"--Qiu Yanzhi, you even have a boyfriend?!”
Qiu Yanzhi's entire body stiffened. He frantically denied it: "No!"
He Zhou narrowed his eyes and glanced pointedly at the bouquet of roses Qiu Yanzhi was holding. "No? Then what’s that?"
Qiu Yanzhi followed his gaze and realized he was still holding the roses. He immediately tossed them into the nearby trash can and pitifully looked up at He Zhou. “I’m just playing around with him…”
He Zhou immediately became even more furious.
Didn’t 90% of scummy men who get caught red-handed say that?!
How could he have been such a fool? He actually took Qiu Yanzhi’s promise to spend the rest of their lives together at face value, almost forgetting that promise was contingent on him never getting out of the game.
He Zhou knew he spent every hour of every day since he got out of the game searching for Qiu Yanzhi. He was so happy to find Qiu Yanzhi that he followed him home obediently.
But who knew he had a boyfriend!
His boyfriend even called him Zhizhi! How sickening!
His boyfriend even gave him roses! How tacky!
His boyfriend even invited him to the movies! How unoriginal!
He Zhou glared at Qiu Yanzhi with anger and resentment, like he was looking at the most beautiful, heartless and scummy man in the world.
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
He weakly raised four fingers to the sky. “...I swear I’m just leading him on, really. I’m honestly not in a relationship with him.”
He Zhou glared straight into his eyes and grumbled, “He called you Zhizhi."
Qiu Yanzhi blinked. "I don't like him calling me that."
He Zhou: "He said he was your boyfriend."
Qiu Yanzhi: "He’s that only in name. I'll be breaking up with him soon."
He Zhou: "You just accepted his roses."
Qiu Yanzhi: "But I’ve already thrown them away."
He Zhou's lips were pursed tightly. He didn’t say anything.
Qiu Yanzhi came closer and gave He Zhou a quick peck on the mouth. “He Zhou, you’re the only one I’ve kissed.”
He Zhou looked at Qiu Yanzhi, a dark look in his eyes. "What about that boyfriend of yours just now?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "I haven't kissed him even once."
He Zhou was silent for a while before swallowing dryly. He seemed to have a hard time getting the words out. "...Then...what about...Qin, Qin He?"
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head. "Nope."
With that, Qiu Yanzhi raised his head and kissed He Zhou again. “He Zhou, whether in the game or in real life, you’re the only one.”
He Zhou’s eyes gradually darkened. He lowered his head and kissed Qiu Yanzhi. Bringing his arm around his waist, he pressed Qiu Yanzhi onto the bed.
Qiu Yanzhi’s heartbeat immediately quickened.
...This was his...first time outside the game.
He was a little nervous.
But He Zhou froze all of a sudden.
Qiu Yanzhi: "?"
A trace of embarrassment flashed across He Zhou's face. "...I pulled my back."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
After another pause, He Zhou admitted gloomily:
“...There’s a cramp in my leg too.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi silently got up from underneath He Zhou and dragged a certain person surnamed He, whose body was stiff like a dead fish, onto the middle of the bed.
Then he dutifully started massaging He Zhou’s waist and leg.
His voice was indifferent: "In the future, don’t suddenly get up from the wheelchair for no good reason. Your body is still fragile and needs to rest.”
He Zhou: "......"
He silently buried his entire face into the pillow, too depressed to respond.
Qiu Yanzhi lifted up He Zhou's clothes and continued to give him a massage. Actually, Qiu Yanzhi’s never tried massaging anyone before. He didn’t know if he was using too much force or even if he was doing it right. He was just pressing and kneading at random.
He originally intended to adjust his approach according to He Zhou’s reactions, but the man remained completely silent.
Qiu Yanzhi sighed and went back to kneading He Zhou's cramped leg. "Which leg is the one with the cramp?"
He Zhou: "...The left."
Qiu Yanzhi began squeezing it and asked after a while, “How does it feel now? Is it still cramping?”
He Zhou: "It feels okay."
Qiu Yanzhi: "Lift your leg a bit."
He Zhou lifted his leg with some effort.
