Translated by: DMlations/Zryuu
Edited by: Amelea and FistFullOfDollars
“I didn’t mean anything else.” Zhou Sheng said.
Usually, ‘didn’t mean anything else’ meant that one ‘did mean something else’. Yu Hao smiled and changed to another channel. It was still broadcasting the Spring Festival Gala.
“I understand.” Yu Hao thought, the one who tied the bell must be the one to take it off, let me take off the golden circlet ba, “I do want to date, I just haven’t found someone suitable.” As he spoke, he looked at Zhou Sheng.
Zhou Sheng curled into the blanket and suddenly asked, “Why did Kaikai call you this afternoon?”
Yu Hao didn’t know why Zhou Sheng would ask this. In fact, he realised that as soon as he and Chen Yekai got close, Zhou Sheng would suddenly pay close attention.
“He was probably worried that something might happen to me if I was outside by myself ba?” Yu Hao didn’t tell Zhou Sheng about the photo, “It was a normal greeting. Maybe he gave everyone a call?”
“He didn’t call me.” Zhou Sheng said evenly.
Yu Hao, “Since we’re together.”
Zhou Sheng motioned to his phone, “Do you want to ask if he gave big guy a call? You can wish him a Happy New Year in passing.”
Sometimes, Yu Hao felt like Zhou Sheng’s perceptiveness could be described with the word ‘terrifying’. But in the next moment, Zhou Sheng was even more amazing as he accurately grasped Yu Hao’s train of thought, “Learnt it from my Mum. When she was investigating my Dad to see if he was having an affair, that’s what you call not missing a single clue.
Yu Hao thought he might as well ask, “Then why do you think he called me?”
Actually, Yu Hao had vaguely felt that Chen Yekai treated him differently from the other students, and he had guessed the reason from the photo:
Chen Yekai was treating Yu Hao like his ex.
“Because Professor Lin’s car accident made him feel like anything could happen in life.” Zhou Sheng said in a bored voice, “Maybe he was supposed to be in that car too. After he found out about the accident, he couldn’t help but call the people who are important to him.”
This time, Yu Hao knelt down to Zhou Sheng through and through. He might fool around a lot, but when he gets serious, he turns into that “General” in his dreamscapes.
“And after that?” Yu Hao asked.
Zhou Sheng narrowed his eyes and scrutinised Yu Hao, “I think he’s a little interested in you, it’s just that he’s afraid to say it straight. He has the heart of a thief, but not a thief’s guts.”
Yu Hao didn’t respond and just watched the TV.
After so much foreshadowing, Zhou Sheng finally got to the point, “If you’re going to look for a boyfriend, it’s best if you don’t consider him.”
Yu Hao, “Why?”
Zhou Sheng, “I don’t like it.”
Yu Hao mocked, “But if I really end up liking him, it’s not like I can do anything about it. Just think about it, if you were to find a girlfriend and I said that I didn’t like her, would you break up with her?”
Zhou Sheng said as if it was only natural, “I’ll break up ah, you’re the one who’s most important of course.”
Yu Hao, “…..”
When Yu Hao heard that, he had only one thought——worth it.
But he still stubbornly said, “You’re just saying that, you know that it’s impossible for me to force you to break up.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Don’t tell me you really like him ba?”
Yu Hao said, “What if I really do? Do you think that I like you? Actually, I don’t, I’ve always……”
Yu Hao thought about it over and over, then suddenly thought of a good idea and finally made up his mind, “I’ve always thought that he was General.”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Yu Hao said, “So I……”
Zhou Sheng’s expression instantly became an extremely spectacular sight. Yu Hao thought that with this, Zhou Sheng’s golden circlet would finally be removed. He just didn’t know if the totem he gave him would still be around.
Zhou Sheng, “Really?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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“You’re a shou ba?” Zhou Sheng suddenly went on a tangent.
“I don’t know.” Yu Hao answered honestly, “I’ve never dated a guy before, maybe?”
Zhou Sheng said, “I can’t accept you being, being…by him……”
When he spoke to this point, Yu Hao who had just been staring at the TV suddenly found it amusing, yet Zhou Sheng’s face was slightly red.
“What if he’s a gong?” Yu Hao asked.
Zhou Sheng fell silent again. After a long time passed, Zhou Sheng said, “Pass me the remote control.”
Yu Hao threw the remote control over. Zhou Sheng caught it, then pressed the mute button and the whole world turned deathly silent within a moment.
“I don’t like……un, my bro being pressed down underneath someone else. But if you really like that,” Zhou Sheng said, “A feeling like ‘love’ has no reason, so I can only endure it, but try not to ba.”
