Lian Qing slouched on the couch, lazily watching his elder brother running up and down, washing bedsheets and blankets.
After finishing a bowl of porridge and eating a youtiao (Chinese fried dough stick), he sighed and exclaimed, “I’ve come back to life.”
Yu Wenning had just finished drying the bedding and walked over to sit beside him. He instinctively reached around Lian Qing’s waist and started massaging him, teasingly saying, “Are you really that hungry?”
“I am hungry. We agreed last night that you would let me eat first, but you didn’t believe me,” Lian Qing snapped, impatiently removing his hand. “I’m feeling better today, no need to massage.”
“It seems like you’ve already adapted,” Yu Wenning hugged him and said, “I think we can probably do it tonight, right?”
“We can do it, but it’s such a hassle to change the bedsheets every time. When will our online ordered disposable mattress arrive?”
Yu Wenning was a bit of a germophobe. Every time they finished, he would replace the bedsheets that had come into contact with indescribable fluids. It was quite annoying to watch him go through the trouble of changing those things every night and washing them the next morning.
After thinking for a moment, Lian Qing continued, “By the way, shouldn’t we restrain ourselves a bit? And I think we might need to study some positions. Do you have any books on that, like the Longyang Eighteen Styles? I haven’t read any of that genre…”
“You perverted monk… Wait, I’ll go get them for you.”
“Really? Wow! How about the Spring Palace Illustrations? I heard it’s famous. Do you have that?”
As Yu Wenning handed Lian Qing a few books, he also brought out his phone. Lian Qing had left it on the bedside table in the room and didn’t bring it out to the living room when Yu Wenning carried him out to sunbathe.
Curiously, Lian Qing took the unnamed books with simple and elegant covers and flipped through them. After a few glances, he silently handed the books back to his elder brother.
“What’s wrong? Not interested anymore?” Yu Wenning raised an eyebrow at him.
Lian Qing said with frustration, “Not interested. They’re not good at all.”
The characters were drawn so ugly, not as good-looking as his elder brother. He added, “You can study the positions yourself. I just need to cooperate with you.”
“Alright,” Yu Wenning responded. He covered Lian Qing with a small blanket and said, “I’m going to the company for a bit. Do you want to come along?”
After a moment of contemplation, Lian Qing asked, “Does your company have a cafeteria?”
“Yes, the taste seems to be pretty good,” Yu Wenning replied uncertainly. Usually, for the sake of saving time, his meals, except for social events, were prepared by his assistant and delivered to his desk. He had never been to the cafeteria himself. However, the various employee benefits in their group were indeed quite good, so he didn’t think the cafeteria would be lacking.
“Then I’ll go with you,” Lian Qing said. He stood up lazily, stretched his body, and went to change into casual clothes.
Yu Wenning glanced at Lian Qing’s changed outfit, calmly went to his room to change out of his suit, and put on a set of casual clothes that matched his color scheme. Well, it could barely be considered couple outfits.
When they arrived at the entrance of the corporate building with Yu Wenning, Lian Qing put on a black mask and big black-framed glasses, looking quite familiar with the routine. Then, following Yu Wenning, he entered the building.
In the meantime, Cheng Lan sent him a WeChat message discussing some work matters, and he seemed a bit anxious. Lian Qing held onto Yu Wenning’s arm with one hand and held his phone with the other, replying to the WeChat messages while walking.
Yu Wenning noticed his behavior but didn’t stop him. He simply focused most of his attention on Lian Qing to prevent him from bumping or tripping.
Along the way, many employees greeted Yu Wenning, and he responded warmly to each of them.
When they reached the elevator, one of them happened to open. Yu Wenning took Lian Qing’s hand and walked in, calmly greeting the other employees inside.
The employees seemed a bit restrained in front of the boss, and no one spoke in the elevator.
When the elevator stopped on a certain floor, Yu Wenning held Lian Qing’s hand and walked out. However, Lian Qing, who was busy looking at his phone, accidentally tripped at the small connection point between the elevator and the floor.
Fortunately, Yu Wenning had been paying attention to him and quickly held him.
He frowned slightly and said, “Don’t look at your phone. You can check it when we get to my office.”
