Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah, PM87
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Not far from the Financial District lay the Orient Apartment complex, one among the dozens of upscale, square-shaped buildings that were clustered in the area. These buildings were rent-only and catered to expatriates from major multinational companies to rent locally. Many Japanese, Europeans, and Americans pushed prams in the neighborhood, just like a small-scale United Nations.
Guan Yue’s home was located on the top floor of the Orient Apartment complex, with a square footage of more than 200 square meters. It was decorated in a frigid Icelandic style. Outside the French windows, the high-rise buildings of the Financial District were faintly visible and were partly shrouded by clouds and mist.
They exited the car from the garage, which was situated on the top floor of the building. Guan Yue pressed the fingerprint pad beside the elevators. Once the elevator door opened, they were already in the entrance hallway to his apartment. The walls of the house were hung with Mondriaan’s works, the cabinets were decorated with Yayoi Kusama’s metal pumpkins, the floor was covered with grey and black wool carpets, and a square tea table sat in the living room. All the furnishings were full of geometric designs that displayed logic over emotions—cold and lonely.
The table was set and held the dinner prepared by the cook. Guan Yue pressed the remote control on the wall and the soft notes of Beethoven flooded the living room. Tianhe switched his shoes for slippers and as he entered the dining room, his earpiece were suddenly removed by Guan Yue. Tianhe wanted to grab them back but Guan Yue lifted his hand and looked down at him, teasing Tianhe just like he used to when they were still together. Tianhe almost lost his temper.
“I often suffer from insomnia and tinnitus recently,” Tianhe explained. “This is an audio program for adjunctive therapy.”
Guan Yue put the earpiece back on the table and turned around to change his clothes.
Pro, “You’re always wearing one. He’s already suspicious and making moves to probe you.”
Tianhe, “I don’t care what he thinks.”
Pro, “Do you know his Wi-Fi password?”
Tianhe, “What do you want to do with it?”
Pro, “Invade into his home facility’s system, of course.”
It’s been a year since they broke up, how would he know? At this time, Guan Yue came back, so Tianhe took off his earphones and put them back on the dining table.
Guan Yue loosened his necktie and took off his suit jacket. He rolled up his white shirt sleeves, took off his wristwatch, and then sat down at the table with Tianhe. The housekeeper came out from another small door and greeted them as he lit the candle on the table. Guan Yue nodded indifferently. Finished, the housekeeper and the cook went to their respective homes without a hitch.
The CFO had sent over a video. With a bowl of soup in one hand and a phone in the other, Guan Yue played the video, which was a recording of this afternoon’s presentation.
Tianhe put down his chopsticks after eating only a little. Guan Yue knew he couldn’t eat much, so he didn’t try to force him. He got up, put on a pair of kitchen mittens, and then took out the cheese pie that was in the oven. He cut off a piece, put it onto a plate, added a fork, and placed the slice of pie in front of Tianhe.
Guan Yue did not like cheese, but Tianhe liked it very much. He knew that this pie had been specially baked for him.
Guan Yue finished watching the video and put an end to it. He glanced at the wall clock, it was already 9:25 PM.
“Let’s get down to business. What on earth would you like to tell me that is so important?” Tianhe asked.
Guan Yue stared at Tianhe silently.
He was always silent, always said nothing, yet Tianhe already knew what he wanted to say, this was the ‘obvious’ between them. The light from the burning candle on the table reflected on their faces. Guan Yue’s facial features were especially abstruse.
Guan Yue, “Take a shower?”
Tianhe sat uneasily. “All I want to do now is to eat, take a bath, and get some sleep,” he said, but he didn’t want to take a bath and sleep here. It would be too embarrassing to spend the night at his ex-boyfriend’s house.
“There’s no one else,” Guan Yue seemed to sense Tianhe’s worries. “I’ve been single for a long time, so there won’t be any incumbents coming to tear your face off.”
Tianhe, “Say what you want to say, I’ll give you five minutes.” As he said this, he flipped the screen of his phone, and then Pro turned on the timer.
Guan Yue studied Tianhe, the latter’s eyebrows were illuminated by the faint light from the burning candle on the table.
“Though you won’t like to hear it, some things must be said…… Forget it. To make this story short,” Guan Yue wasn’t the slightest bit displeased, and continued in a deep voice, “as an investor, I admit that your company has a reasonable chance of succeeding on its own in the future. However, Wen Tianyue produced a major error in his decision. At the same time, it also resulted in the only remedy—transferring all the power of the company over to you. At this time, you need strong financial support to get through the current situation. Qingsong Capital can solve your urgent needs.”
“So you can say this kind of rhetoric too,” Tianhe retorted.
