He Zhou had limited mobility after breaking his leg. Qiu Yanzhi was worried he would grow tired of staying in the hospital room all the time, so he wanted to get a wheelchair and take the man out for a stroll.
There were wheelchairs available for rent at the hospital, but those had been used by many patients already. Qiu Yanzhi was worried about He Zhou being a germaphobe, so he went to an equipment shop near the hospital to buy a new one.
Qiu Yanzhi chose the lightest, sturdiest and best looking green wheelchair available. He happily pushed it back to the hospital.
But he noticed someone else was in the room as soon as he entered.
It was the head secretary.
When the head secretary saw Qiu Yanzhi, he smiled and greeted him before continuing his report to He Zhou.
It was all matters related to work. Qiu Yanzhi almost drifted off by the time the other two changed the subject.
"I need a personal caregiver for about a month. A male one…”
Qiu Yanzhi immediately snapped out of his daze.
He frowned and sat up on his bed. "Why are you looking for a caregiver..? We happen to be roommates, after all. Wouldn’t it be easier for me to just take care of you?”
He Zhou ignored him. He looked at the head secretary. "It would be best if the new caregiver can come today."
"Understood, President He." The head secretary said respectfully.
The head secretary thought Qiu Yanzhi and He Zhou were a lovey-dovey couple. When he saw how unhappy Qiu Yanzhi looked, he turned and offered a comforting smile. “Mr. Qiu, President He is doing this because he doesn’t want to tire you out. Besides, your illness is minor and you're almost ready to be discharged. President He needs a long-term caregiver."
"...What do you mean by minor illness?" Qiu Yanzhi muttered, “I was really sick this time. There’s no way I’ll leave the hospital in less than a week.”
The nurse chose that moment to push the door open and walk in. She announced with a smile, Mr. Qiu Yanzhi in bed number two, congratulations! You’re well enough to be discharged now!"
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi laid back down on the bed and covered himself with the blanket. His voice was weak, “...I don't feel well. My fever this time did quite a number on me. I’m still feeling the aftereffects. I’m dizzy, my head hurts, my chest aches… No, no, no. Maybe I should stay here for one more week for observation…”
This was the first time the little nurse encountered such a situation. She blinked blankly. “Then...then I’ll report back to the doctor again about your condition…”
Qiu Yanzhi waved at her. "En, en. Goodbye. Remember to emphasize everything! I want to stay for observation because I’m really dizzy and all the other aftereffects.”
After the nurse left, He Zhou gave Qiu Yanzhi a look and remarked sarcastically, "You're such a good actor Qiu Yanzhi. Why don’t you go be in a movie?"
Qiu Yanzhi turned to look at He Zhou and deliberately asked, "So you've invested in movies then? What kind of movies? Can you get me a role? But won’t other people scold me for getting in through connections? Won’t some people speculate that I’m your little mistress or something?”
He Zhou: "......"
...He really has invested in movies.
"President He has invested in three movies so far. One of them is a historical drama that is currently in the middle of casting. There’s a young gentleman role in it that would be perfect for Mr. Qiu." The head secretary smiled and said.
Qiu Yanzhi blinked and said playfully, "So He Zhou, when will you schedule my audition?"
He Zhou couldn't understand why there was someone like Qiu Yanzhi in this world. Heartless, shameless and covered all over in armour that made him impervious to swords and spears.
...It really made people hate him.
After the head secretary left, Qiu Yanzhi pushed the wheelchair to He Zhou. "He Zhou, let me take you out for a walk!"
He Zhou gave him a look and said coldly, "No need."
Qiu Yanzhi looked at the tablet and the stack of documents that the secretary just brought over. "Are you going to work? But you’re still injured. You know, nothing bad will happen if you relax a little."
He Zhou looked up to give Qiu Yanzhi another look. "Why? Because this world is just a game? Because I’m just an NPC and my job is just a series of predetermined tasks given to me by the game? Are you trying to tell me that nothing I do matters?”
Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback. "...That's not what I meant."
He looked at the man with some concern. "He Zhou...maybe I should try and help you wipe your memory after all.”
He Zhou: "No need."
He Zhou also seemed to have lost interest in his work. He glanced at the file next to him but didn’t reach for it.
