Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Finch was fuming as he returned to his room, and he pulled the blanket over his head, telling himself to calm down.
If he wasn’t sure about Cesar’s attitude before, tonight, he was completely sure that Cesar had been purposely keeping him in suspense and teasing him. Maybe that arrogant, rich guy was still taking revenge on Finch for dumping him so casually at the time.
Humph, anyways, I can see through you this time!
You can scold me, but you can’t insult my charm!
Finch was still angry as he fell asleep.
The next day when he woke up, he rolled out of his bed and was about to pack his things and leave, but he remembered that he hadn’t brought anything here when he came, so there was no need to pack anything.
Thus, Finch prepared to leave. He stood in the restroom and took off his pajamas, and his gaze inadvertently landed on the wound at his waist.
It had only been a few days, but the wound was only a faint mark. Although it had originally just been a shallow skin wound, it had still healed quite quickly, so it probably wouldn’t leave a scar.
Finch touched the wound lightly, and the new skin was still tender and sensitive. After a while… his expression darkened a little.
He was suddenly a little disappointed.
He thought about when Cesar had suddenly come out of nowhere and saved him. At the time, what had been his frame of mind? Was it only the pleasant surprise of having escaped from inevitable death?
There might have been something else. Maybe Cesar only appeared because it was related to his profession, such as a ghost catcher, so maybe he would’ve saved anyone, and Finch was no exception.
But, in the end, Cesar was still his savior.
Finch had become angry because of his temptation and had been like an ungrateful bastard.
After all, Cesar had never done a disservice to him.
Finch took a deep breath and rubbed his face, thinking, Ah, I shouldn’t bring up the past. I should at least say goodbye before I leave. After all, after I leave this time, I probably won’t see him again.
He should say goodbye in person.
Cesar and Gong YaoYing were meeting in a coffee shop. Gong YaoYing was dressed in casual clothes, and the two of them looked secretive, as if they were spies. However, it was only because Cesar had been too lazy to go to their headquarters, and he didn’t want to deal with onlookers and the leaders’ greetings.
Cesar liked to do things in a simple and straightforward method.
“Regarding Wang Feng, this is pretty much it, and we need to wait for the final judgement. Wang Tao has been sent to the Youth Discipline Center, and he’ll receive education to better himself as a person…” Gong YaoYing paused and his voice slowly died away.
Cesar seemed to be wearing a ghost of a smile, but he didn’t contribute his opinion, and it was evident that he didn’t care what the outcome was.
Gong YaoYing didn’t want to continue on that topic either, so he said, “According to our data monitoring, the reports of abnormalities resulting from plane collisions have been increasing, and we’ve encountered a lot of new problems. We’ve even detected new fields that have never been active before, so Professor Yan hopes to have an information exchange with the Foundation, so…”
Cesar said dully, “I’ll arrange it. Time?”
Gong YaoYing sighed in relief, as this was the main reason for his meeting with Cesar today. “The sooner the better, so taking into account the time for the communication team to prepare… how about next Saturday?”
Cesar nodded and looked out the window, absent-minded.
Gong YaoYing looked at Cesar curiously and couldn’t help but recall how he had been with Finch at Wang Feng’s house. Later, Gong YaoYing had looked into Finch; he was a little-known actor, and his background was clean and innocent… but it was so simple he shouldn’t be able to have anything to do with Cesar.
Having things that they couldn’t find out was already indicative that there was a problem. However, Gong YaoYing’s impression of Finch was very good, and their department wasn’t like those ones that investigated things without probable cause, so naturally, he wouldn’t do anything to the law-abiding Finch. He was most curious about how Finch and Cesar met, and his gossipy side was ignited.
He was sure that Cesar only appeared there that night because of Finch…
Gong YaoYing really wanted to ask him directly, but he glanced at the side of Cesar’s cold face and realized that he couldn’t even be considered superficial friends with him, so it was probably inappropriate for him to ask something like this.
Cesar looked back and saw that Gong YaoYing looked like he wanted to say something but stopped himself, and Cesar kept feeling that he had caught some sort of disease. He smiled wanly and said, “Is there anything else?”
Gong YaoYing shook his head.
Cesar got up and left.
When he got outside, he glanced at the time and saw that it was only five in the afternoon, so the sky hadn’t completely darkened yet.
Should he go home now?
When Cesar recalled how he had spent half an hour showering with cold water last night, he pursed his lips and a hint of embarrassment appeared in his eyes. But what did it matter if he went back now? Compared to him, Finch would probably be even angrier.
This time, he had to have left.
After a while, the hint of a self-ridiculing smile appeared on Cesar’s lips, and he got into his car to drive home.
An hour later, his car stopped in front of his villa.
Cesar had barely slept last night, and he had left very early in the morning, so he decided to sleep earlier today… He pushed open the door and looked up casually, as he always did, but his body slowly stiffened.
