Chapter 14: P.
Secret Hideout

Many people like you.

Hearing that, Ning Yixiao was slightly stunned.

In the future.

Even though he could understand it, and knew that this was Su Hui’s answer to his overstepping question, Ning Yixiao did not dare to probe deeper.

He knew that was not all.

In the damp, dark rented flat, with the dim yellow light from the refrigerator, there was the silence after an ambiguous tension and Su Hui’s forthright gaze.

Everything was pointing towards a certain unspoken implication.

There will always be a loser to this spin-the-bottle game.

“Sorry.” Ning Yixiao could only cover it up with an apology.
“I misunderstood you.”

To be honest, he did not believe those rumors.

But at that time, he subconsciously wanted to probe him, wanted to hear Su Hui explain it himself.

“What?” Su Hui laughed, feigning ignorance.
“I finished it.”

He turned, back towards Ning Yixiao, as he washed his hands.
“Let’s go back to sleep.”

Ning Yixiao paused for a moment and nodded.

This time, no noises came from the next room.
Su Hui lay on the bed, but like an auditory hallucination, the sweetened, intimate words uttered between that pair of lovers next door appeared in his mind.

And that man’s voice, in the foggy rainy night, slowly changed into Ning Yixiao’s deep voice.

He said, Do you like me? You like me a lot, don’t you?

Are you happy?

This made Su Hui, who was nearly falling asleep, awake with a start.
Then he could never fall back asleep again.

There was a fatal flaw in a windowless room.
With no sunlight filtering through windows, it was difficult to wake up naturally.

Ning Yixiao was exhausted.
In the past, he could always wake up by himself at six-thirty in the morning.
But on the first day that he moved in, he overslept.

He had a lengthy dream that was broken into pieces.
Most of his dreams were his appalling childhood experiences, but interjected with some beautifully bloomed flowers and sunlight that hurt like a soft knife, coming in patch after patch.
And then finally, it was Su Hui’s back.

The sunlight between them seemed so ample that a complete sun seemed to be what was separating them.

In the instant that he woke up with a start, Ning Yixiao’s heart was speeding.
The room was in complete darkness.
But he instantly noticed that the bed was empty, without a person in sight.
So, he turned on his phone.
It was close to noon — at nearly eleven o’clock.

There were some sounds from outside.
Ning Yixiao stopped spacing out, standing up to push the door and walk out.
Outside, the lights were turned on, so when the lights abruptly hit him, he squinted his eyes, not yet used to it.

“You’re awake?”

Su Hui’s voice came from the kitchen, drowned out by the clanking noises.

Ning Yixiao walked over and the first thing he saw was a completely cluttered kitchen counter as well as Su Hui’s abashed face.
He was a little stunned.

“You’re cooking?” Ning Yixiao stared at his burnt fried egg and questioned belatedly.

“Ah… I guess.” Su Hui was a little embarrassed, picking up two ceramic plates on the table.
“I made some food.
You slept for so long, so you must be very hungry.”

He realized that there was no dining table outside, so he could only bring it into Ning Yixiao’s room like this.

The “food” that he mentioned was, in truth, just a burnt fried egg, two slices of bread and a carton of milk.

“Where did these come from?” Ning Yixiao did not purchase the food.

“I bought them from Wang Cong.
At first, I thought of going down to the supermarket, but I checked online and found that the nearest supermarket was a bit far…”

Ning Yixiao listened, realizing that he truly didn’t have much life experience and didn’t know that the small provision stores in such areas already have eggs.
Supermarkets were not necessarily needed.

As Su Hui spoke, he handed him disposable cutlery.
“Wang Cong is really quite a good person.
He said he didn’t want my money and told me to use any food in the fridge.
And even gave me two pairs of disposable chopsticks.
Apparently they were from the food delivery that he didn’t use.
But I still gave him my pocket money.”

Ning Yixiao’s eyebrows were knitted together.
He had to search through his brain for a while before he recalled that Wang Cong was his roommate next door.
But Su Hui had uttered his name again and again, as though he had left a deep impression on him.

