Translate: An & Ice | Edit: Sae | Proofread: Anasofia
“Then…” Gu Fei also picked up a slice of beef jerky and put it in his mouth before he leaned against the sofa and chewed on it lethargically.
Jiang Cheng stared at the slice of jerky in his hands, feeling as if he was looking at the grave he had dug with his own hands. He didn’t even need to guess what Gu Fei was about to ask next – it was the reaction expected from any average person.
“What about you?” Gu Fei asked.
Jiang Cheng sighed internally.
He didn’t want to lie, but this wasn’t a matter he was willing to discuss. He had no idea how he could form an explanation without making himself seem like a scumbag that fed on both men and women.
After asking that, Gu Fei continued to slowly take sips of the alcohol, not questioning further.
Yet, this considerate attitude actually left Jiang Cheng feeling uncomfortable. It made the situation seem as if there really was something shameful about him that he couldn’t speak of.
“Before…” He hesitated. “… there was a… uh, a girlfriend that couldn’t quite be called a girlfriend. From my class.”
“A girl?” Gu Fei turned around to look at him in surprise.
“En,” Jiang Cheng lit another cigarette. The charcoal fire in the room was already blazing, the warm air washed over them in waves, warming the alcohol in their bodies to a very comfortable level. It was to the level that made one suddenly feel as if it was okay to speak of anything, “She sat at the desk in front of me.”
“Oh,” Gu Fei continued to gaze at him. “I thought you… couldn’t accept girls.”
“I’m not too sure either.” Jiang Cheng rested his head against the sofa cushion with his head facing the ceiling. “I’ve never had a boyfriend either, so I don’t know what it feels like, it’s just that I…”
Jiang Cheng cleared his throat and stared intently into the ceiling that seemed to be swirling very slowly in front of his eyes: “… have always only been interested in guys. But when she pursued me, I didn’t feel anything wrong with it either. I’m annoyed with her not because she’s a girl but because she is actually annoying.”
“You’re annoyed with everyone,” Gu Fei laughed. “When I first saw you, it seemed like you were going to start fighting anytime, anywhere.”
“I’m short-tempered, but I usually try to keep it under control. If I can’t control it anymore, then fuck that, whatever, I don’t care.”1 Jiang Cheng also started smiling with him, “Honestly, I’m really not annoyed with her because of my own reason, you know… when some girls start acting bitchy,2 they will fly directly to Mars if you give them a pair of wings.”3
“I’m not familiar with this,” Gu Fei laughed for a long time from what he said. “I’ve never been willing to be close with girls.”
“I can see that. You were afraid that Yi Jing would get onto your bike today, weren’t you?” Jiang Cheng tilted his head, “Aiyou, that escape you made, are you not afraid that she’ll understand the reason and feel awkward?”
“Better than giving her the chance to confess and be rejected,” Gu Fei responded.
“That’s true,” Jiang Cheng readily gave him a thumbs up. “Good guy.”
Gu Fei moved aside the hand that almost stabbed him in the face with a cigarette: “You and your girl… friend, have you broken up already?”
“En. We broke up before I came here. Actually, we were together for less than a few days.” Jiang Cheng put out the cigarette, picked up the jacket that Gu Fei had tossed to the side, and felt inside the pocket, “I don’t think she wasn’t very reluctant either. She contacted me twice but didn’t bother again, probably moved on to find a new flame. Nobody dates seriously in high school anyways… it only counts as long-distance when you’re only a few grades apart, none of it would have lasted.”
“Looking for mint candy?” Gu Fei asked. “It’s in that pocket.”
“Oh,” Jiang Cheng switched to the other side and fished out two pieces. He unwrapped one and popped it into his mouth. The cool and refreshing taste opened a tumultuous channel from his throat to his nose and his brain before quickly disappearing. “Actually, when you said that you didn’t want to get close to girls, that’s not entirely correct. Isn’t Ding Zhuxin pretty close with you?”
“En, she counts as an exception ba.” Gu Fei ripped apart a bag of peanuts, took one in his hands, and slowly rubbed away the skin. “Her house used to be on the floor above mine, so I used to often go to her house and play. Whenever my dad started beating people, I would go to her house to hide.”