Finch hadn’t left.
Not only hadn’t Finch left, he was sitting in the main hall, looking at Cesar with red-rimmed eyes.
Cesar was speechless. Why the hell did he feel like he had done something wrong and was caught red-handed by his wife when he returned home?
Finch had changed, and he was dressed neatly and meticulously. He had sat there waiting for Cesar to come home; after all, he came and went like a shadow, and if Finch stopped paying attention for just a moment, he would miss him. He had even decided that if Cesar didn’t come back, he would order take-out and eat right here, and he would wait all the way until Cesar returned.
After all, he couldn’t not leave just because he couldn’t see him, right?
This was evidence of his resolve to leave! He also had dignity!
Finch blinked. Because he had been staring all day, his eyes had been dry, so just then, he had used eye drops to moisturize them. The eyedrops had been cool, and they made Finch tear up. He had wiped them dry just before Cesar returned.
Cesar looked at Finch’s red eyes and seemingly accusatory gaze. Cesar’s heart inexplicably sunk, and he didn’t dare to face him for a while…
Cesar slowly clenched his right hand that was in his pocket.
After a while, Cesar said, “Let’s go for a walk.”
Finch said, “Okay.”
He got up and followed Cesar out and was behind by a few steps. His gaze landed on Cesar’s ramrod straight back made Cesar give off an indestructible yet unapproachable aura. This was the side Cesar had shown the most since they had reunited.
He really was different after two years…
It was just that before, Finch didn’t think too much about it.
As Finch looked at Cesar’s solemness… was this a confrontation? Tsk tsk, how shameful would being kicked out by him be?! Finch had to say it first!
Even though Cesar didn’t look back, he knew that Finch was looking at him.
Cesar felt that he was acting quite ridiculous; he had always disliked doing things sloppily, but this time, he hadn’t taken care of things in his usual clean and neat way. Before, Finch’s feelings for Cesar were only because of his appearance, but now, it was because of his identity… Cesar wasn’t saying that these types of feelings weren’t right, nor did he look down on them.
Whether it was appearance, money, or power, they had always been one of the factors that attracted people. People liking them couldn’t be more normal, and Cesar even felt quite thankful that at least having these things could make Finch like him.
But with only these surface-level feelings, they would always be a little superficial and weak… And superficial feelings weren’t enough for him and Finch to face more things together.
Instead of waiting for Finch to regret having entered his world, it would be better if Cesar just maintained their distance like this so they could get along but also part on good terms.
Thus, in these two years, he had never returned to look for Finch.
Not to mention… Cesar didn’t want to drag Finch into his messl like that person wanted.
Cesar pressed his lips together and finally looked behind him. “You…”
But he had just said this one word when Finch immediately interrupted him, forcing a loud laugh and saying, “What a coincidence, I also have something to say!”
Cesar was silent for a moment before saying, “You go first.”
Finch puffed out his chest. He had decided that he wouldn’t give Cesar the chance to say anything, and he began saying the words he had prepared long ago: “I wanted to tell you…”
Thunder rumbled, and heavy rain poured from the sky that had been cloudless just then…
Neither Cesar nor Finch had brought an umbrella.
Just then, who had said to go out for a walk for no reason? If he had something to say, couldn’t they have just sat in the house and said it?!
Cesar looked at Finch, whose expression had suddenly turned aggrieved and like he was about to confess something, and when he recalled Finch’s forced laugh and how he had rushed to speak first, Cesar felt like countless arrows had pierced his heart… and he was drenched by the heavy rain so that he was cold all over.
Had his behavior really crossed the line?
Just when Cesar was beginning to doubt himself and feel that he was a heinous, ruthless scum, a young man who was using his backpack to block the rain jogged towards them. When he saw them standing in the rain and silent, he froze. “You two also live around here, right? Why don’t you come to my place to shelter from the rain?”
Nothing was as urgent from sheltering from the rain, but Finch thought, Wasn’t I just going to say goodbye? I didn’t want to make it this meaningful and ceremonious.
Finch blamed the heavens for being too meddlesome, but he still said without hesitation, “Okay, thanks.”
The young man’s features were delicate and handsome, and he smiled warmly. “No problem. Come in quickly, it’s really cold outside, don’t catch a cold.”
Finch nodded and began to follow the man inside, but he turned around and saw that Cesar was still standing in the rain. He was radiating a heavy aura, his grim face was tense, and he was looking at Finch with a complicated expression. Finch couldn’t help but look a little uncertain as he said, “Come in to shelter from the rain, what are you still standing there for?”
Cesar was silent.
After saying this, Finch followed the young man and jogged into the house, using a towel the man gave him to wipe off the water from his face and feeling a little more comfortable.
