IWOL Chapter 84: Heart-to-Heart

Dong Zheng naturally noticed Dong Linhai’s occasional sneaky glances. He’d thought about it last night and began to think that maybe he’d been too harsh.

If he wanted to teach Linhai, he could have also taken a slow and gentle approach.

During the entire day of training, the brothers continued to communicate but the atmosphere between them was strange and not as natural as it once was.

After wrapping up their answers to their knowledge assessment, everyone was given free time to take a break and go out for fun. Dong Linhai recalled that he’d promised Allen last night that he would have a good talk with Dong Zheng. Just as he was able to muster up the courage to call Dong Zheng, he saw the man sitting opposite him suddenly raise his head and said, “Linhai, do you have time? Let’s talk.”

Dong Linhai’s eyes immediately lit up. He nodded vigorously and glanced at Cui Zuojing, who was sitting on the sofa with the cat. He asked, “Where should we talk?”

“Let’s go to the rooftop.”

The two brothers went to the roof together. The rooftop still had traces of last night’s rain. They leaned side by side against the railing and looked out at the distant scenery beyond.

“Are you still blaming me for what happened yesterday?”

Dong Linhai scratched his head awkwardly, and said, “I don’t know why. I just… just feel uncomfortable.”

“I went about it the wrong way. At that time, I started feeling dizzy and knew I wouldn’t be able to hold on for long. I wanted to end the game as soon as possible, but I didn’t consider your feelings.”

Dong Zheng being able to admit and acknowledge his mistake without prompting made Dong Linhai felt completely embarrassed. He’d thought about it all night, and he did feel that he was being too narrow-minded. “Ai, I’m being too unreasonable.”

Dong Zheng said, “I did exploit your trust in me. But Linhai, this is the thing. No one can guarantee I will always be worthy of your trust, not even myself.”

Dong Linhai said, “I know. Brother Len talked to me about this yesterday. Fu Zhe also said that the trust between teammates should be based on logic, and shouldn’t be unconditional.”

“It’s good that you can understand this.” Dong Zheng lightly patted his shoulder. “If some things are simply told to you, they may not have an immediate effect. Sometimes people need to suffer a little in order to grow.”

“Mmn.” Dong Linhai paused and then whispered in an embarrassed tone. “I won’t be like this in the future.”

With the skylight opened before them, everything that was awkward between them also disappeared. Dong Linhai’s mood quickly changed for the better.

With this realization, he had no choice but to admit that no matter how hard he pretended otherwise, he was still a child at heart, especially when compared with the others.

Dong Zheng put his arms on the railing and looked up at the floating clouds in the clear blue sky. The air still smelled like last night’s rain.

Since they came to the Pure White Realm and met Cui Zuojing and Victor, it’s been a long time since they’d been alone with just the two of them.

Perhaps, it was precisely because they’d already left the real world and it was unknown whether they could go back or whether they could see their family again, the things that had frustrated Dong Zheng no longer seemed so difficult to talk about.

“You know, Linhai, I really envied you. I envied your simplicity, your enthusiasm, and your ability to follow your heart’s truth. You had the things I wanted most, and sometimes this envy…even became a kind of jealousy that went beyond my control.”

Dong Linhai was stunned. Dong Zheng envied him?

Shouldn’t he be envious of Dong Zheng instead? Apart from having money at home, he had nothing else to recommend himself to the outside world.

Soon, he guessed the reason. Frowning, he said, “But, but Mom and Dad also love you very much. Could it be that mom didn’t treat you well?”

This was the first time they’d spoken about Dong Zheng’s life experience. When he was young, Dong Linhai thought that he and Dong Zheng were brothers. Until, one day, he saw that Dong Yi and Dong Zheng had left without taking him or his mom along, so he unhappily asked Su Daijun why.

Su Daijun told him that Dong Zheng’s mother had left the world on that day 16 years ago and that they were going to visit her grave.

It was then that Dong Linhai suddenly understood that he and Dong Zheng weren’t true flesh and blood brothers.

He also understood why his brother never had a birthday.

Dong Zheng laughed. “Mom was very good to me, but it was a little different.”

He didn’t say anymore, believing that Dong Linhai should be able to understand.

She had two children. She’d given birth to one child, while the other was the child left behind by her favorite man and another woman. Dong Zheng knew that, in this kind of family, it was already good enough that Su Daijun could be as undemanding and unprejudiced as she’d been and that she didn’t show any obvious signs of giving unfair treatment.

He should have been satisfied.

Dong Linhai was silent. Was she partial toward him? There was definitely an obvious preference. Even with two children born of the same parents, many would prefer the younger, more ignorant, and more incompetent child.

The child who cried the most would always be the most favored.

What’s more, he was Su Daijun’s only biological son.

