A Lucky Coin

A Lucky Coin

Chapter 14 - Chapter 14

This was the first time Yan Hang heard about his mother, but these things had been weighing on his father's heart for over a decade.

It had been so long that he seemed to no longer know how to express it, only able to keep taking big gulps of alcohol until he finally collapsed on the table and fell asleep.

Yan Hang sat beside the table, staring blankly at the dishes and the empty liquor bottle in front of his father.

This "chat" lasted less than half an hour in total.

But he felt a great emptiness inside.

He knew his mother had died, but he never imagined it happened in this way.

So sudden, without any warning or mental preparation, just like an extra with a fleeting, meaningless appearance in a movie whose face you can't even see clearly.

A somewhat overly simple accident.

Aside from the closest relatives, after more than a decade, it likely wouldn't be remembered by more than a few people even if it remained an unsolved case with the perpetrator never caught.

Occasionally brought up, no one could comprehend that there were still people in this world who had suffered heavily because of it for over ten years.

His father said that after it happened, he was taken to live with his maternal grandparents, and brought back to his father's side when he was four.

"I practically snatched you back," his father said. "I should have taken you back sooner."

Yan Hang had no memory of this period. Early childhood memories are usually like dreams, often only preserved bit by bit with the prompting of parents saying "when you were little", "when you were three", "when you were five".

But his father never gave such prompts, so naturally he no longer remembered.

However, Yan Hang felt those memories were not particularly happy ones.

When his maternal grandparents were mentioned, he even felt a subtle resistance towards these two relatives who had cared for him for two years.

His father wasn't sleeping soundly, occasionally opening his eyes to glance hazily in his direction before closing them again to continue sleeping.

Yan Hang picked up his chopsticks and ate up all the cold dishes while drinking.

"Raised a pig," his father mumbled.

"Go sleep in your room," Yan Hang said. "Sleeping hunched over like that must be uncomfortable."

"Our crown prince is so good," his father patted his hand a couple times. "So good."

"Things being as they are, stop trying to flatter," Yan Hang laughed.

"So good," his father's voice lowered. "I ruined you..."

Yan Hang frowned, stood up and pulled his father up by the arm, half-carrying him into the bedroom. "Get some sleep."

"Am I very selfish?" his father continued muttering as he lay on the bed. "I also thought forget it, for my son's sake...but I can't forget, she's right beside me...right beside me..."

His father clenched his fists. "Her hands were ice cold when I grabbed them...I've let you both down...I've regretted it my whole life, I wish I never met your mother, never got married, when you said you didn't want to go to school I shouldn't have given in..."

Yan Hang sat on the edge of the bed, waiting until his father fell asleep and stopped mumbling before getting up to turn off the light and returning to the living room to wash all the dishes in the kitchen.

Usually when he was in a bad mood, things like washing dishes would definitely be put off until the next day, but tonight's meal was so depressing that he wanted to wash up quickly and erase any traces of unpleasantness.

After showering and returning to his room, it was much earlier than his normal bedtime, but he felt a bit sleepy.

Maybe it was the alcohol. He often drank with his father but rarely like this, finishing two bottles in less than an hour. He felt a bit dizzy now.

His last lucid memory was picking up his phone to glance at today's emoji on WeChat Moments.

But he didn't even remember what the emoji was before falling asleep.

Yan Hang didn't like dreaming. When he slept poorly, he would have a lot of dreams, a messy mix like watching a dozen melodramatic shows spliced together. The key thing was, after waking up he couldn't remember a single frame.

And he would feel exhausted, as if he hadn't slept at all.

But this was out of his control, even on a night like tonight when he felt he would sleep very deeply the moment he closed his eyes as if he had passed out.

He still dreamed.

An older woman, and an older man.

The two people seemed to be shrouded in a gray fog.

The woman kept crying, and would choke him while crying. He couldn't hear the sound of the sobs, and didn't feel the suffocating sensation of his neck being strangled...after all, it was a dream.

But that fear was very clear.

The man said I don't even want to look at him, then turned his head to stare at him. I don't even want to see you.

Then the scene changed.

You should be the ones to die.

It was all broken, scattered snippets.

