Love Delusion: Chapter 44

This place was said to be a waiting room, but it was located in a certain unattended hallway at the back of the lobby. It was secluded and wouldn’t disturb others. Occasionally, people would pass by as they head to the toilet. To put it bluntly, it was actually to prevent a group of people from sitting on the sofa in the actual lobby and affecting business operations.

Lin Anran was waiting silently, when someone suddenly came over to talk to him. The man probably saw the long-haired Lin Anran sitting alone in the corner, wearing a mask, and thought that he was a girl.

But after discovering that Lin Anran was a man, this person’s attitude became visibly perfunctory, telling him in a bored tone that the paparazzi area was on the other side.

Facing a stranger approaching in such a familiar manner, Lin Anran was a little nervous. He shook his head at the man.

“Not a paparazzi? Then what are you doing dressed up like this?”

Lin Anran had a conundrum, not knowing how to organize words to answer him, so he listened to the person who continued to say, “That’s right, you don’t have a DSLR. Then you Yes… I forgot what the word was called, oh yes yes! Powder fans?”

Lin Anran was taken aback and shook his head quickly.

“No? You’re just too embarrassed to admit it.” The person who spoke to him was holding a file bag in his hand, with a simple suit on his upper body and leggings on his lower body. The way he said these words gave it an air of familiarity. “Don’t be embarrassed. I’ve seen a few people like you…Okay, don’t shake your head anymore. Why don’t you tell me, brother, you’re not dressed up as a paparazzi and not here to talk about business, so what are you here for?”

Lin Anran said nothing. He wanted to talk too, but he had no words to say.

The man gave him an understanding look and winked at him. “Don’t worry. I’m a very enlightened person, and I have a little understanding of your circle. You’re one of Shang Hao’s wife fans, right? Am I right?”

Lin Anran: …

Be more confident and remove the “fans.”

The man had an epiphany and slapped his thigh. “I knew it! From the moment I saw you, I thought you must be gay!”

If it were anyone else, that person would have beaten him up by now. But Lin Anran had a good temper and said nothing. He felt that this person seemed to be familiar with this place, and so he could be used as a thigh. Right now, he didn’t want to let him go.

Once the man had finished speaking, Lin Anran expectantly asked him when Shang Hao would come.

Unexpectedly, the man stared at him with surprised eyes. After surprise, came sympathy. Then he said, “I believe you’re currently a novice. My god, brother, you really think we are here for Shang Hao?”

Lin Anran looked puzzled. Why not? Had he gone to one of the neighboring companies instead?

“No, let me first ask you, do you know who Shang Hao is? TV stations have to make an appointment in advance to interview him. What are we? If you really want to squat down and see him, I’ll tell you, it’s more efficient to go to the entrance of the underground parking lot to bump into his car than to wait here.”

Lin Anran changed from confused to more confused. “Then what are you waiting here for?”

The man didn’t say, smiling a mysterious smile. “You’ll know in a while.”

He refused to say. At this time, Lin Anran looked at the time and found that he had been sitting here for almost an hour. In fact, like him, the other party had nothing to do except wait, and so he decided to talk to him out of boredom.

His words completely befuddled Lin Anran. The man said that he couldn’t wait for Shang Hao here, but if he waited in the parking lot, there would be security guards…

Meanwhile, the man had somehow sneaked up to the door once more and stuck out his head surreptitiously.

At the same time, Lin Anran noticed that there seemed to be an increase in the flow of people outside, and wondered if it was time to get off work.

The man was guarding the door quietly. It was unknown what he suddenly saw because his eyes brightened. His figure flew out like a rabbit, heading straight for one specific direction.

At the same time, several people in the room rushed along, leaving for some unknown reasons.

The first person who ran out suddenly realized that something was wrong. When he turned his head, he saw Lin Anran running next to him!

He was shocked. What was this?! While bypassing the people in front of him, he asked Lin Anran loudly, “What are you doing!”

Lin Anran nervously followed his footsteps, and said loudly, “I don’t know!”

He didn’t know anything! He was just following along!

The man was even more shocked. He clicked his tongue with a bitter “tsk”, and rushed forward with all his strength. He really read this person wrong. He thought the other was an honest person and said a few words to him, but he didn’t expect this kid to know how to fly first and actually followed him!

Lin Anran’s physical stamina only persisted for a short period of time before he gradually became tired and slowed down. Several people rushed past him.

He stopped, panting, and watched as the running crowd had stopped before a young man in a suit and were beginning to stuff business cards and documents into his hands.

Lin Anran was at a loss. What did he just chase?

The young man, who was wearing glasses, was on the phone, and the few people around him were soon squeezed away by the crowd.

The man who had spoken to Lin Anran at the beginning looked extremely excited, shouting, “Assistant Xu, Assistant Xu, it’ll be a great help if you could take a look at our project record. Hey, you’ll see that it’s not bad…”

As he spoke, he tried his best to stuff the documents into Assistant Xu’s hand. Assistant Xu himself often didn’t appear in this area, because he was frequently bombarded by these kinds of requests.

The young man was blocked by these people just a few steps after entering the company’s gates. But he seemed to have turned a blind eye to them. Not giving them a single look and while talking on the phone, he calmly beckoned to someone in the distance, as if calling security.

As he was calling the security guard, he saw Lin Anran, who was still panting not far away.

His expression changed.

Lin Anran was looking at him, but when he saw that the other person was looking back at him, he began to panic.

He, he really only came occasionally, and he wasn’t in the same group as those people, so he shouldn’t also be driven out by the security guards.

The young man was stunned. But he quickly recovered. Suddenly bursting into a brilliant smile, he walked toward Lin Anran. He ignored the phone in his hands and even his earlier inattentive expression was gone.

“Mr. Lin—“

Lin Anran stayed in place, feeling at a loss. Did he know this person?

The people who ran in front of him were also stunned, looking at them inexplicably.

“Mr. Lin, do you remember me? I drove you and President Shang once. It’s me. You can call me Xiao Xu.”

Lin Anran was flattered. Not daring to speak, he quickly reached out to shake the hand Assistant Xu held out. “Xiao, Mr. Xiao Xu.”

He stared blankly at the senior who had brought him here.

