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Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Chapter 17

Chapter 17

Ji Bie stood in the corridor between the main building and the side hall, feeling weak from his ankles to his wrists. Although he didn’t need to lean on anything to stand, any movement made him feel like he was about to collapse. He couldn’t think straight, his head was pounding, and despite being dressed neatly, he felt as exposed as if he were naked.

Duan Zhu knelt in the memorial hall in the side hall, facing his grandfather’s memorial tablet.

His grandfather held a cane and repeatedly asked him the same question. Every time Duan Zhu answered, his grandfather would strike him hard on the back with the cane.

Duan Zhu said, “I will only marry Ji Bie.”

Ji Bie lost count after two or three times, unsure of how many times Duan Zhu had said he would marry him, only knowing it was many times.

Just a few days ago, Duan Zhu had said he didn’t want such a good pearl to be kept in a steel box forever. Ji Bie thought, he should have covered Duan Zhu’s mouth, not letting him say a word.

The harder Duan Zhu’s grandfather hit, the more Ji Bie could hear the sound of the cane swishing through the air, followed by the solid thud as it struck Duan Zhu’s back. Duan Zhu’s stifled groans seemed to be held in his chest, as if afraid of being heard by him.

Duan Zhu’s grandmother, once a very cold old lady, now stood somewhat stooped at the door of the side hall, wiping her tears with a handkerchief, her voice hoarse from crying. She muttered to herself, “Where can two men go to get married?”

Ji Bie had never seen such outward displays of emotion from the Duan family before, it was so undignified. It suddenly occurred to him that Duan Zhu’s grandfather was a soldier. Ji Bie, an outsider, hadn’t seen his military decorations, only a few servicemen who followed him.

Even in old age, Duan Zhu’s grandfather must have more strength than ordinary elderly people.

Duan Zhu always appeared brave in front of Ji Bie, never showing pain or weakness, but this time Ji Bie really wanted to advise him to be a little less stubborn, to soften his stance towards his grandfather, because he felt that Duan Zhu must be in a lot of pain.

He wasn’t the one being hit, but he felt like he was being tortured to death.

No one paid attention to him, not even Duan Yuan came to bother him. Duan Yuan and his mother went upstairs together.

Ji Bie was like a transparent person; as long as he didn’t enter the memorial hall, no one would say anything to him. It was almost identical to his life in the Duan family for the past nineteen years.

As Mr. Duan passed by Ji Bie, he didn’t even spare him a glance. He went to Mrs. Duan’s side, patted her back, comforted her for a few words, and then went into the memorial hall to talk with his father. The beatings inside stopped, Duan’s grandfather gritted his teeth and made Duan Zhu kneel, not allowing him to get up, then he walked out, leaned on his cane, and led Duan’s grandmother towards the stairs.

Mr. Duan stayed in the memorial hall, speaking quietly to Duan Zhu. The sound of their conversation reached Ji Bie’s ears, and although he wanted to listen, he didn’t dare to listen too carefully. He took a step back, leaning against the wall.

After a while, Mr. Duan walked out. It seemed that he finally noticed that Ji Bie was also present. He walked to a place about two meters away from Ji Bie and politely said, “Come with me.”

Ji Bie followed Mr. Duan to the study on the second floor.

The study was large, with Mr. Duan sitting behind a large desk, Ji Bie sitting on a chair opposite, trying to relax, but no matter how he adjusted, he felt constrained.

“Your situation, Duan Zhu has already told me,” Mr. Duan began, “I didn’t take it too seriously before, but today I realized how determined he is.”

Ji Bie looked up at him. Mr. Duan was the most dignified person in the Duan family today. From his expression to his tone, everything was casual, like giving instructions to a butler about setting up a table for guests tonight.

“Since Duan Zhu likes you so much, I won’t oppose it, but I hope incidents like today won’t happen again,” he continued, “Duan Zhu’s grandparents are old and can’t handle the progressive ideas of young people. If you really want to sleep with Duan Zhu, do it in the bedroom, and lock the door first.”

Ji Bie lowered his head, giving up on adjusting his posture. His shoulders slumped slightly, hands resting on his knees, palms up, staring at his ring finger, which twitched slightly.

“Do you understand what I’m saying?” Mr. Duan paused and asked Ji Bie.

Ji Bie didn’t know how to answer, so he remained silent. Not answering at all would be too rude, so he wanted to nod, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to nod.

He guessed it might be because he didn’t really want to sleep with Duan Zhu.

Seeing Ji Bie’s lack of response, Mr. Duan wasn’t angry. He picked up a pen from the table, looked at it, and then said to him, “To be honest, I don’t have much confidence in you. Now that Duan Zhu is willing to marry you, then so be it. Our family doesn’t need him to gain anything through marriage. But Xiao Ji, you should know, marriage is just marriage.”

