A quick note from Addis: To celebrate my birthday today, I am celebrating for all of our readers by releasing this short novel. It’s seven parts total with different stories for each chapter. They do start out short, then get longer and longer. Hopefully, you guys like these! 1 to 4 will release today, 5 tomorrow, 6 Sunday, and 7 Monday.
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The old housekeeper told Qiao Zhuo, “You shouldn’t have brought Mr. Ouyang back. He will hurt you. Don’t keep him here.”
But Qiao Zhuo didn’t care. In fact, he has always been a man who listened to people’s advice and was also reasonable, but in this matter, he decided to be stubborn.
Before closing the bedroom door gently, he stood and watched for a while. It was midday now, and the shading curtains made the room as dark as midnight. Under the duvet on the bed, Ouyang Chang was asleep.
Ouyang Chang and Qiao Zhuo used to be classmates and hadn’t been together since high school. Qiao Zhuo went abroad to study and later took part in the family business. However, Ouyang Chang went to an ordinary high school and university, and he didn’t meet Qiao Zhuo again until he began to look for a company internship in the first half of his senior year.
But this time, they weren’t classmates or colleagues… This time, Qiao Zhuo was one of the major shareholders of the company Ouyang Chang was applying for. If they hadn’t happened to meet by chance in the elevator, they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet again.
Meeting Ouyang Chang in this situation, Qiao Zhuo was very happy. At one time they had always taken turns being first and second in their class and even grade. Of course, those things don’t seem worth mentioning now, but when Qiao Zhuo, who was a shareholder, saw his old classmate who was a job seeker, he admitted that there was a slightly twisted pleasure in his heart.
After staying in the company, Ouyang Chang often met Qiao Zhuo in the staff dining area in the building every day.
Qiao Zhuo would deliberately go there, thinking he could get a surprise look. But he didn’t. Ouyang Chang didn’t ask him “Why do you come to such a place to eat?”, let alone borrow the opportunity to approach. This ordinary employee with thick glasses just pointed to a counter while eating noodles and told him that the food there was bad to eat, so he shouldn’t buy it. Then he continued to eat with his head down.
Ouyang Chang was no longer the starry-eyed youngster like in the past. Now he was very ordinary and couldn’t find a shred of sharpness on his body. He dressed plainly, was ordinary in shape, was never late, and worked overtime every day. His glasses lenses were made of resin. Although they couldn’t be broken, they were covered with scratches.
However, somehow, Qiao Zhuo would run to talk to Ouyang Chang every day, sometimes during lunch break, sometimes even blocking him from going in to work. The young shareholder’s behavior caused a lot of discussion in the company, because, by definition, there was no need for him to contact a technician, let alone specifically during his break time.
Qiao Zhuo gradually felt frustrated. He found that he couldn’t attract Ouyang Chang’s attention. The man wasn’t cold, but he was by no means enthusiastic either. He seemed disinterested in everything, just as he was when he was a child.
Qiao Zhuo wasn’t used to this. He was very young, so he was more or less vain. Finding that he couldn’t wait to be revered, he began to change his ways.
He began to show friendship more actively, such as inviting Ouyang Chang to eat in a better place, or picking him up personally by car when he left work… A few months later, Qiao Zhuo painfully found that his approach was understood as the behavior of some girls: he had to pull a green leaf to be a good friend, and then he was a flower shining in all directions or something. He felt that wasn’t what he wanted.
He tried to bring Ouyang Chang into his own life, but was never able to succeed. Ouyang Chang often worked overtime and seemed to have no complaints. On his rare rest days, he was certain that he wouldn’t go anywhere, except home.
About six months after the reunion, one day before Christmas, Ouyang Chang unexpectedly hung up Qiao Zhuo’s phone call in rage.
No one has ever dared to do this to Qiao Zhuo. He was tempted to call back, but he finally suppressed this petty impulse.
When the company held its annual meeting, Qiao Zhuo also went. After drinking some wine, he dragged Ouyang Chang to the empty stairwell, threw away his glasses and pressed him on the wall to kiss him fiercely.
When their lips parted, Ouyang Chang narrowed his eyes with severe myopia, stabilized his breath and asked, “What are… you doing?”
