QiYao stopped living with his brother the year he became of age. While they were both working in their family’s business, they were in totally different fields. Thus, they rarely ever interacted at work. However, once a month, they set aside a day to call each other and discuss what was going on in their lives, professionally and personally. One could probably consider this as proof the two brothers had a good relationship.
“You’re late today, Yao,” commented QiXuan.
“Sorry, brother. I had something on in-game,” replied QiYao.
“Now that I think of it, it’s been a long time since I logged on. I heard A.O. has opened up Level 100 content now. Yes?”
“Looks like it’s about time to go back and have a look. Otherwise, won’t it be a waste of my hidden Job?” That’s right. QiXuan was the aforementioned player who discovered the first hidden Job, the Paladin.
Back when he was just a Swordsman, he was so bored that, in search of excitement, he would spend day after day grinding in the Undead Cave. Who knew this would trigger a secret quest when he went in to change Jobs and be the first player in the entire server to unlock a hidden Job? The game rewarded him 1000 crystal coins and 3 stat points for opening the gates to hidden Jobs. It was shortly after the servers opened. During that time, 1000 crystals was quite a hefty sum. In an instant, he’d become famous in the game.
Naturally, after Level 99, he went for the Level 100 Quest. Hei QiXuan’s luck at quests was not as bad as his younger brother’s. His Level 100 Quest was actually Rank A. It was the dream. His quest wasn’t hard. It was just annoying. He needed to collect a long list of items within a time limit. He can’t buy them either. He needed to personally grind them out.
After estimating his free time compared to the number of quest items, QiXuan realised that he’d have to spend every single waking moment during this period grinding and grinding and grinding to even complete the list. It wasn’t worth it at all. Furthermore, he just so happened to have a major project he needed to follow up on during that time. He was too lazy to do a quest he’d deemed to be a failure. Hence, he didn’t log on much afterwards.
“Right, Yao. Have any more hidden jobs been found out after that?” asked QiXuan.
“Yes. We now know the healers’ hidden Job is the Bishop.” QiYao instantly thought of XiaoYu. He was also reminded of the dilemma he had pushed aside for the moment. A tinge of confusion laced through his spaced-out eyes.
“Looks like I’ve got to find a chance to get to know them. Are they in Heretic Demons?” QiXuan had noticed QiYao’s expression changing. He was adept at catching such micro-expressions. Because the other man had his heart written on his face all the time, making it very easy to understand what the other was feeling, QiXuan bullied him quite a bit. After QiYao grew up, he learned to face all the teasing and harassment with a blank poker face. Unfortunately for him, as the gods grow, so does the devil. The 10-plus age gap between QiXuan and QiYao wasn’t spent on nothing.
“…Yes,” replied QiYao, half-a-beat too late.
“Yao, you don’t seem all that focused today. Did something happen in-game?”
“Got stuck on a quest?” As QiXuan kept guessing, he squinted at QiYao’s face. “Broke an equipment? Fell for someone’s scheme? Met an emotional dilemma?”
Emotional dilemma? QiYao certainly didn’t know just what he felt for XiaoYu.
Bingo! That was it. The sight of QiYao’s face spiralling deeper into confusion let QiXuan know he’d hit the jackpot. But even he was surprised. He didn’t think it would be about feelings. Could QiYao have met his “fated maiden” in the game?
He knew his younger brother’s love history extremely well. With his encouragement, QiYao was very much into games. When the other was still a boy who can’t play VR games, he’d played everything. All the popular single-player games? Done. Browser games? Done. He even spent some time in a few MMOs. Under the pressures of having a heavy homework load, skipping grades and completing his Business Management certifications, QiYao had no free time outside of studying and gaming to even talk to girls, let alone go dating. Even after he turned into an adult and could play VR games, it was the same. The only change was the heavy homework load that merely turned into a heavy workload.
