Shen Chenzhi originally thought that Xiao Li would refuse or hit him angrily. He didn’t expect for Xiao Li to really think about it. Then this person said coldly and calmly, “Okay.”
Xiao Li smiled after speaking. Snowflakes seemed to be falling in his black eyes and his expression was incomparably touching. He usually liked to keep a distance with people but once he took the initiative to get close, it was like snow actively falling in a person’s hand.
The light in the kitchen was dim. Shen Chenzhi hadn’t turned on the overhead lights so only the night light of the range hood was shining brightly. Shen Chenzhi squeezed his hand tightly and forcefully embraced him. He picked up the snowflake and dyed it with the colour of love. It became warm and soft.
Yes, the time might be short but Shen Chenzhi had already discovered Xiao Li’s hidden side. Apart from the interesting things in the instance, Xiao Li was indifferent to other things in life. There was even a bit of childishness.
This included all aspects of clothing, food, housing and transportation. For example, he always randomly picked what to wear regardless of the occasion or matching. For example, if Shen Chenzhi was away then he would rather choose to order takeout than cook by himself.
If questioned, he would receive Xiao Li’s righteous answer, “Takeout is so developed these days so cooking is unnecessary.”
Whether it was ‘unnecessary’ or ‘lazy’ was debatable.
However, Shen Chenzhi had no objections to these small problems of his lover. He instead enjoyed the ordinary sense of being husband and wife as he cooked for the other person every day. Of course, not now.
The current Shen Chenzhi was hugging Xiao Li, pushing him into a corner between the kitchen door and the wall. He rubbed his nose against the young man’s delicate face and asked solemnly, “Then can I eat it now?”
He could barely wait for Xiao Li’s reply and couldn’t help kissing the other person. At first, it was gentle. Then afterwards, Shen Chenzhi’s movements became more…
Xiao Li finally found a suitable adjective. This type of feeling made it seem like the world was about to end in the next second and Shen Chenzhi only had time for this kiss to say goodbye to him. Therefore, Shen Chenzhi used extra force as if directly swallowing him. It was like this every time.
“Okay, okay.” Xiao Li let him kiss for a while before patting the other person’s handsome face. “Feed me first and then you, okay?”
Shen Chenzhi wasn’t very happy as he let Xiao Li leave the range of his arms. Xiao Li was ready to go to the eggplant in the pot. Before he could move much, he heard Shen Chenzhi say in a low voice, “That can’t be eaten. Put it down. I’ll cook a new dish.”
“No need.” Xiao Li shook his head. “It is just a bit salty. Grab a bowl of plain water before eating.”
After the meal, Shen Chenzhi seemed to be focused on Xiao Li ‘feeding him’ and his dishwashing action was obviously faster. Xiao Li originally wanted to help but after smashing a bowl and nearly injuring his finger, he was rushed out.
Xiao Li played with the cat for a moment before turning his head when he heard a lively recital coming from the balcony.
“President Gu once again saw the former Mrs Gu. However, compared to the previous elegant and dignified clothing, she was dressed as a girl before marriage. She wore a beautiful short skirt and there was a man making ambiguous actions toward her!”
“President Gu couldn’t bear it anymore. He was furious and he couldn’t wait to go to the woman on the opposite side and question her loudly! President Gu immediately asked the driver to stop the car and go to catch—”
It was at this time that Xiao Li pushed open the door of the balcony. The microphone was interrupted while reading. He floated innocently in the air, turning toward Xiao Li with Zui Tian’s manuscript in front of him.
Xiao Li asked, “Why do you suddenly want to read this again?”
“I am staying on the balcony and can’t watch TV. I can only use it for entertainment.”
Zui Tian had changed from his fierce resistance in the beginning to shame and now numbness. Sometimes, he could actually get some fun from Fu Zige’s reading. For example, if Fu Zige read in a strong manner then it meant Zui Tian’s chapter was successful. If Fu Zige’s voice was weak then the chapter was dull and unable to impress readers. Then Zui Tian would revise the text and the two ghosts would fight each other. They had become a pair of partners.
“Why don’t you watch TV?” Xiao Li found it strange.
Fu Zige rose a bit higher and stared at the kitchen. He confirmed that the kitchen door was closed and whispered, “I’m a bit scared of your boyfriend. He is even scarier than the ghosts in the instances that I have seen. I am… very…”
He spoke intermittently.
Since Shen Chenzhi moved here, Fu Zige had changed his base from the sofa to the balcony. It was because one night, Xiao Li came out wet in his pyjamas and sat beside Fu Zige. Shen Chenzhi stared at the microphone as if he wanted to frighten him on the spot and the microphone had rolled out to the balcony.
Fu Zige didn’t continue and instead asked pitifully, “He will always live here?”
Xiao Li told him, “Yes, you have to get used to him.”
“However, I think he wants to kill me.” Fu Zige was afraid. “Don’t just talk about it. It should be all the creatures close to you…”
Shen Chenzhi was two completely different people depending on Xiao Li’s presence or absence.
