Chen Qing got called over to the hall of the presidential suite with a phone call from the CEO. Li Shaoyao gave him a name and a photo.
“Go to the town of Jianxing and hire a few local residents to watch over this person.”
Early on, Chen Qing had done as Li Shaoyao instructed and found a private detective to investigate Ji Zhinong’s background and identity. He quickly recognized the middle-aged man in the photo as Ji Zhinong’s adoptive father——Zhang Lai.
Li Shaoyao: “He even appeared in front of Zhinong today.”
“What?” Chen Qing said in surprise, “I remember that old master Ji had warned Zhang Lai and prohibited him from showing up in front of Mr. Ji.”
“A verbal warning is too gentle. The town where today’s program was recorded was just a kilometer away from the town of Jianxing.” Li Shaoyao said in lingering fear. “If the production crew hadn’t sent security guards to maintain order at the time, I’m afraid that Zhang Lai could’ve jumped on Zhinong. That type of trash was actually released instead of kept in a drug rehabilitation center.”
Chen Qing understood the severity of the situation, saying immediately, “I’ll have someone watch him.”
“Spend some money on choosing some strong and muscular youths out of the neighbors of the Zhang family. Have them keep watch of the Zhang couple’s actions and find some way to stop them if they dare to leave the town.”
Chen Qing: “Using what type of method specifically?” He needed Li Shaoyao to give a clear indication of whether it should be verbal urging or a fist warning.
A ferocity flashed through Li Shaoyao’s eyes. “When dealing with human trash, one should give him a taste of his own medicine.”
Chen Qing understood what level of severity it should be. “I’ll go to the town of Jianxing in the early morning tomorrow.”
After Chen Qing left, Li Shaoyao pushed open the door and walked into the room.
Ji Zhinong sat cross-legged on the blanket, a cup of warm water cupped in his hands. He was a lot more clear-headed, but his hands were still trembling slightly. Even the water in the same cup shook back and forth along with him. Li Shaoyao covered his chilly hands and comforted him gently, “I’ve already sent someone to watch those two from the Zhang family. There won’t be a repeat of the situation that occurred today.”
“I’m… actually not scared, I was just startled.”
Wen Che was truly startled at the very beginning. What happened just now played out in reality like a thriller film, but his mental state wasn’t that of an ignorant 22 year old youth. It’d pass after a bit of a scare and not be so startling to the point of making him have convulsions and nightmares.
The helplessness and uncertainty he was currently showing originated from the remaining, original consciousness of his body.
The two souls conflicted with each other in the same body. Normally, it was Wen Che who had the advantage, but this encounter made the deep-rooted fear of the original Ji Zhinong completely overpower his instinctual consciousness to the point of making him lose himself.
If there was anything that Wen Che feared, it was, he noticed, that Ji Zhinong’s soul might not have completely disappeared.
What he originally thought to be their commonly shared memories might’ve been the original owner of the body sharing memories with him selectively.
Just like this time. He was clearly warning Wen Che to stay away from that “cockroach.” That was practically a survival instinct.
His complexion was pale, and the red of his lips didn’t return even with time. His words were completely unconvincing, and Li Shaoyao looked at him with a worried and pitying expression.
With Li Shaoyao looking at him like that, Wen Che’s sense of security rose in spite of himself.
Wen Che subconsciously hugged the warm body in his embrace, allowing himself to freely rely on that man. As long as he closed his eyes, he could deceive himself and imagine that the one currently hugging him was Lu Yuankong.
When they returned to City S, the snowfall had not yet stopped.
Zhinong’s foot injury limited his movements, so Li Shaoyao settled him in the villa in the city’s center.
These two days, Li Shaoyao also stayed in the house with him, accompanying him. When he was in the mood, he would personally cook. Though the food he cooked wasn’t exactly delicious, though neither appearance nor flavor was present in any of the dishes served, strangely, the ingredients in the food could always fulfill Wen Che’s appetite.
Wen Che liked light seafood. Even if there wasn’t any flavor and only was matched with a dish of sauce, he would still be perfectly satisfied with the food. He himself didn’t have much of a craving for delicacies, so Li Shaoyao’s half-baked culinary skills and his appetite matched perfectly.
But he also had some picky, bad habits. For instance, when eating shelled seafood, he was always accustomed to waiting for another person to peel it for him. This “other person” referred specifically to Lu Yuankong.
To Wen Che of six years ago, his happiest moment of the day was eating dinner together with Lu Yuankong.
The shrimp and crab meat peeled by Lu Yuankong charmed Wen Che even more than the taste of a Michelin chef’s elaborate cooking.
Yang Yi had once teased him that he was wearing his love-filled lens on his taste buds.
Wen Che originally didn’t believe it until today. Li Shaoyao, who was sitting across from him, also took the initiative to peel two shrimp for him.
When the shrimp meat entered his mouth, he didn’t feel any special emotion nor taste anything aside from the sauce. Only then did he realize how much of a love filled lens he had for Lu Yuankong in the past.
But Li Shaoyao enjoyed it and had already picked up the tools to crack open the crabs for him.
Zhinong asked unexpectedly, “Did you always shell the meat like this for him?”
Li Shaoyao’s hands stopped, and he raised his eyes to look at Zhinong, who was sitting across from him, slightly bitter. “I never had the chance to in the past.”
“Why not?” Ji Zhinong curiously guessed, “Did he go abroad? Or marry someone else?”
