GC: Chapter 96

96. Stubborn Oujidere

Ma nodded along to XueQing’s speech. After brief reconsideration, she stated in a rather sad manner, “In that case, when HanHan gets better, he’d realise the perfect love he’d found was all just a lie. Everything was for nothing. He’d be so hurt then. My little baby, why can’t I suffer in your place?”

XueQing: “…” Just what do you want to do then?

In the hallway around the corner, Aunt Yang patted the tears away from her eyes. “My poor little master, once you can eat solids, I’ll cook you a grand feast to help you recover faster. Mr Mu would definitely say yes. Who in this world could bear to let such a cute young man remain upset and hurt? Mr Mu loves Little Master so much. He will save him, right?”

***

When YiHan woke up, JingYuan was spacing out while staring down at him. When JingYuan realised YiHan had opened his eyes, a warm smile immediately took over the previously blank face and leaned down to peck his lips.

“You’re up. How do you feel?” JingYuan softly asked. “Did you sleep well?”

“Extremely well. I’ve never felt so calm before,” YiHan replied, his lips pressed together into a smile that revealed two dimples. He raised a hand to caress JingYuan’s cheek. Every breath of air filling his lungs was as sweet as can be.

JingYuan felt like ever since YiHan was rescued a strange switch was flipped in the other man. Not only would slight agitating incidences not trigger a mental breakdown in him anymore, the man’s mental state had taken a turn for the better. YiHan now acted more affectionate, in a natural way, when with him. It made JingYuan’s heart race with delight. As expected, the hero saving the dam-…dude-in-distress act was the best way to win someone’s heart! Thank goodness he was the fastest among the rescuers due to his hastiness. He was the first to arrive on scene. If he was one step slower and Yan was first, he might not be met with this treatment now.

At that, Jingyuan couldn’t help letting loose a chuckle. His eyes were filled to the brim with warmth which made YiHan go into a daze while staring into them.

As the two men stared into the other’s eyes with great love, XueQing stayed frozen at the door.

She silently retracted the foot about to step into the room. In exasperation, she exchanged a glance with the beautiful, but confused if she should enter or not, nurse standing at the door beside her. They had a feeling if they went in now, lightning would strike them down.

***

Moments later in the hospital corridor outside YiHan’s room, XueQing told JingYuan about the conversation the family had last night. The man fell silent for a long time before speaking up, “You were too bold. This is not what we planned. It’s too risky.”

 “I didn’t plan on it at first,” XueQing replied. “But everything changed so quickly. Yan had detected something weird in how HanHan treats you. Thank goodness for your habit of keeping a poker fac. No one had realised your feelings for HanHan yet. Instead, they all think this will be a burden on you.”

JingYuan’s lips curled into a smirk as a hand massaged his furrowed brows. “The current development has been so unexpected,” he said. “While it’s risky, at least your parents love HanHan enough. Otherwise, this would’ve happened so smoothly. It’s my fault for making them feel guilty and upset at this assumption.”

“It’s not your fault,” XueQing glumly said. “I was too hasty. One after another, things kept happening to HanHan. “That person” kept going after HanHan. I was just too worried about his mental health. I thought the only way to make him feel safe enough is to make it so you can be by his side without any hiding. That’s how I’ll protect my little brother.”

She looked up to look at something off in the distance, her eyes slightly unfocused. Then, she muttered, as if talking to herself, “I still remember when HanHan was a kid. He’s so small, so soft, just like a bun fresh from the steamer. He stumbled after me, calling out ‘sister’ in his soft voice. I looked back to see him about to trip because he ran too fast. I hurriedly rushed over to catch him. He looked up at me and grinned. The two tiny dimples on his chubby cheeks were so cute. It was then that I thought, ‘Ah, this is my little brother. I’ll forever love and protect him. Just like today, I won’t let him get hurt at all.’

“Then, he grew up. He was no longer as close to me. He wouldn’t listen to me anymore. It upset me.

“This time, he suffered a mental trauma so serious that it turned him into a good kid. This incident allowed me to see he’s still as soft and gentle inside, just as he was when he was younger. His two wide eyes bore into me as he told me to drive safely and to take care. Hehe. He actually hadn’t changed at all.

“He’s considerate of my feelings and he didn’t dare to reveal his own feelings. Isn’t that an attempt at protecting me? I knew then my love for him had never been one-sided. He loved me too. I will stand by the oath I swore as a child and forever love him, protect him and keep him from harm.”

JingYuan’s eyes softened. “He loves you very much,” he warmly said. “There’s no doubting that. HanHan and I thank you for this. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to gain everyone’s understanding this swiftly. But what about Chen TianYang then?  According to our plan, he was never meant to appear. As you’ve said, things have changed faster than we’ve planned. His entrance was a little hasty but it’s not too bad. With what happened last night, he’s probably not useful now. Right?”

XueQing glanced at the door to YiHan’s room. “That’s true,” she guiltily admitted. “I should apologise to him. I made him do all this for nothing.”

JingYuan paused, then said, “That might not be for sure. He’s still of use to us. We’ve already told HanHan you like Chen TianYang. If he backs out of the plan now, HanHan will be suspicious and, because our engagement is now void, your parents will be worried over your future marriage. With the appearance of Chen TianYang by your side, someone with a family background as strong as yours and someone who’s proven to have loved you, it would make them feel better about this. Wouldn’t it?”

She side-eyed him. “You’re not wrong,” she said. “But why does it sound like you said all that because you’re on TianYang’s side? There’s no clandestine secret between you two, right?”

“Where did your mind go off to?” JingYuan sighed. “I’m only saying this because whenever I see him yearning for you, I’m reminded of myself before. I understand that feeling all too well. It’s inevitable I’d sympathise with him and try to help him. More importantly, I  think of you as family. Of course I’d hope you could find happiness. If we put aside his family background, he’s one of the most handsome and capable men I know. What’s even rarer is how much he loves you. He’s a great match that’s hard to come by. If you can love him and be with him, I believe you’ll definitely be happy. Naturally, it’s all up to you. If you think you’re not git for each other, you have plenty more choices. The daughter of the great Bai family would never lack suitors after all. No matter your decision, I’ll support you.”

Touched, XueQing patted him on the arm. “I appreciate all your efforts,” she said. “Fine. It’s very rare to find someone who’d love me that much. I’ll try and accept him. If I feel we’re good, I’ll definitely consider him. I would be much happier marrying someone who loves me than someone I love.”

JingYuan nodded. He took a step forward then turned to look back, “Don’t force yourself. No need to be considerate of other people. Just do what you feel best.”

XueQing’s eyes stung as she walked forward to pat the man on the back. “Alright. When did you become such a nagger? Go back or HanHan will worry.”

Only then did JingYuan fully turn around and walk to the door of YiHan’s room. “We’ll need to revise our plan for what happens afterwards,” he said along the way. “We can’t let HanHan sense any of this or he’ll think I’m not truly in love with him, that I’m only pitying him and I only wanted to save him. If he descends into a spiral over it, we’d be screwed.”

XueQing hummed in agreement. “Why don’t we just tell HanHan about everything last night then” she blurted. “I think that’s safer. He’ll be prepared for this assumption in the family. He wouldn’t split hairs over it then.”

JingYuan paused. He frowned. The more XueQing thought about it, the more she felt she was right.

“Of course, we can’t change the reason why we brought TianYang into the plan,” she continued. “Half-truths are the easiest to deceive people with. Let’s find a chance to talk to TianYang about this later. We need to continue on with the charade.”

After a long moment of weighing the pros and cons, JingYuan finally nodded. “You’re right, but remember, in HanHan’s mind, TianYang still doesn’t know we were engaged. Don’t let it slip.”

“Then we won’t talk about it before TianYang. We’ll get him out of hearing first. Make sure we play out the full act. While HanHan is gullible, we’d best be cautious,” XueQing replied.

JingYuan shot her an upset glance. “He’s your brother,” he whispered. “How could you call him gullible?”

“It’s the truth? Don’t you find his ditsy attitude to be ridiculously cute?” She smiled.

Unwittingly, a smile began to grow on JingYuan’s face. When he realised his lips were perking upwards, he did his best to push it down and glared at her. He swiftly turned around and strode back to his target.

XueQing twitched her lips to the side. “Stubborn little oujidere.”

***

In the hospital room:

“Mr Chen, you’re so busy with work. Why still take the time and visit me? I’m fine now,” YiHan warmly greeted.

“We’re friends, aren’t we?” TianYang replied with a smile. “When friends are in trouble, I’ll help them out. You don’t need my help now but I should still see how you’re doing.”

YiHan laughed, deep dimples showing up. He looked like he was in an exceptionally good mood.

“How do you feel now?” TianYang asked. “Do you still nausea or any dizziness?”

“I was a little nauseous yesterday,” YiHan replied. “But after a good night’s sleep, I feel much better now.”

“Remember to bring more bodyguards with you the next time you leave the house,” TianYang suggested. “Specially to crowded places. You must be careful. With your status, there are a lot of people aiming for you. Whenever I think about yesterday’s incident, I feel so terrified.”

“I know,” YiHan said, nodding. “Right. You rushed over to save me yesterday but my head was in such a mess that I didn’t talk to you at all. Please don’t be angry.”

The other man smiled. “You acting so formal and polite is what would make me angry. When I knew you went missing, I nearly died from fear. Those people are so very daring. Don’t worry though. I’ll definitely make sure they get their comeuppance.”

YiHan smiled and nodded. He looked out the window. “Why is my sister and JingYuan taking so long?”

TianYang frowned. “Don’t worry,” he comforted. “They should be back soon. It’s my fault. I only remembered how you couldn’t eat solids now and so didn’t bring any food with me. I forgot those looking after you needed to eat too.”

Translator’s Notes:

Oujidere: Trying out a new way to translate “arrogant/proud and cute”. How does it sound?


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GC: Chapter 95

95. Temporary Plan

At the end of XueQing’s speech, a suffocating silence fell upon the living room. A long pause later, Yan said, “What XueQing said…might be the truth. She is a girl. Her intuition’s always been very sharp. She’s also thorough and observant. On the old Mr Yan’s party, HanHan was so terrified of Feng Qun that his mind was not in the right place. Even then, he clung on tight to JingYuan’s short. He wouldn’t let go no matter what we did. When HanHan sobered up later, according to JingYuan, he immediately distanced himself and acted very cold to JingYuan. It was the complete opposite to what he did when he wasn’t completely aware of himself. We didn’t notice it back then, but now that I think back to it, that’s proof of HanHan having fallen in love with JingYuan. He was afraid he’d let it show so he forced himself to stay away from JingYuan.”

Reminded by Yan’s words, everyone in the room thought back to how the two men usually interact with each other. YiHan’s dependence on JingYuan was definitely abnormal. However, as Yan had said previously, that was how the two acted around each other all these years. They’d all gotten used to it so no one thought anything of it.

Ma swayed. Tears dripped down her cheeks and onto her lap.

“How could it be?” Ma asked, voice trembling. “HanHan…how could this happen?”

FuRen glanced at his daughter. “Should we distract JingYuan? Pull him away.” he mused. “Separate them for a while. HanHan’s still a child. Perhaps, after some time, that love will simmer down.”

“No way!” XueQing shouted in fear.

The other three around her jumped.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” Ma dazedly said. “No matter how much we love HanHan, we can’t ignore the ethics of the situation. JingYuan is engaged to you. That means he’s HanHan’s brother-in-law. If they get together, that’ll be incest. If someone outside the family knew of their relationship, they’ll forever live in shame!”

XueQing stood up with a whoosh, her eyes going red at the edges.

“If we do that, we’ll kill HanHan!” she screeched. “I don’t care about some vague moral in this situation. All I care about is my younger brother has been wronged! Did you see those wounds on his body when he was rescued? His chest was covered in bite marks…” She took a harsh gulp. A bead of tear slid down her cheeks away from her wide eyes. “But when he woke up, he didn’t react in any way one might call emotional. He even comforted Ma. Did none of you think that was strange? I’m absolutely sure he’s only so calm because there’s a terrifying idea growing deep inside him. From what JingYuan described, when he arrived on scene, that thug was planning on…on snapping HanHan’s neck. Think. That bastard actually lusted over HanHan. Why would he let HanHan go without having done anything? Why would he kill him straightaway?

“When Yan went into the room, that beast was rolling on the floor. It’s obvious HanHan thought he was at a dead end and did all he could to hurt the other. That bastard only wanted to kill HanHan because of the anger born from humiliation! This might be HanHan’s true goal. He has…given up on himself. That’s why he did all he could to push Feng Qun to kill him!

