and to prevent it from being knocked over again, Yan Yu rose up from the bed to put it all back into the closet.
With his bad memory, he had already completely forgotten that he had placed copper coins inside.
Now that they were missing, he would naturally not have discovered anything.
Xun Chuan continued to finish folding the last of the thick padded jackets before bringing them over.
Seeing Yan Yu crouched in front of the closet and blocking off the door, he kicked him from the back.
Yan Yu reflexively wanted to curse out loud but seeing that it was Xun Chuan, he moved off to the side slightly and a bit unwillingly to make some space.
The messy bed was finally cleaned up and, taking a look at the time, Yan Yu discovered that it was already past midnight.
He closed up the closet door, and upon finding that it didn’t close up right, he didn’t have the will nor energy to care.
The episode on the TV also seemed to be nearing its end.
Gua Po-Po: “It’s not the worst to turn old or ugly.
What if she wakes up, and she has already forgotten about you? To her, you would just be person 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Would your heart still be on her then?”
Xu Xian: “What fear would I have if she had forgotten about me? It wouldn’t take more than a few annoyances to her, to tell her what my name is or where my home is.
My heart will still be there, where it belongs.”
Yan Yu closed the lights and turned off the TV.
He silently lay on the bed, as if he was thinking about something, but it was about nothing.
To forget, in some sort of meaning, it was the same as reincarnation.
Becoming a new person in a new life, to never remember your past life.
Yan Yu didn’t dwell on it and moved towards the middle of the bed after he lay down.
Then he shuffled closer to Xun Chuan, but Xun Chuan did not seem to be happy about being close to him and flipped over, back facing towards him.
Yan Yu put a hand behind his head,
Although he didn’t know what Xun Chuan was mad about, but temper, this kind of thing, it always comes without a trace and then leaves without a trace.
Yan Yu silently lay there, unable to sleep.
He flipped over and then embraced Xun Chuan from the back, pulling his overly skinny body into his arms.
There were noises from some moths flying against the window and some other insects flying around the streetlamps, letting people know and feel that summer was coming.
Winter had already passed.
If you are interested in the specific timestamps (but didn’t want to take away from the chapter), click here for the chapter with the embedded video parts or click here to jump right into the part where the embed videos start if you don’t want to read all the way through again and here to the list of the specific timestamps If you want more information on the drama/folktale, please see footnote 2!
I hope you all have been enjoying Volume 4 so far! It’s certainly been an emotional ride so far, and there may be some more coming up, but some fun moments like these do break it up a bit (and the ending’s that much nearer, past the half way mark now ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡ with some surprises along the way – good ones I think…) In any case, hope all of you Galactic Judges have a great weekend and see you all on Monday for Chapter 99 ʚ♡⃛ɞ(ू•ᴗ•ू❁)
*1 Finding replacements: this was mentioned during the car accident scene with that couple, but this is mostly based on a belief where ghosts need to find people to be their replacements for whatever the situation that they died in to stop whatever’s limiting them/to get out of this situation.
There’s a few ways to go about this, but one belief is that however the human died (and if by chance they become a ghost), they will be stuck in that position.
If someone dies by drowning, they can’t ever get out of the water and must keep “drowning” until someone else replaces them or their “drowning” situation (some of these stories are to explain why some people mysteriously die or what it would be considered as suicide).
Another belief is that they cannot get enough “rest” or peace, until they have a “replacement” even if that doesn’t necessarily actually do that, but ghosts still maintain that kind of belief that they need someone/a living human being to alleviate their suffering.
There are other tales of how ghosts need to earn a certain thing to level up to leave, etc, but most of the tales are based on how ghosts need to find a replacement.
*2 The drama in question: the quotes, which do please note that the author does paraphrase a bit so it’s not exactly word for word translation to the actual drama, but it’s fairly close, refers to this episode: of the drama, Legend of the White Snake (9th episode).
This is not the newest one if you are into cdramas, but an old version (2006).
This drama series is based on an oral folktale, of one of the most famous romance stories passed down (hence quite a lot of variations in movies, novels, tv shows, etc.
so you may have seen results matching to this name if you search online).
On a very brief and basic summary, it’s a love story between a snake creature that can turn into a human and a human, and the twists and turns, ups and downs in their relationship.
It’s been praised for highlighting the freedom of love between a man and a woman (picking who to love and who they marry) and the hatred and resentment against a society that’s strict and filled with nonsense rules they have to abide by (and not quite a happy ending…)
In any case, I believe the scene mentioned is Xu Xian’s second confession.
And to note, Xu Xian is the human man and Bai Suzhen is the snake creature and Gua Po-Po is like Yan Yu, a fortune teller.
*3 Po-Po: what you would call an elderly lady, usually like grandma/grandmother; Gua is actually the gua of ba gua, but in this case, besides symbolizing she’s a fortune teller, it’s also the name to call her (like name/nickname)
You'll Also Like
I Heard That I Am PoorChapter 34 22 hours ago
The World of Reincarnated BeingsChapter 6 22 hours ago
Getting Outsmarted By The CEOChapter 83 22 hours ago
The Tyrant Wants To Live HonestlyChapter 20 March 26, 2023
I Was Reincarnated in a Modern Day Onmyoji FamilyChapter 25 March 26, 2023
Sword Fanatic Wanders Through The NightChapter 4 March 26, 2023
The Bewitchingly Beautiful Girl I Saved 4 Years Ago Returned to Me, but Now She Is a… Yandere?Chapter 24 March 25, 2023
A Professional AvengerChapter 45 March 25, 2023
I Need SponsorshipChapter 18 March 24, 2023
I Think The Genre Has ChangedChapter 3 March 24, 2023
Transmigrating into the Prince Regent’s Beloved Runaway WifeChapter 11 22 hours ago
Stop It! It’s Not Me That’s Strong… It’s the Sword…!Chapter 6 March 23, 2023