Chai ManMan expressed doubt, Tong Yan was helpless, only able to use his character to lobby: “Have I ever lied?”
Chai ManMan: “Not until now.”
”Then you still don’t believe me? Sometimes, he can’t even understand what he’s reading in the manual.” Tong Yan strived to prove Zhuo Xiang Ming’s ‘not so smart’-ness, “When only the roof of the Phantom City was left, I let him put it on, but he had no idea how to install it.”
The relationship between the two classmates had developed rapidly, being desk-mates helped, but the reason for their close friendship was even more related to the fact that they were both Lego enthusiasts. Chai ManMan asked: “Really?”
Tong Yan: “How would I benefit from making stuff up? Plus, I like him so much, I have no reason to talk nonsense ah.”
”…” Chai ManMan wasn’t sure if she had just been forced fed PDA again, nevertheless, she gave up discussing this topic with Tong Yan.
In fact, Zhuo Xiang Ming not knowing anything about Lego wasn’t a downside. Chai ManMan worshiped him because of his business accomplishments, it naturally had nothing to do with Lego.
Maybe there was one tiny connection, after all, most of her desk-mate’s recently acquired limited edition Lego sets were bought by this big shot.
Chai ManMan suddenly snapped out of it: “You bought Phantom City?!”
Tong Yan nodded: “I finally bought it two weeks ago.”
The class bell rang. Before the teacher entered the classroom, Chai ManMan demanded: “Send me a picture of it when you go home tonight.”
Before they separated that morning, they said that they would see each other in the afternoon, but they couldn’t meet that afternoon.
At the last moment, Zhuo Xiang Ming needed to attend a meeting, which was very urgent and very important. He really couldn’t leave. After Tong Yan participated in an after-school activity, at dismissal, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s secretary picked Tong Yan up at the volunteer center.
She directly sent Tong Yan to Zhuo Xiang Ming’s office, Zhuo Xiang Ming was attending the meeting, so Tong Yan was alone.
After a while, Tong Yan received a message, before he could open it, the secretary knocked on the door again, “Mr. Zhuo asked me to ask you, do you want to eat now? The meeting might still last another hour. There are many restaurants nearby, most of them do delivery, there’s a menu over there.”
Tong Yan: “No, I’ll wait for him, thank you.”
”Then call me if you need anything.” The secretary said politely, “I’m just outside.”
”Okay.” Tong Yan said again, “Thank you.”
When the secretary left, Tong Yan looked around the office a little, then entered Zhuo Xiang Ming’s lounge.
The bed was tidier than last time. There was still an ashtray and an opened cigarette box at the bedside. The ashtray was clean. Tong Yan picked up the cigarette box and looked inside, it was almost empty. The production date was five days ago. It seemed to be smoked often, and hasn’t been here for long.
He’d never seen Zhuo Xiang Ming smoke, and he also rarely smelled smoke on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s body. Sometimes, when he gets very close, he might smell a little bit, but the number of times was very few, and the scent was very light, it was automatically understood to be the scent picked up from others in the company.
Tong Yan studied the cigarette box for a moment, then put it back in place.
He laid down on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s bed. The dark colored sheets were infected with the scent of cedarwood. Tong Yan stuck his face in, it was a little cold, but also very comforting.
It was getting dark outside, and the room was very quiet. Because the office was on such a high floor, there was no sound of traffic. As if the air had solidified, everything froze in place, and Tong Yan felt a sense of tranquility and loneliness.
He hadn’t felt this way in a long while. Recently, from morning till night, there was always someone beside him, there was almost no alone time. His brain didn’t have anything to think about, seemingly focusing on a lot of things.
He reviewed his romantic relationship with Zhuo Xiang Ming, and thought about his life before he got married. It felt like the experience of two completely different people, the two separated by very far apart parallel railroad tracks. Somehow, the experiences became one, the railroad tracks also overlapped after they intersected, never separating again.
After contracting pheromone stress disorder, for a very long time, Tong Yan thought that he would never get better.
