The door cast a dark shadow across He Zhou's face, making him appear even more fearsome.
A group of people passed by the room. One young man with a cap on who was chewing some gum noticed that the atmosphere wasn’t right and peered inside hoping to hear some juicy gossip.
Then he turned and spoke excitedly to his friend, "Damn, caught right in the act! What a clear cut case of cheating!"
His friend nudged him and whispered, "Keep your voice down or they’ll hear you."
He Zhou's face darkened even more.
He took a step in and firmly shut the door behind him so that those busybodies were deprived of a show.
Qiu Yanzhi quickly climbed down from Zhang Yuxuan. He was too nervous to speak properly. "...You. What are you doing here?"
He Zhou came because he was afraid that Qiu Yanzhi wouldn't be able to handle the drunken Zhang Yuxuan by himself. He never expected to be greeted with such a scene. He seemed very gloomy. "What, should I not have come?"
"No no, that’s not it…” Qiu Yanzhi weakly held his forehead. He didn’t know where to even start with this chaotic scene, "...It’s not what you’re thinking."
"Then what is it?” He Zhou’s expression wasn’t good, but he still gave Qiu Yanzhi a chance to explain herself.
“Wuwuwuwu... " On the sofa, Zhang Yuxuan was holding a torn piece of fabric as he wailed, "Why did you ruin my dress Yanyan… It was my favorite dress wu..."
He looked at his torn and tattered pink dress before turning to Qiu Yanzhi with an unspeakable sadness in his eyes.
"Yanyan, look at what you did to me. I’m like a poor little girl that got dragged through the mud…”
Qiu Yanzhi: "..."
He Zhou: "..."
Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t help but say, "Don't misuse metaphors."
Qiu Yanzhi pulled out the clothes from the bag and threw them to Zhang Yuxuan. "Your dress is torn so you can't wear it anymore. We’ll wait outside for you to get changed, alright? Be a good boy."
Zhang Yuxuan nodded pitifully.
Qiu Yanzhi dragged He Zhou out the door and began his somewhat awkward explanation, "His heart was just broken so I wanted him to take off that dress and have a fresh start. But he was drunk and uncooperative..."
Qiu Yanzhi looked up at He Zhou and quietly said, “We really didn’t do anything… You believe me, right?”
"He Zhou, you know..." Perhaps the faint blush adorning Qiu Yanzhi’s cheeks was just from the colourful overhead lights in the corridor, but there was unmistakable love and even worship in his eyes as they looked into He Zhou’s, "...you know how much I like you."
He did know. The only reason He Zhou had temporarily lost his ability to think was because of how ridiculous that scene was.
But he had calmed down now.
He Zhou stretched out his hand and touched Qiu Yanzhi's face, his index finger parted the bangs across Qiu Yanzhi's forehead. His slightly cool thumb slowly rubbed against Qiu Yanzhi's cheek. He spoke with dark eyes and an unshakeable conviction, "You would never betray me."
Qiu Yanzhi’s feelings for him were enough to force him to push He Zhou away on instinct when the chandelier fell. He would give his life for him and be saddened and overjoyed based on his actions-- how could such a person betray him?
Qiu Yanzhi was the last person in the world who would betray him.
Qiu Yanzhi was the only person in the world who wouldn’t betray him.
Qiu Yanzhi was the only person in the world who loved him and him alone.
He Zhou left first to start the car.
Qiu Yanzhi stood there, looking at He Zhou's back. He slightly lowered his head.
He Zhou seemed to be getting easier to fool.
“It's not even challenging anymore.” Qiu Yanzhi thought as he took out a cigarette.
The door behind him suddenly opened.
Zhang Yuxuan squirmed out and tugged at the corner of his shirt.
It’s been a long time since he’s worn men's clothing, so he strangely felt kind of exposed right now. He looked down and shyly said, "It feels a bit too small on me."
The moment Qiu Yanzhi saw Zhang Yuxuan, the hand holding the cigarette shook and almost let go.
Zhang Yuxuan was actually pretty f*cking handsome in men's clothing!
A big man standing tall at 1.93 meters with broad shoulders, a narrow waist, thick eyebrows and big eyes... Although the alcohol made his expression a bit dull and silly, he was still enough to turn heads.
What a nice young man.
Why did he have to sabotage himself all this time?
Qiu Yanzhi secretly made a vow in his heart that he would definitely, definitely, definitely not let Zhang Yuxuan wear women's clothes ever again.
"Yanyan." Zhang Yuxuan sniffled and said softly, "Promise me you won't tear my dresses anymore."
