Dong Zheng was startled. Then he frowned and said, “Emotions?”
“Yes, or else where do you think my five hundred points came from?” Cui Zuojing hoped that this would cause Dong Zheng to back off. After all, he was someone who’d already given up on his emotions.
He didn’t expect that Dong Zheng’s brain circuit would be different. Instead of being put off, he seemed to have zeroed in on the key point. “If we find the clown, then can you still get your feelings back?”
Although that was what Cui Zuojing had been planning to do, he couldn’t tell Dong Zheng this. Otherwise, this person would definitely take advantage of it. With a blank face, he said coldly and ruthlessly, “No, I have no such intentions.”
“I noticed that you don’t have very strong emotional fluctuations. I thought you were just a naturally cold person.” Dong Zheng ignored Cui Zuojing’s hard mouth and said to himself, “So this is the case…Since there’s a way for you to get your emotions back, this means that I still have a chance.”
Cui Zuojing said, “I said that I don’t want to take it back. My current state is already very good, and those unnecessary emotions won’t affect my judgements. Haven’t you realized it? If your emotions weren’t suppressed by Chang Hui’s energy at that time, you wouldn’t have reacted so quickly and wouldn’t be able to save those two kids.”
“It’s not the same thing.”
“How is it not the same thing?”
Dong Zheng didn’t speak. He looked at Cui Zuojing with a fixed gaze. Behind the forced callousness in Cui Zuojing’s eyes, there was a trace of flustered embarrassment. He suddenly realized the reason behind Cui Zuojing’s hard mouth.
“Don’t feel shy,” Dong Zheng said. “I realized from a very early age that my orientation is a little different from others. I know it may be a little difficult for you to accept and it may take some time, but please wait until you get your feelings back. Will you give me an answer then?”
He was so sincere that Cui Zuojing vaguely sensed that if this matter wasn’t handled properly, with Dong Zheng’s perseverance, he would try to convince him until morning comes. Cui Zuojing turned his face away and said, “We’ll talk about it later.”
“You have to promise me first.”
“Why should I promise you?” Cui Zuojing waved his hand and tried to leave. He couldn’t stand it anymore; his face was burning hot. What was this? Why did a conversation straight out of an idol drama happen between Dong Zheng and himself? Did this person really think he was still some kind of CEO?!
“You’re angry.” Ding Zheng grabbed his shoulders and pulled him back. He looked directly into Cui Zuojing’s eyes and analyzed him seriously, “I’ve never seen you act like this with Fu Zhe and Victor. Why are you so insistent on getting mad at me?”
Cui Zuojing took a deep breath. “Because you’re too foolish.”
“You don’t hate me,” Dong Zheng said confidently. “The reward I asked for, did it make you feel uncomfortable?”
Cui Zuojing thought about what Dong Zheng had said. What happened just moments ago…Except for panic and alarm, there seemed to be no feelings of disgust or nausea?
He was taken aback. But then, he found himself the perfect reason: Since his feelings were gone, why would he feel annoyed?
“Yes, I’m going to die of nausea. I want to throw up.”
“Don’t pretend.” Dong Zheng saw through him at a glance. “Don’t I know you well enough already? If you really do feel disgusted, you would definitely beat me on the spot.”
Cui Zuojing said, “Stop making it seem like our relationship is particularly special. If it weren’t for that stinky boy, Dong Linhai, we wouldn’t even have a relationship.”
“But the fact is that we can’t be separated. Even our lives are so connected together that, in my kernel world, there is a mapping of your existence.”
“Soon, it won’t be there anymore.
“So you’re going to get your feelings back soon.”
Cui Zuojing: ……..
Cui Zuojing was irritated. “Okay, I don’t want to talk to you about these trivial matters anymore. What you think is your business, but don’t let it affect the team.”
“I know this.” Before Cui Zuojing could lift his feet and leave, Dong Zheng caught his wrist. “You really…don’t hate me, do you?”
Cui Zuojing unexpectedly heard a trace of apprehensive entreaty in Ding Zheng’s voice. He couldn’t control his heart and it suddenly softened.
This…What was going on?
He turned around and looked at Dong Zheng. Poking his finger into Dong Zheng’s chest, he said coldly, “I warned you not to use your hands.”
After saying this, Cui Zuojing turned around and walked downstairs. Dong Zheng could hear him muttering, “…Believe it or not, I would give you a crooked mouth.”
As he watched Cui Zuojing’s back disappear into the stairs somewhat hastily, Dong Zheng’s tensed heart finally slowly relaxed. He let out a long sigh.
To be honest, he was a little embarrassed. From childhood to adulthood, this was the first time he had put on such a “thick face.” He clearly saw that Cui Zuojing wanted to dodge and evade him, but he refused to let him go.
But…this thick face also had some benefits. Although Dong Zheng had no experience, Cui Zuojing’s reactions indicated that he cared about him, at least.
As long as Cui Zuojing didn’t hate him, then he still had some hope.
Dong Zheng raised his hand and touched his lips. He had long lost the sensation of that kiss, but he would remember the psychological stimulation for a long time.
He always remembered that moment in the Labyrinth of Time, when he’d woken up in the hospital corridor to find Cui Zuojing sitting on him, a drop of water falling from his long eyelashes and hardening into a glass bead; on the rooftop, when Cui Zuojing became tipsy and his cheeks were flushed red; on the luxury cruise ship, the way Cui Zuojing was sleeping so unguardedly and unreservedly on his bed; on the steps of the hot spring tavern, the way he looked when he threw the cherry blossoms into the air; and in a field of snow, how Cui Zuojing had cupped his face and wiped away his tears.
