Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 64: He Likes Him
Bai Qingquan let go of Shen Jintai and glanced at Wei Ge and the others, who were all stunned in the distance. They waved their hands and walked towards them.
Wei Ge and Bai Qingquan’s two assistants were dumbfounded. They believed that if anyone saw this scene, they would be as shocked, if not more so, than they were. Before, due to filming <The East Palace Chronicles>, there were always cameras on, so Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai’s harmony could be chalked up to acting, especially Bai Qingquan, who was really good at hiding his true feelings. He obviously hated Shen Jintai, but when in front of a camera, he could always posed as a good friend.
Now there were no reporters, no cameras, and no one taking pictures of them. In the most inconspicuous corner, when everyone was tipsy and drunk, these two were hugging each other in such an intimate manner.
This wasn’t putting on a show. It was a real relationship.
Shen Jintai wiped the wine stains from the corner of his mouth, and then heard someone call to him: “Xiao Jin!”
He looked back and saw that it was Yan Yaoxuan, who he hadn’t seen for over half a year. The moment Yan Yaoxuan saw Shen Jintai, he couldn’t even recognize him. The change was too drastic. Shen Jintai was better-looking, more confident, and looked more radiant.
Shen Jintai was surprised to see Yan Yaoxuan. He immediately smiled and said, “I didn’t think you would come.”
“Just arrived,” Yan Yaoxuan said. “Xiao Jin, happy birthday!”
Shen Jintai: “Thank you.”
Yan Yaoxuan thought their meeting would be awkward, but he didn’t expect Shen Jintai to behave calmly. Shen Jintai asked, “Have you seen Auntie Yan and the others?”
Yan Yaoxuan: “Not yet. I came to greet you first.”
Shen Jintai: “They are in the room. I’ll take you there.”
“Wait a minute. First, I want to give you a birthday gift.” As Yan Yaoxuan said it, he handed him some car keys.
Shen Jintai froze as he heard Yan Yaoxuan say, “Before I left, didn’t I tell you that I wanted to give you an RV? I bought it. It’s hard on you when you’re filming, so it’s more convenient to have an RV.”
Shit, if you didn’t make a move, it would still be done, but when you did make your move, the result was amazing*.
*Metaphor referring to in normal times, your performance is not really outstanding, but when you actually put in effort (make your move) the results are incredible.
Shen Jintai quickly returned the keys to him and said, “It’s too expensive. I can’t accept it.”
“Is it because I like you?” Yan Yaoxuan asked directly.
Shen Jintai was speechless.
Yan Yaoxuan said, “This really has nothing to do with whether I like you or not. We’re brothers and friends. I wanted to give it to you since you made your comeback. Take it. It’s already bought.”
“I already have one. The company gave it to me. You haven’t heard the news, right? I’ve signed with a new company.” Shen Jintai smiled as he put the car keys into Yan Yaoxuan’s pocket and patted him on the shoulder. “Thank you Yaoxuan. This means a lot to me, but the gift is too expensive. I can’t accept it. I heard auntie say you didn’t plan to return to China. Just you coming back for my birthday is enough to move me. Let’s go. I’ll take you to see auntie and them. Your brother is here also.”
Yan Yaoxuan was lost for words. He didn’t know how to respond to Shen Jintai. He put his hands in his pocket and took out the keys, but soon saw his brother and mother walking over.
Mrs. Yan and Yan Qiuchi caught sight of Yan Yaoxuan instantly. Yan Qiuchi was a bit surprised to see them, especially his brother. As Yan Yaoxuan was about to remove the keys from his pocket, seeing Yan Qiuchi heading over, he put them back.
“Yaoxuan!” Mrs. Yan shouted.
Shen Jintai looked at them. When he saw Yan Qiuchi, he knew instantly who had put a coat around him when he was talking with Director Guo, since Yan Qiuchi wasn’t wearing his coat that he originally came with.
A vague memory slowly emerged. As he was sending off Guo Rui, he recalled that Yan Qiuchi and Zhang Yuan seemed to be there as well. Shen Jintai stretched out his arm, took the coat from the back of his chair and walked towards them.
Mrs. Yan asked Yan Yaoxuan, “You child, why didn’t you tell us that you were coming back? Is this to surprise Xiao Jin or something?”
Yan Yaoxuan said, “You guessed it. What can I say?” He gave Yan Qiuchi a slight glance. Feeling a bit guilty, he called to him, “Brother.”
Yan Qiuchi responded with “Nn” and didn’t say anything else.
“It’s getting late. We should go too,” Mrs. Yan said. “It’s too late to drive back. Let’s stay in a hotel. Come, let’s go together. The cake I made for you is in the car. It’s probably lost some of its freshness now, but it’s still good enough for us four to eat. We’ll have it back at the hotel.” As she finished speaking, Mrs. Yan took Shen Jintai’s hand. Shen Jintai held her hands as he stretched his other arm, which was holding the coat, towards Yan Qiuchi.
As if there was a connection in his heart, Yan Qiuchi stretched out his hand and took the coat. It looked like floating clouds and flowing water*, but Yan Yaoxuan still caught it in his eyes. He didn’t know that Yan Qiuchi had put his coat on Shen Jintai earlier, but he was still surprised to see Shen Jintai taking the initiative to hand his brother his coat.
*(行云流水) Idiom refers to effortlessly. Naturally.
It seemed that in the past six months of his absence, everything had changed. His brother was no longer antagonistic towards Shen Jintai.
Yan Qiuchi put on his coat, called the driver and asked him to come over.
“I drove here,” Yan Yaoxuan said. “Does anyone want to go with me?”
“I will go with you,” Yan Qiuchi said. Yan Yaoxuan immediately regretted his offer.
