Xue Zi Xuan’s complexion had never been so ugly, his whole body was emitting a very restless atmosphere, shocking the butler and assistant when they came out to greet him, wondering what happened.
“Look after Xiao Yi, don’t let him get in contact with strangers.” After the teenager pranced upstairs, Xue Zi Xuan said in a heavy voice.
“Did he get into trouble?” A hard light slipped over the steward’s eyes, he wanted Xue Zi Xuan to command that they keep Huang Yi under house arrest, instead of feeding him delicious food and treating him so well.
“No, he just said a few words with Xue Yan on the green.” Xue Zi Xuan took off his coat and teared off his tie, the feeling of anxiousness still hadn’t faded. The boy had been lying on Xue Yan’s lap, gazing at him with love and attachment, that scene stung his heart.
He sat on the couch and clutched his chest thoughtfully.
The steward uttered a cry of horror, he hurriedly asked, “How could Yan Ye leisurely chat with a stranger? Did he discover something?” But after thinking about it, he felt that that wasn’t right. A heart transplant wasn’t a big deal, and even if Yan Ye found out, he certainly wouldn’t obstruct it. Not to mention, who would think that Xue Jing Yi had an identical twin brother?
Xue Zi Xuan absent-mindedly shook his head.
“I won’t let him go out again.” The old butler promised.
“Why wouldn’t you let him go out? As long as he keeps up his piano practice, let him go wherever he wants to play. Just follow him, make sure there’s no danger.” Xue Zi Xuan subconsciously responded. The boy especially liked to frolic around on the green lawn, his laughter like the most beautiful high notes, making the surrounding air feel fresh, he couldn’t bear to take this happiness away from him.
The old steward wanted to ask if Xue Zi Xuan had forgotten the original purpose for bringing the boy back, but chose silence after a little thought. Even if he forgot, Sir and Madam would never forget.
Zhou Yun Sheng hurried back to his bedroom, removed the jacket around his waist and sniffed it deeply. A touch of cologne and cigar smoke mixed together, the intense sense of familiarity brought him to tears. He laid on the bed with his coat and excitedly rolled around, then began checking out the contents of the pockets.
No handkerchiefs, lighters, business cards or other debris, this coat was too clean, no wonder he dared take it off and casually throw it to a stranger. Zhou Yun Sheng sighed gloomily, then neatly hung up the coat in the closet.
He used 008 to synthesize a photo of his lover, using facial recognition software to search for his identity on the network, but the lack of results left him very disappointed.
He turned off the computer and slipped away to the living room. Xue Zi Xuan was behaving very weird today, he hadn’t immediately taken a bath like he usually does, he was just sitting in the living in a daze. Xue Jing Yi was tranquilly leaning against him, her eyes heavy with extremely deep love. The weaker her body was, the more agitated her emotions became, and if it wasn’t inevitably bounded to the human body, her thoughts would be flying out indefinitely.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s lips slightly curved, he walked into the kitchen for a basket of fruit and placed it on the coffee table in front of the two people.
“Jing Yi, do you want some fruit? I’ll peel it for you.” He picked out a big apple, his right hand holding a paring knife.
“No no, you eat it.” Xue Jing Yi immediately put away her moody eyes and smiled reluctantly.
Xue Zi Xuan suddenly woke up, he took the paring knife away from the boy’s hand and sternly said, “Don’t touch knives in the future.”
“To keep away from danger. An artist’s hands can’t bear even the slightest injury.” Xue Zi Xuan said while holding the boy’s white and slender fingers, his gaze obsessed. He put his palm up to the boy’s palm, measuring the difference in size, and found that the boy’s fingers were little shorter than his own. He couldn’t help but reveal a gentle smile, then his knuckles bent slightly, gripping the boy’s fingers, he slowly said “Don’t feel that I’m just being fussy. Have you heard of Roger?”
Zhou Yun Sheng wanted to pull his fingers back, but the man clenched them tighter, he could only nod, “I know, I’ve seen him play basketball online. He’s great, the best in the world.”
“But he used to be better, at peak state his free throw rate was 80%, now it’s only 34%, know why?”
