BXXD Chapter 4: Why did you turn into this type of person

Ran Qingzhuang’s lips caressed the rim of my ear. In a voice that only the two of us could hear, he said, “Don’t move.”

My struggling, which arose from the excessive shock caused by him biting my neck, immediately stilled. I attempted to relax my body, but I couldn’t stop my trembling at all. For a brief moment, I even wondered if I had triggered epilepsy as a secondary disease.

“Yao—Yao-ge?” The blinding beam of the flashlight pierced straight through the doorway and froze on our faces.

I averted my face slightly, evading the bright light.

“Remove it.” Ran Qingzhuang kept a tight grip on my hands, but his tone of voice dropped sharply and abruptly in temperature as he turned towards the people standing outside the door.

The flashlight shook a bit before it shifted away frantically.

“Pardon me, Yao-ge, we… we didn’t know you were…”

Before he could finish, someone next to him cut in.

“What are you doing here?” This person’s voice was hoarse and frigid. It roughly generated the illusion of a snake flicking its tongue out as it slithered across dried leaves, and it belonged to the same person who ordered the door to be forced open earlier.

I slanted my gaze over a little. By the faint glow of the flashlight, I recognized the voice’s owner: it was the baldie who had followed Young Master Jin into the banquet hall earlier, side-by-side with Ran Qingzhuang.

“What am I doing here?” Ran Qingzhuang chuckled lowly. The tremors produced by his laugh were transmitted distinctly to me through the places where our bodies were touching. “What do you think I’m doing here?”

I made a subconscious attempt to free my arms, only for Ran Qingzhuang to press them back down without batting an eye. His grip tightened even more, causing my wrists to ache dully.

“Mm…” I couldn’t help but let out a pained moan, though I quickly bit down on my lip and swallowed all the sounds back down.

The baldie likely misunderstood something, and there was a noticeable delay in his response. Then, in a surprised but derisive tone of voice, he said, “It’s been so many years, yet I never even knew you liked men. Not bad, Lao Yao.”

Their relationship was difficult to understand, and they didn’t seem to get along very well. Through that short exchange, I could tell that there was mutual hostility between them.

“I make sure to inform She-ge of everything She-ge should be aware of. As for what She-ge doesn’t have to know, there’s no need to worry about it. Checking rooms so late, did something happen?” Ran Qingzhuang changed the subject.

“Oh, it’s nothing much. We spotted a rat that was probably trying to sneak into the main residence, so I did a check just in case.” The baldie leaned next to the door; he didn’t seem to have any intention of leaving. “Don’t mind me, you should continue.”

How were we supposed to continue? Disregarding the fact that Ran Qingzhuang and I weren’t in that kind of relationship at all, there was also nothing to “continue” in the first place. Even if there was, in front of an audience like this, how could the average person just cont…

My lips were covered completely. Ran Qingzhuang invaded my mouth forcefully and roughly like a sharp-edged sword, cutting off my ability to think entirely.

My nose and mouth were filled with a foreign smell and taste, an unfamiliar touch.

Because of the dark surroundings and tense atmosphere, I couldn’t help but make an absurd association. I felt as if I had fallen into the ocean, as if I were sinking deeper and deeper amidst roaring gales and towering waves; dangerous seawater poured into my nose and mouth, cruelly stripping away my life force bit by bit.

My fingertips convulsed in an attempt to grab onto something, but their freedom was being firmly suppressed, so I could only grasp futilely at the air.

Shocked and frozen, I bore the brunt of Ran Qingzhuang’s kiss. Like an incredibly devoted actor, he threw himself into the scene in front of our audience, fully in the zone. It was so passionate that anyone would have a hard time believing our previous conversation had ended in my phone being horribly shattered.

“Excluding patrol members, nobody is permitted to walk around as they please after nightfall. Rules are rules. Go and explain yourself to the eldest young master tomorrow.”

The resounding slam of the door dragged me out of my dazed state and back to reality. The room went silent once more, and Ran Qingzhuang and I were the only ones left inside it.

Crisis averted, the man above me waited for a moment to confirm that nobody was doubling back before he released my hands and got up without any reluctance whatsoever. Facing the closed door, he let out a long exhale.

I almost forgot to breathe when my mouth was covered earlier. Now that nothing was obstructing it anymore, I got ahead of myself and gasped for air a bit too urgently. Air slipped into my dry passageways and generated an irrepressible itch. The continuous coughs I let out as soon as I opened my mouth were especially conspicuous in the quiet, cramped room. 

