IWOL Chapter 149: A Calm Heart-to-Heart

Heinrich finally completed what he wanted to do and found another backbone for Heimdall. His face was relaxed and happy as he said, “The assessment can be done at any time when you’re free. But I will first say that I won’t lower the standard.”

“Since you can say that you’ll give us the highest level, it means that you think we’re strong enough.”

Even as Dong Zheng said this, he still felt a little uncertain. Since he came to the Pure White Realm, he’d participated in 11 boxes. He’d also participated in many group boxes with other teams, including Hamelin, Labyrinth of Time, Doll’s House, Dusk Island, and more.

But everyone in Hamelin was a novice. Everyone in the Labyrinth of Time was besieged by monsters. In Doll’s House, when they met other people, there was only Wang Que left. It was only on Dusk Island when they suddenly realized that their team was considered quite good among pilgrims of the same period.

Linhai couldn’t help but asked, “What do you think of our team?”

“I saw inestimable potential, firm goals, tenacious perseverance and a little bit of ambition. Enough to build a very strong team.”

Cui Zuojing smiled and said, “You can really talk. Our team… How to say it. A team with a captain with a good brain but only five points combat effectiveness, a silly boy who makes spoon bend, an insect controller who is afraid of insects, and a doctor who can fall on the ground at any time do not seem to have immeasurable potential.”

Dong Linhai nodded. Although he really didn’t want to admit that what Cui Zuojing had said was right, after thinking about it, he realized that it wasn’t wrong.

Unexpectedly, Dong Zheng was unwilling. He looked at Cui Zuojing and solemnly said, “After training for such a long time, I don’t think my combat effectiveness is really only five points.”

“Alright. This is true if it’s just you. If it weren’t for me, I wouldn’t know where you would have died.”

“I admit it, but I’m really not as weak as you said.”

“It’s not what you think, it’s what I think.”

Now, even Heinrich felt that there was something wrong between them. He looked at Dong Linhai questioningly, but Dong Linhai only gave him back a blank face.

Wang Que wanted to speak up and try to persuade Cui Zuojing, but in the end, she dared not say anything. The tense atmosphere gradually spread. Dong Zheng frowned and looked at Cui Zuojing, while Cui Zuojing looked back at him without signs of relenting.

In the end, Dong Zheng turned his head and said to Heinrich, “How will the assessment be conducted?”

Seeing Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing quarreling, Heinrich had a cold sweat in his heart. He said, “We’ve collected a lot of single-person boxes with difficulty ranging from two to three-and-a-half stars. You each need to enter a box alone, and we’ll determine your performance based on the rewards after clearance and rate your level accordingly.”

Cui Zuojing waited for a long time but didn’t get any reactions from Dong Zheng. He almost rolled his eyes. He hadn’t communicated with Dong Zheng normally for a while, and somehow he wanted to quarrel with Dong Zheng. But Dong Zheng kept ignoring his provocations.

It was like hitting cotton with a full punch. Not only did it have no effect, but it also framed oneself, which was extremely uncomfortable.

Ahhhh, what kind of person is this, ah?! Saying that you like me but is even trying to annoy me! Con man! 

He glared at Dong Zheng angrily and turned away when no one was paying attention.

Lin Hangzhi asked, “I would be tested alone? What happens if someone’s rating isn’t very good?”

“If you have a four-person team, the highest team level is determined by at least three people’s rating. Since it’s you guys, then it should be pretty easy.”

Heinrich didn’t count Cui Zuojing. Since he was Dong Zheng’s prisoner, he must be tied to Dong Zheng when assessing strength.

Dong Zheng nodded and said, “It just so happens that our single box experience is relatively small, and it can be used as training. Let’s prepare and perform the assessment when we find a suitable time.”

Once everything was negotiated, Heinrich had other things to do, so he let them tour Heimdall on their own and left first.

In this blink of an eye, Dong Zheng could not find Cui Zuojing’s figure.

He looked around, told Lin Hangzhi his intentions, and set off to find Cui Zuojing.

A few small leaves at the top of the Arabidopsis plant in the center of the kernel were drooping and listless. Following the blood contract between them, Dong Zheng walked through the atrium and several long corridors into the garden behind the building.

Cui Zuojing was sitting on a swing under a huge banyan tree, looking at a fountain not far away. He was frowning, but it was unclear what he was thinking. The contract made him aware of Dong Zheng’s arrival, and he jumped off the swing and was about to leave, obviously not wanting to care about him.

Dong Zheng stepped forward and grabbed Cui Zuojing’s back collar to prevent him from running.

“Why are you angry again?”

“I’m not angry.” Cui Zuojing turned his head back and sent out a fist to greet him. “Don’t touch me.”

Dong Zheng drew sideways to avoid his punch, and at the same time let him go.

“You lied to me again.” He was calm, especially since he could roughly guess why Cui Zuojing was upset. “I know that you may have a hard time accepting it for a while, but you can’t let the things between us affect the team. Didn’t you say so?”

Cui Zuojing watched the ants on one side of the tree trunk move, hummed twice in acknowledgement, and said, “Anyway, it’s not my fault. Who told you to ignore me these two days?”

“I ignored you?” Dong Zheng grinned happily. “Every time I speak to you, you become awkward and try to hide from me. Why should I go and look for a scolding?”

“Okay, it’s all my fault.” Cui Zuojing also felt that he was being a bit unreasonable and extremely childish. But how could he admit that he may lift his foot to leave, but he also wanted Dong Zheng to pull him back and make him stay?

“Don’t play at a child’s temper. Let’s sit down and have a good chat.”

