Sui Yang left at seven o’clock without telling him where he went. Xie Min thought he might be meeting someone named Zhuo Ping. (This idea was just because Xie Min was bored, not because he cared much.)
After spending a few days inside the little bunny, Xie Min watched all the movies he wanted to see but hadn’t had time for. He got tired of grand scenes and exciting music, so he decided to watch a nature documentary.
While Xie Min was watching seals rolling on the ice, Sui Yang came back home.
When Sui Yang entered, he didn’t go straight to the living room. Instead, he put a small bag on the counter next to the clear glass kettle. Although Xie Min was small and had to make an effort, he managed to turn his head and raise his rabbit head just enough to see Sui Yang’s actions. The paper bag was white, and it seemed to have handwritten words on it, but Xie Min couldn’t read what it said.
Sui Yang put down the bag, turned around, and Xie Min quickly turned his head back, pretending to be focused on the TV, making sure Sui Yang didn’t catch him peeking. Of course, he was just curious because he was bored and took a casual look, afraid that Sui Yang would think he cared too much, so he hid it.
Sui Yang sat down next to Xie Min without saying anything and started watching the documentary, maintaining a distance of about twenty centimeters between them.
Xie Min noticed that since he returned to his original body once and then entered the little bunny’s body again, Sui Yang’s behavior had become somewhat strange. He no longer woke Xie Min up in the morning or called his name for no reason, and he made fewer boring jokes.
However, it wasn’t easy for Xie Min to ask. During their short time together, Xie Min believed their relationship should be kept simple. Interfering too much would harm his mental well-being.
When the seal scene ended, Xie Min suddenly remembered and called Sui Yang’s name.
Sui Yang slightly lowered his head and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Do you think Master Yi can figure out why I went and came back?” Xie Min hesitantly asked, “When will I be able to go back completely? I have a few questions I want to ask him. Can you help me arrange another meeting with him?”
Sui Yang said, “Sure,” and asked Xie Min to think about the questions while he organized the wording.
“But it’s late today,” he discussed with Xie Min, “Is tomorrow okay?”
Sui Yang’s speaking manner was very businesslike, as if he wanted to establish clear boundaries.
Xie Min responded with an “Um” and said, “Thank you.” He also tried to move away a little to appear innocent, but before he could even start moving, he was lifted into the air and firmly placed in Sui Yang’s palm.
“The little bunny gazes into the distance,” Sui Yang said politely, speaking garbage.
“Are you sick or something?” Xie Min scolded him but laughed.
Strangely, the documentary became less boring, and the visuals became more vivid.
Xie Min was squatting in Sui Yang’s hand, discussing the questions he wanted to ask Master Yi while watching.
As the documentary neared its end, there was a scene with tropical birds dancing together, filled with lively energy. Xie Min eagerly tapped along to the music in Sui Yang’s palm with his rabbit hind legs.
Sui Yang said he was a ballet bunny, making Xie Min immediately stopped tapping.
The next day, Xie Min woke up naturally, but when he opened his eyes, he noticed something white covering his eyes.
He tried to push it away with his rabbit front paws but couldn’t reach. He kicked with his hind legs but still couldn’t remove it. He had no choice but to bounce up and down, rolling around on the bed, but the thing wouldn’t come off.
He heard Sui Yang’s voice echoing in the bedroom, coming from the speaker of a camera. Sui Yang’s voice carried a noticeable hint of amusement. “Sorry, I left you a note. It seems I used too strong an adhesive.”
“I wrote that I went to work and the remote control is on the blanket. You can use it yourself,” Sui Yang explained.
“Even though I can’t see anything now,” Xie Min said, “thank you for being so considerate.”
“I’m sorry,” Sui Yang said, “I didn’t expect the glue to be so strong.”
“I’ll be back soon,” he added, “I won’t stick it on next time.”
“If you want to stick something, don’t put it on the head.” Xie Min leaned forward, shaking his head and rubbing against the bedsheet. “Putting it on the head makes it look like a zombie.”
