“Do I have some kind of illness?” Qiu Yanzhi sincerely questioned himself from the bottom of his heart.
He Zhou considered the man in front of him.
After his "legal partner" made that strange animalistic cry, his entire face turned red with embarrassment. He was almost the same shade as the cherry that was perfectly balanced on top of his head...
He was like an intellectually challenged dolt that happened to be pretty.
He Zhou had almost never seriously looked at Qiu Yanzhi's face, but now that he did, he realized this person seemed silly-- but in a cute way.
He could tell from his shining dark eyes, his completely flushed face, and even the sweet and ripe cherry sitting atop his black hair.
He was almost...too pretty.
All of Qiu Yanzhi’s physical features perfectly reflected his internal attributes-- beautiful, innocent, and repulsive.
Qiu Yanzhi saw the confusion in He Zhou's eyes gradually morph into disgust.
The "rotten wife" who was pushed away in public on the day of the wedding now had bird sh*t all over his head while making cat noises at people.
As Qiu Yanzhi stood there stiffly as he rifled through his pockets for a handkerchief, He Zhou's hand slowly rose.
It kept going.
One second, then two.
He Zhou's outstretched hand came close to Qiu Yanzhi's head. Qiu Yanzhi found it harder and harder to breath.
It came closer and closer.
What’s he going to do? Hit me? What should I do? Let him hit me? Or should I run?! Ahhh I can’t decide… Wait, why would he hit me? Should I dodge? Or retaliate? Should I cry too?
When He Zhou’s arm found its target, Qiu Yanzhi was shocked still.
The bird sh*t.
On top of.
...Qiu Yanzhi's expression became indescribable.
"Don’t you think it’s...dirty?" Qiu Yanzhi couldn't help but ask.
He Zhou gave Qiu Yanzhi a look, his face full of contempt. He dusted off his hands and spoke coldly, "Dirty? Compared to food given by Mother Nature, I'm afraid you're the one who’s dirtier."
Qiu Yanzhi: ......
Food given by Mother Nature?
He Zhou sure has unique tastes.
He remembered the kiss from the wedding just now.
Qiu Yanzhi's stomach suddenly churned.
Qiu Yanzhi scrubbed his lips viciously with the back of his hand. He muttered to himself to try and calm down: ...It’s fine it’s fine, don’t make a big fuss about it. Maybe this is natural in this world, or maybe President He has exotic preferences. I mean some people are perverted enough to eat the brains of a live monkey! What was bird sh*t compared to that? Maybe the rest of President He's life is just as unpretentious and dull...
Qiu Yanzhi couldn't hold back in the end. He held onto the wall and dry heaved.
He Zhou frowned and took a step back in disgust, sneering. "Behave yourself outside. People passing by might think you’re pregnant.”
A shiver ran down Qiu Yanzhi's entire body. This game's setting was way too extreme! Men getting married to other men was fine, rich men having cravings for bird sh*t was questionable, but male pregnancy?!!
He looked up at He Zhou, his eyes filled with tears due to his recent dry heaving, “...Can men get pregnant in this world? I...I can too?”
Qiu Yanzhi felt like the sky was spinning and involuntarily touched his stomach.
"It's not mine." He Zhou blurted out as he took a step back.
Qiu Yanzhi: ......
He Zhou: ......
A strange silence descended between them.
Qiu Yanzhi was the first to break the silence: "Ahem… I'm not...pregnant."
"I know." He Zhou seemed to have realized what he had just said. He paused, "You couldn't be pregnant."
Qiu Yanzhi was not happy about this.
He might not want to be pregnant, but why wasn’t he given the choice?
In a world where male pregnancy exists, why was he the only one who couldn’t be pregnant?!
What kind of player discrimination is this?!!
It’s like if he didn’t like to eat cupcakes, but the teacher gave one to every student except him. Of course he would be upset.
He Zhou gave him a look. "Qiu Yanzhi, are you a crossdresser, transgender, intersex or shapeshifter?”
Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback. He shook his head.
He Zhou: "Then are you intellectually disabled?”
Qiu Yanzhi’s eyes widened, “Of course not!”
He Zhou, "Give me a copy of your IQ test by tomorrow.”
Qiu Yanzhi: ......
Qiu Yanzhi stared at He Zhou for a long time before saying, “I’m not an idiot.”
He Zhou, "That’s debatable."
Qiu Yanzhi was angry now. He didn’t care about the consequences, or about protecting the other person’s paper thin face. He yelled, "I don’t want to hear that from someone who eats bird sh*t!”
"You're a man who thought you could get pregnant!” He Zhou retorted after reaching his limit for bullsh*t.
Wait a minute.
He Zhou narrowed his eyes, "What did you just say? What nonsense are you on about now?!"
Heh, you’re still trying to hide it?
Qiu Yanzhi was so pissed off he could laugh.
Right at that moment...
After a bird chirped, a familiar sensation appeared on top of his head again.
Does the top of Laozi’s head look like a toilet or something?!
Qiu Yanzhi cursed out all of the bird's ancestors three times in one second.
He was beyond the point of caring about cleanliness. Qiu Yanzhi ripped the thing off his head and thrust it in front of He Zhou.
"Look, here’s some bird poop. You like to eat it right? Then eat!”
He Zhou was silent for a long while.
Qiu Yanzhi was a bit smug, "What, nothing to say?"
He Zhou seemed to sigh, "Give me a copy of your eye exam along with that IQ test tomorrow.”
Qiu Yanzhi was stunned. He looked down.
In the middle of his palm was a big, sweet red cherry.
The corner of Qiu Yanzhi's mouth twitched.
He stood in place for a long, long time.
Until He Zhou left with a mocking expression.
Until the third cherry dropped down.
"Um..." a faint voice rang out. A yellow head poked out of the grass in front of him.
Big Yellow said weakly, "Why don’t you stand somewhere else? You’re going to get hit again… It's an environment setting gadget that drops cherries every three minutes… Also, just as a reminder, you’re a...tiny tiny tiny tiny bit OOC. Just a bit, it’s not anything serious. Please don’t stress over this…”
Although Qiu Yanzhi had only been playing this game for a month, his backstory in-game was a young man who has had a crush on He Zhou since his childhood.
Big Yellow said that deviating too much from character presets could cause the NPC programs to crash.
Qiu Yanzhi turned his head to look at Big Yellow with a dense smile on his face.
"Laozi never goes OOC. I’m just adding some flavour to this otherwise idiotic character.”
...Wait a minute.
He felt like he just insulted himself.
There were already seven or eight versions of why He Zhou had shoved his bride away with a dark expression and stormed off.
The wedding banquet was grand and ceremonious, but it ended up being a joke.
Qiu Yanzhi, the youngest son of the Qiu family, became the laughingstock of the entire country.
Qiu Yanzhi didn't care, but Qiu Qingcang was so angry that his face turned green.
He even scolded Qiu Yanzhi for twenty minutes straight. Finally tiring, his eyes closed. His body swayed like he was about to collapse.
Zhong Yabai hurried to catch him. Only then did Qiu Yanzhi stare at Qiu Qingcang with a pale face, as if he had suddenly woken up.
Zhong Yabai has always been soft-hearted. After seeing Qiu Yanzhi’s state, her eyes reddened. She said to Qiu Qingcang, “That’s enough. Scolding him a bit is fine, but don’t overdo it! What did Yanyan do wrong?! Our Yanyan is also very pitiful…”
She looked down and wiped her tears. "...What is he supposed to do about falling in love with someone who doesn’t love him back? Yanyan must also be upset that something like that happened at his wedding, ah. All you know how to do is berate when what he needs right now is comfort… Can’t you be more compassionate…”
Qiu Yanzhi stared at Zhong Yabai. Suddenly, he felt dazed.
At the wedding, before he was about to chase after He Zhou, Zhong Yabai was clearly furious and reamed him out for having no self-respect. But now that he pretended to be a tiny bit vulnerable, she became soft-hearted.
...What a good mother.
In a way, Zhong Yabai was one of the reasons that Qiu Yanzhi continued to play this game seriously.
When Zhong Yabai smiled, there was something about her eyes that reminded Qiu Yanzhi of his mother.
“Mom." Qiu Yanzhi softly called out, "I'm a little tired. Can I go rest?"
After Qiu Yanzhi went back to his room, he really did lie down to take a nap.
He actually slept this time.
Although this was just a game, the degree of realism was astonishing.
There was almost no difference between resting in the game and resting in real life.
So much so that when he woke up and saw He Zhou, he was confused for a moment.
How did he get out of the game?
No matter which angle you approached from, he was like a painting come to life.
Not bad for a man Qiu Yanzhi’s had his eye on.
"I have something to tell you." He Zhou's voice was freezing
Qiu Yanzhi startled out of his trance then-- he was still in the game.
He rubbed his eyes and sat up on the bed. There were still traces of sleep in his muddled voice. "About what?"
He Zhou's eyes darkened. "Put your clothes back on properly. Don’t try to flirt or act cute with me.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Who the f*ck is flirting with you?! Who the f*ck is acting cute with you?!!
Qiu Yanzhi looked down. The top two buttons of his pajamas had undone themselves while he was asleep. They loosely hung off his body, revealing a large patch of snow white skin on his left shoulder.
Qiu Yanzhi lowered his head and nonchalantly fastened the buttons, then looked up at He Zhou. His voice also returned back to normal. “What were you going to say?”
"You’ll be going alone on the honeymoon trip.”
Although he had expected it, Qiu Yanzhi still made sure to put on a stunned and hurt expression. "...Why?"
He Zhou didn't hold back at all. "A very important friend of mine is returning to the country tomorrow. I’m going to pick them up from the airport."
Qiu Yanzhi's slender white fingers clutched the blanket with a death grip. His eyes were slightly red as he whispered with a tremor in his voice, “...Is this friend of yours more important than me?”
He Zhou raised his eyebrows. His cold words were merciless. “Of course.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Inside Qiu Yanzhi’s mind: Damn, I’m on fire today! He Zhou thinks I’m just a scum that’s even worse than a rotten wife, so there’s no need to use this kind of sad and self-deprecating tone.
Qiu Yanzhi looked up at He Zhou. "...He Zhou, we're already married. I'm your legal partner. Do I not mean anything to you?”
He Zhou scoffed, "Qiu Yanzhi, you should know best how this wedding came about. "
Qiu Yanzhi certainly knew.
Although he got a marriage card, because his favourability value was so low, he could only force a marriage through special means and leave the romance to later.
In the end, the card automatically generated an event in which He Zhou got drunk and woke up with Qiu Yanzhi naked and covered in wounds beside him the next day. He was swiftly caught red-handed by a group of elders.
Meanwhile, He Zhou’s company was already in need of funds. When Qiu Qingcang indicated he would withdraw his investment if he didn’t marry his son, He Zhou had no choice but to get married.
Those who knew the inside story were all disgusted by how shameless Qiu Yanzhi was.
"He Zhou." Qiu Yanzhi gradually slipped off the bed and stood barefoot on the smooth wooden floor.
He slowly unbuttoned one of the buttons on his shirt, revealing a large patch of snow-white skin around his neck.
Qiu Yanzhi slightly turned to the side. His fingertips rested on a light brown scar. He softly asked, "Do you still remember what this was from?"
The scar stood out particularly against Qiu Yanzhi’s snow white skin, but He Zhou averted his eyes after a brief glance. “You did that to yourself that night.”
…You guessed wrong. The card automatically generated it for him. Bet you didn't expect that! The service provided by a SSR card is really top-notch.
"These are teeth marks," Qiu Yanzhi barely managed to pull down his bottom lip. “from you.”
Qiu Yanzhi's breathing was a little unsteady. He shivered slightly as he gathered his clothes and looked up at He Zhou, but his light brown eyes were calm. "You were drunk that day. I was just going to help you into bed, but you... Do you really think I planned all this? How could I make teeth marks on...that place? What kind of person do you think I am? All I remember is that, when I was in so much pain that I wanted to die, you were calling out someone else’s name."
He Zhou suddenly stiffened.
"What did you say?" He bit out the words.
"Qikang." Qiu Yanzhi seemed to smile, "I think that was the name. You call him Qikang-ge."
Qiu Yanzhi wiped his tears, but it was like he couldn’t catch them all. "Do you like him that much? I still have nightmares every night. The one you were hurting was me, but you called out someone else’s name. I feel like my body and soul are being ripped apart. Every time I have this nightmare, I think to myself...you might as well have killed me."
"You’re lying." He Zhou’s gaze towards Qiu Yanzhi was frosted over.
Qiu Yanzhi lowered his eyelids, "You should know best whether I’m lying or not, no?”
"The one you’re picking up from the airport...it’s him, right? I won’t stop you.” Qiu Yanzhi's eyes were red and his voice was hoarse, "I just want to ask one question, He Zhou… Do I mean anything to you? Do I matter even the slightest bit?"
He Zhou emotionlessly looked at Qiu Yanzhi. When Qiu Yanzhi was about to reach out and touch his hand, he pushed Qiu Yanzhi away and frowned. "Get out."
In an instant, Qiu Yanzhi suddenly sprang from the bed like his life depended on it and pushed He Zhou onto the ground.
He Zhou was about to ream him out when there was a deafening noise. The chandelier on the ceiling was hurtling down!
The moment the chandelier crashed into Qiu Yanzhi, he let out a miserable scream. Due to the intense pain, even his features became somewhat hideous and distorted. Finally, his entire brain became blank due to the pain. Blood poured down like rain. Fresh blood snaked down from his forehead after the top right corner of the chandelier hit there. It trailed down his jawline to drip onto He Zhou’s face.
When the warm blood splashed on his face, He Zhou's entire body froze.
Two droplets in particular seemed to land on his eyelashes, bathing his view of Qiu Yanzhi in a hazy red.
While he was in a trance, a memory from long ago suddenly rushed in with almost enough intensity to tear him apart.
He Zhou's hands and feet were cold. His entire body was shaking slightly.
Due to Qiu Yanzhi's protection, He Zhou sustained only light injuries across his body.
He was mostly fine after being patched up.
Qiu Yanzhi, on the other hand, had been unconscious ever since his surgery.
Zhong Yabai came out of the hospital room with red-rimmed eyes. She looked up at He Zhou, but quickly averted her gaze. While wiping at her tears, she said, "You should go in and take a look."
He Zhou pushed the door open and walked in.
Qiu Yanzhi was lying alone in the empty hospital room. His entire face was still pallid.
Qiu Yanzhi seemed to be sleeping fitfully.
There was a thin layer of sweat on his forehead, and his lips moved slightly as he mumbled intelligibly.
Only when He Zhou leaned over did he hear that he was calling out his name.
He Zhou's heart suddenly surged with very complicated emotions.
He knew that Qiu Yanzhi liked him, but he underestimated to what degree.
Qikang-ge was also very good to him.
But Qikang-ge didn't love him.
Qiu Yanzhi loved him.
Qiu Yanzhi loved him to the point of obsession.
Qiu Yanzhi: No, I don't love you either. :D