Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-two: Do you want to become a flaw?
When Xiao Yu awoke the next day, Yan Jin had already left the room.
Xiao Yu opened his eyes and stared at the ever-familiar ceiling for a second before proceeding to the first order of business. Raising his hand, he verified: indeed there were five fingers.
Ah, I’ve changed back to normal.
Xiao Yu dropped a hand over his eyes.
The folded clothes from last night were still sitting on the bedside table, but right now Xiao Yu was already wearing a set of new pajamas as well as a pair of underpants.
It didn’t take a genius to realize who had dressed him.
Covering his burning cheeks, Xiao Yu buried his whole body deeper into the blankets.
The surrounding sheets’ soft down released a faint fragrance, perhaps from the laundry detergent or Yan Jin’s personal scent.
Xiao Yu rolled around in the blankets from the suffocating embarrassment.
Aaah! What to do, what to do?! I’m not ready yet — how can I face Yan Jin looking like this?!
Aaah! What should I even say first?! Maybe I should introduce myself first?
But while Xiao Yu was rolling around in indecision, he missed the slight knock on the door.
The door opened, and Yan Jin came in carrying a meal platter.
Yan Jin didn’t see anyone on the bed though. All he could see was a curled blanket that was rolling around.
At this point, Xiao Yu had already rolled to the edge of the bed and upon hearing Yan Jin, shot up like a startled bird. And then…
Yan Jin watched helplessly as both the blanket and Xiao Yu tumbled from the bed. There was no time to even help.
“Fishy, are you alright?”
Woozily, Xiao Yu twisted his head free of the blankets. Before he could do anything else, he was swept into Yan Jin’s stout embrace.
Xiao Yu blanked out. What am I doing here? Where am I? Who am I? Am I alive??
Only when Xiao Yu’s entire face was buried in Yan Jin’s broad chest did Xiao Yu remember what had happened and how he had ended up in such a situation.
One thought occurred to Xiao Yu amidst all the mental turmoil.
That pleasant smell from earlier, it’s indeed from Yan Jin.
When there was no response forthcoming, Yan Jin started to feel somewhat anxious. Instinctively, he pushed Xiao Yu’s bangs aside to feel his forehead temperature.
“H-hey stop, stop, it’s – I’m fine.”
Xiao Yu was only startled out of his reverie when a lukewarm palm pressed against his forehead. However, it was already too late to avoid it. With his bangs parted, Xiao Yu’s teary eyes and blushing cheeks were clearly evident.
Yan Jin immediately understood Xiao Yu’s situation. He couldn’t help but laugh at Xiao Yu’s cute reaction, “It’s the first time we’re seeing each other like this. Are you nervous?”
“A-as if!” His rebuttal lacked any conviction, but Xiao Yu ploughed forward nonetheless. “Your blankets were too thick. I was dying from the heat, so I fell off the bed.”
“Sure, the blankets are too thick. Let’s go buy new ones tomorrow,” Yan Jin promptly played along, his deep voice resonating in Xiao Yu’s ears. “I’ll be fine with anything – pick your favorite.”
Xiao Yu’s tender earlobes suddenly suffused with blood. He looked so pitiful, yet so adorable.
Between the bed and the bedside table, the trapped Xiao Yu’s only way out was blocked by Yan Jin’s sturdy frame. In spite of the almost one hundred square meter bedroom and study, Yan Jin had somehow contrived a narrow space with not an inch of space for Xiao Yu to maneuver.
Even the surrounding air seemed to be dyed with ambiguity.
“H-hey, don’t stand so close.” Xiao Yu tried to nudge Yan Jin back to no avail.
Under the sunshine, the stark contrast between Yan Jin’s dark shirt and pale skin blinded Xiao Yu. That handsome ice-cold face that utterly infatuated all the females in SI’s design department was now tenderly gazing at him. There was no way Xiao Yu could look up and meet his eyes.
So, it wasn’t really fair to fault his hand for being unable to find the strength to push Yan Jin aside – it was just that his enemy was really too exceptional.
“What’s not good?”
“Y-you, this position, it’s too close…” They were close enough to kiss…
Xiao Yu wanted to retreat, but the table was already at his back. There was nowhere to go.
But even the unspoken words in Xiao Yu’s heart couldn’t escape Yan Jin’s hearing. Yan Jin continued to press, “Why is this not good?”
“This is the first time we’re seeing each other…”
“Lies. How could the chief designer of SI not have met with me before?”
“Business-related meetings don’t count. And we didn’t see each other much even then since you don’t go to large meetings. You scarcely so much as respond to video conferencing requests.” Xiao Yu finally found an opening and seized the opportunity to criticize Yan Jin instead.
“… Last February, you confronted me outside the meeting room for an entire ten minutes. My losses were enormous.” Yan Jin deadpanned.
“What! You still want to bring this up?!” Xiao Yu couldn’t suppress his thoughts any longer and exploded. “I’m simultaneously your pet that cheers you up and your mystery designer working for free, all while posing as your boyfriend, and you still dare to nag me?!”
Yan Jin sported a confused, innocent expression. “Really?”
“You’re still denying it!”
All the words Xiao Yu was unable to cry out from long ago came tumbling out in a torrent of fury. “You said my talents were lacking, that I lacked capability, that I was jealous and arrogant, that only companies like SI would recruit such a person, that if I were at YL I wouldn’t last a week before being fired, that…”
In spite of Yan Jin’s usual evil habits which should have merited him an early death, Yan Jin really was innocent here. He allowed Xiao Yu’s tirade to subside before indulging his fancies and prodding Xiao Yu’s seething cheeks. Just as he saw Xiao Yu gather himself for another explosion, he interrupted. “But I seem to remember quite clearly that I said, ‘You’re a very interesting young man – much more interesting than all the other complacent people in the industry.’”
Xiao Yu’s eyes widened in shock. Those weren’t Yan Jin’s own words. They were the words Xiao Yu had used when he impersonated Yan Jin through [Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both] while talking to Lin Zhou.
“Y-you, you already found out…”
“Like I told you last night, I already know everything.”
Yan Jin smirked a little evilly, “Back then you hadn’t changed back to this form, so both of you can be considered as two separate individuals. You can’t really blame me for insulting you then, right?”
“You even know this?” Xiao Yu was stunned. Even now, he himself didn’t comprehend the principles from which his two selves were derived.
“I have a friend who happens to be researching this. After we realized you had issues, we made an international call that night to the leading experts in the field. If you still don’t understand, I can refer you to him. Although there’s a bit of Einsteinian relativistic space-time theory you should be familiar with first. That, at least, I can help with.”
“…No. I’m not curious at all.” Xiao Yu wiped the sweat off his forehead in admiration and fear. It reminded him of his school years when he saw the school genius’ perfect exam scores.
“Plus, we had an online relationship as a foundation,” Yan Jin paused, directly taking the conversation into dangerous waters. “Nowadays when youths meet in real life, don’t they directly become a couple?”
“But there’s also cases where online photos don’t match physical appearances or differences in family status cause them to leave one another on the spot.”
Xiao Yu hadn’t entirely thought through his last statement before speaking, and before he was even halfway done, he’d wanted to face-palm. As expected, Chairman Yan sneered with the absolute self-confidence befitting a chairman, “It’s obvious that those situations don’t apply to me.”
True, someone like Yan Jin at the apex of society would always be the one to choose others, no matter how anyone looked at it.
Xiao Yu let out a squeak as if he’d gone back to being a hamster. “That’s true, but – but it was clear that my designs had been plagiarized back then. Not only did you deny it, you also insulted me back.”
Against this accusation, Yan Jin hid nothing and honestly admitted, “That’s true.”
Just as Xiao Yu’s petty streak was about to ignite again, Yan Jin added his next statement.
“On the flip side, this also shows how protective I am of others’ flaws.”
His voice was both dangerous yet tender, just like the Siren’s song.
“So, do you want to become a flaw?”
That afternoon, Xiao Yu laid on the sofa playing on the new iPad Yan Jin had bought, just like every afternoon. Inserting a piece of fruit into his mouth, Xiao Yu still felt as though something wasn’t quite right.
Maybe things had moved a little too quickly?
When Xiao Yu stretched his head from the sofa, he distantly saw Yan Jin with his sleeves rolled up in the kitchen washing and preparing food.
Sensing Xiao Yu’s stare, Yan Jin opened the sliding glass door and asked, “Something wrong?”
Xiao Yu felt a little silly for not having anything concrete to ask. After staring blankly back for a bit, he asked a meaningless question. “What’s for dinner tonight?”
“The groceries I ordered yesterday are a little lacking. There’s only enough to make Kung Pao chicken, stir-fried prawns, mixed root vegetables, ground pork with peppers, garlic fried mushrooms, barbeque pork, fish with eggplant and pickled cabbage, and pigeon soup. If there’s anything else you’d like to eat you can just order takeout. I already activated and authenticated the card I gave you yesterday.”
In this instant, the enlightened Xiao Yu finally understood why Yan Jin needed to begin preparing dinner at half past two. Although he still thought it was strange, Xiao Yu felt moved, but also at a loss.
Things were still happening too quickly for him.
It felt physically and mentally different to face Yan Jin as a human than as a hamster.
As a hamster, he had no qualms about acting cute and depending entirely on Yan Jin. This was the socially acceptable way for a hamster to survive – Yan Jin spoiling him was a given.
But as a human, no matter how you looked at it, proceeding so easily and quickly from stranger to boyfriend was strange.
“Hmm?” Yan Jin was curious after seeing Xiao Yu not reacting for a while.
“… I don’t have any dietary restrictions. Cook whatever you please.”
Xiao Yu retracted his head behind the sofa and absentmindedly fiddled with his lips.
It was as if he could still feel the warmth from that sudden imprint.