Chapter 13: P.
On the Cliff Edge of Indecision
So, even you’ll get curious about me?
Ning Yixiao had always considered himself to have the determination of a rock.
Living until now, he only focused on climbing upwards and would absolutely never waver due to any reason or anyone.
He socialized mostly for the utility it would bring him.
He would consider if the other party would be able to help him, if they would add some contributions in the next step of his plan.
Whenever someone approached him, he would make a judgment and observe.
Whether they could become friends depended on whether there were benefits to be gained.
For example, all the teachers who had taught him before.
And for example, students who wrote a large number of papers.
And another example, seniors who had the resources to recommend people.
Ning Yixiao was well aware that he was a tawdry, cold person.
When the word “but” appeared in Ning Yixiao’s mind, in this instant, he reminded himself incessantly that he and Su Hui were people of two different words.
The distance between them was like a sun suspended in the sky.
No matter how they avoided it, it existed forever, impossible to be wiped away.
Even though Su Hui was of the type who was very worthy of being used.
He had an outstanding background, with money and power.
In Ning Yixiao’s vulgar measurement of worth, he belonged to a type that was very useful.
But he instinctively feared getting close.
He didn’t want to pass judgment over him.
He did not want to inspect him.
He was that down to earth, yet, he did not want to know at all, what level of position Su Hui’s grandfather held.
He did not want to know exactly how many assets his family had.
Even if he knew, it would not tempt him.
Ning Yixiao did not even want to understand exactly why Su Hui was willing to approach him, and how close his next step would be.
It seemed as though he was standing in front of a beautiful whirlpool .
And he understood well that if he took the next step, there might be no way to free himself anymore.
“Does it?” Ning Yixiao took a step back and smiled.
“Maybe putting this on just puts you in a better mood, so who noticed it is not important.”
As smooth-tongued as he usually was, he abruptly returned to the previous topic.
“I have OCD.
I’m not used to sleeping with someone else.
It’s better if I send you home after all.”
These words were already straightforward enough.
But unexpectedly, Su Hui laughed.
“But in the self-study room, there was just you and me, and you still slept so soundly.”
Ning Yixiao tugged the corner of his lips.
“I was very tired then.”
“You are very tired now too.”
Su Hui’s bluntness was entirely effortless and could not earn anyone’s ire too.
It had a strong sense of unrestrained freedom.
“I can tell.
You’re unhappy and very tired.”
The smile on Ning Yixiao’s face gradually vanished.
He did not answer.
At times, he deeply envied Su Hui’s straightforwardness and naïveté.
The two’s silence was very short-lived.
The sound of a door closing came abruptly from the outside.
And then came a few isolated words of a man and a woman.
Su Hui tilted his head slightly, looking at Ning Yixiao.
“They should be the couple that are renting this place together with me.
They’re back.” Ning Yixiao explained.
“I just moved in and heard this from my landlord.
I haven’t said hi to them yet.”
Su Hui nodded and then smiled.
“Since there are still two more people, adding me wouldn’t be too much, right?”
Ning Yixiao nearly laughed because of his logic.
But then he thought he shouldn’t argue with a drunk.
“It’s not like they stay in the same room as me.”
Su Hui emitted a slight noise similar to a kitten.
After a long time, he spoke up, “Okay then.
As he spoke, he supported himself on the edge of the bed, pushing himself up strenuously.
But he found it wasn’t that easy.
“Are you going home?” Ning Yixiao reached out to support him.
Su Hui shook his head frankly.
“Then where are you going?”
“Just…” Su Hui’s eyes were still a little glazed over.
“I’ll just play around nearby, walk around.
A night will pass very quickly.”
As he replied, he had already decided to walk aimlessly on the roads.
He even thought of looking around a drum tower.
Ning Yixiao knitted his eyebrows together slightly.
“What’s there to play outside with at night? The shops are already closed.”
Su Hui’s thoughts were all jumbled and he just responded immediately, “But there are shops that are open at night too, right…”
He wanted to continue, but Ning Yixiao suddenly gave in.
You can stay.”
He didn’t know why.
Su Hui’s mind was still thinking of the “24-hour convenience store” he didn’t manage to say.
But after some thought, he put it aside.
