Qiu Yanzhi looked up with a confused expression. "What did you just say you remembered?"
He Zhou swallowed dryly as he looked back at Qiu Yanzhi. He stammered, “I...I just...I suddenly remembered that…”
He Zhou's voice trailed off for a second or two before he blinked rapidly and said, “...I suddenly remembered something. Since we now know that the person who had pictures secretly of you wasn’t Qin He but Ye Hongyuan...w-what’s your opinion of Qin He now?"
After He Zhou said all that, he stared intently at Qiu Yanzhi without blinking.
All the alarm bells went off in Qiu Yanzhi’s head. He stood up straight in front of He Zhou and declared confidently, “To me, Qin He’s nothing but a pervert!”
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou spoke again with some difficulty: "...Actually, Qin He’s not that perverted, right? He clearly had nothing to do with those...secretly taken photos, ah...”
Qiu Yanzhi blinked. Sincerity brimmed in his eyes. “Even though he wasn't the one who had those photos taken, he did something similar in high school! Once a pervert, always a pervert!"
He Zhou "......"
When He Zhou remembered how he was the one who brought those matters to light a few hours ago, his heart ached fiercely.
Qiu Yanzhi mistook his unhappiness for jealousy. He took the wet wipes nearby and pulled one out, using it to attentively dab at the dry powder from the fire extinguisher still remaining on He Zhou’s face. He sighed and said meaningfully, “He Zhou, don’t think too deeply about. Whether Qin He’s a pervert or not, no matter how talented, kind or cute he is…”
Qiu Yanzhi paused. He got on his tiptoes and planted a kiss on the middle of He Zhou’s forehead before whispering, “...You’re the only one I’ll ever like.”
“So in your heart, Qin He is…”
“He doesn’t even have a place there!”
Qiu Yanzhi sounded absolutely sure about this. He seemed ready to swear an oath on the spot.
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou was feeling a very complicated mix of joy and sorrow right now.
Qiu Yanzhi peeked at He Zhou after he finished speaking. He Zhou’s lips were pressed into a tight line, and the way he looked at Qiu Yanzhi almost seemed...aggrieved?
Qiu Yanzhi: ...En?
Did he say something wrong?
“I’ll head back first.” He Zhou’s voice was a bit dull. “I’ll continue to deal with Ye Hongyuan’s matter tomorrow. Let’s see if there’s a way to send him back into the game or at least permanently remove him from this body. To prevent him from suddenly appearing and harming you again, we shouldn’t see each other again until he’s taken care of for the time being."
"Then what if I miss you?” Qiu Yanzhi blinked.
The corners of He Zhou's mouth tugged up to reveal a very gentle smile. He reached over to ruffle Qiu Yanzhi’s hair. “We can video chat.”
“Then what if I want to hug and kiss you?"
He Zhou swept Qiu Yanzhi into his arms and bit him on the mouth not too lightly. He replied warmly, “I’ll repay you with interest once this matter is resolved.”
“Okay." Qiu Yanzhi nodded.
He Zhou turned back just before he left. “Remember to remove my fingerprint from the lock as soon as possible."
Qiu Yanzhi obediently said, "En, got it.”
When He Zhou took one step out the door, Qiu Yanzhi suddenly spoke up again. He loudly declared, “He Zhou, even if Qin He’s standing right in front of me, I wouldn’t give him a second look! In my heart, Qin He’s nothing more than a piece of trash! He doesn’t mean a thing to me!”
He Zhou’s feet halted for a moment. He nodded somewhat stiffly before reaching over to close the door.
It might’ve just been his imagination, but Qiu Yanzhi thought that He Zhou closed the door somewhat roughly.
Even the windchimes hanging on the inside face of the door were jingling.
Is He Zhou actually an aged vat of vinegar?
Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t help but shake his head.
…Why was He Zhou still thinking about Qin He after how harshly Qiu Yanzhi had renounced the man, ah?
Cough, cough. Qiu Yanzhi’s last words had been said quite loudly, but he meant every word! Okay, maybe he did feel a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of guilt.
