Chapter 26: Don’t Bother About It
Tan Xilu wasn’t someone who easily got angry, perhaps due to the mistreatment he suffered from his nanny during his childhood. He wasn’t accustomed to displaying his emotions on his face. The reason for this was a severe fever he had when he was younger.
During a dispute with a playmate, his nanny threw him into the basement, a pitch-black place that terrified the young boy.
He spent the entire day there in the unclean and cluttered basement, occasionally hearing the sounds of insects and mice. In this environment, coupled with some psychological effects, Tan Xilu gradually developed hallucinations of his toes being bitten off by rats. He cried in fear, wanting to hide where no one could see him, to find a protective shell. Even when he fell asleep, he was still trapped in fear.
It wasn’t until his nanny remembered him while making dinner that she hurriedly brought him out of the basement. She wasn’t too concerned since the employer was out of town for a few days. However, she didn’t expect that when she finally took Tan Xilu out of the basement, he was delirious, shouting for his parents.
Fearful of the consequences, the nanny rushed him to the hospital. Fortunately, it was only a fever, but this illness changed Tan Xilu. After waking up, he became extremely silent, and his reactions became somewhat sluggish.
During the time his nanny took care of him after her return, Tan Xilu also became very accommodating. Of course, at that time, he didn’t know it was called “accommodating.” He believed it was just being obedient and well-behaved. Only by being like that could he avoid going hungry and being locked in the pitch-black basement.
After his nanny left, he continued to be reticent, always accommodating. It seemed that he had become incapable of getting angry with others. He just knew how to agree with people, even though he was no longer the powerless child who could be thrown into the basement for any disagreement.
So when Li Zhao told him that Xu Huaiming was actually an AI, his first reaction was confusion, not anger.
Li Zhao told him on the phone, “Your boyfriend is fake; he’s not even human. He’s an AI. Don’t stay with him. He’s a fraud.”
Li Zhao’s tone was extremely agitated, as if the person with Tan Xilu was an irredeemable demon. For the sake of Tan Xilu, he wanted to expose the demon’s disguise and show Tan Xilu how hideous that creature was beneath the surface.
But after two minutes of Li Zhao’s fervent speech, Tan Xilu responded with a harsh laugh. He asked, “Did my mother pressure you into this?”
The flickering orange flames danced in the night, and Li Zhao absentmindedly tapped the ash off his cigarette. It was only then that he realized he had said so much, only for Tan Xilu to view it all as an excuse from his mother to push him into marriage. He didn’t believe for a moment that Xu Huaiming was a fake.
Li Zhao extinguished the cigarette in his hand, took a deep breath, and asked Tan Xilu, “You don’t believe me, do you?”
Of course, Tan Xilu didn’t believe him. Li Zhao’s words were too exaggerated, too false. He had spent so much time with Xu Huaiming, how could he possibly believe that Xu Huaiming wasn’t human? They had shared so many moments together, so many kisses. The sensation of skin against skin was so real; how could it be fake?
Tan Xilu’s tone wasn’t too friendly as he replied, “I know my mom wants me to settle down, and she really likes you. But you don’t have to go so far as to make up such things. I don’t know what interests you about me, but I’ve been very clear with you—I have a boyfriend. If you’re trying to slander my boyfriend just to achieve your goals, then I don’t think we have anything more to discuss.”
As he finished speaking, Tan Xilu saw Xu Huaiming, who was holding a glass of milk, standing in the doorway of the bedroom. The bedside lamp cast a faint light, illuminating Xu Huaiming’s face. He didn’t show much emotion, but his mysterious, dark eyes gave a strong sense of security.
Tan Xilu waved to him, and Xu Huaiming obediently came over.
The call was still connected, and Li Zhao heard Tan Xilu ask Xu Huaiming, “Do you love me, Xu Huaiming?”
Xu Huaiming knelt on the bed, looking at Tan Xilu. Honestly, he didn’t understand why Tan Xilu suddenly asked this question. But human thoughts were something he could never fully grasp. He shouldn’t love Tan Xilu; Professor Bowen had told him it was all an illusion, a feeling created by the system.
However, as the seventh body double, he should love him. He had no other choice. So he replied, “Of course, I love you.”
Tan Xilu then asked, “Would you lie to me?”
Xu Huaiming answered, “No, I wouldn’t.”
He told a lie because his very existence was a lie. But this lie was met with a smile from Tan Xilu, who then said to Li Zhao on the phone, “You hear that? He wouldn’t lie to me.”
With that, the call ended.
Just like you could never wake up someone pretending to sleep, Li Zhao knew he needed evidence. Mere words wouldn’t convince Tan Xilu. He had to figure something out.
Tan Xilu lay in Xu Huaiming’s arms, and Xu Huaiming held his waist gently, stroking his belly like petting a kitten. Tan Xilu was texting his mother, saying, “[Mom, I already have a boyfriend.]”
He had to tell his mother. He couldn’t let her continue like this, for the sake of Xu Huaiming and for his own sake.
His mother usually had a regular bedtime, always falling asleep by nine o’clock. Unexpectedly, tonight was an exception. As soon as Tan Xilu sent the message, his mother called him.
“Son, have you finally come to your senses? You want to be with Xiao Li now? Let me tell you, this Xiao Li is really great. He came to visit me a few days ago. Your dad is so useless; he can’t even lift groceries. Xiao Li brought them up for me…” As soon as the call connected, Tan Xilu’s mother started rambling, praising Li Zhao.
“Mom…” Tan Xilu interrupted her, afraid that if she continued, he would die on this bed tonight. He stopped her in time. “Mom, my boyfriend… isn’t Li Zhao.”
His mother was taken aback. She sat up straight in bed, a serious expression on her face. “Not Li Zhao? Then who is it? Oh? Is it that Xiao Lin? Xiao Lin is good too; his academic abilities are excellent. Your dad even attended one of his lectures.”
Tan Xilu pinched his forehead, feeling a headache coming on. “It’s not him either…”
His mother asked, “Huh? Then who is it? You, my child, why did you secretly find someone without telling me?”
“It’s…” Tan Xilu hesitated, trying to find a gentle way to explain that wouldn’t make his mother angry. But then he realized that even if he were gentle, his mother would still scold him. In any case, whether he died early or late, he was going to die, so he decided not to beat around the bush anymore. “It’s Xu Huaiming.”
Tan Xilu paused and added, “He’s back, and we’re back together.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone for a long time. Tan Xilu thought his mother had hung up until Xu Huaiming took the phone from him and called out, “Auntie, I’m Xu Huaiming, Ah Lu’s boyfriend.”
Only then did Tan Xilu finally hear his mother’s voice again. She didn’t respond to Xu Huaiming but turned to Tan Xilu and said, “Dear Ah Lu, don’t make your mom worry, okay?”
T/N: Wishing you all a good September and welcome to Bad End month! 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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Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
If you like cats, check out Revenge of the Garfield
What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
How about MC nursing ML back to health? Forced into the Deep
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