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Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Duan Yuan returned home the next morning.

In the evening, when Ji Bie and Duan Zhu entered, Mrs. Duan was at the living room door directing the workers to do this and that, while Duan Yuan was still upstairs sleeping.

Upon seeing the two enter, Mrs. Duan softly called out to Duan Zhu, ignoring Ji Bie.

The butler took Duan Zhu’s coat and merely said, “Young Master, you’re back,” imitating Mrs. Duan’s attitude and completely ignoring Ji Bie, who followed behind Duan Zhu.

Ji Bie genuinely didn’t mind. He continued forward, taking a few steps before Duan Zhu suddenly stopped, nearly causing Ji Bie to bump into him.

Turning around, Duan Zhu looked down at Ji Bie and personally helped him out of his coat, then walked over to the butler and handed it to him.

Though Duan Zhu was young, he exuded authority. He asked the butler in a deliberate tone, “Has Young Master Ji returned? Didn’t you see him?”

The butler, holding the coat tightly, paled and dared not say much.

Mrs. Duan was also surprised by her eldest son’s sudden outburst. She stood to the side, straightening her back, nearly dropping the pearl necklace she held.

Ji Bie was also somewhat taken aback because Duan Zhu had never interfered in matters concerning the servants or Mrs. Duan’s attitude towards Ji Bie before. It was unclear what wrong medicine he’d taken for him to suddenly meddle this time.

“Old Li,” Duan Zhu coldly addressed the butler, “If my mom acts foolishly, do you have to follow suit?”

Duan Zhu’s words carried a hint of reprimand. Mrs. Duan was also taken aback. After a few seconds, she whispered to Duan Zhu, “What do you mean by ‘acting foolishly’?”

Ignoring her, Duan Zhu continued to focus on the butler, patiently repeating, “Young Master Ji has returned. Didn’t you see?”

“Oh! Oh!” The butler seemed to suddenly awaken. He repeated “Oh” several times before turning to Ji Bie and saying, “Young Master Ji has returned!”

It was the first time Ji Bie had been treated this way, and he found it amusing. He raised his hand in greeting and said, “Yes, I’ve returned.”

The atmosphere at the dinner table became extremely strange.

The servants serving the food remained silent, Mrs. Duan held back her anger, barely touching her food before leaving for upstairs.

Seeing everyone leave, Ji Bie also put down his chopsticks and sat next to Duan Zhu, resting his chin on his hand as he asked, “What’s going on with you today?”

“What’s going on?” Duan Zhu glanced at Ji Bie and said.

Ji Bie didn’t press further. With people constantly coming and going downstairs, he didn’t want to get too intimate with Duan Zhu, so he simply sat by his side and watched him eat.

Duan Yuan had just finished eating when footsteps sounded at the dining room door. Ji Bie turned to look and saw Duan Yuan walking over in pajamas and slippers.

The two locked eyes for a second. Then, Duan Yuan turned his gaze away, seeing Ji Bie sitting next to his brother, he raised an eyebrow mockingly and uttered a word, “Dog.”

Ji Bie’s expression turned cold as well. He stood up, pushed his chair back, and headed upstairs.

As he passed by Duan Yuan, Duan Yuan suddenly reached out to grab Ji Bie. Ji Bie dodged to the side, leaning against the door frame, and pointed at Duan Yuan, warning him, “Don’t f*cking touch me.”

Duan Zhu sat there, glancing over. Duan Yuan didn’t dare to fight in front of his brother. He just smirked and walked towards the dining table. Sitting down at his own seat, he noticed that there was a missing spoon, and the dishes hadn’t been served. He slammed the table and yelled at the workers standing beside the dining room, “What are you standing there for? Are you all f*cking blind?”

Ji Bie returned to his room and saw a reminder message from the deputy head of the debate club on his phone, reminding him not to be late in the morning and listing items he needed to bring.

Ji Bie placed his phone on the table and started organizing his things according to the list provided by the vice president.

After finishing, Ji Bie realized that he didn’t have a small travel bag.

When the Duan family went out on trips, usually only Mrs. Duan and Duan Yuan would go if Mr. Duan didn’t join. Neither Duan Zhu nor Ji Bie would typically participate. Duan Zhu didn’t want to go, and Ji Bie wasn’t in the radar of their inquiries.

