Pang Qiang Lang feigned death and Han Chao quickly stepped in to cover up the matter: Xiao Di, have you finished your military training? When can we visit you?
“The military training is over.” Mo Di had a hunch the other two were hiding something from him. But thinking over, he decided to let it go as there was no need for aggressive questioning.
“Just tell me whenever you want to come, I’ll go pick you up at the gate.”
“No need. When we visit, we’ll just go to your school library or the cafeteria. You can meet us there. I heard your school schedule is especially full, especially sadistic, isn’t it?”
Mo Di recalled his tight schedules and responded: “It is quite heavy but substantial. So what will you guys be up to during September?”
Ha Chao: I have classes. This is my third year in Uni, it’s a lot more relaxed.
Mo Di: I’ll send you guys some new character designs. In September, you guys can finish the illustrations for their poses and actions. This is good for the first elimination round but we’ll have to submit a more refined version for the next round.
Han Chao: Ok. No problem.
At this time, Pang Qiang Lang stopped being dead and hurriedly joined in: How many do each of us draw? I’m being forced back to highschool third year again. I really don’t want to go! The days there are harsh, it’s not a life for humans!
“I suggest you have a good talk with your mom and dad.” Mo Di sent out the information to the group chat as well as some words of advice for Pang Qiang Lang. “Either you change their minds or go back to school. With your special skill, you might at least get a bachelor’s degree and your mom won’t force you anymore.”
Pang Qiang Lang: But I don’t want to go to class! And my brain cannot register those things.
“Then you’ll have to discuss it with them.” Mo Di texted the same thing and remained indifferent.
Pang Qiang Lang: You’re asking me to seek death!
Mo Di: You have to deal with this once and for all. Either persuade your parents or take an undergraduate course. Or else there’s no solving this problem. And you have to settle this by September or I’m not letting you in on the next game.
“Damn!” Pang Qiang Lang sprang out of bed and sent a voice message: “Xiao Di! How can you do this!!!”
Mo Di ignored him. If he did not force Pang Qiang Lang, he would forever run away from this. It’s not good for him nor the team.
“The new game will start in late September or early October. Therefore, the final version for Xin Wei Dao should be completed in September. Everyone should make good use of their time. Have a good rest today, we’ll begin our struggle again tomorrow.”
Mo Di sent out a goodnight sticker and turned off the group chat.
Mu Tian Heng beside him was about to ask Mo Di what the voice message just now was when another call came in. He sat back and sighed.
His little one is getting more friends, this is a good thing.
Although he will inevitably feel a little sour.
Mo Di did see Mu Tian Heng’s intention to talk to him and he also wanted to have a conversation with Mu Tian Heng, but alas, the video call was already connected.
“Hey, how many times do I have to say this. Xiao Di, you have to call me boss, or big bro!”
The video call was connected and the screen was jammed with three big faces.
“…” Mo Di place the phone a little further.
“Old Xian, something’s up? Or you want me to get you something?”
“No! I just want to cry!” Xian Yu Chao put on his theatrical act and howled into the phone: “The game fatso and I made did not pass the audition. Ahhh ahh!”
Lin Jun Feng corrected him, “It’s father, not fatso.”
Chen Zhao interrupted: “They’re both yelling continuously. I’m getting a headache! Xiao Di, you better comfort them.”
Mo Di looked at the TV screen: it’s not over yet, how can you be sure it’s been eliminated?”
“It’s because they’re being announced by category. The first few that were announced were puzzle games and after the sixteenth title, most are action games, online games, and so on.” Lin Jun Feng sighed, “the game salted fish and I made is a puzzle game, so it’s probably out.”
“You made a puzzle mini-game?”
Mo Di gave Xian Yu Chao a complicated look, making him feel a tinge of guilt. When Mo Di asked them before what type of game they made, Xian Yu Chao said that they were making a horror game.
These two genres are worlds apart. Other than having to go through them stage by stage, nothing else is similar.
Xian Yu Chao was too guilty. He stopped howling and used his saliva as tears and said: “Xiao Di, did yours pass?”
“Yes.” Mo Di did not want to be bothered with Xian Yu Chao anymore.
“Ah, this is just infuriating!” Xian Yu Chao wriggled his neckline left and right. Then, he tried to please Mo Di: “Xiao Di, which one was your game?”
Mo Di’s eyes were a little tired so he placed the phone further away. “It’s the sixty-third one. It’s called Xin Wei Dao.”
