GC: Chapter 71

71. Thin-skinned

Yan couldn’t help but pull JingYuan into a firm sideways hug by the shoulders. FuRen too felt guilty. He owed JingYuan a lot. This man had done far too much for his youngest son.

“JingYuan, I’m so sorry about this,” FuRen sighed.

“It’s what I should do. Don’t apologise,” JingYuan hurriedly said, his face blushing like a tomato from embarrassment.

“Okay,” FuRen agreed, nodding his head. “You’re a good kid. I wasn’t wrong to trust in you.” At this, he turned his attentions to his daughter. “XueQing, if you don’t cherish a man as fine as JingYuan, you’ll forever regret it,” he said.

XueQing gave her father a solemn nod. “Relax, Father,” she replied. “I will properly ‘treasure’ him.”

JingYuan swiftly stood up. His face was burning. “I’ll head back to the Bai family home first,” he said. “I’ll go sit with YiHan. It’s been too long since I left his side. That’s very dangerous.” His feet hastily walked out of the room, nearly bumping into the door. He opened the door and left (escaped) without looking back at the other three.

FuRen finally relaxed. “He’s embarrassed by that. How thin-skinned,” he commented with a smile.

“That’s right,” XueQing agreed seriously. “He’s very thin-skinned.” So much so that he can just continue the topic by himself and convince everyone to let him gobble up her little brother! If YiHan didn’t like him, she would’ve knocked all his teeth out by now. Bastard!

“Right. One more thing. Someone took care of Feng Qun,” said Yan.

“Who?” XueQing asked, curiosity strong in her voice. “I wanted to do it myself but I’ve been busy these few days. I didn’t have the time.”

Yan looked at her long and hard with a weird sort of gaze. “Chen TianYang,” he said.

“Chen TianYang?” XueQing was shocked. “Why did he do that? Did Feng Qun do something to him?”

Yan cleared his throat. “It should be for you,” he said to his dense little sister. “Everyone in the world knows what he thinks of you.”

She scratched her face in an unladylike manner. “What does it have to do with me?” she asked with a dry, awkward smile. “Perhaps Feng Qun made him angry or upset some time ago?”

Honestly, TianYang had made a pretty good impression on her. He was exceedingly attractive, moral and capable. Only, she grew up with JingYuan. Of course, the first burst of emotions would be targeted at JingYuan. Now that everything’s out in the open, she realised what she felt for him wasn’t love at all. Just what was love then?

JingYuan said TianYang would refuse to wash his hands for weeks if he shook hands with her. While that’s sounds like an exaggeration, but she had paid special heed to TianYang’s hands the past two times they’d met. Every time after they shook hands, he would hide that hand behind him and clench it tight into a fist. He would never release it from the fist until way after, as if he was trying keep something. She had never felt that type of feeling before. Just what kind of emotions would make someone at the top of the world do that subconsciously?

She didn’t get it.

“The heir of the Chen family isn’t bad, in terms of family background and character,” FuRen commented. “But you must know, XueQing, that there are countless of handsome and capable men in the world. There are plenty just in this city. However, monogamy is the most ethical choice. You must not sway in your affections. Since you’ve chosen JingYuan, you must be responsible. To your choice, to HanHan, to your engagement. We owe JingYuan too much.”

Internally, XueQing rolled her eyes over and over. Owe him? My dear father, you’ll soon know just how much he’d taken advantage of us.

She stiffly nodded before changing the topic. “How did TianYang take care of Feng Qun?” she asked. “Tell me.”

Translator’s Note:

No, there’s no April Fool’s thing. Inconceivable


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LC: Chapter 72

72. Trauma

QiYao didn’t head back into the kitchen to bother XiaoYu after the kiss. He knew continuing would lead to no dinner.

XiaoYu could now cook in peace but he tended to think a lot when alone with no distractions. Thus, as he slowly chopped up his vegetables, his mind turned back to the question he was pondering earlier today.

He thought he could use these four days of living in reality, away from the warmth he found in the game, to properly consider whether he should continue this relationship with QiYao. However, QiYao’s sudden arrival turned that plan on its head. The man brought the cosiness from the virtual world to real life.

