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A Lunatic Says He Loves Me

A Lunatic Says He Loves Me: Chapter 24

24. Eighteen Levels of Hell 7

Because Ji Yan needed to apply for the job, Han Rong specifically took him shopping for clothes. They bought a white long-sleeve T-shirt and jeans, some cheap goods for twenty or thirty yuan, and even poked a few holes in them with scissors. “People working at a gay bar can generally be divided into two categories: one, gays, and two, very poor gays. Usually, the second type has a higher chance of getting hired because they’re easier to control. You need to play the role of a poverty-stricken pretty and flirtatious sl*t from a fallen family. Understand?”

Ji Yan blinked and chuckled softly. “Yes, sir…” His pronunciation was precise, with a hint of an Oxford accent, making him look like an elegant nobleman in his high-end custom-made shirt. Han Rong grabbed his collar, bringing their noses close, their lips almost touching, their heated breaths intertwining. In a husky voice, he said, “Don’t be so proper, darling. Be a bit more seductive.”

Sweet words, teasing smiles—Ji Yan almost thought the old Han Rong had returned. He closed his eyes, his lips curling happily as he asked, “How seductive do you want me to be?”

Han Rong let him go, saying indifferently, “Just be as submissive as this.”

Ji Yan opened his eyes and smiled, “I thought you’d give me a kiss.”

“Would one kiss be enough?” Han Rong turned and walked back to the bedroom.

“It would be enough.” Ji Yan’s smiling voice came from behind, like a breeze blowing straight into Han Rong’s ear. “I’ll cherish it for many years and love you thousands of times in my heart.”

The corners of Han Rong’s mouth curled up involuntarily, thinking, “What a simple-minded fool.”

****

The next day.

“We’ll drop you off here and wait for your news.” A green jeep stopped at the street corner, and a tall, handsome man got out. It was already very cold in Xuezhou in November. Ji Yan, wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, looked pale with red lips, resembling a Halloween vampire. The others stayed in the car on standby. Yuan Fei turned on the CD player, and a melodious song floated out: “Meeting you, loving you, it was destined by heaven that I would lose everything…”

“Let’s make a bet.”

“I’m definitely going to lose.”

“Why?”

“No reason.”

Han Rong suddenly remembered yesterday’s conversation. The roller shutter door of the corner milk tea shop was being pulled up, and a lazy orange Garfield cat walked out for a stroll. He watched Ji Yan’s receding figure and seemed to suddenly understand Ji Yan’s little worries.

With a “clatter,” Han Rong opened the car door and jumped out. Behind him, Ding Ding shouted, “Where are you going?”

Ji Yan stopped when he heard the voice and turned to look. Han Rong had caught up, his hands in his pockets, and casually said, “I’ll go in with you.”

“Don’t you dislike places like this?”

“Suddenly felt like seeing it. Consider it an experience. Let’s go.”

Ji Yan smiled, his eyes curving, and his upturned eyelashes looked like little hooks, particularly captivating. “Are you concerned about me?”

“I’m just worried you’ll give yourself away.”

“You really are concerned about me. I’m so happy.”

“Idiot 1.”

When Ji Yan and Han Rong pushed the door open and entered the shop, there was only a cleaner and the receptionist from yesterday. Since it wasn’t business hours yet, the receptionist was wearing a regular men’s sweater. He was sitting on the sofa playing on his phone and didn’t even look up as he said, “You’re early.”

“Here for the job interview.”

Hearing Han Rong’s words, he looked up, sized them up, and then smiled, “Wait a moment.” As he stood up, he even threw a flirtatious glance at Han Rong. Shortly after, he brought over a tall, thin man, “This is our HR manager.”

“What positions are you applying for? Our ‘hosts’ positions are full, only waiters and bartenders are available.” Seeing their hesitant expressions, the manager quickly added, “These positions also have high commissions if done well.”

