After leaving the resort, Tong Yan didn’t return to the Tong family first, following Zhuo Xiang Ming. Before leaving, Tong Li Qin, who always had few words to say, was silent for a very long time. At long last, he merely said: “Daddy isn’t busy, come home whenever you have the time.”
Tong Yang shoved another card at Tong Yan and left in the car with Tong Li Qin.
After staying at home for several days, Tong Yan was focused on catching up with his homework. He also had to make room in his busy schedule to satisfy his alpha, whose hunger had become increasingly intense after finally eating meat.
He couldn’t help but think if promising to bond during winter vacation was profitable or not. If he was currently attending school, Zhuo Xiang Ming would have some reservations, now unfortunately, he tormented him every day and night, and he still claimed to be restraining himself.
Everyone had their own worries. Before estrus, he hung up “Busy, Not Online” on OUKM and saved some messages. Rowing over to look around, Youngster Tong Yan found that his worries were unanswered. He was very troubled, troubled enough to sigh. Zhuo Xiang Ming leaned over: “Tired?”
Tong Yan hugged his homework: “Don’t mess with me! I only wrote for half an hour!”
Time passed quickly; Tong Yang came over once to have dinner with them. During those over 20 days of marking, the family company was almost completely under Tong Yang’s control. Zhuo Xiang Ming drank two bottles of wine with him, very contentedly thanking his brother-in-law. At night, Tong Yan cried and whined for most of the night.
In the blink of an eye, the new school term was about to start.
After the start of the new term, the teachers of the senior department were required to arrive three days early to have a one-on-one conversation with the parents of each student.
Tong Yan’s parent talk was scheduled from 9 am to 9:30 am, and his homework was still missing a tail. After seeing Zhuo Xiang Ming off, he went upstairs to do his homework, but he didn’t wait until Zhuo Xiang Ming returned home.
At noon, Zhuo Xiang Ming called and said that something came up at the company and told him to eat alone.
Today was Friday, he originally should’ve gone to work, but Tong Yan naturally assumed that Zhuo Xiang Ming wouldn’t have much time to go to the company after the parent-teacher meeting. Hearing this, he said: “Okay, then will you get off work on time this afternoon?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming thought about it then said: “Yes.”
Tong Yan didn’t want to hang up yet, coquettishly saying: “Why is there so much homework ah.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Do it slowly, it’s okay if you really can’t finish it.”
”Okay.” Tong Yan looked for a few more words to say, then the two hung up.
He felt that Zhuo Xiang Ming wasn’t quite right. After thinking about it for a while, he guessed that he was most likely exhausted, and felt very sorry for Zhuo Xiang Ming. He did his homework for a while then went to play. While they were not home, Xuan Gui secretly built the Dongcheng District of his phantom city, so it was ordered by Tong Yan to dismantle it to its original shape.
In the afternoon, after Zhuo Xiang Ming got off work, he called to ask Tong Yan what he wanted to eat. Tong Yan mentioned a cake shop on his route, but when Zhuo Xiang Ming entered the door, he had nothing in his hands.
At a loss, the two looked at each other. Zhuo Xiang Ming moved as if to leave again: “I’ll go buy it.”
Tong Yan quickly pulled him: “Don’t! Forget it, forget it, I didn’t particularly want to eat it.”
”Then I’ll buy it for you tomorrow.” Zhuo Xiang Ming looked very apologetic.
Tong Yan nodded: “Uh-huh.”
”I missed you.” Tong Yan said, “I thought you would come home at noon.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming took hold of his shoulders and led him a step forward: “Something suddenly came up.” He lowered his head and planted a kiss on Tong Yan’s forehead.
The two went to have dinner, half way through, Zhuo Xiang Ming sensed a really abnormal quiet. Remembering, he asked: “Where’s Xuan Gui?”
Tong Yan pointed to a corner. The oval-shaped robot was plugged into the charging port, the metal arms moving very quickly to dismantle Lego. The electronic eye flashed light blue to express melancholy.
Zhuo Xiang Ming smiled, his smile was relatively slight, already gone when he looked back. Tong Yan quietly finished his meal and sat waiting for him.
When they went to bed that night, the two lay quietly next to each other. Tong Yan smeared himself with body lotion on the bed. Half-way through, this work was taken over by Zhuo Xiang Ming. Tong Yan had picked out a cream-like lotion, he instructed Zhuo Xiang Ming to place a bit of it on his palm and carefully smear it along his shoulder blades.
”It smells bad.” Zhuo Xiang Ming said while applying the lotion.