He never told anyone this, but he did think so.
It was also possible that he took this idea too seriously, thinking from the bottom of his heart that he could never recover, and getting anyone’s reassurance was useless, so why say it.
Before his estrus, the world of pheromones was very hazy to him, covered by a layer of gauze, as if he somewhat understood, but didn’t have any personal experience.
But after that terrible estrus, all the haziness unluckily became very clear.
Whether it was alpha or omega pheromone, to him, everything suddenly became a sharp weapon for attack, easily penetrating his defenses.
It was very awful, very confusing, no one could be trusted, he couldn’t protect himself, and no one could protect him.
He was like that overworked, lame sheep in Phantom City. The ewe died from injuries sustained during birth, because she wanted to protect the lame lamb. In the city, any mutant animal was stronger than him. He had no companions, forget about friends, and a mouse could easily overturn him.
That kind of life wasn’t terrible at the start. Tong Yan lived in the big Tong family villa, most of the time, he was alone. Fear, when endured for a long time, would eventually fade. Never daring to say, unnecessary to say, how many useless jumbled mental journeys he went through.
But at that time, he didn’t know that he was unhappy, he still didn’t know that he was unhappy.
His Dad and older brother were very busy, they had very little time to chat, and Tong Yan really wanted to chat peacefully. So, he never said, he didn’t even realize, that he was unhappy.
He somehow got married. The days of being in a trance ended in one night. He was in a strange apartment, the house at most one-fifth the size of the Tong family villa. The deliberately suppressed cedarwood scented pheromones didn’t make him feel any pain, and a strange alpha gave him a hug with barely any bodily contact, saying to him, “Let’s take it slowly.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming’s meeting dragged on and on, by the time it ended, it was completely dark outside. Tong Yan was still lying on the bed in Zhuo Xiang Ming’s lounge. Zhuo Xiang Ming opened the door and came in, probably thinking that Tong Yan was asleep, he didn’t turn on the light, whispering: “Tong Tong?”
Tong Yan didn’t answer, but Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t call out again, lightly walking over to the bedside and squatting down, only to see Tong Yan’s opened eyes.
”Hungry?” He placed his palm on Tong Yan’s face, his thumb lightly caressing the outer corner of Tong Yan’s eye.
Tong Yan hummed, and Zhuo Xiang Ming shifted closer, pushing aside his bangs, which were slightly blocking his eyes: “You just fell asleep?”
Tong Yan: “I didn’t sleep, I was waiting for you.”
”So obedient.” Zhuo Xiang Ming spoke very gently, “Get up to eat, OK?”
Tong Yan closed his eyes and said: “Carry me.”
”Okay.” Zhuo Xiang Ming kissed his eyelids, then got up and wrapped an arm around him, carrying him up. The two were pillowing and pillowed. Zhuo Xiang Ming had barely hugged him in his embrace when Tong Yan wrapped his arms and legs around him.
At this moment, Tong Yan felt that he’d met Zhuo Xiang Ming too late in his life, then he felt aggrieved.
Part of his emotions, giving and needing, have not been able to find an outlet or a source in the past eighteen years, simply because he hadn’t met Zhuo Xiang Ming yet.
He grew up for eighteen years, working very hard to learn the principles of maturity, but he still couldn’t seem to understand the right way to love. He restrained himself, not letting his love become a burden to others. Living his life like the lame lamb in Phantom City, always trembling in fear, Tong Yan fumbled into the adult world.
He was forever adjusting his intensity of giving and asking for love, and after not receiving feedback again and again, he began doubting his interpretation of love. That was until he encountered Zhuo Xiang Ming on this rugged journey. He very happily accepted his love, and also gave love, making Tong Yan happy.
Tong Yan grew up for eighteen years, working very hard to learn the principles of maturity, until he met Zhuo Xiang Ming one year, then he understood that there were countless interpretations of love. Among these, strong love is one that should never become a cardinal sin.
But why did Zhuo Xiang Ming come so late?