Only then did Ran Qingzhuang seem to remember my existence, and he looked over at me.

I shivered and did my best to suppress the sound of my coughing, but the more I tried to do so, the more I couldn’t contain it. I ended up coughing on and off for quite a while.

Perhaps he was getting a little annoyed by my coughing. Ran Qingzhuang furrowed his brows, and his expression grew somewhat impatient.

I clamped my hand even more tightly over my mouth and felt a bit of wet coolness stain my fingertips. Dizzily, I thought to myself, Maybe it was left behind by Ran Qingzhuang earlier.

“Don’t tell anyone what happened here tonight.” Once my coughing stopped, Ran Qingzhuang finally spoke.

He put away his dagger and threw his long legs over the side of the bed. Sitting on the edge of it, he began to put on his shoes.

“I’ll leave in an hour. Do whatever you want.”

I fumbled for my phone and checked the time. It was already half past three in the morning.

The bright white light from the phone made Ran Qingzhuang’s face seem even more unyielding and unreadable.

There were a lot of questions floating through my mind. I observed him for a moment before I couldn’t help but ask, “…Why are you here?”

I didn’t dare to speak too loudly, and thanks to my continuous coughing earlier, my voice was somewhat low and hoarse.

Ran Qingzhuang was putting on a pair of black combat boots. When he heard my question, he paused in the middle of tying his shoelaces and looked at me. “I already told you. After tonight, everything that happened between us in the past will be written off completely. Why I’m here, what I’m doing—none of that has anything to do with you.”

I pressed my lips together. Worried that he couldn’t see what he was doing clearly, I turned on my phone’s flashlight for him. He didn’t thank me, nor did he even glance in my direction again.

His figure was highlighted all the more clearly under the illumination of the flashlight. There were too many scars to count, both large and small. Some looked like healed knife wounds, while a few of the smaller ones were shaped like radiating fireworks. I didn’t know what those were from, but they looked similar to gunshot wounds.

Just what exactly has he been through, these past few years?

“What happened to your finger?” Our first encounter had progressed too abruptly, and I didn’t have time to pay attention to anything else. Now, with the flashlight directed at Ran Qingzhuang’s hand, I finally noticed that the little finger on his left hand was warped unnaturally, almost as if… he wasn’t able to recuperate properly after breaking it, and it had ultimately healed crooked.

He finished tying one of his boots, and he lifted his foot to tie the other one, completely ignoring my existence.

As my gaze settled on the black tattoo on his neck, my fingers curled and gripped the bed sheet underneath me tightly.

“Why did you turn into this type of person?”

You were undoubtedly meant to become someone better than this. Was it because of me? Because I reported you and Lin Sheng, forcing you to drop out of school—was that why you ended up living this kind of life?

Was it me?

It was all because of me.

“Do you still remember? You once asked me what type of person I wanted to become in the future. I told you that I would be satisfied as long as I could provide for myself and my family, and you laughed at me for not having a dream.” It was like I was delirious. Those words seemed to have a force of their own, and they tumbled out of my mouth without passing through my brain first.

Ran Qingzhuang suddenly stopped moving, and his expression transformed from cold detachment to wariness. “Enough, don’t say anything else.”

“You said that in the future, there was no way you would walk down the same path as your father…”

“Shut up.”

“You didn’t want to be a person who committed crimes. You wanted to be the person who punished evil, you wanted to become a pol…”

Before I could finish my sentence, Ran Qingzhuang surged towards me like an agile panther and clamped his hand around my throat as he nailed the dagger into the pillow beside my head.

My phone fell onto the floor, angling a beam of light straight at the ceiling.

I couldn’t speak. A strange noise trickled out of my throat, and my fingers clawed and dug into his arms in an attempt to make him ease up on the pressure.

“I already said that I would write off everything after tonight. But if you piss me off again, I can make it so that you’ll die without anyone knowing, whenever and wherever I want.” He bent down closer to me. With a heavy threat layered over his voice, he said, “Every year, quite a few people plunge off the cliffs here and drown. Your extra body wouldn’t even be noticed.”

The sea wasn’t exactly lacking my extra body either.

The hand around my neck didn’t obstruct my breathing entirely. Although it gave off a slightly oppressive feeling, he only intentionally increased the force behind his grip when he was spitting out a few keywords. It was almost like he was telling me—he could snap my neck as effortlessly as if he was twisting open a bottle of soda.

