When Chen Lesi said Ye Hongyuan’s data was being erased, He Zhou felt momentarily lightheaded. However, that discomfort quickly disappeared.
Pressing his temples, he actually thought he felt better than before.
...Like something thrashing about in his head had vanished.
Then he heard Chen Lesi press one last key before leaning back with both hands behind his head and spinning leisurely in his chair. “Done!”
He Zhou felt disconcerted. “...That’s all?”
Chen Lesi shrugged. "We’re just deleting some data."
The captain took off his glasses. "This was indeed not a complicated task. However, we discovered the existence of several other bugs in the game while searching for the target character’s data. Mr. He, do you want us to deal with those bugs as well?”
He Zhou asked, "What other bugs are there?"
"It’s mainly character-related bugs.” Chen Lesi explained, “A random example would be one of the supporting NPCs. According to the game’s original design, he’s meant to always pine after his senior. But I discovered later while searching through the data that that initial setting seemed to have gone missing. Although these kinds of bugs are technically harmless, they might have a big impact on character personality and game experience.”
...He must be talking about Zhang Yuxuan, Qiu Yanzhi's friend in the game.
He Zhou was silent for a moment. "Since it's not a big deal, just let that kind of bugs be.”
In a sense, Devour Dream has long since become more than an ordinary game.
It was now a world of its own.
The people inside were no longer just NPCs. They had evolved into living, breathing people.
He Zhou raised his head and intoned, “However, some other bugs exist that need to be fixed. One of which involves the trash cans. A screening procedure should be added to the automatic cleaning function so that player and NPCs alike can’t be harmed.”
After hearing that, Chen Lesi immediately turned around to check. He was incredulous to find that He Zhou was right. “I never expected a bug like this. How do you know about it?”
He Zhou said, "I found it by accident while playing the game.”
"Playing the game? The team leader put on his glasses again, his expression sobering somewhat. “This installation package has already been corrupted and can’t be opened by any player. When did Mr. He play this game?”
"A long time ago." He Zhou looked at Chen Lesi and the members of the technical team. "Speaking of which, I have another matter I would like to entrust to all of you. I would like for you to fix the installation package of this game."
Chen Lesi frowned. "Does Mr. He want to re-release this game on the market? But it has so many bugs and even caused an accident before. It will be very hard for this game to pass the government’s screenings and audits.”
He Zhou shook his head. "No, I only intend to use it privately.”
"But this will be a very costly task…” Chen Lesi paused before even finishing his sentence. He looked at He Zhou and smiled. “I almost forgot that this sum is nothing to Mr. He.”
"After fixing the installation package, focus on repairing the game’s exit procedure. This part is very important. There is no room for error.”
"Alright, but this project will be a bit more troublesome. Mr. He will probably have to wait longer this time.”
“Not a problem.” He Zhou said, "Take your time, there's no need to rush."
One day, Qiu Yanzhi suddenly sent He Zhou a picture of a sapphire earring.
Qiu Yanzhi mentioned how this earring was very beautiful and suited his mom in the game very well.
He Zhou was still a poor NPC who had just come out of the game with the clothes on his back at that time.
He looked at the picture of that sapphire earring at that time, and thought:
If he could, he wanted to reopen that world for Qiu Yanzhi.
The travel schedule He Xiaoqing and her friends had set would only start the day after tomorrow in the morning. Qiu Yanzhi prepared to leave after settling all the necessary matters.
Hearing that, He Xiaoqing wiped her mouth with a tissue before getting to her feet. “I happen to be leaving too. Why don’t we leave together?”
After walking to the door with her, Qiu Yanzhi bid her a polite goodbye before heading straight to the nearby bus stop.
--He didn't take his car her today, and calling a cab would be spending money he really couldn’t spare at the moment.
Who would’ve thought that before the bus even arrived, an extremely brightly coloured luxury car would come to a stop before him.
The car window rolled down to reveal He Xiaoqing. She had her hands on the steering wheel while chewing some gum. “Where do you live, Mr. He? Maybe I can give you a ride?”
“Thank you for the offer Miss He, but that isn’t necessary.” Qiu Yanzhi smiled. “I’ll be fine waiting for the bus.”
He Xiaoqing said, "Come on, don't try to be polite. I have something to ask you about the trip two days later."
Qiu Yanzhi couldn’t refuse any longer so he said thanks and got in the passenger seat.
Yet He Xiaoqing’s questions had nothing to do with the trip at all. She was busy asking about Qiu Yanzhi’s boyfriend as implicitly as possible.
She gave up two or three questions in.
This Qiu Yanzhi smiled whenever he mentioned his boyfriend. His eyes, his lips and every other part of him radiated a deep infatuation.
--He Xiaoqing would need to be an idiot not to see how Qiu Yanzhi really, really, really, really liked his boyfriend.
Which meant her brother was really, really, really, really out of luck.
He Xiaoqing shook her head and mentally sighed.
Even driving couldn’t cheer her up, making the trip a lot smoother than usual.
The car soon arrived at Qiu Yanzhi’s building.
Qiu Yanzhi: "Do you want to come up for a cup of tea?"
He Xiaoqing agreed right off the bat. "Sure, I just happen to be a little thirsty."
To be honest, the reason He Xiaoqing offered to drive Qiu Yanzhi home was to see if she could catch a glance of what his boyfriend looked like.
She just wanted a look, that’s all. Purely for curiosity’s sake. She wanted to see just what kind of man her excellent brother lost to.
