The interior of this Chinese restaurant was still not up to Young Master Su’s standards. He hesitated for a moment before turning around. As Su Yi Mo made his way out of the restaurant he reached for his cell phone and dialed the number of his personal attendant. “Ah Jiu, I need you to buy some things for me. You have to ensure that they’re clean…”
Once Su Yi Mo finished reciting the things Ran Feng Ge wanted, he ended the call.
Not wanting to waste his time waiting for Ah Jiu to complete his task, Su Yi Mo spent the time contemplating about what he could do for the rest of the meals for the next few days.
At the end of the day, nothing beats homecooked food.
Worst case scenario, Ran Feng Ge can still be transferred to a better hospital.
But…his surgery was very successful; maybe a transfer is a little drastic. The most important thing now is to aid in his recuperation.
Or… we could go home and… maybe have some homecooked food…
Coming to a conclusion, Su Yi Mo relaxed his furrowed brows, the edges of his lips pulling up slightly to reveal a small smile of relief.
After some time, the car that had just been collecting dust back home pulled up in front of Su Yi Mo and Ah Jiu stepped out from the driver’s seat. In Ah Jiu’s hands were multiple bags containing the different dishes. The moment he looked at his young master, he was taken aback slightly. Why is the young master wearing that? Although he does appear more approachable this way…
“Young Master!” Ah Jiu called out as he carried the containers of food over. “Young Master, I’ve gotten everything you asked for. These were all made by a chef from a five-star hotel. I was supervising everything they did, and all the ingredients they used were fresh and clean!”
As he was speaking, Ah Jiu was scanning the surroundings, wondering why his young master would come to somewhere this rural and rundown. Looking around at the stalls, Ah Jiu was a little happy – it was no wonder that the young master had wanted him to bring food over, he was worried about the food hygiene here.
“Young Master, come eat while it is still hot!” Ah Jiu was about to place the food down when Su Yi Mo took the bags from him. “Give them to me, you can just head back first.”
“En.” Although somewhat surprised, Ah Jiu agreed as he handed the containers over before turning back towards the car.
Halfway to the car, Su Yi Mo called out: “Ah Jiu.”
“Yes, Young Master?”
“Are there… Are there ingredients at home to make porridge? What about ingredients to help remedy gastric disease?”
“This… No, we do not have them. All we have are for normal day-to-day meals. If Young Master requests, I will go prepare them right now.”
“Yes…” Su Yi Mo replied as he nodded his head in the affirmative, pausing a moment before saying: “Oh, and buy a few recipe books as well – the kind that caters towards healthy living.”
“Understood,” Ah Jiu replied. “If there is nothing else, Young Master, then I shall take my leave.”
The packets of food swayed easily as Su Yi Mo made his way back to Ran Feng Ge’s hospital room. The doctor was in the midst of his check-up when Su Yi Mo entered the room. The first thing he noticed was how Ran Feng Ge was looking a little unsettled, his face scrunched up as though he was in a lot of pain.
Placing the food onto the nearest tabletop, Su Yi Mo hurried forward. “Doctor, what has happened?”
“It is nothing. The surgical site has become slightly infected. I have already cleaned it up and have given him his medications. It would be for the best if he’s restricted to bed rest for the time being until the wound heals up.” The doctor explained as he finished applying a new layer of bandage material over the incision site.
Upon hearing the explanation, Su Yi Mo demanded, “The surgical site got infected? What sort of hospital is this? Do you even know how to practice proper medicine? How could you have allowed the surgical site to become infected—how on earth did you ever get your medical degree? Did you pay money to get that damned certificate? What sort of doctor are you?!”
In the face of criticism, the doctor’s face became stoic as he rebutted, “Sir, please watch what you are saying! We have done everything we can to prevent an infection from occurring at the incision site, however, each person’s immune system is different! There are some individuals who, despite every step we take to ensure the sterility, will still get an immune reaction at the surgical site. This is a very common occurrence, and it can be treated with subsequent antibiotic treatment! Please apologize for whatever you have just said!”
Stunned beyond words at the rebuttal, Su Yi Mo had no chance to reply before Ran Feng Ge interrupted, “Doctor! I am so sorry! My friend here does not understand the ways of medicine. He was just a little too worried and spouted nonsense. I apologize in his stead. Please do not mind him.”
The doctor took one look at Ran Feng Ge’s apologetic face and felt the anger in him dissipate. Picking up the medical chart, the doctor shot a glare at Su Yi Mo before turning to leave the room with a huff of indignation.
Even if Su Yi Mo wanted to say something, he could do nothing but watch the doctor leave.
By the side, Ran Feng Ge picked up an apple and aimed it at Su Yi Mo. “Oi! Stop spacing out!”
Hearing Ran Feng Ge’s voice, Su Yi Mo turned just in time to catch the flying apple in one hand. He stared at the apple suspiciously as he asked, “Where did you get the apple from?”
Ran Feng Ge gave a cheeky laugh. “The pretty nurse gave it to me just now. But I guess she did not know that I just had gastro surgery and that I can’t eat that now. So be grateful that I’m gifting it to you!”
Su Yi Mo threw the apple onto the tabletop and muttered, “What a flirt…”
“What did you just say?” Ran Feng Ge could not hear what Su Yi Mo had just said.
“Nothing,” Su Yi Mo replied as he started to unpack the various dishes from the takeaway bags. From within one, he retrieved the Eight Treasure Porridge and a plastic spoon that came with it.
As soon as Ran Feng Ge smelled the sweet aroma of food, he couldn’t help but exclaim, “Smells delicious!”