The “senior” was stunned silly. Unexpectedly, what was the background of this kid with thick eyebrows and big eyes? Earlier, why was he waiting for so long with them?

Assistant Xu still asked him enthusiastically, “Mr. Lin, are you here to see President Shang?”

Lin Anran nodded and listened as he continued to say, “Oh, you’re one step short. President Shang left work just a minute ago.”

Lin Anran was a little disappointed. “Ah, he’s off work…”

He wanted to say, “It’s fine, I’ll go back by myself”, but Assistant Xu asked him to wait a while and kindly invited Lin Anran to sit upstairs.

Lin Anran was so panicked that he thanked him and waved his hands in objection.

The other seniors were stopped by the few people who had been with Assistant Xu earlier, and so they were now craning their necks to see.

This situation also aroused the curiosity of the people coming and going through the lobby, and they stopped to watch. Even the receptionist who had received him earlier was looking over at them.

Lin Anran, who was now the center of attention, was even more embarrassed and adamantly refused to go up. Assistant Xu asked him to wait for a moment. He dialed a number on the phone and went upstairs. After a while, he came back.

The other seniors didn’t leave during all this time, waiting to see what was going on.

“Mr. Lin, this is President Shang’s access card. You can put it away and use it at any time in future when you come back to look for him. This is a spare, which President Shang originally meant to prepare for you, so don’t worry.”

Lin Anran heard the word “spare” and hesitantly took the card.

The other people stared in excitement. This Mr. Lin was the same person who’d been waiting with them in the waiting room?

When he accepted it, Assistant Xu’s smile widened. “Why didn’t you wait for President Shang at home today?”

When he said this, the senior who Lin Anran had been running with earlier gave him a “shocked my mother” look.

Was the world changing so fast? What’s up with wife fans nowadays? Were they even allowed to go to Shang Hao’s house now?

Assistant Xu said, “This is my business card. You can contact me next time if you need help with anything. How about I call the driver for you?”

His thoughtfulness and warmth decreased Lin Anran’s social fears, making him a little more talkative. He hurriedly declined, “No, no thank you. I can go back by myself.”

Without Lin Anran’s assistance, Assistant Xu failed to help him get a driver. His expression was a bit regretful as he watched Lin Anran’s back disappear out through the company’s front doors.

Before leaving, Lin Anran said goodbye to the shocked senior.

After Lin Anran left, Assistant Xu took out his mobile phone and sent a message to Shang Hao. “President Shang, Mr. Lin has already left.”

It wasn’t in vain that he’d informed President Shang so soon after he’d stepped out, because a few minutes later, President Shang turned the car around.

But after returning, no one came out of the car. Instead, President Shang just handed out his own access card from the car window and asked him to hand it to Lin Anran.

Where did the spare card come from? The only card used by President Shang had always been that one.

When Shang Hao saw Assistant Xu’s message, he was already with the driver near the company’s front door. He asked the driver to go first and then got out of the car by himself.

Once he found out that Lin Anran was waiting for him in the company’s lobby, Shang Hao’s first reaction was to tell the driver to turn around.

When he thought of Lin Anran waiting to pick him up from work, he wanted to see him as soon as possible.

If he was still in the company, he would have gone straight down to see Lin Anran. But because he was sitting in the car, Shang Hao ended up staring blankly at the scenery passing outside the car window, and he thought of many things.

He had some frustrations, but his frustration was not directed at Lin Anran.

He wondered if he was too aggressive toward Lin Anran from the very beginning and ended up scaring him. As a result, Lin Anran habitually placed himself at a lower level when facing him, trying to love him on tiptoe.

And so Shang Hao changed his mind.

If he allowed Lin Anran to succeed today, it would only make Lin Anran think that this would be a useful method for pleasing him in the future. Therefore, he would continue to look up to him, to continue using this once effective method to try to please him. In the end, their relationship could only be that of a superior and a subordinate.

But he couldn’t accept that Lin Anran had to be the one to compromise in this relationship.

Shang Hao didn’t want him to be so careful in their relationship. He didn’t want Lin Anran to think that, because he’d accidentally hit him, he needed to reflect that he was the one in the wrong, thinking that he’d played too proudly. No, Lin Anran shouldn’t be like that.

He always drew stories of a match-stick person and an exquisitely drawn manga character. In his drawings, he was humble, acquiescing this as a matter of fact.

It was only when he was dreaming that the match-stick person became the same size as Shang Hao. Perhaps, in his subconscious mind, Lin Anran also hoped that one day he could become like Shang Hao?

Lin Anran shouldn’t be like this.

Lin Anran couldn’t understand that in Shang Hao’s eyes, even his every little strand of hair was beyond cute and dazzling.

He shouldn’t always feel that he was making a mistake. He shouldn’t take the initiative to bow his head to someone giving him the cold shoulder. He should be righteous, and he should arrogantly tell him, “Laozi¹ have fallen for you. You mustn’t take it for granted.”

If he knew that he was loved, he wouldn’t be so careful in their relationship.

Lin Anran was too weary of life. Did he have to drag this dull and cumbersome yoke for the rest of his life?

Shang Hao followed the hat-wearing, mask-wearing Lin Anran at a distance, walking after him. He watched as Lin Anran carefully avoided the people grabbing seats in the subway, preferring to stand at the side so as not to get in the way.

First, he suspected that Shang Hao wasn’t real. Now, did he also want to suspect that he didn’t really like him after all?

————–
Translation Notes:
(1) Laozi — An arrogant, sometimes contemptuous, way of saying “I.”


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Love Delusion: Chapter 43

Lin Anran took a bath early that night. Then he laid on one side of the bed, closed his eyes, and began to pretend to sleep.

Time passed slowly, and the room was so quiet that the only sound was the sound of his breathing. He didn’t know how much time had passed before he suddenly heard familiar footsteps, and the strings in his heart gradually tightened.

Shang Hao’s footsteps quickly came to the door.

He paused there.

Lin Anran, with his eyes tightly closed, had adjusted his breathing to imitate someone in a deep sleep. Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale…

At this moment, Lin Anran secretly rejoiced and said with modesty that it was fortunate he practiced yoga. He had made some accomplishments regarding the control of his breathing; otherwise he would be like ordinary people and be unable to imitate deep sleep breathing so vividly.

