Shen Kanyu was originally half squatting on the ground.
This slap was so sudden and came with such a heavy force, it directly knocked his entire body backward.
Who knew what the back of his head knocked against, it hurt so much his eyes saw bursts of black.


He heard gege’s low reprimand: “Dad, what are you doing?”

Then came the sullen voice of his father, Shen Zhihang, “What am I doing? You have a weak heart.
You can only eat egg whites whenever you eat eggs.
What was this boy thinking buying you two boxes of egg yolk shortcakes?!”

“He doesn’t know.
And you’ve never told him, have you?”

“Do I need to explain this kind of thing? He’s your younger brother, can’t he see it for himself with his own eyes?”

“So you do know he’s my younger brother? He’s also your son.
How can you slap him that hard?” Shen Danxi creased his brows and went over to help Shen Kanyu up.
“I was the one who told him I like egg yolk shortcakes.
What’s wrong with him buying it for me?”

Shen Kanyu heard rumbling in his head.
After straining his ears to hear their conversation, he immediately pulled his lips up into a pleasing smile at his father.
“I’m sorry, I really didn’t know.
I’ll be sure to pay attention next time.
Dad, don’t be angry, I can smell the alcohol on you, you mustn’t get angry after drinking.”

His voice became huskier and softer the longer he spoke.
This was because he realized that as soon as he moved his lips, he felt a throbbing pain at the back of his head where he was hit that felt like it was going to split open.

Swallowing hard to endure the pain, he continued smiling, “But doesn’t mom also like to eat egg yolk puffs? Can I give it to mom to eat? It’s still hot.”

Shen Zhihang said coldly, “Your mom won’t eat the things you buy.
Throw it outside for the strays to eat.”

“…Oh.” Shen Kanyu softly responded, his face slightly pale.

“Kanyu, it’s okay, I’ll help you give it to mom.” Shen Danxi found the situation intolerable and rushed to comfort him.

“Thank you gege.” Shen Kanyu was still smiling and Shen Danxi found that smile especially unbearable.

“Danxi, go to the hospital with me for your routine checkup.” Shen Zhihang coldly shouted at Shen Danxi to leave with him, which didn’t give him the chance to accept the egg yolk puffs again.

As Shen Kanyu sat in a stupor in the same position, the back of his head suddenly heated up, and he seemingly felt a sticky fluid flowing down his neck. 

He touched it with his palm and became terrified at the sight of his hand covered in blood.
He lowered his head to see a small pool of blood on the ground and inwardly yelled out a “fuck”.
After rushing into the house and recklessly using a tissue to cover his wound, he half-kneeled on the ground to clean up the bloodstains in a state of panic.

He wiped it with a paper towel and flushed it with water.
Then wiped again, and flushed again.
It was only when the ground was completely clean after repeating this process several times did he breathe out a quiet sigh of relief.

Once he felt that the wound had more or less stopped bleeding, he sat down again, lost in thought.

Dad had told him countless times he and mom would never accept his things, and neither would gege.
In this lifetime, will he never be able to buy them anything? But whenever he saw good things, he couldn’t wait to buy it for them.


Why did nobody ever accept the things he wanted to give them?

Shen Kanyu scratched his head in distress.
He decided to set up a card to store his money in.
Later on, he would secretly give it to gege to buy whatever he wants for the family.
In this way, it could be counted as him being able to give the things he wanted to them.
Moreover, dad and mom would definitely accept it happily since they wouldn’t know it was from him.

Shen Kanyu was overcome with excitement once again.
He found a clinic to treat his wound before delightedly running to a bank to set up the card.

The first card was savings for dad, mom, and gege.
When the bank teller told him to set up the password, he initially wanted to add up the birthdays of their family of four.
Yet when he thought it over, he ended up not including his birthday.

Though it was embarrassing to say aloud, he wasn’t too sure about the exact date of his birthday; it seemed like he’d never celebrated it before.

The second card was for Gu Yansheng.
The password was automatically set to be Gu Yansheng’s birthday.

The bank teller let him select the cover of the card.
For the first card, he chose one with two parents holding their child’s hands.
As for the second card, he chose an extremely tacky, girly pink one covered in hearts.

He looked at the girly pink design, imagined Gu Yansheng’s expression as he receives it, and laughed so hard his wound that was still oozing blood nearly tore open.

***

Ever since Shen Kanyu could remember, dad and mom didn’t like him that much.

