When Lu Jingning returned, the mecha duel competition had already come to an end. Wen Xingchen had just returned from the battle zone, and for some unknown reason, perhaps due to a good mood, he stood in place, accepting the enthusiastic hugs from his teammates without kicking them away.
As if sensing something, before Lu Jingning approached, Wen Xingchen suddenly looked up and asked, “Back already?”
Lu Jingning was about to respond, but the passionate voice from the commentator’s booth echoed throughout the venue, marking the end of today’s competition, causing the entire stadium to erupt in excitement. As he had anticipated, Wen Xingchen had effortlessly taken on three opponents in the match after stepping into the arena.
In general, his performance today surpassed yesterday’s, leaving no doubt that he would soon become the focus of major media headlines.
With a satisfied smile, Lu Jingning felt that the coveted title of “Imperial Navy’s Twin Champions” was within his grasp, just a step away. He walked over to pat Wen Xingchen on the shoulder, giving him a thumbs-up. “Impressive, LaoWen, you truly live up to your reputation!”
Wen Xingchen raised an eyebrow at Lu Jingning’s attitude and casually glanced at his empty hands, asking in a calm tone, “Weren’t you supposed to prepare a reward?”
Lu Jingning turned to look at Cen Junfeng upon hearing this. Under the sharp gaze, Cen Junfeng instinctively shrank his neck, wearing an expression of innocence before humming a tune and fleeing the scene.
Lu Jingning made a mental note to educate the big-mouthed Cen Junfeng properly in the future.
Seeing Lu Jingning focused on firing off imaginary death rays, Wen Xingchen asked with a slow and calm tone, “So, where’s the reward?”
Lu Jingning replied, “What’s the rush? It’s too big, so I left it at your room’s door. You’ll see it when you get back.”
Wen Xingchen had expected Lu Jingning to hand him a handful of candies, but upon hearing his response, he was surprised to find out it was something big. A trace of curiosity flashed through his eyes.
With an air of mystery, Lu Jingning stimulated his curiosity further, saying, “Don’t worry, you’ll definitely like it!”
Looking at Lu Jingning’s confident expression, Wen Xingchen couldn’t help but sense a hint of malicious intent lurking behind his harmless smile.
Oh, it couldn’t be anything good.
With two consecutive days of successful competitions, everyone was in high spirits. John treated the whole team to a meal at a famous restaurant near Heavy Cloud Defense Academy.
Learning from Lu Jingning’s previous experience, in order to be in top shape for the final day of the team competition, he ordered everyone to abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages during the meal.
Everyone understood the importance and didn’t raise any objections. After a satisfying meal, they returned to their rooms to rest.
Lu Jingning wasted no time and quickly disappeared from the rest area’s entrance.
Back in his room, Wen Xingchen looked at the massive cardboard box piled up at his doorstep, lowering his eyelashes with an unclear expression.
Cen Junfeng, who was staying in the same room, curiously approached him, “Is this the legendary reward prepared by Brother Lu?”
Wen Xingchen neither confirmed nor denied it.
With a questioning look, Cen Junfeng sought his approval before promptly opening the box.
To his surprise, he was taken aback when he saw its contents, which seemed to have raised his already high expectations. “Are these… laundry detergents?”
The box was filled with various brands of green-packaged laundry detergents, all green plum sauce scented, exuding a sharp and sour smell when opened.
Cen Junfeng stared at Wen Xingchen in confusion, “Winning the competition gets you laundry detergents? What’s the meaning behind this?”
The scent seemed to stir some distant memory buried deep within him.
Wen Xingchen stood in silence for a moment, without giving a definite answer. His face showed little emotion, but there was an inexplicable and peculiar feeling in his expression.
He didn’t know how long he stood there before he ambiguously replied, “Quite a lot, very considerate.”
Then, he casually picked up one bag from the box and turned to leave, saying from a distance, “Could you help me bring these into the room? Thanks.”
Cen Junfeng watched Wen Xingchen’s gradually retreating figure, and despite the lack of much expression on his face, he felt an indescribable sensation.
Amidst the lingering smell of laundry detergent, there seemed to be a faint trace of minty smoke, a subtle touch that sent a chill down his spine.
