Intoxication Chapter 5

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For several days, He Gu rushed to the construction site to solve a problem regarding the load-bearing of a wall. During that period, he was highly restless and agitated with the architects and contractors, nearly fighting with them. When he returned home every night, it felt like a layer of his skin had been torn off. Since the issue had been resolved for the time being, he could rest for a few days.

When he was at home, he usually turned on the computer and searched for the latest news on Song Ju Han, roamed on Song Ju Han's web post, Weibo, and forum. He normally didn't have a hobby, and at most, he would read or exercise— a completely boring person. The only activity he had in common with others, that he knew of, was probably chasing stars. Of course, with him and Song Ju Han being bed partners for many years, it was actually not suitable to use the term 'chasing stars' to describe it. He did think that the relationship between the two them was not that far off. He silently paid attention to Song Ju Han's every move, utilizing various manner and through all types of ways. However, Song Ju Han did not know or care. The biggest difference between him and the ordinary groupies was that he had already slept with the star.

He had joined many online fan communities dedicated to Song Ju Han, but he rarely talked or exposed anything. He only liked to watch it. He liked to watch those treasured fancams of Song Ju Han, the random videos, songs, photos, interviews and those self-made, cartoons, edited articles, etc., because those were things he never saw ordinarily. What the fans had created was a very good and very perfect Song Ju Han. Although this Song Ju Han was completely different from the one he knew, he had no intention to expose it, because this perfect Song Ju Han was truly fascinating and good in every possible way. Why destroy such a great thing?

In his computer, there were hundreds of gigabytes of various materials about Song Ju Han: photos, movies, MVs, advertisements, interviews, etc. As long as it was about Song Ju Han, he was used to saving them. He wanted to use this method to save the Song Ju Han he had never seen. He had even secretly recorded Song Ju Han's sleeping form beside him, but naturally, he would never tell anyone.

Just as he was watching a recent interview with Song Ju Han, the phone suddenly rang. He took it for a look, but it was a strange number.

"Hello?"

"…He Gu?" The voice that transmitted on the other end of the phone was hesitant— a calm and pleasant voice of a young man.

He Gu's heart tightened. That voice… although he had not heard it in many years, he nevertheless knew instantly who the person was. He took a deep breath, leaned back into the chair and tried to calm down as much as possible. "It's me."

"It's Feng Zheng."

"En, I can tell."

"Not bad, you remember my voice."

"My memory has always been good."

Feng Zheng laughed, "That's true."

He Gu felt a bit awkward. Even though he already knew that Feng Zheng had returned to China— from Song Ju Han's mouth— he did not expect Feng Zheng to actually contact him again. After all, the two did not part on bad terms. But thinking about it, everyone were not crude and impetuous students. Whatever happened back then should have long scattered with the wind. He slowed down his voice, "You're back in the country. I heard you're working with venture capital."[1]

"You heard? Did Song Ju Han tell you?"

"En." He Gu could sense that Feng Zheng's tone was strange.

Feng Zheng smiled, "I didn't expect that you two would actually be together for so long. I've truly underestimated you."

He Gu did not want to continue that topic with Feng Zheng at all. "Congratulations, I thought you would remain in America."

"It's better to be in your own territory. I was going to return sooner or later," Feng Zheng said with a sigh of relief. "Now is the right time. How have you been? What are you doing now?"

"I've been working in Nanchuang since I graduated, engaging in my own profession that is."

"That really does suit your personality," Feng Zheng said. "I'm quite curious about what you are like now. We haven't… seen each other for about six to seven years, right?"

"More or less." He Gu did not wait for Feng Zheng to speak and took the initiative to say, "I'll treat you to a meal another day."

"Okay, I was also thinking of asking you out. How about this Saturday night? I don't know any good place since I just returned to the country. You can decide on the place."

"Think about what you want to eat for the next couple of days and I will take you there."

"Okay."

After He Gu hung up the call, he was able to unload a bit. He threw the phone on the table, feeling completely exhausted. As a matter of fact, he didn't want to see Feng Zheng at all. Without him, he could avoid troubles. He had some social anxiety since he was a child, and he had summoned up the courage to change it after he started to work. But when it came to interpersonal communication, he tried to keep it simple and avoided being involved as much as possible. He would rather eat instant noodles alone at home than willingly go out for a meal in a noisy place.

But he knew that he could not avoid Feng Zheng.

In fact, from a certain point of view, Song Ju Han and Feng Zheng were somewhat similar—both favoured by the gods and competitive. If there was no competitive fire in him, it would have been impossible to provoke even a bit of Song Ju Han's interest.

How many years had it been since he and Feng Zheng saw each other? He started to recall.

After he entered college, the high school he formerly attended was still in the same school district, but the senior department was not so close together. However, since the campus had only three canteens, he and Song Ju Han could bump into each other once or twice a month on average. In order to see Song Ju Han a few more times, he deliberately went to the second dining hall to eat, just like the little girls in the school.