“No worries, trust me, you’re still Xiao Tu.” Sui Yang pretended to comfort him, but he was still laughing.
The note finally loosened, and Xie Min kicked it and tore it off, gaining hard-earned freedom.
He turned his head towards the top right corner where the camera was, and Sui Yang praised him for being clever. He said he would come home after lunch and work from home in the afternoon. Sui Yang also informed Xie Min that Master Yi had called him in the morning and would provide more details when he returned.
Xie Min didn’t feel like watching TV. He hopped to the bedside, pressing his ears against the power switch, and opened the bedroom curtains. Then he jumped back onto the bedsheet, basking in the sunlight.
Counting the days he had spent at Sui Yang’s home, nearly ten had passed. He had been out of work for too long, feeling a deep sense of emptiness.
After an unknown amount of time lying there, the bedroom door opened as Sui Yang walked in wearing a suit. He neither rushed nor dragged his steps as he approached Xie Min.
Xie Min lay in the center of the bed. Sui Yang bent down, placing one hand on the bedsheet and poking Xie Min’s bunny belly with the other.
“What are you doing?” Xie Min swung his upper limbs, missing Sui Yang. “Stop touching me randomly.”
Suddenly, Sui Yang smiled, making Xie Min feel like he was unexpectedly cheerful. He said to Xie Min, “No, just checking if Xiao Tu is asleep.”
Xie Min had long given up on arguing with Sui Yang about how he referred to him. Sui Yang’s sudden proximity made him feel flustered. He rolled over and sat up.”I’m not asleep. What did the Master say?”
Sui Yang picked him up and sat on the edge of the bed, looking down at him, locking eyes.
Xie Min couldn’t help but feel that Sui Yang’s mindset was really good. Facing a toy rabbit, he could still maintain a serious expression.
“I told the Master that my friend suddenly woke up and then fell into a coma again,” Sui Yang informed him. “The Master told me that it’s likely the soul attempting to return, but due to the intense pain, it came back. The frequency of such back-and-forth won’t be high, probably in the near future. As long as the pain can be endured during the next return, there won’t be any more changes.”
“Is that so?” Xie Min recalled, “But when I went back, it was so painful. I suspect I won’t be able to bear it next time either.”
“Is it that painful?” Sui Yang asked in a low voice.
“It feels like all my bones are broken,” Xie Min described. “I can’t even move my fingers.”
Sui Yang remained silent. Xie Min continued, “I thought I didn’t get hurt badly. But I can’t stand being this little bunny for much longer. It’s very boring.”
“Of course, there’s nothing to do at all.”
Sui Yang’s hand blocked a bit of sunlight, with the top half of the little bunny basking in the sun while the bottom half remained in shadow.
Xie Min looked up at Sui Yang, who had no expression on his face. His suit was neatly pressed, the shirt was snow-white, and he wore a blue and black striped tie with subtle textured lines. He looked so handsome, like a portrait of a successful person.
They locked eyes for a moment before Sui Yang asked Xie Min, “Is there something you want to do? I can accompany you. Coincidentally, I’m bored too.”
“You don’t have to bother, aren’t you busy?”
“Busy, but bored. So I’m looking for something else to do.”
“I don’t have anything in mind,” Xie Min honestly replied. “I’m just used to working and not accustomed to resting.”
Sui Yang looked at him for a few seconds, then raised his hand and lightly touched Xie Min’s little bunny face. Suddenly, he proposed, “How about I take you on an outing?”
“What?” Xie Min genuinely laughed. “Brother, it’s winter now.”
“The temperature in Yuanguang isn’t low. We can still go on an outing in winter,” Sui Yang told him. “Have you not been here much?”
“No, I haven’t,” Xie Min somehow didn’t want to look at Sui Yang’s face anymore. He lowered his head to glance at his front paws, the small claws bathed in sunlight, shiny pink plastic. Aside from being a bit short, there was nothing else wrong. “I’ve only had layovers here twice, never been to the downtown area.”
