Chapter 9: Let’s Live Together (IX)
The scene of a muscular man lifting the chin of a beautiful man was indeed a feast for the eyes, but Xia Zhi was still feeling irritated because that muscular man should have been his.
Xia Zhi didn’t expect the most nerve-wracking part of the day to be over already. After that, they spent the whole afternoon continuing their role as “servants”, doing some boring things. None of the fancy kinky stuff from the stories happened at all, and those “mysterious black boxes” also didn’t make an appearance. After eating and clearing away dinner, Ye Qia sat on the sofa with his feet on a footstool. He signaled Xia Zhi and Mister Li to both come over and kneel down.
“Li, show your marks.”
While Xia Zhi was confused, Mister Li had already eagerly stripped off his clothes, revealing the lashes on his back. When Xia Zhi looked at it, he couldn’t help praising inside. The ten lashes neatly crisscrossed down his snowy-white back, and from the color of the lashes, it could be seen that the whip had been lashed in the direction from his spine to below his ribs. The beginning of the lash was clean and gradually faded at the end, like a line of strange wings.
Ye Qia spoke again. “Xia Zhi, show yours.”
Xia Zhi wavered, but then slowly stripped off his clothes. Needless to say, his back was naked with not a single mark.
While Mister Li was grinning happily, Ye Qia had already said, “From the looks of it, Xia Zhi is in fact not qualified to be a slave.” He turned to Mister Li. “Instead, you are.”
“Of course!” Mister Li lifted both hands and was about to cheer, before he remembered something and hastily sat back on the ground. “Only I am suitable.”
Ye Qia nodded while taking a glance at the clock. He stood up, saying, “Let’s wrap it up for today, Mister Li.”
Mister Li climbed up with smile, but just as he was about to speak, Ye Qia turned towards Xia Zhi. “How was the lesson today?”
Xia Zhi wasn’t slow to respond. Before he processed what Ye Qia had meant by that, he had already replied, “It was alright.”
“You have to become more accustomed to it. If you want to become a dom, you have to start from being a slave.” Ye Qia turned to Mister Li, who was also gawking, and said, “Let’s make some introductions. This is Xia Zhi, he just entered the scene and wants to become a dom, but his experience is insufficient. I owed a favor to the Master who brought him in, so I brought him along. I am so sorry that it led to a misunderstanding the last time.I wanted to teach him by letting him experience it firsthand, so I didn’t notify you.” He turned back to Xia Zhi. “Have you understood? How are you going to be a dom if you can’t even be a good slave?”
Mister Li’s expression gradually eased as Ye Qia explained. By the end of it, he unexpectedly revealed a shy look. “It’s nothing, I’m also inexperienced and recently entered the scene, let’s have more exchanges in the future.” After saying that, he reached out a hand to Xia Zhi.
Damn, is this some sort of educational exchange?
Xia Zhi didn’t know how to react, and could only silently shake Mister Li’s hand. He noticed a slight shift in Ye Qia’s demeanor, and although he still exhibited an aura of dominance, the oppressive feeling was gone, and he seemed much more friendly.
Mister Li once again left feeling satisfied. Xia Zhi closed the door and asked, “That’s it?”
“What else were you expecting?”
“He’s a rich person after all. I thought he would say something along the lines of not allowing me to see you ever again.”
Ye Qia’s expression became weird again. “I told you to read fewer stories. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean they can do things willy-nilly. He was just gambling for vindication, and after he got it he stepped down. Right, I heard you asked ten million from him?”
Xia Zhi made the prompt decision to change the topic. “He really makes a good slave?”
“According to the community’s standards, he doesn’t even count as a slave,” said Ye Qia as he packed up. “He is a masochist and self-harmed too severely. He has a friend who’s also my long-term client, and was worried an accident would happen so he brought him here to me. The injuries on his back may seem shocking, but they’re all just a flesh wound, they’re insignificant.”
Xia Zhi was feeling quite disappointed and said, “You only whipped him. I thought you were going to do a lot of tricks.”