“…No.” Li Shaoyao broke off the crab pincers and placed the plumpest meat on a spoon, delivering it into Ji Zhinong’s bowl. “Eat.”
He meant for him to shut up and not ask any more questions.
Zhinong was tactful and shut his mouth with the crab meat.
Later that night, Ji Zhinong had a good night’s sleep. He only noticed that Li Shaoyao still hadn’t gone to bed when he woke up thirsty and got water to drink.
He pushed open the door to the bedroom and saw that the study at the end of the hall was still lit.
Originally, he didn’t want to care much, but he was scared that this kid would suddenly die from staying up overnight and be unnoticed by anyone.
So he pretended to go downstairs and poured a cup of hot water. Then he walked to the study and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” The voice travelled through the wood, appearing extraordinarily depressed.
Ji Zhinong pushed open the door and walked in, only to see Li Shaoyao, with his eyes bloodshot from staying up overnight, in front of the screen.
“You’re busy with work?” He walked over and placed the cup next to him. “It’s already 3 a.m. right now. It’s very late.”
“I can’t sleep.” Exhaustion was present in his voice. He took the cup and took a sip, telling Zhinong, “You sleep first. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“…Then I’ll go back to my room.”
Although he was curious what work required handling this late, Wen Che had always understood his position. Since he was a substitute lover, he didn’t have the right to overly worry about his work matters.
Lest any commercial secrets be exposed and he also be under suspicion.
He was mostly afraid that this kid would suddenly die from staying up overnight. It was good enough that he hadn’t died suddenly.
He should cherish a beautiful night during which he wasn’t pressed on the bed and tormented.
He had such a good night’s sleep that when he woke up in the morning, it was already nearly 11 a.m. The newly hired housekeeper was a college graduate of a related major called Ah Jing and was much better than the auntie who forced him to drink in all aspects.
At the table, Ah Jing told him that Mr. Li had left at 5 a.m.
Then didn’t he just stay up for the entire night?
What situation was this?
Could the Li Corporation have encountered some sort of crisis and was going bankrupt?
He hurriedly picked up his phone and swiped through news on the stock market and finance.
Everything was normal. Not only had the Li Corporation stocks not fallen, but they had also almost increased to the maximum.
“Li Shaoyao really is a finance genius.” He couldn’t help sighing over how reliable the coattails he was hanging onto were.
After confirming that it wasn’t a major problem like bankruptcy, Zhinong was much more at ease and looked at other news with a cheery attitude. The trending searches were filled with the ordinary daily life of celebrities; there weren’t many that were useful for society.
Right on this ordinary page, he suddenly saw his own name.
Third place on trending searches: Wen Che.
Like something of his previous lifetime.
If it weren’t for the fact that he had just been scared by his adoptive father from the Zhang family, Wen Che would probably have thought that he found this Weibo post as Wen Che.
“I’ve already been dead for six years, so how did I get on trending searches?”
He mumbled as he clicked the entry.
The screen was filled with fans’ mourning messages.
It was only now that he remembered that on this day six years ago, he died.
Surprisingly, it didn’t feel real at all. He even needed other people to mention it before he remembered which day he died.
He saw a lot of fan IDs he was familiar with. Unexpectedly, those that liked him didn’t leave, even after six years.
The first user who was associated with the trending search was Wen Che’s personal Weibo account.
The last post on his home page was thanking the recognition from the organizer with an attached photo of the Best Male Lead trophy he had newly received back then.
This Weibo post was practically the best example of extreme joy begeting sorrow. The first few comments were still complimenting him as “amazing,” “fame follows merit,” and “six-time film emperor.” But upon just scrolling down a little, the screen was filled with sorrowful comments.
The most eye-catching comment was a huge fan of his, who he was familiar with.
@FatPeony: I’ll find you. ——January 12, 2025
Judging from the time, this comment was posted only after he passed away.
Wen Che clicked “Fat Peony’s” homepage. As expected, she had organized all of the fan mourning events.
He remembered that “Fat Peony’s” profile picture was originally a flourishing peony. Her profile picture didn’t change during the past six years, but the picture became black and white.
Even though Wen Che hadn’t met Peony herself, he could still roughly guess that she was definitely a meticulous and cute little girl from her user ID and speech style.
Peony’s Weibo home page wasn’t maintained much either; she only came online on this day of every year regularly to remind everyone what day it was. Such a simple post could get thousands of shares and comments.
There was a fan who commented, “It’s 2031, and I still miss him.”
They wouldn’t know that the person they were missing clearly saw their longing.
The snow never stopped falling on this day.
It was only until night fell that Li Shaoyao walked into the house from the wind and snow. Ji Zhinong noticed that he smelled of alcohol only after he got closer to him.
He had the chauffeur park the car and then supported the drunk Li Shaoyao onto the sofa. After feeling the wetness of Li Shaoyao’s clothes from the snow, he then wanted to take off his jacket for him. But who would’ve thought that Li Shaoyao would suddenly lean over and hug him.
He hugged tightly, like he wanted to use his body warmth to crush and melt a handful of snow kind of tight.
“I really miss you.”
The alcohol paralyzed his nerves, and the words he said tearily were very muffled. Ji Zhinong could only make out two words: “big brother.”
It was only two years later that he realized in retrospect that Li Shaoyao was actually calling “Big brother Wen” from start to end.
A certain sugar daddy: Why can’t it be a meticulous and cute handsome guy?
Disclaimer: There’s no model for the main character of this novel. Please don’t overimagine~
Sorry for the late update!