”You’re really bad.” Tong Yan said, pressed against his chest.
The room was dark and quiet, even the sound of rubbing clothing was amplified, very audible. Zhuo Xiang Ming stroked Tong Yan’s back, conceding with a hum. Tong Yan again said, “Why did you lie to me? Didn’t you say it’ll take an hour?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming showed him his phone screen: 6:12, still less than an hour.
Tong Yan reached out and pressed off the screen, raising his head a bit, he looked at Zhuo Xiang Ming. He looked into those very gentle eyes and, for some reason, felt aggrieved again.
Zhuo Xiang Ming also seemed to perceive Tong Yan’s gloomy mood. He continued to hug Tong Yan tightly, so tight they could feel each other’s warm breathing. Tong Yan’s mood slowly relaxed. After a while, he completely didn’t feel that sense of unhappiness anymore, instead feeling a little embarrassed.
”Let’s go eat.” Tong Yan shifted a bit, preparing to get up from Zhuo Xiang Ming’s embrace.
However, Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t let him go, instead, pressing him underneath.
Tong Yan said: “You’re really good.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming smiled: “What is it, am I good or bad?”
”Very good.” Tong Yan gently tugged the button on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s collar that wasn’t fastened, then rubbed it with his fingertips, “You’re very, very good.”
”Oh?” Zhuo Xiang Ming shifted until they were face to face, “That good?”
Out of the corner of his eye, Tong Yan saw the box of cigarettes at the bedside, offhandedly asking, “Do you smoke?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming looked back, then said, “A bit.”
Tong Yan knew why he didn’t smoke in front of him, and his heart felt even sweeter. He deliberately said, “What does a cigarette taste like? I want to try it too.”
However, Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t panic like a typical guardian, merely saying, “When you’re completely healed, you can try it if you still want to.”
But he added another sentence, apparently not so unconstrained: “Only try it, don’t smoke.”
Tong Yan stared at Zhuo Xiang Ming for a moment, feeling that he was very handsome, but also feeling that he wasn’t just handsome, he was perfect, good everywhere. Tong Yan couldn’t help but lower his head, printing a kiss on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s lips: “I was thinking, why didn’t I meet you earlier? How good would it be if we had known each other before ah.”
Tong Yan wanted to add, if he had known him long ago, he wouldn’t have been so lonely for so many years. But these words were too ludicrous, he couldn’t say it.
This was the second time Tong Yan felt that Zhuo Xiang Ming’s reasoning was flawed.
Zhuo Xiang Ming once said that loneliness couldn’t be avoided by finding a partner, but Tong Yan seemed to be okay.
A little loneliness could make you feel serene, there was time to see yourself clearly. But too much loneliness wasn’t good. It devoured love, devoured all positive emotions, its mouth was gapingly huge. Immersing yourself in loneliness really wasn’t a good thing.
Ever since he got Zhuo Xiang Ming, the loneliness he hadn’t noticed before had gone away.
Zhuo Xiang Ming looked at Tong Yan for a moment. Tong Yan was thinking about what he would say, but unexpectedly, he just rubbed himself against Tong Yan, very ambiguously, then said, “Any earlier than this would be terrible, could I lay my hands on a sixteen-year-old you?”
The atmosphere was completely destroyed, Tong Yan again thought that Zhuo Xiang Ming was very bad. Pushing him away, he said, “Let’s eat, eat.”
Never daring to say, unnecessary to say, how many useless jumbled mental journeys he went through- 从不敢说到不必要说没用多少个纠结的心路历程, unsure of translation.
The two were pillowing and pillowed-两个人挨着枕在了枕头上, unsure of translation. It has the verb ‘to pillow’ and the noun ‘pillow’, so I made a guess.
This- it said 早恋, Zao Lian, puppy love or falling in love at an early age. ZXM doesn’t want jailbait.
Idk TongTong, I think finding your life-partner at 18 is pretty fortunate.
FOD vol 1 is completely re-translated, with added nsfw. Go read it.