Shameless – Chapter 12A

Title: Fighting the wild goose all day long, one will inevitably be blinded by the goose

Source: Journey to the West – Borrowing the Palm-Leaf Fan: Sun Wu Kong was the cleverest in the world and had killed many monsters, but the Bull Demon King deceived him; it was indeed a silly moment

Meaning:: a metaphor for people who have made mistakes; used to refer to overconfidence and negligence to make mistakes that should not be committed.

When Han Jia walked out, Xiao Li stopped him from behind.

Zhang Xueming stood by his side, unsure of where to move. But once Xiao Li glared at him, he became aware and said to Han Jia, “Han Laoban, I will wait for in the car,” then he turned around and walked away.

“Why are you still keeping him?” Xiao Li looked at Zhang Xueming’s back and frowned, “He doesn’t have the ability to size up people, what can he help you with?”

“I like this kind of idiot, unlike the previous one who was clever and sold me out without me even realizing it.” Han Jia looked at him and laughed, “Did something happen for you to look for me?”

“Be more careful these days, some people have said that they had seen Luo Dong’s men around.” Xiao Li thought, “Tell Zhang Xueming to come back. I will drive you to where you need to go myself.”

Han Jia looked at him from the corner of his eye, “I’m going to do a transaction… are you going to wait outside?”

Xiao Li was stunned. Han Jia laughed, “Don’t worry. I’m only going to the main road – it absolutely won’t affect your area of influence, all right?”

Xiao Li lowered his voice, “You should also take it easy. It’s not worth it to put yourself in such a situation.”

“Rest assured, I’m well aware of that.” Han Jia paused, “Besides, I’m not Xiao Yang. What are you acting like a big brother to me for?”

At the mention of Xiao Yang, Xiao Li snorted and said nothing. Han Jia however hesitated then said, “How’s Xiao Yang recently?”

“Still the same.” Xiao Li did not want to say much more, “Then take care of yourself and contact me at once if something comes up.”

Even as he turned to leave, Han Jia did not let him go and instead questioned closely: “Give him some money and don’t worry about him anymore.”

“That’s my younger brother,” Xiao Li answered. “And, I indeed owe him.”

Han Jia stood there and stared at his back and chewed over the word ‘owe’ for a long time.

If you owe money, you pay back the money – if you owe a life, you pay back with a life. Xiao Li felt that in the process of his younger brother growing up, he was owed a responsible older brother so now he was trying to do his utmost to make up for it.

And he owed Jiang Xiaoning. How could he make up for it?

At first, he only felt sorry toward Jiang Laoshi, but now he was slowly becoming familiar with Jiang Xiaoning.

He had seen many spectacles and knew all sorts of people, however, he had never met such a complication kid. Jiang Xiaoning was strong yet fragile, easy to anger yet also easy to coax – with such a pure and lovely temperament, he was unexpectedly an MB, he could even threaten others and scare people with the way he handled situations in such impulsiveness and violence.

But when he was that angry and suffered, he didn’t use the knife to hurt him; when he was driven out of his place, he was bewildered and indignant yet he obediently left and no longer used Jiang Laoshi to threaten him.

Such a kind and frank kid should have had a perfectly brilliant youth era. But Jiang Laoshi hurt him with indifference and neglect and he himself hurt him with drugs and violence.

He wanted to make up for it. The hurt had already happened, there was no way to erase it and Jiang Xiaoning came to him again and again, attracted to his feelings of guilt—hence, he thought, ‘all right, I’ll do my best to give you all the love and care that you lack. Isn’t this considered making up for the wrong that I have done?’

He originally just worried about how to care for an adolescent – Han Jia did not have experience in being a father, he did not have any younger brother or sister for him to care for; he didn’t even know how to take care of himself. For Jiang Xiaoning, he could only strive to do some very basic things such as providing food and water, chatting with him, encouraging him to study and make friends. But he suggested such a request…

“Han Laoban.” Zhang Xueming waited for a long time without seeing him, so he came back to get him.

Han Jia returned to his senses, but upon seeing Zhang Xueming, it reminded him of the appointment with Zhou Shijie. He took a deep breath and followed Zhang Xueming out of Jin Ting.

Once he sat in the car, he asked: “Did you bring the ‘drug’?”

“It’s in the back seat.” Zhang Xueming drove while asking, “Han Laoban, before, didn’t you only use it when we were near?”

