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The office was huge and the air conditioning was very low. The curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows were tightly drawn and not a single ray of light leaked in. Only a few lamps in the corner were lit, the only source of light in the room.
Xu Luoyang didn’t approach. He just stood at a safe distance and greeted, “Mr. Dai.”
“Little thing, bring him a chair.” Dai Xueqing’s vocal cords sounded as if they had been injured, the sound of his voice having an abrasive coarseness to it.
It was only at the sound of the response that Xu Luoyang realized that there was someone else in the office. He looked over at the voice– Wang Yuxing?
Wang Yuxing was wearing an old-fashioned striped shirt and black trousers. His eyes downcast, he quietly took a chair then placed it in front of Xu Luoyang.
Then Dai Xueqing’s voice sounded again, “Take off your clothes.”
“Yes.” Wang Yuxing didn’t hesitate half a second and reaching out, began to undo the buttons.
Faced with this scene, Xu Luoyang didn’t speak or move. He was a little relieved that the phone in the pocket of his shirt was still on hold– Dai Xueqing wasn’t the same as his profile suggested, so all the plans he had thought of before wouldn’t work.
In the short time that Xu Luoyang was thinking this, Wang Yuxing had already taken off his shirt, revealing the scab marks on his body that hadn’t yet completely scabbed over. The whipping marks were deep and each one was bloody and after a quick glance, Xu Luoyang estimated that there had to be no less than twenty.
When he said kneel, Wang Yuxing didn’t even hesitate and knelt down directly in front of Xu Luoyang. His whole body showed an alarming thinness and as he moved, a few bloody scabs from the whip marks cracked open, blood slowly seeping out and running down the skin of his back.
Xu Luoyang maintained the unperturbed expression on his face and gave Wang Yuxing a cold look before averting his gaze.
“Luoyang, are you satisfied?” Dai Xueqing put down his glass and looked at the whip marks on Wang Yuxing’s back, his expression tinged with a little madness and obsession, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Xu Luoyang remained expressionless, “What Mr Dai means, I don’t understand.”
Hearing his words, Dai Xueqing narrowed his eyes, “Aren’t you here today, specifically because of the recent furore, to ask me for an explanation?” Saying this, he raised his hand and pointed in Wang Yuxing’s direction, “I’m to blame for not keeping this little thing under control and letting him bully you.”
All sorts of thoughts popped up in Xu Luoyang’s mind, his mind turning rapidly. From the time he came in until now, he could tell that Dai Xueqing’s demeanor and expression wasn’t quite normal and now his attitude towards him was strange. From his words, it was more as if he was treating him like a junior.
Xu Luoyang didn’t relax however, remaining cautiously silent.
Dai Xueqing finished the wine in his glass in one gulp and suddenly asked, “Does he look like Qunqing?” After asking, he looked at Xu Luoyang without blinking, wanting to get an answer from him.
“No, he doesn’t even look half like my father.” Xu Luoyang looked straight at Dai Xueqing and spoke with utter certainty.
But just as he finished speaking, he heard Dai Xueqing talking as if to himself, “I thought, when he smiled, that his side profile resembled Qunqing slightly, but he doesn’t resemble him at all?”
After he said this, a little out of breath and after half a minute, as if his strength had collapsed, his whole body shriveled up and he said to Wang Yuxing, “Take your things and go away, don’t appear in front of me again.”
Wang Yuxing’s face was full of fear, but he didn’t dare say anything. Taking his clothes, he went out of the office door in great haste.
There were only two people left in the office and the cold air from the air conditioner sent chills down Xu Luoyang’s back.
After a long time, the coarse male voice reverberated, “I haven’t seen Qunqing and Zhiyi for a long time.” Dai Xueqing looked at Xu Luoyang, “You and Zhiyi look more alike.”
Lin Zhiyi was the name of Xu Luoyang’s mother.
Hearing this, Xu Luoyang’s inner suspicions were once again overturned. He had previously thought that Dai Xueqing could possibly be fond of his father and so naturally hated him and his mother. But now, hearing this ‘Zhiyi’, Xu Luoyang was shaken– he would never have been able to call out the name of his rival in such an intimate and nostalgic tone.
Dai Xueqing’s hands were a little shaky and when he poured himself some wine, he spilled a lot on the table. Staring at the amber colored liquor in the glass, he raised his glass, “So you came to see me about that incident a few years ago, when I forced you to quit school?”
“Yes.” Xu Luoyang’s tone was steady, “I want to know why.”
After another glass of wine, Dai Xueqing opened his mouth but didn’t answer the question directly, “They must not have mentioned me to you, so you definitely don’t know that they named me, and it was your mother who gave me my first name.”
Saying that, he leaned back in his chair and recalled, “I was picked up by your parents from the door of the orphanage one winter. Your father took a dictionary and found a surname for me, Dai and your mother gave me my first name, Xueqing.”
Xu Luoyang reacted. Qunqing and Xueqing, both names for colors.
“But then, they both left me alone, they both abandoned me….. they clearly said they would take care of me and be like family, always together, but they lied.”
The half empty glass was slammed vigorously onto the floor, the liquor quickly soaking through, Dai Xueqing’s eyes filled with hate, “They lied! They lied to me!” He stared at Xu Luoyang but it was as if he were looking through him at another person.
A memory suddenly popped up in his head and after a few seconds of hesitation, Xu Luoyang still asked, “Did you once draw a picture with crayons on which you drew three people and labeled them ‘big brother’, ‘big sister ‘ and ‘me’?”
Noticing Dai Xueqing’s expression gradually calm down and the extremely bright glint in his eyes, Xu Luoyang explained, “I once saw it in my mother’s study, everything should still be there now. My guess is that you were the one who drew it.”
“It must have been me who drew it….. for sure!” Dai Xueqing stood up and took a few steps back and forth in place, “Zhiyi is more than ten years older than me and she always told me to call her big sister and Qunqing big brother.”
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