Both of Liu Cheng's legs trembled like a coward.
On the bed, Jing Zeyu grit his teeth and kicked Ye Hongyuan.
In Ye Hongyuan's eyes, Jing Zeyu should be much more important than Liu Cheng. He immediately dismissed Liu Cheng entirely, pulling off his belt with a grim expression to tightly secure Jing Zeyu's legs.
Liu Cheng took advantage of the chaos and ran away.
Liu Cheng was still panicking after running out of the hotel. He could tell by the look in Ye Hongyuan's eyes when he pulled a gun on him that he had even intention of killing Liu Cheng.
Liu Cheng didn't dare to continue living where he used to. He only went back to get his debit card and withdraw some cash.
Liu Cheng originally planned on taking a plane out of there, but he saw a bunch of men in black suit huddled in a corner as soon as he got to the airport. Their eyes fixed on Liu Cheng as they all walked towards him.
Liu Cheng turned and ran. In the end, he hid out at a crowded and small private-owned hotel for two days.
Unexpectedly, someone knocked on the door on the third night.
Liu Cheng cautiously looked out through the peephole. As expected, he saw those scary-looking men in black again.
Liu Cheng took a panicked step back. Before he could even think about how to deal with them, those men began slamming their bodies against the door.
Fortunately, the room Liu Cheng lived in was on the first floor. Before the men slammed open the hotel door, Liu Cheng opened the window and jumped out.
However, his pursuers quickly discovered something was wrong and gave chase again.
Liu Cheng frantically scrambled into a bar and ducked into a random compartment.
Luckily, there was a good person inside.
When that tall and strong man wearing a skirt and singing hysterically heard that Liu Cheng was in trouble, he immediately blurted out, "Is someone trying to beat you up? Quickly hide then, ah!"
Liu Cheng said a hurried thank you before cowering into a ball under the table.
The man in the skirt was collected enough to advise him to hide one second, but then he turned and frantically asked his friend like a headless fly, "Yanyan! What should we do now?!"
That friend sighed and said, "Keep singing."
So Zhang Yuxuan continued to sing his heart out, "Where am I inferior to him, can’t you look at me~"
Liu Cheng looked up for a moment while hiding under the table.
Only then did he realize that he knew the man who was sitting on the sofa, eating and nodding along with a smile.
It was Qiu Yanzhi.
He's seen this guy a few times before he time traveled.
He came from a powerful family and was the only child of the Qiu Family Corporation, but he was willing to throw his life away for a man.
Jumping into the sea, using drugs, forcing that man to marry him... He debased himself at every opportunity.
But this person shouldn't recognize him now.
Before Liu Cheng could recover, someone opened the door again.
"We're looking for someone."
His rough voice sent a shiver down Liu Cheng's spine.
The closer the sound of footsteps drew, the deeper Liu Cheng buried his head. His entire body was trembling slightly.
Then, that person suddenly opened his mouth again, "Sorry Young Master Zhang, I've disturbed you. We'll be leaving now."
Liu Cheng couldn't believe it.
How could Ye Hongyuan's people leave so quickly?
It seemed like that man in a skirt surnamed Zhang came from a very OP background.
Liu Cheng immediately had the thought of holding this person's thigh and never letting go.
When Mr. Zhang asked him what was going on, Liu Cheng instantly turned on the waterworks and started making himself appear as pitiful as possible.
Yet before he could even get two sentences into his story, Qiu Yanzhi completely exposed him.
Liu Cheng almost forgot that Qiu Yanzhi was a friend of his boss, Shen Xingwei.
This left him with no choice but to bite the bullet and tell the truth: ...I was caught in bed with the rich client's wife by the rich client."
The truth made things very awkward for a while.
Mr. Zhang's eyes widened incredulously. Even his words became jumbled.
In order to alleviate the embarrassment, Liu Cheng could only change the subject. This unexpectedly led to Mr. Zhang's tragic relationship troubles coming out.
Liu Cheng perked up after getting the gist of it. "I'll help you."
"...You'll help me?"
Liu Cheng nodderd. "Yes. I'm really desperate right now. As long as you let me stay by your side so those people can’t take me away, I'll definitely help you pursue your senior!"
"You'll help me pursue my senior?"
"Ahem…I don't mean to brag, but I have a 95% success rate of getting the men I want."
"Right. You know who’s in a similar situation to your senior? My rich client's wife. Do you know how long it took me from our first meeting to sleep with him?"
"...H-how long, ah?"
Mr. Zhang was dumbfounded.
"So do you want my help or not?" Liu Cheng's expression was full of sincerity.
Zhang Yuxuan nodded dumbfoundedly, "Yeah..."
Liu Cheng let a long breath out after sealing the deal.
