Chapter 1 – Forced into it.
Xing Zhongwan stood at the door of the Qi’s villa in the suburbs shouldering his scant luggage. Only after rummaging through his pocket for a long time did he remember that he had already thrown away the cigarettes before arriving.
Xing Zhongwan sniffled to clear his nose before ringing the doorbell. The bell rang three times, and an old woman came out to open the door. Late into the night, a pair of dark pupils eyed Zhongwan up and down. This gesture made some discomfort welt up from the bottom of his heart, so he impatiently asked, “May I go in?”
The old lady finally answered. “Are you the missus from the Xing family?” Her baritone voice was akin to the crisp crunch of a tree branch underfoot in winter. Xing Zhongwan felt uncomfortable, awkwardly grasping at his white t-shirt, “Yes.”
The old lady led Xing Zhongwan up the flight of stairs, “The young lady’s voice sounds a little different.” Xing Zhongwan coughed a few times,”I have a sore throat, so there are some problems with my vocal cords.”
The old lady’s muddy eyes glanced back at him, and a grin suddenly appeared in her mouth. Xing Zhongwan looked at the surrounding environment indifferently, “Where will I stay?”
The old lady took him to the room at the end of the corridor. “This is your room, rest for now. I will take you to see the third young master later.” Xing Zhongwan put his luggage on the bed and thanked her. The old lady nodded to him, turned, and slowly went back downstairs.
Xing Zhongwan closed the door and looked around the room. It was a very large room with white curtains, a desk and a wardrobe as well as a bathroom. At a glance, one could tell it was a guest room. Xing Zhongwan took a deep breath and laid down on the big bed staring at the yellowed ceiling above him in a daze.
A month ago, Xing Zhongwan was called back to his family home. He does not have any good memories of his family, as an illegitimate child who has never even been seen by his own father, to be called back out of the blue wouldn’t have meant anything good. Sure enough, his father who has never cared for him in these 20 years asked him to go to Qi’s house to take care of a paraplegic 1a person who’s lower-half is paralysed.
As Xing Zhongwan was about to leave without looking back, Xing Zhengping had unexpectedly added that he would promise to move his mother’s ashes back to the Xing Family’s ancestral burial grounds as long as he was willing to come to Xing’s house.
Xing Zhongwan laughed angrily, “How did a paraplegic cause you to make such a large effort to accept even an illegitimate child like me?” Xing Zhengping didn’t dare look at his son who had a crazed smile, but was in fact extremely indifferent to the whole situation. “If it weren’t for your sister who ran away, when would it ever be your turn to take care of Qi Yun!” Xing Zhongwan narrowed his eyes, turns out it was THAT Qi Yun. No wonder Xing Zhengping was put on the spot.
“You old man… you want me to impersonate Xing Zhongjie? Which part of me looks like a woman to you?”
Xing Zhengping impatiently said, “I don’t care what you do! Just get it done and your mother will be allowed to enter the Xing family’s ancestral burial grounds.” Xing Zhongwan was smoking a cigarette. He narrowed his eyes, and sneered, “You old man, don’t you dare go back on your words!”
Xing Zhongwan visited his mother’s cemetery that same day and brought a bottle of liquor to sit in front of her grave, drinking through the night. When it was bright, Xing Zhongwan got up and looked at the serious-looking woman plastered onto the tombstone, “For the sake of your dog-shit deathwish, this time your son has to substitute for that white lotus 2Usually used to describe a person who seems pure on the outside, but has a bad personality Xing Zhongjie’s and take care of a paraplegic.” Xing Zhongwan stared at her. After watching the damned photo for a long time, he suddenly bowed to the tombstone.
“Don’t worry, I will let you return gracefully.”
Thinking of this, Xing Zhongwan annoyedly got up from the bed and went to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. With middle-length hair, a white t-shirt, and jeans, it was a very modest attire. The collar closely covered up his small Adam’s apple.
Xing Zhongwan didn’t know if this get-up could fool Qi Yun, but after seeing the old housekeeper’s reaction earlier, it seems he wasn’t too convincing. Regardless, who cares about him, Xing Zhongwan had no interest in knowing what the pair did in private. He didn’t believe that the powerful Qi family would not know about Xing Zhongjie’s runaway from home.
As he turned the faucet and washed his face, Xing Zhongwan felt a little irritable and pinned back his moderately long hair. Fortunately, he had been lazing around for a year, so his hair hasn’t been trimmed. He didn’t expect that it would come into use for this particular scenario. He only hopes that when Qi Yun sees him, the other won’t get angry to the point of aggravating his illness.