…But why did the movement at the door seem to have disappeared?

Lin Anran needed to keep his eyes closed. Since the enemy was in the light and he was in the dark, his vision was closed and the only thing he could do was maintain his pretense of sleep and nervously wait for what would happen next.

After a while, Shang Hao’s movement reappeared in the quiet room. Someone sat on the other side of the bed, causing the mattress to dip, pulling them closer.

Lin Anran breathed a sigh of relief. At the same time, he didn’t dare to slack off even more, making full use of the breathing method he was so proud of.

In order to avoid arousing Boss Shang’s animalistic desires in all aspects, he especially made an effort not to wear any alluring furry animal one-piece pajamas tonight. Instead, he just wore his normal, ordinary pajamas.

Lin Anran didn’t know anything. Lin Anran was already asleep. He was no longer open for business.

Shang Hao didn’t say anything, but Lin Anran could perceive that he was approaching closer.

In the quiet room, the other person’s movement and breathing were amplified, making them particularly obvious in the darkness. He was getting too close.

Lin Anran’s back tensed under his clothes. Has he been found out?….

Did Shang Hao find out that he wasn’t asleep? The skin on Lin Anran’s neck became itchy as Shang Hao pressed his lips to it.

Lin Anran could feel the slight dampness and the heat from his mouth with every exhale breath.
The sensation of his lips brushing against Lin Anran’s ears and neck made him tremble. Shang Hao licked and kissed from Lin Anran’s earlobe all the way up to his chin, leaving his lingering breath and mark everywhere.

The vexing kiss drifted up, leaving wet traces, until it finally caught the lips of the person pretending to be asleep.

Lin Anran trembled uncontrollably. He gave up on all the efforts he’d made toward the pretense. The moment he opened his mouth, another mouth slanted over his and bit his lower lip like a punishment.

Lin Anran’s proud yoga breathing method was defeated at once.

Although this stubborn statue was still pretending to be asleep with his eyes closed, he wasn’t fooling anyone.

Shang Hao moved in front of him, took hold of his legs, and dragged the person who was still pretending to sleep in front of him. He wrapped Lin Anran’s legs around his waist and then picked him up.

By this time, Lin Anran was already alarmed. His eyelashes trembled and trembled as he felt himself be suddenly lifted up by Shang Hao.

Although he had already reached this point, the closer the danger was, the more he tried to pretend to be asleep. It seemed that as long as Shang Hao didn’t speak, he only just had to pretend for a little bit longer and it became true.

Shang Hao didn’t speak but he had other bad thoughts. After he picked Lin Anran up, he didn’t pause at all.

Lin Anran should have noticed his abnormality at that second. Then, in the next moment, one hand pulled down Lin Anran’s elastic waistband–pulling both their waistbands at the same time.

Coldness seeped into his crotch area.

Old pervert!

Tonight, he was wearing normal pajamas with an elastic waistband. When it was opened, it could be said that it was the kind that would allow others to see everything at a glance.

Lin Anran could no longer pretend to sleep. He abruptly struggled to push Shang Hao away, guarding his crotch with one hand and preventing the other party from approaching with his other hand. He didn’t know if he’d been seen or not.

In the chaos, he only heard a “pop” as his waving hands hit something, making a crisp and clear sound. It seemed as if a pause button was pressed because they both froze instantaneously. Lin Anran was stunned, and even Shang Hao had paused.

Lin Anran was so scared that he had forgotten that he’d been pretending to sleep. His eyes were wide as he stared in panic at the person in front of him.

He couldn’t tell where he’d hit, but Shang Hao’s expression looked a bit startled.

In all the time that he’d known him, when did he ever see the expression of sorrow on Boss Shang’s arrogant face? Where had he been hit?

Wasn’t he cruel? Although he didn’t see where he’d hit, his blind slap was so heavy-handed.

What had he done just now? He’d hit Shang Hao!

He regretted it so much, as if the slap just now might as well be thrown on himself.

Shang Hao was stunned that he was slapped just now, and Lin Anran was shocked that he had hit him with his own hands. The atmosphere froze strangely.

Shang Hao reacted first. He rubbed his hand over Lin Anran’s stiff face. “Why are you still scared, huh?”

“Don’t be afraid.” He comforted Lin Anran, rubbing his thumb across his cheek. “Were you really scared? I wasn’t being good just now.”

Lin Anran, who was overwhelmed with guilt, didn’t have enough language skills. He would have to repeating his words, even saying that I was not good.

“Scared silly?” Shang Hao said again. “Don’t be afraid. I won’t bother you, okay?”

He put Lin Anran back in the bed.

Shang Hao also knew that it wasn’t Lin Anran’s fault, so he didn’t blame him, and put him back to sleep.

Lin Anran lay on the bed and watched him get up to turn off the overhead light in the room, and then turned off the night light beside the bed.

The room was immersed in the darkness, and silence was restored. Shang Hao lay down beside Lin Anran, not bothering him again. Now it was really time to go to sleep.

Generally, the party who felt that he had done something wrong was afraid of such a peaceful scene. Lin Anran couldn’t fall asleep. He always felt that he had overlooked something important, and when he tried to think about it, it only reminded him of something terrifying.

He had firmly slapped Shang Hao’s face.

That’s why Boss Shang was suddenly startled by him. Probably because no one had ever slapped him before.

Thinking of this, the feeling of guilt in his heart was like a small bug gnawing at it. He wished he could turn back the clock. He would have never done anything to Boss Shang.

He wasn’t even done thinking over this when Lin Amram suddenly remembered that he hadn’t apologized just now.

He closed his eyes and silently grabbed the comforter, feeling gut-wrenching regret.

Ah, his whole heart was being eaten by guilty bugs.

How could he not apologize after hitting someone…

He’d messed up again. Obviously, everything was going so well, but he had turned it into a total mess.

It would be better to let Boss Shang slap him back, so that Lin Anran would feel much better than how he felt now.

He was too smug. Just don’t pretend to be asleep, don’t be self-righteous, don’t play too crazily. Then everything would have been just fine, not as messed up as how it was like now.

Lin Anran, who regretted it deeply, reflected on his mistakes.

In retrospect, at the time, Shang Hao couldn’t see that he was unhappy. And after he said that he won’t bother him, he uncharacteristically really stopped bothering him.

