woke up, he saw Qin Man changing clothes at the end of the bed.

“You’re awake? Sleep a little more?” Qin Man said.

Ji Ran didn’t move.
After one look, he continued to shut his eyes.
“Where are you going?”

“I’m going to meet some friends for a discussion, then there’s a class gathering at night.” Qin Man walked forward and sat beside him.
“Want to come along?”

“No.” Ji Ran pulled the covers over his head and felt that something wasn’t right, so he pushed it back down.
“Class gathering?”

“En.” Without waiting for Ji Ran to ask, he explained, “Ji Wei will also be there.”

“Qin Man, you’ve got guts.” Ji Ran laughed coldly.
“Did I allow you to go?”

“Then, I won’t go.
I’ll come back after the discussion with my friend.” Qin Man paused, “it’s regarding my old home.”

“Old home?”

Qin Man’s tone was normal.
“Yeah, I lived there for over 20 years and couldn’t bear to part with it, so I’m planning to buy it back.
There are some things I have to inquire about.”

Ji Ran was silent for a few seconds.
“Do you have enough money?”

Otherwise, I can borrow some from my friends.”

“… Do you think I’m dead? You’re not allowed to borrow from others and throw my face.”

Saying so, he struggled to sit up.
Half his body was exposed as he reached over to pull open the cupboard at the end of the bed.

Their deeds from last night left red marks all over his body.
Qin Man had deliberately left them on his neck, chest, back, and even his abdomen.
Against his pale skin, it was particularly eye-catching.

Staring at those ambiguous marks, Qin Man’s gaze turned complex.

Ji Ran pulled out a card and threw it over.
“The card I gave you before still has some money left in it.
See if it’s enough, otherwise, you can use this.
It has the same password.”

Qin Man smiled.
“You’re really good to me.”

“Don’t fool around…” Ji Ran shrank his neck back as he recalled something.
“Will Xu Lin also be at the class gathering?”

“Xu Lin?” Qin Man raised an eyebrow.
“He won’t be.
I never knew him before.”

Qin Man and Ji Wei had been classmates for six years, from middle school till high school.

So, what kind of classmates were Xu Lin and Ji Wei? According to Xu Lin’s words, they should have known each other for a long time.
High school was a little late and according to the report, Ji Wei had already been interning at the company since he was in high school.
Xu Lin had already followed him into the office by then.

Ji Ran felt weary and threw the thought aside, planning to come back later when he was more awake.
For now, he just wanted to sleep.

He pulled the covers back over his head.
“Why aren’t you leaving yet?”

“I’m going now.” Qin Man leaned forward and kissed him through the blanket.
“I’ll come back in the afternoon once the discussion is over.”

Ji Ran waited until Qin Man left before he slowly came out from underneath.
Staring at the ceiling, he felt himself gradually sober up.

Why did Qin Man kiss him again?

Why the hell did he not scold him earlier?

Looks like he’d have to have a chat about this with Qin Man.
What they had was an actual contract, not a relationship.
Apart from sex, there wasn’t any other situation where they needed to do something so cheesy.

Cheng Peng’s call came once he got out of bed.
He wanted to go play ball.

Ji Ran didn’t feel like moving with his sore legs, but he also didn’t want to stay at home.
So, he decided to go spectate.

Yue Wen Wen had long been watching from the bleachers.
Seeing him arrive, his hands shook like a rattle drum.
When Ji Ran reached where he was, he finally couldn’t resist asking, “Ran Ran, did you catch a cold? Why’re you dressed so thickly?”

In April, Man Cheng was already at 27 degrees celsius.
Yue Wen Wen had already switched to a sleeveless shirt, yet Ji Ran had worn a long-sleeved shirt.

Ji Ran pulled his hat down and ran his hand through his hair.
“Don’t bother about it.”

Yue Wen Wen saw his face clearly and asked again, “Why are your eyes swollen? Did you not sleep properly?”

How could Ji Ran not have slept properly? He slept for an entire 12 hours.

However, last night had been too unrestrained.
He had let out too many tears and only later realised that his eyes were swollen from crying too much while coming.

“Why did you come to this court?” Ji Ran didn’t feel like replying and simply changed the topic.

“Oh, Cheng Peng said this court is nearer to Chen An’s school.
Chen An has an exam today, so it’ll be easier to go pick him up later,” Yue Wen Wen said.

“Looks like Cheng Peng has really fallen for him.
Ran Ran, do you think there’ll be a day where he goes overseas and gets a marriage certificate?”

“How would I know?”

