Although the bus had basically travelled directly, they still took a full forty minutes to reach the Bund. While Shanghai’s always-overcrowded bus was fine for Chen Yuanming, it was not so for Xiao Junyi, who had always been picked up by various special cars from an early age.
Thus, in a short while, his white t-shirt was soaked with sweat. In the hot and humid days of August in Shanghai, wearing jeans and sneakers was even more suffocating. When they arrived at their destination, Xiao Junyi looked like he had been thrown into a laundry bucket and rolled around. Even his stinky little hairstyle was stringy and clumped together in an extremely pathetic mess.
Despite being choked with anger, Xiao Junyi still maintained his graceful demeanor. Although the smile at the corner of his mouth was a bit stiff, it did not dissipate. This little boy was his uncle’s partner, and his uncle’s hands held almost all of the family’s entire operating capital. Faced with such large profits, he understood what was more important … but he was still angry!!!!
Maintaining this weird atmosphere, the two finally arrived at the Peace Hotel on the Bund. At this time, in Shanghai social circles, the Peace Hotel really belonged in the top category, and it was definitely not disrespectful to host a guest there. It was only that when they walked into the dining room, Xiao Junyi’s large herd of fox and dog-like friends were immediately noisy.
“Oh, who is this? This is not like the third master!” A boy with a few pimples on his face pointed at Xiao Junyi and laughed, “How can you be looking like a refugee? Has your little Bluebird finally gone on strike?”
Xiao Junyi let out a breath from the corner of his mouth and said, “Go away, young master, I am experiencing how “the people” live.” He arched his hand in semi-circle as he introduced the group to Chen Yuanming one by one. “That fat guy over there is Sun Zhigang, the son of Director Sun from the Local Taxation Bureau, the one beside him is Zhao Liang, the nephew of the Director Zhao of the Development and Reform Commission. The two brothers next to him are Liu Feng and Liu Lan and they are the nephews of Mayor Li. The last one, who just spoke badly about me is named Li Nianhua. “
After speaking, he patted Chen Yuanming on the shoulder. “This is my uncle’s friend. He’s surnamed Chen, Chen Yuanming. Everyone, for my sake, do not mess with him.”
The group of people immediately kicked up a fuss. Having been influenced by their surroundings from childhood they could all understand matters. It was likely that before today’s banquet young master Xiao had not yet figured out the identity of the boy, but his elders had given him instructions and he dared not refuse.
Facing the uproar from the group, Chen Yuanming just smiled. The identity of this group of sons of officials was neither too high nor too low. It was just right for Xiao Junyi’s level. After all, Shanghai was not his home, thus it was best to not be too ostentatious and to find friends with similar characteristics with whom he could relax.
After finding out the identities of the members of group, Chen Yuanming did not refuse their invitation and sat down next to Xiao Junyi. As soon as he was seated, a beautiful menu was presented to him.
“What do you want to eat? Just order a few things.” Xiao Junyi’s smile was still very appropriate and appeared harmless to both humans and animals.
Chen Yuanming smiled slightly and accepted the menu. At this time, the menus of the Peace Hotel were all handmade, and the names of the dishes were written with brush strokes. They were graceful and elegant and could not be compared with modern printed menus.
As it was not an official occasion where he was the guest of honor, and as the menu was a la carte, there were many potential traps to be avoided while ordering. However, in his last life, Chen Yuanming had opened his company in Huangzhou and as a wealth management company there were many reception events where many varieties of different delicacies were set out on the wine table. Thus, over time, he had developed a set of skills in the field of wine. But to use these skills infront of these kids? There was no need.
“Stuffed lotus root with sweet Osmanthus glaze, river eel with scallops, garlic-spiced shrimp, and a Huaiyin Tang Bao. For the others, please feel whatever else you like.” After ordering the dishes easily, Chen Yuanming handed the menu back. The whole process took less than 30 seconds, and he had faced no difficulty at all. Xiao Junyi’s smile almost froze on his face. With a flick of his finger, he reluctantly took back the menu. Was this kid dense or was it that he did not take them seriously at all?
The meal was lively as some cheered and others poked fun at one another. However, these people had basically honed their vision from an early age so it did not take much effort to see that their boss did not get along well with the new kid. Although the elders’ orders could not be ignored, it was harmless to make some small moves in private. Thus, after lunch, with the excuse of needing to digest the meal, a few members of the group headed to the hotel lounge area.
At this period of time, the three most popular recreational activities were dancing, bowling and billiards. Of course, hotels like the Peace Hotel offered all three. It was just that people had their shortcomings and thus before playing any game one had to know one’s own level. In this way a group of young adults gathered around a pool table and tacitly began to set up the triangle rack.