Shang Hao still hugged him to sleep, but the hugs were very normal hugs. It seemed that he was not the same person who’d pulled down Lin Anran’s waistband just now.

But that was what made Lin Anran feel even more terrible.

Lin Anran had a dull gourd personality. If he couldn’t say it in person, he would have to digest it by himself in bed in the middle of the night for a long time.

He thought about it for a long time that night before finally falling asleep. When he got up the next morning, although the matter had passed, Shang Hao’s attitude towards him was different than usual.

He was still as good as he was before, and perhaps it might have just been Lin Anran’s perception. But he felt that today’s hug and touch were taken with particular care, as if Shang Hao had learned how to speak with virtue.

Before he left, he leaned over and kissed Lin Anran, and when he retreated, he looked at Lin Anran’s expression again. Lin Anran was also watching him. Finally Shang Hao moved, raised his hand and squeezed Lin Anran’s face, and said, “Don’t be afraid of me.”

Then he left.

Lin Anran didn’t understand what he meant. He wasn’t afraid. He was the one who treated Boss Shang disrespectfully. Therefore, how could he disrespect him? Instead, he should have the lofty respect of a little brother.

In fact, throughout the morning, Lin Anran was like a kid who made a mistake trying to test an adult’s anger, trying to find a chance to speak, trying to get a word with Boss Shang. Anything would do.

But Mr. Shang would not know, because in the end, he failed to say a single word. He couldn’t speak or say anything at all.

Lin Anran knew that he was in the wrong, and he was already reflecting on it.

After Shang Hao went to work, Lin Anran was in a daze as he worked on his manuscript alone in the quiet house.

If he was slapped, he wouldn’t want to take care of the person who had slapped himself. That slap last night was really heavy.

Lin Anran thought about it and felt that he had to admit his mistake.

This was as it should be. But because his mouth was useless, he didn’t say sorry last night.

He spent a restless day at home. He had never spent such an anxious time alone before.

When it was time to leave, Lin Anran packed up and got off work early. He sorted out his equipment. Hat, mask, subway card… Yes, he was going out again.

He made a brave decision. For anything related to Shang Hao, Lin Anran would be willing to brave his fears and go outside.

Lin Anran wanted to go to Shang Hao’s company when he’s off work and take him home.

Although this wouldn’t be considered a major event in the eyes of ordinary people, it was proper to admit when one was in the wrong.

A preoccupied Lin Anran went out very early. When he arrived at the lobby on the first floor of Tianneng, it was not yet time for work to end.

Lin Anran had been here a few times before, and he could even be considered a half-acquaintance. The lady at the front desk knew him well, and still entertained this visitor with a smile on her face.

Lin Anran worriedly said, “Last time, I waited here for a long time…” and then was turned away.

“This is the way it is, Sir. When you want to meet a high-level person, you’ll have to go through the formal procedure. The front desk also must follow the rules and can not break them. Do you agree?”

Lin Anran nodded yes. .

The lady at the front desk smiled.

To be honest, to people like Boss Shang, every second was counted in money. Real guests would hardly need to go through the front desk procedure. Most of them were expected. As soon as they enter the door, an assistant will come down to receive them and lead them up.

Only these guests who want to unilaterally meet with President Shang, would come to the front desk to seek opportunities, and they would be sent back with a sentence: “Do you have an appointment?”

“Can I see Shang Hao after registering?” Lin Anran couldn’t help but ask this sentence carefully.

The front desk lady was like a customer service expert. Her thoughtful answer always sounded vague. “President Shang is busy with work. Please wait for a while.”

Lin Anran quickly said, “Okay.”

It didn’t matter how long he would have to wait.

He was then politely sent to the waiting room. He was familiar with that place. Everyone in there wanted to see Shang Hao.

He paused, found a corner position, and sat down. It wasn’t time for Shang Hao to get off work, so he wouldn’t call Shang Hao now. He would wait a little longer.

He had his own plan. Even if Shang Hao couldn’t see him in the end, he would still have to go through the front door once he got off work.

When the time came, Lin Anran planned to dash up and tell him, I’ll take you home.

How could they have an overnight feud? Don’t be angry with him, Hao ge.

 


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Love Delusion: Chapter 42

In the morning, Lin Anran opened his eyes in a dazed manner. The first thing he saw was Shang Hao’s Adam’s apple, which was very close to him. He closed his sleepy eyes again and stretched his waist, causing the top of his head to lazily rub against Shang Hao’s chin.

Shang Hao seemed to wake up, because his arms around Lin Anran tightened, so that they were pressed close to one another.

Lin Anran was still waking up when he indistinctly heard Shang Hao’s slightly hoarse voice.

“…Isn’t this very energetic?”

Lin Anran couldn’t react for a while. Then, like a machine kicking into gear, he immediately reacted. Energetic? What energetic?

He only knew that Shang Hao was unexpectedly energetic right now. He always wakes up later than Lin Aran, but today was different. Lin Anran was still tired, and yet Shang Hao had the energy to tease him.

Lin Anran closed his eyes and could feel Shang Hao touching the hair on his pillow with one hand, slowly and deliberately stroking and caressing his long hair.

This often happened with people with long hair. There were no nerve receptors in their hair, but his movements caused the roots of Lin Anran’s hair to feel an electric itch.

Lin Anran was no longer sleepy. He opened his eyes in a daze, waiting for him to finish touching so that he could get up.

It was impossible for Shang Hao to finish touching so quickly, and he didn’t allow Lin Anran to move, holding him in that same position.

Lin Anran felt strange. Now that he was fully awake, he finally sensed his own body and he directly stiffened.

Without his permission, his carrot had privately stood up. And after standing up, the carrot was arrogantly poking at Shang Hao’s thigh, ready for war.

Lin Anran: Unfilial son!

He didn’t react yesterday, but today…Lin Anran had barely just woken up, but now he was flushed red-hot, and the red came particularly quickly. He had no face to see Shang Hao, and so he awkwardly moved away, pretending that nothing had happened.

Not surprisingly, Shang Hao refused to allow him to budge. He put on a gentle mask, and he whispered to him in a coaxing voice, “Let me help you, alright? Ranran…?”

