Chapter 53 – Invitation

When they arrived home, Ji Ran wanted to speak, but Qin Man already had one foot in the bathroom.
“I’m going to take a bath.”

Ji Ran laid on the sofa and made a call.

Knowing what today’s date was, Cheng Peng’s tone over the phone was filled with surprise.
“What’s wrong? What happened?”

“Can’t you think better of me?”

Cheng Peng asked, “So what is it?”

Alright, it truly wasn’t anything good.

Ji Ran replied, “I remember you have some contacts over on the law enforcement side?”

“Did you do something illegal?” There was the sound of a computer shutting off.
“Where are you? I’ll come find you.”

Something did happen, but it’s not me.”

Ji Ran hesitated before recounting the events that happened.
“We only hit two people and it wasn’t too bad.
Later on, I stopped him… this wouldn’t land him in jail, right?”

Cheng Peng let out a breath in amusement, thinking to himself, why didn’t you worry about this when you fought with others in school and went to the hospital?

Ji Ran seemed to have read his mind.
“The Ji family loves their reputation, they wouldn’t allow me to go to jail, but Qin Man is different.
His family has just gone bankrupt and his parents are abroad, plus the money for that piece of land is not yet available.
I’m afraid of something happening to him.”

“Don’t worry, if it’s really just as you said, he won’t be imprisoned.
It’s usually just a fine.
In the worst case, he will be imprisoned for up to 15 days.”

“No way.” Ji Ran frowned solemnly.
“It’s fine to pay, but I can’t let him go to jail.”

Cheng Peng teased him, “The treatment in prison is pretty good now.
It won’t hurt or itch to be shut in for 15 days.
You don’t need to be so worried.”

“Worried my ass.” Ji Ran paused, “I’m worried that he will be shaved bald and become an ugly monster.”

After understanding the situation, Cheng Peng relaxed a lot.
“Don’t worry, with Qin Man’s face alone, even if you drew a few moles on his head and turned him into a monk, he won’t be ugly.”

Ji Ran heard the ridicule in his voice and snorted.
“Can you help me or not? If you can’t, I’ll have to find someone else.”

“Yes, don’t worry.
Those people aren’t up to any good either.
The police are smart.
Those reporters won’t be able to do anything even if they really want to shut Qin Man in for 15 days.” Cheng Peng said, “Relax, I will find someone to pay attention to this matter.
Seeing how frantic you were, I thought something major happened and was even prepared to find a boat for you to escape.”

“Scram.” Ji Ran cursed with a laugh.
“How’s the auction going? Is everything okay?”

“It’s all ready.
Am I not prepared to enjoy a leisurely time at the hot spring with you? I’ve been eyeing that piece of land for a few months.
Once I take it down, I will take you abroad to play for a few days.
You can start planning for your annual vacation.”

“Alright.” Ji Ran said, “I still have something I need your help with.”

Cheng Peng asked, “Is it about those reporters?”

They had known each other for many years, so there was no need to beat around the bush.
Ji Ran asked, “Do you have any connections in this area?”

“Connections are a trivial matter as long as you have money.
Nowadays, there are few reporters who are so courageous.
Want me to help you find out who’s behind this?”

“No need to investigate, I already know.” Ji Ran turned over and changed his position.
“These reporters said that they belonged to Entertainment Weekly.
You can just check if it is true…”

He shared the plan he had concocted during the ride home.
“With their terrible personalities, they must have offended many people.
Help me find those who have been smeared by them previously and tell them I will pay their bail as long as they are willing to come forward.
I want to sue them until their company topples over.”

After hanging up, Ji Ran’s heart settled down.

In fact, when he used to fight with others in the past, he had no intention of asking the Ji Family for help.

Perhaps because the Ji family thought it would be better for him to stay in prison.

But that was his life.
He would live however he wanted.
Whether he went to prison or was let off the hook, he was all alone with nothing to fear.

But Qin Man was different.
A person who had been living such a perfect life from a young age could not be stained because of this.

After everything was settled, he heaved a sigh of relief and turned on the phone, wanting to order takeaway.
But after a thought, he switched it off again.

He swiftly got up and turned back to the kitchen.

He would feel a lack of security if the refrigerator was empty.
Thus, he had already stocked up on ingredients on his way back from his morning run today.

He made two fragrant bowls of noodles, filled to the brim with soup.

Turning back, he saw that the person in the bedroom had not yet come out.

He couldn’t have fallen asleep, right?

Ji Ran walked into the bedroom with light steps.
The moment he entered, he detected a faint smell of smoke.

The light in the bedroom wasn’t on and the balcony door was open.
Whenever a night breeze blew, it caused the curtains to flutter.

The man sat on a chair on the balcony, his posture in a rare moment of inelegance.
His long legs were folded casually as he held a cigarette between his fingers.

Ji Ran stared for a few seconds before he regained his senses and reached out a hand to turn on the light.

“Are you stealing my cigarettes again?” He walked up to Qin Man and asked, “Didn’t you tell me to smoke less? Why are you smoking one now?”

Qin Man looked up at him and suddenly burst out laughing.
“Looks like I got caught.”

“Why are you sitting here? Feigning melancholy? There’s only an old granny living across, don’t waste your effort.”

Qin Man put out the cigarette.

After taking a bath, his mood had settled down.
The only thing that constantly revolved in his mind, refusing to disappear, was Ji Ran’s expression when he was surrounded by those reporters.

At that time, his face was filled with anger, violence, and uncontrollable rage.

As well as grievance and helplessness.

No matter how minute the last two feelings were, he had seen it.

In reality, this wasn’t his first time seeing Ji Ran make such an expression.