When he was a first-year university student, he and Song Ju Han had met a few times, but Song Ju Han had already forgotten him.

Later? Later on, Song Ju Han went to study music abroad instead of attending his junior year; up until before his high school internship, he never saw Song Ju Han again and only knew of him from various entertainment reports. For example: dating the daughter of a certain godfather of music, being the honoured guest to a certain singer's world tour concert, composing the song for an award-winning movie, the spokesperson for a certain fashionable brand name for the Greater China,[2] him and his mixed-race supermodel mother participating in an ancient outfit fashion show…

He Gu remembered that when he saw those reports, he genuinely understood what was known as 'people of two different worlds'. While he held an internship salary of only 800 yuan,[3] Song Ju Han's father had already gifted his son an island to celebrate his coming of age rite.

However, at that time he really held a star-studded mentality for Song Ju Han. But because the two had spent an afternoon together, he had a deeper affection for Song Ju Han. Although Song Ju Han, who was separated from him by a screen or a piece of paper, looked far away, he had to wonder if that afternoon had been his own fantasy.

Later, when he was interning during his senior year of university, Song Ju Han returned to China. At that same time, He Gu also happened to know a junior schoolmate of an organization— Feng Zheng. Then, calculating four months after graduation, it had been six and a half years since he last saw Feng Zheng.

It was of no use to figure that out clearly, He Gu thought it was a bit ridiculous to even think about that. Perhaps, you wanted to prove that you really have good memory.

Having a good memory truly had its pros and cons. If one can choose to selectively remember, it would be ideal. That way, people can choose to remember the happiness and the useful memories and forget the sadness and the useless memories. But the memories that Song Ju Han gave him were mixed with happiness and sadness. Even if he could freely filter his memories, he would still choose to remember the time when he and Song Ju Han existed together.



Soon, Saturday arrived. He Gu booked a restaurant that had some years of experience in roasted duck after Feng Zheng said he wanted to eat authentic roasted duck.

There were not many people that knew of this restaurant, since the location was far from the city and hard to find. The owner was an old couple with no children, and roasted less than a few ducks a day, but the taste was amazing even then— to say the least and relied on words of mouth. There were only two private rooms in the restaurant, but since He Gu called early for a reservation, he was able to get one of them.

After He Gu parked the car, he opened an umbrella and got out of the car to get the wine out of the trunk before walking toward the intersection.

Honestly, the weather in Beijing had been irritating. With the constant light rain that persisted day in and day out, He Gu couldn't remember the last time he saw the blue sky.

As he stood at the intersection, he sent Feng Zheng a message and told him that he would wait at the intersection since the place was hard to find.

Feng Zheng replied with an 'okay' after a long while later.

Twenty minutes later, a gray Bentley Continental[4] made a U-turn and slowly stopped in front of He Gu.

That car had only come to a steady stop when the back door was pushed open and a tall man came out without an umbrella in hand.

He Gu stared blankly, coming face to face with Feng Zheng in the rain.

Six years, time had flown by so quickly. They had changed from young boys to skilled public figures dressed in suits. Between the two, there were some intangible things, like the rain and fog, which made in general made people feel a bit burdened.

Feng Zheng's facial features had not changed much, still as handsome as ever. However, not only did his temperament calmed down by a lot; his air of arrogance had curbed by thirty percent; immature behavior by forty percent and the remaining thirty of nobility was increasingly dazzling to the eyes. He wore a very well-ironed suit, topped with a long trench coat which was accentuated his tall and slender stature.

The driver door opened, and the chauffeur ran over with an umbrella and then handed it over to Feng Zheng with a terrified look.

Feng Zheng took the umbrella and said some words to the chauffeur— although his eyes stayed on He Gu. "Find a place to eat."

He Gu coughed lightly, then he walked over and stretched his hand out with a smile, "Feng Zheng, long time no see."

Feng Zheng also smiled and grasped his hand for a shake. "He Gu." The moment he took He Gu's hand, he yanked him forward with some strength and pulled him into his chest, hugging him lightly.

He Gu was a bit surprised, but he also politely patted his back.

After that exchange, Feng Zheng finally let him go. "What are you waiting at the intersection for? The wind is crazy here."

"That restaurant is not easy to find, and the cars can't enter either. Let's go." He Gu made a gesture for them to move.

Feng Zheng glanced at him and smiled before the two started walking side by side.

"He Gu, you look like you don't have any energy. Have you been too tired lately?"

"Being an engineer often requires working overtime, but I'm used to it."

"The body is the most valuable asset, don't risk it all so much like that. You've also said it yourself, that there is no headache without a family, having enough to spend is good enough."

He Gu laughed, "There is enough money to spend, but there are still a lot of work. Sometimes… hey, since I’m working for someone else, it is what it is."