No way. Lin Anran shook his head like a rattle, as anxious as last night.

But it was too late to repent. From the moment he discovered that Shang Hao had woken up more energetic than before, he should have realized that something was wrong.

Shang Hao was still talking wildly over there. “So you can function normally? Why didn’t it work last night?”

It was no wonder that he was worried. Data showed that one out of every three Chinese men couldn’t stand up, and the streets were full with yw advertisements.

Lin Anran was embarrassed. The lunatic refused to let him go, and he even opened up the comforter to take a look at the carrot, so much so that he was nearly leaning closer to study it.

Under Shang Hao’s suppression, they maintained that posture. When Lin Anran thought that he was still sticking to Shang Hao’s thigh, not only was his face beet-red but so was his ears. But he was too embarrassed to make a sound.

Just when Shang Hao wanted to release Vice President Shang for a friendly comparison, an alarmed Lin Anran took advantage of this and fled from the bed.

He ran away, moving faster than a rabbit. He picked up his clothes and ran into the bathroom, then quietly locked the door behind him.

…The above was what Lin Anran experienced this morning.

You know, before meeting Shang Hao, Lin Anran had never slept in the same bed with anyone else before, nor had he studied someone else’s lower body parts so closely.

Before last night, Lin Anran hadn’t even been naked in front of others.

He normally had no dirty thoughts about Boss Shang. But if he had to admit it, he was more able to enter an aroused state in front of the 2D Boss Shang than in front of the real Boss Shang.

He had been an otaku for most of his life. With the door closed for more than 20 years, it ought to have been rusted, and so he was alarmed at this quick progress.

This was the otaku Lin Anran. In short, he had to put his foot down.

His aunt was right. Sometimes, people still had to learn to reject others.

In view of the fact that it involved Shang Hao, Lin Anran was even more nervous about putting this matter on the agenda. Although the final day would come sooner or later, couldn’t it have come a little bit more milder?

The question now was, how could he tactfully refuse Boss Shang?

Truthfully speaking, there was really nothing he could refuse Shang Hao on. Love covered his heart like lard, and as long as Shang Hao asked him, Lin Anran would feel that it was reasonable and so he would not find it unacceptable.

Therefore, when Boss Shang squeezed out his shower gel and shampoo, he didn’t even feel angry.

If it weren’t for his powerful embarrassment this morning, which conquered everything, Lin Anran would have become meat on the chopping board, waiting to be slaughtered.

If Lin Anran was in a monster fighting game, with his current state, he wouldn’t even be able to fight the junior mobs of “Rejecting Others”; therefore, how could he fight the invincible ultimate boss “Rejecting Shang Hao.” Lin Anran was reluctant to fight, and he was even more reluctant to disappoint Boss Shang.

So difficult.

Boss Shang had gone to work, and Lin Anran was preparing to work in front of the opened computer. But before that, he habitually opened his homepage first.

After the boss lady incident, Lin Anran also became rather popular. Therefore, he dared not update casually anymore, letting his account go silent for a while.

However, the message notifications he received on his accounts had not stopped. Among these accumulated messages, there were some from the account @ShangHao, which would forward the latest development to Lin Anran at the same time everyday and only say, “Good morning.” Lin Anran knew that Boss Shang would send out this news every time he arrived at the company.

This wasn’t like saying hello to him and was more like showing off to others.

Now Lin Anran dared not use his account to leave messages to Shang Hao. On the contrary, it was now Shang Hao who sent messages to him. Once he got his account back, he would post every day, and sometimes it would go round and round without interruptions.

Lin Anran sometimes felt very apologetic to Shang Hao. Because he had a hard time communicating, Boss Shang would look in the mailbox for Lin Anran’s messages every day.

The original situation had already subsided, but the daily forwarding from Shang Hao’s account would still make small waves from time to time. It had become a tourist attraction for netizens, and they would come check at appointed times.

“Drop, beloved wifey checkpost.”

“Today, I’m also shedding lemon-flavored tears for other people’s love.”

“Dried food CP!”

“As long as I eat fast enough, dog food will never be too much for me.”

“President Shang is truly so single-minded, but the other person isn’t even replying. Don’t you think it’s so rude and disrespectful? Anyway, as a passerby, I can’t stand it. Not worthy of President Shang at all.”

Just below this mystifying speech, @ShangHao appeared and personally replied, “None of your business. Humph.”

Without much effort, he managed to mix in an expression pack of “We’re a fated ideal couple, come at us, you demon!”

Sure enough, a bunch of people flooded in from below: “Boss lady, come and speak ahhh!”

“Catch the boss lady alive!”

“Front row! Boss lady, please bless me so that I can find a rich and golden husband this year. Thank you, thank you.”

“Magnificent boss, refute the rumors at once. Tell us your family relationship is very good and that you can still post on President Shang’s account. Please don’t keep us in suspense, okay?”

“Is the boss lady a target or what? Scolded when speaking out in the past, and scolded when not speaking now.”

As he looked at these comments, the expression on Lin Anran’s face was complicated and constantly shifting. Thank you very much, kindhearted and enthusiastic netizens. Next time, don’t imitate his own tone to reply to others, Boss Shang!

He really did have access to Shang Hao’s account, but he didn’t know what to say this time. He himself definitely wasn’t one to humph when coming and humph when going.

Humph.

The feeling of seeing Boss Shang act like himself was really subtle. Boss Shang had seen the emoticon package last time, and he thought it was very good so he saved it. Turned out that he was able to use it at once.

Lin Anran put down his mobile phone and started today’s work. As he was drawing, he thought about the rejection.

Teacher Zhou said there was more than one way to express himself. If he couldn’t say it, he could use art to express it. The most important thing was expressing himself.

Lin Anran became thoughtful.

In the evening, Shang Hao pulled out a drawing from Lin Anran from the mailbox.

The round-headed little dummy stood in a blank frame. There was a big hand passing a glass of an oversized drink to him. It was Coke in a cup with a straw inserted. The only thing was that this cup of Coke was too big for the little dummy.

Lin Anran secretly added a special message here. As we all knew: Coke, buy Coke, make love.

The round-headed little dummy climbed up to the lid of the cup with great effort, sat on the lid, and tried to use the large straw that was the same size as himself. But he only ended up anxiously going around and around it.

