HOW TO DEAL WITH A TSUNDERE GONG
Chapter 26 – As Long as You
After a moment of hesitation, Xu Bai Chuan opened the door.
With his head initially slightly lowered, Cheng Xu raised his head at once when he heard the door creaking. The moment he looked at Xu Bai Chuan, his pitch-black eyes reflected the light seeping out from inside the room, making them shine.
Frowning, Xu Bai Chuan asked, “What do you want?”
Unlike those thin yet flashy clothing he wore in the past when shuttling between banquets and parties which showed that he didn’t fear freezing to death, it appeared more like he casually grabbed a black down jacket as he hurriedly left to cover himself. Both his sleeves and shoulders were puffy so his figure couldn’t be discerned at all which immensely reduced his temperament of being a Korean drama protagonist.
Appearing somewhat exhausted, Cheng Xu pushed open the door, entered and flicked Xu Bai Chuan’s forehead as he passed him. He shamelessly said, “A friend came to visit from afar. Cheer up, Little Comrade Xu.”
Xu Bai Chuan wore a wooden face: “Do you want me to break your hand?”
A friend visiting from afar? What friend?
As Cheng Xu chose to ignore him, he plopped himself down on the sofa after entering and cozily exclaimed, “So warm!” Then he unzipped his down jacket, clearly with no intention of leaving.
Xu Bai Chuan found that his exposed fingers and ears were slightly red as if he was waiting outside for a long time. He couldn’t help wondering, didn’t Cheng Xu return to B city already?
“Why are you in H city?”
Cheng Xu sat up from the sofa, took a glance at Xu Bai Chuan’s hair and asked, “You just showered?” Then he leaned over to search the coffee table before standing up and circling the living room. After that, he headed towards the bathroom.
Xu Bai Chuan didn’t quite understand this surge of action and asked, “What are you looking for?”
Cheng Xu strolled into the bathroom and came out with a hairdryer. Acting as if it was his own house, he then pulled over a powerboard and said, “Come over, I’ll help you blow-dry your hair.”
Unmoving, Xu Bai Chuan asked once again, “Did Tang Jin tell you to pick me up?”
He had barely finished his sentence when that smile plastered on Cheng Xu’s face from the moment he entered slowly disappeared. Cheng Xu looked at Xu Bai Chuan from head to toe once more while the hand gripping onto the hairdryer tightened and his knuckles whitened. Changing his expression from playful to calm, the corner of his lips suddenly raised upwards, exposing a knowing smile. “You’re going out?” Those deep eyes locked onto Xu Bai Chuan’s body, ruminating as he said, “No, that’s not right. I should be asking, are you and him—good now?”
Xu Bai Chuan appeared surprised. “Didn’t Tang Jin tell you to come here?”
Cheng Xu stubbornly said, “Answer me first.”
Accustomed to this kind of attitude, Xu Bai Chuan thought that he was back in one of those ‘moods’ of his again. He impatiently said, “No. Don’t you worry, I’ve said that I won’t be entangled with Tang Jin any longer. Since I’ve said it, I can do it. Can you leave now?” Earlier on, he only opened the door because he believed that Tang Jin told Cheng Xu to pick him up. Since that wasn’t the case, there was no need to continue wrangling with this person.
Xu Bai Chuan was just about to drive him away when Cheng Xu suddenly took one step closer, grabbed his wrist and urgently asked, “Are you going to see him? Why?”
The cold air on Cheng Xu’s body had yet to scatter as the smell of chilly winds lingered on him. Xu Bai Chuan flung his arm off and was disinclined to answer. He grabbed the hairdryer and tried to chase him away. “It’s none of your business. I’m busy and don’t have time to entertain you.”
Slightly squinting his eyes, Cheng Xu seemed to have thought of something. He suddenly said, “Did someone force you?
Xu Bai Chuan silently switched on the hairdryer, causing a humming sound to immediately fill the living room. Yet Cheng Xu seized it back and switched it off, demanding an answer from him. “What did they do to you?”
Xu Bai Chuan had no intention of speaking about these rotten matters to outsiders. He sharply caught on to a word. “They?” Can it be that not only Tang Jin was involved?
