Any methods that were used more than thrice would become redundant.
Even though it was not the first time that Lu Deng was out on a mission, it was the first time that he truly understood the importance of this hint.
A kiss had only him a reduction in a single page of work. Looking at the contented President Gu lying down preparing to take a nap, the trainee Lu Deng finally realised the strictness of the system world.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be with you. It won’t be too boring.”
He had already slowly taken off his clothes and laid on the bed. When he saw the young man’s stunned expression, Gu Yuan’s grinned, and ruffled his hair as he said, “Take your time to eat. I’ll take a nap.”
He was in desperate need of sleep. Lu Deng nodded his head vigorously, and quickly put aside his disappointment with having to do homework. He lay the man down on the bed, then covered him with the blanket.
His movements were light and carried with it a sense of gentleness and warmth; Gu Yuan did not feel any discomfort from it.
Gu Yuan allowed Lu Zhiguang to care for him. He smiled, then relaxed and closed his eyes, intentionally evening out his breathing. After a while, he heard soft sounds of a spoon in contact with a bowl.
The fragrance from the porridge, the comfort of the bed and the sense of relief made Gu Yuan very comfortable. Soon enough, he felt a wave of drowsiness overtaking his senses.
In the midst of it, he vaguely felt the young man moving, then holding his hand lightly.
The feeling of their hands intertwined made him feel calm and peaceful.
A smile crept up in Gu Yuan’s face, as he tightened his grip on the hand, then fell into a deep sleep.
The time spent on homework was always long and tedious.
Even though he was unwilling to do them, Lu Deng would still focus on copying the answers prepared by the system so long as Gu Yuan assigned him the work. He was already a smart person, and had absorbed the knowledge from his copying. Over a fortnight, he could already independently solve most questions on a mock examination script.
This freed up the system; it was now stationed at Gu Enterprises, monitoring the situation of the outside word.
Lu Deng finished his practice script and closed the book, then looked at the man leaning on the couch. His gaze fell onto the tension between the man’s brows.
Gu Yuan would always accompany Lu Deng when the latter was in the study doing his homework. He would look as if he was resting, but would answer any questions that Lu Deng had patiently.
However, upon closer inspection, one could tell that Gu Yuan did not actually spend much time resting.
News of the death of the CEO of Gu Enterprise was detrimental to the company. If it weren’t because Guar needed the radium and forcefully secured the rapidly declining company, Gu Enterprise’s bankruptcy would have already made the news.
Gu Yuan had to divide his attention between secretly dealing with business rivalries and tutoring Lu Yuan; he barely had enough sleep, and dark eye rings were forming under his eyes.
This should not go on.
In the original plot, the resistant force's assassination of Gu Yuan had brought to Guar’s attention Galileo’s increasing intentions to revolt. This had resulted in their decision to launch an invasion.
Now that Gu Yuan’s “death” had been brought forward, the same situation was happening. Based on the system’s reports, the mines had handed over the materials one week earlier. There was no guarantee that Guar would not be affected and prematurely launch an attack.
Once the war started, Gu Yuan would be in danger. They needed to be on alert.
Lu Deng sighed, then tiptoed towards the couch.
Gu Yuan was still focused on the work documents in his hands. Gu Enterprise was in a difficult state now, and he was frowning over a contract dissolution. All of a sudden, he felt a pair of hands massaging his forehead. The pair of warm and steady hands slowly rubbed his acupoints, relieving him of his headache.
Gu Yuan was distracted by the young man’s actions. He took the young man’s hands, then pulled him into an embrace, smiling helplessly, “Now that there are carpets in the house, I might not even notice it if you sneaked out.”
The bell had helped Gu Yuan discover him in the woods, and Lu Deng had kept it after wearing it that one time. However, even if he had let his guard down in front of the young man, the fact that he could reach his forehead without being noticed still surprised Gu Yuan.
