The cameraman didn’t stay long and nodded to Cai Jingfeng before leaving the room.
Cai Jingfeng took the towel from Lian Qing’s hand and felt cold. He went straight to the bathroom and filled it with hot water to soak in.
Looking at him coming out with the warm towel, Lian Qing couldn’t help but sigh, “You are still so thoughtful. You were like that when we were in school too, attentive and gentle. Many girls in our class liked you.”
Cai Jingfeng paused for a moment and smiled bitterly, “But what does that matter? The person I liked never liked me back.”
Lian Qing looked at him sympathetically and comforted him, “It just means that person has no taste. You will eventually meet someone better.”
Cai Jingfeng shook his head gently, “It’s not that they have no taste, it’s me… I’m too cowardly.”
First, he couldn’t face his own feelings, then he couldn’t take that step forward, and finally, he couldn’t confront his family. Until now, he finally had the ability to stand on his own and muster up the courage. But when he thought about the popular “warm-hearted couple” and “Qingning couple” online, he felt that he might have been brave too late…
His sexual orientation had always been different from others. When he was in middle school, male classmates liked to discuss female classmates and stare at pretty girls. But he, unconsciously, paid attention to good-looking boys. That’s when he realized he was gay.
He never dared to let anyone know until he developed feelings for Lian Qing in high school. But he didn’t have the courage to face it or confess. He could only be cautious in front of Lian Qing, being a good buddy and a friend, never daring to cross that line.
It wasn’t until after graduation when they went their separate ways and were in different places that he started to regret, regret not being braver back then.
Later, his family found out he was gay and strongly opposed it. They even forced him to “seek treatment” and sent him abroad as an exchange student to change his environment. When he returned home, he discovered that his parents had secretly moved and sold their old house to someone else. The only contact he had with Lian Qing was thus severed.
During that time, he wrote several letters to Lian Qing up in the mountains, but they went unanswered. He thought that he would never be able to contact Lian Qing again and regretted it even more. He thought that if he could start over, he would confess to Lian Qing from the beginning. Even if he was rejected, he would accept it with a smile. At least in the rest of his life, he wouldn’t have any regrets.
When love is just budding, feelings are always beautiful. Even as time passes and circumstances change, this feeling slowly fades away. But whenever he thinks back, this feeling is always different.
Cai Jingfeng doesn’t know now how much he still likes Lian Qing. He also doesn’t know if he came to be by Lian Qing’s side through so much effort out of liking a little more or out of unwillingness a little more…
But in the end, he still has some feelings for Lian Qing. In these past couple of years, he hasn’t encountered anyone who could make his heart skip a beat again. So, he sought out Lian Qing. He just hopes that he still has a chance…
Seeing his unmistakable disappointment and sadness, Lian Qing doesn’t know how to comfort him. Love is a complicated thing. Even when he realized he had feelings for Yu Wenning, he became a deserter.
This shows that he doesn’t have the standing to comfort Cai Jingfeng at all.
If it weren’t for that unexpected incident, he himself might not have had the courage to confess to his older brother.
So in the end, Lian Qing could only comfort Cai Jingfeng, saying, “Keep going.”
Cai Jingfeng was taken aback for a moment, then couldn’t help but chuckle and said, “You’re still the same as before, so clueless.”
“Clueless? I’m actually quite sharp!” Lian Qing retorted, “My fans say there’s no one in the entertainment industry sharper than me!”
“They’re just teasing you, and you believe them.” Cai Jingfeng laughed and turned him around. He carefully wiped the bruises on his back while muttering softly, “You, why did you make yourself like this and still insist on coming out…”
“Alright, Cai Tou. My Shifu just scolded me, and now you’re here, giving me a headache.”
“You deserve to be scolded. If no one scolds you, you won’t take care of yourself.” Cai Tou finished wiping his back, then took some ointment and prepared to apply it to his wounds.
Sigh, I actually think all of you are making a big fuss. In my eyes, these injuries are nothing.”
