When He Zhou heard this, his face turned dark as he gritted his teeth. "Qiu Yanzhi, you're out of your mind. Don't throw a fit in my office!”
Meng Zikang felt insulted. He trembled with anger and his speech became somewhat incoherent. "Nothing happened between us. We...we're just friends."
"Just friends?" Qiu Yanzhi almost laughed out loud, "Don't tell me that you knew nothing about He Zhou’s feelings for you for the last 20 years. He even keeps the broken bell you gave him on his person.."
"Qiu Yanzhi! Shut up already!" He Zhou snapped harshly.
"...A bell?" Meng Qikang was stunned, he turned dumbly to look at He Zhou, "You've kept it since that time..."
Dear idol mistress, did you just find out?
Qiu Yanzhi finally laughed out loud. His only regret was that he had no melon seeds to munch on right now.
But he saw the lunchbox in his hand as he looked down.
A brand new mint green lunchbox.
It was fresh and bright.
-Just like the top of Qiu Yanzhi's head.
Qiu Yanzhi became furious as he thought about how happy and expectant he was while preparing this meal in earnest.
He threw it to the ground.
But who would’ve thought that this lunchbox had a temper of its own? It bounced off the wall it was thrown at and hurtled straight towards Meng Qikang!
He Zhou lunged in the nick of time and shielded Meng Qikang tightly in his arms. The lunchbox smashed into He Zhou's back. The lid came off and the seaweed and egg drop dumpling soup dripped his drenched back.
The brand new lunchbox's insulation was just superb.
He Zhou let out a muffled grunt of pain. The hot soup steamed wherever it touched.
Meng Zikang screamed and strained to see where He Zhou was scalded. His eyes were red, as if he was going to cry in the next second. It was He Zhou who gently reassured him that he was fine.
Clap. Clap. Clap.
Qiu Yanzhi applauded their performance.
He laughed lightly, "What a harmonious couple. This is so heartwarming."
As Qiu Yanzhi looked at them, the smile on his face gradually faded away, but his tone remained quite calm.
"From today onwards, I, Qiu Yanzhi, won't play with you guys anymore. I wish you a hundred years of happiness! May you grow old together and be surrounded by children and grandchildren!”
Saying that, he pushed open the door.
There were a bunch of people standing in front of the office.
All of them had perked ears as they listened intently for gossip.
Exactly how much they heard depended on how soundproof the door was.
But Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t care less anymore.
Upon seeing Qiu Yanzhi come out, the group of people scattered again in a hurry.
The space before Qiu Yanzhi's eyes immediately cleared out.
His back was very straight as he marched ahead with steady steps. His face remained expressionless without a hint of anger or joy as he disappeared from sight.
Qiu Yanzhi went to a nearby park after leaving the company.
The flowers here were real, and so were the grasses and trees.
If you plucked a leaf, you could even squeeze out its sap.
Qiu Yanzhi, however, just sat on a bench.
He sighed like he was tired and softly said.
"Big Yellow, log me out of the game."
"Are you sure?" Big Yellow quietly asked.
"I don’t want to play anymore."
"Because they slept together?"
Qiu Yanzhi shook his head, "I don't know why."
From the beginning to the end.
It was always him and Meng Zikang.
He Zhou didn’t even offer him a single word of explanation.
So he either couldn’t or wouldn’t explain it.
From the beginning to the end.
Qiu Yanzhi didn’t even occupy a corner in He Zhou's heart.
He now felt inexplicably insulted when he remembered the excitement he had felt when cooking in the morning and the way he hid in his blanket and giggled like a fool last night.
He was silly, really, to expect that a tree made of iron could bloom.
He'd been playing this game for a month, doing his best and foregoing sleep and food.
In the end, it wasn't clear if he was playing the game or if the game was playing him.
"Then why did you..."
"Big Yellow." Qiu Yanzhi laughed, "This game of yours can really screw someone up.”
The corners of his lips flattened bit by bit.
"This isn’t fun anymore.”
Qiu Yanzhi was stil excessively irritable after coming out of the game pod.
Wrapped in a blanket, he slept from day to night.
He Zhou’s icy frown followed him even into his dreams.
He was so angry that he woke up.
Qiu Yanzhi sat on his bed.
What a dumpster fire of a game.
Ruining my youth.
He hoped the company that produced it would go bankrupt soon.
At that moment, Qiu Yanzhi's phone suddenly rang.