Then he looked up at Qiu Yanzhi. "Tomorrow afternoon, I will bring up breaking off the engagement with your father on the grounds that we’ve had a falling out. Any objections?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "...Isn’t tomorrow a bit too soon? My mom just told me yesterday that she made an appointment for us with an old tailor specializing in wedding attire.”
He Zhou: "It's already late enough. I was originally planning to talk to your father today.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "Then let me do it. I planned on going back home tomorrow afternoon anyway.”
He Zhou: "Fine. When are you planning to resign?”
Again, Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback. "...Do I have to resign?"
He Zhou: "Yes, I don't want to see you."
Qiu Yanzhi tilted his head and said, "I still have three weeks left in my internship."
He Zhou was silent for a moment. "Then leave after three weeks."
Immediately afterwards, He Zhou made a phone call.
He hung up and said to Qiu Yanzhi, "I've booked a moving company. They'll move your things back to your flat at 8 am tomorrow."
...You were the one who moved my things there without permission, and now you’re the one kicking me out...
Qiu Yanzhi pursed his lips. "Don’t move them to my flat."
He Zhou asked, "Then to your house?"
Qiu Yanzhi said, "No, not there either. Of course I'm going back to the dormitories."
Qiu Yanzhi looked up and shot He Zhou a provocative smirk. "I still have to capture Ye Mingxu after all. What better way to get close to him than for us to share a room?”
He Zhou's deep, dark eyes stared at Qiu Yanzhi for a long time before looking away. He said indifferently, "Suit yourself."
Then he started ignoring Qiu Yanzhi.
So Qiu Yanzhi laid back down on the hospital bed and played games on his phone.
He felt like he wasn’t in top form today after losing every round he played. But even after switching to another game, Qiu Yanzhi’s losing streak continued. His teammates even started cursing him out.
Somewhat frustrated, he turned his phone off and removed his headphones.
He heard some noise coming from the other bed.
Qiu Yanzhi turned to see He Zhou had struggled to a seated position. The man was currently trying to untie the harness securing his right leg.
Qiu Yanzhi put down his phone. "He Zhou, what are you doing?"
He Zhou gave him a look but remained silent. He stopped what he was doing and laid back down.
But he seemed a little agitated. After a while, he took out his phone and made another call, asking the head secretary when the caregiver would be able to come.
By the time he hung up, Qiu Yanzhi had silently walked up to him.
Qiu Yanzhi blinked. "He Zhou, are you trying to go to the washroom?"
He Zhou continued to remain silent.
Qiu Yanzhi assumed that He Zhou was too embarrassed to mention it. He sighed and helped put his leg down.
He Zhou let Qiu Yanzhi put down his leg, but he refused to let Yanzhi help him to the washroom.
He picked up the pair of crutches nearby and struggled to move forward.
Maybe He Zhou could’ve managed if he just had a broken leg, but his arm was broken too. There was no way he could use the crutches he was holding. In the end, the man threw them away and...hopped on one leg to the washroom.
...Just like a jiangshi. What’s the point of making things harder for himself? (1)
From where he was leaning against a nearby cabinet, Qiu Yanzhi couldn't help but shake his head.
He Zhou icily glared at Qiu Yanzhi after noticing the smile on his face.
Qiu Yanzhi curbed his smile into a serious expression. "I was just admiring how spirited you are despite being disabled."
The moment Qiu Yanzhi said that, He Zhou lost his balance and almost fell to the ground.
Luckily, Qiu Yanzhi dashed forward and managed to catch him in time.
Qiu Yanzhi had one hand around He Zhou’s elbow and the other supporting his waist. He looked up with amused eyes curved into crescents. “Oh He Zhou, what would you do without me?"
But He Zhou didn't show a single hint of appreciation. Once he was on his feet, he pushed Qiu Yanzhi away again.
He opened the washroom door and hopped inside.
Qiu Yanzhi cocked his head and laughed outside. “He Zhou, will you be alright by yourself? Should I go in and hold you up?"
He Zhou's ears flushed red. The washroom door slammed shut with a bang.
Qiu Yanzhi muttered outside:
"...What's there to be shy about? It’s not like I have seen it before.”
In the very next second...
Qiu Yanzhi heard a click.
--He Zhou locked the washroom door from the inside.
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi had just turned away when he saw a man knock on the door before coming in.
This person seemed to be in his early twenties, probably still a student. He was around 1.73 m and of average height and appearance. His skin was reasonably fair. His starch white shirt and jeans made him look very pure.
He looked at Qiu Yanzhi with clear eyes. "Hello, may I ask if this is President He's room? I’m the new caregiver. My name is Lin Yi.”
A pure, college-aged, full time male caregiver?
President He is very lucky indeed, ah.
Qiu Yanzhi’s mind immediately generated a whole bunch of scenarios.
Hmm, he could get behind this ship--
If only the other person involved wasn't He Zhou.
Qiu Yanzhi inclined his chin a bit. "Yes it is. Come in."
Lin Yi entered a little hastily.
Qiu Yanzhi asked, "Lin Yi, right? Are you still at school? Which one?"
"I'm a fourth year student at the nearby Heming University."
Tsk. We go to the same school too.
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath before asking, "Did you get your English level 6 certificate? Is your Mandarin first rate? Did you pass TOEFL or IELTS? What major are you in? Medicine? Do you have prior experience as a caregiver? For how long? Do you have a formal medical certificate?"
Lin Yi was caught off guard by this barrage of questions. He blinked blankly and murmured, "...I’ve worked as a caregiver before. They said that one was urgently needed here so…so they sent me…”
Qiu Yanzhi frowned. Before he could open his mouth again, Lin Yi flushed and said, “S-sorry. I might not be very suitable for this job.”
Lin Yi turned and was just about to leave when He Zhou came out of the washroom.
He Zhou looked at Lin Yi and asked, "Are you the new caregiver?"
Lin Yi turned in the direction of the voice. He froze for a moment when he saw He Zhou.
The matter was so urgent that Lin Yi didn't even have time to ask for details regarding the client. He assumed he was here for an elderly person, not this handsome, tall man.
He Zhou continued in his deep voice. "You're hired. You can start working now.”
Lin Yi: "...Mr. He?"
He Zhou: "Come over and support me."
So Lin Yi scrambled over and helped He Zhou to the bed.
He Zhou looked up at Qiu Yanzhi and spoke aloofly, “When are you going to leave, Qiu Yanzhi? Hurry up or I’m going to change rooms.”
Qiu Yanzhi shrugged. "No need to rush me. I'll be leaving soon."
He put on his jacket and walked over to He Zhou. Then he bent down and whispered into the man’s ear, “He Zhou, close your eyes and I’ll give you a present.”
He Zhou frowned. "What are you up to now?"
Qiu Yanzhi reached out and covered He Zhou's eyes. "Shh, be quiet. Three, two, one."
Qiu Yanzhi's fair hands were thin, soft and slightly cool. They felt like smooth, cold silk against He Zhou’s eyes. But when the other person leaned over to whisper in his ear, his breath tickled He Zhou’s earlobe.
...It made him uncomfortable.
He Zhou reached out to pry Qiu Yanzhi’s hand off, but a strange sensation all of a sudden made him gradually freeze.
A minute later.
Qiu Yanzhi straightened and smiled at the bewildered Lin Yi standing nearby. "Best of luck! Keep up the good work!"
He turned and left immediately afterwards.
Lin Yi watched as President He sat frozen, staring in the direction Qiu Yanzhi had left in for the longest time.
Lin Yi asked.
Only then did He Zhou finally return to his senses.
Then Lin Yi saw President He, who clearly had a broken arm and leg just now, suddenly stand up and calmly walk over to the coat rack near the door. He took out his wallet from his coat and handed a few bills inside to Lin Yi, saying:
"Sorry for the inconvenience. You can go home now. Here’s something for your troubles.”
Lin Yi stared unblinkingly at He Zhou’s leg, which was in a cast but standing straight. He dully said, “Then tomorrow…”
"There’s no need to come back again." He Zhou said.
"$9999 for a NPC Healing Card. Happy now?" Big Yellow asked.
Qiu Yanzhi reached out and brushed along the banister of the stairs, jumping down three or four steps at a time. Then he turned. A brilliant smile lit up his features.
"Yes, I’m happy."
(1) - 僵尸 - they're like the Chinese version of zombies