Friday, January 1, 2016

City of Endless Rain - ch7

Translators: Ying, ayszhang
Proofreader: ayszhang

Chapter 7

His full name was Joseph Tang Shan. He'd entered the city because of a car accident.

As he had stayed up the previous night, he'd fallen asleep while behind the wheel, causing him to crash into a tree by the road. From what he heard from the police officer who found him, his car had been completely wrecked. There weren't any skid marks on the road, meaning the force of the impact must have been extremely large.

It was a miracle he was even alive.

He had no memory of that at all. All he knew was he'd been wrapped up very thoroughly and seemed to be in a dire state, what with all the casts and gauze. Unexpectedly enough, he didn't feel much pain.

An officer came by his hospital room to take a statement, and he immediately thought to himself, Shit, what if they take my license? He needed to travel between other cities frequently for work and really needed his car.

He narrated the story to the officer, constantly trying to show how remorseful he was.

"Stop it, don't waste your breath."

Seeing the officer ignore his efforts, Tang Shan had no choice but to give up.

Just when he'd given up, Li Yuanyu appeared. He pushed the door to his hospital room open, bringing in a strangely appealing smell. Li Yuanyu wore his hair short, giving off a fresh look when combined with his androgynous face.

Tang Shan thought this person was better looking than the celebrities on television, but was a bit too effeminate for a man.

The officer stood at attention and saluted to the man, “Mr Li!”

“Are you the newcomer?” Li Yuanyu introduced himself with a kind smile and extended a hand, “Hello, I’m Li Yuanyu, the manager of this town.”

Li Yuanyu’s voice was deeper than he had expected. Tang Shan had envisioned his voice to match with his appearance, sounding high-pitched and girly. However, the reality was that his voice was a rich baritone.

Oh dear. What sort of trouble was he in for the big guy to be visiting him? Maybe he had crashed into a tree that was historically significant?

“H-hello, I-I’m Joseph Tang Shan. Nice to meet you.” Tang Shan shook his hand politely, only to quickly retract his hand at the man’s cold touch. He kept silent for a while from shock and unease. “I caused this town trouble, didn’t I?”

“No, you didn’t. Rest assured. I'm just here to check out the situation. This town is quite remote and we don’t get visitors often!” Li Yuanyu sported a very friendly smile.

“Thank you,” Tang Shan said, but he sensed that things weren’t that simple.

“Also, I came to help arrange your living quarters after leaving the hospital,” Li Yuanyu added,  “I just asked the doctor. He said you can check out in two days.”

This took Tang Shan by surprise. Wow, he thought, this manager sure is nice. He’s the epitome of someone with nothing better to do.

“No, thanks,” Tang Shan refused, “I can tell my family to come pick me up. It only takes half a day to get here from home. Could you just let me use the phone for a second?”

He then scanned the room, not finding his personal belongings. “Where are my belongings?” he asked the officer.

“How should I know?” The officer’s attitude was bad, the complete opposite of his attitude towards Li Yuanyu.

Tang Shan was taken back by the fact that all his belongings were gone. Now that he thought about it, it was strange that the officer had not asked for his identification earlier. He had assumed the officer had seen it already.

“Get a hold of your temper, Jake. Be nice,” Li Yuanyu mediated, “We’re too far out. Telecommunication is bad. There aren’t many phone calls with the outside and not many get through anyway. You probably won’t have luck there.”

“What about the internet? I could send an email.”

“The phone lines don’t work, let alone the internet!” Jake retorted, and mumbled “what an idiot.”

“What about mail? There’s got to be a post office.”

“Yes, but the mailman does not come often,” Li Yuanyu clarified. “It will likely take a month. Let me arrange lodgings for you for the time being.”

“But I don’t have money on me. I can’t pay the medical bill, let alone rent.” Tang Shan said worriedly.

“Why don’t you stay with me?” Li Yuanyu suggested.

“Mr Li?!” Jake cried out in disbelief.

Even Tang Shan was surprised by it.

