Chapter 17

Without a second thought, the two had somehow started dating.

Song Juhan was a very busy person and was always out of reach. Eight out of ten messages He Gu sent would often be ignored1石沉大海 – literally translates as a sinking stone in the vast seas. It is an idiom meaning never to be seen or heard of again.. Although He Gu didn’t care about those little things, he simply wanted to see Song Juhan everyday. But after a whole month of dating, they had only met once. 

Eventually, even Feng Zheng noticed that something was off with He Gu, and he asked if anything was wrong with him. 

With Song Juhan being an upcoming star, there were certain things that needed to be hidden about his private life. Having also been especially warned not to tell others about their relationship, He Gu was forced to lie, “I’ve just been busy working on my thesis in preparation for the oral defense.”

“You’ve always been so prepared; there shouldn’t be any problems. Do you want me to find someone to help you though?”

He Gu laughed, “Don’t worry. I can finish it myself.”

“Well, don’t overwork yourself. Let’s go fishing this week. My friend recommended a great place, and the scenery is amazing.”

“I’ll pass. I’m already on a tight schedule, how could I dare go out to play now. Let’s wait until after I finish my oral defense.”

Feng Zheng sounded a little disappointed. “But we haven’t met up for quite a while now.” He suddenly reached his hand out and squeezed He Gu’s face, then said in a coquettish manner, “I don’t have many friends in the first place, and now you won’t even spend time with me.”

He Gu smiled, “You don’t have many friends? At your birthday party last time, there were at least fifty to sixty people.” 

“That doesn’t count. I wouldn’t really say those people are my friends. The ones I actually consider friends have all left to study abroad. I really don’t understand what’s so good about going abroad. I don’t want to go at all.”

He Gu helplessly said, “Master Feng2大公子 – He Gu is actually calling Feng Zheng a “Da Gongzi.” It’s the character for big/great (da) + gongzi, which is often translated as “young master.” Gongzi actually refers to a “son of an official/nobility though.” , what you’re saying can really piss some people off.”

Feng Zheng revealed a big smile. “I don’t care. This week, you have to come watch a movie with me. I like it when you’re with me.”

“Fine. This Saturday?”

“Sure. I’ll take you to eat something delicious.” 

During the days He Gu couldn’t see Song Juhan, he spent his time working extra hard. He didn’t want to be busy on the off-chance that Song Juhan was finally free to meet him. 

To He Gu’s surprise, it turned out that being in a relationship was actually an unimaginably beautiful experience. He wanted to be with Song Juhan every minute of the day. As long as he could see him, he would be extremely happy. On the days they couldn’t meet, he found everything around him to be meaningless and tasteless3茶饭不香 – literally translates as ‘the tea and rice are not fragrant’, meaning everything is tasteless, a loss of appetite or interest . At night, whilst reminiscing about Song Juhan’s every word and every smile, he would toss and turn sleeplessly, thinking of ways to better himself for him.

Since high school, He Gu had always been living by himself. Although his mother paid for all his expenses before he graduated from university, the amount wasn’t a lot. The money covered his food and drink with just a little to spare. But luckily, He Gu wasn’t one to spend on materialistic items and was relatively low maintenance. Hence, his living expenses were never depleted. Along with his scholarship funds, part-time job, and salary from the internship at Feng Enterprise, He Gu had managed to save tens of thousands over the years. For the first time in his life, He Gu had the idea of dressing himself up a little with all the money he had saved. 

He Gu was never one to cherish his money. In the past, when he needed a haircut, he would simply pay for the cheapest 15 yuan cut, wash and dry option. But now, he was even willing to pay for a 500 yuan haircut. After getting his new hairstyle, He Gu even went to the shopping center and bought himself a bunch of new clothes and shoes.

After his complete head to toe makeover, He Gu looked at himself in the mirror and thought he did look a lot better. With this, maybe he could stand next to Song Juhan and not look too out of place. 

On Saturday afternoon, He Gu had arranged to meet Feng Zheng to go watch a movie together.

When the two met up, Feng Zheng’s eyes widened in surprise. “He Gu, your new haircut looks great. Very handsome.”

He Gu was very happy. “Really?”

“Yes. Compared to before, this style is a lot better. You look more energetic now. Where did you get it cut?”

“Juxing studio.”

“No wonder. Juxing studio’s stylists are really good.” Feng Zheng was puzzled and added, “Ah, why are you suddenly willing to spend so much to get a haircut at Juxing studio?”

He Gu touched his hair. “Mm, we’re about to graduate soon. We won’t be students anymore, so I just wanted to get a new hairstyle.”

Feng Zheng couldn’t hold his laughter in anymore. “He Gu, you’ve changed. You actually care about your hairstyle now. Let me guess, these clothes are also new?”

“Oh, yes. I’ve already been wearing those old clothes for many years now. I thought I should wear something new to work sometimes.”

Feng Zheng started to tremble from laughter. He grabbed He Gu’s shoulders and lightly bumped their foreheads together, then said in a low voice, “What to do… You’ve become quite handsome, and I’m not sure what to do anymore.”4Liz: FZ saying such ambiguous thngs while not “confirming” any relationship with HG really makes me wanna slap him. If you really love someone, you shouldn’t lead them around in circles!!! (╬▔皿▔)╯

He Gu slowly removed Feng Zhengs’s arms. “The show is about to start. We should get going.”

Feng Zheng was startled. “Oh. Let’s go.”

They were watching a sci-fi movie, and during a rather calm and quiet scene, He Gu’s phone started to ring. The sudden sound that echoed through the silent movie theater was especially piercing to the ears. He Gu hurriedly took out his phone and saw the caller ID—Song Juhan. Without hesitation, he stood up and went out to answer the phone, “Hello, Juhan.”

“He Gu, what are you doing?” Song Juhan’s voice through the phone sounded very casual and lazy. 

“I’m watching a movie.”

“Watching a movie? With who?”

“With Feng Zheng.”

Song Juhan was silent for a while, and He Gu started to feel a little nervous inside. He knew those two didn’t exactly get along…

Song Juhan said very slowly, “If you go watch a movie with him, I’ll be jealous.”

He Gu let out a sigh of relief, then smiled and said, “There’s nothing for you to be jealous about. I’m just watching a movie with a friend.”

“I’m already jealous. I have the day off today. Why don’t you come over to mine.”

“Now? But the movie isn’t finished yet, and I also promised to have dinner with Feng Zheng.”

“I rarely have a day off. Do you not want to see me?”

“Of course I do, but…” He Gu was hesitating. If he had known that Song Juhan would be free today, he would have stayed at home to work on his thesis. 

“There’s no but’s. Come over now.” Song Juhan’s tone was quite overbearing. 

“Juhan, I really do want to see you, but it’s not too good to suddenly leave like this…”

Song Juhan said in a lowered voice, “Do you like Feng Zheng?”

He Gu hurriedly said, “Of course not.”

“If not, why are you still hesitating? It’s fine to sometimes ditch an appointment with friends. He Gu, come over now. If you don’t, I’ll get angry.”

He Gu sighed. He could tell that Song Juhan was starting to get angry. Although he knew that Song Juhan was being unreasonable, He Gu didn’t want it to be awkward between them. So he reluctantly agreed, “Alright, wait for me. I’ll come over as soon as possible.”

Song Juhan finally replied in a smiling voice, “En. Hurry.”

He Gu quickly and quietly returned to his seat. As he sat down again, Feng Zheng asked, “What’s wrong? Who was it?”

“My professor is looking for me. I have to go back to school right now.” He Gu felt especially bad inside, having to both lie and ditch Feng Zheng. 

“Is it urgent?” Feng Zheng frowned. “The movie isn’t even finished yet.”

“I’m sorry, Feng Zheng. I promise I’ll make it up to you next time.”

Feng Zheng was clearly unhappy about it, but there was nothing he could do. “Then I’ll see you after your meeting to have dinner together.”

“I might have to treat the professor to dinner tonight.”

Feng Zheng pouted, “You’ve been so busy with your thesis lately. We haven’t had any time to meet.”

“I’m really sorry, Feng Zheng. After I finish with everything, I’ll treat you to a meal.”

“Never mind. I don’t want to watch anymore. Let’s go.” Feng Zheng stood up disappointedly. 

The two left the movie theater together. 

He Gu hailed a cab and left in a hurry.

Song Juhan lived in a high-end apartment in the city. It wasn’t too far from the movie theater, and it took only 20 minutes to arrive. Getting off the taxi, He Gu walked quickly towards Song Juhan’s apartment.

In the elevator, He Gu kept fixing his clothes and hair over and over again in the mirror. His heart was beating rapidly in excitement. 

Ringing the doorbell, He Gu could hear faint footsteps approaching. The next moment, the door was opened. Looking at the person he was constantly thinking about standing right in front of him, He Gu was overjoyed. Without thinking, He Gu leapt forward and hugged Song Juhan, then eagerly kissed his soft lips. 

Song Juhan was initially startled, but then responded enthusiastically, kissing him back and hugging his waist.

They kissed passionately, not stopping until half a minute later. He Gu gasped and said, “Now you know how much I’ve missed you.”

Song Juhan smiled. “I know.” He touched He Gu’s hair and said, “You changed your hairstyle? It looks great.”

He Gu thought to himself… That 500 yuan was totally worth it.

Song Juhan pulled He Gu into the apartment. “Come. Have a look at the presents I prepared for you.”

“Oh, what presents?”

Song Juhan pointed at the numerous bags on the floor. “The fashion brand I endorsed recently sent me a selection of their newest collection. I especially asked for another set in your size.”

He Gu hurriedly said, “These clothes are too expensive. They aren’t suitable for me.”

“What do you mean suitable or not suitable. It’s people that wear the clothes, not the clothes that wear people.”

“I’m still just an intern; it’s really not too suitable for me.”

Song Juhan rubbed his earlobes. “But if you don’t want them, I’ll be very disappointed.”

He Gu looked at the clothes hesitantly, and then looked at Song Juhan.

Song Juhan hooked his arm around He Gu’s shoulders. “Just accept them. I might wear these clothes occasionally to endorse them at different events. Then we can wear couple outfits together, aren’t you happy?”

He Gu pondered for a while, thinking of the image of them two in a couple outfit. Although it was highly unlikely that there would be an event where they could wear the outfits and stand next to each other, the thought itself was already enough of an incentive for him to accept. He smiled and said, “Alright then, thank you. But I came in a rush today and didn’t even have time to prepare anything for you…”

“You are my present,” Song Juhan said unabashedly. 

He Gu couldn’t help but smile.

“What movie did you watch with Feng Zheng today?”

“A sci-fi movie, it’s not bad.”

“You didn’t get to finish it, right? Don’t worry, once the blue-ray comes out, we can watch it together at home.” Song Juhan’s house had a fully equipped home theater. 

“It’s fine.” He Gu embarrassingly said in a quiet voice, “I’d rather watch you.”

Song Juhan smiled. “Do you want to hear the song I’ve been writing?”

“Of course.”

Song Juhan led He Gu into his bedroom, then he sat down on the carpet with his legs crossed. Holding the guitar, he leaned against the edge of the bed and smiled at He Gu.

He Gu looked at him quietly, his heart warm and the corners of his mouth lifted in an unstoppable smile.

manhua cover
Image from the manhua

Song Juhan’s slender fingers began to strum a gentle melody on the guitar. With his low and husky voice, he started to sing an English song. Without the fine tuning of post production, the sound of his voice lacked the smoothness and perfected finish of his usual audio tracks. However, it still retained the unique and pure quality of his voice that had originally shocked the world. 

Song Juhan closed his eyes and immersed himself into the song. Meanwhile, He Gu watched on and immersed himself into the performance. 

Whether it was Song Juhan’s smile, eyes or voice, they were all very enticing both to He Gu and to the rest of the world. He was like the seductive Satan, a fascinating being that could easily bewitch thousands around him.

In that moment, He Gu suddenly felt a sense of fear. Just like all those before him, who once fell in and out of love, he began to worry about losing it. Unable to stop himself from wondering why Song Juhan would even be with him. As well as if, and when, Song Juhan would eventually leave him. 

