Title: Be confident in the face of difficulties—do not have any misgivings, and boldly go and do what you want because there will always be a turning point in human circumstance since you will not always hit rock bottom (the title was an idiom)
6A – Past
Since Han Jia did not dare to use the people in Jin Ting, he immediately pulled Jiang Xiaoning away.
Nevertheless, Jiang Xiaoning’s maintained a vigilant and contradictory demeanor—that was probably because he thought that Han Jia was going to harm him at the entrance of Jin Ting, but somehow, he did not seem scared or nervous.
When they were waiting for the taxi, Han Jia asked in a low voice: “How is Jiang Laoshi related to you?”
Without even so much of a glance at him, Jiang Xiaoning succinctly replied. “My father.”
Han Jia went silent until the two got into a taxi and arrived at his residence. Still, neither spoke.
Jiang Xiaoning honestly did not know what he himself was thinking when he glanced at him from time to time. Han Jia remained silent and brought Jiang Xiaoning to a high-rise apartment that he had personally bought in a place far from the city center.
This was the place that he had bought when he had just started as a procurer, but after he bought it, he still lived in Jin Ting. At times, he would barely return even once in a month, but because he had employed someone to clean regularly, the place was still fresh, clean and tidy.
“Just sit down.” Han Jia looked over at Jiang Xiaoning, who silently followed after him and let him walk towards where the sofa was.
Jiang Xiaoning strutted over with his arms crossed together, refusing to speak, yet his eyes lingered on Han Jia.
Han Jia hesitated for a second before he sat opposite of him and slowly asked, “Jiang Laoshi… how is he doing nowadays?”
After he did not receive an answer for what seemed like a long while, he picked up his head only to see that Jiang Xiaoning was staring at him with a hateful look and brows furrowed tightly.
Since Han Jia was unclear for the reason why he was being looked up in that manner, he did not dare to raise his voice. He asked again, “How is Jiang Laoshi doing?”
Hearing those words again, Jiang Xiaoning finally jumped up and pointed at Han Jia before he started to rain curses on at him. “You only thought about asking that now? You’re very kind-hearted! My dad has always only known how to compare me with you—saying that I am not as good as you in this or that aspect. I’m sure he wishes that you’re his actual son! You have never once gone back to see him, yet all day long, he’s still saying Han Jia, Han Jia, Han Jia…” His brows tightened even more. “All I said was that someone called ‘Han Jia’ was not a good thing, and sure enough, you’re that person—the very same person! Fuck! You are an ungrateful jerk! Bastard!”
Probably thinking about what he had experienced, the more he cursed, the more emotionally stirred he became; even his face became tinted in red.
Han Jia had long thought that such an outburst would occur, so he remained silent and let him vent for a while. But then he asked, “In other words, he’s doing well…”
“Well, what ‘well’?” Jiang Xiaoning shouted angrily, “Don’t pretend that you didn’t see it. Look here, he struck me here! It’s because of you—”
“What?” Of course, Han Jia had seen that already, but how could he have known who the perpetrator was? Now, it was only natural that he was shocked. He could feel the blood on his face waning as he stood up involuntarily. “Jiang Laoshi hit you because of me… he, did you tell him? My business…”
In reality, he could not dare to imagine what that person would feel after knowing the situation he was in. That, unexpectedly, left Han Jia temporary out of his wits.
Meanwhile, Jiang Xiaoning was silent as he looked at him strangely. Suddenly, he realized something and laughed grimly. “Are you afraid he knows?”
Han Jia did not utter a single word.
Jiang Xiaoning’s smile became even colder. “You are a very interesting person. You force honest girls into prostitution just to play with them, leaving no room for an escape and have no shame, yet… you’re actually afraid that my dad knows…” He suddenly stopped and twisted his eyebrows as if thinking about a serious question before he looked up at Han Jia. “What’s going on between the two of you? You’re not…you two…”
Seeing how Jiang Xiaoning was staring at him like he was about to fly into a fit of rage, Han Jia quickly took one step back and explained sincerely. “Jiang Laoshi is only my teacher.”
