Exclusive Rights to An Online Voice Actor
But once they opened their eyes again, the night having already passed, they still had to think about the future.
If it was the title of an essay, who knows how many ways it could be written about, endlessly filling the blank paper sheet called “life”. Qi Jing realised that lately, he would often daydream a lot. He was running about for his job for so many years, so when he finally got this rare chance to rest for a few months and free himself from the constant workload, his mind suddenly went completely empty, so at some point, he unknowingly developed this habit.
He especially liked to daydream while observing Shen Yan. No matter if he was working, cooking in the kitchen, or maybe hanging the clothes on the balcony to sundry just as now… He would keep by his side, watching him while spacing out.
“Let me do it, I will hang it.” Although it was inconvenient for him to use his hand and he couldn’t really shake the clothes out or put them on the drying rack, there was one thing Qi Jing was adamant about helping him with.
Shen Yan chuckled lightly, passing the drying rack in his hands, with the clothes already hung on it, to him. Then, he hung up the hanging rod, letting Qi Jing take care of putting the clothes on the drying rack. Other people would hang their clothes in whatever order, not thinking much about whose clothes they were, but Qi Jing needed to hang them alternately, one piece of his clothes besides one of Shen Yan’s.
There was no particular reason for that.
It’s just, as he saw both of their clothes lined up together, swaying slightly in the wind, their sleeves brushing against each other from time to time, he thought—that was exactly the “future” he wished for.
“Hehe.” Qi Jing laughed without realising it. The winter weather outside was cold, so he should be shivering, freezing on the balcony, but his heart was warm and filled to the brim.
The two shirts were white, barely different in size, but his was one button short by its collar, so it could be easily recognised upon closer examination.
He stared at it for a while, then suddenly said, as if to himself, “I can imagine myself becoming old and sitting here, basking in the sun.” Saying this, he pointed towards a corner of the balcony, as if envisioning the place of the chair from that image.
Shen Yan got taken aback, then the corners of his lips curled up a bit as he stopped what he was doing. “Why would you imagine yourself becoming old?”
At that time, Qi Jing narrowed his eyes a bit, cocking his head as if thinking deeply, then hummed before raising his chin to answer, “Did you know? When a person is at the most happy point of their life, they would always have this ‘I wish I could grow old overnight’ kind of thought. They would hope for it to remain like that forever, all the way until they become old…”He didn’t manage to finish his words.
Qi Jing didn’t remember if the hanging rod in his hand fell to the ground later. He could only remember that the moment Shen Yan slowly moved over to kiss him, his eyes that were about to close passed by his silhouette, catching a hazy sight of the clothes moving in the wind behind him, the sunlight passing through their fabric.
The clothes were only half dry, and those faintly white sun rays were like camera lenses focusing, as if real at one time, unreal at the other.
The light was swaying lightly and so were the shadows—the shadows of two shirts fleeting back and forth on the wall.
Suddenly, Qi Jing thought—no wonder people would associate time with sunlight and the shadows. By simply embracing each other like this below the lights and the shadows, it already felt as if tens of years had passed.
It’s perfect. He closed his eyes slowly, satisfied.
If the “future” had a smell… Wouldn’t it be like this fragrant smell of washing detergent in the cold, winter wind?
But before reaching the ‘future’, there was more of the ‘present’ to face.
For Qi Jing, the first thing he needed to take care of was the purchase of a car. After all, his injury was already more or less recovered, so if he didn’t go back to work, not to mention the promotion, even his current position would be endangered. If he didn’t get a car before returning to work, then commuting by public transport between Shen Yan’s house and the TV station everyday would be quite a hassle.
And as for Shen Yan… He, too, had his own matters to worry about.
Everyone in the vet clinic knew that during all those years of Shen Yan, Dr Shen, working there, he rarely ever asked for a leave, even often volunteering for fill ins and overtime. Yet this year, Dr Shen had actually asked for a leave three times already—because of how rarely he asked for a leave, the head nurse Mrs Pang could easily recall the precise number. The two previous leaves weren’t even for a full day, yet the third time he took five days, using up all of his annual leave, even asking for two additional days, a week altogether—truly a shock to everyone. Only after asking more did they realise that it was because his mother was getting prepared for brain tumour surgery. Of course, both because of the sentiment and the reason, the clinic management ratified the leave.
“It’s just a bit weird… It’s as if each time Dr Shen asks for a leave, I can see you, Reporter Comrade.” When Shen Yan went to the office to sign the report, Mrs Pang stroked Little Return Date, who was only taken to the clinic to peddle its cuteness, as she chatted to the smiling Qi Jing at her side.