Hearing Ran Feng Ge’s exclamation, Su Yi Mo couldn’t help the upwards tug at the edges of his lips, at least that was the case until he heard him follow up with, “Why were you gone so long by the way? The nurses were saying that there were multiple food stalls just outside the entrance of the hospital…”
As soon as he finished speaking, Su Yi Mo had already placed the bowl of porridge in front of Ran Feng Ge. There, on the box, was the logo of a five-star hotel. Ran Feng Ge felt his eyes widen, “Why on earth did you go so far to buy porridge?” And from that five-star chain of hotels? Puh-lease, it’s just a bowl of porridge. This is too much… No, he’s just showing off now, isn’t he?
“I got Ah Jiu to buy it. Okay, enough talk, just eat!” Su Yi Mo said as he pushed the bowl closer to Ran Feng Ge, “Eat.”
Ran Feng Ge frowned. “It’s just a bowl of porridge. Did you have to make such a big fuss over it? Making Ah Jiu go buy this so early in the morning, and from such an expensive place…”
Su Yi Mo returned the look. “What are you trying to say? I’ve got you what you wanted, who cares where I got them from! It isn’t even your money!”
“Yes, yes… You’re loaded. But this isn’t the way to spend money, is it?”
“I will spend my money as I see fit. Are you trying to control how I spend my money?”
“You—” Ran Feng Ge said, his voice rising.
“Besides, the food stalls outside may be nearby, but there is nonstop traffic day in and day out. Who knows how much dust, dirt, and grime have been mixed up along in the pots of porridge? You sure you want to eat such tainted food?” Su Yi Mo’s arm was getting tired from holding up the bowl of porridge, “Are you going to eat or not? It’s already getting cold!”
“Eat! Of course, I’ll eat!” Ran Feng Ge said, “After all, boss went through so much trouble to get it here, there is no way I’ll let your hard work go to waste…”
“Then? Why aren’t you taking it?” Su Yi Mo grumbled.
Ran Feng Ge took one look at his annoyed face and a plan hatched almost immediately in his head, talking big even after wasting all that money—he deserves some punishment!
“Boss. Why don’t you be a good guy right ‘til the end? Any movement from my end makes the incisions on my wound hurt. If it isn’t too much trouble, can you please feed me?” Ran Feng Ge pleaded, his face switching from annoyed to one of utter helplessness.
Su Yi Mo couldn’t help but sigh out loud, “Troublesome!”
Rolling his eyes, Ran Feng Ge said, “Sigh. I get it, Young Master Su is always the one being attended upon and never the one attending to others. Why don’t you help me go outside to call one of the pretty nurses to help me instead?”
“The nurses?! For what?” Su Yi Mo never once said he was unwilling to feed Ran Feng Ge, but the moment he heard Ran Feng Ge ask for one of the nurses, he couldn’t help but feel a little irritated. “It’s just feeding someone! You think I can’t even do that?”
The moment he finished his sentence, Su Yi Mo used his leg to pull one of the chairs over to the bedside and sat down. Using the spoon, he scooped a spoonful of the porridge and brought it to Ran Feng Ge’s lips as he said coldly, “Open your mouth!”
Ran Feng Ge pushed his lips together, tightly shaking his head as he thought to himself, and he says he knows how to attend to someone. Doesn’t he know to blow at it a little to help cool it down? What if it’s too hot?
Su Yi Mo repeated once again, his voice harder than before, “Open your mouth!”
Ran Feng Ge pursed his lips and shook his head once more, “What if it’s too hot?”
Su Yi Mo couldn’t help but inhale his next breath a little sharply. Pulling the spoon back away from Ran Feng Ge, he brought the spoon to his lips and blew on it. Just as he was about to direct the spoon back to Ran Feng Ge, a thought sprang to his mind, and he touched it to his lips lightly – testing the temperature, making sure it wasn’t too hot before returning it to Ran Feng Ge. “You can eat it now, can’t you?”
Ran Feng Ge couldn’t stop the smile from forming at his lips as he opened his mouth obediently, “Ahhh.”
Slowly, Su Yi Mo brought each spoonful up to his own lips to test before feeding it to Ran Feng Ge.
And with each spoonful, Ran Feng Ge swallowed them happily.
However… With each spoonful…
Ran Feng Ge finally realized how things were playing out at the moment. He couldn’t help but stare at Su Yi Mo’s every little action: scooping up the porridge, blowing at the spoon, testing the temperature, blowing at it again to cool it down, and finally bringing it forward to Ran Feng Ge—
Holy shit! Why is this guy so obedient? All I wanted to do was to tease him a little. He could have just gone out and called a nurse in and he could have settled it all then and there. Who knew he would actually feed me himself?!
And… It is not like I can’t actually move. This wound is nothing compared to the others I’ve suffered before… What the heck is wrong with me today? Why did I actually… and with this iceberg of a man.
And to think he’s making sure each mouthful is cool enough…
Once Ran Feng Ge thought through about the current situation, he could not actually believe what was happening!
Seeing as how Ran Feng Ge had stopped opening his mouth, Su Yi Mo could not help but ask a little worriedly, “That’s it? You’ve only eaten this little bit and you’re full? Do you want to drink something else? I can ask Ah Jiu to make up a few dishes. I can also bring in a dietician; this will ensure that all the food from now on will be full of the necessary nutrients.”
Ran Feng Ge felt as though he was pulled from his thoughts abruptly as soon as he heard the concern in Su Yi Mo’s voice – how gentle it sounded and he could not help but feel the tips of his ears burn, nor could he stop the sudden increase in his heart rate. “It’s okay, you don’t have to feed me. I was just kidding earlier,” Ran Feng Ge said.