Lian Qing was also startled and quickly nodded, putting his phone in the pocket of his coat. He explained in a low voice, “It’s Cheng Jie. She was discussing something with me…”
“But you’re more likely to fall like this.”
“Well, I have you here, and I thought you would hold me well…”
“Do you think I’m a guide dog? Really…”
After the elevator closed again, the employees inside let out a sigh of relief.
“That scared me. I actually rode in the same elevator as the boss!”
“The boss is dressed so casually today, and he seems much friendlier…”
“Not just friendlier, did you see how gentle he was with that young man? Hey, who do you think that young man is?”
“I don’t know, his face is covered so tightly. But his voice and eyes seem familiar…”
“I think so too. He doesn’t seem to be from our company. His eyes are beautiful and familiar…”
Meanwhile, the two individuals being discussed by the employees had already arrived in a spacious private office, with clear division of tasks—one sat directly at the desk to work, while the other sat on the sofa playing with their phone.
At that moment, the assistant who heard that the boss had arrived brought a glass of water into the office. Upon seeing an extra person in the room, he paused for a moment. However, maintaining his high level of professionalism, he didn’t say anything but went straight to Yu Wenning, placed the water glass down, and asked, “Boss, is there anything I can do for you?”
Yu Wenning shook his head, and halfway through the gesture, he suddenly remembered something and asked, “Do we have any beverages in the pantry?”
“We have coffee and milk tea.”
Yu Wenning then looked at Lian Qing and asked softly, “What would you like to drink?”
Lian Qing looked up, nodded at the assistant, who he had seen a few times before, and then walked to the desk, picked up Yu Wenning’s cup, and said while taking off the cup lid, “I’ll just drink water. Your cup is so big, no need to pour separately.”
“In that case, let me know if you want something else later.” Yu Wenning finished speaking and naturally took the cup from Lian Qing’s hand, taking a sip from the spot where his lips had just touched.
Assistant: “…” He thought he knew who this masked young man was! With the size of the cup opening, deliberately drinking from the spot the other person’s lips touched… Is their boss really this reserved/flirtatious?
Afterward, Yu Wenning instructed the assistant to organize some documents for him and then focused on his work again. The assistant, understanding as always, didn’t stay in the boss’s office as usual but went outside to work.
Before leaving, Lian Qing put on his earphones to avoid accidentally disturbing Yu Wenning’s work. Therefore, at this moment, he was wearing earphones and playing with his phone.
After finishing the work conversation with Cheng Lan, Cheng Lan sent him a voice message teasingly, “You finally made it onto the hot search by riding on someone else’s popularity.”
Lian Qing, feeling puzzled, replied, “Let me check it out,” and then exited WeChat and opened Weibo. He remembered Cheng Jie mentioning that his name was forbidden from trending until this year…
Unexpectedly, this time the hot search wasn’t about his name but about his friend, Cai Jingfeng.
Hua Da trending with his good friend, what’s his relationship with it? Lian Qing opened it with a strange expression and saw the first Weibo post, which was made by a marketing account.
[#HuadaCaiJingfeng# Shocking! Cai Jingfeng, a friend of the amateur tour guide and entertainer Lian Qing from a certain travel program, turns out to be Hua Da’s campus heartthrob and talented individual! After deep investigation, the blogger discovered that during the campus festival held by Hua Da two years ago, the young man had performed on stage and gave a short interview. The combination of program content and previews reveals a tremendous amount of information! #Video#]
As the video started, it showed a crowded backstage area and a well-dressed Cai Jingfeng wearing black traditional Chinese clothing, exuding a vibrant aura.
Someone in the video asked, “Excuse me, why did you choose Hua Da?”
In the video, Cai Jingfeng’s smile gradually faded, and he said with a hint of sadness, “Hua Da was actually the school my best friend wanted to attend. However, on the day of his college entrance examination, he got into a car accident and couldn’t enroll.”
“Ah… I’m sorry…”
“There’s no need to apologize. He is still alive and well.” Cai Jingfeng smiled in the video. “The day after his accident, he insisted on going to the school for the second day of exams despite his injured leg. Although he performed well in the two subjects he took that day, he couldn’t go to college because he only took two exams. He’s now recovering in the mountains and should be able to run and jump normally…”
The video ended there, leaving Lian Qing baffled as he opened the comment section. The first comment he saw contained a link. When he clicked on it, he discovered it was a preview for the next episode of the program. In the preview, it was about the conversation during their last dinner in the UK, discussing why Lian Qing didn’t go to college.