Ye Qia gave him a look. “There’s no need, he didn’t even pay that much.”
Xia Zhi immediately found a point of rebuttal. “And you’re the one always telling me off, but aren’t you also someone who only cares about money! The people in the stories treat BDSM as a lifestyle!”
Ye Qia didn’t make a peep. He brewed a cup of tea and was sitting on the sofa, then he suddenly asked, “What do you think the people who become slaves seek from their dom?”
Xia Zhi was looking for something to drink at the time; dinner had been a bit salty for his tastes. “The pleasures of the flesh?” he casually replied.
“What they seek is the feeling of safety that comes from being taken care of and controlled.”
Xia Zhi turned around, his face peppered with question marks.
“The Master gives pain, punishment and rewards, and at the same time provides protection and guidance. A Master who only knows to abuse a slave is just a sicko. Haven’t you asked before why I won’t take on 24/7 jobs?” Without waiting for a reply, Ye Qia continued, “The Master and slave face each other day and night. The Master has to take care of everything: comforting him, reminding him, planning his life. What the slave needs is to be submissive, but the Master has to consider so much more. Don’t think that waving a whip will be able to satisfy the slave. If it’s a low quality product, they can’t make the big bucks.”
When he heard this, Xia Zhi really wanted to seize the opportunity to ask about the prices, but Ye Qia seemed to know and suddenly said the phrase “mutual non-interference”. Xia Zhi could only swallow back the question and continue listening.
“After I ended that 24/7 job, the client praised me as the most perfect Master, but that wasn’t true. A real Master and slave contractual relationship isn’t that perfect. A Master is also a person, and will have preferences. I’m doing this for money, so I won’t force my slave to rid themselves of their shortcomings, or order them to directly face their psychological problems. In the end, the client was very satisfied, but I could only continue it for a year before I couldn’t do it anymore.”
Ye Qia paused here and revealed a moment of hesitation, but then spoke again. “It’s too tiring having to spend every second pretending to be a powerful, omnipotent Master. I’m also a person, and I also want to rest. If it was a true Master and slave contract, I could expose my weaknesses and build an intimate relationship with the slave, but this is work, so I must present my most flawless image. What I sell to others is not skills, but fantasies. Whatever fantasies the client has, I’ll deliver all their desires. Take Mister Li for example. He only needs someone who is able to beat him without leaving permanent damage. I give him just that, as any more is unnecessary, and he also wouldn’t understand. There’s no need for me to waste my energy.”
Xia Zhi gazed at Ye Qia’s face. The stoic face that he had maintained until now was filled with weariness. Xia Zhi seemed to suddenly understand why Ye Qia was always lazing about at home, and why he didn’t care about anything else besides money. He couldn’t help thinking about Ye Qia together with that 24/7 client. He imagined Ye Qia being meticulously considerate, strong and thoughtful, and began to feel some jealousy.
“Do you still keep in contact with that client?”
“No I haven’t.”
Xia Zhi was startled. “Why’s that? You were together for a year, and the relationship was alright…”
“He paid the money.” Ye Qia cut him off. “Also, it wouldn’t be beneficial to both sides if we continued being in contact. If feelings were inevitably mixed into business, it wouldn’t end well. The distance between our identities is too big, feelings couldn’t solve everything. He couldn’t accept my past, and I also couldn’t spend the rest of my life wearing a mask.”
The more Xia Zhi heard, the more he felt something was off. “You didn’t end up liking each other?”
Ye Qia sunk into silence for a while, before saying, “When you’re spending twenty-four hours a day with your thoughts revolving around one person, it’s very hard to not develop feelings. The more time I invested into him, the harder it was to abandon him. One day, I found myself wanting him to live a better life, even if I were to not take the money. Then, I knew that I had crossed the line.”
As he listened, Xia Zhi was no longer jealous. It didn’t matter how much more considerate Ye Qia was to that client, the one he knows is the real Ye Qia.
“A mundane person like you is more suitable for me.”
Of course, being too blunt would occasionally provoke violence, but it was generally good.
After all, shouldn’t their domestic life together be like this?