How could a little dummy drink such a huge Coke?

The story ended here. The author of this little cartoon wanted to tell a truth, which was that everything shouldn’t be rushed for quick success and quick gain. One must proceed step by step, be patient and tolerant, and take one’s time.

When Shang Hao was looking at the drawing while sitting on the sofa, Lin Anran poked his head out from behind the sofa, secretly observing Shang Hao’s expression.

He was a little nervous. When drawing this, he had tried his best to be euphemistic, but he didn’t know how to express it or whether Shang Hao would understand it.

Shang Hao finished looking at it and raised his eyebrows.

He turned his head, pointed to the straw in the picture and asked Lin Anran, “You mean, it’s too big for you to eat?”

The straw in the picture was as big as the little dummy’s head. It was thick and round, such that the little dummy couldn’t even take a single bite.

Lin Anran nodded his head wildly. Yes yes yes. That was the truth. He just wanted to say that such a big glass of Coke was a problem for the little dummy and so it shouldn’t be rushed.

“So you’re worried about this.” Shang Hao smiled.

Lin Anran also found it embarrassing and he nodded his head. Exactly. This was what he was worried about.

“It’s okay, I can eat yours instead,” Shang Hao comforted him. “I mean, the straw.”

Lin Anran looked at him, puzzled: ?

Lin Anran: ????

 


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Love Delusion: Chapter 41

Before Shang Hao’s last business trip, he did bad things to Lin Anran’s little rabbit pajamas.

After he was done, the person ran away. Lin Anran didn’t have the nerve to throw it into the washing machine. Later, he had no alternative but to scrub off the hard and white stain by himself.

When he was washing the clothes for the first time in the bathroom, Shang Hao’s smell made him blush.

Shang Hao seemed to spare no effort in making his bottom line lower every day. What’s more, Lin Anran’s understanding of Vice President Shang was no longer what it used to be. Nowadays, Vice President Shang refused to go down by himself.

When Vice President Shang stood up this morning, Lin Anran took a step back…After Shang Hao went to work refreshed, Lin Anran was still at home scrubbing his pajamas by hand.

In short, everything was fine except for this small twist.

Last night, he emptied the energy he had accumulated to go out on a date. As a result, Lin Anran needed to hide at home for at least one month to recharge his energy to make up for it.

One difference between extroverts and introverts was that extroverts could recharge themselves by talking to others, while introverts could only charge when they were alone and hiding at home.

Dating was very exhausting. Nevertheless, Lin Anran drew a cartoon after returning home from the date.

Following the last dream about the little dummy gaining a mouth, the round-headed little dummy woke up, still with that eternally dull expression, and still with no mouth.

The little dummy was walking down the road, and he saw many people in pairs on the street. There was a pair of lovers with dialogue bubbles emerging from above their heads, and each pair of bubbles contained two identical hearts.

There was a flash of envy in the eyes of the little dummy.

He walked all the way down with his two match-stick legs and arrived at a huge leg in suit pants. The round-headed littly dummy stopped there, and he sat on Haohao’s huge leather shoes with his two match-stick legs raised.

The rest of Haohao’s body was outside of the screen.

Drawing his exquisite cartoon face was too tiresome, and sometimes Lin Anran didn’t really want to draw it because not doing so would reflect Haohao’s lofty and outstanding status.

Not far away, he could see the speech bubbles over the lovers’ head, displaying their mutual love. As his dull eyes looked over at them, Dummy Ranran raised his match-stick hand stupidly and touched the position of his mouth.

At this moment, a speech bubble suddenly appeared from Haohao’s direction.

It was Haohao who spoke. Because his own image was particularly tall, the bubble that popped up were dozens of times larger than others. Ranran was suddenly startled by him, and the originally small pair of pea-like eyes shrank to almost nothing in alarm.

In Haohao’s immensely huge bubbles, there was a large heart that was the same shape as others, but it was super huge…Double in size.

Because Boss Shang always told him “I love you too,” and not just “I love you,” he also said Lin Anran’s part, so it was double the love.

Now they could, like others, have two hearts on top of each other’s heads.

The little dummy Ranran still had a dull face, but now he had also received his own love—the kind that was dozens of times larger than others.

The round-headed little person took the proffered heart, so that a pair of thin match-stick hands were firmly holding up a heart that was so large, it nearly filled the entire screen. He was flattered, excited, and exuberant.

At this moment, he noticed something and looked down. He discovered that a heart shape was bulging out over his chest in the position where his heart was.

It turned out that the little dummy was not without love. His love was the same as others, but it was hidden in his body.

When he met Haohao, the love in his chest jumped and jumped, as if it was about to come out.

Drawing done.

Lin Anran put down his pen. Staring at the drawing paper in front of him in a daze, he recalled last night’s date.

Then he laughed foolishly at his drawing.

The sweetness in his heart was probably as sweet as swimming in honey. Lin Anran was immersed in his memories. He was like all the people who’d experienced love for the first time, their heart swimming in honey, swimming in butterfly stroke, backstroke, and freestyle, full of neverending sweetness.

It didn’t matter if Boss Shang only liked his body. In the end, his body was also him, so Lin Anran was very content. Rounding up, in Lin Anran’s heart, he and Shang Hao were already like a couple staying together into old age, living together in a nursing home.

It must be an advanced and luxurious nursing home. After all, if the conditions of the nursing home were too poor, the elderly Shang Hao would probably sneer.

Lin Anran thought very far ahead. He was a veritable ideological giant, and was very skilled at fantasizing.

He spent the early morning drawing until he remembered the one-piece pajamas that was still soaked in water. So he rolled up his sleeves and went into the bathroom to put the pajamas into the washing machine. When he finished his work, the doorbell outside rang.

Lin Anran ran to open the door.

It was a person from the laundry shop downstairs, coming to deliver Shang Hao’s washed suits. Lin Anran took the expensive suits wrapped in protective jackets, and the clerk thanked him, turned, and left.

It was at this precise moment that the elevator door opened. As he held the suits, Lin Anran saw his aunt, who came to see him.

“Xiao Ran.” Lin Huiyan let the departing clerk enter the elevator before smiling and walking forward. “How perfect. I don’t even need to ring the doorbell.”