No matter what, Qin He had been a very important person in Qiu Yanzhi’s life for nearly a decade in the past.
When he didn’t know that Ye Hongyuan had taken over Qin He’s body, Qiu Yanzhi had been disappointed at how Qin He grew from a straightforward youth to a slick adult man. Now that he knew Qin He’s body had actually been taken over, it was inevitable that he would care a bit about Qin He.
Qiu Yanzhi’s learned how to be honest with himself by now. He could admit that he once liked Qin He. He could admit that the unfulfilled emotional experience in his teens cast a shadow on his heart for a very long time.
This shadow festered in a corner he couldn’t see, bringing up past memories whenever he went to places they had been in the past. It even caused him to latch onto He Zhou the first time he played Devour Dream, due to the man’s similarity to Qin He. Although he knew in his heart that they were two different people, he still delusionally sought comfort in their similar appearances.
Back then, he even hurt He Zhou by acting that way.
But that was all in the past.
The person he cared about most, the person he loved the most, and the person he wanted to spend his entire life with was that childish, cute and vinegar personified He Zhou. He was the only one that could make a miser like Qiu Yanzhi willingly offer up his heart to be toyed with.
After Qiu Yanzhi changed the door lock’s fingerprint recognition and cleaned up the fire extinguisher powder from the floor, he ran himself a bath.
He looked at the time after coming out of the bathroom and guessed that He Zhou had made it home by now. He picked up his phone and sent a text: “Are you home now?”
"Yes, I'm getting ready to go to bed after washing up."
Qiu Yanzhi smiled and typed: "Is it hard to wash off the dry powder from the fire extinguisher?"
"It was alright, but washing my hair was a bit troublesome."
Qiu Yanzhi chatted with He Zhou while getting in bed.
The sky was already very dark. It was appropriate to say ‘good night’ by now.
Qiu Yanzhi looked at the simple ‘good night’ prompt above the chat box.
His fingertip hesitated.
He bit his lip something fierce before using his index finger to delete the ‘good night' in the chat box.
...Maybe he could say something that wasn’t as cut and dry as good night right now.
"He Zhou, I..."
Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t type the two remaining words. He paused, utterly embarrassed at how lovey-dovey he was being before deleting all the words he just typed.
Yet he couldn’t let it go after rolling around on his bed.
Qiu Yanzhi wondered if his clammy nature was why He Zhou felt so insecure and kept bringing up Qin He in front of him.
The thought made him retype those words again.
Yet his finger trembled above the send button, unable to press it no matter what.
Qiu Yanzhi closed his eyes for a moment. In the end, he deleted everything and sent a ‘good night’ at lightning speed.
Then he sighed and tossed his phone to the side. He buried his head in his pillow, refusing to look at the same old good night messages as before.
It was quite some time before his phone played the new message notification sound.
That should be He Zhou’s good night in response.
Qiu Yanzhi casually fished his phone over and squinted at the screen.
He stiffened upon fully realizing what he had sent. He shot up to a sitting position.
The last two texts they sent read--
Qiu Yanzhi: I lovegood night.
He Zhou: En. I love you too.
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
His entire face flushed crimson. He fell back in bed, hugging his phone to his chest.
He rolled around on the bed before burying his entire face in his pillow, leaving only tips of his red ears sticking out.
He Zhou fell asleep holding his phone in a very good mood. The corners of his mouth were still curved as he drifted off, his mind finally at peace.
Now that He Zhou had recovered his memory, he had some idea of what happened within his company.
After Ye Hongyuan woke up in his body a few months ago and somewhat recovered, he came to the company to take over some of the work.
But because he had no memory of what should be done, he didn’t take over any key tasks. Instead, he spent his time continuously learning and understanding his role. Aside from acquiring a game from the game company some time ago, he didn’t work on any important projects.
Therefore, He Zhou wasn’t feeling too pressured at work right now. He postponed or assigned to other people all the unimportant tasks, choosing to focus all of his attention on the matter of Ye Hongyuan.
The technical team soon returned from abroad, and Chen Lesi very aggeably joined their ranks.
Luckily, the technical team’s leader and Chen Lesi were both adept at English. They could communicate without too much hassle.
