Shu Linzhao’s phone rang, the words “Little Bastard” merrily dancing on the phone screen. With a lifted eyebrow, he picked it up.
Shu Jiu, “Pops, your son has died in battle!”
Shu Linzhao, “Where? I’ll collect your corpse for you.”
Shu Jiu, “You’re so cold and heartless. I’m breaking off our father-son relationship.”
Shu Linzhao, “Sure. Let’s schedule a time to contact the authorities.”
Shu Jiu, “…”
Shu Linzhao broke into laughter. “Tell me that again when you’ve left the nest. You’re still dependent on me. What? Can you rebel?”
Shu Jiu was fuming. “Pops, just you wait.”
Shu Linzhao, “I am waiting. I’ve already saved the money for my coffin, cemetery plot and retirement funds. Not like I expected you to take care of me when I’m old.”
Shu Jiu rolled his eyes so hard that they were going to fall out.
Shu Linzhao was in America. Only halfway through the conversation did he notice something. He asked, “That’s weird. Isn’t it in the middle of the night over there right now? Why aren’t you sleeping at this hour? Are you summoning a ghost or spirit?”
“Insomnia,” Shu Jiu said, sighing after a beat. “Pops, what should I do? I feel super insecure right now.”
“So, I’m your go-to to vent?” Shu Linzhao found his life a little miserable.
“What kind of father are you?!” Shu Jiu erupted.
“Okay, okay, okay, who made you insecure? Mn, that beautiful officer?” Shu Linzhao felt rather emotional. After all these years, this heartless bastard son had finally made him feel the pride of a father, and the feeling of being needed as a father.
Shu Jiu grunted. He could tell that Shu Jiu had kept his voice to a murmur, as though he called after waking in the middle of the night and sneaking into the bathroom. “Don’t call him that. You sound like an old pervert. That’s your daughter-in-law.”
“Do I look like that kind of beast?!” It was Shu Linzhao’s turn to erupt.
Shu Jiu, “Ah? You’re not?”
Adults should not argue with children. An old man shouldn’t be arguing with a little brat. So, Shu Linzhao sucked in a deep breath. “What? Your wife isn’t treating you well? He’s gonna break up with you?”
“Your wife is the one who’s going to break up with you. A-Yao treats me super well.” Shu Jiu huffed.
Shu Linzhao, “Do you dare to tell your mother the exact same thing?”
Shu Jiu, “No.”
Shu Linzhao humphed. “Why are you suddenly having a crazy episode in the middle of the night?”
Shu Jiu heaved a sigh melancholically as though he did not know where to start. “The problem is, he doesn’t just treat me well. He treats everyone well.”
“Explain.” Still vigorous even after all the years, Shu Linzhao’s gossipy nature similarly did not lessen any, and was immediately interested.
So, Shu Jiu began to pour out his complaints. The cause was a mentally ill person with the surname Song. Shu Jiu, a celebrity past his prime, had met him once too. Back then, he was the person who pointed a knife and gun at everyone, and had utterly ridiculous fantasies like having a chip embedded in his body and being kidnapped by aliens.
Afterwards, he was arrested—and Shu Jiu even witnessed his arrest.
He heard that he was admitted to a mental institution, and heard that, some time later, some case had him dragged out again. After that, he even heard that Sheng Yao was almost stabbed by him. Then, he continued to hear that due to the psychologist in the police team’s deceptive skills were truthfully the level of a kidnapper’s, he had guided this misled youth back onto the right path, and thus he began to accept the treatment and cooperated with the investigation.
The previous paragraph was entirely redundant. The key thing was, he could undergo treatment for all he wanted, but why did Sheng Yao have to visit that guy every now and then?
Shu Jiu could not comprehend this at all. In his understanding, a saint wasn’t saint-like in this way.
“You’re afraid that your wife will fall for a mentally ill person and will kick you out?”
Shu Linzhao’s words were extremely frank, leaving Shu Jiu momentarily tongue-tied. Then, he whimpered, “How can that be?”
“Then, what are you worried about?”