Tong Yan: “It smells good.” He raised his hand and sniffed, “Lemony.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming insisted: “Stinky.”
Feeling that the application was good-enough, Tong Yan simply turned over and looked at him: “Say it again!”
Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t reply, drawing him in for a kiss.
Kissing for a while, Tong Yan had difficulty breathing, at this, Zhuo Xiang Ming reluctantly let go, kissing Tong Yan’s neck and shoulders again. Tong Yan whimpered and shoved him: “Don’t kiss me, be careful my stench doesn’t kill you.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming resembled a rogue: “I’m willing to die from it.”
He wasn’t satisfied with wrapping himself around Tong Yan. Since earlier, Tong Yan felt that he looked very tired today, so at this time, he was willing to follow him. In this bed, Zhuo Xiang Ming played with him for a long time, afterwards, he could only weakly lie on his stomach, not even able to cry.
Zhuo Xiang Ming just finished the second round, his forehead was dotted with perspiration, and he was also panting a little. He leaned over and turned Tong Yan over into a hug: “Tong Tong?”
Tong Yan closed his eyes before lifelessly saying, “You’re too rough. Just now, I told you not so fast, but you didn’t listen.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming brushed away the sweaty hair on his forehead, chuckling lowly, then he kissed him again.
Tong Yan originally only felt tired, but he unconsciously pulled back his lower leg and suddenly felt that something was flowing out, a lot of it, he couldn’t contain it at all.
The feeling of shame quickly enclosed his mind, he turned his head and stuck his heated eyes to Zhuo Xiang Ming’s shoulder, sobbing out: “I really hate you!”
Zhuo Xiang Ming pulled out a towelette to wipe him, then carried him to the bath. The hot water hit his body. Tong Yan was just starting to feel less annoyed with Zhuo Xiang Ming when the necessary steps to clean up pulled at his pathetically thin skin again. During the process of guiding fingers in and out, he swore to Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Just wait and see, I’m ignoring you tomorrow.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming just hugged him tightly. After a long while, he still wasn’t finished, and Tong Yan’s temper was still at a standstill. He covered his stomach and said: “You got me pregnant.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming immediately laughed and lovingly kissed his head.
When they laid back down on the bed, Tong Yan was heartily hugged by Zhuo Xiang Ming. He was about to fall asleep, but Zhuo Xiang Ming kept asking: “Are you going to ignore me tomorrow?”
What else could Tong Yan say? He was so sleepy that he couldn’t even open his mouth, but he still had to promise that he wouldn’t ignore him. Zhuo Xiang Ming asked to not be ignored a few times, and he promised five hundred times before Zhuo Xiang Ming let him sleep.
The next weekend, they visited the Zhuo family as usual. On the way, they stopped for a while and Zhuo Xiang Ming got out of the car to buy a small cake.
Lin Yue Hua had recently changed her medicine, she looked very haggard. Tong Yan had visited two days ago and accompanied her for the afternoon. Afraid she was tired, he returned home in the evening.
Seeing him carrying a schoolbag, Lin Yue Hua asked: “Is there class on Monday?”
Tong Yan: “Yes, in fact, we have to go in tomorrow afternoon, but classes officially start on Monday.”
It was mainly Tong Yan and Lin Yue Hua chatting, with Zhuo Xiang Ming sitting beside him. Sometime later, Zhuo ZhengDe called him for some matter, and the two went upstairs to the studio.
After Zhuo Xiang Ming left, Lin Yue Hua was silent for a while, reaching out to pull down the sleeves of the sweater that Tong Yan had rolled up because of the heat.
When Tong Yan raised his arm, he discovered a bright red mark on the side of his wrist—it looked very ambiguous, but it actually wasn’t made by Zhuo Xiang Ming. It was because he bumped his hand on the sink that morning while he was still in a daze. At that time, tears came out because of the pain, but Zhuo Xiang Ming wasn’t present, so he endured the pain until it faded.
But it was useless to say any more. For something like this, no matter how he explained it, it would sound like a cover up. He sincerely explained for a moment, and Lin Yue Hua smiled and nodded, but she still had on a knowing expression. Tong Yan tried to be as shameless as possible, feigning nonchalance.
He pretended to be nonchalant until he averted his eyes, but Lin Yue Hua just smiled and sized him up.
Tong Yan was really young, and his heart was also really good. It was only recently that Lin Yue Hua felt the hypocrisy of the Zhuo family with the benefit of hindsight.
