Qiu Yanzhi was in a bit of a panic.
He also felt that this story was a bit too far-fetched, but there was nothing else he could do at this point.
He didn't know how much He Zhou believed out of the steaming pile of lies he just spewed out, but there was no way Qiu Yanzhi was leaving his side regardless.
After he had eaten enough, the cogs in his head started to turn again. Many things started to fit into place.
Big Yellow had once said that the NPC system would crash if he was too OOC.
Qiu Yanzhi suspected that everything that was happening to him and the game right now was due to He Zhou’s system being damaged.
It would explain why he couldn’t log out or perceive the game world when He Zhou wasn’t near.
He Zhou was the starting point of all the problems, but he was also the key to solving them.
However, there was still one question that remained in Qiu Yanzhi’s mind.
He couldn’t perceive the game before because it had forgotten about him, the player. The white nothingness before should be the blank interface that appeared when the game wasn’t running.
Then why did the entire game resume when He Zhou appeared?
He Zhou was just an NPC, so why would the game build an entire model of the world for him when its player was missing?
At that time, the world was recreated bit by bit with every step He Zhou took towards him...
Lost in his thoughts, Qiu Yanzhi arrived at a seemingly improbable conclusion.
--It almost felt like He Zhou wasn’t an NPC, but the game administrator instead.
Just then, He Zhou suddenly stood up and walked towards the door.
Qiu Yanzhi scrambled to his feet, "Where are you going?"
He Zhou turned, somewhat fed up. "Why are you always following me?"
Feeling wronged, Qiu Yanzhi took a step back. "I'm afraid you'll leave me behind."
He Zhou asked him with a scowl, "Are you a minor? Are you mentally handicapped? Can't you live on your own?"
"I can't," Qiu Yanzhi looked down and whispered, "I can only be with you."
He Zhou felt that there was no getting through to someone like Qiu Yanzhi, so he chose to ignore him.
Originally, He Zhou was planning on leaving for another one of his apartments.
But since there was no point in going somewhere else now since Qiu Yanzhi was set on following him, he stayed here.
He Zhou grew more and more sure that there was something wrong with Qiu Yanzhi.
He would tersely ask where He Zhou was going every time the man so much as shifted.
He Zhou replied blankly, "I’m going to take a shower."
Then Qiu Yanzhi said shamelessly, "Can I come with you?”
Qiu Yanzhi even had the nerve to look disappointed when He Zhou refused. Then he practically flew off to the small bathroom next door to take a shower before camping out in front of He Zhou’s bathroom, waiting for the man to come out.
When He Zhou came out, Qiu Yanzhi looked up and said: "He Zhou, can you go with me to my room?"
He Zhou was about to refuse, but something in Qiu Yanzhi’s eyes made him agree. He was curious about what this guy was up to now.
Qiu Yanzhi's room was far from both the bathroom and He Zhou’s room. If He Zhou didn’t come along, Qiu Yanzhi wouldn't even be able to see his own room.
After He Zhou followed him there, Qiu Yanzhi took some of his clothes and his cell phone. Then he rifled through the drawer and actually found the fruit candy from his memories.
It looked exactly how he remembered it, but there were two instead of one.
One was strawberry flavoured while the other was grapefruit.
Qiu Yanzhi carefully unwrapped the strawberry one and put it in his mouth.
The taste that he had painstakingly constructed in his imagination during those two days in that snow white abyss blossomed in his mouth.
A hint of sweetness followed by a sour aftertaste.
Qiu Yanzhi suddenly felt the urge to sniffle from all the sourness.
He clutched at the remaining grapefruit candy.
He Zhou was fed up with waiting. "Why did you ask me to come here?"
Somewhat reluctantly, Qiu Yanzhi handed him that grapefruit candy. "Do you want a fruit candy? It’s delicious."
He Zhou frowned. "No."
"Alright." Qiu Yanzhi carefully tucked the candy away before gathering up all his clothes from the bed. He said to He Zhou, "Let's go."
He Zhou: "Where?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "To your room to sleep."
He Zhou: "...Qiu Yanzhi, is there something wrong with your head?"
Qiu Yanzhi picked up his blanket too. "I can sleep on the floor."
Qiu Yanzhi ended up sleeping on the bed.
It seemed like he hadn't had a good night's sleep in a long, long time.
There were faint dark circles under his eyes, and he curled into a small, tight ball when asleep, shivering slightly.
Whatever nightmare Qiu Yanzhi was having prompted him to suddenly reach out and grab He Zhou's wrist.
His entire body immediately relaxed afterward.
Leaning even closer to the other person, he curled up around He Zhou’s entire arm…
And finally drifted off into a deep sleep
He Zhou stared at Qiu Yanzhi for a while.
Then he took out his tablet and got in contact with a psychiatrist that he knew.
He gave the doctor a run down about Qiu Yanzhi and how he proclaimed he had another personality inside him.
He wanted to schedule an appointment and bring Qiu Yanzhi with him next time.
He Zhou hesitated before sending one last message.
"He might be lying about having multiple personalities, but there is something wrong with him. I think he’s struggling with unresolved trauma from his past since he’s so ill at ease all the time.”
The doctor said, "I've sent you an email with a file on DID so you can judge for yourself if your partner really has multiple personalities. We can work on a diagnosis during the appointment.”
He Zhou was about to open said email when his tablet ran out of juice and shut down automatically.
He got up to get a charger, but a certain someone refused to let go of his arm.
He hesitated before putting the tablet down and picking up his phone.
He Zhou didn't have a lot of apps on his phone, so he opened the internet browser to log into his game like he always did.
But the search history that popped up when he went to enter his email made him pause… This wasn’t his phone.
It was Qiu Yanzhi's.
Moreover, the last two entries in the history were, respectively:
"Daily behaviour of DID patients" and "How to pretend to have DID".
He Zhou could almost hear the sound of his teeth being ground into dust. He was about to toss this phone when he noticed the earliest search term, all the way at the bottom.
"How to tactfully tell someone that his techniques really suck"...
Now He Zhou really did hear his own teeth being ground into dust.
He Zhou changed his mind.
He wanted to rip Qiu Yanzhi to shreds when he first discovered his deceit, but now...
There was actually a calm and restrained voice in his head saying, “En. As expected, he lied to me again.”
He Zhou looked at Qiu Yanzhi who slept soundly beside him while holding onto his arm.
He mercilessly pulled out his arm and then shook him awake.
Qiu Yanzhi was obviously still half asleep. "...What's up?"
He Zhou suddenly asked, "Are you Qiu Yanzhi or Xia Yuan right now?"
Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback for a moment before he suddenly perked up. With brightly shining eyes, he said to He Zhou, "I'm Qiu Yanzhi right now. Don't worry, Xia Yuan won't come out when I’m not in distress."
He Zhou nodded and opened up a new document on his phone.
He drew the first ‘X’ there.
Please continue with your performance.
Then He Zhou asked, "Do you still want to divorce me?"
Qiu Yanzhi was completely awake now. He shook his head firmly, "I don't want to!"
He Zhou put down his phone and looked at Qiu Yanzhi with dark eyes.
"Then I want to exercise my rights as a husband."
Qiu Yanzhi suddenly understood. His voice cut off as his face drained of all colour.