Lin Anran greeted her obediently and opened the door to let her go in.

Lin Huiyan’s school was closed, and since she had more free time now, she had time to bring over boiled soup.

Lin Anran followed his aunt inside and closed the door. He heard her ask, “Child, why are your hands still wet?”

Lin Anran explained that he was washing clothes just now.

Lin Huiyan looked at the suit he was holding carefully in his hand, and then looked at his sleeves that were rolled up to wash clothes. After a pause, she tentatively asked, “Are you washing your own clothes?”

Lin Anran nodded, turned around, and went to hang President Shang’s clothes up in the bedroom.

Meanwhile, Lin Huiyan put the soup down and sat in the living room. After Lin Anran came out, she opened the good things she’d brought.

“Look, Xiao Ran, this is the baby chrysanthemum I brought you. You usually face the computer screen all day. Steeping this and drinking it is great for clearing your liver and improving your eyesight. And there’s also this! And this and this! These are absolutely good things. Black goji berries, simply absolutely healthy, even better when compared to red goji berries!”

As his aunt introduced its effects, fearing that Lin Anran would not be able to recognize the charm of black goji berries, the “simply” and the “absolutely healthy” were stretched out in long tones.

She suggested that Lin Anran try it right now so that he could taste the charm of the black goji berries. It could be said that she really wanted to put this promoted product into Lin Anran’s mouth.

Lin Anran found a teapot, boiled water, and steeped the black goji berries on the spot. The color of the steeped water was very deep. It tasted slightly sweet, and the deep, purple color gave people a healthy feeling and taste.

Lin Anran had just taken a sip when his aunt’s voice appeared, “How is it?”

Lin Anran nodded and said it was good. Lin Huiyan smiled and said, “You must keep drinking. You always look down at the computer and at your phone all day, so drinking more of this will be good for your health.”

Lin Anran tasted this cup of high-quality black goji berries bit by bit. While looking at the iron pot of steeped black goji berries, he took the initiative to reach out and tighten its lid so as to save the liquid inside.

Lin Huiyan thought he liked it and smiled with gratification. She asked, “What’s the matter? Are these not enough? Auntie still has more.”

“It’s enough, aunt.” Lin Anran’s voice was somewhat embarrassed. “I…just wanted to save it so that Shang Hao can drink too.”

Shang Hao usually faced the computer all day and was usually very tired after work. Moreover, advanced people should have advanced goji berries.

“So that’s it…” Lin Huiyan was surprised that Xiao Ran was so good to that Mr. Shang. He seemed to really like him.

“Auntie will bring more next time. Xiao Ran, you have to drink it yourself.” After thinking about it, Lin Huiyan was worried about Lin Anran’s relationship, fearing that he was the only one putting the most effort into it.

She hesitated to speak. As they were tasting the pot of black goji berry tea, she asked Lin Anran slowly, “Xiao Ran, who usually does the housework at home?”

When she came just now, she saw that Mr. Shang’s clothes were sent to be specially washed, while Lin Anran was washing his own clothes with his own hands. It wasn’t that she was partial to Lin Anran, but she just thought that it was a little strange.

Lin Huiyan recently discovered that Xiao Ran was now different from how he was before. Being in love had changed him, so that he would always think of the other person, and if there was anything good to be had, he would save it for the other person first.

When his aunt asked this, Lin Anran thought about it. Washing and drying clothes, tidying up, mopping the floor, cooking…it seemed that it was only himself who did these things.

But no way would Lin Anran allow Shang Hao to bother with these trivial housework.

Besides, he would still have to do these things even if he was living by himself. He spent more time at home when compared to Shang Hao, and usually Shang Hao would come home tired from work. He was also the one who insisted that they live in his house. Otherwise, if Shang Hao had gone back to live in his own place, he still wouldn’t even need to do houseworks at all.

Meanwhile, in Lin Huiyan’s estimation, there was a difference in family status. Lin Anran was also the younger of the two, and coupled with his inability to refuse others, maybe he didn’t even know that he was being bullied.

As someone who could see more clearly than those involved, Lin Huiyan was afraid that Lin Anran’s first romantic relationship would unknowingly devolve into one where one party was being mistreated by the other.

Lin Huiyan said sincerely and earnestly, “Xiao Ran, did you meet a PUA¹?”

Lin Anran was surprised. “Aunt, you even know what a PUA is?”

“I didn’t know but your cousin told me.” Lin Huiyan took a drank and followed her display of special knowledge with a modest smile

But she was still very serious about this issue. “It’s not written on the news, but there was a young man who had a PUA girlfriend, who swindled him into using all his net worth to buy her bags…Auntie believe you wouldn’t end up like this, right?”

Lin Anran waved his hands again and again. No no no, it wasn’t the same thing at all. How could they be the same? He and Boss Shang had the pure relationship of an elder brother and a younger brother. Wasn’t it right for him to use all his wealth to invite his elder brother to dinner?

What he did was voluntary, not because of a PUA.

Lin Huiyan said, “The old saying is still relevant. Good people are often easily deceived and ridden by others. Nowadays, there are people who like to PUA people like you who don’t have much worldly experience.”

Lin Anran sat in an upright posture, listening to his aunt’s preaching, and nodding in agreement. To be fair, his aunt was worrying too much. How could he have met a PUA?

“When two people live together, it is right for both parties to accommodate each other. One person can’t only have the right to speak. For example, if he does anything that makes you uncomfortable, you have to say it.”

In fact, he wasn’t incapable of understanding his aunt’s worries. His aunt was afraid that he would wrong himself, and she was also afraid that he would be wronged, to the point that he would be smothered.

His aunt misunderstood. In fact, this wasn’t the case at all. If he was unwilling to do something, of course he would refuse Boss Shang.

Not only that, if he was unsatisfied in any way, he would even beat Boss Shang up severely. No, at that time, the person he was beating up was his split self, Fenran.

Lin Anran thought this and was secretly startled in his heart.

After thinking about it like this, there seemed to be some truth in what his aunt was saying. After he got together with Shang Hao, Lin Anran’s attitude toward him was always respectful and obedient…When was the last time he said “no” to Boss Shang?

No, stop. Why was he also being turned crooked by his aunt?