“It’s late… it will be unbearable in the beginning. I’ll be taking it early. It doesn’t matter as long as he doesn’t find out about it,” Han Jia said as he reached back to pick up a bottle, only to end up frowning. “Why did you exchange this much? How many people are you giving these to?”

“I saw that exchanging for these were too troublesome so I wanted to just exchange for a lot all at once to save the trouble of having to do it again,” Zhang Xueming said curringly. “In any case, the bottle has a graduated scale that can control the amount of intake each time.”

Han looked at him incredulously, “It will become volatile and lose its effectiveness after such a long time… do you know how expensive a bottle of this is?”

Zhang Xueming was so scared by the harsh tone that he cowered, not daring to look over as he drove. He stammered to explain, “I didn’t know, Han Laoban. I’m not educated, and I’ve near learned…”

“Forget it, remember it next time. I wanted to find someone that was only a bit foolish, but you’re simply stupid.” Han Jia ended the conversation impatiently and observed the graduated scale on the bottle, thinking that he didn’t want to be that affected by it, he only took about 50ml. He was prepared to pour the rest of the ‘drug’ out the window but feeling that it was a pity and that it should not lose its effectiveness within three days, he covered it up and tossed it to the back seat.

The air in the car was a bit stuffy. Han Jia wanted to roll down the window but he was worried that the cold air would dilute the drug’s effectiveness, instead, he leaned back into the seat and waited for a while before he started to think about Jiang Xiaoning once more.

Five days had passed since he had driven him out and Jiang Xiaoning no longer appeared. Did I do something wrong again? Should I have not been so violent towards him then? Couldn’t I have talked to him nicely? Since he has such a fall out with Jiang Laoshi, how is he now in these five days?

His cellphone sounded – Han Jia was somewhat looking forward to it as he looked at it, but it was Zhou Shijie.

“Mr. Zhou.” He did not dare to be negligent as he immediately answered and apologized. “I’m sorry, I will be there right away.”

“There’s no need to come,” Zhou Shijie said exasperatingly slow. “Something came up. I’ll contact you again next time.”

“Okay. I’ll wait for you to contact me.” Han Jia cursed internally yet his lips spoke words with manners.

After the call ended, he said to Zhang Xueming: “Turn around. Zhou Shijie is occupied today.”

Zhang Xueming ‘oh-ed’ before the car took an aggressive turn on the road: “Returning to Jin Ting?”

Han Jia hesitated for a moment, “Return to my apartment.”

Perhaps the kid would no longer come, but he still wanted to go take a look.

He sighed, somewhat exhausted as he leaned against the window, feeling dizzy for some time until he heard Zhang Xueming said, “here.”

With his train of thought somewhat filled with confusion, he was in the mindset that he was still on his way to Zhou Shijie’s residence. He reached into his pocket and groped around, “What’s going on, this medicine isn’t effective at all.” After a while, he turned to asked Zhang Xueming, “The effectiveness is gone, do you have any more?”

Zhang Xueming was puzzled, not knowing what he was asking. He turned for a look and saw a layer of mist in Han Jia’s eyes, his cheeks were slightly flushed and his expression was of confusion that was riddled with defenselessness while thinking the medicine effectiveness was gone – clearly, it was completely effective.

Han Jia was still rummaging through his pocket in a daze when he felt a hand touching his face, afterward his body became heavy and his lips were bitten by someone and soon a tongue came in to stir about.

Mr. Zhou doesn’t have this kind of habit, Han Jia’s head felt suffocating as he reached out and pressed down the button to the window.

With the window lowered and the cold air rushing in, Han Jia was somewhat clear-headed. He pushed away Zhang Xueming who had moved in close and cursed: “You dare to fucking touch my body, get the fuck off.”

Zhang Xueming stared at him without speaking or moving, but his breathing became increasingly urgent while the expression in his eyes concealed extreme danger.

Han Jia was pressed up against the window by him. Now that the window had been rolled down, his head had been soaking up the cold air for some time and although his limbs were not responding, his mind had already become soberer. He looked at Zhang Xueming expressionlessly, “Go out and buy me a bottle of cold water or leave Jin Ting tomorrow – you pick.”

Zhang Xueming was a bit hesitant and looked at his lack of resilience, then, as if he had made up his mind, he reached out and raised the window. With a click, the door and the window were locked by him.

“Zhang Xueming!” Han Jia angrily called his name.

