Chapter 2: Hello Allies!
Today was March the first, and Lu Sui was away. Every year Lu Zhen would arrive at the big city and pay his respects to the family shrine in Lu Sui’s stead.
The past few years, Lu Zhen has been continuously trying to get Lu Sui to come back home. Yet Lu Sui’s attitude had remained indifferent. Later on, it got to the extent where he didn’t return messages or phone calls. Even though Lu Zhen had tried hard to restore the sentiments of the past, he couldn’t go back… And afterwards, they had gradually cut off contact.
He didn’t expect to have a reunion in a situation like this—without any indication.
Lin Ziran’s eyes were full of incredulity. He stopped suddenly, then took a few steps back from Lu Sui. For a long time, he had a complicated expression before softly beginning to speak, “You came back.”
Lu Sui slowly turned his head and saw Lin Ziran.
The man hadn’t changed much from his memory. It was as if he was still the same as before, refined and cultivated, with a leisurely appearance. And seemingly very surprised at his return.
Lu Sui looked at him for a long time. He hid the deep coldness in his eyes away bit by bit.
Lin Ziran sucked in a deep breath, taking a step forward and earnestly examining the person in front of him.
After not seeing him for five years, the young and inexperienced youth seemed to have matured a lot. Time appeared to have made him more reserved and mysterious.
Lu Zhen wasn’t sure if he had to bear a lot of hardship while overseas, or even receive grievances. But with his stubborn personality, even if he had encountered something, he would never tell him. Right?
How have you been? Did you come back because you forgive me?
All of these words weren’t able to be said out loud.
Lin Ziran was at a loss. Lu Sui suddenly stretched out both arms and gave him a shallow hug, laughing quietly beside his ear. “Yes, I’m back.”
Lin Ziran was in a daze for a moment, then he hugged Lu Sui tightly. His voice was unsteady due to excitement. “It’s good you came back.”
He took a deep breath, as if he had finally relaxed. He asked with nervous expectation, “Are you staying…at home this time?”
Lu Sui was silent for a moment, then he nodded his head.
Lin Ziran took a glance at the tombstone, his eyes dimmed for a moment. Nevertheless, he was still very happy that Lu Sui was finally willing to come home. In the past, Lu Sui’s distance was something he wasn’t able to let go from his heart. Now that Lu Sui only had one family member left in the world, naturally they would be an incomparable treasure. But there was no telling what Lu Sui was really thinking…
Lin Ziran paused and finally simply asked, “Have you eaten yet?”
Lu Sui shook his head again.
Lin Ziran smiled, “Then come home and eat.”
Lu Sui silently carried his suitcase to Lin Ziran’s car, and one could immediately tell that he wasn’t objecting to the idea.
Throughout the journey, the atmosphere inside the car was taciturn.
Lin Ziran hesitated for a long time as he drove, then cautiously began to speak to break the quiet atmosphere. “How long are you intending to stay here—what’s the plan?”
Lu Sui said, “It would probably depend on the situation, for the time being nothing is planned.”
Lin Ziran gave him a meaningful glance, then said, “Shouldn’t you consider working for the company?”
Although Father left the company to him when he died, Lu Sui never fought to take it over, it was like he wasn’t interested. But this matter continuously made him feel guilty in his heart—it should’ve originally belonged to both of them. He had sincerely wanted Lu Sui to return and come assist him in the company. But he was afraid that asking to meet again would make Lu Sui remember unpleasant matters.
The atmosphere in the car was silent again for a long time. When Lin Ziran thought that Lu Sui would reject him, Lu Sui finally replied, “I’ll consider it.”
There was no agreement, but there wasn’t a refusal either. However, the reply had already made Lin Ziran very cheerful. After all, this was already a great improvement concerning the two, whose relationship had been at freezing point for years.
Lin Ziran firmly gripped the steering wheel, and didn’t ask any more questions.
It wasn’t long before the two had returned to the family residence.
Lin Ziran pushed the door open, and smiled as Lu Sui walked in. “Your room has always been cleaned, even though you haven’t been back in a while. If something is missing then you can tell Mrs. Xu to buy it.”
Mrs. Xu was their housekeeper. Earnest and responsible, she had already worked in the Lu Family for a very long time. Both of the brothers were very familiar with her.
Lu Sui paused, looking at Lin Ziran’s smiling and genial face. The darkness in his heart twitched, his lips couldn’t help but purse, in his eyes appeared a sneering expression.
