Chapter 16 – Take My Hand in Yours

This couldn’t really be what he was thinking, right?

Astra’s steps halted, and Wen immediately noticed his abnormal behavior. 

Maybe it was because they had just gone through a spiritual energy connection, but Wen was more aware of Astra than usual. “What happened?”

“Nothing.” He was sure that he had heard right. Astra retracted these weird ideas. “I was just thinking about something random for a moment.”

By the time they exchanged two sentences with each other, they had already reached Bai Tong’s room. Its layout was very much suited to the taste of young women. There was soft music playing in the background, and the sweet scent of perfume diffused throughout the room. 

As for the entertainment industry’s most beloved singer, she was standing in the middle of the room, smiling as the boys entered. “Hi, guys.”

The voice was just as beautiful as the one they heard through the door, except now that the door wasn’t obstructing it, it sounded even more silvery and clear. 

Her long hair flowed down her back in a simple style. There was no extravagant stage makeup, fancy hairdo or flashy clothing. Her entire person radiated the same simple elegance as her voice. 

However, Bai Tong’s height was over six feet. In this day and age, there was no shortage of tall women. Plus, they were all taller than her, so none of them felt that something was off. 

Simon’s enthusiasm held a hint of shyness. He raised his beefy hand in a clumsy wave. “Hello.”

Bai Tong was amused. Two dimples appeared with a sweet and dazzling smile. “Hello.”

Simon laughed like an idiot and produced two pictures out of seemingly nowhere before asking Bai Tong to sign them. 

Bai Tong agreed good naturedly. At this point Simon was looking at the singer with sparkling eyes, as if the one standing in front of him wasn’t a human being but rather a goddess from the heavens.

Astra’s eye twitched. 

It wasn’t out of surprise at Simon’s audacity for attempting to steal the male lead’s future romantic partner. No, it was out of shock that the said romantic partner was actually a man, a drag queen to be precise, but a man nonetheless. 

This isn’t right, there’s definitely something wrong here. 

Astra hadn’t said anything from the moment that he had stepped into the room. Wen thought that this was very strange. He looked towards Astra, and saw that Astra’s bright eyes were entirely glued to Bai Tong. 

Wen paused for a moment, before turning to look at the singer. 

The girl’s figure was tall and lithe, and her temperament was as sweet as cotton candy. As a celebrity that was regarded as a goddess by billions of males and females, it was only natural that Bai Tong would not only have outstanding looks but also a unique aura of grace about her. 

But at the moment, Wen only felt dissatisfaction and scorn towards the famous singer. 

Chest too flat, career too complicated, has way too many admirers, and most of all it was evident at first sight that she wasn’t the type to be able to withstand hardship and enjoy adventure. 

Astra likes this type of woman?

Wen’s gaze was very noticeable. Bai Tong felt the stare and returned it with a shy smile. 

The mischievous curls framing his face bounced as he spoke, the color of his lips the same blush tone as ripened peaches. “Why are you looking at me?”

This sentence was spoken in a voice that was even more soft, breathy and feminine than before. 

In reality Bai Tong was sweating with nervousness. 

His long hair was fake, his gender was fake, but his sexuality was real. 

Pretending to be a female singer was solely a prank for flirting with girls. He liked it when girls were jealous of him but couldn’t do anything about it, except pretend to be his bestie while trying to drag him down. The girls’ attempts at scheming against him was like an explosion of cuteness!

The only problem was that when he dressed like his sister, he became an easy target for audacious men. 

The gazes of the boys in front of him were all pure and adorable, except for this one that kept on staring at him with an expression that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Those eyes that were glued to him seemed filled with ill intent.

As if he was some unsightly garbage laying on the side of the road, and this boy was making plans of howy to get rid of him permanently.

Mommy~ I wanna go home. I think I just met a psycho.

Wen’s lips hooked into a smile, ever the gentleman, he complimented Bai Tong eloquently, “Miss Bai looks even more beautiful in person.”

 “Yeah yeah yeah,” Simon piped up enthusiastically. “You’re so pretty.”

Bai Tong seemed a bit shy at the onslaught of compliments, his eyes held an expression as gentle as water as his gaze enveloped the male lead. He turned to the side hurriedly, as if embarrassed to be caught looking. “Thank you.”

