Chapter 28 – Life is Transient
Novel t.i.tle: 一生之计在于春 (Spring is the Plan of Life)
Author：御小凡 (Yu Xiaofan)
Translator: K (@kin0monogatari)
Protagonists: 姚锦夕 (Yao Jinxi -MC), 吴洋 (Wu Yang -ML)
*Please read at knoxt.s.p.a.ce, the original site of translation. TQ*
Although in the end, Yao Jinchen didn’t manage to take a further step, for Yao Hong, what she saw was impactful enough.
Yao Jinxi chuckled self-deprecatingly, “You can probably guess what happens next?”
“Can I ask you something?” Considering the timeline, that should be when Yao Jinxi suffered from depression. But Wu Yang didn’t understand one thing very well. So he carefully asked, “If your younger brother was the one taking the initiative,…then why were you the one leaving home?”
As soon as Wu Yang’s words came out, he regretted them somewhat.
Because by then, Yao Jinxi wore a sorrowful expression. It was one that he had never seen on this person’s face before.
“…Jinchen begged me.” Yao Jinxi’s mouth turned bitter. There was a subtle tremor in his voice. “He was very scared. He had never seen Mom so angry. Do you know? He’s never been hit by Mom even once. Every time he made a mistake, I took the blame for him.”
During that time, there was naturally no exception as well.
Protecting Yao Jinchen had become Yao Jinxi’s instinct.
Wu Yang didn’t say a word. He understood to some extent what Yao Jinxi was implying and could probably guess how unbearable the excuses Yao Jinxi had to make to s.h.i.+eld his own brother.
He could imagine Yao Jinxi had graduated from high school. While Yao Jinchen, at most, had completed junior high school. Moreover, he had grown up being spoiled by his older brother, without experiencing any hards.h.i.+ps. Faced with such an unexpected crisis, he could only turn to his brother in fear.
Was Yao Jinxi scared? Most likely he was. But humans, once they become the relied-upon source for someone weaker, no longer have room to show their own vulnerability.
Wu Yang felt a deep sympathy.
“But even I didn’t expect Mom to get so angry. We were really scared at that moment,” Yao Jinxi covered his eyes. Not only his voice but even his body trembled slightly. “I waited at the door for a long time. But she completely ignored me.”
He was afraid of causing harm and afraid of making things worse. But in the end, things turned out even worse.
He had already received the acceptance letter from a prestigious university. But when he arrived in City B, he never reported to the university. He later ended up in City C. By the time Xia Ruonan realised something was wrong and found him, he already looked like a walking corpse.
Yao Jinxi’s trembling hand was held by Wu Yang. He raised his eyes and met Wu Yang’s gentle and rea.s.suring gaze, hearing him ask, “Do you want to go back home?”
Do you want to go back home?
Xia Ruonan had asked the same question back then. How had Yao Jinxi answered?
He had brushed it off with a joke at that time, adopting a nonchalant tone that made it hard to tell if he meant it or not.
Because Xia Ruonan’s expression was so full of sadness, Yao Jinxi couldn’t bring himself to burden her with his own emotions. He was afraid that sharing his feelings might make this girl even more upset.
But now, slowly, Yao Jinxi’s eyes turned red. He looked like a lost child. “Yes.”
He really did want to go back. The longing was bitter and fearful.
“Yeah. I understand,” Wu Yang nodded gently. “Don’t worry. There will be a way.”
Yao Jinxi probably knew these were comforting words. But when they came from Wu Yang, they always seemed so convincing. He shook his head. But then nodded. He didn’t know what to say. But his tears were already flowing.
It had been a while since he had cried. It had been a long while.
A 26-year-old man crying in front of others felt very embarra.s.sing to Yao Jinxi. But this comforting feeling was just too comforting. So he couldn’t stop himself.
Of course, Wu Yang didn’t laugh at him. He just quietly held his hand and stayed by his side.
After a while, Yao Jinxi took a deep breath and said, “I’m sorry…”
“It’s okay,” Wu Yang smiled. “But can you do me a favour and go to the hospital?”
