Seeing Gu Yi’an get so emotional, Guan Zijue spoke in that deep and mellow voice of his, “Calm down, Pingan. No matter what happens, I’ll always be an older brother to you. This is something which will never change. I don’t care about your past, I just want you to stay alive. I just want you to be safe. Do you understand that?”
Gu Yi’an looked surprised to hear this.
Guan Zijue sighed. “It was a coincidence that I found my way to the wrestling rings, but I was in America at the time because I was enrolled in the West Point Military Academy. However, my father and I decided to bury that fact because I was planning to return to the country. I was able to rise up the ranks very quickly in the military because they all know that I graduated from one of the top universities here. But none of them know the truth about what I’ve been through.”
He continued after a short pause. “I was supposed to return when I was seventeen, but for some reason, I entered the underground wrestling rings. I’ve never regretted that since I met you there, and I’ve never wanted to protect someone so badly. I spent about half a year searching for you after you left, but I had to return to the country before I could locate you. I’ve never stopped searching. Do you think I would really ask for leave just because of a mere painting?”
Gu Yi’an wondered if Guan Zijue still cared about him like he did in the past. Did he really not care about what I’ve done? Would he still protect me just like he did when I was younger?
Now that he had located the very man he had been searching for all these years, he was afraid of how Guan Zijue would actually look at him. What if I’m not the person he imagined me to be?
“Will you still treat me as Pingan?”
This frustrated Guan Zijue a little. “Do you think I’ll let you stay if I didn’t treat you as Pingan? Would I have warned you about that bullet? Gu Yi’an, do you even have a conscience?!”
An innocent smile appeared on Gu Yi’an. “Yes, but it was eaten by a dog!”
“Not funny, Gu Yi’an. Why else do you think you’re still allowed to be here?”
Guan Zijue had already accepted the fact that Gu Yi’an was Pingan.
He had, in fact, let Gu Yi’an and his accomplices go that night when they were ambushed in the forest.
With Guan Zijue’s abilities and experience, he would definitely have been able to capture Gu Yi’an’s accomplices and confiscate those illegal weapons if he had given the order to his men immediately. However, he clearly knew that Gu Yi’an could not escape if he did so. He also knew very well that there was nothing they could do to Gu Yi’an without the evidence.
Gu Yi’an, on the other hand, did not seem to have noticed what Guan Zijue had done.
“We’ve been searching for each other for so long and I’ve finally found you, Big Brother! But we’re now on opposite sides of the law. I’ll leave after you’ve recovered. I don’t want to become a burden to you!”
Gu Yi’an looked away after he spoke.
Annoyed, Guan Zijue turned away from him and retorted, “You can leave now if you want to. I can take care of myself!”
Gu Yi’an was at a loss for what to do, standing rooted to the spot for a while.
Guan Zijue’s protective figure was emblazoned in Gu Yi’an’s mind. It was impossible for him to even count how many punches and strokes of the whip Guan Zijue had taken in his stead. I’d really have no conscience if I leave now!
Realizing that Gu Yi’an was still there, Guan Zijue asked, “Why are you still here? Aren’t you leaving?”
Gu Yi’an eventually relented and said, “I’ll leave after you’ve recovered!”
So he’ll still leave eventually? Can’t we turn back time and go back to the past?
Like what Gu Yi’an said, they were on opposite sides of the law now.
Guan Zijue ignored Gu Yi’an when he walked over to pick up the painting, thinking that he was simply putting it away. However, Gu Yi’an placed it on the sofa nearby and started looking for something in the toolbox outside.
Guan Zijue then heard Gu Yi’an walking back into the room shortly after, but he could not tell what the latter was doing since his back was towards Gu Yi’an.
He was greeted with a surprise when he turned to look. Gu Yi’an was planning to frame the painting and hang it on the wall.
The corner of Guan Zijue’s lips turned up in a tiny smile.
After Gu Yi’an framed the painting, he casually told Guan Zijue that he was going to hang it in the room.
When the painting was finally hung on the wall, Gu Yi’an looked at it with satisfaction, obviously happy with his handiwork.
Gu Yi’an happened to catch Guan Zijue looking at him when he stole a glance at Guan Zijue while packing up the tools.
Finding the sudden eye contact awkward, Gu Yi’an turned away and pretended that nothing had happened.
He’s acting like a child, Guan Zijue thought.
After putting the tools away, Gu Yi’an was suddenly at a loss for what to do. Why did I have to volunteer to be the caregiver? Nobody forced me into this. But it would be really irresponsible of me if I leave now.
Guan Zijue called out when Gu Yi’an was deeply absorbed in his thoughts. “Not leaving?”
Is he chasing me out?
Guan Zijue could tell that Gu Yi’an felt really awkward right now.
“I’ll make sure you recover!”
Gu Yi’an then continued after a short pause, “You should rest. I’ll be working on some matters in the study. Call out to me if you need anything!”
“Bring your stuff here and work here. Bring my laptop too!”
“You’re a patient. It’s best if you don’t work!”
Guan Zijue raised a brow. “What should I do then?”
Guan Zijue spoke in that naturally imposing tone of his, which may have caused Gu Yi’an to think that he was annoyed. Gu Yi’an thus decided to relent and bring his laptop to him.
After which, they both began working on their laptops with Gu Yi’an stealing glances at Guan Zijue from time to time.
Half a month then passed uneventfully.
Guan Zijue had taken two more months off because of his injuries, and this made Gu Yi’an feel as if he had not done a good job in taking care of Guan Zijue.
He brewed nourishing soups for Guan Zijue daily, and one would be able to see Guan Zijue gaining a bit of weight.
There wasn’t much news from Luo Qiqi until recently, when she texted Gu Yi’an to let him know that Xia Zi and Guan Zixuan were back from their honeymoon.
Luo Qiqi said that she would join the couple when they found the time to visit Guan Zijue.
Her texts reminded Gu Yi’an about what happened that night at the bar, when Luo Qiqi said she saw Su Jincheng. He knew Luo Qiqi was never one to lie. Because of that, he had actually gotten his men to look into the security footage that night, but the footage had been destroyed and nothing could be gleaned.
Gu Yi’an had a nagging feeling that there was somebody else behind everything, and that it was definitely no coincidence that Luo Qiqi saw a ‘Su Jincheng’. He told Luo Qiqi about his suspicions and did his best to remind her to be extra careful.
Earlier in the day, he went out to get some groceries since Guan Zijue told him that Xia Zi and Guan Zixuan were coming over in the afternoon.
Carrying the groceries, Gu Yi’an heard voices as he approached the apartment. He opened the door to see Luo Qiqi, Xia Zi and Guan Zixuan chatting on the sofa, with Guan Zijue sitting in his wheelchair.
Gu Yi’an could only shake his head when he saw Luo Qiqi laughing uncontrollably with no regard whatsoever for how she looked.Previous Chapter Next Chapter