Chapter 21 - You Only Belong To Me (21.1)

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The half-drawn curtains blocked some of the light from entering the living room, and the warm afternoon sun fell on the wooden floor, illuminating the half lit room.

A soft and gentle voice resounded in the living room,“...The little beauty’s tail turned into human legs, and she went ashore to find her prince… Alas, the prince did not really love her, and she finally turned into seafoam.”

You Xu closed the storybook and looked over to the person sleeping beside her.

It felt almost unreal. Almost like several lifetimes had passed since she had last seen him. She unknowingly let out a soft sigh.

The shadows falling on the side of his face further defined his white skin and red lips, making his facial features come to life, painting a peaceful sleeping appearance.

You Xu quietly observed, her eyes starting to feel sore as she bit down on her lips. From a distance, You Xu raised her fingertips to trace the outline of his eyebrows.

It was at this exact moment that Duan Min opened his eyes. He violently sat up and grabbed a hold of her hand.

She felt hot tears silently falling on the back of her hand. You Xu was taken aback.

Even when Duan Min was imprisoned in the basement as a test subject, no amount of suffering could make him shed a drop of tear. Even when amongst the white flower field, looking over her stone tablet, he chose to commit suicide. But not once did he shed a single drop.

As of the present, You Xu had once again returned to his side. When his field of vision met her entire being, tears continued to fall one after another seemingly as if it would never end. The scorching liquid slid across her wrist, and her hand trembled as if it had been scalded.

You Xu didn't pull away, but instead held his hand in hers and asked, "Why are you crying?"

“I…” Duan Min opened his mouth, his throat was tight and dry, and his voice was hoarse. “I had a dream. I dreamt that I saw you…”

He couldn’t go on.

You Xu blinked her eyes and let out a gentle laugh. “Duan Min, would you believe me when I say that nightmares are the opposite of reality?”

Even so, to him, that dream felt too real, almost as if it really happened. Just the thought of the coldness of the stone tablet caused his heart to sink. That fear gripping sensation left an imprint in his heart, threatening to surface, so much so that the temperature of her hand made him tremble all over.

His eyes were like glass balls. Clean and clear. Seeing how those very eyes, similar to that of marbles, were wet with tears and in them, reflecting her entire being, You Xu couldn’t hold back anymore and leaned over for a kiss.

The warm and soft touch of her lips felt like an electric current passing through his heart, tingling his nerve endings. Duan Min’s breathing instantly became disordered.

His tears were still falling, and he looked at her without blinking.

Her temperature. It’s real.

Her breathing. It’s real.

Is this dream…real?

— —

You Xu asked 78, “How is Duan Min still able to remember what happened?”

The timeline had already been pulled back to that dot, wasn’t it thorough enough?

In all honesty, the shadow in her heart from that time was too deep. When You Xu just returned, she was terrified that a scalpel would appear in her hand.

“There is a limit to what we, external systems, can meddle in the affairs of mission targets. Being able to pull back the timeline and play it off as a dream is already pretty good.” 78 spoke haggardly. After using up all of her points to restore the timeline, 78 didn’t have enough points to buy its beloved yo-yo. Now, it was clearly sulking.

You Xu: “Then could you check the current trust value and blackening value.”

78: “The trust value is 100 and the blackening value is 0.”

Alarm bells started going off in her head. With a mouthful of blood, You Xu quickly asked, “Am I going to have to leave again?”

“Nope, you don’t need to. In any case, there isn’t a need for me to focus on performance,” 78 answered unenthusiastically. It felt that it was a waste but it wasn’t hurt by the loss of points.

“The points obtained by official systems are linked to the host’s final comprehensive score. There’s even a ranking list for official systems. I’m still a trainee system so I don’t have the qualifications to participate. I don’t even have my own points. The points so far are all earned by the host. Whenever the host has a few extra points, I will just spend a little to enjoy it for a bit.”

No wonder back then as long as there were points available, the system would be so eager to enjoy the finest goods. What a luxurious capitalistic lifestyle!

78 continued, “One point can be exchanged for ten energy. It takes a lot of energy to support the host in the world. Generally, the system will let the host finish the task as soon as possible to save points. I’m not participating in the rankings anyway. It’s enough for you to simply earn enough points to sustain yourself in each world and complete the mission without blackening the target.”

So it’s like this. The reason why her points were cleared the moment she came back to this world was not because of any penalties incurred but rather to sustain her existence.

“How much longer will I be able to last?”

78 raised its wooden hand and pinched its fingers to calculate, “I’d say about 30 years.”

You Xu could finally relax.

Contrary to her relief, she soon found out that Duan Min was the polar opposite.

It was still fine when they took afternoon naps together. However, as the days passed, it was visible to her that Duan Min’s complexion was getting worse. He wouldn’t sleep a wink at night. Whenever she saw him in the morning, his eyes were bloodshot and his lips pale. He was clearly worn out.

For a while, You Xu couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Was he unable to sleep well? Was he sick? There weren’t any audible movements at night either. So what was the problem?

Feeling distressed, she decided to arm herself with a stuffed brown bear and make her way over to his door.

Just like before, Duan Min would open the door before she even knocked.

You Xu looked up. Leaving no room for arguments, she said, “We’re sleeping together.” With that said, she was ready to barge into Duan Min’s room with her bear.

Duan Min raised his arms and scooped up the person, along with the bear, into his embrace.

You Xu: ?

Duan Min simply picked her up along with her bear and walked away steadily.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Author’s note:

To be honest, I really didn’t want to leak any spoilers for the plot. Not knowing whether the ending will be good or bad leaves you with a sense of anticipation. But seeing so many people ready to send me blades, I thought, with this many blades I could weigh them all and sell them, bringing me great fortune. (I’m just kidding.)

I want to once again express my gratitude towards the express delivery that is about to be shut down for saving the me that is about to strike it rich. (This isn’t the main point.)

Thinking of everyone's mood and emotions as they look forward to a good ending, I replied to the comments one by one, emphasising that this small world is HE (I don't know if anyone has seen it), but I felt guilty for breaking some people's expectations.

Originally, I wanted to finish writing about this world. But my writing speed per hour is too slow. I am fluctuating between 600 - 800 words per hour. I only managed to write 6,500 words in one day. I will definitely finish this world tomorrow and open the door to the new world.

Thank you everyone for your support~