Perhaps because he lacked too much confidence in his cooking, Su Hui misunderstood his frown.
“Did I cook it too awfully? How about you eat this toast and drink some milk instead? Stop eating the egg.”

But Ning Yixiao rebelliously picked up the egg with his chopsticks, finishing it in two to three bites.

“It’s still fine.
I like burnt ones.”

His voice wasn’t loud when he said this, but Su Hui still heard it and giggled.
When he drank the milk, he looked just like a little kid.

“Why don’t you have a fried egg?” Ning Yixiao looked at Su Hui.

“I don’t like fried eggs.” Su Hui said, “I only like steamed eggs.
I don’t like fried or boiled ones.”

“You don’t drink milk too?” [1] Ning Yixiao asked.

“Milk…” Su Hui held his face.
“I’m taking medications, and the doctor advised me to not drink too much.”

“Then what do you eat for breakfast?”

“Mm… There are many options.” Su Hui pondered.
“I like yellow croaker noodles, spinach noodles, pan-fried pork buns and small wantons.”

“Little young master.” Ning Yixiao teased quietly.

Su Hui immediately denied.
“No, I’m so not.”

Ning Yixiao mimicked his tone and copied him very childishly,  “No, I’m so not.”

He ate very quickly.
Unlike Su Hui’s unrushed mannerisms, he finished in just a few bites, taking the chopsticks and getting up to clean up the kitchen that seemed to have undergone a world war.

As he washed the dishes, Su Hui made a few attempts to step in, but was stopped by Ning Yixiao quietly.

When he was nearly done, Ning Yixiao asked, “You probably have a nanny at home, right?”

Su Hui felt that his word choice was not accurate.
“We have an auntie who cooks for us, because my mother isn’t good at these.”

Ning Yixiao smiled then.
“That’s very convenient.
You don’t quite look like you’re good at it too.”

When he looked back, he saw the little young master’s branded shirt creased from his sleep, and suddenly thought of a maid helping him iron the clothes when he was at home.

“What about you?” Su Hui didn’t mind being criticized as being bad at cooking.
“Do you know how to cook?”

Ning Yixiao made a noise in acknowledgement.

This was an essential survival skill for him.

“It’s alright.
In any case, it’s edible.” He didn’t continue this topic and turned to ask Su Hui, “Did you sleep well?”

“It’s still okay.” Su Hui lied very naturally.
“I thought I would lose sleep, but ended up falling asleep quickly.
Much faster than at home.”

He was even a little young master who liked to experience hardships.

Ning Yixiao maintained the smile on his face and didn’t continue.
He dried his hands and said he’d send him home.

Su Hui immediately rejected it.
“I’m not going back.”

Ning Yixiao had already expected this response, but still persisted in persuading him.
“You already didn’t go home last night.
Your family would worry about your safety.”

It was not like Su Hui didn’t know that.
It was not his first time not going home.
When his illness acted up, he didn’t even know what he did, where he went.
But when he was sober, he would discover himself standing in a completely foreign place, with regret and hatred instantaneously pouring into his mind like lakewater.
When he went home, their first question would always be the same.

“Compared to worry, they’re more scared of losing their face because of me,” Su Hui said.

Your illness acted up, right? Did you do anything shameful? Did anyone film it? Where did you go? Did the cameras catch you? These were all questions he would receive upon reaching home.

“They’re just concerned about you.
Your family all love you,” Ning Yixiao said quietly.

Su Hui only remained silent.
He didn’t even shake his head.

Faced with his silence, Ning Yixiao only felt downhearted.
He looked at him, “Many people like you.”

Su Hui laughed then.

He had an appearance that looked naive and easily deceived, but was actually very well-aware.
“Although saying this is a bit arrogant, most of them only like my face.”

Under the dim light, Su Hui’s face was certainly beautiful.
Languid and innocent, accepting and quiet.
There was no need to further explain it.
Yet, it also held a melancholy that made one’s imagination run wild.