You seem to have been doing well these past few years. And you seem to not be taking past matters to heart… Also, it’s not like you’ve lost anything. My mother supported and died for you, my father gave you all of his love. Now you feel at ease and justified in what you own. Then you give me a little bit of mercy from above…did you think that I would be grateful for that?
If you genuinely cared for me…At the time when I needed you, at that moment, where were you? You once said that you would always protect me, why did you leave me alone to suffer?
So, now who are you showing this deeply concerned expression to…?
My dear elder brother, did you know, that what I detest most is this hypocritical manner of yours?
This time, I’ll take away everything that you care about.
I’ll let you experience losing everything too.
Lin Ziran hadn’t seen Lu Sui for many years. He remembered that the last time the two had spoken on the phone was more than a year ago. At the time he hoped that Lu Sui would come home for New Year’s. But Lu Sui told him that he was busy with his studies, so he couldn’t come home. He most likely just hadn’t forgiven Lu Zhen and his father.
He was silent for a moment, then said, “I…”
Lu Sui looked at Lin Ziran’s lost appearance, then all of a sudden he smiled. When he smiled, his grave and stern face seemed to soften a bit, he said, “I’ve let go of the past, you don’t need to take it to heart…elder brother.”
Lin Ziran suddenly raised his eyes, his expression visibly moved. It had already been many years since he last heard Lu Sui call him his elder brother.
Many years ago, that child would trail behind him. Then for the first time, he pushed the other away with a reproachful expression… Because he didn’t know how to confront him, he cowered back, and then he acquiesced to his father over Lu Sui’s behaviour. Afterward he decided to change. He tried to fix their relationship, but too much time had already passed. The gap had already formed and was difficult to heal.
The boy had already grown up and no longer needed his protection, much less his care.
Thinking of the past, Lin Ziran felt guilty. “I’m sorry.”
Lu Sui however, looked very unaffected. He shrugged his shoulders, laughing at himself. “It doesn’t concern you, it’s my own problem. Sorry I made you worry these past years.”
Lin Ziran thought that the child had finally grown up. He had started to become mature and steady, understanding how to take others into consideration.
This made him very gratified, and the apprehension from before dissipated. He patted Lu Sui’s shoulder, then said meaningful and heartfelt words. “I’m glad that you feel this way, regardless, it’s good that you came back.”
Lin Ziran: 【Do you know what a rascal child is after it’s grown up? 】
System: 【What? 】
Lin Ziran sighed: 【They become a shrewd rascal child! They learn how to paralyse the enemy first. Then they do bad things! 】
That evening, the two people had dinner. Although it was a simple meal, Lin Ziran acted very glad because it had been many years since the two brothers had a meal together.
He had Mrs. Xu make Lu Sui’s favourite dishes from years ago. Lu Sui’s tastes actually hadn’t changed much. From time to time, Lu Sui would speak about foreign matters.
Time passed by quickly and it was soon ten o’clock. The two ‘talented actors’ then returned to their rooms.
Lin Ziran closed the door; he went to his bed and slumped. This cheap brother looked like someone that was not so good to deal with. If he wasn’t well acquainted with the script’s contents, today he truly wouldn’t be able to make out any mistakes. Not knowing if his performance could be concealed from the system, Lin Ziran wasn’t too confident in himself and asked, “How was my performance? Are there any issues with it?”
System: 【It’s okay.】
Lin Ziran: 【What do you mean by okay? Did I do well or not?】
System: 【I’m only a support system. I have no right to judge a player’s actions. Furthermore—are you not a professional? There is no need to ask me about this sort of matter.】
Lin Ziran: 【…I’m merely a student—sob.】
Lin Ziran flipped his body over, and then opened the light screen in front of him. He prepared to review the storyline. The next step was a crucial one! He had to make an opportunity for Lu Sui and Wen Yu to encounter each other!
He already came to an agreement to wait for Wen Yu to leave the production crew. Then he’d host a welcome dinner to wash away Wen Yu’s fatigue. At that time, he would bring Lu Sui along. It would be pretty logical to introduce his ‘dear younger brother’ to Wen Yu like that.
So far, the storyline has developed just like the script.
Lin Ziran washed and was prepared to sleep when he suddenly received a text message.
Zhao Mingze: Did you go there again?
Lin Ziran lightly tapped his index finger on his phone, not in a rush to reply.
Zhao Mingze was also an important character in the main storyline. His role was no less than Lin Ziran’s affectionate male supporter role. However, unlike Lu Zhen, he played the villain role that’s specialised in going against the gong! It’s even more of a one-dimensional character than the slag gong Lu Sui…
If Lu Sui is a scum gong for a reason,Zhao Mingze is scum for no reason. He’s simply a person specifically designed to be the villain.
