T/N: The chapter title (南柯一梦) is a Chinese idiom meaning “dreams of grandeur.” You can read more about it here.
The more his nose bled, the more he choked on his words. Jiang Yishan still didn’t understand what was going on. He was coughing so hard that he couldn’t keep his back straight. His head bowed from the dizziness, and when he wiped his nose, the blood was smeared everywhere.
Qin Shaosheng stepped forward and picked up Jiang Yishan.
Jiang Yishan was burning so much that he didn’t react until Qin Shaosheng had carried him to bed and stuffed him into the quilt. When he saw Qin Shaosheng about to leave, he hurriedly grabbed his clothes and cried, “Don’t go, Shaosheng. Don’t go.”
“Let go first.”
“Don’t go. Don’t go…” Jiang Yishan choked on his sobs as he clung to Qin Shaosheng. He cried and begged, “I know I was wrong, and I know you’re disappointed with me. Don’t leave, okay?”
Seeing him like this, Qin Shaosheng was distressed. “I’m going to get a towel.”
Jiang Yishan lay in bed and could no longer hear or see anything. He was drowsy and hurting all over. He held Qin Shaosheng’s hand while crying and begging for him not to leave until he finally fell asleep.
Drowsiness was said to be no more than high fever and delirium combined with mental weakness, making the body unable to hold up.
While half asleep and half awake, he recalled the years from when he was eighteen until he was twenty-four. He thought of his teenage success, his short-lived fame, and the him now who was like a stray dog.
He also thought about what he would do if he could start his life all over again.
When Jiang Yishan woke up again, he felt as if he had just woken up from a dream. Looking at the sunlight out the window, it was as if it had been a lifetime ago.
There was no one in the room. He lay in bed for a while but didn’t hear Qin Shaosheng’s voice. The whole house was so quiet, it was frightening. He panicked terribly. He anxiously sat up from the bed, but he couldn’t muster any strength.
The consequences of taking a cold shower last night soon became apparent. His whole body ached as if they had been beaten, his head hurt as if it was gonna explode, and his temples throbbed close to bursting out of his veins. It took him a long time to get out of bed.
The house was empty.
He dragged his sore and limp legs to the study, pushed open the door, and saw the few books on the bookshelf and a desk that was soon gathering dust.
He was finally convinced that Qin Shaosheng was leaving.
He had been preparing for some time. The key to the door lock hadn’t been changed because it didn’t matter. It had been four1This time, the author really said four instead of two. I’m guessing it’s been four years since Jiang Yishan and Qin Shaosheng broke up, but QSS waited for JYS only during the first two years. years. No one could wait for that long without giving up. Jiang Yishan coming over was just giving him some extra traffic before he left.
Qin Shaosheng had really given up on him.
Jiang Yishan had made so many mistakes, and now he didn’t have a chance.
Jiang Yishan walked to a chair in the study and sat down, hunched over. The dazzling sunlight made him appear dim and despairing.
He thought of the gentle Qin Shaosheng in the past, then of the indifferent Qin Shaosheng in the present. After the seventh day of the year, he would no longer have the Qin Shaosheng who loved him and hated him.
He lost the person with his own hands.
The taste of a Nanke dream could only be savored by the person dreaming, and this included all its bitterness and impermanence.
Jiang Yishan’s chest felt so heavy that he couldn’t breathe. He covered his teary eyes, but unable to hold back his emotions, he still burst into tears. He didn’t want to be useless like this, but he was very sad. In this room, nobody would see him cry, and nobody would be disgusted by his tears.
And so, he cried and cried.
“What are you doing?”
Jiang Yishan turned his head around in disbelief.
Qin Shaosheng stood at the door of his study, wearing an overcoat and holding some medicine he just bought.
Jiang Yishan had been crying so much that, for a while, he couldn’t stop. “Didn’t you leave? I thought you went to change your flight…”
Qin Shaosheng said coldly, “It’s not easy to change flights during the New Year.”
Jiang Yishan’s eyes dimmed.
Qin Shaosheng hung his overcoat on the hanger and said, “Come have breakfast, and then take some medicine.”
This time, Jiang Yishan didn’t pester him. He quietly followed behind Qin Shaosheng, and after breakfast, he obediently took some medicine. His head hung low the whole time, and the rims of his eyes were red and somewhat swollen. Afterwards, without Qin Shaosheng having to tell him, he went to bed by himself.
Qin Shaosheng opened his cell phone and looked at the time. “If your fever doesn’t go down by this afternoon, I will take you to the hospital.”
Jiang Yishan covered himself with the quilt and nodded silently.
