The sky was foggy and gray when He Qiao woke up. It was still early.
He didn’t know when he had fallen asleep. The short sleep made his brain sluggish and he lost his usual sobriety and calmness.
In his slightly dazed eyes, there was a real, soft clarity.
Chi Xueyan kept staring at him before suddenly remembering the morning after the wedding when He Qiao slept until noon and walked out of the room. Chi Xueyan had been sitting on the sofa and reading a book. He was inexplicably pleased by the other person’s appearance and threw away the cold style detective novel in his hand.
The same was true at this moment.
He thought of many things while waiting for the people around him to wake up.
Chi Xueyan originally wanted to mention to He Qiao that there were two identical flight records on the big screen.
It was because his gaming skills were too good to be true.
At least, Chi Xueyan felt he couldn’t do it easily.
He could achieve better and faster results in repeated practice, constantly setting new records, but it was difficult to repeat a previous flight record 100% to make even the minutes and seconds the same.
The clearance leaderboard that recorded all local data didn’t show traces of multiple attempts.
Under the premise of limited movement, He Qiao only took a few tries to achieve it without alerting the person sleeping in his arms in the slightest.
After waking up, he still maintained the same posture even though he should’ve felt stiff and sore.
In the end, Chi Xueyan didn’t speak. He took the initiative to get up from the sofa and extended a hand to He Qiao, whose mind hadn’t returned yet.
The tatami sofa in the game room was very comfortable and the embrace he leaned into was very warm, but he preferred to go to bed and get a good sleep.
Today had just started. He didn’t want to eat cake and welcome in the new year with unbearable sleepiness.
Through the pale morning light, the two people who hadn’t slept enough finally returned to the room that had stayed empty all night and plunged into the deep burgundy bed.
There was no ambiguous energy and leisure. Only a deep sleep that came at the same time.
They wandered in a sweet and light dream and it was past noon when they woke up again.
Once they washed up and went downstairs, the aunt waiting in the dining room immediately entered the kitchen and became busy. No one minded them sleeping in and Sheng Xiaoyue’s voice contained deep laughter.
“The two of you played games until you fell asleep.” She seemed to be thinking seriously. “Should I put a bed in the game room?”
He Huaili’s thinking was more meticulous than hers. “It is more appropriate to put a game console in the bedroom.”
“That’s right. The game room is so close to your bedroom. Are you so lazy that you don’t want to move after playing?”
He Qiao obviously didn’t pay much attention to his parents’ teasing. He didn’t hide his intention to change the topic and sent the most standard blessings. “Happy New Year’s Eve.”
Chi Xueyan’s eyes curved in a smile as he copied He Qiao. “Happy New Year’s Eve.”
It was the ordinary and perfect New Year’s Eve that he had imagined.
It started from sleeping and waking up naturally.
The next step wasn’t to play with his phone.
The Spring Festival couplets, blessing characters and window paper cuttings that were prepared early were placed on the table. Today, the young people they were waiting for finally came home to stick them.
After eating the longevity noodles that Sheng Xiaoyue specially asked the aunt to make, Chi Xueyan and He Qiao chose the couplets together and looked for their favorite place to stick it in the huge and gorgeous house.
There was also He Xiao.
Sheng Xiaoyue didn’t need to take photos with her phone today. She asked the housekeeper to give her a special camera to shoot the three people who were busy in front of the windows.
The happiest scene in her eyes should be recorded in the clearest way and taken out in the future. It would become a precious family video.
From this angle, one could see them standing outside the house through the clear glass window.
The sunlight quietly sprinkled on the ends of their hair. Chi Xueyan had tape in his hand and was directing He Qiao to paste the ‘Good Fortune’ character’ in the most central position.
On the side, He held a pair of couplets and didn’t move. His gaze fell firmly on the shaking ‘Good Fortune’ character.
He Qiao held the ‘Good Fortune’ character in his hand and was talking. The glass was so well soundproofed that the conversation couldn’t be heard.
They should be talking about pleasant things.
It was because Xiao Chi laughed very well.
Sheng Xiaoyue stood inside the house and thought so. A smile spread through her eyes.
She decided to add some romantic elements to this long shot full of happiness. Adding an empty shot could give a long charm.
Thus, she moved the camera to shoot the winter flowers outside the glass window, giving them a brilliant and quiet close-up.
As Sheng Xiaoyue looked away, He Xiao outside the house looked at her, who was oblivious to the scenery outside the house.
It was a complex look that was difficult to describe in words.
Chi Xueyan thought that in the distant story, ‘He Qiao’ who suddenly fell from heaven to hell should often gaze at his parents with such eyes.
He gazed at the family members who were ignorant of the abyss beneath the surface happiness.
So what He Qiao said before was right. This was indeed a fair revenge.