The first time he saw Ji Ran, the other person did not leave any impression on him.
He only remembered that the boy’s school uniform was oversized and his hair was loose and messy against his forehead.
At a glance, he looked just like a malnourished kid.

He still didn’t understand at the time.
Ji Wei clearly said that his brother was shamelessly staying in their home, eating and living well everyday.
Yet, how could he be so thin?

Unexpectedly, not long after that, he didn’t know how he had provoked the kid, causing him to seek him out every day.
But the things he did were merely trifling pranks.

It was overkill to seek revenge, but it was also impossible for him to take it lying down.
Therefore, he would always return in kind, as a means of warning.
Over time, it became routine.

That lasted until one day.
It was a rare time he stayed in school to play ball until the evening.
On the way back to the classroom, he saw Ji Ran.

The other person was surrounded by many boys in a corner.
It was obvious at a glance what was happening.

He had also heard of Ji Ran’s fights in school, but what he heard was that it was Ji Ran who bullied others.

Logically speaking, seeing the person who was always harassing him about to be beaten, he should have been glad.
However, he couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable when he saw the nonchalance of the person standing against the wall.

As he hesitated whether or not to step in, both sides began to fight.

One of the boys pushed Ji Ran and was about to speak, but was cursed out by Ji Ran.
Then, he used his head to collide with the other.

In that instant, Qin Man felt as if he was nailed to the spot by an invisible force.
He clearly wanted to stop them, but couldn’t move a single step.

Ji Ran was very skillful; he knew where to hit for the greatest amount of pain.
His body was full of energy, and using his body as a weapon, he fought as if his life didn’t matter.
He was unlike the others who were overly cautious and afraid of injuring themselves.

Therefore, Ji Ran easily won this fight.

With an expression full of anger and helplessness, the kid beat every single person down to the ground.

Qin Man only came back to reality when Ji Ran walked out of class.
He also didn’t understand why he had instinctively ducked into a corner to avoid the other person’s line of sight.

He didn’t hesitate for long.
Once Ji Ran turned at the end of the corridor, he quickly followed.

Ji Ran walked towards the teaching building on the right side of the school and went up all the way until he reached the top floor.
Since it had just been completed, it was not yet opened.

Looking around, he made sure that there was no one before he found a corner and sat down.

Then he hugged his legs and buried his face into his knees.

Perhaps he could no longer bear the pain from his wounds that had opened up.

At that time, Qin Man had coincidentally suffered a slight injury on his leg while playing ball, so he had some ointment in his pocket.

Just think of it as doing charity, Qin Man thought.

He pulled out the ointment from his pocket and took light steps.
Just before he could walk out, he stopped.

He heard a sob.

He was clearly doing his best to suppress his sobs, but because the whole area was empty, the sound was extremely clear.

His sobs were intermittent and lasted for a long time.
Emotions which were once hidden were, at the moment, infinitely magnified.

By the time Qin Man came back to his senses, the ointment had become deformed in his hands.
One cried while the other watched; he stayed quietly for a long time.

When Ji Ran looked up again, he had already hidden himself.

In a corner, he watched Ji Ran cry until his nose turned red, a sharp contrast to his usual surly attitude.

This scene appeared countless times in his dreams.

A hand with beautifully defined bone structure waved in front of him.
Ji Ran frowned.
“What are you dreaming about?”

Qin Man returned to his senses and subconsciously grabbed the hand in front of him.

Ji Ran was taken aback and immediately withdrew his hand: “Did you… become addicted or something?”

Qin Man put away those emotions and chuckled, “I was just thinking about something.
What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Ji Ran shifted his gaze, “I cooked too much noodles…do you want to eat it or not?”

After half an hour, the two of them ate and drank their fill.
Not even the soup was left.

Ji Ran got into the bed after taking a shower.

As soon as Qin Man laid down on the bed, he smelled the faint fragrance of shower gel from his body.

It was strange.
They clearly used the same shower gel, yet he always felt that Ji Ran’s body smelled nicer.

Ji Ran put his phone down and closed his eyes, preparing to fall asleep.
He was only in a pair of underwear, refusing to cover himself properly with a blanket.
His fair skin was completely exposed, causing Qin Man to feel agitated.

He wanted to touch him.

Qin Man swallowed and finally gave up on enduring.
He got up and wanted to grab some condoms from the bedside table at Ji Ran’s side.

At this moment, the person under him suddenly opened his eyes.
Before Qin Man could move, he saw Ji Ran look up and suddenly bite down heavily on the corner of his mouth.

Qin Man, “You…”

“Stealing a kiss again?” Having succeeded, Ji Ran looked at the tooth mark at the corner of Qin Man’s lips and sneered, “I caught you many times.
Do you have a kink for kissing?”

Qin Man didn’t speak.
Moving his body so that half of his body firmly pressed against Ji Ran, he held his forehead and forcefully kissed him..

Ji Ran was taken aback.
He pushed Qin Man and tried to speak, “You fucking…”

Between the passion of lips and tongue, he heard Qin Man say, “You said that we don’t need to kiss except for when we are doing it.”

Ji Ran finally managed to open his mouth to speak.
However, Qin Man lowered his head once more and captured his lips.

Ji Ran heard the sound of his bedside table being opened.
Qin Man took out a condom and ripped off the package with his teeth in front of him, revealing the corner of something round.

“So I’m not trying to steal a kiss.” Qin Man’s voice was low and hoarse while his eyes were full of surging desires.

“I’m inviting you to make love.”

Ji Ran looked at him in shock, feeling his fingertips tremble uncontrollably.
His heart was beating so fast, it felt as if it might explode.

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