Shen Jintai stayed at the door for a while as he bid farewell to the rest of the crew. Mrs. Yan was by his side with her arms around him, looking like she was his real mother as she graciously shook hands with people from time to time.
Yan Yaoxuan watched their figures from his car window and started the car. Yan Qiuchi, who was riding shotgun, asked, “Have you been drinking?”
“No,” Yan Yaoxuan said.
As the car drove on the wintery road, the two brothers were in complete silence. Yan Qiuchi suddenly started asking him questions, like when did he come back and why didn’t he tell his family in advance.
Yan Yaoxuan answered his questions one by one and finally took the initiative to clarify, saying, “I came back to celebrate Xiao Jin’s birthday.”
Yan Qiuchi pursed his lips and stopped speaking. After a prolonged silence, he asked, “Do you still miss him?”
Yan Yaoxuan said, “What do you mean?”
“You confessed but were rejected,” Yan Qiuchi said.
“It was hard for a while. It’s not something you can easily get over.” Yan Yaoxuan turned to look at his brother. “Your relationship with Xiao Jin is much better than before…”
Yan Qiuchi snorted an “Nn”.
Yan Yaoxuan felt an inexplicable jealousy upon hearing Yan Qiuchi’s response. He tightly gripped the steering wheel and said, “Then he must be thrilled.”
Yan Qiuchi understood the underlying tone behind that sentence. Yan Yaoxuan must still think that Shen Jintai still liked him. The truth, though, was that Shen Jintai no longer had feelings for him. This wasn’t his pretend play-hard-to-get. He truly no longer had feelings for him. The way Shen Jintai looked at him now was neither flattering nor avoidance, magnanimous nor alienated. It was now simply respectful, kind, and polite.
Yan Qiuchi didn’t divulge this to Yan Yaoxuan. The silence from his brother made Yan Yaoxuan’s heartbeat accelerate as it was slowly overcome with dread. He was afraid his brother and Shen Jintai would become entangled again, but this time around, it might truly work out. After all, Shen Jintai really loved his brother.
Yan Yaoxuan drove in silence, as his eyes began to dampen. The winter in Nancheng was cold and there was fog in the night. When they crossed the bridge, the fog was so thick that they couldn’t see the high-rise buildings.
With emotion surging inside his chest, Yan Yaoxuan couldn’t hold it in. He said, in an anxious tone, “You hated him very much before.”
“Everyone has changed,” Yan Qiuchi said.
“Have you changed too?”
“I have changed too.”
Yan Yaoxuan’s emotions climaxed to its highest point. He was most afraid of hearing this from Yan Qiuchi and what the outcome would be. Yan Qiuchi, however, didn’t say anything further. After a short silence, Yan Yaoxuan was able to calm his mood and asked, “Does he know?”
“I don’t know,” Yan Qiuchi said. “I’m not going to tell him either.”
Yan Yaoxuan was flabbergasted. He turned his head and saw Yan Qiuchi leaning on the seat as he stared slightly ahead, out the car window. Hearing this caught him by surprise. Yan Yaoxuan’s uneasy heart loosened. He felt sorry for Shen Jintai and said, “You don’t need to… You don’t need to be concerned about it if it’s because of me… I’m not that kind of person. I’ve been prepared all these years.”
“It has nothing to do with you,” Yan Qiuchi said. “Have you seen his drama? He acts very well and will have major achievements in the entertainment industry in the future. He loves this industry. I hope he can stay on his path and go for a long time. It’s best if I don’t get involved.”
Yan Qiuchi had had a vague idea in his heart for some time now. When saying it out loud, he inexplicably felt sad. He recalled the scene of sending Guo Rui off. Shen Jintai was standing in the cold with only a thin sweater on. Guo Rui was holding onto his hand and kept chatting. Shen Jintai’s nose was getting redder from the frost, but his smile remained bright. He said to Guo Rui, “Okay, we’ll talk again later.”
Guo Rui was drunk and refused to leave. Shen Jintai liked the director very much, so he continued to listen to him cooperatively. In the biting cold wind, Yan Qiuchi took off his coat and wrapped it around Shen Jintai.
Shen Jintai was probably buzzed. He turned his head slightly, showing a wine-colored face as he pulled the collar of the coat closer to him. Despite not having his coat any longer and the cold wind continually blasting him, Yan Qiuchi felt warm in his heart.
He went back into the restaurant as someone called to him. It didn’t matter if Shen Jintai knew that the coat had belonged to him.
Yan Yaoxuan was in a dismal state when he heard those words. It confirmed that his brother now liked Shen Jintai. As long as his brother made his move, he would no longer have a chance. He was well aware of this. What made him give up was never Shen Jintai’s rejection, but Yan Qiuchi’s feelings*.
*Clarity: He means that even if Shen Jintai had rejected him, there’s always a chance those feelings could change. On the other hand, if Yan Qiuchi falls in love with Shen Jintai, knowing how Shen Jintai has always felt about him, it is most probable that they will get together, making Yan Yaoxuan’s chances basically 0%.
Many things used to be vague. Feelings were complicated and relationships were murky enough that love could have been hidden beneath the exterior. Now that he had this conversation with Yan Yaoxuan, everything had become crystal clear.
Yan Qiuchi closed his eyes. All his mind could see was Shen Jintai’s smile.
What an absurd irony, but it made his heart beat irresistibly. He had always been restrained, and naturally, he could restrain these feelings. Shen Jintai used to like him, but no longer. He had changed, and it was only fair.
The author has something to say:
The duo of secretly in love brothers is online!
Too little, too late, but I’ll give Yan Qiuchi credit for realizing it.