Not long afterwards, Cesar strided in with calm steps and silently walked in behind him.
Rainwater rolled down his well-defined face and along his neck, landing inside his clothes, but he seemed not to feel anything. He merely took off his jacket and put it on a clothes stand nearby.
Fortunately, the heater was on in the man’s house, so it was very warm.
Naturally, Cesar wasn’t the only one to live in this villa area, and they hadn’t walked for very long. There were only a few houses separating them, and in order to have privacy, the villas were all loosely separated, and they were surrounded by a large garden.
It seemed that this young man also lived here, so he could be considered their neighbors.
The decoration style of this villa was significantly different from Cesar’s, and it appeared more lively, yet also had a refined aura. Finch could tell that the owner was a fashionable, artistic young person and had poured quite a lot of effort into the decorations, since the style was both detailed and exquisite.
As for Cesar’s… Finch could tell at once that he hadn’t cared about the decorations and furnishings; his villa was cold and didn’t feel like a home at all!
The man brought some slippers for them and smiled as he introduced himself. “I’m Qi Zhen.”
Finch knew Cesar’s cold personality, so he included him in his introduction. “I’m Finch, and he’s Cesar.”
The corners of Qi Zhen’s eyes crinkled. “Shall we go in and sit down?”
His appearance was quite remarkable, and his smile was kind and easygoing that instinctively let people feel relaxed and happy.
Naturally, Finch didn’t decline, and he pulled Cesar inside with him. If they had something to say, they could always say it later, and they were in no hurry. They walked into the main hall and heard noises from the television.
It turned out there were other people in the room.
A middle-aged couple that looked graceful and luxurious were sitting in the center of the sofa. The woman was wearing a high-end customized wool suit, and a pearl brooch was pinned at her chest. Her exquisite curls ended at her shoulders, and her appearance was maintained very well; Finch could tell at once that she was a noblewoman.
The middle-aged man’s hair was combed back, and he looked prestigious and had an extraordinary bearing. He was clearly the head of the family, and he was currently looking down, reading a newspaper.
People barely read newspapers anymore these days, so just by the fact that he was reading one, Finch felt that he wasn’t an ordinary person.
A boy and girl were sitting on the other side of the sofa, but they weren’t sitting that close to each other. They were both looking at their own phones and didn’t acknowledge the other. They probably weren’t a couple, and might not even know each other too well.
Finch reckoned that the boy was a college student, and his features were delicate, but it was just that his figure looked a little thin and he was a bit pallid.
The girl had black, long, and straight hair. Her makeup was pretty, and she dressed quite maturely, but she didn’t look that old.
Qi Zhen said, “Mom, dad, these are our neighbors, Finch and Cesar.”
Mrs. Qi smiled at them, and her voice matched her appearance; it was gentle, beautiful, and elegant, and she laughed lightly, saying, “Hello.”
Mr. Qi was a lot more insipid, and he only looked up and made a “mn” before continuing to read his newspaper.
Qi Zhen smiled. “Please don’t mind him, my dad is just like that.” Then, he continued introducing the boy and the girl on the sofa. “This is Ling Bai. He’s my best friend, and he came over today to hang out with me. This is Ding Xue, and she’s temporarily living here.” But he didn’t introduce who Ding Xue was.
Finch looked at the people in the room and compared it again with the bleakness of Cesar’s house. He was a little surprised and said, “I thought you lived alone.”
Qi Zhen grinned.
Cesar was expressionless the entire time, and the two of them sat down on the sofa. Finch looked at the weather outside and wondered when the rain would stop…
Just as Finch was pondering over this, the boy called Ling Bai that had been sitting on the sofa suddenly walked over and gave Finch a friendly smile, looking at him with a little surprise and joy.
Finch was baffled by Ling Bai’s expression and wasn’t sure what he had come over to do. He said a little hesitantly, “Hi.”
Ling Bai cleared his throat lightly, and his lips were a little pale. The roots of his fingernails were purple, and he smiled in a little embarrassment. “Um, I know you.”
Finch realized that he had a congenital heart disease while he said in puzzlement, “You know me?”
Ling Bai nodded and his dark brown eyes lit up. “I’ve seen a drama you were in.”
Finch thought, Wow! Is he really my fan?
What a coincidence.
To Finch, a fan was someone who recognized him and was nice to him, and upon facing a fan he was super nice as he said enthusiastically, “Really?”
Ling Bai nodded. “It was The Promotion of the Domineering Maid, and you played the protagonist’s servant. I think that although the role wasn’t too eye-catching, your acting is very good, ahem…” He seemed to be a little embarrassed that he had watched this drama, so he added, “The girls in my class really liked the drama at the time, so I watched a bit of it.”
