No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 42: Rabbit Nest Adventures
Adrian’s espionage mission failed miserably just as he began. Besides finding out two articles of its mysterious “Code”, he got nothing else out of it.
He shut down the incognito software and felt like he really was too idle. He was wondering if he should prepare his speech for tomorrow’s meeting in advance when a call suddenly came in.
It was Fayn. Adrian picked up the call, and before he could even say anything, he heard snarling from the other end, “Can you do something?! He called me for two nights straight! These are the only two nights in Dr. Wei’s entire working year that he’s free! He keeps interrupting us every time I get a good vibe going! I knew he had something against me…Is this revenge? You…”
“Slow down, buddy,” said Adrian, confused. “Who called you for two nights straight?”
“Who else?! That guy in your house! He asked me where you were yesterday, and now he wants me to pass on a message to you. Why can’t he just message you directly?”
Awkwardly, Adrian replied, “…Because he can’t get to me. He’s on my blacklist. What does he need?”
“He wants you to go look for him right now, said he’s got ‘a bit of a problem’. I asked where he was, and he actually told me he was in your house! Fucking shit…You’re both in the same house, what kinda problem does he have that he can’t just knock on your door? Are you guys doing some kinda play? Could you not drag me into it?”
A bit of a problem? Is the rabbit not getting into the nest? That’s not right…He knew how Zhong Yan was. He definitely wasn’t the type who would seek help if it was something he could handle himself, much less seeking help from someone he doesn’t even have a good opinion of. If the blankets weren’t working, he would definitely come knocking himself to tell Adrian.
Then what was it? Looking at the time, they’ve been back for quite a while. He thought that Zhong Yan was already done laying out the blankets for the rabbit’s nest and should not be outside at this moment, but did something dangerous happen? Adrian’s chest constricted. He stood up and said as he walked towards the backyard, “Alright, I got it.”
“What did you get? You have to deal with the situation…”
Adrian had no mood to deal with him anymore so he interrupted him outright, “Alright alright, I’ll deal with it. I got stuff to do so I’m hanging up.”
He opened the door to Zhong Yan’s room. As expected, it was empty. So, he headed to the backyard.
The eight-meter-high rabbit nest was on the grass, but he didn’t see the rabbit. Thinking about it, the blankets must have been effective so the rabbit should be in the nest. Adrian circled around to the nest’s entrance and instantly stopped.
To be precise, half of the rabbit was in the nest, but half of its white and furry buttocks and its big round tail was exposed.
Adrian looked around, but Zhong Yan was nowhere to be seen. Suspiciously, he walked over and flipped through the giant fluff of a rabbit tail, but he was not inside.
“Zhong Yan?” He tried to shout.
Unexpectedly, he got a response. Zhong Yan’s voice sounded out from inside the rabbit’s nest and was transmitted from an area close to the door. “I’m here.”
Adrian managed to pinpoint his position by the sound, and he walked towards the door. He asked, “Did you finally get eaten by this rabbit?”
“No, giant space rabbits don’t eat meat,” he responded, but his voice sounded a bit muffled through the artificial wooden planks. “I tried to lead it in with the rope after putting down the blankets, but the door was too small, so it…it got stuck, and I couldn’t get out either.”
Adrian reached into the dense rabbit fur and touched the edges of the door: there was no gap. Sure enough, it was stuck. He shouted to the inside, “Then let it out.”
“I tried, it doesn’t want to go out, it just kept pushing in!” shouted Zhong Yan back to him. “I told you the blankets were effective!”
“It’s really effective. Amazing,” Adrian mocked with sarcasm. “So Mr. Rabbit Expert, may I ask how you’re going to get out of there now?”
Zhong Yan was defeated, and jabbed back after a long time, “You’re the one who made the door too small!”
“This rabbit is fatter than I thought,” Adrian said. He thought the rabbit just looked puffy because of its dense fur, but he never expected a genuine deal.
“Why don’t you widen the door a bit? Do you have any tools like chainsaws or whatnot in your house?” Zhong Yan asked from inside.
“That I do, but you’ll have to come out of there first, or the wood chips will fly everywhere.”
Adrian circled around the exposed rabbit butt. Actually, there were two skylights at the top of the nest for ventilation. It was big enough for a person to pass through it, but it was too high up. There was only a single ladder in the house so there was no way for him to get him out after getting up there. Looking around, there seemed to be a small gap at the rabbit’s back.
The door was too narrow so the rabbit was stuck on both sides, but it was tall enough that there was some space on top.
“Climb up onto the rabbit’s back first, then you can walk out on its back,” Adrian instructed him.
Awkwardly, Zhong Yan touched the rabbit’s ears and said, “I tried that, but…I couldn’t do it.”
“It’s laying down, how tall do you think it is? Can’t you get up just by pulling on its hair?”
Zhong Yan tried again, but his arms were not strong enough. After tussling about for a long time, he still did not get anywhere besides tiring himself out and panting.
The little rabbit kit thought he was trying to play with it, so it nudged its head over and rubbed him softly.
“I can’t get up.” On the edge of tears, Zhong Yan sat on the blankets and said this to the outside.
Adrian’s muffled voice sounded out from the outside, “Well color me impressed, you can’t even climb up this height?” Then, he stopped talking.
Did he leave because of how useless he was? Zhong Yan lifted up the rabbit’s ear and placed it on himself before sitting down, downcasted. It was fine if Adrian left, the rabbit would have to go out for some exercise during the day anyway, he could just go out then. There were so many blankets inside that it wasn’t cold either…
Suddenly, the clear voice of a familiar man came from above his head, “I moved you out of my blacklist.”
