TW: Drugs, abuse (?)
Qiu Yanzhi suddenly recalled something.
More than ten years ago, his mother would often force him to steal from the mall. Even though he and his targets were both small, he still got caught a lot because of how frequently he stole.
Some shopkeepers were kind-hearted. Seeing how young and skinny he was, and how he was stealing women’s clothing and accessories, they rightfully concluded that he had been put up to this by someone else. Those shopkeepers just took back the stolen merchandise and settled for chewing him out a bit.
But once, Qiu Yanzhi ran into a bad-tempered shopkeeper.
After the woman discovered he was stealing, she slapped him across the face and kicked him hard, saying that she would take him to the police station. “If you’re stealing at such a young age, what will you do when you’re an adult, huh? Murder and arson?! You’ll probably get sent to prison for quite a few years!”
Thinking back on it now, Qiu Yanzhi felt like that woman was right.
Even though he didn’t want to steal as a child, little things added up over time. His mind had long since been corrupted.
Even though he wasn’t at a point where he would resort to murder and arson, he would definitely spend a few years in prison if what he was doing came to light.
But he was willing to accept that risk.
He was willing to do anything if it meant He Zhou wouldn’t disappear.
Qiu Yanzhi lightly tip-toed back to their bedroom and got under the covers.
He Zhou was already asleep, his breathing very steady.
When Qiu Yanzhi burrowed into his arms, the man reflexively reached over and embraced him.
Qiu Yanzhi tilted his head up and kissed He Zhou on the lips.
Then he closed her eyes and went to sleep.
He had agreed to meet with Qin He at 8:00 pm, but Qiu Yanzhi left the house with his bag seven hours before that.
Before he left, He Zhou adjusted his tie for him.
“He Zhou, I might be getting off work late tonight." Qiu Yanzhi lied.
He Zhou nodded. "Be careful on the road."
Qin He originally proposed to go to a hotel on the phone, but Qiu Yanzhi refused. "I don't really like the hotel atmosphere. Why don't you come to my house?"
Qin He: "Aren't you afraid of that NPC walking in on us?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "I have another apartment he doesn't know about."
Qin He had looked into Qiu Yanzhi’s background so he knew that Qiu Yanzhi was now the son of a rich family. As a result, he didn’t find it suspicious that he owned multiple properties and simply agreed.
But in truth, Qiu Yanzhi had only rented that apartment yesterday.
The apartment was small and empty, with no furnishings aside from the basics and the surveillance system Qiu Yanzhi installed yesterday.
The reason Qiu Yanzhi came here early today was to prepare.
He bought a bed and bedding, as well as some daily necessities in order to make this place look lived in.
He also bought a very sturdy wooden chair with a traditional straight back ideal for handcuffing someone’s hands behind.
After everything was ready, Qiu Yanzhi set the table and ordered some luxurious takeaway as well as a pricey bottle of wine.
He even thoughtfully bought a beautiful vase and put a few fresh, delicate flowers in it.
It was already getting late by the time he was done.
Qiu Yanzhi glanced at the time before opening the bottle and pouring its contents into two wine glasses. Then, he added an entire dose of the tranquilizer to one of the glasses.
Qiu Yanzhi wasn’t planning on doing anything in particular.
He just wanted to confine Qin He here so that He Zhou could pretend to be him and go deal with that game.
If they moved quickly, they might be able to resolve everything in just three or four days.
At that time, Qiu Yanzhi would obviously let Qin He go.
This plan hinged on He Zhou’s cooperation, but Qiu Yanzhi didn’t plan to tell him in advance. He would tell He Zhou everything only when he had already kidnapped Qin He and set things irrevocably into motion.
It's not that he didn’t trust He Zhou, he just felt like the man would definitely stop him if he didn’t cut off all avenues of escape.
As a person, He Zhou was actually very upright.
Qiu Yanzhi hurt him in so many hateful ways in-game, but the most He Zhou ever did at his angriest was say a few harsh words.
Thinking back to the time where He Zhou grasped his chin and harshly berated him made Qiu Yanzhi unable to help smiling.
The doorbell rang at that moment.