“Just let him stay in the cells at the station,” Jake said through clenched teeth.

“No, Jake. He is my guest.” Li Yuanyu then gave a formal invitation, “Tang Shan, would you like to stay at my home?”

It appeared he had no alternatives since obviously didn’t want to have to live in a prison cell. He thanked this considerate manager from the bottom of his heart. “That would be great. Thank you so much.”

“Loosen up. Let’s drop the honorifics,” Li Yuanyu said with a smile.

What a nice person!

Tang Shan was touched that there was warmth and kindness left in this hideous world.

The morning he checked out, Li Yuanyu came to his room to pick him up. He even helped him with the hospital bill. Tang Shan swore he would return the money once he returned home.

To which Li Yuanyu only smiled.

Since then, he started living at Li Yuanyu’s villa. Besides he and Li Yuanyu, there was a cute housekeeper, Marie. She was one year younger than Tang Shan and an outgoing optimist. Tang Shan would banter with her to pass the time when the owner of the villa was away.

Tang Shan had sent a letter home the day he checked out of the hospital. After counting the days, he realised it had been nearly two weeks. He didn’t know if it had reached its destination yet, but no replies came, so he could do nothing but wait.

He had been extremely lazy recently, eating good food and sleeping plenty. Li Yuanyu took him out whenever he had time to. Tang Shan was starting to feel like a nuisance.

Li Yuanyu was easy to be with but this just couldn’t go on.

One day, Tang Shan went out to send another letter home. On the way back, it began to rain hard and he was soaked to the bones by the pelting drops. When he thought about it, he realised it had not once been sunny since he arrived. Hopefully, it wasn’t the sign of a deadly storm, because that would make his return even more difficult.

The umbrella he borrowed had broken in the wind along the way, and he looked absolutely awful now. When he finally made it back to the villa, however, he found it surrounded by police officers.

“Excuse me, what’s going on here?” he asked a female officer.

All of them looked over at his question, and when they saw that it was him, their faces turned into ones of shock.

What’s the matter? Tang Shan was confused.

“Go in!” Jake pushed his colleague out of the way of the door and dragged Tang Shan into the house.

The moment he entered, he heard Marie’s cry. “My goodness, you’re back, Mr Tang Shan! Hurry! The master is changing in his bedroom!”

Marie urged him and took Jake’s place as she led Tang Shan into the house.

“What happened? Shouldn’t I stay out if Mr Li is changing?”

“Just go in, alright! I can’t explain it properly right now.” Marie complained. “Where in the world did you go, sir? Why didn’t you tell us beforehand? You gave me a fright!”

“I left a note, though. Didn’t you see?” Tang Shan argued for himself. He did notify them before leaving.

“I did!” Speaking of the note, it made Marie even angrier. “The only thing you wrote was “I’m going out.” You didn’t say where you were going or if you were coming back! If you’d just left like that and never came back, I would get fired for sure!”

“No way. Mr Li is such a nice man.”

“Oh, you have no idea, sir!” She was extremely frustrated seeing the man’s easy attitude. She let out a deep breath to regain her composure and gave him a hard look. She warned him against smiling before knocking the door.

“Come in.”

Receiving permission, Marie pushed it open after taking a deep breath for courage.

There was a forbidding tension in the room. It was so that even Tang Shan felt the man’s anger.

Li Yuanyu had his back to the door while buttoning his shirt in front of a mirror.

Tang Shan could see the man’s oddly pale skin from his spot by the door. He gulped without knowing it, not because of lust but because of the intense aura Li Yuanyu was giving off.

“Master, Mr Tang Shan has returned.”

Tang Shan could see the falter in Li Yuanyu’s movement before he snapped around. When the man’s eyes caught sight of him, they stayed glued on him.

He saw a hint of surprise in the man’s eyes. He raised his hand and gave an awkward smile. “Hello.”

Li Yuanyu stared at him as though to confirm his existence, until Tang Shan shivered. His clothes were still wet.

Finally, Li Yuanyu spoke, “Why are you soaking wet?”