“Just, that doctor said that since A-Yao was a main character in that delusional person’s fantasies, A-Yao should visit him often to help him relieve his emotions and aid in his treatment.” Not knowing how to explain anymore, Shu Jiu began to simmer in anger. “If your wife was a target of someone’s delusional fantasies like this and like that everyday, won’t you be angry?!”
Shu Linzhao said, “Oh. Then, I’ll get your mother to come and discuss this problem with you.”
“Oh, pooh! Look at the nonsense my mouth sprouted! Bro, you’re an adult, pay no mind to a small fry like me.” Shu Jiu instantly kissed up to him.
Shu Linzhao raised his wrist to look at his watch, and dug his ear. “Have you finished bullshitting yet? If no, quickly shit it out. The consultation fee is calculated by the second.”
“Oh.” Shu Jiu pursed his lips. “Also, Valentine’s Day was yesterday. Originally, having the night to the two of us was great. Romantic and beautiful. With candlelit dinner and a king size bed, but…”
“You had a premature climax?” Shu Linzhao asked leisurely.
At that moment, Shu Jiu wished very desperately to climb through the phone signal to kill his own relative. Of course, he managed to control himself.
Shu Linzhao found himself in a very good mood, so he asked of his own accord, “Mn, so what happened?”
“Back then, his phone rang at least ten times.” Shu Jiu gritted his teeth. “I’ve never seen such a man so sought after before. Every single one of them are like flies. But the awful thing is he, he, he… won’t even avoid picking up the calls when he’s in front of me!”
Realizing that his voice had risen, Shu Jiu suppressed his voice again miserably. “Pops, I’m so insecure.”
“You want him to avoid doing that?” Shu Linzhao was sure now that his failure of a son was just making trouble. “Him not avoiding you only shows that it was a normal conversation, what are you getting all testy for? You’re not happy that your wife is popular?”
Sadness was written all over Shu Jiu’s face. “I just feel that he treats everyone very well, and I’m not special to him at all…”
“He might think you’re extremely clingy and annoying.” Shu Linzhao’s tone was heartfelt and sincere.
Shu Jiu suffered a blow.
“Moreover, you’re thinking up a storm here. But more importantly, I heard that you only went back to chase him, and he hadn’t given you an answer yet?”
Shu Jiu suffered yet another blow.
Shu Linzhao was getting a kick out of it. “Maybe, you’re really no one special in his eyes. A relationship without a name or any substance is just casual dating. When the sun rises, it’s time to return home to your own mother.”
Shu Jiu spoke with daggers, “I’ll get my mother to divorce you.”
Shu Linzhao, “Don’t try to drag someone else down the water just because you’re single.”
Shu Jiu paused and spoke gloomily, “Old man, you need to give yourself some leeway. Your retribution will come one day.”
Shu Linzhao cackled. “Back then, didn’t you send flowers to him everyday?”
“He asked me to stop afterwards.” Shu Jiu was resentful. “He said he was just a police officer and not General Guangming, so he didn’t need to wear flowers and armor.”
“Don’t you send him to work and pick him up from work everyday?”
“He said he didn’t need it. If any bad guys were around, he still had to protect me…”
“Didn’t you say you cook for him everyday?”
“The problem is I only know how to brew soup. Even if he doesn’t mind, I don’t want him to drink it everyday.”
“You’re really useless.” After a long while, Shu Linzhao commented curtly.
Shu Jiu was despondent.
“It’s been many years since I saw such a good-for-nothing like you.”
Shu Jiu, “…”
“How can you expect him to like you?” Shu Linzhao was the embodiment of hurtful words that directly jabbed Shu Jiu’s weak points.
Shu Jiu’s health was depleted, KO’d.
“Back then, I really should have shot my load on the wall.” Shu Linzhao heavily regretted the past. “To give birth to such a failure who can’t do this or that, and can’t have enough of whatever food, and only think of pissing me off as his source of joy.”
Shu Jiu contemplated. The doer and receiver of that final bit was actually the opposite.
Shu Linzhao sighed. “I’ll reflect upon myself in front of your grandfather’s photograph. Go do whatever you should be doing. No need to care about the rest. If the branch office on your side dares to have a financial loss at the end of the year… Heh.”
The busy tone came from the phone. Shu Jiu felt that he must have done too many misdeeds in his past life to be born as a son of this demonic father.