“How about it? One on one?” Xiao Junyi took a pure black wooden cue stick and tossed it gently. Chen Yuanming raised his hand steadily and firmly grasped the cue stick while flashing a bitter smile.
He did not just know how to play; he was very familiar with it. From the 1980s to the early 1990s, when billiards were all the rage in mainland China, the streets were filled with private billiard stalls charging 3 cents per shot and 10 yuan for a whole afternoon. And what he had loved most in his last life was to play billiards.
The reason for this was simple. The game rooms with their “three rooms and one hall” layout appeared late in china and their price was not cheap. The video room was basically a three-level film viewing gathering place which was filled with a smoky atmosphere. Likewise, the music and dance halls were a place where dragons and fish were jumbled together and groups of men and women flirted.
But the billiards hall was not the same. Everyone there was young, and in the summertime, they could be found with their shirts pressed against the game table. Even if Chen Yuanming had a sullen personality, could he refuse this temptation? What’s more, with a good technique he could place bets on both rounds. The winner did not even need to spend any money. Thus, over time, in the end, he had developed good skills.
“How about snooker, can you play?” Seeing Chen Yuanming accept the cue stick, Xiao Junyi’s smile immediately became wider. His billiard skills were not bad. Players at those street stalls could not be compared to him. He was even more proficient in snooker. He could not even tell how much better his snooker skill was than the billiards games played on the streets.
“Yes.” What more could Chen Yuanming say. Were there still people in the business of playing billiards after 1993? No. Everyone played snooker. This kind of time difference between himself and the group was simply deceiving the young … Indeed, it was bullying.
“Oh, how can you play without a gamble.” On the side, Li Nianhua immediately said. “No need to make a big bet. How about the loser pay for tonight?”
For this group of socialites, was spending thousand yuan in one night was something trivial? That was not a small bet but a big one. Nevertheless, for Chen Yuanming, whether it was the opponent or the stakes, both were lacking.
Seeing Chen Yuanming nod, Xiao Junyi smiled sincerely this time. Even if his uncle should ask, it was not his fault that the kid wanted to play games. Moreover, judging by his uncle’s recent activities how could this kid be poor? He should pay with some blood as his escort fee.
Of course, Chen Yuanming went first. Although he was superb in his last life, he had rarely played after he turned 20 years of age and after the passing of a lifetime, of course, he was a bit rusty. Thus, he only sunk two balls and his third shot missed.
“It’s my turn.” Initially he had thought that Chen Yuanming might have some hidden tricks. However, currently he really seemed to be only at this level “. There had been no need for him to worry. Xiao Junyi lowered his body, glanced at the ball positions with his eyes, and sunk two balls in one shot. With a snap of the cue stick another red ball was sent into the pocket
“Yield.” Xiao Junyi smiled proudly, then leaned over and aimed at the next ball.
Chen Yuanming was a bit distracted. When that pair of peach blossom eyes and sword-like brows fluttered, it was difficult for him to not think of the past. Once upon a time, didn’t that person also smile so sweetly and exuberantly at him?
With just this thought, Chen Yuanming’s mood immediately broke down. He was no longer interested in admiring his opponent’s long legs and thin waist. When the ball changed hands, Chen Yuanming swept up the table, and the red ball was pocketed away in the blink of an eye. It was yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black, until all the balls were in the net. He did not give Xiao Junyi the chance to start again.
The room suddenly went quiet. Xiao Junyi calmly powdered the head of the cue stick with chalk, “One more round?”
Xiao Junyi kicked off the second game. After a miss, he changed cues and shot again. In the third inning, Chen Yuanming kicked off and never allowed Xiao Junyi back to the table. This was a sweeping defeat! Several spectators were stunned, Master Xiao had never been damaged like this before!
“Oh, it seems that my technique is not as good as that of others.” Xiao Junyi’s laughter showed none of his feelings, he threw the cue stick onto the table and waved his hands suavely, “If I lose, I lose. Do you want to go next door? The tab is on me tonight! “
At this time, it was already 6 o’clock, and this was exactly when the fashionable female students were dancing in the dancehall after class. Since no one had a conflicting opinion the group of people immediately shifted their location.
This time because it was in the dance hall the group did not give Chen Yuanming any more trouble. Instead, with the excuse that the dance hall was not suitable for minors, Chen Yuanming was left on a sofa alone and the group of people hurled themselves onto the dance floor.
In this period, whether one was simply watching or participating, disco dancing at the Bund, was very embarrassing. His ears were full of the retro disco dance songs from the 80s. Young women wore skirts long enough to cover their knees and a group of hairy boys in flower shirts and short t-shirts jumped, theirs eyes full of excitement. In this deafening noise, Chen Yuanming sat deep in the sofa alone, slowly drinking a glass of juice, while letting bitterness fill his heart.
