As he leaned against his car, Chi Xiaochi took a puff of his cigarette.
In the slowly growing darkness, the little ember gave half of his face a slight glow.
When about half the cigarette had been used up, he took a look at his watch. Taking a final breath of smoke, he leaned down and reached into the half-open car window, took out a mostly empty water bottle, and threw the half-finished cigarette inside. He then drew out a stick of chewing gum from his pocket, hastily chewing twice before spitting it out along with the remnants of cigarette ash into a tissue.
He’d originally wanted to throw the rubbish away, but when he turned back around, the person he’d been waiting for had arrived.
When that person staggered out of the main entrance of the software company, a tired air about him, the first thing he saw was the brand new car parked by the roadside, before spotting Chi Xiaochi.
His expression became a little complicated. “……Xiao Cheng.”
In this world, Chi Xiaochi was called Cheng Yuan.
As his gaze brushed over that face, Chi Xiaochi momentarily froze in place, forgetting to rush forwards.
That person stood still, used to waiting for “Cheng Yuan” to walk up to him. Upon noticing that “Cheng Yuan” didn’t plan on moving, his brow furrowed with doubt.
In Chi Xiaochi’s mind, a half-human, half-mechanical voice sounded a reminder. Its tone was very businesslike, and hence, it seemed a little cold.
The system reminded him: “Mister Chi, the target is calling you.”
Ignoring the goodwill level that dropped from 72 to 70 points, Chi Xiaochi regained his composure, commenting: “His looks aren’t bad.”
Straightening up, he then sighed to himself: “I’ve really been single for far too long. Even a piece of s.h.i.t like this can seem handsome.”
The system: “……”
Pretending to not have been able to see clearly in the darkness of the night, he blinked several times before finally seeming to recognise the person in front of him. His originally stunned and slightly unfocused eyes instantly filled with joy, and the two dimples that formed on his face were sweet enough to make others want to smile along with him. “Old Yang!”
The system: “……” It seems like entering acting mode in just a second, is indeed possible.
The full name of that “piece of s.h.i.t” target was Yang Baihua.
Actually, that so-called “Old Yang” wasn’t actually old, being older than Cheng Yuan by just four years. He had a clean and neat appearance, cuffs rolled up to an equal height; a refreshing temperament, neat hair and nails, a slight woody scent, as well as a sense of toughness and stability rarely seen in young men. The abs that were contained within the white dress shirt weren’t obvious, but their slight outline was enough to make one’s heart race.
As he slowly approached the mission target, Chi Xiaochi quickly looked over the world information he had received once again.
In this world was the first mission Chi Xiaochi had received since signing on with the system. According to his system, in order to let hosts adapt quicker, for every host’s first mission, the world setting would be similar to that of their original world, and the difficulty level would also be on easy mode.
To put it bluntly, it was a tutorial for newbies.
For this tutorial, his target was Yang Baihua, a golden phoenix that had flown out from the remote southwestern mountainous region, a college student produced from the effort of his entire family, studying software engineering. From not even being able to turn on a computer to becoming a successful scholar, close to seven years of studying in the city area had worn away the country b.u.mpkin air of Yang Baihua. At first glance, he seemed like a youth who had spent his whole life in the city.
As for Cheng Yuan, it could be summed up in one sentence: His family is rich.
As for exactly how rich they were, Cheng Yuan had never cared about that, that was something for his older brother to worry about.
Since young, Cheng Yuan loved music to death. He was also truly gifted, after playing for a bit with any musical instrument he could easily grasp it, and he had a beautiful voice that could make any supporting musical instrument sound even better. Whether it was singing, composing, or playing instruments, he could do it all, and had interest in all of it.
It was after Cheng Yuan had entered music school and came to find his friend from highschool to play, that he coincidentally met Yang Baihua in his school grounds.
At that time, Yang Baihua had just started his fourth year of university, and happened to be at his most attractive, full of youthful daring and energy. That refreshing yet tough atmosphere entranced Cheng Yuan, causing him to blindly follow him around campus.