"Uh-huh. Got it."
Qiu Yanzhi's mouth spoke perfunctorily, but his mind was thinking...
Laozi’ll tear up each and every one that crosses my sight.
"What's that in your hand?" Qiu Yanzhi sheeted to look at the bag in Zhang Yuxuan's hand.
Zhang Yuxuan sadly said, "It's my dead dress."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi grabbed the bag and tossed it into the trash.
"Yanyan!" Zhang Yuxuan pouted angrily.
Qiu Yanzhi patted his head and coaxed him like a small child.
"Be good. That one’s broken so Daddy will buy you a new one tomorrow."
A few years ago, Zhang Yuxuan had a falling out with his family over him wearing dresses. He now lived on his own.
He was drunk and irrational now, so leaving him alone didn’t sit right with Qiu Yanzhi. So they headed back with He Zhou to their house.
The heater in the car was on full blast, smothering Zhang Yuxuan who was getting drunker and drunker.
He Zhou sat in front of the car, listening to Qiu Yanzhi coaxing a child from the backseat.
Zhang Yuxuan tugged on the collar of his shirt. "Yanyan, isn’t it strange for me to wear this?"
Qiu Yanzhi pinched his cheeks. "How could that be? Baby Yu looks great in this!"
"Yanyan looks good too!"
"Baby Yu is the prettiest."
"Yanyan’s smart and pretty!"
"Baby Yu’s pretty and smart."
"I love Yanyan so much!"
“I love Baby Yu too."
"I'm going to sleep in Yanyan's room tonight..."
The breaks squealed sharply as He Zhou pulled over.
He Zhou turned his head expressionlessly. "If you two can’t shut up then get out."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Zhang Yuxuan’s eyes widened as he shouted with excitement, “Oh! Yanyan’s husband is angry!! He doesn't want me to-"
Qiu Yanzhi quickly slapped a hand over Zhang Yuxuan's mouth and whispered, "Let’s not talk anymore."
Zhang Yuxuan was already a little tired from drinking, and he had fooled around for quite some time too. When the car arrived at home, he couldn’t keep his eyes open or stand straight anymore. It seemed like he would fall over any minute now, so Qiu Yanzhi spent a lot of effort to help him into the house.
As soon as Qiu Yanzhi led him to the bed, Zhang Yuxuan fell asleep.
When Qiu Yanzhi came out of the room where Zhang Yuxuan was sleeping, he already felt very sleepy himself. He walked back to his own room.
After opening the door to his room, Qiu Yanzhi blinked. He closed the door before opening it again.
This was definitely his room...
...But where were his things?
Where's his pillow? Where's his mattress? Where's his blanket?
He Zhou leaned on the wall with his arms crossed. "Let's go, it's time for bed."
"But my stuff..."
"They’ve been put into storage. You'll sleep in my room from now on and those things will get dusty if you leave them out." He Zhou said.
Qiu Yanzhi was quietly freaking out on the way to He Zhou's room.
Two months ago, when he first logged on to the game, he fell in love with He Zhou's character model at first sight. He could even get excited after touching his hand. That past him definitely wouldn't have thought that, two months later, he would panic so much about sharing a bed with He Zhou.
Now that Qiu Yanzhi was lying on He Zhou's bed, his first reaction was to log out. But then he realized he would still have to face this situation the next time he came back.
Then he considered making up an excuse like he was feeling unwell or something.
Just as he was racking his brain to think of a reasonable excuse, He Zhou laid down beside him.
Qiu Yanzhi pressed himself flat against the bed. His breathing was strained.
He Zhou turned off the bedside lamp and whispered, "Go to sleep already."
Qiu Yanzhi was stunned.
He blinked his eyes in the sudden darkness. "...Straight to sleep?"
He Zhou opened his eyes again and turned his head to look at Qiu Yanzhi. "What else did you have in mind?"
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head in panic, "N-nothing."
With that, he closed his eyes tightly and stopped talking.
This seemed to be the first time in Qiu Yanzhi's memory that he slept peacefully in the same bed with someone.
In the darkness, it seemed like all his senses were amplified. The sound of their steady breathing filled his ears.
The feeling... was surprisingly comforting.
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t think he would sleep so well that night. He was so relaxed when he woke up that he was taken aback by the empty space beside him and the sunlight spilling into the room.
He rubbed his face to sober up, stretched, and went to look for Zhang Yuxuan.
Zhang Yuxuan had already woken up earlier. When Qiu Yanzhi went to his room, he was standing in front of the window talking to someone on his phone.