Thinking of Jiang Yishan’s current situation, Qin Shaosheng thought for a moment, then asked, “Is there a doctor you know?”
Jiang Yishan replied, “I have Dr. Liu’s number on my phone.”
Qin Shaosheng went to the living room and found a dead cell phone in the crevice of the sofa. He went back to his bedroom and charged it. When it turned on, the lock screen popped up. Without even thinking about it, Qin Shaosheng unconsciously entered his birthday, unlocking the phone.
Qin Shaosheng looked at Jiang Yishan, who had fallen asleep under the effect of the medicine.
His sickly look was indeed a little pitiful. The tears he just cried hung on his eyelashes, and on the side of his nose, there was a bit of blood that hadn’t been wiped.
Qin Shaosheng put the phone on silent for him, then walked out of the room.
Probably from having exhausted all his strength, Jiang Yishan lay in bed the whole morning. At noon, Qin Shaosheng entered the room to touch his forehead. It wasn’t as hot as it was earlier, so he woke him up to eat.
Jiang Yishan woke up in a bit of a daze and sat on the bed absentmindedly.
Qin Shaosheng frowned. “Hurry up and get dressed.”
Jiang Yishan changed into clean clothes. The clothes belonged to Qin Shaosheng, and they were a little big on him. The cuffs of the sweater were too long, and he unconsciously thought of lifting his arms up and asking Qin Shaosheng to help roll up his sleeves. But halfway through, he reacted, and he lowered his head and rolled them up himself.
Before eating, Qin Shaosheng handed him a cup of water. “Have some water first.”
Jiang Yishan drank it, then ate the chicken porridge in front of him without saying a word. He just had a fever, so everything he ate was tasteless. In the past, he used to act coquettishly to let Qin Shaosheng coax him to eat. But now he wasn’t qualified to do it, so he didn’t dare.
After lunch, he sat on the sofa. He was like a dainty doll that wouldn’t speak as he played with the thermometer with his head down. The central heating in the living room was very warm, and after a while, Jiang Yishan felt his neck sweat. Qin Shaosheng, who came out after washing the dishes and the chopsticks, saw him wiping the sweat on his neck, so he asked him to take his medicine and to go to bed to sweat out the fever.
Qin Shaosheng was naturally aware of Jiang Yishan’s squeamish problem of dreading heat and sweating, so he thought that he would make trouble again. Unexpectedly, the other party was especially obedient in doing what he was told to, letting Qin Shaosheng breathed a sigh of relief.
When his temperature was taken again after dinner that evening, it had already gone down. Jiang Yishan should be fine tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.
At night, Qin Shaosheng lay on the sofa in the living room and looked at his cell phone.
Jiang Yishan, who had taken his medicine, came up to him in his pajamas and asked, “Can we talk?”
Qin Shaosheng didn’t look at him. “We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“I’ve thought about what you said this morning, and I’ve also realized it myself. You were right. I’ve made so many mistakes.” Jiang Yishan bowed his head. “You don’t even want to see me again.”
Qin Shaosheng didn’t answer.
Jiang Yishan bit his lip. “Then how about just being your fuck buddy? Is having sex okay?”
Unlike last night when it was pitch black, today, the chandelier in the living room was overhead, illuminating everything clearly. Jiang Yishan blushed as if he still had a fever, and he stammered, “Just for these few days until the seventh.”
“Did your fever burn your mind?”
“I just want to spend the New Year with you.”
Qin Shaosheng refused directly. “You are leaving tomorrow.”
Jiang Yishan dared not say any nonsense that he wouldn’t go. He was afraid that Qin Shaosheng would get angry and leave without saying goodbye. He boldly climbed onto the sofa and said, “You, you just think of it as sleeping on something. I will learn.”
“Do you not understand me?”
Jiang Yishan took off his pajamas in front of him. He didn’t feel that cold with the heating on, but it was still a bit cold. He dared not say anything more about embracing him, and just spread his legs and sat on Qin Shaosheng.
Thinking about what happened last night, Qin Shaosheng became annoyed. “Get off!”
“I mean it.” Jiang Yishan looked at Qin Shaosheng. “You can do whatever you want.”
Qin Shaosheng breathed for a moment. At this moment, Jiang Yishan was very much like what he looked like when they first met, his eyes clear and bright. With the memory overlapping, Qin Shaosheng inevitably wavered.
“I think I still have this one thing you like.” Jiang Yishan took Qin Shaosheng’s hand and put it on his body. “I, I still have a low fever… It’s very hot inside… Why don’t you try it?”