A JOURNEY OF LOVE
Editor: Sae & Alec
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During the first day inside the dark and cold tunnel, Gu Yang secretly prayed that Gu Wei Ting would not discover his existence too early. In this way, not only would it give Gu Hai a bit more time to fight his way out but the two could also escape without any hindrance.
Once the second day arrived, Gu Yang found it slightly difficult to endure the harsh conditions. Simply put, this tunnel was not meant for a human being to stay in. For someone like Gu Yang, it felt like he was being cooked in pot of cold stew. If it was just a matter of it being the cold weather, then he could easily handle it. But, the main problem was the dampness. Since Gu Yang has sensitive skin, it took only about ten hours for the painful itches to form and spread throughout the surface of his body. When the itches became too unbearable, Gu Yang would frequently untie the rope around his wrists and scratch his skin to relieve himself. Nonetheless, even as he suffered, he still prayed to the Heaven that Gu Wei Ting would come down a little later. This way, Gu Hai could run a bit further.
When the third day finally rolled in, Gu Yang started to curse in anger.
Gu Wei Ting, you ruthless fascist! Gu Hai is your son! He’s been in the tunnel for eight days already!! Think about it, eight full days without eating, drinking or sleeping; don’t mention a human being, even Superman would die!! Even if you’re ready to punish your own family for justice, can’t you at least look at your son’s corpse? Don’t tell me that you want to save some expenses on cremation, so you resorted to directly burying your son down here like this, is that it?
With resentment, Gu Yang picked up the water bottle beside him but before he managed to take a sip, he discovered that it was already empty.
Gu Yang’s body had long been ridden with frostbites that seemed to have drilled into his bones, leaving him numb… Aside from his stomach, he has lost all feeling in all the other vital organs in his body. Even worse, the only food supply that could possibly keep him alive was also scarce.
With each passing minute, Gu Yang’s admiration towards Gu Hai increased to a whole new level. He couldn’t even start to imagine how Gu Hai could endure such a dreadful situation without any water for the past five days. Not only that, he was still able to walk properly after being pulled out of the tunnel!
What a fucking capable person!
But when Gu Yang pondered on it a bit longer, there was something else that influenced him to be such a capable person.
Someone like Gu Hai was able to survive under these harsh conditions was purely due to an unprecedented sense of willpower and motivation that drove him forward. Inadvertently, it was worth it for him to endure all these hardships. But what the hell am I doing here? Is it for the sake of protecting their love? What does their love have to do with me? Haven’t I been against their relationship the entire time?
Poor, pitiful Gu Yang. Even after enduring this senseless torment for three days, he still doesn’t know why he let himself be reeled into it.
One hour…I’m going to give you only one more hour. If you don’t save me in an hour, I’ll!!… I’ll climb up by myself!
During this entire ordeal, there was one other person experiencing this torment with Gu Yang. This person was none other than Sun Jingwei. Every single night as he closed his eyes and allowed sleep to overtake him, he suffered from horrible nightmares. In these dreams, Gu Hai would struggle and cry out for help with tears–that have been mixed with dirt–rolling down his face.
For the last three days, Sun Jingwei’s complexion has gradually changed from a somewhat healthy wheat-colored tone into an unsightly sallow shade of brown. Unsurprisingly, even his spirit was subjected to an agonizing torment. His tolerance toward this cruel act has been completely destroyed, leaving behind only sympathy to riddle his mind. For him, nothing is more important than a human life. He would rather be demoted than look on without helping as a child lay dying beneath his room.
As a matter of fact, an hour before, Gu Yang had already prepared to climb out. However, his hands and feet were bound. During the past two days, he could untie the ropes with much ease. But unfortunately, he was met with complete disaster today. This time around, both his hands have already gone numb, and as a result, he couldn’t even summon an ounce of strength to tear at the rope. Nevertheless, it was also thanks to his inability to untie the ropes that the time was delayed, or else his efforts for the last two days would have been in vain.
Meanwhile, Sun Jingwei had removed the floorboard and proceeded to make his way into the tunnel.
In that moment, Gu Yang had already wriggled himself towards this opening of the tunnel. In turn, this would allow the unaware Sun Jingwei to have a much better chance of finding him. Once Sun Jingwei came close to where Gu Yang was laying, Gu Yang was suddenly frightened to the point that the hairs on his skin stood tall and it was not from the cold this time.