He was so immersed in his conversation that he didn't even notice Qiu Yanzhi's arrival. Whatever the other person said made him become defensive.
"Don't! I'm not hesitating anymore, I'm sure I'll need three bottles of medicine. I'll send you my address later... I'm going to take the medicine before I think about doing the surgery..."
Zhang Yuxuan hung up. When he turned around, he saw Qiu Yanzhi behind him.
He startled. "Yanyan! Why didn't you say something? You scared the hell out of me."
Qiu Yanzhi frowned. "Who were you just talking to on the phone?"
Zhang Yuxuan pursed his lips as if he didn't want to answer.
Qiu Yanzhi: "Zhang Yuxuan, are you planning on lying to me?"
Zhang Yuxuan looked down and said, "That was a senior in the circle who knows a lot about medicine…”
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath. His fingers were trembling a little.
"Then what was the medicine you were talking about? The surgery?"
Zhang Yuxuan hung his head and didn't speak.
"Is it hormones and sex change surgery?"
Zhang Yuxuan was silent for half a moment before he nodded slightly.
Qiu Yanzhi felt so angry that his chest hurt. It took him a long time to calm down. He looked at Zhang Yuxuan and asked, "I'll ask you one last question. Do you want this surgery for your own sake or for that senior of yours who’s getting married?”
Zhang Yuxuan's head was bowed. He played with his fingers uneasily and didn’t answer.
Qiu Yanzhi said, "Zhang Yuxuan, if you want to become a girl because you identify as a girl, I will stand by you. I can even help you find the best doctors to do it. But if you're doing it for a f*cking guy, I'll fight to the death to stop you from doing something so dumb."
Zhang Yuxuan looked up at Qiu Yanzhi. His eyes were red-rimmed as tears ran down his face. "B-but I really like him a lot. I want him...to see me at my best. I know he likes girls, but I'm willing to make an effort for. If he looks at me even once..."
Qiu Yanzhi wiped the tears from his face and said to him.
"Baby Yu, you don't have to change yourself for someone else."
“No one in this world is worth doing things you don’t want to do, because there's no one more important than yourself."
"What about you?" Zhang Yuxuan looked up at Qiu Yanzhi as he wiped his tears, "Aren't you the same? You helped He Zhou block the chandelier, you almost died for him! Why can't I go through the surgery for my senior?"
Qiu Yanzhi sighed and said, "First of all, I helped He Zhou block the chandelier so he would feel gratitude and maybe even love towards me. If you change your sex for your senior, he’s only going to think that you’re a dumb*ss.”
Qiu Yanzhi paused and continued, "Second, do you really think I'm that stupid? I'll be honest with you, that chandelier thing wasn't an accident at all, it was planned by me. I already considered the angle and weight and everything. Although I would be hurt, my life was never in danger. After all, I don’t love He Zhou that much.”
Zhang Yuxuan’s eyes widened. He stared open-mouthed at Qiu Yanzhi.
There was actually one more thing Qiu Yanzhi didn't say.
He was a player.
Even if he did die for He Zhou, he would be without a scratch if he adjusted the pain sensitivity properly beforehand. If he was lucky, he might even get a lifetime achievement like “He Zhou’s Cinnabar Mole” or something. Now that he was thinking about it, that didn’t sound too bad. Then he could start over with a new capture target.
In the end, this game was just a game to him. He could do whatever he wanted to do to himself for thrills because nothing would happen to him. But for NPCs like Zhang Yuxuan, what happened in this game was their entire life.
Qiu Yanzhi could sometimes make a clear distinction between the game and reality, and other times he didn't want to.
He didn't have any close friends in real life, but he has one in the game.
Qiu Yanzhi thought that, at the very least, he should let his only friend live a good life.
Even if he was just an NPC.
Qiu Yanzhi ruffled his hair and said, "I won't die for He Zhou, so you don't have to be operated on for your senior either, okay?"
Zhang Yuxuan blinked and obediently nodded.
Qiu Yanzhi finally laughed.
"Are you hungry yet? Let's go down for some chow."
Qiu Yanzhi stood up and walked towards the door.
He opened the door.
Then he froze in place like a statue.
He Zhou stood at the door. He looked straight at Qiu Yanzhi with red-rimmed eyes filled with a coldness that chilled him to the bone. His expression was dark and terrifying to behold, like he wanted to flay Qiu Yanzhi alive and swallow him whole.
I feel like this story shouldn't be called 'Today, the Foolish Scum Gong Screwed Me Over Again' anymore. It should be 'Every Time I Flip Over the Car a Fuming President He is at the Door'.
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