He looked like he should date those young girls in higher society, to attend the glamorous debutante balls in suits, with countless girl companions awaiting his invitation.
Not sitting in a rented flat where he could not even stretch out his legs, using cheap disposable utensils to be thrown after one use, and tell him with a smile that no one liked him.

“Let’s walk around outside.”

Hearing Ning Yixiao’s words, Su Hui nodded with a smile and said he wanted to treat him to something else.
The fried egg tasted way too terrible.

Ning Yixiao knew that he did not carry too much cash on him.
So, when he saw beef noodles and soy egg sold at a small fast food roadside shop, he said they could just have noodles.

He only asked for a bowl of plain noodles before searching for seats.
The table was sticky from a layer of oil accumulated over the years.
He took a tissue and wet it with tea before wiping Su Hui’s seat again and again, thinking that his white top was expensive and that it’d be hard to wash if it was dirtied.

Su Hui was back.
He looked to be in a pretty good mood.
He had mimicked him and ordered a bowl of plain noodles too and added a serving of spinach to share with Ning Yixiao.
Ning Yixiao verbally agreed, but did not eat much.

He already figured out how to deal with Su Hui.
As long as he agreed first, he would not force him no matter what he did later on.
It made things much easier.

Su Hui was picky.
He did not touch a simple peanut on the spinach plate and picked away the garlic and coriander, only eating the leaves.
He was much more talkative than he was in Ning Yixiao’s bedroom, rattling on non-stop.
His talking pace had turned faster than before too, repetitively repeating one of the questions, asking Ning Yixiao if he wanted to go to a place with him.

But he did not mention the specific location.
Ning Yixiao could not understand and silently assumed he was asking him to bring him back home.
And since he had planned to do that in the first place, he agreed.

A bowl of noodles later, Su Hui’s snow-white forehead was layered with sweat, and his cheeks and lips red.
After they left the shop, they bumped into a young boy who was giving out pamphlets for a spectacle shop.
The boy handed them a small fan printed with advertisements, and Su Hui immediately accepted it in elation, shaking his wrist to fan himself.

When Ning Yixiao asked him how to get there, Su Hui unhesitatingly said to take the bus.
But he did not seem to be familiar with this mode of transportation, searching for the way there using the map of his phone.
They waited for the bus and got on it with much difficulty.

They changed three buses on this journey and only the last bus had two free seats, though they were very far apart.
After Ning Yixiao sat down, he subconsciously looked towards Su Hui to find him craning his neck to look around for him too.

In the instant that his gaze caught sight of him in the gaps between the crowd, Su Hui happily shook the fan in his hand.

Just like this, Ning Yixiao was taken to a very secluded place.

This place did not look like an area saturated with rich residences, nor any military compound hidden in the city.
It looked much more like a long-unused factory.

Su Hui led him on a rock-lined path.
Different from before, he looked very happy and even reached out, as if to pull on Ning Yixiao’s wrist.
But he dropped his hand again.
Then they reached a factory whose walls were painted red.

“Don’t tell me this is your home.” Ning Yixiao’s hands remained by his side, his entire demeanor examining him.

“It pretty much is.” Su Hui opened the door lock and then turned around with a smile.

“This is a place that’s most like my home.
My secret hideout.”

The author has something to say:

Everyone might have seen it already.
The title of this novel has been changed [2]. It’s a request by the site.
I thought about it and picked a more-important scene in the novel as the new title.
It’ll show up later on~ Actually, the previous title overlapped with too many other novels, and plus there is a real need to change it and it’s not possible for me to not change it.
I really had no choice.
I hope everyone will like the new name~

Thank you, everyone.
It’s because everyone is accompanying me during the novel serialization that I can press on~

Translator Notes:

[1] Given that Su Hui was described to be drinking milk just sentences before, this is likely a bug or a mistake that Zhichu forgot to correct.

[2] As mentioned in one of our posts, Manhattanhenge is not the original name for this novel.

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like