AM: Chapter 55

Just after Cheng Xia finished sending the WeChat message, a familiar notification appeared in Pei Shaoze’s mind.

[Cheng Xia’s good impression of you +5.]

[Since the protagonist has reached 95 points of good impression toward you, a reward can be chosen:

A: Increase the task time by 10 years.

B: Get investment funds of 500 million yuan.

C: The system helps select a script that can win the Best Movie Award.]

Pei Shaoze frowned and asked, “It’s similar to the original rewards for 80 points of good impression?”

The system exclaimed, [The value has increased! At 80 points, the task time was extended by five years and the investment amount was only 100 million.]

Pei Shaoze naturally remembered the original rewards. He didn’t lack money and didn’t want the system to help him choose a script, so he chose option A. Now the value had increased by several times. 500 million in funds or an award-winning script? He thought about it for a while before still deciding to choose A. Money could be earned slowly and the script could be carefully selected. The only thing that money couldn’t buy was time.

He found that his mindset was gradually changing. If it was when he first came to this world then he would definitely choose B or C. It was because his goal was to increase Cheng Xia’s good impression of him to 100 points as soon as possible to return to his original world. He didn’t want to stay here too long and it was definitely faster to get funds or a script directly.

Yet somehow, he got along with Cheng Xia for a long time and couldn’t let go of this place, let alone Cheng Xia. The thought of Cheng Xia having no one to protect and care for him after Pei Shaoze left made his heart restless like ants were gnawing on it.

Pei Shaoze asked, “I chose option A. Add the reward from last time and I can stay in this world for 20 years, right?”

[Right!]

“What if Cheng Xia’s good impression of me reaches 100 points? Do I have to go back right away?”

The system answered, [The task requirement is for Cheng Xia’s good impression of you to reach 100 before you can go back. Please read and understand it carefully!]

Pei Shaoze thought about it carefully. Within the set task time, Cheng Xia’s good impression had to reach 100. This was the prerequisite for him to return to his original world. There were two cases where he would be wiped out. One was his player points reaching 0 while the other was the good impression failing to reach 100 when the task time ended.

It meant that even if his good impression reached 100, he didn’t have to go back during the task time. It was like a game dungeon having a time limit. The boss was resolved in advance but the time limit wasn’t over. He could choose to leave the dungeon or stay in the dungeon and explore. The task time was the key to whether he left the world or not! As long as there was time left, he could stay here to accompany Cheng Xia even if the good impression reached 100 points.

Pei Shaoze sighed with relief at this. He was extremely thankful that he chose time for the reward previously.

The system wondered, [Is there anything else you want to ask?]

Pei Shaoze was puzzled. “Today is Cheng Xia’s birthday. Aren’t you going to release a task?”

[I just wanted to say it. According to the original plot, today’s task would be: Spend an unforgettable birthday with Cheng Xia and give him a gift that he likes. I thought you were going to refuse again but you actually completed it ahead of schedule.]

Pei Shaoze who completed the task for the first time, “……”

It seemed that the system already thought of him as ‘a strange player who never does a task.’

[However, I expect you to refuse the next plot task again.]

“Let’s hear it?”

[On the birthday night, soak in the hot springs with Cheng Xia.]

“……” Pei Shaoze gently rubbed his temples. If he invited Cheng Xia to the hot springs then Cheng Xia would definitely think he was abnormal. “Forget it. How many points are deducted this time?”

The system explained, [10 points were added for completing the birthday party task. 15 points will be deducted for not completing the hot springs task. You have 35 player points.]

Pei Shaoze hummed and the system started to yawn. [Then I will go to sleep.]

His mind became quiet.

Pei Shaoze thought about it carefully and found that the system’s tasks were to cultivate feelings with Cheng Xia such as marking Cheng Xia, taking Cheng Xia home for the new year, celebrating Cheng Xia’s birthday, and soaking in the hot springs with Cheng Xia.

However, he chose the career route at the beginning and this ran counter to the system’s task line.

Strangely, he clearly chose the wrong strategic direction but as a result, Cheng Xia’s good impression of him actually rose to 95 points. It was all thanks to the young man’s hard work. It was as if he planted a seedling in a flowerpot, watered it with the wrong water, and gave the wrong fertilizer. As a result, the young seedling didn’t wilt but instead grew taller.

Pei Shaoze’s heart slightly softened at the thought of Cheng Xia who was working hard to increase the good feelings between them. It was 95 points which wasn’t far from a full score. Pei Shaoze wasn’t impatient at all now. He just wanted to accompany Cheng Xia slowly.