It had been nearly two years, but he had never forgotten that person. Just a pair of peach blossom eyes could bring back his memories of the past.
Shen Jiankun … Ah kun …
The only person he had ever loved seriously in his life was also the one who had hurt him the most and had even led to his death.
When he attended night school that year, the other was an investment lecturer. The two had the same sexual orientation. They fell in love with each other and soon they lived together. He learned stock trading from that person, learned to be an asset manager, and after years of savings he had entered the market, made some money, and finally opened an asset management company.
He put all his trust in that person and had worked side by side with him to build the company. How many times did he have to laugh and smile in order to draw people’s attention? How many times did he drink himself unconscious for the sake of networking? Together they were excited when they benefitted from an upward trend on the stock market and together, they lost money with a bitter smile. As long as he opened his eyes, that person was in front of him, staring at him with those tender peach blossom eyes.
In his last life, he had spent most of his life depressed, struggling for money, distressed by his sexuality, and heartbroken for his family. He had no proper education, no parents who he could rely on and he could not even speak openly about love. All he could do was move forward step by step in an attempt to step out of those shackles to find his own world.
And Shen Jiankun was the one who had reached out to him. The one who pulled him out of the quagmire. He had taught Chen Yuanming how to make money, had given him self-confidence and happiness and had also given him a taste of love.
As it was the only thing he had longed for in his life, that should have been his final destination, but the other person did not think so.
That person was too much of a gambler. Although he appeared gentle there was a sense of arrogance and a lack of contentment in his heart. They had argued about this. In fact, Chen Yuanming had sharply reproached the other party’s intention to turn him into a villain. It was 2007, and the era of Chinese bookmakers and stock market factions had long collapsed. So how could he become a bad person by doing whatever he wanted with the hard-earned money of those ordinary citizens and retail investors?
But Shen Jiankun did it secretly. Misappropriating customer funds, maliciously creating rumors, and small-scale market manipulation. When the bull market had turned into a bear market in 2007, his scheme collapsed, and nearly ten million yuan in customer funds were locked in the stock market. The company was facing prosecution, and its business was about to close down. Chen Yuanming had really tried his best to struggle to save both of them from the vortex, but at the last moment, the other side turned away and married the daughter of the finance secretary.
Yes, there were no commitments or obligations between them. There was only a sweet illusion.
The glass in his hand was pinched hard. Chen Yuanming felt his head buzzing. It was ridiculous that to this day he had not forgotten such a person, nor could he easily speak about forgetting. This was no longer just love or hate, but a nightmare, a demon, and a bloody scar that could not be avoided. Perhaps he should find this person again in this life and give him enough lessons with all he can think of, and …
Taking a deep breath, Chen Yuanming shook his head, as if trying to shake the fog in his eyes. No, this was his new life. It should be a better and more fulfilling life rather than worrying about the grudges of his last life. This life should be completely his!
After jumping around till he was sweating, Xiao Junyi could not hold on anymore. He smiled and declined a female student’s invitation and then walked off the dance floor. His disreputable group of friends were still jumping, and no one had noticed his movements. He had also had a good time and he hurried over to the bar to order a glass of beer. Only then did he see Chen Yuanming’s figure.
He sat blandly in the shadows of the dance hall, holding a glass of juice in both hands while staring ahead with a complicated look in his eyes. His small body, which was not tall to begin with, appeared even thinner. He seemed to be insulated from the entire dance hall and there was no joy that could be reflected on him.
Xiao Junyi frowned, and suddenly felt a little bit weak. What was wrong with him today? … Had he had been pissed off by his uncle’s “look at other people’s children” tone? No matter how old-fashioned and talented this child was, he was still just a 16-year-old boy who had not yet reached adulthood. He seemed to be alone in Shanghai, and it also seemed that he had not even attended school. What kind of anger would an adult have with such a child!
Although he had been spoiled by his parents since childhood, the parenting style of the Xiao family was indeed very upright. Therefore, Xiao Junyi was not the type of person who will hate someone for trivial reasons. In a blink of an eye, his little wave of unhappiness was expelled by his sense of guilt. After a glance, he simply stood up and walked towards the other party.
“It’s almost eight o’clock, should I take you home first?”
The dance hall was very noisy, and he had been thinking about the past again, so it wasn’t until a shout rang in his ear that Chen Yuanming realized that someone was talking to him. After a brief moment, he just nodded. He was really not interested in such young people’s past times.
“I’ll borrow a car. You wait …”
“I don’t ride in cars.”
“You … the buses have stopped now!”
Xiao Junyi almost burst into anger again, but the other party’s expression was still so calm. He just repeated himself quietly.
“Sorry, can’t sit. I can just walk back.”