Hypocrite, Lao Yin Gou. Tong Yan and Zhuo Xiang Ming were not present during the marriage negotiation, where Tong Li Qin openly cursed Zhuo ZhengDe with those words. It was very unpleasant to watch, but it was also hindering Tong Yan’s own happiness. Although he was young, the marriage was already done, there was no reason to divorce and get re-married a few years later when he was older. Only then did Tong Li Qin swallow that tone.
At that time, Lin Yue Hua was only absorbed in feeling joyful, but now that she thought about it, if the seats were switched, and Tong Yan was her son, she would surely be reluctant.
Still so young, sometimes appearing sensible, but actually still a child. She recalled a time before the holiday, it was cold that day. When Tong Yan entered the door, there was a placard hanging on his neck, following the wobbling movements of letting go of his school bag and bending over to change his shoes. He obediently followed behind Zhuo Xiang Ming, inevitably appearing timid.
If his biological mother was still here, she wouldn’t have let him get this kind of illness, and she also wouldn’t have been willing to let her 18 year-old boy go out and start a family.
Human hearts were made of flesh, whenever Tong Yan called her mother, even more diligently than Zhuo Xiang Ming and Zhuo Jia Shuo, she couldn’t help but feel guilty.
”Mom?” Tong Yan called out nervously.
”Aiya.” Lin Yue Hua wiped her eyes and said with a smile, “I’ve recently switched my medicine, everywhere feels uncomfortable. My bones ache when I lie down, and my eyes get restless after sitting for a while.”
Tong Yan pursed his lips and asked in a low voice: “Is it very painful?”
Lin Yue Hua patted his hand: “I’ll be happier if you guys visit often.”
Tong Yan hurriedly said: “We’ll come when Zhuo Xiang Ming has time.”
”He never visited so many times in one year before.” Lin Yue Hua said, “Now that I think about it, he was so stubborn then. If he wasn’t satisfied with something, he wouldn’t meet us for months.”
”Ah.” Tong Yan blinked, “He must’ve been too busy before. My dad was also like that. He’s not so busy lately, but unfortunately I don’t live at home anymore.”
Lin Yue Hua saw that Tong Yan himself didn’t know. In the beginning, it was because Zhuo Xiang Ming saw that he was willing to get close to her that Zhuo Xiang Ming gradually started bringing him there more often.
After Tong Yan arrived, the atmosphere in the house was much better than before, and the atmosphere between father and son, mother and son, and older and younger brother wasn’t as tense.
Lin Yue Hua: “You two take care of yourselves.”
Tong Yan promised: “Yes, Mom.”
Lin Yue Hua hadn’t forgotten the red mark on Tong Yan’s wrist after all, so that evening, Tong Yan experienced the event of being called to the kitchen by Lin Yue Hua for the first time.
”… Don’t be afraid of him, and you also don’t have to indulge his shortcomings all the time. Although he’s older than you, he’s still young, sometimes he’s heavy handed and leaves a piece here and there. If you get hurt, he won’t know, so you cannot always just endure it. Remember that, okay?”
Lin Yue Hua said a lot, Tong Yan’s face was already completely red.
It seemed that this kitchen wasn’t a pleasant place. It wasn’t a good thing to always be curious about other people’s secrets, wasn’t this his karma?
After seeing him nod, Lin Yue Hua said: “I asked him his intentions. He said that you guys don’t plan to have children for the time being. He’s thinking about you, and that’s a must, but Mom also wanted to tell you in person. Our family doesn’t have any sort of requirement for an offspring right after marriage. You can just relax and study. Whatever happens, happens. We’re a family, you know that you can tell me all your worries, right?”
Tong Yan’s face was still red, he blinked, then said: “I know.”
Say it again! – 再说试试!, literally “say again have a try!” I can only guess that the ‘试试’ is used for emphasis, like, “I dare you to say it again!”
Hypocrisy- 不地道, Lit. ‘not authentic’, also slang for impure, hypocrite, or a person who does bad things in secret
Lao Yin Gou- Some curse/slang. Lit. ‘old yin dog’. Commonsense says that since yin refers to females, it’s slang for ‘old female dog’, or ‘old bitch’. But I couldn’t find an English translation online so I can only guess.
but it was also hindering Tong Yan’s own happiness- 但又碍着是童宴自己喜欢的, unsure of translation
Human hearts were made of flesh- Meaning, humans are capable of compassion
This chapter was very disjointed, so it was particularly hard/annoying to translate. Doesn’t help that I had to work overtime every day for the past month, so I had no free time. Still alive tho.