Qiu Yanzhi curbed his smile as he stood up and walked to the door.
He paused with one hand on the door handle.
With his other hand, he forcefully scrubbed at his eyes so that they reddened like he had been crying.
With one last deep breath, Qiu Yanzhi opened the door.
Qin He was indeed the one waiting outside.
Qiu Yanzhi glanced at him before looking down at his feet. His voice was slightly hoarse. "Come in."
Qin He let out a mental huff of amusement at the sight of Qiu Yanzhi's red-rimmed eyes.
He walked into the apartment and glanced around, his gaze eventually settling on the obviously sumptuous dinner.
He raised an eyebrow and praised, "Nice work."
Qiu Yanzhi looked at Qin He, obviously trying desperately to maintain his composure. Yet the slight tremor in his voice revealed how humiliated he felt. “...Thanks.”
Qin He felt even more cheerful than before.
"Are you...really going to let go erasing the game’s data after today? Qiu Yanzhi asked.
"Of course." Qin He replied, "However, I have one more condition."
Qiu Yanzhi looked up. "What is it?"
Qin He: "Send that NPC back into the game."
Qiu Yanzhi froze. "You didn’t mention this...condition last time.”
Qin He let out a soft laugh. “Well, I didn’t expect you to slap me last time. Consider this interest for that.”
Qiu Yanzhi's face alternated between flushed and pale.
Qin He leisurely continued: "It’s your choice. Are you going to let that NPC completely disappear? Or are you going to send him back to the place he came from."
Qiu Yanzhi remained silent for a long time.
Qin He looked down at him. "Is this choice really so difficult?"
He sighed. "Then forget it. Sending the NPC back isn’t as foolproof as completely erasing the game’s data anyway.”
With that, he turned to leave.
"Don't, don't go..." Qiu Yanzhi frantically called out. With both hands clenched into fists, he said through gritted teeth, “I, I’ll agree. I agree to send him back.”
Qin He’s lips curled at finally hearing the answer he wanted. He turned back.
He inclined his jaw slightly at Qiu Yanzhi. "Take off your clothes."
Qiu Yanzhi's face was excessively pale. He was a bit shaky as he looked up at Qin He. "...Don't you want to eat first?"
"I ate before I came." Qin He said.
"Well at least pretend to have something.” Qiu Yanzhi smiled very reluctantly. "Qin He, think of all the good times we’ve spent together. I’m begging you, just...don’t treat me like this.”
Qin He took two steps forward and loomed over him. He asked in an almost sadistic whisper, "Like what?"
Qiu Yanzhi closed his eyes and replied in a trembling voice, “...Like a prostitute.”
Qin He’s laughter seemed to be tinged with genuine joy. He reached out at touched the corner of Qiu Yanzhi’s moist eyes before slowly saying, "Go sit at the table."
Qiu Yanzhi turned and walked to the table, breathing a secret sigh of relief.
After Qin He sat down across from him, Qiu Yanzhi picked up the unspiked glass of wine and slowly raised it. “Let me toast you.”
Qin He: "For what?"
Qiu Yanzhi said softly after a brief pause, "To our reunion after many years of separation...and to your willingness to help me."
Qin He smiled. He picked up the other glass and clinked it with Qiu Yanzhi’s.
Then he slowly brought it to his mouth.
Qiu Yanzhi felt his heart beating faster and faster, his eyes fixed on Qin He without blinking.
By the time the wine glass touched Qin He's lips, Qiu Yanzhi's heart was about to jump out of his throat.
But Qin He suddenly paused.
The nails of Qiu Yanzhi's other hand were digging into his palm. He smoothly looked down and raised his own glass for a sip.
"Wait." Qin He said.
Qiu Yanzhi's eyelashes fluttered lightly before he raised his head. "What's wrong?"
Qin He pushed his glass towards Qiu Yanzhi. “Let’s swap glasses.”
Qiu Yanzhi's face drained of all colour. His tone became a bit strange. “...What are you trying to imply?”
Qin He’s lips quirked up. “You can never be too careful. What if you’re trying to drug me?”
Qiu Yanzhi: "I wouldn’t."