In a word, the fire in Xiao Junyi’s heart suddenly went out. Yes, he had never said “I don’t want to sit”, but “can’t.” Looking at the other person’s extremely serious expression, Xiao Junyi seemed to suddenly understand something.
“Okay, is a motorcycle ok?” In the end Xiao Junyi gave up searching for a car and asked tentatively.
Chen Yuanming pondered for a moment. His fear of cars seemed to come from the height of the chassis and the confined space. When he had sat in the Audi 100 in Zhuhai for more than ten minutes, he had almost fainted. He had been in a state of panic and had difficulty breathing. It was not that serious though when driving a truck and public transport was also fine. So, in theory, it could be considered a form of claustrophobia?
“Motorcycles should be ok.” After a brief moment he finally made up his mind to try it.
“Okay, you wait at the door, I’ll be right there.”
After stepping out of the turbid air of the dance hall, in front of the Bund was the brilliant surface of the river. At this time, although Shanghai was still under construction and many roads were covered tightly, the night view on the Bund was still so beautiful.
A voice interrupted his thoughts, and he saw Xiao Junyi triumphantly shake the key in his hand. “Ryoko Suzuki, it has very good horsepower.”
Chen Yuanming raised his eyebrows and sat behind him on the motorcycle. It may have been because there was someone behind him, but Xiao Junyi did not ride very fast. Though Chen Yuanming’s sight was blocked by the body in front of view, there was still an open street view around him, and he did not feel any discomfort.
However, after a moment of riding, the bike suddenly turned in another direction and headed towards Nanjing Road.
“”Where are you going?” Chen Yuanming asked aloud.
“You didn’t have dinner yet, did you? I’ll take you to a good place!” The voice from the front was full of pride.
After two turns, a tall building appeared in front of him, Chen Yuanming frowned. International Hotel? He didn’t think there was anything commendable about the food there. But who knew that the other’s motorcycle would not stop at the door of the International hotel, but instead rode directly to the opposite door. After a squeak, the bike stopped, Xiao Junyi turned his head and made a very chic gesture.
Opposite the International Hotel was … a … KFC …
The old man with white beard smiled and the sign shone with a red light, Chen Yuanming was frozen on the spot.
“How about it, let me take you to eat some western food”, Xiao Junyi stepped off the motorcycle freely without any embarrassment. “Reserving a seat here is pretty difficult unless you know someone” I’ll let you taste the ice cream here. “
I …. Go …… …..
It was indeed a KFC. It was only then that Chen Yuanming realized that KFC in 1992 was different from that of the later generation. At this time, there only about ten such restaurants in the country. As such, it was definitely a Starbucks-level petty bourgeoisie trendy dining place. This kid had brought him here with good intentions after all.
A sudden burst of laughter filled his heart. Chen Yuanming smiled. Yes, his eyes were a bit similar to that person, but why should he be angry with this little guy? After all, this was Brother Xiao’s nephew, and there was mutual affection.
“Okay, it’s time to taste this burger.” The burgers of this era were so fresh.
Hearing Chen Yuanming’s voice finally carry a hint of joy, Xiao Junyi also laughed. Indeed this was the most effective way to deal with children.
Just a child, why bother?
Holding the same thoughts, both of them showed a real smile and entered the KFC restaurant which was filled with life.
The author has something to say:
Note: KFC Shanghai Nanjing Road opened in 1991, it was really fashionable at the time = w =
Cough, I said in the last chapter that Xiao is an important male partner, and then I found that cough …
Let me explain, in addition to Chen Yuanming, all the characters are male! It’s just that the important male partners will use different gestures to get involved in with the emotional line with various gestures, so pay attention to it. Xddd
As for CP and emotional lines, I will slowly write it. Now it is not spoiler, but it is guaranteed to be free of abuse.
The chapter is thick and long today! Don’t blame me for sending it late> _
It is indeed an unusually long chapter. Cries.
Also, it is so amusing to see both of them take their anger out on each other, then both of them decide to let go of their grudges because the other is a child. Lol.
Chen Yuanming’s PTSD ☹
 What the Shanghai’s iconic skyline looked like in 1993 viewed from the Bund (The Bund is an embankment area by the water in Shanghai). See here other photos of shanghai from 1870s through to 2000’s : https://www.thatsmags.com/shanghai/post/2038/photos-100-years-of-shanghai-1890-1990
 Meaning – Disreputable
 Referring to the 1993 Nissan Bluebird: see below image.
 stuffed Lotus root with sweet osmanthus glaze
Translates to Huayin Soup bun (Tang bao). It’s normal ordered a la carte
 I couldn’t find a reference to this on the internet but from the description I imagine the author is referring to an entertainment center with one video room to view films, one music room(probably karaoke), one billiards room and dance hall i.e. three rooms and one hall, altogether in one building
 “Dragons and fish…” -Meaning good and bad people were mixed together