Liu Cheng originally had a pretty good plan in mind. He would stay by Zhang Yuxuan's side and help Zhang Yuxuan pursue his beloved senior. After that pays off, maybe Zhang Yuxuan would be in a good enough mood to put enough pressure on Ye Hongyuan so that he didn't look for Liu Cheng anymore.
However, there was one thing Liu Cheng never even expected. The senior that Zhang Yuxuan loved from the bottom of his heart, the white moonlight he cherished so deeply, was Jing Zeyu.
Liu Cheng, Jing Zeyu, Zhang Yuxuan and Zhang Yuxuan's friend Qiu Yanzhi had a very interesting meal together.
But Liu Cheng didn't come out of it empty-handed.
At least the awkward dinner foursome let him see that Jing Zeyu genuinely cared about Zhang Yuxuan.
It was also obvious that Jing Zeyu had basically given up on Ye Hongyuan now.
So it wasn't impossible for Zhang Yuxuan to successfully court his senior.
But a new problem had arisen: Liu Cheng couldn't let Zhang Yuxuan find out even under threat of death that he had slept with his white moonlight senior.
Because of the matter of Jing Zeyu, Liu Cheng spent his days with a guilty conscience. That's why he became more and more attentive towards Zhang Yuxuan, making all sorts of food for him to enjoy everyday, making sure not a speck of dust remained in the house, and even sorting, washing and hanging Zhang Yuxuan's dirty laundry out on the balcony.
Liu Cheng saw that Zhang Yuxuan seemed to be bored sitting on the sofa playing with his phone, so he made him a cup of flower tea while suggesting, "Do you want to go shopping?"
Zhang Yuxuan's eyes immediately brightened. He quickly set down his phone and bounced off the sofa. "Okay, okay! I'm going to change!"
But as soon as Zhang Yuxuan ran to the bedroom and opened the closet, his expression became sad again: "Chengcheng, you washed all of my little skirts. What am I supposed to wear then?"
Liu Cheng took out a casual set suit that Zhang Yuxuan had never worn before from the closet. "Zhang Yuxuan, you already know by now that your senior actually likes men. That means you can wear men's clothing instead of skirts for him. Besides, he doesn't necessarily like you wearing skirts."
Zhang Yuxuan took the suit, grumbling under his breath, "...But I like to wear skirts, ah."
Liu Cheng smiled and leaned over to whisper into Zhang Yuxuan's ear, "That's why we're going shopping today, ya. To buy you a pretty little skirt."
"Really?" Zhang Yuxuan abruptly raised his head. His eyes were glittering.
Liu Cheng: "Really. I know of a store that specialises in designing little skirts. The designers there can definitely make the little skirts of your dreams."
Zhang Yuxuan happily pushed Liu Cheng out of the bedroom. "Then quickly go out so I can change. Then we'll head out!"
After Zhang Yuxuan changed into his suit and came out, Liu Cheng used hairspray to style his hair.
Once he finished spiffing up Zhang Yuxuan, even Liu Cheng was taken aback. He cupped Zhang Yuxuan's face with both hands and muttered, "Zhang Yuxuan, do you know that you're actually very handsome?"
Zhang Yuxuan blushed a bit. He mumbled, "Chengcheng is very good-looking too!"
Liu Cheng smiled and kneaded Zhang Yuxuan's face.
The store Liu Cheng took Zhang Yuxuan to was a private brand clothing design shop that's grown in popularity over the past two years. The only problem was that it was a bit far, about a forty minute drive.
However, the clothes designed by the people here really were beautiful. In fact, when Zhang Yuxuan got out of the car and saw the little skirt on display in the window, he rushed towards it.
Liu Cheng couldn't help but smile a bit at his enthusiasm.
However, his smile froze on his face as soon as he stepped inside.
He saw Gu Yang.
Gu Yang had a girl in his arms. They were discussing wedding dress styles with the designer sitting across from them.
The girl leaned over to Gu Yang's ear and whispered something.
After Gu Yang nodded gently, the girl set down her bag and headed in the direction of the washroom.
The smile on Gu Yang's face only slowly faded when he watched the girl leave.
The designer said, "Mr. Gu, with regard to your dress, do you prefer style A or B?"
Gu Yang crossed his legs and leaned back on the sofa. He said impatiently while rubbing his temples, "Whatever, don't ask me about this kind of thing."
Gu Yang turned to one side to get his phone. Unexpectedly, he saw Liu Cheng when he looked up again.
Gu Yang paused.
Liu Cheng strode over and greeted him genially, "Gu Yang, long time no see. You actually found a way to get hard for women? Not bad, ah!"
Gu Yang's face alternated between white and blue.
The designer wisely decided to go elsewhere.
