Ge Xiu couldn’t tell how he was feeling right now.
He had thought that he had already figured out the other party’s purpose in the last world. He thought that everything that person had done before was a gentle trap, a conspiracy to keep his mental body in the virtual world forever. However, his next behavior directly and completely had thrown his ideas into chaos and overturned all the guesses he had made before.
Ge Xiu had always been accustomed to relying on his own thinking ability.
He was good at organising seemingly chaotic clues and analysing intelligence from a disorienting environment. He enjoyed playing with and manipulating human nature’s weaknesses and benefiting from it to ensure that he would occupy a favourable position in the game.
the other party’s move was unexpected for Ge Xiu.
What happened next was like a derailed train, rushing away from the established track and its route becoming unpredictable under the pull of gravity and inertia.
It was the first time Ge Xiu felt overwhelmed.
For the first time, he was forced out of his comfort zone, forced to abandon the dominant position he once relied on.
Ge Xiu didn’t want to admit it, but one thing was beyond doubt — the moment the other shot himself in the jaw, he felt flustered for the first time, as if something got out of his control.
This feeling was dangerous.
Ge Xiu liked danger and challenges, but he didn’t like such an unexpected sense of losing control.
He didn’t know how to face the man in front of him.
——However, right now the other shouldn’t have any memory of the previous world.
Ge Xiu clung tightly to this conclusion, as if this was the only way to gain a sense of security.
“Yes, thank you for your concern.” He nodded at the man standing at the foot of the bed and replied in a cautious and distant manner.
Zuo Yan looked at him quietly.
He could clearly see the undisguised vigilance in the young man’s eyes.
Zuo Yan curved his lips and said:
“That’s good, what else do you need? Water?”
His posture was calm and impeccable in terms of etiquette, but there was a vague doubtful feeling in it.
Ge Xiu struggled to little by little move off the bed, his movements were still affected by the sequelae of the previous pain, becoming clumsy and slow.
He shook his head and bluntly refused:
The moment Ge Xiu’s feet touched the ground, his knees softened slightly. If he hadn’t supported himself with the bed with his hands in time, he would have fallen directly to the ground.
Zuo Yan withdrew his subconscious steps forward without a trace.
He frowned, momentarily confused by his own gaffe.
Ge Xiu lowered his head and slightly adjusted his wrinkled clothes.
His complexion was still pale, and the warm sunset outside the window spilled into the room along the window lattice, coating his cold and pale profile with a layer of gold light, making his facial features even more beautiful and profound, this extreme feeling of conflict made it almost impossible to look away.
Zuo Yan’s heart moved slightly.
He opened his mouth and said: “You…”
Before he finished speaking, he was interrupted by Ge Xiu hurriedly: “Is there any place nearby where it is easy to take a taxi?”
Zuo Yan frowned calmly.
He didn’t know why…how did it feel that the other was avoiding him as if he had encountered a calamity*?
*洪水猛兽 – flood and beasts, metaphor for a great scrounge
He kept a calm expression on his face and replied calmly:
Ge Xiu was taken aback and looked up at him.
“This is a suburban villa area and the nearest stop sign is several kilometres away.” Zuo Yan said without changing his face: “The butler downstairs has already prepared the dinner, you can wait to finish eating and I will send a car to take you away.”
He paused, then added understandingly:
“Of course, if you are willing to walk this far, I have no problem.”
Ge Xiu: “…”
It was indeed the same person.
Simply too shameless.
He took a deep breath and raised the corners of his lips falsely smiling: “Thank you for your kindness, but… I don’t think a few kilometres is far away, and I’m just short of some exercise right now.”
Ge Xiu said that, ready to walk out the door.
Just as he was about to pass Zuo Yan, he suddenly reached out and grabbed Ge Xiu’s wrist without warning. He didn’t use much force but Ge Xiu hadn’t recovered yet from the weakened state, stumbled, and was pulled directly into other’s arms unexpectedly.