His goal had been reached after all.
Without any warning sign, he took out a blanket meant for use in air-conditioned rooms and laid it out on the floor.
Then he took out a thin blanket from his luggage and put it on the bed.
“Take the bed,” he said.
Su Hui immediately expressed his opinion.
I can just sleep on the floor.”
“Your health isn’t good.
The bed is a little small, so just bear with it for a night.” After he said this, Ning Yixiao pushed open the door to wash up.
Su Hui sat on the bed quietly.
Perhaps it was the excitement from his illness that made him feel like he had plenty he wanted to tell Ning Yixiao.
But the medicine was dragging him away.
The heart that wanted to be a little more normal was pulling him back too — to let him maintain a normal conversation.
In the past, he was never afraid of seeming different in front of someone else.
But Ning Yixiao appeared.
Su Hui was both anticipating for him to discover how he was different, but also hoping that he wouldn’t be afraid of him.
Ning Yixiao was as strange as him.
He would never ask Su Hui anything more than necessary.
He would not ask him who he had argued with, why he intentionally wanted to make someone unhappy, and he didn’t ask about him getting himself drunk and was not curious why he wasn’t heading home.
He had shown an immense amount of acceptance to any weird words or behavior from him — almost to the extent of ignoring these.
He was a cold-hearted person in the first place, probably, Su Hui thought.
But very quickly, Su Hui eliminated this thought.
Ning Yixiao was not cold-hearted.
When he was really about to leave this place by himself, he caved in again.
Even until he fell asleep, Su Hui gazed at Ning Yixiao’s back as he lay on the side, staring at the black top that was so worn out it was turning gray, and at the same time, he relentlessly urged himself to be quieter, to just think about it and not make a sound.
He was willing to behave a little inappropriately in a birthday party that required face.
But he did not want to interrupt Ning Yixiao’s sleep.
But what was unfortunate was that the next-door couple was far from being as considerate as he was.
The soundproofing was too poor.
Some fragments of quickened voices faintly came.
Like the image through frosted glass, it was indistinct but lured one to think deeper.
Su Hui lay there quietly, spacing out a little.
The sounds from next door were becoming increasingly louder.
They could not even hide the moans, and the fierce panting.
Ning Yixiao was not asleep.
Once he closed his eyes, the image of Su Hui showing him his tongue piercing drifted in his mind, never-ending.
So, he could only have his back face the bed, eyes wide.
After the sounds from next door stopped for a while, they suddenly started up again.
This was the first night that he spent here.
And he completely hadn’t expected this pair of lovers to be so fervently hard at work.
They were completely in the honeymoon period.
Remembering that Su Hui had said he did not need to sleep, Ning Yixiao wanted to sigh.
Pressed against the wall and with such a hard bed which lacked even a mattress, the young master probably can’t even fall asleep even if he wanted to.
Recalling that he had a pair of earplugs, he turned to ask Su Hui if he needed them.
But once he turned around, Ning Yixiao saw Su Hui being like a small animal that was completely incapable of understanding human lust — with an innocent expression, eyes wide and big, and very empty.
Noticing Ning Yixiao turn around, Su Hui blinked slowly.
Ning Yixiao asked in a suppressed voice, “Do you want earplugs? The soundproofing in this house is terrible.”
Su Hui shook his head.
Ning Yixiao thought that he didn’t want to talk, but hadn’t expected him to suddenly speak up.
“I really want to knock on their door.”
Ning Yixiao was taken aback.
“But going now would scare them, right?” Su Hui was continuing on by himself quietly, as though he was very seriously considering this suggestion.
It’ll be a little better if you put on earplugs.
You basically wouldn’t hear anything.
There’s no need to have a talk with them because of this.” Ning Yixiao approached the head of the bed, reaching and searching for the earplug case he had put by the pillow.
“Noo.” Su Hui’s voice was much closer.
He had moved closer too, his pair of eyes particularly bright in the dark night.
“I’m just a bit curious.”
Ning Yixiao’s hand stopped.
Su Hui’s face was very serious and even held a very genuine desire for the answer.
“They seem very happy.
Does it feel that good?”
At the same time he said these words, the sounds from next door suddenly deafened much more, then it quickly quietened, the panting suppressed but hot.