“You are probably too tired, and that affected your alertness,” said Lu Deng seriously. Sitting on Gu Yuan’s lap, he continued rubbing his temples. “You need to rest.”
It was rare for the young man to speak so seriously. Gu Yuan was surprised, then looked into his eyes as a warm feeling flashed across his heart. “Alright.”
He would always agree to this, but things wouldn’t change. He would continue to be so busy. Lu Deng continued massaging his temples, as thought of new ideas. His fingers brushed past the short and neat hair, then he put some pressure and pressed onto the back of Gu Yuan’s head.
The side-effects of the drugs had already been almost cleared, but there were some remnants that the amulet could not clear immediately.
The pressure on the back of his head was almost precise, and loosened the tension on his head bit by hit. When Lu Deng released his hands, Gu Yuan felt a sense of comfort that he had rarely felt.
During the massage, the scent of the young man enveloped him, and his tense muscles slowly relaxed. He raised his hands to steady the young man’s waist, then applied some pressure on his waist.
Lu Deng was not going to be tricked again. He knew that a kiss would not be able to cut him any slack off his practice exercises. He continued to stubbornly keep to where he was, and applied even more pressure on Gu Yuan’s acupoints.
Gu Yuan laughed silently, and used a finger to knock on the young man’s forehead. He then gave up, closed his eyes and leaned back.
After pretending to sleep for a short while, he felt a warm figure lean onto his body. The figure opened his arms and gave him a hug, and nestled his head near his neck.
He was being incredibly well-behaved.
They were in difficult times, the country was in peril, but there was still this small bit of warmth and pureness in his life.
Gu Yuan opened his eyes slowly, and watched the young man who was sleeping quietly in his arms. His lips curled up into a smile, then hugged the young man back and closed his eyes contentedly.
The next day, Lu Deng pretended that he was too tired from doing a day of homework, and changed the venue of the private tutoring from the study to the bedroom.
The young man sat on the bed and hugged his assignment books, as he looked intently at Gu Yuan. He then patted the empty side of the bed and motioned for Gu Yuan to join him with an innocent gaze. It was then that Gu Yuan realised what he had gotten himself into.
Even though Lu Zhiguang’s intention was only for him to have a good rest, discussing the questions from the books on the bed without doing anything else took all the willpower he had.
The young man’s breath was warm and clear, as he stayed closed to his side and wrote his assignment seriously. The light fell onto his long lashes, and flickered as he turned the pages of his book.
President Gu felt that his days were going to be more difficult.
It was the first time that he was worried about having too little work to do. He had even drawn up his will to manage his assets after his death. Since he truly had nothing more to do, President Gu turned off his BCI and turned his gaze to the small table in front of Lu Deng.
Lu Zhiguang was getting better at his homework, and would only consult him when he was stuck. The atmosphere in the bedroom was more relaxing than in the study, and the scraping sounds from his pen created a sleep inducing effect.
As his mind slowly calmed, his eyelids also felt heavy. Gu Yuan tried to resist the sleepiness but slowly failed, and drifted into a sleep.
The weight on Lu Deng’s shoulders started growing heavier, and the breathing evened.
Lu Deng put down his pen, then slowly set Gu Yuan down onto the bed. After making sure that he was comfortable, an alarm pinged in his mind.
The system had just ended work, and seeing the host and target in bed doing homework, it was in shock. “W-what is the host doing?”
Lu Deng blinked as he answered truthfully. His eyes landed on the fatigue between the man’s eyes, and reached over to smooth it. Some of the lines on his forehead slowly relaxed. Lu Deng then smiled, took out a candy from his pocket and secretly pushed it under Gu Yuan’s pillow.
The system was in a state of bewilderment, as it redid its checks again. Finally, it was convinced that Gu Yuan had only accompanied the host on the bed when the host was doing his homework, and fell asleep there.
The system buffered and thought about the fact that Gu Yuan could withstand such a temptation. It became silent, as it fell into a new set of worries.