After learning that He Zhou intended to just delete some character data from a game, Chen Lesi asked, “Mr. He, I can do something this simple by myself. Why go through the hassle of inviting a foreign team over?”
He Zhou relaxed slightly after hearing this. He smiled demurely, “My understanding of these matters pales compared to professionals like you all. Perhaps I over complicated things in my head. If it’s really so easy to delete character data, then all the better.”
Chen Lesi thumped his chest and assured, “I’ll have it done within the hour.”
He Zhou surveyed the expressions of the technical team and found that their expressions were also very relaxed.
He silently breathed a sigh of relief.
It seemed that they had indeed overthought things.
When Chen Lesi and the technical team started working, He Zhou sat on a nearby sofa and leisurely picked up a business magazine to leaf through.
He quickly grew bored of that after a while. Picking up his phone, he started bothering Qiu Yanzhi.
"What are you up to right now?"
Qiu Yanzhi quickly replied: "I've landed a new job and I’m about to go meet the client. How are things going on your end?”
He Zhou: "We’re making steady progress. There shouldn’t be any problems.”
Qiu Yanzhi: "That's good."
He Zhou asked: "What kind of job did you take on? Is it complicated?"
Qiu Yanzhi: "A group of ladies are going on a trip abroad. I’ll be accompanying them as a translator for about a week.”
He Zhou frowned.
Chen Lesi seemed to be saying that Ye Hongyuan would be soon taken care of so there was really no need for the two of them to limit their meetings anymore. But now that Qiu Yanzhi was suddenly going to be away for work for a week, He Zhou felt like time was slowing to a crawl.
Qiu Yanzhi could guess what He Zhou was thinking even over the phone. He sent another message: “It’s only because I returned all the money to my dad yesterday. I’m broke now so I have to earn more money to support you, right?”
He Zhou flexed his wallet so hard in his reply: “I have money, ah! I can support you!”
Qiu Yanzhi: “Stop it, that’s Qin He’s money.”
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou gloomily sent an “Oh” in response.
He swore silently to himself.
One day, one day I’ll get the chance to tell Qiu Yanzhi the truth!
Qiu Yanzhi quickly arrived at his destination. He put his phone back in his pocket before pushing the door open and heading in.
Qiu Yanzhi wouldn’t normally accept this kind of travel translation work for private citizens because jobs of a commercial nature often involved similar tasks of a higher difficulty and therefore better compensation.
But this time, the clients were a group of generous ladies willing to shell out six figures for a week of work. There was no way Qiu Yanzhi would miss out on such an opportunity.
The place where he had arranged with the client was a fancy local dessert shop. The client, Miss You, was sitting on a sofa by the floor-to-ceiling window with a group of her similarly aged friends, enjoying some afternoon tea.
The girls all looked around their early 20s. Although most of them were carrying designer bags and wearing high heels, they still looked like college students.
When she saw Qiu Yanzhi coming over, Miss You waved. "We’re here."
Qiu Yanzhi nodded and walked over with a smile.
At this moment, a girl next to Miss You, the one dressed the most casually of everyone, suddenly let out a shriek: "Sister-in..."
She slapped a hand over her own mouth and stared wide-eyed at Qiu Yanzhi.
"He Xiaoqing, you know him?"
He Xiaoqing very much regretted her slip of the tongue.
‘Sister-in-law’ had become the nickname for Qiu Yanzhi she and her brother shared a few years ago. Although she knew he wasn’t her sister-in-law just yet, her brother always looked so happy when she called Qiu Yanzhi by that nickname, which was also why it stuck. Repetition became habit after so many years, so she accidentally blurted it out upon suddenly seeing Qiu Yanzhi in person.
"Sister what, ah?” Another girl nudged He Xiaoqing.
He Xiaoqing’s heart was thumping as even Qiu Yanzhi turned to her with a questioning look on his face. A fine layer of sweat coated her forehead. All her panicked mind could come up with right now was, “Sis...Sister, why are you so hot?!”
Qiu Yanzhi: "......"
Everyone else: "......"