Thinking like this, Xu Chenghao’s gaze when he looked at Li Nian suddenly became much more harmonious, he smiled, patted him on the shoulder, and then turned around and continued to be busy.  

The two people were used to talking tartly and didn’t feel anything wrong, but Jing Yicheng, who had been observing their pattern of getting along, frowned and began to doubt daily: Was this really the mode of getting along between good friends?

He had always thought that friends should emulate a gentleman’s friendship, insipid as water1君子之交淡如水( jūnzǐzhījiāodànrúshuǐ): A gentleman’s friendship, insipid as water (idiom, from Zhuangzi 莊子|庄子).
As long as they could understand each other…… But now, it seemed completely different from what he had thought and even more intimate than he had imagined.

Jing Yicheng’s gaze moved down, stared silently, and decided to take the initiative.

Xu Chenghao mostly sat in his seat and worked, only getting up to look out the floor-to-ceiling windows when he felt tired to relieve his sore eyes and rest for a moment.

Jing Yicheng was waiting for this little gap.
When he saw the other party get up, he immediately followed, standing quietly behind the other party and quickly and firmly patting his butt.



Xu Chenghao turned his head in silence.

Jing Yicheng also stared at him in silence.

After two minutes of silence, Xu Chenghao finally couldn’t take it anymore: “What are you looking at?! Take off your hands!”

Jing Yicheng remained as immovable as a mountain: “Why are you angry?” 

Xu Chenghao squeezed the coffee cup in his hand and gritted his teeth: “Then I have to ask, why did you hit me?!”

Jing Yicheng: “I’m not hitting you.
This is how good friends get along.”

 “Put @#%& …” Xu Chenghao slapped his perverted hands and took two steps backward to widen the distance between them.
“Who told you this is how good friends get along?”

Jing Yicheng: “I heard it a moment ago.
That’s how you and Li Nian get along.”

Xu Chenghao: “Since when do we get along like this?”

Jing Yicheng: “It was only half an hour ago when you guys were talking about touching butts.”

Xu Chenghao: “????”

God fucking touches your ass! Can’t you hear that it’s a joke?! And even if it’s really touching asses, it’s a joke between friends and none of your business! What are you learning!!

The veins in Xu Chenghao’s hand holding the coffee cup were stretched taut.
At this point, he was using his entire body to resist the urge to beat someone up.

Jing Yicheng sensed that something was wrong: “Are you angry?”

Xu Chenghao didn’t bother to talk to him.
He turned around, walked back to his desk, slammed the coffee cup on the table, and sat in his seat without saying a word.
Then he hugged the little yellow duck and closed his eyes to rest.

He was dying and needed the little yellow duck to soothe the mental trauma he’d suffered, and he felt he’d have to carry an oxygen tank with him from now on to get along with the villain in the future, or he’d be pissed to death sooner or later!

Jing Yicheng stood in front of his desk and asked persistently, “Why are you angry? You and Li Nian can be like this, but I can’t? Or do you not see me as a friend at all?”

Xu Chenghao: “……”

Xu Chenghao fumbled with his eyes closed and squeezed the little yellow duck’s puckered beak, wanting to desperately give him the little yellow duck’s third kiss as well.

Probably because the little yellow duck genuinely had an excellent purification effect, Xu Chenghao became calm for a while, and his anger gradually subsided.
Suddenly, he felt something was not right, so he quickly opened his eyes and saw the man who had not received an answer still standing quietly in place, looking at him, his gaze persistent.

Xu Chenghao subconsciously touched the little yellow duck’s puckered beak again, “You … you just said that Li Nian and I get along like this.
Are you observing us?”

Jing Yicheng nodded and admitted: “Yes.”

Xu Chenghao slowly sat up straight and hesitantly said, “Is this because you don’t know how to get along with people and make friends, so you’re observing how I get along with Li Nian and deliberately imitating it?”

Jing Yicheng was silent, not speaking.

Xu Chenghao also propped his chin in contemplation, feeling as if he had discovered something important.

There was a large section in the plot describing the villain’s loneliness and arrogance.
It also mentioned that his personality was related to his unhappy childhood, so it read very smoothly, and nothing was out of place.

But once you enter the world of the book, with a complete structure and absolute realism, and faced with a flesh-and-blood villain, a lot of things that the plot doesn’t depict or doesn’t write clearly all come to the surface.

The villain had a withdrawn and introverted personality due to his childhood shadow, and because he is a genius, he got recruited to study at a research institute.
Because of this, he has never had the opportunity to get along with his peers and liberate himself.
On the contrary, he’s been heavily protected and faced with nothing but boring data and serious adults.

It certainly aggravated the villain’s withdrawn personality, even as he has invariably suffered from a severe social interaction disorder, shutting down his actual emotions and facing the world with aggression to the point of mild misanthropy.

Then again, he hides it very well … because he is smart enough to imitate others and then apply it to himself to continue to disguise himself to achieve the illusion of hoodwinking others or even hypnotizing himself.

