A car engine firing up sounded. Ran Feng Ge looked out from the second floor window and watched as Su Yi Mo drove away from the mansion. Absentmindedly, Ran Feng Ge seated himself at the piano, his fingers dancing across the keys to play an impromptu song.
His eyes were looking but not seeing as nostalgia filled him, bringing back memories.
Why a body double…?
If there had been a choice, who would willingly reject an ordinary life? He was born into a good family; he had the chance to willfully spend his days lazing around like a typical second-generation rich young master.
However, life doesn’t always follow the path we would choose for ourselves.
Ran Feng Ge’s mind became preoccupied with things that transpired a long time ago.
When he was younger, he took his mother’s last name. The Ran family was renowned and had a good reputation; his maternal grandfather was a high level official in G City and both of his uncles had military backgrounds. His mother having been the youngest child, was pampered greatly by everyone else while her son, Ran Feng Ge, reaped the benefits. He was well-loved by his maternal grandfather to the extent that the old man made the decision for him to have the family name.
Ran Feng Ge’s father had no choice but to obey whatever the elder Ran said.
While growing up in the Ran household, Ran Feng Ge always accompanied his grandfather and uncles, learning all sorts of practical skills from them while his socialite mother taught him how to play the piano, how to dance and all sorts of skills deemed necessary for the upper class.
Ran Feng Ge had always been smart as a child. He was able to grasp knowledge quickly and on top of that, he was incredibly quick-witted. His cute antics were always making the people around him laugh thereby earning their adoration.
As far as he could remember, Ran Feng Ge never saw his father. His mother would always tell him things about his father though. How his father was young, very competent, and was made to do great things. When his father first married into the family, everyone said he did so to benefit from marrying into a powerful family. In actuality, his parents were very much in love. After Ran Feng Ge was born, his father made the decision to continue expanding his business and knowledge overseas. Unfortunately, his grandfather and uncles forbade his mother from following her husband out of love. Therefore, both mother and child were left behind in the care of the Ran family.
Everything changed the year Ran Feng Ge turned eight.
That day, he had just arrived home from school when he found their house in a mess. His grandfather appeared to have aged ten years and both his uncles were slumped in the corner sighing deeply while muttering curses under their breaths.
His mother looked petrified as she sat unmoving like a statue, staring blankly into space.
Little Ran Feng Ge watched with his soccer ball in one hand as uniformed men came by to slowly remove all the things from his home.
Both his uncles were framed and sentenced to jail while his grandfather fell ill and was hospitalized. Soon after, his mother fell into depression. Ran Feng Ge was still too young to fully comprehend what had happened. How was it that in a span of one night, everything had changed for the worse?
He remembered that as his uncles were being taken away by the police, both of them were glaring and cursing at him, calling him an illegitimate child. Then they cursed at his father who was never around, calling him an ungrateful scheming bastard. Lastly, they scolded his mother for causing her own family’s destruction.
Everything that was before– the family bond that seemed unbreakable, the unending love and concern– disintegrated in the face of money.
In a single blow, the Ran family was destroyed. Everything was liquidated and confiscated by the government, both his uncles were thrown in jail, and both his grandfather and mother were confined in the hospital. They were in a situation where even paying for the hospitalization fees was difficult.
It was then that Ran Feng Ge finally understood. His so-called ‘father’ had another wife and kids overseas. Him marrying into the family, the love between his mother and father– everything was just an elaborate lie!
His father’s only intention had been to make use of the Ran family’s power to build his own empire and then to exact revenge on said family.
This was because a long time ago, the elder Ran had done something that caused the An family, his father’s family, to crumble into nothing.
Yes. The An family. His ‘father’s’ last name was An.
Even though Ran Feng Ge wanted to try to raise some funds to pay for both his grandfather’s and his mother’s hospital bills, there was only so much an eight year old child could do.
First of all, not a single place in the world would hire a child laborer. It was fortunate that his school took pity on him and helped him by allocating a small subset of donation to him as allowance.
Another thing is, Ran Feng Ge was brought up as a pampered child. He had never been through anything his family could not weather for him. Other than some measly practical skills he learned from his grandfather and uncles, he only knew how to sing, dance and play the piano– all of which were useless in real life.