“Ah! That one?!” Chen Zhao pushed his face forward and his eyes were shining.
“When they introduced it, we all said that the game looks really good! The gameplay is very interesting but then the programming would have to be very complicated and troublesome. So it’s you who made it?!!”
“My family’s Xiao Di is incredible.” Lin Jun Feng in the background patted his stomach. “This father is very pleased. Although I have fallen, my family’s Xiao Di has stood up! I feel….gehh!”
Lin Jun Feng suddenly belched like he was scared, his eyes widened and his voice stopped abruptly.
Mo Di looked at him strangely. He followed his line of sight and looked behind.
Mu Tian Heng was coming over with a plate of snacks and motioned him to have some.
“Thank you, brother.”
Mo Di picked up a piece and looked at the frightened Lin Jun Feng. He felt it was quite funny how Lin Jun Feng dared not claim to be his father in front of anyone else.
“Cough… Old Xian, send me the game you made. I’ll try to play it.” Mo Di said to Xian Yu Chao.
“Ok. I’ll send it to you right now.” Xian Yu Chao shoved Lin Jun Feng to one side. See if he dared to call himself someone else’s dad when their brother is around.
“Well, if there’s nothing else, I’ll …hang up. You guys should sleep early as well.”
“Yes! Time for bed, time for bed.” Chen Zhao had to press down Xian Yu Chao who wanted to say that they don’t sleep till twelve and showed a smile: “Go ahead and hang up. Xiao Di, you have a good rest too.”
Beep and the call ended.
“Your roommates are indeed interesting and quite energetic.” Mu Tian Heng laughed.
“Uhm. they’re quite alright.” Mo Di took a bite of the jujube cake he just received and gave a satisfied sigh. “Brother, this is really delicious. The jujube paste is very fragrant and it’s not too sweet or greasy.”
“Eat more if you like.” Mu Tian Heng picked up the beer can and took a few sips. The sexy adam’s apple rolled as he swallowed. Mo Di felt strangely awkward. He cleared his throat and said: “Why… why hasn’t Lai De Si brother come back yet?”
“He has not finished his assignment for today, of course he can’t come back yet. Not everyone is as efficient as I am.” Mu Tian Heng smiled. He squeezed the can with his long and powerful fingers and threw it in the bin.
Mo Di shoved the remaining half of the cake into his mouth. For some reason, his heart rate was increased and his ears were heated. He looked away from Mu Tian Heng and down to his phone. “Brother, try a piece of that pastry as well. The taste is really good.”
“Ok, I’ll try one too.” Mu Tian Heng was simply very compliant with Mo Di’s every request. He picked up a piece of cake and took a bite. He smiled and said: “The taste is indeed good.”
Mo Di looked up at Mu Tian Heng and found that the unrest in his heart had disappeared and all that was left was warmth and comfort. Mo Di was confused by this reaction but since the strange sense of nervousness was gone, he was more relieved.
Mo Di downloaded the game made by Xian Yu Chao and Lin Jun Feng. After the installation, he played it for a bit.
In fact, this mini-game was decent, just not innovative, and the gameplay was a little rough. There was no flare but generally, it was passable.
Although it was eliminated, he felt that the game could have barely made it to the list.
“Brother, I think the game Xian Yu Chao and Lin Jun Feng made is not bad. Their skills are quite….!”
Mo Di was stunned. He stared at Mu Tian Heng who had suddenly drawn near and felt a warm touch on one side of his mouth.
“There’s a little bit of crumb here.” Mu Tian Heng looked down at Mo Di with a gentle expression and an endearing smile.
From Mo Di’s point of view, Mu Tian Heng’s action stemmed from that of an ordinary brother…but that was not the case at all. After the deed, Mu Tian Heng thoroughly reflected on his action.
It was just that his fingers were already on Mo Di’s lips. Taking it back now would make it more awkward.
It was as though when Mo Di came back after these ten days, his feelings for him were growing faster. And today, even if he refused to admit, it felt like he was reunited with a lover after being separated for a long time.
And this state was fine when the brain was clear but with the right atmosphere and a little fake alcohol, he did not …. step on the brake in time.
Just when they were both embarrassed and at a loss for words, the front door suddenly opened with a bang.
Lai De Si tried to make a grand entrance like those in the movies. He was about to raise his hand and pull back his hair but staggered when he saw the scene in front: “Y…you.., what are you two doing!!?”