So in the plot, he was young and mature not because he was smart and quiet but because he was mimicking the adults around him, the means to protect himself when he can’t defend himself.
Once he has the strength and no one dares to shake him, all the misanthropic emotions within him are like trapped animals coming out of their cages and unknowingly engulfing him.

That would explain why his way of pursuing the heroine was so strange and extreme-because he was still imitating!

His encounter with the female lead was quite dramatic; he was like a poor boy in distress found while nestled in a corner by a passing maiden who gave the starving fellow a candy bar and treated him without disdain when he was down.

The image must have been so impressive to the villain that when he came back to look for the heroine, he kept trying to heroically save her, trying to mimic the image he remembered.
The plan was to embarrass the other party and rescue her without disdain.

Xu Chenghao connected all the plots he knew with the other party’s behavior during their time together and became more and more sure- the other party did have a severe social barrier!

That would explain why the other party making friends still depended on how he and Li Nian got along.

Xu Chenghao rubbed the center of his brows with a headache, regretting in every possible way that he said the words in the villain’s heart when he lost his first pepper! The villain must have thought they were the same, so he wanted to befriend him.

Regret, so much regret!

Xu Chenghao turned from rubbing his brow to rubbing his head, resting his forehead against the little yellow duck for half a second before he regained his spirits and gestured for Jing Yicheng to sit down, “Where was the conversation just now?”

Jing Yi Cheng looked at him and suddenly curled his lips into a smile, “I’m observing you guys.”

These words, paired with this slightly creepy smile, were a double kill.
What Xu Chenghao wanted to say was blocked back, and he looked at him with a frown.

Jing Yicheng said, “You found out.”

Xu Chenghao: “……”

Jing Yicheng leaned back in his chair and seemed to be in a very good mood, “I knew you understood me.”

Xu Chenghao laughed dryly twice, “You admitted this yourself.
I didn’t find out.”

Jing Yicheng just hooked his lips and smiled.
His black eyes were deep and obscure but had a faint glow of light.

Xu Chenghao avoided his gaze by placing the little yellow duck on the table and changed the subject: “Actually, you don’t need to observe Li Nian and I, everyone has their own personality, and every pair of friends has their own mode of getting along with each other, this kind of thing can’t be imitated, if you sincerely want to make friends, you have to rely on yourself.”

“And I must state that I am not at all in the same boat as you.
I don’t have such a…… complicated situation like you, nor am I in the same environment as you.
What you think I know about you is just because I’m observant and well-informed, so you might want to think carefully about that.”

Xu Chenghao weighed his words and said them very carefully.
But he had to say it out loud.
What if the villain found out he was wrong, not the kind of friend he wanted, and broke his legs in anger?

After Jing Yicheng quietly listened to all he had to say, he only left a sentence, “Just making a friend, don’t worry.” Then he got up and left, returning to the other side of the busy area to carry out his work.

It’s amazing how everything was breezed over in one stroke!

Xu Chenghao rarely felt like he was punching cotton and couldn’t help but hold his forehead and sigh in his heart.
What evil did he do?! Where was the female lead’s halo?! Why doesn’t she take this demon away?!

Just as Xu Chenghao was holding his head in chagrin, Li Nian, who had been observing from a distance, came over quietly and asked in a low voice, “What were you talking about just now? Didn’t you quarrel? Why do I feel that your mood is not right? What happened? What’s going on?”

Xu Chenghao turned his head, looked at him blankly, and said indifferently, “Stay away from me!”

Li Nian was confused, “Huh?”

Xu Chenghao: “The farther the better.
Until the end of this project you’d better be twenty centimeters away from me … no, fifty centimeters away from me!”

Li Nian: “???”

The dumbfounded Li Nian didn’t know what had happened, so he accused angrily: “Holy shit! You big pig’s trotters.
I came to care for you, and you treat me like this? Who used to call me Little Sweetie? Now you’re turning your back on me, aren’t you?”

Xu Chenghao: “…”

He turned his head to look in Jing Yicheng’s direction and saw that the other party was indeed observing them and even looking more openly because he had been discovered.

Xu Chenghao’s heart was like ashes.
At this moment, he not only regretted that he provoked the villain, he had nothing to say about that in his heart.
Wasn’t it good to knock him twice?! He also regretted using Li Nian as a shield and telling him, ah!

He’s been digging himself a hole this whole time!

With a heavy heart, Xu Chenghao called another assistant and told them to give Jing Yicheng and Li Nian a freakishly spicy lunch box when they ordered before he felt a bit better.

Probably because Xu Chenghao was too aggrieved, the effect of his spare tire halo was triggered again, and Xu Chenghao harvested a small red pepper before he got off work.

Xu Chenghao was very happy about this and directly handed it to Jing Yicheng, encouraging him: “Eat it!”

Jing Yicheng: “…”



T/N: I’ve been so occupied with work lately.
I hope you can forgive me (◞╭╮◟)

1君子之交淡如水( jūnzǐzhījiāodànrúshuǐ): A gentleman’s friendship, insipid as water (idiom, from Zhuangzi 莊子|庄子)

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