His mother was a very sheltered woman. After finding out that she was in fact the third party in a relationship, the man she had loved had a legitimate wife and children, and to add fuel to the fire, that man had been the one to destroy her family, she could no longer take it. Every time she looked at Ran Feng Ge, she was reminded of the fact that he was that man’s son, a harbinger of doom; she should never have given birth to this devil. In addition to beating him whenever she could, every word that came out from her mouth now was to curse at Ran Feng Ge.
It was afterwards that the doctor finally diagnosed his mother as having been traumatized to the point that her mental capability was affected.
In the beginning, his grandfather didn’t blame him for everything that went wrong. It all changed though when he found out his precious daughter had gone insane because of Ran Feng Ge. Whenever he looked at his grandson now, there was a sense of loathing and isolation.
Deep down, the elder Ran knew that Ran Feng Ge was blameless– this child was actually the most innocent one of all. Seeing his daughter’s suffering, however, he could not help but put all the blame onto the little boy.
Ran Feng Ge may still be very young but he was very bright. His observational skills drastically improved because of everything that had happened. After seeing the change in attitude his most beloved grandfather had towards him, little Ran Feng Ge could not help it when his heart steeled itself.
Hiding in the bushes near the hospital, little Ran Feng Ge hugged his knees to his chest and cried the entire night. When exhaustion finally hit him, Ran Feng Ge closed his eyes and fell asleep in the same position, his little face wet with tears.
When the sun rose the next day, Ran Feng Ge wiped the remnants of his tears off his face and continued on his task to find a way to pay for the medical bills.
Walking past the parking garage, Ran Feng Ge eyed a branded luxury car and his eyes twinkled.
Both his uncles were car enthusiasts so they introduced different models and brands to little Ran Feng Ge. At five years old, Ran Feng Ge was already able to recognize a large number of car logos. His uncles had made him a promise then that when Ran Feng Ge grew up, they would buy him the best car available in the world.
Due to this, he was able to recognize the car brand.
The owner of this car must be someone very rich! If I could meet someone rich, then… then grandfather’s and mother’s medical bills can be settled!
Ran Feng Ge immediately made his way towards the car until he caught sight of another car– a black Jaguar.
In the passenger seat of the Jaguar sat a boy who appeared to be of similar age to Ran Feng Ge. With an air of importance and a face full of concentration, the boy held an open laptop computer in his hands, acting so much like an adult.
Ran Feng Ge quickly changed his mind: This one!
He was only a child and so his thinking process was of course childlike. Seeing another child in the car made him consider that the driver of said car would not be driving fast. If Ran Feng Ge were to pretend to be knocked down by this car and if perhaps the other boy saw this, he would be more inclined to get the driver to stop.
Making up his mind, Ran Feng Ge quickly hid himself near the opening of the car garage. He clutched onto his soccer ball tightly, steeling himself before kicking the ball towards the oncoming car as a warning to the driver in an attempt to not let himself actually get hit.
Everything went according to plan.
Upon seeing the ball followed by a child right in front of him, the driver abruptly stepped on the brakes only to see both the ball and the boy disappear under the car.
Ran Feng Ge laid himself down on the ground and shut his eyes, keeping himself as still as possible while tightly holding onto his soccer ball.
It was given to Ran Feng Ge by his beloved grandfather so he could not bear to lose it.
At the sudden stop, the little master inside the car could not do anything but watch as the laptop computer slid off his lap while he jerked forward. He raised his head to look out the window and saw a little boy lying stock still before the car.
The driver had already scrambled out of the vehicle to assess the situation. The little master picked his laptop computer up and placed it carefully on the armrest beside him. He then removed his safety belt and exited the car as well.
Only after seeing that the little boy was unharmed could the driver release the breath he had been unconsciously holding. The only problem was, no matter how much he called, the child would not wake up. The boy seemed to have fainted from the fright.
From the side, the young master could not help the little smirk that formed on his lips as he eyed the boy’s twitching eyelids and the death grip on the soccer ball.