Su Yi Mo pushed his hands away, “Since I’ve already started, might as well finish it.”
With that said, Su Yi Mo continued to feed Ran Feng Ge spoonful after spoonful of porridge.
Ran Feng Ge could not do anything but obediently open his mouth to take in each spoonful of porridge. As he looked at the man before him, Ran Feng Ge couldn’t help himself but think: Does he treat Jing Qiu Han this gently as well? . . .
A thousand-year-old iceberg was but an image. In reality, under the layer of ice held a heart where hot spring water flowed.
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick
Thinking back to the events of two years ago, An Mu and An Chen both retreated back into silence.
After a few moments, An Mu recollected himself and placed a gentle hand over An Chen’s shoulder, saying with a soft voice: “It’s all old history now. All I had was a physical wound; the real victim here was Ran Feng Ge. Everything I’ve done and am doing has been to try and prevent him from going through yet more mental torture. Being a body double doesn’t mean he had to go through what he did. A body double must risk himself in order to protect his charge; if I have the means to protect him back, then I should. Be careful what you say, don’t let anything slip up now. Remember, this is what the An family owes him.”
An Chen nodded obediently in response to what his elder brother said. “Okay, I understand.”
But what the mouth says may not necessarily be what the heart wants.
After all, that man was a body double; so what if he had to go through that? There was a very high fee attached to the job—why should the employer care about the employee after everything has been said and done? If Ran Feng Ge didn’t have the means to protect himself, then don’t expect a salary from a job gone wrong! Getting the benefits even though he was the one who chose to take the risk…
If Lan Kuang refused to leave his brother alone, then An Chen cannot promise that he will be able to keep this little secret to himself.
Of course, the first thing he was going to do was find Ran Feng Ge and see if he was willing to take on the persona of An Mu once again to go and meet with Lan Kuang to get him off his brother’s back…but if Ran Feng Ge doesn’t do what An Chen wants…
Then it isn’t An Chen’s fault should anything happen to Ran Feng Ge.
Cooperating with Lan Kuang wasn’t off the board—telling him the entire truth could be an alternative! Let Lan Kuang go and bother Ran Feng Ge instead! Elder brother belonged only to him. Who cares if it was Lan Kuang—he can forget about sullying An Mu!
An Mu didn’t see through An Chen; he only understood that An Chen had promised to keep his secret. Feeling relieved, the hand that had been on An Chen’s shoulder moved to tousle the hair on An Chen’s head, messing it up. “Let’s go home!” An Mu said cheerily as he made his way to his own car.
An Chen moved to soothe out his messed up hair, grumpily saying: “Why do you always treat me like a kid!”
Once An Chen lowered his arms, his expression had morphed into something dangerous – An Mu, you will never be able to escape from me!
It was the second morning when Ran Feng Ge finally woke up.
The sunlight streaming in from the glass window was extremely piercing; having been out cold for so long, the sudden brightness was overwhelming. Ran Feng Ge closed his eyes and slowly reopened them to get used to the light.
The smell of disinfectant and the IV that had been inserted through his skin on the back of his hand informed him that he was currently in the hospital.
Although there was still a dull throbbing, his abdomen was no longer hurting as badly as before. Ran Feng Ge allowed a small, pained smile to spread across his lips.
He never thought the day would come where he would break down and wind up in a hospital bed. He always thought he would be taken down by a horrible environment, or killed during a fight, perhaps shot down during a fiery gun fight – who knew that he would actually be taken down by an illness and end up in the hospital.
The saying that health is more important than wealth made a lot of sense now.
Looking at the side of the bed, Ran Feng Ge saw a crown of messy black hair and guessed that it must be Chen Xi Ran who had been keeping him company, but this man was useless, Having fallen asleep whilst keeping watch.
His sight went up to the ceiling as he thought back to the events that had transpired in the last few days.
Was this considered as his first failure?
The plan to go with the flow has been interrupted by Lan Kuang, and instead, Su Yi Mo was forced to act because of him. Now, even the plan to rescue Jing Qiu Lan was thwarted as well.
Lan Kuang was virtually impregnable, there were no flaws or weaknesses to this man—how were they going to rescue Jing Qiu Lan without him noticing anything?
Su Yi Mo had utilized his resources in order to save Ran Feng Ge; was it possible that this may have alerted Lan Kuang? Would that innocent little girl have to suffer because of it?
Sigh. Forget it! It isn’t even affiliated with me anyways! Why should I even put my foot into this mess? Anything that cannot be settled, the boss can just deal with it!
While Ran Feng Ge was ruminating on his own thoughts, the person that had been asleep on the side of the bed woke up. The moment he sat up, he noticed Ran Feng Ge staring up at the ceiling, deep in thought. He stood up and slowly made his way to Ran Feng Ge’s side, lowered his voice to a whisper and said: “You’re awake?”
Seeing that the man was Su Yi Mo made Ran Feng Ge go through a flurry of emotions – all of which were plain to see on his face: shock, suspicion, and finally, surprise! Wasn’t it supposed to be Ah Xi? When on earth did it become Su Yi Mo?!
After a moment of hesitation, Ran Feng Ge realized that Su Yi Mo was still dressed in his Taekwondo uniform, the white of the gi [TN: v neck style jacket] aided Su Yi Mo in exuding a sense of youthful handsomeness. If someone was to look at him, they would have believed that he was just a teenage boy, especially the image of him laying on his arms asleep. He must not have gotten much sleep the night before as Su Yi Mo was unable to stifle the yawn. Seeing him squeeze his eyes tight as his lips opened involuntarily made Ran Feng Ge feel a sense of familiarity to the man before him.
