“I didn’t pursue any girls.”
“You don’t need to tell me all that. Apologies shouldn’t sound like this, we don’t need to play any word games. You should just say what your purpose in coming here for is?ba.” He Nuo’s words were rather rude, but Shi Yan actually didn’t throw a fit. He spoke arduously, “I want us to be together.”
He Nuo seemed like he had just heard an adult speak in a child’s voice, so he shook his head and laughed, “You must be joking, I don’t intend to repay your favour with my own feelings.”
“You’re not repaying a favour, what we have is love, not sympathy. It’s not.” Shi Yan felt extremely bitter.
“I’m sorry you think that way, because all I feel for you is gratitude. Since you’ve enlightened me on the errors of my ways and showed me the way back to the correct path, why do you still refuse to realise the error of your own ways?”
He Nuo attacked his shield with Shi Yan’s own spear and grasped onto the word ‘gratitude’ tightly to completely overturn everything that had happened between the two of them — he overturned them until everything was turned upside down. This was because He Nuo could clearly see what his own feelings were, and he wanted to personally give up on these feelings of his. He wanted a clean slate. He wanted to drive that person away until he couldn’t even see a trace of his shadow.
“Give me one more chance, forgive me.” Shi Yan made this last request in utter anguish.
“You’re too polite. You don’t need to use those two words that are overly serious for our situation.”
The uncompromising He Nuo made Shi Yan’s expression grow darker and darker. In the end, he finally suppressed the gloominess in his voice as he threatened, “Don’t force me.”
Yet He Nuo wore an expression that said ‘I knew it’, then said indifferently, “Isn’t your hand already on your bow, and your arrow is already on your string? Why do you still talk about force? You came over after you had thought it through?ba.”
“I don’t want to go that far, can we not go there?”
“Sure, as long as you turn around and get out right now.”
“Nuonuo, please, forgive me.” The light that had been emitted from Shi Yan’s eyes because of the word ‘sure’ was immediately extinguished after he heard the rest of his sentence.
“Release the arrow?ba.”
Shi Yan gazed at He Nuo’s eyes that were filled with helplessness, sorrow and determination. No more begging, fierceness and unruliness, “If your fourth brother’s job isn’t enough, then there’s the matter of how I’ve fucked you too — would these carry enough weight?”
He Nuo smiled without even blinking. His smile was as warm as the rising sun that shone upon the world, “Enough, that’s more than enough.”
Shi Yan’s heart relaxed a little, but in fact he wasn’t as confident anymore. He held He Nuo in his arms, “I, I,” He wanted to explain, but he didn’t know where to start from. He had pulled this person back through the most underhanded mean he could think of; the cracks were still waiting to be repaired.
“You don’t need to say anything.” He Nuo interrupted Shi Yan’s promise? Guarantee? He very solemnly and carefully said, “I reject lies.”
“Have you slept with her?”
“No.” Shi Yan’s heart jumped with a ! once.
“You’ve never slept with her?”
“No.” Shi Yan affirmed.
“Then what’s your relationship with her?”
“We’re friends.” Shi Yan insisted.
He Nuo examined him carefully. They looked into each other’s eyes in silence. Cold sweat trickled down Shi Yan’s forehead as he prayed that He Nuo would believe him, and prayed that he would rather die than bend. He smiled, “That’s good then.”
Shi Yan unconsciously exhaled, he felt like a lucky survivor from the cave of scums. He Nuo said that they should go out tomorrow, and rest earlier tonight. Shi Yan was afraid of any further investigation, so he felt like he had just escaped from the mouth of a tiger as he took his leave.
When he got home, Shi Yan realised that because he was in such a flurry of confusion, his nose had been led around by He Nuo and he forgot to ask which college He Nuo applied for. He can be certain that He Nuo definitely wouldn’t have applied for MO city’s A College, so Shi Yan was thinking about how to salvage the situation. Pull some strings and send him to A College during the submission stage? That wasn’t impossible, but Shi Yan wanted to let He Nuo know in advance and seek his approval first.
The He Nuo now wasn’t a doll with no desire who others could manipulate at will. His humility had faded away, and the strength that he had accumulated over the years took its place. Since we’re talking about this, Shi Yan didn’t think that He Nuo’s strength now was unexpected. He was already well aware of He Nuo’s stubborn and indomitable nature in the early stages of their acquaintanceship, so he had already expected that sooner or later, He Nuo would emit a resplendent radiance that can’t be taken lightly. (T/N: um if this was confusing, the author is talking in a narration style lmao)
Shi Yan didn’t feel like sleeping in. He planned to show up at He Nuo’s house once his family had all gone to work. Yesterday night, he thought up of a bunch of methods to coax He Nuo into going to A College. When he had just worn his shoes, his phone rang, and He Nuo’s voice travelled through the phone.
“Shi Yan, when I insisted on getting you to release the arrow to hurt me yesterday, I did so in order to see if you would pursue our relationship without a second thought. Sure enough, you did try to salvage it by hook or by crook. I believe that you sincerely wish to remedy our past.”
