CHALLENGING the TWO FORCES!
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“General, it’s been three days already.”
Gu Wei Ting merely gave his bodyguard a glance and nonchalantly asked a question that he himself already knew the answer to. “What three days?”
Hearing Gu Wei Ting countering him with such a blatant question only managed to strengthen Sun Jingwei’s resolve, making him even more persistent. For the last two days, he has been riddled with such anxiety that even the thin skin on his lips had dried up with blisters. The calmer his commanding officer was, the more terrified and fearful he became. Even when he dug into the deepest recesses of his own heart, he was unable to understand what they exactly meant to Gu Wei Ting, every second that Gu Hai spent underneath in that dark and lonely tunnel.
“Xiao Hai has already stayed in the tunnel for three days.”
Gu Wei Ting snorted coldly in response, “It’s been less than three days. Just barely over 68 hours, that’s all.”
These harsh words struck Sun Jingwei with such displeasure that he couldn’t keep his mouth sealed any longer. “General, is it really worth it? Have you seen how much worse your complexion has become for the last two days? You’re going to collapse before Xiao Hai will if things keep going on this way……”
“What do I look like huh?” Gu Wei Ting was utterly reluctant to admit to his mistake as he continued to speak, “Am I not well?”
“If you didn’t take this matter to heart, how would you be able to remember the time so clearly?”
Gu Wei Ting was momentarily at a loss for words as he cast a dark glance at Sun Jingwei. “Don’t come here trying to dredge up some embarrassing facts. Do you think I don’t know what you’re doing? You come here all day long and then have the nerve to send down rice, food and even blankets for him. Even if he were to stay down there for half a year, it wouldn’t be considered long enough!.”
Sun Jingwei’s complexion immediately changed of its own accord. “General, I’m only doing this for your sake. If he really was a criminal, I wouldn’t care one bit if you seal up that tunnel. But the point is, he is not a criminal. He is your son! It’s such a dark place with no room for him to even stretch his legs out. Even if there were food and water, it would still be unbearable!”
A cool and indifferent glance called Sun Jingwei’s words into question. “There are two openings at either side of the tunnel. You’re telling me you’ve never snuck him out of there and into your room to eat and drink or have a good sleep?”
“If he really wanted to, it would have been great!” It was only at that moment did Sun Jingwei dare to speak the truth. “General, frankly speaking, he could have used all the things I sent down to him, but he didn’t. Those things, after I sent them down, they came back up the same way, untouched! Even the blanket that I squeezed down there for him, he didn’t even tear it open to cover himself up. He would rather remain down there in the severe cold than use it. General, what season is it now huh? Even when we were outside with several layers of thick clothes on, we would still rub our hands together for warmth! Think about Xiao Hai, how do you think he endured these last three nights?”
Although there was a silent ache striking at his heart, Gu Wei Ting’s expression remained indifferent.
“It’s best if you don’t deliberately exaggerate this.”
“General!” Someone like Sun Jingwei—-a hefty man as he is—-was so ridden with anxiety, he nearly wept out bitterly. “I’m not exaggerating. Xiao Hai really hasn’t eaten or drank anything at all! If he was acting sharp yet petty-minded like he did before, it would have been good. But this time, he’s really standing up to you!”
Gu Wei Ting bellowed in rage, “Then let him die down there!”
Sun Jingwei’s sorrowful gaze watched Gu Wei Ting attentively for a long time until he faintly speaks again, “General, if you didn’t give me the order, I don’t have the nerve to rashly go down there. So as of now, I don’t know what Xiao Hai’s condition is. I don’t know at all.” Once that last word left his lips, with a heavy heart, Sun Jingwei walked out of Gu Wei Ting’s room.
When Gu Wei Ting finally stood up, he suddenly felt a spell of dizziness overtake him. Only by remaining stationary for a while was he able to steady his footing and gain a proper composure. He also hadn’t slept in three days and two nights. In truth, the reason he intentionally sent Sun Jingwei away and intentionally showed no concern to Gu Hai’s matter was all to create an opportunity for Sun Jingwei to rescue Gu Hai. Every night when he lay in bed, he would think of Gu Hai covering himself up with that damp blanket and curling into the warmth as he passed another day in that dark tunnel. Gu Wei Ting never once thought that since the beginning, Gu Hai never once threw the blanket over himself……
After pacing around the room several times, Gu Wei Ting finally stopped at the spot where the entrance to the tunnel was. He stooped down and carefully listened to any sounds of movement coming from within. Even someone who has a keen ear like him was unable to detect any sounds at all. So much so that not even the sound of a single breath could be heard.
Gu Wei Ting suddenly lifted the carpet covering the entrance into the tunnel and nimbly drilled his way in. During his descent, he crouched low and advanced forward quickly discovering a body lying on the ground not too far from his gaze.
Seeing the sight ahead of him, Gu Wei Ting’s head became blank; he stumbled somewhat in disarray. Countless times, his back would knock against the walls of the tunnel, causing the dampened earth to rub against his well-ironed military uniform.