Yao Jinxi couldn’t help but laugh and shake his head this time. This guy was really stubborn. He wiped his eyes and said, “Fine. I guess if I don’t go, you’ll nag me all night.”
Wu Yang chuckled in agreement, “Maybe.”
Yao Jinxi went upstairs to change into clean clothes, washed his face, and hurried downstairs. He and Wu Yang drove to the hospital together. But at this hour, the only option was the emergency room.
Yao Jinxi had thought this series of events would be very troublesome. But with Wu Yang, he didn’t feel it at all. Wu Yang had pretty much taken care of everything. Yao Jinxi just had to follow his lead.
Yao Jinxi couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that spending so much time with this person seemed to be causing his self-sufficiency to deteriorate.
After confirming that Yao Jinxi only had a b.u.mp and no other serious injuries, and that there wouldn’t be any lasting effects, Wu Yang finally felt relieved. He bought the medicine prescribed by the doctor and also picked up some hydrogen peroxide and antibiotics.
Yao Jinxi checked the items in his pocket and asked, “Why did you buy these things too?”
Wu Yang, casually driving, replied, “You still have a wound on your shoulder, right? If you don’t disinfect it, what if you get rabies?”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
Wu Yang continued to look straight ahead before shrugging. He then said, “Just kidding. Don’t take it seriously.”
Even though it was his own younger brother, it felt natural for someone to make such comments when they saw that kind of situation. Yao Jinxi felt uncomfortable but didn’t have the heart to argue back. He just leaned his head against the car window in silence.
During the drive, Wu Yang took a quick glance at Yao Jinxi and asked, “I’m sorry. Did my earlier comment bother you?”
“I was bothered. But I’m not angry,” Yao Jinxi’s expression carried a layer of melancholy. Instead, he was upset with himself, “It’s all my fault. My mom didn’t really have time to take care of us. So I took the responsibility to take care of Jinchen and it turned him out this way.”
“You’ve done enough,” Wu Yang’s voice had a hint of a smile. But it was clear he was being serious. “You’ve already paid a lot for your mistakes.”
Yao Jinxi’s heart skipped a beat. He turned to look at Wu Yang. After several attempts to speak, he could only manage to say two simple words, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. I just hope you don’t be too hard on yourself anymore. Yao Jinchen’s life belongs to himself. He needs to take responsibility for his own actions as well,” Wu Yang said calmly. His handsome profile casts a blurry silhouette under the streetlights outside the car. “Don’t blame yourself for what he does anymore.”
These objective and rational words were exactly what Yao Jinxi needed and hoped for. He couldn’t deny his own mistakes and he had been reflecting on them. But what he couldn’t bear was when others told him that it was not his fault.
Why wasn’t it my fault? It truly was my fault.
Facing Xia Ruonan, Yao Jinxi could only offer a light, carefree smile. She was the person he was closest to. But she wasn’t someone who could share this pain with him. She had her own home and he wouldn’t keep taking that away from her. Moreover, she needed care and attention more than he did.
In this transient life, without a place to turn to at any time, the loneliness and fear could be overwhelming. Yao Jinxi had treated this loneliness and fear as a form of punishment, enduring it silently for so many years.
But the person in front of him understood everything.
“Thank you…” Yao Jinxi found himself choking up again. Why couldn’t he control his emotions when he was with this guy? He felt like an immature child. He was not like himself.
He tried to compose himself, even managing a smile. “But you’re being too bia.s.sed for my side.”
Wu Yang chuckled. “If I’m not bia.s.sed towards you, then who should I be bia.s.sed towards? Your brother?”
Yao Jinxi also chuckled. He realised that Wu Yang, being as perceptive as he was, probably sensed that Yao Jinchen didn’t like him very much. “By the way, Jinchen isn’t still at the police station, is he?”
“Don’t worry. The police station won’t keep him for a late-night snack. If he behaves quietly, they’ll release him naturally,” Wu Yang rea.s.sured Yao Jinxi with several words. He steered the car accurately into a parking s.p.a.ce. “Is there any food at home?”
“Oh, it seems like we’re out of food. You didn’t come this afternoon so I didn’t go grocery shopping either,” Yao Jinxi unbuckled his seatbelt and double-checked his memory. “Yeah, we’re definitely out.”