“And so, as a partner, I’m the one who knows you the most,” Guan Yue replied. “In the face of capital, it is unwise to let emotions affect your decisions. At the summit’s presentation today, luck occupied the majority. Your software couldn’t have been so accurate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have needed financing. Go into the stock market to do a couple of waves of T+0, and your liquidity will then be available.”
“According to my speculation,” Guan Yue said heedlessly, “with the improved Epeus analysis system, the probability can fluctuate slightly over 45 percent. This was also why you dared to risk everything on a single outcome at the summit today.”
Tianhe had to admit that this 45 percent estimate was pretty accurate and Guan Yue’s level of expertise was exceptional.
Guan Yue continued, “Your heart has long acknowledged that Qingsong is currently your best choice. We have a close relationship with many funds, stock companies, and even securities dealers. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that there are a considerable number of companies in the country that are our strategic cooperative partners…...”
This time around, Tianhe listened quietly.
“...If you don’t come to me now, you’ll still come to me when the fifth, sixth or even tenth generation of software comes out, because no matter which company uses your software, the written evaluation will still be sent to Qingsong’s hands. You ought to know that whether it is funds, future contracts, or other trading markets—institutions aren’t determined by just patting their heads.”
Tianhe replied, “Are you this intense in your usual negotiations?”
Guan Yue, “I don’t see the need to go around in circles when the profits and prospects are so clear. And regarding Qingsong’s financing, I guarantee that the number will satisfy you, it’ll be far more than what you need right now.”
Tianhe retrieved the business cards he had received after today’s summit from his pocket, then spread them on the table one by one. There were ten cards in total. He then looked up at Guan Yue with an expression that seemed to say, “I still have choices.”
Guan Yue, “I thought I had made myself clear.”
“Not really,” replied Tianhe.
Guan Yue extended his finger and pointed at one of the cards.
“Commercial bribery dispute,” Guan Yue said and pointed to another card. “The capital chain is already broken. And this one, in three months’ time, you will hear news of their bankruptcy.”
“Due to the P2P project, it is fairly difficult to operate funds. Even if you sign a contract, you still won’t get money.” After looking at the third and fourth cards and writing those companies off, Guan Yue went through the rest of them one by one. Tianhe smiled and said, “Chairman Guan, it’s not good to start rumors behind someone’s back.”
Guan Yue responded hastily, “If your software makes a wrong prediction when the NASDAQ index comes out tonight, will they see you again?”
Tianhe was about to pick up his phone from the table when Guan Yue placed his hand over Tianhe’s. His warm skin suddenly caused Tianhe’s heartbeat to quicken. He wanted to withdraw his hand and take back his phone, but Guan Yue exerted a little more strength, locking down Tianhe’s hand and preventing him from seeing the prediction results.
“Before the summit, I had already decided to invest for you,” Guan Yue said in a deep voice. “No matter how effectively your software works. After concluding, I still decided to invest for you, even before you verified the results. None of us know the NASDAQ Index right now, and I think that’s already good enough to be sincere.”
Tianhe let go of his phone to withdraw his hand. Guan Yue also let go of his hand.
Both sides were silent. One second, two seconds…… twenty seconds…
The minute hand of the clock struck 9:50.
Tianhe raised his eyebrows, “Anything else you want to say? If not, I’ll go now.”
After a long silence, Guan Yue finally said, “I apologize for what I said that afternoon. Please forgive me for my insensitive words.”
“I express my sincere apologies for this.” Tianhe had been waiting for him to apologize, thus he replied tauntingly, “Ah, I’m sorry! Chairman Guan even apologized with such courtesy and restraint. Just like the Dutch Crown Prince who talked about the guilt of the victims in Africa. Holland has so many cows and so much meat, while so many people in Africa endured starvation. I am very sorry for this.”
As Tianhe brushed past Guan Yue’s shoulder, he saw the clock digits on the oven flashing a few times, before it displayed four digits—the NASDAQ Index was only two points short of Pro’s prediction.
In other words, this second wave of predictions had verified that he was still favored by the goddess of luck!
“With less than 50 percent odds, it would be hard for you to step on it twice,” Guan Yue said.
Tianhe smiled gently and said, “Thank you, Chairman Guan, for deciding to invest for me. I’m really glad you finally understand what I want. I also apologize.”
Guan Yue was surprised and confused by Tianhe’s sudden change in attitude. He looked at Tianhe suspiciously. After half a minute, he replied, “Then, from today on, please give me more advice.”
“I dare not,” Tianhe said, still smiling. “Can we see the prediction results now?”
Tianhe turned on his phone, clicked on the U.S. Stock APP. Without looking at it, he pushed it directly toward Guan Yue.