As he drew closer, Gu Wei Ting was finally able to see Gu Hai breathing. In that moment, his fearful mindset dissipated and his once throbbing heart returned to its normal beat.
Since there was no light in the tunnel, Gu Wei Ting was unable to see Gu Hai’s complexion clearly. Although, he could undoubtedly feel the ice-cold aura permeating from his son’s body as he reached down to check on him. Sun Jingwei was right, Gu Hai had not eaten nor drank anything, a blanket was there neither. Even worse, there wasn’t even a bedsheet to separate his body from the damp earth. Gu Hai’s clothes pressed against the wall of the tunnel. It had long been moistened and dirtied to a rather sorry state causing a faintly moldy smell to linger around him.
Gu Wei Ting reached for Gu Hai’s hand. It was beyond cold; the feeling as different as night and day from the warm hands that had gripped his that night not too long ago.
Sensing someone close by, Gu Hai’s hand shot up and gripped Gu Wei Ting’s. Even in such a state, the strength in his son’s grip was not as weak and listless as he had imagined at all. On the contrary, there was somewhat of a tenacious power that seemed hard to defeat, encircling his form.
“Dad……” Gu Hai calls out, his voice strong and distinct.
Gu Wei Ting’s solemn eyes took on Gu Hai’s darkened form and not ignorant to his obviously beaten condition, a bit of rationality flowed back into his head for the time being.
“Go back up with me now and obediently listen to my arrangements. Everything that has happened before, I will forget it all and never bring it up again.”
Even as the darkness continued to hover over him in this cold place, Gu Hai did not let his resolution falter. He still firmly held onto the words that he spoke three days ago.
“I won’t enlist in the army.”
“Is it that unbearable for you to stay by my side?” Gu Wei Ting’s voice was flooded with the intense emotions of grief and indignation.
“If you can accept Yin Zi, I can stay by your side every day.”
Gu Wei Ting forcefully pulled Gu Hai’s collar. The warmth that had accumulated over the last couple of days is slowly yet surely dissipating little by little.
“It’s impossible for me to accept that kind of relationship.”
“Then you can go back up.” Gu Hai said faintly as a crippling ache struck his chest, “I’m doing quite well down here. In my opinion, living a life with no food, water or a warm blanket is by far easier to endure than living a life without Yin Zi. If you have any compassion or feel sorry for my suffering here, then you shouldn’t force Yin Zi and I to break up. Trust me…that kind of separation is a hundred times more painful and bitter than what it feels like being here in this dark place.”
Hearing these words come out of his son’s mouth, Gu Wei Ting grit his teeth together. The anger that he earnestly forced away crawled back into his head. “That kind of pain is not within my range of acceptance. Even if it tortures you to death, I won’t feel sorry at all!”
Gu Hai’s strong voice and the dark aura that swirls in around him intermingled. “If that is how you feel, I won’t be seeing you out.”
By the time Gu Wei Ting made his way back uptop, an impulse to command water be poured into the tunnel and drown Gu Hai sat at the tip of his tongue.
“General, your second son has waited outside for three nights already. No matter how we urge him, he refuses to leave.”
Upon hearing this news, not only was Gu Wei Ting unmoved, he became even more angry and annoyed by Bai Luo Yin’s actions-—that he deemed senseless–instead.
“Let him in and bring him to me!!”
When Bai Luo Yin entered, his complexion seemed no better than Gu Hai’s. He blanched, the color of a moonbeam or an ivory carving masked his countenance. Blood had drained from his face as he remained still.
Taking into consideration that Bai Luo Yin was Jiang Yuan’s son, Gu Wei Ting’s tone was slightly alleviated.
“Who allowed you to stay in front of the gate every day? Do you know what kind of vile disturbance this creates? Do you know what you’re doing is making it very difficult for me? At first I thought you were a sensible and intelligent child that sees the big picture. But in the end, I’ve discovered that my judgement was completely wrong. Both yours and my son’s lack of virtue is not only horrendous in a superficial manner, but also profoundly ingrained in your cores!!”
After hearing the accusations, Bai Luo Yin only replied with a few words. “Where is Gu Hai?”
At this moment, Bai Luo Yin did not care about anything else aside from Gu Hai’s condition.
That question, asked with that expression undoubtedly picked at Gu Wei Ting’s sensitive nerve.
“Didn’t you want to know his condition? I’ve allowed you to come in today just so you can see for yourself how much harm the two of you have created for yourselves because of your unwilfulness and your rash actions! Do you see this tunnel? Gu Hai has been lying in there, without eating or drinking for three whole days now. Only when he can’t endure it anymore, acknowledging his mistake and admitting his defeat, will I take him out of there.”
A throbbing pain struck at Bai Luo Yin’s heart, wringing it dry as if trying to bleed him out. That sentence alone haunted him, taunted him, replaying in his mind like an echo. His insides still felt as if the winter wind was blowing right through his skin. Seconds later, a bitter and insufferable pain flooded his senses, leaving himself almost suffocated.