Jiang Cheng let out a light sigh.
“Her house could be called… my safe haven when I was little.” Gu Fei tossed the peanut into his mouth, “I was always afraid of my dad. If he yelled once, I would be too scared to sleep for a whole night. And even if I managed to fall asleep, it would be a night full of nightmares.”
“How much older than you is she?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“Five years,” Gu Fei replied. “Actually, she wasn’t very old at the time, but she was very good at comforting people and had a mind of her own. I just felt like she was my support.”
“The boss’ boss ah,” Jiang Cheng stated.
Gu Fei smiled: “I didn’t have a very good personality either as a kid. I didn’t have many friends so I would chat with her a lot. Whenever I ran into a problem, I would immediately think of discussing it with her first.”
“Really?” Jiang Cheng was a little surprised. It turned out that Gu Fei wasn’t born naturally unperturbed as he appeared. “She does give others the feeling of… being very capable.”
Gu Fei didn’t respond.
“Are you guys now…” Jiang Cheng stared at him, remembering the text Ding Zhuxin had sent him that day.
“We don’t talk as much now,” Gu Fei said. “The relationships between people are bound to change. There’s no such thing as a relationship that would stay the same for a lifetime.”
Jiang Cheng could pretty much understand what Gu Fei meant by putting together Ding Zhuxin’s attitude towards him. A xueba’s thinking was very astute after a couple of drinks, and his words wouldn’t be as inhibited.
“She likes you, right?” he asked.
Gu Fei raised his eyebrows: “Is it too obvious, or are you just too astute ah?”
“My IQ is at least a hundred of Wang Jiuri’s higher than yours,” Jiang Cheng pointed to his head.
“A head full of Wang Jiuri,” Gu Fei smiled and took out another peanut. “That’s not quite appropriate, especially when his head is just full of Yi Jing.”
“Fuck off!” Jiang Cheng immediately changed the direction of the finger that was pointing at his forehead, to pointing at Gu Fei instead.
Gu Fei laughed but didn’t respond. Jiang Cheng sighed and took another sip of alcohol, relishing in the satisfying and burning sensation that traveled all the way down to his stomach, then laughed along with him.
“Ay,” Jiang Cheng touched his own forehead. “She knows about you, right?”
“En. Confession, rejection, and coming out all accomplished in a single move,” Gu Fei said.
“So fucking harsh,” Jiang Cheng looked at him.
“Just like I’ve said, it’s better to stay away in the beginning than to reject later,” Gu Fei said.
“Yeah,” Jiang Cheng closed his eyes. “It feels troublesome just to even think about it.”
“What’s troublesome about it? Didn’t you have a girlfriend?” Gu Fei replied.
“No, it’s not the same,” Jiang Cheng shook his head, which immediately caused the world around him to spin,4 so he hastily stopped. “I don’t hate girls. I’m actually quite willing to look at beautiful ones, but I don’t have any… impulses, you know. Not having any unspeakable thoughts toward pretty girls, it shouldn’t be this way.”
Gu Fei laughed so hard that the alcohol in his cup spilled out: “Then do you have any unspeakable thoughts towards handsome guys?”
“Of course,” Jiang Cheng felt the alcohol settle in. He had already spilled out everything he needed to say… it was just that he was a little dizzy, and his mood had been shifting in a very untrammeled manner throughout the night. He became very reckless5 as if he had something to vent, “Haven’t you?”
Gu Fei coughed twice but didn’t respond.
“You wanna say no?” Jiang Cheng gazed at him with narrowed eyes. “How very dishonest of you.”
Gu Fei took a sip of alcohol, wanting to ease his mood. But when the alcohol simmered down, it, on the contrary, caused his mood to be licentious. Hence, alcohol and the like could unravel not only a thousand sorrows but also a thousand clothes.
Jiang Cheng’s tolerance wasn’t bad. He still hadn’t passed out at this point – he just turned into another person.
“Man up,” Jiang Cheng leaned to one side, bent a leg onto the sofa, and rested an arm against the backrest of the sofa.
This phrase again. Gu Fei sighed, “Yeah, I have.”
“That’s more like it.” Jiang Cheng started to laugh, probably feeling a little dizzy as he tilted his head to rest it on his arm. “It’s such a normal thing.”
