“I give you the devotion of a man who has never had faith.”
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha
On the subway back to school, Zhou Sheng, who hadn’t slept the whole night, fell asleep on Yu Hao’s shoulder. Yu Hao’s heart was still beating wildly as he watched the reflection of Zhou Sheng’s sleeping face in the window across from them.
At this moment, there were no words that could describe the the shock his heart had received. It was as if he had broken free from his solitary life of 20 years, and he could now clearly feel the shape of his totem changing -- it was changing because of Zhou Sheng. He had now entered a new phase of his life.
After everything that happened today, everything seemed to have taken on a new appearance: music now had a new meaning, and everything that he used to turn a blind eye to could now be interpreted differently.
Up until now, he still felt somewhat at a loss. When he looked at the seat across from them, he saw Cen Shan smiling and taking a photo of the two of them snuggling together.
Yu Hao appeared to be very calm on the surface, but his inner world was undergoing dramatic changes. There was a force that was constantly destroying everything in his inner world -- the Great Wall and the beacon towers, the palaces, and the rubble. With the tremendous power of love, they spontaneously restructured themselves to construct a thriving new world.
My totem’s being reborn……it was Yu Hao’s first time feeling this so distinctly. For the him now, he seemed to have attained a new goal in his life; from this day onwards, he will no longer be alone.
He looked sideways at Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng looked very peaceful as he slept soundly. Yu Hao remembered how he didn’t even know how to respond to Zhou Sheng today. All of this was too sudden for him, and he didn’t even make any preparations. Even when Zhou Sheng had handed him the metal music box, Yu Hao didn’t take anything out for him……
I actually didn’t prepare anything and didn’t give you anything either……Yu Hao felt really remorseful and guilty now.
He didn’t know why but he suddenly thought of a line from a poem: I give you the devotion of a man who has never had faith.
Yu Hao stared at Zhou Sheng in a daze. His handsome face that was so familiar to Yu Hao suddenly seemed a bit foreign under the subway lights. And at this moment, Zhou Sheng’s eyes remained closed as he turned around and suddenly kissed Yu Hao.
Yu Hao, “!!!”
Zhou Sheng then stood up as if nothing had happened in order to give up his seat. He said to a weary but vigilant girl who had just left work, “You can sit here, we’ll be getting off soon.”
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao’s face flushed red. Zhou Sheng had taken a short nap and now focused on scrolling through his phone to see how many likes he got from his upload in his circle of friends. He would sometimes glance at Yu Hao, clearly pleased with himself. Yu Hao said, “Pretending to be asleep again.”
“I just woke up, I wasn’t pretending.” Zhou Sheng chuckled to himself, “I’m an honest person.”
“See you next time.” Everyone said goodbye and took the bus at the foot of the mountain to return to college. Xue Long was checking the rooms one by one when they arrived at their dormitory.
“Starting from this semester, college appraisals will commence and last for a year.” Xue Long held a list of names and said to the three of them, “By all means, do not cause any trouble. Especially you two, Zhou Sheng, Yu Hao……”
“Got it.” Yu Hao smiled as he scrolled through his phone. His translation wages had been transferred to his account; this was practically two joyous events occurring in tandem for him.
Zhou Sheng said, “We definitely won’t cause trouble for Laoshi! Xue Laoshi? Want a biscuit? They were brought back from Hokkaido……”
“No no……” Xue Long was really afraid of getting screwed over by Zhou Sheng, so he didn’t dare eat any snacks that Zhou Sheng offered to him.
“There’s no rat poison in it la, Xue Laoshi.” Fu Liqun said, “Don’t worry.”
Xue Long accepted it awkwardly and felt that the atmosphere of the dormitory today was a little off. He cast a doubtful glance at the two of them. He then looked at Fu Liqun, who was sighing on the bed as he had just parted from his girlfriend and had to watch his two dormitory mates who just got together.
“Absolutely don’t be late tomorrow!” Xue Long said in the end before closing the door.
Zhou Sheng took his clothes and went to take a bath. He said to Yu Hao, “Dear, want to take a bath together?”
Yu Hao, “Shut it!”
Fu Liqun, “……”
Zhou Sheng laughed to himself as he entered the bathroom. Fu Liqun said, “I have a hunch that I’ll be abused by you guys until we graduate.”
Yu Hao quickly said, “I’ll definitely get him to restrain himself a bit.”