During the Spring Festival outing, Ji Bie would simply grab some clothes, and Duan Zhu would come over to take Ji Bie’s things and put them in his suitcase.

So, after Ji Bie finished organizing, he sat on the bed feeling lost, not knowing if he should go downstairs to find a larger bag.

When he walked to the door and opened it, he happened to see Duan Yuan standing at his room door, lifting his foot to kick the door. Both of them were stunned for a moment. In an instant, Ji Bie reacted swiftly, lifting his foot and kicking Duan Yuan in the stomach. Duan Yuan took a few steps back, leaning against the corridor wall, cursing at Ji Bie.

Without giving him time to catch his breath, Ji Bie raised his fist and punched him in the face. The two began wrestling in the corridor. Duan Yuan seemed to have practiced boxing recently, so his fighting skills had improved, while Ji Bie hadn’t fought for a long time. They were evenly matched for a while until Duan Zhu’s voice sounded from behind them.

“Duan Yuan.”

Ji Bie stopped first, but Duan Yuan didn’t. Ji Bie took a blow to the chest and curled up in pain.

Duan Zhu walked over, pulled Ji Bie up, and took a step back. Looking at his brother and Ji Bie, he smiled at Duan Yuan and said, “Brother, why bother with this stupid c*nt?”

Duan Zhu looked at Duan Yuan, and after a few seconds, seeing Duan Yuan looking nervous, he finally said, “Come up here for a moment.”

Duan Zhu led Duan Yuan away, and Ji Bie returned to his room and lay on the bed. His chest and shins were aching faintly, so he covered himself with the blanket, wrapping himself up.

After waiting for a while, he picked up his phone and replied to two messages. Suddenly, he remembered and sent a text to Duan Zhu, asking him, “Do you have a small travel bag I can borrow?”

Five minutes later, there was a knock on Ji Bie’s door. Ji Bie walked over and opened it, still feeling a bit unsteady on his feet. Duan Zhu stood outside with a bag in hand.

Ji Bie reached out to take it, but Duan Zhu didn’t give it to him. Ji Bie had no choice but to let Duan Zhu in.

Duan Zhu was tall and sturdy, always dressed in shirts and trousers at home, looking very formal. Ji Bie was only wearing an old oversized T-shirt, bare-legged, which made the contrast between them quite strong.

Ji Bie sat back on the bed and pointed to the foot of the bed, saying, “Just put it there. I’ll sort it out tomorrow morning.”

Duan Zhu looked at the neatly folded clothes on the side and asked Ji Bie, “Is that all?”

Ji Bie nodded, and Duan Zhu squatted down, unzipping the travel bag and helping Ji Bie pack everything.

“Come back on Sunday, I’ll come pick you up,” Duan Zhu suddenly said.

Ji Bie, curled up in the blanket, asked Duan Zhu, “When is your brother leaving?”

“On Wednesday,” Duan Zhu replied.

“Then don’t come pick me up,” Ji Bie said gloomily. “Duan Zhu, I want to stay in the dormitory next semester. Can you help me inquire?”

After finishing packing, Duan Zhu walked to Ji Bie’s bed, bent down, and looked at Ji Bie. He didn’t kiss Ji Bie, but he was close enough that Ji Bie couldn’t help but feel a bit flushed.

Duan Zhu still didn’t speak. Ji Bie said, “I’ll pay you back later.”

Duan Zhu paused for a moment before saying, “Let’s talk about it later.”

Ji Bie didn’t want to dwell on it anymore. He shifted his gaze and asked Duan Zhu with great interest, “How do you discipline that idiot? Tell me about it.”

Duan Zhu didn’t answer. Instead, he pulled Ji Bie’s blanket aside, pressed his shoulder, and asked him, “Does it hurt here?”

Ji Bie smiled. He grabbed Duan Zhu’s wrist with one hand and pulled up his T-shirt slightly with the other, revealing his fair skin. There was a bit of redness below his collarbone. He held Duan Zhu’s hand and placed it there, jokingly complaining to Duan Zhu, “Young Master, it hurts so much when your brother hits someone.”

He was just joking, but unexpectedly, Duan Zhu looked very serious. He carefully examined Ji Bie’s chest, making Ji Bie feel uncomfortable. He wanted to pull his clothes down, but Duan Zhu didn’t allow it. Ji Bie had to lift himself up to kiss Duan Zhu, seizing the opportunity to put his clothes back on.

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