The only purpose of his existence is to create problems for Lu Sui, Lu Zhen, Wen Yu… Everyone in the love triangle!
Of course, he ended up even more miserable than the second male lead, Lu Zhen.
On the doctrine that a chairman’s friend is also a chairman, as Lu Zhen’s close friend from the same social class, Zhao Mingze is naturally also a company chairman. But he’s Lu Zhen’s close friend only on the surface—always apparently looking out for him. However, in fact he’s secretly conspiring to annex the Lu family’s corporation.
When Lu Sui was still hiding his true intentions before he was exposed, Zhao Mingze devoted his efforts to inciting disharmony between Lu Sui and Lu Zhen. He exposed the fact that Lu Sui was cuckolding Lu Zhen, causing Lu Zhen and Wen Yu to break up. Later on, Lu Sui snatched away Lu Zhen’s company and revealed the whole truth. Zhao Mingze also cautiously struck against Lu Sui through Wen Yu. Not missing any opportunities to take advantage and giving Lu Sui even more regret after Wen Yu left him.
Zhao Mingze would be uncomfortable if they didn’t seek trouble.
But if you pass over that phenomenon and look at their innate character, you could discover that Zhao Mingze’s existence would allow Lu Zhen to achieve the same end. Even by doing different things.
A person who doesn’t do anything besides dating all day long, a second male lead who specialises in pursuing the shou protagonist and creating a sense of crisis for the gong lead. Zhao Mingze is a deranged person who’s been picking a quarrel for an eternity. The villain who constantly tries to strike the gong and shou so that they can see who their true friends are while going through difficult times. This seems like it’s all to add onto the gong’s stress. Instead, his goal is to actually boost the feelings between the gong and shou!
They would probably only show up in this kind of melodramatic soap opera… In reality, where would a person like Lu Zhen exist? Did they get bored of playing with money, or is being chairman not exciting enough? How do you pair up with someone that doesn’t like you? But since a second male lead who lacked both logic and only thought of love existed, why can’t a villain that lacked logic like Zhao Mingze exist?
Speaking of the villain, he’s actually his comrade-in-arms!
Zhao Mingze has always been ‘quite close’ to Lu Zhen. Lu Zhen has chatted to him about many matters. So Lin Ziran understood what Zhao Mingze meant when he had asked him whether he had ‘gone there’. Zhao Ming Ze had asked whether or not he had gone to visit the cemetery.
Lin Ziran considered that he would have to fight alongside elder brother Zhao. He thought about it and then seriously replied: Yes, that’s right.
Zhao Mingze very quickly responded: It’s not your fault. You don’t need to blame yourself, it’s already been so long, you should let it go.
Lin Ziran sidestepped the question: Today, I saw Lu Sui.
This time Zhao Ming Ze went silent. Eventually he replied: He came back?
Lin Ziran: Yes, I asked him whether he wants to come back to the company. He said that he would consider it. I think that he’ll probably agree to my question.
Zhao Mingze: Congratulations.
Lin Ziran: Thanks.
Zhao Mingze then asked: Do you have time tomorrow? How about going out for a meal?
Lin Ziran: Great, we’ll meet at the usual place then.
After he sent the text, he felt perfectly content and put down his phone.
As an excellent player, it’s natural to unite any strong forces. Although they haven’t officially met yet, from now on they’ll be good brothers-in-arms!
Lin Ziran happily went to sleep. The next day, he got out of bed and continued to play the role of ‘good elder brother’. He started off the morning by pampering Lu Sui, taking care of everything from food and clothing to housing and transportation. It was as if he wanted to make up for the past few years.
Lu Sui’s attitude has always been indifferent. However, Lin Ziran paid no attention to it. After all, he didn’t need anything in return.
Of course there was still an important point left. He would have to subtly signal to Lu Sui that he dearly loves Wen Yu. The more he cares about Wen Yu, the more Lu Sui will try hard to pursue Wen Yu in order to make him suffer the pain of losing someone’s affection.
Lin Ziran looked at Lu Sui lovingly; this child had an unusually clear mind. Even going so far as to pursue others in order to strike his elder brother—thinking that he can toy with other people’s emotions. Do you think being a slag gong is that easy? Then you’ll get serious, regret everything, and find yourself in hell trying to chase them back… The look Lin Ziran directed at him was one used when lovingly gazing at a moron.