This was the second time Yu Hao felt moved by Zhou Sheng.
“I don’t like him.” Yu Hao still admitted the truth in the end.
“Fuck!” Zhou Sheng flared up, “Then what the hell were you talking about?! Were you making fun of me!”
Yu Hao immediately burst out into laughter as he looked at Zhou Sheng. Only then did Zhou Sheng realise that Yu Hao was lying the whole time. If Yu Hao had mistaken Chen Yekai as General, then why would he have said all those things to him last night?
Zhou Sheng was at a loss. Neither of them spoke anymore and the conversation came to an abrupt end. After awhile, Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng as he had wanted to say something, but discovered that Zhou Sheng had fallen asleep while lying on the sofa.
By 11pm, Zhou Sheng was snoring lightly. He really was very tired. Yu Hao yawned as well and nudged him. Zhou Sheng didn’t react.
Yu Hao thought, we should go back and sleep ba, let’s not usher in the New Year. He went forward and wanted to copy what Zhou Sheng had done before, to pick him up and carry Zhou Sheng like a princess onto the bed.
He tried his best, but he couldn’t carry him.
He tried harder, but he still couldn’t carry him.
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao thought, this guy is so skinny, so why the hell is he so heavy?! Is it because he’s a sports student? So Yu Hao could only resort to carrying him on his back, and wanted to get him into the room by any means. In the end, he was half carrying Zhou Sheng and was about to leave the living room when Zhou Sheng turned sideways and got off. He walked into the room as he mocked,
Yu Hao, “……”
Outside, the sound of firecrackers rang out. The two of them got onto the bed to sleep separately.
Yu Hao said, “Let’s go back to Ying city tomorrow ba.”
Zhou Sheng, “It’s only been two days, but you finally can’t stand it either? What happened to the family reunion you were talking about?”
Yu Hao, “I was wrong.”
Zhou Sheng, “Would you still persuade me to come home next year?”
Yu Hao immediately said, “I won’t.”
Zhou Sheng, “Then how should I spend the New Year next year?”
Yu Hao, “I’ll accompany you. We can stay in the dormitory or go outside to play.”
Zhou Sheng was extremely satisfied, “Un, good boy. Good night.”
The sound of firecrackers went off round after round; Yu Hao felt like he had returned to the conscious world within his dreams. On this night, the city was decorated with lanterns and coloured banners. Red lanterns hung behind the seven-storey palaces, illuminating the curtain of night, while the fire beacons along the great wall lit up with blazing fires one after the other and burned brilliantly at the summit of the mountain ranges.
Zhou Sheng was still clad in armour from head to toe. This time he had taken off his helmet and instead of a mass of mist within, there was a familiar face. The real General appeared within his armour. He sat with Yu Hao in front of the beacon tower at the top of the Great Wall —— the place where they had first met each other within the dream. Both of them looked into the distance as they waited for the New Year’s sunrise in the dream. When the sun rose, Yu Hao felt like Zhou Sheng had said something to him while smiling.
“Happy New Year.” Yu Hao said to Zhou Sheng.
It was daybreak. When Yu Hao woke up, he only remembered fragmented pieces of his dream as usual. He suspected that Zhou Sheng had entered his dream again, but he couldn’t remember much from his dream this time.
Zhou Sheng was half lying next to him while he was on the phone, and an almost imperceptible smile could be seen hanging on the edge of his lips. When he saw Yu Hao wake up, he said casually, “Got it. I’ll be going back to the college today, you too.” Then he hung up.
Yu Hao remembered that on New Year’s Day, Zhou Sheng had called someone like this before too, but he never mentioned who it was. At first he thought it was his mother, but from what he had seen, it obviously wasn’t.
Yu Hao yawned, but Zhou Sheng seemed to have lots of energy. He sprang up from the bed and began packing up, then said to Yu Hao, “Let’s go, I’ve bought the tickets.”
Escaping this house was like obtaining a new lease on life for Zhou Sheng. Yu Hao had been taught a good lesson by him, so he kept promising that he would never force him to come back home for the New Year ever again. When he put on his jacket as he prepared to go out, he inadvertently stuffed his hand in his pocket and felt a red packet in it. There was 800 yuan inside.
“Why are you so stunned? Let’s go.” Zhou Sheng said.
Yu Hao, “There’s a red packet! Who put it here? They must have misplaced it ba?”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Yu Hao wore a bewildered expression on his face. Zhou Sheng was so angry he almost had a heart attack, “I……you……who else would it be but me? Are you going to look for the person who lost it?!”