“It started raining really hard on the way back.”

“Go wash up and get a change of clothes.” Li Yuanyu returned to his gentle self and the tension in the room dissipated.

Tang Shan wanted to leave but his eyes stayed locked with Li Yuanyu’s, unable to part.

Oh no. He felt as though something was gripping his heart, leaving him gasping for air.

Jenny. Jenny. Jenny – he recited his fiancée’s name, as though doing so could ensure his affections for her would never change.

Ever since those strange thoughts started to appear, he warned himself and stayed away from Li Yuanyu for a while. Coincidentally, the weather was ugly and it rained buckets for several days.

“If I may, Mr Tang Shan, could you please stop this? It’s really hard for me to go out for groceries with the weather like this.” Marie was complaining again because of the rain.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Marie. I have nothing to do with the rain. Stop blaming me for it,” Tang Shan retorted, trying to convey his innocence.

“Oh you! How oblivious! You're so blissfully oblivious!” Marie shouted, pointing at his nose.

This made Tang Shan more confused.

“Believe me, as long as you go out with Master, it will turn sunny! At least cloudy, if not sunny!” Marie proclaimed.

What kind of logic was that? This wasn’t some fairytale.

“What are you talking about?” Li Yuanyu came into the kitchen when he heard their voices after coming downstairs.

“Mr Tang Shan was saying he wanted to eat out with you this afternoon,” Marie said first.

Hey! I said no such thing! Tang Shan frowned, but Marie returned a look: Let’s bet on it.

“Really?” Li Yuanyu looked to Tang Shan with a smile.

“Uh, yeah.” Tang Shan mustered a reply. He simply couldn’t reject the man with a bright expression on his usually gloomy face.

The restaurant was near the villa. The owner was kind and stopped them for a photo before they could leave, saying it was rare that the rain stopped. Tang Shan wanted to turn down the offer but she was so quick that the photo had been taken before he could do anything.


“It’s fine. Whatever.”

“Yeah, for you. You were looking at the camera but I wasn’t ready,” Tang Shan complained. Of course, he wasn’t so inconsiderate as to demand for the owner to destroy it.

Li Yuanyu was in a good mood even after the meal on their way home.

“Are you feeling better?”

“Yes. Because of you.”

“Me?” Tang Shan was puzzled.

“I noticed you’ve been avoiding me for the past few days and thought maybe you grew to dislike me. But now it’s all good,” he explained with a smile.

But he really was avoiding him. Tang Shan managed to smile back.

“Tang Shan,” Li Yuanyu called his name out of nowhere and stopped walking.

The man in question halted as well and looked at him. Li Yuanyu’s eyes twinkled brightly like stars, mesmerizing him.

“Joseph – can I call you Joseph?”


Tang Shan broke away from those eyes and returned to his senses.

“Joseph?” Li Yuanyu studied him with worry.

Tang Shan spoke hesitantly, “My fiancée calls me that.”

Li Yuanyu’s smile fell and he kept quiet the entire way. Tang Shan, on the other hand, began reminiscing and did not say a word.

They stayed silent for the rest of the trip.

At one point, it started raining again.

Marie opened the door for them. Li Yuanyu went up to his own room without a word. Then, she noticed that Tang Shan appeared extra unnerved today.

“What happened to you two? Wasn’t everything going well?” Marie quickly brought a towel and threw it into his hands before ushering him into the bathroom. “Come on. Wash up and get changed.”

Tang Shan stood in the bathroom, still a bit shaken. The reflection in the mirror was proof of his current state.

Jenny. He wondered how she was doing. Was she worried that he still had not returned?

He didn’t know how he tidied up. He stumbled out the bathroom and into the kitchen.

Marie showed him to his seat as soon as she saw him, and handed him a hot cup of tea to warm up with.

“I think you should stop mentioning your fiancée in front of Master,” Marie couldn’t help but scold.


“See, it’s raining again for no reason.”

What did that have to do with anything? It was just a natural phenomenon.