His gege, Shen Danxi, was extremely outstanding.
He had good grades, could play musical instruments, knew calligraphy, and was gentle and kind, the apple of their eyes.
As for Shen Kanyu, his birth could basically be deemed as an accident.
If it wasn’t for the superstitious beliefs of his grandparents who didn’t allow them to have an abortion, he simply wouldn’t have born into this world.

In fact, his parents were only cold-shouldered to him at first and didn’t loathe him.
If he didn’t become a bad kid, they may have grown to like him.

But he really didn’t mean to become a delinquent.

Since gege had been in poor health since childhood and needed to be cared for, they didn’t have time for him.
As a child, he was small and skinny.
Hence he was constantly bullied and returned home badly battered.
His parents would blame him for seeking trouble and being a nuisance.

To not be a nuisance, Shen Kanyu could only learn to retaliate and he gradually mastered fighting.
And to work up his nerve to fight, he made a bunch of bad friends.
He also learned how to smoke and drink.

He had only wanted to protect himself and not trouble his family.
Although he was deemed a delinquent, he had never actively stirred up trouble with others, nor did he do things like provoke, rob, or retaliate.
Quite the opposite, he conducted good deeds with his henchmen, such as protecting the weak and punishing the bad.

But his parents didn’t care; delinquents are delinquents.
The first time his dad knew he was fighting at school, he tied him to the metal gate and beat him up, saying that he didn’t have a son like him.

Shen Kanyu felt very sad.
Though his neck was about to snap, he still raised his head and asked, “Then can I still call you dad?”

At the time, perhaps his voice was too quiet to hear so his dad didn’t end up responding.
He just took it as words his dad had said in a moment of anger.
Anyway, he wasn’t stopped when he called him dad later on.


Fortunately, he still has a dad.

Sometimes when his relatives came over, his uncles and aunt would tease him.
“Your dad and mom only want your gege, they don’t want you.”

Shen Kanyu didn’t listen.
“You’re lying, they like me the most.”

Sometimes when his parents heard him, they would half-jokingly say, “Shen Kanyu, don’t be delusional.”

Shen Kanyu thought that one must really hate a person to always call them by their full name.
After all, both dad and mom call gege “Danxi” in a very gentle and affectionate tone.
One could tell how much they love him when they hear it.

When would he hear them call him “Kanyu”?

Could he wait for it?

***

Since he was such a nuisance, his parents forgot to buy a new set of warm clothes for him once winter came.
He endured the chill for a couple of weeks before he ended up catching a cold.

Shen Danxi had a weak heart so, from a young age, he was cupped in the palms of their parents’ hands and cherished dearly.
Every time he fell ill, dad and mom would be running around with distressed faces.
Envy inevitably sprouted in Shen Kanyu’s heart.

He also really wanted to be loved and cared for like that.

But gege also happened to be ill at that time he caught a cold.
He thought that letting his parents know he was sick may trouble them and they might not be able to care for gege whole-heartedly—of course, it was quite likely his wishful thinking starting again; dad and mom were unlikely to care.

But if wishful thinking could make them less worried and less angry, then a little wishful thinking was fine.

Shen Kanyu rummaged through drawers yet he couldn’t find a thick jacket.
As a result, he could only put on a few more layers, and fill a bottle of hot water before running outside and going for a stroll.

The outcome of this stroll was to find an audacious Gu Yansheng walking alone at night.
Moreover, this audacious person was very unfortunately stopped by a few stout and sturdy senior students.

Unlike last time, Gu Yansheng didn’t stupidly take out money, instead, he turned and ran like a mudfish.

Shen Kanyu was stunned for a moment before he sincerely praised, “Not bad, there’s an improvement.”

But this pampered son couldn’t outrun these punks, so despite his fever and his legs feeling as heavy as lead, Shen Kanyu caught up to the few punks like a hurricane and started a 1v3, showing off his dazzling fighting skills.

Gu Yansheng ran until he was nearly out of breath before he realized the movements behind him weren’t quite right.
When he finally looked back, he found that those few delinquents had already bolted, and there was only Shen Kanyu sitting on the ground by himself, slowly tying his shoelaces that had come loose during the fight.

After hesitating for a while, Gu Yansheng ultimately strode back to him.

Shen Kanyu heard the sounds of footsteps and raised his head, yet his vision was blurred due to his high fever and he couldn’t see the figure.
After a long time, he could only croak out, “Who is it?”

Gu Yansheng: “Me.”