Shi Yan was so agitated that he grabbed the phone and wished that he could kiss it, “I’m planning to look for you now. Wait for me, we’ll talk when we meet.”
He heard a gentle laugh on the other side. He Nuo said with deep affection, “Do you remember? I said that I rejected lies. Shi Yan, that was the last chance I accorded you, but you gave it up! I’m calling you now to tell you that your threats have no weight. If fourth brother’s job is implicated because of me, my heart will ache for him but I won’t lower my head for him, because I believe that I will redouble my compensation to him in the future; as for the matter of you fucking me, my sleaziness would make my family spurn me, but it would give me the chance to leave as well. Don’t you think that they’ll hope a disgrace like me can disappear? Under the circumstance where they dare not provoke you, banishing the me who had brought dishonour upon my family should be the best solution?ba?”
Shi Yan collapsed onto his sofa and said incoherently, “No, that’s not what I meant, I wouldn’t really use that to threaten you. I was just saying that, I want us to start over…….”
“Don’t lie, Shi Yan. Actually, I didn’t believe that you would treat me like that too, you shouldn’t be such a despicable person. But, when you answered me resolutely that you were just ‘friends’, you didn’t hesitate even for a moment before you uttered that lie. I cannot find a reason to forgive you. Sorry, Shi Yan, the spilled water between us can’t be gathered anymore. No matter if you’re willing to let me go, or if you intend to forcefully coerce me into it, I won’t sit here to wait for death to knock on my door. Let’s end this.”
“Listen to me, I was afraid that if you knew you would be even more…….” Shi Yan cried out eagerly, but he could only hear the “du—du—” sound coming from his phone. Shi Yan flung his phone down, stricken with grief. He rushed out of his house. He wanted to look for He Nuo, he wanted to be frank with He Nuo. No more threats, no more hurting him, and no more lies!!
When he arrived at He Nuo’s house, Shi Yan almost smashed the door down instead of knocking on it, while He Nuo’s younger brothers who had opened the door looked even more surprised, “Yan Ge, you’re not here to send He Nuo off?ba, hasn’t he already left?”
“Left? Where did he go?” Shi Yan’s heart suddenly stopped.
“He went to our uncle’s house to play. He left this morning and should be on the train by now. Didn’t he tell you?”
“When will he come back? Where is it?”
Shi Yan got the address of He Nuo’s uncle — it was the place where He Nuo had been sent to that year. Shi Yan does want to go look for him, but he needed to go home to make some arrangements and find some excuses first.
The torrential downpour that persisted for the next two days made it impossible for Shi Yan to set out on a long journey. In the meantime, Shi Yan had called He Nuo’s house once. He chatted with He Nuo’s fourth bro and managed to obtain information on the colleges He Nuo applied for in the midst of their casual conversation. Then Shi Yan fell sick. And he had fallen terribly sick — he got a high fever without rhyme or reason. After he consumed some medication, his temperature didn’t drop and instead rose to a high fever of 40 degrees, which terrified his parents.
Shi Yan was sent to the hospital, and after he had undergone a series of examinations, he was hospitalised as he waited for the results. Three days went by. In the day, Shi Yan’s temperature could drop to about 39 degrees, but it would rise back up again after 5pm. He had always been infused with fever medication, yet they could never find out the cause of this fever. Even the possibilities of it being a scary disease such as scarlet fever had all been ruled out one by one by the tests he took. Shi Yan was so tormented by his high fever that he couldn’t even stand up by himself to go to the toilet. When his buddies came to visit him, all they saw was someone who had bloodshot eyes and burning cheeks. Qiu Linsong had come over as well, and even dissed him, “San Ge, it’s so rare to see such a pitiful you.?Haha, you can keep acting for a few more days. Hurry and get discharged, we’re all waiting for you to play soccer with us.”
When they met, one smile could wash away all the hatred and gratitude of the past. Also, they were bros, so how could there really be hatred between them? Shi Yan tried his best to talk to them for a bit, but his breaths couldn’t even keep up. When his buddies saw his condition, they asked him to rest and told him that they would go back first. Over the next few days, his buddies often visited him, and even if they didn’t talk they would accompany him through his infusions. Especially Wang Feng and Liu Qinsong — they reported to his ward almost every day. But the doctors still couldn’t find a cause for Shi Yan’s illness. Wang Feng saw that he not only had to be infused with a few bottles every day, but he also had to rely on external cooling to reduce his temperature: through rubbing alcohol all over his body and enema.
10 days passed, and the lowest temperature Shi Yan managed to reach was 38.5 degrees. He looked unprecedentedly weak. Shi Yan’s parents had already invited an expert from the big city to take a look at him, but they gave the same unclear diagnosis of “high fever of unknown origin”. Today, Qiu Linsong took the chance of Shi Yan’s mother’s absence to ask why he hadn’t seen He Nuo visit Shi Yan after so many days had passed. Actually Wang Feng felt like something was amiss too, hadn’t they already reconciled?
Shi Yan was all groggy from his fever as he pointed at his small bag. Wang Feng was puzzled as he opened it, and there was only one slip of paper inside!!!
“He went to his uncle’s house, and had severed all ties with me.”