Guan Yue was silent. Five to six news feeds from twenty minutes ago flashed onto the phone screen, all about the contents from today’s summit.
“So much luck, actually.” Tianhe smiled as he flipped the phone and said, “I seem to have lost a little by promising too soon. However, I won’t go back on my word. After all, every word weighed enormously. Everyone understands that.”
Even if Guan Yue had a high IQ, he couldn’t understand how Tianhe had been able to set up this trick by himself. He hadn’t worn an earpiece, so it was impossible for someone to have informed him of the latest US stock index. Over dinner, Guan Yue was certain that Tianhe hadn’t looked at his phone the entire time! Besides, this was his own home!
Guan Yue glanced back to confirm that the TV wasn’t turned on.
When looking at Tianhe again, Guan Yue’s face was filled with a puzzled expression. Tianhe seemed to have remained the same all these years. He took so much trouble to set up tricks like these. Sometimes, it was just to make fun of him, so he could see Guan Yue’s blank expression, which made him happy.
All of a sudden, Guan Yue thought of a serious problem and his voice trembled.
“You implanted a microchip in yourself?!!” Guan Yue’s blood seemed to freeze. This was the only possibility! If not, how else could Tianhe suddenly know the NASDAQ Index?!
Tianhe totally didn’t expect Guan Yue to make such a guess. He immediately burst into loud laughter and bent over, lying with his cheek against the dining table as he looked at Guan Yue. It was so amusing!
Guan Yue was short of breath. Tianhe turned his head to the side and said, “Do you want to confirm? See if there are any wounds and stitches behind my ears? …Or are you suspecting that it might be somewhere else?” Guan Yue immediately realized that he was being tricked again. He stomped the ground, pushed back his chair a little, stood up, and walked to the living room.
Tianhe casually said, “Give me the contract. I’ll take it back and give it a serious consideration.”
Guan Yue stood in front of the French windows with his hands in his trouser pockets. He turned his head and looked at Tianhe with a dangerous glint in his eyes.
Tianhe knew that he couldn’t tease him anymore. In the year that they had been apart, Guan hadn’t had sex with anyone, but Tianhe didn’t know that. Tianhe hadn’t had any sex either. The phrase “somewhere else” had purely been a slip of his tongue. He’d made a joke that he shouldn’t have. Now, it seemed like Guan Yue hadn’t slept with anyone either. This guy would surely insist on becoming his investor in case they did something they shouldn’t do tonight. However, doing so might make it even more difficult for them to get along with each other in the future.
He didn’t intend to take a bath in Guan Yue’s house, but sat quietly on the sofa.
Guan Yue took out a stack of contracts and placed them on the tea table. Tianhe knew that he must have prepared the contracts beforehand. Thus, he picked them up and looked through them. This really wasn’t an investment contract, but rather an “intention” to extend the bankruptcy guarantee. All these cumbersome contract terms gave Tianhe a headache as he browsed through each of them.
Guan Yue patiently sat and waited.
“I didn’t think you would personally read the contract and so attentively,” Guan Yue said.
Tianhe, “After my second brother’s incident, from then on, I decided to take contracts seriously.”
“Then I suggest you discuss it with your old lawyer, only he is the most conscientious,” Guan Yue replied.
“Of course,” Tianhe said. “But before that, I must see if there is any value for it to be given to him.”
Guan Yue, “Take your time. You still have plenty of time.”
Guan Yue got up and left. Tianhe took out his phone, took a contract, and said, “Pro, use your legal database to help me do a simple analysis.”
Pro, “I need a little time to do the retrieval and comparison. It will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.”
When Tianhe heard the sound of water coming from the bathroom, he lay on the sofa, took the contracts, and photographed them one by one.
Pro, “Just a moment ago, he had an impulse to inquire if you would like to spend the night with him.”
“Please concentrate on the contract.” Tianhe said. “I’m already too tired today, I have no energy to counter your words.”
Pro, “I’ve got a couple of processes running and I haven’t gotten any control over the oven yet. Do you want to eat something?”
Tianhe didn’t answer. He just wanted to sleep since he was already full. He said, “I’m really tired. Hurry up, Pro……”
Twenty minutes later, the sound of water stopped. Guan Yue dried off his hair and took out his hair dryer. He was about to turn it on when he suddenly remembered and looked back.
Tianhe was lying on the sofa, fast asleep. The contracts were scattered all over the ground and his phone was lying on one side of the sofa.
Guan Yue gently took off Tianhe’s earpiece. He glanced at it, put it on the phone, and placed both on the table. He then sorted out all the contracts and put them away. Guan Yue went to his room, took out a blanket, and used it to cover Tianhe. Then, he continued to blow-dry his hair. After that, he went back to the living room, sat cross-legged beside the sofa, and stared at Tianhe’s sleeping face.