Qiu Yanzhi sighed again and continued his massage.
He Zhou didn't say a single word of complaint. He only spoke in order to answer Qiu Yanzhi’s questions.
Qiu Yanzhi laid down next to He Zhou and reached out to brush his short, inky black hair. “He Zhou, are you mad at me?”
Qiu Yanzhi's finger trailed from He Zhou’s hair to his ear. It was a little stiff so Qiu Yanzhi gently squeezed it. “Don’t worry He Zhou, it’s just a matter of time before you get better. With enough rest and an appropriate amount of exercise, you’ll be on your feet in a day or two.”
"No, that’s not it." He Zhou turned his head so that his face peeked out of the pillow.
He looked at Qiu Yanzhi, his voice a bit gloomy, “Qiu Yanzhi, I don’t seem to know you at all.”
He paused a beat before continuing, “I don’t know why you have to find a boyfriend just to lead him on. I don’t know your phone number or anything about you. I don’t know how many people are in your family, or any of your close friends… Qiu Yanzhi, I don’t seem to know anything about this world, including the you in it.”
Qiu Yanzhi froze for a moment. His finger lowered from He Zhou’s ear to just above his cheek.
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t even seem to notice how he was unconsciously rubbing He Zhou’s eyebrow and sideburns. His voice was excessively soft, “He Zhou, how could you not know anything about me? I’m still the same Qiu Yanzhi I was in the game, the only things that changed are my living conditions and relationships. I’ll tell you everything you don’t know or that you want to know.”
Qiu Yanzhi paused for a moment to think. He decided to start from a recent issue.
“The person who just gave me roses is called Fei Sihao. We started dating six months ago, but he’s actually a straight guy who only likes girls. He’s only going out with me as a favour to his friend, my older half-brother from the same father, Qiu Xicheng. They’re planning on using some disgusting, underhanded methods to make sure I lose my claim to any inheritance.”
Qiu Yanzhi was silent for a while. "And the reason I pretended not to know anything and played along is to obtain evidence of their misdeeds and get my revenge.”
"I'll deal with this matter as soon as possible. Actually, things were coming to an end four months ago. They were planning on drugging me, filming a video of my...messy private life, and sending it to my father. But all their preparations went to waste when I got trapped in the game. Of course, my plans were thrown into disarray as well.”
He Zhou held Qiu Yanzhi's somewhat cold hand.
Qiu Yanzhi smiled and gave He Zhou's hand a gentle scratch as he lay on the bed, his tone lazy like a sunbathing cat.
"When I went back for dinner yesterday, my father expressed some concern for me. If nothing out of the ordinary were to happen, Qiu Xicheng should resume that plan of his within a month. I’ll try to take care of things as quickly as possible too. Even if I can’t send him to prison, I want his reputation ruined for good. I’ve never wanted to fight with him over his inheritance, but at the very least I have to show his father what a disgusting person his son is."
Qiu Yanzhi took a deep breath and turned to look at He Zhou. "He Zhou, when that’s over with and I’ve paid back all of Qiu Hongsheng's money, leave this place with me, okay?”
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head. "I don't know, but it’ll be a place for just the two of us.”
He Zhou reached over and slowly brought Qiu Yanzhi into his arms. He kissed his brow, smiled and said yes.
Paying back everything from Qiu Hongsheng was really easier said than done.
All the money Qiu Yanzhi saved up over the years was spent in that VR game. He even used tens of thousands of Qiu Hongsheng’s money.
Add onto that the bills from his four month stay at the hospital, the four months of housekeeper wages, and He Zhou’s medical bills as well…
In total, Qiu Yanzhi owed Qiu Hongsheng a whopping $200,000.
Not to mention the fact that he had to support two people from now on.
Qiu Yanzhi looked at the numbers on the paper and sighed deeply.
He decided to work hard from now on, scrimping and saving every cent he could.
That meant no more hiring a housekeeper or ordering take out unless necessary.
Determined to make something to eat himself, Qiu Yanzhi opened the fridge.
...Only to find that there was no food at home.