Jiang Xiaoning looked at him suspiciously and asked: “You haven’t contacted him for a long time, right? So, what if he knows that you’re acting as a pimp? Or is it because of my business that you’re afraid he will condemn you? Are you afraid that he will fight with you?”
“No, I…” Han Jia looked at Jiang Xiaoning, not knowing where to start.
Seeing that, Jiang Xiaoning looked at him for a while before he suddenly eased down the tension. He slowly sat back on the sofa and even went as far as to assume a master’s attitude once he spoke. “You can slowly think about everything; in any case, I’m not in a rush to know.”
Han Jia sighed and sat back down while holding his forehead in his hands. He did not know how to make what he meant clear without revealing too much of his feelings. As he reflected like that, he sank into his own mind—
The first time he set foot in Jin Ting, he had held his head high with a smile across his lips.
At that time, he had already vowed to never regret it and to never pity himself. He knew that he would enter a very long, dark, almost endless winter; he was mentally prepared to forget all the spring and summer; forget the future he longed for, the dreams, and the innocence he once had.
But there was only one person he could not forget it and was unable to forget. That man once praised and discovered his talents. He was proud of him, did his best for him, and sincerely believed that he deserved a more refined and decent world where he was respected and not one that was less impressive and that caused side glances.
“You will be more remarkable than me. Han Jia, what does a small prize in this province mean anyways? One day, you will be able to let even more people know your name.”
There was a fondness for his favorite pupil in those words, and there was also an exaggeration about his talent, but that itself was, however, a wonderful blueprint.
Therefore, Han Jia had never forgotten. Even if he had told himself repeatedly that recalling the past would make him weak, he still could not forget. In the moments where his dreams arose, Han Jia would always let himself ignore his own words. He would pretend that he had genuinely accomplished the expectations from the teacher which he greatly respected, and he would pretend that he was still a person who was honest, hardworking, and should not be condemned.
But what happened in the end? He had unexpectedly dragged that man’s son into the fire pit and used despicable methods to handle him; ultimately placing him in a situation where he was humiliated and harmed.
As long as he thought of his previous encounter with the boy in front of him, Han Jia would break out in cold sweat.
He looked up. Jiang Xiaoning had been staring at him the entire time—the delicate and pretty face seemed to possess a type of feeling that transcended his age. And that made Han Jia even more ashamed of himself. “I’m sorry,” he said sincerely.
However, Jiang Xiaoning simply sneered with dissatisfaction. “Save it! You’re simply not kind-hearted enough to find the words to apologize to me. If I wasn’t my father’s son, you wouldn’t even bother to glance at me.”
Han Jia laughed at himself without denying anything.
“So, let me ask you, what’s exactly different about my father?” Jiang Xiaoning’s tone did not hold an ounce of friendliness at all.
“He is the teacher that I greatly respect.” Han Jia could only respond in that manner.
Jiang Xiaoning obviously did not believe that and narrowed his eyes to look at him. “You better tell me the truth, otherwise… aren’t you the one that did not want him to know that you are doing this kind of business?”
Hearing that, Han Jia stared in shock before his expression became cold. “If you tell Jiang Laoshi my business, wouldn’t that also tell him that you’re working as an MB?”
Jiang Xiaoning laughed, “So what? Even if I do something that oversteps the bounds of what he considers proper, he will still recognize me as his son. However, he might not forgive you.”
Han Jia looked at Jiang Xiaoning’s face that still revealed a bit of a childish nature.
“This is precisely the kind of person that I am. If you provoke me, I don’t care regardless of the consequences—worst comes to worst, I will just take you down with me.” Jiang Xiaoning’s eyes never left his face as he muttered, “Fuck, the more I think, the worse it gets. He has always talked about you and you’re like this. Back then you both…”
“Back then, Jiang Laoshi was the teacher in charge of my class,” Han Jia interrupted him and said in a low tone. “He was very kind to me, and no one has ever been that kind to me again. That’s all. As for everything else, you’re right, what happened to you, I apologized because I feel very sorry towards Jiang Laoshi.” He looked at Jiang Xiaoning and then stood up in preparation to see this visitor out. “Fortunately, nothing happened to you, so my feeling of guilt also lessened a bit. Later on, if you have a use for my place, don’t hesitate to say it. Now—”
“Mobile phone.” Jiang Xiaoning coldly cut him off.