“Young master, please get back inside the car. There is too much traffic here, they might hit you. I will bring him to the hospital first and will be back shortly after.”
“No need. Let’s just take him home with us!” The little young master said, his facial features rearranged into one of seriousness. “There is nothing wrong with him; he simply fainted due to fear. Let’s just bring him home and let him recover there.”
“Understood,” The driver replied as he carried little Ran Feng Ge and placed him across the back seat.
Ran Feng Ge was panicking internally. Should he or should he not open his eyes and declare he was okay? Being taken home by a stranger was not the smartest thing to do, was it?
Once his panic subsided, Ran Feng Ge began to internally process the situation and thought, ‘What could they possibly do with a child?’ This was better anyways; he could go into their house, meet the grownups and see if they were willing to sponsor him with regards to the medical bills.
Ran Feng Ge silently cheered himself up while calming his frantic heart.
In the passenger seat, the little young master stopped playing with his laptop computer. Instead, he turned towards the backseat every now and then to look at the little boy pretending to be asleep. He was very curious as to what this little rascal was planning.
In fact, he actually caught Ran Feng Ge snooping around a while ago, eyeing the cars from the car garage’s entrance. Once the little rascal spotted his car, a look of determination settled upon the boy’s face as though he had made his mind up to do something.
Hmph, looking at things now, it seemed the boy decided to fake an accident. What is his purpose? Blackmail?
What a tricky little liar! See what I will do to you once we get home!
Ran Feng Ge initially pretended to have fainted but because he had spent the majority of the night crying– only managing to sleep right before dawn– and he was lying down in the backseat of a comfortable car driven by a superb driver, it was no surprise that Ran Feng Ge drifted off to sleep.
Even while dreaming, the little brows on Ran Feng Ge’s face were still furrowed and his small lips were tightly pressed together, an expression of pain and indescribable worry etched into his adorable features.
Proofreaders: Jinny, Lyrick
Su Yi Mo was deep in thought thinking of reasons as to why Ran Feng Ge chose the high risk occupation of body double. Unbeknownst to him, his silence and the dour look etched into his features made Ran Feng Ge stare at him, wondering what on earth Su Yi Mo was thinking about.
However, since Su Yi Mo had already apologized, there was no need for Ran Feng Ge to hold any grudges.
Ran Feng Ge broke the silence: “Then… Let’s eat at home from now on then.”
“Okay.” Su Yi Mo agreed.
The meal was prepared by Ran Feng Ge and because he was just discharged from the hospital, the main dish was very light and watered down. Ran Feng Ge quickly decided to whip up a few other side dishes to make this simple meal into a somewhat varied lunch spread.
As the two of them took their seats, Ran Feng Ge rinsed two pairs of chopsticks and handed a pair over to Su Yi Mo, asking, “Are Ah Jiu and the others not joining us?”
“They will eat in their own homes.”
“Oh,” Ran Feng Ge said as he picked up a dish unsuitable for him and offered it to the other, “Here, try some of my cooking!”
Su Yi Mo calmly used his chopsticks to take a bite, chewing slowly before his lips quirked upwards slightly.
“Is there anything you cannot do?”
Ran Feng Ge innocently tilted his head.
Su Yi Mo swallowed his food before speaking. “You are already a jack of all trades and now I find out you are also skilled at cooking. I am curious, is there anything you can’t do?”
Hearing those words from Su Yi Mo’s lips made Ran Feng Ge laugh. With his ego inflating, he replied, “Hmm, now that I think about it, there’s nothing.”
Su Yi Mo knew Ran Feng Ge was exaggerating but he did not want to burst the other’s bubble so he continued to eat. Silence once again descended upon the two of them as Ran Feng Ge also silently spooned his bowl of porridge, occasionally using his chopsticks to pick up some side dishes.
If Ran Feng Ge were to raise his head, Su Yi Mo would be able to get a better look at the other man holding onto the small bowl, slowly scooping up spoonfuls of his porridge. Su Yi Mo had mentioned before that Ran Feng Ge was not as graceful as Jing Qiu Han when he was eating, but comparing them now, Ran Feng Ge appeared a lot more graceful.