He had been in that tunnel before so he knows well enough how cold it is. Even worse, he had also once suffered from the cold and hunger. So in regards to the feeling of starving and freezing, he knows the taste of it all to clearly.
With an aching heart, Bai Luo Yin suddenly stooped down and attempted to go into the tunnel. But before he could, Gu Wei Ting used all his strength to pull him back, nearly causing him to fall backwards. Disregarding Gu Wei Ting’s strong grip, he struggled with all his might. Then with a signal, a few special force soldiers marched into the room and forcibly subdued him.
Gu Wei Ting kicked the cover that sealed the tunnel, revealing the opening. However, he intentionally did not allow Bai Luo Yin to go in.
Bai Luo Yin continued to struggle then tenaciously kicked his feet repeatedly. The tunnel was only 10 centimeters away from him. If only he could just reach it, Gu Hai would be in his arms again. However, he was incapable of going down there, he was incapable of even seeing Gu Hai. Even a single glance would suffice. Even a single hug would do. But he was still unable to reach his partner.
“Listen well. If you promise me right now that you will break off this kind of relationship with Gu Hai, I will immediately let him out. If one amongst the both of you can reach this compromise, I won’t make things difficult for the two of you. You can do as you see fit!”
Gu Wei Ting’s words were like sharp knives stabbing at Bai Luo Yin’s heart. He hissed as he looked straight at the tunnel and bellowed.
“Gu Hai, Gu Hai……”
At that moment, Gu Hai was just about to close his eyes and endure this endless torment. But, once he heard Bai Luo Yin’s voice, his eyes shot open immediately.
This was the first time in three days that Gu Hai twisted his head in the direction of the tunnel entranceway. A stabbing pain pricked his eyes as he strained them in an attempt to see better. Yet, all he could faintly discern was a ray of light flickering from the opening. The urge to open his mouth and respond to Bai Luo Yin’s call sat spiritedly at the tip of his tongue. But in that moment, he suddenly could not speak at all. He couldn’t respond to the voice that called out his name. This was definitely one of Gu Wei Ting’s schemes. He cannot allow Bai Luo Yin to believe that he was really down here.
“Gu Hai, Gu Hai……” Bai Luo Yin’s voice became more and more panic-stricken and hysterical.
Listening to his voice and the agony that dwelled within it, Gu Hai could only clench his teeth firmly and forced the tears back from rolling down the side of his face. He still did not utter a single word.
“How is it? Have you figured it out?”
Bai Luo Yin’s angry eyes gaped at Gu Wei Ting while the stubborn will within them collapsed little by little.
“Have you dug a grave for your son in advance? Have you ever wondered how your late wife will look down from heaven and see everything going on? What would she think of it all?”
“You don’t have to care about what she thinks. I’m asking you right now!” Gu Wei Ting’s eyes were consumed with a sense of arrogance and tyranny, as if nothing within his sight was worthwhile.
“Make the promise and the two of you will live a harmonious life. If not, I will take it as I’ve raised this son in vain! Even if he dies, I’ll still admit the same!”
Bai Luo Yin’s line of sight gradually shifted towards the tunnel entrance once again.
In his heart and mind, Gu Hai silently prayed.
Yin Zi, you must stand your ground! You’re my beloved wife that I am most proud of. No one can fight against you. No one can threaten you. You cannot disappoint me.
An intense and strange aura of surrender shrouded the room as a pallid color rose on Bai Luo Yin’s dignified face. One of his legs slowly kneeled to the ground and his hands firmly clung onto the opening of the tunnel. He then let out a loud and explosive roar that bored its way into the passage, touching at every crevice and corner it could land on.
“Gu Hai! Gu Hai, listen to me and you listen well! Starting from today on, every day that you sleep in this tunnel, I will sleep at the side of the road. Every day that you don’t eat or drink, I will not eat nor drink either. Between the two of us, whoever agrees to this compromise first, that person is a fucking asshole!!”
After saying these words, Bai Luo Yin suddenly stood up and kicked the cover, sealing the entranceway into the tunnel. It fitted so well that not even a gap could be seen. Then he faced the door and took several large strides out, ignoring everyone’s flabbergasted gazes.
The next night, as usual, Bai Luo Yin found a hidden corner to sit at. He wore the same damp cotton-padded clothes that had yet to dry up. The night wind continuously blew by him as he enjoyed this “pleasure torment.”
It was already very late into the night when two big and warm hands suddenly reached out and draped a thick overcoat onto his shoulders.
Sensing this, Bai Luo Yin’s cold and stiff neck twisted around for a look. As his gaze met with Bai Han Qi’s warm and generous face, the countless guilt, shame and uneasiness that had devoured him whole, instantly floated to the top of his throat. Bai Luo Yin’s lips moved, yet the words sitting at the tip of his tongue did not sound out.
“Son, just elope!” Bai Han Qi did not say these words imprudently.
Every word he spoke was often earth-shattering.
This kind of suggestion…
Under this glorious sky, splayed with unclear stars, only a father such as Bai Han Qi could say it with such sincerity.
Are you Addicted?