Gu Yang abruptly stood up and tightly grabbed Liu Cheng's wrist. He lowered his head slightly to look at Liu Cheng as he spoke coldly, "Stop talking nonsense."
Liu Cheng looked up and smiled innocently. "What, afraid I'll ruin your marriage scheme?"
Luckily, Liu Cheng had seen that girl who just went to the washroom on TV before.
She was the only daughter of a well-known local wealthy businessman.
Coincidentally (or not), the company that Gu Yang managed has been in a slump of sorts for the past two years.
Gu Yang grasped Liu Cheng's chin. He grit out one word at a time, "What right does a glorified prostitute like you have to scold me?"
Someone suddenly firmly grabbed Gu Yang's wrist after he said that.
It was only now that Gu Yang realised that a tall man in a casual suit had appeared by his side at some point.
This man was extremely tall, at least 1.9 metres. And the astounding force he could exert with one hand almost crushed Gu Yang's bones into smithereens.
"Let him go!" The man said angrily.
Gu Yang's arm lost feeling from how hard the man was squeezing it. He involuntarily released Liu Cheng's chin/.
Gu Yang took a step back when Zhang Yuxuan released his arm. His left hand spasmed a few times due to pain. He glanced at Zhang Yuxuan and Liu Cheng before quirking his lips and mockingly saying, "How much did you spend on this cheap toy? A hundred grand or two a month? When I was fucking him, it was..."
Zhang Yuxuan suddenly roared and charged towards Gu Yang with his head down. He headbutted Gu Yang's chest and sent the man flying to the ground. Then he sat down on Gu Yang's body and started wailing on his face.
The employees and designers panicked. They wanted to stop the fight, but they didn't dare to come any closer.
Gu Yang's fiancée also happened to come out of the washroom. When she saw what was happening, she screamed and ran over.
Liu Cheng was afraid that Zhang Yuxuan would get into trouble if he actually beat Gu Yang to deal so he frantically went over to intervene.
Luckily, Zhang Yuxuan was still in control of his facilities. He let go once Liu Cheng came over and hugged him from behind.
Zhang Yuxuan stood up and looked at Gu Yang, who was blue, black and groaning on the ground. He fumingly said, "Chengcheng, this guy's gone too far. We should send him to the hospital!"
Liu Cheng looked at Zhang Yuxuan's cheek and blinked. He suddenly said quietly, "Zhang Yuxuan, have we met before?"
Zhang Yuxuan looked at Liu Cheng without saying a word.
Liu Cheng used his index finger to poke Zhang Yuxuan's sturdy chest. He asked softly, "We have, haven't we?"
"En.” Zhang Yuxuan admitted dully, "I was sad that you didn't recognize me."
"Why didn't you say anything?" Liu Cheng whispered.
Zhang Yuxuan pursed his lips and said aggrievedly, "I didn't want to say anything at the beginning because I thought you were pretending not to know me because you were ashamed that I saw you when you just broke up. How was I supposed to know you actually forgot me, ah."
"I'm sorry." Liu Cheng redid the buttons of Zhang Yuxuan's shirt that had come undone just now. He promised with sincerity, "I won't forget you anymore."
"En, en!" Zhang Yuxuan nodded good naturedly.
Liu Cheng stood on tiptoe slightly and ruffled Zhang Yuxuan's hair like he was a giant dog.
Zhang Yuxuan smiled and said, "Chengcheng, you messed up my hairstyle!"
Liu Cheng cupped Zhang Yuxuan's face. "Then lower your head so I can fix it for you."
Zhang Yuxuan obediently lowered his head. However, he closed the short distance between them so quickly that his lips accidentally brushed against Liu Cheng's forehead.
Liu Cheng stiffened from head to toe. He felt like a current of electricity ran through him, originating at the spot where Zhang Yuxuan's lips had been.
Liu Cheng suddenly let go out Zhang Yuxuan's face like he had been burned.
He coughed softly before imperceptibly moving away from Zhang Yuxuan. Only then did he reach up and casually pat down Zhang Yuxuan's hair a few times.
"Um..." A nearby employee carefully spoke up, "Are either of you injured?"
Liu Cheng suddenly realised where they were. His cheeks suddenly flushed as he turned to see how Gu Yang was doing.
Zhang Yuxuan stood where he was for a beat. He lightly ran a fingertip across his lips before raising his hands to cup his ears, which had become hot for some reason.
Gu Yang wasn't doing too well. He weakly groaned on the floor.
Gu Yang's young fiancée knelt by his side and carefully touched where he was injured. She asked, "Does it hurt here too?"
Even Gu Yang's voice was trembling.
Miss Fang pursed her lips. She got up and stormed towards Zhang Yuxuan. "Sir, you need to give me an explanat..."