Finch definitely wouldn’t laugh at him, he loved every one of his fans! Although he and Ling Bai had only met each other today, they regretted not having met sooner. Finch was super excited, as it was rare for someone to recognize him.
Finch’s eyes lit up, and he and Ling Bai began to have an enthusiastic discussion. Then, he asked Ling Bai what the girls in his class thought of him… like whether or not they had thought that Finch was a very good-looking servant…
Cesar, who was sitting to the side, watched them for three minutes and then looked away in disdain, but his chest was inexplicably a little tight.
Chatting with his fan made time fly by, the next thing he knew, half an hour had passed.
Qi Zhen suddenly walked into the hall and smiled. “The rain still hasn’t stopped, so why don’t you two eat dinner here?”
Finch ended his conversation with Ling Bai. He had originally only come to shelter from the rain, so staying for dinner was a little impolite. After all, they had just met today…
Mrs. Qi saw Finch’s hesitation and smiled warmly. “Yes, why don’t we eat together? Little Zhen lives here, so we’ll invite you two often in the future so you can look after him.”
Upon facing Mrs. Qi, Finch couldn’t help but accept. He said politely, “We’ll look after each other.”
Cesar, who was completely overwhelmed by all the noise, didn’t want to talk.
Ling Bai smiled at Finch. “I’m really happy to have met you today, and if you don’t have anything else to do, you should stay. It looks like the rain won’t stop anytime soon.”
Finch had no way of refusing his fan’s offer, so he insincerely declined it a few times before happily agreeing.
Cesar was silent.
They went to the capacious dining room, and there were already exquisite dishes placed all over the table. Qi Zhen motioned for them to sit.
A woman in her thirties walked out of the kitchen. She was wearing an apron and had on light makeup. Her features were charming, and she was a little chubby. She said respectfully to Mrs. and Mr. Qi, “Sir, ma’am, shall we start dinner?”
Mrs. Qi smiled at her. “Yes. Today we have guests, so please get an extra bowl and a pair of chopsticks for them.”
The woman began to walk back to the kitchen at once.
At this time, Ding Xue, who had been looking at her phone silently the entire time before, stood up and said, “Mom, you’ve worked for a long time. Why don’t you go sit down? I’ll help you get them.”
Finch was a little surprised; so she was Ding Xue’s mother?
Ding Rong didn’t object, and she took off her apron and sat down at the table, as well as smiled at Finch.
Mrs. Qi considerately explained to Finch, “Ding Rong is my younger cousin, and she’s Ding Xue’s mother. My health isn’t too well, so she’s come over to take care of me as well as help with things.”
Finch replied, “Oh——”
It turned out they were relatives. So that meant Ding Rong wasn’t their maid.
Ding Xue quickly brought the bowl and chopsticks, and just as everyone was about to start eating, a well-dressed young man walked down the stairs. His suit was prim and proper with not one thread out of place, and he was wearing gold-rimmed glasses. The word “elite” was practically written over his face, and he was putting away his phone as he walked over, as he seemed to have just finished making a call.
Mr. Qi said, “Sit down, we were waiting on you.”
Qi Zhen introduced him to Finch and Cesar. “This is Chen Jia. He’s a top student from Harvard, and my dad’s valued right-hand man. Brother Chen Jia, this is Finch and Cesar, our neighbors.”
Chen Jia walked over and shook their hands. His smile just right as he said, “Nice to meet you two.”
Everyone had finally arrived.
Mr. Qi was sitting at the head of the table and he announced dinner, unsmiling.
Mrs. Qi and Qi Zhen were sitting to the left of Mr. Qi, and then was Cesar and Finch.
Chen Jia was sitting on Mr. Qi’s right, and then was Ding Rong, Ding Xue, and Ling Bai.
Qi Zhen’s entire family looked extremely refined, and when they ate, they were quiet. They only occasionally talked to the people beside them, and even then they talked in whispers. Ling Bai, who was sitting across from Finch, winked playfully at him to say that they would continue chatting after dinner.
Finch responded calmly and finally remembered Cesar, who he had forgotten about. He quietly glanced at him, feeling a little guilty.
Cesar was silent and his expression was unreadable. Actually… if the rain hadn’t interrupted them, then Finch might’ve already said that he was going to leave before Cesar could.
Although they had been interrupted, after they finished this meal, he would still have to say it.
Finch looked away absent-mindedly and poked at the bottom of his bowl with his chopsticks. This period of time where they had met again and reunited… was like a dream. He would have to wake up soon and return to reality.
Although Finch was a little regretful, it seemed that this was the normal thing to do.
He even thought out of boredom that this could be considered their last meal, hahaha!
Finch looked up in confusion and saw that Mr. Qi, who was sitting at the head of the table, had suddenly fallen headfirst into the table. He was unmoving, and blood slowly dripped down the table…
I was just joking, I really didn’t curse you!!!