Chapter 22: President of Drama: When I fuck people over, I scare even myself.
• • •
Sorry for splitting the chapter, but this way it’s easier for me to edit. Release times should still be (roughly) the same, and if the chapter isn’t as long as 21 and 22 are, then I’ll keep them whole. Half of a long chapter is about the same length as some of the earlier chapters are.
• • •
He’d been thinking along the wrong lines.
His family’s Lu Li, truly, didn’t fear being abused. The only time he had split apart had been when Xie Jianwei had fed him a spoonful of sugar instead, even.
Lu Li expressed: there was poison in the sugar, and he had indigestion after eating it, so he had split into two.
Hence, the cause of the splitting wasn’t whether Xie Jianwei abused him or not, but whether the setting was kept together or not; whether the logic worked or not; whether the dream was realistic enough or not.
Yan Ke was also impressed by Lu Li’s preferences: “My Lord, just what on earth did you do? Why is it that, no matter which Lord Supreme Commander it is, they’re all convinced that you don’t love them?”
Xie Jianwei lazily swept his gaze across him: “I too, would like to know just what it is that I did.”
Despite everything, Yan Ke was an old-timer too, someone who had watched them make to where they were now. He thought back carefully, and he just couldn’t figure it out – Xie Jianwei had lead an honest and clean life. He kept a respectable distance from everyone, and the only one he was close to was none other than Lu Li.
When they had been waging war across the galaxy, their tacit understanding of each other had been unrivalled, as if they were telepathic.
After the galaxy had been restored, Xie Jianwei had indeed busied himself for a while at the start, but after things had been set into motion, he had let go of all his power in order to avoid raising suspicion, without even the slightest bit of hesitation.
He and his fellow old-timers had all watched with open eyes, and so were very sure. The Military Strategist couldn’t have so easily let it all go if he hadn’t been madly in love with the Supreme Commander.
And so… Lord Supreme Commander, just what is it that you’re so uneasy about?
Someone who loves you so much – how could it be possible that he doesn’t love you?
Yan Ke couldn’t figure it out, and Xie Jianwei couldn’t either, but he knew that he would find the answer – he would definitely find the answer within Lu Li’s dreams.
After returning to the dreamscape, Xie Jianwei felt bored and poked open the little box Lu Yan gave him.
The little box had strict encryption measures; apart from Lu Yan, other people couldn’t open it at all.
But this ‘other people’ definitely didn’t include Xie Jianwei.
Such an easy encryption. To the Third Young Master Xie who could infiltrate the entire StarNet, it was akin to a thin piece of paper.
He watched Lu LI for a little while, and then focused on observing that student.
The student undoubtedly admired Lu Li, but Lu Li definitely had no intentions towards him.
But Xie Jianwei still cared a little. If one’s lover was coveted by someone, then regardless of how said lover felt, they would feel unhappy.
Even if that someone didn’t even exist.
Xie Jianwei irrationally ate a bout of vinegar for a little while. It was only when he saw that Lu Li had come back did he hurriedly hide the little box away.
Lu Li had truly been busy today, so there hints of fatigue rested between his brows.
Xie Jianwei’s heart ached for him: “Doctor lu, how about you teach me how to cook.”
Lu Li looked at him: “What?”
Xie Jianwei said: “If I learnt how to cook, then when you come home you can eat right away.”
Lu Li laughed and took hold of his hand, saying: “I’m not teaching you.”
Xie Jianwei: “Why?”
Lu Li said: “I like cooking.”
Xie Jianwei said: “But you’re so busy during the day, you must be tired coming back.”
Xie Jianwei’s utterly unconcealed worry for him completely soothed the insides of Lu Li’s heart, and he said: “I am somewhat tired indeed.”
Xie Jianwei said: “So then, from now on, let me…”
He hadn’t finished speaking, when Lu Li said again: “But as soon as I see you I don’t feel tired at all anymore.”
Xie Jianwei: “…” Such an old married couple already, what are you doing saying such tarty words that only youngsters like to hear.
Lu Li looked at the tips of his ears, now slowly turning red, and he really did feel that he wasn’t tired at all anymore.
The reason that he did so much, and worked so hard – it was for their future, their future together.