Yu Hao lay in his bed with the corners of his mouth still upturned. He heard Zhou Sheng singing while taking a bath, and his voice had a bass effect in the bathroom.
Fu Liqun said to Yu Hao, “I miss your sis-in-law.”
Yu Hao said, “The two of you just parted!”
Fu Liqun, “We won’t be able to meet again for half a year; she has to train with a teacher like they’re going into seclusion……”
Yu Hao, “Can you go and see her?”
Fu Liqun began sharing with Yu Hao about the day he had confessed to Cen Shan. When he was in his third year, he never thought that he had any chance of success. He only confessed for the sake of giving up on her completely so he could focus on his college entrance examinations. But unexpectedly, Cen Shan actually agreed……
Yu Hao looked at the selfie Fu Liqun took today. In the back of the photo, Zhou Sheng’s face and expression made it seem like he wanted to say something -- it was the face of someone who couldn’t help but want to look at the other party because of how much they like them. Yu Hao hadn’t understood what all that had meant until now. He was belatedly struck powerfully by that gaze, so he turned over and lay sprawled on the bed.
“I’m dying I’m dying……” Yu Hao moaned, “I’m going to die……”
Fu Liqun, “Ah, we can’t meet for half a year, I’m going to die too……”
Zhou Sheng came out after his bath. The lights were already off in the dormitory, so it was pitch dark.
“Asleep?” Zhou Sheng looked at Yu Hao’s bed in the dark.
Yu Hao had been tormented all day until he was absolutely delirious. His battery had been exhausted, so he unintentionally fell asleep while he lay sprawled on his bed.
“Yes.” Fu Liqun answered indifferently from another bed.
Zhou Sheng turned on a small cold lamp, sat at his desk bare chested, and carefully wiped his sneakers clean. Then he got onto his bed, crossed the bedside railings to move close to Yu Hao’s lips, their breathing intermingling with each other.
“Good night.” Zhou Sheng said softly.
The next day, Yu Hao felt Zhou Sheng kissing him and immediately opened his eyes. The glaring light streamed in through the balcony, and the night passed in a flash just like that.
Zhou Sheng was sitting on the ladder in front of the bed, already dressed in his sportswear and asked, “Awake?”
Yu Hao sat up with his thin blanket in his arms, but Zhou Sheng said, “Get up and wash up.”
Fu Liqun had also changed into a set of sportswear and was warming up at the door as he waited for Zhou Sheng. The two of them then went out for a morning run. It was the first day of the new semester today. After Yu Hao sobered up, he remembered what happened yesterday and immediately rolled over and laid face down on his bed.
Yu Hao was going crazy. I’m dating Zhou Sheng now?! He kissed me just now? How could he kiss me so naturally like he’s used to it?!
Yesterday’s shock still lingered without losing any of its intensity, and it was crashing around madly in his inner world. Yu Hao felt like he would need at least three months to get used to the changes in his life.
He took his phone out and scrolled through the various group chats -- everything was normal, and everyone in the chats were greeting one another due to school resuming. No one in the sports class talked about them. It was a little difficult for him to restrain his impulse to show off, but he didn’t have any friends he could brag to. He definitely couldn’t tell the people in his class, otherwise it would certainly invite trouble……so he could only endure it bitterly.
Chen Yekai sent Yu Hao a red packet:【Jiayou for the new semester. I’ve been busy with the college evaluations recently; I’ll look for you to have dinner together in a few days.】
Yu Hao wanted to treat Chen Yekai to a meal so this was perfect and incidentally, he could bring Zhou Sheng along too.
“Here’s breakfast, I’m heading to class.” Zhou Sheng returned to the dorm all sweaty with a KFC breakfast in hand, “Don’t have time to take a bath now, wait for me to have lunch together in the afternoon.”
Yu Hao just took a bath, and his hair was still wet. He wiped his hair as he looked at Zhou Sheng with some embarrassment.
“What are you smiling at?” Zhou Sheng suddenly became shy. There were only the two of them in the dormitory. Yu Hao knew that Zhou Sheng must have ordered takeaway on his phone and ran to the college gate to fetch it before running back to the dormitory to pass it to him.
Yu Hao kissed Zhou Sheng’s cheek, and Zhou Sheng immediately blushed. Steam seemed to rise from the top of his head.
“I’m leaving!” Zhou Sheng changed into a clean T-shirt and went out.
