HOW TO DEAL WITH A TSUNDERE GONG
Chapter 33 – Like the Most
Initially with his arms crossed as he leaned against the wall, Tang Jin stood up the moment he saw Xu Bai Chuan. Holding down the itch at his throat, he cautiously said, “I came to see you.”
Xu Bai Chuan thought: ‘The problem is why you came to see me.’
Tang Jin couldn’t hold back a cough. One cough became two, two became three, and three became continuous coughing.
During the early morning, Tang Jin’s incessant coughing resounded throughout the hallway. Xu Bai Chuan sighed, then opened the door and went back inside. Although he wanted to follow him inside, Tang Jin suddenly thought of something, withdrew his raised foot and waited in the hallway.
Xu Bai Chuan quickly returned with a grey jacket which he proceeded to throw at Tang Jin. Then he said, “Wear this. No need to return it.” Once he finished speaking, he locked the door and walked towards the elevator.
Tang Jin wore the jacket and was soon surrounded by a familiar scent. Without saying a word, he quickly caught up to Xu Bai Chuan.
He followed him from the hallway to the elevator, then from the elevator to the neighborhood garden. Although Xu Bai Chuan wanted to speak out several times, he thought about it and realized that if Tang Jin wanted to leave, he had to take the same route. It’s better to stop having unfounded worries.
As he turned out of the gates and began to pick up the pace, the sound of footsteps followed behind him. Xu Bai Chuan came to a stop. He wanted to ask Tang Jin why he was following him, but by doing so, won’t things become hopelessly muddled again… Since he dares not to provoke him, can’t he avoid him instead? After stopping for only 10 seconds, Xu Bai Chuan quickly started running again at a pace much faster than on his usual morning jogs.
Yet after running for less than ten meters, a force from behind suddenly collided with him and two arms tightly closed around his waist. Tang Jin’s deep low voice sounded beside his ear. “Don’t go.”
At 6 a.m., the streets have yet to be filled with the cars of office workers. Moreover, it wasn’t a university neighborhood so there weren’t any wandering students. Apart from the breakfast vendors pushing their carts around in the morning, most of the people around were joggers like Xu Bai Chuan.
Two men wearing headbands and thin sportswear in this cold weather ran past consecutively. They kept on turning their heads around to look at these two homosexuals entangled together. One of them even met Xu Bai Chuan’s line of sight and raised a hand. The meaning was—Make yourselves comfortable.
Extremely embarrassed, Xu Bai Chuan reached out to break off the hand on his waist. He angrily said, “We’re on a main road! Are you crazy!”
Tang Jin murmured, “I’m not crazy.” Since he didn’t let go no matter what was said, both of their clothes became crumpled from the struggle.
They had run to outside of a place selling breakfast. Unable to stand the probing eyes of those passing by and without the strength to throw him off, Xu Bai Chuan was forced to push Tang Jin into the store.
It was very early so the breakfast store was empty. A young married couple were placing the steaming hot breakfast meals into food warmers and were about to subconsciously greet the people who just entered. Yet looking at the two people who seemed as if they were fighting, the couple swallowed the words at the tip of their tongue and flusteredly came out from behind the rows of warmers. Clasping their hands at their chest, they were at a complete loss as they urged, “Calm down and talk it out. Don’t fight!”
Xu Bai Chuan quickly flashed an apologetic smile at this young married couple. He said, “It’s nothing, we’re just playing around.” He stopped struggling and spoke again, “Please give us two soy milk and four rice balls.”
The couple felt relieved when they realized that the two of them weren’t actually fighting and went back inside.
Xu Bai Chuan resigned to his fate. “I won’t leave. Let’s eat breakfast first.”
Tang Jin slowly let go after seeing that Xu Bai Chuan really wasn’t struggling anymore. Yet since he feared that Xu Bai Chuan would bolt for the door, he cautiously sat at a spot beside the exit.
Xu Bai Chuan wanted to laugh. He truly was hungry.
The door remained open to allow passersby to see the appearance of the breakfast store at a glance. Warm air emitted from above the door let out a whistling sound and promptly neutralized the cold air blowing inside so the store wasn’t cold at all. Both the riceballs and soy milk were just made and gave off steam. The two of them sat facing each other and neither moved.
The truth was that Xu Bai Chuan was pretending that things are normal. Yes, there was a slight heartache, but not to the point of it being painfully heart-wrenching. He just felt empty and listless. Nevertheless, this feeling was still hard to bear. Negative emotions tend to like consuming people, becoming happier the longer they occupy your mind. Xu Bai Chuan tried to not think about it anymore so as not to grieve over the passing of spring or mourn for autumn and be so affected. He really couldn’t face Tang Jin so calmly.
He didn’t understand the meaning of Tang Jin’s actions. The one in the wrong is him, but he had already said everything he needed to. Apart from being unable to redo those seven years since he wasn’t a god, he had already done and endured everything. What else can he do to make up for his mistakes seven years ago?
The word ‘endure’ is baseless. A person can endure one moment and then be unable to endure the next. Xu Bai Chuan held the cup of soy milk with both hands to warm himself up. Although he was going to hold everything in and continue suffering from internal torment, a switch rapidly flipped in his mind and before he could react, the words already came out: “Why on earth are you following me?”
Tang Jin fixed his eyes on him and pursed his lips. Seemingly finding it difficult to get the words out, he hesitated before saying, “I like you.”
Xu Bai Chuan was glad that he didn’t drink that mouthful of soy milk.
There was no context in Tang Jin’s words, he just stared ahead as he tossed the words out. Xu Bai Chuan didn’t know how to respond.
