Shen Yanming muttered a few words but was quite decisive in his actions.
Carrying his belongings, he walked back while singing a sad song, “Little white cabbage, turning yellow in the field, two or three years old, without a mother~”1Metaphorically, it conveys a sense of loss, longing, and vulnerability.
Just like a young cabbage plant turning yellow without a mother to care for it, it may symbolize a feeling of being alone or abandoned.
This caught He Changkong off guard and left him feeling a bit guilty.
He even changed his mind, suggesting, “I was just casually mentioning it.
Maybe you should…”
Shen Yanming coolly withdrew his hand, gesturing as if to halt the conversation.
“No need, it’s time for me to wean off.
There are some storms I need to face on my own.
You don’t need to worry about me… Seriously.”
He intended to project a nonchalant aura, a wave of the hand that didn’t carry away a single cloud.2a wave of the hand that didn’t carry away a single cloud: leaving without leaving a trace, having a nonchalant or carefree departure.
It’s often used to describe someone who exits a situation smoothly and effortlessly, without causing any disturbance or disruption.
However, as he pulled his hand away, the blanket and pillow slipped, almost falling to the floor.
He hastily bent down to retrieve them, his posture far from graceful.
In short, his attempt at being suave failed.
Shen Yanming readjusted his hold on his belongings, resting his chin on the pillow as if the previous embarrassment had never occurred.
He turned around to face He Changkong, making a slight bowing motion then cleared his throat and said in a joking tone, “Your Majesty, if you ever want to bestow your favor upon your humble servant, just send me a WeChat message.”
He Changkong: “…”
Shen Yanming continued in a teasing manner, “It takes three minutes to make instant noodles, but all I need is a ‘Are you there?’ to be ready…”
He Changkong: “Are you there?”
At first, it didn’t click in Shen Yanming’s mind.
He thought He Changkong was saying something like “stop,” so he instinctively responded with some self-deprecating humor, “Hahaha, is that too old-fashioned?”
Only after he finished did he realize that something was off.
Not only did Kong ge not stop him from being cheesy, he even played along?
In truth, some of these jokes weren’t particularly funny, but the sight of serious and sincere Kong ge playing along made it oddly amusing to Shen Yanming.
So, he buried his face in the pillow he was holding, his shoulders shaking as he burst into laughter, saying, “Not here.”
Meanwhile, the initiator, He Changkong, acted as if nothing had happened.
He merely said, “You should go back first.
I have… something to attend to tonight.”
Lifting his head, Shen Yanming composed his expression, though the glint of amusement remained evident in his eyes.
He replied, “Alright.”
In truth, he had a hunch about what might be bothering He Changkong.
After all, they had been practically glued together for almost 24 hours a day—training, competing, and even returning to their rooms together.
It was getting to the point where they had less personal space than a couple in love.
So, Shen Yanming threw out a few playful remarks just for the fun of it and then, very sensibly, made his exit.
As Shen Yanming stepped outside, he coincidentally ran into a few teammates carrying potted plants.
Meng Yan was carrying one, while Pudding, with twin ponytails, stood behind directing him where to place it.
Both of them were surprised to see Shen Yanming come out, and they asked with concern.
Shen Yanming didn’t waste this chance to put on a performance.
He barely needed any preparation to assume the expression of an abandoned puppy: “My wife kicked me out, wuwu.”
Meng Yan placed a seemingly small money tree at the end of the corridor and commented, “Bicker at the head of the bed, make peace at the foot.
If worst comes to worst, you can kneel on the keyboard.”
Shen Yanming was dissatisfied with this suggestion.
“The keyboard is my first wife! How can I kneel on it? What if I break it? How am I supposed to play matches then?”
“It doesn’t matter,” Meng Yan grumbled, “And what about me? My precious hands are being used to move potted plants.
If I accidentally drop it and it smashes, I’ll have to retire from the competition tomorrow.”
This piqued Shen Yanming’s curiosity about their late-night potted plant-moving endeavor.
“Where did you get these from?”
Meng Yan explained, “We went to get some late-night snacks just now, and we saw someone selling them by the roadside.
The guy claimed that putting them in the corridor on the second floor would bring good fortune.
He insisted on buying them.
As Meng Yan shifted the position of the potted plant, Pudding, wearing slippers, lightly kicked Meng Yan’s butt and said, “I said I’d move them…”
Meng Yan: “You ‘move’ them? You just finished your physiotherapy.
You don’t want your shoulder anymore?”
Hearing this, Shen Yanming grew concerned, “Ding Ding, are you in pain again?”
Shen Yanming thought to himself, “People don’t shed tears until they see the coffin.” After discussing this with Pudding before, he had mentioned it a few times, but each time, Pudding seemed to brush it off.
This time was no different.
Pudding replied with words that could be true or false, looking like he wanted to casually pass it off, “No, no, I’m just being cautious.
Yan Shen is making a fuss over nothing.” As he spoke, he playfully kicked Meng Yan’s butt again.