Dong Linhai didn’t know how to comfort Dong Zheng, so he turned around and gave his half brother a hug.

Dong Zheng raised his hand and hugged him back. This younger brother, who would use his own pocket money to buy small cakes and then pulled him into a room to secretly celebrate his birthday, had grown almost as tall as him.

Before long, he would also become a real man.

“Let’s strive to live so that we could go back home.”

As time passed day by day, their points gradually decreased, and it was time to earn more points. With this first period of training coming to an end, Cui Zuojing finally had time to rest, but Dong Zheng soon pulled him over to discuss which box to enter.

“Anything you decide is fine…” As Cui Zuojing leaned forward on the table, lazily watching as Dong Zheng researched the box parameters, he suddenly felt as if he’d returned to eight years ago.

But, compared to Fu Zhe, Dong Zheng was very different.

District XII currently had more than 100 box coordinates with information regarding their various attributes. Dong Zheng carefully studied the information and finally selected a survival type box named [Twilight Island].

The intelligence they’d bought was still useful. At least they knew the name of the box, unlike Hamelin, where they didn’t even know its name until the customs clearance.

Following the coordinates provided by the intelligence, Allen found the box [Dusk Island] in a corner of a stairwell of an abandoned building.

This square box was wooden and looked ancient and old-fashioned. It was painted with various inverted pentagrams, and each line was written with dense and unreadable texts, like a kind of seal.

They raised their spirits, collected their equipment, and left the castle as usual to enter the box in the apartment.

Watching as the castle door closed and blocked the outside world, Fu Zhe retracted his gaze. He looked down at the book in his hands.

The only thing he could do was to wait patiently, wait for them to clear the box and to push open the castle door again.

Just as he’d waited patiently for eight years for Cui Zuojing, or for someone else capable of saving him, to open that castle door.

He’d read this book Mysteries of the Brain and Alchemy: The Origin of Dark Magic so many times. Even with the book closed, he’d already memorized the contents verbatim. But, caught in such a boring situation, repeated readings had become his indispensable pastime.

After Fu Zhe absentmindedly read two lines, he suddenly felt an intense sensation. It made him shudder and filled his entire soul.

He was stunned. Then, he immediately curled up with some difficulties, trying to break free from the sensation that didn’t belong to him.

It was a sensation he wasn’t very familiar with, yet also one that he was not unfamiliar with–

Pleasure.

Fu Zhe tried to slow down his breathing in an attempt to suppress this feeling, but it seemed to be useless. The waves of pleasure spread deep within his soul, cresting one after another, and turning his breathing into uncontrollable pants.

His hands tightly gripped the armrest, and he pressed his lips hard together as he silently and patiently endured, incapable of suppressing those hot and throbbing rushes.

He endured.

He didn’t know how long this unspeakable sensation lasted, but it finally disappeared.

At last, he was gently lowered from that high wave. Fu Zhe let out a sigh of relief. He lowered his head and glanced down at himself. A trace of helplessness flashed across his eyes, and he was relieved that he was the only person here. He put down the book and moved upstairs toward his room.

Fu Zhe knew that everything he’d experienced just now originated from one of the fragments of his missing soul; it was either Morality or Conscience. Since he’d taken back Goodwill and unlocked the first seal, his connection with the other fragments had gradually deepened.

—What was his lost soul doing?

***********

Rumble—

White lightning almost split the sky. A few seconds later, thunder rolled in and rain poured down outside the window. Looking through the window full of rain, only a piece of monotonous gray sky could be seen.

A pair of naked feet rested lightly on the dark blue carpet, and soft fluff filled the space between his fingers. He was wearing black silk pajamas, which couldn’t hide the ambiguous marks on the sides of his neck and shoulders.

The black-haired young man with tear moles under each eye sat on a soft, maroon chair. He skillfully picked up the hookah on the table, sucked in a deep breath, and exhaled out smoke. He looked thoughtfully at the curtain of rain outside the window.

Lightning illuminated his flushed face, but his clear and handsome countenance displayed a hint of paleness.

“Master.”

Just now, he’d vaguely sense a certain kind of calling.

“Master?”

The man’s voice pulled his thoughts back. The young man raised his head and looked at the other man, who had deep honey eyes and was dressed up with a scimitar on his waist. He had the typical Persian appearance, with black hair, thick eyebrows, and a deep profile. His figure was tall and extremely fit.

The man knelt at his feet. Looking up at him, he asked softly, “What’s wrong?”

The young man shook his head and said, “It’s nothing. Are you going out?”

“Another group of people came to the casino with a lot of chips. Andy told me to go and take a look.”

“Mmn, go,” the young man agreed casually. The man leaned over and respectfully and reverently kissed the back of his hand, which laid on the armrest. Then, he got up to leave.