All this time Su Yi Mo had only shown the iceberg side of himself to Ran Feng Ge, this was the first time Ran Feng Ge saw Su Yi Mo as the young man that he was.
As soon as he got through the yawn, Su Yi Mo reached over and placed his hand over Ran Feng Ge’s forehead. The abrupt movement caused Ran Feng Ge to instinctively close his eyes as soon as the hand came close to him. When he opened his eyes, he watched as Su Yi Mo breathed a sigh of relief: “Good, there’s no fever.”
The doctor had informed him the night of the surgery that surgeries often incited high fevers afterwards. He warned Su Yi Mo that he would have to quickly seek medical attention for Ran Feng Ge if a fever occurred. Should the patient make it to the next day without a fever, then that was a good sign that the patient was recovering well. A few days of hospitalization and adequate rest would be all that was required. Of course, strict rest was still needed even after being discharged.
Seeing Ran Feng Ge go all quiet and looking at him with suspicion in his eyes, he thought, was he still angry?
Su Yi Mo was unsure of what Ran Feng Ge was thinking but remembering the last thing they did was fight made Su Yi Mo feel a little awkward and so he decided he was never going to bring up anything that had transpired that night. “Are you hungry? What do you feel like eating? I will go buy it for you, however, the doctor did say that you can only have fluids for now… Hmm, how about porridge? What kind of porridge do you feel like having?” Su Yi Mo asked, changing the topic and, hopefully, the atmosphere between them.
Ran Feng Ge continued to stare blankly at Su Yi Mo without a single word in reply.
Even the great and powerful Su Yi Mo was starting to get uncomfortable under the constant gaze of Ran Feng Ge. “What is it?”
Finally, after another moment of pause, Ran Feng Ge replied, “Nothing much. Just wondering if you are truly Su Yi Mo or if someone else has taken your place. This is the first time you have ever said so much in a sentence.”
Hearing this, Su Yi Mo felt his stoic composure slide back onto his face, an icy glare entering his eyes. Seeing this, Ran Feng Ge quickly replied: “I’m just joking! I want Eight Treasure porridge and seaweed soup. Boss, if it isn’t too much trouble, can you please go buy some for me?”
‘For me’, these two words were emphasized by Ran Feng Ge with a look of mischief directed towards Su Yi Mo.
Knowing him, Ran Feng Ge guessed that he wasn’t one to obediently do what was asked.
Su Yi Mo took one look at the mischievous face before him and knew immediately what the man before him was plotting, however, he was the one who offered to take care of Ran Feng Ge, therefore he was not going to reject his requests.
“Then just rest for a bit, I will go down and buy some for you.”
“Hospital food is well-known to be horrible! If it isn’t too much trouble for you boss, could you go out and get some for me? Since I am already hungry, it wouldn’t hurt me to wait a little longer,” Ran Feng Ge reasoned cheekily.
Since the opportunity came so readily to him, it would be bad if Ran Feng Ge allowed it to slip right past him.
The little gears he had in his head were click-clacking loudly, grinding away as he recalled the argument he had with Su Yi Mo before he collapsed. He was still feeling annoyed with Su Yi Mo for dragging Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le into the situation. He was an immature person and so, whatever he could do to cause trouble and get back at Su Yi Mo was a little win for him.
At the end of the day, Su Yi Mo was still his employer and the person who was paying his salary; he could not do anything huge to get his revenge on the guy, but petty little troubles shouldn’t affect Su Yi Mo too much!
Stretching his back, Su Yi Mo turned and made his way to the door. Once there, he turned back towards Ran Feng Ge’s direction and asked, “Is there anything else you want to eat? I will be going out anyways, might as well buy everything you want now.”
Ran Feng Ge thought about it. There were a lot of things he wanted but couldn’t not eat right now. However, since he was going through all the trouble to make it difficult for Su Yi Mo, he might as well go as far as he could: “Hmm, I still feel like having chicken soup, chicken porridge or maybe some fried dough sticks and soya milk or some red bean soup would be good too…”
Su Yi Mo’s eyebrows came together as he memorized Ran Feng Ge’s order. “Then, I’ll be on my way. Rest well, and should you need anything, just press the button for the nurses,” Su Yi Mo said as he closed the hospital room door gently.
“Okays!” Ran Feng Ge replied happily with a big, cheeky smile on his face.
Su Yi Mo made his way down to the first floor and walked out the hospital entrance.
This was a rural hospital therefore there was not going to be any five-star hotels nearby. All that was available were small pushcart stalls with homemade signboards – green bean white lily porridge, snow fungus and lotus seed soup, eight treasure porridge, corn and winter melon soup, broken rice porridge; there were a lot of choices to choose from. The next store was one that had teppanyaki which currently had egg patties cooking on top; the bottles that held the oil used to fry the foods were plastic soda bottles with a hole drilled into the bottle cap to allow ease of access.
Even from afar, Su Yi Mo was able to smell the sweet fragrance of good food. It was no wonder there was a long queue lining up before the stalls.
But. . .was it sanitary?
Even though there were lots of blue-collared workers buying packets of porridge on their way to work, Su Yi Mo could not help but take in the environment; each of these pushcarts were just a small stone-throw away from the main road, and there were cars driving up and down the road right before the stalls.
The pots that held the various porridges were uncovered and allowed to sit there in the open, inviting all sorts of dust particles to settle in each time a car drove past. Even if it cannot be seen by the naked eye, who knows how much grime and dirt has already been added into the mixture…
Ah… It would be better if I did not buy it from there! Ran Feng Ge’s stomach is already compromised, what if. . . What if he gets an infection from eating these?