Han Jia looked at him.
“When you drugged me that day, my phone dropped in Jin Ting.” Jiang Xiaoning raised his chin, “You have to return it to me, but if it’s gone, you must get me a new one as compensation.”
Han Jia was only startled for a second before his wallet appeared. “I can give you the money. You can go and buy it yourself.” He took out a card and passed it over.
However, Jiang Xiaoning simply narrowed his eyes without taking it. “That heavy set man kicked and injured me to the point my face was swollen. I couldn’t even attend school.”
Han Jia held back his anger. “There’s 10000 yuan in the card, enough for you to buy all the medicines you need, and if you don’t want to return home, find a hotel to stay at.”
Jiang Xiaoning still stared at him with that expression; after a while, he said: “Didn’t you say that after you finished asking me some questions, you will let me hit you? So, as it turns out, your words can’t be trusted?”
Smiling helplessly, Han Jia threw the wallet and card on the coffee table and closed his eyes. “Come on.”
Jiang Xiaoning did not move for a few seconds, but then, Han Jia heard the sound of footsteps on the coffee table. Jiang Xiaoning had stepped on the coffee table just to push him on the sofa behind him.
Han Jia kept his eyes closed and waited for a fist to fall on his body or some other attack. He did not expect Jiang Xiaoning’s hand to reach out toward his waist. After the clang of the belt buckle being undone sounded, his waist suddenly felt cold.
Han Jia’s startled reaction was no small matter; his eyes shot open as he tried to push Jiang Xiaoning off, however, Jiang Xiaoning wrapped around him. Even if he was to be struck by him, he refused to loosen up. He ruthless said, “Han Jia, hit me! If you hit me, I will tell my father how you treated me!”
At those words, Han Jia was stunned. The fist that was up in the air did not descend yet as Jiang Xiaoning pushed him down again before pressing his hand on his chest. He looked at him and said, “Han Jia, you’re really shameless. Fancy that you said my father is the teacher you greatly respect. You feel apologetic towards me, but when I tell you to find my phone, you give me your card instead? You want me to take this 10000 yuan so that I can stay at a hotel? Do you call this apologizing? You’re just trying to send me away! You bastard, you don’t give a shit about what I do.”
Han Jia’s brows rose, “You’re the one that made the demand, what more do you want me to do?”
There was resentment in Jiang Xiaoning’s gaze, which moved back and forth on Han Jia’s face. “I’m going to fucking die of anger. Since the day you drugged me, I have wanted to teach you a lesson. For the past few days, every time I think of you, I wish I could skin you alive!” He laughed grimly, “If I make a demand, you will, you will make it happen, right? Great, I want to skin you right now. “He pushed Han Jia’s shirt up, exposing his bare chest. “And pull your tendon.” He added before sliding out Han Jia’s belt and pulling down his pants. Then, he arrogantly looked at Han Jia and put on a cruel smile that belonged to an adult person. “I want to f*** you.”
6B – Present
“I’m okay with eating together with the teachers. It’s not necessary for me to always come here to eat,” Yu Xiu Jun said with a smile while sitting in the passenger seat.
“I know,” Jiang Xiaoning replied faintly. “But I can’t help but to want to take you out to eat something delicious.”
“You’re really something. How come you’re acting all cool just to show your care for me?” Yu Xiu Jun smiled sweetly as one of her hands slipped between his legs.
Jiang Xiaoning glanced at her, “I’m driving.”
Yu Xiu Jun withdrew her hand, but her eyes were still bright. That happy expression remained on her face until the two finished their meal and returned.
When Jiang Xiaoning took her back to Zhang Sao’s second aunt house, the two kissed goodbye in the car. But just as Jiang Xiaoning was about to leave, Yu Xiu Jun insisted on shoving the laptop in his hand, then letting it go before being affectionate with him again. After that, he slowly made his way to Han Jia’s house.