A moment later, Pei Shaoze picked up his phone and saw Cheng Xia’s Weibo post on his homepage. [It’s my first birthday with the Folding Paper crew. I am very happy. Thank you for all your blessings and gifts!]

Below it was nine photos of the birthday party. There were photos of Cheng Xia wearing the ‘happy birthday’ crown and blowing out the candles, a full shot of the birthday cake, the venue, the food, etc. These photos were obviously taken by Zhou Yan and sent to him.

Cheng Xia sent a grid of nine photos with the birthday gift from Pei Shaoze in the middle. It was the unpacked car model. He didn’t individually mention Pei Shaoze to express his gratitude but he put the gift in the middle. This was enough for him to express its importance.

Pei Shaoze sent Cheng Xia a Wechat message. [Looking at how seriously you made the wish, what did you wish for?] The photo of the wish was taken from the side. Cheng Xia had his hands clasped together and looked very pious. Pei Shaoze couldn’t help being curious. What wish did this young man want to achieve? Could he help?

Cheng Xia sent a blushing emoji. [It won’t come true if I say it.]

Pei Shaoze’s lips curved in a smile. [Okay. Go to bed early. You have to film tomorrow so don’t stay up too late.]

[Yes, good night!]

Cheng Xia took a shower before lying on the bed to look at Weibo for a while. Hundreds of messages were added to Weibo, most of them wishing Cheng Xia a happy birthday. Some fans recognized the gift and were excited. [Isn’t this the orange limited edition car model released by GC? Who gave it? It’s so good!]

[Our little brother plays the piano with such flexible hands. It must be easy to put these parts together!]

[Remember to post it after you finish putting it together!]

Cheng Xia thought to himself, ‘I don’t need to put it together. My alpha has already done it for me.’

Of course, he didn’t dare post the completed photo. No one could put together a thousand parts in such a short amount of time. He would keep it to himself. There was no need to show affection openly. Cheng Xia touched the orange car affectionately and closed his eyes with a smile.

In his dream, the birthday party scene changed to a romantic wedding scene. The scene where President Pei placed the birthday crown on him became a wedding ring on his hand. The emcee in the audience asked, “Cheng Xia, are you willing to marry Pei Shaoze…”

Before the emcee could finish speaking, Cheng Xia hurriedly said, “I do, I do!”

Pei Shaoze, “……”

The audience roared with laughter. Cheng Xia blushed and wanted to drill into the ground. Then Pei Shaoze suddenly lifted his chin and kissed him tenderly.

Cheng Xia, “……”

Cheng Xia was red all over when he woke up in the morning. He went to the bathroom to wash with cold water to calm himself down.

He had a very active imagination since he was a child. He couldn’t stop his mind from imagining many things and always had strange dreams. Now the birthday party became a wedding and he dreamed about marrying President Pei. If this continued, he might dream about their children going to kindergarten.

President Pei was introverted, calm, and serious. All his love for Cheng Xia was hidden in various details. As an omega, he couldn’t be too unrestrained or he would scare President Pei away!

Meanwhile, perhaps it was because the system released the strange ‘hot springs’ task but Pei Shaoze also had a related dream. In the dream, he was in a hot springs without borders. White mist enveloped the surroundings and it was hazy like a wonderland. It wasn’t until the end that he saw the other man’s face—It was Cheng Xia.

After waking up in the morning, Pei Shaoze went to the bathroom for a long cold shower, his expression a bit ugly. How could he dream about himself with Cheng Xia?

Cheng Xia was only 19 years old. He was young and immature. Meanwhile, Pei Shaoze was mentally already 30 years old. He actually had such evil thoughts toward a person younger than himself. What was the difference between himself and a beast in clothes?

Not only did he have a strange exclusive desire for his seedling but he also couldn’t stand other alphas approaching Cheng Xia. Now he did something to Cheng Xia in his dream. Pei Shaoze found that he had become increasingly irrational lately. Should he separate himself from Cheng Xia for a while to calm down first?

Just this morning, Chen Yijun had sent him a message. [President Pei, the idol singer variety show will start recording next month. Thank you for giving me the opportunity! Are there any specific requirements for the title song of the TV series you mentioned? I want to take advantage of this period of leisure to write it in advance.]

Pei Shaoze replied, [I will go back to Rong City to talk about it with you.]