“Yes, yes, the great Lian Qing even had a car accident and still dragged his crippled leg out of the hospital to take the college entrance exam.”
“Don’t mention it. I feel so stupid when I think back. I knew that even if I got a perfect score in the remaining two subjects, I still couldn’t get into the university I wanted, but I still insisted on taking the exam…”
“That’s why they say you’re ruthless. Honestly, when I saw you dragging that half-crippled body into the exam hall, I was scared to death…”
“I had no choice. I wouldn’t have peace of mind if I didn’t take the exam, after three years of hard work. Failing the exam is still better than not taking it at all…”
“You and your personality, I don’t know who you take after, acting like a bull!”
“You’re not any better, constantly running into walls. I’m just curious, who is that person who made you like them for so long…”
Inside the room, old friends were teasing each other without giving any face. Outside in the corridor, Xiao Xiao, wearing a coat, squatted on the ground, holding a phone and tapping away.
Before long, a figure appeared on the phone screen. The little one happily exclaimed, “Yu gege!”
“Xiao San’er,” Yu Wenning smiled gently, “Are you still not sleeping?”
“No, I’m not sleepy yet.”
Yu Wenning smiled and thought that the child’s jet lag hadn’t adjusted yet. He didn’t force the little one and only asked, “Why are you wearing a coat? Are you still outside?”
“I’m on the small balcony outside the room.”
“Then where’s your shixiong (Shixiong)?”
The little one pouted unhappily and said, “Shixiong ignored me and told me to play on my own.”
This is really something new. Yu Wenning wondered, “Hmm? Did you make him angry?”
Lian Sang, the young monk, shook his head and hmphed, saying, “No, it’s not that. Shixiong has found a new love and doesn’t want me, the old love, anymore.”
Yu Wenning couldn’t help but burst into laughter at the messy situation. This child’s way of speaking always brought about a mix of tears and laughter. He gently asked, “Could it be that he’s playing with other kids and you’re feeling jealous?”
“Not with kids.” Little Xiao’s mouth pouted so much it could hold a bottle cap. He mumbled, “It’s with a big brother. Shixiong said he’s his good friend, a very, very good one.”
Yu Wenning was surprised. Lian Qing had mentioned that he had two or three good buddies from school. But because he didn’t have a phone and spent two years on the mountain, he gradually lost contact with his friends.
So, who is this “good friend” that suddenly appeared in a foreign land and made Lian Qing ignore Xiao San’er’er? Yu Wenning couldn’t help but lean forward and ask, “Is this friend someone your shixiong recently met?”
“No, shixiong said they’ve known each other for a long time, a very old, old friend,” the little guy rubbed his own big bald head and said, “Now that shixiong has a good friend, he doesn’t want me as his shidi anymore. It’s really frustrating.”
Yu Wenning felt a complex mix of emotions and suppressed his anxiety as he asked, “So, what is your shixiong doing now?”
The little monk quickly ran over to peek into the room and then ran back to the corner of the balcony. He said to the phone, “He’s chatting with the big brother, and the big brother is even giving him medicine.”
“I see… Are they having a good time chatting?” Yu Wenning asked as calmly as possible.
“They’re laughing happily,” the little guy said somewhat grumpily, “unlike me, I’m still angry.”
“Good boy, I promise I’ll talk to your shixiong later. The three of us are the best and the cutest. How could he ignore you? Right?”
“Right, I’m obviously the cutest.” Xiao San’er’er touched his own little face and frowned, “Yu gege, I can’t control my shixiong anymore. Please come and talk to him.”
“Young in age but mature in mind.” Yu Wenning’s anxious heart eased a bit, and he smiled, “First, tell Yu gege how that big brother ended up with your shixiong. Weren’t you all recording a program?”
The little guy nodded, “Yes, we were recording a program. The big brother is a tour guide and recording with us.”
