Chi Xiaochi noted the phone numbers of these people and prepared to go to sleep.
As he was going to bed, Chi Xiaochi expressed his feelings to 061, “An able body is the key to my revolution. I need to save up for my future wife. Good night.”
061 laughed, “Good night.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “Oh right, you should remove your shielding.”
His eyes were closed as he said, “Zhou Kai will be back in two days. Without makeup, I can only act out the appearance of a fracture patient. To act out the soul, I need to feel it for real.”
“You’re not afraid of the pain?”
“In the past, when I was shooting a martial arts movie, I was kicked and broke my ribs. That can be considered as my prior experience. This kind of injury only hurts upon movement. Shen Changqing has already had about six to seven days to recover. As long as I don’t jostle it randomly, it won’t hurt.”
Hearing the reasons Chi Xiaochi gave, 061 laughed in spite of himself, “……You don’t have to worry about me.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t move. Half a moment later, he laughed, his eyes still closed.
Having been with Chi Xiaochi for some time now, 061 couldn’t say that he had a complete understanding of Chi Xiaochi, but he could roughly guess at what he was thinking on the inside.
Early on, Chi Xiaochi had conducted a study of all the skill cards in the system shop, making himself completely aware of what was available, and even cla.s.sifying all the cards according to function and practicality.
With his level of perceptiveness, it was impossible for him to not have noticed that the painlessness buff skill card that could shield someone from pain was just like the hypnosis card – both needed points to be used.
In other words, in order to shield Chi Xiaochi from the pain, 061 was consuming his own energy.
061 laughed and said, “……Just take it as if I’m using solar energy.”
Chi Xiaochi let out an extremely exaggerated yawn and pulled up his blankets, cutting him off, “Ah, Mister Solar Powered, I want to sleep now.”
061 was incredibly amused. He pulled out the book, and began to read to him.
Half an hour later, Chi Xiaochi, blanket in his arms, fell asleep.
To a fracture patient, this blanket was a little too thick. Coincidentally, at midnight, the central air-conditioning stopped working. Water dripped out of the air-conditioner.
As soon as the cold air in the room dissipated, Chi Xiaochi couldn’t stand the heat and kicked off the blanket.
061, “……” Sigh.
A moment later, a young man in a white shirt and black pants stood in the middle of the room. He bustled about picking up the blanket from the floor, folding it and placing it off to the side. He then stood before the air-conditioner’s outlet, and placed his palm on it.
A slight, glimmering white light flowed from his palm, and extended into the air outlet. The glimmer quickly recorded down the huge, complicated network of electrical circuits of the entire air-conditioning system and rapidly launched troubleshooting and repair.
About a minute later, the system returned to working order, cold air blowing out and condensing on his palm, turning it clammy.
He took his hand back, walked back over to the side of the bed, and tucked Chi Xiaochi into the blanket once again.
Shen Changqing was able to enter Zhou Kai’s eyes and qualify as his “ornament”, so it was a given that he had a very good-looking face. But three years of torment had given this 26 year old young man the habit of furrowing his brows even in his sleep.
061 sat down by the side of the bed, keeping a safe distance from Chi Xiaochi in a gentlemanly fashion. He held his hand directly over his chest, quietly using his own energy to mend the fractured bones in his body.
When he moved his gaze, he noticed the corner of a paper object poking out from underneath the pillow.
He pulled it out to take a look and found that it was a colour selfie. It had evidently been taken with a phone, sent to a computer and then printed out in color on an A4 paper.
It was impossible for 061 to imagine how Shen Changqing had, under such circ.u.mstances, kept it from the few pairs of eyes constantly spying on him. He must have opened up that computer that was forbidden to him and restlessly developed this photo, accompanied by the churning of the printer.
His heartbeat during the entire process probably never dropped below a hundred and eighty.
But the Shen Changqing in the photo was laughing very happily. He was lying on the gra.s.s, nestling Help to his chest, his arms around it neck. The sun was shining and the temperature was just right. There were no other superfluous people, just him and Help.
After printing out this photograph, he had kept it close to him at all times, hiding it in his pillow when he went to sleep. With the utmost care, he guarded this warm memory that belonged exclusively to him. A memory that had been so hard to come by in these three years of h.e.l.l.
As he looked at that Labrador, its tongue lolling out of its mouth, 061’s head was as if it had been harshly squeezed between the fingers of someone’s hand. The originally fairly stable stream of data was turned to mush in a split second. Error messages popped up one after another, flashing through his mind, making his eyes dim and head go dizzy.
The photograph fell to the ground.
061 supported himself with the edge of the bed, forcing himself to stabilise his breathing.
When he had just been reformatted, his data stream had been rather unstable, and such error states often occurred.
Oftentimes, a barrage of scattered pieces of information would storm his mind. But they were neither caused by anything nor did they affect anything. They were simply short, fleeting fragments of memories, absolutely unable to form even a single, complete paragraph.
In the past, 061 had been quite bothered by those fragments and had previously found 023 to ask if there was any way to deal with such a situation.
023 had said, still immersed in his game, right now, you’re a machine. There aren’t any malfunctioning machines that can’t be fixed with a simple hard knock; if it isn’t fixed by that, then just knock a few more times.
At the time, 061 had just a.s.sumed 023 was joking, “You think I’m a television set, huh.”
Now, thinking of this suggestion, 061 actually felt like he might as well try it.
061 raised his hand, and said to himself, “Will it really work?”
After saying that, he made a fist and lightly rapped his temple twice.
It was unknown whether it really did have an effect, but the confused images before his eyes unexpectedly turned from virtual to real. Before him appeared a clean yellow puppy, rushing at him while wagging its tail.