But Ning Yixiao’s heart was even more suppressed than theirs as he gazed back at Su Hui amidst the night and the heavy breathing.
“You only want to ask about that?” He asked.
Su Hui nodded, eyes glassy.
“Shouldn’t you be very familiar with these things?”
In the dark, Ning Yixiao’s voice sounded much colder than usual.
But Su Hui’s voice was full of incomprehension.
“They all said you have many… partners.” He was not sure what words he should use to accurately describe what he meant without offending him.
Even if he had found this word, he still felt that he had been imprudent, just like catching sight of a glowing fish at the bottom of the lake in the dark but chose to throw a rock in the center of the lake.
Passion was reaching its boiling point.
The air seemed to have turned gooey due to what was happening at the other side of the wall.
When the ripple had vanished, he heard Su Hui’s very quiet laugh.
“So, even you’ll get curious about things about me?”
Ning Yixiao was left tongue-tied.
Such a conversation happened often between them, so it was not novel.
It was like they were playing a game of spin-the-bottle.
Su Hui did not admit nor deny it and only spun the bottle in an alluring move, pushing the mouth of the bottle towards him.
If he admitted it, it was like he would fall into a disadvantage.
So, Ning Yixiao only remained silent.
The silence between them made the heaty intimacy from next door even more glaring.
Teases and laughter, words of love, the overwhelming sweet affection between lovers soaked through the thin wall, spreading its fieriness all around.
In the end, it was still Su Hui who broke this stirring silence.
“I’m so hungry.
Do you have anything here that I can have?”
He changed the topic, and he had come closer too, almost to the edge of the bed now.
It was as if he gave Ning Yixiao a way out.
So, he didn’t struggle and just side-stepped the earlier topic, catching the new rope that Su Hui had tossed over.
“I’ll take a look.”
I’ll go with you.” Su Hui very quickly slid off the bed, following behind Ning Yixiao.
He could feel that Ning Yixiao actually wanted to stop him, but because he walked too fast, he swallowed it back.
Both of them were worried they would disturb the two next door, so they quietened their steps and entered the kitchen, one following right behind the other.
This place was so dark that nothing could be seen clearly.
But Ning Yixiao seemed to have the ability to live in the dark, moving through the corridor with ease and did not even forget to wait for Su Hui.
Su Hui was a little young master who lived in a glamorous residence, a person who drifted in the high layer of clouds.
He would not know how to walk through a dark little room with mountains of rubbish and junk.
There was no door to the kitchen.
Ning Yixiao felt around for the door frame.
He did not turn on the light and only walked over to open the refrigerator.
Warm, yellow light glowed, splashing in this cramped tiny kitchen.
Su Hui could distinctly see Ning Yixiao standing in front of the refrigerator, rummaging through with furrowed eyebrows and then taking out a plastic bag from inside.
“This is the only thing I have.” Ning Yixiao explained, “The ingredients inside are all theirs and not mine.
I can’t use them to cook for you.”
“That’s okay.” Su Hui moved closer.
“What is this?”
Through the thin layer of the plastic, he could see they were the shapes of fruits.
Ning Yixiao opened up the bag, revealing two peaches inside.
He took one out, twisting the water tap to wash it before handing it to Su Hui.
“Just eat something small to fill up your stomach first.
If you are that hungry, I’ll take you out.”
“A peach is fine.
I like them a lot.” Su Hui accepted it.
The honey peach was very big.
It was just the right size for him to hold it with one hand.
And it was soft.
Beyond the whiteness was a very thick red.
“When did you buy it?” Su Hui half-lowered his head, biting down very politely.
But evidently, he hadn’t expected excess juice and was unprepared.
But his refined upbringing taught Su Hui to remain unflustered just like a coiled doll that responded in reflex.
He cleaned it up very gently and properly.
The warm light from the fridge was filling this place up like a fog.
Su Hui’s face was vividly expressive and beautiful, half-transparent juice on the corners of his lips.
The hand he held on the peach was stained with the sweet liquid.
“Are you eating?” After wiping his clothes dry, Su Hui looked up at Ning Yixiao, extending the fruit to him.
“It’s very sweet.”