At first, Yang Baihua found him weird, but gradually, the young master who was like a dumpling with soft filling, like a rabbit that with one tug of its ear could be held in the center of your palm moved his heart.
In three years, the two people went from mere acquaintances, to friends, to being in a relationship.
One day, after Cheng Yuan got drunk, in a moment of impulse, he came out to his family.
His parents were unable to accept that their son, who when small had still chased after girls, was attracted to a man. After some investigation into Yang Baihua’s background, his parents were even more against it.
The Cheng family elders wasn’t biased against Yang Baihua who had to struggle through every step of life. They themselves had been born from farmers, and had through their own hard work established their family. They understood the hardship of struggle.
However, Yang Baihua had four older sisters who were close in age, whose names all shared one similarity: Zhaodi, Pandi, Niandi, w.a.n.gdi. In the face of these four names, the two elders of the Cheng family were convinced: Yang Baihua’s parents would absolutely not accept a male who would keep his own surname and break the family line. This hopeless love of theirs would definitely not have a good ending.
However, love was blind.
After Cheng Yuan sobered up, he absolutely would not listen to his parents’ well-intentioned advice, and was even dead-set on protecting Yang Baihua from them, scared that they would actively cause problems for him.
His parents weren’t that underhanded, and wouldn’t have made trouble for a hardworking, self-made child, but Cheng Yuan’s lack of trust in them really hurt their feelings.
For Yang Baihua, he fell out with his parents, and moved out of his home to live with Yang Baihua.
Being a cheapskate, Yang Baihua’s rented flat was about twenty stops away from the city center, so there were very few restaurants around. On the bright side, it was quiet, and groceries were cheap.
Cheng Yuan learned to cook for Yang Baihua. His skills actually weren’t bad. After Yang Baihua praised him a few times, he would even make lunch and bring it to him at work every day.
Some of his friends scolded him saying, Xiao Yuan you must be crazy, for this country b.u.mpkin, you’d give up your easy life?
Cheng Yuan would just smile and say, he’s very good to me, we already discussed this, we’re eating hotpot tomorrow.
Cheng Yuan was indeed a romantic, for every small aspiration, he’d write it into his planner, full of hope for the future, line by line, as if he was writing poems.
“Tomorrow morning write songs; at noon make lunch; in the afternoon continue writing songs; at night go out for a walk with Old Yang; buy two cups of Sun Ji soymilk, for Old Yang’s add sugar; at midnight turn on the air conditioning, and sleep under the blankets.”
He never recorded bad things, because he truly felt that his life was very fortunate.
His big brother’s sneaky offerings were also refused by him. The one time Cheng Yuan accepted his brother’s good intentions, was by accepting a car from his brother, a newly bought BYD, because he got sick on public transport. Every time he took the half-hour trip to send meals to Yang Baihua, he never dared to eat beforehand, in fear of vomiting.
However Yang Baihua didn’t like that present, saying his big brother was giving alms, wanting to remind Cheng Yuan of his past good life, and trying to make an opportunity to bring him home. Cheng Yuan thought that that made sense, and obediently returned the car.
After taking it he still returned it, this action hurt his big brother’s feelings.
Eventually, the short messages sent by his brother asking after him went from once a day, to once a week, to once a month.
In the midst of his sadness, Cheng Yuan consoled himself, thinking, his parents and big brother just wanted him to be happy. If he stayed with Yang Baihua, as their days got better and better, they would eventually accept Old Yang.
After graduating, Yang Baihua entered a software company as a systems a.n.a.lyst. It was said that he was highly looked upon by his managers. As for Cheng Yuan, his career could also be considered relatively smooth-sailing.
In the beginning, Cheng Yuan had never needed to think about making a living, just immersing himself in making music. Even if there was no market for the few experimental songs he wrote, his parents just used their connections to get it published, anyways it was just for some small self-entertainment.
But now, Cheng Yuan needed to make a living. In these few years, the record market had shrunk a lot, so Cheng Yuan had to give up on his beloved experimental music.