He heard a youth call that dog’s name, their voice sounding a little like his own, “Maimai, come here.”
The puppy came running towards him, wiggling its shiny black nose and wagging its head and tail.
The lively voice of another youth sounded next to him, “Hey, there’s still someone standing here, how can you just kiss him and not kiss me? Don’t you have a conscience, huh?”
Meanwhile, at the same time, Chi Xiaochi was also dreaming of that same dog.
But unlike the dog in the fragments of 061’s memories, it was a dirty little puppy with unseeing eyes.
It was in the afternoon, when the harshness of the scorching sun was about to die down. Chi Xiaochi held a cheap chocolate ice cream cone, licking it as he followed alongside Lou Ying.
Lou Ying watched him for a while, before twisting his lips in a grin, “Can’t you eat properly? You’re licking here, licking there.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t listen, moving to go lick the ice cream cone in Lou Ying’s hands. But as he turned his head, he saw a paralysed little puppy crouched against the wall. Its hair was dirty and matted, its two eyes were blind. A thick, pasty layer of mucus coated its eyelids. It looked both filthy and pitiful.
Chi Xiaochi ran over and noticed its chest still rising and falling slightly, “Aiyo, still alive?”
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Unconcerned about getting a freezing his teeth, he quickly wolfed down his ice cream cone, then dusted off his hands and prepared to pick the dog up. Then, Lou Ying patted him on the shoulder and handed him the ice cream cone that only had its waffle cone left.
061 didn’t remember Chi Xiaochi bringing up his dog during any public occasions before, but in some obscure little tabloids, some paparazzi had managed to snap photos of him walking his dog. However, the pictures were too blurry to see what breed of dog it was.
“What breed is your dog?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “I’m not the type of person who cares about something like breeds. Even if the dog has a high pedigree, the person might not. It’s a mongrel, I picked it up from the side of the road. When I first picked it up, it was tiny, sick and weak, but after it got better, it lived a healthy life, never again facing any sickness or disaster.”
Chi Xiaochi’s tone was rather flat, “I took care of it up until it died of old age last year. Now that I think about it, that was really lucky. Or else, given my current half-dead, half-alive state, it would have no one to feed it. It would probably get hungry again, flip over my refrigerator and steal my ice cream.”
As he spoke, although there were only complaints spewing from his mouth, his eyes were extremely soft.
Probably because he’d just woken up early in the morning, he still seemed a little drowsy and his hair was also a little messy. Leaning back against the pillows, he had a childish air about him.
Seeing him like this, 061 just felt he looked both amusing and cute.
Only after Chi Xiaochi had been helped by a servant to wash up, and had breakfast, did his eyes regain that shine 061 was familiar with.
After the meal, Shen Changqing was allowed a period of time to watch television in the living room.
Broadcasted on the television was a discussion between several experts about how racial discrimination still existed in today’s highly civilised society. As Chi Xiaochi idly listened, his attention was, however, focused on the telephone.
If he hadn’t guessed wrong, there was someone who wanted to talk to him.
Sure enough, after sitting on the sofa for close to twenty minutes, the house phone started to ring.
The phone was picked up by Yi Song.
If one had to make a comparison, Shen Changqing enjoyed a much more “generous” treatment than his predecessor Su Wenyi did.
Because he was sensible, didn’t cause trouble, knew his place, and did everything Zhou Kai commanded him to do, Shen Changqing was beaten less. That goodwill level of 45 also served better as proof.
In the beginning, Zhou Kai had even purposefully tested him, giving Shen Changqing opportunities to seek help from outside, which had all been voluntarily abandoned by Shen Changqing.
Thus, Shen Changqing was given a little more freedom. He could, using his ident.i.ty as “Zhou Kai’s partner”, take some filtered calls and chat in order to display the good family atmosphere of the Zhou family to the outside world.
Evidently, the current caller was one of those who had been through a careful filtering process and gained approval.
Yi Song pa.s.sed the phone to Chi Xiaochi, “It’s Mister Sam.”
Chi Xiaochi nodded and accepted the phone from him, “h.e.l.lo.”
Some tiredness could be heard in Sam’s voice, “Mister Shen, it’s me, Sam. Mr Zhou suddenly fainted while attending the meeting. Originally, I wanted to inform you of this as soon as possible, but when we had the time after the accident, according to Toronto time, you would probably have already gone to bed. Mister Zhou’s condition wasn’t very serious anyway, and he very quickly regained consciousness. At present, the situation has already stabilised. But I still wasn’t very rea.s.sured, so I asked the doctors to conduct a thorough examination. The return tickets have also already been changed. Please don’t be too worried.”
“Ah……” On the other end of the line, Shen Changqing drew out his response. He couldn’t tell if it was because he was worried or something else. “How is he now?” His tone was in line with the proper amount of anxiety a qualified partner should have.
Sam said, “Mister Zhou is still sleeping.”
Chi Xiaochi said, “It’s been hard on you. When Mister Zhou wakes up, he’ll definitely contact me.”
Sam let out a “You’re welcome”, then calmly continued, “Now, the doctor is asking me about Mister Zhou’s medical history. Mister Zhou refused to talk about it, saying he was in perfect health, but I was worried he’s concealing some condition from the doctors……”
Yi Song stood next to Chi Xiaochi, silently listening to Chi Xiaochi’s conversation with Sam.
Holding the receiver, Chi Xiaochi thought for a moment, then, as if after careful consideration, he finally opened his mouth, “Mister Zhou is in good health. It’s just that his rest hasn’t been very good, and he’ll occasionally forget a few things, like where he put his car keys. But after all, he’s not a young man in his twenties or thirties anymore, this is very normal, isn’t it?”
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