Qi Jing remained smiling without saying anything.
Mrs Pang was very bewildered.
The first time Shen Yan asked for a leave, he came over to the clinic with the long since no seen Qi Jingk2014;she still remembered how haggard and emancipated he looked at that time. She heard that he broke a bone in an accident and was worrying about him for quite a while.
The second time Shen Yan asked for a leave, it was in the afternoon, as he came back from his lunch break. Qi Jing also came in behind him, even greeting her in the corridor. At that time, she was already sure that they were neighbours.
And today, Qi Jing actually appeared with Dr Shen’s kitty in his arms.
Maybe she got the wrong idea, but this young reporter would often show up in this clinic, even after the conclusion of his interview, and his relationship with Dr Shen was incredibly good. For example, that little kitten of Dr Shen’s, it would stick to him as affectionately as to Shen Yan, mewing cutely for his attention. Qi Jing also seemed very experienced at playing with it, seemingly having done that more than once or twice.
“Rather than you two being neighbours, it seems more like you’re living together.” She said so in conclusion.
“Haha.” Qi Jing laughed shortly, neither confirming nor denying.
After muttering to herself for quite a while, Mrs Pang felt that this assumption lacked real basis, so after chatting with Qi Jing for a bit, she put that thought aside.
As they were talking about the end-of-the-year plans for the expansion of the clinic, Shen Yan pushed the door open, his voice apologetic. “I’m sorry, there was a lot of work-related stuff that needed to be discussed, so it took me a while in the office.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Qi Jing smiled at him, “I had just enough time to chat with sister Pang.”
Big Return Date himself had yet to finish welcoming him when Little Return Date started to meow loudly, raising its little head from between Mrs Pang’s arms and perking up its two fluffy ears from joy. It did its utmost to convey the “please take me” signal with its full body language to this man.
Mrs Pang couldn’t help but say, “Aiya, look at it Dr Shen—forget it when you didn’t have a cat, now that you have adopted one, just see how much it loves you.”
—And it’s not only the kitty that loves him.
Qi Jing didn’t say anything, just smiling as he watched Mrs Pang passing this little fella over.
Shen Yan received Little Return Date with two hands, placing it close to his collar and rubbing the fur between Little Return Date’s ears with his chin. Little fella was happy with his service and hence quite satisfied with its current state. It lazily flicked the collar of Shen Yan’s shirt with its claws, opening it up with its pawing, revealing a bit of a thin red cord by his clavicle. Yet stringed on it was actually no pendant, but a very normal button.
Having found this new little toy, Little Return Date couldn’t help but get curious and brandish its claws at it.
Unfortunately, this adventurous spirit got curbed by Shen Yan who caught its paw, not letting it make any more trouble.
“Eh?” Mrs Pang pushed up her presbyopic glasses, not a bit less curious than Little Return Date, “Dr Shen, why do you have a button on your necklace?” She had seen people adorning gold and silver, but it was the first time for her to see someone wearing buttons.
Hearing her ask so, Shen Yan lifted his head only to see Qi Jing standing at the side, his eyes narrowed from the smile as he listened with interest to how he would answer. Then, he lowered his eyes as he said, “Mhm… Although it’s just a button, it has a very special meaning for me, that’s why I’m keeping it on me.”
“Oh… So that’s how it is.” Mrs Pang nodded her head, seemingly only half-understanding. She honestly had no idea what a button could possibly symbolise, but Qi Jing knew.
After Mrs Pang went away, Qi Jing stepped over with a smile curling up the corners of his lips, reaching hand with no reservations to help Shen Yan tidy his collar, his thumb brushing inadvertently by the surface of the button and staying there for a while. Since Shen Yan started wearing this button on his body, he would often touch it subconsciously with his hand.
He didn’t know why, but he felt like it made Shen Yan his, exclusively his—
“Okay then, we should go to the hospital now.” After a long while, Qi Jing slowly took back his hand and petted Little Return Date as he reminded him with a smile.
The semi-finals for the male characters for ⟪Order to End the Heavens⟫ had already concluded last week, so this week it was the turn for female characters’ semi-finals. Before the start of the finals, he and Shen Yan had just enough time to take care of their IRL matters. The surgery was set for five days after the results of the examination came out, with the surgeon from a high-grade provincial hospital, so it could really set one at ease.
