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Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Chapter 11

Chapter 11

On the morning of the first day of the lunar new year, Ji Bie woke up very early.

The things Duan Zhu gave him were placed by his bedside. As soon as he woke up, he turned to stare at them, feeling uneasy no matter how he looked at it.

Ji Bie reached out and took the bag, opening it to take out the pearl and examine it.

The pearl was large, round, and full, with a faint sandalwood scent. Ji Bie looked at it for a moment before putting it away again, wondering why Duan Zhu always said “next year, next year” and “later, later,” even though he was going to study in the second half of the year. What exactly did it mean?

Recently, Ji Bie often felt that there was actually some unspoken barrier between him and Duan Zhu, something that Duan Zhu tacitly agreed to but Ji Bie did not, leaving Ji Bie feeling anxious and breathless whenever he thought about it.

It was as if there was a one-way mirror between them, with Duan Zhu kissing the reflection of Ji Bie on the mirror, while Ji Bie stood anxiously behind it, watching.

He could speak up, but he dared not.

At lunchtime, the elders were all absent, making the atmosphere a bit more relaxed.

Duan Weiran sat beside Ji Bie again and asked him about his plans for the afternoon.

Ji Bie said he hadn’t made any plans. Duan Weiran whispered, “The Young Master won’t be back until tonight. I’ve made plans to go book shopping with Duan Xiao this afternoon. Just the two of us. Will you come?”

Seeing Ji Bie still hesitating, Duan Weiran added, “You can ask the Young Master if it’s okay.”

Duan Yuan came in from the door wearing sportswear, with a caddy carrying his golf clubs. He loudly asked, “Who’s coming to play in the backyard?”

Several boys raised their hands to indicate they would go. Then he looked at Ji Bie strangely and asked, “Are you coming?”

“Ji Bie will accompany me out in the afternoon,” Duan Weiran said.

Ji Bie had no choice but to send a message to Duan Zhu, saying, “I have two options this afternoon: 1. Go book shopping with Duan Weiran; 2. Play golf with Duan Yuan.”

After a while, Duan Zhu clearly reluctantly agreed, “1.”

He added, “Don’t be gone too long.”

Duan Xiao was a girl from a branch of the Duan family, fifteen years old, and cultured.

The three of them had dinner and then took a car out.

There was a large bookstore in M City, and they browsed from the first floor to the fifth floor, buying quite a few books. Afterward, they found a café to have some drinks before heading home.

Duan Xiao ran into a friend she knew from her previous study trip, and the two of them went aside to chat.

With only Duan Weiran left, she looked at Ji Bie for a while and asked him, “Is Duan Zhu leaving next semester?”

Ji Bie nodded.

Looking at Ji Bie, Duan Weiran hesitated a bit before saying, “I won’t tell anyone.”

Ji Bie burst into laughter. He asked Duan Weiran, “Tell anyone what?”

Ji Bie’s laugh was mischievous, as if he were denying or teasing, but it was also extremely charming, making it impossible for anyone to resist him.

Duan Weiran paused for a moment, feeling helpless, and said, “Oh… forget it.”

“Thank you,” Ji Bie said, adjusting his expression.

Duan Weiran suddenly couldn’t help but ask him, “Do you like him?”

After witnessing what Duan Zhu did to Ji Bie yesterday afternoon, it was impossible for Duan Weiran not to be shocked.

She was just an ordinary high school girl, with some pure feelings of friendship towards Ji Bie. After her emotions settled down, she still wanted to know Ji Bie’s attitude.

“Is he forcing you?” Duan Weiran asked, furrowing her brow.

“No, no,” Ji Bie laughed, leaning on the table and waving his hand at Duan Weiran. “You’re thinking too much.”

Their relationship was mutual, so it was only natural. Ji Bie was open-minded; otherwise, he wouldn’t have become like this with Duan Zhu. He also enjoyed it when Duan Zhu held him, enjoyed being with Duan Zhu even if they did nothing.