As long as he thought of this, all the fatigue would be swept away, and he only wished that there would be 48 hours in a day.
Doctor Lu’s face glowed as he cooked, and because he was in a good mood, even his movements when stir-frying the vegetables were explosively handsome. If others took a casual look from the doorside, they’d probably think that this was a famous chef from somewhere, the type whose one dish cost thousands.
Xie Jianwei’s appetite at dinner was especially good, and after eating a bowl of rice he actually went for another scoop.
Lu Li said: “Don’t eat too much at night. You might suffer from indigestion.”
Xie Jianwei said: “But I really want to eat.”
His voice was soft and ambiguous; it sounded like he was asking to be spoiled.
Lu Li’s heart trembled, and he felt that his morals were like a castle made of sand in front of Xie Jianwei, and could be blown down within seconds.
“Eat then; in a moment, I’ll take you out to the yard to walk a couple of laps.”
Xie Jianwei: “Okay!”
After their meal, the two took a stroll in the cool night air. There was really good weather today; after the curtain of dusk had fallen, nebulae had covered the sky, and they walked amongst the cherry blossoms scattered across the heavens, like they were stepping on the tips of gently drifting clouds. Their hearts and bodies were relaxed, and they were happy and at ease.
Xie Jianwei craved cherries whenever he looked at the cherry blossoms, and couldn’t help but sigh: “When the flowers fall, are they going to bear fruit?”
Lu Li asked: “What fruit?”
Xie Jianwei said: “Cherries ah.”
Lu Li laughed: “Who told you that cherry blossom trees would result in cherries?”
Xie Jianwei: “…” What sort of situation was this? The cherry blossom trees in the galaxial era clearly could produce lots and lots of cherries that he couldn’t finish eating!
Lu Li explained for him, saying: “Cherry blossom trees and cherry trees are different species. Ornamental cherry blossom trees won’t produce cherries.”
The all-knowing Military Strategist Xie had never thought that he would one day suffer defeat at the hands of the neglected discipline ‘ancient history’.
Lu Li flicked at the tip of his nose: “You want to eat cherries?”
Xie Jianwei said, disappointed: “But they can’t produce fruit.”
Lu Li said: “There’s a cherry orchid in the Northern City, after some time, when they are ripe, I…”
He spoke, but suddenly paused.
But Xie Jianwei was already looking at him in a happily surprised manner.
Without waiting for him to speak, Lu Li said again: “I’ll pick a basketful back for you.”
Xie Jianwei blinked.
Lu Li didn’t look at him, merely switching the topic of conversation quickly.
But Xie JIanwei wouldn’t miss this detail.
Lu Li had originally wanted to say that he would take him to gather cherries together, but had changed his words on the spot, turning it into ‘bringing some back’ for him to eat.
Xie Jianwei wondered. This mentality of Lu Li’s wasn’t normal ah, or should he say, it was incredibly abnormal.
He hadn’t planned to bring the matter up today, but Xie Jianwei now felt that he should raise it.
After strolling for a few rounds, Lu Li asked: “Shall we go back inside?”
Xie Jianwei said: “En, we haven’t studied today yet.”
Lu Li said: “Did you revise during the day?”
The Military Strategist Xie who had looked at cherry blossoms all morning and had eaten random bouts of vinegar for no reason in the afternoon said random bullshit without a change in expression: “Of course, I’ve stared at books for the whole day, you can ask anything you want.”
Lu Li said: “Don’t tire yourself out,. Just studying for a little while is fine, go play some more.”
XIe Jianwei said: “I want to learn a little more.”
Lu Li said: “These things aren’t really useful practically.”
Xie Jianwei followed up with: “How could that be? I want to learn a bit more, then I can attend school when my body’s better.”
As soon as the words fell out of his mouth, Lu Li, who had originally been walking, stopped abruptly in his steps.
XIe Jianwei paused: “Doctor Lu?”
Lu Li was shrouded in the shadows of dusk, his facial features somewhat imperceptible: “What did you say just then?”
Xie Jianwei feigned ignorance and repeated himself: “Doctor Lu, you need to teach me more, so that when i go to school i won’t be made fun of.”
Lu Li’s voice audibly deepened some: “Go to school?”
“Yeah.” Xie Jianwei said in an excited tone: “I’ve been out of school for a long time already. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to adapt.”