“Have you considered investing here?” Sui Yang asked him. “In the past few years, Yuhai’s businessmen loved coming here. Why hasn’t Mr. Xie come?”
“Haha,” Xie Min forced a laugh. “Let’s forget about it.”
Perhaps Sui Yang no longer minded, which led him to ask such a question, but Xie Min did mind. Xie Min was narrow-minded and calculative. If it weren’t for this unfortunate turn of events, being forced to stay by Sui Yang’s side, he wouldn’t even have the chance to see the words “Yuanguang.”
“Do you want to visit Mount Xun?” Sui Yang suddenly asked him. “I used to go there often when I first came to Yuanguang.”
Xie Min wasn’t familiar with geography and had no knowledge about Yuanguang. He had never even heard of this mountain. But since he had nothing to do, felt annoyed watching TV, and his mood wasn’t great, he said, “Sure.”
After hearing that, Sui Yang immediately put him down and went to change into sportswear, saying they would leave right away.
If Xie Min knew that Sui Yang would take a black thread from a gift package at home, tie it around his little bunny belly, and hang him around his neck, he would never agree to go to Mount Xun with Sui Yang.
He dangled back and forth on Sui Yang’s chest, his tail brushing against the gray sportswear. He dared not kick his legs randomly, and his front paws firmly held onto the thread that bound him.
“This way, you can see clearly,” Sui Yang showed no signs of anger. Standing in front of the mirror, he showed Xie Min his appearance, wearing a falsely affectionate expression of caring for the little bunny. “I’ve thought of many ways.”
Looking at the mirror alone, Xie Min might have thought Sui Yang hanging a plastic bunny didn’t look out of place. However, the one hanging in the air was Xie Min himself, and he couldn’t accept it.
“Mount Xun is a bit of a walk,” Sui Yang carried Xie Min downstairs and chose a sports car. He opened the convertible top and said, “I can’t bear to let you miss the scenery.”
Xie Min was very small and afraid of being heard when scolding others, he had no choice but to endure quietly.
Mount Xun wasn’t a tall mountain. Sui Yang took Xie Min for a ride, slowly driving to the parking lot halfway up the mountain. After parking the car, he walked up the trail.
There were many local residents climbing the mountain, some using walking sticks due to poor physical fitness.
The vegetation on the mountain was flourishing, and the air was probably fresh, although Xie Min couldn’t smell it.
As they continued walking up, the number of people decreased. By the time they reached the viewpoint at the mountain top, the sky had already darkened, and there was no one around.
From the viewpoint, they could see the entire city of Yuanguang. The city lights were already on, and the complex network of highways was filled with car lights. The orange sunset and the dark gray sky created a wide expanse.
“Isn’t it nice?” Sui Yang flicked Xie Min with his finger and asked him softly, “I haven’t been here in a long time.”
Xie Min didn’t originally intend to ask, but he felt that he was different when it came to Sui Yang and couldn’t help but ask him, “Did you come alone?”
“Hmm,” Sui Yang said. Xie Min couldn’t see his expression, only hearing his calm tone of voice. “When I first came to Yuanguang, I sometimes felt a lot of pressure. My mother and grandmother live near the factory, so when I couldn’t sleep in the early morning, I come here to climb the mountain.”
Xie Min didn’t know how to respond. After all, he had almost never thought about what happened around the time when Sui Yang came to Yuanguang.
For Sui Yang, it was the past, but for him, it was difficult. He couldn’t be as casual as Sui Yang when talking about those times. Only by deliberately ignoring it, could he barely maintain the adult facade that he had long moved past.
“I didn’t mean anything by bringing it up,” perhaps sensing his silence, Sui Yang said simply, “I thought you might get bored, but I personally enjoy it. I find Mount Xun’s scenery quite nice, so I wanted to show it to you.”
The climbers had all descended the mountain, and no one else came up. They silently watched Yuanguang enter the night in the darkness.
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