Lu Deng did not think that there was anything wrong in doing homework in bed. Gu Yuan soon got used to it too, and the quality of his rest became much better.
Under Lu Deng’s meticulous care, Gu Yuan had more or less recovered. By the eve of the examinations, his vital stats had stabilized to above 95%.
On the first day of the exams, Gu Yuan personally sent Lu Deng to the space shuttle.
They had spent so many days together away, tucked away in their little home that they had almost forgotten about the reality of war outside. The hovercar drove past a half-destroyed old city. Gu Yuan looked back solemnly, intentionally avoiding the thoughts that resurfaced in his mind again.
After sending Lu Zhiguang away, their next meeting would be uncertain.
The young man beside him did not appear to be aware of their impending separation, as he slowly flipped through the materials saved in his BCI, likely a last-ditch attempt at revising.
Unwilling to affect his emotions, Gu Yuan did not say a word of farewell, just simply accompanied the young man and patiently asking if there was anything else he didn’t understand.
Lu Zhiguang would occasionally ask him some questions, but most of the time, he would just lean on his shoulders. It was until he was alighting that he suddenly looked up and asked him, “Will you come and bring me home when the exams are over?”
Gu Yuan clenched his fist, and he could feel his eyes watering at the word “home”. He held his breath and stared at the young man, at a loss for words.
Guar would invade anytime now. He had already asked a friend on the host country to help him take care of Lu Zhiguang, no matter whether there would be war after the exams. At least in the near future, he would not let the young man be near him, so that he would be safe.
He had already considered this carefully and paved the way properly. However, he was still unable to bear the feelings of separation.
His throat tightened so badly that he couldn’t speak. He clenched his fist again, then went forward to kiss the young man’s eyes, nose and lips, greedily taking in the scent of the man before him, as he fought back his emotions.
The young man did not say anything. He just hugged him and allowed Gu Yuan to kiss him. He stroked Gu Yuan’s hair, then held his hand and shoved something into his palm.
Gu Yuan paused; he unconsciously opened his palm, and heard the crisp jingle from a bell.
He thought that this was a memento from the young man. Just as he was about to keep it, Lu Deng stopped his arm and then tied the bell around his own neck.
Lu Deng gazed deeply into the pair of dark eyes, and then said seriously, “This will help you locate me.”
Gu Yuan’s hands suddenly trembled violently.
At this instance, he thought of keeping Lu Zhiguang by his side at all costs. He could hide him anywhere - in the villa, in a secret chamber that would never be discovered, or even a safehouse somewhere. He had never desired spending his life with someone this much before, so much so that he would abandon his plan to forcefully give him up and send the person miles away from him.
However, he still ended up smiling warmly and giving a light nod, as he ruffled the young man’s head and promised seriously. “I’ll pick you up.”
If he couldn’t do it this timeline, he would do it the next. If he couldn’t find him in the next lifetime, he would continue to do so the lifetime after. His young man was wearing the bell on him; he would definitely be able to find him.
Hearing his vow, Lu Deng finally smiled, as he held the man’s neck and gave him another kiss.
The tightness in Gu Yuan’s lips softened with the kiss, as a wave of warmth washed over Gu Yuan’s heart. Gu Yuan said hoarsely with a bitter smile, “If you carry on, I won’t bear to let you leave anymore …”
Lu Deng blinked, and his eyes sparkled, carrying all the darkness from the bottom of Gu Yuan’s heart. Gu Yuan felt the pain in his chest lessen, and he smiled as tears filled the brim of his eyes. He patted the young man’s back. “Go. Take your exams properly and come back as number one.”
Lu Deng nodded, then he stepped lightly off the hovercar, and entered the space shuttle under Gu Yuan’s watchful eyes.
Gu Yuan stood frozen by the window, his eyes fixed on the disappearing figure, then closed his eyes.
As expected, the invasion by Guar started prematurely.