It was an unfamiliar number. Qiu Yanzhi frowned and picked up.
The deep voice of a man could be heard, "Hello, I'm Fei Sihao."
Fei Sihao… Who’s that?
Wait. Why did this name...somehow sound familiar?
Qiu Yanzhi rubbed his temples and rummaged through his head.
Finally, he remembered that this was the name on the business card that he threw in the trash last night.
So this was Qiu Xicheng's friend?
Qiu Yanzhi frowned. He originally wanted to find a reason to quickly end the call.
But when he looked up, he saw the full dive game pod in the corner that had been shut off.
Even Qiu Yanzhi didn't know what was going on in his head.
But he actually started chatting with this person.
Unexpectedly, they actually managed to hold a conversation.
However, Qiu Yanzhi hasn't eaten all day. He touched his flat stomach and said, "Mr. Fei, let's stop chatting for now. I need to go eat."
"En? Then what do you want to eat?"
Qiu Yanzhi got out of bed and shuffled along with his slippers to the kitchen.
He couldn’t find anything to eat after looking around.
It seemed that the new housekeeper he hired after firing the previous one yesterday hasn’t come yet.
Qiu Yanzhi sighed and took out a bag of instant noodles. "Looks like I'm going to eat some instant noodles."
Fei Sihao laughed quietly, "Then do you want to come out and eat with me?"
Qiu Yanzhi put down the instant noodles and stood there with a smile. "Mr. Fei's treat, huh?"
Fei Sihao: "En, what would you like to eat?"
"Won-"Qiu Yanzhi's voice stopped abruptly.
"Wontons?" Fei Sihao guessed.
"Anything but wontons."
Fei Sihao's voice was warm, "Where do you live? I'll come pick you up."
"No need. Just tell me the address and I'll head there myself."
Fei Sihao smiled: "It’s our first date, so please give me a chance to show off.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "Chang Ming Road, Lin Sen Apartments, Building 2."
There was a pause on the other end of the phone for an instant before the other person quietly spoke, "And your house number is..."
Fei Sihao suddenly laughed quietly.
"What's wrong?" Qiu Yanzhi asked.
"Open your door." Fei Sihao said.
Qiu Yanzhi hesitantly walked over and opened his door.
There was no one there.
Just when Qiu Yanzhi was about to close the door again, the door on the other side was suddenly opened.
A handsome man smiled and said, "Zhizhi, I'm in 2072."
Qiu Yanzhi blinked and looked up.
There was bound to be some resemblance in the faces that Qiu Yanzhi found to be good looking.
Between this person's eyebrows and eyes, there were a few things that reminded Qiu Yanzhi of his favorite male celebrity, and a few things that reminded him of He Zhou.
But when Fei Sihao smiled gently at Qiu Yanzhi…
That already faint sense of resemblance was diluted even further.
It was probably because he had had enough of He Zhou's sarcasm and indifference.
This Fei Sihao's gentle and polite demeanor actually made Qiu Yanzhi a little uncomfortable.
In order to hide his sexual orientation, Qiu Yanzhi has never been in a relationship before.
Fei Sihao, however, was obviously an expert.
He would take Qiu Yanzhi for a drive and stop on the bridge to see the most beautiful night view of the city.
He would remember Qiu Yanzhi's preferences and spend two hours in line to buy Qiu Yanzhi some of his favorite pastries.
When he walked alongside Qiu Yanzhi, he would take his hand and casually hide it in his pocket when the wind blew through.
On their third date out, the wind was a little strong.
When Qiu Yanzhi cringed a bit from the cold, Fei Sihao went into a store and bought him a beige scarf.
He carefully wrapped it around Qiu Yanzhi's neck.
Then he looked into Qiu Yanzhi's eyes.
His eyes were gentle like a bubbling pool of spring water.
His tone was warm enough to melt the winter snow.
"Zhizhi, will you be my boyfriend?"
Qiu Yanzhi curled his eyes and smiled even brighter than him.
On the other side.
"President He, no one from the school has seen Mr. Qiu, nor have we found any record of him spending money or travelling. Not even his cell phone is turned on. For the past week, our people have basically looked through all the surveillance videos in the city, but there was still no sign of Mr. Qiu. We're sorry to say that we have reasonable suspicions that Mr. Qiu may have suffered an unforeseen-"
He Zhou buried his face deep in his hands. His voice was hoarse.