Chapter 3 – Astray Youth (3)

After leaving the school, Chen Luosong took Zhou Kaiji for the test. During the blood draw, the high schooler remained silent despite looking extremely frail.

The test results came out a few hours later. With some free time on hand, Chen Luosong decided to take the high schooler around nearby places. Zhou Kaiji felt that Secretary Chen must be busy and said it wasn’t necessary.

Chen Luosong waved his hand, being succinct, “Not busy.”

The driver, sitting in the front, glanced back at him but ultimately didn’t say anything, turning his head back.

The only place nearby for a stroll was the mall, just a ten-minute drive away. The driver stayed in the parking lot along with the car, which also contained Zhou Kaiji’s school uniform and backpack.

The mall was heated, so taking off a thin school uniform didn’t affect the warmth, still comfortable.

Chen Luosong first took him to see some clothes.

The butler could handle these things; he only needed to spare a glance at most, and didn’t need to worry about the rest. However, he was accustomed to doing these things himself.

Today was Friday, and the mall was still relatively empty compared to usual.

Zhou Kaiji quickly scanned the surroundings, his hand in his pocket, unconsciously gripping his phone.

The store’s lights were bright, and the salespeople’s smiles were radiant. They probably guessed who was paying and mostly recommended items to Chen Luosong.

Chen Luosong also smiled but remained silent while sitting on the sofa. Later, he patted the person quietly following beside him and said, “If he nods, buy it.”

He only told the high schooler to nod if he liked something and shake his head if he didn’t.

Zhou Kaiji seemed to rarely express his own preferences; most of the time, he would just nod silently.

After sitting on the sofa for a while and resting enough, Chen Luosong’s interest was piqued, and he personally chose a piece of clothing – a fiery red one, vibrant and eye-catching.

This time, the high schooler finally learned to refuse.

However, the refusal was ineffective.

The store would deliver the purchased clothing to their home. Chen Luosong filled out the address and left feeling relaxed.

Perhaps it was because of the bright red coat he had just bought, his mood seemed quite good, and his smile looked more genuine than usual.

The shop they had just visited was conveniently located above a styling studio, so Chen Luosong took Zhou Kaiji to get a haircut.

When he was rubbing someone’s hair earlier, Chen Luosong had noticed that Zhou Kaiji’s hair seemed normal at first glance but was actually uneven and messy. This person should have taken care of it himself.

Considering the current conditions, the stylist’s skills were quite good.

After the haircut, a handsome guy emerged.

While having dinner nearby, Chen Luosong’s phone, placed aside, rang. He glanced down at it, then shifted his gaze away. Moving the cherry tomatoes on his plate, he slightly raised his eyes and said, “The test results are out. Finish eating, then we’ll go get them.”

Zhou Kaiji paused for a moment, then nodded in response, continuing to eat quietly.

By the time they finished dinner, it was completely dark outside, coinciding with the evening rush hour. The elevated bridge was awash in red, with a sea of car lights stretching into the distance.

They encountered traffic jams along the way, so by the time they got the report, nearly an hour had passed.

The relevant people were already waiting, and they were promptly taken to an exclusive reception room and given the test report.

Chen Luosong glanced over it and then handed it to the person standing beside him.

There were still things to confirm with the notary lawyer. Chen Luosong left the reception room, and the others followed suit.

With a sudden clatter, the room that had been filled with many people was now left with only the person who remained seated, still reading the report.

Zhou Kaiji carefully examined every word on the report.

Everything that needed to be dealt with had been taken care of. The only important thing was the recent test results. Chen Luosong didn’t have much to discuss with the lawyer in reality. He just found a place to sit down, sipping tea to pass the time.

The hot tea gradually cooled down, and before anyone could come to refill it, Chen Luosong glanced at the time, feeling it was about time. So, he stood up.

Upon returning to the reception room, the person inside maintained his previous posture until he heard the door open, then finally turned his head.

His expression remained unchanged, but his eyes were noticeably red.

Chen Luosong bent down to take the report, his pupils slightly shifting to the side, catching sight of the imprints on the palm of the hand that had been pinched.

The person’s hand was marked with reddish imprints, yet the report remained neat without a single crease.

Chen Luosong raised an eyebrow slightly.

Quite resilient, huh?

He asked, “Finished reading?”

Zhou Kaiji nodded, “Yeah.”

His voice sounded even lower than usual.

Chen Luosong casually put away the report, saying, “Let’s go then.”

The driver was still the one driving, and they headed to Zhou Kaiji’s home.

Or rather, his former home.

This time they were back to pack things, with Chen Luosong making the decision and Zhou Kaiji quietly nodding in agreement.

The test results came out, and Zhou Kaiji transformed from a family member to a stranger, with no reason to stay here anymore.