“You’ve had alcohol?” Mu Tian Heng creased his brows and looked at Lai De Si, “and from the look of it, you’ve drunk quite a lot.”
“How much can I drink? I only tried a little bit of Erguotou (a type of strong wine) that Assistant Gao gave to me. Only two glass!”
Lai De Si frowned at Mu Tian Heng: “Don’t try to shift the focus with me. What did you just do? Ha? What were you doing with the kid?! Hey don’t pull my collar. Ow that hurts….hissss—”
Lai De Si did not manage to lecture Mu Tian Heng and was already given a brutal takedown. Mo Di was sitting on the sofa, unsure if he should get up or stay in place.
After Mu Tian Heng stuffed Lai De Si into his bedroom, he came out and said softly to Mo Di: “Little one, you should get some rest. It’s already late.”
Then with one hand, he suppressed Lai De Si’s head which was trying to pop back into the room.
Mo Di: “…”
Today was a little messed up, really exhausting. He should quickly get to bed and tomorrow when he woke up, everything will be back to normal.
Mo Di went back to his room to wash up and get a change of clothes. He busied himself for about ten minutes when he heard Lai De Si’s room had quietened down.
But…. the peace did not last long.
When Mo Di was ready to tuck in, there was a sudden knock on his door followed by Lai De Si’s soft whispering: “Little Mo Di, are you asleep? If you’re not then open the door for me.”
Mo Di sighed helplessly. He put aside his blanket, got out of bed, and went to open the door for Lai De Si.
“Quick quick quick. Come in. Don’t let that beast Mu find out.” Lai De Si immediately squeezed himself into the room as though wolves and tigers were chasing him.”
“Brother Lai De Si, you…is something wrong?” Mo Di closed the door soundlessly and looked at Lai De Si. He really could not guess why Lai De Si would look for him at this time.
“Of course there’s something. Something very important!”
Lai De Si stared at Mo Di with an urge to speak yet stayed silent.
Mo Di: “…”
It felt like Lai De Si had taken some fake wine because while he looked normal on the surface, he was already intoxicated, and also a little crazy?
“Ai!” without waiting for Mo Di to say anything else, Lai De Si slapped his thigh and sighed heavily, “I think it’s better that I tell you this and give you some good advice or else my conscience will not be able to rest.”
“Little Mo Di, do you really like that guy Mu Tian Heng? You sure it’s that kind of feeling between men and women….that’s not right, I mean between two men. You sure you’re not just confused with gratitude and admiration?”
Mo Di was feeling all the more perplexed in his heart. He took several glances at Lai De Si before sitting back in bed, looking obedient: “Brother Lai De Si, what is that you’re trying to say?”
“I …sigh, I don’t think it appropriate for you to be with Mu. really! Before I just decided to keep one eye closed but today I have to nib the devil in the bud.”
Mo Di: “…”
“What? You don’t believe me or do you think I’m exaggerating? Kid, you just don’t understand. Between you, a teenager, and that thirty-years-old beast, there’s an uncrossable big gap between you two. No, don’t say you’re still underage, even those at the same age group as him, none were able to stay with him for more than three months.”
“That Mu Tian Heng, even if he doesn’t actively emit hormones, his natural hormones will still attract others indiscriminately. Of course, partly was also because he is too perfect. Academic, career, face, body, everything on the surface is just excellent. But that doesn’t mean he’s a suitable partner for a little kid like you. If you’re in your twenties, I will not be giving you advice, but you’re still too young. Do you understand?”
Mo Di opened his mouth but in the end, did not speak.
“Ai..” Lai De Si sighed again. “It’s true. I’m telling you this for the sake of both of you. The few who had the opportunity to be with Mu Tian Heng, none of them could forget him.”
Mo Di drooped his head and frowned.
“Mu does not hook up casually and will never cheat but he… I think he’s incapable of falling in love.” Lai De Si grabbed his hair, “Do you get my meaning? He will be very caring towards you but it won’t be for long. After some time he will feel that both sides are not compatible and will try to break up peacefully. And then he gets back to working wholeheartedly.”
“But by that time, the other party would have already fallen for him and depended on him, they could not forget him even after the breakup. You’re still young and even had the misfortune of being raised in the Mo family, brother just doesn’t want you to place your hope and feelings on Mu. Otherwise, in the future when you guys separate, how can a kid like you endure the heartbreak?”