“You know it yourself.” Qiao Zhuo was still holding on to the other’s collar. In the unheated stairwell, the slightly cold air made him sober up a little. Although his mind was clearer, the alcohol didn’t wear off quickly, which led to his slightly over the top emotional fluctuation.
Ouyang Chang didn’t give him an answer. To this day, Qiao Zhuo wasn’t sure whether he really didn’t know or did not bother to pay attention.
Qiao Zhuo didn’t give the other man more time. This young entrepreneur, successor of a multinational company, investor… did something impulsive, like a young man——
Within a few months, he took advantage of his power to get Ouyang Chang leave his job, complete his documents, while also deceiving his parents. Just after the first month of the Spring Festival, he deceived Ouyang Chang and dragged him on a plane.
Ouyang Chang had stayed up all night before. He was tricked to open the door by someone pretending to be a courier when he got up in the morning. Then he was pulled out by a group of men in suits. Confused, he listened to a bunch of unclear but nonetheless compelling reasons, and while still bewildered, was crammed into the car and on the plane. For a while, Ouyang Chang thought that his old classmate had mixed up with gangsters abroad.
Several hours after takeoff, Qiao Zhuo didn’t dare to stare at Ouyang. He was afraid to see resentment and doubt in the other’s eyes. When he finally made up his mind to look at Ouyang in a more domineering manner, he found that the young man wearing glasses looked like he was in a trance, and there was something in his eyes… regret.
Qiao Zhuo wanted to ask, but ultimately didn’t speak. He decided that since he became a bad man in accordance with his impulse, he would simply be the villain. It wasn’t easy to have a heart-to-heart conversation in the middle of the process and it was embarrassing.
When Ouyang Chang fell asleep, Qiao Zhuo secretly gave him a kiss and secretly cursed at himself for being a coward. And, his imagination ended there, and now he didn’t know what to do next.
Before the plane landed, Ouyang Chang woke up. When he listened to the strange language on the radio and saw Qiao Zhuo with a gloomy face, he seemed to realize something.
“Ah, it’s like webnovels.” He said blankly.
“What?” Qiao Zhuo didn’t understand for a moment.
“Online literature, such as Lei Shuang Chinese literature station and such,” Ouyang Chang probably thought of something interesting, and he said with a smile, “For example, in many novels, a rich president forcibly takes away the stupid college student who he can’t make up his mind about, and locks him up in a big villa like in those abusive porn stories…”
“I’m not the president… And, what kind of stuff are you usually reading?”
“Actually, I don’t. I have colleagues in the office who do. I only play games.” After saying that, Ouyang Chang turned his face to the side again.
However, this conversation on the plane gave Qiao Zhuo some inspiration: how to make this very handsome beginning continue.
In addition to arranging immigration and going to his residence, he secretly used his mobile phone to swipe through domestic websites to look for articles on the subject. Those things weren’t difficult, and they did have a little bit of appeal. Qiao Zhuo found that learning to be a “cold-blooded, tough way to coerce people into submission, but also very doting on the details of life” should be a very satisfying thing.
So he decided to do it.
He arranged Ouyang Chang in a villa in the suburb, and the city had several enterprises of his family company in this country. The villa was in good condition with private gardens and pastures. Ouyang Chang was unfamiliar with this place, his spoken language wasn’t good, and he was always quiet and shy. It would be really hard to escape.
Qiao Zhuo threw Ouyang Chang on the sofa in the room, then leaned over to support the back of the sofa with both hands and encircled him – this posture was learned from the internet. He then asked, “How is it, satisfied? In the future, this will be your home. The facilities here are perfect and can meet all your requirements… Except that you can’t leave.”
“Good,” Unexpectedly, Ouyang Chang didn’t even use a second to immediately agree. “You can buy things from ebay here, right? Also, is the network stable?”
Qiao Zhuo nodded in a daze. Of course, he would also live here.
Dwelling on these small issues would tarnish his cold and stern image. He immediately dragged Ouyang Chang out to introduce the housekeeper and some domestic helpers to him.
The housekeeper was an old man of mixed blood. He spoke Chinese well and had a good temper. But it was the old man who, when he finally came back three days after Qiao Zhuo left the villa, said painfully to his young employer: “You shouldn’t have brought Mr. Ouyang back. He will hurt you. Don’t keep him here.”