“Wait a minute.”

The man stopped, turned his head, and saw that the young man was still looking out the window. But, his outstretched hand was hooked, and so the man returned to him.

The young man raised his head, and the two people looked at each other for a few seconds. The man’s lips curled up into a smile that he couldn’t conceal. He bent down. At the same time, the young man stretched out his hand, roughly grabbed him by the collar, and pulled him down.

Lips touched.

It was a long kiss. Warm breath intertwined, weaving a rare warmth in this cold rainy weather.

After a long time had passed, the young man gently pushed the man away. His dark eyes seemed to be brightly shining, as if moist with water. The corners of his lips were red, and his voice was subconsciously soft. “Go.”

“Yes, Master.”

The sound of the door closing was followed by silence. The young man let out a long breath. He pressed his lips together and looked out the window again, full of concern.

——- Volume 4: Insurgency [Ends] ——-



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Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Thank you for the chapters~

I'm glad Dong Linhai and Dong Zheng got that cleared up. I'm guessing that young man at the end is a fragment of Fu Zhe's soul? I'm looking forward to the new box 😀

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

Yeah and is the clown his boyfriend?

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

Let’s go! The brothers finally talked it out! And their bond definitely strengthened because of this. Hmmm… After family… DZs future boyfriends comes next? Kek

And ayyyyyyy the supposed “Lover” card??? Is Fu Zhe’s fragment a master and he has a prisoner card with the lover tarot symbol??? Is this fragment not an NPC this time around?

And damn the end was a bit steamy I was caught unprepared.

What was the main Fu Zhe thinking at that moment? I would be baffled thinking what the portion of me is doing.

yel
yel
2 years ago

so is the young man at the last part a fragment of fu zhe’s lost soul? if so, his memories weren’t blocked just like his ‘goodwill’ fragment in hamelin?

Seedling
Seedling
2 years ago

Dang. I wouldn’t know how to feel if a fragment of my soul turned gay and was dating/has sexual relations without my knowledge 😰😱

Fufu Nicolayevna
Fufu Nicolayevna
1 year ago
Reply to  Seedling

Why “turned gay” though? We weren’t given any information about Fu Zhe’ sexuality)

Last edited 1 year ago by Fufu Nicolayevna
...
...
1 year ago
Reply to  Seedling

“Turned gay”? Why does this sound so homophobic bruh? And you’re reading bl…

mors
mors
1 year ago

I’m really excited for the scene where the team meet this master and like everyone is shocked seeing this side of Fu Zhe. Maybe except CZQ cus ahaha FZ probably made no secret of his gayness

Haruka
Haruka
4 months ago

I don’t understand the logic and feel that ml really is small minded if his tantrum from before really managed to ruin the brotherhood he would have lost a good brother no matter the situation at home his little brother really care about him if he had a problem he should have talked it out like this, also I feel like author’s trust issues r projecting here or something because really there’s too much justification in these chapters on lack of trust, trust is a delicate glass wall there’s never too much trust or a little trust, it’s just trust or no trust

Haruka
Haruka
4 months ago
Reply to  Haruka

In all of the justification I feel like one word from fu she was right trust does depend on logic

MDZT
MDZT
9 days ago
Reply to  Haruka

I don’t think so? It’s less like a tantrum, and more like Dong Zheng just brute forcing a lesson because of a headache, past memories, and the desire to win. If you think about it, it’s pretty hard to think if you have a headache or migraine, and people get a lot more snappy when that happens. You often say things you regret when it happens, or commit rather stupid decisions. Dong Zheng at the time likely really wanted to win the reward at the time- you can’t really expect him to give up things for his brother when it’s a training program thing- and made a relationship-damaging decision in the midst of a headache. Also, if you were talking about the before-entering him, I believe it was mentioned that during that time, he WAS a kid- I think it was mentioned that Dong Linhai was around 8, and that means that Dong Zheng wasn’t an adult either. Not only that, but he was likely a teenager or something around that time, meaning that his emotions and hormones are definitely at an all-time high with puberty and all.

About the trust thing- ‘trust or no trust’ isn’t absolute, it’s not on and off. You may trust a person on some things, but you might not trust a person on another. Friendship is one such example: you may trust your friends to a varying amount of degree, like, trusting one friend to keep their mouth shut on everything by or trusting another to only keep their mouth shut if that friend believes the secret is worth that. Just like how many things in the world isn’t black and white, there are shades of gray between trust and distrust, I think.

Also, the ‘too much trust’ thing could be more easily understood like this: If your best friend jumped off a cliff, will you follow?

Hopefully, it won’t be ‘yes, blindly,’ because that is too much trust.

Last edited 9 days ago by MDZT