Chapter 37: Sighing Clouds
Xu Huaiming woke up from the sofa on the second day. He rubbed his eyes and glanced at the clock on the wall. The hands pointed at exactly nine o’clock. He had slept in a bit today.
After being injured yesterday, the emergency healing function of the system automatically activated. However, because he hadn’t gone to Professor Bowen for maintenance in a while, all his functions were a bit sluggish. When he got home, the system suggested that healing would be faster if he shut down, so he prepared dinner early to avoid Tan Xilu going hungry and sent him a message before turning off the machine.
He originally thought he could turn it back on before Tan Xilu returned, but unexpectedly, it was already the second day.
He was about to get up to wash and make breakfast when he saw Tan Xilu coming out of the kitchen. He was surprised that Tan Xilu had woken up so early today; usually, he didn’t get out of bed before eleven.
“You’re up so early today?” he asked.
Tan Xilu nodded, and when he saw Beibei coming out of the bedroom, he said with a slightly awkward tone, “Awake?”
Xu Huaiming replied with an “Ah” and was quite surprised that Tan Xilu had woken up so early today. Normally, he didn’t get out of bed before eleven.
“You woke up early today?” he asked.
Tan Xilu nodded, glanced at Beibei, who had just come out of the bedroom, and lied, “Beibei woke me up this morning.”
“Really?” Xu Huaiming didn’t doubt him and crouched down, beckoning Beibei to come over. “Then I should teach her a lesson.”
Tan Xilu pursed his lips, mumbled a response, and in reality, he hadn’t slept all night. He sat on the floor, staring at Xu Huaiming’s injured hand. He knew that technology was very advanced nowadays, but he watched in astonishment as the wound slowly healed and there was no sign of a scar when he had seen it with an open wound. Surprised and afraid, he realized he had been living with a robot all these days. They ate together, lived together, even slept together and kissed. The thought sent shivers down Tan Xilu’s spine and made his stomach churn.
He hadn’t noticed that Xu Huaiming was no longer the same.
He was still enjoying the love from the other as if it was compensation for seven years. But in reality? It was all a facade.
He took a deep breath, suppressing the urge to vomit, and said to Xu Huaiming, “I was too tired last night when I got back, didn’t have dinner. I just reheated the dinner you made yesterday and had it for breakfast.”
“Alright,” Xu Huaiming released Beibei and stood up, heading towards the bathroom. “I’ll freshen up first.”
Tan Xilu nodded and turned to get the reheated food.
While washing up, Xu Huaiming looked at the bandaged hand and was momentarily surprised. Then, to avoid suspicion, he carefully rewrapped it. After washing his face, he left the bathroom.
Tan Xilu had already prepared congee. When he saw Xu Huaiming approaching, he said, “There’s pickled radish in the fridge. Can you get it?”
Xu Huaiming went to fetch it, poured some onto a plate, and brought it to the table. He didn’t eat such things much, to be precise, anything hard to digest, and sometimes Tan Xilu had peculiar tastes that he couldn’t understand.
Xu Huaiming placed the plate on the table, helped Tan Xilu move his chair closer, and, after Tan Xilu sat down, shifted all the dishes a little closer to his side. These seemingly normal actions were now different since Tan Xilu knew Xu Huaiming was an AI.
Tan Xilu thought, why was this AI so good to him? Why did he impersonate Xu Huaiming? Was his love all fake? Just part of a programmed design?
Tan Xilu was frightened and couldn’t believe it. He had been living with a machine all these days, eating together, living together, even going to bed and kissing. The thought sent shivers down his spine and made his stomach churn, threatening to make him nauseous.
He had never realized that Xu Huaiming was no longer Xu Huaiming.
Despite his shock, he managed to control his nausea and said to Xu Huaiming, “I was so tired when I got back last night that I didn’t have dinner. I just reheated the dinner you made yesterday and had it for breakfast.”
“Alright,” Xu Huaiming replied and went to clean up and wash the dishes. Meanwhile, Tan Xilu continued to sit at the dining table. It seemed like he was in a bad mood, and Beibei, sensing this, approached him, jumped onto his lap, and started licking his palm.
Tan Xilu petted the cat, feeling a sense of sadness welling up. He didn’t know what to do.
