Ling Senhao was a bit excited from todays events and was unable to fall asleep. Staring up at the skylight he watched the stars shining and his heart calmed down a bit… He had rarely experienced this feeling of restlessness, even while drowning in work he would be able to force himself to sleep. It was just that he never imagined today to go so smoothly, they ate dinner, confessed, they even kissed! A shame there was no follow up! He was so close but let it slip through his fingers. Now he was alone in his room and his friend even had the gall to ask for a status update!
He was embarrassed… but also felt oddly satisfied? Yea, it wasn’t such a bad day… Time to have a good dream!
Mo Shaoqing woke up early the next day, and didn’t remember where he was. Shaking his hung over head he was glad he didn’t feel dizzy. Assessing his area for a while he recalled that he hadn’t returned to his flat last night and was in the hotel from last time. Not only that, he also recalled that in a daze, he had responded to Mr. Ling’s confession… and they even… Mo Shaoqing’s fingers touched his lips, as if feeling that they had retained the heat from last night.
OMG, what should I do? He actually took the initiative to kiss Mr. Ling first, and it even became an intimate kiss after, what in the world do I say when I see him later? Should I be calm and collect, or pretend nothing happened? No, no no… if I pretended nothing happened then Mr. Ling might… Please forgive Mo Shaoqing, as he had never dated in his youth, everything felt like a mess, and yet his lips were stuck in this smile.
Mo Shaoqing tossed around in bed for a long time while contemplating what to do. Eventually he got out of bed because he really had to pee. Cleaning himself up, he put on an apron and started to prepare some breakfast. Now that things had ended up like this, today would be officially the first day the two started dating… he was already Mr. Ling’s boyfriend, he could not make those simple breakfasts like before, that’s right, they should be more fancy!
Mo Shaoqing prepared a pot, when he was about to add some cooking oil he realized he didn’t know what to make. If was the day after becoming an official couple, what would you make for breakfast for your lover?? Quickly, research online!!!
After reading through some posts, Mo Shaoqing realized that Mr. Ling liked to eat meat, every meal needed at least two meat dishes. He hadn’t guessed incorrectly though, bluntly speaking Mr. Ling was no vegetarian! (1)
He seemed to recall that there was some fresh chicken breast and pork in the fridge and decided to prepare a healthy low fat breakfast. Mo Shaoqing took some pork liver and sliced pork loin and marinated it with some corn oil, light soy sauce, salt, corn starch, and chicken bouillon. Next he put some water and rice into the pressure cooker to make congee. On another cutting board he chopped up the chicken breast into a paste, adding some cooking wine, soy sauce, oil, black pepper, salt, starch and mixed the ingredients together in a clockwise motion. He then chopped up mushrooms, carrot and cabbage and added it to the chicken mixture. Heating up the pan, he added a bit of oil and carefully formed some chicken patties and seared them. Stacking them gently on a plate, a simple chicken and vegetable patties were ready.
He then cooked the marinated pork liver and sliced pork and put it into the congee. Letting the meat and congee simmer for another 8 minutes and the dish was complete. A simple stir fry green vegetable was also served on the side.
That should be enough, Mo Shaoqing thought it over and then recalled Mr. Ling always had a drink while eating. He then pulled some bananas and milk from the fridge and made a smoothie in the blender.
Last but not least, to set the table.
Ling Senhao had tossed and turned for a long time. He was only able to fall asleep for a bit at dawn. Waking up later than usual, he washed up and was greeted by the enticing smells coming from the kitchen and immediately became hungry. It was then he realized he had only watched Mo Shaoqing eat last night and hadn’t eaten anything himself! He watched Mo Shaoqing skillfully maneuver around in the kitchen and felt like there was nothing else in the world that could be as heart warming as this.
“You’re up! Quickly, let's eat breakfast” Mo Shaoqing was setting the table and gestured for him to sit.
“Okay.” Ling Senhao responded softly and sat down, “There’s so many delicious things, I’ve troubled you!”
“I didn’t know what you wanted so I just made something casually…” responded a slightly embarrassed Mo Shaoqing.
“That’s alright, you have a long time ahead of you to research, '' responded Ling Senhao meaningfully.
Reacting to his teasing, Mo Shaoqing’s ears were tinged with red and quickly sat down himself. “This is pork liver and pork congee and this one here is a chicken and vegetable patty. Give them a try.” Mo Shaoqing had always been confident in his cooking but with the person in front of him he began to doubt himself. It wasn’t until they took a few more bites was he able to relax.
Mo Shaoqing: “You..”
Ling Senhao: “You…”
Mo Shaoqing and Ling Senhao started speaking at the same time and started to laugh and smile at each other.
Mo Shaoqing: “After you!”
Ling Senhao responded “No, you first!”
Mo Shaoqing hesitated for a bit, but he had been dying to ask this question all morning, “I wanted to ask you, how many..”
“How many...what?” replied Ling Senhao on autopilot.