Miss Fang's voice suddenly faltered. Her eyes widened in surprise. "Xuanxuan?"
Zhang Yuxuan looked at Miss Fang and blinked his eyes. He tentatively called out, "Lingling?"
"Xuanxuan, it really is you!" Fang Ling happily took Zhang Yuxuan's hands. Then the two of them happily skipped in circles.
After who knows how many rotations, Fang Ling finally remembered why she had come over. "Oh, that's right. Xuanxuan, why did you beat up my fiancé? Is there some sort of misunderstanding between you two?"
Zhang Yuxuan said righteously, "He swore at my good friend!"
Fang Ling was taken aback. "There must be some misunderstanding here. Gu Yang isn't that sort of person."
Liu Cheng glanced at Fang Ling before asked her, Miss Fang, did you know that Gu Yang is gay?"
Gu Yang suddenly became a little agitated on the ground. He opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but every noise made him grunt in pain.
Fang Ling glanced at Gu Yang, then Liu Cheng. She said suspiciously, "But Gu Yang told me he...he's only been in one other relationship before. And...and it was with a girl in high school."
Liu Cheng sighed. "Then Miss Fang should really spend more time investigating the true sexual orientation of the people you hope to marry. Don't be fooled into sharing your bed with a third person."
Fang Ling frowned and glanced thoughtfully at Gu Yang on the ground. Then she took out her phone and made a call.
By the time the ambulance came to take Gu Yang away, Fang Ling had received the information she wanted.
Fang Ling took a deep breath before walking over to the ambulance and giving Gu Yang two resounding slaps on the face. Then she pulled Zhang Yuxuan over to look at pretty little dresses together.
Fang Ling didn't live far from Zhang Yuxuan. They had grown up playing together. Actually, their parents intended to set the two of them up, but Zhang Yuxuan had been fixated on his senior since junior high.
Zhang Yuxuan and Fang Ling both like pretty little skirts, cute little hairpins and shiny little accessories. They just didn't like each other in that way.
So their family gave up the idea of marriage and let them stay as sisters.
They've always had a good relationship, but Zhang Yuxuan seldom kept in contact after breaking off from his family after arguing with them. They had lots to talk about meeting up now, holding each other's hand tightly and refusing to let go.
Liu Cheng was responsible for advising the two princesses on what to buy and carrying the shopping bags.
But Liu Cheng didn't get to carry many before they were taken away by Zhang Yuxuan.
"They're heavy. Let me do it." Zhang Yuxuan said.
Fang Ling looked between the two of them before raising an eyebrow. She suddenly stood on tiptoes and patted Zhang Yuxuan's shoulder like she was very relieved.
"Not bad, not bad. You're finally thinking straight. I think the night pearl beside you is a thousand times better than the moon in the water you can't scoop out." Fang Ling took a look at the time before taking her shopping bags from Zhang Yuxuan. "Xuanxuan, I have to leave first to do other things. Next time I'll take you out for a real shopping spree."
Zhang Yuxuan blinked in confusion after Fang Ling left. "What was Lingling just saying, ah? What am I thinking straight about now? What night pearl? What moon in the water?"
Liu Cheng was silent for a beat. Then he suddenly said, "Let's go to that DIY pottery shop over there. Jing Zeyu really likes handmade good. He'll be happy if you gift him one."
"Okay, okay!" Zhang Yuxuan said.
But Zhang Yuxuan turned around again after taking a few steps. "But Chengcheng, how did you know that my senior likes handmade goods?"
"I looked into his friends on social media as well as the people he follows and the content he likes." Liu Cheng paused before saying in a very serious tone, "Zhang Yuxuan, I will try my best to help you land your senior."
Zhang Yuxuan looked at Liu Cheng and blankly said okay.
For some reason, Zhang Yuxuan almost felt that...
Liu Cheng seemed unhappy.
Zhang Yuxuan wasn't good with his hands. He couldn't even make a basic flowerpot. In the end, Liu Cheng had to guide him step by step on how to shape pottery.
As Liu Cheng sat on a small stool and focused on making pottery, a tiny drop of sweat collected on the tip of his nose.
Zhang Yuxuan's eyes fixated on that glittering sweat droplet. His fingers twitched. He wanted to reach over and help Liu Cheng wipe it off.
But before he could even reach over, Liu Cheng tilted his head and wiped the sweat off with his shoulder.
Zhang Yuxuan looked at Liu Cheng's smooth and clean nose. He felt a little disappointed.
"Zhang Yuxuan, what are you thinking about?" Liu Cheng looked up at him.
Zhang Yuxuan blinked: "Liu Cheng, how come you're good at everything?"
"En?" Liu Cheng asked, "What do you mean?"
