Limited Ambiguity Chapter 2

Chapter 2

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

Inside the room, Qi Yan sat writing with his head down, completely absorbed. His expression was focused, his eyelashes straight and fine, cascading downwards. The fingers gripping the pen were curved, each nail meticulously trimmed for neatness.

Lu Fenghan glanced over for two seconds before looking away. He leaned against the wall, taking a quick scan of the room’s interior.

The furniture, in a simple palette of black, white, and gray, offered little visual interest. Aside from the treatment pod resting peacefully off to the side, the most noteworthy feature was the bookshelf covering an entire wall. Packed full, it displayed the colorful spines of countless books.

Lu Fenghan found it strange.

Two hundred years had passed in the Star calendar. Paper books, considered relics of the past and extremely expensive, were something that some people might never see in their lifetime.

Yet here, there was a full shelf, obviously showing signs of being read.

Living in such a retro way?

Just as he was thinking, the “tap tap” sound of fingers lightly hitting the tabletop drew Lu Fenghan’s attention.

Qi Yan waited for Lu Fenghan to look over, then handed over the paper filled with writing. “Take a look.”

“So, this is written for me?” Lu Fenghan stepped closer, reaching out to take it casually, the sharp and elegant handwriting jumping in his eyes.

“Medical treatment fee breakdown: treatment pod total operating time, eighty-four hours, equivalent to seven point eighty-seven… million star coins; discounted repair fluid consumption, one point sixty-two million star coins; discounted treatment pod depreciation, eight hundred thousand star coins; discounted energy consumption, five thousand star coins.”

After listening to Lu Fenghan’s recitation, Qi Yan pointed the pen he held in his hand  at Lu Fenghan’s abdomen. “Healing your injury is quite expensive.”

Lu Fenghan inwardly acknowledged that it was indeed expensive. Adding up all the figures, it amounted to ten million star coins.

With a finger tracing his chin, Lu Fenghan recalled the balance in his account — perhaps enough to cover… just the scraps?

Thankfully, it was only after the treatment did he lay his eyes on this bill. Otherwise, Lu Fenghan doubted he would have had the courage to step into the treatment pod.

Seeing him pause, Qi Yan reminded him, “Continue reading.”

“Contract?… Starting from July 29th, year 216 in the Star calendar, Party B shall protect the personal safety of Party A, at all times and in all places… for a duration of two years. Upon expiration, the contract shall be terminated. Remuneration: ten million two hundred ninety-five thousand star coins.”

Lu Fenghan smirked.”Ensuring your personal safety? Where did you see me as suitable for that?”

Qi Yan lifted his thin eyelids, countering, “And where do you believe you are unsuitable?”

Lu Fenghan found conversing with this youngster quite intriguing. For instance, right now, despite being the one asking questions, his query was swiftly thrown back at him.

He curled his fingers and flicked them on the paper, making a crisp “snap” sound. “Let’s put it this way, kid. Setting aside whether I am worth trusting or not, just looking at this contract alone, it’s unfair to you. Ten million star coins over two years — with that money, you can hire a team of the Alliance’s top bodyguards. A team of ten people, rotating every day, surrounding you 360 degrees. Isn’t that more interesting than staring at just this one face?”

“I find it interesting. Besides, I have money.” Qi Yan’s response was succinct, clearly uninterested in Lu Fenghan’s suggestion.

Lu Fenghan thought he was a bit naive, clearly not having experienced the brutality of a villain’s beatings. But he had chosen him—his judgment wasn’t too bad, all things considered.

He picked out a phrase from the contract, “‘At all times and in all places,’ care to explain that?”

Placed within the context, the phrase didn’t seem particularly problematic. But when read alone, it took on a layer of ambiguity. Lu Fenghan appraised Qi Yan’s dazzling features, and he inwardly sighed, realizing he had indeed been tainted by the nonsense of his subordinates.

After all, if it really meant what it implied, it was unclear who would be at a disadvantage.

Qi Yan obediently explained, “It means, at any time, anywhere, you must be by my side protecting me.” Pausing for two seconds, he further explained, “My situation is very dangerous.”

Lu Fenghan arched an eyebrow. “How dangerous?”

Qi Yan pondered seriously for a moment before defining, “Dangerous enough to die at any moment.”

Though that was what he said, there was barely a hint of urgency.

Like a joke uttered by an immature teenager.

Lu Fenghan’s black eyes, deep as a bottomless pool, didn’t express any opinion on Qi Yan’s response. Instead, he confirmed, “Two years?”

After a few seconds of silence, Qi Yan nodded. “Yes, only two years.”

The pen that he had been holding was suddenly snatched away by Lu Fenghan. With the pen tip gliding over the paper, the man swiftly signed his name, then handed the paper and pen back, raising an eyebrow, “Your turn.”