All of this made XiaoYu’s mind lean more towards continue dating QiYao, but he understood deep down that the greatest obstacle in this path was his secret. Even if QiYao said he wouldn’t force him to spill,  if the circumstances were turned around and QiYao was obviously keeping a secret from him, he would feel rather uncomfortable dating the man, maybe even be upset with QiYao.

But XiaoYu had experienced being bombarded and swarmed by well-meaning media before. He knew that peeling away the scab would only hurt him. He reminded himself over and over back then. Don’t ever say anything to anyone about it. Tell no one.

That was why there was a tiny voice in him that kept telling him to “not tell QiYao about it”. Now, however, now he had an urge to tell QiYao about it all. He wanted this relationship to be transparent. He just didn’t know when to speak up or how.

Perhaps his hesitation made him miss a good chance to open up time and again. He hated being so weak, so he made up his mind. He won’t be lost in the fog anymore. He’ll find a chance to tell QiYao about everything.

Having made his decision, XiaoYu focused on the blade in his hand. He actually didn’t cut himself at all after all that thinking. Amazing.

***

Three ordinary home-cooked dishes with a bowl of soup. While they didn’t look as grand or exquisite as something cooked from a professional kitchen, the homely scent topped all other food.

QiYao placed a slice of tomato omelette and placed it in his mouth, slowly savouring its flavours. He then looked up to find XiaoYu standing to a side, nervously staring down at him.

“It’s delicious, XiaoYu.”

“Phew. That’s good,” XiaoYu said in relief. He tried hard to remember just how much salt and sugar he should put in, but everyone had different preferences. Since QiYao can accept this, that meant it was a success.

“Don’t just stand there. Come eat with me.”

“Mn.”

The meal was spent in silence, but both men were equally moved by it. It had been so long since any of them had a meal with someone at home. XiaoYu knew it had been over a year for him. As for QiYao, he couldn’t remember.

Ever since he moved out of his home, he would regularly eat out with his friends or get takeaway. Even before when he lived with his brother, the two of them rarely ever cooked themselves. They would either eat meals made by a hired cook or order takeaway. Meals were just a way for them to replenish their energy. Occasions where a loved one would cook for them were near improbable.

After this meal, QiYao wanted to treasure this kid even more. XiaoYu had brought too much light to his life for XiaoYu to be gone ever.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

***

Clean up after their dinner was much simpler. XiaoYu just had to put everything in the dishwasher. The machine will automatically clean them. When XiaoYu confirmed the dishwasher had started its cycle without issues, he stood up and looked over to the living room where QiYao was watching the television once more. However, the only shows to be found after dinner were boring and repetitive variety shows. The man hopped from one channel to another then to another and another.

Was this a good chance for a talk? XiaoYu wasn’t sure, but he had finally mustered up the courage to speak. Who knew when the next time he’d have the strength to open up would be?

“Yao…” XiaoYu said as he walked over to QiYao, successfully attracting the other man’s attention.

“Yes?” QiYao asked with a questioning gaze.

“I’ve something to tell you.”

QiYao’s hand on the remote control paused. He sensed that what came next would be important.

“I’ve thought about this a lot. I have to tell you. That way, you can properly evaluate whether you want to continue this relationship with me,” said XiaoYu. His heart ached at the last sentence. His hands instinctively twisted and squeezed the bottom of his shirt. He was afraid. Afraid QiYao would think he was a cowardly idiot. Afraid QiYao would take back what he said. But he didn’t want a paper wall to stand between them anymore.

XiaoYu’s fidgeting betrayed his insecurity. It made QiYao’s heart hurt. He turned off the television and stood up. Then, he pulled XiaoYu into a tight embrace. He hoped his actions could give the other man strength.

XiaoYu hands curled around QiYao’s back. He loved this warm and cosy hug that always made him feel safe. It’s also because of this hug that he hoped he could be found worthy of it.

“I…I’ve never told this to anyone before. It might be a messy story.”