He had never imagined such a bizarre situation would happen to him. He couldn’t help but wonder, what was the truth about the old Xu Huaiming? Was he even a human? Or was he also an AI? Were they two different people or the same?
Tan Xilu sighed and tried to suppress the feeling of nausea. He had to find out the truth. Was Xu Huaiming really who he seemed to be, or was there something more to this story?
After finishing the meal, Xu Huaiming tidied up and washed the dishes. Tan Xilu still sat at the table, lost in thought. Xu Huaiming called his name several times, asking about the taste of the food and whether the congee was soft enough, but Tan Xilu was absent-minded and didn’t respond promptly. Eventually, Xu Huaiming stopped asking.
After washing the dishes, Xu Huaiming put everything away and washed up. Tan Xilu was still sitting at the table, and Beibei seemed to sense that he was upset. The cat walked over, jumped onto his lap, and started meowing.
Tan Xilu petted Beibei and suddenly felt overwhelmed with emotion. He had never imagined such a bizarre situation. He had been living with Xu Huaiming, thinking it was a loving relationship, but now everything seemed uncertain.
Tan Xilu took a deep breath and stood up from the table. He went to the bedroom and retrieved his phone from the bedside table. He scrolled through his contacts and dialed Li Zhao’s number, then waited for the call to connect.
Ten minutes later, Tan Xilu changed into different clothes and came out of the bedroom. Xu Huaiming had just finished washing the dishes. When he saw Tan Xilu dressed neatly, he asked, “Are you going out?”
Tan Xilu nodded.
“Where are you going? Can I drive you there?” Xu Huaiming asked.
“No need,” Tan Xilu shook his head lightly. “I’m going to meet a friend.”
“Alright,” Xu Huaiming didn’t ask further. He took a scarf from the coat rack in the
entrance, helped Tan Xilu put it on, and said, “Be careful.”
“Okay,” Tan Xilu replied and headed towards the door.
“Wait a moment,” Xu Huaiming suddenly called out.
Tan Xilu, accustomed to responding, turned back.
Xu Huaiming walked over, embraced Tan Xilu, and then kissed him on the lips.
Instinctive reactions are the most genuine. The previous Tan Xilu would have willingly embraced Xu Huaiming and responded to his kiss without hesitation. But now, his body stiffened for a moment, even though he was still kissing the same person. Xu Huaiming could see from Tan Xilu’s response that something had changed.
He let go of Tan Xilu and called his name, “Alu.”
Tan Xilu opened his eyes but didn’t respond to the name.
The door opened, and then closed with a loud “bang.”
Xu Huaiming stood still for about ten minutes until Beibei knocked over her food bowl and started meowing, which brought him back to reality.
He walked over and arranged the cat’s food bowl, then petted Beibei, saying, “What do you think, Beibei? What should I do if Alu doesn’t want me anymore?”
Beibei’s only response was a series of “meow.”
“This is…” Tan Xilu stood in front of the research institute and turned to look at Li Zhao, asking.
“This is where Xu Huaiming was created,” Li Zhao replied, looking at him.
Tan Xilu moved his lips but didn’t utter a word.
Li Zhao tugged at his arm and said, “I’ll take you inside to meet someone. He’ll explain everything.”
Li Zhao took a few steps forward, but there were no footsteps behind him. He turned around and saw that Tan Xilu hadn’t moved. He asked, “What’s wrong? Are you scared?”
Tan Xilu was lost in thought, feeling torn between the desire to open the door and find out the truth and the fear of losing the current Xu Huaiming. After all, he could still be with him if he pretended not to know the truth, right? He could turn a blind eye to it. He could still enjoy Xu Huaiming’s love, even if it was fake.
As this thought crossed his mind, Tan Xilu mentally chastised himself. What about the old Xu Huaiming? How could he be so selfish?
With a determined expression, he pushed open the door.
Upon seeing Tan Xilu, Professor Bowen immediately understood why both Code no. 7 and Xu Huaiming had fallen for this person.
Tan Xilu’s eyes were captivating, unbelievably beautiful, and when he looked at someone, it was with utmost sincerity. When he listened, he did so with complete focus, and if he didn’t understand, he would timidly ask for clarification.
He was incredibly obedient and wouldn’t refuse anyone. Who could resist such qualities?
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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