As the two talked casually, they had already walked into the restaurant. He Gu looked at the simple and crude front of the restaurant and said a few polite words. "Say, you were the one that didn't want to eat at those famous restaurants and made me bring you to an authentic place. A young master like you better not hate this small place."

Feng Zheng laughed out loud, "When we were in university, didn't we also eat often grilled skewered at the side of the road? If I really wanted to show off, I wouldn't be standing in front of you."

He Gu smiled, "Let's go. This restaurant is very good."

The two entered the private room and sat down. The restaurant did not have a menu, aside from roasted ducks, the owner just made whatever and ate whatever— rather headstrong.

The bottle of wine that He Gu brought was a 1999 VOSNE ROMANEE.[5] In truth, He Gu did not understand anything about wine. However, since there were many sent over to his place by Song Ju Han's assistant, he randomly took one knowing that Feng Zheng would like it.

When Feng Zheng saw that wine, his lips pulled back as he spoke with an unpleasant tone. "That must be Song Ju Han's, right?"

He Gu was a bit embarrassed, "En… is it expensive?"

"It's okay, but it doesn't look like something you would drink."

He Gu did not care about the harshness of Feng Zheng's words since he knew that the two were not easy to deal with— it was the same as courting a rebuff, honestly. "If you don't like it…"

"It's fine, open it," Feng Zheng said lightly.

He Gu opened the wine bottle and poured two glasses.

As the two made a toast, Feng Zheng smiled at He Gu. "To celebrate meeting after a long time."

"To celebrate meeting after a long time."

The food arrived at the table, one after another, while the two ate and chatted.

"En, this place indeed makes very tasty roasted duck. I don't particularly like those fatty ducks or know how much hormones are force-fed to them; they're all going to look like geese sooner or later," Feng Zheng praised.

"The ducks here are raised by the owner himself at his native place. Since they're breed in the countryside, they're more expensive than Quanjude.[6] I also don't like that fat either."

"Do you remember the barbeque shop in front of the east gate of the school?" Feng Zheng wiped his hands and smiled, "I wonder if it's still there or not."

"It's long gone. The area was demolished and many of the locals have relocated, but the hot and spicy soup cart is still there since it can be conveniently moved around. I saw it last time I drove by."

"Sometimes, I really want to go back and try it, but now…" Feng Zheng looked at his own suit and laughed at himself.

He Gu sighed, "I'm also a bit embarrassed to line up with a group of students."

Holding his own chin, Feng Zheng looked at him. "Time flies by so fast. From then to now… that's right. Song Ju Han told you that we've met, right?"

He Gu paused and feigned to be indifferent. "En, he told me."

Feng Zheng narrowed his eyes slightly, "It seems you two are getting along pretty well."

"We're alright." He Gu was somewhat conflicted by Feng Zheng's oblique insinuation. He was not willing to discuss his relationship with Song Ju Han with anyone, especially Feng Zheng.

"But since there are so many scandals about him, don't you quarrel often?"

He Gu put the chopsticks down and said insipidly, "Those scandals are all fake." He said that not to exonerate Song Ju Han, but because they were indeed fake. In fact, Song Ju Han had hidden the actual person he was in a relationship with completely, and the exposed scandals were linked with all types of benefits. How does he know that? Because Song Ju Han had always thought it was not worth lying to him.

Feng Zheng laughed involuntarily. He probably thought it was inappropriate when he was done, so he restrained himself. However, when he looked over at He Gu, there was still a sense of mockery in his expression. He obviously did not believe it.

Taking a sip of wine, He Gu thought, those words were actually not that reliable. It seems that if Feng Zheng doesn't ask until he gets a clear answer, he's not going to willingly let this matter go.

He had known long ago that Feng Zheng and Song Ju Han were more or less the same type of person. They used their elegant and accomplished outer appearance as a facade to wrap their inner arrogance and overbearing nature. However, Feng Zheng's symptoms were lighter than that of Song Ju Han's— at the least, his temper was slightly better than Song Ju Han's.

As expected, Feng Zheng held his own chin up and looked at He Gu with all smiles. His eyes were excruciatingly sharp, "He Gu ah, there's no need to be that way."[7]



Translator's Note:

[1] venture capital – (VC) is a type of private equity, a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, early-stage, emerging firms that are deemed to have high growth potential, or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, or both).

[2] Greater China – refers to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau (esp. in finance and economics) /refers to all areas of Chinese presence (esp. in the cultural field), including parts of Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.

[3] 800 yuan – about $116 usd.

[4] Bentley Continental



[5] 1999 VOSNE ROMANEE



[6] Quanjude – a Chinese restaurant known for its trademark Quanjude Peking Roast Duck and its longstanding culinary heritage since its establishment in 1864 in Beijing, China.



[7] FZ is asking HG why he was willing to sleep with SJH like that.

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