IWOL Chapter 350: A Shared Home (Cui Zuojing x Dong Zheng)

“Yes to Q.” The young man who sat cross-legged on Dong Zheng’s hospital bed threw out a Q but held the only remaining card in his hand tightly so that no one could see.

He looked like he was 18 to 19 years old, and his dark eyes were bright and energetic, with a cunning light. He’d taken the black sports jacket off in the warm ward, and his collarbone was exposed by the round neckline of his T-shirt. A black backpack was placed on the chair next to the bed.

“I can’t afford it,” Dong Linhai looked at the two cards in his hand and said helplessly.

“No.” Dong Zheng also shook his head.

“Little King!” Cui Zuojing slapped the last card in his hand on the bed, revealing the gray clown throwing a ball. He pumped his arms out and exclaimed in excitement. “I win!”

Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai put down the remaining cards in their hands in succession. In the Pure White Realm, they often played cards together, and so they long understood each other’s level. Dong Linhai stretched out his hands and shuffled the cards, ready to start again. After spending ten days in the hospital ward, he felt as if he was getting cabin fever. There was still nostalgia for the Pure White Realm in his heart, such that he didn’t even want to play mobile games. Fortunately, Cui Zuojing found something for them to do.

“Is there anything to eat? I’m a little hungry.” Cui Zuojing looked around for food.

Dong Linhai’s eyes immediately brightened. He hurriedly brought the thermos on the bedside table over and handed it to Cui Zuojing. “Drink this, drink this.”

Cui Zuojing unscrewed the lid, and the smell of chicken soup wafted out. Chicken and longan, wolfberries, cordycep herbs, lotus seeds, and red dates, all simmered for three hours. A thin layer of oil floated atop the crimson soup, increasing people’s appetite just by looking at it.

“This is something your mother stewed for you.” Cui Zuojing tried to return the thermos to him and asked, “Anything else?”

“Just drink this.” Dong Linhai pushed the thermos back toward Cui Zuojing with both hands. His entire face wrinkled and he said, “I’ve been drinking it for nearly a week now. I really can’t swallow it anymore.”

Dong Zheng couldn’t help but say, “It’s okay. You can drink it. Mom wants Linhai to finish this entire cup, so you’ll be doing him a favor.”

“Okay then.” Cui Zuojing didn’t view himself as a guest. He poured it out onto Dong Zheng’s bowl and drank it slowly. The chicken soup was indeed stewed very fresh, and the ingredients only added exceptional flavors to it. Cui Zuojing took a cordycep out and looked at it for a few seconds. He put it up to his mouth and made sure there was no strange smell before eating it.

He drank half the container. Meanwhile, the three of them chatted. In this way, time passed quickly. Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai were recovering very well, but Su Daijun was still worried and wanted them to stay for an additional two days of observation. They were embarrassed to continue taking up medical resources and wanted to be discharged from the hospital, but they couldn’t blame her for being nervous. After all, the car accident was so serious that everyone thought the two brothers would never wake up.

It seemed that his future mother-in-law’s cooking skills weren’t bad. Cui Zuojing thought this, but didn’t say it out loud. He was worried that Dong Zheng might feel uncomfortable. After all, Su Daijun wasn’t really his biological mother. During the rainy nights in Doll’s House, Dong Zheng had already told him about his family issues.

“It seems that you’re being a blockhead for no reason.” Putting down the bowl, Cui Zuojing licked the corner of his lips in satisfaction.

Dong Linhai let out an “mmn” sound, waved his hand, sat up on the bed, and said, “I’m going to the bathroom.”

Dong Linhai entered the bathroom and closed the door after him. Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng immediately looked at each other. The moment their eyes met, Cui Zuojing reached over and climbed onto Dong Zheng’s side, with one hand propped on the bed and the others on Dong Zheng’s shoulder. Dong Zheng embraced him and lowered his head to catch the kiss that Cui Zuojing raised toward him.

Lips and teeth entangled. They’d had fierce kisses, obsessive kisses, and tender kisses, but their kiss had never been as cautious as it was now. As if fearing this bubble of reality might break, they used temperature and breath to confirm each other’s existence. Cui Zuojing pulled his hand away from the bed and entwined his fingers with Dong Zheng’s other hand.