In short, Boss Shang wasn’t PUAing him. Lin Anran took another sip of the black goji berry tea with a guilty conscience.

Because he drew in the morning, he sat with his aunt for a while in the afternoon, and then he became addicted to searching about the effects of black goji berries on the internet. Of course, if Lin Anran didn’t complete his projects today, he would have to rush urgently the next day.

He took a lot of orders and didn’t draw all day yesterday. All of his energies were spent brainstorming on a dating book between himself and Boss Shang.

Lin Anran: Wuwuwu, I can’t finish these illustrations.

He finally knew what panicking was. He was still drawing when Shang Hao returned home. He was still drawing when Shang Hao took a shower, and he was still working hard while Shang Hao was sitting next to him, watching him.

During this time, it seemed that Boss Shang had something to say to him, but Lin Anran didn’t realize it. Shang Hao walked over and kissed him. After the kiss, Lin Anran’s eyes returned back to the screen and focused with intensity on the male body he was drawing.

What he was drawing today was a private request, and it was already prepaid. Lin Anran always felt that today’s lines were drawn in a weird way. He couldn’t tell if the rectus abdominis muscles were normally drawn like this? As a whole, the pectoral muscles seemed to be a bit small…

Lin Anran repeatedly erased and redrew, and the more he redrew, the more unsatisfactory the result was.

But didn’t he always draw it like this before? What went wrong? Or, maybe he was affected by a certain universal law, whereby the more important something was, the easier it was to make a mistake?

Lin Anran sat in front of the computer all night, drawing and completely forgetting himself. Finally, when he was near reaching a satisfactory result, a black shadow appeared from behind him. Like a tangible terror, it silently and slowly enveloped his whole body.

Lin Anran: Huh?

He looked back suspiciously and saw Shang Hao, who had been ignored by him the entire night.

Shang Hao’s expression was calm, which, in turn, increased his vigilance. It felt like having a large crocodile lurking concealed in a reflective lake. When he spoke, he spoke softly, and his tone could even be considered gentle. While he made eye contact with Lin Anran, his other hand was also gently (violently), softly (forcefully), incomparably tenderly (unyieldingly), carefully (effectively) moving him away from the computer.

“Ranran, it’s time to rest.”

Lin Anra swallowed his saliva, looked at Shang Hao’s eyes, and silently and tactfully put down the pen in his hand.

“Good child.”

He said to Lin Anran. Then he picked Lin Anran up very gently and walked away.

Lin Anran: !?

For the first time, Lin Anran was being carried. Except for his belly, which was a bit uncomfortable, his vision and experience was wonderful in every aspect.

Shang Hao didn’t turn off the computer. He just turned off the screen so that Lin Anran’s work was well preserved.

The other thing was that Lin Anran finally knew why he was having such troubles drawing chest muscles.

He was used to drawing muscline lines that were thin and youthful, but now he could only say that muscles that were big and strong felt very good by hand.

A certain person said that it was time to rest, but once they entered their bedroom, it was him who wouldn’t let Lin Anran rest.

Shang Hao lay on him, feeling nostalgic for the touch of Lin Anran’s skin. The tofu that wasn’t eaten must be eaten double tonight.

In the past, Shang Hao would take his time so as not to alarm Lin Anran, but the end result was that Lin Anran got too used to it. This made him relax his vigilance, so that he didn’t realize the danger when Vice President Shang greeted him.

After all, it was only just letting someone stand up before going down.

“It’s very hot.” Shang Hao, who was pressing down on him, said concisely, “Take it off.”

His mouth said it was very hot, but his eyes were only fixed on Lin Anran’s obstructive clothes, as if he had a hatred against them. He opened the front zipper of Lin Anran’s pajamas all the way down to the bottom, and both hands kept moving, directly lifting Lin Anran’s upper body out of the little sheep pajama suit.

Lin Anran wore underclothes underneath. He thought that it would be over once Shang Hao took off the outer pajamas, but Shang Hao continued and took off his shirt.

As he was removing the last article, Lin Anran stopped him with a hand that wasn’t at all forceful. Lin Anran laid under his body and, red-eared with embarrassment, weakly pulled down his last article of clothing.

Shang Hao lowered his body and kissed him, calling his name.

“Ranran, Ranran.”

“I won’t do anything.”

Apart from these, he didn’t say anything else. The usage of language to communicate was no longer needed at this point. Neither of them had the strength to continue talking nonsense, and the gradually heating mood added fuel to the fire, making them cling closer to each other.

——-

When it ended, Lin Anran was sweating profusely. He was lying on the bed, eyes spent, his entire body not wanting to move at all.

He only remembered that in the chaos just now, Shang Hao had coaxed him, saying, okay, let me use your hand.

Lin Anran: How on earth can it be like this*making a mess of him.jpg

It was only now that he regretted not listening to his aunt’s words earlier. She was right. In the situation just now, even though he was so anxious that his little carrot wouldn’t stand up, when Shang Hao asked, he seemed to be completely possessed and couldn’t refuse at all.

It was hard to believe that he hadn’t met a PUA.

Lin Anran: Just as aunt had said, good people were easy to ride.

————-
Translation Notes:
(1) PUA – Acronym for Pickup Artist, I’m guessing. This slang basically means someone who is mentally and emotionally abusive and who manipulates, gaslights, and takes advantage of their partner(s) for their own selfish and egotistical end. In short, a scum.


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IWOL Chapters 371: He’s Back

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 into the rain.

In the early morning, with rain glistening the streets, there were no people out and about. Fu Zhe walked the street 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 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.

“Mr. Fu.”

The man’s voice was so familiar that Fu Zhe paused. At that moment, many scenes flashed in 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, his fist tightly clenched, as if he was resisting some kind of impulse that could not be vented in his heart. 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 even more the complete you.”

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.”

As if a prisoner on death row 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 and he put the pendant on him. The heavy, brass key hung around Fu Zhe’s neck, carrying the warmth from 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 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 took a break, 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 outline of the strong muscles. 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 just took a sip when he sensed that Cerberus had stopped in front of him, his tall figure blocking the flickering flames.

“What—“

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 miss you very much,” Cerberus’ voice rang in his ears, sounding muffled, with a bit 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 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 powerful and rapid 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, 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 in 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 hold 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.


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