The breath with the faint smell of rum immediately enveloped him along with the warm body temperature, wrapping around him like a huge net.
Ge Xiu was stunned and suddenly forgot to struggle.
Zuo Yan closed his arms around him, the corners of his lips were slightly raised and his deep voice made his chest vibrate slightly:
“The third time.”
Ge Xiu frowned: “What?”
“This is the third time you have thrown yourself into my arms*.” Zuo Yan said calmly.
*same idiom as seeking favour last chapter
Ge Xiu raised his brows: “It was clearly you who just now…”
He suddenly realized something was wrong: “Three times? Where did the third time come from?”
Before he passed out due to the intense pain, although Ge Xiu was already somewhat unconscious, he was actually quite clear about what was happening around him. He haven’t met the other party before, where did the third embrace come from?
The curvature of Zuo Yan’s lips deepened slightly.
He pretended to sigh, then lowered his head, a face with a deep features leaned closer: “I still have the souvenirs from you on my face.”
Ge Xiu was stunned.
His eye socket… Looking closely, it seemed to be a little blue, as if someone had punched him hard.
There were also some dark red wounds on the corners of his lips. Although they had scabbed over, but one could still see how severe they were before.
What does him being injured has to do with him…
Ge Xiu was started abruptly, and suddenly recalled what happened to him five days ago — he was tricked by that seemingly harmless task, drank those three glasses of wine and when he woke up next, it was already the next morning. He was lying on the bed of a luxury suite, vaguely remembering that he seemed to have gotten into a fight with someone yesterday…
He fixed his eyes on Zuo Yan’s face and a thought flashed across his mind like lightning.
Ge Xiu was dumbfounded.
Zuo Yan looked at the young man in his arms with interest, and when he saw his expression of sudden realization, he understood that the other finally remembered.
“I remember when you said—” He repeated slowly and calmly:
” ‘I said wait, wait, can’t you fucking hear me?’ “
Ge Xiu: “…”
” ‘Pulling the gun? You try to pull it out again?’ “
Ge Xiu: “……”
“By the way, you also said——You can’t say anything clearly, just commit suicide.”
Zuo Yan’s expression did not change, he slid his palm down a few inches and fit closely against the hollow of the other’s side waist that suddenly tightened, the waistline under the palm was slender and tight, the delicate and smooth touch could be felt through the thin fabric.
Ge Xiu did not notice the other’s small movements.
Because he was actually a little confused right now.
He didn’t feel that he had been influenced that much in the last world.
After all, death had long become common to him, and the passing of a life did not matter. After all, the number of deaths by his hand was far more than that. What’s more, according to the content of the other’s words, he wouldn’t be erased from existence, they would still “meet in the next world”.
But…it seems…as if…he really said…those words…
Ge Xiu felt distraught in his heart.
He had always been long accustomed to suppressing his emotions, so even after the end of the last world, he did not react too violently, but was able to calm down quickly and confront the presiding judge and manipulate the conversation.
Immediately afterwards, the incident seemed to have been watered down, erased from his memory.
Since entering this world, Ge Xiu had not even once recalled what happened in the previous world.
He felt himself completely back to normal.
Reasonable, comprehensive, normal.
This state reassured him.
But what the other repeated just now, the words he said when he was not aware… It was as if the film of his protective self-deception was directly torn apart, forcing him to face once again his real and out-of-control emotions.
It was too strange.
From Zuo Yan’s point of view, he could only see two reddish ear tips, with a bit of lustrous pink and white, making people unable to control the desire to see how they would feel upon touching.
Following his will, he raised his hand and pinched the tip of the ear hidden in the black hair.
The young man in his arms was shocked as if he was scalded. Only then did he realize that the posture they were maintaining was too ambiguous and he hurriedly stepped back.
Zuo Yan twisted his fingertips regretfully — the delicate and hot touch seemed to remain on his fingertips, like a layer of smooth fine powder, which wouldn’t dissipate for a long time.
His eyes deepened slightly:
“Do you think that I’d commit suicide?”