The door of the room was closed, and the sound of pattering water came from the bathroom; Dong Linhai had obviously been holding back for a long time.

In the distance, they could hear the sounds of nurses walking by and talking in the hallway outside, separated by a door. Their interlaced breathing quietly became hotter and more ragged, turning the situation in a direction that was more difficult to control. Cui Zuojing resisted the clamor of longing in his heart. Finally, he nipped Dong Zheng’s lower lip one last time and moved away.

They looked at each other and saw their own reflection in the other’s eyes. The sound of Dong Linhai washing his hands came to them, and Cui Zuojing hurriedly raised his hands to cover the tip of his red ears. The corners of his lips were raised, making him look particularly charming and seductive.

Dong Zheng licked the tooth marks on his lower lip, savoring the taste of this kiss. The sweetness of red dates and longan seemed to melt into his heart.

Dong Linhai wiped his wet hands and came out, completely unaware of what was going on. He sat down beside his bed, picked up the cards, and asked, “Another round?”

“No. I’ll just stay for a few more minutes and then leave,” Cui Zuojing said. “I don’t want to wait until your parents come over and see me, then it’ll be embarrassing.”

“What’s so embarrassing about that? Just say you’re my brother’s friend.” Dong Linhai didn’t care, but he also didn’t insist.

Dong Zheng remembered the question he wanted to ask Cui Zuojing. “Where are you staying?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ll look for a hotel nearby. I think there are quite a few.” The moment he got out of the station, Cui Zuojing went straight to the main hospital to ask if there were any brothers who had been hospitalized due to a car accident. As a result, he had no chance to find a place to stay yet.

“No need.” Dong Zheng opened the drawer of the bedside table and took out his key. He took out the middle key and handed it to Cui Zuojing. “This is the key to my house. You can stay with me. I’ll write the address down for you.”

Cui Zuojing raised his eyebrows and happily slipped the key into his pocket. This saved money and was convenient, so why not?

On the bedside table, there were fruits sent by relatives and friends when they visited. Cui Zuojing peeled apples for Dong Zheng, the knife moving dexterously in his hand. The peeled skin even had a uniform thickness.

He gave the apple to Dong Zheng and then, under Dong Linhai’s expectant eyes, he put down the knife, saying, “I seem to still have a bit of my ability left. That’ll make it easy to cut meat.”

Speaking of this, Dong Zheng also echoed, “The same for me too. Although my kernel has shrunk, my mind is better than what it was before the accident.”

“Huh? Really?” Dong Linhai was distracted and quickly put behind Cui Zuojing’s different treatment of not peeling apples for him. He opened his hand toward the stainless steel lid on the cup and held his breath.

After a few seconds, the lid of the cup shook slightly.

“Wow, it really is still there!” Dong Linhai was overjoyed. Then, that meant…he had a superpower?

The special investigation team in the ninth and tenth department of the National Security Bureau, come find him!

“Of course, it’s not as good as mine. But I suggest that, if you want to continue living a normal life, don’t expose your ability.” Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng looked at each other, and he asked Dong Linhai, “Hey, do you still remember what happened in the end?”

Dong Linhai scratched his head. “I don’t remember much…I led away the two guards in the forest behind the garden and fought with them. Afterward, when I ran into the garden, I saw you fighting and the Queen being killed…It’s a pity that I missed the final battle.”

Dong Zheng asked, “Then do you remember Allen’s death in Snow Parasite Trail?”

“I remember, ah. I’ll never forget it in this life. Hey, it’ll be great if I could control parasitic insects then maybe Brother Len wouldn’t have died.” Dong Linhai sighed. “But the final result is good too. Brother Len can accompany that pub woman in the Pure White Realm.”

It seemed that he’d completely forgotten Wang Que.

Cui Zuojing didn’t know how to feel about it. But it was Wang Que’s final wish, due to not wanting Dong Linhai to suffer the pain of separation. In that case, he and Dong Zheng wouldn’t mention it.

Only…how regretful.

