70. Blackie Arrives
QiYao stared down at his phone in confusion. No one was answering XiaoYu’s phone. Did he remember the wrong number?
His flashy blue sports car was stopped before he could even enter the residential area. The security guards told him to park at the automated underground carpark on the other side of the road. No outside cars were allowed within the area unless they’d been given special permission. While he thought that rule was rather nonsensical, QiYao was too lazy to argue with them. He turned his car around and parked at the building he’d been pointed to.
When the security guards saw QiYao driving his flashy car away, they all let out a huge sigh of relief. It was their freaking first time seeing such a high-class car. If anything happened to it within the area, a tiny scratch or whatever, not even all of their salaries combined would be enough to pay for the damage! It was safer to shoo the car away.
With the small cake in hand, QiYao walked back over and into the area XiaoYu lived in. He dug his phone out from his pockets. He was going to call the other and inform XiaoYu he had arrived, but he never thought the phone would be left ringing non-stop. QiYao was very confident in his memory, so he merely thought XiaoYu was too busy to answer at the moment.
QiYao slipped his phone back into his pocket and followed the road signs to the apartment block XiaoYu lived in. Along the way, he observed the residential area and its conditions – slightly old-schooled but very clean and quiet. After this turn, he should arrive at XiaoYu’s place.
Far off in the distance, QiYao could see someone crouched down before the apartment block’s metal gate. He couldn’t tell what they looked like as their head hung low. As he walked closer and closer, something about that figure felt familiar. Then, he realised the person wasn’t squatting like he thought, they were kneeling on the ground with their hands flat against the pavement. It was as if they wanted to stand up but couldn’t.
“Xiao…Yu?” QiYao tentatively called out as he came to a stop before the figure. The tiny bit of the other’s face that QiYao could see looked very much like XiaoYu.
The person’s head jolted up to look at QiYao. It really was XiaoYu. That cat-like face looked exactly like his avatar in-game.
XiaoYu could instantly tell this tall stranger was QiYao. While the other’s face was slightly different from his avatar’s, it was clear QiYao had just adjusted his facial stats until he looked a bit more average. In real life, QiYao’s features were much more distinct. He looked so much more handsome and perfect. Not only would women swoon at the sight of that face, but even men would be attracted to it.
QiYao was already here. The other had just witnessed XiaoYu at one of his lowest moments. XiaoYu panicked even harder. He tried standing up once more, but his useless legs had yet to regain their strength. A slight shift to the side and XiaoYu was slipping down with gravity once more.
Fortunately, QiYao reacted in time. The other stretched out an arm to catch the falling XiaoYu, preventing him from kissing the floor again.
“I’m sorry. I can’t stand right now.” XiaoYu gave up. The other man had seen everything.
“It’s fine. Hold this.” QiYao handed the bag he was holding to XiaoYu.
“Whoa!” The moment XiaoYu accepted the object being handed over, the world spun before his eyes. Instinctively, he threw his arms around QiYao.
By the time XiaoYu realised what had gone on, that QiYao merely lifted him up into a carry, his arms were locked tight around QiYao’s neck.
“Hehe. Be careful of the cake, XiaoYu.” It came from the best bakery in the city. QiYao specifically detoured over to buy one prior to arriving at XiaoYu’s place. Of course, it was a very expensive cake. The thought put behind the recipe and the quality of its ingredients ensured that. Everyone was in a love-hate relationship with the bakery because of that.
Out of habit, QiYao pecked the stunned XiaoYu on the lips. No hesitation or strange unfamiliarity born from them being in reality now. As for XiaoYu, his whole face and neck flushed red from that small peck. It felt so much more real. He could feel a tiny spark course through his whole body. The numbing sensation born from the act made XiaoYu shrink a little in embarrassment. He should just bury his face in QiYao’s chest like a shy tortoise.
“XiaoYu, if you don’t open the door, I can’t head in,” QiYao coaxed with a smile on his face at XiaoYu’s tiny act of embarrassment. After much teasing, XiaoYu had finally stopped turning into a tomato at the slightest hint of affection. QiYao didn’t think he’d be able to witness that cute XiaoYu again in real life.
It was only at QiYao’s words did XiaoYu remember they were both still standing right by the street in broad daylight. While he didn’t interact with his neighbours much, it would be awkward if anyone saw them. XiaoYu hurriedly poke his head back out and pressed in the code to the door.
Past the gate and threshold laid XiaoYu’s living room.
“Thank you, Yao. You can put me down now.” The sight of his living room filled XiaoYu with a renewed sense of security. His limp legs quickly recovered their energy.
“Are you sure you’re fine?”
QiYao slowly lowered XiaoYu down on the floor. He only let go when he confirmed with his own eyes XiaoYu’s legs were firmly placed on the floor.
“Sit down, Yao. I’ll go make some tea.” XiaoYu pulled QiYao over to the sofa before heading into the kitchen with the cake.
The living room was rather roomy, and it wasn’t as messy as XiaoYu said. The knick-knacks on the coffee table had been tidied up. There were only two soft and fluffy pillows on the sofa.
QiYao sat down and watch as XiaoYu flitted around the kitchen. Suspicion flashed through his eyes. He thought he sort of knew why XiaoYu can’t go out. It was because he had some mobility issues. But from how XiaoYu was walking about at ease now, that hypothesis turned out wrong.
Soon, XiaoYu was walking back with two plates of cake and two cups of tea.
“I only have pre-packed red tea. Is that okay?”
“Yes.” QiYao pulled XiaoYu down by his side. “XiaoYu, did you twist your ankle on the way down? Were you hurt?”
“Hm? Then, did you get a leg cramp?”
“No…It’s nothing now.” XiaoYu didn’t know how to tell QiYao about his problem. He can’t start talking about the cruel reality of his life from the first meeting.
QiYao stopped pressing when he saw XiaoYu finding it difficult to talk about his legs. However, perhaps his initial guess wasn’t completely wrong.
“As long as you’re fine now. You look exactly like your avatar, XiaoYu. You really didn’t tweak anything,” QiYao said, changing the topic. He found it weird the last time he heard XiaoYu talk to his old classmate. In this day and age, someone would actually jump into a VR game without tweaking their avatars? Impossible. But it seems like such a “lazy” child really did exist and that child was right before his eyes.
“Yeah. Lazy.” XiaoYu didn’t beat around the bush at all.
“Hehe. Then, can you recognise me?”
“Yeah. You…tweaked them down?” QiYao’s face was different, but not to the point of unrecognisable. Things like a person’s air, how they held themselves, these weren’t something mere coding could change. Thus, XiaoYu could tell this man was Hei QiYao at first glance.
“Yup, it’d be troublesome otherwise.” Even when QiYao’s face was tweaked lower to the average man’s face, he still attracted quite a lot of troublesome attentions. “XiaoYu, can I take that as a compliment?”
“Yes.” QiYao in real life was certainly much more handsome than his virtual counterpart.
“Then…are you attracted to me?”
“…>//< Yes,” XiaoYu shyly answered. It was such a direct question. Still, he replied honestly.
“Hehe. Let me give the sincere child his reward then,” QiYao said as he leaned down and kissing XiaoYu’s lips.
The afternoon rays gently bathed the kissing couple in tranquil warmth, creating a most magnificent sight to behold.
Due to personal life stuff, I’ll be moving the approximate time for updates to Monday instead of Fridays. If this works, a proper update schedule will be in place.