His attitude was exactly like that of a young girl in front of their first love.

Astra thought it was strange. For a crossdressing dude to act like this, either he was gay, or Astra’s infallible gaydar was wrong. 

He looked at Bai Tong’s expression again. The singer peeked at Astra’s flower* from time to time with the expression of someone who had fallen in love at first sight. 

T/N: *Wen (Astra’s flower = Wen, bc the Chinese version of ‘knight in shining armor’ is ‘flower protector’, since China has a long history of using flowers to describe beautiful people)

But Astra was certain that he was right. 

Within the gay circle, bottoms were a dime a dozen, and tops were as rare as they come. Astra knew a lot of people who preferred to crossdress, use voice changing apps, and try to speak in a ‘female voice’. The sexier and more womanly they looked, the more confident these crossdressers and drag queens became. No matter how disinterested in them he was, Astra had been around so many that he could easily tell at first glance if someone was crossdressing. 

Although he didn’t really understand why Bai Tong didn’t use some high tech device to conceal himself better, maybe this was just his personal preference.

While Astra was deep in thought, his gaze remained riveted on Bai Tong. 

From the moment he had entered the room, Astra’s gaze had never left Bai Tong.

But no one thought this was strange. They were all in the same room, and it was natural for men to pay attention to the member of the opposite sex that was right in front of them. Especially when the said female was so excellent. 

Wen coughed to get Astra’s attention, but Astra remained deep in thought instead of looking over with an expression of concern as he usually would. 

She wasn’t even Astra’s girlfriend yet and he had already forgotten his teammate!

Wen was even more miffed. 

What happened to ‘bros over hoes’, huh? 

Hmph.

He turned to Astra and said, “She’s no good. It can’t be her.”

Astra was a member of his team, so Astra’s choice of a girlfriend couldn’t be an embarrassment to the rest of the team. He didn’t like this Bai Tong at all. So it couldn’t be her. 

“Not her?” Astra replied thoughtfully. “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt to try.”

Wen probably saw through Bai Tong’s disguise as well, and thought that the singer’s spiritual energy wouldn’t be able to help them heal.

But Astra thought that they should at least try, merging spiritual energy wasn’t something small enough to be overlooked. 

“Miss Bai.” Astra took two steps forward, and walked to where Bai Tong was standing before giving him a smile. “You’ve already heard of our situation. We’ll leave the rest to you.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Bai Tong smiled gently. “Your seats are the closest to where I’ll be on the stage. If you feel that my songs were able to help you, I can conduct a deeper healing session after the performance.”

“Thanks.” Astra’s smile was dazzling. He knew that crossdressers were all natural-born actors that hated it when their act was exposed. So he acted naturally, appearing extremely grateful and moved by Bai Tong’s generous offer. “You are very kind, Miss Bai.” 

His smile was too attractive. Bai Tong silently memorized that smile, and decided to practice it when no one was looking. He wanted to look good in front of the female fans. “No need to be so polite, it’s my pleasure to be of help.”

While the two of them chatted, Simon was bragging in front of his teammates. “See? That’s my favorite idol over there. She even has Astra mesmerized!”

Mesmerized?!

And he said he wanted to try? Try to date this woman?!

Wen already said that she was no good, Bai Tong couldn’t match up to Astra Li.

Why doesn’t Astra believe him though? 

Wen’s eyes curved into a smile. “Astra, come back here. We don’t want to delay Miss Bai’s performance now, do we?”

His gaze swept over Bai Tong, who felt a chill run up his spine. “Yes, it’s about time. I have to go prepare for the show now.”

Bai Tong’s voice was trembling. Paired with that porcelain skin and fine features, the singer seemed even more delicate. “You guys should go wait with the staff. Also, you must pay attention to any changes to your spiritual energy during the show.”

“We will.” Astra grinned and gave him a thumbs up in encouragement. He felt a little bad for Bai Tong actually, the crossdressing singer was so nervous that his voice was shaking. “Don’t be nervous, beautiful.”

“Actually, I’ve got another question.” Astra asked the one thing that he was dying to know, “Do you have any siblings?”

He blinked innocently at Bai Tong, as if he was asking merely out of curiosity and nothing else. 

Bai Tong nodded and spoke plainly, “An older brother.”

In truth he was the said older brother, but he really did have a little sister. 