“Mr Tang Shan, haven’t you sensed that Master really likes you?” she probed. She didn’t think someone could be this dense.

He knew, slowly but surely. He just kept persuading himself that they were only close friends.

“Don’t make it any harder for my master, please, sir.”

Tang Shan sighed as he toyed with his treasured necklace. He opened the locket to look at the photo within – his beloved Jenny.

“I have a lover. My fiancée, Jenny, is waiting for me at home.” He didn’t want to lie. “I admit that I find him attractive but I think I can hold myself back properly. But before that, there’s a more pressing matter. We’re both men!”

“Are you saying you discriminate against homosexuals, Mr Tang Shan?” Marie protested.

“No, no! I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I am homosexual myself. I’m not,” he explained.

“Pity,” Marie expressed her regret. “Master would make the perfect lover.”

“I know he would. Unfortunately, I’m not gay and will not like him.”

But even so…

Tang Shan kept gazing at Jenny’s picture as though he might just forget her if he didn’t.

He realised he wasn’t as certain as he said he was.

Tang Shan was the one who initiated their first kiss because Li Yuanyu had appeared so miserable and seductive. He did feel guilty, more or less, for betraying his fiancée, but as the occurrences multiplied, his relationship with Li Yuanyu became a given. It became so natural that it seemed weird to not be together.

As he let Li Yuanyu in, he lied to himself, telling himself that this relationship was born from lust, and that this was what they called a French mistake – a heterosexual man having sex with another man but feeling regret afterwards.

It was easy to indulge in what was Li Yuanyu. As Marie said, he was an affectionate and gentle lover. Whether it was the lingering kisses or the occasional but considerate sweet-nothings, Tang Shan couldn’t help but grow an addiction for this man and want to open himself up to him.

One day, when he woke up to Li Yuanyu planting kisses on his back and saying good morning, he couldn’t hold back the contradiction that he felt. He wept.

Li Yuanyu kept comforting him and held him in his embrace.

He had felt love in his core while in the arms of a man.

“Isn’t that good?” Marie asked indifferently after hearing Tang Shan’s troubles.

“Not at all.” Tang Shan was playing with the locket but now he was too scared to open it. “I have a fiancée.”

“A fiancée means you’re not married yet,” Marie continued, unconcerned, “Worst comes to worst, you break up when you go home. I mean, getting a divorce isn’t even a big deal anymore.”


“It’s true, though!”

Marie stared confidently back at Tang Shan, eager to win.

“What are you chatting about?” Li Yuanyu entered the dining room and stopped beside Tang Shan. He greeted him good morning with a smooch on the cheek.

“Stop it.” Tang Shan tried to stop the intimate action – Marie was still there.

“I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see anything!” Marie covered her eyes and fled.

Li Yuanyu chuckled and kissed Tang Shan again. Then he took a seat next to him and placed a hand on the back of Tang Shan’s chair.

“What were you discussing behind my back? Some secret that you’re hiding from me? Hmm?” Li Yuanyu teased in his ear.

“No. Stop talking like this.” Tang Shan pushed Li Yuanyu’s head away.

“Why? I don’t want to!” Li Yuanyu nuzzled his neck.

Tang Shan couldn’t stop giggling.

Those were probably their happiest times together.

One day, Tang Shan woke up to find it to be well past two o’clock. He didn’t think he could sleep that long since Marie would wake him up for lunch no matter how much he wanted to stay in bed. However, she didn’t come today.

“Marie?” Tang Shan called as he searched for her downstairs.

But he didn’t see a trace of the woman. When he got to the kitchen, he was surprised to find Li Yuanyu.

“Morning. How did you sleep?” Li Yuanyu was putting something together at the stove and tilted his head to greet Tang Shan before going back to work.

“What are you doing?” Tang Shan approached. “Where’s Marie?”

Li Yuanyu picked a piece of chicken from the pot for him to try.

“Where’s Marie?” Tang Shan repeated clumsily while chewing the chicken.

“She left town.”