“And you’re still so young, you actually still can’t tell what love is. And are you even sure you’re into men?”
“Brother Lai De Si, I get your message.” Mo Di suddenly cut in: “You’re trying to say that brother Mu Tian Heng doesn’t stay in a relationship for too long…”
“No, not only not long, it’s never been over three months.”
“Em, but this doesn’t mean anything or that he’s incapable of loving.” Mo Di said seriously: “Especially with what you said, brother Mu Tian Heng is excellent but he only had very few relationships. This means that he was cautious when starting a relationship but after getting together, he felt that both sides weren’t a good match and broke up in time. This does not mean that he was irresponsible but instead, he was being considerate for both sides.”
“As for his previous lovers not able to forget him, I think that’s also quite normal. Brother Lai De Si, do you not have someone whom you can’t forget?”
Lai De Si blushed and stammered: “Wha…what about?”
“Nothing. I was just about to say that that person must be particularly good.”
“Of course. He’s good looking and has a good personality. He’s also good at sports. Wh…why?”
“See. You also have an unforgettable someone and it’s not because they’re not good. Everyone has someone they can’t forget, especially those who were gentle and good to them. They may not be able to get together or break off too soon, but it’s still a good memory to keep.”
“Especially a non-scum, non-playboy with excellent qualities type of guy, it’s even harder to get over.”
“Besides, I know my heart. You don’t have to treat me as a kid. I know what’s good for me.” Mo Di smiled, “and I definitely know that brother Lai De Si is kind and is concerned that I will be sad in the future. Thank you for coming to remind me.”
“Ai…” Lai De Si gave a ‘you’ve been drugged’ look and closed his mouth.
Finally, he gave another heavy sigh and said: “Anyway, as long as you know your heart. In the future, when you guys aren’t together or broke up too soon, just don’t be too heartbroken. Don’t pour your heart and soul out on Mu, once he withdraws himself from your life, you won’t be able to take it.”
“Em. I understand. I won’t let that happen.”
Seeing that he could not persuade further, Lai De Si retreated, thinking when the time comes, he can give Mu Tian Heng that beast a piece of his mind, like a worrisome old dad.
Mo Di closed the door. He laid back in bed and stared at the ceiling.
How can he be heartbroken, he doesn’t even like Mu Tian Heng.
A strange feeling suddenly emerged from his heart. It was similar to guilt but not so much. It was slightly uncomfortable but he could not tell what it was.
He tossed and turned in bed. Unable to resolve this turbulent feeling, Mo Di pulled out his phone, opened a heavily encrypted program made by him, and added a new memo:
“I don’t like him but I acted like I do. I’m indeed too underhanded. If I can compensate, I’ll do anything, even giving up my company, it doesn’t matter.”
Turning off his phone, Mo Di was a bit more comfortable. He felt that the feeling from before must have been guilt.
The next day, Mo Di went back to school right after breakfast.
Mu Tian Heng handed Mo Di a cup of fresh juice: “Didn’t you say yesterday that you’ll leave in the evening?”
“Because the class meeting was moved up to the afternoon, and they want to have dinner as a class in the evening.” Mo Di apologized to Mu Tian Heng: “Sorry brother, I went back on my word.”
“No such thing.” Mu Tian Heng smiled and rubbed Mo Di’s hair gently. He said softly: “Your school events are more important. There’s nothing to be sorry about.”
Lai De Si on one side minimized himself like a scared chick, not daring to make a sound.
Sh*t! Alcohol can destroy lives! Please don’t let Mu Tian Heng find out he had a hand in this.
When Mo Di returned to school, Xian Yu Chao and others had just got up.
“God! Xiao Di, why are you back so early? It’s only eight! What time did you wake up?!” Xian Yu Chao with his bird’s nest hair sat up and looked at Mo Di in shock.
“Six-thirty, and it’s not very early.” Mo Di put his schoolbag on the table, pulled out a chair, and sat down.
“But we just finished ten days of hellish military training, isn’t it normal to sleep in?” Xian Yu Chao gasped, “Xiao Di, you’re not normal, really! Brother takes his hat off you.”
“Enough! Salted fish, can you stop yelling?” Lin Jun Feng got up like a warship on the bed, “Xiao Di, you seem listless, what’s wrong? Tell father, I’ll give you advice and help you straighten out.”