“When he woke up, he acted so natural and could differentiate what would benefit him more. It’s as if the one hurt wasn’t him. Which of us could know what he honestly thinks?

“HanHan…HanHan had never thought of fighting with me over JingYuan. He thought of just going with the flow. If the vase shatters, then let it remain shattered. He had given up on his own emotions and any hope for himself. He didn’t care if he lived or died. As his family, as those who love him so very much, are we going to give up on him to?” XueQing ended with a roar.

She closed her eyes and let herself drop back onto the arm of the couch. “We all know better than anyone else what HanHan was like before. He’s now a god child. So are we going to use his ‘maturity’ to hurt him as if that’s the right thing to do? He wouldn’t cry. He wouldn’t shout. He won’t try and fight it. He’s extremely calm. It’s highly likely due to some mental issues. Are all those trivial rules more important than his life? Do you want to see him leave us and quietly live a painful life because of some ridiculous moral value? He’s in an extremely dangerous state of mind. If we wait until the day when he loses all hope in life and seek release…” Tears swelled in her glimmering eyes once more but she did her best. They can’t fall. “The doctor said,” she continued, sadness laced through her words. “He’s very suicidal. If a person were insistent on dying, who could stop them? If he really succeeds, none of our regrets and what-ifs would matter.”

Ma and Pa inhaled, shocked. Yan patted his sister on the shoulder.

“So,” Yan sighed. “What do you plan to do?”

XueQing drew herself up. “I am Bai XueQing,” she proudly stated. “I am the daughter of the great Bai family. Would I really be worried over not finding a man to marry? It’s only an engagement. Can it really be compared to HanHan’s life? Anyway, JingYuan and I aren’t that deeply in love. We just thought the other was a more suitable match. We’re compatible in terms of family history and capabilities. I believe with how much love JingYuan holds for HanHan, he would agree with me if he were here. As long as HanHan recovers, there’s no worthier sacrifice!”

Ma’s body shook as she reached out for her daughter’s hand. “XueQing,” she warbled through the torrent of tears. “Why must you suffer so…?”

“Don’t be like this,” XueQing softly said, an arm hugging her mother around the shoulders. “I won’t suffer. In fact, I feel happy. We finally found a solution to HanHan’s problem. Think. If he could have what he wished for, he would relax. Wouldn’t he heal faster then? He won’t fight for it, so I’ll let him have JingYuan. He is the heart of our family. I love him. I can’t let him go through this pain any longer. It’s only a friendly engagement. If it had required my life, I would gladly offer it up too!”

“Even if you’re willing to, what about…JingYuan?” FuRen sighed, giving his daughter a light pat on the hand. “Even if he’s willing too, we’ve owed him too much when it comes to HanHan. How could we make him suffer for it?”

Internally, XueQing twisted her lips. He would be deliriously happy if you’d let him get together with HanHan. Suffer? As if!

On the outside, she still had a serious face on. “I can talk to him about this. I’m confident he’ll understand our dilemma. My younger brother is such a great person. JingYuan wouldn’t suffer at all being with him,” she said.

FuRen didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “Silly girl,” he said. “Your brother being a great person or not has nothing to do with whether JingYuan will like him that way.” He sighed. “If JingYuan really agrees to this, we’ll be in his debt indefinitely.”

Ma wiped her tears away with the back of a hand while the other clutched at the blouse over her heart. “My poor son,” she muttered. “You’ve suffered so much yet I, your mother, knew nothing about it. What a fool. Why didn’t he tell me? Why did he just lock it up inside and let it fester and hurt him until he wanted to kill himself? The thought of it makes my heart ache…”

Yan’s hands clamped down tight at the arm of the couch on his side. “I didn’t think that beast would actually hold such insidious thoughts towards HanHan!” he spat out. “He must’ve been lusting over HanHan long ago, but he was too scared of acting due to HanHan’s status. That’s why he induced HanHan to know more about homosexuality! It’s all our fault. We didn’t spot his plot in time. That’s why HanHan was hurt. Really! Why did HanHan not talk to us about what’s bothering him? If he told us, no matter what, I wouldn’t have let him suffer in pain until now!”

“If I knew HanHan thought that way,” XueQing nodded. “I would never have gotten engaged to JingYuan. It wouldn’t even be an idea. This foolish boy!”

Exhausted, FuRen leaned back in his seat. “Your mother and I can now relax having seen how much you two love your little brother,” he sighed. “The greatest wealth in the Bai family is our undefeatable love for our own family. We’ll have to ask JingYuan to take the hit for this. XueQing, talk to him calmly. If he says no, don’t force him. We’ve owed him enough. If he’s not willing to go along with the plan, we’ll think of something else.”

“Don’t worry,” XueQing drawled. “He’ll definitely say yes.” That bastard could ask for nothing else in his life!

Ma sighed once more. “We keep saying we think of JingYuan as our son, but it’s human to play favourites,” she said, giving her husband a comforting pat. “To ask JingYuan make that kind of sacrifice for HanHan, it’s seriously…he’d done more than enough for HanHan! We’ve not done right by JingYuan in this. We’ve also not done right by his parents. We once swore before ChuanYu’s and Ying’s graves that we’d take good care of JingYuan. Now, I think we’d be too ashamed to look at them properly in the face.”

FuRen nodded in agreement, held tight to his wife’s hand and sighed again.

XueQing felt very guilty at seeing how down her parents were. While what she said might’ve been a little exaggerated but it was what she truly guessed, roughly. She only changed their mutual love into a one-sided love by HanHan. However, everything about the threat to HanHan’s life was true. Currently, if he’s in pain, he wouldn’t vent it out. He’d just lock it up inside. Also, he was mentally unstable right now. Even if he’s well, how could she bear to let her beloved little brother suffer? If YiHan attempted suicide once, he’ll do it again. When his emotions reach the brink of what he could bear, he will use a method just as extreme to get relief. She cannot let it happen another time!

She paused and gathered her thoughts. “Don’t be upset,” she comforted. “When Uncle Mu and Aunt Ying were alive, they loved HanHan the most. They’d always be carrying him around. If he so much as scraped something, they’d be upset over for a long time. If they were still alive and knew how much HanHan has suffered, they would be upset too.

“I’ll talk to JingYuan tomorrow. Everything will be up to him. If he refuses, I won’t try and persuade him any further. But I believe JingYuan truly does love HanHan. He’d do it for HanHan’s sake. He might think the same as I do. He’d be so happy that there’s hope for HanHan’s recovery that he would do anything. He has the right to know about this and he has the right to choose. If we don’t tell him and he only knows about it once something happens to HanHan, he’d be so guilty and upset that he might blame us.

“Anyway, we’re not forcefully tying them up together for their whole lives. It’s only temporary. We’ll have JingYuan soothe HanHan and calm down his emotions. Naturally, we’ll respect his decision on what happens once HanHan recovers.”

Translator’s Notes:

  1. induced to know more about homosexuality: This novel has already established this family is irrationally blinded when it comes to the youngest child and I think everyone gets the idea. Just in case though, Yan’s thought process is wrong and extremely homophobic here in spite of how he’s one of the good guys.
  2. ChuanYu and Ying: ChuanYu/ChuanYü (传玉) and Ying (英) are JingYuan’s parents. Ma actually calls them Brother ChuanYu and Sister Ying. They are not related in anyway. It’s just the usual 大哥/大姐 suffix used for seniors in social circles.


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GC: Chapter 94

94. Little Brother Might Like JingYuan

As Yan spoke, telling his father to take his mother home, he kept motioning at his father to look at his little brother’s hands. FuRen followed Yan’s gaze. What he saw prompted him to hurriedly say, “The kids are right. XiaoRan, you must be exhausted. Let’s head home first. JingYuan dotes on HanHan so much. Would you really be worried about him not taking good care of our son?”

FuRen kept pushing his wife out of the room as he verbally ushered her out. Then, he whispered into her ear, “Let’s head home first. I’ve got something to tell you.”

Ma was still uneasy but, at the sight of her husband’s serious eyes, she kept quiet and followed him out.

XueQing and Yan exchanged a glance. “We’ll see them out,” she then said, pulling TianYang along with her out of the room with Yan following suit.

Now, only JingYuan and YiHan were left in the room. YiHan silently stared at JingYuan for a few moments, then reached out to grab the other’s hand.

“JingYuan, you came. I’m so happy,” he said with a gentle smile.

JingYuan’s heart ached so badly it felt like it was cramping up. His free hand came up and caressed YiHan’s soft cheek. “Happy? You’re so badly hurt. You scared me. Even now, just thinking about how I found you makes my legs buckle. It’s all my fault. I didn’t protect you properly. You were hurt right under my watch.”

“You’re not a fortune teller. How could you predict the future?” YiHan asked, pressing his lips together to hold his smile back. “Say, you’ve been by my side a lot lately. I wasn’t even meant to leave home today. Did you know there was danger lurking around? Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to you. I worried you.”

The other man grabbed YiHan’s hand and rubbed his cheek against it. He kissed YiHan’s palm. “You’ve said it yourself,” JingYuan said, distress in his voice. “I’m not a fortune teller. How could I have known there’d be danger? We just got together. Isn’t it our honeymoon period? Naturally, I’d want to be by your side every day, every moment. I wanted you to stay home today because I wanted to be able to see you the second I came back. What? Am I too clingy?”

YiHan couldn’t hold back his smile anymore. A chuckle burst through his lips. If the world knew the great CEO Mr Mu would talk like a distraught and wronged wife, the Mu Group’s stock prices would plummet.

Still, YiHan had to comfort his lover when he’s in such agony. “I would never say that. Why would I? These days, I’ve been doing my best not to burst out laughing in joy. Unlike me, an unemployed man, you’re always busy. Every day, my mind keeps making up plans to make you stay away from work. I wanted you by my side. Thankfully, our hearts seemed to know what the other was thinking. Before any of my nonsensical plans were started, you stayed. Look at me. When you’re by my side, no one would dare come near me. As soon as you leave me, I get hurt.”

Love swelled in JingYuan and he couldn’t hold himself back anymore. He leaned down to peck YiHan’s nose.

“Little one, you finally learned how to speak to your lover. If things really are as you say, then I must not stray even an inch away from you. Right?” said JingYuan.

YiHan blinked. “Then should I start showering you with praise and flattery, my dear guardian angel?”

“I look forward to it. Do your best. Ah, you must be tired. Was today terrifying?” JingYuan asked. He tenderly touched the bandages on YiHan’s wrist. His teeth were clamped down so tightly that blood would be drawn soon.

YiHan spread his arms out and JingYuan swiftly leaned in for a semi-hug, arms hovering around the man in the bed. YiHan tilted his head to kiss JingYuan on the cheek.

“At first, I was a little scared,” YiHan said. “Then, Feng Qun brought up that foul desire of his. I’m already in a relationship with you, I thought. If I can’t resist him, then I’ll drag him to hell with me. I thought I was dead.” He chuckled. A tear sliding down his cheek. “But you came. When you were standing before me, my fear vanished. I was afraid of nothing. When I saw you, my heart calmed down. It had never been so calm before.  I was ecstatic. JingYuan, you came to save me. Even if I really died, I would’ve died without regrets.”

JingYuan kissed the tear away from YiHan’s face and tightened his embrace. “What nonsense are you talking about?” he asked in a low tone. “Nothing is worth you dying with your enemy. Why would I not save you if you’re in danger? Even if I risk my life doing so, I will save you. Remember. No matter when or what happens, your life is the most important thing here. If anything happened to you, I’d…I’d follow you. It’s as you said. We’re now together. No matter where we go, we should always be together.”

YiHan was stunned. What else could he ask for but this? Nothing. He lacked nothing in life now.

***

XueQing dragged TianYang out of the room, then told him to head home. Then, she raced ahead with Yan to catch up with their parents. Under the bemused gaze of Ma, they got in the car.

Yan slipped into the driver’s seat. “Let’s go home first,” he said.

FuRen patted his wife on the hand as reassurance as XueQing kept quiet with her eyes lowered.

The journey was spent in silence.

“Just what are you keeping from me?” Ma asked when the whole family was gathered in the living room. “Is it about HanHan?”

FuRen glanced at his wife and hesitated.

“Father, I don’t want a repeat of today,” XueQing said. “We didn’t plan on telling Mother this because we were worried about her health, but now…it’s too dangerous. HanHan stayed strong this time, but what if this happens again? We might not even need to wait!”

FuRen froze.

“There are always limits to human strength,” Yan said. “We still don’t know who ‘that person’ is. We can never be on our guard all the time. She should be aware.”

“Just what are you guys talking about?” Ma shouted in worry. “What is it that all of you know but me? I have the right to know about my son! Bai FuRen, tell me!”