“Huh? Why? I never heard her talking about it. Was it this morning?”

“Yeah. This morning.”

“Why didn’t you wake me? She took good care of me. I should have at least seen her off.”

“Don’t worry. I took care of her.”

Tang Shan still looked troubled.

“What’s up? What are you thinking about?” Seeing him this close, Li Yuanyu planted a kiss of adoration on his head.

“I’m wondering why she’s the one to leave when I’m the one who needs to leave. Huh.”

Hearing this, Li Yuanyu sighed. “You’re still thinking about leaving…”

Shit. This was a sensitive topic. Tang Shan took a step back.

“No.” Li Yuanyu grabbed him.

Tang Shan read fear in his eyes but it disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“Don’t leave me.”

Tang Shan couldn’t say a word because he knew he had to leave.

“Shall we eat?”

In the end, Li Yuanyu changed the subject. He served the food on plates and sat Tang Shan down at the table to eat.

Tang Shan quieted down at the table. He didn’t realise that the topic of Marie had been glossed over, and only felt guilt towards Li Yuanyu.

“Since Marie is no longer here, why don’t we move to a smaller house? The villa’s too big. I don’t want you feeling afraid at night.”

“Me, afraid? What do you take me for? A child? If it’s the cleaning you don’t want to do, I can give you a hand with it.”

This made Li Yuanyu chuckle and lightened the entire atmosphere.

Then, saying goodbye to the villa with the huge bathroom, they moved to a smaller house on the other side of town. Jake helped out, too, on moving day. Jake respected Li Yuanyu greatly but was not fond of Tang Shan. He was annoyed by Tang Shan’s existence and would even protest when Tang Shan called the man he respected, Yuanyu.

“How can you call him Yuanyu! I don’t even call him that! Why can you?”

“Do you want to call him Yuanyu?”


Jake’s face flushed pink. The innocent and adorable reaction made Tang Shan want to tease this seemingly proper, but secretly quirky policeman some more.

“Gosh, I can’t talk with the likes of you!” Jake said angrily, but left in a hurry. He pretended to be busy moving Li Yuanyu’s easel up the stairs.

Tang Shan stood in his spot, cackling to his heart’s content.

Tang Shan sent several letters after they moved to the new house. He lost count of time, only knowing to wait for the reply as days went by. He often had the feeling he was going to stay here permanently.

He became restless from time to time and Li Yuanyu still refused to tell him the way out. The weather worsened and there was nothing he could do. Perhaps he was the problem. He had unconsciously chosen to be passive.

Li Yuanyu taught him to fold stars to fight the boredom, saying that he could have one wish granted if he folded a thousand stars, which was what Marie did.

Goddamn. When did Marie fold a thousand stars? How had he never come across it?


He wondered how she was doing now.

Tang Shan brought this up with Li Yuanyu and the latter said, “Why don’t you send her a letter?”

“A letter? Another letter?! How long is that going to take? I’m starting to think that none of my letters have reached home!”

This was his first fight with Li Yuanyu. The grievance and uneasiness from waiting that had accumulated over time exploded in one go. It was not exactly a fight, per se, since he was the only one who was mad. It was a one-sided fight.

Tang Shan could not continue the ugly confrontation. He went to the door and put on his coat. The waterproof coat was a gift from Li Yuanyu.

It was midnight and raining.

“Where are you going? It’s pouring out.” Li Yuanyu became nervous and followed to the door in attempt to stop him.

“I’m taking a walk to clear my head.” Tang Shan flicked up the collar and had the doorknob in his hand when Li Yuanyu spoke.

“I’ll go with you.”

“Don’t. I need to clear my head.” Tang Shan said unkindly. He didn’t want to be like this but his mouth had a mind of its own.

He heaved a deep sigh, opened the door and stepped into the rain.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
ayszhang: Happy New Year! :D Here's to another BL-ful year~
As you can see, I took part in the translation of this chapter. I and Ying agreed to switch for one chapter and here it is! :) We each did about 75% of each other's chapter.

Chapter 6

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