No wonder… A professional body double is indeed professional– always listening to the input and criticisms of others and being able to change his entire attitude and mannerisms on the go to achieve the best result.
Weirdly enough, Su Yi Mo could not help but feel a little irritated at how graceful Ran Feng Ge had become.
“Why did you want to be a body double?” Su Yi Mo suddenly asked.
Ran Feng Ge was about to eat a spoonful of porridge when he slightly hesitated upon hearing the question. He continued with a small smile, “The money plus the adrenaline rush each time! I really enjoy it!”
“But it is very dangerous.”
“Look at me. I’ve survived till now haven’t I?” Ran Feng Ge answered with a shrug of his shoulders.
Su Yi Mo was about to say something when his cell phone’s abrupt ringing cut him off. A glance at his phone revealed that it was the new number he had recently given to Jing Qiu Han.
Ran Feng Ge saw the number and didn’t think much of it until he saw how Su Yi Mo quickly glanced at him before looking back at the screen. He stood up and picked up his little bowl. “I’ll leave.”
Su Yi Mo could not help but hesitate as he watched Ran Feng Ge walk out of the dining room before he answered the call: “Xiao Qiu, what’s the matter?”
“Ah Mo, you haven’t visited me for a few days now. Are you that busy?” Jing Qiu Han sounded slightly annoyed on the other end but provided Su Yi Mo with an excuse to go along with.
Thinking back to the past few days, Su Yi Mo had indeed been very busy with the entire fiasco involving Ran Feng Ge and it was true that he had not been to see Jing Qiu Han in a long time. No wonder his little lover was annoyed.
“I was busy with some things, sorry. How about I come by tonight to see you?”
“Okay! I will prepare your favorite flame-grilled meat dish!” Jing Qiu Han replied unable to keep the excitement out of his voice after hearing Su Yi Mo say he was going to come by tonight.
“Flame-grilled meat? Are you not worried about me getting fat?”
It was rare for Su Yi Mo to make a joke but he was truly feeling apologetic towards Jing Qiu Han. He had been consumed with the whole Ran Feng Ge business; so much so that it was out of the norm for someone like him.
Looking at the numerous high quality recipe books, the newly stocked fridge full of fresh and healthy ingredients and the tabletop covered with mouth-watering dishes that both he and Ran Feng Ge had just made together– that both he and Ran Feng Ge enjoyed. Thinking about it, Su Yi Mo made a decision: This is not right. This is wrong. I need to control myself.
Once again, Su Yi Mo chose to explain this out of character behavior to the fact that Ran Feng Ge was currently impersonating Jing Qiu Han and therefore, what he has done for the other was only because he took him for Jing Qiu Han and nothing more.
Just now, didn’t Ran Feng Ge have Jing Qiu Han’s face? All of this is just an act. Just an act.
“Never! I will make sure it is healthy!” Jing Qiu Han could hear how distracted Su Yi Mo sounded over the phone but he decided not to probe. Besides, Su Yi Mo was going to come over tonight. He could always just ask him about it later.
“Don’t tire yourself out; you are still recovering from your injuries.” Su Yi Mo nagged gently.
“I know! I’ll wait for you tonight.“ Jing Qiu Han laughed.
From the other side of the wall, Ran Feng Ge found himself pausing after hearing the gentle voice. He had to stop himself from turning around to see how Su Yi Mo’s face looks when he was being this gentle, this tender. Just as he was about to turn, Ran Feng Ge released a short chuckle, his grip on his bowl tightening slightly as he made his way up to his room on the second floor.
Tenderness and gentleness… Why should I be bothered about it when I’m not the one on the receiving end!
Proofreaders: Jinny, Lyrick
Su Yi Mo personally assisted in Ran Feng Ge’s discharge from the hospital after his surgical wound had healed.
During his stint in the hospital, Chen Xi Ran and Mi Le had come by to visit him – and even though the two of them bowed their heads as Ran Feng Ge lectured them thoroughly, they were still able to work seamlessly hand-in-hand to extract the vital information from Ran Feng Ge with regards to his current job.
