Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter Fifty-Five: Exposed
Xiao Yu was shocked and at a complete loss after the sudden glaring change in brightness. At that moment, he felt like a vampire that was suddenly exposed to sunlight.
Although it was just a metaphor, the results weren’t too far off.
Even a human would feel uncomfortable if they suddenly saw light after being in the dark for a long time, much less a hamster who liked to stay in a darker environment.
A hamster should not be exposed to strong lighting – there were no exceptions to this rule.
Xiao Yu’s eyes stung painfully as he painstakingly struggled to turn around.
Under the lights, Yan Jin, who was in his sleeping attire, stood behind him silently.
That image stung him like a needle right in the eyes. Even his heart was starting to throb with pain.
Yan Jin simply stood there, as immobile as a statue.
Those deep pair of eyes were filled with a puzzled gaze. Who knows how long he had been watching.
The human and the hamster silently stared at each other.
Yan Jin was the first to speak.
“Do you have anything to confess?”
Xiao Yu did not move. His brain had completely shut down.
Why is Yan Jin standing there? Wasn’t he asleep?
What should I do? Would it be too late to throw away the iPad now? Is there any hope left if I act like I know nothing?
The confusing thoughts jumbled up against one another like a ball of yarn under the paws of a cat. It was twisted with dead ends, making people feel helpless about it.
The characters in Toxic had been revived. Without anyone to operate it, the support continued to stand motionlessly under the crystal. The archer was still shouting insults. Seeing that there was no response, he thought that Xiao Yu was scared of him and hence got even more aggravated.
However, Xiao Yu was completely unable to focus on the game. He saw Yan Jin walking step by step towards him. Every step that Yan Jin took seemed to stomp on Xiao Yu’s heart.
Thump, thump, thump.
In the silent living room, every beat from his heart seemed so heavy.
Yan Jin sat down on the sofa as he asked: “Can you speak?”
He crossed his hands and placed them on his knees. His head was slightly lowered, and his tone was ice cold as if he was conducting a negotiation where he wouldn’t allow any mistakes.
This kind of Yan Jin felt strange to Xiao Yu, yet it was familiar as well.
After a long time, Xiao Yu recalled that this was the Yan Jin that he knew from when he was still a human.
It was that young and accomplished, aloof and remote Yan Jin.
Xiao Yu was distracted for a moment – it was as if he had returned to that day when he had stopped Yan Jin and confronted him.
The Yan Jin back then also had such an expression.
Ice-cold, arrogant and unreasonable.
His eyes were like the surface of a cold lake in the frigid winter. It bore the weight of the freezing harsh winter, yet it also resembled a silent volcano that was preparing for an inevitable disaster.
The scene in front of Xiao Yu instantly became blurry.
However, the Yan Jin in his memories at this moment was that person who was slightly nasty, a little tyrannical, yet also kind of gentle at the same time. He had a meticulous mind and did things in a neat and tidy way. But when he suddenly stumbled into a difficult situation, he would be at a loss too.
The Yan Jin in his memories would not mind showing his true self right in front of Xiao Yu’s eyes. It was as if a clam had finally revealed its soft inner side.
Under the owner’s silent acceptance, he had entered the impregnable fortress that was surrounded with metal walls and witnessed with his own eyes the holy imperial place that was unknown to anyone else.
It was as if in that instant, all those beautiful memories, all the tenderness that he experienced in the past two months –
…Had been erased to practically nothing.
Only harsh chilliness was left behind.
In Xiao Yu’s memories, the two entirely different Yan Jins were now blending into one and had turned into the expressionless man right before his eyes.
Oh, damn it.
What did Yan Jin just ask me? Could I speak?
What a joke. If I could speak, why would I need to squeak all day and night?
He actually asked such a stupid question. I will ignore him.
…… How great would it be if I could speak.
That way, maybe things wouldn’t have developed to this stage.
“Squeakkkk. S-Squeak – “
Xiao Yu lowered his head as teardrops fell.
I can’t take it anymore. Hmnnnnn –
The little hamster cried till the rims of his eyes turned very red. Both his little paws were rubbing hard to wipe off his tears as he looked really pitiful.
Yan Jin let out a sigh as he stretched his hand out and grabbed Xiao Yu from the coffee table.
“What are you crying for? Explain the situation first before you cry.” The stern tone had a slightly humorous tinge.
Xiao Yu did not hear the slight trace of ridicule from Yan Jin’s words as he continued to feel sad.
The hamster that curled himself into a ball refused to comply as he was grabbed onto the palm. He struggled to turn around and faced his butt towards Yan Jin.
Yan Jin did not mind at all. Instead, he peeked at the iPad that was on the table.
The character on the screen remained motionless at the fountain and the words that were halfway typed out in the public chat had not been delivered.
“If you can’t speak, you can type it out.”
Yan Jin took the iPad and placed it on his thighs before placing Xiao Yu on top of it.
Xiao Yu rubbed his tears away angrily as he typed on the chat column: “I want to finish the match first. I refuse to forfeit.”
After Xiao Yu typed that, he did not send the message. Instead, he moved his chubby body away and looked at Yan Jin before he pointed at the words on the screen.
Yan Jin stared at the iPad for a long time and finally said “Okay.”
Xiao Yu sniffled as he turned back to finish the match.
Five minutes later, his team had successfully lost the match with the help of their idiotic archer and absent-minded support, which ended with them dropping a bunch of crystals.
The game had ended. Xiao Yu ignored the friend requests and directly closed the game. He opened the memo app.
During this small period of time, Xiao Yu had decided on the content that he was planning to confess.
He did not plan on revealing his true identity to Yan Jin. The human Xiao Yu was still alive. He couldn’t explain the situation at all. Plus, Xiao Yu did not want to let Yan Jin know that he knew about future events. Yan Jin knew Xiao Yu as SI’s chief designer. YL and SI were evenly matched for the past few years. Yan Jin wouldn’t have any good impression of SI’s employees.
Compared to having a little intelligent demon at his side, he would probably be less fond of having a human with a questionable background by his side.
Hence, Xiao Yu’s final decision was to write on the iPad –
“I’m a hamster demon that brings good fortune, so you can’t chase me away and you must treat me well.”
After typing that, Xiao Yu turned his head back cautiously and looked at Yan Jin.
Yan Jin’s expression remained unchanged. It was hard to know whether he was mad or happy as he said a word that was hard to understand:
That meaning of the word was unclear from the start.
What naturally? The naturally from mother nature?
Xiao Yu was confused.
Xiao Yu thought that Yan Jin would continue to question him, and he would counter every move as he went. He would cook up a story about how he had lived deep in the forest for a hundred years and became a demon after he accidentally ate a thousand-year-old ginseng. Then, Xiao Yu would warn Yan Jin not to reveal his identity to others and that Yan Jin must not send him to the research institution. Yan Jin must also treat him well or else he would be cursed with no descendants.
However, he never thought that Yan Jin would react differently from how he had imagined.
The conversation ended with a sentence.
“I promise you that I’ll never chase you away, I’ll keep your secret, and I’ll treat you well.” Yan Jin guessed that Xiao Yu had not understood him, so he chose another method to repeat himself.
Happiness came so abruptly that Xiao Yu could not react to what had happened.
Yan Jin promised me?
Did I just have an auditory hallucination?
Why did Yan Jin promise me?
I won’t be chased away?
After Xiao Yu was stunned for five minutes, he giddily typed on the memo: “Thank you.”
Then, the hamster who was planning to jump onto Yan Jin’s hand to roll around, watched the chairman reveal his famous Yan family branded expression.
It was the smile that would cause misfortune to anyone he directed it at.
Xiao Yu was frozen as he heard Yan Jin speak in a clear manner:
“So, could you explain why you’re awake in the middle of the night and not sleeping, but still gaming at two in the morning instead?”
Before Yan Jin had slept, he specially set his phone alarm to go off at two in the morning. It was the type of alarm that would only vibrate, and he left his phone underneath his pillow.
Of course, he did that with the attitude of just giving it a try for some entertainment purposes. The chairman did not think that there would be anything special that could have happened.
Two in the morning.
Yan Jin successfully woke up in shock from his sleep. He suppressed the urge to smash his phone and dragged his body up from the bed.
He stepped into his slippers as he walked to his work desk and shone a light into the hamster cage with his phone.
