Ch.85 – One-way Passage

Posted on April 12, 2022 by gooseberry

They stepped out of the party without alarming the other guests.

Duan Ning was still required to help his father play host and was soon summoned over, leaving Ming Luchuan and Xia Wennan to their own devices.
They stood behind a flowerbed, a distance away from the masses, watching the dinner guests wining and dining under the dazzling lights.

As he stared straight ahead, Xia Wennan had a lot on his mind.

Ming Luchuan put his palm against his back.
He never once left Xia Wennan’s side.

A few moments later, Xia Wennan turned to peer at Ming Luchuan.
When he saw the man’s calm gaze as he looked ahead with an unfazed expression, he opened his mouth to ask, “What are you thinking about?”

“I’m thinking the same thing you’re thinking,” said Ming Luchuan.

“Tell me what I’m thinking right now then.”

Ming Luchuan lowered his head.
“You’re thinking about how you really didn’t take those sleeping pills on your own that day.”

Xia Wennan sighed.
“It probably wasn’t Yin Zejing’s doing,” he said.

Ming Luchuan remained silent.
He simply looked up and looked around the garden once more.

Xia Wennan followed his line of sight and suddenly caught sight of Ming Siyan.
He and his fiancé, Lu Huaiye, were standing at the edge of the garden, in the midst of a conversation.
After Lu Huaiye relayed something, he immediately turned on his feet to leave, but Ming Siyan quickly grabbed his hand.
Lu Huaiye slightly paused, said something over his shoulder, and shrugged off Ming Siyan’s hand before walking away.

“That night,” Ming Luchuan began, “we were the first to get home.
Ming Qin was at home the whole day, and Yin Zejing returned later from a basketball game.
The last ones to get back were Ming Siyan and Lu Huaiye.
By the time they arrived, we were about to start dinner.”

If the culprit wasn’t Yin Zejing, that left only Ming Luchuan, Ming Qin, Ming Siyan, Lu Huaiye, as well as the mentally disabled Ming Sichen.

Xia Wennan subconsciously ruled out Ming Luchuan and Ming Qin.
He and Lu Huaiye barely had any contact, and if Ming Sichen was truly disabled, then Ming Siyan was the most suspect.

With a crestfallen expression on his face, Ming Siyan was currently staring at Lu Huaiye’s retreating figure.
After a while, he turned around with his head hung down, sighed, then lifted a foot and kicked at the ground as if he were a child.

Xia Wennan had no idea what was going on.
He looked at Ming Luchuan, ready to say something, only to come to the abrupt realisation that Ming Luchuan’s hand was still pressing on his lower back.
He thus drew closer to Ming Luchuan and asked, “Are you really that worried about me?”

“What would you have me worried about?” Ming Luchuan said indifferently.

Xia Wennan said, “What if I’d been too slow and gotten run over by that car?

“All right, don’t bring any of that stuff up here.” Ming Luchuan’s tone was somewhat stern.

“You’re worried about me, but you won’t admit it,” said Xia Wennan.
After that, he suddenly smiled and said, “Since I was a kid, the only person who worried about me like this was my grandpa.”

Ming Luchuan cocked his head to look at him.

Though Xia Wennan was smiling as he recalled his grandpa, his smile was laced with anguish.
“Because I had no other family.
I had friends and classmates around me, even neighbourhood uncles and aunties as well as my teachers at school—they all cared about me, but no one would just prioritise you for no reason.”

Ming Luchuan’s palm, which was placed against the small of his back, gently slid upwards, wrapping around Xia Wennan’s neck.

After speaking, Xia Wennan turned to Ming Luchuan.
“Oh, right—no one cared about you either.
You have so many relatives too… but none of them can even compare to my grandpa, right?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t say anything as his fingers slowly rubbed Xia Wennan’s nape.

“How do you feel about me taking care of you?” Xia Wennan said.
His train of thought soon veered off track: “How did I propose to you back then? Did I get down on one knee?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t answer him.