As Qi Yan took over, the blank space reserved for Party B now bore the inscription of “Lu Fenghan” in bold strokes, the handwriting mirroring the man himself—bold, assertive, with strokes sharp enough to cut through metal.

Carefully, stroke by stroke, Qi Yan penned his name behind Party A. His expression was earnest, almost overly cautious.

Lu Fenghan stood by his side, peering down as he wrote, “Qi Yan? Your surname is uncommon. What’s your relation to the Leto’s Qi family?”

Qi Yan folded the paper meticulously, placing it into a secure box as he answered Lu Fenghan’s inquiry, “Qi Wenshao is my father.”

Having gained a rough understanding of Qi Yan’s identity, Lu Fenghan quickly slipped into his role, continuing, “So, what do we do now? Do you have any plans?”

Adjusting to the presence of another person beside him, Qi Yan outlined his routine, “I’ll be reading for three hours starting now, without leaving the house. Feel free to make yourself at home.”

Watching Qi Yan settle behind the expansive desk, swiftly flipping through pages on his e-reader, Lu Fenghan remained seated on the sofa, dutifully fulfilling the clause of “at all times and in all places” from the contract.

Outside, the daylight illuminated the surroundings, the silence occasionally punctuated by the sound of wind or the roar of patrolling aircrafts. In a fleeting moment, the violent explosions that shattered the starship array, the countless dots disappearing from radar screens, the wound piercing through his abdomen, and even the plight of returning to Leto after countless light-years at the frontline, all became mere figments of his solitary musings.

In that moment, Qi Yan, engrossed in complex calculations, paused, as if sensing something, and glanced towards Lu Fenghan.

He sat slouched, eyes cast downward, expressionless, seemingly lost in thought. Yet, the air centered around him grew heavy and thick with tension.

Qi Yan withdrew his gaze.

An hour later, Qi Yan set down his pen, rose from his seat, and walked silently across the carpet to stand before Lu Fenghan.

Although the treatment pod could swiftly mend wounds, the injuries would still leave an impact on the body. For instance, Lu Fenghan’s lips were slightly pale, his spirit weary. He had already dozed off against the sofa, his alertness slipping away in his slumber.

Without that cold, piercing gaze, and the natural aura of dominance, Qi Yan’s scrutinizing gaze grew unrestrained.

The man’s brows and eyes were deeply carved, his nose straight and sharp, his jawline cold and crisp. When awake, his speech carried a lazy, indifferent air of recklessness, but now asleep, his lips were tightly drawn, emanating a sharpness akin to a blade.

Qi Yan raised his hand, leaning closer, his index finger tracing a path through the air, half a palm’s distance away, slowly outlining along the brow bone, the corners of the eyes, the bridge of the nose, and the edges of the lips.

His typically aloof demeanor shattered, giving way to a faint smile at the corner of his lips, as if a cluster of light had gathered in his eyes.

Unnoticed by Qi Yan, Lu Fenghan’s fingers, concealed by his side, tensed momentarily as Qi Yan drew near, then relaxed gradually under his touch.

Confirming that Lu Fenghan was deeply asleep and unlikely to wake for a while, Qi Yan hesitated for a moment, bit his lip, and quietly curled up on the sofa. Within the range of Lu Fenghan’s breath, he greedily took a long breath, hugged his knees, curled up, relaxed his eyebrows, and closed his eyes.

Twenty minutes later, the breathing of the person beside him grew steady. Lu Fenghan opened his eyes, his gaze falling upon Qi Yan.

He had a gut feeling that the other party had ulterior motives, but couldn’t quite discern them at the moment.

However, a faint smile tugged at the corner of Lu Fenghan’s lips—a game’s beginning always hints at its nature.

When Lu Fenghan woke up, his hand instinctively grazed the healed wound—though the injury had closed, the muscles in his waist and abdomen still throbbed with a dull ache.

The space behind the desk was vacant, his employer nowhere to be found. Lu Fenghan stood up and headed outside. As he descended the stairs, the sound of news broadcasts drifted over:

“… latest updates from the Alliance’s military: Since the catastrophic defeat of the Expeditionary Force on July 22nd in the Southern Cross Region, the remaining Expeditionary Force have been in a standoff with the rebel fleets for several days, resulting in a stalemate….”

Upon hearing this, Lu Fenghan’s steps faltered momentarily before quickly resuming their normal rhythm.

In the kitchen.

Qi Yan plucked a red mist fruit from the freshly delivered fruits.

His personal terminal on his wrist chimed. Qi Yan glanced at the screen displaying the terminal number before answering the call.

After a moment of silence, the voice on the other end spoke first, belonging to a middle-aged man, “You arrived in Leto three days ago. Why haven’t you come home?”

Qi Yan examined the mist fruit in his hand, its skin thick. After a moment’s thought, he grabbed a fruit knife and began to clumsily and patiently peel it.

