Seldomly Revealed Tenderness
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Even after the sky had changed into an inky black canvas, Gu Hai was still waiting in the reception room. Each time the response for his request came back with a ‘he doesn’t want to see you’, his heart sank a bit more.
At that moment, Gu Hai became aware of how his negligence had deeply hurt Bai Luo Yin.
“How about you wait until after they go to sleep, and I’ll help you go ask him again? Maybe he will have some time then.”
Gu Hai seemed to have not heard the words coming from behind him since he had already caught sight of Bai Luo Yin’s silhouette on the third floor of the mess hall, not too far away. He was sitting down in a corner, eating something that Gu Hai could not make out. He could see Bai Luo Yin’s expression as he took big mouthfuls and chewed with difficulty before trying his best to swallow the food. Those things must have not been tasty, yet he had no choice but to eat them since he was hungry.
With almost three hundred meters of distance between them, Gu Hai could clearly feel the distress and pain settling heavily in Bai Luo Yin’s heart as if it was his own. He wanted to desperately walk over to Bai Luo Yin’s side and have a good look at him— to see whether he had gained or lost weight, sustained injuries or not, and also how his feelings were lately…
With that in mind, his foot subconsciously moved forward. However, his path was blocked by two armed soldiers in mere seconds.
“Mr. Gu, you cannot go in there.”
“Please don’t make it difficult for us.”
Gu Hai’s footstep was detained halfway there as his eyes fixated on Bai Luo Yin.
Yin Zi, you don’t miss me at all?
Separated by a glass panel, Bai Luo Yin looked on unfeelingly as Gu Hai drove away. A couple of tears were completely held back along with the swallowed bun.
“How’s the food here?” Gu Wei Ting asked, unaware of what had happened outside.
Bai Luo Yin’s spirit slowly returned as he indifferently replied, “It’s okay.”
Although he said that, Gu Wei Ting noticed that Bai Luo Yin did not eat the two plates of food in front of him.
“How come you’re not eating those? They will get cold if you don’t.”
With difficulty, Bai Luo Yin swallowed the steamed buns in his mouth in one go. Then, under Gu Wei Ting’s attentive gaze, he picked up his chopsticks and painstakingly reached for the plates without a hint of hesitation. Unfortunately, try as he might, it was hard to suppress the trembles that overtook his hands. Having gripped the control lever for such a long period of time, both of Bai Luo Yin’s arms had yet to return to normal, which in turn, made it impossible to hold anything firmly. For the past few days, if he wasn’t eating steamed buns, he would have meat patty—he hardly ordered any other special dishes. Today, the two dishes before him now were specially ordered for Gu Wei Ting.
“General, you should eat some. From here and back, it will take a few hours!” Bai Luo Yin deliberately concealed his dismay.
Right at that moment, Gu Wei Ting understood Bai Luo Yin’s situation. Hastily calculating it, this kid has already been in the military for almost nine years. In those nine years, he had touched upon Gu Wei Ting’s emotions countless times. Since he married Jiang Yuan, Bai Luo Yin had never benefited from his position or glory… not the slightest. On the surface, it looked like he had an honorable and glorious golden halo shrouding above him over those years. In reality, all of his achievements were exchanged with his own sweat and blood, bit by bit, in order to make it to where he was now. There was not a thread of connection to Gu Wei Ting. At the very most, he was merely a bit more eye-catching than others when he was a newcomer.
His endless efforts and struggles had all been taken in by Gu Wei Ting’s eyes. Despite there being no familial relationship, watching such a young man suffering and having to endure all those hardships, even Gu Wei Ting found it unbearable. Not to mention the fact that the person was his own step-son.
Bai Luo Yin picked up a piece of meat and put it into Gu Wei Ting’s bowl with his trembling hand, and then continued to depressingly eat the steamed buns.
His heart and mind were completely out of it. He did not have an appetite at all, therefore, consuming was just a mechanical behavior that was purely employed to allay his hunger. There was no way for him to differentiate whether the food was tasty or not anymore.
As Gu Wei Ting ate the piece of the meat in his bowl and looked over at Bai Luo Yin again, he suddenly sensed that it was somewhat hard to swallow.
Being completely immersed in the sorrow from Gu Hai’s departure, Bai Luo Yin didn’t even notice when a pair of chopsticks suddenly reached in front of him.
“Eat.” Gu Wei Ting said with a sense of tenderness that he seldom revealed.
Looking stunningly at the chopsticks in front of his eyes, Bai Luo Yin saw a piece of beef clamped in between them. His lips moved and involuntarily parted. That flavorful beef slid into his mouth just like that without a warning, bringing with it a bit of Gu Hai’s father’s altruistic sentiment. In Bai Luo Yin’s mind, that minute gesture left a deep impression.
If he had been just any ordinary soldier who was being personally fed by a General, the shocking impact of it would have certainly derived from the large disparity between their status.
But the shocking impact that arose in Bai Luo Yin’s heart transpired because this was Gu Hai’s father.
Eight years ago, this was the person who heartlessly confined Gu Hai in the dark and cold tunnel and repeatedly threatened him; forced them into a tight spot which caused them to drift about for days on end, then harbored hard feelings toward him when Gu Hai suffered that horrendous car accident… however, now he used his gentle hands to pick up something and bring it to Bai Luo Yin’s mouth— just because he saw that he could not hold the chopsticks firmly enough.
Gu Hai had fed Bai Luo Yin all types of food countless times, yet Bai Luo Yin had never felt like crying. However, when Gu Wei Ting fed him that one bite, he suddenly was choked up with emotions.
He no longer held onto the mentality from nine years ago, when he simply lived day by day with no real ambitions. The Bai Luo Yin who had suffered all kinds of tribulations, and fully understood the true meaning of responsibilities, finally discovered that what he so intensely longed for was to be acknowledged and blessed.