“It’s okay.” QiYao gently kissed the uneasy head in his arms. He knew what he needed to do now was to listen.

XiaoYu took in a deep breath. He arranged the messy thoughts in his mind before deciding to just start from the reason.

“I’m afraid of the cars outside.”

That was way out of QiYao’s expectation. Still, he kept quiet and continued listening.

“My parents died in a car crash caused by a car going out of control…” The thought still brought pain to XiaoYu, even to this day. “It happened right…before my eyes.”

“From then on, whenever I see a car, my legs would start shaking. They would go limp. This afternoon, I wanted to try walking outside, but a few minutes before you arrived, a black car passed by. I immediately collapsed. No matter what I did, I couldn’t stand up. I know there’s nothing wrong with my legs, but I just can’t push past the fear.”

XiaoYu understood just a few sentences could describe his issue, but the pain and suffering behind it all was something no words could explain. How could anyone who hadn’t personally experienced it understand how he felt? This thought was what made him keep quiet and bear it all.

XiaoYu inhaled and continued, “I’m sorry, Yao. I didn’t mean to keep refusing your invitations, but I certainly can’t go out like this.”

“Silly billy, you don’t have to keep apologising. I never once blamed you, right? Because I knew you had to have a reason for it.” Only, not even QiYao could’ve imagined just why.

QiYao had considered many possibilities. It could be family issues or physical limitations. The only option he never thought of was a mental trauma. That’s because there were plenty of methods of dealing with the previous two options. Even if XiaoYu was terminally ill, with how advanced the medical field was these days, all “fatal illnesses” could be cured if you had the cash for it.

On the other hand, psychology was still a very much mysterious and unexplored field. The development of mental traumas, their symptoms and the way to treat them were all heavily dependent on the patient and the doctor. It was very hard to have a 100% definite resolution.

“T-Then…will you…be willing to keep dating me?” XiaoYu stammered. He was terrified of hearing “no”.

When QiYao heard XiaoYu’s voice trembling, his arms tightened around further. He really wanted to just put this little idiot in his pouch so they could be together at all times.

“XiaoYu, do I make you that insecure?” QiYao asked.

“No,” XiaoYu replied, shaking his head. “I just felt you wouldn’t be the time to like cowards.”

“You’re right. I don’t like cowards.” When QiYao felt the body in his arms stiffen up, he continued, “But I have never ever felt you were a coward, XiaoYu. On the contrary, I think you’re a very strong man.”

“But…I don’t even dare to step out of my own home.”

“It’s not that you don’t have the courage to. You tried this afternoon, didn’t you?” Now that QiYao knew the reason behind that, he planned on using his own way of slowly leading XiaoYu to getting around the issue. “XiaoYu, you just can’t go out alone because no one can help you up when you fall. But you don’t have to worry now. With me by your side, I would never leave you alone.”

“Never…leave me alone?” XiaoYu dazedly repeated.

QiYao couldn’t have imagined just how big of an impact those words had on XiaoYu. All the pain, loneliness and helplessness XiaoYu had felt since his parents’ deaths all surged up at once. He had clearly told himself that men can’t cry, but his tears kept flowing like water rushing out of a dam. It was an uncontrollable and endless torrent.

“Yes, XiaoYu. You’re not alone anymore because we will always be together.” QiYao was going to continue saying how he’d help XiaoYu overcome his trauma, but he could feel his shirt getting wet. And so, he swallowed those words back to give XiaoYu some time to let loose.