Perhaps due to their striking appearance, the hiring process went more smoothly than expected. Ji Yan changed into the waiter uniform, frowning slightly, and asked Han Rong, who was now dressed in a bartender’s uniform, “Why are you applying too?”

“To keep you company. Moved?” He lazily glanced at Ji Yan while buttoning his cuff.

But Ji Yan looked quite unhappy.

The business hours of “A Touch of Green” were from 5 PM to 3 AM. Inside the bar, aside from the ‘hosts’ and the receptionist, everyone wore normal uniforms. Hosts needed to drink with customers, sing, dance, and even accompany them outside, with a monthly salary ranging from ten thousand to thirty thousand yuan. This gay bar had higher costs compared to ordinary entertainment venues. Most of the customers were high-income individuals needing to relieve stress.

Han Rong had never worked as a bartender before. While slacking off in the changing room, he watched a few Douyin 2 videos. As soon as business hours started, he officially began working. Usually, customers would start arriving around seven. Since it was still early, he had nothing to do but wipe glasses with a handkerchief. The receptionist had changed into a bright red peony-patterned cheongsam and approached seductively, batting his fake eyelashes as he asked with a smile, “How old are you, handsome?”

“Twenty-five.”

“I don’t like liars. You look at most nineteen.”

Watching his coquettish behavior, Han Rong’s eye twitched, and he glanced at Ji Yan nearby, who was wiping tables. He then suggested, “That handsome guy just graduated from college, with no experience at all. You can have fun training him.”

The receptionist giggled, “I’m not interested in him.”

“He looks much better than me, doesn’t he?”

The receptionist rested his chin on his hand, eyes adorned with colored contacts continuously sending flirtatious glances towards Han Rong. “We’re not lacking in good-looking people here, but we’re missing someone as handsome as you. Interested in having a little fun? I’m quite skilled, I guarantee your satisfaction.”

Han Rong said expressionlessly, “I like lace cross-dressing.”

“Unfortunately, our lace queen called in sick. It’s the pink temptation today. Next time, we can have a threesome.” He winked suggestively at Han Rong.

The mention of pink lace coincided perfectly with the huge neighbor’s testimony. Han Rong was about to inquire further when the receptionist was called over by the manager.

A man in a coffee-colored leather jacket sat down. His eyes sparkled as he smiled, “New here?”

Han Rong busied himself wiping glasses, emotionlessly asking, “What do you want to drink?”

“Anything.”

Han Rong instinctively mixed a blue cocktail and placed it in front of the man. The man, still smiling, didn’t drink. Instead, his eyes were fixed on Han Rong as he asked, “How long have you been in this line of work?”

“Three hours.”

“I didn’t expect you to be quite humorous.” He laughed heartily, raised the glass to his lips, initially taking small sips, but then his eyes widened, and he downed the rest of the drink in one gulp, slamming the glass on the table and boldly shouting, “Another one!”

Han Rong figured he was already drunk. True to form, after downing another drink, the man collapsed unconscious on the bar counter.

Han Rong thought to himself that maybe all men who liked men were idiots.

As the night grew darker, the bar became more crowded. He was kept busy all night, and the receptionist was nowhere to be found, leaving no chance to gather information. The HR manager, seeing Ji Yan’s decent appearance, sent him to serve VIP guests upstairs in the private rooms. Han Rong and Ji Yan didn’t even have a chance to meet. Han Rong had heard how chaotic this circle could be and feared Ji Yan might be coerced into doing something making Peking duck 3 by some perverted customers, leaving him restless as he clumsily mixed drinks.

These customers were despicable; they knew his drinks were strong, yet they still flocked to him as if they’d never seen a handsome man before. Han Rong had his own way of dealing with them; if they wanted to take advantage of him, they had to drink first. After finishing their drinks, then they could talk about other things. With this strategy, for every one he served, he managed to incapacitate one.