Zhang Yuxuan counted off his fingers, "See, you're good at making pottery, braiding hair, doing nails, baking cakes, cooking, bartending... Oh, you also helped me make my little skirt look even prettier last time! I feel like you can do anything, like you're the most talented person in the world!"
Liu Cheng smiled. "Do you really feel like I can do anything?"
"Yep, anything!" Zhang Yuxuan emphasised.
Liu Cheng didn't say anything. He lowered his head and focused on shaping the pot.
However, he did start humming a light tune under his breath.
Zhang Yuxuan didn't know what song he was humming, but that's didn't stop him from thinking the song Liu Cheng was humming was the best song in the world.
Three days later, Zhang Yuxuan and Liu Cheng came to this store again to take away the ready vase.
Liu Cheng looked at the vase and exclaimed: "Not bad. Let's go, there should be gift boxes in the store across the street. We'll dress it up all pretty so you can give it to your senior."
Zhang Yuxuan's footsteps suddenly stopped.
He looked at the vase in his hand.
And suddenly recalled that afternoon when Liu Cheng hummed with curved eyes.
"I don't want to give this to my senior anymore." Zhang Yuxuan said.
Liu Cheng was taken aback. "Why?"
Zhang Yuxuan touched the vase before suddenly handing it to Liu Cheng. "...Just because. Why don't you take it home and put some flowers in it?"
Zhang Yuxuan quickly walked off.
Liu Cheng glanced at his departing figure before looking down at the vase that they worked on until their arms were sore.
Liu Cheng touched the pattering on the vase, somewhat puzzled.
Could it be that Zhang Yuxuan thinks this vase is ugly and he's too embarrassed to give it to his senior?
But it's obviously not ugly, ah.
But Liu Cheng didn't think too much about it. Instead, he went with Zhang Yuxuan to a flower shop and picked out some pretty flowers to happily put in the vase, which was then displayed in the most conspicuous place in their home.
Liu Cheng was always happy when he was with Zhang Yuxuan, no matter what they were doing.
He was happy when cooking, cleaning, doing Zhang Yuxuan's makeup, and even putting a wig on him and braiding his hair.
Liu Cheng and Zhang Yuxuan did a lot of childish things. Although it was kind of dumb, they were happy.
They bought a box and filled it with their favourite things. Then they took a small shovel and dug a hole under the big tree at the back of the neighbourhood together to put the box in. They made a promise to not take it out before 20 years had passed.
They planted some garlic in a large dish and went to see how it sprouted and grew everyday.
They curled up on the sofa under a large blanket for a movie marathon. They watched until they couldn't help but yawn and fall asleep on the other person's shoulder.
They went to the place Liu Cheng used to work, and Liu Cheng made a beautifully coloured cocktail for Zhang Yuxuan to drink.
Zhang Yuxuan asked what this cocktail was called.
Liu Cheng looked into Zhang Yuxuan's eyes and said softly:
Sometimes, Liu Cheng felt that this was the happiest time in his life. But other times, he feared that the good times wouldn't last.
He was right. Good things never do.
Because of Zhang Yuxuan's protection, Ye Hongyuan's people didn't dare to do anything to Liu Cheng. So Ye Hongyuan sent an email to Zhang Yuxuan.
There was a bedroom photo attached.
It had deliberately been sent to Ye Hongyuan by Jing Zeyu, and now Ye Hongyuan had sent it to Zhang Yuxuan.
Zhang Yuxuan frantically showed the email to Liu Cheng. "Ch-Ch-Chengcheng! Someone photoshopped you together with my senior! What should we do, ah. He did such a good job..."
Yes, Liu Cheng could've continued to lie to Zhang Yuxuan and said that this was just photoshopped. Then they could curse out the photoshopper together.
But looking into Zhang Yuxuan's eyes, Liu Cheng suddenly said, "It's real.”
Zhang Yuxuan was stunned.
Liu Cheng hoarsely said, "I'm sorry, Zhang Yuxuan. I didn't mean to hide it from you."
Zhang Yuxuan's eyes went red. His whole body was shaking with anger.
Hearing Liu Cheng's calm apology, Zhang Yuxuan finally pieced together the truth. He glared at this person in front of him who slept with his senior but also kept saying he would help him pursue that senior; this man who had been his best friend for a month, the same man who had been lying to him this whole time. He angrily roared, "Liu Cheng! Do you really think I'm that stupid? Do you think I’m so easy to fool?!”
When Zhang Yuxuan rushed out of the apartment, Liu Cheng was afraid that something might happen to him so he was going to go after him.
But then he saw Qiu Yanzhi, who was about to knock on the door.
Zhang Yuxuan hugged Qiu Yanzhi and wailed.
Liu Cheng silently stood inside, not saying a word.
Qiu Yanzhi took Zhang Yuxuan away, probably to a bar.
