First Published on Chaleuria
12.1 – I Think I Understand Now What Friendship Means
Winter morning sunlight shone through the window into the snow-white ward. Yao Yuan slowly opened his eyes, and in the next moment, the memories from before he had fallen unconscious returned. He turned and saw Su Mu sitting in a chair to one side, leaning against the back of the chair in an uncomfortable position. He was frowning, though Yao Yuan didn’t know about what. Yao Yuan couldn’t help sighing silently. He was soft-hearted. He had angrily gone to Su Mu to start a fight, and had even wanted to personally beat this bastard who had no consideration for other people until he came to his senses. But even in those circumstances he had still instinctively taken the knife for Su Mu. Forget it; he had probably owed Su Mu too much in a past life.
Su Mu, still sleeping, tugged on his coat as if feeling a chill. Yao Yuan frowned, realizing Su Mu had probably stayed here all night. Although the hospital wards had heating, the winter night had probably still been difficult to endure.
Yao Yuan tried to move, but his body didn’t respond to him and his stomach still hurt. He could only softly call out, “Su Mu…”
Su Mu immediately opened his eyes and rushed to his side, taking his hand out of habit, a wide smile on his exhausted face. “Wonderful, Yao Yuan, you’re awake!”
“I’m fine now.” Yao Yuan tried to pull his hand free, but right now he didn’t have the strength, and had to let Su Mu keep hold of his hand. “Go back and get some rest.”
“I’m fine. But I hurt where you hit me.” Su Mu pouted at him.
Yao Yuan couldn’t help smiling, but the movement tugged at the wound in his stomach and a groan slipped out. Su Mu turned and called for the doctor.
“What are you yelling for? I’m fine.” Yao Yuan quickly stopped him. What was he getting worried over nothing for? “But you deserved the beating.”
Su Mu’s expression grew serious, his gaze on Yao Yuan’s face unusually attentive, and his hand also subconsciously tightened on Yao Yuan’s.
“Hey, what the hell are you doing?” Su Mu being like this made Yao Yuan feel uneasy.
“Yao Yuan.” Su Mu finally spoke. “Since I was young, my environment and my education all taught me that people are selfish and can’t be trusted. Only profits can be trusted. So when I met you, when I found that you were something special, I did everything I could to keep you by my side. I got close to you and tested you, and even tried to tempt you at Zero Point with very favorable terms. Until yesterday, I hadn’t given up on my original plans, which was for you to work for the Su Group all your life. I didn’t consider you as my friend at all.”
Although Yao Yuan had been aware of Su Mu’s intentions, hearing him speak the words was a completely different matter. Yao Yuan felt disappointment in every cell of his body, and his heart hurt slightly. He looked away from Su Mu’s face; if he had still held even a sliver of expectation for Su Mu, even if unrealistic, yesterday, now it was completely destroyed. He had known from the start that Su Mu was a typical businessman who would make use of anything to get what he wanted. Su Mu did not understand friendship, and Yao Yuan had overestimated himself when he thought that he could change him. Yao Yuan sighed and said, “Su Mu, maybe from your point of view you haven’t done anything wrong. But we’re from different worlds. So, you can go, and I’ll pretend I never met you.”
“No!” Su Mu decisively rejected this. “Let me finish. Yesterday, when you fainted next to me, I understood that I was wrong. How many people in the world could be angry with someone and still take a fatal blow for them? At least for me, no one else would, aside from you. Yao Yuan, while you were unconscious, I thought about it for a long time. I finally understood that meeting you, and being treated as a friend by you, was my good fortune. Before, I told myself that there would be no uncertain variables in my life. But I want to try out this friendship I hadn’t planned or prepared for. Yao Yuan, believe me. I think I understand how to be a friend now.”
After Su Mu finished, he sat quietly by the bed, looking down at Yao Yuan’s stubborn head of hair. It was in disarray, perhaps because Yao Yuan had lain on the bed for a long time. Su Mu wanted to reach out and smooth it down for him, but did nothing and quietly waited for his reply.
A long time later, Yao Yuan finally spoke. “When did you learn to say such sentimental things?”
Su Mu could tell Yao Yuan was no longer angry, and his initially desolate mood brightened in an instant. Su Mu’s tentative hand also finally landed on Yao Yuan’s tough and stubborn head of hair and gently caressed it. “Yao Yuan, thank you.”
“Bastard.” Yao Yuan cursed, then finally turned to face Su Mu and smiled. He had never expected such a speech from Su Mu, and he was willing to believe that those words were all heartfelt. “You’re not going to ask me to join the Su Group any more?”
“I’ll respect your decision. But, Yao Yuan, you’re allowed to not want me for a boss but you won’t get rid of me as a friend.”
Su Mu smiled and reached out to the patient lying in bed, and Yao Yuan took his hand without hesitation. He smiled, tugging again at his stomach wound.
“Yao Yuan!” Feeling the pressure on his hand intensify, Su Mu worriedly called his name.
“It’s fine,” Yao Yuan reassured him, also gradually calming down, although a sheen of sweat surfaced on his forehead.
Su Mu grabbed a towel and wiped him off, asking how he was until he was sure Yao Yuan really was fine before sighing in relief and ordering for him to keep resting.
Yao Yuan obediently shut his eyes, but the next moment, a knock came from the doorway. He opened his eyes again and shot Su Mu a helpless smile. It’s not that I don’t want to sleep; someone doesn’t want me to sleep.
“Come in,” Su Mu said in an ill temper.
A middle-aged woman entered the room. She was clearly from a wealthy background. She looked like she took care of herself well, but currently her face was haggard and her dark circles suggested that she had been suffering from a serious lack of sleep. She stood there, looking down at her hands, seeming uneasy.
Su Mu cast Yao Yuan a questioning gaze and saw the same uncertainty in Yao Yuan’s eyes. Out of habit cultivated since a young age, Su Mu quickly showed a comforting smile and walked over to the woman. He asked gently, “Who are you looking for?”
The woman finally looked up. Seeing the smiling young man in front of her, she calmed down, and took a deep breath before saying, “I’m Hu Lin’s mother.”