“No,” Xiao Li spoke softly as he held the microphone and placed him in his old spot on the sofa. “He won’t annoy me.”
Fu Zige rolled back into the gap in the sofa. He felt the softness that had long been lost and asked, “Really?”
Xiao Li nodded.
The microphone trusted him. Fu Zige was reassured and re-watched the variety show he recorded.
Night fell and enveloped the earth. The residential building slit up one by one and the patter of rain hit the windows. Still, it didn’t bring the bleak moisture into the house and was isolated outside.
After finishing the housework, Shen Chenzhi habitually sat next to Xiao Li and reached out to hug him. Xiao Li didn’t avoid it. He leaned into the other person’s arms and simply turned to lie on the young man’s lap. He looked away from the TV in front of him and stared up at Shen Chenzhi.
His hair slipped from his forehead, revealing his delicate facial features. A butterfly seemed to be perched at the end of his eye, flapping its wings with every movement of the eyelash. Shen Chenzhi reached out like he was bewitched to touch Xiao Li’s eyelashes.
Xiao Li grabbed his hand halfway.
Shen Chenzhi’s lips curled up in a smile. “Didn’t you say that you would feed me?”
“It depends on your answer.” Xiao Li pinched the man’s hand.
Shen Chenzhi smiled deeply. “Okay, what do you want to ask? You can know everything.”
Xiao Li didn’t look at his face. He stared at the light hanging above the living room. He wondered if it was his illusion but small halos seemed to spread from the light to fall to the ground.
“What god are you?” Xiao Li asked after a long time.
At the mention of this topic, Shen Chenzhi held his hand instead. He looked even more anxious than Xiao Li who asked the question. He was afraid that Xiao Li would leave him. “…I was born too early. I was in a deep sleep and only woke up a few years ago. I don’t have a title.”
“Yes, like Nyx. Night is her title. I don’t come out very often so I don’t have a title.” Shen Chenzhi explained in a calm tone.
Xiao Li turned over on his thigh. “Go on.”
He didn’t ask specific questions so Shen Chenzhi could only pick from his own knowledge what he thought Xiao Li would be interested in. “The gods with titles, apart from the main gods, are basically not very strong. Lies does nothing every day. He just runs back and forth in every world playing tricks on humans.”
…He didn’t forget to talk badly about his ‘love rival.’
Xiao Li didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. He saw that Shen Chenzhi was going to continue criticizing the god of lies and quickly stopped it. “I don’t care about Lies.”
Shen Chenzhi stopped.
Xiao Li stared at him. “I read a passage in the adjudication prison’s library that gods are just ghosts.”
“Yes.” Shen Chenzhi’s appearance looked exactly the same as ordinary humans. He was even more human-like than some of them. He patiently explained the origin of the gods to his lover on his knees, as if telling a story that had nothing to do with him. ”In the beginning, the chaos of heaven and earth supported the abyss of the Styx River. However, the heavens and earth were violent and the Styx River was overturned. The abyss fell, chaos shattered and countless ghosts poured out.”
The Styx River overturned…
The moment Xiao Li heard this, he remembered what he saw when he first entered the instance world. It was an illusion in the sky of countless black shadows running out of a river in the sky.
“The powerful existences among them seized this opportunity and swallowed the fragmented chaos, salvaging the illusion of the Styx River and were reborn as gods.”
“Gods were once ghosts and they naturally need to use the power of the rules to nourish themselves. They borrowed the power of chaos and used order to construct an instance. Due to this, they can obtain the power they need from each world.”
Xiao Li listened carefully. “What about reality?”
Shen Chenzhi was silent for a moment. “Reality is a well. It is the turning point where chaos once supported the world. This means the power of the gods can’t spread to reality.”
This was why reality could survive until this day.
“Now the barrier that protects it is gradually weakening. Once the mouth of the well is thoroughly dug up by the power of the underworld god, a hand will fall into the well.”
A well. Xiao Li nodded thoughtfully. It was just like the description that appeared in the world of Zui Tian’s novels. If it reached this point, reality would move toward the fate of Atlantis.
The microphone over there heard their conversation and was frightened. He rolled around Xiao Li. Shen Chenzhi noticed the movement and turned to look at the microphone. Before he could speak, Xiao Li covered his mouth. “Don’t talk, be nice to them.”
“I don’t like that you are so good to them.” Shen Chenzhi complained in a low voice, as if he was a bit aggrieved. He was similar to a big cat acting like a baby with his owner. “You are better to them than to me.”
“You aren’t the same.” Xiao Li thought for a while before giving this answer.
Shen Chenzhi’s pale eyes narrowed and he asked in a threatening manner, “How am I different?”
It was as if he would directly pounce if he wasn’t satisfied with Xiao Li’s answer.
Xiao Li replied, “They are friends. You are my boyfriend.”