Spotting a small family diner in the distance, Su Yi Mo quickly made his way across the road, thinking that it would be better to buy food from there – however, the moment he saw the inside of the diner, Su Yi Mo furrowed his brows even deeper than before…
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick
[Lyick: AWWW! He wuvs him, so cute!]
The bustling gala hall was filled with celebrities and public figures all decked out in their best suits and dresses.
An Mu was dressed in a moonlight white western suit, holding on to a champagne glass while chatting with a recently-rising actress. The small smile on his face was akin to a fresh spring breeze against the skin. The actress returned An Mu’s smile with her own sweet smile, enjoying his presence immensely.
The actress was just about to use the fork in her hand to pick up another cube of steak from her plate for An Mu to try when she noticed the latter suddenly stiffening up. The smile on his face froze; his expression was one of helplessness.
Curious, the actress turned towards the direction of An Mu’s gaze and found yet another impressive-looking male specimen making his way towards them.
The smart, casual outfit he had on stood out drastically in this place where everyone was decked out in high-end brand name outfits – like three-piece Armani suits and Swarovski crystal-embedded floor-length gowns. It seemed none of these bothered the man at all; with a look of determination and an attitude of not caring for other people’s opinions, Lan Kuang ignored everyone else but An Mu.
Lan Kuang was significantly taller than An Mu; his build stronger and bigger, his presence alone was enough to make others feel small.
The actress knew better and quickly placed her plate of food onto the nearest table, lifted the hem of her dress, and made her escape as quickly as she could.
An Mu retracted his gaze and pushed all the anxiety he felt as deep into his thoughts as he could. Turning around, he began to walk away.
Lan Kuang had finally managed to find him; how could he allow this man to slip away from him so easily? Like an arrow released from a bow, he rushed forward to block off the escape route of An Mu, stopping only after seeing the ice-cold expression on his features.
An Mu wanted to ignore him, as he was afraid that Lan Kuang would see the flaws and differences, therefore his best bet was to turn away and seek an alternative escape route.
Lan Kuang had never known the feeling of defeat before An Mu. He knew he could not go after An Mu head-on and yet, An Mu would never allow him a chance if he was allowed to leave again. With frustrations building inside him, accompanied by the sight of An Mu leaving him again, Lan Kuang reached out quickly to grasp onto his arm, desperately whispering: “An Mu…”
An Mu froze in his tracks, but still refused to turn around to look at him, his voice cold as he asked: “Young Master Lan, what can I do for you?”
“Let us talk a little.” Lan Kuang refused to release his arm, walking about until he was in front of An Mu once again, staring directly into his eyes.
“If you want to discuss business, please contact my secretary,” An Mu said flippantly, trying to distance himself from the other as quickly as he could.
“You know that’s not what I want to talk about!” Lan Kuang said, his brows furrowed with exasperation, “It has been so long since then… Can you please just forget it?”
“I apologize… But what are you talking about? I don’t remember it anymore…” An Mu muttered. “Actually, you are correct. It has happened so long ago, I have long since forgotten all about it. So, if you would please, don’t come near me again!”
With that said, An Mu raised his other hand to push off the offending hand that was tightly holding on to his bicep.
Lan Kuang was not someone who could be brushed off so easily; his other hand came up to grip An Mu’s other wrist: “An Mu! I can repay you for all of it! I do not care how you treat me because of it. I will take it all. I just need you to stop pushing me away!”
“You… Let go!” With both his arms restrained, An Mu was getting a little annoyed.
“An Mu!” Lan Kuang had no intention of letting this man go, he was even thinking about taking him away to somewhere quiet to discuss the problem between them further.
The scuffle between them was starting to attract the attention of the people in the gala hall. Navigating between the throngs of people and getting stopped multiple times by actress A or movie star B, An Chen finally managed to locate An Mu – only to see him getting harassed by the infamous Lan Kuang.
His features darkened as his emotions got the better of him. An Chen felt the anger rising in his voice: “You! Lan family’s boy, remove your filthy hands now!” As he rushed over towards the pair, his knuckles were taut as he raised his fist.
Lan Kuang moved backwards quickly — the fist only just missing his nose, making him release his hold on An Mu. Taking two steps back, Lan Kuang looked at the newcomer with disdain.
An Chen placed himself directly before An Mu, using himself as a shield to block An Mu from Lan Kuang’s sight. His left hand was encircled An Mu, pushing him behind him and holding him there. With a pair of gleaming fiery orbs staring directly at Lan Kuang, he said: “I am warning you—”.
He had barely finished his sentence when An Mu interrupted him: “An Chen, let it go.”
An Chen naturally did not know nor understand the meaning behind An Mu’s words but he was not going to disobey him. Glaring furiously at Lan Kuang, An Chen took hold of An Mu’s hand and pulled him towards the nearest exit, stopping midway to turn around and give another warning glare at Lan Kuang.
Lan Kuang did not want to create a big scene in front of so many people, so he forced himself to calm down as he watched the An brothers leave before letting out a deep breath. He grabbed a bottle of brandy from the nearest waiter and headed towards the observatory.
As An Chen dragged An Mu down to the underground parking garage, he could not stop himself from grumbling: “Elder brother, the contract you had with Ran Feng Ge has long been completed hasn’t it? So why are you still protecting him? Now look what has happened! Lan Kuang, that annoying leech – it’s going to be hard to get rid of him now!”