Swaying figures, voices too faint to hear as if torn apart in the wind, scenes flashing by like an incomplete stage play.

Everything disappeared the moment Yan Hang opened his eyes and came to his senses. The surrounding chaos that was there a second before he opened his eyes instantly retreated far away.

So far it was like a dream from many years ago, the colors faded, the sounds gone, the feelings becoming hazy.

Yan Hang rubbed his eyes with a furrowed brow.

Grabbing his phone, he saw it was half an hour earlier than his usual wake up time.

He sat on the edge of the bed in a daze. Those dreams that had already faded so much a sigh could blow them away left him still feeling a bit disoriented. It took a while before he jumped off the bed.

Slipping on his shoes, he first ran to his father's room. Yesterday he had left both their doors open, wanting to listen for any movement from his dad.

The room was empty, the blanket on the bed not folded.

Yan Hang felt a rush of nervousness. He turned and walked towards the living room, calling out: "Old Yan!"

"In the bathroom!" his father's voice came from the toilet.

"What are you doing in there?" Yan Hang asked, inexplicably feeling relieved.

"What kind of question is that? You think I'm eating breakfast in here?" his father said. "You really want me to answer honestly?"

"What do you want for breakfast?" Yan Hang asked.

"Can you wait until I come out to ask?" his father said.

"Sorry," Yan Hang chuckled and walked to the window, sitting on the sill.

It was earlier than usual. He could hear the lively chirping of birds in the big tree outside.

That sound, along with the people coming and going outside, slowly allowed him to relax as he leaned against the window frame, staring blankly.

Today he didn't see the student who passes by on the way to school again. The crab probably came back so he can't walk this way anymore, and had to adjust his route to school based on the crab's crawling path.

"Are you going to the music festival?" Dad stood behind him at some point without him noticing.

"Huh?" Yan Hang looked back at his dad. "The music festival that the kid said he knew the location of the other day?"

"Yeah," Dad said. "If you're going, take me with you."

"You want to join in on the fun too?" Yan Hang laughed. "Alright then, I'll bring you along."

"Do I need to prepare an outfit that fits the theme?" Dad asked.

"Please maintain your normal handsome uncle image," Yan Hang said. "Besides, that first year either wears his school uniform or that undersized sports outfit. If you dress too uniquely, I'm afraid he won't be able to handle your roasting."

Dad smiled and squeezed his shoulder. "Son."

"Mm." Yan Hang responded.

"I love you." Dad said.

Yan Hang paused and looked at him.

"Give me some face," Dad tutted. "Where's your response?"

"Dad, I love you too." Yan Hang said.

"Can we have the baked rice a bit earlier?" Dad said. "You got up so early today, there's not enough time to fill if we don't make the baked rice."

"...First thing in the morning and you want me to make you baked rice? I still need to cook the rice first." Yan Hang stared at him. "You got all sappy just for this?"

Dad sat down on the sofa happily laughing.

Yan Hang stared at him for a while, then finally jumped down from the windowsill, took ingredients out of the fridge and went into the kitchen.

Dad seemed to have returned to his usual state, the painful memories from last night apparently dissipated along with the effects of the alcohol.

But Yan Hang didn't find the relief and clarity he wanted.

Are you searching, or are you hiding?

What do you want to do, or what have you already done?

And what were those things in the dream?

The answer to one question pulled out even more doubts.

And now he no longer had the courage to ask again.

During self-study today, the teacher came around for a bit then left, and the classroom gradually became lively.

The first year student was sprawled on his desk doing homework. His deskmate was chatting happily with the students in front and behind, occasionally bumping into the desk. His handwriting was already as messy as if it had been struck by lightning, and with the desk shaking, the lightning wouldn't even bother striking anymore.

He glanced around, lowered his head to put his pen into his desk, and walked out of the classroom.

This week they rotated seats and he moved to a spot near the back door. This spot was great, he could enter and exit the classroom silently. Plus with his skills, every time he left it was as if he had turned invisible.

Of course, even if someone saw him, no one would pay any attention.

The side of the teaching building was the school wall. Few people went there. He usually just went there to hang out, sitting on a large rock that felt very comfortable on the butt.