Liu Cheng stood there blankly for a while longer before silently starting to clean.
Liu Cheng knew that Zhang Yuxuan would definitely drive him out.
And Liu Cheng also knew that he didn't want to leave.
Not only because Ye Hongyuan was still sending people after him.
But because he didn't want to leave Zhang Yuxuan.
Liu Cheng cleaned every inch of the house. He also threw out the old flowers in the vase and put fresher, prettier blooms in.
After doing all this, he went from bar to bar looking for Zhang Yuxuan.
Two hours later, he finally found the compartment Zhang Yuxuan was in.
Liu Cheng could hear Zhang Yuxuan crying even from outside the compartment.
Zhang Yuxuan cried saying Liu Cheng had lied to him, saying that Liu Cheng had slept with his senior and lied to him about it.
Liu Cheng opened the compartment door and walked in.
Then he suddenly knelt on the floor.
Zhang Yuxuan was so startled that he hiccupped. His mind had mostly cleared up by now.
Liu Cheng said, 'Zhang Yuxuan, I was wrong. I shouldn't have lied to you'.
Liu Cheng said, 'Zhang Yuxuan, I didn't want to lie to you. I was just afraid that you would kick me out if you knew'.
Liu Cheng said, 'I'm begging you...please save me'.
Zhang Yuxuan was so innocent and kind, how could he have faced such an opponent before? He immediately started helplessly wiping the tears from Liu Cheng's face and promised not to throw him out.
But Zhang Yuxuan also said, '...that doesn't mean I've forgiven you'.
Liu Cheng's mouth said, 'I don't expect you to forgive me. Letting me stay is already enough'.
But his heart cried, 'It's not enough'.
He didn't just want to remain by Zhang Yuxuan's side, he also wanted Zhang Yuxuan to treat him just like before.
Liu Cheng knew very well.
This matter regarding Jing Zeyu would forever remain a barrier between him and Zhang Yuxuan.
Unless something were to happen to break this barrier.
Liu Cheng didn't want this barrier to exist between him and Zhang Yuxuan.
So he decided to do something to break it.
He drugged Zhang Yuxuan's alcohol.
He drugged that cocktail called Admiration.
After Qiu Yanzhi left, Zhang Yuxuan complained that he was hot.
Liu Cheng went over to help him undress. At some point, he looked up and kissed Zhang Yuxuan.
Zhang Yuxuan's entire body stiffened. He didn't blink even once.
Liu Cheng also stilled. For a moment, he thought the drug hadn't taken effect and his move had startled Zhang Yuxuan.
Just as Liu Cheng was awkwardly preparing to end the kiss, Zhang Yuxuan blinked and tentatively stuck the tip of his tongue out.
Liu Cheng breathed a sigh of relief. He closed his eyes and deepened the kiss.
Everything was going so smoothly.
Then Shen Xingwei brought his bodyguards over and kicked the door in.
Liu Cheng had no choice but to stop everything.
By the time he carried Zhang Yuxuan back to bed with the driver, Liu Cheng was already exhausted. Zhang Yuxuan had also long since fallen asleep.
Although his plan went awry, he luckily had a backup in mind.
He took the cosmetics Zhang Yuxuan had on his dressing table and fabricated blue and purple traces on his body. Then he took off his clothes and got in bed with Zhang Yuxuan.
Liu Cheng thought that Zhang Yuxuan would have to feel at least somewhat guilty with all the fake bruises on his body.
But he didn't expect Zhang Yuxuan to wail like the world was ending the next morning.
Liu Cheng consoled him until his head started to hurt. In the end, he couldn't help but wipe away a hickey and tell the truth.
Things were already bad enough as is.
Then Qiu Yanzhi suddenly barged in and exposed him for using drugs.
Apparently Qiu Yanzhi had drunk half of the drink he spiked.
No wonder Zhang Yuxuan recovered so quickly.
Zhang Yuxuan's face full of disbelief made Liu Cheng felt like his heart had been stabbed. He opened his mouth and tried to explain.
Yet Qiu Yanzhi coldly said, “Enough already, Liu Cheng! Are you going to keep digging a deeper hole for yourself?! Do you think trust based on lies is worth anything?! How can you use such underhanded tactics--"
The successive failures he experienced, Qiu Yanzhi's mocking words, and Zhang Yuxuan's shocked and disappointed expression overwhelmed Liu Cheng. He felt lightheaded as he said without thinking:
"--Like you’re one to talk!"
"--I’m underhanded? Don’t preach at me like you’re some sort of saint! Didn’t you resort to something as underhanded as drugs to force He Zhou to marry you?!”
Liu Cheng realised as soon as he said it that he blew it.
The events he had just talked about only happened in the previous timeline.
