[October 1st, the weather is sunny and my mood… it’s a secret.]
[Today is the first day of the holiday. I went to the movies, wandered aimlessly and rode the Ferris wheel.]
[It is the first time I went to see a love movie with someone, the first time I wandered aimlessly with someone and the first time I rode a Ferris wheel with someone. It turned out that doing these things have such a feeling. My heart is beating like it is going to fly out.]
[In fact, the host is also really good at comforting.]
[He probably got a bit of my true handed-down teachings.]
[October 3rd, light rain, eating crayfish.]
[The host’s cooking skills are becoming more and more refined. Fortunately, I can’t gain weight. But in order to match the objective fact of eating snacks every day, should my shape be rounder?]
[I’m a bit embarrassed to continue living with the host. Our way of getting along is basically the same as in the past but the atmosphere is always very ambiguous. My temperature control module has been upgraded many times but it still breaks down.]
[Every day is like secretly falling in love. Maybe it won’t be like this after the official confession?]
[…But I don’t dare to try it. What if the mission panel shows the sudden movement of a corpse?]
[Fortunately, there is Hua Hua. Rounded up, there are three people living in the house, right?]
[There are three people in the house! Did you hear that, mission panel? Don’t show a sudden movement of a corpse!!]
[October 6th, cloudy, the second last day of the holiday.]
[The holidays are passing so fast. Tomorrow is the host’s birthday. After thinking about what to give for a month, I have finally decided.]
[This year’s gift is also a thin piece of paper. It can’t be too exaggerated in the hopes that it doesn’t alarm the sleeping tomb.]
[I also want to celebrate my birthday.]
[I haven’t had time to celebrate my 18th birthday yet.]
On the early morning of the 7th, Pei Qingyuan habitually got up early and was replying to a mobile phone message when he heard a polite knock on the door.
Since Ji Tong asked for everyone’s advice on birthday gifts in the dormitory, his two roommates and Ouyang Yu knew about his birthday. Ouyang Yu was also a very enthusiastic and friendly class monitor so the whole class ended up knowing about it.
This caused Pei Qingyuan to see many messages on his phone when he got up to wash. It included his classmates and basketball team friends in the past, as well as his new college classmates, friends, teachers, etc.
The screen was full of the red dots of unread messages. He received all types of blessings and thanked them one by one.
Among them, Senior Xie’s blessing was the most distinctive.
[Xie Yuchi: Happy birthday. Don’t forget your original intention. Forge ahead and be long-lasting.]
Considering Xie Yuchi’s deep resentment toward his ex in their daily chats, this sentence should be translated to: Even if you are one year older, don’t be bad and become a scumbag.
…It was a warning blessing.
Pei Qingyuan put down his phone and got up. He guessed that Ji Tong was awake but the knock on the door didn’t sound like Ji Tong’s style.
He opened the door and was about to go to the kitchen to make breakfast, only to see a pink-furred Hua Hua with a red ribbon bow around his neck. He raised a front paw and knocked on the door with happiness written all over his face.
On this happy day, he finally got his wish to have today’s limited pink cat fur.
Pei Qingyuan: “……”
It was weird.
It wasn’t as cute as the mushroom.
In view of his second master’s obedient use of magic to turn him a pretty pink, Hua Hua willingly acted as a messenger. He meekly hung his head and revealed the gift on his back. It was also tied with a bow and had the words ‘Happy Birthday, Host’ written in beautiful handwriting.
Pei Qingyuan was a bit surprised. He bent down to pick up the thin gift and unwrapped the bow and outer packaging. He thought that perhaps it was another photo.
Contrary to his imagination, inside was a watercolor painting.
There was a clear glass window in the painting. In front of the window was Ji Tong, who was smiling and making a scissors gesture. The weather was bright and the brilliant sunlight obscured the scenery behind him.
It looked like it should have been adapted from the photos taken that night on the Ferris wheel.
He hadn’t expected Ji Tong to be able to paint.
The pink Hua Hua finished his task. He walked away with his tail up, bit the pant leg of Ji Tong, who refused to come out of his room, and dragged him over for an inspection, trying to get his master’s praise.
Ji Tong was dragged over and whispered, “It isn’t generated by data. It was painted by me, although my drawing skills are average.”
He kept a diary for a year. Since he always inserted photos and stick figures into it, turning the host’s domestication log into a fancy handbook, he gradually learned how to draw.
“It is pretty,” Pei Qingyuan said seriously. “I don’t seem to have seen you draw.”
It was because it was all drawn in a notebook that couldn’t be seen by the host.
Now that the host had the permission to enter the consciousness space. He didn’t dare to write a diary anytime and anywhere. He could only secretly do it in the garden after the host fell asleep.
Ji Tong looked away guiltily and said, “Drawing is so simple. You can learn it in a day or two.”
Pei Qingyuan didn’t suspect anything. He turned around and walked to the desk in his room. He came out and handed it to Ji Tong. “Exchange gifts.”
Ji Tong looked surprised. “For me? It is your birthday.”
“As I said last time, today is your birthday practice,” Pei Qingyuan said. “So you also have to receive a gift.”