“En,” Gu Fei nodded.
It was a very normal thing. However, if Jiang Cheng knew that he had acted “normally” towards him multiple times already, who knew what sort of expression he would end up having?
“I…” Jiang Cheng continued to laugh for a while before stopping, his voice lowering, “… really must’ve had too much to drink tonight.”
“It’s not like you drink every day,” Gu Fei slid downwards and leaned against the sofa, tilting his head back to rest on the cushion. “An occasional drink here and there is fine, I—”
Before he could finish the sentence, Jiang Cheng’s slightly cold fingertips touched his earlobe. He froze, yet his initial reaction was not astonishment, he instead wondered why Jiang Cheng’s hands were cold even though he had a whole night’s worth of drinks.
This tiny bit of coolness slowly traced from beside his ear to his neck, and only when it reached his collarbones did he finally whipped his head around to look at Jiang Cheng.
“You had them for me too, right?” Jiang Cheng asked with his head tilted to the side.
At this moment, Gu Fei should have finally had the urge to go to the bathroom to fill a basin of cold water and splash it on Jiang Cheng’s face. Jiang Cheng, who had always been avoidant of this sort of thing, actually spoke out words like these after a few sips of fake alcohol.6
Gu Fei glanced at the alcohol bottle on the table – it was a 56% Da’ Er.7 If you wanted to catch a promotion, a box of 12 bottles would cost no more than around a hundred. There really was no point for Li Yan to buy the fake ones just for the sake of being cheap.
Jiang Cheng’s finger flicked against his cheek: “I’m asking you a question.”
“No,” Gu Fei replied.
He admitted that Jiang Cheng’s series of actions and speech was like a bottle of liquor injected directly into his veins. The impulsions he had now could entirely bulldoze through a steel board, but his constant state of repression allowed him to make use of the last remains of his willpower.
“Fuck,” Jiang Cheng swore under his breath. “Are you a fucking coward, or do you have problems?”
Gu Fei was unexpectedly speechless at this moment.
“During the photoshoot the other day…” Jiang Cheng suddenly stood up by supporting himself on the back of the sofa. He kneeled on the sofa with one knee and gazed down on him, condescendingly, “You couldn’t have gotten hard because of the sofa, right?”
Gu Fei felt a loud ringing resonating in his head, as if two strikes of lightning had struck down on him.
He never expected that Jiang Cheng would notice such details, much less speak about it in such a blatant manner.
This was too out of character for a person like Jiang Cheng.
“I have great eyesight,” Jiang Cheng tapped the tip of his nose again with his finger. “I don’t wear glasses.”
Although Gu Fei was extremely shocked, he was unable to refrain from laughing at this. “My glasses have a very low prescription.”
“Don’t change the subject,” Jiang Cheng stared at him. Even though the slight instability in his gaze could be seen, the aggressiveness it held was apparent at a glance, “Was it the sofa or me?”
“You,” Gu Fei answered.
Jiang Cheng said nothing in reply. He turned his head to the side and spat out the mint candy in his mouth.
Gu Fei wanted to say, ‘Aren’t you just amazing, being able to hold a piece of candy in your mouth for such a long time,’ but those words didn’t get a chance to escape his mouth.
Jiang Cheng suddenly stooped down and kissed his lips.
Gu Fei had no experience in kissing and judging by how Jiang Cheng carried himself ordinarily – hacking at anyone who merely touched him out of a conditioned reflex – he shouldn’t have had any experiences in this area either.
But this sort of thing…
When the tip of Jiang Cheng’s mint-flavored tongue squeezed into his mouth from between his teeth, Gu Fei grabbed his collar and yanked him down even closer to himself.
The hand Jiang Cheng had placed on the back of the sofa to support himself slipped off, so he took the chance to wind his arms around him. He grabbed onto his clothes and gave it a harsh yank, then proceeded to snake his hands under the fabric and roughly grope at Gu Fei’s waist.
At this moment, Jiang Cheng felt like the pile of mush that was his brain had vanished. He wasn’t able to think nor feel – even thoughts like “fuck, this feels so good” had shattered into the air.