QiYao didn’t think it was shameful for men to cry, especially when he knew XiaoYu had been suppressing his emotions for a very long time. Releasing those emotions might be helpful to the other’s mental health.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Tomato Omelette: Technically, tomato fried egg. More accurate translation, scrambled eggs with tomato. Actual texture, omelette cooked with tomatoes diced/sliced and mixed in. One of the most common dishes in a Chinese home (Asian? Not too sure on other cultures). This is usually one of the first dishes one learns because it’s easy and nutritious. There’s not much skill to it as it’s just premix everything in a bowl and when it’s being cooked on the wok/pan, just move it around so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Depending on the chef, it’ll either come out looking like an omelette or scrambled eggs.
  2. Kid: It’s seriously hard to not make XiaoYu sound like some minor. “Kid” and “child” are used so often by others that it’s hard to remember he’s actually an adult. Losing original writing tone + adding own words vs making sure nothing illegal happens = struggle some BL translators have to deal with.
  3. Embrace: The number of hugs there are in the recent chapters have seriously challenged the limits of how many ways I can phrase a hug taking place. Still, hugging is good, guys. Just not now or whenever you’re sick. Use elbow bumps, the dorky equivalent that’s been constantly advertised in conventions.


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GC: Chapter 70

70. Engagement on Pause

“That’s right,” XueQing solemnly agreed. “For eons, intelligence is the most important factor when two armies clash. Before we know for certain everything that went on and who are involved in this, we must tread lightly. Lil Bro’s safety is of utmost importance. He’s suicidal. Someone must be by his side at all times and it must be someone who can sway him emotionally. JingYuan, you handle this. You’ve always been the best at handling him. You’ve also got fast reflexes. If not for you this time, who knows what we’d be met with? You’re the most suitable protector for him. As for the investigation, leave it to us. This matter is urgent. Our enemy’s blade is at our throats. We must act swiftly!”

Initially, FuRen and Yan didn’t think JingYuan was the best candidate to protect YiHan. This was a smart man, decisive and observant. He’d be a great help in dealing with the masterminds of this scheme. However, after they heard XueQing’s reasons and were reminded of YiHan’s nearly successful suicide attempt a few days ago, they both instantly felt it must be JingYuan. After all, YiHan’s life was the very most important thing at risk here. Everything else was second to it. What if YiHan really did succeed in taking his life one day? What would be the meaning in all their work? What use would there be in catching the mastermind of this plot?

Everything was for YiHan’s frail life!

FuRen patted JingYuan on the shoulder once more. “HanHan’s safety is in your hands. You’ve always doted on him the most out of all of us. It was all thanks to you last time. Even if I was in the room then, I wouldn’t have reacted as fast as you did. I won’t keep repeating how thankful I am to you for that. We have always thought of you as part of the family. Now that you’re marrying XueQing, you will be part of this family by law as well,” he said.

Yan nodded in agreement.

JingYuan shot XueQing a look of gratitude, before focusing back on FuRen. “I will definitely fulfil my duty in protecting HanHan,” he stated. “Even if you didn’t ask me to stay by his side, I would’ve stayed over at your place.”

“Let’s put my engagement with JingYuan on a hold for now,” XueQing blurted.

FuRen was shocked. He hurriedly glanced at JingYuan whose body had gone stiff (from excitement). “What are you saying?” he asked XueQing in an unhappy tone. “Marriage is a big step in your life. How can you treat it like a game? There’s no conflict between resolving your brother’s issue and your marriage!”

XueQing shot a look at JingYuan who stiffened up his body even further. “That’s not it, Father,” XueQing replied in a show of seriousness. “Perhaps it’s just women’s intuition. I always felt like HanHan was somewhat against JingYuan’s and my engagement. While he said nothing, every time the topic is mentioned, his mood would dip very low. He’s in a dangerous spot now. Anything that would upset him should be stopped immediately. Once this wave has passed, it’s not too late to continue. After all, we’re still young. No need to rush.”

JingYuan instantly got her angle. “Yes,” he solemnly agreed. “I felt so too. It’s only after XueQing brought it up that I knew I wasn’t alone in that feeling. He certainly had a major reaction to our engagement. We must understand that he’s so much more “mature” now. He won’t just show on his face everything that’s making him upset now. He’ll brood over them alone. That’s very risky. I think no matter if our guesses are correct or not, we should at least not leave it to what-ifs. We must nip every danger in the bud.

“XueQing’s right to say we’re young. It’s only a minor dely. That’s worth nothing for the sake of HanHan’s safety.”