The sky there was utterly dark at night; it was only eight o’clock and the color of the sky already appeared faintly yellow. Jiang Xiaoning pushed open the door to Han Jia’s house and saw that the lights in the inner room were already lit. Han Jia himself was sitting in front of the window, preparing lessons.
His dreadfully earnest and relaxed appearance brought out a comfortable air of someone doing something skillfully and easily—completely different from his father.
With that, Jiang Xiaoning lightly closed the door and walked quietly to the door of the back room. He quietly watched Han Jia’s silhouette for a while, until Han Jia could not stand his gaze and turned to look at him.
Jiang Xiaoning did not evade his eyes, “You’re not hiding from me today?”
Han Jia did not deny anything, “Some words are not suitable to discuss in the school.”
Jiang Xiaoning laughed, walked in and sat on the bed before he opened Yu Xiu Jun’s white laptop and pressed the power button. “You held back a load of questions to ask me, right?”
“Jiang Xiaoning…” Han Jia’s voice seemed to suppress something.
Jiang Xiaoning picked his head up to look at him.
“Jiang Laoshi, he—”
“He’s fine.” The concern in Han Jia’s eyes was simply like the stinger of a bee, stabbing his heart.
Han Jia went silent for a moment, then whispered: “Jiang Xiaoning, what exactly did you come here for?”
Once Yu Xiu Jun’s laptop turned on to the main screen, Jiang Xiaoning pulled out a USB from his pocket and lowered his head, no longer looking at Han Jia.
The small icon on the screen rotated, slowly filtering the file. Jiang Xiaoning looked at that little thing as if lost in thought. If he looked at something else and did something else, he would not hurt him or be hurt by him.
“Because you refuse to return,” his voice was very low, and he did not care if Han Jia heard it or not. “I have been waiting for you for a long time. Sun Ze Yu has been destroyed, but you have yet to return; even your friend Xiao Li had returned once, yet you still did not return. Xiao Li told me that you haven’t contacted him at all…he also said that you would never return…”
Jiang Xiaoning, you’ve matured a bit, he said to himself. But it was useless—there were too many emotions undulating and surging in his heart so that once he started to speak, it was impossible to stop.
“Someone said to me, ‘Jiang Xiaoning, just forget about him. It’s okay to find someone else.’ When I came here, he also said, ‘In this lifetime, Han Jia has been damaged a long time ago. You can’t save him. Just let him go and be at peace…’”
A shadow appeared in front of him; Han Jia had come over. With one hand lifting Jiang Xiaoning’s face, Han Jia frowned slightly with a complicated expression.
“Who is this person? And… how do you know Sun Ze Yu?”
Jiang Xiaoning looked up at him. He wanted to answer his question, but to also criticize him of only caring about these fine details. So, for a moment, he did not know which one to say first.
The two looked at each other under the light until Yu Xiu Jun’s laptop made a loud noise.
Jiang Xiaoning closed his eyes and gave himself the courage to avoid Han Jia’s hand that was holding his face. Then he looked down at the computer screen before his fingers rapidly took control of it.
When he was done, he pulled out the USB, took out his phone and made a call.
“I found those files.” He briefly said, “I will transfer it over tomorrow morning. Carefully inspect them when you receive them.”
The person on the other side of the phone asked, “Are you coming back?”
“No,” he answered. “I found him.”
There was silence before the person whispered, “Good luck.”
Jiang Xiaoning hung up and looked over at Han Jia.
Han Jia had been staring at him the entire time; he was actually able to maintain an expressionless face.
Jiang Xiaoning laughed at himself bitterly, threw the phone and the laptop on the bed, and walked over to hug him.
“You’re asking how I know Sun Ze Yu? Do you know how he was destroyed? Han Jia, Han Jia,” he whispered his name, wishing to ruthlessly take a bite of him. “You don’t know how much I did for you…”
Jiang Xiaoning, what did you for Han Jia?! I wonder if he took down Sun Ze Yu or something, hmmm. I never read this so I don’t know either huhuhu. What do you guys think?