They found out that the job Ran Feng Ge had this time was indeed to impersonate Jing Qiu Han, with a time frame of a year. It was also known that contrary to his appearance, Jing Qiu Han was not a simple person; he and Lan Kuang had an unusual connection.
With regards to this new information, it seems, Su Yi Mo was not as dumb as he made himself out to be.
However, these two men, from the very first time they met, to the times they got to know each other and even more so, to the time they fell in love, they did indeed have an unforgettable tale.
With time, acquaintances can always become something more intimate, and who knows, intimacy can always lead to a sense of responsibility.
A sense of responsibility… in which love has no part to play in.
At the end of the day, whether it was love or not, only the people involved knew best.
Returning to the Su manor, Ran Feng Ge immediately prepared all the little bottles he had on hand and quickly created a Jing Qiu Han mask. For some time now, he had been rather unprofessional; instead of doing his job properly and becoming the Jing Qiu Han he was tasked with, he ended up in the hospital – what a waste of time!
Ran Feng Ge had only just attached the mask onto his own face when he smelled something which forced his eyebrows to meet in the middle. “What is that horrible smell?!”
Don’t tell me something is burning? What a strong burnt scent!
Following the burnt smell downstairs, Ran Feng Ge realized the origin of the smell was coming from the kitchen where a steady stream of smoke was drifting out. A sudden coughing fit sounded and the silhouette of a man holding a wooden spatula came stumbling out soon after looking rather despondent.
Ran Feng Ge allowed himself to openly stare at Su Yi Mo, as he laughed slightly. “Ah Mo, what is it you are trying to do? Demolish the house?”
Suddenly hearing the voice of Jing Qiu Han ring out, Su Yi Mo could not help himself from staring at the familiar face before him before he realized that it was just Ran Feng Ge behind the mask. He quickly gathered himself and with a gentle voice, he said, “I just wanted to give you a surprise. I only wanted to try my hand at making your favorite porridge…”
Ran Feng Ge looked at the suit Su Yi Mo was dressed in and could not help the chuckle that escaped his lips. Shaking his head slightly, Ran Feng Ge could not help but wonder who on earth wears a brand name three-piece suit to cook in the kitchen? And is that a white silk shirt? What a waste!
“Why is there so much smoke? Didn’t you turn on the ventilator?” Ran Feng Ge asked as he walked over to the window and pushed it open to help get rid of the smoke before he went back to the side of the stove to turn on the ventilator.
Su Yi Mo followed behind Ran Feng Ge before asking, “Ventilator… What is that?”
Ran Feng Ge sighed deeply, a rich young master, no doubt. He reached for the ventilator switch and flicked it to on. Within no time at all, all the smoke in the kitchen had been filtered out.
Su Yi Mo stood by one side and marveled, “So that is the ventilator… It truly is useful.”
After the smoke had dissipated, Ran Feng Ge caught sight of the culprit – within a pot was a mass of burnt, dry-as-a-bone porridge debris.
Su Yi Mo calmly retrieved the pot from the stove top. Using the wooden spatula in his hand, he scraped out the porridge from within and dumped it.
After using water to rinse the pot, Su Yi Mo filled it with water and poured a variety of rice and grains into the pot, swished it around a little before putting the lid on it, and placing the pot onto the stove top.
Ran Feng Ge could not help it when his eyebrows creased even deeper as he scanned the trash can that was filled with numerous failed experimental porridge attempts from before. Reaching out with his hand, Ran Feng Ge turned off the fire. “It doesn’t matter how many times you try; you will always fail if you cook it this way.”
Su Yi Mo was unperturbed, “Not really. I’ve tried three times, and each attempt was better than the last, therefore it will work out sooner or later!”
Ran Feng Ge could not help but push Su Yi Mo out of the way, some things just need to be done by oneself. He grabbed the pot off the stove and drained the water from it before replacing the rice into a clean bowl. After which, he refilled the pot with water and placed it onto the stove, covering it with the lid as he reignited the flames. “You need to boil the water first before adding in the rice.”