Yan’s respect for his future brother-in-law rose greatly at that. What great sacrifice! JingYuan would delay the wedding just for his little brother’s safety. Not only that, JingYuan was willing to put his company aside to be his little brother’s bodyguard. The Bai family owed him much for this!


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LC: Chapter 71

71. Kiss…

“XiaoYu, do you live alone?” QiYao asked. When they were done kissing, he’d locked XiaoYu, who was about to go up in smokes from embarrassment, in his arms for a session of gentle soothing.

“Yes.”

“You cook?”

“A little.”

“I want to try out your cooking, if there’s a chance. Can I?”

“Sure. What do you like?”

“Anything’s fine. I’m not picky.”

“Oh.”

“Do you have anything on tonight?”

“Hm? No.”

“There’s a restaurant nearby with great reviews. Have you been there before? Interested?” While QiYao knew XiaoYu might not like talking about going out, he still asked. Now that his relationship with XiaoYu was confirmed, he wanted to at least know why the other was running away from reality. If it was possible, he hoped to help XiaoYu walk out of this stage of his life.

“…I can’t go out,” XiaoYu dejectedly reply. “I’m sorry,” he added.

Just as QiYao thought.

He raised XiaoYu’s head up. Their eyes met. XiaoYu couldn’t see an ounce of dissatisfaction in his eyes at the refusal. That handsome face was still soft with kindness.

“XiaoYu, I really do want to know why.” QiYao paused. XiaoYu was visibly troubled by his words. The other’s eyes kept avoiding his. “But,” he continued, “I like you. So I won’t force you to do anything you don’t like.”

“Thank you,” XiaoYu replied.

“Do you remember what I said? If there’s anything you need to vent about, you can come to me.”

“Mn.” XiaoYu still remembered how grateful he was at the offer.

“The offer still stands, but now I hope you can look at me first for support. Otherwise, I must be a failure as a boyfriend.”

“Hehe. Okay.” XiaoYu let out a laugh at the QiYao’s doe eyes and cutesy tone.

“But now I don’t have any dinner. How do you plan to compensate me, XiaoYu?” If anyone else saw QiYao acting so entitled, they would definitely pinch themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming. However, QiYao himself didn’t seem to realise that. He just exposed his childish side to the one he loved without any care.

“Then…I’ll cook for you?”

“Mn. I look forward to it.” No day was better than today. QiYao really wanted to taste XiaoYu’s cooking. It must be known that there were so few people these days who knew how to cook.

“I haven’t cooked in a while though. It might taste a little weird.” The noodles XiaoYu had cooked up this morning was so salty he had to down a few glasses of water straight after. It seemed like his days spent in AO had affected his reality.

“It’s fine. If I end up with food poisoning, you’ll just have to take care of me for the rest of our lives.” XiaoYu’s strait-laced and honest personality always made the prankster in QiYao perk up.

“Um…” Why does that feel a little, just a little bit, unreasonable? XiaoYu slightly pursed his lips.

 “Hehe. Your cooking won’t be that bad.” Still, QiYao wasn’t joking about being with XiaoYu for the rest of their lives. “But, XiaoYu, what I mean is I want to be with you forever. Don’t ever lightly take back the chance you gave me, please?”

“Yes.” While QiYao loved pranking and teasing him, there were so many more things QiYao had done, had said, that moved him much more. Perhaps that was why XiaoYu decided to try dating QiYao. Now, he had fallen prey to the same emotions QiYao did.

XiaoYu hugged QiYao. He wanted them to go on like this forever too. Day after day, he understood more of what it meant to love someone.

****

Thonk. Thonk. Thonk. Thonk…

An apron thrown over his clothes, XiaoYu was busy fluttering about in the kitchen.

QiYao was watching the television in the living room all alone, but his mind wasn’t on the screen. He’d occasionally turn around to look at XiaoYu cooking. A sticky-sweet feeling of happiness swelled in him at the sight. Maybe the love he was looking for wasn’t the romantic and passionate kind. Maybe what he wanted was this type of tranquil and cosy slice-of-life love.