Qiao Zhuo didn’t quite understand. But he immediately thought that there were similar passages in the articles he had read! Qiao Zhuo felt that being opposed by the housekeeper or even his own family should be a sure way to go. What’s more, what harm could a thin, dull guy like Ouyang Chang do?
When he walked into Ouyang Chang’s room, the man was playing games on a large HD monitor, a certain game on a PS3. Qiao Zhuo occasionally played these things, but he didn’t know what Ouyang Chang was playing now.
“I haven’t come to see you for many days, lonely?” Qiao Zhuo wanted to say this line for a long time, and finally got the chance to say it.
“It’s okay.” Ouyang Chang replied very briefly.
“Did you get used to the bed?”
“I hope you didn’t try to do something stupid… Like trying to escape?”
“What do you do when I’m away?”
“Swipe pushing, fight at night, three princesses in the afternoon.”
Ouyang Chang looked very impatient, then pointed at the PS3 with his chin.
Once again, Qiao Zhuo felt frustrated. His prepared lines were almost finished, but they didn’t receive the expected effect.
So he decided to give the benefit of the doubt and utter another line, “My patience is limited. Look at me!”
Ouyang Chang responded with great cooperation, “Oh, okay, I’m sorry. Wait for me to save.”
Then he really saved the game and turned to look at Qiao Zhuo honestly and seriously.
Qiao Zhuo instantly forgot what he was going to ask. He was stunned for a long time and said dryly, “I… I haven’t seen this game before. “
“Top downloadable game on PSN.”
“What do you usually use it for?” Ouyang constantly pushed his glasses and looked at Qiao Zhuo in disbelief.
“Just play whatever you like…” No, said Qiao Zhuo in his heart, I’m not here to ask about this. His well-brewed thoughts were interrupted, and now he couldn’t pick up the act for a while. “Are you homesick?” He had to ask casually.
“I’ve only been out for three days. Why would I miss home? By the way, the network speed here is really good. Last night, I even had the national service, which was much better than our home broadband…”
Once again, a strong black sense of frustration rose in Qiao Zhuo’s heart. It was nothing like the development he was expecting.
What he originally thought was: take advantage of the panic and maladjustment of the other party’s new arrival, so he could show his maturity and control, then refuse his request about going home, and take this opportunity to express his feelings…
However, in front of Ouyang Chang, whose face clearly had “satisfaction” written on it, Qiao Zhuo’s script failed completely.
“I’ll take the call, wait for me.” Qiao Zhuo picked up his cell phone and went out. In fact, there was no call at all. He was going to recite his lines in an emergency.
When he came back, he sorted out his expression and mentality and sat in front of Ouyang Chang, “Tell me, why did you hang up the call that day?”
This was the idea he just came up with: threaten with a small mistake, steal the concept, say everything is the other party’s fault, and then take the opportunity to tell him the reason for grounding and punishment!
Ouyang Chang thought for a while, and finally recalled the day before Christmas.
“Oh, well, I’m sorry. I was quite rude. But I really didn’t have time. Who did you go to dinner with afterwards?”
“I’m questioning you now. You only need to give the answer, and you have no right to ask me questions.” After saying that, Qiao Zhuo cheered for himself silently in his heart: this sentence was so damn handsome!
Ouyang Chang lowered his face and sighed deeply, “I’m sorry. I’m responsible for a guild.”
“You don’t understand… Have you ever been a commander?”
“I almost died while talking to you on the phone!”
After that day, Qiao Zhuo finally realized that the play he had prepared for himself was wrong.
In those online novels he read, there’d often be a powerful person who abducted a kind-hearted but weak person, prevented him from escaping, kept him from contacting his family, and prevented him from going out to see others. Once he disobeyed orders, he would be punished.
Qiao Zhuo has seen a variety of punishments, the simplest direct slap, more complex slap and then pushed to bed, which would also use the world’s worst things to assist… But he thought this wasn’t possible. He couldn’t even do the simplest beating. When he was a child, he was beaten and cried by a girl. He couldn’t do this.
And even if it was a bluff, he didn’t have a chance to use it. Not only in the first three days, but also after that, Ouyang Chang didn’t run away, pester or quarrel. Apart from getting up a little late every day, there was nothing too harsh.