Combined with Cai Jingfeng’s interview from two years ago, it confirmed the incident where Lian Qing nearly arrived late for his college entrance examination due to saving someone, causing an accident due to rushing.
The comment section exploded.
[“I was Lian Qing’s high school classmate, not in the same class, and not close. But he was quite famous at school for being good-looking, coming from a temple background, being humorous, and having excellent grades. He almost always received scholarships every year.”]
[“Here’s a graduation photo to add #picture#”]
[“As a bystander, I really don’t know what to say about him… He was so naive and foolish, indirectly causing an accident while trying to save someone, resulting in the loss of his opportunity to go to college…”]
[“I used to dislike him, not for any particular reason, but because he was everywhere—on Weibo, on webpages. But ever since that incident where he risked himself to save a unrelated girl, my perspective changed completely.”]
[“His character is impeccable. I saw his injured back in the program’s behind-the-scenes footage, and I felt so sorry for him!”]
[“If he hadn’t saved that person on the day of his college entrance examination, he should have been a student at Hua Da now…”]
[“I watched that program, and Lian Qing and his Shidi were really funny. But for some reason, the program made it to the hot search, while Lian Qing, who was the funny one, didn’t??”]
[“People from their studio revealed that they were afraid of arousing public resentment,
so they spent money to buy off any trending topics related to Lian Qing. That’s why nothing with his name can trend.”]
[“Is this real? Is he being so cautious because of the backlash? It feels really heartbreaking…”]
[“When I think about it carefully, I used to find him annoying too. But then I wanted to see what kind of demon he was that he had such a high popularity. Once I understood, I became a die-hard fan…”]
[“I’m about to burst into tears. It’s too tragic, little monk!”]
[“Caitou is really thoughtful. He became an amateur tour guide just to meet Lian Qing! The way they interact is so heartwarming. I’m starting to ship this couple!”]
Lian Qing looked at those comments with a strange feeling. He unexpectedly rode on someone else’s popularity and made it to the trending topics…
After some thought, he quietly posted a Weibo message: “Sorry for riding on your popularity. Let’s have a meal together when you’re free, Caitouv.”
Cai Jingfeng quickly replied: “Not at the moment. I’m busy with my thesis. I’ll hit you up when it’s done.”
Seems like Caitou is really busy… Lian Qing ignored the countless comments from fans under the Weibo post, feeling melancholic as he exited and went online to watch the variety show he participated in with Xiaosan’er (Shidi).
During his busy filming schedule, the show had already aired one episode. Coincidentally, a new episode was just released, so Lian Qing directly clicked to watch it. In the program, it started off with high energy—the first segment showed Lian Qing and the others talking about relationships by the Thames River.
When Lian Qing mentioned his own relationship experience and revealed that he had a partner, the barrage on the video website went crazy, filled with various shades of green.
[“!!! I remember declaring that Little Monk would be single forever!”]
[“Little Monk, you’re only twenty! Mom forbids you from dating!”]
[“Ah, who on earth bewitched our Little Monk!”]
[“The warm couple party is crying in the bathroom”]
[“Guessing Blind Shifu!”]
[“Sending ‘Liáng Liáng’ (a song) to Shifu Yu”]
[“Haha, so Shifu Yu got ‘greened’ (jealousy)”]
[“Oh my goodness, does this show have such high information density?!”]
[“Trending prediction: #MomForbidsYouFromDatingWhenYou’reOnlyTwenty#”]
[“This trending topic is secured, as long as it doesn’t mention Little Monk’s name or nickname!”]
[“So Little Monk is going to ride on the fans’ popularity to trend again, hhh”]
[“What’s up with these senior-Shidis? In the last episode, the moment when Xiaosan’er held onto his Shixiong’s leg had me laughing for a whole week. Are they trying to make me cry for a week in this episode?”]
[“Although I’m not a fan of his girlfriend, as a fan of his sister, I don’t agree with Little Monk dating at such a young age qwq”]
Lian Qing looked at the barrage on the screen, feeling tempted. He tried to hold back, but couldn’t resist and took a screenshot to send it to Yu Wenning.