Faint footsteps descending the stairs could be heard from outside. Lu Fenghan had woken up.

The speaker’s patience began to wear thin. “You didn’t live at home for over a decade. Now that you’re back in Leto, you don’t even deign to come home? Do you even consider me your father? And…”

His tone softened, replaced with a hint of pride. “Your brother got into Turan Academy. You might not know, but Turan is the best school in Leto. He’s always had excellent grades. I’m planning a celebration banquet in the next few days, and since you’re back, remember to attend and celebrate with your brother.”

After waiting for half a minute without receiving a response from Qi Yan, Qi Wenshao’s tone turned stern again. “What, not talking again?”

Qi Yan paused for a few seconds before calmly stating, “There’s nothing to say to you.” His voice was cool.

Apparently striking a nerve, Qi Wenshao’s tone lowered in rebuke, “You’re just like your mother, both monsters!”

Meanwhile, Qi Yan’s hand trembled, and the knife nicked his finger. The pain shot through his nerves, winding its way to his heart.

Two drops of blood dripped onto the floor.

The call was disconnected.

Qi Yan stared at the wound on his finger, lost in thought.

Like his mother… a monster?

The footsteps outside gradually drew near.

Setting down the fruit knife and the red mist fruit, Qi Yan turned to find Lu Fenghan.

In the news footage, a sternly uniformed military spokesperson was being interviewed by reporters. When asked about the rebels, the spokesperson replied gravely, “Two days ago, the rebels updated their hit list once again, posting it online for all to see. This is a continued provocation against the Alliance! The military vows to ensure the safety of the targeted individuals and thwart the treacherous schemes of the rebels…”

Seeing Qi Yan emerge from the kitchen, Lu Fenghan raised an eyebrow. “What were you doing just now?”

“I got injured.”

Lu Fenghan’s brow furrowed instantly.

Coming down from upstairs, he found no signs of a struggle. Besides the sound of running water earlier, there was no other disturbance. And where he stood was only a few steps away from the kitchen. He couldn’t believe that anyone could attack Qi Yan right under his nose.

He wasn’t that incompetent.

“Who hurt you?”

Qi Yan extended his injured finger to Lu Fenghan, stating matter-of-factly, “I was cutting fruit, and the fruit knife injured me. I need it bandaged.”

“Cutting fruit? Why not use the household robot?” Lu Fenghan asked casually, frowning as he looked at the hand Qi Yan offered.

The hand was beautiful, like an art sculpture Lu Fenghan had seen during his school days—symmetrical joints, as white as frost. On the slender fingertips, there was a tiny cut, glaring red against the pale skin.

Rarely hesitant, Lu Fenghan asked uncertainly, “What needs to be bandaged?”

Qi Yan found this question odd. “I’m bleeding. I need it bandaged.”

Lu Fenghan finally understood Qi Yan’s earlier claim of “dangerous enough to die at any moment.”

Now he knew a simple cut needed to be bandaged.

But seriously, could this even be called a wound? It was practically healed with just a blink of an eye!

Seeing Qi Yan looking at him somewhat pleadingly, and recalling the contract he had just signed—five million star coins per year—Lu Fenghan compromised. “Where are the medicine and bandages?”

Qi Yan: “In that cabinet, third drawer from the right.”

Originally, it was the household robot’s job to fetch the medicine, but Qi Yan seemed to dislike using robots. Fortunately, Lu Fenghan had spent years on the front lines, drifting through space with the starship, devoid of such luxuries. While he could be assigned a household robot, he was accustomed to doing everything himself.

The drawer was stocked with a wide variety of medicines, from common to rare, including several kinds of medicine for near-death resuscitation. Plus, with the treatment pod in the upstairs bedroom, Lu Fenghan thought, even if this person was as fragile as glass, he should still be able to live safely and securely.

Quite precious with his life, indeed.

After spraying a thick layer of healing gel on Qi Yan’s wound, Lu Fenghan patiently wrapped several layers of white bandage around Qi Yan’s fingers.

As he wrapped, he couldn’t help but disdain himself. To think he stooped so low as to use gel and bandages for even the slightest mosquito bite!

Finally, he tied a perfectly neat and standard bowknot.

Lu Fenghan admired his handiwork. “How does it look?”

Qi Yan withdrew his finger, carefully examining the small white bowknot on its tip, turning it over several times. “It looks very nice.”

“You have good taste.” After the praise, Lu Fenghan unconsciously flicked his fingertip, inadvertently recalling the sensation of holding Qi Yan’s finger just moments ago.

It was delicate, smooth, and a bit soft.

Completely different from the rough, calloused hands of everyone else he knew.

If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))

<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>

2 thoughts on “Limited Ambiguity Chapter 2”

Leave a comment