Temporarily Shifting the Conflict
Translate: Nancy | Edit: Sae
When Gu Yang walked back to Bai Luo Yin’s dorm, he saw him leaning against the sofa with half of his face hidden from the lights—his fatigued appearance exposed hints of mysteriousness. Without any particular expression, Gu Yang went to sit next to him. But when he noticed the floor covered with cigarette ashes, he asked faintly, “Have you been smoking here since I left?”
Bai Luo Yin remained silent.
Seeing that he didn’t respond, Gu Yang moved his face closer, but Bai Luo Yin quickly stretched his hand out to block his approaching lips from touching his cheeks.
“My face is covered in sweat, don’t dirty your mouth.”
A flicker of light sped by Gu Yang’s eyes, “Can’t we change the way we talk to each other?”
“We can,” Bai Luo Yin turned to look at him. “If you can carve the image ‘Along the River during the Qingming Festival’128 on an apple for me, then I will talk to you in a friendlier tone.”
Hearing that, Gu Yang’s expression changed before he took a deep breath. “Then why don’t you go make some midnight snacks for me. I’m hungry!”
Bai Luo Yin walked into the kitchen with a rather tragic appearance.
Just as he was about to start washing the vegetables, that spiteful and vindictive face appeared at the doorway of the kitchen again.
“I like food with strong flavors.”
Bai Luo Yin’s facetious gaze swept toward him for a second. “Strong flavors? How about I stir-fry a dish of white arsenic for you?”
“I don’t mind since we’ll be eating it together.”
“I can’t eat with you,” Bai Luo Yin diligently stood his ground. “As per my Wing Commander’s stern order, I am only allowed to consume pure fat and nothing else.”
“Zhou Ling Yun?” When Gu Yang read those three words out loud, his tone clearly carried a gust of aversion and animosity.
Bai Luo Yin disgustedly nodded his head. “Yes. In order to make my muscles firmer and fully developed, he has personally taken to strictly supervising my diet. If my stomach takes in anything other than fat, he will punish me.”
“How will he punish you?” Gu Yang asked.
Bai Luo Yin faintly smiled to himself, “Eat raw fat.”
Unsurprisingly, Gu Yang still took Bai Luo Yin’s words as a joke, but just as he turned around to walk out, a vomiting sound transmitted from behind. Hearing that, Gu Yang turned his head back around only to see that Bai Luo Yin was actually vomiting, and the substances that came out was white oily foam.
“Help me take that thing out of here!” Bai Luo Yin pointed at a piece of fatty meat on the cutting board.
Gu Yang picked up that piece of meat and stared at it for a few seconds before he swayed it in front of Bai Luo Yin. As expected, he vomited again.
“You’re actually not lying?” Gu Yang said to himself.
“Bullshit.” Bai Luo Yin said with an agonizing expression, “Hurry up and throw it out.”
Surprisingly, Gu Yang complied and threw that piece of fatty meat in the trash bin outside. Then he turned to look at Bai Luo Yin again and asked, “How much fat did you eat today?”
Bai Luo Yin gagged and threw up again.
Gu Yang’s expression did not expose a single hint of joy toward Bai Luo Yin’s misfortune, contrariwise, it became increasingly ugly.
Waving his hand, Bai Luo Yin quickly said, “Don’t talk about it that. Just hearing that word makes me want to vomit.”
With that, Gu Yang simply walked out of the kitchen only to reemerge a moment later.
“Eat this now.”
Bai Luo Yin’s gaze froze on the two pills in Gu Yang’s hand.
“Hurry up and take it so that you can continue cooking!”
You are indeed ruthless, Bai Luo Yin thought and gritted his teeth behind Gu Yang’s back.
When he smelled something burnt, Gu Yang walked into the kitchen only to find Bai Luo Yin—leaning forward on the kitchen counter next to the stove—fast asleep. Gu Yang rarely had any kind of virtuous intentions. What he had given Bai Luo Yin a moment ago was not antacid tablets to alleviate his stomachache but rather, sleeping pills that would allow him to rest a bit earlier.
However, just as Gu Yang was about to carry Bai Luo Yin into the room, the training alarm suddenly sounded. Bai Luo Yin woke up and ran out with eyes that had yet to be fully open.
As it turned out, earlier during the afternoon training session, Zhou Ling Yun had intentionally ordered someone to install a special siren in Bai Luo Yin’s dorm. If Zhou Ling Yun wanted to train him alone, all he had to do was press that special siren. That way, only Bai Luo Yin’s room will go off.
As a result, when Bai Luo Yin arrived at the training ground, he was the only person again.
Lucky there’s a fighter jet, Bai Luo Yin thought as he let out a sigh of relieve. It looks like tonight’s mission will mainly be in the fighter jet. That’s great…that meant there was no need for him to overly exert his strength.