The new semester began, and this was the first time in Yu Hao’s life for him to actually be in a relationship. And how he felt about it was……no wonder everyone said that dating will impact your studies, it really did affect his studies a lot. He didn’t know what his teachers had been talking about for four lessons in a row this morning. He just kept touching his phone and looking at it to see if Zhou Sheng messaged him or not. Zhou Sheng was taking physical fitness tests now and would occasionally send him a few messages to ask about his classes.
Yu Hao had to learn statistics and probability this year, and he had psychostatistics next semester. These were all vexing subjects. With the beginning of sophomore year, his workload had become relatively heavier, and Zhou Sheng finally said:【Am I disturbing your studies? I can’t resist the urge to look for you all the time; I won’t message you for now.】
Yu Hao hastily replied to say that he wouldn’t disturb him, and Zhou Sheng replied to him with a string of emoticons. But Yu Hao was seen by the teacher, so he hurriedly hid his phone. Time felt like it was practically crawling in this experimental psychology class for Yu Hao, but he endured it until it was finally at an end. Yu Hao was about to head to the canteen when he saw that Zhou Sheng was already waiting for him at the stairway entrance.
He said to Yu Hao, “Where are you looking at?” He reached out to drape his arm over his shoulder and led him away to have lunch.
Yu Hao said, “Don’t be too high-profile.”
Zhou Sheng’s action was somewhat unnatural in the first place, but he said, “Weren’t we like this before anyway? There’s nothing to be scared of.”
Yu Hao suddenly realised that he was right; they seemed to be no different now than before, except for the extra kiss in the morning. In the past, Zhou Sheng would also rub his head when he woke him up.
When they arrived at the canteen for lunch, Yu Hao sat down to wait as usual, and Zhou Sheng passed through the crowd with two trays. Fu Liqun had already begun to wolf down his food first. Yu Hao took a tissue to wipe his chopsticks and began to think that it really seemed like everything was almost the same as before.
“What are you thinking about?” Zhou Sheng smiled. His smile contained a faint hint of bashfulness, “You want to feed me?”
Yu Hao picked up some food with his chopsticks and Zhou Sheng leaned in to eat it. The two of them looked at each other and smiled before eating their own meals.
Fu Liqun had already automatically set up a screen between him and the couple. He only looked at his phone while eating, but Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng didn’t use their phones anymore. They began chatting idly as they ate; Zhou Sheng talked about his physical fitness tests while Yu Hao talked about his morning classes. In this life that seemed pretty much the same, a different feeling had emerged.
“I’ll buy you an in-game skin?” In the afternoon, Zhou Sheng asked, “What kind of skin does Baby like?”
Fu Liqun’s HP -5.
“I don’t want any.” Yu Hao said, “I don’t play many games.”
“Then I’ll buy you a new laptop?” Zhou Sheng said, “A Macbook, then it'll be more convenient for you to work on your translations. I’ll buy the newest and the best one for you.”
“No need!” Yu Hao immediately vetoed.
Fu Liqun’s HP -25.
Zhou Sheng asked again, “Do you want a new phone? Let’s buy a pair for couples?”
Fu Liqun’s HP -125.
Yu Hao was stunned and said to Zhou Sheng, “My phone still works! Don’t spend money so recklessly!”
Zhou Sheng chuckled with a ‘hehe’ and showed Yu Hao the prize money he got from the college. For his achievements in the cycling race, the college gave him 30,000 yuan! In addition, a notice was put up outside the office of the Department of Physical Education. It served as an encouragement for college students to actively participate in various off-campus competitions for an advantage in their appraisals.
“I want it!” Fu Liqun finally couldn’t hold it back anymore, “I want it ah! I want a new phone, new laptop, and a new skin!!”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Yu Hao, “……”
Zhou Sheng, “Then what does Baby want? I’ll buy anything for you, just say what you want. I’ve already paid your tuition fees for you, and I charged 1,000 to your canteen card.”
Fu Liqun’s HP -200.
Yu Hao said, “I really don’t need anything, keep it for yourself to use as living expenses. You paid my tuition fees for me? You paid it already? Ok then, since we keep our money together for our expenditures……if you don’t have enough just use my money.”
“Un.” Zhou Sheng said, “Good boy, think about what you want. I’ll buy you anything you want, and I’ll cook you whatever you want to eat.”
