Mo Yi pursued his lips and remained silent, his dark eyes trained on Wen Chen’s profile, which was seemingly swirling with a dark undercurrent.
Their eyes meet, their breaths intermingling.
An ambiguous atmosphere spread between the two men, feeling as though there was something blooming in the silence.
Mo Yi lightly averted his gaze, moved his face away from the shadow cast by Wen Chen, and then sat up slowly as if nothing had happened.
A hint of disappointment flashed in the depths of Wen Chen’s eyes before he also straightened up. The soft light streaming in from the window behind him blurred his facial features and stretched the casted shadow from his upright figure into a straight and silent line.
Mo Yi raised his eyes to look at him and said, “Come here.”
His voice was still hoarse after having just awoken, and it tickled against the eardrum like the soft caress of velvet before blending into the morning light overflowing into the room.
Wen Chen snapped his gaze up, his light-coloured irises framed by his straight brows so piercingly bright that it almost hurt Mo Yi’s eyes.
Wen Chen strode forward, and the distance between them shortened instantly.
Mo Yi raised his hand to grab Wen Chen’s shirt. He tugged at it, forcing the latter to bend down.
Wen Chen dipped his body down along with Mo Yi’s insistence, leaning on the baffle at the foot of the bed with one hand while staring intently at Mo Yi with a deep gaze, as if wanting to imprint Mo Yi’s face into the deepest recesses of his mind.
The familiar scent of pine enveloped Mo Yi.
Mo Yi stretched out his other hand, resting it against Wen Chen’s cheek.
Wen Chen appeared to be taken aback by this sudden action. He froze for an instant, but then quickly relaxed his body in the next moment, obediently allowing Mo Yi to gently caress his face with his fingers.
Mo Yi stared at him thoughtfully, his fingers lightly tracing the sharp angles of Wen Chen’s jaw. The skin under his fingertips was slightly cold, the temperature and texture resembling delicate jade.
The cool surface seemingly warmed up under Mo Yi’s careful carasses and the temperature gradually rose, turning warm against his fingertips—
Mo Yi’s pensive gaze slowly sharpened as he focused his sight on Wen Chen’s face.
There was a slight blush on the other man’s face beginning from the roots of the ears. It crept up, dyeing his whole face a light pink, and the tips of his ears hidden in the black hair were even more red.
But Wen Chen refused to look away. He kept his eyes trained on Mo Yi, his light-coloured eyes scalding and his breathing hurried.
Mo Yi lowered his eyes slightly. Then, as if to make the itching go away, he exerted a little force on his hand to pull Wen Chen’s face closer, and gently kissed the other man’s lips.
Their lips pressed lightly against each other, the soft velvety texture was clearly and distinctly imprinted in their minds.
Mo Yi parted his mouth and sucked on Wen Chen’s lower lip lightly, and the other’s body trembled slightly.
Wen Chen raised his hand to hold Mo Yi’s nape. He made a move to return the kiss, but was stopped by Mo Yi’s finger on his chin.
Mo Yi withdrew, breaking the kiss, then rose to his feet.
He looked back at Wen Chen, his gaze tracing the contours of Wen Chen’s face.
The soft, short and tender kiss just now was nothing more than a brief rubbing of the lips, with no deeper contact.
However, Wen Chen reacted even more intensely than the deep kiss they shared previously, with his face being completely red, chest heaving violently, and his light-coloured eyes watering and gaze fierce yet confused.
He stared blankly at Mo Yi, his breathing still messy and heavy. He pressed his lips together into a tight line, as though trying to suppress something.
Mo Yi glanced away, surveying his room, and his eyes landed on the white note on his bedside table.
He did not reach out to pick up the piece of paper immediately. Instead, he simply moved his shoulders lightly, his brows furrowing into a deep grimace when he felt the thin fabric of his sweat-drenched clothes pulling uncomfortably on his body.
Mo Yi turned to Wen Chen and said, “I’m going to take a shower, you can treat do as you please in the meantime.”
After speaking, he turned and walked towards the bathroom.
Wen Chen’s gaze never left him, but the light in his eyes slowly dimmed, and he eventually nodded in a silent affirmation.
Mo Yi’s gaze flickered slightly. He leaned forward all of a sudden, tilting his body down, and dropped a light peck on his lips.
Wen Chen’s eyes widened instantly.
Mo Yi’s ears grew warm. He spun around and said as he stalked into the bathroom as if nothing had happened, “By the way, you’ve used up so much of your energy in the instance earlier. Are you sure you’re fine?”
Wen Chen’s voice, coming from behind him, was deep and hoarse. “…not sure.”