Like other major cities, this place where each piece of land was gold still couldn’t escape having urban villages. Unlike the commercial district just a few streets away, this place only had sporadic lights. The roadside street lamps flickered intermittently, looking like they hadn’t been maintained for a long time.

The cold wind roamed wildly in the streets and alleys, directly blowing on people’s faces, causing a stinging sensation on the exposed skin.

Zhou Kaiji used his phone’s flashlight to lead the way step by step.

He had walked through this place too many times. He could navigate it even with his eyes closed. The lights were intentionally left on for the person behind him to see.

Although it was night, it was still relatively early for a big city. The lights of the nearby skyscrapers were bright, and the night market was bustling with crowds. However, this place had completely quieted down, with only the sound of voices and cooking coming from nearby buildings.

Zhou Kaiji walked ahead and glanced back at the person following him, saying, “It’s cold outside, and the corridor is messy. I’ll go alone; Brother Chen, you can go back to the car first.”

Chen Luosong was still looking around at the buildings. Upon hearing the voice, he turned back casually and said, “I’ve been to places messier than this.”

As for where it was or what he was doing there, he didn’t say.

Indeed, the corridor was as chaotic as Zhou Kaiji had described, cluttered with belongings that residents couldn’t fit into their homes. They had to carefully watch the ground all the way to avoid kicking the piled-up items.

Zhou Kaiji opened the door with a “click,” and the light on the ceiling flickered twice before illuminating the room.

Unlike the cluttered belongings in other homes along the corridor, this home was relatively empty, with only necessary furniture. Everything else seemed emptied out, almost bare.

Zhou Kaiji went into the room to pack his things.

Most of the valuable items here have been sold to pay off urgent debts, leaving only things he needs for daily life. He originally thought he had quite a lot of stuff, but in reality, it could all fit into two cardboard boxes.

In this place where he had lived for over a decade, his belongings only filled two cardboard boxes.

On the darkened door frame, you could still see the marks his parents had carved over a decade ago, recording his height year by year. These were among the few cherished memories of his childhood.

Then, at some point, his parents stopped recording his height, stopped taking photos of him, and didn’t smile in response when neighbors praised his excellence.

He didn’t understand it before, but now it seemed clear.

As he grew older, he also grew completely different from the couple. Every time others joked about him not resembling them, it felt like a stab in their hearts, so they would turn dark-faced and inexplicably irritable.

They wanted their own child and tried various methods, consulted various people, lost a lot of money to scams, and borrowed a lot. They had planned to sell the house, but since this was an urban village with no news of demolition, they couldn’t agree on the price, so they didn’t sell.

Things he couldn’t understand before now seemed clearer than ever.


The cold wind blew through the window into the room, making him shiver, while someone else waited outside the room. Zhou Kaiji hastened his pace and moved the boxes out one by one.

The person living here had to pack their own belongings. Chen Luosong was idle, sitting on a stool by the table. When Zhou Kaiji came out, he happened to be looking at the old photo album placed on the table.

The album looked worn and had not been well maintained, with the photos inside yellowing, but the contents were still visible.

The album was thick, but there were only a few pages of photos. Chen Luosong flipped through it slowly and then turned to the person who had just come out of the room, asking, “All packed?”

Zhou Kaiji nodded.

Chen Luosong then stood up, casually picking up the album and asking, “Are you taking this with you?”

Zhou Kaiji lowered his eyes and then shook his head, saying, “No need.”

All the belongings were packed into two large cardboard boxes, too much to carry at once. He turned and said, “I’ll move downstairs first and be back soon.”

As he spoke, he noticed the person nearby casually rolling up his sleeves, looking like he wanted to help carry the boxes.

Zhou Kaiji hesitated for a moment, then hurried over with the boxes, saying, “It’s dirty, there’s dust on it, I’ll handle it…”

Chen Luosong lifted the box and said, “Let’s go.”

The dim yellow light flickered again, casting a soft glow on his hair and eyes.

His clean hands were stained with dirt, but he still looked casual and relaxed, just like when they first met.

Zhou Kaiji stared straight ahead, his pupils flickering.

In the end, he quickened his pace to catch up.

The light went out, and the door that had existed for who knows how many years was closed.

As the door closed, Zhou Kaiji’s gaze peeked through the cardboard box, watching the person ahead carefully avoid the piled-up debris in the corridor using the faint light.

Amidst the quiet footsteps, Chen Luosong maneuvered around stacks of waste paper and said, “Take a good rest when we get back today, we’ll talk about the assignments tomorrow.”

“The kitchen auntie has come up with a new dish for you to try tomorrow.”

Zhou Kaiji followed behind, agreeing softly.

<< _ >>


White Moonlight – usually refers to a person or thing that is elusive in the heart, has always been loved, but cannot be touched. 

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