“Ah,” XiaoYu exclaimed. All his attention had been on the vegetables he was rinsing. Out of the blue, a warm body leaned against his back. A pair of strong arms wrapped around his waist.

“Did I frighten you?” The prankster didn’t sound remorseful at all. In fact, there was an underlying hint of devilish joy in the question.

“I’m okay. What is it, Yao?” XiaoYu curiously asked. The other man should be occupied with the television. Why did he run in here all of a sudden?

“Nothing much. This just feels like we were just newly-wedded,” QiYao replied as he placed his chin on XiaoYu’s shoulder, his arms clenching tighter around the man in his arms. No one else in the world could understand how satisfied and content he felt right then.

Splash!

The vegetables XiaoYu was holding fell into the rinsing basin. Blood could be visibly seen swiftly rising up from his neck and spreading across his face. W-What did Yao say? Why did the other man think of newly-weds?

QiYao let out a sigh in his mind. His XiaoYu was just too shy. At the same time, he was thankful that such an innocent child was his. He’ll have to thank XiaoYu’s parents for keeping his beloved so well protected.

“Um…Yao…?” XiaoYu was shaken out of his thoughts by the sound of water rushing into and overflowing out of the wash basin. He stared down at the water flowing down the drain as he remembered something important.

“Hm?”

“I can’t cook now. =.=” This time, it was XiaoYu who had to resort to a childlike tone. He hadn’t finished rinsing these vegetables yet and he hadn’t cut those he had just finished washing. He still had to heat up the wok with oil…But there was now a large dog slumped on him. He couldn’t move at all.

“Hehe. Then, kiss me.”

XiaoYu was rendered speechless by that. He suddenly felt like questioning the other man. Was he really Hei QiYao? Why was he so different to his in-game behaviour? Why was he constantly acting like a kid now? Wait, no. Recently, whenever the two of them were alone, QiYao would act like this too. Was this his true nature?

He obediently turned his head around to kiss QiYao on the cheek, but the man moved at the last minute and the kiss landed on the other’s lips. Shocked, XiaoYu was about to move away when he found a hand pressed against the back of his head. There was no way he was escaping this kiss.

XiaoYu was still used to kissing with closed lips, but this kiss felt different. QiYao was constantly nipping and licking at his lips. A numbing chill ran down his spine. His legs might not hold him.

“XiaoYu, remember to open your mouth next time we kiss,” QiYao said, a finger tapping at his own lips. Then, he happily strolled out of the kitchen and back to the television, leaving behind XiaoYu who was still feeling confused over the strange feeling he felt and what QiYao said.

Translator’s Notes:

1. Doe eyes/Cutesy tone: These were supposed to be “innocent” eyes and tone, but that doesn’t translate well. This is my best attempt at translating what the “innocent” refers to, aka the eyes and voice used by cute little “innocent” kids/pretending to be “innocent”.

2. Entitled: Technically, the translation is an adjective for “blaming someone else out of laziness/non-virtuous reason”. A negative adjective usually used for sleezy bums and entitled people (seen as positive at times because it’s “cute” like a kid throwing a tantrum/being stubborn on wanting the thing).

3. Rinsing basin: Some readers might not get what it is, so I’ve placed an image here to properly draw out what this is. Commercially called a wash basin, it’s usually made of plastic and are used to “wash” vegetables free of the dirt hiding in between stalks. Some readers might think it’s a strainer, but it’s not. It usually doesn’t have holes. If it does, it’ll come with an option to keep the water in/block the holes. This method saves more water as the tap doesn’t have to be kept running. Some people also think it’s better for the vegetables as running water bombarding the vegetables throughout the process might ruin/wilt the vegetables. Obviously, XiaoYu here is not part of that group of people.

Side note: The plastic wash basin is also the kind used in bathrooms. If you ever watched an anime where the characters live in a dorm with shared bathrooms, you’ll see them holding their bathing stuff in one of these basins.


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GC: Chapter 69

69. Hypothesis

“A normal human being wouldn’t use such a sinister plot. Only an evil mind would do something so extreme,” JingYuan said. “Rich, powerful, scheming, impulsive with a grudge against the Bai family. There aren’t many who can tick off all these boxes.”