Usually he would just space out or grind rocks to play with.

But today was a bit different. Yan Hang said he liked that little black rock and wanted to tie it to his ankle. He suddenly felt pressured.

Actually, he would grind rocks when he had nothing to do. Dad even gave him a small toolkit, but Grandma sold it. Luckily he took out a small file and a small drill bit to play with at the time, so they didn't get sold.

Now he usually grinds them on the ground and then uses the small file to touch up the details.

He had ground many rocks, black ones, white ones, red ones, yellow ones, and patterned ones. There were round ones, polygonal ones, and even flower-shaped and heart-shaped ones. Actually, this black one today wasn't the best looking. He had ground it casually out of boredom.

If he had known earlier that Yan Hang liked it, he would have made a more complex shape.

It had been two days since Yan Hang said he liked it. He had to finish the little rock today.

He hadn't been taking the route past Yan Hang's house to go to school, so he hadn't run into Yan Hang. But Yan Hang also hadn't contacted him at all.

The first year student was a bit anxious. He didn't know how to maintain this kind of "friendship", after all he didn't have much experience.

He could only quickly finish the rock and then go find Yan Hang.

He took out the small file from his pocket, trimmed the edges of the rock, then took out a piece of fine sandpaper and started polishing.

Although the shape was too simple and not good-looking enough, the texture of this rock was very nice, especially hard, and the black was very pure. After polishing it would look very beautiful with a coat of clear varnish.

Oh right, he still needed to drill a hole...

The phone vibrated in his pocket. The first year took out his phone, feeling a bit surprised. Who would send a message during class time?

No one sends him messages even when it's not class time.

The phone took a while to sluggishly open the message for him.

It was Yan Hang.

-Are you leading the way to the music festival tonight?

The first year smiled. He thought that the music festival mentioned that day was just an offhand remark. He didn't expect Yan Hang to really want to go.

-Yeah, are you going?

-Who would you take if I don't go?

-Then I'll come find you after dinner?

-Tell your family, come eat dinner here. My dad is also going, we can go together after eating.


The first year suddenly felt a bit excited, like the excitement of going on a spring outing in elementary school when a classmate would take the initiative to say they wanted to be in a group with him.

Although that classmate stopped paying attention to him after finishing his fried rice.

Dad was home today, so he could just go back and let Dad know.

Then he could go out and play with Yan Hang and Uncle Yan!

Go out and play!

He couldn't even find a companion to go on walks with, and now he could go to a music festival with people to join in on the fun.

His hands were even shaking a bit as he polished the rock.

"The poor little thing doesn't even walk down this road after school in the afternoon anymore." Dad stood by the window looking out.

"Afraid of running into the recently returned hoodlum next door." Yan Hang was dicing beef in the kitchen, and still had to mince shrimp paste in a bit.

"Ah," Dad sighed, lit a cigarette and continued looking outside. "That's why I always say, of all the people coming and going, how many don't have a story."

"Old Yan! The water is boiling," Yan Hang called out. "Blanch the chicken wings in water first."

"Alright." Dad held his cigarette in his mouth, came in then went back out, put down the cigarette before coming in again and poured the chicken wings into the pot.

"The prep work is pretty much done right?" Dad asked.

"Mm," Yan Hang nodded. "When he comes we can start cooking, it'll be ready to eat in twenty minutes."

Dad stood beside, after blanching the chicken wings he scooped them all out and put them in a big bowl: "Do you get along well with Chu Yi?"

"Didn't you chat with him before?" Yan Hang said.

"I think he's just a little brat," Dad leaned against the counter, "You two are about the same age... are you?"

"He's probably fourteen or fifteen." Yan Hang said.

"Looking at his size, standing next to you he looks like an elementary school student." Dad laughed.

"The other day, who knows who was telling an elementary school student that I'm 1.4 meters tall." Yan Hang glanced at him.

"Holding a grudge," Dad tsk-ed, thought for a bit and asked softly, "Do you get along well?"

"It's alright, at least there's no awkward silence, he's quite funny," Yan Hang started mincing shrimp paste, "I haven't really interacted with others like this before, so no comparison."