“I heard you received a full scholarship from D University, why didn’t you go?” Mr. Duan asked Ji Bie.

Ji Bie glanced at Mr. Duan, who was also looking at him. He moved his lips, then lowered his head again.

All the words everyone had said to him about choosing a school flooded into his mind like a high tide.

“Congratulations, Ji Bie.”

“Ji Bie, that’s great! Congratulations!”

“You’re so amazing!”

“A full scholarship to D University?! That’s amazing!”

“Why did you apply to such a faraway school?”

“Why did you choose this one? What about D University?”

“Ji Bie, what are you thinking?”

“Good boy.”

Ji Bie felt like someone was holding a sharp knife, cutting into his chest, each word dripping out as red as blood from his wound.

He felt very uncomfortable, his stomach churning, afraid to speak, afraid that if he opened his mouth, he would vomit. He wanted to leave.

“Just to tie yourself to Duan Zhu?” Mr. Duan smiled wryly at Ji Bie, as if laughing at his naive and childish thoughts, as if saying why are you so foolish, giving up your own life just to tie yourself to the young master of the Duan family.

“Xiao Ji, I don’t know you well, but just looking at your immature choices, I don’t think you and Duan Zhu can last long,” Mr. Duan said, “Verbal promises and novelty are the least reliable things.”

“Of course, but now that Duan Zhu has made up his mind about you, then you should be together. Whatever step he is willing to take for you, you can take it together,” Mr. Duan said calmly, tapping the desk with the pen cap, ready to end the conversation, “I don’t wish you and Duan Zhu to hold on until the day you get married, I hope that during your time together, you won’t cause too much trouble for Duan Zhu and the Duan family.”

“Any other questions?” Mr. Duan asked Ji Bie.

Ji Bie raised his head again, looking at Mr. Duan, his expression somewhat blank, but he didn’t look away.

After thinking for a while, when Mr. Duan was about to lose patience, he raised his hand, took off the necklace hanging around his neck.

The chain of the necklace was very thin, with a small square box hanging from it, Ji Bie held the necklace and stood up, took two steps forward, placed the necklace on the table, and pushed it towards Mr. Duan, saying to him, “Could you please return this to Duan Zhu?”

Mr. Duan frowned, but Ji Bie didn’t pay attention, continuing, “Thank you.”

Apart from “thank you,” he didn’t know what else to say to Mr. Duan.

His father was dead, and Mr. Duan gave him money.

His mother didn’t want him, and Mr. Duan gave him a bright home.

Mr. Duan’s favor toward him was an account that he couldn’t lift his head from, making him unable to speak confidently forever. Ji Bie was actually quite stubborn, he had a temper, often very proud and outspoken, clear about love and hate, he was just a living person.

As long as he didn’t return to the Duan family, he would never feel so suppressed and humble. With so many people liking him, so many people caring for him, he had better choices, it was just that he didn’t choose.

His feelings for Duan Zhu had been contained in a wooden barrel with a short board, no matter how much they expanded, they would leak out through the short board. But before, no matter how much leaked out, there was always some left.

Until now, when Ji Bie looked inside, he realized that the wooden barrel had finally leaked down to its last drop.

It was too difficult to be with Duan Zhu, he no longer wanted to be pressed down, kneeling and apologizing for crimes he hadn’t committed.

Ji Bie walked dazedly, and no one stopped him. He opened the door of the Duan home, passed through the lawn, walked past the fountain, walked out of the iron gate, touched the documents and phone in his pocket, and continued to walk outside.

Mr. Duan, who remained in the study, frowned, listening to the driver say that Ji Bie had taken a taxi and really left, then picked up the necklace Ji Bie had placed in front of him and studied the small square box. Each side of the box had a gap, and one corner of the square protruded slightly outward. Mr. Duan looked at it for a few seconds, then used the tip of his thumb to push it. One side of the box was pushed open, revealing a bead with a soft, beautiful glow.

Mr. Duan only took one look to know where this bead came from.

TN:

I told you I was too embarrassed to continue editing this, right? Yeah so I went and got a friend of mine to help with the next chapters until the coast is clear🙈. Her name is Cee and she’s also a translator in Shanghai and KnoxT. She has some amazing projects she’s worked on and…they’re complete🎊. If you like the spicy stuff but not just spice but amazing plots, check out her projects. NU Reading List Link. She rushed through this as I pulled her from working on her own projects so if you spot any mistakes, kindly inform me and I’ll fix it. Don’t tell anyone but I haven’t actually read these chapters😭.

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Evie
Evie
1 month ago

Ajjajajajjaja yo no puedo pedirle a alguien que lea esto por mí, me da más vergüenza jajajaja pero buena traducción gracias!

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