Qin He pushed his glass closer to Qiu Yanzhi. "Then let's switch. Both glasses are the same after all.”
Qiu Yanzhi was frozen stiff. A fine layer of cold sweat broke out on his back.
Qin He’s eyes narrowed. His voice darkened. “You really spiked it?”
"...How could that be?" Qiu Yanzhi looked down and swallowed somewhat uneasily.
Qin He rapped with his knuckle on the table twice. "Then drink all of my glass.”
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t move.
"Drink." Qin He's tone became colder and colder.
Qiu Yanzhi picked up Qin He's wine glass and slowly raised it to his lips. However, he let go just before it came into contact with his mouth.
The glass fell towards the table, only to be securely intercepted by Qin He.
He coldly laughed as he stirred the wine glass. “So you really did spike it.”
With that, he stood up, bent down and grasped Qiu Yanzhi’s chin in a death grip. He raised the glass with his right hand and forced its contents into Qiu Yanzhi's mouth.
Qiu Yanzhi began to struggle. He tried his hardest to break free of Qin He’s grasp.
His flustered struggles made Qin He spill some of the wine.
So Qin He slapped Qiu Yanzhi's hard across the face before grabbing his chin once more and continuing.
With his mouth forced over, the scarlet wine forced its way down Qiu Yanzhi’s throat.
Qiu Yanzhi's hands fumbled around the table. Then he suddenly felt the decorative vase.
He didn’t exactly have time to think, so he closed his eyes and slammed the vase onto Qin He's head.
The vase shattered, raining tiny ceramic fragments onto Qiu Yanzhi’s face, some of which drew tiny lines of blood.
Immediately after, Qin He’s grip on his jaw loosened, and the wine glass in his other hand fell to the ground.
The scarlet liquor spilled all over Qiu Yanzhi.
At the same time, there was a dull thud. Qin He collapsed, his head hitting the dining table hard on the way down.
Qiu Yanzhi stood up bracing himself against the table and staggered to the bathroom. He stuck his finger into the back of his throat and vomited out the half glass of red wine he had just ingested.
He really hadn’t drank much since much of the wine was spilled during his struggles, but Qiu Yanzhi still vomited for a long time.
He only stood once he almost threw up everything he ate for lunch today. Then he turned on the tap and rinsed his mouth and face.
The cold water managed to clear up his head a bit.
Qiu Yanzhi wiped at his face before going out to see how Qin He was doing.
He didn’t see it clearly before, but on closer inspection there was a gaping wound on the back of Qin He’s head. The sight of vividly red blood oozing out was quite alarming.
The breath rushed out of Qiu Yanzhi’s lungs as he frantically stuck a finger beneath Qin He’s nostrils.
He’s not dead yet.
Qin Yanzhi finally breathed a sigh of relief before he helped Qin He onto the chair.
Qiu Yanzhi wanted to handcuff him, but he had hid the handcuffs away in a nearby cabinet.
Qiu Yanzhi glanced at the still unconscious Qin He. He doubted the man would make up anytime soon, so he turned and knelt down to retrieve the handcuffs.
The man's voice suddenly rang out from above.
Qiu Yanzhi's body stiffened as he looked up sharply.
Unfortunately for him, Qin He had woken up already.
He seemed to notice the pain and reached out to touch the back of his head. His hand was drenched with blood when he looked at it.
Qiu Yanzhi's heart started to beat violently.
He groped around the floor until he found a knife that had been swept off the dining room table just now during the struggle.
He clutched it tightly in his hand.
Qin He stood up and looked up with a frown. “Where is this… How did I get here?"
Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback.
Qin He approached Qiu Yanzhi, his brows furrowing even more. He knelt down and lightly traced the wounds on Qiu Yanzhi’s face with a fingertip. “And what happened to your face? Did something scrape you? Also, Qiu Yanzhi, didn't you go to work?"
Qiu Yanzhi blinked blankly.
I didn’t expect that ending. O-o
Oh well. Qin He’s a real scumbag anyway so I don’t really care if he gets replaced. You could even say Qiu Yanzhi’s plan succeeded in a way. ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