Zuo Yan’s face darkened unconsciously: “Or did you mistake me for someone else?”
Ge Xiu: “…”
He subconsciously took another step back, but he didn’t expect that the bed was so close behind him. He was knocked on the edge of the bed in a hurry and fell backwards.
The sudden weightlessness made him subconsciously reach out and grab the nearest thing.
He grabbed Zuo Yan’s collar.
Zuo Yan was also caught off guard and before he could stabilize his body, he was pulled and fell to the bed.
He propped up his arm next the young man’s ear to prevent him from hitting the other, trapping the him in the shadow cast by his body. In the narrow space, they both could feel equally the other’s disordered breathing.
Ge Xiu calmed down again.
He blinked, observed the current posture of the two of them, and suddenly said:
“This time it’s you who have thrown yourself into my arms.”
Zuo Yan: “…”
At this moment, there was a light knock on the open door. They both turned their heads at the same time to look at the place where the sound came from, only to see the elderly butler standing at the door. His extremely high professionalism made him not show any weird expression at the complicated scene in front of him, only his eyebrows twitched slightly: “…Sir, dinner is ready.”
Zuo Yan stood up, straightened his messy clothes, and nodded calmly:
He stretched out his hand towards Ge Xiu, who was lying on the bed.
Ge Xiu glanced at the hovering palm, but he didn’t hold it and got up from the bed and jumped briskly to the ground instead.
There was a smile on Zuo Yan’s lips and he withdrew his hand, as if he was not the one who was rejected just now.
The two went downstairs.
A sumptuous dinner was ready.
Ge Xiu no longer refused, pulled out a chair and sat down — the after effects of the electric shock had passed, and the food he had eaten at the dining table had long since lost its effect, and he began to gradually feel hungry.
He ate quickly.
Not caring much about the type of food he ate, nor paying attention to table manners, simply implementing maximum efficiency and speed, just to ensure energy intake.
When he realized that his hunger had disappeared, Ge Xiu stopped eating without hesitation.
Zuo Yan raised his hand and made a gesture behind him. A male servant walked over quickly, put a thick contract in Ge Xiu’s hand, and then quickly stepped back.
Ge Xiu raised his brows:
“What is this?”
Zuo Yan wiped the corners of his mouth with a napkin gracefully, and replied calmly: “Keeping contract.”
Ge Xiu: “…”
In the research institute, the researcher shouted in surprise:
“Director! The criminal had finally triggered one of the branch lines!”
The director was shocked and his originally gloomy face lit up again: “Which one?”
The time flow was once again slowed to 75% of the real world so that the virtual world could be observed from the outside world. On the screen, at both ends of the dining table, two people were sitting opposite each other. From this angle, only the Ge Xiu’s complete and clear front could be seen, while the other person was facing away from the screen with glitching snowflakes flickering vaguely on his back.
Pandora was a black box, meaning that forcing observations too often could lead to increased instability.
So no one paid attention to it.
The director’s voice became eager: “Can you switch the angle?”
The researcher tried it, then shook his head helplessly: “No.”
The director didn’t dwell on this point — it didn’t matter how the person sitting opposite the criminal looked like. He turned his head to look at the researcher in charge of data construction and asked, “Which branch did he trigger?”
The researcher lowered his head and hurriedly operated for a few seconds, then a piece of data was displayed on the big screen.
Character: Zuo Yan.
Status: Director of Zuo’s Group, who controls the world’s largest private arms company, extremely powerful and far-reaching influence*.
*只手遮天 – translates to: covers the sky with one hand, meaning great power and influence everywhere.
An ordinary middle-aged man’s face appeared next to the information. His features were mediocre, but there was a lingering fierceness between his eyebrows and eyes.
“Make sure this branch is completed.” There was a faint excitement in the director’s voice.
Bamboo has something to say:
Director: Say, what is our mission!
Researchers: To make criminal suffer!
Director: and…what did we do?
Researchers: Become matchmakers?