TW: Domestic violence (?)
A shiver ran down Qiu Yanzhi’s body.
All the hairs on his body stood up. He even had goosebumps right now.
...He was genuinely scared this time.
Even though He Zhou was just an NPC, he had become a berserk and out of control one.
If this went on, Qiu Yanzhi was afraid He Zhou would be the cause of his death.
He lowered his eyelids, his long eyelashes casting a shadow under his eyes. They were even trembling slightly, revealing his unease.
Qiu Yanzhi finally decided to soften his attitude. “He Zhou, could you let me go first..?”
He Zhou, however, did not say anything.
Qiu Yanzhi’s lips were pressed into a thin line. He tried to break He Zhou’s grip on his neck.
One by one, the fingers were peeled back. Just when freedom was in sight, his chin was taken captive by the other person.
He Zhou forced Qiu Yanzhi to turn his head and meet his gaze.
There was a storm of emotions brewing inside of his dark eyes. They were so oppressive that Qiu Yanzhi found it hard to breathe.
While staring into Qiu Yanzhi's eyes like this, he said, “Qiu Yanzhi, why don’t you tell me how I should get rid of the bite mark.”
Qiu Yanzhi's voice was muffled: "...Let go of me first."
But it was like He Zhou couldn’t hear him. On the contrary, the grip on his chin only tightened. Red and white indentations were imprinted on Qiu Yanzhi’s fair skin.
Qiu Yanzhi could almost hear the sound of his own bones rattling. When he wondered if this was how his life would end, killed by He Zhou for some reason, he sniffled. Tears began to fall from his eyes.
His voice was hoarse. "He Zhou...you're hurting me."
Qiu Yanzhi's tears fell on He Zhou's hand. They burned his skin and made his heart inexplicably tighten. In the next moment, He Zhou used his fingers to wipe away Qiu Yanzhi’s tears.
"You’ll never learn if I don't hurt you."
He Zhou suddenly wiping away his tears and speaking softly startled Qiu Yanzhi. He almost thought He Zhou was back to normal.
Then He Zhou came up to Qiu Yanzhi and kissed him.
It was a gentle kiss at first. Qiu Yanzhi blinked dumbly, at a loss for words.
But his whole body melted into this abruptly gentle gesture. Who would’ve known that He Zhou would bite his lips just a moment later?
The kiss ramped up in intensity, like He Zhou wanted to devour Qiu Yanzhi whole. His teeth drew blood, and a metallic taste filled their mouths.
Then, the man's kiss gradually moved downwards.
A warmth that could almost burn the skin finally pressed against the bite mark that He Zhou had just rubbed with his fingertips. The man opened his mouth and bit down viciously without any mercy.
Qiu Yanzhi clenched his teeth so that he would not scream. The intense pain caused more tears to fall from his eyes. He was still trembling when He Zhou's teeth left his neck. He could not stop the tears from flowing down his cheeks to the bite mark, provoking another shudder in the process.
He Zhou examined the bite mark he had just left. It covered the original one perfectly, erasing all traces of it.
He ran his index finger over the fresh bite mark again. A perverse sense of satisfaction came over him.
He Zhou: "Qiu Yanzhi, you’re not allowed to see that man ever again.”
Qiu Yanzhi's teeth were still chattering in pain, but he nodded, "Alright."
He Zhou asked again, "Don't think about him either."
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head, "I won’t."
He Zhou: "Most of all, you’re not allowed to like him."
“I don’t." Qiu Yanzhi said through clenched teeth, "I don't like him at all. He’s just a mutt. No wait, other than liking to bite people, he’s worse than a mutt.”
He Zhou was finally satisfied. He stroked Qiu Yanzhi's hair, "En, you should keep thinking this way."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
He Zhou's bite just now had enough force to draw blood. The place he bit was also problematic. With the slightest of movements, Qiu Yanzhi’s clothes would brush against the injury and cause him to suck in a breath and shudder from the pain.
Big Yellow had disappeared without a trace when He Zhou started kissing him. Now that He Zhou was beside him, Qiu Yanzhi couldn't even find a chance to tell Big Yellow to adjust his pain sensitivity value again.
He could only grit his teeth and endure this on his own.
The car slowed down when He Zhou passed a pharmacy.
Qiu Yanzhi wanted He Zhou to leave so that he could adjust his pain sensitivity value, so he whispered, "...It hurts."
He Zhou gave him a look and stepped on the gas again.
He was very calm: "It wouldn’t do to to have that wound heal too quickly. You won’t learn your lesson then."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
He Zhou, f*ck all your ancestors.
Qiu Yanzhi's phone rang at that moment. His heart clenched when he saw who was calling him.
Qiu Yanzhi glanced guiltily at He Zhou before hanging up.
He started writing a text message.
[Mingxu, something came up on my side. I guess I can't go to your house for dinner today. Maybe next time--]
Before he could even finish typing, He Zhou snatched his phone away.
Qiu Yanzhi wasn’t able to grab it back.
He Zhou read the text message and let out a laugh, "How can you renege on a promise?"
He pulled over to the side of the road and sent back a different text.
[Where do you live? I'm outside already so I’ll head over now.]
A minute later, Ye Mingxu sent over his address.
[102 Jinxing Garden. I just got home, and I saw that my sister-in-law bought some live fish. Senior, do you like your fish braised or steamed?]
He Zhou expressionlessly turned off the phone and restarted the car. He drove straight towards Ye Mingxu's home.
...It’s all over now.
Qiu Yanzhi could already see what would happen when He Zhou appeared in front of Ye Mingxu.
At the very least, the difficulty of capturing Ye Mingxu would rise by 1800%.
By doing this, He Zhou was ruining all his plans and messing up his life in the game.
If He Zhou appeared in front of Ye Mingxu…
If he and He Zhou got married…
If he completely deviated from the game’s mainline events...
If Ye Mingxu's system crashed like He Zhou's did in the last round...
If he had to face that white space devoid of all things again...
Just thinking about it made a chill run through Qiu Yanzhi's body.
"Stop the car." Qiu Yanzhi said.
He Zhou ignored him.
Qiu Yanzhi lowered his eyes, "He Zhou...I have to go to the bathroom."
He Zhou looked up and found that there was a public bathroom not far away. He parked the car.
After Qiu Yanzhi reached the bathroom, he opened every stall. He was relieved to find that he was alone.
“Come out, Big Yellow."
Qiu Yanzhi: "Do you know what just happened?"
Big Yellow: "I got the gist of it."
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath. His neck started to hurt real bad again as he spoke, "First, turn down my pain sensitivity."
Only after Big Yellow adjusted that did Qiu Yanzhi feel better.
"By the way, didn't you delete all the bite marks on my shoulder last night? Delete this new one too."
"What would happen if He Zhou saw that it was gone? He would definitely be suspicious because he just bit you. Wait at least two days to be safe.”
Qiu Yanzhi was filled with rage as soon as he recalled how He Zhou had just bit him. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down. “I can’t do this anymore. At this rate, either He Zhou will kill me or Ye Mingxu’s system will crash, and then the game will kill me.”
"I've got to do something. Are there any cards that can help me deal with He Zhou?" Qiu Yanzhi asked.
Big Yellow whispered, "There are, but you have to pay for them."
The corners of Qiu Yanzhi’s lips twitched.
“Laozi’s life is more important than any amount of money.”
Hearing this, Big Yellow's eyes immediately lit up. It took out a pile of glittering gold cards.
"Distinguished VIP player Mr. Qiu, let me tell you something right now. In our game, spending enough money will let you rule the world.”
He Zhou frowned. Qiu Yanzhi had been gone for a long time. He was about to get out of the car to check when he saw Qiu Yanzhi coming back through the mirror.
Qiu Yanzhi opened the car door and sat back on the passenger side. Without saying a word, he looked down and tried to buckle his seat belt.
He Zhou glanced at him. Qiu Yanzhi seemed to be rattled. He was unable to fasten his seat belt, even after some time had passed.
He Zhou sighed and took it from him. "Don't move, I'll do it."
He Zhou hung his head and buckled the seat belt with a click.
There was no expression on Qiu Yanzhi’s face as he picked up the stainless steel water bottle nearby.
“See, it’s that simple. You--"
When He Zhou was about to look up, Qiu Yanzhi viciously smashed the stainless steel water bottle into the back of his head!
He Zhou only felt a pain in the back of his head before he went unconscious.
Big Yellow spun happily in the air, "Congratulations on successfully using the $199 One-Hit KO Card!"
Qiu Yanzhi’s hands shook a little.
To be honest, he was really afraid that the card wouldn’t work on He Zhou, so he used way more force than necessary. That way, He Zhou would be smacked into oblivion even if he was immune to the card's effects.
Qiu Yanzhi was afraid that He Zhou would wake up early, so he loosened He Zhou's tie and used it to secure both his hands to the steering wheel.
Only when he was sure he had tied it well enough did Qiu Yanzhi breathe a sigh of relief.
Qiu Yanzhi searched the car for a long time before he found the deceptive contract that He Zhou had signed with his father this morning.
Taking it out of He Zhou’s briefcase, Qiu Yanzhi turned to leave.
He looked back at He Zhou, who was still unconscious in the driver’s seat with both hands bound. Qiu Yanzhi recalled the way this guy had just bit him and immediately became furious again.
He returned to the passenger seat and grabbed He Zhou's left hand, which was still tied to the steering wheel.
Qiu Yanzhi opened his mouth and bit down viciously and vindictively there.
Blood quickly welled up. The pain was enough to jerk He Zhou back to consciousness.
He Zhou woke up in pain. He opened his eyes to see Qiu Yanzhi opening the car door and preparing to leave.
He froze for a moment before shouting, "Qiu Yanzhi, where are you going!?"
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t expect He Zhou to wake up so quickly. He was a little surprised. He turned his head and looked at He Zhou, smiling like a refreshing spring breeze: "I'm going on a date with my little junior."
"A date? Qiu Yanzhi, have you forgotten who you are?" He Zhou narrowed his eyes. His voice was frosty.
Qiu Yanzhi arched his eyebrows, "Mr. He, are you still unable to see the situation you’re in?"
He Zhou froze. Only then did he realize that something was wrong.
When he looked down, he realized that he had a bloody bite mark on his right hand, and that both hands were tied to the steering wheel with knots that couldn’t be loosened.
He Zhou's expression darkened. "Qiu Yanzhi, untie me at once!"
Qiu Yanzhi blinked, "Mr. He, if I do that...then how will you learn your lesson?”
He Zhou heard the sound of his own teeth grinding into dust.
“Oh, that's right!" Qiu Yanzhi took the document out of his hand and waved it at He Zhou with a sunny smile, "I'll be taking this document from you. You can come sign a revised version once my father has had a chance to look it over for loopholes. Mr. He, it would be in your best interest to retain a good lawyer soon.”
After Qiu Yanzhi finished speaking, he slammed the door shut again.
It wasn't until Qiu Yanzhi felt that he was out of He Zhou's sight that he stopped walking.
"Happy now?" Big Yellow said.
Qiu Yanzhi shrugged, “Meh."
Big Yellow: "Are you going to use the second card you bought now?”
“Yep. Let's get started."
Big Yellow: "Alright. Distinguished VIP player Mr. Qiu, you are about to use the $16,888 Troublesome Character Isolation Card. As its name suggests, this card will isolate troublesome characters. Once it’s used, the NPCs bugging you will be unable to directly bother you ever again. Are you certain you want to use it?”
"What do you mean they can’t ‘directly bother’ me?”
“It depends on the situation."
Qiu Yanzhi lowered his eyes, his voice soft and faint. “Use it.”
He Zhou was so angry that his features were contorting. Since he had once learned about how to untie knots, he quickly freed his hands from the steering wheel.
He opened the car and got out, feeling an almost inhuman amount of rage. He thought about how he would forcefully shove Qiu Yanzhi back in the car once he caught him.
He also thought about tying that guy’s hands the same way he had He Zhou’s, so that he couldn’t escape anymore.
But all his resentment, all his fantasies, all his thirst for revenge…
All of it came crashing down in the next moment.
He Zhou saw Qiu Yanzhi walking with brisk steps a hundred meters down the road.
"Qiu Yanzhi!!" He Zhou shouted his name through gritted teeth.
Qiu Yanzhi froze and whipped his head around like he didn’t expect He Zhou to come after him so quickly. Panic and fear was already clear on his face. He seemed so scared that he couldn’t move.
With a dark and cold expression, He Zhou advanced towards him, step by step.
It was at this very second, this very moment...
A huge cargo truck appeared out of nowhere, swiftly, violently, and directly heading for Qiu Yanzhi!
He Zhou's pupils suddenly constricted.
He saw Qiu Yanzhi’s body being sent flying by the truck.
He saw Qiu Yanzhi landing on the ground a dozen meters away.
He saw the rapidly spreading and horrifically large pool of blood.
He saw Qiu Yanzhi's body lying lifelessly in the middle of the pool.
The scene drew a crowd. A child began to cry from fright.
He Zhou could no longer hear anything. He thought he might've gone deaf.
The whole world became silent.
He was clearly shouting Qiu Yanzhi's name in panic and fear, but he couldn’t even hear himself.
His world quietened, becoming monotonous and terrifying.
The only sounds that remained were the sharp, bone chilling screeches of the truck’s brakes.
Step by step, He Zhou walked towards Qiu Yanzhi with legs made of lead. There was no expression left on his face. There was only an empty void.
He pushed past the crowd to see Qiu Yanzhi’s ravaged and broken body.
He opened his mouth, but he still couldn't say a word.
He knelt by Qiu Yanzhi's side and carefully took the man's hand in his.
He Zhou hung his head and kissed the back of his beloved's hand, again and again.
Qiu Yanzhi, open your eyes.
Qiu Yanzhi, I'm not angry with you anymore.
Qiu Yanzhi, I won't pressure you anymore.
Qiu Yanzhi, you can do whatever you want. Even if you want me to leave, I…
Please wake up, alright?
His tears fell onto Qiu Yanzhi's hand, mixing with his blood and flowing down his arm onto the ground.
He pressed his beloved's blood-soaked hand to his face, and carefully called out his name again and again.
But there was no response.
The man knelt on the ground and buried his face against his beloved’s hand.
His tears began to flow as he finally broke down.