Yu Wenning, who was working, picked up his phone and took a look. He raised an eyebrow and immediately downloaded the video website on his computer, found the program, fast-forwarded, and joined the barrage.
[“Is he eating your rice by being in a relationship? You can’t stop him!”]
[“Wake up, whether he’s in a relationship or not, you won’t have a chance with him!”]
[“He’s almost twenty-one, and you still won’t let him date. Do you want him to become an old man?”]
[“What’s wrong with dating at twenty? Is there a problem if he gets married at twenty-two? It’s reasonable, okay?!”]
Lian Qing looked at Yu Wenning, who was nearby, typing fiercely and with a serious expression, completely unaware of what was happening. At the same time, he noticed a fierce ID named “Little Monk is Mine” appearing in the program he was watching, fiercely fighting against the barrage that said he couldn’t date.
He looked at the barrage, then at Yu Wenning, and after thinking for a moment, he walked over. He peered at the computer screen and, well, that ID belonged to his big brother!
“Big Brother, this is your work computer. Isn’t it inappropriate to be doing this?”
Yu Wenning replied impatiently, “Didn’t you see how rude they were? Saying you’re not allowed to date when you’re only twenty… What does it have to do with them?”
As they spoke, someone in the barrage started arguing with him, and there were quite a few of them. Yu Wenning frowned and directly shouted on Weibo, then shifted the battlefield to Weibo.
Lian Qing silently stood behind him, watching him engage in a verbal battle with the crowd, thinking to himself, his big brother… seems a bit cute!
Surprisingly, Yu Wenning’s support for Lian Qing dating also gained recognition from many fans in the trending topics, although there was still quite a gap compared to the “mom fans” and “sister fans.”
He rolled up his sleeves and made a phone call to his assistant.
“Xiao Jiang, are you free now?”
“Yes, boss. Is there anything you need me to do?”
“Yes, go on Weibo, help my alternate account in arguing with netizens and make them see reality.”
So, in the end, Assistant Xiao Jiang reluctantly rolled up his sleeves and joined his boss, while also bringing in some emotional experts to argue with the fans using evidence and logic.
Surprisingly, they managed to convince quite a few fans!
Lian Qing, who had been silently watching from the sidelines, was amazed by what he saw.
It wasn’t until noon that Yu Wenning finally detached himself from Weibo. He turned his head and gently said to Lian Qing, “Are you hungry? Let’s go to the cafeteria together.”
Lian Qing looked at the newly trending topics on Weibo, such as “#TheFreedomofCelebrityDating” and “#MomDoesntAllowYouToDateWhenYou’reOnlyTwenty,” then looked at his harmless-looking big brother’s face and silently decided to pretend he knew nothing.
He nodded slightly towards Yu Wenning and said, “Okay.”
The cafeteria of the Yu Group was still bustling today. However, when Yu Wenning appeared with Lian Qing, who was wearing a mask, the lively atmosphere turned into an eerie silence.
Lian Qing felt a bit uneasy as he glanced at the people and then looked at Yu Wenning. He whispered, “Big Brother, how about we go back to the office and order takeout instead?”
“Don’t you want to eat the food here anymore?”
“I do, but there are too many people here…” Especially the way these people look at him, it’s particularly eerie. They stare, curious, and some even have a hint of malice in their eyes.
“It’s okay, I’m here. After we order the food, we’ll take it back to the office to eat.” As he spoke, Yu Wenning gently squeezed Lian Qing’s finger and smiled, saying, “Xiao Jiang said there are some particularly delicious dishes in the cafeteria, as well as snacks. We’ll pack them all, and you can keep eating in the afternoon.”
Upon hearing about the abundance of food, Lian Qing felt slightly happier and said, “Okay.”
Indeed, the Yu Group’s cafeteria had a wide variety of dishes, all of high quality. There were various cuisines available, and they also had a good selection of fruits, drinks, and snacks.
Lian Qing couldn’t help but exclaim, “If Xiaosan were here, who knows how happy he would be.”
Kids always love sweet things. Last time, when they passed by a cake shop with displayed desserts in the window, the little guy couldn’t move his legs. It could be said that besides meat, these desserts were his favorite food.
