He Zhou didn't really know what he was thinking either.
Sometimes he felt like Qiu Yanzhi was his pet cat, one that might be obedient and cute sometimes, but would scratch his owner viciously as well.
The last time this cat dared to draw blood, He Zhou threw it out in a rage.
Yet the cat returned two days later, covered with injuries from who knew where. It crawled weakly into his arms, clinging to him, licking him, rubbing against him. It made small, pleading noises and begged to not be left alone again.
He knew the cat wasn’t obedient, he knew that the cat would probably scratch him again…
He knew the cat didn't necessarily stay with him because it loved him.
However, looking at the cat's sorry state, He Zhou could not bear to abandon it again.
By the time Shen Xingwei left, Qiu Yanzhi had picked out a bag of mandarins.
He Zhou walked in his direction and saw Qiu Yanzhi lining up to weigh the bag.
He Zhou picked up a beautiful, round orange and handed it to him: "This one’s good too."
Qiu Yanzhi turned in his direction and looked at the orange in his hand. A rosy smile spread across his face. At this moment, He Zhou felt the person before him was the most breathtakingly vivid individual he had ever seen. He heard Qiu Yanzhi say happily, "It is rather pretty."
Then he put the orange into the bag, and quite naturally took He Zhou's hand as he headed towards the scale.
Qiu Yanzhi's hand was as pale and delicate as a piece of white jade. It might be overly cool to the touch at first, but it warmed up a little after a while.
The cacophony of sounds in the supermarket seemed to gradually fade away from He Zhou as he let Qiu Yanzhi lead him forward. As he quietly took in Qiu Yanzhi’s soft black hair and his cute little earlobes, a small wish blossomed in his heart.
--If only his kitten could become more obedient.
Just like he was now.
He Zhou worked from home for two days so he could accompany Qiu Yanzhi who was still recovering. However, he was the CEO, and eventually he had to go into the office.
Now that Qiu Yanzhi was in better shape and could see and walk around on his own, He Zhou was ready to go back to work.
But Qiu Yanzhi was reluctant to leave He Zhou for even a second, so He Zhou had no choice but to take him as well to the company.
The last time Qiu Yanzhi came to He Zhou's office, he was here to catch him “cheating”.
He slammed doors and made a big fuss as he left. Half the company knew about the sordid affairs of the president, his wife and his white moonlight after that. It was still a hot topic to gossip about even now.
So when Qiu Yanzhi and He Zhou walked in the front door hand in hand, many people’s jaws dropped in shock.
After all, the pinned post in the gossip section of the company's internal forum was titled, "Seeking Unattainable Love - The Tragic Marriage of the President's Wife".
When Qiu Yanzhi and He Zhou were still on the first floor, a female employee on the 18th floor witnessed the meteoric rise of a new post in the gossip subforum. Not even the original pinned post could compare.
The title of that new post was, "The President and His Wife Show Up Hand in Hand at the Company - Was This High-Profile Showing of Affection Really Necessary?!”
Qiu Yanzhi has nothing to do in He Zhou's office, so he started playing games on a nearby computer.
Qiu Yanzhi felt that he had accomplished the ultimate achievement: playing games in a game world.
The VR game Qiu Yanzhi was in was set in the year 2020, so there weren't any high end VR games available in this world yet. The game Qiu Yanzhi was playing was one of the 2020 bestsellers. Although it wasn’t as thrilling and stimulating as a VR game, it was interesting enough in its own way.
So when the secretary went to report to He Zhou, she saw Qiu Yanzhi sitting to one side wearing headphones, typing rapidly and single mindedly dominating his game.
However, Ms. Secretary only spared him a glance before turning her attention back to the document she was here to present.
She didn't want to make any more mistakes and be scolded by President He again. Just the thought of her boss’ harsh reprimands made her heart skip a beat.
“Stop there." He Zhou frowned and suddenly said.
...Is there something wrong with my report again?
The secretary lady immediately felt cold sweat dot her back.
But then she watched as He Zhou stood up and walked behind Qiu Yanzhi, asking gravely, "Is this round over?"
Ms. Secretary immediately sighed in relief. Good thing she wasn’t the one in trouble. The president must be annoyed that his wife’s game was too loud.
Qiu Yanzhi removed his headphones and leaned back in his chair with a satisfied expression. “It just finished. Laozi just got a team kill.”
After hearing that, He Zhou leaned over and picked up the mouse on the table. His posture was very ambiguous, as it happened to allow him to circle Qiu Yanzhi with his arms.
Qiu Yanzhi was a little uncomfortable with another man being so intimate with him, especially since they had an audience. But before he could say something, he saw He Zhou use the mouse to close his game.