Qiu Yanzhi only offered to be polite so he was a bit taken aback that He Xiaoqing accepted his invitation.
Then he quickly did a mental review of whether any pictures of He Zhou were displayed in the house.
After all, He Zhou and He Xiaoqing’s brother, Qin He, looked exactly alike.
Things would get complicated if He Xiaoqing found out.
Fortunately, He Zhou didn’t like to take pictures so there weren’t any at home.
It was also fortunate that he and He Zhou had agreed to not meet anymore before Ye Hongyuan’s matter was resolved. It meant that there shouldn’t be anyone home right now.
Qiu Yanzhi stood in front of his suite and used his fingerprint to unlock the door. He smiled at He Xiaoqing, who was behind him. "Come in."
But He Xiaoqing didn't say anything in reply. Her eyes were staring straight at something inside.
Qiu Yanzhi's heart skipped a beat. He turned to look inside as well.
In the middle of the room stood He Zhou. He was still in his suit, a hand raised and ready to tug off his tie. He froze, staring back at the two of them.
For a moment, the air was so quiet that not even a breath could be heard.
The three looked at each other, each frozen in place and not daring to break the silence.
Finally, it was He Zhou who ended the standoff. He lowered his hand from his tie and spoke with some chagrin, “...Why are you two together?”
He Xiaoqing: "It...it was just by chance! Qiu Yanzhi happened to be the translator my friends and I are leaving the country with tomorrow. I...I’m just dropping him off on the way back."
He Xiaoqing glanced at Qiu Yanzhi’s expression, and then her brother’s. Her lips quivered before she asked, “Ge...why are you here?"
He Zhou was silent.
The air began to fill with a touch of unspeakable embarrassment again.
He Zhou slowly looked up at He Xiaoqing. "Xiaoqing, I’m actually..."
Qiu Yanzhi could tell He Zhou was about to tell He Xiaoqing they were a couple. But since Qiu Yanzhi thought he and He Zhou would leave for somewhere far away one day, he didn’t want to become entangled in Qin He’s identity if possible.
So he grit his teeth and quickly cut He Zhou off. "Qin He, you can't come and go as you please just because you guessed the password to my apartment.”
He Xiaoqing was completely caught off guard. "Ge, you snuck in?!"
He Zhou: "......"
He Zhou looked down and pressed his temples. “I’m sorry Xia Yuan. I didn’t mean to. I, I had a drink or two today. I’ll leave right now…”
"Aiya Ge, how could you drink so much? Look at what you've done!" He Xiaoqing hurried over to support her brother who didn’t have the slightest whiff of alcohol on him. She dragged him out while apologizing to Qiu Yanzhi. “I’m so sorry, ah. My brother has this bad habit of going into other people’s homes when he’s drunk. Please pay him no mind, haha…”
Thus, three people were left each feeling more guilty than the last.
He Xiaoqing quickly dragged He Zhou out. Qiu Yanzhi very cooperatively opened the door. And Mr. He, who was pretending to be drunk, walked out with very large strides.
In less than a minute, He Zhou and He Xiaoqing were able to leave the crime scene thanks to everyone’s cooperation.
As soon as they walked out, the corners of He Xiaoqing's eyes reddened. “Ge, how could you sneak into his house when he wasn’t there? That’s illegal! Ge, you can’t be like this no matter how much you like him, ah…”
He Zhou pursed his lips and refused to reply.
"...He also already has a boyfriend.” He Xiaoqing sniffled. “Ge, please just give up already like you told me over the phone a few days ago, alright…?”
What do you mean give up? He’s already your sister-in-law.
But He Zhou couldn’t say that just yet. He sighed and reached over to ruffle He Xiaoqing’s hair. Then, pretending to be brooding, he turned away and left.
He Xiaoqing could sense a deep, bleak melancholy from her brother’s departing figure.
Wuwuwu, why’s my brother’s life so hard...
He Xiaoqing's tears immediately overflowed.
He Zhou received a text from Qiu Yanzhi just as he got in his car.
Qiu Yanzhi: “Why’d you suddenly come back? Did we agree to not meet before taking care of Ye Hongyuan?”
He Zhou laughed and called him back.
"Ye Hongyuan's data has been deleted."
Qiu Yanzhi froze for a moment. His voice was a bit hesitant: "Really?"
"Really. He won't come out ever again."
Qiu Yanzhi blinked and asked with some bewilderment, "...So just like that...he’s gone.”
He Zhou: "En. I actually couldn’t believe it myself, but it’s true. All the terrible things he’s done almost made us forget he was nothing more than a mass of data."
Qiu Yanzhi's heart shuddered violently in place.
He Zhou...was also data.
He could disappear just as easily.
With not a trace left.
Qiu Yanzhi’s voice was somewhat panicked: "Y-you haven’t exposed anything, right? Those programmers and technicians haven’t found anything off about you, right…?”
He Zhou was silent for a moment. "Don't worry, I'm safe."
After saying that he was quiet for a while. His eyelashes lowered, casting deep shadows beneath his eyes. He said very softly, “Qiu Yanzhi, let’s meet tonight. I have some things to tell you."
Qiu Yanzhi: "Where should we meet?"
He Zhou: "At my...at Qin He’s house."
Qiu Yanzhi: "Okay."
Rain: Hahahaha I can’t get enough of how awkward things always turn out. It’s hilarious. XDD