Appearing to not need a response, Tang Jin carried on. “I thought that you knew. Since you don’t know, I’ll say it to you.”
He spoke those words full of dignity. If his neck wasn’t flushed red right now, Xu Bai Chuan would have truly admired him for lying with his eyes wide open.
“I liked Song Yi Yu, but that was a long time ago. Later on…” At this point, Tang Jin stopped speaking and covered his face with his hands. When he realized that Xu Bai Chuan was watching him, his hands unconsciously curled into fists and they stiffly moved away from his face. “Later on I always liked you.”
Xu Bai Chuan felt quite overwhelmed. Tang Jin’s words were like a siren’s song, tempting him to be tricked into a deadly fate.
He can say that he doesn’t like Tang Jin or wish Tang Jin and Song Yi Yu an eternity together, this kind of bullshit. One must know that with their mouths, humans can easily weave lies when their upper and lower lips touch.
It was actually a very good explanation. Yet it depends on whether Xu Bai Chuan wants to be deceived.
His doubt wasn’t without reason, rather it was proven by reality—
Tang Jin is a person who places a particular emphasis on his privacy. The sweeping and tidying up was usually done by a housekeeper who dropped by at a fixed time and left after they completed their tasks. Later on, when Xu Bai Chuan dealt with the issue of meals, the housekeeper didn’t have to come as often as before. There was once when he saw that the study was particularly messy. Since he couldn’t bear the sight and was also worried that Tang Jin won’t be able to find the files that he needed, Xu Bai Chuan circled the hideous mess and carefully disposed of the junk.
When he was about to exit with the rubbish, he discovered that a porcelain ornament in disharmony with Tang Jin’s style was placed on his office desk. It was a brightly colored kitten with its two paws raised above its head. Xu Bai Chuan circled it and found a slot with the same width as the tail below the tail and softly pushed it out of curiosity. A slight chafing noise sounded. Along with the kitten’s tail lowering, the two eyes rolled upwards and a small bamboo slip slowly rose out of the top of its head, stopping right in between the two paws.
There were words on the bamboo slip. Since he couldn’t stand rubbish, he took the kitten in his hands and carefully read the words on the slip. The left side printed: Like the most. The right side had Tang Jin’s handwriting: Song Yi Yu.
Xu Bai Chuan’s good mood vanished in an instant and the raised corners of his lips lowered. Placing the kitten back, he turned around to throw away the rubbish when he tripped over a box of A4 papers near his foot. As he was about to fall, he subconsciously turned back and grabbed onto the table edge to stabilize his body. Since he didn’t properly observe his surroundings, the kitten fell to the ground and smashed into pieces.
On rest days, Xu Bai Chuan rarely dragged Tang Jin out of bed so Tang Jin woke up at 9 a.m. He went to eat breakfast and suddenly stopped a few meters away from the dining table. Xu Bai Chuan had put the remains of the kitten on the table.
Tang Jin rushed over to pick up the bamboo slip and threw it into the trash can. Standing perfectly straight, the expression on his face was everchanging. After a long time, he finally forced out, “I wrote it randomly.”
Perhaps it’s because his childish way of showing love was exposed, his face was somewhat red, looking partly ashamed and partly angry. But it was much better than the flustered and exasperated reaction Xu Bai Chuan had expected. He said, “I’ve already asked where I can buy this. I’ll buy a new one for you.”
Xu Bai Chuan entrusted an acquaintance to buy the same kitten. Since a similar model to Tang Jin’s kitten had stopped production, the new one was more or less identical. Although the tail end wasn’t red like the original, but brown in color. Nevertheless, it was still better than nothing. Imitating Tang Jin’s handwriting, he wrote Song Yi Yu’s name down then placed the kitten back in its original position.
The next day Tang Jin had an odd look on his face as he asked, “Did you place that kitten there?”
Inwardly nervous, Xu Bai Chuan’s face was calm and collected as he said “en”.
It was unknown how a short “en” enraged Tang Jin. Not saying anything at all may have been the better option. Tang Jin was blank and his eyes remained on Xu Bai Chuan’s face. After a long time, his face suddenly darkened and he turned to leave, even leaving his meal untouched.
Later on, Tang Jin told him many times that the kitten was too ugly, that he felt uncomfortable looking at it, wasn’t used to it, and so on. In short, those words pierced him inside and out. This led Xu Bai Chuan to promise: “Sorry, I won’t enter your study in the future without your approval.” It was only then that Tang Jin dropped the subject with an unhappy expression on his face.
The porcelain kitten was constantly on his mind. It can’t be said that Tang Jin fell in love with the ornament, but only that he got used to it.
Xu Bai Chuan jeered at himself for actually feeling moved. He peeled off the paper wrapping of the rice ball, raised his chin at Tang Jin and said, “Eat while it’s hot. After we’re finished, we’ll return to our respective homes.”
The author has something to say:
I should explain this to you guys, or else you guys won’t 100% get the sugar and let loose a stream of curses at the slag/sweet gong. (sad)
Slag/sweet gong believed that when Xiaoxu saw Xiaosong’s name written on the kitten, he deliberately broke it out of anger and jealously so he became extremely nervous. Later on, he wanted to throw the thing away but this was something Xiaoxu bought for him. So in a roundabout way of saying it…this is a ‘Boy who Cried Wolf’ story. Something bad is bound to happen when you’ve been a tsundere for too long.
I’m not going to explain anymore from now on. You’re all mature readers who can find sugar yourselves. XD
Like my translations? Some caffeine to keep me going please. Thank you! ☆