“Umm… he cut his hand when peeling an apple?” Zhou Yun Sheng stared at the paring knife and hesitatingly said. Obviously his brain was comparable to Google, but he still felt uncomfortable pretending to be stupid in front of others.
“Not peeling an apple, cutting a cigar. He accidentally cut his right index finger’s ligament, and the index finger could no longer bend correctly, affecting his throwing rate. Our hands are doing much finer work than throwing, so be sure to protect them well.” Xue Zi Xuan couldn’t restrain his fondness for those hands, kissing the five pink rounded fingertips one by one during his speech.
Zhou Yun Sheng shook like he was hit by lightning, he forcefully pulled his fingers away and shoved them into his pocket, inwardly cursing Xue Zi Xuan this pervert.
Xue Jing Yi’s cheeks paled, her lips trembling, like she couldn’t believe what she’d just seen. As a child, she’d had to beg to get a reluctant hug or helping hand from her brother, but now, he even took the initiative to kiss Huang Yi, and with such a gentle and loving expression. With what feelings does he cherish Huang Yi? Was it really just admiration?
Xue Zi Xuan was apparently also shocked by his own behavior, but he didn’t regret it, on the contrary, he kept on pondering on the touch of the boy’s cool fingertips to his lips. Like a gently blowing breeze, and like a snow-white feather’s touch, too wonderful for words.
However, that deep throbbing and joyful feeling turned into indescribable pain and disappointment when he saw the boy’s resistance. Xue Zi Xuan put on a light smile, pulled the boy into his arms, and gently rubbed the soft hair he’d wanted to touch for so long, he said, “Don’t avoid me anymore, okay?”
“But you told me, I’m not allowed to touch you.” Zhou Yun Sheng barely suppressed his desire to struggle.
The boy wasn’t rejecting him, he was just being too obedient. Xue Zi Xuan was first startled, then he let out a pleasant chuckle, “Of course you can touch me, you’re the most special.” The most precious gift he’d ever received.
Zhou Yun Sheng used all his talent to redden his cheeks, pretending to be flattered, the moment he hung his head, he quickly glanced at Xue Jing Yi. She was curled up on the sofa, clinging tightly to a huge throw pillow, her cheeks were buried, so he couldn’t see her expression.
But Zhou Yun Sheng knew that she must be feeling very miserable, because her knuckles where she clutched the pillow were pale and slightly trembling. The old Xue Zi Xuan only called her special, when the ‘special’ title was suddenly transferred to another person, and even intensified, only God knew what sort of psychological torture she was going through.
Xue Zi Xuan hugged the boy, like a small child finally getting his dream toy, his face full of unrestrainable wonder and joy. He tentatively rolled the strand of hair on the boy’s cheek around his fingers, then let it loose, watching it bounce and fall back in place, then he repeated the action, like he couldn’t get enough. He even wanted to press his lips against the boy’s pink lips, to see how it tasted.
This impulse came so violently and inexplicably that he didn’t know how to respond to it. Fortunately, the steward called them in for dinner, so he didn’t get a chance to dwell on it.
Finally free of the man’s embrace, Zhou Yun Sheng let out a relieved breath, using his chopsticks to fiercely attack his dinner. Xue Jing Yi was also relieved, she sat in her chair silently in a daze, not touching her bowl of food.
“Miss, do you feel unwell?” The steward walked over and asked.
“I’m fine.” Xue Jing Yi waved him away, but stared expectantly at her brother, hoping he could focus his gaze on her. The reality left her disappointed, Xue Zi Xuan was clumsily placing vegetables in the boy’s plate, ignoring the others. He had always been like this, only looking at what he wanted to see, only listening to what he wanted to hear, if you wanted to get his favor, you must use supremely wonderful music to impress him.
Xue Jing Yi had never had this ability, but Huang Yi did. His music perfected each day, if he wanted, he could use it to capture anyone.
An unprecedented sense of crisis and jealousy occupied Xue Jing Yi’s thoughts, she slammed down her spoon and staggered upstairs. The butler glanced at the boy with cold eyes, then immediately followed her.
Zhou Yun Sheng took this opportunity to ask Xue Zi Xuan about his lover’s identity.
“You don’t have to know who he is. If you see him again, stay far away, he’s very dangerous.” Xue Zi Xuan seemed to think of something, his face showing a mixture of fear and shame.
Zhou Yun Sheng tried to ask indirectly, but didn’t get any valuable clues, and had to give up.
The next day, Xue Rui and Xue Li Dani hurried back to participate in the family banquet. Xue Jia was very prominent, and they also retained the traditional clan system, clan rules were above the law, no one dared disobey.
Don’t look at Xue Rui’s outside grandeur, in fact, the Xue Group he founded only received a touch of Xue Clan’s vast light, compared to the main branch’s wealth, its size was insignificant. If he left the main branch’s asylum, he was nothing.
In order to break into the main branch’s center, he spent a huge amount of money to buy their villa, just because the Xue Clan’s patriarch came here on vacation every summer, no one knew where he usually lived.
The patriarch, according to seniority, was Xue Rui’s uncle, called Xue Yan. However, the man was only two years older than Xue Zi Xuan, and was the previous patriarch’s youngest son. Old Xue died when he was twelve years old, and because he was his favorite son, he left him half of the family property. But Old Xue was very loose, marrying four wives in his lifetime, and also keeping numerous mistresses. He not only had six sons from his four wives, he had more than a dozen illegitimate children.
When he died, Xue Clan was suddenly plunged into a tragic inheritance war, the lonely boy Xue Yan, who owned half the family property, unsurprisingly became public enemy number one. It’s unknown whether it was an accident or man-made, but just half a year after Old Xue entered the soil, the boy got into a car accident, and because of untimely treatment, his lower body was paralyzed.
His brothers behaved very despicably, not only carving up his family property, but also forcing him to crawl out of Xue house like a dog. From small to big, Old Xue only doted on him, so they naturally hated him to the bone.
No one knew that Xue Yan had bared his teeth as he’d crawled away on that day, they only knew that ten years later, he returned, then personally broke all of his brothers’ legs, and made them crawl from the living room to the asphalt road one kilometer away. They crawled over the gravel, leaving a long trail of blood in the presence of all the terrified spectators, since then, Xue Clan became Xue Yan’s belonging.
But he was a very capable person, it was not an exaggeration to describe him with ‘demon-like wisdom’. After taking over Xue Clan, in just three years, he took the decaying clan and turned it into the country’s number one distinguished household. Whether it was the main branch or offshoots, they all lived by his whim, so even though his temper was violent, no one dared reveal a look of dissatisfaction.
He announced that he would hold a banquet, and even knowing that an invitation was very slim, Xue Rui and his wife had still hurried back.
“Sir, Yan Ye sent an invitation.” The butler looked slightly excited.
“How are there two letters?” Xue Rui was overjoyed, he opened the first letter and looked, it was very normal, he, his wife and children were invited to participate, but the second was very strange, it actually listed Xue Jing Yi’s name alone, even requesting that she ‘dress exquisitely’ to attend, what does this mean?
Xue Rui was dumbfounded, he passed the invitation to his wife.
“Daddy no, I don’t want to go!” Xue Jing Yi shouted in panic. She had actually already met Xue Yan, the year he won the clan. At that time, he’d invited a lot of people to the celebration banquet, including Xue Rui. Hearing that Xue Rui’s son was a rare musical genius, he’d enthusiastically asked Xue Zi Xuan to play him a song.
At that time, Xue Zi Xuan was unpolluted, only performing in the sacred music hall or the piano room, he absolutely hated the practice of performing to curry favor with nobles, in his view, that was blasphemy. He’d coldly refused, but Xue Yan had only looked at him with slight interest, then softly opened, “Since you don’t want to play, you might as well never play again.” The words faded, and Xue Zi Xuan’s hand was pressed onto the table, his fingers broken one by one.
Before he broke the third finger, Xue Zi Xuan had no choice but to surrender, Xue Li Dani was already kneeling at the man’s feet, crying and begging him to let her son go.
Xue Yan chuckled and let Xue Zi Xuan go, then pointed to the piano with his cane, ordering, “Play, play until I’m satisfied.”
So Xue Zi Xuan had to ignore the pain in his fingers, and play for a full two hours, when the banquet ended, he collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Xue Li Dani quickly sent him abroad, and it took two years of therapy before his fingers regained their flexibility.
That was the first time Xue Jing Yi had ever seen her noble and elegant mother and brother expose such discomposure, and even her omnipotent father had been too afraid to utter a single complaint. He’d even sent over a lot of apology gifts afterwards.
Since then, Xue Yan became Xue Jing Yi’s nightmare fuel, and Xue Li Dani and Xue Zi Xuan had never forgotten that feeling of extreme fear. For musicians, ruining their hands was more unbearable than ruining their lives.
“I can’t go, I’ll be afraid.” Knowing the extent of her father’s respect for Xue Yan, Xue Jing Yi clutched her chest and loudly repeated.
“Don’t let Jing Yi go, her heart can’t carry the load.” Xue Li Dani quickly hugged her daughter and patted her head, her heart also full of fear and anxiety.
“Yan Ye sent her a specific invitation, how can you have her not go? This is a personal insult to Yan Ye, I won’t be able to approach Xue Clan in the future.” Xue Rui’s tone was very gloomy.
“It’ll be alright. How could he have sent a special invitation to Jing Yi anyway, there must be a mistake, send someone to check.”
“It’s probably not a mistake.” The previously silent steward relayed Huang Yi’s encounter with Xue Yan.
“So he’s the one who provoked this mess!” Xue Li Dani grinded her teeth, immediately wanting to let the butler bring the boy down to teach him a lesson, but Xue Rui stopped her.
“Since Yan Ye wants to see him, we’ll take him.”
“Do you think Yan Ye found out?” Xue Li Dani thought of a possibility and suddenly felt a chill, but because of her daughter’s presence, she couldn’t say specifics.
“No way, they not only look the same, even their voices are similar. Plus, Yan Ye only met her when she was 9, how could he notice a difference between them. Don’t overthink it, you’ll see when we bring the boy to Yan Ye.” Xue Rui made the final decision.
So that night, Zhou Yun Sheng received a pure white, floor length gown and a pair of high heels. The steward told him that Xue Clan would be holding a banquet, but the Miss couldn’t attend since the noisy environment would have an extremely bad impact on her health, so he must replace the Miss this once.
As Xue Jing Yi’s virtuous brother, Zhou Yun Sheng had to incumbently agree, but as soon as the steward walked out, he immediately threw the dress to the ground and viciously stomped on it.
“Xiao Yi?” Seeing the beautiful, fairy-like boy (girl?) slowly walking down the spiral staircase, Xue Zi Xuan’s eyes widen in shock.
“It’s me.” Zhou Yun Sheng tried to maintain his balance. Since this morning, Xue Li Dani wouldn’t stop tormenting him, even forcing him to practice walking in high heels for hours. He swore, at the end of this game, he must make all these people pay a painful price.
Xue Jing Yi laughed, “Xiao Yi’s dressed up so prettily, like those Mori Girls, very fresh.”
Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t respond, bending over to pull up the dress. He took two steps and found that the skirt was still too long, and had to bunch it up in his arms. Xue Zi Xuan naturally walked over, gripped his slender waist, and half dragged, half carried him into the car, even pressing down his head so he couldn’t bump it as he entered.
Xue Jing Yi had never seen such a meticulous and gentle big brother, as if an untouchable, desire-less god suddenly transformed into a regular, passionate mortal. If this change was because of her, she would be ecstatic, but this change happened because of Huang Yi, so she could never accept it.
Staring at the speeding away car, her light expression gradually converged, revealing a gloomy look.
This piece of forest, together with the golf course, were all Xue Clan’s property. Xue Yan lived on the highest mountain with the best scenery, at least a twenty-five minute drive from gate to mansion entrance. Those invited to attend the banquet were mostly from the main branch and the heads of the off-shoot branches, and Xue Rui was far less than that level.
When he appeared with his wife and children, many people didn’t even know him, but Xue Zi Xuan’s face was recognizable, so they nodded slightly, their attitude lukewarm.
As the car traveled along the mountain, Zhou Yun Sheng felt his lover getting closer and closer. Excited, he rushed into the banquet hall, firmly refusing Xue Zi Xuan’s arm.
The place was crowded, but he didn’t find the figure he most wanted to see, he tried to step outside to search, but lost his balance and almost fell.
“Watch out.” A strong arm stretched out from the side, catching his hips in time, but it also boldly groped his elastic butt.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s eyes widened, he turned around with an ‘I’ll kill you’ death glare, met a mischievous smile on his lover’s handsome face, and subconsciously revealed a look of pleasant surprise.
Perceiving the boy’s mode change, Xue Yan felt even more delighted. He sat in his wheelchair, his right hand still placed on the boy’s buttocks, and stretched out his left hand to gracefully shake Xue Rui’s hand.
“This is your darling daughter Xue Jing Yi? I haven’t seen her for a few years, she’s grown so much.”
“Yes ah, kids grow like weeds, look away one moment and they’re taller than you. Jing Yi, Zi Xuan, quickly greet your uncle.” Xue Rui pushed his son forward.
“Hello uncle.” Zhou Yun Sheng’s smile was strained, he hadn’t expected his lover to be Xue Jing Yi’s uncle, this rank was really huge.
Xue Zi Xuan pulled the boy to his side, then nodded hello to Xue Yan, his attitude cold.
Xue Yan’s gloomy eyes landed on their locked hands, he smiled and said, “I heard your piano skills have matured over the years, the guests are all here, you should give us a performance.” This was basically treating Xue Zi Xuan as a dancing monkey.
Xue Zi Xuan exposed a look of mortification, his once broken fingers twitched neurotically. Even if he desperately wanted to forget those unbearable memories, his fear of Xue Yan had been engraved into his bones, as long as he saw him, it felt like the nightmare was on replay.
He tried to adjust his breathing, and slowly walked towards the piano placed on the stage while Xue Li Dani looked on tearfully.
“Wait, I want to play instead of my brother, my piano skills are also very good. Uncle, what do you want to hear?” Zhou Yun Sheng was standing unsteadily, using his lover’s wheelchair armrest to maintain his balance as he bent to ask his question.
Xue Yan’s gloomy eyes glanced at him, then he said lightly, “Forget it, I don’t want to hear anything anymore.” He didn’t want the boy to play in front of everyone, if no one else was here, he would gladly accept this proposal.
Xue Li Dani was relieved, she quickly hugged her son comfortingly, casting grateful eyes to the boy at the same time. Xue Rui was very unhappy, that boy had ruined his son’s chance to gain favor with Yan Ye. He was not an artist after all, he couldn’t understand an artist’s loftiness.
“I enjoy Jing Yi’s company very much, do you mind if she stays with me?”
Xue Yan’s next sentence made Xue Rui feel overjoyed, he immediately nodded. Xue Zi Xuan wanted to follow them, but was forcefully pulled away by his mother. Seeing the boy turn around to wave at him, his smile bright, he could only helplessly give up. This was his second taste of powerlessness, both of them gifts from Xue Yan.
“The first time you didn’t wear any pants, the second time you’re wearing a dress, have you forgotten your own sex?” As they arrived at the rest area, Xue Yan unscrupulously caressed the boy’s exposed back, his fingertips sliding up and down his curved spine, quite enamored.
Zhou Yun Sheng wasn’t surprised by his lover’s omniscience, he stared at him with glittering peach eyes, then relaxed his body against his shoulder. A 16-year-old boy, the most easily arousable species.
Some people wanted to come over to talk, but saw this scene and smiled knowingly. They held up their glass and consciously walked away. So what if that girl was surnamed Xue, not to mention distant relation, even if there was immediate relation, who could stop Yan Ye if he fancied her?
Xue Rui’s heart suddenly froze at the sight, but he seemed to think of something and quickly cheered up. Xue Zi Xuan was standing in a dark corner, learning what hatred and jealousy was for the first time.
Demon-like wisdom – A reference to Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Gown- 長裙-My dictionary says cheong sam (long skirt). But he’s not wearing a cheong sam
Uncle – 叔公 –Shugong- great uncle
Mori Girl- From morigirl.blogspot.com “The mori girls (森ガール) belong to a subculture which began in Japan. ‘Mori’ means forest in Japanese, simplest definition…they are girls who look like they live in the forest.”