“I think so too. When I was cleaning earlier, I noticed there was only a head of cabbage in the fridge. And it was already half-used,” Wu Yang got out of the car. He opened the door and continued, “You go home first. I’ll buy some things.”
Seeing the clear exchange, Yao Jinxi asked, “What are you going to buy?”
“Late-night snacks. I see you didn’t eat much for dinner,” Wu Yang, noticing Yao Jinxi’s hesitation and potential refusal, added slowly, “Actually, I haven’t had dinner either.”
It seemed like an excuse. But Yao Jinxi couldn’t find the words to argue with him. He reluctantly said, “Then let’s go together.”
This was a residential area. So there were plenty of late-night food options which were mainly barbecue and cold snacks. Wu Yang thought that, considering Yao Jinxi was injured, it might be best to avoid spicy food for now. So they decided to go to a local tea restaurant instead.
Despite it being late, past 11 PM, the restaurant was still quite busy. It was mostly filled with taxi drivers and people out for the nightlife. Luckily, they found a table just as a group of customers was finis.h.i.+ng up their meal.
As they sat down, a waiter cleared the table and handed them menus, appearing quite busy. Yao Jinxi flipped through the menu and asked, “What would you like to eat?”
The restaurant served Cantonese cuisine. Yao Jinxi, being from City C, didn’t have a strong preference for it since they were known for their spicy food. He only visited occasionally to switch things up. Wu Yang said, “Let’s have some congee. It’s quite late. Eating heavy food at night might not be good for digestion.”
Yao Jinxi didn’t have any objections and ordered a portion of roast goose, stir-fried Chinese greens, and two servings of fish slice congee. To make sure it wasn’t too bland for Yao Jinxi, Wu Yang added a plate of a.s.sorted braised meats.
Perhaps because the restaurant was genuinely busy, it took a while for the food to arrive. Fortunately, neither of them was very hungry. So they didn’t mind the wait too much.
Yao Jinxi’s mood had improved considerably and the bustling restaurant atmosphere brought a sense of normalcy for him. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table, and asked, “You know, I haven’t been in touch with Ruonan much lately. Is she doing okay?”
Due to Yao Jinchen’s situation, Yao Jinxi and Xia Ruonan had hardly been able to meet. And when they did chat on QQ, it was mostly about Yao Jinxi himself. But deep down, he still worried about Ruonan’s emotional state. So now, he couldn’t help but ask Wu Yang.
“I think she’s doing fine mentally,” Wu Yang conservatively described Xia Ruonan’s recent state. Since he had s.h.i.+fted his focus entirely to Yao Jinxi, he had become increasingly absentminded when dealing with other people. He rarely discussed anything with Xia Ruonan beyond work and Yao Jinxi. So he wasn’t entirely sure about her recent situation. “She hasn’t been distracted at work. And her performance this month has been better than before. So I a.s.sume she’s starting to pull herself together.”
Yao Jinxi sighed in relief but also felt a tinge of melancholy. “Well, that’s good. I couldn’t help with anything.”
“What do you mean you haven’t helped? You helped her uncover a case involving a cheater,” Wu Yang said, feeling puzzled. “You even got into a fight for her and haven’t told her yet about that.”
“What kind of help is that?” Yao Jinxi chuckled helplessly and fiddled with the menu. “I think you’ve been more helpful than me.”
Compared to Yao Jinxi, everything Wu Yang did, from providing transportation, booking a hotel in advance, to finding a rental apartment, was much more practically helpful.
Wu Yang knew what Yao Jinxi was getting at and smiled slightly. “This is also considered helping. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have done any of these things.”
Just as they finished waiting for their dishes, the hot and fragrant food arrived. Yao Jinxi stared at him, feeling slightly dazed amidst the enticing aroma.
*Author’s Note: I apologise for the late update today. I spent most of the morning fixing bugs in the previous chapters. There were too many mistakes acc.u.mulated and I apologise if this has caused any confusion. -YXF
*Translator’s Note: This chapter was so long. Phew! -K
Next update: 2023.11.06