Lu Li was silent.
Xie Jianwei went over and tugged at his hand, saying: “Come on, we should study physics today, I don’t understand that much…”
He said it lightly, and his voice was still so crisp and melodious, as if it were a fruit that hung on the tips of trees, carrying a hint of an unripe tang, and yet emanating a beautiful sweet scent.
Lu Li had liked it very much before, but now, all he could taste was bitterness – a crisp bitter taste that spread across his chest.
Until he walked into the house, and the brightness from the lights forcibly pulled him back from his thoughts, Lu Li hoarsely spoke: “You want to attend school?”
Xie Jianwei said: “Of course.” But immediately after he also stated, a little nervous: “I…I don’t know whether I’ll be able to adapt.”
Lu Li’s fingers curled into a fist, and after doing his best to calm his emotions, he slowly began: “Don’t worry, if it’s you, you’ll be able to adapt very quickly.”
Xie Jianwei was born was overly good looks, and as soon as he walked out of the residence he was a moving spotlight. He’d be chased by innumerable people, would be admired by many, would experience a period in his life that was colourful and beautiful.
Logically, Lu Li knew that he should be happy, but in reality he couldn’t bring himself to feel happy at all; he even felt very pained.
He couldn’t remember when he started having such thoughts.
Perhaps it had been in the third month since living at the residence, perhaps it had been the second month. At that time, Xie Jianwei’s body wasn’t too good, and he had also been too busy with work; he’d been worried that Xie Jianwei wouldn’t be safe at home by himself, so he went and asked his assistant to come over and take care of Xie Jianwei.
In a mere three days, his assistant had fallen deep into the river of love, unable to extricate himself from feeling for Xie Jianwei.
It was only when Lu Li discovered him secretly staring blankly at Xie Jianwei for a whole two hours during his afternoon nap, that paranoia had taken root in his heart.
He had dismissed the assistant the next day, but afterwards, no matter how many nurses he hired, history repeated itself on every single one of then.
Be it men or women, they’d always be drawn to Xie Jianwei, would always unwittingly fall, would always desire to see him.
It had probably been since that time, that Lu LI had completely put out the idea of taking Xie JIanwei out.
He knew that such a mindset wasn’t right, that Xie Jianwei shouldn’t be kept ‘locked up’ in this residence, that he shouldn’t be isolated against the outside world, that he shouldn’t have not a single person he was familiar with outside of Lu LI.
But Lu Li couldn’t do it.
As soon as he thought of Xie Jianwei becoming the centre of attention of millions of people the moment they left here, of how he would face innumerous temptations, would meet someone he was more compatible with, would rely on someone else, would from then on get further and further away from him, Lu Li’s chest would be left with only a fiery, piercing pain, as if burnt.
But it was inevitable.
Xie Jianwei already wanted to walk out of the cage, to spread his wings and to take flight.
Lu Li spent the whole evening dispiritedly, and his teaching was all over the place too.
Xie Jianwei called out to him: “Doctor Lu?”
Lu Li came back to his senses abruptly, looking at him in askance: “En?”
Xie Jianwei’s eyes curved, lightly asking: ‘Can I take the test for medical school?”
Lu Li was stunned.
Xie Jianwei was somewhat nervous as he spoke: “I want to be Doctor Lu’s student.”
Lu Li’s heart thumped violently.
Xie JIanwei purposefully let his voice soften, saying: “As your student, working with you in the same place, that way I can always, be together…”
Lu Li’s eyes stared at him unblinkingly: “Why would you want to always be together with me.”
Xie Jianwei’s cheeks grew slightly red, and he lowered his head, saying in a tiny voice: “Because…because I like Doctor Lu.”
It wasn’t his first time saying this, but it was the first time that his voice had been so lingering, as if clouds and cotton candy had threaded together, sweetness filling up the foggy air; emanating; heart-shaking.
Lu Li asked: “What sort of like?”
Xie Jianwei raised his head, looking at him: “Together forever; always, always, always, together; that sort of like.”
Lu Li stared at him, staring straight into his eyes. He could see the trust in his gaze, could see the emotions in them, and could feel the tremors within.
But…Xie Jianwei’s sort of like, and the like that he wanted, wasn’t the same.