“But you can’t always let him eat what he likes, otherwise he might have dental problems in the future, and it can easily lead to nutritional imbalances…”
As the two whispered, they picked their meals and snacks. In the end, each of them carried a large bag of food and left the cafeteria.
After the two of them left, the air in the cafeteria seemed to become smoother. At the same time, various whispers spread throughout every corner of the cafeteria.
“Who is this person? Why is the boss so good to him? They even held hands…”
“Whoever it is, Ah Ling, stop daydreaming!”
“This is the first time I’ve seen President Yu being so gentle. Could that guy be his lover?”
“Are you crazy? They are two men! They should be good friends…”
“You’re the crazy one. You’re not so gentle and considerate towards your good friend? Besides, what’s wrong with two men? It’s not like they’re in your family…”
The food in the cafeteria was indeed excellent, and the portions were generous. Lian Qing ate until he was stuffed and slumped on the couch, feeling drowsy.
Yu Wenning noticed and took off his coat to cover him. He said, “Take a nap. You didn’t sleep much last night.”
Lian Qing gave him an annoyed glare. “Who caused that? Seriously…” He had arrived home late at night, and this person pinned him down twice, making it difficult for him to get up in the morning.
“It’s my fault.” Yu Wenning chuckled and affectionately ruffled his hair, softly saying, “Go to sleep, I’ll watch over you.”
Lian Qing snorted and leaned back on the couch, slowly closing his eyes to sleep.
Once he was sure Lian Qing had fallen asleep, Yu Wenning suddenly bent down and gently kissed his forehead before returning to his desk to work diligently.
In the following days, Lian Qing didn’t work. Initially, Cheng Lan had considered whether to let him participate in a travel variety show. The show had already started filming its new season during Lian Qing’s break from acting, so he could still catch the tail end of it.
However, catching the tail end seemed uninteresting to them, and Lian Qing also wanted to spend more time with Yu Wenning. After discussing it, they decided not to participate in the variety show.
Cheng Lan suggested that Lian Qing should take a few days to rest, and she would look for a new script for him afterward. As for the variety show, she would reconsider whether to accept it.
And so, Lian Qing indulged in a lazy resting period. During the day, he watched dramas, played with his phone, and read books. In the evenings, he had a nice dinner with his elder brother, went for a walk, and did things he enjoyed. They lived a simple and warm daily life.
It continued until he received a call from his Shifu, asking him to pick up Xiaosan.
When they arrived at the station, the Shifu, Xiaosan, and the Shifu’s friend were already waiting there.
The combination of the two elderly men in monk robes and the young boy attracted a lot of attention, although Lian Qing’s Shifu hadn’t been exposed online from the front. Xiaosan, with his duckbill cap and frog-shaped glasses, went unnoticed for the time being.
As soon as he saw people from a distance, the little guy struggled to jump out of the Shifu’s embrace and ran toward his Shixiong with his two short legs, shouting, “Shixiong, ahhhh!”
Lian Qing also crouched down, opening his arms and catching the little bullet-like guy at the right moment.
The little one rubbed against his Shixiong’s embrace like a little kitten. After rubbing, he raised his head, his eyes shining as he looked at his Shixiong. “Shixiong, did you miss me?”
“I did.” Lian Qing truthfully replied with joy.
The little one became instantly excited and suddenly reached out his chubby hand to hold his Shixiong’s face, planting a kiss on his lips.
Just as the kiss ended, someone grabbed the collar of the little one’s clothes and lifted him out of his Shixiong’s embrace.
The little one patted his own head and muttered, “Right, my shixiong is another family’s *daughter-in-law now. I can’t kiss him casually…”
*xi fu – wife(younger man), daughter-in-law. (I’m not sure which one to use)
Lian Qing heard it loud and clear. “…Wait a minute, you said who is the wife?!”
“I didn’t say that, Shixiong, you heard wrong!” The little one spoke while waving his small hands in the air, then turned his head with difficulty and sweetly smiled at Yu Wenning behind him. “Brother Yu~~ I missed you too…”
As he spoke, the little one skillfully climbed onto Yu Wenning’s arm, like a monkey on a tree, wrapping himself around it.
Lian Qing impatiently pulled him away from Yu Wenning’s embrace. “He’s my boyfriend, don’t hug him indiscriminately.”
Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.