Qiu Yanzhi turned to look at him. He grumbled, “What are you doing? I wasn’t finished playing yet.”
He Zhou quietly said, "You've been playing for two hours already. Have you forgotten what the doctor said? You can't put strain on your eyes during this time."
"Fine," Qiu Yanzhi replied lacklusterly, "then I'll sleep for a while."
He Zhou told him, "Go sleep on the sofa."
Ms. Secretary was stunned by this exchange.
He Zhou sat back in his seat and said to her, "Continue with your report."
Ms. Secretary was still in a daze.
He Zhou frowned slightly and rapped with his knuckle on his desk twice, "Secretary Xu, continue your report. You were just on the third point of item 4."
Ms. Secretary finally recovered her wits. She picked up the document and continued her report.
After finishing, she stood there, waiting somewhat apprehensively for He Zhou's evaluation.
"Not bad." He Zhou said, "The organization is quite clear. It’s better than last time."
After working for so long, this was the first time Secretary Xu had received a compliment that wasn’t sarcastic from her boss. She was more moved than she should’ve been.
"Thank you President He. Goodbye President He."
Secretary Xu practically skipped out of the office.
However, she was called back again before she reached the door.
"Wait a minute." He Zhou said, "Bring me a clean quilt."
What do you need a quilt for?
Secretary Xu turned and saw Qiu Yanzhi, who was fast asleep on the sofa.
Her mood immediately became complicated, but she still maintained the professional smile on her face. "Okay, I'll bring one over right away."
All in all, in the ten minutes Secretary Xu took before she headed back to her workstation, the post, "The President and His Wife Show Up Hand in Hand at the Company - Was This High-Profile Showing of Affection Really Necessary?!” had reached the top of the sub forum with over 300 replies.
“President He," The secretary walked in, "it's time for the meeting."
He Zhou nodded, "Got it."
He stood up with some documents and prepared to head to the conference room. However, he paused at the office door.
He remembered how Qiu Yanzhi was utterly inconsolable the last time he left without waking him up.
He Zhou hesitated, but finally walked over to Qiu Yanzhi and shook him.
Qiu Yanzhi rubbed his eyes, "...Wu, what's wrong?"
He Zhou said, "I'm going to a meeting. You can stay here and sleep some more."
Qiu Yanzhi staggered off the sofa with half-lidded eyes. "No, I want to go...with you."
He Zhou had no choice but to let him tag along.
So everyone in the conference room saw how their president was inseparable from his wife even while at work. While he sat at the head of the table and attentively listened to the reports of his subordinates, the person beside him yawned and eventually fell asleep on the table.
He Zhou glanced at Qiu Yanzhi from time to time during the meeting.
Even the people enthusiastically at the whiteboard lowered their voices for fear of waking up the napping person.
Most surprising of all, their boss, who had the ability to find 12 things wrong with everyone’s work, was unusually mellow today.
None of his biting rhetoric without swearing was present when he admonished his subordinates. Instead, he simply pointed out what should be worked on and told them not to beat themselves up over it.
...Today seemed to be filled with miracles.
So when the president went home with his wife, the number one post on the company gossip sub forum had become, “Scientific Discussion of Whether President He has been Hypnotized or Drugged! PS: OP wishes President He would bring his wife to work everyday!!!”
In addition, that "The President and His Wife Show Up Hand in Hand at the Company - Was This High-Profile Showing of Affection Really Necessary?!” post finally had an answer.
--Yes, because love has always been an unreasonable thing.
The discussion continued...
"I kind of miss my mom." Qiu Yanzhi suddenly said in the car as he looked out the window.
"Then let's go back for a visit together." He Zhou said to the driver, "Go to Zhongshan Road in Qingyu District..."
"No, let's go to Central Mall first." Qiu Yanzhi sat back down with a smile, "It's been a long time since I've seen Mom, so I'm going to surprise her with a gift."
Qiu Yanzhi examined the counter of the jewlery department for a long time before he picked out a beautiful but simple pair of sapphire earrings and happily had them gift wrapped.
From his place by the side, He Zhou spoke up, "Why don’t we buy a gift for Dad too."
Qiu Yanzhi realized that he had been neglecting his father.
His father in the game, Qiu Qingcang, was the typical “strict father figure”. He was a man of few words who had high expectations for his son. When Qiu Yanzhi first started playing, he did a lot of stupid things in a hurry to get to He Zhou as soon as possible. This led to his father frequently scolding him.
Now that he thought about it, his father clearly had good intentions and cared about him a lot when he reprimanded him.
Qiu Yanzhi pursed his lips.
…What a good game. There were so many people here that loved him.
"How about this watch?" He Zhou had that watch taken out of the cabinet and showed it to Qiu Yanzhi, "It should be the type that Dad would like."
Qiu Yanzhi looked at it. He Zhou did have a good eye, this watch was well designed and stylish, very suitable for his father.
Then Qiu Yanzhi took a look at the price tag, $100,000,000...
Qiu Yanzhi shrunk back.
He was only a student in the game, with no income to speak of. The earrings he had just bought for his mother cost him almost all of his savings.
He still had a black credit card from his father, but using his own money to buy him a gift was a little...
He Zhou seemed to have understood Qiu Yanzhi's problem. He called over an employee and told them to gift wrap the watch.
After saying that, he handed over his card.
Qiu Yanzhi stared at him blankly, "...He Zhou?"
"We're legally a couple," He Zhou paused, "so our finances are shared."
The staff handed He Zhou back his card after processing the payment. He then gave it to Qiu Yanzhi. “From now on, use this card when you go out. The PIN is my birthday.
Qiu Yanzhi took the card, but there was an awkward expression on his face.
He Zhou pursed his lips and said, "0129."
Qiu Yanzhi blinked and suddenly smiled. “I knew that! How could I not know your birthday? Of course it’s 0129, I remember it very clearly! Even though it’s only December now, I’ve already started to plan your gift!”
He Zhou shot him a chilly look. "That was a lie. My birthday is actually 0628."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
He Zhou scoffed in his heart.
Heh, you dare to lie and say you love me to death when you can't even remember my birthday?
But Qiu Yanzhi would’ve known at least what season his birthday was in if he had taken a single look at their bank account information or their marriage certificate.
It seemed like Qiu Yanzhi simply didn't care about him at all.
The thought made He Zhou’s heart sour.
As he sat in the car, Qiu Yanzhi lowered his head and said that he had deeply reflected on his mistake and that he was deeply ashamed. He apologized solemnly to He Zhou.
He Zhou sneered, "Why do you need to apologize? It’s just one day of the year. Your Highness surely has more important things to keep in that head of yours.”
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head remorsefully, "No, I shouldn't have forgotten. You are my beloved one, my most precious person... I know that my memory has been shoddy for a while, but even if I forget what my own name is, I shouldn't have forgotten your birthday--"
He Zhou interrupted him with a frown, "Is there something wrong with your memory?"
Qiu Yanzhi sighed and shook his head, his expression becoming a bit sad as he said, "You must have noticed as well, since you keep asking me why I’m following you around. I’ve never told you the true reason, but now…”
He Zhou did find Qiu Yanzhi’s recent behaviour quite strange, but he had attributed it as a response to past trauma. Qiu Yanzhi did refuse to answer when he asked, and He Zhou eventually stopped lest he worsen the problem.
Was Qiu Yanzhi now finally going to tell him the reason?
He Zhou put down the things in his hands and gave his full attention to Qiu Yanzhi. His voice was quiet and patient. “Can you tell me now?”
Qiu Yanzhi looked up at him after gathering his courage.
"Actually…I’m acting like this because Xia Yuan wants to take over my body. I’m scared, but being around you gives me the strength to fight back because you are the one I love. You make me feel safe and able to overcome Xia Yuan’s influence, so I’m reluctant to leave you for even a second.”
He Zhou: "......"
"Anything else?" He Zhou picked up the tablet and navigated to the notes app. He mercilessly added another cross to the list.
Keep lying to me, I dare you.
Seeing that He Zhou still seemed to be taking notes seriously, Qiu Yanzhi felt even more confident in his deception. He spoke with more conviction, “Sometimes Xia Yuan can influence my personality and memories. The reason I forgot your birthday this time is also because of him…”
Good, as expected of Qiu Yanzhi, this habitual liar. He’s throwing the pot onto a person that he made up.
He Zhou looked up at Qiu Yanzhi. "Qiu Yanzhi, come with me to the hospital tomorrow."
Qiu Yanzhi was stunned, "For what?"
He Zhou held Qiu Yanzhi's hand and spoke gently, "I know a very professional psychiatrist. He will definitely be able to treat your illness.”
Qiu Yanzhi's face alternated between white and green.
There was no way his lame lie would hold up in front of a professional. He would probably instantly be exposed.
Qiu Yanzhi: "I-I have a doctor already! I usually go to him for treatment.”
He Zhou was nothing but caring: "Then let's go to him tomorrow."
Qiu Yanzhi: "...My doctor, h-he’s out of the country right now."
"Then we'll wait for him to come back." He Zhou said.
Qiu Yanzhi had just breathed a sigh of relief when he heard He Zhou continue, "But in the meantime you should come with me to see the doctor I know."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi tried to divert He Zhou's attention: "Why do you know a psychiatrist?"
He Zhou looked startled for a moment, then he lowered his eyes and said faintly, "When I was very young, my parents died in front of me in a car accident. I was too young at the time, so I’ve been going to receive treatment for my trauma.”
Qiu Yanzhi was also taken aback.
He originally thought of He Zhou as just an ordinary capture target, so he didn’t know anything about him other than where he worked.
Even when he noticed He Zhou's parents weren't present at their wedding, Qiu Yanzhi didn't even think deeply about why.
He never expected this to be the reason.
Qiu Yanzhi was about to say something to comfort He Zhou when the other person turned to him and said, "This doctor successfully treated my long term mental illness, so he should be able to help with your multiple personalities as well.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Topic shift has failed, over.
He Zhou was feeling rather gloomy as he recalled what happened to his parents, but Qiu Yanzhi’s miserable expression cheered him up a bit. He ruffled Qiu Yanzhi's hair and pondered.
Why does this guy like to lie so much?
This won’t do.
In no time at all, they arrived at the house of Qiu Yanzhi’s parents. Qiu Yanzhi picked up the two gifts and got out of the car with He Zhou.
Qiu Yanzhi stood there and carefully examined the two gift boxes in his hands again, feeling a little nervous.
It’s been many, many years since he had given anyone a gift.
He wondered if his dad and mom would like them.
"Qiu Yanzhi," He Zhou called out in front of him, "hurry up."
“Okay." Qiu Yanzhi lifted his foot and walked forward.
Just then, a black sedan suddenly came around the corner and headed in He Zhou’s direction!
"He Zhou!" Qiu Yanzhi screamed, but He Zhou didn't react.
He turned his head and stared blankly at the incoming sedan. His face pale, but he couldn’t even move a muscle.
Qiu Yanzhi cursed wildly in his heart before desperately jumping towards He Zhou, sending them both barreling onto the ground.
The bizarre black sedan that didn’t even have a license plate brushed past them, disappearing as quickly as it came.
It didn't even stop for a moment.
The driver who was waiting in the car also witnessed the accident. He panicked and ran out. “President He, Mr. Qiu, are you two all right?? I'll drive you to the hospital!"
He Zhou just had a few scrapes and bruises. He held his head and sat up, only to find that Qiu Yanzhi was in a bad state. The car had grazed his leg, tearing away a large portion of his pants and leaving Qiu Yanzhi’s leg a bloody mess.
He Zhou's breathing was becoming disordered. "Qiu Yanzhi...Qiu Yanzhi, are you..."
Qiu Yanzhi opened his eyes with great difficulty, "Are you okay..?"
He Zhou was the most important person in Qiu Yanzhi’s heart right now. After all, the world literally didn’t exist when he wasn’t there. He was the tool that allowed Qiu Yanzhi to view and interact with his surroundings.
If He Zhou died, he wouldn't be able to live either.
He Zhou’s muted voice was raspy. "I’m...fine."
Qiu Yanzhi was about to say something else, but then he fainted.
If he could have held out for three more seconds, He Zhou would have heard a heartfelt admonition.
"Next time a car comes over, remember to run, little idiot."
When Qiu Yanzhi opened his eyes again, he let out a sigh of relief.
Fortunately, he didn’t return to that blinding white void.
It seemed like He Zhou stayed by his side.
Qiu Yanzhi turned his head and was about to call out to He Zhou when he froze again.
The only person sitting there was Zhang Yuxuan, who was chewing gum and playing a dress up game on his phone.
Qiu Yanzhi rubbed his eyes before realizing that he wasn't mistaken.
He could still see the whole world now, but Zhang Yuxuan seems to be the only one here. Did this mean...
He Zhou wasn’t the only one who could let him see this world, but Baby Yu as well!?
Qiu Yanzhi took Zhang Yuxuan's hand, ecstatic.
"Baby Yu!" Qiu Yanzhi tearfully shouted, "I'll kick out He Zhou and live with you, alright?!"
Zhang Yuxuan rejected him with a disgusted expression. “No way!”
Qiu Yanzhi listed off his good points exuberantly: "Baby Yu, I can wash clothes, cook, clean, get a job and even be a bed warmer..."
The door was pushed open by someone.
In the doorway stood Big President He, who was carrying food with a dark expression.
Behind Big President He, with embarrassed and complicated expressions suffused with confusion, apology, and a hint of weird relief, were Zhong Yabai and Qiu Qingcang.