It took Fu Zhe a long time to recover from this dream. He rubbed his forehead and got up to wash. Feeling unspeakably dull, he left the castle, wanting to go outside for a walk.
He settled for Top-of-the-Giant-Tree. Fu Zhe liked the environment there. The large, lush vegetation made it easy for him to relax.
As soon as he went, Fu Zhe found out that it was raining outside. The rain was falling from the lead-grey sky. The clouds hung so low that it seemed as if, if one stood on a tall building and reached out, one could touch them.
Standing under the eaves of the boutique shop that hadn’t opened yet, he stretched out his hand to receive two drops of rain. The wisps of coolness from the rain flowed into his heart.
Not very heavy.
He shook his hand, turned back to take an umbrella, and then walked out into the rain.
In the early morning, with rain glistening the streets, there were no people out and about. Fu Zhe walked the streets alone. The plants at the corners of the street were blooming colorful octagonal flowers, looking exceptionally pure under the baptism of rain. When the rain hit the leaves, they made a pattering sound. The green leaves could not bear the weight of the raindrops and bent over slightly, letting the water roll and drop to the ground, causing a circular ripple.
At this moment there was a different kind of tranquility. It seemed that everything that had troubled him had nothing to do with him. He only needed to hold the umbrella and walked forward along the street. Fu Zhe rarely emptied himself. He remembered Goodwill as a Pied Piper, Morality running a casino, and Conscience in the sewers, the first to be abandoned in the wasteland. Of all his three broken fragments, two had returned, and although conscience no longer existed, he didn’t seem to feel too much influence from the lack of it. After so long, he could no longer remember exactly what he was like when his soul was fully complete.
Knowing that his mutilated soul would slowly regrow, he realized now that he shouldn’t have worried about it. Then he couldn’t help thinking of Cerberus. When all was said and done, though, he was still incomplete. For example, his conscience would gradually regenerate in the future, and then he would no longer be the same as he was now. Then, at that time, would he still need to struggle with the incomplete self that Cerberus had fallen in love with?
Fu Zhe vaguely felt that he’d finally grabbed onto the end of the thread in this messy ball of yarn that had troubled him so much. He seemed to have seen the moon coming out of the cloud.
The rain gradually got heavier, and water accumulated on the ground. He wanted to continue, to follow his thoughts for a while. Until a voice came from behind him.
The man’s voice was so familiar that Fu Zhe paused. At that moment, many scenes flashed through his mind, but they all fell into blankness.
He turned around. Cerberus was standing not far away, looking at him. He was not holding an umbrella and so the rain fell on him, wetting his hair and clothes. Fu Zhe hadn’t seen him for what felt like such an incredibly long time, but he had not seemed to change much. Only, there was now a different look in his eyes. Although they were still firm and determined as before, there was something deeper there.
The three-month trip had finally brought about the changes Fu Zhe had expected for Cerberus. His vision had broadened. He had learned many new things, and he was also able to experience a wider range of emotions.
“I’m back,” Cerberus said in a deep voice. His hands hung beside him, tightly clenched, as if he was resisting some kind of impulse that could not be vented. He had missed this person in front of him for more than a hundred days and nights. He had so many things in his heart that he wanted to say, but he didn’t know where to start.
“Your question, I have already figured it out.” Cerberus stared deeply at Fu Zhe, and his voice was firm and unyielding. “I love the side of your soul that you think is unbearable, but I love the complete you even more.”
The rain sounded loudly, and Fu Zhe did not say anything. The man in front of him anxiously awaited his verdict. Water rolled down his cheeks and defined jaw, falling underneath the neckline of his shirt. He was drenched all over, but he waited awkwardly.
After a long moment, Fu Zhe let out a small sigh. He lowered his gaze and said, “Come here. Don’t take any more rain showers.”
Like a prisoner on death row who was finally pardoned, Cerberus’ deep honey eyes lit up. He strode to Fu Zhe’s side, and Fu Zhe raised the umbrella to accommodate him underneath its protective cover. He raised his hands, as if wanting to hug Fu Zhe but was afraid of getting him wet. After being at a loss, Cerberus stretched his hand to the back of his neck and took off the key that he always kept close to him.
His arms went around Fu Zhe’s neck as he put the pendant on him. The heavy, brass key hung around Fu Zhe’s neck, carrying the warmth of Cerberus’ body heat.
“This is your lost space power. I want to return it to you.”
Cerberus had always been careful to preserve this key from Fu Zhe’s morality. And thinking about it, he now returned it, as if the strength of his feelings were returned to Fu Zhe.
The lavender light was attracted by the space power in Fu Zhe’s body, and from the key, it plunged into his body, returning to where it should have been. Today, Fu Zhe finally became the real Master of Space.
He raised his hand to touch the key, unable to tell how he felt. Cerberus took the umbrella from him. He was taller and could hold the umbrella better over the two of them. But the umbrella wasn’t big enough and so he tilted it so that Fu Zhe was fully protected, even if it meant his shoulder was exposed to the rain.
Fu Zhe sighed lightly and raised his gaze to look at Cerberus. And in his eyes was a shallow smile.
“Come with me.”