For Cui Zuojing, these may be small, trivial actions, but to Dong Zheng, these things were inexorable temptations.
Dong Zheng looked at the terrace illuminated by the swaying candlelight. The thick velvet curtains were drawn tight, covering the scene outside. It was unclear how long the flowers had been carved into the railing. Dong Zheng realized belatedly that he ought to find a more suitable place to say the words he’d said just moments ago.
Although Cui Zuojing shouldn’t care whether the setting was romantic or not, it was a precious memory for him, after all.
Dong Zheng went downstairs. He saw Cui Zuojing sitting in the living room, talking to Victor in a low voice. When he caught a glimpse of Dong Zheng coming down, his expression slightly shifted, and he acted as if he hadn’t seen him, ignoring him completely.
Dong Zheng didn’t care. He looked around and found that only Dong Linhai wasn’t there, so he said, “There was a letter in our apartment’s mailbox this morning. It was an invitation from Heinrich. He wanted us to go and take a look at the organization he’d established.”
“Heinrich?” Lin Hangzhi said spiritedly. “Is he also in this district?”
“Many group boxes don’t just appear in one area and are scattered in different places. Regardless of the district you’re in, as long as you enter through the set box, you’ll be in the same instance,” Cui Zuojing explained. “Heinrich and the others should have been in the Top of the Giant Tree for a long time. Otherwise, the organization’s headquarters wouldn’t be set up here.”
Dong Zheng hummed in agreement and said, “His organization is newly established and he needs to recruit fresh blood. He obviously wants to bring us into his group.”
Cui Zuojing didn’t say anything, but Wang Que said, “Then we…Do you want to agree?”
“Let’s check it out first.” Ding Zheng wouldn’t make up his mind recklessly. At this stage, it would be beneficial for them to join a suitable organization. Not only would they save time in gathering intelligence, it would also make it easier for them to obtain rare props from the organization. However, he hadn’t quite figured out whether they ought to join a well-known organization or a new organization. Each had their own pros and cons.
Fu Zhe understood his thoughts and said, “I also suggest that you take a closer look. At present, the two strongest organizations in the Pure White Realm are Shiratori and Valkyrie. The management team in Shiratori knows A’Zuo so we can’t join them. Meanwhile, Valkyrie is also no good since they don’t care very much about the welfare of newcomers.”
Dong Zheng nodded and said, “I will consider this.”
Cui Zuojing didn’t say a word and simply sat quietly. However, aside from Dong Zheng, no one seemed to notice this abnormality.
Dong Zheng sat down beside Cui Zuojing. Since they usually sat together, no one was surprised. However, when this happened, Cui Zuojing immediately shifted away, the expression on his face clearly saying “Don’t touch me.”
Wang Que quietly watched them from the side.
Dong Zheng sat normally, not caring about Cui Zuojing’s behavior. He asked him, “Let’s cancel tomorrow’s training and go take a look?”
Who wants to go with you? Cui Zuojing silently thought to himself. However, he didn’t say it out loud. Instead, he couldn’t help but ask, “What’s the name of the Swiss’ organization?”
“Let me take a look.” Dong Zheng pulled out the folded letter from his pocket and found the seal on the last inscription.
Heimdall, the god of daybreak in Norse mythology. He guards the entrance to Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that leads to Asgard. Riding a golden maned horse and carrying the horn Gjallarhorn on his shoulder, his keen eyesight can see in all directions as he guards against the invasion of the Frost Giant.
They stood in front of a Gothic building and looked up at the unremarkable wooden sign hanging on the door. On the sign was the word “Heimdall” written in gilded font. Unfortunately, because the building itself was too eye-catching, this sign was easy to overlook.
“Is it here?” Dong Linhai looked around curiously. They’d arrived at the Top of the Giant Tree only three days ago and still hadn’t had time to explore the area. Everywhere, the city looked grand with tall, large vegetation. This castle-like building was nestled between two huge cedar trees and hidden from view.
“Isn’t the name written on this?” Cui Zuojing stuck his hands in his pockets. Instead of standing next to Dong Zheng as usual, he stood at the back of the group.
Dong Zheng checked the address in the letter again, and after confirming that it was correct, he said, “Let’s go.”
They had just walked inside when they saw a brown-skinned woman striding out aggressively.
As she walked out, she shouted behind her without looking back, “Go by yourself! Rotten scumbag!”
When she saw Dong Zheng and his party at the door, Beverly stopped and exhausted all her life’s power to control the expression on her face. Forcing a kind, twisted smile, she yelled, “Scumbag, come and pick up the guests!”
After a while, a blond man with glasses appeared at the door. When he saw Dong Zheng, he stepped forward and greeted, “You’re here. I’ve been waiting for you since yesterday.”
“Yesterday, we were still taking a break.”
After Dong Zheng exchanged greetings with him, he led them through the door.
Lin Hangzhi followed Dong Zheng and brushed past a man and a woman. The woman had short hair tucked neatly behind her ears. The man’s face looked anxious.
Lin Hangzhi turned his head and stared at the woman’s back, thinking that it looked a little familiar.
Cui Zuojing followed at the back of the group, watching the excitement. He saw Dong Zheng and Heinrich talking, Ding Linhai and Wang Que were standing side by side, and Lin Hangzhi looking at something. An odd sense of loneliness inexplicably appeared in his heart.