“Oh, right.
Why didn’t Qin Man come today?”

“Why do you care?”

“Alright, fine.
I won’t ask.” Yue Wen Wen picked up his phone and clicked on a video.
“Come look, I recorded this yesterday.”

Before Ji Ran could see what the video was about, he heard Wen Xiao’s voice.

“Yue Wen Wen, what is the meaning of this… sob, must you bully me?”

Ji Ran frowned.
“Who’s that beside him?”

“Oh, it’s probably one of his exes.
How would I know?” Yue Wen Wen replied.

After Cheng Peng grew tired from playing, he tossed the ball aside and headed over to them.

“Want to eat dinner tonight? I’ve made a reservation at a hotel.”

Yue Wen Wen, “Hotel? Why so grand?”

“It’s Chen An’s birthday tonight.”

Ji Ran looked at the school some distance away.
“He’s not going to celebrate with his friends?”

Back when he was in school, birthdays were always celebrated with his classmates.

“I didn’t agree,” Cheng Peng said as a matter of fact.

“Why are you even controlling how he celebrates his birthday?”

Cheng Peng laughed, but didn’t explain.

Chen An was too naive and careless when making new friends.
The male student who was Chen An’s best friend, had confessed to Cheng Peng the last time he went to pick Chen An up.

Compared to celebrating it with such a person, it was better for him to drag the other person to his side.

When Chen An got into the car, his expression was heavy.

Cheng Peng knew he was throwing a tantrum, but didn’t rush to coax him.
He wanted to wait until there wasn’t anyone else around to explain.

On the contrary, Yue Wen Wen scooted closer.
“Chen An, my bad, I just knew it was your birthday today, so I didn’t have time to get you a gift.
I’ll make it up to you later.”

Chen An was taken aback before he shook his head uncomfortably.
“N-No need.”

Hands folded, Ji Ran stared out the window without any intentions of joining the conversation.
He merely gave a yawn.

The phone in his hand vibrated.

Q: Are you awake? I’m on the way home.
Do you want me to buy some food on the way back?

Ji Ran leaned back and asked Cheng Peng for the address of the hotel before sending it over to Qin Man.

Daddy Ji: Use the card I gave you to buy something simple along the way.
Today is Chen An’s birthday.

The restaurant Cheng Peng booked was one of Man Cheng’s most extravagant hotels.
The portions were small, but the prices were astronomical; it was impossible to fill their stomachs.

The restaurant was located at the top floor of Man Cheng’s tallest skyscraper, allowing its diners to view the entire city.
This floor was huge, but seating was limited.
The interior was elegant, yet cozy; classy but practical.
It was suitable for dining, dating, and work.

They had barely arrived when Qin Man reached.
He was holding a small gift box.

“How did you get here so quickly?” Ji Ran asked.

“I happened to be nearby.” Qin Man passed the present to Chen An.
“Happy Birthday.
Ji Ran told me to buy it.”

Chen An’s eyes widened.
He looked at Ji Ran before humbly accepting it.
“T-Thank you…”

“Qin Man, come sit.” When Qin Man finally sat down, Yue Wen Wen intertwined his ten fingers and said solemnly, “I haven’t apologised to you regarding the matter with Wen Xiao.
I’m sorry, I didn’t know he would be so annoying.”

Qin Man’s smile was especially kind.
“No problem.”

Cheng Peng looked at the person beside him.

Compared to other men, Chen An had a relatively smaller build.
Now that he was hunched over, using his phone, he looked somewhat pitiful.

“Are you still angry?” Cheng Peng sighed and asked, “Why do you keep looking at your phone?”

“I’m not.” Chen An’s voice was full of grievance.
“I’m a-apologising t-to my friend.”

“What are you apologising for?”

Chen An replied, “We agreed b-before t-to celebrate together.”

“If you don’t celebrate your birthday with me, do you intend to meet those irrelevant people?”

“…H-he is my friend,” Chen An stubbornly said, “not an irrelevant person.”

Next time, if there is a chance, I will compensate them.” Cheng Peng casually threw out a promise he knew he would not fulfill.

Ji Ran listened to their conversation and was amused, “Cheng Peng, are you coaxing your son?”

Cheng Peng raised his eyebrows.
“It’s all the same.”

Chen An was initially just a little angry.
After hearing this, he froze for a long time, his face flushed.

Soon, the dishes were served.
Ji Ran wasn’t interested and didn’t bother to touch his cutlery.

Qin Man asked, “Why aren’t you eating?”