But when the relationship exceeded desire too much, Ji Bie couldn’t explain it, but he felt uneasy, something wasn’t right.

They returned home on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year. Duan Yuan disappeared again, and Mrs. Duan, who had only stayed at home for a few days, also disappeared.

Duan Zhu became busy. He was often not at home, and Ji Bie had club activities during the winter vacation. The two of them didn’t spend the whole day together. Ji Bie felt the tension in his heart relax a bit. He thought no matter what, he should accompany Duan Zhu first. However, despite the company, with the pearl being so precious, he still needed to find an opportunity to return it to Duan Zhu.

With this thought in mind, Ji Bie always carried the pearl with him, but he hadn’t found the opportunity to speak up yet. Then, one evening at the beginning of the semester, Duan Zhu came to Ji Bie’s room and placed a stack of documents in front of him.

Ji Bie flipped through them. They were all school documents. He asked Duan Zhu, “What’s this?”

“High schools available for exchange this year. These two are close to my school. You can choose one,” Duan Zhu said.

Ji Bie was stunned for a moment, not knowing what to say.

Duan Zhu pointed to one of them and said, “This one is okay.”

“I…” Ji Bie hesitated, feeling flustered. Suddenly, Duan Zhu’s phone rang, and he answered it in front of Ji Bie.

Ji Bie watched Duan Zhu’s profile, feeling a bit dazed.

Ji Bie had other plans long ago, carefully planned down to every detail, without including the element of “Duan Zhu.”

So Ji Bie hesitated for a long time as he looked at the high school documents. He had even planned the travel route to his father’s hometown for a year later, as well as the university and the city where he would settle down in the future—would he have to change everything?

Even after physical contact, Ji Bie had believed for a long time that he and Duan Zhu, at most, would be the kind of people who would greet each other when they met in the future. After all, they had barely interacted over the years.

After Duan Zhu finished the call, he briefly analyzed the quality of the schools for Ji Bie.

Ji Bie carefully observed Duan Zhu’s expression. Duan Zhu looked so confident, as if he had no defenses against Ji Bie at all. This, in turn, made Ji Bie feel melancholic.

He wanted to say to Duan Zhu, “Don’t trust me so much; I’m not that good either.”

But the next moment, Duan Zhu pressed against Ji Bie and kissed his lips, silencing Ji Bie’s words.

Ji Bie’s hand remained in his pocket, tightly grasping the velvet pouch. He couldn’t even figure out if he was holding it so tightly because he wanted to take it out or because he didn’t want to let go.

“I’m still looking at houses,” Duan Zhu released him and said, “What kind of place do you want to live in?”

Ji Bie felt his face blush under Duan Zhu’s gaze and whispered, “I have no idea about these things.”

“Do you want to live in a higher place or a lower place?” Duan Zhu pinched Ji Bie’s chin and said, “Bigger or smaller?”

In the end, Ji Bie gave up negotiating and leaned up to kiss Duan Zhu’s lips, saying, “Not too big.”

“Do you want a swimming pool?” Duan Zhu asked him.

“Duan Zhu,” Ji Bie asked, “how did you tell Mr. and Mrs. Duan about taking me with you?”

Duan Zhu lowered his head and thought for a moment before saying, “I just mentioned it briefly. I haven’t mentioned our relationship yet. Do you think we should?”

“No,” Ji Bie quickly shook his head, “let’s not mention it for now.”

“I plan to wait until you’re a bit older,” Duan Zhu let Ji Bie sit on his lap, “and I’m a bit older too. Ji Bie, do you trust me?”

Ji Bie let go of the pouch, letting it stay snugly in his pocket, and wrapped his arms around Duan Zhu’s neck, obediently trying to please him.

Ji Bie carefully recalled, unable to remember what was particularly good about himself that earned Duan Zhu’s favor. All he knew was that he hadn’t returned the pearl, and now he was following along.

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