He Zhou didn't sleep at all the night before, so he was out like a light until 3:00 pm the next day. He would’ve slept even longer if the phone hadn’t started ringing.
He Zhou fumbled around for a while until he realized there was no one beside him in the bed. Only then did he sleepily pick up the phone.
Ever since he came to this world, Qiu Yanzhi was the only one who would call him.
He Zhou subconsciously murmured into the phone, "Qiu Yanzhi, where have you been?"
He Zhou's head felt like it was stuffed with cotton. He thought he was still in Qiu Yanzhi’s apartment, so his tone was tinged with a hint of grievance after not being able to find him when he woke up. That, along with the huskiness from just having woken up, made him sound almost flirtatious.
The other person was silent for a beat. Then a girl’s trembling voice came from the speaker, “...Big brother?”
He Zhou was silent for three seconds. While maintaining the exact same posture as before, he opened his eyes.
En. This was Qin He’s home.
He looked down at the clothes he was wearing.
En. This was Qin He’s body.
Then, he looked at the caller ID on the phone screen.
En. This was Qin He’s little sister.
He Zhou took five seconds to calmly think things over. Then he cooly hung up.
He was still in Qin He’s body after sleeping.
And he had just taken Qin He’s little sister’s call and called out for Qiu Yanzhi.
Thanks to the detailed information he gleaned from Qin He’s phone records as well as the basic research he did on Qin He’s family before, He Zhou had a general idea of who ‘Little Sister He Xiaoqing’ from the phone records was.
Qin He’s father was surnamed Qin and his mother was surnamed He.
His mother came from a distinguished family. She was the only daughter of He Pingfeng, the founder of the Shengyuan Group, but she eloped with a poor boy.
It was lucky that the two of them were in their prime. After Qin He was born, their life couldn’t be described as luxurious, but it was cozy and filled with happiness.
Unfortunately, the couple both passed away during a car accident. After that, Qin He was taken back to the He family and renamed He Zhou.
He Xiaoqing, on the other hand, is the granddaughter that He Pingfeng adopted after Qin He came to stay with the He family.
Everyone had an opinion on why he had done this: He Pingfeng had spent more than ten years alone after his daughter left, but now he adopted a little girl after taking in his grandson? Of course people would talk.
However, Qin He seemed to all but disappear three or four years ago. It was actually He Xiaoqing who was frequently in the public eye due to her bright and bubbly personality. This caused many people to publish lengthy discussions on the internal feuds of the rich, as well as detailed analyses of the likelihood of He Xiaoqing usurping the He family inheritance.
But at the end of the day, He Zhou didn’t care one bit if He Xiaoqing wanted to fight over the He family fortune or not. He was just worried about what kind of trouble his slip up would land Qiu Yanzhi in.
Before He Zhou could think more about whether to explain what just happened to He Xiaoqing, she called him again.
There was barely contained excitement in her voice: “Brother!! I remember now!! Isn’t Qiu Yanzhi that Xia Yuan?! So you finally successfully pursued your first love?!! That’s not bad! Sigh. Ge, how come you’re such so smooth now?! Are you finally making an attempt after chickening out for so many years?! It seems like you’re living together from what I just heard!! Brother! You’re way too much of a badass!!!! Why didn’t you tell me, ah! I want to see my sister-in-law in person!! Lemme see, lemme see, lemme see!!”
He Zhou: "......"
Was this the scheming, malicious and sinister He Xiaoqing fighting tooth and nail with Qin He over the He family inheritance according to the media?!
He Zhou shot her down coldly. “You don’t have a sister-in-law. I’m not close in any way with Qiu Yanzhi.”
He Xiaoqing: "But I clearly heard..."
"That was me talking in my sleep.” He Zhou cut her off immediately. “Some people you can only meet in your dreams. No, not even in your dreams later on.”
He Xiaoqing was taken back for a second. She quietly said, “...You...you can still try, right? Maybe he still has feelings for you.”
He Zhou cruelly shattered He Xiaoqing's delusions. "Qiu Yanzhi already has a boyfriend."
He coughed before shamelessly elaborating, “Qiu Yanzhi's boyfriend is excellent in every way. Even ten of me can’t measure up to one of him.” He Zhou paused before adding emphasis to his words, “And they’re deeply in love with each other.”
He Xiaoqing: …What should I do? I feel like my brother’s so pitiful…
He Xiaoqing couldn't help but struggled one last time. “...You...you’re pretty good too, ah! And you like him so much…”
“There’s no point in liking him because he doesn't belong to me and never will. I can never be with him. He has his boyfriend now, his own life. I shouldn’t bother him anymore."
He Xiaoqing: Wuwuwuwu… My brother trying to pretend to be strong by saying these words is so pitiful wuwuwuwu….