The terrible experiences from before had made Xie Jianwei feel an almost paranoid desire to monopolise all of his possessions.
In this year, Lu Li had experienced it personally, countless times.
Snapped chopsticks couldn’t be thrown away; mechanical pencils that were broken also had to be kept; and in the wardrobe – clothes that, so long as Xie Jianwei had worn them before, even if he never wore them for the second time, could also, absolutely, never be thrown out.
Everything of Xie Jianwei’s, must always be with him.
Lu Li knew clearly, that the Xie Jianwei of now needed him.
But whether Xie Jianwei would still need him after walking out, was an unknown.
Not to mention…
Was there a teenager in the world who wasn’t passionate?
That night, Xie Jianwei’s sleep quality was considerably bad.
Lu Li probably hadn’t rested for the whole night. The hand embracing him had never relaxed, as tight as if he would never be able to hold him again if he loosened up in the slightest.
In the early spring, the temperature was already slightly warm, and Lu Li’s body temperature was naturally high too, like a furnace. Being hugged by him in the winter was pretty comfortable, but after the weather got warm, Military Strategist Xie frequently wanted to kick him off the bed.
It was already like that in a normal sleeping position, not to mention now, when he was so desperately pressing him into his embrace.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Xie Jianwei felt worried for him for his illness, he’d have long have exercised some ‘domestic discipline’! 
Despite not having slept for a night, on the second day Lu Li was still cheerfully spirited. Couldn’t be helped, it was his dream after all. Forget about pulling all-nighters – even if it were against someone who could do it seven times a night, he could still beat the enemy by 800!
The poor Military Strategist Xie however, wilted.
He had foggily slept for about an hour, and in that hour he’d even had a dream; he dreamt that he was being hugged by a furnace, and the furnace had even kissed him nonstop. When he hit him his hand burned, when he kicked him his feet burned – he was kissed until he felt as if he were on fire, and yet he wouldn’t help him put the fire out.
Then what was the use to such a ‘furnace’?!
After Xie Jianwei sent Lu Li away, he planned on taking a post-sleep nap.
But on second thought he couldn’t.
Lu Li number one went away, but Lu Li number two still on standby, and he needed to ‘act out the play’ with him.
So Xie Jianwei could only wait under the cherry blossom tree bright and early, taking small rests blearily on the rattan chair.
Lu Yan had come for three days in a row and was now familiar with the way. Upon going through the garden gates, he caught sight of the youth beneath the cherry blossoms.
Such a sight – as stunning as a celestial vision.
He had long since known that his younger brother’s little lover was born with very good looks, but it had also been difficult to imagine just how good looking a person could be.
The cherry blossoms were splendid, and the youth picturesque.
All the words in the world couldn’t capture even a thousandth of the beauty in this scene.
Lu Yan was unruly by nature, and an innumerable amount of people had pointed fingers at him, calling him heartless.
But in this moment, there was something jumping about violently in his chest, as if it were the roaring of thunder in the springtime, making the entire world tremble.
Lu Yan walked in front of Xie Jianwei, staring at his lips, softer than the petals of the cherry blossoms… against better judgement, he dipped his body, and captured them in his lips.
They were softer than could be seen, sweeter than could be imagined, and they could make one drunker than even the most beautiful of dreams.
Lu Yan subconsciously used a little force, moving into his mouth. He thought that he would be rejected. To his surprise however, Xie Jianwei softly ‘hmm’’ed, like a cat, and took advantage of the opportunity to encircle his neck, sending himself over.
A humming sound enveloped Lu Yan’s brain, and, supporting the back of his head with his palm, he let the shallow taste of a kiss become lingering and bittersweet.
Xie Jianwei was fuzzy from sleep, knowing only that this was Lu Li, so he was as obedient as could be. It was only when the two were tightly pressed against each other did he have the vague notion of waking up.
Wasn’t Lu Li against touching him?
He opened his eyes. Lu Yan instantly stopped in the act.
Four eyes met, and Xie Jianwei remembered: Oh. Hello Lu Li number two.
• • •
• • •
 家法: House laws: ‘domestic discipline exercised by the head of a feudal household’ (baidu). Can also refer to ‘a rod for punishing children or servants in a feudal household’ (also baidu).