“No appetite.” Compared to these small pieces of steak that cost an arm and a leg, he prefered the extra large lamb hotpot from the food stall outside.

Qin Man replied, “Shall I cut it for you?”

Yue Wen Wen immediately exploded.
“What’s wrong with you four? Are you bullying me, the person who just broke up?!”

Ji Ran answered, “No.
My hands aren’t broken.
Eat yours, don’t bother about me.”

On the other side, Chen An was chewing the piece of steak that Cheng Peng had cut for him.
Hearing this, he coughed.

Elegant violin music played in the background.
Ji Ran became bored the more he listened, so he wiped his hands with the napkin next to him and stood up.

Yue Wen Wen hurriedly asked, “Where are you going?”


Ji Ran didn’t go to the toilet.
He leaned against the railing along the corridor and looked at the person who had followed him.
He took a puff of cigarette and said quietly, “What a bum beetle.”

Qin Man smiled and took out a small gift box from his pocket.

“For you.”

“… What’s that?”

“I happened to see it when I was looking for a gift, so I bought it.”

Ji Ran didn’t take it.
He spat out a mouthful of smoke and laughed.
“Using my money to buy me a gift? You businessmen are really disgusting.”

“I used my own card.
I am aware of the price of the house.
My own savings are enough.
I didn’t use the money in the card.” Qin Man placed the card on the gift box and handed it over.
“See if you like it.”

Ji Ran stared at the small box.

He wanted to see what Qin Man was up to this time.

He took it, opened the gift roughly, and lifted the box.
After seeing the contents, the cigarette on his fingertips almost fell.

A man’s diamond ring sat inside, shining brightly.
Under the light, it gleamed and dazzled.

His heartbeat sped up from fright.
“Qin Man, what the fuck…”

“Don’t misunderstand,” Qin Man said, “this is for your birthday.”

That was even stranger.
“My birthday was three months ago.”

“I know.
I wasn’t on time, so this is to make up for that.”

“…I’m not a kid.
I’m not so fussy.” Ji Ran threw it back, “I don’t want it.”

Ji Ran felt that Qin Man was strange.

To be precise, both he and Qin Man were strange, but he couldn’t tell what was wrong.

He originally thought that Qin Man would insist on giving him the ring.
He didn’t expect the other person to remain silent for a while, then take the ring out of the box and slowly put it into his pocket.
It actually ended just like this.

One look and he knew this person wasn’t sincere.

Qin Man had long guessed that Ji Ran wouldn’t accept it so easily.
He simply kept it properly and asked.
“Do you have another cigarette?”

Qin Man rarely smoked apart from after doing it, so Ji Ran had virtually never seen him smoke.

He took out a pack and threw it over.

Qin Man flicked the end of the cigarette case skillfully, a cigarette popped out, and he lowered his head to pick one out.

Ji Ran unconsciously glanced at him.
This bastard doesn’t have anything going on for him, apart from his face that he never got sick from looking at.

Qin Man raised his head, and Ji Ran could vaguely see his own reflection in those eyes.

Ji Ran shook his head to clear his thoughts.
It took a long time to remember that he didn’t give Qin Man a lighter.

As soon as he reached a hand into his pocket, Qin Man suddenly leaned over, touching the butts of the two cigarettes together.

They were too close.
Ji Ran held his breath as he looked at Qin Man without blinking, and for a moment, he forgot to move.

Meanwhile, Qin Man looked at him directly, the corners of his lips raised.
A few seconds later, his cigarette was lit.

Ji Ran’s heart beat rapidly.
He reached out a hand to the other’s shoulder, wanting to push him away.

“Qin Man?”

A familiar voice rang from a short distance away.

The two turned to look at the source of interruption at the same time.

Ji Wei was standing on the other end of the corridor, wearing a casual outfit.
He was surrounded by a group of men and women his age, all with a look of surprise on their faces.

After recognising the other person, Ji Wei’s brows tightened.

“Ji Ran?” Their posture was too ambiguous, causing Ji Wei’s expression to become complicated.
After a moment, he spoke, “Qin Man, didn’t you say that you had something urgent at night and you can’t attend the party? Why are you here?”

These were Qin Man’s high school classmates.

Ji Ran didn’t expect to see Ji Wei here.
Without moving, he maintained their current positions for a long time.

“What shall we do?” Qin Man didn’t sound anxious at all.
He turned around and asked teasingly, at a volume audible only to them.
“Our affair has been discovered.”

P/r: Was that ring a subtle proposal? Squeeeeeeeeeeee!

T/n: honestly I think so

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