In the afternoon, when the General Assembly for their cohort was held, Yu Hao sat down with Zhou Sheng, Fu Liqun, and the guys from the sports class as usual. Yu Hao leaned on the table to look at the stage. First, they talked about the transfer of personnel. This semester, Chen Yekai was officially appointed as a lecturer to teach selective courses, and Liang Jinmin would be teaching sociology electives and social psychology electives to the third years. Within one summer vacation, the college had hired eight teachers and conducted various internal job transfers.
“Why didn’t they transfer Xue Long away?” Someone in front whispered, “That guy’s like a pimp, and he’s way too nasty, he’ll just ruin the college’s image……”
Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng each shared an earbud each from their earphones. Yu Hao was listening to a public lecture for his major, though he couldn’t pay attention to it at all. When Chen Yekai spoke, he roused another heated round of discussion. Zhou Sheng said, “You’re not allowed to look at the stage.”
Yu Hao was baffled as he asked, “Then where do I look?”
“At me.” Zhou Sheng said.
Yu Hao, “……”
So Yu Hao could only lay on the table and watch Zhou Sheng, but in his heart he felt very happy. He could openly look at him now. Zhou Sheng had both his hands under the table, and Yu Hao didn’t know what he was doing at all, so he asked out of curiosity, “What are you doing?”
Zhou Sheng didn’t show Yu Hao and signalled for him to just keep lying on the table. Not long after, he took out a hundred yuan note that had been folded into a pink heart and handed it to Yu Hao.
Yu Hao, “……”
“Young Madam.” Xia Lei took out a heart folded from a five yuan note and whispered, “I’ll use this purple one to exchange for your red one, wanna swap? Look, mine’s folded much nicer than Young Master’s.”
Zhou Sheng, “Get lost!”
“Do I need to leave the dorm to you guys at night?” After Fu Liqun finished playing basketball, he asked Yu Hao when he got back, and his tone was filled with sadness and melancholy.
Yu Hao was doing his assignments for the day. He looked up at Fu Liqun with a baffled expression on his face.
“I can pull an all-nighter at the Internet cafe.” Fu Liqun said as he held a basketball in his arms, “Just let me know, and I’ll go.”
“Where’s Zhou Sheng?” Yu Hao was a bit confused, “Didn’t you guys play basketball together?”
Fu Liqun, “……”
After they stared at each other for a few minutes, Fu Liqun said, “Young Master said that he had something on and didn’t play basketball; he went out of the college.”
Yu Hao was stunned; it couldn’t be that something had happened at home ba? Fu Liqun continued, “If you guys want to do that, I can leave the dorm……”
“Of course not!” Yu Hao said, “Gege, I don’t plan on doing ‘that’ so soon……”
Fu Liqun thought about it for a moment, then said, “Okay then, if you need it just let me know.”
After taking a bath, Fu Liqun sat down and watched Yu Hao work on his assignments. After thinking about it, he said, “I think I’ve been too self-indulgent, it’s no wonder your sis-in-law always scolds me.”
“How could that be?” Yu Hao has always thought that Fu Liqun was actually a very interesting person; he was just a little lazy sometimes, but he could be very diligent when he needed to be, “Do you want to find something to do? Why don’t you set some goals for yourself to achieve by the end of the semester?”
Yu Hao planned on joining a club and learn how to skateboard this semester, and he was thinking of urging Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun to go with him too. However, Fu Liqun said, “Let’s play a three-man basketball game at the end of the year together?”
“Okay!” Yu Hao promised, but suddenly snapped out of his daze, “But I’m not very good at basketball.”
“You’re not bad.” Fu Liqun said, “You’re already considered very good in your class. Let’s practice more and just treat it as if we’re having fun, and get Young Master to buy a pair of shoes for you. He also wants to compete.”
Zhou Sheng took first place in seven out of ten sports fields, and all the teachers in his major like him very much. He was especially good at basketball and soccer. Yu Hao thought that he should be more proactive as well, so he agreed.
Fu Liqun had set his goals for the semester, so he laid down on his bed with a clear conscience.
Yu Hao sent several messages to Zhou Sheng, wondering where he had gone exactly and why he wasn’t back yet. By the time it hit 8.30pm, Zhou Sheng finally knocked on the door and returned.
“Why didn’t you reply to my messages?” Yu Hao said, “I was so worried.”
As soon as Zhou Sheng returned to the dormitory, Fu Liqun’s HP started decreasing again.