A tour guide…
Yu Wenning pursed his lips, feeling anxious and uneasy about Lian Qing’s sudden appearance of an old friend. He didn’t believe it was a coincidence. He was afraid that someone had ulterior motives.
With these thoughts in mind, he gently said to the little guy, “Xiao San’er’er, would you like Yu gege to talk to your shixiong?”
“Do you want to help me educate my shixiong, Yu gege?” the little guy asked while holding the phone.
“Yes, Yu gege will help educate your shixiong properly. Let him know that the three of us should come first, and he shouldn’t ignore you to prioritize others.” Yu Wenning skillfully coaxed the little guy.
It must be said that Lian Sang, the young monk, was quite easy to coax. He immediately smiled with squinted eyes and ran into the room, holding the phone and thrusting it directly in front of his shixiong.
The little guy, full of confidence, spoke with a nasal voice, “Move!”
Lian Qing lowered his head in confusion and saw Yu Wenning’s face on the screen, instantly bending his eyes with a smile. He almost immediately forgot what he had been discussing with Cai Jingfeng and happily said, “Hey, big brother, good morning.”
Yu Wenning smiled and waved at him, “Good evening.”
One said good morning, the other said good evening. Lian Qing couldn’t help but wonder how those in long-distance relationships or international relationships managed to get through it.
He lifted his phone to include himself in the frame and then asked, “Why did you wake up so early today? Do you have a lot of work?”
“I’m a bit busy. I have a business trip in a few days, so I need to catch up with the schedule,” Lian Qing casually replied and then asked seemingly unintentionally, “I haven’t seen the person behind you before. Is he a staff member of the program crew?”
Only then did Lian Qing remember his friend behind him. He quickly turned to let him show his full face and introduced, “This is my best buddy, my former desk mate, Cai Jingfeng.”
Yu Wenning’s gentle smile slightly diminished, and he nodded softly at the person, saying, “Hello, I’m Yu Wenning, Lian Qing’s… best friend.”
Lian Qing didn’t sense anything strange in those words. Best friend = boyfriend, no problem.
However, these words didn’t sound as pleasant to Cai Jingfeng’s ears. He forced a smile and said, “Mr. Yu, hello. Lian Qing has never mentioned you before, so I didn’t know that your relationship was so good.”
Yu Wenning also smiled politely, “It’s not strange. Important people don’t need to be mentioned all the time. As long as they exist in the heart, it’s enough.”
Cai Jingfeng’s smile became even stiffer, but Lian Qing, who was in the middle, didn’t notice the underlying meaning of their conversation and simply nodded.
“Big brother is right. It’s enough to keep important people in your heart. There’s no need to mention them every day.”
Yu Wenning’s expression suddenly softened, and he glanced at Cai Jingfeng, then said to Lian Qing, “How are you adapting over there?”
“It’s going well, except that the food is not as satisfying,” Lian Qing said. “I still prefer to eat the food you cook.”
Xiao San’er’er leaned in and shouted into the phone, “Me too!”
Lian Qing placed his hand on the little guy’s bald head and said, “You don’t need to wear a coat inside the house. Take it off yourself.”
“Oh,” the little guy obediently took off his coat and moved aside.
When Lian Qing turned back, Yu Wenning had already changed to a more relaxed sitting position in the car, and his voice was softer. “Xiao San’er’er told me that you’ve been ignoring him. Is that true?”
Lian Qing glared at the tattletale little guy and then turned back, saying, “Don’t listen to his nonsense. I just wanted him to help me apply medicine to my back, and coincidentally, Cai Jingfeng came over. I thought since Cai Jingfeng is an adult, it would be better for him to help me, so I let Xiao San’er play with the phone.“
Who would have known that this little brat would immediately run to tattle on him to his “Yu gege?”
Yu Wenning put on a serious face and said, “Doing this will hurt Xiao San’er’s feelings and make him feel useless. He’ll be very sad.”
Lian Qing turned his head to look at the little guy and asked, “Are you sad?”
