Xia Wennan felt a little dismayed.
After dinner, he went to the nearby minimarket, bought a dozen cans of beer, and carried them in his hands as he hobbled home.
He unlocked the door with his fingerprint.
It was pitch-dark and quiet inside the apartment; Ming Luchuan had yet to return.
He was probably still angry about what had happened this afternoon, so he didn’t go home nor contact Xia Wennan.
Xia Wennan couldn’t be bothered with the lights.
Walking over to the living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, he plopped down and sat cross-legged facing the window as he opened a can of beer.
The beers had been stored in a cooler, so it retained its original temperature.
Downing a mouthful made that coolness spread from his stomach to his entire body.
Xia Wennan leaned back, his hands at his sides propping his body up in a lethargic posture.
The neighbourhood they lived in was in the city centre; there were no large parks nearby, but he had a clear view of the city’s most prosperous scene.
Dusk had just settled, yet the high-rise buildings were already lit, their dazzling lights illuminating the twilight sky.
Off in the distance, the moon had appeared at some point, sheer and luminous, and even the brightest lights couldn’t compete with its radiance.
On his sixth can of beer, Xia Wennan had already shaken off his dejection.
Since he was a child, he’d never been one to linger in a bad mood for long.
His and his grandpa’s lives had been far from easy, but his grandpa always assured him that there were no trenches you couldn’t cross so long as you raised your legs high enough.
If you’ve reached your limit and can’t get them any higher, then throw in a chair and leap over that.
So why be dejected? If you have the time for dejection, then just go grab yourself a chair.
Xia Wennan got to his feet and tossed the empty beer can to the ground.
It landed on the glossy floor tiles, bounced off another beer can, then bounced once more before rolling away.
At that moment, bursting with loftiness, Xia Wennan opened the remaining six cans of beer.
He took one can, knelt down, knocked it against another beer can on the floor, then exclaimed “Bottoms up!” before draining the remaining six beer cans dry.
Ming Luchuan returned at around 10 pm.
When he opened the door, not a single light in the apartment was on.
The living room was quiet and there was no sign of anyone in sight, and yet the air was thick with the smell of alcohol.
When he switched on the lights, the instant the room lit up, he saw Xia Wennan standing behind the door, eyes wide, staring straight at him.
Ming Luchuan froze.
In a flash, his pupils dilated slightly as he angrily rebuked, “Are you insane?!”
He didn’t know how long Xia Wennan had been standing behind the door.
Not a sound escaped his lips, and his whole body reeked of alcohol.
All of a sudden, he reached out to grab Ming Luchuan’s lapels, leaning forward as he pulled Ming Luchuan’s tall body towards him.
Ming Luchuan gave him a cold look.
“I’ll work really hard!” Xia Wennan exclaimed.
Ming Luchuan frowned.
“How much have you had to drink?”
Xia Wennan’s voice boomed out loudly as if he were responding to an instructor during military training.
“Twelve cans of beer!”
“And what’s the reason for you getting blind drunk?”
“Every can represents my sincerity to the company!”
“Twelve! For the twelve astrological signs! And the twelve Chinese zodiacs!”
“The unity of twelve ethnic groups! To form Great Ming Yan’s perfume dynasty!”
“Which twelve ethnic groups?”
“Hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, boron…”
“Get out!” Ming Luchuan could no longer take it.
He grabbed Xia Wennan’s hand and shoved it away from him.
Unbeknownst to anyone, Xia Wennan was too tipsy to stay steady on his feet, when he tipped backwards from Ming Luchuan’s motions, the latter hurriedly extended a hand to support his back, drawing Xia Wennan into his arms.
Xia Wennan’s face was pressed to Ming Luchuan’s chest.
“Ah?” He pressed his ear harder.
“President Ming, why is your heart beating so fast?”
Without another word, Ming Luchuan caught his arm and dragged him to his room.
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