He had lost sensation from every organ in his body like they ceased to exist, leaving only his lips and tongue as what remained on his body… as well as the source of evil on his lower half. It was as if he became independent from his bodily senses and earthly control, making him exert all his capabilities unconsciously.
Gu Fei’s response was passionate, which surrounded by the warm and mellifluous air, incited Jiang Cheng’s mind to be tempted to ruthlessly bite down on him multiple times. It was as if only through a confrontation such as that could he release all the pent-up desires that just grew more abundant, passionate, and unbearable as they converged in his body.
Occasionally, when his sense of hearing returned, he would make out the sound of heavy breathing from both him and Gu Fei – but he was unable to decipher whose was louder, whose was lower, whose was lighter, nor whose was heavier.
And occasionally, when his sense of touch returned, he could feel Gu Fei’s tight and smooth skin under his palm as well as the bursts of electricity that followed behind every stroke that Gu Fei made on his skin.
The two collapsed into the sofa. Jiang Cheng’s hand slipped into Gu Fei’s pants, and simultaneously, Gu Fei yanked down on his waistband. It was only at this point that all the parts of his body was revived.
That strong – never experienced before – tremor that rose from his lower abdomen and shot straight through his heart instantly submerged him.
The fire in the stove blazed, its sparks visibly jumping to and fro.
Jiang Cheng sat down on the floor, leaning against the sofa.
His head was still feeling dizzy, and his whole body felt both fatigued and weak. This was not only because of the alcohol but also due to the extreme excitement his body had experienced just moments before that left him feeling hollowed out.
He didn’t know when he had fallen to the ground, but when he finally regained clarity, he found himself sitting here while Gu Fei was leaning against the sofa… both of them were silent.
His butt could feel the coolness of the floor seeping in, but he didn’t want to move. He continued to stare at the balls of tissue and the cup that Gu Fei had at some point thrown to the ground, as well as the alcohol that spilled out and had yet to dry.
After a while, Gu Fei threw a cushion to his side: “The floor’s cold.”
He was dazed for a few moments more before reaching out for the cushion. He then sat back down with the cushion positioned under him.
“Do you want a cigarette?” Gu Fei asked.
“An after-the-matter smoke?” Jiang Cheng turned and eyed him.
Gu Fei smiled but didn’t speak. He passed over the cigarette box, and Jiang Cheng took one out and lit it. He then continued to daze off with the cigarette dangling in his mouth.
“If you don’t want to go back,” Gu Fei said. “You can sleep here. This is a pullout sofa.”
“What time is it?” Jiang Cheng asked.
Gu Fei fished around for a moment but couldn’t find his cellphone: “I don’t know where I stuck my phone.”
Jiang Cheng looked around but couldn’t find his own cellphone either.
Both their cellphones were initially tossed somewhere on the sofa, but now they had both disappeared. His face suddenly started to burn a little. They had only masturbated once, but this one masturbation session turned out to be so earth-shattering. He felt that if the sofa hadn’t already broken a leg, then today would definitely be the day that it broke one.
Then how did the sofa leg break before?
A series of censored scenes immediately flashed through Jiang Cheng’s brain.
Gu Fei found both their mobile phones on the sofa; they were under the cloth covering that had already been rolled into a ball by them.
Jiang Cheng took it from him and eyed the screen – it wasn’t even midnight yet.
This time was neither early nor late. If he was to go back now, he was too lazy to move, but if he were to spend the night here, it would seem to be an endlessly long night.
Gu Fei, on the other hand, didn’t seem to be hesitant whatsoever. He sat near the stove, fished out a few sweet potatoes from the cardboard box nearby, and threw them into the fire.
“You’re hungry, ah?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“En,” Gu Fei used a stick to stir the fire, burying the sweet potatoes under the charcoal ashes, “You want some?”
“Will it be fully cooked like this?” Jiang Cheng was a little worried.
“A city boy like you doesn’t understand, huh,” Gu Fei said. “We country people always eat sweet potatoes covered in ashes.”
Jiang Cheng smiled: “Fuck off.”
After the passion faded away, coldness started to seep into his hollowed body. Jiang Cheng kicked the little stool beside him to the edge of the stove, getting ready to sit down and warm up near the fire.