Ji Tong was stunned and took the small box that had a very light weight.
The onlooker, Hua Hua raised a paw with a face of expectation.
“Meow?” What about me?
“……” Pei Qingyuan hesitated for a moment and tried to get over it in a perfunctory manner. “You already have pink cat fur.”
“Meow meow meow meow!” That wasn’t given by you!
Pei Qingyuan didn’t have anything for the cat that jumped into his arms and acted spoiled, so he could only say, “I will make it up for you next year.”
“Meow meow meow meow!” I want it tomorrow!
“We are going back to school in the afternoon and won’t be at home tomorrow.”
“Meow meow…” Eccentric human QAQ.
Seeing the cold host trying to reason with the cat, Ji Tong couldn’t help laughing. He held the small gift in his palm and responded, “Thank you… Ruan Ruan.”
At this moment, calling him ‘Host’ seemed too unfamiliar and he was too embarrassed to call out ‘Brother.’
Ever since Pei Qingyuan graduated from high school, he hadn’t called out this somewhat childish name for a long time.
Initially, he was trying to comfort his host at a low point in his life.
This long-lost name brought back memories. After a moment of being in a trance, Pei Qingyuan whispered to the boy who was a bit shorter than him in front of him, “Let’s go celebrate our birthday together.”
Ji Tong didn’t know the host’s arrangement for today and could only be a small follower obediently.
He put the small gift box in his pocket and didn’t open it immediately. He kept imagining what would be in the box and the temperature of his palm warmed the surface of the box.
The feeling of guessing a gift was wonderful.
The first step of today’s birthday practice was close to home.
Ji Tong was inexplicably a bit nervous as he was led by Pei Qingyuan down this familiar street.
There was still a long queue in front of the tong sui store while beautiful cake models were still displayed on the window of the bakery next door. The colorful signs were full of childlike fun.
Ji Tong saw He Shiwen’s busy figure in the store from a distance.
He subconsciously hid behind the host when entering the store.
He Shiwen didn’t know him now. Due to the rules of the world, he had forgotten the former little Ji Tong.
The wind chimes rang softly. The profusely sweating He Shiwen looked back and said habitually, “Welcome—”
Then a joyful smile instantly bloomed on his chubby face. “Hey, Xiao Pei is here!”
“Happy birthday!” He Shiwen had celebrated Pei Qingyuan’s birthday with a group of high school students last year and he naturally remembered this day. He had sent a message to Pei Qingyuan in the morning. “I didn’t expect you to come over. I thought you would celebrate your birthday at school!”
“I’m going back to school in the afternoon,” Pei Qingyuan replied softly. “Long time no see, Uncle He.”
“It is just right! I’ll make you a cake and you can take it back to celebrate with your classmates.”
He Shiwen immediately gave loud instructions to the back kitchen. The familiar pastry chef also came out to greet Pei Qingyuan.
Last year, the photo of little Ji Tong eating the exploding custard croissant was taken by the pastry chef.
Ji Tong couldn’t help looking at the wall behind the cash register where He Shiwen had put up many photos.
Among them was the photo of Ji Tong as his child self. It had prematurely yellowed and faded.
Thus, he moved out a little bit behind the host.
He Shiwen happily beckoned for Pei Qingyuan to sit down. He saw the unfamiliar young man brought by Pei Qingyuan and said enthusiastically, “You are Xiao Pei’s friend, right? Welcome to the store. Sit down quickly.”
“I told Xiao Pei before that he should often bring his friends to play. Then I will take you all to eat delicious food.”
He remembered the past and said with regret, “It is a pity that I didn’t prepare in advance today. Do you have any other arrangements? I’ll bring you some bread to try first. If you like it, bring some back to school later.”
He Shiwen took a tray to grab the store’s signature pastries such as the exploding custard croissants, the small dinosaur biscuits…
His movements paused slightly. He was unable to remember why he had developed this little dinosaur-shaped biscuit.
This biscuit sold very well. Almost every customer who entered the store would be attracted by this lively and playful little dinosaur shape.
Ji Tong was a bit at a loss as he took the tray from the bakery owner. Then he heard the other person’s laughing voice, “ It is the first time we’re meeting but I always feel that you are very kind. Come and play more in the future.”
A familiar customer next to him laughed at him. “Boss he, your words when soliciting customers are too outdated.”
“Whatever, I’m sincere.” He Shiwen waved his hand and quickly pushed up the glasses that had slipped down. “This is my friend’s friend. In other words, my friend, not a customer.”
Ji Tong looked at the colorful little dinosaur biscuits on the tray and pursed his mouth slightly. “Thank you, Uncle He.”
His apprehension faded and his mood suddenly became good.
Pei Qingyuan had been observing every slight change in his expression and was only relieved at this moment.
When he accompanied Ji Tong to find Shen Yiming in the past, he had discovered the natural closeness of Shen Yiming to Ji Tong, despite Shen Yiming being introverted in nature.
Therefore, Pei Qingyuan thought that perhaps no one had really forgotten Ji Tong completely.
He was such a special person.