When it was nearly time for Dong Yi and Su Daijun to visit the brothers, Cui Zuojing said goodbye to Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai and left the hospital with Dong Zheng’s key. When he walked out of the hospital, the afternoon sun was shining on him. The trees on the side of the path lended him their thick shade, and the wind brought the fragrance of flowers. Arabidopsis thaliana grew on the sides of the flower beds, looking unremarkable.

It had been a month since Cui Zuojing left the Pure White Realm. After waking up, Cui Zuojing took the train back home. When he knocked on the door of his house, his parents and sister were still immersed in their sad and uneasy parting. Their wet, red eyes still hadn’t dissipated when they saw Cui Zuojing return.

Sadness and anxiety turned to ecstacy. He was only gone for less than a day.

In the end, the family already knew about Cui Zuojing’s experiences. When Cui Zuojing was 16 years old, a serial killer who had escaped from prison stabbed him dozens of times. When he died, he went to the Pure White Realm for three years. But when he woke up, only an hour had passed. Thus, they were prepared for him to come home after an hour, but were more worried that he might never come back.

His sister cried and hugged him. When she noticed that something was missing, she choked up and asked where Victor was.

“He decided to stay behind with someone who needed him more,” Cui Zuojing replied.

At that time, Dong Zheng hadn’t had an accident yet. This was good. Although it was similar to the time when he entered the Pure White Realm, it wasn’t completely the same. Even so, he still needed to wait for them to go through it. Only a few months later did the two brothers Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai from far away in Shanghai encounter the car accident that changed their life.

As a person in the past, Cui Zuojing couldn’t be more aware of the outcome of disturbing this timeline. If he rashly appeared in Dong Zheng’s life and the car accident never happened, then everything, including this current outcome, would no longer exist.

So Cui Zuojing waited at home. While waiting, he and his family talked about his experience. When they heard that Victor had turned back into a person and was living well in the Pure White Realm, they finally let go of the worry in their hearts. Although they’d never seen Victor in the form of a person and have not had any spoken exchanges with him, the white cat with the human soul had lived with them for eight years. He had long become a member of their family.

Now that the curse was lifted, Cui Zuojing’s body gradually returned to its normal trajectory. By the time he went to see Dong Zheng, he had already grown from someone who looked 16 years old to someone who looked 18 to 19 years old. In a few more months, he should completely return to his original 24 years old appearance.

On the eighth day after Dong Zheng’s accident, Cui Zuojing got on the train bound for Shanghai. After several twists and turns, they finally met again.

When he came out of the hospital, Cui Zuojing stopped a taxi and went to the address Dong Zheng gave him, which was a high-end community. Half an hour later, he stood at the door of Dong Zheng’s house, inserted the key into the keyhole, and turned it with a click.

He opened the door and walked in. The sunlight outside the window illuminated the gray and white fabric sofa. The wall-mounted TV occupied almost half of the wall, which was the same color as the carpet. There was a European-style dining table, and the semi open balcony had lounge chairs and a transparent coffee table. The hanging box on the wooden wall was planted with green herbaceous plants.

The air was somewhat stuffy. Cui Zuojing opened the window to let the breeze in. He stood by the sliding door to the balcony and looked back at the entire house. The house was about 120 square meters per inch, and the decor had a very human touch to it.

He could see how Dong Zheng decorated the empty house step by step.

Having lost his mother the moment he was born, Dong Zheng often felt like an outsider in his own family, and so he always yearned for a home of his own.

Determination appeared on Cui Zuojing’s face. He put his bag on the ground against the wall, rolled up his sleeves, and planned to deal with the floating dust that had fallen during Dong Zheng’s hospitalization for the past half month.

In the future, they will live here together.


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2 years ago

Ahh they’re together!! What a pity not everyone got such a happy ending (yet) (maybe they’ll be extras))

2 years ago

Aww, cui zuojing’s so cute how he waits until they’re alone to sneak kisses/little intimate moments with dong zheng. I’m glad they get to be together again. When I first read about dong zheng and linhai still being in the hospital from the car accident I thought there was a chance something would go wrong, but I’m glad the author didn’t do that to us <3

Last edited 2 years ago by K C