Su Yi Mo opened his mouth wanting to say something but could not – his first attempt had him cooking both the water and rice at the same time; there was too little water and too much rice which resulted in a disaster. His second attempt had him consulting a recipe book which said he had to boil the water first before adding the rice in. Therefore, he had followed the instructions and boiled the water before adding in the rice, but he had misjudged himself and spilled both water and rice all over the stove top. The third time lucky, he decided to try the first method again…
This time he wanted to incorporate both the first and second methodology and see if it would work out but judging by the practiced motions of Ran Feng Ge at cutting up the vegetables, he decided to step back and leave the master to his craft.
Su Yi Mo was suddenly reminded of the time when Ran Feng Ge had just moved into the manor with him. He had once made food as well; both the look and smell of it were wondrous, however, because of his own suspicious personality, in addition to Jing Qiu Han being in a coma, he was unable to appreciate Ran Feng Ge’s good intention and instead had provoked him…
Thinking back now, the Su Yi Mo back then had indeed been too much.
It seems, Ran Feng Ge was also reminded of the incident back then. He had even sworn to himself that he would never cook anything anymore… Looking down at the vegetables he had been cutting, Ran Feng Ge’s hands slowed down.
Both of them decided to speak at the same time, and what had been a comfortable atmosphere suddenly became awkward.
Ran Feng Ge self-consciously rubbed his nose. “Don’t misunderstand this. I am only making this for myself. I’m not trying to win you over or anything, all I want is to do this job right and receive my pay after!”
Su Yi Mo replied, “What I wanted to say was… I am sorry…for that time.”
Su Yi Mo looked at the currently bowed head of Ran Feng Ge, and then turned his sights onto the diced vegetables on the chopping board – they were all evenly diced, the length and width were almost all the same – this said a lot about his cooking skills. It would be a waste of his talent if it was not appreciated.
Besides, the main reason why Su Yi Mo wanted to learn cooking was to help Ran Feng Ge make nutritional meals to aid in his gastric disease. Since Ran Feng knew how to cook, that was all the more reason he should not eat out and instead come home and cook something healthy to eat.
Su Yi Mo may be an iceberg of a man, but he still knew how to spare a thought for someone else, especially someone working for him—sure, he was using him, and he was paying him for his services. All they had between them was employer-employee status, but he could not ignore his employee’s health condition now, could he?
If being a body double for someone meant that he would have to compromise on his health, wouldn’t that be a huge loss, then?
Moreover, all these body doubles, they had to impersonate everything down to the little details such as their favorite food and all that – even if there were small discrepancies, no one other than their closest confidants would even notice it; ordinary acquaintances would never be able to recognize the flaws.
Therefore, Su Yi Mo did not want Ran Feng Ge to injure himself any further in order to impersonate Jing Qiu Han down to the last detail.
For example, regarding Jing Qiu Han being so famous in the entertainment industry, a major factor was their relationship, other than that was his frighteningly high tolerance to alcohol; Jing Qiu Han would often discuss business with A-list movie directors or movie stars over alcohol. If Ran Feng Ge had other means of obtaining the roles, or getting into the good books of the directors and writers, then he would not need to force himself to act like Jing Qiu Han by drinking himself to gain deals which would, in turn, further provoke his gastric disease…
Su Yi Mo didn’t know why on earth he was so concerned over Ran Feng Ge. Perhaps it was the image of Ran Feng Ge trapped in the holding cell, suffocating slowly that made him feel… being a body double is actually quite miserable sometimes.
Living a life hidden in the shadows of his employers, waking up to an unfamiliar face each morning, needing to watch his every word and action, afraid to even let loose a single mistake that could lead to his failure as a body double—even having to risk his life to suffer consequences that were not even his to suffer…
Body doubles were still human; they also required care and concern. It doesn’t mean they should give up and risk everything they are just because they were being paid for their service. Who would choose to work in a job that required such strict discipline with no actual advantages to oneself?
Money is not everything.
Ran Feng Ge had said this before.
Thinking back, Ran Feng Ge didn’t seem like he was someone who was lacking money, so why did he choose to work in this sort of profession anyway?
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick
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!]