One that looked a lot like him. When he cross-dressed, he usually modeled the looks after his sister. But because of the differences between the spiritual energy of men and women, his younger sister was way better at healing than he was. 

They would often dress up as each other to experience different lifestyles. Just like what they were doing right now; it was actually pretty fun. 

Astra understood at once. After the final question had been asked, they had to follow the staff member back to the stage. 

On the way there, Astra’s teammates all teased him relentlessly, calling him ‘lady killer’ because all the girls seemed to treat him better than other people. 

“It’s all because of my personal charm.” Astra gave them a cocky grin as he made a show at preening. “Can’t help it, I’m just too handsome.”

“Then give me her Starnet chat ID.” Simon was disgruntled. “If I ever get the chance to become familiar with Miss Bai, even if she doesn’t like me in that way, we can still be great friends.”

“Don’t joke around like that.” If he actually likes you in that way, it’ll be your turn to cry, Astra thought.

But he really couldn’t outargue Simon. “I’ll give it to you when we get back to the school.”

Jiyu and Linus waved their right hands, flashing the devices on their wrists at Astra. The implied meaning was very clear. Astra sighed helplessly and gave them an ‘ok’ signal.

This bunch of audacious brats, all of them wanted to flirt with the male lead’s future woman.

Speaking of the male lead. Astra looked towards Wen. Wen’s face held a smiling expression throughout, but for some reason Astra thought that Wen’s mood wasn’t so great at all. 

After forming the spiritual energy connection, it seemed that he became more sensitive to Wen’s emotions.

Astra pulled Wen to his side, close enough for their arms to press against each other’s. “You seemed a little off since a while ago. Is it because you’re uncomfortable, or is your spiritual energy acting up again?”

After saying this, for some strange reason, it seemed like Wen’s emotions suddenly became a lot better. 

Wen was still smiling. “I was thinking if Miss Bai’s singing voice would really have the effect that we’ve been told.”

If that was the case, then she could be considered a good match for Astra. If not, then all of her fans were just really blind. 

“Don’t worry.” Astra put an arm around his shoulder and pulled Wen into a half-embrace. When he saw that Wen wasn’t particularly averse to the act of physical affection, he casually slipped his arm down and wrapped it around Wen’s slim waist, acting goofy and nonchalant all the while. “We’re here for you.”

It wasn’t a fantasy or a fleeting touch, he was actually able to put his hand fully onto Wen’s waist and feel it under his palm. The sensation was just as mesmerizing as that time on Vagor, when Astra helped Wen walk after the tiring fight with the Fanged Beast. 

Wen turned his head slightly, there was a hint of confusion in his eyes as he met Astra’s gaze. 

As if he was asking: Are friends supposed to hug like this?

Deep down, he felt that their position was a little strange, but he just couldn’t pinpoint what was strange about it.

Astra patted him comfortingly and then let him go before tucking his own hands into his pockets. Astra’s tall figure looked particularly confident and handsome as he strode forward. “Wen, it’s dark right ahead, so watch your step.”

Without spiritual energy to detect obstacles, they could only rely on their eyes. 

The two of them were a bit slow, so Jiyu and the rest of them, who had already found their spots in the darkened concert hall, looked back at the pair and hollered, “Hurry up! Come over here!”

 Wen, “Don’t worry, I’ll be careful.”

The staff member leading the way was at the very front, so there wasn’t anyone in front of Wen and Astra. They just entered the concert, which was still not yet open, when Astra turned to him and asked out of nowhere, “Do you need help?”

Even though he asked the question, he didn’t pause at all for Wen to reply before he reached out and grabbed Wen’s hand. 

Out of reflex, Wen tried to withdraw his hand, but Astra was stubborn. He gripped Wen’s struggling hand in a firm hold and strode forward step by step into the darkness. 

He didn’t give Wen a chance to refuse at all. 

 

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7 thoughts on “Chapter 16 – Take My Hand in Yours”

  1. Ah, okay. So the siblings like to play, eh?
    And a jelly Wen, even if he doesn’t realize it yet. While Astra is happily eating tofu lololol

    Thx for the ch ٩(。˃ ᵕ ˂ )و

    Reply
  2. I swear our protagonist is really good at subtle flirting 😂

    Thank you so much for your great translation!!

    Reply

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