He asked Zhang Fan to book a ticket back to Rong City for today. He passed by the studio and saw Cheng Xia filming. Pei Shaoze took the initiative to step forward.

Both of them were very embarrassed by last night’s dream. Cheng Xia thought of the wedding scene and his ears became hot. Pei Shaoze thought of what happened in the hot springs and his cheeks became hot.

There was a moment of silence before Pei Shaoze opened his mouth. “I have something to do so I need to return to Rong City. Take good care of yourself in the crew.”

Cheng Xia was stunned and looked up at him. “President Pei, how long will you be gone this time?”

Pei Shaoze’s heart jumped at the clear eyes and he hurriedly looked away. “…I’m not sure. It might take a long time. I want to finalize the theme song of this drama with Chen Yijun. I also need to contact several video broadcasting platforms in advance or the scheduling will be too late.”

Cheng Xia nodded earnestly. “I understand. Go ahead! Don’t worry, there will be no problems within the crew.”

The good impression had reached 95 and there was no need to rush to 100 The filming in the crew was becoming smoother and Pei Shaoze didn’t need to follow them every day. He would also affect Cheng Xia. Cheng Xia blushed every time he saw Pei Shaoze. Pei Shaoze was also affected by Cheng Xia. It would be really embarrassing if he had such a dream again.

Maybe it was just strange pheromones at work. Let them separate for a while and take a moment to calm down.

***

Pei Shaoze returned to Rong City and resumed his vigorous work style.

He finalized the theme song with Chen Yijun as soon as possible. He also found a professional music studio to produce the soundtrack for the show. At the same time, he met with several domestic video platforms to chat about preliminary broadcasting intentions. He also found great special effects and editing studio to negotiate the post-production of the show.

Cheng Xia was also motivated. He memorized the script thoroughly and in the next shooting, the number of NGs was reduced by a lot.

In the blink of an eye, a month passed and the shooting of Folding Paper gradually came to an end.

There were many origami scenes in the final stages. Director Liu originally planned to give Cheng Xia a few days to adapt. As a result, when the first scene was filmed, he saw that the young man had flexible hands and he folded a cute paper rabbit within 10 seconds. Director Liu couldn’t help being shocked. “Cheng Xia, have you studied it specifically?”

Cheng Xia smiled. “Yes, I watched some tutorials and used the hotel’s guest book to practice every night when I’m free.”

The guestbook had been torn out by him and he asked the front desk for several more.

Liu Xueyi couldn’t help feeling that today’s young people were becoming more impetuous. Many newcomers just wanted to soar into the sky and became popular. There were fewer newcomers like Cheng Xia who seriously thought about the role and studied the plot. Which director didn’t like such actors?

The filming was so smooth that in mid-May, the Folding Paper ushered in the final scene. Pei Shaoze also flew back from Rong City.

During this period, he was busy every day and the high-intensity work was the familiar rhythm of his life. Yet every time he slept alone, he always felt that his heart was empty like a corner was missing. He kept dreaming about Cheng Xia. He had thought it was the influence of pheromones so he wanted to separate to calm down. As a result, he couldn’t completely forget this young man after separation.

He couldn’t help always thinking about Cheng Xia. He worried about whether Cheng Xia was eating or sleeping well in the crew, his status in filming, and if he was being criticized by the director.

The contents of the dreams became richer and richer. He needed to take a long cold shower to calm down the evil impulses in his heart when he got up in the morning. No matter how calm he was, he couldn’t control his dreams. These strange dreams seemed to be a warning.

Pei Shaoze had never missed a person so much. There was always a lovely shadow in his mind if he wasn’t working to calm himself down.

This month’s separation didn’t allow him to calmly keep a good distance from Cheng Xia. It instead made Pei Shaoze realize one thing clearly from his repeated dreams and thoughts.

His treatment toward Cheng Xia wasn’t an elder’s love and tolerance toward the younger generation, nor was there the protection and care of a tree grower for a seedling. It also wasn’t the so-called ‘old father’s mentality of not wanting to see his son fall in love.’ An elder wouldn’t treat the junior like that in his dreams, a tree grower wouldn’t miss the seedling every day and an old father wouldn’t prevent his son from falling in love.

In the final analysis, his mentality toward Cheng Xia was actually a very strong sense of possession. It was an adult man with a possessive desire for the person he liked.


Bonus ko-fi chapter (finally cleared all the backlog of bonus chapters! :blobcheer:)

Proofreader: Cat

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