Everyday of his leave, Shen Yan would prepare three meals each morning at home and bring it to a hospital, taking care of the woman while slowly progressing with their conversation. AlthoughQi Jing would accompany Shen Yan to the hospital everyday, he would always give him a way by the ward door, letting Shen Yan go in alone so that the woman could spend enough time alone with her son.
When Shen Yan was talking with her inside, he would find a place to sit outside out of his own volition, browsing the pages of car dealers in their vicinity.
Before, outside of work he only had more work, so his private life was just a completely blank slate, this way he could still browse pages upon pages of online gossip. But now, whenever he had free time he would mostly spend it on real life matters. Especially these days, he would call the bank and consult the colleagues and friends who had bought a car everyday, all of that to get the procedure of getting one done as quickly as possible. Aside from that, he also needed some time to terminate his contract and collect the things from his old apartment.
As for Bronze Sparrow Terrace, Jade Butterfly, all those plots in the dark and whatsoever… he really had no time to pay attention to it.
With noon approaching, there was even more people coming in and out of the inpatient building, some coming over to pass the food, some going out to eat outside with the patients.
Qi Jing talked with a car dealer for almost two hours, his voice getting hoarse, so he leaned against the wall to rest for a bit, tired—but his eyes weren’t idle. His occupational habit made him fond of observing the people walking around him, as if every person’s move and expression could create a news article in his brain in and on its own, allowing him to stand there with a mic to describe this lot.
Although his gaze didn’t search for anything in particular, he would still subconsciously pay closer attention to the couples passing through the corridor.
There was a young little couple there, who knows which one was hospitalised. They went down the corridor dilly-dallying hand in hand, as if wishing only to become one soul and body. The boy even kissed the girl’s cheek, both of them a picture of loving affection, uncaring for anyone’s gazes.
There was also a white-haired elderly couple, not as intimate as the young one, but they still supported each other steadily. It seemed like the elderly Mrs’ legs weren’t as good anymore, her walking unstable, but the elderly Mr by her side didn’t urge her, just saying to her, “The weather is nice today, let’s eat outside” as he patiently accompanied his elderly wife.
By a young boy’s side, it was always a young girl.
And by an elderly Mr’s side, it was always an elderly Mrs.
Qi Jing watched them pass before his eyes with a light, knowing chuckle, but after laughing, he lowered his head, once again spacing out while staring at his knees.
“Ah,” He snapped out of it in an instant and realising that Shen Yan was standing behind him, he smiled and sat up from the bench, “Did you finish talking with auntie? How is it, did it go smoothly today?”
Shen Yan neither nodded nor shook his head, only watching him for a moment. After a long while, he sighed and said in a low voice, “You really don’t have to sit outside everyday, it’s not a problem if you come in with me.”
Qi Jing was taken aback, not really knowing where to look away, “Ah… With me inside, it could be difficult for auntie to talk about some things. What’s more, you two are discussing your family matters, so it’s kind of a private matter, to do that with an outsider like me there it could get a bit inappropriate…”
Shen Yan opened his mouth to interrupt him, “I never regarded you as an outsider.”
Qi Jing’s expression shook a bit. He could feel a tinge of sweetness spilling in his heart, but thinking about how they were still in the hospital and that it wouldn’t be good to be too obvious with it, he only reached out his index finger to slightly scrape the palm of Shen Yan’s hand, his smile tender.
“I know.” If he could, he would love to move closer to whisper these words into his ear, but unfortunately, there were too many people around. “But auntie might not necessarily think so. No matter what, I have only known her for a few days… I’ve never appeared before her together with you, so don’t you think she would feel awkward about it?”
“To be honest, she wants to invite you for lunch together today.” Shen Yan said unexpectedly.
“Eh?” Sure enough, Qi Jing couldn’t process that at first.
To be fair, this invitation was reasonable, albeit a bit unexpected. After all, he was the mastermind behind this reuniting of mother and son, so in a way, the woman owed him a huge favour. So there was nothing to pick on about her inviting him for lunch—it’s just, he didn’t feel prepared for that, that’s all.
“Is that okay?” Maybe even he himself didn’t realise that the nervousness in his words could also be seen as easily in the way he pulled his hand back.
“What are you so worried about?” Suddenly, Shen Yan reached out to catch his right hand firmly. Qi Jing didn’t answer his question directly—he opened his mouth to speak but couldn’t say anything, only able to shake his head in the end. He raised his lowered gaze back, smiling at Shen Yan with his usual warmth, no change in him to be seen.
“Let’s go then, we shouldn’t make auntie wait for too long.” He said, yet he still pulled back his hand from Shen Yan’s hold, patting his shoulder intimately before turning and going towards the sick room first. Shen Yan was at a loss for a moment, then followed him silently.