Dad didn't say anything. After a while, he picked up the pepper and looked at it: "Let me grind it into powder for you?"

"Mm." Yan Hang responded.

The prep work was all done, neatly arranged on the counter. Yan Hang took out his phone, snapped a photo, and posted it on Weibo.

When he sat back down in the living room, Dad was watching the news again.

Yan Hang looked at his phone while listening to the news, not knowing what kind of information Dad could glean from what details in what news.

Until the news ended and the weather forecast began, Yan Hang still couldn't figure out anything.

"Why hasn't Chu Yi come yet? Didn't he say he would come over right after school?" Dad looked at the time, "School's been out for over an hour now, right?"

"Yeah," Yan Hang was stunned for a moment. He had been listening intently to the news and didn't notice the time, "Let me ask him."

He sent Chu Yi a message, but after nearly ten minutes, Chu Yi still hadn't replied.

Yan Hang remembered that day when Chu Yi didn't go home for lunch, he seemed a bit flustered and anxious when he ran back. Suddenly he was a bit worried that Chu Yi might have been punished by his grandma for not eating at home again today.

Thinking of that white-faced old lady with caterpillar eyebrows, Yan Hang couldn't help frowning.

He directly dialed Chu Yi's number.

"What's up?" Dad looked at him.

"He's not replying to messages," Yan Hang listened to the dial tone on the phone, waiting until it automatically hung up, "and not answering the phone..."

"He couldn't have run into the hoodlum gang on his way here, right?" Dad said.

"...What are the odds of that?" Yan Hang was stunned, "He hasn't been taking that route these past few days."

"There's no way he can avoid that route to come eat here." Dad looked at him.

Yan Hang didn't make a sound, exchanged a glance with Dad, and the two stood up at the same time.

"I'll go, it's fine." Yan Hang said.

"I want to join in the excitement." Dad said.

"Yan Hang," Liang Bing held his phone, looking at the screen, "Who is this person? How come I've never heard of someone like this?"

Chu Yi stood in the corner, the ache from his ears to his neck hurt so fiercely he could barely stand it.

"Hey," a person next to him leaned over to take a look, "You can even recognize this character 'Yan'?"

"Yan Zi Shi Chu*! Haven't you learned that?" Liang Bing said, "Illiterate!"

*T/N: A classic literary piece.

There's also Yan Jidao.

Chu Yi reckoned Liang Bing didn't know who Yan Jidao was. Yan Shu was more famous, he might at least know of a Yan Shu...

"Hey!" Liang Bing shouted, "Stop playing dead, I'm talking to you!"

Alongside this shout was a rock hitting Chu Yi's head.

The rock wasn't big, much smaller than a brick, and Liang Bing didn't use much force when he threw it, but his head still hurt.

"Damn, playing with this guy is no fun at all," a person leaning against the wall said, "Even throwing a sandbag would make some noise, this one doesn't even make a peep... Are you mute?"


I'm a damn stutterer.

Are you an idiot?

"Let me hear if there's any sound." Liang Bing threw his phone on the ground and walked over.

Chu Yi felt heartbroken. With the phone thrown like that, it would be a bit difficult to communicate by telepathy anymore.

"Make a sound!" Liang Bing came over and kicked towards his abdomen.

Chu Yi quickly turned his body slightly and lowered his arm to block. Liang Bing's kick landed on his arm.

"Fuck!" Liang Bing cursed and swung a fist towards his head, "Make a sound!"

Chu Yi raised his arm to block again.

Liang Bing had something in his hand. When this punch landed on his arm, there was a piercing pain.

"You're not going to make a sound, are you!" Liang Bing grabbed him and slammed him against the wall.

Chu Yi crashed into the wall, seeing stars. Immediately after, several punches landed on his stomach and back. Liang Bing hit hard, nearly knocking the wind out of him.

"You," Liang Bing tilted his head towards someone beside him, "go take his pants off for me. His grandma loves being topless, her precious grandson must love being bare-assed."


Every chapter whispers secrets; every coffee sip fuels the journey. Let's embark on another chapter, powered by everyone's support! >.<

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