After enduring until closing time, he was too tired to lift a finger. Vaguely recalling his attempt to gather information, he searched the bar inside and out, but there was no sign of anyone. Inquiring with the staff, he found out that the receptionist had left early to rest. Frustrated, he returned empty-handed.

“I’m going to take a shower.” Back at the apartment, Han Rong just wanted to sleep. He grabbed his pajamas and hurriedly headed into the bathroom to freshen up.

Ji Yan walked into the bedroom, opened his own closet, and took out a stuffed toy. The sound of rushing water from the bathroom filled his ears, while images of other men flirting with Han Rong flashed through his mind. A surge of nameless anger welled up within him, and he furiously pounded the toy with his fists, “Smack, smack, smack.”

“Hitting you!”

“Who are you talking to?” Ji Yan was too focused and didn’t notice Han Rong coming out. Caught off guard by the sudden question, he hastily threw the toy into the bed, covered it with a pillow, and said, “Tidying up the bed. I’m going to take a shower.”

He hurried past Han Rong, suspicion evident in his flushed face.

As Han Rong dried his hair and approached, he removed the pillow, meticulously searching the bed. In a corner, he found a smiling toy cheese cat with its eyes narrowed, and on its forehead, the words “Han Rong” scribbled in black marker.

How childish for someone his age!

Han Rong silently mocked, then couldn’t help but chuckle, grabbing the toy cat’s ears to play with it. The toy looked quite old, patched up all over, and the fabric had turned pale from washing. He couldn’t understand why Ji Yan would keep such an “antique.”

After playing with the fake cat for a while, he suddenly felt a spiritual awakening—should he get a real one?

Decisions at night, especially about shopping, weren’t wise. Han Rong opened a pet cat website, browsing through one by one, glancing at the prices and feeling his wallet bleeding. He thought about checking his earnings on Jinjiang website but received some shocking news instead.

A notice on the main screen read: Due to inappropriate content in “Blind Detective,” it has been removed from the entire network.

What the f*ck?

Author Adu Shisan’s confession column: Thank you, God, for giving me a reason not to update! Muah muah!

Han Rong guessed that someone had reported “Blind Detective,” leaving him frustrated. He closed the pet cat website with a gloomy expression, planning to rummage through the flower beds in the neighborhood tomorrow to see if he could find a stray cat.

vice

When Ji Yan finished showering and came out, seeing Han Rong not lying in bed relieved him. He sat down calmly, reaching into the bedding and searching for something.

Han Rong glanced over and asked, “What are you looking for?”

“Nothing.” Ji Yan immediately shook his head.

Han Rong placed his hands behind his back, watching Ji Yan toss and turn on the bed, then pulled out the toy cat, asking, “Is it this?”

A hint of panic flickered in Ji Yan’s eyes as he reached out to grab it, “Give it back!”

“Nope!” Han Rong dodged, accidentally bumping his shin on the bed frame and unexpectedly falling into the bed. Seizing the opportunity, Ji Yan quickly pressed down on him and snatched the toy cat away.

“What’s wrong with letting me play with it? Are you so nervous because it was given to you by your first love?” Han Rong casually asked.

Ji Yan lowered his gaze, saying nothing, his pupils dark and profound, as if they contained a pool of clear water, able to see through the depths of one’s heart. Han Rong suddenly couldn’t laugh anymore, thinking, This can’t be, at a loss for words. So he pretended to be an ostrich and closed his eyes, avoiding the topic.

Ji Yan leaned down and kissed him.

———-

Author’s note:

When I was writing late into the night, I suddenly received an invitation from my ex, feeling confused and disoriented all day. Asking all little angels, should I attend the wedding or not? Urgent, waiting online (because I need to prepare a custom-made dress_(:з」∠)_).

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Translator Notes
  1. Actual word used is ‘Stupid c*nt[]
  2. Chinese version of TikTok[]
  3. “Fancier” male prostitute. I think. If you have an idea let me know![]
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