Yu Hao quickly said, “It’s the New Year, don’t get angry! Thank you boss! May you have a prosperous New Year!” Only then did Zhou Sheng’s face look a little better. They went downstairs and Yu Hao noticed an SUV parked outside of the house. Zhou Sheng opened the door and motioned for him to get in.
“Didn’t I tell you not to come pick us up?” Zhou Sheng promptly sat at the back.
The middle-aged man driving the car cast a glance at Yu Hao through the rearview mirror and answered, “It’s difficult to buy tickets for today, I’ll send you there.”
Yu Hao thought, he seems more courteous to the chauffeur today, but he didn’t expect the chauffeur to turn around and shake his hand, “Zhou Sheng has a bad temper because he has been spoiled by his mother. Yu Hao, do pardon him.”
“How is that any of your business?!” Zhou Sheng exploded, “Yu Hao! Get off the car!”
Yu Hao saw that the middle-aged man was dressed in a suit and was driving the car himself, and immediately guessed the other person’s identity: Zhou Sheng’s father! The entrepreneur known far and wide — Zhou Laichun!
But Zhou Sheng’s father started up the car and drove away from the neighbourhood.
“Is your skin itching because you haven’t been beaten for too long?”
“Come at me then?!” Zhou Sheng said, “Wanna try and see if you can beat me in a fight?”
“If your friend wasn’t around, Laozi would’ve already smashed your head in.” Zhou Laichun said lightly, “Do you think you’re invincible just because you learnt boxing for a few years? You weakling!”
Yu Hao, “Don’t, don’t……uncle, don’t fight, it’s the first day of the New Year.”
Zhou Laichun remembered something and took two red packets from the passenger seat before passing it to the back. Yu Hao said in a hurry, “No no, that’s not what I meant……”
“Just take it!” Zhou Sheng and Zhou Laichun practically said this at the same time, and even their tone was exactly the same. Yu Hao could only accept it, and Zhou Sheng added, “How do you have so much nonsense to spout?”
“Why do you talk to your friend like that?” Zhou Laichun scolded his son again.
Zhou Sheng, “I like to! Can’t I?! Why don’t you ask him if he has any objections?”
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao could sense that Zhou Sheng’s father didn’t have a good temper either, and might have even been more terrifying than his mother when he was younger. Zhou Sheng had mentioned that he often got hit by both his parents when he was a kid — if one side couldn’t win in an argument over the other, they would beat him up instead to vent their frustrations. But since he was now a businessman, he probably had to control his temper. It was the first day of the New Year and he had especially come over to send his son back to his school, and it was even less appropriate to flare up in front of a classmate. If Yu Hao wasn’t around, these two people might have just ended up greeting each other with some punching and kicking.
Along the way, Zhou Laichun asked a few questions about how Zhou Sheng was doing in school. Zhou Sheng put on his earphones and ignored him, so Yu Hao answered on his behalf: his results were very good, and he wasn’t failing anything.
“Aside from you, does he have any other friends?” Zhou Laichun asked.
“Fu Liqun.” Yu Hao said, “Our college’s basketball team captain……”
“Laozi’s not familiar with him!” Zhou Sheng interjected rudely.
“What about a girlfriend?” Zhou Laichun continued asking.
Yu Hao thought, as expected, they would all be concerned about this matter. Zhou Sheng said, “None! I can’t afford to!”
“If you need money, just ask me.” Zhou Laichun said, “It would be fine even if she got pregnant. After the parents of both sides meet, both of you can get the certificate, hold a banquet then marry her back home……”
“Shut up ba old man!” Zhou Sheng couldn’t endure it anymore and said, “It’s the New Year, aren’t you being too annoying?”
Zhou Laichun stopped talking. After they got on the expressway, he focused on driving. Yu Hao saw his gaze in the rearview mirror — it was exactly like Zhou Sheng’s. They were practically cast in the same mould.
Yu Hao lowered his head and sent a message to Chen Yekai, wishing him a happy New Year. Chen Yekai told him that he was looking after his Shimu in the hospital. Zhou Sheng leaned against the window in a slanted position as he glanced at Yu Hao’s phone screen.
Yu Hao sent a message:【I’ll pay you guys a visit after I get back to the college ba?】
Chen Yekai:【It’s the New Year, don’t come over.】
Yu Hao wanted to ask Chen Yekai when he would come back. Chen Yekai took a picture of the ward, the TV was replaying the Spring Festival Gala. Then he added:【Last night was alright, I came over to take care of Shimu.】
“We’re getting off here.” After they returned to the city center, Zhou Sheng said this to his father.