Zhang Xueming had already taken the bottle of drug from the back seat and placed it near his mouth. He said while gasping for breath, “Han Laoban, the cold water is here.”

Han Jia was startled and angry as he reached out to push it away in refusal, but he felt weak and lacked strength.

The side of his lip was cold, the bottle had already pressed closely. Zhang Xueming spouted a breath of hot air on his ear. “Han Laoban, I’ll feed you the water…”

“This amount will kill someone…” he opened his mouth to speak, however, the liquid was poured inside.

“It’s fine, I know the limit,” Zhang Xueming said.

Who would believe this – fuck. Didn’t you just say that you’re not educated and didn’t know about medicine, yet now you know the limit?

Just as Han Jia was thinking, the bottle was opened and the back of the seat was lain flat. Zhang Xueming straddled him, his hand had started to move disorderly as he called out ‘Han Laoban, Han Laoban’. Addressing him this way seemed to incomparably excite him, Han Jia could already feel the peak of his erection against his thigh.

“Zhang Xueming, doing this…” Han Jia managed to say, “Don’t want to stay in Jin Ting any longer?…”

Zhang Xueming laughed, “Han Laoban, do you still care about this? You didn’t return to Jin Ting and wanted me to bring you back, don’t tell me you didn’t have this in mind? Talking about it, you’ve always said that I was foolish yet you still kept me.” He started to gasp as he undid his belt, “Do you fancy me? Do you?”

“Yes.” Han Jia smiled weakly, “I fancy you. Do you want to know what part of you I fancy?”

The space in the car was small, Zhang Xueming raised his leg and began to take off his own pants. He was completely enamored by his smile that only eagerness remained. “What do you fancy in me?”

Han Jia stared at him and smiled enticingly, “I fancy that you’re both stupid and despicable and a coward…”

Zhang Xueming paused and flew into a rage out of humiliation, then without having completely removed his pants, he ruthlessly bumped into him. The bump made Han Jia shift substantially and something fell between the seat and the door.

Startled, Zhang Xueming reached out to pick it up – it was Han Jia’s cellphone. The screen was lit, displaying Xiao Li’s name and shockingly, it was connected.

He turned pale with fright this time as his hand shook and the phone dropped once again.

Han Jia laughed lightly, “Zhang Xueming, if I was you… I would run.”

Zhang Xueming looked at him, then down at the cellphone, and then he suddenly moved away as if he had been burned before he put his clothes on in a flurry, pushed open the door and ran off.

Indeed a coward…

The cold wind poured in from the open door. Just now, Han Jia had been holding his palms to stay awake and now that the wind blew completely on him, he felt he could move. He slowly sat up, tidied his clothes with difficulty, pushed open the door and got out.

Zhang Xueming had given him too much drug, so his footsteps were somewhat unsteady. He left the car behind and didn’t bother taking the cellphone either.

The call just now did not connect to Xiao Li. He had actually set his private home number to “Xiao Li” and when the call answered as busy on that side, it would naturally display as though it had connected to someone.

When he had gone to set up a trap for Luo Dong, he had set it up this way also in case something came up. Xiao Li would certainly not mind, but he couldn’t always look for Xiao Li every time he ran into trouble.

As he moved in the building step by step, he felt that soon he wouldn’t be able to stand steady. He forced himself to lean against the side of the elevator and waited – the cool wall gave him a bit of comfort.

It’s good to return, sleep, or perhaps have a cold shower. It’ll be better…

He suddenly wanted to laugh. So, as it turns out, I’m actually this kind of person – already shameless to the extreme… being forced by someone else, I could barely endure it. Then what about Jiang Xiaoning? How scared was he at that time, how angry, how… how disgusted?

Hence, he hated him so much, his words were ruthless, and he wanted to sleep with him. What Han Jia had studied well in was Physics. Of course, he knew that the function of strength was force.

The drug made Han Jia’s willpower weak, so he vowed to abandon the conscience and guilty feelings at this time.

His fingertips began to feel numb as his body shook with the desire to fall and the scene before him was of complete blurriness.

Everything was vague. The elevator sounded faint and someone rushed in instinctively. His voice was also faint as if he was answering toward some sort of machine, something like ‘are you okay’…

He vaguely felt himself fall, fall into a warm atmosphere.

He seemed to have said ‘I’m sorry’ and it seemed he had repeated it a few times as he called out someone’s name repeatedly.

Then he completely engrossed in the comfortable illusion that the drug brought him and lost the last trace of soberness.

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