Where the hell did he come from? The opening of the tunnel is obliviously closed!
After his initial panic had settled, Gu Yang was suddenly dragged by a powerful force from the other opening of the tunnel. As soon as his eyes came into contact with the bright light, his entire body became rigid as stone.
Gu Hai, you bastard! I’ll fucking kill you!!! Why didn’t you tell me that there’s another opening right here? If you’ve told me earlier, I would have fucking escaped already!!!
After this realization, Gu Yang tried to calm his aching nerves from exploding. Since his face was covered with a thick layer of mud as dark as the night sky, it was hard to make out his features clearly. Due to this, Sun Jingwei mistook him as Gu Hai.
“Xiao Hai, I remember the day you went down, you weren’t tied up like this. This… why are you tied up now?” Sun Jingwei was about to untie the ropes around Gu Yang’s body but he was stopped in his tracks by just a few words from the person in front of him.
“Uncle Sun, it’s me, Gu Yang.”
Sun Jingwei’s expression went dull immediately. Then, as he carefully looked at the trussed up man once more, he finally realized that it really wasn’t Gu Hai.
Gu Yang spoke first, “Quick, call my uncle. I have something important to discuss with him.”
In less than a minute, Gu Wei Ting came bursting into the room.
Once Gu Yang saw Gu Wei Ting, his face that was drawn with great injustice like that of Dou E’spitiful situation, instantly looked as though he is ready to take down the opponent that appeared in front of him.
“Uncle, you have to find justice for me!” Gu Yang waved his hands and feet, intentionally showing Gu Wei Ting the ropes. “When I came to look for you that day, I had orignally wanted to try and persuade Gu Hai. But! Who would’ve thought the brat had such an evil scheme in mind! He tied me up and shoved me into the tunnel. If Uncle Sun didn’t pull me out in time, I would’ve died in the tunnel by now!”
After listening to Gu Yang’s explanation, Gu Wei Ting’s expression was simply drawn with a complete sense of loss. But no matter how furious he was, he must undo the ropes on Gu Yang’s body first.
“Didn’t you send me a message before you left that day?”
Gu Yang forced a bitter smile, “Gu Hai walked out of here wearing my clothes. Think about it, how could I have sent you that message?”
An image of a powerful and magnificent hurricane was engraved on Gu Wei Ting’s face like a live painting.
Two days ago, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai diligently loaded their cars with food and clothes. Under Bai Han Qi’s earnest and attentive gaze, they officially set out together on a journey of elopement.
Bai Han Qi watched, seemingly lost in thought, as the shadows of the two cars gradually disappeared into the distance.
“Hey, I don’t really know if doing this is for their own good or will it harm them instead…..” Aunt Zou’s face was filled with anxiety when she expressed her concern.
Hearing those words, Bai Han Qi laughed thoughtlessly, “We’ll just give it a try. Not preparing might turn out to be a good thing.”
“Try it out?” Aunt Zou suddenly pinched Bai Han Qi’s cheek, “Is there any father out there like you? You’re carelessly treating your son’s youth like an experiment! What if it fails, who will take responsibility and compensate for it?”
“In life, there’s no direct path that will genuinely lead to true success or complete failure. Every single step taken is a meaningful experience. Walking on a crooked path isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And at the same time, walking on the correct path the entire time isn’t necessarily a good thing either.”
“That seems reasonable enough……” Aunt Zou’s brows rose as she shot Bai Han Qi a side glance.
Bai Han Qi laughed mischievously, “Of course it is. For young people like them, traveling the world is not a bad thing. Who on earth hasn’t done a few absurd or idiotic things during their lifetime?! Just look at such an honest and well-behaved man like me. When I was young, I still managed to do one or two groundbreaking things by myself.”
“What groundbreaking things?” Aunt Zou asked.
“At that time, my parents were completely against my marriage with Jiang Yuan, but I was bold enough to follow my dreams. They also used all means possible to obstruct our marriage. Let me tell you, they even threatened to disown me. Despite it all, I refused to compromise with them. It’s our love, so why should other people have a decision in it?!!” Bai Han Qi’s expression was packed with pride and dignity.
“And then what happened?” Aunt Zou asked intentionally.
Bai Han Qi’s shoulders collapsed as he answered, “After that, we divorced…”
“From your words, isn’t it clear that this was a bad decision then?” Aunt Zou’s voice carried a hint of anger, “But you still allowed them to leave!”
“With that said, if I hadn’t divorced Jiang Yuan at that time, would I have been able to remarry again? Would I have met you?”
Aunt Zou was rendered speechless, “…”
Having said that, Bai Han Qi became even more pleased with himself, “That’s why everything has its own advantages and disadvantage. The key is knowing at what given time do you measure its worth. I am a man who has faith in life. I believe that in your life, there exists a meeting with another person that is carefully planned by the Heavens. When the time comes, you will encounter such a person, a kind person possibly. But at times, you will also encounter some disasters. Honestly, for those kinds of matter, even if you want to avoid them, you can’t…”
Aunt Zou heaved a heavy sigh, “It’s such a pity. Yin Zi’s homeroom teacher called us yesterday. I was told that Yin Zi achieved brilliant results in every competition he participated in. Because of this, the school is considering giving him a recommendation for a university without him having to take the entrance examination. They also mentioned that Yin Zi should return to school and decide on this matter as soon as possible.”
“Huh?” Bai Han Qi’s complexion paled, “When did this happen? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“I’ve told you already. I explained it to you last night. You even said ‘yeah’ to me.”
Bai Han Qi suddenly hit his forehead, “Oh no, I must’ve fallen asleep already at that time.”
“You regret it now?” Aunt Zou asked.
“……How can that be?” Bai Han Qi laughed awkwardly, while maintaining his ‘wise man’ like’ image, “This was a decision that I made after carefully thinking it all through. How can I simply go back on my words?!”
Aunt Zou merely nodded her head in response and said, “Well, let’s go home then.”
As Bai Han Qi turned around and began to walk, a subtle thought floated into his mind, but at that time, he didn’t voice it so as to avoid it. After feeling stifled for a while, he couldn’t help but to ask. “Did that teacher say which university they want to recommend him to?”
There was moment of silence before Aunt Zou replied, still somewhat hesitant, “It should be Qinghua University. In anycase, if it’s not Qinghua University, then it’s Beijing University.”
At the mention of those two universities, Bai Han Qi’s tense body immediately twirled at full speed. Within just seconds, his clumsy legs rushed off in the direction that Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin had driven away in. He shouted at the top of his lungs, hoping that maybe his voice would be heard. “SON! My brilliant son……”
Meanwhile, Aunt Zou hastily ran after him. With just a few large strides, she was able to grab hold of him. With a flustered and exasperated expression, she scolded him, “Why are you chasing after him now, huh? They are long gone!.”
A mask of distress settled cozily on Bai Han Qi’s fine face.
Sighing yet again, Aunt Zou resorted to dragging Bai Han Qi back, “Enough. Just accept your fate. This is also a part of Heaven’s plan. You won’t be able to catch up to them.”
Bai Han Qi gritted his teeth, “The Heavens are really despicable!”
On the road, Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin drove in separate cars. Surprisingly, neither of them showed any sign of fear in having to escape in the middle of a difficult situation, or of having to be far away from their families. Instead, what hovered over them was the fresh and brilliant color of youth. Perhaps this brilliance occurred after they had experienced all those tribulations along with the immense pressure that they have endured to get this far. So now that they are finally free, they suddenly discovered that being alive is truly a beauty that should be held at the highest degree.
Rather than confining yourself in a cage, which doesn’t only harm you but also others, it is better to escape and enjoy the freedom and happiness to your heart’s content.
In their mind, this is only one of the many journeys that they will both take in their life together. Why not take advantage of their youth and go crazy while living to the fullest?!
Once they arrived at a desolate countryside bordering the mountain range, the two cars gradually slowed down before coming to a complete stop.
“Do you want to take a leak?” Gu Hai asked.
Bai Luo Yin nodded his head.
Finding that simple gesture rather lovable, Gu Hai grinned at him, “Then, let’s go together.”
Bai Luo Yin easily pushed Gu Hai to the side, “You better keep your distance from me.”
Instead of complying to those words, Gu Hai simply took out his huge cock; all the while, a wide and bright smile still lie across his face.
Sighing, Bai Luo Yin grabbed Gu Hai’s body and turned him to the other side so that both of them were standing back to back.
“That won’t do!” Gu Hai cried out as he quickly turned his body back, “If I face that side, it’s going against the wind! Do you want me to piss all over myself?”
Bai Luo Yin’s shoulders quivered happily.
It has been a long time since Gu Hai had last seen Bai Luo Yin smile or laugh. The beauty that those smiles held was so radiant that the sight of it caused his heart to throb just a bit faster. As if captured by the moment, Gu Hai couldn’t restrain his eyes from drawing towards Bai Luo Yin’s seemingly dazzling face. His gaze trailed from the other boy’s face, then down a glance, then up a glance and back down again, lower and lower his stare went……
Bai Luo Yin cleared his throat, “Hey bro, you’re pissing on your hand.”
Pulled back from his daze, Gu Hai hastily look down.
“Where? My hands are dry.”
Meanwhile, Bai Luo Yin merely smiled without saying anything.
Gu Hai knew without being told that he was being fooled. So, as Bai Luo Yin fixed his pants, Gu Hai deliberately groped his round and plump butt cheeks a few times. Surprisingly, there was no retort.
After they finished settling their business, Bai Luo Yin–who loves being neat and clean–took out a bottle of water to pour it for Gu Hai to wash his hands.
“What a waste!” Gu Hai complained. Ever since he came out of the tunnel, he had notably adopted a great habit of conserving water.
Once their hands were cleaned, the two leaned against the car for a smoke.
While taking a look around the area Gu Hai asked, “Do you recognize this road?”
Without bothering to look, Bai Luo Yin simply shook his head, “I don’t recognize anything. This is the first time I traveled out this far.”
“Don’t tell me, you’ve never left Beijing before?”
“If you asked me this question two months ago, that’s what I’d definitely say. Unfortunately for you, I took a trip to Tianjin a while ago.”
“You went to Tianjin?” Gu Hai had not even an ounce of interest as he spoke, “What were you doing in Tianjin??”
“I went there with You Qi.”
Hearing those words, a hint of bitter jealousy began to saturate the air around them. Gu Hai lightly brushed away his cigarette butt while mocking Bai Luo Yin, “So, you’ve eloped with him before?”
Although he knew that Gu Hai said those words out of spite, Bai Luo Yin’s face still sank. Then he faintly said, “Believe it or not, I’ll drive the car back right now?”
Noting the sudden change in his complexion and his voice, Gu Hai chuckled for a moment. He faced Bai Luo Yin and inched closer before taking a bite of his chin. The scent of the cigarette wafted along his chin then into his breath, mingling with the scent of weeds and wild flowers. Combined together, they gave off a natural and unruly sense of excitement.
“Hurry up and decide. Where should our first stop be?” Gu Hai asked with one last pinch of Bai Luo Yin’s cheek.
Instead of helping, Bai Luo Yin made things even more difficult for Gu Hai, “I can’t think of anything in such a short time.”
Gu Hai contemplated for a while before speaking, “How about this? I have a trick.”
In the height of their youth, Bai Luo Yin watched on blankly as Gu Hai took off his shoe and threw it up in the air. Then with a thud, the shoe landed on the ground.
Their eyes simultaneously travel downward. The shoe pointed west.
“Okay, we’ll go that way then.”
In the end, Bai Luo Yin merely stared at Gu Hai, at loss for words, “……”
 Dou’e: the main female character from Chuzhou in a play (The Injustice to Dou E) written by Guan Hanqing. The story tells about a poor, innocent woman who was wronged, accused of killing, and tortured before she was sentenced to death. Before her execution, she swore that her innocence would be proven if three events occurred after she died, which were: her blood will spill on her clothes but it will not drip onto the ground, heavy snowfall will occur in the middle of the summer and the snow will cover her body, and Chuzou will experience drought for three years. The three events happened after Dou E’s death. Years later, when her spirit appeared before her father, her father reinvestigated her case and her innocence was brought to light. Then, the people who were involved in wronging her received their due punishments.
 Qinghua University and Peking University are two of the best academic institutions in China, both located in Beijing.
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