Ning Yixiao rejected it.
But his body felt warm.
“If you’re not eating them, why did you buy them?” Su Hui raised his eyes in perplexity, the pursing of his lips wiping away the faint pink peach juice by his lips.
Ning Yixiao did not respond, some memories surfacing in him.
It was just the day before.
Back then, he had just finished class and he was so exhausted that he practically fell asleep standing on the bus.
When he got off the bus, he happened to see an old man selling peaches.
Pink, tender and beautiful peaches were piled up in the large wicker basket, stacked tidily in a way that looked clean and fresh.
For some reason, back then, he thought of Su Hui in a pink top, thought of his full and translucent face, the tiny baby hairs on his face under the sunlight, as well as the abundant innocence that exuded from every inch of him.
But the price was not low.
Just two set him back by fourteen yuan.
At this time, Su Hui reached out with the peach-scented hand, waving in front of Ning Yixiao’s eyes as his big, dole eyes stared at him.
Ning Yixiao came back to himself then, clearing his throat.
“I just happened to see it and thought it looked quite good.
I also happened to come here to get the key from the landlord and move my things, so I just bought two to put in the fridge to be eaten when I have the time.”
He could not answer that he only strangely stopped in his steps because he saw the peaches and thought of him.
“Okay then.” Su Hui nodded, having a small bite of the remaining peach.
Then he extended his hand to Ning Yixiao again.
“Do you want to try it? It’s very sweet.”
“You can have it.” Ning Yixiao said no, but Su Hui’s hand remained outstretched, so he could only grasp it to push it back.
The refrigerator door was unclosed this entire time, so it emitted warning beeps.
As the two pushed and pushed, they suddenly heard a voice coming from outside the kitchen.
“Oh? You’re our new roommate, right?”
The boy’s skin was very tanned.
He was slightly shorter than Ning Yixiao, and so, he needed to raise his head to look at his face.
“Yeah.” Ning Yixiao let go of Su Hui’s hand, clearing his throat.
When the boy saw him, he grinned a little sheepishly, scratching his head.
Then he turned to look at Su Hui.
In the instant that his gaze met his face, he was plainly surprised and stared at him for a long time until Ning Yixiao coughed.
I’m Wang Cong.
I heard from the landlord before that there’s only a guy roommate.
I didn’t expect two.” As Wang Cong spoke, he didn’t notice Ning Yixiao wanting to explain and just carried on, “I didn’t expect my roommates to be hot guys.
You both look like celebrities.
I wanted to get a cup of milk for my girlfriend.
Ning Yixiao immediately made space for him tactfully.
He stood next to Su Hui, looking down at the remaining peach in his hand, still unfinished.
So, he whispered, “You eat so slow.”
Su Hui looked up at him and said quietly too, “No.
It’s because it’s too big.”
Wang Cong had taken a pack of milk from the refrigerator and had been pouring it as he looked at the two of them.
He didn’t pay attention, so the milk nearly spilled from the cup.
“Oh, your milk.” Su Hui noticed and immediately warned him.
“Oh, oh, oh! God, it’s spilled.
Thank god, thank god though, it’s just a bit.” Wang Cong sheepishly grinned at him and picked up the milk.
“Then, uh, I shan’t disturb you guys anymore, yeah? You guys… You guys continue, continue.
Good night, yeah.”
He swiftly and carefully left with the milk, leaving the two of them.
When they heard the sound of the bedroom door closing, Su Hui suddenly laughed.
Ning Yixiao looked at him.
Even though it was a situation that caused awkwardness, he had laughed.
So, the corners of his own lips upturned too.
But he pursed his lips then, suppressing it, before he asked Su Hui, “Didn’t you say you’re curious? The party involved was just right in front of you earlier.
Why didn’t you ask?”
Su Hui knew what he was talking about and took a nibble from the peach in his hand.
“I suddenly didn’t feel like asking anymore.”
Su Hui looked right into Ning Yixiao’s face, tone soft and wispy.
“I feel that I’ll know the answer in the future.
So, I don’t have to ask him.”
 This metaphor is intentional as Su Hui’s name is 苏洄 and the character for Hui here means the whirl of water or eddying.
Cai: Su Hui is so much /////
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