"I won't delude myself any longer. You should leave him alone too. It’s time for me to face reality. If you notice me short-circuiting and trying to pursue him again, please do everything you can to stop me.” With that, He Zhou repeated something he had already said, “After all, he and his boyfriend are very, very much in love with each other.”
He Xiaoqing choked up. “En...I...I get it now."
Satisfied, He Zhou nodded and said, "See you later then."
"Don't forget, Qiu Yanzhi and his boyfriend are very, very, very, very much in love. I have no chance with him, and pigs would fly before he becomes your sister-in-law. Got it?”
He Xiaoqing sniffled. “...En. Got it.”
He Zhou nodded once again in satisfaction before leisurely hanging up.
Only afterwards did he continued to think about why he hadn’t vacated Qin He’s body yet.
Originally, He Zhou thought he accidentally got into Qin He’s body because the man had lost consciousness after being brained by a vase.
He thought that going to sleep would mean giving up the ability to control Qin He’s body. That the man himself would wake up as he left.
Yet he was still in Qin He’s body now.
He Zhou frowned and reached up to touch the gauze covering the back of his head.
Did he remain in Qin He’s body because Qin He wasn’t ‘awake’ yet?
But He Zhou remembered that the doctor said yesterday the wound on this body’s head wasn’t too deep or serious.
If even Qin He waking up wasn’t enough to ‘squeeze’ him out, then how long would it be before he could get out?
He Zhou pursed his lips as he looked at Qiu Yanzhi’s number on the phone screen. He didn’t know how to break the news to Qiu Yanzhi.
...What if he was trapped in this body forever?
At that moment, Qin He’s phone rang again.
He Zhou was actually a little nervous as he looked down at the caller ID.
"Sister He Xiaoqing."
He Zhou let out a sigh of relief and picked up. “What’s the matter?”
“That’s right, brother. I called you earlier to tell you something. I can’t believe I almost forgot… I know you’re really busy and...not in a good mood, but don’t forget that tonight’s Grandpa’s birthday!”
“En. Got it.” He Zhou said.
He Xiaoqing knew that her brother was heartbroken, so she bit her tongue and just repeated the time and place of the dinner banquet before quickly hanging up.
The first thing Qiu Yanzhi did after waking up was check his phone to see if He Zhou had tried to get in touch with him.
Upon discovering there was nothing, he checked the apartment over once only to find no trace of He Zhou.
Qiu Yanzhi had his phone in his hand, but he didn’t dare to call Qin He. All he could do was wait.
It was only when his stomach started grumbling that ‘Qin He’ got in touch with him.
Not knowing whether the person on the other line was Qin He or He Zhou, Qiu Yanzhi was a bit nervous. “...Hello?”
The other party hesitated a beat before saying, “It’s me. I didn’t leave.”
“....Huh?” Qiu Yanzhi was taken aback. It took him a moment to respond, “Why, ah?”
“I don’t know either.” He Zhou’s voice was a bit gloomy.
Qiu Yanzhi sighed. “Forget it. There’s no point in ruminating over it. You’ll come out one day.”
Even though his words were meant to comfort He Zhou, Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t conceal all of his disappointment.
"En." He Zhou said.
Qiu Yanzhi asked, "So what are you going to do now? Continue to pretend to be Qin He and live his life?”
“That’s the only option left.”
“Won’t it be troublesome to deal with Qin He’s affairs so directly?”
“Maybe.” He Zhou admitted, “Today’s his grandpa’s birthday. I’m going to attend the banquet.”
Qiu Yanzhi’s brows furrowed. “How are you going to do that? You don’t know any of his family.”
“I’ve looked up some basic information, so I should be able to keep up pretences on a surface level. But I might expose myself if they ask more personal question.”
“Why don’t you...pretend to have amnesia?” Qiu Yanzhi suggested, “It just so happens you have a head wound. You can say something like you bumped your head and can’t remember some things as clearly.”
He Zhou: "We’ll see. I’ll try that if I get cornered.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "It's fine, don’t worry about it. There’s no way they’ll guess the truth.”
Qiu Yanzhi asked again, "Should I go with you?"
"No need." He Zhou didn't want Qiu Yanzhi to get anymore involved with ‘Qin He’. “I can take care of things myself. Why don’t you listen to Fei Sihao’s phone records again, see if he’s up to anything. We can’t neglect that side of things.”
"Mm-hmm. Got it." Qiu Yanzhi nodded.
He and He Zhou had been so busy with the matter of Qin He that they hadn’t paid attention to the mess that was Fei Sihao and Qiu Xicheng for a good few days.
After they hung up, Qiu Yaznhi booted up the computer and the recordings made by the listening software.
The amount of recordings that had accumulated after so many days was tiresome to listen to even at 4x speed. Qiu Yanzhi was falling asleep by the time he finally heard something of use.
It was a call between Qiu Xicheng and Fei Sihao.