Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Jian Nian woke up when the sun had already set. The house had the lights turned on, Jian Nian looked at the time, it was six o’clock in the evening. Jian Nian rubbed his eyes and sat up from the sofa, the blanket on his body slipping off. He felt relaxed for the first time in a long time, and the sleep he had just had was very comfortable.
Jian Nian picked up the blanket from the floor, then he turned his head to look over. Shen Si came out of the kitchen, carrying a plate of dumplings. He put the dumplings on the table, next to a pair of chopsticks.
“Frozen dumplings, there’s no other food at home, let’s just eat.” Shen Si pushed the chopsticks to him, then got up and walked to the balcony. On the balcony, the green plants were put back, Jian Nian watched Shen Si move the plants that had just been moved back and forth in position, his dark eyes were serious.
He must be very invested in this moment, after all, he loved plants so much.
Picking up chopsticks, Jian Nian grabbed a dumpling. The dumplings were warm, but no longer hot, and their taste wasn’t very good. They were only ordinary supermarket bought frozen dumplings after all, so it would’ve been amazing had they been delicious. Jian Nian finished this plate of dumplings nonetheless.
His appetite for food wasn’t that strong, and he wasn’t picky about food, as long as he could eat, he was fine. Aside from the desire to see Shen Si, he could muddle through everything.
When Shen Si came back from the balcony, all he saw was that the plate that had been emptied and Jian Nian who was sitting on the couch was watching him the whole time. He reached out and took Jian Nian’s wrist, and a warm sensation came from his hand. During the sleep just now, Jian Nian’s body gradually warmed up and was now as warm as a human should be.
“Shen Si?” Jian Nian looked at Shen Si’s hand, “What are you doing?”
Shen Si let go of his hand, “Do you feel something wrong with your body?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Jian Nian looked at his hand, “The only disease in my body is heart disease, but you already know about that.”
“Temperature.” Shen Si looked at Jian Nian, “Are you cold?”
Jian Nian looked at Shen Si strangely, and after a moment he shook his head, “No, I’m not cold.”
“Don’t you think it’s strange? That you don’t feel the cold?”
Jian Nian didn’t answer, but his expression and eyes told Shen Si that he didn’t think that there was anything strange about it. Whether it was wearing a white shirt with a thin windbreaker in a weather of more than ten degrees below zero, or standing casually on the outdoor balcony in the cold wind at night, it was normal for him.
Looking at Jian Nian’s slightly puzzled expression, Shen Si walked into the kitchen. He took out a glass and boiled hot water, bringing it to the living room table. Shen Si poured some hot water in front of Jian Nian, then pushed the glass towards him.
“Pick it up and try it.”
There was no rebuttal or refusal, Jian Nian picked up the glass filled with water, his hands were steady, too steady in fact.
Shen Si looked at him, “Is it hot?”
Staring at the glass in his hand, Jian Nian shook his head, “No, it’s not hot.”
Jian Nian put down the glass, and Shen Si went behind him, picking it up. At first his fingers couldn’t feel it, but after about three seconds, a hot burning sensation rushed into his hand, and the burning pain made Shen Si subconsciously put the glass back on the table.
“Shen Si?” Jian Nian stood up, “Are you okay?”
Shen Si glanced at his finger, then looked at Jian Nian, “Do you feel this is hot now?”
“…It seems to be hot.” Jian Nian wasn’t very sure of what to say, he did say that it wasn’t cold, and although he didn’t feel that it was hot either, after seeing Shen Si’s subconscious move to withdraw his hand, he suddenly realized that maybe this cup of water was, in fact, hot.
Shen Si closed his eyes, “Have you ever been in a playfield dealing with temperature?”
“I can’t think of anything if you put it like that, I don’t remember much either..” Jian Nian looked at the water on the table, “Is that cup really hot? I didn’t feel it, I just thought it was just ordinary warm water.”
Shen Si looked at him and after a moment he leaned back in his chair with a little concern in his eyes, “What is your memory of winter like?”
Winter…? Jian Nian began to recall.
His childhood was unimaginably difficult. He was born with a heart condition that made him weak and sickly, and he would mostly lie at home in the cold season because he was weak, but he wasn’t taken care of at home. After all, those parents had to work hard to raise their young son, so Jian Nian had to lie alone in an empty room. Occasionally he looked out the window while lying on the windowsill and drew two crying faces on the window with his fingers.
The winter was very cold, and his fingers on the window were cold, stiff like wood, and sometimes sore, so… winter was very cold, right?
Jian Nian raised his hand to look at his fingers, and after a moment he glanced out the window. Unlike the good weather during the day, a gale was blowing tonight, and the cold wind howled as if it was a ghostly cry, so one couldn’t help but shiver at the sound.
However, he didn’t feel cold.