Wait a second, why is there a long rope secured to the bottom of the fighter jet?
“Since you told me last time that your waist was also one of your flaws, we will properly cure it. Tie that rope around your waist and pull the jet with what strength you have there. I won’t ask too much from you. It’s really up to you now. You only have to pull it fifty meters, and once you’ve completely finished this mission tonight, you can go back to sleep.”
Bai Luo Yin, “…”
After nearly two hours of hard work, Bai Luo Yin only managed to pull the jet less than two meters. But even then, a red, aching burn mark from the rope had already appeared on his waist.
Zhou Ling Yun, who rarely showed any kindness to anyone, much less ‘the apple of his eyes’, said a few merciful words. “Let’s end it here. For now, you can go back, and rest first then continue with the remaining 48 meters tomorrow.”
However, Bai Luo Yin remained stubborn. “No, I must finish dragging it all 50 meters before I go back to sleep.”
Raising one of his brows, Zhou Ling Yun suddenly yawned. “Then I’m going to bed, you can stay here and drag it alone.”
Once he saw Zhou Ling Yun’s silhouette retreated far into the distance, Bai Luo Yin sneakily crept back to his dorm. The only difference was that, he did not return to sleep but rather, he had another motive.
Meanwhile, Gu Yang was leaning against the headboard having a smoke when he heard the door crack open. He looked up and squinted his eyes at Bai Luo Yin’s approaching figure.
“Did you finish your mission?”
“Not yet.” Bai Luo Yin quickly gulped down a few mouthfuls of water before he spoke but his voice could not at all conceal his exhaustion. “The Wing Commander allowed me to rest for ten minutes then I have to go back and continue.”
Seeing Bai Luo Yin drenched with sweat as if he had been splashed with water, Gu Yang could not help but make an inquiry. “What kind of mission is that difficult to complete?”
“Pulling a fighter jet with just my waist for 50 meters…” Bai Luo Yin casually said while using his sleeve to wipe the sweat. “I’ve pulled nearly two meters just now.”
Gu Yang sneered coldly, “Was that also Zhou Ling Yun’s stupid idea?”
Bai Luo Yin vaguely let out a ‘yeah’. But soon, unable to resist the exhaustion that flayed his body, he fell asleep while speaking. However, less than ten minutes later, he automatically got up and walked out again, staggering with his steps while wearing an exceptionally pained expression.
Once again, Gu Yang’s expression was somewhat unsightly.
In truth, Bai Luo Yin did not make a beeline to go complete his mission. But rather, he went to ferret a few soldiers that were still up chatting and dragged them all with him to the training ground. As a punishment, he ordered them to drag the fighter jet for ten meters before making them stand in a line to watch him sleep in the jet. While doing so, they also had to keep an eye out for any disturbance and remind him of time.
“Major, the time is up.”
Bai Luo Yin lazily stretched then got out of the cockpit, full of spirit and boundless energy as he walked toward the direction of his dorm. Once he arrived in front of his dorm, he naturally put on a wretched and painful expression, while grimacing in pain as he messaged his waist. Then, he gulped down some water, leaned back into the sofa and pretended to sleep. Ten minutes later, he abruptly got up again and walked out.
The moment he arrived at the training ground, Bai Luo Yin once again ordered those soldiers to drag the fighter jet for another ten meters, while he slept inside. Once the time was up, he went back to the dorm to take a nap again.
After seeing that torment occur three to four more times and noticing that the sun was about to rise, Gu Yang had yet to close his eyes to sleep.
When Bai Luo Yin returned to the dorm for the last time, Gu Yang looked at him and waved the blueprint in his hand. “Don’t go anymore. Get on the bed right now and go to sleep.”
As those words came to an end, Bai Luo Yin bit down on his own tongue until there was a small cut. Then, exerting all his strength, coughed hard enough that the saliva that came out had wisps of blood in it.
“There’s still one meter left,” Bai Luo Yin said with great difficulties.
Gu Yang waved the blueprint side to side again, “I’m not joking with you. If you dare to take even one step out of the dorm, this blueprint will fall into someone else’s hand tomorrow.”
“It’s better to provoke you than him.”
Bai Luo Yin threw out those words as he walked out of the dorm.
After he arrived at the training ground, he looked sternly at those soldiers and said: “You can all head back now. Remember, having a bed to sleep on is a blessing. If you don’t cherish it and use the time to sleep to hang around instead, then I will call all of you out here to drag more planes.”
Every soldier’s expressions were covered with nervousness that clearly indicated they will never make the same mistake again.
Looking as though he had just poured his heart and soul into teaching them a life-long lesson, Bai Luo Yin earnestly watched their figures fade while feeling a great pride of himself.
Immediately after, he fastened the rope around his waist and started to arduously fight to complete the last meter.
Not long after the soldiers had left, Gu Yang arrived at the training ground. Even though the sky was still laced with darkness, the silhouette that was fighting strenuously not too far in the distant was extremely clear. He had never before seen Bai Luo Yin in such a predicament. In his eyes, Bai Luo Yin had always been engulfed with a fearless and heroic sense of beauty that was mingled with arrogance and power. Most importantly, his head was forever held high, never once to easily revealed any of his weaknesses.
But at that moment, Gu Yang saw the weakness in Bai Luo Yin’s heart.
For the last eight years, how many inhuman training missions did Bai Luo Yin have to endure to make him completely despised himself like that?
Once he caught a glimpse of Gu Yang, Bai Luo Yin’s spirit soared even more. Furthermore, since he had replenished his energy from having slept earlier, the remaining meter was easily completed. However, not one to come out of his role, he nevertheless feigned to have no energy and collapsed on the ground as soon as he completed the mission.
At sunrise, Bai Luo Yin upheld high morale and poured all his energy into training without a hint of complaint.
However, Gu Yang, on the other hand, did not go to Gu Hai’s company, but rather, he went to another place.
In the afternoon, two plates comprised of only fatty meat was placed in front of Bai Luo Yin again. Zhou Ling Yun sat across from him and sternly watched as he completed today’s mission.
Suddenly, the door was kicked open and Gu Yang’s face appeared in front of them.
Zhou Ling Yun’s strict gaze swept toward Gu Yang for a glance before he casually spoke without any care. “I am not interested in you anymore. What are you doing here?”
Gu Yang had never met anyone as savage and inhumane as Zhou Ling Yun before. He had kidnapped him for no reason at all, then tortured him for quite a few days… worse, after learning that it was a mistake, not only did he not apologize, he merely put on a nonchalant expression that said ‘oh, it oughta be that way’ and called it a day.
Now, he even had the guts to say, ‘not interested’. Am I, Gu Yang, a person you can simply torment just because you were ‘interested’ and now that you are ‘not interested’, you think you’re the master that can merely kick me to the side? It appeared, he made the right move in coming here today. Even though, seeking revenge for Bai Luo Yin violated his principles but compared to Bai Luo Yin’s coldness and indifference toward him, Zhou Ling Yun’s arrogance seemed much more detestable!
“It can’t be helped. I am interested in you now.” Gu Yang said indifferently.
Just as those words dropped, the sound of sirens sailed in from outside before more than ten armed police and soldiers walked into the room. The leader of the squad stopped in front of Zhou Ling Yun and earnestly showed him some documents in his hand.
“Wing Commander Zhou, I’m sorry to say this but you have been suspected of selling national secrets. This is a signed order for your arrest.”
As expected of someone who was well-acquainted with the ways of the world and worthy of his title Zhou Ling Yun was able to maintain an expression that did not reveal any emotions after he heard those words.
“Alright then, I will go with you guys right now.”
He calmly held out his arms to allow the officer to cuff him before steadily walking out toward the police car parked outside. When he walked passed Gu Yang, he gave him a quick yet meaningful glance; if the look that appeared on his face were seen by the average person, they wouldn’t even be able to sleep with a peace of mind for the rest of their lives. But since the look was caught by Gu Yang, it at most, only made him felt awkward for a moment and nothing else.
Bai Luo Yin pretended to be enraged as he gripped Gu Yang’s collar. “You actually played for real?!”
“I’ve already warned you, but you didn’t cooperate.”
Bai Luo Yin’s expression held a bit of hesitation, without even a hint of spirit in his eyes.
Remaining unperturbed, Gu Yang kindheartedly reminded him: “Don’t worry, he won’t die. At most, he will only be tormented for a few days.”
No fucking shit! Of course, I know he won’t die… Bai Luo Yin secretly responded to himself. I also know that when he gets out, the two of you will engage in a fierce combat. At that time, I will call your kindhearted brother over to stand to the side and cheer for the two of you!
128 清明上河图—Along the River during the Qingming Festival (Up the River during Qingming, Qingming River View, 清明上河圖, pinyin: Qīngmíng Shànghé Tú) is a panoramic painting generally attributed to the Song dynasty artist Zhang Zeduan (張擇端, 1085–1145). It captures the daily life of people from the Song period at the capital, Bianjing, today’s Kaifeng in Henan. The theme celebrates the festive spirit and prosperous street scene at the Qingming Festival, rather than the holiday’s ceremonial aspects, such as tomb sweeping and prayers. (See other interpretations of the title below.) The entire piece was painted in the handscroll format and the content reveals the lifestyle of all levels of society from rich to poor as well as different economic activities in rural areas and the city. It offers glimpses of period clothing and architecture. As an artistic creation, the piece has been revered and court artists of subsequent dynasties have made many re-interpretive replicas.