That’s not to say QiYao spent all of his time playing games like a shut-in and never even dated. He did date a few times in between all that time sunk into studying, working and gaming. However, the other party had always been the one to confess first. QiYao thought the other party didn’t have any obvious flaws, so he decided to give it a try. The relationships all ended the same way too. The other party didn’t feel safe with QiYao. They couldn’t feel any love from QiYao, so they decided to break up with him.
After the same thing happened a few more times, QiYao stopped accepting confessions. He just played his games.
QiXuan knew his brother dated before, but he could also tell QiYao didn’t put in any real feelings into those relationships. That meant his younger brother had never really dated in a relationship where he was the confessor. QiXuan had a big duty before him. With a tiny bit of guilt and huge amounts of curiosity, QiXuan put on the hat of a psychologist.
“So it’s a problem about feelings? Talk to me. Let your brother help you out,” said QiXuan.
“It’s fine. I can handle it myself.”
“Are you sure? Yao, this is my first time seeing you troubled y love.”
“Love?” QiXuan’s choice of words had caught QiYao’s attention.
“What else can it be but love? Don’t tell me you’d still be troubled by friendship at this age.”
“Love, is it? But it doesn’t feel the same as before.” QiYao had never felt the urge to hug any of his ex-girlfriends forever. Even when he’d spot them being affectionate with their new boyfriends after their break-up, he wouldn’t feel frustrated or annoyed.
“What rubbish! How could you call what you had before love? Let me ask you. Were you at all upset when those girls suggested you break up?”
“No.” Not just no, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off his shoulders.
“That’s it then. If you really loved, would you bear for her to leave you? If the one in the game right now leaves you, what will you do?” QiXuan didn’t know the person in question here was a guy.
“…Catch her and drag her back.” QiYao imagined what if XiaoYu was dragged into the Wings by Glory. First, he would absolutely beat Glory up, then reel XiaoYu back for a round of tight and fervent hugs.
“That clearly means you like her. Yes…it won’t be an exaggeration to say you love her.” QiXuan could guess just what QiYao was imagining based on that frown.
“But I should just think of him as a younger brother…” Unknowingly, QiYao’s story was slowly teased out of him by his brother. As they say, the older the ginger, the spicier.
“Tch. Would you be that possessive if it was just a brother? IF you leave me, I would never chase you down and catch you back.” QiXuan disliked this type of sibling-like relationships. That’s just an excuse for being too much of a coward to face their love. Wait…a brother!
“It’s a guy?” QiXuan shouted as he leaped out of his chair. His hands both slammed down on the desk as he leaned in close to QiYao’s face on the screen. If they weren’t in a video call, his hands would definitely be gripping hard at QiYao’s shirt.
“Ugh…” QiYao only realised his brother had made him slip up when QiXuan’s face was suddenly enlarged.
However, his brother was correct. If he thought of XiaoYu as a younger brother, he shouldn’t feel that strong possessiveness over the other man. While the Hei family’s eldest son’s way of educating a child was…unique, QiYao had to admit it. His brother taught him a lot. He admired his brother. He was very grateful to him. His brother never spoiled him, nor was he overindulged as a child. If QiYao had a younger brother, he’d definitely use the same methods his older brother had used on him. He won’t go overboard like QiXuan though =_=.
“Wow, Yao. I always thought you’re just into games. That’s why you acted so cold to those beautiful ladies and didn’t date properly. In the end, you’re just into guys. Even I was fooled,” QiXuan muttered. After getting over his shock, he’d sat back down on his comfy chair.
“I don’t like men. Perhaps…he’s special.”
“I trust your taste in people. But from the looks of it, you still haven’t confessed. Just a reminder. Be careful of others getting to him first.”
“Yes.” Now that he knew what his heart was telling him, QiYao wouldn’t hesitate anymore. He wouldn’t let anyone else snatch his XiaoYu away from him.
“Once I end this project, I really have to log on to have a look around. Just what kind of man has my little Yao so mesmerised?”
“Brother, you’re still as bad in Chinese as ever. One day, all your clients will run in fright.”
“No worries. I know five languages.”
Hei QiYao. Male. 24 years old. To this day, he still hasn’t found an effective way of dealing with his brother.