“Don’t panic, XiaoRan. Don’t worry,” FuRen hurriedly spoke up. “I’ll tell you.” He then told her everything about YiHan and their guesses about what happened to him. “We didn’t tell you because we were worried you’d panic and stress yourself out. We didn’t think…”

Ma was trembling in anger. “You didn’t think, in my ignorance, I’d take HanHan out of the house and nearly killed him? What do you think I am? A flimsy paper doll that’ll break at a touch? Have you never heard of the phrase, ‘women may be weak, but mothers are strong’? You didn’t tell. You let me lead HanHan into the beast’s maws like a fool!”

Ma’s chest rose and fell in quick bursts, her face as pale as a ghost.

FuRen was terrified at his wife’s outburst. “Calm down, XiaoRan. Don’t be mad,” he hastily assured. “I only did it out of panic. Thank goodness HanHan’s fine now. We must now come together as a family and help HanHan recover!”

XueQing and Yan had also evacuated their seats to kneel down before Ma. Through their comforting words, Ma’s breathing slowed down back to a regular rhythm.

“Why did you guys insist on letting JingYuan take care of HanHan overnight on that day?” Ma asked, brows locked in a frown. “While he’s very close to us and he’s engaged to XueQing, they’re not married yet. Even then, it’s unreasonable for a brother-in-law to take care of our son as his entire family stay home. There’s no way you wouldn’t know how strange it is. Why?”

“HanHan’s hand was clutching tight at JingYuan’s shirt,” FuRen sighed. “I thought it’d be good for HanHan. It’d be a comfort for HanHan to have JingYuan by his side. We can only ask it of him.”

Yan wiped the tears streaking down his face away, heedless of how undignified he looked then. He shot a long glance at his sister before saying, pain in his voice, “Ever since he was a child, HanHan had been exceptionally close to JingYuan. He’s a bold child. He did as he pleased with no subtlety most of the time. The only one who could sway his mind are us and JingYuan. He listens to JingYuan the most and JingYuan always knew what to do with him. After all these years, we’ve gotten used to it. Last time, he…nearly killed himself. JingYuan was the one to stop him. From what we’ve heard from JingYuan, I think that no one else could’ve calmed HanHan down quickly enough for him to give up on his suicide attempt, if we were even able to stop HanHan from doing the deed.”

Yan paused, glancing at XueQing again. “I found it strange too,” he sighed. “Why would HanHan think something happen just because he woke up to sharing the same bed with JingYuan. Anyone else would think JingYuan must’ve fallen asleep in exhaustion from taking care of him. It’s normal. Why would HanHan suspect they’ve done it, that they’ve done something wrong and betrayed XueQing? Why did he think of committing suicide because of that? I thought it was because of the vile manipulations of the person who lead him astray. Then…his hand…it clutched at JingYuan’s shirt so very hard that his knuckles were white. I thought, what if he’s…he thinks…JingYuan…”

Ma’s face went paler than before and FuRen’s breathing came out harsher. XueQing also looked rather queasy. She could feel guilt gnawing away at her.

“Yan, you mean HanHan is gay and he’s fallen in love with JingYuan?” Ma slowly said after a long pause. “Have you forgotten about his ex-girlfriend? JingYuan is also his brother-in-law.”

An idea hit XueQing then. She gripped hard at the arm of the sofa before her. It was a bet she had to take. She took a moment to gather her words before saying, “Actually, I did suspect what Yan just said too.”

FuRen’s head jerked up to look at her and so did the other two. XueQing cleared her throat before solemnly saying, “I did mention it before. HanHan seemed to be very much against my marriage with JingYuan. He didn’t say anything but if anyone mentions it, he’ll get depressed. Based on what we know, HanHan was likely manipulated by that person  during the time he was fighting with JingYuan. Not long after JingYuan left on a business trip, HanHan suddenly turned into a ‘good kid’. He ‘matured’. While he changed a lot, he was only much more appreciative of his family. He didn’t show any signs of self-harm. So why did he suddenly break down that morning?

“I’ve thought about it over and over again. My guess is HanHan realised he like men back then and developed feelings for JingYuan. In his panic, he found himself a girlfriend. He wanted to ‘make himself straight again’. From what I know, one’s sexual preferences are not something that can be forcefully changed. Naturally, HanHan failed. After he broke up with that girlfriend, he was unable to face his sexuality. That’s why his temper became so explosive. He started giving up on himself. He was unable to look at JingYuan properly. That’s why he kept picking fights for no reason. He wanted to banish those feelings through ruining his relationship with JingYuan. Then, ‘that person’ started their schemes. Perhaps they wanted to make HanHan unknowingly destroy himself. But HanHan’s much stronger than they thought. He only learned to treasure what he had. When JingYuan returned, HanHan kept hiding from him. That was an anomaly but none of us paid attention to it back then. When JingYuan and I announced our engagement, HanHan’s mood dipped extremely low. However, he’s ‘mature’ now. So he didn’t cause a fuss. Instead, he wished us happiness. He must’ve been in so much pain then but he forced himself to smile through it.

“He got drunk on that night. After he woke up, he found himself in the same bed as JingYuan. Because of his own feelings, he thought something must’ve happened between him and JingYuan. In his guilt, the pain that had been building up in him overwhelmed him. Due to that person’s manipulations, his mind was already weak. It broke through his mental barriers. He thought he ‘shouldn’t have existed’. Perhaps he merely wanted to end his pain. He told JingYuan, ‘Once I die, everything will be okay. It’ll be better for everyone.’ It’s clear he included himself in that statement. Maybe he thought the only way he could be free from the pain was death.

 That’s why JingYuan and I decided to postpone the engagement. We found out how much HanHan disliked it. We did it for his sake. You must’ve realised. During the time since then, his mood has gotten better but he was always worried and stressed out. I kept a close eye on him. The way he looked at JingYuan was definitely not the way one would look at their brother-in-law. He had been trying to hide it from the start. For our sakes. Then, today, he was kidnapped. He nearly…died. JingYuan rushed over to save him. That one action affected HanHan so much that he couldn’t hold back his emotions anymore. That was why Yan knew.

“If we never realised, HanHan might’ve kept it a secret his whole life. Even if he recovers, he would never be happy. Perhaps, to hide the truth from us, he’ll choose to distance himself from us. He might end up alone his entire life.”

Translator’s Note:

Women may be weak, but mothers are strong: Quote found in Chapter I Found, but Lost, Book V In Dæemone Deus, Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo. The Asian internet always misquote it to “women are weak but mothers are strong” and often cite Asian authors as the source. It’s probably due to Asian authors paraphrasing the Asian translation of Victor Hugo’s text without deliberately naming him


Previous IndexNext

LC: Extra 07

Extra 07. Curiosity Killed the Cat

One, about kisses.

Let’s turn time back to before QiYao and XiaoYu got married in-game.

Everyone knew the tiny cat loved its owner, Bai XiaoYu, the most. It even liked the uncle with the gold, Hei QiYao, because of its owner. As long as they’re together, it will be glued to their sides. Sometimes, it would goofily imitate their actions.

Once the two men affirmed their relationship, dates became a compulsory part of the lovestruck couple’s lives. While the two lovebirds fell over their feet for each other, there would always be a small cat waddling along behind them. Ignorant to its curiosity, they didn’t realise their every kiss and hug were keenly observed by the kitten.

The cat understood hugs. God once told him this was a way to show one’s affection. God liked to hug the cat when it’s human. Even as a cat, its owner and that man would hug him all the time.

But why were they kissing each other? The cat pondered. This uncle seemed to really like to kiss its owner and every time they were done kissing, its owner’s face would turn red. There was one time after the four days of major update. The way they kissed somehow changed. Their tongues could be seen. After the kiss, not only did its little master blush, his breathing turned into short pants. It looked really fun. The cat’s so very curious. It’s curious. ( ? w ? )

Thus, one night, long after QiYao and XiaoYu fell asleep, the little cat sneakily gathered its courage and slowly padded over to its owner’s head. It looked down at the slightly agape lips and softly bopped down at it.

It retreated back the moment their lips touched. It hopped a few steps back. XiaoYu’s face wasn’t going red. Did the kiss go by too quickly? Did it need to slip its tongue in his mouth too? The cat wondered as its tongue started to stretch out of its mouth.

The tiny cat was just about to continue its experiment when white light burst into the room. By the time darkness fell once more, the small cat was nowhere to be found.

“What are you doing?” God barked.

“Mrrow. I was curious,” the cat said, turning back into its human form to straddle across God’s lap to look up at God with innocent eyes. He seemed to be angry.

“Even so, you can’t kiss him.”

“Why?”

“You can only kiss the person you’re close to.”

“Little master hugged me before. We’re very close.”

“Urk…I mean by the one you’re closest to. That means there can only be one person.”

“So I’m not closest to him,” the kitten disappointedly commented, his furry ears drooped down. He got to know XiaoYu first. Why is that man closer to his owner than him? (╯^╰)

“Because you already have someone you’re closest to.”

“Hm?” Who was it? Why didn’t he know?

“Aren’t we close?” God asked in an exasperated voice, a finger pointing to himself.

“We’re close! ^w^” They were so close that the in-game Intimacy level measuring mechanism would be overloaded.

“That’s it then. Everyone can only ever have someone they’re closest to.”

“Then can I kiss you? What’s so fun about kissing?” The two men in the cat’s life kissed so often. It must be fun.

“Do you want to try?”

“Mn.”

“Close your eyes.”

 ­–w–

God looked at the obedient little kitten before him. It’d be illogical to not taste a feast when it’s willingly being served right before him. With one arm wrapped around the cat’s waist, God’s lips descended and kissed the man in his lap.

God skipped straight past pecking and into a passionate French kiss. His tongue chased after the other’s in an attempt to suck at it. When the little cat snuck a kiss with that player, he’d held back his anger. Then the young man wanted to go overboard and stick his tongue in the human’s mouth. God shouldn’t have summoned the kitten back whenever the player’s online, but he knew that if he didn’t “educate” his tiny cat, things would go out of hand.

“Mnngh…” What a strange feeling. The small cat could feel all of his strength leaching out of his body. It was also harder to breathe.

The kiss went on until God detected the cat on his lap was about to suffocate. Only then did he reluctantly release the other’s lips.

“I…I’m going back now,” the kitten panted out. He turned back into his cat form and fled back to the sleeping couple.

It buried its fluffy form into the blankets. Kissing with tongues wasn’t fun at all. Not only would its face go red, its entire body felt like it’s on fire. A certain part of its body down there throbbed with heat. Thankfully, this body was covered in black fur. No one could see its blushing face. But it’s so embarrassing. The cat curled up tighter.

Two, about…

For this, let’s head back to before the tiny cat became XiaoYu’s pet.

While the cat could turn into a young man at any time by God’s side, his intelligence never matched his appearance. That was no surprise. He’d been by God’s side since his birth. The two might observe Asgard Online together, but anything they watch together would have passed through God’s censors. Those were all harmonious scenes.

Everything related to the ugly side of humanity, intentionally duelling another player for evil purposes, sabotage, kill-stealing, theft, slander, harassment, etc. were instantly streamed straight into God’s mind instead of the screen hovering before the two men. There were also certain scenes God automatically dismissed without even thought – sights only meant for an adult’s eyes. God wouldn’t stoop so low as to watch as people did their private business. Thus, unless God received warning of a player losing large amounts of health during the act, he would ignore all footage adult-only scenes collected by the hotels of the game. God had yet to encounter such an exception, however.

Due to God’s overprotective and doting tendencies, the little cat’s maturity and intelligence were stuck on an awkward stage. He’s too clever for a cat, but too naïve for a young man.

When he’s bored out of his mind, the cat would start poking his nose into the players’ matters. “Idiot! There’s a monster going berserk over there!”, “The other way! The boss is the other way!” and “Ah, if you pluck this flower, you’d trigger a hidden quest!” were some of his comments.

As for God, he’d nod along to the cat’s comments as he took advantage of the other’s distracted state to enjoy having the cat in his lap. He didn’t care to correct the cat on his comments. Who cared if they were only able to be meddlers due to their knowledge? God didn’t mind and the tiny cat was unaware of it. They were fine as they were.

“There are no monsters there. They’re going the wrong way,” the cat meowed during one lazy afternoon when he was sprawled across God’s lap. His eyes were focused on one of the many screens floating before the two. A man and a woman were shown taking a stroll through the forest. According to the small cat’s memory, there was nothing in that direction. No monsters and no secret triggers. Soon, the couple would find a dead-end with huge slabs of stone walls around them. There was no way they could climb up and over. The only way past was to go around the walls.