As he was thinking, the door was knocked on politely three times. Xing Zhongwan opened the door to the old lady glancing at him, “Miss Xing, are you ready? I’ll be taking you to see the third young master.”
Qi’s villa was not very large. There were three floors in total. Xing Zhongwan lived on the second floor and Qi Yun lived on the third floor. Xing Zhongwan walked up all the way and found that all the curtains in the corridor windows were all closed. The whole place was dark and made it seem like it was nighttime, which would make others inexplicably feel discomfort. Plus, there seemed to be only one old housekeeper in this villa, he hasn’t seen anyone else in the long time he was here. The old housekeeper stopped in front of the room at the end of the corridor and looked back at Xing Zhongwan, “The third young master likes it quiet, Miss Xing, try not to talk too much later.” Xing Zhongwan already knew in his heart he wouldn’t be talking much anyway.
The moment the door opened, Xing Zhongwan looked inside and frowned. The inside of the room was darker than outside. After opening the door, there was a smell due to the lack of ventilation for a lengthy period of time. Xing Zhongwan thought, how could this be a sick person’s room? Following the old housekeeper inside, he only saw a single large bed and machines surrounding both sides of the bed which he didn’t know what they were used for. There was a person lying on the bed. From the thin outline, the person on the bed was very thin.
The old lady spoke towards the bed, “Third young master, Miss Xing is here.”
Her words sank into the silence, akin to drowning into a calm lake. Xing Zhongwan walked a few steps and saw the person lying on the bed in the low light. Even a person with a wild personality like Xing Zhongwan was shocked when he saw the person on the bed. Was this really the famous third young master, Qi?
The person on the bed was covered with a blanket. Although he couldn’t see his body, Xing Zhongwan could guess what his body looked like after seeing his face.
His entire face was so thin like there was only a layer of skin attached to the bones, and it has long been indistinguishable from its original appearance. The open eyes were empty and lifeless, if it weren’t for the faint ups and down movement from his chest, Xing Zhongwan would’ve thought he had just seen a dead person!
The old housekeeper slowly walked to the side to open the curtains, and the bright sun shone in instantly, Qi Yun’s thin and deformed face appeared more clearly in front of Xing Zhongwan. Qi Yun’s eyes remained unmoving, and even Xing Zhongwan couldn’t help but narrow his eyes. Xing Zhongwan something was amiss with the person on the bed and saw the indifference of the old housekeeper nearby, as well as the blatant disgust that appeared in her eyes, and suddenly understood that Qi Yun was not only paralyzed, but also blind.
Xing Zhongwan couldn’t help but sneer in his heart, this time he would not have to worry about being found out as a fake ‘Xing Zhongjie’. This had been a calculated move, it’s no wonder that an illegitimate child like himself was allowed to approach the third young master, Qi. Keeping in mind all the strange happenings since he walked through the door, it’s no wonder the housekeeper doesn’t care much about his almost careless pretense.
Haha! Qi Yun was treated as an abandoned son. Which affluent family would want a paralyzed and blind heir.
Xing Zhongwan looked at the person lying motionless on the bed, and felt a little pity in his heart. He met Qi Yun many years ago when he came to the Xing’s family to witness the divorce. His white lotus sister cried until she almost fainted. Xing Zhongwan watched it all funnily, as the Xing family all acted out a good show. At that time, Qi Yun had a cool exterior, and that beautiful face made people afraid to give him a second glance. He left the Xing’s house without even drinking a cup of tea. Xing Zhongwan stood on the balcony looking at that tall and straight back, feeling for the first time that he really wanted to see that proud man fall from the sky and land in the mud.
Unexpectedly, he really got to see it. Xing Zhongwan withdrew from his thoughts and smiled faintly. His boneless father really did think it through, and he didn’t just play at his own weakness too. But Xing Zhongwan was not stupid. Alright, since he was here, he will take good care of him, only to the point where Qi Yun doesn’t die. As for the rest, it’s best not to depend on him……
Xing Zhongwan looked at the man lying on the bed unable to move, Qi Yun, let’s get along well in the future…
T/L notes: This is the new novel I picked up as I thought the plot was pretty interesting and a started off little different to those chaebol/ rich-family-political-intrigue stories. Not everyday you see a crippled seme being nursed back to health by his uke. Anyways, hope you enjoy and please like and comment. Appreciate every feedback I can get from yall <3
Consider liking the writer’s work or buying a kofi for me <3