When his peripheral vision landed on the tissues balled up on the floor, a wave of uncomfortable awkwardness immediately washed over him. There was a constant nagging feeling that someone was going to walk in at any given moment and be able to tell what the hell those tissues had been used for.
He hastily walked over, not caring whose it was, picked them all up, and balled them together. Having walked around the room without seeing a garbage can, grasping a hand full of this stuff wasn’t exactly the most comfortable experience, so he threw them right into the brick stove.
The tissue ball instantly became a golden flame ball, emitting a burst of black smoke.
“Fuck?” Gu Fei froze, “What did you throw in there?”
“The tissue, from just now,” Jiang Cheng replied.
“The used ones, ah?” Gu Fei looked at him.
“Ah.” Jiang Cheng also stared back at him, “What nonsense are you spouting, why would I throw it away if it wasn’t used.”
“There’s food below it, and you throw in that thing…” Gu Fei sighed, “Whatever, they’re all burned to death anyway.”
“The fuck,” Jiang Cheng was left speechless because of him. “How come I couldn’t tell that you were so fussy from how you usually act?”
“I’m not fussy, I’m too lazy even to clean up the tissues,” Gu Fei said. “I’m just freely expressing my thoughts.”
Jiang Cheng no longer wanted to speak. He sat down beside Gu Fei and watched the flame flicker in a daze.
The drunkenness did not pass, but the dizziness was slowly starting to dissipate. The feeling had turned into softness, and just sitting there made him feel tired. He stared intently at the floor and kicked back the stool until his legs could stretch out and rest against the wall.
There was no longer a sense of awkwardness, only an inexplicable feeling of loss.
Until the sweet potatoes were well cooked, the two never spoke a word. But it didn’t seem like either of them was like this because they were embarrassed.
Gu Fei took out a paper plate and handed him a sweet potato.
The outer layer was burned into a hard shell, but once it was peeled away, a fragrant and sweet scent filled his nose.
“It’s really fragrant,” he commented.
“En.” Gu Fei picked up one for himself, “When I was small, I liked to hide in a place where no one was present, dig a hole, start a bonfire, and just bake sweet potatoes to eat like this.”
“Were you very lonely in your childhood?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“Yes.” Gu Fei nodded his head, “But I no longer felt lonely when Er Miao appeared, just annoyed to death.”
Jiang Cheng smiled.
After he finished the sweet potato, his stomach was filled with a perpetuated warmth, and Jiang Cheng started to feel sleepy. It was a little difficult even to keep his eyes open.
“Go sleep, there are blankets here. Li Yan brought them over, but I don’t think they’ve ever been used,” Gu Fei dropped a few pieces of charcoal into the stove, then he stood up and pulled out a bag from the old closet pushed against the wall beside them. “I’ll… go back in a bit.”
“…you’re going back now?” Jiang Cheng asked, startled.
Gu Fei glanced at him, then looked into the bag: “There’s only one blanket.”
“…oh,” Jiang Cheng sounded in response.
After continuing to daze off for a while, he grew too tired to endure it. Hence, he stood up and walked over to the sofa to pull it open and lay it down flat. Once he laid down, a wave of comfort instantly washed over him. He then pulled the blanket over to cover himself.
Gu Fei sat unmoving at the side. Jiang Cheng’s eyelids were vigorously fighting against him, and he was already too lazy to ask again, so he just closed his eyes.
When he felt that he had nearly fallen asleep, the sofa moved lightly – Gu Fei had sat down on the edge.
“You’re not going back?” Jiang Cheng opened his eyes.
“You’re not asleep yet?” Gu Fei turned his head around.
“No,” Jiang Cheng replied.
“I also don’t feel like moving.” Gu Fei pulled over a cushion, positioned it underneath his head, and laid down, “Squeeze together for the night?”
“En.” Jiang Cheng pulled a portion of the blanket in his direction.
He had initially felt quite sleepy, but once Gu Fei laid down, he couldn’t fall asleep anymore. Obviously, he had been so drowsy that tears had started flowing down his face, yet he was now completely unable to drift to sleep.
It was definitely going to be a sleepless night for him.
“You awake?” Gu Fei asked from beside him.