Mo Yi’s hand was already on the doorknob of the bathroom, but when he heard this, he subconsciously turned to look at Wen Chen questioningly. “Oh ?”
Only to see that Wen Chen’s figure was slowly getting more and more translucent under the soft sunlight streaming through the window. The halo of light passing through his body grew brighter, and with it, Wen Chen’s features blurred away bit by bit.
“I may have to sleep for a while.”
The colour on his face hadn’t faded yet. He was staring at Mo Yi with eyes which were becoming fainter, yet he still raised the corners of his mouth. “It’s just that I have to ask for my reward first, otherwise what would I do if you decide to default?”
After saying this, Wen Chen seemed to have recalled something and let out a small, unnatural cough. At this point, his figure had almost completely dissipated into a light mist, only leaving a vague outline under the sunlight.
Yet before he completely dissipated, he said one last sentence, the words echoing softly through the room.
“…but now I owe you something in return.”
Mo Yi took in the sight of the empty room. The corners of his mouth twitched, and he pushed hard on the doorknob with his shaking palm.
—He didn’t know why, but he had a feeling that he didn’t want to know what Wen Chen would return him with.
Half an hour later.
Mo Yi exited the bathroom while drying his wet hair. The steam in the bathroom swirled out along with him, and a light fragrance of shower gel permeated the room.
Placing a slightly damp towel on his shoulders, Mo Yi walked to the bedside table and retrieved the snow-white card and opened it.
He glanced at it hastily. The words on it were exactly the same as before, the only thing that changed was the duration before the next instance.
This time it was a full month.
He nonchalantly slid the piece of paper back, then opened the small grey box beside it.
Inside were the props that Mo Yi bought before the last instance begun. He browsed through the list of items casually, and realised that the purchased props were all automatically transferred into his virtual backpack.
Mo Yi pursed his lips slightly—at least in this regard, this game was considered rather humane.
He casually inspected the memory of the virtual backpack, and found that there were still several empty grids.
At this moment, he seemed to remember something.
Mo Yi seemed slightly taken aback. His eyes slowly lit up. He quickly closed his virtual backpack and pulled the wet towel off his shoulder as he strode to the desk and switched on the computer.
He stared at the screen with full concentration, slender fingers tapping rapidly on the keyboard. The clear and intensive typing sound resounded in the empty room.
Strings of symbols and numbers appeared on the light blue screen, the lines increasing one by one, row by row.
The reflection of the screen was reflected in Mo Yi’s dark eyes, which were flicking quickly across the screen.
Mo Yi stared intently at the small screen in front of him. His concentration was entirely devoted to it as he tapped the keyboard relentlessly, his thoughts morphing rapidly into symbols which flowed out from under his fingertips into lines of data on the computer screen.
Then, after an unknown amount of time, Mo Yi finally stopped.
He stared at the screen in front of him, his brows pulled into a tight crease—
He reached a dead end.
The code he saw in his last instance was just an incomplete string of broken codes, and had been delicately concealed.
Meanwhile, the code string that Mo Yi typed just now is the most likely option amongst countless possibilities derived from the broken code. He’d typed out the original code from his memory, then used his ability to first try to complete it, then to expand and develop it.
Mo Yi stared at the results he had typed on the screen. The screen’s fluorescent light bathed his facial features in a pale blue light, emphasising the furrow of his brows.
—He reached a dead end.
This string of code was too messy and complicated. Even if he tried his best, the result still remained incomplete, inert and unworkable.
It couldn’t create anything similar to what he’d experienced in the instances—the ever-changing and fluid closed loop.
Mo Yi let out a long sigh in frustration. He turned away from the screen, only to realise that at some point, the room was almost completely dark, and the only remaining sources of light were from the faint twilight streaming in from the open window and the computer screen in front of him.
He moved his shoulder lightly, and couldn’t help hissing—
His whole shoulder was so stiff and sore. It felt as though he had just run a marathon. Every single movement he made, no matter how slight, pulled on all his muscles and brought bursts of intense pain.
Ever since he washed his hands in the golden basin, Mo Yi had never been in such pain again.
He frowned, rubbing his stiff shoulders. Suddenly, he heard a soft, subtle vibration.
Mo Yi subconsciously turned his head to look at the mobile phone he had put aside, only to see its screen light up and a message appeared.
The name on the display was Jiang Yuanrou.
He reached for his phone with difficulty and unlocked it with an upward swipe, only to see a long list of missed calls and unread messages.
Mo Yi frowned slightly—he was so focused just now that he didn’t even hear the buzzing even once.
He was about to click on the latest message when a hasty knock came from the door.
Mo Yi froze. He tapped on the screen and glanced at the message on the light blue screen:
“I’m here.——from Jiang Yuanrou”