The car stopped at the city center, Zhou Sheng said, “We’re visiting a friend.”
Zhou Laichun alighted from the car. He and Zhou Sheng both smoked a cigarette. Zhou Laichun wanted to pass Yu Hao a cigarette too but Yu Hao quickly waved his hand and Zhou Sheng said, “He doesn’t smoke!” As he spoke, he carried his bag and went to one side.
Zhou Laichun took out an envelope and passed it to Yu Hao, “Yu Hao, my son isn’t very reliable, so do take care of him a little more. Just eat and drink whenever you should, don’t hold back on those kinds of expenditures.”
Yu Hao felt like he was continually being stuffed with money today; this was already the third wave. Zhou Sheng threw his cigarette butt beside a trash can and glanced at him, so Yu Hao had to accept it, “I’ll charge it to his campus card.”
Zhou Laichun patted Yu Hao’s shoulder solemnly before he said to Zhou Sheng, “If something comes up, you can call me any time.”
Yu Hao noticed that when Zhou Sheng watched his father drive away, his gaze was extremely complicated — as if it contained remorse mixed with disdain.
“How much did he give you?”
When Yu Hao was stuffing the money into Zhou Sheng’s bag, Zhou Sheng asked this.
Yu Hao let him take a look, and there was the red packet too. After Zhou Sheng weighed it in his hand, he said, “The packet has 8,000 each, the envelope has 20,000. You don’t need to count it.”
A total of 36,800. It was equivalent to half a year of Yu Hao’s income. Yu Hao said, “I’ll give them all to you.”
Zhou Sheng waved his hand, and his irritation finally began to settle now that he was alone with Yu Hao.
“I’ll take you to buy clothes.”
Yu Hao refused at first. But there were sales everywhere during the first day of the New Year, and he also thought that he needed to buy some new clothes. The last time he was escorted onto the stage by Chen Yekai, it was as if it had imperceptibly changed his life. The clothes he was wearing now were bought when he was in the second year of senior high, and they were really too old and outdated. Although he usually groomed himself pretty well and was never sloppy, the clothes do make the man — this saying was true.
It was as if Zhou Sheng knew what kind of price range he could accept as he brought him to Uniqlo. Yu Hao changed into a new set of clothes and looked much more refreshed afterwards.
“Handsome.” Zhou Sheng said. He finally abandoned his usual sportswear outfit and changed into a pair of casual pants and this year’s Kandinsky’s geometric abstraction co-op style sweater. Then he picked a piece from the same series for Yu Hao, and got him to buy shoes too. After Yu Hao changed into everything, Zhou Sheng just smiled as he looked at him.
“What do I look like?” Yu Hao asked.
Zhou Sheng, “Like a Korean.”
Yu Hao, “……”
The girl behind the cash register couldn’t help but laugh. Yu Hao insisted on paying for Zhou Sheng, and Zhou Sheng didn’t stop him. He just glanced over once in awhile to see if he was using the red packet’s money to pay, but Yu Hao had paid with his card.
“The money my Dad gave you belongs to you, just use it.”
“I don’t want to.” Yu Hao said obstinately.
Zhou Sheng’s expression didn’t look too good, but he forced himself to endure it. Yu Hao said, “I just want to buy clothes for you. Even though this is usually done by a girlfriend, but before you get a girlfriend, let me take charge of that ba.”
“What are you saying?” Zhou Sheng didn’t know whether to cry or laugh, “You work so hard, and you don’t even earn much.” Yet despite his words, Zhou Sheng’s expression had improved, “Aside from my parents, you’re the first person to buy clothes for me.”
“You’re also the one who treats me the best aside from my Grandma.”
“Could you not be so corny?!” Zhou Sheng said, “I can’t stand you anymore.”
Ame: Meeting the parents, check, grocery and clothes shopping (with COUPLE WEAR), check, spending New Year’s together, check… (even in the dream!! Wow ZS you just can’t pull yourself away)
Dollars: Zhou I-will-enter-your-dreams-to-watch-the-sunrise-with-you Sheng is fooling no one.
Zryuu: Disclaimer: ZS is not against being gay, he’s against love/overcoming his familial issues. This will be clarified in a muuuuuuch later chap but just thought I could give a heads up heh. Also, I’d just like to add that I’m amazed by ZS’s magical money estimation hands. It would be really useful in robbing– I mean, it would be a very useful skill to have.