Without a flashlight, the chairman used the weak glow from his phone as a light source.
The anticipated scene of his little hamster creating trouble did not appear.
The cage was quiet and there were no movements.
He really did overthink.
Yan Jin did some self-reflection, but did not head back to bed to sleep. Instead, he turned to walk out of the room.
He was feeling a little thirsty. Seeing how he was already awake, he decided to head to the kitchen to drink some water.
The darkness always hid some little details. For example, Yan Jin did not realize that before he slept, he had closed the plank that covered the entrance to the hamster cage. It was now on the table instead.
When Yan Jin had passed by the living room, he realized that there was something glowing on the coffee table.
He did not think too much about it. He just unconsciously checked out what was glowing and then…
He couldn’t walk away.
Yan Jin was sure that his eyesight was not that bad. Although he would put on his glasses occasionally, he had a 0.6 to 0.7 vision. Plus, he did not have any symptoms of night blindness. Even if he could not see as clearly at night compared to how he saw things in the day, as long as there was a light source, he could still roughly see things. However, at this very moment, he was seriously doubting whether his eyes were having problems.
If it wasn’t his eyes that were the problem, then could it be because he hadn’t slept well and was hallucinating?
If that was not the case –
Why was he seeing his hamster lying on the coffee table and playing games?
And it was already two in the morning?
Regardless of how Yan Jin doted on his pet and loved everything that was involved with it, at that very moment, he could no longer get away with the excuse that his hamster was just an intelligent creature.
He knew that game – it was quite popular. He had not played it himself, but he had heard his subordinates talk about it before.
The operating functions were simple, and it was easy to learn. It was beginner-friendly.
However, no matter how simple it was, that was referring to how a human would see it, right?
No matter how intelligent or humanized this little creature was, he would surely be unable to grasp the technical knowledge needed to operate an electronic device. The problem was not the game itself.
In addition, the creature in front of Yan Jin’s eyes was even sending messages to someone else in the chat column.
Yan Jin took a few steps forward and had a clearer view of the hamster that was lying on the iPad, busily typing away nonstop.
Yan Jin took another step forward, and he saw the content that the hamster was typing on the screen.
[Archer: zzz u sure can kill steal, support.]
[Support: what do u mean by kill steal? U can’t see ur own battle score?]
Yan Jin frowned.
Although he knew that his focus at this moment should not be on the game, he still felt the need to know who that archer was that dared to scold his Fishy.
He must be tired of living.
The little fellow was so immersed into his game, he did not realize the chairman’s presence at all. That made Yan Jin felt like he had gained a strange sense of victory.
After pretending for so long, he still got caught, didn’t he?
The reality was right before his eyes. Xiao Yu’s ability to ‘somehow overcome the problem’ instantly came to Yan Jin’s mind. The hamster knew how to nod, to shake his head, and to see his hamster food as distasteful. He would peel melon seeds for Yan Jin, obediently go on a diet, wave his hand as he bid goodbye, and never destroyed anything by chewing it.
Oh, and that strange, complicated mental activity.
Yan Jin curled the edge of his lips.
He knew from the start that his Fishy was not an average hamster, but no matter how one puts it, he was still shocked when he saw how such unscientific things turned into reality.
But after the shock, there was nothing else.
What reaction would an average person have when they came across such an incident? Would they be scared?
Yan Jin did not know. Neither did he have to know.
He would not react that way regardless.
No matter what kind of existence Fishy was, so long as the hamster would stay by his side forever, even if he had to play deaf-mute for the rest of his life, so what?
There was no need for curiosity – Yan Jin had never thought that was a worthy quality.
Aside from shock, Yan Jin also had a kind of ‘as I expected’ feeling.
As he expected, Fishy was not a normal hamster.
Otherwise, how could it be possible that the hamster could accompany him for more than two months straight? Or even put an end to that ridiculous yet terrifying joke that had haunted him?
In Yan Jin’s heart, Fishy’s existence was a magical thing itself.
As for other aspects, why was there a need to consider them?
After all, they weren’t the main concern.
What was most important at this moment was –
Not sleeping at two in the morning, playing games when he was still recovering from his sickness?
Yan Jin squinted his eyes dangerously.
He took two steps back, clicked, and switched on the lights.