He got up, muttering to himself and cursing silently as he walked out. When he walked past the living room, he caught sight of a figure sitting on the couch. Shu Jiu first leaped in fright before he recognized the person as Sheng Yao.
“He heard it.” “How much did he hear?” “This time, how badly did he embarrass himself?” These thoughts popped up in his mind one after another.
Shu Jiu stood there dumbly. “A… A-Yao…”
Sheng Yao seemed to have chuckled. The lights of the living room were switched off. In complete darkness, he could not see the expression on Sheng Yao and only heard him pat the couch cushion. “Come here.”
So, Shu Jiu went over both nervously and eagerly.
Sheng Yao came out wearing only his pajamas and no shoes. Shu Jiu sat down beside him, very naturally drawing Sheng Yao’s loose collar close and pulling him into his arms. “It’s cold. How… how long have you been sitting here?”
Sheng Yao mused. “Not that long. From the part you said ‘he doesn’t just treat me well, he treats everyone well’.”
Ah… Then won’t he have heard it all? Cold sweat formed on Shu Jiu’s head. He nervously rubbed against him and carefully said, “T-That… actually, I wasn’t…”
Sheng Yao sighed.
Shu Jiu’s heart immediately rose to his throat, his heart reaching 104 beats per minute. Before Sheng Yao spoke, he hurriedly explained, “A-Yao, that’s not what I mean. I just had a nightmare, and felt a little uneasy when I got up, so…”
“What nightmare did you have?” Sheng Yao asked.
Shu Jiu hung his head.
“Just… I dreamed you didn’t want me anymore.”
Shu Jiu’s hands gripped Sheng Yao’s waist hard as if he was extremely uneasy. All sorts of feelings suddenly welled up in Sheng Yao. Never had there seem to be a person who would rely so heavily on him and be this careful with him. The feeling of being treasured so much that it was almost self-deprecation made his heart ache strangely.
He never knew himself to be such a bastard.
“Ah sir, you’re so capable, and I’m so useless.” Shu Jiu’s muffled voice was happy as he buried himself in Sheng Yao’s neck. “Other than acting, the only abilities I have are eating, drinking and having fun.”
“Aren’t you managing your dad’s company pretty well?” Sheng Yao laughed.
“Ugh…” Shu Jiu did not raise his head, pretending to be an ostrich as he responded, voice muffled and gloomy. “Another person can do it too. I can’t even figure out what you like about me.”
Immediately after that sentence, he abruptly raised his head in anxiety, “I-If… If you don’t like me, no need to say it out. I’m worried my glass heart will break into pieces, and be completely unsalvageable.”
Sheng Yao gently lifted his chin, making him look up. “I’m so frivolous, so much of a bastard, what do you like about me?”
“Everything.” Shu Jiu looked at him pitifully, like a giant dog holding its tail down.
Sheng Yao was speechless for a long while. Then, he patted his head gently. “Actually… I like everything too.”
Shu Jiu widened his eyes, staring at him dumbly with an open mouth. It was a while later when he recovered himself. “You’re lying.”
Sheng Yao lifted his chin and gently kissed him with extreme tenderness. He only let go after a long while. “I’m not.”
Shu Jiu was dizzy, his rationality still struggling at death’s door. “You… You’re lying…”
He was faced with another long kiss. “I promise I’m not.”
Shu Jiu sharply grabbed his shoulders and pinned Sheng Yao under him on the couch. “You’re seducing me.”
Sheng Yao blinked his peach blossom eyes. “Are you taking the bait?”
This time, Shu Jiu’s rationality did not even struggle before it disarmed itself and raised a white flag spinelessly. Sheng Yao wrapped his hands around his neck, for once, allowing Shu Jiu to do as he wished. Suddenly, he murmured, “I’ll change my phone number, alright?”
“?” Shu Jiu looked at him in confusion.
Sheng Yao patted his face gently. “Other than those people in the teamm, you’re the only one I’ll give my number to. I promise.”
Shu Jiu finally transformed from a giant, pitiful dog into a fierce and vicious wolf—
My love, the night was still young.
 General Guangming is a character from The Promise (2005). He is associated with wearing an armor patterned with flowers.