“You are playing at a child’s temper.” Cui Zuojing’s mouth wasn’t forgiving, but he didn’t resist and allowed Dong Zheng to pull him back on to the swing.

Sitting down and having a good chat, this was also what he wanted to do.

The swing was quite big, and they sat side by side with a considerable distance between them. Dong Zheng took out two red cherry tomatoes from his pocket like magic and offered them to Cui Zuojing. “I took it from the kitchen.”

This was Cui Zuojing’s favorite fruit. For a second, he couldn’t decide whether he should take Dong Zheng’s offering. In the end, he took it, which was equivalent to accepting Dong Zheng’s peace offering.

He put a fruit into his mouth and bit it lightly. The sweet and sour juice splashed out, full of aroma. He and Dong Zheng looked at the fountain with a statue of Heimdall riding on a horse erected in the center.

“When we were talking before, whenever I came close to you, you completely ignored me. It made me feel upset, thinking that you really don’t like me in that way, so that’s why these past two days, I haven’t been trying to find you.”

Cui Zuojing was silent for a long time. Maybe it was those two cherry tomatoes, but after sitting down with Dong Zheng, he suddenly felt calmer.

“That’s not true,” he said slowly. “I just think…that it’s very strange and awkward. When I think of what you said to me that day, I don’t know how to get along with you.”

“You can still be like before. As I said, you don’t need to give me a reply before you get your feelings back. Similarly, I won’t do anything out of the ordinary. We can get along well just like before.”

Cui Zuojing raised his eyebrows. “Then why did you bother saying it in the first place? If that is the case, why not just hold it in your heart?”

Dong Zheng said, “I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I’ve already held it in for too long. I was afraid that if I don’t say it, if there is an accident one day and I never see you again, I would leave forever with regrets. You wouldn’t know that there was once a person in this world who wholeheartedly loved you.”

Cui Zuojing didn’t say anything. He moved his hand from the swing and clothed his pants. He thought about what Dong Zheng said, only to realize that up to now, he still didn’t even know what this person thought.

After a long time, he resisted his feelings of bashfulness and asked the question that he had wanted to ask from the beginning but was too embarrassed to say. “What do you…like about me?”

Dong Zheng didn’t answer for a long time. When Cui Zuojing didn’t hear anything, he looked over curiously, not realizing how expectant his gaze was.

Who wouldn’t want to hear their own advantages from others’ mouths?

Before Cui Zuojing could urge him, Dong Zheng finally said slowly, “I actually didn’t say it very clearly. Maybe it’s easier to have feelings when we get along day and night. At first, I thought it was just a deep friendship between peers. Until I found out…I have some other thoughts about you.”

“…Other thoughts?”

“I want to do to you what I did that day.” Dong Zheng wasn’t very good at describing those unspeakable fantasies, so he could only say, “There are some… other things too.”

Cui Zuojing immediately sucked in a cold breath. Although he’d been stuck at sixteen years old and he was somewhat ignorant when it came to those matters, he wasn’t stupid. He hadn’t understood Fu Zhe’s recent abnormal reactions, but after it happened too many times, if he still didn’t understand it, then there was really a problem with his mind.

Now Dong Zheng actually said that he has those kinds of thoughts toward him?

Cui Zuojing suddenly became calm.

“Didn’t you ask me before, if we go out, could I support you for the rest of your life?” Dong Zheng said in a low voice. Taking advantage of Cui Zuojing’s preoccupation and inattention, he sneaked his hand over and rested his palm over Cui Zuojing’s smaller hand.

“I can. I can support you for a lifetime.”

Cui Zuojing suddenly looked at him, with surprise written in the corners of his eyes and eyebrows. He kept thinking that there was a high possibility that Dong Zheng was just hot-headed and confused, and so that was why he believed that he liked him. He didn’t expect that this person… would have such affectionate feelings toward him?

Seeing Cui Zuojing staring at him in a daze, Dong Zheng smiled slightly. He leaned down and pressed a soft kiss on his forehead before ducking his head to hide.

Cui Zuojing was startled.

It wasn’t just that this sudden kiss startled him, but…that it was so familiar.

He’d once felt this kind of special tenderness when he was in unconscious.

Cui Zuojing raised his hand and touched the place where Dong Zheng had just kissed him. Then, he put down his hand as if he’d been electrocuted. With a grimace, he grabbed Dong Zheng’s collar.

“Say, did you secretly kiss me before?”

——————–

Xixi’s Corner:

Although his awkwardness is understandable, Cui Zuojing is such a childish tsundere. Smh. 😄



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Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapter~

It's so cute how flustered Cui Zuojing gets and then tries to get angry to hide it and blame Dong Zheng XD I can't wait to see how their dynamic will be when they settle into their relationship~ I'd almost forgotten how Cui Zuojing was kissed on the forehead near that temple in one of the boxes, right before he was rescued by Domingo O.O Could Domingo really be related to Dong Zheng somehow? Maybe a soul fragment or something like that?

Secret
Secret
3 years ago

I guess domingo and the ml is just the same person and CZ just turn back the time

Maybe something bad happened in the future so he gets send back in time that will explains his feelings for CZ and how familiar he is with the way CZ fights and also in the chapter where allen died he said something like “i still can’t save you” and also how does he know about the bear prop??

This is just my guess and sorry for my bad english

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

Aaaaaah! So nice having the pair talk about what they feel! It wasn’t very in-depth as I hoped it would be, but I guess that will happen later on when CZJ gets back his emotions.

Yikes at the end though. It was Domingo who kisses CZJ because DZ was still unconscious at that time.