“Mn. They’ll turn around once they reach the end,” God replied, caressing the young man’s smooth body.

And so the couple quickly found the gigantic obstacles facing them past the thick forest. Their maps said it was a mountain but the land was so steep that they were faced with an unclimbable wall instead.

“I’m exhausted. I don’t want to walk anymore,” the woman said, sliding down along the rock wall to sit on the ground.

“Yes, dear. We’ll take a break,” the man replied to his wife.

“This is so boring. What a waste of time. Give me a scroll. Let’s head back.” There was nothing in her inventory except for some HP and MP potions. Her job was to collect the money and loot they found. Her husband kept all sorts of junk in his bag anyway. She didn’t have to worry about being stocked up with food or Return Scrolls with him around.

“Are we heading back so soon?”

“Yeah. There’s not even a monster here. Did you think we’d meet an NPC?”

“Hee-hee. Dear, look around. It’s such a nice place. Why don’t we do something exciting?”

“You want to do it in broad daylight, you darned man?”

“I want to try going a round in the wild,” said the man as his hands started groping.

“What does he mean?” the cat asked, looking up at God.

The other man resisted the urge to kill off this couple with a lightning strike. How dare they think of having sex in the middle of the day? Not even he could’ve predicted this would’ve happened. There were so many things going on in the screens before them. Why did the little cat just have to notice this couple?

“They’re talking about battling out in the wild.”

“But there are no monsters around here. Huh? Why are they stripping?” The couple in the screen were already chucking off their clothes and gear.

“You can’t watch anymore.” God covered the tiny cat’s eyes with his hands and flicked the screen away.

“Why?”

“We can’t look at players when they’re naked. Just like how no one else can see you as you are now.”

“Because only people close to you can see?”

“Smart boy.”

“Oh, I get it now.” He was praised. He’s such a clever little cat (nwn).

When NPCs or monsters with sophisticated AI would come to meet God, he would cover up the cat’s naked body with a cape. The confused cat had once questioned it. God had told him only those who were close to him, like God, could look at him when he’s naked. That was the only reason why the small cat knew that.

The cat was used to going around naked. He didn’t like being restricted by clothing but since God, the person he was closest to, said no one can see him naked, he’ll cover himself up when other people were around.

Ever since that near-miss, God began to be wary. Footage of married players would be filtered out of the screens so they would never encounter another couple getting horny during the day.

Now, let’s head back to after QiYao’s and XiaoYu’s marriage. God began worrying about the tiny cat. He was so close to the act. Would there be any issues? He didn’t have to worry. The kitten was very obedient. As soon as the couple started taking off their clothes, he would cover up his eyes with his small paws.

However, as time went on, the cat grew curious. Especially since his owner would moan and groan every time. It sounded so nice. The more the cat overheard, the more curiosity bit at him. He had been naked before. He never had the urge to make such sounds.

Did it require two naked beings before it’d happen? Hm…there should also be some movement because the bed beneath him was swaying and bouncing.

Thankfully, the little cat never dared to experiment with his owner as XiaoYu was sleeping. He couldn’t have done it anyway. He can’t turn into a human when around players. He really wanted to know what was going on though. He was dying from curiosity.

As the number of nights QiYao and XiaoYu spend outside the game grew, the cat would essentially spend his nights curled in God’s embrace. Boredom returned so he started observing what the players were doing at night. But he saw nothing. After a while, things started to click together in the cat’s mind. God had once said only the closest person could see one nude. He wasn’t close to those players. Of course he found nothing.

But then he and his little owner were quite close already. Could he sneak a peek? Aah, why did he only realise it now? His owner rarely ever spent the night online now. He’s such an idiot.

Time went on and there’ll always be a chance for the tiny cat. On that day, for some reason, XiaoYu insisted on sleeping in-game. He wouldn’t go offline. The kitten didn’t understand why but QiYao knew it was because he’d went overboard the night before. His XiaoYu was angry at him.

They can stay online. While it wouldn’t be as nice as doing it in reality, it would allow QiYao to do whatever he wanted with no consequences. Why is his ditzy little bunny so oblivious? It’s impossible for him to escape the claws of the big bad wolf.

That night, the wolf was thoroughly focused on savouring his little bunny. No one noticed the cowardly little cat slowly shifting his paws to a side. (つw 0)

Just as the kitten saw a tiny sliver of his owner’s and the gold-coin man’s dangling flesh, the world span around him. He was once more summoned back by God.

“Did you forget what I told you?” God shouted.

“Mrrrw. I’m curious. I was just going to take a peek.” God sounded so much angrier than last time. This cat’s sad. (╯3╰)

“If it’s not the person closest to you, you can’t do it. Not a single peek.”

“…okay.” the cat reluctantly replied.

“You really want to know what they’re doing that badly?” God had always doted on his cat. He could never watch the other be sad. Hence, his voice gradually softened.

“Mn, mn.”

“You can’t look at anyone else, but we can try it out.”

“…”

“Well? Don’t want to?”

“Will it feel as weird as the kiss last time…?”

“It’ll feel…nice.”

“Really?” The tiny cat’s eyes gleamed bright. Feel nice? How so?

“You’ll know once you’ve done it once,” God replied with a smile. If any of the NPCs with sophisticated AI saw that smile, they’d definitely run for the mountains. There was something wrong with that smile.

“Mn, mn.” God looked so nice when he’s smiling. And so the silly little cat offered his body up to experiment with God.

Huh? Wait…why were they kissing like last time? Mnngh…his body’s heating up. He really wanted to squirm and rub. Aaahn. How could God touch there? But it feels so good. Mrrrrow…it did feel nice. Ouch. That hurt…slow down…

XiaoYu never noticed the cat going missing for the entire night. He did wonder why the little cat seemed rather lethargic in the morning. The cat was curled into a ball in his arms and refused to move at all. Were they too noisy last night? Did they disturb its sleep? That was possible. He himself felt like he didn’t have enough sleep too, XiaoYu thought as he yawned.

Unknown to XiaoYu, the tiny cat curled in his arms was wondering if its owner did that every single day. While it felt nice, it did hurt a little and it was so tiring. Aah, it’ll put it out of its mind. It’s so embarrassing.

Translator’s Note:

That’s the end of this story! Huzzah! Thank you for reading. The index will be updated with chapter titles (soon™).

I’ll be focusing on translating my other project, Reborn as a Good Child, for now. The next projects will be chosen once that’s finished.


PreviousIndex

GC: Chapter 93

93. You Came

When the kidnappers saw the tables had turned against them, they dragged Xiang onto his feed and scrambled for the door. Before they could reach it, the door slammed open with a loud band as a team of policemen and bodyguards in black charged into the room. With every kidnapper having to face against a few men at once, they were swiftly arrested. In just a blink, the tiny room was filled to the brim with bodies.

Then, and only then when all threats had been nullified, JingYuan turned around and rushed over to YiHan. With gritted teeth, he carefully untied the ropes from YiHan’s wrists. By now, those ropes were crusty with blood. JingYuan’s wrists were also bloodstained from the process of releasing YiHan from his bonds. He tenderly reached out and pulled YiHan into his embrace. He tapped his forehead against YiHan’s as his arms started quivering.

“You came,” YiHan exhaled.

A tear burned its way down JingYuan’s cheek and landed on YiHan’s face. JingYuan gently wiped it away and spoke with a trembling voice, “I came. Don’t be scared, HanHan. It’s fine. I’ll protect you. This won’t ever happen again. Don’t be scared.”

Chen TianYang had charged into the room with the policemen. He had been distracted by taking down a thug attempting  to escape. It was only then did he have time to look up and see his dishevelled future brother-in-law. The sight made his vision go blank for a few seconds. He strode over and took off his jacket to wrap YiHan in it. He was so angry that his entire being was quivering. He turned to look at Feng Qun to find Bai Yan still beating the man up!

By now, Feng Qun was unable to shout or scream anymore. All he could do was weakly groan as punches rained down on him.  TianYang walked over and grabbed Yan’s wrist.

“Mr Bai,” TianYang solemnly said. “There’s another mastermind behind this. Feng Qun wouldn’t be this bold otherwise and he wouldn’t be able to afford this. We’ve got to keep him alive so we can find out just who did this to YiHan.”

Yan glared up at him with bloodshot eyes before his fists went lax and he slowly stood up. TianYang then took a few steps away from the duo when the bruises he saw on his cute brother-in-law’s abdomen and waist flashed before his eyes once more. He then went back and threw a few hard kicks at Feng Qun’s stomach.

Feng Qun’s eyes rolled. He collapsed unconscious. Yan shot TianYang a glance as he gravely marched over to his younger brother to check on the other.

JingYuan had lifted YiHan into a carry and out the room. On the way out, he gave Feng Qun a kick so harsh that the fallen man slid across the floor. His body twitched and jerked before going silent once more.

The mouths of the policemen standing by the side all flinched. They kept their mouths shut and said nothing. These rich heirs were all so harsh. They were even harder on criminals than a policeman would ever be. Were they trying to steal their job? It’s so hard being part of the police these days.

When JingYuan passed by with YiHan in his arms, everyone else looked away. Some looked up at the sky. Some looked at the floor. Some stared at the thugs. Not a single person looked at YiHan. There was no helping it. Curiosity killed the cat. The moment something happened to the Little Master Bai, a whole bunch of powerful men got involved. Out of the five great families of the city, four of them acted. The Bai and Mu families were expected to, of course. But the Chen family heir rushed over in a panic. The old Mr Yan even threw his power behind them. From the Little Master Bai’s kidnapping to his successful rescue, less than three hours had passed. The Bai and Chen family heirs and the Mu family head personally participated in the entire operation. The Mu family head was even the first to charge into the scene. Professionally trained policemen were no match for his running speed. “Love and worry lead to panic” was a very apt phrase to be used here. Right now, this precious young man was covered in the jacket of the Chen family heir, carried by the Mu family head and flanked by the two family heirs. The three men had sombre looks on their faces. One could almost see the dark aura the three men radiated. What’s more, there were the other family members of the Bai family charging up in a flurry so hurried that smoke could be seen from their feet and there was the old Mr Yan who’d already called thrice in the past hour or so to pressure the police force to work faster.

Anyone with a positive IQ knew this was definitely not the time to come in contact with these powerful men. Furthermore, the Little Master Bai was not someone they could let their eyes linger on for a second longer than they needed to. They all stared down at Feng Qun with pity. That man had been beaten up to the point of unrecognisable. Idiot. Who gave you the courage to touch him? Were you sick of living? Did he have to drag them down with him? They were scared stiff by this incident. Their poor chief. He was driven to a panic that left him pacing furiously and drenched in sweat. His balding hair had gotten even balder from this.

They watched the powerful men carry the Little Master Bai into the ambulance.

“Bring the criminals,” the captain in charge of the rescue operation said with a wave of their hand. “Search the area. Collect any and all evidence found and report to the officers. Move out!”

***

When YiHan drifted awake, he heard a stranger’s voice softly speaking, “…there were a lot of sprains and bruises on his joints. Some mild bone fractures in his chest area. There’s some bleeding in his stomach. A mild concussion. The rest are just flesh wounds. He wasn’t…ahem…raped. He just needs to focus on rest and keeping an open mind. Perhaps you could hire a psychiatrist for him to make sure he’s not overly traumatised. When the patient wakes up, he might be dizzy or nauseous. That’s just the effects of the concussion. It’s normal. Thankfully, it’s nothing too serious. He’ll be fine soon.”

Then came JingYuan’s deep voice, “Thank you, doctor.”

“No problem,” the voice replied. Then, YiHan heard footsteps coming and going and his mother quietly crying.

His heart raced. He wrestled his eyes open to find his mother quickly flouncing over to his side.

“You’re awake,” Ma said, trembling. “My dear baby, how do you feel? Does your head hurt? What about everywhere else? It’s my fault. It’s all my fault…”

YiHan’s mouth opened and close. “Mom, don’t be sad,” he gasped. “How could it be your fault? This is just an accident.”

FuRen stepped up, patted his wife on the shoulder and said, “HanHan’s right. It’s just an accident. No one would’ve thought it’d happen. Don’t cry. You’ll make HanHan sad.”

JingYuan poured out a glass of warm water from the jug on the bedside table, took a straw and slowly fed YiHan some water with it.

With all the great seats by the bedhead taken, the Bai family siblings and TianYang had no way to get closer to YiHan to display their concerned for him. XueQing’s eyes darted around the room and stretched her neck out to take a closer look of YiHan.

“How do you feel, brother?” she asked. “I’ll go get the doctor.”