Even after Song Juhan had finished singing the song, He Gu still hadn’t snapped out of it. With He Gu in a daze, Song Juhan stretched his legs out and lightly kicked him. “He Gu?”

“Oh?” He Gu finally responded as if waking from a dream.

“So what do you think, is the song good?”

“Good. Very good.”

“Any suggestions?”

“I’m not in your industry. I wouldn’t know what to suggest.”

Song Juhan casually played a tune. “But sometimes it’s someone like you that gives the most surprising opinions. Just speak your mind.”

“En…” He Gu thought and thought, but he still couldn’t think of anything to say.

Song Juhan started to laugh out loud. “Never mind, I won’t force you.” He then patted the carpet next to him and said, “Come, come sit here.”

He Gu sat down next to Song Juhan.

“I’ll sing for you. What do you want to hear?”

“The single you released last month.”

“Okay.” Song Juhan cleared his throat and started to play a tune on the guitar.

He Gu leaned against Song Juhan’s shoulder, closed his eyes, and enjoyed the sultry voice filling the room. His whole being felt like it was floating in the clouds.

How could he feel so blessed, so sweet, and so satisfied in this moment. He began to think of how great it would be if this moment could last until the end of days.

Song Juhan sang one song after another. He Gu started to feel drunk from it all to the point where he didn’t realize when Song Juhan put down the guitar, or when he pushed He Gu down to the carpet. When he finally came to his senses, they were both naked and making out passionately.

He Gu was so shocked his mind was completely blank. But he did not resist, and simply allowed Song Juhan to do as he pleased. Even feeling the pain from his first time didn’t manage to deter He Gu from being one with Song Juhan. 

Eventually, He Gu was over-stimulated and passed out from the pain and pleasure. But Song Juhan’s seductive eyes still followed him into his dreams. 

When He Gu woke up again, it was already the next day. His body was aching all over, especially that area. He felt very embarrassed. As he rubbed his temples, he felt as if the whole world was spinning around him. After a good two minutes, he finally managed to digest what had happened last night.

He let out a sigh. Even if it had felt amazing, doing that with Song Juhan was simply too painful. At the time, he was not aware of the meaning behind being a one or a zero. He just thought Song Juhan was the experienced one, so he should take the lead. But the real experience was truly very different from what you see in the movies…

He slowly struggled out of bed, and went to take a shower. After cleaning up, he went to look for Song Juhan. He called out twice, but then realized that no one was home. 

He called Song Juhan twice, but no one answered. Feeling a little disappointed, he sent a message instead to let him know that he would be leaving first. As he left, he saw the bags of clothes Song Juhan had gifted him, and after hesitating for a second, he decided to take them.

He would not be able to wear these clothes at school or at work, but he could wear them when he went to see Song Juhan. 

When he arrived home, He Gu had a low fever. Taking two pills, he went to continue working on his thesis. 

It wasn’t until evening that Song Juhan called him, explaining that he had to leave for work early in the morning, and asking He Gu if he felt alright. 

“I’m fine, I’m fine.” No matter how uncomfortable He Gu felt, as a man, he would never admit it.

Song Juhan smiled and said, “That’s good. I wanted to spend time with you too.”

After hearing that simple phrase, He Gu felt a lot better and said in a gentle voice, “It’s fine. You were busy at work.”

“Yeah. Lately, I’ve been…” As Song Juhan was speaking, a soft and feminine voice calling Song Juhan’s name could be heard over the phone.

He Gu froze.

Song Juhan hurriedly said, “I’m still busy with work over here. Let’s talk another time.” 

“Oh, okay…” He Gu hadn’t even finished his sentence when the phone was cut. He held the phone in a daze, then silently put it down and continued working on his thesis. But no matter how hard he tried, he was unable to concentrate. The low fever he was running made it even harder for him to focus, and his mind couldn’t stop thinking of the worse case scenario. It was to the point he wasn’t even sure what he was thinking about. 

At that moment, the doorbell rang.

He Gu was surprised by the sudden sound, and his eyes widened. He took a deep breath and went to open the door. Feng Zheng appeared in front of him holding two plastic bags with a wide smile.

“Feng, Feng Zheng. Why are you here?”