Cheng Xu dismissed his question. “I can guess what happened even if you don’t say anything. They simply cut off your source of income, threatened you by using the people close to you, then forced you to go back, right?”
No wonder he was part of the same social circle, both parties had a clear understanding of each other’s methods.
Xu Bai Chuan didn’t speak.
Under the ceiling lights, a faint shadow covered his eyelashes. The air conditioner was blasting, or perhaps it’s because he just took a shower. The creamy-white sweater he wore greatly contrasted his exposed neck and wrists, making them appear even whiter. Since he was fiddling with and making his half-wet hair disheveled when blowdrying it, some strands were independently sticking up.
In a flash, Cheng Xu felt that he returned to seven years ago…
He skipped class for half a day and waited until Tang Jin finished school before leisurely strolling to his house. Unexpectedly, he saw a clean elegant person sitting on the sofa.
The feeling he had back then was blurred, so much so that even Xu Bai Chuan’s appearance was unclear. Yet at this moment, it felt like the person before his eyes transcended through seven years and coincided with that fading youth.
Although the youth clearly had a very lovable face, the coldness evident from the furrow between his eyebrows and faintly discernible arrogance, even somewhat cutting, gave a feeling of it being difficult to get along with this person. But the first impression was, in fact, a favorable one.
Many words he shouldn’t say were slipping. Many things he shouldn’t do could not be controlled. Just like now, an impulse welled up inside Cheng Xu’s heart. Both hands pressed down on Xu Bai Chuan’s shoulders. An extremely bitter taste filled his throat, suffocating him. He mumbled, “I can help you.”
Not knowing what tricks he was up to again, Xu Bai Chuan rejected him. “No need.” Disliking this position of being confined by someone, he raised a hand to remove Cheng Xu’s arm, but after pushing a few times, it didn’t even budge.
Cheng Xu increased the grip on his shoulders. “If your job is lost, it’s lost. I can get a new one for you. Whichever position you take a fancy to at my family’s company, choose it as you wish. It’s yours as long as it’s within my abilities. No matter who they use amongst the people around you to threaten you, as long as you say it, I can help you settle it. As long as you…” He was suddenly choked, seemingly unable to speak. After knocking his forehead against the back of his hand on Xu Bai Chuan’s shoulder, he repeated, “As long as you…”
A tone bordering begging. A flood of emotions.
As the oppressive touch on his two shoulders turned lighter, Xu Bai Chuan found himself unable to describe his own feelings.
Perhaps it’s a kind of demise where his world outlook crumbles then reassembles, the sky and earth turn upside down, the mountains and rivers shift. Or maybe a kind of reshuffling where one graft flowers onto a tree and a wild cat is exchanged for a crown prince. 1
[T/N: 1 Means stealthily exchanging something. Based on a legend where a jealous Consort Liu swapped another favored Consort Li’s newborn child with a skinned wild cat.]
He was neither deaf nor an idiot. The meaning behind Cheng Xu’s words couldn’t be more obvious.
The shock Xu Bai Chuan felt wasn’t any less than that of Cheng Xu. In the past, he could spew malicious words directly at Cheng Xu’s face, but he was now at a loss.
He was used to being an evil creature in the eyes of others, to the extent that he could only feel free in this way. Both like and love were too brief, he didn’t believe nor expect others to invest these emotions into him. Only he can confirm the duration of his own feelings.
Needless to say Cheng Xu, even Tang Jin was the same. He was always awaiting Tang Jin’s response, but a tiny part of his heart was scared of it. He can love others, yet on the contrary, he is scared of others loving him. Scared of himself being unable to match and satisfy their expectations.
But it’s always better to cause disappointment than deceive others.
Pretending to not be aware of Cheng Xu’s extremely firm grip on his shoulder, Xu Bai Chuan employed his normal tone. “I appreciate your good intentions, but I’m sorry. I don’t need it.”
The author has something to say:
Parental guidance is very important. If you’re criticized as being unimportant and burdensome by your parents from a young age, you’ll grow up to always tread around others cautiously and feel inferior, not believing in your worth.
Like my translations? Some caffeine to keep me going please. Thank you! ☆