The woman’s complexion was much better then when he saw her for the first time, no longer as gloomy and sunken. Seeing the person who had initiated the conversation with her at that time before, she still dodged her gaze a bit. Qi Jing kept his urbane smile, patiently waiting for her to raise her head and look him in the eye before he greeted her. “Hello auntie.”
The woman nodded timidly, her smile a bit weak, but she didn’t forget to gesture at him to take a seat for the talk. Qi Jing thanked her and sat on the stool by her bed. “How are Your preparations for the surgery going auntie?”
“This hospital has one of the best medical technology in the province, so You don’t need to overthink it auntie, it’ll be fine as long as You take the surgery with optimism.”
“It’s cold now, so You might catch a cold if you walk outside, but You can still stroll around the building. It’s better to exercise your muscles, this way You’ll get stronger then if you just lay in the sickbed, and it’s much easier to adjust Your mind too. I would do this when I stayed at the hospital, so when we finish lunch in a moment, how about I take You for a stroll?”
“Thank you so much…”
The woman didn’t speak much, but leading a conversation was Qi Jing’s forte as a reporter, so it progressed pretty well.
Qi Jing didn’t ask her about the development between her and Shen Yan at all, only asking about her current well-being and telling her some surgery-related information he had found, cheering her up and so on. All that time, the woman almost exclusively listened in silence, only replying in a few words here and there. Shen Yan on the other hand sat by the wall, listening to their conversation while taking out lunch for today.
“For Shen Yan to have a friend like you, he really is fortunate.” The woman suddenly sighed quietly, with emotion.
Qi Jing’s expression changed slightly, like an image that froze for two or three seconds, before he instinctively turned his head sideways, throwing Shen Yan a look.
Hearing her say so, Shen Yan had also raised his head already, just about to say something, but seeing this look from Qi Jing, he stopped dead in his tracks. Qi Jing blinked, as if in slow motion, the wavering in his eyes already covered up nicely by the time he blinked twice. He then retracted his gaze and once again smiled at the woman.
“That’s a matter of course.” He said. Although the reply was late to come, his tone was still just as natural—no trace of his flustering to be heard.
While saying so, he reached out his hand to touch the back of the woman’s hand, a typical gesture to set someone at ease.
At that time, Shen Yan called the woman lightly. “Mom, Qi Jing is…”
“Is it the time to eat? Let’s see, I’ll help you with preparing the table.” He didn’t have time to finish when Qi Jing cut his words short while standing up from his seat.
When he turned his head at him this time, it was the same cultured Qi Jing with his calm bearing, his smile not at all different from before.
Shen Yan momentarily didn’t know what to say. Seeing him not reacting, Qi Jing took the initiative to receive the big and small boxes from his hands, inviting the woman to sit by the table and even arranging the bowls and chopsticks. Shen Yan watched Qi Jing bustling about with a furrow between his brows, but he just couldn’t find a good moment to go back to the previous topic.
After a short while, the preparations were done. “Okay then, let’s eat.” Qi Jing said with a remarkably lively smile, “I really am hungry.”
The woman sat down hesitatingly. Qi Jing sat opposite to her, not expecting Shen Yan to sit by his side so matter-of-factly. He was at a loss, poking him covertly to signalise that he should sit by the woman, try to nurture the atmosphere between the parent and the son, but he shook his head—or even, he suddenly held Qi Jing’s hand under the table.
I don’t know why, but every time I write the emotional line of the plot, it always ends up awkwardly silent… Now that I think about how most of the remaining plot would basically revolve around their IRL, I just… really can’t help but feel down and have a hard time writing.
That’s why A B R E A K U P I S A G O O D I D E A, I N N I T (cranking the blackening to the MAX)
I think it’s just like with some readers saying “I don’t know how to comment this, so I won’t”, so I could as well go all “I don’t know how to write this, so I won’t”. But it’s already over a hundred chapters, so to let it die here, it would be beyond pathetic. I want to say, I know that a lot of people are stocking up chapters, and also know that a lot of people read the pirated version, so if there’s no people reading it legally here and remaining silent, motivations and whatsoever, it’s all gone… _(:3」∠)_
Of course, you can also say to my face with contempt, “There’s so many novels, who the hell would miss this one” (cranking the misering to the MAX)
Lucilla: Don’t mind me, I’m just happying over the fact that the author finished this novel✨(It’s easily one of my favourites, so the sheer thought of never being able to finish it is heart-wrenching for me)