“What are you trying to imply here? That this is all my fault?” An Mu asked, looking at the array of emotions that were currently morphing across his younger brother’s face. Had it not been for An Chen’s plotting and manipulation that time, along with the ministration of the other brothers, An Mu would never have had to employ Ran Feng Ge as a body double for his own protection.
“Eld-elder brother…” An Chen said as he looked at the unsmiling An Mu, a wave of cold chill running through his body as he finally muttered: “Has elder brother not already forgiven me for that? Why are you bringing this up again?”
“You are thinking too much,” An Mu replied gently, his lips pulling up into a smile.
Thinking back, An Mu recalled the look on An Chen’s face when the bloodied Ran Feng Ge, who had been pretending to be An Mu at the time, stumbled back home after escaping from Chasing Hawk; the shock and fear as he helped to carry his injured “brother”, the tremble in his voice as he cried out “elder brother” by the bed – his voice full of pain and remorse.
Only after An Chen found out that the badly injured person on the bed was not his precious elder brother An Mu, could he release the breath he held stifled in his chest.
However, to prevent Ran Feng Ge from being dragged any further into the mess between Chasing Hawk and the An Family, An Mu had sent him away and after which decided to inflict the same scar Ran Feng Ge had on his own body to prevent Lan Kuang from finding out about the body double. Ran Feng Ge did not need to have Lan Kuang coming after him after everything he had done for An Mu.
After passing out from the pain, he could recall hearing the pained voice of An Chen crying out for him: “Elder brother! What did you do?!”
At that time, An Mu thought that if all it took to get his brother back on his side was a little pain, then it was all worth it.
In actuality, both brothers were brutal in their ways. The only difference was that one was willing to go all out to the point of injuring himself while the other was willing to go all out with no remorse regardless of who was hurt in the process.
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick
Su Yi Mo’s idea was a good one; unfortunately, they didn’t have the opportunity to test it out.
The surgery had taken two hours. In that time, if Lan Kuang really wanted to, he would have found them already. The only reason he hadn’t was because he had a run in with someone far more important – An Mu!
While Lan Kuang was on his way to the nearest hospital, An Mu had driven past him on the opposite side of the road. At the same time, another car that was following An Mu sped by as well.
Having spotted the two cars, Lan Kuang only hesitated for a moment before turning his car around at the earliest opportunity he had. Aggressively stepping down on the gas pedal, his car skid a little before Lan Kuang righted the car once again to chase after the cars ahead of him.
An Mu was on his way to attend a gala.
The An family had quite a reputation in ‘A’ City. Of course, it was nothing compared to the name they had built for themselves back in America and other countries. However, in order for businessmen to further their connections, they would always invite all sorts of big names even to their little parties.
An Mu was the eldest son of the An family. Moreover, he was named the heir by the Grand Master of the family. Therefore, whenever there were functions like this, they would always receive many invitations. This was further reinforced after An Mu had sincerely relayed to the press that the An family had already reached the pinnacle of business internationally, and from now on, the An family was ready to support their local businesses.
Such a lucrative opportunity was a godsend and all the local businesses were fighting to get into his good books.
Everyone who was anyone were trying to invite the eldest son of the An family to join them in their galas – not only was it a good way to make connections, it was also a way to form business partnerships.
An Mu was born with naturally genteel features. He did not exude any sense of entitlement or arrogance—regardless of the occasion, An Mu never lacked a smile for anyone. He gave people comfort and a sense of familiarity. This made people want to cooperate with him and his family.
This time round, it was another CEO that wished to bask in An Mu’s favor, so he had one of the first few invitations delivered directly into An Mu’s hands.
Having nothing much to do anyways, An Mu decided to accept the invitation. The An family had already announced their decision to join the Chinese market and so, making connections was an important part of the deal.
An Chen had originally prevented him from going to these nonsense parties and galas. Although it was said to be just a networking event, but in reality, only good came from using An Mu’s beautiful features.
Ever since An Chen realized that his brotherly feelings for An Mu had morphed into something else, he could never stand seeing his brother showing off that sweet, innocent smile. His brother could only show that to him – An Mu could only be gentle towards him!
However, An Mu never listened to him. Using that smile of his as a distraction, he had asked An Chen to help him grab something to eat. While An Chen was away, An Mu took the opportunity to slip into a car and drive off.
Because An Chen hadn’t received an invitation to this party, he was already unhappy. Now, seeing his brother leave without him, An Chen decided to follow. Gritting his teeth, An Chen silently vowed to himself: “This cannot go on… I will have to do something; brother needs to be more wary!”
One after another, three extremely flashy cars entered the parking garage.
An Mu was the first one to reach the lift, bringing him directly from the underground garage right up to the twentieth floor of the hotel. He was followed closely by An Chen with Lan Kuang catching up from behind.
An Mu was able to easily present the invitation that had been handed to him personally by the host. The two behind him, however, did not have the same experience.
An Chen was stopped promptly by the security standing guard outside the event hall. Without batting an eyelid, An Chen pointed towards An Mu who had just disappeared into the room, announcing: “I am here with my elder brother. Get out of my way now!”
The guards followed the direction in which An Chen had pointed towards, their gaze landing on An Mu, the man who was becoming increasingly popular in recent times. Stunned, they retraced their sights back onto An Chen and realized he was someone influential as well. The air around him was no less than any of the other important personnel mingling around in the room behind them. Everyone who was attending the event was either a rich, second-generation heir or some sort of public figure. Checking the background of each and every person would be very tedious and they would be treading on thin ice.
The guards at the door were already well-trained at spotting an aristocrat: first, by what they wore, second, by how they carried themselves. This man before them who was trying to get in did indeed look somewhat similar to An Mu. With only a moment’s hesitation, the guards made the decision to step aside and allow entrance to An Chen.
The next person they had to stop was Lan Kuang.
In actuality, it was not that Lan Kuang had not been given an invitation. Lan Kuang was a well-known figure in the business world – especially in the grey areas of the industry; there was no way he wouldn’t be given an invitation. It was all due to the recent troubles he had with Su Yi Mo that Lan Kuang did not bother with any of the events that were going on. The invitation that was sent to him prior had also been thrown aside without a second thought.
Lan Kuang only had to make a single phone call before the host of the event came out to escort him personally.
After ending the call, Lan Kuang placed his phone in his chest pocket. He did not even bother to look at his gracious host before saying, “I forgot the card.”
The host waved away the apology in haste: “Young Master Lan, please don’t say that! You don’t need an invitation to show up here. Please, please! Come in. Having you here is my honor!”
Lan Kuang gave the man a slight nod in reply, strutting into the room before the host. His search for An Mu had begun.
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick
The closest hospital was ‘A’ City’s affiliated sister hospital whose medical standards were above average.
As soon as Su Yi Mo stopped the car, he threw open the back door and hurriedly carried Ran Feng Ge towards the emergency department.
Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le got out of the car and quickly ran up towards them. “Wait a moment!”
Su Yi Mo was a little confused. They had already reached the hospital, so why were they asking him to wait? The most important thing now was to seek medical treatment. What were they waiting for?!
Mi Le ran forward and blocked off Su Yi Mo’s way. “The face he has now is that of Jing Qiu Han’s. If you were to carry him in like this, what would people say? And if the news travels out and all the damned paparazzi were to come hounding here, what then?”
On her end, Mi Le was preventing Su Yi Mo from advancing any further. On the other end, Chen Xi Ran was already rummaging through the back seat to produce the little medicine bottle he always had with him. Pouring out a small handful of the liquid, Chen Xi Ran proceeded to rub it across the unconscious Ran Feng Ge’s face, especially at the junction of his head and neck. After a short while, a flimsy layer of skin-like material was lifted off his face.
As expected, Ran Feng Ge was looking worse than ever under the mask.
From the side, Su Yi Mo was frozen still while Chen Xi Ran pulled Ran Feng Ge on to his back. “Thank you for saving him today but Le Le and I can handle the rest from here. You are the big boss of a well-known company. If someone saw you carrying a stranger on your back, rushing like a headless chicken into the hospital, rumors are bound to fly. It’s better if you just leave; I’ll give you a call later.” As soon as Chen Xi Ran finished talking, he shot a look towards Mi Le and said: “Le Le, let’s go!”
“En,” Mi Le replied after a second of hesitation. She raised a hand and placed it onto Su Yi Mo’s shoulder. “So sorry for before; we were too quick to judge. It looks like you do worry for Xiao Ge after all. However, we still hope that you will never make use of him in this way again.” After saying her piece, Mi Le turned and quickly caught up with Chen Xi Ran.
It seemed as though Su Yi Mo was lost in his own thoughts. He had wanted to defend himself by justifying that he did not make use of Ran Feng Ge but the words just refused to leave his mouth.
Ran Feng Ge may be overly protective but these two were not any different from him. They treated Ran Feng Ge as their own and would willingly go to any length necessary to protect him—this was the first time Su Yi Mo felt their dislike towards him.
He turned his head slowly in the direction of the emergency department where Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le had just disappeared into, his eyes stuck on Ran Feng Ge’s back.
Soon, his brows furrowed.
What was wrong with him today? Why was he so worried and why was the sense of guilt still affecting him so? Su Yi Mo even felt like he was more worried than when he got the news about Jing Qiu Han.
This time, he could no longer use the “I worry because he looks like Jing Qiu Han” excuse to reason with himself, because from start till end, he had never once looked at him as that familiar face – instead, he had always only seen Ran Feng Ge.
Through that layer of mask that resembled Jing Qiu Han, all he saw was…
Ran Feng Ge…
And the fight they had…
He had never once gotten into an argument with Qiu Han, because as soon as Jing Qiu Han had on that forlorn, puppy-eyed look, all the anger in him would dissipate. But this time, he had no way of suppressing the anger in him; he even felt that Ran Feng Ge had wronged him! Su Yi Mo only had good intentions when he decided to rescue him. Yet, not only did Ran Feng Ge not reciprocate, he even accused him of involving his friends into the mess!
After arguing with Ran Feng Ge, Su Yi Mo felt that some of the steam and fury from before was no longer there. He hesitated for a moment as he stood next to his car. Not only did he not keep his word and leave, he also promptly closed the car door, quickly pulled the shades over his eyes, and entered the hospital.
In the hospital, Chen Xi Ran had already explained the situation to the doctor and Ran Feng Ge had been pushed into the surgical theater. In the corridor, both Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le were absentmindedly pacing up and down.
“Le Le, let’s just knock him out and leave once he recovers from this, okay?” Chen Xi Ran sighed. “We can go anywhere—better yet, let’s leave the country!”
Mi Le could not help but roll her eyes at him. “If it were that easy, this would never have happened.”
“Tch, why is he like this? Why can’t he just follow in our footsteps and leave the industry?!” Chen Xi Ran rambled.
“As they say, you only live once!” Mi Le said as she crossed her arms and leaned against the hospital wall. “Maybe… The reason why he’s like that is related to what happened in the past.”
Chen Xi Ran imitated Mi Le and leaned against the hospital wall. “En… That’s what I thought too. Ever since that incident, he changed…”
Since the last time the two of them followed Ran Feng Ge to Su Yi Mo’s mansion, they had gone through numerous amounts of information regarding both Chasing Hawk and Falcon, Lan Kuang and Su Yi Mo – this made them more determined to find out what exactly were the mission details from two years ago.
Hard work begets results. Through Mi Le’s advanced computer skills, the two had found out that Ran Feng Ge’s previous work had affiliations to Lan Kuang and the An family, including the reason why Ran Feng Ge came back to them covered entirely in wounds.
The last sentence was also heard by Su Yi Mo who had just caught up to them. He had originally wanted to turn a corner and reveal himself to them, but at this moment, he stopped in his tracks and instead leaned against the wall to listen.
“I knew people involved in all these shady businesses were all shits! Grey, my ass!” Mi Le cried out in frustration. “They say they are all above ground and legal, but they can never get rid of the underground blood that is flowing deep within their veins!”
“Not only does he have to deal with Su Yi Mo, but now Lan Kuang is back into the equation as well! Both are also in the middle of a gang war—this is way too dangerous!” Chen Xi Ran was restless once more and returned to pacing up and down the corridor, pulling at his hair in worry.
“Forget it, I’m sure he knows what he is doing. At the very least, Lan Kuang still has no idea that he is the same man from two years ago. Su Yi Mo only hired him to act as Jing Qiu Han. As long as he stops doing such stupid things in the future and knows when and where his limits are… To be frank, if he really did want to leave all this behind, all the men from Lan Kuang’s side won’t even be enough to stop him. Don’t forget, he was able to escape from the situation back then; which means that he can handle himself. The only reason he didn’t escape unscathed was due to a clause in his contract and not because of a lack of abilities.” Mi Le reached out for Chen Xi Ran’s hand, squeezing it tightly. “Okay, don’t worry so much now. Worse comes to worst, we can gang up and give him a good beating so that he won’t be so professional next time!”
“En, that’s it! There is a limit to professionalism too! In times of danger, he should have known that his life is most important. That crazy lunatic!” Having Mi Le comfort him helped ease the feelings of worry in his heart. With a gentle smile, Chen Xi Ran leaned over and kissed Mi Le lightly. “Le Le, we should give him a hand this time round!”
Shrugging, Mi Le said: “Alright, better than standing around doing nothing. We’ll do as you say.”
“Le Le, you are the best. I love you so much! Come, let me have another kiss!”
With that, the two of them started laughing and joking around.
From around the corner, Su Yi Mo felt his shoulder relax as he slowly closed his eyes. From the exchange that he had just heard, he managed to catch onto some important details: two years ago, the An family, Lan Kuang, and being covered in wounds.
It appeared that, two years ago, Ran Feng Ge had a run in with Lan Kuang and ended up severely injured. This made him recall the time Ran Feng Ge came home drunk, the nightmare that had followed afterwards, and the words he had uttered: Lan Kuang, I’m not him, I’m not him.
There seemed to be subtle answers embedded in those details, making Su Yi Mo’s heart wrench with a mixture of emotions he had no name for.
Suddenly, Chen Xi Ran’s urgent voice sounded from around the corner, “Doctor! How is my friend?”
Su Yi Mo quickly collected himself and listened attentively.
The doctor removed the surgical mask from his face as he eyed the two people before him. Both were dressed in unconventional attire. “The patient’s immune system suffered due to having been deprived of oxygen. However, this is not the biggest problem at hand; adequate bed rest would be able to fix it in no time. The main concern at the moment is his gastric disease. There’s internal bleeding within the lining of the stomach, and if not handled properly, it could become a much bigger problem in the future!”
“Then, how is he now?” asked Chen Xi Ran.
“We have managed to stabilize him. The most important thing he needs now is proper rest. Make sure he has three meals a day at regular intervals; no raw or cold food, no smoking or drinking, and no overworking as well. There is no cure for gastric disease; there is only supporting care for it.”
“We understand. Thank you, doctor.”
Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le were just about to follow the bed Ran Feng Ge was on to his hospital room, when they spotted the nurses looking at them strangely. Both thought to themselves as they looked down at their attires, feeling a little embarrassed and annoyed: All these people and their narrow mindedness. Haven’t they seen this style of clothing before?
The people involved in the military and special forces have even more outrageous-looking outfits!
Mi Le cleared her throat, saying, “What? Haven’t y’all ever seen cosplay?!”
With that, everyone quickly diverted their sight and those who could leave, left.
Chen Xi Ran hung on to a corner of the bed and was about to help push it when Su Yi Mo suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
Seeing him appear unexpectedly, Chen Xi Ran stopped and wondered, didn’t we ask him to leave earlier? Why is he still here? The operation lasted two hours. Did that mean Su Yi Mo had been here the entire time? Or had he left and just came back now?
Observing that Su Yi Mo was still dressed in the white Taekwondo uniform, Chen Xi Ran was even more confused. It is more likely that he waited for the entire two hours, right? If not, why did he not even change?
Su Yi Mo did not even try to explain himself. He made his way to the side of Ran Feng Ge’s bed and looked at the unconscious man before turning to Chen Xi Ran to say: “I will take care of him!”
“You?” Mi Le looked at him dubiously.
“Yes. Let me take care of him. Unlike you guys, I am dressed rather unremarkably – no one will recognize me. The two of you are attracting too much attention. If this raises any suspicion, then wouldn’t our actions so far be all for nothing?”
Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le exchanged glances. Su Yi Mo was not wrong.
“If you really want to do something for him, why not make use of your conspicuous get-up and direct the focus to some other hospital?”
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick