Since he had slept so late last night, it was already 9am when Qiu Yanzhi woke up.
Then, as usual, he slipped on his trust slippers and cuddled up with some snacks on the couch to watch TV.
Time passed by so quickly when you were having a good time wasting it.
The next thing he knew, it was already three in the afternoon.
Qiu Yanzhi was waiting for a food delivery when He Zhou contacted him, so he immediately blurted out after picking up, “The old doorman of our neighbourhood changed so you can come straight in right now. I’m in building 7, suite 103..."
He Zhou: "...Qiu Yanzhi?"
Qiu Yanzhi froze for a moment. He had to take the phone afway from his ear and look at the number before he realized it was He Zhou. He rubbed his nose with some embarrassment. “...Sorry, I thought you were the delivery guy.”
"I have a lead on Liu Cheng." He Zhou said.
Qiu Yanzhi tensed and jumped to his feet. "Where is he?"
He Zhou: "He's been hiding out as a helper in the back of a small restaurant's kitchen recently, but he was taken away this morning."
Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback. His palms were sweaty. "Who took Liu Cheng away? Ye Hongyuan's people?"
There was a beat of silence before He Zhou continued, “It was Zhang Yuxuan.”
Qiu Yanzhi froze.
Zhang Yuxuan took him away?
Then why didn’t he tell me?
After ending the call with He Zhou, Qiu Yanzhi stared at his phone for a while before dialing Zhang Yuxuan’s number.
"Zhang Yuxuan, any news about Liu Cheng on your end?"
Zhang Yuxuan stammered, "I...I..."
Then he lowered his voice and whispered, "Yanyan, wait a sec."
Qiu Yanzhi waited for about two minutes before he heard the sound of a door closing. Zhang Yuxuan scratched his head. He sounded torn about something. “Yanyan, I’ve actually found Liu Cheng already. He’s at my house now, but he won’t let me tell you he's here.”
Qiu Yanzhi let out a sigh of relief and laid back on the sofa.
Thank goodness Zhang Yuxuan hadn't lied to him.
For a moment there he thought Zhang Yuxuan was going to betray him for that bastard Liu Cheng.
Qiu Yanzhi said, "Zhang Yuxuan, I’m not going to do anything to him. I just want to ask him a few questions."
Zhang Yuxuan sounded a bit anxious, "That’s what I said! I said you wouldn’t hurt him, b-but he doesn’t want to see you..."
Qiu Yanzhi said to Zhang Yuxuan, "Give the phone to Liu Cheng. Let me talk to him."
"Okay. But if he asks you, don’t tell him I was the one who told you he was here. He didn’t want me to do that. Just say...say that you figured it out yourself!”
“En. Got it.”
After about two more minutes, Zhang Yuxuan spoke up again, “Yanyan, I’ve put you on speakerphone. Liu Cheng can hear you.”
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath before saying, “Liu Cheng, I think you know exactly why I’m looking for you.”
"I definitely won’t use you or hurt you. I just want to ask you some questions.”
"Liu Cheng, I know you might be panicking right now. Maybe even you yourself can’t figure out what happened. I probably know more than you do about this situation. If you want, I can probably fill in some of the blanks, provided you answer some of my questions."
There was still no response.
Qiu Yanzhi shouted with some apprehension, "...Liu Cheng? Are you there?"
"He's here, he’s here…” Zhang Yuxuan’s voice came from the other side
Qiu Yanzhi: "Liu Cheng, if you’re panicking and at a loss of what to do now, I thinking you should trust me a little…”
The person on the other side suddenly hung up on him.
...Liu Cheng, you trash!
Qiu Yanzhi threw his phone onto the couch before burying his face into the cushions.
Then he let out a long, long sigh.
About five minutes later, Zhang Yuxuan called back. "Yanyan, what do you want to ask Liu Cheng? Is it something really, really important?"
Qiu Yanzhi said, "Yeah it’s really, really important. It concerns my life and future.”
Zhang Yuxuan was quiet for a moment. Then, as if he had made up his mind about something, he said to Qiu Yanzhi, "Don't worry, Yanyan! I’ll definitely convince Liu Cheng! In fact, Chengcheng is a very kind person..."
After listening to all of Zhang Yuxuan's passionate ramblings, Qiu Yanzhi sighed.
He said, “Good luck then” before hanging up.
He didn’t have much faith in Zhang Yuxuan’s success.
After all, Qiu Yanzhi felt that Liu Cheng had been using Zhang Yuxuan all along.
Only a fool like Zhang Yuxuan would believe that guy was actually kind.
Qiu Yanzhi tossed and turned on the sofa.
Would Liu Cheng be willing to tell him what he knew?
So if he had to resort to force, were there any suitable cards he could use?
...Didn’t seem like it.
However, Qiu Yanzhi would’ve never expected what happened next.
Half an hour later, Zhang Yuxuan called him and told him excitedly that Liu Cheng had agreed to meet.
"Really! I talked to him for a long time before he agreed! He said he wants to see you at five this afternoon at the Lu Ming Cafe in front of our condo!”
Five in the afternoon? It's already four now.
Qiu Yanzhi hung up, his heart beating wildly with excitement.
He immediately called He Zhou to tell him the good news.
"I'll go with you." He Zhou said, "Wait for me. I'll be at your flat soon."
Qiu Yanzhi’s palms were sweaty as he walked over to the cafe with He Zhou.
"He Zhou, I feel like I'm going to be able to leave soon."
He Zhou turned to look at him. "...Congratulations."
Qiu Yanzhi's mood suddenly became a little strange. "He Zhou, if I leave, will you forget about me?"
He Zhou: "Maybe."
Qiu Yanzhi: "Then...will you find someone else to live your days with?"
He Zhou: "Probably."
Qiu Yanzhi licked his lips. "...I'll definitely leave right away. I absolutely, absolutely won’t come bother you ever again."
"He Zhou, don't you have anything to say to me?"
He Zhou gave him a look and sighed. "Qiu Yanzhi, isn't it a little too early to say goodbye? You don't even have a clue about how to leave yet."
Qiu Yanzhi rubbed his nose. "That's true."
At that moment, Qiu Yanzhi suddenly noticed three familiar looking black cars parked across the street.
...Ye Hongyuan's people are here!
Qiu Yanzhi frantically got He Zhou’s attention. "He Zhou, look..."
He Zhou held his hand and whispered, "I saw them too. Don’t worry. They won’t act rashly with Zhang Yuxuan around.”
A moment later, Zhang Yuxuan and Liu Cheng stepped out of a white car.
Zhang Yuxuan saw Qiu Yanzhi across the street and happily greeted him, "Yanyan!"
Liu Cheng glanced at Qiu Yanzhi. He looked down with pursed lips.
He stopped walking and suddenly asked Zhang Yuxuan, who was next to him, "Zhang Yuxuan, you’ll keep your promise, right?"
Zhang Yuxuan turned to look at him, his eyes shining brightly. "Of course I will! I’ll protect you."
Liu Cheng took a deep breath. "As long as I meet with Qiu Yanzhi this once, you’ll protect me forever. No matter if Ye Hongyuan sends people to capture me or if Qiu Yanzhi wants to kill me or...or if anything else tries to...make me disappear. You have to protect me no matter what.”
Zhang Yuxuan said, "Don't worry about Ye Hongyuan. He won’t dare to touch a hair on your head as long as I’m with you! There’s even less reason to worry about Yanyan. How could Yanyan want to kill you, ah? As for anything else...wu. As long as it’s not a natural disaster or an accident, I’ll definitely keep you safe to the best of my ability.”
Liu Cheng smiled a little. "...Don't you worry either. I won't stick by your side forever. When it’s safe, I’ll be sensible and leave. Even when I’m around, I...I’ll keep out of the way so you can have a relationship. Last time…”
The smile on Liu Cheng's face slowly faded as he looked down. "...Last time, when I drugged you...I was wrong. I succumbed to a moment of weakness. It won’t happen again.”
Zhang Yuxuan had a serious look on his face. "You absolutely, absolutely, absolutely can't do that again, okay? That’s illegal! You’ll get sent to jail.”
Zhang Yuxuan suddenly thought of something. He said to Liu Cheng, "But there is one more thing you still have to apologize to me for."
"What is it?"
Zhang Yuxuan pursed his lips unhappily. “Our time capsule, ah! How could you secretly open it on your own when we agreed to wait for 20 years! Even though you had extenuating circumstances, you still owe me an apology.”
Liu Cheng hung his head and obediently apologised, "I sincerely apologise. I shouldn't have opened our time capsule."
Zhang Yuxuan ran a hand through his hair and sighed deeply. “Alright, I’ll forgive you since you said sorry. But you have to go with me to put the dress back in tomorrow. And no taking it out ahead of time again, okay?”
"Okay, I promise."
Liu Cheng blinked and suddenly said, "Zhang Yuxuan, Jing Zeyu must be blind to have not picked you."
Zhang Yuxuan frowned. "Liu Cheng, you can't say that."
Sadness briefly flashed across Liu Cheng's face, but he quickly hid it behind a smile.
"Alright, alright. I wasn’t badmouthing your senior, I was complimenting you--"
Liu Chen’s voice suddenly cut off. Something he saw made his expression instantaneously twist. Then he reached out and shoved Zhang Yuxuan away with all his might.
He looked at Zhang Yuxuan and opened his mouth liked he wanted to say something. But before he could speak, the black car rushing straight towards him sent him flying.
Zhang Yuxuan stumbled back after being pushed. As soon as he raised his head, he was met with the sight of Liu Cheng flying several meters away before crashing heavily to the ground.
Cold water seemed to fill all of Zhang Yuxuan’s veins.
On the other side of the street, Qiu Yanzhi was also frozen in place. He was incredulous as to what just happened.
He Zhou held his hand a little tighter.
Qiu Yanzhi’s entire body trembled for a moment before he staggered towards Liu Cheng.
Not far away, the people in those three black cars also frantically got out and headed over.
One man whose forehead was dotted with sweat shivered as he reached for his phone to call Ye Hongyuan.
The whole world suddenly became so very noisy.
Qiu Yanzhi walked over to Liu Cheng and placed a trembling hand under his nose.
He wasn’t breathing.
Then Qiu Yanzhi moved his hand to his chest. There was no heartbeat either.
Qiu Yanzhi finally had to accept reality.
Liu Cheng had become a bloodied corpse.
He had died on scene.