They hadn't happened yet in this one.
Liu Cheng wanted to pretend he misspoke, but Qiu Yanzhi grabbed his wrist. "Liu Cheng, explain yourself. How do you know what…”
Liu Cheng's mind went blank.
One thought popped up lightning quick.
Why didn't Qiu Yanzhi marry He Zhou this time? Why was he instead entangled with a junior of his?
Why were Qiu Yanzhi and He Zhou so quickly like two peas in a pod, but Zhang Yuxuan, Qiu Yanzhi's friend, knew nothing about He Zhou?
Why did Qiu Yanzhi say: "How do you know?"
And those words specifically.
...Qiu Yanzhi also time travelled.
Probably He Zhou too.
Liu Cheng suddenly recalled Ye Hongyuan's weird sounding phone, and the strange 3D model of him and his information on the phone.
Ye Hongyuan's behaviour was also slightly different than last time.
Liu Cheng thought it was his own efforts that enabled Jing Zeyu to discover his relationship with Ye Hongyuan earlier.
But after thinking about it carefully, Liu Cheng realised that the person who made Jing Zeyu come back from abroad in advance was Ye Hongyuan.
The person who proposed to petition for a marriage licence earlier with Jing Zeyu was also Ye Hongyuan.
...Did Ye Hongyuan also travel back in time?
The thought sent a shiver down Liu Cheng's spine. He felt like he was about to discover a secret, one that surrounded him like a spider web, making it almost impossible to breathe.
Liu Cheng shook off Qiu Yanzhi's hand before sprinting out.
Liu Cheng knew that Ye Hongyuan’s people would definitely not let him go. He dug out the treasure chest, put on a skirt and a wig, avoided all the cameras, and finally hid in the back kitchen of a remote, slightly messy restaurant.
Liu Cheng felt like he was about to go insane.
Because he suddenly discovered that the cleaning staff in the restaurant had never emptied any of the trash cans. The trash cans would clean themselves every five minutes.
But the most important part was that no one noticed this.
Liu Cheng couldn't help but think of that phone he saw in Ye Hongyuan’s house once again.
And the rotating 3D model of himself he saw on the screen.
The cook's son was sitting to the side playing. Liu Cheng glanced at his screen and froze.
On the in-game character interface, a 3D model of the character rotated to the left while small blue words were displayed on the right.
The words he had once heard came back to haunt him.
"It's almost New Years! Recharge to receive amazing gifts! Get a 1% discount by recharging above $10,000! Piece by piece, Devour Dream hopes you find the dream you seek!"
An inconceivable idea came to mind.
Liu Cheng shivered and fidgeted. He couldn't stay still as an insidious, unbelievable, unfounded premonition came over him.
...The moment he told this secret would mark him for dead.
Liu Cheng was terrified to no end. Only the owner sitting with him and gossiping while peeling potatoes together brought him some solace.
When the owner asked what his type was, Zhang Yuxuan's figure appeared before Liu Cheng's eyes.
Him smiling like a dope, angry, happy, bubbly, crying... Even the Zhang Yuxuan who charged over like a giant dog and knocked Gu Yang to the ground.
The owner asked: “Looks like you have a sweetheart already, huh? Is he your boyfriend?"
Liu Cheng was taken aback for a moment. He suddenly recalled what Jing Zeyu had once said.
"...Because you're not worthy of him. Zhang Yuxuan deserves someone better than you."
"But that person is neither you, nor me."
Liu Cheng turned to the auntie with a smile and lightly said:
"...No, he’s not. He’s too good for me.”
If Zhang Yuxuan was a crystal, then Liu Cheng would be nothing but grime.
After he finished peeling the potatoes, Liu Cheng carried the large stainless steel basin out to dump the contents.
The basin was a little heavy, so Liu Cheng's arms were trembling after carrying it all the way. He breathed a sigh of relief after dumping the trash and used his arm to wipe away some sweat from his forehead. Yet he froze as soon as he looked up.
Zhang Yuxuan stood not far away wearing a fitted black suit, looking at him pointedly.
"Chengcheng." Zhang Yuxuan quietly called out to him.
Liu Cheng's entire body stiffened for a beat. Then he took a step closer to Zhang Yuxuan and slowly spoke:
"Zhang Yuxuan, I did sleep with your senior and then tried to hide it from you."
"I was also the one who spike the drink with the intention to rape you."
"I did have my own reasons for running away last time, but even you can't make me tell Qiu Yanzhi the truth."
Instead of cursing him, hitting him, getting angry or leaving, Zhang Yuxuan just looked at him and softly said, "...Chengcheng, it's not safe here. Ye Hongyuan's people will continue to hound you... Come home with me."
Liu Cheng looked at Zhang Yuxuan. Tears suddenly started falling from his eyes.