Alphas were inherently competitive and antagonistic, and though the gesture wasn’t aimed at him, Cen Junfeng could sense the underlying aggression. He hoped that the interaction between Wen Xingchen and Lu Jingning tonight wouldn’t escalate into a fight before the team competition tomorrow.
Speaking of which, he wondered who would come out on top if they did fight. Maybe he should go check it out, just to satisfy his curiosity.
At the same time, back in his room, Lu Jingning lay on his bed humming a little tune, in a surprisingly good mood. He could almost imagine Wen Xingchen’s expression upon seeing the “surprise,” which made him want to burst into laughter.
However, his smile didn’t last long as he heard a knock on his room door.
The soft knock on the door cut through the atmosphere like a hand playfully tickling Lu Jingning’s heart. His initial response to the sound painted a picture of a tall and slender figure.
He hesitated for a moment, adopting a drowsy tone, “Who’s there? It’s late, if you need something, let’s talk tomorrow.”
Wen Xingchen’s voice came from behind the door, “Oh, you’re already asleep? Then who was chatting so cheerfully on the school group chat?”
Lu Jingning glanced at the screen, where Yu Qingcang and a few others were having a lively conversation, and sighed inwardly.
He had been careless!
But then again, Wen Xingchen himself had said that he liked the green plum sauce-flavored laundry detergent. Lu Jingning merely catered to his preferences. What was there to be guilty about?
With that thought in mind, Lu Jingning opened the door without any psychological burden. He leaned lazily against the doorframe, raising an eyebrow, “So, what’s up? What do you want?”
Wen Xingchen, somewhat unexpectedly, noticed that Lu Jingning was already in bed. His expression flickered briefly.
Lu Jingning had just finished showering, wearing an oversized nightshirt with the buttons casually undone at the neckline. A hint of skin peeked out, accompanied by damp strands of hair, giving him a softer look than usual, yet adding an allure that was normally hidden.
It made him even more irresistible.
Chaos ensued in Wen Xingchen’s mind as he observed this alluring sight. His gaze casually swept from Lu Jingning’s neckline to his neck, and he saw the other’s slight frown. He tossed the item he had brought, saying, “It’s inconvenient outside; let’s talk inside.”
Without waiting for Lu Jingning’s response, Wen Xingchen stepped inside.
Lu Jingning hadn’t expected Wen Xingchen to be so at ease, so he glanced at the bag of laundry detergent in his arms, closed the door with a bang, and rolled up his sleeves as if preparing for a battle.
Wen Xingchen sat down on a chair, raising his head to look at Lu Jingning with a surprisingly gentle smile. “I received your reward and was very happy. I came here to say thank you and discuss what motivated you to give me such a precious gift.”
The more he smiled, the more uneasy Lu Jingning felt, but he couldn’t help but laugh at the teasing tone, “Well, isn’t this according to your logical deduction?”
As the laughter continued, he added a touch of arrogance to his tone, “How is it? Do you really like this fragrance? Not only is it the green plum sauce flavor you love, but there’s also plenty of it. It’s much more sincere than your peppermints, right?”
Indeed, he felt quite displeased about Wen Xingchen’s dismissive gesture when he received the candies.
It seemed that Wen Xingchen heard his inner thoughts because he suddenly leaned in closer.
Instinctively, Lu Jingning pushed back slightly, leaning against the back of the chair. Wen Xingchen stopped right in front of him, his eyelashes lowered, and his tone impossible to decipher, “I do like the green plum sauce flavor, indeed.”
Lu Jingning’s gaze wandered over this perfectly crafted face, and his throat unconsciously tightened. He swallowed hard, then Wen Xingchen asked in an inexplicable mood, “Since you’re so keen on pleasing me, why not just give me your pheromones?”
Caught off guard by Wen Xingchen’s unexpected request, Lu Jingning was momentarily stunned.
Rationally, he knew that it was probably just a joke, but Wen Xingchen’s demeanor was slightly different from usual. His dark eyes shone with a surprisingly intense emotion, as if struggling to break free, resembling a wild beast eyeing its prey.
Moreover, since Wen Xingchen entered the room, a faint scent of peppermint had been lingering around him, growing stronger by the second.