“Something doesn’t add up.” Jian Nian put down his hand, “I don’t seem to have a concept of winter being cold and boiling hot water being hot in my memory, or rather, it was blurred out.”
So, he didn’t notice anything wrong at all.
Shen Si looked at him, black eyes full of concentration, after Shen Si came back from that place his attitude took somewhat of a turn. For example, now, he was able to look at Jian Nian very quietly, without any icy feeling in his eyes, as if he was looking at someone in a normal way, without any displeasure.
“Let’s go next door and ask.” Shen Si tugged Jian Nian’s hand, he pulled him out of the room while he wasn’t reacting. Jian Nian just watched him push open the door and go next door to ring the doorbell of Bai JunYi’s house.
A few seconds after ringing the doorbell, the door was opened and Bai JunYi, in his daily clothes, looked at Shen Si and Jian Nian. He blinked with a little confusion in his eyes, “Shen Si and Mr. Jian?”
“I have something I want to ask Mr. Bai.” Shen Si spoke, “Can we come in?”
“Of course you can, come in. I don’t have anything to entertain you at home.” Bai JunYi opened the door with a smile and invited them in, and when he met Jian Nian’s eyes, Jian Nian nodded at him in greeting, but Bai JunYi was startled.
When did Jian Nian become so polite?
“So, there’s something wrong with Jian Nian’s body? His perception of temperature is wrong and his own perception of temperature has been blurred out?” Bai JunYi was startled for a moment.
“Mn, that seems to be the case.” Shen Si nodded, “Can’t feel cold nor heat at all, Jian Nian seems to be missing these things.”
Bai JunYi frowned slightly, he put his hand on his chin, his eyes shining with complexity.
“This matter, have you talked to the Special Unit?”
“Not yet, I think this was probably caused by a playfield. Before looking for the Special Unit, I wanted to come to ask you first.”
Bai JunYi thought about it, “…About that. I don’t know of any playfield that has to do with temperature. To be honest, most of the playfields I’ve experienced are pretty routine, never one with special rules like the Dream kind, but, contrary to me, Jian Nian’s luck is somehow very scary. “
Shen Si looked at Bai JunYi, then turned his head to look at Jian Nian, who smiled a little towards Shen Si, only this smile looked with a hint of gloom.
“My luck is really not good, I can encounter those strange playfields every time, and my teammates were each weirder than the last.” Jian Nian sneered, “Of the three S-Rank Survivors, Bai JunYi was the most senior and I was the strongest because those guys were always able to make it harder for me outside the playfields.”
“There have been many who have gone into playfields with Jian Nian. In the end, the only one who came out was Jian Nian.” Bai JunYi made a summary, “It may be that in one of these playfields, Jian Nian’s temperature perception has changed.”
“In other words, only Jian Nian himself knows which playfield it is?”
Bai JunYi nodded, “But since even his perception has changed, maybe the playfield will also fade its existence from Jian Nian’s mind.”
But honestly, it was really amazing that a playfield could affect an S-Rank Survivor to this extent, and it was something Bai JunYi would’ve never thought of. Could it be one of those advanced playfields that were legendary? If that was really the case, would that playfield also appear and then disappeared at random?
“A playfield that will erase its own existence?” muttered Shen Si.
“But I still suggest you look for the Special Unit for information, they have a more complete database, maybe you can find out a little more about it.” Bai JunYi advised.
Bai JunYi said goodbye, and Shen Si and Jian Nian returned home. The glass was still on the table, but the water inside had turned cold. Jian Nian grabbed the water, staring at it and didn’t know what to think.
“It actually doesn’t matter whether it’s cold or hot, if there’s only a problem with the temperature perception, there is no need to worry much.” Jian Nian spoke in a small voice, “It’s not something life-threatening.”
“Because it’s not life-threatening, it doesn’t matter?” Shen Si looked at him, “No, as long as it’s something you own, then don’t lose any of it.”
“But I don’t quite understand, Shen Si,” Jian Nian put the glass of water back on the table, “You don’t seem to have a reason to think so much about me, and we’re no longer in a relationship.”
Shen Si’s steps stopped, then turned his head to look at Jian Nian, who was standing in front of the table, his eyes locked on the glass of water, the constant sway of the cold water reflecting in his eyes, looking very unstable on his feet. He was happy for Shen Si’s closeness now, and worried about whether this was just a subconscious move from him.
Many times, loss wasn’t the most terrible thing, but having something before it’s gone.
“Can I care about you only if I’m in a relationship with you as a lover?” Shen Si looked at him, “Even though we’re not lovers anymore, you’re still the only friend I’ve had since I was a kid.”
“…Just a friend?”
“Maybe it can be more than ‘just friends’ later.” Shen Si smiled a little, “Now let’s determine exactly what playfield took your temperature perception away.” Shen Si said, “Let’s go take it back.”