It also happened peacefully.
A nightmare that people would never forget often appeared in fine weather with little wind or clouds.
He Xiao had long had doubts about his brother’s outstanding performance in his career during this time. However, they were usually busy with work and rarely saw each other.
On this rare day of reunion, he used an ordinary tone to care about his younger brother with a simple personality. “You have changed a lot recently.”
He Qiao thought he would get an answer related to Chi Xueyan since that was the only variable in He Qiao’s life.
The tone might be one-sided fascination and obsession or being manipulated by a subconscious stupidity, just as it had been the case for many years.
But he heard a flat tone and an indifferent answer.
“Because I’m not He Qiao.”
An unfamiliar tone, unfamiliar sentence and unfamiliar meaning.
He Xiao was trying to understand this sentence while the silent Chi Xueyan suddenly laughed.
He smiled and reached out his hand to help He Qiao straighten the big, red ‘Good Fortune’ character that was slightly offset, determining the most suitable position.
In the following narration that was like thunder, the red-haired young man had a strong smile on his face as he acted arbitrarily and casually.
He was an outsider to this family but he seemed to have already learned the truth and looked at He Xiao with a slightly mocking gaze.
Then together with another outside, on the glass window of the He family, he personally pasted the ‘Good Fortune’ character symbolizing reunion.
He Xiao became the third person to know that this world was a novel.
The darkness hidden in his heart was hastily revealed.
He heard about the original ending of this world and how the innocent person who tasted pain died unexpectedly.
He found that this calm looking He Qiao couldn’t be his younger brother.
The chaotic thoughts suddenly turned into a barren sea.
In the blankness, He Xiao saw Sheng Xiaoyue passing by with the camera and showing it off to them. “Did I shoot well?”
He Qiao coaxed her in the tone that was more familiar to his family. “It is beautiful, the garden is very beautiful. Why didn’t you film Dad?”
She, who had lived in happiness all her life, said in a light tone, “Next is his turn. He is busy in the kitchen. Even if I want to run over to film him, I won’t be able to take it.
He Huaili had once started from scratch in a small food store and he naturally had good skills in cooking. He just didn’t have much time to cook over the years, so it wasn’t known if there was any regression in his skills.
In the midst of her gentle whispers, Chi Xueyan stared at her and asked softly, “Mom, is it okay to paste the word ‘Good Fortune’ like this?”
There was no mockery in his gaze when he looked at He Xiao, only pure laughter.
Hearing this title, Sheng Xiaoyue was stunned for a while. Then after realizing it, her beautiful eyes lit up.
“It is beautiful,” she said. “Very beautiful.”
She suddenly forgot all about the video recording. She stuffed the camera into He Qiao’s hand and rushed to the kitchen excitedly. “Huaili! Did you hear that just now?”
The distant He Huali naturally couldn’t hear it.
But Sheng Xiaoyue didn’t care so much. She kept smiling and forgot to control the corners of her eyes to prevent wrinkles. She just wanted to tell her husband as soon as possible.
It was just like many years ago when she first heard her unrelated oldest son call her Mother.
Chi Xueyan stood beside He Qiao, quietly watching her figure disappear into the spacious home. Then he went with He Qiao to get a new good fortune character and walked to another window.
Neither of them looked at the expression of the third person again.
This was probably the only thing they committed together that made them really seem like a villain.
In the following days, He Xiao would thoroughly feel the pain that ‘He Qiao’ would’ve tasted in the future.
It was like those two identical flight records.
Perhaps even more.
It was because those who were unrecognizable in the ‘family’ had become two. In addition to He Qiao, the book transmigrator who disguised himself as the second son favored by his parents, there was also Chi Xueyan who didn’t belong to the family.
They had unpredictable intentions and were getting closer and closer to his parents, who knew nothing about it.
The louder the laughter that rang through the house, the deeper the nightmare for He Xiao.
The truth was always pale. Almost everyone had heard it but they weren’t able to get a perfect and flawless world.
Countless persuasions and explanations weren’t comparable to their personal experience.
It was the experience of being locked in a black, lonely cage.
If He Xiao didn’t care about the feelings of his close relatives at all and directly disclosed this secret, this revenge would be a failure.
But this wasn’t the case.
At the New Year’s Eve table, He Huali, who rarely cooked, made a few small dishes and asked his oldest son with a smile how it tasted compared to when he was a child.
He Xiao sat with his family and was momentarily distracted, as if recalling the long-ago taste buried deep in his memory.
Then he nodded and replied with a smile, “It is as good as back then.”
He said nothing and pretended that everything was business as usual.
He made the same choice as ‘He Qiao’, who loved his parents deeply.
He didn’t want to make them sad. He didn’t want to listen to them ask where their once familiar son had gone. Therefore, he could only keep this dark secret alone.