“A little bit,” the little guy gestured with his hands, showing a watermelon-sized amount.
Lian Qing: “…” This is not an ordinary “little bit.”
He sighed and said, “Shixiong doesn’t doubt you, he’s just worried about you getting tired. Since you’re not afraid of it, then I’ll ask you from now on to help me apply medicine to my back. Is that okay?”
Lian Sang, the tiny monk, nodded quickly. “It’s a promise!”
Cai Jingfeng, who was about to apply medicine to Lian Qing, paused his hand, but Yu Wenning smiled with satisfaction.
Lian Qing noticed that there was no movement on his back, so he asked, “Cai Tou, are you done?”
Cai Jingfeng quickly replied, “Yes, all done.”
“Good, thanks.” Lian Qing skillfully picked up a bandage and started wrapping it himself, saying, “It’s getting late. You should go rest. We have to get up early tomorrow morning, and you’re our tour guide. It’s a big responsibility.”
Cai Jingfeng pursed his lips slightly, nodded, and got up. He glanced at the man on the phone screen, then turned to Lian Qing and whispered, “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight,” Lian Qing and Little Lian Sang both replied in unison.
Cai Jingfeng glanced at Lian Qing with a slight unwillingness, but in the end, he didn’t say anything more and turned to leave.
Sometimes, history is surprisingly similar. After more than two years of going around in circles, the ending remains unchanged.
The words he didn’t dare to say two years ago now seem unnecessary to say.
Perhaps his relationship with Lian Qing is destined to be just as friends, as best buddies…
After the sound of the door closing, Yu Wenning whispered, “This friend of yours seems sincere.”
“Indeed, he has been trying to contact me ever since he saw me on TV. When he couldn’t reach me, he went through an interview and became the tour guide for our program. It wasn’t easy,” Lian Qing sighed. “He’s always been loyal and righteous.”
After hearing this, for some reason, Yu Wenning fell silent. He suddenly felt that compared to Cai Jingfeng, he was truly fortunate.
Men and women always have some strange instincts. When Yu Wenning first saw Cai Jingfeng, even through the screen, he could sense a hint of hostility. Later, when he saw the way that person looked at Lian Qing, there was a subtle hint of affection in his eyes. At that moment, Yu Wenning understood that this person might have feelings for Lian Qing.
This conclusion made Yu Wenning feel somewhat uneasy.
If it were an ordinary person, he wouldn’t be so uneasy or nervous. But this person is officially recognized as Lian Qing’s good friend and has gone to such lengths to be by Lian Qing’s side. If someone says he doesn’t have any intentions, Yu Wenning wouldn’t believe it.
Perhaps, the subtle assertion of his own authority earlier was not taken seriously by the other person.
In this day and age, it’s not easy to find a good wife, and one is most afraid of others coveting her.
With this thought in mind, Yu Wenning became even more restless. He whispered, “When are you coming back?”
Lian Qing raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why? Do you miss me?”
“I do,” Yu Wenning calmly replied.
Lian Qing burst into laughter and said, “I miss you too, but it will take a few more days for me to return.”
“It feels like an eternity since we last met. It’s been several ages…” Yu Wenning intentionally showed a touch of melancholy on his face.
Lian Qing quickly reassured him, afraid that he would play the lovesick card. Lian Sang, the young monk, also chimed in with his adorable support, doing various cute actions to make his big brother, Yu Wenning, happy.
In no time, the room was filled with laughter and joy.
A few minutes later, Yu Wenning, sitting in the car, ended the call with a smile and instructed his assistant in the front seat, “Check if there’s anything urgent and compile it for me as soon as possible. Try to clear my schedule for the day after tomorrow and the day after.”
The assistant, understanding the situation, said, “Understood, boss. Do you need me to book a flight to the UK for tomorrow?”
Yu Wenning nodded, “The sooner, the better. If you can handle those matters before tonight, book a flight for tonight.”
Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.