In this respect, Cheng Yuan didn’t have any problems with not writing music for his favourite genre. He liked every genre of music, whether it was cla.s.sical pop, punk rock-and-roll, it was alright with him. It was just that as an artist, he was rather picky about quality.
After three months of hard work, he carefully recorded 3 original pop demos, and sent them out to several record labels.
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For all record labels, sent-in demos were as numerous as the amount of hair on a cow. Cheng Yuan had already prepared himself for disappointment. However, he was unexpectedly lucky, and very quickly received a response: His rough draft had been picked up by a small company, they were offering five thousand dollars for every song.
Cheng Yuan clearly remembered, the name of the song 《Innermost Feelings》 was something he had came up with himself. It was about his own innermost feelings that he wanted to voice out to Yang Baihua. It was about his own restrained and taboo love, but Tang Huan had made it about the sweet love of a little girl.
Cheng Yuan could only feel an unprecedented level of insult.
The biggest hit he’d ever experienced before this was the failure of his coming out of the closet. He’d never had to suffer such a loss of reputation, or this feeling of being pointed at by thousands of people.
As the ringing in his ears drowned out everything around him, the only thought in his mind was of Yang Baihua.
He dialed Yang Baihua’s phone number. The moment he heard his voice, his tense emotions immediately burst out. He could only cry out in a teary voice: “Old Yang, Old Yang, please come back.” Like a little kid who had been badly bullied.
In dealing with matters involving other people, Cheng Yuan really was just like a little kid. He’d been protected too well by his family.
So, when he clutched at Yang Baihua, crying as he told him that his songs had been stolen by someone, and he even had been publicly scolded by millions of people, Cheng Yuan failed to notice the momentary flurry of panic in Yang Baihua’s eyes.
But what Cheng Yuan would never have imagined, was that this was only the beginning of his nightmare.
However, now, it was Chi Xiaochi, playing as a steel-toothed white rabbit Cheng Yuan, standing in front of Yang Baihua.
The former looked up and smiled at the latter with bright eyes.
Yang Baihua looked over at the car. He asked, frowning: “Did you buy this car?”
Cheng Yuan turned to glance at the car, and boasted in a childish voice: “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Yang Baihua asked: “How much did you spend?”
Cheng Yuan’s eyes curved in a smile: “Guess?”
From start to finish, this conversation was exactly the same as the one in the original host’s memories.
Yang Baihua furrowed his brows, and the goodwill value in Chi Xiaochi’s mind dropped another two points.
Yang Baihua suppressed his anger, deciding to try talking sense into this young master who didn’t know the value of money: “Xiao Yuan, the two of us are going to stay together for a long, long time. For me, you fell out with your family, and I really appreciate your sincerity. But since young you’ve lived a very fortunate life, you don’t understand how to moderate yourself. If you keep spending so extravagantly…”
These words were very reasonable. According to the original plot, the original host should now bow his head in shame, and admit that he had just been joking, and that the car had been given to him by his older brother, Cheng Jian.
Chi Xiaochi aptly let out a wronged expression: “…This was given to me by my big brother. I get sick easily on public transport.”
Yang Baihua gently stroked Chi Xiaochi’s head: “Xiao Cheng, you’ve grown up, you can’t always keep depending on your brother’s support like this. Your brother has his own life, as do you. By doing this, he’s deliberately interfering in your life, pampering you. This will only make you more and more unwilling to leave your golden cage. Don’t you agree?”
Chi Xiaochi kept silent, staring at him.
Yang Baihua was very confident in himself.
In the past, Xiao Cheng had a friend who was strongly opposed to their relationship. After being taught by him like this, Xiao Cheng immediately distanced himself from him.
……Xiao Cheng didn’t know anything. It was for his own good that he needed to obediently listen to him, or else he’d easily be led astray by others.
At this time, Chi Xiaochi started to speak.
When he spoke, his voice was pleasant to listen to, gentle and soft, just like the voice he had always used to speak to him, to the extent that at first, Yang Baihua didn’t understand what he was saying: “…If my brother treats me well, does it cost you anything?”
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