When he asked if he liked the place, he said he liked it. He asked him if he was used to eating and living here. He said that it was good. Qiao Zhuo even had a slip of the tongue once and asked directly, “Why don’t you run away?” As a result, Ouyang Chang actually replied, “How can I have that time?!”
Qiao Zhuo found that he was trying in the wrong direction, so he decided to change the starting point in time. He typed “people who are addicted to games…” on the search engine… And to his surprise, there were very many people with such troubles.
He thought about Ouyang Chang’s symptoms in comparison to other people’s experiences and symptoms. He felt that Ouyang Chang’s symptoms were very mild. But as long as there is really serious business, or planned to go with him somewhere in advance, he would not be delayed because of playing games. Recalling the same thing in the past at the company, he didn’t even see that Ouyang often had a playful side.
However, this didn’t make Qiao Zhuo feel happy, on the contrary, he was more depressed. If Ouyang Chang was an Internet addict, it meant that no one could get close to him. However, it seemed that he wasn’t, so it only meant that he couldn’t get close to him.
Therefore, Qiao Zhuo made a difficult decision. He decided that if he wanted to get closer to Ouyang Chang and understand him better, he would start from playing games with him.
Ouyang Chang was a good guide, he wasn’t a novice, didn’t pretend to be superior, was very patient, and would slowly go according to Qiao Zhuo’s preferences to help him choose the right game.
Every day, Qiao Zhuo went out in the daytime to deal with serious affairs. When he came back at night, he closed the door of his bedroom, pulled off his tie in a very handsome motion, smiled evilly, and rushed in to play games with Ouyang Chang.
Qiao Zhuo was so addicted that he often forgot the time. On the contrary, Ouyang Chang was responsible for reminding him of his bedtime every day. When Qiao Zhuo reluctantly quit the game, Ouyang Chang often said to him firmly: I will help you fight later.
During the day, Qiao Zhuo still had to go out. When he got up to wash, he often saw Ouyang Chang sleeping soundly. Qiao Zhuo had done several stupid things like secretly kissing him, and he thought that no one would see it anyway, so he treat it as if it never appeared.
But gradually, when Qiao Zhuo went from web games, to online games, handheld consoles, then TV consoles… The old housekeeper finally couldn’t stand it. He talked to Qiao Zhuo for a long time as a relative and elder.
He said that Qiao Zhuo seemed to be getting worse and worse mentally. He had to work in the daytime and accompany Ouyang Chang in the evening. He gradually spent more time in the bedroom than in the study and office. The old man said earnestly that Mr. Ouyang has his own way of life and he shouldn’t have let him live in such a small space. It would destroy him and you at the same time.
Qiao Zhuo wasn’t sure whether the old housekeeper was talking about the game addiction or misunderstood the things in the bedroom for something else. But Qiao Zhuo knew he was right. His energy was getting worse and worse, and his work efficiency was getting lower and lower. When he calmed down to think carefully, Qiao Zhuo suddenly found that he had even forgotten the purpose of bringing Ouyang Chang here.
He shuffled back to his bedroom, but he saw a scene that surprised him – Ouyang Chang was actually packing his bags!
A feeling of indistinguishable sadness and joy rose in his heart. Qiao Zhuo rushed over and snatched what Ouyang Chang had in his hand, “Where are you going?”
“Preparing to return home. My visa is about to expire.” Ouyang Chang answered him calmly as usual.
Qiao Zhuo thought he had really waited for an opportunity to domineeringly stop him, but his fantasy was shattered immediately! No matter how aggressive he was, he couldn’t do anything about the visa…
At the same time, he also had some remorse, for he had done such unconventional things in the heat of the moment, and as a result, nothing could get on the right track.
“I thought you were going to find a way to renew it for me, but it turns out you didn’t mean to bring it up, either.” Ouyang Chang added.
Qiao Zhuo was stunned and cursed himself in his heart that he couldn’t be any more stupid. He completely forgot about it.
“No, don’t leave,” he blurted out. “I’ll help you think of something.”
“Oh, good.” So Ouyang Chang really stopped packing and sat down to stare wide-eyed at Qiao Zhuo.