Zhong Yan raised his head and saw Adrian looking down at him from above the rabbit. The moonlight shone in from the skylight and was cast upon him like a spotlight on a stage.
“Don’t call my subordinates so casually next time, especially at night. He’s also a single man, what do you think would happen to his image if word gets out? But of course, that doesn’t mean you can bother me either, so you better watch yourself, understood?”
Zhong Yan looked up at him, and answered dazedly, “Okay.”
Adrian jumped down and landed nimbly beside Zhong Yan. The kit turned its head over in an attempt to nuzzle him, but it was pushed away with disapproval.
“This rabbit is too stupid.” As he said that, he pulled Zhong Yan up from the ground. “I’ll pull you up.”
“Wait, hold on. The blankets were quite big so I didn’t use all of them earlier, we have two left.” Zhong Yan motioned Adrian towards the side.
The whole nest was full of bright colors like red, yellow, green, and blue; Adrian could hardly see where the leftover blankets were.
“We can bring it back and I can use it, I was just thinking of changing mine anyway,” said Zhong Yan.
“What’s wrong with your current one?”
“Didn’t Suster say during dinner…” Zhong Yan went on awkwardly, “Didn’t he say that was the set he used when he slept at your house? I don’t want to use the same set of beddings as him.”
Adrian grunted, “He said the one he used were the spares in my house.”
“He said you only had one set of spares, so shouldn’t the one on my bed be…”
“Yeah, there’s only one set of spares, and I’m using it. The room you’re sleeping in is my room, my bed, and my blankets.”
Zhong Yan looked at Adrian in disbelief, and stuttered, “What…”
“If you don’t like it, then bring one over. Hurry up.” Saying that, Adrian was going to grab the remaining two blankets, but he was stopped by Zhong Yan.
“Well…it’s quite troublesome to take it up, we still have to climb up the rabbit’s back, so…let’s not.”
“Can’t you make up your mind? Get up if you’re not getting them.”
Adrian crouched down to allow Zhong Yan to step on his shoulder, then he stood up and sent Zhong Yan up by supporting his legs. Meanwhile, he grabbed the rabbit’s fur and easily climbed up himself.
“Let’s go,” he said to Zhong Yan, who did not dare to move. “I’m here, you won’t fall.”
Zhong Yan nodded. He walked unsteadily over the kit’s back. It really was reassuring to have Adrian right behind him. They bent down to cross through the door of the rabbit’s nest. Zhong Yan looked at the ground and said anxiously, “…How do we get down?”
Adrian jumped down first. The grass was not as soft as the blankets in the nest, but he rolled out of it and reduced the impact. It did still hurt a little. An indiscernible frown crossed Adrian’s brows, that bit of pain would not bother him; but if it was Zhong Yan’s soft and tender body, it might…
“Why don’t you move a ladder over?” said Zhong Yan from on top of the rabbit.
“No need, just jump. I’ll catch you.”
Adrian spread his arms wide and raised his head to look at him, “Come.”
Zhong Yan took a breath. It took so much effort for him to struggle through life till he was this old. For him to get a foot up in the world, he was a cautious person who cherished his life; but at this moment, he put away all the safety concerns to the back of his mind. Adrian was standing in the grass beneath the starry sky, looking at him with his arms wide open, telling him to jump.
So he jumped.
The wind whistled in his ear while Adrian’s face grew bigger in front of his eyes. In less than a second, he slammed into Adrian’s arms, and the two fell onto the grass.
That free fall caused Zhong Yan’s heart to beat wildly, and he was only able to snap out of it after a few seconds, only to realize that Adrian was stuck beneath him.
“Sorry.” After saying that, Zhong Yan tried to get up, but realized only after he moved that Adrian’s arms were clenched tightly around him.
And strangely enough, Adrian seemed to have realized this even later than he did. He jerked his hands back abruptly and said under his breath, “Get up!”
Zhong Yan quickly got up and wanted to reach out to pull up Adrian, but Adrian sat up and ignored the hand that was reached out to him, and instead said, “Go inside, your work’s done here.”
“Are you not going in?” Zhong Yan asked in confusion.
“I’ll go in after making the door wider.” Adrian looked at him rather impatiently, “Go on, hurry up.”
Zhong Yan was starting to get anxious after seeing no attempts from him to stand up, so he crouched in front of him and asked, “What’s wrong? Did you hurt your leg?”
Adrian reflexively curled up one of his legs, and put his arm around it before barking out irritably, “I’d be fine even if you’d get a fracture out of that. Can you just go? Looking at you annoys me.”
He was still fine earlier, but Zhong Yan was suddenly given a scolding out of nowhere, so he left a little confused.
Perhaps he was unhappy because he made him fall down, so Zhong Yan thought, but he didn’t do it on purpose.
Adrian sat on the grass by himself for a while.
Zhong Yan’s waist was really slender. It had been so long since he held it. But…even during the best time of their relationship, Zhong Yan had never pressed his body down on him like that before, and he even held Zhong Yan’s waist so tightly…
No! Stop thinking about it! After sitting and mulling over things for a while, that part that had gotten a reaction earlier did not go down in the slightest and even became more spirited. Adrian forced himself not to think about the feeling from earlier and stared at the rabbit’s tail to divert his attention.
And the worst part was, the rabbit who had refused to step back actually came out by himself, perhaps because nobody was playing with it anymore. It lowered its head and rubbed its ear against Adrian, but Adrian grabbed the rabbit’s fur and yelled, “What a damned trouble maker, this rabbit ain’t no different from its owner!”