“The project documents for the property rights were just e-mailed to me. Since we have to go through them together anyways, I thought I’d bring them over and have dinner with you.” Feng Zheng frowned, “Why do you look so tired, are you sick?”

“No, I just stayed up late last night. I haven’t seen the email yet, I’ve been working on my thesis.”

“Did the professor suggest a lot of changes?”

“No, I’m just not satisfied with it myself.”

“Oh, then why did he call you the other day?” Feng Zheng carried the plastic bags into the kitchen and said as he started to unload the food.

He Gu suddenly remembered the lie he told that day. It seems his fever is starting to affect his thoughts, and hurriedly said, “He did mention some changes, but I had some ideas myself too.”

Feng Zheng walked over. “He Gu, I feel like something’s wrong. Are you sure you’re not sick?” As he spoke, he reached out to feel He Gu’s forehead. “Damn, you do have a fever!”

“I’m fine. It’s just a low fever.”

Feng Zheng was angered. “You’re really sick… You really must be sick. Why else would you force yourself like this? Isn’t there still another three weeks until the debate? You’ve already been preparing for a year, what’s the difference in a few days? Just listen to me and hurry up and go lie down.”

He Gu said with a smile, “I’m really fine.”

“How can you still say you’re fine. Look at you stumbling around.” Feng Zheng held him by both arms and pushed him towards the bedroom.

“Feng Zheng. I’m really okay.”

“Just be good and listen to me. I’ll go make dinner, and I’ll let you know when it’s ready.” Feng Zheng pushed He Gu onto the bed and forcibly tucked him in.

Once He Gu lied down, he realized just how tired he actually was. The bed was very comfortable, and he suddenly let out a sigh of relief. “Alright, I’ll rest for a little while. I’ll have to trouble master Feng to make dinner then.”

Feng Zheng laughed. “I originally bought the food over so you could make me dinner. Now you get the honor of tasting my culinary skills. Even my parents have only tried it a few times.”

He Gu smiled.

As Feng Zheng left to make dinner, He Gu fell asleep. It was dark by the time Feng Zheng woke him up to have dinner.

Feng Zheng set the table and served the food. Looking at He Gu for appraisal, he said, “Hurry and taste it. I went to get some medicine just now, so you can have it after dinner.”

“Okay. The food looks great.” Looking at the dishes, He Gu suddenly felt really hungry.

“I want to have some beer, where’s the bottle opener?”

“It should be in the drawer under the TV.”

As Feng Zheng went to look for the bottle opener, he happened to see the bags with Song Juhan’s name printed on them sitting on the sofa. He picked up the bags and flipped through them. They were all high-end clothes.

He Gu’s home wasn’t very big. The living and dining room were both in one space. He Gu could easily see what Feng Zheng was doing, and his heart instantly felt nervous. How could he have forgotten to put those clothes away first.

Feng Zheng turned around, his face looking very displeased. “Don’t tell me you bought all these clothes.”

“… I did buy them.”

“These clothes easily cost a thousand yuan per item. How come I never knew you were so generous?”

He Gu pursed his lips, and felt as if his forehead was sweating profusely. 

Feng Zheng angrily threw the bags at the sofa. “You really like Song Juhan, don’t you? For him, you are even willing to spend all this money that you wouldn’t have spent before?”

He Gu felt a little embarrassed, and since he really didn’t want to tell another lie, he could only stay silent.

Feng Zheng let out a deep sigh. “You are sick. I don’t want to argue with you. But this fucking behavior of yours is really retarded. Do you think you are some underage fangirl trying to chase after their idols.”

He Gu changed his tone and said in a low voice, “Feng Zheng, I’m spending my own money. It has nothing to do with you, so watch what you’re saying.”

“You…” Feng Zheng was shocked and couldn’t say another word.

He Gu softened his voice and said, “Alright, come eat. The food is getting cold.”

Feng Zheng probably felt that he was being a bit immature about the current situation. Since he couldn’t bring himself to continue being angry, he simply went over and sat down for dinner. However, he stubbornly kept his head down and refused to speak to He Gu. 

He Gu felt he had a splitting headache.


**✿❀ translated by Hillary ❀✿**
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