Qiao Zhuo was a little embarrassed. Now he regretted that, in addition to his schoolwork, he learned business and investment with his parents, instead of falling in love several times. He heard that early love is early practice on how to love. If you prepare early, you wouldn’t be so stupid now.
Staring at Ouyang Chang’s obviously nerdy face, he suddenly thought that if he was awkward, Ouyang Chang wouldn’t be much better.
So Qiao Zhuo gathered up his courage and said slowly, “Do you know why I brought you here?”
“Same sex marriage is allowed here?” The nerd replied.
Qiao Zhuo almost choked by the saliva he swallowed and coughed for a long time before he recovered. Ouyang Chang tilted his head and asked, “Ah? It’s not? If not, why would you kiss me at the annual meeting? In fact, I wondered why you brought me here. I thought maybe it was to get me to a foreign company, or that the company had branches abroad. But it seems not. After coming here, you are very busy, but I have a lot of time to play games. It seems that you don’t mention multinational companies. I suddenly thought of the day of the annual meeting, and well… That’s when it dawned on me.”
Qiao Zhuo still didn’t recover from the shock, “You… You’re not angry?”
“If I was angry, why would I come with you?”
“I thought it was because… You couldn’t run away…”
“Have I tried running? You’ve read too many strange novels.”
“How do you know what I’ve been reading?”
“When I help you type things, I don’t use your computer directly, but your web page history…”
Obviously this was a great opportunity now! Many of the plots that Qiao Zhuo had seen in his mind were fleeting. For example, if he wanted to escape, he could capture him back; if he didn’t obey, he could slap him; if he wanted to resist, he could do something shameless; if he peeked at his computer history, he could take the opportunity to punish him… However, something was wrong! Those web pages have already exposed his heart! So what should he do next, play games with him again and pretend nothing happened? That obviously won’t work…
Qiao Zhuo straightened up his back and decided to let nature take its course. He broke the pot and said, “Anyway, you’re not allowed to leave if you’re here! I’ll take care of other things for you!”
“Okay, you handle it. Then I won’t leave for the time being?”
“You can’t leave afterwards either!”
“That I can’t do. I have to go back to see my mother and my father. Don’t forget that your mother is also in China…”
“We have to go back together as well!”
“Good. That’s settled. Tonight’s the city battle, are you coming?”
Qiao Zhuo was completely defeated by Ouyang Chang’s calm and steady temperament.
He felt vaguely that he was given some very impressive promise. But how could it be so plain that it didn’t feel like it? There is no such plot as confirming love after hurting each other in the novel…
In order to get further confirmation, he leaned over to grab Ouyang Chang’s collar, closed his eyes and kissed him. As a matter of fact, he also kissed crooked, kissing the corner of the mouth. Ouyang often actively cooperated to correct the position.
After the visa was settled, Qiao Zhuo asked Ouyang to apply for a job in his multinational company. Originally, Qiao Zhuo was worried that this kind of entry would hurt people’s self-esteem, but Ouyang Chang didn’t care. In his own words, “I always go to work no matter where I work. It’s not my fault that the door is hard. It’s enough to do a good job after getting in.”
Qiao Zhuo increasingly found that Ouyang Chang’s receptive power is very strong. Later, Qiao Zhuo no longer needed to hide his strange novel reading behavior.
Once, Qiao Zhuo picked up Ouyang Chang after work, rubbed his hands and blocked him in the corner of his bedroom, hoping to satisfy another fantasy, “I think from today on, you should call me Master outside.”
Ouyang Chang often held his glasses and nodded in reply, “Okay, but why outside? Isn’t it usually at home?”
“They can’t understand outside… At home if our serious housekeeper heard it would be very embarrassing.”
Ouyang Chang often agreed and was very happy to go along with it. Qiao Zhuo thought that it may be the problem of speaking habits that made Ouyang Chang’s accent when he often calls “master” not particularly pleasant, but he couldn’t ask for more.
Today, he was busy. Ouyang Chang came to see him after work instead. They weren’t in the same company.
Ouyang Chang’s spoken English has become very good. The girl at the front desk led him in. He put a bag of snacks and coffee in front of Qiao Zhuo, “Good evening. I’ve come to see you, Chief.”