Meng Yan stood up in exasperation.
“Is my butt some kind of toy?”
Pudding commented, “Yes, It’s a fun and bouncy toy.”
Meng Yan feigned a kick toward Pudding.
Pudding dodged and playfully said, “Hey, you can’t reach me.”
Shen Yanming realized he should change his approach.
He should probably go to the therapist and get some professional advice.
What an authoritative figure says is usually more effective than what he can say.
If that didn’t work, he could always resort to extreme measures like tying Pudding up and dragging him there.
While he contemplated this, he said with a yawn, “Is it really bouncy? Let me try.”
After saying that, he yawned.
They were just joking about playing with butts at He Changkong’s door.
In reality, when Shen Yanming had just come out, the door wasn’t properly closed, so he inadvertently overheard their conversation.
He Changkong opened the door.
“What are you guys playing?”
Shen Yanming: “…butts.” The word Shen Yanming used to describe it was so light that it was nearly inaudible if you didn’t pay close attention.
He wasn’t sure why he felt so guilty, as if he were a cheating scoundrel caught in the act by his wife.
Meng Yan came to Shen Yanming’s rescue.
“Don’t you know about ‘Overwatch’?” This was another game, also known as “butts.”
He Changkong: “…”
Pudding added, “By the way, Luan Jiang, I bought hair bleach and hair dye.
How about we touch up each other’s colors later?”
The topic shifted abruptly, and it wasn’t clear whether Pudding was intentionally changing the subject.
Nevertheless, at this moment, it was a lifesaver for Shen Yanming.
He Changkong naturally overheard too and issued a reminder, “Don’t stay up too late.”
Shen Yanming quickly agreed, though he wasn’t sure if he took He Changkong’s advice to heart.
He returned to his room and put away his things, and after they had arranged the potted plants, he followed Pudding to his room.
It was indeed getting late.
Shen Yanming’s biological clock had become quite regular lately.
At this hour, he was already starting to feel drowsy.
If someone handed him a pillow, he could fall asleep in a second.
However, Pudding’s enthusiastic invitation was hard to decline, so he decided to join in the fun of tinkering with their hair.
Pudding began by bleaching Shen Yanming’s hair roots.
Following the instructions on the package, he carefully applied the mixture.
It started out fine, but later on, it got a bit boring, and Shen Yanming’s eyes started to droop.
Seeing Shen Yanming looking so sleepy, Pudding sighed, “Hey, how about I finish up for you today, and you can do mine tomorrow? You look like you’re about to fall asleep.”
Shen Yanming squinted his eyes, “That won’t do.
We’re brothers, and I can’t be the only one looking handsome.”
“Fine,” Pudding continued, “how about this? Finish up, and then you can just sleep over at my place.”
Without much thought, Shen Yanming replied, “That won’t work.”
Pudding paused in his actions.
Although he said he could alternate between sleeping at Pudding’s place tonight and somewhere else tomorrow, for some reason, the thought of sharing a bed with someone else felt awkward.
It’s not like Kong ge; it’s a different situation with him.
After declining Pudding’s offer, Shen Yanming started a half-hearted conversation on a different topic.
It wasn’t clear how long they had spent on their hair, but after washing up, Shen Yanming was so sleepy that he could hardly keep his eyes open.
He was supposed to wait for Pudding to blow dry his hair, but as he sat on the floor leaning against the bed, he unintentionally began nodding off.
On the other side, He Changkong sticking to his elderly schedule, had said he was going to sleep early.
However, he found himself lying in bed, staring into the darkness, unable to fall asleep.
Closing his eyes, He Changkong’s mind was filled with the image of Shen Yanming’s face.
On this night—or rather, even in the earlier nights—He Changkong realized that his feelings of love were beginning to bloom.
Love, to He Changkong, was a rather vague concept.
What a good love should be like, he had never witnessed with his own eyes.
His parents had divorced when he was very young.
He lived with his mother and rarely saw his father.
However, he was familiar with his father’s presence, as his mother had molded him to be just like his father.
His father’s every move exuded a gentlemanly demeanor, and therefore, he too could never behave in any manner deemed improper.
Even a smile too exuberant would invite criticism.
His father was a professor at a university, highly educated, which meant that even when he could barely spell some difficult words, He Changkong was forced to read intricate and complex books.
Excelling in studies was always expected, and doing well in exams was simply a given; not doing well would lead to endless complaints from his mother—
“Your father already looks down on me.
Now that you’ve scored like this, are you trying to make my child be looked down upon by him as well?”
In reality, his grades were always exceptional.
Sometimes, he would merely make a mistake on one question, but his overall performance would still be miles ahead of the second-best student.
He couldn’t comprehend why it seemed that no matter what he did, he couldn’t earn approval.
Just as he couldn’t fathom why everyone said children were the embodiment of their parents’ love, yet his parents were like this?
His mother, holding onto grudges, probably still loved his father, but then why was love so distressing?
He couldn’t understand the beauty of love that everyone sang praises of.