Zhou Sheng took out a Macbook and put it on Yu Hao’s table like nothing had happened, then opened it.
Yu Hao, “……”
Fu Liqun glanced at it, HP -200.
“The newest Macbook?!” Fu Liqun cried out.
“You went to buy a laptop?!” Yu Hao became frantic.
Zhou Sheng, “I know you’ve wanted it for a long time, do you like it? Give me a kiss? The password is our names, mine’s in front.”
Fu Liqun’s HP -500.
Yu Hao, “……”
Fu Liqun, “……”
“Return it!” Yu Hao said, “It’s too expensive aaahhh!”
Zhou Sheng, “The receipt’s already torn, it can’t be returned.”
Yu Hao, “It’s too expensive! This costs at least 10,000!” When he saw what Zhou Sheng bought for him, Yu Hao’s heart ached like mad, “We’ll have to go cold and hungry from now on!”
Fu Liqun, “That……I remember that there should be an electronic receipt too……” Then he immediately felt Zhou Sheng’s murderous intent.
“Do you like it?” Zhou Sheng smiled.
Yu Hao, “It’s too expensive! Don’t do that, I’ll get angry! We’re already together, so I’m very happy. Zhou Sheng, I mean it, I don’t need anything else, I already feel so fortunate……”
Fu Liqun’s HP -1250.
Zhou Sheng said with a stern expression, “But I want to make it up to you.”
Yu Hao was stunned.
Zhou Sheng said earnestly, “I want you to experience everything you have never used, eaten or played with, and I want to give you all the things you like that you can’t bear to buy for yourself.”
Fu Liqun’s HP -2500.
Yu Hao looked at the brand new laptop. He really did want a laptop, but okay then……Yu Hao’s heart ached too much, this must be returned, it costs 10,000 ah!
“It’ll be fine as long as you say you like it.” Zhou Sheng said, “Do you like it?”
“I do like it……” Yu Hao said, “But it’s a little heartbreaking, you’ve spent all your prize money!”
Fu Liqun looked at the two of them, wanting to cry but no tears could be shed and said, “I think I should just leave the dorm to the two of you tonight ba.”
“Don’t, don’t.” Zhou Sheng said, “Gege, just ignore us.”
Fu Liqun, “How could I ignore you guys?! The two of you have been giving me a lot of critical hits, okay?!”
Yu Hao went to open the laptop. The background of its desktop was the picture of him and Zhou Sheng on Mt. Tianqing they took half a year ago. He still remembered that they quarreled that day, and Zhou Sheng had walked angrily in front of him the whole way, but he didn’t leave him behind and always paid attention to whether he was still behind him as they walked to the foot of the mountain like that.
When Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng again, he instantly experienced how touched Zhou Sheng was when he received his new shoes on his birthday. Zhou Sheng just smiled as he looked at him, then raised his hand and pointed at his own cheek. Yu Hao finally couldn’t hold back anymore and leaned in to kiss him.
Zhou Sheng, “Do you like it?”
Yu Hao, “I really like it.”
Zhou Sheng, “Who do you like?”
Yu Hao, “……”
Zhou Sheng, “Say it ah, why are you suddenly embarrassed now?”
Yu Hao, “Y……you……” Then he roared angrily, “I like you!”
Fu Liqun’s HP -5,500 from the roar.
“My dear wife, I can’t live like this anymore.” After the lights were off, Fu Liqun cried to Cen Shan through their video call, “The other kid got a Macbook, and he’s about to get a new skateboard too, and he’s going to join a club……I want those too……”
Yu Hao’s first day in a relationship passed like that. His dizziness didn’t go away and instead became more serious.
“Little fox, good night.” Zhou Sheng moved over to kiss him on his lips. The dormitory was quiet.
Yu Hao suddenly remembered the golden wheat field in Zhou Sheng’s dream world, and a fairy tale that his father had read to him a long, long time ago……
“Good night, my little prince.” Yu Hao turned sideways and said softly.
Fu Liqun who hadn’t fallen asleep yet, HP -8,000, Game Over.
Ame: /Lights candle for FLQ
Zryuu: /Lights candle for FLQ +1
Zryuu: Poor…poor Fu Liqun………
Dollars: I kept picturing Fu Liqun getting KO’d like in mortal combat. No mercy.
Juurensha: ZS now gets to unleash his not so secret sappy side.
Update 12 September 2020:
Found fanart of Fu Liqun losing HP, click here to see it!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat.