Translated by J.
And that’s how Xuanyuan and Dugu officially began their relationship.
However, there was just a teeny tiny little problem. As a proud, silent type1 who was not adept at expressing himself, Dugu’s relationship not only went against his lone-wolf, tough-guy character design, he had also been pressed under a gentle, bookish doctor and humped regularly. Even worse, he enjoyed it! Dugu did not really want to face that particular fact, so he was often weird and uncomfortable about it.
“Come on baby, say ‘hubby.’” One day, not long after the start of their relationship, as dusk settled in, Xuanyuan sat on a rattan chair on his second storey balcony, holding Dugu in his lap. He patiently trained his pet kitten while they watched the sunset.
Almost at break-neck speed, Dugu turned his head sharply to the right and snorted out a loud Hmph!
Laughable fool! I’m a bloodthirsty lone wolf, and lone wolves don’t have…whatchamacallit…‘h-hubbies’…
Xuanyuan did not seem concerned at all. Smiling as he continued his coaxing, “Then say ‘I love you’. I say it to you several times a day, how about you say it back to me once in a while?”
Dugu turned his head sharply to the left with the same speed as earlier, “Hmph!”
Mushy talk flowed out of his mouth quite naturally when Dugu was the dom. However, now that he was the sub, it felt embarrassing to the extreme.
Xuanyuan continued his compromise, “Then how about ‘I really like you?’”
Dugu opened his mouth, but the words were stuck in his throat.
Xuanyuan patiently persuaded, “I’ll settle for ‘Xuanyuan, you’re the best’, how about it?”
Turning his head, Dugu glanced at Xuanyuan, he blinked, then suddenly jumped out of Xuayuan’s lap without saying a word. Pushing on the balcony railing with one hand, his lithe legs stepped over the railing, followed by his entire body as he jumped off the balcony and vanished without a trace.
Xuanyuan smiled as he shook his head, then finished the last sip of red wine from the glass on the round glass table.
Now that the sun had completely set below the horizon, the moonflowers in the garden began to bloom. Shaped like full moons, they revealed their soft, snowy white faces and filled the entire garden with their distinct fruity fragrance. Following the winding staircase from the balcony down to the garden, Xuanyuan picked a few moonflower blossoms and held them in his hand.
Xuanyuan was not sure why, but he felt that the moonflower and Dugu were alike in their character. Both were pale white, with a sense of biting chill in their solitude; and both were the moon’s companions after sunset. They seemed cold and distant on the outside, but like the wings of a butterfly, felt soft and fragile to the touch.
Xuanyuan stood alone in the quiet garden holding the moonflowers in his hand, his shadow looking somewhat lonely in the twilight…
While Xuanyuan was lost in his thoughts, a cool gust of wind suddenly blew in from behind him, and a voice appeared as if it had fallen out of the sky. Meanwhile, a hand that was slightly cool to the touch reached out from behind and held onto the tips of Xuanyuan’s fingers as Dugu’s frosty voice brushed across his ear, “Don’t move, don’t talk and don’t turn around.”
Xuanyuan obeyed without question and stood still like a clay statue.
After a silent pause, Dugu repeated in a soft voice the words Xuanyuan had wanted him to say ten minutes ago, “Xuanyuan, you’re the best.”
Dugu, “I really like you.”
Dugu, “I love you.”
In a single breath, Dugu said everything that Xuanyuan had wanted him to say.
Overcome with joy, Xuanyuan was so moved that he had forgotten about Dugu’s earlier request for him to stay still and hastily turned around to hold Dugu in his arms.
“I told you not to turn around!” Dugu was furious. In a flash, his fingers jabbed Xuanyuan’s pressure points with two dull thuds.
That’s right, as a card-carrying former assassin, pressure point attacks from the likes of the Sunflower Manual2 were mere child’s play for him.
Once his husband was properly paralysed, the bashful Dugu turned to run away. He followed the villa’s outer wall and quickly climbed back into his bedroom, leaving Xuanyuan standing foolishly back in the garden like a real clay statue as food for the mosquitoes.
The price of hearing Dugu say ‘hubby’ was truly colossal. However, Doctor Xuanyuan indicated that it was a price he was willing to pay.
Without warning, the proud little kitten jumped into the vet’s lap and licked his face while it sweetly meowed. But just as the flabbergasted vet turned to embrace the kitten in his arms, the kitten turned to run away, kicking its hind legs, left two plum-blossom shaped paw prints on the vet’s face as it ran back to the cat house at lightning speed!
After that night, Xuanyuan reduced the dosage of Dugu’s medicine further. After taking the medicine for another month, Dugu’s body temperature was within normal range even without the medicine. Both his body and heart had thoroughly defrosted, and his hypothermia permanently cured.
So, whether the devious Doctor Xuanyuan had intentionally overdosed Dugu’s medicine that first night remained an unsolved mystery…
Once Dugu was cured from hypothermia, Xuanyuan focused his attention on Dugu’s missing sensations.
Dugu had told Xuanyuan that he could neither laugh nor feel pain because the parts of his brain that controlled the relevant perceptions and emotions had been removed when he was a child. He did not feel pain even when he was injured and could only sense the side effects brought on by his injuries, like weak muscles, chills and dizziness from the loss of blood.
As for laughter, Dugu could consciously move his facial muscles to look like he was laughing. He could even form expressions such as sneers, smirks and smiles under the appropriate context. However, he could not comprehend the type of humour that would make people laugh out loud, and neither could he express the type of heartfelt joy that came from within.
Xuanyuan decided to restore his pet kitten’s lost sensations.
Naturally, Dugu was full of curiosity and anticipation when it came to laughter, but he was not so keen to regain his pain perception.
“Isn’t it a good thing that I don’t feel any pain?” Dugu felt puzzled.
“No.” Xuanyuan replied resolutely, “Being able to feel pain is not a bad thing, it’s an important self-defence mechanism for the human body. If you can’t feel pain, then you won’t be able to sense many illnesses your body may develop. You may also delay treating your injuries because you don’t realise that you’ve been injured…so not having pain perception is actually quite dangerous.”
The Assassins’ Guild did not plan so far ahead for its assassins.
Dugu nodded before replying in a low voice, “Okay, I’ll try it your way.”
The small kitten wholeheartedly trusted the vet!
Seeing Dugu agree to his suggestion, Xuanyuan continued, “I have a former classmate who’s now the number one surgeon in the world. He’s part of the Emergency Medical Task Force at the main Huangfu residence and spends most of his time there in service of the Huangfu family. I called him a couple of days ago to consult him about your condition.”
That’s right, Xuanyuan’s former classmate was named Yuchi, he was the same surgeon who treated the burns on the chief executive’s arm at the wedding. Since it was his character design to make mountains out of molehills, a tiny little burn took him a whole hour to treat, and by the same token, open brain surgery might just take him a whole year.
Xuanyuan repeated his conversation with Yuchi to Dugu, “Yuchi said he can use the latest cutting-edge bioartificial technology to extract cells from your body, and using the genetic information stored in these cells, he can synthesise large quantities of neurons, glial cells and nerve fibre that are compatible with your body. Then after re-organising these cells and tissues, he can perform surgery to restore your lost sensations by recreating the appropriate neurotransmission systems and synaptic pathways in your brain.”
In layman’s terms, it meant that he could mould a large new chunk of Dugu’s brain and stick it back inside his head. It was clearly another bunch of righteous nonsense… However, since Yuchi was designated as the number one surgeon in the world, he definitely had the ability to cure Dugu.
Despite not understanding a word Xuanyuan had said just now, Dugu thought his husband sounded really impressive, so he replied without hesitation, “Okay, I’ll have the surgery.”
Hearing Dugu’s quick reply, Xuanyuan breathed a sigh of relief. Then he mentioned after a brief pause, “Yuchi may be the best surgeon in the world, but there’s a small problem.”
Xuanyuan rubbed the furrow of his brow, sounding slightly worried, “His operations are usually an ostentatious affair, you should be mentally prepared.”
Dugu had no idea what that meant, so he shrugged his shoulders, indicating he did not care.
Both Xuanyuan and Dugu clearly recalled that it was a very cold day when Dugu began his operation. A thick snow had fallen during the night and covered Xuanyuan’s small garden in a soft white blanket. Before his operation, Xuanyuan had accompanied Dugu downstairs to admire the wintry scene.
Once the preparations had been completed, Dugu was rolled into Doctor Yuchi’s top-of-its-class operating theatre that was built on one hectare3 of land.
Since an entire medical team was deployed to treat a minor burn, a large operation like open brain surgery required even more medical assistants. The room was buzzing with activity as a large crowd gathered in Doctor Yuchi’s operating theatre that day. Thousands of doctors, nurses and anaesthesiologists huddled around Doctor Yuchi, ready to assist him at a moment’s notice.
No one seemed to be concerned with bacterial infection… Perhaps such plebeian terms did not exist in the Mary Sue world.
Dugu fell into a deep slumber under the effects of anaesthetics.
“Scalpel.” Doctor Yuchi extended his hand.
As the days went by and the winter snow melted, new grasses grew, song birds chirped and everything awakened from their slumber with the arrival of spring. It was mating season once again when Dugu finally emerged from Doctor Yuchi’s ostentatious operating room…
Even the hair that was shaved off for his operation had grown back.
Xuanyuan, who almost turned into a stone statue4 waiting for him in front of the operating room, trembled as he held Dugu’s hand to his lips and pressed a featherlight kiss to it.
“I’ve missed you so much.” Xuanyuan exclaimed affectionately, “I haven’t seen you in over three months.”
“Me too.” Dugu revealed a smile, it was a genuine, heartfelt smile. Like a dewdrop that traversed every tiny vein on a flower petal, Dugu’s smile rippled over his face, immersing the corner of his eyes, shaping them into a gentle curve. Then the smile slowly flowed into his eyes, making them shine with a soft lustre. It was a genuine, bona fide smile, Dugu no longer smiled for the sake of smiling.
“I dreamt of you every day. I had a hundred dreams with you in each and every one.” Dugu whispered.
Xuanyuan’s reflection appeared in Dugu’s gentle eyes, which were as warm as a river thawed by the spring in March. At that, they held each other in a tight embrace. An embrace so tight and firm, it was unshakable.
As thousands of doctors, nurses and anaesthesiologists exited from the best operating theatre in the world, an endless applause filled the hospital’s corridors.
- The original text said tsundere
- Reference to a powerful martial arts manual from a famous Wuxia novel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongfang_Bubai
- ~2.5 acres
- See footnote from Chapter 30 on stone statues