They walked slowly along the street. The rain fell from the edges of the umbrella and onto Cerberus’ shoulder, but he didn’t care. Fu Zhe noted this and he leaned against him silently, so that their shoulders were touching. He clearly felt Cerberus’ muscles tightened for a moment and then slowly relaxed.
Seeming to think that something should be said, Cerberus said, “I’ve been to many places during this period. I just came to Top-of-the-Giant-Tree from District III the day before yesterday…”
Cerberus only said a few words and didn’t know what else to say. Fu Zhe saw his awkwardness and smiled. He said, “You can tell me slowly once we get back.”
The umbrella was too small for two bodies. When they finally got back, they were more or less wet. Fu Zhe took off his jacket and put it next to the fireplace. He sat on the recliner and rested, watching as Cerberus wiped his hair with a towel.
Cerberus had taken off his drenched coat, but the shirt inside was also wet, clinging to his skin and sketching the outlines of the strong muscles underneath. Fu Zhe looked at him and suddenly felt a kind of throbbing that was not only psychological but also physiological.
However, Fu Zhe didn’t want to admit that he was greedy. He lowered his gaze and held up the teacup. He had just taken a sip when he sensed that Cerberus had stopped in front of him, his tall figure blocking the flickering flames.
Fu Zhe was only able to utter a word before he was suddenly hugged tightly by Cerberus. The man was still wet, but his embrace was so warm that it was almost scalding in its heat. Cerberus knelt on one knee on the recliner, his arms nearly trapping Fu Zhe within the confines of the recliner. His back was arched as he rested his chin on Fu Zhe’s shoulder. His short hair, stiff and wet, rubbed against the side of Fu Zhe’s neck, producing a slight itching and tingling sensation that instantly penetrated into the depths of his heart, turning his breath unsteady.
Suddenly, Fu Zhe remembered that Cui Zuojing also hugged him like this, and A’Zuo had asked him, “If it was Cerberus hugging you like this, how would you feel?”
At that time, he’d given an ambiguous answer, but now, his heart and body gave an affirmative answer in an instant.
“I really missed you very much,” Cerberus’ voice rang in his ears, sounding muffled, with a hint of grievance. The scene of him driving away Cerberus came to Fu Zhe’s mind, and thinking about it now, he couldn’t help but think that he might have been a bit unfeeling.
In the end, he raised his hand and patted Cerberus’ back lightly, saying, “Okay, go and change your clothes.”
As Cerberus straightened up, he saw the two light-colored tear moles underneath Fu Zhe’s eyes in the light of the fire. The moles looked like tears that had not yet fallen. All of this was what he’d been thinking about and missing day and night.
So he finally overstepped his bounds and leaned in to kiss Fu Zhe. But this time, Fu Zhe did not resist. His acquiescence gave Cerberus courage. He hugged him and his other hand slowly slipped to Fu Zhe’s waist.
Their breathing gradually became entangled, and unpredictable reactions were catalyzing. Before things got too hot, Fu Zhe reached out and pushed Cerberus away. He covered his wet lips with the back of his hand and indicated that there were still people upstairs.
Cerberus nodded his head in understanding. He pressed Fu Zhe’s hand against his chest, so that he could feel his fast and powerful heartbeat. Then he couldn’t help pulling Fu Zhe’s hand up to his lips to kiss every knuckle.
Even if he had Morality’s memories, Cerberus’ actions were still difficult for Fu Zhe to resist. He had never experienced being piously placed on the cusp of someone’s heart before, and although he wanted to withdraw his hand, he didn’t do anything. After all, it was Cerberus who was doing this.
The atmosphere was too ambiguous. Fu Zhe felt that he was about to melt by the fireplace due to the heat in Cerberus’ eyes. He opened his mouth and said, as if trying to make it clear, “When I have time, I will teach you how to write.”
“Okay.” Cerberus’ affectionate, honey-colored eyes were fixed on the young man in the recliner. He whispered, “Master, Sir, Teacher, what would you like me to call you?”
“Whatever you like,” Fu Zhe finally withdrew his hand. The thorn in his heart was finally resolved. It was clear that, although Cerberus still held him in a high position in his heart, guarded him, and adored him, he no longer saw himself as a mere humble slave.
Although it was not him who pulled Cerberus from the mud, at least he gave him true freedom in his soul.
What he needed was a lover who could stand shoulder to shoulder with him, and Cerberus was constantly working towards this goal. Even though the concept of slavery that was nurtured for more than two decades was deeply ingrained in him, it was he who set the course for him to make a change.
“Let’s go upstairs. We can change clothes and take a shower later.”
Fu Zhe stood up. His shirt was wet from Cerberus’ embrace, and it stuck uncomfortably to his body. He walked upstairs and looked back to see if the man had followed.
Cerberus strode up after him and when he reached his side, he tentatively reached out to take hold of Fu Zhe’s hand.
Fu Zhe did not break free.
He’d spent eight years as a prisoner, waiting for Cui Zuojing to rescue him. And when Cui Zuojing finally did, he waited for someone to accompany him into the future.
And from now on, he would never be alone again.
Xixi: The sexual tension is high with these two. Call me a pervert, but I really wish I could read “it”. XD
This is the end of the story. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Stay safe and healthy, and best of luck on your next read.