This person was forever innocent and always kind. He was nothing like the malicious, vicious and cunning Liu Cheng.
Zhang Yuxuan took Liu Cheng home.
Not to the condo they had once lived in, but the home of Zhang Yuxuan's parents, where bodyguards secured the perimeter and took every precaution.
Liu Cheng's mouth said he wouldn't be persuaded to tell Qiu Yanzhi the truth.
But he couldn't help but change his mind after seeing Zhang Yuxuan's conflicted expression during his call with Qiu Yanzhi.
"...I'll go see him.”
For some reason, Liu Cheng was covered in cold sweat when he went outside again.
For no reason at all, he felt like someone was watching him.
But he just chalked that up to nerves.
Still a little nervous, he looked at Zhang Yuxuan and said a lot of things he wouldn't have said before.
He made Zhang Yuxuan promise to protect him forever.
He apologised to Zhang Yuxuan again for deceiving him, lying to him, drugging him, and opening their time capsule before the agreed upon time.
Zhang Yuxuan said, “Alright, I’ll forgive you since you said sorry. But you have to go with me to put the dress back in tomorrow. And no taking it out ahead of time again, okay?”
"Okay, I promise."
Liu Cheng blinked and suddenly said, "Zhang Yuxuan, Jing Zeyu must be blind to have not picked you."
Zhang Yuxuan frowned. "Liu Cheng, you can't say that."
Sadness briefly flashed across Liu Cheng's face, but he quickly hid it behind a smile. "Alright, alright. I wasn’t badmouthing your senior, I was complimenting you--"
An instant later.
A black car charged towards them.
Liu Cheng shoved Zhang Yuxuan away with all his might.
The next second.
Zhang Yuxuan was met with the sight of Liu Cheng flying several metres away before crashing heavily to the ground.
He had died on scene.
"Let him go!"
"He told you to let go of him! He said he doesn’t want you to touch him!"
Liu Cheng saw that tall, well-built man wearing a skirt punch the face of the Mr. Ye he had just met.
Liu Cheng stared at this foreign tall, well-built man without blinking.
He had already noticed him earlier when mixing drinks at the bar.
Not because of the pink skirt he wore that clashed very badly with his tall, well-built stature.
But for other reasons even Liu Cheng himself couldn't explain clearly.
He just couldn't help but want to keep staring at that man.
After everything calmed down.
Liu Cheng put a band-aid on the man's forehead before mixing him several delicious cocktails.
"This one is tasty too!"
The man smiled happily after sampling a sip of each cocktail.
Liu Cheng tilted his head at the man and asked, "Have we met before?"
The man put down the cocktail he was holding and blinked. "You did my nails before! Did you forget?"
Liu Cheng recalled something like that about two years ago.
He did the nails of a man wearing a skirt.
He used clear nail polish and drew two tiny blue flowers as well.
Then, he and this man had their hearts broken at the same time and cried their hearts out in a compartment at some bar.
But Liu Cheng had a feeling that wasn't the only time they've met.
Mr. Zhang nodded, saying that he felt the same way.
"Maybe...we met in a previous life."
Mr. Zhang was already a little drunk, judging by his flushed cheeks.
Liu Cheng and Zhang Yuxuan quickly became familiar with each other.
They exchanged contact information, went shopping together, played together, made little skirts together... They even fell asleep on each other's shoulder during a movie marathon cuddled up under a blanket on the sofa in Zhang Yuxuan's house together.
Today was another one of those days where they agreed to go shopping together.
Liu Cheng just finished preparing to go out when two burly men rushed into his home.
Liu Cheng screamed in horror and struggled frantically as he was stuffed into the trash can.
But he was no match for those two burly men, who pushed down on the lid of the trash can with all their might.
Liu Cheng's struggles ceased when he saw the bottom of the trash bag near his feet slowly dissolve into strings of blue numbers.
His brain also seemed to stop functioning.
He stared at those floating blue numbers.
Then, he saw his feet start to dissolve into blue numbers as well, mixing with the already broken down components of the trash bag.
The last second before his consciousness dissipated.
Some voices suddenly played in Liu Cheng's mind.
"Zhang Yuxuan, have we met before?"
"We have, haven't we?"
"En. I was sad that you didn't recognize me."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"I didn't want to say anything at the beginning because I thought you were pretending not to know me because you were ashamed that I saw you when you just broke up. How was I supposed to know you actually forgot me, ah."
"I'm sorry. I won't forget you anymore."
… I won't forget you anymore.
Liu Cheng murmured.
A stabbing pain suddenly ran through his heart.
The next moment.
His entire body had been converted into a mass of numbers.
Liu Cheng's last moment there is another one of my favourite scenes in the novel. Sigh.