The two hung all the clothes they had brought over in the closet before heading downstairs together to the kitchen. The person who had previously looked after the house had left a lot of ingredients behind, however Xu Luoyang looked bewildered as he counted on his fingers, “I can combine tomatoes and eggs, I can also boil porridge and I can cook rice in a rice cooker!”
After counting them, it seems he knew quite a lot?
Seeing Xu Luoyang’s smug little expression, Qi Chang’an rubbed his hair, “Then let’s have tomatoes and eggs, I’ll help you wash the tomatoes.”
Half an hour later, dinner was served. Xu Luoyang handed Qi Chang’an a pair of chopsticks and seeing him smiling as he looked at the food on his plate, he asked curiously, “Why are you smiling so happily?”
“I remembered that in Qinli Town, when I just met you, you also made these two dishes. At that time I was waiting outside the kitchen and thinking hard about how I should compliment you.”
Xu Luoyang looked away in embarrassment, “To be honest, I scrambled the eggs five times at that time and threw them all quietly into the trash can without letting you find out.”
“Actually I saw them. I saw them when I was washing the dishes, but I decided to pretend I didn’t see it at the time.”
Eyes widening slightly, Xu Luoyang instantly pressed his face to the tabletop and wailed, “I really don’t want to know this truth at all!”
I want to save face!
After lunch, the two of them went out for a walk together. It was a beautiful April day with a warm breeze and Xu Luoyang didn’t want to get up when he lay down on the grass. He even made an effort to pull Qi Chang’an down with him to fritter away time together.
Picking a light purple wildflower by hand, Xu Luoyang gave it to Qi Chang’an then half squinted in the sunlight, “I just remembered that when my mum used to have an exploding teenage heart, she used to encourage my dad to come over here every day to buy a castle. Something like this, surrounded by open space with mountains, lakes and grass. To get me to support her and pass this family resolution, she even came over and lobbied me, saying that if we lived in the castle as a family, then she would be queen and I could make do with being a prince. I was just in second grade.”
“And then what happened?”
“And then my dad, the wife pampering demon king actually brought my mum over to see the castle, but it was so expensive that the two of them ended up buying a model of the castle, the kind you need to put together by hand.”
Qi Chang’an propped his head on his right hand, lay on his side then used his left hand to block the slightly harsh sunlight for Xu Luoyang, “So were they very disappointed?”
”Not at all. As soon as my mother came back, she hugged me and faked crying while saying, ‘Bengong’s 1Bengong – this palace that is how queen mothers call themselves Nao Nao ah, there is no way for mother to make you a prince, so turn your grief into strength and put together the model of this castle!'” After saying this, Xu Luoyang pouted, “That castle model was particularly complicated, but I was so good at that time that I really just took it seriously and spent half of the summer putting it together!”
He summed it up, “That’s the bout of growing up pains!”
Qi Chang’an looked at him with deep eyes for a moment then leaned down to kiss the curved end of his eyes, his voice very soft, “Nao Nao.”
“Do you want to know…. what’s going on in my house?”
Silence fell between them and only the sound of the wind blowing in between the two of them remained.
Xu Luoyang blinked. After spending so much time together, he had been able to detect how secretive Qi Chang’an was about this topic, so although he would talk about his parents from time to time, he had never taken the initiative to ask Qi Chang’an about it.
Therefore now that Qi Chang’an was suddenly saying this, Xu Luoyang was a little hesitant, “Can I ask?”
It would be a lie to say that he wasn’t curious. He was sometimes apprehensive. What if Chang An’s relatives didn’t like him and dumped a huge check worth five hundred million dollars in front of him, asking him to leave Qi Chang An?
“Of course you can.” There was a slight dryness in Qi Chang’an’s throat as he said these four words. Inhaling, he continued, “You can ask me anything you want to know.”
Ever since the last time Xu Luoyang had asked him, ‘You obviously want me, so why do you pretend you don’t?’, Qi Chang’an had noticed, perhaps subconsciously, that Xu Luoyang had never mentioned anything about it again. The two still went to sleep together every night in an embrace and would exchange a good morning kiss when they woke up, no different from before.
But Qi Chang’an was clear that he couldn’t keep relying on Xu Luoyang’s indulgence, because although Xu Luoyang showed that he didn’t care and didn’t take it to heart, he would certainly be thinking about it and would be sad.
This was his problem, so he had to try to take the first step.
Noticing Qi Chang’an’s not-so-steady breathing, Xu Luoyang eased his tone then tentatively asked, starting from the base question, “Then Chang’an, do you…… have any relatives?”
“Yes, I have an older brother named Qi Chang’yin.”
Qi Chang’yin? Xu Luoyang felt that the name was somewhat familiar, however he didn’t think much of it and continued to ask, “Is he in the country now?”
“No, he’s always in Montreal and basically doesn’t come over except for work needs.” Qi Chang’an relaxed slightly, however in the next second, he heard Xu Luoyang ask, “What about your parents?”
Like a fuse ignited by a spark, the moment he heard these two words, Qi Chang’an’s heartbeat suddenly accelerated, and it was as if a bloodstained color appeared before his eyes, with a constant stream of blood spreading from the ground, soon spreading over the backs of his feet, as if to drown him.
And at this moment, in Xu Luoyang’s eyes, Qi Chang’an’s face instantly turned extremely pale, as if he had seen some fearful scene. His pupils constricted and fine cold sweat even appeared on his forehead.
His heart shocked, Xu Luoyang hastily sat up and instinctively held Qi Chang’an in his arms, gently patting his back as he said in a soothing voice, “Chang’an……Chang’an I won’t ask, don’t think about it, don’t think about it….”
Noticing that Qi Chang’an’s entire body was tense and that his whole body was shaking slightly, Xu Luoyang sat up straight and cupped his face with both hands, trying to smooth out his tone first, “Chang’an, look at me, look into my eyes.”
It took him repeating this several times before their eyes met. Xu Luoyang tried to raise a smile, his tone extremely gentle, “Now, only think of me, okay? I’m in front of you, we just had dinner together, walked together, washed dishes together….. just thinking of me alone is enough, don’t think of anything else….”
Every second that passed felt like an eternity and it was close to a minute before Qi Chang’an’s breathing gradually stabilized, the sweat on his forehead causing the messy hair to stick to his skin, the lining under his eyes pitch-black.
Xu Luoyang reached out gently to fix his hair then moved over and pressed his lips to his cold lips, “Okay, it’s already okay. It’s me, I’m here.”
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