Immediately, FuRen, Yan and XueQing spoke up, “The Qi family.” The three looked at each other, their faces as black as a pot’s.

“The Qi family?” JingYuan asked.

“You might not know about this,” Yan said. “The current head of the Qi family is Qi MingYang. His father, Qi Kun, is in the same generation as Father. When they were young, they were rivals.  Fierce competitors. No one really had a firm upper hand. Until they reached their thirties and forties. Father mellowed out. He stopped fighting with Qi Kun. That made the other think Father was afraid of him. He grew arrogant. It made him think he was so much stronger than Father.

“Then, about seven or eight years ago, in a business stand-off, Father didn’t hold back. He put in his all for the company. Qi Kun was defeated. The Qi Group suffered a tremendous loss.

“This man was a capable man, but he was proud. He could only accept victory. He always thought he was the smartest man in the world. His life had been mostly smooth sailing. The many years Father spent ignoring him made him let his guard down. It made him look down on others. He couldn’t deal with the mental blow reality dealt. His body had some issues in the first place. Usually, they’re not worth mentioning but he was so angry, so aggravated, that he had a stroke.

“He thought of himself as a genius in business. With a single heart stroke, he was bedridden and dependant on other people to survive. One can imagine just how much hate was boiling in him. As for his son, Qi MingYang, not only did he inherit his father’s brains, he perfectly inherited his father’s arrogance and narrow-mindedness. Most of all, he has always worshipped his father. He thinks the misfortune that befell on the Qi family was all our father’s fault. He’s very hostile to the Bai family.

After MingYang took over the company, he went after us a few times, but he never benefited much. He even suffered some losses. Perhaps because he knew he was no match for us, he’s been quiet for the past two years.”

“I didn’t think he’d be lying in wait for us here! He’s really gotten shadier. His schemes so much more unscrupulous now!” XueQing growled.

(Qi MingYang: I’m innocent! It’s really not me this time!)

JingYuan’s lashes lowered. There was no way to tell what he was feeling from his voice. “Qi MingYang? He did get in contact with me a few times just to test out what I thought of the Bai family, explicitly and implicitly. I should’ve been more on alert,” he said.

FuRen turned around and walked over to JingYuan. “No one can predict the future. He was just testing the waters. Who would’ve thought he’d do something like this? As for HanHan, you’ve done your very best,” he said with a pat on JingYuan’s shoulder.

JingYuan pursed his lips. “No,” he said in a low tone. “It’s still far from my best. If I really did my best, HanHan wouldn’t have suffered!”

There was nothing FuRen can say to that. “Actually, if you have to blame someone, only I, HanHan’s father, is to blame here. This whole grudge started because of me. If I had dealt with it properly, HanHan wouldn’t be dragged into this,” he said as he sat down across from JingYuan.

“Who would’ve thought he’d use such a despicable method?” Yan spat through gritted teeth. “Even black-market dealers would refrain from harming the other’s wife and children. He’s gone too far. If this was a proper challenge to our face, none of us would be afraid to hit back!”

“It’s because there’s no way he’d win if it was a head-on challenge,” XueQing said, a frosty look on her elegant face. “That’s why he targeted our little brother. But I will make him regret it!”

“That’s all just a hypothesis for now,” JingYuan calmly said. “While it is the most possible option, we have no proof. We can’t act on it. We’ve got to clarify things. See if our enemy has any other plans. What if we’re mistaken? What if there’s some other mastermind? HanHan would be in even more danger then.”

Translator’s Note:

FuRen: This was something asked in a comment some time ago, but since I have never really stated it before, I’ll state it here (because the father’s been popping up a lot lately).

Bai FuRen’s name will sometimes pop up as BoRen in certain chapters. There are 2 possiblities:

  1. It’s a typo. (傅 vs 博)
  2. Somewhere along the way, his name got changed (along with Yan’s) but it was never mentioned unlike the brother’s name.