“En.” Jiang Cheng answered, “Can’t fall asleep.”
“Can’t sleep in a new place?” Gu Fei asked.
“Not that.” Jiang Cheng sighed, “Where’s your phone?”
“Why?” Gu Fei turned around.
“I’ll help you pass a few levels of that retarded Craz3 Match game,” Jiang Cheng said. “Usually, such a boring and retarded game would bring me right to sleep after a few rounds.”
“Fuck,” Gu Fei laughed and handed him the phone.
In actuality, although Jiang Cheng liked to call this thing retarded, the levels further back was actually challenging – Gu Fei had already proven himself to be very capable for being able to play this far.
It wasn’t as if he could get past any level as he pleased – luck was still very important.
In a case like today, where he had drunk his fill of alcohol and lost his mind, his luck was probably already down the drain. “This retarded Craz3 Match game” had become, “This hateful Craz3 Match game”.
Gu Fei had saved up over 20 hearts, but he used up half of them before finally getting past the first level.
“Ay,” he sighed lightly. “It’s not going too smoothly today, it took me this long just to get past one level.”
Gu Fei made no sound in response.
He shifted his gaze to his side only to see that Gu Fei had his head slanted to the side, unexpectedly fast asleep.
“Fuck.” Jiang Cheng threw aside his phone in an irritated manner, pulled up the blanket, and lied down. Pass levels for you, my ass.
The light in the room was left on. Even though the lousy lights weren’t very bright, it was enough to clearly make out Gu Fei’s face.
He stared intently at Gu Fei’s profile, gazing as the shadows formed from his profile slowly danced across his face, then watched as they gradually blurred into a whole, until finally, the surroundings also slowly dimmed away.
Ice: I’ve been tortured by so much sexual tension in the past few chapters yet, in the end, I didn’t even get to translate the juicy bits. QAQ I feel like I’ve been teased by overly extended foreplay but didn’t actually get to find release… *cries*
My batch is finally over so I’m going to be diving into Swallow the Sea (吞海) now. To make things clear, I had made plans to start translating STS since the beginning of the year, but I never got to officially start because of high school and all the mass translating I’ve been doing for other projects… Now somebody else has come along and started translating STS as well. He’s talked to me and we’ve agreed to each do our own and not cause the other any drama, but I still hope to overtake him hehehe… so wish me luck because I’m once again working on a mass update~!
Sae: “The Adventure of Ice…”, please see below.
1 Whatever, I don’t care (爱谁谁) slang
2 bitchy (作) – 作 alone usually describes a personality which is a mixture of pretentiousness, snobbishness, and self-centredness. It’s a very derogatory word… a better way to understand it in English is “bitch”.
3 they would fly directly to Mars if you give them a pair of wings. – What Jiang Cheng is saying here is kind of similar in meaning to “give an inch, take a mile…”
4 The world is spinning (天眩地转) Idiom, literally “the sky shakes and the ground revolves”
5 Reckless (肆无忌惮) – Idiom meaning to act recklessly and care for nobody; act outrageously; afraid of nothing; behave in a disorderly manner without fear; fearing nothing; etc.
6 Fake Alcohol 假酒 – there’s been a joke around the topic of having fake alcohol. I’m not even sure how it works but it could be from two sources a) when someone expresses their momentary stupidity in committing a certain action, there’s a saying of “i must’ve had fake alcohol” as an excuse or explanation for when they were out of character, something about the ingredients in the alcohol causing them to be delirious or whatever and b) there was a case where people were making fake alcohol in Russia and it caused harm towards quite a number of people, it was broadcasted through media, and the saying “fake alcohol harms” saying was used to apply to moments were people did stupid things after drinking — and because it is fake, it blamed to have a more serious toil on one’s actions.
7 二锅头 er guo tou (“Da er”) – okay this makes more sense, er guo tou is a white wine that is the cheaper version of the brand 茅台 （mao tai) because of its purity and lack of depth in taste but nonetheless is a white wine with a very high concentration of alcohol, usually around 50 degrees. At this level of concentration, pure and “real” alcohol is very difficult to find, the label may be marked ~50 degrees but majority of them are diluted with water (if not other things), hence “fake”.