“A-Sheng?” Shen Kanyu’s somewhat cloudy eyes lit up, and his cracked lips pulled into a puppy-like smile, “Why did you come back? Hurry up and leave, what’d you come back for?”

After a few seconds of silence, Gu Yansheng questioned, “Did they run off because you beat them?”

“Mn!” Shen Kanyu nodded, and curiously asked, “Why haven’t you left yet? You will miss your bus if it gets any later.”

Gu Yansheng didn’t leave.
After a while, he sat down beside Shen Kanyu.
“Do you have water?”

“Yes!” It turned out he wanted water because he got thirsty after running.
Shen Kanyu immediately handed over the hot water he brought out to him.

When Gu Yansheng reached out for it, Shen Kanyu pulled back his hand a little.
Feeling dizzy from his fever, he couldn’t quite remember whether he had drunk from this bottle before.
If he had then he couldn’t give it to little gege; it would infect him.

A fever was this painful, he mustn’t infect him.

He earnestly thought about it for a short while.
Once he was certain he had only used it to warm his hands and hadn’t unscrewed the cap to drink from it, he passed it over once again, reassured.

Gu Yansheng had run until his throat was on fire.
This water was just at the right temperature.
He momentarily couldn’t control himself and poured more than half of the bottle down his throat all at once.

Watching him drink with such euphoria, Shen Kanyu curved his eyes and smiled again, “I’m thirsty just watching you drink.”

Gu Yansheng screwed the cap back on feeling somewhat embarrassed, returned the almost empty bottle to him, gulped, and slowly said, “Thank you.”

Shen Kanyu was momentarily blank.
Then he immediately shook his head hard.
“No need, no need to thank me.
Anyway, you were very nimble this time around.
Know to run now?”

“Mn.” Gu Yansheng lowered his eyelashes and looked at the pebbles on the ground.
He said flatly, “I have the birthday present I bought for Su Tong on me, I didn’t want them to take it.”

Shen Kanyu blinked, then nodded, “Oh…so it’s like this.
Birthday presents are very important, it really can’t be snatched away.”

Gu Yansheng looked at him and breathed out a light sigh.
“Shen Kanyu, I know you’ve been following me these days.”


Shen Kanyu coughed as he laughed twice.
“Grateful, aren’t you? If I didn’t follow you today, then such an important thing would’ve been stolen away.”

“…I only hope you won’t waste your time on me from now on.
I like Su Tong.”

Shen Kanyu lowered his head.
He felt like his hands were completely unable to gather the strength to tie his shoelaces up even after a long time had passed. He made do by silently and directly stuffing them into his shoes before speaking in a hoarse voice.
“Didn’t you say you’re not gay?”

“I am.”

“Oh,” Shen Kanyu’s response was somewhat aggrieved.
He sniffled, holding onto a thread of hope as he softly asked, “Then can I keep pursuing you? If you’re gay, there’s still a pretty good chance that you’ll like me.”

Gu Yansheng was choked by his shamelessness and rendered speechless.
After a long time, he dully said, “No.
Even though I’m gay, I won’t like you.”

“Oh, okay, I get it.” Shen Kanyu responded once again.
His nose suddenly felt extremely sour, his eyes heated up, and his chest hurt.
This was probably because his fever was too serious.

A little unaccustomed to him being this obedient, Gu Yansheng couldn’t help but say, “But as long as you don’t say or do strange things in the future, you can still play with us.”

Shen Kanyu raised his head.
He pitifully looked at Gu Yansheng with his slightly reddened eyes from his fever and cautiously said, “Then can you say happy birthday to me? My birthday was just last week.”

His birthday was probably someday last week.
Seeing as even he himself doesn’t remember, he hadn’t heard a single happy birthday from anyone.

Gu Yansheng was dumbfounded.
After a moment, his expression and voice softening, he quietly said, “Happy Birthday.”

Shen Kanyu smiled and his eyes brightened.
“Thank you.”

Gu Yansheng didn’t know why but this smile made his heart feel a little uncomfortable.
“…Sorry, I’ll make it up to you with a present later.”

“No need, it’s fine like this.”

He was 17, nearly an adult, yet he had never heard anyone wish him a happy birthday in his entire 17 years of living.

Gu Yansheng was the first person to ever say happy birthday to him.
How could he possibly give up on liking him?

Actually, being delusional does work out in the end sometimes, right? At least, because he was delusional, he could protect the Gu Yansheng he likes the most, and hear him say happy birthday to him.

It does work out, but it’d been even better if he could do it without being hated.

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