Either way, FuRen is what this translation will be using.


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LC: Chapter 70

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?”

“Mn.”

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?”

“I’m fine.”

“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.

Translator’s Note:

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.


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GC: Chapter 68

68. Win Him Over

XueQing scribbled and drew on a piece of paper. Finally, her overall plan was all written down. Then, she snuck over to JingYuan. After they did some minor adjustments and filled in a few tiny details, the two selected a time to sneakily meet up with TianYang. It was just like briefing him on a secret mission. After informing him on the gist of the situation, the plan was triplicated while they discussed it in detail. Before XueQing and JingYuan parted with TianYang, they asked him to play along with YiHan who would try and “get close” to “test the waters” on this matter.

TianYang was rather upset that XueQing and JingYuan were once engaged, even though he knew JingYuan only loved YiHan.

Hmph. JingYuan was so boring and out of touch with the world. He’s not a good fit for TianYang’s cute little brother-in-law, let alone TianYang’s idol! (Oh, how TianYang blushed at his new status.)

As for the upcoming test from his new “brother-in-law”, TianYang would face it with 120% of his abilities. He will win over the most precious person in his goddess’s life – his future brother-in-law, YiHan!

With TianYang dealt with, JingYuan and XueQing used “work” to get Bai Yan in FuRen’s office. They then locked the door and told him all about their suspicions on YiHan’s recent behaviour. Of course, they didn’t mention the night of excitement to him. They merely told Yan that YiHan mistakenly thought something happened because he woke up early and saw JingYuan in the sleeping bed as him.

FuRen’s computer, his documents, everything on FuRen’s desk was swept off the desk as the ever-composed FuRen erupted. Even Yan turned ghastly pale.

“I’ve consulted several well-known psychiatrists,” JingYuan calmly stated. “They think he most likely has depression and extremely suicidal. They even told me my hypothesis isn’t impossible either. For someone to be so affected by a deliberate suggestion, it can be labelled under hypnosis instead of mere suggestion. The ability to push a healthy person to the brink of suicide in such a short amount of time is not something an ordinary psychiatrist can do. At least, none of the doctors I consulted is capable of that. After all, if all psychiatrists can do that, wouldn’t we have a lot of invisible killers roaming among us by now?”

“But it’s still possible,” Yan gloomily said. “Perhaps only a few are capable of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, right? The change in HanHan is drastic. He even wants to kill himself now. I can think of no other possibility.”

XueQing nodded in agreement.

FuRen stared out of the floor-to-ceiling windows with his back to the room. It seemed like he’d calmed down after the outburst of rage before. However, the two hands crossed behind him spoke of his inner turmoil. They were clenched so hard his knuckles turned white.

“The Bai family has never offended anyone that powerful. While HanHan is rash and reckless, he can’t have established such a grudge so deep the other would want him dead. With no sensible reason why we’d be targeted, it must be money that can make a hypnotist this powerful to strike so hard from the start,” said FuRen.

“Perhaps we’ve interacted with the mastermind behind it all,” he continued. “Perhaps there’s a grudge between us. They understand our family. At least, they know HanHan is our entire family’s weakness. If anything happens to him, the Bai family, even JingYuan, would panic. Someone rich enough to hire a hypnotist this strong and powerful enough to cover everything up, never allowing anyone of us to notice anything wrong…There aren’t many who can fit all of these criteria.”

XueQing collapsed onto the couch in the room. Her back stiff as a board, she softly stated, “This person did this to HanHan while JingYuan was away. Perhaps they have access to JingYuan’s movements. Perhaps shaking up our family could benefit them in some way.”

“If they wish to harm our family and use that chance to take a bite out of us, then this person’s status won’t be too far below our family’s, they might even be higher up in status,” Yan added.

Translator’s Note:

Win him over/Win over: The more literal translation reads “take him down”/“take down”. For some reason, winning people over isn’t seen as swaying people to your side but conquering/defeating the other. There’s a tiny streak of superiority complex when you look at the phrasing in English, hence the change to a phrase that’s more accurate in tone.


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