No, it was more accurate to say that this scent had been there since Wen Xingchen stepped into the room, but it was so faint that he hadn’t paid much attention until now.
Frowning slightly, Lu Jingning’s playful expression also subsided, “Wen Xingchen, are you feeling unwell?”
Alphas were quite adept at controlling their pheromones, unlike Omegas. Especially someone like Wen Xingchen, who wouldn’t unconsciously leak pheromones unless he intended to.
Lu Jingning’s first reaction was not that Wen Xingchen was trying to use his pheromones to influence him, but rather, he was concerned that Wen Xingchen might not be feeling well.
Recalling the dinner table where Wen Xingchen seemed quieter than usual, Lu Jingning regretted that he had intentionally avoided engaging in a conversation at that time, as he was preoccupied with the laundry detergent situation.
He asked again, “What’s wrong? Did you get injured during the competition this afternoon?”
Amused by Lu Jingning’s concern, Wen Xingchen couldn’t help but smile, “No injuries, just that… I’m in the receptive period.”
Lu Jingning was taken aback by the revelation of Wen Xingchen’s receptive period. It was entirely random for Alphas, unlike Omegas’ heat, which had a predictable frequency. To think that Wen Xingchen’s receptive period coincided with the team competition was truly a coincidence.
As Wen Xingchen’s pheromones grew stronger and stronger around him, Lu Jingning couldn’t help but say, “Is it because of the laundry detergent I gave you?”
Wen Xingchen managed to laugh amidst his chaotic feelings, “No, it’s not.”
He sat back down heavily, rubbing his temples with force, “Usually, there would be some signs beforehand, but this time it seems I was already close, and using the pheromones intensively in the afternoon caused it to erupt prematurely.”
Lu Jingning observed Wen Xingchen’s appearance but couldn’t quite tell how he was feeling at the moment. Unable to resist his concern, he asked, “How do you feel now? Are you uncomfortable?”
As someone who wasn’t an Alpha, Lu Jingning wasn’t familiar with the sensations during an Alpha’s estrus period, but he couldn’t help but think that it couldn’t be pleasant, much like an Omega’s heat.
“It’s very uncomfortable,” Wen Xingchen replied frankly, raising his head to look deeply into Lu Jingning’s eyes. “And even though I’m trying hard to suppress it, it’s highly likely that I won’t be able to control my pheromones soon.”
Pausing for a moment, he continued in a calm tone, “In fact, I might not even be able to control my actions next. So, before I completely enter the receptive period, do you want to consider kicking me out?”
Upon hearing this, Lu Jingning tightly pursed his lips and responded bluntly, “Tell me, what should I do?”
Wen Xingchen’s profound gaze remained fixed on him, a faint smile appearing on his lips. “Are you willing to help me?”
Lu Jingning chuckled, seeing through everything, “Lao Wen, you came to me at a time like this. Isn’t it because you think I can help you?”
Wen Xingchen remained silent.
During the receptive period, Alphas not only lose control of their pheromones but also experience heightened possessiveness, irritability, and sensitivity, along with a stronger dependence on Omega’s pheromones.
In fact, he had already sensed something was amiss during dinner. After returning to the rest area, he should have found a place to lock himself away temporarily, but the scent of green plum sauce on the laundry detergent had awakened the restless desire within him, making it uncontrollable.
Marked Alphas would have a stronger possessiveness towards the Omega they had marked, even if it was a temporary marking.
He couldn’t ignore the intense desire urging him deep inside. It seemed that only by being by this person’s side could he have a sense of belonging.
It was terrifyingly fragile.
Wen Xingchen’s gaze brushed over Lu Jingning’s smooth neck, and his deep eyes flickered slightly. “So, will you help me?”
Lu Jingning remembered their previous experiences; there was no way he could refuse now. Without hesitation, he nodded, “Tell me, how can I make you feel more comfortable?”
Wen Xingchen’s expression wavered slightly, completely devoid of his usual calm restraint. He only knew that his pheromones were becoming increasingly uncontrollable, and his voice unintentionally turned husky, “As I said earlier, give me your pheromones.”
The intense scent of peppermint exploded as he finished speaking, filling the entire room.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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