“Um.. you know.. Lovers.. How many have you had…” Mo Shaoqing stammered through his question, reflecting internally he felt guilty for asking this and could only scold himself internally. The person across from Ling Senhao felt like his face might drop into the bowl at any moment. On one hand Ling Senhao was surprised, but on the other he was elated. What did this mean for him now that Shaoqing wanted to know him better. Interpreting the question however he wanted, he teased: “Oh~ an interrogation into your boyfriend’s history I see!”
“Wha… What!” Mo Shaoqing’s intentions were immediately seen through and defended himself “Fine, don’t answer”
Ling Senhao felt danger encroaching and honestly answered “There were a few…”
Although Mo Shaoqing had already known the answer he couldn’t help but feel a bit down. He told himself that those relationships were already over, but the ache in his heart was hard to hide. Ling Senhao saw the expression on Shaoqing’s face change, the creases on Shaoqing’s face made his heart ache: “I did date in the past but the relationships were all short-lived and we always broke up quickly…”
Mo Shaoqing: “Why is that?”
Ling Senhao smiled, “They were all introduced by my family, I didn’t like any of them! Although I had tried to accept it, but deep down, I found it difficult to accept people who approached me with hidden motives. Especially those who aimed to be my fiancée. My parents have a good relationship, so I wanted to strive for a strong and loving relationship. On the surface, I may seem like I play around alot, but there is one thing, my feelings, my marriage, I want to be the one who makes the decisions on that.”
Mo Shaoqing didn’t think that Ling Senhao would explain it to him so clearly, in short, he was quite moved. Feeling that he was a bit too cautious he unconsciously responded with “Would you think I’m being a bit too hypocritical? I don’t even know why I wanted to ask that. In fact, from what you’ve done for me so far, I wasn’t completely unaware of…”
Ling Senhao’s eyebrows raised, I knew it.
“But when I think about how amazing you are… and how I’m just a normal student… what could you possibly see in me… so.. I.. thought your past loves must have been some extraordinary people…”
“Strictly speaking these people I’ve dated cannot be considered as lovers. There’s a saying in Huaxia that goes: Emotions know not the height, but instead run deep. I think this best describes my feelings for you.” replied Ling Senhao. Ling Senhao knew that in terms of romantic relationships, Mo Shaoqing was a blank canvas. He was simply not used to it right now, and continued to comfort him, “Alright, lets eat, everything is getting cold.”
Compared to the last breakfast they shared together, the pair had started to open up to each other. Their affection towards one another was stronger and it was filled with stolen glances filled with warmed at each other.
This time, Ling Senhao drove Mo Shaoqing home himself. Mo Shaoqing didn’t want to bump into anyone on the way in, so before they reach the main doors of the gated community he asked to be let off and walked the rest of the way. Ling Senhao silently refused and pretended not to hear it. In the end Mo Shaoqing had to give him directions to the front door. When the car stopped Mo Shaoqing quickly got out of the vehicle and said “Be careful on your way back~”
Ling Senhao watched as he opened the door and quickly hopped out, “That’s it?”
Mo Shaoqing: “What else”
“What? Not even going to invite me in for a glass of water?”
“Uh...this...” Mo Shaoqing was a bit hesitant. Although he knew his older brother wouldn’t be home at this hour, to invite a certain someone into his home, wasn’t that moving too fast… He hadn’t even thought about how he was going to tell his family.
Ling Senhao didn’t want to make it difficult for Mo Shaoqing, since he was already within reach of the door he was afraid that there wouldn’t be a chance to get in next time! However, if Mr. and Mrs. Mo were home right now, and he came with no gifts, that would be even worse! “Come here --”
Mo Shaoqing blindly stepped closer, Ling Senhao closed the distanced and kissed him on the cheek. “Much better.”
Mo Shaoqing jumped from shock and quickly scanned in four directions, luckily no one was around right now at this hour and his family were all at work. “What were you thinking!” Mo Shaoqing’s heart was stressed.
Too late now thought Ling Senhao. He just loved him too much and responded with a smile: “I know.. I’ll be careful next time.”
“Then I’m going inside, see you at the office!”
What Mo Shaoqing didn’t know was that at this time online the internet was in a frenzy. The variety show he was in had aired last night and the internet was up in a storm. To be precise, it was related to the movie [Autumn’s Youth] (2). Fans were shocked to find out that their idol had acted in director Yazawa’s critically acclaimed movie!! Unlike the short lived fan created drama between Mo Shaoqing and Xu Che in the casting of [The Legend of Emperor Ling]. The topic of [Autumn’s Youth] was vast. The director, Yazawa Hayao, was famous in R Country. Since then he had gone on to make other short films, but since [Autumn’s Youth] became critically acclaimed, his other works had gained popularity as well. He was even named “most talented director” by R Country Film industry.
Although the film was already a few years old, the impression it left was huge. The reaction differed from person to person but it all lead to one conclusion --Amazing my idol was the one who acted as K!
(1) If you're not familiar with the euphemism, "being a vegetarian" infers that Ling Senhao isn't celibate and being a carnivore.. well he's definitely the top in this relationship hahaha
(2) I don't know why the author changed it from 不可思议的秋天 / Inconceivable Autumn to 秋日青春 / Autumn's Youth but for now I will stick with what the text is in the chapter and call it Autumn's Youth