“He Zhou, I'm going to the supermarket. Wait here and don’t answer the door if someone knocks.”
He Zhou came out of the study in his wheelchair. "I'll go with you."
Qiu Yanzhi decided it would be fine after a moment. The supermarket wasn’t far from his apartment; it was only 300 meters to the right.
"Then put on a mask and your cap.” Qiu Yanzhi said.
They ran out of disposable masks, so Qiu Yanzhi had to make do with a thick scarf. He helped He Zhou put on his disguise.
It was already early March, but the temperature remained low. The light snow last night didn’t help. A chill sharp enough to make people shiver lingered in the air.
Qiu Yanzhi’s body temperature has always been on the colder side, so his hands and feet were often cold in winter. He was too occupied with finding clothes big enough to fit He Zhou to wear appropriate clothes for the weather. Now outside, the thin pockets of his jacket did nothing to keep out the cold when he shoved his hands inside.
He Zhou maneuvered his electric wheelchair via the buttons on the armrest with one hand, but the other reached up to hold Qiu Yanzhi’s ice cold hand.
He Zhou's hand was very warm, so warm that Qiu Yanzhi almost felt like the man’s warmth was flowing into him. Even as the cold winds continued to blow against his face, Qiu Yanzhi’s chin slowly emerged from his scarf.
For the first time, he didn’t feel like walking outside in the middle of winter was some sort of icy torture.
He Zhou frowned and looked at the supermarket not far away. "Qiu Yanzhi, let's hurry inside. You look cold."
Qiu Yanzhi: ...Actually, I’m not that cold.
However, Qiu Yanzhi felt reluctant to speak up since He Zhou already said something. He could only quicken his pace towards the supermarket.
At that moment, an excessively flamboyant and colourful luxury sports car raced past them. It drove through the puddle by the road, sending a wave hurtling towards them.
Qiu Yanzhi subconsciously shielded He Zhou.
He Zhou glanced at the direction the sports car headed off in, his eyebrows tightly furrowed.
"Drive slower, He Xiaoqing! You just splashed someone!” The girl in the passenger’s seat yelled.
“Aiya, you know I’m in a hurry!”
“Hey, did you notice how that man in the wheelchair just now looked a lot like your big brother…”
The sports car gradually slowed before making a sudden u-turn.
But there was no one at the place they just passed.
"You probably saw wrong. How could my brother be in a place like this?”
“I didn’t say it was your brother, I just said the resemblance was uncanny...”
This was He Zhou’s first time in a real world supermarket.
He discovered there were a lot of people here, as well as goods.
Although the in-game supermarkets weren’t small either, they didn’t have many products in stock. Sometimes, there might only be two things to buy on an entire shelf.
But here, every shelf was packed to the brim with tens of different brands and flavours, each with their own unique packaging.
The overwhelming visuals stunned He Zhou, but his hands were hard at work.
This jar of fruit candies resembles the kind Qiu Yanzhi liked in the game, ka-ching!
I’ve never seen this kind of milk before, but it looks good. Qiu Yanzhi needs to drink a glass in the morning and at night, ka-ching!
This snack looks delicious. I bet Qiu Yanzhi would like some when watching TV, ka-ching!
Qiu Yanzhi stared at the shopping car that had somehow filled up while he wasn’t paying attention. He fell silent.
Then he took a box of Cheerios out of the cart.
He Zhou turned to look at him with a gentle smile on his face. "Do you like this one? We can get a few more boxes then."
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Qiu Yanzhi: "Mr. He, this box of Cheerios is $46.80.”
He Zhou: "En. What about that?"
Qiu Yanzhi asked an extremely cruel question.
"...Do you have money?"
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou was quiet for quite some time. Then he silently put the Cheerios back where he got them.
He Zhou: My character setting as the all-powerful president is gradually collapsing.jpg
Oh? Is that a brother I spot? Definitely not eagerly anticipating all the potential family drama >.>
And poor He Zhou lol. He’s gone from being the breadwinner to a housewife. Now that I think about it, he's not even the housewife because Qiu Yanzhi probably does all the cooking and cleaning XDD