I nodded hastily, indicating that I definitely wouldn’t do anything to displease him again.

“There’s still forty-five minutes left. For every additional word you speak, I’ll leave a corresponding hole in your body.” Ran Qingzhuang extracted the dagger that had been stabbed into the pillow before he slowly released his hold on my neck.

The ice-cold blade slid down my chest and paused briefly over my heart. I couldn’t tell if it was from the fear or the chill; either way, I gave a huge shudder. With a scoff, Ran Qingzhuang withdrew his dagger in satisfaction.

After putting on his shirt, he stood in the corner of the room with his arms crossed. For the remaining forty-five minutes, he didn’t say another word to me. He was just like a dead creature that didn’t breathe, a statue that couldn’t speak—someone who walked into the room for the first time wouldn’t even notice his presence immediately.

I wasn’t sure when Ran Qingzhuang ended up leaving. By the time I opened my eyes, it was already extremely bright outside, and he was nowhere to be found in the room.

Someone was banging unceasingly on my door. Enduring my headache, I went over to open it and was greeted by the sight of Fang Luosu standing in the doorway. She told me that the waves had lessened outside, which meant that we could go back in the afternoon.

“Got it.” I was about to close the door when I noticed that Fang Luosu looked as if she had something else she wanted to say. “What is it?”

She stared at my neck with an odd expression on her face. “Those people didn’t do anything to you last night, right? I thought that they were all doing the same thing—just checking the rooms, nothing more. Did they hit you?”

I touched my neck and knew that she had seen the marks left behind by Ran Qingzhuang. I didn’t really care to explain, so I just said indifferently, “It’s not from being hit.” Then I shut the door.

After I managed to tidy up my clothes with some difficulty, I picked up my phone from the ground to examine it. Sure enough, it was even more cracked now.

In the reflection of the dark screen, I could faintly see a red mark on my neck; it had most likely developed from the bite.

Originally, we thought that our group would be able to leave since the waves had stopped. But unexpectedly, the eldest young master of the Jin family suddenly declared that he was going to have us stay for lunch as a way of expressing his apologies for alarming everyone the previous night.

Although the entire group shared looks with each other, nobody dared to step forward and decline the offer. Just like that, we ended up staying on the island.

Lunch was held in one of the dining halls inside the castle. Besides Young Master Jin, his little brother was also present, as was the baldie from last night. He stood silently off to the side like a wallflower and merely watched as we ate our meals.

I didn’t see Ran Qingzhuang anywhere nearby, and I felt somewhat disappointed.

“Are you looking for someone?”

My spoon jolted, spilling a few drops of soup onto the tablecloth.

I raised my head in the speaker’s direction and answered a bit nervously, “No…”

There was a steak knife in Jin Chenyu’s hand, and a beautiful smile bloomed across his dark red lips. “I hear that you and Lao Yao know each other quite well.”

Startled, I didn’t respond immediately.

The other person seemed to misunderstand something. He explained, “I mean Ran Qingzhuang. He’s the youngest member of Helian Group’s middle management. My father calls him Lao Yao, so everyone else does as well.”

No wonder they all called him “Yao-ge1.” So this was the meaning behind that nickname.

“Mn… we’ve known each other for many years now. We’re pretty familiar with one another.” Tentatively, I said, “By the way, how come… I don’t see him here?”

Last night, the baldie seemed to have said that Ran Qingzhuang broke the rules by roaming around after dark. He also told Ran Qingzhuang to explain himself to the eldest young master the next day.

I couldn’t help but have an ominous premonition that nothing good would come out of this “explanation.”

Jin Chenyu wiped away the bloodstains on the edge of his lips with a snow-white napkin. His tone of voice was casual, as if he was simply discussing the weather for the day.

“Naturally, you have to be punished if you do something wrong.”

Translation Notes

  1. 老幺 (lao yao) is just a nickname for the youngest person in a group, which is RQZ in this case. His subordinates modify it to be a more easygoing but also respectful 幺哥 (Yao-ge). ^

Yan: The physical novel for BXXD just started its preorders~ you can see the cover art and some character art here. I think it’s such a gorgeous cover, if slightly macabre haha. (I also think it’s funny that they went with “The Selfish Gene” as the English title, since it’s literally the same title as the fan-translated one for HNQ’s other novel (一念之私). To avoid confusion, I’m just going to stick with Inferior by Nature for now.)

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