He thought of something and then tenderly gave Lu Sui a piece of red braised pork, saying, “Your previous favourite, eat more of it.”
Lu Sui put down his chopsticks, he faintly said, “No appetite.”
He was somewhat unable to endure Lin Ziran’s excessively enthusiastic behaviour.
When Lin Ziran saw his indifferent attitude, his heart immediately tightened. Could it be that he had overdone it ma? Eh, as the tender and introverted type of chairman that I am, I should be a bit more reserved, sigh! Next time, next time!
“Oh that’s right, there’s someone I want to introduce you to next week.” Lin Ziran also placed down his chopsticks.
Lu Sui raised his eyebrows, asking, “Who?”
A deep, tender loving look appeared within Lin Ziran’s eyes, as he seemed to recall that person. He couldn’t contain his anticipatory joy, then said, “My boyfriend.”
Lu Sui raised his head, as if he had heard something interesting. His eyes narrowed and he teasingly smiled. “Oh? You have a boyfriend?”
Lin Ziran looked at his apparently carefree attitude. He took away the genial expression that he had up until then and said in a dignified and serious manner,”That’s right. And I want to be definite with him. Afterwards…We’ll be a family.”
Lu Sui looked at him. Family…It seems that you truly value each other ah. If I hadn’t returned? You would’ve had a happily ever after with him, right? What a perfect pair of sweethearts, how enviable.
Lu Sui’s expression became a bit cold, but his face was still smiling. He said, “Well, if you say it like that then I’ll be somewhat expectant.”
Lin Ziran laughed happily.
Because he knew that Lu Sui had listened!
Since today’s mission could be considered done, he guessed that it was time for him to go to the appointment he had made with Zhao Ming Ze.
Lin Ziran stood up, smiled then said, “I have to go out for something. In the evening I won’t be back for dinner. That’s right…If you want to go out to roam around, the car keys are by the door on top of the shoe cupboard.”
Lu Sui nodded. “Alright, I got it.”
Lin Ziran’s expression was gratified and he held his jacket casually as he left.
Lu Zhen and Zhao Ming Ze’s ‘same old place’ was a high-quality club. They often met up there to eat, drink, get warned to behave responsibly, play golf, talk about business and so on.
Once Lin Ziran went in, the doorman welcomed him and respectfully went over, saying, “Mr. Lu.”
Lin Ziran nodded, then he familiarly walked in.
The thought of soon meeting up with allies—Lin Ziran still had a bit to look forward to! However, he still had to stay calm. Although they were allies, they were allies without the same morals. Zhao Ming Ze is more scheming than Lu Sui. He’s nervous of meeting Lu Zhen because he’s heard that Lu Sui is back. So to probe the meaning behind his words, oneself must be careful whilst responding…
Whilst Lin Ziran was walking, he was also pondering. Absent-minded, he bumped into the server. Feeling embarrassed, he said, “Sorry.”
The server repeatedly waved his hands. “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. Are you here to visit Mr. Zhao, sir? He’s inside.”
Lin Ziran smiled, lifted his head and looked inside the indoor space. At this moment, there was only one person inside on the golf course.
The male’s attire consisted of a casual white shirt, collar buttons open wide. Over this he wore a long, black windbreaker. Broad shouldered and narrow waisted, both legs as straight as a ramrod, and thin. His short black hair casually slicked to the back of his head, exposing handsome and abstruse facial features. On the bridge of his nose was a pair of silver-coloured glasses that covered his long and narrow pair of eyes, seeming to make him appear refined and scholarly yet also like a beast in human clothes.
He gripped the golf club easily with both hands, knuckles slender, arms outstretched, as he shot a powerful curve through the air, the white ball suddenly flew out of sight.
Then he lowered his arms and smiled towards Lin Ziran.
Lin Ziran was dazed.
Lin Ziran: 【Who could’ve thought that…】
System: 【? 】
Lin Ziran: 【You seriously can’t judge a book by its cover…】
Lin Ziran: 【He’s merely a brainless villain and that’s all! The villain is meant to be abused, for what reason does he need a good-looking face? It’s simply a waste of natural resources! What a waste, too much of a waste!】
【The system contemplated for a moment: What you said just now is somewhat reasonable. I can report to my superiors your feedback.】
【Lin Ziran immediately interrupted the system: What report to your superiors, ne? I said that it’s a waste but I didn’t mean that it’s no good! I like that I can half-heartedly deal with it, each role is constantly improving! A conscientious company that offers the optimal gameplay experience for players all around! Change it and I won’t play any more!】