On the road back, the image of Bai Luo Yin holding back his tears was fully embedded in Gu Wei Ting’s mind—those tears that brimmed unceasingly in his eyes ruthlessly tore at Gu Wei Ting’s heart.
When he returned to his dorm after the training sessions ended, Bai Luo Yin noticed that the blanket on his bed was gone.
While he was in a state of bewilderment, a knock on the door came from behind him.
Liu Chong stuck his head in and asked, “Major, can I come in?”
Bai Luo Yin’s brow rose as he turned his head, “Why can’t you?”
After Liu Chong entered, Bai Luo Yin saw the blanket hanging on his shoulder.
“Why did you take my blanket away?” Bai Luo Yin asked.
Looking at him, Liu Chong explained with earnest, “It’s too humid in this location. With the rain coming down hard for the last two days, all the blankets are smelly and getting a bit moldy, so we ended up taking it out to dry in the sun. I walked by on my way out with the others earlier and saw that your door was open, so I took it as well. Major, you’re not going to scold me for doing that, are you?”
“What would I scold you for?” A trace of a smile appeared at the edge of Bai Luo Yin’s mouth as he spoke, “I’m more than happy that you care for me so much. Why would I scold you?”
“Major, can I ask you something?”
With just one glance at Liu Chong’s expression, Bai Luo Yin knew immediately what he wanted to ask him—rather than making it difficult for him to state it, it was better to honorably admit it.
“Gu Hai and I are lovers.”
Even though he had mentally prepared himself beforehand, Liu Chong was nevertheless struck with shock and speechlessness.
“What’s wrong? Scared?” Bai Luo Yin was actually very relaxed.
Liu Chong shook his head at once, “When I was held captive in your hospital room last time, the words that Gu Hai said to me then made me aware of what kind of relationship the two of you were in. Otherwise, why else would he berate me every time I come to your dorm?”
Bai Luo Yin quietly commented to himself. It really hasn’t been easy! This kid has finally started to understand things properly.
“Major… in fact, I have also had a good impression of you for a while. During that time, I always thought of you. But, since Gu Hai came to find me, I don’t have those thoughts any longer. It’s not because I was afraid of him, I just thought that the gap between us was too wide. I might have just adored you, just like how several of our comrade-in-arms adore a sports star. It’s not the kind of love between lovers.”
That was the first time Bai Luo Yin heard such clear and logical words come from Liu Chong’s mouth.
“Alright, there’s no need to think about those trivial matters. The crucial point is to train properly and put all your efforts into it. When you are skilled enough and stand out among your peers, what kind of girl won’t you be able to find?”
Liu Chong looked over at Bai Luo Yin with an unconvincing gaze, “Seeing that your conditions are so good right now, it’s only reasonable to say that many girls would be willing to be with you. Why do you want to be together with a man?”
“My conditions are good? How many girls are truly willing to marry a soldier? Granted that they are willing to, I wouldn’t dare to marry her! After getting married, she would only be left at home, and how many times would we be able to meet in a year? Normally, we could call home every few days and then when there are missions, having to report back of my safety each time, just thinking about that is annoying…”
“That may be true,” Liu Chong could not help but sigh. “Could it be that you’re with him because of those things?”
“Of course not.” Bai Luo Yin smiled helplessly, “Feelings can’t be explained with words. Sometimes… there are just no reasons for them. In any case, once you get on a pirate ship, you can’t get off.”
“Ahh, it’s just really hard for me to imagine. How you could be together with him? The two of you are not compatible at all!”
Although Bai Luo Yin was currently infuriated with Gu Hai, hearing Liu Chong say those words still made him feel uncomfortable.
“What do you mean incompatible?”
Not mincing his words, Liu Chong frankly said, “Even if a man is together with another man, there should still be a balance of yin and yang, right? Just look at the two of you—you’re both so bold and fierce. Who is suitable to press down on the other, huh?”
“You care about that?” Bai Luo Yin harshly whack Liu Chong, “Is that something you should be worrying about?”
Pretending to wince in pain, Liu Chong came to realize that this was the first time he saw Bai Luo Yin being embarrassed. With that, the roguish little devil lurking in him couldn’t help but to want to hear the answers to some of the questions that had been perplexing him for the longest of time.
“Major, does it feel good when you guys do that?”
Bai Luo Yin smiled mischievously, “If it doesn’t feel good, would you be willing to do it?”
As his cheeks flushed from laughter, Liu Chong moved in closer to Bai Luo Yin and continued to gossip. “Then between the two of you, who is on top and who is at the bottom?”
“It depends on the mood!”
Bai Luo Yin answered very conservatively. Even though it had been proven that Gu Hai was in a bit of a better mood the majority of the time.
“Oh my god, Major, you can also be t…” An expression of disbelief spread across Liu Chong’s flushed face, before he could finish the word. “Isn’t it unbearable to be at the bottom? When Gu Hai sat down in the chair, I can see that his… is quite impressive.”
Hearing that, Bai Luo Yin feigned anger and stared down at Liu Chong, “Do you have nothing better to do than to stare at him down there?”
“I didn’t stare intentionally. I only took a glance, just a glance…” Liu Chong bitterly replied. Then, in order to prove that he was being genuine, he stuck out one of his fingertips to show Bai Luo Yin what ‘just a glance’ meant in measurement.
“Alright, stop this endless chatter. Hurry up and go back to sleep!”
Liu Chong stood up but refused to leave. “Last one, I’ll only ask one last question, okay?”
Bai Luo Yin nodded patiently.
“Do you guys plan on getting married?”
Bai Luo Yin was at a loss for words. But after a long while, he calmly said, “Get married? To be able to preserve this relationship is already pretty good.”