As he grew a bit older, there was no shortage of admirers expressing their affection for him at school.
He knew he possessed good looks and had decent grades, so logically, he understood why he could easily capture the attention of girls his age.
Yet, he didn’t experience the restlessness that many of his male peers did.
When they talked about the sweet troubles unique to adolescence, he felt like an outsider in a different world.
He sometimes even wondered if being with a girl and eventually marrying her would lead her to a fate similar to that of his mother.
With such questions in mind, it became difficult for him to harbor any fantasies about love.
Of course, he believed he was a normal person, and he assumed that one day he would fall in love with someone.
However, that “one day” seemed too distant for him, especially because he had current goals he was pursuing.
As a result, he never really thought about this matter.
Little did he know that this day, like a gentle spring rain, would arrive without any fanfare, catching him off guard.
Of course, it wasn’t to the extent of love.
But it was definitely a liking.
Not too long ago, he hadn’t figured it out.
In a fleeting moment, he saw Shen Yanming’s radiant smile.
That smile was like a key, unlocking a drawer in his heart, revealing the answer he had been seeking.
He should have figured it out sooner, but he never thought he would develop a fondness for someone of the same sex.
Therefore, he never associated those preferences with the concept of liking.
… So, it was actually liking.
For others, perhaps liking was just that—liking.
There was no need to scrutinize where this liking came from.
However, He Changkong was determined to understand it thoroughly.
He thought that it might be because Shen Yanming had never concealed his admiration and praise for him.
When he looked at him, there seemed to be a light in his eyes, which greatly satisfied the feeling of recognition he had longed for.
Of course, he had received praise from others too, quite a lot, in fact.
In school, others called him a top student, and later, when he played games, everyone jokingly called him a gaming god.
But these praises, in essence, weren’t for him but for the position he held.
If someone else became the top student, they would still call them a top student.
If he performed poorly in a match, the people who praised him yesterday would quickly withdraw their support tomorrow.
Shen Yanming, however, was different.
Whether he stood at the pinnacle or fell into the abyss, Shen Yanming always stood by his side, unwaveringly supporting him.
In their previous life, when they hadn’t interacted much, someone on a forum had mockingly criticized him for lacking flexibility and not knowing how to switch teams, claiming he was wasting his great potential.
At that time, there was a user named “shenbigbird” that had argued with others for several pages, scolding them, “What do you know? Are you more knowledgeable about him than he is? Everyone has their own beliefs and dreams.
He is an unshakable god in my heart.” Others criticized this person as a brainwashed fan, but he confidently retorted, “Yes, I am indeed a die-hard fan of Kong.
What’s it to you?”
Back then, He Changkong didn’t know this was Shen Yanming; he just found the username intriguing.
He was appreciative of the prolonged argument, so he formed a faint impression.
Only recently did he suddenly remember that this person should be Shen Yanming.
There should be more than just these reasons for his heart to flutter.
When Pudding took out the hairdryer, he noticed that Shen Yanming had already fallen asleep.
He patted Shen Yanming’s face, saying, “Luan Jiang, wake up.
Dry your hair before sleeping.”
Shen Yanming mumbled indistinctly, “Don’t dry, take it away.”
Pudding stared in disbelief, “…Are you really that sleepy?”
Shen Yanming, “zzzzz…”
Pudding reached over to pinch Shen Yanming’s ear, scolding, “Then you better wake up.
What’s with sleeping on the floor? Go to bed.”
Shen Yanming winced from the pinch, finally gaining some clarity, “Ah, ah, ah, let go.”
Pudding released his grip.
Shen Yanming struggled to open his eyes and stood up, saying, “I won’t sleep here.
I’m going back.”
Pudding was speechless, “Just go.”
As Shen Yanming left, he was actually half-asleep, wandering back upstairs.
Out of habit, he turned the doorknob of a room without turning on the lights and drifted inside in the darkness.
He Changkong was still contemplating the reasons behind his feelings, yet hadn’t arrived at a conclusion when he heard the door being turned open.
He had forgotten to lock the door.
At that moment, he squinted toward the door and asked, “Who’s there?”
He didn’t hear an answer, but not long after, he felt some weight pressing down on him.
Shen Yanming had mistaken He Changkong for a pillow.
He intertwined his arms and legs around him, finding a comfortable position, and mumbled, “This is the proper way to sleep… zzzzz…”
Is he really asleep or awake? Is he sleepwalking?
Next day’s Luan luanzi: OmO What did I do!
Thank you for reading!
Hope you enjoy the rest of your day
If you like reading my translations, do consider supporting me with ko-fi
1Metaphorically, it conveys a sense of loss, longing, and vulnerability.
Just like a young cabbage plant turning yellow without a mother to care for it, it may symbolize a feeling of being alone or abandoned.2a wave of the hand that didn’t carry away a single cloud: leaving without leaving a trace, having a nonchalant or carefree departure.
It’s often used to describe someone who exits a situation smoothly and effortlessly, without causing any disturbance or disruption.
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