After a while, Guan Yue shifted his position on the ground, leaning his back against the sofa. He took the remote control from the sofa and turned on the floor-to-ceiling projection in the living room. The annulus projection theater started to show movies.
The movie was “Wall-E.” Guan Yue turned off the sound and only watched with the English subtitles. He continued to just sit there motionlessly, like a silent German Shepherd.
He could hear Tianhe’s steady breathing as he slept.
When Tianhe woke up, he didn’t know what time it was. As he wearily opened his eyes and looked around for some water to drink, he found himself covered with a blanket. He also saw that Guan Yue was curled up beside the sofa and asleep like a dog.
Guan Yue’s long legs were clearly visible in this sleeping position, his pajama pants were pulled up slightly, revealing his beautiful ankles.
Tianhe found a glass of water on the small table next to the sofa, presumably Guan Yue had prepared it for him. He drank it in one breath, still feeling groggy. The big wool blanket covered half of Tianhe’s body and the other half of it covered Guan Yue’s body beside the sofa.
“Wall-E”… How many years had passed and he was still watching this movie……
Tianhe chose a comfortable position to lie on his side. Although he had seen it many times, he still liked this movie. Tianhe still remembered that when he first arrived in London, Guan Yue had taken him to see Big Ben and ride the London Eye Super-Ferris Wheel. This was the movie they had watched that night.
Tianhe was just 14 years old at that time, while Guan Yue was 18 years old. Besides being a family friend, Guan Yue was also Tianhe’s guardian. Hence, the students in Cambridge nicknamed him “Uncle Long Legs,” one that Guan Yue also never refuted. Oxford and Cambridge were located one hundred miles apart. Guan Yue bought a new house in the small town of San Jose near Cambridge County, which was convenient for Tianhe’s study. Every day after school in Oxford, he would accompany Tianhe all the way home by helicopter.
In Tianhe’s world, Guan Yue seemed to have occupied a place that was indispensable and always right. He had never thought that one day he would leave him. The thought was almost inconceivable to him. Thus, when Guan Yue went to take a job on Wall Street, it led to Tianhe’s extreme pushback.
But despite pushback after pushback, Guan Yue’s decision hadn’t wavered for anyone, not even Tianhe. In the end, he had still gone.
But I was able to get through it at that time, Tianhe thought.
After the movie was finished, the projection automatically went black. The living room became very quiet, only the sound of Guan Yue’s breathing could be heard from the ground. Tianhe listened to the familiar sound and softly rose from the sofa.
When Guan Yue left, Tianhe’s life had seemed to collapse. He was so helpless at that time, but he still had to bear it. However, in less than a year, he had surprisingly become used to it.
Guan Yue had fought for every opportunity to come back to London to see him, despite being separated by a time difference of five hours across the Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes, it would already be dawn by the time Guan Yue reached London and drove to San Jose. He would lay quietly beside Tianhe, sleep for a few hours, and when Tianhe woke up, they would wildly make love until nightfall, then Guan Yue would set off back to New York.
Tianhe began to sort out the contract, folded it, and found his phone in the darkness.
In those years, Guan Yue had always been very tired. Once, when he was hurrying to cross a street in Manhattan while video calling Tianhe, he had almost been hit by a car. He, too, would have been hit if he hadn’t dodged in the nick of time. Tianhe had yelled at him when he learned about this, told him to stop doing this again, and that he should wait for him to go to New York.
A year later, the number of times they met had gradually decreased. Guan Yue became busier, while Tianhe’s research became more and more onerous. They often used video calls, while waiting for Tianhe to graduate so they could live together in New York.
Now, it seemed like there was no reason for people to not be able to live alone in this world. At least Guan Yue was doing well now.
Outside the French windows, the distant dawn cast a glimmer of light on the horizon. Tianhe put on his earphones, carefully stepped over Guan Yue’s body without disturbing him, and left his home.
Pro, “I’m working to tackle his AV system. The code for this one isn’t hard to crack. Do you want to see what’s on his hard drive?”
Tianhe, “He doesn’t watch porn. You don’t have to work in vain. I see, now, that you don’t know him at all.”
Pro, “There’s a 90% chance he kissed you when you were asleep. This is quite a high probability.”
“I don’t want to hear anymore stupid stories about overbearing CEOs,” Tianhe said “Those are all written to deceive people. I haven’t settled accounts with you yet. Why didn’t you wake me up… Call my lawyer, quick.”
At six o’clock in the morning, Tianhe wandered around the gas station. It took him almost half an hour to find his Lamborghini. He angrily got in the car and drove home.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.