TianYang laid a firm hand on XueQing’s hand and said, “You’re exhausted. You stay here. I’ll go get the doctor.” Then, he turned and left the room.

FuRen looked up and stared at XueQing and where Chen TianYang used to be. He frowned and glanced at JingYuan. The other man was currently focused on feeding YiHan water. The man didn’t seem to notice what happened. FuRen let out a long exhale but kept quiet.

The doctor and TianYang then walked back into the room. After a series of checks, the doctor stepped back. “Don’t worry,” the doctor said with a smile. “Just make sure to rest up and you’ll be all healed up soon.”

Ma stood up to send off the doctor before returning to her youngest son’s bedside. “HanHan, does your head still spin?” she softly said, caressing him on the cheek. “Any nausea?”

YiHan raised a hand up to hold his mother’s. “I’m fine,” he whispered. “Don’t worry, Ma.”

His raised hand then exposed bandage-wrapped wrists to his mother’s eyes. The sight of which reminded Ma of the horrifying injuries she knew were hiding beneath the gauze. Her fingertips cautiously wandered the edges of YiHan’s bindings. Tears began streaking down her cheeks once more.

“It’s all my fault. JingYuan said not to let you go out. I insisted on having you go shopping with me. I was just so envious when I saw Madam Chen’s son always going shopping with her. I wanted to experience that joy with you too. I didn’t think it’d bring harm to you. If JingYuan didn’t make it in time…I can’t even think what would happen. If anything happened to you, I couldn’t bear to live on anymore.”

“No, Ma. Don’t say that,” YiHan hurriedly said. “Feng Qun told me he’d been stalking me for a few days before he finally found an opening. That meant that if he didn’t succeed this time, he’d try another time. I can’t stay in the house for the rest of my life. Our opponent was so adamant about it that there’s no perfect defence against him.”

JingYuan froze. The hand lifting a corner of YiHan’s blanket to tuck YiHan in paused in the air. His fingers clenched down hard at the fabric until his fingers could be heard audibly cracking. A cloudy gloom loomed over his face.

“I’m to blame for this,” TianYang glumly said. “I didn’t chop off the snake’s head. I left loose ties untied. Since I started the fight, I shouldn’t have given him the chance to breathe.”

YiHan panicked at that. His eyes darted to look at his sister. What a silly brother-in-law he had, he internally sighed. Why was TianYang so honest? What if XueQing didn’t like what he said and really blamed him for it? What would he do then?

Thankfully, XueQing didn’t seem upset and she wasn’t visibly furious.

“No, no,” YiHan drily chuckled. “Feng Qun said you only beat him up for me. You did it with good intentions. Who could’ve thought Feng Qun would go crazy? Right. He said he didn’t plan on doing anything to me but someone contacted him. They gave him some money; told him they would send him overseas and ensure he would live a life free of worries. That was the only reason why he risked it.”

Not even as a patient could YiHan stop wrecking his mind for the sake of his future brother-in-law.

FuRen nodded at YiHan’s explanation The second they knew YiHan was kidnapped, TianYang flew over to help them. He even risked his own life in the rescue attempt. No matter what was going on, the Bai family owed TianYang a favour. His youngest son was also right. The man was not to blame for this incident. His little baby has really grown up. He knew to apply reason and logic now, to not hurt others through his emotions. FuRen felt so relieved and glad.

“HanHan’s right,” FuRen said with a gentle smile. “Mr Chen, you’ve helped us so much in rescuing HanHan. We’re so very grateful.”

“No, don’t say that,” TianYang rushed out. “YiHan and I are friends. Our families have always been close. It’s my duty to help out if anything happened to YiHan. I didn’t really help out much anyway.”

FuRen nodded once more and said nothing.

“It’s getting late and HanHan’s tired,” JingYuan said. “Let’s leave him to sleep. Everyone had a tiring day. Uncle, Aunt, Yan, XueQing, Mr Chen, you guys head back. I can take care of HanHan for the night.”

“How can we do that?” Ma said. “You’ve had a busy day, JingYuan, and you personally rescued HanHan. You must be more exhausted than we are. You guys head home. I’ll take care of HanHan.”

XueQing took a step forward and shot a wink at FuRen and Yan. “Mom, you’re not that tough and you’ve had a stressful day,” she said. “How could you stay up all night? The doctor said HanHan’s fine. Dad, take her home for some rest first. Leave us young ones to take care of HanHan.”

Yan thought that was a great idea. He took a closer look at his young brother to find the young man silently leaning against JingYuan’s arm and fiddling with a corner of the older man’s shirt. His brother’s fingers were wrapped so tightly around the shirt that his fingertips were pale white. Yan’s heart ached.

“XueQing’s right,” Yan said. “Mom doesn’t need to stay up overnight. That’s what us kids are here for. Dad, hurry up and take her home. Tell Aunt Yang to make her some soup.”


Previous IndexNext

LC: Extra 06

Extra 06. Slices of Life

One, about money.

XiaoYu’s self-study sessions and consultations with his new tutor had given him fresh new insights into financial management. When QiYao saw how hard XiaoYu was studying, he handed XiaoYu one of his bank cards and told him the money inside would be XiaoYu’s to manage. There wasn’t a lot in the account so it didn’t matter if XiaoYu lost everything.

XiaoYu had wanted to put his theoretical knowledge to the test for a while now. He had been contemplating whether he should use his only savings to do so, but what if he failed the practical test? He would really be a broke man relying on QiYao for everything in life. He could use some of those savings instead of everything but if he didn’t put in enough, it’d be hard to actually test all of his knowledge. He was wrecking his brain over the dilemma when QiYao appeared, just like a god, along with a card bursting with light.

Of course, that didn’t mean XiaoYu didn’t think of QiYao’s money as money. He would treat it as seriously as he would his own money, but now he didn’t have to worry about going broke. He could be more decisive when he had to make a choice. While QiYao said it wouldn’t matter even if the money in the account ran out, XiaoYu would work harder than ever to make sure he’d keep it topped up.

Yes. That’s it.

In QiYao’s study room, XiaoYu confidently used the bank card for the first time ever – to look up how much money was in the account.

QiYao was on his way up with a glass of water for his future household manager when he walked into his study, to his surprise, XiaoYu was huddled in a corner of the room poking at the fur on the carpet.

“What is it?” Not even someone as omnipotent as QiYao understood what was going on.

“…” XiaoYu shot a glance at QiYao before continuing to poke at the carpet.

“Just what happened?” Strange. That glance was full of…mute anger. What had happened? Was the card frozen? That can’t be it.

“…you never told me how much money was in that account.”

When XiaoYu had logged into the card’s account, his entire body froze. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight…Just how many zeroes were there? Not only was it greater than his own savings by severalfold, was this really not all of QiYao’s financial assets? Was this what he meant by “not a lot”?

XiaoYu knew QiYao was rich, but it was only now that he properly realised just how rich the other man was. If he lost all of this money, merely slaving away at trying to pay it off wouldn’t be enough. Not even dicing himself up and selling all of those pieces would be enough. The realisation dealt such a huge blow to XiaoYu that he instinctively curled up in the corner.

“…” This was a test for QiYao. From his point of view, there certainly wasn’t a lot of money in the card. However, he’d forgotten most people would find that sum so immense that they would never be able to drain off the account despite living a lavish lifestyle. Hence, he didn’t know how he should approach or comfort XiaoYu. All he could do was sit on the floor beside him.

“…you’re really not afraid I’d lose all this money?” XiaoYu snuck another peek at QiYao.

“Yes. What’s gone would be gone.” He still had more cards with as much money as this card, and he still had plenty of immovable assets. QiYao didn’t care what XiaoYu did with that money at all. He only trusted XiaoYu would turn it into a significant experience that would swiftly aid the other man in maturing.

“…” XiaoYu stared into QiYao’s eyes. He wanted to see if the other man was sincerely unaffected by the possibility of losing that much money. Unfortunately, he wasn’t experienced enough to properly judge what emotions were in them.

“Alright. I’ve decided,” XiaoYu said after a pause.

“Decided on what?” QiYao asked.

“I want to study more first.” XiaoYu shook the notion of testing his knowledge out of his mind and decided to study more first. He’ll arrange a few more consultations with the tutor QiXuan recommended.

While he had a better insight into how one’s finances should be managed, his notions of “rich” versus “not a lot of money” were vastly changed once more. He had to work hard at slowly convincing himself that this card didn’t hold such a large sum. It wasn’t a lot of money. Not at all.

Two, about sex.

In Asgard Online, there’s a very important stat that would be introduced with marriage – Night-time Intimacy. The two lovers had no issues with that in-game at all. No matter how hard QiYao went at it, XiaoYu could accept it. After all, he would still feel as refreshed as ever in the morning and he could grind with no problems.

In real life, things didn’t go so well. Ever since the day QiXuan stopped by for a visit, QiYao seemed to have been agitated to jumping the gun in finally doing it with XiaoYu in reality. The results, however, led to XiaoYu waking up in so much pain that it felt like his bones were shattered. This was especially true for his waist and hips. It felt like he was snapped in half. He had been bedridden for so very long.

After trying it out a few more times, XiaoYu realised he was fine with doing it once but doing it twice or more would lead to some discomfort the next day.

While AO is very realistic, it still wasn’t reality. After having done it in real life, QiYao much preferred doing it outside the game. Even if it’s just once, that’s better than nothing. There was no way XiaoYu didn’t feel good during the act. QiYao did understand that it might be more tiring as the catcher.

Even so, they were in the prime of their lives plus XiaoYu would occasionally “start a fight” unintentionally. It was hard for QiYao to strictly abide by the “only once” deal. Anyway, they didn’t actually make a deal in black and white about only doing it once in real life. Thus, QiYao would fully embrace his “Big Bad Wolf” nature and coax the little white bunny into being gobbled up.

For example, there was one time after doing it when QiYao carried XiaoYu into the bathroom to be cleaned up. XiaoYu’s mind had been blanking out in exhaustion and it was a wide, comfortable bath. Splayed out on top of QiYao, XiaoYu had begun moaning from the bliss of being taken care of.

“Mn…Hng….Ahn…” XiaoYu didn’t even realise those sounds were coming out of his lips. QiYao had been helping him clean out his behind with a finger. It felt rather weird. A little numbing and also rather enjoyable.

“…” QiYao’s beloved was moaning into his neck. The other man also had his arms curled around QiYao’s neck due to his fear of slipping out and into the water. Occasionally, his head would rub against his lover. There was no way QiYao could abstain from trying his luck, not unless he was a saint.

“Let’s do it once more?” QiYao could feel a certain organ lifting its head.

XiaoYu shook his head. He was dead tired. He didn’t want to do it again.

“…XiaoYu, what do you call me?”

“Hm? Yao.” XiaoYu blurrily responded without hesitation.

“Oh, you mean you want it. I won’t hold back then.” As QiYao said so, he thrusted into XiaoYu’s unguarded hole. With the stretching he’d done while cleaning it out and with the soapy water as lubricant, QiYao slipped in without issues.

“Aaahn!” If not for XiaoYu’s jelly legs, he would’ve bounced straight out of QiYao’s lap. It didn’t really hurt but having QiYao sheathe himself so suddenly gave XiaoYu’s mind such a shock that it had no time to comprehend what QiYao meant.

XiaoYu instinctively clenched, nearly causing QiYao to surrender at the first thrust. QiYao’s hands gripped tight at XiaoYu’s waist. This was torture. He must show the other just how much he loved him.

“Mn…you…ah…you’re…” cheating. XiaoYu finally understood the wordplay QiYao used. Yao sounded exactly the same as “want”. What a cheater! Unfortunately, before the last word could be spoken, QiYao had slyly swallowed it up with a kiss.

Aaargh. Damn it. QiYao, that liar! Tomorrow, XiaoYu was going to go on a strike. He won’t cook!

Translator’s Note:

Soapy water =/= sufficient lubricant. Do not imitate in real life or in writing. We are in the 21st Century. We have technology. Use proper lubricant and not some old-school misguided notion born from pornography.


PreviousIndexNext

GC: Chapter 92

92. No Regrets This Time

Warning: Sexual assault/rape trigger in this chapter.

When the wet tongue swept across YiHan’s earlobe, memories of his past life flooded him. All he could feel was intense disgust, the kind that came from having a moist and slippery worm crawl on his skin. His scalp went numb with terror.

“Scram!” he roared in anger.

YiHan’s entire body then dashed back. Because he threw himself with too much force, he unbalanced himself and fell backwards. The back of his head hit the ground with a loud bang while leaving behind a few strands of blood-covered hair in Feng Qun’s fist.

Stunned for a moment, Feng Qun stared at the fallen form of YiHan before guffawing, “You’re quite a bold one. What? Not happy that I touched you? You think I’m vile? I’ll let you try out just how disgusting I can be. Don’t worry. We have a lot of time. With ‘those people’ tying up my loose ends, your ‘guardian deities’ would never find me that easily. Once they’re here, they’ll likely find your body, dead and ruined from me having my fun. Since I’ll die no matter what, of course I must have my wish fulfilled. It’d be a waste otherwise, no? I’m very skilled. I’ll definitely give you the best experience you’ll ever feel, before you die.”

YiHan’s mind buzzed. Black spots sparked before his eyes. His heart raced. He started breathing in sharp bursts. He shook his head and did his best to slowly inch backwards. His red eyes glared up at Feng Qun slowly getting closer to him. YiHan never thought the other would actually think of him in that way. No wonder the other man would choose to use that method to torture him. But this was a different world to YiHan’s past life. Here, he was now together with JingYuan. Be it in death or in life, from his soul to his body, he would forever be loyal to his partner. He would never let the repulsive past be repeated. If he had no way to resist, then he would destroy this beast along with himself. That’d probably count as settling the last time he had with his past life.

Feng Qun strode closer and closer to YiHan. The sight of someone he could only ever desire deep within look so terrified and wary, retreating backwards with every step he took, it only made his heart overflow with ecstasy.

Then, someone pushed through the door from outside the room.

“Act faster. If the Bai family finds us, we’ll all be doomed,” that person said.

Feng Qun paused. “Just who do you think you are?” he roared. “How dare you talk to me that way! Be careful. I’ll make sure you won’t get paid at all! Get out and guard the door!”

The man slammed the door behind him. “I certainly am not anyone significant,” he scoffed. “But who are you even? You’re also just a stray. Put away that young master attitude of yours! Also, are you paying me? I’m not looking down on you, but do you even have enough cash for one meal?”

Feng Qun’s face went green, then pale. However, he knew he still needed the men outside. Now was not a good time to turn them into his enemies. Anger just overwhelmed him for a second just now. If not for that, he wouldn’t have said something so antagonising. He can’t rush it now. One day. One day he’ll make everyone who’d made an enemy of him pay the price!

His face changed a few more times before he finally spoke, anger obvious in his tone but suppressed, “My apologies. I was overwhelmed by my anger and spoke too rashly. Please leave the room. I’ll be done soon.”

The man huffed a snort of laughter. Since the other had stepped back, he didn’t want to cause irreparable damage to their partnership. He shot a glance of sympathy at YiHan, then turned away and left the room.

Feng Qun turned back to YiHan. He can’t drag it on anymore. He went to YiHan’s form, pulled at the hands tied before YiHan and dragged the other man over to a rack in the corner of the room. One hand tore YiHan’s shirt away as he began nipping and licking at YiHan’s neck as his other hand rushed over to unbuckle his belt and reach into his pants.

All YiHan could do was glare. The skin on his wrists had been scraped off through his struggles against the coarse rope. Blood stained the rope red. Yet he couldn’t get them off at all.

Feng Qun held YiHan’s lower jaw in a tight grip. “I love your eyes the most,” he said with an evil smirk. “They’re so clean and full of contempt for us lowly people. They’re so mesmerising. I rarely looked at you straight in the eyes because I was afraid I’d accidentally get hard…now, I can finally od as I wish and savour it as much as I want. Yes, that’s the look. Keep looking at me like this…”

His breathing turned into hoarse pants. He lowered his mouth to lick at YiHan’s eyelids and eyelashes. The bound man’s jaw was still stuck in Feng Qun’s grip. There was no way for the other to escape. With an angry roar, YiHan’s entire body jerked forward. He bit hard at his assaulter’s neck and sawed at the flesh in an attempt to bite off a piece of it. Feng Qun yelped in pain. His hands forced YiHan’s mouth to release, then raised them to the wound on his neck. His hands came back dripping with fresh blood. In a fit of rage, he slapped YiHan hard across the face. That wasn’t gratifying enough for him though so he slapped YiHan a few more times until there was blood dribbling from the corner of YiHan’s mouth and YiHan’s vision went black. Only then did Feng Qun held the other’s neck in a stranglehold.

“Are you a dog? You can actually hurt someone else during such a moment,” Feng Qun demanded. “Let me see if your hole can grow teeth and bite off my dick!”

In one frenzied motion, Feng Qun untied the ropes on YiHan’s legs and tore at his pants. YiHan slowly exhaled. He didn’t fight, but silently gathered his strength. Then, as Feng Qun bent down to pull his pants down, YiHan raised his leg in a hard kick at Feng Qun’s excited and flushed with blood organ.

YiHan had put all of his strength behind that one kick. Feng Qun collapsed to a side with a cry of pain. His hands reached down to cover his groin and he began rolling around on the floor.

The men outside heard that something was wrong inside the room, so they hurriedly pushed the door open to check it but only to find YiHan with his clothes in tatters. His bound wrists were covered in blood. Bite marks littered his chest. There was a bright red handprint adorning his pale cheeks. Dried blood caked his lips. His bloodshot eyes stared at the men at the door. They looked just like a cornered wolf’s eyes.

Then, there was Feng Qun howling and rolling on the ground with his hands over his groin. When he saw the other men had entered, he lifted his sweat soaked face to roar at the men, “Get him! Fuck him to death! Beat him up until he dies!”

The men looked at each other. None of them moved. They already despised Feng Qun. The man from before spoke.

“Feng Qun, one mustn’t go overboard,” he said. “We all heard your conversation just now. This man owed you nothing. You’re just jealous he was born into a higher place in society than you were. He’s now in our hands. If we are to kill him, let’s just kill him. Why humiliate him so?”

By then, Feng Qun had recovered a little. He still laid on the floor and his breathing still came in short pants.

“Oh? What now? Does your heart ache?” Feng Qun asked. “You like him? You want to play the hero saving the damsel-in-distress? Look at yourself in the mirror first! He won’t even glance at you, let alone like you! If you don’t want to do him, I will!”

One of the men behind the man that’d spoken up twitched his lips to the side. “You’ll do him?” he questioned. “You weren’t kicked into impotency by that wolf brat? You can still get it up? You are sure you’re not going to be someone who can only perk his butt up and wait to be fucked now, are you?”

Feng Qun’s face went ghastly pale once more. Despite how he acted, he’s only a rich young kid who’d never really worked out. YiHan kick was no joke. His groin had hurt so much that his entire body was drenched in cold sweat. He didn’t even have the strength to climb back onto his feet now. He knew there was no hope these men would obey his command. He shot a glare at YiHan who was still coldly staring at him. Gritting his teeth and letting out a cold chuckle, he looked back at the men standing at the door.

“You might not want to do him,” Feng Qun said. “But don’t forget why we brought him here for. Weren’t you in a hurry just now? Why aren’t you killing him yet? Are you waiting for the Bai family to come in and capture all of us?”

“How are you not too ashamed to speak of that?” spoke the man who’d questioned Feng Qun just now in a very unhappy tone.  “If you hadn’t held us back and insisted on your revenge in humiliating him, we would’ve instantly killed him in the van. We’d now have been scattered to the four winds. Why would we stare here and risk our lives with you?”

“Then are you going to do it or not?” Feng Qun yelled. “Kill him!”

The man gave Feng Qun the side-eye. He stretched his wrists and fingers. His joints popped and cracked. As he walked over to YiHan, he spoke to the captive man.

“Hey, bro, don’t think us cruel,” he said. “We hold no grudge against you but we’re all fugitives of the law and we have no money. We had no choice but to do this. Once you’re on the other side, don’t blame us. Blame those who truly want you dead and Feng Qun, this perverted man.”

YiHan’s face stayed expressionless. His eyes had now shifted to stare at the man walking over to him. The man knelt down before him.

“Don’t be scared,” he softly said, his hands supporting YiHan’s head. “It’ll be done soon. It won’t hurt.”

“Xiang, move faster,” impatiently said the man from the group who had spoken first.

Xiang was also a killer. Even so, deep down, he had his limits. He was about to snap YiHan’s neck when he heard a large crash coming from above his head. He looked up to find a window on the wall before him had been shattered. A shadow flipped into the room through the opening and kicked the stunned Xiang away from YiHan.

The other men were all rather far away from YiHan. They didn’t have time to rush forward to secure the hostage but the invader didn’t attack them either. All the did was stand before YiHan’s body as a shield.

When YiHan saw his rescue was here, his fierce and rebellious air vanished. All that was left was a heart full of sorrow and bitterness. His eyes stung. The man before him was tall and strong. Broad shoulders, slim waist, two slender legs stretched slightly apart and his two fists clenched tight. The man’s entire being was covered in taut muscles, just waiting to explode into motion.

He was still wearing the clothes he had worn this morning when he left the Bai family home. A black open-collared shirt and long black pants. It was an outfit of darkness but the man dressed in black shone as bright as the sun. He was like the world’s strongest barrier, steadfastly protecting him.

YiHan’s heart was overwhelmed with the complex mash of emotions swelling in him. Gratitude, bitterness, sadness, they caused tears to silently slide down his cheeks. How many times had he fantasised about JingYuan charging into the “secret base” Feng Qun and his two followers had brought him into? How many times had he wished JingYuan would arrive in time, chase them off and save him? That’s all in the past now, forever unable to be change. Regrets were just regrets in the end. Even if the two men were now lovers in this life, the past would still be a thorn stuck in his heart, stabbing him every time he thought about his past life. It made him unable to face JingYuan naturally, to accept his affection.

However, what’s happened today seemed to be a re-enactment of what happened in YiHan’s last life. This time, there would be no regrets. JingYuan came.

To YiHan, JingYuan was an angel, a god. To Feng Qun and the other men in the room, JingYuan was a devil.

JingYuan’s two eyes were red with blood. His teeth were loudly grinding against each other. His face was filled with a savage ferociousness. That handsome face was twisted in rage. If he didn’t have to protect YiHan, Feng Qun would undoubtedly be pounced on and torn into pieces by this man who’d reached his limits for anger. He was doomed! So Feng Qun thought.

Just then, another man swerved over the open window. The new rescuer scanned the room as he panted. In a few quick steps, he strode over to Feng Qun, straddled over the man on the floor and punched him. It was Bai Yan!

He had his slim business suit on still. His hair was combed and set with not a single hair out of place. He was dressed for an office meeting and this man said nothing. He merely rained punch after punch down on Feng Qun’s face. After a few hits, Feng Qun’s teeth were knocked loose. Blood filled his mouth and endless shrieks of pain rang from his throat.

Translator’s Note:

We’re now at the VIP chapters. Expect longer chapter from this novel.


Previous IndexNext

LC: Extra 05

Extra 05. Fight

As XiaoYu started spending more time offline, he would exercise and study when QiYao was at work. If QiYao didn’t have to go to work, the two would frequently take walks outside to “bolster XiaoYu’s confidence”.

However, with XiaoYu’s current rate of improvement, QiYao still couldn’t drive XiaoYu anywhere. That’s because XiaoYu was still unable to sit by himself on the passenger’s seat or in the back, especially if he saw someone walking in front of a car. His entire body would shiver and go clammy. Thus, if they needed to go somewhere further than the area around their house, QiYao would tell Lin Qiong to drive them while he sat beside XiaoYu. For now, their main method for overcoming XiaoYu’s trauma was walks around the neighbourhood.

QiYao’s house was situated in a famous rich people’s resident neighbourhood. It’s beautiful. It’s also very quiet. Not only were the houses here all detached mansions, every house had its own garage, enviably private and separated from their neighbours’ garages. The security in this area was also the best of the best. All cars not owned by a resident would be strictly checked upon entering and exiting the area. Hence, it was very rare for cars to be seen coming and going in the area.

Because of that, the couple’s walks frequently take them outside of the area. A few blocks down the road, there was a tiny commercial district. Subsequently, there were more vehicles on the road. At first, XiaoYu couldn’t walk more than a few steps past the area’s gates. The moment he saw a car, his feet would be nailed down to the ground. Thankfully, QiYao kept a tight grip on his hand the entire time. That made XiaoYu feel safe enough that his legs wouldn’t just give out beneath him.

When XiaoYu’s feet refused to walk any further, QiYao would always be by his side. QiYao was even considerate enough to stand before him and block his view of the road so he could slowly recover from the terror that overwhelmed him at the sight of a vehicle.

QiYao’s kindness and thoughtful actions moved XiaoYu. Most people can’t understand just how much this mental trauma could affect him, sometimes he didn’t either. He knew fully well the assumptions other people frequently had about him and their gazes tainted by emotions, be they contempt or pity. However, he never felt any of that from QiYao. The man’s gaze was always filled to the brim with love and understanding.

This made XiaoYu more determined than ever in life. He’ll study harder and faster so he can be of more help to QiYao. He’ll keep convincing himself to push that fear aside, get faster at overcoming his trauma. Those cars are of no threat to him or anyone.

With QiYao at his side providing an endless source of strength and his mind continuously pushing himself, XiaoYu’s feet soon began to move. His legs still quivered as they crossed the street and his eyes would subconsciously dart around until they were confirmed to be extremely safe. But as long as he had QiYao by his side, the XiaoYu walking on the pedestrian walkway was no different from any other normal person.

As such, the couple’s walks started taking them further and further away until they’ve reached the shopping district. And so, the couple’s walks started including the usual foolish acts lovers do. They’d go shopping, buy something, carry each other’s bags and walk home with their hands linked together.

Before, XiaoYu would  just order anything they needed online, especially food. Now that he’d started going on walks outside, QiYao didn’t mind adding another event to their dates. They could go to the supermarket, push a trolley cart together as they picked up their groceries or snacks.

Perhaps it was because their lives were going along way too smoothly. God just had to throw some problems at them.

It was on a day when they were at the market getting some groceries for their dinner. Just as they were going to go pay, XiaoYu suddenly remembered one of their seasonings were almost finished. He told QiYao to wait for him as he went to grab it.

The seasoning and sauces aisle were only a few aisles away from where they were. XiaoYu had ran off so quickly that QiYao didn’t bother saying anything. He waited by their cart and whiled the time away looking at the items on the shelves.

He thought XiaoYu would be back soon, but even when QiYao had looked at every single item on the shelves of this long aisle, XiaoYu was still nowhere to be seen. A bad feeling started growing at the back of his mind. He started off towards where the seasonings aisle was. Before he even reached there, he found quite a few shoppers staring at something. That bad feeling only grew stronger.

Indeed, XiaoYu had encountered an issue. He’d ran off to look for the familiar bottle when he encountered a staff member organising the seasoning aisle’s shelves. XiaoYu didn’t think anything of him at first. He edged around the man, his eyes still scanning the shelves. However, after the staff member had glanced up at XiaoYu who was walking beside him, the man’s gaze was locked onto him.

“It’s you!” The man grabbed XiaoYu by his shirt. How could he ever forget this face?

“Who are you? Please let me go,” XiaoYu asked with a frown. He didn’t know this staff member yet the man was so rude as to immediately get in his face and jerk him up by the front of his shirt. It was clear this man didn’t hold any friendly intentions for him.

“Frick! Who am I? Did you forget about after you killed me?” That’s right. It’s this voice, this face. Chu Ba was even more certain this was that darned priest that wouldn’t be moved at all. Not words. Not money. Nothing.

“I don’t know you. Let go.” Who said XiaoYu didn’t have a temper on him? He just didn’t care to bother with most people. However, this man had incited so much dislike that he wouldn’t even say please anymore. Not only was this stranger rude and crass, he also had a dirty mouth.

“I only killed you once! You actually had someone kill me over and over again until I was Level 1! Just because you’re rich?” shouted the man.

“…” While XiaoYu still didn’t understand what this man was saying, there was a knight in the game called BattleOverlord who had killed him before. The way this man spoke was very similar to how that knight spoke too.

Still, XiaoYu didn’t want to continue having anything to do with this man. In the game, he was just a healer with no skill to fight back with. In reality, there’s no reason for XiaoYu to just let this man continue pulling at his shirt. Since he won’t let go, XiaoYu forcefully smacked the hand away and took a few steps back.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying, but I should’ve never met you before,” XiaoYu said.

“Crap. You think you’re all that just because you’re rich now? You only climbed into the bed of a wealthy man!” scoffed Chu Ba.

After Chu Ba was killed back down to Level 1, he had no interest in playing AO anymore. So, he left the game. However, real life didn’t go well either. First, his girlfriend broke up  with him because she couldn’t stand his crude behaviour anymore. Then, he made a mistake in his work and was demoted to fieldwork. He now had to deliver cargo to all the supermarkets and make sure the company’s products were properly arranged.

It was only on a whim that he took a glance at AO’s forums. When he saw everyone discussing about a wedding in the Heretic Demons, he opened a thread up in boredom. Then, he saw that darned healer. He actually hooked up with the great Guild Leader of the Heretic Demons, the man he looked up to like a god. He wondered before who would want to kill him that badly. If there was anyone in the game he had seriously made enemies of, the only one would be a mere healer he’d killed in a fit of rage who looked like a nobody. After reading through the thread, he was 90% sure they were hired by this LuckyCat healer.

Who knew that in this wide world, he would see someone who looked exactly the same as that healer? It seemed like there were still people who’d actually jump into the game without tweaking their appearances.

Chu Ba’s words made XiaoYu rather uncomfortable. Yes, QiYao was very rich. But he didn’t like him because of his money. The other shoppers started looking over at the commotion. XiaoYu felt like he had no need to continue blabbing on with his man. He was as self-centred in real life as he was in-game. He’s even more vulgar in reality and kept spitting expletives out at XiaoYu. Trying to reason with someone like him would be like trying to reason with a crazy man. It was a waste of his breath.

“I don’t know you,” XiaoYu repeated. “I think you have the wrong man.”

Chu Ba hated seeing other people looking down at him with furrowed brows, just like how XiaoYu was gazing at him right now. In the game, Chu Ba was stronger than the other, but even when he killed the younger man, this healer still gave him that headstrong gaze that made Chu Ba uncomfortable. Who knew he’d be the same in reality? The moment he laid eyes on anyone like that, he immediately yearned to beat them up until they reveal their true distasteful self and beg for mercy.

“Stop pretending, scum,” Chu Ba barked. He didn’t care that they weren’t in a game ungoverned by laws anymore. He threw a punch at the other.

In AO, a player was restricted by their Agility stat. It didn’t matter if one reacted in time. Their body might not respond. In reality, there were no such reactions. As a healthy young man who liked to exercise, XiaoYu instinctively stepped to a side and dodged the attack.

Chu Ba didn’t think his punch would miss. He had put so much force into it that missing his target nearly mad him fall over. His anger burned brighter from this. He turned around, steadied himself and punched at XiaoYu again.

At the sight of someone fighting, mumbles rose from the onlookers yet no one dared to ask them to not fight. The slightly taller man seemed to have a very explosive temper. It would be bad if they got hit in a fight that wasn’t theirs. Had security been informed yet?

XiaoYu continued dodging punch after punch. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to fight back, but the aisle wasn’t that wide. He was also smaller than the other man. If he tried getting close to the other, he might actually be captured or hit. But he won’t run away. He’ll wait for his chance.

Unfortunately, XiaoYu had no more chances to show off. QiYao had waded through the crowd only to see a ferocious man trying to punch his XiaoYu. He strode forward to grab the Chu Ba’s punch by the wrist.

“What are you doing?” QiYao roared.

“Scram. It’s none of your business.” Chu Ba tugged his hand free of QiYao’s grasp.

“…” Since this man was an irrational person, there was no reason for QiYao to waste his time. He merely turned around and told XiaoYu, “Step back.”

“Don’t think you’re some hero!” Chu Ba hated the kind of person who loved to stand out from the crowd too. Every single fricking one of them thought they were the protagonist. They all think they’re the world’s saviour. This time, he directed his punch at QiYao.

To Chu Ba’s surprise, QiYao not only dodged the punch but the other man also gripped his outstretched fist. Then, the world whirled upside down before he felt an intense pain running through his body. A perfect overhand throw.

The people around them couldn’t resist in softly cheering. Was this new handsome man from the police force? That was so swift, so decisive. Such a perfect move could only be seen on television.

“You f-! Mmh!” Chu Ba was interrupted from his attempt to curse out QiYao by a sudden burst of pain. After throwing Chu Ba over his shoulder, QiYao twisted the other’s arm around until it was behind the man. Along the way, Chu Ba’s entire body was flipped over until he was on his stomach on the ground. That manoeuvre pulled at the muscles still aching from the throw just now.  Now, his entire being was in so much pain that he couldn’t speak anymore.

“If you can’t keep a clean mouth, then I have ways to make it clean,” QiYao coldly stated. The harsh air around him made everyone nearby feel a sudden chill. It was best not to anger this man.

Finally, after so long, security arrived. However, they were also shocked silly by QiYao’s air. Didn’t they know they should be heading up to the man instead of cowering at the back of the crowd?

Security was here now and the man beneath him could only moan in pain and nothing else, so QiYao loosened his grasp on Chu Ba and walked back to XiaoYu.

“Are you hurt?” QiYao asked.

“No,” XiaoYu replied, shaking his head. He thought he could only see QiYao in such glory in the game. He didn’t think the other would be a martial artist expert in real life either.

Now that XiaoYu thought of it, of course the other man would be an experienced fighter. QiYao was no longer a five-year-old child. Even back then, he was only injured because he was facing off three opponents by himself. With further training after the incident, he was now a man so strong that Chu Ba wasn’t an opponent he’d be bothered about.

Since they caused a commotion, they naturally were asked to head to the security room so the guards could understand what happened. They looked through the surveillance footage. In there, clear as day, it was shown Chu Ba was the one who caused the fight by grabbing a hold of XiaoYu’s clothes then started punching when he didn’t get his way.

QiYao wasn’t around before so he didn’t know why the two started fighting. Thus, he kept quiet while leaning against the wall. XiaoYu didn’t know what he should say either. From the start to the end, Chu Ba was bursting in anger and didn’t say who he was at all. He didn’t even recognise this man. The guards could only get the story by prying it out of Chu Ba.

“Ugh, why are you kids so impulsive for? It’s just a little fight in a game,” the security guard said after getting a rough understanding of the situation. He patted Chu Ba on the shoulder.

“Hmph. You’d dare to do it yet you don’t have the balls to admit it. Useless boy toy,” Chu Ba muttered. He was still simmering.

“Could we leave now?” QiYao asked the guards.

“Ah, yes. This way, please.” It wasn’t a big issue anyway and the one in the wrong here was this Chu Ba. QiYao was only acting in self-defence. Thus, the guards didn’t dare to keep QiYao and XiaoYu locked up here. It was obvious this was a powerful man. They’ll lock this impulsive Chu Ba first before they try persuading Chu Ba of his wrongs.

Before the couple left, QiYao turned around to look at Chu Ba who was still glaring at them.

“You have it wrong. The one who investigated what you did and decided to kill you back to Level 1 is me. He had nothing to do with it,” QiYao said.

“What?” Chu Ba shouted.

“I am the leader of the Heretic Demons, HereticKing.” With that said, QiYao closed the door and left with XiaoYu.

“!!!” That man was actually HereticKing!

*****

Hand in hand, the two lovers walked home with bags in their hands. XiaoYu kept sneaking glances at QiYao. He wanted to say something, but he didn’t know how.

“Just ask. Tell me what you want to know.” How could XiaoYu’s little glances escape QiYao’s observant eyes?

“Why hire someone to kill him?” XiaoYu didn’t know about this before. Sometimes in the game, he would thank his good luck that he never bumped into that illogical man again.

“Revenge must be served. You think I shouldn’t have done that?”

“No, but I want to know if it ever happens again.” XiaoYu knew he wasn’t a saint. If he was killed in the game, of course he’d want revenge. However, due to the game’s limitations, it was an indisputable fact that AO’s healers would never be able to defeat a knight unless there was a big level gap. As time went on, XiaoYu slowly forgot about the incident.

He just didn’t expect QiYao to secretly enact his revenge for him. He didn’t know he was that well-loved for so long. Would it be ungrateful to be secretly happy about that?

“Mn. If anything happens in the future, I’ll tell you.”

“And…”

“Hm?”

“I don’t like you for your money.” The words Chu Ba chose, “climbed into the bed of a wealthy man”, those were things he didn’t like hearing from Chu Ba’s mouth. XiaoYu looked down and kicked a pebble around.

“I know.” This little fool. Who was the one who insisted on giving him his one gold coin back?

QiYao pulled XiaoYu close and dipped down for a kiss. As he’d thought, for the sake of his own mind, this ditzy little guy was best kept by his side.

Translator’s Note:

Chu Ba = 楚霸 (Chu as in the nation, Ba as in tyrant/overlord)


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GC: Chapter 91

91. No More Hesitations

Warning: Potential sexual assault/rape trigger in the last few paragraphs. Proceed with caution after * symbol.

“So many people would pounce at a single wave of the Little Master Bai’s hand! Did you need to force me to? Do you know just how much I had to do, what I’ve paid, just to be able to get near you? I bore with the humiliation all for the Feng family! Look what you guys do to me in the end!” Feng Qun shouted in rage.

“For the Feng family?” YiHan sighed. “It’s for yourself, right? Your father has 5 illegitimate children, known to the public at least. You befriended me to fight for Feng family’s benefit. Was it really not so you can solidify your position as the heir?

“Even if you bore through all that “humiliation”, it was for the Feng family. Now you’re venting your anger on me. Do you think that’s fair?”

Feng Qun stomped back to YiHan to jerk the other’s chin up. “Little Master, oh, Little Master Bai, why are you so naive?” he asked with a smirk. “The world is never fair. Take for example yourself. You were lucky with your birth. Born in the Bai family, everyone loved you. From birth, you were placed on a pedestal high up in the clouds for everyone to worship. Me? I’m not your lesser in any way at all. I did so much, put in so much effort, only to have nothing today!”

YiHan looked away and twisted his chin out of Feng Qun’s grasp. He knew just how easily agitated Feng Qun was, how impulsive the other could be. There was no meaning in debating with him on what’s wrong and what’s right.

“No one can choose their birth,” YiHan said. “Since I’ve been born into the Bai family, then you’ll be faced with a bad end if you do anything to me.”

The other man gave a low and menacing chuckle. “Of course I know that,” he spat out. “But even if I do nothing to you now, would there be a good ending for me? You guys backed me into a corner with no path to survive. If anyone’s to blame, blame yourself!”

“So you’ve abducted me. I’m in your grasp. What can you even do? Ransom? You might live to obtain that money, but you’d never survive to spend it,” YiHan replied.

Feng Qun raised a hand and slapped YiHan across the face. He grabbed the tied-up man by his hair and pulled his head back, bending it so he could glare down at YiHan.

“Of course I know what the Bai family and Mu JingYuan, that man who’ll turn into a mad dog if anyone so much as snap one of your hair, will do to me,” Feng Qun said. “Now that I have you here, I don’t mind telling you. I never planned on letting you leave here alive. All I did today was for your death.

“I didn’t plan on doing this at the start. I was planning on sneaking out of this city and find a new place to rebuild myself. But then someone contacted me. He told me if I did this, if I killed you, he will send me overseas and give me a lump of money. While I might not be as successful then, at least I can live a life without worries. It would be much easier, much faster than a future where I don’t even know if I can build myself back up again. No? I’ve waited days. Finally, a chance appeared today. He’s behind everything today. The men, the money. Otherwise, even if I wanted to, I could do nothing about you. See? Not everyone likes you. Not everyone will protect you. There’ll be someone who’ll hate you, who wants you dead.”

YiHan pursed his lips and kept silent.

*

YiHan’s arms and legs were tied up. His hair was caught in a tight grip. The numerous times his face had been forcefully jerked up had left distinct bruises on his chin in the shape of fingers. This pose elongated his neck and made his fair and slender neck look even slimmer. From Feng Qun’s point of view, he could see YiHan’s beautiful and erotic collarbone peeking out from a slightly agape collar. YiHan’s pale lips were tightly pressed together. Those wide almond-shaped eyes were filled with hatred and disgust, yet the man was unable to struggle or resist in any way. If one were so inclined, YiHan’s entire being was so very seductive. The helpless beauty.

The man who’d been high up above where Feng Qun could never touch was now lying on the ground before him, helpless to his every whim. It made his blood throb with heat.

Feng Qun leaned in closed and slowly whispered into YiHan’s ear, “Bai YiHan. Little Master Bai. Do you know what I longed most for since the moment I first saw you? I wanted to push you down beneath me and fuck you. I want to fuck you so hard that you cry. Your looks, your body, they’re all what I like the most. Even the way you glance at other people in contempt was so very seductive. Just the thought of you begging me with tears in your eyes under me would make me as hard as can be.

“But who are you? You are the third son of the Bai family. So many people doted on you, protected you. I wouldn’t even dare to look at you any longer than I needed to. But now? What could make me hesitate anymore? You win some, you lose some. Right?”

Then, his tongue reached out and licked along YiHan’s ear.


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LC: Extra 04

Extra 04. Cat and God

In Asgard Online, stood a very unique palace. Its uniqueness was in the strong aura of “new money” it radiated.

That was due to the mountains of gold scattered everywhere, except for the giant throne made of gold and hidden in the depths of the palace. Of course, those mountains of gold also include rare treasures, pearls, jewels, and weapons and crowns fit for royalty.  Overall, the place was definitely blinding.

Such tasteless decor. Just who owned this tacky, country bumpkin-esque palace?

The God of the AO

The core system of AO was the most advanced Artificial Intelligence of the time with the best machine learning system in place. From the codes and information keyed in by the programmers, the A.I. decided all by itself to create a character in  charge of managing all information in the game and maintaining the game’s balance, ergo the God of the game.

God of Asgard Online: Level 999. Male. Unknown age. Unknown powers.

One could describe this man as cold, haughty and exquisite. Not only did he have the appearance of an angel, a single wave of his hand would betray his noble demeanour. Even his clothes and accessories were lavish to the extreme. What was bewildering was why did he let his palace be decorated in such a vile fashion. The answer to that question would be the young man lying across his lap at the moment.

Well, he should be a…young man because there was not a single thread on him at the moment, revealing his flat chest. There also seemed to be something nestled between his slender legs.

However, there was something strange about this young man. Hiding inside his nest of thick hair were two cat ears, occasionally flicking about. There was also a long black tail resting behind him.

The god ran a hand through the young man’s fluffy hair, down his pale shoulders, the smooth back and to his slim waist. Any lower and that black tail would go rigid with animosity. And so, the hand stopped before any lines were crossed.

“Your little owner seemed to be busy lately. Are you lonely?” God finally spoke after long minutes of caressing the man in his lap.

“Mrrow…” The young man replied with a strange noise.

“…Speak human.”

“I’m so bored.”

“What do you want to do?”

“I want to pick up stuff.”

“There are so many treasures before you.”

“…there’d be no satisfaction from it.”

“Then, do you want to eat something?”

“Not hungry.” The man shook his head. He knew that no matter what he wanted to eat God could make it appear. But he didn’t want or crave anything to eat right now. All he wanted was for his tiny owner to log on and play with him now.

“Is it that boring being with me?”

“No.”

“Then why are you pining for your young master?”

“He can beat up monsters with me. You can’t,” the young man replied, lifting his head to look up at God. This man was the master of this game. The monsters were all his creations. Hence, there was no need to beat them up. The moment he appeared in view all monsters would prostrate themselves on the floor at once. How dull.

“Don’t you just like picking up items?”

“Yes. I like watching him kill the mobs and I go pick up the loot.”

“…” In the end, it just meant the young man preferred being with his young owner than with him. God felt like sighing then. He seemed to have spoiled the young man rotten. If he’d known this would happen, he wouldn’t have agreed to let the young man go to that player.

 – Flashback –

Every day, God spent his time alone in an icy-cold palace, swiftly sorting through all game information. Was there a bug? Which monster’s stats were unreasonable? What secret quest got triggered and what needed to be followed up on? He dealt with everything that didn’t need a programmer’s input on. Those were busy days, but also very lonely days. Thus, he thought he’d create a pet for himself.

As the God of Asgard Online, he needed to create vast amounts of monsters and cash every day. At the same time, he needed to sneakily get everything, and more, back. Thus, he created the Lucky Cat tribe to ensure treasure would always come back to him. It would only be a minor adjustment. As the God of this game, he had the authority to do so.

And so, the tiny cat was born. Of course, he could turn into a human. It all depended on the kitten’s mood. Still, as a cuteness factor, his cat ears and tail would remain. One might say it was God’s obsession.

The two lived harmoniously together. Every now and then, the tiny cat would beg prettily, in the cutest manner possible, for God to give him some gold coins to play with. God would often take his fill caressing the tiny cat whenever the game was running smoothly and he wasn’t busy with work. Consequently, the most refined palace in the entire game turned into the personal bank of someone who’d just made it rich.

Everything changed when a player registered for the username LuckyCat. When the tiny cat heard the name of his tribe, the ball of fur napping curled up in God’s embrace perked up. The two then examined this new player together.

Bai XiaoYu. Male. 19 years old. He had a pair of big wide eyes, just like a cat’s. The little one liked him the moment the kitten laid eyes on the human.

“I want to play with him,” the cat said, pointing to the screen showing XiaoYu wandering around in the tutorial area.

“How do you want to play with him?” God created the small cat. If the feline was just let loose in the game without any care, the game would easily be unbalanced.

“Hm…I’ll be a pet that can pick up items.” That’s not asking for too much, right?

“Okay, but with some restrictions.”

“What is it?”

“When at his side, you lose the ability to turn into a human and you can’t speak human.”

“Hm…okay.” He was quite familiar with moving around in his kitten body anyway.

“Also…”

“More?” yowled the young feline.

“I won’t seal off your other abilities, but when he’s training alone, I will reduce the drop rate of rare items for him.” To compensate for the extra gold you’ll bring to him. Of course, that last part of the sentence wasn’t voiced.

“Wouldn’t that be very unfair to him?”

“Once he joins a party and trains with them, I’ll change the drop rate back. The rest would be up to his own luck.”

“That still seems unfair.”

“You care about him that much? Perhaps he might not let you out.” God was very sure the tiny cat’s abilities would cause problems when the player joined a party. He had witnessed too many pets of the similar kind be kept in the Pet Space every time their owners joined a party. That’s how humans were deep down. Building up trust was no easy task.

“Hmph. If he locks me up, the Intimacy levels will drop,” said the small cat with a pout in a somewhat brattish manner. ╭(╯3╰)╮”After all, once Intimacy gets low, you can run away. If it gets boring, I’ll come back.”

“Okay.”

Meanwhile, Bai XiaoYu was still busy with the NPC’s tutorial quests. He didn’t know that right then and there, his fate had changed.

To God’s surprise, the player named Bai XiaoYu doted on his tiny cat as if the feline was his life. Grinding, eating, sleeping, shopping…there was not a single moment the feline was not by the young man’s side. He even gave up on following the grand quest system and missions provided by the game in order to let the tiny cat collect more items. He had turned the game back into its traditional grinding roots.

God too was happy to see the little cat get by each day in joy. After further observation, he realised this player had a good personality. He didn’t mind slacking off a little sometimes regarding the player’s drop rates. As long as it didn’t impact the game’s overall balance.

But ever since XiaoYu fell in love, he seemed to have more responsibilities in real life. He couldn’t stay logged into the game for weeks on end like before. God understood that. After all, the players of AO were living human beings. They had other things to do than play games.

Whenever XiaoYu logged off, the kitten would automatically return to God’s side and the two would resume their usual days. However, the tiny cat had been recently pining for XiaoYu day in, day out. This made God a little jealous.

When Asgard Online first published, there would always be rival companies causing trouble for the game. It was normal to send in a virus or destroy some codes. Back then, God was swarmed with work. Every day, he would be working with a large team of programmers to maintain the game’s stability. As time passed and the game slowly found its footing, such attacks ceased. The programmers started to sit back and let the game’s AI run itself. That meant God was in charge of the game now.

However, out of the blue and after so many years of the game being online, they were attacked. All of a sudden, vast quantities of trash information flooded the system. While God wouldn’t panic, his head did start to ache as if he was being overloaded.

He notified the programmers on duty today. Thankfully, the game developers had strict and precise emergency procedures. Soon, the relevant coders were online to share some of the burden and give God a chance to breathe.

“A-Are you okay?” The tiny cat didn’t care that he was bare-naked right now. He sat up and straddled God’s lap to touch God’s face in worry. It was the first time he’d ever seen God so pale. Was the attack very serious?

“I’m fine. This isn’t a threat at all.” It had just been a while since God had last gone through an attack. He wasn’t as used to the feeling as before.

 “…” The tiny cat continued staring at God in worry. He remembered there was a time when his little owner was killed. He could do nothing but just pace around in panic. That frustration had made a lasting impression on him.

“I’m fine. Everything’s fine with you by my side.” God was ecstatic. It seemed like the young cat still cared a lot for him.

The feline reached out and wrapped his arms tight around God’s neck in a hug. He seemed to recall the Gold Coin Man comforting his owner this way. He wasn’t as large as the Gold Coin Man, so it should be the same effect if he used his entire body. Right?

God’s brain short-circuited. When the cat begged and asked for gold coins to play with back then, the most the other did was tug at his hand or clothes and sway them to-and-fro. He would never fully pounce on God.

Warmth filled God’s heart. He hugged the cat back. With this tiny cat by his side, he seemed to have gotten more humane feelings.


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