In the deepest part of Pei Qingyuan’s bookshelf, there was a photo of a small robot standing in front of the garden, an ugly white butterfly doll and a newly acquired watercolor painting.
They weren’t empty data. They were real gifts.
His system had left traces in this world that wouldn’t disappear and had also left a deep imprint in the memories of others.
No matter his identity, he existed in the emotional bondage of human beings. He wouldn’t become the mechanical housekeeper who would become a pile of scrap iron.
As Ji Tong was concentrating on eating the little dinosaur biscuits, Pei Qingyuan handed a bag he brought out of his home to He Shiwen. “Uncle He, this is a gift for Xingxing.”
He Shiwen looked at the pattern on the gift bag and was pleasantly surprised. “Is this the… robot that can dance?”
“Yes.” Pei Qingyuan nodded.
Deng Shu set the day when the jelly bean robot went on sale as today.
“Thank you, thank you. Xingxing must be very happy. A few days ago, she has been nagging me about why Brother Pei hasn’t come to the store.” Speaking of this, He Shiwen hit himself on the head. “By the way, she has no school today. I will ask my wife to send her over.”
A quarter of an hour later, the little girl with two twisted braids jumped into the store. “Dad, what good thing are you going to give me?”
“It isn’t from me. It is a gift from someone else.” He Shiwen smiled. “Look who this is?”
He Xingxing looked at Pei Qingyuan and blinked. She was about to speak when she was suddenly attracted by the strange brother next to him who was taking photos of the small dinosaur biscuits with different colors.
A few seconds later, the little girl touched her braids and said shyly, “Hello, Brother. My name is He Xingxing and I also like to eat these biscuits.”
This time, the fan con He Xingxing’s gaze didn’t revolve around Brother Xiao Pei.
She started to revolve around her newly acquainted Brother Xiao Ji.
He Shiwen was amused by his daughter’s reaction and joked, “Why did you change your mind so quickly? Don’t you remember Brother Xiao Pei?”
“I remember. I’m not stupid.” He Xingxing pursed her lips and said in a straightforward manner, “But I’ve grown up and I’m already in a big class. I don’t like cold boys so much. I like cute ones the most now.”
The room full of people couldn’t stop laughing.
In the lively laughter, only Brother Pei seriously agreed with her opinion despite being beaten into the cold palace.
“I like it too.”
Taking advantage of the fact that other people weren’t paying attention, Brother Xiao Ji quickly stuffed a biscuit into his mouth to prevent him from continuing.
He clearly owned only one butterfly, but at this moment, there was an overwhelming tide of butterflies flying on the surface of his heart.
When leaving the bakery, He Shiwen and Pei Qingyuan made an appointment. He Shiwen said that he would send the cake and other snacks to school in the evening so that Pei Qingyuan wouldn’t have to carry so many things during the day.
The next stop was the mall. Pei Qingyuan took him to see the counter full of jelly bean robots. The robot with the cool cap, round body and flexible long legs attracted the attention of many children and many young people stopped to try it out.
This was an appearance he designed on a whim and now it was seen by many people.
The sound of music and loud conversations echoed everywhere.
In the crowd, a child who was left alone stood on tiptoe and curiously looked at the strange-looking robot in the cabinet. He wanted to touch it, only to timidly retract his hand.
Without any parents around, the short child lingered in front of the glass cabinet and was reluctant to leave for a long time. The busy counter salesman didn’t notice him.
Ji Tong stared blankly at this scene.
He wanted to cry a bit.
“Can I give him a jelly bean?” He asked the host next to him.
Pei Qingyuan didn’t ask for the reason. “Okay, wait for me.”
The tall host walked over, crouched down in front of the child and whispered to ask what color he liked.
Ji Tong stood aside and watched quietly.
He remembered many things.
But what he wanted to do most now was to open the gift that had been exchanged.
As the host was talking to the unknown child, Ji Tong lowered his head, took out the small box from his pocket and carefully opened it.
Inside the box turned out to be a necklace.
On the delicate chain was a small gold key with a delicate appearance.
The surface of the key was dotted with a few stars with soft lines. The overall shape wasn’t complicated and there was a simple, romantic atmosphere. At the same time, it was in line with the completely different aesthetics of Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan.
There was a card underneath the necklace with the host’s familiar handwriting on it.
[It should look better than gold cufflinks.]
Ji Tong remembered the day of the high school parent-teacher meeting. The host had found him, who turned into a cufflink, from Fang Hao’s pretend ‘Ji Yanxing’ at a glance.
It was definitely better than cufflinks.
The cufflinks could only be used as decoration on clothes but the key could be used to open a treasure chest.
He thought so and carefully hung the necklace around his neck. Then he carefully straightened the key pendant.
He loved the gift very much.
Wearing it on his body gave him the feeling of an interstellar pirate with a secret treasure map.
The necklace could be worn every day while the box and card should be stored.
Ji Tong turned over the gift card in the box to see if there were any other words or patterns on the back.
The back wasn’t blank.
He really saw another line of words.
[The treasure chest is hidden in the future.]
The golden key hanging over the white collarbone swayed gently, shining with a gentle light.