Xia Wennan immediately went down on one knee in front of Ming Luchuan, extended a hand earnestly, and as he looked up at the man, he said, “Ming Luchuan, look at you.
You’re so lonely.
One dad doesn’t want you, the other dad doesn’t love you, and the childhood friend you had feelings for also doesn’t like you back.
Why don’t you make do and settle for me?”

Ming Luchuan star dazedly at Xia Wennan’s hand.

Xia Wennan continued, “Even though I’m a beta with no pheromones, no discernible scent, and not soft to the touch, I’ve got my looks, don’t I? And—I will never be marked, my soul is free, yet I’d tether myself and choose to be with you forever and ever.
Will you give it some thought—what about me? From here on out, you’ll have me to love you, care for you, and even though you’d occasionally have to make some minor adjustments to your life, at least you’ll never be alone again, right? Will you take my hand in marriage?”

When he finished speaking, Ming Luchuan’s head was bowed, and no response came from his mouth.

Xia Wennan could only say, “Jeez, if you have an issue with my wording, I’ll change it to ‘Will you marry me?’ How does that sound? Aren’t I very generous? If you don’t mind though, then—”

Before he could finish speaking, he felt a warm liquid drip onto the back of his hand.
He froze up and immediately retracted his hand.
It wasn’t until he touched the liquid did he react with a jolt.
As he tilted his head up, the smile on his face faded, and upon scrutinising Ming Luchuan’s face, he whispered incredulously, “Are you crying?”

“No,” said Ming Luchuan.
His voice was low and deep, his tone level, and one couldn’t tell if he’d been crying or not.

Soon afterwards, Xia Wennan’s previously outstretched hand was taken into Ming Luchuan’s hold.
He said, “Aren’t you proposing? My answer is yes.”

“Alas—” Xia Wennan sighed.
“We already got married.”

“That’s fine,” said Ming Luchuan, “As long as you’re willing, we can get married over and over again.”

“Wouldn’t that be inauspicious?” asked Xia Wennan.

As soon as these words left his mouth, Ming Luchuan tugged him up from the ground, tightly embraced his waist, and dipped his head to kiss his lips.

The kiss came too suddenly; Xia Wennan didn’t have time to mentally prepare, so his teeth painfully bumped against the corner of his mouth.
Instinctively, he pushed Ming Luchuan away but was unable to extricate himself.

The kiss was far more intense than anything Xia Wennan had experienced.
After failing to push Ming Luchuan away, he became engrossed in the kiss, and even his breathing grew rugged.

The scent of Ming Luchuan’s pheromones took root in the air, beginning as a light, faint scent and gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

Xia Wennan was somewhat terrified.
He shoved Ming Luchuan back a step, leaning against the wall, but his body was completely engulfed in Ming Luchuan’s arms.
As he struggled to lift his head, Ming Luchuan’s kiss landed on the corner of his mouth, barely allowing him to speak.
As he tried to yank Ming Luchuan back by the nape, he muttered, “We’re in public, don’t mess around.”

Ming Luchuan was panting roughly in his ear, his voice audibly suppressed.
“I can’t take it anymore.”

Xia Wennan was perplexed.
“Why would you suddenly be in rut for no reason?”

Ming Luchuan’s breath was scorching hot against his ear.
“Didn’t you just ask me to marry you?”


“Shouldn’t I be in rut on my wedding night?”

“But we’re out in the open! We’re outside!” Xia Wennan was on the verge of losing his mind.

“Tell Duan Ning to get us a room.”

“No way!” Xia Wennan refused without hesitation.
“You’re killing me here.” Wasn’t he just setting him up for his social suicide in front of Duan Ning?

Ming Luchuan stared at him without saying anything.
There was nothing but the scent of his pheromones permeating the air minute by minute.

Fearing that troubles might arise if this continued, Xia Wennan pulled at Ming Luchuan’s hand and led him outside.
“Let’s get out of here.”

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